Khanum Doctor,

Trust this letter finds you well. I have tried very hard these last few days to get you out of my head. But you seem to have moved in permanently with your car, furniture and that raggedy Pierre Cardin bag stuffed to the limit of its poor zipper. I even left an eviction notice on your door and threatened to sue but you simply laughed, tore the pages and threw them in my face.

In the past few days, I have, quite scarily, surprised myself in many ways. Some may even say I overcame my own biases towards…

The Dargah of Haji Ali, Mumbai

She is like the great mosque of Haji Ali, standing tall, always looking over me; never dissolving into obscurity.

The path to her is hidden by a high tide, but yet her sight gives hope and serenity to a turbulent soul; through the daily din, the anger; the dance of life.

I will wait as long as it takes for the tide to recede; the path to reveal itself. I will walk on my knees over moss covered concrete, carrying garlands and the sacred velvets to place at her feet. …

He guards our four walls,

With a gun and a colossal heart;

Every drop of blood he sheds,

Is a moment of peace cherished.

Our lands know that he’s there;

The guardian of their integrity;

Our waters know that he’s there;

The protector of their chastity;

Our skies know he’s there;

The janitor of their sanctity.

Undaunted by rain, sun or wind ;

His spirits surge, the higher the acme;

Our audacious sentinel — ,

He exorcises the demons,

Who set their eyes on us.

A friend’s friend and a foe’s foe;

Saffron and green are void to him;


A babushka hugs the splendid gray,

Her heart so pure, her mind so lay,

Petite woman with a wrinkly face,

In her mellow arms I seek solace,

She sang to me, she wept with me,

On unknown streets, I stroll merrily,

Her eyes so wet, her eyes so pure;

For any dread, they were the cure;

A squally anxiety churns within;

As she declines into the daily din;

The jaded piano man looked at me,

His tired fingers create her melody;

Her furrows break, a blessed smile;

World can wait for this one while

Fervent hands summon me to her;

Act of kindness in a blizzard — Photo taken by Michael Krigsman

It is a beautiful thing to be Jewish,

The Wall, the Torah, the Chabad;

It is a beautiful thing to be Muslim,

The Prophet, the Azaan, the Jihad;

It is a beautiful thing to be Catholic,

The apostles, the Bible, the Easter;

It is a beautiful thing to be Buddhist,

The disciple’s love for his teacher;

It is a beautiful thing to be a Hindu,

To submit to the Trinity and a Guru;

It is a beautiful thing to be human

To be kind, be just to our captive,

It is a beautiful thing to be human,

To err, to…

Winter, the season of munificence,

In desolation lies its magnificence;

On land of dead, the land of calm;

Stands a tree of esoteric charm;

Dead embers from the inglenook;

A long walk along the icy brook,

O Winter tree! Towards you I look,

Reminds me of my yellowed book!

O Winter leaf, my life’s like thee,

Dancing in the wind, homeless free,

Withered, yellow from a naked tree;

O Winter tree, my life’s like thee,

Blowing wind! Don’t tease me,

Stubborn roots won’t set me free!

O Winter tree, my life’s like thee,

Awaiting the spring for my glory,

An End to twilight hours of misery

Soft sunshine! end this eerie cold night,

Soft sunshine! drench me in your light

Soft sunshine! burn this cloak of white!

Those days when worries were a myth,

Hours flew with the wind on the heath,

Those days when the soul was priceless;

A bright smile bought you forgiveness!

Those good old days, those days of fun,

When all we did was fall, cry and run!

Those lovely patterns in the sands of time,

Fate, a ruthless wave of the sea sublime.

Stubborn patterns, etched in my mind,

Over the weary glass of wine I rewind,

The memoirs of those times enshrined,

Flashing past my moist eyes resigned.

Being bullied into petrifying seclusion,

Suffering the wrath of my imagination

The days…

That’s me *, the truth behind the façade!

Don’t you dare call me a star. I don’t shine nor do you see me when you are love struck. It’s not me who’s present on the American flag. And I am not what the three wise men saw over the deserts of Bethlehem when Mary was pregnant. I am not an effervescent comic strip character created by certain Mr. René Goscinny and Mr. Albert Uderzo. Get one thing loud and clear — the name’s asterisk and not Asterix. And I am not accompanied by an obese Gaul who’s in a perpetual state of readiness to thrash some Romans.


The Conundrum (Watchmaker’s Daughter)

It was supposed to be a piano solo, but someone screwed up the sheet music for the strings ensemble. Chaos reigned supreme as Pavarotti started a singing duel with Eminem causing total cacophony. The expletive-ridden rap jiving with the operatic glass-shattering crescendo confused everyone in my imaginary audience. It did not end there — Captain Haddock screaming “Billions of blue blistering barnacles” with a bottle of Jamaican rum in one hand was running after a confused, butt-naked Homer Simpson.

This is exactly how the perfectly stratified, neatly organized maze of responses, reactions, self-deprecating humor and filler talk that was laid…

“It’s not fair that you have a glass of fine single malt in your hands and I have a crying baby”.

These were the words that finally, after an evening’s worth of deliberation and observation, escaped from the lips of a weary person who I am proud to call a friend. I suddenly felt protective of my kind after this subtle attack on my way of life. I need to say this to my friend as well as the rest of the committed folk on the other side of the divide.

The chasm between the nomadic single…


comfortably dumb, word smith from the suburbs of Bombay!

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