the music in traffic

I hear your sounds, oh beautiful city,

that reminds me nothing of home;

A medley of notes, in dischord

creates din, my every curse adding sin.

And I spend two hours of the evening

Surrounded by un-moving vehicles.

Unmoved and unfrazzled, on I go

Singing with retro music from the radio.

 

A city bus won’t wait, it wheezes past

an old man on a scooter, with just a Beep;

leaving the man to breathe in black soot,

Uncaring with a cough no one hears, its mute.

Orchestrated, in unblemished disarray;

It moves on, inching, twisting, unnerving.

In short staccato intervals, a beep here

A beep there, means nothing really; so

 

You soon learn to ignore this rhythm.

Holding the note longer, sounds like

Beeeep. You may notice, but not so much.

Rhythmic intervals blaring into crescendo,

Beep beep beeeeep. And yet, a standstill.

The orchestrator stands heroic wearing no frills,

in a police costume, conducting this confusion.

Yields to no signal nor command, this din.

 

Oh! Bangalore, beautiful Bangalore

How I miss you; your wretched self

Has cast a dark spell, that’s magical!

And I cannot love another city more.

 

By: Sruthi Hamsini

Through the camera

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I sway and swing my hands

in the air, jump and sing;

clap, clap, clap, to the beats of

Coldplay. It’s a party with lights

on my wristband and the stage.

But there are more lights!

 

blink, blink, blink, they sparkle

like a disco in every hand,

soon the entire stadium is

twinkling with flashlights.

I want to see, but a million

screens are in my line of sight.

 

Stop! I want to scream. Stop

making this another YouTube

video experience, I want to yell.

Can you see the moon crown

the stage? or the laser lights

dance across the stadium?

 

 

Probably not. It’s just another

post, a grainy, out of focus photo

or video, a selfie most likely,

on Facebook or Instagram.

I want to stay real and feel,

my phone is not on my mind.

 

But there are a million screens

in my line of sight. And I see

the stage through a screen alright.

It’s just another Youtube video

That I could have watched in bed

Instead of braving crowds, traffic,

and flat beer. Realness is dead.

 

By: Sruthi hamsini

 

Music in her head

She dances, she moves

Her head, her legs, her feet

In imperfect harmony. 

Her hair struggles to break free

Of its band. Adding an imperfection

In the silence, on with her reverie;

The music’s in her head. Her grin

Tells us she’s mad. But we, as we

Stand still in the silence, and watch

Her move, grow jealous silently

Of the madness. We want to be mad too.

To dance and move, with the music

In our heads. We wear our lips thin.

While, on her face she wears the grin.
By: sruthihamsini

October’s gone


vivid memories of september’s heat

and birthdays that fell in between

colors began to change,

leaves started to fall

and i don’t recall

how october

arrived.

raindrops,

red, orange, yellow

trees tell me fall is here.

 

its dark as i wake up, almost

as dark as when i finish

don’t know when the light went

and i still don’t know where october went

A dog lost in war

It’s the summer of 2014

The heat is a stifling blanket.

I hear it, like a ‘woof’

Muffled in the thick air of the desert,

But loud as a gun shot

It carries through to my tent

That is now home, still standing

As the concrete crumbles under bombs.

Where I dream of a warm body

Covering my cold legs, and a cold nose

Against my warm breath.

Tomorrow I will comb his black coat

Till it sparkles like bone dust in the sun.

And I will feed him biscuits off my hand

So he can lick it clean. That sticky, wet, pink tongue

Like a cold spray under the fire.

 

Where is he? He never left my side –

Not once. Did he make it?

Did he lose his way through the streets

Drenched in red, searching for me?

 

I look up at the sparkling black sky

For a golden shooting star

There’s a wish on my lips.

Instead I see water in a plastic bottle

That flies down from a black helicopter.

 

Did he join the pile the soldiers

Carelessly left behind, uncaring

To even count as part of what they

Call ‘collateral damage’?

Nobody talks of dogs in a war zone.

They are not even collateral damage.

This day that we’re supposed to celebrate

nuts.jpg

It looms around the corner again. I know because

There’s red, and pink, and hearts and cookies

In the stores, at my workplace, spam mails, on TV;

Why, they’re even promoting spanking new cars

To woo a partner, and drive her crazy.

I blink into the headlight, clearly lost for ideas

To make it a memorable day, yet to not give in

To the gimmick that’s Valentine’s Day.

 

I’ll just give you a hand-knit green scarf that should

Have been completed before winter began.

Here we are, with spring approaching, and hearts

Beating. Scarves are shedding yet I’m still knitting.

We’ll walk six miles in the forest, undulating

Along the pacific coast with views of the ocean.

Nibbling on peanuts and cheese, and our hearts

Beating wild, a six-mile trek is our perfect plan.

Two sisters on a train

indian_railway_station_by_bhanumiracs-d54aqcqThe early morning chill hits our faces

Turning our cheeks to roses. Our noses

Are frozen, but the steaming tea dispels

Any ice from the morning. The station smells

Like a urinal, and people still drink their tea

With loud slurps. The clock says three more minutes

As we feed wagging stray dogs with biscuits.

The train blares for our attention, we clamber

To get our window spot, beating another

Couple to it. We grin and soon settle

To our iPods, and knotted wind-blown hair.

The journey, like passing fields is a blur.

I hear the chug and whistling vendors’ calls

While you sleep on, oblivious to it all.

Reminder

Every once in a while, life sends us a reminder.

A reminder that it is short.

It could be in the form of a devastating flood;

Or cancer sapping out every last drop of blood.

The sight of a skunk crushed under the wheels

of a truck. Tears sting my eye from the stink.

 

Should I go on? Should I stop?

How can I go on when your life stops?

But see, my time still runs;

And so, with it, I should still run.

Yet, every once in a while, life sends us a reminder.

A reminder that it is short.

 

 

Am I living or am I just passing time?

fall-colors23

I wait for a day in the future, when

I believe all my dreams will come true.

When I will live again in the city I love.

Here I am today, wasting a beautiful fall day

Where the leaves are a beautiful mix of orange

and yellow and green and brown. Life is

colorful today. I see it, and yet I don’t?

I wait for a day in the future, when

I believe all my dreams will come true.

Stupid, thankless me.

30 years into it

It’s October 2015! Thirty years ago maybe
you were as excited as a trembling
new leaf; a new partner, a new life
ahead that held secrets, whispering.

You said you didn’t want a celebration.
But it’s been a celebration all along
hasn’t it? This home, our lives, memories
of all those days we danced and sang.

I know now that love lasts forever. It
manifests through an unspoken word, a nod,
a lazy afternoon at home, dinner with old friends.
You taught me what it is to love and be loved.

-Sruthi
Dedicated to my parents on their 30th wedding anniversary.