The wait: Poem

I wait at a bus stop
in summer clothes
My watch has stopped

Looking into the passengers
takes me back to an
adolescent time
blank-slated identities

I wonder if
their purses hold answers
to questions of the future

Intention is ridiculed
I need to buy a ticket
to know where I’m going

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

Explanation: The poet is in a state of inertia, which she likens to an adolescent state of uncertainty. Time has come to a standstill in the frozen present but comes alive in the past. She is curious as to whether her fellow passengers have successfully resolved their identity crises. Her summer clothes beam of hidden hope for the future. She intends for Action to precede Intention, which is self contradicting. Her destination will be dictated by the ticket she buys, for which she will have to break free from her inertia.


Myriad Musings


“ ~Show mercy on the poor old woman ~~ Give alms, without qualms – oh, oh, ohh- show mercy on this poor old woman ~~,” I sang. I know the word around town paints me as the “loony grannie.” Perhaps, I am. My life certainly carried sufficient trauma to justify the insanity I am accused of. A lady clad in silk by the temple drops a hundred rupee note on to my weary palm. A generous tip but my eyes don’t leave her purse. The purse draped in soft blue, like mine once was, as though wrapped in clouds of shyness and secrets.

I had accidentally forgotten my soft blue purse in the canteen, caught up in daydreams and fallacies as twelve year olds often tend to be. Lo and Behold, it turned out to be a blessing. Who returned it but the most desired chap in our grade ? One of the TDH guys- Tall, Dark, Handsome. My purse was safe, with all its myriad contents intact but for one. My photograph was missing.

I swagger up to the tea shop and pick up a newspaper while sipping my cup, uptown girl style. Vestiges of the past remain, you see. The owner still smirks at the idea of a literate beggar. Even after a routine two months, my curiosity for the news amuses him.

We were pouring over the newspaper, me and my TDH guy, surveying national problems meticulously, enraged and proud at all the right places. He says, “Our empty words are not making changes. Being is futile without doing” and I agree. My mind turns the page of every social service option until the unexpected word is hurled at me : Soldier. That’s what he wants to become. I can see his resolve in the tightened muscles of his lanky frame. I try to wear a sense of worship in my eyes, but they betray fear.

Ongoing Peace talks. Student Union Strikes again. I read the headlines mechanically. Old habits that refuse to leave like unwelcome guests. There’s one headline that clutches my heartstrings : Ring finger wrings hearts. About a celebrity’s engagement.

Tenth grade. While my peers were busy with Figures of Speech and Trigonometry problems, me and my fiancé were concerned with flower arrangements and guest lists for the wedding. The gleaming diamond on my ring finger emitted a foul smell, perceptible only to me, for I foresaw what was to come. A life of abandonment. Penniless. Widowed. Moving out of a house that was too close to “us”, away from a town whose street corners and pillars spoke my husband’s secrets. Estranged. Widowed. Penniless.

An array of excited school boys ran past me, with the vigour of an army about to launch their collective forces. A sports team. Cricket, Hockey, Football – Football, I decided. Seeing children and lamenting my childless days was a thing of the past. A pain I had grown numb to. Still, at the sight of their uniforms, a cold dread wrapped around my heart, disguised as a safety blanket, while it was in reality, a prickly porcupine shawl. I always have the sense to  go into hiding on Republic Days and Independence Days. I should’ve added Sports Day to that list. What torpefied me into submission once now startled a wail from my unsuspecting throat.

The sight of the tricolour symbols on their uniform.

Symbols that cost two lives.

One dead.

Another buried alive.

Myriad Musings, Poetry

Into an amnesiac’s memory- Poem

I live, as though, in another’s stead,

Images Crisp, flash in my head.

Dancing around the shrubs, one summer break,

Served sweet potato fries and delicious steak.

A spring evening, walking down the aisle,

After years of courting, married off in style.

As autumn hit, I hugged my willow tree,

Worried it would shed: My last memory.

Now winter is here, I’m only a recluse,

All it brought me was apathy and abuse.

I’m told my remembrances are false,

By aliens who define me by my flaws.

Apparently, there was no beckoning food,

No diamond rings or the willow wood.

Yet, these pictures light up a present bleak,

Give me strength, when I feel weak.

So I let my desperation and hope speak

And hold on tight with all my might

To these vivid images that just feel right.

Wipe away these memories, my past is dead,

Believe you me, with no question of ‘instead’.

Life lessons, Myriad Musings, Poetry

The last of life

The tick-tock of the zealous clock,

dictates all the strife in your life.

There’s the bedside tea, the chauffeur ride,

Yet, all you do is complain and chide.

Only in others’ pain, do you see any gain.

What’s marriage but a blemish, a stain ?

So you treat your family with utter disdain

though they prove their worth, time and again.

Remember the employees who trusted you to lead ?

They are dispensable now : paid no heed.

How could you forget the days of old,

when kindness was seen as pots of gold !

At home, a united nest, fed your zest,

at work, your superior’s praise, felt like a raise.

Your priorities made sense :

to become better and to belong.

Until the perfect picture came along

and you forgot the lyrics of the one-time song.

Won’t things change, if you were let in on this :

Today’s the last day you breathe air,

Your Final chance to be true and fair.

Would you then continue, with the hatred you spew ?

You’ll realise your follies when the

car meets a truck and the road seems askew,

Now, if only you knew, if only you knew !


The wheel of time: Poem


Image result for wheel of clock


When a smile depicts a distant emotion-
A fabric of the beauty lost,
The bubble of happiness seems evasive,
The pot of luck elusive in the empty present.
A harsh memory serves as a reminder
of the heavy baggage accumulated,
Beaten up with mercy none,
Begging redemption for the injustice done!
I can’t find the strength
to voice out a desperate cry
just to dispel the darkness.
Lost my path, sacrificed myself,
Yet details of my slip-ups remain crystal clear
if only to daunt me near.
Never one to learn a lesson,
I offered myself to be torn to pieces
And torn I was, ripped apart
with no radiance left in my sick heart!
I reach out to you divine lord,
without thee, no life would be left in me.
A flashback repeats
as I’m rolled over the fateful wheel of time,
struggling from beneath to find reason and rhyme.