White Guests

My walk to the Metro station on 21 March 2017 had an unusual sight in store for me; a bunch of white birds sitting on the bare, brown branches of a tree. They looked like little balls of white  cotton from a distance. I was absolutely thrilled by this sight. I wondered where they had suddenly turned up from. Such sights are rare in a polluted city like Delhi. Maybe Delhi is getting cleaner or perhaps the birds lost their way…We usually get to see only bigger birds like pigeons, vultures, etc in various combinations of shades of black, brown, and white. 

I had a very strong temptation to go closer and take clearer shots, but, proverbially speaking, the only birds I had at that time were the ones in the bush, none in hand,  and I had to content myself with that. I didn’t want to frighten them away and lose what I already had in my view finder.

The crows, I noticed, had very graciously handed over their house to the white visitors with a spirit of atithi-deva-bhava, a Hindi saying meaning a guest is like God. They were perched on the overhead cable, probably trying to decipher the words being uttered by foreign tongues below them…

Here is the pic…


When Vultures Fly Over A City

In July 2016, I joined a new company in Ghaziabad, a town in UP bordering Delhi.  It wasn’t, honestly speaking, my idea of a dream job, but I was stuck in a situation where I had to keep moving, irrespective of the consequences. Yes, I knew instinctively that I had a rough ride ahead…

With my inner world engulfed by a bleak, overcast sky, I landed into my new assignment in mid-July 2016, quite unaware that a similar kind of a sky, a real one, not an imaginary one generated out of anxiety and uncertainty, hovered right over my head.

During my very first week of joining, I noticed that immediately after reaching the NH24 in Ghaziabad, the sky suddenly gets filled up with thousands of encircling birds, mostly vultures, apart from crows and pigeons, looking very aggressive, ready to swoop on anything that caught their fancy. A few of them, exhausted perhaps, remain perched on trees, buildings, and poles, gazing at the world around them in grim, stoic silence with their sharp, watchful eyes…

This sight always gave me a very scary feeling and all I wanted at that time was to escape at the earliest. It reminded me of the famously repetitive line from Govind Nihalini’s television film Tamas based on Indo-Pak partition in 1947, “Is sheher par ek din cheelen udengi.” This line in Hindi, which means ‘One day vultures will fly over this city’ has very ominous connotations. It bears a horrible stench of thousands of corpses put together. It sets you off on a journey through negativity and everything else that’s associated with death because of man’s greed and callousness towards fellow human beings.

A colleague of mine suggested that “There must be a huge amount of garbage close by.”

She was right. A day or two later, my eyes spotted a huge mountain of garbage near that site. It was late evening and the sun had already set. Several little fires were burning on this mountain…

I still don’t know what the future holds for me and I have no idea where I am heading to. Maybe, with the passage of time, I might just settle down in my present job…But one thing is certain. This mountain of garbage must disappear and all the others in UP.

Dear Chief Minister Yogi Adityanathji, I hope you are listening. Please get this mountain of garbage eradicated, just like the street Romeos and criminals, and ensure that new ones don’t come up again…

Poet of The Day

My poem ‘Stars In my Eyes’ is the poem of the day today (16 March 2017)! So I am a proud and happy poet of the day today. It really feels nice. 

Thank you very much, Poemhunter, for giving me this honor and for placing an ordinary poet like me among great, world famous poets. 

Here are the screenshots. 

Highway Beauties

Somewhere on NH24, near Ghaziabad, a town in Uttar Pradesh, there are several Bougainvillea plants with flowers of different colors, magenta, orange, and white. They look glorious and their colors seem to get brighter when the morning sun light falls on them. Their presence on the highway adds a special touch and cheers you up. I noticed this recently on my way to work. May God bless the gardeners who planted these lovely shrubs…

I don’t know for how long these flowers are going to be around because soon the harsh summer would take over and destroy them completely till the next season.

Here are the pics.

The Moodiest Day, Spring 2017, Delhi

On 10 March 2017, Delhi’s weather was at its whimsical best. It looked as though it was trying to achieve a perfect 10 in all the different gymnastic poses that weather can take. Here are the pictures.

Morning.(cloudy, chilly, and grey)..

IMG_20170310_074519 moody day


Afternoon (rain and hailstones)…

IMG_20170310_162059 moody day


Evening (the sun, an orange ball, with clouds wearing an orange coat too)…

IMG_20170310_181839 moody day