My Imaginary Friend

We all need heroes. And we all should want to have heroes. Sometimes, they refuse to adorn the physical persona of an individual in the real world, but rather, manifest themselves as an amalgamation of ideas, virtues, that we hold important. Often, we tend to bring out these virtues in times when difficult decisions beckon us, seeking advice from this ‘amalgamation’, this imaginary friend. Here’s my idea of what my imaginary friend exemplifies, and my fervent hope and belief that he is in me. Prompt inspired by Sunday Scribblings and a friend’s GTalk status message.


Enthralling the party with his subtle humor,
He swims comfortably in that shark-infested pond.
But a head, laid firmly on his shoulders, he has,
As he discretely waves his ever magical wand.

A leader among men, such confidence he inspires,
Among friends, foes, and those who feign indifference.
His act, eloquence, resolve, his glowing persona,
Challenging tradition, the world, with gracious reverence.

Loyalty pays homage, at his humble doorstep,
As he gently pulls an arrow from my betrayed back,
He nurses that wound, as he plans the war,
Mindful, but never fearful, of the opposite stack.

He stays true to his once-committed word,
As integrity challenges him to a difficult duel,
Through rigors intense, and obstacles galore,
He rides through those ravines cruel.

He is my dear friend, but my imaginary friend.
A light he leads with, for me, in this darkening age.
In truth, he is me, but with everything that is but me,
And all that separates us, is inhibition’s cage.


Life Swap

A prompt from Sunday Scribblings got me thinking about the life of a ragamuffin on the streets. While I take my life, my comforts, my entitlements for granted, what part of my life does he, will he, wish for?


Woken up hungry by a policeman’s kick,
Packed with a disdain unparalleled,
Another bright morning, as you wake up to,
I bid my bed under the bridge, adieu.

Your breakfast gets cold, begging relish,
As I stare at the restaurant owner,
It won’t be long before his disgust wins,
And throws me a stale bun – thus my day begins.

That ragamuffin you dismiss, at the traffic signal,
In the comfort of your air-conditioned car,
I stand in the scorching heat, amidst the pollution,
Hoping for a kind heart, or someone seeking absolution.

You raise your hand in your history class,
You challenge your private school teacher.
I find a torn book on the renaissance times,
Hoping, earnestly, it’ll get me a few dimes.

The soccer ball flies into the goal,
As your teammates celebrate your magic,
I pull out some wooden splinters from my feet,
Wishing I’d never run down that filthy street.

The dinner table, set, as you father says grace,
As your kid brother gestures an expletive,
I scamper around for a morsel in the rubbish bins,
Competing with the stray cat, as it grins.

Your mother tucks you into a warm safe bed,
As you close your chapter on today,
I wish I could swap my existence with you,
Only for a few hours, if not a day.

Yes we can.

A small tribute to the survivors of calamities all over the world. Us fortunate souls can pray for all the help and relief for you. But most importantly, what we wish for you, is the strength to realize that tomorrow’s a brand new day. Prompt courtesy Sunday Scribblings.


The earth swallowed buildings whole,
And chaos reigned supreme,
The heavens broke into incessant tears,
Into a nightmare, turned a gentle dream.

The winds in anger, blew away the thatched roofs,
Laying bare the petrified, defenseless souls,
The rivers ravaged the fertile lands,
Paving a dreaded future of empty bowls.

Flames burst forth, once the rains subsided,
Reducing all to a smoldering ember,
The mobs unruly, pillaged, plundered,
Blood ties, friendship, none remembered.

But the night ended in a brand new dawn,
And the sun shone lovingly again on man,
Out of the rubble, came forth a new voice,
“Yes”, it shouted, “Yes, we can.”

New Leaf

Here’s a story of a man who’s trying to turn over a new leaf. After a lifetime of crime, associations with the mob, and incarceration, he’s finally trying to step back into society as a man rehabilitated. How does society welcome him?
Topic courtesy Sunday Scribblings.

“Sorry my friend, I can’t offer you the job,
You’re clean today, but your past’s colored by the mob.
I don’t want the cops, to check on my store,
And with you around, me, they can’t ignore.”

Hardly a surprise t’was, as I took to the busy street,
I wasn’t yet ready, for a defeat complete.

“You’re handsome and smart, and make me smile.
In another life, I’d walk with you, down the aisle.
But you, dear man, have seen the prison wall,
And that’s third strike, despite your virtues all.”

Heartbroken, I gazed, into the starless sky,
A little part in me, I felt slowly die.

“Don’t visit me dad, you’re not a good man,
You’ve killed before, and again you can.
Did you think about me, when you stuck that knife?
Into that man, ending his life?”

Rejected by my blood, I watched her leave,
A daughter lost, another mistake to grieve.

“Can’t rent you this place, your record’s bad,
If I did, your neighbors wouldn’t be too glad.
This rental’s only for the respectable folk,
We don’t want you people here, trading guns and coke.”

No place to live, I slept on the park bench,
Shunned by all, I’m society’s stench.

No job, no love, no family, or home,
I’m that man destined to aimlessly roam.
Turn over a new leaf, I’ve so badly tried,
But it seems as though, I’d rather have died.


A story of unrequited love triggered a lifetime ago by moment of careless banter between a young boy and a girl. This week’s prompt at Sunday Scribblings.

Eons ago, as innocuous children,
Under the tree, we hysterically laughed,
Over the new teacher’s helplessness,
Dealing with the incorrigible bully,
Playing havoc during our period in craft.

As a little girl, to an unsuspecting boy,
You in all innocence, then, remarked,
With widened eyes, and a heavy heart,
Will you dare to love me forever?
A million neurons in my head sparked.

Through our lives as friends, often,
I held your hand as your heart mended,
Broken by unrepentant nonchalance,
I wish then, I had dared to tell you,
How many lives my love transcended.

As a man of age, to an ageless woman,
Under this timeless star-lit sky,
With a flare of passion in my raging heart,
I’ve dared to love you, forever and ever,
And never once, I’ve needed to ask why.


This week’s prompt courtesy Sunday Scribblings.

This is a soldier, the last of his men left standing. He’s holding his fort while waiting for reinforcements. Wounded fatally, he knows its only a matter of time before he will meet his maker. There’s chaos all around – bullets flying in all directions, deafening sounds emanating from guns, cries of wounded soldiers….


They called me brave, on that fateful night,
When all seemed lost in that gruesome fight.

Outnumbered, outgunned, I saw my brothers slain,
But yet I marched on, knowing it wasn’t in vain.

Trampling on the bloody snow, I shot at sight,
Hands quivering, not of cold but of fright.

One more hour, I had to hold the point,
My country’s faith in me, I would not disappoint.

Streams of bullets sprayed incessantly from my gun,
A deadly warning that sanity couldn’t shun.

The night-sky lit with those countless flares,
Bore witness to chanting of a thousand prayers.

As I lay wounded, behind the god-sent boulder,
I could feel my body get slowly colder.

My love, she flashed before my tired eyes,
And it hurt to remember those betraying lies.

The picket fence, unpainted, screamed for a mend,
Only if it knew, it had no friend.

The dog barked from beyond the meshed door,
I wasn’t coming home, buddy, not anymore.

The kid round the corner, with a ball in his hand,
I wish there was someone, to make him understand.

They called me brave, on that fateful night,
When I walked, wishing more, into the light.


Being set adrift aimlessly in life as a consequence of abandonment is indeed a scary thought. The lines below illustrate a picture of a forsaken boat that no longer interests its master.


The boat drifted silently in the dark water,
Gently breaking through clouds of devious mist.
Ignorant of the reach of the ripples it spawned,
Oblivious to the deadly rocks it missed.

The broken oars lay on the side, in agony,
On the floor of that once contented boat,
Snapped, each in two pieces, unmercifully,
Leaving its future to a directionless float.


Topic courtesy Sunday Scribblings.

The extortionist

Till about a couple of years ago, Mumbai, the financial capital of India, was overrun with many gangs that targeted businessmen and extorted money out of them. The modus operandi of these gangs was to hire novice shooters, often unemployed youths, and provide them with pistols before sending them on a mission to threaten these businessmen. These often ended up badly for the shooters themselves, who ended up getting an insignificant share of the extortion money, if they survived the indiscriminate encounters with the police. The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is “I come from”, and I thought of using this to tell a story of an extortionist waiting for his mark in a red light area in Mumbai – a story that I’ve imagined a few times before.


The morning had passed, in boredom complete,
And not a soul was seen, in that dirty street.

In the corner café, as I sipped that burnt coffee,
Out came to seduce me, the famous Sophie.

The whores were awake, washing the night’s filth away,
But Sophie, that woman, she knew neither night nor day.

Not today, my darling, I’ve come on a mission,
My work doesn’t wait, for your pleasure or my fission.

She cursed me, as she left, a jilted hooker,
But she left me aroused and hotter than a cooker.

My eyes still trained, on that third floor window,
Sharp and focused, as I dreamt of that future dough.

I was waiting for my mark, a fat old pig,
He was in that whorehouse, on a decadent dig.

Today was just to warn, that rich business man,
That if he didn’t pay up, we’d end his life-plan.

Came lunch hour, and in poured those dastardly pimps,
And yet, of the fat pig, I couldn’t catch a glimpse.

Anger engulfed me, as I doubted for a wee.
What if my informant had double-crossed me?

I broke into a sweat, as a bastard cop showed up,
But he ignored me unsuspectingly, as he downed his cup.

These cops, they’re incompetent, that’s what we say,
They couldn’t find a horse, lying in a heap of hay.

I felt the cold body of my deadly .22 colt,
Hiding inside my pocket, just waiting to revolt.

By god I’d shoot, if he ever violated Sophie,
She might be a whore, but she’s my trophy.

It was mid-afternoon now, and the street was busy,
And all the coffee had made me a little dizzy.

Pakya, the paan-waala, seeing me falter,
Promised that some ghutka, would, my state, alter.

I gave him a fiver, and sent him on his way,
And wondered once again, how long should I stay.

That’s when the pig showed up, clearly satisfied,
And I sprung into action, broke into a stride.

I pulled out the colt, and aimed straight at his head,
But I knew today, wasn’t to shoot him dead.

He squealed, petrified, as he wet his pants,
And oh, the bystanders, they scattered like ants.

Please don’t kill me, he begged my gun,
Who are you? And what have I done?

Absolute power, as adrenaline pumped through me,
This message is from your master, I screamed in glee.

I’ve been sent by “Chotta Rajan”, the mafia don,
To keep you in check, and control your con.

Meet me at the docks, with ten million in hand,
Or I’ll bury you alive, in the Chowpatty sand.

I come from Mumbai, so pay up my man,
I kill for a living, and I’ll wipe out your clan.

Dear Past Me, Dear Future Me

The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is “Dear Past Me, Dear Future Me”. This got me thinking that if I could, one day, meet myself in the past, what would I be thankful for? If I could meet myself in the future, what insecurities would I want answered?


Down the dark alley, as I walked alone,
I chanced upon a mysterious vortex, unknown.

From it, seemed to emanate, a divine glow,
And time around it, seemed to progress, slow.

Scared, but mesmerized, I jumped right in,
And that’s when my head went out for a spin.

I woke up on a beach, dazed, confused,
In pain, I realized, I was badly bruised.

As I trudged along that sandy shore,
I heard an old man’s satisfied snore.

Ecstatic at not being alone there,
I shook him awake, with little care.

He smiled knowingly, as these words escaped me,
“Who are you, and where are we?”

I am your future, said the old grey man,
And I will tell you the outcome, of your life’s great plan.

You never did marry your present sweetheart,
But a great journey you did, with another, start.

At times you were attracted by other than your spouse,
But you always stayed faithful to your marriage vows.

You never had that son you always wished for,
But your daughter, you came, to infinitely adore.

You never made partner at your firm,
But your wife, when you were late, never did squirm.

You never hit that jackpot, you, so earnestly, craved,
But you grew through those tough times you honestly braved.

You couldn’t afford that lovely house on the beach,
But to your children, great values, under a roof you did teach.

You never made friends with the football star,
But your commoner friend, walked with you, till far.

You weren’t able to visit that exotic island,
But you’ve saved enough in your retirement fund.

So walk on, along this beach, that is your present,
And you’ll see a life, in great satisfaction, spent.

With that, I traced my steps, with a sense of joy,
And that’s when I came across a little boy.

Shocked as I was, at seeing him,
I knew this could not just be a whim.

I am you, when you were all of ten,
Said the boy, when I asked him “when?”

I am you, when your mother tucked you in,
And kissed you lovingly, on your little chin.

I am you, when your pet dog died,
But to protect you from hurt, you father lied.

I am you, when your sister cared for you,
When you wouldn’t recover, from that belligerent flu.

I am you, when your best friend moved,
A decision that wasn’t his, which you vehemently disapproved.

I am you when you stood first in your class,
Yet you played with him, through his grade was just a “pass”.

I am you, when you cried through the night,
When you bore witness to your parents’ fight.

I am you, when you loved every life’s moment,
And every second, in unencumbered joy was spent.

Nostalgic, yet overjoyed, at a childhood blessed,
I carried on, along the beach, with my answered quest.

And at a distance, I could see, the vortex again,
And I knew this time, there would be no pain.

A changed world

I’ve always wondered what a child would grow up believing in, in this world of religious extremism, unjustified wars, ethnic cleansing and extremist pseudo-nationalism. How would you make the child see that there can be a different world, a better world?


Listen up, because this is important,
Hey unsuspecting child of today,
The world was different when I was on stage,
You could, back then, your audience, gauge.

There was love for the neighboring family,
Whose faith was never a concern,
Today, they’re enemies from eons ago,
And our religion wants them to burn.

There was no war fought over a pretence,
And a democracy belonged to the people,
Today’s it is thrust on, for barrels of oil,
And preached from the heights of a steeple.

There was no cleansing of people unarmed,
For the strong stood up for the weak,
Today we ignore the bloody massacres,
And turn deaf ears to a generation’s shriek.

There was respect for brothers foreign,
Who flavored a welcoming society,
Today they’re victims to suspicious whispers,
And causes of livelihood anxiety.

Listen up, because this is important,
Hey unsuspecting child of today,
Fight for a future of yesterday’s beauty,
And forgive us, for failing our duty.


Topic courtesy of Sunday Scribblings.

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