The Word


Even as thoughts besiege me

Words fail me

And instead of emptying sentences into an abyss

I revert to chanting

The Word

In a repetitive mala* of 108

Till the pranav overcomes the nishabd 


mala = prayer beads
108 = number of beads in a 
pranav = a mantra, the sound of Aum
nishabd = wordless in 



Amid the sounds of silence

Pounding thoughts

Reverberate & regurgitate in my head

Oscillations of unspoken words

Stimulating, scolding, provoking

No commiseration, no pause

Never ending

Discordant and doubt-filled

Visphoti vichaar jo dhalte nahin

Calm evades my being

Dark clouds cloak the rainbow silence

Harmony an impotent word

Thrown into a void

A netherworld of negativity

Ashanti ka keechad

Monstrous crags of imbalance

Through which blows

A gale of turbulence

Intractable schisms between factions

Virulent thoughts, voice in a vice

A vortex of volatility and vulnerability

Adhure khwaab, asthir dimaag

The silence, not of concentration

Nor of meditation

But of confused mental contortions

And circumambulating constrictions

A sense of emptiness so unbearably heavy

That holds all sounds in a centripetal vice


Sing I your virtues in 40 stanzas every day.
Chant with devotion your name ceaselessly.
And seek I today your boundless wisdom and strength;
your thunderbolt to destroy the diabolical demons
that prey on me from the netherworld of my mind.
Your grace, my protective sheath.

O! Son of the Wind, I carry you in my heart with adoration
in the same way as you do the Lord.


Dark of form,
with ash-smeared body,
gnarnled, matted hair,
rudrakhsha and tiger skin.

Who resides in the snow-clad abodes
of Kailasa, the five Kedars,
Mani Mahesh and Shrikhand Mahadev.
In Benares and Ujjain and Nasik.
And in the hearts of a countless.

who are AshtaMurti, Chaumukha, Triambaka,
Sadashiv, Omkara, Rudra, Arunachalam,
Natraja, Pasupati and Ardhanarishvara.
Shankara, Shambhu and AdiYogi.
Bholenath and Kalabhairava.

Who are without beginning and without end.
From whom the holy Ganga emanates.
On whose head rests the crescent.
The father of time.

Who is merged into utter and absolute stillness.
Who exists in the emptiness beyond all that is.
Who is unbounded and all pervasive.
Whom tonight celebrates.
A night of intoxication and rapture.
Of fixity, enlightenment and dissolution.

I humbly dedicate this to you.

Universal prayer for the world, for 2023

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free

Sarvesham Svastir-Bhavatu
Sarvesham Shantir-Bhavatu
Sarvesham Poornam-Bhavatu
Sarvesham Mangalam-Bhavatu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih
May there be an abundance of well-being in all,
May there be an abundance of peace in all,
May there be an abundance of fulfilment in all,
May there be an abundance of auspiciousness in all,
Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Lord lead me from the unreal to the real
Lead me from darkness to the light
From the earth to the open skies
Lead me from death to eternal light


I hold you in my gaze

Warm, the cockles of my heart

The beats, a now recognisable constant

Dull noir pulsates to hyper-saturated chromas

In breaths and out

Stream of consciousness triggering synapses

Agitated ‘Nowhere-ness’ to limpid ‘now-here-ness’

A discordant indigo mind turns into a more placid azure

Eyes well up

I blink away a tiny tear 

As the heart drinks deep

I am back


Ups and downs
Twists and turns
Zigs and zags
A long walk
Stairs to climb
Bridges to cross
A thirst to quench
To reach that destination

A rushing rapid
A calming stream
Converging at a confluence

How befitting
An apt personification of life itself

Photoessay – Soul-itude & Natsukashii

Natsukashii is a Japanese word used when something evokes a fond memory from your past. It’s a word you exclaim as a smile creeps across your face.

Having lost my mojo to write in these troubling times, I’m sharing some photos of my bastion of peace – mystical & majestic – where I choose to commune with myself. Some cherished moments between 2015 and 2021…

Recess, decompress, de-stress from distress…