Monday, September 10, 2018

The Red Dot

My journey to speaking at a TEDx event has been an exhilarating, edifying and exciting one. It has been a great honour and privilege to be invited to speak at TEDx Canberra. It finally happened on September 8th. It was beyong amazing!

Monday, August 06, 2018


The dry earth coughs up dust storms
While cattle scratch at the brownness,
Their tongues having forgotten
The sweetness of green grass.

But the sky is closed up like
a heart that has borne much pain,
And the clouds hold back the rain
As though in just retribution.

Would it be that the mewling of
slaughtered beasts and the gasps
of dying fish rose up from the earth
in pangs of collective wailing?

It could be that the heavens have
a thousand ears and a million eyes?
Maybe Nature communes with itself
In a language we have stopped hearing.


Wrote a poem after a long time. Australia is experiencing drought for 6 years. Cattle are dying and farmers are committing suicide.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Advice to a Prophet

Advice to a Prophet


When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,   
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God’s name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,   
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,   
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.   
How should we dream of this place without us?—
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,   
A stone look on the stone’s face?

Speak of the world’s own change. Though we cannot conceive   
Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,   
How the view alters. We could believe,

If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip   
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without   
The dolphin’s arc, the dove’s return,

These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?   
Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean   
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.

Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose   
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding   
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing   
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

HAPPY 2018

I watched the movie ‘The Danish Girl’ the other day and I afterwards I was thinking about the difficulties a transgender person goes through even to this day. How frustrating it must be to identify oneself as some one else whilst being trapped in an increasingly alien body. How disorienting to lose connection with one’s identity and not being able to take on another. How painful to suppress this burgeoning identity and try to live a life of conformity.

When it occurred to me that that’s what we all do. R. Buckminister Fuller said, “All children are born geniuses, and we spend the first six years of their lives degeniusing them.”

Google says, the word ‘genius’ has its roots in the late Middle English word gignere ‘beget’: from Latin, ‘attendant spirit present from one's birth, innate ability or inclination’.

We have genius in us from birth, but very soon society goes about stamping it out trying to turn us into socially conforming people. And we spend the rest of our lives frustrated and despairing, seeking something we have lost connection with, not knowing what, sedating ourselves with possessions, experiences, validation. And tragically, most of us dying with our songs unsung, with our genius buried deep inside.

So, this New Year, I wish for everyone to reconnect with our attendant spirit, our daemon, our innate genius, and let it out to stretch its wings and soar.




Friday, October 06, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

He woke up to a feeling of being touched. There was moonlight splayed everywhere, on the floor, furniture, bed and glowing pale on his feet. As he watched, it began to creep up his legs, slowly and imperceptibly. As though the moonlight was a sensuous lover caressing him softly, seductively.

It was when it began to spread up his body that he broke into a cold sweat. Then, as his consciousness began to fade, it occurred to him that the moon had been falling not rising and that thing outside that was shining on his face was not the moon.


Written for Friday Fictioneers


Friday, September 29, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

The rain battering the roof sounded like dancing skeletons. Or machine-gun fire. Both reminded him of Afghanistan.

Behind his closed sleepless eyelids rose images of families huddled in shacks, hiding their daughters, their young sons. Their once-proud brows shrunken by war and poverty. Their once erect backs, bent.

Only young Iqbal was different. Orphaned, rudderless, hanging around the camp doing odd jobs, immune to the horrors, always smiling, as though he, impossibly, saw only light everywhere.

For him, the war ended when Iqbal was found dead, hit by a stray American bullet.

Collateral damage, they said. Bloody murder, he thought.


Written for Friday Fictioneers.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Yellow Heart

(100-word flash fiction)

I got up early to make Mummy a marmalade sandwich with a heart hole for Mother’s Day. Daddy called it Yellow Heart.  He said it would make Mummy very happy when she got home.

It’s 8 o’clock and Mummy isn’t home yet, so Daddy made me a peanut butter sandwich. But, I was still hungry so I started to eat Mummy’s sandwich too, when the doorbell rang.

But it’s not Mummy, it’s a policeman with his hat in his hand. Why is he whispering to Daddy while staring at me?

Is Mummy not coming back because I ate her sandwich?


* Apparently, on SnapChat, Yellow Heart means you are #1 best friends with each other :)

** Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Monday, August 28, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

The baby was a gruesome freak. Of nature. Born after years of prayer and pilgrimage. The nurses would bring him for a feed but she couldn’t bring herself to touch him, let alone take him to her breast.

The woman in the next bed sobbed through the night for her perfect, stillborn baby. The small room pressed down heavy and oppressive with the weight of two empty cradles.

Her depleted womb became a bloody battle ground. Disappointment warred with Despair until Guilt started to trounce them both.

Eventually, Self Pity won. Her room on the seventh floor had unbarred windows.


Written for Friday Fictioneers.


Thursday, August 17, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

It is Holi. The neighbourhood youth are gathering logs and twigs for the bonfire.

She takes her wedding sari out and weeps into it. Endless pain after years of abuse comes pouring out, soaking the red silk into a dull-blood burgundy.

The lit bonfire is steadily growing.

She takes the mangal-sutra off her neck and tucks it into the soggy sari.

The fire is a roaring beast, flicking tongues of pure flame.

She walks to the bonfire and tosses the sari into it.


Elsewhere, her husband, quite by accident, trips on a naked, high-voltage wire and fries to death.


The festival of Holi begins on the night before when a bonfire is lit and people perform rituals in front of it. The name comes from the mythological story in which the demoness Holika is burnt to death by Lord Vishnu and symbolises the triumph of good over evil. It takes place at the end of winter and a deeper meaning suggests getting rid of all internal, unwanted garbage (the diseased, decaying and dead) in us, so that we can welcome the oncoming spring purged and fresh. Holi - or the festival of colours begins the next morning with the smearing of colour on each other in a friendly, playful, and relaxed atmosphere. The many hues of colour signify the new, emerging colours of spring. It is also harvest season and the time to meet and rejoice, end past conflicts and mend broken relationships.

The mangal-sutra (literally meaning blessed thread) is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom during the wedding.  A Hindu married woman wears it until she dies or becomes a widow.


Written for Friday Fictioneers


Monday, August 14, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

She didn’t know when her heart had turned into stone.

She remembered the first walls, built purely in self defense, to shield her sensitive heart. She even decorated them with plastic smiles and forced cheerfulness. But, unknown to her they began to thicken.

She met everyone on the outside, playacting friendliness. Flirting with men, but not knowing how to give her heart away. Because, eventually, even she didn’t have access to it.

Arthur had come, stayed briefly, called her a ‘stone-hearted goddess’ and left.

Yes, she had a heart of stone.

Until, she found the abandoned baby in the dumpster.


It's that time of the week when we scratch the FF itch and conjure stories of all form and manner in 100-words all of which presided over by our ever gracious hostess Rochelle. :)

Friday, August 04, 2017

The bouquet

(100-word flash fiction)

The flowers were sitting on her doorstep glowing in the golden hour sunlight.

“Thank you, dearest Simon,” she smiled at the thought of her at-last-found true love.

She scooped them up as she let herself in. Taped to a stem was a heart shaped card. Her heart fluttered then burst into beam exactly like the light she had turned on.

“You cannot live without me. I will not let it be.” It said in Zac’s sloppy hand.

Behind her bowed head, a bee rose from a half-open bloom and found her neck. She was dead before she hit the ground.


Written for Friday Fictioneers


Thursday, July 27, 2017

The call

(100-word flash fiction)

The phone rang at the oddest hours, at night when she was asleep.

It was always a child, whispering plaintively, sometimes frantically, but in a strange language. She was sure it was a prank, someone mimicking a child's voice to pester her. The next time, however, an adult shout was heard followed by the sound of a slap and whimpering.

She decided to record the call. She had to wait for two months.

She then spent the rest of the night on Google Translate which translated, "Save me from these people. Help me find my parents. Please come rescue me."


Written for Friday Ficitioneers. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

The chariot

(100-words flash fiction)

The curtained chariot waiting at the edge of the forest had strange markings. It was only after a while that she realised there were no hoof-beats, no shudder, only a gentle swaying.

When she had parted the curtains and looked out, they were gliding through the air, her castle retreating below in the gathering gloom. The swaying had lulled her into peaceful sleep.

She awakened to a sudden noise. Light was streaming in from every window.

The door opened and there he was wearing the strangest clothes and a wicked grin. Opening his arms, saying, “Welcome to the 21st century!”


Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Monday, July 17, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

She put the last firefly into the jar and closed the lid.

Twilight had quickly turned into night in the woods. Holding the jar up to let the glowing light from her captives guide her she pushed forwards.

Light glowed from windows in the distance. Soon, she would be home.

That’s when she saw it. A huge firefly, meandering lazily to her right.

“Ah! The prize catch,” she thought as she stepped towards it.

Her hand closed in on a cold metal object on the other side of which was a sneering face.

“What have you got there, little girl?”


Written for the Friday Fictioneers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


(100-word flash fiction)

She grabbed the red-ink pen as though it was a dagger.

The blank, white page looked like a virgin, innocent and waiting.

When she put pen to paper, words flowed as though blood were pouring from her fingers. Her mother’s words were dim in her memory, “words can heal or they can kill.”

She didn’t care. For her these words were like a vicious blood clot, cutting off supply to her life, choking, almost killing her. Blood had to be let.

And hand delivered.

She drove to his house. Outside, there was an open ambulance with a covered body inside.


I wrote this story for the weekly Friday Fictioneers fix at Rochelle's blog. I have been a bit behind posting on Blogger. Need to catch-up :)


Monday, May 01, 2017


Autumn comes russet-
robed. Gold in her hair. The sound 
of departing wings.


Autumn outside my window


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The dance

I wake up to dancing dappled sunlight.

The sky has forgotten
last night's thunderstorm.
But not the mother bird
whose nest has fallen.

Yet seeds will sprout at that spot
among the knitted twigs
and broken egg shells.

Life moves from form to form.

I only need to sit back and
watch the play of illusions.

Like the playful sunbeams
dancing gaily on my face.

~~~ ~~~

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Rainstorm

The wind howled through the night flinging raindrops against windowpanes and bending trees. The rain came and went like noisy guests partying on the rooftop. Needless to say, I didn't sleep. I lay there listening to the music of the heavens and conjuring up haiku. 😀


Thousands of berserk
horses leaping through the night.
I, drenched in rapture.

Seams of bulging clouds
Crackling bursting through the night.
I, cross stitched with joy.

A wet wind howls a
Sad litany through the night.
I, mute with delight.


Today, the sun is out and my front yard is looking freshly washed and happily smiling :D


Monday, December 12, 2016

Walk in the rain - haiga

(photo taken at Gungahlin Pond, Canberra)

Saturday, July 23, 2016


"I used to try to punch my way through people’s walls. I didn’t understand that they were there for a reason and often essential to their survival. I did the same with my own walls. Neither got me anywhere. The walls just got tougher, denser, more resilient. Now I have a different approach. I pray to walls. I honor their wisdom. I stroke them with kindness. I melt them with gentleness. And, if they still insist on standing firm, I leave them be. Walls have a time frame all their own." 

Jeff Brown

Friday, July 01, 2016

The alchemist

Alchemist - haiku

grass growing on Earth's 
brow. green on brown. the sun must 
be an alchemist


Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Day - tanka

The sun slides across
the skin of the day in a
hot, searing caress.

What can I do but sigh in
voluptuous contentment?


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NaPoWriMo 26 - Kennings

For day 26, some kennings. Bjorn at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads presented the concept of Kennings. Or compound noun combinations.

My impromptu attempt :)


A leaf-fall. A leaf
falls on to the forest floor.
Beyond that, silence.


A heart-knock. Someone
knocks on my heart boarded up.
Beyond that, silence.


A tune-lilt. Lilting
tunes slowly take me apart.
Beyond that, silence.


A death-wish. Dying
to the past my only wish.
Beyond that, silence.


Monday, April 25, 2016

NaPoWriMo 25 - Question

For NaPoWriMo day 25, a question

Silence - haiku

Silence always taunts
me with this one question,
what are you doing here?


Sunday, April 24, 2016

NaPoWriMo 24 - Caves

For NaPoWriMo day 24, a confession -

CAVES  - haiku

I found there are caves
in my heart I didn't know about.
There be demons.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

NaPoWriMo 23 - Autumn

For day 23, a haibun.


As I enjoy the colours of autumn, it also reminds me to let go of old paradigms, worn and tattered beliefs, past-its-expiry-date relationships, outdated concepts that no longer serve. Yes, it's hard. For don't we all love the old and comfy, whether it be things or thoughts. The security blanket of the tried and tested.

Autumn sings hymns of
dissolution. Quiet death.
Spring smiling sleeps.

So, just like trees need to let go of the old and dying, lay bare their branches and go through a period of rest and slumber, for new buds to spring forth and life to begin anew, we need to empty ourselves of the old and outworn, so that life can replenish us with the fresh and the new.


Friday, April 22, 2016

NaPoWriMo 22 - Homecoming

For NaPoWriMo 22, a poem celebrating Earth Day.

Homecoming - tanka

It is always  pure
pleasure. Walking on grass, leaves, 
the bare-bodied earth.

As though my body-soul knows 

it has come home to Mother.


Monday, April 11, 2016

NaPoWriMo 11 - You

 For day 11, love talk.

The moon it seemed had
lit up the wings of the wind
pale ebullience

but my soul knows it is You.
Everywhere I go it's You.


NaPoWriMo 10 - Escape

For day 10, some moontalk.

The sickle moon hung
there like a fallen question.
How do I escape

the safety of gravity
for the nothingness of space?


Sunday, April 10, 2016

NaPoWriMo 9 - A fragment of a dream

For day 9, a sweet, sad poem on a dream I saw the other day -

A terse dream this was,
broken, anguished, blurred,
of which a fragment remains
in my memory, embedded.

A wayward bullet strikes
at lightning speed your chest,
passing through it spears,
calmly, through my breast.

Locked in a gaze we stand,
as love flows out the wounds.
Caught tight in death’s hand
as the dream softly fades.

On waking, for long I ponder;
did our souls our bodies flee
at the same moment, together?
Did they merge to become free?

Did pain set our insides afire?
Is sorrow the bullet that incinerates,
torching our ignorance, our desire,
and into freedom thus liberates?


Saturday, April 09, 2016

NaPoWriMo 8 - My second skin


My house bathed in moonlight, rests,
silent and welcoming,
and I breathe love into its spaces.

It seems a reflection of me,
the way the furniture is arranged,
the chairs facing each other.

Do they talk among themselves, I wonder,
in the stillness of the night,
picking up bits of broken-off conversation?

Does the warm air twirling up the stairs,
or the slippers, discarded, under the bed,
remind it of us, when we are away.

Do the walls rejoice with the tinkle of laughter,
does the carpet hoard shards
of my shattered dreams.

Does it feel protective, caring,
shielding us from wind and rain,
silent witness to silent pain.

Content, replete, joyous,
I settle into its calm stillness,
and it wraps itself around me.