The Baby Knows Its Home

Goldilocks found the bears’ home

And tried to suit herself there.

Red Riding Hood trudged the woods

To find her grandma’s home.

Cinderella was made princess

By a fairy visiting her foster home

Only to give her a dream home.

Hansel and Gretel left home

To be brought back home with more love.

Rapunzel was taken away from home

To a tower that showed her a new home.

So the baby knows one starts from home

By daylight perhaps, and returns home

By twilight or star-light.


A little lass thinks of a home

She may help build as she cuddles

Her little doll or cooks with relish

With toy utensils over an imaginary fire.

A waif in the streets would pick up twigs

And splinters of wood to make her game

Of simulating home and kitchen as she

Watches a maid in tatters  beside her.

The modern feminist instructor preaches

To a bedevilled audience of the humbug

That feminine instinct is, and slams

The whole blame on patriarchy. She forgets

There was chemistry long, long before

A patriarch arrived in a prehistoric den.


The girl sees her mother bustling around,

Or rues she has no mother to fuss over her.

Less fortunate ones ardently wish

To be the thing they once missed.

The treats on the table and quilts on the bed,

Rich or low or inferior, would mean but the home

Making burning or smouldering homefires

Worth a million festive lights.

The girl would scarce wait to grow

To don the apron of a mother’s care.


Home is no structure– just a sensation.

It is vital as the air and water.

The baby crawling on the dirty floor

Of a shack or hovel feels like a lord

Who knows he won’t be spurned

As in aristocratic well-mowed lawns

Where the rich frown at his unscrubbed face

And convulse at his unkempt hair.


Home is where fancy flies highest

Without fear of falling or drowning,

Where one need not fear the silence

Of the court, and frolics and prances

Like a colt.





Buying a Home

I have oftentimes heard friends say,

“I want a home by the sea.”

They see the sea as accomplishment,

Accompaniment, a balm for tired minds

Bruised in the fray of life.


The sea is home to many;

From the hardy and sea-sick sailors

To the marines growing in her capacious womb

She is mother and provider, and educator.

Her lover, the sky, meets her ever to collude

With her; to guide aviaries who brace themselves

For flight from her vast preparatory shores.


But what business has man

To appropriate this home?

He trespassed into Diana’s kingdom

And is waging a persistent war

Against the martial Mars.

How many homes does he want,

This impostor and marauder?

Where does he mean to live in one life,

And where does he want to be buried?


All love to watch the grand waltz of these two,

The sky ad the sea.

They wish to move their homes

To this locale, this rendezvous.

Advertisements ask for a huge stake

To watch this role play in pastel costumes,

And highlight the climax when russet

And crimson splash upon the costumes.

Men are busy buying tickets for a lifelong

Attendance of the dramatic show.

Their selling agents bring all Nature

Into a microcosmic perspective;

A miniature where geography, topography

And meteorology appear in a frame of

One single place.


For a price earned by part of a lifetime

They bring into the span of a settlement

Streaming rivers and mangrove-lined lakes

As though the whole cosmos were here to behold.


Nature is more than perspective;

Larger, mightier, unrelenting,

Ruthless in bounty, salvaging

In disaster.

A window frame or balcony is too little

To know her role and field of action.


If you want a home by the sea

She will not say No.

She will educate you well on tasks

Of industry and domesticity.

Watch her cook, clean and serve

And launder as the sky holds the lamp

Of daylight for her,

Till she rests at night tired and content,

Like a wonderful, able housekeeper.

She holds her infants close to her

Maternal bosom heaving with love,

Singing lullabies and rocking , and

Making wishes on the stars.


You have a great neighbour to emulate;

A thing to show your friends,

But only don’t pretend it’s your pride

That such a one lives by your side.




Home and the World

There was a story from far Bengal thus titled;

This poet loved his home

And it also meant his homeland.

I long to return home

When I have had enough of the world

Or the world has had enough of me.

The world defines what I get

And I define what I give.

Such is the transaction

In this vast planet of business.


At the end of the day

I return to huddle in my nest

Or sprawl to my full length.

Here I am myself,

Sans witness, sans judge.


Here I feel brave to take on the world;

Where I do not see my image

In the eyes of a zillion faces.

Here I laugh aloud at the fool’s myth

Who claims the world is his home

To carry out his selfish will,

Till the angry gods make the sky

Arching high over him fall, filling

His world with its pieces,

Making him retreat to his nest

To ruminate over his folly.

Home is both comfort and clinic,

Things so readily forgotten while

Claiming a larger unearned home.


One is master but in the nest

One has feathered on one’s own.

The long wand of power is a prismatic thing

Dispersing greater fears coming one’s way,

Bringing counter-strokes that can bring down

High-rise nests over trees on citadels.


One who loves the home, and also

The wide world without bane,

Is most human of animals and

The real inheritor of the world.

As he walks out of his threshold

He steps into the Eden he has nurtured

Where no serpent dares sting the wise

And no Eve heeds his low treatise.



Why Talk of Home?

Many have sung of the homeland

And the hinterland,

Of seas crossed and homes purchased

From unopposing home-makers abroad

In the manner of a Columbus or Cook…

In short, homes conquered,

Households looted.


Sanctified homes withstood plunder.

Could adding a home to one’s own

Make one’s soulful home?

Could the comforts of the hearth

Be bartered for any settlement

Seized during imperial sojourns

And its innumerable halts?


One brags of seizing the homes

Of uncouth barbarians in a remote land.

Does one need to be vainglorious

Talking of one’s real home?

Is it had by valour or bravado?

It is not annexed by might or main,

Whose seal is the ground below

And roof atop loyal to the last.


Here cushions and pillows are not exhibits

Of deerskin or hides of exotic species

That surrendered once to pillaging weapons.

These things pamper one like the luxuriant lap

Of a fond mother whose live kitchen

Smells of rich dainties to have and to share.

Here one gives oneself, one’s true self,

To friends and kin and all one’s kind

In this domain all one’s own,

One’s only real blessing

And inalienable pride.


A home is not an asset in real estate;

It is the haven of the homing bird,

A place to return after all peregrination

Life reserves for the wanderlust.


And even when none greets one at the doorstep

The composite soul of the home

Where all bonds join their spirits

Would sate one’s deepest longing

For home, sweet home.



Home Away, Heart Aside

Home keeps us warm and well fed
But sends us away to get light and bread.
Some have a patch nearby where daily toil
Brings the fire and table’s spread.
Some move to lands so far
Where one needs must have a new bed,
Maybe coarser, or fluffier, but never
So restful as the homely bedstead.

Nowhere would one say, I love my bed
If there’s none to make a home
Or if there’s none to make a home for.
Home means more than one
Glad for the same reason,
Bound by the same season.

Home is not food or bed or caring
But all of these yoked by sharing.
Away from home the heart craves
For what it left behind in flight.
But as you near your door
The ground sends up a cosy wind
To embrace you under your very feet,
Forgiving you the desertion,
Welcoming you with benediction.

Home Without a Mate

If I toil all my life for a dream,
And I do get my dream;
If it is the envy of every dreamer;
If it has more colours than another’s dream;
If it has more music than another’s dream;
If it changes many hearts;
If it heats up many desires;
If it spurs every other dreamer,
Will my dream be won?

Which loner ever had a dream
Of which he was lone consumer?
Who would he crown with the wreath of dreams
In the kingdom of manifold bliss?
Which brood or mate to make up the sum
Which gone nothing remains?

A flute without a player,
A dessert without a guest,
A blossom without a gazer,
A loyal dog without a master…
Such is the quantum of pain
Gifts unused obtain.

One needs a mate to share the spoils
Of what little conquest one enjoys,
And if, God forbid! the nest be empty
Or the bed vacant of a mate,
Plenitude is to be rued forever
And leisure a thing of mortal dread.