Indra Dhanush

Bees, gather the essence of many trees and transmute them into honey.

Rivers have their source in distant lands

But lose themselves.

In the salt of the ocean

The colours of the rainbow

Are of many hues

But fuse into the pure brilliance of light.

Oh painter of dreams, why don’t you paint the colour of light

The colour of light. On your canvas of white?


Near the top of the spectrum, blue light ripples, at a wave length of 470 nanometers.It is the symbol of permanence”.

Blue is forever

Eternal as the sky

Permanent, unchanging

As the pain in her heart.

He the prince

Had captured her,

Enchanted by the flashing splendour

Of her tiger eyes.

The mountain mist

In her fly away hair.

And kept her captive

In his ancient home

On a lonely hill.

To be the presiding deity,

Of his cool drawing room,

With light reflecting listlessly

Through cobwebs

Hung over blind, shuttered windows.

He’d liked the tenor of her mind

Fine sensitive, fresh from convent school:

“People come and people go

Talking of Michelangelo”.

So he’d brought her to his castle,

To keep a count of knives and spoons,

To oversee the pickles and the preserves.

And now

Her eyes have lost their tiger gleam

Her hair is a lank and listless brown

Her voice echoes lost worlds.

She’s a skeletal butterfly,

Embalmed in blue diamond glass.

Fresh from a jaunt to distant lands,

He says, “She’s lost her charm”

Blue as the blue of melting ice

Just a hint of blue.

In a glacial sea

Of eternal ice.

But ice can melt.

And glaciers become

A warm blue sea

That can capture

Within its depths

The eternal rainbow

I’ve seen myself in the mirror

Of Love’s eyes

And so I’ll never be

Dull and grey.

As I was, when no one looked at me.

Joy blossoms unbidden

In my listless limbs.

You painted caravans

In the desert desolation

Of my mind.

I’ve become a restless gypsy

Bound for distant lands.

The bird you have caged

Has flown far away

And recaptured its place in the sky.


Green denotes the presence of chlorophyl in plants and indicates that photosynthysis is taking place correctly, satisfactorily”.

Green as the fields of yesterday

Green as a lotus lake

On a sunny day.

The cool, cool, green

Of deep placid lakes

Of light on new born mango leaves.

Of parrots flying home.

‘Bees gather the essence of many trees and transmute them into honey’

And so that lazy afternoon, I heard the song of the bees,

And understand the nature of green.

“Tomorrow we die

But today, we distil

The essence of life’s hidden mysteries,

From the heart of a thousand flowers.

And transmute their fleeting glory

In permenance

For the unknown.

How like the gnarled hands

Of a toothless dreamer,

Who plants a tender mango sapling

Whose ancient eyes can never see,

The splendour of spreading branches

Of luscious swinging fruit

For the unborn.

Green for the beginning of life ….

Black and wet,

Earth with puddled water

Women with sweat,

Bending low,

In vibrant splashed of crimson and blue,

They plant the delicate pale green spears

That hold the promise of life.

They plant in the unvarying symmetry

Of monotonous rows …

Born in the minds of men now dust,

Dead in the womb of the living earth.

Women wet with sweat,

Dumbly bending

Their aching backs

For the distant promise

Of a possible harvest

Green the colour of promise

Of hope

Of tomorrow.


Grey is a combination of black and white. It is associated with sadness and melancholy.”

Yes, sadness is grey. I sometimes feel like that.

Grey is not always sad. It can exemplify

The ability to look beyond the certainly of black and white.

But we’re straying from the colours of the rainbow

Never mind. Grey shadows are necessary to give greater beauty to reality.

O.K. I’ll tell you about grey.



The certainity of black and white

For the shadowed grey


Where the imagination floats free

Like a butterfly in the wind.


Beyond the certainty of words

And hear the symphony

Of a sea shell

In your ear.


Beyond the known,

And fly a thousand leagues

Into the heart of a sun-drenched flower.


Your life seems to be grey.

Oh painter.

But out of the sombre shadows of your life

The trifling strife,

You have painted a masterpiece

Have you escaped from the bondage of today.

Into the secret pathways of yesterday?

Is this your way of shutting the door

On the grey shadows of everyday?

With your work worn hands

You have painted the glowing colours of dreams

Jewelled green and glowing red,

Like the hands of a bride soon to be wed.

Electric yellow and peacock blue,

All painted,

Oh so true,

On your canvas of grey

Coming back to the rainbow;

No I want to hear about pink ….


Indigo the sombre hue of storms”.

Indigo mountains of forbidding hue,

Rise against a leaden storm sky.


With the stillness of the calm that falls

Before the dance of destruction.

Still as a yogi

Lost in the far pavilions of the mind.

Where coiled kundalini sleeps

Before it leaps.

The power

Of savage torrents of water

That fall

Into eternal nothingness.

Over sharp sabre toothed

Sentinel rocks

The soundless shriek of winds

Imprisoned in the endless vaults of Time

He is still,

Like a vast and starless sky,


Till the eternal bow snaps.

He wakes,

He who tames the torrent

With his locks.

Who makes the leaping tiger stop,

In mid leap.

And sets afire

The dark forbidding waves

Of a molten sea.

The immortal pulse of life is He,

Who makes,

The atoms dance in Cosmic dust

The rhythms of the Universe flow

About his dance,

And blow,

Around him,

Until he stops,

And stops the spinning universe.

With his hypnotic gaze.


Orange is a combination of yellow and red. The vigour of red and the joy of yellow produces. The brittle gaeity that is orange.”

Bold orange,

False orange,

Bright orange,

Brittle orange.

Like the gaeity of painted women

Who falsely smile

With the sharp edged deceit

And two faced guile

Young dancer, she lay like a wilted flower

In the noise and heat and dust of a recording studio

Her young features pinched into maturity

Bright orange lipstick

Painting out the droop,

Dazzling orange dress

Disguising the grey of despair.

Puppet-like, she springs,

To fulfil life’s hard demands.

Going to school

Learning to sing

Playing the harmonium

Amidst the pandemonium

Of striving to dance in a dozen styles

Always performing

I watch her mother

Unsuccessful extra

In a forgotten film

A relic dancer of yesteryear

Aging fast

Fine lines

Marching in ruthless battallions

Over the painted face.

The slow dullness creeping

Into the conquetry

Of her too bright smile.

She’s lost the desperate battle

To hold on to the remnants

Of a faded charm.

“She’s just like me”, she gushes,

Pushing the tired little girl

Far beyond childhood.

Banishing her forever

From the joyous land of pinafores.

And giggling, joyous girls,

Racing down corridors,

With the wind in their hair.

For her, orange will never glow

Into the radiant of red.

It will only be a mask

For the dull grey in her heart.


The optimist, we say, views the world through rose coloured spectacles. Even violent prisoners are put in cells painted pink. The colour seems to tranquillize, to replace aggressive impulses with passivity; Scientific tests show that even a brief exposure to pink, can cause a measurable weakening of the body’s muscles that lasts for 30 minutes.”

“Hey that’s why mummies dress baby girls

in pink. Let’s ask her what she feels about pink.”

“Mummy, what does pink mean to you?”

“Pink is the colour of a baby’s cheek.

Those days I needed no words to understand you.

When you, my bright eyed one,

With your dazzling toothless smile,

Launched yourself against my knee.

I could not fail to understand.

Quietly, effortlessly

Like silver foam

Against the shore,

Without a word,

I could not help but understand.

“Daddy how did our dog Mani die”

:”He grew old and he died, son”

“When you and mummy grow old.

Will you also die?”

“Yes, son”

(Sobs.) “Don’t worry that’s a long way off”.

“Daddy, when you did, who’ll get the car?”

“That day when you toddled on uncertain legs

After a cloud of butterflies

I did not suspect

That in a few short years, you will stride swiftly, ruthlessly,

Out of my life.

Now we talk and often fight.

You smoke and drink

And experiment.

You need to find yourself you say,

But I’ve lost you.

In the convoluted maze of adolescence.

In a cobweb mist of words,

I have lost you.

May be we’ll find each other,

When you hold your first born in your arms,

And know how painfully,

How helplessly, you love your child.


Red is the colour of power, vitality and danger.Biologists say that even the cell sap of red flowers is acidic.”

Ruined palaces

That fade

In the stark brilliance

of a late sunset.

The crimson of a warrior’s death

Oppressed Peasant:

Today the earth will be wet with my sweat

As I breathe life into common clay.

So that my son will ride

Into the future

With the light in his eyes…

You can trample the flower

You can uproot the plant

You can burn down the mighty tree

But the seed will lie

In the womb of the earth

And one silent day in spring

Will awaken to life …..

The blood you have split

Will cry out from the past.

For the spirit will never die ….


Violet the colour which stands for the radiance of God. It is a mixture of red and blue.”

A hyacinth growing in the slush,
Lovely, fragile,

With a pale violet blush

Taking root in the stagnant pools

Chocking lakes and water ways

But on: how lovely is her face:

She startles every fear that lurks with the brilliance

Of spinning fireworks.

She scatters all my hard earned coin

On extravagant thing that gleam and shine

So that my life can never be

A sedate measured harmony.

Gone is all my peace and quiet

Time to think, time to act …..

Voice of God

Why don’t you uproot her

Remove her

Throw her our

Of your life?

Man: I couldn’t go, quite so far Lord.

God: But she spoils your serenity. Throws pebbles into the quiet pool of your mind

Man: I’m sick of my own reflection, I don’t mind.

God: But she’s extravagant!

Man: For what else is money meant. Maybe it’s time old stuffed shirt went. But she makes laugh …….

God: She makes you cry

Man: What of the excitement she can bring ….
Like the million bells that ring. On Christmas day.I like her sparkle.

God: All that glitters is not gold.

Man: She’s not to be bought and sold.

God: She gives you a headache!

Man: But that’s better than a heartache. Look here, Oh Lord, I think I’d rather keep her.

God: I rather thought you’d say that. But now she’s gone. It is too late.

(He searches for her among shrieking winds)

God: How d’ you feel my son? Good?

Man: I’m lonely. On a dark and empty road,

Where lighting is an angry sound,

I walk trembling

And alone.

Dread is a heavy, jagged sound

And loneliness stalks me from his lair

Silent, hungry with despair

He sits in her empty rocking chair

When our house is empty hollow bare.

Child: Oh Painter of dreams

You have painted the colours

Of sadness and death

Of joy and life ….

Of love and strife

Of tremulous creation

Of angry destruction

Now why don’t you paint,

The colour of light;

The colour light,

On your canvas of white….?

Painter: But I have, my son,

The colours of the rainbow


And become brilliant and pure,

They are transmuted into light.

The colours of the rainbow

Make the colour of light.

Now you, tell me, what is light?

Well, light is white…

Hm. Tell me more.

Pearl white, diamond bright

Sailing swan upon a river at night

Her smile, the colour of light

Ghostly white

Mist hung to dry

On giant grey mountains.

Fluffy cotton cloud white,

Fragrant jasmines in mux mother’s hair….

My child you’re becoming poetic

Chalk white

The ghost of old lessons”

(Painter chuckles)

“But light is golden.

It’s silver too.”

“Really? You mean moonlight?”

Moonlight and sunlight. Listen to that:

I never know sunlight was silver

Till I saw it slant

On helpless captive mist

Ina genie’s bottle

Of a valley, ringed in hills.

Until I saw a silver rain,

Of trembling eucalyptus leaves,

On a misty morning

In the hills.

And watched the playful trickle

Of silver streams

On the face of a forbidding rock.

But what is the colour of light?

It’s Violet and Indigo

Blue and green

Yellow and orange

And glowing Red.

But finally it’s the colour light.





The sun gives life to all living things. It is the animating principle of life; suggestive of joy, gaeity and merriment, because light is yellow.”

I’ve walked beneath the spreading roots

of mighty banyan trees

And heard the sound of birds that chirp,

Hidden beneath their leaves.

I’ve watched the million lamps that light

On the face of a sunlit lake.

And sung with exaltation

With the birds that greet the dawn.

I am made new again

In the radiance of the eternal dawn

I find Him amidst the throngs that sing

Where temple bells, loudly ring

I find Him in the inner sanctum of my soul

A touch of his hand,

Turns to gold the dross of all my earthly bliss

And transmutes my poor passions into sublimity.