Honouring the Phantoms of Chiang Mai…


Can you hear our forefathers,

They’re the happiest tonight,

Listen carefully,

Shove your ears towards the sky,

You’ll be able to hear spirits whistle,

Soon, you’ll hear them sing,

Elated, they must be,

Getting dressed up,

Awaiting long lost attention,

Awaiting their paper chariots,

To float across the skies of Chiang Mai,

Up above the river Ping,

Like birds that they envy all the time,

Tonight they know, they’ll get to soar,

They’ll get to fly,

And, they’ll not be needing a pair of wings…


Exploited, peeved most of the time,

Unable to voice out against those stagnant stars,

Their insufficient light,

Against their monopoly in the sky,

They’re often, left in the dark,

Forgotten, forced  to hide behind clouds,

To ventilate their loneliness,

To digest this strange boycott and exist,

They’re often forced to cry,

They’ve gotten used to concealing their sorrows like this,

Accepted this, their fate post-life,

I guess, the reason,

They wait all year for this night,

For their only chance to dive,

Into nostalgia of their past, their human lives,

Those fun-filled moments on their feet,

Earthly celebrations,

Shiny smiles amidst shinier beams,

Busy days and flowery nights spent on their land,

Awaiting their blessings, now lit up bright…





(Based on the “Floating Lantern Festival, Yi Peng, celebrated in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For more on the same, visit :




Lit up Red in Chiang Mai…


Christmas lights!

Done, once and for all,

For the entire year,

Doing up the trimmed trees,

The boards, and shop-walls along the roadside,

Only from the Buddha posters on sale,

I guess, one could link, one could tell,

This was Chiang Mai,

The Thai city of three hundred temples…

Well, jingling lit-up open bars,

Here on Nimmanhaemin road,

Could exceed that holy figure any night, any day,

Perched on bikes and three-wheelers,

Quietly awaiting their masters by the pavement,

Lips jaded with thick lipstick chattered away,

Glossy faces eyed every passerby,

Young, tender,saggy and the old,

Every ear could hear their laughs,

Could hear them cheer,

Peeping out of those bars,

Decorating fronts of bordering cafes and eateries,

Squatting in groups with splayed legs,

Their glittery one-pieces, colorful miniskirts,

Adding on to the jitters,

While, robbing the atmosphere,

Of sober colors of masculinity, of any empathy,

Painting it profoundly easy,

With strokes of sheer helplessness…