Sharmila Ranade

Meet Me Godot & Other Poems



Undressing @3am

You unbutton your coat at 3 am,
I strip my inhibitions.
Few secrets you drop,
I shave some of my fears.

Lies we rub, Egos exposed,
Truths uncovered, Weaknesses disrobed.

You keep your boots on though.
Do you plan to move out of love?
You say goodbye,
I insist on a ‘see you’ note.

We are perfectly naked now,
Why try to cover up by gliding fingers?

Come on, hurry up
Its a quickie you know..
Don’t let the night lie there,
Dawn is here upon us.

Let us hunt for our fallen selves,
Anaesthetize the aches.
Sew up the open incisions,
Correct the saleable face.

We are soon at the end of the undressing game,
The time is close to wear our Monday name.


A song of sullied-self

Her lost wars, enduring battles
Cocktail talks and forgotten matters
Promises failed, prayers unfulfilled
Its all spilled here, near the bin

Oh! what a substance to clean!

Smoked butts, the torn bills
Green void in an empty bottle of wine
Fusty food, condoms used
Seminal milk dripping un-fused

Oh! what a substance unused!

Germs nibble on rotten being
On consumed lot of capital theories
Indigested philosophies, defunct poetry
Decomposed hell of emotional shit

Oh! what a substance to eat!

Aching is her papery self
Perishing she is bit by bit
Waiting to be dumped into the thing
Lying she is beside the bin

Oh! what a substance she has been!


House of Mass

I dislike the clutter of crystals, their rich tinkling din
Why is cutlery too poking the silence deep?
Let the house be filled with utter stillness, snow white peace
It ought to bring me some sleep.   

The food is steaming so loud, 
Is it taking credit of my sustained existence, with its imposing sound?
I assume,
Some skin potions are holding me back in pace, 
Little they know,
I want to run ahead and finish off the race
And I have faith,  
These hanging jewelry pieces on mirror will certainly neck me to death. 

The bed, sheets and the curtains drawn; trying to veil the illicit joy 
LCD, bank accounts and the Car; fighting my capitalist war
Books are just reclining on a wooden pillow
They seem spent and intellectually, hollow

I know,
I have collected many enemies over the time
There is a war going on in each room of mine

I want to leave now, as pure as nun.
I give my name to thee, address to memories  
Soul to ghost and the body to death. 
I leave behind, just a crucified mystery woman 
She wouldn’t cry much, she too is left with little breath.


Office Material

Her icy smile destroys me early in the morning
In her gut, I see data choke up.
Numerals stick in the gap of her teeth
Her toungue laps up the back up.
Chest is just more than a whiteboard
Her voice… fax and phone
In the drawer she hides her rubber soul
What am I to make of this office material?


Hunting Tribe

She holds up her brows,
In a cautious stance, she thumps her boot.
She has a weapon hidden in her pink nail,
and a map firmed up under her foot.
Myriad desires drip from the corners of her mouth,
Her tongue rustles in hope of a hunt.
She may attack me anytime soon,
She has a man leading her in front.


A Still-life Portrait

A tin of beer on the left,
on the right…a lit-up cigarette.
In between, a man is a Still-life Portrait. 
He wakes up and dozes again. Sometimes, he gets up and moves.
He crawls and inches around, scouting for food.
In the mirror, he perceives himself flickering around the ceiling like a lizard in search of a little life.
Squalid images of his soul scan through the sunbeams of the yellow afternoon overlooking the street.
Like a tiring argument, the street never promises to end.
But the man predicts that there is a mystery waiting for him at its bend.
Such is his vision of a street.
A man and his stubborn dream.

At the smoky ends of such burnt-out days,
the man sleeps infinitely long.
Long, until his ear aches again of a visionary song. 
An eyelid flutter,
His short fingers tap…
A new catch shape up again
as he lay upon his back.

The ceiling is whitewashed.
It reflects his pale skin, the red eye
n parched lips awaiting a loud cry.
But the man isn’t worried about it as much.
He is convinced; these are the features of 
a Still-life Portrait as such.


The laughter of ‘oh-so-extraordinaire’

From the gutters of their throats;
Bruised by the muscles, 
Gated by the teeth, 
Guarded by the red lips;
The laughter breaks out like a leaked pipe;
But, promptly collected and swabbed in. 
And before the ladies could recover from it,
The Marriott- waiter quickly arranges for a 
Wine, Cheese, and some Smile as a side-dish.


Meet me Godot

Promises I will return to you…Poems, I take back
I want to meet you Godot under this falling sky.
I am no more haunted by humans
I will meet you but, in your flesh & bone
You are cursed as an eternal wait, I know
Just come and touch me once.
I am waiting for you Godot.


An ode to old lady Anjuna

Mighty freckled, you walk along the edge of water,
Your walrus breasts loll.
You lumber off for the last dip
Then thaw in the Sun while nursing a tepid beer.
Tattooed on your left buttock, you redhead,
You’re still busy dopin’ with the hippies
Aren’t you feelin’ old Anjuna,
Making out with the blue-eyed boys since the Nineteen Sixties?


A city within

Trees are growing but aren’t branching out.
The city looks pretty neat now.
Roads are merging into the main one.
No divergences, not many turns.
Refugees have migrated 
Regulars have settled down
War has been fought and won over
Peace is being restored now.
A city, which was on a fire for thousand years
Sleeps like a child for hours.


Words of Wisdom

I spice up the words a bit
and then begin to swallow in.
And yet I sense them in my gut
eager they are, to appear on the paper but.

Like the alphabets of Monday mornings
Resist they bending their knees.
Unlike the weekend quips,
vapid they sound to me.

Then in anguish, I leave my home,
my papers and the writer’s throne.
I go on a street, in the Summer’s heat.
People eating bread and not the words.
People slogging and sweating just.

I am the only one
I am the lonely one
Starving in my guts
With a mouthful of words.

Fool, say I.
Words are to be lived and not swallowed.
Words are to be faced and not followed.
In despair, I leave my throne
Carrying words, I walk alone
In the heat; to live if  I can 
with a wisdom of a street man.


A song for the one who never returns

You rest on my mind
though the years ‘ve gone by
Still fresh as a violet bud
one bloomin’ in the backyard.

Streets we cycled at midnight,
the bridges we’ve crossed
I walk on the shadows still
Rehearsing the past. 

I sit here in this café
A long-haired boy offers a fag
I smell your seasoned kisses
As he opens his cigarette pack

The structures’ve gotten stiff
The trees just stare at the sky
I saw a leaf falling
‘ve you just passed by?


Image courtesy: The Family House by Carroll Swenson Roberts

Sharmila Ranade is a Pune based poet. She writes in English, Hindi and Marathi.

10 comments on “Meet me Godot & Other Poems: Sharmila Ranade

  1. Vivek shinde

    All poems are osm and heart touching.

  2. AK

    The brevity and economy of words Ms Ranade is showing in most of her poems is remarkable, especially the shorter Haiku like poems “Office Material”, “Hunting Tribe” etc. House of Godot is a standout…abstract in a beautiful way.

  3. Ashwini Bhandari

    Really Awesome….

  4. milind

    superb. ur words are so apt n crisp that they drive the point straight to the reader.

  5. Vinayak Behere

    We are really proud of you…

  6. Vinayak Behere

    Supurb,,,.Shama keep it up.

  7. Prasad Kelkar

    Beautifully worded and excellent work…expecting more

  8. Vinita

    Shami! from what i know of you, you have grown in every way! Beautiful and soulfull! Thanks Shami for this render of soul! Proud of you!

  9. Ashutosh Diwan

    Poems by Sharmila Ranade in Hakara.
    A good poem has a strong sudden emotional experience at the root.
    The poet controls the emotion and manipulates it with his intelligence to create a vehicle so that the experience becomes appreciable by commons,in as many as possible nuances and as close as possible to the original experience,called the poem.
    The lesser the visible (contrived)intelligence the better.
    The poem is written in a language.For a bilingual poet,the language should be the one in which the original experience is taken (perceived)by the poet.If one reads all these translated poems in Indian Literature (Sahitya Academy),one feels miserable.Similar happens when poet experiences in one language and writes (for what ever reason)in another.The most revered long English poem by the most revered Marathi poet is testimony to this observation.
    The background for such a poem is provided by the prevailing jargon in which the poet is living.The interplay of the typical words of this jargon and their seamless blending with the emotional experience,at the same time creating new novel syntax and other linguistic pleasant arrangements,indicates that the language of expression is the same as the language of experience.
    Thereafter starts the evaluation for the success or the otherwise of the poem.
    Sharmila Ranade,
    1)has succeeded in conveying the life experience of today’s metropolitan young computer/technology generation to the full extent.
    2)The fast life,the isolation,mechanicality of life,misery,desolation,low to almost no self esteem,moral dilemmas,the economic harpoons guiding the life waters,the inevitable neurosis,hidden viciousness in the personalities,thingification of life and emotions,the chocking conventions of the apparent suave life,the commodity sex , one can go on for quite a long,paint a live vibrant poetic picture of her generation.
    3)This is an insider view (as compared to some outsider spiced or peripheral tentative,abounding in Marathi computerised versions).
    4)This is not a metaphysical cloud of pouting stray emotions,the poetry is anchored to the ground and tries to subsume in the survival wisdom.
    5)Beyond this every poem needs to be evaluated independently for it’s sublime meanings and so forth.
    Sharmila Ranade is an accomplished true English poet.


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