Thursday, 29 September 2011

Phosphorous-like the moon tonight charred in the street
Dark times, when there are no holds barred in the street

Your winter aromas melted as I blew into my hands
Your summer sweat in my coldness tarred in the street 

Unthinking, and with silent smiles, she gave me her heart
But what if she says, "My brain will retard", in the street?

What will you do when they shut the doors out tomorrow?
Threshold become, and get inturn barred in the street 

I would arise and go now and build Innisfree hives, (but) -
Who can afford to lose ones guard in the street?

Another struggle, another fashion, and another tortured passion
Another mighty spirit convulsively jarred in the street

Oh Irony! Mistress of sunny days – foreboding, flashy..
I lost my umbrella as it poured hard in the street.

Smooth polished shoes scratch in battlefield sands,
Historian's Rana Sanga was perchance scarred in the street

The potter rubs his nose in mud, as God bows to priest
Those made in heaven are oft marred in the street
[In response to a Punjabi verse:Akhiyan je Ghumeyar mendhda, sirr mere te la'wnda', which means  - Oh only if my potter(maker - Punjabi word Ghumeyar (from Hindi Kumhaar) has that double sense) would have concentrated some attention over my unworthy being...']

There is matter for memory, yes.. but then, who cares?
The moon that died tonight was not starred in the street

We cross miles and reach where? - “counter and desk” - 
“Save and pray” – and measure yard by yard in the street

Ghazal! Thou coy mistress of the emperors’ palaces!
I will lift and turn you avant garde in the street.

The page smothers under ashen embers, who broke in here?
Hold fort! Is there somewhere a bard in the street? 

Friday, 9 September 2011

Beneath the Skin..

What lurks in this quagmire of veins beneath the skin?
Aridity above perchance somehow rains beneath the skin.

Time’s tutelage taught me lessons that I didn’t follow
Consequently, it seems something canes beneath the skin

Those farmers that reaped epistles, sow cell-phones today
The ‘rural repast’ of love urbanes beneath the skin

Inroads you allowed them fool, to make into your heart
Now flourishes a network of by-lanes beneath the skin

Here a bomb there a bomb everywhere a bomb bomb
Oh good old Rhymes! Go change trains beneath the skin

My heart in loneliness abuses me all the while
On field my head Zinadine Zidanes beneath the skin

The tug of war with age, is finally all that there is
Flickering joys incessantly fight pains beneath the skin

On the surface today’s hearts, merely on the surface
Beneath the skin however, those brains, beneath the skin

How internal that struggle turned a misty civil war 
Hamlet failed to see therein those Danes beneath the skin

Night’s stars are buried by the Sun’s violent break
How violently Doubt, ascertains beneath the skin

The two felt light, walking hand-in-hand, the village road
Autopsy of the corpses revealed chains beneath the skin

Give me my final paan as Life spits me out
For red if not blood, some stains beneath the skin

Two lines never make a couplet fool, One needs a magnet’s compression
Otherwise they are, if you look closely, quatrains beneath the skin!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Couldn't we one day... (A pre-monsoon shower)

Couldn't we one day...
Get wet together in this lovely rain?
Holding each other as two frightened lovers shall in grey?
Shall we not then let our necks drop back
Let them follow the watery fingers that run their nails on our spines?
Shall not we then smell each other's hands?
Unknowingly comparing for which to be the sweeter?
The hands...the rain? Or the rain on your hands... Or shoulders?
Shall we not then forget ourselves? Will not that rain blur the ink stains of ego?
Forgetting even our union?
Kissing as perfect strangers
Just celebrating rain...?

A Monsoonal Interlude

Oh come on now!

What like defeated Generals at consolatory post war meetings
Now you peep and now hide?
Like a new wife, stop fulfilling protocol coyness.
Descend now with a full stride.

Nothing remains undone! With complete force fall now.
Unfurl your highest flags
that the cooling petals of benediction may shower joy now.

Empty are sad rosebuds. Colour them, Breathe them your scent.
Where are sitar's youthful notes? Come now and give them vent.
Hear you not these many-shaded Malhaars?
Some of them are beggars, aggressors some.
Weeping unto you in prayer, energizing your passions in welcome.
Many. Many on footpaths have breathed dry.
Hopes get humid as your arrogant clouds ply.

Heart's begging bowl is humble yet.
Fill it now with love
Enough have rained the redenned eyes
Enough of this game, Rain now from the skies.

A translation: A tribute

"Abke ham bichhde, to shayad kabhi khwabon mein milen
Jis tarha sookhe hue phool kitaabon mein milen"

(Parted thus this moment, we shall perchance in dreams someday meet
Like long dead, dried flowers, within books the eyes greet.)

"Dhoondh ujde hue logon mein wafa ke moti
ye khazaane tujhe mumkin hai kharaabon mein milen"

(Seek out the pearls of fidelity, among the atrophied lot
Such rare wealth, oftener, with the 'useless' ones is got)

"Tu Khuda hai na mera ishk farishton jaisa
Dono insaan hain to kyon itne hijaabon mein milen"

(No God are you, nor angel-like my love's creed
Mortals as both thus be, of many faceted veils, what need?)

"Gham-e-duniya bhi gham-e-yaar mein shaamil karlo
Nasha badhta hai sharaaben jo sharaabon mein milen"

(With the despair of the beloved,the pains of existence amalgamate
One mixed into the other, liquors must the better intoxicate)

"Aaj ham daar par khinche gaye jin baaton par
kya ajab kal wo zamaane ke nisaabon mein milen"

(The very reasons which drag us to the gallows, serving as our crimes
Shall tomorrow unsurprisingly, be the syllabi of the times)

"Ab na wo mein hun, na tu hai, na wo maazi hai 'faraz'
Jaise do saaye tamanna ke saraabon mein milen"

(Neither I, nor you 'Faraz' nor sweet old days as before do emerge
As if in illusions of desires, two faint shadows must perfunctorily converge)

In drowsiness..

All this show
And yet to see bewilderment in the nature of crime
To pass thus, one's time
in an inglorious flow..

In those moments of madness, one never stays
And yet to dream in a minute, an age 
When age like a dream in a minute strays
To weep and regain then, or change..

With surprise the slow turgidity of 'I'
to steal and then return with an inwardly-winking cry
A heart loving or a coin sly..

On being shown my place

I'm no one.

Somebody's pride,
somebody's guilt..
Somewhere I hide,
Somewhere I tilt.

Somehow I choke
Somehow exist.
I'm ash and smoke
Of a presumptuous zeitgeist.

I'm no one.

Some laugh at me
Some bite my back
Some show me courage,
Is what I lack.

Some hinder me
Some school.
I'm the worthless dust
Of a momentous whirlpool.

I'm no one.

Dreams on Sale

And even this day one couldn't erase?
What trappings of life, like a bribed mass, marched.
Into the softest of my heart they charged..

For when Joy is chasing Regret..
Holding life's flag violently astir..
The joy reduces to joy's murmur.

What hope then and what despair..
One the other feeds and propells,
Dream like,the dreamer his dream sells


Like the twin towers, Almighty’s might almost
And then the planes crashing into man’s sight almost.

Thus began the blood and fury of freedom’s tale
Man found the womb watertight, almost.

The triumphant ray touched and mocked the night
Matters quite black and white almost?

Why leave uncoloured even blank silent tears?
Fill these gaps with butterfly-words alright? Almost.

The trepidation of sense's legs at their heads
The unscrupulous semester system's plight, almost!

Sudden peace and benevolence all around me
Surely losing the secret fight, almost.

Each thinking moment grounds love's roots deeper
But on desire's wing, love's flight almost.

Why must I fear love’s branch to bend and break?
When I myself am fully upright… almost!

In this izafat-less tongue fool, the ghazal is lost
So what if it seems as bright, almost!

To Yaman : A ghazal

Arrogant sun to moon’s softness bows and then Yaman
Helplessly loves again, the raging heart when Yaman

In the stillness of time, the knowing moon’s intrusion
Here and now move forth and there and then Yaman…

The higher notes come today before the lower ones
Usurps effortlessly the conspiring, simpleton Yaman

Bade Ghulam Ali, you majestic conqueror of the spheres
Went vanquished to what slipped your art’s prehen,Yaman!

Another evening, another wait, another waiting in sight
Heart jumps out of its corner and in the den, Yaman

Slain lies all hope, yet the eye is still alive
Before closes the eye, why not open Yaman.

As Jasmine’s aroma blends into the night’s paarijaat
Tears make up the prayer, and for amen, Yaman.

The Toy-shop of the Heart

The pen such that brims with even one drop of the heart
A paper now that can empty the "toy shop of the heart"

Not the Indian farmer that erratic rains indebt
Blooms of un-invited rains, the crop of the heart

Hurt-regret had arrested my mind’s eye so sure
But for that corrupt cop of the heart!

Such stars exploded today in the sky and yet
Deepest crusts appeared, the mere top of the heart

Another bridge unlikely seems, stones spiritless sink
Sita listens quivering to each plop of the heart

Mars-Eros together when Desire’s harp amuse
Uncouth, rebels for melody, the hip-hop of the heart

At least barter a kiss for this semi precious stone
Also wipes the threshold the floor-mop of the heart

Ah! That ephemeral, winking start of the eyes
Oh! That permanent un-final stop of the heart!

Fickleness in our ways fool, and such times
At the drop of a hat, the drop of the heart!

Exiled into this theatre, find a stage and then
Dance on the world’s fangs with the prop of the heart

Life-like its fragility, and its movement anxious
In heart of hearts the timeless warp of the heart

kabaadi that I am of these half deserted streets
Filling anew “the foul rag and bone shop of the heart”

I would go and call "Ishmael tonight", if I may
That man Kanav, pours drop by drop of the heart...

A ghazal after One Hundred Years of Solitude

The frolic of loneliness and the tear of solitude
Why scratch the eyes of the seer of solitude?

Candles of joy melted away in habit’s heat
Tonight in darkness pendulums the chandelier of solitude

'For God’s sake, Hold thy tongue and let me love'
Let me have now my share of solitude!

Forget not against brimming love and sparse doubt 
Desdemona's innocence and a Lear of solitude

For God’s sake, hold my hands and let us war
Let us sound defeated bugles in the ear of solitude…

In this tug-of-war, my hands are burning on the entwined rope
This un-ceasing un-tiring wear and tear of solitude

Remember those long drives, love? When at easy speeds
How we slipped unawares, into the gear of solitude…

Can't say how long in this unintelligible world have I been…
A moment’s togetherness echoed, many a year of solitude.

My own blood I see congealing into soft-toys
Call pain poetry? The double spear of solitude

The 'gair' sips his choicest wines from your hands
And for us the empty cheer of solitude!!

The womb solitary, solitary the wanderings of a child
And then this age… wine, and a bier of solitude…

Love faith war peace, all are mere games because
Man needs occupation in the fear of solitude

Oh Shahid you left early, and even in this
You made yourself the Kashmir of solitude...

All this is word play too, fool,  and nothing else 
In the hour after many a Hundred Year of Solitude!

Embrace me my love, embrace me..

Embrace me my love... Embrace me.

As the enormous sounds around us crash,
Artificiality of neon lights commerces us across the shelf
Street like we pass into stinking trash
And a convoluted matrix un-simplifies, ourself from ourself.

Remember that one time when we flew
Flew and flew and the skies seemed just steps away?
Now, metal-asphalt is all the eyebrow drew, 
You in this dark my love, my only day.

This world, its frenzy and its 'life', this rapacious city
disgusts the human soul of even a prude.
You I experience as my soul's smithy 
And the temporary evidence of momentary lassitude.

Jeering eyes, denuding even passing expecting mothers
Filth on road and mind, hail modern liberal czars!
With Humidity for mosquitoes and dirty reptiles
aridity of this abusive race can shame a thousand Thars.

How their thoughts on incompetent runways seek flight
And however high they take to sky 
Crash into limitless buildings, and despite
high ideals, never as high fly.

Banish this burning world to its czars
Our human soul has already enough scars.
Embrace me love, and with compassionate tears
Let me embrace thee.

When we are together, we are a world apart
These shrill voices can practise elsewhere their art
Just take me, and make me
Make me, and break me.
Embrace my words out of me
Empty me slowly of this energy
This energy which makes me want, and weep.
Slowly in your arms, put me to sleep.

Now, now, right now come and to me, thee glue.
Let's see what I then felt was partly or wholly true? 
Did we experience real-ly and yet register not?
What crossed us then love? What?

We felt we would embrace into each other 
And just as I felt nothing could more tightly hold,
we went to hold each other even closer.
Did we not feel then that we could, if we open 
our sightless eyes, see behind each other the empty walls?
Did we feel that our faces were contorted and alas!
There hardly was any sweat, though there was.
Did we keep ourselves aside somewhere and
Let the human soul - a word which due to
this newly gained competence of sad mediocrity of our race, we use with trepidation -
take of our semi-lives, a full presence?
Did we feel that at that moment you remained not you?
Cliche as it is, it was so, it was, it is true.

Do we fear to say that the great Donne's art
(of a Johnson's scorn) said to us the truths
which more than those insincere satires, we felt in our heart?
'Leave the city, and with the village ourself collate'.
Village, where the 'khap panchayats' the stench of insanitation accentuate?

Leave, leave all this love and let us into each other drape.
Create within this city,
our own Innisfree and Xanadu's landscape...
Let the village and the city and nations and polity,
take a break. Let us love again, and into each other's embrace, escape.

Let's Decentralize..!

One thought, love, that keeps the pulse these days - 
for such are the preoccupations, such today's ways!
Should we the autocracy of hearts – each over the other -
let over what is nascent, conquer?
Must not we, with some such design as permits,
A perfect majority aim, in each other’s limits?
If we follow some constitution, love – half emboldened in ideal
half dried in manipulation’s bind –
We shall by the far, fail
For every decision then shall surely entail
Sycophancy and bribery of eyes against mind.

One of us then, will picket the other’s ‘peaceful’ trend
Hooting horns of revolt, ride through the mind’s streets
We shall journey in-and-out, burning the fuel of our days.
Speeches – not without lampoon – shall replace the loving ways.
To conclude the breaking-news trivia of our lives,
Envenomed as it is by mechanical archives
For simple problems of malnourished sentiments,
Shall we too, to air-conditioned halls descend?

Were we to behave as democratic tyrants murmur
Corrupt into each other’s heart, a selfish sum.
Those mal-nourished sentiments will the more suffer
However fortified may our intellects become.

Lets make matters clear and straight, to thus surmise
Unlike the fashion of this pandemonium, love
Let's decentralize!

If we into each the other’s being concentrate
Then by degrees, what is representative will take control
And assume for itself, a selfish role.

Centralize we must though, in so far as
When to our singular soul we receive threat
By whatever means, its dilution abet.

Decentralize we must, and for that let’s go to Donne.
Make of our singular soul, a handsome score.
Each into the other, and in all, one
One our each, to make it four.

Appropriate soul shall re-present, ourself
In more just means, and ends therefore
Shall be contenting the each, more.

So, lets make matters subsume, as ease may rise
Unlike the fashion of this pandemonium, love
Let's decentralize!!