Tuesday 30 December 2008

Foggy

Foggy and endless
the morning river stretches.
Lives flow as time stands.

River fish

What wonder the river
fish: fighting currents to
stay in the same place.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Haze

Muddy flows the river
in white polluted haze.
All it does is flow.

Chameleon

Chameleon-like, green
in the woods, black in cities,
the river wanders.

Yeux

L'amitie des yeux
en fleur quand sommes ensemble
oublie quand partie.

Tenzing

To your Everest
be the Tenzing who says, "You're
just a little hill".

Everest

Even a little
hill is an Everest when
you try to climb it.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Tricks

A cloudy morning
Makes the river seem sullen.
What tricks does light play!

Argent

Argent hemispheres
One real, one reflected.
Truth and myth frame life.

Friday 12 December 2008

यथा दृष्टि तथा सृष्टि

यथा दृष्टि तथा मात्रा
यथा मात्रा तथा विद्या
यथा विद्या तथा सृष्टि -
यथा दृष्टि तथा सृष्टि |

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

जुनून

अह्ल ए हकम की शाबाशी कभी हासिल न हो,
किसी तारीफ़नमे का दीदार कभी न हो,
पर करामात इतना छोड जाएँगे,
के लौह-ए-असल पर दर्ज रहेगा,
के मेहनत कभी कम नहीं हुई,
के जुनून कभी कम नहीं हुई |

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Ashen

An ashen expanse
Flows under a cloudy sky.
Winter quietly mourns.

Ink-black

Ink-black ripples float
Upon mirthless quietude.
Dark waters seem deep.

Ash

Ash turns to silver,
The river gleams in first sun.
New day, new stories.

White

Day envelops all,
First beams yield to blinding white.
Unmoved, the brook flows.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Turquoise

Blue stretch of water
that turns turquoise in the sun.
Grace is many-hued.

Silver

Silver stretch of moon
Gentle meandering stream.
Silence is beauty.

Monday 8 December 2008

बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल

बिन जुनून के चाहत ऐसी, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसी,
बिन इज़्तिराब के 'श्क़ ऐसी, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

हर लफ़्ज़ हर याद में ढूँढता हूँ, तुम्हारी आवाज़ की सरगम,
हर बात बेमतलब लगती है, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

वक़्त के भुलाए ख़्वाब जैसे, बिन महक के फूलों जैसे,
ज़िन्दगी बेजान लगती है, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

ख़ामोशी के आसमाँ से आँसुओं की बारिश गिरा दे
बिन बादल के फ़लक ऐसे, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

इन सुनसान दीवारों पर अपनी हंसी के रंग चढा दे,
बिन पनाह के मकान ऐसे, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

लडखडाओ, डगमगाओ, झलक दो के तुम इन्सान हो
बिन जज़्बे के आँखें ऐसे, बिन बहर के ग़ज़ल जैसे |

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Ghazal in progress

Desire that has no passion, is like ghazals that have no beher.
Longing that is not restless, is like ghazals that have no beher.

In songs, in sounds, in music, these ears seek out the notes of your voice,
All speech to them is meaningless, like ghazals that have no beher.

Like a flower that has no fragrance, like a memory robbed by time,
Life passes in dull soullessness, like ghazals that have no beher.

From the heavens of silence pour down a gentle rain of tears,
Cloudless the sky's vast emptiness, like ghazals that have no beher.

Fill these barren chambers with the many colours of your laughter,
This house stands sombre, shelterless, like ghazals that have no beher.

Populate the darkness with stars, tiny orbs of twinkling delight,
Else there is just blank mirthlessness, like ghazals that have no beher.

Step across my threshold, and purge my home of its melancholy,
Else 'Wanderer' remains homeless, like ghazals that have no beher.

Monday 13 October 2008

Long Time No See

I think this might be more in the doggerel line:-

Long time no see not to be seen
Arre my good friend where you been?
Calling in office calling in home
Without no telling where you roam?


Aiyo, Here he comes! What do I do?
How do I tell him that I have been
Avoiding the very sight of you?
And hell! I cannot even be mean!

What you doing nowadays bhai?
You will say been busy, I know.
But never busy for cutting chai
It good for you I telling so.


How do I tell him I hate cutting tea
And the waste of time that it entails?
The office brew's good enough for me
But let's not go into the details.

Went to college together, man
And doing job in office nearby
But catching you I never can
Why avoiding me, tell me why?


Should I really tell him what I think
Of his manners and his behaviour?
That I'm the one paying for his drink,
Ever since the days of St. Xavier?

Do I tell him I don't like it when
He mooches money on this or that
Silly pretext and then asks again,
But never returns any, the rat!

Should I tell him about all the bad
Jokes he cracks and expects all to laugh
When in truth they drive me raving mad
And make me want to cut him in half?

Arre chal bhai what you think?
Take rest from hectic hectic work
Just one cutting chai you drink
You feeling the fresh like young Turk!


This stale story will keep going on
And like me you must be getting bored.
So before you try to snuff a yawn
Let's end this whine on a good accord.

Saturday 20 September 2008

वक़्त

मंज़िल बदल जाते हैं वक़्त के साथ, ख़्वाहिश नहीं बदलती
ख़ुराक़ बदल जाते हैं वक़्त के साथ, तलब नहीं बदलती
पेशे बदल जाते हैं वक़्त के साथ, थकान नहीं बदलती
तुम बदलोगे, दुनिया बदलेगी, नसीब होगा सिर्फ़ सिफ़र
हंगाम बदल जाता है वक़्त के साथ, हालात नहीं बदलते |

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Monday 15 September 2008

Six Elderly Aunts

Six elderly aunts had I
Six nagging, bragging souls.
At family weddings I
Am the poor one they'd hold.

"You're next, you're next!" they tease me
"You're next in line to go!"
"Tied up in matrimony,
You'll not long be solo."

"We'll tie you with apron-strings,
Bind you with bridal charms.
We've found you a homely girl
Who with her smile disarms!"

Six elderly aunts had I
Six nagging, bragging souls.
Then Aunt Maragatham died,
For age must take its toll.

The five left are now solemn,
There's wedding talk no more.
"You're next, you're next!" I tell them,
"You're next in line to go!"

Monday 8 September 2008

आ'इने वक़्त

ख़्वाहिश ए कौम की आवाज़ सुनो, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|
मुहिब्ब ए जान हो तो गौर करो, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

आवाज़ यह मौजूद ज़माने की, गली‍ गली में गूँजती है|
सदा ए महकूम है इनक़िलाब, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

बादशाहों के ताज समन्दर की लहरों पर सफ़ेद झाग है
जो बहाकर ले जायेगी सैलाब, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

अपने नाम के मोहर पिघला दे, रुतबा सिर्फ़ आल्लाह का होगा|
याद रखना वह माँगेगा हिसाब, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

जला दो अपने फ़तवे फ़रमान, नकार दो यह शौक़त ओ शान
कितने दिन तक रहेगा शबाब, आ'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

रौब‍-रुबाब जमाते-दिखाते, नज़रन्दाज़ न कर देना
इन सरगर्मियों के इज़तिराब, 'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

ज़मीन कांपते गिरेंगे महल, आग लगते जल जाएँगे ताज
तब भी करोगे इतना मक़ताब? 'इने वक़्त में झांक के देखो|

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

तोहफ़ा

महफूज़ रखेंगे आपके तोहफ़े,
जो दर्द दिये, जो सितम दिये;
‍ग़‌म नहीं के तुमने ग़‌म दिये,
ग़‌म यही के तुमने कम दिये|

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Turbulence

The calm surface marks
the turbulence of the storm.
Moody is the brook.

Friday 25 July 2008

Longing

I cannot wait
for you to pull me off my bed
run your finger through my spine
open me and plunge right in;
tensed I wait for your wet finger
to touch me.
Grasp me
Fondle me beloved
before I return to spend an eternity
on the bookshelf.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Puddles

Clouds dull the night sky
while puddles on earth twinkle.
Rain changes all things.

Saturday 28 June 2008

Steel sheets

The river at night:
Steel sheets among shapes of grey.
Softly, water sings.

Wetted

Stone-strewn field. You'd think
nothing would grow; wait for rain.
Wetted, brown turns green.

Thursday 19 June 2008

gaudivi

Perdidi sed te
amare gavisus sum.
Amor vita est.

Orbe d'argent

Entre les nuages
la lune brille comme un orbe d'argent.
Nuits d'été sont belles.

She

Unless She likes it,
everything I write is trash.
Love is my haiku.

Flame of the forest

A forest aflame
with hues saffron, red and gold.
Flowers delight the eye.

Lantana

Pretty Lantana
flowers - red, yellow and white.
The best things are small.

Heureux

Je t'ai perdu mais
t'aimer était très heureux.
L'amour est la vie.

Calm waters

The moon silvers the
river through a clouded sky.
Calm waters bring peace.

Leopard

The forest asleep
is the time of the leopard.
Death disturbs the night.

Silver

Flooded paddy fields
glimmer silver by moonlight.
Night shimmers in peace.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Sunrays

Sunrays sneak through the
clouds to a welcoming green.
Pauses in rain please.

Rainbow

As light sneaks through clouds,
A rainbow streaks through the sky.
Rain delights all hearts.

Joie

L'eau tombe du ciel,
Et mon coeur, il se remplit.
C'est joie qui pleut.

Water

Water falls from the
skies, and my heart fills itself.
It is joy that rains.

பொன்மழை

உள்ளத்தை ரொப்ப,
வானம் கொட்டும் பொன்மழை
மகழ்ச்சி வெள்ளும்.

Monday 16 June 2008

Dissolve

The earth erupts in
green; death dissolves in water.
Monsoon blooms delight.

Mushrooms

Why just dormant seeds?
Joy is for mushrooms even.
Rain knows no favours.

Fairyland

For three happy months,
Earth is a fairyland green.
Monsoon is magic.

Umbrellas

Tiny umbrellas
open whenrains kiss the earth.
Joyful, love mushrooms.

Awaken

Little seeds awaken
as green pushes out of brown.
Rain makes mountains bloom.

Thursday 12 June 2008

Washed out spirits

Washed out spirits trudge
on with ceaseless daily chores.
Rain steadily pours.

eyes

my eyes met hers in a train
her hands rose to cover them
and revealed one and then the other
a little giggle burst out
and i was in love

i hid myself behind my book
her earnest eyes searched
i suddenly revealed myself
and said boo
she laughed out in her shrill voice
and i was in love again

then she covered her face
and unhid it again
she shouted boo and laughed
and i was in love forever

Ants

rain comes. Ants fly in-
to the mouth of waiting death.
Unskilled hopes perish.

Thursday 5 June 2008

More rain

Var 1:-

The lightning sparks glee,
It thunders with ecstasy,
And gently rains joy.

Var 2:-

The lightning sparks glee,
And thunders with ecstasy.
And rain gently pours.

Rain

Pregnant clouds give birth.
And as seeds burst through their shells,
Life rains from the sky.

Sunday 25 May 2008

Worship

I spoke to Him.
He asked:
Why dost thou
worship me?
Dost thou worship my
infinite genius
of creativity that
made the heavens,
the flowers and thee?
Or dost thou worship
the unerring
measurer of thy deeds,
who judges and sentences
without appeal?

Limits

For every Alexander
There is a Punjab,
For every Bligh a Bounty,
An East India Company
May plunder, chase revenues
And impose doctrines,
But it would do well
To steer clear of Dumdum bullets.

Monday 5 May 2008

Parody - Give back my Refund

My Refund cries under the taxman
My Refund cries under the king
My Refund cries under the taxman
Oh give back my Refund to me

Give back, give back
Give back my Refund to me, to me
Give back, give back
Give back my Refund to me

Last night as I sat with my accounts
Last night as I sat with my books
Last night as I sat with my accounts
I dreamed that my Refund was dead

Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me, to me
Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me

Oh throw ye curses o'er the taxman
And throw ye curses o'er the king
Oh throw ye curses o'er the taxman
And Get back my Refund to me

Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me, to me
Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me

The lies will blow over the taxman
The lies will blow over the king
The lies will blow over the taxman
And give back my Refund to me

Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me, to me
Give back, Give back
Give back my Refund to me

Friday 2 May 2008

Ghazal: A Song of Lost Love

Squashed, she lay in a pool of other people's blood,
Squished, she lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Oh! Her crumpled gossamer wings shall buzz no more,
Hushed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Alas! Her broken slender legs shall land no more,
Smashed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Oh! Her maxillary palps shall sense veins no more,
Bashed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Oh! Her blunted piercing stylets shall drill no more,
Mashed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Alas! Her maxilla shall suck up blood no more,
Coshed, it lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Dreams of little maggots floating in still water,
Dashed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Hopes of a malarial life lived together,
Quashed, they lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Pitiful this male mosquito sings lamenting,
Crushed, She lay in a pool of other people's blood!

Monday 28 April 2008

Silk-cotton seeds

Cracking pods release
silk-cotton seeds in the air.
Summer sows new life.

Poesis Persica

"Scripsis poesem Persicam, eh!"
"Lingua pulcherissima est, ne?"
"Scriptum arabicum est."
"Nimium bellum, non est ne?"
"Id quid codum secretum Al-Qaedae visum est."
"Vere dicistis fabulae! Id prex ad Khodam est."
"Khoda Allah est, integre?"
"Multi sunt nomines Dei."
"Illi viri clamant Allahu-Akbar, non clamantne? Codum est, scivi ego!"
*
"TERRORATOR SIMULANS POETA PERSICA CAPTUS EST"

Saturday 26 April 2008

A ghazal of vengeance

Those times of strain, those tears of suffering, shall be remembered.
Of ceaseless toil and repeated trying, shall be remembered.

Sincerely made attempts to please unrelenting hearts,
Efforts in vain, always failing, shall be remembered.

I never sinned, yet in the minds of those who judge me,
This damning stain, never fading, shall be remembered.

They say I failed; I fled from them. But their curses that
Follow in train,never pausing, shall be remembered.

But yet Raamesh, shall dauntlessly be avenged some day
His heavy price, never sparing, shall be remembered.

रेगिस्तान

तुम्हारी मोतियों के रेगिस्तान
का हम क्या करेंगे?
जी लेंगे हम
अगर आप हमारे नाम
एक आंसू मॊहब्बत का बहा देंगे!

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Don't send me

Don't send me other people's poems.
When your ocean has countless pearls
Each more beautiful than the other,
Why do I care for shallow rivers' gold-dust?

To a beloved

You may be just
a speck of dust
in the desert
a grain of salt
in the sea;
but I am a
chemist - a
molecule is
more interesting
than the cosmos.

Monday 21 April 2008

पाठक को प्रणाम

मैंने तो केवल खींची थीं कागज़ पर,
काली सियाही की चन्द रेखाएँ;
तुम्ही ने बनायीं उन रेखाओं को,
कथा‍पात्रों की जीवनरेखाएँ |


यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Sunday 20 April 2008

What beauty in a bulbul that does not sing?

What beauty in a star that does not twinkle?
what love in an anklet that does not tinkle?

What beauty in a bulbul that does not sing?
What beauty in a school-bell that does not ring?

How cute a buffalo not covered in mud?
What beauty in a louse that does not suck blood?

What fun politicians who do not gaffe?
What beauty in a snob who likes the riff-raff?

What beauty in an aunt who does not gossip?
What use a banana peel that does not trip?

What beauty in an itch that you cannot scratch?
What beauty in an account that does not match?

What beauty in a will that is not for me?
What beauty in a download that is not free?

What beauty in puris that drip not with oil?
What beauty in a python that does not coil?

What beauty in a witch who does not cackle?
What fun a footballer who does not tackle?

What beauty in a scorpion that does not sting?
What beauty in a gutter that does not stink?

What beauty in a fly that irritates not?
What beauty in you who appreciates not?

कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

सालों अकेला रह जाने का कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं
बेबस राह देखते रह जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

जब तेरा साथ ही नहीं था, बिछड़ने का क्या डर
तन्हाई में तरस जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

यादों की बैसाखी पकडे कटती है ज़िन्दगी
इन्हें कभी भी ख़ो जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

लिपट जाऊँ मैं तेरी बिछड़ाहत के नूर से
इस पतंगे को जल जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

यह चाहत तेरी, न मरने देती है न जीने
पर छटपटाते रह जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

अकेले पन की अब आदत लग गयी है सनम
तेरे बिन जीवन जी जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

अब तू आएगी तो घबरा जाए रामेश, लेकिन
आ जा, तेरे आने जाने का, कोई फ़िक़्र नहीं

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

homage to hedonia

seize the day
there is tomorrow
seize on joy
to hell with sorrrow

i place on your altar
cocaine and crack
in your great temple
no pleasure shall lack

for some you're a cigarette
joy wrapped in paper
or a charas-filled chillum
which high doesn't taper

some seek you in wine
they sip you, they sniff you
for some you're in toddy
they straightforward quaff you

you're a sachet of gutkha
a snort of some snuff
for some you're in shoe-
polish or similar stuff

some seek you in sport
they seek victory
on top of a mountain
in the surf of the sea

some scared of defeat
choose the spectator-box
for them you're the win
of the boston red sox

some seek to seduce
the one they adore
weaker ones seek you
in the arms of a whore

some think you exist
in things they acquire
they think they find you
when stocks rise higher

you're the immortal name
that some seek to conquer
like a gandhi did once
with protest and hunger

some call you glory
they seek you in war
they slaughter young soldiers
so that their fame spreads far

your homage demands
great sacrifice
only the flower
of youth shall suffice

you suckle our youth
you feed on our reason
we think you will stay
with us every season

appear the first wrinkle
and you forsake us
pain seeks her revenge
and appropriates us

yet every angel
or devil of wrath
follow upon your
rose-bestrewn path

no gods can match you
o heartless hedonia
all life I do seek you
in death i shall have you

(work in progress. first stanza taken from hrf keating)

Friday 18 April 2008

The Tale Of A Tail: Why Humans Do Not Have Tails

Team 2 of the Workshop for Writing for Children, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - Manoj Sood, Jennifer Alphonso, Nandita Banerjee and Raamesh Gowri Raghavan
Mumbai, 2 & 3 February 2008

In the land of Old Uvai,
In the Ngoro Ngoro forest,
Lived a nasty naughty boy,
Who was never at a rest.

His name was Konoo-Monoo,
He lived upon a Dhonoo,
He ate mongongo nuts
And ripe chamanchaputs.

He was fond of irritating,
Whoever slept a wink
For if he saw you sleeping,
He would tickle you pink.

He had a proud, long tail,
A really long, long tail,
All humans then had tails, you see,
But them they lost 'em.
How?
Just see!

He washed his tail with water,
He thought it very fine.
He said, “everyone oughter,
Have a Tail like mine!”

Huma the Head-Elephant,
Said, “Do not be arrogant,
Now mind my sound advice,
Lest you be cursed thrice!”

“Once cursed you may be,
A second you may catch,
But if it comes to three,
Your tail shall detach!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

He saw Donkey Dee sleeping
And went up to her creeping
He took her tail, And he
Tied it to the Slonkey-Tree.

When Donkey Dee woke up,
She could not move an inch,
Konoo-Monoo strode up,
And gave her a big pinch!

Donkey Dee was very cross,
She said, “This is so gross.
So this cannot become worse,
I put on you this curse:”

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

In a tree called Budapest,
Parrot Pot had built a nest,
With a lot of care and love,
In a big hole high above.

Upto her nest once stole,
Konoo the horrid blight,
He poked his tail into the hole
And gave her chicks a fright!

The little chicks were crying,
And Parrot Pot came flying,
She pecked him and she chased him,
And thus loudly she cursed him:

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

Once he saw Turtle Tell,
Under the Dingley-Dell,
He thought he'd joke a little,
And turn the turtle turtle.

He climbed into the Dingley,
He looped his tail a whittle,
He swung down like a monkey,
And turned Turtle Tell turtle!

Turtle Tell lay on the ground,
Till Huma turned him round,
And through his terrible pain,
He spoke the curse again:

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

Huma the Head-Elephant,
Said, “You've been very arrogant,
You heard not sound advice,
Now you are cursed thrice!”

“Once cursed have you been,
A second did you catch,
A third too you have seen,
Now watch your tail detach!”

He turned around in horror,
And watched his tail in terror,
Llama lloy and gamma goff,
His tail really came off!

Donkey Dee brayed out big,
Parrot Pot screeched in joy,
Turtle Tell danced a jig,
All of them booed the boy.

They booed him in the morning,
They said, “Now heed this learning.”
They booed him in the night,
And then put him to flight.

He left his favoured Dhonoo.
He left his mongongo nuts.
Poor tailless Konoo-Monoo
Left his chamanchaputs.

His children and their children,
Have not had tails since then.
All because of that one!
And now my friends, I'm done.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Nine dollars a poem

Eleven hundred
Twenty-nine dollars. Eight cents.
Nine dollars a poem.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

मॊहब्बत का एक क़तरा

दुनिया के चाहत का दरिया क्यों न हो, क्या करेगा रामेश,
तेरे मॊहब्बत का एक क़तरा मिल जाए, जी जाएगा रामेश |

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Friday 11 April 2008

The cicada's plaint

April is the grasshopper's time,
The cricket and cicada's too;

April is the time of flowers,
The time of sweet nectar-filled flowers;

April is the time of singing,
The time to chirp serenades of love;

April is the time of summer,
The summer of May and June;

April is the season of joy,
The joy that seems eternal.

but April's the month of deceit,
The joys are but ephemeral;

April blinds one to December,
And its cold that starves and torments;

April's a cheat and a liar,
April is the cruellest month.

(drawing from the fable of the ant and the cicada)

Friday 4 April 2008

This Strand of Memory

On opening a book of verse, falls a strand of memory.
A part of you that is ever mine, this strand of memory.

Intangible, infrangible, It keeps bound among these pages -
The bonds that you chose to sever, dear, this strand of memory.

It seems you are talking to me; It replays the things you said,
Funny, dull, silly, vague, clever, clear, this strand of memory.

Like a shiny black record tape, it plays again and again,
The voice I am doomed to never hear, this strand of memory.

You never concede that you err, But it stores forever the
Mistakes you hid with a clever tear, this strand of memory.

The twinkle of your jewels comes back; It floods my senses, dispels,
A parting that I need never fear, this strand of memory.

The paper crumbles, the ink fades, but your ghazals still echo,
They stream back to me as ever clear, this strand of memory.

You never were mine, but entrapped among these ageing verses,
Raamesh will preserve forever dear, this strand of memory.

Chains

Chains of DNA
Play an endless game of dice.
A chance throw made me.

कंजूस

पैसा पडा है बैंक में, आठ टक्का ब्याज है |
रामेश पाहे कंजूस को, खाता रोटी‍ प्याज है ||

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Friday 28 March 2008

दोहा

बोझ ढोते दर्द जो रोए, चादर ओढे सोए |
रामेश देखो चींटी को, काज कैसे होए ||

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

DNA

Variation 1:-

I am because some
DNA must replicate.
Carbon defines life.

Variation 2:-

I am because some
DNA must replicate.
The Red Queen enslaves.

Laburnum

Through cracks in concrete,
a Laburnum blooms yellow.
Life finds ways to live.

Friday 21 March 2008

Stephen Kovacevich

Stiff doorkeepers,
Elderly Parsi ladies,
Catholics from Bandra,
Swanks with corporate passes,
And the mandatory coconut,
Babes thrown in for spice,
And there must obviously,
be boys to impress them.

And some like me,
On cheap tickets
Thinking they alone
came for the music.
Stephen Kovacevich
plays to us all.

(The pianist Stephen Kovacevich played Bach and Beethoven at the NCPA on March 19th, 2008.)

Monday 17 March 2008

Contingent Evolution

I exist because
the dinosaurs went extinct.
A meteor made me.

Lebensraum

Forest fires singe
winter's leaves for summer's blooms.
Death makes way for life.

Colourless drops

A few colourless drops
turn dead brown to vivid green.
The monsoon brings life.

First Showers

A few drops of rain:
Barren soil erupts in life.
Frist showers enthrall.

Saturday 1 March 2008

1915 - 2008

A floating brinjal
is all that remains of you.
But memory will haunt.

Cracked pods

Cracked Gulmohur pods
sow red flowers next summer.
Life's never dormant.

Senryu

Writing senryu is
a lifetime of syllables.
To save one is joy.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

मसली हुई यादें

कभी तेरे दीदार से मचली थी यादें |
अब तड़‌पती रहती हैं मसली हुई यादें ||

कभी तेर आँखों में खो जाती थी साँसें |
अब तलाश‌ती रहती हैं मसली हुई यादें ||

गूँजती जब हँसी तेरी, निखर जाती हवाएँ |
अब तरस‌ती रहती हैं मसली हुई यादें ||

तेरे वायदे तेरे बातों से बान्धे थे सपने |
अब बीख़‌र‌ती रहती हैं मसली हुई यादें ||

मुस्कुराता था रामेश, पनपती आशाएँ |
अब सिसक‌ती रहती हैं मसली हुई यादें ||

(re-edited a bit)

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Monday 25 February 2008

Tuka Mhane: A Transcreation

Tuka mhane:
आम्हां घरी धन शब्दांचीच रत्नें | शब्दांचीच शस्त्रें यत्न करुं ||
शब्द चि आमुच्या जीवांचे जीवन | शब्दें वांटूं धन जनलोकां ||
तुका म्हणे पाहा शब्द चि हा देव | शब्द चि गौरव पूजा करुं ||

Translation (by Dilip Chitre, the renowned Marathi poet):

Words are the only Jewels I possess
Words are the only Clothes that I wear
Words are the only food That sustains my life
Words are the only wealth I distribute among people
Says Tuka Witness the Word He is God
I worship Him With my words


My own transcreation:

If you open my jewel-box, you will only find words
If you raid my castle, only my words will defend me
All I need to live upon, is the magic of words
All my charity is done through my words
Behold The Word: The Word is my only God
Worship It: it is the beginning, it is the end

Waiting

Seed pods straining tense,
On the first splash shall explode.
Summer waits for rain.

December

December morals:
Time dies, time cycles again.
New things will happen.

November

November twilight
like the year's forsaken cause.
Endings agonise.

October

October goes from
verdant to yellow to brown.
All things must decay.

September

Bappa Morya comes
visiting in September.
Revelry is peace.

August

Floods of joy or tears
as August rain so chooses.
Water: life and death.

Monday 18 February 2008

July

Puddles delight me
though city folk just plod on.
Rain defines July.

June

It is now time to
buy uniforms and raincoats.
June explodes in green.

May

Hot hotter hottest.
May vacation trains run full.
Home beckons the sick.

May

Hot hotter hottest.
May eagerly seeks rain clouds.
Heat boils embarrass.

April

All Fools' Day begins
the new financial year's hopes.
April blooms delight.

March

Many worries plague
a sweating tropical March.
Income-tax bothers.

February

Hopes not extinguished
flicker in February.
Resolutions break.

January

It's said time cycles
anew every January.
Beginnings excite.

ज़माने का ज़िम्मेदार

लोग हमें देखकर हंसते हैं, कहते हैं
देखो जा रहा है ज़माने को बदलनेवाला ठेकेदार‌
हम उनसे ख़ैर‌ इतना कहना चाहते हैं
शायरों ने भी छोड दिया तो कौन होगा ज़माने का ज़िम्मेदार?

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

मुहिब्ब की इबादत

ना क‌ब्र‌ गाढ़े गढ़‌ती है
ना आग जलाये जलती है
तेरे मुहिब्ब की इबादत है
ना लाख़ मिटाये मिटती है

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Big Words

Big frightening words
Make doctors feel Important.
But they are just words.

Saturday 16 February 2008

Summer

Joy unshared with you
Is a flowerless summer.
Incompleteness pricks.

Spring

when you are with me
Cold loneliness shall vanish.
Spring erupts again.

(Can haiku have more than one kigo?)

Thursday 14 February 2008

Sabzi

I saw somebody in the train today
And the mind immediately started off:
Knock! Knock! Who's there? Sabzi. Er...Sabzi Who?
Sabzi Gurkha! I suppressed the giggles.
But the stereotypes continue to live.

Silence

At times it's Zen, but
when I wait upon your voice
silence always hurts.

Autumn

She just resembles.
This autumn heart skips a beat.
Old love always burns.

Winter

Silence. Sometimes Zen.
A winter of despondence
that forever hurts.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

बर्फी की शादी - बालकविता

बर्फी के घर में शादी है,
दुल्हा उसका लड्डू है,
माला उसकी किशमिश है,
चूडी उसकी काजू है,
बादाम उसकी बाली है,
चाँदी की उसकी चुनरी है!

यह कृति उमर बहुभाषीय रूपांन्तरक की मदद से देवनागरी में टाइप की गई है|

Monday 11 February 2008

Faith/God

“Remove the Ganpati from main door.
Move the god on the left to the right.
Move the god on the east to the south.
Do this. Do that. It will bring prosperity.
Paint your toilet yellow.
Keep cupboards on opposite walls.
Shift your stamp-cabinet to southwest.
That will remove negative energy from house.
You are keeping many gods in house.
It is good sign. But they will not be happy,
because you are keeping dog in house.
Do as I am saying.
God will shower blessings on you.”

Go away. Go far far away.
I don't want you and your god.
What kind of god is he that
will bless a house with yellow toilets only?
And if the saints say that He is everywhere,
how does it matter whether he be
in the south or east or southwest?
And by what rules of physics do
opposing cupboards remove negative energy?

My dog is my god,
for he brings me happiness.
Is that not a god's task?
My idols are my gods.
For in them I see Him
and adore Him.
My toilets, my cupboard, my house,
they are my gods.
For they give me shelter,
warmth and peace.

Go away! Take your beads and books,
crosses, charms, whatever.
Go and frighten frailer men.
I know my god.
He is I, and I am Him.

Monday 28 January 2008

Je te cherche

maintenant que je t'ai perdu
ma jeunesse l'oeil te cherche

ce-corps-ci a soixante la goutte
ce corps-ci est gras il meurt

mais ce-coeur-ci le coeur qui feint
ce-coeur-ci n'admettra pas

il cherche dans tes yeux ta voix
ta chair ton parfum

je suis jaloux je te hais
je suis saisi je t'aime

embrassez-moi je vivrai
embrassez-moi je mourrai

un pécheur un voyeur un baiseur débauché
je bois je masturbe je suis totalement brûlé

Ma jeunesse me trouve ma tombe
mais celle qui je cherche
c'est tu

Friday 11 January 2008

A Writer's Sonnet

Why am I a writer?
Why must pen scratch paper?

What is it that makes me
Want to tell a story?
Why think of truth, beauty,
Hope, error and duty?

Why not live, love and die?
Why tell the reason? Why?

Because in a story
Thou art freed from worry
For an hour thou art free
And then truth shall claim thee.

So ink must blot paper,
That's why I'm a writer.

I've violated all traditional sonnet rhyme schemes here, following a (perhaps labored) scheme of aa bbbb cc bbbb aa. Does it work?

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