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|

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