Monday 31 August 2009

Delhi

Delhi: streets broad and
tree-lined, fabulous by day.
Lonely in the dark.

Delhi

Delhi: swanky green
buses and sexy metro -
medieval mindset.

Queue

In a queue one is only
a candidate however big
— or small.

General

However big the
general becomes, he must —
wash his own bottom.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

The Man of Bhivpuri Road

There was a Man of Bhivpuri Road
Who had never missed an episode
Of any K-serial
- serious or ethereal -
That slothful Man of Bhivpuri Road.

Monday 24 August 2009

The Old Man of Badlapur

There was an Old man of Badlapur
Who received no one's imprimatur.
He was very flabby
And generally shabby -
That ratty Old Man of Badlapur.

Fairytales

Mist-fresh from the hills -
Bulbuls, butterflies and dew
begin fairytales.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Ganesh Chaturthi

Chaturthi

Dead on the road, overrun by a car,
Mooshik Bappa rots -
his intestines pulled out by crows,
one leg up in the air as if to
ward off flies
and a dog
attempting to piss over him,
pus oozing from his tail as
bacteria go about their work -
a whole ecology.

Panchami

Morning Arti on Ganesh day -
priest in a hurry,
a lay worshipper and some
stray onlookers
who seem to have nothing
better to do.
It is late morning -
lunch-cooking time say
the society women.
The men say nothing.

Shashti

Loudspeakers blare
devotional music all day;
society residents pass by
on their holiday errands.
One or two stop
to perhaps throw a few
flower petals on the idol
and peek at the
empty prasad-dish.

Saptami

Squabbles break out over
the empty prasad dish.

Ashtami

Quick visits
to private Ganpatis -
sense of community,
devotion
and who is providing
what in prasad.

Navami

Cultural program by
children
dancing to filmi music.
A girl cries
backstage about a
tight Kathak dress.
The audience claps
religiously;
eyes keep looking
towards the snacks counter.

Dashami

Some residents prefer
to stay home and keep ears
open
for when the music stops.
Time to go down
and redeem
a coupon-worth of snacks.

Ekadashi

Bell-ringing and a strong smell
of camphor indicate
Evening Arti in progress.
Crowd is bigger.
One mutters
'Jay dev, jay dev'
along with others.
Discussions of cricket,
politics, recession
suspended.
Woman distributes flowers
gloriously ignoring rivals
she is temporarily
not on speaking terms with.

Dwadashi

A war of words
breaks out
between Russia and the West
over the 60th anniversary
of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact,
and
who
started the second world war.

Trayodashi

Snack counter opens,
people descend
coupon in hand
for what they paid for -
one samosa, one dhokla,
one idli, one mishti.
National harmony intended?
Or unwittingly dictated
by preferences of
organising committee?

Chaturdashi

Crowd dispersed,
Ganpati Bappa left to his wiles,
members of the organising
committee
begin to partition
the spoils of the festival.

Saturday 22 August 2009

बान्द्रा की शहज़ादी

बान्द्रा की थी एक शहज़ादी
जिसकी अदाएँ बग़दादी|
पल्कें झुकाके
लड़के भाग जाते
ख़ौफ़नाक थी बान्द्रा की शहज़ादी|

A tribute to Terry Pratchett

There was an Old Man of Ankh-Morpork
who ate Nanny Ogg's food with a fork.
He thought he would snatch
An island from Klatch -
That rusty Old Man of Ankh-Morpork.

The Old Man of Titwala

There was an Old Man of Titwala
Who secretly practised Kabbalah.
When he was not pensive
He would get defensive -
That porcupiny Old Man of Titwala.

The Lady of Khadavli

There was a Lady of Khadavli
Whose features were considered lovely.
Her fangs were pearly white,
Her scales were polished bright -
That snaky Lady of Khadavli.

The Woman of Vangani

There was a Woman of Vangani
Who pulled down trees of mahogany.
She chopped them in pieces
To give to her nieces -
That elephantine Woman of Vangani.

The Young Woman of Vasind

There was a Young Woman of Vasind
Who had to be chained during a wind.
No matter what she ate
An ant would have more weight -
That formicine Young Woman of Vasind.

The Old Man of Asangaon

There was an Old Man of Asangaon
Who migrated there from Girangaon.
When all the mills closed
He ate his own clothes -
That moth-eaten Old Man of Asangaon.

The Old Lady of Karjat

There was an Old Lady of Karjat
Whose chief consumption was of sharbat.
She sang a libretto
In rising falsetto -
That nightingale-voiced Old Lady of Karjat.

Friday 21 August 2009

गिरने दो दीवारों को

गिरने दो दीवारों को ताकि नए आशियाने बनेंगे|
धूल में मिल जाने दो उन्हें ताकी गुज़रे ह्ंगाम बीत जाएँगे||
खन्ड़रों को गिराकर एक नया दौर बनाएंगे तुम और हम|
गिरने दो दीवारों को ताकि नए आशियाने बनेंगे||

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Messages

Send me no messages
that are not poems - I
have no space for prose.

The Old Lady of Diva

There was an Old Lady of Diva
Who came from the Khanate of Khiva.
She'd do nothing all day
But hop and jump and play -
That kittenish Old Lady of Diva.

The Gentleman of Kopar

There was a Gentleman of Kopar
Who was something of a landloper.
He was quite impudent
And also imprudent -
That puppyish Gentleman of Kopar.

The Old Woman of Mumbra

There was an Old Woman of Mumbra
Who shifted her home out of Mumbra.
She would have been staying
If it rhymed with something -
That migratory Old Woman of Mumbra.

The Old Woman of Shahad

There was an Old Woman of Shahad
Who could see as far as Ahmedabad.
She worked in the police
Starting as a novice -
That eagle-eyed Old Woman of Shahad.

The Gentleman of Shelu

There was a Gentleman of Shelu
Whose nose had around it a halo.
He had nothing to hide
So he bore it with pride -
That aquiline Gentleman of Shelu.

The Man of Ambivali

There was a Man of Ambivali
Who smiled quite beatifically.
He kicked like an ostrich
When he had barber's itch -
That struthious Man of Ambivali.

The Old Man of Kanjur Marg

There was an Old Man of Kanjur Marg
Whom his colleagues deemed to be a narg*.
Opportunistic
And capitalistic -
That vulturous Old Man of Kanjur Marg.

* Not A Real Gentleman.

The Gentleman of Neral

There was a Gentleman of Neral
Whose promises were quite ephemeral.
He entered politics
And baffled his critics -
That weaselly Gentleman of Neral.

The Young Man of Ambernath

There was a Young Man of Ambernath
Who left behind him an aftermath.
So they put him in jail
Till he grew very frail -
That mothballed Young Man of Ambernath.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

The Old Woman of Bhandup

There was an Old Woman of Bhandup
Whose principles never let her stoop.
She made herself a gown
Of soft feathery down -
That goosy Old Woman of Bhandup.

The Old Man of Sandhurst Road

There was an Old Man of Sandhurst Road
To whom gratitude is at first owed -
For he and his ratsnake
The city pest-free make -
That ophidian Old Man of Sandhurst Road.

The Old Man of Currey Road

There was an Old Man of Currey Road
Who possessed a rare and furry toad.
He fed it on fennel
And built it a kennel -
That batrachian Old Man of Currey Road.

The Young Man of Thakurli

There was a Young Man of Thakurli
Who played on a bamboo shoot murli -
So he'd not fall asleep
While a-herding his sheep -
That ovine Young Man of Thakurli.

The Young Man of Chinchpokli

There was a Young Man of Chinchpokli
Whose staple diet was dal-dhokli.
Much wealth he would donate
To the unfortunate -
That lion-hearted Young Man of Chinchpokli.

The Young Lady of Parel

There was a Young Lady of Parel
Who resolved to travel to Panvel.
But thirty days after
She's not gone much further -
That sluggish Young Lady of Parel.

Poetry

What gives writers more
joy than to see their books of
poetry sold out?

Monday 17 August 2009

Black-headed munia

Black-headed munia -
living proof that happiness
comes in small bundles.

Green Monsoon Sea

Mango and jamun
trees in a green monsoon sea -
barren, yet fertile.

Music

There is much wonderful
music on this earth - the
sweetest is silence.

Prudence

Prudence cries restraint -
but the heart's poem machine
runs out of control.

Masks

Swine flu masks - just the
most ridiculous of all
the ones we put on.

Saturday 15 August 2009

The Man of Vidyavihar

There was a Man of Vidyavihar
Who thought he was the Russian czar.
He wore a bearskin hat
And imported seal fat -
That ursine Man of Vidyavihar.

मुन्तज़िर आँखें

तुम आओगी, तुम आओगी, तुम्हारे ख़यालों में मुन्तज़िर आँखें
किनारे के तलाश में भटकती लहरों के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

फूलों के ख़ुश्बू में ख़ुमार होकर उन्हें ढूँढते हुए यहाँ वहाँ
भटकती मन्डराती हुई एक एक तितली के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

पहाड़ों से उतरकर, खेतें पार करकर, साहिल कहाँ साहिल कहाँ
सागर के तलाश में दौड़ती हुई नदी के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

समन्दर से उठकर हवाओं से, आसमानों से ज़मीन का राह पूछकर
इस तलाश में आए हुए काले बादल के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

हज़ारों साल एक ही मक़सद में ख़ुद को जलाते हुए कायनात को पार
सूरज के तलाश में आए दुमदार तारे के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

तुम्हारी तारीफ़ के लिए बेआल्फ़ाज़ खड़ा हुआ यह ख़ाना बदोश
कान्हा की इबादत में बैरागी मीरा के जैसे मुन्तज़िर आँखें

Friday 14 August 2009

Blackness

An argent surface
or bottomless blackness - what
is your mood, river?

यह रिश्ता, ﻳﻪ ﺭﺷﺘﺎ

जाने अनजाने बस बन गया है यह रिश्ता,
गानों अफ़सानों से बुन लिया है यह रिश्ता,
पर आज डोर टूटा - आज मैं ख़ाना बदोश पतंग
मैं तो गुम जाऊँगा, तुम्हें बख़्शे फ़रिश्ता!


ﺟﺎﻧﮯ ﺍﻧﺠﺎﻧﮯ ﺑﺲ ﺑﻦ ﮔﻴﺎ ﮨﮯ ﻳﻪ ﺭﺷﺘﺎ
ﮔﺎﻧﻮﮞ ﺍﻓﺴﺎﻧﻮﮞ ﺳﮯ ﺑﻦ ﻟﻴﺎ ﮨﮯ ﻳﻪ ﺭﺷﺘﺎ
ﭘﺮ ﺁﺝ ﮈﻭﺭ ﭨﻮﭨﺎ - ﺁﺝ ﻣﻴﮟ ﺧﺎﻧﺎ ﺑﺪﻭﺵ ﭘﺘﻨﮓ
!ﻣﻴﮟ ﺗﻪ ﮔﻢ ﺟﺎﻭﻧﮕﺎ ، ﺗﻤﮩﻴﮟ ﺑﺨﺸﮯ ﻓﺮﺷﺘﺎ

(Urdu written with the help of Unicode Urdu Text Convertor:- http://tabish.freeshell.org/u-trans/uconvert.html,
Hindi written with the help of Gopi's Hindi Unicode Convertor:- http://www.higopi.com/ucedit/Hindi.html)

The Gentleman of Sion

There was a Gentleman of Sion
Who needed a shoulder to cry on.
When could not find one
He leaned on his son -
That pigeon-hearted Gentleman of Sion.

The Young Lady of Nahur

There was a Young Lady of Nahur
To whom many men pledged their amour.
But she escaped them all
By jumping o'er a wall -
That feline Young Lady of Nahur.

The Old Woman of Mulund

There was an Old Woman of Mulund
Who rarely ever suffered a wound.
Her skin was so thick
That no pin could prick -
That pachydermous Old Woman of Mulund.

The Old Woman of Kalva

There was an Old Woman of Kalva
Who doted on Karachi halva.
She'd empty a shop
Before she would stop -
That wolfish Old Woman of Kalva.

Thursday 13 August 2009

The Man of Dombivali

There was a Man of Dombivali
Who was lanky unnaturally.
His body was twiglike
And his limbs were threadlike -
That spidery Man of Dombivali.

The Old Man of Vikhroli

There was an Old Man of Vikhroli
Whose conduct was considered lowly
He wore seven gold chains
But was bereft of brains -
That peacocky Old Man of Vikhroli.

The Old Lady of Kalyan

There was an Old Lady of Kalyan
Who preferred everything be cyan.
She said that it calmed her
During stormy weather -
That rabbity Old Lady of Kalyan.

The Young Lady of Kurla

There was a Young lady of Kurla
Who used obscure words like mandorla.
She'd prattle on and on
Till the sun was long gone -
That parroty Young Lady of Kurla.

The Lady of Matunga

There was a lady of Matunga
Whose battle-cry was 'Cowabunga!'
She'd butt conversations
And cite reservations -
That caprine Lady of Matunga.

The Old Woman of Masjid

There was an Old Woman of Masjid
Whose Zodiac was rather cuspid.
Part Sagittarian,
Part vegetarian -
That amphibian Old Woman of Masjid.

Shadows

(This is the same poem as the one in Hindi below.)

Neither I said a word,
Nor she.
She came,
Removed the ring
And kept it on the table.
Those ear-rings
Which I had given
Last Diwali,
Those too.
Neither I said a word,
Nor she.
I ordered
Two cups of tea,
Mine plain,
Hers as usual -
Without sugar,
Without milk.
All the letters
That I had written,
Tied with a
Frail string.
That mobile phone -
cadeau d'amour -
With its box.
Neither I said a word,
Nor she.
The tea came
We drank
I paid the bill.
She opened her handbag
Kept twenty-two rupees
Of her share
And left.
Neither I said a word,
Nor she.

परछाई

ना मैंने कुछ कहा,
ना उसने|
बस वह आयी,
अंगूठी उतारी
और मे‍ज़ पर रख दी|
वे कान की बालियाँ
जो मैंने
पिछले दिवाली
को दी थी,
वे भी|
ना मैंने कुछ कहा,
ना उसने|
मैंने दो प्याले
चाय मंगवायी,
मेरी सादी,
उसकी हमेशा जैसी -
बिना शक्कर,
बिना दूध|
वे सब ख़त
जो मैंने लिखे,
एक नाज़ुक धागे
से बान्धकर|
वह मोबाइल फ़ोन -
तोहफ़ा ए ईश्क़ -
डिब्बे के साथ|
ना मैंने कुछ कहा,
ना उसने|
चाय आयी,
हमने पी,
मैंने बिल भरा|
उसने हैन्डबैग खोला
अपने हिस्से के
बाईस रुपये रखे
और चली गयी|
ना मैंने कुछ कहा,
ना उसने|

Wednesday 12 August 2009

The Gentleman of Boisar

There was a Gentleman of Boisar
Who if anyone called out "Hoy Sir!"
He'd feel rather ashamed
And easily be tamed -
That sheepish Gentleman of Boisar.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

The Young Lady of Vangaon

There was a Young Lady of Vangaon
Who went to bed daily at sundown.
She would wake up early
And eat rice and barley -
That columbine Young Lady of Vangaon.

The Man of Dahanu Road

There was a Man of Dahanu Road
who devised of trading a new mode.
when others were selling
His fortunes were swelling -
That bearish Man of Dahanu Road.

The Young Man of Kelve Road

There was a Young Man of Kelve Road
Who studied the national railway code.
Early in the morning
He'd raise a false warning -
That larky Young Man of Kelve Road.

The Old Man of Umroli

There was an Old Man of Umroli
Whose appearance was very holy.
Of his devotees' cash
He made quite a big stash -
That spongy Old Man of Umroli.

The Young Man of Charni Road

There was a Young Man of Charni Road
Whose proposals always were vetoed -
When his bosses would shout
And threaten to clout.
That cowed the Young Man of Charni Road.

The Lady of Marine Lines

There was a Lady of Marine Lines
Who subsisted chiefly on green vines.
With radishes to munch
She'd spend hours at lunch -
That ruminant Lady of Marine Lines.

The Man of Mahalakshmi

There was a Man of Mahalakshmi
Who was blessed by the Goddess Lakshmi.
He never lost a bet
To the thoroughbred set -
That horsy Man of Mahalakshmi.

The Old Woman of Nerul

There was an Old Woman of Nerul
Who was as slender as a slide-rule.
She would pass through a hose
Without hurting her nose -
That serpentine Old Woman of Nerul.

The Man of Lower Parel

There was a Man of Lower Parel
Who thought he would organise a sale.
He sold canine shampoo
Three for the price of two -
That dogged Man of Lower Parel.

The Man of Elphinstone Road

There was a Man of Elphinstone Road
Who forever left his lawn unmowed.
He raised garden lizards
Which he sold to wizards -
That saurian Man of Elphinstone Road.

The Old Woman of Grant Road

There was an Old Woman of Grant Road
Who carried about her no scant load -
Seven lorry tyres
And six miles of wires -
That jumbo Old Woman of Grant Road.

Friday 7 August 2009

The Man of Nala Sopara

There was a Man of Nala Sopara
Who visited the Masai Mara.
He thought that the wildlife
Was better than his life -
That wormy man of Nala Sopara.

The Old Man of Mira Road

There was an Old Man of Mira Road
Who'd immigrated there from Dahod.
He wore striped pyjamas
And prowled around dramas -
That tigerish Old Man of Mira Road.

The Gentleman of Thane

There was a Gentleman of Thane
On whom all the girls would mar jane,
He'd a heart made of gold,
He was kind to the old -
That human Gentleman of Thane.

The Young Man of Dahisar

There was a Young Man of Dahisar
Who could withstand excessive pressure.
He strode like a Goliath,
juggernaut, behemoth -
That mammoth Young Man of Dahisar.

The Ol Woman of Naigaon

There was an Old Woman of Naigaon
Who thought that her era was bygone.
She would crow about days
When men had better ways -
That corvine Old Woman of Naigaon.

The Man of Matunga Road

There was a Man of Matunga Road
Whose neighbours were very much harrowed.
He would lash out at whim
At those who approached him -
That waspish Man of Matunga Road.

The Man of Jogeshwari

There was a Man of Jogeshwari
Who told his wife never to worry
If he fed upon nuts
And cigarette butts -
That squirrelly Man of Jogeshwari.

The Woman of Goregaon

There was a Woman of Goregaon
Who'd daily drink one Blue Curacaõ.
She had it with oilseeds
Mixed together with reeds -
That bird-brained Woman of Goregaon.

The Old Man of Ghatkopar

There was an Old Man of Ghatkopar
Who was considered a no-hoper.
He would run for cover
At the first rain-shower -
That sheepish Old Man of Ghatkopar.

Thursday 6 August 2009

The Young Lady of Palghar

There was a Young Lady of Palghar
Who said that the signs did not augur
For her to go out
And wander about -
That mousy Young Lady of Palghar.

The Man of Kandivali

There was a Man of Kandivali
Who was pugnacious naturally.
He was ready to fight
For what he thought was right -
That hawkish Man of Kandivali.

The Old Man of Saphale

There was an Old Man of Saphale
Who said, "Aga, atta kay zale?"
So he climbed up a tree
And ate mangoes for free -
That simian Old Man of Saphale.

The Old Woman of Khar Road

There was an Old Woman of Khar Road
Who undertook to lay a tar road.
She paved it with borax
And sealed it with beeswax -
That apian Old Woman of Khar Road.

The Old Man of Santacruz

There was an Old Man of Santacruz
Who subsisted chiefly on cheap booze.
He would square his shoulders
To carry great boulders -
That asinine Old Man of Santacruz.

The Man of Ville Parle

There was a man of Ville Parle
Who insisted on polite parley.
He'd stubbornly refuse
To tolerate abuse -
That mulish man of Ville Parle.

(Ville Parle is how Western Railway spells it)

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Alba

Th' cottar in his clachan,
Th' laird in his thane,
All gang to th' same kirk,
Th' God fer all is ain.
Th' lochs and glens ay Alba,
I likes them verra muckle.
Th' firths and dales ay ma homeland
I ken them syne I war a bairn.
(In progress)

The Gentleman of Mahim

There was a Gentleman of Mahim
Who would wake up when it was still dim.
He would play music loud
And potter about proud -
That cocky Gentleman of Mahim.

The Old Man of Byculla

There was an Old Man of Byculla
Who found a celestial nebula.
He watched many a night
Till he found it all right -
That owlish Old Man of Byculla.

The Gentleman of Virar

There was a Gentleman of Virar,
Whose conduct was considered bizarre.
He bought heads of cattle
And sold them by raffle -
That bullish gentleman of Virar.

The Young Lady of Malad

There was a Young Lady of Malad
Who mainly ate organic salad -
Fresh spinach and yam
With taro leaf jam -
That bovine Young Lady of Malad.

The Woman of Vasai Road

There was a Woman of Vasai Road,
Who sold crustaceans on the high road.
If little boys teased her
It would not have pleased her -
That crabby Woman of Vasai Road.

The Man of Borivali

There was a Man of Borivali
Who needed nothing much re-ally.
he practised ahimsa
And survived on hilsa -
That fishy Man of Borivali.

The Old Man of Andheri

There was an Old Man of Andheri
Of whom all the butchers were wary.
He stole their live chickens
And left them some lemons
That foxy Old Man of Andheri.

The Old Woman of Bandra

There was an Old Woman of Bandra
Who was a right royal cassandra.
She prophesied gloom
And everyone's doom -
That catty Old Woman of Bandra.

The Old Woman of Dadar (E)

There was an Old Woman of Dadar
Who thought she descended from Babar.
She kept sixteen porters
And roared at her daughters -
That leonine woman of Dadar.

[This is for Dadar (E)]

The Young Woman of Dadar (W)

There was a Young Woman of Dadar
Who set out to look for her father.
But she sat up in bed
And ate misal instead -
That piggish Young Woman of Dadar.

[This is for Dadar (W)]

The Man of Mumbai Central

There was a Man of Mumbai Central
Who could not tell dorsal from ventral.
He'd stand on his head
When he slept on his bed -
That batty Man of Mumbai Central.

The Old Man of Bhayander

There was an Old Man of Bhayander
Who thought he would migrate Down Under.
To carry his couch
He sewed on a pouch -
That marsupial Old Man of Bhayander.

The Old Man of CST

There was an Old Man of CST
Who shunned the trains and BEST.
He travelled secretly,
And very quietly -
That pantherine old man of CST.

The Old Man of Vaitarna

There was an Old Man of Vaitarna
Who sat on an indefinite dharna.
But he gave up his fast
When his wife made breakfast -
That hen-pecked Old Man of Vaitarna.

The Old Woman of Churchgate

There was an Old Woman of Churchgate
Who was worried about the Birth Rate.
She's hand out a condom
To people at random -
That capricious Old Woman of Churchgate.

Monday 3 August 2009

The Man of Oshiwara

There was a Man of Oshiwara
Who kept a small pet capybara.
He fed it on leather
Which they gnawed together -
That rodent Man of Oshiwara.

The Old Man of Govandi

There was an Old Man of Govandi
Who ate fly eyes cooked in a handi.
He preferred them runny
And had them with honey -
That ravenous Old Man of Govandi.

Seedlings

Monsoon seedlings sprout -
my poems escape from their
dry trap of silence.

Leak

One poem leaks from
the dam, suddenly the
reservoir's in tumult.

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