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Showing posts from November, 2009

Sunday is...

...a late morning,
a tumbler of degree coffee,
a birthday greeting to a friend
(thank God for Facebook),
another tumbler of coffee...

...a hot water bath,
catching up on weekly politics,
rice and bitter-gourd curry
with jeera rasam and pickle,
a long unhad siesta...

one murukku made from old rice,
ground by hand and made in coconut oil,
one piece of jangri - not too sweet -
washed down with hot degree coffee...

a walk with the dog
drongo-spotting in the garden,
and old family stories with mother
under the jamun tree...

...a little poem, a bit of light reading,
and an interesting online chat
on the Dhammapada...

...and finally an ascent to heaven
with curd rice and vadu-mangay,
before the fall to the netherworld
of Monday.

Mahim Bay from Rangsharda, Bandra (revised)

Encased in concrete,
with a dying orange above,
and the silver turning grey below,
the waves crash futilely
against the Bandra fortress
-I suppose one might,
on careful listening,
hear steel versus steel again;

Boats bob by those
decayed ramparts,
signs of of an eternal poverty
dependent on
the wealth of the sea;

On open sea
a marvel of modern
engineering rises -
a some triumphant
half-finished proclamation
of victory over nature;
above the clouds thicken,
but loosen not
as in impudent demonstration
of whose writ truly runs;

In the shanties of Bandra,
in the towers of Worli, and
in the middle-classness of
Mahim,
lights come on one by one -
a dying day, a sleepless city.

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar.

I'm sorry you don't have
the red sunsets and cool breeze
and palm fronds and soft,
babbling waves somebody else has.

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar.

I'm sorry that the British
did not find you Queen material,
and didn't build their
Grade III Heritage bungalows,
outside which teenage girls
faint after slitting wrists wanting
Dev Anand, Amitabh, Shahrukh, Salman
to marry them.

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar.

I'm sorry that all you have
is Somaiya Book Depot,
Bharti Jewellers and
Ratanshi Khimji Patel,
good people in their own right,
but no Gucci, Swarovski or
even Subway.

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar.

I'm sorry that all you get
is navratri dandiya
and kitschy Ganesh pandals,
instead of self-styled poets
slamming about you.

I'm sorry, Ghatkopar.

Drops

Drops that make the ocean -

one from from the tears of a woman betrayed,
one from dew on a fresh-blossomed petal,
one from the blood of a fallen tyrant,
one from the drool of a child beholding sweets,
one from the labour of an unknown ryot,
one from the wrath of a vengeful storm.

'Sheldon'

Sister calls me 'You Monster!'.
Don't know why.
All I do is pull her hair
and yank her dolls' heads off.
And sometimes spill ink on her
homework while playing with her pen.

Then I go running to mother
and press my face into her sari.
'Babloo' she calls me,
and wipes my tears,
and gives sister a scolding.
I point my tongue at sister
but mother doesn't notice.

Father is not like that.
He is nasty and unfair.
He likes sister more than me.
He makes me stand in the corner
for spilling ink and pulling hair.
And he calls me by my school name.
I don't like Daddy.

Hey auntie has come.
Get out of corner and run
screaming "Auntie, Auntie, Auntie".
She picks me up in her arms
and says "Babloo baba, cho chweet!".
She is not nice when she
pinches my cheeks and makes me
recite 'Baa baa black sheep'.
But she is nice when she
gives me a big chocolate
which I eat in front of my sister,
and don't give her anything.
Nasty sister.

Rohit is a nasty boy.
He insists on sharing e…

நீ

நீ அழுதால் முத்தார் ஓடும்
நீ சிரித்தால் கல்யாணி ராகம்.
உன் மௌன முகம்
உரு சொல் இல்லாதப் பாட்டு,
உன் புன்னகையால்
வசந்தம் இனிக்கும்.
நீ எது செய்தாலும்,
அதில் நான்
ஒரு காவியம் படைப்பேன்.

Traps

Once, to entrap me she needed
grace sketched in ink
upon lavender-scented paper.
Six sheets folded neatly
in a card paper envelope
affixd with a pretty postage-stamp.
Or electromagnetic waves
which when decoded became the voice
of an amorous koel
jewelled with honeyed, enslaving words.
Now she does not need fetters
of a hundred and forty characters;
a colon and closing bracket will do.

फयान / فیان

मैं सागर का मछवारा, तेरे सदा पर आऊँगा
तू मादर मेरी, तेरी हवाओं के गीत गाऊँगा
तुझी से हर बरकत है, और तुझ ही में ख़ात्मा
तेरे लहरों का बच्चा हूँ, इन्हीं में घुल जाऊँगा

میں ساگر کا مچھوارا ، تیرے سدہ پر آؤنگا
تو مادر میری ، تیرے ہواؤں کے گیت گاؤنگا
تجھی سے ہر برکت ، اور تجھ ہی میں ہے خآتمہ
تیرے لہروں کا بچّہ ھوں ، ینہیں میں گھل جاؤنگآ

आप मुस्कुराकर / آپ مسکر

आप मुस्कुराकर मेरी साँसों को मत रोकियेगा
धड़कन तेज़ हो जाती है, इस तरफ़ मत देखियेगा
आपकी रौनक़ देखकर, यह चश्म कुछ और ना देख पाएँगे
पर मेरी ख़ुदग़र्ज़ी मानकर, परदा मत कीजियेगा

آپ مسکراکر میری سانسوں کو مت روکیےگا
دھڈڑکن تیز ھو جاتی ہے ، اس طرف مت دیخیےگا
آپکی رونق دیکھکر ، یہ چشم کچھ اور نا دیکھ پایےنگے
پر میری خود غرضی مانکر ، پردہ مت کیجیےگآ

न तुमने जाना न मैंने

चमन के कोने में एक फूल मुर्झाई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने|
बनकर रह गयी महज़ एक परछाई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने||

उसकी ख़ुशबू जो मदहोश करती थी, क़तरा ब क़तरा सूखने लगी|
जलती तपती धूप में वह छटपटाई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने||

उसके रंग जिनसे महल सजते थे, फीके बेजान होने लगे हैं|
आँखों के दीदार के लिए तरसाई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने||

उसकी ताज़गी जिससे हर थकान मिट जाती थी, अब बिखरने लगी|
अब ख़ामोश है वह जो कभी इतराई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने||

वह जो किसी गुलदस्ते की शान बन सकती थी, गुमनाम बनी रही|
उसका तक़दीर - बस मुसलसल तन्हाई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने||

कोई ख़ानाबदोश उसे तोड़कर ज़मीन पर फैंककर चला गया
मालिन मलबे में डालकर चली आई, न तुमने जाना न मैंने


چمن کے کونے میں ایک پھول مرجھائ ، نا تمنے جانا نا مینے
بنکر رہ گیی محض ایک پرچھائ ، نا تمنے جانا نا مینے

اسکی خوشبو جو مدہوش کرتی تھی قطرہ بہ قطرہ سوکھنے لگی
جلتی تپتی دھوپ میں وہ چھٹپتائ ، نا تمنے جانا نا مینے

اسکے رنگ جنسے محل سجتے تھے ، پھکے بےجان ھہنے لگے ہیں
آنکھوں کے دیدار کے لیے ترسائ ، نا تمنے جانا نا مینے

اسکی تازگی جس سے ہر تھکان مٹ جاتی تھی ، اب بیکھرنے لگی
اب خاموسھ ہے وہ جو کبھ…

The Ballad Of Jean-Pierre Dominique

There was once a singer tall
Specialised in Greek technique
Who sang in Sydney Opera Hall
Called Jean-Pierre Dominique!

He sang tenor, he sang bass,
He rose to falsetto.
But not one note in its place
Oh no no no no no!

The audience was sorely tried
And they threw tomatoes
But his zeal did not subside
When faced with potatoes.

Once upon an ANZAC Day
Gathered on Taylor Square
The orchestra began to play
Advance Australia Fair!

Now our Maestro Dominique
Who was then passing by
Saw fit to use his Greek technique
And took the tune on high!

“Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
With golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea…”

He thought it fit to raise his pitch
To mezzo-soprano!
He thought it was the method which
Was right for piano!

The audience was knocked-out flat -
“A storm of gale-force ten!”
The veterans feared they’d landed at
Gallipoli again!

They stopped his song, they dragged him down,
They beat him black and blue.
“Never show up in this town
Or we shall murder you!”

He wen…

on weirdness

who knows for sure
what's truly weird
and what is normal
when I follow my heart
they call me weird,
when I follow my head
and come up with wild schemes
they call me weird

but when i follow the herd
dressed like it
eating like it
talking like it
and refuse to listen
to my heart or my head
as it stampedes to its doom
they call me normal

फ़रेब

लोग कहते हैं तुम्हारा इश्क़, इश्क़ नहीं फ़रेब था|
हम नहीं मानते ‍ तुम्हारे फ़रेब को भी हम इश्क़ ही समझेंगे|

A rural schoolboy's revolt OR An antipastorale

Who prefers to have flies in his bedchamber?
Or for that matter, all manner of insects?
How romantic to consider the prospects
Of a cricket's chirps that rob one of slumber?
Yes, the stars are bright and the grass is tender,
Arcadian dreams are gay in many respects;
Yet lying in Elysian fields one suspects
That adders do not make for sweet surrender.

It is much to the credit of Tennyson
And other fools of the English Lake District
To pen rhymes for - a cloud, a lark, a peasant
By the fireside in their stately mansions
But who asks the cottar before they depict
A fancied idyll that only sounds pleasant?

विरासत / وراژت

बज़ोर ए शमशीर क्या पाओगे - खोखले मकानों की रियासत,
ख़ौफ़ के दम पे खड़ी सलतनत, खोखले ईमानों की सियासत?
ख़ुदा का पैग़ाम तो मोहब्बत है, उसे तुम दर-दर सुनाओ,
तुम दिल-दिल में छोड़ जाओगे, अपने वज्द-ए-अज़्ल की विरासत

بزور ی شمشیر کیا پائوگے - کھوکھلے مکانوں کی ریاست
خوف کہ دم پے کھڈی سلطنت ، کھوکھلے ایمانوں کی سیاست
خدا کا پیغام تہ محبّت ہے ، اسے تم در-در سنائو
تم دل-دل میں چھوڈ جآئوگے ، اپنے وجد-ی-ازل کی وراژت