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Yesternight and Yesterday

Yesternight I thought the stars came out,
twinkling towards infinity,
the moon was a sil'vry orb
as she played hide-and-seek with the dream mists;
I thought I met the Queen of England
and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh
on a helicopter over the Caribbean
sharing a turqoise curacao
in an electric-lighted reverie ;
I thought I saw the sun rise,
red, orange, yellow
to the avian symphony of
magpie-robins, mynahs and
red-whiskered bulbuls;

I thought I saw the hibiscus buds open
and the frangipani leaves shed dew;
But what I truly saw
was the grime-laden red city buses
with their overloaded,
quarrelling commuters;
What I truly saw was
the trains stuck at bright red signals
that wouldn't change
to the green glow of progress;
What I truly saw
were my office lights in the false ceiling,
the monotone of the air conditioner
and the stern, upstanding computer screen;
What I truly saw,
was yesterday.

(A bit of the Carpenters' 'Yesterday Once More' might be in this, but just a bit.)

Published in Making Waves…

Pourquoi

Pourquoi est-ce que
qu'il y a
des temps pour
danser,
chanter,
courir,
tomber,
voler,
embrasser,
étreindre,
crier,
rire,
sourire,
nager,
grimper aux arbres,
rouler,
jouer
quand on n'est que
l'enfant?

Pourquoi
grandissons nous?

Rat

I'm a rat, I'm a rat, I scurry and I bite,
I eat what I get, And I fuck and I fight,
I dodge the black crows, I run from your shoes,
But I'm old or sick, you'll trample over me.

दोस्ती

दोस्ती करना भी तो निभाना है,
कभी डायरी में हमेशा ख़ामोश
एक नाम दर्ज है,
कभी ट्रेन में घण्टे भर की गुफ़्तगू
को ही याराना मान लिया

अवाज़

जान देने वाले बूँदें आपके अल्फ़ाज़ थे, अवाज़ मेरा बस दरिया था
जो ख़ूबसूरती थी आपके अल्फ़ाज़ में थी, अवाज़ मेरा बस ज़रिया था

शेर पर शेर

ऐ इनसान तुझे देखकर ख़ौफ़ नहीं होता,
न तेरे दान्त हैं, न नोकीले नाखून,
फिर ऐसा क्यों कि मेरा शिकार भी तू,
मेरा शिकारी भी तू?

Profit

As turnover, they'll put
gold, land, conquests
and a few genes to my name.
As profit, I'll get to take
with me
a cheap cotton shroud.

हवस

आया था बेलिबास, जाऊँगा बाकफ़न,
क्यों रखूँ हवस रेशम-ओ-ज़र का?

It

must it care
where,
what,
when,
who,
why?
Congress, BJP,
Shining Path, Tea Party,
balding Czechs, sexy Mexicans,
sanyasins, witches,
Mandodari, Sita,
Ayodhya, Lanka,
sluts and wives,
smog, spring, ash clouds,
Casanovas and Popes,
lamas and rapists,
jihadis, hippies,
cobras, humans, dung-beetles
where,
what,
when,
who,
why?
does it really care?