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Showing posts from August, 2011

Can you do poetry in a mall?

Can you do poetry in a mall, then?

Among the suburban, money-spending,
bourgeoisie stealing entertainment
from their deadline-stricken nine-to-fives?
There are lovers here, hugging,
kissing hidden behind plastic cups
of food court coffee;
friends reliving a past nightmare
relativising them into happy dreams
of childhood innocence and other cliches;
And the little undernourished salesgirls
handing out fish pedicure pamphlets
you'll throw away at home - not unlike
Andersen's match girl.

You can do poetry in a mall.


de peur je suis libre
le faim je n'ai pas
les pieds sont errant
où ils se plaisent
l'esprit maintenant
ne connait pas la terre
et le temps rest immobile
je ne suis ni un enfant
ni un vieillard décrépit
la mort est une étrangere
pour moi et la vie aussi
parce que j'ai passé
travers l'Himalaya
dedans le Tibet de la
la tranquillité éternelle
vienne-y tu aussi
où l'amour ne finit jamais
parce que l'amour est dieu
et dieu est l'amour


शा'यरों की शाहदत पीढ़ियों से यही है:
हम ज़माने से नहीं, ज़मान्ना हम से है

Shaving in Siliguri (Older version)

There is, I suppose, a gruesome fascination
in watching blood spreading across shaving foam:
crimson then red then a dull, gory grey
washed off in hot water and a scar to remember.
But there is perhaps a wish it reminds one of —
blood oozing from a wrist slit with the shaving razor,
the eyes glued to the sight
and the heart beating excitedly till the sound stops
and the light dims, energy drained away like the Teesta:

the virgin Sikkimese stream now deflorated on the Terai,
pregnant with mud and moving zombie-like on the vast
emptiness of the dooars to her doom in the Brahmaputra.

But there is never time for thoughts of suicide –
the cockroached lodge room with its smelly blanket
and rattling fan is no romantic place to die –
and I have fifteen minutes to catch the Kanchan Kanya
leaving New Jalpaiguri at eight thirty-five.

The Wanderer's Curse

I have the wanderer's curse upon me:
I will never go home,
For there is no home I have to go to,
Nor is the dust of the road my bed.
I claim not the sky for a roof nor
The sun for a lamp,
Yet the moon is my compass
And the stars my fellow-travellers.
I possess but rags and clogs and begging-bowl
And a mendicant's silvered tongue
My riches are the languages of the world
My legacy the memories of men.