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Let's play

With Srebrenica and Prizren, old Banja Luka shot to fame: the grounds for a jolly new game, played over and over again. The rule was to chop a man when he had a good Bosniak surname; If he had a Serb-sounding name, the rule was to rape his women. Let's find a foe, make his blood spill, and gloat over his dying scream; we will emerge victors won't we? To build muscles, to bolster will, to strengthen the bonds of the team, let's play genocide, you and me.

जंग के नगाड़े

ਜੋ ਜੰਗ ਦੇ ਨਗਾੜੇ ਵਜਦੇ ਹਨ, ਅਮਨ ਦੀ ਸਾਜ਼ ਹੋ ਤੁੱਸੀ ਇਲਜ਼ਾਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਕ਼ਤਲ-ਏ-ਆਮ ਵਿਚ ਸੁਕੂਨ ਦੇ ਅਲਫ਼ਾਜ਼ ਹੋ ਤੁੱਸੀ| ਖ਼ਾਨਾਬਦੋਸ਼ ਨਹੀਂ ਓੜ੍ਹੋ ਤੁੱਸੀ ਪਰਦਾ ਖਾਮੋਸ਼ੀ ਦਾ ਇਨ ਕੋਹਰੇ ਦੇ ਰੇਗਿਸਤਾਨ ਵਿਚ ਕ਼ਨੁਨ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਹੋ ਤੁੱਸੀ|| जो जंग के नगाड़े बजते हैं, अमन की साज़ हैं आप, इल्ज़ामात के क़त्ल ए आम में, सुकून के अल्फाज़ हैं आप| ख़ानाबदोश न ओढ़ियेगा परदा ख़ामोशी का, इन कोहरों के रेगिस्तान में, क़नून की आवाज़ हैं आप||

अगर काँटा ही समझेंगे

हमें गुलदाउदी समझिये, बाग़ान में बहार ले आइये; या महज़ गुल ही समझकर अपने ज़ुल्फ़ों की निख़ार बढ़ाइये| अगर काँटा ही समझेंगे, तो उससे भी सहमत है ख़ानाबदोश, बतौर सूई अपने आशिक़ के ख़तों का मुख़्तियार बनाइये|| हमें गुलदाउदी समझकर, हम ही से गुलिस्तान सजाइये; या गुल ए अहमर समझकर अपने ज़ुल्फ़ों को बाग़ान बनाइये| अगर काँटा ही समझेंगे, तो उससे भी सहमत है ख़ानाबदोश, बतौर सूई अपने आशिक़ के ख़तों का निगेहबान बनाइये|| (यह और भी अच्छा बन सकता है, क्या आप मदद फ़रमाएँगे?)

जशन

हर साँस को जाम ए शबाब गर मान ले, तो जीना हर पल जशन है जान ले| ना दौड़ है ना होड़ है ख़ानाबदोश, गर हैवान को भी तू इनसान मान ले||

दर्द

किसी सेहतमन्द से न करो मुलाक़ात मेरी, उसे जीना क्या मालूम जिसने कोई दर्द ना पाला!

यारों-दोस्तों से...

यारों-दोस्तों से ज़रा होशियार, रंग कब बदल जाएँ वह ख़ुद नहीं जानते| दुश्मनों के लिए रखो कुछ प्यार, मुहिब्ब कब बन जाएँ वह ख़ुद नहीं जानते||

शब-ए-हिज्र / Night of rupture

पगले रो दे इस शब-ए-हिज्र को, के दर्द-ए-जुदाई आँसुओं में बह जाए... जो ख़लिश-ए-अज़्ल के बरूह हैं, क्या गर्ज़ उन्हे तेरी यादों के कफ़न की? پگلے رو دے اس شب حجر کو ، کہ درد جدائ آنسؤں میں بہ جائ ۔ ۔ ۔ جو خلش ازل کہ بروہ ہےں ، کیا گرز انہےں تیری یادوں کہ کفن کی Cry fool, this night of rupture, that separation's pain wash away in tears... those facing the void of eternity, need they the shroud of your memories?

Happy Diwali

Some lamps you light will burn through the night, Many will die with the wind, some won't light at all. But the flame that you must never let die away, Is the flame that lets you see your dreams.

ghazal in progress

यह चिराग़ रौशन कर भी अन्धेरा है, जो तेरा नूर ए रूह नामौजूद है, जब तिश्नगी जलाकर बुझ ना पाए, यूरिश ए मॊहब्बत कम ना होगी|

Dow Jones

Nothing elevates like watching dough rising and the Joneses falling. or Nothing elevates like watching the Dow rise and the Joneses falling. (Second one on a interpretation of the original by S. Balakrishnan)

सपने

कुछ सपने पूरे होंगे, और बहुत अधूरे, कुछ सपने सपने ही रह जाएँगे| लेकिन उस चिराग़ को कभी बुझने मत देना, जिसक रौशनी से सपने दिखते हैं|

नीयत है दिल की...

नीयत है दिल की ख़्वाहिशों पर मचलना, नसीब है पैरों का पत्थरों पर चलना, पर सिर्फ़ वक़्त फ़ैसला करता है ख़ाना बदोश, किस दिन मुरझाना है, किस तारीख़ को खिलना

She's complicated

She's complicated. She'll charm you with charts, statistics and that corporate smile. But look into those eyes, they're fiercely bohemian. She's complicated. Her chatterings seem to resonate with happy sounds, but listen with the other ear, to an unhidden lament. She's complicated. Her silences agonise, her voice echoes in her absence. And yet there is a mild dread as her name flashes on the ringing phone. She's complicated. Sometimes she's a poetess, shallow, romantic, trying to hide a sardonic, world-weary wit. She's complicated. She could be a spiteful Fury, wrath unabated, but that's just to hide the lamb-hugging girl within. She's complicated. She's an enchantress, a fool, a tyrant, a nurse, an imp, a priestess, but she's generally a good friend. She's complicated. Published in Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

To make a man of a mouse

Take a mouse, cut off its tail, And make it stand up, hobbling On crutches named Pride and Honour. Feed it with many things - The bitter bile of frustrated years, The sour curds of congealed dreams, The sickly sweetness of petty triumphs. Make it breathe the rancid stench Of Gucci-scented wretchedness And middle-class motionlessness. Retain the ability to compete fiercely, For scraps thrown by the rich, The instinct to abandon the weak In moments of testing danger and to gorge as if tomorrow will die. Put in a hundred emotions - Petty envy, religious zeal, Impotent greed and the craving bloodlust Of seeing neighbours stumble, The joy of minuscule cleverness, The urge to steal coins from blind beggars And to luxuriate in the pain Of butchered animals. Add above all A genocidal hate of all that is not me. Suture on a thumb useful for strangulating, A beer belly bursting With undigested unpleasantness, A lye-laden tongue, And the tribal smirk of triumphant bigotry. The mouse is now

आज शहर में मेला लगा है

आज शहर में मेला लगा है| बस की खिड़की से आज नज़ारा बदल गया है, आज न टूटा फ़ुटपाथ दिखा, न सड़क के गड्ढे, उन्हें रंग-बिरंगे चीज़ें बेचनेवालों के ठेलों ने ढक दिया, आज सिर्फ़ रंग दिखे ‍ हज़ारों खिलखिलाते रंग - हरे, नीले, लाल, गुलाबी, पीले, श्वेत, श्याम - मिट्टी, प्लास्टिक और लकड़ी से बने खिलौनों का रंग, गुब्बारों का रंग, कागज़ की टोपियों का रंग, काँच की चूड़ियों का रंग, नकली फूलों का रंग, अजीबोग़रीब तरह-‍तरह के कान की बालियों का रंग, और इन सब में घुले बच्चों की लाली का रंग| आज न सड़ते कचरे की बू थी न मोटर के धुएँ की आज बस थी ताज़े गजरों की सुगन्ध, गरम तलते इमरतियों की मोह का सुगन्ध, कचौड़ियों की ललचाती ख़ुशबू, इडली-वडे की, और कुल्फ़ी की वह पलभर की नाज़ुक सी ख़ुशबू| आज ट्राफ़िक के हार्न तो बजे थे रोज़ की तरह, और यत्रियों की गालियाँ भी थीं शायद, पर मेरा ग़ौर कहीं और था - लडकियाँ चूड़ी खनखना रहे थे, बच्चे-बच्चे का शोर था, हँसते बच्चे, रोते बच्चे, ज़िद्द पे अडे ज़ोर-ज़ोर से चिल्लाते बच्चे - ठेलेवालों की पुकार थी - गरमा-गरम समोसे, मनमोहक चुनरियाँ, मस्ती भरे प्लास्टिक के ट्रम्पेट, सब बिक रहे थे, "भारत का नाम,

तलाश

मेले के गुब्बारे भी ख़ामोशी की तलाश में भटकते होंगे, पूनम का चान्द अमावस की आस रखता होगा, शहर की बसें किसी गाँव का रस्ता ढूँढती होँगी, सागर की मछलियाँ किसी वीरान कुएँ का ख़्वाब देखतीं| मैंने न तलाश की न ख़्वाब देखे, इन सियाही की लकीरों में मैं कबसे गुमशुदा हूँ|

Pockmarks

My face is pockmarked with breaking dreams, hope oozing away like yellow-red pus; the body haemorrhages desires to the ceaseless illness of survival. But the blood festers within, raging impassionedly, impotently until it bursts through, ebbs, clots and dries among feeding flies. Published in  Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

Dusk & Dawn

Sometimes it is hard to know, which is dusk and which is dawn. For was the day a mere eclipse, careening into the blackness of unending night? ...Or is night but an eye-blink, waiting for the light to come, first in trickles, and then in torrents? Sometimes it is hard to know, which is dusk and which is dawn.

महरबान हो जाओ

ख़्वाबों में जो रोज़ाना आती हो, एक बार खुली आँखों पर महरबान हो जाओ, कि हमें भी अहसास हो ज़िन्दगी जी ली हमने

आँखों-आँखों में

आँखों-आँखों में हुई एक छोटी सी बात, हलकी सी मुस्कुराहट टिमटिमायी, और बीच सड़क पर ग़ुलिस्ताँ महक उठी पुरानी वाली: आँखें मिलीं, एक मुस्कान महकी, और फिर कायनात में कहीं खो गयी

Conversations

I look at the ceiling the blank, blank ceiling and the blemish-less, soulless angel white walls loneliness my paramour prostituting my fingers. Black, muscular bodies dripping with the sweat of construction bricks torsos barely contained in tattering loincloths did they feed each other? Or was it a place to make out consenting or seduce or gang-rape some starving servant-maid? There clearly is sweat in the congealed cement, spittle, semen perhaps, blood too, rich red blood, either fallen or murdered; concrete needs its sacrifice. It never is an anodyne, colourless, antiseptic suburban flat; listen to the walls, for there is always a conversation to be had. Published in  Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

A fool

Words haunt sometimes. Sometimes, like grit in an oyster's shell. That hurt, the fester. They ferment the poet's heart, causing her to lay layer after layer of mother-of-pearl, till at last a pearl gleams through. Willst thou bless the fool, who uttered the grit in the first place?

வா கண்ணா

வா கண்ணா, வா, என் வீட்டுக்கு வா, படி ப்டியாக வா, என் வீட்டுக்குள் தான் உன் வீடு இருக்கு? என் இதயத்தில் இருக்கிரவனே வா, வா, வா, வா குங்குமம் பூசிய காலால் படி படியாக வா என் வீட்டுத்தரையில் ஒவ்வொரு அணுக்கும் உன் ஆசிர்வாதம கொடுத்து வா என் வாசப்ப்டியைத் தாண்டு கண்ணா, அதுடன் கொண்டு வா, உன் குரும்பு, உன் அரிவு, உன் விலையாட்டு, உன் தைவீகம், என்னைப்போல் நீயும் அலைந்தாய், நீ மதுரா, கோகுலம், துவாரகா, குருக்ஷேத்திரம், நான் மும்பாய், கோல்காதா, ஃபஸில்கா, கோடேகாம், நீ இதயம் இதயமாக் அலையுவாய், நான் இதயத்தை தேடி அலைகிரேன், எனக்கு இது ஒரு சின்ன மனம் கண்ணா, வா, வா, இந்து மனத்தை வீடாக மாற்ற வா

Bachir Gemayel

What am I? A body and brain, Products Of carbon concatenation chemistry, An intelligence and conscience To enable bits of DNA evolve. I'm someone, anyone; I might be Bachir Gemayel Among guns and shells a Maronite; I might be an Afghan Between powers a puppet Pawned in a Great Game; Weak, then powerful; Alive, then dead; Somebody, anybody, nobody. I might be someone else, Maybe a pharaoh, Maybe a dung-beetle, I might be you, I might be a third person; Never more than A safe conduit for some genes.

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'

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.

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?

کفن / कक़न

میرے کفن کو چاشنی میں ڈبوکر لپیٹنا ، و گورکن ، تاکی مٹٌی کے کیڑوں کو بھی کوٴی کڑواہٹ محسوس نا ہو मेरे कफ़न को चाशनी में डुबोकर लपेटना ओ गोरकन, ताकि मिट्टी के कीड़ों को भी कोई कड़वाहट महसूस न हो

सूई से क्या वफ़ा / سوٴی سے کیا وفہ

तेरा मुन्तज़िर घड़ी पर क्यों ग़ौर करे, जब तू वक़्त की महकूम नहीं, तेरी राह को तकती आँखों को सूई से क्या वफ़ा? تیرا منتزر گھڑی پر کےوں غور کرے، جب تو وقت کی محکوم نہیں، تیری راہ کو تکتی آنکھوں کو سوٴی سے کیا وفہ

यह आसमाँ क़फ़न...

यह आसमाँ क़फ़न बनेगी मेरी, हवा रुदाली मेरी, गिद्द उठा ले जायेंगे लाश मेरी, मक्खियाँ जनाज़ा पढ़ लेंगी, आप से बस इतनी ग़ुज़ारिश है हज़रत मेरे, के जब साँसों की जिद्दोजिहद रुक जाए, इस ख़ानाबदोश का सर मक्के की तरफ़ कर देना

To the dog who tore my heart

indolent, half-lifted eyelid. A tail wagged drowsily. A half-whine of acknowledgment. A limp, reluctant handshake and taunting dejection on not getting the promised biscuit. A quiet, piercing stare as the clock strikes six that hour of his business. An ambling unconcerned walk, immune to tugs on the leash and no interest in thrown balls. Fingers clasped firmly in teeth, a demonstration of power that was right now not being used. Hungry, innocent eyes pleading for dinner, not counting the meal consumed minutes ago. The quiet snore, teeth half-exposed in warning to let sleeping dogs lie. Just like the quiet vacuum unfilled by furry memories of the dog who tore my heart .

On Niceness

Yesterday, someone was nice to us. They came home to invite us nicely - nicely and personally - for a wedding in their nice family. We nicely appreciated that someone was being nice to us. But how nicely does one appreciate niceness? By saying thanks for all that niceness? Or saying thanks for all that niceness and also nicely pointing out how that someone was nice while someone not nice, someone else not nice and someone else not nice at all were not being nice? I mean, if someone is nice, let's be thankful for that, and nicely so? Are we being nice in not-so-nicely pointing out how someone else was not nice? Could one think it's like nicely saying well, thank you for niceness but we don't care for your niceness because what would would really be nice is that someone else being nice. Is that nice?

At A Historic Site

I have before me a tourist brochure. I think it is laughing at me. The way ink soaked into paper can laugh. A way that is silent, malignant. It seems amused. That I have come to gawk, to gape. Where my forefather once cut down other people's forefathers. Like that of the brochure writer's. Or did not. I must trust the story the ink tells me. For the blood soaked in the ground never speaks.

Poems

to some they're just words strung together that may mean something or nothing at all or mean different things at different times to some they're expressions of desperate souls entrapped in their existences conjuring shangrila elysian fields, ruritania by inked stains on paper to some they're everything truth & escape existence and fantasy being and dying the only way to live and to die

फ़ासले

ख़्वाहिश तो यही है कि तुमसे फ़ासले रखूँ पर हर राह तुम्हें ही मनज़िल बनाती है

क्योंकि

फूलों में इतनी सुगन्ध क्यों होती है? क्योंकि आपने उन्हें स्पर्ष किया| लहरें धीमे से गुनगुनाती क्यों हैं? क्योंकि आपने उनमें राग सजाया| इन्द्रधनुष मेघ में क्यों छुप जाता है? क्योंकि आपके तेजस से शर्माता है| हम प्रेमकवि क्यों बन गए हैं? क्योंकि आपकी वन्दना ही अब जीवन का लक्ष्य बन गया है|

Sleeping Beauty Awakes

One hundred years they made her sleep! One hundred years she could not weep, or skip or sing or laugh or dance, Until a prince had had his chance. One kiss of love did break the charm! He held her fondly in his arm, But she recoiled back in fear And summoned her guards to come near. For when she woke she could not tell That she had been under a spell. She thought he was an intruder And not her destined saviour. But when they had questioned the youth They came to know the bitter truth That time had moved a hundred years And then their eyes were filled with tears. The princess and her loyal maid Were very truly much dismayed. Both began then to loudly wail To hear them no one could fail. On waking from so long a sleep You too dear, would vainly weep, If you realised what you wore Was out of fashion long before!

Phone Tapping

The sound of tapping goes beep beep Good folk, switch off your black Blackberry Beware the deadly radio sweep Unless you have had too much sherry Government, Government, they tap a good man's phone Government, Government, their motives are unknown Tap: They spare not an iPhone Tap: They do it when comatose They even know your new ringtone But say they do not act on purpose Government, Government, with many a bumbling plan Government, Government, they can't end what they began! (With apologies to Edmund Blackadder)

Canto Caligulae

What wondrous miracle a human neck is! Divine, slender, lissome; a bridge to connect The heart's beating passion with analysis, From the cold, calculating brain; a perfect Feature of Paris, Anubis, or Isis; That vulnerable, captivating effect Of David's ponderous marble poise - his veins as they stand out for a knife to transect; Does it not tempt the hand to reach out and clasp Between the palms, and feel the throat convulsing, Pulsating wildly, in its desperate gasp To break free; Or would it be deemed revulsing To gloat as slit veins leak blood and hear the rasp Of the dying, as one's own nerves are pulsing?

A variant of 'Escape'

A gunshot in my temple, tempered by cocaine; Barbiturates, so honeyed dreams shall never fade; Or seppuku and its seizing, searing pain As my tenderly nurtured flesh meets whetted blade; Plunge a dagger into my dear neck, and wailing Screeching, screaming qualis artifex pereo; Or must it be by self-immolation, flailing, Buckling, gyrating in an obscene rodeo; Fall upon my sword, or trust my loyal maiden To smuggle in an asp and to it surrender; Perhaps a ripened apple, cyanide-laden To exit without pain, and go out in splendour; Which do I adopt, the most beautiful way To pass into freedom, and escape from today?

Solomon Grundy

We're all of us Solomon Grundy Born by auspicious Caesarean on Monday Dying for 90% marks on Tuesday Demographic dividend on Wednesday Pension plans on Thursday Marrying daughters on Friday Ayah-ing grandchildren on Saturday And an urnful of ashes on Sunday We're all of us Solomon Grundy

Ninety nine

It is an interesting number 5 one short of the one that 6 (11) is held as a gold standard 6 (17) for measures of success and failure, 6 (23) the number that judges everything 5 (28) from someone's sincerity to 4 (32) the contamination in a bar of iron. 7 (39) It is a hungry number, besmirched 6 (45) by an accusation of incompleteness 5 (50) though it is so perfect in form, 7 (57) its twin members so beautifully 5 (62) illustrating its two divisors 3 (65) the first one less, the second one more 8 (73) than that other fabulous number 5 (78) which multiplied by itself yields 5 (83) that magic figure all men yearn for. 7 (90) Perfect and yet always incomplete. 5 (95) Ever hungry, ninety nine. 4 (99) (Exactly 99 words)

To Mary Anning

"She sells seashells on the seashore" Is all we remember of her. Not that she found the pterosaur Nor that she was a Dissenter. She had a talent for finding Whole skeletons of dinosaurs. She made her living by selling Ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Wrong class, wrong sex, wrong religion - Doomed her to be a peasant woman. All the fame and recognition Went to idle wealthy gentlemen. But now we're finally giving The credit due to Mary Anning . (She deserves a far better poet; she gets me)

Neighbours: An acrostic

When we bought our flat we hoped we would Have neighbours with whom to build an Outstanding comity of trust and fraternity The family in flat 24 (we're in #23) Has never spoken to us in 9 years Except once (when they borrowed milk) Flat no. 21 and 22 have in them Unsocial folks who keep to themselves, or Compulsive obsessives who think we are Kleptomaniacs out to strip them bare I might have to admit that I'm not Such a wonderful neighbour myself A voluminous book or a lengthy Letter from a friend overseas Is my idea of diverting company; I Care not to exchange fake 'how are you?'s Even in shared elevator journeys. (From Gompie's parody of Smokie's 'Living next door to Alice')

Prime Numbers

One Photographs of a birthday I never knew Two A memory I want to visit Blank state that it is Three Pram rolling downhill In it an unwelcome sibling Five First friend across the balcony First crush in the opposite flat Seven Bedtime extends past nine into the world of adults Eleven Breasts seem to make sense Half-ticket status despised Thirteen Hot flushes burn within Red initials spatter my math book Seventeen School ends as does adolescence Nineteen ambition crystallises A hurrah the world can hear Twenty-three The dream goes sour First thoughts of suicide Twenty-nine Salaries chase deadlines As aspirations dehydrate

Mother

Mother has many names. Anak Krakatau might be one of them, Or Uttarkashi or Qinghai, Haiti certainly is. She's the mother that swallowed Maui into her womb, the mother that disarmed Karna, who led Oedipus to sin. She plays pranks too, in that cheerful way unique to her. We find strange names to give them - tsunami, hurricane. Kalki is another name we've given her, for when she will be an old woman looking for some kind of elixir of youth. Perhaps some quack will mislead her to find it in our blood. She has a heart of gold they say - pure, molten lava, that sometimes erupts on her skin like a ripe pimple. She loves nothing more than the sound of babies crying - orphaned, bloodied, hungry, dying their carcasses feeding hyaenas. But hyaenas are her children too. But she is the green mother who feeds us, clothes us, protects us from the sun's ionizing radiation, we came from her loins, which is where we go.

Over Tea

"Here's the ring and the ear-rings you gave last Diwali." "You can keep them." "No." "Tea?" "Yes." "The usual? No sugar, no milk?" "The usual." " " "Yes?" "Nothing." "Your letters." "Thanks." "Your phone." "That was a, a gift." "Give it, to her. Not me." " " "Anything?" "Nothing." "Here's my share - twenty-two rupees." "Yes." "Yes?" "Uh!" "Yes?" "Oh, no. Nothing." "Bye, then." (Reworked from Shadows )

इबादत

तल-अल-अराफ़ात पर तेरी इबादत कुफ़्र है, जो तूने ख़ुदा को दिल के मसनत पर ना बिठाया

The Panjandrum and the Apostrophe

Beware the mighty panjandrum, Who holds his court at Trivandrum! For one misplaced apostrophe Would cause a great catastrophe! Do mind your plural possessive And about it's be obsessive. Know where it goes in won't and can't And when you don't and when you shan't. About spellings he is not vain, Bad syntax does not cause him pain, Semicolons may come to grief For such matters his time is brief. But an abused apostrophe Would break his mighty heart in three; The panjandrum's benevolence Doth turn to foul malevolence. He'll punish you for such vile deeds By rubbing you with prickly weeds; You must recite a thousand times That you will not repeat your crimes. But once a most uncommon thing Did cause a lot of worrying. A grocer did cause much chagrin And so this ballad doth begin. This grocer's thick viscosity Inflicted much atrocity - What was owned by his potato Posterity would never know! His board said ten cents potato's Was it its head? Were

न आना बेसाख़तह / نا آنا بصاختہ

नस्तालीक़ में ढला नाम तेरा बेहोश करता है, क़यामत है होंठों पर ज़िक्र तेरा, न आना बेसाख़तह रू बह रू तू जो ख़्वाबों में साँसॆं रुका देती है نستالیق میں ڈھلا نام تیرا بیہوش کرتا ہے قیامت ہے ہونٹھوں پر ظکر تیرا نا آنا بصاختہ رو بہ رو تو جو زندگی میں سانسےں رکا دیتی ہے

ज़ाहिद का दर्द

शा`इर क्या जाने ज़ाहिद का दर्द, शराब की रिन्दगी मस्जिद के आब ए सफ़ा में धो जाता है, मस्जिद को कौन साफ़ करेगा?

Languages

Comment-allez vous? Parlez vous Francais? She says them in schoolgirl French, And not particularly shyly either. I, in bastard, self-learnt tongue, Must rant, rave, show off Phrases and words half-learnt. Was she impressed by that fluent chatter? Or was it I wooing unwittingly, Chest expanded subconsciously? It's that instinct in our genes, Isn't it, that old kameena, To make a pass at whoever passes by? Later in the wisdom of night Her testosterone-stirring presence Has vanished doubts regain territory. Was she? Wasn't she? It all comes down to testosterone, That old trickster, doesn't it? To render men into fools, Is its sacred, evolutionary duty And perpetuate the genes that make them. Talk of languages, one artificially honeyed, for the sake of that other eternal nucleotide double helix.

Blue

Ray Charles. Dead babies. Greek flags. Queen Victoria's hemophiliac children. Flute-playing, demon-slaying, gopi-charmer. Films by actresses fallen from grace. The depth of oceans, the height of skies. Avatar. Krzysztof Kieslowski trilogy. Morning glory, violets, venomous toads. Naval camouflage. Police uniforms. Viagra. Prozac. The venom of cobras. David's star. The fifth throat chakra.

Untitled

Rage surges like gas in a cola bottle imagining thick red blood oozing from a turbulent child's slit throat; Pity soaks like a sponge cleaning up soaking up wails, wants, woes from a stricken pourer out of her heart; Sadness swirls a Charybdis in the head with this terrible fascination for a juicy apple soaked in cyanide; Kindness swells the Mother Teresa genes express - tending, touching, nurturing an abandoned mongrel puppy; Coldness sets The Ice Queen within passes by, merely pausing to watch a drunk roll into the gutter; Delight swings to watch a flower open hands reach out to shield it from a sudden menacing torrent; to get on with life's unfairness, misery, putting on masks upon stranger mask Gargoyles smirk Meditating upon final salvation, the soul plods, traipses towards vague ideals Angels smile

How do I described my beloved?

How do I described my beloved? Shall I say when she catches me talking to other girls she is as mad as a nauseating toad? Shall I say when she is angry with me she makes me pray like an insulted CEO? Shall I say when my apologies don't work she makes me as green as an Opera understudy? Shall I say when she does not return my calls she makes me as lonely as a queue-jumper? Shall I say when I try to make up with her she makes me as nervous as a king under siege? Shall I say when we finally meet she makes me as eager as an unpaid piper?

इन्तेज़ार

कितना सितम देता है यह तेरा इन्तेज़ार, आँखें ताकती रहती हैं राह को बेकरार, रस्ते पर न पड़ती है परछाई तेरी, न होने देती है पैमाने में ख़ुमार

न आना

न आना बेसाख़ता मेरे आशियाने में, फ़र्श को अब मेरे कदमों से ऐतराज़ है|

The young man of a place with a long name

There was a young man of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, Since the name was so long and he could not pronounce it he migrated to the tropical Pacific island paradise of Oahu, Where he wrote horrid limericks, and raised well-bred gavericks - that escapist young man of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu

The Cruel Love Form Either Meaning Tears Sestina

They ask me to write poems on love. They ask me not to make it cruel. But it should not be funny either. It must follow some poetic form. It must be rich and deep with meaning. It should move people, but not to tears. Why should it not move people to tears? Because they cry when they fall in love For no reason and without meaning. That's because love itself is cruel and causes grief in its every form. One cannot escape from it either. It is not even funny either. One spends all one's time shedding tears And meditating upon the form Of whatever being is one's love Who is in general very cruel And will get upset without meaning. One wastes one's time looking for meaning. One never finds it. One will either die frustrated or suffer cruel punishments. But no one spares tears for stupid people who fall in love And think it is divine in some form. It is not divine in any form. It is senseless, devoid of meaning. the rational do not fall in love They do not play with venom

To Her Who Sends Me Gloomy Poems

Your whines are all that I revere! I seek sorrow in word and deed - That's why I read your poems, dear! In every day and every year Pure misery is all I need. Your whines are all that I revere! Of boredom, love, I have no fear Your verses are my ceaseless greed - That's why I read your poems, dear! Your wails are all I want to hear Upon your gloom I seek to feed Your whines are all that I revere! Mine eye must ne'er be without tear Joy in my life is like a weed - That's why I read your poems, dear! To one principle I adhere Self-flagellation is my creed. Your whines are all that I revere! That's why I read your poems, dear!