Sunday, April 02, 2017

370. Springtime epiphanies


i used to
watch the cherry blossoms sway wildly
each spring
and wonder
if they were dressing up
and dancing in the breeze
with glee

and now I think
i got it wrong all along
i think they are
just tired of playing dress up
and standing on display

they are just wriggling frantically
to get out
and move away from this planet
of 7 billion people
who just don't care

---
Climate change 

Friday, March 31, 2017

369. The mansplainer


do not
bother yourself
with such frivolities
my love

you are built
for beautiful things

do not
attempt to understand or explain
you are too exquisite and delicate
for such unglamorous endeavors

allow me
the honor
of telling you
how you actually feel
what you actually know
why you actually are

because
you do not know
anything
about yourself
while
i...
i know all there is to know
about you

so allow
me the privilege
of presenting you to the world
and silencing you to beauty

--

368. Misplaced nostalgia

there were times
when
we really wanted this

and
there were also reasons
we rather not have wanted it all

but now that
we do have it

we cannot seem to forget
the reasons we should not have

nor can we seem to remember
the times we wanted this so bad
or why

why is it
that we can never find
what we are looking for
in this house?

ugh.

---


367. Reasons for silence


is it that
i cannot talk
about the the only things
i really want to
talk about

or is it that
i only want to talk
about the things
i really should not
talk about

366. Camouflage


people
wear camouflage to
pass
unnoticed

i
wear
my own name and face
as camouflage

a name
made of so many unspeakable parts
a face
that i share with a billion others

and just like most camouflage
there are many places
they make me completely invisible
and there are few places
they make me way too conspicuous

but just like most camouflage
there is no place
where my name and face
feel like
they completely belong

Saturday, February 18, 2017

365. Freefalling

living in a place
with too many skies
and just no earth

i flew
till i could
no more

and
now
i am freefalling

and will
forever
now

---
( You scientist folks, don't get technical and ask me how am I freefalling. With no earth, there should be no gravity, hence I should just be floating. F*** you, it's a metaphor)

Thursday, February 02, 2017

364. Imagined


i have a habit
of missing that person sorely
someone I did not know at all

i think
often
if they were here
what would my world be like?
would I be me?
or would I be a different intriguing heart-breaking story?

i have a habit
of missing that person sorely
someone I have never met

i think
often
if they were here
what would I talk to myself about?
when they would leave snowy solitude at my doorstep,
in the fleece of which language
would I murder the loneliness?

i have a habit
of missing that person sorely
someone, i do not think actually exists

what does one do

when the excuses for complaining
are just so hard to find
then one has to weave one's own pain

the good thing is
that
i am told
i am quite creative

---

can one miss something that one does not know exists?

363. ख़याल


आदत है मुझे
उन शख्स को याद करना
जिन्हें मैं जानता भी नहीं था

सोचता हूँ
अक्सर
अगर वो होतें
तो कैसा आलम होता
मैं मैं होता?
या होता कोई और दिलचस्प ग़मगीन दास्ताँ?!

आदत है मुझे
उन शख्स को याद करना
जिन्हें मैंने कभी देखा भी नहीं

सोचता हूँ
अक्सर
अगर वो होतें
तो मैं खुद से कैसी गुफ़्तगू करता?
जब बर्फीली तन्हाई छोड़ जाते वो
तो मैं किस मखमली जुबां के आग़ोश में
क़त्ल करता उसका?!

आदत है मुझे
उन शख्स को याद करना
जो शायद कहीं हैं भी नहीं

क्या करूँ
जब गिले के सबब मुश्किल से भी नहीं मिलते
तो खुद दर्द बुनने बनाने पड़ते हैं

अच्छी बात ये है
की
मैं वैसे काफी creative हूँ!

---

Can you miss something that you do not know exists? :)

362. कबूतर


हर सुबह
जब मैं
अपने आँखों की खिड़कियाँ खोलता हूँ
उस चेहरे का मंज़र देखने
तो
पर फड़फड़ाता हुआ
आ बैठता है
सीने में

इतना हल्ला मचाता है
और
ज़हन में रखी चीज़ें
उड़के बिखरने लगती हैं

जान निकली जाती है
हाँ

लाख मनाऊं तो भी नहीं सुनता
लाख भगाऊँ तो भी नहीं उड़ता

इसके रहते
न सांस मिलती है
न नब्ज़ चलती है

इस बदमिजाज कबूतर
का नाम
इश्क़
न जाने किसने रख दिया

उफ़!!
कोई मुझे warn तो करता!?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

361. The calendar-keeper


let me warn you
not to visit her

she
lives in
a day of many seasons

each hour
she sprouts a hundred
naive ideas
restless thoughts

each hour
she blooms a hundred
colorful dances
of passion and wrath
and love and regret
and exuberance and desolation

each hour
she sheds her being
in crumbly words
and sits in an empty hull
shrouded in
dark silence
and white noise

let me warn you
not to visit her

those who visit her
do not live long
but they live longer
than they wished they did

360. शाम की चाय

इक वो दिन थे
जब रोज़ बीसों घंटे
धूप भिखरी पड़ी रहती थी
आँगन में

काश
मैंने धूप के कुछ सिक्के
उठाके
जमा किये होते
किसी गुल्लक में

ऐसे किया होता तो
अब जब हर दोपहर
तीन बजे
रात होने लगती है
तो गुल्लक फोड़ के
सौदा करता
जल्दबाज़ दिन से
के
कुछ देर और ठहरा करे

क्या है की
मुझे शाम के  चार बजे की चाय
यूँ
अँधेरे में  पीने की
आदत नहीं है न

Monday, December 19, 2016

359. An argument with death

why do we fear you
i asked, defiantly
when we know you are inevitable
why
i intend not to

death smiled
well, why would you not
fear me

well
you will die
and you will cease to exist
all the things that you thought
and said
and did 
and saw
and felt
and wanted
and hated
and planned for
and accomplished
and won
and lost
and loved
and lived
there will be no sign left of
most of it
and soon the last memories of you will fade
you may remain as a name
maybe
or mostly not

you will cease to exist
and you will not even know 
that you have ceased to exist
even if you really really wished for it

you will never know the end of most stories
that surround you
and you will be a story past 
none else will care about or have time for

so in essence
all that you make this life out to be
is futile
and acknowledging that thought 
makes you sad and unsettled

so you choose fear 
fear is a good surrogate for sadness
you might as well pretend
that you do not know what happens
when you die
and that scares you

better be afraid of what comes later
than be sad about the uselessness of what is now

so you pretend
and you turn me
death
into 
a poem
a parody
a person

like you are doing now
and have a fake argument
just to escape the need to accept the pointlessness of your being

so now you see
why you 
much rather fear me
because 
the alternative 
is to seek me
in hopelessness

That is how
i
lost
an argument with death

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

358. Boxes

packed in boxes
i had left aside 
a lot of books
planning
that 
when i find time
i will release 
all these imprisoned stories
some day

patiently
all these books
sat waiting
for a long while
in hope 
of the right time

slowly 
their pages
started turning
that familiar brittle yellow

and then 
one day
i opened the boxes
and saw
that all the stories
had aged
so much so
that
they crumbled and fell apart
at the slightest touch

i
looked at them
and smiled

we seemed
to share a story

have not i
been sitting patiently
in wait for the right time
so I could
free the story in me

maybe
one day
when i open my eyes
i will find myself
worn by time
turning that brittle yellow
and my story tender and no longer relevant

and 
when someone
comes by
and touches me ever so slightly
with care
would i crumble 
and fall apart too?

--
Translating 348.

357. Winter warriors

go
somewhere warm

where the moon
is not draped in
grey wool

where the streets
are not ablaze
with fake warmth

where you
do not have to wrap yourself
in too many layers
of thought and theatrics

go
some place warm
if you arrive before i do

and i will be there
soon
to wage a war on winter
with you


356. Grindr stories

oh you say
i sleep with the wrong kind

well
so do you

mine seek
money
and no drama

yours seek
english
and perfect punctuation
(though i don't know how grammar helps a one-night stand)

the ones i seek
want money for a living
no pretense
just food for sustenance

and yours,
they
want
an illusion of depth
a parody of intellectual stimulation

i look through my wallet
to give mine
bills

you jump through hoops
to give yours
validation

my language is
money

your currency is
language

---
ways to discriminate indiscriminately