Monday, November 14, 2011

221. The Sky Songstress

It was not until
She came along
that algorithmic silence
was so hummable

She would sit
and tune the skies
while the tone deaf evenings
and pitch dark nights
rumbled on

The skies were Her swan song

The now-intolerably-altered song
still plays to
packed audiences -
the seasons,
the undiscerning yet devoted seasons
the unfashionably fanatical seasons

She fled
when they started re-writing her work
(the people who talk in inspired whispers
of things they knew little about
of things they could do little about
of things they cared little about)

She fled and now
She keeps to herself
while She walks through strange silent towns
to hide from taunts of unfinished songs

The winds,
which hoot and whistle in applause
to the off-key skies,
turn mute when they hear Her hum

and She wonders -
would She have felt less miserable,
if She were a song and not a songstress?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


muskaate-hanste the, gurrate-danste hain
saleeqe seekh gaye, zamaane ke, kuch ham bhi

ittefaqn sukoon jo mile, bechaini hoti hai
jo dard se ishq sa ho, sazaa lage marham bhi

guzarte hisaab se hai saare paaband pahar
manaaye do pal ke jashn, bas do pal maatam bhi

tasveeron ke teelen bahut sajaate to hain har jaanib
par bun-ne ko yaaden yahaan, waqt hai kuch kam bhi

rah rah-ke sulagte hain, rah rah-ke baraste hain
haan, apne hi jaat ke hai is shahar ke mausam bhi


Ruko. Gaur karo. Dekho -
Mehfil me kya rakha hai!
Lutf uthao to safar ka zara.
Manzil me kya rakha hai?!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

219. Identity

 I bring the blinds down
 though the streets outside are deserted and dark
 double-lock the doors
 turn all the lights off
 and return to where he lies

 I sit by him
 and close my eyes tight

 needless as it be

 I run my fingers
 over him
 the ridges
 the contours
 the grooves
 familiar yet cold and hostile

 I want to learn him
 by rote
 because knowing him was owning him

 I was free  till now

 because I belonged


 that he leaves me
 I sit here
 just a name
 trapped in his history

Saturday, August 20, 2011

218. belihaaz shahren

  phoonk-ke bujha chali, abr surkh-o-zard se
  pharsh pe chodke kahkashaan gard ke

  bezubaan raat ye,
  badgumaan raat ye
  jaa rahi hai;
  jaane do!
  dareechon se jhaankti
  zakhmi khamoshiyaan jaanchti
  har dar se lagaake kaan
  goonjti aahen sunke kaanpti

  aadatn tatol-ke,
  har makaan, raat ye
  jaa rahi hai;
  jaane do!
  isi shahar me the aashiyaan
  khamosh se, syaah se
  moondi aankhon pe jahaan
  milte the khaabgaah se

  kab se hai talaashti,
  wo aashiyaan, raat ye
  jaa rahi hai;
  jaane do!
  aahaton me uljhe log, bejaan, sard se
  jeb me liye nishaan gumshuda dard ke 

  ise batao, bas ab yahaan
  sukoon ke mazhaar hai
  rakh-ke girvi neenden apni
  har shaqs bezaar hai

  kya karegi, rahke bhi
  ab yahaan raat ye?!
  jaa rahi hai;
  jaane do!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

217. Dreams

You come by
every now and then
You don't tell me why
neither do I ask you

I mix us both drinks
the usual,
just a tad stiffer
than the last time
(we need it)

My living room
is where I sell you
reassurance and endurance

You stopped talking
the night I stopped listening;
so now I do most of the talking

They say purple umbrellas are the in-thing, this monsoon
Did you hear of this new salon that has opened up?
Ah, my boyfriend - he is such an adorable sleep-talker

All this while I notice –
the purple bruises on your ankles
the blisters on your hands
your eyes sore with fear

But no, we don't talk about all that;
Why wish away our woes, when we can pretend and make-believe?
What we don't acknowledge, does not exist!

You listen
You get high
You slur
You want to be silent
but your stares are intrusive and questioning
and then I know -
you are ready for the same old lies

And then I lie
about hope

I talk of statistical proof
I talk of super heroes
I talk of human kindness
(and the play I saw last night, that made me choke)
I talk of
how a lion adopted a baby antelope
in Kenya, not too long ago

It is all about faith
It is all about learning to wait

What else do I say
when I know - what you want; and that  you want it bad
when I know - you try; and that you try hard
and I know it is still not possible

So I lie
about hope

Good - you know not
that hope
is just another four lettered profanity

Good  - you know not
that I have buried,
in my backyard,
about two dozen
bruised dreams like yourself
murdered by skepticism

And while you fear that
the end may just be around the corner,
I hope that
the end actually is

Saturday, May 14, 2011

216. Indignation

do you know what it means
to be oppressed?
to be labelled?
to be categorized by presumptuous humankind?

do you what it means
to be thought that
what you stand for
what you feel,
what you are,
does not warrant
at the very least, an attempt at any of these?

do you know what it means
to be thought of
as irrelevant...
and worse still,
inconsequential & disposable?

do you know what it means
when it's a foregone conclusion
that you are not as human as the rest of them?

I know.
I noticed what it means.
I thought I was free.
Yet, I chose to walk out last night
foregoing the right
to hold the hand of the person I love most,
my boyfriend.

For the fear
of being arrested or worse,
I walked out
foregoing the right
to hold his hand.

For I am gay.

& there was a mob of moral police
waiting to make the world a better place.

a better place?!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

215. choohon ki daud (rat race)

 samjhaana bujhaana to hai shauq sabka ich
 kuch bhi jaane na jaane samjhaane me kya hai?

 aise ich har din hamshaql subahein mile aur
 pooche - "be-shaql shab me gum jaane me kya hai?

 saare manzil ye gar ret ke hain mahal to
 yun hi gumnaam se tham jaane me kya hai?"

 main bola - "miyaan, aise load le re tum kaiku
 daftar, manaane ko maatam, jaane me kya hai?"


logaan nahin, aise ich baataan karte jaa re, karte jaa re!!!
kya soch le re ki kya ki, maaloom ich nahin!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

kuch apni bhi aql thikaane shaayad nahin hai, sadiq
ke har subah yun be-aqlon ki mehfil me chale aate hain

213. Midnight Confessions

the room smells of silence
and so I hum to myself

But it doesn't suffice

I need you around to
make this flawed reality
a little more tolerable

I want you to hunt it down 
with your electric racquet
and tie it up 
in a barbwire of conversation

(we are way too sweet with each other

We could talk of
and the other

Oh, you love to travel!
I love it too...

I particularly love
this one trek
from behind your pierced ears
to your stubbled chin,
and further!
Ah, what a view?!
(yeah, It's like my private resort
and I intend to keep it that way)

We could mumble midnight confessions
and fumble in the dark
and stumble upon unspoken places
and crumble to nothingness 

We could;
could we not?!

our room smells of silence
and I hum to myself

But it doesn't suffice

I need you around

I could say that
I need you to mint memories
but they are too potent
and pointless

I could say that
I need you for eternity
but that is too trite
and trivial

I will just say that
I want you now
however long that be

defuse this night,
for loneliness is intolerably symmetrical

let's go on a midnight trek again,
and stumble upon another unspoken place

Some penguins do fly!! :)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

212. Journeys

3. ?!
3. !
4. !
4. !!
5. !












Love knows no grammar or arithmetic!!
Stay put and love will find its way... it has always!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Untold Stories

When the evening starts breathing heavily
silently slips away
a shade of red, however, still stains the sky

As the evening steps off the sky
a crowd of shadows settle in my courtyard
to gossip
about the things that happened through the day
about this, that and the other

how the maps have started to change faces
how the days have started to melt away
who was trying to fill moments in empty chasms
whose love is shifting loyalties
where are colors out on strike,
and why in heaven are they so?

some complaints
some judgements
some questions
some advice

I turn witness to these conversations
each night

If there be a hint of your name
I sit by and listen to stories all night long
in desire of a few consonants
in this crowd of shadows

There are many stories
restless and impatient
somewhere inside me too
waiting to be told
Come by sometime to chat me up
won't you please?!

An old Hindi poem re-written in English for certain audience!!