Tuesday, December 22, 2015

272. 'Mokokchung'

Philwaqt nahin, yaaron
Dil sakht nahin, yaaron
Kal faqat, yahin, yaaron
Mil jaaye to kaafi hai!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

271. Mulaaqat

har roz
jab bhi aate ho
shaffaaf si hoti hain
nazrein tumhari

benaqab se khayaal
zara sa
dikhne lagte hain
tere chehre par

aur phir

tum bolne lagte ho

tum bolne lagte ho
kuch fashionable alfaaz
jo har kisike zubaan pe
ek hi jaise lagte hain

is lafzon ke parde me
main tumhe
pahchaan nahin paata

tere saath rahke bhi
tumhe bahut miss karta hoon

tum kuch mat kahna
main bhi chup rahta hoon

yun hi
khamosh baithe baithe
ik doosre se
milne ki koshish karein?!

270. Excerpts from random mental to-do lists - II

step out in the blue shirt
in which I think I look fat;
the one I try on each time
and change out into something else

say no to him finally
when he comes home
I have been trying for the last 7 months

sell all the balloons by evening
and buy myself a coca cola
like I do each month

take a bat
and beat Raj
next time he bullies me in school
or maybe, I should just change schools

binge-watch the series
I am tired of spoilers on facebook

vote before I go to work today

take my family to Mc Donald's
on Diwali
as promised

sew the fall 
on the special red saree
so I can wear it to Mc Donald's
on Diwali

push my boss
to have the discussion
on my rating

actually walk into the mall
and not walk by it
like I did the last 13 times
I have money now
but the guard looks so intimidating

try and get better at maths
and make Papa proud
I cannot fail the unit test,
another time

start exercising

go to the Ganesh temple
I have taken a vow
to walk up the steps
for 21 tuesdays
I can't tell you what I am doing it for
They say the vow does not work as well then

tell her
I love her

not give in
and ask my children their pocket money
to go to the bootlegger's
again tonight

make tamarind rice
maybe this time, it will turn out right

accompany Aai to the bank
though I dislike how
the people there talk down and embarrass us
each time

apologize to him
for all the hurtful things I said;
and accept that I was wrong

to be unafraid

to be different

to be brave

to be better

to be

269. Excerpts from random mental to-do lists - I

to waltz off

to walk up

to walk out

to tell

to surprise

to stop

to stay put

to stand up

to speak out

to scream at

to scream

to run by

to run away

to rise above

to quit

to please

to plead

to move on

to look out

to look away

to look at

to know

to give up

to give it another try

to give it a try

to give in

to forget

to find out

to dance

to breathe

to begin now

to be

268. Encounters

each encounter
a stamp
on my worldview

I am not sure

are these stamps
from reality


are they just
ticket stubs -
a pointless proof
of yet another journey

as I parse through
all these stamps
I worry

I worry
about being an unintentional hoarder
if I hold onto them

I worry
about being a willfully blind traveler
if I throw them away

while I figure out
what to do with my encounters,
I should not

Sunday, November 29, 2015

267. The Conjuror

How many parts
are you;
how many parts -
moans and sighs?

How much of you
is pain;
how much,

How many parts,
how much,
how little,

How much of you
is desire;
how little,
how much,

How many parts of you,
and how many parts,

How much of you
is smiles and candor;
how much,
how many,

Does it take
a lot of ferocity to be you;
how much fear
does it take;
how much

Very persistent,
was the conjuror
I smirked at, disdainfully
at the bar.
Very persuasive.

Do tell me -
he said
- what you are
made of?

I will
conjure you up
I can rid you of
this delusion of uniqueness

I rolled my eyes
and gave him
my number
(to get rid of him)

The next morning,
there were so many of me

I was invisible.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

266. Rahne de

ek arse tak
main bas
tu tha

tere saaye pahanke
teri haqeeqatein maan li
teri naseehatein maan li

khudaa banta gaya
tu mera
khudee bharta gaya
tu meri

mere naam to mahaz rasm the
tune jo kaha
nibhaa liye


naam tere guzar gaye
shaam saare utar gaye

khamoshi me posheeda hoon
ab benaam rahne de

bemanzil yun pehli dafaa hoon
ab naakaam rahne de

koi naqshe na dikha
naye rasmein na sikha

rihaa na kar

meri hasratein
baqsh de
meri fursatein
baqsh de

mere daayre
baqsh de
mere aaine
baqsh de

meri harkatein
baqsh de
meri furqatein 
baqsh de 

meri sohbatein
baqsh de
meri naubatein
baqsh de 

abhi jaari hoon yahaan
abhi baaqi hoon kahin

tujh bin, khaali hoon zara

main to ab kaafi hoon yun hi

rahne de!?

Saturday, November 07, 2015

265. Ajnabi - II

shor ke parde
utaarta hai
har shahar se
ajnabi mera

uski sohbat me
har mod pe mauziki
mil jaati hai mujhe

har nazaare me
nazm koi

70s music

264. Ajnabi

ik haseen ajnabi hai
hamsafar mera

jitna pehchaanta hoon use
utne naye muamme ugaati hai
fitrat uski
har naye tajurbe pe

shukr hai
ye dilchaspi
ik umr me
bujhegi nahin

Is love not about finding something new and  adorable, every now? :)
Drunk me!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

263. Dikhayi duniya

ulat palat-ke
dikhayi duniya
dagar se hat-ke
dikhayi duniya

meri nazron pe chadhe rangeen chashme
sadak pe patke;
dikhayi duniya

marzi se andha tha jab main
maar-ke phatke
dikhayi duniya

dheeth hoon main, kam ziddi nahin wo
yun jam-ke dat-ke
dikhayi duniya

be-buniyaad se darr the jitne mere sab
rah gaye simat-ke;
dikhayi duniya

raste hain rasmen - samjhaake mujhko
bhatak-ke bhatke
dikhayi duniya

ulat palat-ke
dikhayi duniya
shukr hai- hatke
dikhayi duniya


when I need to go mad
when I need to feel sane -
Sushma & Pidi.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

262. Talaash

sukoon sukoon talaash loon
junoon junoon talaash loon

aibdaar se meri manzilon me
koi aarazu, talaash loon

gum se hisse hain kitne mere
inhe, ku-ba-ku, talaash loon

jis mujhse waaqif tha tu, use -
ik pal thahar tu - talaash loon

dikhe na umr intezaar ki
meri justajoo taraash loon

the pointless endless wait

Monday, October 05, 2015

261. Never enough

I said it

I want to say it now

I will want to say it again

each time
I try to profess
this sharp emotion
which bruises my insides
I breathe
it makes me
want to be more alive
more here
more now...

each time
I do that,
I sense
that something's amiss

I notice
each time
each word seems
more jarring
in its eloquence

I tried resorting
to silence
but it sounds

so tell me

does one
a persistent and intransigent
that refuses to get used to me;
and refuses to let me feel at home;
and refuses to yield to age;
and insists on wielding a new smile and story, each dawn?

and how
does one
profess it properly?

and how
does one
profess it enough?

this love thing!
F*** it,
I won't tell you
how much I love you.

Deal with it!

To my one-year-old husband.
Oops, that sounded so wrong. 
My husband of one year? Is that the right syntax?!
Happy Anniversary, Babu-ness!
The year must have been really happy for you; well, you were married to me! *presumptuous dramatic eye-rolling*

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

260. Setting things right

let us avenge

there are
infinite unverifiable instances
of tentative discomfort
scattered over eternity

a life
for each instance
some blood and tears
to drown eternity

we are good

let us avenge
there is none of us
to find it

259. 'Pyaar' ke side effects

they pluck
at all the adjectives
that adorn me

find me

they cannot
keep their curious eyes off
all the stories
that I am

each day
I lose pieces
that you have given me
to strangers
who never knew love
and never may

how do I tell them
that this love
was not mine
to know
to flaunt
to give

how do I tell them
I just was lucky
I found you
to leave me love
on each moment of space
on each inch of time

how do I tell them

these strangers
find me

because I worry

after all my memories
are plucked

what if
they don't find

what if
they don't find

what if
they just don't

Friday, August 28, 2015

258. Ajeeb

Borrowed thoughts

jab dekha tujhe
na milaa paayi nazrein
ik farishte sa hai tu
ro na padti kahin

ik tinke sa tu
ude saara jahaan
tu hai khaas itna
kaash main khaas hoti

par main hoon ajeeb
hoon ajeeb itni
kya kar rahi hoon yahaan
hoon hi nahin yahaan ki

dard ho bhi to kya
bas ho tu mera
chahoon jism anokha
chahoon rooh anokhi

ho ehsaas tujhe
jab main paas nahin
tu hai khaas itna
kaash main khaas hoti

par main hoon ajeeb
hoon ajeeb itni
kya kar rahi hoon yahaan
hoon hi nahin yahaan ki

kabhi kabhi
alfaaz girvi rakhkar
ehsaas udhaar
lena padta hain

I am a creep...
I don't belong here!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

257. Sheeshe aasmaan ke

the 'morning after' song

maile pade hain sheeshe aasmaan ke
dekh lega koi jo khidkiyon se jhaanke

koi aake hame na pooch le
chalo, taaron ki cheente ponch de


kisi nukkad pe hoga
koi dil ka daroga

haanfti yaadon ko jaanch lega agar
kaanpti roohon ki aanch dekhi agar

jaan lega

kab lahre uthi thi
kab lamhe barse
kab uge the tum
mere bheetar se

kab khwahishein
motiyaan bikher
gayi hawaaon me

jaan lega

yun kyun
maile pade hain sheeshe aasmaan ke

kyun ki
phaile pade hain cheente daastan ke

koi aake hame na pooch le
chalo, taaron ki cheente ponch de

yun na
maile rahe ye sheeshe aasmaan ke

If you get the drift, clean up after...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

256. My storytellers in Morocco

tell me
for I want to hear it all
though I doubt
there are words enough
to tell it all
what did you feel
when you
saw mile-long wavy blankets
of sand
with yard-long shadows
of self
when you
sat atop the ships of the desert
with their long nonchalant strides
and droopy eyelids
when you
stood on a dune
with a gust of a desert wind
locked in your hair
when you
gazed at an intricate carpet
(which must have taken years in the making) -
a mute audience to the gossip of its makers
while they wove magic with their dexterous fingers
when you
spotted a lone tree, a stubborn shrub
holding fort
valiantly and persistently
against the tenacious desert storms
when you
chased the sun
blazing down, one hour;
and racing to seek the desert blanket,
the other -
inspired by your footprints
across the dunes
when you
came across
kind strangers in colorful robes
strange kindred souls taken in
by snakes and monkeys
pretty women with bashful looks
restless men with wistful demeanor
tell me
for I want to hear it all
of the places where you stood and smiled
and the moments of beauty that made you sob
of the times you felt like conquerors of eternity
and the times when you surrendered,
conquered by the magnificence
tell me
when you find time.
but do tell me,
my storytellers in Morocco
An ode to the lovely couple who are chasing the sun

255. Ellipses

when someone
smiles at me,
i amusedly
i smile
waiting in
that it will be
a while
I see
'coz i...

i drop strange
to strangers
on sites
trapping in
them, cages
their pointless
turn pages
on conversations
that fight
to stay

i drop vowels
into wells
stand still and
mumble spells
wishing that
you hear them
if you do
then do tell
if you are
doing well
i ...

i am

i am
not doing

i am
not doing
at all

i am
not good
at this

i am
not good
in rooms
by sounds
of my clucks and sighs
and ticking clocks
and clicking keys

i am
not good
that end
in ellipses

not good
at waiting

not good

"You are so fuckin' special... I wish I was special!! But I'm a..."

Monday, March 23, 2015

254. Jhoomar

dard jo beraham hain
ye dard to bas vaham hain
kahte hain log
kahte hain log

dard me toote ham hain
to ham hi hain jo besharam hain
kahte hain log
kahte hain log

peene do
peene do

peene do
peene do

hosh zaalim hai
peene do
jab tak hosh na ganwaa baithe

saanson ko
ginte hain

saanson se
sunte hain

karz baaqi hai
jaane do
kab tak jhakde, apni jaan, baithe

peene do
jab tak
jahaan na dhundhuli ho
ashqon me yun ghuli ho

peene do
jab tak
aankhein na adhkhuli ho
behisi na mili ho

peene do
parde chadhe dard pe
duniya bujh jaaye

(behosh benaam hain
apne aashiyaan shaam hain;
subah aankhein kholenge jab,
hona phir badnaam hai)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

255. Homeless

i just reached our place

and i realize
i will not feel at home
for home is where you are

no place,
no idea,
no event -
feels comforting
when you ain't around

so come home
to me
& bring my home
with you

without you
i am

i am


an ode to my globe-trotting husband

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

254. Aabshaar VIII

Going back to/taking off from - Aabshaar VII - where I used to periodically say random things that came to my mind without prejudice, or insistence on sense

1. Oh god, I cannot believe how long it has been since we talked

rah-rahke khudaa khudaa na kar
phir mujhko khud se judaa na kar
gam-e-furqat naamanzoor hai 'gar
kabhi phir tu mujhe alvidaa na kar

2. Unexpected knock on a 'chat window'


ye kaif-asar muskaan teri, jaan-e-jannat
bata - kaiku rare hai, mumbai sardi ke maafik


Let's call this the phoolan post - for being an inspiration, unknowingly most of the times!

Aur hai yun hi
jaise kaha tha tumne
zindagi meherbaan hai mujhpe
most of the times

And so it is
like you said it would be
life goes easy on me...

253. Gunjaaish

inhe hai muhabbat sawaalon se
thahar - abhi inhe jawaab na de

saude taariqi ke baaqi hi rahe
saari raunaqon ka hisaab na de


siyaah raaton me rah gaye
rihaa karke subah gaye
kehakashaanon ke
badhte gaye

sawaalon ka tarajuma
khayaalon ka tajaruba
yun hi saalon se
ye bayaan
karte gaye

udte rahe
gunjaaishon ke aasmaan me
udte rahe

udte rahe
haqeeqat ki zameen
pheeki hai bahut


safar me jo mazaa hai manzil me kahaan
jo sach ho sake aise khaab na de

mujhe hai muhabbat sawaalon se
thahar - abhi mujhe jawaab na de


let me fly in the sky of possibilities

let me fly,
reality is, but, a dull patch of earth

let no dream come true

ain't the journey more fun than the destination?
the anticipation, more exciting than the event?
the hope of multiple possibilities, more marvelous than one single happy moment?!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

252. The deviant prankster

the dangers of boredom

the comfort of multiple standards

oh, god bless us!
he looks bored

that can be


the last time he was
he peeled the painted black shadows
off the city streets
left behind
freckled infant moons
on the pavements

the moons
shrieked gleefully
like banshees
all night
and pooped
dew and star dust
all over the sky courtyard

we had to charge him
a fine
to compensate
for the new black veil
we bought
to hide the starry sky


and there was
the time when
he plucked -
all echoing silences,
and jarring politeness,
and charred sense -
off conversations
and confabulations

there were
jazz songs
sung at annual investor meets
shocking the stock market

and, of course
who can forget the
soft porn in the evening news bulletin?!

who knew
news and annual reports are,
but confabulations?!


and last winter
he hunted
dreamy hearts
clad in boring grey caution,
winked at them,
and sent them
down a love spiral

ah, the fights and the divorces
all over the city

we had to
banish him
from the city for a bit,
for upsetting the moral fabric
of the society

how he laughed at
and winked again?!

so adorably

I remember 
the predictably uneventful season
that followed

don't say that


not to forget
the season when
he chased and stole the ocean waves
because he was so done
with contemporary fashion,
and stepped out
wearing salty foam pearls
and nothing else

ah, the traffic jams
lasted for months
and we had to charge him
with indecent exposure

and he turned up at the hearing
donning nothing
but butterfly rainbows

what a sight?!


we should be careful
he could outrage our decorum
and upset our honor

so we ought to reject
his anticipatory bail

of course
why deprive ourselves of
a hearing?!


god bless us!
he looks
so viciously bored

if I were you
I would not step out

and if I were you
I so would;
and I think I will

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

251. Ajnabi musaafir

woh kaun hai?
aaya hain kahaan se?
lagta hai uske lahje se
usne bhi ik duniya dekhi hai
mere jahaan se juda
par shaayad utni hi uljhi
uski aankhon me
kahaaniyaan likhi hain
lekin kisi alag tahreer me
jise main padh nahin paata

mujhe poochna hai us-se

kya uski mehfil me bhi
udaasiyaan bikhri rahti hain
baukhlaayi si
anokhi mauziki ki sohbat me
kya uske yahaan bhi
log chehron pe sawaal
pahanke nikalte hain
kya uski galiyon me bhi
har roz kachahriyaan lagti hain
muqadme chalte hain
jahaan har koi
vakeel bhi hai
mujrim bhi hai
aur qaazi bhi

mujhe poochna hai us-se

par dar lagta hai
uska jawaab sun-ne se

kahin aisa na ho
ke meri ummeed bebuniyaad ho

kahin pata na chale ke
suljhe se mahaul 
mumkin hi na ho

mujhe poochna to hai
par sochta hoon
yeh sawaal-jawaab karte to hain

lekin phir kabhi

Saturday, February 07, 2015

250. Kahaani har shaayar ki

Harkaton hasraton ka hisaab lagaa gaya
Kaif-asar khwaab laajawaab jagaa gaya
Aadatn aasmaan tatola kisine jo kabhi
Tadapta tarasta maahtaab ugaa gaya

(And that is 250. Kinda. The story will repeat itself.)

249. A recipe for adventure

Or a recipe for disaster (depending on your leanings, the circumstance, and the weather)
Half a glass of imprudence
A whiff of a predetermined argument
A hint of denial
A pinch of knowing silence
Two miles of unruly twilight
A jig to music yet to play
unaware of the startled audience
or their absence
Four vowels disguised as consonants,
as conversation
Obscure desires masquerading as mayhem
And then,
wait and watch
Or better still,
don't wait
Just close your eyes!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

248. Jagraata

soona soona sa hai
maatha mere ambar ka

kuch to dikha de re
koi aadha toota chand hi sahi


banjar hain meri rookhi sookhi palken

likhe gin ginke
khaate sab chhin ke
kaati saari jagraate yaadein masalke

phir se chakha de re
ummeed ki jhoothi boond hi sahi


banjar hain meri rookhi sookhi palken

sapne bhi banjaare
gaye kabke saare
khaali khuli meri aankhon se nikalke

phir se sikha de re
thodi kachhi tooti neend hi sahi


Saturday, January 24, 2015

247. Words

A Translation

what language is this
that we speak in?

the more the words we speak
the more their purpose
seems to fade away

as if emotions are sad
to step into words
as if they wish to remain
frame-less and nameless

as if pain is embarrassed
to don sounds
as if it wishes to live
unclothed and silent

do you remember
had set up home
in a deaf-mute moment?

come on

let's sit still and silent
for some time
and see

who knows
maybe we will return home

who knows
maybe we will come alive

Friday, January 23, 2015

246. Zubaan

yeh kaisi
zubaan hai apni?
guftagu karte karte
zindagi ke maayne
bujhne lage hain
jaise udaas hain jazbaat
lafzon me utarke
jaise unhe bejism gumnaam hi rahna tha
jaise dard sharminda hai
awaazein pahanke
jaise unhe belibaas khamosh jeena tha
yaad hai
ghar basaya tha apna
kisi goonge-bahre pal me
kuch der
dekhte hain
chup baith-ke
kya pata
shayad ghar laut aaye phir apne
kya pata
shayad zinda ho jaaye
phir se