Wednesday, February 17, 2016

293. ये शहर अपना

कोहरे का पहरा
रोशनी का मेला
ये शहर अपना

लहरों पे ठहरा
चाशनी का टीला
ये शहर अपना


फींके थे जब हम
इश्क़ करके जी लिए

सूखे थे जब हम
अश्क़ भरके पी लिए

दिलों का काफिला
दिलजलों का ज़िला
ये शहर अपना

लहजा मासूम सा
कैफ़ियत का किला
ये शहर अपना


भीड़ में भी बरकतें
तलाशते थे हम भी

होश खोके हसरतें
उतारते थे तुम भी

रंग-ओ-बू पहना
अनोखा मिला
ये शहर अपना

लेके सफ़र मैला
छोड़के चला
ये शहर अपना


Leaving home - Mumbai.

292. Power struggles

each morning
wake up
anointed the referee
in battles for power
between the voice and the channel
between the message and the messenger
between the event and the witness
between the curator and the artist
between the narrative and the audience
between the serial offender and the easily offended
between habit and adventure

each morning
refuse to pronounce
which is of higher meaning
who the victor is

each morning
the battle
i do not participate in


PS: truth changes with the audience. Worrisome, unfair but ... errmmm... true. :)

291. Matching pain from parallel universes

I smiled,
anxious and guilty:


I want a son

in our place
daughters are born enslaved

just born to see traditions and tragedies

they live too long and too painfully

I can't die
leaving my daughter behind
to live 
like that


She smiled back,
embarrassed and sad:

well, I...

I want a daughter

in our country
sons are born enlisted

just born to see wars and wounds

they live too little and too painfully

I can't live 
watching my son 
die before me 
like that


290. The truth about flying

why do they
lead us down
the same old story lanes -
myths of molten wax wings,
prophecies of malfunctioning parachutes -
peddling false fear of new beginnings
at the end of the street?

& we just take their word
and hide our flying dreams
lest they
give us up
turn us in
let us down
put us out

what if they told us the truth instead?

would we still
follow them?

or would we
find ourselves
new godmen
and seek comfort in old fears?

what if 
they spoke the truth?


why do we barter
white lies over drinks
talk about a thousand things
that do not exist
but still insist
on dousing days in their wake?

why do we lie
to ourselves
and the world?

why do we mock
the hopes of others -

hopes like the ones
we all nurse
but are too embarrassed to admit?

why do we
deem it better
to stay hopeless than be hopeful?

what if we spoke the truth instead?

would we still
belong together?

would we still
be scared of ourselves?

what if 
we spoke the truth?


why do I look away
when you talk of
soaring through origami clouds?

why do I hide
my vanquished skies
inside a bureau of vacant stares -

lest you notice that
I am but the same
I am just different
I am but alive
I am just dying
I am tethered to the ground
but I still love flying?

what if I told you the truth instead?

would you still
let me in?

can I still
keep my paper wings?

what if 
I spoke the truth?

maybe then
the sky wouldn't be so barren!

I found this in my archives of unfinished poems. Old and incomplete.
Scouting through my books. May be there will a few more that I can salvage. :)

In a fun coincidence,  I saw the movie 'Joy' today - the story about flying when one is told one cannot. :)

Friday, February 05, 2016

289. याद करना

मुझको जब याद करना
बस बेसबब याद करना
तरसते दिन याद करना
बरसते शब याद करना

सुर तोलते थे कभी, पर खोलते थे कभी;
सारे बेताब तलब, मेरे लब याद करना

ताने तराने फसाने, आने जाने के बहाने;
कितनी जानें थी तुम वो सब याद करना

सिर्फ आवाज़ ओढ़के तेरी लेटा रहता था मैं
ज़र्द-ओ-सर्द रातें कभी, बेअदब याद करना

इशारों निगाहों की क़ैफ़-असर ज़बाँ तुम,
सुनो जब-जब जहाँ,
मुझको तब याद करना

मुझको जब याद करना
बस बेसबब याद करना