Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LAUREATE


Living normed lives
churning constant
fodder for the frivolities
of life...

feeding the cliches
so that they
fatten the facts
each of us
a sub-plot
in someone else's epic

stories merging
characters emerging
words,scenes,events
all in a race to
reach the climax

the incessant
debit/credit of memories
a vague picture
in an album
or a portrait in the heart
a love letter never sent
or a eulogy to
an unrequited dream

Some shining through
others falling apart
Some adding real colour
others being mere props
the dialogue,wit and humour
the smiles and the tear drops

all of us poets
ghostwriters for
the laureate called life
self-awarding the masterpieces !

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SMOKING


I roll deftly
the memories
of many decades
in the paper of
a lost hope

I ignite it
with the
spark of love
life glowworm

 life warning
'smoking is....'
spiraling with every breath
as I smoke myself !

Sunday, November 27, 2011

THE DIRTY PICTURE


She sits right next to
a busy city road
oblivious to its
vulgar noise and gaze
-the invisible destitute

the dead lump of tatters
that she cradles so delicately
could have been a baby once

the small pieces of
soiled glitter on her skirt
still ocassionally reflect
a love lost long ago

she digs the sod
probably trying to
reconstruct a timeline
her grimy nails
shedding murky milestones

The boys from the car
ogle at the oblivion
of her bosom
pushing aside
the hypocrisy
of the blouse called civilisation

the lights turn green
they speed up
getting late for
the dirty picture !

Friday, November 25, 2011

SCAVENGERS


Most of us don't 
hunt for prey any more 


We sit in the 
coliseum of civilisation
eagerly awaiting
the tearing apart
of the gladiator
celebrating not his heroism
but our own covert sadism


we sympathise 
with the victims of
our systems
enjoying our place 
in the unending 
chain of
opressor/opressed


they say we were
primates once
I doubt
we could even have been
scavengers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NUDE



A poem is a naked person... Some people say that I am a poet.- Bob Dylan

An unsure inhibition
must have
made 'nude'
a bad word
disrobing a new idea
- revolt.

Why must have Michelangelo said,
'...the foot is nobler than the shoe'

Isn't the body just a sheath
covering the
stark nakedness
of our vulnerable souls

some modesty
and good shame
should be acceptable
only to admit that
naked truths
are imperatives
to justify
bare imagination

To lay unclad
your emotions
is the most extreme nude !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

POLTROON


He sits alone
every evening
to savor
the heady feeling
of her sitting miles away
thinking about him
her imagination
amplifying her heartbeat

In his dreams
they are the
eternal secret lovers
relishing a cryptic love

Their eyes would never
meet across
time and space
as if under a sacred oath
not to reveal

He is only scared of
his poltroon heart
implicating itself  !

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Green Bindi

Who were you?
what was your name?
what did you look like?
how often did you
admire yourself in that mirror,
the love and the anguish
the bliss and the woes
how much did you share with it?

I often imagine you
wherever I am
in this house
happy,sad,lonely,ecstatic !

I don't use this mirror often
but when I need someone
I come here
to share a secret of womanhood
I look at that
green-glittery bindi
in a corner of the frame
and I know why
for the last one year
I have let it be.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

UNCOMPLICATE


It must be bad
having her little body
cough and tremble
no sleep,no appetite
due to what we call an
infection !
Despite her way with words
the name is difficult
for her to grasp,
still unlike us
she doesn't
complicate or theorise
blame destiny
or fade in self-pity or guilt
suffers....
plays,tries to eat,smiles
wonders why
the doctor doesn't .
after a particular bad bout
she tells me,'mumma smile !'
I hear UNCOMPLICATE.


Friday, November 18, 2011

A PHONE CALL FROM DAD


The coldness of the
hospital chair
on which he sits
sends a shiver down my spine

My hands shake
as he takes out
his reading glasses
from his blazer
to read out the
clinical parameters
of 'the patient'

He feigns cough
to camouflage the
tremors in my voice
the lump in his throat
lets blame the network
we agree

A warm wetness
fills my heart and eyes
as I hear a tear
flood the furrows of his face
the tear he wipes
wets my shoulder

Grief is a secret
we seldom share
we don't allow
each other
the luxury called
vulnerability

He waits alone
in the corridor
between now and
.....nothing
I close my eyes
to remember him smile.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WORDS


"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." 
- Kahlil Gibran

Carved on the walls
of the ancient caves
we call them symbols ,only
because we don't understand.

Calligraphed,imprinted
written,typed
said,whisphered
shouted
heard,unheard

poetry,prose
religious discourse
blank verses,perfect rhymes
said straight or
between the lines

bitter,sweet
status or tweet
strong,frail
sms or mail

whether they succeed
or they fail to convey
they do always say

hired by thoughts
lent to feelings
words always
don't have meanings

yet they exist
living a life of their own
words are the mind's
combat zone !

MEN WITH MOTIVES


I guess it is
not just the echo
but also the content
of their speeches
which is confused

their minds clogged
like the traffic
they manage to snarl
into a mindless maze

leader and followers
men with motives
proclaiming to redeem
the masses they exploit
rape,use and kill.

what do they seek?
where do they lead?

The country should
care more for
the rickshaw-wallahs
losing half their day's earning
to the 'YATRA' !

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ROCKSTAR....


In a country where every one is either a cricket expert or a movie critic and a majority is comfortably both, I confess I am neither.My knowledge of technicalities of both these forms is amtaeur,yet there are instances /people which force even someone as uninitiated as me to write about them.Not with any intent to evaluate them or judge them for their merits /demerits but just see them through the limited range of vision of a commoner.

Ever since the promos of ROCKSTAR went on air on TV I was glued for A.R .Rahman's soulful music and the angst of our times so written all over Ranbir Kapoor.He looked every bit real,of our times and fit for apathy in these alienating times.In both his avatars in the movie -the simpleton music genius Janardhan Jakhar or the immensely popular Jordan he represents two prototypes -the dreams brewing in every nook and corner of young India and the futility of it all once it actually happens.

I am no Ranbir Kapoor Fan but him sitting with his guitar in the courtyard of the Nizamuddin dargah singing  'kun faya kun' in Mohit Chauhan's deeply impassioned voice is a moment that will be etched in my heart and soul for long.Rahman's  "nadaan parinde ghar aa ja" is one melody which can stir any soul for its sheer evoking of nostalgia for all things long lost- innocence,childhood,first love.The dangerous self-consuming love story in the film which claims to be"beyond all sense of right-doing/wrong-doing" is a huge pointer on where we are heading as a society. Maybe we are letting go of some of the old school morality and letting each be to his/her own.
So what makes ROCKSTAR iconic for me then? its pain and its passion , its perfect blend of Morrison and sufi  and the rockstar the one who in these mad times of constantly saying,commenting and updating croons "jo bhi main kehna chahoon barbad karein alfaaz mere".

Monday, November 14, 2011

CHILDREN'S DAY


Small hands
bereft of any
lines that
indicate destiny

small eyes
without any
dreams
of happiness
or family

A small world
languishing
in a small corner
where no day
is ever
children's day !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

LEFTOVERS


One day he wants
to have a real name
not the'whatever'
with which he is addressed often

he often looks
for the softness
of his mother's hug in
the folds of his torn blanket

he wishes destiny
was a cheap tin plate
that he could scrub clean
and catch his reflection in it

its children's day
in the school
across the road
his share would
only be the leftovers.

(This is for all the children who are made to work so that our society and economy run smoothly.Why celebrate children's day if we can't celebrate children ?)

A NOTE FROM A FRIEND

Friday, November 11, 2011

BITTER CHOCOLATE


He was always
a known face
in school,at home
a library or a park

whether it was a bruise
a forced kiss
or a gashing scar

she never slept
to dream a dream
the shroud of shame
the conspiracy of silence
never let her scream

this is the last
to herself she would lie
but that it was
always a lie

his smell would never
leave the room
the chocolate
he left was always bitter.

She had noticed
long back that
that there it sat
in a dictionary
-'trust' the pseudo word
interceded between
'truth' and 'tragedy.'


(This is inspired by Pinky Virani's book by the same title about child abuse.We celebrate children's day,its time we celebrate childhood only when we are ready as individuals,families and societies to speak up against our children being exploited and abused.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HER DAD'S MOM

I run my fingers delicately
through his sparse snowy hair
murmuring a blessing.

He sits there
eyes closed
wondering what,
I wonder.

As I rub
luke warm oil
into his pale
old ,wrinkled skin,

the daughter in me 
fades into an oblivion,
the woman liquifies,
a little girl
becomes her dad's mom.

DIFFICULT DELHI GOODBYES


Almost a year ago
Neatly stacked
and packed
in lifeless ugly boxes
life was moving
to another city

love , pain
anguish
lay jostling
with salt,pepper
and crockery
in lack
of suitable containers
to confine them.

memories
autographed the walls
and dreams clung like cobwebs

Delhi - a part of me stayed behind
the rest now has a new address !

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SOUK

In the sacred 
souk of matrimony
I barter my soul
for a few pennies
of pseudo solace

The meeting is brief
and the elation
short lived

in the few
and far between
monosyllables

some beautiful
four-letter words
become just abuses

partners in life
commit love.

Monday, November 7, 2011

ALBINO



They had appeased all elders
prayed to all deities
and followed all rules.
- her parents wanted
a normal baby.

She was perfect
ten perfect little toes
two warm tiny palms
a warm baby smell
only the colour was missing

only the colour
the colour of her life
stigma,enigma
surprise,shock
curse,sympathise.

Two decades later
shielding herself from
more than just sunlight
she has got
all the terms and stats right

only the gazes still
bruise the pale inside
Why don't they stare at Him
who forgot to colour her right !

Friday, November 4, 2011

LADY FOG


The summer lover
seems to have left
in haste

leaving her
icy cold
her pearl string
scattered all over
the flower bed

the drape of
her achromatic saree
haphazard

she sways
all night
as if still in
the trance
of the brief
autumn warmth.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

QUESTION


A.
Chronicles of what
was passed on
to me as fact

B.
My perception of the
fact I received

C.
What actually happened
but was never recorded

D.
what never happened
but was recorded

I am on the hot seat
no lifelines
and life in its
Bachchanesque
baritone asks
what is HISTORY ?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WE

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/haryana-ifs-officer-decides-to-marry-outside-caste-family-faces-threats/869274/0


She has broken
many ceilings
including the famous glass one

The family and the city
proud of her
all basking in their piece
of her success story

yet they want from her
only confirmation
to their norms
and nothing else

How dare she ?
her success,love
and destiny
should be
what they allow it to be.

so much of we the people
WE.
A woman still
has to dare to be.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

EXTINCT




cloned cities,
flyovers,roads,
markets,multiplexes

the monstrous monotone
of modern cities

the rustling of
the golden jewels
of autumn
strewn lavishly
on a hill path.

the chirpers of the dawn
uninterrupted by waves
in the air.

the small bazars
with small shops
selling a little
bit of everything.

the meaningless small talk
just to renew
the connect
every day.

the single screens
of anticipation
of stardom and failures.


lives untouched
by the uniformity of brands
or the convenience
of home delivery.


Extinct then
are not just dinosaurs
the cloning is on !

a contest where this entry of mine won a prize

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
}

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!