baithak

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

o amore

sing me a new song
am enervated 
of faded cliches
worn over truthiness
wars and mayhem dancing
on clutches of ardor
and ratings, of feigning 
righteous indignation
in front of audience

sing me a new song
or hold me in your arms
in that embrace
that speaks sighingly

i want to let go 
of this ungodly day
sing me a new song

Monday, May 23, 2016

aaj koi naee baat sunao

aaj koi naee baat sunao
suraj
       mashriq
suraj
       maghrib
umrika
yahood o hind
loot maar
daulat  
         bahar
izzat 
         ander
zina
       haq ka
zina  
       bil jab'r

aaj koi naee baat sunao
ya pighaal dO seesa

Sunday, May 22, 2016

khwaab/dreams

khwaab
jo sharminda e taabir ho jai
aisay khaab ki tamanna kaun karay

dreams
if a dream comes true
is it worth dreaming?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

subub e ruswaee

meh say 
            na nishat say

deen say 
            na dhar'm say

hay koi gharz
            na koi gila

behkatay haiN
behaktay haiN

ruswa kertay haiN
ruswa hotay haiN


Friday, May 20, 2016

pause, play, break (draft ii)

i
id
limpid
pellucid
lucid
sane
i not
insane

i'm

am i?
slam 
i slam?
islam
la la lala 
lament
me?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

of the refuge & the refugees

in the 
wall-less homes 
laughters, gestures 
                            float, are
not abandoned  
to the ever chasing
                            lurking 
smoke and fires
of the past 
they left behind
that only they
can sense, feel and
                           smell

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

whirling gypsy i, ii & iii

whirling gypsy i

wayfaring
between the tropic of yes
the cape of maybe
and the tropic no
feeling at home
in thatched huts
or starlit sky roof
he keeps whirling


whirling gypsy ii

in the land
of up and down nod
people share a trait
with those
from the land
of sideways neck jerk
though the yesses
                           and nays 
remain indecipherable
indistinguishable

with nonchalance
the whirling gypsy
                            smiles
nods and moves on


whirling gypsy iii

deacades earlier
he had a youthful face
today, the lines 
on his forehead
betray map 
                of his journeys
                only his eyes
portray the same sparkle
reflecting serenity
                in rags

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

whirling gypsy iii

deacades earlier
he had a youthful face
today, the lines 
on his forehead
betray map 
                of his journeys
                only his eyes
portray the same sparkle
reflecting serenity
                in rags

Monday, May 16, 2016

whirling gypsy ii

in the land
of up and down nod
people share a trait
with those
from the land
of sideways neck jerk
though the yesses
                           and nays 
remain indecipherable
indistinguishable

with nonchalance
the whirling gypsy
                            smiles
nods and moves on

Sunday, May 15, 2016

whirling gypsy i

wayfaring
between the tropic of yes
the cape of maybe
and the tropic no
feeling at home
in thatched huts
or starlit sky roof
he keeps whirling

Saturday, May 14, 2016

the lady in red

following the accident
the constable wrote 
it was caused 
by that lady in red
                   the one 
with  a four-car-pile-up smile
crossing the intersection 

Friday, May 13, 2016

o brother

from the garden of belief 
faith is not a fruit
you can pick and choose 

your misplaced belief
forces (the rest of) us
to take off the belt
                             shoes and 
the little credibility 
we are left with
as we scramble 
                             for plausibilities
                             all for nought

while you are blinded
                            by faith
they hate us
marginal believers

Thursday, May 12, 2016

goodbyes

goodbyes
are disconcerting
i loathe leaving behind
laughter, smiles 
unspoken words
ungathered tears
memories

blame it on miss val
my english teacher
may she rest in peace
who taught us
to complete sentences

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

bandi

bandi* (#blasphemyalert)

tu kahay
aur mainN nachooN
tu kahay
aur maiN gaooN


yeh tou payghaamber nay
kabhi kaha nahiN

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

fretters fritter

              they do this
              they did that 

as light chases
twilight ever so
surreptitiously
life moves on
pausing nor stopping
fretters fritter

              they do this
              they did that 

life's flywheel
revolves, unconcerned
and 
unamused


Monday, May 09, 2016

kash'm'kash

here we go
chasing life's conundrum
some from smile to smile
others frown to frown

saraab e zindagi
b'ser ho ja'aega
muskuratay hu'aye
ya fasurdgi say

Sunday, May 08, 2016

khurram, parveen, sabeen

faiz, ab nahiN haiN lub azad
hum behray goongON kay haiN lub 
b'mohar , sama'at muflooj 
fiq'at beenai hay baaqi aur
woh bhee chund sa'atouN ki baat 
phir raj karaiNgay kund zehan
phir rahay ga na baaNs na baaNsri


mother

maaN
salaam

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Poessay: Five Letter B Words Part II from may 01, 2010

Words express, emote, soothe, guide, communicate. Pearled together, they effectively transform thoughts and intents. Duck, Man, Duck!
(Continued from Poessay: Five Letter B Words Part I)

Brace: A support, for frames, a drill bit, dental fixture, enclosure for text, holding steady, to prepare, leather loop.... At some point in the distant past, this writer was intrigued enough to discover the effect of teeth braces in french kissing. The discovery came to nought.

Brake: Absorbing heat while stopping motion...though how does a cold shower does it does not fit in this configuration...also a place overgrown with bushes...

Brawl: What goes on in cybersphere when the discussion slides to skirt Godwin's law. Or your scribe's rhetorical version "As a desi online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Muslims, Hindus, Communalism, Terrorism approaches. - t." At this point say good bye to any good discussion and move on. If you continue, you risk acquiring insights into the sleeping habits of close family members.


Bread: Goes with butter or cake if you know Mary Antoinette. You can break it with a special friend. It is helpful to know which side is buttered. Best to cast it upon waters.
Break: A versatile noun and a verb - a sudden interruption of an action...a pause...a sudden dash....a tennis score...an unexpected piece of good new...except when it appears on desi TV channels...an occurrence or act of breaking...a separation...a time interval...a sudden move or escape...change in direction...ineffective or inoperable...come to end...destroy the integrity...cause to separate into pieces...preventing completion...come into being...find a solution...pierce or penetrate...ruin...fall...separate...exchange...emerge...terminate...surpass...reduce to bankruptcy...become fractured...cease temporarily...act in disregard of laws...

Broke: Without money or charge cards...without friends or guns...destitute, you could say...except when one pulls up and goes for broke....with right wind and sails...call it karma...the goal is in reach.

Busty: Mostly found in Khajurao, Playboy and dreams...Yaar of a different kind...(not bosom buddies)...

Butch: Could be applied to males also...a haircut...Cassidy and the Sundance kid?
Thanks for your time. Time now to earn bread, stop bitching about word usage, avoid brawls, put a brake to this, break out this outburst and bake other thoughts.

Poessay: Five Letter B Words Part I

Words express, emote, soothe, guide, communicate. Pearled together, they effectively transform thoughts and intents. Duck, Man, Duck!



Over time the English speaking world has developed a penchant for mono syllabled four letter cuss words. From my limited knowledge of them in desi lingua franca the disposition is for multi syllabled cuss words...perhaps for added emphasis....go on...repeat them in your mind...see?

So moving away from mono sylabbled four letter words we go bi-sylabbled five letter words. Just some regular everyday five letter B words...Baath, Babar, bitch, board, bored, borne, botch, braid, brace, brake, brawl, bread, break, broke, busty, butch'

Baath: LinkA political party that ex President Bush tried to take to the cleaners resulting in over 100,000 documented Iraqi civilians and over 4200 US soldiers dead and 30,000 wounded and many more mentally affected - with no end in sight yet.
Babar: Desi and ABCD see this in historical and cultural context. For the former this is an emperor and for the latter an elephant.

Bitch: ..a female dog..an unpleasant difficulty...a disliked female..whining or objecting...saying mean things

Board: LinkEarliest encounter with the board is colour associated...black and white...and in the class room...with dusters and chalk particles...and if you were over-active...then splinters of the board...euphemistically called sticks were judiciously introduced to your posterior. Boards can be controlling, adamant and intractable...as those who run foul of them find out to their chagrin.

Bored: Piercing, persistent, moving forward to make a hole physically or simply to annoy and spread misery on unsuspecting victims...run away when accosted...if you can...smile when you cannot.

Borne: You can give birth, give support or run around it in circles. Yes you can!

Link
Botch: I may be botching this up or making a complete botch up of this poessay. This words reminds me of hotch...which conjures hotch-potch...which brings up the quote by erstwhile dictator Gen. Zi(n)a ul Haq, who said to Dan Rather of CBS, 'take a little bit of hotch potch and add some more hotch potch and you will end up with hotch potch.' Not kidding.

Braid: A hair do that looks good on young girls. Older women portraying two braided youth look see star Rekha's latest picture and refrain. Same for Bo Derek wannabees. It is passe.

کوئی میرے دل سے پوچھے ترے تیرِ نیم کش کو
یہ خلش کہاں سے ہوتی جو جگر کے پار ہوتا

कोई मेरे दिल से पूछे तिरे तीर-ए नीम-कश को
यह ख़लिश कहां से होती जो जिगर के पार होता


Brace: A support, for frames, a drill bit, dental fixture, enclosure for text, holding steady, to prepare, leather loop.... At some point in the distant past, this writer was intrigued enough to discover the effect of teeth braces in french kissing. The discovery came to nought.

Brake: Absorbing heat while stopping motion...though how does a cold shower does it does not fit in this configuration...also a place overgrown with bushes...

Brawl: What goes on in cybersphere when the discussion slides to skirt Godwin's law. Or your scribe's rhetorical version "As a desi online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Muslims, Hindus, Communalism, Terrorism approaches. - t." At this point say good bye to any good discussion and move on. If you continue, you risk acquiring insights into the sleeping habits of close family members.

Bread: Goes with butter or cake if you know Mary Antoinette. You can break it with a special friend. It is helpful to know which side is buttered. Best to cast it upon waters.


Break: A versatile noun and a verb - a sudden interruption of an action...a pause...a sudden dash....a tennis score...an unexpected piece of good new...except when it appears on desi TV channels...an occurrence or act of breaking...a separation...a time interval...a sudden move or escape...change in direction...ineffective or inoperable...come to end...destroy the integrity...cause to separate into pieces...preventing completion...come into being...find a solution...pierce or penetrate...ruin...fall...separate...exchange...emerge...terminate...surpass...reduce to bankruptcy...become fractured...cease temporarily...act in disregard of laws...

Broke: Without money or charge cards...without friends or guns...destitute, you could say...except when one pulls up and goes for broke....with right wind and sails...call it karma...the goal is in reach.

Busty: Mostly found in Khajurao, Playboy and dreams...Yaar of a different kind...(not bosom buddies)...

Butch: Could be applied to males also...a haircut...Cassidy and the Sundance kid?

Thanks for your time. Time now to earn bread, stop bitching about word usage, avoid brawls, put a brake to this, break out this outburst and bake other thoughts.

tongue tied ii

ii

yeh dekh ker woh shOkh boli
kaisii hay yeh tishnagi
hum kiya kahaiN oos shOkh ko
shabistaanoun kay bhanwar
se najat pa'ain tou bolaiN



seeing this, the cute one said
i don't understand this anguish

if i escape this whirlpool
of the transient night's
prison of perplexity
only then submerged
words will breathe

                  again

Friday, May 06, 2016

tongue tied i

i

kuch bijli bhee chumki thee
kuch O'lay bhee giray thay
sar e shaam se sehr t'lak
kashish maiN hu'a a'faaqa
na hee tishnagi maiN kami
meh'v e gharq tri sansON maiN
zindagi guzarnay ki
tamanna li'aye hu'aye
munjamid hee rahay hum


from dusk to dawn 
the skies belched  
rained hail 
(stoning of a different kind) 
nature nor nurture 
calmed the tribulation 
only the yearning to share 
your exultation and exhalation 
kept me enraptured

Thursday, May 05, 2016

hello, hello (july 14, 2010)

birds chirp
as is their wont
horns blare
baring irritation
people talk, other
people turn deaf
life goes on
hello, hello?
a language
is awaiting discovery
to make us listen
meanwhile...
bullets reign 
                  and rain
and suddenly
others discover
their distaste
for violence
birds chirp
on keyboards

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

upset stomach: discordance, disconnect and dichotomy August 09, 2010

c
in that room full of people, and sounds of mirth and laughter, blending with clinking  glasses and wayward nibbling at finger food, when the current died the stillness could be cut with stares (and forks)

the crows cawed, mynas cooed, distant traffic roared in the enforced calm

even the heartbeats (if you read and believe this) could be heard

the host left the room (the hostess'  smiled a frozen smile but did not budge)

the platoon of servants scurried to find the man - the man responsible to switch on the generator, i could feel the sweat form rivulets and start descending down the nape

after an eternity, oh,  in reality about  a minute or two, the generator roared, and in seconds our postulations on floods, visits abroad, target killing, designer fashion resumed

the generator's thud a distant murmur now

welcome to the first world dwellers in the third world

****

it is eleven pm on a mini bus that seats 22, but was carrying over forty sweating bodies inside

on the roof, and clinging to the sides another 30 going home

i wondered if they were wondering -

if their families had something to eat and drink 
if they had a little water today...
if it is quiet, with no killings...
if they would make it safely...
to trudge back to work the next day

they have no time to worry about electricity

i throw up 
(at the discordance, the disconnect and the dichotomy)
in this absurdistan
and the host kindly inquired
if my stomach was upset

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

the wrath of water i & ii

  • “Rau mein hai rakhsh-e-umar kahaaN dekhiye thamey
  • Na haath baag par hai na pa hai rakaab mein

  • (Age travels at galloping pace; who knows where it will stop
  • We do not have the reins in our hands nor our feet in the stirrups).”

  • Asadullah Khan Ghalib - translated by Khushwant Singh

i

kis say gila karaiN, yeh kiya maajra hay
yeh roshinouN ka shehr, shehr e khamoshaan hay 
sukoot buland minarouN ki sada say toot ta hay
aur zinda lashaiN,  bay awaaz 
bay maqsad, sarkaiN naapti haiN
oofak kay par matlaashi aankhaiN
fasurdagi aur naummeedi maiN gharq
siskioun aur shikwon kay bojh talay
ilzamoun ki aah o fugaan maiN
kisi madfun junnat ki talash may haiN

complain? bemoan? sigh?
the city of lights has turned taciturn
silence cascades from under the minarets
the walking dead, doleful and diffident
wander aimlessly
gazing at distant horizon
through prisms of regret and hopelessness
anchored by unreleased sighs, queries
and inaudible allegations
for a disappeared shangri-la


kub fitrat, ya qudrat nay suni hay
zinda laashouN ki  faryad bataiyay


ii

when has nature answered
the call of the living dead?

door ik basti maiN
zindagi kay kuch aasaar haiN
oonki sarsarati siskiyoun maiN
kuch gila hay, kuch faryad hay
aur aisa mehsoos hota hay
kay natwaaN  ummeed ki devi maiN
abhi zindagi ki kasak baqi hay

in some far off town
some people are still alive
and their barely discernible sighs
reverberate with yearnings
carried over here by gusts of wind
their leaden hope
                        still flickers with signs of life

Monday, May 02, 2016

wrath of water ii

when has nature answered
the call of the living dead?

door ik basti maiN
zindagi kay kuch aasaar haiN
oonki sarsarati siskiyoun maiN
kuch gila hay, kuch faryad hay
aur aisa mehsoos hota hay
kay natwaaN  ummeed ki devi maiN
abhi zindagi ki kasak baqi hay

in some far off town
some people are still alive
and their barely discernible sighs
reverberate with yearnings
carried over here by gusts of wind
their leaden hope
                        still flickers with signs of life

Sunday, May 01, 2016

wrath of water i


  • “Rau mein hai rakhsh-e-umar kahaaN dekhiye thamey
  • Na haath baag par hai na pa hai rakaab mein

  • (Age travels at galloping pace; who knows where it will stop
  • We do not have the reins in our hands nor our feet in the stirrups).”

  • Asadullah Khan Ghalib - translated by Khushwant Singh



kis say gila karaiN, yeh kiya maajra hay
yeh roshinouN ka shehr, shehr e khamoshaan hay 
sukoot buland minarouN ki sada say toot ta hay
aur zinda lashaiN,  bay awaaz 
bay maqsad, sarkaiN naapti haiN
oofak kay par matlaashi aankhaiN
fasurdagi aur naummeedi maiN gharq
siskioun aur shikwon kay bojh talay
ilzamoun ki aah o fugaan maiN
kisi madfun junnat ki talash may haiN

complain? bemoan? sigh?
the city of lights has turned taciturn
silence cascades from under the minarets
the walking dead, doleful and diffident
wander aimlessly
gazing at distant horizon
through prisms of regret and hopelessness
anchored by unreleased sighs, queries
and inaudible allegations
for a disappeared shangri-la

Saturday, April 30, 2016

off pedestal

selectively, blindly
the iqra followers
neither read, hear nor see
words writ large
on clouds, in shadows cast
regurgitating
like meadow cows
from a less polluted time
heart-beats on papyrus
soothing, straight
from the heart-mind
braving and surviving 
shamal and chubasco
embers of discontent and  
empathy laced love
nerve twitching wisdom
whirl with the silent beat
resonating with silence
rustling over rolling dunes
word worshipers seek more
a pursuit with no end

what do whirling dervishes know?
but they know, they know!
for merrily they go round 
                      and round
                                swirling to
word-music reverberating
in their halo
succumbing to the magic
                     of word-ecstasy
[overheard at the next table
friends? what friends?
can you share a grave
with a friend?

                 a  thought

love them, loved them
ensconce them, ensconced them
value them, valued them
worship them, worshiped them!]

amidst all this worshipping
words crumble off the pedestal
and end like tsunami whipped bodies

first published Oct 09, 2010

Friday, April 29, 2016

empty cradle ii

the baby 
is no more
a bigot
subscribing to hateful gods
robbed the cradle
unsmiling, masked
unremorseful
in the name of my Lord

empty cradle i

Thursday, April 28, 2016

empty cradle i

rocking an empty cradle
dreaming of
long dissolved past
the fragrance 
chortling laughter
mirth and glee
still plastered 
on the walls
the meticulous mother 
folds her sighs
in the empty cradle