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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

crypto-conundrum

crypto-conundrum

catalyst that shuffles

the mnemonic everest

of dormant memories

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

in the days gone by ii

in the days gone by ii

in today's world
polluted  skies
on multi-lane highways
sluggish automobiles
on pavements  
sloping heads messaging
beggars with attitude 
in the pause between
red and green
the days gone by
rush past us
and we are still
blissfully naive

Monday, May 03, 2021

in the days gone by i

in the days gone by i

in the days gone by  
the earthly scent was distinct
the smiles were real
the sky bluer
one heard thank-yous
and politeness oozed  
we were innocent
and blissfully naive

Sunday, May 02, 2021

in the self-desert

in the self-desert

in the self-desert  

there are no days or nights

the cumulus nimbus

casts shadows nor mercy

 

in the self-desert

only smiles 

of the newborn and the children

      sustain

but the beloved's

transports

      to self oasis


Saturday, May 01, 2021

between choices and desires

between choices and desires 

revising, tweaking
choices and desires
in this house of life
with different partners
dancing endlessly
from dusk to dawn
from dawn to dusk
            till we part

Thursday, April 29, 2021

tajrubat aur mushahidat

tajrubat aur mushahidat

tajrubat aur mushahidat
tarjih aur tahaffuz ki ik tarteeb
hay jo sada raq's kunaaN
aiwaan e zindagi maiN
is raq's maiN hum raq's
badaltay rehtay haiN
siyahi say ujalay tuk
ujalay say siyahiy tuk

loss of impulse

loss of impulse

this is not an elegy
for this age of polarization
            of discontent
tolerance and spontaneity 
greased life once
            absconding today
era of innocence, impulse and whim
whelmed by withdrawal

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ismat Chughtai from her incomplete autobiography

Ismat Chughtai from her incomplete autobiography

Main muslamaan hooN, bo'ot parasti shir'k hay.

Magar dev'mala meray watan ka virsa hay. is maiN sadion ka culture aur falsafa simoya hua hay. eeman alaihda hay, watan ki tehzeen alaihda hay.

Is maiN mera barabar ka hissa hay jaisay is ki mitti, dhoop aur paani maiN mera hissa hay.

Main holi per rang khailooN, deewali per diyay jalaouN tou kiya mera eeman mutazalzal hojaiga? Mera yaqeen aur shaoor kiya itna booda hay' itna adhoora hay kay rezah rezah ho jai ga?

Ismat Chughtai from her incomplete autobiography. Adabiyaat – Khwateen Ka aalmi Adub vol 14-15 issue 59/60 2002

nawab intro

Nawwab and I: an intro

Nawab belonged to an Ozzie friend of mine Subroto who ran a radio show down under for eleven years.

Nawab can talk, if you would listen.

Not everyone could converse with him though.

He is also a psychic and a mind reader: a trait that automatically invokes honesty in those who could converse with him.

There was no way around that.

One can coax, cajole, bamboozle humans, but not Nawab.

We take pleasure in bringing Nawab here ~t

a different tale

a different tale

in another era
the ashes
reminded us 
of shaddad and nero
              today
in the crematoria
the ashes
tell a different tale

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

ik a'jub dastaan

ik a'jub dastaan 

kabhi
yeh raakh 
shaddad o nero
choRh ga'aye thay
                             aaj
is shamshaan ghat maiN
aghosh maiN chupa'aye  
yeh raakh likh rahi hay
ik a'jub dastaan 

Monday, April 26, 2021

ehd e covid

ehd e covid

jana tou hay
kal na sahi
jana tou hay
mud'dat guzri
kyun na hum aaj
phir mil baithaiN
laikin yeh baat
hum bhool ga'aye
pabandi hay
mulaqaat  per
ehd e covid maiN

Sunday, April 25, 2021

year of discontent

year of discontent

the chasm widens
not since the somme
barabarossa
the karbalas
a non-human
has wrought quietus
the auschwitz crematoria
did not meltdown
but the ones in india
could not stand the heat
                of the victims
death, the new equalizer
in this year of discontent

Saturday, April 24, 2021

coronavirus: naqab-posh, bay-naqab

coronavirus: naqab-posh, bay-naqab

israfil, meh'v e intezar
naqab-posh aur pur sukoon
izraeel
bay-hud masroof
shaitan, bay naqab
khush aur meh'v e raqs

Friday, April 23, 2021

nawwab and i: win-win

Nawwab and I: win-win


t: i cannot watch the misery
N: edhi offered 50 ambulances
t: they need oxygen, and we need vaccines
N: time to exchange O2 for vaccines
t: yes, a win-win for the people
N: if sense prevails

#nawwabandi

Thread

Conversation

coronavirus: masked, unmasked

coronavirus: masked, unmasked

israfil in the wings
masked and  calm
while azrael charges
has never been this busy
lucifer, unmasked
happily dancing

Thursday, April 22, 2021

nawwab and i: dharti maa

Nawwab and I: dharti maa

t: it is earth day
N: every day is dharti maa day
t: right. but we do need to re-set and re-focus
N: masses of plastic bags floating in mid-ocean
t: greta
N: greta and others. teach 3 Rs
t: reading, writing, 'rithmatic
N: reduce, reuse, recycle

#nawwabandi

https://countercurrents.org/2021/04/earth-day-2021/

sleep walking ii

sleep walking ii  

love
friends
absconding
masks littered
under the minaret
faces uncovered
hearts palpitate
another long day
will this be the last day
or just another day

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Nawwab and I: melting metal

Nawwab and I: melting metal

t: round the clock use of crematoriums
N: melting metals and mores
t: planned or ordained
N: individual and collective stupidity
t: hmmm, that was not the case in quetta
N: when you nurture them
t: strategic dept?
N: poison pill

#nawwaband i

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/metal-structures-of-crematorium-furnaces-start-melting-in-surat/cid/1812479

https://www.geo.tv/latest/346573-quetta-7-injured-in-zarghoon-road-blast

sleep walking i

sleep walking i

birds
chirping, cooing, crooning
stirring and heralding
a new day

the devil
awakens
to devour (again)
no one knows why
save the holy man
asleep under the minaret

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Nawwab and I: written notes

Nawwab and I: written notes

t: it appears he is not well briefed
N: he should use notes
t: he criticized MNS for it
N: a senior public official cannot ad lib
t: but he knows everything
N: he who thinks he knows all, knows nothing
t: can i quote you?
N: you do
t: casper thinks...
N: casper should only meditate not mediate

https://youtu.be/tcpKBTTiVi4?t=266

Monday, April 19, 2021

matrimonial woes

matrimonial woes

oh yes, we took the vows
'till death do us apart'
but this covid-19
induced 24/7
forced incarceration
is punishment unfair

#tpoem
#gertuburanamaanay

azdawagi paraishaniaN

azdawaji paraishaaniaN

haaN kya thaa woh waada
saath zindagi bhar ka
laikin twenty-four aur
seven ki yeh bandish
kuch zyda hee giraaN hay

#tpoem
#gertuburanamaanay

Sunday, April 18, 2021

nawwab and i: ostrich syndrome

Nawwab and I: ostrich syndrome

t: not a relaxing sunday
N: sunday? you have been relaxing for a year
t: yateem chowk.
N: your neighbour has run out of crematoriums
t: sad. am focussed on lahore
N: satan run amok
t: so all that talk of lock-up in ramazan
N: ramadaan!

one friday afternoon, bahadurabad chowrangi

 one friday afternoon, bahadurabad chowrangi


a four-year-old child 
curled under the shade
asleep by the shutters of a shop
a topi wearing shopkeeper
fiddling with the keys
kicked the sleeping child away
and told him to get lost 
in impolite language
the child still dazed
rubbed his eyes 
and looked around
finding his mother
begging in the sunlight 
at the passing cars 
he ran to her 
and hugged her
my mind wandered off
to our son, the same age
and wondered 
about cosmic justice

Saturday, April 17, 2021

paronomasia: a short cross-cultural bi-lingual poem

paronomasia: a short cross-cultural bi-lingual poem

chamcha
chamcha-giri
spoon
spooning

paronomasia: noun Rhetoric.
the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; punning.

Friday, April 16, 2021

nawwab and i: stick and carrot

Nawwab and I: stick and carrot

t: put on
N: i want poutine.
t: no poutine. put on your thinking cap
N; put it aside, it is too soon
t: will sanctions hurt?
N: it is cosmetic. he is never out or off or aside. he will always be put-in
t: ok. will get some poutine.

khwaab aur haqeeqat

khwaab aur haqeeqat

meh'v e khwaab ik khayal aaya
insaan ban-na hay kis qad'r mushkil 
laptop khola aur yeh likh liya
baidari maiN yeh yaad na raha
kal achanak laptop per yeh laf'z milay
insaan-mushkil-ramzaan aur shaitaan
woh shaitaan jo paa ba zanjeer nahiN

Thursday, April 15, 2021

dreams /khwaab

dreams

some dreams 
are so real
even the wet pillow
testifies

khwaab

kuch khwaab
itnay such lagtay haiN
kay geela takia bhee
gawahi deta hay

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

rituals and rights

 rituals and rights

rituals replace affirmation
with an annual zest
rooh afza is opened
in this annual display
rich and poor
are on the same side 
and let me share a secret
not much is achieved
on empty stomachs

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

jahangir's mausoleum ii

jahangir's mausoleum ii

where are ah and js now
did they marry, had children
where are they now
but more intriguingly
why do i not enjoy the architecture
and instead, wonder about people
i may never meet or hear from?

Monday, April 12, 2021

nawwab and i: ramazan and ramadan

Nawwab and I: ramazan and ramadan

t: nawwab, what is the consensus?
N: ramazan is turkish, persian and indian
t: and ramadan is arabic and english?
N: yes. before they fixed the lunar calendar, ramadan used to come in the hot month only. the root is ramida meaning hot, burnt or scorched
t: what do you mean before they fixed the lunar calendar?
N: like the jews, the earlier muslims used to adjust the 10 day shortfall by inserting  the month of 'nasi' every second or third year. hence there were no seasonal changes. in the prophet's time ramadan used to come in the summer months only.
t: who fixed this Hijri calendar and when?
N: the second caliph umar fixed it in 638 CE retroactively, beginning with the hijrah
t: why did he abandon the rotating calendar
N: woof, woof.
t: ok, i know it is time for your walk. 
N: why do you obsess with how it is spelt? you do not even fast
t: do you want to go out for a walk or no? stop digressing
N: so you want to go back to the non-issue - ramazan or ramadan?
t; yes
N: non-issue. the important thing is to pause, reflect, serve
t: go on o sage
N: fasting is merely cleansing the body. reflecting cleans the mind. zakat is the distribution of wealth. haqooq ul ibad is more important than haqooq allah. forget nomenclature. do the right thing
t: why did i ask you
N: let us go for the walk

jahangir's mausoleum i

jahangir's mausoleum i

in the cordoned-off area
the artisans were busy
with restoration
walking around
i saw this weathered brick
on it was engraved
ah/ms in a heart
is this a subcontinental trait
have seen initials engraved
on historic sites all over?






Sunday, April 11, 2021

jis'm aur rooh

jis'm aur rooh

kaha shoukh nay ik din
dil'faraib saadgi say
jaantay ho kyun hay ish'q
roohaiN haiN hum aaghosh
jism ka kya khakhi hay
khaak say mil ja'aye ga

Saturday, April 10, 2021

kaisa bharosa

kaisa bharosa

jhoot kehtay haiN sub log
zindagi ka nahiN
hay koii bharosa
humara tumhara
aur in pairouN ka bhee
jo ujalay maiN bhee
khatay haiN thokaraiN

Friday, April 09, 2021

Nawwab & I: apologizing

 Nawwab & I: apologizing


N: you're in trouble again?
t: it is ordained
N: no, you also have free will
t: i realized my mistake and immediately said sorry
N: when you invade the hornet's nest you cannot escape the sting
t: (sigh) karma
N: you men!
t: you dog!

(Nawwab is my talking dog)

to my young heartbroken friend ii

to my young heartbroken friend ii


the workaholic
knows not the pleasures
of idle companionship
of ecstatic touch
dreams of a shangri la
commitment to grow
old(er) in unison

after the drench
move on my young friend
and in vacant moments
smile at the memories

Thursday, April 08, 2021

to my young heartbroken friend i

to my young heartbroken friend i

cold hearts are muscles
bereft of euphoric love

soon this will be
a distant discomfort

go
have a crashing cry over
so
the tears begin to heal

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

not really a political discourse

not really a political discourse

dis or that
point or appoint
appoint or ​dis-appoint

dis-appointment 
certain as the sun rises
ayub, yahya, zulfikar, zia
sharif, benazir, asif
and now this charlatan
dis-dis-dis-dis

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

ponderings of steps iv

ponderings of steps 

iv

then they think
they should be courageous
hold faithfully to the ground 
beyond the prison-halt
on towards the unknown
in the search of the truth
they hesitate, who knows
what rewards, if deserving, awaits 
punishment, already bestowed, is known

Monday, April 05, 2021

ponderings of steps iii

ponderings of steps 

iii

an open prison
where prisoners come
and go as they please
the steps falter
imagining the horrors
of the unseen
to advance
to the flickering milepost
or to retreat

Sunday, April 04, 2021

ponderings of steps ii

ponderings of steps 

ii

the steps wonder
is this a caravanserai
where they rest
to wash the sorrows
savour the moments
few of happiness?

Saturday, April 03, 2021

zombie tale

zombie tale

when there is no passion left
effortlessly, wordlessly
we glide down the abyss

if there is no passion left
wonder if life is worth living?


ponderings of steps i

ponderings of steps

i

confronting the dichotomy
of speech and actions
in my wandering
s  l  o  w  l  y  
my desires
your wishes
barely sustain
the daily grind
of our tiring steps

Friday, April 02, 2021

corona

corona

a year has passed by
embraced soliloquy
conversation 
burdensome
who knows
what awaits
in the future

Thursday, April 01, 2021

corona

corona

saal guzra
khud-kalami
fitrat ban gaii
guf'tu'goo
ik bojh lagay hay
janay aagay
kya hoga


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

crime

crime

wrist
boutonniere
garland
grave
shrine
ask the gardener
about the flower's crime?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

qusoor

qusoor

kalaii
haar
sehra
qabar
mazar
baaghbaaN say poucho
gulouN ka kya qusoor

Monday, March 29, 2021

aadha such

aadha such


kal ka kisay pata hay
'kullo nafsan...' waqaee!

hum bhool ga'aye
mustaqil ka rishta
maazi aur haal say 
hay paywasta
hum jo ahl e eemaN 
banay phirtay haiN
maazi ko bhula ker
haal kay regzaar maiN
haiN youN ghota-zun 
kay mustaqbil ka 
souchtay hee nahiN

Sunday, March 28, 2021

and how we pay

and how we pay

darwin's 'selection' - us
your selection - me
my selection - you
selector's selection - oh well
and we pay 
and how we pay