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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nawwab and I: Texakarna (draft 1)

t: so hot
N: heat getting you?
t: yes
N: you mean the heat is unsettling?
t: ..and humidity
N: heat is a bitch
t: mind your lingo in this month
N: you forget. we dogs lookout  for bitches in heat
t: oh Nawwab, your hydrant syndrome!
N: don't start on that. I would hint at your meccamedinaquranhadis syndrome
t: you speak like the 'chosen' species.
N: woof woof. not me, not us. it is you, the lost muslims..
t: ok. since yo are so all knowing, i will not introduce you to any hydrants.
N: and you will add not feed you...or take you out for a walk etc.
t: let us see how you handle that
N: i will bite you

Monday, July 30, 2012

pleonasm: and how

pleonasm: and how

in six dimensions
imbecility and cretinism
flourish unimpeded
suffocating left brains
transcending barriers
lugubriously yelling
imbecility overcomes everything
let us succumb to imbecility

the cauldron of humble arrogance
the self-promoting intellectual
faux-humble clergy and
the ladies in violet, red and colours in between
their prolix panacea
full of plebeian palaver
tears of tumult
shaming crocodiles

learning dispels fog
thundered the lords of school
as the raw, chasing ensconced ideals
in al-azhar, sorbonne, harvard
coped with cob-webbed overload

as years sailed by
learning and scribbled bigotry
fermented in mind's whirlpool
as casually one day they saw
a new jewel in the crown of imbecility
faces gleaming with mirth and joy
they joined hands and whirled
around the flicker of their pursuit


* a take on:
omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori (love overcomes everything, let us succumb to love)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

dry ducts

in the shower
water cascades

out the window
it pours

sipping a steaming java
surfing far off lands

sufferings galore
tears abscond

paani paani her soo
aur mri khuskh aankhaiN

Saturday, July 28, 2012

tropic of maybe

it was late night or early in the day
when she said he wasn't making sense
he replied he does so by choice

he is a whimsical gypsy
between the tropic of yes
the equator of maybe
and the tropic no
feeling at ease
at all the dhabas*

both in the land
of vertical nods
and in the land
of sideways neck jerk
people share the trait
the yesses, nos and maybes
whirl in eclectic ecstasy
chasing peripheral tails
compounding confoundment

the multitudes though inhabit
the waste lands of wiggles
where yesses collides with nos
and the sea of uncertainty
pirouttes around the maybes

he said he does so by choice

whirling, am unsure
if he is right
but true to my self
am uncertain if she is right

road side eateries

Friday, July 27, 2012

tongue tied

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
hail rained
(stoning of a different kind)
nature nor nurture
calmed the tribulation
only the yearning
to share your
exultation and exhalation
kept me enraptured
yeh dekh ker woh shOkh boli
kaisii hay yeh tishnagi
hum kiya bataiN 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

prison of perplexity 
this transient night's 

perhaps then submerged
words will breathe

Thursday, July 26, 2012


bhaag, taizee se bhaag
apnay sa'aye se bhaag
kuch pata nahiN kub
isee sa'aye se maut
niklay gee, apna laigi

run, run faster
from the shadows
who knows
what fatal dangers lurk

who can run
for ever from truth

the full freezer
and the empty plate

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


chalay a'aye 
bila koshish
kuch rukay
kuch chalay
phir rukhsat hu'aye
youN gardish
tamam hu'ee
laikin safar
khatam na hu'a

Monday, July 23, 2012

'have a good day!' - she wrote

'have a good day!' - she wrote

where do they teach how to manufacture good days
if a good day can be had world would be serene

apna khayal rakhna, theek say car chalana
kehnay ki haiN yeh baataiN - jo raq’m hay wahaN
oos lamhay say pehlay kuch bhee nahiN hoga

awash in a sea of ifs, buts and what-ifs
we whirl, round and round, till the appointed time

the trouble - with whirling is to know who is whirling
are we doing the rumiesque gyration
or is the world turning twirling around us

the dervishes close two eyes, open the third one
and go round and round synthesising with the One

maybe we should whirl, minute, day, month, year, life
maybe we should whirl with ifs, what-ifs and maybe-s
what more can paupers lose by whirling in the dark
save the troubles that cannot keep pace with the whirl?
round and round and round and round

Sunday, July 22, 2012



dark thoughts
do dark thoughts
like shadows
abandon us?

do disturbing queries
ever desert us?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

guRR ki sui

credit google images

puranay gramaphone ki tarah
sui zeh'n may a'tuck gaee hay
jaagtay hu'aye ya sOtay hu'aye
jidhar dekhta hooN
pyaliaN hee pyaliaN
had'd e nazar

doodh hay, patti hay,
ab'r aalood aasmaaN
aap haiN, hum haiN
aur badnaseebi humari
guRR paas nahiN hay

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nawwab and I: Il pleure dans mon coeur

N: Il pleure dans mon cœur
t: That is what CJ just said
N: She was quoting Paul Verlaine
t: I know
Comme il pleut sur la ville ;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur ?
t: CJ responded to my alwidah.
N: Alwidah?
t: No, not that but the other one.
N: The post script one?
t: Pathos and stealthily creeping bathos
N: You and the minimalist streak of yours
t: I will take that as a compliment.
N: Why sad moments overwhelm happy times
t: Rhetorical, my dear Nawwab. Glass...
N: ... half full, half empty
t: Now you are talking like a poet.
N: When are you feeding me: Oh, not till sunset. 
N: Woof woof, I am a dog not a delusional Muslim.
t: Delusional? You don't fast in Ramadan?
N: Religion is for weaker life forms.
t: Did you ever fall in love Nawwab?
N: No, that is not an animal trait.
t: You have no idea.
N: Now you want to teach me?
t: ma'af kijiaye, gustakhi ho gaee
N: You are the one...
t: ab kiya kiya hum nay?
N: You told your brother to observe 12 hour fasts
t: What is wrong with that...16 or 18 hour fasts are unintended.
N: Your father's observation is correct. You are writing the 31st chapter.
t: Naoozobillah?
N: Don't call me billah!
t: Don't push my buttons. You will never see another hydrant
N: Trust a human being to blackmail
t: Now you're listening
N: Go, cry in the wilderness and don't own up, blame the rain.
t: Don't be so comprehension challenged.I expect better from dogs

Thursday, July 19, 2012


like me do you also marvel
when you hear someone
at the next table, say
while peering at the menu
'it is very warm
and the humidity is killing
what is the soup du jour today?
i do'nt see pomfret on the menu?
no? why not?
alright what about nihari?
achcha, can you first get me
a glass of cold water?

40 words when 4
can i have some water
should suffice

i marvel (too)
at my naivety

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nawwab and I: The to-do list

on the phone son to my partner in crime, 'you did not leave any to-do list.' And Nawwab is my mind reading talking dog.

N: Sorry to interrupt you and Eddie...
t:  Yes, i will send A the to-do list.
N: You are not a dog. Leave reading mind to me.
t: I am your master Nawwab.
N:Woof woof!
t: OK. here is the list: take out the garbage Monday night...
N: ...water the indoor plants.
t: ..not to forget the cactus on the window sill...
N: and the cherished morning glory on the arbor...
t:..ah yes, and them ivies and Sharon of Roses
N:...and the front and side lawns...
t: he is a good kid, he know that.
N: But he is also busy at work
t: i know, i harm in stating the obvious
N: ask me...
t: OK sage, tell me if he will write back to X?
N: How'd I know? He is your son
t: But O master you are blessed with the power to read minds.
N: Flattery is not my food.
t: (he's playing with me)
N: Answer Larry
t: BC.( Larry asked me where you find the best weed. Had read somewhere that BC weed had the highest THC content. So I shared this academic info with him at Chez Andre in Alexandria. Va. where the Cathy served us lunch Mrs. Andre also dropped in and greeted us.)
N: Now your reputation is established.
t: huh? Damn!
N: Tell him to open the mailbox and pay any bills.
t: Check. Will he write to X? Is she the right woman?
N: Do you really care?
t: Yes, and A and M more so.
N: Leave him alone. He will find someone.
t: Where is my pipe?
N: Did you tell him about the Qeema?
t: Qeema is in the fridge. Extra packets are in the freezer. The rice maker is in the pantry as is rice and dal.
N: And won't you tell him to ensure windows closed, doors locked and alarm turned on?
t: Do you think this X is the right person for A?
N: Woof,, woof. Read my mind.

Monday, July 16, 2012

mirage / saraab

image courtesy google

seeing things
highway mirage
kuch muktahlif nahin
sarab e zindagi say

long winding roads alternating
iqbal bano and zia mohyeddin 

salamanca and beyond
drizzle, rain, sun alternating

as the sky cleared 
i said now we will make speed
words uttered too soon

the sky turned black
lighting flashed and
visibility dropped to 30 feet
the speed from 100 to 30

stop, stop right here
it is madness to drive

i can't, i can't
see the road line
see the flasher
of the car ahead?

so in blinding rain
we drove on

what did the bard say
about all's well that...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

poessay: salamanca, ny and mrs salamanca

(will be driving down the same road today. here is the revised version)

    leisurely drive south
    gps co-pilot
    and m (the) guiding angel

through the rolling meadows
small town usa
listening to iqbal bano sing faiz

    hum daikhaIN gay
    hum daikhaiN gay
    hum daikhaiN gay
    laazim hay kay hum daikhaiN gay
    woh din jiska waada hay

a road sign said
salamanca 3 miles
and thoughts veered to
noon meem rashid

    khuda hash'r maiN hoga mera madadgar
    kay maiN nay liyay haiN mrs. salamanca kay hONtON kay bOsay

    may the lord on the day or eckoning be my redeemer
    for i have planted kises on mrs salamca's lips

in the meadows
cows regurgitating
about any day of reckoning

          lab bayabaaN, bOsay bay-jaan
          kaun si uljhan ko suljhatay haiN hum
          jis'm ki yeh kar gaahaiN
          jin ka haiz'm, aap bun jaatay haiN hum

winding down
smalltown america
in the sheds
farming equipment
clean roads
disciplined driving
no outtages of power
or bulletmotions

          shaam say thay hasratON kay banda e bay daam hum
          pee rahay thay jaam per her jaam hum

far far from the frustrating
breaking news pattis
monotonous repetitions
of he-said, they said
change the channels
screaming aside
nothing meaningful escapes

           matlab aasaaN, har'f bay maani
           tabassum kay hisabi za'aviyay
           mat'n kay sub haashiyay
           jin say aish e khaam kay naqs'h e riya bantay rahay 

more hills and vales
road sign declares
the highest point
east of Mississippi
(i thought of mt. mitchell in nc)
but signs come and go
who am i to futilely argue)
more farms and villages
one word world - serenity

           jub dilON kay darmiaN haa'yul thay sangeen faaslay
           qar'b e chas'm o kOsh say kaunsi uljhan ko suljhatay haiN hum
           kaunsi uljhan ko suljhatay haiN hum

far far from the frustrating fusion
of depravity, serenity

          khuda hash'r maiN hoga mera madadgar
          kay maiN gunahgaar
          uroos al balad say hazarouN meel do'or
          kya qabil nahin is sukoon ka

         may the lord be my redeemer on the day of reckoning
         this sinner
         thousands of miles from the city of lights
         do i not deserve this peace

(and this alliteration)

        hum mehkoomON kayy paaoooN talay
        yeh dharti dhaR dhaR dhaRkay gi
        aur ahl e karam kay sir ooper
        jub bijli kaR kaR kaRkay gi

will resume this
circular journey
to pause at home
and leave again
seeking the elusive

sharing my khalish
which 'discomfort' cannot encapsulate

daihlaiNgay ji daikhlaiNgay

will see, will see...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

circling cirlce

 image credit google

kaun hay
jo daam e daira say ho mubarra

is anyone free of the net-circle

kaun hay
jo qaid e daira say ho aazad

is anyone free from imprisoning circle

(kyuN dohrarahay ho yaar?)
(why do you repeat yourself ?)

drop to dust
dawn to dusk

eternity to infinity

insaani khuda
khudai insaan
zakhmi ker dya na dOnON ko

manly god
godly man
(you've) harmed both

sustaining umbilical cord
cut and replaced with starry dogmas
journey from womb to grave
unending, circular journey
forever revolving humanity

dairOn ka la-matnahi safar
aur gardish maiN sada hum

interminable circular journey
and us - forever whirling

Friday, July 13, 2012


image credit google

kaun hay
jo daam e daira say ho mubarra

kaun hay
jo qaid e daira say ho aazad

(kyuN dohrarahay ho yaar?)

drop to dust
dawn to dusk

eternity to infinity

insaani khuda
khudai insaan
zakhmi ker dya na dOnON ko

sustaining umbilical cord
cut and replaced with starry dogmas
journey from womb to grave
unending, circular journey
forever revolving humanity

dairOn ka la-matnahi safar
aur gardish maiN sada hum

for the urdu challenged will post a version of this tomorrow

Thursday, July 12, 2012

there is this man

there is nary a cloaked knight

nor a humveee driver 
or an ace in the cockpit
those heroes are extinct

there is this man, plain, simple and troubled
clouds as they float overhead
bringing undecipherable tidings each day
and the darkness in their wake 
untold tales,  unforgettable nightmares

vision's play
nor agitated mind's

if a wall is built
between vision and mind
the construct will wither
you, me, life, humanity
so this man says

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

parvana chand - lover moon


ish'q bhee tu, aashiq bhee tu
pyar bhee tu, pari bhee tu
mehfil bhee tu, mehv e shauq bhee tu
kyun na aaj dastaan tri
bayaaN kardooN maiN
insouciant, imperial
with its craters and clouds
predestined, unbothered
by our perceptions

the ebb and flow
of tides and times
rising, waning
a nail clip, half or full
glanced from the cockpit
deflected on dew drops
silhouetting lovers' embrace
cascading through the branches
of thousand year baobabin selebi-phikwe
splashing its magic
over the mournful taj
the serene chanda
ever whirling
two lovers
hypnotized in separation
morbid, magical, mysterious
timeless love
of parvana moon


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Living in Denialistan

In addition to adhocism there is one other affliction that acts as anchors around our necks. I wrote about it here: Reactive Pakistan: The Pangs of Ad-hocism.

This other peer e tasma pa around the nation's neck is Denial. How many times have we seen a politician, a government honcho, a member of the civil society (that is you and me) stand up and accepted blame for the state of affairs?

It is as if we inherit a variation of NIMBY gene at birth.

East Pakistan, for which we have not apologised collectively, stands out. Our military and our government did not do anything that led to the irreconcilable differences leading to the separation. It is, you guessed it, Indian intervention.

The other province we ignore is Baluchistan. For the festering unrest there our list includes Israel, the UK, USA, and of course India. Not the federal honchos in Islamabad. (Digression: Guess who is demanding a cut of over 500 billion Rs. owed the Bugtis and other tribes for using their resources under agreed to agreements.)

FATA, FANA, Malakand,, sir it is them. They arm and fund these guys. They are not, they cannot be, our own Muslim brothers. These are miscreants funded by them.

I am not saying other nations are saints, playing flute.

If the Army used the Taliban's to create mayhem in Kashmir to tie down 500,000 Indian troops and create mayhem there, then what do you think the Indians would do when they see a payback opportunity?

But who created the clime where families abandon their kids to the madressas? Or leave their homes? Or asked to return to their homes without any credible civil administration place? Who created the discriminatory Hudood Laws? Who aided and abetted the administration to muzzle minority rights? Who silently acquiesced and by default gave rise to the terminal cancers of fundamentalism?

And I am not absolving the so called silent majority of Pakistanis - or at least those of them who could stand up and be counted.

If the state cannot provide opportunities for the honest citizen to earn honest living, what is he or she to do?

Pakistan is governed by a carousel of elites - drawn from the Army, the feudal landlords (including those elites who are cursed with the feudal mindset), media moguls, business oligarchs and the wily bureaucrats and politicians.

These five temporal pillars comprise of: 1: The Army, 2: The Parliament, 3: The Executive, 4: The Judiciary and 5: The self appointed Media.

These divorced from reality billionaires, (oh how we would see them impartially audited for their wealth,) talk about the common man. How dare they.

It is these elites, living in bubbles, behind high walls, guarded by Kalashnikov carrying mercenaries, who come on the screen and tell media talking heads about external threats and dictation.

The media has its own agenda. The owners want to make as much money as possible by any means necessary. They play on the gullibility of their readers and viewers. They are biased, opinionated and haughtily consider themselves the fifth pillar.

(Wave them a foreign junket and they would vie with each other to grab it.)

So, go to sleep peacefully. The dead in Karachi, Lahore, Baluchistan, Waziristan, and the dying all over Pakistan are not due to our shortcomings. They are due to the machinations of the US, India, Israel, and... please correct me if I missed anyone.

Monday, July 09, 2012

the epitah (qutba)

why is happiness tinged with sadness
and sadness tinged with happiness

death rains crimson

demented followers' spree
invoking heavens
killing the innocent
the despicable glee and fury
their ritual dance of death
with praises for the unseen
and curses and diatribes
for their victims

tunneled existence
thwarts reason

the epitah will read
the raison d'etre
of the nation's birth
is the cause of its death?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

random ruptions

pablo picasso

random interruptions

learn to trust nothing
then nothing will
learn to trust you

has anyone
sought cows' opinion
of mcdonalds?

skipping flying carpet
and camel
ann used the broom

used to
promote love

wonder why one god
needs so many

come to me, the muezzin said
come to me, devil beckoned
i was torn, guess who succumbed

she said
this path goes nowhere
i said roads are immobile

pick one, body or soul
made the choice easy

maldives sinks
we sink

[maldives is the little boy
in the hands
of the generals]