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Saturday, April 30, 2016

off pedestal

selectively, blindly
the iqra followers
neither read, hear nor see
words writ large
on clouds, in shadows cast
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
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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

the red carpet of life

the red carpet of life

the red carpet of life
leads to only one door
young, old, rich, poor
willingly or grudgingly
all walk up to that door 
no paparazzi take pictures
to make to the glossies
what happens past that door
is the stuff of conjectures

the surprise is 
till that moment of reckoning
that door is ignored 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

the lords and pehlawans

the lords of the akhaRa
the pehlawans of the ring
don straw caps, den(a)tured smiles
ride whipped voters
enjoy perks, privileges

tweak laws pass bills
sweep under the charpoy 
refer to the committees 
commissions judicial or...
appear active and take turns 
to pillage the national pot

the lords and pehlawans
lack the commitment
of the orchestra on titanic

await same fate

Monday, April 25, 2016

kal kiya hu'a

oos nay kaha
tum bhee khao
hum bhee khaiN
bari bari ka yeh khail
ram-zani nay 
kardiya kharab 

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Jip jip is no Sanskriti for rip rip...neither ripping nor resting.

This is the story of an errand.

We had just returned to Thamel, Kathmandu a day ahead of our flight to Bangladesh. Checked into our hotel, changed and showered and went out on an errand.

Flashback to Pokhara: "What are these guys whispering into your ears," asked M. 

Every 200 yards, a variety of Pokharans would inquire if I needed to restock on hash. I would politely decline or ignore their concerned offer.  

There was this one time, just by the lakeside, where a gangly Nepali youth approached me and said:

"Do you want a tourist car?"


"A guide?"


"A taxi?"



"No I don't need any hash, but ask the lady," I replied pointing to M.

He looked incredulous but did not approach her.

Out in the Thamel streets, nondescript passersby would whisper in my ear what sounded like "Jip, jip."

First couple of times, I smiled back at them and said "Jip, jip."

But after a while it got tiresome. Both of us had no clue what these strangers meant by "Jip, jip."


Fast forward to our return to the hotel room and a visit to the bathroom. As I tried to unzip, I discovered that the zip was already unzipped.

rekindling passion

let's be unfriendly
to rekindle

till the sunrise
cut no corners
then exhausted
      waking up
      friends again

Saturday, April 23, 2016

milap ka maza

milap ka maza

chalo ik baar
phir say dushman
bun ja'aiN 
hum donoN


(minors should skip this)

Friday, April 22, 2016



understood by

misunderstood by

Thursday, April 21, 2016

the other wingless bird

wingless bird 
by the watering hole
resigned to fate

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

mirror of truth

the sages fought
over the mirror of Truth
now it lies shattered
each piece valued
for the truth
it deflected

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

the wingless bird called time

the wingless bird called time
soars over mountains and lakes
buzzes through day and night
glides over emotions
stands still over the noose
stretches minutes into hours
prolongs anguish
cuts short joy
but lacks faith 
                    and faithfulness

waits for no one
waits upon no one

Monday, April 18, 2016

the world is round

at the intersection
they took different paths
and disappeared
only to meet (inadvertently)
at the same intersection
decades later

much had changed
it was an effort
to recognise each other
                       and love
that existed once
was buried
under time's avalanche

Sunday, April 17, 2016

duniya gOl hay

chaltay raho
moR aa'aiN gay
rahaiN bad'l jaiNgi
chaltay raho
chaltay raho
ik rOz
oosi moR per
phir mulaqat hogi
'pehli si muhabbat'
na hogi

Saturday, April 16, 2016


is it a cadency
borne of complacency
or immunodeficiency
that catches fancy
of pseudo aristocracy
or inefficiency
of the kleptocracy
we call k(h)akistocracy
both fed by illiteracy
having no coherency
just bankruptcy
of id, idea and idiocy

Friday, April 15, 2016


kali jo khili
dekha her soo khushi say
kali jo khili
fasurda hu'a maiN

Thursday, April 14, 2016

the brick

broken brick
now lying shattered
on the ground
had witnessed dastaans

once it was set
in a house
where children frolicked
lovers glanced shyly
argued and made up
families moved in
                         and out

after the last family left
(they whispered ethnic cleansing)
house was abandoned
nature took over
the house unraveled 
brick by brick...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

aa'mud e bahaar

bahar aaee
phool khilay

lo woh chalay
lo woh bhee chalay

chaman choRh ker
pardes chalay

humaiN choRh ker
pardes chalay

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


in the factory
in the temple
in the towers
in the ghettoes
in the belly

raging fire
in the mind
usurps pain

Monday, April 11, 2016


paani her soo
kashti naat'waan
patwaar ghayab
paas srif 
kitab e shariat
oos ko pee'aiN
ya jala'aiN

Sunday, April 10, 2016

adrift: choices, choices, choices

on a boat
mid ocean
destination not known
oars lost
no life jacket
water or food
only a book 
of shariah
to eat, drink 
or burn

Saturday, April 09, 2016

a smooth ride

the pot holes of facts
the divide of truth
on the highway of life
makes not a smooth ride

Friday, April 08, 2016

azaanaiN hee azaanaiN

bhai agha shahid ali
khush qismati hay aapki
srif post office ka rona hay
yahaaN tou her soo mehaz
azaanaiN hee azaanaiN haiN

Thursday, April 07, 2016

tagayyurat e zindagi

zindagi guzar hee jaati hay 
zik'r kya karaiN
suraj ki tapish
yak'h tareekiouN ka
mauj e havadis baha ker
sub ko waheeN lay jaati hay

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

the two oars

goes on
despite inclemency
happiness and sadness
the two oars
to known end

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

boujho tou janaiN

we detest proof
adore myths
generate slogans
ignore truth
abuse love 
love money
hate taxes
thrive on conspiracies

Monday, April 04, 2016

budmash badass

told a lass
in the class
avoid jackass
budmash badass
have no class
who trespass
(on) the grass

Sunday, April 03, 2016

not a (w)rap

not a (w)rap i

wrap an idea
it explodes

wrap a wound
it heals

wrap me
time ceases

not a (w)rap ii

wrap a feeling
not too tightly
or it will suffocate

wrap a feeling
with feelings
the warmth will linger

not a (w)rap iii

wrap a hatred
you'll burn

wrap your scorn
to discard 

wrap your discomfort
it will disappear

not a (w)rap iv

wrap a whim
surprise awaits

wrap your smile
pass them 
to strangers

wrap your dreams
enscoNce them
in your heart
they come true

Saturday, April 02, 2016

not a (w)rap iv

wrap a whim
surprise awaits

wrap your smile
pass them 
to strangers

wrap your dreams
enscoNce them
in your heart
they come true

Friday, April 01, 2016

sky is the canvas

sky is the canvas
for my words
i replace the brush
(and film)
to capture
fleeing feelings
troubling thoughts
to paint your smile