baithak

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

crime

crime

wrist
boutonniere
garland
grave
shrine
ask the gardener
what is 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

Saturday, March 27, 2021

cliche cubrastan ii

 cliche cubrastan ii  


when pigs fly
when the fat lady sings
ugly as sin
all is fair in love and war, or NOT
and finally, as the bard said
to be or not to be
or better still
ghabrana naee

Friday, March 26, 2021

cliche cubrastan i

cliche cubrastan i

when all is said and done
in the final analysis
at the end of the day
when the tire hits the tar
ghabrana naee

Thursday, March 25, 2021

sleepless

sleepless

maiN poochta hooN khaabouN say
kahaan ghayab ho ga'aye 
arsh say awaaz aati hay
kya tumhaiN pata nahiN
sona shart e awwal hay

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

you know the country ii

you know the country ii

and here in the north
being muslim
am castigated
not for colour or caste
but for the actions of 
some misguided mad men

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

you know the country

you know the country

i come from a land
once pure, yes, once pure
over the years
things have decayed
so much that you can
examine the lord
but not the overlord

Monday, March 22, 2021

a blessing?

a blessing?

there is no moment for regret
there is no time to reminisce
when no one can hurt you
are you in a shangri la
or a victim of alzheimer?

Sunday, March 21, 2021

lynched dreams

lynched dreams

suspended
in the air
lynched dreams
still fearful
of the winds

Saturday, March 20, 2021

larzaan khwaab

larzaan khwaab

mu'al'luq
fiza'ouN maiN
lehratay khwaab
ab bhee
aan'dhi'oun say
haiN lar'zaaN

Friday, March 19, 2021

misty eyes

 misty eyes

jesus's (pbuh)
for we are still being nailed
muhammed's (pbuh)
for we have ignored the last sermon
imam hussain's 
for we face karbala day and night
jinnah's
for this truncated real estate...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

pur num aankhaiN

pur num aankhaiN

eesa (saw) ki
kay hum ab bhee saleeb per lutka'aye jatay haiN
muhamed (saw) ki
kay khutbatul widah kay baad bhee....
hussain (ra) ki
kay shub o roz karbala ka saamna hay
muhamm-ali ki
kay ooska aadha ehsaan....

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

barbed wire fence / khaardar sarhad

barbed wire fence

starved children
weary parents
fleeing
scorched earth
merciless tin pots

khaardar sarhad

balaktay bachchay
thakay maan-bap
farar kunaaN
jhulasti zameen aur
bay reham aamir say

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

yeh kaisi khalish hay ii

 yeh kaisi khalish hay ii


yeh silsila e shub o roz
jeh'd o hangaam e zindagi
aamad o raf't e naf's
kay hay yaqeen is am'r ka
hoga munqatah ik din
laikin ik khalish rahay gi baaqi  

yeh kaisi khalish hay i

 yeh kaisi khalish hay i


sab baataiN  -  muraw'waja
sab baataiN  -  tawaj'jah t'lub
sab kaam      -  zaroori
aur baad in sub kay
yeh khalish kaisi hay baaqi

Sunday, March 14, 2021

yeh jaan (two versions)

yeh jaan (two versions)

i

bus kay
bus maiN hay
na bus kay baaher
yeh jaan, aap kay

ii

bus kay
bus maiN hay
na bus kay baaher
yeh jaan, aap ki

Saturday, March 13, 2021

jub oosnay kaha hum khush haiN

jub oosnay kaha hum khush haiN

thandi aahaiN
p'ur-num nighaouN ka shikwa
rug rug maiN rawaaN bay-chaini
her aahat per youN dar takna
khushi nahiN khish-fehmi hay

the vagabond

the vagabond  


shivering in oily rags  

he sat over the subway exhaust vent

in the freezing night 

clutching a gunny bag of words

gathered over a lifetime

wondering if the sacrifices

he made collecting them 

were worth it

Friday, March 12, 2021

shub gareeda sehar*

shub gareeda sehar*


a year
a     l  o  n  g     year
in solitary
masked, washed, distanced
overdosed on introspection  
lost friends to covid
zoomed friends
vaccines ushered a dawn
a sub gareeda seh'r*
life and living
changed forever

https://rekhta.org/nazms/subh-e-aazaadii-august-47-ye-daag-daag-ujaalaa-ye-shab-gaziida-sahar-faiz-ahmad-faiz-nazms

Thursday, March 11, 2021

ik aur majboori / compulsion

 ik aur majhboori


khamoshi behtareen hay
m'gar majboori humari
chup rehnay nahiN daiti

compulsion

yes, silence is golden
but this compulsion mine
won't let me remain quiet

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

sounds familiar

 sounds familiar

in the blinding storm
the tribe trekked
seeking safety
deserting their dwellings
roamed for years
and when the dust settled
found themselves
back in the habitat
they had left behind

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

bed of mangoes

 bed of mangoes


for the viewing
lay me down on
a bed of mangoes  
head over sindhri
torso over chaunsa
legs over langra
all that sweetness
will not hurt
       finally

kaun kehta hay i-iii

 kaun kehta hay i-iii


i

kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
jao, oon yaadgar emaratouN kay 
sootounouN say pooch lo
jahaaN humaray naam ab bhee 
ik sung-dil maiN kunanda haiN

ii

kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
kya saal b saal
gulabouN ka sadqaa 
nahiN daitay hum?

iii

kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
yeh daikho, gao-mata ki khaal maiN aarasta
tumhari tasveer hay ab bhee mehfooz 
pichli jaib maiN humari

Monday, March 08, 2021

kaun kehta hay iii

 kaun kehta hay iii

iii

kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
yeh daikho, gao-mata ki khaal maiN aarasta
tumhari tasveer hay ab bhee mehfooz 
pichli jaib maiN humari

Sunday, March 07, 2021

kaun kehta hay ii

 kaun kehta hay ii


kaun kehta hay ii

ii

kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
kya saal b saal
gulabouN ka sadqaa 
nahiN daitay hum?


Saturday, March 06, 2021

kaun kehta hay i

  kaun kehta hay i


i
kaun kehta hay
shama e muhabbat gul ho rahi hay
jao, oon yaadgar emaratouN kay 
sootounouN say pooch lo
jahaaN humaray naam ab bhee 
ik sung-dil maiN kunanda haiN

Friday, March 05, 2021

faraib ya tasalli

faraib ya tasalli faraib ya tasalli jo hum khud ko daitay haiN jo hum apnoN ko daitay haiN jo jum ghairoN ko daitay haiN ya woh faraib e musalsil jo hum malik e roz e nau ko sada daitay haiN aur tasalli khud ko

 

Thursday, March 04, 2021

the sound of a zipper

the sound of a zipper

the sound a zipper
pulled up or down
on a dress or parka
is routinely inaudible  
but the most ominous
soul scratching sound
is thatof the zipper 
on a body bag

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

muqadder

 muqadder


wasooq say kaha darvesh nay
ger mil bhee gaya woh o majnoon
jal ker khaak ho ja'aye ga tu
maloom hay khak ka muqadder
jhalak ooski dekh looN ik baar

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

skating on thin ice

 skating on thin ice

why go to the lake when we are aware the ice will break unexpectedly and we'll go down

Monday, March 01, 2021

the beggar woman's eyes

the beggar woman's eyes

i have looked into many an eye
innocent, inviting, infatuating
dismissive, steely, transfixed
but her eyes
had an odd magnetism
dull, weathered  
eyes that have seen it all
once you lock eyes 
there is no escape