Sunday, May 03, 2020

यूँही चार-छे लइने

न बची थी कोई ज़िंदगी संवारने की लालसा।

या किसी आवाज़ की खनक को सुनकर झूमने की आरज़ू।

पर जबसे तुम आए हो पास।

ज़िंदगी संवरि सी लगती हैं।

और दिल झूमता है जब तुम्हारी खनक पड़ती है कानो में।

जैसे की किसी का पहला प्यार लौट आया हो।

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Some Lines Just Remain Inside You

Some lines just remain inside you

As your own secret

Once scribbled on the paper

But doodled away so no one else can decipher.

Or typed once

Then wiped out by the cruel Back Space on your keyboard.

Never to be typed again.

Some lines just remain inside you

They don't sprout any poem.

Or become part of a story that you write.

Some lines just remain inside you

As a throbbing pain sometimes

Or just as a niggle at others.

Some lines just remain inside you

As someone you spotted on the road once

But didn't stop to enquire about because you were in a hurry to reach somewhere.

Still, the image wakes you up with a start in the night even after years.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Honeymoon in the times of Corona

The phone buzzed around 3 AM making me wonder if I have committed to a trip to anyone, then remembered that we were in lockdown so no question of any trip. Then I checked the number for the country code, to know if it was from a fraudster from a foreign country wanting to steal money from my bank account as we are constantly warned by the phone companies. But, no it was a local number.

By the time I figured that out the call got disconnected. I was ready to go back to sleep thinking that I will return the call during the day time and see if it was from a known person.

But, it buzzed again within a few seconds, it was from the same number. I picked it up quickly not wanting to miss it again and asked "who the hell…" a stern voice replied "Abdul? This is police… Does the autorickshaw KL-43 9530 belong to you?" "Yes… it is parked just outside my house". "Oh! Then please come out". I could feel that his voice had softened.

What can I say… The scene outside was utterly heartbreaking. Forget the upholstery, those mongrels didn't even spare the tiny LED lights fitted in the side.

……..

This is a partially fictionalised version of a chat with a friend who stays in newly formed hotspot zone in the district. He has an autorickshaw that can be mistaken as a mini discotheque with a state of the art music system and fancy lights. He had even given me a few rides in his vehicle.

He narrated this incident (when I called him to ask how he and his family are coping being in a hotspot), where a couple of stray dogs torn the upholstery of his auto, which would cost at least ₹ 10000/- to repair.

And, the only words I could utter in consolation were "they would have thought this was cosy place to celebrate their Honeymoon", before he disconnected the phone.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

A Normal Day

Watching the sunrise from somewhere behind the concrete jungle.

Nothing to look ahead for or nothing to regret about yesterday's goof ups.

No proposals to be made about the upcoming projects or reports to be submitted about the completed ones.

No anxiety of facing the one man firing squad called the Boss.

No kids heckling you with their weekend plans, the list of movies to watch, new places to eat out in or birthday parties to attend.

A Normal Day has become a numb day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Birth of a poem

This was written in '97. I was doing a creative writing course (postal) from UK and they used to send a monthly newsletter about opening for freelance contributors in magazines and journals in the UK. In one issue I found a small column about a poetry competition with the title 'LOST' to be judged by an eminent poet (I don't remember who). This info was lingering in my head but I wasn't expecting anything to come out of it. Then bingo! I was going through the India Today in candlelight (those were the days of 30 mins load shedding & funnily those 30 mins turned out to be the most intense or focused in a 24 hrs day). There was a write-up about Soumitra Chatterjee, I don't remember the headline but the introduction had something like “he may have retired but his popularity refuses to go into oblivion”. The last word somehow rang a bell in my head and the last line was formed and very soon the whole poem was ready. So, I pulled a writing pad closer and jotted it down (yes! I used to write everything on paper with a pen in those days). Next day, I requested Dad to get it typed in his office PC and bring a couple of prints in the format specified in the newsletter. I did get the print out and a floppy disk in the evening with the comment "the lady who typed this told that you had spelt ‘existence’ wrongly and she has corrected it." No idea if he had read the whole thing. But, he did get me the Demand Draft for the submission and then I typed the covering letter attaching the poem and the DD with an unstamped self-addressed envelope requesting them that I’d like to have the opinion of the judge about my poem. I’d get it after a month or so on a piece of paper not bigger than a visiting card “We did not mean to use the title to be used in that context. And, only a person with severe physical disability can come up with the last line."

For me writing this at that time was an experiment with words rather than an emotional outpouring. But, I feel today it somehow resonates my mental state and I doubt that my mind will conjure up such a thing no matter however hard I try.

Lost

Dreams are lost with the sweet slumber.

Wishes are buried deep inside the heart.

The vulnerability to love,

The courage to hate,

Is lost.

Hopes for the future,

Memories of the past,

Are lost as I pass through the present.

Futility of existence pierces the soul.

Now I wish my life to be lost in the oblivion of eternity.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

An Urgent Shot of Insulin


I lay by the wayside in a drunken stupor

I can feel people passing by

As if oblivious of my existence

Or scrubbing their noses in disgust

Wish a stray dog just sniffs me

And lets the world know

That I’m not actually drunk

But in need of an urgent shot of insulin

Friday, November 23, 2018

Threshold of Endurance


Strip me off my dignity – daily

Until I put my hands up to surrender and say I Quit

But, I’m powerless even to call it quits

So, what I do is stretch my threshold of endurance a little further - daily