Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Vision

Opening the doors, that spent all their life gently serving
My feeble egoism, though taking none of my gratitude.

Eyes were then training to devour the flash of light and
To define the tangled threads of a motherly nature's love.

The light seemed offending at first, but my search for
Miracles found me hopping merrily behind the granter
Of  joy, an old lizard! As I searched the sparks of my
Vision, the moments were summed up by the words
                      I discovered myself

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Partition

I dedicate this poem to all Pakistanis. You are all as much a kin to me as Indians.

One of the many images of partition that moved me emotionally. It was also
the cover photo of  Yasmin Khan's book, The Great Partition

 The second column of Muslims passed,
Not a soul in our side had the strength,
To shower them with our words; cursed,
Along they passed as silent as us,
Drifting with the hot and wild wind,
That very often burns our face,
As we cut through this desert; wretched.

O lovely dawn of freedom,
while you showered purple and gold,
half of us never knew what future held,
Singing and dancing beneath the relentless sun,
we hugged and kissed the conspirator's arms.

The line drawn that sliced Punjab,
The surgical tool that dissected Bengal,
Never seemed more poignant,
Till it ripped us apart from Lahore,
And made us to savor this journey.

Guided by a false pretense of safety,
Moving onto a false notion of liberty,
Living on the narrow verge of insanity,
A humanity was displaced into sheer poverty.

O, the world we left behind,
The luxury and beauty of Lahore,
The exotic parlors, the crimson sunsets,
And vast field of wheat that stretched on and on,
All of it replaced now by the creeping bareness,
Of the Thar.

All my journey was guided by two eyes,
Eyes of a child, barely ten,
That never showed a tinge of skepticism,
While we were in spells of rue,
His eyes were curious for more.

The child's father died last night,
Another victim in this great fight,
The column never stopped,
The child with eyes that moved me,
Were left behind all alone,
Everyone were fighting their own war.

There were no time to turn back,
The column should move on,
Cause terror echoed with the fresh gust,
The desert shall turn into a tomb of dust,
And somewhere along we will face,
The men armed with guns and swords.

A plane dropped of some food today,
One slice of bread for each stomach,
In the desert it were a piece of gold,
And in the pain it gives us hope,
Away form The Promised Land we move,
Onto an India away from us,
Mentally and physically.

The third column of Muslims passed,
They pitied us and our flight,
A word of caution and inspiration,
Someone even gave us a bottle of water,
The thought of it makes me proud,
We are brothers after all,
We will remain so forever and ever.

Nearing an India we never saw,
What we left behind could never be sought,
And what we want can never be bought,
Memories of Lahore still burns,
As we enter into a land of ruins.

God bless India, God save Pakistan,
And I even pray for that man who gave us water,
When shall the countries give each other the same?

Many of us are settled, many of us died,
Those who lived on still muse over the world,
What insanity?! What torture?!
To have brothers ripping each other apart,
And eating on the others' heart.

Many still pray for the countries,
True we are brothers,
We are seeds that sprouted in the same field,
Yet overgrown and often alone.


Footnote
A poem I wrote some time back. Though not even my parents were alive during the 1947 partition of India, I gathered all the info though books, mainly The Great Partition by Yasmin Khan and Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. I also thank an aged friend of mine, who helped in narrating what he witnessed during those troublesome years. For any more info on the partition, here is what wiki has to say : Partition of India

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Poem Colored Red


The sober winds of a rather warm November
Blew steadily towards the East. From the seas
They traveled, and the people they subdued
Under their severe show of power, they also
Took a brief moment to share a poignant story:

'From the fields of a nation where red flags flew
With sparks of gold radiating from its corners
In passion and unwavering ecstasy, we speak of
Puerile minds who were offended of being
Abused by destiny which kept them hungry
Each morning, while we (the winds) ate their
Fragile (yet tasty) homes and drank their sweat.

Is it offending to be favored by birth? Anarchism
Proliferated among them, their withheld bodies
Ached for freedom and the legend of a man, who
Cut though winds in his motorcycle, gave them aid!
To be stupid and to be outraged is a mortal sin,
And it must be said with sadness, they paid!

How do you define a common man? What is it
That makes a man uncommon? Is it the luxury
That keeps him lie down in comfort, or is it his
Machiavellian tastes to be wealthier that inflames
Men like you? Whatever be it, all it took was an
Uncontrolled show of disgust which turned
Common men into exalted martyrs, and many
Granted us the blame for blowing their lives away.

We must say (in disgust) that the bearded saint
Is the one who deserves the blame, he rode
Them along in his travels through socialism,
And dropped them abruptly in burning fields
Of hysterical idealism, which was fed upon
By his fervent addition of a long lost hope.

So, my friend before we bid you adieu, we
Can show you the fate of bearing the potent
Ideals that they carried, for you to know.'

And then through their vivid gust, I saw a painting
Made by my concealed mind, in reverence.

The martyrs slept painfully in their red painted
Coffins, their hands were locked by the weight of
The Earth, their mind clogged by the blocked flow
Of blood, yet their spirits flew like the saint on the bike,
Out of their lifeless bodies, I heard his reverberations,
'Kill me coward, you are only killing a man!'

Notes
Inspired by 'The Motorcycle Diaries' and what I see everyday in my immediate surroundings. I dedicate this poem in reverence to the idealistic views of Ernesto Che Guevara who still lives and inflames the hearts of the oppressed with revolution and hope.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Chrysalis

Chastity of the world rose like dead fish and
The smell of un-cremated emotions stealthily polluted
The waters that flew patiently beneath the core.

Feeling the warmth of the decaying carcass, the poet
Laundered ceaselessly his stained outfit presented
By his mother at the revered hour when poetry was
Implanted in him with the surge of 'bili' lights.

He never slept again, waking up with a start,
Forgetting the jaundice which killed his better half,
Which continued to haunt him when he tried to move his limbs.

A stammer never escaped his speech, but his poems
Overflowed with the love that his mother lacked
When she left him alone with the blue lights, which
He revived unerringly, each time with a silent disgust!

On a day when apathy crept through his quiescent half,
He found a crushed chrysalis in his garden, he looked
At it and wrote the poem which you have just strode on!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Being a Legend | Adios to Sachin Tendulkar

Somewhere I have read a banner that said about Sachin Tendulkar, 'Many compare Sachin with God. I mean he maybe great, but not as great as Sachin'.

Having left the field for one final time today, I try to pay a small tribute for everything this cricketing legend did for the country in the past 24 years of his career.

To my audience who may not know of him, I must say, he is more than just a cricketer, but truly the most loved person in India. And that indeed is the reason why he was awarded Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian honor in India) and also became the youngest person (at 40) and the first sportsperson to receive the award.

When Sachin showed up in the cover of the TIME magazine


Along the unfathomable walks through
Streets that overwhelmed my vehement
Desires to keep track of the moments
That a nation forgets to take a breath,
I found devotees of a God that proclaimed
Neither of the miracles he performed, nor
Of the souls he led onto salvation, but
About a prodigy who could inspire lives.

Fasts went on till the final images of him
Shown on their old yet priceless television sets
Brought (perhaps egoistically) to steal the sight
Of a person who became their lover, brother,
Son, and friend. Even the scurrying rats of the thankless
Slums spread faith today (rather than epidemics),
As he took the final lap of honor.

I felt blessed to find his face etched forever
In my memory, to hear the chants of his name
Reverberating louder than prayers of a 'holy'
Nation, to feel the rhythm of the spell with
Which he envelopes the devotees with his
Wooden stick, to find my eyes disturbed
With an unguarded sprout of tears.

What happens from now? Where shall the
Countless worshipers go to seek peace?
Whom shall they consult during adversity?
Who shall guide them onto light?
Men may come and go, shouting hymns
And planting hysteria, creating God's
That are reduced to the boundaries of a
Lifeless stone and charmless shrine, and
Dissecting lives ever more, but a legend
Shall rarely come by again, to heal the
Mind and ensure credence, very unlike
A shooting star, but rather like an assuring Sun.

Footnote
I remember this one time when the Indian state of Maharashtra was having a communal violence which was organised by a 'political' group called 'Shiv Sena'. They hunted down a number of non-Maharshtrians and expelled many from the city of Mumbai. Anyone who stood against them was dispelled from the pleasure of living. Sachin Tendulkar made a brave statement then that, "Mumbai belongs to India. That is how I look at it. And I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that but I am an Indian first"
And this is probably why the last stanza may sound a bit odd when talking about a sportsperson, which obviously is not the only thing Sachin have been.