Monday, May 31, 2010

WHAT IF YOU ARE BUT A PLAY OF MY MIND?

Cloaked in our bitter mirth
I raise a toast to my defence-
Books my shield, poetry my armour.
You laugh at my absurdity,
My tragic state or rather,
My tragic attempt at tragedy itself
You mock me contemptuously,
“What a waste!” you say.
I know and you know.
But what you don’t know
Is you mock yourself when you mock me.
You think me vile, heartless and cruel
And sometimes as an innocuous dreamer.
Heck! Isn’t your ambition like any others?
The quest for power-
To wield the despot’s scepter and the crown,
To trigger revolutions and civil wars,
To fiddle with guns and cold metallic machines.
What if the bullets turn against you?
Would you mind? Would you even be surprised?
Do you care what the world says?
Has it ever mattered where we stand?
The sullen glances,
Why can’t we ever say?
Is it self- evident; an axiom?
Have you ever asked what you really are?
Does the bottle tempt you?
Is there an underlying current to the toast?
Like to prose to poetry,
We differ in our ingenuity
But we love busting bubbles,
Contradicting ourselves,
Mocking, deriding and desecrating ourselves.
Is it as quest to kill you or to kill myself?
I have tried to efface you
I swear I have tried
But the reflections demand a greater price
For I fear you are but a play of my mind.

WHY I NEVER SAY GOODBYE

What if we talk the whole night,
Do we have to say Goodbye?
Our paths meander,
We meet and move yonder;
But have we ever said it before?
Then why should we now?
It is not an ending,
Not a final stamp of finity.
We are not estranged lovers
Bidding each other a teary-eyed farewell
Nor are we friends
Parting after Graduation Day.
If we can still pick up
The strands of conversation
Notwithstanding days or months or years,
Then must we say goodbye?
Do we have to say a “hi”?
What are we? Do we know?
Do we even care?
Even if we knew,
Would we ever admit it to ourselves?
Or are we destined to spend our lives
Finding a tangible expression
For the things we never said?
If Goodbyes direct us to places on no return,
Would we find our way back?
Are we doubtful of the way back?
We are proud, we won’t return
If a Goodbye is said.
And even if we part ways,
I doubt Goodbye would be the word we say.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Indian Arthur

He smiles his dimpled smile as he zealously follows the book his great grandfather had written. He takes the man expected to inhabit 10, Downing Street in years to come on a tour of the ‘Real India’. The settle down for dinner in a Dalit home as the media hounds them. His ‘Lancelot’ recently ascended the throne of the valley. Would he, too, be handed over his rightful throne by the ‘Lady of the Lake’ ?
****************************************************
The Prince is too young, they say. So must the reigning ‘Cambridge-d’ king continue? As knowledge flows from his blue turbaned head, his followers chant, ‘Singh still must be King!’ ****************************************************
Four scores he has lived, with an autobiography dedicated to his country. His rivals have learnt to trace Parliament’s nightmare to his furrowed forehead. He groans and sweats under the age’s yoke; putting his years to shame. Though quick in opposition, would he be strong enough to lift Excalibur?
****************************************************
She holds the rein of the northern lands. But like a self indulgent child, she erects statues of herself and has her birthday celebrated more lavishly than Independence Day. ‘The Kingmaker’, they whisper in unison as she passes.
****************************************************
His dolls have earned a huge fan following even as he digests the country’s fodder and simultaneously earns unimaginable profits in the in the railway sector. They say he gave a tip or two to Harvard Business students too. ****************************************************
‘He will come to save us
From the falling sensex,
From the drizzling bullets
And the thundering bombs,
From religious fanatics,
From the evil unknown.
For the Indian Arthur we wait,’

written in februaury,2009 before the elections took place

THE MOB’S MARCH THROUGH THE CENTURIES

I was born from taboo’d whispers
Made by suffering peasants,
Yoked to the surmounting debts,
Groaning under the landlord’s tyranny.
Until one day I swarmed the city streets
Like the dreaded locusts that consumed the farms
Overnight, I consumed the people’s hearts
And marched to the palace gates .
Deposing the King ,beheading his kin
And crying,”Liberty,Equality and Fraternity”;
I was unprepared for the responsibilities that followed
Yet satisfied that the French Revolution was born.
I despised those in horse drawn carriages
Going to balls in their silk-laced gowns and feather’d hats
So I destroyed them all, crushed them when encountered
Consumed by my hatred, my other faculties numbed.
Trained armies were dispatched as grave diggers
Yet I broke my grave and emerged again
Raising a much more hideous countenance
Crying “havoc” and creating civil strife.
I have given countries freedom
As well as the miseries of Partition
I still proclaim the three sacred words.
Which serve as a mask for my hidden intention.
Reasons pass me by like the idle wind
I’m easily angered ,easily swept away by passion
Like the Roman mob of old
Seduced by Antony to strike against the conspirators.
No, I have not grown; just changed my form
I’m still the child I used to be
Uncouth,Uncared for,Unloved, Unruly
Yet still proclaiming,”Liberty,Equality and Fraternity!”

REWIND

We sit and pen our letters
Even as they type their mails.
They whisper of nuclear destruction
Even as we scream for lost causes.
They sit inside their glass structures
In their posh chairs and tables
Even as we sit on the grass,
Soaking the winder sun,
An archaic book in hand,
Gently turning the yellowed pages
Lest they crumble in our hold.
Of chauffeured cars and neon lights
Of prison cells and vaulted chambers
Of mujahideen and millionaires
We read in the newspapers;
Of a world we have turned alien to.
We- the horror poets ,time travellors,
Music makers, people haters,
Watch the world march past
Even as we rewind the CLOCK.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SUMMER’S GLORY AND MINE


Just twenty days since Summer passed
Yet all memories have assumed
A sepia tinged frame. No, not
Faded but grown distant as though
Summer had last come years ago,
Remember, in the heat of Summer
When you and I had explored the Alps,
Carved our love’s name in every lone rock,
Wrestled with poison ivy and listened
With rapt attention to the stories of the night
And Lev was truly ours?
Didn’t we cry and laugh
For silly, trivial things- a lost match,
In bitter defeat and sometimes,
In misguided friendship?
We would walk our walks with
Straightened backs, our young hearts
Overflowing with hopes and aspirations
As we build our skyscraper
With steel ideas and cement skills.
We saw our skyscraper bombed
Infront of our eyes
And we were taken prisoners,
Made guilty of the crime.
We were no match for the rest of humanity
Who decided equal love for one and all.
And they took it all-everything we loved
And made us sore.
But I must go back to Summer’s glory
Where I enjoyed my own.
And I must remind her to hold her mind
Even though she is long gone.

Note-Written sometime in March,2009.Summer, I hope you like this.

YOU WILL SING THE SONG I SING TODAY

I was barely more than a child,
And you were on the brink of adulthood
When you lifted your flawless fingers
And pressed the ivory keys;
Little knowing, hardly caring
That it marked the end of a childhood.
And my thoughts could not help but race-
Would you play it for me but once?
Take me to places I have never been before?
Reserve you smile just for me?
Those silent eyes search for me when your fingers play?
All these I wanted and so much more.
Six years passed and I longer dreamt.
You moved on, and I went with other men
Until today, as I sit again in your room,
I sing a song;
Hesitant and acutely self-conscious.
You motion for me to pick up the chorus,
I gather courage and let loose my voice.
It is hard, even more so
When memories are churned up,
Memories of what could have been
What we could be now.
I had played my part well.
I had yawned, I had rolled my eyes
When you said the things that matter;
Pride prevented me from showing that I care,
That all those things matter to me too.
I argued with you for causes
I laughed at your ideals, scorned them even,
Determined never to let you know,
And you never knew.
Tomorrow I will cross the gates,
You will linger on,
The memory of a young girl will fade into obscurity
But you will sing the song I sing today.

april,2010

WHY?

Why do smiles and rhetoric elegance
Turn prose into poetry?
And the glint of mischief
Mistaken for a sparkle of hope?

Why is the sadistic pleasure derived
From seeing his scar burn?
And the ones with innocent countenances
The first to bring the rampage?

Why is God never remembered
Until Pandora’sBox is opened?
And why must He be never seen
To retain the mystic hold of the unknown?

Why is the underdog made the hero
And the real hero martyred
Sacrificed at the altar
Of the God of mediocrity?

Why is the unintended able to wreck lives,
When love, hate and the fine line in between
Is blurred by the clarity of vengeance?
And the blame game never ends.

Why to every good intention
There is always a dark side?
Like black to white, dreams to nightmares
Why the scales forever sway?

Why does it grow on our existence
And transform us into beasts?
Why is every sigh and cursing
A tribute to the glorious past?

Gone are the days of childhood idleness
But the pressing thoughts remain
With the rain, the April blossoms
The falling snow and the soothing summer breeze.

TRACING SUMMER


I can trace the summer back to his sudden smile,
A Greek God like creature,
Unfolded Dreams of a divine nature,
Mortal love-Passionate but ephemeral,
Fleeting like the tragic autumn,
A Tithonus-Eos like love
But roles reversed,
He-the radiance in the eastern sky,
And I-cursed with a definite end,
Our love prophesized as doomed from the start,
No mortal dare desire a god,
But in our youth, we laughed it off.

MAN IN THE MIRROR


Friends come and go
Loves have highs and lows
Zenith’s passion quickly subsides
Even as the foliage trembles
Like the lips of a Grecian maid
Is that why you stand all alone?
Why you stare back with hollow eyes-
Devoid of life, or is it death?
What is then being fermented
Deep inside your soul?
Is the beasts ripping you apart
For a single flaw of yours?
You say it is life that you seek
Then why have you destroyed yourself-
Razed every buttress to the ground,
Desecrated your towers?
The fire of ignominy
Demands more sacrifices-
Will you fuel it still?
Then why do you remain
Devoted to your love for her?
She, who is a league above your kind,
She, who is being courted by many others.
You forgive Life’s follies,
The favours she showers
On her servile worshippers.
Yet you remain obstinate,
Unable to forgive Me-
The Man in the Mirror.

MIDWINTER’S NIGHT



On a midwinter’s night,
When the moon is out and bats abound,
A child is seen by the wave-washed shore.
She howls with the wolves,
Her mouths deliciously rouge;
Her smile the smile of an angel.
By the moonlight she sits,Concocting her spells and potions.
A glint the hint of her fang;
She looks beautiful still.
Her mother lies in a disturbed sleep,
A metallic laughter hangs in the air,
She churns out the dream;
The world is but a game to her
Humans her toys; their dreams her whims.
With every spell, the dream grows darker,
More grueling, more heart wrenching
Till it is no more a dream
But a torturous nightmare.
The night is frosty, the light is dim,
Flakes of snow highlight her being;
Lucifer grants her silent wish.
A mist descends on earth
But not a shiver escapes from her
Nor a single clatter of teeth
When a little boy ventures into the night
The sea roars, the girl sighs
And the boy is put to sleep.
The night bird hoots in fright,the mother wakes up with a start
Her glance falls on her sleeping child
She is satisfied but not Lucifer’s child.

FORBIDDEN LOVE

Saw you by the reflection on the ice,
Your cold, brutal eyes unlocked in me….
The desire to see those eyes fiery with passion,
To scorn you and be the object of your fury,
For did not the great poet say,
“Hell hath not see any fury
Than a woman scorned?”
And those ruddy lips
As though painted by sacrificial blood,
Be tamed to obey mine.
Her insolent gaze-
Unafraid, too much so,
Of never been denied a whim;
The reflection on the ice.
Shadows creep up,
They take me away.
Yet I know I have
Thawed your icy heart
Or why else would your gaze falter so?
The shadows drain the life out of me-
Slowly,painfully,deliberately.
And you watch silently,
Apathetic to my unprotested torture.You laugh an innocent laughter,
Guiltless in spite of the lives you have drained;
Relish felt at the capture of yet another prey;
But do you?
For your eyes tell a different story-
I observe the lifting of the icy veil,
So characteristic of the winter’s Potentate,
Even as I struggle to breathe.
You wonder why you feel
A slight uneasiness,
Why you feel a part of you dying
And you find no answer
But a broken smile from my dying self,
And still you wondered and never knew
That you had fallen irrevocably
In love with your prey.

AS SHE SKIPPED ALONG THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

DATED:sometime in september 2009.

She skipped along , palette in hand,
Armed with a paintbrush and visionsof Oz.
Swept by a whirlwind
To the Yellow Brick Road
She knew not where it led;
Was there even an end?
Should the good witch of the North
Be clothed in a sparkling gown?
And the Wicked Witch of the West
In black robes and a pointed hat?
What if it is done the other way round?
Would appearances not be deceiving
In the Yellow Brick Road?
Is the cowardly lion to join her
In his quest for courage?
Or is the lion a manifestation of her own self?
Would the Tinman desire a heart?
A heart that could be pierced with joy,
Find ecstasy in the depths of pain?
Would she want to paint that too?
Did she ever ask the Scarecrow
Why he wanted a brain for his strawhead?
To learn to construct aluminum bridges,
Built skyscrapers and lay down rails?
Did she know when they skipped along
Of the blinding emerald lights of Oz?
Yet she constructed, brick by brick,
The Yellow Brick Road to Oz.