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Subtle Complexities and Myriad Simplicities by Ashok Subramanian P is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, December 07, 2017


I ride on wings of memories, I'm drenched in thy sunshine,
Ah! The vernal, winsome breeze, I travel space and time,
Sweet saccharine of banter, and subdued heartbeats of mine,
Cacophony of laughter, long silences that would chime,
How days would turn into nights, and nights into our days,
We frolicked through the spring, and sought our shelter in the heat,
And in the mist, oh! How thy eyes would sparkle through the haze,
To cosier confines of my mind, I slowly retreat,
I gingerly dream of us, lest my dreaming in its wake,
Opens my wounds of yore that I would once so fondly nurse,
In every sigh of thine, in every breath that thou wouldst take,
How I would string my passionate rhymes, my capricious verse,
And fresh as dew, resplendent as the Sun, our final tryst,
Where soul and soul were one, where thou and I so almost kissed!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Faiz in Translation: Nazm 'Yaad' by Faiz Ahmad Faiz Sahab

Yet another attempt at translating Faiz, and this one at a friend's request! One of my favourite nazms, beautifully rendered by Iqbal Bano in her inimitable voice (

As always, a disclaimer is due! I've taken my liberties, but I've tried to retain the rhyming scheme and the meter (It's awful difficult in English!). I hope it helps!

Urdu Transliteration:

Yaad (Ik nazm)

Dasht e tanhaai meiN, ai jaan e jahaaN, larzaaN hai,
Teri aawaaz ke saaye, tere hontoN ke saraab,
Dasht e tanhaai meiN, doori ke khas o khaak tale,
Khil rahe haiN tere pehlu meiN saman aur gulaab,

Uth rahi hai kahiN qurbat se teri saans ki aanch,
Apni khushboo meiN sulagti hui, madham, madham,
Door ufuq paar chamakti hui, qatra, qatra,
Gir rahi hai teri dildaar nazar ki shabnam,

Is qadar pyaar se, ai jaan e jahaaN! Rakkha hai,
Dil ke rukhsaar pe is waqt teri yaad ne haath,
YooN gumaaN hota hai garche hai abhi subh e firaaq,
Dhal gaya hijr ka din, aa bhi gayi wasl ki raat..........

English Translation

Memories (Wilderness of Solitude)

In the wilderness of my solitude, quiver and tremble,
A haunting ghost of thy voice, and a mirage of thy lips,
In the wilderness of my solitude, the distance between,
Now parched grasses, at your touch, bloom jasmines and tulips,

The air, enwraps you, and now glows in thy warm, perfumed breath,
Slowly burns in the heady fragrance, gently, gently,
In the far, far horizon, glistens pearly drop by drop,
The dew that falls under thy loving gaze, tenderly,

And full of care, my love! Thy effervescent memory,
Reassuring, a tender hand, on the cold cheek of my heart,
And though, the day of our separation dawns, it feels,
The sun has set, the night is nigh, and we'll never part........

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Translation: Nisaar Mein Teri Galiyon Ke..... By Faiz Ahmed Faiz Sahab

Another one of Faiz Sahab's nazms that kills me each time I read it! This was written during tumultuous times in his country (From Dast-e-Saba). I've tried to maintain the rhyming scheme and hence I've taken a lot of liberties with the translation. It's a poetic translation, that is, the idioms and phrases have not been literally translated, and I've tried to use phrases in English that is closest to the ones in Urdu (Disclaimer: That's merely my humble opinion!). I know that translations can never do justice to the original, but even if in parts it makes enough sense, that would be a thumbs up for me!

Original Urdu (English Transliteration):

Nisaar mein teri galiyon ke ai watan ke jahan,
Chali hai rasm ke koi na sar utha ke chale,
Jo koi chahne waala tawaaf ko nikle,
Nazar chura ke chale, jism-o-jaan bacha ke chale,
Hai ahl-e-dil ke liye ab ye nazm-e-bast-o-kushaad,
Ke sang-o-khisht muqayyad hain aur sag aazaad,

Bahut hai zulm ke dast-e-bahaana-joo ke liye,
Jo chand ahl-e-junoon tere naam lewa hain,
Bane hain ahl-e-hawas mudd'ai bhi, munsif bhi,
Kise wakeel karein, kisse munsifi chahein,
Magar guzaarne waalon ke din guzarte hain,
Tere firaaq mein yoon subh-o-shaam karte hain,

Bujha jo rozan-e-zindaan to dil ye samjha hai,
Ke teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi,
Chamak uthe hain salaasil to hum ne jaana hai,
Ke ab seher tere rukh par bikhar gayi hogi,
Gharaz tasavvur-e-shaam-o-seher mein jeete hain,
Giraft-e-saaya-e-deewaar-o-dar mein jeete hain,

Yoon hi hamesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq,
Na unki rasm nayi hai, na apni reet nayi,
Yoon hi hamesha khilaaye hain hum ne aag mein phool,
Na unki haar nayi hai, na apni jeet nayi,
Isi sabab se falak ka gila nahi karte,
Tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahi karte,

Gar aaj tujh se juda hain to kal behem honge,
Ye raat bhar ki judaai to koi baat nahi,
Gar aaj auj pe hai taala'-e-raqeeb to kya,
Ye chaar din ki khudai to koi baat nahi,
Jo tujh se ehd-e-wafa ustuwaar rakhte hain,
Ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nihaar rakhte hain!

English Translation:

To thy streets O Nation! I pledge my life,
Where the lawless vagabonds abound,
And the romantics who wander deeply in love,
In constant fear don't utter a sound,
Such is the order for hearts, the sanctuary,
As the stones are captive, the dogs run free,

Many are the reasons the oppressors deem,
As they passionately evoke thy name,
As they greedily plead and render justice,
Who shall be our judge, who the case shall frame,
But the days shall crawl for those who persist,
Divorced from thee the souls of ones who exist,

As darkness engulfs my gaol I know,
The glitter of stars would shower thy tresses,
And with a glint on my fetters I feel,
Thy gentle face the dawn caresses,
And in assumed days and nights we live,
Under the shadows of these walls we live,

And as always under oppression we reel,
Neither their customs nor our traditions are new,
And as always in scorching heat we've bloomed,
Neither their defeat nor our triumph are new,
Precisely why the sky we don't blame,
Or mourn endlessly this drought, thy name,

Today you're faraway but tomorrow would be ours,
Of no significance this lonely night,
If the lucky ones today are the oppressors, love!
Our dawn is not too far in sight,
Those who only in your thoughts dwell,
Hold the key to endure death's knell!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


She blew at me those bubbles of joy,
Evanescent and effervescent,
Like a heady autumn breeze,
That blew for me, her choicest scent,

That ruffled the pages, an open book,
Long forgotten, long unattended,
Scraps of a tatterdemalion's life,
A corner, a robe, a heart that bled,

I dwelt for a moment outside me,
Oh what web my mistress spun!
I left my tales of woe and pain,
And the tragic rhyme that I'd begun,

And in a moment, quick as they came,
They fizzled, broke and left me drenched,
Melancholic, as the poet in me,
His strangest, arcane thirst, now quenched!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Faiz Sahab's 'Ye Jafa e Gham Ka Chaara....' : A Translation

The Original (English Transliteration)

Ye jafa e gham ka chaara, wo nijaat e dil ka aalam,
Tera husn dast e eesa, teri yaad roo e maryam,

Dil o jaan fida e raahe, kabhi aake dekh humdum!
Sar e koo e dil figaaran, shab e aarzoo ka aalam,

Teri deed se siwa hai, tere shauq mein bahaaraan,
Wo chaman jahaan giri hai, tere gesuon ki shabnam,

Ye ajab qayamatein hain, tere rahguzar mein guzraan,
Na hua ke mar mitein hum, na hua ke jee uthein hum,

Lo suni gayi humaari, ke phirein hain din ke phir se,
Wohi gosha e qafas hai, wohi fasl e gul ka maatam.

English Translation

The solace of sorrows clutches, of heart's respite, this time, 
Healing hands of Christ thy form, the Virgin's face, thy thoughts, sublime!

Hearts and souls, the dust of, these lanes, my love, behold! How, 
Us broken-hearted, we hum, joyous and gay, desire's rhyme!

Even bereft of you, love! Verdant the heart in passion, 
Drenched by the dew that dripped from, thy curls, another time!

In your streets, beloved! What has become of me now!
Neither was I in full bloom, nor the funeral bells did chime!

Alas! Moves on, the day now, my cries unanswered still, sigh! 
Still same the cage, the corner, still same the captive rhyme! 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Poet Lament

Oh! How and when, did my workhorse pen,
A slumber did it sleep?
I came across a score, a dozen,
Verses, in a heap,
Of heartfelt notes, riddles and rhymes,
And clever limericks,
Sonnets, odes, most often times,
My cheapest, quickest fix!
Remember not I, what was that,
Which led me so astray,
Listless and distraught I sat,
Mourning every single day,
The ink had dried, the words did starve,
The verses now un-penned,
The song had died, and now I carve,
The stony silence, mend,
What remained of a heart bereft,
Of rhyme and reason, pray!
Bits and pieces, what was left,
And all I had to say,
I closed my eyes, my faithful pen,
The closest friend I had,
Rescued me from this mire, amen!
Spewed out a poem, sad!
Through my veins, the blood of yore,
Now pumped with all its might,
My words had formed a heart, and more,
I lived again to fight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wa-Yabqa-Wajh-o-Rabbik: A Faiz nazm in English translation

This nazm, one of my all time favourites, was written by Faiz Sahab against the policies of the hardline Islamist dictator of his country, Zia-ul-Haq. It was immortalised by the great Iqbal Bano, who defied orders from the regime and sang it in public, which then became the anthem of the people! Find the link below to a great performance by Iqbal Bano.

In the present time of religious bigotry and fundamentalism, such poetry evokes a sense of humanist pride in the reader/listener. Being an anthem of the oppressed, it would always make sense till the ideals of egalitarianism and democracy are effectively realised. I've tried my best to translate in a manner so as to maintain the rhyming scheme and also ensure that the strong message is not diluted beyond a certain limit, which cannot be fully avoided in translating thoughts from one language to another. Let's see how I fare with this almost impossible task!

Original Urdu (English Transliteration)

Hum dekhenge,
Laazim hai ki hum bhi dekhenge,
Wo din ke jiska wa'ada hai,
Jo loh-e-azal mein likha hai,

Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-giraan,
Ruii ki tarah ud jaayenge,
Hum mahkoomoon ke paanv tale,
Dharti dhad dhad dhadkegi,
Aur ahl-e-hakam ke sar upar,
Jab bijli kad kad kadkegi,

Jab arz-e-Khuda ke ka'abe se,
Sab but uthwaaye jaayenge,
Hum ahl-e-safa, mardood-e-haram,
Masnad pe bithaaye jaayenge,
Sab taaj uchaale jaayenge,
Sab takht giraaye jaayenge,

Bas naam rahega Allah ka,
Jo gaayab bhi hai haazir bhi,
Jo manzar bhi hai naazir bhi,
Uthega anal-haq ka na'ara,
Jo mein bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho,

Aur raaj karegi khalq-e-Khuda,
Jo mein bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho!

English Translation

We'll see,
We're destined to see,
The day that has been promised, look!
The pages of the eternal book,

When the mountains of cruelty and pain,
Would fly away like cotton wool,
Mother Earth, beneath our shackled feet,
Would lub dub dub dub beat,
And on the heads of the oppressors would,
Rain showers of defeat,

And from the land of God would,
The idols soon be cast away,
We pure at heart, outcasts of now,
Would hold the sceptre, pray!
Tossed would be the crowns, no longer,
Shall the thrones hold sway!

And only would His name remain,
At once present and evanescent,
The observed, and so observant,
Vaporous, the cries of 'Truth Prevail',
Which means you and I!
Would rule the Earth, the lambs of God,
Which means you and I!

Thursday, April 02, 2015


A poem is an onion,
Each read, another layer peeled,
And as we delve deeper,
And deeper still,
Layer after layer,
Lonely tear after tear,
Its flavour hangs vaporous,
Stronger and stronger till,
We reach it's solid core,
And then,
The levee breaks and,
Voila! Come the waterworks,
Unabated and real.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

آمد دوم

An (amateur) Urdu translation of WB Yeats' famous modernist poem, 'The Second Coming', which was written highlighting the condition of post World War I Europe. The poem alludes to a lot of Christian lore, a lot of which, some modified accordingly, are also part of Islamic beliefs, of which I am entirely ignorant. Hence, the evident use of more secular imagery in my translation.

Original Poem:

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Urdu Translation:

آمد دوم 

حلقہ در حلقہ بڑھ جاوے فاصلے
راہبری کا نہ سن پاوے راہی
مرکز ناتواں ، گرتا ہے سب کچھ
دنیا میں ہے چھایا غدر کا عالم
ہے غریق دریا ے خوناب
ہر جانب رسم دیار معصوم
سرد پڑے جنون اہل دل ، اور
 - سوزاں ہے جذبہ  اہل ہوس

کوئی راز کا کھلنا ہے ضرور
آمد دوم کا وقت ہے ضرور
آمد دوم! ذکر ہوتے ہی
تاریخ کون و مکاں پہ نمایاں
 تصویر زحمت، بحر ریگ صحرا
اٹھے جس سے شیر سا بدن، آدم سا چہرہ
بے رحم نگاہیاں، مثل شمس دوپہر
جانگھوں کو ہلاے ہولے، اور درمیاں
- اڑتے دشت کے برہمی پنچھیوں کے ساے

پھر چھائی ظلمت، کہ واقف ہوں اب
بیس صدیوں کی بے جاں نیند کو
برے خوابوں میں پریشاں کرتے ، لرزے ہے جھولا
آخر کیسا حیوان، کہ وقت اب ہے آئ
سمت بیت لحم رینگے، پیدا ہونے کے لئے؟

English Transliteration:

Aamad e Dom

Halqa dar halqa badh jaawe faasle,
Raahbari ka na sun paawe raahi,
Markaz e natawaan, girta hai sab kuch,
Duniya mein hai chaaya ghadar ka aalam,
Hai ghareeq e darya e khoonaab,
Har jaanib rasm e dayaar e ma'asoom,
Sard pade junoon e ahl e dil, aur,
Sozaan hai jazba e ahl e hawas.

Koi raaz ka khulna hai zaroor,
Aamad e dom ka waqt hai zaroor,
Aamad e dom! Zikr hote hi,
Tareekh e kon o makaan pe numaayaan,
Tasweer e zehmat, beher e reg e sehra,
Uthe jis se sher sa badan, aadam sa chehra,
Be rehem nigaahiyaan, misl e shams e dopahar,
Jaanghon ko hilaaye haule, aur darmiyaan,
Udte dasht ke barhami panchiyon ke saaye.

Phir chaai zulmat, ke waaqif hoon ab,
Bees sadiyon ki be jaan neend ko,
Bure khaabon mein pareshaan karte, larze hai jhola,
Aakhir kaisa haiwaan, ke waqt ab hai aayi,
Simt e Bethlehem renge, paida hone ke liye?

Monday, March 23, 2015


रात की मृत देह से उठ आई है एक सुप्रभात​,
अन्धेर आँसू पोछने लो आई है यह सुप्रभात,

रुदालियों को कर बिदा, देखो गगन की ठाठ​,
मांग पर सिंदूर सुहागन भरने आई सुप्रभात,

पत्तियों पर गिरके उठता उसके किरणों का जो लय,
भरने बसंती रंग उपवन में लो आई सुप्रभात​,

बागों के गर्दन को सजाने आई है एक सोनपरी,
और ओस की बूंदों के मोती को पिरोने सुप्रभात​,

धरती के अधरों पे है आई एक हँसी यह जान के,
सूखे माटी पे कनक बरसाने आई सुप्रभात​,

विश्व के सागर में उठते हैं लहर वो नाम से,
कहते "हुई अब नींद जागो आ गई है सुप्रभात​",

क्या कहे पत्थर के मूरत सौंपता जब फूल में,
"रात अब भी है तेरी और है मेरी यह सुप्रभात​!",

देखो डगर में घूमते तुम "साँस​" को उलझा यदि,
जान लो सब बन्द हैं मधुशालाएं, हो सुप्रभात​!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A Quick Translation: Roshan Jamaal-e-Yaar..... by Maulana Hasrat Mohani

A very popular ghazal by Maulana Hasrat Mohani, my favourite rendition is by Begum Abida Parveen from her album Raqs-e-Bismil (Dance of the Wounded); a quick, even haphazard, at times careless translation of this masterpiece. Do bear with me!

Urdu Original (English Transliteration):

Roshan jamaal-e-yaar se hai anjuman tamaam,
Dehka hua hai aatish-e-gul se chaman tamaam,

Hairat ghuroor-e-husn se, shokhi se izteraab,
Dil ne bhi tere seekh liye hain chalan tamaam,

Allah re! jism-e-yaar ki khoobi, ke khud ba khud,
Rangeeniyon mein doob gaya pairaahan tamaam,

Dil khoon ho chuka hai, jigar ho chuka hai khaak,
Baaqi hoon mein mujhe bhi kar ai! tegh zan tamaam,

Dekho to chashm-e-yaar ki jaadoo nigaahiyaan,
Behosh ik nazar mein hui anjuman tamaam,

Hai naaz-e-husn se jo firozaan jabeen-e-yaar,
Labreiz aab-e-noor hai chaah-e-zaqan tamaam,

Nash-o-numaa-e-sabza-o-gul se bahaar mein,
Shaadaabiyon ne gher liya hai chaman tamaam,

Is naazneen ne jab se kiya hai wahaan qayaam,
Gulzaar ban gayi hai zameen-e-dakkan tamaam,

Achcha hai ahl-e-jaur kiye jaaein sakhtiyaan,
Phailegi yoon hi shorish-e-habb-e-watan tamaam,

Samjhe hain ahl-e-sharq ko shaayad qareeb-e-marg,
Maghreb ke yoon hain jam'a ye zagh-o-zaghan tamaam,

Sheeriniye 'Naseem' hai, soz-o-gudaaz-e-'Meer',
'Hasrat' tere sukhan pe hai lutf-e-sukhan tamaam!

English Translation:

Illuminates, her graceful beauty, the gathering, aplenty,
A lone fiery bloom, up in flames, the garden aplenty,

Obfuscates, thy beauteous charm, wiles at the wink of an eye,
The heart has too, learnt the ways, of chicanery aplenty,

Hallelujah! Her material form, so wretchedly beautiful,
Flares up, a palette, a million hues, her raiment, aplenty,

My desolate heart lies wasted, my spirits lifeless and cold,
Relieve me, with the sword, like my shackles aplenty,

Behold! The captivating gaze, of her bottomless eyes,
In a moment, knocked out cold, the gathering, aplenty,

Unblemished shines her coquetry, through her lovely brow,
Every dent on her face now, emits radiance aplenty,

Blooms myriad hues of spring, fecund the lush green,
Clothed in verdant hues blooms the garden aplenty,

Since this land, she has made her home, lo behold! the sight,
The Deccan now, a flower-bed, with colours aplenty,

Let the oppressors oppress, it's a blessing in disguise,
Patriotic fires, would only then, be kindled aplenty,

Thinking the people of the Orient, close to mortal death,
In droves, the Occident's birds of prey, encircle aplenty!

Infuses the sweetness in 'Naseem', the passionate intensity of 'Meer',
'Hasrat', in thy verses, play, the nuances of poesy aplenty!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wishful Thinking

I wish I were a long-lost rhyme, planted on thy luscious lips,
By the percussive raindrops, that set to tune, heartstrings thine,
I wish I were the morning rays, the sun that adorned thy world, Hark!
I would drench in light thy being so, sheer radiance, halo divine!
I wish I were the summer moon, that would thy sun eclipse,
Second fiddle, to thy refrain, to trail thy melody in a flash,
In thy heart, the forest dense, I wish I were a spark,
That would in flames, engulf it all, to leave just smoke and ash!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I had risen, like the Sun,
In her desolate Autumn,
Shining, hope and warmth abound,
I endeared myself to her,

We frolicked along the icy streets,
Melting the crystal snow,
Unwrapped the brightest hues of life,
From their coffins cold,

And as the air grew warmer,
The colours grew brighter still,
In them she made friends anew,
While haplessly I shone,

And then came her Spring, I saw,
Beauty unmatched, from far,
I was a relic of the past,
Having overstayed my welcome....

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Translation: Faiz Ahmed Faiz Sahab's "Ek Rahguzar Par"...... - "Down Memory Lanes"

The most ambitious of my translations, this is another beautiful nazm of Faiz Sahab's. It's written in 13 rhyming couplets and I have tried to retain the rhyming scheme and maintain the meter of the poem. Again, I have consciously avoided a literal translation; I have instead chosen words and phrases that would, in my humble opinion, capture the essence of the Urdu lines. For a few Urdu words and phrases, there could be no possible translation that would both capture the literal meaning and also produce the intended effect; I've liberally interpreted those into English verse, for example, the last couplet, it contains so much within so less that I'm inclined to believe that certain emotions could only be captured in specific languages and I may be forgiven if the liberties I've taken seem a little too much! I've never seen a woman being described in more flattering terms than these; Faiz Sahab was indeed one of the greatest romantics ever!

Original Urdu (English Transliteration):

Ek Rahguzar Par

Wo jiski deed mein laakhon masarratein pinhaan,
Wo husn jiski tamanna mein jannatein pinhaan,

Hazaar fitney, tah-e-paa-e-naaz, khaak nasheen,
Har ik nigaah khumaar-e-shabaab se rangeen,

Shabaab, jis se takhayyul pe bijliyaan barsein,
Waqaar, jiski rafaaqat ko shokhiyaan tarsein,

Ada-e-laghzish-e-paa par qayamatein qurbaan,
Bayaaz-e-rukh pe sahar ki sabaahatein qurbaan,

Siyaah zulfon mein warafta nikhaton ka hujoom,
Taweel raaton ki khwaabeeda raahaton ka hujoom,

Wo aankh jis ke banaao pe Khaaliq itraaye,
Zubaan-e-sh'er ko t'aareef karte sharm aaye,

Woh hont faiz se jin ke bahaar laala farosh,
Bahisht-o-Kauser-o-Tasneem-o-Salsabeel badosh,

Gudaaz jism qaba jis pe saj ke naaz kare,
Daraaz qad jise sarw-e-sahi namaaz kare,

Gharaz, wo husn jo muhtaaj-e-wasf-e-naam nahin,
Wo husn jis ka tasawwur bashar ka kaam nahin,

Kisi zamaane mein is rahguzar se guzra tha,
Basad ghuroor-o-tajammul, idhar se guzra tha,

Aur ab ye raahguzar bhi hai dilfareb-o-haseen,
Hai iski khaak mein kaif-e-sharaab-o-sh'er makeen,

Hawa mein shokhi-e-raftaar ki adaaein hain,
Faza mein narmi-e-guftaar ki sadaaein hain,

Gharaz, wo husn ab is rah ka juzu-e-manzar hai,
Nayaaz-e-ishq ko ik sajda-gah mayassar hai.........

English Translation: 

Down Memory Lanes

The one, beneath whose eyes, a million delights conceal,
Her beauty, the allure, paths to Pearly Gates conceal,

Tempts, her delicate tread, in a thousand ways, my soul,
Fecund, her intoxicating youth, in each glance of hers we stole,

Aah youth! that electrifies, the realm of my senses so,
The companionship, of the solemnity seeks, each gaiety, piningly so,

Sighs, the end of it all, as each caprice of her sashays,
Odes, in bright light, the morning, weaves to caress her face,

Stifled, in her dark tresses, heady fragrances brew,
For longish nights, a respite, as delightful dreams ensue,

The creator himself, proudly exults, at the form of her eyes,
Tongue-tied, lines of verse, in vain, to paint her form, it tries,

The bounteous lips, they lend, a rosy hue to Spring,
Led astray, those who seek, heavenly streams, they bring,

On her ravishing form, meanders, flowing robes, her attire,
Songs of wandering minstrels, her stately build, inspires,

Such beauty, need not on, ministrations it thrive,
Not possibly from mortal thoughts, it may soul derive,

Long ago, through these lanes, I had for a moment, passed,
Held in awe, her enticing frame, vainglorious, as I passed,

Down these memory lanes, enamoured, enticed, I traverse,
Enwraps my being, the very wind, she breathed in wine and verse,

Hangs vaporous, the elegance, over the ground once she tread,
Softly plays in the air, her eloquence, a melody she impressed,

And thus, these lanes shall forever, her immortal beauty retain,
Always would, for seekers true, a refuge they remain.......

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reason and Rhyme

Your poems are obsessively mine, 
I live each metaphor enthusiastically, 
Breathes life into me each allusion, 
And I paint vivid vignettes of my own, 
I yodel and howl and bark and plop, 
To bring to life thy onomatopoeia, 
Sing along to the chorus, iambic pentameter, 
And falsetto to the haunting refrain, 
Mere mention of a breeze ruffles my hair, 
Brings to me thy distant fragrance, 
Drenches me each raindrop and tear, 
And I shiver, helpless and frail, 
Amuses me every limerick and riddle, 
In your voice, the cadence I hear, 
In awe, mouth gaping wide, 
I relive each memory, 
Hand in hand with you, 
And as you end your little adventure, 
I fall to the floor, limp and lifeless, 
Only to rise and live again, 
Through thy verse and rhyme.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Funeral: Grave Diggers

I was buried not long ago, 
Without much fan or fare, 
Few lips that prayed a requiem low, 
Few anecdotes to share,

I had in mind a different scene, 
Oft in dreams I dreamt, 
Few limericks for what I'd been, 
To inveigle and to tempt,

Shrouded in a regal way, 
And a countenance to match, 
Emotions running high, astray, 
A mournful lovely batch,

But alas! It dawned on me, 
Brought forth a lonely tear, 
The world that we now touch and see, 
Is the very one we fear,

We love those who would never care, 
In earnest bits of heart and soul, 
Sleepless nights, Into darkness stare, 
On fragile hearts, memories toll.

My Masterpiece

On parchments fine, 
In vain I try, 
To build in verse a masterpiece, 
My very own last supper in rhyme, 
A futile attempt to reason, 
With words of mine,tainted, 
Hollow and bare, 
Shamelessly hers to claim, 
That clings to a fond memory, 
That my pinings conjure, 
As blooms to a long lost spring, 
A relic of affluence, 
Still painfully fragrant, 
In acrostics I try to spell her name, 
Only to deceive my own intentions, 
To put to order emotions mine, 
And I get lost amidst, 
Her tresses and my words.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Another year older,
And none the wiser,
And such other cliches,
That remind you,
There's nothing as pedestrian as,
Looking in the mirror at an aging visage,
Greying ends of lost chances,
That whooshed past to ricochet,
Off the smooth surface,
Of liquid glass,
And form the humble reflection,
That fills into the mould,
Of your present self.

An excerpt from Vaikom Mohammad Basheer's Janmadinam for those who can read Malayalam:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Holding my life by the scruff of the neck,
She casts me away with a dismissive gaze,
Like crumpled sheets of incomplete verse,
Discarded frivolously about,
The confines of her personal space,
Her sanitarium of sorts,
I picked up bits of blotted lines,
To spell out my luckless name,
But alas! Even with harsher lines,
She enlivens my dreary life!

Poet and Status Quo

As a cynic, I believe,
That cynicism is the last step,
Of Status Quo,

And the first step,
To revolution, a violent overthrow,
Of the existing order.

Indolence, on the other hand,
Is sublime, as the Poet,
Practiser of the art.

Speak of a revolution,
Yawn a little, stretch a little,
And maintain Status Quo.


Clinically precise, her slash,
My heart, now divided,
Two globules of throbbing pain,
Hemispheres like Mother Earth,
One dark, while the other's shined on,
Her illuminated thoughts,
So tender, yet so diabolical,
Like a tinge of sweetness abounds,
A draught that blesses,
Perpetual sleep.

To Inspire.....

Unfettered, would my thoughts soar,
Devoid of chains of tongues,
Hordes from hordes of people tore,
From the lowest of rungs,
Hangs tenderly the mortal remains,
An erstwhile revolution,
An uprising, now spirits wane,
A fading remonstration,
To what ends were the swords drawn?
Why the blood was spilled?
Alas! An unforgiving dawn,
All our defences killed!
Illuminates our misdeeds galore,
The ebullient sun,
Rises above in legend and lore,
Bloody rivers that run,
Irrigating the dormant hearts,
Now motivated to strike,
Redder rivers in tributaries part,
Just as poets like!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Foolhardy Clown - II

Woke up from slumber,
The afflicted Clown,
Wronged and condemned,
To exist in purgatory,
A barrage of poisoned arrows,
Against a felt-tipped dart,
In a mumble,
A voiceless sob,
'I've died and risen to die again,
Thou woundeth me with thy care,
My mysterious rhymes,
Have burdened your heart,
Your poor, fragile heart,
Innocuous lines in jibe and jest,
In a veil of careful rhymes,
I chose to speak in riddles,
When all thou wished was love,
I chose to spurn thy selfless care,
Lest I cared for thou,
All I have are islands few,
And you, the whole wide sea,
I'm a humble date-palm,
You, the oasis free,
I don't wish to exist,
As a frequent thorn,
Lest my repentance,
Spills out to burn,
Thy lovely face!'
And he dropped lifeless,
To the cold floor.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Republic Day

Aye fellow countrymen! Hear, hear!
Sixty four years have rolled by now,
Since the Big Book was made so dear,
Reverently, respectfully, bow bow bow!

For the hungry men have had the rights,
To express their views, congress peacefully,
To the boundless skies, set their sights,
And wallow endlessly in penury,

New dawns do dawn on horizons, Aye!
And shine ebullient naked souls,
They scavenge through the weary day,
Like pawns, damned in eternal roles,

You and I now cast our votes,
On the planks of exalted democracy,
Indelible ink, proudly displayed, like goats,
We bleat on eternally!

The Foolhardy Clown

The foolhardy clown, said he,
With a hint of remorse,
'I want you to, Oh love of my life!
To discard me like yesterday's refuse,
Crumpled and torn,
Wrecked and worn-out,
Like us and my promises,
Cross out my names on pages now,
Yellow with age and neglect,
Fraying edges, like journals old,
Of forgotten times,
Don't you spell out my name,
Like the verses once you penned,
Lest it bring my tune to mind,
And overwhelm your heart,
If you stumble across a crumpled sheet,
Of my personal verse,
Don't hesitate, for a second, love!
To incinerate the lines,
So it lets you sleep at night,
And live a blissful life!'
And then he sighed.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Poet and the Wise Man

What is the point of life,
A wise, unhappy man opined,
Hurdles deter at every strife,
The will to survive the daily grind,

Tireless, our existence crawls,
Nearing its eventual destiny,
To the ground, when time stalls,
Would raze our fruitless mutiny,

Things we hope to leave behind,
Seldom stand the test of time,
Ashes and dust merely do remind,
The living, of an uneasy, dreary rhyme,

War and peace and love and tumult,
Are mere distractions for the soul,
The cards that we are often dealt,
A game that cries instantly foul,

Oh Wise One! Said the poet he,
Do hear my penny's worth,
Through my eyes for a moment see,
The world I do put forth,

The quest for the bigger picture leaves,
The best of us in pain,
But for the man who still believes,
There's a world in each refrain,

The mounds of dust thou often see,
Are my fanciest memories,
That float the vacuous realm free,
My whims and my little vanities,

A moment's heat, a second's smile,
A gentle touch, a dainty tease,
A harmless wink, a lover's guile,
An hour's war, a minute's peace,

And the air that I shall breathe,
A testament to my existence,
And the ground I tread beneath,
And marks I leave of penitence,

Odes to her grace and form I write,
In the hope that someday far away,
My verse would flatter and delight,
Her, in pages carelessly cast away,

Oh Wise One! Do you now see,
The world I paint, My canvas bright,
To live in moments or merely flee,
Is one's own choice, is one's own right,

You tell your stories woebegone,
I spin a beautiful yarn,
Together from us a life is born,
Dusk and night and day and dawn!

Father and Son

From my innate flawed self,
I'd spawn forth a luckless one,
Stuff his cradle and baby shelf,
With little teddies and fears unknown,

On lullabies that I fondly sing,
Subliminal bigotry to put to sleep,
On tender rhymes that I often bring,
Intricacies dear to forever keep,

Him and his wildest dreams in check,
Lest they wander aimlessly,
Through streets of sanity bedecked,
With gems and jewels strewn generously,

Clothe him in robes of scarlet red,
Fetter his innocent soul in place,
And on the streets, listless I tread,
I reserve for him a special place,

Fables I recite on his bedside,
Would kindle in him a raging fire,
In vain to douse the flames he'd try,
Trapped in a perpetual spinning gyre,

In his piggy bank, I'd put,
The coins my coffers abound,
Stamped on, the ships of hope that sank,
Flotsam and Jetsam lost and found,

At leisure, I would take him out,
To show the life I lived,
In nightmares he would scream and shout,
In tongues the gods forbid,

Reverence as a virtue not,
His heart would ever imbibe,
And in bliss, My tiny tot,
Would leap with pride and joy,

Behind the venetian blinds I'd stand,
Would swell my chest in pride,
Unwittingly to a hostile land,
I transport him, side by side,

And thus the nails in his coffin, I,
Would drive in ever so lovingly,
A bitter man, he shall too try,
To leave his mark unwittingly!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Sepulchre (By the Sea)

You were the waves that once caressed,
The sands of the vast expanse, My heart,
And I with every rolling touch,
Would soak in me thy loving care,

Sometimes you would purposely leave,
A foamy stretch of remembrance,
That I would Oh! From the Sun then shield,
Lest the bubbles should sparkle no more,

Sometimes you would carelessly leave,
Little puddles of saline joy,
That I would lap up gingerly,
For a distant, familiar aftertaste,

And how the words so fondly writ,
Would disappear with thy ebb and flow,
And how very possessively so,
Thou wished for my companionship,

Thou would so often relics bring,
From the depths of thy roaring sea,
Flotsam and Jetsam of ancient ruins,
In hope of a smile or a grateful nod,

And the sparkling in thy fluid form,
As I watch you slip and glide away,
Would effervesce till the time crumbles,
To bring to view thy beloved form,

But soon I grew weary and tired,
As needles in a clock would be,
If they too had as much as life,
And as spirit as much as yours truly,

And then for granted I took thy flow,
So clockwork, Yet unwavering still,
Unassuming, thou in fondest tide,
And I so very listlessly lay,

Now blows the wind and shines the Sun,
On my glistening Sepulchre new,
You still visit as when you please,
Unselfishly laying watery wreaths! 

Monday, May 07, 2012

A Translation: Nahin Nigaah Mein Manzil......... Faiz Sahab's Ghazal

My first attempt at translating a ghazal, a form of poetry that is usually very language specific to Farsi and Urdu, I've tried to retain the rhyme and the meter of the original form, again, it's not a literal translation.

The Original Urdu (English Transliteration)

Nahin nigaah mein manzil toh justjoo hi sahi,
Nahin wisaal mayassar toh aarzoo hi sahi,

Na tan mein khoon faraaham, na ashk aankhon mein,
Namaaz-e-shauq toh waajib hai, be-wuzoo hi sahi,

Kisi tarah toh jame bazm maikade waalo,
Nahin jo baada-o-saagar toh haa-o-hoo hi sahi,

Gar intezaar kathin hai toh jab talak ai dil!
Kisi ke waada-e-fardaa ki guftgoo hi sahi,

Dayaar-e-ghair me mehram agar nahin koi,
To 'Faiz', Zikr-e-watan apne roobaroo hi sahi.........

English Translation

If the goal is not in sight, For mere desire I'd settle,
If a glimpse is too much to ask, For mere longing I'd settle,

Even with no blood to spare and no tears to shed,
Dutiful is my prayer of passion, Pure or impure I'd settle,

My fellow taverners! Let the revelry begin now,
Empty goblets, No flowing wine, For mere banter I'd settle,

If painful is the wait, till then Oh Love!
Her future promises, For mere reminiscing I'd settle,

If no friend amongst unknown faces I find, Face to face,
My country's praises 'Faiz', For a mere mention I'd settle.......

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Fleeting Glimpse

I lie, curled up and subdued,
A scaredy cat by the corner,
She swallowed me in fastidious gulps,
Spat out, In copious measures, She
My sanity and caprice, And fed me,
With the mundaneness of her world,
Unwittingly, I manifest in,
The catacombs of her dark womb,
Pregnant, My thoughts with the allure of light,
The warmth of the rays of the splendid sun,
Le Soleil, The life that once belonged,
To me, And just for me it bloomed,
To ink my parchment blanche with lines,
Of personal and private verse,
Flowed turbulent my articulate odes,
To the silken gown that adorned her form,
And flapped in the breeze her dainty scarf,
Intoxicating the gusts of wind,
The storm, so stifled, In her tresses,
And the goblets, her bottomless eyes,
Would I live long enough to see,
This haunting, evanescent memory?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mozoo'-e-Sukhan (Gul Hui Jaati Hai...) Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Another one of Faiz Sahab's nazms, a more ambitious project, I was a little more liberal and personal with this translation, it was very very difficult for me to bring forth the emotions portrayed in this one, if a single couplet retains the original's charm, I would consider myself fortunate.

English Transliteration from the original Urdu


Gul hui jaati hai afsurdah sulagti hui shaam,
Dhul ke niklegi abhi chasma'ee maahtaab se raat,
Aur mushtaaq nigaahon ki suni jaayegi,
Aur un haathon se mas honge, Yeh tarse hue haat.

Un ka aanchal hai keh rukhsaar keh pairaahan hai,
Kuch toh hai jis se hui jaati hai chilman rangeen,
Jaane us zulf ki mauhoom ghani chaaon me,
Timtimaata hai woh aaweezah abhi tak keh nahin.

Aaj phir husn-e-dil-aara ki wohi dhaj hogi,
Wohi khaabeeda si aankhen, Wohi kaajal ki lakeer,
Rang-e-rukhsaar pe halka sa woh ghaaze ka ghubaar,
Sandali haath pe dhundli si hina ki tehreer.

Apne afkaar ki, Ash'aar ki duniya hai yehi,
Jaan-e-mazmoon hai yehi, Shaahid-e-m'aana hai yehi,
Aaj tak surkh-o-siyaah sadiyon ke saaye ke tale,
Aadam-o-havva ki aulaad pe kya guzri hai?
Maut aur zeest ki rozaanah saf-aarai mein,
Hum pe kya guzregi, Ajdaad pe kya guzri hai?

In damakte hue shehron ki faraawaan makhlooq,
Kyun faqat marne ki hasrat mein jiya karti hai?
Yeh haseen khet, phata padta hai joban jin ka,
Kis liye in mein faqat bhook uga karti hai?

Yeh har ek simt par asraar kadi deewarein,
Jal bujhe jin mein hazaaron ki jawaani ke chiraagh,
Yeh har ik gaam peh un khaabon ki maqtal-gaahein,
Jin ke partau se charaaghaan hain hazaaron ke dimaagh.

Yeh bhi hai, Aise kai aur bhi mazmoon honge,
Lekin us shokh ke aahista se khulte hue hont,
Haye! Us jism ke kam-bakht dil-aaweez khatoot,
Aap hi kahiye, kahin aise bhi afsoon honge?

Apna mozoo'-e-sukhan in ke siwa aur nahin,
Tab'-e-shaa'ir ka watan in ke siwa aur nahin.......

My Poetry and My Muse (English Translation)

The ashes of a melancholy evening crumbles,
To give way to night, bathed in silver moonlight,
When expectant stares would be rewarded,
My pinings would effervesce, at her gentle touch.

Is it her garb, or the facade of her countenance,
Or a spark that illuminates the murk,
Or through the refuge of her fancied tresses,
Shines ebullient the orb of night?

Tonight, my beloved's familiar form shall overwhelm,
Her latent kohl-laden stares shall pierce,
With a hint of rouge, Her effulgent cheeks,
Her pearly hands, Ornately embellished with Henna!

Thus the cosmos of my musings, My poetry,
She manifests my soul and every resolve,
Under dark shadows that centuries cast,
What did humanity painfully endure?
Vacillating between abodes of life and death,
Would I endure my unpleasant inheritance?

The abundant hordes, Of alluring cities,
Why merely death inspires their existence?
These charming pastures, Once teeming with life,
Why merely reaps hunger now in fecundity?

The obstinate, abstruse, cluttered hurdles,
That doused the flames of countless youth,
At every stride, A million dreams guillotined,
To illuminate a billion ignited minds!

And thus, There would spring numerous rimes,
The graceful parting of her playful lips,
Ah! The wretched beauty of her material form,
Opine! Is there a greater enchantment?

Devoid of my muse, My poetry ceases to exist,
A poet's dream, His identity ceases to exist.............

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan........ Faiz Ahmed Faiz

An attempted poetic translation, not a literal one, of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Sahab's Urdu nazm, 'Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan'. To paint Faiz Sahab's canvas in a foreign tongue, is the humble task I undertake, but the ever graceful Urdu language, in my opinion, can never be restored in a translation. Nevertheless, I try to satiate my own ego!

English Transliteration from the original Urdu

Chand roz aur, Meri Jaan! Faqat chand hi roz,
Zulm ki chaaon me dum lene pe majboor hain hum,
Aur kuch der sitam seh lein, Tadap lein, Ro lein,
Apne ajdaad ki miraas hai, M'aazoor hain hum,
Jism par qaid hai, Jazbaat pe zanjeerein hain,
Fikr mahboos hai, Guftaar pe t'aazirein hain,
Apni himmat hai keh hum phir bhi jiye jaate hain,
Zindagi kya kisi muflis ki qaba hai jis mein,
Har ghadi dard ke paivand lage jaate hain,
Lekin ab zulm ki mi'aad ke din thode hain,
Ik zara sabr ke faryaad ke din thode hain,
Arsa-e-dehr ki jhulsi hui weeraani mein,
Hum ko rehna hai par yoon hi toh nahi rehna,
Ajnabi haathon ka benaam garaan-baar sitam,
Aaj sehna hai, Hamesha toh nahin sehna hai,
Yeh tere husn se lipti hui aalaam ki gard,
Apni do roza jawaani ki shekaston ka shumaar,
Chaandni raaton ka bekaar dehekta hua dard,
Dil ki besood tadap, Jism ki maayoos pukaar,
Chand roz aur, Meri Jaan! Faqat chand hi roz...........

A few more days, my Love!

A few more days, my Love! Merely a handful more,
Condemned to exist, Thou and I, Eclipsed in tyranny,
Bear with me the cruel winds, smart and weep,
My inheritance, My lineage demands, I'm but a mere cripple,
My shackled extremities, My manacled spirits,
Imprisoned my every thought, Every word restrained,
All that remains is courage, And hence I persist,
The drapery, My life, A tatterdemalion's flowing robe,
Patched, In tatters, With fragments of pain,
But the times of oppression would soon cease,
Persevere, Our laments would soon cease,
In this desolate, parched desert sands,
We must now last, But not forever stand,
This crushing weight of an alien conjuring,
We must now endure, But not forever withstand,
The air of distress that tenderly envelops thy form,
The numerous gashes of our deficient youth,
Moonlit nights, Fruitless pangs of throbbing pain,
Unanswered cries of the poor heart, The body's melancholic strain,
A few more days, my Love! Merely a handful more...........

The Oracle (Signs)

The oracle in her infinite wisdom bright,
Wrote for us an esoteric tale,
In a specious cuddle, drowned in moonlight,
Thou and I, In a yacht set sail,
To the abode of hers in the clouds,
Bickering like the mighty rain and shine,
In a quest to appease the massive crowds,
Gargantuan egos, yours and mine,
Would we ever in our separate ways exist?
Or blow up in a cloud of smoke?
Would we merely in the others' dreams persist?
'Halt!', In a booming voice she spoke,
And laid to rest our crazy whims,
'March to the rhythm of thy hearts',
She opined as the moonlight dims,
And the smouldering fire in us starts,
To crackle, And the moonless night enwraps,
You and me in a warm embrace,
The twinkling in thy eyes it straps,
Our throbbing, tired hearts in place!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Ballad of Pine - IV

The breeze it carried tenderly,
The familiar scent of my muse,
Whiffs of heaven and hell in a potpourri,
The nectar of spring, the desolate autumn,
In a melange of oxymorons,
It follows me around like shadows,
The ones that pining souls cast,
On each other's personal spaces,
In the farthest corner of a private memory,
A musing or a few lines of poetry,
An ode, a sonnet or a humble limerick,
Her inimitable footsteps plastered about,
Inaccessible levels of layered emotions,
Under the sun she burns my skin,
In the moonlight she burns my soul,
And the perfumed vespertine breeze,
Burdens my poor, lonely breast,
The punctual rooster cries aloud,
To sear open a million inward wounds,
My muse's longish fingernails,
Plows deep into my tired flesh,
And I profusely pour out,
A scarlet stream of hapless dreams,
And transcend to perpetual damnation,
My beloved muse and I!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Black Widow

The black widow,
She shakes her shapely behind,
A barrage of urticating hair,
Like poisoned shards of fiber glass,
Pierce the skin of my tender being,
Tears open my laughable defense,
And lodges between my tired flesh,
Pours silently from my poisoned veins,
A scarlet stream of beautiful thoughts,
And as I lie enervated,
She pounces on her choicest prey,
And seals the deal,
A fatal sting,
Paralysed, I see just a blur,
Beyond my tingling extremities,
And my tumbling confused self,
Dissolves in her treacherous bile.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Arrival

Trails of tears wash away the trails of blood,
And leaves a little bundle of joy,
Like the mild warmth of the sun in spring,
And the bubbles in a cold autumn stream,
Her unfamiliar cries announce,
Beams of light through darkest doors,
And spews fragrance into the tired souls,
Sweaty hands and sighs of relief,
Amazement at the wondrous miracle,
Thankful in our silent prayers.........

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Second Fiddle

The second fiddle in a dreamy triplet,
Churns out a melancholy strain,
But alas! A chivalrous baritone,
Drowns the serenading refrain!

The Crystal Ball

I wander aimlessly along the streets,
Where dwelt a long lost memory,
Like a dusty crystal ball that,
Rolled away never to be seen,
Beneath each piece of furniture,
I grab at each strand of hair and web,
In futile attempts to regain the past,
I slash my arm just to feel it throb.

Monday, April 04, 2011

A Sexist Jeer

In the ladies' seat of life I rest,
With my eyes tightly shut,
Lest a fairer, daintier one,
Displace me with a shove and frown!

Sonnet #3

The miles between a bed of live coals,
Simmering cruelly to singe my feet,
The air and ringlets of smoke enfolds,
My stifled urges and fears discreet,
I yearn for the air that gracefully held,
The plumes of thy timeless fragrance,
The curls on thy cheek that I once beheld,
And thy throaty impish cadence,
That clumsily broke into fervent cheers,
At every innocuous jibe and jest,
Gulping mouthfuls of indefinite fears,
And smothering every doubt in my chest,
I carelessly leap and sprint along in vain,
My feet and tired soul now rejoice in pain.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Day at the Fair

In a cup and saucer, A fair of sorts,
Revolving clamps of rotating machinery,
The bluest sky and the comforting verdure,
In regular patters with the dampening crimson!

Look on the face, as melancholic as death,
Malevolent repercussion, overstayed the allure,
Amidst candy floss and tarot cards,
The piteous cry of a lovable man-child!

Strewn across the path the sabbath revelry,
Damp confetti and discarded tinsel,
Caked around the grass the ubiquitous vomit,
My day at the fair forgotten in a trice!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Enterprise

Spawned is a creature in a gilded cradle,
Utmost care taken to keep it merry,
Even in instances of a bris or a mundan,
Or the taste of the sweetness of jaggery,
From a golden thimble, on a silver spoon,
Rejoicing, the spawners in shady attire,
Unbecoming of their thrifty existence,
After all it's one beautiful golden egg,
Wrapped in a quilt and warmer hugs,
The capital of the new enterprise,
Amidst shams would probably rise above,
The heads of the happy, cheerful revelers,
To transform to the comforting, homely shade,
To shield them from the dubious eyes,
The directors of other such enterprises,
To cast a superstitious, evil eye,
A blackish feline on the balance-sheet,
Almost accurate figures of erroneous calculations,
Of the ideas of credit and debit,
Gone irreversibly, horrendously wrong,
Of credits and unrealistic expectation charts,
The 'targets' in jargonic accuracy,
Each pimple absolved on the face of the enterprise,
An obvious rise in the targets set,
Every green-stained report card home,
Aghast and shattered, A certain dive,
The colourful building blocks of youth,
Gradually built the heaving behemoth,
Six-foot tall and head full o' hair,
The barter of life holds every breath,
The final judgement of credit and debit,
The ideal zero and probable profits loom large,
At the frayed ends of their sanity,
And with the strikes of the judgement bell,
Bated breaths now sighs of relief,
As the balance-sheet now tallied to show,
Definite success shines in the pearly whites,
Of the spawners of the enterprise,
Who now shelve mementos of their tryst,
Encased in ubiquitous glasses of shame,
A preserved prepuce and locks of hair,
Tinged golden in some dream of mine,
Still soft as a strand of Kancheepuram silk,
And a jaded trophy of a balance-sheet.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Persistent Dream

I wonder what it feels in the clouds,
Looking down at the minions below,
Where camaraderie blooms a perfect hue,
Insignia in silver shines on proud,
Of sweat and blood the castles built,
Shielding from the torrential rains,
The grateful minions who hail thy name,
Sing thy praises in morning prayers,
And in a billion dedicated tears,
In the percussive melody of rosary beads,
A heartfelt, graceful genuflection,
I lower my stare, a reverent curtsy,
Blinds my world thy aura divine,
And if I were a tad bit braver,
Or a few leagues sturdier still,
A stairway to my dreams I'd build,
And if my blood like thine did flow,
On clouds I'd seat my exalted self,
And dance as the minions tunefully bellow,
Rhymes in the praise of their saviours!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My Rose

How unfortunate am I in love,
I ache with interwoven pangs,
The nectar sweet as summer showers,
In my cupped palms I hold,
Like the sourest grapes of yore,
Helplessly I try to partake the wine,
The thorn that the rosy goblet puts forth,
Punctures my heart to a shattered tale!

The Proposal

The weight of a burden off my chest,
I elegantly let fall,
A stake that I thrust so lovingly,
Through her unassuming heart,
The drops of blood like our minds coalesce,
To clot as a single entity,
We danced in a gardener's delight,
Proud of his hybrid fragrant bloom,
Little did I realize the colossal weight,
An anchor thrown in the wildest sea,
In situ I live my horrid nightmare,
I stare forlorn into the eyes,
On the visage of my grand decadence,
I let an ambiguous salty tear,
Drop into the saline, dead sea.

Her Waltz

A veneer of warmth covered her soul,
Tenderly clutched by determined fists,
I gulped down my better judgement,
With a swig of her summer wine,
Choicest grapes and subtle emotions,
Her subterfuges now floral patterns,
That adorn her enchanting evening gown,
The gyrations of her smallish waist,
A strong, heady brew, a helpless me,
To this waltz I unwittingly sway,
The tune, the harrowing requiem,
And in the breadth of an inch of time,
I manifest within my darkest fears.

Beyond the Veil

I tiptoe into my very own heart,
Beating a rhythmic lub-dub,
Reminiscent of a tender being,
That frequents my desirous nightmares,
A black cape over a silky black coat,
Blinds and binds my remnant senses,
Clouds my conviction with smoky fear,
Strange manifestations, my pinings transform,
To a thriving living form,
And curls quite like a feline scarf,
Around the breadth of my icy feet,
Like mink on a coquette neckline,
In my mind, On my lap her I seat,
To caress the epitome of brood,
Trembling fingers over luxurious hide,
Adorned with zeal and lethargy the same,
And assure myself of her fragility,
My end and my means........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sonnet #2

I long for the warmth of her embrace,
Like the blanket of summer air,
Fragrant and heady like the enchanting mace,
A frantic heart in exhilaration, An affair
Of hearts in mystical bliss,
Ignorance of the tangible mundane,
Teems with the fecundity once amiss,
I float weightless on this breeze arcane,
Sprouting wings I glide ephemeral,
To the garden that she oft nurtures,
Discreet, I spawn an urge chimeral,
And I, the moth her glow enraptures,
The astral shimmering in her bottomless eyes,
I delved and drowned, Never to rise!

Monday, October 04, 2010


I tilted my head in disappointment,
And stared blank the longest moment,
Anticipation of a pat or a velvety touch,
I cared not much to let her know,
Any more than cryptic signals,
A tilt, a tear and glassy stares,
Merely all I cared to venture,
And now, As I relive the times,
The longest moment grows longer,
And engulfs in a time warp,
My solitude and Me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I stand desperate like,
A musician through a jingle,
A painter on a billboard,
A racer at a cab-wheel,
An agnostic in a church band,
A believer with a thorny crown,
A nudist draped in coal-tar,
An actor pretending to get along,
A seer with a member-less retinue,
A seed strewn haphazard in a lifeless drought,
A thinker as a trite cog,
A poet drowned in wordless pools,
And as a romantic in damned solitude,
I persist.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


वक़्त के साथ बदलतीं हैं करवटें,
सुनाएँ एक क़िस्सा तुमको,
अगर लगे ये तुम्हें नामुम्किन,
तो सब्र करें और सुनें! १ ||

'ये बच्चों के खेलने की चीज़ नहीं',
मय्या से सुनते बड़े हुए,
खेल-ए-जवानी ने भुला दी बात,
पचताए, और आज ये रच दिए! २ ||

ग़ज़ल-ए-मोहब्बत या नज़्म-ए-ख़ौफ़,
यह तो तुम ही हमें बताओ,
प्रारंभ किए थे इन अल्फ़ाज़ से,
'मुझसे दोस्ती करोगे?'! ३ ||

लाचार थें हम या बदनसीब,
ये न जाने हम कभी,
'हम सब तो रंगमंच की कठपुतलियाँ हैं',
बस इसी सोच से सहलाते! ४ ||

इश्क़-ओ-मोहब्बत थोंपा गया,
एक शरद आधी रात में,
झूल रहे थे हम बेफिक्र,
उस मौन काल में जम गए! ५ ||

'भाई, टेंशन नहीं लेनेका भाई',
कहते गए मेरे अनगिनत मित्रगण,
आज मैं बेचारा बैठा महफ़ूज़,
कुछ न कह पाया दोस्ताना! ६ ||

होंठ थे उसके या मधु की चषक,
डूब-उभरे थे उन चक्षु में,
घोंट ली अंदाज़ ने साँस मेरी,
ख़्याल हमें अब भी तड़पाए! ७ ||

टहनी-टहनी, शाखा-शाखा,
झूले उस मल्हार में,
चुपचाप से आज ये नरम पत्ते,
ख़ामोशी में चीख़ उठे! ८ ||

ज़र्रे-ज़र्रे ने हमें भरोसा दिलाया,
कि इस सफ़र में हम अकेले न अच्छे,
शोभा दे हमें वह हमसफ़र जिसके,
यादगार-ए-घाव अब भी कच्चे! ९ ||

फिर हमने उसको बताया गुनेगार,
वो जो सपनों को तब भी सताती,
रो दिया हमारे लिए दरिया,
और वो किनारा बनकर बस गई! १॰ ||

अब आरोप न उस पर लगाएँ हम,
ग़ुस्सा तो हमें ख़ुद पर आए,
कच्ची मिट्टी-प्याले की तरह,
आब-ए-चश्म में हम घुल गए! ११ ||

आज हम अगर कभी हुए भावुक,
तो आमिर के पुतले को मन में पूजे.
'आल इज वेल' का नारा लगाते,
और ये क़िस्सा हम सुनाते! १२ ||

Written for Hindi Creative Writing GC, all filmy topics, had to use 5 out of 10 given Bollywood's favourite one-liners(in quotes).


വാടും പൂവിതളിൽ ഓർമ്മകൾ വിരിയുന്നു,
പുരാതന വസ്തുകളെപ്പോലെ ,
എൻറെ ഓരോ ചെറിയ ഓർമ്മകൾ,
ഓരോന്നായി സന്ധ്യാകാല നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളെപ്പോലെ തെളിയുന്നു.
ഒരു പൂക്കൂട,
അവളുടെ സ്പന്ദിക്കും കൈകൾ,
ഈറൻ വിരലുകൾ,
പൂക്കൂടയിൽ നിന്ന് താഴെ വീണ ഒറ്റപ്പൂവ്,
ഇന്നെൻ പുസ്തകത്തിൻ പെയ്ജുകൾക്കിടയിൽ,
മണം ഒരോർമ്മ, നിറം വെറും ഓർമ്മ.
പിരിഞ്ഞകാലം ഇടനെഞ്ജിൽ ക്ഷമയില്ലായ്മയൊരോർമ്മ,
മധുരനൊംബരത്തിൻ അസ്തിത്വമൊരോർമ്മ,
ശംഖിൻ ഉൾപ്പാട്ട്, ഒട്ടിപ്പിടിച്ച മണൽ,
ആദ്യ ചുംബനം, എല്ലാം ഓർമ്മകൾ മാത്രം,
പുലർച്ച സൂര്യനെപ്പോലെ ഉദിക്കും ഓർമ്മകളേ!
എൻറെ വഴികാട്ടി!
വാടിയ റോസാപ്പൂവിൻ മുള്ള്, ഒരു തുള്ളി രക്തം,
എൻറെ പ്രയാണത്തിൻ എഴുത്തുതൂവൽ മഷി!



On a withering petal, Memories blossom,
Like ancient forgotten artifacts,
Every single memory of mine,
Appears like stars in the evening sky,
A bouquet,
Her quivery hands, Perspiring fingers,
Her tender touch, Now a memory,
A solitary flower from the bouquet,
Now between the pages of my book,
The fragrance a memory, The hue a mere memory,
My impatient heart, The pangs of separation,
A memory, the existence of the sweetest pain,
The sound of captured waves in a shell, My sandy feet,
My first kiss, All mere memories,
Memories like the morning rays of the Sun!
My incredulous guide!
A thorn from the dead rose, A drop of blood,
The quill and ink on my parchment life!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Remnants(A half-remembered dream)

Drenched in sweat, In vain I try,
To repaint the majestic splendour,
Contumacious recollections creep and I,
This phantasmagoria, I render,
It meant to me, I know not what,
Maybe as much as my Muse's breath,
That clouds my biased looking-glass,
Into my subversive, inward, dimlit room,
Or a dusty, long-lost artifact, that
Avoids an avoidable corner, In class,
Avoids my gaze, In stealth,
Maybe a significant tear in gloom,
Or the Chrysanthemums in full bloom,
In a Japanese wedding-night,
Or on the grave of a valorous British knight!

'Ghalib', I had christened him,
He had fought with me till the very end,
Or I'd like to believe, the dim,
Grey eyes, The mast that had held me aloft,
And like the knight I'd like to pretend,
I was amidst the heavyset thickets, The soft,
Rustling of the verdant Peepul leaves,
Then the freezing Tundra, Merciless as ever,
Brought out in me my primal wants,
Amidst the shrieks of forgettable taunts,
Again, as my heart still believes,
New realms in her, I discovered!

Mere words for her, never would suffice,
What just a casual glimpse could be,
Fathom the depth, That moment precise,
Of the abyss, My passionate mind,
Invaders lame or third-eye blind,
Seized my momentary lapse, To flee,
But I fought, 'Ghalib' the victorious one,
With a gallop, My magnificent steed,
To decapitate the infidel, To make him bleed,
I believe I killed the wretched one!

A crack I saw, Like platonic shifts,
The Pangea, that once enraptured me,
Fragments I beheld, Now scattered in seas,
Confused as Frost with alternate paths,
Unlike him, indecisive, My wrath,
Rained down on my fictitious, bewildered self,
As I sought her peaks, My ever loyal fleets,
Scrambled up and down like little elves!

And now the vespertine zephyr it blows,
A salty sting my probable wounds,
A swansong or an anthem glares,
From the conches, As I bellow,
The words that now don't ring and sound,
Mere vignettes, Of a hazy dream,
And the eyes of my reflection stares,
At a blank, irrevocable thought-stream!

And as soon as it had begun,
In white flashes, It disappeared,
I remember footsteps, I still work the rhythm,
When I walk alone, Or sprint or run,
And the vessel I so diligently steered,
The vassals, And my lighter moments with them,
Sometimes I paint the majestic walls,
And let the dull drapery cover it all!

Now, read the last paragraph, and then begin from the beginning, a cyclical poem, written for the Creative Writing GC.