Friday, June 29, 2018

fade to orange

in a world made of truths and lies
who sighs and who cries? 
in the hour when the skies are born
who goes by, lovelorn? 
there's a river far away 
you may go. or you may stay.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Litany for the Rains

there's crazy music that rains down every nook and corner of the universe
there's crazy music that shoots up along arteries on both sides of the skull
it is like vines of dark time
it is like the darkest flames from the darkest chambers
did the newspapers not tell you this?

soon, it will be numbers - 9, 11, whatever
and names, Vinitha, Glastin, whoever - history books do not focus particularly on proper nouns of these sorts.soon, ministers will dole cash. maybe even some dog biscuits down choppers like they did when it flooded in yet another wanton country - one that they burn just like they burn yours.

and when,
dusts and clouds unsettle all maroon twilight between your eyes and mine - between now and then, 
the guns will strengthen the frame a bit more
the chimneys will kill the skies a bit more
we will learn to hate a bit more
we will learn to love a bit less

and yet, and yet, 
in another mad dream, where the binaries break and battlefields fade apart, 
all along those heavy hallways of time, on its rigid walls that stare 
there will be eyes, bloodshot, gazing at you, 
who killed
there will be backs pressed against those very walls - human backs against stern walls
there will be chests, heaving, pressed against the muzzles that you hold -
human chests against cold muzzles

and you, who loved
and you, who lived
to mourn the dead 
to live on
for the dream, the dreams, to make happen
for the killers to be pushed back, inch by inch
down the cliffs of void, but not of forgetting
into the coffers of nothingness where they belong

we know not if there will be butterflies fluttering about the branches of the tree of life
but we know this, that a bit of that strange, crazy music 
will play on, all along its deepest roots..

Friday, May 4, 2018


it is as if the laws have spoken
it is as if your shoulders are blue
and 10 great elephants from 10 great sides
they’re sober but they’re stern
they trumpet their names out
names are crucial
names are the clincher
but you have no name
in crowds, there are only faces
in processions, there are faces
and there are bodies
but this is neither
this is the hour of the mirrors
in a world where teachers
who teach love are hated the most

You, who have no name
You, who move
through war & famine
through afflictions so bizarre that even prophets give up
remember, that, though speechless now,
one day, you must speak
to the stars, to all universe;
one day, hills shall tumble.
remember the waters.   
remember time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


lately, it is as if
our limbs,
head and torso
are all knotted up
with our minds

lately, it is as if,
a spider-web has fought a storm 
to the spot wherefrom
begins total recall

lately, oceans go as deep
as they have been going
on and on
since ancience
driven, it is as if
by the fuel of time
lately, time runs fast 
& furious, like obvious rhymes that befall
in silence, like they are to befall
the night, of perfect indecision 
when cicadas rained

lately, creatures of the rain
creatures of the ocean
swimming, attempting 
evolutionary leap - seeking to fly
writhe, beseech,
the history of our sweet homestay

words fumble to silence
scriptures make no reply
like dying clockworks on their respective deathbeds
on their respective isolation chambers
polite, faithful towards oranges
and philately 
remembering zebra crossings on sunsets
they shoot, they fall, 
they fade

behold the polite beings!
defeated, decayed, celebrating,
arms raised on air
mind and body flung, tossed,
sunbound, moonbound, driven, 
as if, 
by all endgame curses,
by all toxin
slandered out
of all forked tongues
that express. Behold the carnival,
the great pain, entering
the cave where it all caves in,

do they leave their auras behind?
do those among them who are trees
leave their shed leaves behind?

lately, it is as if,
sadness, having turned
its face back towards all people
and things that are sad, 
speaks out, soft and clear -
"you are beautiful
every morning when i look out of the window
the rising sun shines with your face
every evening,
the sun sets in the west"

That, it always does.

Friday, January 26, 2018

nirmala’s rifle

i could’ve known nirmala
or have heard of her
or have read about her
but none of these happened
she kept on hauling her rifle
across dark heartlands of history
expecting springtime
or death.

some people might have heard
her rifle booming with the clouds
some might have seen it flashing
with thunders in the horizon
expecting springtime
or death.

nirmala might have lived
or died
or jailed, tortured, turned subhuman etc.
it’s a strange dream
that spring will come.
In the shadows of time,
expect nirmala
or death.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


too many people have feigned support 
for this resistance or that 
when those fights were hot,
and the damned were giving it back 
only to withdraw

when the bridges broke 
and people got beaten back
to their dank flophouses

it is okay to leave 
many do 
but what our furious times have added
is disrespect
is indignation

there are many among us now
who, while keeping no stones unturned
to establish
that they are fighting the good fights
have added on to nasty structures,
have fed the vultures on.

beasts that pounce from fore
are easier to fight 
but they, who have
clouds & curtains of fake sympathy
to hide behind
while they advertise
smooth ways of life, aesthetic propriety 
and other endowments 
that capital brings –
hold control. hold power.

you know this.
you know them.
history is old.

there are have been way too many
tiny, tingling times
when you have reached out
and their gates haven’t budged
an inch

these mad wars, 
of classes, races and sexes ,
have raged on, 

as for the people 
who have always been fucked up
by these wars,
who aren’t you and me,
and who won’t be reading this rant,
they know who their real enemies are –
even among those
who feign empathy 
but will never build bridges with them
except those through which they can loot more.

they know, 
that their darkness isn’t the light
that shines on 
those crockery and cutlery 
their sounds aren’t the music
that fills 
those houses and cars.

as for us, 
conscientious objectors, 
despite all criminal inheritance
have chosen not to side
with those who fan these wars
it is more confusing.
our false learnings 
make us stick on
to false hopes 
such as, of finding solidarity,
even among those who masquerade too well

beware these enlightened do-gooders 
beware their trends & traits 
beware their spaces and times
they are with those they claim they fight 
they are with those you claim you fight
they are not your friends

Friday, December 22, 2017

birds of a browbeat afternoon

by rundown automobiles
where we leaned our bodies
to appreciate sunsets 
for a few brief seconds, 
the world didn't watch.

when the rains came down,
there were clouds,
so the stars didn't watch.

we have been music
lost to time,
we have been laughter eaten by silence;

throughout history,
we have always been
like birds of a browbeat afternoon - 
looking at the skies, heads slanted, 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


এখন পরিস্থিতি কিছুটা অন্যরকম। শীতের শস্য গোলায় উঠেছে, বাদামী ক্ষেত, মাঠ
এই ধরণের সময়গুলোতেই আমরা ধূসর খামারবাড়ি, ত্যক্ত দালানবাড়ি, ধূলোট আরামকেদারা, থমকে থমথম গ্র্যাণ্ডফাদার ঘড়িদের অ্যাডজেক্টিভ-অন্বয় মৌতাতে ভাবি, এখানে সব শান্ত, স্থির -
বহুদূর হেঁটে বিরাট নির্বান্ধব কোনো বনস্পতির কাছে চলে যাওয়ার মতো।

হাঁটা প্রয়োজনীয়। সন ২০১৪র ডিসেম্বর মাসের প্রথম সপ্তাহে কাশ্মীর উপত্যকায় দেখা হয়েছিলো যে যুবকের সাথে, তার পুরুষাঙ্গ ভারতীয় সেনাবাহিনীর কেউ কর্তন করেছিলো, 
সেই থেকে,
সেও অবিরাম হেঁটে চলেছে চিনারবনে।

মানুষে সমষ্টিগতভাবে হতেই পারতো বনস্পতিদের চেয়ে সৌভাগ্যবান।
তারা বলতেই পারতো একে অপরকে –
“আমরা সবাই একা”,
“আমরা সবাই ঠিক এভাবেই ভালোবেসেছি বা বেসেছিলাম”, ইত্যাদি;
জানলা বন্ধ হয়ে গ্যালো।
দরজা বন্ধ হয়ে গ্যালো।

এখন সময় গম্ভীর হয়ে আসছে। সন্ধ্যের সোনার থালা পূর্ণচন্দ্র মাঝরাত হতে না হতে
কানা ডাইনীর টকটকে লাল চোখ। বাইরের অনন্ত ব্যপ্তি ভিতর ধরে না সহজে।
রূপ ধরে না অরূপ। বন্দরে ছিমছাম ঘুমোচ্ছে কয়েকটা বুড়োটে জাহাজ,
আস্তাবলে কয়েকটা ঘোড়া।

অথচ, চলমান আমাদের মধ্যে
আমাদের চলমান ছায়াদের মধ্যে,
যারা দাঁড়িয়ে পড়ছে, বসে পড়ছে, ঝুঁকে পড়ছে
ইউনিভার্সের কার্ণিশ, পোর্টিকো, ব্যলকনি ধরে, যারা রাজবাড়ি যাবে না,
ভুঁড়িভোজ খাবে না,
মধ্যযুগীয় কোনো জলদস্যুর খুলি থেকে খুলে নেবে না এক-আধটা সোনার দাঁত
তাদের দিকে রাইফেল তাক করে আছো যারা, প্রিয় স্নাইপারবৃন্দ, -

তোমাদের চোখে পাতা পড়ে না
তোমাদের অগণন উত্তরাধিকার, অথচ,
জেনে রেখো,
তোমাদের জন্য,
কেউ কেউ কিন্তু পাথর জমিয়ে রাখছে ঠিক
তারাদের নাম রাখছে পাথরদের নামে,
পাথরদের নাম রাখছে তারাদের নামে। আকাশের নাম রাখছে – সময়।

Saturday, November 25, 2017


thru jaded witches' sabbaths
thru hills far away
stones & dices roll
fields of gold sway

days drip greed
nights strewn aghast
ghosts haunt magic
monsters hunt pasts

cities lonely yellow
hamlets pale in pain
rivers rest awhile
to flow on with the rain

rain gets thirsty
forests fade far
houses scorch earth
doors ever ajar

winds carry tales
with stars and the moon
the moon gets it silver
crazy roads swoon

some roads are the highways
some run through mists
some through expectations
some through dead-end wrists

when fires burn or don't
where the breezes blow
you know how it is
you know what you know

you ask mirrors to belong
you look for dreams in eyes
your fathers sail along
your mothers are the skies

you look for eyes in trees
your flagposts in the clouds
ancient tunes teach some love
you learn from sunset cows. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

তুত্তারে স্বাহা

তুত্তারে স্বাহা...
হরিণের দুইটা চোখ
একটা সবুজ তারা
একটা শ্বেত তারা
এইবারে কোনটা খাবে, 
বিচার কোরো, প্রজ্ঞা, 
আচার কোরো, পারমিতা
তুত্তারে স্বাহা...

the room of love

in the room of love a hunter weeps
maybe, the sun has set
but the shadows won't talk about it
the shadows won't talk about anything at all
the hunter knows nothing of this silence
the hunter seeks laughter that never is,
never was,
shall never be.
let us kill the hunter tonight
let the deer have his meat tonight.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

a story about us & them

shorn, bereft of all rain and earth
like waters under bridges we pass,
our hearts pass – ever searching for the glint
that never was, ever in the sea, dinghies in storm,
bitten, by the vipers of conquest,
eaten by emptiness –
ghosts of our dead selves – winds and sails –
they, who won, who reached – took our salts
and crafted telltale tales of the magic that once
was yours and mine.  us, who became hallways
where specters of children
who turned into pictures loom – turned pages,
wept a bit. flickered a bit. killed monsters.
and fell to silence –
for a while and ever.

was there ever a chestnut tree?
did the breeze ever send shivers down its ancient, leafy soul?

Friday, October 27, 2017


পাহাড়ে পাহাড়ে আলোর মালা
নদীতে নদীতে গান
বুকের ভিতর ঘণ্টা বাজছে
শিরদাঁড়া টানটান

জিজীবিষাময় ছন্দ তুলে
আঁকছে খোয়াবনামা
কখনো গুণ্ডা কখনো বিরসা
কখনো সত্যভামা

মশাল জ্বালে বনস্থলী
হাওয়ায় কাঁপে পাতা
রক্ত-ঘামের ডায়েরী জুড়ে
পুড়ছে যাপনভাতা

জমাট বাঁধা আঁধারপথে
পুরাণ-কঠোর বেশে
বজ্রমুঠোয় কলজে ধরে
হিড়মা এলো দেশে

শাল-মহুলের স্বপ্ন মেখে
সিংহখেলার শুরু
বাজুক তবে পাগলা-মাদল
বাজাও ডম্বরু

ছয়টি হাজার বছর ধরে
জমলো যত ব্যথা
এবার তবে পাল্টা-পালা

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

you will never know

you will never know what beast pounds inside all the time 
the stars are strangely quiet tonight
what do we care about broken boats? starfishes grow limbs,
emptiness eats the sky.

rain has taken all the postcards tonight.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A History of the Fall

In the summer of 1936, there was a war
In the autumn of 2017, the war still is
The same enemy – power
The same dreams – freedom
In the summer of 1937,
three human fireflies
had fallen in Granada
Along with many other
Across the  world.
In the autumn of 2017, the fireflies
have fallen in swarms
The last seventy years,
like the seventy thousand before that
has been a history
of this fall
In the summer of 1936,
by some firefly-bereft dump
Three good people
Got bumped off.
As did many more in many other places
In the autumn of 2017
In a country where Barcelona
is football clubs for the elite
Two such fireflies
got it bad. As tanks entered Catalonia.
By then,
real fireflies were leaving

Saturday, October 14, 2017

letter from one weary bombay night

Come, dance, what else is there to do?
too much dust on the lenses. Fireflies fly no more, 
except occasionally;
Mocking bird mocks no more. It is sad. One mad donkey
named Civilization 
beats the dust, 
brays on. It is nothing.
I would have rather named it Platero
I would rather name each speck of stardust – Love
This will not change anything. This is not meant to. 
This is where, cities of the halogen night
meet naked rivers made of mist. This is where everything
turns into time. This is where we must dance. 
Nothing ever has been 
as beautiful
as this silence.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


the healing touch
a dot
that joins itself
within itself
all by itself
have you ever tried this
at home all alone
with everybody
tacit books and wise masks
with sad seaside balloon-sellers
through the sands
one gibberish city of mundane
arise arise
it has been good
all the smiles
toasts raised
hoisted petticoats
flags of
who we are
mirrors of
subjectivity.  Mad time. One meme life. One bullet life.

But when all the chips were down,
history had gone to meet the daughter of the clouds.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Mr. Shantanu Bhowmik

there's no song for you tonight, Mr. Shantanu Bhowmik, 
some people will rejoice, we know who they are,
and this is not about them.

as for us, we are too scared of being judged
after all, your ancestors were criminals, as were mine
as you know, buddy, crimes across history does lead to anger across history. some people rejoice in this anger, it makes them powerful, we know who they are,
and this is not about them

as for us, we are too weary too churn
how, thoughts, actions, words, pictures - bring some people closer, thwart some asunder
like all histories have ever been doing - 
through all these wars and struggles big and small - across all these walls that we have built 
in the name of all the shit that frightens us, 
all that hollows us out, 
that chokes our music
and snuffs our candles - 
stern bricks like caste, race, creed, colour, religion, passport-stamps, public opinion, political mores of the enlightened et cetera et cetera.

personally, perhaps, a few of us will hum a timid tune or two for you, Mr. Shantanu Bhowmik, or sigh or weep for you - but all from deep inside these enlightened walls. like we sang and wept and sighed deep inside when that kid who got killed for wearing a shahid afridi tee-shirt had etched a small ripple across our respective information bubbles a few moons ago.
even then, some had rejoiced, 
but it was never about them.

it has always been about us. 
we are afraid
we are tired
ghosts haunt us every night

many moons down the line, these ripples will turn into smudges, and then, into indelible imprints,
and then, something incredible will happen
maybe, certain magic doors will open up 
maybe, the ghosts will stop haunting us,
the bullies will stop bullying us
the killers will stop killing us bit by bit
we have the privilege to imagine
we have the privilege to dream,
to learn
to climb trees and mountains;
we are alive
we are afraid of political incorrectness
we are tired of all the killings 
we are silent
we are screaming
we are criminals
we draw flowers
we draw pistols
ghosts haunt us every night
and the ghosts have taken all our songs for you tonight, Mr. Shantanu Bhowmik.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

বালিঘড়ি ও বাতিঘর

তুমি, যে বিমুক্তি নেবে অন্ধ আলোর থেকে
আলোকিত অন্ধকারের পথে, স্রোত থেকে স্রোতান্তরে –
তুমি, যে উজান ও ভাঁটা মিলে শূন্য হবে – তেপান্তরের ও’পারে রাখবে
নির্গ্রন্থ অক্ষরকাঁটা – জঙ্গলে মানুষের ঘ্রাণ, মানুষে সমুদ্রের
সমুদ্রে বসত করে অলীক জলপরী
মাঝে মাঝে উঠে আসে জ্যোৎস্নার বালুচরে ক্লিশের ক্লীবমুখ ছিঁড়েফুঁড়ে –
মাংসে চৈতন্য ছোঁড়ো, ছোঁড়ো পাথর কাঁটাতারে কার্ফ্যুতে
প্রেমবজ্র নিক্ষেপ করো যা কিছু দুখদায়ী, তাতে,
যে দুঃখ আপন নয় তাতেও কেঁদেছো বুঝি কিছু
নিভৃত সুন্দর কাঁদিয়েছে অভ্যন্তর আলিন্দে প্রাচীরে
কেঁদে কেঁদে ফিরে গ্যাছে দয়ালু নদীর ঢেউ নানাবিধ বিকেলের কাছে
ভেঙে দুই রাঙাপাড়, গিলে কিছু কেল্লা ও ফাটক
প্রিয় ইনকিলাব,
গাছ হয়ে যেও মাঝে মাঝে
চিঠি লিখতে ইচ্ছে করলে মানুষের মতো অনুভূত হয়  -

জানলা খুলে রেখো
বলা যায় না, চলেও আসতে পারে যে'কোনো উচ্ছ্বল একদিন
দু’একটা নির্লিপ্ত প্রজাপতি – পায়ে নিয়ে অবিস্মরণীয় রেণু!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

moon man & mother time

moon man is beautiful
moon man is wise
and when the world gets dead & dark
fireflies gather for advice
it is always evening here
too much thirst to quench
certain hearts shall flutter by
certain writhe and wrench
moon man's mother, she is time
she is sweet like flesh
little children pop their heads
and see the world afresh!
mama time, she knows it all
she shall ever do
moon man, he's strong & tall
and both of them are true.

Friday, September 1, 2017


40 thousand people
40 thousand phantoms
are marching towards you 
right now

you have taken their lands
you have taken to hatred
you have been taken by greed

they knew nothing of this
they knew everything
their backs, painted by barbwire,
cooked by bullets
know everything

40 thousand dreams
that couldn’t connect
how the price of onion & flour 
and the price of guns and tanks
and the wrath of Buddha
and the sword of Rama
would not let them 
return to their homes by sunset,
maybe, smoke a little,
and look at the river flowing by,
clouds making shapes in reds and oranges

so they turned with the tides,
with the agony of the moon, the weeping hills,
the alert golden winged vultures – 
with all history and being – 40 thousand vivid humans

first you didn’t count them
and now, you can’t
and, right now, 
in deep silence,
they are marching
towards you
towards the spot between your eyes
may 40 thousand nightmares be all yours tonight

Rohingya, flesh of me and my mother
soul of my sweet, big, ancient earth
shall live 
and they, who took your lands and bodies,

Monday, August 7, 2017

Naked Heart

the gun's too close
too thick the mist
your heart is black
so clench your fist

your heart is blue
your heart is green
your songs are true
your fireflies glean

like magic dots
in the heart of night
your heart is black
so rise and fight

your heart is a song
your soul is steel
the gun's too close
the river flows

where do you flow?
how do we row?
who there screams
in gypsy dreams?

who shall go
where the flames lie low?
your teacher was darkness -
the wolves shall know

the wolves make guns
the wolves made daggers
the wolves kill with swagger
the wolves have fun

and here you are
your shadows quiver
the moon is red
your heart is a giver

and the gun's too close
too beastly be the moon
so seek out from your dark
a naked, lonely tune.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Certain Questions for Ashurbanipal

weep, Ashurbanipal, your books burn
your thoughts lie in seize
their frenzy must be yours now, or else probabilities
might wreck through your strange pillars, certain 
kitchen-gardens, might tear forth clockfaces 
who are like old fighters with broken teeth

certain duties need to be performed 
so, king Banipal, the Ashur, tears off a leaf
There were many Ashurs after him,
a few might even have had charged into enemy columns
all by themselves,

one or two might even have had faded into marshlights
in some tiger-prowl fen, a few might have looked
down from the hills to see their huts burning
fields of gold-coloured crops turning into fields of gold-coloured flames, as they billow up, 
smoke covers nostrils of historians, - who, eyes wide shut
never sought to learn from all these fires - 
might not weep with you, ancient, regal Ashur with
a crown and a ruby perhaps, a belt of gold, 
Nile & Sudan coloured dreams off lion-glow skin and flesh in mud,
sweat, - as they see their scrolls & parchments aflame

(When the smoke gets thick enough, one often finds it tough to ascertain who's on which side)

Now tell us, mighty ruler of Nineveh, from many climes beyond, will you shoot
at the past - at history -
or will you shoot at the enemy now?

The palace is dark. Pillars frown down. The Ashur weeps for wisdom lost.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

naming names

fondly affectionate in equal measures towards all religion and war
as we roam the wilderness and dust, ever, universe-bound,
across all the roads of the world that bend towards our bodies,
our scars,
what name will you give
to these question marks, moonlit and stout,
that sweep softly along the dark brows of time?
and what name will you give to the banshee-child
that weeps softly by a secret little pond
where all the fishes, frogs and lilies have always known that all magic has ever been real?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

‘ফিরে এলো রসিক নাগর’ – জমজমাট পরিস্থিতি – সপরিবারে পাঠ করুণ


রসিক নাগর ফেরে পালটানো পথে।
বেরসিক নাগরিক কলা ব্যাচে রথে।।
ব্যাবিলনে ঘুঘুবনে ঘোরে হাহাকার।
বহি’ চলে অবিরাম বিষাদপাথার।।
পাথারে পাথর ভাসে, রসে ভাসে দেহ।
পঞ্চ প্রহরী তার চিনে কেহ কেহ।।
একদিন চিনে নেবে, জাপানেও নেবে।
আগুন গিয়েছে নিভে নগরী নিনেভে।।
নগরীর নটী অভিসারসহ কালের গর্ভে মিশি’। 
ভাঙনঘুমে ডুকরে ওঠে কাঙালপারা নিশি।।
আগুনে নিয়েছে কিছু, আঁধারেও আরো।
ইতিহাসে পাঁতিহাসে মিলি’ পোয়াবারো।। 
ভূমধ্যসাগরে যদি মধ্যম পথ। 
দেখিতেন বুদ্ধ তবে উড়ে যেতো রথ।। 
রথে চেপে শবরের মঠ লোঠে হিন্দু। 
হেরি’ছে এ’হ্যানো সীন বঙ্গনামা সিন্ধু।। 
কত কিছু ঘটি’ যায় মেদিনীর ধড়ে।
লাফাই’ উঠে উচ্চিংড়ে লাফায় কিছু ফড়ে।।
নানানজন নানানদিকে নানান কিছু ধরে।
টুঁটি ধরে চৈতন্যকাল মারণ-কামড়ে।।
পুলিশ ধরে মধ্যরাতে পেঁচোয় ধরে ভোরে।
আশমানময় নানানরঙা ধান্ধাঘুড়ি ওড়ে।।
জমিনময় সূত্রধরেরা লাটাই কষে ধরছে। 
সেই গুঁতোতেই আবাল কিছু কোল্যাটারাল মরছে।। 
রাখাল বালক বজ্রমুষ্ঠে ধরিয়া ধেনুর পুচ্ছ। 
নদীজলে বীর্য্য তাহার ঢালিছে গুচ্ছ গুচ্ছ।।
কারণ-অতীতে ডোম্বী-বীর্য্য টলাইলা চণ্ডালী। 
খরপর্বতে ডমরু বাজিলে নাচিবে কঙ্কালী।।
আজি যে বালক কাল সে যোগী ধরিয়া র’বে বিন্দু।
মাংসগল্পে কহিবে জাতক হইও সবার বন্ধু।।
জ্বলছে মাংস জ্বলিবে টায়ার জ্বলিতেছে গ্যাসোলীন। 
রহিবে রসিক চিরবিষাদী, রহিবে না আশাহীন।।