Thursday, December 29, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

An Ode to ChNaad Sadagar

The moon is half dead and all the ships are sunk

Returning, like a squirrel in snow – watched closely by the stars,

You listen to the mountains as they sing out your grief

And you listen to the leaves as they chant out your cold wrath.

You are returning home now.

Aware of the inevitability of flesh,

With memories of the empire toppling before your eyes

and recollections of faces that haunt the pale shadow of your feverish dreams,

You feel like a spirit lost in the ancient forest –

trapped by oaks that stand like astute sentries;

You see the last gods departing from the realm which was yours once,

You hear the dirge of your fellow-losers,

You run from the frozen wind as it shoots sharp arrows at your withering ribs,

And you know that all is lost.

And you know that you, who had left home in search of gold,

who had ran wild through the seven seas like forest-fire,

who had sailed beyond where the light meets darkness,

who had the sun and the moon and the world by his side for a while –

had found what you sought to find,

and had gambled it all away.

You are returning home –

Naked, burnt and destroyed.

Were the stakes too high?

Did they draw faster than you?

A serpent raises its hood and hisses from inside your hollow,

and the night bleeds for you;

And, as you beat your retreat,


waiting, for the thunderbolts to strike you down,

and for all your hatred to engulf the world –

you reach a river – and you see a strange boat

that shall carry you across for a dime.

But you have no dime, and so you kill the boatman

and you row across to the other side –

to realize

that you have not lost.

It back comes to you – like a rapture that floods the veins of a dead man who springs up

from his grave and rushes to light –

the strength to live.

Now you know that you have nothing more left to lose

And you know that your children will grow up to become strong and brave –

And they will gamble once again.

And perhaps, they will win.

And thus, we carry the crosses of our fathers and mothers –

through the squall and the tides,

through a million dazzling strokes of lightning,

through visions of rainbow trapped doom,

through put out candles beside pianos,

through music choked off by gunshots,

through flowers eaten up by black insects,

through revolutions twisting the rubik’s cube time and again,

through hoisted skirts pulling us to the mark,

through silently suffering prisoners bound by blood and chromosome,

through greed, caprice and wisdom,

through toasts raised to the fervent mortality of being,

through the worship of instincts leading to pain and bodhi,

through the cobwebbed void in which we are doomed to keep on swimming,

and through the consummation of acceptance,

we carry them.

And we place our cards, just like our great ancestors did,

hoping to win.

If we win,

we raise the stake and we decide to deal once more.

And if we lose,

we hand out our burden to our children

dreaming of their future victory.

And our children do the same thing when their turn comes.

Chandradhar, I salute you –

Not because of your bravado or vanity,

But because you managed to pull your ace out when it mattered most.


unlike us,

you knew it while you were doing so.

The strange thing is that, in your case, your children actually managed to win.

But that is beside the point.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Happiness and Destitution

This is a wasteful, tiring day, and i have seen many like this

Same old everything, doorbells ringing once a while

Thinking of how my father and mother will always be within whatever i see and how i see it,

given the fact that the i came out of him and swam through her to find my nest inside,

and of how i slept in the darkness – my last unencumbered sleep.

And thinking of faces i have seen before,

Of the desirability of warmth from the senses

Of how i want to watch a soothing movie with Florence Nightingale some day

Of women i love and of women i want to love.

It’s not ennui or staying up all night and drinking that makes me this,

And it’s not carrying time like a crucifix or a pushing gigantic rock uphill only to see it roll down

These things have their strange way of slithering their way in

The worst part of living is just this, ‘being here’

And the worst thing about leaving is to see your faithful dog staring at you until he becomes a part of the horizon.

No new music in the laptop, feeling too lazy to get aroused at anything

And here i am.

And the weatherman just said that it might rain in the evening

That will surely make the night sadder than the day

Just like the moon is sadder than the sun.


Are you reading Bukowski right now, just like i am?

Are you scribbling your thoughts down?

Are you gaping at the splendour of ugliness as well?

Are you as ugly as i am?

I haven’t seen you since the day i left you by the fountain

You were reading a book, with pictures of sunflowers in it

And the previous night when you fell asleep after we made love

I saw the moon pouring down on your forehead

I kissed you forehead, i remember

And i slipped a letter inside the book which you had planned to read by the fountain

the next day.

But that day, i.e., the day i left you, you took a different book with you.

I loved your whims.

And so i left you.

One has to leave what one truly loves.

Did you read my letter?

I haven’t seen you for a long long time

I miss you and i miss the tiny mole between your breasts

And i miss the poster of Al Pacino which you had gifted me once and which i have lost.

But the best part is that, i miss your ugliness

That was what drew me to you, because it reminded me of myself

My mother was beautiful, but, unlike her, you were ugly

That’s why i loved you as much i love you.


Conspicuous, like flesh, we walked down the dark corridors

And we fought with open knives

And we drank, and our remorse was far too great to hang on to

And our heads were filled with every bit of junk we had fed ourselves

And one day, it was time to leave

So we shook hands, and we left

And then, when the entire city got flooded

We met, once again

You were with your girl

I was with my dog.

The girl and the dog died halfway through

And we knew that we had no destination to reach

However, our paths were different.

And so we parted again,

And we shook hands once again.


The light

From my poetry

Revealed to me

your curves.

And what else can i say?

Tell me more.

If you’re my mother, i shall fear my words

If you’re the empress of my adolescence

I shall refuse to bow to you

But if you’re the dark i aim to reach some day

I don’t know what i’ll do.

Maybe i’ll kneel down to pray

Or maybe i’ll attack the stars with my dagger.


The germ that caused my illness

can be found everywhere

From bleeding skies, burning cities, from bombers who cry and poets who kill without remorse

From drawn up curtains and from skirts pulled up

From vast and vacuous spaces inside our thoughts

That germ can creep up from anywhere, anytime

And once it infects its victim – things start getting bleak and dry

Words become desires and desires become words

And then, one day, the transformation is complete

And you can’t make one from the other

And things get serious.

And when the great doctor comes, you see him and you know that he can cure you

But you don’t want to get cured

And so, the sight of him standing there and staring at you



But he persists. It’s his duty to do so.

You expect the doctor to pull out a nasty looking syringe from his bag

But he merely walks up to your window and throws it open

And he points outside –

As you look, despite your reluctance, you see that all the people outside are suffering from the same disease.

you get mad at the doctor

and you get ready to punch him –

But by the time you turn to him

You don’t find him there

He has left the building.

Or maybe he never came.

And then you look out again to find all the people smiling at you

‘surely you are happy, aren’t you?’ – they’ll ask

Surely you are happy, and so are they.

They never had any disease, and neither did you.

In extreme cases, you can blind yourself before the doctor arrives

But the moment everything gets dark, the germ dies out on its own.

So, as you can clearly see, you are bound to get fixed,

one way

or the other.