gharonday ki Khaaki

jo gharonday ki Khaaki ki taraf maail ho kar
jo sa’ubat ke muN moRne se Ghaafil ho kar

jo falak teen honay pe do chaar agar ho jaae
jo Khabar dard ki sunnay se bekaar ho jaae

jo zabeehat ki faraawaani se ghayal ho kar
jo qabaahat ki zabardasti ka qaail ho kar

jo himaqat ke baRhnay ka Ghum kho beThay
jo shikayat ke thamnay ka zaKhm ro beThay

jo zara der may raat ke sunnaTay ke sunnaTay may
jo baRay shauq se ghabraae shub-e-ghabrahaT se.


The tumult

There is the tumult and then there is the tide
Tide brings the source of silt along with the grit
Of foam of salt of earth of form of lost invocations.

There is the tumult and there there is the smoke
Smoke which wraps the heart of courage in billets
Of grass of dust of moist earth venting off time.

There is the tumult and then there is the wit
Wit that pokes the mill pokes the shadow pokes
The effervescence at three different shades of noon.



jub pahaaR ke peeChe heek ho mauj-e-toofaN ki
jub neend rooh-e-sehr ki KhwahaaN ho raat bhar

to mazaar-e-be-bunyaad se pheNkay huay kuCh
tukRoN se utna hee mustafeed hoga bhaNwraa

ke jitni gehraai ka haamil hai waaiz ki bachkana
laffaazi. jub neend rooh-e-sehr ki KhwahaaN ho

raat bhar to pahaaR ki soch mauj-e-toofaN ke
siwa aur kaheeN na bhaTke gi. aur jub waaiz

ki laffazi-e-be-bunyaad ka pol khul hi chuka hai
to aql ka taqaaza yehi he ke boseeda lashoN ke

Dher me usay bhi baRi nafaasat baRay ehtamaam
ke saath ik bachkaana kafan may gaaR diya jaae.


shirk aur tum

wajah be wajah, tum hum Dug-mug, Dug-mug
tarah be tarah, hum tum, rah guzar aur shaam

maza be maza, Khauf-o-Khatr, yahaaN aur yahaaN
matlab bila uzr, ma’ani bila Khauf-o-jabr, wahaaN

qatra ba qatra, silsala-e-nashr, yuNheeN juNhee
lafz be harf, iss taraf aik shaam aur rah guzar

maiN aur mera merapun, subh-e-kerb, dukh bila husn
dukh bila huzn, rah guzar shaam ki tarah Dug-mug

ab aur aik shaam jis rah guzar ki taraf gaamzan
nahiN aur nahiN, kub talak sirf shirk aur tum?


jis taur se

jis taur se baiThay ga aaNgan may khaRka hua chehra
jis simt se do baazoo aaeN ge is paar
jis tarah simTay ga meri aawaaz ka bikhra hua Ghubaar
jis shauq se ThukraeN ge hum shub ke khareedar.

yehi to lutf ki shaaKh ka gehwaara kehlaae ga
yeheeN pe tarz ke ulloo pe paRha jae ga qaseeda
yuNhee ab simt ki rut ka bajaeN ge hum Dhol
yeheeN pe neend ki humjoli ka ubhray ga aqeeda.



As evidence is marshalled through time,
As the biases of an age are criss-crossed
Against those of another, as the dots
From precedents rush towards their
Syllogistic antecedents drawing a fine
Iron line through time, the ascetic,
the reactionary and the entitled can spew
Bile, raise hell, cry foul, the tiny dots
Persist in connecting: this much is certain.


Back to basics

When the pain of the Other is put at par with
The countless permutations of other indulgences,

The uppity stakes in wholesome and not so
Wholesome tidbits, that must mean life, mustn’t it?

The injustice is obvious and you must get back to
The basics of how to count and what to value.

When the tiniest of tiny voices is easy to
Smudge over with the many many notes of

High fidelity, varying in scale and tenor of
Stupendous volume, that must mean life, mustn’t it?

The injustice is obvious and you must get back to
The 123’s of how to count and the abc’s of what to value.


Statistics and Truth

There is the statistical trend, a roundup of scatterplots
Summarized for the logarithmic-ally minded while the
Rest spout the interpretation of the gist of the summary.

There is then the statistical truth, the underlying curve
Eyeing the trend, nudging the dots to acquiesce to
a less than feasible, not necessarily pragmatic, path.

And then there is the form which sits in the center and
Above it, encircling it, keeping quiet, while roaring with
A certainty that is the hallmark of a trepidatious maya.


When did noon

When did noon ever care enough
          to undo the salt? When does
the untasted salt get its right to breathe?
          Why do men discover women
in the afternoon when the sun refuses
          to talk? How come mistakes are
remembered only in two's and three's?
          Where is the light that burns only
when day has decided to sit down and 
          talk? Here then is the untasted
bit of salt, gathered by men and women
          over years and colors of space and
rhyme. Here then is the sight that confuses
          the child when she looks at salt and
sees no white. Here is the calm, the noise,
          the noise, the noose, the ride, the
choice, the voice.


1 billion years in passing or 20, does it make a difference? But it
Does: at 14 billion, it was all poof in a nada sort of a way so …

5000 years in digressing or 10000, same difference: around 10,
We all ploughed, and at 5 we slouched while others ploughed.

The slouchers had time enough to think up Kaliyug, the dark times,
Commencing about the same time at which the slouching began.