The River’s Love Song

This is a poem I wrote recently when I wanted to take a break from struggling with my first novel. It will be published soon in the 16th edition of Dubai Poetics out by April end. Do let me know your thoughts. 🙂

From Jalori to Manali (37)

‘My poems are born of you,’

the river whispered to the mountains.

As the wind carried the river’s gentle sighs,

high up to the land of clouds and veils

nestled in the skies,

the mountains trembled.

It had felt the young love of his beloved

as she skipped, laughed and tripped along with him.

Majestic he had stood, watching her antics,

she had murmured her delight and thundered in pleasure.

But… his silence engorged her senses.

Nothing else could she bear.

Yet, she wanted, just for once, to be held

and loved with words she could hear.

Flowing away, with time, she left her mountain behind.

Meandering amidst valleys, she heard

voices other than her lover’s silence.

Thrilled, she gurgled with delight and rushed on.

She was loved, adored, worshipped, and more.
Dhyey Ahalpara

Yet, greater as her name grew,

farther as her fame spread.

she missed the silent communion

that had created her.

She wished she could turn her waves around

force the currents back to the source.

Sometimes she raged.

Sometimes she sluggishly moved on.

Did he hear her cries and sighs?

Did her love know that she was done with life?

She moved on… tired and dirty,

loved and worshipped.

Stillness replacing energy.

And then with her baggage of offerings,

bodies, debris, and silt,

she gave up the last of her freshness –

her very essence –

to the vast blue

that matched her beloved

in hue.

As the clouds burst above him,

drenching him with her love,

he realized that she had given up her life

to once again fall in his arms and lie.

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Cinderella – A Modern Take

Hi sharing a poem I wrote in 2012 as part of a writing workshop I was conducting for two of my friend’s daughters. We decided to revisit the fairy tales and give them a modern twist.

A 100 or maybe 1000 years ago, in a rather grim tone

Two brothers sat down to write a tome

About the ideal girl they’d like to meet

Pretty, timid, servile and sweet.

Needless to say an hour or so prior

Their landlady had threatened to set fire

To the two and their literary volumes

For non-payment of their dues.

They wrote about this girl and named her Ella

Who’d never lose her temper or ever grumble at these fellas

Who’d take all their bullshit

Serve ‘em tea, catch the mice and laugh at their wit.

They made her a beauteous being

And then they gave her a stepmother, real mean

A cross between their landlady and her surly brother

She had two other daughters to mother.

The brothers made sure that Ella’s two step-sisters

Were fashioned on the neighbourhood spinsters

Ladies who called a spade a spade

And in the bargain remained a maid.

Over the next few 1000 years, the characters became real

Living, breathing and dreaming in every single girl

Who thought it their duty to be pretty but dull

A million girls who tried to be servile

While the men, like the legendary prince, tried to be virile.

And then one day a girl looked up

And said, WTF I really hate getting dressed up!

She felt it was more fun

To join the spinsters for some rum

And a few dirty jokes about the prince and a naughty nun.

The prince, in the modern tale, waited at the ball

For the legendary beauty, fair and tall

But she was on her 3rd peg and joke number six

About another prince and his dirty, secret tricks.

The young prince did not really mind

That the ball had slipped the young beauty’s mind

Cause all said and done he preferred the older of the step-sisters.

At least she didn’t crack a joke when he tried to kiss her.

Random Musings

The page is back under my control… Am posting something that has been with me for a while. And forgive the spacing between some of the lines.. I am trying to figure it out :/

It has been a while. The kids have been shot and they have been buried. We have since moved on. Sydney and Paris have grabbed our headlines and eyeballs. But the causes and the results are the same. To twist Sartre’s words around a bit, ‘Everything is different yet nothing has changed.’

We still forget that religion is not a path that we walk on. It is not even our destination. It is the light that we carry in our hands to show us the way, as we walk the path to our destination.
How can anyone decide that the light they carry gives them the right to extinguish someone else’s life and light. I’d like to share a poem (or random musing) that I had written in December. Didn’t share then cause it was too soon… for obvious reasons. I still felt mad and I picked up a few twitter and whatsapp fights. Please read on…

Don’t send me another memo…
or yet another forward.
Every time a bomb blows up
Twitter explodes.
Every single time kids are chewed up
by bullets

fired by terror mongers and psychos
Facebook posts come alive.
‘It could have been our kids!’
‘We are so lucky!’
‘This is so sad!’
‘I feel so bad!’
‘What can one do?’

‘The world has gone mad!’
STOP!
STOP!
Just please STOP!

Remember Beslan. Beslan!?

You say the word out loud…

Yeah… it sounds familiar!

Where is it?

That is what is going to happen

to Peshawar.

Will you ever forget Utoya in Norway?

You think not?

Or that school in the US… Hook something
Oh I forgot the name!
But those poor babes!

You know what we can all do with our collective feel bads?
Yeah… not for polite company the answer to that.
We Tweet, post and whatsapp and we are done with it…
Until the next tragedy hits
For heaven’s sake!

What can we do?
You ask…

Here’s what…

Don’t bad mouth your Muslim neighbour.
Definitely not in front of your children!
Don’t laugh at the rituals of your Hindu neighbour.
Treat the Christian and the Jew as one.
Don’t just preach…
But practice.
Make them see the turban, the beard and the veil…
for what it is.
A representation of someone’s faith,
not a threat to your belief!!

Stop huddling together and
flinching away from strangers.
Open your eyes.
Open your mind.
And for heaven’s sake
open your heart please.

I refuse to mourn.
To shed another tear.
Cause tears are so fickle…
Shed and wiped.
And then the inevitable moving on.

I refuse to feel bad.
My feeling bad is not worth
even half a cent.

I refuse to join a candle lit vigil,
or mouth platitudes.

But what I will do

is to teach my child…
That be you a Hindu or Mussalman

Be you a Sikh or a Jain

A Christian, Buddhist or Jew…
Don’t think it doesn’t matter!

It matters!
It matters cause each and every single
religion teaches
‘Do unto others

as you would have them do unto you.’

Keep your colour in mind….

White, black, brown, yellow…
It is what makes you unique
It is also what makes you different.
And different is not bad,
it is interesting.

Stop brushing our differences

under the rug.

Rather dust it and address it.

I will stop walking

on fucking egg shells
When discussing religion, God,

faith, love, homosexuality and gender.
I will teach my child that
true peace lies

hand in hand with honesty

and courage.
And sometimes the bravest thing

we will be called upon to do

in our entire life will be to

quietly say “I don’t agree”

or “it’s not right.”

when faced by peer might.

And while I teach my child all this

I will pay attention

and try to imbibe.

And practice what I preach…

‘What can you do?’

you still ask me!!?

A Prayer For My Daughter

Another poem in the series that I wrote for my girl.Image

 

I wish for you freedom…

Freedom from worries about money

Freedom to do what you will

Freedom to be all that you can and want to be

Freedom to scream, howl and be nasty.

 

I wish for you independence

I wish for you choice.

I wish for you the truth

To not lie to yourself.

I wish for you courage

To say YES even when you feel timid

And sometimes, to say NO when need be.

 

I wish for you a great passionate love.

I wish for you laugh lines

That shows a well-lived life.

I wish for you a steady heart

But most of all,

I wish for you my love

A heart that sings.

Stay A While

Watching my girl jumping

In puddles pretending

She was a giant

On a sea crossing

I smile

Even as my

Heart weeps.

Why this rush

Why this dizzying

Hurtling through

Time and space

To grow up

And be like me.

Stay a while…

A little while longerImage

Child, and just be.

There is time enough

To grow and be

Tall and strong,

To be jaded and

Wrong.

For now just breathe

In the air…

Of never-ending hope,

Of cavern-like despair;

Breathe in the air

Of flighty joy

And heart-breaking pain;

Of best friends and

Class room bullies;

Of promises of forever

And starlight

Dancing in your hair.

There is time enough

To be like me

But for now

Be a child

Just a little while longer

And give company

To the child in me…