My Haikus

Your hair looks so odd
It dives longer than before;
Has it been too long?

Your skin flows one way;
Disciple of the river.
Your skin, I follow.

I need to travel
To the point of no return;
Let me rest on you.

Another pebble
It finds in the cold river
Friends at the bottom.

Leaves on a dead road
They also wish to rise again
But the breeze keeps calm.

A view ever-changing
But the beauty stays the same
In the dancing tides.

Storm in the making
The trees show the direction
The wind conquers all.


My questions

the-false-mirror-1928I have a few questions.
In chains,
they have suffered, survived
And dreamed
of lovely answers dancing for them.

Cleaning their faces,
They ask
“How long shall we live?”
It’s an odd task
To determine such a thing.

“Where to?”, I ask
One question
Raises its hand in zest.
“Now, it seems,
There’s no answer for that”

I know a place
A temple
They follow me inside
As a priest stares
I realise they have no religion yet.

To a school, dressed,
Like rich kids, we go.
Which teacher has an answer
For my poor questions?
No vacancy! They’re happy with their own.

The tea stall!
One hundred opinions.
Will they find answers here?
“Can we drink tea?”
Well, atleast that’s answered.

An educated question
Tells me
“We need to talk to a soul”
It got weird
I had one I didn’t tell them about.

“Where is it? Tell us!”
I lied.
Body to body, they travel now
But what am I to do?
A soul? There’s no answer to that!



(Image: Rene Magritte’s The False Mirror)

वही बातें

कैसी बातें थी ,
जो तब भी हँसाती थी,
आज भी हँसाती हैं।

जब कभी किसी कुत्ते से मिलते हम
वो खुशी से झूम उठती
प्यार से बुलाके उसे कुछ खाने को
और कुछ प्यार सा देती
वो खुशी से आते, पूंछ हिलाते
में तो बस मुस्कुराता था।

आती होगी शायद
दूर से प्यार की महक,
उन दीवानो को।

उसकी बात कुछ और ही थी,
मेरी दुनिया अब वो नहीं
वो दीवाना रूठा जो अब आता है
नजदीकी से कतराता है
मजबूरी में वो कुछ खा लेता है
मैं मजबूरी में मुस्कुरा लेता हूं।

A chilling kindness

It’s a chilling kindness
Time is holding out blankets
I know it’s gonna go up from here
But I don’t want to have to look down
If there’s been a cut though
The healing should never come too late

I’ve been shivering
It’s a cold kindness
To keep the dying alive
You’ve been here, just like me
Shivering in the chilling kindness
Wondering if it could be any other way

The winter might end
Leaving us still shivering
Sweet sadness endowed; a new dawn
The chills that cut will lead to a light
And it heals, the sadness is the drug
The chilling kindness, my sad doctor.

आसमान लाल हो चुका

आसमान लाल हो चुका
बादलों के उपर यह
किसका लाल जम गया?
किसीका खून? किसीका प्यार?

चंदामामा तो मेरे लिए
अपने खरगोश के साथ
सफेद चांदनी में
आता था एक कहानी लिए।
पर आज यही खयाल है
न खरगोश। न कहानी। लाल।

गूगलमामा से पूछा
ये कैसा लाल है?
उन्होंने आइना दिखा दिया।
नदी आज तक
रंग लेता आसमान का।
आज आसमान शहर का।

बादलों को लाल
क्या कभी पसंद आएगा?
क्या पता ये लाल चांद
कैसी कहानी सुनाएगा?
ग़ुम खरगोश की नींद
कौन वापस लाएगा?