Postcards


I

Under the shadow of the pouring Sun

Where the clouds whisper to thunder

And the red pint of stamps fly

Against the wind to the land of war

And loaded guns,

There lies an empty house

In the corner of the town

Where postcards are the only guest.

The guns soak the red and shoot

Paper planes carrying stories of demise,

Making this empty house emptier

While a hollow sunken soul lives in memories

Waiting for its bones to be debris

And eyes to dim forever.

Bricks don’t make houses. People do.

But under the shadow of the pouring Sun,

This house stands still with broken windows,

Dilapidated stairs, and firm memories

While no one lives to recall the giggles

Which once erected this monument.

II

To die, we must live even if

Our first breath is our last.

Soon, the house would be no more

And a new building with newer faces

Would bury those memories once and for all.

The green grass would grow over the staircase

And the greenest one would spring out of

The little drawer where your postcards lie

Under Earth’s linen while Earth remains naked

For men to devour.

Postcards which you wrote drenched in

Sweat and someone’s blood-

Blood which ended written postcards elsewhere

And hollow houses were created elsewhere-

A new gulag erects itself.

Somewhere far away from our greenery

Lies another set of broken memories

With no one to recall under the pouring Sun.

Somewhere far away from our graves

Lie another set of postcards

Unused and Forgotten.

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Victor


The Birth of God is a farce-

A frantic celebration of useless

                                     Taradiddle.

Should we fear the Lord or

Should the Lord fear us?

For we have become the victim

To the cobweb we weave

Again and again.

Where riches are counted as Godly

And innocence is spat on,

Where one child is celebrated

And the others fray

Like the knitted somber night

Where umbra is unseen but the carol is heard-

‘Silent Night, Holy Night…’

I

Will the snow ever answer to the little boy’s question?

Who wanted to sing in the church choir once

Only once-‘Silent Night, Holy Night…’

He who mended the shoes of his master at dawn

And buried husk and dreams at noon

Who was caned for an unpolished pearl in the evening

And drowned his nocturnal fears in tears under the moon.

II

Everyday remained the same. It was after all his routine

To be in servitude, to give and never ask-freeborn slavery.

Guests were regular at the masters

Guests who never pitied, never uttered a word-

Mankind witnesses its malice

After all, they had their own Victor-awaiting caning

While burying husk and dreams.

III

In summer, the Sun abdicated the pantheon

And became as miserable as a slob.

Its fiery beacon mesmerises breaths

Which never came to Victor but joined the Sun

Making the little boy sweat, puff and swear-

Swear at the tender age of nine.

Shackles often unwind humans

Who is both the master and the slave.

IV

The same summer makes the infants cry

Making the lady hit Victor out of angst

But Victor’s tears are dried up oceans.

So, he pours the soup for the masters

And resurrects his will to allow dirty porridge

To slide through his throat-menacingly

As if to suck every bit of his life away,

As if to poison his blood-his innocent blood

With the venom called survival.

V

In the night, the pain of being an orphan kicks in

And the choir at distance acts as an actor

A theatre of solaces where the little boy plays

His dream role-singing once

Only once-‘Silent Night, Holy Night…’

VI

The summer goes and he lives the routine

He clutches onto the monotony-throughout.

Spring and Autumns are the Sun’s rooster

With wings of pain and talons of dirty porridge.

Winter would have been a friend

If the boy had wool on him.

But he had no wool or friend

And will never have one-till his end.

VII

Victor had only one devotee-the shivers.

When he spilled the soup and was caned

Till his thumbs were numb

And pale with no pump of blood,

He shivered but didn’t cry

As Victor’s tears were dried up oceans.

In the night, he dared to question the snow again

He had one dream-to sing once

Only once-‘Silent Night,Holy Night’

Nights came and came again but his spirit never fluttered

He would sing one night when the moon would

Glisten its crater to witness the lowest of mankind.

VIII

One night, Victor silently opened the window

He walked a mile in the open woods.

It was a heavy night

With heavy trees and heavy owls bellowing.

He walked in darkness but he wasn’t alone.

For once, he felt as if

The church bells rang to welcome him.

But the snow had other plans-

To unleash its ungodliness

And spread its wings onto Victor’s face

Till he succumbed to his worthlessness.

IX

The boy jumped and slumped into a lump.

He fell down and didn’t get up

Finally, he didn’t have to survive anymore

Neither his question nor his dream moved

At a distance, the choir could be heard

‘Silent Night, Holy Night…’

While the boy remained wordless

While his body dissolved in layers of snow

While his soul was free of the routine

Only to walk like the Wandering Jew

Forever and ever.

X

The unmoving question still echoed

Against the craters of the moon who were the only audience

To this play of mankind’s downfall

Where the actor is both the master and the slave.

The snow had finally answered and so had the moon

Under the silent and holy night,

There lied Victor-dead and forgotten.

House


In a house with a dozen rooms

Of 12×12, there sits an old soul

On a broken chair with legs of imagination

Running wild at the poisoned altar of God

At the centre of this house- house of mankind’s

Worst nightmares- an impeachment at the pantheon.

There is no Savitri around- only Circe and broken mirrors

The male genitalia is dipped in Ganges water

And the ashes are drowned in street filth.

A house where a woman’s opinion is hated by women-

A vile distortion for the man in the painting.

In this house where colours are only bright on the walls,

Men only live for flesh and money

On potatoes and peas for decades

Ignoring the silent cry of the amassed garden

Now, with weeds in them like the hearts of their masters

And hollow sunken souls of betrothed brothers.

There is no gambling-no vices to be seen

Only praises showered by the world for the love they see

Through rose coloured glasses-a facade of gentry.

No one sees the vice they hold in their poisoned hearts

On the 15th of October, an omen was born

to live in the mirage, with the mirage-a wet desert

Of blood and ties-laughable bemire

For the old soul led the house to the fire

Where no ash was left only memories of hate

And love not found-only hearts filled with faded jade.

In this very house where bullets of words are fired

Brothers laid down their lives as martyrs to the world

And traitors to fellow brothers

And sister also lived but no one is concerned.

Today, a breach has been birthed between the thighs

And all that is there-falls from the great height

Still the old soul sits by the temple

At the centre of the house with Rudraksha in hand

Broken Hindu rosary beads for sins-permanent.

No one to blame but ourselves for this plight

After all, Houses always crumble from the inside.

Shades Of Blue


I

We have won the battle against someone!

An unknown bond at the glacier

Which remains calm as it was once

Safe while it devours the rifles

And melts in red under the sun,

The same red which once coloured my forehead

Which spoke of shades of you

Only one remains now-a shade of blue.

II

There are celebrations outside.

The colonel has returned!

He sipped on tea while you took on

Shades of fire-bullets and torn rags

In the frontline-unmoving blue veins.

There is a fire in me too-in my mind

But life isn’t lived through dreams,

It fades in shades of nothingness.

Once you promised to be faithful

For half a century. Who would do it now?

Should I walk alone or would you come

As someone else with frayed shades?

Why won’t you reply?

Why would you stop being true?

III
Let me dream again!

Let it not fade this time!

Let me see that glacier

Which made you wordless,

Which drained red viscera

And coloured its coldness

In shades of war.

I’m at the glacier now

Where I dive in the red pool

Of melted ice on both sides.

IV

I see your body now.

The same body which kissed me

Under the rain when the war bells rang

And duty announced the final ordeal.

I turn around

And find hundreds of you-

Different faces and attire but same shade.

Would we every realise-this isn’t a victory?

This is a fall-our worst rancour

On both sides of the border,

They gather on the ground-intact

No breathing-only shades of blue.

Red water and blue veins will run out someday

They will fade too-soon! They will.

They appear for a while like scars

And they recur again and again like wars.

We have won our worst defeat-witnessing

Melodies of pain and shades-not new

An unknown bond with someone who didn’t retreat

On both sides of the border-lies the pale crew.

Image Courtesy-http://imgur.com/cUXQG6I

Tyger


I

Tyger Tyger, deepening fright

In the forest-out of sight

Where no one dared to see

Burnt postcards from Italy

The gulags held onto the dream

On the heaven of man’s favourite toy-

Bombs- In the oriental cradle

Where civilisations bellowed

The slaughtering of fellow humans

With cheers and celebrations

For this is how the temples work

We bleed our way to the God

Who judges the prayers not the blood

II

Tyger Tyger-a long due plight

The demagogue has won the fight

Innocence is lost

And the demons are God’s protege

And God-no one’s

In this land of shattered minds,

The art of war fused with money-

A barter of oil and organs

Trade of lives-puny dollars

The second coming is near

But no white wings are in the view

Only serpents coiled on coins and bullets

Fired straight through the spiteful heads

The banquet is empty and so are the dance halls

Blood and flesh-mankind’s ambrosia

People speak the money language

And follow the extravagant religion

They breathe and exist with conscience-dead

Buffoons who sleep with buffoons and call it-trend

III

Tyger Tyger

I can see you-Oh Warrior

Chained and shackled-in minds and hearts

Dead and rotten-in kinship charts

Men are predators and you-the prey!

Digging on your flesh-in shards

Where the tiger’s roar is unheard.

A Requiem For Words


I

The aesthetics in my mind are devoured by ink

Where the league of poets have laid down their words

Lasting for eternity-though their masters

Never return to the train station to bid farewell to the dog;

For words are as faithful as death

Which come out in this game of hide-and-seek

Out of the blue-to surprise us.

Poets may surrender to the Earth they write of

But their words live-immortal maleficium.

II

Words have started the bloodiest of wars

And have broken down churches and erected mischief.

But I write not for wars but for my sake

For the peace which leaves me even though I search

Restless and without a stop.

III

This winter soldier still traces cherry-blossom

And the autumn’s nothingness

While the Sun suffocates drops of sweats

Till they decease-reincarnated amidst mist.

The cabal is strong-troop after troop they fall

Only to be replaced by another queue of words

Which rise like a phoenix to breathe fiery art

For mankind to witness where beauty and passion lies.

IV

The lustre of the lone star entices my eyes

Fluttering drapes, fluttering sight- an ornamented truce.

Today, I have conquered the feat and my words-

My foot soldiers have made the awful frost retreat.

Today, the frost’s solace is my companion-

Night sprinkles the stars on the paper

And the ink colours it with rainbows of thoughts.

V

This solitary reaper harvests the daffodils

Till he reaches the six feet where aesthetics are levelled

And beauty surmounted. Till then,

I shall be devoured happily. Till then,

I shall write of this Earth where my tomb stands tall;

For I know that this very Earth would howl

Howl to my words-Martyrdom.

Do You Remember?


I

Do you remember that child who wanted to be the President?

Yes! Him. He’s dead now

Don’t frown. This isn’t rare

Many such presidents have been disposed off

By shells and bombs and roaring guns

Children on the other side of the border

Are garbage and you-the garbage collector

II

Do you remember that girl who prayed seven days a week?

Yes! Her. There she is-dead and rotting

She was raped by men of her father’s age

They took chances and indulged in merry-making

She cried a bit but never cursed God even once

Don’t worry! The cross around her neck is still intact

God’s miracle! Those men wouldn’t disrespect him

And his artefacts-pure and pious

III

Do you remember the father who served the nation?

Yes! Him. The nation served him once and for all

That crippled lunatic had to see his son beheaded

Don’t worry! He isn’t sad.

Sadness is a virtue of the living.

Who would want to see a cripple crying?

They pitied him and he was made to follow his son’s feat

IV

Do you remember the mother who gave birth to you?

Yes! Her. She lies there-stoic

The bomb vaporised her clothes and her skin

She didn’t even realise what has happened.

Now, she will never know

Don’t worry! She isn’t naked

I lent your coat with military decorations to her corpse

After all, shame is of utmost importance to women

V

Do you remember the ones who sang at the choir?

Yes! Us. This prodigal human race

Who preach freedom through bloody wars

Because when all are dead, cargo would be free

But I wonder who will claim it then

With zilch of humanity living-only tombstones in sight

Don’t worry! We won’t go to hell

We might have laughingly stabbed many

But we made up for it

When we washed our hands in the communion wine.