Tag Archives: life

How To Make A Dream.

It is a terrific process
to make a dream, you
start with three spoons
of full-fat cream, and
fold into it, the skyline
of a foreign city, that
sells, wrapped in lights
and Marijuana leaves,
a glory that you shall
blindly seek, until it
fails to serenade you
further or your bones
begin to crumble at
their seams.

Once the rocketing peaks
of the silver skyscrapers
have started sticking to
the corners of your mind,
add three ounces of finely
crushed memories, of what
was and what could have been,
solely for the slightly
wistful flavor, it leaves
in the back of your teeth,
but, remember to make sure
that they’re ground to
perfection, for from what
I’ve heard, when allowed to
exist too extravagantly,
memories can make the
inside of your cheeks
bleed, and also, ruin
the flavor profile of
amateur dreams.

By now you should
be seeing the batter
turn slightly red, with
an unlikely sheen,
reminiscent of men
that work every day,
every hour, chasing
hollow moulds that
promise joy, endlessly.

When the effort you’ve
put in, starts to match
theirs, know it’s time to
let that dream bake, in
the chambers of your
heart, you’re most likely
to hear wails and sobs,
for dreams are not unlike
schoolboys that throw
tantrums for fulfillment
of their juvenile whims
and shed tears thereafter.

But hold your own and
put your finger down
and watch it grow and
flutter its wings, longing
to be free, and eventually
leave, through your chest
and out, brushing against
your quivering lips like
a silent scream.

And that’s how you make a dream.

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Another Pointless Translation – Nadaan Parindey.

This is not an exact translation as I’ve tried to maintain the poetic unity.

bird-189347_1920

O Nadaan Parindey
Ghar aaja
O Nadaan Parindey
Ghar aaja


Oh wayward soul,
come back home.
Oh naive bird,
come back home.


Kyun desh-bidesh phire maara
Kyun haal-behaal thaka haara
Tu raat-beraat ka banjaara
O Nadaan Parindey
Ghar aaja


Why do you fly over lands unknown?
Why do you fly, exhausted and crestfallen?
Why do you soar above countries you’ve never been to?
You’re a vagabond who belongs to the Night.
Oh unworldly soul,
come back home.
Return.


Sau dard badan pe phele hain
Har karam ke kapde maile hain


Your body has had a hundred injuries
inflicted upon it.
Your clothes, compassionless, are torn and
tainted with the struggles of your flight.


Kaatein chahein jitna
Paron se hawaaon ko
Khud se na bach payega tu
Todh aasmon ko
Phoonk de jahaano ko
Khud ko chupa na payega tu


No matter how fiercely you try
to pierce the winds with your weary wings,
but realize,
you’ll never escape yourself.
Break way all the skies, if you have to,
smoke away the World below you, but remember,
you’ll never be able to hide from yourself.


Koi bhi le rasta
Tu hai tu mein basta
Apne hi ghar aayega tu
O Nadaan Parindey
Ghar aaja


Choose whatever path you wish to,
you exist, within yourself,
and you’ll only ever reach home.
Oh, naive bird.
Come back home.


Kagar Kagar
Mori itni araz tose
chun chun khaiyo mass
Arajiya re khaiyo na tu naina mohe
piya ke milan ki aas


O, darling crow.
I implore, nothing but this,
eat my flesh sparingly.
I implore, I implore,
don’t devour my eyes.
For there still remains,
a blinding hope of seeing
my beloved for one last time.
Don’t devour my eyes,
for there still remains
the possibility of an unlikely union.


O Naadaan Parindey
Ghar aaja.
Ghar aaja, ghar aaja, ghar aaja.


Oh, wayward soul.
Oh, naive bird.
Come back home.
Return. Return. Return.

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Finality.

2016 was a wild ride. I’ve tried to capture some of the confusion and most of the love and beauty. I haven’t succeeded, evidently. Regardless, I’ve organized the poem to reflect the trajectory of the year. It begins with endless essays to colleges abroad and ending up at Ramjas College, North Campus and continues to discuss leaving high-school and high-school friends behind and finding my people and home in Delhi.


Change. Five alphabets and a single syllable. But it weighs much more on the tip of my tongue as it rolls off with innocent hesitation. It weighs as much as five years worth of dreams and aspirations, lulled to sleep in a foreign language and wrapped in an ancient wrapping paper, which has its corners bitten off because of a sudden termite infestation, and carefully placed in a silken envelope, addressed to one place, but received at another because somewhere on their way, the envelope was exchanged and its diaphanous contents disheveled for a public humiliation. It weighs as much as their initial discontent, bewilderment, and lumbering satisfaction.

 

Changement. A word from the language of aromatic delight, on the first puff, reeks of nothing but an impermanent banality, but on further zealous inspection, on nights of intoxicated revelry, unfurls itself in layers of olfactory surprise with a base note gravid with the scent of forgotten promises of forevers, infinities and harmless adolescent debauchery, a heart note that narrates tales of four misfit children and their frivolous and juvenile camaraderie and a top note that reminds the perfumed and the perfumers of happy goodbyes and transatlantic flights.

 

परिवर्तन. Spoken with each of the superfluous curves and ridges enunciated with care and dealt with a heightened sense of fragility, feels rough against my skin as it passes me by, but whenever I implore it to sit and chat for awhile, it says the final au revoir by leaving impressions of blank canvases, on my emaciated body, behind. On his rather haughty nights 一 like the thirty-first of December 一 he paints them in an artistic frenzy with scenes of an unlikely reunion, in which I run into a piece of my being that I had never intended to find again or acknowledge as a part of my entirety on unsuspecting roads and at guileless shacks where cantankerous old men lounge around between piles of shit and purple dreams.

 

Yesterday night, as Luna mounted her pearly chariot

 with an uncommon grace and a singular sense

of closure and finality, I was relentlessly reminded

of my own mortality and that no matter how

I chose to spell it, Change has always been by

my side like a lover from the days that have

passed and I’m finding hard to let go of.

 

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Onomatopoeia

At breakfast,

you read to me, from your favorite newspaper,
articles about intended duplicity. The World was
quiet for the Dawn to unfold, in its mellifluous
entirety, and the only sounds I could make out, in
my state of hungover reverie, were,

 

your muffled sighs, hmm and ch ch ch, escaping your chapped lips like the whispered whistle of my antique electric-kettle, expressing your discontent with the unlikely turn-of-events that haunt the modern World,

 

your words, de-st-ruc-tion and car-na-ge, carefully let out, each syllable, made love to, uttered with affection and regal gentility, with due care afforded to each of their individual fragilities, like baby birds, unfurling their wings and chasing the dawn for the first time,

 

and, the gentle tapping of your feet, tak.tak.tak, on our concrete floors, like morning dew, falling, leisurely, on dried and withered autumn leaves

 

and, the clatter of your teeth,(it was slightly chilly) a monotonous tone with no ups and down, like the clamor of those thousand pairs of feet, rushing for the first metro, trying to avoid the curse of traffic and imminent banality,

 

and, the crunch of bread under a blunt butter knife and a melted condiment, shining in morning shades of amber, just as in verse and rhythm as the drowsy and cursory pleasantries of children being dragged to school at ungodly hours,

 

and, the rustling of the cheap recycled paper stuck in between your sweaty thumb and index finger, the rustle of leaves from the first gush of the wind that heralds a new Spring every December, and,

the beating of my heart against its bony cage,

nothing but a silent observer.

 

It was then that I decided if you were ever to be

a figure of speech, you, darling, would be Onomatopoeia.

 

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dear Isabella.

what is the time?

is it time for me to leave you yet? cause I’ve been meaning to do so for quite a long time now.

it’s not that I don’t love you anymore. it’s not that I never did. i did love you and I still do regardless of what you’ll come to believe in the next few hours. it’s just that I love you a tad bit too much.

remember the first time we met. it was at the university I guess. you were late for your chemistry class while I casually strolled around looking from here to there. I followed you around later that day, contemplating on how should I reach out to you. you were wearing something black, if I remember correctly. looking back at it I can’t ignore the irony. you had a thing for black back then. you thought it made you look cool and that’s what you had always wanted to be. but inside, now I know, you were just a pretty little girl missing out on all the pink dresses you wanted to wear for the fear of being called too girly, for the fear of not fitting in.

I think three months from that day on, I wrote you the first letter. on the back of a poem I had written, I scribbled a few extra syllables and sent it across through a common friend of ours. I hear that common friend is married now and has three children of her own. two boys and a girl. the girl’s been named after you. It doesn’t surprise me now that I think of it. You had your way with people;

anyway, the poem on the back of the message I had sent was titled “a winter of white roses and shriveled up hearts.” it was a drunken composition much like a one night stand. i didn’t feel any particular emotional attachment to it and hence didn’t mind sending it across. three years later you told me that, what made you change your mind about dating me was that very poem and the few extra syllables around it. I would lie and say, I wrote it for you. but instead it was nothing better than a one night stand. just another night I had to spend alone making love to the paper and the words lurking in my ink.

the common friend came back a week later with a coy smile on her face and a piece of paper in her hands. you were a minimalist back then as well. i cant say I didn’t expect that already. I’ve come to believe that people who venture too deep into the sciences learn too much about the complexities of the world and hence prefer the mundane to what poets like me would call the notion of romanticism. the paper had a date and time on it and was signed in black, “Isabella.”

the date was set and so was the time. we met on the fifth of may, at a fast food joint. seven pm. I arrived at six forty five. you were there at seven sharp. dressed like you always were. once again the beliefs I had in regard to people who delve into science too deeply were confirmed. you were a sight to behold. the jeans you had on were worn out but to poets like me things like that are holders of great beauty. they tell a story of their own and well, your jeans were no less. they kept distracting me that night with every mark and tear whispering out their tale to me. you had a plain black tank top on. cant say I didn’t fap later that night to the image of you. but i will cause I know how dearly you hate the word fap.

the weather was windy that day and your hair kept on sticking to your lip gloss. yet you managed to stay calm through it all, at-least you tried to make it seem so. but i could see you scratching your palms covertly. love made you nervous like acids and bases had never did before.

we barely talked that day. you seemed preoccupied whereas I preferred sitting aside and looking at you. We did say good night towards the end of it and in those two words lied a promise. a promise of meeting again some night.

a few months later you sent me a message. 3:04 am in the morning. it read, “hi,” we both missed our classes the next day and went to sleep just as the Sun was rising from the horizon. that night had been the most eventful for me. five years with you and yet what matters to me the most till date is those messages you sent on some random day at a random time. you told me your father loved alcohol more than he loved you and that your mother had found love elsewhere. You mentioned a sister that died of cancer some time back and while you told me this, I could hear your sobs silently playing like a Frank Anthony record in the background. I apologize for that night and my ways. I shouldn’t have asked what your home is like or if you have a sibling. I am sorry to let you cry. I am sorry I wasn’t there to catch those tears before they touched the ground.

we met again but didn’t plan it this time around. You were walking back to your dorm when I first saw you that day. I wanted to give you a ride. But bicycles don’t make well for long drives. I was cycling away when you called out to me. To my surprise you mounted my bicycle and asked me to take you away. I did try to imitate the heroes I had read about but yet again, bicycles were not chariots of doom or stallions with golden manes. we fell onto a heap of dried leaves and couldn’t stop laughing till we were told off by an old man that taught me mythology for a semester. The old man still remembers you they say, the letter of apology you sent to him the next day is still the most beautiful thing he has ever read, they say.

but now it’s time for me to leave. the sun is setting and even though I leave you tonight and for me this is the last of day I will ever see, the sun will rise for you tomorrow and I don’t want to keep you awake too late. I don’t want to leave you and yes I do love you and always will but some things are inevitable. the universe has certain ways, it’s own dynamic idiosyncrasies and it is those that keep me from staying. you would have understood me better, maybe you still do, if you would have been a poet but then again people who delve into the complexities of the universe too much, like you have, prefer to live in a world that is black and white and the colors that flash against my eyes every night are those that don’t exist for you yet. But I do hope you realize that there’s more to life than just black and white. I do hope you understand why I prefer to speak in prose and rhyme. I hope you realize that there are some things that cant be explained in a laboratory and also some questions that can’t be answered by science.

I’ve heard a heart break tends to do it for some and if you do end up realizing all that I stated, i know you’ll finally understand that I did love you and always will, and Isabella when you do call out to me and I’ll ride to you in the same bicycle as before and we’ll fall onto a heap of dried leaves all over again. Only this time around we’ll be careful enough to not be told off by the old man who taught me mythology for a semester.

I leave you in this life, but darling please realize we still have eternity to dance through. our very own infinity to mar and recreate.

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The number line we were taught not to draw.

All your life you’ve tried to fit in with the cool kids. You want them to recognize you. Tell you you’re one of them. But deep down you know you aren’t. You’re multidimensional. A cool kid one second and a raging storm the other. You’re an angel and Lucifer when you wish to be. You’re eclectic. You’re the habitual Monday Morning and the wild weekend. You’re a glass of wine and shots of tequila. You can’t fit in. You will never. You are the black stroke on a white canvas. You were born to stand out. You are the lone cloud in the sky on a sunny day. You are the beach and the water slide. You are everything you’ve wanted to be. You are manic, depressive and bipolar. You are Eden and a barren land all at once. You inhale constellations and exhale galaxies. You’re colorful. You’re white, black and everything in between. Sometimes as fierce as the Ocean but, you’re also a slow flowing brook. You’re the forbidden forest and the World of OZ. You’re Mars and Saturn too. You burn much like the Sun. You are Bukowski and Wodehouse. You’re a saint and a sinner. You disintegrate into millions of molecules yet, you’re a mountain. Standing tall and high you’re a castle. With your broken dreams and shattered shards, you’re a wooden lodge somewhere in the woods. You’re a 500$ meal and an uneaten BLT.You don’t need to fit in. You were born not to. You’re dynamic. You’re mercury. You’re Sulphur. You are the potassium in their fireworks. You burn on touching. Your flame’s a cool shade of cyan. You’re the Universe, inhaling galaxies and exhaling constellations. You’re infinite in all directions. You’re the number line we were taught not to draw.

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The rants of a madman.

It’s been long since I last picked up a pen and bled on the paper as I used to before.
It’s our third day together and I still dont understand why we were away for so long.
I think of it now and my life before you seems to be a continued state of haze.
Years, months and countless days.
We were a couple of hearts, beating together. Yet, so far apart. An unknown force, a spirit or a ghost, a supernatural entity or a religious deity. I still dont know if you’re as real as you seem or are your scars and your pain, your lies that drive me insane and your hair a shade of cyan; the color of rain, just a dream.
Today, as you stare back at me when you’re vexed. I see in your eyes, a poem that I wrote but kept hidden.
I was afraid it was too good to be destroyed, by some thousand minds and a million likes.
You lurked beneath my words and sentences, glorifying each and every one of them.
I see you paint in the middle of the night. A pleasurable sight, an artist in all her might. I dont need to write or compose any longer. No words for my sorrow, no stories of a painmonger.
You consume my heart like the poem I never wrote. Rhymes elude me. You’re a dote. A pointless mote. A heartfelt note.
You’ve driven me insane and left me too proud to ever write again.
Why shall I rhyme or type a useless whine when I’ve touched you and you’ve touched me.
Why shall I paint or ever sing again when you’ve completely driven me insane.
A lion’s glorious mane. I still dont remember my name, but I sing of yours and I don’t mind the same. Are you a damsel in distress wanting to be loved or a silly old eloquent dame.
Either way, you’re all I’ve ever dreamt of or wished upon a broken star for. You’re the poem I never wrote. A pointless mote. A heartfelt note.

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