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Thursday, 28 September 2017

In Place

Everything has to be kept 
In place
Keys, soul, braclets, ear rings, 
Heart, voice messages, feelings. 
It won’t work any other way.

A slight difference 
And she would come to know:
You missed her more than you fake. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

People usually do the Otherwise

I came home
And you were weeping
In the corner of that tiny room.

Remember the day?
The barber had cut your hair way too short:
That you wanted it to be a ghazal 
But it had turned into a haiku.

Well
I fell for you that day
Without thinking
Almost instinctual
Like fish falls for bait.

I fell for you
Not because you were weeping.

You were weeping for something
That would definitely grow back.

People usually do the otherwise. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Raqs-e-Bismil

They say
Don't scratch the wound 
When it is healing.

They just don't know 
I scratch 
so that
It doesn't go away.
I scratch so that it
Stays where it is.
I scratch its edges so as 
To feel it from the inside.

Love being the wound thus
I'm both ill and healing 
Simultaneously.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Most Metaphors Kill

He was like the Samuel Beckett of twenty first century in love with a postmodern Jane Austen. Words walked with them like oxygen particles. Sometimes they would intuitively confuse one with the other. She had this amazing ability to turn every subject (no matter how trivial) into an intense tale of biting romantic self-reflexive confessions. Even a subject as ordinary as nail biting would be turned into a complex tale of love-lynching. He, on the other hand, had this ability (or lack of it) to turn everything into searing one-liners thus symbolically depicting the atrocities poverty had committed on his personality. Funnily, his acquaintances used to say that he’s so irritated because of poverty that he can’t even afford buying words. 

They had met through a common friend of theirs, a kind of a friend who would listen to any shit you say and not judge. In the very first meeting, contrary to clichéd stories, nothing as such happened in regard to their story. The first thing she noticed in him was his (in)ability to pronounce certain words like laugh and love correctly. As she was not the type who’d pinpoint mistakes in someone (that too in the very first meeting) she kept mum and judged silently. Whenever he spoke these words, she, in her mind kept repeatedly voicing it as they mean to be pronounced. She was also not the type of that girl who would like and fall for someone in the very first meeting. But looking at him somehow changed the way she should behave in the first meeting. No first meetings were same after that. She felt as if the book of her body had finally found a readerLater, however she regretted the way she had behaved. 

“So, what are you interested in?” said she.

“Not in girls like you”, he whispered.

“I heard that” said she.

I’m really sorry I said that, I love books and movies”, he said.

"Wow! You are the last human on earth” she whispered.

Thanks! I heard that. You too look like a zombie from a third rate movie” he blurted.

“I put up like this 12 times a year. You interested?” she said.

“No, Thanks, I don’t want to be competitive.” 

They both laughed. Throughout the ride, they talked with ease. That’s how it all started. With whisperings. As if, they were both convinced, from the very start, that no real conversation in the world happens while talking. Only in whispers do people talk sense.

They loved each other like those centuries the information of which was part-myth-part-legend-part-fossils. Sometimes, it seemed to them as if they were an essential missing link of that civilization of love which had thrived on the banks of passions – a civilization which gathered pages by the day and ate books by night.

But, no matter how passionate your love is or seems to be – it so happens that while you are busy composing symphonies of moments for each other, your doubts (including self-doubt), your grand life plans, your past or present seeps into your story and suddenly you realise Poe’s raven seated somewhere on the cosmic branches of your love life. And eventually you meet Kafka and Hedayat sitting on those exact spots where once love seemed to thrive. You try avoiding them by looking away but can’t – after all they are masters of their craft.

Being friend, I met him day before yesterday. He very casually informed me that they were not together anymore. After that, he gave me a lot of reasons, I couldn’t understand,as to why it had happened, one out of which I could remember very clearly. He said one day she had come to his apartment and found him talking to someone, he later confessed, had met few days ago. 

With what he told me, I came to the conclusion that whatever had separated them was not as important to their story as the fact that he would still talk in whispers (to whom I don’t know). I said you are not at all making sense. 
When I was leaving his apartment, while latching the door he in a morose mood whispered: Before writing anything you should thoroughly read history carefully. Most metaphors kill. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Chlorophyll: Pigments of Love

Sometimes I wish 
I was the tree
The leaves of which fall on your balcony.

That way I would 
At least photosynthesize properly
Because 
Like this 
Far away from you
Breathing seems all too human.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Poetics of a Kashmiri Love Poem

Lovers walking side by side 
Holding hands by the bund
Telling each other their worth 
And at irregular intervals 
Walking distant and pretending 
not knowing each other.
And then again trying to catch up.

That's how a love poem is written in Kashmir:
At times obsessed with the craft
At times banal.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Mubashir 
She asked politely 
"Why dont you write longer poems?"

"Kyunki"
I replied 
"Meri jaan 
Halaat kharab hai"