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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bows and Boots

I mount the ladder
Smile by smile
Rung by rung
And my Kashmiri hand
Brings the rainbow
Arching the sky
Down the Zabarwan ranges.

Out of nowhere
A voice calls out
“Hey you bastard there
Get here
Where’s your curfew pass?”

My rainbow -
Too foreign to him
Falls into pieces
His military boots -
Too familiar to me
Trample it in a hurry.

Not out of fear
But of readiness
I flee the scene
Ready to pluck another rainbow.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Sabakh in General Knowledge

As soon as Mehran saw a pack of dogs patrolling the swampy area where the age-old government dustbin lay, he at once ruled out the idea of walking into the street and becoming a feast to the belly full creatures. If not about Kashmir’s history but he was undoubtedly aware of the history of dogs in his area. He stood there, at the wooden gate of his home, looking at them for a fairly long time. It was not until his mother called him from inside the house that he locked the gate in a hurry.

“Close the gate. Don’t go out. It’s curfew everywhere. Paagla! What if Army catches you?”

When he came back to his room his mother asked him to relearn his sabakh. She verbally bashed Mehran’s father too for being so careless about his child’s studies. She then straightaway went towards the kitchen and tuned to Radio Kashmir. Shammema Azad’s voice echoed the room.

Karav taemeer nau Kashmir…
Ye janat e Kashmir…

Meanwhile, fuming with rage Mehran’s father came angrily towards Mehran and in a hollering voice ordered him to open his book. Fear stricken, Mehran opened his General Knowledge book and started reading.

“India is great nation.” Mehran read.

“Read loudly” his father ordered.

“India is a great nation”

“Read the title of the chapter first”

Shivering with fear Mehran read

“Incredible India”

At that very moment, their next door neighbour mounted the maiden wall which separated the two houses and informed Mehran’s father about the Hurriyat’s new hartal calendar. Mehran’s father nodded from inside the room.

Mehran kept reading loudly.

“India is a nation of various Gods”

“Mahatma Gandhi is the father of Indian Nation”

“India is a demon…””

“Democratic”, Mehran’s father replied.

“India is a democratic country”

At this Mehran stopped and asked his father, “Abuji, what does democratic mean?”

“They have killed two more boys”, the neighbor said.

“Two or three?” Mehran’s father inquired.

“No two”

Mehran asked the question again. ”What does democratic mean?”

Irritated at this Mehran’s father in a howling voice, which almost shook Mehran, replied, “It means to satisfy ones collective conscience at any cost”

Mehran could understand nothing.

With his eyes full of tears he closed the book, went to his mother and said,

“Abuji hates me”. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Obviously Kashmir: Troops and Tropes

Once upon a time there existed a ‘countrary’ of Oxymorons. The Oxymorons ruled almost the whole of Figures of Speech land. But, one day something quite strange happened there. A Simile developed a strange power to summon as many expressions as possible. This act of the Simile created a huge problem within metaphors. The metaphors believed that this act of the simile, in a way, questioned their very existence. The metaphors therefore, because of their friendly relations with the Oxymorons, filed a case against the Simile. This triggered the fellow Similes to protest like police. As such, a curfew was imposed all over the village where the Similes lived. The village of the Similes was more or less like a dungeon. The similes, because of the pitiable ambience of the village and their poor conditions, had been affected with a macabresque features like death, like darkness, like apparitions. And there were many other factors which could have been, in one way or other, responsible for this change. But, it's pertinent here to tell you as much as not to offend the Oxymorons. For if they get to know that someone is narrating all this to those who use them as neatly as possible they’ll be furious. The simile, as I was saying with no fault of its own, was sentenced to death. And nothing but death. Thereafter, on the day of its execution the convicted Simile summoned a feeling and wrote down a letter...

A Simile is always ‘like’ something. But, I hope one day a time would come when we’ll be ‘like’ everyone.

This letter this feeling never reached the fellow Similes.
They still struggle.
Today the Oxymorons form the largest democracy in the world.
A paradox.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

No Questions but Answers

Because you meet me always 
at the beginning of an end 
I start loving you -

Because you possess
to the point emotions
I confuse myself -

Because someone forgot
to switch off the moon
a patch of night hangs -

Because Life came unwillingly
as a surprise
I almost died -

Because I keep following
your back lane of memories
I am past milestones -

Because some answers are better
I shall write them -