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Thursday, 29 October 2020


In far distant Turkey,
In a Pamuk novel,
News preceedes the events:
People are in print first then in jails, everywhere.

In recent Kashmir,
In an official report,
Events write themselves off:
People are in print first then anywhere,

Or nowhere.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Of God and other details

One just wants to write
the essential lines and
leave the rest of the page completely blank.
One doesn't want to
write the, if, an, it, so, just,
meanwhile, sometimes, to, and, of etc.
One just wants to put to paper
the sentence around which the poem got woven
like God writing Earth
out of nowhere in this horrendous space.

Later one day 
When some bugs, ants, flies, spiders,
crawl the spaces,
as one is breathing down,
does one understand how
they appear to be
God's own prepositions
God's own conjunctions.

Only later
does one realise that somehow,
all the details matter -
Even the seemingly wrong ones.

A poem is a gift held together by details.

Friday, 23 October 2020


I desire to be perceived -
the way a tyre
smushes a coarse road:

Either I lose a stone or two
or you -
your tread.

"It would be life."

Thursday, 15 October 2020


A tilted model 
of a digestive system
Hanging in the corner
On a dilapidated wall
Of some remote school room.
Without windows,
Locked at the front -
Dust ridden.

That is how
We are:
Hanging inside worn-out space
Among sattelite debris
In some remote corner of the galaxy.
Spinning like food.
A coin tossed in the air -
Lust ridden.

Except -
The veins of the body 
Look horrendous
Than the surface of the earth.

Friday, 9 October 2020

The Unknown Employee

A Kashmiri Professor misreads W H Auden's poem 'The Unknown Citizen'

(Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
This gravestone
Is erected because he was a practising Sunni)

He was found by the Department of Higher Education to be
One against whom there was no official complaint in his Service Book,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the Kashmiri sense of a practical word, he was yet another 'kalle' in the system,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Muslim Community.
Except for Curfews till the day he retired
He worked in this Industry and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers (high or low) at various GOVT. COLLEGES 
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Committee reports that he annually overpaid his CA,
(Our report on his pay statement shows it was sound)
And our overeducated, polite non-teaching workers found
That he was popular with his mates and loved to gossip.
The Press are convinced that he bought a government funded newspaper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his health-card shows he didn't die, plying in public buses, even in pandemic situations.
All SOs and other officials declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the NPS, GP Fund, arrears, allowances, increments
And had everything necessary to be a Professor,
An expensive Mobile phone with an active WhatsApp account, an attentive listener and a house on loan
Our officials at higher places are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there were elections, he went for duties: when there was B2V duty, he went.
He in fact married, to prove his manliness, but added only one child to the population,
Which his family and in-laws declare was not the right number for a parent of his profession.
And our senior professors (now working as Principals) report that he never interfered with their institutional policies.
Was he updated about his subject? Did he teach well? These questions are absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard
From his extensively-active-social-media-no-post-yet- locked-profile-picture mashallah happily married male/female collegues.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Domestic Violence

Experts say
Domestic violence 
Takes place mostly
In crowded, noisy places.
Declare one needs 
Elf ears to hear anything at all.

The maids
Of estates and mansions
Disapprove of the same.
Say they hear it all the time
Even with their defective ears.

Meanwhile -
The Earth moves at a masculine speed.

Thursday, 1 October 2020


You meet me
Like a solo tabla piece
Inside the electric buzz 
Of a popular pop song -

The way
A frail heart breaks,
Inside this cacophonous world.

Within just 20 seconds.

The song landscapes,
Goosebumps emcamp 
By the sweat rivers
Of your treble and low bass touch.

I hum,
Pretending to love the song.