On endings

I have a bad habit of not completing the writings. A few of the incomplete poems and short stories in the draft folder must have aged to more than a few years now. I let them pass on to tomorrow and then the day after. Of course these breaks in writing lead to discontinuity of thoughts and expression. The final text is not coherent enough. But at the same time, I believe the best writing comes out in the moments when you are inspired enough.

Text editor tells me that I typed in the following poem in November. It was done in halves. The second half was written four days after the first. I can see my own thoughts drifting between the two. I would like to believe that I will complete it someday, but not aaj, certainly not abhi.

Jad kade tum mud ge aaven gaa, vatnaan dar
qisso aan ge, kis na sunaaven ga, vatnaan dar

Gham ga rahi, sukh ka saathi, kit tor challya?
Thari hairani, kis kis na ruvave gi, vatnaan dar

Koyal aaj vi kooke, uss mannu var
Yaad ne jisna kappan na ditto, vatnaan dar

Challan go thando paani, diin go rang theekro
Yadaan gi thandi chaan, aa bulave, vatnaan dar

Passe Passe lang chalyo, saaro rang hoyo maelo
Iss ujad kotha na, kon leepa, vatnaan dar

Baazraan mein phirya rang sona, te cheez keemti
Yaadan ga charkha na kon phera, vatnaan dar

Ajad aso lang gaayo parli kashmir, naal maes do
dhokhan maan charen gaadi sau, aa dekh nazaro, vatnaan dar

Haath maan soti, maes dhakti, daadi phir puche
“khatto dudh hur kitno joodun, dan ek vaari aa, vatnaan dar”

Ghaa go poolo, suk ge bisar gaayo, aas aaron
“Aa gal lag, sukh gi ghaadi naal rachaa, vatnaan dar”

Kal gi gal jaedi bada andhar baes ki thi humne
Kidde vi nah gaami aaj tak, taaza hain, vatnaan dar
Bado andar te Tda chodoyo tho, var ve gaal saari
Sawaan ki rut naal baaren aaj vi, vatnaan dar

Takhti var jo likhyo tho main naa apno, adha ghadya lafzan maan
Uss na hun nahi padh sakto hoon, var syaahi mudh bulave, vatnaan dar

A simmering mixture of memories and thoughts with a fair bit of reflection. That's home.

A simmering mixture of memories and thoughts with a fair bit of reflection. That’s home (for now).

Saying Grace

Which hue of blue is prettiest?
So many years away.
Did you lose the blue sky,
all of it?

And the greens,
monsoon rain over half strewn maize fields
and slopes covered with over-grown wild grass.

An old picture of you still sits by window
draped in a blue frame.

The greys
haven’t grown old, really;
but autumn arrives early year every
and the walnut tree in backyard
that you would try climbing
withers with each passing year

The white
snow has begun to melt away
all too soon, like memories.

All we have above us
is the blue sky
and beyond it-
a belief

That all the colors are signs
for those who stand witness.

Azrael, Taras Karien

Have you heard
the leaves rustle
in the autumn,
when the fresh bout
of gun fire
deafens the night sky?

Swoosh, thud, dead.
Is that the call of Azrael?

Stray cattle, dead bodies
and pierced trees
is all that survives
in abandoned villages.

Death knows no borders
or boundaries.
It roams free between villages
like people did, six decades ago.
Visiting Ghulam Din’s house
near the old well
and then traveling to
Hari Singh’s fields
across the patch of
No-Man’s Land.

But, it is the other,
always the other-
the aggressor.

Between propaganda and peace talks
what is lost?
Only the railing on the roof,
the wall, a few houses
and some lives.


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Two translations and a missing paragraph

Hazrat Shah Niaz’s: Ishq mein tere koh-e-gham
Aql, Fanna and Bekhudi aren’t appropriately translated. The philosophy behind these is too vast to be contained in Reason, Annihilation and Selflessness.

Aise dinan barkha rut aayi noorul hasan
A lively rendition that follows from the poetry, a blend of folk and rich idioms (Ghatri mein daam). It is an embodiment of the vibrant Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.

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Lodhi Garden -Kodak Portra on an Airesflex.