Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When Lightening turns cold

How he hated those shiny, reflecting surfaces! Did they speak the truth?

He had stopped looking into them. He decided to explore his talent skills instead. Through rough paths and bumpy roads, he traversed for miles, for nights and days, he searched for clues.

Then one summer day, he bloomed. The aura of poetry and song surrounded him. He felt the warm breeze of its beautiful colors, vibes and shapes. It had a flow of its own. He grabbed them up, one by one, those precious pearls of knowledge and planted them into his garden that was behind his mind. Each day, the knowledge grew, and he discovered the new spacious world. He lived happily into his own enchanted world.

Then, one fine day, he decided to stroll into another world, the one that was layered by those reflecting surfaces. He wanted to share his joys, his summers, his smiles, his treasures.

He gathered the fresh fruits of his treasure, packed them into a small box of talent and set into the unknown world. With pride glowing on his face, he started to talk and tried to tell all those who would cared to listen, “Look here, friends! There is beauty in here, life is intoxicating. There are no tears. My muse has some magic spells. Come, share with me!!”

But nobody cared! They would not believe him. They just passed by, ignoring him, as though they passed yet, another lamp-post. He and his muse charred in their piercing stares. His voice reverberated and bounced off, unhappily, into the deep, lonely valley. But, they could not hear him.

They scowled at his knotty hair, at his dark tanned skin, at his deformed face. The world was very cruel to him. They could see nothing beyond his strange physical profile.

The lightening
Turned cold
Mirrors don’t lie.

Beyond his large wheel-chair, they could see nothing, not even his glossy mind!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Power of Tears

Men! You know not how naïve you are
How we bathe you with our hydraulic power
How we replace ‘Yes’ from your firm ‘No’
With our tears that can easily flow.

You think you can win every battle
But seeing you squirm makes us crackle
At board room, you may have loud sound
But with our tears, you stay on ground.

You strongly detest our shopping a bit
We too abhor your drinking habit
You gossip more than we ever can
It is we, who are busy, rearing your clan.

Sundays, you are stretched lazily in bed
Watching cricket or endless news
With easy tears, we can fool you
And succeed blowing off our holiday blues.

Stay still! Men! At our mercy you are
You cannot win by our wet, wet power.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Silent Night

Silent night
wholly night
all is clear
all is fine

Down I hear
this watchman
fight
a theif has
stolen
our stairway
light
around are
people
confused and quiet
I need to
go down
and show my might

boom!!!#*#&

Silent night
wholly night
all is clear
all is fine.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What should I do?

Seasons change
People change
You were cute
Now you a pain
I wait for you
You want to fight
You go for trip
Come back with frown
Your shirt is loose
Your taste is bad
Are you same
The one I saw
Twenty years ago
That summer day
With dimpled chin
And curly crown
Buying coke
In middle of town
And while I stood
embarrassed
You bravely wrote
A sonnet
That flew over
The traffic light.
Now
with your
grumpy eyes
You stare at me
I get depressed
What should I do
To bring you back
Will you change
If I write?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tragedy strikes Hyderabad

"Three people killed in a powerful bomb blast at Meeca Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad."

"The blast occurred when the Friday afternoon prayers were being offered... an hour ago!!"

"Thats bad,real bad. Donno what to say."

"oh no! what's happening to our country?"

"Now they are saying 5 died and 15 injured."

"No words to condemn those who did it. "

"Equally worried about the aftermath!"

"Sigh... whats happening to our country??????? :-("

"why kill innocent people.... why this shadow fight?"

"Tu hindu banega na musalman banega,
Insaan ki aulad hai insaan banega."

Charminar,
This day,
lies in ruins
A secret place,
with thousands blessed
Explosion at this exit gate
Brought tears
that flowed through
stones of doom

How can I,
so helpless,
fight?
And show those
cruel soul
a hope of light?
If they could read,
I would drag them off
Hang them
By their peanut head
show them pain
And people’s plight
What is not right,
From the way
I write.

बोम्ब ब्लास्ट इन Hyderabad

I and my Lord
In silence we converse
He hears my words
Silently spoken

The aura of his blessings
Surround me
Enveloping me
Filling all the voids
And I am at peace
Rejoicing
Until

A Loud Blast!

Foolish Men!
Why do you hate
This silence so?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Redevelopment

Suddenly the building seemed too dank to her.

She sees the paint chip off exposing its raw, grainy skin; a deep, dark scar, its mouth split open on its firm, flaky skin stares at her as she slowly climbs up the rickety stairs.

She has lived here all her life, She would hear the squeals of joys that were hidden under it’s walls during her growing-up years, She had read thick volumes of books, escaping from the curious eyes, under its stairway lights. She would hear the echo of her frilly laughter trapped under the dark corners of its ceiling. She had loved it then.

But now, she wondered if she likes it anymore.

Her knees ache as she laboriously climbs each, high step, grasping for her breath, her knuckle turn white as they fold over the wooden rod, wrapping the segment of a long railing, always afraid that she might miss her fragile step.

But still, these seventeen feet by twenty feet is her mansion. She loves its fragrance and the warmth,a rough floor massages her soles under her bare feet. She walks fearlessly into her treasured space, stroking its strong, shaded walls that are stuffed with her smile and song, reverberating around her happy cubicle, intoxicating her dizzy spells.

“Oh dear! There is talk at those meeting these days. All they talk about is the redevelopment with claims that will kill all the pains.”

She moans as she stretches carefully on her cool, soft pillow.

A withering rose
Unhappily replaced
A new, fresh, red bud, blooms

It was time for summer to go to sleep

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

“Déjà vu!” at a cyber space.

I would introduce myself
were I assured a kind friend
in this virtual world
of dots and blinks
Someone whom I could click

a friend
that would cling to my memory
long after this screen blackened on me.

Who would listen to my ranting
and yet keep a smile.

Guide me when I am wrong
and lead me to her
upside down world of bytes.

Well.
Till then
I wait
at a cross road
and watch
the crowd
pass by!

**************
At crossroad, I stand
to watch the crowd pass by.

Beamed faces, I can see
who are known to me from other times.

Few, turn and wave their hands;
New, whisper with me, online.

At my ranting and my Wow! Wow!
They all but, have smiles.

A compassion, I seek not
If, blessed, at all times

In crowded bytes, I merge
And drift happily with them
For miles!


***************
As I happily drift for miles
In a cyber space of bytes

I see
A lone stranger
At a crossroad
Confused, lost,
Gaping absently
And wondering
Why this crowd passes by.

She thinks and she dreams,
I wave my hand and smile
and continue on my journey
in “Déjà vu!” World of bytes

Monday, May 14, 2007

Its a lonely planet

Friends with friends
They chatter on
While a lonely traveller
In a crowd she waits

Her words die
As soon as they are born
Being lonely stranger
In a crowd she waits

Cheerful greetings
Constructive ideas
Friends with friends
They sing along.

Her thoughts remained
As raw as curse
While those with friends
Have brighter verse

Hundred turns
in lonely valleys
That’s for a stranger
for a friend who awaits.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This is the way I was meant to be…

Just because small group of people
Do not accept as I am
Should I strip my originality
And live a life displeased?

Do I have to clothe my soul
with frilly strips of charms
For some one to envelop me
In their pleasing, pleasant arms?

Should I stoop down on my knees
To dig a wealthy recognition
and forfeit my own true values
to win a fake relation?

And what happens to me in long run
when I lose my greatest glory?
My uniqueness is my recognition
Can’t shed it for a confirmation.

There is kingdom for each of us
I as queen, reigns in my own
I can’t ape, but I’ll wait
for gracious world to find me

Existence had loved me much
That it broke the mould
That made me

Another ‘Me’ cannot be created
So let me be
Just ‘Me’

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Critic- a critical issue.

Criticism is a moot, or so it may seem to be. It is a difficult thing to accept it even if it is true and it tends to hurt the sentiments of the person who had least expected it.

But in all rights, it should be acceptable because if the work is not to its standard, and we seal the mouth of a well-wisher, be it friend or a stranger, with a strip of anger and disgust, we stand as a lone loser. The opinion will still be expressed, in our absence, in the group of comedians, who might have a hearty laugh at our short-comings, and we may never know.

By braving an honest critic, we get a chance to defend our self and learn to respect each others different point of view. Yes I agree, sometimes the blows are real hard, we bend over in shame, we may even cry for days, or try to scheme ways to seek revenge and to get even. But that doesn’t help; it does dawn on you, eventually, that the truth must be faced.

But, sometimes it is difficult to deal with those critics who are there to seek attention. Sometimes a critic can be very cruel and is looking for a killing field. It may be due to his inability to produce his own good work, or maybe his focus of looking at things is at ninety degrees away from yours, or simply, because, he fails to register the message that we wished to convey.

So, how do we deal with such a situation? Do we strike back and get even? Or, we simply ignore and let it pass? If we strike back, we stand as a loser. The groups that witness these outbursts get an entertainment for free. If we ignore it, we fan his intentions and he will be back with some more.

The best solution, I think, would be to expose these dishonest critics sincerely, without malice. If we catch someone intentionally trying to undermine us, we can eliminate their unscrupulous tactics by exposing him.

By keeping an open mind, we will eventually, learn to stand on our own two feet without stepping on other people’s toes and we can avoid being hurt or causing hurt.

Who is the winner? Time will tell.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dowry..an evil necessity

While reading the ‘Sindh story’ by Kewal Malkani, I was fascinated by the fact that Gandhiji was quite-horrified by the Sindhi custom of ``Deti-Leti'' (Dowry) particularly among the Amils.

Gandhiji added: ``The Amils of Sindh are probably the most advanced community in that province. But in spite of their entire advance, there are some serious abuses of which they seem to have monopoly. Of these the custom of ‘Deti-Leti’ is not the least serious.... The parents should so educate their daughters that they would refuse to marry a young man who wanted a price for marrying and would rather remain spinsters than be party to the degrading custom.''

That was way back in 1934, more than seventy years ago.

In this era, women are more educated and independent, and have faith in themselves, some of them are also in higher positions, earning four figure salaries. But the ‘Dowry’ custom has still not been eradicated from our culture. Only it is done in more sophisticated way.

Recently, I had attended a wedding which was done in a very lavish way. The exchange of gifts and parties between the families (brides/groom) was astounding.

And

Grooms family says, “We don’t want anything, whatever you wish to give, it will be for your daughter” and in whispers they will say ‘Keep the honor of my family’ (whatever that means)

Bride’s mother says, “Do I have to give such a lavish party?’

Groom’s mother says, “What can I say. You know the rules. Honor must be restored. Just keep my family happy” and I wonder why bride’s family should worry about pleasing the groom’s extended families.

Sometimes I wish young boys (groom-to-be) make it very clear to their parents that they are not up for sale. He should use his own money to bring a bride for himself and not tax her parents. If, on other hand, the bride’s parents insist on giving some gifts to their daughter then a Sindhi youth is supposed to be sensible enough to invest all the money for their better future rather than waste all that money in the lavish parties.

But, what can we really do to educate the illiterate parents who embarrass their children by asking/or giving a ‘price’?

The give-take relationship that is done in casual way, out of friendship, is the normal way of life in Sindhi society but give-n-take transaction, if done out of compulsion, or to keep the (honor) of the extended family, is an unnecessary evil.

These practices have been so deep rooted that until we ourselves take effort to eradicate it from its root it will be difficult to fight against these social menaces.

The world is changing and I see youth of today are more mature and self-reliant. They consider gifts as unnecessary charity and some of them even feel insulted with these gifts. Time has come for young people (who are now earning more than what their parents made in their life time) to take a firm stand and just refuse to exhibit themselves in the retail-marriage-market.


Today when we see the wedding celebrations in the cities, it reminds of the gloss and glamour of Bollywood movies. Even the middle class families celebrate their weddings in Bollywood style.

Today, just like any other commodity in the market weddings have also become commercialized. There are people to plan your wedding. You don't have to spend extra time in thinking about the menu or the venue of the wedding.

And all this luxury costs lot of money, which rich people can afford it and they start these trends which demands an excess burden from not-so-rich families.

Many parents feel obligated in indulging in such practice because they are afraid about their failure to please their daughter’s in-laws might result in endless taunts for their daughter all her life. They are also afraid of being isolated from their relatives and friends if they do not reciprocate in similar lavish parties.

About living the life of endless taunts and allowing people to bully them….....It is deserved by those who have no faith in themselves. How do you feel obligated for not getting him any ‘Dowry’?

Some youngsters are opting for love-marriage outside their community to escape from this menace.

To get married to a non-Sindhi to escape this ‘compulsory exchange of funds’ is not a bright solution to eradicate the social menace called ‘deti-leti’! Getting married outside our own culture requires lot more of adjustments and sacrifices, which is even more painful in the long run.

Only the youngsters of today can end this menace. If they make it very clear to their parents that they are not for 'sale'.

So Be It.

A man who had faith in himself, and a woman, who is brave enough to take a firm stand, can easily survive with dignity.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

World laughter Day

Whole world laughs today
On this ‘Laughter Day’
Laughing away blues,
The pains and aches,
The exercises that were meant
To clear the frowns
Makes me feel fresh
and proud tonight
To take out the slate of delight
And share my joys as
I laughingly write…..

Friday, May 04, 2007

Hello Critics. Should I like you?

The other day I got to meet one of the writers whom I admire a lot and have a great respect for her talent. We got to talking about the posts and the feedback and I asked her to give me her harsh critique for my work. I reasoned that the harsher was the critique, the harder I would try to re-write it and she looked at my face and wondered if I was serious.

I was serious because I feel, if we want to improve then we should be brave enough to accept the honest critiques. I am reminded of the ‘doha’ that I had learnt long ago and it went something like this:

‘Keep your critics as close as possible, make him a house in your courtyard, for without soap and water, they cleanse your nature’

But, in reality, how many of us admire our critics?

Many of the post that I see, with the captions ‘feedback wanted’ hardly have any feedbacks. And there are many who complain that they are not encouraged to write because that they get zero comments. (Such reasons cannot be an excuse for not writing!) If I feel strongly about something, I will write, it may or may not reach across the people, but it will surely reach those whom it matters and I will be glad if I am able to express it clearly.

As a writer, one should not be upset, if he/she gets zero comments. There can be many reasons for zero comments. Either you are too good and you have no friends to cheer you up, or you are no good and people do not wish to be impolite or, people are not sure how you will react and sometimes, people are not brave enough to comment on your work.

I don’t consider myself to be a very good writer, but still, there are some people out there who believe in me and who think that I can write better than them and I will be able to help them for some time before they find somebody better than me. (One person is always better than the other person, so they say ‘In the land of blind people, one-eyed person rules’)

Some days back, I received a story from a person, whom I know. She wrote: ‘hey, am sending you a story i wrote.....give me your honest honest opinion.....where i can correct myself.....what i should do right......let me know...thanks..’

She wanted me to read her story and tell her what I think about it. I warned her that I was going to read her story as objectively as I could and I gave her a very frank opinion as I found her story very hazy and disconnected. I think I was very rude, because I dissected her whole story and wrote it differently, with examples, explaining to her why it didn’t work for me.

After posting, I repented. I wished I was not so honest. I thought I had lost a friend.

Hardly a day passed and I received her email.

I was expecting a rude answer, but she wrote back: ‘i cant begin to tell you what i feel.....this has been the best ever ever brilliantly given criticism i could have ever got......seriously!! i am so bloody grateful you have no idea...all this time ppl have told me how it is and how it should be but you actually showed me and explained to me in detail what i needed to know....its easy to explain but its better if examples are given...and thanks for showing me how to rewrite it....really.... i always used to send my writing to my friend...but next time im gonna go through you first....:)

I don’t mean to boast here. But her note of thanks touched my heart.

I think if the opinion are given honestly, without personal attacks and are not biased, then they are always appreciated. And it feels good to know that there are people out there, who may or may not be your friends but they still honestly care…….

And are eager to help you fly with them, smoothly, into their writers’ world…….

Thursday, May 03, 2007

a Crow

From morning to evening
He gives me a head ache
With his monotonous caw-caw
On my window sill

I give him bread crumbs
And he stares at me
With his head at an angle
To the left, and then right

I speak to him
As if he understands
He picks the bread
and glides away

Expertly flying,
breaking though winds
resting on a branch
opposite my grill

To refresh a breath
and rest for a while
pruning his black feathers
after a short flight

Far on that branch
amidst the green leaves
I see his black beak open as
I begin to write.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Roller Skating

The children play a balanced act
As they skate on their roller feet.
They miss a turn when they pause to greet
And down they go on their knees
Slowly, quietly, they rise again
Dusting palms above the streets
And once again they play happily
Skating on their wheels

Young adults, too, play a balanced act
As they skate out from their seat
They miss a turn as a careless wreck
When to goodness they paid no heed
They cry for long for a wrong move
Of life, and for years they meander
Aimlessly, trying to find their way back home
So that once again they can peacefully sleep.

But, they sleep too long
And time passes by
and in the past, they continue to live
Instead of grazing into
new pastured land
they prefer to die as a creep.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

You like Mangoes?

I know
You like mangoes, but
How do you
eat mangoes
Like that,
Licking, smooching,
By nights and day
Its juicy fibers
Spoils my tray

Sit here,
let me wear you
an apron
Let me peel it
And chop it
fine for you
I don’t like that
sucking noise from you

Let me grind it
to make a milk shake
Will add some ice,
Some syrup and
And an essence to
make it something
cool and refreshing
for you.

Look, come here
Let me wipe it clean
Your messy hands,
mouth and cheeks.
You wait not for me
To prepare the dish
You just slurp
These mangoes and
Gulp them all
in a swish.

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