Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

And when that fiery ball
Gradually plunges down into the lap of earth
The cosmic rhythm does not change
The sound of life is just the same
The wind that whistles through leaves
Sings the song heard before
The needle of the clock
Marches to the old beat
The evening brings with it
A change we’ve never felt before
We have in our hearts
Thoughts in new avatars
Desires bathed in fresh hues
And if you listen intently
You will hear the sound of the rose bud unfurling its petal
One by one
In the garden of your heart
2012 is right there..Happy new year to you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

living in the unknown


 Impermeable is the stone
That lies on the bank of the river
Washed ashore
Tossed by waves
Or disentangled by the web of a wild creeper that held it in place
All these years
Now shrivelled up
has lost its grip
let go
it whispered in the ears of the stone
impermeable it is
yet the edge of my gaze
 peel s it
and holds it captive without touching it
under the hard crust lies a world
soft and vulnerable
changes hues with changing winds
it is a sponge
absorbs all crimson fumes from the fires that burn it
impermeable is it?


Concrete tears

And I was the only one
With a brittle bottle of molten liquid
And they had embossed
all over their bodies
Graphite graphics of a gory past
Oblivious to the whispers of snow
Sensing the silence of the valley
They heard the raging of storms in their hearts
A lost soul
Reached out an empty hand
To moisten parched lips
Saying inaudible prayers
Bits of glass that once held in its depth
now frozen into diamonds

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ghazala's Meanderings: The Woman at the Traffic Signal

Ghazala's Meanderings: The Woman at the Traffic Signal: THE WOMAN AT THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL Five flyovers away was the library My life raced on the wheels of my red car The steering wheel under my h...

The Woman at the Traffic Signal


Five flyovers away was the library
My life raced on the wheels of my red car
The steering wheel under my hands
Thoughts drifted and melted  away
Like the traffic passing by
And then a missed turn
Just four flyovers
And  I thought it was five
Sometimes lazy thoughts make you miss
The signposts
They mock and laugh at your distractions

I took the side road
where the traffic signal stopped my tracks
It was then that I saw her
Salt and pepper hair
Dark skin ,a tweed shawl draped around her form
A brown bag hung like a beaver bird’s nest on a frail branch
One hand entwined around the strap to hold it in place
Another ,holding a long cylindrical pack
She was elegant
Her body language
Her winning smile
More sophisticated than the woman in chiffons
In a black Honda city
No obvious sign of dejection when the thick,oily man in the hyndai accent
Shrugged his shoulders and waved her away
So thick were his shoulders that only the movement of the crisp white collars up and down
Suggested his indifference to her presence
So thick was her presence that I kept looking at her
The smile on her countenance was wane
She came closer
I saw her eyes
Limpid pools with a lustreless twinkle
Blurred by the haze of the early morning fog
It was 9 am
Please pull down the window pane... she gestured
The foggy eyes became vividly clear as I rolled the screen down
That was the only shield that separated us.
The two sides
And a  door
Please buy these incense sticks
But I don’t really need them
My voice sounded alien to my ears as my hand reached out to the zip of my bag
They’re special
Rose and musk and chamomile
40 rs
I’ll take it for 30
The smile ,the eyes,
She was beautiful
Serenity ,her forehead revealed
Though ravages of time had left deep gullies on her face
I took two packs
The light turned green
The incense sticks lay on the seat beside me

The musty smell of books in the library
40 rs..linguistic psychology
They’re special..hmm
Brian Tomlinson..Materials Development..language teaching
Rose and musk and chamomile
The silence in the library was deafening
My ear drums were pounding
I picked up my bag

Back home,a coffee mug in my hands
I wait for my family
In the beaver bird’s nest
The feathered lives return to the cozy comfort of their homes
They will be back soon
My anchors in life
I casually touch my hair
Fragrance of lime and apple in the shampoo
Refresh my senses
They are lustrous and black
They will be salt and pepper one day

In my living room,
the incense stick makes swirling patterns in the air

 Ghazal..10.12.11 ( i saw heron my way to the library..she has left an indelible impact on my mind.the fragrance of musk and rose reminds me of her)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dreams and reality

They say the fairy godmother made a mistake.Or was it deliberate?

 The shoe, had it fitted Cinderella perfectly,should not

 have fallen off.But it did.It eventually led to the dream quest.The

 prince searched every nook and corner to find the perfect

 fit.Was the fairy chuckling away behind the clouds?I bet she was.

Cinderella floated between realilty and dream,just as Alice did in

 wonderland.What about us?The distance between our

 dreams and reality is life.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Give me Red Slideshow

Give me Red Slideshow Slideshow: TripAdvisor™ TripWow ★ Give me Red Slideshow Slideshow ★ to Delhi. Stunning free travel slideshows on TripAdvisor

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Give me Red

Red provokes
Red instigates
Red alerts
Red promises
Red compromises
Red ravishes
Red melts and makes molten
The hard concrete wishes
That lie trapped in icy chambers of the intellect

Gory is the tale of Red
A saga of suffering is all Red
The battleground has dust all Red
My heart that bleeds for you is Red
The rose you gave me once was Red
And now lies parched between the pages of Orhan Pamukh’s novel-
My name is Red
(written in  idleness ... wanted to leave it unfinished.sometimes there’s a sense of completion in things unfinished.Anyway,the colour red is all around me.i love it.)

Ghazal..30.10.11................................   8:30 am

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

kahlil Gibran

“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? 

I will say mine 

and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”

― Khalil Gibran

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Floating Post-Office

Floating Post- Office

Yes,there is a post office
Where letters are posted
Written in blood
On wet sheets
The water in the dal lake is ruthless
it dissolves the salt in the tears
so all that’s left of expressions
is water
plain water
the crimson camouflages with the colours of the lotus
still standing upright on wide green leaves
leaves that hide muck and swamp under  their span
the post office does not stand on hard concrete grounds
concrete is easier to destroy
what can your bullets do in thick,swampy waters?
Sharpen them,make them razor sharp
You cannot read the ink on wet paper
Impalpable is the fluidity of my thoughts
I let my heart float in the Dal Lake


Agha Shahid Ali's poems

From tomb to tomb,
I chew the ash of prayers.
Won’t poetry happen to me?

Caught in the lanes of history,
don’t I qualify now?

I have even seen Allah in rags
extend the earth like a begging bowl.

The Two-Nation Theory is dead
But the old don’t forget.

In this city of refugees,
trains move like ghosts.
The old don’t forget.

My friend’s grandfather,
hoarder of regrets,
cautions: Those Muslim butchers:
Be careful, they stab you in the back.
I lost my beloved Lahore.

My friend and I are rather simple:
We never saw the continent divide.

The streets light up
with the smiles of beggars.
Words fail me,

for I need a harsh language.
But I’m comfortable
like an angry editor.

I carry the beggar-woman’s hunger
in my hand

as her eyes follow me to my poems,
follow me into the coffee house
where I’m biting into her,

eating morsels of her night.
The bootblack brushes my shoes:
Does my heart beat in my feet?

His knuckes carry the memory
of this city.
My shoes shine like death

as I wait at the bus stop
for Delhi’s dome of sweat
to break into a monsoon of steel
and rip my Achilles heel.

Believe me,
he sat here in this dirt corner
winter and summer, winter, summer.

This morning he wasn’t there
with his ancient beard
and his stretched-out hand.

The sweeper said he took him away
with the morning garbage.

A safe distance of smells.
The restaurant airconditioned,
I drink my beer.

Outside the beggars
laze in empty tins,
peeling the sun,
their used beer-can.

Waiter, get me another beer!

AT JAMA MASJID, DELHIImagine: Once there was nothing here.
Now look how minarets camouflage the sunset.
Do you hear the call to prayer?
It leaves me unwinding scrolls of legend
till I reach the first brick they brought here.
How the prayers rose, brick by brick?

Shahjahan knew the depth of stones,
how they turn smooth rubbed on a heart.
And then? Imprisoned
with no consoling ghosts,
bent with old age,
while his cirgin daughter Jahanara
dressed the cracked marble reign
his skin kept up for so long.

Between two saints he shares the earth,
Mohammad Shah Rangeele
(evoked in monsoon khayals).
The beggar woman kisses the marble lattice,
sobs and sobs on Khusro’ pillars.
In a corner Jahanara, garbed in the fakir’s grass,
mumbles a Sufi quatrain.

We recline on the gravestone,
or on the saint’s poem, unaware
of the sorrow of the pulverized prayer.

Time has only its vagrant finger.
Knowing no equal, it pauses for massacres.

Suffering has its familiar patterns:

We buy flowers for Nizammudin’s feet,
dream in the corner to the qawwal’s beat.
The saint’s song chokes in his throat.

The poor tie prayers with threads,
accutomed to their ancient wish
for the milk and honey of Paradise.

I’ve learnt some lessons the easy way:
I’ve seen so many, even a child somewhere,
his infant bones hidden forever.

Stone, grass, children turned old:
The dead have no ghosts.

These are time’s relics, its suffered epitaphs:

I come here to sing Khusro’s songs.
I burn to the end of the lit essence
as kings and beggars arise in the smoke:

That drunk debauched colourful king
dances again with hoofs of sorrow

as Nadir skins the air with swords,
horses galloping
to the rhythm
of a dying

The muezzin interrupts the dawn, calls
the faithful to prayer with a monster-cry:

We walk through streets calligraphed with blood.

THE JAMA MASJID BUTCHERUrdu, bloody at his lips
and fingertips, in this
soiled lane of Jama Masjid,

is still fine, polished
smooth by the generations.

He doesn’t smile but
accepts my money
with a rare delicacy

as he hacks the rib of History.
His courtesy grazes

my well-fed skin
(he hangs this warm January morning
on the iron hook of prayer).

We establish the bond of phrases,
dressed in the couplets of Ghalib.

His life is this moment,
a century’s careful image.

THE EDITOR REVISITEDYou still haven’t called me a poet, Dear Sir,
and I’ve been at it,
this business of meanings, sometimes delayed,

selling words in bottles, at times in boxes.
I began with a laugh, stirred my tea with English,
drank India down with a faint British accent,
temples, beggars, and dust
spread like marmalade on my toast:

A bitter taste: On Parliament Street
a policeman beat a child on the head.
Hermaphrodites walked by in Saffron saris,

their drums eching a drought-rhythm.
The Marxists said,
In Delhi English sounds obscene.
Return to Hindi or Bengali, eachword will burn
like hunger.

A language must measure up to one’s native dust.
Divided between two cultures, I spoke a language foreign even to my ears;
I diluted it in a glass of Scotch.

A terrible trade, my lip service to Revolution
punctuated by a whisly-god.

Now collecting a degree in English,
will I embrace my hungry country
with an armful of soliloquies?

This trade in words continues however as
Shakespeare feeds my alienation.

Please note, Dear Sir, my terrible plight
as I collect rejection slips
from your esteemed journal.

. . . letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins


Again I’ve returned to this country
where a minaret has been entombed.
Someone soaks the wicks of clay lamps
in mustard oil, each night climbs its steps
to read messages scratched on planets.
His fingerprints cancel blank stamps
in that archive for letters with doomed
addresses, each house buried or empty

Empty? Because so many fled, ran away,
and became refugees there, in the plains,
where they must now will a final dewfall
to turn the mountains to glass. They’ll see
us through them see us frantically bury
houses to save them from fire that, like a wall,
caves in. The soldiers light it, hone the flames,
burn our world to sudden papier-mâché

inlaid with gold, then ash. When the muezzin
died, the city was robbed of every Call.
The houses were swept about like leaves
for burning. Now every night we bury
our houses and theirs, the ones left empty.
We are faithful. On their doors we hang wreaths.
More faithful each night fire again is a wall
and we look for the dark as it caves in.


We’re inside the fire, looking for the dark,
one unsigned card, left on the street, says. I want
to be he who pours blood. To soak your hands.
Or I’ll leave mine in the cold till the rain
is ink, and my fingers, at the edge of pain,
are seals all night to cancel the stamps.
The mad guide! The lost speak like this. They haunt
a country when it is ash. Phantom heart,

pray he’s alive. I have returned in rain
to find him, to learn why he never wrote.
I’ve brought cash, a currency of paisleys
to buy the new stamps, rare already, blank,
to buy the new stamps, rare already, blank,
no nation named on them. Without a lamp
I look for him in houses buried, empty
He may be alive, opening doors of smoke,
breathing in the dark his ash-refrain:

Everything is finished, nothing remains.
I must force silence to be a mirror
to see his voice, ask it again for directions.
Fire runs in waves. Should I cross that river?
Each post office is boarded up. Who will deliver
parchment cut in paisleys, my news to prisons?
Only silence can now trace my letters
to him. Or in a dead office the dark panes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


You are nervous
No i'm not
Yes you are
No i'm not
I know you are
How can you say that
You have no idea where you are going
That's because the lights are blinking on either side
so you're nervous
it's all because of you
forget it
and she maneuvered her way through the busy roads
the light behind her 
casting a shadow in front
she could not fathom the distance of that silence
Nostalgia engulfed her
she drove in silence
hey i'm not that bad a driver
if only the two lights were not blinking
you would have known what direction i was taking
without me having to tell you
that the birds need to rest after a flight
what do they do in a wireless world!


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty

    n fact, no mind is needed to see that which 
        In fact, no mind is needed to see that which 
          In fact, no mind is needed to see that which is. Mind means thoughts. And if there is a traffic of thoughts, you will never be able to see what is, you will see something else. You will see what your thoughts allow you to see. Your thoughts prevent much reaching you. You will be surprised to know what modern psychological researchers have come to know: ninety-eight percent of the reality is not allowed to enter in your being; the mind only allows two percent. So whatsoever you see is only two percent of the reality. And because the mind allows only two percent of the reality in and then gives you the feeling that this is the whole, you live in a false world. You think the part is the whole. And you live accordingly  your whole life becomes a falsification...
          The Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty 

Saturday, August 27, 2011


When you really want something the whole universe conspires to get it for you.Your wishes,your desires start inching towards you.This is the law of attraction.Maple leaves have always attracted me.I have them in the form of clay pendants,embroidered on bed sheets...but now i'm  actually going to  collect them and feel them with my fingers!Each and every vein in the leaf sings a melody so sweet you would want to go on listening to it for ever.One more day and i'll be a part of you..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I love the Rain so much...

Monsoon is the season that links you directly to the cosmic energies.How? Is there any other season that touches you, drenches you and purifies you to the core? The rain does that. However impalpable it might be, that string of shower connects the sky and your being in a way no other season does. Walk out in the rain; look up at the vaguely formed clouds. Feel the soft showers as they plaster your hair to your shoulders. You are connected with that Energy up there. The rhythm of your heart is in tandem with the rhythmic falling showers. Enjoy the moment. Let lose your inhibitions and dance to the music. Now you want to hold the vestige of that moment in your cupped hands. That’s not really possible. Nature has its own way to be one within you and without you.
Summer thaws frozen desires till we melt away the winter blues.

Friday, August 19, 2011


How can there be any such thing as The End!There are no full stops in my life...only ellipses...period!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

To My Papa

The lucidity of his words
Strange to my juvenile comprehension
The tone of his voice
Serenading the air around
Cascading like a cool spring
On the meadows of my imagination
I loitered about
To be near him
I looked up at the sky
 My hands outstretched
And saw bubbles floating down
In my open palms
When I had a handful of bubbles
I placed them in his lap
He placed a loving hand on my head
And continued talking to his friend
We were both there
In our own worlds
His world a world of wisdom and words
Of  books and ink and crisp sheets of papers
The sound of his pen
Sometimes loud and sometimes soft
I was in my world of bubbles and  clouds
Fairies and flowers
Monsters and demons
Jadu tha sapna tha kya tha
Maine tujhme kya dekha tha
My first rhyme
Full of colours
Oode oode neele neele peele peele pairahan
His lap,my most comfortable chair
His chants of Iqbal
Music to my ears
The month was December
I was draped in vermillion
Henna on my hands
Anklets and trinkets
The sound of shehnai 
dances and merrymaking
My nose freshly pierced
I could not control my tears
Why couldn’t they be gentle with the piercing!
Oh! Why did they have to be so harsh with the needle?
My head on his shoulders
He held me in silence
This silence is the connection
Though sometimes we break it with words


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Funny adverts

Hey!!Just read this advertisement and can't help lolling and rofling....Rafeeq-E-Hayat is very effective and useful as first aid in all kinds of pains, sores and swellings. It gives immediate relief in indigestion, dysentery and stomach upsets. It is soothing application in insect bites, burns and headaches. Useful in early stages of cholera to check vomiting & purging and to stimulate the digestive system.

Check this out....(clicked when on an official visit to yamunanagar)

Check this out...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Broken Images

A broken heart
 mosaic of images
she searches frantically for  her  being
 numb ,kohl smeared eyes
stare back at her..
she wipes a tear
picks up the fragments of her life
she had lost
amid the ashes of the past
but memories,
how could she gather them
in the hollow of her hands
she wore a misty form of life
her soul 
 a heap of broken images

Friday, May 20, 2011

You Promised

And be these juggling friends no more believ'd,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear
And break it to our hope.
~William Shakespeare

A poem me

You promised

You promised to pick a reflected beam
Of moonlight from the dark waters
To weave in my hair

You promised to get me kohl from the night skies
To make my eyes more enigmatic

The sunshine smiles mysteriously
The night sky drapes the world in black
The breeze moans as it rustles up
 Memories that lie buried under autumn leaves

When i reach out to put a speck
Of my kohl on your radiant forehead
a handful of mist is all i have

The Car and the Carrier

How many of you have ever been victims of road rage in Delhi? Well, if you are a regular driver on the chaotic Delhi roads and prone to becoming a victim of this rage, I suggest you become a passive observer of the outrageous activities around you. Believe me, it’s fun! What amuses me is the attitude or body language of the driver perched pretty on his/her seat...Here are some of my observations:
1.      Women drivers...Well, most of them literally fall over the steering wheel while driving. Rarely will you see them sitting relaxed.
2.      Their backs become curved as the head juts out over the wheel and the legs stretch out to reach the accelerator-clutch-brake, just the small of the back in touch with the back of the seat.
3.      They mostly drive in the middle of the lanes. (trying to get the best of both sides..Or they are opportunists and change lanes at will.
4.      Men have cell phones in one hand and a cigarette in the other.(wonder how they balance –girlfriends and tensions)
5.      They turn their heads to look at their sides at traffic lights-if they see a lady, they sit up straight.
6.      A woman driver looks at the side, one look at the person behind wheels and another look at the model of the car. If the model is in any way inferior to the one she is driving, she turns up her nose and looks straight ahead.
7.      Men are driven by their cognitive domains and women, by their affective domains when it comes to overtaking.
8.      Few women drivers have a good spatial sense when it comes to parking their cars. They take ages to mentally fit in the car and thus hold up the traffic.
9.      If you happen to get caught in a jam and the lane next to you moves faster, the expressions of the drivers say it all... ‘Hey!slow-coach!crawl on...”
So,if you feel you are on the verge of becoming a victim of road rage,look around you and enjoy the comic relief!

Sketches in literature

Sketches in literature : Shamim Hanafi writes definitive profiles of writers, evaluating their contribution