Truth of the State

Satyamev Jayate!” (Truth only prevails)

Thus speaks the State through its symbolic grandeur  

And then

In Tihar of Delhi

It hangs it on a February dawn.

In the colossal White House of an Empire

Biblical dreams cease a President

And He cries: “Gog, Magog, Gog, Magog”

And unleashes his crusaders

To boil the soil of Fallujah

In sulphuric torrents,

To annihilate  

The proud spirits of Tikrit.

In an ancient city a Declaration

Proclaims

A Homeland of Truth

And then

In the streets on Dhaka 

It is speared and raped;

And then

In the mountains of Quetta

It disappears without a trace.

Swiss vows: “In the name of Almighty God”

And then

The vow becomes too heavy

For harmless minarets to exist!

France, a Republic of Secularism,

Of Equality and European Pride,

Trusts no Truth but a one

Of genuine French pedigree and flavor.

And this way Truth only prevails

From the East to the West in its vibrant colors…

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

On Existence

Nothing inspires anymore, no idea looks satisfactory, no ideology redeeming, philosophy feels sterile, academics an ever widening web of references and cross-references, a vicious cycle of optimism makes life a constant hostage to Sisyphean existence, there are moments after moments of dark circle of dreams and fantasies, there is perpetual gaze from above that can peer deep inside you, nothing seems explicable, nothing seems comprehensible without closing out eyes and entering that ephemeral world where very few moments can survive and in this inescapable dilemma one goes thinking and living on what feels like an intellectual cul-de-sac!

A Promise (A poem)

He asks me: “Where
is the poem you promised
to write long ago?”

I am at a loss what
to tell him: that I lost it
somewhere along the way,

or, that it never came to me
the way I wanted it to come.
Or, shall I say, it never stayed

with me long enough to grow
and flow into my dreamy senses,
the cocoon of my soul?

Or, shall I tell him it died long ago
in the whirlpool of my heart,
was consumed by the gaze

of the winter moon.
Or, that it trembled, fainted
until I lost words to the hollow

winter nights when young lifeless
bodies sobbed with the Jhelum?
But wait!

Sometimes it sprung inside me
unexpectedly
like a memory

of my beloved’s treachery
wrangling through
tumultuous summer nights.

I assure you, my friend, I kept
writing it all these years on the stout
walls of our city streets,

in the wails of our young men
in their tenacious heartbeats
in the fury of flying stones

in the fierce sweep of falcons
in the enraged eyes of summer moons
in the sky of my solitude

in the dome of our sky
in its cold, demurring stars
in yamberzals and lilacs,

in simmering spring songs
in the stillness of the morning
in the orange of the falling day

in the spring of abandoned smiles
in all the space between you and I.
And still you ask: “Where
is the poem you promised?”
I assure you, my friend,
it grows on the slate of my memory,

word by word it grows everyday
moist as Mughli’s eyes
absorb the silence of her black shawl.

It grows cold as the earth
of unmarked graves, hangs
as a clock of a broken time

I kept weaving it
moment by moment,
on petals of a narcissus

on the path that leads
to the shrine of our dream
of a new dawn

So, my friend, I kept it with me
as much as it kept me.
Here, I pass it on to you

in the very act of writing it,
the poem we both are writing
every day, every night,

a poem of our people
a poem by our people
a poem for our people

 

First published in Kashmirlit.org (Winter 2014)

http://www.kashmirlit.org/a-promise/