Sunday, 9 October 2016

Let's distract ourselves.
There's Dal.
The chinars.
The apples. The 'kashmir ki kali's.
No. Please, no negatives
Look, our paradise.
Ours. Ours. ours.
The swollen faces
Redder than apples
No, not ours
Pellet fed.
Stones fight and guns win.
Trace the frail ups and downs
In the whistle you hear
They distract themselves with
Hiding
Waiting. Years now.
Waiting
Drawings left by stones
Before they took to the streets
On shanty walls. Dark.
Stones can only ashen
Drawings, never bright
Children, they are.
Were.
A lullaby crawl through the floor
From the door it returns
Hush.
Silence of the curfew
Heaves.
Beyond the door
Burns a void.
Void lulled to sleep in cradles, never cry.
Kalis, stripped. Raped.
Killed. Left to live.
Fight.
Smirk at you
Your admiration
Your songs of love
Scream. Scream in rage.
Scream.
Distract yourself.
Can, will you?
Dal. Pellets.
Chinars. Blood. Jhelum.
Unrest. Kalis.
Paradise and stones.
Freedom. Blood.
Music. Bleed.
Words. Bleed.
Freedom.
Theirs.

Monday, 15 August 2016

I see you every morning
Waving at the school bus that speeds past you
Looking up from the little heap of sand
You are to burden yourself with
You wave
Everyday you wave at them who live your dreams.
I remember you
From my late night walk
Your eyes clinging on to the kulfi I held
From the truck that carried you into darkness
Your eyes still haunt me
The kulfi tasted a little less sweet that day
A little bitter
Yet I did knew well, the bitterness would die, soon
Sigh! What am I.
And from nowhere we meet
I feel your little fingers pulling down my sleeves
In words I do not fathom
You ask
Your eyes plead.
Akka, I shiver in the familiarity of the word
Kneeling down you touch my feet
As I fumble for words
Do not, I say
Get up, I plead
And as we part ways
You, with the tiny pack of cookies with the last 3 left
Wondering if Amma would let you have it
Already looks out for somebody next
And I think of a 3 year old in a parallel world
Whose childhood spills over my phone gallery
Whose fingers hold crayons and toffees
And walk away not daring to look back at you
Making up verses about you.
An empty verse that ends saying
How skin that spread over my feet you touched, now,
Burn a little.
Burn, it did.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

He rambles
Shares secrets with the air
The voices he converses with, unheard
In vain he tries still
To heal the screams of lives buried under the city
On whose nests and blood it was built.
Mirror shows nothing pleasing
The world spats pity
An insane tramp.

Sight veiled by curtains of blood frozen in time
He sees remnants of what once were
In everything that beams today
Iron rods of confinement in spotless glossy glass panels
Graves under plastered roads.
Blind. Insane.


At times he stops walking
Shouts. Hurls abuses.
At cement blocks and bricks that stood on homes
At wheels that ran over hearts
At us who never are haunted by those screams.
Haunted, not. Us.
By the hungry little feet
That walks more than they can
Selling their childhood
By the street hawkers’ voices
Sounding a hundred years old
Echoes of the abandoned well
Choking on thoughts of survival and debts
By the lives that withered
Without waiting for winter to fall
By the hands that wilted their being
Tearing the last layer of skin
That would keep them warm
To let them die in sleep
Cold meat frozen alive

At times he stops walking
To look at the sky
Hurls abuses
For dying a little by each night
A little less dark
A little less large
Hiding the stars that once he counted.

Insane. Haunted. Blind.
He rambles
Shares secrets with the air
Laughs watching us burn effigies of ourselves
For not being what we pretend to be.