Monday, October 27, 2014

of hearts and stones

at The Rock Garden , Chandigarh

broken pieces of everything
joined to make wholes
hearts and souls
covered in mosaics

tales of misuse,abuse
a wasteland of dreams
saved from
the so called

images never lie
they said
once upon a time....
eyes that were mirrors
now stoned
still, blank, empty

stones can cast
carve or build
did they have hearts once
that bled
and shed a thousand tears
on a single sorrow

the lines on my palm
are fading fast
I hold your
heart of stone
day and night

Thursday, October 16, 2014

This isn't a post - 8 Stream of Consciousness

The world is a ruled
A4 sheet
its a tall tree that
can't see its roots

shadows grow and then darkness falls
look at electricity as a miracle
light often means hope

small prizes
leaps are happy
random music
on a toy keyboard
and the world returns back to order

A doll
and her bedroom, kitchen, living room
life neatly arranged
in a pink doll's house

no place for books?
a guitar in a corner
biting dust
the same songs stuck
with an irritating glue
called memory

fans, clocks, history
ripples, bangles
sieves, glasses
life cycle
circles, circles
round pegs in square holes

time to go back
into the doll house.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


the cursor blinks
waiting for a question
or an answer perhaps
the finger-bowl of time
waits for memories
to be washed off
the fingers of
once lovers

scars are healing
they say
and pain?
I ask
remember the feeling
when the last frame
in films said

Life is scattered
in shelves
boxes, wardrobes, furniture
bills, reports
clutter and empty spaces
places we call homes
dreams of impossible
hope against hope

phrases all
mere phrases
rewind, delete,repeat
rewind, delete, repeat
nothing gets sorted

happiness is
a little girl
smiling while asleep

which language
shall explain
her dream
or the impossibility of it

standing at a cliff
waiting for a cyclone
I think
I am losing it again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

H for KASHMIR - A Mother's Monologue

Bloodshed is always ominous here
for I know I am being stripped
of another relation
the burnt house
is a pyre
love is a shackle
life is a handcuff

Faiz and his poetry
have long drowned
in Jhelum on
the curfewed nights
that feed on human flesh
Ikwans * and half-widows
and the disappeared
meet in nightmares

Bismil, Ashfaqullah and Paash
are imprisoned in history forever
in books oxymoronically labelled-
Revolutionary Poetry
My young men now
prefer stones

the masks
are lifeless
despite their colors
love, peace, democracy
and the biggest farce of all

gravestones bear
just numbers
names and people
complicate statistics
so madness is the method
only mad monologues
can bear the truth

like Yorick's skull
the conflict has
dead players
and an active battleground

truth and lies
wear the same shirt
like identical twins
they blur
only the ghosts
have tales to tell

the world is
an interrogation camp
with endless torture

only the gravediggers
can sing
death is a business,
dead, half-dead
and the rest
forced to flee
to nowhere

all end
as the bard said
"The rest is silence"
I am a mother
called Kashmir.

*armed counter-insurgency renegades

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HAIL MARY ! For the daughters of India

For the last few years I have always done a daughter's day post, especially because in addition to being my online journal this is my intellectual legacy for my daughter. I hope some day as a  young woman she would come back to this space to know me better, to understand my compulsions and know my answers.

This year I did not do a daughter's day post, because it was a day with mixed feelings and a lot of disillusionment about how this online armchair activism had become plain and empty rhetoric and going by the number of crimes against little girls ,this country did not seem like changing sometime soon for its daughters.

I was in utter despair because just that week a young two and half year old had been sexually abused in her play school in this city that I call home. My little girl also goes to a school here and takes a school bus with many other little kids. Knowing that none of them are safe till each one of these kids is, is sad and disheartening.

And then today this happened MARY KOM WINS ASIAN GOLD IN BOXING

Mary with her youngest son , Photo courtesy: Google images

M C  Mary Kom is a renowned boxer from India but she has now transcended to becoming a symbol for many aspects of the lives of the marginalised in India . Her story is a special story of triumph because:
  • She is a WOMAN in a hugely patriarchal system, that either subjugates women or gives them limited powers as collaborators in oppression.
  • She hails from the NORTH-EAST state of Manipur, which for years has felt marginalised and suffered political turmoil.
  • She is into BOXING ,which isn't exactly as glamorous as men's cricket in this country.
  • She is a MOTHER & WIFE who carries the extra psychological burden put on her by tradition to always put her husband and kids first and her career down the list.
Her triumph then becomes the triumph of all of these marginalised sections- the women, the people from north-east and the sportspersons in less popular sports.
She is a personal HERO , who makes her own choices, pays the prices and overcomes all hurdles.

A special part of THE MARY KOM SUCCESS STORY for me is her husband Onler Kon. The man who is secure enough to look after their three kids when the lady steals international limelight, the man who supports her career choices and becomes her backbone.

So Mary's story is also a special message for all Indian men - Just Imagine what all your daughter, mom, wife, female friend, female colleague or any other woman could achieve if you would just let her be , if you take your fair share of responsibilities of the home and the hearth, if you let her be less intimidated and be free of prejudice and cliché.

Mary Kom for me is one of the stories that we need to tell our sons and daughters , as its multiple layers will make each one of them revaluate their choices about gender and about stereotypes.

Hail Mary !!


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