Monday, 26 March 2018

Men tell me not to be afraid of them
But they stare at me when I'm at the store
To buy dahi, my face cold and eyes red
In anger and fear, always puzzled about how they'll react
If I stare back at them;
Men tell me not to be afraid of them
As they make my experience of violence in a consensual encounter
A cold hearted rational debate 
About objectivity and false rape cases
They celebrate their win as I weep at home;
Men tell me not to be afraid of them
But I look left and right in dark alleys and walk with hastened steps
My worst nightmare is three guys on a bike
Even two, and when I go out I want to be ugly
But men tell me to be beautiful
And they tell me not to be afraid of them.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Kya tumhe semi-cooked pyaar hua hai?
It all started with Pabs
Hum bole – mujhe tumse behad mohabbat hai
Kya tumhe bhi kabhi pyaar hua hai?
Mujhe doubt hota hai
Tumhe sirf mujhse hee pyaar hai
Wo bhi semi-cooked
Mujhe bhi bohot hua hai
Semi-cooked pyaar
Woh picturon ki tarah aahein bharna
Aur fantasize karna
Ki agar tum mujhe date karte toh kaisa hota
Tum ye kehte, main uss baat par khoob hasti
Hum sex karte, hum cuddle karte
Mixed with so many kisses
Wo semi-cooked pyaar
Jo har call par sochta hai
Ki tum meri aawaaz sun-ne ka bahana kar rahe ho
Aur wo jo kehta hai
Ki tum picture ke wo hero ho
Jise abhi tak pata hee nahi hai
Ki use heroine se pyaar ho chuka hai
Wo semi-cooked pyaar jo gas par chadhaa toh
Kuch aag bhi jali thi shayad
Dheemi si khushboo mujhe aayi
Shayad tumhe bhi aayi thi
Warna hum dono hee
Naak uthaae kyun hote bhala
Logon se bhare iss kamre mein?
Semi-cooked pyaar
Mehak bhi aati hai
Bhoonk bhi lagti hai
Par khaali paet
Khaali dil
Hee sona padta hai
Cat kiss
Forever eluding and often angry
For leaving him alone
Sometimes when I embrace him in a hug
He claws to run away
And sometimes he stays
Looks into my eyes
And blinks oh so slowly
The book on cat behaviour says
He's offering me a kiss.
It is easy, so easy
To know his kind of love
But with humans I want
Only one kind of love.
My attire for first dates is a lose shirt and running shoes
Which is funny for a person who doesn't run, physically at least
A yellow light, I like honest broken conversations
And prefer an almost love story to none
Or one
Where my heart gets broken
Fencesitting is fun
When you're at Marine drive with the setting sun
Yellow lights, some movies say, can lead to great love stories
Can someone not meet me there?
When we're not on a date
And I forget my running shoes at home?
The bags being packed revolted to stop
Like the cat that will claw at clothes, skin, human
To stay out of the cage
For him, this was a home
For me, this was a home because of him
We wept silently when he was around
And loudly when it hurt too much

The luggage continued it's strike
With jamming zips and spilling clothes
Tuck the right end in and the left spills
Tuck the left and the right falls
Tuck it all, and the heart weeps

When will we find a home? they ask
Bags not infected with wanderlust
Those that like the slumber of empty, light, and free
Those that like being open for the cat to sleep

But the bags must get full
And in the process, I must weep
The cat must get into the cage
And in the process, I must bleed

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

किस की आवाज़ सुनाई देती है?
वो जो दूर है या वो जो पास है?
जिस की कौड़ी या मधुर आवाज़ है?
जो आवाज़ सुनाई ना दे, क्या वो भी आवाज़ है?

हर वक़्त इक शोर है, लोगों की बातें धीमी या चिल्लाते
गाड़ी स्कूटर ट्र्क का एंजिन, कुत्ते का भौंकना
और जो कन्स्ट्रक्षन का नीरस साज़ है
क्या जो सुनने में ना आए, वो भी आवाज़ है?

पड़ोसी के घर में मार पीट, अपने दिल का धड़कना
क्या सुनाई देता है इस पेन्सिल का काग़ज़ से लिपटना
चीक, छींक, पाँच बार मस्जिद में जो नामाज़ है
पर सिर्फ़ जो सुनाई दे, क्या वो ही आवाज़ है?

और अगर मन में सुनो तो?
काम पर टाइप करते हुए दिल में गुनगुनाना
फिल्मों में बिना कहें कुछ कह जाना, जो आँखों से बात है
क्या चुप्पी भी आवाज़ है?

जो वो तुम कहते रहे कानों में
वो जो मैने अनसुना कर दिया, मौज में मनमानी से
या जो कभी कहा था पहाड़ो से, एक हवा में बहता राज़ है
जो अनसुनी रह जाए, क्या वो भी आवाज़ है?

बोलो किस की आवाज़ सुनाई देती है?
वो जो दूर है या वो जो पास है?
जिसकी कौड़ी या मधुर आवाज़ है?
जो आवाज़ सुनाई ना दे, क्या वो भी आवाज़ है?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

On Unambitiousness
Firstly, this post has a lot to do with meanings typically assigned to the words mentioned here. As an example, 'love' has many meanings but often when we talk of it (unfortunately) we seem to be only speaking of romantic love.
Aise hee, ambition for me has had many meanings over a period of time. In school it meant getting good marks (or at least trying to) and to get into a good college. During graduation the purpose was to learn lots of things but this got turned into 'ambition', I guess, when there was a desire to get awards of certificates for things. I don't know when, but 'ambition' in terms of work was this desire to be extremely passionate about work ("find what you love and let it kill you"), to work day and night, and to be recognized for the efforts I'll be making.
In these terms and according to these definitions, I am not an ambitious person. I do not see myself as a leader or as someone who is at the forefront of things. That is a pressure not for me. In some ways, I guess, I am a good follower - not a close-eyed one, but there are so many amazing people doing so many amazing things and I'd rather be behind and support them. And it took me so much effort to come to terms with this - because for some all of us are supposed to be the forefront waale leaders, no? Ye kaun sikhaya tha, I wonder.
I want my peace. I want to go home on time and not think about accomplishing so and so in life. My joys, and things that matter to me now are to be able to go home and sit with Pablo, to be able to spend an entire morning basking in the sun while reading a book and singing songs, to be interested in my work but not be forever occupied by it, and to have empty moments. I no longer wish to change the world in a loud fashion, and I no longer want recognition.