War, Peace and a Trade Secret

war and peace

The war is not over.

The meek fight to inherit the earth

Over airy base of war ruined castles

Nations, creeds, everything yours and mine –

Wrapped in golden words,

The word that was an invention.

Dreams of either or may make you shiver.

You take up the gauntlet for a just cause

While the merchants of war have the last laugh.

Peace, violence, death, life and foolishness

Are  means to an end, to someone’s end.

Crowds gather for enslavement

To spiced up stories, to invent

Another just cause to die for.

The meek, the nobles and the kings

Meanwhile profess peace.

For you, me and the whole of humanity.

Welcome the meek with blood,

the noble with inventions,

and the king with approval.

Ssssss….. a trade secret.


Indian Bloggers

Shravanabelagola

shravanabelagola

The majestic statue
high on the hill
invites us
for a rendezvous
of bliss and innocence.

It is fashionable
To come here
To be selfied and uploaded
And arouse  a little jealousy
“Look where we camped last weekend”.

A lone devotee infirm and old
Climbs up panting and chanting
To touch at least some height
Before her death.

Tiny flowers without leaves
Pop up from the hard rock
What  a humble offering
To the huge bare Bahubali
Standing tall on the bare hill,
With relics and  writings as ambiguous
as his silence!

How do they proclaim peace
in words of war -
The scholars fight it out.

The sun follows us inch by inch
As we limp up slowly
To rise above the world
And its maya.

 

(A detailed account of my visit to Shravanabelagola, Belur, Halebid and Shringeri can be read here :  Journey Through Karnataka’s Heritage Sites )

Indian Bloggers

Out of home can be at home

Out of home can be at home. 
A picnicker on the hospital lawn 
talks to someone on phone.
The ambulance has just arrived
to offload a body.

He hears a good news, 
and misses the tears
and the gossip 
and the relief 
as they mourn home 
just another body
in just another van, 
an anonymous group of mourners
in this city of multitudes.
The man was something 
to someone, somewhere.

He was a hoarder
they said.
He built a hundred homes
but never had a home to himself.
He died after a long illness.
Maybe, that is the reason
they had such a sense of relief.

Indian Bloggers

On Her Departure

Full of foliage
the gulmohur is on the verge
to deliver a message of condolence.

The lake of monsoon has begun to swell
to herald the Great Deluge
sparing only me and my melancholy.

Sunny days have gone out of stock
not to be replenished for a millennia.
But life would continue

to exist as a curse forever.
Now that no one knows her whereabouts
there remains this glimmer of hope.

Heaven is a politician’s promise
for a better tomorrow – a myth.
But hell is not.

Dreams and memories
are the only privileges
that remain untouched.

(After writing the poem I was reminded of the famous classic Bollywood number: chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaye hum dono.)  

indispire

Masks

Somewhere a smile

There a tear drop

 

More tear drops

Water, and more water

 

Water and her sisters

Five of them

 

Play in abandon

Is someone looking?

 

Play and display of

Seen and unseen

 

A petty face

A kind heart

 

You hide and lose

yourself

 

In joy and ecstasy

In amnesia and orgasm

 

In snow and  sunshine

In sea and green leaves

 

 

In sirens and engines

In drumbeats and gun shots

 

In wine and dreams

In food and flowers

 

More money, More sex

More play, More masks

 

Lurks around behind those masks

Now you see it

 

Now you don’t –

Death

 

mask2

A trip to Amarnath

amarnath1

 

Twenty souls huddled together

In a small tent. Tired legs

Refuse to sleep.

My partner has taken to his flight of dreams

With a noisy engine,

Waking up every one but himself –

A journey of awakening.

 

In the morning

Blood streams rebel.

They need all the pushing, pulling and cajoling

And the sun rays.

While the stoic lake Seshnag gathers remnants

Of tents and humans.

 

This year we were a little short of

Enlightenment.

Lord Seshnag was too sleepy to oblige us

With his jewel of thousand suns.

But it happened every year –

They had heard it from others.

 

Legs surrender to the inertia of the road

Narrow, dusty up and down

With scattered snow,

And horse hoofs.

The young and the old

And the gun totting army men

All join the chorus

Har Har Mahadev

 

The smell from the langars

Rise above hills to carry the prayers

And the menu of the morning moksha.

Har Har Mahadev,

Come and take your seat.

The dilemma of life –

Sweet sour chilly or pungent.

 

In the cave the linga has vanished to a goal post.

The form has become formless.

Still the priest insists we bow

And shows us last year’s photo.

But I prefer the void.

 

I thought the journey would end here.

But we retrace our path by the Panjatarani

After just a glimpse of the void

To the tenth ox.

amarnath2

Of Traffic Jam, Rain and Rumi

rain.jpg
While the Bengaluru traffic jam
gets worse
with each falling rain drop,

the home bound evening crowd
gets weary and impatient.
But to me the rain outside

provides the perfect gestalt and
background music
as I rummage through
a book of poems by Rumi.

“Oh, cloud of gentle rain, pour down
Come, let us friends get truly drunk
And you, the king of tricksters
Befuddled with drink we all greet you”

Oh Rumi !
you have flooded away
all my weariness
all my impatience.
Such is your company.

Even in a gloomy evening like this
the clouds bring in messages of hope.

Your voice from the faraway land
is now my own voice
coming from a hidden depth of myself

The key I lost long back
has reappeared on its own.
It fits in to reveal the veiled
and elusive maiden of ecstasy.

rumi-love-said-to-me

I met him for the first time and

unknown

(This is a translation of Odiya poem – APARICHITA originally written by Ms. Sushama Pal)

I do not remember

when and where I met that unknown person.

After meeting,

I felt

I knew him for ages and lifetimes.
I could not restrain myself

As tears rushed forth from my eyes.

The tears not of grief

But of my deepest gratitude.

Or else, how could I offer

The bouquet of my love and devotion.
I was on a downward spiral

in my journey of life-

filled with pain and despair,

when I came across him.

Then started the journey upward,

the journey of hope

As he ignited my desire to live.

Now I float on a

beautiful river of hope.

I have sought and found

contentment in life.

Through the shades

of the greenery of life,

Every moment of this life, so valuable

is filled with a beautiful fragrance.

I lose my identity in that fragrance,

and feel blessed.

And I feel blessed.

Your Sweet Absence

krishna

The invitation is yet to come

But I am ready,

Shameless in my lack of discretion.

To rise up with you.

Falling again and again.

 

 

For your lips of nothingness

My ears are no flute I know,

Yet they ache,

Waiting to ease

My neighbour’s serpentine whispers.

 

 

It is still a distant dream

To lie side by side

By the black Yamuna,

Half dissolving into the white sands

So fine like diamond dust.

 

 

So long

Have you played that elusive flute.

Let me reverse it now.

So that nothing else remains –

Only your sweet absence.