नज़्म-ए-इश्क

इस इश्क ने कितना तन्हा कर दिया

कुछ उनको हमारी कद्र ना हुई

कुछ हमने खुद की कद्र ना की
जब उन्होंने देखा तो कह गए

ये अफसाना कुछ और ही था

कैसे समझते वो खामोश लफ्ज़ मेरे

अनजाना दर्द कुछ और ही था
कैसे कहते कि रुक जाओ

दर्द बहुत था उनमें भी

वो रुक भी जाते दो पल को

तो दर्द उतार के हम भी बेआबरू हो जाते
पर जब वो चले गए तब एहसास हुआ

कि कहां चलता है जोर मिजाज-ए-इश्क पर

कि ये तो यूं ही बस ले चलता है

निसार ये दिल हम करते है

फिर ये दिल हमें निसार करता है

और फिर दोनों फफक कर रोते हैं।

Twenty One

Dear Hachi,
I know it has been quite some time since I wrote you last. You must think that whenever I write to you I talk about myself only and I never really ask you how you are. So how are you? Are you still somewhere around? Do you guide me at times? Or just as I believe, you are just gone into oblivion? Because whatever it is, you are around my heart and it lets me know about it often whenever it sends those tears rushing to my eyes. Who would have known that I would think of you whenever I would be troubled. You are still stuck to my conscience somewhere and I know it is going to stay that way as long as I am going to live. Love finds you in mysterious ways and you find love in just one way, you have to give it more than it ever gave you. And sometimes it stings too, just to make sure that you don’t forget about it.

It is the longest day of the year, astronomically for the people who haven’t lost anything precious or anyone worth a heart and cathartically for the people who lost someone or something like you. I woke up with a nightmare today, probably for the first time in my life. Have I become more human lately? I am not sure because all I see is hatred, jealousy, frustration and scorn washing it away bit by bit every day. And I say it not because I want to be patronised but because I am really pulverised. I can see how shred by shred I am losing the signs of who I was and everyone watches themselves change I think and it happens so gradually that even the minimal of resistance is too much. And the equation is always balanced in such a way that resistance leaves you frustrated and does nothing actually. I do not know, Hachi, if I will ever be the person I was before. I am afraid if I am honest.

Look, I made it about myself once again. They say you go to your mother or to your beloved whenever you are afraid of something, but I always end up coming back to your memories. And today I have come back to you because today was the day I lost you. I do not really feel like talking to anyone. I, again and again, return to your memories. And to a particular one, I come back to more than often. And that one is when your head went loose in my arms. If you know, no one will understand this and I suppose no one does. It is okay though, at the end of their day they sleep in their beds and at the end of their days in their graves. Their opinions and views matter as much as their breaths of past. What matters is that I will never forget you. Isn’t it what we humans live for? We hope that we won’t be forgotten after we die but I suppose you never thought that way, maybe because you were better than the humans. But I will not forget you because I know you happened just once and will never happen again. I hope I do something in your name.

I pay you homage my little furbuddy. Thank you for teaching me what love is and what it means.

For a While

Like a hunger, love hits my guts
Warm hearth is where it stays
Like crimson aura of swaying palm tree
Sweet as fickle wind on my window

It becomes a hunger unaddressed
Doesn’t have a place to go
Before I swallow it or it swallows me
Thoughts devour my last premonition

Who knew I would miss my heart a day
When it was a kid, free and wild
Now it is tamed, it tames and troubles
Peace be upon it, piece bygone it

And shall I suffer at his tricky smile
I hope love will wait on me for a while

Borders

Just tell me this, ‘why do you have to go?’
All the blues in reds, do we know?
Is there an end to this madness?
Do flowers grow where we fall?

A little bit of reason might suffice,
Just tell me who we are saving from.
Are we really willing to win?
And if we do, isn’t it just a whim?

Why are we raging war for peace?
Why are we killing when we are made to love?
‘Where do you have to go?’
Will we meet again?

If it is love for your nation
Do we love our home enough?
For the motives of just a few
You fight when I know you don’t

Who wants to kill, I know you don’t
You wish the war doesn’t begin
But you still go when they call
Is that how women and men fall?

All the soil and the sky
They see everything passing them by
I don’t think they love us
That’s why they didn’t give us wings or roots.

Or maybe they loved us so much?
And they did not bind us to them thus
So that we could go and explore the universe
Why are we fighting yet?

‘Why do you have to go?’
Do they cry differently when you kill?
Or spill a different blood?
Do thorns grow where they die?

Of Home

As I live under a shadow
Of gas and of fear
The ammunition of sorrow
Lingers on forever here

On sweet snow and pines
Shattered roof of these shrines
Take a look at these valleys
Graves that rise in rallies

A fight that never ends
Stones and sticks on skin like drums
Of freedom forsaken amends
In wails and silenced hums

Some are taken and never returned
Some are gone and just gone
Rest lay here turned and turned
Imprisonment keeps moving on

I am the smoke and I am the ice
Hiding in days and sleepless at nights
It is my valley, dolor in paradise
Cascade of lost and neverending lights

Welcome to Kashmir
A land that never rests
Of home and of fear
Of sold souls’ formidable tests

Oh Mother

Oh my eyes are open
And I see the colours passing by
Isn’t the world beautiful?
When rain flows in the air

Oh my heart is open
And I let pain turn into pleasure
Let my life dance to its beats
When I do not know where I am going

It is like a sweet cold wind
That makes me shiver and ecstatic
Makes me freefall as I start to hurt
When I fail and I fall down

Oh my love is open
For everyone who comes or goes
Nothing extraordinary or brilliant
It is as ordinary as billions of others’

Very common and very authentic
When I know I am beautiful
Like all the beautiful people
Trying to be more human

Oh my mind is open
For everything I see and feel
From swindle to a child’s smile
When I know the world is failing

But it will go on even if it fails
For as strong as the earth is
Human is its offspring and more
Oh I wish I had been here before