35+ Poems

A Doubt

Beyond these thoughts

Beyond these feelings

And billowing emotions

What lies?

Am I doomed

To be their prisoner?

Who Says a Human Being is Free?

Everything is predetermined

We have no say in the matter

Be it the family we are born into

Be it our career or who we love

Be it our friends or enemies

Be it a physical or mental illness

Be it any goddamned thing

It all plays out to the minutest

Proceeding according to a script

Written at the time of our birth.

ये कैसी बेबसी है

कब तक चलेंगे

इन अँधेरी राहों मे

रौशनी की जो कमी है

बाहर और भीतर भी

मंज़िल कहाँ हैं

पता नहीं

और पता नहीं

कहाँ ये राह जाती हैं

मगर रुकना मना हैं

सिर्फ चलते जाना

इंसान की बेबसी है

The Vicissitudes

What does the tree start feeling

In October, knowing that

December is fast approaching

Maybe it consoles itself that

April, too, is not far off.

My Octobers can take a toll on me

Far more than on any tree

Decembers seem unbearable

However near April may seem.

Life feels almost like a cruel joke

That one wonders IF God

Is really all that wise

And knows what He is up to.

Good God!

It is the human heart

That scares me

Not only mine

But that of others, too,

How fragile it is

How easily hurt

There’s not a damn thing

You can do to reason away

The feelings it is heir to.

What the Bloody Hell!

I am tired of

Sunrises and sunsets

Splashing colour all over.

I am tired of

Scriptures telling me

I am a lie.

I am tired of

Astrologers telling me

I should marry.

I am tired of

Siblings telling me

I should see a shrink.

I am tired of

Life telling me

I should live it.

Untamed Self

How afraid the world is

Of all that can be unleashed

By the untamed self

We prize reason and rationality

Above all else

We need to turn up at parties

Prim and proper

With a tie and shoes

Hair neatly combed

And you can sip a cocktail or two

In style over some light conversation

Nothing serious

You can laugh but not too loud

Being careful

Like one is careful of not crossing

The divider line on the road

Yet see how berserk God is

What with his vast seas in tempest

Immeasurable galaxies swirling

With no rhyme or reason

How suddenly

An earthquake can leave

All your mortgage paid in tatters

How day suddenly turns to night

With no rhyme or reason

Unless you say

Night is for sleeping

But who says sleeping

Has any rhyme or reason

We might as well have been

Awake all the time

For it is not irrational

To be awake all the time

To Truth and Love

The only two guiding forces

That can take one safely ashore

From the turbulent ocean called life.

Smoking Late at Night

Smoking a cigarette

Late at night

Can be a soothing thing.

Yeah, I know, I know

Tobacco is poison.

But there are

Far worse poisons

That our souls harbour.

And if you cannot

Evict those poisons

From your system,

Smoking a cigarette

Late at night

From a cigarette packet

Lent considerately by a friend

Can be a good thing.

Once Upon a Time

It seems only like yesterday

When my thoughts

Would turn to her often

While crossing

The Hopkins quad

Or ambling along

St. Paul’s Street

Now only memories remain

Yet how fresh they seem

As my mind (or is it heart)

That refuses to let go fully

With unfathomable conviction

That I would have been happier

With her by my side.

WTF? Bloody Hell!!

I swear

I like to swear

Sometimes.

Don’t mind my language

It is what it is;

Why bottle up emotions

And get all tangled up inside?

Let the emotions out raw

Stay true to your inner feel;

There’s too much inauthenticity

All around, so

Many will find it endearing

To hear some swear words

That are turbo-charged

With dyed-in-the-wool authenticity.

Philosophy Is Quite Enough

Philosophy I understand

Very well, very, very well

Oh well, maybe not very, very well

But definitely darn good

Rest all is a blur.

A Hearty Laugh

I lived my youth

Like an old man

Now that I am old

There’s no reason

To doubt the wisdom

Of my younger self.

Should I start doubting

Then, before I realize

Yet another dream will begin

Where I find myself

Young again.

On and on

Until

One sees the humour of it

And starts to laugh

A hearty laugh

That only the young

Can do heartily

Unburdened

By the cares of life.

The Burden of Emotions

It is heartache

To hold emotions in your heart

So, I let them float away from me

Into the deep blue yonder

In search of

More willing hearts

To host them.

Which God?

I am mostly in search of

God as Consciousness

God as transcending the mind

And not God as Nature

Or God as Woman

Though sometimes I feel

I can settle for

God as Woman

Given my

All-too-human self.

ज़िन्दगी का प्रॉब्लम

ज़िन्दगी से मुझे एक ही शिकायत

इस जहाँ मे कोई प्रॉब्लम है

तो यही की

प्यार है इधर

तो थोड़ा थोड़ा

मगर ग़म है

ढेर सारे

Falling In and Out of Love

I have loved many a moonlit night

I have loved, too, many a woman

But, like the moon was far from me

The women, too, were far from me

I learnt to turn my gaze away

And began to admire the stars.

The Sailor’s Dreams and Agonies

Far from these waves of thought

Lies an island of peace and tranquillity

But the sailors on these high seas

Are too much in love with the waters

Of this ocean, and are quite unwilling

To give up sailing and reach ashore.

The Law of Averages

Something or the other

Keeps happening in the world;

That’s why the daily newspaper.

Our lives, on the contrary,

Seem so staid and steady

With nothing much happening

For decades together

But when something does happen

We become a statistic

Sometimes making it to the newspaper.

No Way, Jose!

I care two hoots for the planets

They can keep spinning for all I care

I care not for the lines on my palms

I do not believe in destiny

I do not believe in a purpose to life

Nor in a meaning to life

I do not believe in profit or philanthropy

I do not believe in me or you

I believe in nothing

All this is mere imagination

Mere thought-stuff

That ceases to exist (if it at all existed)

The moment you surrender to Silence.

जीना यहाँ मरना यहाँ

ज़िन्दगी से कोई राहत नहीं मिलती

दिन ब दिन जीते ही जाना हैं

बिना शिकायत के, और शिकायत भी करोगे

न सुनेगी धरती, न सुनेगी अम्बर

बस जीते ही जाना है कब्रस्थान तक

दम घुट थी हैं सोचते सोचते

ज़िन्दगी से क्या छुटकारा हैं

नहीं सूजती कोई उपाय जिसके सहारे से

ये ज़िन्दगी से बच कर निकले

किसी और दुनिया में, और चल पड़े

किसी और मंज़िल के पीछे

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

It seems so very easy for me

To shut off the world from my mind

And yet I wonder whether such a shutting off

Will also shut off my heart from all feelings;

There seems to be a gulf between

Emotions and Meditative Silence

That I do not know how to bridge the two

So that I can be a resident

Of both those realms

Without going schizophrenic;

It seems a mockery of God

That he saddles us with a heart

And yet when it comes to Truth

And Love as in “God Is Love”

They seem far from one who takes

One’s own heart seriously

Or do I not understand

What all bridges

The human heart can encompass

Within its mysterious scope.

Recalling a Feeling from a Long Time Ago

You know you are in trouble

When brown hair

And red cars

Start to mean

Something more than

Brown hair

And red cars.

कविताओं के साथ ज़िन्दगी का सफर

ज़िन्दगी की राहों पे

हम तो चल पड़े

अकेले ही

लेकिन किसको क्या पता

कभ कौन

किसी न किसी वजह से

या फिर बिना कोई वजह से

मेरी कदम से कदम मिलाये

लेकिन किसी हमसफ़र की

न कोई उम्मीद रक्ता हूँ

न ही उसकी तलाश हैं

अगर कोई अभ मेरी हमसफ़र हैं

थो वह सिर्फ मेरी कविताएं हैं

The Duty of Man

Man has no duty

Towards family, country, or mankind

No duty towards

Advancement of the sciences

Nor the relieving of suffering

Of his fellowmen

If he has any duty at all

It is to simply keep quiet

And let life unfold.

Drinking Wine and Writing Poetry

The sun has risen

It’s another Day

To meet and greet

I wake up from the dream

That I had of you

For a moment

Wherein you said to me

“Sam, what shall we do

About the darkness

That surrounds us?”

I replied,

“Let us drink some wine

And write poetry.”

Thus began the madness

For words and wine.

Them Poets

Why has God created poets?

What was he thinking?

What good are they the poets

Confusing you with words

And making life seem

More complicated

(And a conundrum?)

Than it actually is.

What Is Enough?

After all the poetry is written

And the wine is drunk

After all the kissing is done

And the loving, too,

Will you feel

You would not care

If the sun never rose again.

The Best Way to Live

There is no single way to live a life

But how do you choose

From all the ones on offer

Is a question

Best answered

By your own heart.

The Gulf Between Order and Freedom

I thought I had it all figured out

Filed away all life’s moments

Those past, those now

And those yet to come

Into neat little draws

All geometric and rectangular and neat

But, no, as it turns out

Life is a lot more disordered, chaotic

Such is its guiding force

That it sets to naught

All the rules your mind can devise

Or impose

And in an instant

Shows you the difference between

Orderliness and freedom.

Privy to the Secret

To what destiny

This body-mind is subject

What matters it to me

For body-mind I am not

Though through it

I seem to speak and act

How can I explain to you

This mystery, utterly bewildering

That best of minds cannot grasp

And yet I am privy to that secret

Behind this show

Having you and me as characters

Seemingly interacting

Out of our own sweet free will.

Flummoxed

Faced with choices

Decisions

At every turn

With inadequate information,

Knowledge and wisdom

To act upon

And a future

That always threatens

To go haywire!

सब ईश्वर के रूप

मैं इतने दिन भगवान की खोज मे

ईश्वर की भक्ति मे

खुद को और औरों को

थोड़ा कम प्यार करता था

लेकिन अभ जो खुद को

और औरों को

प्यार करने लगा हूँ

आश्चर्य की बात है की

अब ईश्वर से सच्चा प्यार

करने लगा हूँ

Such is Life

A thousand emotions

Pass over me

Like waves on a ocean

A thousand thoughts

Spring from there

Clamouring attention

Some issue out in action

Some lose steam midway

Some others wait to sprout

Such is the condition of life

Flitting between

Thoughts, emotions and actions.

What Can You Trust?

What can you trust

In this wide wild world?

Can you trust your senses?

Nah.

Can you trust your mind?

Nah.

Can you trust your heart?

Nah!

Can you trust your near & dear?

Hmm…

Can you trust your friends?

Hmm…

If the near & dear and the friends

Are their senses, mind and heart

What can you trust?

There must be something in this world

That cannot be doubted

That cannot be avoided

That is with you all the time

What is that?

Only your sense of Being.

That I trust

For, it I cannot doubt.

Questions That Admit of No Easy Answers

Who is the doer?

Who is the enjoyer?

Who is the one

That is asking these questions?

ज़िन्दगी से बेज़ार हूँ

सब बेमतलब लगता है

कितनाभी रंग-बिरंगी क्यों न हो इस दुनिया

पैदा होना ही अपने ऊपर

खुदा की ज़ुल्म लगता है

लेकिन इस लाचारापन से

कोई छुटकारा मुझे नहीं सूजता

और मैं कितनाभी सोंचू

या फिर रौऊ

हकीकत इतनी ही है

की मैं ज़िंदा रहने के लिए

कोशिश भरपूर करूँ

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