Friday, June 29, 2007

An Ode to You, My Hateful Friend

...and I wrote this one four years back. Blogging wasn't a very common thing then. Just thought of putting up a couple of my old poems. Shall publish new posts soon. :)

I wrote the following poem in the wake of the communal riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002.

An Ode to You, My Hateful Friend
There were times we drank to each other’s health,
Had no love for hate, no lust for wealth,
And a friendship that was zooming uphill
Till the day you broke the glass of goodwill.
Bitter thoughts were all it took
For you, my friend, to take another look-
You chose religion at camaraderie’s cost,
And since then you forever lost
The path to the One you set out to find
But left this trail of blood behind.
A cut, a jab, a stab of your knife-
Waiting for death to gift me life,
I screamed a lowly silent scream,
Wishing it to be only a dream.
 Down on my knees, for mercy I begged,
“Kill him now” the Hate Merchants egged,
“Spare my life,” I pleaded in vain,
But hatred brought bloodshed in her reign.
And amidst my turbulent despair,
Hoping for hope of some pity and care.
But hatred had made you so very blind,
You didn’t mind the blindness; you had lost your mind.
You slit my throat, you stopped my breath,
Smashed my skull, bludgeoned me to death.
Kill and destroy, break and burn,
Are there lessons we shall never learn?
But I promise, if I had any clue,
I’d rather not this fate befall you.
How much strife can you give and take,
Just a heartfelt lament I’d like to make,
With which I shall end my woeful verse-
Communalism is a bloodthirsty curse.


Kise kaafir kahega, kise kaayar kahega
Teri kab tak chalegi ho
Arre mandir ye chup hai, arre masjid hai gumsum
Ibaadat thak padegi ho
Samay ki laal aandhi, kabristan ke raste
Arre latpath chalegi ho
Arre neendein hain zakhmi, arre sapne hain bhookhe
Ki karvat phat padegi ho...

-
from the song 'Bandeh' by Indian Ocean, OST 'Black Friday'

Conversation

I wrote this poem three years back. It is inspired by the book 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho. Most of my friends have already read it (my poem I mean), but I would welcome comments. :)

Conversation

He knew not how to walk; he crawled on all fours, but as gracefully as he could,
Then with all the strength in his tiny limbs, the baby carefully stood,
And looked out through the window, a gleam in his little eyes,
Singing merrily through the air, arrived a tiny winged surprise.

‘How nice to see you birdie, on a day so bright and clear!
A bird so small yet so beautiful, tell me, what brings you here?’
Now perched at the window, it gazed at him for a while,
Then in one magical moment, returned his toothless, priceless smile.

‘Oh little one, O dear little one, with a mind so very pure,
You see I am a young one too, you’ll be my friend I’m sure!’
‘Certainly I’ll be! That’s sweet of you, saying thus you’ve made my day,
For I have nothing that’s mine, except a name I’ve not learnt to say.’

And thus that day, that splendid day, on that bright and blissful morn,
One that the baby would never forget, his first friendship was born.
So the next day again, and the one after that, and others in succession,
The bird and baby met at the window, lost in sweet conversation.

And on one such day, that this sweet friendship brought,
To the baby’s longing mind, came rushing a thought-
‘Birdie, you’ve wings, and so you fly,
I presume with ease, you can scale the sky?’

‘It is a gift I have, you’re right, it’s true,
But why this query, little friend, out of the blue?'
'I don’t have wings, but I have a thought, over which I ponder,
If some day, I flap my arms, can I too fly, I wonder?’

‘Your innocence speaks for you, and its sweetness I much admire,
I’m glad you’ve told me what you feel and expressed your desire.
You’re not winged, it’s not your fault, just one of nature’s little things,
But don’t let that smile fade from your face, for one day, you’ll fly without wings.

You’re so small you haven’t learnt to walk, so impossible though this may seem,
You’ll fly some day, make your wish come true, for in your eyes, I see a dream.
Live this dream, give it wings, mark my words, my friend,
Let nothing thwart your dream, beyond all bounds let it transcend.

You’ve a lot to learn, a long way to go, little as you are,
Never cease to dream, for you will see, it’s your dreams that will take you far.
Believe me, you’ll fly, let no weakness fruitless your quest deem,
Keep in mind, every success you see, was once just a miniscule dream.’

With this the bird left, and the baby thought: ‘There is a dream in my eyes,
A dream that I must pursue, a dream I shall realize!’
That night he dreamt as he lay asleep in his bed,
He dreamt of his friend the bird, and the wonderful things it had said.

He dreamt that he was flying high, way above the world,
Sands and seas bowed down to him, mountains shrank and rivers twirled.
Now he saw a house, a sight he knew would loom,
Down he flew and softly perched, at the window of a baby’s room.


When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

-‘The Alchemist', Paulo Coelho.