सहनशीलता के चंद शब्द

पतलून और लुंगी में
छिड़ गई है आज जंग।
कौन है किसका वेश,
कौन सजे किसके अंग?

बिरियानी का चावल भी
गुस्से में बहुत आज।
मुर्गा तो है मुसलमान,
नहीं रहना अब उसके साथ।

चंदन का लेप माथे पर
या इस्तेमाल इत्र का।
खुशबू फैलाता दोनों ही
बदन हो चाहे कोई सा।

इंसान ने इंसान के बीच
बनाई है आज दीवार।
बांट दिया है मां का प्यार
और अम्मि का दुलार।

काबा पत्थर, शिवलिंग पत्थर
पत्थर कि ताकत करता है दंग।
खुद तो रहता मूक बधिर
पर इंसानों में छिड़वाता है जंग।


Through Changi

A cauldron on simmer,
Bubbling every second
of every hour.
Changing colour,
Exuding fragrant odour.
Occasional sounds,
Muffled quickly
by the silence that abounds.
Emotions arise
Fanned to feverish pitch
By an array of merchandise.
Rows and rows of shops
Offer all that one can ever think of.
An antidote
for the pain of separation,

@Changi airport, Singapore


The Filipino boy and the ocean

Like the biblical David,
This puny Filipino lad
Sat on the prow,
As the boat rode the mighty waves.
“They are my friends”, he said.
“They ask me of life on the shore.”
They ask me about the green trees,
Of the colourful birds and the bees.
They wonder,
if the distant cliffs and the hills
Will ever bow down at their feet.
They enquire about how seasons change.
About the snow in the hills
And of the heat in the plains.
The waves pester me for answers
And in their curiosity
They come closer,
With each thump, splash or a jump.

The waves are curious.
They come faster,
Arm in arm
jumping high as they near
To touch the lad
Feel his face, his lips,
Lunge and lodge
in between the strands of his hair,
Settle on the pores of his skin
In an attempt to understand,
What gives him the guts
To break their gravity,
Their brooding, sombre seriousness
With his carefree, impish smile
Day after day?



Coconuts on the ledge

The coconuts sat on the ledge
And spoke to me
As I stood, mesmerized
By the various shades of the ocean.
“It’s the sun”, they said.
We see it everyday,
trying it’s best
by sending it’s emissaries
To plead with the ocean
to not send the clouds.
They attempt to penetrate deep
To reach the ocean’s heart
But instead break up
And scatter haphazardly over the waters
In myriad shades of blue and green.
“We sit here everyday,
Watching this play
Between the sun and the ocean.”

Pandanon islands, Philippines..May 2019


A reason for happiness

The dust and grime never bothered him.
The filth and muck from the drains was his playground.
He lazed in the scorching sun,
His tongue hanging out
like a piece of pink cloth
hanging on a clothesline to dry.
When darkness descended in the lanes,
He almost became invisible,
His pitch black coat accomodating
all the darkness that seeped in
between the hairs of his fur.
He used to welcome me every morning,
Trotting at a quickened pace
on sighting me
and then jumping up
to leave his dusty or muddied paw prints on my track bottom.
His greediness at snatching the biscuit from my hand always induced a smile.
He was a reason for happiness in the mornings,
Till that speeding van ran over him.
He lay in the scorching sun,
A mess of blood and entrails
And was a reason for happiness
for the crows
That feasted on his entrails.