Sunday, November 12, 2017

Benefits of sleep

That is all very well, but, the problem with sleep is, you wake up. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Subtle difference

He had thought about every angle of it, from every paradigm possible, in a systematic manner, for a considerable period of time, and was absolutely convinced that committing suicide was unequivocally unjustified, there were no two ways about it. But he really wouldn't mind if a truck ran over him right now making him pulp. That, to be honest, would be welcome.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rekindlings

They met every other day, although their friendship now was like that of two people who used to know each other years ago, but whose paths had diverged so much that there was little any more to talk about, even if the fondness remained intact, or deepened, even, and now sat awkwardly between them like an empty plate devoid of food they were supposed to share, and while they did now text each other every night, there were hardly any words exchanged, just emoticons of various kinds, at once necessary and inadequate, filling in for that which cannot be replaced.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Time-travel

I sometimes remember, out of the blue, instances from decades ago, from when I was five, playing ball with another tenant's kid on the roof, who remarked that I was playing very well for someone my age, or from when I was six and wanted a cool pencil box like one of my classmate's that opened on the press of a button and had a mini-piano of sorts affixed to its lid, but I never really was able to get one for myself, or from when I was seven, and after much tenacity got my parents to buy me an umbrella that you wore like a headband rather than carry like a stick and which really caught the fancy of the girls in my class, as I knew it would. And when I'm thrown back, without asking, without demand, into these ephemeral episodes, I am five, or six, or seven again, and it is immense. And sometimes, I'm thrown back to being 23, and that is euphoria, but I can't talk about it here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Waiting


बेक़रारी सी बेक़रारी है, वस्ल है और फ़िराक़ तारी है
जो गुज़ारी न जा सकी हमसे, हमने वो ज़िन्दगी गुज़ारी है

- Jon Elia


(1)

She will have no more
of his impatience.
If he really loved her, 
he needed to learn to wait. 
Wait how much? he asked. 
A lifetime, she said proudly.
He waited.
A lifetime.

[April 2014, Princeton]

(2)

You told me, politely,
to go away.
I did.

[June 2009, New Delhi]

Thursday, March 16, 2017

छोड़ो भी

जब हम में था क़रार, मिलती थी हफ्ते एक बार
अब  जो कुछ भी न रहा, अब क्यों रोज़ आती हो?

अब तो फ़िराक को भी गए हो चली हैं मुददतें
ये कोई सलात तो नहीं जो सुभ-ओ-शाम गाती हो !

शब भर मुस्कुरा के कहती हो माफ़ किया छोड़ो भी
आँख खुलते ही मगर पल में चली जाती हो।

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

کیا کیا نہیں رہا

جس دن سے تو میرا نہ رہا
کسی سے کوئی گلا نہ رہا 

نوکری، پیشہ، گاڑی، گھر، مکان،
حسرتوں کا یہ سلسلہ نہ رہا 

نہ رہا شوق گھر کو آنے کا 
بہار کا بھی کافلا نہ رہا
जब से तू मेरा न रहा किसी से कोई गिला न रहा 
नौकरी-पेशा, गाडी, घर-मकान हसरतों का ये सिलसिला न रहा 
न रहा शौक घर को आने का और बाहर का भी काफिला न रहा 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Triveni

यूँ हिचकिचा के तेरी तस्वीर फिर उठाई है
जैसे लौट जाता हो कोई शख्स दरवाजे से
अब अगर गौर से देखूंगा, तो मर जाऊंगा