Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Namesakes

On the second date, he asked,
"What does your name mean?"
"It means the whole universe, all
of it, the whole damned thing," I
said, quite tipsy, and elated, but
found myself very soon deflated,
"Akhil," he said - being creepy -
"isn't that the first word of ABVP?"

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Those subsidies," he said,

"make no economic sense,
they're just populist, that's
my grouse," as he parked
his SUV on the foot-path
right in front of his house.
 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Table-lamps, window-panes,

picture hanging on the wall,
ceiling-fans, a nervous pet,
are all the clues that you'll
get to tell you that the ground
beneath your feet, the stone,
the iron, the mortar, is, when
it counts, little more than water.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Some you will love,

some will love you,
& thank your stars if
this were to happen
together, if it won't,
don't mind, somehow
with time you'll find
(though it'll never be
fair) a heart to bear.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Incredible India J&K Tourism Video

I suppose the most crucial role here was the editor's,
it must be damn difficult to keep the dead out, as he
kept the green of the hills, the blue of the lake, the
white of the snow, must be hard to keep the red out.




 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Your poetry has gotten better

after your break-up," she said,
"it must be all the feelings, no?"
I replied, somehow trying to be
terse, "I don't know," and thought,
I'd much rather have done **rse.

As s/he logged on

to the Yahoo gay chat forum for the first time
with the username intersex90, the first
minute was 32 pings.

Of those 32 pings, only 31 were tarnished by
curiosity, and the remaining was an ad
for dick-size-enhancement.

"So what do you have down there?" gayboy94 said,
"I'm only asking," and s/he thought how "only
asking" when actually asking was redundant.

The ping bell didn't stop: delhi10inch said "I have never
met an intersex person," "Do you have sex?" "So you
have both penis and vagina, really? Hot!"

and when s/he thought, s/he'd log out because maybe
this is not the right chat forum, bottomboy95 said
'Yuck, how does someone even suck you,'

so right before logging out, nervous though, s/he be like,
on forum chat so all can see: "It's gorgeous down
there, & I do just fine, and yes, fuck you."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Amrita Pritam

tr. from Amrita Pritam's Punjabi poem "Amrita Pritam"

There was pain,
that, like a cigarette, I smoked quietly,

and the few poems,
I flicked like cigarette ash.


"Amrita Pritam" by Amrita Pritam










Amrita Pritam

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"My address" - Amrita Pritam

tr. from Amrita Pritam's 'Mera Pata'

Today, I wiped off the house-number
on my door,

erased the name of my street, and more,
wherever I found signs giving people directions,
I rubbed them clean,

but if you still somehow mean
to find me,

knock on every door, in every street,
of every city and country - keep guessing,

this is a curse, this is a blessing - roam,
and wherever you'll find a free spirit,

know, that is my home.



Amrita Pritam
 

Friday, April 10, 2015

[Varun is typing]

Varun: Hey how have you been? You know
just last week I had been thinking of you
Varun: Listen hey I'd been meaning to tell you
something for a while but
Varun: Hey I saw you near PVR Saket the other day
and I was going to
Varun: Hi Uday, have you seen Margarita, with a Straw,
Would you want to go this week?
Varun: I don't know how to say this but I'm just going to,
Varun: Hiiiii
Varun: Hi

[Uday is typing]

Uday: Hiiii I'd just been thinking about you, where
have you been
Uday: Hellooooo you, long time!
Uday: Varun!!!
Uday: Hiiii, you know I saw you near PVR Saket
the other day and was going to say hi but
Uday: You know you have a long life, I was just
Uday: Hi

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What else

tr. from Varun Grover's 'Kya Karein'

I feel empty
like the last breath,

and no matter
how much balm the morning holds,
it is always less;

what else to do, but walk,
what else to do, but see this through;

when we were young, we were told
"Life is innocent (true!)"
now we know, now that the bullet's
going through.



Varun Grover
 

नीले से पैगाम

tr. from Sthira Bhattacharya's 'messages in blue'
 
ज़रा सा खिसकती हैं 
      ये नसें, कि गई रात का
इतिहास उनमें घुल जाए; 
      कहाँ कोई इतना बदलता है
कि खून से ही बचा रहे 


Sthira Bhattacharya


 

Friday, April 3, 2015

5 Steps to Get a Bharat Ratna

1. Write bad poetry,
2. Especially about Kashmir,
3. Level a mosque; then do
4. Ensure someone worse follows you
    so that you appear to be "moderate"
    in hindsight, then finally,
5. After lighting a fire, gracefully retire.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

मेट्रो स्टेशन की

भीड़ में इन चेहरों के साये
इक भीगी सांवली सी टहनी पर पंखुड़ियाँ


tr. from Ezra Pound's 'In a Station of the Metro'