Sunday, 25 September 2016


Like a pair of kites
We hurried to the sky
Dancing, soaring and soaking the sun
Till we understood
That there were hands that held our strings,
That swayed us

And away from each other

Monday, 19 September 2016

Peeping Between Stars


I'm drawn to guess,
Something I see amiss
When she smiles
Within she cries

A dozen expressions she holds
Mesmeric dimensions
She wears that lovely charm
Underneath gnawed by silence

I'd hence seize this chance
To humbly sing to her life's balance
It offers never, anything with ease
Nor does it intend infinite peace
When someone it makes you remember
It seals their memory forever
When for them it makes you cry
You know that your love's far from a lie
Though I lack in intellect
To tell you an explanation perfect
Why it splits us from ones
Those who are dear to our hands

Hope we must, that they're delivered
To some land where peace is forever
Here we continue to sail with our life
And call it a gift even being torn by strife

For those who leave, watch our scars
From distant spaces bet'n the stars
They know our hurt and count our tears
They'd never want us to be stuck here

Instead, they'd say, with love
'Cherish me, smile don't sob
Whenever you think of our days
A joy you must feel like the warm sunrays

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Charminar Evenings

 I saw its time-worn dusk
Gave in to its Muezzin's call for prayer
I sank in its verses and pictured,
When they were adding the bricks
And slipping mortar into the Minarets
Did it bring nights this gentle and kind.
Evoked in a soul by now humbled
The echoes of an epoch gone by
Charmed under an evening unchanged,
Through the hawkers' pleadings
And the bangles in whose sheen
Memories of swords and songs
Were shining and dying

© Anupam

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Finding It

The striped cat which was the sole occupant of my Quarters before I moved in will return to its habit of tip toeing to my legs as I sit on the porch in the winter mornings. It would arrive and lie down. Maybe roll over. Then thoroughly soak the sun into its gorgeous fur. Then it would stand up, soundlessly arch its back and stretch its leg and go away as quietly as it came. And all through the season it will religiously repeat the act. I never miss its morning ritual. Maybe because observing its peaceful movements reinforces my love for the mundane.  Since often, that everyday mundane is a corollary of contentment., Whenever I look at the creature, I want to be content. Please do not think that I'm not alive to the sea of differences between the life of a cat and that of mine. But the basics don't differ that much. I mean it has to hunt for food and with increased pest control measures a urban cat has to face a far greater struggle for filling its belly than it once used to. It has to find a shelter. That isn't cake walk either. I've seen it being shunned by many. It even goes through its share of sickness and loneliness. Therefore I am led to think that in a way, within so much trouble, its peaceful movements don it with an almost monk like appearance. That word in turn reminds me of a friend.

He once told me that he'd give up everything and proceed to some far away place, a sort of a refuge from worldly troubles and live to become a monk one day. I asked him what good it would do. “It would save me from all the stress and unhappiness' he told me immediately. I had no point to make to him at that time. Not because I was not impressed with his answer but because there was no way I could know if he was wrong or right.

Today, many years later when I think of that conversation I kind of feel compelled to reach out to him. Only to tell him that I may have finally understood what it takes to get what he wanted. And it doesn't require us to give up on things we got in life and run away. A real monk would perhaps be someone who would remain open to the idea of pain and pleasure alike. Not shy away from either. Indulge. Taste a bit of things that men are supposed to know in their lifetime. Bond with men and women and kids, relish the flavours of those ties and make peace with heartbreaks that may occur because of them. Feel the uplifting sensation of victories as much as respect mistakes and the lessons they teach. Nurture in his heart some compassion for the world and most importantly for himself.  Accept that it's alright to not be always lucky in life. Never underestimate the strength of hope. In short, live without malice. A true monk would be a man right in the heart of the world cruising through its mysterious waters, discovering & learning and not someone who's cut off from all those things.

He may critique 'What about happiness? Aren’t we doomed to never stop looking for it?’ I would say that happiness is a mirage. It may exist everywhere for some and nowhere for others. Most people think they are looking for happiness when all they really need is to be content. With life, with what they got and what they didn't. The dangers of searching for happiness also lies in the tragedy that it rarely comes when one is looking for it. As Ruskin Bond once remarked ’It is as elusive as butterfly and we may never pursue it. If we stay very still it may come and settle on our hand. But only briefly...' 

I'm not sure if that friend of mine actually walked away from the world to become a monk. And even if he did, whether that brought him what he wanted. But if he stayed back, I can bet he needs to spend a couple of mornings with me at my place. Put his leg right by my side so that he can connect with the cat. And only then I can begin to slowly reason with him, if need still be, that it takes something else to not be sad than finding a path away to the high mountains. That the clues are all here, right in the very places we live, walk and sleep. That in the end the only art he might need to master is that of being content. Other things that he is worried about, things like unhappiness and stress would always revolve around us. That the secret to life is living it regardless. Finding its shadow and its light under the sky of its struggles. It always has been man's destiny.