Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mystic Longings

We may have all what we want
Yet find no stirring within
But realize love and passion for the one
That's impossible in its becoming

Oh Love, ever elusive, thou art

Monday, 8 September 2014


The evening throbs as if a surge                                           
Of unspoken feelings on their verge
The satin night crawls far & wide
Melting everything hitherto in sight                         

The bamboo vines whispering lullabies
In chorus, sound like gentle seas
Mortal forms vanishing into nothing                      
Their footsteps & signs sans lingering

As I toss & turn on the cot
My head chases a single thought
Born of the faceless jingle
That do their job & hastily mingle

My sleepless eyes stumble upon
The starry pond where fireflies spawn
The million glints from their burning
Provoking an unearthly craving

Crew of crickets join for a supper choir
Their tunes tearing from beneath every layer
Melodious than the greatest known tune
Into every note rhapsody strewn 

The tender breeze rising from the banks
Of the distant river breaking ranks
Reassuring my sand ridden hair
Infusing a delight so delicate & rare

I'm captive of a perfumed whiff
Born of some mystic leaf
The many hued flora kneading
Charismatic musk seething

I forget I was born in the lights
I forget all the pointless fights
I forget every mirage to which I clung
I forget my need of a city, far flung

I move over the worthless addictions
I find refuge from haunting afflictions
I sense strain forsake my nerve
I feel the return of humane verve 

I sleep on my back
Looking at the soulful dark
Watching countless questions at sight
That I dodged in the bright

Then, like the ardour of lovers,
Like the embrace of mothers,
Like the ageless sage,
Begins to etch in heart, my village

Hidden Answers

In the stars & the sun
In bonds & alone           
In love & hatred
In life & death

In men and women
In distant and dear ones
In the whole world's confine
Allwhere I'd been to find

But in the end I learnt, 
That what I sought,
Wasn't n
For 'twas always dwelling within

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Poison Ivy

Many roses I've held and by their thorns 
Pricked and wounded
The worst hurt but came from one
Whose blossom was without a thorn
It was her tender petal which left its venom

Monday, 1 September 2014

Ride of Retribution

The room where they sat, face to face across each other, was dark and dingy. The inmate’s clothes lay half scattered on the bed that stood inside. The couch was the only real furniture which consumed space of the room beside the two chairs which were occupied. Four men nearly of the same height and build, all armed to the hilt, stood stiff converging on the two gentlemen who sat engulfed in deadly silence. Each of these four men wore the same formal outfit, though the organization for which they worked never mandated any uniform. The doors were shut and not a single sound from the adjacent busy road could make way inside the room. It was a sultry summer evening in the busiest square of the city, yet from inside the room it felt like an island devoid of human society outside it. The silence was definite and absolute, only the humming noise of the old table fan kept against that hush. Two goggled men guarded the tattered door and the chauffeur sat uncaringly inside the shining black Benz parked nearby.

Taureeq unbuttoned the holster from the insides of his jacket and menacingly pulled out his 0.32 Magnum. He neatly placed it on the table. He yanked out the bullet case from his pocket and began loading its contents one by one inside the revolving chambers of the 0.32. Taking a long drag of his half smoked Marlboro, he placed the gun back on the table between him and Robert. The device had a sinister shine about it, and from it one could guess the number of lives it had claimed. Foreboding and without mercy, brutal. To the point and to the target

‘There are two ways we can go about this Robert.’ Taureeq began in his cold tone, inviting a threatened look from him. ‘One without .. and the other, with it’ he exclaimed plainly suggesting at his revolver. Robert didn’t say a word in return. He kept observing Taureeq. A man who had the blood of hundreds on his hand. The chosen mercenary of the Badshah family. He would shoot at the drop of a hat if the boss desired. As for Robert himself, he was only a carrier. The mule. His only job was to ensure that boss's cocaine reached the end users, who were in hundreds. He therefore seemed to wonder what had brought Taureeq, the accomplished gunman, to his not much of a house. Perhaps a deal had gone wrong and Taureeq had come to exact his life as its cost. Or perhaps they wanted to close loops of a hot one, no ends open, and he was perhaps the last one to be shut. Or was he simply intimidating to get something done that he can't get done. He was to soon find out.

It’s actually our old frienship that I ‘m honouring. Actually, assignments like such are taken care of by the ones standing around you. A simple task you know. Just the bangs. Saves all the literature’ Taureeq concluded non chalantly.
What do you want?’ Robert wanted to keep things precise and to the point.
Nothing you know. Just the usual. Payment’ replied Taureeq
“Payment for what?’ 
‘You are a smart man Robert. I believe a lot of that smartness comes from your excellent memory. So why don’t you spend some of that memory instead of asking questions which by the standards of even these men around us are stupid ’ Taureeq commanded, though with a smile.

The fan hummed away. Taureeq sank back in his chair and comforted himself as if he was ready to wait for as long as it would take for Robert to recall what he wished him to. There was no reply from Robert. Nothing came from him for a very long time. Taureeq went from being quiet, to whistling to shaking his leg impatiently. 

He suddenly leaned forward and burst ‘Don’t fuck with me Robert. I don’t have all day’
‘Well, my friend I can’t remember what you are suggesting. I don't owe boss’ Robert confessed trying to sound calm.
Alright. I’ll help you out’ Taureeq declared and took his revolver in his hand. ‘You remember botching up the Reqett deal. Does that word ring a bell, eh?’ Taureeq had bend ominously close at Robert.
‘Nothing brother’ Robert nodded his head disappointingly.
You like games, don’t you?’ Taureeq hid his perturbed self.
‘You know how it is Taureeq. Nothing is hidden from you. Martha is gone. It’s me and my brother now. Debts, cops, a dozen crime busting agencies vying to extract info from me. My neck is on the line. I’m no more myself. My mind is just dead. All after Martha was taken away’ Robert revealed with a placid sincerity.
‘I don’t give a damn. You get me?! You wanted out right. Here’s your chance. Just pay for what losses you caused and you are a free man. Your register would be closed and you can start afresh. You have my word. You have the boss’s word’ Taureeq declared unfazed by Robert’s confessions and placed his gun back on the table.

The boss never told me he wanted payment. I’ve run errands so many times without a fee. I guess boss took that one fucked up assignment and wrote it off toward my unpaid remuneration. I know boss forgave me. He promised me he did. And it just isn’t his rule to break his own promise’ Robert argued.

Guess what. These are new house rules. Boss is old and hangs by his bed. He has his grandson to play with in his large garden. Work is left to me and he doesn’t mind the way I run things. I run the syndicate now. I decide things now. And I decide in the larger benefit of the org. I can't agree writing off a loss of millions. Either you pay or work for us as I say. If you don't, you have to buy your freedom, the freedom of your brother and the rest of your kins. I decide your life now. You will eat as I wish. You will dream as I wish, you will breathe as I wish now. And I wish to put a price tag on your freedom. You’ll have to purchase it’ Taureeq was convincing in his tone. 'Or as a second choice you may choose to work for us again. The same thrillin' life of money and women which you once swore by. Limitless power and all what you want. In case you've forgotten, everything you want could be yours. Just hop back in'  Taureeq offered and sank back confident of the fruits of his little speech. Robert paused and carefully thought his response. He looked to his left and right and looked at Taureeq again. The silence was complete. “Martha wouldn’t have wanted this you know. She wanted me to leave all this. She wanted me to live clean’

Last time I saw, Martha was in a coffin under six feet of dirt Robby. You don’t have to worry about her. Do what’s right for you. Take this chance. This is where you belong, always belonged. It's either this or payment and ofcourse the choice of know..being with Martha. (The gathering save Robert broke into giggles) Look, I know about all your cash and where they are stacked. All your grand pretension of poverty cannot fool me Robby’ Taureeq smirked tauntingly as he spoke his words. Soon after these words were uttered, silence reclaimed their conversation. This time it was more certain and brooding. An air of unpredictability hung between the two men. Taureeq continued to wear his mocking smirk and Robert was engulfed by an uneasy calm, the one which precedes a storm.

‘Who put her there Taureeq?’ Robert asked, looking dead straight into Taureeq’s eyes.

‘Excuse me?’ Taureeq queried. A certain unsettledness had suddenly seized his form.

‘Who put Martha in the coffin?’ Robert repeated, pronouncing each word slowly as if he demanded an answer. There was an unmistakable resolve about Robert’s mannerism. It seemed as if the tables had suddenly shifted. Robert had gripped the moment by its scruff and now Taureeq found himself fidgeting under Robert’s gaze.

‘Wh..What the hell do you mean who put her there?’ Taureeq’s voice was slippery. He carefully and slowly budged his palm toward the sitting revolver without taking his eyes off Robert. Robert didn’t move his eyes as well. Their glance was locked as if both knew what the other was thinking. As if both knew what was coming. Neither showed any sign of movement. They were transfixed in their gaze upon each other as silence filled the room. Before anyone in the room could fathom what was happening, the only door of the room flung open violently. It was dark outside and the road lamps hadn’t been lit yet. It was difficult to comprehend the identity of the man who barged in. But he had come determined at his task. The first shot he took was at the man who stood the most near to Robert. The rifle boom was deafening, as the man standing beside Robert in black suit flew back a couple of feet and landed still on his back with a loud fall, blood gushing out of his bullet ridden chest. He had taken two. In the commotion, Robert leaped on the table and grabbed the Magnum, removed its safety lock in a flash and began firing blindly at Taureeq’s direction. Taureeq had by then lifted the cover of the table and hurled it at Robert preventing his bullets from penetrating beyond its wood. But Taureeq was unstoppable. He punched the tossed table cover with his bare fist and removed it. Taureeq was making his way out amidst the gunpowder - rain and smoke, as the man at the door covered the exit and kept aiming and shooting at the guards one by one, taking them out effortlessly. The man was unfailing in his aim and he was fatally quick. He gave no chance for those burly armed men to even unholster their guns. He had planted bullets in each of them sending them to dark pits of hell. One of the bullets had taken out the light of the room and it was pitch dark inside. Only the recoil sparks of the guns, which ran ablaze, lightened the room frequently like thunder. Taureeq was now on the floor, cusping his head with both hands as he lay kissing the ground as bullets flew over his head. In seconds the room fell silent. The hanging light creaking and gnawing madly due the force of the bullet shots it had taken. The humming table fan had fallen silent, its blades twisted and mangled. Every man standing was either dead or groaning, except Taureeq who grovelled for his life under the feet of the other two men with gun, one at the door and the other Robert. Their barrels were still chimneys.

Footsteps approached Taureeq. It was Robert. He leaned and whispered near Taureeq's ear ‘Get up buddy’. Taureeq was so frozen in fear that it took Robert’s brother, who had lowered his gun and had walked from the door to grab Taureeq by his collar, to lift him up and make him sit on the chair where he sat earlier. Robert walked near him, placed the gun’s nozzle on his temple and asked in perfect control ‘I won’t ask again.....I mean it..I won't. Who ordered the hit on Martha. We both know she didn’t die in any random gang firing. No one would have dared touch her. She was my woman. So hurry up you don’t have much time, I’d rather not see you die painfully and slowly’ Taureeq just kept on panting, his mouth dry and silent. Sweat streaming down his cheeks. Robert allowed Taureeq a few seconds before he started to stutter ‘ kn..know. Nothing ev..ever hh..hhappens without the boss’s approv...’ Taureeq hadn’t completed his sentence when Robert pumped all the remaining bullets into his chest from point blank range. Blood spurt out in thick stream and puddled near Robert’s feet. The body of Taureeq fell silent after a few throbs. He died instantly on the chair, his hands spread hanging by his sides. Robert took out Martha’s photo and looked at her as if sharing with her his accomplishment. He kissed her and tucked it back inside his wallet. But he couldn’t step away from Taureeq’s lifeless form. He kept staring at it.

‘Come’n Robby. Cops will be here. Gotta get out’ Benjamin, Robert’s brother, warned him as he pulled his hands trying to drag him away. Robert finally looked away, he looked at Benjamin and hugged him. Tears rolled down his eyes. But there was no voice, no wailing, no sobbing. The job was only half done. The brothers remained in each other’s hug for a minute.

‘Just a moment Benji’ Robert said and walked towards the closet. He brought out a device which had wires tapped all over and clicked it ON. When the beeping began, he placed it on the chest of Taureeq alongwith a cleaned maimed bullet. He looked at Benjamin. He felt no need to tell him what it was and from whose body he had recovered it. He had preserved it all along. Making it wait silently with an aim, which no gun would give it. The two men stepped out of the house and shut the door behind them. The guards outside the door lay dead and were covered in blood and the chauffeur slept still with his head resting on the steering wheel as a narrow line of blood trickled from his forehead and gathered on the car’s base. Robert stole a glance at Benjamin and smiled. Benjamin kicked the motorcycle to life and said ‘It wasn’t tad bit tough. The two here at the door were merrymaking. It took me exactly two bullets to lay them, not a shot wasted. Our friend in the Benz was taking dirty to his girl over his phone, I walked straight to him and he didn’t even care to look. I pulled the trigger right between his eyes’

Robert noticed a crowd of onlookers. They stood mute. They had witnessed everything. But he trusted them. He trusted them to keep things to themselves for they knew his tale. The boy who grew up an orphan, sheltered by Ahmadi Badshah, made to do his dirty work, which he wouldn’t let his nephews and sons soil their hands with. His perished fate reincarnated by Martha, when he was verging on self destruction. The woman who showed him light, gave him a new life and set him upon a new purpose, was ruthlessly taken away. It was their town's open secret that Ahmadi’s men had taken her life. No way he was going to let her replace the leash on his dog. 

Benjamin asked him while turning the bike’s accelerator ‘Where to?’
Pausing momentarily Robert replied ‘To where it all began’
‘Are you sure Robby?’ Taureeq wanted to be sure, that his brother who had just shot his first bullets ever, was up for killing the town’s most dreaded gangster.
‘I am not. But then I wasn’t sure you would come in perfect time and we would execute our little plan to the hilt back at the room. I wasn’t sure I could ever pull the trigger but five bullets are now buried in Taureeq’s heart. I am not sure if I will put bullets in Ahmadi’s head. But I want to have Martha’s revenge. I want the blood of each and every man who was there when she died, each and every one of them. Of that I’m sure’ Robert confided with an air of surety.
‘Godspeed to both of us then!!’ Benjamin murmured as he turned the accelerator with full force and the two brothers sped away under the watch of the lifeless throng. The crowd howled and screamed and ran inside their homes as Robert’s house was engulfed in flames after a loud explosion which followed their departure. The ride of retribution had just begun for Robert.

When Words Failed

Lived once an author and wrote many words
Those words brought him his love from far worlds
They laughed and cried and faced countless tests
But to never part by worldly trials they resolved
And truly enough nothing seemed to have their love dissolve
But the games of times finally played their trick
Though earthly tests and trials failed
The very words of the author
Ones which had gifted him his lover
Became the cause which had both of them split forever


Every way I took, every turn I made
And every manner I walked on the bygone's lane - 
I couldn't but bend time's hand;
What I tried to alter, was always ordained to be
It inevitably occured, no matter what I did

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Blunt Truth

"Good evening and welcome once again to this week's Prime Time Debate; I'm Abhishek your host for this evening and tonight we'll discuss the case of the Sharma couple who are being tried for killing their daughter.

What has become of us? What evil has possessed this country’s men and women that they are killing their own children? Is this how we plan to build our nation? By killing in the name of honour? To discuss and debate these issues I have with me two very eminent personalities who in their own fields of work have earned great repute. To my right is seated Mr. Ashok Gupta, practising Advocate, and to my left is Mrs Anjali Priyadarshini, women right activist. 

So Mr Gupta, what do you have to say about this dastardly crime of the Sharmas? How on earth could the Sharmas kill their own child? And why are not we doing anything about it?

Gupta:  ‘I deem it to be my duty, before I say anything else, to humbly caution you and Ms Anjali. We must refrain from accusing the Sharma couple yet since it's slightly premature to declare the guilt of....'

Abhishek (almost yelling and cutting off Gupta) 'Nothing is premature here on the PTD. It's an open and shut case. The Sharmas murdered their daughter and they should be punished for their heinous act'

Gupta  (resuming carefully): 'We don't yet have facts supporting that, do we?'

Abhishek (leaning forward with bulging eyes): ' We don't have facts? Are you serious? I mean the girl was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, with no one but her parents at home that night, what more facts do you need?'

Gupta: 'That alone does not prove that her parents killed her. And by the way how are you sure that there was no one else there during the occurrence. There are Courts, there has to be evidence, there has to be proof of.........'

Abhishek : 'Oh so talking like a lawyer. You need proof, sure, a young innocent girl was killed  and you need proof.. Mrs Anjali, what say you Ma'm?'

Anjali : 'I am not surprised at all by Mr. Gupta's non chalance considering that every technical detail is always used as defence when it's a crime against a woman'

Gupta:  'What ?? When did I say that....'

Abhishek (again cutting Gupta off): 'I am in complete agreement with Mrs Anjali that we should be not be getting technical here.

Gupta : 'What do you mean 'technical'?....I'm only saying that there are Courts in which guilt of accused persons are proved, not on TV channels'

Abhishek (literally shrieking) : Let me tell our millions and millions of viewers that here at PTD we believe in being blunt and in being bluntly truthful. Perhaps Mr. Gupta here does not know that.

Gupta'What truth? We don't even know whose finger prints are there on the knife and who else were there in the house, the investigation is still going on,; why are you.....'

Anjali'Technical again'

Gupta to Anjali: 'What technical technical technical are you crying for? It is pure common sense that.....'

Abhisek (yelling again): 'It is an open and shut case Mr. Gupta. We at PTD believe in being blunt and in being bluntly truthful when it comes to crime against women'

Gupta: 'No one is denying it is a crime against a woman but the truth of the crime is yet to be.........'

Anjali'Technical technical'

Abhishek'PTD never supports crime against women'

Gupta'No one is supporting any.....'

Abhishek (interrupting again) :' At PTD we are blunt and we will find the truth...'

Gupta: 'But the truth is not...'

Abhishek: 'No no Mr. Gupta, we're not serving diplomacy tonight. We have only bluntness in our menu tonight’

Gupta‘What’s with you and bluntness anyway? Can’t you simply understand that that the truth will come out, but not here, it will come out in due process....’

Abhishek (completely rejecting Gupta's words): ‘No no Mr. Gupta...’

Anjali (sarcastic)‘Ohhh..So Mr Gupta thinks this murder to be something simple. See ?! Didn’t I tell you? Men never take us seriously’

Gupta: ‘When did this become about how seriously men take women?’

Anjali: ‘Mr. Gupta is clearly discounting my intelligence to understand what he is trying to say here’

Abhishek‘Hats off to you Mrs. Anjali for being truly blunt here on national TV. We at PTD welcome it’

Gupta: All I’m saying is that Courts will find out the guilt of the Sharmas. We are not the ones who......’

Abhishek: ‘Come’on Mr. Gupta. You can do better than that. We ask you to be blunt and truthful’

Gupta: ‘What do you think I’m doing?’

Anjali: ‘You are missing the fact that Sharmas have murdered their daughter.’

Gupta: ‘What?? Didn’t you hear anything I’ve spoken so far?’

Abhishek: ‘Excellent, Mrs Anjali, that’s more like it. So much bluntness and honesty. You truly know your facts right’

Anjali: 'This is a crime against a woman. And she must get justice'

Gupta: 'Clearly, that justice is not to be done in this debate...'

Abhishek (intervening again abruptly): 'The verdict is crystal already. The Sharmas are guilty as hell and they will be sent to the gallows'

Gupta: 'Are we to fix guilt of Sharmas here on TV?'

Anjali: 'Now Mr. Gupta has a doubt on your abilities too Abhishek. Why don't you go ahead and call us all wrong Mr. Gupta? Me, Abhishek and the rest of all, with the exception of you'

Abhishek: 'Oh so blunt that one, Mrs. Anjali. We'll take Mr. Gupta's response to that'

Gupta to Abhishek: What exactly are you anchoring? A news show?  A debate on the merits of a legal case or the guilt of Sharmas or my guilt? Surely you aren't hosting a circus, are you?'

Abhishek (nodding vigorously, interrupting) : 'No No No Mr. Gupta. I anchor only the quest for truth and a blunt one at that'

Gupta: 'Well the truth is that you are impatient, speculative and verging on absolute vanity....'

Anjali (jumping in): 'Are you saying that the Sharmas are innocent'

Gupta 'I'm not saying anything about innocence or guilt. I'm just saying that.......'

Abhishek: 'Yes say it bluntly'

Gupta : ' Do you ever let your guests speak?'

Abhishek: 'We like blunt people'

Gupta: 'Well you can go ahead and like whatever and whoever you want but I must get chance to speak whatever I want to. Ok?'

Anjali: 'Perhaps you want a ceremony of bugles and trumpets for proving that the Sharmas are guilty, Mr. Gupta'

Abhishek: Oh my God, that's as blunt as it can get. As we can see Mr. Gupta has no blunt truth to offer'

Then in a sudden inexplicable moment of frenzy and unrest which simultaneously gripped the host and the guests, beginning with Mr. Gupta losing his patience and banging the table hard with his hand, each of them began speaking and yelling at the same time. It was difficult to decipher what they spoke. The words all tossing over each other, blending in a manner so as to sometimes sound like Arabic, sometimes Hindi and partly like deafening war cries. The two gloriously suited men and the  bespectacled lady seemingly full of intellect spoke in such aggressively disregarding fashion that one grocer in a nearby ‘Hat’ who was watching the show at his shop reportedly remarked ‘Arre baba, they are shouting like they are in some ‘hat’. Abhishek, with some residual propriety of a decent host stayed quiet, but not for long. He soon resumed his race of words with the two. The picture was somewhat like this. Mrs. Anjali’s mouth had become so wide open in cut-throat oratory even the dumbest of brains could have assumed that she cawed only three words ‘Justice’, ‘Women’, ‘Technical’ . Atleast these were the words which could be faintly audible from layers and layers of thunderous eloquence from all three directions. Gupta kept banging the desk and pleaded for a couple of seconds so that for once he could speak fully. None heeded. He resumed his assault on Abhishek for being a poor host. And Abhishek kept his banner of bluntness flying high. His voice was the loudest and the others were no match for his roar. Ofcourse, the other two didn’t have his advantage of habit. Some respite was offered when Gupta furiously yanked out the microphone fitted to his shirt, slammed it on the table and walked off the show yelling ‘To hell with your blunt truth.'

Director of the show to Abhishek(on Abhishek's earpiece)'I just got a call from Legal. They are saying we should not discuss about sub judice cases till Court has not decided the case. Now go and get Gupta back'
Abhishek: 'Ladies and gentlemen we'll break for commercials and return in a moment with other debates. Stay with us’
Abhishek jumps off his chair and runs after Gupta "Mr. Gupta please listen to me. Just for a moment, please listen....."

** 'The Blunt Truth' is a work of fiction and any resemblance of any part or whole of it with any person, people, organization or any event is coincidental.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Tell Me Your Dreams..

Tell me your dreams -
Mine are long strewn;
Weaving yours to life
I’ll gather mine again -
Perhaps then I'll live again