My Roving Brain

My Roving Brain

For K. Azz. on her Birthday


“Happy, happy wishes for you, my friend…”
Sings a voice from inside my roving brain,
another wails like a time ravaged soul,
“But will you and have we ever be old?”


I thought I had killed both Prometheus and his dreams,
long ago and buried them deep down the rocky ground
that I thought my mind and heart had become, but woe
they were only suspended in a cryogenic sleep!


“Have they begun to stir now from their slumbering?”
Yet another voice asks, inside my head,
in harmony with the song, still being sung,
“… and wishing many many joyous returns,
may your thoughts grow wiser still with each day,
but may your heart remain forever young…”


Meanwhile, a thousand more voices, both low and high,
keep voicing their own concerns, not in whispers though
but each trying to have the floor only for itself,
trying to be the lone voice that can be heard.
Sometime one succeeds and I hear a word or two,
mostly though, it is just a noise, both pure and white.


Then Prometheus opened his large and dreamy eyes,
and the world knew, this god-man who had brought fire down
to the succeeding rulers of earth as their crown,
was much, much less troubling than his insolent dreams.
(It was one of those that made him do what he did,
to coronate humans as future queens and kings.)


“What! He walks now? Kill him! Kill him!” cries another,
shrieking like a spinster, one too many times wronged.
“Kill him! Kill him now, I say, before he can come
and make you like him with a bare touch!” She carried on.


Then I could hear his footsteps in my head,
approaching me, the sound was drawing near.
I could not help but shrink, being too afraid,
for I had dreamed before and met its sneer.
Suddenly I caught a flash, wheezing by;
was it a real spear thrown by Death himself?
Perhaps it was all a dream, a figment
of my restless imagination, soaring high,
so high, the sun has melted its feathers down
and now it must fall to its uncharted grave!


The silence that followed was far more deafening!
All the voices stopped and their complains too,
even the one singing to my friend took a pause,
that was not what I had thought in the beginning!


In that silence I realized the footsteps,
I had shrunk from in my fear for the coming days,
was ringing no more through the corridors
of my roving brain. I grew wary for the man.
In desperation I searched all over the realm
of my thoughts for mighty Prometheus and his dreams;
all in vain! No body was found and no blood stains!


Nevertheless, the silence made me look outside,
past the grid of iron bars on my balcony
and the sky was silver blue from the glowing moon,
the wind smelling fresh from few recent bouts of rain.


And at last, a single voice, the one that sang, resumed
singing the remainder of the song to my friend.
The melody filled my heart with a light again,
“We are what we are not despite but because of
our ways, unfit, perhaps for our time or this place,
perhaps there is a grander scheme, or there is naught!
Still we must fight each day and night, with blood and tear –
growing stronger than we were yesterday.
I wish you may find courage in these humble, rugged lines
my dear friend, to blossom anew each and every year!”


Old Man Talking

Old Man Talking

“This emptiness you cannot fill, my son.”
Said he, like a wise fool.
The air of a man who had seen it all
hung around his mortal flesh, like the fleeting mist of dawn.

“But Nature abhors vacuum, does it not?”
Asked the perplexed listener in reply.
“Nature!” Exclaimed the old man as he said,
“What is that, my dear child, and emptiness –
does it mean anything at all? Or are you full
with a craving, unfulfilled, for too long?”

The listener, a young man in his late thirties,
might have been shaken by the rant,
was old enough, nevertheless, to stop his emotions
from flooding the Savannah of his face,
or so he would have thought, had he not heard –
“Your face is alright, son.” The words followed a hearty laugh,
(as if the old man could read his mind like a book)
“It’s always the eyes that betray.
But worry not, since now I have seen through it all,
I shall tell you what ails thy soul.”

And now the young man was visibly spooked,
as his raging thoughts roared, but how…
“Relax, my dear child,” once again,
knowingly said the ancient man,
“rest assured this is no witchcraft,
our eyes are windows to our soul which, I say, is but one!
What ails thee, my poor child, is not
an emptiness but being full of incomplete thoughts.
So either bury them with you or go
plant those seeds, even if just one or two…”

And as abruptly as it had begun, it was over.
One last time the old man looked into the listener’s eyes,
a long, lingering look, then he said goodbye and turned,
but the young man’s heart was standing still and frozen,
as the hairs on his back stood up –
for those old eyes were lifeless, like two polished slabs of glass.



The Sky Is Sad Tonight

The Sky Is Sad Tonight
Dedicated to Mulhima.


The sky is sad tonight,
his tears becoming solid hails
in the chill of a depression.
He groaned too in a blinding rage
every now and then
and each time the night grew
transparent, white, silver and blue,
baring the emptiness around.

I have always wanted to be as vast as the sky
and here I am, sad and bare as he is tonight!

Measured in meters I stand half way
between the universe and quantum particles
as lonely as the first and incomprehensible
as the latter, unpredictable at best.

After the fierce hailstorm, wind blows in sobbing gusts.
After the dripping of your words have ceased to flow,
I cannot remember why is it that we must
live like Adam and Eve with two unpardoned souls!



Monday Blues

Monday Blues

Do what you think might suit you best,
shed no tears for my pain!
I have suffered enough to have grown
indifferent to all sufferings,
if and when sadness starts pushing me
to a corner, yet again!
What I cannot do and nor should you ask,
is to desecrate my humble dreams!

What else do I have to graze on?
What else do we ever have to sustain
a dull, gray and placid existence,
comprised of breaths piled upon laborious breaths?
The moonlight does not paint
her petals on the ground everyday
on nights when she does, with a serene smile
I shall let you take all my dreams away!

But when the waning moon is too dim like tonight
and the chill in the northern wind
pierces our skeletons with ease,
for hardship though, both here and in the past
I need your soft, enveloping warmth
to save them for the next day, both yours and mine,
until the next dawn, perhaps when the night ends
or let this one be O Lord, my last!

Duly then a new sun comes up, setting
the sky on fire, the next dawn never comes.
Half smiling in silence, I remain a human-owl,
as from dust to dust my soul returns!



God’s Language

God’s Language

Is there a tongue, favored by the Creator,
a language dearer than the rest to God?
Sanskrit perhaps, the voice of the oldest of Faiths
or perhaps Aramaic, Hebrew or Arabic
but that would have been so ungodly and partial,
for why not Tamil or the Sumerian archaic!
Has not the Omnipotent created us all
with love, in kindness, both the great and small?

What is the language of a human soul?
In which tongue does a consciousness reproach?
In the given subject’s mother tongue, one might say
but conscience predates the spoken language, so nay!
‘Tis both common and eternal, more akin to numbers,
for that alone, my friends, can be God’s true vernacular!