Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A drink with friends.

Out came the plastic cups.
The chipped mugs and paper plates.
The peeling, chalk-white walls were lit up
with old fairy lights left behind by the landlords
and Chinese lanterns fit for traveling gypsies.
The couch dusted and cushions laid out
on the yellow tiled floor.

They came in groups, laughing.
In couples, with entangled hands.
Alone, carrying bottles of cheap wine
and dark rum and beer.

They sat in a circle, pouring the drinks out
gulping them down with salted peanuts,
packaged chips, small talk, dirty jokes
and philosophy for company.

There was an old guitar
and someone to pluck the strings.
They sang the good old songs
in bad voices that pranced naked
and unashamed on the night air.

He sat amidst them
and joked and laughed,
and sang and danced.
He poured the drink
and it crawled into him
like a piece of the greasy ocean.

His arm snaked into his mouth
past his swollen throat
choking out all the words
held captive there in the dark.
His hand reached in
and pushed down
his bloody, turgid heart.
Drowning it in the fuming marshes
of intoxicated oblivion.
Drown, he quietly told his
welling, wailing heart.

Suddenly he stood up.
His head reeled and he clutched
on to the fairy lights to steady
himself. The flickering pink fairy lights
from a long forgotten Christmas perhaps.

Why don't you all leave? He screamed at them.
I don't even want you here in my house, he said.

They helped him in then.
Pulled off his shoes and rolled off his socks.
He lay there quietly breathing under
the dark calm of the bed sheet.

When all the songs were sung
and all the anecdotes told.
when the bottles were empty
and the sky full of blue-red light
they left, as they had come.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Untitled

फिर सुनाई देते होंगे
गर्मियों की रातों में बतलाये हुए 
वो अजब-गज़ब किस्से.
मिचकती आँखें,  चटकते होंठ
और उस आखरी आम के बाटे हुए
वो ठीक चार हिस्से.

घुटनों पर लगी चोटें,
मानो साहस के ख़िताब.
मैदानों में छिड़ी जंग,
और कटी पतंगों के अनगिनत हिसाब.

लाल-लाल साइकिल के वो सर-सर घुमते पहीये
फिर धूप में यूँही चमक जाते होंगे.
ढलती हुई शाम में माँ से बस-थोड़ा-और 
वक़्त मांगते बचपन के खेल,
मन को ज़रूर बेहेलाते होंगे.

पैरों के नीचे से फिसलती वो समय कि रेत
मन को फिर गुदगुदाती होगी.
बीती बारिशों कि वो सेहेमी सी, सौंधी सी हवा 
बालों को फिर धीमें से सेहेलाती होगी.
 
लगता है आज ऐसा मुझे कि,
उन चंद आखरी लम्हों कि परछाई में,
मौत के धुंधले खयाल से ज्यादा,
ज़िन्दगी कि याद ही शायद आती होगी.