Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bhutan Chronicle No. 6

When you visit me this weekend
Do not rush your return.
Every night, I see your nightbulb
Flicker in the opposite hills,
Like Morse Code.
I want to see you coming
Stealthily, like the wind from the mountains,
Which creeps in every night
Through the wall cracks.
The uphill walk has made you pant,
And beads of sweat glisten on your skin..
Like white pebbles on a moonlit night
By the river Jhelum.
Your "Dupatta' looks drunk tonight,
Slurring this way and that.
And that mole on your breast,
Sits like an unfrequented well
On the mountain top,
Out of reach, Yet desired,
Every time it is looked upon.
Do not rush this weekend...
There are places to go,
Maps that your nails and fingers
Will draw on my skin.
There are depths to dive in,
Walls to mend,
And wounds to heal
Mazes to unlock
And gibberish spoken when
The birds chirp me out of your clothes.
Do not rush your return,
The weekends between these mountains
Are rather long.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bhutan Chronicle No. 4

They say winters come early in Kashmir
Since the 1990's,
Even evening comes early.
A sudden whistle and a few heavy footsteps
And everyone's back home

Shops are shut,
And "Dal" stops flowing.
I remember Kashmir in old Hindi films
And in newspaper clippings
And your phone calls from Pahalgaom
All three in black and white.
Those nights, when you stole your father's phone,
The valley crept in
Through the 6 min. conversations.
The pines and the "Chinaar' rustling
The Sunday marketplace bustling
A gunshot here
A gun wound there
A life lost here
And "Mission Accomplished" there.
Shahid said  no trains enter
This Valley of Death.
Your calls have stopped..
And you have taken a flight out..
Kashmir now lives in your autumnal letters
Letters written in Blue.
About a paradise,
Where "Red Alerts" color the evenings
And White Noise the Nights.
Speak to me of Us,
There was so much Love
Every night for 6 minutes.
Give some to Kashmir.
Give some to Kashmir.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bhutan Chronicle No 3

These scissor winds that blow here
And the chimney winds from a farmer's hut,
All speak of you..
How you craved to be written about
Like a child in a market place
Begging for a new toy..
So let me put you on the dissection table
Let my words be ether
And my scalpel-pen carve you..
Your eyes,
Your lip,
Your hair..
Little by little....Everything..
For a new batch of wood-carvers
Or hand-loom makers,
Who seek to put you in dye,
So you never die, my love,
Only DEATH does.

Bhutan Chronicle No 2

This tiny town of Jaigaon
Is where two countries,

Bhutan and India meet.

Buddha owns the monopoly over the first two
He sells himself in the market place
100 faces masking each other,
Angry, cold, diabolical.
And the monarch presides over the cash counter
And India smiles like a truant boy,
Creeping into you..Seeping into your blood
Like new Found love
Or the first addiction of adolescence.
In a gambling joint,
India plays his cards.
A Kali temple down the road,
A missionary school shining every morning,
Street vendors fluent in foreign policies
Where currencies of a monarchy and a democracy
Are in currency.
Oh! this anarchy on common sense.
Politics, nation, borders, "Mazhab"
The early morning Azaan
Lifts the shrouds of this mountain town
India walks out of the casino
Arrogance of a young gambler
HE has played some of his cards
HE has hid some of them...

Bhutan Chronicle No. 1.

When two hearts sleep in different rooms
Asleep yet awake,
Like hamlet lights on a distant mountain.
Burning yet cold,
Like stars from a different time. the silence of an angry mob
Beating, like the constant rattle and hum
Of flags waving by roadside monasteries..
When two hearts sleep in different rooms....