Weeping Woman

Embraces suffering like an old friend

walks with her head surrendered

looks up only when dreaming of joy

her heart is ignorant of its own wonders

 

Her mirror is a friend and a foe

that smile – a guileless weapon

her sorrow has more courage

those tears – precious heathens

 

Lives inside a guiltless frame

becomes real to all those who walk by

and if they see those tears up close

they’ll find Dora Maar has just smiled…

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I am the light

In the depth of the dark

I don’t pray for a nightmare

In the middle of a dream

But sometimes we need the darkness

For lights to stream

In

I am sometimes the beauty

Behind the sickly lies

Another push and I will be done

Another drink in me

And you will be the one

For sometimes we need

A million endings to begin

I am your tears

At the end of a tough day

I am also your smile

Blushing crimson in love

I thrive in the depths of your mind

Inside the folds of endless treasure troves

I cautiously breathe in

In the tiny air

It feels small

To be dreaming of life

Inside a tin box

I dream of eternity

Inside your clocks

In

This moment

I live I die

I breathe

I fly

I keep

Secrets in my dreams; in this moment

I let you in….

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The Song

As they float in
These forlorn notes
They bring about a memory
Of the times you were held close

As the voice spreads out
Through the cracks of the black veil
You wonder why this song
Leaves your heart broken and pale

Then comes the joy
so sweet and contagious
From the heart of the Irishman
A voice so loud yet magnanimous

Some they make you dance
Others make your soul cry
But each one plays some part
In the story of your life

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The Magpie

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He painted a breeze
Then hoped for a sigh
From the frosted trees
In his heartland

They spoke sometimes
The colors of white
The sparkling snow
It prayed the winter night

His world, it bloomed with
the green of the grass
The gold of the hay
The dripping nectar of flowers

He lived in loss
Filled his eyes only with a color
To make do
Without life’s mystical blurs….

His Starry Night

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His starry night
Floats in the sky
With colors sublime

I wondered when
He became a muse
In my sands of time

Did he hear them
Begging him to stop
Tearing himself apart

Or on happier days
Did he just sigh
At the night full of stars

****

Sometimes lost
In a woeful translation
Of beaming joy

At other times
With a paint that smiles
Like a bemused little boy

But at length
A shadow appears
A challenge to the battle weary

Turning his night
Into a dark abyss
Of colors so starry!

Maybe he lived for those of us
Who wish to live
In a colorful apparition

And not those
Who rant of life
Like an unlikely desperation…

And The Mona Lisa Smiles…

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Perched on an unassuming wall

armed with her sinister smile

She awaits the times gone by

with trembling tenacity

She sits pretty

My Mona Lisa’s shadow

***

Housed in a land

undeserving of her ravenous beauty

I wonder what she thinks

of the vanity of this city

I wonder if she laughs

at their empty sorrows

***

Does she look up

at the mountain of martyrs

or at their Gods’

lost virtues

Does she pretend to be kind

to those who dwell in its grime?

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Or is she mocking the hypocrisy

of the fake bourgeois nights

The city reeks of guilt

of its riches and grandeur

and yet she beams with pride

as the world’s wonder’s sparkles during dark times

***

Like everything around us

she is pretty only to her eyes

and those who fought and won

to protect that sensual smile

must often wonder if the lives lost

were worth her while

***

If beauty is only skin deep

hers is as thick as his canvas

she’s the world’s biggest mystery

and its greatest surrender

I wonder when he painted

was he in love with her smile

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Did he dream of her home

so tainted and beautiful?

Or is it just time that has made

the Mona Lisa smile so wistful???

In My City


I am living what seem to be the last few days here in this city. And yes the reference to the Priyanka Chopra Hall of Crap was just coincidental. It has a life this place like those scary horror movies that claim houses have spirits. Only this city is not scary, in fact it is the contrary. It lives and breathes every day. It sits with you in empty auto rides smiling and hugs the ocean on the Marine Drive from sunrise to sunset.
You can choose to be anyone here because the city is like that old friend who doesn’t judge you. It branches out into parts you probably haven’t seen before and yet holds it back together. There is a reason why the city has been a victim of more terror attacks than other Indian cities. It has this troubling sense of equilibrium; like it is going to descend to chaos any second and yet it hangs on, like an eternal pause. I suppose the terrorists would probably just think it is easy target to bring a nation down but unfortunately every time the city just gets a little ruffled and falls right back into its place as if nothing went wrong.
Unlike Delhi (and mind you it is my hometown and I love the city), people are not looking to pick fights with everyone else. They are instead all about doing their jobs. No wonder it is the financial capital because the culture is that of being industrious. There is no time for laziness, no afternoon siestas (unlike Kolkatta). This city means hard work even when it comes to art and music. It celebrates struggle and gives a grand prize to ones struggling the most. It has so many faces, you tend to lose count. Some days it is that old friend driving you home safe post a night of relentless partying at 1 30 AM. At others it is the boss who works you till the wee hours of the morning. It is also a parent who takes care of you and on many occasions, it is an actor that pretends there is no chaos in this world. The city is like many one night stands rolled into one. Every night you think you know it one bit better and in the morning it surprises you with a new twist in the story.
It is, of course, the people who make this city. I remember a taxi driver telling me this one day he explained why Mumbai is so safe and Delhi isn’t. His logic was that the men in this city come from their homes and earn for their families and send back money. For them, their job is of utmost importance, people are too busy making ends meet to even consider a crime. In Delhi, however, there is no such transience. I have another theory. In the heart of Maharashtrian culture, there lies this inherent respect for women. Perhaps something that slowly erodes as you go up north. Mumbai thankfully has managed to hold on to everything that is good in each culture and build its own humanity.
I didn’t even realize when this city became my best friend until I was sitting alone in an auto, Muhammad Rafi playing in the background and the auto driver quaintly humming “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya”. That’s what it does, this city. It has an eternal friendship with life and you don’t even realize it and it has found a place in your heart.