Poetry

Moving on

Blinding and brilliant, love at first sight
takes much longer to lose than you think it might.

It’s not the memories, the agony or the remorse,
what kills you is the resistance,
and the indolence,
of a languid heart that you blame,
but deep down you know it’s the brain,
that is always reluctant to indulge in refrain.

To enjoy the pleasure of hellos,
you know, one must go through parting.

But when subtle differences
take the shape of unassailable chasms,
and you see the futility of explaining,
what you feel is not what they call pain,
but is a gnawing, indifferent aching.

Sarcasm is fluid in this state of mind,
making you wince at the sound of laughter.
They say you have become silent,
while the myriad voices inside you scream –
regret and apology never go hand in hand,
or that you need bravado or courage to take a stand.

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Thoughts

The art of storytelling

Stories are no less living than the ones who tell them. I say “tell” because in the days that I am writing about in this post, people mostly told stories. Writing was considered as killing the essence, the free spirit that defined the beauty of a tale. This spirit dictates how it panes out, how it varies with a new teller, even with the same person every time it gets narrated, the place, crowd and such circumstances in which it is reenacted.

I came across a reference to the lost art of Urdu storytelling called dastangoi. What piqued my interest is the fact that Urdu is famous for the inimitable poetry ever written or ever will be. Dastangoi is a Persian word, dastan meaning tale and with suffix goi it translates to “tell a tale”.

A dastan, like an epic has elements of adventure, bravery, beauty, romance, magic, treachery to name a few, but the plots are linear and usually predictable. The beauty of a tale is not in its outset, the events that follow or the conclusion, but in the imagery. For instance, illustrations of a war scene may involve how the hero makes entrance, the colour of the sky and the war-torn soil, the sounds of the running horses, clash of shining swords and the smell of spilt blood infusing a wave of bravado in the most disinterested soldier. No other language fits this requirement more than Urdu, which with its poetic inclinations allow the storyteller to embellish a trivial event, or say, to romanticize the look exchanged between the protagonists for hours. The language and astute usage of the rich words enables the teller to weave a mesmerizing maze that you won’t want to escape.

The history of dastangoi is as interesting as the art itself. Though many readers will question its authenticity, the great Urdu poets always looked at history with disdain. They wanted stories to continue evolving, with every new generation adding more illustrious sub plots, new ways of gilding the oft cited with mellifluous Urdu harf.
In a way, the great tales are no different from life itself, it’s a pity that we think it’s the same tale that is being narrated over ages whereas life is beyond our control and we just need to bear with it as it unfolds.

Further reading: dastangoi.blogspot.in

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Poetry

Photography, an art?

Images that tell vibrant stories
of far away sun bathed mountains
the cloud soaked verdant valleys
humbled eternity facing the vast azure skies
those unsung garish yet tranquil monasteries.
Images that conceal the artist
a visage reminiscent of long forgotten tales
a moon reflecting on the turbulent dark seas
shuddering shutters attempt to capture the evanescent
lustrous flashes strive to unfold the obscure events.

Snipping magic from the monotonic time
moments chosen by whim
or maybe thoughts nebulous
lenses make sense of the world.
Elaborate tales condensed in a single shot
discordant sonnets meticulously sutured
erratic life and the nuances subtly proffered
understand the artist or the work, do we?
if only we could see the way it was meant to be.

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Poetry

Words

 

Dazzled by the beauty,

they are failed by the words.

Recovering and in pursuit,

they keep their feelings veiled by the words.

Romance they indulge in,

but are curtailed by the words.

Entranced in love,

they forget the roses but are bailed by the words.

Instead of happily ever after at the end,

they listen to the silence of the words.

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Poetry

Path to redemption

As the jaded emotions stir
letting out wisps of fantasy
vignettes from the past look glorious
fading vistas arouse feelings queer
entrancing thoughts make him trail
only to be nudged forward
waking him up with a familiar fear
tired eyes reluctantly open to find
multitudes marching on for a cause unknown
tremulous with highly strung octave.

Shackled with pervasive conceit
straggling at the desultory march
road to perdition seems long for his aged feet
a night of reckoning questions the
choices made, the resorted weakness
and the accompanying arrogance
a prophylactic catharsis
and the concluding dance.

How does he promise allegiance,
an unquestionable faith
with the doubts lurking in
every nook, every corner of the infinite self
an incomprehensible world
with its deceit, caustic and relentless wit
armed with nothing but an acquired intellect
it’s a farce to commit eternal love
when he doesn’t remember or even surmise
everything that happened in his life
for he was rational but never so wise.

The fickle abandon with flair
heretic if you tame the restive faith
the egotist seeks happiness within
romantic if you love without reason
judged and branded for living the sins
midway in the protest, he stops short
and finds his soul dance and rejoice.

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