Amorous Glances

With a sense of guilt
A demure glimpse meets her eye
Causing a flutter of the heart
At an age so ripe

Statuesque in stature and persona
Exuding oodles of charm
In exchanging fleeting glances
With her, I saw no harm

With equal panache she carries
A sporty look and traditional style
Rendering the air with exuberance
Her distinct voice makes my day worthwhile

Barely does the heart gets transfixed
Like a moth to a flame
Unless the magnetism is genuine
Desire to get consumed, you can’t quite tame

Throw caution to the winds
A call rings in my ears
But the mind never lets loose
The leash out of fear

I introspect on the disparities
Looming large, that sets us apart
All aspects of which seems blasphemous
Even while visualising a relationship to kick-start

Gone are the days to evince amorous interest
Though a hard fact to swallow, acknowledge I do
And lower my gaze when she crosses path
Not to go the route deemed taboo

The Martyrdom of Prophet’s Family – Tragedy of Karbala

When the army of the Prince was no more
Thirsty, it had departed to Kausar’s shores
His friends slaughtered, His family destroyed
The home of the Prophet was plundered to the core

No brother or friend or loved ones remained
Two sisters to mourn, and there was Husain

Earlier in the day, sons and friends were around
By the afternoon, everyone was gone
The sun blazed, wind blew, the desert scorched
Tents flapped in the wind with a desolate sound

Husain was surrounded, alone in His pain
A commander with no army; all had been slain

“Why delay Oh death?” In misery He asked
“Why must I live after Ali Akber has passed?
Every moment now feels like a lifetime to me
Now only in death will my pain pass

“I should have died when I watched Akber being killed
I should have been beheaded, that is my will”

“Yet I remain, I live, after everyone has died
Alone I shed tears with no one by my side
Enduring the loss of my sons in this war
In my old age to bury them, to mourn and to cry”

“No son by me when I succumb to death
No support if I stumble, no place whereon to rest”

Then He glanced at Akber’s body on the desert sands
In agony He clutched his chest and cried in pain
“Oh Akber you rest, your hair on the dust strewn
Come help me, I am falling, rise from death’s daze”

“In death’s slumber you forget your father my son
Say your prayers with me under the blazing sun”

“From the banks of the Furat, Abbas come to me
The heat blazes on my wounds, I’m thirsty, come see
Sprinkle water on my body, if you happen to find
I’m dying, say goodbye, come to me, come to me”

“In death you sleep soundly, what can Shabeer say?
May no one be as wretched, to God I pray”

“Since you parted, every bone inside me hurts
My brow, neck, eyes, my joints, and head hurt
My heart, back, chest, every muscle is full of ache
Distraught I am my son, every vein within me hurts”

“I’ve battled a thousand soldiers, I am soaked in blood
Young ones I have buried, with pain my heart floods”

Impatiently the son of Saad addressed the army thus
“Come on brave soldiers, surround Husain we must”
They turned towards Husain, attacked and besieged
Thousands bearing arrows, armed with swords the rest

Midst archers, stone-throwers, Husain stood alone
Swords flashed in the sun, thousands against one

Surrounded by the massive army, all alone
Spears and swords charged at him, he stood all alone
Arrows inflicted fatal blows, Husain was all alone
Target of a thousand blows, Husain was all alone

Amidst the evil around him, like the moon He glowed
The world had turned against Him, at Him its fury flowed

Alas the cursed army knew not a Syed’s worth
They pierced His noble body with arrows and spears
Aiming their swords, they sought to massacre Him
They circled and surrounded, each seeking to kill Him first

So-called Muslims, attacking the Apostle’s son
Your Imam was all alone under the scorching sun

He fell from His horse, no support for His descent
No one to pull the arrows from His riddled chest
Friends and loved ones dead, Husain now all alone
Weak with thirst and hunger, nowhere to go, no rest

Facing a treacherous army, drowning in their flood
In every face around Him, a hunger to spill His blood

It felt as though the heavens thundered in dismay
Wounded the son of Fatima, on His horse swayed
The Imam of the universe, the Prophet’s dear Grandson
Precariously He swayed and fell to the earth that day

A thousand bruises on His body as he fell to the ground
Who knows what He felt when dropped on the sands

Fizza took the news to the ladies within
“They prepare to behead him, Oh what a sin”
Weakened with illness, Abid stumbled as He arose
In panic and terror, the ladies ran out into the din

At the torment in Zainab’s cries, the desert floor quaked
Stumbling and falling, she ran out seeking Husain

“Where is my brother?” She cried, running every way
“Ali’s wealth is lost, plundered here today
Show me the way to the river, take me to the battlefield
Show me where He lies, wounded, show me pray”

“Oh blessed earth help me, the heavens are no help
I come searching for my brother, show me where He fell”

“I am Syeda, help me find my way to Him
I am the daughter of Ali, save yourself from sin
May you live happily, find peace after death
Show me where the Syed lies, pray take me to Him”

“We have no one, we are ruined in this land
We come from Medina, against thousands today we stand”

Then she heard Husain’s groans, sensed her brother near
She ran towards the sound seeking her brother dear
And watched in disbelief as Shimer beheaded Husain
She covered her face, fell to the earth, in shock and fear

With grief her heart shattered, she silently prayed
The severed head of her Brother, she saw on a spear raised

Another Gem From The Last Moghul

Not the light of any one’s eyes!
nor the solace for any one’s heart
of no use to anyone,
I am that one fistful of dust

I am not the song infusing life,
why would anyone want to hear me
I am the sound of separation,
I am the wail of much distress

My complexion and beauty is ravaged,
my beloved is parted from me
the garden that got ruined in autumn,
I am the crop of its spring

I am neither anyone’s friend,
nor am I anyone’s rival
the one that is ruined, I am that fate
the one that is destroyed, that land

Why should anyone come to sing a requiem
why should anyone come to offer four flowers
why should anyone come to light a candle
I am the tomb of that destitution

The last Mughal’s poetry as it intertwined with his life.

My heart has no repose in this despoiled land
Who has ever felt fulfilled in this futile world?

The nightingale complains about neither the sentinel nor the hunter
Fate had decreed imprisonment during the harvest of spring

Tell these longings to go dwell elsewhere
What space is there for them in this besmirched heart?

Sitting on a branch of flowers, the nightingale rejoices
It has strewn thorns in the garden of my heart

I asked for a long life, I received four days
Two passed in desire, two in waiting.

The days of life are over, evening has fallen
I shall sleep, legs outstretched, in my tomb

How unfortunate is Zafar! For his burial
Not even two yards of land were to be had, in the land of his beloved

Desolation

A feeling so hollow,
That’s hard to swallow
Engulfs my being
Leaving no clue of what it is seeking

Pervading silence all around
Adds to the confusion abound
As though put in a quarantine
By folks I call mine

How could one not form a connect
Or make no effort to resurrect
The crumbling charm of togetherness
Despite a bond so deep and measureless

Schisms keep lingering, unless you let go
The need to pander to the ego
Sane does recognise the bliss ahead
Unless their emotions are dead

My heart wails for the years lost
In vagaries of moods carelessly tossed
Instead of a chance to script cherished moments
Had it dawned to figure, what negativity foments?

It’s too late in the day
To expect amends along the way
Power struggle has a tendency to hold sway
For those hooked, to remain in the fray

Vacillating mind craves to perhaps fill the void
With harmonious coexistence and altercations avoid
Would it be an overreach to long?
To someone in spirit and soul belong

Paradigm Shift

For lack of fulfilling the prerequisites
Decades passed without a referendum
Turning the paradise on earth
Into a turbulent long drawn conundrum

With roots emanating in gory partition riots
And in disposition of self-governing princely province
Sharing borders with either side of ethnic divide
By eventually acceding to India, trust the Maharaja did evince

Mired in hostilities over disputed border
Trysts with liberation and attempts to infiltrate,
The valley became the epicentre over which
The westerly nation dared to confront the Indian state

Trounced in the conflicts, not once but thrice
The neighbour, vowed to bleed us by a thousand cuts
Realising, in conventional warfare they weren’t a match
Asymmetric plans with expendable actors they hatched

Having to flee in wake of insurgency
Kashmir was now bereft of the pundits
Bilaterally the issue had be resolved, but
The talks failed despite several summits

The territory bears the ongoing scourge of terror
Tacitly as a state policy, exported from across the border
Human rights excesses and muscular domestic policy, some argue
While others blame the secessionist for the disorder

Ceasefire violations, bomb blasts, siege of the Taj
Even attack on the parliament, we did sustain
It was massacre of forty paramilitary personnel at Pulwama
That breached the threshold of tolerance and constraint

To avenge the dastardly attack, denouncing passive stance
The air force jets flew past the line of control
Pounding Jaish’s terror camp in a pre-emptive strike
Conveying a shift in paradigm for the nation to extol

Aiming to target military establishments, and a logistics installation
Counter retaliation was overt and in broad daylight
Though thwarted by vigilant Indian air force, but not before
Both countries lost fighter jets in an ensuing dog-fight

Conceding their intent was an act of aggression
That our bravado in carrying tactical strike could not deter
Questions were raised over our defence preparedness
In de-escalating and ceding the initiative forever