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

Conscious Drift

Carrying dark clouds as a sheath underneath
Ready to burst at their seam
The ashen sky’s thunderous lightening
Pronounces a reflection of life’s impending theme

Warn it does of a punitive strike
For resisting to seek a safe shelter
Providence is guiding, heed its call
Rather than running helter-skelter

Seamless as seasonal changes occur
Transitions ought to follow suit
Stagnant waters gather moss
Little drift may lend to new channels en-route.

These aren’t just passing clouds
Pour they will to heart’s content
Lashing the fragile state of mind and
Sullying peace till its last remnants

Abort the wretched journey, long endured
In gloomy, damp, inclement climate
Pastures abound where sun shimmers
Just take that leap of faith, don’t procrastinate

Uncouth Beliefs

With the ushering of every New Year
My first instinct is to scramble for the Tarot
In a bid to allay hidden fears
By gaining insights into the unseen tomorrow

Life on the cusp of major transformation
Headlines of some intuitive experts scream
Various transits at cross-purposes in constellation
Of impediments others caution and shatter dreams

Natal charts, position of Sun and Moon
True, the study of celestial bodies is a science
Few trust the interpreter of fortunes
Many a sceptic reject from their conscience

Every word of the Soothsayer I closely scan
As if it’s the gospel truth
Trying to find resonance with life, wherever I can
Naysayers disregard and find my beliefs uncouth

Aren’t these predictions mere guidance?
To chart through complex trappings that life bodes
Foretold by tapping into the cosmic influence
But the path you actually tread, determines how life unfolds

Brewing Storm

Brewing of storm
The whole year long
Precipitating into a whirlwind
Strewning sand particles along

Much akin to an upheaval in life
Leaving adrift on the shores
Crumbled livelihood hope of
A jittery soul caught in the throes

Isn’t the sea of Life
Supposed to have tidal waves?
Weak succumb to the troughs
Surmounting the course is for the braves

Change is inevitable and permanent
Never resist or find it odd
Live up to the challenge
Subsistence is guaranteed by God

Unrelenting in their pursuit of succour
Never letting out a rant
They climb and fall from atop a mountain
Take a cue from the army of ants