Categories
Poetry (English)

The Street Light

The street light flickers,
Yellow black yellow black …
The still pattern moves on
And with it, around it,
Flies and insects
Battering again and again against
The flickering lamp.
The glass; they curse it,
For it is a hurdle, a screen.

A little girl watches
From her window,
The flickering light,
Yellow black yellow black …

A young woman takes timid steps,
Afraid of the dark and night,
Gets more frightened
When someone passes by.
A dog is barking.
She tries to revise in mind
All in defence class, she had learnt,
But the tongue instead, prays.
She finds some relief in
The dog’s bark.
She smiles, he wags his tail.
The light flickers, flickers …
The dog suddenly howls,
Perhaps, is kicked.

The little girl shuts the window
And runs to her mother
Crying

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (English)

I Saw Love

I saw love sprouting in
The ocean of red fishes
Blue lilies, white wishes

Roots hiding in the water
Green leaves little, little drops
Sun casted shadow moves, never stops

Dust and dew on cliff trials
Two sets of footprints
Songs whisper slowly, echo sprints

Flowers at the graves of jasmine
Gun powder marches through air
Fear served on each plate fair

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

फिर हवाओं में

फिर हवाओं में वही आवाज़ सुनाई देती है
वही आवाज़ जो भीड़ में भी तन्हाई देती है

जैसे बुझने से पहले लौ कुछ तेज़ दहकती है
कि ज़मीं पर गिरती पत्तियां अंगड़ाई लेती हैं

निकहत तो आती है‌ हवा के हल्के झोंकों से
आंधी बस चमन-ओ-बाग़ तबाह कर देती है

चमकते सूरज की गर्मी से उसका क्या लेना
वो तो लाश-सी किसी मदफ़न में लेटी है

सुनसान गलियां डरा देती हैं आज भी उसे
हर चीख़ में उसे अपनी चीख़ सुनाई देती है


پھر ہواؤں میں وہی آواز سنائی دیتی ہے
وہی آواز جو بھیڑ میں بھی تنہائی دیتی ہے

جیسے بجھنے سے پہلے لو کچھ تیز دہکتی ہے
کی زمیں پر گرتی پتیاں انگڑائی لیتی ہیں

نکہت تو آتی ہے ہوا کے ہلکے جھونکوں سے
آندھی بس چمن-او-باغ تباہ کر دیتی ہے

چمکتے سورج کی گرمی سے اسکا کیا لینا
وہ تو لاش-سی کسی مدفن میں لیتی ہے

سنسان گلیاں ڈرا دیتی ہیں آج بھی اسے
ہر چیخ میں اس اپنی چیخ سنائی دیتی ہے


© Muntazir
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Categories
Poetry (English)

In The Yards

If purity, serenity, peace were a face,
What visage would all the brushes paint?
A little girl smiling,
At the edge of forests
Or a lady at the horizon,
Rising with the sun or the
Old woman with wrinkled face, who
Sits in the backyard with her grandson,
Telling him to feed the birds
When she will be no more.

Purity, Serenity, Peace.
Peace. Peace.
Close your eyes for a moment,
Forget where you are
And imagine a white cloud –
Hanging there, there, up there –
Far away from your reach,
But still you raise your hands
And stand taller on your feet,
Try to catch it, touch it.

The little girl, the lady,
The wrinkled old woman.
Are they three or one?
Who knows! Who knows…
But, all eyes stop to see the cloud
Which floats so high, so heavenly.
All eyes witness the sunrise
At the horizon, so heavenly
And birds chirp each dawn,
In the yards.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (English)

Soraya Sing A Song

Soraya sing a song,
The world is bleak and dark and dim.
Soraya sing a song.

From this path, I walk on thrice,
Early morning, noon, late night,
I see you sitting alone,
In your thatched lonely home.
Your little face, at the window
Your father last summer mended,
Looks now so dry so pale so dull.
The wind not flows in your direction
Yet the dust reaches your eye,
For I see them so swollen red.
The window will break any day,
Door too needs some nails and paint.
Soraya O Soraya
Who will mend your little roof
This summer, my little kid?
For I heard in whispering voices,
Your father died in detention camp.
My old eyes had witnessed him walking,
With toddler feet on the land you walk.
Late Ali had called his wife for help, When your grandma’s water had broke.
But the ravenous water took
Away the parchments of his freedom.

Soraya O Soraya
The wrath of water gulped in such
Many many lives.
Silence its anger Soraya
With your sweet voice.
Soraya sing a song.

I see each day tears
In your smoke filled eyes,
When you struggle while making bread,
When you wrestle for your life.
The task is too big oh girl
For your little tender hands.
So many months have passed
Soraya not returned your Ammijaan.
At the outskirts of city
Where your mother worked as labourer,
On an old wrecked tree
On its crumbling branches
Her veil her clothes are seen swaying,
At nights her cries are heard.
Some say her body was preyed on
By human vultures.

Soraya O Soraya
These vultures these wolves,
No! these humans in heinous flesh,
Pollute each second innocent birds.
Their thirsty laughs kill such many
Tormented cries.
Soraya externalise their pain
In heart wrenching notes high.
Soraya sing a song.

This winter you will turn Soraya
Into an angel of seven.
In a lonely house crumbling down,
With ration at its end,
Minimal clothes tattered threaded
Somehow cover your pale skin.
The four walls breathing it’s last,
Soraya sadly mirror your breaths.
The quite trees bare branch,
Soraya reflect your silence.
The whole village whole world,
Soraya is wrapped in this sadness.
Not many days are left now
The flame will any night burn out.

Soraya O Soraya
Before the last night comes,
Before the dark veil falls down,
To millions of Sorayas,
Send some hope, a souvenir.
Soraya sing a song

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Short Prose

A Withered Flower

She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years, such a long time. It passed like two centuries, in a jiff. Each minute burdened her soul and months passed unnoticed. The nights refused to pass and days kept sliding. Flowers withered and fell and withered. Dogs wailed and sighed and wailed. She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years and her anklets tinkled in the empty room. Hands waved in front of the white mirror, but it reflected only white walls, the walls which refused to scream. They were silent. Silent as a deserted house. She lived in a house, longing for a home. Two years and her arms ached to carry a beating heart.

The milk she had kept for boiling, over the gas-stove, rises and rises and flows down all over. The smell reaches her through the passage. It makes her feel nauseated. She had never liked this smell. Was it because of this disgust of boiled milk’s smell that her breasts are dry? But she loved to drink milk. Her daughter would have loved it too. Why was she snatched away from her? She was not dead. She herself had felt her little heart, rising and falling with each breath. Yes, she was not dead. But they, they never listened to her. They told her that her flower was withered and they buried it under the ground. She stood up, untied the anklets from her feet and threw them negligently over the table, where they  failed to land. Lost in another world, she blindly moved towards the kitchen, through the hall. It was empty, like the rest of the house, but she moved with such an effort as if she was making her way through loads of stuff. The more she tried to remove them from her way, the more they blocked her passage.

She felt a wetness touch her feet. She looked down, and a silent scream choked her throat. The white tiled-floor was all covered with blood, red human blood, and it was making her feel nauseated. She felt sick. Her eyes followed the course of blood, but what she saw was more than she could ever take. On the gas stove, in her own kitchen, boiling in a black rusted pot, was her daughter – formless, featureless, only a piece of flesh – boiling. From it were flowing  bloodstreams, ceaselessly through her entire house, painting the white walls red, making her house a home. The silent room echoed laughter, laughter of hundreds of masked doctors. They had once snatched her baby, she won’t let them do it again. She ran towards the pot and in the hot boiling blood, which had now turned black, inserted both her hands.

Her baby. Her baby was now in her arms, she kept it on her breast and felt her warm heart melting. For the first time in two years, a teardrop fell out of her eyes. She had screamed and kicked and yelled, when they had snatched her two years back. She wanted to cry but tears never showed up. She thought her heart was stone, but today the stone melted. She wept and sang and smiled and the whole house, which was silent for the past two years, echoed her voices and rejoiced. She kissed the flesh, again and again all over, till she started recognising her baby’s features, her little face, hands and feet. It was the happiest day of her life. She wanted to dance. She will dance. She ran to get her anklets. She bowed down to pick them up from the floor, but the beads had scattered. The music had stopped.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Short Prose

One Day

She was not sure about where she had gone wrong. She looked at the drawing closely, added few strokes here and there, darkened few areas and added little more details, but she was still not satisfied with it. Where had she gone wrong? It was irritating. She wanted to do crazy things. She wanted to throw it away with great disgust, she wanted to paint it black, she she just wanted to destroy it in some cruel way to satiate her anger. She had worked the entire week on that piece, but it was perhaps the worst she had made in her entire career. Whoever looked it, no doubt went off the boundaries in praising it, but in every praise, in each word of appraisal she heard a mocking satire, she saw faces laughing at her, telling her what a failure she was. She wanted to scream at them, she wanted to scream at everyone. Everything, she thought, was making fun of her. She realised how the yellow of the walls of the studio matched with the colour of her dress. She now, on looking closely at the walls saw how the pattern engraved, instead of adding any beauty, gave the room an ugly look. She was surprised at this, as she herself had suggested this pattern to be engraved on the walls last year. Now, it repelled her so badly. She wanted to run away from it. She wanted to run away from everything. Each known face scared her to death. She wanted to shift to some distant land where no one would recognise her, where her name will be just some ordinary name. There she would colour her skin green and lie undiscovered on fresh grass or would paint her lips blue and plant innumerable kisses on the vast sky, unseen from the worldy eyes. She would paint herself brown and would drown herself in the mud. Perhaps some day, some potter would collect her to make toys for little kids and she would get dispersed in thousand different villages. She would paint herself yellow and would dance amid the daffodils. Perhaps the bees and butterflies will also dance with her. Perhaps those little creature would detect some trace of sweetness in her which was long lost. Lost. How much she has lost. How many she has lost. Were they never meant to be hers or she has simply lost them? Or is it she who is lost? She will run away, she will run away from everything, to a world where the sun never sets, where the nightingale sings eternally; to a world where she would sing with the thrush, flow with the rivers, cry with the moon, and smile with the stars. Will they accept her as their companion? Or will they too repel her? Will they too leave her? Will she ever find a world where she would live peacefully, where she would be loved eternally. Love. How beautiful this emotion is. How pure, how serene. She has always felt like the child who tries to catch the flash of light falling on the wall. The moment he thinks he has caught hold of it, the flash moves away and he keeps on running behind it. She too is running, running since ages. Where? She knows not. But she knows that one day she will be able to get hold of that flash, one day she would reach its source itself.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (English)

They Are Called Rose

They are called rose
And are treated like a rose.

Plucked from the gardens,
Shoved forcefully into pockets.
(Thorns are there,
but the hands are not human.)

Their smell is devoured on insanely,
Sucked out of all sweetness.
The petals stripped out one by one,
Only to be crushed by the
Lovers’s fist and
Blown away to be trampled.

The dry sepals shamefully try
To cover the bare receptacle.
Helpless yellow hairs cry out
For help, they waver.
Many eyes see, lips smile,
“Aww lovely Rose,
You are planted to be plucked.”
Mercilessly the hands play
With the pure pristine parts.

With a refreshed happy whistle,
Thrown neglectly on roads.
The well-cultured dispose them
Nicely in bin carts.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

दर-ब-दर

दर-ब-दर जो भटकती रही उम्र-भर
जब हुआ खत्म उसका जहां में सफर
किसी मस्जिद की चौखट पे थी वो मिली
फूल मुरझा के भी वो मुरझाया न था
नूर ऐसा था जैसे सहर की कली
रंग उजला न था पर थी पाकीज़गी
नील अंबर सी चादर में लिपटी पड़ी
कई बेनाम शामों सी ढल वो गई
शाम सी ढल गई जो कभी थी सुबह
दयार-ए-काफ़िर में रिश्तों से जकड़ी हुई
एक गुमनाम जीवन वो जीती रही
उसकी क्या गलती थी क्या था उसका गुनाह
क्यों वो तपती रही क्यों पिघलती रही
गर नहीं चाहा उसने दिखाना जहां को
कितना खूबसूरत खा़लिक़ ने बनाया था उसको
क्यों अपनों के कदम पीछे हटने लगे
उसके पर्दे पर उंगलियां क्यो उठने लगी
फ़ज्र ज़ुहर अस्र मग़रिब इशा की अज़ान
सब वो सुनती रही पर न कुछ कर सकी
उन पलों में कैसे हर पल वो घुटती रही
आँसू भी तो न सकती थी वो दिखा
झूठी मुस्कुराहट से सिलकर वो होंठ
बस सिसकती रही बस सिसकती रही
कौन अंसार है आज के दौर में
उस‌ मुहाजिर को क्यों कोई देता बसर
दर-ब-दर वो भटकती रही उम्र भर
जब हुआ खत्म उसका जहां में सफर
किसी मस्जिद की चौखट पे थी वो मिली

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

शजर-ए-दुनिया

ये रात गुज़र जाएगी कल कौन जाने
उम्र के बाकी हैं कितने पल कौन जाने

कैफ़िय्यत-ए-हयात-ओ-नफ्स ताहिर हो
उल्फ़त-ए-दुनिया है तिलिस्म हल कौन जाने

आफताब बन सको तो रौशन है ज़माना
पराई चमक पर माहताब का बल कौन जाने

नील-सा निकलो जो बयाबां से तो बात भी है
वगर्ना वीरानों में सूखे पड़े नल कौन जाने

मुहब्बत पाकीज़ा वही है जो ख़ुदा से हो
इश्क़ की आग में जलना है तो जल कौन जाने

शुआ-ए-ज़र-ओ-आस ज़िक्र-ए-अल्लाह से है
शजर-ए-दुनिया में क्या रखा है फल कौन जाने

हर गाम पर फ़रेब है इस सफर में मुसाफिर
फितरत है मुनाफ़िक़ का छल कौन जाने

एक कैद है दुनिया ये मरसिया है जिंदगी
सजी है बिखरे अशआरो से ग़ज़ल कौन जाने

© Muntazir
Picture Credit