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

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Short Prose


She moved ahead slowly, taking a step or two carefully, lest she would frighten the squirrels and they will run away. Only if she could get a little closer, but the path was covered with dry leaves. She liked it not to crush them under her feet. That voice! How can she inflict such pain on the little leaves. Dry leaves, they always attract her. While strolling here and there, in the morning, noon and evenings or even while going to or returning from somewhere, she has this habit of picking up fallen dry leaves. She would pick them up, move her fingers slowly over the patterns on the lamina, feeling it, absorbing it and then put it down carefully at the foot of some big tree. Dry leaves. Fallen dry leaves. How beautiful they are. Once lush green, they danced with the winds, rustling, swaying. Sequined with pearls, adorned with flowers, they floated high, like a queen, in the air. Now, on the ground, slimed with mud, dried and withered, they are crushed, while someone negligently steps on them to praise some newly formed bud. She hunched down, sat in the little clearing and picked up a red leaf. Her fingers were tossing it over, making random lines and circles on it, while she herself was drowning in the deep circles of memories, dark impressions which had wilted her, withered her.

She hunched down, sat in the little clearing and picked up a red leaf. She could hear them, calling her, searching her. And here she was hiding in this little clearing in the mid of these thorny bushes. She sat quietly trying to suppress her giggles, when anyone of them passed from there. There were many leaves and little wild flowers. She started playing with them, forgetting entirely that she was playing something else, while the rest of the children too forgot her, young as they were, as soon as some movie began. Her little fingers carefully picked up the yellow and red flowers from the ground and tried to fix them in the braid. She would adorn herself and would surprise everyone. With the red and yellow flowers against her swarthy skin and olive green frock she looked heavenly. Carefully she emerged out from the hiding, running zealously towards the home, excited as she was, to surprise them all. The afternoon road was quiet and sun had enveloped everything in a lazy heat. As a ripple breaks out in silent waters, she ran with little steps. Redness sprouted its branches on her angelic visage. She was a bud, half opened, about to bloom into a full flower. But suddenly the sun drowned in the darkest of waters, the yellow and red flowers fumed into black ashes, the gleam of her eyes got lost in some ghoulish hollow. The petals shattered, the bud would never bloom. Covered in olive green tatters, she crawled to reach her home, blood dripping down from between her thighs, leaving behind traces, traces of …

A tear drop fell on the little red leaf, and settled on the dry surface like a glistening pearl. A squirrel which had came very slowly near her, finding her perfectly still and lost, and was about to snatch the leaf from her hands, at the fall of the tear, got really frightened and in no time ran away from there. The hasty movements of the squirrel forced her to laugh, but the laughter only deepened her pain. The fear of the squirrel reminded her more intensely of the black day and a sudden outburst of tears wrapped her. She sobbed and cried, tears flowed freely, endlessly, but at the same time she felt a strange lightness. Something which she had not felt since. The tears had washed the little red leaf, it was dry still, but was dazzling brightly under the sun.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

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
Picture Credit

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

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