Feb 9, 2011

Prayag: The land that calls millions, but why?

The Prologue

Even in that chilling cold, I am sure I saw a trickle of sweat on my Friend’s neck, as I heard that Saadhu screaming at me “Kya kar raha hai”. While he was pacing towards us, I couldn’t decide if we should pack the camera first or simply run away. Clad in his saffron dhoti, a blanket and bhasma (ash made by burning bones) on his forehead, the Sadhu paced a long walk from Sangam ghat to our position, which diminished some of his Anguish. “Kya karoge iska” he scowled at my friend. Amit meekly answered. “Kuch nahi, mujhey accha lagta hai bas.”

The Sadhu, moments before he saw us and got agitated.

Jan 28, 2011

Two people at a time

It was fine spring, a Saturday afternoon. Yet it was different than other holidays: without movies, without friends, without novels, without home. I was not in my room, not in a shopping mall, not in a movie seat, but in the waiting lounge of Saroj Hospital. Appearing marginally excited from outside, I knew I was severely overawed and praying within. On the other side of that hard stared door, a hoard of careful hands was working on a small womb to bring out a yet genderless child. Bhabhi was undergoing a Caesarean operation. Mom, dad, Bhaiya, his 3 friends, Bhabhi’s parents and I had two things in common: we were terrified, we were praying.
Shifting positions on same couch since last night, I was hungry, thirsty and sleep-deprived, yet attentive and praying. I stole a glance at mom and saw the same fear in her eyes that was in mine. There shouldn’t be another miscarriage. For better, she will deliver a living baby. For worse, this will be my second stillborn nephew/niece and probably the last attempted.

Jan 27, 2011

The Ghost on the moon

On my cosy cushion, moon in my vision

The world moves in circles, then your ghost encircles

Tips of my hair, my skin so fair

They rise in fear, it’s white from despair

This moon has a face, a legend of disgrace

That silhouette on window, I wish I could undo

Your eyes lurk and stare, to that mantle where

I’ve buried those links, my diary your cufflinks

But I’ve travelled too far, on feet and in my car

Those trees are rotten, those pillars forgotten

But where’s morning, why isn’t it dawning?

Oh moon deface, and return my sham grace


Dec 17, 2010

As I Die...

In flames I lie, resting staring at sky
while around me, my kin squint & cry
the harbour away confers light and sun
but skin of my eyes is already burnt

These tears around, these sighs profound
as my wooden pyre nears the ground
These sorrows ripple waves of moans
as fire and oil melt my bones

These wooden logs might deceive my age
my people believe, I was young for this stage
As these unfulfilled pledges yell
my roasted spine burns to dust & fell

My family & my love have emotions arose
as my thighs dissolve and logs depose
A son, a brother, a lover burns
along, the pyre of hope succumbs

And finally my head bursts open
seeing sockets of my eye, others would have frozen
but Sun is off harbour and no one’s present
and I burn, to dust of my reminiscent


Nov 16, 2010

Death on Paper

The surreal words that never were
from eloquent ink that never was
were read by moving misty eyes,
those salty beads wetting skin & glass

Minced with spices of adjectives
soaked in gravy of passives & actives,
Garnished with metaphors of fragrances,
went unserved - those aromatic sentences

The dawn of reality torched the plot,
chagrin of dreams drenched the page
weight of promises broke the tip,
prowess & rage died with age

Angels that used to whisper in ears
Manticores roaring in sandy towns
Wizards that peeped in glowing goblets
marooned the mind, throwing curse & frowns

And as death of creator draws nearer
hovers the futility of that sinful hope
to might of reality, fantasies succumb
words hang dead-unread on destiny’s rope


Nov 7, 2010

The Gang of Enchanters

It’s 3:50 am, a cold November morning. Yet the well lit large room is already packed. On the colourful stage sits a Mr Greyhaired with checkered shirt and jaw-cart resembling early Neanderthals. The other old man sitting nearest to the stage must be in his late 70s. He is wearing a black fake fur ear cap above his fragile shoulders where a marigold garland hangs. The third contemporary, sandwiched between the stage and the side wall is older and thinner with a visible jaw-less jawline. He is wearing a Nehru cap above a white kurta. The remaining three comrades complete the bandwagon of enchanters. Around them is a room full of people: old, young, men, women, kids, eloquent, sluggish, mirthless and chirpy.
Notice the fake fur among marigold garland and moving chimtaa

Oct 30, 2010

The right time

Beep.Beep.Beep. The low key sound seemed to hammer in my medulla. Because that was the only sound I could hear, or the most crucial one, I didn’t know then. Having stood it for what seemed eternity, my mind finally came back to life and I tried feeling my body of which I knew nothing since I don’t know when. Not much later I felt, like I felt never before, the power and credibility of the Hindu concept of Inner eye. Even with my carnal eyesight failed (bandaged or banned, I couldn’t realise), I could create animations to be seen & felt by my anima. As I patrolled my body, I found that my skin was rough, worn out, anointed, draped, sewed and even open at various points. It was impossible - and later I realised - unimportant to try finding out what happened. So I moved inwards...

Oct 17, 2010

Another life ... another waste

As Chagrin paves way & fancies don’t weigh
your wings of ice melt when burning sun is felt
when surreal succumbs and real triumphs
the wound deepens, the belief steepens

Visions are miraculous, reality ferocious
your world is a mime, a dozen a dime
absent is withal and obligations fatal
the energy subsides, the fate decides

As betrothal shapes & melancholy craves
your persona begets as anima regrets
When wings are severed, limbs butchered
the interior drools, the exterior rules

Then epilogue nears, an ode to fears
Your carnal erodes and platonic reloads
the frame collapses, the gravestone relaxes
you visit often, but see yourself forgotten ...


Sep 16, 2010


भौहें तनुं कोप है पर अखियन माँ सोक है
चिंता परचंड है, परतिग्या अखंड है |

यौवन घड़ी लंघ चली, नृप सुधी बड चली
काहें राजकुमारी अब बाबुल दुलारी है |

तज गृह प्रजा राज, त्यागा नृपता का ताज
ठाना घनघोर प्रण, वर पाने पे चखुंगा
अन्न |

सारे काज तज, डर हरी नाम भज
रानी पटरानी सारी द्वार में पधारी
हैं |

गजरों के फूल देखो, सैनिकों का शूल देखो
गहरी अंधियारी हर जगह छविसारी है |

डूम डम डूम डम- राजाजी का है हूकम
वर खोजो एक, नेक धरम
करम |

ज्ञानि हो व दानी हो , न वो अभिमानी हो
कुमारी जी को राजी हो, स्वयं अभिलासी
हो |

युवकों की डेरी होगी, सपनो की फेरी होगी
कलेजे में शीत होगी, राजाजी की जीत
होगी |

डूम डम डूम डम, कुमारी का है ये प्रण
न करूँगी विवाह , नृप ना ही चखेगा अन्न |

नृपता का हो मरण, सेना का हो पतन
ठाना है येही, ये है मेरा वचन ||

अभिषेक मिश्रा

Frog in the well-unwell

The world for a frog is its well. The world for an ant is its hole and the world for a man is just the world. But we have failed the world by understanding it as a 3 year old understands a Rubik’s cube: colourful, full of permutations and conquerable. what remains ununderstood is the logic of springs and pivots that constitute this cube and make it what it is. The logic and functioning of these springs has remained covert, disguised and unnoticeable since eternity. The few who unveiled or tried to comprehend the magic of this cube were too mired, too confused – or rarely – too enlightened to share their revelations.

Sight, sound, smell and skin are the validators of this cosmic illusion. The layers are countless and the architect is unknown, often debatable. The hand of god, nature and science create the most impeccable arm wrestling match going all wrong... it is conceived by validators after all. If Bhagvad Gita, evolution, and Zeitgeist are all contenders, what after all is the real world?

The beauty of this conundrum lies in finding its solution. The reality lies beneath umpteen natural, illusionary and man-made layers of magic realism. The deeper one digs, the farther and stranger seems the reality. Few have the endurance to dig and stand that deeper and remain unscathed by the force and eloquence of these springs—or keep the corrupting well water from entering eyes and ears.

But like the springs of that colourful cube keep reminding the user of their existence through every movement, scaling and in every combination, the world follows a similar protocol—it keeps reminding us of the reality that lies within, spilling some beans from its sacks of creation, maintenance and destruction.

Why do prayers work? How every religion from Egyptians, Mayans, Catholics to Islamic have chronicled similar prophecies? Why Vedas are yet not understood and flawless? Did Roman demigods walk the earth? Are Big Bang and Darwinism a prequel to Mutation & Superhumanity? Is Noetic science another sham from Anitchrists? Are Aliens believable and approachable? In what lies the elixir of immortality: Science or Religion? Are all these questions right? Have they grown naturally or have been seeded consciously? Are they the springs?

The trick lies not in finding the answer but in maintaining the questions for they are metallic cobwebs around the springs, a perfect alibi. The metal is impregnable and human consciousness is currently too fragile to tickle it. Lost in our sensory and carnal delights, our worlds are yet to grow over seals and holes and moles and roles. The architect (often confused rightly? with God) is enjoying the show as its subjects live in imaginary walls while real walls of fortress lies unscathed, unrealised and dry.

So how far can you stick out your tongue and smell beyond the walls you know as world ... frog??