Essentials

ESSENTIALS

The loving unpremeditated kiss
The hidden caress in a friendly voice,
Abundance of a lover’s selfless bliss,
The journey undertaken by own choice.
The granite in unmitigated hope;
Determination in determined toil,
The firmness of the feet on the slope,
A loyal friend remaining ever loyal;
The courage of adolescence in travail;
Refusal to accept the dire defeat;
The grimness of the brave when they fail;
Reluctance in the gait in retreat
Are real stuff that make the human dreams;
Are nurseries of all the lofty schemes.

TEAR

TEAR

Something there is about a withheld tear,
Something much important yet unsaid,
Some message undefined and unclear,
Some urgent missive unheeded, unread.
Something there is about a tear unshed,
A vibrant sentiment unexpressed,
Or like a lethal wound which has bled
And filled the ins and outs are neatly dressed.
Or feeling inexpressible by words,
A saber which has not been yet unsheathed;
An acid
playing havoc with innards
Like toxic air inhaled and unbreathed.
There is something about an unshed tear,
Which may be full of promise or of fear

Star-kissed Dew

STAR-KISSED DEW

Ah! There is something magical, divine,
In the crystal, first born, star-kissed dew.
Alike untested, untouched super wine
Or virginity not yet broken through.
The night is done but dawn has not yet dawned.
The day is in but sun has not yet risen.
The leaves are all dew-laden, newly spawned.
The time is like ethereal plantain vision.
Soon the sun will rise and drops of dew,
Will turn into a leafy rivulet.
And this process without much ado.
The surface of the Earth will be wet.
Something there is, I often find in you
The fragile virginity of newborn dew.

SANNASAR

SANNASAR

On good earth’s jagged face this lovely spot
Devoid of human footprints, habitat
Of beauty, virgin–
like, so sensuous that
It leaves me all enraptured, overwrought.
Then I thus feverish on this paper jot,
Eulogies to this place in haunting verse,
And with its spotless virginity converse,
And punctuate with pause, dash and dot.
This breathless, undulating, heady place,
I visited once. It lives in memories,
I think of it and when, with noiseless grace
It hurtles me into daylong reveries.
My memories are mares and SANNASAR,
Is like a sharpened, stinging, tapered spur.

Backward Trail

BACKWARD TRAIL

I harbored thoughts of loving you but now,
The worldly things have stolen my attention.
The trapping of success which bestows,
A feeling of being there, love and passion
Concern me not the least. All desire
Of loving you has vanished. Every pore
Is continuously burning in the fire
Of living and thinking of you no more.
But sitting in my decorated room,
With trophies I have won, I can feel
A fearful feeling of impending doom.
And frantic spinning of the Time’s wheel.
Then feelings follow love’s backward trail
And all possessions looks so cheap and pale

LIFE IS FAIR

LIFE IS FAIR

My love for you is undemanding, simple
And you are hidden, in me, as desire.
And when you smile, your deeply etched dimple,
Starts, in me, a leaping, flaming fire.
Your love is simple undemanding too,
Like the liquid murmur of the river,
On which you ply the lover’s sleek canoe,
And like the river, is abundant giver.
Enough is what we give and what we get.
Of, what we give and get, we are fond.
No hopeless hopes, we cherish or abet,
No reaching for impossible beyond.
And as you comb and braid your lovely hair,
I look at you and feel that life is fair.

Self Respect

SELF RESPECT

My lips were parched with thirst, when I saw
A crystal watered river flowing fast.
I crawling went to it with heave and haw
My dried up soul—to its waters cast.
But nearing it, well- willed to sorrows drown
I noticed on its surface ripples dance
And manifold its impish charm enhance.
To me but to look like irritated frown.
On my arrival peeved and disturbed,
I sat then on its bank’s though mortified,
Deliberately all my cravings curbed,
And on its banks thirsty died.
With open arms, the doors that don’t receive
I enter not- Oh! life , I take your leave.

IMPROVISE OF SILENCE

IMPROVISE OF SILENCE

Leave your restless wanderings traveler, hark!
And quieten clamorous voices from within,
Which rise. O! listen, be attentive, keen
And what “Viyogi” says, O! traveler, mark.
O’er burdened with the word we call success,
Which world proclaims so loudly. Underneath
The very loudness lie some sounds. Beneath
Your breast is harmony within access.
So reach for it and listen, pay homage.
Not hurtling go to problems in bad taste,
Be patient, silence can with ease manage
All calamities which lay humans waste.
When you are faced with problems and carnage,
In silence meet them; not in clueless haste.

Consolation

 CONSOLATION

This world so full of such like wonders is
That soulful verses, words of mine et all,
My loves, my deep desires, longed for bliss,
Are like some child’s illegible scrawl
On walls of life. And every port and state
Has once been visited by some sailor past,
Who lived and died with gusto. And all great,
Unrivalled statues by late sculptors cast;
And every verse that matters has been writ;
And every battle has been lost ere won.
At heaven’s crowded gate repenting sit
That herein also I am the late one.
But one great consolation I have got,
I wrought with love, whatever I have wrought.

PATNI TOP RE-VISITED WITHOUT HER

PATNI TOP RE-VISITED WITHOUT HER

Tranquil, peaceful, calm, in solitude,
Birch and pine and fir trees stand in truce,
And when some vagrant wisps of wind intrude,
They sway and sigh and whisper. I deduce
That mighty storms all wrathful, flashing, rue
Have gnarled majestic trunks of sturdy trees,
And bent them double, made them rough and crude,
Though now they brooding stand in apparent peace.
Love, when I met you first, the woody lanes
Were the same. These everlasting veterans are
Bedecked with beauty of some fitful peace,
And stand in silence bearing aches and pains.
But where are you? Your absence leaves a scar,
What wrinkled, twisted, lifeless woods are these?

Visit to Patni Top With Her

VISIT TO PATNI TOP WITH HER

When hand-in-hand in lovely woods we roamed,
Of pines and firs and birches so serene,
We hugged and kissed and laughed; and now en-tombed
In memory lies this happy scene.
Was every nook and corner by us combed,
What heady moments, what wild vagrant mood
Was ours. This love-laden aptitude,
By lisping whispers of these veterans groomed.
Though gnarled by roaring winds, they brooding stand;
Time-honored, leafy cushions at their feet;
And pointed needles skywards in the air,
We hid in their shadows hand-in-hand.
You whispered this to me in that retreat,
“All things are lovely when my love is here”.

My Daughters

MY DAUGHTERS

Three fairies while asleep, while awake,
Three restless souls. These my daughters are.
And when engrossed in writing, for my sake,
They hold their restless questionings. And bar
Their hushed breathing, every sound is stilled,
But when I lift my head or leave my pen,
The muted silence is so quickly killed,
That cacophony breaks out there and then.
They query, what I wrote, what about,
And ask the meanings of the words,
These fair extensions of my soul, no doubt,
Are like the fluttering, singing, chirping birds.
I answer them and wonder, that one day,
They would, their youth attain, and go away.

AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY

AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY

My time had come and I was not so keen,
To leave this world-for, with all pomp and frill,
I had enjoyed its pleasures – and unseen
Were still to be enjoyed. Many still
Were trails which beckoned me with impish charm.
So I engaged old Time in deep debate,
To slacken Him me thought would do no harm,
And on some problems make him speculate.
I said “To hurry is a brazen waste.”
He looked befooled; I added with a nod,
”And if you must, then slowly, slowly haste.”
He chuckled, told me “Move with a prod.”
I didn’t argue, weep or make comment,
For Time, the hunter, brooks no argument.

Enchained

ENCHAINED

Enchained to a stranger and handcuffed

(As every man in life does feel some time),

I felt. My every query is rebuffed

So stubborn is this stranger in his prime.

And my afflicted mind in barricades

Of ignorance does fumble and argue,

Embarks upon its silent, fruitless raids

And shadows as realities I construe.

In meek allegiance wounded it retreats

Subservient, humiliated, in dismay,

To lick its wounds but in a flash it meets

The truth and then in wonder turns to say,

”In vain I struggled, made impassioned plea,

It, all the time was I, enchained to me”.

Kabir

KABIR

Unhindered by the limits of the language,

Unlettered poet, ignorant of script,

And alphabet, was this medieval sage,

But he his date with his destiny kept.

The language was his maid, meter slave,

And metaphors and similes balls of clay,

He kneaded them and wondrous outlines gave,

And on posterity holds ascetic sway.

To him ‘Vyogi’, Thakur** pay homage;

And Arjun Dev ji* followed his mystique.

His all- pervading shadow on this age,

I find in whatever poetic works, I pick.

Extractor of great song from worldly noise.

I wish, I had your felicity and poise.

Old Hunter

OLD HUNTER

Time, Old hunter, dexterous and adroit;

Like raw novices does not run or rush,

But stalks the prey with patience. On the quiet,

It moves and huddles in the bush.

The prey, oblivious of approaching doom

Thus hides and feels from danger safe and sound;

And likewise humans, when in limited room

Of understanding, complacency bound

Forget this wily hunter, who his self

has noiseless made to catch them unaware.

He finds them easy prey, engaged in pelf

And petty squabbles over land and ware.

It noiseless, deathless, endless, quietly moves

In plains and deserts on pre-destined groves.

BAREFOOT IN THE DEW

BAREFOOT IN THE DEW

Perhaps the sky was, not yet really blue,

Or may be, I was merely out for fun.

Perhaps, I had nothing else to do,

To celebrate the battles joined and won.

Perhaps, it was wind, the way it blew

Or may be, it was the absence of the sun.

Something there was, I neither know nor knew:

Some unsaid thing, when all is said and done!

I did it! Why did I do it? I, for one,

I neither have an inkling nor a clue

When in the middle of my morning run,

A patch of grassy meadow crossed my view,

I do not know if others did it too?

And yet I walked barefoot in the dew!

A TRUE FRIEND’S ADVICE TO BEAR HER LOSS

A TRUE FRIEND’S ADVICE TO BEAR HER LOSS

How true that grief can never bring her back,

why curse luck, wail her loss, berate

Her earthly absence? why not fill her lack,

By thoughts of moments spent with her?

Ah! fate Has taken her. You say, “All grief is black”,

It smears sacred moments spent with her,

You sympathise. Your presence in a blur,

Unsettles me and huddles in my shack.

I all anew bewail her grievous loss,

And ache and burn. My heart unheeding grieves.

How true is what you say but still my dear,

I try to banish grief but cannot pass.

And you, yourself are wiping with your sleeves

Your eyes, though telling, not to shed a tear.

Stolen Moments

STOLEN MOMENTS

One stolen moment from the worldly cares,

One wanton thought, one lone unhurried cruise,

One sensuous smile that beckons and ensnares

And lingers balm – like on some bleeding bruise.

Is dearer than all wealth and all repute

Which labored effort wins and men possess,

Indulge in ostentation and compute

The cost with genuine pride. Nevertheless

They find that all this ruthless drive has failed

To satisfy some vague but restless need,

One whispering melody which goes unhailed

Is irreparable loss to us indeed.

One longing kiss that lessens stress and strain

Is pregnant with more pleasure than all gain.

Balance

BALANCE

Keep perspective balanced fisherman

That you are tiny, sea is large and vast

And though in wonder look and see and scan

But keep the sails securely tied to mast;

And from its bowels earn your daily wage:

A piece of drift-wood, clump of drifting weeds

Will meet your needs. So let it mightily rage

And churning in its madness meet your needs.

Oh! just remember that your bold forays

Are pranks of children on its mightily breast;

And all the tempting sands on beachful bays

Were boulders once- now broken down to rest.

So humble; humble go and cast the line

To catch a fish or two on which to dine.

It Hurts

IT HURTS

It hurts, it hurts and sorely tortures me,

Whenever bitter truth, this message sends,

When we account for world’s inconsistency,

The list is headed by the names of friends.

Strangers have no power to create life

The island of privilege in plot,

They cannot hurt us deeply or placate

The deepest injuries of the heart.

To count them out of life is easy, but,

What pains us gravely, gets under the skin.

And what accounts to an unkindest cut

Is torment gifted by our kith and kin.

Where love is deepest, hurt can deepest be.

For, to our hearts, the strangers have no key.

Not Yet

NOT YET

I am out for nothing, you may think.

My actions are ill reasoned and ill thought.

My aimless life is hurtling to the brink

Of nothingness. Believe me, It is not.

I am out for, not yet, thought of schemes

Like how to carry water in a sieve,

Like how to tap the elfin sap of dreams,

Like how to learn to laugh, unlearn to grieve.

But if you find it hard to so believe

The choice is yours, I for one,

Would even say so much as by your leave

That you may let me think, it can be done.

For you are welcome to your own belief,

But leave me to my fun or to my grief.

The Cliff

THE CLIFF

The day I looked up from its base, the cliff

Appeared to be, highest peak of earth.

Unconquered, unencircled, beau as if,

Admiring its own Hottentotish girth.

Me thought, to climb and conquer it was hard

But as my wish to do something was strong,

I started climbing yard by fearsome yard

Because I think inaction to be wrong.

Yard by dangerous yard as I climbed,

Uncounted higher cliffs came in view

I felt my urge to climb was rightly timed Because

with sense of déjà vu I knew.

I wondered climbing, as the air cooled

How easily can the ignorant be fooled

UNPREMEDITATED WANT

UNPREMEDITATED WANT

When some unpremeditated want,

Superior to all needs and circumstance,

Confronts me shinning, then to it I grant

Unhindered passage. Let it then advance.

Like panthers are when wounded, though adroit,

So forgetful of skills and mindless cause,

Such havoc that they let the foe exploit

They spring upon their foe without a pause.

And all substantial things I ever did,

And every lilting song I did create,

Were all achieved when I was by it bid,

To follow it O God! and I reiterate.

That in its rare appearance I exult,

And love its buoyant movement and tumult.

Worldly Wares

WORLDLY WARES

I live surrounded by my worldly wares,

In wealth reside; this very fact I rue,

And look at all possessions. Furtive stares,

I throw at happiness but find no clue

To win one heady moment free of cares;

And feel it melting on my parching tongue;

To sing all lyrics that are still unsung;

And frolic unperturbed like mating pairs.

I see one laborer, then in genuine mirth,

When breaking stones, one moment he espies;

He wipes his perspiration from the eyes;

When sees his love and rolls on dusty earth:

My every moment with such pain is fraught;

I know that love is wealth, wealth is not.

FULL – THROATED SONG

FULL – THROATED SONG

How sad but true that unless grief is told,

Unnoticed, hidden in the heart remains,

And unless man is vocal, open, bold,

It feeds upon its vitals, daily gains.

Such strange hold on mortals, young and old,

So says ‘Viyogi’. And this slimly fiend

Enfeebles, sucks blood and leaves behind

A shell, but still it keeps the strange hold.

So beat the drum of grief, O! loudly beat,

In forceful tones embark upon the world

And let it soaring fly along the breeze,

And tell its woes once and then repeat.

And always keep your flag of pain unfurled –

No peace ‘Viyogi’ in the silence sees.

Joy

JOY

I happy happy like a fiddle fit,

Pirouette and to the beat of pleasure hum,

And throw my arms around you to submit,

To hurting hugs. And now that you have come,

No harm to tell of loathsome agonies ,

Which tortured and tormented your beloved:

To see the mynas kissing on the trees,

And I so lonesome – unkissed and unloved,

To write the letters filled with ironies,

Of circumstances, tear them up and blink,

The tears away to hide the miseries,

Lest you may not so cowardly me think.

But nestled in your arms,

I admit I don’t remember pain – not a bit.

Ambitious Men

AMBITIOUS MEN

Ambitious men, unbridled power seek,

How luckless, fatal wish is this not know,

Alexander, son of Philip, mighty Greek,

Did rise from dust and into dust did go.

And likewise Akbar and almighty Rome,

For fleeting moments, they, their fate belied,

With loud, defiant, warlike beats of drum,

But unfailingly in the end, they also died.

And great Ashoka’s bones now buried lie,

In the Ganges, under heaps of mortal bones,

And into dust are turning by and by,

All kings and sparkling scepters, priceless thrones.

So men, who seek unbridled power must,

In time, by Time be trampled into dust.

Temple Bells of Jammu

TEMPLE BELLS OF JAMMU

Oh! temple bells of Jammu pray roll on,

And from my feelings echoing, then return.

This life is rough and tough and really stern,

So for the sake of harassed self toll on.

I, humbly humbly on you now call on,

Be ringing, tolling, pains to assuage,

And keep me company for my earthly age ,

To have a chance to manage and toil on.

Oh! like the days of yore, I falls on

Your sweetest notes to consultation give

And agonized soul, a bit relieved,

To make it thus survive and stroll on.

Oh! temple bells of Jammu, pray toil on

For when I hear you, all my doubts are gone.

FLOODS

FLOODS

Just beyond my comprehension lurks

A thought, demanding some befitting words,

And teases, pleases, tantalizes, works

Unknown to me. A shepherd tending herds.

Of poems unwrit and melodies unvoiced

And on the fence it prowling, still remains

Unwarned, lovely unsung, unrejoiced,

Till “Enter Thou”, He lovingly ordains.

Then feather-like it falls upon my psyche.

To push aside the boulders of restraint,

And hurtles on the trail so feather-like,

So effortless and without one complaint.

That words like torrents come in pouring showers,

And lovely lyrics echo in the bowers.

Walls

Walls

‘Viyogi’ lanes of Jammu negotiates

And finds around him walls, walls and walls.

Then wonders what stories and what fates

Are lurking or are brewing , Mating calls

Of unadmitted passion, smarting burns

Of wounding, vile sentences; waging tongues,

Of hibernating lust or purest songs.

He keeps on thinking till he inward turns.

And wonders if at all he wants to know

What lies behind these walls, Questionings

Are stilled and smoothened is his furrowed brow,

He lets them secrets be the secret things.

‘T is good to let the hiding tales decide

Their moments to emerge ,Let them hide

BUILD MY CASTLES IN THE AIR

BUILD MY CASTLES IN THE AIR

Once I tried to walk my dreams,

And put my mind to only flesh and bone.

And overt physicality of schemes,

But after a few steps, I fell down.

All my muscles, sinews, nerves and will

Were powerless to put me on my feet,

I tried and tried and tried and tried but still

I found myself squarely on my seat.

All my efforts, having all my sweat,

Which I had pre-invested were futile,

But I had learnt that frustration and fret

Are never helpful even for a while.

Hence I started dreaming then and there

And bent to build my castles in the air.

Words (2)

WORDS
(French Version translated by Anne-Sophie Marie)

Viyogi dit: vos mots avec soin choisissez
Car ils viennent vêtus de sens insoupçonné
Prenez donc bien garde à leurs habits présumés
Ils peuvent être cruels, leur air édulcoré;
Inflexion étourdite ou changement de ton
Accentuation imprévue, pause imprudente
Causent de mortels malentendus.
Les mots sont Enclins à des interprétations inexactes.
Ils peuvent pétrifier, mutiler, faire pleurer,
Ou blesser bien plus profondément que les piques.
Ou quand ils sont doux, faire doucement soupirer
Toute une vie, d’un souffle léger, euphorique…
Alors gardez bien leur importance à l’esprit,
Ils peuvent être cruels…mais aussi si gentils.

Words

WORDS

Says “Viyogi’, choose your words with care,

They come in unsuspected meanings garbed,

So of their apparent apparel beware,

For when their sweetened look, can be barbed.

An inadvertent inflexion, change of tone,

Or unintended stress, careless pause,

Can deadly misunderstandings cause,

To misinterpretations words are prone.

The Words can cripple, maim, make you cry,

Or injure deeper than the lashing knives,

Or with sweet nothings make you sweetly sigh,

With light euphoric breathing, all your lives.

So keep their consequences in your mind,

They can be cruel. Also can be kind.

River Sage Sonnet

RIVER SAGE

Chenab, with sudden twist and roar,

Makes a perfect arch and flows along

To do a similar thing just north of “Gaur”

And floods my senses with a sensual song.

At Ambaran it southward turns and goes

To ancient town Akhnoor and seems to say,

“Have I put some thought unto your brows:

For you are lost and I am on my way.

Why swim against the currents of your life?

Why not to take the path of least resistance

And like me negotiate the stress and strife

To add some color to your blank existence?”

I wonder at the truth of what it says!

Is it a river or a sage?