Archive for the ‘childhood’ Category

i am a poet

November 16, 2017

i am a poet

of things past

some lost in angst

some in laughs

brought out by an urge

to recall to the last

comma and fullstop

of what happened

neither slow

nor fast

for you dear reader

to read

not judge

a life lived

different than your lot

so let it be

till the next thought

nudges the cobwebs

of the mind

moving the fingers

to write

yet another story

in another time

till it is

ordained

to become

a future lost

in another post

as a poem new

.

.

.

.

lahore – 00:40 pm

16-11-2017

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till the next call

November 5, 2017

i am alone

every day on the road

the madness

called road rage

manifest all around me

traffic careening insanely

my cocoon of the car

at least apparently

giving safety

and i smile

while around me

so many left at the mercy

of a God

seemingly merciless to them

whose will they are told it was

and then i recall

climbing the stairs to an office

to meet three kids

whose parents were burnt

by a frenzied mob

in a brick kiln

in 2014

vacant eyes looked at me

accusatory expressions

of mistrust and maybe hate

for we represented all they

‘have not’

i shuddered

they were thinking

what i think

every time a caller says

may i ask about Gul?

and in that microcosm of time

we were one

maybe the middle one

the five centuries old girl sonia

sensed it

for she smiled

he is not here to reopen our wounds

he knows our hurt is his!

and we though alone in ourselves

were one for that moment in time

i saw kids in that room

not of 11, 9 and 5

but three lives

at whom life had thrust

the mantle of adulthood

in the body and mind of

children at an age

when Ben 10, Tom & Jerry

and cartoon network

should take their time

not someone asking about

death!

forgotten, forlorn, shattered

playthings in the hands of society

which plays with them

not puts playthings in their hands

and so it ended

Shama, Shahzad, Suleman, Sonia, Poonam, Gul, I and a five month foetus in the mother’s womb

together yet alone

forgotten

except to talk of the horror of the day

once again

and the next instant

a cup of tea

good bye

till the next call

.

.

.

lahore

05/11/2018 – 18:00 hours

lahore

the reading

November 26, 2016

the essence of piousness

his beard flowing in the wind

all white with few strands

of black to show

he was once young

and the ustani aunty

piousness epitomized

who took pains with the girls

as much as the bearded one did

with the boys

even the aunties would ask them

to correct their reading

of the book revealed

so long ago

read duly corrected

unfollowed except to the classes

where the show was about

of who had the more expensive one

lucky were the kids they said

whose house the maulana came to

to teach them that which

between bismillah and aamin

was all that would matter

to be forgotten the next day.

and how great the ustani was

to agree to take the girl to teach

and in her own home too.

little did the kids know

these visits by the exalted molvi

always corrected by an elder to

say moulana sahib

as if this made any difference in the

impish minds of the kids.

or the going to the ustani

the elders always adding “gee”

when she would find it convenient

to teach the girl alone

and then one day while

reading the text divine

the teachers reached across

and kissed the cheek

by way of a shahbash

and benignly smiled

or patted the back of the neck

caressing slowly as the boy faltered

in his reading, to the touch

while with the other hand

they made it a point

to openly scratch between the legs

or brazenly expose the top to scratch

and this became the ritual

daily repeated daily forgotten

and then the scratch became harder

and needed the kids hand

to scratch so the teacher

would feel relieved

and then slowly

the itch became a daily matter

and the kiss moved from

the cheek to the lips

and the hands became

demandingly exploring

one day the kid told his sibling

but was hushed and told

that was the way it was

and the kid next door endorsed it

so the next step was but natural

and so it went along

till one day sooner than later

the itch demanded

that the kids hand

go inside not over the dress

do i need to tell you the rest

another conquest and another

childhood lost to the depravity

of what the kid associated

with the reading of the book

now despised and not revered

and since that time

the hatred for the teacher bearded

deep seated within to this day endures

and when the time

for the kids kid came to read

the kid ensured their kid

were not left alone with the teacher

thus four ustanis and many more months

than the two hundred days or so

is what it took

for the reading to be finished

of the great holy words

that if left to their devices

the teachers would have taken

with half of that time

spent on their lecherousness

leaving the kids scarred for life

but then life goes on

not ready to accept that

the teachers of the book can be bad

we end up repeating

the reading and the rituals

not really bothered

how the kid is scarred

how the life is marred.

and life goes on

as it has gone on

for us and for ours before us

not ready to accept

not ready to stand

not willing to say

things can be wrong

for after all

life goes on!

 

*****

read out at Lahore in a session on childhood abuse

written between March 14-16, 2016