Ah, Hussain, is he dead then ?
Have all his struggles come to this ?
Crying in the dark, covered in mud and piss ?
Is this his body then ?
Is this what becomes of men ?
Did he hold another man’s hand in fear,
The same man whom he would often jeer?
Did he pray to his God or his owner ?
As cold water slammed every corner;
And as every corner turned tomb,
He must have clawed against his doom;
But he drowned in that hell pit, screaming
While above him, all around, the world was teeming:
There’s no good times in a mine, no good times in a mine.
4 AM and outside, in the dark,
The storm slams into the street’s tar;
The gutters sing ghazals,
The ground gratefully guzzles up the water;
The winds slash at me violently
But this concrete square shelters well.
I think of all the times I’d been in love:
I think I was in love with the storms
That brewed inside of people;
I’d never been in love with any one body –
Just the flush of a few moments –
Moments which came as a delicious dream,
Moments that linger on even when
The entire body of courtship is cold.
Despite this, I still prefer this weather,
I still hope and wait for the storms:
When a positive and a negative meeting
Play out their inimitable Beauty on the skies.
Where are the wild things ?
Somewhere in a ritual or habit.
Inspite of the communal hunting.
Our nets and drumming cannot herd it.
We never kill it all.
Wild grizzly freedom is out there in the courage I never had to turn wild.
To turn tiger, jackal, no, rodent.
My heart is smaller than a mole’s. I am not half as bold.
For I fear and love the dark spots under the trees.
The same ones in broken down houses.
In unoccupied hospital rooms.
Something dwells there.
Something still dwells inside me.
And thank god, for that.
For a useless solitude.
Sarcastic take on the venerated idea of “Akor Khasi” (Khasi code of conduct)
A comment on the motivation behind many Khasi people today.
A Khasi poem heavily improvised on a local radio channel
Some gods are really weird
They need you to grow a beard
Some of them are damn hard to please
They want you down on your knees
How am I going to worship the guy
If he’s invisible, up in the sky ?
What do you reckon I’d say
When I don’t think about him all day ?
Some gods don’t like women in service
Others really make men nervous
I think we all need a time-out
From the hysteria and shouts
Give me a quiet, pensive deity
Not of the church but the laity
Give me a god of the stark winters
Give me a god of mud and splinters
Give me a god, cold like stone heaths
A god that reminds us of our soft feet,
Our soft skins, our soft tissues, our soft ideas