First Flush

This is a mishmash of juvenile poetry written in my mid teens.

Difference between Me and the Beggar Girl Who Comes to Our Door (1987)

We are both human beings

Same dark hair, same dark skins.

I maybe a few pounds heavier,

My hair more rich and glossier,

But if she had more to feed on,

Time to clean her hair and spend on,

Wouldn’t she be my exact ditto?

Ah ha! I’m literate, she’s not;

I am educated, she is not;

But this education is received

After spending a lot of energy and money;

And it is just a means to an end,

Which is to fill my tummy!

While here she is without having spent

Any of her energy or money,

Coolly moving from door to door

And filling her belly.

Not bothered about false pride

Or discourses on self respect,

It’s her job and she does it well.

You may say, “Education

Is not only for eating!

You learn to understand people,

And increase your knowledge about

The trials and triumphs of Humanity.”

Sure, I agree, but if you once,

Start on the spree, your knowledge

Keeps increasing and soon

Gets too heavy to carry.

Then doesn’t that little girl

Come out better off than me?

She may come from an unhappy home,

But so may I,

She may be an orphan,

But so may I.

The only difference is

I sleep in a safe, warm bed

And she on cold, hard stone.

This difference definitely defines

Which girl I’d rather be.

(88)

The world is upside down;

What we think is right

Is most probably wrong!

For people find that

With them that they strive

To ingratiate themselves

Led by innocent love, fail

And succeed only in

Alienating them further!

And those that strive not

bother not, other than a nebulous wish,

Find themselves, surprisingly

The object of their ingratiator’s fancy.

 

(87)

Tablets and parchment have already gone;

Paper too will be history soon.

Electronic chips are here and there;

Their brains grow while ours are I don’t know where!

Fate (1989)

When sleep steals over half the world

And my body rests in slumberous repose;

I then wander into my private land:

My dream land.

A land of sweet dreams,

Ecstatic hopes and fantasies;

Where castles may be built of air

But each stone is laid with love and care.

Each steeple I build there touches the sky;

Each bird I hear sings harmoniously;

Each flower there bears a smile;

My heart is at last quiet happy.

So I lie on my bed,

Think in rapture and sigh;

What does not suit me,

I erase and supply.

Then suddenly with thunder rolling

And lightening flashing;

(Not that she needs moral support)

Fate appears at my side.

Fatimah, Nemesis, Kismet …

How many names she has!

Just as many ways and methods

She employs to wreck my dreamland.

With flowing black hair

And silver eyes flashing;

Quiet calmly she descends,

Right into my wandering.

I shrink back in fear

And watch her diabolical eyes

Reflect the colour

And glory of my land.

She surveys the vistas before her

With malicious delight;

Then raises her sceptre and ruthlessly

Sweeps everything down with careless might!

In one fell swoop my crystal domes are shattered;

My steeples all bent and pointing towards hell;

The flowers have all dried and the clouds

Hang heavy in the sky!

Instead of my fantasies now

I gaze at a laughing face.

Her diamond chip eyes shining with glee;

While I struggle in vain to set my dreams free.

Fate, She must be a beautiful siren

To get away with this disgrace!

First Born (1989)

My first born, my son!

My life’s miracle

My own masterpiece.

For you I dreamt those dreams first

Those castles I built all for you.

Before these eyes I envisaged the age

When the world would lie at your feet

Life to death at finger tips;

Every step on a path strewn with flowers.

You opened that secret door in my heart

So that others could follow.

You were my first born, little one,

Who introduced me to that great sea

Of love and happiness,

Of which pain and sorrow

Play such a major part.

It was for you

That I bore nine months of pain

And yet bore you with love

But it was all in vain!

After all these years you turn on me

And insult me before my friends?

You in whom I stored so much pride

And paraded you with bloated chest!

Couldn’t you show my friends

And keep my respect?

I clucked over you with craziness:

A mother hen when ill,

And protected you like a lioness

But how, you oh mine, I wonder

Could grow into such a stupid child?

I bore you, I gave you life;

To demand is my right!

You brought the light into my eyes

And taught me the beautiful

But fickle love of a child;

But treating you like a guinea pig, I deny!

You were the first,

So you taught me

How to show my love to those that followed.

So you made the path

Easier for them to come;

But remember,

You hold the halloed position

Of being my first born!

You let my friends

Hold up their nose in disdain,

I forgave.

You hurt me,

But I hid my pain.

Remember for you I dreamt first,

Hoped first and prayed.

All that I own anyway

You rise to gain.

So don’t begrudge the love

I bear the others!

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