Friday, July 31, 2015

A King Finds His Place

Saat Kaman, Pavagadh


There on the horizon
Is a city of sandstone
Yellow and old,
Of riches and gold.

“This is my place,”
A young king says
“That huge fortress,
we must scale.”

Horses, soldiers
Cannons, guns
Fear, frustration
Anger, decisions.

And finally it falls
After twenty months!
“This is my place,”
The mighty king says.

He lays a stone
To build a mosque:
Will be the finest
Of the whole lot.

Palaces, forts
Tombs, stepwells
Gates, arches:
A city swells.

A capital of trade;
Of delicate silks,
Of ripe mangoes,
Of scented timber.

The king beams,
Renames the city
This is his place:
Mahmudabad.

In the hills of Pavagadh,
the ruins of Champaner
Are these stories of
Sultan Mahmud Begara.

Crumbling palaces
Stained mosques
Such fine edifices
That time forgot.

A group of students
A guide they've got
Who tells the youngsters
About how a king fought!







Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kalam



It's a sad day for my country for we've lost one of the greatest icons of our times, a scientist, teacher and former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam. This is my poetic tribute to the man who inspired millions of Indians. 

KALAM

An old fisherman's boat
A boy of eight
He holds in his hand
The newspaper of the day!
He reads every line
By the candlelight
The boy of eight
Only wants to learn.
He grows into a man
Who wants to fly
But it's Destiny's choice,
That he become engineer.
Satellites, rockets
missiles, nuclear tests
stents, tablets
But even he hadn't imagined
That he'd become President!
A great scientist
A dispirited nation
A peddler of dreams
A country of believers.
Teaching, learning
Writing, travelling
Inventing, igniting
The President's coming!
Lectures, speeches
Awards, honours
Biographies, documentaries
Such a youth icon,
A P J Abdul Kalam!



Sunday, July 26, 2015

A boy becomes a king

This poem of mine is dedicated to the city of Vadodara (Baroda) in Gujarat. 

To a young boy of twelve
A widowed queen asks
"Why are you here?"
The boy stands upright
Not a tremor, not a strain
He tells the good queen
"I have come to rule this place."
A surprised queen
A murmur in court
The young boy stands
His head fit for the crown.
And so he becomes
The king of a state
A young of boy of twelve
This was his fate!
Too early for the throne
He finds a mentor 
A man called Madhav Rao
Who turns a boy of twelve
Into a king who can rule.
A king with vision
A king with wealth
Of wisdom and riches
His kingdom had no less.
Palaces, cannons
Universities, libraries
Banks, businesses
Dams and services.
A patron of artists,
Of fine musicians
A champion of rights
Of people, his subjects.
And so we remember
The young boy of twelve
Who came to rule a place
And became the great king:
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad!










Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Royal Bengal Tigress

Those lovely amber eyes
They see, they survey
A land of marshes
A forest of mangroves
There's stillness in the air
Not a sound, not a sway
Just the water
Lapping the shore
She sticks her toes in
Then a pink tongue
The cool water
On those bristles
A thirst quenches
A moment passes
She looks at me 
Oh those amber eyes!
I watch mesmerized
My beating heart
Her flaring nostrils
I hold her gaze
Then she looks away
I watch her walk 
Slow and cautious
I stand there
Moved but still
And then she plunges
Into the darkness
Slowly, steadily
A forest comes to life
The monkeys squealing
The birds chirping
And somewhere beyond
Are the lovely amber eyes
Of a Royal Bengal tigress.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Creation


A blank sheet
A rusty blade
Cuts and slashes
Patterns, I make.

My violent mind
My defiant strokes
The sheet of paper
Is all but broke.

Twisting
Folding
Pinching
Scrunching.

A mashed ball
In my palm
A mind rests
Finally, calm.

Oh what destruction!
The paper's worn
Like a tortured woman:
Her heart, torn.

The ball of paper
Above a flame
Shadows on the wall
Patterns they make!

Dancing figures
The actions, the vigour!
A theatre in motion
A mark of creation!