Posted in Life and After

Stuck

My shoe was stuck. Hurriedly, I tried to pull it off but my feet won’t come out. The train was due to arrive any minute.

I was sweating by the bucketload but it wasn’t helping. My feet seemed to be glued to the sole of the shoe. It was always like that. Every day the same time, I’d be late and try to hurry across the railway line, and then, one of my shoes’d get stuck. The train would, then, arrive…

…and run me over.

Here we go again!

Well, there’s always another time…

Posted in Love

Gum (Lost)

Ab aaye ho? Mujhe dhoondhte jana.

Ek arse se kisi ki yado me gum hu.

___________

English translation:

So, you’ve finally returned? Find me before you leave again.

For ages, I’ve been lost in someone’s memories.

___________

Author’s note: Sher are couplets in Urdu that tell a complete story.

Posted in Life and After

Fighting Fate

It’s a long night,

safe, for now, in the swan’s feather,

delaying inevitable.

.

Precariously balanced,

wind threatening to topple me over,

onto the thirsty ground.

.

I grieve over the fate

all falling droplets meet—

before me and after.

.

I wonder…

I pray…

I hope to be better.

.

Dawn wakes me.

No longer falling, I rise in a cloud

to be one with the sky…


Free photo by Erik Stine on Unsplash

Posted in Random Thoughts

Samandar (The Sea): Sher

Jis samandar ki lehero me tair ke laut aaye hum,

Suna he ki log usme doob ke paar ho gaye.

_________________________________________

Translation:

The ocean that I swam in and returned from unscathed,

I’ve heard, has drowned many and let them pass.

______________________________________

Author’s note: In Urdu poetry, a Sher is a couplet, where two lines present one thought or story.

Posted in Random Thoughts

Guroor (Pride): Sher

Sir jhukaye, asman ko neelam lutaate dekhta hu,

Sharm he ki hatheliya dua me khulne nahi deti.

Translation:

Head bent, I look at the sapphires falling from skies above.

Pride forces my palms in pockets, ashamed to spread heavenwards and collect.

______________________________________

Author’s note:

In Urdu poetry, a Sher is a couplet, where two lines present one thought or story.

I run another site with urdu poetry and I’m moving my work here gradually. I will translate the pieces, but not verbatim since it seems impossible without breaking the spirit of the piece.

Posted in My life, Random Thoughts

Plagiarism with brains: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

My daughter has got a way of being inspired by other works.

For instance, lately, we have been competing to create stories involving different animals. We give each other random animals and, then, the other had to create a story out of that animal. A couple of days back, my daughter gave me rather a tough combination: Peacock, Hippo and Rhino. I asked her to reduce the number of animals but she won’t relent. So, here’s the story I created.

Once upon a time, a peacock was flying. Since they are heavy and not used to flying too far, this one decided to sit down on a rock beside the river. It was a huge grey rock and as soon as he sat down, the huge grey rock began to move. The peacock thought it was an earth quake and flew up lest he would be crushed beneath the now freely moving rock which also sprouted four thick legs. After a few seconds in air, the peacock again felt tired and chose another rock–a huge brown one–inside the river. As soon as he sat down, this rock too gave a huge lurch and started walking out of the water. The peacock took flight in time to see the rock open its huge jaws to display teeth large as daggers. Now, wary of rocks behaving like animals, it chose a fallen log beside the river. He had come pretty close and was really hoping to sit down, since his long wings were now soggy and heavy with water, when the log opened its yellow eyes and bared a log set of sharp teeth. The peacock decided that ground was not safe for beings like him anymore and sat on a tree far away.

My daughter felt the story was not long enough. So, I asked her to create another story with the same combination she gave me: Peacock, Hippo and Rhino. She was not allowed to tell the same story as mine. She pleaded her case as being only four-years-old and requested to reduce the number of animals. I refused, hoping to give her a taste of her own medicine. Here’s my daughter’s story.

Once upon a time, a peacock was flying. Since they are heavy and not used to flying too far, this one He was flying for hours, got tired and decided to sit down on a rock beside the river. It was a huge grey brown rock. As soon as he sat down It sat there for sometime, then, the rock began to move. The peacock thought it was an earth quake and flew up lest he would be crushed beneath the now freely moving rock which also sprouted four thick legs. After a few seconds in air, the peacock again felt tired and chose another rock–a huge brown grey one–inside the river. As soon as he sat down, this rock too gave a huge lurch and started walking out of the water. The peacock took flight in time to see the rock open its huge jaws to display teeth a couple of horns large as daggers. Now, wary of rocks behaving like animals, it chose a fallen log beside inside the river. He had come pretty close and was really hoping to sit down, since his long wings were now soggy and heavy with water, when As soon as he sat down, the log opened its yellow eyes and bared a log set of sharp teeth. The peacock decided that ground was not safe for beings like him anymore and sat on a tree far away. The tree began to move too. It ran in really long strides. The peacock decided that only safe place to sit was bare ground and that was where he stayed for the rest of his life.

I argued with my daughter that this was more or less my own story. But she pointed out that in her story:

  • The Hippo comes before the Rhino.
  • The peacock sits for sometime before it has to move.
  • The crocodile allows the peacock to sit down before deciding to make a meal out of it.
  • And then, there was the bonus animal–the giraffe.

Well, I really couldn’t argue against such a strong case. So, I gave up trying to pry another story out of her. With five animals, her story trumped mine!

It reminded me of remixed songs–add an extra beat, a couple of extra instruments, a few hip-hoppers, and you have a quick hit and a chartbuster.

Plagiarism with brains!