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  • chitrotpala 38w

    On days when
    I am too tired of
    things that have
    gripped me for a
    long time
    I look up to You

    On days when I
    fall short of breaths
    and seek peace in
    tender arms
    I look up to You

    On such days Hope
    so much resembles You
    I keep taking your naam
    to mellow my hurt and
    turn it into soft balls
    of cotton

    till I feel alive once again;
    sometimes I fail to feel
    good even after fifteen
    trials and ceaseless cries,
    but my tongue never ceases
    to call out Your name

    Little do I realise how
    much You are in me
    else why You are the
    one whom my heart
    cries out in times
    of immense suffering

    Dear dear Maa, I keep
    subliming into You each
    time I get punctured by
    the fabrics of my

    There will be days
    when I will fail,
    there will be nights
    when I will be frail
    and there will also
    be times when my
    victory will prevail

    But there won't be a day
    when my heart will
    cease to call 'Maa'-
    Maa, You are and will
    be above all
    Truly, there's no one
    like YOU

    - Dedicated to Shree Shree Maa Anandamayee

  • chitrotpala 39w

    Ammi says - It's Love!

    ammi bites her lips and
    swallows the pain down
    her gut-
    as i gently rub the ointment
    on her fresh wounds
    my gaze travels to a bunch
    of old scars on her arms,
    that are now a map of war-
    prone cities and burnt barns

    every time abu comes home
    drunk- history repeats itself;
    i feel a cascade of bricks falling
    heavily over my chest, till i feel
    numb; and the house that once
    used to be h o m e-
    gets reduced to ashes

    abu fails to notice the tears
    trickling down ammi's cheeks
    everytime she sees him going
    to afreen aunti's house at night;
    he doesn't even recognise the
    yellow salwar suit ammi wears
    till date

    to which he used to say--
    "mashallah shareen! aap
    behad khubsurat lag rahi ho."
    ammi says,"men find it difficult
    to express their love: and so
    does your abu"
    everytime abu slaps her cheeks
    and it turns red,
    ammi says- it's love!
    she says his love is different-
    just like him

    i hold a broken shareen hugging
    the ground tightly, in tears
    and say- it's sickness ammi,
    not love;

    abu's love is an old fort in ruins.
    he doesn't know love and ammi
    doesn't know him;
    she keeps staring at the lonely
    alleys of our mohalla on some
    nights, waiting for abu to return

    abu does return:
    but he is not yet h o m e.

  • chitrotpala 40w

    16th september, 1970

    today morning when noora
    sits for fajr, a cold breeze
    passes through the cracks
    of her glass window (soul);
    it's a message from the wind:
    its time to let the autumn
    leaves fall from her bosom-
    that had remained with her
    for a long time like dead
    cells stuck to one's skin

    noora closes her eyes
    and catches a faint glimpse
    of nishaad smiling and coming
    back to her;
    but before she could caress
    his soft cheeks with her palms,
    and see abdiyat in his eyes,
    nishaad evanesces from
    her mind

    now with each dawn, noora
    feels nishaad fading away
    slowly from the breaches
    of her broken heart
    like a distant shore going
    out of sight
    she knows her boat is
    rowing towards sadaqat
    and the currents are in
    Allah's favour

    nishaad was an incomplete
    phrase of her life- a shareeq
    who could never swim with
    the currents of her flow
    and she could never row
    against the currents;
    so one day he had to fade
    away with the shore

    before she could hold
    him close to her soul
    he withered away like
    a dried marigold

    noora doesn't wait for
    nishaad anymore
    Urdu words:-

    'fajr' - islamic prayer done during the dawn
    'abdiyat' - immortality
    'sadaqat' - truth
    'shareeq' - companion

  • chitrotpala 40w

    a poem is a prose
    written to the cosmos
    whose letters combine
    to spell catastrophes

    a poem is two teaspoons
    of sugar ma adds to our
    chai every day after her
    morning prayer

    a poem is my best friend
    giving me a tight hug
    when i am too dispersed
    to gather my broken heart

    a poem is my grandma
    making her all-time
    special aloo bhaja
    for lunch on june days

    a poem is a love letter
    written by rumi roaming
    in a vineyard, with his
    soul drunken on love

    a poem is a pillow that
    soaks my tears every
    night and helps me look
    stronger during daytime

    a poem is an old man
    holding a yellow flower
    cracked open from a
    soil prone to famine

    a poem is a rose i wish
    to gift to all souls on this
    earth for being a warrior
    of their own kind

    a poem is an escapeway
    i use to release my soul
    at times to let it live
    many lives in one lifetime

  • chitrotpala 40w

    Fragile life.
    Fragile bonds.
    and coincidences
    are mere illusions.
    We know probably
    nothing, if we haven't
    known our true nature.


  • chitrotpala 41w

    What is that bond
    that breaks with the
    slightest blow of sword
    Then there's no more
    thinking on what is to
    remain or be gone
    Just like fire cannot
    burn gold,
    deep deep bonds can
    never perish or turn cold;
    Just like gold comes out
    of fire- refined and pure
    deep deep bonds survive,
    and know to endure
    If it breaks, it's meant to be,
    If it's not, than it can never
    be- however much you
    keep holding to it
    Don't settle yourself,
    O mind! in the fear of
    losing things- wavy bonds
    and belongings
    Travel far and beyond
    and you will see-
    the clouds will disappear,
    the path will become
    and your heart will get
    to know- what is deep,
    what is shallow
    What is meant to go,
    will leave willingly
    What is meant to remain
    will make through it.

  • chitrotpala 41w

    There's a fire burning
    inside me
    whose flames refuse
    to diffuse themselves
    in darkness
    Day or night, dawn
    or twilight
    this fire keeps burning
    Sometimes the flames
    slow down due to
    wordly affairs
    almost seem to blow
    out in despair
    but something in it
    makes sure that
    it keeps burning
    The heat from the
    flames keep me
    mindful and aware,
    kind and fair
    On some nights, when
    my heart shivers and
    my bones feel chilly,
    the flames grow higher
    My sufferings seem to
    make it even more
    conscious and intensify
    its desire to burn in prayer
    This fire is a gift from my
    God- a subtle flame of
    love that makes me bow
    in prayer

  • chitrotpala 41w

    it's 1:40 in the morning
    i feel Her magnetic pull
    once again
    the ripples in my mind
    have come to halt
    a stillness stations
    at my breath
    a cool breeze flows
    within the grooves of
    my mind
    my mind's eye gazes
    at Her human form
    and i feel myself diving
    deep into Her presence
    my inner skin sheds off
    when She holds me with
    Her gaze
    and the exhaled air removes
    all the toxicities from my mind
    i feel renewed, recharged
    and de-stressed
    and let go of things that
    can't be controlled
    i handover the cards
    to Her hands
    and let Her take the lead
    She knows well
    what should remain and
    what should not- so i let
    Her decide the things i
    can't deny
    a strong scent of jasmine
    overpowers my emotions
    and vulnerabilities, and
    the essence of my
    belongings start to dilute
    with Her fragrance
    i sit on my bed still,
    defeated, surrendered
    to Her feet
    who am i to laugh or cry
    or speak the truth or lie
    it's Her and only Her doing
    that right now i am alive
    to eulogise Her
    i am nothing but a little
    ember from (Her) fire
    i end this poem with a
    wish note - may i keep
    penning poems for Her
    may i keep penning
    poems for Her

  • chitrotpala 41w

    someday i will write
    a poem on him,
    describe him in salty
    metaphors and sweet
    like everything on this
    earth- he too is a figment
    of autumn and spring;
    but how shall i say
    i am afraid of autumn
    than anything.

    he is as perfect as
    shakespeare's sonnets
    and as imperfect as my
    free verses- he is
    my dearest beloved.
    in the most bland poem
    i have ever written,
    i try capturing his essence-
    with my unrhymed mix
    of words,
    but that's how he is for me-
    imperfectly perfect!
    there's no lying when i say
    i love him- because he is
    beyond autumn and spring

    the warmth in his presence
    can never be metaphorised-
    his vibes- a winter sunrise;
    i wonder how come he never
    gives up on a broken string
    like me?
    how come he never get
    tired of me?
    my sweetness and bitterness
    makes least difference to him-
    his love for me has no measure
    or size- it's said freedom is the
    truest form of love and each
    time he breathes freedom into
    my soul- i see a river of love
    streaming in his eyes-
    fresh and ever-flowing
    just like him;

    i see my own reflection in
    those mystic eyes, twinkling
    with chastity
    everytime i collapse into
    his arms like a wounded bird-
    he holds me with love, picks
    me up just like my mother,
    tends to my wounds softly-
    he is the strangest soul i have
    ever come across after my
    come what may, he simply
    refuses to give up on me!

    now i wish to end this poem
    by telling my readers that
    universe is a hopeless
    romantic who falls for
    stubborn hearts
    and he is one of them
    when you meet my
    you will know-
    why i keep falling
    for him again
    and again

  • chitrotpala 41w


    today i looked inside
    my weary heart
    and found the space dark
    an empty hall-
    my voice echoed loudly
    each time
    i took Your name
    the pit of my stomach
    reverberated with
    Your vibrations
    and throat sounded like
    an orchestra
    the incandescent lamps
    decorated in the hall
    lit up one by one as my
    consciousness tapped its
    feet into Your timeless tune
    the hall was filled with
    light and darkness bowed
    humbly before You
    the space was shining with
    a fragrance of jasmine
    and i realised
    You had arrived
    to transform my weary
    heart into an altar
    today i called You by
    the name 'Aum' and You
    lit up my soul