Showing posts from May, 2012

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outside, looking at the moon and the stars

the room was choking with breath
more than a thousand breath
of all kinds was the breath
i was suffocated

i was right
whisky is more important than a country
and there was a thousand breath
of agreeing and understanding
but i was wrong
arguing is more important than puking
and there was a thousand breath
of scraps more foul than my puke

and then the teachers breathed
and then the experts breathed
and then makha-leikai tomba breathed
and then another seven thousand objects breathed
but i was outside, looking at the moon and the stars

Evening Inventory, 8:57PM

In the evening, in the Indian summer
I had taken the sixth bathing of the day
Then I had gone out and bought a whisky,
A quarter of Royal Challenger, though I have no power
I would rather poop on Govinda at Govindaji
Than I would challenge the Royal;
The Royal Rajkumars and the Royal Rajkumaris
But why, whisky and Maharajkumari rhyme so well;
Then I bought a cigarette packet
The second time on this Indian summer day;
I bought chops and a three-packet soaps
I bought a soda, I bought a magazine
Now I want to buy a country.
The whisky is ninety
The cigarette is fifty
The chop is twenty
The soap is sixty
The soda and the magazine are sixty;
What is the price of a country?

Bob’s Birthday Bash in Barapani

A letter ripped off from the journal of a musically-retarded person, who went to the Knocked Out and Loaded concert of the annual Bob Dylan’s birthday celebration in Shillong

Dear Uncle Bob,

Happy belated birthday, and may you stay forever young. If not for you, I would not have gone all the way to a lake resort in Barapani to see your birthday celebration concert but I did, with one of my friends, and we had a drunken and rock n’ rolling time. Quite contrary to the Indian standard time, of which 2pm on the ticket is 4pm, we reached the venue half an hour before the scheduled time. Though my partner, at the entrance he showed his identity card of a major Indian news agency, where he used to work 80 years ago—and we sneaked in comfortably without buying a ticket!

The concert would have probably started at 2pm and there was an unknown band doing a sound check. But then it also started raining so heavily. While taking shelter from the storm, we eavesdropped on a couple of guys with…

America, Gun Salutes, Gold Medals etc

The exact numbers we know, we know by heart
The Americans sent five million Viets to collective hell
They have also sent two million Afghans to heaven
We know the figures, the facts and figures
How many All India Radio stations are in India;
How many inches the global warming is increasing the sea level;
How many North Koreans are crossing into South Korea,
How many Jamaicans are becoming Americans each year.
But the numbers are uncertain
How many people have the armies made them martyrs;
How many patriots have prompted police promotion.
How many gun salutes and gold medals do we need more?
We need no number
We need, in this weather, just more beers.

The Dogs in Dewlahland

For pity never fails you
It is always a bad news
But everyone is not a saint like you
And so we get the dogs in Dewlahland
They are less fierce than the street dogs called commandos
They are less ugly than the green-clad army dogs
Oh, those dogs on the streets.
But those meats in Dewlahland
No confused locality dogs would dare
Nor their sad masters would ever deny;
Each morning as the dogs come in droves and chains
A couple of bites that makes all the difference,
The same plate which has earned the wrath
of a million vegetarians
of a million self-righteous human beings
of kind and compassionate men and women
of everyone whose images are more than their shadows.

Saolin Saloon — Moustache Mania


At a Meeting of the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Assam

A couple of weeks ago, a press release in one of the previous day’s newspaper made me so curious to go and see what the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Assam (MSP) is all about in this part of the world. I saw only their announcement about the gathering in one corner of Dispur district, but the next day I found as it happened, an annual district committee meeting and an election of the office bearers were to be convened as adverted in the news report. But that was no issue, as I saw it was in other matters rather than the meeting and election, where I found the usual hollowness in us when we talk about our relationship with the society and vice versa. The meeting place is situated hardly ten kilometres from where I’m putting up right now, and it is easy to commute through two bus routes. But the exact location is a place where I have to enquire a lot, because it is far from any known landmark and is in one of the interior parts of the town, where I have to take another rickshaw to enter f…

“We’re Not Prostitutes”

Text and Photo
18 Jan 2012, Kyiv:
Four activists of FEMEN occupied the balcony of residence of the Ambassador of India in Ukraine in protest against an Indian foreign policy.

The activists unfurled banners on the balcony: “We’re not prostitutes,” shouting “Delhi, close the brothels,” “The Ukrainians are not prostitutes!” and “We demand an apology.” The four activists were arrested and taken to the police station.

The action was directed against the official policy of the Foreign Ministry of India, which has urged their ambassady in the CIS countries to scan women aged 15 to 40 years, who are traveling to India. Thus, the official Delhi wants to insulate itself from the invasion of post-Soviet women, allegedly responsible for the rapid development of India’s sex industry.

FEMEN believes that the Indian Foreign Ministry insulted women describing them as potential prostitutes. The problem of prostitution in India is not dependent on women from Ukraine, Rus…

The Hardworker's Manifesto


On Walking Along the Riverbanks

We walk along the riverbanks every night
We just walk; nothing we have to do
Every night we just walk along
In the darkness in the foot-marked path

Most of the time we find the junkies
In their last round
Their last shots of the day
Heroin from Lamka and Lilong
Most of the time we find the pot heads
As they smoke arrogantly
The best marijuana
In the best bloody country

As we walk along the riverbanks we see them
We see the fish catchers
We see the drunken men
We see the unknown women
We see the lame men

In the darkness we walk along the darkness.
Tonight we see the fishes
The numb-nosed, foolish fishes
They should be on the newspapers
With their names and ages and addresses
Catch and fry and let them confess
Confess to their numbness and dumbness
Kill kill kill kill those without the numbness.

We have walked long tonight
Kill and we should peel and cook
The dinner is going to be fine tonight  We will walk along the riverbanks all night long.

Beer Blues

After two beer bottles
The unknown man touts he supports the people
Anyone against them should be sent to Norok the hell
His words of wisdom whirl in the smoke-filled room
We could smell some strange hopes.

After two beer bottles
The churup hangs between his lips
As the professor narrates in a textbook style
The people are in history, geography and study of polity
The answers to life lie between the pages of the unread books.

After two beer bottles
The fighter says the son of the soil is here
Power be with the people
And he leaves us
He has to go, drop the demand letters.

After two beer bottles
The administrator raises both its long hands
We are the people
We have to go to the authority with validation
And it turns its face to its deaf master.

Abandoned on the floor, the beer bottles wail
Like no drunkard had ever done
Yet in their squeals were the dreams that I can see
Of no animal but themselves,
And after two beer bottles I feel no hunger.

The Drum Man

I see the old man,  in the evening
of his life.
Every afternoon
as he gets a drum
at a time ready
in one corner
of his shop.

If he ever plays
it I’m not sure
He is drowned in
the world of drums
But he does not play the drums.

All I see him
in his withered lotus pose
As if on a painfully slow public vehicle
Any stormy or sunny day one leg stretch,
Another around a half-finished drum
His left hand held it
His right with a hammer or a pliers
Beating, checking, trying, testing

Your rhythmless sound is so disturbing
In your unhurried way lies a long story.


I’m so obsessed with you
Like the Hindus are with their goddesses
Like the Muslims are with the moon;
But your religion makes me nauseating.

I’m obsessed with you
Like the Americans are with the Iraqis, their oil
Like the Pakis are with the Indies;
But your country makes me hallucinating.

I’m obsessed with you
Like the mosquitoes are with the monsoon
Like the lilies are with the spring;
But your season makes me aging.

I’m obsessed with you
Like the atheists are with the nongod things
Like the patriots are with their countries;
But your beliefs make me more unconvincing.

I’m so obsessed with you
I would live and die inside you
But please do tell
You’re not obsessed with nothingness.

Writings on the Wall

In our world divided by walls I have seen gods
On them walls so that the mortals don’t piss and spit.
And there are walls as high as where the birds fly
Between them the rich and the poor
But their walls have faded, for in the wretched people
The riches they have not, and the affluent has it all
Though with high walls the crooks cannot climb,
The outlaws cannot hurl hand grenades.
In times of peace is the wall so low
So low the writing on it is not grimed by the height
Of foolishness me and my tribesmen have ascended
And these are the days of war
And these are the days of high walls
No matter if you are bloody broke or moneyed
For some sense of security in this jungle
Once again reminding us nothing matters at the end
But we are only sharing happiness and sadness in the wildness.

Television Blues

A life looks so real on television I admit,
And I cried watching it
The depiction is so original;
Even if the love stories of fruits and flowers,
The soft and tender kind, in these days of wars,
Even if their love stories are so detached—
For I see, if not on the TV, the only cracks
The cracks inside our own carcasses
The cracks inside our own flesh
The cracks inside one corner of the garbage dump;
It is pathetic;
I’m drowning in self-pity;
The images do keep flowing,
Of the flowers and the fruits inside the cracks.
I see on the TV too,
How big buildings of big shops make us a human being
Now it is hard to tell what is real and what is not.


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