Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Silence (in Rictameter)



Was what I craved

So I piled up some stones

And built towers taller than dreams

Then barred their windows with my weathered bones

Leaving no escape for my screams

And here I sit alone

In this depraved



(c) Rajendra Pradhan

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Dog And Its Tail

A dog
that chases
its own tail
is bound to
mostly, fail

But the one
that succeeds
will live to tell
How his own
arse does smell

Republic Day in Rictameter



Republic Day in Rictameter



wait for picture


had many names
and no face, just wrinkles
For her, nothing. But some twinkles,
she had asked for her starry-eyed children
So she got a constitution
and two more names
None sweeter than


(c) Rajendra






Rictameter is a form of poetry with nine lines. The format is
simple. Starting your first line with a two syllable word, you then
consecutively increase the number of syllables per line by two. i.e.
2,4,6,8,10 Then down again, 8,6,4,2 Making the final line the same
two syllable word you began with.



Digital Demigods

Digital Demigods

The other night, I was watching news on the telly with my family. The reporter was droning on about some politician’s visit to a home for handicapped. Bored, I picked up the day’s newspaper and successfully shut the idiot box out of my mind. After a while, I was startled to hear my daughter call out excitedly “Dad, now I know what you are!”

I froze mid-action. What black deeds from my past have finally seen the light and camera of these television reporters? I wondered. You can’t tell these days, with so many sting operations going on! I was trying to remember something I might have done that was worthy of attention of a news channel.

Could it be my first love affair that I had so successfully hidden from my wife? I didn’t think so. Nobody knew about it except me. Not even the girl I was in love with! She didn’t even know my name, I was sure. It was love at first sight when I had seen her at the bus stop, waiting for her school bus as I was waiting for mine. Every morning I would spend few minutes looking at her and then we both would board different buses to our respective schools. And the “love affair” had lasted just for a few months, as schools change after fourth grade. Yes, we both were ten at the time. Hardly worthy an affair for prime time television, I thought.

Had they finally found out who had drawn that neatly labeled caricature of our biology teacher on the blackboard of my ninth grade classroom? Nah, that was years ago. Must be something new!

Could it be that the Income Tax department had found out about the necklace…! Can’t be that. Though my wife thinks she is wearing a real diamond necklace that I gifted her on our last wedding anniversary, I know its real worth. Income Tax officials are definitely smarter than my wife.

So what in God’s name it could be? I was still thinking hard when my daughter switched the television set off and sat next to me. “Now I know dad, what you are. You are an SMS challenged person!” she said with conviction.

Hugely relieved to hear this, I sighed deeply. Yes, I can be called that, I admitted. In today’s jargon nobody is short; they are vertically challenged! So definitely I am an SMS challenged guy. I couldn’t type an SMS if my life depended on it. For me, a phone is for talking, period. I grew up with those black bulky monsters with rotating dials and the receivers designed with weight lifters in mind; if the designers had something resembling a mind, that is. For me, a mobile phone or ‘cell’ as it is called now, is just a smaller version of those monsters, without a spiral wire attached. They let you talk to people whenever you wish. What more could one wish for?

The best way of communication is face to face, I firmly believe. You can watch the other person’s reaction to what you say. You can judge whether they are lying, or they are sincere, happy, sad, excited, bored. You can learn so much from their body language! A phone deprives us of all these opportunities. Yet, there is at least some personal touch in a voice call. If it is difficult to meet physically, then voice call is the next best thing. Voices too laugh and cry, smile and lie. But an SMS brings arctic cold to our casual communications. And the menace of unsolicited advertisements! It will give me immense pleasure to strangle the fellow who thought of putting that SMS thing in mobile phones.

Maybe because I hate them so much, but I can’t fiddle with those microscopic keys to type one straight word. Some evil fellow with a weird sense of humour has assigned the same key to three or four different letters! I start typing and the thing runs ahead of me, finishing the word before I begin! Hey wait! I didn’t mean to type this word, I shout at it. My daughter tries to teach me, but to no avail. I throw my hands up and the phone down, every time I try.

I have seen people juggle a lit cigarette, a doughnut and a pen in one hand while with the other they hold a briefcase and a cell phone, typing furiously with their thumbs on the tiny device with concentration befitting an ancient sage. Some mutant genes at work, may be. The guys must have ten fingers on each hand. Give me a full sized computer keyboard anytime. I can handle that.

But that too was not always so, I remembered with a smile.

Those were the days when computers were not so commonplace. My construction business was running all right without any need for digital diligence. One day a salesman walked into my office with brochures depicting a mightily powerful 286 machine. “Look here sir, you can do so much with a computer in your office! You can write letters, draw building plans and even play a game! Our computer has the latest chips, a whopping 120 MB hard disk and one full megabyte of RAM. Every office on the block is buying one.” He went on. The fellow wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Patiently I heard him. Finally I said, “This computer thing can do anything, it seems. It is just like God, isn’t it?” The man nodded vigorously, the broad salesman-smile firmly pasted on his face, as he anticipated a sale. “Well then, this settles it. I am an atheist you see. I don’t believe in God. And yet, I live quite happily in this world purportedly created and owned by Him. So I believe I can get by without this digital demigod of yours. Thank you.” I had said with a straight face.

© Rajendra Pradhan

Once Again [English Ghazal with Urdu Transcreation]]

Once Again

may be these fields will turn fertile once again
let us sow some seeds of dreams once again

I see the heavens bowing down at the horizon
is she drying her hair on terrace once again?

she asks me the proof of our first embrace
time to open my bleeding heart once again

I tell the same tale, with the same fervor
the crowd goes strangely silent once again

was it my question or the way that I asked?
those hands firmly back, in pockets once again!

with great rush everybody's running to bazaar
they giving away rumours, for free once again?

they tell me she is likely to visit my tomb
should I start turning in my grave once again?

night falls, I look around, but she is gone
was I holding hand of a shadow once again?

ages ago 'Raj' has stopped singing his songs
yet someone still cries, 'Encore' once again!


Mr. Manish Bhatt (http://www.ryze.com/view.php?who=mokshamonger) has made an Urdu Transcreation of this English Ghazal. It is given below.

Shayad ye gulistaan lehlahayen, dobara
Aa khwab ke kuch beej toh bo aayein, dobara

Phir aasman hai jhukh raha choone ko jameen ko
Kya usne chhat pe baal sukhaye, dobara

Voh mangte hai vasl ki phir hamse nishani
Phir dil ke jakhm unko dikha aayein, dobara

Lo phir suna raha hun kissa mere junoo ka
Ye log sab khamosh ho jaayein, dobara

Mera sawal tha, ya usko poochne ka saleeka
Haath kyun jeb mein apni voh chupayein, dubara

Sab dodte phirte hain kyun phir se sare-bazaar
Kya muft mein afwahein voh batwayein, dobara

Kehta hai aa raha hai voh mere majaar par
Ab kabra mein bechainiyan satayein, dobara

Andhera jab ghira, dekha toh kab ke jaa chuke the voh
Thame the hath jiske, the kya voh saye, dobara

Gujare saal kayi ‘Raaj’ ko khamosh huye par
Aaj phir kiski sada goonjti si aaye, dobara


This Year [Ghazal]

This Year

Gujarat had good monsoon, they said this year
bumper crop of swords, was reported this year

who says politicians, have forgotten their voters?
promise of new promises, they've made this year

Congress kisses commies, and Devegauda the BJP
everybody has a strange fellow in bed this year

Indian industry has grown up, so said the survey
bonded child labour perhaps, will be paid this year

for fifty-eight years, she has fought for euthanasia
will they let democracy, finally be dead this year?

ceasefire in Kargil now, but beware of flash floods
crocodile tears Miyan Musharraf has shed this year

Ah, the crimson sheen, on her smiling wet lips
God knows how many, she has bled this year

I promise to bring home, some butter next year
but eat for now my child, just bread this year

hungry vultures now perched atop barren houses
that in search of food, people have fled this year

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wishing your mites



The Sun that sets today
will rise again tomorrow
with the same glory

Earth will spin on
The new day will bear
a different name and number

But we will have changed

A few more cells dead
and shed, to feed the dust mites
new ones born to take their place

Here is wishing your mites
a bon app├ętit
and you, all the might
for the fight