The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the Cusp: Three Sixty-Five

I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year 2015. 

On the Cusp: Three Sixty-Five
= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Won’t you ask me
What I did with the gift you gave
What I did with the money you lent
Exactly before days three hundred and sixty-five?

Now, again, your generosity is abloom
Your coffer is open and your offer alluring
You’re the great giver, not for nothing.
The investment you make in me
Not waiting for the return,
No balance sheet is ever drawn,
What’s that you expect of me?

What sort of business you are in!
Aren’t you the optimist incorrigible?
When you see me squandering
All you gave were thinning and thinning
Did you ever bother me to stop
And demand a report from me?

Nope! You didn’t.
The blunder is yours you’d better own
And now, how can a better tomorrow
Grow out of a yesterday wasted?
Where is the seed you’ve sown?
You want me to till that land
Sprinkle it with my blood and sweat
And wait for that better tomorrow!

You’re the great merchant
You know your business
Your investment:
You’re the great peasant
You know your crops
And your yielding patch of land:

Looking forward to a turnaround…
Now, the business is the same
A cycle of three and sixty-five,
The land is as big and as fertile
As a year ago it used to be,
I know it only too well
There’s only so much capital in the business.

Your business must go on…
It hardly matters
That one day I’ll be eased out.
Your crops must grow luxuriant…
It hardly matters
That one day I’ll fade out of memory
And lose count of three sixty-five. 
A. N. Nanda


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Anarchy

These are the two poems I wrote at different points of time with a gap of 18 years, but when it came to choose a caption for the new one I just repeated it as I thought eighteen long years ago. As they say, styles change but to come back again: similar phenomenon also occurs in the poetic process. This is the maximum I can go to explain why I revert to the same idea again and again.
Winter Anarchy -II

Finally the freezing morning
Is here again
With its big burden of bounties
Up for grabs—
The falling flakes from the firmament
The pretentious, the blithe, the deceptively silent
The ambitious little assailants from the ozone
It’s white, white, everywhere
Not a spot of grey.

It’s the new age
Begin all to speak the same language:
White is purity and black is bane
White is insight, black is taint
White brings compliance, black the defiance.
All of us, the wise homo sapiens
Love to see it white, perfectly unstained.

In the process
No matter if Ajanta is white-washed
No matter if white goes the murals
Ceding their space to wall putty
It’s all for the sake of purity
Everything now should look pure
Even white turns the human blood.

Gung-ho, the frigid air is now afire
Ending Kalyug, the age of black
No place is left
For myriad spectrums
Look yonder
Here comes the platinum
The pure white, as white as snow
The hard-hearted, the dangerously obstinate
The sombre, the sedate
As white as the widow’s clothes.

In this way
Ends, finally, the autumn phase
Gone are the heydays
Of the gold glittering
Golden is no glory now
Golden is garbage
All are on their last legs
Atop the bough, the yellow foliage.

Any moment from now on
Barbarian from the sky would launch invasion.
Amid the snow-white, in the new dispensation
The phalange of slayers will pound the pavement
Everybody should think white
Think alike or else face the venom.

Killed will be the weak, the children, the disabled
Deviating from white, the path dictated
The slavery shall reappear but glorified
With whip and disgust and torture
The blood whitened will leave no trace
The tears will freeze for a full compliance
It’s the zeitgeist, as white as snow
It's zeitgeist, as white as platinum. 
 Shimla/ 19-12-2014

Winter Anarchy - I

Come now the loathsome December
The pungent smelling quilts grow flamboyant
The spiteful crime of April night
Gets merrily effaced from public memory.

Water flirts miserably for acceptance
Windows slam with bangs all of a sudden
They loose their interest in the outside
The horizon squeezes within the miniscule walls.

Laziness rules rampant
with hearts narrowed and ears spoilt,
We keep listening to gossips of the woollens and quilts
Smoke, the fugituve, delivers incomprehensible sermons
Streams of foul-smelling saliva inundate everywhere.

We go on begging moments of servile warmth
Everybody willingly forgoes his right to protest
Indignity and exploitation--all accepted
We inhale, continue to live a few more moments.

Port Blair / 04-12-1996
A N Nanda

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014


रि हा ई 


सुबह के शीतल समीर से मुग्ध मन

अपने आप को कुछ देने के लिए बेताब...

भूले-बिसरे सपनों से अगर एक भी पंखुड़ी

बच कर कलम तक आ पहुंचे

बस काफ़ी है, मंजूर है मुझे  

न किसी तुक बंदी की पावंद हो वह

न किसी विन्यास की भूख हो उसमें ।

छंद ऐसा हो...

समझने वाले पढ़ें, आज़मा लें अपनी-अपनी आरज़ू से जोड़कर

भाव से भीगा हुआ...लफ्ज़ भूल जाएँ पर लय ठहर जाए

आवेग ऐसा हो, आह्वान हो इस क़दर  

एकांत में दुलारने के लिए काफी

अनकही बातों को पंख लगा दे

फिर से सपने में प्रकट हो जाए ।

खुद पर रहम करना चाहता हूँ...

कुछ देने के लिए मन है, पर औकात नहीं

लोकाचार ही तय करता है लफ़्ज़ों की गहराई

कहना चाहता हूँ मैं, माँगना भी चाहता हूँ

भेंट चढ़ाना चाहता हूँ, दे कर दीन-हीन हो जाऊं   

मेरा वजूद भी मिट जाए, कबूल है मुझे

पर यह कैसी कायरता, मज़बूर हूँ मैं    

देने की ख्वाहिश है मन में

पर भयभीत हूँ मैं ।

सुबह के शीतल समीर से मुग्ध मन

अपने आप को कुछ देने के लिए बेताब...

सोचते-सोचते शाम ढलने को है अब  

क्या मैं अपने आप पर रहम कर सकता हूँ?

या फिर से सपना आने तक करना होगा इंतज़ार?

अथवा अँधेरे में खुद को संभाल कर

लफ़्ज़ों को पुनः परिभाषित करना होगा?

सारी रात, नीरवता--मेरी हमराही के सानिध्य में  

चारों ओर बिखरी भीनी-भीनी खुशबू से मदहोश,

दूर-दूर से बहते आए मार्मिक संगीत से मंत्रमुग्ध,

हँसते हुए तुम्हारे नूरानी चेहरे को याद कर

क्या कविता-कलम-कायरता से जूझ लूँ, 

या फिर से, कल की किस्मत के इंतज़ार में 

एक नई सुबह की राह देखूँ ?
A. N. Nanda