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Year of Publication (December) 2006
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INTRODUCTORY remarks on god commits suicide
God Commits Suicide is a brave collection of poetry by Assan Vaswani. Do not be misled by the title: his commitment to and desire for a spiritual power is evident, as well as his genuine admiration for mankind. One theme that runs through this collection is the notion that modern times have brought modern disasters, and humanity has committed a magnitude of merciless acts in the name of god. Vaswani brings this to the readers' attention in an audacious manner: He wants to shake things up- encourage us to think He writes with great vigor and self-knowledge that it is not a crime against god to question him, to consider the end of him. The crime is, rather, what humankind does to one another - most frequently in the name of god.
Vaswani's particular signature is exemplified in his tender moments of questioning, as in the poem "Illegitimate Child," wherein he askes," ...Is man an angel?" Gentle queries such as this are present througout his book. His desire to narrow the gap between what is known and what is believed separate him from other voices who cry for signs of a higher power, who bleed in the name of the name of the word "God," who follow a malevolent translation of a holy book. It is this poet's belief that humankind is an earthly manifestation of god; that the terrible mistakes of religious and political leaders are tragic landmines set out by a god who is worshipped by the perpetrators as well as the victims. This is an irony Vaswani clearly understands and suggests we pay close attention to. The question is, should God have known better than to have entrusted us with the power of self-determination, freedom to strive, freedom to serve. Has humankind maligned the spirit in which GOd has set up this world? Yes, yes and yes. Vaswani writes,: ..God has been created/to give mental prop to humans/so that they can forget the truth/about their own helplessness/and nobodiness..." The notion of "nobodiness," is startling, rich, and original. The direct and unapologetic attitude is not soapbox chatter but an unabashed expression of dismay at how things have turned out.
Assan Vaswani is a purposeful writer, realistic and accessible. He says what so many of us dare to whisper in a dark hour of despair. What a refreshing collection of poems written by a man who faces his doubts but who nevertheless communicates with authority, tenderness and a lack of self-importance. "God Commits Suicide" is a quest to discover by inquiry, as a child would, when the world seems too complex, too uncertain, too baffling. Vaswani's voice and mood are open, unfaird.
Carine Topal, Torrance, California
March 20, 2006
1. A REQUEST
Oh God !
I don’t want to pray
I don’t need your indulgence
nor any favour.
If I’ve done any misdeed
I merit apt punishment
and I must get it
in full measure.
I’ll never approach you
for reducing the punishment
or for reprieve.
I’ll not resort to flattery
on that account.
I am ready to undergo punishment
without any protest.
Let your punishment
even if patently harsh,
be the strong evidence
of your impartial governance.
Please don’t mind
when I say
that I don’t need a temple
a mosque, a church
a synagogue, a gurdwara
or any other place of worship,
as all these are acclaimed
as your holy abodes
where people come to pray
and cringe for forgiveness.
I for one
do not need it.
I don’t need your indulgence
nor any favour.
All I need is
your impartial judgment
and strong governance.
3. A DIP IN THE HOLY RIVER
From times immemorial
the sinners have been arriving here
from far - off places
to bathe at the bank
of this holy river.
After washing themselves clean
of their numerous sins
and becoming absolutely sinless,
they have again accumulated
some more sins
and have once more, by bathing
from the benevolent river.
the tradition of sinning
and subsequent absolution
on receiving blessings
has been here for a very long time,
else why should sinners
come here so often
for a holy dip ?
My fear is
that the waters of this holy river
once sparklingly pure -
have been so much mudied
by the dirt of sins
that I shouldn’t dare
take bath there anymore
else the dumped sins of worshippers
may rise to the surface
and overwhelm my conscience completely.
4. GREAT MEN HONOURED
Many centuries back
a great man
named Gautam Buddha
He was a fountain of compassion
He propounded a new philosophy
based on non-violence, piety and pity.
Under its influence
the people began shunning hatred
strife and ill-will,
there was an atmosphere
of love and fellow-feeling.
But this didn’t continue long,
the show was short - lived.
and along with his dead body
his principles too were cremated
by his numberless enthusiastic disciples.
There have remained of course
his pagodas, statues
and elaborate worshipping
with incense and aplomb.
After a very long period
A poor man Christ was born.
He was an apostle of peace and kindness
which he preached
where ever he went.
He wanted humans
to be humane in the real sense.
But he was not allowed to reform the world.
His opponents stopped him short,
he was arrested and imprisoned
and ultimately crucified.
After his death,
his numberless enthusiastic disciples
buried him, along with his principles.
There have remained ofcourse
his churches, statues
and elaborate worshipping
with incense and aplomb.
And not long ago
A great man Gandhi was born
He was an apostle of truth and Ahimsa.
He brought in revolution
in the minds of people,
there was an upsurge of
But this didn’t continue for long.
He was shot dead
in the broad day-light.
And his numberless enthusiastic disciples
while mourning his death
cremated his body and principles together.
There have remained of course
his statues, his books
and elaborate worshipping
with incense and aplomb.
5. God Commits Suicide
That man is very old
he has completed one hundred years,
his physical strength is low
but his eyes have a strange shine
and rather unusually
his brain is unimpaired.
Through out his life
he has been seeking an answer
to his question
from saints, sages, sanyasies
priests, pirs, pontiffs and philosophers
but every where
the answer hasn’t been a straight one.
It has been circuitous
and full of cliches and conditionalities.
As a result, there has been emergence of
many more questions, rather than answers.
The old man puts his question simply thus :
Human being doesn’t know why he is born in this world,
neither does he know why death is inevitable for him.
Then why such kind of ignorant creature
has been created after all ?
If it is a strategy
who, in that case, is the strategist ?
The old man is anxious to have interface with God
to get a reply from Him
a clear and an unambiguous reply
a direct and straight reply
without any ifs and buts.
Having come to know his query
God is frightened.
He doesn’t want to meet the old man,
much less argue with him.
The old man is alive and will remain so
until God ordains otherwise.
He has completed hundred years
Yet there are no signs of his imminent death.
But, on this side of the fence
the old man is also frightened.
His fear is based on the possibility
of God committing suicide
out of remorse, repentance and desperation.
And, in case that happens
what would be the fate of humans
including he himself
who have no knowledge of their beginnings
and are ignorant about the end aswell ?
6. INVENTING NEW RELIGION
For many centuries now
the ancient religions —-
Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
Taoism, Confucianism, Shanto
have been in existence
just for name.
I don’t know why ?
Of Vedic Rishis, Christ, Mohamed
Zorastra, Buddha, Moses
are being formally uttered
I don’t know why ?
When human race
has made so many strides
numberless new concepts, new objects
and new institutions
the invention of a new religion
wouldn’t have been that difficult.
the human beings aren’t interested
in inventing the new religion
or, may be
they don’t find any need of it.
They find it expedient
to allow continuance of old faiths
as they provide some ossified ideals
which, every body knows
are but a facade
the criminals among them
continue their nefarious activities
Why should they bother about new religion
when the going is good otherwise ?
7. GOD REPENTS
I created man after a long gestation
to make him the crown of creation,
so that he brings new light on the earth,
so that he brings beauty and fragrance there.
He was given the earth as dwelling place
where there’s everything in plenty.
Gold, silver and other precious metals
are in abundance.
The food and fruits are sufficient
to feed billions of people.
But the tragedy is :
some humans are overfed
some go hungry,
some children are plump and ruddy
some are emaciated and pale.
Further, they manufacture war-weapons
and are plotting to kill one another.
They fight on earth, in air and on sea
and laugh at the deaths of their foes.
They think it is their big success.
They have divided earth
as if it were their personal property.
Or in the name of religion
they slay the young and the aged alike.
When I mull over the present plight of earth
I repent for having created the humans
who are good-looking and clever for sure
but are totally devoid of wisdom and compassion.
8. HUMAN BEING —
A CLEVER ANIMAL
Human being is a clever animal.
He has adopted many strategies
He pretends to be ignorant
while he knows the reality very well.
He pretends as if he has no knowledge
while he has full knowledge of the happenings.
He is groping in the dark
like a sightless person.
He doesn’t know anything about God
nor did his forefathers know
yet he continues to chant God’s name
and say ever and anon
that God is the creator
God is very merciful
God is pure
God is omnipresent
God is omnipotent
God is destroyer of wicked people
God is the creation of human mind
and all the attributes of God
are also human inventions.
God has been created
to give mental prop to humans
so that they can forget the truth
about their own helplessness
the name of God
and treat that inane repetition
as a great prayer
which is in effect a futile exercise.
Further, the human being is after all human,
he has committed many errors
and is likely to commit more errors hereafter.
It is said by wise men
that to realise the truth about our mistakes
is the beginning of wisdom.
Here, in the case of human being,
this realisation is totally absent.
On the contrary, the human being thinks
that God being compassionate,
all his earlier and present faults
have been condoned
and those of the future
would also be treated likewise.
Hence he isn’t worried about his mistakes
isn’t worried about his misdeeds.
For him, no oppression is unjust
no crime merits punishment
no devilish deed will attract penalty
since God is omnipresent
God is always there to forgive
God is always there to condone mistakes.
Om Shanti …….. Om Shanti …….. Om Shanti
Shanti …….. Shanti …….. Shanti.
* * *
there be peace, let there be peace, let there be
9. MY REGRETS
an unknown person’s dead body
being taken to cremation-ground
Gautam Buddha was set
into deep thinking.
His heart was filled with so much sorrow
that he renounced the worldly pleasures
and went into the woods
to find out an answer
as to why every person
Even the death of a stranger
disturbed his mind
and brought about revolution
in his life.
Later, he became a great person
a great thinker
a great guide
and a great philosopher.
On my side
I have witnessed many a dead body
being taken to cremation ground
and have joined the mourners’ processions
I have seen my own kith and kin
near and dearones
disappear before my very eyes
from this world,
yet I’ve never given a thought
to renouncing the world
nor have I any further plan
to retire to the woods
I have developed an odd habit of
considering a dream as reality
and a reality as dream.
My blind faith, based on myths, is that
man is immortal
he lives innumerable lives
death destroys his body only
his soul does’nt perish
there’ll he resurrection / restoration
etcetera - all no more than wishful thinking.
As a consequence
I have failed to become a great person
I have failed to become a great thinker
I have failed to become a great guide
and I have failed to become a great philosopher.
10. EXODUS FROM HEAVEN
Devas and Devies of Heaven
are all angry with God.
What great attraction now remains
in this erstwhile sought - after Heaven ?
‘Life is more comfortable
for earthly humans
than for us.
Our living conditions are
spiceless and inglorious.’
Our houses are not airconditioned.
We haven’t got multichannel TVs
No continuous musicals
No blue films
No all-revealing sex sports.
There’s scarcity of fast foods
hamburgers, hotdogs, cookies
beers, whiskies, wines.
There’s no champagne
no English scotch
no Russian Vodka.
What we get is the same
‘Som Ras’ — which has
neither taste nor flavour.
For eating we continue to get
same ambrios of olden times.
We don’t get tandoori roties
basmati rice, shish kebab or surmai fish.
We can’t continue life
in this atmosphere of total boredom.
We request you humbly
Oh great God
that we be permitted
to emigrate from the Heaven
God (in spiritual meditation)
opened this eyes briefly
and gave a serious thought
to the problem in hand
and replied thus :
I’m in full agreement with you
as regards poor living conditions in Heaven.
I have already been mulling this issue
for quite some time now.
Let me tell you in confidence
that I have already
sent my request to the Earth authorities
If you also submit such applications
I would , without any resentment or rancour
forward them to that place.
Hari Om Tat Sad
Hari Om Tat Sad
11. IN SEARCH OF IMMORTALITY
while searching for immortality
and working hard for its attainment
I shall soon happen to die.
You all folks will bury me
in the churchyard.
Some would at that time shed tears
some would place flowers
on my grave
so that my troubled soul
may rest in peace.
But after some period
I would feel
as if I had never been born.
The world would be full of laughter,
the spring as usual would arrive,
and there would be flowers blooming in the garden,
but there wouldn’t be any where
even trace of my existence.
None would have my new address
since my soul,
as if in exile,
would still be wandering
from one country to another
in search of that damned immortality.
To Conceal my innate ugliness
I put on a mask,
but the devilish original was showing.
I went on putting mask after mask.
In the Process
I became a super masked man,
I could then breathe easy.
But of late
I have developed a craze
for unmasking myself
and this is not an easy task.
I feel tired and exhausted
as the masks are hard to remove -
they are so much stuck up
with my body and soul.
They have been fed
on the blood of my real self.
They're now loth to leave
the state of license and luxury.
I don't know
when this conflict
of real and counterfeit
is to end,
or may not end after all,
an incurable ulcer
causing me incrutiating pain
through out my life.
13. HUMAN-A DISOWNED BEING
In the train
a lone child is sitting
at the corner of the bench.
Sometimes he smiles
some times he becomes sombre
sometimes he’s on the verge of weeping.
I give him a lollipop
he is surprised
and his face lights up
But after a pause
the same innocence
and the same seriousness
return to him.
He told me
he had been travelling that way
from times immemorial,
alone and alone
like a homeless vagrant.
He didn’t know
who his parents were,
nobody had ever
craddled him in the arms
nobody had ever kissed his lips.
The feeling of being an alien
is now a permanent feature of his life.
This has become a lasting aspect
of his inexplicable existence.
I, as a poet, am totally puzzled.
I have failed to find
any satisfactory clue
to this unsolved puzzle.
Is this an instance of extreme ignorance
or a climax of
some spiritual enlightenment ?
congratulation to his mum and dad
for discarding their child
and freeing themselves
from the responsibilities
of bringing him up.
14. SINNING AND FORGIVING
A person was caught
while committing sin
for the first time.
He was brought before God.
He expressed regret
and pleaded for forgiveness.
He promised he wouldn’t repeat
that action thereafter.
God was satisfied
and let him go.
But after a few days
the same person was caught
while committing the sin
the second time.
He again, before God,
pleaded for forgiveness
and promised not to repeat
the offence thereafter.
God was again impressed
by his seeming sincerity
and ordered his release.
The person was very pleased
on being shown mercy.
Again for the third and fourth time,
also the fifth and the sixth time
and so on
the person got caught
in the act of sinning
but continued to plead
with merciful God
who forgave him every time.
God lost patience
and asked the person
as to when would he stop
committing the sin.
While folding his hands,
fell at the feet of God
and kissed them with reverence.
He added :
Oh the most revered Almighty !
better you fulfil your own obligation
and I fulfil mine.
I shall not refrain from sinning
and you shall not refuse me forgiveness.
15. ILLEGITIMATE CHILD
When the great biologist
tried to prove
that man is not much different
from other animals of the earth,
the staunch believers
of various religions
lost their sleep complete.
They tried to remind us
about ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’
or ‘Adam’ and ‘Bibi Hawa’
or ‘Manu’ and Shridha’.
that the kingdom of God
covers the entire globe
from east to west
and from north to south.
They also proclaimed
that man is
an exceptional creation of God,
man is never subject to mutations,
he is God’s beloved child
and an integral part of His.
But strange enough,
God has never openly
endorsed this view anytime.
At this end
man is anxious to declare himself
as son of God
and wants to appease Him.
Hence he has built many temples
churches and mosques
in His honour
where he has made arrangement
for prayers and His glorification.
Yet the creation problem
has remained unsolved as ever.
But now this tangle
should the resolved at the earliest
as this intimately concerns
the origin and race of the man,
this is the question of his prestige
Is man an angel ?
Is he a devilish creature ?
Is he a legitimate son of God ?
Or is he an illegitimate creature
16. SEPARATION OF SOULS
You and I
your ‘self’ and my ‘self’.
I am so much close to you bodily
that I’m able to hear very clearly
the soft sound of your breathing
your lips have stuck tightly to mine
like a thirsty human
who hasn’t drunk water for years
but later wants to empty
the entire river of its flowing water
in one single draught.
The mysterious hunger
has rolled our two bodies
into a single one.
What after all this signify ?
Is it sex ?
Is it passion ?
Is it love ?
or is it something else ?
As I see it
it’s an instinct
of getting united, and then getting separated.
It’s a dream
dreamt by an awakened person.
It’s a temporary writing on water
towards the shores of non-existence.
We’re not one soul,
we’re very much separate from each other.
You and I
have met here
only by chance.
The differences between souls
are here immense
the gulf between two souls
is never bridgeable
during this life time
or in future.
Not withstanding this
why is there so much joy
in our physical union
and why is there so much sorrow
when we are physically separated ?
This, to me, is yet a mystery
that is unresolved as of now.
Some times I begin to think
whether we humans
are simply puppets
dancing to the tune of
some clever hidden puppeteer
who is the sole Master
of this Cosmic Show.
17. NEW EPOCH
The new inventions of science
eliminated the distances
between one country and the other,
Earth space is mere
a formality shown in the geographical maps.
Humans live now so close
that any one stretching an arm
finds many a person
in his/her embrace.
We all humans are linked
and connected so much
that it is difficult to distinguish
between a compatriot and a foreigner.
Our life on this planet Earth
may be more comfortable
than there—in the so-called Heaven.
Even angels and their supreme boss, God
may feel tempted
to come down and stay with us for good.
But there’s a condition
that-humans reject their old mind-set,
that they reject old anachronistic
beliefs and traditions,
that they say good-bye to ossified brain,
and write a new chapter
in the history of human progress
and human fellowship.
18. MEANINGLESS LIFE
There’s neither sorrow nor joy,
neither tears nor smiles,
What a meaningless life !
There’s no anxiety,
no throbbing of heart,
no expression of anger,
What a meaningless life !
There’s neither moon-lit night
nor total darkness,
neither star-lit night
nor starless sky,
What a meaningless life !
There’s no joy of spring
nor depression of autumn,
neither twittering birds
nor frightening silence,
What a meaningless life !
There’s no expectation of union
nor pangs of separation,
no daring love
nor fear of rivalry,
What a meaningless life !
There’s no intoxicating wine
nor cup-bearer’s indifference,
neither conscious pain
nor untutored glee,
What a meaningless life !
Who says this world is a great creation ?
This life is worse than death.
There’s neither passion
nor any glory,
What a meaningless life !
I know it too well
that by now
I have passed through
many a stage of life.
At any time
a little more speed in the wind
can upset my old
and outdated boat
and sink it
into bottomless sea
no information comes
either of the boat
or the boatswain.
Inspite of it
I’m not unduly alarmed
I’m none the less quite aware
and slightly restive.
In the mean time
on the surface of sea,
the sporty antics of sea-animals,
the fading glow of sunset
and the evening breeze
Are not all these beautiful scenes
and ear-pleasing melodies
enough to entertain
and enthral me ?
20. LOOKING BACK ON PAST
The humanity’s eyes are always fixed on the past
while the past is nothing but
writing on the yellowing pages of history,
something true, something false
something sweet, something bitter.
The past which was buried centuries back
can’t be resurrected now.
It is merely the reminder
of old friendships and old enmities.
The dilapidated walls of the monument
have long ago crumbled to dust,
they are, in sum, heaps of rubble.
This past is like a deserted and desolate place,
nothing valuable will come out
from digging deep into these ruins.
The actors of the past
are all in deep slumber, historically.
They would never get up from the sleep
hard though we may try for this to happen.
Then, why should we lose our sleep over the issue ?
Those ancient personages lived their lives as individuals,
performed their deeds according to their own lights
and then said good-bye to the world.
Is the past worthwhile
if that makes us blind to
our present conditions,
if it makes us insensitive,
prevents us from apprehending and
the difference between it and the present ?
Instead of clearing our vision
creates hazy atmosphere
or like opium, produces intoxication of the brain
resulting in total neglect of hard reality.
We continue to look back
and remain sometimes happy, other times unhappy.
We busy ourselves
in keeping the accounts of the past
and at first opportunity,
in the name of religion,
race, caste or colour,
kill like mad
those innocent people
who have no relation whatsoever
with the historical misdeeds.
We burn to ashes
the houses of friends and neighbours,
murder in cold blood
children, old men, young men and women,
or we render them orphans,
widowed and unsheltered.
We destroy thereby
the properties of crores of rupees
resulting in the undoing of
all previous economic progress of decades.
21. AN UPROOTED
Consequent to the partition of India,
the migration of Hindu Sindhis from Sindh
was an event historic and mind-boggling,
with community running for cover
in every nook and corner of India.
It ended the era of ease and comfort
and threw a serious challenge
for survival and new life.
It was a great experience of adjustment,
new people with new lingos
new predilections and new customs.
there were numerous instances
of stumbling, falling, and getting up,
but none shed tears,
none begged for alms.
Keeping in mind the demand of times
the community invigorated itself,
their self-confidence soared to great heights
their strength and determination became phenomenal,
they decided to stand on their own legs,
they valued self-respect even in hard times.
It appeared as if
the new evolved soul of the community
had woken from long slumber.
One critic said :
This uprooted community
is the most unlucky on earth.
I am envious of this community.
The gold becomes ‘Kundan’ after passing through fire.
The humans become great
after facing calamities
and overcoming crisis.
22. ON MY BIRTHDAY
One dear friend
came to remind me of my birthday.
I was surprised,
as if I had woken from the sleep.
What, the year has ended so soon ?
After attaining sixty years of age
the person seems to find
years passing very fast.
As if only yesterday
my friends had come
with their presents
to felicitate me on my retirement.
They were very happy
that I had been a free man.
Having completed the life-journey—-
boring and luckless—-
I had now reached the junction-point
from where I’ll be able to travel
further straight to Heaven / Hell.
Those God-fearing friends
are my well-wishers.
They are anxious to send me away
to Heaven at the earliest.
They don’t know
that I might receive an order
to go to Hell instead,
as I am not faultless
I am no saint or all-virtue.
Hence I don’t find any merit
in reaching there quickly
when my future is uncertain.
Those friends and relations of mine
that I haven’t any interest
in entering Hell or Heaven.
I don’t want to meet God/Ishwar/Allah.
Let them remain there in their respective position.
This world, after all
is not that bad.
If there’s badness, there’s goodness too.
If there’s cowardice, there’s bravery too.
If there’s enmity, there’s friendship too.
If there’s sorrow, there’s happiness too.
If there’s slavery, there’s freedom too.
If there’s ugliness, there’s beauty too.
If there’s hatred, there’s love too.
If there’s discord, there’s togetherness too.
23. HIGH EXPECTATIONS
On the birth of a baby
the high expectations of parents-
mummy, dady and others —-
kill the smile and laughter
of the newcomer.
In the schools and colleges
the undue expectations of teachers
blight the youth of students
and make them miserable
During his tenure of job
government or private
the expectations of employers
their rules, regulations,
outdated traditions, discipline
to put a donkey’s load on his shoulders.
the excessive expectations of the beloved,
giles and wiles,
the huge hotel bills,
frequent pricy gifts,
exorbitant taxi bills,
half the romance of bachelorhood.
After the marriage
the sky-high expectations of wife
the children and inlaws
would have unnerved
even the great philosopher Socrates.
Besides, the expectations of
community, country, world,
environment, birds and animals,
institutions and organisations,
better remain unaccounted.
during his old age,
the expectations of doctors
as regards elderly’s health bills,
expectations of advocates
as regards court bills,
expectation of dear ones, relatives
as regards inheritance,
are all nothing but expectations
And, in the end
after his death
during his first encounter with God,
the latter said:
welcome, you guy!
your arrival here is opportune.
I have just now finished for you
a memorandum of my demands
that is, my expectations of you.
24. WELCOME PENSIONER
At the age of sixty
Atmaram retired from service —-
his relations with office
whenever he visits office
his old colleagues
offer him with great warmth,
even in winter,
a full glass of iced water
from the water-cooler
half of a half cup of tea
very strong and very black
from the office canteen.
What an inordinate concern
for the poor pensioner,
their erstwhile brother-in-the-job !
Else, who cares about whom
in this world of down-right selfishness
25. Good Morning !
With my rising from the bed
in the morning,
many problems also arise simultaneously.
As if they were lying in wait
in some far corner of the house
to attack their quarry
who after a long spell of reconciling
the philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
with one another,
leaves the cosy bed
with great reluctance.
My wife Sujata complains
that she is over-burdened
with the responsibility of
running this home administration alone,
hence there's confusion galore.
Being under mental stress
She has put salt instead of sugar
in boiling tea
also, she has put sugar, not salt
in vegetable preparations.
Our cussed servant Ramu
is having a slanging talk
with neighbour's young maid
Intermittently the rascal is laughing boisterously
without any care for pending work.
Let him return
and I'll give him a piece of my mind.
Here, my venerable parents,
my mother and my father,
are busy in singing devotional songs.
Though their songs lack musical niceties
yet the loudness has disturbed
the sleep of our beloved cat
who, to show her feline displeasure
darts through the open window
and disappears from our sight.
She is evidently
not interested in entering
the blessed gates of heaven
which open up when prayers are soulful.
However, when the cat gets older
like my parents
and when her brain-screws somewhat loosen,
She'll understand it all.
At present she is young, virile and
The children are watching TV
instead of doing their home-work.
They are annoyed
as the teacher at school
had disallowed them
from bringing ice-candies in the class-
the real reason being
that they had forgot last time
to bring ice-cream cup for her
Further, the teacher allots
such a heavy home-work
that their mummy and dady
get completely bored
and sometimes quarrel over it.
I enter the bath-room
to get a shower.
I undress myself
and open the tap
but there isn't any water,
the tap is totally dry,
it means the overhead tank
is now empty.
I begin to ponder the issue
of taking bath daily.
Who on earth introduced the meaningless tradition
and made a life of so many
miserable and unhappy ?
I come out of the bath-room
grumbling and mumbling.
the telephone rings
and I pick up the receiver.
My friend Ramesh at the other end
greets me with 'good morning !'
I also respond spontaneously
with a Cheery 'good morning !'
And on my face are writ large
the signs of stupendous stupidity
26. OBEDIENT SON
In the drawing-room
of a big bungalow,
on the walls are hung
two imposing portraits
of a couple —-
a father and a mother
(mum and dad)
of the present owner.
Both have smiling faces
and are well-dressed.
Early in the morning
as soon as
the sound of first visitor’s footsteps
the owner of the bungalow,
rushes to the drawing-room,
with two floral garlands in his hand
and stays put just opposite the portraits
till the visitor appears.
He then bows most reverentially
before the portraits
and after garlanding them,
crouches on the carpeted floor
with prayer on his lips,
seeking parental blessings.
But this is also a fact,
though now remembered by only a few,
that during the last phase
of their lives
both his parents
had left this very bungalow
(which they had built
with their own money)
due to arrogant and insulting
behaviour of their only son, Atmaram.
They had got shelter
in the small house of their distant relative
where though space and amenities were limited,
affection was unlimited.
27. Crazy Poet
He gets up in the wee hours of morn
and begins writing poetry.
On the First Occasion
his family members also woke up suddenly
and thinking that there was a miscreant
seized him tightly
but felt embrassed on discovery.
Now they have come to realise
that this kind of behaviour
is the result of some technical flaw
in his brain machinery
Or may be a handiwork of etherial ghost
having cosy abode in poet's mind.
How would any physician help in the matter
absolutely non-physical ?
Even Lukman Hakim of ancient fame
would have found this disease untreatable,
much less curable
He wanders about in office
with such an air of non-chalance
as if he has come down from another planet
on a visit to this earth.
His unkempt hair,
his 'devil-may-care' attitude to promotion in job,
his no-flattery please behaviour with the boss--
are all unique.
Once his boss opined
we should thank God
that he is simply semi-mad
things could easily have been worse.
HAVEN FOR FLAMINGOES
After traversing thousands of miles,
many countries and barren lands
sans passports and visas,
descend on the marshy sands of Kutch
every year without fail
a new generation of strong progeny.
The Rann of Kutch
provides them in abundance
comfort, freedom, food and rest.
Their happiness knows no bounds
and they enjoy every moment of their sojourn.
The young birds enjoy
the warm embraces of each other.
It’s the very romance of their lives,
fulfilment of both body and spirit,
they feel the long and arduous journey
made to this place
worth the making.
After some period —-
from the white eggs
the noisy young ones are born
who become flying - capable
in a matter of months.
Soon the couples and the birdies,
the entire families
plan their return journey
to their motherland
sans passports and visas.
These flamingoes perhaps know not
that some selfish and pseudo-
the so-called leaders and statesmen of
have destroyed the freedom of their fellowmen.
In the name of nation, state, language, race and religion,
there are boundaries between countries,
impediments and obstacles
that prevent one human being from meeting
The plots are hatched remorselessly
to create division and distrust among humans,
create strife and ill-will
and consequent meaningless wars
which result in horrendous blood baths.
All this to enfeeble and destroy the future
to create Hell on earth
in place of Heaven.
The common man
Wants to be free,
he wants to live like flamingoes.
He wants to live in comfort.
He hates Hell
and craves for Heaven.
It’s Heaven that’ is his dream
but will he realise it ?
29. WONDERS OF FREEDOM
Today I am a free man, as you too are.
This guy is free and that guy is free.
The men are free, as the women are.
I wonder why then you are yet resentful ?
You’re free to come to office late.
You’re free to leave office for home betimes.
Even while not working, you continue to draw
It seems there’s freedom, and freedom
You can accept bribe without inhibition
as all officers are also free.
You needn’t worry about law-courts
as the judges are also free.
It’s not compulsory for professors to lecture
in the class
as there are other activities to get engaged in,
like seminars, symposia and conferences.
students are also not bothered on this account
as the examiners and invigilators are also free.
It would be better that you first get
a comprehensive life insurance cover
and then travel by train, bus or taxi.
You can travel by aeroplane as well,
and at ease
since drivers / pilots of all types of vehicles
enjoy the privileges of total freedom.
There are numerous, specialist physicians
for every ailment
and you’re free to be ensnared by any one.
In fact there isn’t much fundamental
difference between their attitudes
as every specialist is an expert
lining his own pocket at your expenses.
as their promises go on piling up during election
after the election
we all are free to join the ‘janaza’
marking the sad demise of past promises.
Janaza = Funeral procession
30. Cultural Heritage
Truth now remains dumb and humiliated.
The wickedness, not goodness, now dominates the scene.
There's little difference left between democracy and dictatorship.
Simplicity is on the verge of extinction.
The sweet Guru-disciple relationship is being buried fast.
Paper-degrees from educational institions only count.
The harmonious relation between husband - wife, father - son, brother - sister
have become thing of the past.
Selfishness has triumphed over renunciation.
The brave people are in the bondage of cowards.
The sycophants have become exceedingly prosperous.
In short, we have given a short shrift
to all our cultural traditions and values
in all walks of life.
But how ironical
that of late we've gone crazy
on the TV serials of both our epics
Ramayana and Mahabharat
which depict our age-old
traditions, values and way of life
and are our glorious cultural heritage.
31. WOMAN’S STATUS
Please don’t be ridiculous by proclaiming
that woman is an angel
or a deity come from Heaven
who should be worshipped,
since those who pamper women
are the ones
who cause them to commit suicide.
Woman is simply a human being,
she hasn’t come from heaven,
nor from Hell.
She has the same rights
as the man has,
and the similar duties,
may be more arduous.
Man alone is not the owner of this Earth
nor is he more powerful.
But right from the beginning,
he has allotted to himself
the title of a ‘superior sex’.
He has also refused
to recognise her as a woman
in her own right.
In the deeper recesses of his mind
woman is a powerless human,
she is humble and docile,
she is less intelligent and less competent,
she is like his shoes to be worn,
like a toy to be played with,
like a wine-draught for a sex-hungry man,
yet she is the cause of his down fall.
In real terms
she is impudent and inglorious,
she is unchaste and unreliable,
she is notorious and bad character,
she has bad name everywhere,
her demeanour is condemnable,
she is the meanest among mean,
she has neither reputation nor status.
32. Birth of New Poetry
In the half empty coffee-cup
was mixed a small portion of sun.
Devils made a hop,
the awakened dead bodies from the graves
suddenly woke up, laughed boisterously
but the estranged souls wept unconsolably.
In the reservoir of coffee,
night mixed its blackness,
some ingredients of struggle and revolution
were added to it.
Then some innocent people were crucified
which evoked laughter among crooks.
some unchaste women smirked
some eunuchs made a hue and cry
living dead bodies took strong objection.
On the scene
arrived a poet
who dipped his pen
in the coffee potion
in that unclean half-empty cup,
and with undue haste,
began to write from the wrong side
and in an alphabet upside down
without any motive or meaning,
without 'bahr' or 'vazan',
without 'kafiya' or 'radif',
without cadence or rhythm.
But no doubt it was unique and unprecedented.
One inquisitive person asked the poet
as to what was the meaning of the poem.
The poet replied :
This is New Poetry
and by your ignorance you are insulting the poet aswell.
However there will be thorough research
to find the meaning of the poem.
A seminar will be organised on appropriate scale.
There will be hot discussion by literary
would the meaning and purpose of the poem be available.
For the time being
you have to have patience
I too am puzzled
as to what after all I have penned.
New Poetry = Free Verse, sans rules of versifiction
Bahr = metre, verse
Vazan = measure
Kafiya = the last letter in a verse
Radif = the rhyming word of poem
33. WORLD WAR III
More than half a century has elapsed
since the end of Second world war
but there aren’t any signs of
Third world war breaking out.
This really had never been anticipated.
Some skirmishes have surely taken place,
but they subside quickly
or they continue so tardily
as if they were chess tournaments.
Immediately after dropping bombs
the planes disappear posthaste.
Majority of bombs drop into oceans
or in desert / mountainous terrains
causing almost no damage to human life.
bombers piloted by robots
will fight with enemy planes
also piloted by robots.
In the process
the poor robots in their hundreds
will be killed mercilessly.
Future wars will be waged
without human soldiers
and there would be no blood-shed.
The retrenched young soldiers will be
employed in computer industries
for training and manning machines,
the old soldiers will be compulsorily retired
as per prevalent government rules.
The nuclear bombs in their thousands
are getting rusted in silos.
Government had spent billions,
and numberless scientists had worked
for their manufacture.
But now fresh billions will be required
to defuse them.
So happily there will be no retrenchment
of eminent and patriotic scientists.
The world population is increasing
by leaps and bounds,
babies are born in such number
as if they are either puppies or kittens.
Further the old men have refused to die on time,
doctors have refused to obey
even God’s orders
and have virtually humiliated ‘God of death’.
There are even unholy conspiracies being hatched
to pass death sentence on ‘God of death’.
If the human being doesn’t die
what will happen to this domain of God ?
34. POETS’ MEET
The stage is crowded by poets--
some tall, others dwarfish
some thin, others obese
some good-looking, others average
a few young, a great majority old
but most of them
suffer from baldness.
Every one has a diary in hand
containing poems composed
during last two decades.
The poems of old men
are full of love and romance
about spring and youth
about secret meetings of lovers
about their kissing and embraces
about wines and taverns
about wine-cups and cup-bearers.
But the diaries of young poets
of displeasure, grief and sorrow,
of desperation and disloyalty,
of weeping and shedding tears,
of melancholia and death,
of separation, worry and philosophising.
Some poetesses are also present.
They have come in full make-up.
some have come in ‘salvar - kurta’,
some have come in semi-transparent sarees,
some are in jeans and T shirts.
The poems recited by them
are about full-scale revolution,
about wife-beating, abuses and rape.
some poetesses condemn inflation
some condemn poor quality of make-up material
of Lipstick and hairdyes
or children’s wear,
eats and drinks in hotels.
But the audience is quiet
as if they are dumb and deaf,
as if poets’ meet
is a veritable condolence-meeting
or, as if they are soon to join
a funeral procession.
The attendees don’t know
what the ‘rubai’ is
or ‘gazal’ is
what ‘kata’ is and what ‘doha’ is
what ‘kafia’ is and what ‘radif’ is.
For them , the poets’ meet
is simply a gathering of some crazy people.
35. ON MY SUDDEN DEATH
The news of my death
didn’t spread like wild fire.
On my death
none was ready to shed copious tears.
On the contrary, some people smiled
some laughed outright
saying : This is a false news.
This man wouldn’t die so easily.
This requires a miracle to happen.
Even death would require some time
to contemplate on this tangled issue.
The brahmins who perform last rites
refused to come for their calling
as they required solid evidence
of my death.
They demanded a copy of death certificate
pertaining to the deceased,
duly authenticated by a Gazetted officer.
Morever, they had been engaged to perform ceremonies
at the residence of some one else
who had died earlier.
On hearing the news
God was non-plussed.
He ultimately spoke thus:
This man seems to be unique
as nobody has wept for him,
none has even expressed sorrow.
The brahmins have roundly refused
to perform his last rites.
They would not recite sacred hyms
but for which
his soul wouldn’t exit from his mortal body.
In consequence, his death would be
In the light of above circumstances,
I, the creator, Preserver and Destroyer
of all Cosmic life,
both big and small,
withdraw my earlier order of his death
and ordain the restoration of his life.
Let him continue to write poems
and torment his fellow humans.
This would at least
keep me free from bother.
* This book (God Commits Suicide) is his first book of poems in English.