The ruse I became for thee

This poem is a response to Miss Aima Jamal‘s excellent composition: “The Person I could Never be“.


As placid as it looked to thee,
each piece of mine emitted perplexity,
for a puzzle you left unsolved,
waited too long for your touch
to sample its destiny…

As composed as it found to thee,
each wall was at verge of rupturing,
for a house you abandoned,
hosted tornadoes and storms,
keeping doors open in your waiting.

As polite as it sounded to thee,
each pulse of mine echoed calamity,
for a heart you composed songs for,
allowed clamor to chord in,
for your voice to appear stealthily.

As accustomed as it occurred to thee,
each part of mine reeked toxicity,
for a garden you left attending,
played with wild to become forest,
hoping, you may come hunting.

As calm as it seemed to thee,
each wave of mine contained a sea,
for an ocean you left restless,
kissed the shore just to know,
your whereabouts daily…

As eloquent as it read to thee,
each letter of mine struggled to breath,
for a poem you left incomplete,
soaked – ink of entire universe, yet
for you remained its hem – arid.

As warm and kind as it felt to thee,
each pore in my body kept barbarity,
for a dessert you made a drizzle in,
kept mirage of hope persisted,
knowing, one day you may observe
the ruse I became for thee…

NICHOLAS HOULT stars in WARM BODIES Ph: Jonathan Wenk © 2011 Summit Entertainment, LLC.  All rights reserved.

– Dedicated to the dear beloved with whom lover is, as much in love as in war…

Photo Credits:

1- Nicholas Hoult – Screencap from film ‘X Men – First Class’
2- Nicholas Hoult – Screencap from film ‘Warm Bodies’

The Insurmountable


Had there been a huge wall of rocks
to scale between us…
we would’ve built stairs together
even if by piling all our possessions,
to nail a pole, holding the flag of surmounting love…
for we intended to never harm
the vines or twines of nature
that surrounded us,
and built us a nest – a safe haven when
we were most withered.

Had there been a mighty ocean
to swim between us…
we would’ve built a bridge together
even from straws spread across the shore
to cross and discover love-islands we adored,
for we intended to never harm
the trees that guarded us
and protected us
from the storms when
we were most scattered.

Had there been a gigantic mountain
to climb between us…
we would’ve formed the ropes together
even from shreds of clothes covering us,
to reach the peak intensity of our love…
for we intended to never harm
the nature that kept us enclosed
and sheltered
from strong winds that blew when
we were light feathered.

Had there been a blinding fog
to swab between us…
we would’ve inhaled it all together
even at cost of the senses that empowered us,
to establish purity of an unending love…
for we intended to never harm
the weather or the seasons
that were always kind to us,
showering their blessings
as dew and sparkle when
we were most dry and arid.

Had there been a breathing volcano
to pass over between us…
we would’ve built clouds and thunders together,
even by evaporating ourselves into a thin air,
to soothe a fire in mountains from rains of love…
for we intended to never harm
the geezers of nature,
and fountains of warmth,
that kept our world soothing, and
filled our wells with compassion, when
we were most abandoned.

Had there been a thick forest
to maneuver between us…
we would’ve explored its maze together
even by forsaking all we regarded dear,
to prove what pulled us together was more
entwined than anything that appeared
for we intended to never harm
the decorum of territories or foliage patterns,
that kept us segregated
from the beasts and the demons when
we were most befuddled.

Had there been a puddle of quicksand
to crossover between us…
we would’ve built the wings together,
even by forfeiting our right to stumble,
to own the sky which hosts pairs of birds forever
for we intended to never harm
the sacred grounds, ambiance or atmosphere,
that kept us close and tight among those
we called our own, when
we didn’t know even a definition of love.

But alas, my love,
we couldn’t do that…

For what we faced
were man-made
impediments and sanctions,
those fences and barriers,
such encompassing restrictions…
that were perhaps,
more mightier than the oceans,
more higher than the mountains,
more blinding than the fog,
and even thicker than the forests…
or any other resistance in nature…

For those
hand drawn borders fractured the free sky
we would have created ripples of love in…
and hefty piles of traditions drowned the boats
that carried the love’s offspring,
Those sanctity of religions,
restricted heart beats and thoughts
that made one come close to beloved.
And those nailed shackles of
color, caste, creed, and background
that managed to bind everything together
except love…

The world we live in
still ranks people,
and relations on basis of everything
that comes along
involuntarily bound to us
since an incident of birth…
And somehow they become so
relevant to keep our souls in
chains and cuffs;
For justification of
our hearts to be sealed behind the
the walls and fences invincible…
to keep us apart forever from what our
souls crave, from our heart’s hunger…
no matter how much we intended or
geared towards all the passion and love…

we didn’t know how to try better, my love…
May be we gave up way too soon
like the weaklings
we could give chance to something,
we read in books, tales and poems,
didn’t they preach us
“only thing insurmountable is an unending love”.

– Dedicated to “Love – insurmountable”…


Art/ Image credits:

1- Angel falls – Location: Venezuela
2- Embrace – Artist: Tomasz Alen Kopera

No hospitality is here, nor is hostility (Koi dost hai na raqeeb hai)

– Another poignant ghazal performed live by Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh sb.


No hospitality is here, nor is hostility…
How strangely weird is your vicinity…?

Once intent of passion led to a unity…
Now, excuse of fate signed separability…

Of whom I admire here a sensibility?
Exists no space here for such proximity…

To whom may I request for a company…?
Here, each shoulder is over its capacity…

I wonder often watching your rarity…
You’re a friend or you’re an enemy…

– Dedicated to a strange city…

Koi dost hai na raqeeb hai
Tera shehar kitna ajeeb hai

Wo jo ishq tha wo junoon tha,
Yeh jo hijr hai yeh naseeb hai,

yahan kiska chehra padha karoon
yahan kaun itna kareeb hai

main kise kahoon mere saath chal
yahan sab ke sar pe saleeb hai

tujhe dekh kar main hun sochta
tu habeeb hai ya raqeeb hai

Tera shehar kitna ajeeb hai.

– Original poem by Rana Sahri

Urdu version:

کوئی دوست ہے نہ رقیب ہے
تیرا شہر کتنا عجیب ہے

وہ جو عشق تھا وہ جنوں تھا
یہ جو ہجر ہے یہ نصیب ہے

میں کیسے کہوں میرے ساتھ چل
یہاں سب کے سر پہ صلیب ہے

یہاں کس کا چہرہ پڑھا کروں
یہاں کون اتنا قریب ہے

تجھے دیکھ کر میں ہوں سوچتا
تو حبیب ہے یا رقیب ہے

رانا ساحری –

If I was in abstinence (Main hosh mein tha to)

– Performed by king of ghazals: Mehdi Hassan sb, for whom absolute perfection in singing became effortless…


How come I died of beloved’s stupor,
if I was observing abstinence?
How did my veins acquire a toxin,
off such – poisonous substance?

There must have been traces of
fume in hands of beloved as well…
How else did one came to rub
and leave me empty of fragrance…?

Must have been here, an intervention
of my beloved’s guidance…
How else I returned to my own doorstep,
when I had lost awareness…?

An eons passed, mere in attempts,
to eradicate whose remembrance…
How even in my lost senses, I passed
through that door for a reference?

– Dedicated to those abstinent, who remain in stupor at mere recall of how wine once felt…

main hosh mein tha to phir us pe mar gaya kaise
yeh zeher mere lahoo mein utar gaya kaise

kuch us ke dil mein lagawat zaroor thi warna
woh mera haath daba ke guzar gaya kaise

zaroor us ki tawajoh ki rehbari ho gi
nashe mein tha to main apne hi ghar gaya kaise

jise bhulaye kai saal ho gaye ‘Kamil
main aaj us ki gali se guzar gaya kaise…

– Original poem by: Kamil Chandpuri (according to few sources, this often gets miss-attributed to Daagh Dehlvi)

Urdu version:

میں ہوش میں تھا تو پھر اس پہ مر گیا کیسے
یہ زہر میرے لہو میں اتر گیا کیسے

کچھ اس کے دل میں لگاوٹ ضرور تھی ورنہ
وہ میرا ہاتھ دبا کر گزر گیا کیسے

ضرور اس کی توجہ کے رہبری ہو گی
نشے میں تھا تو میں اپنے ہی گھر گیا کیسے

جسے بھلائے کئی سال ہو گئے کامل
میں آج اس کی گلی سے گزر گیا کیسے​

# ? کامل –

Note: Author of this ghazal is still not confirmed. If someone has an insight with reference, it would be great. :)

I found…

This poem is a sequel to the poem: Lately…


“What I needed most was really a lightness to swim, the day I earned my wings.”

I found, for every being,
who loves the rivers and sea
or the oceans for their storage
of fragments of history,
dives deep in, to recover the debris,
sometimes ends up becoming it.

I found, for every being,
who loves the ruins, ancient structures,
and the abandoned places,
in search of a treasure we all seek,
digs deep in, to recover a peace,
sometimes ends up succumbing to it.

I found, for every being,
who loves to fly in a dream,
weaving flying carpet of fantasy
that breaches walls and boundaries,
falls deep, if no attempts are made
such that reality turns in.

I found, for every being,
who loves to lend a visit to galleries,
or to listen rhythm of a thundering,
gives a lot in, to acquire the wings,
forgetting, one takes home back
more than one ever brings.

I found, for every being,
who loves interacting with seasons,
be it an autumn, be it a spring,
keeps longing, to re-create, what
no longer exists, till day, one self
turns  into an object of yearning.

Similarly, I found, for every being,
how love is still a necessity,
like an air for human to breath on,
blood for a vampire to quench on…
flesh for a beast to feed on…

That no matter what,
even when one’s not oblivious
of fantasy within, of all the consequences,
one would not stop,
till demise is reached,
of all hope lurking still somewhere in shadows,
or of the lover seeking a resolution.

In one way or another, it would go on,
till sun of yearning, and moon of longing,
keep drowning, yet to rise again
from bed of ocean.


“Quite like that I found myself there, way I found myself in you… Deeply embedded.”

– Dedicated to discoveries one stumbles upon, in the journey of love…

Image credits:
1. An underwater sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, entitled ‘Resurrection’.
2. Sculpture discovered from an Ancient Egyptian city named Heracleion or Thonis.

Wind I am (Main hawa hoon)

– One of my most favorite ghazals, originally performed by famous ghazal singers – a brother duo of “Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain“, here it’s performed by mere 10 years old ghazal singing sensation, Azmat Hussain (not related) in equally chilling and effortless manner.


(Where do I exist now, where do I exist not?
Even where I am found, really there I am not.
Who’s there – calling me now for a presence…?
Someone must disclose that here I live not!)

Wind I am, how am I
supposed to own centrality?
Neither wilderness is mine,
nor is garden’s tranquility…

In each drop of wine, lies
culprit behind my captivity…
Fragrance in each corner,
yet, outcome of my veracity…

See, how petals are showing
today the sign of luminosity?
Kissed, they were perhaps, by
inclining flow of my felicity…

I’m remainder, of a star fallen
from heights of virtuosity…
What harm world’s council
may cause to my tenacity?

(On my funeral, someone has
opened the gates of amiability.
No wonder why my coffin
has now lost its authenticity…)

With each passing second,
an urge blooms into audacity…
What a mess it has turned into,
from origin of simplicity…

– Dedicated to the fragrance…

(Ab kaha hoon, kahan nahi hoon main
Jis jagah hoon, wahan nahi hoon main
Kaun awaaz de raha hai mujhe…?
Koi keh de, yahan nahi hoon main!)

Main hawa hoon kahaan watan mera
Dasht mera na ye chaman mera

Mei ke har chand ek khaana nashin,
Anjuman anjuman sukhan mera…

Barq-e-Gul par charag sa kya hai?
Choo gaya tha usay dahan mera…

Main ik toota hua sitara hoon,
Kya bigaregi anjuman mera…?

(Meri mayyat pe koi roya hai,
Is liye jal gaya kafan mera…)

Har ghadi ik naya takaaza hai…
Dard-e-sar ban gaya badan mera.

– Original poem written by: Ameeq Hanafi

Urdu Version:

میں ھوا ہوں کہاں وطن میرا
دشت میرا نہ یہ چمن میرا

میں کہ ہر چند ایک خانہ نشیں
انجمن انجمن سخن میرا

برگ گل پر چراغ سا کیا ہے
چھو گیا تھا اُسے دہن میرا

میں کہ ٹوٹا ہوا ستارہ ہوں
کیا بگھاڑے گی انجمن میرا

ہر گھڑی اک نیا تقاضا ہے
درد سر بن گیا بدن میرا

عمیق حنفی –

Someone here has made a head to head comparison of both the original composition and child prodigy’s rendition.

Another young equally exceptional talent, from the same show Azmat rose as star, Ranjeet Rajwada

Performance by original singers: Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain…

Too many seasons encircled around (Kitne Mausam Sargardaan Thay)



Too many seasons
encircled around
to make me a spring…
Yet, perhaps, it was I
who prolonged, moon’s
return from eclipse…

An echo of silence there was,
along, hollowness of sound…
I know not, for how long
I sat in wilderness of union,

The bond of bed parted
with the rest, by splinter
made of a piercing memory.
Dream woke up in its infancy,
to adjust sheet and pillow drifting.

Today, wrestles with me
the fragrance of flower,
drenching me whole day.
The flower that once took time
as much to bloom
as less to wither away.

Colors settled the mood,
conversations too met halfway.
At what juncture,
pushed by a river of life,
I lost what made me, away…?

Gathering very ashes
of regrets, I formed,
my shore, a separate island.
What not passed through there,
surrendering to rumor:
“No wilderness”.

Applied pain, torment,
regrets, brokenness,
all that sought fixture.
Used everything at disposal
to weave image of the future!

This only dawned on sober,
at the moment of inquiry.
What struggle it is
to defend the heart
once it’s out from a hiding.

Once used to feel
carefree, right after
placating my heart…
Now I bargain with
pieces of wreckage,
that insist to stay apart.

– Dedicated to missed moments

Urdu version (original poem by Azm Behzad):

کتنے موسم سرگرداں تھے مجھ سے ہاتھ ملانے میں
میں نے شاید دیر لگا دی خود سے باہر آنے میں

ایک نگاہ کا سناٹا ہے، اک آواز کا بنجر پن.
میں کتنا تنہا بیٹھا تھا قربت کے ویرانے میں

بستر سے کروٹ کا رشتہ ٹوٹ گیا اک یاد کے ساتھ.
خواب سرہانے سے اٹھ بیٹھا تکیے کو سرکانے میں

آج اس پھول کی خوشبو مجھ میں پیہم شور مچاتی ہے
جس نے بے حد عجلت برتی کھلنے اور مرجھانے میں

بات بنانے والی راتیں رنگ نکھارنے والے دن.
کِن رَستوں پر چھوڑ آیا میں عمر کا ساتھ نبھانے

ایک ملال کی گرد سمیٹے میں نے خود کو پار کیا.
کیسے کیسے وصل گزارے ہِجر کا زخم چھپانے میں

جتنے دکھ تھے، جتنی امیدیں، سب سے برابر کام لیا.
میں نے اپنے آئندہ کی اِک تصویر بنانے میں

ایک وضاحت کے لمحے میں مجھ پر یہ احوال کھلا
کتنی مشکل پیش آتی ہے اپنا حال بتانے میں

پہلے دل کو آس دلا کر بے پرواہ ہو جاتا تھا.
اب تو عزمؔ بکھر جاتا ہوں میں خود کو بہلانے میں

– عزم بہزاد

Special thanks to Miss Hira Jamil, for pointing me towards this poem.

Image Credits: Apartment Window (Stock picture)