Semi-precious

Autumn 2014

Their rarity made them precious
because they would not sing for me
for all that I begged and pleaded
My thoughts were always free.

I always looked at letters and words
as thoughts that you could bleed
But, no matter how long I called to them
they would never answer to me.

But warm Winters came to my scattered head
where there was light, and shades of sound
while I grieved for the words, silenced and dead
yet thanked the Stars I had been found.

But, even safety nets tear, and the best plans fail
There’s nothing we know that shall stay the same
I know, you promised the sun amidst this gale
but my own words were drowning in the rain.

Please understand why I could not stay
Not when you’d so easily watch them bleed.
Yes, every price must be paid
But, they mean the entire world to me.

And now, they sing for you, they always do
while I stand here struck with the blues
My words are cliched and awkward, but true
And stuck in the middle with you.

Unforgiven II: Flashback

It looked like rain, Lord Stone thought distractedly, as he made his way towards the North Quadrant of the Castle grounds. He could see her at the top of the tallest tower, the deep red gown framed against the twilight sky. A familiar sight, he thought warmly, despite the cold and exhaustion seeping through his bones.

He climbed the long flight of stairs to the chamber at the top. Home, came the unbidden thought. For now, he corrected himself sternly. The war was moving North, and he would have to set off with his men, soon.

He flung off his cape as soon as he entered the room, not pausing as he moved to the balcony, where she stood leaning against the railing.

She smiled at him as he walked up to her and kissed her forehead, and somewhere in time and space, a heart shattered into pieces. But the two of them didn’t hear a thing over the thunderclouds that hung over them like carrion birds come to claim their prey.

They stood together in silence for a while, watching farmers and village folk scurry around in the distance, preparing for the incoming storm. Another familiar sight he would miss once the war began in earnest. Suppressing a sigh, he inclined his head slightly towards her, and she smiled without turning to face him.

“What?”, they said together, and her smile turned into a grin.

“Why are you sighing?” she asked, sniffing at him curiously.

“I am not,” he replied, indignant.

“Okay.. Why are you not sighing?”

He looked at her for a moment, before turning away and fixing his gaze on the horizon.

She followed his stare.

“Storm’s coming.”

“I know.”

“It’s not safe here.”

“I can look after myself.”

He shook his head, frustrated at her stubborn refusal to go back to the city, where he wouldn’t have to worry about her.

“I will leave soon”, he said, a coldness creeping into his voice that he wasn’t proud of.

She turned to face him, and he could feel her eyes searching his face for something he damn well was not going to let her find.

She closed her eyes and turned towards the setting sun again.

“I will wait for you. Here.”

I don’t want you to, he thought. I’d rather you be safe and happy. I don’t think I will return. And, I cannot take you with me. I won’t be able to protect you. I only want to protect you.

He said nothing. Only took her cold hand in his own as he watched her raise her face to catch the rain that had just begun to fall, fixing the memory of her smile in his mind and hoping she would someday forgive him for what he knew he would have to do.

She opened her eyes just as a flash of lightning illuminated the skies, and for an instant, he saw a glimpse of the path she could have taken, the severity with which she could ensure retribution. But then she turned towards him, only mercy in her eyes, and he knew he had nothing to worry about. She’d forgive him nearly anything.

Nearly.

On the Execution of Burhan M. Wani

Either he and his friends were armed and dangerous and had to be shot on the spot

OR

he was intoxicated and began to cry when surrounded.

You cannot have both. As for the people celebrating his “execution”…

A 21 year old boy issues a “challenge” to the Army of a nation. There’s a high chance he has not ever even fired a shot at anyone. He declares, on social media, that what Kashmir needs is Azadi because there is too much violence and too much impunity in the hands of the military. The army accepts the “challenge”, hunts him down and kills him. The people identifying with the State rejoice, even as his friends and neighbors love him more for having the courage to speak out and die while all they have done is avert their eyes when a mother wails for her raped and murdered daughter, for her disappeared sons, for her arrested and tortured husband.

A new line is drawn.

Who wins?

I do not know, but this does not taste like victory.

It tastes like shame.

Question for the Day: How do you define terrorists and heroes?
The answer: Depends on where you are standing.

The test remains the same though:

Terrorists terrorize _the people_.
Heroes fight back _for the people_.

Watch out, brothers and sisters. The long overdue consequences of our actions await us.

The long overdue consequence of our inaction awaits us.

Requiescat in pace, brother.

“It is very evident that there is a lot of anger and alienation as far as the ground situation is concerned, especially among the youth, and these are some of the occasions when they can actually come out on to the street and pelt stones to vent. Otherwise the way things are controlled and managed here, their emotions are suppressed. As a result, people are associating themselves with the sacrifice, commitment and ideology. More and more people feel that Government of India is not going to resolve issues related to Kashmir through dialogue or discourse. This is the reason why young boys are coming and challenging the might of the Indian government despite knowing that they may not win; and they are displaying their resistance and resilience.”

– The aftermath of the Burhan ‘Encounter’

Judaai (Badlapur): Translated Lyrics (English)

Music: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics: Dinesh Vijan & Priya Saraiya
Label: Eros Music
Singers: Rekha Bhardwaj, Arijit Singh

Raajhan Dhoondan Main Chaleya…
To find my Romeo, I set out
Raajhan Milya Na Ve…
I couldn’t find my Romeo
Jigra Vichon Agan Laga Ke Rabba…
Inside my heart, after igniting a fire, O Lord
Lakeeraan Vich Likhdi Judaai…
In my lines (of fate), you’ve written separation

Kho Gaya, Gum Ho Gaya
Has been lost, has gone missing
Waqt Se Churaya Tha Jo
That which was stolen from time, That
Apna Banaya Tha…
I Had made mine
Woh Tera, Woh Mera
That which was yours, that which was mine
Waqt se churaya tha jo
That which was stolen from time
Sapna sajaya tha
The Dream was decorated

Chadariya Jheeni Re Jheeni (x2)
The bed sheet is thin and worn, thin and worn
Aankhein Bheeni Yeh Bheeni Yeh Bheeni
The eyes are wet, these are wet, these are wet
Yaadein Jheeni Re Jheeni Re Jheeni
The memories are all delicate (thin & worn)(like in a bed sheet)
Chadariya Jheeni Re Jheeni (x2)
The bed sheet is thin and worn, thin and worn
Hai Aankhein Bheeni Yeh Bheeni Yeh Bheeni
The eyes are wet, these are wet, these are wet
Yaadein Jheeni Re Jheeni Re Jheeni
The memories are all delicate (thin and worn), are delicate, are delicate

Aisa Bhi Kya Milna, Saath Ho Ke Tanha
What’s the point of this kind of meeting, being together yet lonely
Aisi Kyun Saza Humne Hai Paayi, Raanjhna Ve
Why have I earned this sort of punishment, my beloved?
Phir Se Mujhe Jeena, Tujhpe Hai Marna
Again I want to live, On/For you, I want to die (again)
Phir Se Dil Ne Di Hai Yeh Duhaai, Saajna Ve
Once again, my heart has given me this curse, my partner
Lakeeron Pe Likh Di Kyun Judaai…
On these lines (of fate), why have you written separation?

Gair Sa Hua Khud Se Bhi, Na Koi Mera
Like a stranger I’ve become even to myself, no one is mine
Dard Se Kar Le Chal Yaari, Dil Ye Keh Raha
Become friends with pain, my heart is saying this
Kholun Jo Baahein… Bas Gham Yeh Simat Rahe Hai
When I open my arms, it’s just grief that comes and embraces me
Aankhon Ke Aage… Lamhe Yeh Kyun Ghat Rahe Hai
In front of my eyes, why are these moments slowly passing by
Jaane Kaise Koi Sehta Judaaiyaan
Who knows how anyone bears separation

Chadariya Jheeni Re Jheeni (x2)
The bed sheet is thin and worn, is thin and worn
Aankhein Bheeni Yeh Bheeni Yeh Bheeni
Eyes are wet, they’re wet, they’re wet
Yaadein Jheeni Re Jheeni Re Jheeni
The memories are all delicate (thin and worn), are delicate, are delicate
Chadariya Jheeni Re Jheeni (x2)
The bed sheet is thin and worn, is thin and worn
Hai Aankhein Bheeni Yeh Bheeni Yeh Bheeni
Yeah, These eyes are wet, they’re wet, they’re wet
Yaadein Jheeni Re Jheeni Re Jheeni
The memories are all thin and worn, are thin and worn, are thin and worn

Raajhan Dhoondan Main Chaleya…
In search of my Romeo, I set out
Raajhan Milya Na Ve…
I didn’t find my Romeo
Jigra Vichon Agan Laga Ke Rabba…
After igniting a fire inside my heart, O Lord
Lakeeraan Vich Likhdi Judaai…
You’ve written separation in my fate…


Credits for lyrics, with alternate translation: http://www.bollynook.com/en/lyrics/16146/judaai/

The Cost of Vengeance

Sadness and Rage are useful things,
If you know how to transform them both
Energy is at the root of it all
And all Knowledge is Power is growth

If there is but one thing that I have learned from you,
It is that vengeance is but natural
And he who strikes, must also pay the price
All what matters is the real and actual

Well, then I hope in that moment
Before I return your dagger from my back
You give me my due credit
For acing at least your tests in diplomacy and tact.

Yes, I know I broke some precious rules,
And I understand retribution had to follow
But what you don’t know, my dear friend of old
Is that Vengeance has always been my motto

You never knew the me before this me,
Never saw past gray rags and this cloak of red
You don’t understand, dear sandbox prince
The Vengeance against my own name that I have led.

There is no forgiveness for betrayal, nor has ever been
And you can see the punishment I chose for myself
Run, little lost prince, run away somewhere far from here
When pathos turns to wrath, to pay, there will be Hell.