VERSE | THE AB-SIND CLUB

This is a fond tribute to all the microscosms of colonial design and demeanour/ architecture and attitude that continue to faithfully roost in various cities across what was once the coveted Jewel in the Crown.

I’m having a day that’s making me feel 
More sterile than a beetle on its back
I’m walking on the thin side
Of breaking down, losing sight
Of my psychedelic, privileged life
I need some of the forgetting tonic
That Pir Buksh so expertly whips up
That makes me happy, schizophrenic
With every sip and every glug
I drink the potion, and I duly grow
My Abs synth-esizing my lost bravado

Suddenly they’re all like flies
On the periphery of my eyes
They cease to make me wince and curse
They cease to be a part of my universe
I sit back, bark an order
In Bloodhound, German shepherd tones
Throw a carcass, throw some bones
Throw a tantrum for good measure
The club becomes a pyramid
I’m at the top, the very apex
Those hoisiting it upon their shoulders
The club like a majestic boulder
Matter not, they sit there
Like a pile of boring underwear
They’ve seen it all but you don’t care
They keep it all precisely together
The erstwhile jewels in their imperial leather

“One more!” I shout in thundering tones
“Absinth me up quick bartender!”
Before I lose the precious threads
Of the delicate lace of elegance
Pir Bukhsh gives me some more manna
From the counter in the shadows
And I swallow and I glide
In the throes of happy amnesia
The absinthe in the Ab-sind club
Makes me feel so damn superi-a
Heavens be praised I’ve had a day
Like I’m lord of a castle in the UK
Indeed, the last few hours have made me feel
Like a hero in a Bollywood reel.
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UPDATE- New Book Release | SHIMMERING SCRAPS OF POETRY AND MADNESS

My book SHIMMERING SCRAPS OF POETRY AND MADNESS is now available at the following locations:

SRI LANKA:
- THE BAREFOOT BOOKSTORE
- THE JAM FRUIT TREE BOOKSTORE
- PENDI
- SARSASAVI BOOKSTORES
- EXPOGRAPHICS

PAKISTAN:
- LIBERTY BOOKS
- PARAMOUNT BOOKS
- READINGS

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The book is a collection of poems and essays, and as the name suggests, the contents of the 243 pages range from the sublime to the ridiculous; from soaring on the wings of ecstacy to struggling with overwhelming despair; from the capricious joys of matrimony to the dubious delights of singledom; from the profound ecstasy in a mug of steaming latte to the ardent disappointment in a less than perfectly brewed cup of tea; from the comedic to the somber and from the customary to the controversial, this collection of poems and features encompasses them all, and like a sore-throated bulbul (who also has some clear-voice days) I have sung them all for you.

VERSE | BIRDS

I’d become an avid bird lover
Since the pandemic hit my town
Ere I never could relate except
As a beholder looking on

But then this pair of mynahs
Intrepid little things
Well one was bravheart, the other a mass
Of nervous fluttering

Decided that my balcony
Was a good place for some treats
So they would pay me visits
For some raisins and some cheese

I came to home number two
Carrying my avian love with me
Cooing pigeons in all forms
There frequented my balcony

Their rolling gait, their gentle sounds
Quite stole my heart away
And so I wooed them as they cooed
Treat-luring them everyday

By and by the guileful birds
Dropped their adorable avatar
My chairs and tables were endowed
With their organic pockmarks

Now gently I admonish them
When they flap into my home
But they think I’m requesting more
Of their nitrogen-rich guano

I’m now a not so avid fan
Of the expelling, flying flock
My OCD has on my glee quite
Turned back the blessed clock.
The parents had brought their fledgelings to my home a second time. A bit of a soft initiation into the real world 🌸

NEW BOOK RELEASE | SHIMMERING SCRAPS OF POETRY AND MADNESS

Dear friends and family,

It is with great excitement and pleasure that I introduce my second book for the grownups – my book of poetry and essays titled SHIMMERING SCRAPS OF POETRY AND MADNESS. The book will be available across bookstores in Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the end of December 2022. Friends in SL can currently order it from the Jam Fruit Tree bookstore on Galle Road via call/WhatsApp to 072-7268078.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

This is a collection of poems and essays, humble opinions, rumblings of the heart about the joys, the truths, the pain, the controversies, the funniness and the wonder that criss cross all our lives in one way or another. I have compiled them here because too many times, we are witnesses to profound beauty, love, dreams, desolation, prejudice and injustice and yet, we forget.

The contents of these pages range from the sublime to the ridiculous; from soaring on the wings of ecstacy to struggling with overwhelming despair; from the capricious joys of matrimony to the dubious delights of singledom; from the profound ecstasy in a mug of steaming latte to the ardent disappointment in a less than perfectly brewed cup of tea; from the comedic to the somber and from the customary to the controversial, this collection of poems and features encompasses them all.

Scraps of Poetry and Madness is a phrase borrowed from that literary Wonder Woman, Virginia Woolfe. For in this collection too, there is a stream of raw and strident, passive and ruminative, joyous and grief-bound, mad and glad thoughts that run like a melody through the entirety of its spine; and like a sore-throated bulbul (who also has some good-voice days) I have sung them all for my readers.

VERSE | BLUNDER WOMAN

I was in a hurry, in a mad rush 
The morning was crazy, yes one of those
The alarm had belted shrilly out
But I was dead to the world, comatose

Dreaming of wishes being horses and Bookers
Until the clock struck ten and then
I threw off the duvet, leaped out of bed
Limbs all awry like a headless chicken

Here’s a little aside: when I’m stressed
My hair also declares a mutiny
Acts up like it’s the raging heroine
Of its very own show on prime time telly

And so it was in this agitation
That I knocked my elbow on the door
I cursed like a sailor who’s had too much ale-er
Deliriously, frenziedly I swore

I vented as much as a random string
Of choice expletives can enable
The rest of the rage I swallowed away
As virtuously as I was able

Then the ultimate decimation came to pass
I stubbed my wretched left little toe
What chanced to happen in the heat of my passion
You really wouldn’t want to know

Suffice it to say that on that day
The angels filling in my Wicked Gal page
With brimstone, hellfire, the sinfulness of ire
Had a field day, ‘twas their advantage

And so ‘twixt my shoulders and my feet now
A funny bone doesn’t exist at all
I try to be sweet-talking, kind and good
Until the next time I slam, stub or fall.