Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bilal being beautiful.


i closed my eyes
and saw you
enter me
from fissures
of my being

how you seep
into my fractures
to fill
my bones of loneliness,
i know not


i still contain you
in me

meet yourself,

While we're still on poetry- Ted Hughes doing Alcestis, the Illiad making the rounds and The World According to Garp brashly intriguing but that's prose; has anyone noticed how many words Urdu has for being sad? Well yes, so does English, but Urdu and its layers go into kinds of sadness. There's sadma. Grief, with a splash of missing something. Afsos. Regret, sorrow. But then there is ghum, which is grief, and sorrow too, but also a heavy, dense depth of misery; cried-into pillows, wet sponge of mourning in your bones.
Nuanced language, this is; this is a culture that has poetry that will make you cry, but rarely smile. I wonder why; why must our poets always long for that someone, that elusive bunch of ecstasy always a baalisht ('finger's breadth' for the plebs) away from their questing hands....always starve, and because of that be content with a look, a sigh, a smile. You'd think a body that doesn't ask for much get at least that; but it's never like that. Us poor desis, brainwashed by so much thwarted romance! I don't think any of us believe in romances that work because noboody wrote about wasl as a purely romantic thing- it's always a metaphor, it's always for Allah, it's always something or the other BUT. So there you have your melancholic 'bones of loneliness', always 'door, ufaq paar'...stretching arms, singing into the sky in the hope of catching a star, always running into the sunset hoping and dreaming that one day you will fall into the flaming embrace of the sun's concentrated hearth and be whole.

Mina at 4:05 PM