Category Archives: Parveen

Widowed Souls

There is a piece of land between the railway tracks and the main road which takes me home. Its unkempt, stark and strewn with weeds. Although a pathway runs below the tracks leading to the other side of the road, the barrenness of this no man’s land, meant that it was not used by pedestrians. This week I noticed the widowed and utterly ignored space been adopted by vegetables vendors, adding vibrancy and attracting those heading home just like me.

It led to me think how uninhabited spaces get adopted into ghettos, slums, bazaars and markets, that we eventually forget how cold and unwanted that place was in the first place.

In the colorful montage of life as it surrounds us today, the white veil of widowed spaces and souls surrounds us, paradoxically wrapped in the most vibrant colors. Look past the garb and her eyes tell you of the story of betrayal. The tale of her first love, made companion, who no longer is the person she loved when she was 19, yet married to him now, the father of her child.

The hurt of abandonment emerges and lays bare the pain caused sometimes by a trusted parent or loyal friend now a stranger or a sibling now estranged.

The late Leonard Cohen who through his music soothingly embraced all of humanity’s corruption, in one of his songs says that a crack in everything is how the light gets in.

Paige O’hara Sculpture

But if not all humanity is created equally (in terms of mental strength at least), then what is the price we pay for the cracks we endure?

No matter how much we take hurdles in our stride, cracks show up and create a shadow of souls widowed, and tugs at my heart to see it unable to trust too quickly, love unabashedly or give another chance to friendships that beckon.

We are never the same at the other bank of the river. Fighting the river that we thought would carry us ashore but unexpectedly tried to drown us leaves gasping with disbelief.

But Oh widowed soul
Do you know that love pleads for another chance?
Do you not feel the strings of intimacy playing your tune?
Does the beating drum not fire your loins with passion?

Why not let the wind shatter the wall of disillusionment
Give the chimes of hope a chance to dance in the rain
Allow chirping giggles to overcome the deafening silence you endure
Or simply try giving your widowed soul a chance to bloom again…

There is an amazing illustration by Zen Pencils on Love….sharing it here:2013-02-12-lewis.jpg

This week’s poem by Parveen Shakir named Barish hui to phoolon ke tan chak ho gaye.


Barish hui to phoolon ke tan chak ho gaye
mausam ke hath bhig ke saffak ho gaye

baadal ko kya khabar ki barish ke chah mein
kitne buland-o-bala shajar khak ho gaye

Juganu ko din ke vaqt pakadne ki zid karen
bache hamare ahad ke chalak ho gaye

jab bhi garib-e-shahar se kuch guftagu hui
lahaje hava-e-sham ke namnaak ho gaye

lahara rahi hai barf ke chadar hata ke ghas
suraj ke shah pe tinake bhi bebak ho gaye

sahil pe jitne aab-gazeeda the sab ke sab
dariya ke rukh badalate hi tairak ho gaye


As it rained the flowers had holes in their bodies made
The weather now drenched became a tyrant

How would the clouds know that while waiting for rain
So many tall and mighty trees had turned to ashes

They insist on testing the firefly in the daylight
Children of today have become so bright

Whenever a conversation with those away from home rose
The evening breeze with their words grew moist

Unveiling the cover of snow, the grass now sways
Egged by the sun the straws are now fearless

All those who would out of fear the water shunned
Became swimmers as the river changed its course.

Ending with Mr. Cohen and his amazing voice.



Insignificantly Significant

Have you ever had a small little itch on that unreachable spot on your back that you fingers just cant reach? Its a sweet little itch that just needs to be satiated by a quick movement of fingers, a devious little chivvy that needs to be fed instantly irrespective of it being inaccessible.

Just at that moment, do you have someone next to you, who you unabashedly ask to reach out and put that fire out on your back? Ask them to help scratch that sweet spot and put you out of your misery?

When you put on that dress with buttons at the back or a zipper as long as a river, do you walk into the next room and have someone zip you up, saving you all the circus you would have had to perform getting the hooks to hinge into the right loops?

Or when eating your meal, made sumptuous with your favorite pickle, at the end when just a few morsels are left, do you reach out into the plate of that someone and borrow a little pickle to save you a trip back into the cabinet?

Do you find sometimes that after your desk has been cleaned (despite your protests), when you reach out for a pencil, you find that all your blunt pencils have been sharpened and lined up, ready to write and scribble?

In between a slow sluggish weekday, after cleaning up, stacking all the vessels and finishing a meal of leftovers, to brighten up your night, almost magically 2 rich dark chocolate ice-cream bars lie in the deep freeze waiting for you to discover them.

Does someone volunteer to hold the heavier bag, serve you the bigger piece of fish, drive the car when your shoulder aches, or is standing there to pick you up from late night dance sessions, even without being asked?

The insignificantly small, most often taken for granted, deeply missed when gone, and tremendously significant forms of love…..

This week’s poem is by a woman poet, Parveen Shakir. She talks of subtle love and its nuances  and of the embrace that is omnipresent.


Chehra mera tha nigahen us ki
Khamushi main bhi wo baten us ki,

Mere chehre pe gazal likhti gaiee
Sher kahti hui ankhen us ki,

Shokh lamhon ka pata dene lagin
Tez hoti hui sansen us ki,

Aise mausam bhi guzaare ham ne
Subhen jab apni thi shamain us ki,

Faisala mauj-e-hawa ne likkha
Andhiyan meri baharen us ki,

Nind is soch se tuti aksar
Kis tarah kattati hain ratien us ki.

Dur rah kar bhi sada rahti hai
Mujh ko thame hue bahen us ki.


The face was mine, the eyes his
Even in silence the words were his

On my face poetry was penned
By the couplets narrated by his eyes

The existence of naughty moments
Was revealed by the increasing pace of his breath

Such seasons too have I seen
When mornings were mine but evening his have been

The trance filled winds decreed
The high winds are mine and the springs are his

Often startled I awake from my sleep
Wondering how this night passes for him.

Even If I stay forever away
Holding me in embrace his arms stay.

Do watch this beautiful video on Love.

For more images from the Korean artist Puuuung on simple moments on love: Check her Fb page: