Tag Archives: kaifi


Kairos: in Greek literally means when ‘the time is right’.

What time in the day is your most desired? The quiet moments between sleep and consciousness when you first hear the morning sounds around you or the dead of night when everything has slowed down, and the sound of the cold breeze keeps you ablaze. That time in the morning when you have your first cup of coffee, sitting in your favorite chair waiting for the day to begin or when you look up into the sky and see the birds flying back home?

I don’t consider myself to be a morning person, especially during the cold winter mornings, when I ask myself why I signed up for that morning yoga class or the trek outdoors. I promise myself that tomorrow morning I will sleep in late, regardless that it is Monday morning, the beginning of the week. That ‘time’ in the morning is just not for me…or so I thought.

As do all new challenges go, our fortnightly cycling expeditions have bought with them a few delightful surprises. That first long ride, when I saw the sunrise sitting on Shelby( yes, thats what the cycle is called), it made 5 am wake up calls worth it.

Here’s an ode to savera……. DAWN


Savere Savere By Kaifi Azmi


Na pucho woh kis tareh aa kar sidhari
Meri saari hasti par aa kar sidhari

woh pichla pehar, woh judaai ka lamha
savere-savere rula kar sidhari

kharaman-kharaman pasheman-pasheman
Khud apne se bhi chup-chupakar sidhari

samete gayi chandini baam-o-dar se
sehar ko shab-e-gham banakar sidhari

nikal jaye jis tarah gunche se khushboo
yunhi mera pehlu basakar sidhari

mehakti hue shab ke rango zamane
pareshan latoon se chupakar sidhari

woh palko ki masti, woh nazroan ki masti
unhi mastiyon mein nahakar sidhari

thaki si woh angrha-eeyan, woh jamaee
sambhalkar oothi, lad-khadha-kar sidhari

woh nikhri hui sar-o-aareez ki rangat
gulabi gulabi pilakar sidhari

abhi tak meri ungliyaan kaapti hai
jidhar who nigayein jhukakar sidhari

nazar ooth hi jaati hai us simt ‘kaifi’
kuch is tarah daaman chudakar sidhari


Don’t ask how it arrived
My entire entity it suffused as it arrived

That last moment in time, that moment of separation
Morning cried as it arrived

Loungingly, abhashedly
Hiding even from itself it arrived

With the moonlight collected from roofs and doors
It infused the grief of last night into the morning as it arrived.

Just like the fragrance that escapes from a bud
It inhabited the flank of my body as it arrived

Incensed moonlight and their colored times
Hidden in unkempt tresses it arrived

That mischief in those eyelashes, That mischief in those eyes
Bathed in that same mischief it arrived

Those tired pandiculations,those yawns
Carefully it woke up, staggeringly it arrived

That glowing colors of the cheek
A pink glow it made me drink, as it arrived

Even now my fingers tremble
Wherever it bowed down its eyes as it arrived

The eyes of Kaifi look in its direction
As it unclenched from my lap and dawned

Leaving you with an image of sunrise at Angok Wat, which we were lucky to witness last November. It was a painful 4 30 am wake up call. But the view and the serenity of course made up for it!

angok wat sunrise
angok wat sunrise 

The Ocean Beckons

I returned to the city of djinns, the place i was born, where every summer I collected memories in my subconscious. The city of Mumbai creeps up on you and in me awakened childhood memories of spending summer in this warm ocean front city.

The smell of the ocean and the sea breeze hit me before we even touched the scenic marine drive. Driving on the swanky new sea-drive i dreamt of the beach from my childhood, the toys and candies but what tugged at me was the ocean.

This poem by Kaifi Azmi talks of that ocean and his desires. The view from the sea link can be captured in the words of this iconic poet, a long time ex-resident of Mumbai and celebrated poet, who had a long eventful relationship with this city of dreams.


Ae thake-hare samandar tu machalta kyu nahi,
Tu uchalta kyu nahi

Sahiloan ko todh ke bahar nikalta kyu nahi
Tu machalta kyu nahi
Tu uchalta kyu nahi

Tere sahil par sitam ki bastiyaan aabaad hai
Shehar ke memaar saare khanma-barbaad hai
Aisi kaali bastiyon ko tu nigalta kyu nahi
Tu uchalta kyu nahi
Tu machalta kyu nahi

Tujh main lehre hai na mojhe hai na shoor
Zulm se bezhaar duniya dekhti hai teri ordh
Tu ubalta kyu nahi
Tu uchalta kyu nahi
Tu machalta kyu nahi

Ae thake-hare samandar tu machalta kyu nahi
Tu uchalta kyu nahi


This is my own translation, since i did not encounter this poem translated by any author. Hope i have done justice.

O tired lost ocean why don’t you get restless,
Why don’t you bounce

Why don’t you break out from the shore and come out,
Why don’t you get restless
Why don’t you bounce

At your shore flourish ghettos of torment
City builders homeless and ruined
Why don’t you swallow these sodden ghettos
Why don’t you get restless
Why don’t you bounce

There aren’t waves or surfs nor clamour in you
Tired of oppression the world looks at you
Why don’t you seethe
Why don’t you bounce
Why don’t you get restless

O tired lost ocean why don’t you get restless,
Why don’t you bounced

mumbai, marine drive, marine, ocean bombay
The beautiful skyline and marine drive in the city of Mumbai