Tag Archives: poem

Frozen in Time

One more dawn
A pot brimful of the sun
emerged in the distant water
while you
holding the dawn’s finger
walked across the water
returning to yet another horizon.

Like some comet hidden behind in the mystery of time,
You came from the cosmos and returned to it.

(From the poem ‘Like A pot Brimful the Sun Upturned’ by Gulzar)

As the earth continues to spin and revolve around the sun, the circle of life and death also continues to spin. Death come to all. And as the saying goes, “the tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside us when we live”.

But what if early death is looked at romantically? Poets lament about the death of love, the end of romance in the eyes of their lover and the demise of emotions in their hearts.

Some of the most talented and brilliant artists, like Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Paul Walker, Janis Joplin, James Dean, Mozart, Smita Patil and the romantic poet John Keats died very young, with most of them never reaching 30 years of age.

Is there something romantic about their deaths?


Each one of them were a power house of talent, leaving a legacy of either iconic music, marvelous movies, heart stirring poetry or magical music. In the short span of time that they resided among us, they experienced fame and adulation that most of us may never experience even if we live to be septuagenarians.

They will forever be etched in our memories in their youthful versions, remembered for their accomplishments and their glory. We will never see them grow old or decay.


Do their early deaths not make them more iconic?

In between the Oscar or Emmy award ceremonies we see a set of images of people who left the earth that year. In there are numerous faces of individuals in their 70-80’s. Do I recognize them? No. I am sure they were iconic stars of their time, but relatively unknown to us today.

But somehow James Dean is a name I recognize among so many of his contemporaries. Did his early death not immortalize him?

And does not an iconic death seem fitting for a life as illustrious as theirs ?


All of them were also creators. And as with every creative pursuit, it demanded a piece of their soul as is evident in their creations. Their work also laid bare the pain, the despair and the sadness that might have been housed inside of them and ultimately pushed them towards early deaths. In many ways as this poem by Gulzar says, they selected the cages they wanted to enter, choosing them by will and voluntarily seeking captivity.

Kayi Pinjaraon ka Kedi hun,
Kayi Pinjaraon mein basta hun,
Mujhe Bhaata hai kenden katana
Aur apni marzi se chunaav karte rehna
Apne Pinjaraon ka
Miyaadein teh nahi karta main rishtaon ki
Asiri dhundhata hun main
Asiri acchi lagti hai.

I am a Prisoner of many cages
I live in many cages
I like to be incarcerated
And to keep on choosing, by my own sweet will
My various prisons
I do not fix the length of my relationships
I seek imprisonment
I like to be a captive.

Maybe  each one of them was a shooting star, bright and powerful, flying with gusto across the starry night, as we watched aghast at their rise and then just disappeared into the darkness of the universe, leaving behind a testament….

Dhup Ka Purza- Gulzar

Shaam ka suraj jate jate
Darwaze ke niche se
Dhup ka ek choota sa purza phek gaya hai
Kal aaoon nishisht toh nahi hai
Lekin is mamoore mein
Aaj ka din bhi ji paaye tum
Esi liye….
Yeh parchi rakh jata hoon
Ki Sanad rahe!

A Piece of the Sun- Pavan K Verma

The sun as it sets
Has flung from under the door
A small chit of sunshine;
Whether I return tomorrow is not certain
But if you have managed
In this waste-yard
To live for this one day more
I leave behind this chit
As a testament!



Jurm Aur Saza

With the very emotional and ongoing discourse on hanging in secret of the ‘terrorists’ of our country, the call for capital punishment for rapists and the mass uproar over crimes against women, i thought this poem by Javed Akhtar would be apt.
He talks from the perspective of both the ‘criminal’ and the jury and the emotions on both sides.
In our anger or akrosh, we seldom think of the human story of the individual in question. I have been trying to create my own opinion on these ideas and found this poem as I thought about the son whose father is now buried far away and what his emotions would be.

From Tarkash…Jurm aur Saza by Javed Akhtar


Ha gunehgaar hu mein,
Jo saza chahe adalat dede
Apke samne sarkaar hu mein

Mushko ikraar
Ki maine ek din
Kudh ko nilaam kiya
Aur razi-barza
Sarebazaar, sareaam kiya
Mujhko kimat bhi bahut khoob mili thi lekin
Maine saude mein khianat kar li
Kuch khwab bacha kar rakhe
Maine socha tha
Kise fursat hai
Jo meri ruh, mere dil ki talashi lega
Maine socha tha
Kise hogi khabar
Kitna nadaan tha mein
Chup sakte hai kya
Mutti mein rukh sakti hai kya
Woh jo hona tha
Aapke samne sarkar hu mein
Jo saza chahe adalat dede
Fesla sunne ko taiyyar hu mein
Ha gunehgaar hu mein

Fesla yeh hai adalat ka
Tere sare khwab
Aaj se tere nahi hai mujrim!
Zehen ke sare safar
Aur tere dil ki parvaz
Jism mein behte lahu ke nagme
Ruh ka saaz
Aaj se tere nahin hai mujrim!
Wasl ki saari hadise
Ghame hijra ki kitaab
Teri yadoan ke gulab
Tera ehsas
Teri fikro nazar
Teri sab sa-ate
Sab lamhe tere
Rozo-shab, shamo-seher
Aaj se tere nahi hai mujrim!
Yeh toh insaaf hua tere kharidaaroan se
Aur ab teri saza
Tujhe marne ki ijaazat nahi
Jina hoga.

Translation by David Matthews

Yes, I am an sinner.
Let the court punish me accordingly
I stand before you.

I confess
That one day
I put myself up for auction,
And of my own free will
In the marketplace I made it public
I even obtained a good price
But I was dishonest in my trading.
I mean
I kept a few dreams back.
I thought
Who has the time
To search my souls and my heart
I thought
Who will know?
How naive I was
Can dreams be hidden?
Can light
Be concealed in a clenched fist.
The inevitable came about.
I stand before you.
Let the court punish me accordingly
I am prepared for your decision.
Yes, i have sinned.

The court reached its decision:
All your dreams
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
All the journeys of your fancy,
The flight of your heart,
The songs of the blood flowing through your body,
The instruments of your soul,
The power of hearing, your voice
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
The tales of lovers meeting,
The book of separation’s sorrow,
The flowers of your memories,
Your feelings,
All that you think and see,
All your moments,
Night and day, evening and morning
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
Those who bought from you now have their justice.
And now the punishment:
You are not allowed to die.
You are condemned to live!’

You can also watch a video of the poem on you tube here