Ajmal Khan’s poetry poems show a desperate alienation

POETRY COLUMN

POETRY EDITOR ANANYA S GUHA’S COMMENTS:

Ajmal Khan’s poetry takes the direct route of attacking a system, which despite all it’s diversity in religion and culture, does not uphold this truth. The poems show a desperate alienation, where the poet is not able to come to terms with being identified as ‘ category’ or ‘ minority’. Such categorisation has a telling effect on a  young and sensitive Indian, who is hurt at community tirades, and wants to come out of a social and political chaos. Such ‘ chaos’ is evident in these poems written in existential lines, which are acerbic, caustic and satirical. But more powerful  are the inner pathos and sadness. Ajmal’s is the poetry not merely of protest, but record of trauma of the times, a strong sense and feeling of being uprooted. Read these poems not to detect anger, but sadness and affliction of the soul. A  very young mind gives vent to expression of sadness, alienation and isolation, in a country to which he belongs.

ABOUT THE POET

Ajmal Khan A.T is a bilingual writer and activist who writes in English and Malayalam. His Malayalam one line story collection MUSEEBAT(2017) is published by Monsoon publications, Mumbai. His poems have featured in Muse India magazine, Dissident VoiceJ ournal, Bangalore Review, The Sunflower Collective, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, India Cultural Forum, Ignite South Asia, Cafedissensus.com among others. His poems have also appeared in anthologies including GOSSAMER; An anthology of contemporary world poetry by Kindle magazine.

 

Rejected poem

The poem was accused

as anti national

and rejected

like a US visa applicant

from a Muslim country

It wanted to prove as being nationalist

It started with Vande Matharam

the continuing lines were only nouns

of the independence struggle

which the poem was part of

Rest of the lines were written in green,

white and kesari in colour

Signed on the lines which start with J&K

that they are an  integral part  of a country

it ended with the  national anthem

The poem was again rejected

on the grounds  that it had 

had two names Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan

in foot note,

syntax had no saffron and khaki pattern

Moplah rebellion is included

and instead of 1947

its written Azaadi.

 

My missing poem

My poem is said to be missing

by the editor

I got a formal letter today saying

Your poem is missing and we regret to inform you that

we can’t publish missing poems

I had sent it via registered post

signing on the poem

The editor had to sign on the register

to accept it

and in the records he had signed  on it

Still he says my poem is missing

Did any one assault  my poem

after the editor singn  on it?

This time my poem had a Muslim name

unlike the  last time when it had a Dalit name

then  the  editor didn’t accept it saying

i haven’t attached an original Scheduled Caste certificate

since he found the attached certificate fake

they rejected it

Now i don’t have any Muslim certificate to attach with

but he might be sure of it

from the syntax, adjectives, verbs, rhymes and the voice

that its a Muslim poem,  before it was “missed” between the editors

Where do the missing poems go?

To the dust bin of the editors and then

to the dumping wastes ?

Until a new Muslim poem being written and published

the idea of my poem see no light

Unless my poem is found in between by the police

Until then, me  the poet will look for my poem

until my eye sight gest faded

looking for my missing poem.

 

Memory loss

It was like my hand

leg, nose, ears, eyes

or any other body part

Contacts

the list of the people whom i know and

who know me

the list of people

whom you can call if you find my abandoned dead body

Play lists

songs that i played

when I felt alone despite being with many

Videos

hidden porn of passionately fucking couple

that i watched during sleep less nights

and games

What i scribed during my lonely moments

My chats on

Whatsaap, Face book and message box

The evidences of late nights hugs, kisses and love

shared with lovers

Heated political discussions

and arguments in the groups

My lovely Instagram pics collection

Were all lost into a dirty water pool on the road

in this monsoon

I became erased

and handicapped

Now only the Intelligence bureau

and cops will have access to these.

 

Jai Bheem Lal Salam

Ambedkar and Marx

Sat together over a  cup of  tea

between the ballet boxes

during the students union election

and smoked Calcutta Beedi

Che offered them a Havana cigar

Spoke on same stage

at a funeral meeting of a suspended reserved category student

and sloganeered

“Bharmanism mudabad”

“Jai bheem Lal salam”

“Jai bheem Neel salam”

Revolutionary programme

and the Constitution

went on hunger strikes

seeing Brahmanical Marxism

and Saffron capitalism

Buddha red the Communist Manifesto

and Marx the Annihilation of caste

De classed comrades tried

de casting

The red faded

and became saffron

blue cotton stitched with saffron flags

When the results came out

Jai beem and Lal salam became two negative sides  the same magnet

The image of the category student

who went to stars

on the election campaign posters kept smiling

Another dead body of a category student

found in the hostel room.

 

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha works in the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Shillong (Meghalaya) as an Academic Administrator. He has over 30 years of teaching and administrative experience. He has six collections of poetry and his forms have been published world wide. Some of his poems are due to appear soon in an Anthology of Indian Poetry in English to be published by Harper Collins.