Debashish Parashar’s poems have a quiet resonance

Poetry Editor ANANYA GUHA’S note:

Debashish Parashar’s poems have a quiet resonance coupled with direct statements. They mourn, weep for killings and the less fortunate. They are not impervious to the violence of the times, but they take a route to the past and mythology. They are broad statements of hope and despair. They fluctuate between the two, but they smell of the earth.

 Love in Less

I had never believed

love

could be expressed

in a haiku

or a short poem

 

precise

like a wink

 

social

like senses

 

multiple

like a word

 

Then I loved

and

thank god

I realized

no need

for love

to be a gaze

if profound

like a glimpse.

 

Neo-random Thoughts 1

All of a sudden

wi-fi signals

are low

(The modem, a moron !)

I am now worried

we may not

communicate

our wishes, dreams and fantasies

to each other

or

you might think

I am despicably slow!

 

Keep a Vigil With the Corpses

(In recent times, there has been a sudden spike in the number of dead bodies found in the Satluj in Punjab, India. There has been a simultaneous rise in the number of farmer suicides in Punjab’s Green revolution belt.)

 

Keep a vigil over the corpses

Kisans of Malwa

Stripped of time

Mutilated by dogs

Swim along blue Satluj

Trapped and checked

By sluicegates of progress

And hopes of Bhakra

Bhakra of dams and dreams!

Keep a vigil over the corpses.

 

Bulla Shah weeps in silence

Writes a chronicle of horror

On the corpses

And pleads

To keep a vigil for the corpses

 

Punjab of five Nadiya

My newfound love!

Oh Punjab! How green you were!

Hopes for the hungry

Bullets for others

Blossomed with a Green revolution

Food,fertility and foreign relations

Then why?

Why the blue turns red with the Green?

I know it all

On a windy Punjab night

Moonlit and blue

A corpse (or a Kisan?) from Malwa

Confessed volumes of your infidelity!

You know what?

Keep a vigil over the corpses.

 

I have heard

Chronicles of many corpses

Some living, some dead

With meagre land

Jobless vagabonds

Futile labor

Small and marginal

Debt-ridden

Jumped into blue Satluj

(To atleast generate some hydropower!)

Stuck at the sluicegates

Not even suicides

Their transparent bodies

Faithless

Undetected by underwater cameras

Spoke of Rights and wrongs and…?

You know what?

Keep a vigil over the corpses

Technology is inadequate

Just for a change

Keep a vigil with the corpses

Keep a vigil for the corpses.

 (Kisan-Farmer, Nadiya-Rivers)

 

I am a sage by profession!

I’m a sage by profession

I’m a sage

I mean, by profession

I’m the essence

And I’ m the element

I’m order

I’m faith

I’m the world of supernatural

Unsatisfied with the one I live

Looking forward to the next

I’m Columbus

I’m Odysseus

What to chose and what not to!

A voyage or a sunburn?

A Pathankot or a Lahore?

A beta house or a Guantanamo bay?

I won’t say

It is a naughty American daydream

I love it so much!

I’m insane

Insane or transcendental?

You ask me

“Where are you going

To the churchyard or to the graveyard?

Is there a backdoor?”

I reply,

“The world is parabolic

Go on,play with hyperboles

You need a point of reference

No need to worry

I’m just standing here.”

 (It was published in Sadda haq and Visual Verse online anthology of poems)

 

Manikarnika Ghat

Along floating ghats

And a burning river

The morning naked and spread-eagled

Like twilight

With temples grey like ashes

Half-burnt Goldflakes

The Ganges and drops of Old Monk

Balance teardrops

Absorb the world

Exhale the same

A hydrostatic paradox…

The Ganges

Mirrors and my reflection

Amidst a Chinese package of sunshine

Zombie strippers from Somalia

And frozen memories

I see myself

 

My soul split like Kashmir

Craves for the forgotten

Then

With a silent spasm

“Eureka,eureka”

The ghat of Manikarnika.

 

Here I come from Palmyra

From BTAD

From Telangana

Here I come from everywhere

Everywhere

Searching for the lost remains of Gauri

To pacify Shiva’s rage

Here I come to unburden my soul

My small boat is not enough

To carry the weight of a civilization

I want to come again…

 

Here I see old men sitting in inertia

Aghoris and necrophilia

White clothes and smell of incense burning

Just to mock the city of Benaras

There I hear

Bells toll from a temple far away

Oars on water

And a tune resonates

From the flute of a blind beggar

Sitting by a burning pyre

“O Majhi re…”

 —

(Manikarnika Ghat: one of the many ghats (river bank) in Banaras, associated with Lord Shiva’s curse that the place where his dead wife goddess Gauri’s earrings fall (Mani-gems,Karnika-ears) will face the burden of funeral pyres burning at every moment of time.

BTAD: Bodoland Territorial Area District

Aghoris: Mystic saints of a particular sect associated with supra-human powers

“O Majhi re…”: a popular tune dedicated to boatmen (majhi))

 —

Debasish Parashar is a public policy, governance and art & culture enthusiast, singer, lyricist, poet (to some extent) and social journalist based in New Delhi, India. He is a postgraduate in English literature from University of Delhi. He has sung for ‘In Search of God’ and ‘Raag’. His write-up on Majuli has been listed amongst top 100 online #worldheritagesites stories globally in May 2016 by Agilience Authority Index. His literary works have been featured in prestigious Indian and international initiatives like Visual Verse (Germany/U.K),T uck Magazine (London/Global) (accepted and to be published), Indiana Voice Journal (U.S.A) (accepted for October, 2016 issue), The Poet Community, Swarajya, Youthkiawaaz, Bordoisila (Assam), Spillwords (Poland), Scriggler (U.K), Kahaniya, Sadda haq, Assam Tribune and many more. His works are included in two upcoming international anthologies namely ‘Apple Fruits of an Old Oak’ (to be published under Kew Gardens Press, New York) and ‘Dandelion in a Vase of Roses’ (To be published in U.S.A). Visit Debasish at https://debasishparashar.wordpress.com or follow MrDevParashar@twitter.

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.