‘Bottle Like People’

‘بوتل جیسے لوگ’

سنا ہے ہزار آنسووں کا سفر
وہ بے بہا نمکین آبشار کا گزر
شروع اک ننھا خدشہ مثل صفر۔
بوتل جیسے لوگ بہت
خدشوں کو اپنے میں بھرتے ہیں
سنیچ سینچ کر اپنے غم بھرتے ہیں
آہ و الم کی شراب کشید کرتے ہیں
حتیٰ کہ ڈاٹ دور تلک پھٹتی ہے
رنج کی چاشنی لہو لہو شراب انڈلتی ہے۔
چیخوں اور غصہ کی متلی پھر
اک بار پھر ‘سکھ’ میں بدلتی ہے۔

‘Bottle-like People ‘

The journey of a thousand tears,
That cascading fall of salty water,
Begins with a single fear.
Bottle the fears
Stuffing and shoving
Every bitterness
A flavour –
Like aged wine.
Till the time comes
Out pops the tightly held cork
Effervesence of emotions stiffled.
Rinse and wipe your mouth,
Afterwards like a good purgation.

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“Winter Apparel for Olivia Twist”

 

Winter Apparel for Olivia Twist

Like the snug fit
Of a woollen sweater,
An embrace to
Melt the icy chills.
The cozy warmth
Of a pashmina shawl
Or a soft muffler
Placing its soft touch
On my otherwise
Exposed head.
The intimate hug
Of a pair of gloves
That is there with you
For every task.
And a pair of socks
That will match your step
On every path
Twisted or paved;
Indoors or
Braving the storms
Howling outside.
Or perhaps
A colourful quilt
Or a fuzzy blanket
To comfortably
Sweep you to
Dreaming of foreign lands.
With my empty bowl
Waiting in queue
For a serving of
Pasty Porridge
In Dickens’ orphanage…
I wonder
Where might I be able
To get a winter apparel …
Once I do outgrow
The orphanage.

 

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

“Snowflakes and Tears”

“Snowflake and Tears”

Amid the countless clouds that wander,
Dancing upon the horizon-
Above the waves and vales,
A solitary cloud sighs
And sheds;
Up in the heavens;
A tear-
Meeting the parched earth
As a crystallized snowflake.

—-Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

 

This poem has been inspired by a poem written by a gentle soul, Brother Mueen Kanwar, “Snowflakes to Tears”. Please click the link below to read his amazing poem.

https://mueenkanwar.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/429/

 

Prayer

Prayer

Hands spread out
In front of her visage
She calls out the Lord;
The Most Merciful of all.
She hears the cry
Escape her lips
As the tears stream down
Bit by bit.
Shoulders slumped
Face soaked
With salty pearls,
A realization
Suddenly unearths.
The lips curve into a smile
For she remembers
Surah Najm
“And it is He who makes you laugh,
And He who makes you cry.
And that He will give death, and
He who gives life.”
Consoled and calm
She forgets her strife.
With renewed vigor
Her eyes sparkle and shine.
For the believer,
Everything is a sign.

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

“Stranger in the Town of Love”

Faces merry and bright,

Cuddling lovers in the arms of yore,

I watch them all…

With my own artillery of

Dusky eyes and cold sighs.

Years have passed and I still remain

A stranger in the town of love.

Giggling children

Cheery smiles

Pouring forth from

Toothless smiles.

Mothers looking on

With a mix

Of annoyance

And pride.

And I still remain-

A stranger in the town of love.

—Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

 

 

Karachi

“Karachi”

Who travels by tram
In the old city
Of Karachi?
The ancient tracks bearing
Trash amidst
A dilapidated locality.
Wafting through
The waves of stink
The tracks
Speak a silent history
Of the old bustle of life.
Where life was valued
And things not left to ruins.
Yellow bricked buildings
Of the Victorian era
Were still cared for.
White sheets hung out to dry…
Narrow balconies in
The Saddar area,
Probably didn’t leak water
Of dubious origins;
Whether it is from the water tankee
Or used and filthy;
Cascading over urban terrains
Reaching your being
As you had to trudge along your destination.
The urban geography
Still had parks and clearings
Where children would play cricket
Without fear of breaking a window pane;
Before they disappear to escape the offence
And subsequent financial strain
Incurred by an angry neighbour.
But my city, is still breathing and alive…
It bears the scars and ruins of the splendor
Where once the octagenerians thrived.
The city of Edhi and his dedicated wife,
The city of philanthropists;
The city that houses many tribes
Foreigners and locals
From Afghanis to Bengalis
And the migrants from all tides.
Where one can sip doodhpati
At a dhabba hotel
And enjoy a crispy warqi paratha
With a thaal of malai
Either with friends
Or with family.
Shop for books
At old book stalls
Smelling in the fragrance
Simultaneously;
Of printed word
And smog.
The city I call home;
The city of lights.

—–Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

Inspired by the old railway tracks near the Tuesday Bazaar in my city and a few other things..

Knights

“Knights ”

 

They burrow inside your soul
These creatures called “gentlemen”.
With sweet words to grasp your heart
Within their cold blooded hands.
Duelling with weapons
Of care and sensitivity,
Instead of a sword and shield
They pierce the armour-
Effortlessly.
Once the blood has been shed
The women folk; all without the guard,
The Knights with Shining armour
Gallop to the next lass.

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui