Firdaus.

cornwall
(Cornwall, United Kingdom – July 13, 2016)

Of all the places that I have been, no places has captured my imagination as much as Cornwall did. Reminded me of a Farsi couplet written by Amir Khusrau, written sometime around the 13th-14th century –

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.

(English:If there is a paradise on earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this)

The oarsman.

The oarsman.
(Nainital, India – June 15, 2013)

I wish I lived my life like the oarsman

guiding my boat through the stream;

when I’d steer my way through troubles

however insurmountable they might seem;

Where every tug and pull at my oar

satisfies me of each little job well done;

and the end of each fulfilling day makes me

look forward to newer journeys under the sun.

Indictment

indictment
(Kolkata, India – June 15, 2014)

Of all myriad trappings offered by life

I am but a sentient aggregate

consumer of my own purveyance

A fickle result of complicity and strife

between my actions and my fate.

Yet, you relegate me to an image

in an evanescent meeting of chance

Naivete, or hubris I ask

when you subject me, as aliens gauge

my existence from your cursory glance?

 

Lost in thoughts.

lost-in-thoughts
(New Delhi, India – March 16 2013)

His name is Ravinder. I met him while walking near my house in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India. I got talking with him over a cup of tea, during which he told me about how, as a young man, he would engage in petty theft. He didn’t tell me if he was ever caught. All that I could see was this expression on his face after he told me about his past. Make of it what you may.