Kaghaz-kalam

Written sometime in November, this now comes to the blog 🙂

kaghaz hai, kalam hai,
shayari ko mufeed, ye aalam hai.
zehen me ho jab chhaya kohra
raah dhoondhta hai khayalo ka karwaan
kalam ke charaagh se,
roshan housle.
tay karte hain;
ilm ke faaslein.
zindagi ki manzil – jhilmilaati
intezar kare hain  – ithlaati
gubar bhi nahin, naa hai kohra,
mustahkam raftar se, chal raha hai karwaan,
kalam se kadam milakar, chal raha hai karwaan.
kaghaz hai, kalam hai,
shayari ko mufeed, ye aalam hai…
Glossary :
mufeed – conducive
aalam     – atmosphere
zehen    – conscious/mind
kohra   – fog
charaagh – beacon
ilm – knowledge
faaslein – distance
gubar – the dust that rises from the moving caravan
mustahkam – steady

Simple

Simple

Simple
Keep it simple silly,
said ol’ captain Billy,
as he walked towards the shore,
telling lores of the yore.

They was stuck in a gale,
with no dough nor ale,
when they Frenchmen stopped their vessel.
Sailors squealed like weasels –
some bargained for their freedom,
others jumped in the ocean.

Davy Jones feasted like never,
as fear spread like fever,                                                                                 
‘cos their Guillotine mimicked the waters
with its own scarlet pool.
All the Queen’s soldiers,
struggled to keep their cool.

There were Indians and Yankees
and them young British dandies,
trying to conjure French whims
that will save their brethren’s skins.

When me a young mate then
walked up to them bearded men.
Waved at their Captain with hearty abandon,
& asked the obvious question :                                                          

“Ahoy there! Ce qui est le matière?
What brings ye here in this ungodly weather?”

“Dieu merci, this man knows français!
Priez, quel est le chemin de la France d’ici?”

All they wanted from us sailors…
Was a map from tither to France! 

They took with them an atlas;
left me a golden cutlass,
& unto us, a year load of  rum barrels
that saw my shipmates dance –
‘Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest’
Boy that day they sang at their hoarse best!

Bestowed with navy laurels,
dressed in garbs from finest tailors,
I now stood in front ranks.
Captain, was I –
with doubloons in pliant banks!

“So my son, ye see,”
said ol’ Captain billy –
“Today i be no different billy,
than that which says keep it simple silly!”

Central idea 

Captain Billy is now aging and likes to tell stories of voyages that he undertook as a young sailor. In this anecdote, he illustrates the importance of keeping things simple and uncomplicated. He is American by descent. Those days, America (circa late 1700s) was a British Colony (reference : Wiki). He was a young mate on a British ship bound for England. This ship was caught in a thunderstorm. Their supplies were nearly exhausted, when a French ship accosted them. It was also the time of the French revolution and its infamous Guillotine. The Britishers aboard and American hands alike were terrified of the consequences. Some of them (mostly Americans) started thinking of ways to strike a bargain for their lives while the British jumped in the ocean (choosing an honourable death than at the hands of the French).

Captain Billy, a young shipmate then, paused and thought amid the chaos. Before jumping to conclusions of death by Guillotine, he thought it wise to ask the purpose of the Frenchmen in accosting their ship. He went up the mast and hollered in some little French he knew, “Ahoy there! What’s the matter?” The French Captain breathed a sigh of relief. Atlast someone knew French and could help him find his way back to France in the heavy storm! They just wanted to ask directions!!! (Poor fellas – those who jumped in the sea 😛 )

They gave young Billy a golden cutlass as a souvenir and left a year full of rum barrels for the sailors.  When the ship reached England safe and sound, Billy was promoted to the rank of a Captain. Over the years, with his simplicity and directness, Captain Billy gathered a fortune in the those banks which had very less red tape in catering to their clients. 😉

Even now through his tales, he says that simplicity is the key to success.

Note

You may find that the mixture of pirate/sailor slang, American slang, archaic English and contemporary English makes this poem lag a bit in continuity of language like Shahrukh’s dialogues in Ra.One 😛 Please bear.

Aside

Project 365- 7- The fire

This poem is inspired by Magdalena’s poem The Erring Arrow . I had written a version in the comments section, which is somehow lost now 🙁 It ain’t coming back, but for a miracle. I have written another version, from the theme I remember. Pliss to critique. This is kinda my first foray into a literature term called Enjambment.

I missed,
they say.
They don’t see
my heart burning in reflection
of the fire in the wild.
The child in me,
yearning.
Parched with thirst
for affection.
The erring arrow was to kill,
the demon.
It fulfilled the Almighty’s will
where they see, the fire;
I see
the solemnly burning pyre.
The cycle of creation,
after destruction.
My seemingly erring arrow
is the hope for a happy ‘morrow.

An afterthought : This poem fits into the Holi theme no? Happy Holi everybody! May good win over bad in your lives always!