This poem is about the first bride of the city Hyderabad —Hayat Bakshi. I am dedicating this poem to the brides of Hyderabad. Disclaimer: Although the characters in this poem are real, the storyline is a work of fiction.
Reposed under the bough of her heart Bakshi gazed inly to her soul Looked upward looked downward Realized the cherubim she was
Days, months, years, gone Extending her boundaries Like doth water without confines Lost in her pluck to agglomerate
By the tramp of her sire, withdrawn To senses, flashing her whims To the seraphim she is now; What is roving your mind? asked Quli
The time is nigh for the joy Brides hope to have, she said Wearily, like a bolt of lightning Quli passed fiat for her big day, anon
Oyster formed pearls in fain, So her tender ears dangle in Gleam, like a twinkle of morning Dew pierced by sunbeams
Walls of Charminar flowed lac, So her nimble arms chime with Clink of lac bangles, like raindrops Drumming the calm wintery waters
Gladder Bakshi blessed the duo, Together they became the yin and yang Of every coffer damsels hope to have Ensconced in the crown of laad bazaar.
This poem describes the exchange of messages between two souls, who are cursed by distance and years of time, using clouds as their messenger. The ‘She’ second stanza of this poem is indeed written by “She”, Aayushi, my pen pal.
Curled her crimson lips Blared the conchs of the earth, to Summon the clouds of swans-down Disembogued deluge of words From sluice gates of her heart, thereinto Sealed the message with her velvety kiss, Smile fuelled the clouds Scudding the cerulean skies Gathered the rooftop, whistling They opened they opened Flung upon him her rain of words
Sworn in the feat of unscathed Ivory towers Unacquainted, yet A plush of ally Scented in glee Eons felt by Beaming to sky Slashing the purlieu The spirits fly
Wrote he, eft:
In the words that Thy lips spilled Light years melts away And cast mellow upon me What yonder on earth Ruth can befall upon me Nay, distance and void Can harry me — for Lies my spirit in Thy soul
This poem is for people located far away from their paramour. Nay, it does not reflect anything about my life.
In the words that Thy lips spilled Light years melts away And cast mellow upon me What yonder on earth Ruth can befall upon me? Nay, distance and void Can harry me — for Lies my spirit in Thy soul
Meaning: With your words that emerged from your lips, even astronomical distances between us fade out and softness dwells upon me. What affliction or grief can teeny-weeny distances of earth inflict? No distance can harass me as my soul resides in you.
Another poem that flowed through my pen as my lips brimming in the elation of the city, Hyderabad. This poem, “Hyderabad’s Camelot” is the continuation of my previous poem ‘The City was Born’
Overture: This poem describes how Hyderabad has been nurtured in Bakshi’s lap; how she extended her boundaries by accepting everyone, how she’s viewed around the world; how her gustatory pleasures gave the world her ambrosia, the Hyderabadi Biryani; and finally, the envy it mustered in the far away land, Britain. [To those who do not know, Bakshi is the daughter of Quli Qutb Shah and Bhagmati. And also the Hyderabad I allude to in the poem is the *Hyderabad State* ].
Hyderabad started forming words Liketh a child in a crib Morning and evening Greeted by multitudes that Swelled like a sea fed by rivers Besotted by her unearthly charm Beholden eyes cou’d not containeth her Cossett’d and coddl’d in Bakshi’s lap Her skin glistening liketh a silver moon Her dainty limbs sprawling soon From Charminar to Aurangabad From Raichur to Adilabad
Her speech strident Voice like a Lion’s roar As her clepe in Arabic suggests so Liketh waxing gibbous to full moon Her greatness cross’d Boundaries, countries, continents Accepting in her womb Liketh earth men both good and bad Her love shimmering Liketh an ocean under the moonlings She became the prose, she became the poem She became the intrigue, she became the life
Eclectic was her gustatory delights Her palates lick’d in surfeit with Qubani ka Meetha, Double ka Meetha Pathar ka Gosht, Hyderabadi ‘ka’ Marag Her tongue blessed the grains so Earth manufacture ambrosia Celebrated as Hyderabadi Biryani Zephyrs flared her nostrils Wafting the aroma of Irani Chai Her gullet lump’d salty, sugary And velvety Osmania biscuit While shine in her postprandial face unmatched To all the fire mustered in the world.
Luculent she was in the raiments Of jewelry glittering like thousand suns With the Kohinoor, the Darya-i-Noor. The Jacob, The Hope, The Great Mughal, The Orloff The skies they open, they open Her blinding sight reached Miles and miles away Pangs of envy unleashed In a far-off land Miles and miles away
Tried poetry with the city my lips hasten to spell as naturally as one does breathing, the city on whose name my heart races at lightning speed — Hyderabad.
Golconda was impregnated with blokes Of Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Christians, Of Sikhs, Jews, Jains, Buddhists Days, weeks, months, years, Morning and evening Golconda was brimming with hordes; She reached a crescendo, for confinement, Bhagnagar born from the womb of Golconda Like a butterfly from a caterpillar.
The neonate was feted with fanfare Bhagnagar is gleaming in her gay prime Flushed she was with florets of Lilies, Roses, Lotuses Daisies, Freesias, Gardenias Cyclamens, Jasmines, Daffodils The sight was sound to eyes And music to ears; she was a sinuous beauty Her smile unbeknownst to earth Her coruscating eyes dashing in all directions Her soul redolent of Islamic Heaven.
The clepe Bhagnagar forded through The walls of Golconda dinned with her name A hush deep as sky fell in the fort; Discordance took its shape and danced Like tempest on a silent Ocean Lashed by tides obstreperously, Between Quli and his sire on a Hindu name Like a river to ocean Quli acceded Scratching his pate scrambled for words That tongue doth not betray the glossary of Islam Performed the ritual of transliteration And rechristened the city to Hyderabad.
Sun rose to his zenith Clouds scudding home Uncapping the piercing sun Sunbeams cleaving the ocean surface And diving into plumbless depths Turquoise waters cradling skerries Tides drawing in and out
People chattering and children groaning As I step on the hem of a cliff To captive in my camera the captivating beauty Of waves carrying spume Tripod is set aloft — zephyr tailgating I stand in abeyance with Olympus Until the gnawing wind ebb For you to behold the bewitching photograph