Monday, April 29, 2013

Burning Suspense

This is a Forensic Sciences case narrated to me by my sister. She called it a complicated and yet an interesting one and you can frame your own opinions after reading it.

There was a person who no longer wished to live. He made a plan to commit suicide by jumping from the 10th floor. So it looks like a simple case of suicide at this point. But while he was preparing to jump, he was shot by a pistol fired from the 9th floor. There were repairs happening in the apartment during that time and a net was tied near one of the floors below so he fell on the net. Even though he fell on the net, he was already dead due to the gun shot. Well, now it looks like a case of murder.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that there was a family staying in the 9th floor and the man inside the house was holding the pistol and ‘playfully’ threatening his wife at that time. Both the husband and the wife knew that the pistol was empty and the press of trigger was just another act they had played out many times before, in situations where he was annoyed by his wife or when he was drunk or some such stuff. It was definitely not the first time that he was playing with the pistol so he had basically tried to fire the gun at his wife but instead hit the falling man. Do you think it is still a case of murder? Well no, it becomes a case of suicide again.

The case moved at this stage towards identifying who loaded the pistol. The couple had a son who had some issues with his mother and so had actually loaded the pistol thinking it would kill his mother, when his father went berserk next time. Basically, he wished to use his father to do his bidding. But unfortunately, his father did not lift the pistol for a long time and he was getting frustrated. So instead of waiting, he planned to kill himself. That’s the circle closing in on itself.

Ironically, had the father not lifted the pistol at that moment, the son would not have died as he would have fallen on the net. Not digressing from what we were actually trying to figure out: it seems like a case of suicide, after all!

Dr. Don Harpermills

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A(n) (Un)Certain World

A poem titled ‘Winter Eve’ was featured at ‘Futility Closet’ on the 9th of April:

Drear fiend: How shall this spay be dent?
I jell you no toque — I do not know.
What can I do but snatch the woe
that falls beyond my pane, and blench
my crows and ted my briny shears?
Now galls another class. I’ll sit
and eye the corm that’s fought in it.
Maces will I fake, and heart my pare.
Is this that sold elf that once I was
with lapped chips and tolling lung?
I hollow sward and tight my bung
for very shame, and yet no cause –
save that the beery witchery
of Life stows grail. Shall I abroad?
Track up my punks? Oh gray to pod
for him who sanders on the wee!
I’ll buff a stag with shiny torts
and soulful hocks, a truthbush too,
perhaps a rook to bead — but no!
my wishes must be dashed. Reports
of danger shake the reaming scare.
Whack against blight! Again that tune,
“A gritty pearl is just like a titty prune”
blows from the fox. I canot bear
this sweetness. Silence is best. I mat
my mistress and my sleazy lumber.
I’ll shake off my toes, for they encumber.
What if I tub my stow? The newt
goes better fakèd to the cot.
I’ll hash my wands or shake a tower,
(a rug of slum? a whiskey sour?)
water my pants in all their plots,
slob a male hairy before I seep –
and dropping each Id on heavy lie,
with none to sing me lullaby,
slop off to dreep, slop off to dreep.
-Robert Morse

As you can see, the words of this poem just invite you to ‘correct’ them. So we indulged in moving some letters between such ‘inviting’ words to make the poem sound the same but still different. Here goes our version:

Dear friend: How shall this day be spent?
I tell you no joke — I do not know.
What can I do but watch the snow
that falls beyond my plane, and bench
my crows and shed my briny tears?
Now calls another glass. I’ll sit
and eye the form that’s caught in it.
Faces will I make, and part my hair.
Is this that old self that once I was
with chapped lips and lolling tongue?
I swallow hard and bite my tongue
for very shame, and yet no cause –
save that the weary bitchery
of Life grows stale. Shall I abroad?
Pack up my trunks? Oh pray to God
for him who wanders on the sea!
I’ll stuff a bag with tiny shorts
and hole full socks, a toothbrush too,
perhaps a book to read — but no!
my dishes must be washed. Reports
of danger shake the screaming rare.
Black against white! Again that tune,
“A pretty girl is just like a pretty tune”
flows from the box. I can not bear
this sweetness. Silence is best. I met
my mistress and my lazy slumber.
I’ll take off my shoes, for they encumber.
What if I stub my toe? The newt
goes fetter cakèd to the bot.
I’ll wash my hands or take a shower,
(a slug of rum? a whiskey sour?)
water my plants in all their pots,
sob a Hail Mary before I sleep –
and dropping each lid on heavy eye,
with none to sing me lullaby,
drop off to sleep, drop off to sleep.

It seems not all sentences have letters swapped and we  are not sure about the words in some sentences, like these two: “my crows and ted my briny shears” and “goes better fakèd to the cot”.

Ropefully, the headers can help!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


It’s been a long time since I translated any shers so during this month of April (Fools), let me do just that. (There is no prank here, though!) Now you realize that the title of this post makes perfect sense. It is about rejuvenating oneself through the brilliant & piercing Ghazals of Waseem Barelvi! [Obviously, read the tab titled ‘Shayari’ above before continuing.]

इरादा छोड़िए अपनी हदों से दूर जाने का
ज़माना है ज़माने की निगाहों में न आने का

Iraada chhodiye apni hadon se door jaane ka
Zamaana hai zamaane ki nigaahon mein na aane ka

Let go of the thoughts of surpassing your limits
This is the world of not catching the world’s eyes

कहाँ की दोस्ती, किन दोस्तों की बात करते हो
मियां! दुश्मन नहीं मिलता कोई अब तो ठिकाने का

Kahan ki dosti, kin doston ki baat karte ho
Miyan! dushman nahin milta koi ab to thikaane ka

What friendship, what friends do you talk about
Sir! There are not even worthy enemies around

निगाहों में कोई भी दूसरा चेहरा नहीं आया
भरोसा ही कुछ ऐसा था तुम्हारे लौट आने का

Nigaahon mein koi bhi doosra chehra nahin aaya
Bharosa hi kuch aisa tha tumhaare laut aane ka

Never did any other face distract me
Such was my belief that you’ll return

ये मैं ही था बचाके खुद को ले आया किनारे तक
समंदर ने बहुत मौका दिया था डूब जाने का

Ye main hi tha bachaake khud ko le aaya kinaare tak
Samandar ne bahut mauka diya tha doob jaane ka

It was me, who brought myself back to the shore
The sea did present a lot of opportunities to drown

-वसीम बरेलवी (Waseem Barelvi)

Let’s have some more shers – shers about (over-)confidence.

तू क्या समझा तुझसे बिछड़ कर बिखरुंगा?
देख ये मैं हूँ, मुझको संभलना आता है!

Tu kya samjha tujhse bichhad kar bikhrunga?
Dekh ye main hun, mujhko sambhalna aata hai!

Did you think I will fade away without you?
Look it is I, I know how to remain unfazed.

तुम क्या सोच रहे हो मेरे बारे में?
चेहरे से ही अंदाज़ा हो जाता है!

Tum kya soch rahe ho mere baare mein?
Chehre se hi andaaza ho jaata hai!

What are you thinking about me?
Your face gives away all the ideas.

-वसीम बरेलवी (Waseem Barelvi)

These are all the shers that I found interesting AND could translate from this source video:

Waseem Barelvi

His voice as always lifts your spirits up and listening to his shers is (as usual) a hair-raising & spine-shivering experience.

I end this post by linking to some poetry of

Hastimal Hasti