Huzaifa Pandit (MA, SET) was born and raised in Kashmir. He is pursuing a PhD on “Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Agha Shahid Ali and Mahmoud Darwish – Poetics of Resistance” at University of Kashmir. His poems, translations, essays and papers have been published in various journals like Indian Literature, PaperCuts, CLRI, Punch and Muse India. He is fond of Urdu poetry, Urdu and old Bollywood music.
His Master’s Voice
(For Major Avtar Singh – the murderer of Jaleel Andrabi)
they play your voice
at night on the broken
gramophone when the light worms
have slept, tired of the drenched morning
that never ends.
Your notes shake hands
Like the fleeting rain falling on
Blown out lamps. The days are sad, Master
yet at night smoke of sadder death fills my wide nostrils.
They burn all the idols
Of gods anointed by
I petition to dye
The soiled bowl of moon
With the warm tint of that fateful
Master, I petition
the shadows of banned stars
protest at night near my tongue tied window and break open
I have forfeited my dogmas
surrendered every charade of a plan.
I have sworn via costly affidavits before
their Lordships: I won’t atone my sins.
Yet, every night, Master, my throat refuses to howl.
I ache for
a sip of warm
Curse my sad eyes.
Your murderer left the house
Weeping and wailing. I never consoled
him. He cupped your warm blood in his coarse hands
and deposited it softly in my
bowl. The taste lingers,
Master. How can I then
(Published in a global anthology Images of War)
A Kashmiri fairy tale
One day when there are no half-wet black clouds
In the warm blue sky
We will quarrel bitterly
And never agree with the other-
We will iron all our wrinkled adjectives
And dress to dine on fresh arguments.
We will put on redrawn maps
Sewn from gaudy geography.
We will fold our positions carefully
And tuck them neatly in our checked pockets.
Near our broken rib-caged heart.
A dash of hesitant reflection
On the silly jokes to be made.
We will tune our voice chords
to just the right frequency for broadcasting
our politically incorrect verbs written in correct tenses.
We will wear chic shoes
Fashioned from the leather of lazy history.
We will walk in directions decided in divine dreams.
Thus spoke God who knew no sutra:
The barbarians have finally come
To bury you in brick domes painted
In the golden shadows of deaf twilight
Near wooden bridges to rotten history.
That day, we will bake our metaphors
In kilns of warm warm tempers.
Green green grass will dance in the drowsy sun
Of warm warm May
We will quarrel and quibble night and day.
Things were different once
The cleft sky wouldn’t burden
my leaking skull.
During the famine of addresses
I inhabited some square feet.
In this city of lights
Who would’ve imagined
gassed darkness would reign?
This nightmare had never hit me
Had the suspicion ever struck you?
Many rains rain.
One even flooded TRPs
and an ungrateful people.
But the scarred blood stains
aren’t wiped from sutured Jhelum
Or bruised blue apple shells.
Now, your beloved is barricaded
In meshed screens of silence
It has been a century.
Once, when the city spoke a language
He was the muezzin.
To read an interview with Huzaifa Pandit CLICK HERE