Of late, uncertainity, nausea,
Blankness, choices, voices, amnesia.
Gentle flashes of inspiration too,
But need more ideas, not one or two.
A saintly pigeon sits by my window,
Pecking unperturbed in the morning glow.
Oh, how to be carefree and make choices,
Ignoring calmly these many voices!
The last train lurches,
Churchgate to infinity.
Midnight mind numbness.
Obese man in white,
With uncertain wife steps in.
Loneliness hidden in phone,
Crowd of wage workers.
On the day’s stock trading,
Young couples arm in arm,
With minds elsewher e.
Silent mingling of sweat, tears,
We all lurch ahead.
The city’s humanity mass,
Its order and chaos.
Tomorrow, we will return,
To resume this human dance.
– (c) Mohit Kishore
What is Choka?
Chōka* is a form of Japanese long poetry pre-dating, but related to, haiku. You can think of it as haiku’s super-fun great-great-grandfather. As with haiku, the lines of a choka should not rhyme
but should follow a syllabic pattern (onji), namely 5-7-5, 7-5, 7-5, 7-5 … 7-7.
Visit http://bigpoem.blogspot.com, and join in a worldwide effort to collaboratively come up with the world’s longest poem (in choka form). The work in progress is here.
My interest in Sufism stemmed out of a book of Rumi’s verses. The Quran is said to have many interpretations. Sufism is said to have sprung from a mystical interpretation of the Quran by Prophet Mohammad who transferred this knowledge to select disciples, who carried forward the oral tradition. The primary objective of Sufism is to unify the individual spirit with the universal spirit. The final goal is fanaa or “annihilation in god”.
However, one must be quick to point out that this annihilation in God need not imply death. It is possible to have supra-sensory experiences or visions that give one a glimpse of God. The underlying concepts of sufism are not very unlike Indian schools such as Vedanta, only the means to achieve the final goal are different. Music and dance are two important components of the Sufi tradition. The dance, originating from Rumi, is popularly referred to as the dance of the swirling dervishes. Its movements symbolize the movements of the cosmos itself.