Gaza, July 28, 2014

Air raid siren
Mum carries 1-year-old Afsana and screams at Afzal
“Get ready, Afzal”
“My shoes don’t match,” cries the little boy
Mortar shelling starts in 3… 2… 1…


A Romantic Haiku Traveller

That’s me today…

This afternoon I
stare at the sky- so does she
the girl next door

みなさん こんにちは! ジョン•メイヤーの Your Body is a Wonderland はいけい がします。そして、うつくしい そら。私はきょうはロマンチックです。雨をおたのしみ ください。

Konnichiwa mina san!
With John Mayer’s Your Body is a Wonderland in the background and the beautiful sky, I feel romantic today. Enjoy the rains!

For the Love of Haiku

This post is dedicated to Rie Ona – my Japanese sensei, fellow musician (alto sax player – Ska Vengers, a Delhi based Jazz and Ska band) and a wonderful friend.

She enters in the class with flash cards and books while we chit-chat about our semester one results.

“Konnichiwa!” cheerfully she greeted the handful of students in the class.

“Konnichiwa Sensei!” we replied.

“Tarun san, why are you not on Facebook anymore?” sensei asks with deep concern in her voice.
“I am fed up with it. It upsets me.”
“What about your website?”
“You have not been updating it lately.”
“Yes, sensei…. Ahhmm… I am just upset.”
“But if you recreate your account, please add me as your friend.”

I was moved by her concern as these were the first things she asked me.
“Ima nanji desuka?”
“6ji desu” we replied in chorus and the class began.
Second semester’s first class was beautiful as sensei did a quick revision with us and advised us to work harder, if we are serious about learning Japanese.

During the break time, I kept on thinking about sensei’s words on my website and haiku. Hell ya, I missed writing haiku all this while. Creative block to blame or my arrogance? I don’t know.

When the class got over, sensei called me and we had a heart-to-heart dialogue. Her compassion touched my soul and the way she guided me was just what I needed.
“Tarun san, I know you are upset but by deleting your account and not writing, you are making it worse for yourself.”
“Moreover, there are people who want to read your poems and they come back but see no activity which is so disheartening.”
“Come back for people who love to read your haiku and want to be in touch with you.”

I will continue to create haiku for my beloved readers who supported me all this while.

Haiku my love, I am back.

Photograph and Haiku by Tarun Mazumdar

Photograph and Haiku by Tarun Mazumdar

I am Home

Diary of a Haiku Traveler – Fifth Entry

Seventh Month, First Day

Location: New Delhi, India

Temperature: 40 Degree Celsius. Home is always cool.

I felt so good when my bus crossed the borders of Delhi. The known faces and places went pass the bus and I knew I was home, to the place I love. Sadly, I am back only for a week before I head back to Bhatinda with dad.

A certain joy was right there in my dad’s eyes as he got down from the bus. The joy usually found in that of a little kid’s eyes when he comes back home. I admit I missed my city and no place on planet Earth can be like Delhi.

Bus passes the toll
I see the same roads and shops
dear home, my home

Metro trains and cars
preposterous auto wallahs
that’s my Delhi

Old Delhi

Old Delhi

Photograph by Tarun Mazumdar

Diary of a Haiku Traveler – Fourth Entry

Sixth Month, Twenty-Ninth Day

Temperature- 42 Degree Celsius. Extremely humid.

Location: Bhatinda, Punjab, India

Clouds and rain seems to have deserted Bhatinda as temperature soared with each passing day. I saw my dad in pain today. He has been unable to eat due to the extremely hot conditions here in Bhatinda. The frequent power cuts worsened the conditions. He is 56 years old and I know how difficult it is for him to live in such extreme conditions. I hate the government’s policy of transfers. They would have been a little considerate and taken the age factor into consideration.

I saw my father changing sides as he tried to sleep. How painful is this! I want to earn loads and loads of money so that my father can retire early and live with us. I must study and master my Japanese language skills. Moreover, I must improve my writing. My desire to become a better son is driving me to do new things. I must struggle hard, come what may.

I composed this while I was helping dad take a nap in the afternoon.

My hand fans swiftly
fails to match the ceiling fan
father takes a nap

Little T and The Ultimate Game of Chor-Police

Early winter night
boys come together with change
a box of crackers

Fireworks remind me of my childhood days when my brother Mr. A Junior, my buddies – V, A, J, S, Miss S and I (Little T) used to assemble on the terrace of our building with whatever money we could save up. Then we used to debate on which are best crackers that we can buy with the money we have. Ah… those days when we used to buy Bijli bombs for Rs. 10 a packet (1 packet has 100 or more sticks).

Oh we also had those Chinese cracker pistols (state-of-the-art and lethal in every sense). My favorite was the fake shotgun. We, anxiously, waited for Diwali month to come so that we can play Chor-Police (Thief and Police), a game played since time without beginning, with all the fireworks and Chinese cracker guns.

My buddies and I used to come up with amazing plots to make the game interesting and edgy like fake kidnappings, bank robbery, nuke attacks, floppy stealing acts and more.

The game is fairly simple and straight forward. If you want to play Chor-Police and wondering how to go about it, read on.

Chor-Police ‘The Ultimate Outdoor Sport’

This sport requires mental as well as physical strength, and you need a solid fucking plot with massive fireworks.

Number of players: Minimum 10 and the more the better it gets. Divide the members in equal parts (no, don’t slice them into two). One half are the ‘Bad Guys’ and the remaining ‘Good Guys’.

Items Required
1. Bijli Bomb packet – 2-4

2. Chinese Cracker Pistols – One for each member of the gang and the Police force

3. Cracker rolls for Chinese Pistols – Two rolls for each member
4. Laxmi Bomb: A packet of 6 for each member. Laxmi Bomb is the fake dynamite stick, they are powerful so use your wisdom when you use it

5. Sutli Bomb (Wool Bomb): A pack of 5 only for the team leader. These are Nukes, these are supremely powerful and destructive. Use it to blow the headquarter of the opponent. \m/

6. Plot or Storyline: A solid storyline that can be the next Bollywood smasher is what you need. No items numbers (we are still kids, remember!). Good guys beat bad guys sells like hot cakes.

Load up your Chinese cracker pistols with pistol rolls. Aim. Fire. Do not throw the crackers on your friends or opponents because you don’t want their moms to smack your butt off.
Now, go on and play Chor-Police. Dishkaoooo. Dishkaooo. Don’t forget to improvise.

Disclaimer: Only buy crackers that are manufactured by adults and not by children. Also, be careful with the crackers. Don’t blow your face or hands up.