Listless days of summer slip through my fingers

as afternoon ragas of the pandits and ustads settle a mish-mash of thought,

that tear at my soul and morosely lingers

‘shanti-mantra’ of pandit ravi shankar at the kremlin weaves through this day’s stillness…

…as ustad zakir hussain and ustad sultan khan’s ‘kithe meher ali’ brings consolation, when peace begins to pale,

filling up my empty of chalice of hope with a rich, heartfelt fullness

“…kaise karoon kahan karoon main khanjar ko istemal, har seene aye-bashaar main nihaal tera roop hai…”

“…for what shall I wield a dagger, o lord? What can I pluck it out of, Or plunge it into. When you are all the world?…”

and though one feels wrecked and wretched when it all seems futile

these are the moments of distilled clarity

where truth is often an elusive rarity

yet still we stand and still we walk

on and on and on

but not today, for today i sit

with only the ustads and pandits to offer me some solace

sans idle chit-chat, sans empty talk…