Tag Archive: life

The Truest Beauty

from google

the truest beauty …

On that rainy windswept night, when we took shelter under a leaking bus stop,

shivering as invisibles, scratched out of this world’s pitiless sight.

We spoke at length, as the buses passed us by,

we bared our souls to each other, as strangers often do,

laughing about how we roamed these avenues without a clue.

We spoke of excruciating truths, of life’s random cruelty, of our hopes and of our dreams, of our small joys and of our fears,

as we stood under that leaking bus stop, the rain streaking down cheeks that were salty with tears.

I barely saw you, and you could hardly see me, in the rain and in the fog,

as we laughed and cried together, sharing feelings of being swamped in life’s quicksand tugging bog.

We spoke so much that rainy night, we shared what we could not share with anyone else, we spoke of love and the beauty of it all,

we stood in the rainy sleet, dwarfed by the grey buildings towering so impersonally tall.

The beauty that I felt in those moments spent with you, the truest beauty I have ever felt, far beyond the fakery of strutting it all on this daily, gaudy parade,

truer than it all, all of it, far beyond the hollow shells of the neverending charade.

That night passed, as all nights must, yet you remain with me, within me, the beautiful stranger I could hardly see.

Today, I look back through the wisps of time, failing to scribble even the simplest rhyme,

knowing not much, but this much I know to be true,

the truest beauty of all, caresses your soul, and envelopes your heart,

the truest beauty rests,

deep beneath the superficial you …

from google


blabbering quasi-philosophical bs 

from google

blabbering quasi-philosophical bs …

memories persist, at times flitting in and out of view, as the continuum of time edges ever ahead,

we look ahead into the future, we turn our heads and the past lies strewn with fractured dreams, with splintered promises.

we plod on, ever mindful of the now, today, this moment, at once, right now, teasing out a life from second to second,

a life of desires merged with the ether, disappearing in the wind,

a life of vows, and of oaths taken, ridiculed by the corrosion of feelings,

a life yearned for, the neediness for love’s light, the light that will surely cast aside the desolation of this black hole, these infinite steps of day to day repetition,

a life embellished, with the sprayed on veneer of sophistication, of making it big, of being with it, of wanting it all now,

a life of the ticking down of the clocks,

as they urge us – just do it,

carpe diem,

a life of salivating in the now, the need to shuck oysters, the need for the clunky obscene timepieces, the need for the bubbly to be guzzled, the need for every desire, each want sated, yet always and ever clamouring for more,

and more,

while hearts bleed out,

out of sight,

while tears are rendered invisible, while the wailing cacophony of basic needs gets drowned, suffocated, deemed far to far from us to spare a thought,

even as the avalanche of greed, of bartering money for joy, of ensconcing oneself in towers of gold,

even as all that whips souls to the very core, as long we remain safe from the marauding horde, banging against our iron-clad door.

the void that yawns before us, a gaping hole we wish to fill till it is whole, flinging trinkets of silver and sparkling stones, into the ever widening yawn that from apathy is born,


the continuum of ever inching time exacts its price, turning hearts of empathy into blocks of ice,

tearing the fabric of one human family, barked out from loudspeakers at every charity ball, inured by the convenient shawl of giving back to the dregs who always by the wayside fall,

this life, these desires, these wants, these needs, these countless vulgarities of the 1% who rule everything, who control it all,

heartwarmed by the sound of tossing a few coins into a begging bowl,

all the while, the corrosive acid of financial success, erodes, bludgeons, sets ablaze,

the one thing that knows no boundaries, that breaks all barriers,

the promise of the possibility, of regaining within each of us,

the purity of our shared human soul

from google

The Torture of Love

from google

the torture of love …

slicing through memories, each bite of the scalpel tearing the heart apart,

every thorny rose digging deep, drawing blood, even as the barren soul lies trapped in the mud,

you loved me once, you promised me forever more, yet I now stand alone, locked outside your love’s door,

we shared champagne kisses, we walked into sunsets, we lay beneath the autumn trees, was that all for nought, as today I see love being bartered, sold and bought.

you threw me aside, by the gutters filling with sewage, your love had moved on you said, you had handsomer, sexier, cleverer men clinging to you, so I ended up a cast-away memory …

“do you know afzal?”.


your love was simple back then, when we shared stale bread and jam, tepid tea and broken biscuits, when we found solace in each others arms, but the tugging of this glittering world, left me on pavement, as you giddily swirled and twirled.

the years have passed, the wrinkles deep, the tears have dried up, the memories though, the memories still cut deep,

so enjoy your fillet mignon and your fine bubbly,

and forget about me, as I search for another underpass beneath which to sleep …

from google

“Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh





Vincent and Ludwig.



Do you know, my dear Ludwig, that I’ve sold just one of my paintings?”


“Yes, Vincent, do not despair, my friend, they cannot, will not, fathom the flower that reveals its petals before their eyes”


“I suppose you are right, old friend. They cannot, will not, hear your ‘Ode to Joy’, though it is you who are deaf!”


“But my dear Vincent, you do hear my ‘Ode to Joy’, deep in your soul”


“Yes, I hear it, I feel it, Ludwig, flowing like liquid paint through the canvas of my veins”


“My dear Vincent, I too feel your brush-strokes, and in each swirl of colour I hear your joy, and I can touch your pain”


“What does that make us, my friend? Two men cast adrift on the bluest seas, leaving nothing behind, yet heading nowhere. What does that make us then?”, asks Vincent.


“Human”, replies Ludwig, smiling.


“Human, yes, dear Ludwig”.


“And that is enough”, says Ludwig, almost to himself.


“It is enough”, smiles Vincent.


“To be human. It is enough.”


Vincent laughs, as Ludwig watches a gentle wave caress their toes, through their tattered shoes.




“Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven

I found You

“I have lost my way”, i said.

She smiled, taking my hand,

“I have too”.

“I have found you”, said I.

“and I, you”, she breathed.

. . .

from google

a blabbering rhyme …

as i walk these splintered streets, whipped by icy rain pelting down in sheets,

my existence seemingly futile, my journey exhausting me mile after desolate mile,

seeking respite from the frigid winter frosting my soul, looking for that elusive place that may make me feel whole,

beyond these tears, banishing these fears,

no longer sleeping on this bed of nails, desperate for your love to boost my sails,

for us to travel hither and thither, even as the spring roses wilt and wither,

teasing out moments spent together with aching hope, yet still knotted in this life’s cruel tight rope,

i saw you standing at the bus stop, and i felt all the weight of emptiness deep inside me drop,

and when you smiled at me with your beret tilted to the side, i knew then that love could never again hide,

as we talked of dreams and hopes and of far off places, your love filled my soul’s barren spaces.

until i saw you no more waiting for me at the bus stop each morning,

i felt the desolation once again within me dawning.

i often wonder where you are,

after all these decades that have passed,

are you nearby or in some land so very far.

i do know that this is what i hope for you,

that wherever you are,

may you still be,

to yourself,



and as ever,

eternally true …

from google

meagre rhymes of love.

from google

meagre rhymes of love.

This love that has cocooned us, enveloped us,

in the warmth of its comfort,

is a love so rare,

truly a love beyond compare.

The middling years of our lives,

when this world has us jaded,

our love melts away the despair,

banishing the pain, distant and faded.

The feelings I feel for you can never be scribbled on paper with ink,

the sentiments swim free under the placid stillness of the seas,

my heart beating in rhythm with yours,

in orchestral harmony,

our symphony soaring with inexpressible desire,

as I find myself forever drawn to the blazing heat of your inextinguishable fire.

Through desolate moments that morphed into years, tears streaming down the  deserts of lonesome cheeks,

we had given up on love, accepting that it may never glide on the wings of the breeze,

we felt ourselves sinking, thrashed around as we drowned in the maelstrom of emptiness,

crashing, slipping, weighed down into the  crevasses, as we trod on, mile after barren mile,

at times gutted as we plumbed the depths of our souls, facing the horror of forgetting the ability to smile a simple smile.

It was then that we met, as our years began to pall, the wrinkles pronounced, the grey hair starting to fall,

it was then, when we met, that we began to live a little each day,

no longer merely existing, ensconced in our catatonic state,

it was then, when we met, when the confluence of our lives were tugged together by fate,

it was then, when our footsteps were slowly merging, ever gently forming a shared road,

it was then, so dazzlingly bright, I saw in you my my shelter, my much sought after abode.

The years we have lived, so alone for most of our lives, have exacted their toll,

even as we did not seek to mutter oaths, to sign vows of undying love on a paper scroll,

for no parchent signed and tucked away in an attic somewhere, or framed for all to see can ever be so bold,

as is our unspoken love, where there is no bartering for love, no settling for less, no going through the daily grind,

for the years have sprinkled starstuff on us, the starstuff of deep abiding love, almost impossible to find.

I am now old and grey, my wrinkles deep, my gait bent,

and I treasure every moment with you I have spent.

‘Tis true that you now lie beneath the ground, but still your laughter I hear every day,

your smile, your fragrant hair, your soft body are alive within me,

no advancing years can ever take that away,

and as memories of you are a soothing balm, you live in my thoughts, you are my constant, you can never truly go away

as I remember our gentle tender kiss, on our beach of promise, under the palm that sashayed,

under our palm, that will perennially sway …

.                         .                   .

Memories of a Mother

letter of condolence from Comrade Nelson Mandela to my father when my mother passed away on April 4th 2008

reuniting with Nelson Mandela after 27 years – photo by me in Sweden 1990

The Valiant Women.

(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)

Pregnant, your husband on the run,

your daughter just a child, a few years old,

they hauled you in, these brutish men,

into the bowels of Apartheid’s racist hell.

They wanted information, you gave them nothing,

these savage men, who skin just happened to be lighter,

and White was right in South Africa back then.

You did not cower, you stood resolute,

you, my mother, faced them down, their power,

their ‘racial superiority’, their taunts, their threats.

You, my mother, would not, could not break,

You stood firm, you stood tall.

You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.

You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,

the scraping for scraps,

the desolation of separation

from your beloved children, 

by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,

whose skin just happened to be lighter.

You told me many things, as I grew older,

of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.

You were a fighter, for a just cause,

like countless other South African women,

you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,

of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,

you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.

Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,

a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,

all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.

I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,

the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land, who fought, sacrificing it all by taking a moral and principled and valiant stand.

I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed, your body interred in your beloved South African soil,

you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,

of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.

I salute you!

Viva the undying spirit of the women Viva!

(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,

who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)

Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother and my mother protesting the arrest of political prisoners

with Comrade Winnie Mandela, an old friend and comrade of my parents

my mother reunited with Comrade Nelson Mandela after 27 years

Anti-Apartheid slogan and poster from the 1980s

from google

The Demonisation of Mahatma Gandhi.




The gradual chiselling away of what they call the facade of the great soul.

The thin man in homespun loincloth who galvanised a nation to take on the might of the British Empire stands alone today.

The man who spawned a revolution of thought and action the world had never seen before, the concept of struggling against evil through non-violence is being corroded by forces narrow and machiavellian.

Today, the life and times of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are being picked at slowly and at times savagely, in attempt after attempt to sully the actions of a man of flesh and bone called the Apostle of Peace. 

The Mahatma Gandhi of today’s revisionist historians and social and political activists is a feeble, racist, casteist, sexual deviant, among also being a toothless panderer to minorities during some of the most horrific times that the peoples of the Indian subcontinent had ever experienced.

We stand today overlooking a dangerous precipice, as the forces of reaction and naked racism and fascism are on the ascendancy.

These forces have been biding their time for a while now, quietly infecting the undercurrents of different societies with their narrow sectarian and fascist notions of religious and racial superiority.

The perfect storm that has been brewing for decades now is coming to pass, as the forces of reaction and the so-called “noveau-activists”, often called “peacetime revolutionaries” by Nelson Mandela” comrade Ahmed Kathrada who spent 27 years on Robben Island during the harshest years of Apartheid tyranny and hegemony.

Was Gandhi all the negative things said about him today?

Quite possibly so when as a newly minted barrister from England he traveled to South Africa to take on his first case. Dressed in his very English suit and tie and still steeped in his Brahmin upbringing, Gandhi may well have been many of the things his detractors accuse him of being.

But history has shown us repeatedly how human beings evolve and how their political and social and personal attitudes and principles and values morph over time.

The Nelson Mandela revered today as a man of peace and non-racialism was a young man once, who political thought evolved from being a fiery young man who did not approve of other racial groups from being a part of the struggle against the Apartheid regime, but thanks to giants of the South African liberation movement like Walter Sisulu and others, it is all the more admirable when history shows the transformation of Nelson Mandela into a man of inclusivity and a fierce believer in the equality of all races.

The Nelson Mandela acknowledged by history as being a man of peace was instrumental in the formation of the African National Congress’ armed wing – Umkhonto-we-Sizwe or the Spear of the Nation. This man of peace understood and accepted the needs of the moment to change the course of the liberation movement in South Africa from one of non-violence to one that understood that the Apartheid regime was not going to be defeated by Gandhian principles of non-violent struggle.

In Nelson Mandela’s own words – “There are many people who feel that the reaction of the government to our strike – a general mobilisation, arming the white community, arresting tens of thousands of Africans, the show of force throughout the country, notwithstanding our clear declaration that our campaign is being run on peaceful and non-violent lines – closes a chapter on our method of political struggle. There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people.”

The Nelson Mandela who struggled and campaigned in peaceful manner came to the historical realisation that armed action against the Apartheid regime had to be a part of the struggle for racial equality and freedom. 

So too with Mahatma Gandhi, whose views from a narrow sectarian and racially biased position, given his being raised in a ‘high-caste’ Brahmin family, which also mirrored Nelson Mandela’s being born into a royal household, were shaped over the years to the Mahatma Gandhi whom Albert Einstein said of “that generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as he, walked this earth”. No small praise from a fellow individual who’s works led to the invention of nuclear weapons even as he remained a campaigner for peace his whole life.

So too with many of the great figures we hold in high-esteem today, it is often the case that over a period of time and of political and social development of thoughts and of ideologies, there can be not one individual who can be singled out as being a born progressive and revolutionary thinker and activist.

Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara, Amilcar Cabral, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jomo Kenyatta, Fidel Castro, Karl Marx, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and many others were all flawed human beings, many being sexually and personally unfaithful to their partners.

To judge these men by the standards of today is a legitimate historical endeavour.

But to demonise them as being “sell-outs” and “sexual deviants” and “having been co-opted by the enemy” and of being “racist” and “tribalist” and “casteist” and “sectarian” by today’s standards of moral compasses is to ignore the revolutionary leaps they played in the struggles for universal dignity and freedom from want and grinding poverty and the countless horrors faced by the 99% of the world’s population today in 2018.

The most startling aspect of this revisionist history is that the almost seamless confluence of the forces of fascism and reaction with the forces of “progressive thought” and activism for meaningful political and social change seem to agree upon. 

To the resurgent right-wing these individuals are regarded as traitors to their “own kind” and are actively and concertedly being demonised, and the word demonise is not an exaggeration.

To the many progressive forces of social and political activism for true and meaningful and humane change, these individuals are singled out as being “racist” and “tribalist” and “casteist” and “sectarian” whose place in historical context must be viewed by the yardsticks of 21st century beliefs and societal and political norms. 

This is the most dangerous aspect – the confluence of thought between fascists and progressives on their iconoclastic quest to gradually, and often times not that gradually, demonisation of these figures of history.

It is very easy to vilify our grandparents for the views they held, as repellant as they are to us today, and similarly it is convenient to vilify countless figures in history as being “backward” and “anachronistic”, and rightfully so – but to simply dismiss those who came before us by simply painting them with the same brush is to do a disservice to history itself.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a right-wing Hindu extremist who believed that Gandhi was a “sell-out” to his “own” people – the very same ideological thoughts that are being actively espoused by the successors to those very same notions of “our own pride” and “total and complete adherence to our religion”.

Yes, Mahatma Gandhi was a deeply flawed human being, yet his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle cannot be simply cast aside, as with Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, amongst so many leaders amd activists of movements the world over who dedicated their lives and many of whom were killed by the forces of imperialism and colonialism.

The shared demonisation by both right-wing and left-wing activists who are agreed about the legacy of these figures of history, is a dangerous nexus of convenience – especially in a time when the world is swinging dangerously towards the narrow populism of jingoistic and racist thought.

This is a time for all progressive and like-minded people to concentrate their efforts in order to be the vanguard against the obscenity of right-wing governments popping up in so many places I’m the world.

The virtual “acceptance” of raw and crude and vile capitalism needs to have the barricades set up once more as we witness the daily horrors of deprivation and grotesque wealth on the other side.

The spectre of the damning of historical figures, as flawed as they may have been, plays directly into the hands of the forces who wish to sow division among the peoples of the world.

This is a dangerous road that is being chartered, once again, especially when the world is in a dangerous place where racism and the hatred of the “other” is being preached from the pulpits of power.

It is especially corrosive at a time when wars of blatant aggression in the pursuit of plundering the countries invaded in the most overt adoption of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism.

The simplistic interpretation of the history and historical contributions of the individuals being vilified, dove-tail chillingly as both right-wing and many left-wing activists are agreed about one thing and that is their reading and conclusions reached about the legacy of these and many more figures of history.

Zhou Enlai, the first leader of post-revolutionary China was once asked what he thought about the French Revolution, he responded with the following:

“It’s too soon to tell.”

from google


2018 copyleft afzal moolla

.                    .                  .


from google

The Judging of Nelson Mandela.


It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die“, said the resolute prisoner in the dock.

He stood firm in his revolutionary convictions, potentially facing the gallows of Apartheid tyranny.

The prisoner and his comrades were sentenced to life imprisonment on an island of shame with Robben Island its name.

They endured the hell of Apartheid’s abyss for 27 long years.


Nelson Mandela walked free on that early February day in 1990.

His years of incarceration did not dilute his revolutionary ideals.

His beloved organisation, the African National Congress with him at the helm now dealt with an enemy hell-bent of sowing the seeds of mayhem.

He stood resolute.

He stood principled.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades negotiated the path which realised the objectives of a free and non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress had to make many compromises, in the quid pro quo of negotiating with an enemy busy in the process of fomenting a civil war.

This did not make him a sell-out.

This did not render him toothless.

This did not mean he had capitulated on his revolutionary ideals.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades faced a stark reality – a negotiated peaceful settlement with the Apartheid state or the prospect of further bloodshed and the implosion of South Africa.

This did not render him impotent. 

This did not temper his revolutionary fire.


Nelson Mandela and his comrades realised that the white minority regime would not simply relinquish power.

The Apartheid state was already actively engaged in the stoking of wanton acts of violence in order to derail the process of transforming South Africa into a democratic country where all human beings regardless of race would be granted the right to vote and to be no longer being relegated to second class citizens in the land of their ancestors.

There were difficult compromises to be made, there were bitter pills that had to be swallowed.

The enemy would not simply give up the privileges of the white minority without a fight.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades understood that reality. 

The cold harsh reality of facing a protracted war of attrition or the birth of a new democratic South Africa from the clutches of Apartheid hegemony. 


Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the African National Congress made the hard choices.

They laid to rest the prospect of a civil war, while making gut-wrenching decisions in order to achieve the first goal of bringing to fruition a free and democratic South Africa.

Many were displeased. 

Many were embittered. 

Many thought this the abandoning of the true principles of the struggle.

They were not wrong. 

They had good reason to believe that far too many concessions were made.

They who fought on the frontlines were not being unreasonable.

They faced Apartheid’s bullets and truncheons and torture for years.

Yet Nelson Mandela did not shut them out, but brought them in and invited them to be a part of the hard work that lay ahead in the creation of a new democratic country.


Today, we look back.

Today, we judge Nelson Mandela and his comrades for a revolution denied.

Today, with the hindsight of history, we damn the negotiated settlement.

Today, the failures of the democratic governments that have followed Nelson Mandela’s one term as President, are coldly and conveniently laid at the feet of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela did not crave power nor status. President Nelson Mandela was a human being, a man of flesh and blood, with his share of faults.

Nelson Mandela never shied away from acknowledging his faults.


Today we dismiss Nelson Mandela as one who sold out the revolution.

Today we condemn Nelson Mandela for the greed and corruption that keeps millions in poverty and the majority of the population who have no access to dignified health care and education and housing and employment.

Today we judge Nelson Mandela as the one who watered down every ideal and principle of the struggle for freedom and for human emancipation.


Nelson Mandela stepped down as President in 1999 after serving one term in office.

Today we are in 2018.

How convenient to subtly paint Nelson Mandela as the one who sowed the seeds of all that is wrong in our country today.


How very convenient.


Nelson Mandela was not the prisoner-set-free to to assume the Presidency of the African National Congress and rule by dictatorial edicts and by personal decree. 

The African National Congress and its National Executive Committee (NEC), the ANC’s Armed Wing Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK), as well the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) played an integral part in the negotiated settlement that resulted from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

Leaders and political activists like Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and many other individuals who spent years in Apartheid prisons and in exile were part of the decision making process. 

To hold Nelson Mandela solely responsible for the negotiated settlement that led to the creation of a democratic South Africa in 1994 is both disingenuous and ignores historical facts. 

The African National Congress structures on the ground were part of often heated debates as Nelson Mandela and his comrades navigated the treacherous waters of negotiating with a government that was in power and had the army at its disposal and was conducting bloody covert operations in order to derail the efforts to reach a peaceful solution for the dissolution of Apartheid and the birth of a new South African nation.

If Nelson Mandela is to be regarded as a ‘sell-out’, then he cannot be honestly judged alone for the failures of successive ANC governments from 1999 to 2018.

It is a simplistic reading of history to come to the conclusion that Nelson Mandela stood alone as a “sell-out” while once again conveniently ignoring the many other factors that played a part in the transition of South Africa from a racist, tyrannical state to a free and democratic new nation.


Once again, how very convenient.

with thanks to the Nelson Mandela Foundation


from google

from google


my tribute to Steve Biko published:


from google

For Bantu Stephen Biko.

Born: 18 December 1946

Murdered: 12 September 1977.

You fanned the fires of black pride,

facing down the racists trapped in their hollow white hide.

You breathed inspiration, infusing the many with renewed vigour,

though always knowing you were in the crosshairs of Apartheid’s trigger.

You never wavered, you stood tall and strong,

your words decimating the paltry platitudes of the fascist throng.

Your spirit, your courage, your words fanned the embers of resistance, with unshakeable determination,

you stood firm, always upright as you battled the scourge of racial discrimination,

and today, we as a people owe you the grateful tributes of a democratic nation.

They tortured you, they killed you, they murdered you, but they could never quell,

the conviction you instilled in a generation, the thirst for freedom and for dignity, and the tolling of the bell.

We salute you, fearless son of Africa, we remember you today, as we shall in all the tomorrows yet to come,

we shall never rest until the principled ideals for which you were killed are through our collective struggles won.

Only then shall we honour your selfless sacrifice, your dream of an equal society for all,

Only then shall we have truly honoured your eternally defiant, your ever valiant,

your forever truthful revolutionary call.

Viva the undying spirit of Steve Biko!

The struggles continue!

from google

an unashamedly mushy scribble

“Irises” by Vincent van Gogh

an unashamedly mushy lovey-dovey scribble …

I want you in my arms tonight, I crave your touch ever gentle, ever so feathery light,

I want you to kiss me hungrily beneath our African night, I want to sip the nectar glistening on your lips so bright,

I want all of you and more, I want to pick up seashells with you on our talcum shore,

I want you to clasp my hand, your fingers intertwined with mine, I want to be dazzled by the love we share, a flame that continues to brightly shine,

I want to escape this daily grind with you by my side, deep into the recesses of our souls, where there no longer is the need to scurry and to hide,

I want us to make love, our bodies and minds and hearts becoming one, I want to feel the heat between us like the blazing sun,

I want to promise you love forever more, a vow, an oath, kept safe deep within our core,

I want to grow old with you, my love, my light,

I want to savour every moment shared together,

forever and ever, with the knots of love binding us tight …

“Wheatfield with Crows” by Vincent van Gogh

.                 .             .               .

turquoise turret

from google

turquoise turret … … …

bubblegum clouds drizzle cotton-candy floss, blurring my view,

liquorice asphalt twists, a slow burn, igniting memories of she, ashenly charred, akin to her tresses auburn,

as i peer from atop my turquoise turret, all that lies between i and she,

are walls well secured,

surreptitious defences obscured …

from google


from google

peace dove by Picasso

walking hand in hand in the rain,

we vowed we would fight their fascist disdain,

we kissed, tasting the salt of our tears,

the blindness of the  discrimination of love, polluted by ignorant fears,

the pain streaming down our cheeks,

torn apart by the howls of hate, by the odious stench that of prejudice reeks.

walking hand in hand, we promised each other we would take a stand,

we would affirm that love knows no barriers, no walls, no straightjacket, no jingoism of the parading band,

we would smash the narrow walls of patriarchal distaste,

that for millennia has bludgeoned dignity, fracturing it to splintered waste.

walking hand in hand, we promised each other to remain the bulwark, the vanguard against racist drivel,

but now, after the years of lost innocence, the ugly lies we sought to smash,

sprout like weeds, as principled values to the cold hard ground fall, and to a million bits fracture as they crash,

today the truths we knew once, lie catatonic in a corner, gradually into nothingness to mutely shrivel,

while all I have, is this pen, to belch out scribble after impotent scribble …

from google

from google

I am African

Madiba Lives!

uBuntu – Southern African Philosophy that espouses the belief that all living beings are connected

I am African …

Africa, my Africa,

coursing through my veins,

the tributaries of all the rivers, all the streams,

infusing my nights with hope imbibed dreams.

Traversing the open savannah, walking alongside brother and sister, mother and father,

my city alive with promise, my continent throbbing with life,

my skies free to soar, my potential a purposeful roar.

Africa, my Africa,

you are the tears I have cried, my joyous dances in the rain, the balm that cures me from my sorrows and my pain.

Africa, my Africa,

you are me and I am you, I am not, but you remain perennially true, your soul intertwined with mine, your light never ceasing to shine,

Africa, my Africa,

I am not, but you remain everlasting and true,

Africa, my Africa,

you live within me,

Africa, my Africa,

I live within you …

poster from the days of the struggle against Apartheid tyranny

Nelson Mandela Lives!

n o s t a l g I a

nostalgia ..

Bicycle rides in the deluge of the monsoon, soaked sneakers squealing underfoot, mum’s voice calling us home, sipping cardamom tea, as the streets became a torrential sea.

stealing kisses on the school bus, furtively holding hands, innocence of young love thud-thudding in our hearts, surreptitiously catching a smoke, all trying to look like young humphrey bogarts.

cricket bats oiled with linseed, all patched and chipped, the field across the suburb our home ground, recreating matches heard on the radio, always on the lookout if any girls were around.

youthful joys, young heartbreaking moments, of having to repeat a grade at school, losing the carefully crafted image, of being just so cool.

days of scribbling notes in class, school a world in itself, ties undone in an effort to look tough, ears twisted by our teachers, the principal hauling us off by our necks’ scruff.

those days now a lifetime away, yet persistently and stubbornly etched in our minds, all grown up now with realities harsh, a long way away from looking for that lost cricket ball in the marsh.

old friends lost, not forgotten though, as the decades roll past, finally realising that nothing is meant ever to last.

what would we give to smell the monsoon rains once more, miles and miles away on a distant shore, ah but the memories remain, in the deepest recesses of our hearts’ core …

bruce and little steven

( inspired by Bruce Springsteen 🤔 )

from google

A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen … …

it was a rain-swept monsoon day,

way back then, so many moons away

when i felt the music strumming in my veins,

setting me free like a runaway horse without any reins

you sang of simple truths,

your verse spoke to people just like me,

in my lonely, wasted, and desolately quiet night,

as you screamed out tragic human wrongs, and of everyone’s plight,

‘bobby jean’ spoke to me,

of that girl down the street,

glimpses of whom, we as innocents would furtively meet,

and ‘the river’ that flowed through my ever-barren heart,

led me down further roads of thunder,

when slowly i finally learnt that the hardest part was fighting on,

and never to surrender,

to the hard-luck dreams that were born to run,

while i danced in the dark,

with memories vivid and stark,

even as i whined like that dog who for forever lost his howling bark,

and then a ‘human touch’ came along,

and ‘better days’ seemed real, not just words in a song,

and still you sang and swayed and spoke straight into my unseeing eyes,

as gardens of secrets were opened, and as your fist punched the skies,

in an anger that i too felt and in whose cauldron i too burned,

as we saw murder get incorporated, while on its wobbly axis, our fragile world apathetically turned,

and then suddenly i was told that i was all grown up,

working on a highway of scattered ideals,

and absolving myself by sprinkling some coins in a waiting cup,

well, after all these years of walking along so many a thorny road,

with an armour of your verse covering me, even as i hear them taunt me and even as they continue to goad,

but now i can feel myself fading away, into the bleakness of this coming night,

just like the ghost of that old tom joad.


from google

from google




song for bruce springsteen …



” … so you’ve been broke, and you’ve been hurt, show me somebody who ain’t … I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain, but hell a little touch-up and a little paint, I ain’t lookin’ for praise or pity, I ain’t searching for a crutch, I just want someone to talk to, and a little of that human touch, just a lil’ of that human touch …” – Bruce Springsteen, ‘Human Touch’






do you revisit those sultry summer nights,

sweet sweat pouring off your skin,

your hair fanning an eternal fire,

toasting deep within,

ever since I saw you,

standing at our old train station,

wearing your red beret,

and paging through a book by Emma Goldman,

somethin’ ’bout the tragedy of women’s emancipation,

we stood there in the pouring rain,

wishing we could race down the cobblestones on a renegade lane,

to take us away, from the stasis, the bruises, and the pain,

we laughed, we cried,
we held onto each other,

yearning for freedom,

from the straightjackets they tried to wrap around everyone’s brain …

Well, that was all those years ago,

when love meant something more than a ten buck stage show,

now the guys at the watering-hole tell me that you’re a big deal today,

it looks like you’ve packed Emma Goldman, and all your other books away,

perhaps they remind you of our younger selves,

it’s a pity that you’ve grown so large that there’s no room left for me on your neatly lined shelves,

ah but I still remember the woman that you once were,

but now you’re weighed down by your pearls and your faux-fur …

I wonder if you even think of me at all,

the boy who promised to be beside you,


if you ever were to stumble, or to fall,

or has your new gucci-clad crew,

stripped you of your soul,

as you laugh and drink and screw,

I wonder if you even remember my name,

or have you buried me along with all that you once were,

out of sanctimonious shame …

… I’m still here, where you left me, festering in this rotting old town,

unemployed since the years when those stock-tickers went plummeting down,

today as I stand in line for my warm bowl of soup,

the TV on the homeless shelter wall says it’s going to get worse,

cos’ even the banks have flown the coop,

well, I think of you often, as I lay my head on the cold ground,

tasting your soft lips as our tongues waltzed around,

but tonight I kiss my bottle of moonshine,

that keeps me company while the sophisticates wine and dine …

I know you’ve forgotten all about me,

cos’ you’ve got futures to trade,

blue-chip stocks to sell,

so sleep tight tonight, my darling, in that penthouse where you dwell,

I’m used-up now, there ain’t nothing more I can say or do,

I’ve run out of yarns to spin, I’ve exhausted all the stories I once could tell,
so all that I can offer,

is a silent fare-thee-well



from google




from google




talkin’ springsteenesque introspection blues …



i have lost myself,
so often,
tripping over the tangled barbs,
here and there and everywhere i have been,

splintering me more,
each time we hauled ass,

and where once i tried to sew myself whole,

now i know,

all the random trivia,
a bit of this

but not much of much at all,

that’s the truth,
and i’ll stick to it,
go ahead,
haul me up against the wall,

but now, you see,
that now i see a little more,
cutting deep to the core,

i’ve been putting on a show,
playing the part,

blind-mans bowl,

and chillingly,
almost now,

clanging on,
the same old song,
the tired old dance,

but then again having strutted once,
conceited ego,

and since i have been humbled,

many times since,
this old shell has had some touch-up, and some paint,

but still,
playing the sad old role,

vagabond castaway,
misfit whatever,
neither here nor there,

and not that i don’t,
(pretend, at leas) to care,

i am tired of the perennial fare,

this endless fair,

playing the skin i shed yesterday,

slipping into my new skin today,

vaulting myself high,
perched up,
on the mantle,

tucked away,
between suburban pomposity,
and expected holier-than-thouness,

but now after all these years,
and after all these miles and after all these tears,

i think i am able to get through the times,
when my burden of sins,

keeps kicking me in the shins,

because one thing i know is what you said,

what you said, man, was true,

i remember it was during one of your pre-song talk-in/intro/philosophical detours on that never-ending highway,

i remember it time and time,
i’ll remember it always,
again and again,

each time i’m kicked in the shins,

remember, you said,

“… remember, in the end, no one wins unless everyone wins.”


for Bruce Springsteen

from google

Bruce and Clarence




my Springsteen tribute through his songs


In memory of “The Big Man” Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr. (1942 – 2011)




Growin’ Up in Delhi town, far away from being Born in the USA,

your words rang true to me,

nothing more so than when you sang Cover Me,

as i ached for release from my urban Jungleland,

to the rock ‘n’ roll tunes of The E-Street Band.

You made me weep with your melancholic My Hometown, as i related so deeply to I’m goin’ Down,

cos’ when you sang, you sang from the depths of your Hungry Heart, all the way across the seas from Asbury Park.

Your lyrics sliced deep, scraping away the veneer of cellophane,

stuck inside the prison of my Downbound Train.

I remember the first girl i met, with Bobby Jean stuck in my lovestruck head,

and as we walked hand in hand through the city park, all i wanted was to be, with her, Dancing in the Dark.

I believed that we were Born to Run, far away from that Brilliant Disguise,

far beyond the Darkness on the edge of Town, escaping our fragile spaces, on our Rocky Ground.

When Little Steven sang Sun City, it gave me more of a Reason to Believe,

singing truth to power, raging against Apartheid’s vile hell, for all who from racial discrimination had no reprieve.

When you sang with Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, and Sting, all of you on stage for the Amnesty international concert, you carefully picked your principled fights, as we all sang Bob Marley’s Get up, Stand up, Stand for your Rights.

As i grew up, on that forked Thunder Road, you reminded me of The Ballad of Tom Joad,

your lyrics cut straight to the bone, when you belted out your sarcastic classic We take care of our Own.

You made me cry some more on the Streets of Philadelphia, while so many sweated it out in many a Darlington County, while the wealthy smiled and grabbed at this earth’s common bounty.

Oh how we joined you in the chorus, when you sang Woody’s angry This Land is your Land, while you paid homage to the countless immigrants in your powerful and visceral American Land.

I imbibed your words, feeling them course through my veins when i was bruised and tender, because you spoke to me of holding on tight to hope, to the words of No Surrender.

We are Alive spoke of the many who died trying to reach The Promised Land, to give it a shot, of Working on a Dream, while crossing The River would impossible seem.

Today, as so many are still sweating it out Working on the Highway,

you never fail to infuse hope,

the eternal hope,

of Waitin’ on a Sunny Day ….




Clarence and Bruce

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