My grandfather, a bearded family man
dressed in a khan dress,
a waistcoat, and a brown cap
made of lambskin,
would often sit in a room
smoking his hookah.
He, dutifully, woke up
before the dawn,
for his morning prayers, lighting
the kitchen fireplace to cook,
long before the rest of the family
He liked the company
of his, peasant, friends.
He was kind, unlike his children,
to his, orphaned, grandchildren.
His wife, my maternal grandmother,
mostly praying or chatting.
She never cooked.
He tuned to Radio Kashmir, daily,
mumbling Sufi songs
with his eyes closed, as if
in a transcendental state.
He would talk, to his grandchildren,
about his six months pilgrimage
to Mecca, by a ship, about sea burials
of pilgrims, who could not make to the land.
He would distribute
Zamzam water, discovered
by the heel
of thirsty prophet Ismail, among
the family and friends, even years after
his return from Mecca.
To follow the tradition
of the prophet, he would, for months,
look after the sacrificial sheep.
He would feed, wash,
and apply henna dye to them, until
the annual festival to commemorate the sacrifice
of prophet Abraham.
We went through his things.
We found his marriage
by Kashmir's would be prime minister;
his snow-white burial garment
he bought, decades before
his death, from Mecca.
His home, filled
with soundless words, memories,
of his children and grandchildren, now sold
to some strangers.
They have whitewashed,
of our childhood and his life.
He, persistently, told us
"no human, living or dead, is worth
He deserves his own prayer
(for Mohamed Ramadan Wani)
(Courtesy The Poet's Espresso Review-2020 USA)
1. These poems have been previously published in various literary journals, magazines, books and anthologies around the globe including the UK, the USA, India, Ireland and Canada.
2. Here I will post some of my previously published poems.
List of Poems