Syed Faizan was born in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, India in June, 1987. After completing his schooling in Mysore he commenced his Medical education at the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S) degree in 2011. He intends to pursue specialized training in Psychiatry.
Faizan started writing poems when he was eleven years old, nature being his first muse. He has continued writing poems ever since and this cacoethes scribendi has over the years resulted in an oeuvre comprising hundreds of fugitive sonnets and other poems. His poetic efforts have been primarily directed at attempting a fusion of Western and Oriental, particularly Indian, ideas of Poetry and he has, to this end, experimented with Oriental forms like the Ghazal. Apart from writing he loves philosophizing, playing the Violin, painting and travelling.
Crime and Punishment
What creature was it? Filthy, old and wretched,
A beggar woman squatting ‘long the way,
She saw me too and then with hands outstretched
She cried for alms- I briskly walked away.
I snuck a glance at her- The sunken eyes,
The windows to a mutilated will,
The rotting nose, deformed, devoured by flies,
Fingerless hands outstretched, she pleaded still.
I walked away: I have to stay ahead,
The ‘healthy competition’ is too steep,
I have to fight for my own daily bread,
Have I the time to look around and weep?
A hard day done, I slouched, at last, to bed,
I saw her pleading still- I could not sleep.
I saw her in my mind- her bony frame,
Wrapped up in dark and crumpled, sagging skin,
She bore only a face, no life, no name,
And yet I knew, somehow, we were akin.
I saw her pleading still, ev’n as I lay,
Couched in the cozy comfort of my bed,
Should I have flung a coin and walked my way
Or spoken to her? What would I have said?-
What words could soothe her in her misery?
What could I say that was not vain pretence?
Can words surpass her forced sincerity,
Or match her hoarsest pleading’ eloquence-
‘My crime and punishment is poverty,
Your crime and punishment is indifference’.
The Mystic’s Way or The Sufi’s Argument
I only know too well the preachers God:
His faith is fear, his prayer is desire,
The hankering for heavenly reward,
The hapless shuddering at hellish fire.
Come walk, my friend, the fearless mystics way,
Our God is truth and beauty is our creed,
Love is the prayer that we daily say,
Our only ritual is the noble deed.
Each sacred thread and each rosary bead,
Is but a fetter to be cast away;
An artless heart the highest heavens heed,
The true believer has no need to pray!
Our God is one and one Community
Is all that he hath made: Humanity!
A Sufi Poem: Earthly love, Godly love, Agnosticism
In spring I loved the fragrant flower too,
But then I saw the ever rending thorn,
In youth I was a perfect lover too,
But then I saw the proud beloved’s scorn!
I saw the wholesome warmth of spring depart,
And found that fairest flowers do but wilt,
I turned to Godliness with pious heart,
Until I heard the secret shrieks of guilt!
And now I know why our Creator hides,
Behind the flimsy veil of his creation,
So we may deem perfection there resides,
Where we may never see his imperfection;
If we could gaze into the eyes of God,
Would we not find that even he is flawed!
I trembled in the bracing wind, the dark
Enclosed me all around. The prison of
Many a dream unlived, forgotten love
Held all my hope –and then I saw a spark,
Trembling with hope like me, forgot, forlorn,
While all the bustling earth below it swirled,
Who cared when it will die, when it was born?
It lived and died unknown to any world.
Lost in the sea of forced similitude,
So much like us, O secret sun! O star!
Hidden and disfigured by altitude,
How dare the world judge you, thus from afar?
Save in the sadness of our solitude,
We wonder not wherefore or what you are.
The Book of Life
What if each breath that every being e’er took,
Has been recorded in a library;
What if each human were a secret book,
Bound in the covers of eternity.
How would we read? At first our infancy,
Bottomless babbling; then the naughty child,
Whose innocence writes all that he can see;
And then the adolescent bold and wild
Bursting free verse; and then the lusty youth,
Declaiming to his love in stately rhyme;
Then middle age, essays enjoined by truth,
Then dotage, babbling again one last time;
But ‘fore we’ve written all that we would wish,
Death scrawls abruptly in one stroke “finish”.
A Recipe for Revolution
First add the secret spice of discontent,
And mix it in the blood of innocence;
Now stir the pot, until smells violent,
Assault your senses. Now add eloquence,
The soaring flavors of a poets ink;
Upon it pour the bitter paste of hate,
The most important; now be calm and wait
And stoke the fire, till it boils to brink.
After the mixture has cooled down a while,
Add just a pinch of tasteless penury;
And lots of oily anger and the bile,
Of malice; don’t forget to add envy.
Now add the sauce of idealistic guile,
And illusions meat. Then, burn the recipe
The Mystery of Man
I saw a shiny shell rest on the shore
I picked it up and placed it to my ear,
What sounds were those, O never heard before,
Mysterious sounds that only I could hear.
What sounds were those? I blankly looked around,
But found no one who could enlighten me,
What sounds were those whose vastness could confound,
A soul immured in worse cacophony.
I felt as if some long forgotten land,
Had mummified its anguished cries for me,
As if some trembling voice had stretched its hand,
Above the roaring waves of ‘ternity,
To teach me that which I could never see,
Or hear, or feel, but had to understand.
Perhaps behind the blinding veil of fate,
There lies the face of some famous future,
Perhaps somewhere in loneliness my mate,
Repines for me as I repine for her.
Perhaps my life is but a waking dream,
And I shall into wisdoms kingdom wake,
Where all this ceaseless suffering will seem,
A fabrication something false and fake.
Perhaps this dun despair is but a cloud,
That blocks but only momentarily,
Within the womb of its translucent shroud,
The dazzling glory of my destiny.
‘Perhaps!’ Alas! How may lives elapse,
Intoning this one hope, one word, ‘perhaps!’
Tragedy or Travesty
I walked the labyrinth of a Supermarket,
It would be long before I would again see,
These markets so, on every pack or packet,
Box or bar I sought a warranty.
So “best before six months” one said,
And “best before twelve months” said another,
I smiled in smug contentment as I read,
These warranties, ‘why not “best forever?”’,
I asked myself in jest. I paid the bill,
And stepped outside, just then, a honk, a shriek,
An old lady lay on the road, stone still,
The people rushed to her, her chances bleak,
They hauled her into an ambulance. Who cares
To look for warranty on earthen wares!
Copyright © 2012 Syed Faizan