Kind Attention: Arvind Kejriwal San

•January 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

Dear Respected Chief Minister Sir,

and all that jazz…

I don’t really know if you’ll ever read this and I don’t mean any disrespect or anything. In fact, as odd as it may sound, I mean to hand you some praise. Which you have earned meritoriously.

So, this morning I am travelling in an auto to my office in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi when the driver of my auto, Mohammad Jaseem, breaks into a love song in praise of your bodacious awesomeness. I mean he waxed lyrical about your recent decision about the regulation of traffic on roads in the capital. He said the odd-even thing was working out so well for him. He encounters no traffic at all now. I don’t know if people are already talking about this. It seems Mohammad Jaseem is very happy.

I am ashamed that I don’t concern myself with current politics as much as I should, but I am familiar with politics in general esoterically. But I assure you I will try to keep up on this one. I know that you must have expected a multi-pronged effect of this move. I am not aware if you play chess, Sir, but you’d probably make an entertaining Grandmaster. I mean not like Tal or anything, but certainly better than Nakamura. Tal is absurd beyond ecstasy, but you also, have made me happy. But for entirely different reasons.

Anyways, I will come to my reasons later. It is about Mohammad Jaseem that I want to talk about. You see, after he had waxed about your bodacious awesomeness, he insisted that I should tell you how he feels. He made me promise an oath to Allah because I was reciting Surah Al Ikhlas in his auto on the way.

I don’t understand why he thought I could communicate to you what he felt towards you, when I don’t know you, and, oh well, before meeting him, I didn’t intend to know you. But, yes, I do, now. He made me see it. Mohammad Jaseem did. And some thing else that came up later. When I asked him why he thought I could do it, he said because to him I seemed very educated. I don’t know what gave him that impression, and I promise by Allah I didn’t read out my resume to him. And I won’t to you. I am on Facebook. Duh!

But here’s what I thought. I thought, for all the love of God, let’s do this for Mohammad Jaseem. Let’s try this once. And here I go. On behalf of the auto community which Mohd. Jaseem represent, I congratulate you on your wise decision on the even odd, ahem, thing. And I am thankful on behalf of the environmentally concerned. You know how nature adapts in changing environment? Well so do men, and so must business entitties.

Among those environmentally concerned, those who want their mobility unhampered by the even-odd thing that’s taken half the traffic of Delhi by storm, DID YOU KNOW:

The Ciaz SHVS Hybrid is the only car unaffected by the even-odd rule in Delhi!!! Way to go, eh!! It’s a Way of Life!

And now you know why I am happy. Thanks, buddy.


Winter has come

•November 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hail, hail!
The Whore of Babylon
is over the streets of Delhi–
from where the dark Yamuna meanders,
to where the dogs fornicate in groups–

Savour the juice of plum;
eat curd, drink whey…

Bark, bark!
O Friends, see here is the treasure
of knowledge, let us plunder.
May one humbly see in our tails the bending of his desire.
Let the honest feel it is winter.

Boo hoo hoo!
“Fire, fire, fiSsss ire”

SHADOW CABINET – once more

•September 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

How sad can it be to fly where Eagle’s in league with Falconer? (6,7)



•September 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Group who can be said to scratch the head in Opposition? (6,7)


Amir Khusro and the Art of Cryptic Crosswords

•August 23, 2015 • 2 Comments

Amir Khusro was a genius and a polymath. And arguably a leading cryptic crossword exponent of his time, in the form then known to us. Not only is he credited with inventing the sitar and tabla (both of which I tried to learn for some time), but he also invented the Qawwali and developed the ghazal. He was a poet par excellence, and it was due to his influence that Hindustani classical music today has that Libertarian delicacy and flexibility which makes it far superior in creativity in comparison with the rigidity of Carnatic classical, which refused such advances, and remained strictly Ximenean.

He composed riddles which relied heavily on the cross-nature of words common to Hindi and Persian meaning different things in the two languages. For example, नार means “woman” in Hindi and “fire” in Persian. The juxtaposition of these two ideas is quite poetic, one may say… He was equally fluent in Arabic and Sanskrit. His riddles can be classified as Double definitions, Cryptic definitions and limerick-like puns. Here are some examples (answers at the end):


These are typically double definitions. The answer is a phrase in the form “something was not present” (“उत्तर ना था”) where the उत्तर is a word with double definition with different roots.

  1. A) A) राजा प्यासा क्यूँ? गधा उदासा क्यूँ? (2,1,1)
  2. B) B) अनार क्यूँ ना चखा? वज़ीर क्यूँ ना रखा? (2,1,1) 


These are verses, which will hide the answer a la a telescopic clue, or present the idea as a cryptic definition. Every line is punny, and can be read with a surface reading and a cryptic reading. I will give the surface reading; you can figure out the cryptic reading by solving, or seeing the answer.


एक कहानी मैं कहूँ,

तू सुनले मेरे पूत;

बिना परों के उड़ गयी,

वो बाँध गले में सूत (3)

I tell a tale / O hark my son / She flew sans wings / with her neck in strings


एक गुणी ने यह गुण कीना,

हरियल पिंजरे में दे दीना;

देखो जादूगर का कमाल,

डाले हरा, निकाले लाल (2)

An act of a Sage / Put a parrot in a cage / Then a wonder, it’s said/ Put in green, came out red


एक पुरुख़ है सुंदर मूरत,

जो देखे वो उस की सूरत;

फ़िक्र पहेली पाई ना,

बूझन लागा आई ना? (3)

This man is handsome / Everyone gazes at his face / I was stumped and couldn’t figure out / Began to think but the riddle didn’t reveal herself


सावन भादों बहुत चलत है

माघ पूस में थोड़ी,

आमिर ख़ुसरौ यूँ कहे,

तू बूझ पहेली मोरी (2)

In the monsoon season it runs riots / But much less in winter / Amir Khusro puts it thus / to you to figure out my riddle


This is a “Say-Denial”, typically a conversation between two female-friends. The first three lines are cryptic in nature spoken by the first female. The fourth line is a misleading guess by the second female. The fifth line reveals the answer in a punny manner by the first female again.


रात समय वो मेरे आवे

भोरे भाए वो घर उठी जावे

ये अचरज है सब से न्यारा

तेरा साजन?

ना सखी, तारा! (2)

He comes in the night to me
By morn, he leaves my abode
This irony is indeed cute…
Is it your lover?
No dear, yours!


  1. A) लोटा ना था (There was no “pot” for the king / The donkey couldn’t “roll” in the hay)
  2. B) दाना ना था (There was no “seed” / He was not “wise”)
  3. C) पतंग (CD)
  4. D) पान (CD)
  5. E) आईना (Telescopic)
  6. F) मोरी (Telescopic DD: मोरी means a drainage canal or a moat)
  7. G)  तारा (Star / Your)

Hope you enjoyed these. 🙂

There are very many ones attributed to him, as they were passed on orally, from qawwal to qawwal. Not all of them are authentic. The one’s I’ve shared are the ones most popular in my household.

ईसा बोला

•May 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

बाज़ार-ए -हुस्न में ख़ुदा बिकते देखा 

इश्क़ को मजनू बना पिटते देखा 


पत्थर हुए इकठ्ठा तो अम्बर देखा 

आवाजें सुनके दिल को पलटते देखा 


पैरों को घबराके फिसलते देखा 

फ़डफ़डाते पंखों को उभरते देखा 


फिर सन्नाटा छा गया 

मैंने पुछा: फ़िर आगे क्या हुआ ? 

ईसा बोला : तुम देख नहीं रहे 

जिंदा नहीं हो क्या ? सो गए ? 


There will be time

•March 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s never too late to mend. Never.
Those who despair
shall have to fare
the depth of the ocean’s pain;
the hearts where hope remains
shall fly to flee the fire.
All must strive and tire
to amend. There will be time to spend.
It’s never too late to mend. Never.