Darbaar Sahib




you have to peel off religion

one translucent skin after another

finding god

is drawing blood

the knife goes in slowly
black, viscous, slimy

faith oozes out

and then

it happens

as sudden as thought

or sleep

the knife turns

and seals the deal.

it’s done.

you’ve sold your soul
to an empty promise,
to nobody, to nothing

for everything

what’s more

it’s a one way street


I’m still searching;
a tired ploughman,
waiting for the rains,

the divine harvest

an archaeologist
in search
of the lost country of the mind,
or the mindless
or the godly

or the godless

I am not alone

in this archaeology

of desire


I sit and gaze around
taking a deep breath
befor plunging again

into myself


the marble floor
warms their soles,
the breeze whispers

sweet nothings to

the fish,
that patrol

the tank

chowkidars to

his darbaar,

the tank

is a fakir,

dance of in-breath,
out-breath in

unruffled repose

the ripples break into
an invisible, antique
smile on his


a face
that has suffered
the trudge
of millions of searching

feet, and awe-struck gazes.

peaceful at last
this monkey in a zoo,
this vate,
has settled

for the quiet life

the moon
is a sliver
cut out
of the black fabric

of this night

humble offering

to the radiant one

a voice 
carved with
the serrated breath
of a dying tree’s
withering bark

murmurs incantations.


without suffering

god doesn’t throw grass,

they say;

so the trudge continues

eyes peeled towards the glint

of ethereal gold

– a slice of moon
congealed at the heart

of the sacred pool


I dig deeper
back bent
mind burdened
with the impossibility
of my desire
for truth

for freedom

for affirmation
that my quest

is bigger than me


As the evening arati begins
everybody stands
I stand
with them

and wait

Some wash vessels
Some help clean
Some serve food that
Some eat at the Langar
Some sit by the pool
Some sit by the shrine
Some by the book as it is being read
Some take a dip in the pool
Some take selfies
Some sit and gossip
(it sruck me that the first level was
an absolutely divine place for an adda)
Some play with their phones
Some make faces at the fish

Some chant the words of god

Everybody goes back satiated

from his darbaar
nobody goes back

empty handed 


I sit by the side
of the corridoor
of his house
unable to see
or think

or know


the sacred pool beckons,
the lights reflecting off

the golden domes blink

at my



temples are beautiful places
until you bring religion into them

About teevramadhyam

'I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity' -Poe
This entry was posted in ananth, beauty, City, community, Could be verse, epiphany, hmmm, ilham, nasha, nature, night, poetry, sacredisprofane, the beauty myth, why? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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