Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Political Pundits!

Prompt ~ Never was anything great achieved without danger  – Niccolo Machiavelli 

The depth of advice

directly relates to his

own experience

Two other names come to my mind whenever I read ‘The Prince’. Their thoughts are quite similar though they were born thousands of years apart. They suffered personally and as a result authored behavioral advisories for the rulers.

In 1513, the Medici accused Machiavelli of conspiracy against the Medici family and had him imprisoned. Despite having been subjected to torture he denied involvement and was released after three weeks. He then retired to his estate at Sant’ Andrea, and devoted himself to his  political treatise.

Chanak’s family was harassed by the king  unjustly. He was put in the prison where he died. Vishnuputa (better known as Chanakya)  a young boy at that time (350 -275 BC) was emotionally affected. His life was in danger and he had to flee Pataliputra. He went on to write Chanakya Neeti.

The thirty-year rule of Pharaoh Amenemhat-I ended with his murder nearly 2000 years before Christ. This happened when his co-regent and son Senusert was out and the murder was conspired in the harem of Amenemhat-I. He left behind a papyrus for his son called‘ The Instruction of Pharaoh Amenemhat-I to his son Pharaoh Senusret-I’ that speaks in the same vein as Chanakya and Machiavelli


Chanakya, Amenemhat

victims of ill will

Words <220


Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Ghazal!

Prompt ~


This Ligo challenge is about ghazals. A ghazal is composed of five or more couplets that may just have formal unity derived from a strict rhyme and rhythm pattern. (for more details

An English ghazal that observes the traditional restrictions of the form are rare like the one below.

Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight?
Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight?

Those “Fabrics of Cashmere—” “to make Me beautiful—”
“Trinket”— to gem– “Me to adorn– How– tell”— tonight?

I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates–
A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

God’s vintage loneliness has turned to vinegar–
All the archangels– their wings frozen– fell tonight.

Lord, cried out the idols, Don’t let us be broken
Only we can convert the infidel tonight.  – Agha Shahid Ali

Mirza Ghalib an urdu poet of the 19th century remains unmatched till date. He liked to pose as a rake, yet his deep understanding of life and the sadness that comes through in his lines denotes a pathological despair of human affairs. Often I am forced to accept that good ghazals are a product of extreme sadness and excellent poetic skills. Definitely out of my reach  😦

The prompt reminds me of a ghazal by Ghalib translated below (the original is below the haiku)

I think I will go and live in a place where there is no one

No one to talk to and no one who understands my lingo


Make a house without door and walls

None in the vicinity and none with a shadow


In case of sickness, no one to look after me

If fatal, no one to dispose the remains also


Skill is not ghazal

try getting afflicted with

incurable Love  


Original in urdu by Mirza Ghalib

Rahiye ab aisi jagah chal kar jahaan koi na ho
Hamasukan koi na ho aur hamazabaan koi na ho
Rahiye ab aisi jagah

Be-dar-o-diwaar kaa ik ghar banaayaa chaahiye
Koi hamasaayaa na ho aur paasabaan koi na ho
Rahiye ab aisi jagah

Padiye gar bimaar to koi na ho timaaradaar
Aur agar mar jaaiye to nauhakwaan koi na ho
Rahiye ab aisi jagah )



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Walk Alone!

Prompt ~ It is solved by walking – Algerian Proverb and an experimentation with Pathya vat. 

The human body was made for walking physically, socially and spiritually. The doctors have accepted this fact just a few decades ago.

Here I share the translation in prose of the Bengali original of “Ekla chalo re” rendered by  Gurudev  Rabindranath Tagore himself.

If they answer not to thy call walk alone

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,

O thou unlucky one,

open thy mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,

O thou unlucky one,

trample the thorns under thy tread,

and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,

O thou unlucky one,

with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart,

and let it burn alone.


Man made the wheel

Did the God frown

Curse the earth brown

Welcome all blight

Words < 220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Magical Mirrors!

Prompt ~ Mirror

Mirrors are magical. Here I share a page from the diary of a friend who vanished and has not been traced as yet.

One day my wife was adjusting her appearance before the mirror, I wanted to comb my remaining hair and used the same mirror from the side. As I passed the comb over my scalp –

My wife said, where’s your image? You are standing behind me but I cannot see your image!!

She appeared quite shocked. I checked in the mirror and I could see a blurred image of myself.

What could I say!

I recollected that in last fifteen days, while shaving, I often thought that the bathroom mirror needed to be replaced.

I checked in other mirrors. My image is getting more and more and blurred each day. I suspect my shadow is also very ethereal.

One day I dreamt of my friend and he directed me to his diary and revealed how he disappeared.

 It swallowed me whole

 and then cracked from side to sidet

 tis done with mirrors

words  < 220

I am fairly new to this form of writing and do not know if this is the correct form of haibun.  I was obsessed with the prompt ‘mirror’ and could not resist sharing this with you all.



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Another journey!

Prompt ~ Mother and child

I do not know how long I spent in the spirit world. It was a state of awareness without summer, winter or any concept of time. I was only aware of a sense of completeness and my shortcomings – a contradiction that I found difficult to accept. The events of many past births were constantly being reviewed and the scorecard (if it can be called that) showed that I had a few debts to pay. Also I had to iron out the wrinkles of my soul. These wrinkles were – not enough compassion and too much love for my persona.

I was guided in to a small baby body few days before its birth. It was a very restrictive. I was just an extension of my mother’s body, all her pain and distress was my fate too. After birth it was comparatively easy. I slept most of the time. It gave me time to adjust to my new body.

My mother was the complete universe and all powerful.  

Slowly, I would out-grow the dependence to rediscover her in the divine mother, divine energy and omnipotence in later life. Unfortunately, it would be in the autumn of my life ensuring that I come back again.

 I bow to you Ma

with all good and bad in me

take them all mother

words <220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Chaos!

Prompt ~”Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect disorder.” Carlos Fuentes.

Order that is visible to all is often uniformity in disguise. Brownian movement is apparently a state of disorder, but only till one develops an understanding of the nature of particles and the medium in which it is observed.

The basic nature of the universe is extreme complexity and inexplicable disorder; the mysteriously tangled magnificence is popularly known as chaos. The chaos is an explanation or a contributing factor to real-world behaviors. Some examples are epileptic seizures, heart fibrillation, neural processes, chemical reactions, weather besides many others.

Physicists, mathematicians and philosophers already accept it as a dimension in their own way. It may prove to be the defining dimension in times to come. A well appreciated feature of chaos is that a miniscule change may lead to large differences. The butterfly effect is a popular image of chaos. Aristotle may have been referring to this when he observed that “the least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold”

Any efforts to bring a so called ‘order’ (uniformity) in the dimension of chaos shall inevitably result in devastation of unprecedented scales that we may even be unable to predict at this juncture of our understanding.

 Apparent chaos

order given cold shoulder

do not tamper please

words <220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Thoughts !

Prompt ~ Treasure   OR   Despair  (your choice)

I have always believed that thoughts travel in obscure ways.

I recently finished reading ‘The Lost Throne’ by Chris Kuzneski. As the characters look for Heinrich Schliemann’s treasure hidden in a cave on Mount Athos, the media broke the news about the Archeological Survey of India starting to dig for 1000 tons of gold revealed to a Hindu god-man Swami Sobhan Sarkar in a dream by Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh who was hanged in 1858.

Elections are just around the corner for many state assemblies and the parliament of India. The ruling alliance has lost the faith of common people and the opposition does not have convincing agenda to solve the many issues that riddle the country.

The government in power is busy legislating doles (at tax payers cost) that many doubt shall reach the intended beneficiaries.  

Despair is overwhelmingly widespread as is the need for a windfall.

Amazingly Ligo chose ‘treasure’ and ‘despair’ for this week’s prompt.

Treasures won harshly

lost despite application

cause desperation

words <220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ The sky !

Prompt ~ Penny’s  photo-  ‘looking up’

The mind like the sky is formless, shapeless, colorless and genderless. Essentially it is pure, limitless and ubiquitous. The linkages remain largely unexplored by modern science.

However, block the sky and the normal functioning of mind is adversely affected. This is evident from the record of prisoners locked up in dungeons or poorly ventilated cells.

The high rise box like structures being provided as houses to multitudes has largely severed the relationship between the human spirit and the sky with consequent rise in mental disorders as is apparent in burden of disease calculations of international health agencies.

Unfortunately the perspective is too abstract to catch the attention of health specialists.

a fistful of sky

a thin slice of cosmic pie

benignly doled  out

words <220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Mind Games !

Prompt ~ Torture

The mind shuts off when physical pain becomes unendurable but it has no such capacity when its wanderings become a threat for the body. Our minds are our worst torturers.

Meditation is so simple that we misunderstand it because our minds fail to realize the illusory nature of time. Unfortunately, the mind dictates the heart and the torture begins. Luckily, meditation is our inherent nature.  Just walk on the sand; look out of your window and see those marvelous hills (~ divert/ occupy the mind) and you find solace.

A little solitude and one is on his way to ‘samadhi’ (~ eternal peace). Solitude helps when one is not frightened to be alone. The heart knows that the stillness was there in the beginning; is now; and will always be there. 

Self-torture is essentially a conflict of heart and mind. Let the heart decide as it answers in a simple – Yes and No.

My mind torments my

troubled heart perpetually

live stockholm syndrome

 words <220



Ligo Haibun Challenge ~ Now !

Prompt ~

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore

“I leave no trace of wings in the air,

but I am glad I have had my flight “    R. Tagore (Gurudev)

Gurudev, a Nobel laureate was a champion of the Bengal Renaissance in India. His contribution included paintings, sketches and doodles, besides hundreds of texts, and nearly two thousand songs. His legacy abides at Visva-Bharati University, which he found at Shanti Niketan near Calcutta.

A timeless universe is an attractive thought. It would bring about a change of attitude among the commoners and help us to jump off the spiral roller-coaster of time based achievements. Such a model may also explain many of the paradoxes that modern physics faces in understanding the true nature of universe that may finally bridge the chasm between objective science and subjective facts mentioned in different scriptures.

The wise one, who follows the predetermined course, is a happy face amid the cosmic mish- mash and learns to enjoy the uniquely satisfying as well as frustrating tiny “nows.”

 Nano nows dispelled

are eternally archived

in vast voids of waste

 words <220