Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sanober and the Slave

Sanober is just a fairy tale
It is no Golden Gate;
For Parvez is an artless hack
He is no Vikram Seth.

Sanober and the Slave

Parvez Dewan’s

Sanober and the


A fairy tale

With a little help from my friends

(an acknowledgement)

Dear friends, I’d like to tell you

That nice Miss Amrit Brar

Moved continents to get me help

To polish this memoir.

I’d like to thank Kalpana Kaul

And also Yasmeen Rauf

For patiently correcting me

Whenever I would goof.

I am grateful to Moushumi Biswas—

Till her boss flew into a rage—

For trying to serialise this song

In The Asian Age.

To Mridu for encouragement

To Anisa for boosting morale

To Sarah and Afshan for bearing with me

And also to Vasudha Jaswall;

To Nafisa Draboo, for being there

To help the story grow;

Providing all the input and

Making ideas flow.

Purely coincidental

(In lieu of the mandatory disclaimer)

How can the characters of this book

Resemble anyone alive or dead?

For angels only dwell in tales

(And sometimes in their author’s head).

And as for slaves, Adnan & Co.,

We’d only like to posit

That slavery was banned ages ago

(Get real, man. Was it?)

Sanober and the Slave

Cast of characters

(In the order of their appearance)

Bick, a male angel, pretty, smooth-cheeked

Butt, another male angel, pretty, floppy-wristed

The bouncer at Club Paradiso

Sanober, the fairest angel in the Universe

Mr. K.D., an angel, alternately the benefactor and tormentor of young lovers

Hamza, the Lord of the angels

Deeba, a female angel

Adnan, a slave, but a prince among the slaves

Dania, a slave girl

The voice of Sanober’s secretary

Afshi, the girl on the mountain, a seer

Khair ull, a slave girl

Two slave-drivers, Adnan’s employers, the owners of the quarry

The two talking cliffs, the chisel, the mallet, the axe, the ladder, the scaffold.

Sanober and the Slave

A fairy tale

You know the nights—

One thousand and one—

Well, you think you know the lot;

Come, children, I will tell you a tale

That Scheherzade forgot.

Saturday Night in Angel-land

It’s Saturday night in Angel-land

And the angels want to be naughty;

Since sin is banned in Angel-land

They eye their neighbour’s party.

Bick: It’s Saturday night and even angels

Want to do something naughty;

Butt: Since sin is banned in Angel-land

Let’s crash our neighbour’s party!

Bick: They say in a place called Hell, between

Fixed Stars and Primum Mobilio;

They’ve got an all-night discotheque

Butt: You’re talking of Club Paradiso!

Bick: Let’s tiptoe out of Angel-land

Butt: Let’s scale the walls of heaven;

Bick: Then sail across infernal skies

Butt: ’Cause the folks here sleep at eleven!

So, Bick and Butt, they tiptoed out and slipped out of Angel-land

Clad in their finest club togs for a night of pleasures banned.

They swam through a sea of seagram—now does that ring a bell?

And choked on the breath of the Marlbro Man as they flew to hell.

Once there, the two were greeted by

A man oozing with grease-o

He seemed to be the bouncer of

Club Paradiso.

Club Paradiso

The Bouncer: What brings you here, my pretty boys?

Should you not be in bed?

How’d Hamza feel if he got to know

You were painting the Universe red?


It’s Saturday night and the two of us


Want to do something naughty;


But we can’t do wicked things out there


So we want to join your party!

Bick: We tiptoed out of Angel-land

Butt: We scaled the walls of heaven

Bick: Then sailed Across the Universe

Butt: ’Cause the folks there sleep at eleven!

The Bouncer: That’s all very well, my babies

But I cannot let you in;

Ours is an exclusive establishment

Dedicated to pleasure and sin.

We’ve got a reputation to protect

(And a market share)

Did you really think in togs like those

We’d let you dance in there?


With Good Girls being in short supply


Angel-land gets very lonely;

The Bouncer:

But you simply must bring a date—

We admit Couples Only.

Bick: We passed through the seven circles—

Butt: Inferno and purgatorio—

Bick: And put up with fiendish noises

Butt: Like PD’s latest Oratorio.

Bick: So please, Mr.Bouncer, don’t decimate

Already sublimated libidos;

Butt: Don’t send us back to Angel-land

Just because we forgot our tuxedoes.


Let me in —


It’ll be a favour

Bick: I’ll find a way to repay

Both: But don’t send me back to Angel-land

’Cause I am not in a D.J.

Bick: Ah, I have in this flask a brew

Which does not bite or stink;

Butt: If you’re a good boy while you’re on Earth

You get this later on to drink.

The Bouncer took the flask but still

Refused to let them in

They huffed an’ puffed but he said `No,’

By the hair of his chinny chin chin.

The Bouncer: It’s because this does not bite or stink

That it’s meant for kids like you;

If you really want to humour me

Get me some Earthly brew.

I’ll forgive you for dressing like mammas’ boys

I’ll forgive you your beardless chin;

But all your tears and all your bribes

Will still not get you in.

So, Bick and Butt, they tiptoed out

To fly back to Angel-land

Clad in their slickest club togs

For a dance where foppery was banned.

They swam back through a seagram sea

(What was that? Who can tell?)

They choked on the fumes of cancersticks

On their way from Hell.

Bick: It’s Saturday night and even angels

Wanted to do something naughty

Butt: Since we didn’t have a date we could not

Crash our neighbour’s party!

Bick: So what do we do next Saturday?

Butt: Let’s start thinking this through;

Bick: We’ve got to get ourselves a date

Butt:But the whole question is `Who’?

Bick: Of all the angels in the Universe

Butt: Of all the girls I’ve seen

Bick: There’s none as fair, bright, beautiful

Both: As the gorgeous Sanober Ameen!

Both: Of all the angels in the Universe

Of all the girls we’ve seen

There’s none as fair, bright, beautiful

As the gorgeous Sanober Ameen!

Now, Sanober was no fairy

(She was not indifferent to men)

In fact, the F-word will not pop up

In our tale again.

We are PC —we are no homophobes

(And that’s where things get hairy)

We choose to call her an ‘angel’

When we really want to say ‘fairy’.

Saturday Night Again

It’s Saturday night again,

But the boys still don’t have a date

They’re scared of being bounced right back

When they get to the Deathly Gate.

It’s Saturday night again,

But the boys still don’t have a date

So they go over to beg Sanober,

And Deeba, her sunny roommate.

Bick: It’s Saturday night again!

Butt: But we still don’t have a date.

Bick: Sanober, Sanober, come out with us

Both: We are going for a wild gyrate.

Sanober, Sanober, come out with us

Don’t just sit there and vegetate.

Bick: Sanober, Sanober, won’t you dance with me?

Butt: Sanober, Sanober, take a chance with me

Bick: We are going to Club Paradiso

Both: Come, horse around and prance with me.

Sanober’s eyes they lit up

At the mention of a discotheque;

She looked at Deeba as if to ask

`Should we go or take a rain cheque?’

Sanober: I’m dying to burn up calories

In a sweaty, smoky discotheque;

Deeba, what say you, should we go?

Or should we just take a rain cheque?

Deeba: It’s Saturday night again!

And the boys don’t have a date.

I’d love to shake a leg or two

And go on a wild gyrate.

Sanober, Sanober, let’s fly with them

Let’s not sit here and vegetate.

Get me a tattoo

On my shoulder

Get me a pierced nose;

Get me a shorter skirt—be bolder

Get me fishnet hose.

So the foursome flew across the skies,

Till they came to the Gates of Hell;

The Bouncer smiled, for he knew they were hooked

They’d be regulars, he could tell.

He waved them in, but even through the din

He could hear them beg the Queen—

He could see Bick and Butt, go down on their knees

For a dance with Sanober Ameen.

Bick: Sanober, Sanober, won’t you dance with me?

Butt: Sanober, Sanober, take a chance with me

Bick: We’ve come to Club Paradiso

Both: Come, go into a trance with me.

Sanober: You guys needed us to get you in

And that we’ve done, so now—

Leave us alone, to dance on our own

It was nice having known you—ciao!

Bick: Sanober, Sanober, won’t you dance with me?

Butt: Sanober, Sanober, take a chance with me

Bick: We’ve come to Club Paradiso

Both: Come, go into a trance with me.

Sanober went into a trance all right,

When the music started to play;

She danced all evening, and she danced all night,

She’d have even danced all next day.

So, the boys and Deeba started thinking of ways

To stop the Dancing Princess and rein her,

When Bick recalled that the trick was to stall

The DJ from playing the Macarena.

Deeba: In a hip-hop rap party

The way we’ll overcome and rein her

Is to look for the DJ and ask him not to play

Pete Seeger, rap or Macarena.

Butt: Good evening again, Mr. Bouncer,

Would you know how to find the DJ?

If he takes requests, then on my behest

Could you ask Macarena not to play?

The Bouncer: Hullo, mate, what is the problem?

Been stood up by your date?

If I were you I’d have dumped her

Than let her snub and humiliate.

Butt: I’d have done the same but for your rules

You wouldn’t let us in except in twos;

The Bouncer: Only fools don’t know how to get around rules—

Now, you could have brought me some booze.

Not that goody-goody stuff that you get in Angel-land

You only get on Earth that liquid clear;

Which we denizens of Hell had guzzled all our lives—

Why do you think they sent us here?

Bick: So, when it’s Saturday night again

Butt: We don’t have to bring a date!

Bick: If we slip you some Earthly potions

Both: You will let us through the Deathly Gate!

The Brewing Storm

And down below on Planet Earth

There is sadness and there is mirth;

But some like the sad-eyed Dania

Always seem to get less than their worth.

By day she goes to the quarry—

Gives water and food to the slaves;

By night she reads the stars and the charts

To see how the future behaves.

Tonight, as she studied the stars,

Hamza, K.D., Deeba, Bick and Butt

Decided to watch from above

As her losses she tried to cut.


Down below on Planet Earth

There is sadness and there’s mirth;

Mr. K.D.:

For some like the sad-eyed Dania

Always seem to get less than their worth.


By day she goes to the quarry—

Mr. K.D.:

Gives water and food to the slaves;


By night she reads the stars and the charts

Mr. K.D.:

To see how the future behaves.


Tonight when she studies the stars

Let’s watch her from above;

Mr. K.D.:

Let me bring Deeba, Bick and Butt over

To show them the pitfalls of love.


I see a storm brewing in my life

And a dazzling rival emerge;

I see an angel-face come down to Earth—

Many lives seared by the surge.

And none of the three will get what they want

Each yearning for the one they can not get;

But if they content themselves with their lot

There just might be hope for them yet.

But the angels, it seems, have decided

That though their passions might be one-sided

Many lovers shall this quarry beget.

I see a storm brewing in my life

I see a rival no human can beat;

I’m a slavegirl—though I’m the best of the lot

How can I with an angel compete?

I see a storm brewing in my life

I see a dazzling rival emerge;

I see an angelface come down to Earth—

Three lives seared by the surge.

Right then the object of her affections,

Adnan, the leader of the slaves,

On his way back from the quarry

Happened to pass that way.

The Brush Off

Dania: Adnan! Adnan! Where have you been?

Adnan: Around.

Dania: Adnan! It’s ages since you were last seen.

Adnan: Perhaps.

Dania: Adnan! Adnan! Why didn’t you look me up?

Adnan: Stop that noise.

Dania: Adnan! Adnan! Were you with a girl?

Adnan: I told you I was with the boys.

Dania: I called you several times

But always those wretched slimes

Who work for you said the same old thing:

That you’d gone to the bazaar

You’d be back by midnight hour

Can’t they think of new excuses for their King?

Adnan: Woman, you toil in vain.

Why don’t you go away?

Can’t you see, isn’t it plain—

We’ve run out of things to say.

And there’s nothing left for us to talk about.

So, will you kindly leave—please get out.

There is nothing left for us to talk about.

Mr. K.D.’s Revenge

Bick and Butt were not amused

To such crassness they were not used

So they turned around and squealed to Mr. K.D.,

‘Surely, that’s no way for a man to treat a lady?’

Bick: Surely, Mister K.D.

That’s no way to treat a lady

Won’t you punish the Slave for what he’s doing?

Mr. K.D.: Punish him? He’s broken no law

Though I can see that there’s a flaw

In the way that girl is conducting her wooing.

Still, I’d love to punish the man for what he’s doing.

If you hurt a girl like that you’ll get a chewing.

Deeba: Punish? But what’s the crime?

You can see he has no time

For that woman harassing him all the while.


He’s got the looks, but not the style


He gets the women—then squirts his bile


He has no class—his ways are infantile.


Methinks this man deserves to be rendered immobile.


Does this man deserve to be


The hit that he is with the girls?


Does this man deserve to beat the odds?


Who let him have so many?


I don’t have half that number.


Pablo said, ‘Revenge’s the pleasure of Gods.’

Bick and Butt:

We think this man deserves to be rendered immobile.

Mr. K.D.:

Listen to Mr. K.D.!

I have got the very lady

Who will turn the tables, set Addy boy right;

Her looks will blow his mind

Then she’ll pay back him in kind

For the way he has been treating womankind.

We will turn the tables, set Addy boy right.

Mr. K.D., Bick and Butt:

He needs to understand that love must requite.

Deeba: I still don’t understand

What you’ve got against the man

Did he promise Dania something and then lie?

Is he obliged to mush

Every girl who has a crush

Did he lead her on, or give her the glad eye?

In fact in all the Universe

If ever a man was born

Who deserves to get our Sanober

It’s the slave king Adnan.

If she’s got eyes that drive men wild

He’s got his biceps, too;

If she has the freshness of a child

Adnan is straight and true.

So send her down to Planet Earth

Unite her with the man

Who was made for Sanober, and

Give up your evil plan.

Mr. K.D.(to himself) The plan remains unchanged, my girl,

Indeed we’ll fly the Angel down;

She’ll flash her famous smile

And Addy, for a while,

Will be reduced to playing the clown.

The Only Angel in the Universe

The next day back in Angel-land

The elders were thinking of her

(Just as I do all the time—

Mooning for Sanober.)

Hamza: (to himself) I have a job that calls for

Charm, tact, precision;

And there’s only one angel who

Can transact this mission .

Mr. K.D.: (also to himself) Those who tread my path know how

To mix fiction with fact;

If you stick to the truth you’ll never get

Past the preliminary act.

Hamza: I think we should send her to Earth

I think the time is ripe;

Mr.K.D.: Off the face of a man on Planet Earth

There’s a smugness I’d like to wipe.

It is a job that calls for

The greatest charm and tact;

And there’s only one angel who

This mission can transact.

Both: (each to himself) Of all the angels in the Universe

Of all the girls I have seen

There’s none who can pull off this job

But the lovely Sanober Ameen!

And when they uttered that magic name

The angels began to hum;

And out of the clouds in a shower of light

Came Sanober, the Golden One.

And after she had saluted them

She looked them in the eye

And asked them why they’d called her there

And where dwelt their cockshy.

Sanober: Lord Hamza, Mister K.D.

You called me, here I am;

Tell me, what would you have me do?

Where is the sacrificial lamb?


On Planet Earth there lives a slave

A leader of his men;

Mr. K.D.:

We want you to fly down to Earth

And nab him in his den.


He lives for the Lord, but for a living

Works in a granite quarry;

Mr. K.D. If he’s tall, dark, crude, muscle-bound

Princess, that man’s your quarry.

Hamza: (to Sanober) It is a job that calls for

Charm, tact, precision;

And there’s only one angel who

Can transact this mission.

Mr.K.D. (to himself):

I love people who fall in love

That slave is not my type;

On the face of a man on Planet Earth

There’s a smugness I’d like to wipe.

(to Sanober)

It is a job that calls for

The greatest charm and tact;

And there’s only one angel who

This mission can transact.

Hamza and K.D.: Of all the angels in the Universe

Of all the girls we’ve seen

There’s none who can pull off this job

But you, O Sanober Ameen!

The Quarry

So, armed with Hamza’s blessings

And K.D’s devious plan

The Princess, she flew down to Earth

To seek the condemned man.

As she scanned the quarries of the world

She left a glow behind;

When Sanober steps on Planet Earth

It’s a favour to mankind.

And in a quarry was a slave

Who was not like the rest;

Taller than all his fellow men

He had the broadest chest.

Past canyon and cliff he looked around

And spied a sparkling face;

Her glow told him that Sanober was

Not of the Human race.

His biceps bounced this way and that

As he hewed into the stone;

And sweat rolled down his naked chest

Flowing past his collarbone.

At her girlish feet, beneath a tree

He saw a shaded spot;

He said, `Lady, can I sit for a while?

The sun’s a bit too hot.’

She said to him, `O mortal, tell me,

Could you be Adnan—

Chief of the slaves, who’d carved in stone

A bust of the Sultan?’

Surprised to learn that she knew of him

And of the things he’d done

He asked the angel if she was

Sanober, the Golden One.


By your childlike feet, beneath this tree

There is a shaded spot;

So, Angelface, can I sit for a while?

The sun’s a bit too hot.


Of course, you can, but mortal, tell me,

Could you be Adnan—

Chief of the slaves, who’d carved in stone

A bust of the Sultan?

Adnan: How know you of this humble slave

Or of the things I’ve done;

Could you be the girl who’s been prophesied

Sanober, the Golden One?

Sanober: Indeed, I am the Angelface,

I’m down here for the while

To brighten up you mortals’ lives

And blind you with my smile.

I’ll fly from town to town to spread

My sunshine everywhere

And after I’ve livened things up

I’ll vanish in the air.

How know you that I’m Sanober?

O mortal you must be

One of the few who spoke my name

As it was meant to be.

I’ve been sent down to teach you things

By K.D. who’s a dear;

And the boys asked me to get potions —

But that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here ’cause I want to do the things

Which we don’t in Angel-land;

To eat red meat and junk food and

See all the ’toons I can.

Five times a day when you call out to pray

We hear you in Angel-land;

Adnan, I’m here to hear your voice

Of which I am a fan.

Now K.D. had been watching Adnan—

And the Angel, too,

As they went through all the motions

That new lovers go through.

So, K.D. shot an arrow, which zipped across the sky

Till it reached the marked man, invisible to the eye.

In pain the slave he gripped his chest

For the region on the left

It felt an ache that was much too delicious to defy.

Adnan: (to himself, aside) Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Is this real—or just a dream?

The prettiest girl in the Universe sitting right next to me!

She says she’s come here in order to listen to my voice.

Except to fall in love with her, tell me have I a choice?

An angel’d come to hear his voice

Adnan could not believe his luck,

And that, my friends, and oh, my foes

Was when the second arrow struck.

It struck him when he wondered if

He could dare to be her friend;

She told him that the ones she liked

Were older, wiser men.


But I am just a slave, and you an angel

How can I presume to be your friend?


You’re much too harsh on yourself, O stranger,

My best friends are older, wiser men.

So won’t you help me get the potion,

O prince among the slaves?

It’ll help the boys get into clubs

And technotronic raves.

I’ll come here every evening

Just when the Sun has set;

But must return to Angel-land

Before supper is ate.

And she kept her word each evening

She’d come when the Sun had flown;

In all his life the quarry-slave

Had never such happiness known.

Forbidden Potions

Yet, that day when the Angel left

This thought stormed through his mind,

‘Should I get the Angel something

The Word forbids mankind?’

Adnan: (to himself) I’ll move the Earth to make come true

Every wish that crosses her mind;

But should I get the Angel things

The Word forbids mankind?

There’s a girl out there in the mountains

Wise beyond her years;

She has not only the potion

But answers to my fears.

I’ll have to walk on bridges of rope

And swim through rivers mean;

But I’ll do everything it takes

To please Sanober Ameen.

So he walked on bridges of rope

And swam through rivers mean;

But he did everything it took

To please Sanober Ameen

Then he came to the girl in the mountains

Wise beyond her years;

Who had not only the potion sought

But answers to Adnan’s fears.

But Afshi, too, was reluctant

To give him the wanted potion;

For the liquid gave some pleasure

But caused greater commotion.

Adnan: Afshi, I’m here reluctantly

To seek the forbidden potion;

A liquid that gives pleasure, but

Causes greater commotion.

Afshi: In it there is some profit

But greater is the sin;

The heart might have uses for it

But the brain begins to spin.

It’s the handiwork of Satan

Who wants us to hate and fight;

It keeps us from God and prayer.

Should it not merit our spite?

And those who choose to be righteous

Have been promised a Garden;

With rivers of water pure and clear

Which does not change or harden.

Which would you rather drink, my friend,

That honey and milk of joy;

Or this potion that cheers for a while

Then tends to vex and annoy?

Adnan: I don’t dispute anything you’ve said

And I know what you mean;

But I’ll do anything to please

The lovely Sanober Ameen.

Afshi: Then take this flask and be gone, O slave,

You’re captive to your emotions;

You would have found the Lord if you

Were so steadfast in your devotions.

Then back over bridges of rope

And back through rivers of ice

He took the flask to Sanober

Who smiled and merely said, `Nice.’

Adnan was flabbergasted

(He’d expected a better price);

His dreams lay shattered because his

Reward was a mere, `Nice.

Adnan: O Princess, here’s the thing you seek

Your friends needed this device

To bribe their way to clubs and raves

I lay it at your feet—

Sanober: —Nice!

Adnan: (to himself) Is that all that she has to say

For swimming through rivers of ice?

I lay my life at her feet and all

She has to say is, ‘Nice.’

Then shyly she lifted The Eyes

(Which make stronger men flip)

And said, ‘D’you think it’s possible

For me to have a sip?’

Sanober: I believe that potion has the power

To conjure an exciting trip;

Do you think it would be possible

For me to have a sip?

Adnan: (to himself) There is no way I can deny her

Her wishes are my command;

But am I right in giving her

What The Word would reprimand?

Let me open this flask for her

And let me share her thrill;

If I don’t do it for this girl

Someone else surely will.

I dare not admit it to anyone

Lest as a hick I am indicted;

But the thought of my Baby drinking that

Gets me aroused, excited.

That I’ll get to put my lips where she does

Gets me aroused, excited.

Since it’s her desire, she is to

Forbidden pleasures invited;

I dare not admit it to myself—

But, Angel, I’m excited.

But the Angel had no such inhibitions

Her eyes said she was delighted;

Unlike The Slave she spoke her mind

And said that she was excited.

To put his lips where she had hers

Was more than he could ask;

Adnan chuckled to himself

As he gave her the flask.

Adnan: (to himself) Who says we are the stronger sex?

How easily we get benighted

And blow our minds when the one we love


Sanober: I am excited!

In the entire Universe there wasn’t a girl

Who by artifice was so unblest;

And that’s when the third of K.D.’s arrows

Struck Our Slave Boy’s chest.

He was excited at being with her

Though she was excited ’bout the potion;

Still, how could he not but fall in love

With a girl with such guileless emotion?

As the cup touched her lips he wondered

Dare he touch them with his own?

By the time he could sort that one out

For the night the angel had flown.

The next day when she came

It was to say goodbye;

To say all the usual things—

‘I’ll stay in touch, don’t cry.’

Stay in Touch

Sanober: Thank you for all that you have done

But I must fly back to the Sun

A world of boring bliss, rules and fetters;

To keep me from feeling alone

To bring back the days that have flown

I want you to write me lots of letters.

Adnan: You’re a denizen of the air

You’ll forget me once you are there

Surrounded by your dudes and jetsetters.

I am just a rustic man

Trying to do the best I can

But I just can’t compete with my betters.

Since I can’t fly out to you

It is going to be up to you

Whether or not we ever meet again;

I’ll be miserable tomorrow

Drowned in loneliness and sorrow

Hoping you’ll return to the land of men.

Sanober: Whether we meet or not

I will think of you a lot

I’m glad I came to earth and I met you;

Meeting or no meeting—

That’s a different thing

But there’s no way that I’ll ever forget you.

When you want to speak to me

Just go down on your knee

And ask for me at that yonder altar .

Just call out clear and loud

And I’ll send along a cloud

To whisk away your letters, don’t you falter.

Saying that she flew away

Leaving him to hope and pray

For the day that the Angel would retreat;

But he made the mistake

Of going to the place

And the nooks amidst the cliffs where they would meet.

For every tree he’d see

Contained a memory

Which stabbed and scraped his stomach from inside;

It was too real to ignore

An ache for which there was no cure

An ailment whose symptoms no one can hide.

Everything seems to have changed

Adnan: This is the place and the time we’d meet.

Why don’t the winds still smell as sweet?

Will the trees

Tell me please

Why does everything seem strange?

Why does this hour stab me now?

Why does this place seem like a slough?

Tell me, wit,

Why is it

That everything seems to have changed?

After all those days of bliss

Why this feeling of pointlessness?

Will the trees

Tell me please

Why does everything seem strange?

‘The Princess is not In: Please leave a message’

Mr. K.D. who’d been watching Addy cry,

Smiled from his office up there in the sky;

Said, `It serves him right

For the way he used to slight

All the girls who would meet him on the sly.’

Mr. K.D.: (to himself) Look, I’ve made the macho boy cry

I’ve got him hooked, now I’ll bleed him dry;

’Cause it serves him right

For the way he used to slight

All the girls who would meet him on the sly.

(to the slave)

Actually, dear Addy boy, you ought to rejoice.

That’s because your baby has given you a choice;

I don’t think you can fault her

’Cause she’s given you that altar

From which you can get to hear her voice.

Adnan: (to himself)

Come to think of it, Addy, you ought to rejoice.

That’s because your Angel has given you a choice;

Now, go up to that altar

Call out to her and halt her

In her tracks if she can hear your voice.

Sanober! Sanober! Can you hear me call?

I’m missing you, my baby—and that’s not all

Ever since you flew away

Blew my happiness away

All I do is think of you and bawl.

Female voice:(in the clouds) This is Princess Ameen’s office. May I help you?

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Baby is that you?

I’m miserable without you, I’m missing you

Since I don’t know how to fly

Please come down to verify

If my affliction can still be attended to.

Female voice:(in the clouds) The Princess is on the other line. Could you please call later?

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Have I hurt you, girl?

Did I do something to offend my pearl?

If I did, then, babe, I swear

Not on water, land or air

Clumsy words at you I’ll ever hurl.

Female voice:(in the clouds) The Princess is out for dinner. Could you call at eleven?

Adnan: Sanober, you know that one was rather cheap

Are you trying to throw me in the rubbish heap?

All you angels there in heaven

Go to bed at sharp eleven

And disconnect the phones before you sleep.

Female voice:(in the clouds) The Princess has instructed me to take a message.

Adnan: Message?

I’m crazy ’bout your Princess, but I’m not insane

I’m madly in love but not mad, that should be plain

I’m the prince of my little swarm

The hottest stud of my farm

And my self-esteem, my girl, I still retain.

Female voice:(in the clouds) Would that be all, sir?

Adnan: No, you can tell her about my friend from the city.

Friends from the city

Adnan: (walking away from the altar)

I had a friend from the city

Very gracious, very pretty

Very charming when she came to our little quarry.

Broke our humble bread with us

Roughed it everywhere with us

Never made us feel inadequate or sorry

But when we went to town

Took us weeks to track her down

After scores of calls to her were not returned;

Then one day she called my inn

When she knew I wouldn’t be in

’Twas a nice lesson in tactics that we learned.

She called us just once more

Maybe she finds me a bore

She did it like a duty, like a chore;

She kept it brief—still I don’t hate her

‘I’ve got to rush, I’ll call you later’

I am still waiting for her to make that call.

Yet not everyone was sad at what was going on

Dania, for one, thought it was poetic justice;

Almost everyone (’cept Hamza and Gohonzon)

Was thrilled to find The Slave reduced to this.

She’s using you

Dania: Well, Mr. Addy,

Are we playing the sugar daddy?

Going bonkers o’er an angel half your ?

Let us be realistic

For that girl will go ballistic

Once she sees you as a human, not a sage.

Can’t you see that she is merely using you?

Can’t you see that she is merely using you?

Adnan: I agree with your conclusion,

Dania, I have no illusion

That an angel and a slave can ever mate;

’Midst her coldness and effusion

Lies the cause of my confusion

Does she love me or do I hallucinate?

I guess you’re right, she’s merely using me.

I think you’re right, she’s merely using me.

No lover is worth a cry

Dania: I can’t bear to watch you sigh

Just for a floozy from the sky

Naive little beau

Don’t you know

That no lover is worth a cry?

Adnan: When she’s here my heart goes thump

When she’s not I am down in a dump

Of all the flesh

That we possess

The heart is the most unreasonable lump.

I wish I had some control

On my thoughts, my passions, my soul

When his bow

Shot me so

Mr. K.D. scored his goal.


Aren’t you the one who thought that he

Was too good for women like we?

I’m so glad

You’ve been had

You’ve proved weaker than even I.

You thought you were a breed apart

Cool, emotionless, unruffled, street smart

The toughest of men—

Start shrieking when

Mr.K.D. pricks their delicate heart.

Adnan knew that she spoke the truth

In fact she spoke it much too well;

He knew that he, the toughest of men,

Was helpless under the Angel’s spell.

He also knew that the reason for this

Was K.D.’s bag of cruel little tricks;

K.D. controls

Our hearts and souls

And he gets sadistic kicks.

Shady Mr. K.D.

Adnan: Hey, Mr. K.D.,

Don’t you know that all your shady

Schemes are going to blow up right into your face?

You little sadist

Do I need to have to say this

Shouldn’t you take on people of your size and race?

I am much too small a fry

One of the billions in your sty;

Then why, oh why, did you pick on me?

Perhaps some old gripe to satisfy?

Right at that moment, up there in Angel-land

His anguish was provoking a debate;

Deeba and the girls all spoke out for the Slave

Bick and Butt and K.D. spat out hate.

Deeba: He is much too small a fry

One of the billions in your sty;

Then why, oh why, did you pick on him?

Butt, Bick and K.D: It was an old revenge to satisfy.

Deeba: Shady Mr. K.D.

Won’t you listen to a lady?

Won’t you free him from the spell that you have cast?

Bick: (to K.D.) Don’t give her a tuppence

’Cause this is Adnan’s comeuppance

He has treated women badly in the past.

Mr. K.D.: Lest they say that K.D.

Did not listen to a lady

I think I will try to find the golden mean;

Let’s give him a chance

Help him snap out of his trance

And get over Miz Sanober Ameen.

(calls out to Adnan) Hey, listen, Mister Slave, my name is K.D.

Patron of all lovers– some say I’m shady

Just because my little arrows

Once embedded in their marrows

Will make them pine for their beau or lady.

Adnan: And I am Adnan, the one who’s lonely

Alter ego to the one and only;

If you’re the one creating

All the pain that’s ennervating me

Then kill me all at once, don’t do it slowly.

Mr. K.D.: Now, listen, I’m not offering absolution

I’ll merely try to work out a solution;

Now that the damage’s done

And by Sanober you’ve been won

Shouldn’t we try to sort out this involution?

Adnan: Then speak up, Mr.K.D.

What do you have in mind?

Mr. K.D. : To get you back the heart

Which you had left behind.

Adnan: And help me get over that Angel

And out of this pain?

Mr. K.D. : We’ll put a different set of thoughts

Into your lovesick brain.

Adnan: If that is possible tell me how.

Mr. K.D. : I think it’s time for Lesson One now.

Adnan, Deeba, Bick & Butt: Long live, Mr.K.D.!

Wonder how you got that shady

Little reputation that they hate you for?

Mr. K.D. : (aside) Gullible little kiddies

Don’t they know I’m unforgiving

There’s no slight too petty for me to ignore.

Adnan, Deeba, Bick & Butt: Long live, Mr. K.D.!

Wonder how you got that shady

Little reputation that they hate you for?

Bick and Butt and Deeba

Did not know K.D. was weird;

So they left Addy alone with him

And simply disappeared.

Sublimation: K.D.’s obiter dicta

Mr. K.D. : Isn’t it a pity

Isn’t it a shame

That love can be a power game?

And that’s the first lesson for you, my boy.

Love can be enervating

But love’s intoxicating

It’s the hangover that takes away the joy.

Love is bliss, provided

It’s not merely one-sided;

If it is, one of you must prepare to take

Lots of hurt, humiliation

Loneliness, asphyxiation,

And put up with emptiness and heartache.

Now, Adnan, if I were in your situation

Where I do not get the girl—only pain

And I have no outlets for my frustration

What would I do? Maybe, I’d try—um—sublimation.

That’s right, I’d try sublimation.

Adnan: Sublimation? What’s that?

Mr. K.D. : Um—it works something like this:

You meet this absolute stunner, say, Sanober.

You’re besotted. Your libido’s all charged: you want her.

But you don’t get her. So how do you dis—I mean—defang yourself?

Adnan: If I were a boy scout I’d take a cold shower.

Mr. K.D. : And if you were in Paris you’d jump off the Tower.

But are these solutions?

You get excited, so you go for cold ablutions.

But are these, I ask, solutions?

That old shrink, you know that paranoid

Went by the name Sigmund whatever

Thought that he was bright, awfully clever

Tossed up neurotic theories half-baked, half-freud.

He had the finest way

To deal with such situations;

He’d work off all frustration through

Artistic sublimation.

Adnan: But what is sublimation?

Mr. K.D. : You meet this absolute stunner, say, Sanober.

You’re besotted. Your libido’s all charged: you want her.

But you don’t get her. So how do you, er, defang yourself?

Adnan: The best would be to look for loads of work

And plunge myself right into it.

Mr. K.D. : And if the work’s artistic it might make you smug

And help you get out of your pit.

If you were a manager you’d sweat it off

By working yourself overtime;

If you were a poet you could try to

Compose a fairy tale, all in rhyme.

Or you could write a book

Or even paint a picture;

And if you can’t do anything else—

You could always turn to sculpture.

That, I think, is it. Sculpture.

It’s close to your line, too.

I mean, what’s the difference?

Chopping up rocks—

Or carving a stone or two?

Adnan: So how will that help me

Get her out of my system?

Will it help me cleanse her from my mind?

Mr. K.D. : It will do more than that

For you will carve your passion

Into a lasting gift for humankind.

Adnan: And what if all those rocks of mine

Fail to touch her heart?

Mr. K.D. : At least there is a chance you might

Create a work of art.

Having spoken, Mr. K.D. took wing and flew away

Leaving the Slave to mull over the hints he threw his way.

The Idol

So the Slave picked up the hammer

And the chisel with which he

Would prise out of gigantic rocks

Rubble for a fee.

Today that mallet-wedge would cut

For him the first of a kind

A face in the cliff to help him get

A girl out of his mind.

And as he hacked the mountainside

He hummed himself this song

(And continued to do so

Till Dania came along.)

Adnan: I’ll try to get her out

Of my system, of my mind;

I’ll try to wipe out feelings

That are still left behind.

Dania: But when you know you’re bound to fail

Why do you even try?

One smile from her and you’ll know why

You’re such a helpless guy.

Adnan: Yes, when I know I’m bound to fail

Why do I even try?

One smile from her and I’ll know why

I’m such a helpless guy.

I ask myself part in jest

And part in self-disgusted rage;

What am I doing going bonkers

O’er an angel half my ?


And I ask part in plain disgust

And part in a fit of jealous rage;

What are you doing going bonkers

O’er an angel half your ?


She breezed into my life

And spread her fragrance everywhere

And then she breezed out just as fast

And vanished in the air.

She does this every now and then—

Comes when she chooses to—

If she’s the best thing God’s ever made

I have my uses, too.

I dare not see her radiant face

As stunning as the Sun;

As if Ash, Sush, Yuk, Hayden were

All rolled up into one.

I’ll carve into this mighty cliff

The libido pent inside;

And try to sublimate the love

I’m unable to hide.

Before the Rock of Sanober

Rhodes won’t look colossal;

I’ll flesh her out with so much love

The Canyon will seem a fossil.

There is no way this statue can

Evade my angel’s eyes;

You’ll see it from the edge of the world

You’ll see it from the skies.

Dania: (to herself) I know the ones who should be

The first to see your art;

You’ve got employers, don’t forget,

You’re just a slave, upstart.

Ruin and losses

So Dania went to the office block

To look for Adnan’s bosses;

To tell them that his latest fad

Would bring them ruin and losses.

Slave-driver 1:

Dania! What a wonderful surprise!

(pointing to Slave-driver 2)

I thought you were angry with my friend;

His wooing might be somewhat unwise

But he loves you more than you will comprehend.


I am not here to talk of love

Least of all to chat up you knaves;

I’ve come here to lodge a protest

Against Adnan, the king of the slaves.

You claim to be slave-drivers

You call yourselves his bosses;

But look the other way when he

Brings you ruin and losses.

Slave-driver 1: He hasn’t been himself of late

Slave-driver 2:

He used to be our best;

Slave-driver 1:

He’s working on a private love

Slave-driver 2:

To get it off his chest.

Slave-driver 1: (to Slave-driver 2)

If Adnan sticks to Sanober

And spurns Dania’s advances;

He does you a favour, my friend,

By improving your chances.

Slave-driver 2: (to Dania)

Don’t get worked up, O fair one,

Just try me out instead;

Adnan belongs to Sanober,

Get him out of your head.

Slave-driver 1:

He hasn’t been himself of late

Slave-driver 2:

He used to be our best;

Slave-driver 1:

He’s working on a private love

Slave-driver 2:

To get it off his chest.

Dania: From the top of the cliff to the bottom

As far as can be seen

He’s carved a thousand foot idol

Of the wretched Sanober Ameen.

This wanton worship of idols

Is the devil’s own behest;

Yet you pretend that our friend

Needs to get things off his chest.

Thus spake Miz Dania before she

Stormed out of the room;

If you would stir up the jungle

Just ruffle the peacock’s plume.

Joining forces with Khair ull

Right then the Girl in the Mountains—

She sensed a scent of gloom

She knew that the jilted Dania

Was plotting our hero’s doom.

Afshi: Down there in the plains, in the quarry

I smell the odour of gloom;

I can see that the jilted Dania

Is plotting our hero’s doom.

Adnan’s not being realistic—

Love is no democrat;

Angels were not designed for slaves

But who can tell him that?

Khair ull might be the one who can

Knock sense into his head;

She could tell him to stop chasing a dream

And settle for what he gets.

She might convince him that one should

Dictates of the heart ignore:

Go in for someone who loves you

Not someone you adore.

It’s true she’s just a slave

But in her own right

Khair ull’s almost a princess

Full of beans, cheerful, bright.

Therefore I need to go down—

Join forces with Khair ull,

To help my friend break free of

The Angel’s gravitational pull.

So, from the Mountains she went down—

Joined forces with Khair ull

To help their friend break free of

The Angel’s gravitational pull.

Afshi: But what is this that I see?

He’s carving stones, not chopping them;

Let me take Khair ull along

And watch Adnan his madness stem.

Adnan’s New Passion

When the girls heard of his passion,

They came to watch him carve;

And held their breath in awe

Of a vision so suave.


Have you seen Adnan’s new passion?

Khair ull:

Let’s go and watch him carve;


It takes away your breath to see

Afshi and Khair ull:

A vision so suave.


From the top of the cliff to the bottom

As far as can be seen

He’s carved a thousand-foot idol

Of the lovely Sanober Ameen.

Floored by Adnan’s creation

Overwhelmed by what they saw

The girls stared at the idol

Filled with envy and awe.

Khair ull:

Before the Rock of Sanober

Ol’ Rhodes looks less colossal;

He’s fleshed her out with so much love

That the Canyon seems a fossil.


There is no way that the statue can

Evade his angel’s eyes;

Khair ull:

You can see it from the edge of the world

You can see it from the skies.

I wish I had the love of a man

With a vision half as grand;

Who could dwarf the Sun-god Helios

Make the Canyon seem less Grand.


If only Sanober, silly girl,

Knew how to judge a man;

He would not have to work so hard

In order to win her hand.

It’s true he’s just a slave and she

An angel from the skies;

But even angels are not thus

Worshipped in paradise.

The view from the skies

There was no way that the statue could

Have missed the angels’ eyes;

You could see it from the edge of the world

You could see it from the skies.

There was a buzz in Angel-land—

Deeba, for one, was thrilled—

But Bick and Butt and K.D. were

By Adnan’s artwork chilled.


Princess, come ’n see what he has done

Your lover with passions perverse—

He’s made an idol of you that

Can be seen all through the Universe.

Sanober rushed to the edge of the clouds

For a view of the planet below;

But when she saw herself in stone

Her face broke into a glow.

Sanober: It’s nice!

Deeba: Is that all you have to you say,

O girl with the sparkling eyes?

He’s worked for months to carve that stone

And all you say is ‘Nice!’

He lays his heart down at your feet

And all you say is ‘Nice!’

Sanober: It’s really nice!


Sanober, silly girl, if only you

Knew how a man to judge;

He would not have to sacrifice

So much to win your love.

It’s true he’s just a slave and you

An angel from the skies;

But even angels are not thus

Worshipped in paradise.

At least his art has melted you—

Brought a smile to your lip;

If a man can make a woman laugh

He has her in his grip.

Meanwhile, in the quarry we know so well

Adnan was an overwrought loon;

He decided to break the vow he’d made—

‘Never pray for a carnal boon.’

He knelt on his knees as he lifted

His hands towards the sky;

And chanted the mantra given to him

At the sacred Soka Gakkai.

Gohonzon and the Law of Cause and Effect

Adnan: Gohonzon, I devote my life

To the law of effect and cause;

You grant anything to those who obey

Your eternal laws.

I’d sworn I’d never ask you for

Anything, Gohonzon;

Except that the lives of the ones I love

Should just go on and on.

And now I’m reduced to begging for

The most carnal of things;

For a touch of the lips of the angel who

Controls my moods, my swings.

They say we can ask for anything—

And you never refuse;

I beg for a word from the girl I love—

My madness to defuse.

I want to be told that she thinks of me

I just want to hear her voice;

Of course, I’d love to see her, too—

But do I have a choice?

Gohonzon, monarch of the East,

Of the West and everywhere

Took pity on the Slave and placed him

In Hamza ’n Sanober’s care.

Therefore, old Hamza decided

To send a mission to Earth;

To understand the ways of men—

Some secrets to unearth.

Of all the angels that he knew

Of the girls he’d seen;

None fit the bill so aptly as

The gorgeous Sanober Ameen.

The Mission

Hamza: (to Sanober) That slave has a mission down there on Earth

By day he chops up rocks;

By night he tries to study the ways

Of the Shepherds and their flocks.

As he studied the prophets and deities

He noticed that they were the same;

That the Lord’d sent every land a book

But merely changed its name.

Through his songs, his actions, his prose he’s been

Attacking the walls that Lucifer built;

It’s important for us here in Angel-land

To support the Slave to the hilt.

Of all the angels that I know

Of all the girls I’ve seen;

None can do this as well as

Can the dexterous Sanober Ameen.

Sanober: Gohonzon has convinced me, too.

He’s made me understand,

That in the Slave-boy’s noble quest

I should be his right-hand.

I am honoured that you think I can

Pull off this delicate task;

Right now to visit that quarry below

Is all that I can ask.

’Twas then that the slave heard his name

Being called out from the skies;

‘O Slave!’ said the voice he yearned to hear

‘That sculpture is truly nice.’


Sanober: I’m sent to learn from you, O Slave,

Secrets that have no price;

But the sculpture that you have carved of me,

Must say it’s truly nice.

Adnan: I carved it to get you out of my head—

From my system to excise;

And I put in it all my passion, my love

For whatever it’s worth—

Sanober:(rolling her widened, smiling eyes) —It’s nice!

Adnan: I poured in every emotion I have

I used up every device;

But all I get as reward for my work

Is a sweetly spoken — ‘Nice’.

Sanober knew that the man was gone

So she let him hold her hand;

But he bent over and kis’t her cheek

(This action had not been planned).

Adnan: O, thank you, Angel from the Skies,

Holding hands with you is bliss;

But if my art does touch your heart

What I’d really like is a .

A for every song I make—

And if it isn’t perverse—

A for every stone I carve

A for every verse.

If not your lips then let me wet

The corners of your mouth;

And if you feel I deserve a meal—

Then regions further south.

And I will drive you mad with love

O Angel from the Skies

The day when I will get to k

The spot between your .

Embarrassed, Sanober looked away

At this outpouring of emotion;

Since she could not fly away from him

She decided to change the motion.

There’s no point in raking up the past

Sanober: Why didn’t you call when I was away?

Why didn’t you write to me?

Every girl away from home

Wants to know she’s not alone

Where are the songs you’d recite to me?

Adnan: Now this is too much, my angel

I wore out my knees at your altar;

And wore out my fingers writing letters to you

Yet I am being called the defaulter .

I left message on message for you

But never received a reply.

Sanober: I am much too busy to write out letters

Though I could scratch a ‘hello’ or a ‘hi’.

And the messages that you say you left

I must’ve been away or thing—

Or maybe my secretary bungled things up

You know how these servants can sting.

Adnan: Why didn’t you call when you were away?

Why didn’t you write to me?

Every man whose girl’s away

Wants to hear her every day

Why were you impolite with me?

Sanober: There is no point in raking up the past

Let’s talk of something nice;

Hamza says that you possess

Secrets that have no price.

Adnan: I have from my father and his father before

This tiny piece of stone;

If you hold it straight it says ‘Allah’

If you turn it to the left it’s ‘Om’.

Held another way it’s ‘Ek Onkar’

And that’s the point I am making;

The Lord is the same

No matter what name

His devotees might happen to be taking.

Here you see an Arabic sign

Which says that a sound’s been twinned;

But it also is the trident of

Shiva, the deity of Hind.

Sanober: You’ve made so many copies of this stone;

Do you even know how many you own?

But continue, you were talking of

How ‘Allah’ can be read as ‘Om’.

Adnan: The problem with us down here on Earth

Is we want excuses to fight

We give the same Lord different names

And claim we alone are right.

If I can in the years I have

Make my brothers and sisters believe

That your God is the same as mine

My mission I would achieve.

Sanober: And in this noble task of yours

I will be your Right Hand;

To tell all men that God is one

That hatred should be banned.

And that’s when K.D.’s final arrow

Sailed right through Addy’s tit;

He was so filled with ecstasy

That he knew not he had been hit.

Adnan: (to himself) Gohonzon, this is too good to be true

Nicer than my nicest plan;

The prettiest angel in the universe

Offers to be my Right Hand.

O God, is this really happening?

Or is this merely a dream?

My task would become a pleasure

With an angel like she on my team.

(to Sanober) When we talk of The Truth we begin

By learning that it is a sin

To believe that there is any God but God

Or there can be anyone akin.

Now, Sanober was nice as angels go

But she was quite easily bored;

She did not want to be stuck with books

With life waiting there to be explored.

Sanober: Do we have to study all this today?

Can’t we talk of other things instead?

How do you guys here on Earth have fun?

What goes on in an Earthling’s head?

Adnan: (to himself) The angel is not a hypocrite

And that much one must hand her;

Of the many reasons why I love her so

At the top is her guileless candour.

In fact some day I must get down

To drawing up a list

Of all the things that make this girl

So difficult to resist.


So, while the Slave toted up lists

And kissed the ground the Angel had trod,

His employers the slave-drivers

Found his new-found behaviour odd.

Slave-driver 1:

I think we should ask the Angel

Slave-driver 2:

To stay on Earth forever;

Slave-driver 1:

Improves Adnan’s productivity

Slave-driver 2:

She heightens his endeavour.

Slave-driver 1: Ever since the girl’s been here

Slave-driver 2: He’s even learnt to shave;

Slave-driver 1: He’s got himself colognes and thing

Slave-driver 2: His clothes—they now behave.

Slave-driver 1:

And best of all he’s given up

Slave-driver 2:

His wanton bachelor way

Slave-driver 1:

He no longer stays up all night

Slave-driver 2:

Nor irritable by day.

Slave-driver 1: In fact he even whistles

When he chops up all those rocks

Slave-driver 2: He’s stopped doodling with twigs on the ground

Since he started chasing frocks.

Slave-driver 1: He’s worried about the way he looks

Slave-driver 2: Though still not immaculate

Slave-driver 1: He doesn’t eat as much as he did

Slave-driver 2: He’s cut down on chocolate.

Slave-driver 1:

The most important change—

I wonder if you’ve noticed-

He no longer goes on about

His brother across the sea;

Slave-driver 2: He loves him so, his eyes would flow

When he would speak of him;

But now it seems his passions

Have found a new lessee.

Slave-driver 1: If I can guess what’s going on

Inside that head of his

He’s been having imaginary

Conversations with her

Slave-driver 2: She’s good for us for she’s improved

His productivity

She should stay on forever—

This Angel called Sanober.

If Adnan sticks to Sanober

And spurns Dania’s advances;

He does me a massive favour,

By improving my chances.

The Angel must soon be gone

Just then inside the quarry

On a tiny patch of lawn

The Angel was telling the Slave

That soon she must be gone.

Sanober: I’ve been here almost twenty days

Got what I’d come here for;

But soon, O Slave, I must be gone

Till I need to come for more.

Adnan: (to himself) She’s been here almost twenty days

The happiest that I’ve known;

But soon my angel must be gone

Leaving me all alone.

She’s been with me for twenty days

I’ve still not wet her mouth;

If I continue at this rate

I won’t get further south.

So he cupped his hands on angelic cheeks

So that his lips could lance her;

And said with firmness foreign to him,

“I won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.”

Adnan: I am going to be shattered when you are gone

Like a partnerless ballroom dancer;

At least tonight let me moisten those lips

For I won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.

She let him linger for a while

And then pushed him away

Was she slighted?

Or simply delighted?

He still doesn’t know to this day.

He only knows that she spoke for a while

Now lost in thought

Now trying to smile

And then she looked away from him, took wing to fly away.

And when she was about to fly

God knows what got into him;

For he blurted out what he never thought

He’d even tell seraphim.

Adnan: I love you, my baby, I’ll miss you,

My love grows incremental;

Sanober: (to herself) How do I handle this lovesick fool?

He’s getting sentimental.

When he told her that he loved her

She smiled and flew away

He still doesn’t know what to make of that smile—

Triumphant? Smug? Blasé?

And when she was gone, the emptiness

Hit him like a blow in the gut;

The joy of her presence was an aberration,

Reality was stuck in a rut.

Could This Be Love?


When she’s gone and chooses to stay out of touch

(Out of my clutch)

Surrounds herself with walls

(Because she can build them)[i]

Lets you down with friends and family

(For she

Wants to be free[r1] )

I get wild, I swear I’ll leave her for good

(Wish I could)


For then she’ll be back and all she has to do

Is flash a smile and you’ll go cuckoo


And all the arguments that I had rehearsed

Just melt away, so could this be love?

Could this be love?

I know I ought to have more control

(Get what she stole)

I thought I was much too tough to flip

(Explain this slip)

But then she’ll be back and all she has to do

Is flash a smile and I’ll go cuckoo

And all the arguments that I had rehearsed

Just melt away, so could this be love?

Could this be love?

Why do I love her? Let me count the reasons.

That night the Slave went over to

The sculpture of the girl

And began to count the reasons why

He was obsessed with her.

Adnan: Now, why do I love her?

Let me count the reasons.

For one, her smile is fresh like the spring

And won’t stale with the seasons.

Yes, at the top of my list is

The freshness of her smile;

And close behind what blows my mind,

Is her uncomplicated style.

And then there is the way she has

Of making me feel so clever;

When she told me that she liked my voice

She made me her slave forever.

And she made me feel so special

By saying that I must be

One of the few who’d got her name

As it was designed to be.

And she got me dreaming by offering

To be by my right hand;

For I began to fit my Angel

Into everything I’d planned.

Yes, she understands

All the things I have planned

And the things that I leave unsaid;

Yes, that is why

Everywhere I fly

I keep her in my head.

Very high on my list of reasons

Are her eager, sparkling eyes;

Conspiring with me from behind her pappy

Propelling me to paradise.

I’ve seen so many beautiful girls

And some of them have brains with a buzz;

But none conveys excitement

Through her eyes the way she does.

An angel as spontaneous

As she hasn’t been sighted;

Who lets on that she loves junk food

And thrills get her excited.

Tel me then is it possible

Not to adore such a pearl—

Who has the beauty of a woman

The freshness of a girl.

And then those juicy lips of hers

Look so dashed incredible;

Because methinks that my love for her

At root is really chemical.

Though she tries to deny to me

The headiest of all trips;

I have grown addicted to the

Moisture of her lips.

They rest on cushioned petals

They’re laced with heady potions;

These days the juices of her lips

Control all my emotions.

And, Sanober, there is a twelfth

Reason for me to love you;

I guess that it is understood

You’re awesome looking, too.

Since it is forbidden to

Worship anyone but God;

Sanober, I’ll have to settle for

The ground that you have trod.

Creating a Work of Art

Clumsy though his verses were

You could hear them everywhere;

As did the slave-girls and Afshi

Who could fathom his despair.

The moon, it lit the quarry

The moon shone on his face

And in his eyes Afshi could see

Feelings he couldn’t displace.


Does she know that day and night

You’ve been thinking just of her?

Does she know that you keep chanting

`Sanober! Sanober!’

Khair ull:

Does she know that you neglect your work

And stay up every night

Carving her face on all the rocks

That your love can ignite?


If you are so besotted

With this angel called Sanober

Why don’t you go and tell her

Of this epic love of yours?

Adnan: I’ve tried, but she flips the topic

Every time I try to tell her;

Or she clams up and looks away

As if my words repel her.

Sometimes she looks embarrassed

Sometimes she merely smiles;

I fear that she feels harassed

By my clumsy ways and styles.

Dania: If you call yourself a lover

If you call yourself a man;

How think you’ll say you love her

Have you worked out a plan?

Adnan: I’ll carve into the mountains

Massive images of my queen;

And make every rock in the Valley

Cry ‘Sanober Ameen!’

I’ll make every song ever written

Sing out my love for her;

Till the angelface comes down and tells me

Where I stand with her.

Dania: What if even your sculptures

Fail to touch her heart?

Adnan: At least there’s a chance that I might have

Created a work of art.

It’s easier to please the Lord

Afshi and Khair ull left the scene

Leaving the two alone;

So, Dania filled the Slave-boy with

Doubts he’d never known.

Dania (to Adnan): If you’d loved the Lord the way you pine for that girl

If you’d spent this time thinking of Him,

If instead of idols that no one will revere

If instead of love songs she does not want to hear

You had used your skills to write a hymn

At least the Lord would have been pleased with you.

It’s easier to please the Lord than lovers

With Him at least you know where you stand

With Him you know you’ll make it

If you obey the rules

But lovers are creatures no one can understand.

Such devotion for the Lord

And they’d have canonised you

Ranking you up there with Buonarroti and Leonardo;

Worshipping a girl, O Slave,

Has merely paganized you

If they remember you it would be for misplaced bravado.

You bared your heart to her

Was she impressed?

Had you done this for the Lord

You would have been blessed.

Adnan: Conceded.

Your hypothesis need not be buttressed.

Yes, it’s easier to please the Lord than lovers

With Him at least you know where you stand

With Him you know you’ll make it

If you obey the rules

But lovers are creatures no one can understand.

Dania and Adnan:

It’s easier to please the Lord than lovers

With Him at least you know where you stand

With Him you know you’ll make it

If you obey the rules

But lovers are creatures no one can understand.

Applying for a Sabbatical

The first thing he needed to do

To make his dreams come true

Was to take time off his job—

For a year, maybe two.

So, he went to the quarry to look

For his favourite slave-drivers

And found them counting the loot of the day—

In coins and tenners and fivers.

Adnan: There’s a time in everybody’s life

To review the years and take stock;

When you say to yourself that surely

There’s more to life than chopping rocks.

It is not as if I’m unhappy

It is not as if I’m sorry;

O Slave-drivers, it’s been a pleasure

To have sweated it out in your quarry.

But I need to ensure that life is not

Simply passing me by;

There are many things I still want to do—

So, I've come to say goodbye.

Slave-driver 1:

Your problem is you get emotional

Slave-driver 2:

You should learn to be a little more practical.

Slave-driver 1:

Why must it be a parting of ways?

Slave-driver 2:

Can’t it be a—a sabbatical?

Adnan: Call the arrangement what you will

Right now I need to go;

I’ve got to get things out of my head

Through the only craft I know.

I’ll carve into the mountains

Massive images of my queen;

And make every rock in the Valley cry,

‘Sanober Ameen!’

Slave-driver 1:

It’s nice to be in love, my boy

Slave-driver 2:

But how will you pay your bills?

Slave-driver 1:

Why should you be starving when you

Slave-driver 2:

Could be raking it in with your skills?

Adnan: Between food for my body

And her nourishing my heart

I must but choose the latter

Or my soul will come apart.

If she leaves my mind for more than

Fifteen minutes at a time,

My cerebellum jumps out of my head

To ask her, ‘What’s my crime?’

Slave-driver 1:

If you need time off to think of her

Slave-driver 2:

Do it in alternate hours.

Slave-driver 1:

We’ll give you the authority

Slave-driver 2:

We’ll give you all the powers.

Adnan: I can’t be fair to my day job

And also think of her;

Thinking of the one I love

Is a full time job, good sir.

And having said that, Adnan

Salaamed his bosses and left;

Lovers whom K.D. has driven mad

Are of prudence and logic bereft.

Slave-driver 2:

There is no point in stopping him

The man’s absolutely fanatical;

Slave-driver 1:

But the stone chips will keep pouring in

Even while he’s on sabbatical.

While he buggers up the mountainside

With images of his love,

Send a slave to scour the ground for chips

When he’s hacking away above.

Slave-driver 2:

If it takes an extended sabbatical

To get rid of that sore,

Grant it, so that he gets out of here

Away from the one I adore.

The song of the wounded rocks

Curious to know what Addy was upto

And to give him his lunch an’ canteen,

Khair ull, the slave, scanned the canyon cliff to cliff

All the places where her hero might have been.

Khair ull:

Adnan! Adnan! Where are you my prince?

Has anyone seen my man?

Cliff 1: If he is the one chopping us into mince

Stuff him in the nearest bedpan.

Cliff 2: So what does he look like—this man of yours?

Try to describe him if you can.

Khair ull:

His abs are like rocks, he’s brown, brawny, tanned.

Cliff 2:

The one with triceps, but no brain?

Cliff 1:

The loon who carves pretty faces on us?

Cliff 2:

The psycho who’s been causing us pain?

Cliff 1:

He has a look that’s positively manic

Cliff 2:

When he comes in with hammer and chisel

Cliff 1:

We rocks break into a panic.

Khair ull: He’s tall, he’s regal, sultanic.

Cliff 2: The one who thinks his vision is titanic?

Khair ull: He’s sweet, though his temper’s volcanic

Cliff 1: His hammer and chisel are satanic.

Cliff 2:

If he’s got problems with some girl

Cliff 1:

Why take it out on us?

Cliff 2:

Everyone goes through heartbreak but

Cliff 1:

They don’t make such a fuss.

Cliff 2:

They don’t march down to the nearest cliff

Cliff 1:

And beat it black and blue

Cliff 2:

And still expect it to like him

Cliff 1:

You wouldn’t do that, would you?

Khair ull: Please tell me! Please tell me! Where is my prince?

Guide me to the man I adore.

Cliff 2:

Why don’t you try Richard down the corner there?

Cliff 1:

He used to be a cliff—

Cliff 2:

Not any more.

Cliff 1:

Ever since that loony

Cliff 2:

Chipped our souls away from us

Cliff 1:

Brother Clifford’s been feeling sore.

The Scales/ ‘Carve me on that cliff’

So, Khair ull went to Richard down the corner

Put balm on Clifford’s open wounds and sore,

She sighted what the slave had carved on Clifford and Rick

And was fairly impressed by what she saw.

Khair ull:

Dania! Afshi! Come here, and quick!

See what Adnan is making!


I wish I had a lover whose

Vision was as breathtaking.

Afshi and Dania went to the cliff

Where gigantic scales had been etched;

The heavy pan was empty, but on the lighter one

The beauties of the world had been sketched.

Khair ull:

There’s a buzz throughout the Human world


Excitement in the quarry

Khair ull:

Adnan’s creating the highest tribute

A lover can pay his amoré.


He’s carved gigantic balances


An enormous weighing scale

Khair ull:

On one pan all the beauties of the world


On the other, perhaps, that female.


But why is that pan still empty?

Khair ull:

Must be an artistic whim.


It’s vacant because his model


Doesn’t have time for him.

The Scales


That looks like Ash!

Khair ull:

And that like Sush!


That must be Reita Faria!

Khair ull:

That’s Diana H!


That’s Yukta’s sketch!

Khair ull:

That must be Une Dos Maria!


But the pan on which he plans to carve

Khair ull:

The idol of his maiden


Is heavier than the one on which

Khair ull:

Sit Ash, Sush, Lara and Hayden.


What a stunning compliment he plans to pay!

Khair ull:

Just grasp the implication—


He is saying that Sanober Ameen

Is the most beautiful in the nation.

He’s saying that she is better than

All beauty queens put together;


If my lover was as much in love with me

I’d gladly wear his tether.

Khair ull:

I wish I had a boyfriend with

A vision half as romantic;

Who’d say that I was better than

Beauty queens either side of the Atlantic.


That’s because you have grey matter

Out there in your uppermost storey;

But the object of Addy’s affections

Has no time to visit our quarry.

He’s begging her to sit for him

For a few sessions intensive;

But instead of modelling for him

The Angel’s been acting expensive.

That is why the heavier pan

Is destined to be unfilled;

He thinks I’m not good enough for it

While she is too dumb to be thrilled.

Khair ull! Afshi! He needs to be kicked

For accepting such heartache;


That woman has no time for him

But the hint he will not take.

Khair ull:

Dania, my girl, you need to be kind

To hearts that have been aching;

I wish I had a lover whose

Vision was as breathtaking.


If she is too dumb or precious

I will model for the man;

Khair ull:

If only he’d sculpt my likeness

Atop that empty pan.


If he would only etch me there

Ranking me above those beauties;

Khair ull:

I’ll sit for him as long as he wants

Neglecting my other duties.

Adnan! Adnan! Carve me on that cliff!

Make an idol of me!


Tell the whole world

I’m the fairest of the girls

I’m certainly better than she.

Khair ull:

Adnan! Adnan! I’ll be your slave!

Make an idol of me!

Let’s show all the girls


I’m the fairest in the world

I’m certainly better than she.


Adnan’s art was so massive that

You could see it from Angel-land,

But this time even Deeba was

Left cold by a vision so grand.


Princess, your lover’s gone bonkers

See what he’s doing this time.


Carving an idol of me, I suppose,

He seems to be flush with time.


But why should those rocks have to suffer

Why should they be beaten black and blue?


Because he’s a working class duffer

And there’s nothing else he can do.


It’s clear he’s going through a lot of pain

He’s hopelessly in love with you.

Just once or twice in a millennium

Does a man thus his love proclaim

And build monuments to the one he loves

Like that Mughal—what was his name?

Most of us would overlook major flaws

For a love so pure, so intense

A love so transparent that it’s almost crude

A love so shorn of pretence.


But when did I ask for any of this—

Purity, intensity?

I don’t want relationships that might suffocate

I want fun, not responsibility.

Acting expensive

Adnan returned to the cliff where his final

Creation stood yearning for his coddle;

Where the empty throne

Of the angel who had flown

Dejectedly awaited its model.

He’d brought along, the altar and the song

With which he would speak to his love;

He went down on his knees,

And begged the winds, the breeze

To waft his words to the heavens above.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober!

I need your time

I need you to sit for me.

To help me create

Icons that radiate

Your beauty, your wit for me.

Far from the canyon, back in the quarry

Even Khair ull could hear him cry;

Sorry for her friend, wanting his pain to end

She yelled out to Sanober in the sky.

Khair ull:

It’s the highest tribute

A man can execute

To show the world his lover is the best;

(to Adnan)

Carve me on that stone

Put me on that throne

For clearly the Angel’s not impressed.

Sanober sauntered to the edge of the clouds

To speak to her admirer below;

She tried to be polite, but still she could not hide

That she had no time for her beau.

Sanober: I thank you, O Slave

For wanting to engrave

My likeness upon that cliff.

The concept is cool

But right now my schedule

Happens to be rather stiff.

Day turned into night

And night back to day

But Adnan kept kneeling at the altar;

It always was the same

Message for his old flame

For Adnan would not waver or falter.

Khair ull: (in the quarry/ background)

The days turn to night

And nights back to day

But Adnan’s always kneeling at the altar;

It always is the same

Message for his old flame

For Adnan does not waver or falter.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober!

How are you placed?

I need you to model for me.

Sanober: I have a bad hair day tonight

And I don’t want to look a fright

As you carve that swaddle for me.

It went on like this

The Slave would never miss

A chance to beg her for a sitting;

While she never actually said ‘No’

We would have our readers know

Her evasions were equally unremitting.

Khair ull: (in the quarry/ background)

It’s been going on like this

The Slave will never miss

A chance to beg her for a sitting;

While she never actually says ‘No’

I’ll have all lovers know

Her evasions are equally unremitting.

Curtains on the final act


Something says I’ll never see my angel again

Those were the curtains on the final act;

Something says she never saw me as a friend

To her I was only a useful contact.

When I told her that I loved her

She merely smiled and flew away;

Does she know what effort it took

To get those words out of the way?

I know she’s not the girl for me

Nor does she want to be mine;

She’s got a world where I don’t belong

And yet she clogs my mind.

I chisel every evening to prove to the world

She’s the fairest angel ever born;

But the Princess has neither the time nor the will

That empty throne to adorn.

Now, Dania had this great instinct

She knew just when to strike,

Just when to twist the knife and when

To grab a mind and psych.

Dania: Something says you’ll never see your angel again

Those were the curtains on the final act;

Something says she never saw you as a friend

To her you were only a useful contact.

A love not meant to be

Dania: Everyone but you can see

That no time for you has she

Your love was not meant to be.

You’re getting nowhere

She doesn’t need you.

Adnan: Even I can see clearly

That she has no time for me

Our love was not meant to be.

I’m getting nowhere

She doesn’t need me.

Dania: What do you plan to do about it—

Sit and feel sorry for yourself?

You—a leader of men—

Pining for that hen

You ought to get a grip on yourself.

You’re getting nowhere

She doesn’t need you.

Adnan: I tried sculpture and sublimation—

Couldn’t get her out of my head;

I used to think I was tough

She’s called my bluff

That’s how deep the ailment has spread.

I’m getting nowhere

She doesn’t need me.

Dania: Don’t you know that this thing called the rebound

Is the finest cure ever found

When your heart needs repair

I’ll always be there

To turn all your sorrows around.

You’re getting nowhere

She doesn’t need you.

Adnan: So, how does this rebound thing do its job?

Dania: You need a girl who’ll make your heart throb

Who’ll take your mind off that cow

Wipe your moistened brow

And make you feel like a nabob.

You’re getting nowhere

At least I need you.

Promises and hearts

Adnan: Even I can see clearly

That she has no time for me

Our love was not meant to be.

I’m getting nowhere

She doesn’t need me.

Having planted her suggestion,

Miz Dania left the quarry;

Meanwhile in Angel-land

Lovely Deeba plotted, planned

The kindest possible resolution of our story.


Sanober! Sanober! Don’t be so cruel

Put the man out of his pain.

Reject him if you will

But do it with some skill

Slowly. In instalments. Be humane.


What about Dania? Was he skilful?

Did he ever think of her pain?


We don’t know enough about Dania

Or why he treats her with disdain.

I only know that Adnan loves you more than

Anyone ever in history,

Turn him down but speak to him, Sanober,

Get him out of his misery.

The slave was back at the altar

From where he would speak to his love;

He was down on his knees,

As he begged the winds, the breeze

To waft his words to the heavens above.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Where have you been?

Sanober: Around.

Adnan: Sanober! It’s ages since you’ve been seen.

Sanober: Perhaps.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! We’ve been out of touch so long…

Sanober: Not my fault.

Adnan: But I’ve been serenading you through verse, sculpture and song.

Sanober: Have you?

Adnan: Surely you’ve seen the beauty queens, the weighing scales format?

Sanober: Oh, that?

Adnan: It took me months to make but you dismiss it with ‘Oh, that?’

Sanober: Drat!

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Did I misapprehend…?

Sanober: What?

Adnan: Our friendship, Sanober—I thought we were friends.

Sanober: Aren’t we?

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! I can not comprehend…

Sanober: Listen, I’m getting late, I’ve got to go

I must rush, but I’ll call you tomorrow.

As she said those words, the princess,

Got up and left her throne

Rekindling insecurities

To which Adnan was prone.

Adnan: Did she really have to go or is she

Trying to brush me off?

I do not know what to believe

Nor even what to scoff.

But if she calls tomorrow

I will come out of my trough.

The morrow came and went but she

Naturally did not call,

So, Addy swallowed his pride once more

Went down on his knees and bawled.

Adnan: The morrow’s come and gone but she

Naturally did not call,

So, I must swallow my pride once more

Go down on my knees and bawl.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Why don’t you talk?

Sanober: I have nothing to say.

Adnan: But it was not like this before.

Sanober: I guess I’m just a bore.

Adnan: You—a bore? You have the most

Exciting eyes invented.

Perhaps your spontaneity has

To others been presented.

Sanober: Perhaps.

Adnan: Sanober, surely you haven’t forgotten the times…

Sanober: The doorbell, I think it is! I think I hear chimes.

I’m getting late, I’ve got to go

I must rush, we’ll talk tomorrow.

It was obvious by now

Even to lovesick fools

That the Angel wanted out

But was following the rules.

Adnan: My angel have you forgotten

The things that we had planned?

Sanober heard the slave all right

But chose not to reply.

Adnan: You had yourself offered to be

My anchor, my Right Hand.

The angel tried to look away

As she prepared to fly;

She did not speak, she could not look

Our hero in the eye.

Adnan: She’s flown away leaving all my

Appeals and pleas unheard;

I wish I had not placed so much

Reliance on her word.

I wish I had not fallen for

The words that she had spoken;

I wish I knew that promises,

Like hearts, are meant to be broken.

No Matter Whatsoever

The slave would have gone on like that

And whined his woes away;

Until Afshi, the mountain girl,

Came to brighten his day.


When you’re feeling cheated

Rejected, defeated

When your mind is overcome with gloom;

What you need is love and care

Someone to caress your hair

Dania:(enters, sniffing disapprovingly) You need to freshen up this room.

You need something like this perfume.

I’ve brought you some magic oil

Take a drop and make it boil

And then watch it spread its perfume.


Cheer up! It won’t be bad forever.

Happiness will kiss your feet, however,

You’ve got to decide

To take things in your stride

And keep smiling, no matter whatsoever.

Adnan: (to himself) Mmm! This oil is magical

It can melt an icicle

Surely it will thaw my angel queen;

I’ll use it when the music

Is soft, the lights are soothing

And I am wooing Sanober Ameen.

Afshi: When you’re feeling cheated,

Rejected, defeated,

When the world leaves you feeling broke;

When you’re on a sloping graph

What you need to do is laugh

Tell or hear a cheerful joke.

See, what I’ve managed to get

Straight out of the Internet

On this sheaf is all the latest merriment.

Cheer up! Be firm in your endeavour

And success will kiss your feet, however,

You’ve got to decide

To take things in your stride

And keep smiling, no matter whatsoever.

Dania brought some perfume

Afshi made him smile;

Now it was time for both to go

And leave him for the while.

Adnan: Hey! These jokes have class and style

They could make a Nazi smile

Surely they will curl my angel’s lip.

I’ll give my love this monograph

If I can make my angel laugh

I will have her firmly in my grip.

Lobbying for Adnan

Just then up there in Angel-land

Deeba was trying to darn—

Repair a worn relationship,

Lobbying for Adnan.

Deeba: How can you let him suffer like that?

You got him into this condition;

Now either you pull out your arrows or let

His passions reach their fruition.

Mr. K.D.: Mr. K.D. doesn’t refuse

Angels as pretty as you;

If I pull him out of his blues

You’ll owe me a favour or two.

Deeba: Just bring him to Angel-land for a cruise

Unite him with Sanober;

Mr. K.D.: I’ll bring him to Angel-land when you choose

The rest is up to him—and her.

Excitedly Deeba looked for Sanober

To give her what she thought was news—

That Mr. K.D. had agreed

To reunite poet and muse.

Deeba: Sanober! Sanober! I have news!

At last Mr. K.D.’s agreed

To unite the poet with his muse

And bring him here on a flying steed.

Mr. K.D.: (to himself) Deeba, naïve girl, I too have news—

Mr. K.D.’s merely agreed

To let the Slave glimpse the Angel and

Then make his tender ventricles bleed.

Deeba: Sanober! Sanober! I have news!

At last Mr. K.D.’s agreed

To unite the poet with his muse

And bring him here on a flying steed.

Sanober: Poet? Muse? Surely not that slave?

The Slave is not news, he’s history;

Deeba, my friend, I am not amused;

You shouldn’t prolong his misery.

Or get me further confused.

Deeba: I have no rights, but you a duty

To the man whose heart you’ve bruised.

Sanober: It’s hardly as if I led him on

And then his affections abused.

In any case whenever he calls me

I wonder what we’ll talk about;

There’s nothing left for me to say

To that artless, mannerless lout.

He’s okay in his quarry

But here he’s out of place;

Surely a slave can’t blend in with

Our class, our race.

Deeba: And yet can you blame him, O Princess,

If he feels he has been used?

He’s hopelessly in love, O angel,

And he suffers silently.

Sanober: Surely I am not responsible

Who asked him to fall in love with me?

I never asked him to fall in love with me

Sanober: I never asked him to fall in love with me

I never asked him to go out of his mind;

I merely smiled at him and he thought it was love

That’s not encouragement—no matter how defined.

That he should like my lips is comprehensible

That’s been the fate of all the guys who’d come before;

But if they drive him mad I’m not responsible

Or should I cover them with a frown on my jaw?

Mr. K.D.’s Arrows

Back in the canyon even Addy

Did not know why he was in love

With an angel who was indifferent—

Was it caused by arrows from above?

Adnan: Why am I so obsessed with

An angel who doesn’t care for me?

Could it be that some tormentor

Had planned this affair for me?

Addy yelled at the skies for Mr. K.D.

To give him some kind of explanation;

And Mr. K.D. came down from the clouds

Delighted at Addy’s consternation.

Adnan: Mr. K.D., your arrows

When you pull them out of the quiver

Is there a method in how you let them fly

Or do you randomly deliver?

And when you shoot those poisoned darts

Do you try to launch them in twos?

Or do you grab handfuls and throw them about

To bruise any heart that they choose?

Then you leave it to lovers to look for

The person the other arrow struck;

It could take them a lifetime—if ever—

Of painful mismatches and muck.

Mr. K.D.: Mr. Addy, your whining,

I can’t understand your squeals;

Why is it unfair

When Sanober doesn’t care?

What about the pain Dania feels?


Is all this part of some grand design

Or are these childish, impromptu tricks?

It causes us much anguish and pain

I hope at least you’re getting your kicks.

Depending on you to find true love

Would be rather Russian roulette-y

I think I would be much better off

If I stuck to my Lovegety.

Mr. K.D.:

Stop cribbing, and try to total up

The sum of the credit and debt—

Would you rather not have met Sanober at all?

Aren’t you glad for whatever you could get?


Are there any lucky ones at all who

Have their ardour reciprocated?

’Cause most of us tend to get knotted up in

Tangles vastly more complicated.

One-sided relationships, each one of us

Pining for the one we could not get;

Are we being ambitious, greedy, unrealistic

Or punished for some long forgotten debt?

Mr. K.D.: Don’t talk of debts old or forgotten, O slave,

Take Dania—have you been fair to her?


Is she obliged to reciprocate the love

Of the Slave-driver who pines away for her?

I did not ask her to fall in love with me…


Have I started sounding like Sanober?

Mr. K.D.:

Who sent Afshi to heal your wounds?

Who sent Khair ull to cheer?

What about the happiness that Sanober brought

In the weeks that the Angel was here?

What about the kisses you stole from her?

What about the hands you got to hold?

What about the prestige you briefly enjoyed

By keeping an angel in your fold?

You never give me credit for the pleasure love brings

You only pin your heartaches on me;

You’re a grown man, did I force you to love?

Don’t you share the responsibility?

Adnan: Let’s not talk of the past

Tell me what should I do?

How do I get to meet my love?

Mr. K.D.: We’ll have to find a way

(And a horse who will obey)

To fly you to Angel-land above.

The Ascension

So, K.D. found a way

(And a horse who did not neigh)

To fly Addy to Angel-land above;

The horse was young, unbroken

K.D.’s desire unspoken

Was that it should buck and give the Slave a shove..

Mr. K.D.: When you aim

A bit too high;

You should first

Learn how to fly.

You want to go

To Angel-land—

Then you should get

Your transport planned.

Come on, slave, get off your farce;

If you can, get on that horse.

Come on, slave, and move your brass;

It ain’t easy to ride that horse.

Adnan: Leave me alone, Mr. K.D., sir,

It’s no crime to be hopelessly in love.

Either unite me with her

Or help me forget that there ever was

An angel called Sanober.

Was the chance

To fly up to


Too good to pooh?

So, the Slave

Got off his farce

And tried to mount

The flying horse.

Mr. K.D. (to himself)

When he mounts

The horse will buck;

What? It didn’t?

Beginner’s luck.


In any case

Along the way

The horse will toss

The slave away.

(The magic horse

Began to fly;

As he sped

Towards the sky.)

When he rides

That brutal steed—

It’s fun to watch

His bottom bleed.

But what is this?

We’re almost there

The Slave was not

Thrown off mid-air.


Well, what if he

Has reached this Land?

For I have got

Surprises planned.

(to Adnan) So, you know how to move your brass;

Only love could have tamed that horse;

Only love could have given you that class

Only love could have helped you stay the course.

Adnan: Leave me alone, Mr. K.D., sir,

It’s no crime to be hopelessly in love.

Either unite me with her

Or help me forget that there ever was

An angel called Sanober.

In Angel-land

Angel-land was simply exquisite

Like nothing Adnan had ever seen—

Even better than the evenings spent

Holding hands with Sanober Ameen.

The splendours of Angel-land were blinding

Everything so soothing, serene;

But his eyes had no time for the place

As they sought out Sanober Ameen.

He glided past angels as he

Searched every inch of the site;

But his love was nowhere to be seen because

It happened to be Saturday night.

And that’s how K.D. had planned it to be

He wanted to cause the Slave pain;

For the hurt Addy’d caused the Danias of his world—

He’d be shown that his love had been in vain.

So he started calling out for the one he loved

Like a madman gone out of control;

`Sanober! My angel, where are you?’

His sanity was starting to unroll.

Adnan: Sanober! Sanober! Can you hear me call?

I’m missing you, my angel—and that’s not all

I have flown up to your land

To moisten your labial gland

The juices of your lips hold me in thrall.

Deeba: (loudly) The Princess is out. Could you try at eleven?

Adnan: Of course, I will, for I don’t have a choice

Looks like, at last, I’ll get to read my Jimmy Joyce

I’m no astral Ulysses

Sailing on heavenly seas

So I’ll wait here for your Princess—rejoice.

Deeba: (softly) Psst, Adnan, the fact is she’s not here

She scaled the walls—she thought the coast was clear;

Only K.D. saw her go

To Club Paradiso

And brought you here some mischief to engineer.

In fact I think I’m getting late

I must dress up quickly and fly;

They’re waiting for me at the Paradiso

Cheerio! Ciao! Goodbye!

The mention of the club got him down

His saddened face told K.D. his plan was working;

It brought out all of Addy’s insecurities—

Uncorked all the suspicions that had been lurking.

Adnan: (to himself) So the Angel bunks to Hell with her friends

Saturday nights she’s out with the men

When others sleep at eleven

She scales the walls of heaven

And stays out till the night decides to end.

But every time I’d mention

Moonlit walks in the quarry,

She’d say, ‘O Slave, I’d love them,

But I’m extremely sorry,

I don’t want to upset their dinnertime.

I must be back in Heaven before it’s nine.’

I’d thought she was an Angel—she’s not one

She’s got a rather mortal sense of fun

Deification’s fine

But no girl’s really divine

When you see them close they’re all quite homespun.

Mr. K.D.: (to himself) I first let fly my arrows

And cause lovers to swoon;

Then I pull out my dagger

And twist it in their wound.

I play on insecurities—

And all suspicions lurking;

Now take my plans for Addy boy

Evidently they are working.

So, now for the denouement

Now for the final blow;

I’ll take the Slave

To a mind-bending rave

At Club Paradiso.

The Slave was back on the flying horse

(This time the ride was smoother)

The turbulence now was all in his heart,

‘Should I really have pursued Her?’

The last of the Saturday Nights

Adnan: I can see this ending badly

Should I really have pursued her?

She’s much too good for the likes of me

Clearly I misconstrued her.

As he flew across the Universe

To that blasted Discotheque

The Angels came to the lobby

For a breather—and the cheque.

Deeba: I’ve got a tattoo

On my shoulder

I’ve got a pierced nose;

My skirt is shorter—

I am bolder

I’ve got fishnet hose.

Bick: Princess, that was some dance,

You almost took my breath away;

You’d have gone on till the morning

But for that sick DJ.

Sanober: You dance for twenty minutes

And you start gasping for air;

You call yourself a dude

But you badly need repair.

Bick: Look, everyone just can not be

Like that slave—what was his name?

We are angels, not stoneworkers,

We have other claims to fame.

Sanober: Don’t bring Addy into this, Bick,

He’s a man, not like you boys;

He would have danced all night with me

And still not lost his poise.

Butt: You’re a funny girl, O Princess,

You treat him worse than spit;

But if any of us criticises him

You fly into a fit.

Sanober broke into a giggle

(As she looked for a place to hide);

So she grabbed the boys by their biceps

And took them back inside.

Sanober: Now take these spongy biceps—

Adnan’s are more like rocks;

He has wise, intense, piercing eyes

Not chubby cheeks an’ mohawks.

He saw her feel their biceps

And pat their cheeks and head;

Adnan could only hear her laugh

But not the things she said.

And that’s precisely what K.D.

Wanted the Slave to see;

To be jealous of wealthier, cooler men

And writhe in misery.

Adnan: With me she’s never laughed like that

She’s never fondled my arms;

She’s never touched my face like that

With me she’s full of qualms.

Could that be ’cause I’m not her type—

I’m too much of a hick;

I am not cool or rich, I am

Too obviously lovesick.

Don’t fall in love with a star

He could see all the world was laughing at him

(Though he knew it was only in his mind);

That he had to put up with barbs hurled at him

By K.D., Dania, Bick and Butt combined.

Mr. K.D.:

The trouble with jumping too high


And trying to kiss the sky

Mr. K.D.:

Is that when you descend


Come crashing to an end

Mr. K.D.:

The fall will be that much harder;


You will be blinded if you try

Mr. K.D.:

To look the Sun in the eye


So, if your lover is a star

Mr. K.D.:

Spare your heart a scar


Rein in your dreams

Mr. K.D.:

Control your ardour.


Don’t fall in love with a star

Mr. K.D.:

Don’t try to reach for the skies.


Learn to accept who you are

Mr. K.D.:

For every player cannot get the prize.


So, you want to join the fan club, guv?


There’s a waiting list of a million above.


Your problem is you think you are alone


Your problem is you’re hopelessly in love.


Don’t fall in love with a star

Mr. K.D.:

Don’t try to reach for the skies.


Learn to accept what you are

Mr. K.D.:

For every player doesn’t get the prize.

She never asked me to fall in love with her

So, Addy boy mounted his steed

(Leaving K.D.’s gang behind)

And turned the horse Earthward before

He went out of his mind.

Adnan: I think it’s time to get back home

And leave angels behind

And turn my horse Earthward before

I go out of my mind.

I think it’s time to face up to

What I’ve too long denied;

To save myself more hurt, and salvage

What’s left of my pride

I must accept that lovers should

Dictates of the heart ignore:

Go in for someone who loves you

Not someone you adore.

It’s time I finally got over

The Angel Sanober;

In fairness she never asked me to

Fall in love with her.

Back on Earth the Slave went to

His favourite part of the quarry;

Where gigantic idols reminded

Him of a painful story.

Adnan: She never asked me to fall in love with her

She only wanted me to like her for her mind;

But I fell in love with her lips and eyes as well

Can any human keep the two passions confined?

Creations of lust

Loving, hating, even feeling paranoid

Adnan did everything with vigour;

Therefore, when he stood near the cliff he thought

He could hear his sculptures snigger.

Adnan: Why do you laugh, O idols?

Is there contempt in those smiles?

Mine are the hands that fashioned you

And yet you mock my wiles.

I carved you there so that my eyes

Could touch her when I chose;

I made you so my hands could run

Over her—tip to toes.

You could not bring her close to me—

You were no substitute

So, I must wipe out each of you

Her memories to uproot.

It’s time I got rid of you stones

To break free of her spells;

If I can’t kiss her with my eyes

Why should anyone else?

But will the hands and implements

That toiled on you for years

Obliterate the images which

Contain my love, my fears?

They’ll have to—there’s no other way—

I’ll turn these stones to dust

To wipe off from the mountainside

Creations of my lust.

Creation and destruction: The tools’ rebellion

More than anger it was hurt

That filled our hero’s mind

As he started scanning crannies in the cliff

His implements to find.

He found the scaffolding and ladder

He found the chisel and the axe,

Thus armed he walked towards the cliff

Which had gotten used to his attacks.

But not his tools, for they had begun

To think of themselves as swells;

So when they found he’d raze to the ground

Their creations, they began to rebel

The chisel:

You used me first to sublimate your love

Now you want me to destroy;

The mallet:

I fall in love with the images I shape

Even if you don’t, Addy boy.

The axe:

Your problem is with the angel

Her idol has caused you no harm;

The chisel:

Next year you would have forgotten her

The mallet:

Time is the finest balm.


The longer that these icons remain

The longer I’ll be under her spell;

The ladder:

Well, in that case you ought to know

The scaffold:

Your tools have decided to rebel.

The ladder:

I will not let you climb on me

The scaffold:

I won’t give you my support;

The axe:

I’ll blunt my wedge before it can

Even scratch your rocky consort.

The mallet:

I was made to create, give birth to things

I know not how to kill;


You think you’re autonomous, but you are not

You are instruments of my will.

It is my hands that make you move

So get this straight, my pal,

You’re made of wood, not silicon,

Who do you think you are? HAL?

The icons that failed

And so he raised his hands and tools

To prise the statues out;

But as the chisel hit the cliff

He heard his best friends shout.

Afshi and Khair ull felt his pain,

So Afshi stayed his hand

Taking from it the implements

And the destruction he’d planned.

She placed her tender hands on his

So that he could be shown

That he had friends, support systems

That he wasn’t alone.


Hang on, Adnan! Don’t do that!

Khair ull:

Don’t touch those magic stones!


They’ve converted the cliffs out here

Khair ull:

Into artistic zones.


You art was yours before it

Entered the public mind;

Khair ull:

But once unfurled before the world

It belongs to all mankind.


So, what if these icons of yours

Have failed to touch her heart?

Khair ull:

At least in the process you have

Created a work of art.


Yes, what if all these rocks of mine

Have failed to touch her heart?

At least in the process I might

Have created a work of art.


The Bible of the broken hearted and the lovesick! Close your eyes, open any page of this book and randomly place your finger on any verse. You will find comfort and solace. (Didn’t work? Try ‘best of three’. No? Try best of nine.)’ The Capulet Chronicle, Verona.

[i] Sunday, 07 October 2007, throne and later balcony, RKP. First draft was ‘’because she’s an architect’ A later draft was ‘She know how to build them.’

[r1]28/09/2007 Fri While going to the pool and then while swimming