Honouring the Phantoms of Chiang Mai…

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Can you hear our forefathers,

They’re the happiest tonight,

Listen carefully,

Shove your ears towards the sky,

You’ll be able to hear spirits whistle,

Soon, you’ll hear them sing,

Elated, they must be,

Getting dressed up,

Awaiting long lost attention,

Awaiting their paper chariots,

To float across the skies of Chiang Mai,

Up above the river Ping,

Like birds that they envy all the time,

Tonight they know, they’ll get to soar,

They’ll get to fly,

And, they’ll not be needing a pair of wings…

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Exploited, peeved most of the time,

Unable to voice out against those stagnant stars,

Their insufficient light,

Against their monopoly in the sky,

They’re often, left in the dark,

Forgotten, forced  to hide behind clouds,

To ventilate their loneliness,

To digest this strange boycott and exist,

They’re often forced to cry,

They’ve gotten used to concealing their sorrows like this,

Accepted this, their fate post-life,

I guess, the reason,

They wait all year for this night,

For their only chance to dive,

Into nostalgia of their past, their human lives,

Those fun-filled moments on their feet,

Earthly celebrations,

Shiny smiles amidst shinier beams,

Busy days and flowery nights spent on their land,

Awaiting their blessings, now lit up bright…

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Debaroon’2013

(Based on the “Floating Lantern Festival, Yi Peng, celebrated in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For more on the same, visit :

http://www.thaifestivalblogs.com/thai-festival-blogs/yee-peng-festival-in-chiang-mai.html

http://goasia.about.com/od/Events-and-Holidays/a/Loi-Krathong-Thailand.htm

)

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Welcome to Israel’s only Festival of Lights…

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Not a fly hovering over my kebabs today,

For my food stall on the cobbled pathways of the Muslim quarter,

Stands illuminated, celebrated,

As if stationed to serve out exotic flavors of the Middle East,

Exclusively to nurture lacs of appetites,

To showcase our hospitality to all visitors,

Flocking to Jerusalem’s Old City,

Only to forget the sorrows of Israel,

Only to brighten up their souls at the Festival of Lights…

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This isn’t an ordinary night,

For artists from all across the globe,

Wait for this opportunity,

To adorn King David’s city with lights,

Those stony walls that smell of ancient rulers, King Solomon, Nehemiah, and Agrippa,

4.5 kilometers of fortified walls,

Five to fifteen feet high,

Forms their canvas,

Jotted with lacs of tourists in its epicenter,

As if rolling, bouncing from one wall to the other…

 

My religiously dissected Old City in East Jerusalem,

Seems to have forgotten the boundaries within,

The Muslim quarter, the Christian quarter, the Jewish Quarter, and the Armenian quarter,

All seem alike in this unusual night,

Gleaming with sophisticated, artistic lights,

Directions made clear with light trails in orange, blue, red and green,

Each quarter showcasing lit up art works, beams colorful and serene,

There were the Dormition Lanterns, the Field, Tree and Rainbow of Light,

As if lightening up Old City’s history, geography and valor,

As if marking the air of romance that sprinkles on my fortified city,

The very moment, dusk sweeps down from the Judian Mountains

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Apart from everything else,

Jews, Arabs, Christians, Jordanians, and the Foreigners,

Are already busy savoring kebabs at my stall at the Muslim quarter,

Forgotten are those baseless lines of religion,

Absent are vibes of hatred,

Far from the Kalashnikovs,

Far from bloodshed,

My sacred land looks beautiful this night,

I only wish it was always like this,

I only wish, one day, before it’s too late,

The world will realize,

Not only Jerusalem’s Old City,

But the whole of Israel,

Was a paradise that instead of being spent in abhorrence, painted claret red,

Could have been drowned in peace,

In such aesthetic celebrations of this land’s divine archeology,

In such innumerable Festivals of Light…

 

Debaroon’2012