In this body, the lock
In this body, the key
In this body, the one who

Opens the door



I need a little more space in my heart
Could we move things around a little?
The crucial things are the china parts
Where do I keep them, they’re so brittle?

I certainly don’t need more room for desires
They take up too much space already
I need more wood to light other fires
I need a whole forest to keep them steady

I need a little corner for a bird with its beak
Should I move the dressing-table of my wife?
I need a small mountain with a vertiginous peak
Can I shift the basic coordinates of my life?

We do not speak much now
we only make love
words are left far behind and we
are travelling on a road where we have rested
from time to time

Silence is already here, in this night
the chirping of the crickets allows
my hand to touch her cheek and lie
inertly like a shroud

Our wandering’s end is a promised land
there is nothing there
only words have become trees
and the grass
an infinite silence

All day I have kept your memory near at hand
The clear bright vision of a yet untouched land

It shatters at the touch, liquid and shy
Full of fretful caresses the day goes by

I stoop to pluck the roses of my memory of your eyes
(Within hand they lie)

The downpour of your absence waves like a hand
Appearing and disappearing like crabs in the sand


One Palace, a Thousand Doorways
I Saw Myself
A Simple Love Story
2012 Nights


Vipul Rikhi
Vipul Rikhi
Performing online for the SOAS festival of ideas earlier this evening!
Vipul Rikhi
SOAS Festival of Ideas
This multilingual session in two parts brings into focus the value of oral tradition, folk tunes and mystic poetry in the subcontinent contributing to the broad canvas of World music. Sufism originating in Baghdad, Iraq has produced a large body of multilingual poetry in Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi and has been the esoteric philosophical base for engaging with Islam in the world. Integrated with local culture, Sufi poetry has been the source for the genre of Sufi music, lyrics in folk and qawwali as cultural products of the philosophic verses. Vernacular language and anti-communal lineages of folk music showcase a pre-Partition composite music culture, and a post-Partition memory of the homeland. Folk songs of Kabir (circa 1440-1518) and other Bhakti and Sufi poets from India, sharpen the definition of the self through both experience and imagination, teach peace, equality and diversity as opposed to constructed identities based on gender, religion and nation.
Vipul Rikhi
Vipul Rikhi
In Chandigarh, on 23 October.

Tomorrow, online, South Asian Multilingual at SOAS, 5.30 IST.
Register here:
#kabir #southasia #languages #music #soas
vipulrikhi photo