Sunday, September 25, 2016

यादों की गुल्लक

शाम की बारिश से ये रात अभी भी गीली है
कुछ गुफ्तगू तो हुई, पर बात अभी अधूरी है

अरसों से अरसे हुए तेरे चेहरे से रूबरू हुए हैं
आँखों को धोते मय को चखने की आरज़ू हुई है

आओ बैठें हम तुम फोड़ें यादों की गुल्लक को
जो भी इकट्ठा हुआ है हिस्सा बाँट कर लें उसको

तुम्हें याद है क्या पिछली सरदी की शाम वो?
कुल्ल्हड़ से चखी थी अदरक की चाय जो

वही कुल्ल्हड़ है अब मेरे हिस्से में
सन गया है जो वक़्त की धूल में

याद है क्या तुम्हें ये चैन वाली घड़ी
तोहफ़े के लिए मेरे पसंद आई थी बड़ी

ये घड़ी है अब तुम्हारे हिस्से की
मर्रम्मत करनी होगी इसके वक़्त की

ये दुपट्टा, ये कंगन, ये सूखा हुआ नसरीन
ये होली वाली हुम्हारी साड़ी, पुती हुई रंगीन

समेंट लो वो सब कुछ जो भी तुम्हारा है
कुछ छूट जाये तो समझ लो वो हमारा है

बस एक नज़्म बाकि रह गया है
पन्नों की लकीरों में दबा है

कहो तो वो भी बाँट लें, आधा तुम आधा मैं
शायद एक गीत बन जाये, जीती तुम हारा मैं

खरोंच लेता हूँ हर एक हर्फ़ नज़्म से
रख लो सरे पन्ने तुम कोरे कोरे से

शाम की बारिश से ये सुबह अभी तक गीली है
कुछ गुफ्तगू तो हुई, पर बात अभी अधूरी है


Friday, September 09, 2016

यादों की दस्तक

ज़रा अपनी यादों से कहो
हौले से दिल पे दस्तक दिया करें.

बीमार है ये दिल अभी
इलाज का खर्च भी बहुत है
पलकों की नींद गिरवी रखी है, बस
तेरे ख्वाबों की दवा से उम्मीद है
जो प्यास लगी इस दिल को
पलकों को निचोड़ आंसू निकला
जब जब इसे भूख लगी
खतों पे तेरा नाम खरोंचा
हर पन्ना जस्बातों का फटा
फिर भी दिल भूखा ही सोया.

ज़रा अपनी यादों से कहो
हौले से दिल पे दस्तक दिया करें.

रात काफ़ी अंधेरी है
सन्नाटा भी ख़ामोशी से सोया है
कभी कभी बरसात की बूंदों का
कानों पे फुसफुसाहट का हमला है
सो रहा है दिल अभी
ज़ाहिर है सपने तेरे ही होंगे
सज़ा तो वैसे इंतज़ार की दी तूने
क्या पता सपनों में साथ ही बैठा हो मेरे
चौंक ने जाये तेरी यादों की दस्तक से
अभी अभी तो सोया है दिल.

ज़रा अपनी यादों से कहो
हौले से दिल पे दस्तक दिया करें.
[image source - Google]

Tuesday, August 02, 2016


She got up in the middle of a night, the clock in her phone displayed 2.45 am. “He must be reaching”, she murmured and smiled. She neatly arranged the bed and collected her long hair into a tight pony. Her silky nylon black nightgown smoothly paralleled her statuesque body, as she walked towards the kitchen. She prepared a cup of coffee and proceeded towards the balcony of her room at the 26th floor of the building. The vehicles continued to enliven the road with the blaze of headlight and zoom of the wheels.

She turned around and leaned on the wooden balcony railing, from where she can now see her bedroom. The wall opposite her view was decorated with phenomenal success in the form of numerous merit certificates she had been awarded with. A bunch of medals – gold, silver and bronze, hung from a nail on the same wall. The study table arranged along the same wall was over-burdened with her research papers and spiral-bound notebooks. She smiled and sigh a pride of excellence that had trailed in every work she ever took up. She smiled and sigh the sarcasm of vengeance for all those who underestimated her. She smiled and sighs on the permanent loss of people who were once indispensable from her life. She smiled and sighs on each dreadful day that broke every thread of imperturbability within her. And then her smile adapted a loud snort.

She realized that the coffee in the cup was over. She went into her room and sat on the small bar table to the left of the study table. The small bar that consisted of a wooden bar table along with two chairs placed at both the sides, had the finest wine and rum collection, that perfectly suited the taste of her filthy rich husband. She poured some wine in a beautiful goblet. While elegantly gripped the goblet base and noticed the clock on the wall ticked 3.30 as she took the first sip. “He is late”, she perceived. She brushed her husband’s navy moleskin blazer, lying over one of the chair seat. Before she could pick the blazer up, the door bell rang. She smiled and sighs at the beauty of moments counted while waiting for her husband each night. She revered her life.
<Image source - Google>

Monday, June 20, 2016

Imperfection is Beautiful

Right below the flyover, from where our office cab takes a U-turn every morning to accomplish a journey to office through hard-core Bangalore traffic, a negligibly beautiful faluda stall greets me with an amusing smile. No matter how slumberous I am in the cab, the name ‘SPESAL FALUDA’ on the width of the stall roof grabs all my attention and blows liveliness in me. This little thing manifests the ever known quote ‘Imperfection is beautiful’.

Now that I witness this imperfection each day, should I approach the stall owner tomorrow and put him wise about this typo error on his stall and prove my superiority of a better command over English language? Or should I clear off this disgust of reading a wrong word by striking off the SPESAL and correcting it to SPECIAL, or may be black paint the word and thus sort it out forever? Or should I just settle down with a fine fact that the length of the words SPESAL and FALUDA perfectly fit to the width of the stall roof and fulfill the basic purpose of advertising the food item?  

Life becomes easier when we accept few imperfections.

An unwanted red stroke on one of the petals of yellow tulip never reduces its charm; nor does an ugly birth mark on the face of a girl hamper her grace. A clear sunshine every morning is good, but a cloudy weather sometimes, is still appreciable. Fame, wealth, luxury etc are undeniably the priority of this latter day competitive era. But if we take a moment to forcefully freeze our analytic brain and use our mind with a spiritual maturity, we start accepting certain imperfections in our daily life without complain. A simple understanding of such an assent plays an important role in our relationships and helps in diluting biggest possible rhubarbs.  
Smile at the imperfection that need not requires a change. Nurture it with the warmth of compassion and make this lifetime even more beautiful. 

Clay Toys

“I want that car”. Alex could not stop his excitement while standing in front of a beautiful toy shop.

He cried, “I want it dad, please.”

Mr Ryan replied coldly, “That car is not for you Alex……very costly.”

The twelve years old Alex was disheartened. “What is there for me then? Each time I had asked you to buy something, you had always refused. All my friends have a toy car, much better than this, why cannot you buy me a small car. ”

Mr Ryan remained silent as both walked down the lane that leads to the train, which connects the cheapest market and their small house.

“I will make you a clay car.”

Alex was not satisfied with this idea. He continued, “Everyday you go to office and get money. What do you do with it if you can’t buy me a small toy?” Alex was angry and irritated.

Mr Ryan looked out of the train window and maintained the silence. He knew that since Alex was born, he never bought him anything.

The poverty of their family swallowed all the money. Mr Alex’s job as a waiter in a far away restaurant could collect a very small amount. The reason to choose this far away restaurant was to stay away from the sight of Alex. Father was embarrassed to show up to his child as a waiter, when he knew his friends were from good families. Alex’s mother also contributed to the family by gathering some money from her bartender job. However, the poverty never obstructed Alex’s education.

Thirty years later, Alex, his wife and his son were shopping at the grand Christmas store, enjoying the winter holidays.

“Did you like it Peter?” asked Alex as his ten years old son touched an expensive toy car in the shop.

Peter replied in a cold voice, “No, it is not that great.”

Alex was surprised. He said, “But this is the costliest toy here my son. Ordinary people could hardly dream to even touch it. I will buy it for you.”

Peter smiled, “I know it is the costliest, all my friends have it. It seems an ordinary toy to me.”

A gust of memory shook Alex. He could clearly see himself and his dad, arguing over the toy car. That time, Alex lost due to poverty. This time he lost due to extreme richness.

With a heavy heart, he said “Tell me my son, what you want as a Christmas gift? I will buy anything on earth.”

“I want the clay car; just the same one that grandpa used to make for you”, giggled Peter as he jumped over Alex’s feet.

Alex felt dump, “But I do not know how to make it!”

“Grandpa had taught you. I have seen so many car toys at the attic of our old house. All seemed new, as if you have taken a lot care of your toys. They were beautiful. None of my friends have them. Please make one for me as my Christmas gift.”

Alex was speechless. He remained silent while the family traveled back to the home.

A cloud of guilt occupied Alex’s mind. He took out a very old wooden box from a cabinet in the store room of their home. The box contained unimportant items from the old house that were to be thrown away after shifting to the new house. A crumbled envelop popped up as soon as the over-filled box opened. Envelop contained the last letter from Mr Ryan when Alex was pursuing graduation, staying in a far accommodation. While writing this letter, Mr Ryan was in his death bed after a heart surgery at the cheapest hospital, accompanied by no one from his family. The letter read-

Dear Son,

I wonder if you would ever read this letter, but if you are reading it now, then imagine me holding you in my arms, making you sit on my lap and teaching you how to make a clay toy.

To make a clay toy, you need some good clay and sufficient water. The clay is your mind and the water is your morality. A perfect ratio of the two is important to mould the clay into proper shape. The intrinsic designs over the toy are merely the materialistic things of life. The spiritual aspect lies within the clay –water mixture. Once the toy acquires the required shape, it must be heated over the fire of extreme hardships to make the toy stronger. However, the intrinsic designs are made first, so that its beauty clearly comes out. Your hands will get dirty while making the toy. Do not clean it with the notes of riches. Rather, wash it in the water of patience. Remember, money can buy everything, but not the clay toys of life.

Lot of love,

Your Dead Father

……. and there stood a father, leaking acidic tears of truth, being killed by each breath thereafter.

Veiled Facts

The life of a retired middle class government employee is as boring as counting stars at night. My job life had been so hectic that my love for music faded. However, after retirement, I clinched to open a music class that would help me to kill some time while being engaged in my hobby and also earn a small amount to help with my daily expenses. Within a month, my music class attracted 18 students of various age groups. One of my students, who were learning to play guitar, has always shown uttermost gratitude to me. I too was grateful by his sincerity towards music. He was highly educated and rich enough to spend his time and money at some luxurious resort. But he chose to learn music, I being the teacher!

Yesterday, after the class in the morning, he requested me to visit his home and meet his parents. The family has developed a soft corner for me. I was uncertain about the reason behind it. I always appreciated the divine words that my student shared, sometimes, in between the music class. As our tradition speaks – “Our ethics are the shadow of our parents”; from the compassionate behavior of my student; I have assumed his parents to possess the same temperament, which turned out to be true that afternoon when I visited their home. The house was magnificent. It was decorated with highly expensive items one could ever imagine. Extra- comfortable furniture relaxed my body. The AC in the room made me forget the killing temperature of 45 degrees outside. They served me dry fruits and some delicious snacks. After a formal conversation with my student and his parents, they showed me their house and the portions that were being renovated. Everything was classy.

At the backyard, I spotted a small room. The paint on the wall of the room was scrubbed off. The plaster was scraped away and bricks were visible at some portions. The broken aluminum sheeted roof abundantly allowed the seasonal sun, rain and cold inside. I assumed there were a fan inside and hopefully a light source. The door of the room opened to the other corner of the backyard that faced the last boundary wall of the lawn circumference.

I inquired, “What is that room for?”

My student replied flatly, “That is my grandmother’s room. She stays there.”

I could not believe my ears.

I cried, “What? Why?”

“She is a polio patient. She throws up on bed and the shitty smell is unbearable. Hence, we decided to keep her there.”

My heart and mind was frozen. All I could imagine was an approximately 75 year old lady, suffering from polio, lying in a dump yard under the scotching sun and 45 degree temperature, not sure since how long sleeping over her own shit on the bed! 

“Who takes care of her?,” my restless mind threw the question.

“Well, we have hired a servant. She comes once in a while and cleans up everything.”

“Once in a while!” I was not sure whom to blame.

On the way back to my home, all I imagined was that old lady. Never seen her face, but I entered her mind. She was breathing, though lying like a corpse. Her lips were stretched to the left. Her body was left with bones, wrapped under a thin layer of wrinkled skin. If you observe closely, you may see the nerves but hardly any muscles. Her left hand and leg were bent at the joints. She was unevenly draped in a torn cotton sari. The part of the bed, where rested her lower body, was spotted and stained with feces. The room stink horrible. Despite the condition, her mind always wandered in her young days. She was born in an extremely rich family and married to a person of same stature. Her husband owned large portion of land and their life was extremely luxurious. Right after her grandson’s marriage, their family suffered from financial crises. Her husband passed away. Gradually the home turned into hell. Grandson got divorced and an aura of negativity filled in densely. The old lady suffered from continuous health issues and ended up in a struggle with polio. When the money was not sufficient to provide her treatment, she was thrown away in a room. Time passed by. Soon with the grandson’s job, family strengthened the financial position. A grand home was build behind the old lady’s room. Everything improved except her condition. She considered it her destiny and accepted everything. Since then, the only language she spoke was silence. There was no pain; but silence……