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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

मेरी माँ ..

मैंने  कभी  शायद तुम्हे ऐसे  समझा नहीं
बस देखा और देख कर  सीख लिया
पर अब शायद कुछ कुछ समझती हूँ
जब कभी खुद को आईने में देखती हूँ ।

तुम  मेरे तरल आंसुओं की गहराई में हो
तुम मेरे मन की हर प्रार्थना की सच्चाई में हो ।
तुम मेरे गलत और सही की परिभाषा हो
तुम मेरी हर उड़ान को बल देने वाली आशा हो ।
तुम मेरे हर जीवन संघर्ष का सामर्थ्य हो
तुम मेरे हर छोटे बड़े सवाल के अर्थ में हो ।
तुम जैसा ही तो हंसती हूँ
और शायद तुम्हारे ही बहुत से विचारों को लिखती हूँ ।

तुमसे स्वाभिमान और  संघर्ष को जानना सीखा
हमेशा सच के साथ चलना और अपनी गलतियों को मानना सीखा ।

छोटी छोटी और बड़ी
हर बात में
तुम्हारी परछाई हूँ मैं ।
जिस आदर्श दुनिया की  कल्पना
तुमसे कई बार सुनी है मैंने
तुम्हारी ही तरह उसी को ढूंढने आई हूँ मैं ।

 मेरे सबसे निश्छल सुन्दर सपनों को
 तुम्हारे साथ बुना है मैंने ।
तुम्हारे साथ  बैठकर ही तो
सप्तऋषि के तारों को गिना है मैंने ।

तुमसे  शायद मैं कह नहीं पाती
या हर रोज़ की बातों में नहीं जताती ।
पर जीवन नहीं तुमने मुझे जीवन अर्थ दिया
तुम माँ हो केवल इसलिए नहीं, तुमने मुझे ज्ञान से कृतार्थ किया ।

मैं  शायद कभी तुम्हे समझा नहीं पाऊँ
और बचपन की तरह बस अपनी ही बातें तुम्हे बताऊँ ।
पर अनायास ही कभी जब खुद को समझने जाती हूँ
तो अपने मन और विचारों में तुम्हारी ही तो छाप पाती हूँ ।

बहुत शब्द हो गए शायद,
शायद मैं सुन्दर शब्द नहीं लायी ।
माँ, तुम मेरे अस्तित्व में हो
बहुत मान होगा खुद पर,
अगर मैं तुम जैसी माँ बन पायी ।

ठहर के ..

कभी  बस  कुछ  बातों  से
कितनी गहराई नप जाती है
कैसे रात के कोहरे की चादर से निकलके
सर्दी की धूप खिल के आती है ।

गर्म  चाय का धुआं
कितनी गर्माइश  देता है
माँ  के हाथ के खाने का  स्वाद
कितनी यादें सेता है ।

कैसे रात के सन्नाटे में
कितना शोर है सपनों का
घर से फ़ोन के मैसेज की आहट  में
कितना एहसास है अपनों का |

कब दिन  आता है
कब ढल जाता है
इस आस पास की हलचल में
समय यूं निकल जाता है ।

हमेशा चक्रव्यूह से चलने वाले इस रूटीन में,
इसका हलके हलके गुज़रना महसूस करना
शाम की ढलती धूप  के साथ
दूर से जाती ट्रैन की सीटी को सुनना ।

कभी गिनें हैं सारे लम्हे इस पहर के
कभी देखा है रुक के , ठहर के.....

ठहर के  :) 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Some old pictures of mine..


...that were sleeping somewhere
under the mattress, hidden
in a home I built from scratch(not really)
forgetting about things I owned in a previous life
with a zest
the mere mention of which
is a tiring thought now
(Young and foolish people have a lot of energy, it seems)

Suddenly I began to miss them
while sitting on a new mattress
the one I own and helped carry
into this new place where I now stay

Why didn't I remember to look for them
as I toured the bedroom one last time
with a relief mixed with pain and joy
satisfied that every trace of me
had been removed from there

I did not know that those pictures lay there
silently whispering about how I never look for them anymore
and did not even care to say goodbye
before I left them forever under the blue mattress
my property secretly held by that (mattress) which was not my property
and hence had to be left behind

Maybe they waited through the night
for me to come back for them
or maybe they just understood
and could read the silence and emptiness of the place

It pains me to think I pained them
with a long negligence
which, I so vehemently believe
is the worst way you can treat someone (who cares) 

I don't know if someone found them
without trying to find them
maybe they were looking under the mattress
finding a good resting place for their memories too

what would they make of them ?
these pictures stuck on a big blue sheet of paper
and of all the people in them
that I wanted to keep in my heart
while I was away from them.

So many rainy winter evenings
I had looked at them longingly
in my moments of quiet loneliness
smiling with confused tears in my eyes

before I moved to the blue mattress room
and had no space to spare for them on the wall
for I thought there would be too much of me 
on display then...

No one likes to lose
things, for that matter
but I am a step ahead
I am the clingy kind
with a tight fist, like a baby's

I think twice even
before I discard a used paper cup
so this is a huge oversight 
something I will remember

I suddenly miss them terribly
and I want to say I am sorry
for having been so busy erasing the folds in the present
creating creases of indifference in them

I secretly wish that they are still there
under the mattress
hoping that I will come for them
to take them tomorrow

I know tonight
I will dream
of that empty house and 
the blue mattress
that holds impressions of the younger sillier me
the one frozen in time, that I lost
taped over a sheet, shabbily
posing for pictures , that I have lost ..

Those old pictures of mine..

Monday, April 01, 2013

all that I think..


I sometimes wonder
If reality is a role play
In a world of rules
Where sanity and convention are over rated
And every action desperately hovers around the should
And there is an eternal bias against the could 
The one without justification motivation
That likes to roam aimlessly rejoicing in thoughts of its own 

What sustains this drama
Is it our fear of the free
Or that sense of blind control
That could never mother happiness
or even invite it for a short sojourn

Somehow there is something
That knows
That inspires
That fights against complacence
Derived from this superficial stability
That is best friends with the fickleness of the mind

What is the edifice, the basis, the root equation
That justifies this conundrum around
Over what I could have found
Had my slate been clean

Some questions are like
Restless resonances or echoes
That are eternal, they never die
Just change forms and their perspective from the precipice
Like clouds

Why don't these clouds
Pour heavily today
Wipe my slate clean
Of the indelible impressions
Of the shoulds ifs buts and because that I could never own
And used only to fool myself and others

I am then hoping for some chalk
That can flow like ink
Add the color of a deep peace and joy
And warmly, clumsily embrace all that I think  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The onion-peeler


There are so many delicate layers
buried deep
joys and dreams carefully nestled
disappointments and lessons I am forced to keep
Such worlds within worlds
each its own kind of semi-conclusion
to a certain strong thought or emotion
its own seat in this congregation of feelings
each sometimes,masquerading as the whole of me
all huddling close for comfort
to escape the vulnerability of the outside
Who knows what they will find out ?
How will they perceive what they find?
So much to avoid being peeled, exposed

And then there is the outer visage
The introduction ; the opening page
That shields so well what lies underneath
In a whirlpool of conflicting emotions
a layered identity struggling to breathe

Why is this tendency to grow in layers
so carefully wrapped and bound
Holding on tightly to those guarded experiences
muted, silent in the everyday sound
A secrecy that refuses to dare
the hows and whys (of me) it will never share

It is something/someone in the making
like an unfinished sculpture or a painting
there are more layers and contours surfacing
continuously everyday
and the history of that making
is often hidden, unread

That which is unsaid in all that was said
that which lurks like an accompanying introvert friend
not saying anything but taking those hidden mental notes
That which we somehow learn to protect fiercely
from judgements or mere perception, we hide it slyly 

sometimes it is because no one cares
and then we get so used to this layering
at other times we are so unsure of acceptance
we work on our presentation skills and stifle that voice that pleads for sharing

but secretly we are all wishing for a peeler
that could ever so gently unveil
and some parts of ourselves from ourselves steal 
and then simplify contemplate and explain
the reason for that innate passion or that confusing season of pain
we hide behind these layers
seeking perfection in this bottled up mode
We care more for that outer papery wrapper
while shutting down the inner abode 
We need one to validate, to understand
to unearth why we are, the way we are
to smile at a guilty pleasure and wince in pain over that old scar

These trifle things,
these experiences that I accumulated
somewhere through a metamorphosis,
into an inseparable part of me, they assimilated

To read me, to really know me, to judge me even a bit
you will need to see the non-conforming, the non-average parts that do not fit
a little layer by layer
with an infinite understanding and all the care
that is how you deal with an onion
when you really cry its tears
carefully reading the memories each layer bears
sharing impressions, being careful not to hurt
Delicately releasing flavor buried deep in the dirt

It is not a mere task or a chore
It is a discovery, like reading a book that hasn't been read before
We all have zoomed out versions that do not reveal
And here you need to deal with lots of onion peel 
There is something sacred about valuing another soul,
Just simple recognition for every little bit and a sincere desire to understand the whole
It is not easy but try to be a healer
Offer the opportunity for a catharsis,
When you find you are an onion-peeler ....

The onion-peeler

Friday, December 28, 2012

Worthless tears

Like restless clouds
impatient to pour
or unruly streams that flow down
wayward slopes
unhindered
like young children
or angry teenagers
that sometimes do not know
when where and why
they are going
just surging mindlessly
they run so fast
tiring themselves
in this aimless exertion

my tears are such
untamed inundated
in their complaining
they do not listen to me
and have a mind of their own
Maybe my eyes laugh at them
behind their back
like wise old men
scoffing at the worthless attempts
of the young blood 
acting on impulse and flowing in the moment
or the skies that mock
the rains that wet a barren dead earth
that will never bear the fruit of this labor

but if everything in this world
went to the deserving
many of us would be so poor
I am grateful sometimes
for these expressions of pain
that make me vulnerable
clouding my vision
to shield the summer sun 
enriching me with a passionate pain
all this time wasting themselves....

These worthless tears...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The little things..

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.  ~George F. Will, The Leveling Wind




This is about a blue(jay) birdie who comes every day
to get a bite to eat
and how she hops, in discrete, digital kind of jumps,
her head moving from side to side
almost suddenly
her fear of anything
matches so well with my fear of everything
my heart melts to see her so cautious
not enjoying the food but rather snatching it away
from no one but a hurried moment of fear
she has herself woven
occasionally she will look up at me
with two swift movements of her head
I don't know if she understands what I am trying to tell her
She is like this image of mine
And I keep on telling  her , "its all fine"
but we are so comfortable, so conditioned in our spheres of fear
and its so hard to ask her to look beyond and not hold the railing so tight
that her fingers hurt
I want to tell her that she will not fall from the swing in the park
with the rusty chains I can still smell
May be she worries about the little ones
waiting for her to come back
and she carries away little bits of food for them
in her hurry also inventing new fears for their safety
She comes down and hops back
then comes back again
she knows this is not her territory
I just hope she can claim ownership somewhere
That she isn't stuck with this fear all the time everywhere
I know she does not like cranberries as she always leaves them
maybe for the little brown birds that also hop in sometimes
though I don't know them well,
but the blue birdie is my friend
i know this because she trusts me
she, the one who amplifies fear (just like I do)
so it means a lot , this gesture of hers
she will perch on the railing and chirp
call out to me 
sometimes its early in the morning
and when I go out she will just hop a right angle
and two steps and tilt her head in deep observation
I will try not to make her self-conscious
because I know she is (just like I am)
so I pretend not to look
then I go back and close the screen
and she is not as afraid as I would think she will be
she has already hopped down
and is busy looking around for
any danger any moment
I sometimes think what she thinks of me
if we were friends, how reinforcing our actions would be
she gives me a bird's eye view of myself through her
all my scurried movements in fear
only our centers are different
we both sometimes fail to value what we have
right in front
I sometimes think what if we could play a little game
of being right here , in the precise equality of the present
not a plus or a minus
and focus on it with a magnifying glass
so that the nifs(negative if's) appear blurred and far away 
for once...why don't we trick our fears to fly into the sun with wax wings
let them worry all they want, and we enjoy the little things :-)

The little things...



Sunday, May 20, 2012

For the love of gray..

Black and White are short-lived
like short dashes in the sketch
but the subtle gray has a strange way
of being my companion along the whole stretch


It manages the extremes
and eases the burden of definition
of the absolute (right or wrong)
in a world that specializes in the art of  division

I like it for its tolerance
for the middle path it takes
I like it for the gentle shades
how in anger no judgements it makes

Why are we so busy
classifying everyone into bins
Why is there so much shame
for the one who never wins

Maybe if we could live and let live
and judge a little less
mix all the bright colors
and learn to love and caress

Gray has empathy and grace
but it does not preach, it will always embrace
both black and white
both night and light , with the same naive face

It does not make a bold statement
it may not be noticed in a room
but it will let other colors speak
make even the pink in the foreground bloom

I not only love grey for its integrity
for its shyness and depth
but for its quiet support to the conflicting
its equanimity, its readiness to accept

I am thankful for all the gray in the world
clouds, carpets and crowds that do not judge
I know there is some grey in all of us(not only in our hair :)),
that gives the "red love" in us the accepting nudge

I always strive to be like gray
grounded and not eager to sway
Whenever the black and whites trouble me,
I pray for it to be a cloudy, thoughtful day..
for the love of gray ..