Sunday, January 15, 2017

Time Flies

You wonder where time flies and fall back upon memories to take you back in time.

How different were you, when you first started school or when you first rode your bi-cycle? Your friends from school, some of who are still standing by your side. Your friends from college who are proud of you today. The day you got married, holding hand of someone who promised to be your friend for life, you took a leap of faith and promised him the same. Your kids, first time when your heard them cry. Their first step holding your hands and when the first time you dropped them to school, leaving a part of yourself at the school gate wondering if your little one is doing alright.

Life goes on . . .  and some of these memories become a part of your soul.
And a few others that you live carelessly.

Like, smelling a red rose.

Like, reading your favourite author while sipping a cup of tea. Planting a seed and watch it grow flowers in time. A dog bathing and yawning in the sun after a cold night. A lonely walk in the garden. Meditating and realizing your uniqueness. Sound of your children playing in the veranda. Gently holding hands of your partner with a feeling that everything will fall in place if you have him by your side and to have company of your parents when your world is falling apart.


Sometimes, it’s not about how old or how long have your lived. Sometimes, it’s just about small moments worth your lifetime.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Watchman

I don’t know his name yet, but I want to tell you about him as I see his face everyday. When I go to work, when I come back home in the evening or, afternoons during the weekends when I go to the market. His face is not attractive, its not unpleasant either, but his uniform surely does not compliment his age. He must be younger or of the same age as mine.

He works 12 hours a day siting on a plastic chair and old rusty desk provided by the so called housing society. But I am pleased to see the he has a desk to himself on which he maintains a register and the drawer to lock his personal belongings. Recently, CCTVs were installed and he was the most excited person in the entire building as this allowed him to get away from his desk for a little longer if he desired.

He is fond of cricket and is always ready to strike upon a conversation with the inmates having good knowledge on the sport. He is a patriot in a true sense: one can seen him jump with excitement or heated with anger post match results. Usually his large screen phone keeps him company. He likes to indulge with his small circle of friends on Facebook, many of them he has never met or known in real life. He claims to have followers on Twitter too. And not to forget, he survives on youtube and such channels to enjoy streaming of good old melodies and live streaming of his favorite sport. From my recent interactions with him, which are very rare, I remember him enquire about a spare guitar after he heard me play near the window. To engage him, I offered to arrange a guitar for him, of which I am reminded now and then.

He sleeps in one of the servant quarters at the terrace of our building and given he has no privilege of holidays, it would not be wrong to assume that he is bored and looking for company. But I cannot be his friend. No one in the building can. He is never invited to our house and neither is he a part of our festivals, no matter how much his contributions to bring our celebrations to life. For us, he is a distant stranger and yet the one we see everyday bounded by his duty to guard us and the so called society. Occasionally, we offer him money during festivals or New year eve as a form of goodwill and gesture, assuming money is something he is deprived of the most. He smiles back at us with a thank you and we know our job is done. He deserves more than just our money. He deserves companionship.


And may he find the little joys of comfort in your passing by hello's. Companionship is priceless!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Learning to ride


Gopal’s memory of leaning to ride a bicycle was when he rode it for the second time. The very first time, a friend ran along holding the bike, in case he fell. But riding a bike came quite natural to him and he did just fine. 

So the second time, when Gopal had enough courage to ride the bike by himself, he took the liberty to borrow a large framed rusty bicycle from Kaka whilst Kaka was enjoying his afternoon siesta. 

Gopal paddled through the crowded bazaar keeping his eyes attentively on the road. After a few rounds he was little more brave and decided to head towards the train station which acted as a landmark where their small town ended. 

Putting pressure on the peddles, he gained momentum and felt the adrenal rush for the first time. 

Tring! Tring! Make way for the bike! 

There was a blind turn at the end of the road and Gopal knew he should have slowed down but lacked the practice of actually making that decision. The fall was inevitable. Panicked and with little experience of this situation, he simply decided to jump off the running bike, which maintained its balance for a distance and went straight into the gutter. 

The crowd amused at the scene had a good laugh but offered to help him recover the bicycle.  With heavy heart he walked back and from a distance could see Kaka furiously looking for his bicycle. Kaka was not happy knowing that his cycle fell into a sewer and it implied that Gopal could never borrow his cycle again. 
After this incident, Gopal gave up his desire, except when he saw boys riding their own bikes in school. 

One fine day when he returned home after school he saw a shiny piece of blue metallic machine standing tall on its wheels at his door step. Awestruck, Gopal looked around to locate the owner. 

Kaka approached him and handed him a key chain made with the same blue metallic finish. Written on it was his name. 

Gopal felt the adrenal rush once again. Putting pressure on the peddles, off he went. 

Tring! Tring! Make way for the bike! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Silence

My silence, Her anger
Her silence, My agony

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Barber's advice

A small kid awaiting his turn at the barber shop, started laughing when I enquired for directions to the loo. The usual hairdresser is a boy in his twenties who is fond of experimenting his skills on my diminishing hairline. He warns me to hold my pressure valves, doubting the tolerance of other customers. The queue was long and I had already waited for my turn.
         But its hard to control when you have had three glasses of water in a tiny room equipped with a powerful air conditioner. Taking a deep breathe, I enthusiastically picked up a beauty magazine, flipping over the pages here and there, only to look at models with slim figures, while ensuring that my little endeavour went unnoticed by a bald man sitting beside me. And perhaps, the joy of reading beauty magazines indeed lies not in the text but quality pictures, just as the bald man portrayed. He seemed ecstatic to find an almost nude picture of a supermodel advertising for a luxury bath decor.
I did not hesitate to steal a peek, however, little signals from my brain taking a hint from the bath décor re-enforced me to relieve my body from the heaviness.
         My hairdresser friend advised me to visit the open field near the Patel building.
‘Sir. Very near Sir. Just opposite,’ he explained in an algorithmic seven steps procedure, pointing me towards the only place in the vicinity.

‘You walk down.’
‘You see the truck there.’
‘You go behind.’
‘You locate the patel building.’
‘You see the open area beside it.’
‘You stand.’
‘You pee.’
‘You come back.’
(I never imagined it to be a such 7 stop long process.)
“I will save your seat right here.” He ensured satisfactorily. 
I did not mind using the open field, so, following the step-by-step guidelines of my stylist, I reached the landmark (patel building) and saw a pile of dump placed in the corner. It took me no to time to recognize the site and there I was doing my thing.
But just after a quick moment of pleasure.
I heard a roaring sound in a crowning pitch from somewhere behind.
"Oyyyyy, ki karto" (please pardon my marathi)
I instantaneously realized my mistake. It was the dutiful watchman of the patel building.
“Sorry Watchmen Sahib! Sorry! Sorry!” I exclaimed hurryingly in my most embarrassing tone, and, soon before the tired bones of the watchman could hang me by my collar, I finished my business and ran towards the barber shop.
The stylist awaiting my turn was happy to see me back. The kid was about to leave (looking even younger after the haircut) with his uncle (apparently - the bald man), who seemed quite disappointed to leave the magazine behind.
In between our casual conversation, the barber regretfully pointed how sanitation was a big problem in the area.
“We have no option but to use the open field,” he added. “People here needs to pee, don’t they?”
“The government should address this issue urgently.”
I nodded in agreement.
“But Sir, beware of the street dogs when you use the open field.” he finished.
I took a long pause and replied in an upset voice, “Well, the dogs are okay, but beware of that cruel watchman of the patel building.” 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The man on the footpath

A man on the footpath re-arranges his merchandise kept on the floor, while SK and I walk down the road. I have enjoyed these thought provoking discussions (in my mind), rather small chats (in reality) with SK who in-spite of complaining about not having an ideal career growth is always optimistic about the future. His eagerness and desire to do something worthy in life has always motivated me, and so, my thoughts handed me over the key to a small but bizarre fantasy drawer in my mind-space. I think about that something worthy for me. I know being a published writer someday is one of them.

The man on the footpath now looks at me with sheer desperateness and his eyes tell me that business has not been good for him. His torn clothes re-affirms the fact. But I pay no attention to his sorrow, as I am in no urgent need of a notebook or a calendar.

Having reached home we both get back to our lives; SK indulges himself with his favorite soap, where as, I turn back to the leftover page of the book which is kept upside down on the study.

‘I need to write more frequently’, I tell myself with the same desperateness as the man.

I indeed need his notebook and calendar as much as he wanted me to have them.  The universe has its way of silently warning you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Papa


कुछ पंख मुरझा जाते हैं

कुछ नाज़ुक हो जाते हैं

वक़्त का सितम

इतना आसान नहीं होता

धन की बुनियाद पर बनते हैं रिश्ते

पर साथ देता हैं मेरा

आज भी वो दोस्त

जैसे पुराना कोई क़र्ज़ चुका रहा हो

जो बिना अपनी जेब टटोले

सीना थामे

उड़ने देता हैं

आशा की एक किरण

और मेरे कई हज़ार सपने

और छू लेता हैं

दिल का हर एक हिस्सा

जो खिलखिला उठता हूँ

में ये सोच कर

की फ़िक्र न कर

एक फरिश्ता है तेरा हाँथ थामे

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lafz

कुछ कहना ही है मेरे यार

तो बोल वो लफ्ज़

जो मेरी मांगी हुई दुआ बन जाएँ

चुप रहना ही है मेरे यार

तो ले चल वहां

जहाँ मेरी दुआ कुबूल हो जाये

Monday, August 18, 2014

तू गुज़री है बहुत पास से मेरे
तुझे खोने से जी डरता है

यूँ तो सुनाती है दास्ताँ-ए-ज़िन्दगी तू
तेरी आँखों की ख़ामोशी से जी डरता है

आ गयी इस शाम की सुबह भी चलते चलते
अब तेरे रूबरू न होने से जी डरता है

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Desert Walk



Sometimes
The world dances with you
Praises you
Loves you
But sometimes
You walk all alone
On a dark long path
Full of thornes
No one to hold your hand
And say - it's gonna be alright son
And you question yourself
What wrong have I done?
Your body aches
And there is only fear
No shoulder to cry on
No love, no care
Your sorrows
They multiply
But the road
It doesn't simplify
Should I give up?
And just go home?
I am no hero in my life
I am all alone!
But I can't give up
Not so soon
My dark nights
Sure have a moon
I walk
And I walk
My mind
Ceases to stop
May be my destiny is far
And peace a forgotten affair
But I won't give up
Not unless I am there

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

धड़कने दे मुझे
तेरी आदत से पहले
कहीं होना तेरा
लाज़िम न हो जाये
ऐसे तो नाकारा था ही मैं
तेरे जाने से कहीं
मेरा अक्स भी पराया न हो जाये 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The dark side of the moon

In your silent mystique

And strange mysteries

I saw a fanatic dream

Resembling, a morning beam

Reflections mounting night and day

Like strong breeze by the bay

Pushing you towards the edge by noon

Into the dark side of the moon

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Boy


It was the boy that I first noticed, when I visited K’s house. His apartment located at the White Church Colony, was at arm’s length from the lush green campus of government colony, making it one of the most desirable housing locations in the city.

The boy stood near the stairs, when I first walked in with my suitcase - his presence so minimal that I nearly overlooked him even in the clean white background of the walls. His short hair, innocent face and torn cloths caught my attention only later in the day when I saw him standing in the alley. By his appearance, he must have been about eight years old but I wouldn’t say that he looked as adorable as the kids of his age. He was a thin child with a body structure made only of bones, as if molten liquid skin was poured on a skeleton and dried neatly enough to form a human child. He wore a pale red thread on his right arm (which must have been faded with frequent contact to water), a black circular lace around his neck, a faded t-shirt on his chest and a torn denim on his tiny legs which in itself seemed short for his size.

K and his family, made my stay as comfortable as possible. P (K’s wife), a lovely and polite lady was delightful to talk to and we became friends in no time. She and didi (K’s sister) made sure I was fed well and K with his amazing sense of humor ensured right dosage of laughter at the dining table and thereafter. Uncle (K’s father) did not keep well those days, but the family looked after him with immense care and patience. By the evening, I felt myself at home.

At night, we went out to attend a wedding and I saw the boy again standing quietly in the dark near the parking area. I wondered if K and P noticed him. In that small glance when we passed by, I smiled at him but the boy ignored my gesture. I wanted to talk to him and inquire his whereabouts but we hurried into the car amidst an interesting conversation.

Mornings and evenings went by, and I saw the boy time and again, but he never made a sound and kept himself dissolved in the background. I wondered if people of the building knew he existed, I wondered if K and P knew him.

Before I could make any inquiries, it was time for me to leave the city. I was neither fanatic nor I cared much about the boy, but I knew he was lonely and, loneliness at this young age was not what he deserved. Nevertheless I thought that some attention will bring him no harm.

The boy was absent when I left K’s house, but I felt his presence as I greeted K and P goodbye. I knew he was watching us from somewhere behind the cars.

I reached Mumbai the next morning, life caught its pace and before I could realize I was lost in the obscurities of the Metro again. I could see time pass through me as if I was an invisible object in its course, just like the boy who was invisible to many. Maybe we all share the same loneliness at some level or within our own inner space when our soul aches for the right person.

It was late at night when I received a call from K, after our exquisite chat I could no longer hold myself from asking him about the boy in his building. K was unaware of any such boy. He checked with his wife when I intruded further but even P responded indifferently to my inquire. I was in a state of great dilemma - How can a young boy remain unnoticed by the residents of the building, when an outsider like me remember him so distinctively.

With this puzzle in mind, I went downstairs for usual night walk. The sight of a child standing behind the cars in the parking area at such late hour surprised me. I went closer to have a look. The same boy from K’s building stood in front of me. Smiling and grinning at me with energy! But he made no sound. My heart went thumping by this sight and I ran outside with fear to call the watchman. Hearing my helpless scream, two watchmen came running for help. I took them behind the cars but the boy had disappeared.

Within a minute I rang K, and asked him about the boy again, this time specifically describing his appearance. Hearing the description K answered, “Yes, there was a young eight year old boy in our building who died in a car accident last year. How do you know him?”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cortege on the road

Saw a cortege today while driving to work, a rare sight on the Mumbai Highways.
Couldn't see the face buried in marigold garland but the body rapped with a bright shiny piece of white cloth, stood out, in the rally of people marching together. The son, barefooted, held a small pot of fire in his strong hands took confidant steps.
Traffic in charge made all efforts to make a way but the cars kept moving. Naturally, why give way to a dead man in this busy life, for he has already reached his destination.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Uncertainty

The uncertainty of life knocked my door today. A 30 seconds phone call that a distant relative passed away, and that was it – a medical problem.
How simply and quietly a word 'passed-away' washes away an individual from your life creating a void that can only be filled with gentle blessings of time. The gates of memory open only to flood your imagination with disheartening thoughts. This loss, this tragic loss of life - can it ever be unimpaired?
Noting can fill the hollow that you feel - no sympathies, no words of wisdom, even the best of memories with that individual will turn their back against you and turn into a sad remembering. The mind goes into a limbo touching the deepest part of your brain and flashes you with events from the past.
No matter how miserable you feel, the departed will never come back. You can only addle your mind, but in these times you don’t want to feel better and submerge yourself into a deep void of emptiness.
Someplace, deep inside me, I am conscious of the thought that life is short and precious, and I would like to think that my tiny drop like existence in this ocean is dream life for many - a loving and caring family, good friends, education, enjoyable workplace, good food, hobbies, music, books are some of the things that have space in my life which many in this country starve for.
I am a happy and content man; I realize it now even more. But, I am determined - to be more humble and simple, to take more chances, to travel more, to respect and love, and most of all to be healthy and fit.
RIP! My distant relative.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

D23

उथल पुथल सी हो रही हैं धड़कने
अंगारे उगल रही हैं करवटें
अब तेरी नज़रों की छाव में ही
नींद की वो पलक झपकेगी  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hope

टिक टिक कर 
निगलती जा रही ज़िन्गदी मुझे 
जैसे प्यासी घूंट  
निगलता है मुसाफिर कोई 
इल्तेजा है इतनी 
रात के उन अँधेरे सन्नाटों में 
एक-आधा चाँद मेरा भी झलक जाये 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Phir Ye Sanjh

आज फिर ये साँझ
एक चादर ओढ़ आयी

जिसकी हलकी छाव में
छुप गए हम तुम

आसमा देखो
ललचा रहा जैसे

वक़्त देखो
इतरा रहा जैसे

चुपके से
हो गयी रात

जिसका बहाना लिए
चले गए तुम

और छोड़ गए हमें
तनहा अकेले

उस चाँद की
रौशनी में

जो खुद तुमसे
शीतलता चुराता है

Friday, April 4, 2014

Khamoshi

उनकी ख़ामोशी

एक सैलाब सी

हम जान

मुसाकत कर बैठे

टटोल कर जेब

कुछ पुरानी यादों को

आज़ादी की

रकम बना बैठे