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Favorites again:)

June 18, 2019

How quickly we make a house a home.

It always astounds me even as I live it alongwith so many others.

Us.
Nomads of a certain kind. A certain tribe that plants its roots for however brief a time in places that seem barren.

Places belong to us as much as we belong to them.

It’s a realization the meaning of which has only now struck home.

Having grown up like this, this became a way of life.

It is only now that I realize why my mother always had a smile on her face.Still does:)
A familiar fragrance. A vignette. A certain word. The way someone calls my name…. In just a few seconds I am transported back . To relive it all over again. To smile. To
reminisce.
Each place will forever be frozen at a certain moment in time for me.

The first home we made.

Of mountains and snow. Of bactrian camels and fresh water springs and sand dunes. Gurgling streams and a mighty river.

And a trial by fire that tested us. Literally.

And we came out stronger. When you discovered what you and your soulmate were made of.

And it was a core of steel.

A place and a time when your innocent wide eyed look was indulged in and you were smothered in so much affection.

Baby steps in a big wide world with friends made for a lifetime.

How can this one not be a favorite?

It was our very own fairytale come alive.:)

And then the second one. Where you fell in love with nature all over again. Birds of all kinds and four legged creatures and mischievous squirrels made your home of two , the most beautiful one in the entire kingdom.

And wasn’t it just that? A kingdom of two?:)

So thought a young girl much in love and lugging a camera around to capture each and every moment.

Fearful of missing even a single one.

And the most beautiful of all.
It was here that they became parents. Just as they were bidding farewell to a place and the people.

They showed this kingdom to their little one too.

How can this not be my favorite?

It was my very own castle.:)

The third one.

Where he told me, “We are going home.”
And we did.
In more ways than one.
Where she found love and warmth.

Where the young girl became a mother. A hands-on one.
And her soulmate, a father.
Delighting in each gurgle. Each coo.
Each smile.
And the way he held out his tiny hands for a hug.

Toys and rattles and little cutesy quotes. Decorating a baby room with such anticipation.

When did we become parents?

Sometimes they pondered over that question and scratched their heads .

Silly, goofy grins.
A place where their little one was given so much love. So much.

So this is what it meant to be a family, she thought.

Oh!And did I tell you?
It was here that they were blessed again.
With a tiny , precious little one for the company of their first born.

How can this place not be my favorite?:)

The fourth one.
When the family moved bag and baggage to paradise.

They moved with the family too.
Soft sunshine, a slight chill in the air. And they lived in what sometimes looked like a cottage in her imagination.

Plants and flowers that bloomed.

Birds that visited and grew chubby:D

Neighbors and friends. And both rolled into one.

And playmates who gave company to her firstborn.

His first school and the memories he made.

Where she became someone who slogged and cooked. She!!
She of the ‘burnt rotis and let’s order in or eat out fame.’

All for her firstborn.

This being a mother thing.

Of not one but two precious beings.

She got the hang of it here.
In this slice of paradise.

How can this not be a favorite?:)

We are going to a new place.
Do you think it will become a favorite?:)

Firsts..

February 2, 2019

“Who is your most favourite ,mom?” It’s a question asked often.

 

And deflected expertly even more often.

 

 

And so never quite getting a clear answer, you grow up believing that parents and specially moms love all their kids in equal measure.

 

Or you grow up believing that your parents love you more than your siblings.

Convinced strongly that you definitely are their favourite. Or vice versa .

 

 

Well, I can tell you now that all of it was a lie.

 

That those deflections meant something else entirely.

That unless you were the firstborn, you were just a tad lower on the scale of parental love.

And even though my secondborn is just a lil baby of barely a month.

And even though I already love him to bits.

Even though he melts my heart with his gurgles and coos and his sudden smiles, it’s actually his elder brother who has all of my heart.

He is the one I ache to hold in my arms for a quiet one on one time.

He is the one I fear is growing apart from me even though my heart knows those fears are silly.

Each time he runs to me to hide in my arms he proves how unfounded my fears are. How silly the guilt of not being able to spend time with him. Just him and me.

 

Because you see, he is my first born.

He has the biggest piece of my heart.

And always will.

Because all of his firsts have been my firsts too.

His first smile.

His first glimpse.

The way he cried.

The feeling of holding a little baby in my arms.

His first gurgle.

His first walk.

His first everything.

They lied.

Firstborns are your whole world and then some.

And always will be.

Don’t grow up

January 27, 2019

He looks up at the sky, his eyes searching for the origin of the sound his ears can hear. Having spotted the giant mechanical beast overhead, his mouth is open in wonder.

 

 

That little mouth forming the cutest O. His eyes grow huge. This is different from a bird. Mom told him about ‘chidiya’. He has seen it in his books too. But this doesn’t look like one. And is noisy.

 
He shakes his head talking to himself. All baby speak. Trying to make sense of it.

 

Little does he know that his dad is flying one of those big birds too.:)

As he munches on his biscuit, he spies a little thing moving on the ground.

An ant. But he doesn’t know the word yet. All he sees is something moving. A tiny, tiny thing. He scurries after the ant as the ant too scurries away home. Away from this ‘giant’ and laden with food in its mouth. A tiny grain of sugar:)

Today he is trying to make sense of balloons. Of what the adults are doing. Puffing their cheeks and making these magical, floating balls of wonder. So he tries to whoosh his breath out too. And falls over giggling.

Don’t grow up baby.

 

 

PS:- Written for my firstborn, two years back.

And now he has a younger playmate who is  the same age as the firstborn was when I wrote this.:)

 

 

For the love of reading

April 26, 2016

To be able to give your children the gift of language is something indescribable. To be able to read, write and understand.
Understand all the hidden meanings that those tiny little letters contain is a wonder in itself.

The guttural sounds, the words that roll off the tongue so effortlessly, words which you can still taste on your tongue.

To be able to make them understand that language if used properly  in just the right amount and manner is magic in itself.

That words can heal.

And wound.

That too.

That language can build esteem and confidence and make you conquer a world. Or many worlds.
And that, that very same language can undermine. And how.

Language if used right, can deliver you from your fears.
That is, if you have had language magicians guiding you every step of the way on your first journey.

The very same language will make you a jumbled mass of emotions that crash into each other like waves.

It will give you solace when all else seems bleak.

And hunt you down just when you think you have found a quiet corner in the house all to yourself.

 

Language will not leave your conscience alone.  Remember that.  And tread carefully.
It will be your most amazing gift to your child. Precious beyond measure. Passed down from one generation to the next.

 

For, in one masterstroke you have just insured your child against a world that will knock him down. And knock him down hard.
For me, those magicians have been my grandparents and my parents.
The language teachers and the librarians whose names I can still remember.

I didn’t know it then but I was entering a sacred world. One where to pretend to know everything was sacrilege because everyone was on a journey.
And the journey did not have a destination.
To want to know the hows and whys was to feel deeply. And to feel deeply was to be open to heartache and sadness.

But always, there was a hand that reached out. To offer solace.
A book read under a quilt with a flashlight. Noone else seemed to exist in the world right there in that moment.
Do you remember that moment? Hidden away in the recesses of your mind? A childhood moment stolen from time?
The one that still makes you smile when you think of how desperately you wanted to read that book. That very book. That very night. Way past your bedtime ?:)

That exact moment you see, is what I want to gift a soon- to- be – 1year old little boy.

He already loves his books. The birdies and the animals. All the duckies in a row and the jungle animals and what not. He turns each page slowly, looking up in anticipation. That I will say something . That I will make a silly sound or give a name to that picture he is looking at.

He has so many expectations from me. So many hopes in those young eyes.

I am sitting in mom and dad’s home. My first home. And my forever one. As I sit here late at night surrounded by hundreds of books. Books I have collected all these years. From book fairs,  flea markets,  hole in the wall bookshops.

 

And the most revered ones of all.

The ones passed down like holy grail.  They belonged to my grandparents and parents .

Books whose names I know by heart . Their pages read and read again till I know them like my own reflection. These books painstakingly taken care of by maa and dad.
They are fiercely protective of these books. For, they know that their daughter’s heart resides in them.

As I look at the books and think of the amazing  gift my parents and grandparents have given me,  I cannot help but make a desperate wish. A wish that I will do the  same for my son.
I look at his sleeping face
Such innocence. He sleeps oblivious to the world outside and the dangers that lurk.
And terrified suddenly by my own fears, I want to give him a magic potion.

One that will make him strong. Strong enough to be able to withstand the storms that will come. And come they surely will.
For what else is it to be a human being?

I want to gift him that courage of conviction that will make  him hold on and stay true to his beliefs in a world that will falsely make him believe otherwise.

 

 

 I want to gift him that moment under the quilt. 

A book in those tiny hands, a flashlight and magic.

 

 

For you…

June 18, 2015

Written about 4 years back.:D

Hello little one.
This is supposed to be my letter to you.
Your mom is in love with words and shares them with all her loved ones. (24×7 as your dad will tell you with a fake sigh 😀 )

I am writing this letter on a day when I have had a fight with your dad. A tiff really. An argument. Okay a small difference of opinion. (call it what you will , he says …you are still acting like a kid )

hmmphh!

I am missing him. He is probably lost under tons of office work or doing what he does best. Flying.
Anyway….

So to take off my mind from how densely obtuse your dad and the love of my life can be, I thought I will write this letter to you.
Well..its a pretty early letter and all (won’t tell you the date or you will die laughing at your silly mom’s eagerness)

A baby. What a huge gift and a huge responsibility. Your dad and I still act like immature adults. Like kids really.

We fight for chocolate (the man doesn’t put on any weight I tell you! ) and about who should get up and get that ringing cell from the farthest corner of the room.
Many other things too…you will know for yourself. You have no idea whats in store for you. Its a madhouse. Your dad is a kid at heart. And I love him for it.

Anyway…so I and your dad are hoping for a daughter. Well.. we are hoping for a healthy baby. But I am kinda leaning towards a daughter you know.

Teeny weeny leaning really. Your dad would be happy with any gender. But he gives the cutest smile when I talk to him about a daughter. He knows me inside out.

Your naanu will probably pamper you silly. He is the most gruff man you will ever meet .He looks tough but has the softest heart of anyone you will ever meet in your life.

He rarely says much. Except to mom who knows him like no other and even with her he is not that vocal.
You get the picture.

Naanu will give you treats and gifts and share secrets with you. He is going to tell you not to share the secret with anyone coz you two are best friends.

I know. He used to do the same with us. 🙂

Naanu will trick you into eating more by getting into an eating competition with you. Before you know it, you will be stuffed.

I know again. He would do that with us too.:)

Actually come to think of it you will be spoiled silly by everyone won’t you? *sigh*

I already have a picture in my head.

Bratty, spoilt kid. Grandparents who pamper not to mention uncles, aunts, cousins… Oh! They will pamper you some more.
*sigh*

I hope and pray you meet each member of your family and grow up to remember each one’s uniqueness.

I pray that you make amazing memories with them.

I also want you to grow up surrounded by animals. Of any kind. But that we will have pets is a guarantee.
It is a firm belief of mine that children who grow up surrounded by little furry beings, winged, four legged or otherwise are much more patient and more sensitive and better human beings. Atleast that’s what I hope and pray you will be.

Your dad suffered a heartbreak when his little fourlegged friend died while he was still in school. He promised himself that he would never go through that heartache again.

I lost my little companion when she was 11. I still miss her. That picture in the living room? Thats her. She was a mad one. A delight . She would make us laugh with her antics. She was the wisest little being I have ever come across.

Your naanu, naani and both your maamajis suffered that heartache too. They still talk about her you know. Specially your naani. Ask her about her nanhi someday. She will smile and get lost in her memories. We were blessed to have her.

There is an ache. I too like your dad cannot bear going through the heartache again.

But I hope your dad and I can pick the courage to get a new member in the family. They make our lives richer you know. These little beings. I want you to know what its like to have a little nose nuzzling you or a tongue licking you in delight. These pleasures are priceless.

May you be blessed always.:)

Edited to add(4 years later) 🙂 :-You are finally here little one and you are definitely not a girl.:D You are a darling lil boy. Your mom and dad love you! our pink prince. 🙂 Maybe all the girly shopping can come in use some other time 😉

Read more…

love

January 28, 2015

She was in a hurry today. A little distracted and fidgeting with the saree folds again and again. The pleats were not coming out right.

Just what was it with the saree today? Today of all days!

Just when she needed to look her best. For him.

The vehicle was supposed to be here in an hour. She would meet him at the parade ground itself.

She looked at her watch and then looked in the mirror again. He loved that burnt shade of orange on her. As she looked at herself in the mirror and smiled….she remembered…. he loved all colours on her.

But this one was his favourite.

They had a fight the day before he left. Because he had to cut short his leave and report early. Granted that he couldn’t help it. She had married a man in uniform and his duty always came first.

And she had always shown so much patience hadn’t she? But just how much patience was she supposed to have? Uff! How they always fought like kids! He always tousled her hair which would make her mad.As if she was a little kid.

He always told her to grow up too. But that was just a pretence, she knew. He didn’t want her any other way. Her childlike exuberance was what he had fallen in love with.

She stuck out her tongue at the mirror and couldn’t suppress a giggle as she recalled his exasperated expression. The one that said,” I love you , you mad woman, even if you are a little crazy.”

But he loved her for precisely this..she knew. Just as she was head over heels in love with who he was. In love with all his moods, the gruffness and the guarded way in which he would express himself.

Army guys are not supposed to show emotions. That is what he believed. But she had learnt to recognize all his moods. Even when he didn’t say a word. He was his most vulnerable self with her. He would clown around and make those funny faces till she collapsed giggling on the bed.

That vulnerability he showed only with her..she knew that was his most precious gift to her.

He would be so proud of her today. She intended to make him proud.

To see that look in his eyes. He would take one look at her and say, ”looking good baby”, in that deep, drawling voice she loved.

She had made his favourite dish today. Aloo paranthas. Well, not his favourite but just about the only thing she could make decently well. The way he liked it. He still loved whatever she cooked. She sighed. She would try to learn more of his favourite dishes.

He always came back home having lost many kilos. Nothing was quite the same as home cooked food. ”I am a forever young sort of guy you know. You should be glad”, he would say with a wink and a grin whenever she fretted about his health. Worried at how thin he sometimes was when he came home on leave.
She hoped he would like the aloo paranthas .

He always made fun of her cooking. But then, his cooking skills were really good. During their time together, he would always cook for her. ”Let me cook jaan. You just sit back and relax. After dodging all those bullets at the loc, you wouldn’t want me to die of food poisoning would you?”he would say with that wicked twinkle in his eyes.

God! That man certainly knew how to rile her! Hmpph! If she could never get time to learn how to cook, was that her fault?

Today they would make up for the earlier fight. Today she would show him how proud she was of him. She hoped she could make him proud of her too.

Today she had a surprise for him too. A beautiful one. The biggest one of their lives. She was waiting impatiently to tell him.

She had been trying to imagine what his face would look like when she told him the news. She had been so tempted to tell him on the phone but then had stopped herself.

He was coming home on leave in a few days, he had told her a few days back and she wanted to see each change of expression,the initial bafflement, the dawning realization, the mad grin she knew would cover his face.

And he would catch her by the waist and dance all around the room.
And she would giggle and both of them would collapse laughing on the floor.

A little life inside her.

She looked down at herself in wonder.

A honk outside.

The vehicle was here.

She almost ran out till she remembered she was an army wife.

What would the driver think of her? She sighed and tried to walk at a more sedate pace.

Smiling inside at how he would have laughed his head off if he had seen her just now.

The army driver gave a crisp salute and opened the door for her.

The young lieutenant standing next to him gave a crisp salute as well. She nodded and smiled at both of them. ”Kaise hain Anil Bhaiyya? Ghar pe sab theek thaak hai?’

The driver looked discomfited and mumbled something, so she just smiled at him again. Anil bhaiyya had always been shy but he had been with them on two previous postings so he was almost like a family member now. She knew better than to make him feel more awkward.

The young lieutenant looked distinctly uncomfortable. Even more than Anil bhaiyya if that was possible. These young officers always felt out of place with ladies.

Fresh out of the academy, they would get tongue tied in the presence of ladies.
So she didn’t press on for a conversation.

She looked out of the window. The weather was slightly gray today.

She hoped it wouldn’t rain.

They reached the parade ground in about half an hour. She was shown to her seat.

So much of chatter all around her.

Once or twice she looked up and saw the lady next to her and smiled. The lady gave a hesitant smile back. As if she was unsure. Did she know the lady from somewhere?

She thought about it and then let go of the thought.

Her entire attention was now focused on the stage.

Just a few minutes more. Then it would be just the two of them. They announced something over the mike. It was time.

She stood up and drew herself a little taller.

Squared her shoulders, tilted up her chin and moved up the steps.

A small , muffled sob escaped the lady who had been sitting next to her.

” Maj Unnikrishnan gave his life in the service of the country in the highest tradition of the Indian army. Maj Unnikrishnan was an officer of ……………

Verse love:)

November 22, 2014
tags:

For Meens who tagged me and  made me revisit some favourites:)

 

There was a time when I was about 11 or 12, when I struggled to grasp the nuances of sentences said, poems written, meanings that were hidden in the crevices of words.
When poems that were beyond my understanding struck me as pompous.
I know:) The naivety and arrogance of the young.

Then somehow, through some stroke of luck I found teachers. Teachers who opened new worlds for me. The gaping with disbelief, awestruck me.
Not just in school but outside it too.
Those who took me by the hand and gently guided me into the bewildering world of poetry.

1.

Not a poem but a part of many couplets of his.
Something ethereal about these lines.

Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

-William Blake
From ‘Auguries of innocence

2. Unending Love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Need I say anything?:)

3. मैं तेनु फिर मिलांगी
(Amrita’s words in Gulzar’s voice)

Main Tenu Fir Milaan Gi
Kithey? Kis Tarah? Pata Nai
Shayad Terey Takhayul Di Chinag Ban Ke
Terey Canvas Tey Utraan Gi
Ya Khowrey Terey Canvas Dey Utey
Ikk Rahasmayi Lakeer Ban Ke
Khamosh Tenu Tak Di Rawaan Gi

Yaa Khowrey Sooraj Di Loo Ban Ke
Terey Rangaan Wich Ghulaan Gi
Yaa Rangaan Diyan Bahwaan Wich Baith Ke
Terey Canvas Nuu Walaan Gi
Pata Nai Kiss Tarah? Kithey?
Par Tenu Zaroor Milaan Gi

Yaa Khowrey Ikk Chashma Bani Howaan Gi
Tey Jeevan Jharneyaan Da Paani Udd-da
Main Paani Diyaan Boondaan
Terey Pindey Tey Malaan Gi
Tey Ikk Thandak Jahi Ban Ke
Teri Chaati Dey Naal Lagaan Gi
Main Hor Kujh Nai Jaandi
Par Aena Jaandi
Ke Waqt Jo Vii Karey Ga
Aey Janam Mairey Naal Turey Ga

Aey Jism Mukda Hai
Tay Sab Kujh Muk Jaanda
Par Chaityaan Dey Dhaagey
Kaainaati Kana Dey Hundey
Main Onhaan Kana Nuu Chunaan Gi
Dhaageyaan Nuu Walaan Gi
Tey Tenu Main Fair Milaan Gi…

Translation:-

I will meet you yet again
How and where? I know not.

Perhaps I will become a

figment of your imagination

and maybe, spreading myself

in a mysterious line

on your canvas,

I will keep gazing at you.

Perhaps I will become a ray

of sunshine, to be

embraced by your colours.

I will paint myself on your canvas

I know not how and where –

but I will meet you for sure.

Maybe I will turn into a spring,

and rub the foaming

drops of water on your body,

and rest my coolness on

your burning chest.

I know nothing else

but that this life

will walk along with me.

When the body perishes,

all perishes;

but the threads of memory

are woven with enduring specks.

I will pick these particles,

weave the threads,

and I will meet you yet again.

—-Amrita Pritam.

4. Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

– Henry Scott Holland ~ 1847-1918
Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral

A poem which has given me solace when nothing could. When there were and are moments that could not be given words, this was my voice. This poem is like a soothing balm.

5. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

_ Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas recites it here.

It was a joy to hear it being recited in the movie ‘Interstellar’. By Michael Caine. It was the first time I heard someone say it with such intensity. (Michael Caine after all!)
Now I know why it was such a favorite of an English teacher whom I respected beyond measure. She had said , ”someday you will understand.”

I hope that I am able to. Till then I am in love with the words even if I don’t understand it in its entirety.

Oh! and if you have not yet seen the movie, then you are really missing something big. Go watch Interstellar now!

6. Understand

Understand, I’ll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

This one simply is. For us.:)

7. Habitation

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

the edge of the receding glacier

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

-Margaret Atwood

Stark, raw and beautiful.

8. When I am an old woman

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
-Jenny Joseph

Me someday?:)
Oh! I hope so.

9. मधुशाला

http://kaavyaalaya.org/mdhshla.shtml (entire work here)

Manna Dey has lent this classic work his amazing voice.

My favourite lines are these..

धर्मग्रन्थ सब जला चुकी है, जिसके अंतर की ज्वाला,
मंदिर, मसजिद, गिरिजे, सब को तोड़ चुका जो मतवाला,
पंडित, मोमिन, पादिरयों के फंदों को जो काट चुका,
कर सकती है आज उसी का स्वागत मेरी मधुशाला।।१७।

-हरिवंश राय बच्चन

10.

And here is a poetess extraordinaire whom I love.
She resides here

http://questforheaven.blogspot.in/

The title of her blog says it all.

A Quest…..!
to seek those gossamer nuances of words, that come not from me, but thru’ me:)

And soft as gossamer her words certainly are:)

This one below, is an all time favourite of mine.

 

For the daughter I wish I’d  had

Audacious smiles
laughter ringing clear-
warm hugs and
little sudden pecks on my cheeks!

A whirlwind of a girl;
now here, gone in a flash!
endearing entreaties-
unquestioning love!

Long long hours of girlish talk-
boys, books, heroes and men!
Life, love, trust and THAT!

Confiding giggles-
while ogling the boys…;)
summing them up, then
walking by in disdain!!

Cheering her up
when sadness strikes-
being there for her…
just in case, she asks!

Holding her hand-
without her knowing..
as only moms can do;
though she, being mine,
would know it too…!!!

Sharing myself with her-
my fears, my joys
my secrets, and my ploys-

Ending the day in warmth
so wonderful
so fierce and filling..

Wishing each mother had
a daughter..
so like mine!!

19 June, ’07

-Usha Pisharody

http://questforheaven.blogspot.in/2008/02/for-daughter-i-wish-id-had.html

I just love, love this Ushus:)

11.

THE MOMENT

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

— Margaret Atwood

This makes my breath stop.
The sheer power of her words.

 

12. Kitaabein jhaankti hain

Go to this link for a better understanding of the words if you are having some trouble in understanding the poem.
Kitaabein jhaankti hain

kitabein jhankti hain band almaari kay sheeshon se
badee hasrat se takti hain
maheeno ab mulaaqat nahi hoti
jo shamein in ki sohbat main kata karti thein,,,,ab aksar
guzar jaatee hain computer kay pardon par
badi bechain rahti hain kitabein
zaban par zaiqa aata tha jo in safhe palatne ka
ab ungli click karne se bas
ik jhapki guzarti hai
buhat kuch tah-b-tah khultaa chalaa jaataa hai parde par
kitabon se jo zaati rabta tha kat gaya hai
kabhi seeney pe rakh ke lait jaate the
kabhi godee mein rakhte thay
kabhi ghutno ko apne rahal ki soorat banah kar
neem sazade mein parhaa karte thay,chhoote jabhee se
khuda nay chaha to wo sara ilm to miltaa rahegaa baad mein bhee
magar who jo kitabon mein milaa karte thay sookhay phool
kitabein maangne,giraanay,uthaane kay bahaane rishty bante thay
unkaa kyaa hogaa
wo shayad ab nahi hongey!

There are many others. The list is never ending. Classics.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘How Do I Love Thee?’
Lord Byron’s ‘She walks in beauty’
Robert Frost’s ‘The road not taken’ and ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’
Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Where the mind is without fear’ (This was our morning prayer in school)

Emily Dickinson ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’
Tennyson’s ‘The charge of the light brigade’
Whitman’s ‘O Captain! My captain!’
Walter Winter’s ‘If you think you are beaten’
‘When you are old’ by Yeats
Maya angelou’s ‘Phenomenal woman’
‘If’ by Kipling.

 

Quotation-Marvin-Bell-world-poetry-silence-Meetville-Quotes-268

 

 

 

Please feel free to tag yourself if you would love to share your favourites:)

Old posts on poetry
Khalish

Ek Kavi

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