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July 30, 2014

They quote Kafka and Jung and Ghalib.

And pontificate on what it means to be a ‘liberal’. Endless pontification.

I know because I am one of them.

On what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’.

Of having a spine. And standing up.

Standing up when they can’t .

They say,” but…but… you? ….he?……how?”

His is a free soul. Mine is bound by thoughts, opinions, books, words, others.

He is his own person.

He doesn’t give a damn about the world. Not when it comes to doing something.

He is a doer. I am a dreamer.

There is a madness in our love. The kind of love that comes when two beings who are opposites come together.

I cannot fool him. Do you know why? Because he does not carry  the baggage of Kafka and Jung and Freud .

Because I cannot make a pithy remark on the frivolities of life and hope to get away with it.

Marriage. A meeting of two halves. A union of two similar beings.

But why? Why do we need to have things in common? I avoided ‘common’ like the plague.

Because the last thing I wanted to do was live my life with someone who had thoughts, opinions, values, judgements similar to my own.

We found each other. I don’t know how. But we did.

Different states. Different languages. Different cultures. Different backgrounds. Different outlook towards life.

Because he never makes me feel as if I have gotten more than I deserve.

And yet can you believe that both of us feel that we have gotten more than we deserve?:)

Because when his wife gets stubborn as hell, he stands right by her, come hell or high water. No questions asked.

And then gently  asks her later,” Feel like talking about it?”

Brooding at times. Sunny at others. This man who is a little kid at heart. Who finds it supremely funny whenever I scream while watching a horror movie.

Who loves to give me the horrendous scares by sneaking up on me.

We are currently on 10-6 approximately. 10 being my score ofcourse. I have smartened up. 😉

This hubby of mine who helps me in filling up forms and it reminds me of ma and dad.

The care they took when it came to my education.

The way he reminds me to keep my admit card/pens/lunch. You name it. It’s making me smile as I write this.

When he paces outside waiting for my exam to get over…

Listening patiently to my rambles about the question paper, the examiners..

With a belief so strong that his wife will get through all exams no matter what:)

When he gives me a look in a room full of people and it speaks volumes.

A beautiful memory, a mischievious smile, a thought about something …all of it in one look.

When he tucks me in like a little kid coz I have been out in the cold enjoying ‘the evening’

and rubs vicks on a cold red nose…not saying a word because he knows me by now.

The let’s-see-who -kicks-the-other-off-the-bed-first game. laughing like crazy loons all the while.

When I write super corny lines while murdering a perfectly good (great) poem.

You bring out the army brat in me.

You bring out the indignant me.

The” how dare they?” in me.

the ‘let’s go on our own journey’ in me.

The ‘world can take a hike’ in me.

The need to drown myself in jasmine ittar and nothing else. 

‘I shouldnt’ eat so many chocs.

and ‘oh what the hell!we live just once ‘ in me.

To eat your share of chocs too while you look on indulgently.

You bring out the bauble lovin prima donna in me.

and the anxious ”do I look good in this? in me.

The ‘let’s collect all mushy romantic  quotes’ in me.

Ghalib & Saahir & Meer in me.

She is Language, he is Thought
She is Prudence, he is Law
He is Reason; she is Sense
She is Duty; he is Right
He is Will; she is Wish
He is Pity; she is Gift
He is Song; she is Note
She is Fuel; he is Fire
She is Glory; he is Sun
She is Motion; he is Wind
He is Battle ; she is Might
He is Lamp; she is Light
He is Day; she is Night
He is Justice; she is Pity
He is Channel; she is River
She is Beauty; he is Strength
She is Body; he is Soul
-Vishnu Purana

“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


My soul is at peace.:)

Last year’s draft when I gave some crucial exams:)

When Great Trees Fall

May 28, 2014

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

From the poetry volume, ‘I shall not be moved.’


Maya Angelou


December 28, 2013

Words are beautiful. Sometimes ugly.  Brutal if need be. But mostly beautiful.

For those who know how to use them right.

Pure. Rich. Necessary. Words in any language.

But when a language and its proud owners wear the elite cloak on some days, nose high up in the air, refusing to look down on mere mortals, sniggering behind the backs of those who struggle to express themselves in precisely the way they would like them to.

No, I am not just talking of the bard’s tongue. But yes, that too.

The snide smiles. The condescending words. The patronizing remarks.

I am standing right here, remember this.

That person may not, but I will rip you apart.

Remember that. Word for word. Line by line. Each sentence burnt beyond recognition. Memories fading into oblivion.

The inability to express one’s thoughts in a poetical, lyrical manner is not the speaker’s problem. It is yours.

And truth be told, I distrust anyone who waxes all poetical about things most mudane. Every single  moment. Every darn day.

Because some you see, have to get work done. The way they know best.

Straightforwardly. Without complexities. Without the ‘big’ words.

That is one of the biggest reasons this world has survived. Is surviving.

They may have more experience than you could ever imagine. More joys and more sorrows than you could ever hope to gather in a lifetime.

More sense than god ever granted you.

They have their own way of expressing it.

Bigger, more beautiful words don’t make you ‘better’ than others. They just disguise who you are depending on how  you choose to use them.

And you tainted the words, no matter how beautiful, the moment you used them as a tool to look down upon others less vocal than you.

Doing that just makes you look like an arse of the highest order.

Remember that the next time you snigger.

Anyone with the power to make words do his/her bidding is a healer. And if you have been given this power, use it. Don’t misuse it.


December 24, 2013

आज एक बचपन की दोस्त को टीवी पर देखा. दोस्त भी क्या कहूं , बचपन वाली बेस्ट फ्रेंड थी कभी .
गहरे दोस्त.
के जी से लेकर करीब पांचवी तक . बाहों में बाहें डालकर घूमना . एक दुसरे का टिफ़िन खाना. उसे अंडे बड़े पसन्द थे और आती थी शुद्ध ब्राह्मण परिवार से . मेरे टिफ़िन में मम्मी एक अंडा उसके लिए भी डाल  देती थीं . संभ्रांत परिवार था उसका  .

पिता उस समय सबसे बड़े हिंदी दैनिक के सम्पादक हुआ करते थे (शायद आज भी हों . मैं जानती नहीं ) माँ बड़ी सीधी -सादी महिला थीं . एक छोटी सी बहन भी थी जो मेरे छोटे  भाईयों से लड़ती रहती थी. बच्चों वाली मासूम लड़ाई . मेरा खिलौना – तेरा खिलौना  वाली .

जैसा कि लगभग सभी पुरानी पीढ़ियों के साथ था कि सभी कांग्रेसी रहे थे . हमारे- उसके शायद ज़्यादातर परिवारों की यही कहानी थी . फर्क ये था की आज भी  वे कट्टर कांग्रेसी थे  उसके माता पिता और वह   खुद भी . बचपन से ही. पुरानी पीढ़ियों की सोच को ही जस का तस अपना लिया गया था .

खैर कहानी यहाँ से शुरू हुई की वो  मेरे बचपन की दोस्त थी . ‘  अबे यार ‘  ‘क्या स्वाद बना है ‘ उसके प्यारे से तकिया कलाम थे मानो .

हमेशा घर चले आना और खूब खेलना . दोस्तों वाली प्रतिस्पर्धा भी थी .” तू फर्स्ट कैसे आयी? कॉपी दिखा. ”     ”देख मेरे कितने मार्क्स  आए.”

फर्स्ट , सेकंड का ज़िम्मा हम दोनों ने ही सम्भाल रखा था. कभी मैं, कभी वो.

जब मम्मी पापा हमें पड़ोस की दुकान तक भेजने से डरते थे तब वो  भागती भागती मुट्ठी में कुछ रुपये पकडे नुक्कड़ की  दुकान से टॉफीयां ले आती थी

स्कूल भी हमारा बड़ा ही प्यारा सा था . उसमे बड़े बिज़नस वालों  के बच्चे भी थे , हम जैसे मिडिल क्लास फौजी अफसर के बच्चे , मंदिर के पुजारी का बेटा, राष्ट्रीय दैनिक के सम्पादक के बच्चे और नाले के उस पार झोंपड़ी में रहनेवालों के बच्चे भी .

टीवी पर इस दोस्त को लम्बे समय से देखती आ रही थी . जब उसने छात्र राजनीति में कदम रखा ही था . जब वो युवा नेता थी दिल्ली की . आज प्रवक्ता है सबसे बड़ी पार्टी की . बहुत बुद्धिमान , बेहद खूबसूरत और ठहरी हुई सी . लगता तो ऐसा ही है.
अपनी इस सहेली से आज से करीब सात -आठ साल पहले मिली थी . तब भी हम शायद दस साल बाद ही मिल रहे थे .

कल टीवी पर देखते देखते यूँ ही मन हुआ की उसे ढूँढूँ और फिर वही हंसी सुनूँ.

एक सोशल नेटवर्किंग साईट पर खोज शुरू की . पहले ही पेज पर वो दिखी . दुल्हन के लिबास में . बड़ी सुन्दर . बला की . फिर उत्सुकता हुई जानने की. शादी हुई तो कब ? किससे ? अंकल आंटी और छुटकी वह प्यारी सी तुतलाती सी बहन कहाँ है ? कई फ़ोटो देखे . आंटी अंकल वैसे ही हैं. बहन भी उतनी ही प्यारी है अब शायद जर्नलिज्म का कोर्स कर रही है .
आखिर में main पेज खोला . ठिठक सी गयी .

देश की सबसे पुरानी राजनीतिक पार्टी के सर्वे सर्वा खड़े थे dulha दुल्हन के साथ . माँ – बेटा और सभी दिग्गज .
जाने क्या सोच कर फ्रेंड रिक्वेस्ट नहीं भेजी .

जाने किस बात का डर है.
शायद इस राजनीतिज्ञ में मुझे अपनी बचपन की सहेली ना मिले.
शायद उसे मैं याद ना हूँ .
और सबसे बड़ा डर शायद ये की इतनी करीबी दोस्ती सत्ताधारों से शायद मुझसे सम्भाले न सम्भले .

हर गम की अपनी एक दास्तां है

November 19, 2013

एक लड़की जो अब भी लड़की ही है, बड़ी ही कब हुई ?   पर अब माँ कुछ ज्यादा क्यूंकि जिससे वो  रूठती  मचलती थी वो अब नहीं है …..

अब उसकी दुनिया उसके बच्चे में सिमटी सी है  …..

अपने बच्चे के साथ कभी माँ कभी दोस्त …..पर उसकी  भी तो  एक अलग दुनिया होगी कभी ………फिर?

हमसफ़र को आँखें  अब भी तलाशती हैं ….एक गाना सुनकर धीरे से अपने आंसू पोंछना …कोई देख ना ले…..ऐसा हमसफ़र जिससे बेइंतहां प्यार था …

खुद एक नन्ही सी डरी  सी बच्ची ….कुछ गुनगुनाते हुए …..एक  पल के लिए ठिठक सी जाती हो  मानो …कभी एक तस्वीर दिखाती है….” ये V  हैं ”…….लगता है समेट लूं  और बचा लूं हर दर्द से …पर दर्द तो मिल चुका है…..इतनी बड़ी चोट ….जिसे यूँ पाया , संजोया और खो दिया ?

ऐसे पलों में मैं अपनी आँखें चुराती हूँ…क्या कहूं और कैसे….?

…घाव अब भी दर्द देता है…..कई पल…अनगिनत पल जब वो कुछ देखते देखते खो सी  जाती हैं …..ऐसे एक पल में आज लगा ….क्यूँ?  किसने लिखा इतना दर्द इनके लिए? क्यूँ?

भगवान्… ईश्वर इन शब्दों से विश्वास   उठ चुका है  ……

गम सभी एक से हों, ऐसा ज्ररुरी तो नही, ये मै जानती हूँ

हर गम की अपनी एक दास्तां है कुछ मुस्कुराएँ हैं अभी- अभी .. फिर चौंककर देखते हैं अपना अक्स आईने में

कुछ सॉस लेना भूल चुकें हैं बस जीए जा रहें हैं…   .

गम सभी एक से हों, ऐसा ज्ररुरी तो नही, ये मै जानती हूँ

हर गम की अपनी एक दास्तां है

क्या लिखूं?

November 10, 2013

शब्दों में डूबने उतराने वाली लड़की आज निशब्द  है ?

हैरानी है खुद पर….. कभी मुस्कुराते हैं. कभी लड़ते हैं . कभी रूठते तो कभी मनाते हैं

दोस्त, हमसफ़र, माँ बाप  एक दुसरे  के सब कुछ हैं अब हम दोनों ..

आगे और जन्मदिनों के लिए…अनगिनत…… हंसी ठिठोली से भरे …..साथ-साथ …हमेशा…

उम्र बीत जाये यूँ ही, बस इतनी सी दुआ है…

और क्या कहूं ? शब्दों में समेटना नामुमकिन है…बस इतना ही…

For being my strength…


और इस बातूनी लड़की को निशब्द करने के लिए …….:)

Shhh! There’s a revolution coming

October 28, 2013

Coz if you peep into my class you will be astounded. With wide, open eyes you might  tut tut and call me names.

My heart is bursting with happiness and pride. Look at my baby chicks. They yearn to fly.

I took them on a journey  I feared was too tough. Much too incomprehensible to them. But how they have travelled. I wish you could see.:)

We talk of ‘sati’ and they visualize. And  visualize . And they shrink back in horror. Their faces betray the fear inside them. No gender differences then. No, ma’am.

We talk of ‘dowry’ and being ‘educated’ and  being all ‘modern’. And they tell me what being modern truly means.

They want to tell  me everything. All  at once. Words piling on top of each other. The eagerness and fire to tell me all of it. How they feel. What they believe. Have now started believing. What they will change.

But ma’am, it was……is so unfair! How could they do this?’

We talk of karwa chauth. The very word makes them giggle. The boys and girls. They are all children really. No gender differences. Not until now. How long will they stay like this I wonder?

But I am standing here. Between them and the rest of the world. As long as I am here, I won’t let you tell them.

”If keeping a fast for someone can make them have a longer life, why do we go to hospitals and doctors?” I ask them this.

More giggles. More titters.

But they understand. Are understanding.

Then I ask them. ”Why does all of it revolve  only around women?

Do you see?  This is the crucial one.

We talk of patriarchy and feminism. and more. They don’t know the words for it. But they know it. Yes, they do.

You might think it’s arrogance that I write thus. That I show myself for the ‘ teacher’ that I am. Go ahead. Say what you want. Today, I am celebrating a small win. A moment I wish I could bottle and keep. Forever. More moments that are yet to come.

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I am bringing about a revolution. The most dangerous one.  The quiet kind .

My kiddos have started thinking. Would you believe?:)

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