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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Scenes on an Airplane to Surat


Surat, the city of flyovers, diamonds and everyone driving on the wrong side.

Although it has been some time since I shifted here, but my romance with this city of Farsaans started only recently. Something in me melted, a few knots opened and I fell for this mad mad city.

It happened only last week when I took the Air India flight from New Delhi to Surat.
Here is what happened Mota Moti -

1.       2-3 Families with 6 to 7 members exchanged seats with a dozen other travelers.3 poor souls caught in this conundrum started complaining. Poor steward had no clue (as it was all in Gujarati) and requested all passengers to take their own seats. Obviously, no one listened to him.

2.       Flight was delayed by 10 mins and then suddenly a Gujju uncle stood up, opened top 3 buttons of his shirt, solved this puzzle in a jiffy and pacified everyone. Easy Che !

3.       Only one old Grandma had to be seated away from her family but she showed her resentment by saying bad words in Gujarati. (Ganda, I think)

4.       Meanwhile, Sweet Gujju Girls (SGG) wearing crop tops and hot pants for air travel, chatted merrily

5.       Any purpose served by dimming Cabin Lights was lost as Diamonds sparkled brilliantly on every wrist, neck and finger.

6.       Everyone clapped when the aircraft took-off and landed. Old Grandma burped both times.

7.       Theplas and Namkeens were taken out as soon as the flight was airborne.

8.       Captain announced (Thrice) – Passengers are requested to remain seated while the seat belt sign is turned on.

9.       Steward to SGG – Would you like anything to drink ?
 SGG to Steward – Jeeru Che ?

10.   Wailing infant was “crowd surfed”  from 13B to 18A

11.   All phones rang in unison even before the plane landed.

12.   While I waited for my luggage, Gujju uncle still having Top 3 buttons of his shirt open, inquired about everything from my career path to my personal hygiene.

13.   While I was wondering what to do as “No Uber was available”, a family offered to drop me at my area in their chauffeur driven Audi


Such is the city. Live it. Love it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Growing Up with a friend

Tear apart,
one by one
these false sheaths of
poses and perceptions
limits and assumptions
your thoughts about yourself
you no longer question

Tear them,
shred by shred
with the fire of reason.

Only then
you will find your true friend

Be his friend again,
Help him to grow,
grow up with him

Be true to him this time
Don't leave him behind
leave no thoughts unsaid.

Be with Him
Be Him.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Old Writer


Old writer
sat on his old desk
with a brand new typewriter

remembering stories
of his life and
of a life unliven

stories he had enjoyed
stories he had endured
stories he had collected
stories he had never told.

Old writer
chose a long life
to become an old writer
with many interesting stories.

For example,
once when he...

Friday, February 05, 2016

What inspires a poet ?

Golden Daffodils would be my first guess; dead albatross would be my next.

Of course, it is a personal question and thus needs to be answered in first person. So my attempt to answer it is an honest introspection of those moments of solitude when my imagination metamorphosed into poems.

“Emotions recollected in tranquility”, William Wordsworth had famously and verily traced the origins of a poem.

For tranquility, I have almost always relied on winter nights.  There is a certain stillness and assurance that comes along a winter night. It says to me, “Delve deep into yourself, and take your time to distill your thoughts. I will engulf the surroundings long enough for your thoughts to condense into words.”

But for emotions, it is more complex. Emotions, for all practical reasons, have to be sacrificed or at the least deeply concealed for a successful modern life.  A successful modern life, in that case, becomes impossibility for a poet.  For a semi-poet like me, I have created a parking lot for my emotions. I carefully park them from where they can be easily towed, whenever a long winter night might arrive. Needless to say, I live a semi-successful modern life.

So when the night does arrive, I handpick a parked emotion and try to live it again. I try to remember the settings and the incidents that evoked it.  What memory was stirred in that moment, why it surfaced to reality? I try to follow that memory strand to the depths of my being and I usually land up in my childhood.

 Childhood, when my imagination was my lone companion. Childhood, when I truly enjoyed solitude. Childhood, when I was observant and innocent.  Can there be a treasure more valuable than the memories of your childhood.

And sometimes, I land up in my youth when love was in fashion.  I could have written odes to the moons on your nails. Also when love is in fashion, can misery be any farther? On many nights I could have written the saddest lines.


And sometimes, I land up nowhere. In this emptiness, I expand my existence. Only my ideas can float in this nothingness, only my words can dangle in this space.  A piece of my existence falls on the paper to become a poem. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

आख़िर यह जीवन क्या है ?


बचपन से ले केर अब तक
जो भी हुआ ,
या जो मैंने चुना ।
और चाह कर भी जो मैं कर न सका
वो कहाँ गया ?

वह एक राह
जिस पर चल कर मैं
यहाँ तक पंहुचा ।
और वो  रास्ते जिन पर मैं चल न सका ,
वो कहाँ गये ?

वह विकल्प
जो मैंने चुनें
जिन पर मैं स्थिर रहा ।
और समय की धारा जो बह गयी
वह कहाँ गयी ?

या' यह पल, हाँ यही पल
जो गुज़र रहा है अभी ।
और इसे समेटने की क़ोशिश मे ,
जो शब्द नहीं मिल रहे
वो कहाँ गये ?



Thursday, October 22, 2015

ज़िन्दगी जीने का आसान तरीका


जीवन की असीम संभावनाओं को
एक मनगढंत परिधि में  कैद कर जीना ,
भला यह भी कोई जीना है ।

क्या है जो मुझे रोकता है
इन सीमाओं को मिटाने से ?
इन सीमाओं में इतना सुकून क्यूँ है ?

वो कौन से विचार है
जो मेरी जीजिविषा को बांधे हैं ।
मेरी इन विचारो से क्या दोस्ती है ?

इन सवालों का ज़वाब ढूंढ़ना
क्या सचमुच ज़रूरी है ?
या इन व्यर्थ सवालों में ,
मैंने ढूंढ लिया है
ज़िन्दगी जीने का आसान तरीका ।


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wanderlust


Can you feel a chilly mountain breeeze
with your eyes closed
on a summer afternoon?
I can

Can you visualize the mountain peaks
with the magic of sun and snow
to the last shade of yellow.
Can you stay there forever
or atleast think about doing so
I can

Can you recreate the desert
vivid to the last grain of sand
and then remember the last thought
you had at that place
Can you go back there just to feel
the same again
I can

Can you see that distant wave
coming to tickle your feet
and then laugh young and free
Can you wait for yet another
till the last shimmer of the sea
I can

I have more such plans
But promise me
you will always find time
to come with me
smitten by wanderlust