Monday, February 27, 2012

Haikus by BASHO in Hindi

Basho matsuo(1644-1694) is the most well-known Japanese poet of the haiku tradition worldwide.Here is a hindi translation of a few of his famous haikus.Any accuracy would be wrong to claim as these stand twice removed from the original (Japanese-English-Hindi),the aim is to capture the essence and maintain the form in hindi too.

An old pond
A frog jumps in -

प्राचीन ताल
मेंडक कूदता है
एक झपाक !
souls' festival
today also there is smoke
from the crematory 

आत्मा का पर्व
आज भी वहां धुआं 
शमशान से 
bright red
the pitiless sun
autumn winds

गहरा लाल 
ये दयाहीन सूर्य 
हेमंती हवा 
on a bare branch
a crow has settled
autumn dusk

नग्न डाल पे 
एक कौवा आवासी 
शरत सांझ 

I like to wash,
the dust of this world
In the droplets of dew.

मेरी पसंद 
संसार  की धूल को
ओस से धोना .

Friday, February 24, 2012


Three years ago a few weeks after experiencing biological motherhood I happened to give birth to my blog – my other baby. My online experience till then was limited to mails and surfing to read relevant material for my research and job. I was fairly amateur and novice online had joined facebook a few months earlier and knew a few friends there who were already writing good blogs.
All I knew about blogging then was that it was like an online journal where I may write about my experiences, thoughts or just reflect on anything that strikes a chord. It had brought back memories of a beige coloured old fashioned diary which was my first journal ever and which I had destroyed in a fit of teenage rage. Now I wish I hadn’t, It would have let me know what was going on in my head back then, it must have had glimpses of my interactions with people who moved on to never come back into my life, many firsts I suppose were recorded there. 
This one was comparatively savvier, grand and of course far more public then that one so yes the apprehensions were also bigger. Should I do this?, I asked myself often. I had read somewhere that ,“your blog is your unedited version of yourself,” that sounded quite intimidating. Nevertheless the need to say, just say something to even nobody overpowered all old fashioned common sense and I started.
Evidently the job of bringing up my first baby was hanging so heavy on me that I named this blog ‘Baby Diaries’. The first few posts were of course about the baby, the baby and I but gradually I regained my flair for looking around, observing every move of life as it unfolds and then reflecting on it with my strokes of art- my words.
The blog turned out to be my cave, from the obvious moments of despair of new motherhood and life in general. I started stealing moments from whatever little me time that I had then to come back to my blog. A lot of times only to return back frustrated simply because I was still getting a hang of technicalities of it all, pasting codes, templates, privacy settings. Yet every time I managed to pour my heart out to this friend I came back happier, having experienced the magic of a listener who is completely non-judgemental and other than checking my spellings doesn’t interfere much.
The blog evolved from just being baby diaries to a diary about life and it is then I thought for the raw and the ripened eclectic mix of picks from my stream of consciousness I should name it Second Thoughts first. My friends both online and real life were very supportive throughout and they regularly kept adding fuel to this fire. Some of the posts were appreciated immensely while some others I believe went unnoticed and rightfully so, it was not meant to garner response or shake beliefs it was just a room of my own as Virginia Woolf may call it. This is where I risked looking at myself and my decisions critically this is where I could speak what I really thought and this is where I could be my own muse.
Now when I look back I realise that February 24, 2009 is just a date after all when I put this online, the blog was being written all these years in my mind, through all my good and bad experiences, a collection of my vociferous and unspoken opinions, in my discussions with friends at the student centre Panjab University, in a debate at St.Bede’s college Shimla, on the back benches of Himachal university or the swank conference room of British Council, Delhi, in the openness of discussing lust  as a teacher in a class of 120 college students and in the privacy of a cabin quietly editing a book. All its bits were everywhere in my life, some shining out there as laurels for the world to see, others scattered in corners lined with disappointment ,hurt, shame , pain or guilt.
Having worked in a publishing house I was aware of the sweat and the blood that goes into the making of a book, a good book. It is there I believe I seriously thought about penning down the constant noises of my restless mind in an attempt to get some solace, till I finally get to write my book, the one book I believe I carry like everyone else. I had travelled from the pristine Shimla of the 80s to the well-maintained Chandigarh, through the mall mile of Gurgaon and the unnerving chicken coop apartments of Delhi, but my epiphany came in the complex lanes of Daryaganj. That is where I realised my thoughts need a voice and hence I began to engage more actively with people and places and my life to conceive a blog.
Now the blog is three years old, fellow bloggers often told me that it is one hell of a ride. Today I can testify yes it is. The disappointments, the online stalkers, the writer’s blocks, the elation, the harsh critics and the like-minded people, it all happens in the course of a blog. The result is a patchwork quilt with swatches from your happiest moments and the deepest deluges of sorrow, of attempts to refresh some memories or create a few more.
As I saw my constantly bawling baby grow into an independent pre-schooler I have also witnessed my crawling blog now stand on its own young feet. It appears far more confident than its teething days, some friends tell me they love spending some time there and most importantly I don’t always go there to pour out now, I also go to listen to what friends say, to re-read so much and find new meanings and new perspectives.
The great thinker Euripedes said - “Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.” I am full of mixed emotions today- pride, nostalgia, fear, shame, gratitude an eclectic mix, and all of this seems to have added layers to my understanding of myself and life. I am no expert, never aspire to be one but all I can say today to my blog is “thanks!”
The joy of having a blog is special and hence I celebrate my blogoversary today, hoping there are many more to come and this fruitful relationship stands the rough terrains of time and life and finally when my human life span falls short of its cyber one, my friends can go back to it and feel a part of me alive forever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I could sit and cry
about step-mom misfortune
or heave long sighs
for step-sisters importune

but sitting by the cinders
alone every eve
I decided with
Fairy good luck
My fortune
I’ll weave.

So mice-eaten books
became horses for my dreams
and a pumpkin-pie recipe
my sustenance means

One day I sold a pie
In a palace like bakery
But step-mom misfortune
Couldn’t shy from her treachery

She made me forget
To carry a mark of reference
Now how would prince fortune
Mark his preference

But luck shined brightly
As the prince was persistent
No one but only me
He was quite insistent!

The slipper shaped pie mould,
I had hurriedly left back
The prince knew
Only I had a pair and
He followed that track

From house to house they searched
And finally found me
Today with my prince I live
And we run the Palace bakery!

(Included in an anthology with the theme fairy tales with a modern twist ) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


friends sorted in lists
people as profile pictures
life is a timeline !

scratch the skin of a
city, look for its soul,lost
on a busy road.

The lines on your palm
the moves of planets and stars
destiny by chance.

cities may change
and so do centuries, this
bond is eternal.

Stones washed in
milk,kids on the street wish they
were stones instead.

I shred a cabbage
nature's multi-layered
haiku lay open.

a contested space
zig-zag back lanes of my mind,
hide behind my smile .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

एक लड़की

मैं अक्सर आते-जाते
दूर से उसे देख पाती
इस्त्री  के लिए रखे
कपड़ों के ढेर पर
गंठरी सी झुकी वो

उसके जाने के बाद
हर बार,बहुत देर तक
मुझे सालती रहती
उसकी मुस्कान की उदासी

सहानुभूति  से परे थी
क्या उसकी  अक्षमता?
आँखें बहुत सुंदर थी उसकी
हाथ-पैर सब ठीक-ठाक
मीठी आवाज़, बस

यह जो उसकी पीठ पर था
प्रतीक था ,हमारी
संवेदना-शुन्यता का,
उसकी पीठ पर
बोझ था अनगिनित
क्रूर टिप्पणियों का

उसकी पीठ पर
केवल एक कूब नहीं था !

Thursday, February 16, 2012

नीम का पेड़

नीम का पेड़

छोटी सी ख़ुशी की
एक पल मिसरी से
नहीं मिट पाता
रोज़मर्रा का

अब मेरी
आवाज़ भी कड़वी
और कसेले
मेरे सपने भी

पर ज्यों  ही
इस कड़वाहट को
मैं थूकने
लगती हूँ
रुक जाती हूँ

कहीं मेरे अन्दर
का नीम का पेड़
सूख न जाए
और फिर से
खाने लगे
मेरे मन की रुई को
प्यार का कीड़ा .

Friday, February 10, 2012


आज मन ने फिर से
हिंदी में करवट ली 
और पाया 
वो जो मैं
अक्सर दूसरी भाषा में
कहती हूँ
वो सिर्फ शब्द हैं
नहीं उनमे मेरी माँ
के हाथों की खुशबू
या  मेरे छोटे से घर
की रंगत
उसमे कैसे घुल सकेगी
मेरे पहाड़ी बचपन
की बातें 
या मेरी देसी यादों 
की परतें

जब कोई भी
भावना दिल से
छलकने लगती है
आज भी मैं
हिंदी गाना गाती हूँ
और दूर परदेस में
जब छपती है
अंग्रेजी में कविता मेरी
मन मेरा तब भी
हिंदी में करवट लेता है  !


Friday, February 3, 2012


Sudden cold days
like today
were cruel indeed
his push cart
of daily living
pierced the fog
of memories

all day he
looks intently
at hands
of girls and women
picking up
veggies from the cart

all he sees
her henna hands
pleading for mercy
the rest of her
in flames
matching the
red of his eyes

it was too late
to regret
or grab her back

notes of all
in his pockets now
always stained
in blood

sudden cold days
or sunny days
all meaningless
remorse now
his lifelong dowry !

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To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!