Friday, May 25, 2012


Trees are poems that earth writes for the sky; we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness. –Kahlil Gibran

There it was
in the neighbour’s compound
leaning against my backyard wall

the curious tree
peeking into many homes
with its unruly branches
whose strange fruit
invited the parrots
the sparrows and the noisy crows
the chew-chew-chew squirrels
running up and down
its coarse roads

the chatter that filled
many uneasy silences
and kept the kids and pets amused
the thick leaves like gossiping ladies
whispered and murmured
a thousand secrets
and then at dusk huddled
their green heads together
to sway with the temple bells

the breeze it sent forth
never claiming its due
in making hot afternoons bearable
the breeze inspiring songs
in these lifeless urban homes

now there is a stump
of memories, breeze, green joys
and so many little nooks
which were homes

The tree was guilty
of being uncivilized
of giving without asking
so now they have
asked for its life!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The stream running through
the apple orchard
the slate roof
through which
wafted her love
in the smoke
of mountain delicacies
she cooked for us

the cows grazing free
the stacks of dried grass
the no phone
no TV evenings
listening to her tales
of Sahabs and memsahabs
of the Raj

The tin roof has killed the smoke
and the recipe
they now have LPG
the stream channeled
to be a concrete drain
what was the pasture
is now the parking
grandchildren glued to
some electronic fantasy

no tales, no mystery
when my granny died
she took the
charm of the hills
from me !


As my little one completes almost her first year at a montessori school, I am sure there is plenty she has absorbed from the school environment ,from teachers and friends. I can imagine how fascinating the world of the written word may seem to her now and simultaneously how complicated the nuances of language and signs and symbols are every where.
I think she now understands:

  • there is school most of the days and then there is holiday !
  • books have words which have meaning
  • numbers are used to count 
  • pretty dresses don't make friends ,friendly gestures do
  • washing hands kills the germs
  • laptops are not people

Another student who has learned some valuable lesons in this journey is me and what I learnt from her during this is :

  • The vessel has to be empty if it wants to be filled and so UNLEARN TO LEARN.
  • Ants repeat,bees repeat, babies repeat,only grown ups get bored.PRACTICE MAKES US PERFECT.
  • SMALL JOYS.Big joys happen now and then small joys happen everyday cherish them.
  • The easiest thing is to give up,label be prejudiced.DON'T JUDGE.
  • FORGIVE AND MOVE ON.Things will break,moments will be lost,people will hurt or just look the other way.Don't carry the hurt.
  • LOVE,DON'T EXPECT.When you give a hug it might not be returned always,so what ,you give it anyway.
  • RESPECT IS ALSO A KIND OF LOVE. Often we can't give gifts or write poetry but by just listening we show that we love and care.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


एक ही माँ ने
बुना था  एक ही ऊन से
हमारा बचपन

और एक ही संदूक में
उसने संभाली थी
 हमारी यादें

 पहले दोस्त
और पहले दुश्मन हम
एक दूसरे  से न जाने
कितनी बार निजात पाने
का होता होगा मन

लेकिन फिर जब कोई
ठोकर लगती
तो तुम ही याद आते
बचपन के खट्टे-मीठे
राज़ एक दूसरे को बताते

बचपन की निशान छोड़ने वाली
यादें  और चोटें
जब पीछे  छूटी
तब हम दोनों सीख गए
बिन आवाज़,बिन निशान
की चोट पहुचाना

कभी खुद को अच्छा साबित करने में
तुमको बुरा साबित कर जाना
और कभी प्यार के नाम पे
केवल ओपचारिकता निभाना

फिर कभी एक फन्दा तुमसे छूटा
या फिर धागा मैंने खींचा
बचपन की स्वेटर
उधड़ने लगी और
दीवार पर लगी
माँ की फोटो जैसे
सारे रिश्ते फीके हो गए
सारी यादें
धुन्द्ली पड़ने  लगी !

Sunday, May 13, 2012

मदर्स डे

साल दो साल में
एक -आध बार होता
किताबों के सारे बक्से  खुलते
चुनिन्दा साडीयाँ, चुनियाँ निकलती
एक-एक चीज़ को माँ  घंटो 
छूती रहती ,और पीछे बजता
एक पुराना गाना- मेरा दर्द तुम न समझ सके....

मैं झांकती दरवाज़े से तो
वो मुस्करा देती,पर नहीं छिपती
आँखों के कोनों की नमी

आज बरसों बाद
नहीं बिखरी मेरी किताबें
नहीं निकाले मैंने कोई चुनिन्दा कपड़े
छू के देखा ,आँखें भी नम नहीं मेरी

फिर भी मानो
मन ज़रा गीला सा लग रहा है
और जैसे कानों में वही गाना बज रहा है
मेरा दर्द तुम न समझ सके

आज शायद मदर्स डे है !

Friday, May 11, 2012

आज माँ की बात करती हूँ

चलो आज माँ की बात करती हूँ

ऊनी मोजों की नर्म बुनाई 
आज आत्मा पर पहन लेती हूँ
गर्म पकवानों की मीठी खुशबू
आज दिल में फिर भर  लेती हूँ
आज माँ की बात करती हूँ 

पापड़,अचार, चटनी और दफ्तर 
पति,बच्चा ,ससुराल और घर
इसी भागम-भाग में बीती
माँ की हर दोपहर की बात करती हूँ

मैं सीखूं वो भी जो
उसे सिखाया  न  गया 
मैं वहां तक उड़ पाऊँ
जहाँ उसके सपने से भी
जाया न गया
आज मैं माँ की 
उस उड़ान की बात करती हूँ 

मुझमे जो घोल दी 
कतरा-कतरा माँ ने
बूँद-बूँद अपनी उस  पहचान 
की बात करती हूँ

वो जो दुःख न मैंने कभी बांटे
वो जो शिकवे न उसने कभी किये
माँ-बेटी की ऐसी हजारों बातें 
अब मैं कुछ-कुछ समझती   हूँ
अब मैं माँ की बात करती हूँ

गुस्से में जो था उसने उगला
रूठने का मेरा झूठा बदला
आज उस विष-अमृत को
साथ - साथ  चखती हूँ 
मैं जो उम्मीदें  पूरी कर न  सकी 
मेरा भी कुछ खालीपन जो 
वो भर न सकी
आज वो  तोल-मोल करती हूँ 

मेरी बेटी और मुझमे
फिर से जीवंत हुए 
उसी रिश्ते को
आज नयी आँखों 
से चलो तकती हूँ
आज फिर माँ की बात करती हूँ 

ऊन नहीं है बस  माँ
मैं तो शब्दों के कम्बल बुनती हूँ
तुम्हारे जैसे लज़ीज़ तो नहीं
पर कुछ-कुछ व्यंजन रचती हूँ
मेरे तुम्हारे सपनों से भी आगे
उसके लिए आशा करती हूँ 

वो जो मैंने कहा नहीं तुमसे कभी
एक बार शायद एक ख़त में लिखा 
मेरी बेटी वही आई लव यू माँ 
हजारों बार दोहराती है

तुमसे कहा नहीं कभी यह भी
की जब-जब वो मुस्काती है
अपनी नन्ही को देखकर
माँ मैं तुमको याद करती हूँ

आज मैं माँ की बात करती हूँ  !

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Marshall McLuhan said -the medium is the message and when the medium is as larger than life as a Bollywood  star in India the message does create a huge roar of support and criticism alike.Yes there is no denying the fact that we live in a commercial capitalist setup where even sympathy is driven by the money it can eventually make.But isn't that true for every click we do on our cell phones and every packet of wafers we buy. We the people are now fodder for the number of likes on Facebook or the figures of shares on Youtube.
In television lingo we are the foot soldiers for the battle for the eyeballs and the so called TRPs which decide the fate of TV programs, the number of plastic surgeries by Mihir Virani"s and the generation leaps with no change in age or appearance,the oh so important breaking news about politicians with their pants down or the kilos of weight put on by a celebrity bahu..
We gulp it all ,and so when the much-hyped ,create-demand-manipulate-supply superstar promises a cry from his heart for his country backed by a huge TV network ,the largest mobile network and his own mammoth production house ,we anticipate a big show(down).
A few years ago DCP Ajay Singh Rathore played by Aamir in SARFAROSH says - yeh mere ghar ka mamla nahin hai ,yeh mere desh ka mamla hai.A few years later he is the art teacher taking up the cause of  a dyslexic child in TARE ZAMEEN PAR, and then as the genuine genius he makes us review our education system in 3 IDIOTS.What did we do? We, you and me thronged the theaters ,but now the issues have come knocking into our drawing rooms , a bit too close for comfort ,so are we afraid of miniature revolutions brewing in kitchens,or are we scared that the oppressed might also get a peek on Doordarshan  and begin asking uncomfortable questions.
Oh aren't we the evolved audiences of the dirty picture fame, you see we now are alright with open displays of emotion so if we can be open about sexual issues I do not see why we can't wash this piece of very dirty laundry in public too.It may not bring any change but it is stirring the stagnancy a little if not much.
OK lets assume the stories are exaggerated,the audience reactions are paid,the social zeal of a film star is a farce but contrary to what a lot of critics have argued THE ISSUE IS NOT A NON-ISSUE.The graphics are glossy but the figures are real ,the girls not allowed to be born are real and I can vouch for that.The unsolicited pity given to parents of only girls is a fact we can't deny.The partners in crime- wives and mothers who have chosen to remain quiet still outnumber the few who were brave enough to save their girls at the cost of their marriages and the so-called false honour.Can't we see that the mothers on the show who chose to save their girls paid a price as if it was a crime to stand up for their child who was not of the right gender,if I may say so.
I am very skeptical about armchair activism too,but if there is an initiative for awareness via advertising why not,don't we devote as much time if not more to advertising about fairness creams,soaps,lotions, colas and
double meaning film songs.
Aamir Khan is India's new OPRAH, yes he is because like her his show is about 'rapport talk ' but only for 90 minutes per week where again you and me have a remote we can use,what about the rest of the week- the dubbed dumb cartoon shows we feed our children,the overdressed repressed soaps now graduated to talking about extra-marital woes,childless couples,homosexuality in a cliched shh shh fashion,the unasked for soft pornography on music channels,why not say something about them too, or did I forget that it is fashionable to criticize a celebrity and look for my own 15 minutes of fame.Aren't we the culture who make celebrities so huge only to enjoy tearing them down later?
This boring show about a film star's political ambitions and a TV network's marketing ambitions as many say must die its own death if it is not worth it like the citizen activism that we were so gaga about a few months ago.
But I want to give it a chance a fair chance at least, and may this" social pornography" as critics call it rub shoulders with the wide variety of other pornographies on sale  and emerge only if it is worth it.
He might have messed it up big time,only time will tell, but are we not becoming a nation of status quoists?Or is being a celebrity and not talking about only award shows and IPL teams a crime too?
We question all new initiatives,and we must by all means, but in a country which spend mind boggling money on a silly T20 tournament every year and crores on movies and TV soaps that are soulless lets give this informed discussion a chance even though it is backed by the same dirty money.
Cynicism about the system has led us nowhere, lets give optimism a chance.don't SMS if you don't want to be part of the commercial aspect of this program but don't participate in whatever small way you may be in preventing girls from coming into this world.

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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

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

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