aur phir se khil khilaayein!

आज बहुत दीनो बाद एक नज़्म… शब्दों को ढूंडती.. टटोलती.. रोज़ मर्राह के circus से परे… कयि बार “the pace of your life” starts to take over your “mindspace”… उसी mindspace के खाली कोनो से निकली.. धीरे धीरे ब्रेक लगाती एक आवाज़…

बहुत दिन से बस गुज़र से रहे हैं
इन ऊँची नीची टेढ़ी मेडी राहों से
मॅन मे एक विलोम
चिंतन की लकीरें
मुस्कुराहट छिपि हुई सी..
फूट पड़ने को बेताब… पर कैसे?
किस वजह से?

फिर चार दीवारी और नीला फर्श
घंटियों की मधम सी आवाज़
कुछ चलचित्र
कुछ किताबें
बहुत दिन बाद चाय की वो प्याली (बस एक)
और उसके साथ butter toast
होंटो पर एक नन्ही सी मुस्कान

तितरा बितरा सा घर
चारों तरफ कपड़े..
“viscious cycle of laundry” मे समाई हुई सी ज़िंदगी
निशब्द सा नज़मों का बस्ता.. अधखुला
शॉर्टकट का खाना
और एक कोने मे एक सफेद जर्बेरा
प्लास्टिक की बोतल मे क़ैद.. उस फूल की मुस्कान

कुछ भरा..
काफ़ी खाली
लिस्ट.. बनानी पड़ती है कभी कभी
एक अधूरी पैंटिंग
पंखे की आवाज़
रानी कलर वाली रज़ाई..
उससे निकलने को ना तैयार
हम (और हमारी मुस्कान)

शाम की चाय
आज पकोडे बनाएँगे
रात मे टाकीज़ जाकर पिक्चर
और बीच मे फिर किताबें
और सफाई.. (शायद)
ख्वाबों को समेटती
दिन को बसर करती
नये अल्फ़ाज़ खोजती
आँखों मे चमक वाली मुस्कान..!


bahut din se bas guzar se rahe hain
in oonchi neechi tedhi medhi raahon se
mann me ek vilom
chintan ki lakeerein
muskurahat chhipi hui si..
phoot padne ko betaab… par kaise?
kis vajah se?

fir chaar deewaari aur neela farsh
ghantiyon ki madham si awaaz
kuch chalchitra
kuch kitaabein
bahut din baad chai ki vo pyaali (bas ek)
aur uske saath butter toast
hoton par ek nanhi si muskaan

titara bitra sa ghar
chaaron taraf kapde..
“viscious cycle of laundry” me samayi hui si zindagi
nishabd sa nazmon ka basta.. adhkhula
shortcut ka khana
aur ek kone me ek safed gerbera
plastic ki botal me kaid.. us phool ki muskaan

kuch bhara..
kaafi khaali
list.. banaani padti hai kabhi kabhi
ek adhoori painting
pankhe ki awaaz
rani color wali rajai..
usse nikalne ko na tayaar
hum (aur hamari muskaan)

shaam ki chai…
aaj pakode banayenge
raat me talkies jaakar picture
aur beech me fir kitaabein
aur safai.. (shayad)
khwaabon ko samet ti
din ko basar karti
naye alfaaz khojti
aankhon me chamak wali muskaan..!



And there she was thinking of how mondays couldn’t get better than this! a warm sun with just that hint of winter in it to wake up to… adrak wali chai… and then her subconscious went ahead and jinxed it. It became the kind of day where anything that can go wrong will go wrong!

So she thought she will get out of office and head to the BDA and get her rent agreement sorted out in life to save some tax..! That will now happen tomorrow and that lays to bed the plans she had of hitting the gym this week! (yes the whole week coz she now has to collect the darned doc at 1030 in the morning and then head to work tomorrow… for day after well she could make it – but after a 13 hour planned work day she has grave doubts. Thursday morning requires to find the landlord to sign the agreement and Friday morning is booked for the conversion from bear to human via a process of shedding the comfortable coat of fur that winters are perfect to acquire but there is no winter this year!) And the weekend finds her either at the NH7 or at a forest at the border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu! So you see… the gym for the whole week just went into the trash – and the kilos did not go alongwith it!)

Lo and Behold she thought that could be her only problem… never ever preempt fate! Just don’t do it… a couple of months of running out of gas on a cylinder she decided its time to book the next one before this one goes kaplonk.. but the gas connection it so happens is in her mothers name and has been blocked for non submission of proof of gas connection and an electricity bill to go with it (when you’re single and consume 1 cylinder in 8 months this is how the mysteries of life reveal themselves to you!). The polite person at the counter at the gas agency told her she has to take the docs and go to the Food and Civic Supplies Association – yes a government office whose website does not show the address and google shows 3 addresses! A government office where the world refuses to answer the telephone that rings and rings and dies trying to ring loud enough into a ear to achieve the mammoth task of getting someone to answer it…! A website which shows the documents can be scanned and uploaded – but where my dear civic supply body is the upload button? The horrors of switching to private gas and paying 1700 bucks for 1 piddly pint sized half filled cylinder grip at her throat and she calls her mommy in a desperate attempt to unburden the felonies of fate! (This is where you should notice that the gas connection has also come in between the gym and the de-furrification!) (maybe there’s a deeper reason why you should just eat and get fat in the winter… maybe this is destiny telling her damaged child to just eat drink and be merry.. but destiny seems to have forgotten the basic fact of no food without fuel.. and where lies the merriment if the means to be merry are spent on getting LPG?! Answer me dear destiny… answer me!)

Coming back to the attempt to unburden on the mother sitting miles away in another part of this country, the mother has decided to unburden on her first and lo and behold – teri shaadi nahi hui hai! Err.. Umm… she looks around furtively.. of course she knows she’s not married! “But beta you must meet that boy.. he comes from a very nice family and his mother was very nice to talk to!” (So the fact that I will have a sweet talking mother in law discounts the fact that the dude in question had a half moon on his head, was wearing a kurta pajam – yes stark white, with the uberest boredest expression on his face and reading economic times because that’s his rozi roti?! It also seems to discount the fact that he sounds like a telegram being sent on a very broken wire and well… likes to read – but light stuff like Chetan Bhagat! Likes to watch movies – only bollywood. Likes to listen to music – again only bollywood.) This is where dear reader you will be asked to read this blast from the past on a lovely valentine’s day… Ishqiya.

Yes – as you expect, tempers flared and tantrums were thrown. 

Second attempt to unload the manic monday… and the big sister throws off another rishta at her! Apprehension – an entrepreneur! Doing well.. but an entrepreneur and the wonderful jinx of this destiny’s damaged child dont really sit well with them.. but as promised.. this too shall be spoken to and explored – at least by the fact that he chose to tread the so called untrodden path it demands an exploration unlike the Chetan Bhagat loving white KP cited above!)

The second big sister is desperately called for want of a sympathetic ear now and well.. too much to ask for on this day when Murphy went for a walk all over her nerve cells! A full rant later there was only hysterical laughter.

~shakes head~ ~keeps phone aside~ ~throws hands up in air~ ~and decides that there is solace only in beer today~ 

And so this citizen belonging to the furry female of the species of this glorious country who as per a government website requires more investigation who is not married and past marriageable age, who cannot go the gym for the obvious business of living and earning to money to live will now spend that money on a frivolous can of beer and engage in the illicit activity of making wine at home without a license while heating some sausages on a gas connected to an LPG cylinder in her illegal possession!


The criss cross on the walls

the window bars

the lines on the curtains

she stares at them all.




Keeping her in 

Strangling the urge

to constantly break free


The squares on the floor

the circles in the fan

the angles in the corners

take her gaze to the door


She reaches to open

the round circular knob

She lets in the wind

gives free rein to her wings


She breaks free… from the Geometry!


The twisted leaves

the gouging tree bark

the shapes mesmerize

and she feels them all


She lets go.. of the Symmetry!


बारिश मे छिपि वो ठंड की फुहार

Office से देर रात को निकले हम

हलकी सी धुनध्ह (या शायद शहर का धुआँ)

ओस से लिपटी हमारी black wagon r

सर्दियों की सी खुश्बू

घर तक की खामोश drive (मौसम इतना खूबसूरत था की गानो की ज़रूरत ही नही थी)

गुलाबी पाजामा

काली sweatshirt

5 लीटर का cooker सीटी मारते हुए खिचड़ी पकाए

हींग का तड़का

दो पर पंखा और रज़ाई

सर्द खामोशी

चाय की प्याली

थोड़ा सा काम और सर्दियों की इस खुश्बू मे लिपटे कयि अनकहे ख़याल!

the blue bottle

ज़िंदगी पानी की उस नीली बोतल के इर्द गिर्द मंडराने सी लगी थी

दिन मे चार बार उसे भरो

खाली करो

desk पे रखी वो बोतल हर चीज़ का इलाज थी




सब उससे नपने लगे थे

एक वो बोतल और फिर chewing gum

हर मर्ज़ का उपाया थी ये

कॅफेटीरिया का उबला हुआ सा खाना

पेस्ट्री जो ज़्यादा मीठी हो

इस नीली बोतल के पानी के ज़र्रों से ‘taste change’ होता था!

call पर बैठे बैठे ज़िंदगी के हज़ार खुली आँखों से देखे सपने इसी बोतल के ढक्कन के खुलने और बंद होने मे समाने लगे थे..

‘stress buster’ सा बन गया था इस नीली बोतल का मोटा नीला ढक्कन!

बारिश की आवाज़ ऑफीस के cubicle मे नही आती तो क्या.. इस बोतल मे पानी के छलक्ने की आवाज़ तो है

धूप के देवदार से ‘play of shadows’ भी खेलती यही नीली बोतल

दवा को डकारती

दुआ को पुकारती

acidity से राहत थोड़ा सा eno और ये नीली बोतल

थकान मिटाने के लिए आँखें सेके यही नीली बोतल

और रोज़ मर्राह के काम को छोड़ घर जाने का संदेश भी दे यही नीली बोतल.

नापी तोली सी ज़िंदगी

बोतल का नापा तोला सा पानी

गुस्से को शांत करता इसी बोतल से निकला पानी का कतरा

झरनों के ख्वाब मे लपेटा भी इसी बोतल के पानी का ज़ररा

ये नीली बोतल

और ज़िंदगी तो मापता इसके पानी का सिलसिला!


Caravans of peace
They roll by
Not stopping for a minute
The gold dust runneth

A drum roll here
A trumpet there
Sounds of daily living

Escape to the mountains
Run fer the hills
But the streams are dry
Rocky mountain high

Glacial ice
Soft underfoot
A refuge
A karmageddon trek?

White birds at night
a brimming plight

Flying south
Flying west
Hark the center of the universe
A savage respite?

O Pandora
Close thy gory box
The end is nigh
And it’s still about the bull or the cock!

The chicken
It crosses the road
But man – he sits
Staring at the gaping wide hole.



अंतर्मंन के फवारे
फ़वारों की एक दास्तान
तित्तर बित्तर के फैली ना
साथ जुड़ ये सुर्ख मे बही

ए जन्नत तो इस मन मे ही
ए ख्वाब कहाँ इसे सहलाने को
ए मेहनत दा पाख़ी
बूहे बारी विच क़ैद

इसको रंगो की आस यहीं….

strangely enough these lines were inspired at a jazz and blues festival as the rain came pouring down!