Monday, October 31, 2011

F1 in Kasauli

The rubber burning
on the tracks
ash-money,
power is the real game
so called 'history being created'

The pictures and the headlines
stare at me from papers
HISTORY written
large all over
the hills,the buildings and the people

The only race
is between the jostling thoughts
in my mind
one elbowing the other

memories burning
on the muddled tracks of mind.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LIGHT

The light is often within
whether its a humble diya
an imported candle
a Chinese string of mini bulbs
or the human heart


it takes a small
spark somewhere
a meeting of the
negative and positive 
to ignite and illuminate


so then the light within
is the only light
that can dispel the darkness


HAPPY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS !







Monday, October 24, 2011

Lessons from a Postman





Remember this:
The postman is a public servant He is very useful to society He delivers mail, money orders, invitations and parcels to us. He wears a khaki uniform. He car­ries a bag across his shoulder. He keeps all the letters and parcels inside it.
He gets up very early in the morn­ing and goes to the post-office. After collecting letters from there he delivers those letters to us. He goes from door to door and delivers the mail. He brings happy news as well as sad news
. Whether it rains or it is very hot, he does the work regularly and he is very punctual. Every day we wait for him. He brings news of our relatives and friends.
He is honest. His work is very hard. We should be thankful to him for working so hard for us.

Most of us have written something similar in middle school to get those much valued ten marks allotted to short essays in English. But I guess for the snail-mail generation postmen were heaven-sent and so we did see them with a lot of respect for the kind of work they did. In villages, he performed additional duty of reading out the postcards or writing replies on behalf of those who could not read or write. 
A memory still afresh in my mind is of yesteryear’s superstar Rajesh Khanna singing “dakia dak laya ,dakiya dak laya,khushi ka payaam kahin,kahin dardnaak laya”.
I recently happened to meet the latter type- (the pain in the #@@ type). My parents who have been the patrons of India post for more than 50 years now sent me a festival shagun via a money order.(No matter how much I complain to them about this somewhere I love them for these traditional quirks).
So this gentleman had some secret designs on my money and so didn’t deliver it for a good ten days and then to take it one step further he signed the receipt and very conveniently showed delivered on his records. So basically this was a small forgery.
When we came to know about this, the matter was taken up and after a lot of struggle the money was recovered. To cut the long story short due to the various conversations about this on phone and otherwise my real loss was not the harassment I went through for such a small task but the fact that now my toddler would never see another postman in the same light as our generation did.
Another still bigger loss was the loss of trust that my parents suffered in a service they had relied on for almost five decades.
The lessons learnt:
No matter how small our job in a team, our good and bad deeds have implications on the whole team.
It takes ages to make the delicate we of trust in a relationship and just a tug to shatter it all.
Damn you Mr. Evil Postman! Wish more people respected the service they are a part of !

FESTIVAL


It is that time
of the year again
its raining opulence
stinking affluence


the markets 
doing brisk business
homes and people
putting up new make-up
to cover 
last year's scars.


the toxic mithai
and the anti-crackers campaign
coexisting
in the rants and raves
section of the
supermarkets erstwhile
known as a festival


a capricious thorn
of guilt making
some uneasy
while others 
taking the placebo
of overlooking
the obvious disparity
of happiness.


The old lady deepavali
envies the Belgian chocolates
and the designer candles
the young diwali 
too drunk for comprehending
the beauty of an earthen lamp
or homemade burfi
clearly in a hangover.


the lights will be beautiful
but will the happiness
be unplagiarized ?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crowning glory

They are all hues
dark,light
salt-pepper
or a colour imaginary

shaved locks
in Nazi camps
erasing identity
or long locks symbolising
love, beauty, piety.

tightly coiled
for my race
or covered in a veil
for my religion's grace

curly ,straight
limp or bold
gray,black
in between or gold

Every woman
wherever she be
whatever her story
her hair is always
her crowning glory !

The hair is the richest ornament of women.  ~Martin Luther

MORNING


The winter daybreak is still
a couple of hours away
The charming chill of the night
longing to kiss
the warm lips of dawn.

The stoical slumber
of the city being shuffled
by only some wandering vehicle
or stray dogs.

The silence is soon
pierced simultaneously
by Azan, temple bells
and morning prayers at the Gurudwara

once the gods
refresh the world
to welcome another day
the human activity begins.

fragrance of fresh ginger tea
the spluttering of a breakfast menu
the gurgling of a shower
the school buses
and the newspaper boys.


in an instant
one can taste , smell and sense
India - the peculiar multiplicity
of its silhouette
glowing in the glorious sparkle
of another hybrid morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

रात और चाँद

एक रात थी 
काली स्याह धुंधली
अपने ही सायों में डूब कर
घुलती चुपचाप

एक चाँद था
चमकीला,सब तारों से
ज्यादा रोशन
लेकिन अकेला

फिर रात और चाँद
इक बार मिले
और दोनों ने यह मान लिया
अब साथ चलें

मैं अपने आंचल में
छिपा लूं तुमको
और तुम मुझमे भर दो
अपनी रूह की रौशनी

उस दिन एक खूबसूरत
रिश्ता बना
नाम जिसका प्यार पड़ा
और शायर ने जिसको
फिर चांदनी रात कहा !


Thursday, October 13, 2011

FROM GADGET GURUS TO OBJECT GURUS

A few days ago I had actually penned down the lessons my gadgets provided me , and so I was inevitably looking around for more meaning and inspiration from the quiet and uncelebrated participants of our lives.To my great surprise I realized that so many simple everyday objects around the house also have a thing or two to teach.Here it is:

SPOON - You have to bow your head humbly in order to fill yourself with something valuable.
PENCIL - You have to put your neck into some kind of danger in order to prove your utility,so let life sharpen you out.
CURTAIN - Perspective is very subjective.Some may think I prevent people from looking in and others may presume I prevent other people from glancing out,ironically I am simply hanging there.
TOOTHBRUSH - If a little discomfort on your part brings on a smile, go through it.
MIRROR - An image is just that an image,a person is much more than an image.
CLOCK - Every contribution is significant.Most people read only the hour and the minute hand ,nevertheless the hand ticking for seconds is equally important.
ERASER - Even if you have to damage yourself a little to correct an error, do it.You might be contributing in making something just perfect.
NEEDLE- Respect verstality.Size doesn't matter.They say a pen is mightier than a sword and a sword is certainly mighteir than me.I can't write poetry or win wars but can they sew a button?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

US

Do all love stories
begin with two strangers 
seeking some meaning
or illusion of completion
or culmination?


The paths that we walked together
would they be same 
after all these years
or the footprints of
more lovers (like we were back then)
and the ravages of the 
tyrant called Time
would have blurred ours?


Does all human love
run this familiar course
attraction,submission
and dissolution?


The stranger becoming "us"
is intense
but then isn't  a part of "us"
becoming stranger again 
equally incisive?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MY GADGET GURUS

So much has been said about human life and so much more is being said about its increasing dependeance on gadgets.Yet I feel even these lifeless companions of a modern lonely soul do much more than just making our lives comfortable.
When most of my mental space is often occupied by people and events I deliberately take some time out to write a note to my gadget gurus, about what they have taught me.
WASHING MACHINE - Always keep your drains unclogged to let out all the mental garbage it collects.
MICROWAVE OVEN - The outcome in a project or a relationship is not always in proportion to the effort put in it.It is OK ,there is always a lesson learned.
CELL PHONE - Contacts are just that only contacts,the numbers you will really call in a crisis will always be a few.
MIXER - The churning is important,sometimes the blades are blunt at other hours they are sharp,but keep the churning going on.
REFRIGERATOR - If you don't defrost the accumulated baggage from time to time it will only slow you down.
LAPTOP - Machines can do a lot for you but for a hug and a smile you need people.
TELEVISION - The world is constantly on the move,pick your slots carefully and don't be led astray by mindless advertising.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My heart's voice- RIP Jagjit Singh

Once upon a time,not too long ago there were no CDs to play,no mutual friends on Facebook and no cellphones to call.In that era love had a synonym- Jagjit singh's voice.
Whether it was the romeo in the lane playing,'kal chaudhvin ki raat thi' ,to impress the hottie next door,or it was the shy girl sending a message to a geek classmate -"jhuki jhuki si nazar",Jagjit was the voice of love sans class or gender.
Jagjit brought the unintiated ones like me closer to Urdu poetry and the fine art of ghazals and Nazms.There was a must -be phase for every young heart then,to hum Jagjit's ghazals in parties and when alone,to seek respite in their melodious longing of love or to despair in the soulful agony of unfulfilled ambition.
Whether it was 'na umr ki seema ho ,na janm ka ho bandhan'-type serious love or it was just or 'hosh walon ko khabar kya' -type rebelious teenage outburst ,there was a melody for all moods in his repertoire.
The connect at times was so strong that so many of us felt that when he sang,'woh ek din ek ajnabi ko meri kahani suna raha tha'.
Along with Ghalib ,Gulzaar saab,Sahir and Harivansh Rai Bachchan on my bookshelf there is a sacred corner for Jagjit's cassettes .They will always be special because they hold a big slice of my youth in his majestic voice.They hold the key to my dreams as a teenager,my notion of first love,my first foray into writing poetry myself.
An era ends today but the legend and the voice will live forever.For me and I'm sure many others he will always be the heart's voice.

shehed jeene ka mila karta hai thoda thoda
jaane waalon ke liye dil nahin toda karte

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The last patch

The small course of bricks now
encloses a few pots
in a corner
and the remnants of some plants

the rest of the
erstwhile last patch
of "green belt" in the lane
has given way
to the tiled beauty
of a drive-in porch

so the number of cars
won hands down
defeating the
natural , untamed ugliness
of a few pots of seasonal flowers.

I'm suddenly reminded
of some toddlers in a school
uniformed,disciplined,
in the process of being civilised

walled to be tamed
another battle lost.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

वक़्त

वो जो  गुज़र  गया
क्या बस वक़्त था
या और भी कुछ मर गया?

जो रंग भरे ख्वाब थे
और दोस्त बेहिसाब थे
क्यूँ लम्हा वो
बिखर गया
क्यों वक़्त वो गुज़र गया?

दिन- साल कितने बीते हैं
बस जीने को अब भी जीते हैं
पर दिल  कहीं ठहर गया
क्या बस वक़्त था जो गुज़र गया?

तू आज कोई और है
मैं आज कोई और हूँ
वो जो प्यार था वो किधर गया
क्यों वक़्त वो गुज़र गया?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Diabolical Demons...

He goes about bragging
his male prowess
he has only sons...
no weaklings(read girls)

In his presence
his wife of almost two decades
is still only seen
not heard(read dare she?)

This man
is going today
from house to house
finding little girls (read tradition)
for tomorrow morning's Puja

Who says Kaali
had killed all the demons?
some still walk free.

SMALL

I see what you see

but what if I see it

as I see

and not as as you see.

I speak your language

but what if I choose

my own words

and make new meanings.

I grow in your shadow

and you thrive on me

because its only in my

humility

you achieve greatness.

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
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
}

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

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