As the year 2016 draws to a close, many will rush to call it the annus horribilis. From Brexit to Trump, from the migrant crisis to Aleppo, much went wrong with the world. Like the many others before it on these topics, there’s probably no point in this post. Still, I feel a need to say something out loud.
So here goes…
Today is Diwali, the biggest festival of Hindu culture. I’d written previously about it here, but like most muses, it is something I can keep coming back to.
But it isn’t the festival that is the muse. Instead, all the things it symbolises: righteousness, its conquest of evil, and the inevitability of this victory – these make Diwali my favourite festival. It is an infinite fount of everything that keeps us human.
So, without further ado, I present to you this poem. And, of course, wish you a very happy (and hopeful) Diwali.
This year has begun with great promise: one made by me, some made by life. After all the running around and hassles of the years gone by, there looks to be signs of peace.
There is hope that we can settle down (in more ways than one), let go of the trifles of everyday living, and rest.
Here’s something I had written earlier, forgotten about completely, and rediscovered recently. Since summer is still marauding us these days, I think publishing a poem about winter still makes sense.
After all, aren’t we all in a perpetual yearning for the beautiful days of the past or the beautiful days of tomorrow? Aren’t we all just looking for an escape even when we know there isn’t one?
रिश्तों की उम्र कौन माप पाया है?
कुछ सदियों ज़िंदा रहते हैं, हमें शेरों-कहानियों में मिलते हैं। कुछ पूरी ज़िन्दगी अपने पैरों पर खड़े होने में लगा देते हैं, कुछ पूरी ज़िन्दगी हर दिन जीते हैं। हर एक की अपनी उम्र होती है। हाँ, कहानियां सबकी एक ही लगती है मुझे।
काफ़ी रिश्तों को क़रीब से देखा है मैंने। पाया है की जहां ख़ुशी है, रंग हैं, वह सब लोगों के अपने हैं। पर जहां कलह है, दुःख, रुस्वाई है, उन सबकी एक सी पहचान होती है। ऐसा लगता है की मानों एक को देख लिया हो, तो सबको देख लिया। हम उन्ही मसौदों पर रूठते हैं, वैसे ही बेगैरद लहज़े से बात करतें हैं, उसी दर्द से बिछड़ते हैं, वही आंसू रोते हैं… सब वही है, हमने कुछ नहीं सीखा है। इन्ही उलझनों से गुज़रने का नाम हमने ज़िन्दगी कर दिया है। यही चेहरे, यही मोड़, यही सब चलता रहता है, एक के बाद एक, दोबारा…
इन्ही किस्सों, कहानियों, दोस्तों, और लोगों के ग़म को देखा है मैंने, और उसे संजो के ये कविता लिखी है। उमीद है कुछ पसंद आएगी।
There She Stands (Click on the image for source.)
I believe I can justifiably say that, for I’ve been missing from this blog for the longest time – over a 100 days, WordPress tells me. During this, boy has a lot happened, most of which I wanted to write about here. But for reasons best known to Reason, I couldn’t. And then, suddenly, I couldn’t write at all. I wouldn’t call it any writer’s block, for the way I understand, that is when you at least have a will pushing you to write. In my case, I was blank – no ideas, no desire to write.
This morning, though, something just clicked. I’ve no clue why or how it happened, only glad that it did. Inspiration came, and as is usually its habit, at a place and from a source least expected.
It is a distinctly Bombay experience, the local trains. These days, I travel by two daily to reach the place of my internship at Andheri, changing at Vadala Road. So why am I boring you with the details? Because as I approached the latter, across the barricade that separates the first class from the women’s coach, I spotted this woman. Her expression I can’t describe – which is exactly how I believe it should be between Man and Woman – and stood staring outside the wide gates. As is usual in such cases, I’ve no clue to her identity, nor what she was seeing or thinking. But looking at her, and wondering what gave her the expression that she carried, somewhere Coelho’s divine Word decided to descend once again on my being.
And do I feel happy.
Here’s the poem this episode spawned. As always, I await your reactions.
As most of you might have figured out by now, and those who haven’t can go here, Calcutta is my city. Home. And a thoroughly wonderful place it is too. Though not the first city the Brits conquered, it was the first whose hearts they did. As a result, the average Bengali then, and the average super-rich Bengali know, took to all things British as fish takes to water, or as a Bengali himself takes to fish. And like we do always, we did things with English that only we can.
The alphabet, for those who know the blessed city…
Going by recent history, this post comes after what can be called a long period of time.
There was of course an era when a week was a second, and this blog saw the light of an update as frequently as our great nation sees the sight of an honest and incorruptible politician.
(Two things. I know it is our collective national pastime to criticise politicians and it is a very painful cliché, but they keep doing something to deserve it, and you just can’t let all that hard work go waste. Second, well, take note that I said ‘politician’, and not ‘leader’…honestly, do we even have one?)
But that isn’t what I plan to talk about here. As the title goes, this post is to thank people. And, almost invariably, that thanks is for their, for lack of a better word, patronage of this blog.
And here’s the list:
A friend messaged me sometime back speaking of her favourite flowers – liliums. Now, when I first read it, I was none the wise about this specific species – largely because the message went on to add that these were flowers that had no scent, and were merely beautiful to look at. She explained that this was the reason that she actually found them appealing.
The consequent reaction – at my end – was that of confusion. The thing is that I am a chip off the very old block, and have very little idea about all things new. I mean, I really had no idea that flip-flops were footwear – and hypercool speak for slippers – until I recently downloaded an image on Webshots that was thus titled. So, despite the fact that I had a glaring suspicion that this was American for Lilly, I thought that I’d just Google it.