जाने कैसी मुलाक़ात होगी

Marriage is the final triumph of societal life. All actions in public life stem from it, reach for it, and once the task is done, are set in motion again for the next generation. Nature has, of course, wired every species to seek survival. Man, thankfully, is the only one that makes such a show of it.

But since the show is there, it gives rise to many stories and many rituals. Cultures change them with great frequency, art celebrates it in all. In India, we have the arranged marriage – where parents get a couple together, having previously satisfied themselves of the financial, societal, and emotional state of the other family. The young (would be) couple meets in a public place with a great delegation of their relatives, and is usually given a little amount of time to talk to each other and get to know the person. At least a couple such meetings happen, usually more.

It is a process subject to great ridicule but has also considerable success. Anyone reading this in the West will probably be shocked by this way of going about the business of marriage, but they will of course appreciate that things change in other parts of the world.

But even when some things change, some remain the same.

 

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चलो कहीं डेरा डाल लेते हैं

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.

 

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Winter in the City

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?

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Suddenly in the Midst of Summer

Today marks the anniversary of this blog. Today is also the festival of Holi, the Hindu festival of colour and Spring.

This year, though, the festivities will be a shade calmer: the sudden cool prevalent over much of India will prevent many from indulging in the usual wild splashing and watering of people, emotions, and life itself.

However, this unexpected cold does have some benefits. Some I’ve tried capturing in the lines below. Like always, do let me know how you like them.

 

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All Vacations Must End

At times, your words don’t come from you. They are too powerful to belong to one voice, their meaning too deep for one tale. Recently, I uttered some of this sort. They were said to someone I know in a jovial tone, without much thought gone in their formation.

And yet, when I reflected on them, I was saddened. Extremely. By their weight, the lost possibilities they spoke of, the grief of demise they had. Moved, I wrote this poem, and made those words its title. Let me know how you like it.

 

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दोबारा

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।

 

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सावन

बारिशों के दिन हैं, बारिश चाहे कमज़ोर ही सही।

गर्मियों की झुलस के बाद जो पहली बूँद गिरती है, यूँ लगता है जैसे दम घुटने से साँस भर पहले ज़िन्दगी फिर से बहने लगी हो। सूखी, प्यासी-सी धरती और प्यासे-से अरमानों को एक राह मिलती है। जो कहीं रुकने लगी थीं, थमने लगी थीं, वो दुआएँ पेड़ों की टहनियों पर पत्ते बन खिलती दिखती हैं। हाँ, सिर्फ भला होता है ऐसा भी नहीं है। हमारे शहरों की जर्जर व्यवस्थाओं को बारिशों में डूबते देखते हैं, सड़कों पे बनती नदियों में गलते कागज़ों के कारवां हर साल न जाने कौन सा समंदर तलाशते हैं।

जीवन की बाकी तस्वीरों की तरह, सावन के भी दो चेहरे हैं: यह सृजन भी है, यह विनाश भी है। आगे लफ़्ज़ों में लेकिन कुछ एक ही सूरत दिखेगी – आशा की – और इसकी वजह भी है। आस-पास की गर्त, की दुर्व्यवस्था न गिनने से कम होगी न व्याख्या करने से। हाँ, शायद खूबसूरती और प्रयास को सोचकर हम मन के अनगिनत तनावों को भुला सकेंगे, आने वाले सवालों को टटोलने की थोड़ी ज़्यादा हिम्मत जुड़ा सकेंगे।

कई कविताएं लिखी हैं पर काफ़ी वक्त से इतना वक्त किसी ने नहीं लिया। पढ़ के बताइयेगा ज़रूर कैसी लगी…

 

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Reading Gulzar – Ranjha Ranjha

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

An adaptation of a work of Bulle Shah, the immortal saint, this song speaks of the mystic element of love – where the identity of one is lost in the other. The lover not only joins and mingles into his love, he is destroyed and annihilated by it.

And is grateful for it.

Film: Raavan

Music: A. R. Rahman

Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj and Javed Ali

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is something about first love. The magical lose of sense, the pure, unadulterated flights of fancy, the audacity of hope, the rebellion from order…

How often do we manage to reach these again?

Since we can’t, we can always listen to this…

Film: Kaminey

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Singer: Mohit Chauhan

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Bol Na Halke Halke

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is little exploration of fantastical love these days, and lesser still is it expressed. We don’t dream these days in obscure motifs and unreachable ideals, our quest is much easier, much accessible.

In such a time, there comes a song like this – romantic, soulful, and seeking to break the bonds of Time. Going back to a time when the Moon was both the companion and antagonist, hope as well as torment, laughter as well as pain of lovers, it gives us escape from the morbid bounds of commonality.

Film: Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Music: Shankar, Ehsan, and Loy

Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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