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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Reading Gulzar – Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

This has been a long time coming.

I think the blog hasn’t been updated for a while now (a month to be precise), but that hasn’t really been for a lack of trying. A couple of pieces that I have been working on are taking an impossibly high amount of time to get done with. As such, not quite able to head anywhere with my own words, I have decided to return to the relief and comfort of those of Gulzar.

There are a few songs where the singing of the words surpasses their poetry, if you know what I mean. Usually, the latter is so good that if you were to sing it (and I am assuming here that you’re as bad a bathroom singer as any), you’d still find joy. You’d find joy in merely reading the poetry. But the rare songs I refer to are those where the poetry’s meaning and emotion is enhanced by the manner in which they have been sung. They will be beautiful if you read them, or make your best un-donkeybray effort at singing, but they won’t be as beautiful as the original, shot-on-film, sung-by-the-gods song itself.

This film, Gulzar’s ‘Parichay’ has both these kinds of songs: there is the former of the rich poetry, and this, the latter.

When you listen to the song, or rather, watch it, you’ll see how Lata Mangeshkar and Jaya Bachchan begin the song more like a narration, like singing a song you knew the words to but thry don’t really mean anything personal to you. For a song that is inherently sad in its words, watch the latter smile and enjoy the singing. Then, watch how Bhupinder’s voice and Sanjeev’s introduction to the scene adds the feels to it, like moments beginning to form out of the mist of memories. You know this is more than just a collection of words for him. This leads beautifully to the second verse, by which they’re both emoting, yearning for the filling of a common void.

It is subtle. It is, in fact, aspiration.

Incidentally (and sadly, for it highlights the dearth we’ve had of actors of his ilk in Hindi cinema), Sanjeev Kumar who plays Jaya Bachchan’s father in this song was cast opposite her in ‘Anamika’. Incidentally, again, R. D. gave the music to that film too!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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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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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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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 – Filhaal

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is, arguably, no escape from the ephemeral nature of Life.

We sail on a sea of motion, where the tides of Time and Chance decide our destinations as much as the forces of Will and Desire. Life is lost and found in the finite moments of tranquility that exist in the storms that ravage, ceaselessly, these waters. And we are all, always, fighting for these moments.

Which is why, at times, it seems prudent to forget the big picture, let go of the dream of the golden shore of destination that awaits on the other side. They will come, yes; but for what it is worth, we could always breathe a little. Make do with the simple pleasures that abound in the featureless commonality and redundancy of Routine. Love ourselves a little.

We know not when the wind will change its course, we know not what the weather gods decide, we can never foresee what the next moment will bring. But if we enjoy what we have, when we have it, no joy is too small to be celebrated.

I have written earlier of Gulzar’s celebration of everyday objects, occurrences, and experiences (here and here, for your reading pleasure). This piece, instead, is about everyday sentiments.

Film: Filhaal

Music: Anu Malik

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Diwali (Click on the image for source.)

Diwali (Click on the image for source.)

If it weren’t for WordPress here, I wouldn’t even remember that the last post I made on this blog was on the last day of July. Almost three months have passed since, and boy, has Life been going places!

But more on that later. Right now, it is about Diwali!

If you’ve seen any of those Christmas movies the West makes, and ‘Love Actually’ is perhaps the best one, you’ll get the sort of idea that I have of this festival. To me, it is this huge vat of joy that, like the proverbial cup, will never empty, will always splash some on you. For me, it always brings hope – for some odd reason, I feel a godly presence, for some odd reason, I reaffirm my belief that the world still is a beautiful place, and that beneath our barbaric exteriors, we’re still children running after the same thing – love – and somehow, at the end of it all, we’ll find it.

And, to that end…

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