Behind the blinding Glow

He is a performer
puts up a show
he is a star
turns up the glow

there he shoots up
blazes the sky
bursting open
into millions, up high

the blaze is blinding
he is the light
there is no darkness
in the smile so bright

Show’s over
everyone’s happy
the tickets are strewn
the place looks crappy

The mask is peeled
grin stays pasted
the night is over
the dawn lays wasted

its a new day
all over again
there will be a new act
for he has to entertain

he is a performer
he puts up the show
no one sees the tear
behind the blinding glow

Cocooned in time


There they are,
imaculate and pure
cocooned in innocence
untouched by life

We have moved on
weaving our destinies
through fuzzy maze of time
with our own tussles and strife

‘Then’ has drifted away from the ‘Now’
seperated by layers of time
each twist n turn charting separate paths
each moment playing a dice

That moment still floats
serene in my mind
far away to touch and feel
yet close enough to entice

the mind knows I cannot
but the heart still pines
if i could go back,
it would be nice

But If if did reach that moment
through sheer force of love
I wonder what it would take
for my yearning to suffice

I would re-live the moment
Tempted to tell whats in store
Guide them of the twist n turns
of the pitfalls lurking in disguise

But I know I wouldn’t have the heart
to take away the god’s gift
of uncerain possibilities of life
be it good or otherwise

I would just watch
as they play in the moment
imaculate and pure
cocooned in innocence
untouched by life

लंबी ड्राइव

चलो एक लंबी ड्राइव पे चलें
रास्ते और मंजिल से बेफ़िकर
एक बार बिना किसी मतलब के चलें

कुछ दूर चल कर तुम
सुकून की तरफ मोड़ लेना
मन करे तो वो अपना
पुराना गाना भी लगा लेना

आज हर बात की छूट है
हाँ तुम गुनगुना भी सकते हो
अपनी ही तो गाड़ी है
सुरों को तोड़ मरोड़ भी सकते हो

उन जंजीरों को फेंक देना
ख्वाहिशों को जो जकड़े हुए हैं
उन कचरे के डिब्बों में
जो रस्ते के मोड पर पडे़ हुए हैं

कभी सड़क पर
कभी थोड़ा उड़ते हुए
बादलों को अपनी सासों में रखना
अपनी रफ्तार तेज
और समय की रफ्तार धीमी रखना

वो देखो वहां रोशनी है
हंसी के कहकहे भी सुनी है मैंने
चलो उस तरफ चलें
रास्ते और मंजिल से बेख़बर
अपने बचपन में चलें
चलो एक लंबी ड्राइव पे चलें
चलो खयालों कि लंबी ड्राइव पे चलें
चलो अपने बचपन में चलें

हर लम्हा बेमिसाल

चकाचौंध सी दुनिया
नजारे हजार हैं
जो मिल गया
उसके खोने का डर है
जो नहीं मिला
उसका मलाल है
बेकरार से रहे
दोष किस्मत को दिया
सोचा शायद
वक्त ही खराब है
पर जब देखा मैने
आंखें बंध कर
हर लम्हा बेमिसाल है

Right now I have this day to finish

Each box ticked
Whew!! the work is done.
the day draws to an end
and we count it as one.

Rising again with the sun
Unwilling to start the next count
Yet eager to finishing this one
boxes to be ticked, once again mount

Each count ends in a week,
quitely into a month, the week crept
I celeberate the birth one more time
Counting the many nights I have slept

Counting the nights was easy,
For the sleeping part I was sure.
Did I wake up or just sleep walked?
Of the day I was not sure.

On the moving tread I walked
counting the steps and time,
Achievements recorded on the counter
Celeberations for with every chime

I ran and walked
moving constantly on the set pace
Tired and exhausted,
yet competing the static race

In this race, I am running.
finish line is everyone’s dread
Yet in the race
I run faster instead.

I know I have another half to live
For doing all the things I wish
there will be time to live my life
But now, I have this day to finish

Which one is the truth…?

Ridhesh and Meghna have always been the travelling types. Any travel was an opportunity for them to move out of the program codes on their computer screens and into the real world. Both had graduated together from NIT with BTech with majors in Computer Science. Making conversations with people they meet and living the customs of where ever they visited was something they revelled. They travelled with thier reluctant teen aged daughter Ridhima.

This year the trip was to the Kanaul. A sleepy hill Station, little known on the tourist circuits, but well known on the religious tourism searches. Ridhesh had visited this town as a kid with his parents. It was somehow a nostalgic trip too.

The temple of Godess Kali was the major tourist attraction, apart from the natural beauty of the hills. The temple was tucked in midst of an array of shops selling items from audio CDs to toys. The livelyhood of the town survived on the grace of the goddess. The temple diety was known for its myths and power. The folklores were in plenty which describes the various miraculous feats of the goddess, both benovalent and ferocious.

As Ridhesh and Meghna emerged from the temple after offering thier prayers, they found Ridhima sitting in the steps across the street. Ridhima who had decided to give the temple a skip. Aarti bells were still ringing as the setting sun turned the sky into a fiery red glow. It resembelled the tilak from the Kali temple.

Ridhesh flicked open his DSLR camera to capture the beauty of the sunset contrasted by the hussle of the market place. The third click satisfied him. He noticed Ridhima Siting on the roadside steps flipping stories on Instagram. In the moving mass of the tourist she was an another contrast. Ridhesh changed his lens and altered the exposure settings to capture his Daughter in a candid frame. The first click was blurred, the second spoiled by an overfilled polyethylene carry bag of an enthusiastic photo bombing tourist. Third chance is rare and the laws of statistics were not flouted this time. Ridhima noticed her father’s irritating habit in time to hide her face.

“C’mon Ridhima, be a sport”, implored Ridhesh. ‘You will remember this moments through these pictures.”

“Dad, please!!”, protested Ridhima, “I don’t want you to post them on our family group. And, I hate it when everyone would comment on what I wear.”

“Where’s Mom?“ enquired Ridhima.

Ridhesh saw Meghna checking trinkets at the street vendor’s cart. Cheap fashion jewellery shared the space on the cart with prayer beads and holy head scarfs. The spiritual and the material, combining in a philosophical way. Meghna, in a pang of guilt dropped the trinket and picked the holy head scarf.

Meghna looked up to see where the father and daughter duo were. She saw them walking up to her quarrelling on how to click pictures. Ridhima was telling Ridhesh, just having an SLR does not make one a photographer.

She had a smile on her face as the father and daughter reached her. She piosly wrapped the scarf on her head.

“Now what?“, asked Ridhesh.

” Lets checkout some shops”, said Ridhima suggestively. Although the statement was vague, but her eyes and intentions were fixed on a Souvenir shop. And that is where the three of them headed. One resolutely and the other two in decreasing order of enthusiasm.

They had to navigate through a rush of humanity gathered around a free food stall distributing ‘prasad’ or the ‘Divine food’. Divotees thronged to get the Divine blessing on the auspicious dark night of the Goddess Kali. As the custom and belief goes, the food being distributed is first offered to the goddess, who blesses the meal and then the same food is distributed to the divotees. This was also the night when the sacrifices were performed. Although the custom was on a decline but it still was being practiced in the recesses of the homes and societies.

As they reached the shop, Meghna got busy exploring the pieces from seemingly some ancient times. At least the dust and the stacking of the artifacts gave it the ancient look. Wonderful pieces of wood carving ranging from gods to animals and guarding demons adouned the busy walls of the shops. The counter was filled with old bracelets, utencils, knives, etc.

At first glance it seemed there was no one in the shop. The old lady owner of the shop almost blended with old artifact. It seemed as if after staying for so long in midst of the timeless artifacts, she seemed to become one.

She smiled a weary smile. She had seen many customers who would loiter, click pictures and move on. Ridhesh tried to strike a conversation, but the response were monosyllabic.

The shop was not too small in comparison with other match box like shops on the street. However, the crowded artifacts made it look dingy and cramped. The door on the rear was partially hidden by the life size statue of goddess kali. The blood red tongue was in striking contrast with the deep blue body. The statue was a piece of art, except the smear crack near the eyes. Possibly the reason for the statue remain unsold.

Ridhima was visibly not enjoying the experience. Ridhesh was trying to make conversation with the lady at the counter, in his usual style, however with not much of progress.

The silence was broken by the loud arrival of the husband of the lady. The old man was pot bellied with scraggy unkempt hair. These imperfection were out shadowed by the loud exuberance. He moved in carrying the ‘prasad’, which was no mean achievement considering the hungry line of devotees, eagarly queuing up to gain the divine grace.

He filled the space with himself and his enthusiastic hospitality. He offered the ‘prasad’, which was essentially ‘Purees’ a kind of an Indian bread, Gram Dal curry and ‘Halwa’ – a sweet preparation seeped in clarified butter. The dishes were placed on a plate and bowl made of dried leaves. Old man had balanced the plates and bowls while navigating his ample presence through the crowd. His exuberant announcements of the his achievement was indeed credible. The possession was a consequence of vigorous strife among the dense mass of devotees. He handed his prized possession to Ridhesh.

Ridhesh was visibly embarrassed and feeling guilty of accepting the Holy meal which wasn’t initially meant for him, irrespective of the play of destiny. He was also starkly aware of the reluctant moan by the lady, who must have many times witnessed this infructuos hospitality. She sighed and started stacking back the artifacts on the counter with a sense of resignation, shared by Ridhesh as he was left holding the plates and bowls.

The old man looked at Ridhima and smiled. The return smile moved no urther than the lips.

“Little Doll!!, you must surely have the Halwa” instructed the old man to the visibly irritated Ridhima.

Before she could react, the old man had turned to his wife, and affiably rebuked his wife to leave the counter and make sure the ‘little doll’ was looked after.

“Baldev’s Mother” called the old man identifying his wife as a relation and not a person, “this ‘little doll’ is your responsibility. Look how famished she looks. Soon you shall have your own little grand daughter.”

With words assuring Ridhesh that he would be back with more prasad, he exited the shop in the the same abruptness as he had entered.

Ridhesh looked towards the old lady behind the counter. She was looking at his daughter, taking the instructions of her husband far too seriously. She turned and looked at Ridhesh and her lips smiled. The gaze lingered on Ridhesh a fraction longer. Silent was awkward.

to be continued…

आज फिर से

आज. क्यूँ ऐसा लगा
तुमसे दोस्ती कर लें….
…. जान पहचान हुए
अर्सा हो गया

यह चेहरा
कुछ अपना सा लगा…
… आँखों में आंखें डाले
अर्सा हो गया

हाथ थामा है अब
तो गर्माहट का अह्सास हुआ…
… ठंड में नर्म धूप का लुफ्त लिए
अर्सा हो गया

आज जब बैठे
तो सदियों के किस्से याद आये…
… फुर्सत कि दोपहर चुरा कर सोना
अर्सा हो गया

तुमसे आज फिर मुलाकात हुई
अछा सा लगा…
… नए दोस्त बनाए
अर्सा हो गया

आज क्यूँ ऐसा लगा
तुमसे दोस्ती कर लें…
… रिश्ता हमारा हुए
अर्सा हो गया