Saturday, January 21, 2017

कतरनें / kataranein

अगर वो कभी जुबां खोले, तो मैं उस के जीवन का सारा विष नीलकंठ बन कर पी जाऊं.

पर ऐसा कभी नहीं होता. कितने साल बीत गए.. वो चुप है, और मैं प्यासा। 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Zaroorat / Need

बहुत ज़रूरी है। 

मोहल्ले में हो
एक ही ऊंची सीढ़ी
तो दीवार चढ़ने के लिए
अहम् की दीवार
लांघनी भी पड़ती है

जब डिनर सेट
शर्मा जी के यहां से
और कुर्सियां
वर्मा जी के यहां से हो
तो मेहमान नवाज़ी
सांझी हो जाती है। 
दुःख सुख भी

हलकी सी गोंद है 
जो सब को जोड़े रखती है 

बहुत ज़रूरी है। 

Update: This post made it to the Tangy Tuesday Picks of Blogadda! Am so surprised! 


Book Review: Detective Ben

I love detective fiction. Everything from Sherlock to Nancy Drew to James Patterson to Mary Higgins Clark.. u get the idea.

So it was with some excitement that I picked up this Detective Ben - my first in the series.


The plot was thin, if at all. The absence of spellings might work for some people, it was a torture for me.

And in short, I usually do not review books and movies that I don't like. But this was begging that we should warn other readers.

Please avoid.

Book Review: Itvaar Chhota Pad Gaya by Pratap Somvanshi

बड़े दिन बाद, एक ऐसी किताब जिस के हर शेर पर वाह! निकलती है.

कविता, बड़ी अजीब चीज़ होती है. बिलकुल माया के जैसी. जिसे लग जाए, उसे लग ही जाती है. पर आज भी हम ५० साल पुरानी किताबें पढ़ते हैं. इस लिए, जब कोई नयी किताब आती है, तो उस से बड़ी उम्मीदें बंधती हैं. इस बार, एक किताब है जो उन सब उम्मीदों पर  खरी उतरती है. बार बार किताब के पन्ने आँखों में मिश्री घोलते हैं. बार बार मुस्कान स्वयं ही आती है. ऐसी कविता, काम ही पायी जाती है.

ज़रूर पढ़ें.

Poetry is like Maya... once you are in its grasp, you cannot escape. You will always thirst for good poetry. But we still read poetry that is half a century old. So when a new book of poetry is released, one views it with much anticipation. This is that rare book that meets the expectation. On every page, there is a smile. Almost every sher makes you go "Wah!" in your head. This is awesome poetry. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lohri Traditions

Makar Sankranti is a festival that is celebrated all over the country. Sharing here, the Lohri/Maghi traditions of Punjab. Please share the traditions of your own culture. It will be great to have a compendium.

1. Til Mooli
In the morning, before we eat anything else, every member of the family takes a small piece of radish, and a pinch of black sesame seeds. They sit with another member of the family (usually someone older) and take 5 resolutions for the coming year. These are the things they value in life. The person sitting with them confirms each resolution verbally. It is a very beautiful exchange. Usually, they go something like:
Til mooli chakhaan? (Should i taste this Til mooli?)
Response: Chakho ji. (Please do)
Ghar Parivar rakhaan? (May i value my family this year)
Response: Rakho Ji. (Please do)
Vyapaar Maan Rakhan? (May i value my trade and my prestigs?)
Response: Rakho ji.
Deh Rogta Rakhaan? (Wellness)
Rakho Ji.
Yaar Dost Rakhaan? (My friendships)
Rakho Ji.
I love the Til Mooli tradition. It forces us to focus on the 5 things that matter most in life, and provide a verbal affirmation to value them in the year.

2. Mai De Lohri
Small batches of girls and boys go from house to house, singing traditional Lohri songs and collecting goodies from every household. This is the Indian Trick or Treat. There is a song for girls and one for boys.
You can get them here:

3. The Bonfire
Perhaps the best known tradition of Lohri is the bon fire. At this time, the Rabi crop is either just harvested, or near there. People take this corn, rabri, gajak, peanuts and other winter goodies. They light a bon fire and circle it (almos always,this is a community bon fire, around which there is much singing and dancing and fun). Once you have circumambulated the fire, your Lohri basket becomes "prasad" and you must share it with the other families, also partaking of theirs.

4. The song and dance
Self explanatory.

5. The "Bai Khichdi"
On the night of Lohri, the family makes chana dal khichdi and keeps it overnight. The next morning, the whole family eats only bai khichdi. That old khichdi is symbolic of everything that the previous year stood for. With that breakfast, we bid adieu to every resentment and happiness of the previous year. With that breakfast, our association with the previous year is over.

6. The "First Lohri"
The first Lohri of a couple, or of a newborn, is considered very special. There is much celebration, and people travel to be with their families for the First Lohri of a special arrival in the family.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


When a pebble sinks
it makes
no noise.
It is the same
with people.

कंकड़ डूबता है
तो आवाज़ नहीं होती
लोगों का भी
ऐसा ही है.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Today's gratitude

is for this thought:

Write your sorrows in sand, and your gratitude in granite. Leave the sand on the beach and use the granite on your kitchen slab.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


कौन सी दो बातें सब से ज़्यादा दुःख देती हैं?

१. किसी का हो कर भी न होना.
२. किसी का न हो कर भी हर समय होना.

What are the 2 greatest sorrows that we know?
1. Someone who is here, and still isn't.
2. Someone who is not here, and still is. Always.

कौन दो लोग सब से ज़्यादा दुःख देते हैं?
१. कोइ ऐसा जो हो कर भी न हो. 
२. कोइ ऐसा जो जीवन में नहीं है, पर मन में हर समय होता है. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Acknowledge that mental illness is not another malady

जैसे हम लोग ये मानते हैं कि AIDS या cancer जीवनघाती रोग है, terminal illness है, वैसे ही हमें ये भी स्वीकार करना चाहिए की अवसाद (depression) या और मानसिक रोग भी जीवन घाती (terminal illnesses) हैं.

इन रोगों को भी वही इज़्ज़त, या कम से कम वही acknowledgement तो मिलना चाहिए. लोगों को मालूम तो होना चाहिए की अगर किसी को अवसाद है, तो ये निश्चित नहीं की वो ठीक हो ही जाएगा.

जिस तरह हम कर्करोग या एड्स के मरीजों के अधिकारों में अपने जाने का समय चुनने के अधिकार की शिरकत करते हैं, यही शिरकत मानसिक रोग के रोगियों के लिए क्यों नहीं की जाती?

We speak about AIDS and cancer, and acknowledge the terminal nature of some of the cases of these illnesses. Why don't we accord the same seriousness and the same acknowledgement to mental illnesses?

We speak the right to die with dignity for patients who suffer from terminal illnesses of the body. Why don't we include that right among the rights of those affected by life long, terminal mental illnesses?