Saturday, April 14, 2018

Book Review: Namak Swadanusaar by Nikhil Sachan

It took me a long time to decide whether or not to write this review. Usually, when one doesn't like a book, one just tosses it off and moves on. Life is too short for things that you don't gel with. Like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, we are better off finding our own groove and leaving behind the ones where we don't fit.

But here is the thing. With bad eyes, here one is, sitting and writing a review. Because, in this book, one kept waiting fro that one spark of brilliance. Mugalte was the story that provided it for me. Sadly, also the only one.

The thing about any piece of writing is, that while reading it, we should be able to feel the characters right there - in front of us. Their emotions become ours, their words play in our heads. This is why its so hard to let go of a good book. We live a good book while we read it.
In this case, the only voice that keeps playing in the head is that of the writer. The writer just never leaves the stories alone!

It is not the personality of the characters that shines through his words - it is the personality of the writer.

For the first time, I realised that writing a story is like a mother creating a child. When you see a child, you know that s/he comes from a parent, you can just about see the shape of the mother's jaw or perhaps her eyes. But what you see and experience is the child - an individual with its own soul, and its own personality. That is what is missing in Nikhil's writing.

So why is one taking the trouble to write a book review? Because 10 years later, I want someone to read this review and say "You were so wrong."

Nikhil has a lot of great stories inside him. His writing style is fresh and his own. The only thing I would like to see, as a reader, is the crafting of the story.

In short, I am writing this review because I believe in this writer, and some day, I want to read more by him.

Friday, April 06, 2018


Being mean is not an action. It is a personality trait.

Even if someone tells u that they want your advice - they don't. They mostly just want to be heard without judgement. Do just that.

They always know the answer that they want to hear. It is not always the answer that they need to hear. Our tolerance for answers that we need to hear is at an all time low.

It is a great idea to stop talking to people. It is a pathetic idea to stop talking to yourself.

Life is too short for ego. I really mean that. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018


तुम्हारे लिए कुछ लिखा:

एक ज़रा सी स्याही ने
लतीफे को रिश्ता बना दिया।

छोटे छोटे शब्द/ chhote chhote shabd

छोटे छोटे शब्द
कभी आरी , कभी चाकू
कभी तीर, कभी तलवार।

कभी मरहम,
कभी टांके,
कभी गोद
कभी मुंद्री।

मुंदरी: अंगूठी ; finger ring.

ਛੋਟੇ ਛੋਟੇ
ਅਥਰੇ ਆਖ਼ਰ
ਕਦੇ ਆਰੀ, ਕੱਦੇ ਚਾਕੂ
ਕੱਦੇ ਤੀਰ, ਕੱਡੇ ਤਲਵਾਰ

ਕੱਦੇ ਲੋਰੀ,
ਕਦੇ ਮਲ੍ਹਮ
ਕਦੀ ਟਾਂਕੇ ,
ਕੱਦੇ ਗੋਦੀ
ਕਦੇ ਮੁੰਦਰੀ। 

ek baari ka rishta

तेरा मेरा, एक बारी(window) का रिश्ता है. 
उस खिड़की में से, जितना तेरा कमरा दीखता है, और जितना मेरा कमरा दीखता  है,
उतना भर ही हम 
एक दुसरे को जानते हैं.

उस कमरे के बाहर 
तुम कौन हो, और कौन तुम्हारा है,
ये हम दोनों नहीं जानते।

किसी दिन 
या तो बारी बंद हो जानी है 

या फिर 
उस बारी में से 
निकालना पड़ेगा 
एक दरवाज़ा 
जिस में से हो कर 
हम एक दुसरे के कमरे में जाएँ 
अलमारियां फोलें 
सवाल पूछें 

फिर उस कमरे के बाहर 
का घर देखें
उस घर के आँगन का 

You, and I
are in a relationship
by a window.
We know exactly
as much as that window opens
into the other person's room.

Who (and whose) you are outside that room,
we have no idea.

One day, we will have to
close that window
carve a door
out of it.
Through the door
we will visit
each other's rooms
open the wardrobes
ask silly questions.

And then,
it will be time
to step out of the room
and know the house.
To stand in the garden of the house
and see the sky
of this family.  

Saturday, March 31, 2018


मेरी माँ 
सब जानती थी 
टीचर की डांट का इलाज 
रेड पास्ता से होता है 

कम नंबर आने की दवा 
मैग्गी होती है 

सहेली से लड़ाई का दर्द 
चॉकलेट केक से ठीक होता है 

सिर्फ मेरे नहीं 
सब मर्ज़ों का इलाज 
जानती थी माँ

खानदान के झगडे 
राजमा से सुलझाये जाते हैं 
और जायदाद के झगडे 
पैर छू कर.

एक दिन माँ 
और फिर 
उठी नहीं
बड़ी अज़ीम हकीम थी माँ 
बस ये एक चीज़ 
गलत कर गयी 
अपने सारे नुस्खे, टोटके,
आज़माये इलाज
अपने दिल में 
रख कर चल दी 

उसके बाद 
इस घर को 
अहम् का नज़ला लगा 
फिर लड़ाइयों का बुखार चढ़ा 
अब शक का नासूर हुआ है
कोई इलाज नहीं चलता है 
सब, सब ही कुछ ले गयी माँ.

ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਤਾ ਸੀ
ਦੋਸਤ ਨਾਲ ਹੋਇ ਲੜਾਈ ਦਾ ਇਲਾਜ
ਖੀਰ ਹੈ

ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਨੰਬਰ ਆਂ ਦੀ ਦਵਾਈ

ਹਰ ਮਰਜ਼ ਦਾ ਇਲਾਜ
ਜਾਂਦੀ ਸੀ ਮਾਂ

ਵੇੜੇ ਦੀ ਲੜਾਈ ਹੋਏ
ਤੇ ਰਾਜਮਾ
ਤੇ ਘਰ ਦੇ ਵਿਆਹ ਦਾ ਸਿਆਪਾ
ਤੇ ਪੈਰੀ ਪਾਉਣਾ

ਇਕ ਦਿਨ
ਮਾਂ ਡਿੱਗੀ
ਫੇਰ ਉਠਿ ਨਾ

ਮਾਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਨੇ
ਹਰ ਕਾਮ ਡਾਡਾ ਚੰਗਾ ਕਿੱਤਾ
ਆਹੀ ਕਾਮ ਮਾੜਾ
ਕਰ ਗਈ ਮਾਂ

ਬੜੀ ਅਜ਼ੀਮ ਹਕੀਮ ਸੀ ਮਾਂ
ਆਪਣੇ ਸਾਰੇ
ਤੋਨੇ ਟੋਟਕੇ
ਸਾਰੇ ਨੁਸਖੇ
ਲੈ ਟੁਰ ਗਈ ਮਾਂ

ਉਸਦੇ ਬਾਜੋਂ
ਇਸ ਘਰ ਨੂੰ ਲੱਗਿਆ
ਪਹਿਲੋਂ ਅਣਖ ਦਾ ਨਜ਼ਲਾ
ਫੇਰ ਲੜੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਬੁਖਾਰ
ਤੇ ਹੁਣ
ਵੰਡ ਦਾ ਨਾਸੂਰ
ਹੁਣ ਨਹੀਂ ਇਸ ਘਰ ਨੇ ਬਚਣਾ
ਸਬ, ਸਬ ਕੁਛ ਹੀ ਲੈ ਗਈ ਮਾਂ
My mother
knew everything.
The cure for a broken heart
is red pasta.
A poor report card
is cured with Maggi
and the pain of a fight with friends
needs a chocolate cake.

She knew the cures
for every ill
Family fights
are settled
with Rajma
And property feuds
by touching feet.

One day,
she fell
And did not get up.

My mother,
who got everything right
got this one thing
totally wrong.
She took
all her magic potions, pills and cures
to the grave with her.

Since then
This house
started with the common cold
of ego
Then it developed the fever
of frequent fights
And now
it suffers
from the cancer of distrust.
Nothing will work.
My mother,
who knew everything
took everything with her.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sanskrit Lokokti

काक: काक: पिक: पिक:

कौवा कौवा है और कोयल कोयल.

A crow is a crow and a koel is a koel. Just because they look similar, they are not the same.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bahut Din baad...

कुछ सालों में
तुम मुझ से हो जाओगे
बिलकुल मुझ से

कुछ सालों में
मैं तुम सी हो जाऊंगी
बिलकुल तुम सी

Friday, March 23, 2018

Jwalamukhi/ Volcano

तुम जानती हो,
ज्वालामुखी का मानक क्या है?
जैसे भूचाल का रिचटर 
और गर्मी का सेल्सियस 
ज्वालामुखी का?

केवल ज्वालामुखी जानता है 
कि उसके अंदर 
और क्या कुछ है 
और उस में से कितना 
कब निकलेगा 

ज्वालामुखी का दिल 
बहुत बड़ा है 
जब फटता है तब भी 
ज्वालामुखी रखता है 
ज़्यादा अंदर 
और फेंकता है 
थोड़ा सा बाहर

ज्वालामुखी का नाप 
नहीं हैं 
ये बहुत 
ज़रूरी बात है 

Do you know
the scale for a volcano?
Like the Richter
for an earthquake
or Celsius
for temperature?

Because only the volcano knows
how much it holds within
and how little
it will spew out.

The heart of the volcano
holds much
and lets out
a very little.

There is no scale
for the volcano.
is a very important thing.