Monday, December 17, 2018

Katranein/ कतरनें

नुन्नी, तू कविता लिखती थी न?

अब कहां लिखूंगी मां? घर, बच्चे, असबाब..

कविता, धमनियों के रक्त सी होती है। हममें ही बहती है।
जब तक तन की धमनियों में रक्त है बच्चे,
तब तक आत्मा में कविता बहती है।

Monday, December 10, 2018

Today's gratitude

Today's gratitude is for 2 things:
1. Ice cream on winter nights
2. A free sky above my head.
3. My friends.
4. Chhangu baba 

Friday, December 07, 2018

Poetry / Kavita

पहले कविता,
मेरे घर ही रहती थी
झूले पर
लड़ाइयां करती थी,
उन्मुक्त हंसती,
बेबाक रोती
कभी झरने सी,
कभी अल्हड़ लड़की सी
कुनकुनी धूप में
सुस्ता कर निखरती थी,
और सख्त गर्मी में
अपनी सख्तजानी जताती थी। 

फिर?
फिर वही हुआ
जो हर बढ़ती लड़की
और नदी के साथ होता है
धीरे धीरे
लड़कियों पर अंकुश
और नदियों पर बाँध
हतप्रभता

मैं भी बन गया
मीत से
कुम्हार…
उसका साथ देना छोड़ कर
उसे गढ़ने लगा

जब मैं बना सवार
तो वह
घोड़ी नहीं बनी
तब वह
देवी बन कर
अंतर्ध्यान हो गयी, बस.

तुम्हे यकीन ना आये,
ये सहज ही है
पर ये सच है,
पहले कविता,
मेरे घर ही रहती थी। 


Poetry
Lived here
Once upon a time..
We fought for the swings
She laughed with gay abandon
and cried without shame.
Like a young girl,
she met the world
with unbridled passion,
not unlimited wisdom.

Then?
She faced
what all rivers
and girls do
- dams
and Damns.

I went from
being her friend
to being her conductor.
At that point,
she did not mature into
a horse
She became
A Goddess
Invisible.

I understand
You will not believe
But Poetry
lived here
Once upon a time..

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Observations on life..

My jokes are delivered with such a straight face that they always fall flat.

As grammar rules go, I spell hyphenation as n-e-m-e-s-i-s.

My ability to offend people is exceeded only by my ability to remain completely oblivious to the fact. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Katranein

He was happy for her. But sad for himself.


She was happy for him. But sad for herself.


The weddings were a month apart.

On being a dead person

It hit me, I think, on Halloween. Why were the kids dressed up all scary? Someone said that we dress up like the dead (technical word: zombies) to honour the spirits of those who have passed.


Is death really that scary? Why do all these people assume that all deaths are violent, gory and blood stained?


In the Tibetan practice, there is a practice by which a senior monk guides you through the process of leaving your body... gently, slowly, and painlessly. It is a conscious practice. When a monk is ready to go, the senior monk is called in to guide the entire process.
Imagine the difference!


Because we associate death with violence and gore, the idea of dying fills us with fear. Death is a natural progression is a spiritual journey. When the time is right, the soul will discard its cast and move on.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Palayan/On Leaving home


जब से मुल्क से निकला हूँ,
और भी मुल्क का हुआ हूँ मैं 


घर से ये कह कर निकला था 
जाने किस ओर चला हूँ मैं.


धरती गोल है, ये बात,
परदेस में घर बना कर समझा हूँ मैं. 


मैंने सोचा था बहुत दूर चला आया हूँ,
आँगन के नीम तले ही खड़ा हूँ मैं. 


आँगन में, उसी जगह ही खड़ा हूँ मैं. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review of play Marnoparant by Barefoot theater

There are 2 areas in Delhi that I patently avoid: Shahpurjat and HKV. Not because one has something against new age posh, but because one just loves open spaces. So events at these places are politely but firmly declined. Before you ask: Yes, I have lost friends owing to this hesitation.


But when a play is about the husband and the lover of a woman meeting after her demise, the premise is enticing enough to travel one hour and brave Shahpurjat. It was worth it.


A simple, one act play that eliminates all things unnecessary and focuses on.. i don't know.. The emotion that is after a demise...somewhere between anger and loss and grief.. like a Venn diagram whose intersections change every minute, hour and day.

The setting is a beach - half wet, half dry. So you can make sand castles, and let dry sand go through your hands - whatever you want, darling. That setting was pure genius.

The fishing net in the backdrop.. the tiny exhaust window that looks out into god knows what. I loved that window.

The characters are well etched but not fleshed out enough. The actors were great in their respective places, but for some reason, I kept switching them in my head all the time. I have no idea why!! But all the time, I felt that the husband was the lover and the lover was the husband.


The person who played the husband appeared to be grieving a lot more than the lover. I guess the only explanation is that after your wife dies, she goes from being a piece of furniture to being all the pieces of furniture in the house.


How does the lover feel when someone he loved but could not have, passes away? The husband has had a sense of closure.. but the lover? That question remained unanswered at the end of the play.


The husband's sense of betrayal is immediate(because he only discovers the affair after the death) and cannot be remedied... because the woman is no more.. but the lover's sense of betrayal? Does he feel cheated out of a future he could have had with her? SHOULD have had with her?


The sound effects, though overall good, faltered at some places. Quite a few times, the sound of the waves was so loud we couldn't hear what was being said. But at one place, there was a significant silence, and sound was used to perfection in that moment.

The lights were perfect.


The performance was intimate and very..i don't know.. straight from the heart. It did something that made u think of the play even a day later. (And it did get a standing ovation from the full house on that day).  There was a small chai and chat session later that i quite enjoyed too.



There are some plays that change how you see life. Of course, you don't know that until much later.  This play is very likely to make that list for me.



If u do get a chance, catch this play. And in exactly this kind of a setting. This is a play that demands a certain intimate exchange between the audience and the performance. A play that, I think, requires the viewer to get as naked as the performer.



Friday, November 16, 2018

Agyaani

मुझे नहीं पता
कि दुनिया कैसे जीती जाती है

मुझे तो
ये भी नही पता
कि दुनिया
किसने जीती है जग में..

I confess,
I have no idea
How to conquer the world.

I dont even know
Of Anyone
Who has conquered the world! 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

On being a quiet person..

 थोङे शब्दों में ज्यादा कहना
मुझे अच्छा लगता है
और चुप में सब कुछ कह जाना
उससे भी अच्छा ।

I like it
When a few words
Say a lot
But to be silent
And say everything..
Is to have
Communication
Metamorphosise into
Communion.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dhoop

मुझे धूप
अच्छी लगती है।
 नर्म, रौशन, कुनकुनी,
बेवफा।

दिखने में कुछ
होने में कुछ
बिलकुल
लोगों जैसी

पर अंधेरे से फिर भी
सौ गुना अच्छी ।

मुझे
अच्छी लगती है
धूप। 

Monday, November 12, 2018

ON holier than thou attitude


You can't lift other people, or even bring them down. You are not a crane. Every person is at the level meant for them. Just like you. There are millions above and millions below. Always have been. Always will be. So please wipe the stupid grin off and put the smugness away.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Katranein

अरे! तुमने पाजेब नहीं पहनी? तुम्हे कितनी पसंद थी!

नहीं । अब नहीं पहनती।

तुम लङकियां भी अजीब होती हो। कोई शौक पालती हो, और कुछ साल में  ही उस से, इतनी विरक्ति भी हो जाती है!

हाँ । पर हम लङकियों के शौक, कुछ साल तो चलते हैं। 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

बचपन

बङा होना
किसे अच्छा लगता है?
सिवाय बच्चों के?

Sanskrit Lokokti and Hindi Doha

श्व: कार्यमद्य कर्तव्यं


Do tomorro's work today. Don't leave it to tomorrow.


Kabir Das' Doha which says the same thing:


काल करे सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब 
पल में परलय होएगी, बहुर करेगो कब 

समझ/Understanding

जब तुम बङे हो जाओगे
तब जानोगे
कि उम्मीद
बङी होकर
बनती है अपेक्षा;
और नाउम्मीदी,
उपेक्षा। 

Friday, November 02, 2018

Why India's educated are the World's greatest hypocrites

Ab mujhe samajh aaya ki Burj Khalifa Hindustan mein kyun nahi bana.

Ek kahani hai.

Once upon a time, on a ship, some scorpions were placed in an open bucket. A passenger on the ship complained to the Captain about keeping poisonous scorpions in an open bucket. They might get out and sting someone!
The captain replied, "Don't worry sir. These are Indian scorpions. The minute one of them tries to make any progress, the rest of them will pull him down and punish him for even trying. Not one of those scorpions will escape on this journey."

Aaj apna facebook wall dekh ke, kasam se kahaani yaad bhi aa gayi aur samajh bhi.

I am proud(not) to belong to a country where the world's tallest statue in the honour of the world's tallest statesman (show me another example of peacefully uniting over 580 princely states into a single country in world history) opens to .... this!

#EffingWorldCapitalOfHypocrisy.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Hindi Muhavara/ हिंदी मुहावरा

चोर चोर मौसेरे भाई


Thieves are usually related/alike.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#Neverforget1984


And that time comes again. October 31 - Nov 3. For most people, the year on the calendar changes. For some of us, it will always be 1984.

Sanskrit Wisdom and Hindi Muhavara

ज्ञानं भार: क्रियां विना


Having knowledge(Gyaan), but not acting like one is an aware person, makes the knowledge as useless as a burden. (Even if you are very knowledgeable, if you don't act, what use is all that knowledge?)


हिंदी मुहावरा: एक पंथ दो काज


To kill two birds with one stone - when one action meets two needs or two goals.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tara - Childrens Poetry in Hindi


एक थी तारा 
खाना खा गयी सारा 
भैया आया घूम के 
उस से पूछा झूम के 
"रखा कहाँ है खाना?"
"खा गयी मैं तो सारा!"
भैया हंसा ज़ोर से 
साथ में हंसी तारा।

Love/ प्रेम

मेरी इच्छा है
कि मैं इस जीवन में
बस एक बार ही सही
तुम्हे जीवंत भी देखूं।


It is my desire
that in this life
May I see you come alive
just once.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

दिलासा/placebo

"तुम्हारी मृत्यु पीङादाई नहीं होगी ।"
- मिलता है ये दिलासा
हर उस को
जिसका जीवन अत्यंत पीङादाई हो ।

"Your death will not be painful "
Is the standard placebo
Handed out to everyone
Living a tortured existence.



Sarmaya mere hone ka

 वो जगह जहां आसमां
मिलता है ज़मीं से ...?
वो उतनी ही सच है
जितनी
मृगतृष्णा ।

ਓ ਥਾੰ
ਜਿਥੇ
ਸਬ ਠੀਕ ਹੋ ਜਾੰਦਾ ਹੈ?
ਓ ਭੁਲੇਖਾ ਹੈ
ਅੜੀਯੇ
ਅਸੀ ਝੂਠ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੀ।

That pot of gold
At the end of the rainbow?
....


Katranein

ਤੈਨੁ ਆਉੰਦਾ ਹੀ ਨਹੀ
ਕਤਲ ਕਰੇਨਾ
ਏੰਵੇ ਉਲਜ਼ਾਮ
ਮੇਰੀ ਬੇਸ਼ਰਮੀ ਤੇ ਲਾਈ ਜਾਨਾੰ ਏ।

तुम्हे आता ही नहीं
कत्ल करना
यूं ही बदनाम
मेरी सख्तजानी को किये जाते हो।

You just don't know
How to kill
Cleanly.
Why are you trying to
Blame my resilience? 

Happy Diwali - Baal Kavita

छोटी छोटी बातें 
बड़ी बड़ी  कनातें 
छोटे छोटे दीप
भरते ले कर कीप 
बड़ी सी रंगोली 
साथ में खेल ठिठोली!



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Kshanikaayein

सबसे बड़ी गलती मैंने ये की मेरी जान
कि  तुम्हे
अच्छा इंसान समझा


**************


कुछ होने से
कुछ होने का डर
ज़्यादा बड़ा है
****************



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sanskrit Lokokti, Hindi Muhavara

 यज्ञो वै श्रेष्ठतमं कर्म.


The best offering/prayer (yagya) is (good) action.


जाकी रही भावना जैसी, प्रभु मूरत तिन देखि तैसी
This quote first appears in Ram Charit Manas. It is said that when Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya, all the residents rushed to the gates to welcome him, and each one desired that the Lord should meet him/her first. Shri Ram divined this desire in the heart of every devotee, and accordingly, appeared in front of everyone. To each, he appeared as a reflection of their own selves. The quote means that the Lord is nothing but a reflection of our own intentions, desires and motivation. As one feels, thus the Lord appears. Those who see him as benevolent, find him benevolent. Those who see him as a fair and just king find that he is indeed, just that. The quote has a much wider application. What it really means is - We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

Monday, October 22, 2018


ਇਕ ਦਿਨ
ਲਿਖ ਕੇ ਜਾਂਵਾਂਗੀ,
"ਹੁਣ ਹੋਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਰਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ"
ਤਦ ਤਕ
ਜਰ ਲਾਂ ਥੋੜਾ ਜੇਹਾ ਹੋਰ.




एक दिन 
लिख कर जाऊंगी,
"अब और नहीं सहा जाता।"
तब तक 
सह लेती हूँ थोड़ा और. 




One day I will write
"I just couldn't do this any more."
Until then,
Let me do this
Some more.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

Booti/ Intoxication


कुछ लोग 
शाम होते ही 
बूटी लगाते हैं 
तब, उस समय,
जब तक बूटी का असर रहता है 
उन्हें गुमान रहता है 
कि दुनिया 
और उस में जो कुछ भी अच्छा है 
उसके रखवाले 
बस वे ही हैं
और कोई नहीं. 


उनके भीतर का उन्माद 
उत्कर्ष पर चढ़ आता है 
 किसी की 
किसी भी बात पर। 


उन पलों में 
उनकी न सुबुद्धि होती है 
न दुर्बुध्दि 
सच कहूँ 
तो बुद्धि ही नहीं होती 
न चेतना, न संवेदनशीलता.


सदियों से साथ मिल कर रहते हुए भी 
वे उस समय किसी बिन पिए इंसान को 
अपना दुश्मन समझते हैं 
और जो उनके साथ 
दो दम भर ले 
दो घूँट चढ़ा ले 
वह बन जाता है "भाई!" , सहोदर, चिरप्रिय,
उन क्षणों के लिए। 


 कुछ लोग 
ऐसी ही बूटी 
चुनावों की भी लगाते हैं. 
(जाकर दोबारा पढ़िए)


Some people
at dusk
get high
on their poison of choice
While the intoxication lasts
They believe,
truly, earnestly,
that they are
The Saviours of the World.


Passions peak
And anger is duly expressed
at anything random
said  or done by
anyone random.


In those moments
they are neither insane
nor wise.
They are in fact, just,
devoid of judgement. All judgement.
All consciousness (as we well know)
flies out the door.


People they have spent years living with
become
sworn enemies
if they are sober.
And the ones who drink alongside
become brethren.
During those moments
of insanity.


Some people
get similarly intoxicated
from the time the elections are announced
to the day they happen.
The madness of passion
conquers
every decent human emotion.





Friday, October 19, 2018

On Sabarimala Temple


I have no view on whether or not women should enter Sabarimala. I don't know enough to even think, much less opine on the subject.
This, however, i do have a view on:
A temple is not a tourist spot. It is a place of devotion and prayer. When you approach a temple, it should be for one reason only - to offer your prayers, and with utmost devotion. Not to create a news story.
That much respect, i think, we owe to all places of worship.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sanskrit Lokokti and Hindi Muhavara

अशान्तस्य कुत: सुखम् ?


जो अशांत है, उसे सुख कहाँ?




Those who are not content, how can they find happiness?


नाम बड़े और दर्शन छोटे
When someone is very famous and we think very highly of them, based on their reputation, but when we finally meet them, we are underwhelmed. So someone who has a great reputation but very little substance.

Cheenti - Baal Kavita in Hindi


एक छोटी चींटी 
बड़ा उसका भार 
८  के जैसा 
उसका आकार 


 इतना बड़ा चावल
 इतनी छोटी चींटी 
इतना काम 
कैसे कर लेती?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

On Navratri...


This post was written as the editorial of the children's newspaper. But applies to us adults even more, imho.
*****************
Over these nine days, we observe 9 goddesses. Do you notice something about them?

It took me almost 40 years to notice – Ma Amba, Durga, Vaishno – they are warrior goddesses. Do we think of finery, jewellery, or bindi when we think of warriors? No. We think of armour, rigid faces and hostility. Yet, look at her – there is kindness in her eyes, benevolence and grace in her form, jewellery and finery on her person – yet, her hands wield a steady sword. She is able to hold a flower in one hand, and weapons in another. There is no armour, no military uniform, nothing. She sits cross legged, erect and yet non-chalant, atop a lion.

Maybe that should teach us something about how we view ourselves.
Anne Frank, a 15 year old girl, defined herself as “A bundle of contradictions” in her diary. I am sure we all feel a little bit like that. And if you look at her, the goddess is a bundle of contradictions too. But see how calm and at peace she is with all these apparent “contradictions” – she is comfortable with every ounce of her being. The warrior is not uncomfortable with the homely saree. The sword does not shy away from the spiritual rosary, or a fine piece of jewellery. Somehow, when you look at the image of the goddess, it is perfect. All those parts – all those seeming contradictions, they are not contradictions at all. They are pieces of a whole that form a beautiful image WITH and not IN SPITE OF each other.

Maybe we should think of ourselves like that too. All the parts of our personality – all those seeming “contradictions” – they all BELONG together. We are perfect – in parts and as a whole. We may think that some parts of us don’t go so well with some other parts of us. But tell me, when you really think about it, is there even one reason why a warrior cannot wear bright red lipstick?

Some contradictions may be real, and some, a figment of our thoughts. But they are all  perfect - they all belong.

The next time you feel like doubting anything about yourself – remember that the Goddess slayed the demon wearing bright red lipstick.