बचपन

???????????????????????????????

छोटा सा ही था तब मैं जब
भाग भाग कर जाया करता
जमी रेत को खोद सीपियाँ
एक ओर मटमैली, गन्दी
एक ओर चिकनी, चमकीली
छोटी- बड़ी निकाला करता.
छोटे-छोटे नदी के घोंघे
(शंख बुलाता था तब उनको)
उन्हें साथ ले आया करता.

बहुत महकते थे वो सड़कर
छिप कर उन्हें साफ फिर करता
मोम जामे का थैला था एक
उसी में रहता था सब संचित
बच्चे का अनमोल खज़ाना

लाल रेत में छुपे हैं होते
छोटे-बड़े अनगिनत पत्थर
कुछ चिकने, खुरदुरे से भी कुछ
बहुरंगी, कुछ एक रंग के
बालू वाले की दुकान पर
फिंकी रेत से खोद, उठा कर

एक खज़ाना और बनाता
एक खज़ाना और बढाता.

गत्ते वाली कॉपी थी एक
कुछ पतली सी,
छिपा-छिपा कर रंगता उसके पन्नों को मैं
कुछ रंगों, कुछ चिन्हों से मैं.
कुछ कवितायेँ लिख रक्खीं थीं
उन पन्नों पर.

फ़ेंक आया वो सभी खजाने
सीपी, पत्थर, सब कवितायेँ
सब अनमोल
सब मूल्यहीन भी;
पड़े हैं अब भी, वहीँ पे शायद
इंतज़ार करते सब उसका
जिसके लिए खज़ाना हैं वो.

Note: Thanks to <http://hindi.changathi.com>; that I was able to post my Hindi poem. I don’t know how to type in Hindi, although I write in it!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements

ज़िन्दगी

DSC01214

मिट गए पदचिन्ह कल के
धीरे धीरे,
छा गयी एक धुंध
वर्तमान की.
दौड़ती है ज़िन्दगी
एक याद से एक याद तक.
दौड़ता है आदमी भी
तेज़, साथ इस ज़िन्दगी के.
अब कहाँ है समय
थमने का?
ना रहा अब समय
देखने का, मुड़कर
पीछे.
दौड़ते रहो या कुचले जाओ
उस वर्तमान से
जो कभी थमता नहीं.

वक्त आता है वो के जब
रुक जाता है आदमी
और छटती है धुंध.
फिर है देता दिखाई
गुज़रा कल
धुंधला ही सा थोडा –
फिर दिखाई देने लगता
है अतीत
दूर से.
दर्द ना रहा अब,
छूट जाने का.
सिर्फ एहसास है
चलने का दूर तक,
देर तक,
समय की सड़क पर.
चला है आदमी जिस पर हमेशा.
चलते रहना है आगे ही,
अनुमति जो नहीं:
मुड़ने की,
थमने की,
जमने की
अगर है – तो सिर्फ …

Note: Thanks to <http://hindi.changathi.com>; that I was able to post my Hindi poem. I don’t know how to type in Hindi, although I write in it!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Leaves

knoll 2

Leaves green sunlight yellow

Under afternoon sun,

Moving up and down

Like fluttering wings.

Winds shakes trees, branches too.

Brown thatched roof in bright sunlight,

White washed house part hidden

Part seen through the leaves.

Bamboo trees, long green tubes,

Dance with jack fruit, mango, palm.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Time, Change and I

Image5059

No, I’m not a poet.

Only my language turns poetic

when I write of Kasi.

Prose fails when emotions intermingle

with thoughts and together

they burst open the gates

of the reservoir of mind.

Ideas take shape

and flow on to the page

to make a pool of lines

that sometimes reflect

ideas as they were.

Arranged as a paragraph

in a proper grammatical form,

those ideas are called prose,

otherwise a poem.

I know it’s madness to live

in the past: times and places.

I know I’m mad.

I live in a past that happens

only at one place.

It even leaks into the present

and obliterates the sense

of the places where I am.

DSC01366   DSC01363

I would start day dreaming had I

the luxury of doing as my heart dictated.

There was a time when I

could go sit on a ghat

(there were no mobiles/pagers then)

as long as I felt like, undisturbed.

It was when I could go

to the amphitheatre ground

and sit on the steps

for as long as I wanted,

thinking about my tomorrows (mainly)

and yesterdays (sometimes).

It was a time when I

could spend hours browsing

through the books of the library planning,

like Bacon, to take “all knowledge

as my province”.

It happened: change;

things were not the same again.

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

Karnatak State Ghat

Image

Your name brings forth

the images – your images

and those of the ones you harboured:

the people, days, water

(not contained, it passed by)

feelings, lives, memories

(not contain-able, they passed by)

or minutes, hours, days, seasons

I spent on your steps, ,my life weaved

around you in its circadian rhythm.

They flow through the tip of my pen

taking shape as the blue of the ink

shapes strange things – words –

that were in the mind-womb

before being thrown out, words

that dirty the pristine, blank space –

and create something of worth?

They are true, aren’t they?

Digression’s good, isn’t it?

A poem too, is true

although made vomitingly sick

”by the pale cast of thought” before

the retching begins that finally

transfers words to their surface graves.

But what can I do?

When a polyphony I detect

It’s not just one man within

that hates to follow my conscious agenda;

there’s a full battalion

and each member –

uncivilized, unsubjugated

unprincipled, unchristened

trying to speak in a simultaneous cacophony

with an array of meanings and voices

arrayed variously – for or against –

one another.

Enough of this meta- stuff!

Return to the days and the level of material

materially verifiable facts.

That’s what i’d planned initially

but I’ve reached the end of my tether

End…

abruptly…

Image

I Could not Linger

Image1762

I am no natural poet.
No sir!
Poetry comes very rarely,
Infrequently, to me.
It had been knocking
The last few days
Faintly.
I did not open the doors
(Metaphorical), of mind.

I’m a busy man,
You see.
How can a professional
Adult Indian male
Be so weak as to stop running
His private-public rat race
And take time out
For a thing so insignificant
As licking his wound
That rankles with pain of (good) old days?

I could not linger on the platform that night.
I had a train to catch,
3 bags to place,
With a status of RAC.
Delayed heartache.
The prognosis I prophetically knew.
It was true.

Home is not where the heart is;
Home is where the purse can be filled.
And the belly.
Heart and all it can do,
Is nothing –
When compared to
What stomach does when aroused.

Therefore, I have travelled 798 kilometers
And come
To the city where I work
From the only city where I ever lived
From the city I loved
(And hated, and tried to flee from
But that’s another story.
I was a better/worse man/boy then).

So, I could not stay,
While coming or going,
On platform # 1.
12 hours and so much to do.
You see
I could not even meet you
And you and you.

A New-old Story (7)

The moonlit night, blue-black,

One of its constellations

Outlined the dog-monkey

Saw they, they said.

And dog-monkey too

Was outlined seated, pinnacled.

People lined for darshan

Late in the night

And brought with them a platter

On it some flowers white

Or yellow, red or mixed.

Some incense sticks and camphor,

Ocimum leaves, oil-kumkum –

The ochre paste in a bowl

To offer, anoint with the new god.

To colour him in the image

Of the stone templed Hanuman.

Our hero, elusive, wily:

Just manned his post silently.

Laddus for Hanuman, Shiv’s milk

Offered to him serially; ineffectually

Decorated on the platter

Of rich and poor alike.

So passed on days fourteen.

Dog-monkey took no water

Save rain/dew droplets small

Ate he just banyan berries

On overhead dangling branches.

Stone-like he stayed throughout.

A stone idol was he, or monkey petrified?

For darshans flooded devotees.

Singing bhajans of their new god –

The latest avatar.

It was a moonless night,

Draped in sheets of rain.

The neem-owl soundly slept.

Night watchmen skipped their beats.

The morning mysterious brought

Devotees for darshans came,

To their dog-monkey’s altar,

Offer some fruits and flowers.

A New-old Story (6)

Hanuman, the celibate deity

Of wrestlers, lifters & c.

Is popular next only

To Shiv and Shakti

In ancient, holy Kasi.

Shiv Shakar, Bhole Baba

Is king and principal deity.

His consort, goddess Shakti

Comes next in popularity

Then Hanuman, the monkey-god,

On all the days save two:

On Tuesdays and on Saturdays.

These two days all devotees

Of gods and goddesses other

Just go to Hanuman temples.

On that day it was Tuesday

The faithful temple goers,

The regular Kirtan singers

Were all eyes and ears.

Absorbing with full power

The new-born god: dog-monkey.

It’s infernal red streaks

Made prominent, deep, persuasive

His fur now darkish ochre

On a moonlit night half-somber

Hail Hanuman! Yelled they with joy.

Hail Hanuman! Our savior, today

Has come for us on earth

His blessings on us to shower.

And thus, on that very moment,

A god was born, established

In people’s minds strongly

As Hanuman incarnate.

What they had overlooked

And overlooked willingly,

Was dogness of dog-monkey.

For he was not so common

As scores of  others roaming,

Terrorizing, attacking Kasi,

Revered, protected, hated.

A monkey; he could bark.

To hear his was surprising

Surprising but forever,

For nature made him what he was,

And probably never another

(Thought every onlooker).

So clearly and conspicuously

This newly anointed god

Resembled himself not

The monkey-god hitherto-

The mighty Hanuman.

Though none had heard him speak

But widely was it known

He spoke full well, like humans

Barked he not. Amazing!

A New-old Story (5)

Mind isn’t generally its place,

And in itself, can never make

Heaven of hell; hell heaven.

Meaninglessness refined;  absurdity magnified,

Bedazzle, bamboozle

Yet stay nonsense.

The world becomes too much

With high narrator-relativism.

Let the “I” seep in

Through the rock bed of reason

Into the river-narration.

How would it not?

The story is of ghats,

And river, temples, lanes.

The story of Kasi

Can never form sans me.

Thus our dog-monkey,

Presently backgrounded,

Sulks ominously.

He, the sun, of the star-pantheon

Of living or dead deities

Worshipped in holy Kasi.

So our dog-monkey

Is found around the temple

And roams the ghats and galis-

My ghats and galis-

The places from my past,

I share with this celebrity,

This god, dog-monkey.

I’m surely no god

Yet god-like I create

A world and populate

The world with so much life

That blood, red and warm

That runs inside my veins

Gives colour, warmth; its life

To that which comes alive

In lines- the flesh and bones

That words and pauses fill.

A story gets its force, its life,

Power and colour, from mind

That creates.

Mind with its limitations

Sets things in combinations

By rules of its creation

Real, unreal, mixed

In varying proportions.

No, let’s not go that way.

The lane of truth lies there

And fiction lane too

Runs side by side some time

And merges then with truth.

Then what really is truth?

Who makes the final call?

Not me, nor you,

Then who?

And what is truth? Really.

Pilate-like, who wants to know,

When audience calls for action?

So now resume the story

Mind isn’t generally its place,

And in itself, can never make

Heaven of hell; hell heaven.

Meaninglessness refined;  absurdity magnified,

Bedazzle, bamboozle

Yet stay nonsense.

The world becomes too much

With high narrator-relativism.

Let the “I” seep in

Through the rock bed of reason

Into the river-narration.

How would it not?

The story is of ghats,

And river, temples, lanes.

The story of Kasi

Can never form sans me.

Thus our dog-monkey,

Presently backgrounded,

Sulks ominously.

He, the sun, of the star-pantheon

Of living or dead deities

Worshipped in holy Kasi.

So our dog-monkey

Is found around the temple

And roams the ghats and galis-

My ghats and galis-

The places from my past,

I share with this celebrity,

This god, dog-monkey.

I’m surely no god

Yet god-like I create

A world and populate

The world with so much life

That blood, red and warm

That runs inside my veins

Gives colour, warmth; its life

To that which comes alive

In lines- the flesh and bones

That words and pauses fill.

A story gets its force, its life,

Power and colour, from mind

That creates.

Mind with its limitations

Sets things in combinations

By rules of its creation

Real, unreal, mixed

In varying proportions.

No, let’s not go that way.

The lane of truth lies there

And fiction lane too

Runs side by side some time

And merges then with truth.

Then what really is truth?

Who makes the final call?

Not me, nor you,

Then who?

And what is truth? Really.

Pilate-like, who wants to know,

When audience calls for action?

Our dog-monkey – pinnacled,

Enjoys the orange full moon

That rises slowly, sliding

From sheets of darkness light

That  fills the eastern sky,

And trees silhouetted black.

The moon, orange, then cream,

It rises changing sheen

And colour till it’s seen,

Atavistically,

Serendipitously,

By bhajan chanters devout

Who look up open-mouthed

At a haloed sitting being

Atop the sacred sanctum

Of mighty monkey god.