Wednesday, May 18, 2011


अजीब चीज़ हैं ये गुलज़ार साहब भी...
न जाने कमरे के कौन से कोने-अतरे
या दरवाज़े की चिंक से निकले चले आते हैं
जैसे कभी गायब हुए ही न थे...
चौंक के देखो तो कहते हैं 
"चेहरे के नक्श सब धुल गए"...

कभी तन्हाई ओढ़के 
लेटे रहने का मन करता है,
जब आँखों की सीलन 
जून की गर्म हवा में
टीस मारने लगती है,
तो पास आकर बैठ जाते हैं...
सर पे हाथ फेरते हुए 
पुचकार जाते हैं 
कोई नज़्म ज़बां पर लगाकर...

पब्लिक में मिलो तो
हाथ पकड़कर भी अनजान बनते हैं,
कहते हैं "मेरे बचपन में आप कहाँ पैदा हुए होंगे"...
और फिर वही हाथ पकड़कर
वो परछाईं दिखा देते हैं सामने
जो सालों पहले देखी थी,
जब शागिर्द बने थे पहली बार...
धूप में जलाकर साये बनाया करते थे जब आप...

कैसे लाते हैं अपनी बातों में इतना ठहराव?
कभी डायरेक्टर बन जाते हैं तो कभी लिरिसिस्ट,
या स्टोरी/स्क्रीनप्ले/डायलौग राइटर...
कभी जो एक चीज़ में
चित्त लगा लिया हो ढंग से...
लेकिन अकलमंदों के साथ 
यही समस्या रहती है...
फुदकने का टैलेंट बहुत होता है...

कवि का जामा पहन कर
तूत की शाख पर जा बैठते हैं
तो कभी फुटपाथ पर लेट जाते हैं
चाँद में रोटी ढूँढने के लिए
बुड्ढे दरिये की मुँह-ही-मुँह बड़बड़ाने की
आदत बयाँ करने लगते हैं...

अजीब चीज़ हैं ये गुलज़ार साहब भी...
सफ़ेदपोश हैं या नक़ाबपोश?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


तंग आ चुके हैं कश्मकश-ए-ज़िन्दगी से हम
ठुकरा न दें कहीं सभी को बेदिली से हम
हम ग़मज़दा हैं, लायें कहाँ से ख़ुशी के गीत
देंगे वही जो पाएंगे इस ज़िन्दगी से हम
उभरेंगे एक बार फिर ये दिल के वलवले
माना के दब गए हैं ग़म-ए-ज़िन्दगी से हम

सहिष्णुता की भी एक सीमा होती है... किसी की छोटी, किसी की बड़ी... मैं अपनी सीमा का माप तो नहीं भांप सकता लेकिन इतना ज़रूर जानता हूँ की सितम्बर २००८ से लेकर आज तक मेरा एक ही लक्ष्य रहा है - अपने परिवार, अपने काम और अपने निजि जीवन में एक बैलेंस लाने का...

और कल ये सिद्ध हो गया की बैलेंस तो दूर, मैं अपने आप ही को बेवक़ूफ़ बना रहा था... आप दोनों महानुभावों से मेरी एक ही विनती है... मुझसे कोई आशाएं मत रखिये, क्योंकि पच्चीस साल में जो ये नालायक, निर्लज्ज व्यक्ति नहीं कर पाया वो अब न तो कर सकता है, न करने का इच्छुक है... मुझे मेरे हाल पे छोड़ दीजिये, मेरे बिना शायद आप लोगों का जीवन अधिक सुखद रहे, क्योंकि मुझमें आप लोगों की आशाओं को निराशा में तब्दील होने से रोकने का टैलेंट भगवान डालना भूल गया था...

Balance is a strange phenomenon
For as the idiot physics maintains
Force has to be equal on all sides
For the poise of the subject to be retained
And yet, look at the funny side of things
In life, the laws of physics cease to matter
You pull from one direction, you from the other
And the subject is torn asunder
Caught in the crossfire
No escape from reality
Except when he shuts its eyes to the pressures
Turns its back on you in order
To keep his mind in check
You remind it every day
Of how it has failed...
In whatever role he might have taken on
Here's one actor who can't do justice
The script goes awry
And it can't seem to ad-lib
You call it its irresponsibility
It calls it the inability
To play a role it is incapable of enacting
A professional requires talent
He has none
You call it its self-absorption
It whispers aloud
'I am trying to juggle with two forces of nature
A losing battle I fight everyday'
And then it gets a brainwave...
Put out the light and then put out the light.

Monday, March 14, 2011


To borrow a phrase from Iron Maiden, 'maybe one day I'll be an honest man'...

Another year gone past without a post and suddenly, out of nowhere, the past seems to have caught up with this reader again... Gone is much of the vocabulary, having been replaced by the simplicity required by one's profession; and so too is much of the allusive imagery that used to be invoked in order to cloud the issue and shroud the meaning behind a delicate veil...

Instead, the reader stands here today, redemption having been achieved in another form than the one considered to be the sole - purgatory.

And yet, a glimpse through the blog has taken the reader through the infinite ebb and flow of emotions he went through back in the day...

A 21-year-old, taking baby steps into the realm of the unknown, began writing this blog on the basis of a whim, a desire to write, and some goading from a virtual stranger.

Almost five years later, the reader of this blog is bordering on 26, is well established in the profession he loves, the virtual stranger having become the most inseparable part of his life outside of his own body.

And yet he finds inspiration in his younger, inexperienced self... The inspiration to return from the language of thought to the language that the heart spurted forth... The inspiration to put away the humdrum of life, to come back home from work and actually shut down Cricket2007 before completing a match, and to go back to that rather more mature pursuit he had left behind with his 21-year-old self...

Having been enveloped, as the young writer had hoped, in comfortable mists, the reader had perhaps failed to see through those very mists and look at the picture that was painting itself behind the curtain... That with everything looking 'settled', it was time to put the feet up and enjoy retirement... The shortcut to the end, as it were...

But what the ghosts of 21-year-olds past brought flooding past the reader was the realisation that he had lost out on a lot of time in his pursuit of the mists... That the mind of the 21-year-old writer had not got left behind in time, rather it was still attached on the inside of the reader's skull, and was just coated in a thick, greenish-red layer of corrosion...

Time, then, to shake off the rust and be Lazarus, come back from the dead, again...

Or if the reader, for a moment, be allowed to borrow his younger counterpart's image...

The Phoenix rises from the ashes. Again.

If the virtual stranger be reading this post - hello shadows. what goes on here stays here. because redemption-reprise is back to being what it was and always should have been - an outlet for the reader and the writer.

* * * * *

One bears guilt today. Guilt of the order that one had to actually confide in somebody, not something he is wont to do, in order to rest one's mind.

The young writer is not the only ghost of the past that has decided to pay Uncle Scrooge a visit. The old muse has returned to one's mind, for reasons unknown and unfathomable.

Blame it on the stalker/murderer who shot that poor girl. Had that not occurred, the red bricks, the grey sandstone and the green lawns would have remained a distant, unpleasant memory. Instead, all the ink that was blotted out of one's sheet has appeared again on the page, forming distinct words.

Words that reflect old quests - like the old trunk in the attic that still holds the artefacts one stashed away in extraordinarily whimsical moments. Or like my other cupboard, in which one does find a skeleton or two.

The human mind is a strange instrument...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day, 4am... Musings and a cup of hot soup...

427 days

That's how long it has been since I last wrote... Believe me, let alone this blog, I haven't WRITTEN for that long... Which is why it comes as a bit of a surprise, especially to me, that I am back here, tapping out words at an alarming rate, given the fact that the clock has already struck four.

Maybe Archies Gallery should take out commemorative cards for this too...

Perhaps what did bring me back here was a chance encounter with this blog again last week... When I set about reading those old poems, those old posts, soaking in the old emotions once again... Trying to understand the whys and hows of all those pieces that had poured out of me that long ago... Some things sounded downright funny, others took me back to the events that were detailed therein, or the thoughts that engendered those words...

Today, I stand here, making a living out of those very words that were honed here...

And I look back at the vast expanse that spreads before me, creating a landscape of memories...

If I am honest, I have neither felt the need nor the urge to write anything in these past 14 months... Shit, as I am wont to say, has not been flying... Therefore, nothing to report... After all, no news is good news and good news is no news at all...

But today, I feel a conflict building up inside me for some odd reason... Maybe it is the 1400-odd miles that stand between me and my funny valentine, but the old urge to write for myself seems to want to break its way out of the shell that I have imprisoned it inside...

Yes there is a part of me that resents the failings of the past... How every goal I set for myself at one point of time seemed a horizon too far, how a series of failures and half-baked successes stared at me everytime I looked into a mirror...

Then there is the idiot who still wants to wonder what could have been... What could have been if I had actually worked hard for the engineering entrances? What could have been had I stuck with English literature? Would I be a lecturer somewhere, or would it have been a case of the chaupaal at Bahadur's or under the watchful eyes of Bibekanondo? What if I hadn't trusted the perpetrators of paedogate? Would I have been as bitter and as self-preservingly distrusting of all human kind? What if I wasn't born with the overwhelmingly natural compulsion to lie? What if I had chosen the other path at the most difficult dilemma-fork of my life so far? Would my life have been perfect despite the absence of an instruction manual which, incidentally, I was supposed to be?

Too many questions... But I don't need to answer or speculate on any of them... If you have excess cash, be sure to take a punt, but I do not need to...

For life, in the words of Ian Malcolm, found a way... Or three...

Leave aside the monetary or the beneficial aspects of being a sports guy... I am happy doing what I do, because I love it... I have not had to sacrifice any of my passions - rather, I get rave reviews for living them each day... I nibble on the bread that my words win me, my art lies in my differentiation...

But perhaps, and I use this word guardedly, my biggest success has been MFV... At last count, four people counted me definitively as their best friend -- I count one. She is my goddess, for one paramount reason I do not need to hold back anything... All I need to do is be myself, without any compulsions of physical/mental/sentimental/habitual/verbal alteration, and she will take care of the rest...

For an attention-seeking egomaniac, each wave of attention, followed by a swift kick in the pants, serves as a reminder to soar as high as one can afford, before returning to terra firma when the low-fuel lights begin to flash...

Let Tantin call me what she wanted to, because here is the latest horse this beggar has bought...

This V-day, this post is for you M... Long may it last...
My Funny Valentine
~ By Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; Vocals by Frank Sinatra

My funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you're my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?

But don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine's Day...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

मौत, एक कविता...

"क्यूँ मुहँ लटकाए खड़े हो भई?"

"कोई अपना गया है... नाचूं उसके जाने की खुशी में?

ज़िन्दगी भर
ज़िन्दगी से लड़ते-लड़ते कमज़ोर पड़ गया था वो...
आखिरकार ज़िन्दगी ने क्या नहीं फेंक के मारा उसे?

ऐसा लगा कि कोई एहसान रह गया था ज़िन्दगी का उसके सर
जिसे चुकाने में आना-कानी कर बैठा बेचारा
या फिर ऐसा तो नहीं था, कि किसी का कुछ बिगाडा हो
और ऐन उसी वक्त ख़ुदा उठा हो अपनी लम्बी नींद से
और नज़र आ गया हो उसे वो शख्स

अब ख़ुदा पर तो कोई क्या ऊँगली उठाये
लेकिन नानी हमेशा कहती थीं
कि अगर सच्चे मन से माफ़ी मांग लो, तो ख़ुदा का दिल भी पिघल जाता है
लेकिन कहने को तो वो ये भी कहती थीं कि अच्छा कर्म करो
तो फल बुरा हो ही नहीं सकता

फिर क्यूँ ऐसा हुआ कि दुनिया को खुश करने वाला
कल चिता पर लेटा था
और पूछनहारों कि क़तार में कितने मगरमच्छ खड़े थे
ये भी वो ऊपरवाला ही जानता होगा
अगर उसकी आँख फिर न लग गई हो तो...

ख़ैर, ये सब बातें भूलिए साहब, इनमें रखा क्या है
इंसान की फ़ितरत तो सिर्फ़ इतनी है
कि जो सामने होता है, ध्यान उसपर आ जाता है
जो गया, वो कितने वक़्त तक दिमाग़ में घर बनाये रह सकता है बेचारा?

कुछ आंसू बहेंगे,
उस सोते हुए ख़ुदा को कुछ लोग कोसेंगे...
ज़िन्दगी चलती जायेगी
साँस लेना एक ऐसी लत है जो छूटे नहीं छूटती
जो छोड़ पाया, उसे क्यूँ न ख़ुदा बुला लें?"

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