माँ

अब नींद नहीं आती तो थोड़ा धड़कन को सुन लेता हूँ,
मैंने दिल में माँ की लोरी छुपाकर रखीं है |
सर्दी में ओढ़ लेता हूँ एक पुराना कंबल,
मैंने माँ के आँचल की गरमाहट बचाए रखीं है |

माँ के आशीर्वाद से बड़ा फ़ायदा क्या?
माँ की नसीहत से बड़ा क़ायदा क्या?
मंदिर के तीर्थ में कहाँ मिलता है अमृत
मैंने माँ के आँसुओं की नमी बचाए रखीं है |

कौन बताए सही ग़लत किस राह पर चल पड़े?
कौन बताए दुश्मन दोस्त जिससे हम लड़ पड़े?
खामोशी की चीख़ हो या शोर में सन्नाटा
मैंने जेहन में अब भी माँ बसाए रखीं है |

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Love

Love.

Takes you places.

Places you’d rather be and places you don’t want to see.

Places of your dreams and places that make you scream.

Places dark with a ray of light, places bright with a storm in sight.

Places you never want to leave, places real yet so make-believe.

Love.

Changes you.

For better and for worse, without a chance to rehearse.

Makes you a Demon and a God, makes you fight wars uncalled for.

Makes you laugh in your misery, makes you cry when you’re happy.

Makes you a saint. Makes you a sinner.  Makes you lose all and still be a winner.

Love.

Kills you.

Drives a knife in your spine and kisses you a sweet kiss goodbye.

Squeezes your heart dry and leaves you to die.

Rips you apart from a gaping bullethole to leave you a corpse without a soul.

Makes you hate life and welcome death. Makes you pray for your final wreath.

Love.

 

DELTA 1

The Fog

It wasn’t a typical cold winter’s night. And yet just cold enough for a walk. The first fog of the season rolled lazily over the dim gas lit streets. We were strolling, wandering really. We didn’t know where the road was taking us, and didn’t need to. She looked splendid enough to make me forget journeys and destinations. Her face glowed in whatever little light the street lamps shared with the world around them. I was mesmerized. She was bewildered. Her beauty and modesty was as beautiful a potion as it was toxic. And my heart was already feeling the first pangs of its power.

I deliberately stopped under a lamp to slow her down, just so I could soak in the radiance of her face. The fog rolled past the lamp as lazily as ever, but it danced across her face, caressing it like a lover and making me jealous. And in that jealous, love filled rage, I touched her cheeks, almost as if to wipe those shadows off her face. Startled, her eyes questioned me as fleetingly as they found the answer. She smiled and something in those eyes assured me the fog could never touch her the way I did. Her eyes laid bare my insecurities and covered them in a blanket. I was lost in them, and would’ve paid a fortune not to be found again.

Something did find me. A noise somewhere in the distance perhaps. After the moment I took to recollect my thoughts, my eyes sought her again. Framed and behind a thin veil of glass, her eyes still fixated me and pulled me away from the banalities of existence. The memories started flooding my mind again, making my head throb with the sheer collage of images of an unforgettable yesterday, and making my heart ache with the feelings each moment held within itself. The brain defense mechanism made me involuntarily reach out for some book on the table, and open the first page.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

DELTA1

Death Be Not Proud

Death be not proud
There are those who conquer You.
For it’s foolish how You think You own
Souls who have stopped fearing.

While you cast Your unseen shadow
Over the unsuspecting heads of peasants,
Your naivety never lets You realise
It’s but a moment’s clarity to salvation.

A body that gives up the fight
But a mind that stays sharp to the end
Is always invincible even in defeat
For You’re not mighty enough to break it.

So live in Your delusion while You break hearts
And celebrate Your false victories
You are but an urn full of ashes
About to be scattered on their next journey.

DELTA1

In What UNIVERSE Is ‘NOW’ Better?

20 YEARS AGO…

I woke up. Depending on the time and my parents’ mood, I was either pampered or spanked to the bathroom. My school bag was prepared. Dad dropped me off at the bus stop and waited till I boarded the bus and took my seat. I carried a heavy school bag. I sat through boring classes. I had the option of an open window and fresh breezes during boring classes. I fought off sleep in the afternoon. I carried my lunch. My school had 2 breaks, one for 15 minutes when we ate our lunch, another for an hour when we played our socks off. I came home by 4 p.m. I got to play in the evenings until even the players, forget the ball, were invisible. Homework was easy. Pocket money was ‘on-demand’. Financial freedom and independance didn’t exist, and I couldn’t care less. Weekends were crazy.

TODAY…

I am woken up by concerned voices about how late I’m going to be for office. I drag myself to the bathroom. If someone is available, I get a drop-off to the cab pick up point, or I haul my ass off there by myself. I carry a heavy bag. The books have been replaced by a laptop and a diary. I sit through boring meetings. I sit in a cozy, centrally air conditioned office, with no open windows or a hint of fresh breezes. I fight off sleep in the afternoon. I carry my lunch. I get just one, 1 hour break. Office is for 9 hours, and I have to log my time spent in it. I have to be on call, on demand. I come home by nightfall. There are no friends I get to meet after office. I have to haul my ass back to home with that heavy laptop on my back. I’m my own ATM. Financial independance is comforting, but scary if you look at the future. Weekends are fleeting.

I cannot crib. I’ve chosen this life. Makes me wonder though, the first 15 minutes of ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ were probably the truest appraisal of the human race.

 

DELTA1

The Seductress

Of all the seductresses who will lure you all your life, Hope is the cruelest. She plays with your mind endlessly, manifesting herself in dreams and nightmares, ambitions and apathies, serendipity and missed opportunities, successes and failures. She promises you better tomorrows at the end of hopeless days, silver linings to unending grey clouds, healing of past wounds, and exorcism of the demons that threaten to rip apart your spirit and soul. And here’s the scary part. You believe her. You believe her more than the God you worship, the religion you follow, or the master you bow to. You believe her like your life depends on it. You believe her more than yourself.

It is hard not to. While you’re painting a picture of the grand success your life will eventually turn out to be, and writing the eulogies that will be read at your funeral by the who’s who of whomever, you know that the average day is duller than the absolutely inevitable and monotonous passage of a second, signaled by the movement of the second’s hand of a clock. The devil lies in the details. And there are details to be taken care of, if you do wish to complete that picture you so cherish. It is a giant jigsaw puzzle, with pieces after pieces of the same colour, with just a suggestion of a change in shade or hue. But you work at it nevertheless, hoping that the pieces you are putting together are in the correct order as you edge towards completing it. So each day that you work tirelessly towards something, without a hint of progress or achievement, this Hope, this picture pushes you on. So while the ticking of the second’s hand is inconsequential, the change in day, month and year is most certainly not. That’s ‘The Butterfly Effect’ at its purest. She dangles carrots, she whips you with sticks, but she achieves her objective. You are seduced into tomorrow.

And cruel as she may be, that tomorrow is always the best thing that could have ever happened to you, simply because the alternative is to stop existing. And you don’t want to do that. Not while you have Hope seducing you. And that is her saving grace, her exit sign from hell. Because without her, there’s only Time. Hope’s seduction is perhaps the only thing that is keeping you from perpetually fixing your eyes on the clockwork motion of the second’s hand or slitting your wrists open and drain into oblivion. Without her seduction, your life’s graph will only contain a timeline and some semblance of activity running parallel to it. Falling prey to her seduction is what you are wired to do. That is why you pick yourself up and dust yourself off after falling down, you mend your broken heart, and you start again from square one. Granted there are moments when you look beyond the seductive possibilities Hope presents, when you are able to separate the white canvas from the shapes and colours of your picture. And those who make this a sustained habit are the ones who achieve nirvana or wash up dead on the shores. But that is a rarity.

So give in to this seduction. Let Hope lead the way. She may promise you roses, all the while drawing blood with the thorns, but it will be worth it. There will be a moment when she’ll let you smell them and keep them. There will be a moment when the second’s hand will feel proud because it will move in your honour. The pieces of the puzzle will suddenly make sense and a life defining pattern will emerge. You will boast of not being tempted into NOT being seduced. It will be orgasmic. That is when you’ll get to say ‘My Turn’. And don’t worry of Hope ever losing her charm or her moves.  Don’t bother of Hope deserting you in pursuit of another suitor. Don’t be afraid of Hope leaving you in the pessimistic depths of your mind’s hell.

Rest assured. Hope springs eternal.

DELTA1

Sometimes

Sometimes,
When I’ve wisened with age,
and the past seems to be full of mistakes,
my heart still cringes at the thought of that one mistake
that I wish had remained uncorrected.

Sometimes,
When I’ve been places,
and have lost track of where I began,
my mind still wanders off at the scent of wet earth
to that playground that made my childhood.

Sometimes,
When I’m done counting scars,
and wiped off the tears that rolled while counting them,
a stubborn tear refuses to leave my eyes,
because that one beautiful scar was worth every drop of blood shed.

Sometimes,
When I’m all alone,
and silence has the loudest noise in the room,
a little voice echoes in your ear,
and tells me there is one soul who still prays for me.

Sometimes,
When life takes me down the road I never wanted to go,
and destiny and fate swap places,
a frail, wrinkled hand runs through my hair,
and gives me the strength of mountains, and the lightness of winds.

 

DELTA1