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रास्ते

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दूर कहीं उन बिस्मिल रास्तों में,
बस यूँ ही चलते चले हम।
जहाँ ना वक़्त के सवाल थे,
ना कहीं सज्दा करने को जवाब थे।

यूँ तो ज़हन में कई बातें थीं,
पर उस मंज़र को तोड़ने की ज़ुर्रत ना थी,
फिर एक मौसम ख़ामोशियों ने दस्तक दी,
और ना जाने कितनी सूनी घड़ियाँ यूँ गुज़रती गयीं।

कुछ देर सवेर जब बदली छटी ,
एक नज़र इधर ,एक मुस्कुराहट उधर ,
और बस यूँ ही, फिर एक बार 
बिन मतलब बातों की लड़ियाँ सजती गयी,

एक अजीब से सुकून में, तेरे ही फ़ितूर में,
तुझे रूठ के मनाने में, अलग होके छटपटाने में,
अपने ही इस शोर में, कहीं खोए हुए उन सन्नाटों में,
हाँ , हाँ उन्ही बिस्मिल रास्तों में,
तेरे ही साथ से तो बने हमारे हौसले थे।

The Bridge

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I have learnt that some definitions need to be redefined.  They may have to be done for many reasons, sometimes, because of you grow out of something, sometimes, because your life turns a new leaf , and sometimes, simply because a changed definition is vital for survival. A change of perspective. Like looking over the water while atop a bridge. The same water, the same bridge, and the same city. But the place you look at it from, your view changes. And that is what we need sometimes, a different spot over the bridge. I am standing in a new place over the bridge now, a place from where I can also see the place where I stood last. When I had a childlike faith and an unfettered urge to swim in the waters I knew I would drown in. That place was then, and this place is now. I would not say one is better than the other, because it is because of one that I am in another.

There is wind in my hair today as I sit by the shore, and the few layers that cover me still make me shiver a little. I’m…

तारे

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ये जो झिलमिल चमकते तारे हैं,
कभी मद्धम, कभी तेज़ उजाले हैं,
दूर उस दुनिया से शायद ये भी टकाटक हमें देखते हैं,
कभी एक, कभी अनेक, कहीं हममें भी ये तारे खोजते हैं।
***
“To the people who look at the stars and wish"- Sarah J. Mass

Our Story

From the iron cage of my fragile illusions, Just like that, one day, I set you free, To let you soar out into your own being, without me,   And, disillusion every vein of our story …


An illusion like a feeling that shoots down the spine, When, out of the blue, plays a familiar song and fills the air, In between the ever expanding distance that we’ve become, When above the din of everyone’s chatter, it’s each other’s silence we hear…


An illusion of whispers that a dry riverbed of rustled leaves make, Which you choose to listen to, while escaping the chaos in your head, And, secretly wish that the wind that drifted you so far away from me, Could carry back those letters unwritten and those words unsaid…


An illusion, that the way I am is the way you are, And while I am thinking of you, you are thinking of me, We are reminded of the verse we read in that room together, When we thought if love is another name for the pull of the moon on the sea…


And so, from the iron cage of my fragile illusions, Just like…

मुझे नहीं पता

तुम,
महज़ एक अलफ़ाज़,
या हवा को चीरती हुई एक गूँज?
सावन के पत्ते की कम्पन,
या मेरी स्मृतियों में चढ़ती हुई बारीक धूल ?
मुझे नहीं पता ৷

तुम,
कोरे कागज़ की सूखी स्याही ,
या डूबते सूरज की आख़िरी ख़्वाहिश?
सांझ में दो दिलों की उठती-गिरती तरंग,
या  किसी मरुस्थल में टूट के पड़ी झमझमाती बारिश ?
मुझे नहीं पता ৷

तुम,
मेरे ज़हन में कोई पनपता एह्साह ,
जिसका अस्तित्व भी शायद है एक कल्पना,
अलफ़ाज़ दू उसे , तो वो नश्वर,
रखु  गुप्त, तो एक अप्रत्यक्ष  वेदना
मुझे नहीं पता ৷

तुम,
जितना मैं  तुम्हारे करीब हूँ ,
उतनी ही तुम मुझसे ओझल हो,
जिन आँखों ने तुम्हे तलाशा उम्र भर,
आज उन्ही आँखों को तुम बोझल हो ৷


शायद मुझे है पता  कि  तुम कौन हो,
बस दीदार करने की चेष्ठा नहीं है,
आज एक मदहोशी है , तुम्हारी खुमारी है,
और इस खुमारी से विचलित होने की अभी इच्छा नहीं है ৷


THE UMBILICAL CORD

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 “… I close the door after they leave… " She managed to say, after resting her palpitating heart.
“What has happened?”he asked calmly
“I don’t know ... they told me something and then left … I don't feel anything now… I am numb …"

"Who were they?"

"Some men in uniform... I do not know them"
“Can you see yourself?”
“Yes”, I am young and am wearing a pinafore”, “and… I  feel heavy and am in physical discomfort…” she follows soonafter.
“Oh! Is there anyone around you?”
“No… I am alone … all alone… there is no one around me…”
 “Can you tell what year or what place is it?”
“No.”
“Okay. Go out of the door and see where you are”
“I am too weak to step outside … I am now sitting on the floor of the house… I feel a sense of betrayal and abandonment…I dunno why though”
 “Okay, no problem. Go back in time. I know it’s hard but please try…”he asked her.
Slowly, her facial muscles relaxed and her breathing became regular.
“What do you see now?”he asked. 
“There is food and wine e…

I wonder

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At the end of it all, I wonder, Why do I do what I do? And with every second passing by, Something inside me dies and, something brews …
They say we have a mind and that it’s beautiful, They also say that its one cold beast, But then why does it conflate with emotions? And in the face of you, all reasoning cease?
And still wondering, I do ‘cause the mind continues to defy all rationale, And I wonder, if it's really the end? When the loop of the dawn and the dusk never runs stale?
And I wonder again, If it's death if you go insane? And with the multitude of seconds that have gone by, If what is dead today will ever brew again?