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Halftones

the motley musings of a maverick

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life

अहम् के बहाने?

कोई कला का कैदी तोह कोई कृत्य का

बिच में उलझेलूल हम

क्षणिक सुख की झलक क्या मिल गयी

तलब पे उतर आये हम

 

सोचा था कि अपने बारे में कभी न बोलेंगे, पर

क्या करें

अल्फाज़ मुलाज़िम जो ठहरे सुर्ख आँसुओं के

दबी हुयी दुखों की बुनियाद पे

जिंदगी खड़ी तोह नहीं की जाती

हर ग़फ़लत की जड़ अहंकार तो नहीं होती

अगर होती तो

खामोशियों से यूँ दोस्ती न होती

सालों की बारकियाँ

आज बिखरती न दिखती

बर्फ से बनी मकबरों में हरियाली की अहद न होती

हम तुम न होते तुम हम न होते

आज तूफ़ान भी एलान कर रहे हैं

खुशी की

पलों में बसी दास्तांओं की

 

आज आगाज़-ये-कार कला व कृत्य की मिलन की

लफ्जों में एक पल को कैद करने की कोशिशों की

खुदा की चाह की

 

कल का क्या पता

कहीं वज़ूद को कायम किये बिना ही

मुक्त न हो जाएं हम

 

क्षणिक सुख की झलक क्या मिल गयी

तलब पे उतर आये हम

CORRIDORS OF TIME AND THE WITNESSES

The eucalyptuses swayed, embraced and kissed, and swayed away. The wind blew harder and they swayed again, this time embracing each other for a longer moment before they swayed apart. On the backyard, I stood amidst the bamboos and wilderness, withdrawn from the world, my eyes following the movements of the two eucalyptuses.

The wind had not blown so fiercely in the last two years. The scene outside was exhilarating. In fact, coming from a world where sounds of drilling machines, horns and loud stereos reign, I didn’t have any idea what it was to see and hear nature dancing to its own tunes. I came out of my room to feel the first drops of rain on my face, to inhale the scent of earth, to turn nostalgic.

“Laal? Where are you heading to in this storm?”

“To fetch the cows, they must be frightened. This time we are going to get a good harvest, though.” He went on, whistling.

Laal was the oldest man alive in the village, still hale and hearty in his mid-eighties. He often whistled while feeding or rearing his cattle. I caught the festive mood too; I brought my umbrella out and stepped on the first puddle, then the second, the third and marched ahead, splashing mud and singing to myself without any destination in mind. Yet, I knew I would struggle between my heart wanting to cut short in front of Deepti’s house and pay her a visit and my mind forcing me to shed off any hopes lingering at the back of it. I turned to take the outer road, the road which passed behind Deepti’s house and in front of the richer part of the village with wealthy settlers and a buzzing market area.

“Samiran, it seems you are enjoying the weather. What about a hot cup of tea?” Nirmaali offered, standing sheltered in the verandah of her house.

I halted at their entrance. “No thanks; some other day.”

“Out on business?” she asked again, smiling.

“Yes.” I lied and sauntered on.

I reached the abandoned rice mill from where the main road divided into the inner and outer road. I saw the eucalyptuses moving to and fro. Tall as they were, it was easy to notice them from any point in the village. Some used to say a young girl hanged herself from the large peepal tree behind the mill and her spirit roamed about.

A while later, I crossed the largest grocery shop in the village; it was owned by Dhanuaa, a short and stout man in his seventies. His son Mantu ran the business now. He was younger to me by a few years but he looked older and wiser; unlike me, he had stayed in this village since his birth.

“How is it going, Mantu?” I greeted him.

“Good! Good! Where are you heading to, Doctor?” Mantu asked, as he pushed a carton of uncle chip packets inside the shop.

“Nowhere in particular; just enjoying the weather.”

Thunder cracked again and the wind blew harder. Shivers ran along the exposed part of my hands. I bade him farewell and walked ahead. My heart thumped louder as I approached Deepti’s house. She always brought the worst out in me; at all times her eyes were aflame Continue reading “CORRIDORS OF TIME AND THE WITNESSES”

Suspended in Space

(I)

The night drew out on his last words.

Silence, like a palm reddened in vermillion,

Tenderly touched and left its print on a new leaf.

It’ll die with the mark, will it not?

(II)

Many a winter stumbled

Over the heap of results of someone else’s

Continue reading “Suspended in Space”

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