Tuesday, 10 May 2022

एहसास







खरोंच हल्की 
या ज़खम  गहरा
चोट तो है  न ?

ख़ामोशी से या
मुस्का के सहलाओ
दर्द तो है न ?

जीये नहीं  ..अभी कहाँ
साँसों  में वो  
तड़पन तो है न ?

धुआं है .. लकीरें सारी 
अंगारों में 
ठिठुरन  तो हैं न  ?

ख्वाबों को रौंद चला 
पलकों तले 
चुभन तो है न ?

वक़्त अभी - थोड़ी बाकी 
धड़कनों में 
सुलगन तो है न ?



खरोंच हल्की 
या ज़खम  गहरा
चोट तो है  न ?

ख़ामोशी से या
मुस्का के सहलाओ
दर्द तो है न ?





Friday, 1 April 2022

The Half Eaten Cake

 





Early morning...

Pulling away the curtains

I let the sun stream in

"Good Morning" I say cheerfully

"Morning" Replies Mom drowsily

"Happy Birthday"

She repeats after me "Happy Birthday"

I ask her, "Whose Birthday it is , Maa?"

"Don't know..." She says dreamily

"Yours", I croon into her ears softly


In the evening...

Sister brings the cake

"Happy Birthday Maa"

Creamed on it

We make her sit on the bed

and tell her to cut it

She tries to wound her gnarled fingers

Round the plastic knife but fails

We hold her hand and knife out a piece

Singing "Happy Long Life To You..."

She looks around with wide vacant eyes and

Repeats "Appy  Long Life..."

Her lids droop....we place her head gently

on the pillow....she snores softly


In the Hall...

We all gather

With a piece of cake in hand

We celebrate her wrinkled memory

Her fading smile

Her half knowing glances

Her garbled song

And pretend to be merry

A bit musty though...


My mother is a Dementia patient since 2016


This poem is shared with Poets and Storytellers United 


Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Intruder




The boy popped up

Like a Jack-in-a-box

His gaze unwavering

Face masked

Shabbily attired

A thick bamboo stick

Lay reclined by his side

He sat on the boundary wall

of the Park

Not very far from the entrance of my flat

I had a tinge of doubt

What was he there for?

Plonked up like that?

He gesticulated to me

Which I failed to figure

Did he want some food?

Or sitting there to have some of his own?

I told Auntie to keep an eye on him

Something about him was not quite natural

When I returned after a few minutes

He was still there unmoved

I said,"Seen these strays

They will prey on you..."

This time he held a peeled banana aloft

And took a bite leisurely

His gaze still straight towards my balcony

Aunt said she had already warned him

About Babu, Neelu, Tuk Tuk and Sam

What about our Rinky (my pet)? The great gun

He neither seemed scared nor impressed

Carried on munching his biscuits and bread

Having no plan to budge an inch

Under the spell of suspicion

I called the guard 

Told him to ward off

The uninvited guest (or trespasser?)

Guard asked, "From where have you come lad?"

The boy's reply was not audible

At least he was not dumb as he pretended

The conversation ended

With the guard having succeeded 

To push him off   (not without reluctance)

The boy hobbled off

But Rinky made it worse

And wanted to pee at that very moment

I hesitated at the gate

Perhaps I will meet the strange boy again

Outside in the service lane


But when I looked around 

He was nowhere to be found 


The next day...


I called upon my shrink

"I am having nightmares

That boy and his passive stares...."

Shrink said, "He is past....you move on

There is lots to life than baseless fear

Have no worry...take a chill pill...put on some music

and groove on..."

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Snippets - I

 this sudden urge

          to be dead

by dawn

I check my nominees

once more 


...


jostling

inside the Metro

for an inch of space

a sudden surge of freedom

whelms over

no one knows

who I am


...


waiting...

at the bus stop

I wonder

how many it takes 

to make a crowd

how many less

to make you lonely


...


I bump into 

a blushing rose bush

a greeting stray mongrel

a smiling passer by

funny! I had taken

the wrong turn


...


temple bells

I leave behind

my worn chappal

and take along

frayed memories

too heavy to part

too many to stack


These micro poems were also published in Muse India e-Journal 

Monday, 18 March 2019

वो सांवली सी लड़की


वो सांवली सी लड़की
मेरे पड़ोस की नहीं
पर मैंने उसे देखा है
कई मर्तबा खुद को
निहारते  हुए आईने में
पलकों के पगडंडियों को
काजल से पोत कर
सपनों पे और रंग चढ़ाया है जैसे
होठों पे हंसी टिका कर
अनगिनत सवालों का जवाब माँगा है
गालों पे महीन से झुर्रियों की तरकश से 
पर फिर भी उसने सदियाँ लगा दी
खुद को सजाने संजोने में

और मैं यहाँ वक़्त के नोकीले काँटों
से चुभ कर एक लम्हा ढूंढ़ती फिरती हूँ
अपना चेहरा भीड़ में खोजने के लिए



Saturday, 19 January 2019

क्या तुम वही हो ?/Are You The Same?





क्या तुम वही हो?
जो भरी दोपहरी में
धुप से खेला करती थी?
तीसरे माले की बरसाती की
वह कोने की खिड़की
जिसको सहलाती नीम
के पेड़ की टहनियों पे
दबे पांव रख कर
कपास सी बादलों को
गुदगुदाना चाहती थी
क्या तुम वही हो?

क्या तुम वही हो ?
जो ख्वाबों को संजोती थी
कल के लिए और
गुनगुनाती थी गीत आशाओं भरी
क्या तुम वही हो ?
जो दहलीज़ लांघ कर
अजनबी किनारों के धुल छाना करती थी
और अन्जान चेहरों के
मक्कार इरादों से सहम गयी थीं

क्या तुम वही हो ?
जो दिन रात के मेहनत  के
बूंदों में आंसुओं को छुपा लेती
और ज़िन्दगी के खोखलेपन
को एक नया अंजाम देने
का हौसला जुटाती थी
क्या तुम वही हो ?


Are you the same ?
Who would play with sunshine
In desultory afternoons
And dare to step 
Oh! So lightly on
The delicate twigs of
The Neem  tree
Brushing against the
Lone attic window
To tickle the cottony clouds
Are you the same?
Who would sing
Lullabies of hope
To save dreams
For the morrow

Are you the same?
Who broke the bounds
To caress the sands of
Unknown shores
Are you the same?
Who dreaded the masks of
The masqueraders …
The inevitable betrayal
Of deceit …

Are you the same
Who would diffuse
The tears in the
Sweet smelling sweat
Of days’ toil  to live
A vacant lie
With bravado
Are you the same?

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Dancing To The Tune



On the tip of an iceberg
I so gently place my big toe
Ever so lightly...
And haul myself up
A wee bit....a wee bit ....a wee....more
To nibble the sky
Just this much

Dreamzzzzzzzzzz.......
Poised so delicately
             On the rim of reality
And I...


Shared With Poets United