Wednesday, February 22, 2012

पंद्रह आने सच ! Copyright ©

सोलह आने का सच किताबों में बस होता
एक आने का सच हरदम है कहीं खोता
सत्य का पलड़ा भारी होता होगा तराज़ू में
पर एक आना तो दबा ही लेती जनता अपनी बाज़ू में
इस एक आने का ही खेल है प्यारे
इसपे ही इतिहास टिका है
जीतने वाले के पास पंद्रह
हारने वाले को एक आना मिला है
यदि यह आना दिख जाए तो
जाने क्या हो जाएगा
शायद खेमू चिनवाया जाएगा
और अनारकली जीवन भर रोएगी
मदिरा की नदियाँ बहेंगी और
संस्कृति सारी उसमे खोएगी

मैं यह आना ढूंढ ढूंढ
बिना बात परेशान हुआ
यह सच तो अनलिखे पन्नो की
केवल शान हुआ
पर कहीं तो यह एक आने की गठरी दबी होगी
कहीं तो इसका होगा खज़ाना
इन टुकड़ों में इतिहास बदलने
की चमक होगी
अब तो केवल पंद्रह को सच में सोलह करना है
चाहे इतिहास के ठेकेदारों से ही क्यूँ न लड़ना है
इस एक आने का सत्य ही मानवता को पार लगाएगा
नहीं तो मानवता का ऐसे ही गला घोंटा जाएगा

यह सच को पहचानना हम सबका अब धर्म है
एक आने पे ही टिका अब हमारा कर्म है
तो,जाग मानुष, देख पंद्रह के पार
सोलह आने की खोज से कर खुदका उद्धार
आओ मिलके भविष्य के सपने करें साकार
राम राज्य की कल्पना नहीं, धरे अब उसका आकार
इतिहास अब नहीं पायेगा बच
मानव जब निकलेगा दृढ़ता से करने
पंद्रह को सोलह आने सच!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

फिर आया हूँ ! Copyright ©

चला गया था लहरों के संग
सीखने इस दुनिया के ढंग
करतब सारे, सारे रंग
पर मेरा तो भाग्य लिखा है
धारा के विपरीत तैरने का
लहरों को चीरने का
न कि ठहरने का
तो जब लगा तुम्हे कि मैं गायब हूँ
और खो गया मैं रीति रिवाजों में
जब लगा तुम्हे कि विलुप्त हो गयी मेरी काया
और बंद हो गया दरवाजों में
फिर वापिस आया हूँ मैं
फिर से ज्योत जलाने को
आओ मेरे पीछे हो जाओ
मैं आया पुनः राह दिखाने को

क्या बताऊँ कैसे कैसे मंज़र मैंने देखे
कितनी पगडंडियों पे चला हूँ
कितने सूरज मैंने सके
कितनी जंगों में मैंने लहू बहाया
और कितने माओं के आँचल को सवारा
कितने मीठे स्वाद चखे हैं
कितने शव मैंने ढके हैं
इन सब के बाद मैं आया हूँ
फिर से ज्योत जलने
अपने जीवन को सब की लाठी
सोये मन को फिर जगाने

आओ मेरे पीछे तुम भी
घबराओ मत क्या मंजिल होगी
काँटों की शय्या शायद
शायद मखमल की कम्बल होगी
फिर आया हूँ तुम्हारे लिए मैं
भटक न जाये ताकि कोई
यह बतलाने फिर से सबको
शक्ति है तुम्हारे अन्दर सोयी

खून बहे तो गम मत करना
आग दिखे तो तुम मत डरना
मन मंदिर के अन्दर विश्वास जगा के
फिर अमृत के ही घूँट भरना
जब जब तुम मुर्झाओगे मैं
माली बन बन सीचुंगा
जब जब तुम घबराओगे मैं
लक्ष्मण रेखा खीचूँगा
पर गिरने का डर न हो तुमको
यह मैं सिखला जाऊंगा
जब जब मन में कौतुहल होगा
मन मंदिर में समां जाऊंगा
फिर आया हूँ तुमको मैं
नयी राह दिखाने को
फिर आया हूँ मैं तुमको
एक बार फिर जगाने को

फिर आया हूँ
फिर आऊंगा
युगों युगों में
समां जाऊंगा
मैं तुम्हारे अन्दर का
विवेक हूँ
सुनो मेरी , नहीं तो
मैं फिर चिल्लाऊंगा
फिर आया हूँ
फिर आऊंगा
युगों युगों में
समां जाऊंगा!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Arranged! Copyright ©

Could it be true? Could it be true that love could be arranged?

“When are you coming? It’s been 4 long years, tujhe man nahi karta maa se milne ka?”

Sometimes the heart pounds inside your chest cavity as if it did not care about whether you live or die. It tells you “dude, do something! Or, I’ll explode”. I felt the same when incessant phone calls rang just one ring tone “come home” and every possible friend and relative assumed that I had not been to my home country because I was busy earning dollars, drinking beer and dating goris. I didn’t want to explain that it was almost like an exile and I was NOT having any fun. I was battling life, just was doing it alone. And that I missed home, missed parents and doting sister and friends and everything which made me,me.

“Your visa has been approved!”

United States of America, the land of opportunity, sometimes has strange ways of expressing it’s gratitude to immigrants. Well, we know its gratitude even though they make it seem as if its attitude. But those words were like honey to my ears. A long wait of four years had just ended and I could board a plane back to my home and live it all over again.

“Kripya apni kamar ki peti baandh lein, vimaan Boeing 747, Nayi Dilli airport pe utarne ko tayyar hai”.

The voice of the air hostess sounded like the sweetest music to my ears. I was going home finally. Many emotions, which had been pent up over the years, got a vent, my sister and cousin were waiting in the crowd at my arrival and my yearning eyes were frantically looking for a familiar face. And then I was hugged by two people at the same time. Oh the warmth was warmer than the California sun. The warmth was enough to protect me from dilli ki sardi, and it did!

Happy budday to you!

My cousin was pleasantly shocked to find me standing at her door step. She was jumping with joy. The next seven days were insane. Immigration, chaat, rikshawaalas, familiar incense smell, chai, “bargaining”, traffic and many such “experiences” were re-lived. Friends, relatives, cousins, aunts and uncles, it was just a full blown fanfare.

Then something strange happened.

“Yaar yeh to peeche peeche hi aa rahe hain” said my sister.

A man, woman and a girl followed us for a good half a kilometre, turned where we turned, keeping a distance. We climbed the stairs to our apartment and so did they, we went in. They followed. Dumbfounded, my sister, my cousin and I quickly went into another room and my second cousin greeted the three followers. They were relatives to the cousin. Not knowing them, and not wanting to know them, made us curl into our own little cosy corner while the other cousin entertained these guests. I had no clue where this would lead. But it seemed strange. The day ended and we were to go to our hometown to meet my parents. We headed for the train station.

“Nayi dilli se Dehradun ki or jaane waali gaadi, platform kramaank ek pe aayegi”, announced the recorded voice of a seemingly tired lady. The train journey would be boring, I thought. It wasn’t. Winter breeze greeted us and feelings of yester years came rushing in. It was magical. But like every journey, it ended soon.

There is nothing like touching your father’s feet and getting an aashirvad in return when he touches your head and says “jeete raho”.

Pitaji had been waiting for four years to see his son grow into a man. His haggard looks, his lean body and his greying hair, said it all. The emptiness in his eyes was filled with pride, affection and was lit again like a new light bulb, when he saw me. It was amazing. All four of us would be united under the same roof after a long wait. My heart was pounding, I still had to meet my mother whose faith and hope had made me go on and take on life.

My father drove like Michael Schumacher.

I think he, of all, wanted all of us to be together soon.

The graceful lady, I had left four years ago, was thinner, but oh my god, her eyes were the same. We hugged each other for eternity and she wept. So did I. Those tears washed away all the tiredness I had been carrying for years. I was home. Finally cold brick walls felt like a warm blanket. I guess that’s what family is. Home is where they understand you. You are so comforted by togetherness that even the most silent moments make you feel that that was the best conversation you ever had. I was blessed.

Then, came the dollops of ghee, floating in aloo paranthas, tadka daals, and ghar ki roti. I would become as big as a house, I promised myself.

The world knows that India is the land of awakening.

I was about to get a lesson, which would remain with me forever.

“They said that they liked the guy!” said my mother winking at me.

“What?? Who?”

“Oh those people who came to visit at Daksha’s apartment” she said, casually.

“Oh My God, what are you saying?” I replied shockingly, feeling like a product being marketed.

“They would like to meet you in person”

“No way.. Maa!”

“Tomorrow !”


“No one is forcing you, just talk to them”, said my mom sternly.

Even though I thought I was being trapped into a never ending “selection cycle” of Hindu matrimonial services, primarily run by the ladies of the family, I knew that they wanted a bahu, for their son and wanted him to be happy. But I was not ready.

“Maa, I’m not going to be doing this, I can sit there, but I am not going to say a word”. I rebelled.

“You just come along, there is no harm in being there”, comforted my mother.

Dear world, you would never understand that the pleasure it gives us Indians to worship our parents and listening to their small little wants, to make them happy, is not loosing our individuality. It makes them happy, seeing them happy, makes us happy. A happiness that is elusive everywhere else. It may sound as if I conceded to my parents’ want to meet a family for nuptial consideration, but I did it for their pleasure. So that they don’t feel that I have betrayed them in any sense. That my upbringing had not been wasted. Their children still listened to them. I was still a Bharateey.

I Agreed.

The pounding of my heart began again. What lay ahead? What would happen? How is it going to be? Endless other things were crossing my mind.

Tomorrow came!





The silence was deafening, so we broke the ice by doing the regular questionnaire of “Where do you work? What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies? etc.”

I had just one question floating in my mind which I had to ask, and ask I did

“So how come you are all ready for arranged marriage?”

She was confidant and her poise said it all. I don’t know if she was taken aback by my boldness, but she replied.

“What’s wrong with that?” she asked.

“I mean, how can you arrange togetherness, it is 2012 man!” I retorted.

“I don’t know about others, but I have come to this peace with my self that my Man is out there, I will love my husband and be dedicated to him and be the best wife there can be. My parents know what is best for me. Even though I am letting them chose the family, I will chose the man. It does not matter what route I take, I believe that He is out there for me, and I will get him this way or that, so I am choosing this path.”

“Hmmm” is all I said.

I was not ready for nuptial alliance, and especially not this way. So I
made it clear that I was not going to marry her unless I feel it.

I felt something which I had never felt before.

If that person is out there, and it is destined that I would find her,
it’s already “Arranged”, I just have to go look for it.

Love was Loss of Valuable Energy for me. The doors had been closed due
to some past bitterness.

Now it is open, I will find my soul mate. I know she is there.

Thank you, young lady. I hope you find your Knight in Arms. I know you
will. Accept my apologies that I am not that person for you.

Let, God show his Arrangement to me. His Arranged Togetherness!