Saturday, April 13, 2013

The new year is here. Varsh Pratipada in Sanskrit is the first day of the Indian calender and in maharashtra it is celebrated as Gudi Padwa. The best part of the celebrations is the street processions. Men and women looking their traditional best are on the streets with colourful dresses, riding shiny bikes and horses. It's like an open fancy dress competition with kids dressed like shivaji and lakshmibai.
But the best part is women carrying the most traditional look and defying the traditional gender roles, doing everything from riding the metal monsters to playing the drum.
And adding to the fun is a group of young men and women wielding flags and cymbals and  dancing to the drum beats on the streets of mumbai. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Revolution 2020 : A Review

I took this book for two reasons; one that I wasn’t in the best of my moods and wanted to read something light (chetan has a reputation for humour) and second- a friend had told me that the protagonist had same name as me - ‘Gopal Mishra’.
Both the reasons proved wrong. The story wasn’t a comedy and I could not relate to the character in any way.

Yet the story kept me hooked. There is a thing about Chetan Bhagat’s style that doesn’t let you put the book down until you finish it up. He writes melodramatic scenes and Bollywood brand climaxes but still strikes a chord. His characters are never Perfect. They are humane and have vices and still they are heroes in themselves.

This one is no exception. His protagonist is a mediocre man who wants to make it big. You hate him throughout the story and yet his pain hurts. And in the end you feel that he is, in chetan’s word ‘a good man’.

This story has everything- love, deceit, sacrifice, ideology, greed, politics; a heady concoction apt for a Bollywood masala flick. It is bound to happen. I just hope that they do not murder it like ‘Three Idiots’ changing the protagonist from Gopal (the mediocre) to Raghav (the perfect one).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

मैं इक लफ्ज़ हूँ इक पन्ने पर ,
तुम भी इस लफ्ज़ हो इक पन्ने पर ,
और हम दोनों में कोई भी रिश्ता तो नहीं .

तुम जो हँसते हो तो आवाज़ मुझको आती है ,
कल जो रोये हो तुम शब् भर बिना आवाज़ किये;
नमी से उसकी मेरा मन भी थोडा गीला है .

ये जो पन्नो का पीला पड़ना, स्याही का फीका होना
ये जो तेरा मुझ सा होना, और मेरा तुझ सा होना
ये जो ओह करके जीना और आह करके मरना

Saturday, January 29, 2011

थिएटर की सीट पे हम दोनों बैठे थे
और बीच में बस इक armrest की दूरी थी

मैं इस पार से तुम्हे देखता रहा जी भर
दो-इक बार तुम्हे छूने की कोशिश भी की

तुमने हँस के armrest उठा दिया था
बोली "बड़े बुद्धू हो तुम भी "

आज लगता है सच ही कहा था तुमने

Sunday, January 16, 2011

मैं इक साहिल पे बैठा हूँ

ना इतना दूर कि कोई लहर मुझको
छू ही ना पाए
ना इतना पास ही कि हर लहर
भिगा सके मुझको

मैं कुछ पिछली लहर से अब भी
भीगा सा ही बैठा हूँ
भली लगती है अब हवाओं कि
संगत बड़ी मुझको

यूं भीगते और सूखते
दिन ढल गया देखो

Friday, October 22, 2010

न कोई पुल है इस दरिया पे
जिसके पार बैठी हो
बस एक कश्ती थी जिसको
डुबा दिया तुमने

Friday, January 08, 2010

Two States: Review

No. The review or even the reading was not inspired by the movie: three idiots. I have read everything written by Chetan Bhagat and I must say, this one is the best. The worst being 'One night at a call center'.

Despite his extra dramatic climaxes and unusual turn of events, his stories always keep you hooked. His cute expressions and vivid description make you fall in love with the characters and you cannot leave without finishing.
The best thing about his latest novel is that he has retained his charm and reduced the drama.

Two states is the story of a Punjabi young man at IIMA falling in love with his classmate from Chennai. The story remains all sweet till they decide to convince their families for their marriage and this is where all the salt and pepper enters the story. They try convincing their families with little success and even reach a break-up. This is when in a dramatic turn of events, parents rise above their rigidity and show that they care.

So again a happy ending like all of his earlier stories. Sometimes I think his stories resemble a typical hindi movie, where things go as bad as they can and at the end dramatically everything turns right. This one definitely deserves a try. Mr. Bhagat I would have loved to make a movie on this story if I could.

The story talks about the stupidity of stereotypes, and still rests on the same for all the humour and all this is so natural that you never realize this between your bouts of laughter. Every description of either punjabis of tamilians is power packed with laughter. Although it does make some offences but you never mind it for it's all fun.

All in all a great time-pass :)

Three Idiots: Review

Three idiots: Ryan, Hari and alok ooops...... rancho (amir khan), Farhan (madhvan) & raju (sharman joshi) come to IIT sorry ICE (hell......... Sorry Mr Hirani but I can't stop relating despite your comment that 'the film has less than 5% similarity to the novel 5 point someone by Chetan Bhagat'). Well anyways,lets get back to the story. So the three idiots arrive at one of the best colleges in the country to study mechanical engineering and in the four years they do everything they are not expected to : Bunk classes, get drunk on the top of water tank, date prof's daughter, pee on dean's nameplate, dine for free in an unknown wedding...

Indian audience had not watched a movie about life in an engineering college and this was high time we had one. The biggest section of movie-goers today are engineers and this was sure to click. No wonder this is one of the largest grocers of all times-thanks to the multiplexes.

But this is not all. Three Idiots is a story nicely told. Rajkumar Hirani has maintained his position of best director of comedies. His dialogues are really good and gel with the mood of the movie. Cinematography is worth appreciating, scenic locations of Laddhakh are shown with elegance. Songs are catchy although the music is not that great, thanks to the lyrics. Give me some sunshine & Aall is well, are my favorites.

I was doubting how a man in forties will play a college boy but Amir has always shown that he can do anything. Sharman joshi is brilliant as usual. No one can beat his comedy. Kareena is back to her cute Yuva Looks with a nose ring. She gels in the character so much that you cannont imagine someone else.

The movie is, in many ways, different from the book. Unlike the book the Protagonist here is not the mediocre Hari (madhavan) who needs Ryan (amir khan) for every move, who betrays his girlfriend, putting her repute at stake for saving his degree. Here the protagonist is Mr. Perfect: Rancho. Ryan of the book was polished to create this character. He is against the system but still manages to top the class unlike Ryan. So the Prof's daughter falls in love with him and not Hari. We haven't yet matured to accept less than perfect people as leads.

Well despite all this, the movie is worth watching for a relaxing experience of three hours.

Rating: 4/5

remebering sangharsh

This was the first time
he had painted in colour
unlike the usual charcoal
on handmade paper

Sketch of a female form
grace, elegance, divinity embellished
He was so happy that day
for his son was an year old...

I passed by your room today...

Two paintings still hang
on opposite walls

And between the shades
of Black and Red
thrives life

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I got my birthday gift

like a morning breeze
after a sleepless night
soothing to the soul
and pinching to the eyes

Two books and a letter
which says nothing
I read you all over
and understood nothing......

ज़िन्दगी सहेज ली

ज़िन्दगी ताक पर रक्खी हुई थी
महीनों से
आज धूल झाड़ते नज़र पड़ी

सोचा फेंक दूँ
फ़िर उठाया
ज़रा सा साफ़ किया
और रख लिया
कुछ पुराने सामन की तरह
क्या पता जाने कभी कुछ काम आए .........

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Wake Up Sid

Wake up Sid is a story of stereotypes told with a fresh flavour.

Siddharth Mehra aka Sid (ranbeer kapoor) is an aimless, good for nothing, spoiled son of a rich man who just doesn't want to take the responsibility of his own life. His father Ram Mehra (Anupam Kher) is a self made businessman who rose from rags to riches and wants his son to be responsible and help in his business. But Sid flees from office to spend time with his new friend Aisha Banerjee(Konkona Sensharma). She is a strong, confident, independent woman from Kolkata who has come to Mumbai chasing her dream to be a successful journalist.

Troubled by his son, Ram Mehra throws Sid out of his house to teach him a lesson and Sid takes refuge in Aisha's flat. Living with her changes him a lot. He returns home and this is when they realize that they are in love. In the climax they come together and Live happily ever after :P

Ranbeer Kapoor is becoming synonymous to good for nothing, spoilt brat. Konkana is brilliant as usual. Anupam Kher had nothing much to do as his role was like a repeat performance of many of his earlier movies. In fact all these actors have played these characters so many times that it seems dull on first look but the way these characters have been handled makes this a story well told.

The best part is direction. Thumbs up for Ayan Mukherjee who debuts with this movie. He handles the emotions in a very delicate manner. Konkona is a director's darling. I just love her. She has handled the complex scenes in a simple and elegant way.

Despite the Raj Thakre drama, every mumbaikar will love this movie for it explores the best parts of life in Mumbai. Well I have at least one thing in common with Ayan, both of us love marine drive !!!

Now the downside. This movie, like most of bollywood flicks, is far from the harsh realities of life. Everything here seems so easy. Javed Akhtar disappoints with average quality. And the last one : They keep promoting Nikon and I am from canon gharana ;)

All in all a nice weekend passtime

Rating 3/5

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mythos Vs Logos

When you love mathematics, your fascination with ancient Greeks never ends. When you start exploring Greece, what surprises you is India. She has always been a land of mysteries. Perhaps mystery is a part of life here, interwoven with facts and reason, so much so that it seems that zero could have never been invented elsewhere. It just belongs here.

On the surface everything here seems so similar to Greece; the religion, mathematics, astronomy... But no. On a deeper look you start feeling the difference. It's so fine that it misses your attention on first look: the difference between what you think and what you feel.

While myth of present times definitely has its roots somewhere in the knowledge in past, what creates the trouble is the separation. A separation of flow of human quest into parallel streams, completely disjoint. One stream lead by pure reason, flexible and creative. This stream keeps the flow going although there is something missing. Something that is above reason.
The other stream comes to the dead end of belief and completeness. This is where the flow slows down and starts to rot.

When man created the first god, it was very reasonable. The form he gave to the gods then came from his perception of world (mythos following logos). Then he created another god and kept creating more and more, upgrading from the present form. God 8.0, God 9.0, God 9.1,9.12.... and so on. While some gods were open source (Christianity), some were strictly proprietary (Hinduism). The problem really lies in the complacency created by aggressive marketing by the different sources selling the ultimate truth. Rigidity replaced flexibility and the flow was gone.

This created two parallel streams with people trapped in between. Largely responsible for the division of science and arts. This rot created the para-sciences like astrology (see the logos still sticks!!! ). There are believers, non believers and agnostics but no developers, no seekers.

The life today is split, influenced by these two worlds. You believe in Darvin and you believe in Genesis. You believe in black holes and you believe in rahu-kalam. I do not have a problem with Christ or Rahu till they don't interfere with what I do (I agree it's a Newtonian approach but we are still in dark age! ) . The problem really starts when the stagnancy tries to take over the flow and restricts the ETERNAL TRAVELLER.

PS: mythos and logos are Greek words from which the English words myth (story) and logic or logy (study as in biology) are derived.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What's Your Number

As a kid, I was always mesmerized by numbers. They seemed to carry some magic. I saw patterns in numbers. They looked like geometrical figures and I always thought that there was some hidden connection between the shapes and the numbers.

Someone asked me my favourite number and i started finding the answer.

1. Nunero Uno
The first, the best, the unique, one at the top. This is the king of numbers. Neither prime nor composite, beyond it. It shows unity, shows power (in hands of one).
It stands for one god, single truth. It stands for completeness.
It's a lonely number although.

2. Duality
Two is company. Two is split. Black & White, Darkness & Light, Good & Evil. Two is pair, complementing each other and incomplete alone. Nar & Narayan, Atma & Paramatma, Prakriti & Purush. This number reminds me of Ardhnarishwar.
Two is state. Happy & Sad, On & Off, 0 & 1: origin of the binary system and the whole of information revolution.
Two is contrast. Yes & No, Right & Left ( in every sense- right brain vs left brain, right hand vs left hand, right wing politics vs left)

Well talking about two, I must share a joke I read somewhere: "There are two types of people- Those who split everything into two and those who don't."

3. Trio
Three is magic. Three is mystery. I love triangles. They are magical. They represent strength. I always wondered (until I learnt later), why every structure you see is made of triangular shapes. Three is stability ( a tripod never shakes).
Three draws parallels: Trilok, Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, Mahakaali-Mahalaxmi-Mahasaraswati. This is not a split of contrasts but of facets.
Three dimensions of space and a fool lost within.

4. Quad
Four is flat. Emotionless. Four directions, four walls. Equal in measure, precise and dull.
Four faces are quite common in Hindu mythology and forms our national emblem as well (Ashok Stambh)

5. High Five
Pentagon rules the world (literally :P). Five fingers, Five senses, Five elements ( and not four. i am an Indian you see ).
Coming back to geometry, a regular pentagon has an angle of 108 degrees (another magical number ! )

6. Hex
God does play dice. How can he resist the temptation?? I love this number as I love cricket and I love hexagons.
I am hexed by the way :)

7. The Queen
This number definitely deserves the status. Biggest single digit prime number. Seven notes, seven colours, seven seas, seven births, seven vows, seven days, seven stars (saptarishi).
You just can't ignore the beauty, you are bound to fall in love with the queen.

8. Oct
Complexity personified. Eight is cube of two. 3D split.
I remember the rangoli's by my mother with eight petals. Kind of elegant.

9. On cloud nine
This is another magical number. Derived from three, it carries its magic and mystery to next level. But it looses the simplicity in the process.

0. Nothing
I missed this one. I remember another incident like this. The first law of thermodynamics had already been discovered (law of conservation of energy) and later a law was discovered which was even more basic. This one in fact defined the whole branch of study. So this one was called the Zeroth law of Thermodynamics.

This number represents nothing. And includes everything. The basis of every number system- binary, hexadecimal or decimal; whatever.The India's contribution to the world of mathematics and philosophy. It's the fifth element that Greeks had left- the SPACE.
It's synonymous to nirgun- 'without attributes' ; the all pervading, all including. The ultimate bliss, the Nirvana.
This is what differentiates, the Indian philosophy from rest of the world.

Well... white is my favorite colour. Someone may say that it's not a colour but for it is. It contains every colour and is still so pure, so complete.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's Your Rashi

Ashutosh Gowarikar continues his fascination with long flicks. While Lagan kept you hooked, this one sucks. BIG TIME. The worst part of the movie is its story. A young NRI (harman) starts searching for a bride and is convinced that there are 12 types of girls based on zodiac (rashi). So he decides to meet one girl of each rashi and decide the best one for him ( what an idea sirji !!! A really nice sampling method). Even for someone like me, born in a family of firm believers in astrology, the concept of dividing people in 12 categories is DUMB.

As the story proceeds you get irritated by the 12 characters appearing on screen one after another, all played by priyanka chopra. Most of the characters are such, that you hope never to meet them in real life. Every character has been reduced to a single trait. For example all you get to know about one girl is that she is not a virgin. What the hell !!! This is all the person is worth ???

The direction is no better. Ashutosh Govarikar completely disappoints. Editing could have been better. Cinematography is above average.
Harman's performance is not going to take him any further. He delivers a flat performance; expressionless. But I would consider it more of a fault on director's part. But 'man.... ooops woman of the match' goes to priyanka. This movie has given her a jackpot and she grabs it. There was a time i counted priyanka in good for nothing stars, but she has really worked hard. First Kaminey n now What's your rashi, she is getting better everyday.

RATING : 1/5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The alarm was ringing and Anuj was trying hard to search for the clock, eyes closed. When he could not find it finally, he gave in and got up only to discover that he was sleeping on the floor. The table his hand was trying to feel in sleep wasn't there. He didn't remember how he slept like that. ' Oh God! I am never drinking again...'

He still has the hangover and thinks of sleeping again but decides otherwise and reaches for his toothbrush. The corridor is all empty. Not a single sound. He feels jealous of the sleeping souls and through his way to the bathroom, keeps cursing his khadoos professor. Extra class on a Sunday morning! 7 AM!

Last night they had a break-up party . Avinash was heartbroken and they had organized a party to cheer him up. The winning captain of the the cricket match of the hostel backyard was supposed to pay for the drinks. Rahul paid for it gladly, with the scholarship money he hadn't told about anyone back home.
Bottles opened and toast raised. Most of them hugged Avi and tried to convince him what a whore she was. Anuj didn't know what to say, so he kept quiet and enjoyed the beer. By the end of first bottle the horizon of discussion broadened up. The topics varied from cricket to women to movies, professors, annual sports and what not.

Beer was followed by Vodka. On second peg the topic changed to batch tussle in general and coming annual sports in particular. They abused the senior batch for cheating in the Volley ball match last year and vowed to fuk'em up this time. A toast raised to the Director's Cup.

He wasn't good at sports. Not enough to be in the batch team. In fact he wasn't so good at anything, just an average performer. He wasn't the hero, be it semester results or cultural fest. He was the guy who would go unnoticed; always moving in company. But secretly he always desired to be a hero some day. Holding the cup with that victorious smile, rising above what he was: a MEDIOCRE.

The sun was yet to rise and the air outside was chilly. He headed towards the college. Madan's Chai shop on the way was deserted. Soon this place would be bustling with cups of chai & ciggis and talks worth a million dollar. He looks at the rows of Gulmohar. The blossom greets him with brightness of fire & sweetness of honey.

Mechanical department was half a cigarette away from the main building. He looks at the watch. Half an hour early! 'My God! I didn't change the alarm time last night.' He decides to go to Ganga-ghat; his favorite place in the college. It's like a temple to him. He sat at the place for hours together, being with it, being in it.

As he reached near, he recognized the sound of the flute a fisherman always played, sitting on the ghat. He sat on the stairs listening to the tune and looked at the sun. It looked like a big orange ball above the bridge across Ganga. He turns his head and is surprised to see Swati.
It's been two years since they've known each other. He met her at the cultural society meeting and was highly impressed. The confidence she had, the conviction with which she spoke, the way she carried herself; everything about her was was mesmerizing. Two years and still the same feelings, as fresh as day one.
She was a student of architecture, one year senior to him. She was the cultural secy and that was the reason, he became a member of the society. He never missed the meetings for those were the only chances he had to talk to her. She had a girlie look with tomboyish attitude, clad mostly in a long kurta and with earrings and pendants of bizarre shapes. Her father was a big shot. While most of the girls used public transport or scooty at best, she had a chauffeur driven sedan.
She was busy painting the sunrise above the bridge and didn't notice him. He was watching her paint like a mother watches her kid at play. She looked so beautiful. Her forehead shining in the morning sunlight, some loose strands of hair flowing with the morning breeze, the gem on her nose pin with a red sparkle and her eyes in full bloom just like the gulmohar blossom.

He wonders if he'll ever be able to win her, to hold her like his prize with that smile of victory. If ever he'll be the HERO of his dreams.
He looks at his watch and it's quarter past seven already. He rushes to his class, to his everyday life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


She woke up with a heavy head. She could not sleep till 2 and now this din that woke her up! Last night was a busy one. Plenty of customers. Some provoked by the bonus payments in the festive season and others taking last sips before getting into a period of abstinence.

The noise was still there. "They have come to take some earth for the idol." What an irony ! The idol of the goddess of power made of earth from the courtyard of her weakest creations. She laughs at herself and goes near the tap to wash her face. On the side of the window blooms a bright purple flower. This wild creeper has been cut so many times but every time it rises again, peeping through the window with the same purple smile, living its name 'aparaajita'

Her warden, popularly known as bhabhi, is a woman in her late 50s. She runs the most popular brothel in lachchipur, a place famous for the trade. Lachchipur is a name derived from the name of the goddess Laxmi. She smiles again.

She was 8 when bhabhi bought her. She still has the memories of her childhood, as if preserved in the folds of malmal. Her village in midnapore, the pond that she bathed in, they games she played with the broken bangles of her mother.....


She has decided now. She has had enough of it and can't live like this anymore. Durga puja was the best time to flee, when all the people are busy enjoying the fair. She wants to go to her village. But who is waiting ?? No. She will head straight towards Dhanbad, where Jhumpa lives. She has promised to get her a maid's job. She isn't used to hardships, and the salary is really petty. It's going to be a tough life there. Brothels make you so much trapped that you don't need to be locked to be kept inside!

But No. She has decided. Now nothing can hold her, Deb included. Debnath ran an illegal country liquor shop across the street and supplied to her customers as well. He was the only one she felt an affection for. A mere mention of his name would make her blush. She would dodge bhabhi for a date with him and get a scolding later. But his single smile would more than make up for all that. She asked him to take her away. But he wasn't ready. Running away with her would mean throwing away a smoothly running business. He could not do that. Not for her....
She got her answer that day. All he was interested in was free sex. She decided she will leave alone. Unlike this creeper on the window, she doesn't need a support to stand on.


She threw the brick away. Her sari had stains of blood. But there was no time to think. She pushed open the door and started running at her highest pace. The train was about to arrive. This was the only option she had. She paced up even more. Limits of the soma stretched by the strength of the psyche. The sound of brass drums from the evening prayers filled the air. In the light of the lamp, sparkled the eyes of the goddess with blood stained spear in her hand. The chants rose
"ya devi sarvabhooteshu shaktiroopen sansthita;
namstasyye namstasyye, namstasyye namo namah"

When she reached the station, she heard a distant whistle. She was panting heavily and could hear the beats of her heart, aloud; sounding just like that railway tracks with the train arriving, in resonance with each other...

It was dawn when she woke up, alone in the train. The music from a vijaydashmi procession was getting louder, like reaching towards her. Women smeared in red vermilion were ecstatic.
Shubh Bijoy. Hail the victory....

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I am a note
on a piece of paper
hanged till death

You are a note
floating in the air
free from the grips
of life or death

And in between
are empty spaces

कुछ लफ्ज़ हैं
पिघले हुए से ;
आँख की कोर पे
अटके हुए

मीचता हूँ, मसलता हूँ
हारता हूँ
हर बार !
और लफ्ज़ चिपके रहते हैं

सोचा इनमे कलम डुबाकर
काग़ज़ पर जड़ दूँ
पर डरता हूँ
कलम की नोक की चुभन से

हाथ बढाता हूँ
रुक जाता हूँ
हारता हूँ
हर बार !

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

mile the kal jo to lamhon me saal beeta tha
mile hain aaj to lagta hai kuch hua hi nahi..

Sunday, August 30, 2009

alvida II

But they were talking nonsense. It isn't that they never did so. They always talked nonsense. After chatting for hours they could not tell what they were talking about. Topic wasn't important, talking was. But not this time, when they were in front of each other. Words were not coming naturally. He didn't know what to say......
And suddenly he feels her palm on top of his. Fingers cross. In a tight hug. First barrier crossed...

They reached his place early, thanks to the low traffic of Sunday. His place was a mess, just like him and she was surprised how he cud find things from the garbage bin he had made of his table. He tries to clean up and she asks him to stop. They order their lunch from a nearby restaurant as they didn't want to 'waste' another hour on trivial things.

She shows him some pictures, of the place she had visited last and they glance through them while dining; sitting on the floor, plates in their hands. She seems uninterested in the lunch and he in the pictures and they keep doing it to avoid the head-on. “We have finally met” she says and grins. He pulls her closer and hugs her. A tight hug follows. And then a tighter one...

He wanted to hold her forever like that not to let her go. Ironically he was the one who didn't want to meet. He had 'decreed' his decision with a firm voice and aching heart. And now he thinks what and idiot he was. It was her who decided otherwise. Only she had the guts to. She wanted to meet him even if it was for a day and be content with the memories of that one day. She defied his decree and he was happy that she did. He wanted the time to stand still. It was slipping out of his hands though, with less than a day left and a lifetime to live.

They loosen a bit and see each other. Eye meets eye, breath meets breath. He lowers his head touching her lips with his; breath slowing down and pulse rising. He raises her chin and looks at her face. She closes her eyes; a subtle smile playing on her lips. He lowers again. She holds his head with her hands and takes his breath away. They kiss again and then again. She loosens her hold and lets him go at his pace.

“You look better with long hair”. She grins at it and lets her hair fall on his face. “It's getting dark outside”, “And you should be back home like a good girl” he grins. “Shut up”. “Do you want to go out”. “No we better stay in. I don't want to waste a single minute.” He smiles at it and they embrace.

She woke up with a start and saw that he woke up at the same time. They didn't know when they fell asleep; together. They were still in embrace and had fallen asleep like that. It was 3:30 and they needed to pack up. A message from the airline had declared an earlier check-in time. They packed up in a hurry and left for the airport at 4.

Every minute seemed important now. The cool morning breeze was soothing his eyes but his heart was restless. She dug her face in his chest and they remained in half embrace till airport. She entered the airport to inquire if she could check-in a little late. The airline staff gave her a weird look and asked her not to be late more than another 15 minutes. She was so much relieved. Fifteen more minutes! They sat on the garden dyke beside the entrance. These were the last 15 minutes of their life together ! 15 more minutes to live.... No one spoke, words were out of place. They embraced again and started kissing. Kissing at a public place when no one was around except the morning breeze.
It struck him at once: the time was up. This was a life where you knew when it was going to get over. And the time had arrived; time to bid farewell and be content with what you got.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


STA: 11:30 AM
ETA: 11:20 AM
Wow ! The flight is landing early... That rush in the last hour to reach the airport early seemed fruitful. Even if it was 11:00 yet and he had another 30 minutes at his disposal, he could not take chances for the fear of listening to a complaint of not waiting with open arms.

He started watching people: his favorite pastime. There were a number of them; waiting for their loved one’s to arrive. This girl leaning on the railing caught his eyes. She was a chubby couch potato clad in her patterned pajamas and graffiti Tee. Her messy hair, the hanging earphones of her i-pod and that ‘I m fuckin bored’ look on her face made it an interesting watch. She was holding in her hand, with the same carelessness, a thick novel: one that would take him a lifetime and still remain unfinished.

STA: 11:30 AM
ETA: 11:30 AM

The initial happiness of getting those extra 10 minutes was gone. They were really important, at a time when they had just one day and wanted to live a lifetime. A fresh bunch of people appeared at the ‘Arrivals’. Looks like another landing. 5th since he came. He looked for the girl again and didn’t find her at the place. Her boyfriend had arrived and they were more than hugging each other. It is not that he felt any hatred for the PDA’s. He just didn’t care. But now, it was different. He was uncomfortable.

STA: 11:30 AM
ETA: 11:40 AM

God !!! What the hell. Ten more minutes gone. Why do they give a hope when they can’t stand upto it. This thought made him even more uncomfortable. In the mean time people kept coming out of the airport with different moods. Some more pissed off by the hot and humid climate of Mumbai than the flight delays. He took a cup of coffee for the third time and kept trying her phone to check if she has landed.

His phone rings. “It’ll take me 10 minutes to reach.” Looked like everything now came in EMI’s. But this one wasn’t equal in any measure, neither quantum nor intensity. He kept his eyes at the gate searching through the flood of people. He had a difficult time recognizing her. It was her voice, he was acquainted with. She looked different from the last video chat they had. Different from all the photographs she had sent. They hugged each other but left instantly, uncomfortable with each other’s bodies.

They took a taxi and were heading for his flat which was at an hour’s distance. He was being too courteous, giving her a treatment befitting a lady. This came to her as a surprise as he was being more polite than he ever sounded. To her he seemed different from the one she knew. One she knew would pull her leg at every given chance and speak nonsense for hours together. But today he was silent. Both remained silent for the first quarter of their journey not knowing how to start. Their bodies were still strangers. They had known each other so well. They knew things about each other that nobody else knew. But…

She broke the ice with a casual conversation. She knew that she had to because this dumb will never do. With the voice came a comfort that they had always felt while talking to each other.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

pursuit of truth...

It was surprising... my eyes always deceived me. It was only when I used my camera, could I capture it. Not in the shining daylight, but in the dim light of dawn, the "sankranti kaal" as they call in sanskrit. It was the slow shutter of the camera that made me feel the fourth dimension of spacetime. The picture was blurred. Like my view of life. It captured motion for quarter of a second during which the reality had changed so much that the picture was vague enough not to reveal anything.

When we capture moments, we don't actually capture moments. We capture periods. This is not a problem of the camera, it's our brain or rather the TIME itself. My training in science and engineering has taught me to rely on experiments and observations for the TRUTH. For this I rely on my senses. When I see something, it is what my brain perceives from the image formed by my eye using the visible spectrum of radiation. There are two aspects to it: One is lack of totality and second is subjectivity. But we will talk about it later, let's come to the time part first. So when I see something it is because light from that object has fallen on my eyes and my brain has processed it into an image. But there is always a time lag in this process. So when I see something it doesn't actually exist now. What I see is past. So when I am just living for the moment I am not actually living for the moment :)

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle again puts a limit to the observation. It says that you cannot observe reality without changing it. There is a limit to what u can know. This limitation has been put by none other than the laws of nature, in pursuit of which you started observing in the first place. It is actually this law itself which decides if you can know it !!!

This pulls me to mysticism. While science tries to understand, mysticism tries to feel. As I said in earlier, the limitations of scientific method makes my understanding subjective. It is based on observation and hypothesis. While there is a limit to what one can observe, the bigger limitation is put by the hypothesis. There can be an infinite number of them and thus you tend to rely on intuition. This blurs the boundary between science and mysticism. I am standing on this blurry line now and waiting for my call.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cleaning the cupboard
this Sunday morning,
found books
soiled by a layer
Of dust and indifference.

These works of fiction
which got to live
a reality of their own

I meet one. Yet unfinished,
with a boarding pass
used as a bookmark
still @ page no 169.

This one has tarnished
a little more.
Weathered by a baggage
of expectations
or an everlasting wait??

Some stories are better unfinished...

Friday, April 17, 2009

सर से पाँव तक डूबे हुए गुनाहों में
वो करते हैं मुक़र्रर मेरी सज़ा क्या है

राम तुम हो कि नहीं

हर दशहरे पे मैंने
रावण को जलते देखा है
फ़िर भी मरता ही नहीं

तुम्हारा रूप धरे कोई
बस आग लगा जाता है
कभी आओ तुम भी
रावण को जलाने के लिए...

तुम्हारे नाम पे अक्सर
मिठाई खूब खाई है
तुम्हे जो भोग लगाया
कभी चखा ही नहीं

आज तुम्हे सच मे
खिलाने को जी करता है
कभी आओ मेरे घर
मक्के कि रोटी खाने ...

तुम्हारी अयोध्या का
हाल बाकी अच्छा है
अगले इलेक्शन को
वक्त बाकी है अभी

दो बार तुम्हारे घर को
भक्तों ने तुम्हारे तोडा
बेघर हुए हैं ठाकुर
आज परजा कि तरह

धूप मे बारिश मे भी
चुप - चाप खड़े रहते हो
आ जाओ ज़रा
हाई कोर्ट गवाही देने

ये मसला सुलझ
जाए कि तुम हो
मुझको भी यकीं
आए कि तुम हो

Sunday, April 12, 2009

कई दिनों से इक सीपी सिरहाने ही रक्खा है
कातर हाथ सहम जाते हैं तोड़ने की बात पर

मेरे मोती का सपना न चुरा ले कोई...

Ye hai Bambai-II

Nigdi is a nice little place in the outskirts of Pune on Mumbai-Pune highway, with low decibel, hilly terrain n continuous rains. This is where the training center (read holiday home ) of my new company was situated. This was the fateful place from where my second journey to Mumbai started. It was almost an year since last one in the same season : monsoons.

Journey from pune to mumbai is a pleasant experience, specially during rains. We were in no hurry and had ample time to spare. We halted at Lonavala and Khandala, the two famous spots on the way. But i loved the whole journey more than the halt. The hills, clouds and lush greenery............ I never wanted this journey to be over.

“We are in Mumbai now” said the taxi driver, while we were crossing Vashi. The weather here was in contrast with the highway. It was hot and humid. With scorching sun, the thermometer was about to spill and there was no sign of any rainfall. It was a Saturday afternoon but the traffic wasn't in a mood to rest a while. After a long and tiring journey from Dadar to Chembur we landed at the company guest house. Welcome to Mumbai !!!

Next thing in my mind was to find an accommodation. I went to a broker and when asked about the budget, I told an amount considered to be decent in Delhi. He tried to convince us that if we could raise it a little he could find a nice chawl for me!
Well this wasn't the end. I tried hard to find a nice little flat that I could afford but only to be disillusioned later. I wasn't possible. At least within 1 hour run from my company. I was close to bankrupt, paying the hotel room charges for last two weeks. The food wasn't any cheaper. “My god how do people sustain in this city !!! ”

This food thing reminds me of something strange to say the least. On the first day of my stay in a hotel near Chembur station, I was searching for a restaurant for dinner. But all of them were 'Bar & Restaurant's. It wasn't a problem of being a teetotaler. But the ambiance of such places is sick. The smell of whiskey in a closed room mixed with smoke makes feel me sick. Plus the food here isn't the one I'd like for my dinner. So the fact is that I was trying to skip them. But after a long stroll when I could not find anything different, I entered one. The scene was beyond my imagination. There was a well lit stage with 2-3 girls dancing on a song from a Ram Gopal Verma movie. There was a lady in her late 30's trying to seduce a man on a table on my right side. “It's a dance bar” Suneel told me as we swiftly walked out. I do not remember where we had dinner that night.

Well after all the failed trials we settled in the company's colony. Here I was saved of all the horrors of living in mumbai. One of them is travel on a local train. The first time I planned to travel by train was a journey form chembur to siwri. There is specific reason why I am calling it a plan. Bcoz it could not materialize. I tried to board four trains one after another and then stopped trying, went out, and took a taxi........

None of the features of this city gave me a reason to stay. I could not understand why people live in this city and more than that, why more and more are pouring in everyday...... Its damn costly. You can't afford to live even in a house that you wouldn't have considered worth living before coming to this city. Rent takes a much bigger part of your pay than you could think of. Next comes the biggest horror : travel. Just because you can't afford a house near your workplace, you decide to travel everyday. And when you are on roads in the office hours, you realize how crowded this city is. It takes you two hours to travel 20 kilometers by road and if you can board a local train in this hour, you should be awarded with nothing less than an Olympic gold. This city is bulging at the seams. What are all the people here, waiting for ?? A big bang ??? huh.........

The people here are always running around. Running to catch the '7:39' in the morning or wrestling their way out of a train on their way back home. Probably the whole week passes waiting for the weekend, when you can actually live........ It's then that you come to know that your mother had a knee pain, that your daughter failed in her maths paper, that Mr. Shinde's daughter ran away with that fussy guy with long hair......
And one does it religiously; every week !!! All this to earn some extra bucks which always fall short of growing needs and inflating prices. “You can live like a king in Nainital with this money” one of my friends commented. Yeah, sure.... Cheers to the kings of Nainital who come to Bambai oops.. Mumbai in search of work, in search of a king size life.........

The monsoons are no more romantic. The bad roads add to the trouble. The traffic always gets on your nerves. But you see people, going through all that and still not disillusioned with life. All you see is a herd, moving at a brisk pace in random directions. If you get closer you see Mr Gorpade who lost his left leg to the same local last year; Mr Patel who is looking for a flat in a decent chawl for he is getting married next month; Meenakshi who broke off with her boyfriend last week for her career.... They are all chasing their dreams. It's not a glamorus path they are moving on. They have all made difficult decisions. I think that's this city is all about, about choices. This city is too harsh and spares no one. Yet it accepts, with open arms, the people who have made the difficult choices.

Salam Bombay....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

बड़ी ही स्याह सी तस्वीर बनी है तेरी
डूबा के ब्रश ज़रा सी धूप मे कुछ रौशनी भर दो ...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

That august evening, half wet
with parting monsoon spill
We met like strangers
or strangers to be ?

It was dark and dull
n all I saw
Was the glitter in your eyes
through the line of Kohl

Your fingers filled
the spaces between mine
Couldn't hold 'em for long
my fault...

Did you hear me
as we hugged
To hold each other
and everything in between...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


हाथों पे ये किस्मत हैं, सरहद पे हैं जंजीरें
बन जाती हैं कलम से, मिटती नहीं लकीरें

मुद्दई बने हैं भाई, बरसों के तोड़ रिश्ते
क्या क्या हैं इसके जलवे, जादू की ये लकीरें

अपने ही घर मे कैद हम, साँसों को तरसते हैं
अपनों से ये चेहरे हैं, मगर बीच में लकीरें

ऐ क़यामत गिरा दे घर की, इस चारदीवारी को
राहत मिले घुटन से, दब जायें ये लकीरें

मिटटी की ये लकीरें, पत्थर न हमको कर दें
बारिश करा दे मौला धुल जायें ये लकीरें

Friday, October 10, 2008

डरता तो हूँ मैं
इसका एहसास तो है
पर माना नही
कभी किसी के सामने

शायद इसमे भी इक
डर ही मेरा छुपा हुआ है
और भी गहरा
दूर जड़ों तक घुसा हुआ

डरता था हर बार मैं
पापा के थप्पड़ से
मास्टरजी की छड़ी के आगे
याद पहाडा भूल गया

कुछ इस डर का इस्तेमाल भी
किया था मैंने गुड्डी पर
डरा डरा कर उससे अपने
काम कराया करता था

पूजा की थाली से जब
एक अठन्नी चुरा के मैं
फुचके खाता पकड़ा गया था
बहुत डराया दादी ने तब

मन्दिर के आगे वाले उस
कोढ़ी को दिखा के बोली
"जानते हो इसने
ठाकुरजी का घंटा चुराया था "

वो डर आज भी मेरे
ज़हन मे जिंदा है
डरता हूँ खुदा से
शैतान से भी

क्योंकि कल मन्दिर में ही
एक धमाका हुआ था
और सुबह से मेरे सामने
वाली कुर्सी खाली है

वो खाली कुर्सी देखकर
बार-बार सहम जाता हूँ
डरता तो हूँ मैं
बस बताता नहीं किसी को

Sunday, October 05, 2008

कीमत तेरी बड़ी वहां पर, यहाँ न कोई दे पाए
बड़ा हिसाबी हुआ है तू तो, ये भी हिसाब लगा जाना

बुरी नज़र से तुझे बचाने, लगा दिया था माँ ने जो
काजल के उस टीके की भी, कीमत ज़रा लगा जाना

माली की नज़रों से बचकर, खाए तो चुपके से
चोरी के उन अमरूदों की कीमत ज़रा चुका जाना

माँ के लाख मना करने पर, भी खा ली थी जो छुपके
जाते जाते उस मिटटी की कीमत ज़रा चुका जाना.....
लफ्ज़ कुछ बिखरे हुए
पड़े हैं सारे कमरे में
नज़्म कुछ अधूरी सी
तार तार जिंदा है
तुम्हारी सलाइयाँ अब भी
फंसी हैं अधूरे स्वेटर में
इस रास्ते गुज़रो कभी
तो बुन जाना

लफ्ज़ कुछ फंसे हैं
पन्नों के हाशिये में
कुछ घर के हर सामान से
चिपके हुए हैं
कुछ मेरे तकिये के नीचे
छुप के साँस लेते हैं
हर रात सिसकते हैं
सोने नही देते

कुछ दबे हैं उस गिलास
के टुकडों के तले
गुस्से में आकर जो
मैंने फैंका था
लफ्ज़ वो चीखते
तो हैं लेकिन
टुकडों की खनक में
दब जाते हैं

जब से घर बदला है
मेरे घर का हर सामन
मेरी ज़िन्दगी सा ही
कहीं बिखरा पड़ा है
इस रास्ते गुज़रो कभी
तो सहेज जाना
रेत का घरौंदा है बिखरने के लिए,
जानकर भी घरौंदा ये क्यों बनाया है
कहीं आँखों के खारे पानी पर
समंदर को तरस भी कभी आया है !

बैठा हूँ दरिया के किनारे लेकिन
जकड के पैरों से दो बालिश्त ज़मीं
हर लहर थोडी रेत छीन जाती है
पैरों तले ज़मीं को खोखला करके

जितनी ज़ोर से ज़मीं को पकड़ना चाहा
उतनी ही हुई खोखली बुनियाद मेरी

Monday, September 15, 2008

I was 14 then. Her father got a transfer to this place and she joined our school in mid session. This is a typical case with govt. employees; they are frequently transferred, to places unheard of. And then you start afresh, making new friends and for a long time feeling nostalgic about the the old place and lost friends.
But then there is one relief. The same old Kendriya Vidyalaya. You are happy that you do not need to remember new prayers again and start over again with new books with half of all your notebooks already full...... But there is more to it.... The feeling of being at home. It's always the same, wherever you go. The same loose discipline, the same style of teaching and the same set of co-curricular activities every Saturday.
She came from a big city perhaps. As she wore blazers against the regular pullovers all of us wore. None of us knew her name and no one dared to ask, for she always kept a mile's distance from all of us. Most of the time she kept to herself. So in the meantime she a got a nickname 'newcomer' till we discovered her actual name "Swati Sinha" , from the 'All India Radio' of her section.
She was too beautiful to remain anonymous despite her introvert persona. Every second boy in our class had a crush on her. During morning prayers, she stood in the line on my right with me a little behind her. Her long beautiful hair was made into a nice French braid, with some loose hair near the ear flowing with the morning breeze. And I watched her between the prayers : the corner of her Kohl lined eyes, the glitter from the gem in her nose stud, her neck sinking into the collar bone, the crease on the sides of her blouse.........
I visited her section during recess and watched her eat. Most of the time she was either alone, reading or writing something or chatting with a single friend. I never saw her as a part of a big chat group that girls usually formed. She had very few friends. But she cherished being with them as I saw the glow on her face while she was with one of them. I really envied Mitali whom she gave her best smile. Yet I always wanted her to be in the class for I wanted Swati to smile for all the time I was watching her. But Mitali opposed to her was a complete extrovert. She was the vice captain of her house and her commitments kept her busy for most of the time during recess. So Swati took refuge in one of her books or scribbled something on her pink notepad which was always kept handy for times like this.
Here I watched her from the front unlike the prayer queue and I could see her full face and not just her profile. But here I was conscious, confirming now and then, like a thief, that no one was watching me. I felt embarrassed at the thought of being caught. I did not have the answers to the questions that would follow. I could not answer the questions to myself. “Why am I doing this?” A mixed feeling of guilt and bliss surrounded me.
My view was thus restricted to some glances that I could make, pretending to look around the class while I sat with the 'pumpkin' who never went out of the class, even during recess. I liked every expression on her, smile or frown, even the blank one she gave while scribbling on her notepad. One day she was sleeping with her head on her desk. I got the news that she had a fever and wasn't feeling well. I felt like sitting next to her and watch her sleep all through my life.........
One day I heard her poem was selected for the first prize in some competition. I heard our principle recite her poem. It was touching........ 'All India Radio' had told me that her parents were not having a steady relationship. The grief had percolated in her poetry. Those silent eyes had a lot to say !!!
It was our last day in school and our juniors had arranged a farewell party. For the first time I saw her in anything other than school uniform. She was wearing a black sari and her hair was arranged in a twist unlike the regular French braid. I imagined myself with her and blushed.....

The party was getting over and people started leaving. I wanted to talk to her. Wanted to tell her that there was someone who could wait for her for whole life watching her eat and sleep and scribble those poems on her notepad. We never talked through the two years we were together in school and while leaving I did not know what to say. I gave her my autograph book and she obliged. While she was writing, I saw her father coming. He had come to take her back. All that I thought of saying sank at once. She gave me a smile as if saying good bye. I watched her sitting on the back seat of her father's Royal Enfield. They crossed the boundary wall and all that remained was the sound of the engine. It faded as they moved on........

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ye hai bambai meri jaan- Part I

My first encounter with this city was like a teenage crush, a love at first sight. It was a two day visit at the break of monsoon. The first place that I wanted to visit was a sea shore. Though Mumbai is not known for its beaches, I had never seen one before and mere thought of watching the waves was exciting. And it did not disappoint me at all. The place I visited first was the gate way of India. It came with the twin benefits of The TAJ and the Arabian Sea. I was taken over by her majesty.
Standing in front of a sea is very different from standing in front of a river or a lake. There you can see its boundaries. You can see beyond it. But the sight of a sea is mysterious, even frightening. The fear of unknown, unseen power: overwhelming human psyche with its grandeur. The first deities worshiped by humans were basically forces of nature. I guess the image of goddess of water in coastal regions would have been quite different from the image of serene faced ‘Ganga’ in the plains.
The first evening was spent roaming around the area that included marine drive and fort. I liked every bit of it- the stroll across marine drive, the Paav-Bhaji at chaupati, the gothic architecture and even the bustle of Fashion Street. The first day ended with this as I readied for next day’s event.
The destination for next day was Trombay. I undertook my first journey on a BEST bus. Number 21, I still remember. It was a cloudy morning and the sun wasn’t visible. The hills painted with bright green all over, had clouds surrounding them like diamond crown over the head of beauty queen……………. Soon it started pouring…… Now this was romantic!
The rains for the two days seemed all sweet and beautiful to me; may be because they never troubled me. Most of the times, shower came when I was in no hurry. I could wait and watch and even drench myself at times, without being worried about getting late. Sometimes it seems that the journey is more pleasant when you don’t have to reach anywhere.
But the evening came with the same old rush to catch my train at CST, the new name for the grand old VT. It was the most beautiful railway station building I had ever seen. It was quite old and graceful. The tombs, the carvings and even the tinted glass on the arch shaped windows gave it a look of a bride. The architecture was mixed and I being a novice could not judge where the influences came from. But I loved it. For not doing so you need to be too much of purist or perhaps a member of a right wing; like one of those who renamed it.
This was coming to an end. The train caught speed as I gazed the platform passing away. Little did I know then, that I’ll return after a year to settle down to watch Mumbai with a completely new perspective.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

मरने की ख्वाहिश जो हुई हमको
ढूँढने निकले कि ज़िंदगी क्या है

मरने की आरजू मे जीते चले गए ..............

आज लगता है मिल गयी है तेरे
आंसुओं के नमक मे ज़िंदगी मुझको

Monday, May 05, 2008

कुछ तल्खियां छुपी थीं, बातों मे उनकी शायद

हम समझ ही न पाए, और बात बढ़ गयी।

इन फासलों ने मुझको, पत्थर सा कर दिया है

कहते हैं लोग मुझसे, बड़ा तल्ख़ बोलते हो।

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008


उसको कुछ दूर तक,
आँखों की नमी ने
बताया मुझको।
कि उस चेहरे से, इन आँखों का
रिश्ता क्या है .............


संक्रान्ति : परिवर्तन की बेला,

ज्यों पौ फटी हो।

सुबह- सुबह, गंगा घाट को,

जाती हुई वो;

ठेले पे पति की की लाश को

लादे हुए।

बिखरे बाल, मानो बदहवास ; पर

आंखें सूखी;

आंसुओं को बहने का शायद

वक्त ना मिला।

साथ इक बच्ची भी है

तीन साल की;

समझ नही पाती है बिल्कुल

माँ की पीड़ा।

माँ के मुख को देख कर कुछ

बोलती नही;

पर आंखों मे इक चमक सी है

कुछ पूछती हुई;

आएगी कभी क्या जीवन में,

मेरे भी संक्रान्ति !

Monday, January 21, 2008

माना था खुदा जिनको हमने, अपनी ज़िंदगी का ;
बुत वो हैं बन गए और, हमको बनाया काफिर।

Monday, November 06, 2006

कल शाम रस्ते पे देखा, कुछ मैला सा कनवास;
रेशा - रेशा, ज्यों लम्हा- लम्हा, बुना हुआ करीने से।
रंगों के बीच की दरारें, भेद सारी सिल्वटों के।
दिल की कश्मकश उभर आयी है इन सिल्वटों में।

फेंका होगा आवेश में, उन्ही हाथों ने
जिनमे थमी कूची ने भरा था रंगों से इसे।
.... कुछ सुर्ख, ... तो कुछ स्याह.......

कोरों पे लगी कालिख़,
कुछ सालती है क्योंकर
दिन रात ये जपते हो
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय

Saturday, November 04, 2006

dhoop ayegi

सर्दी की एक सुबह
वीरान सूनी सड़कें
फुटपाथ पर ठंड से सिहरती
इक निर्बल सी काया

अख़बार के टुकडों को
लपेट कर
ठंड से बचने की
नाकाम कोशिश कर रही
खुद को दिलासा देती है।

सूर्योदय के इंतज़ार में
आसमान पर टिकी निगाहें
इक पल को चली जाती
गगनचुम्बी अट्टालिकाओं पर

महलों कि खिड़कियाँ
हमारे लिए बंद सही
पर सूर्य !!!
उसकी रौशनी तो
मेरे लिए भी है
मेरे लिए भी......

इसी इंतजार में पथराई निगाहें
एकटक देखतीं आसमां को
कभी तो सूर्य उगेगा
सवेरा होगा
धूप आएगी
धूप आयेगी..............