May 3, 2013

Sunny smiles :)


There was a tear welling up in the corner of her left eye. He could see it gearing up to break free as she worked herself up scribbling at a furious pace. The contents of the paper could only be guessed but it couldn't have been glad tidings. Happy tears don't wait there like that.

Now and then she would scrunch her face in absolute concentration and her nose would break up into numerous lines around the tip. And the tear's position would become all the more precarious. The coffee by her side had long gone cold, its warmth long forgotten. She was in a cold world of her own, her mouth working soundlessly as she went on writing. She was clearly talking to a demon but was it her own?

His own coffee had gone cold in his hands. His eyes were darting back and forth between her face and her fingers. And the tear. 

She was nearing the end. He could sense it somehow. Maybe it was the way she seemed to put all the strength of her frail frame into the writing instrument. Maybe it was the way her shoulders had been rigid for the last couple of minutes. Maybe it was how the tear hung itself to an eyelash.

Now was his chance. He didn't have much time. He got up and hurried about.

She signed the letter 'goodbye'. The tension had drained her of all energy - her eyes were still staring at the words her fingers had manufactured in the recent past. She reached for her coffee. She touched his fingers around the hot coffee.

She looked up, startled. The sun smiled at her from behind him. She smiled back.

He turned back and walked away.

The tear broke free.

December 2, 2012

Ishq wala love :)


उसे प्यार करते
हर वक़्त  एक ख्याल 
दिमाग के किसी कोने में
चुभता रहता था 
क्या यही 
किताबों वाला प्यार 
होता होगा?

हर मुलाक़ात को 
इक छपी-छपाई तस्वीर के
रंगों से तोलते मोलते
हर बात को 
कहीं पढ़े कुछ शब्दों के
आगे रख पढ़ते

एक दौड़ सी हो गयी थी
किताबों की उकेरी
रंगीन तस्वीरों
और
उसके साथ बाटीं
धूसर शामों
के बीच

किताबों वाला प्यार
बड़ा सुहाना लगता था
उसका प्यार प्यारा था पर
बड़ा फीका लगता था

फिर एक दिन उसने
मुझे पकड़ बिठाया
आँखों में आँखें डाल
हाथों में कुछ थमाया

कुछ भारी सा था
पढने में हल्का सा
अब तक अनजाने
रंगों से रंगा
हर शब्द  तितली के
रंगों से सजा

वो अब तक हमारे
संग गुज़ारे सारे 
लम्हों का चिट्ठा था 

हम ढूंढते रहे
किताबों वाला प्यार
और यहाँ हमारे
प्यार की किताब
बन गयी थी

----------------------

October 16, 2012

missive misgiving :)


बंद लिफाफों को हाथों में ले
थोडा घबरा सा जाते हैं हम 
अन्दर शब्द हैं, भारी हैं 
क्या इन्हें समझ सकेंगे हम 

भारी हैं शैतान मुस्कानों से
जो लिखते हुए होठों पे आये थे 
भारी है मासूम सवालों से 
जो बस आँखों में घिर आये थे 

तुम्हारे होने का एहसास कराते शब्द 
तुम्हारे न होने से बडे  भारी हैं 
ये सोच के की पढ़ कर तुम याद आओगे
अनखुले लिफाफों में रात गुजारी है 

October 8, 2012

circular motion

she stood there
saying things i wasn't listening to
and when i couldn't stand
the distance between us
i ran up to her
gathered her in my arms
and spun round and round
and i saw her face
up close against mine
against a background
of the rest of the world in motion
she was the only constant thing
just as it should ideally be
in my world

This is the happy counterpart of this one.

Wish on a falling star

सूरज के साथ आपके सिराहने बैठ
हम बस आपको निहारा करें
और आपकी नींद भरी मुस्कानों से
हर नई सुबह को हारा करें

उस हंसी को कहीं अन्दर छुपा
सारा दिन आपको सोच गुज़ारा करें
शाम को फिर घर वापस आ
इन मुस्कराहटों पे फिर दिल वारा करें

October 1, 2012

absent-mindedness


कुछ कहते हैं वो इशारों में
खोये से ना जाने किन ख्यालों में
ना समझ कर भी हम सुने जाते हैं
उनके ख्यालों में हम ही तो आते हैं
:)

May 23, 2012

Reasons for Love



because there's a bench
in some future park
that looks empty
without you beside me
 
because there's a me
in some stupid past
who would have been silly
without you beside me

May 7, 2012

The starry night


stars in her eyes
she gazed at the sky
it was a dark night
and the stars lit her face
like a moon in flesh and blood

the endless canopy above
and infinite darkness below
she spread out her arms
to feel the vastness of it all
an angel floating on ether

we clung to each other
felt the currents of time
and as the clouds crossed the moon
throwing shadows on our faces
we were at one with our good/bad selves

a gust of freezing wind
sent a shiver down my spine
and i snuggled closer to her
she was all the warmth i ever needed
the cold night couldn't have been more pleasant

i wish i could reach out
and pluck a handful of stars
to shower her with
to bring to life all her dreams
and be her hero forever

my world in my arms
i was up there in the clouds

May 4, 2012

Myopia

बदनसीबी के मौसम
कुछ ऐसे घर कर गए
दरिया किनारे बैठे
हम प्यासे मर गए

बारिश की बूँदें आईं तो
मन हल्का करने हमारा
हम छाता उड़ जाने का
ग़म मनाते रह गए

May 3, 2012

Reporting from the battlefront

Had someone put up a bounty on his head? Or had he pissed off some heavenly deity in some obscure way? Something must REALLY have gone wrong. He had half a mind to stare at his palm - maybe under the pretense of wiping his hands? - to see if he could see some line crossing another at an inappropriate angle. But no, he didn't have even an iota of knowledge of palmistry. Nor was he privy to heavenly chatter or mafia murmurings. No, he was just a victim. A lamb for slaughter, he was sure. She was here. And so was she.

Wait a minute. Back up. A brain-freeze is known to induce ambiguous usage of pronouns. She was here. His ex-girlfriend. And so was she. His present flame. A less-than-amicable breakup flashed before his glazed eyes. A reminder and an omen portending an impending doom. He stared at his ex, E, walking up to him with a funny look in her eyes. He stole a glance at the girl of the present, P, happily munching on the KFC chicken, entirely oblivious of the events that were soon going to lead to a position where she was going to be undoubtedly playing a pivotal role.

E and P?? What the fuck? But he knew what his brain was doing subconsciously. Saving him from the conflict for some more time. Any attempt at uttering both the names in the same space could lead to setting up of internal fireworks and alarm systems associated therewith and would send him scurrying to safety, for sure. He was fully aware that running off from a date you have fought for is generally acclaimed to augur an incruciating death to the relationship. And by the look in E's eyes, the P-E meeting was going to happen irrespective of his presence in the same frame. And any possibility of salvaging some unburnt ties from the ashes of the aftermath was contingent on his ability to stay rooted to the spot against all the machinations of his now-overworking brain.

PE. Private equity. Physical Education. One more E and his urge right now. STOP MEANDERING!! He shouted to the little doom-demons doing the death-dance in his deranged head.

The sudden freeze-frame was bound to attract P's attention sooner or later. Out of the corner of his eye, he could sense her staring at him, half-mutilated chicken piece in hand and a small spattering of crust crumbs on her lips. And he could also sense her following his gaze to espy E, her mandibular mechanism stopped in a mid-chewing stance. The raised eyebrow was giving him goosebumps. He was pretty sure it was the goosebumps who noticed P's noticing before he noticed her. Did he have a sixth sense, something that was now awakening in response to this heightened sense of danger? No, that couldn't be. Not warning him of being in E's vicinity was enough reason to write off any ESP.

E in a KFC? Didn't she use to be a vegetarian, one of the few commonalities with him that remained in the course of their relationship running its due course. The bounty-theory he had started with, must be the real culprit. No other plausible explanations came to his mind. And then it struck him. Like a 18-wheeler striking into his puny car at full force - one of his favorite nightmares despite the fact that he had never even seen a 18-wheeler. Alas, after today, this particular nightmare would fade away as a fond memory, to be replaced by whatever-was-going-to-happen here-and-now. And the growing weight in his chest was that of information asymmetry.

Really? His econ lectures coming to the fore? But this was hell - anything and everything was possible and plausible. This wasn't really information asymmetry in the strict sense anyway. So the deal was this. He knew E and P (duh!) and he suspected E knew about P, given her intent expression bearing down on him as she strode down. P, however, was going to know about a few things only a few moments from now - things she should have been told more than a few months ago. Not that he hadn't intended to. But he had insufficient data to model her behaviour in order to predict her reaction and besides, a status quo involving a relationship status that reads committed, takes a lot of courage to meddle with.

The silence was deafening. He was stuck between the eyes-boring-into-him and the clicking-heels-walking-towards-him. His mental ruler was doing the required countdown in inches, with real time conversion to centimeters - just to avoid calculating the possible aftermath scenarios. He braced himself, steeling up for whatever it was that was about to happen, while doing a mental summation of the investment he had made in the relationship with P, wondering if it would be enough to survive the sudden depreciation it was going to be subjected to. A back of the envelope calculation told him he'd done well and might have a slim chance of surviving this catastrophe with the aforementioned status quo. And here she was.

"I see you've started eating meat for HER."

The tone. The emphasis on 'her'.

Staring at the contents of his hand, he knew he was as dead as the chicken he was holding.