बारिश

यह जो रिमझिम रिमझिम झड़ी लगी

मन में कई अरमान जगा गई।

ठंडी ठंडी फुहार का मजा लेते हुए

जब मैं बरबस गुनगुना पड़ी

बेटी आँखें तरेर कर बोली,

‘पड़ोसी सोचेंगे पापा से आपको मार पड़ी!’

मैं मन मसोस कर चुप हो गई।

 

फिर सोचा कागज़ की किश्तियों से खेलूँ

बारिश में बचपन का मज़ा ले लूँ

बेटा पैर पटक कर बोला,

‘मैं उस उम्र को पार कर चुका!

पर आप पर बचपना छा गया!’

 

झुँझला कर मैंने पति को आवाज दी,

‘चलो बारिश में भीगें, कहीं पैदल चलें!’

पति ने हँस कर टाल दिया

‘ इस उम्र में क्या हड्डियों से हाथ धो लें?

ऐसा करो, गरमागरम पकौड़े बना लो!’

बच्चों ने भी सुर मिलाया,’ हाँ माँ कढ़ाई धर दो!’

 

मैंने भी मीठी सी मुस्कान के साथ कहा,’इस उम्र में पकौड़े!

अरे तौबा करिए जनाब! पड़ेंगे cholesterol के हथौड़े!

और बच्चों क्यों मुंहासों को दावत देते हो!

सेहत का ख्याल करो, भुने चने खा लो।’

 

उन सबके खुले मुँह देख कर कलेजे पर ठंड पड़ गई।

अपने मन का करने मैं उठ गई,

सहेली को फोन लगाया और गुनगुनाती हुई,

कागज़ की किश्ती हाथ में लिए,

बारिश में भीगने निकल गई।

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Investment in Gold.

I was content with what life had given me and what I had
It had all the shades…the good, the ugly and the bad.
And then at fifty I was given a chance to revisit childhood
Wallow in nostalgia and make new friends out of old,
To embark on a new journey perchance
With many familiar faces of neighbourhood.

I am sure, one of you must have held my hand,
When I bawled my eyes out in Prep.,on missing my mom.
When I dropped my tiffin accidentally, and had nothing to eat,
You must have shared food given by your mom.
One of you must have helped with the homework
And the other with incomplete classwork
When I was down with jaundice,
You finished my pending work.

You cried on my shoulder
To soothe your aching heart.
I hugged you with delight
When you breached records older.
I can recall the celebrations that ensued,
When our house was declared winner,
I remember the whispered rumours
And all the girls you pursued.

We cried together and together we laughed,
We shared tables and confidences too.
Some of you are just faces from that time called past
Others are the ones who fought and chaffed.

Some memories are so sharp
as if etched in relief,
While others are blurred, like those
sepia toned photographs.
I had thought I had done with my past  and moved on
But reconnecting with you all has changed my belief.

Today I realise, I need no investment
My time spent with all of you
Is my investment in gold.

When it rains…

When it rains after a long dry spell,
It is hot and humid and stifling.
The rain only seems to be interested in a fling with the earth.
The water sizzles away even before falling on the ground.
Vanishes from parched leaves
leaving them steaming behind.
The roots remain thirsty as ever, wanting more
But getting none of the promised moisture.
The sun reappears  in all its blazing glory
And the wait begins, again.

वो अनाम रिश्ता

उससे कभी बात न हुई थी
रोज उसे बस स्टाप पर देखा करता था
छुई मुई सी पर चंचल, कभी न एक जगह टिकती
रोज सात चालिस की बस के समय पर मिलती
उसका बस स्टाप पर होना मेरी दिनचर्या का हिस्सा बन गया
रोज उसे नियत समय पर देख आश्वासन मिलता
कि सब नियत तरीके से चल रहा है।

महीनों यह सिलसिला अनवरत चलता रहा
मैं उसे दूर से देख खुश होता रहा।
फिर अचानक एक दिन वह न दिखी
मेरी नजरें चारों ओर उसे ढूंढती रही
सात चालिस की बस आकर भी चली गई
पर वो उस दिन नजर न आई।
मैं सारा दिन उसके बारे में सोचता रहा
मन कुछ व्यथित भी रहा।
उसके बाद वह फिर कभी न दिखी
मैं रोज बेवजह इंतजार करता रहा
पर किससे उसका जिक्र करता
जगहँसाई के डर से चुप रहा।
आखिर इक चिड़िया से अपने नाते को कैसे वर्णित करूँ?
इक पंछी से अनाम रिश्ते को क्या नाम दूँ?

St. Xavier’s School

I toyed with all the poetic forms I could
But the outcome was not so good,
For my feelings are in a jumble
As for appropriate words I fumble.
So here is the most basic form
A paean in an ABC norm.

Alma mater to all of us
Binding us in ties we trust
Childhood to teenage spent under its tutelage
Dear to its alumni even in dotage.
Excellence was not the only virtue eschewed
Failures, we were taught, resolve imbued.
Goals that were set for us,
Heightened feeling of self worth in us.
Kaleidoscope of emotions are memories of school
Latitude that we were given, made us cool.
Making us all humble and kind
Nurturing always our soul and mind.
Outstanding social service in which we participated,
Pulsating parties were the most anticipated.
Queering the pitch was the school playing ground,
Rightly providing a level platform.
Serendipitously while active in extra curricula
Team work helped us ace ISC curricula.
Understanding what we learnt here is not easy
Vignettes of school life till we share in a jiffy.
Worthwhile has been this ride
Xaverians we call ourselves with pride.
Yearning for the time when we were kids
Zeitgeist of school time this poem is.

Limericks

81ERS
There was a group of both genders.
Where there were many rule benders.
But one fine morning,
There was a warning,
Copy pasters will be declared offenders.

BEAR
There was once a loving bear,
Who I thought always did care.
Suddenly he vanished,
Leaving me astonished
And hasn’t been there for long to share.

LIMERICK
Trying to write a limerick,
Has given me such a kick.
But having tried all day,
This is what I offer today.
My wounded pride, in privacy will I lick.

REUNION

The reunion party was in a groove,
The erstwhile hunk made his move.
‘I always liked you’, he murmured.
‘Why not then?’ the damsel purred,
‘I was shy’, he said, ‘You should have made the first move.’

STUDENT
Once there was a student
Who was not so prudent.
Instigated his class,
To bunk en masse.
He was removed from school for permanent.

NEIGHBOUR
I had a comely new neighbour
Whom my heart had started to favour.
But it broke my heart,
When I saw that tart,
Cootchie-cooing with my wife’s dashing devar.

AGE

When I was young, I wanted to grow up fast,
In my youth, I wanted it to last.
Now in middle age
Don’t look forward to old age
Is there a rewind button to take one to past?

LOTHARIO
The young lothario looked forward to the rendezvous.
In style, the damsel he wanted to woo.
Her father got to know,
Instead he decided to go.
Alas! Our dear dashing lothario met his waterloo!

RELATIONSHIPS

The ties that bind and gag but flourish

Supposed to feed the soul and nourish

Oh! how they gag

Treat you like a rag

But  on breaking such ties you will perish.

OH DELHI!

There is always a power tussle in Delhi
Heated debates are conducted on telly
Kejriwal always cries, “Foul!”
BJP, Cong laugh cheek by jowl
While the residents of Delhi suffer from telly- belly!

THE MESS

From Bengaluru to Gurugram, cities are in a jam,
Heavens showered but governments did ham.
The citizens are boating in cars,
The civic agencies engage in wordwars,
India is on forward march, citizens suffer, who gives a damn?

POETRY

Not everyone enjoys pointless rhyming,
Some may fume while some maybe jiving!
But to thrust it forth
Every second day and fourth,
Has everyone sigh, ‘Here’s another one coming.’

MISFIT

There was once a disgruntled person,
Who accused one and all of treason.
He continued relentless,
His vitriol pointless,
Everyone shunned his blinkered vision.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

It is that time to turn patriotic for one day,
Wearing misplaced nationalism on the sleeve is the way!
70th year and we are in shambles,
Our country in apathy rambles,
Let the goons crying empty slogans have a field day.

RAKSHABANDHAN

Packaging and marketing is the order of the day,
Are girls getting protection as was wont on this day?
Gifts are given,
Money is taken,
The string has lost sanctity and mere tokenism is its mainstay.

IRONY

We talk of rich culture and kill the girl child.
We take pride in being billion plus but fail on all sides.
The fast food brigade,
The podium serenade.
We are busy praying to a million gods to be on our side.


MY
COUNTRY

Shhh… don’t denigrate this great country!
It’s the conspiracy of the western gentry.
We gave the world the zero,
But we are a zero!
The rest of the world is to be blamed, they are guilty!


CHIKANGUNYA

Love bite by a pesky intruder
Has me in thrall like a sorcerer.
With feverishness I shake
My poor joints ache
It feels like I have been run over by a steamroller.

DENGUE

The very same pesky, biting pest
Has forced me to take bed rest
Platelets are down
With eye pain I drown
Use of mosquito net, like in childhood, would have been best.

CONNECTION

They thought they would connect over a cup of tea.
But conversation between them moved haltingly.
Being together in school,
Doesn’t make friendship cool.
You have to have a connect to maintain continuity.

CONNECTION 2

In school they hardly knew each other,
When they met, it was fun altogether.
There are times like this,
When nothing is amiss.
You reconnect with mates without any awkwardness whatsoever.


DEATH

Proud death unleashes its tyranny,

Taking life to prove its villainy.

It cannot be defeated,

But surely be cheated.

If one enjoys to hilt life’s symphony.


LIFE

Too short, too short says everyone,
Too many battles we take to be won.

Forget about winning,

And stop whining.

Take it easy and and you hit a home run.

VENU

We are welcoming back into the group our friend Venu,

He will now have a bone to pick with him, her, me and you.

He was away for long,

There was no one to tease along.

There will now be lot of back and forth, please keep checking this venue.

THE NEIGHBOUR

There was once a man enamoured by his neighbour,

Sharing with us, his and her antics forever.

Methinks her existence is a suspect,

But we have to give credit in one respect,

Her constant mention here, with a lot of us, finds favour.

जीना

इक वो भी दिन था
इक यह भी दिन है।
तब खुद को खुद की आवाज़ न सुनती थी,
आज अपनी के अलावा किसी की सुनती नही।
तब लोग क्या कहेंगे का डर रहता था,
अब अपनी कही से सबको धमकाती हूँ।
तब अपने पर विश्वास न था,
आज दूसरों को विश्वास दिलाती हूँ।

उम्र के ऐसे पड़ाव पर हूँ,
कि बस, अपने मन का करती हूँ।
न हार की शर्म, न गिरने का डर
हर बार धूल झाड़ कर आगे बढ़ना
सीख लिया है,
मैंने अब जीना सीख लिया है।