Finale

There has to be a closure to The Last Dance. So here it goes…

The night was young, boisterous and alive,

Everyone was in a mood to jive.

As old and young bones gyrated to the beat,

He cast his eyes around, if only they could meet.

She swayed to the music with gay abandon,

But her eyes scanned the guys at random.

Suddenly in the melee, their eyes locked,

Their gaze widened and they were shocked.

For she was bespectacled and no longer slim

And he, greyed with a paunch, no more trim.

But his eyes twinkled just the same,

Her smile was still dazzlingly same.

They moved towards each other on their own volition,

They had to dance, there was no confusion.

He extended his hand and twirled her around,

She moved effortlessly and held her ground.

They giggled as they stomped on the floor,

Around them rose a huge cheering roar

Everyone stamped and clapped and goaded them on,

At last the much anticipated last dance was on.

Soon they were tired and gasping for breath,

For age had slowed them but not their zest.

They embraced warmly and went their way,

Finally the ghost of past to rest laid.

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कुछ  खोया कुछ पाया

बचपन की गलियों में जा

ढूँढा, जो था पीछे छूटा 

कुछ आँसू मिले, कुछ मिली खिलखिलाहटें

कुछ किरचें टूटे सपनों की,

कुछ भूले वादे।

इमारत वही थी, रंग बदल गए थे

जिन पेड़ की छाँव में,

 खाते थे खाना

वे पेड़ कट गए थे।

पुस्तकालय वही था,

 कुछ कम थीं किताबें

न वो शिक्षक रहे, न ही वैसी पढ़ाई 

पर जहाँ खेलते थे लंगड़ी छू

वह टेरेस था वैसा ही।

चेहरे थे अन्जाने,

आवाज वही थी,

आँखें कुछ बूढ़ी हो गईं हैं

पर उन में शरारत वही है।

ठहाकों में खनक कम न हुई है

दूरियाँ भी कम हो गईं हैं,

पर फिर भी न जाने कुछ निगाहें

खोजती रहीं उन चेहरों को

जो चाह कर भी न थे आ पाए।

घर की जगह मिली उजड़ी ज़मीन 

वह पेड़ जिस पर पड़ती थी आम की बौर 

आज किसी और का है।

यह शहर जो कभी था मेरा,

आज अन्जानों का हजूम है वहाँ।

जहाँ से मुड़ती थी सड़क घर को

वह मोड़ है न जाने कहाँ।

आए थे बहुत उम्मीदों के साथ

कुछ पूरी हुईं, कुछ रह गईं अधूरी।

स्वर्णिम जयंती के रुपहले दिन

बीत गए पलक झपकते ही

मन भारी है, आँखों में पानी

होंठों पर मुस्कान है, मुट्ठी में आस्मान

धुमिल यादें फिर हो गईं हरी

और बेश्किमती यादों से झोली भरी।
                                

                          

Finding Self

Early on in life one is put in a personality  box

And as one grows up, straitjacketed this way,

One continues to collect the labels

That are stuck firmly on that box.

So the intelligent is considered smarter and best at everything,

The mediocre always burdened with ‘can do better’ label,

Whereas a slow learner becomes shyer and more retiring,

Each wondering inwardly, whether they truly are able.

Thus they plod on the even path laid before them

Not ever trying to surmount the path laid with rocks

Never questioning the offending labels

Or trying to break free of the suffocating  box.

A few intrepid ones dare to unbox themselves,

They always knew the capability of their real self.

But had remained boxed, so as to not upset the apple cart.

Eventually they take the plunge to follow their heart.

So they emerge shackle free and go through a metamorphosis 

Like a freshly painted butterfly, out of chrysalis.

All around people are taken aback and aghast

At the resurgence of another iconoclast.

It is difficult break the mould you are fitted into and thrive

But you realy have to do so for your soul to survive.

Men Are Strange Creatures

Well, need one add more to that?

But perhaps if we don’t, how will they know

For they maybe creatures of few words,

They need to be told things repeatedly

to make an impact!

They actually never grow up

And forever remain young boys

From childhood till old age

They love to play with toys.

From action figures and toy cars,

Playstation and field sports

They continue to play with gizmos

And graduate to high end cars.

Men really are strange creatures

Driven purely by passion

Yet, rebuking the women in their lives

For being too full of compassion!

They will stay up late to catch a game

And report sick to meet a friend,

But shy away from PTMs

And family get- togethers to name.

Their child’s wish is their command.

Their mom, they can’t refuse.

But when it comes to the woman in their life,

She is supposed to understand…

They conquer the insurmountable

They run a tight ship at work

But just in a few seconds

This sphinx their daughters can unravel.

They can be so undemonstrative

That you wonder if they have a heart!

Yet when a PYT is in the vicinity

You can see on their sleeve pinned this very heart!

They spend their entire life toiling

Trying to be the MAN their father wanted them to be.

That at times they forget to be,

The husband and father, that they ought to have been.

Men really are strange creatures

Keeping everything to themselves.

If only they would care to share,

Our love they would see for themselves.

माँ के मन की बात


तेरे पापा से छुपा,

दादी की नज़रों से बचा,

छुट्टा इक्टठा कर-कर

जो बनाए थे कुछ मैंने

वो छोटे-मोटे गहने,

ताकि तुझे दे सकूँ 

कभी राखी के बहाने,

कभी पौत्र के मुंडन पर,

कभी तेरी सास का मुहँ बंद करने,

तेरी ननंद की शान बढ़ाने, 

मायके की लाज रखने,

दामादजी को खुश करने,

वो जो मैंने कभी तेरी नानी के संग

या फिर मौसी से कह कर

जितना भी जोड़- जोड़ कर

बनाया था तेरे पैदा होने से अब तक

…सब हो गया है खत्म।

मुझ से पहले मेरी माँ ने किया था 

और उनसे पहले उनकी माँ ने,

सोचा था जब तेरी गोद भराई में

चुपके से कान के बुंदे

तेरी झोली में डालूँगी

तो यह सीख तुझे दूँगी

कि तू भी आने वाली पीढ़ी के लिए 

कर दे जोड़ना शुरू।

पर…

अब क्या जोड़ना और क्या बनाना 

अब तो हर खरचे का ब्यौरा देना होगा

हर पाई  का हिसाब 

सोने पर कर दिया है नासपीटों ने प्रहार 

माँ  बेटी के चुपके से लेने- देने को

लग गई, मुई सरकार की नजर।