Her

The black outside the window, the smell of the rain, reminds me of the times when we fell in love with the stars. There’s this cup of coffee, and with each sip I dive into nothingness, I drown in taste of the past. I watch my shadow while I smoke, as if I am staring at my lady while she kisses that cigarette with her sad, cold lips. I imagine myself dying at that instant, but now it keeps me alive.

 

Stillness, smoke and me; locked in a room. I have her images, but no photographs. Another sip, another tale. The silence haunts me with stories of how we used to swim across the ocean of imperfections into the depths of love. I remember how the smoke sailed on the shore of her solitary lips. She was like a poetry; saturated with details, cold but ecstatic, sad but beautiful.

 

Everything and everyone is gone, even the smoke. The coffee is cold now. It’s that time before dawn when the sky is darkest. While everyone is asleep dreaming in colors, I’m here wandering at some abandoned corner of my heart, bleeding thoughts.  Struggling between what is, what was and what if.
May be I should sleep now. It’s time, I should stop swimming.

The taxi driver

Photocopies of 10th and 12th mark sheet. Check.

Two Photographs. Check.

ID Proof. Check.

Admit card. Check.

Tickets. Check.

“Have you prepared yourself about what you are going to tell them in the interview?” My mother inquired with a sense of urgency.

Yes maa! This is the 100th time you have asked me that and where is my tie?

“I have kept it in your suitcase along with that green trouser and white shirt of yours. And also, find some apples in the left pouch, keep feeding yourself!” Shouting from the kitchen.

Maa! Taxi is here, I’m getting late!

She has this ritual to tie a saffron band around the wrist whenever one leaves for some important work; which she did in a hurry, blessed me, and wished me luck, as I left home for interview in one of the best institute for Journalism; XYZ University, Bangalore.

There was this white colored swift desire waiting for me, I opened the rear gate threw my bags inside, and sat on the front seat next to driver sahib. And there she was shouting from the balcony. “Call me when you reach the airport!”

I gave a nod, waved goodbye!

The very next moment, I remember myself smoking cigarette with driver sahib at some roadside strand on highway! It was a time of pre monsoon shower, spice-jet had informed me about the flight delay, a while ago.

“Sir, would you like to have some tea?” I casually asked driver sahib who was dressed in one of those typical Bollywood style costumes that all the drivers wear, and he rocked it with a Chaplin mustache.

I ordered two cups of tea. He inquired me about where I’m heading to? What do I do? Where I’m from? I figured out he was from Uttar Pradesh due to his accent, and we kept talking for around twenty minutes about the weather, the traffic and some local chit chats. Soon, it was time for us to leave, we still had around 5 Km. ahead of us. Well, initially it was all quite inside the taxi, I was busy face-booking, and he was having a great time with some FM radio’s flash advertisements and of course the item songs. As soon as I turned my cell phone down, he almost put that radio on mute and with some struggle and hesitation, “Bhaiya, thank you.”

To which I replied in seconds,” What for? It’s just a cigg…”

“No! no! Not for cigarette or tea!”

I gave him a real confused look, he continued, “Nobody! Not even a single person ever addressed me as ‘Sir’, it’s for the respect you gave me. You made my day.”

I didn’t realize the gravity at once but soon my mind was cluttered with thoughts like, ‘What am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to react to this?’

“I always wondered how does it feel to be respected? I pick high class people every now and then, some business persons, some officials and to be honest; I envy them. Not because of the money they have or the clothes they wear, but because of the respect they get.” Now at that instant, it would have been a crime to address him as SIR as he would have literally sobbed at that, I continued as , ” Bhaiya, A literate person would not do anything to disrespect you! You should ignore the rest.” What he told me next was food for thought,

“I’m literate but that doesn’t mean that I’m educated.”

I was stunned and moved and inspired! It hit the deepest chords of my soul, I wanted to       talk to him, console him with some artificial words but I reached my destination.I made the payment, he thanked me again but this time for the tea and cigarette.

On my small walk from the taxi stand to the airport I didn’t know what I felt like. I called my mom and told her that I was at airport, and she was still insisting me to wear a black trouser instead of rusty green, and to eat every apple that she kept in the left pouch of the bag.

To be continued.

Intolerant India, Tolerant Celebrities.

Dear celebrities,

We envy your lifestyle.
You have no idea how difficult it is to be a common man.

We never ever abused anyone!
Shahrukh Khan, who gave him any rights to abuse that guard at wankhede?

We are chain smokers, but never ever did we smoke at a public place.
Shahrukh khan, how dare you smoke at a public place? What do these
celebrities think of themself?

We never had any hatred against our nation, be it any issue.
That Kanhaiya Kumar how dare he support an anti-nationalist cause?

We never drive after getting drunk. Never.
Salman khan, he should be in jail for hit and run? There are thousands
of hit and run cases pending, but he is Salman khan, we want justice.

Sachin you should have left that ball, @’!*/%& how can he play that
irresponsible shot!
Tanmay bhatt is an ass-hole. How dare he say anything to Indian legends.

Man! I feel like raped after seeing this grade sheet.
Did Salman use the word Rape? I am offended. How insensitive.

What! How dare Aamir say, ”India is intolerant?”

We want public apology for everything so that we can back you people
once again, as we did with Kanhaiya Kumar. We are social media, we
change colors.

Sincerely,
Tolerant India.

Seems like being a celebrity is are outlaws. We are going nuts
filing petty cases against celebrities. People aren’t interested in
their work, but relationships. Our media review a movie in 5 minutes
while gossips around their personal lives for 5 hours a day.

Unhappy is he, whose fame makes his misfortunes famous.
But they are celebrities, millions of people follow them, they are not
expected to indulge in anything that affects the society in an adverse
manner. Well, they pay their taxes, they work hard, they are not
corrupt, they behave civil, they bring laurels for our country, they
love what they do, they don’t shame people, etc. etc..! But we are afraid people will follow their wrong doings. C’mon! We all have some weak moments, we should learn to ignore. They never filled any case against the media for indulging into their personal space and making it a public affair? Did they shame anybody? No. A wise man knows what to ignore.

And society should be mature enough to decide whats good to follow and whats bad.
That’s the whole point of education. And I believe India is educated enough.

वक़्त (Time personified)

अगर यह सूर्योदय ना होता , किस दर पे नतमस्तक होते तुम , किस रुख का रुख होते तुम ? अक्सर यह ख़याल आता है , आज़ाद हूँ मैं या हूं गुलाम परिवर्तन का ? खैर जो भी हो , दोस्त हूँ तुम्हारा।
रंगीन दुनिया की इन् बेरंग गलियों में दौड़ता चला जा रहा हूँ , यह महज जज़बातों का मेला है, यहाँ हर मुसाफिर अकेला है। जिंदगी एक सफर है , खत्म होजायेगी , जिम्मेदारियां तोह तुम्हे निभानी है , कर्म का कारखाना है ये।
यादों की खुशनसीबी समझाना, पलट कर देखना इसे आता है , मैं संगीत हु, बेहता चला जाऊंगा। लगता होगा मनो इन् सर्द सन्नाटो में थम सा गया हु मैं , महसूस करना मुझको, निशब्द हूँ खामोश हूँ। मैं मिलूंगा उजाले की हलचल और अंधेर घरानों में , पत्थर की लकीर मेरा स्वभाव, परिवर्तन मेरा ज़मीर , और ठहरना मुझे गवारा नहीं।

Paint it.

From being as conspiring as a steady boat over the horizon, underneath that big bright sun blazing in the empty sky to as cold as the bitter wind that’s helping her sail across the plain ocean. From being as courageous as a sailor who loses the sight of the shore to as swift as the flight of those birds circling around the sight of him. From being as quite as that ocean who awaits for the river in a hope that someday; someday she will fall into him to being as uncertain as the river herself, who doesn’t even know what it feels like to be cherished. From being as dark as those shadows under the water to being as vibrant as the hopes to see home again.
There’s a universe of every being.

The silence beneath my bed.

The shattered glass in my room,

And the plain walls with depressed roof.

I echo and I inquire,

You talk about agony, pain, broken, and beliefs;

Take this paper and that pen,

What else do you require?

 

I wish these cigarettes had feelings,

My playlist was a society,

And that experience wasn’t the best teacher.

I would love to throw some sarcasms and satire,

But the silence beneath my bed; awaits,

And it’s all that is left to admire.

 

The dawn seems to follow the night,

And the darkness preaches of light.

I will write about love, joy, faith, and fairy-tale; someday.

For now let smile be an attire.

Since the silence beneath my bed,

Is all that’s left to admire.

बचपन

बचपन ने दो बात सिखायी है,

क्या सही है, और क्या नहीं।

हर नायक ने एक बात समझायी है,

के सच की हमेशा से जीत होती आई है।

एक समय था जब माँ की मुस्कान के लिए,

हर जिद त्याग देते थे।

पापा की फटकार ना पड़े,

इसलिए हर बात मान लेते थे।

दोस्ती यारी की बात ना ही करे कोई,

स्कूल तो एक बहाना बन गया था,

कोई मानें या न माने,

पढ़ने से ज्यादा वक्त दोस्ती पे गया था।

बादल तो आज भी उसी तरह बरसते है,

लेकिन उन बारिशों की बात ही कुछ और थी,

कोई साइकिलों पर रेस लगा रहा था,

तो कोई छप-छप किये, दाग अच्छे बना रहा था।

एग्जाम की टेंशन तो याद ही होगी,

कभी बुखार, तो कभी पेट दर्द का नाटक।

पर एग्जाम तो पापा फिर भी दिलाते थे,

और अतं मे नम्बर भी ठीक ठाक आ जाते थे।

वो गली मोहल्ले का कि्केट,

और छिपन छिपाई,

पडौस का काचं टूटने पर,

“बेटा निकल लो, अब तो शामत आई।”

मानता हूं कि किताबों का बड़ा बोझ था,

पर जनाब गौर करियेगा,

दुनियादारी की जिम्मेदारियों से दूर,

हर पल में एक अजब जोश था।

मन तो करता है, उस बस्ते को फिर उठाकर निकल जाए,

उसी बारिश में दोस्तों के संग।

कब यह बचपन गुजर गया, पता न चला,

पेंसिल कब पेनं(pen) हो गई,

पता न चला।

-यश