Category Archives: Poetry

भला भागीरथी क्यों न रूठे

Written in view of the Kedarnath cloud burst event, on the prompt mentioned in the subject


आज से कुछ अठारह वर्ष पहले, मैं गयी थी हरिद्वार
इतनी विशाल नदी, विशाल तट, मैंने देखा था पहली बार
एक नन्ही बालक थी मैं, देख रही थी भाव विभोर
ढूँढ रही थी नीला रंग वो, सुना था जिसका अति विस्तार

तब कुछ दूर नज़रे ले जाने पर, वो रंग ढूँढ मैं पायी थी
अधिक सोच कुछ सकी नहीं मैं, दादी वापिस लेने आई थी

कुछ बढ़ी, कुछ पढ़ी, धीरे से मेरे विश्व ने लिया आकार
तब ढूँढा फिर वो रंग मैंने, आकाश में, सागर के तट पर
अखबारों में पढ़ा की यमुना नाले सी हो आई है
पर मेरे दिल में वही नदी थी, वही रंग और उससे प्यार

जब समय मिला तो उस नदी को पढ़ने मैं उसके तट पर आई थी
आंसू ढलक पड़े गालो पर, उसके तट पर जमी बड़ी काई थी

किताबें ली, पढ़ा की पीने का पानी, वहीँ से पाता है हर घर बार
तब मैं समझी बोर वैल पर, फ़िल्टर की दुकानो पर लगी कतार
फिर एक तस्वीर में संध्या आरती, देखी बनारस के घाट की
तैर रहे थे कागज़, फूल, पत्ते, दोने, द्वीप, पानी में बहने को तैयार

आरती से, रोशनी से, सुकून मिला था, पर आँखें फिर भर आई थी
निर्मल नदी में वो सब जैसे, एक सुंदरी के मुख पर मैली झाई थी

बढ़ी और कुछ, भूल गयी मैं पानी, भूल गयी नदियों का संसार
कुछ माह पहले तक, जब सुना गंगा के कहर पर हाहाकार
बाईस लोग एक भाभी के घर से, केदारनाथ को निकले थे
न वो वापस आये और न जाने कितनो पर हुआ वैसा संहार

तब नम आँखों को मैंने मूंदा, मुझे मैली गंगा यमुना दिखाई दी
कानो में “भला भागीरथी क्यों न रूठे”, आवाज़ मुझे सुनाई दी

भक्ति हो, अर्चना हो, हो हमारी कला, संस्कृति का प्रचार
पर मैं नहीं चाहती, नर, पशु, वृक्ष, बन जाएँ दुर्दशा के आहार
कर जोड़ प्रार्थना सुन लो, ए विश्व, हैं समय आज भी
वार्ना प्रकृति पहले थी, पहले हैं उसका विश्व पर अधिकार

इस विनाश से सीखा कुछ हो, ऐसी इच्छा दिल में आई थी
आँखों में वो नीला रंग था, कानो में शंख ध्वनि बज आई थी


On being a woman

WomenWrote this as a part of the “Training of Trainers” workshop on Human Rights in Delhi, Feb 2013.

I am privileged if I am born alive,

Not because I was unhealthy, but because one day I might be,

a sister, a mother or a wife.

I count my blessings, if fed as I please

The delicacies are for my brother, who just knows how to tease

I feel I am on cloud nine, as I can express while I write

Many of my gender haven’t seen a blackboard or chalk white

I do the chores, while sports are for male cousins

For my entertainment, household work gets different versions

I can’t decide in which school, college, course can I enrol

The money isn’t enough, making decisions is not my call

Who, when and how I marry, is decided by the family

The decision is less on compatibility, more on account tally

Domestic violence, sexual violence, rape, unpaid domestic work are part of my life

I can’t talk about them for the fear of being labelled a feminist, I can’t discuss my strife

This has continued since long lost time

This will continue until I stand up and comment

Unless I ponder, I discuss, I decide

Unless I seriously take up the cause of women empowerment

As long as I bend to others’ wish

This subjugation will continue, it will remain

Till the time I stand up and fight

I would have to bear the pain

The freedom won’t come from someone outside

It will be me, who will have to decide

The cause, the idea, the action plan

And then only would I rightly say, I can!

It shouldn’t just be upto my female friends to help

My other gender friends should also respond to the yelp

Maybe that will lead the change

Maybe then I will smile

I will wait for your support

All this while!

From Here to There

It is tough to observe the changes
It is weird to explain the reasons
It is impossible to justify the actions
It is crazy to dispel the notions

It is best left to the judgment of the preying eyes
It is easy to accept the rumours then to expose the lies
It is simple to hold a cigarette and blow the smoke away
Then having to wipe off the ashes, scattered away in the skies

The beauty of the solitary moon in the starlit sky
The crashing waves, the slapping breeze, the feeling of being high
Do something to enchant me, tear me up, make me cry
Every whisper makes me open up and then it makes me shy

Observations of this enigmatic beauty, is that for which I pine
Explanation of the inexplicable is the call that in my mind is mine
Justification of this craving and the calling eludes others, makes me whine
This is why the notions remain and on rumours they choose to dine

Does it matter? Do I care?
Am I wary of the stares?
“Hell Yeah” and “Heck No” keep oscillating
They’ll remain as is,
Till all souls lay bare
Till all can sit and share
Till common is every “rare”
From here to there!

Where and What Would I End Up Being?

Where and What Would I end up Being?
Where and What Would I end up Being?

I remember long long ago, when I was just old enough to talk,
I had learnt being human, learnt to smile, to cry and to walk.
Well, not remember actually, but it’s a time I can visualize
And all that I ever wanted then, was to be close to my mother’s eyes.
Grew up some, reached school, when I was aged around five,
Learning numbers, alphabets, not peeing in my pants, was enough for me to jive.
Years passed by, I started thinking too, still at school, aged around ten,
Ranking first in my class, in the rat race really, was my goal, though I didn’t know it then.
I did succeed in those two aspects, so far I was doing just fine;
There wasn’t enough grey matter in my head which could have caused me to whine.
Skipped a few years ahead, made friends, shared games, gossip and lunch,
Wanted to make a nuclear fusion reactor, solving world’s energy issue was the punch.
Had just started getting to know of Science, Politics, Religion, Other books’ contents,
The silly me at the age of fourteen, wanted to be the largest democracy’s president.
Moved places, changed schools, made new friends, understood the meaning of a foe,
Got a few clumsy proposals, had a few crushes, about relationships I came to know.
By then the reality had started clutching the dreams in its cruel paws;
The eager proud eyes of parents, prickly glances of people around, were thorns ‘n’ rose.
Decisions were made as much by them as by me, somewhere around sixteen.
Medicine & Engineering were the choices, though different was what I would have been.
Time passed, I did become an engineer, hopes of ‘self’ again strangled the throat.
This time, it was a degree in MBA or a high paying job, my passions were still being rot.
Fortunately at twenty one, an adult, I had a job with good money and a known brand,
But soon got tired of the monotony, adrenaline wanting to squirt out of glands.
From five to fifteen to fifteen hundred, then the distances began to soar,
And I ended up on the opposite end of the globe, at the age of twenty four.
Wanted to stay back, wanted to come back home, wanted to do SO much,
Tried hands at working elsewhere, teaching, nurturing another little hope as such.
At twenty five, I was married, to the man I loved, exchanged the vows and the rings,
Still, so near, and yet so far, today I wonder,
Where and what would I end up being?

In the End

With all smiles, and those lovely moments,
With raised hopes and wish that torments,
With the best of words and deeds and love,
I hope to leave, with a smile in the end.

Having spent the time of my life in good,
Having been in the sky, in oceans, in woods,
Having done all that my heart wished for,
I hope to leave, content, in the end.

To those who matter, by giving heart full of love,
To what I want, having been true and pure as a dove,
To the time and place and feelings, being faithful
I hope to leave, honest, in the end.

Being good in all roles I played since I was born,
Being decisive, accurate at these crucial junctures and not torn,
Being fun and nice, helpful, successful, yet down to earth,
I hope to leave, innocent, in the end.

Not in the path of happiness, pride, achievement of any one,
Not jealous, stupid, childish, never spoiling the fun,
Not on the wrong side of what I know to be bad,
I hope to leave, intact soul, in the end