Friday, September 30, 2011

NAVRATRI SNAPSHOTS

I

She will fast all nine days

pay alms,worship little girls

how else should she repent

for killing two of her own

years ago

the unborn girls.

II

The doctor told her

not to fast during pregnancy

yet she comes to the temple every day

"O mother goddess,

a son this time please !

or the hell for her and

her daughter would become worse."

III

The pandal for dandiya

is next to the market

Raju's unlettered,13 years old mind

calculates.why his day's earnings

are even less than the price of

one navratra thali for those who fast.

IV

In the car park

for the dandiya celebrations

the car boot is the bar

a group of young brats

look forward to

cheap thrills.

v

Taking a break from his rickshaw

he is glad that

his girls fetch so much

from devout homes on Ashtami

otherwise these good for nothings

burden on earth.

VI

The Devi is decorated

celebrated.

the women battered,

the girl child,abused and killed.

The celebartion is for nine nights

the suffering is endless.

Monday, September 26, 2011

दूसरी बेटी

जब माँ की पीठ
का दर्द बढ जाता
भाग-भाग कर दवा वह लाती
अपने छोटे हाथों से फिर
टेड़ी-मेडी रोटी पकाती

जब बाबा पर मजबूरी आती
कभी न कोई मांग बताती
पूरा साल एक पुराने सूट
में वह चुपचाप चलाती

पढ़-लिखकर जब बड़े शेहर
में बिटिया रानी नाम कमाती
माँ-बाबा का छोटा घर
अपने जिया से नहीं भुलाती

शादी के बातों से पहले
बाबा को खूब समझाती
लेने-देने की कोई बात न करना
ऐसा बार- बार दोहराती

माँ के जाने के बाद से वह फिर
बाबा की भी माँ बन जाती
स्नेह दिखाती,प्यार जताती
और कभी-कभी डांट लगाती

मृत्यु शैया पर सोया बाबा
सोच-सोच बहुत दुःख पाता
क्यूँ उसने थी हिम्मत हारी
कोख में दूसरी बेटी मारी

आज वह होती
तो में दुगना स्नेह भी पाता,गर्व जताता
दूसरी बेटी जग में आती
वह भी रोशन नाम कराती !

Sunday, September 25, 2011

बेटी

वह कोमल होकर भी
ढो लेती है सारी ज़िन्दगी
हंसकर तुम्हारी
हर मर्यादा का भार

और तुम
केवल नौ महीने
भी उसको कोख नहीं दे पाते

ज्यों-ज्यों बड़ी वह होती
सिर्फ बोझ होने का
उसे एहसास दिलाते

सोचना कभी
क्या होता जो
तुम्हारी माँ को भी
बेटी होने के लिए
मार दिया जाता

ना तुम होते और ना
होता तुम्हारी
सोच का गहरा अँधेरा
जिसमे तुम्हे
तुम्हारी अजन्मी बेटी की
चीखें नहीं सुनाई देती !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A girl called Pooja

Its yellowing pages
still being held
by the dog-eared binding

the dreams
of a teenage soul
poems,quotes,
even birthday reminders
and mindless scribbles

there it was buried
under the pile of
scholarly mumbo-jumbo
just like the innocence
left long behind

the dreams of a teenage soul
the aspirations
the real pink words of love
the joys and the frustrations
all real,tangible

no copypasted updates
no morsels of thoughts
or mundane chunks of life
to throw out of a facebook window

I don't know why I cried
when I found out
Once upon a time
much before internet
lived a girl called - Pooja .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

किंकर्तव्यविमुड़......

किंकर्तव्यविमुड़......
यह एक शब्द था
किसी पुरानी कविता का
जो आजकल बार-बार
मन के सरोवर
को उद्वेलित कर जाता

क्या मैं
अपने किसी कर्म से
पीछा छुडा रही थी
या फिर सभी को
कभी न कभी
त्रस्त करती यही जिजीविषा !

किंकर्तव्यविमुढ़ता,जिजीविषा,जीवन,
जिज्ञासा, आज बस मन उलझा रहा !

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A bird's life

Sometime or the other
I'm sure we all wish
to be a bird

it might be
the sudden urge
to just fly free
get rid of a worry
or just be....

sometimes it is
out of joy
to spread the wings
and measure the sky

yeah a bird
is free from petrol prices
and relationship complexities

but finding the tastiest worm
or cushioning the best nest to rest
would also be
a different kind of rut

spring to miss
mate to find
nest to make
dinner to bring back...

want to be a bird ?

Friday, September 16, 2011

ODE TO THE COMMON COLD

You come silently
shrouded in a mysterious
invisibility of
what they call virus,
they give you glorious epithets -
nasopharyngitis, acute viral rhino pharyngitis.

The body welcomes you
the prince of illnesses
for commoners
with a sore throat,watery eyes
and the elaborate rituals
of cough and fever.

In the reign of congestion
the first casualty
is common sense,
the mental faculties
give up due to the blocked gates
of the brain

then you teach me
to cough myself awake
and everything tastes
like stale rice cake

the gain however
my dear benign illness
is the Bachchanesque baritone
in which one can try
that prank call
to a rude boss,
or a horrible ex-'s home.

So the deal is sealed
with every sneeze
you hope to
expand territory
and I bask
in the glory of being
semi-ill.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

शब्द और अर्थ

शब्द और अर्थ की
अनंत खाई
कभी लगता है
थी ही नहीं
और कभी फिर से उभर आई

क्या केवल अर्थ से ही
सार्थक होता शब्द है
या कभी समझा
पाता है
भावों की वो भी गहरायी

शब्द और अर्थ
की अनंत खाई !

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

HINDI DIWAS

There she is
the newcomer,the one who
knows many forms and
new techniques

the admirers start pouring
bringing gifts
they adore her beauty
the glossy shine
of her
world-class act.

I ,the original one
now called indigenous
sit in a corner
waiting ,to catch
a fleeting glance
or something

Am I outdated already?
what about my songs that they sing
my movies that they see
that too must be some other kind of hindi.

let me speak in
her tongue-ENGLISH
and be comforted
they never forget
the press release
on 14 September,
Hindi diwas.

Win ! Win !

Friends this is a contest I won

http://bookreaderslounge.blogspot.com/2011/09/55-words-flash-fiction-contest-results.html

Monday, September 12, 2011

The murky waters


In the murky waters
of my mind
The dust settles
the pebbles
of unsettled questions
still raising their uneasy heads
in between

The rows of black on white
are words when
comprehended
only patterns when
the heart is disengaged

Are there really answers
or just false reassurances
with enough room
for new questions
to breed

This is what
we call life
experiences...relationships
thoughts and dreams.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

हर दिन की तरह
एक वह भी सुबह थी
घर से निकले थे
लोग और उनके सपने
घर लौटी बुरी यादें ,
नफरत और
कुछ आंसू


ग्यारह सितम्बर
उस दिन बन गया ९/११

दो इमारतों की धूल
में दब गयी
शांति की आखरी उम्मीद

इन्सानियत बंट गयी
हम और उनमे

शक के घेरे
हुए इतने गहरे
की विशवास और मानवता
कुचले गए हमेशा के लिए

जो भी नाम दो
जितने भी विश्लेषण कर लो

उस लम्हे की खता को
माफ़ करने में शायद
हम सबको सदियाँ लगे

Friday, September 9, 2011

HOPE

Broken homes
burnt memories
lost childhood

only the taste
of violence
and the rotting smell
of hatred

the hills,roads
and rivers
the colour of blood
washing away
traditions,
fear drowning
shared history.

Kashmir ,Punjab
north-east
the wounds don't heal
the pain doesn't lessen

only hope is
a thin silver -lining.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dates and History

It was just another day
almost ten years ago
9/11,as we call it now
changed everything...

it altered how we look
at ourselves
and others.
Mumbai ,New york,Karachi
all got bifurcated into us and them.

The word Terror
had a new meaning

more dates happened
sad,angry
full of death and misery

We ponder for a day or two
read and discuss
casually over a drink
and then just let it be

simply because its not
my personal tragedy

I wonder
what if
on either side of the blast
is a brother,a son or a friend

Death is painful
but so must be a life full of hatred
a heart determined to kill

Dates will keep becoming
news,books and movies
but I'm sure a history
devoid of violence
would also be nice.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Teachers....

Its Teacher's day and this year I feel like recording here formally my gratitude to a lot of people who have been teachers to me.Some of them officially holding the title ,others earning it by sheer devotion for my betterment.
They come in all shapes and sizes,quite literally and from various walks of life, some even from an age/ time far removed in which I exist.I mention them in no precise order here,only with a heart full of gratitude and love and eyes brimming with the overwhelming feeling of being blessed with all of them in one lifetime.
  • My mummy and papa for letting me be the person I am always,listening to me even when they disagreed,for teaching me to reach for the sky without leaving the roots that hold me upright.
  • My teachers in my first school where I was a fussy toddler,for teaching me to always ask my questions even at the risks of ruffling some feathers.
  • My teachers in St.Thomas School Shimla,for teaching me that real education is not ransom to a great building or the best infrastructure in town,just plain dedication.
  • My teachers and friends in St.bede's College Shimla,who made me believe in the strength of my dreams and to look beyond the proverbial well of the small frog for the world out there.
  • My friends,teachers and colleagues in Panjab university Chandigarh,for making me master the art of being always comfortable in my own skin,for setting me on a quest of never ending learning.
  • My students from a variety of backgrounds and age-groups,for teaching me to be a good listener and regular exercises in the fine art of communication.
  • My best friend and now husband for teaching me optimism and humour.
  • My daughter ,whose lessons are still on about building blocks,ants,stars and everything else under the sky.
  • My friends for being my co-learners as well as teachers in life-experiences as silly as tequila shots and as profound as motherhood.
And last but not the least,innumerable people,objects,experiences and things e.g. Karl Marx,ants,birds,books,colours,watching fog in hills,smelling wine,holding a newborn,cookery shows,household helps,news,internet - all of them teaching me so much and enhancing my treasure trove.
Thank you all ! HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY !

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Delhi Book Fair

The sights and smells
here would send me on a tizzy
Like a grasshopper
on caffeine
I would hop from one pile to another

Inspite of the
picnic-making crowds in the aisles
the sweltering heat
the fear of pick-pockets
I would make my way
from one end to the other

not once
but on two or three days

at the end of them
my bags would be full
my wallet empty
but my heart still wanting more

Delhi book fair
This time I'm not there
do you miss me?

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
}

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!