Thursday, November 17, 2011


Chalo ek baar phir

Unn raaston pe chalein
Unn nishaanon ko chhoote hue
Jinpe kabhi shaam dhala karti thi

Unn jugnuon se milein
Unn jharokhon se lagte hue
Jinpe kabhi baat hua karti thi

Unn hawaaon ko chhuein
Unn deewaaron pe chadhte hue
Jinpe kabhi nazm mila karti thi

Kuchh bikhri aawaazein mil jaati hain ab bhi
Unn nishaanon mein
Unn jharokhon pe
Unn deewaaron se

Bahut gussa aata hai tum par

Kyon wo geet tumne likhe the mere liye?
Bolo kyon?
Withered scarlet leaves
Whisper to the autumnal earth
Winter is coming

House, This Time; Home, Always

Layers are added each year to this house
To the once-upon-a-time-brick-and-mortar

A fresh coat of paint to invite new memories
Some addition in the attic to the precious old ones

Some thoughtful re-arrangements to usher-in the future
Some painful replacements to let go of the past

But there's a constant presence
Which makes it home, always!

Friday, October 28, 2011

EK Roz

Thi lamhon ki saazish, ya khwaabon mohlat
Uss roz kya tha jo tum-hum mile the

Kuchh kisse puraane, kuchh sehme bahaane
Kuchh baaton ki ladiyaan, ya uljhe fasaane
The rut ka nishaana, ya taaron ki koshish
Uss roz kya tha jo tum-hum mile the

Ujaale ki dastak pe karwat badalna
Dabe paanv kasmon ka ghar se nikalna
Ye chhote se rishte ki lambi kahaani
Kiski ye zid thi jo tum-hum mile the...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On The Banks Of Sarayu

As the evening sun kisses the horizon
Storks flock the paddy fields
Farmers mount their bullock carts
Singing 'biraha' for their beloveds

Another quiet moonlit night crawls in
Before the bazaars open to familiarity
Aromas of jalebis and samosas
Waft through halwaii's dukaan

'Behenji' shouts for a rickshaw-waala
Standing under the old Banyan tree
While the monkeys feast on the 'prasaad'
That has fallen from her 'jholaa'

An unending barricade
Leads up to the no-man's-land
Now divided in ink -
A temple that speaks of devotion
Sung in the verses of Tulsidas
A mosque that speaks of faith
Turned in the pages of history

On the banks of Sarayu
A mallah's radio plays the morning devotionals
A crow watches the dying smoke
From the last rites of an unknown

Awadh lives...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Morning inspiration for a poem:

'Truth is beauty, beauty truth' - Keats

"Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?" - Harry Potter
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?" - Dumbledore


I believe

There's a world of fairies
There's a place where rainbows meet
There's a face the moon never shows
Those stars have twinkling feet

The butterfly borrows colour
From the flower, as they greet
The sunflower cranes its neck
When the sun brings the morning fleet

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'
They've said from the times of yore
I believe in the truth of the fables
Of the legends and the folklore

This world of belief is beautiful
Away from the daily grind
Why does this world seem real
When it exists inside my mind?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

एकतरफा निशान

कितने दफे हमने कही, कितने दफे यूँ चुप रहे
उस बात की कुछ सिलवटें अब भी कोहरी हैं

तुमने आसमानी एक कमीज़ उस रोज़ दी थी तुरपन को
उसमें बांयीं ओर एक सिलाई अब भी ढीली है

तुम्हारी दी किताब में बंधे थोड़े गुलाबी ख़याल
हाँ, कागज़ी सी मुश्क़ उनकी अब सीली-सीली है

आज भी हैरान हैं वो खट्टे-मीठे कुछ सवाल
आज भी उन्हें पूछ कर ये आँख गीली है

मासूम दिल को अब भी आदत एक रात-रानी किस्से की
उस रात की कुछ करवटें हर रात ठहरी हैं

कितने दफे हमने कही, कितने दफे यूँ चुप रहे
उस बात की परछाइयाँ अब भी गहरी हैं...

'Ektarfa Nishaan'

Kitne dafe humne kahi, kitne dafe yun chup rahe
Uss baat ki kuchh silwatein ab bhi kohri hain

Tumne aasmaani ek kameez uss roz di thi turpan ko
Usmein baanyien oor ek silaayi ab bhi dheeli hai

Tumhari di kitaab mein bandhe thode gulaabi khayaal
Haan, kaagzi si mushq unki ab seeli-seeli hai

Aaj bhi hairaan hain wo khatte-meethe kuchh sawaal
Aaj bhi unhein poochh kar ye aankh geeli hai

Masoom dil ko ab bhi aadat ek raat-raani kisse ki
Uss raat ki kuchh karwatein har raat thehri hain

Kitne dafe humne kahi, kitne dafe yun chup rahe
Uss baat ki parchhaaiyaan ab bhi gehri hain...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rummaging through the closet of memories for that familiar, old smell;

For the dog-eared pages from that book of experience;

For the carefully kept wrappers of those gifted smiles;

For the inked words in the dry Chelpark bottle;

For the forgotten taste of Parle Poppins and 'khatta-meetha churan';

For those winter nights that roasted green-peas and potatoes in the bonfire;

For those summer afternoons that waited anxiously for the ice-cream wallah's cart;

For the age gone-by and the world long-lost...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Love Poem II - Hinging Hope, Hesitant Heart

As you walk across the threshold of my heart

I watch

Plucking the strings of my silent being

Are you a mirage, or a promised meaning?

Or, the undiscovered lines of an unwritten poem






जो मेरे ह्रदय के आँगन को

चीर कर निकलते हो

देखती हूँ तुम्हें

मैं निशब्द

मन के तारों में उलझ कर|

तुम एक मरीचिका हो

या एक वचनबद्ध यथार्थ

या फ़िर उस अनकही कविता की

लघु पंक्तियों का

क्षणिक, किन्तु अंतहीन विस्तार

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

अपने शहर को बदलते देखा है

मैंने अपने शहर को बदलते देखा है

तिराहे की चाय वाली टपरी को
अब कैफे कॉफ़ी डे से डरते देखा है

कराई-लईया की कच्ची दुकानों को
कैंडी शॉप के मर्तबानों में टूटते देखा है

मनिहारिन की चूड़ियों के रंगों को
फैन्सी बैंगल्स में बिखरते देखा है

आम की बगिया के पेड़ों को
कांच की ऊंचाइयों से कटते देखा है

चौक के चौराहे को
पुरानी गलियों से बिछड़ते देखा है

मकबरे की ढहती दीवारों पर
नए नामों को उभरते देखा है

इस शहर की अदाओं को
उन् शहरों की नुमाइश में पिछड़ते देखा है

एक शहर था
मैंने उस शहर में ख़ुद को, और
ख़ुद में उस शहर को गुज़रते देखा है
अपने शहर को बदलते देखा है...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love Poem I - Anticipation: Of A Girl Getting Engaged

This afternoon brought

A gush of fragrant wind

I sat by the window

Thinking of your ring

I heard it promised

To hold fast, bring hither

The day of the Vermilion

The 'Sutra' and the 'Chaadar'

My love, isn't it

A beautiful thing?

My world fits so well

The circle of your ring!