Gubbare


Khushiyan alag alag rangon mein aati hain,

Kal hii ek narangi khushi

mujhe apne gaanv ke santaron ki yaad dila gayi,

Aur Lal, meri maa ki maang mein lage uss rang ki,

Jisko aksar main apne haathon mein lekar khela karta tha.

Aur phir aaj hi ek ladki ne mujhse peele aur neele rang ki khushi khareedi,

Maano usse baarish ke baad khile

Uss aasmaan ke rangon ko dekhne ki jaldi thi.
Do rupayi ki yeh khushi,

Bade chhote golon mein aati hai.

Jebon ki mehmaan hai ye,

Mujhe kuch ameer kar, aur gareeb kar jaati hai.

Gar kisi roz

Kismat meherbaan ho, inn jebon ka maalik bana deti hai

toh shayad main bhi Company Park ke saamne khade

Ek bachche se ye phugge khareed lun,

Aur kya pata,

Shayad mai bhi tab inn phuggon ko gubbare bulane lag jaun.
Mai yeh aksar socha karta hun,

Ki helium se bhare woh phugge

Jo udd gaye, woh asal mein jaate kahan hain?

Jab galti se koi dor mere haathon se chhoot jaati hai,

Toh meri nazrein tab tak uska peecha karti hain,

Jab tak woh baadalon ki parchhai ke peechhe chhup nahi jaate,

Ek sukoon sa milta hai unhee dekhne mein,

Maano zehen ki ek khushi,

ko aazaad kar dia ho.
Tumhe sach bataun,

Toh aksar bina galti ke hii iss dor ko chhod deta hun.

Tumhe sach bataun,

Toh Khushiyan bohot hain mere paas,

Par aksar ye khwaish rehti hai,

Ki kaash inn khushiyon se main khush ho pata.

A brief Metro romance

it’s odd how romances are born each day

in unexpected places

in slightly unbelievable people

involuntarily and yet

in all the senses, so when

i look up from the desolate poem i was writing

in the metro that i took,

incidently, my stations turned out be the superset

in which your station and destination falls,

i notice you sitting there,

in front of the person to my right

in the perfect place for side glances to make sense

i notice you with your messy hair, brown shoes and all

immersed in a book that

i am trying too hard to guess. You are

intriguing to me, like a mystery

in a moment that needed my attention, a saga like

Illiad waiting to be summoned by my voice, like an

incantation of my last love, giving me a  second chance, 

i look at you for far too long before

i realise it, so just as

i am lowering my gaze , your

immensely dark eyes meet mine and

i don’t blink for a long while, my eyes almost

immiscible in the liquid gaurding your eyes and

in that moment,

i wished, this train would reduce the norms of time to become an 

invincible journey, where we were just passengers

iterating scenes and acts of this moment that we created.

I snap myself out of the stare and you follow, yet

i am guilty of stealing glances through the journey that followed,

i guess you did too,

if only one had the guts to talk to the other, rather than

imagining scenarios that are

impossible now,

i swear i could have imagined us together too

introducing my favourite beverage to you on coffee dates,

intoxicated beyond repair by a singular touch,

indifferent to two earphones, a double pinner and one

ipod, playing the perfect song.

interesting, isn’t it? How the mind manages to

imagine a person like it wants him to be, 

in black and white, and yet there you were, not a monochromatic

insinuation, not a mirage, but a guy

indistinct from the crowd, found and then

in an action of getting up,

in a short walk,

in a ting of the opening door,

in a very short glance,

in an obsolete moment, lost again.

I know i will forget you too soon, but for now,

i incessantly search for you in unknown faces, and even

if i give up looking for you one of these days, know that

i illustrated you with all my poetic ability here, although

i want you to know that you brought out my

inability too, when all my attempts seemed futile:

I have heard people say that words spoil moments and feelings sometimes,

I want them to know that feelings spoil words too, As,

i couldn’t finish writing this poem while you were sitting

in front of me,

infact i still feel

it’s incomplete, just like our story.

“Dirty”

A crescent Moon

Against the backdrop of Jahaan’s grimy skin

Under the shade of

His unkempt hair

Will tell you that he is too happy today.

If you are one of the residents

Of the big building

Just across the road from

His makeshift home,

He might even come up to you

With his beaming smile

And tell you that he found a clean Bisleri bottle 

In the sewer drain just beside his home,

The pipe that he sleeps in with his dog Tinku

Is just the right size for Jahaan

Like it was manufactured

Only to fit the world in it.

But Don’t visit him in the morning,

For then he is out

For his job.

And if you visit him in the evening,

His dishevelled face

And mucky clothes will tell you,

That his is the only job in the world

That dresses him up

After it’s done.

But, he takes pride in his job

If you ask him, he will tell you he just got promoted.

He will tell you that he likes

Collecting garbage from door to door

Better than

Selling pens

Or flags on holidays

From car to car,

Signal to signal.

Or better than

His first job

Where he wore dirty clothes too,

But, to beg on Akbar road.

He will tell you that he likes the sound that bells of different houses make

Better than

His hoarse voice saying “Paanch ka ek, Paanch ka ek” until someone opened the window.

And if you are lucky,

He will even show you his collection,

Jahaan’s treasure from the grime,

He’d say.

A red toothbrush, a tennis ball, a coloured pencil, even a CD at times

He knows the name of every object.

Okay, he asked the Chowkidaar!
He will tell you how much he loves

His treasures

And in between , remember to pick up the innuendo:

Sometimes, he loves the dirt too.

The only thing he hates,

Is the stench that comes with it.

That lingers on to his clothes

And body long after he has abandoned the dirt

And makes all his friends run away from him

Except Tinku.

He might ask you to gift him a “Perfiyum”,

As he heard from one of his friends.

So next time, you visit

Do remember to take the housewarming present

And tell him,

That the plastic perfume might make plastic people​ love him for a while,

But the real perfume,

Is within him

That makes him love himself every single day.
And then, when you return

To your painted home

With colossal walls,

And vintage halls,

Insulated from even a speck of dirt,

The dirt that you call filth

And that fills you up with disgust and dread,

Let his voice resound inside your dusty heart

To tell you that his was a home without filters,

But, unlike those who run away from him, calling him ‘Dirty’,

The dirt in his home does not come from within.

SEPARATION

Seems like setting a rose on fire, like

Erasing yourself from already painted canvases , like

Plucking out raw grapes from a ripe grapevine

And their sourness seeping into the blood, like

Raging hot liquor against your throat, like

A needle being dragged against a writing slate, like

Two roads diverged in the woods, and you stood there, knee-deep

In the quicksand as they walked away.

Once again, it’s the same discomfort of

Never getting used to saying ‘Goodbye’.

Timezones

Timezones collide,

When a friend calls

From halfway across the globe.

The force of the collision,

Consumes destitution in the entirety

And it seems like,

All events in life since the last call,

Conflate to create an endless song,

That you sing unstoppably,

To fill the distance created by space and time.
Listening to that voice,

Brings life to the photographs

We took last summer,

In between lazy afternoon drives

Or sleepy morning bike rides.

Since you left,

Picture papers that hang on my wall,

Stopped glowing as bright as the fairy lights around them,

Until today.
It’s been a round around the sun already.

Your voice seems the same and yet, different-

Deepened under the weights that you choose not to mention.

I do the same.

And yet, in pauses between the tresses of our conversation,

We learn about the aesthetics of a thing called friendship.

And in that moment,

Our unshared heartbreaks,

Our untold sorrows,

Our unheard joys,

Do not matter.

Instead, what matters is the collision of timezones,

That makes the ‘distance between us’ take a backseat,

And let’s eager memories drive

The train of consciousness

Into bending timezones,

Meant just for us.

My fear committed suicide

Mum said she will be out in the​ evening 

For groceries today,

So when I come back home,

I should heat my food and eat it.

Pretty normal instructions, eh?

However, what she didn’t say

Was that the neighborhood had a blackout today.

So when I turned the corner of my street,

And started walking towards my house,

I became a kitten hiding away from the bathtub.
A confession, I am  scared of the dark.

To the extent that I might die

If someone jumped out from behind the shadows at me.

And it’s NOT FUNNY. 

Yet , with my shredded courage and jell-o- turned legs, 

I hobble, then run , then rocket towards my house at the​ end of the street.

Turn the key and slam the door behind me.

Only to realise,

The dark is worse inside.

Breathe, I tell myself.

At least, you know your way in here.

Adrenaline kicks in at the exact same moment,

And after what feels like Winter’s end in the Arctic,

The Fight mode activates.

Think, I mutter aloud. Think.

Mum said the torch was in the kitchen! Yes!

So I rush towards my sword in the stone,

Trying to find my way around the shoe rack ,

The cabinet

The closet
Ouch! Damn the stupid door. Who placed it here anyway. I told Dad that this house didn’t need doors. Stupid object!

My heart and head both throbs now , one with fear and the other with pain.

Bingo, great combination.
My fingers finally find the shelf to the right, Just below the slap.

I try to find a metal cylindrical thing ,

And then

I freeze.

There’s something cold and slimy between my fingers.

All the stories of ghosts​ and vampires being cold and godknowswhat rush into my head

And i fall on the ground.

Shouting and flailing.

Just then, 

The lights go on.

My mother stands there, 

Looking at me, horrified.

What do you think you are doing?! I look towards the shelf again. 

Relief and humour. Bingo, another great combination!

So I almost die,

This time, Not from the fear

But from choking on laughter.
Apparently,

It was just my evening meal

A goddamned cheese lassagna.
So, that’s how my fear of darkness committed suicide.

/Fin/

Those Red Eyes

As I neared the sober and simple town of Fairbanks, Alaska, I realized that the bustle of the city life had disappeared into a mild , blue weathered landscape. The first thought that came to my mind when I entered the countryside of the town was that I would get some really good pictures for my new assignment  In this beautiful hilly town. But, little did I know that my destiny had planned something very different from my perceptions of this trip and that it would stir my heart from its core.

I reached my hotel-The Hard Night Inn-and wondered what did the name actually refer to.”Oh Forget it! Just the work of my weird imaginations.”, said I to myself as I made my way towards the reception.

My budget for this project was limited and so I chose a humble dwelling just suiting my purpose. Though It wasn’t the best hotel in town, but still Hard Night Inn was a cozy , welcoming place that made you feel you still lived in a vintage era.

“Good Morning, may I help you sir?”, said a chirpy voice from behind the reception desk.

“yes please, miss…Casey.”, said I as I read her name on the name batch on her bright red uniform. I continued “My name is Jason Connor, and I m a photographer. I suppose we’ve already made arrangements…”

“Ah yes, please come with me, sir. I’ll take you to your room.” said Casey, as she le me through the corridor onto the first floor.

“Room no. 146, here it is. The finest of our suites.”

“Thank you. Would You please send someone to assist me through my needs?”

“Oh sure. Enjoy your stay with us.”, said she and then whistled past the corridor .

After a while, there was a knock on my door. I opened it to find a strange little girl standing on my doorstep.

“Sir I m Emma.”, she said.

“Oh yeah, I called for you. But aren’t you too young. Anyway, just tell me…..”

The next hour was spent in inquiring about the landscapes of the town. Little did I notice that the girl was looking at me with her twinkling eyes,as if she wanted to tell me something, but I was too busy in noting down her replies. At the end, when she was about to leave, she turned to me and just said, “Sir, we were waiting for you.” And as she ran away, I think I noticed tear in her eyes.

The next day, while leaving to go to the places told by Emma, I heard a faint sound of a piano being played in the room 148, just two rooms away from my suite. I was really curious, and so I decided to look from the keyhole of the door. With one eye closed, I peeped inside and what I saw left me awestruck. I saw a beautiful woman in a white gown( a wedding gown it was, perhaps.)playing  a grand piano. Her fingers lingered on the keys with a queer ease and she played such a soothing tone that it made me forget everything around me. I realized that I had already spent almost half an hour observing her, and so I was forced to leave for my work. But, her thoughts kept floating to my mind the whole day.

The next day also, I was accompanied by the music on my way through the corridor and I saw her again, the same woman. This continued for over a week and the sound of the music grew louder and louder day by day, and my curiosity finally reached its limit.

One day, while having our dinner together ,I asked the hotel manager(by now who was my good friend), “Sir , can I please know, whom does the room148 belong to?”

My question seemed to have surprised the manager as he stared at me with wide eyes. Then, he managed to answer “ Sir , it had once belonged to a beautiful princess, about a 100 years ago. But, her husband died on the day of her wedding, she and her maid -who was a little girl herself and was the only one close to the princess -had committed suicide on the same day in the same room. This princess was very beautiful and also, there was a special thing about her. This princess had dark red eyes, almost like the color of blood. So you see, that room has been closed ever since. No one goes inside and it is currently occupied by no one.” He paused and then said, “Why do you ask this sir? Is there…is there any problem?”

My mouth searched for words but could find none. I sat there bewildered, dreading the events that will take place now. How could all this be true after all?

“Sir, what happened?”, the manager asked again.

“Nothing…nothing at all.”I said coming back to my senses, and then very hastily returned to my room.

The whole night I kept thinking about that beautiful girl and the thought that she was a ghost scared me to hell. I couldn’t sleep that night as the fact that she might be there, two doors down my room waiting to haunt me forever, made a shiver run down my spine.

The next day was my last day at the hotel and as I locked my room for the last time, this hotel gave me yet another surprise. But this time, it wasn’t the presence of the music in the corridor, rather its absence that grabbed my attention. With all the strength I could muster, I decided to look through the door for one last time. I went near the keyhole and looked on the inside. All I could see were the teary red eyes staring at me, and then her intoxicating voice hit my ears like wine to my soul . She said “You finally came.”