A dream which draws inspiration from many

Dear readers,

This is a poem which I wrote after I could not make it into the Indian armed forces. The selection process in India for selecting the officers is called SSB, a 5 day testing which checks individual’s ability to think and act in all possible scenarios. To join the defence has been my dream ever since I was a teen, and when I was termed unfit by the assessors, I was heartbroken. I wanted to find peace, with myself. So, I did one thing which I always did, I wrote my feelings, my experiences in a short poem. I hope with this my Indian friends and Hindi readers can get a glimpse of my emotions.

मेहनत करके आखिर कार चला ही गया में उस द्वार,
आशीर्वाद थे मां बाप के और सपने थे बचपन के,
कुछ यू खड़ा था मैं उस द्वार,
हर सांस बस तेरा ही नाम ले रही थी,
मेरी हर नजर बस वो वर्दी का ही ख्वाब देख रही थी।

फिर जब अंदर गया तो देखा कि,
इतनी भीड़ में भी न जाने खुद को क्यों अलग सा देखा मैने,
क्या सिर्फ मैं ही था जो चला था उस ख्वाब को बुन ने?

आखिर समय बड़ा मैं अंदर पहुंचा,
नाम मेरा लेकर एक कड़क सी आवाज में मुझे अंदर बुलाया,
अब तो ख्वाब मेरा बस सच्चा लगने लगा,
वह फेस वन में जाना अब अपने में एक जीत सा लगने लगा।

फिर एक साथ हुए, दोस्त बने, कमरे मिले,
बताया गया अगले 5 दिन यही साथी होंगे साथ हमारे,
हां अलग तो बहुत था यह एहसास,
फिर लगा इन सभी को भी ले चलते हैं अपने साथ।
फिर हर दिन शुरू होता सुबह 5:30 की घंटी से,
कभी कोई सोया रहता तो कभी कोई 4: 00 बजे उठकर पढ़ रहा होता,
फिर वोही 7:00 बजे हमारा लाइन अप होना,
साहब को हमारे वोही येस सर! येस सर! कहना,
कुछ यू रहा अगले 4 दिन,
हर एहसास, हर पल बस ये याद दिलाता रहा की,
हम भी जायेंगे कभी उस जगह जहां आज वो खड़े है।

उन्ही लम्हों में कुछ पल ऐसे भी थे जब,
में एक बच्चे की तरह उन दीवारों पे लिखी बातों को पढ़ा करता था,
ऐसा लगा मानो कहानी सी चल रही थी एक,
और मैं उस फिल्म का एक मुख्य हिस्सा था।

तो आखिर पांच दिन बीते, बोर्ड कांफ्रेंस का टाइम आया,
साथियों की तरफ देखा तो सब उस कागज़ के टुकड़े की ओर देख रहे थे,
मानलो वो कोई सोने की चिड़िया हो,
फिर एक एक करके नाम आया,
“अब आएगा मेरा, अब आएगा मेरा”,
यूं सोचते सोचते वो कागज़ खत्म हो गया,
बुरा तो लगा, पर खुश हुए देख कर,
किसी ने तो वो मुकाम हासिल किया।
पर हम भी पक्के फौजी थे,
हमने भी खुद को कहा,
“चिंता मत करो जनाब,
अभी ख्वाब और लंबा चलेगा!”।

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Only if I knew

Night after night passes thinking what wrong had I done that we are so far away.
What had I done that you don’t even remember me these days.
I know that you don’t even call my name,
the universe tells me this everytime I call your name.

I still see you everyday,
I still remember the way you looked into my eyes when we parted ways.
I still remember the last call I had with you,
the last chat I had with you,
the last look we shared,
the final time we had met.

I still remember every part of that conversation we had,
it’s like a movie playing everyday in my mind,
reminding me that I had destroyed everything beautiful I had.

Girl after girl,
I replaced everyone trying to find you in them.
Little did I know that the universe is having you,
and not the beings of flesh and blood.

I still think of you by my side,
looking at me like you would do.
I still hear your laugh,
when I would tell you a joke and you had to laugh because you know I would want that.

Not a day passes when I don’t remember your name.
I still look at you when I close my eyes.
I didn’t know I was so crazy for you, until you had left.

Season after season change,
year by year change,
sun sets down everyday,
the stars twinkle everyday,
but then why are you still so far away?

Only if I knew that you still want me,
I will come straight to you,
no matter where I am,
no matter how I am,
I will come and I will take you along.
And this time dear,
I will make every wrong right,
I will give you all that I couldn’t.

But only if I knew, that you still want me, like the way you used to…

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Thank you readers for your valuable time. If you think this piece of writing touched your heart, feel free to comment and share your views.

नाराज़गी तुम्हारी

नाराजगी तुम्हारी ना जाने क्यों,
यहां तक महसूस होती है,
वो हवा का बहना, वो रात का चुप रहना,
वो हल्का सा झोका, वो अकेला सा होना,
आखिर क्यों इस चांदनी रात का रूखापन,
तुम्हारी खामोशी का एक छोटा सा टुकड़ा,
मुझे दे जाया करती है।

वो हल्की आवाज़ में बातें तुम्हारी
ना जाने क्यों यहां तक सुनाई दिया करती है,
मीलों दूर होकर भी तुमसे ना जाने क्यों,
वो हवाएं फिर उसी एहसास से महसूस होने लगती है
वो ही चांद, वो ही तारे देख,
ना जाने क्यों हर रात बस,
तुम्हीं को याद किया करती है,
आखिर क्यों नाराजगी तुम्हारी,
यहां तक महसूस हुआ करती है।

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I hope you all are safe, happy and healthy!

Thanks for being a part of my small journey.
Keep smiling, keep writing!🙏💕

Music to my ears

Your voice is still the best music to my ears!

How do you know you’ve lost a gem?

You know about it when you move on with your life thinking that you will never look back, that you will do whatever it takes to look forward and find someone better than her. But reality hits you hard when you realise that her love was the purest, simplest and the most real and wonderful love one could ever experience from someone.

It breaks me to see that I lost you, and more than that to learn that I lost my pieces too because each part of me was put together by you, held by you, glued by your love and warmth of your words and when you left, the magic that bound those pieces vanished and they disappeared into the thin air.

Oh dear darling, why are you so far away. My voice never forgets your name, my heart never forgets the dreams it saw with you. My brain tells me to forget you, but tell me how can I?

Can I find someone exactly like you, if not you?

The one whose love feels warm like a sunny morning on a winter day, one that is a little flawed in nature, one that carries a little wildness in her madness, one that carries a little of everything in her.
Tell me, can I find someone exactly like you?

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किसी सफर का मुसाफिर

अधूरी कहानी के उजड़े पन्नों को,
समेट ने चला है एक मुसाफिर,
उसकी यादों के परे,
एक नया सपना सवारने चला आज एक मुसाफिर

हर मुश्किल से लड़ता,
हर अपने को दूर करता,
हर चेहरे में उसे ढूंढता,
कुछ यूं चलता चला गया वो मुसाफिर।

हर हद को पार कर,
हर तूफान का सामना कर,
हर दिल की पहचान कर,
वो मुसाफिर आखिर किसी दूसरे सफर का हो चला।

पर ये सफर,
सिर्फ उस मुसाफिर का ही नही,
बल्कि उसकी मुस्कान का भी बन चला था।
हां, उसी मुस्कान का,
जिसने हर टूटते पल में,
खुद को बनाए रखा।

अपने में ही एक अनोखा पल था,
वो चेहरा और उसके पीछे का गम,
आज उन्ही कहानी के उजड़े पन्नों को,
ढूंढने चला है एक मुसाफिर।

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एक अधूरी कहानी

लोगों ने बोला,
प्यार करके तो देखो,
तुम बदल जाओगे।
उसने भी कहा की,
तुम मेरे से दूर चले जाओ,
तुम ये सब सह नहीं पाओगे।

पर शायद मैं ही पागल था,
प्यार करना कैसा होता है,
इस एहसास को महसूस करना चाहता था,
खुद से भी ज़्यादा,
किसी और को चाहना,
कैसा लगता है,
ये देखना चाहता था।

था न पता, वो प्यार इतना बदल देगा अब मुझको,
कुछ मुलाकातों के बाद ही,
न जाने कैसे,
पर पागल सा कर देगा मुझको।

पर शायद मैं ही पागल था,
इतना चाह कर भी,
उसे खो दूंगा,
ये ख्याल के बारे में,
कभी सोचता ही न था।

अब तो कुछ ऐसा लगने लगा है,
मानलो सच ही कहा करती थी वो,
मैं शायद ये सब सह ही नहीं पाऊंगा,
उस से दूर जाकर भी,
उसको भुला नहीं पाऊंगा।

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A day out

I don’t usually go out, but when I do I make sure that I make the most out of it. So, this past week on Sunday I went to take an exam. Although it was a bit tiring as I had to wait for almost 9 hours for the exam to finish. But after I was done, I knew my mind wanted a break.

It was so unfortunate that none of my friends were in the city at that time, so I decided to rely on myself to chill a little bit. I opened Google Maps and found that my home was roughly 5 km away. I knew I wouldn’t like the idea but my ideas never really cease to surprise me. And so I decided to walk all the way from exam centre to my home. I went through the market, and saw the young kids moving around the streets racing on their scooters. This is the beauty of Indian streets, the streets are never empty and if you’re lucky you’ll even find those big cars on the narrow streets hurling abuses at the poor rickshaw-valas to clear the way because their car can’t fit into the street and then the real struggle starts. Not for the car driver because he’s relaxing and probably listening to his favorite songs in car but for the people in the street, trying to find the tiny places to place their foot by foot to cross the street.

It’s really intriguing if one has a knack of finding humour in daily lives of an Indian citizen. So, after relying on Google Maps to help me find my way to home, I was taken to a road which had slums on the roadside. It was late in the evening, and I didn’t mind enjoying the scenery. For a country that has roughly 50 Lakh citizens living in extreme poverty, this was quite normal to find such places at roadside. Lucky are those who stay there for more than an year, and that if the local administration didn’t replace their shanties in promise of providing them flats. Poor lads, they trust everyone easily.

So, as I said Indian roads have an art, you just need a different approach to enjoy it. I knew I was going to enjoy it. So, I stopped and after I was done with the market rush and successfully saving myself from the young drivers( who have a track record of hitting atleast an uncle or an aunt daily) I took out my phone and plugged in my favourite songs and I knew that the next part of journey was going to be interesting.

Walking through the streets I was now on the main road to my house with shanties on my left side. I was lucky, the sun was about to set. Families going for dinner parties, old people coming back home from shopping, ladies coming after gossiping with other ladies, children playing their own innovative games, the street vendors packing their stuff and erecting their rickshaw at the road side, because why not? If the rich people can park their cars anywhere in the country, can’t a poor man park his rickshaw at the roadside only for the night and probably because his house does not have a road. I think it is fair, if we think about it.

In one of those shanties, I saw a house, and it looked beautiful, newly painted, I felt like they had been lucky to get an extra pay from their boss so that they can get their house painted. Because it was Diwali, the festival of lights, the family had covered all of their shanty with a LED light strip connected through a kitchen switch. Although for affluent people it was not special, for them it must have been an ordinary house, yet what was beautiful was the fact that out of those roughly 100 shanties it was only that one single house that made the whole area to get noticed by people. It was like telling the affluent class that the poor can also have what they have, it’s just that they need to work a little harder to get it.

Few metres ahead, there was another house whose kitchen was outside the house. A yellow bulb hung from a dilapidated iron sheet, and sitting under it was a small girl reading her school books. She looked at me and smiled, I smiled back. It looked beautiful. She knew that only this could help her family to sit in a house which will have a kitchen inside it.

So that’s how I spent my journey, looking at what most people ignore in their lives. It was a good day, and now that I am in my bed, at 1 in the night, thinking about it makes me want to do more such trips.

Life has more to it when we observe even the smallest of things that we ignore while traveling in our fancy cars, wearing warm clothes and talking with friends with a cup of Starbucks in our hands, calling ourselves unlucky for not having enough.

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Being a man.

When a guy decides to move on,
the society calls him careless,
When he decides to hold on to something after he has lost it,
they call him short-sighted.

When a guy fights for a cause,
they call him a rebel.
But when he decides to observe silence,
they call him coward.

When he helps a girl in need,
they call him a casanova.
When he gets attached to them
they call him a pervert.

When he decides to earn and does an odd job,
they call him poor in judgements.
When he decides not to earn and takes care of the family,
They call him unworthy of being a man.

When he takes on the responsibility of the female head of the family,
They call him feminine.
When he decides to quit,
they say he wasn’t passionate enough.

When he clinges onto something,
they say he ran out of choices.
When he tries to forget,
they make him feel like it was all his fault.
And when he tries to remember,
they say that he was too much under pressure.

Everything he does,
is either twisted to pass a new judgement on him,
or made to represent in a way that it doesn’t reflect it’s reality.
It’s not easy,
it’s never enough to be a man,
it’s never too bold,
it’s never too romantic,
it’s never too manly,
it’s always somewhat less.
But still he carries on,
knowing that someone will understand.

तेरी याद आई मुझे

आज फिर तेरी याद आयी मुझे,
आज एक बार फिर,
ढूंढने निकला मैं अपनी ही तन्हाई में तुझे।
उदास तो बहुत हूँ मैं,
टूटा और अधूरा सा अभी भी हूँ मैं,
लेकिन फरक सिर्फ एक बात का है,
कल तेरे यहां होने से,
खुद को समेटना सीख रहा था मैं,
तो आज तेरे जाने से,
खुद को खोना सीख रहा हूँ फिरसे।
हाँ ठीके, नहीं पसंद मैं तुझे,
नहीं पसंद मेरी बातें तुझे,
नहीं पसंद आया मेरा साथ तुझे,
पर न जाने अभी भी कुछ बाकी सा लगता है इस कहानी में मुझे,
इस कहानी का अंत अभी भी अधूरा सा लगता है मुझे।
सच कहूँ तो बहुत बिखरा हूं मै अंदर से,
और बिखरा-बिखरा सा ही हर पल लगता है अब मुझे,
तेरी याद में आते आंसू भी अब,
हस कर देखा करते हैं मुझे।
कुछ ऐसा ही तेरे बिना मेरा हाल है,
कुछ युही अब तेरा-मेरा फिर मिलना,
किस्मत पर मेरा ये सवाल है।
आज फिर तेरी याद आयी मुझे,
आज एक बार फिर ढूंढने निकला मैं अपनी ही तन्हाई में तुझे।

ये है कुछ तुम्हारे लिए

हां तो यह कुछ लिखा है मैंने तुम्हारे लिए,
किसी उस अनजान के लिए,
किसी अपने खास के लिए,
यह है कुछ तुम्हारे लिए।
बचपन से देखता आ रहा था,
वह हंसता हुआ चेहरा तुम्हारा,
वो मीठी सी मुस्कान तुम्हारी,
मेरे हर मजाक पर वह तुम्हारा जोर से हंसना,
कुछ यूं ही तुम्हें बढ़ते हुए देखा।
जो थी परे वो थी वह चेहरे की असलियत,
वो हसी के पीछे का गम,
और वो आंखो में छुपी नमी।
नादान था मैं भी,
लगता था खुश है ये लड़की,
अपने सिवाए किसी की चिंता नहीं इसे कभी,
हां लगता था, पर ऐसा था नहीं।
फिर कुछ हम बड़े हुए, कुछ तुम बड़े हुए,
जिंदगी का अर्थ कही न कही अब हम दोनो ही समझने लगे थे,
फिर यूं ही तुम और मैं एक दिन मिले,
और तुमने सब बयां कर दिया,
यूं ही हम कुछ फिर दोबारा नज़दीक आए।
वाकई में, बड़ी अजीब है जिंदगी,
उन्ही लम्हों में कभी तो तुमसे इतना दूर हुए,
तो कभी तुम्हारे इतना नजदीक आए।
पर अच्छा लगता है अब ये जान कर,
की कोई है अब अपना,
दूर होकर भी करीब है मेरा,
की अब ये रिश्ता सिर्फ एक दोस्ती नहीं,
बल्कि एक सफर सा है लगता।
यही कुछ लिखा है तुम्हारे लिए,
किसी उस अनजान के लिए,
किसी अपने खास के लिए,
ये है कुछ तुम्हारे लिए।

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