Friday, March 27, 2009

Hope and helplessness

On a light Gudi Padwa evening. I board a relatively empty train from Elphistone station. I sit at the window, letting my mind wander. In 15 mins, my mind jerks to the present as the train jerks towards the Bandra station. I see a very old lady, decently dressed in a saree, with whispy grey hair and immense dark circles, struggling to reach the second class ladies compartment, which is just behind mine (first class compartment). Will she reach? Oh no! I panic. She cant walk fast. And the second class compartment is 10 times more crowded than first class where there are hardly 4 of us. Oh no.. the train jerks and starts moving slowly. I see she has just made it. She gets in. I relax and turn back to the window ready to get lost in thoughts.

'Beta, breast cancer hai. Operation ke liye madad karo', I happen to hear and I turn back in a nanosecond, to find that same old lady clutching her bag with one hand, and begging with other hand to those train passengers. I get shaken out of my reverie. She isn't crying, she isn't a tattered beggar either, nor is she pleading.. she has the look of 'i will do what it takes.' in her eyes. No one responds. No one. I look back outside the window, completely shaken. My Ipod chooses to play the song 'sapno se bhare naina' exactly at the same time. It aggrevates the feeling. The train stops at Khar. I find this time, the lady slowly struggling to get into my compartment. 'Beta, breast cancer hai. Operation ke liye thodi madad karo'. I amnt thinking logical. I dont want to. Worst come worst she must be lying, duping, talking crap. I have no means to verify. All I know is that for a lady of her age, in that condition, where she can barely walk, barely stand straight, even lying is a burden. I give her 10 Rs. But the guilt within me instead of dying, doubles. What must've happened to her? Is she doing  this out of choice? Or is she doing it because she doesnt want to give up? Looks like the latter. The rest in my compartment refuse to even look at her. They are infact staring at me and giving me the 'you-ppl-encourage-them' looks. Next station, she alights and boards the adjacent first class compartment. Only one girl is sitting there. And she doesnt respond. The old lady sighs and sits down with her head resting on the metal bars. At Parla, she alights the train, and stands right in front of the second class ladies section. Perhaps, to board the next train, with as much hope, that someone might not think rationally, and she might finally earn a rupee. Hope and Helplessness.. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Zara nazar uthake dekho,
Baithe hain hum yaheen..
Bekhabar mujhse kyun ho,
Itne bure bhi hum nahee..

Teri aankhon ka jaadu,
Saari duniya pe hai...
Duniya ki iss bheed main,
Sabse peeche hum khade...

It's a crowd full of lonely people out there. How ironical! Everyone feels like they are pushed behind as the crowd grows.. everyone feels angry. I call it the 'boiling water' phenomenon. As the water boils, the molecules closest to the source of heat (or gas) expand and move away and other lesser hot molecules take their place. The cycle continues.. after sometime, each molecule is pushed away and others take the hot centrestage.. and I reckon its the same thing with life and loneliness too. At any given time, there are people on the stage of 'attention'. At that time, they are given all the love, care, support.. everything goes like a fairy tale. And then it happens. They are asked to step aside as others take this stage. And evenutally they are pushed at the peripheri of the crowd.. until they get really frustrated, feel depressed, lonely and bingo! They're back on the attention centre-stage! 

I admit life is not as simple, and nor is loneliness so easily described as my 'boiling water' phenomenon. But what I conclude is, good always follows bad and similarly, attention always follows a dark phase of loneliness. We just need to be patient and alive with hope, looking forward to getting to the centre stage of attention. We need to look around and realize there are many like us, who've been pushed to the peripheri of the circle of attention.. If we identify them, and perhaps share our feelings with them, I am sure we might never find ourselves really lonely and might not even crave to get to the centre of the stage of attention! For all you know, the centre of attention will be the place where YOU are. So go on.. enjoy loneliness too! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

In a prayer

Hi God,

Perhaps, there is nothing such as fair and unfair for you in your court of justice. I feel you measure the time, the time of happiness that you allot to each one of us. And that time may be depends on the blessings we've earned in our lifetime? I dont know. And when our usage of happiness lapses, you swing into action to bring forth the dreaded dark. I am not afraid of the dark. I am too immuned, insensitive, or perhaps numb to feel it the way it has to be felt. And it's my favourite line, which I coined from my observations, 'Once you get used to the dark, you are able to actually see things around you.' May be. But I feel this time you've been cruel. Cruel in every way possible. And yet I know it's a part of life. It's a test of time that we have to pass through. It's a big confusion in my mind. Should I blame you for the mess I am in? Or should I thank you for the position I am in? Should I scream silently and act filmy and bajao the bell at the temple and say, 'aggarr bhagwaan, aapne aaisa vaisaa kuch kiaa, toh dekh lena'.. or should I instead, look at the world around me.. perhaps that little black kid that came asking for the cold drink in my hands at the traffic signal saying 'Didi, kuch peene ke liye dedo' and actually Thank You for the priviledges that you have given me in this life of mine? 

I have no answers to these. I dont even seek them. Seeking answers is not my purpose of life. But its necessary to ask the questions. I know you will answer me in your own way, at the right time. I just pray, you keep listening to me, and my questions as you always do. I just pray, you are with me, as you always are. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Khamoshi- Jagjit Singh

Muh ki baat, sune har koi,
Dil ke dard ko jaane kaun?
Awaazon ke baazaron main,
Khaamoshi pehchane kaun?

Sadiyon sadiyon, wohi tamasha,
Rasta rasta, lambi khoj.
Lekin jab hum mil jaate hain,
Kho jaata hai, jaane kaun?
Awaazon ke baazaron main,
Khaamoshi pehchane kaun?

Woh mera, aainaa hai ya,
Main uski parchaaayi hu..
Mere hi ghar main rehta hai,
Mujhe jaisaa hi jaane kaun?
Awaazon ke baazaron main,
Khaamoshi pehechane kaun?

Kiran kiran, alsaata suraj,
Palak Palak, khulti neend,
Dheeme Dheeme bikhar raha hai,
Zarra zarra jaane kaun?

Muh ki baat sune hai koi,
Dil ke dard ko jaane kaun?
Awaazon ke baazaron main,
Khaamoshi pehechane kaun? 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Untouched priorities.

It happens. At times, when you manage to steal a glance within yourself, you feel disappointed. Disappointed that most often, things that mean the most to you, are left untouched and undone. There are no justifications for it. And sadly, not even the best excuse can make up for it. It means you've sidelined your priorities. 

It's not as if it's a concious effort to sideline priorities. It never has been for me atleast. But I am a person who goes with the flow of time. And perhaps, not ahead of it. Time defines priorities for me. Priorities don't define the time I give to things. If at a particular moment, I feel like doing something, I do it. If I am of help somewhere, I give it. Even if that means a bit of a compromise, I always believe it will strike a balance at a later stage. People often regret moving away from their priorities. It makes them feel uncomfortable and doesn't help others around them either. Priorities in life are important, but not absolute. If we give, for a moment, more importance to stuff we love to do, rather than to stuff we 'have to' do, I feel its an amazing decision one can take. If for a moment, we give more important to things that will make others happy, rather than things that make us happy, I feel its a blessing. 

Having said that, I dont undermine the importance of priorities. Like I said, when you manage to glance within, you are horrified that things that matter the most, remain untouched, uncared for. At what price? I ask myself. In exchange for doing things I loved to do? In exchange for someone's laughter? In exchange for a bit of fun? In exchange for madness? In exchange for giving joy? And then I smile and say, I don't regret doing all that I did. I just regret not taking along my priorities as I walked. But now I've come back to them. I will pick them up and take them along my journey of life. Where what I love to do, and what I have to do, will co-exist under the umbrella of time.  :)