Angst

It’s been long since I’ve written anything. Because I do not feel like writing anymore. The wonder child that I thought I was sounds like a distant memory now, echoing in the valley where nothing grows anymore. As I sit at the top of this lonely summit called life, the infertile valley seems as arid as my eyes. Where did my tears go? It feels like I burned out, and so did my tears. How I thought I was destined for greater things, but all I was able to manifest with these weary hands was a sense of constant loss, all the time.

With all the strength I’ve left I cling to the life like a desperate sailor holding onto the floating shipwreck, aware of the fact that he may drown if not now, then maybe later, but he would surely drown if no other ship passes by him. Shipwreck after shipwreck, nauseating in the giant ocean of miseries, I still continue, hoping to reach somewhere, not knowing where to go anymore though. And in the nights when I sleep, everything from my past comes crawling back to my head. Dreams in my eyes keep getting replaced by the nightmares of the ghosts of the ones I lost.

Was I ever a wonder child to even begin with? I’ve spent 30 years of my life with no achievement whatsoever. I’ve lost my home three times by now. Even if I want to go back home, I don’t know where to go to. That sense of family, I smothered it with my own hands again and again. And every time I picked my clothes and walked away. Which sane person does that? The person I loved to death just only yesterday wishes me to death today. I could be a perfect example of how an angel turns into a demon over time. Still, I can’t loathe myself. Can I ever find the peace that I am so desperately looking for?

I saw Simba in my dream last night, I saw you too. I think of Mani all the time I am not doing something. The very last concern in my head when I go to sleep is you, and my mornings begin with your name. And all the moments in between when I am alone with myself, I am not really alone, I play the past three years on repeat, dealing with a broken heart that we could never go back to being the same even if I wanted to. Watching you battle with your deteriorating health makes me wish if I could swap places with you, because I know I am stronger than you. I’ve got a bigger instinct for survival.

You tell me that I destroy people, I break them and then I leave. I am no innocent lamb. Maybe I am not, I am just another human who is bound to his nature. You wish for my heart to be broken, unaware that it’s not whole to even begin with. How could a person with a whole heart leave so much wreckage behind? And I still go on, in the search of yet another home. And I wonder now, should I stop? Taking my life away would be easier than going on with it. But the coward in me wouldn’t let me euthanize my soul. I wish I could hold you in my arms without you hating me anymore. I wish I could get Simba back. I wish I could be there with Mani. But these are all the wishes which may never come true, not after the way we look at each other. I am no wonder child. I am not a wanderer, I am lost.

धरती दोबारा

एक थी नन्ही सी गुड़िया

हाथों में उसके किस्मत की पुड़िया

खोलकर हथेली को उसने जांचा

कितना बड़ा था सपनों का सांचा

मिट्टी में पिरोकर उसने आसमां को बांधा

पानी में छप- छप कर बादलों को साधा

बड़े- बड़े पेड़, गुप- चुप सी मछली,

ध्यान से पलट पलट के दुनिया भी बदली

आंखों से नजर उठाके रोशनी में धोया,

फिर रोशनी में उसने थोड़े पौधों को बोया,

नन्हें- नन्हें हाथों से ज़िन्दगी को सींचा

लहलहाता प्यार से उसका बगीचा।

खेलते और भागते ज़िन्दगी के पुतले,

एक- दूसरे से जुड़े, कुछ उथले- पुथले।

थरथराते कांपते पर्वतों की चोटी,

उसके हाथों से उठी रात काली सोती।

नन्हें पांवों से सब था उसने नापा,

एक उंगली पे उसने सांसों को मांपा,

जब थक गई खेलकर, वो जी भरके सोयी,

और जब जगी वो नींद से, गुस्से में रोई।

जोड़े थे जो धागे हंसते आंसुओं से अपने,

टूटे से दिखे वो बुझे हुए से सपने

पानी था वो मैला, वो गुदगुदी सी धरती

उथली- पुथली सी पड़ी थी और शोर करती

उसकी सांसों से उसने पुतले जो भरे थे,

टूटे, गुमसुम से उसकी हथेलियों पे पड़े थे,

आसमान था ना नीला, वो भूरा, मैला, काला

जिसने ये किया था उसको नाजों से था पाला।

कोसा उसने खुदको, और सोचा खूब उसने,

कितने हैं मिटाने, और रखने हैं कितने?

छठी बार उसने सब कुछ बिगाड़ा,

फिर बनाने बैठी धरती वो दोबारा।

दिल आवारा

चल उड़ चलते हैं फिर कहीं

बादलों से पार, सितारों के पास

जहां कोई ग़म, कोई फिकर है नहीं

जहां बेशकिमती है हमारी हर सांस

जहां हम पिरोते थे लम्हों में सपने,

जहां जो हमारे पास थे बस वही थे अपने

कल रात वो देखा था मैंने भी नींद में

कुल्फी का ठेला, चाट के चटकारे,

बुखार में खाने को मिलता था जो मन में था हमारे

जहां साथ में खेलते थे मिलके दोस्त सारे,

फिर चलते हैं, उस मन के मन में,

जहां ना थी उलझन, ना ही जवानी के सदमें

जहां ना थी जिम्मेदारी, ना दुनियादारी,

ना थी पैसों की मनमर्जी,

ऊपरवाले से पहले मम्मी सुनती थीं अर्जी,

रोने पर आंसूं दूसरों के हाथ पोंछत देते थे,

और सुलाने को आती थी निंदिया रानी,

नाचने का मौसम लाता था बरसात का पानी,

क्यूं नहीं चलते फिरसे उस और हम,

पंख हैं खुदके, फिर क्यूं बेड़ियों में हैं ये कदम,

क्यूं नहीं खोज लेते हैं वो पहला सा प्यार,

जो नानी देती थीं मुफ्त में, और बेशुमार,

क्या ऐसा खो दिया इस जवानी के सफर में,

जो दिखता है हर पल इस सूने से घर में

जिसके लिए हम सपने थे पिरोते,

अब वहीं हैं हम रातों को रोते,

खिलखिलाना भूलकर सिसकियां हैं लेते,

बदले में एक छुअन के पैसे हैं देते,

कब महंगा हो गया जीना इतना हमारा?

की बेचना पड़ता है अब हमको अपना जहां सारा।

क्यूं ना उड़ें हम उन पंखों से,

जिनको बचपन के सपनों से था संवारा,

क्यूं मन के बस में हैं हम,

जब दिल नीयत से ही है आवारा।

The Grace

Silence rolls down the hills

Of these mountains tall

It seems like a season of spring

Instead, it’s the season of fall.

No one hears the howling wind

No one can see the snow

But the cold comes uninvited

On branches that hang low.

The mountain top is blankest of all

No clouds, no sun, no moon, no stars

What a sight to see and grieve

It casts no shadow no matter the hours.

It simply could be a void in space

Or it is something else I feel

The mountain top is as real as I

The silence reaches the town tonight.

Back to the place of faith

Can I touch my heart, my Lord?

It doesn’t feel like it is there

And I’m so afraid that it’s missing

I’m too afraid to touch it even

I wonder if you’ve been seeing.

There’s a blob of worry in the place

And sweat of anxiety in my bones

My veins have encircled my neck

I wonder if my blood is my death.

Can I touch and feel you, my Lord?

Does it hurt you too?

They tell me we all are parts of you.

I feel alone

Though I have decades of love

Would it make things a little easier

If I believed that you’re somewhere above?

My senses are shamble

And my feet crawl in gamble

And it’s not easy when I sit quietly

It’s hard when I don’t move

But when I move I feel lost

Even though I know I am home.

Can I touch my heart, my Lord?

Tell me that it’ll be there when I do

That it hasn’t left

That you’ll hide me, for I’m still a part of you!

Nothing

I could hear it,

Deep down in my hollow senses,

There’s a sound,

And it comes from my heart

The sound of cracks

Running down its ridges as it beats.

There’s no happiness, there’s no pain

Just a simple sound,

Like of those dried out petals

Low and mumbling.

And I run in my mind when there’s nowhere left to run

And sink in my blood when there’s nowhere to hide

Words they speak fall on my ears

Only to be overpowered by that low and mumbling sound.

My feet know no destination

My hands know no craft

And my eyes find no sight when all that’s there is vast landscape of

Nothing.

For a moment of comfort that’s taking forever to appear

I wonder if the time too loses its way

I wonder if breaths too go stray.

How do I cross this river when there’s no shore?

And there’s no point in drowning in it when I drown in the flood of my own eyes

Everyday.

I know that there are people who love me

But my own love is slipping away

My skin is shaking, my bones turn into vapour.

All that I can see is the mound of flesh.

My bed is my grave

And my thoughts are my funeral

I’m losing touch with myself

Where am I drifting to?

I hope there’s peace there where I don’t have to carry my body,

It’s too heavy to lift while I’m inside.

I thought they’d lift it and cheer

But they’re going to lift it and cry.

The Peace

There are clouds here,

I’m below them

Are you on one of these?

As I look up, all these shapes

Are you making them,

Are you making the drops and the winds?

Are you striking the lightening in my eyes?

Is it you who cries?

When all you see is sore

Without your mercy, without your mouth,

When it thunders.

Do you see me from above?

When I think of you and sleep,

Is it you who sends cool breeze to slap my ears,

Whenever I sit and weep?

Is that white the shade of your cheek?

Is the pink your tongue, when you speak?

Because it calms me down.

After all the gray beneath you

Do you wave these birds flying by

For they chirp and they tweet

And send the love beneath my feet.

And now I hear this Azaan,

To my childhood, which belongs

And all that’s in my heart is quiet,

Do you hear it too,

When all that is, is at peace?

The Missing Good: Home

Look around, everybody’s trying not to feel alone

Staring at their phones

Do they have a place to call home?

Everybody’s got a place to live

To work, to eat and to sleep

Do we have a place to plant love?

To smell sweet flowers with bees hovering above?

When we left home, the place where we grew up

Did we know it’ll become alien to us?

That we’ll have to always rush

To call someone our own?

How we try not to feel alone.

Is there a place where we all could be?

All the wanderers, through their heart if we could see

Is that a home? A place to laugh and sleep

Where we can wake up forever

To someone to wipe our tears when we weep.

Pushing ourselves to work late

So that we won’t have to think

And with every passing minute

One more smile we all sink.

And when the night comes outside

We hide behind the closed doors

And then we look around

It isn’t a place to call home.

We cover ourselves in comforts

To replace the Missing Good,

But the Missing Good is just Missing Good

It’s not sadness in our hood.

Is our company that boring

That we cringe when we are alone?

Or we need some motivation

To help move our lazy bones.

When we shut the windows with curtains

And binge watch a TV series

Or, perhaps read a book and imagine

That’s the closest to interaction we could be.

It’s not alone, as long as we are distracted

It’s not a home, as much as we have interacted

It’s not our generation to be blamed

We just have anxious hearts

For all the madness in the world

That’s trying to rip it apart.

At the end of the dusk, where night meets the moon

It’s just somebody’s love to crawl into

That’s our home, where we are not judged

Where blowing winds slamming windows don’t bother us;

‘Home is where the heart is,’ they say

And a heart is there where another one is,

Whether, then, it’s grass we lay on

Or the sand, on to sleep at night

A home is where two hearts are locked in the sight

Where nobody ever feels alone

No more staring in their phones

Where they could rest their bones

Hurt and broken by world’s sticks and stones.

A Moon Under Sun

It’s been a year, oh my dear

It’s a happy song

That your breath makes

And your heart takes

Beats from dusk till dawn

It’s truth, I swear, I’ve been queer

Since you came along

I’ve climbed the curves

On you I’ve swerve’

From gasp to every yawn.

I might not have done the things you asked

Might not have learnt your stride

But years are to come and earth’s to walk

I’ll learn while I’m on your side.

But then again, I might have done

The things your heart won’t miss

Won’t say, won’t breathe, won’t murmur or tweet

Won’t even even whisper in bliss;

Things like you’ve done

A Moon Under Sun

A cloud beneath sky

A flower and a fly

Things that have made me high.

So, to one more to come and go, then again

With bricks and gravel and stones

We’ll watch things done, smile like bums

And cry to heal our cluttering bones.

And then when you’ll sleep, or laugh, or weep

I’ll keep a hand on your ear

And tell you lame jokes

So that you can poke

Through my heart another spear. (Don’t!)

Home

We’ll build this home with stones

From the mountains in our bones

Of the love that seeps through our skin

We’ll leave a few cracks to let light in.

Through the days we’ll hang our years

On the walls if we tremble in fear

And the nights we’ll burn our lights

To bring home all the birds on flight.

With every memory on the floor

We’ll sleep on behind the open doors

To welcome our pieces that had gone

To let them in before the last dawn.

We’ll wash it with our last tears

Of the laughter that’ll bring us near

To all that we were when we were kids

And remember all that we ever did.

And our hearts will rest in embrace

In our chests they’ll still race

In the comfort and warmth of these walls

In the winters, in the summers, in the falls.

And one day we’ll close our eyes

Under the roof of the mountains wise

We’ll sleep just for one last time

With all that is yours and mine.