Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Melancholy envelopes me when the sky turns crimson, when the breeze whispers your name and you…you are tucked away somewhere in a galaxy far, far away from me...where neither I can see you nor feel your existence...but I know that you live…within me...

There seems to be no pain now. The numbness has done its part. I feel like the first flake of snow. Descending down from the womb of the skies. Traveling on the back of the wind. Feeling so light that I forget my own existence.


As I look at myself in the mirror, I notice the scars. I notice the dried tears. I notice some marks…red…the marks left by your lips. I notice a crease near the cheeks…the remains of a dimple, which used to reside there not so long ago. I notice the distance in the eyes…the mass of expanse that we traveled together. I notice the forehead and its cavernous web of frowns that I try in vain to hide. I look. I stare. I gaze…but I can’t see any trace of myself there…its you who seems to be breathing the air through my nostrils...


As the leaves fall on the ground that I walk on I notice their need to remain clustered. When the breeze comes hissing to clean up the path, those which had fallen far, come with the joyous fervor of a kid eager to hug his mother after being away for long and resemble a flock of birds soaring away towards a common destination.


And I lived and lived and lived. Not knowing what it is all about. Not knowing the difference between living and existing. And I lived untill I got nauseous…until it got to me. Then I started running…away, away from life. As fast as I could…farther and farther away. Faster, Faster, Faster. But it caught up with me. Followed me wherever I went. I thought it wanted to tell me something…say…I said. But it kept looking at me…I looked into her eyes. She wept. My life wept for me. I smiled. I felt better.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Last Miracle

6 balls 3 runs.

The stage was set. The actors geared up. The audience was palpitating. Inzy, the Pakistani skipper was on strike. Dada had the ball in his hands. Who was to bowl the last over? Who would be the Achiles from the Indian camp? Dada was setting the field. He calls out to somebody at the mid-on boundary. Zaheer? Sehwag? or Karthik? Nobody was surprised when they saw who was running towards the pitch. Sachin Tendulkar himself. Yes. He was the Achiles. Without batting an eyelid he started setting the field. He knew what was expected of him. He had done miracles before. But the audience was losing hope.

He bowls the first ball. Dot.

Second ball. Dot too.

People start getting up from their seats. It’s difficult to sit down.

4 balls 3 runs.

He bowls. Inzy steers it towards point. Comfortable two runs.

3 balls 1 run. Even a kid would do it.

Dejected, people begin to leave.

But Achiles is still standing. Still shouting instructions at the top of his voice.

He bowls. It’s a dot. The audience stops. Turns and gathers again.

2 balls 1 run.

And then it happens. There’s a thunderous applause after the ball is bowled. It’s a dot!

1 Ball 1 run.

It doesn’t get closer than this. They don’t have battles like these anymore. Predictably the Indian camp goes for its trademark huddle. Fielders start closing in. Achiles is leading everybody now towards a probable miracle. There’s a hush in the crowd. Most of them have started praying. Those three minutes seem like three whole ages.

And then…

The warrior moves. Marches forward to bowl, which all hope, would go down in history as the most memorable over ever.

When 1 billion people are praying for the ball to hit the stumps the ball decides to hit the bat and flee away from the fielder. Victory. Viva Pakistan.

A stunned silence envelopes the nation.

The Gods have gone against Achiles. He looks up at the sky. He closes his eyes…and so do 1 billion people who believe in him.

(For the uninitiated Achiles is a character from the movie Troy)

Friday, April 08, 2005

A ride back in time

I am feeling light. Unusually light. Infact I have been humming a song for sometime now. Since I don’t know the lyrics properly I am freely adding my own words into it. Even though my foot hurts (I chipped my nail off the other day. Don’t ask how!) it hasn’t dampened my spirits a bit . “Ek Dadar TT.” I tell the bus conductor. Its afternoon and I have to visit a darned ICICI branch to pay for my past karmas (Read credit card payment which is long overdue) I am approaching an area where I spend some of the most memorable times of my life. This is where my dear old alma mater lies. I see hoards of youngsters flocking outside Chitra theatre hoping to get tickets of, ‘Lucky – No time for love’. There they are - mutually exclusive pockets of highly active hormones waiting to sit and go into a dream world for three hours, which is not much different from what they are living in right now. I was one of them not so long back. My heart yearns to go back in time. Do those things again. Sport a goatee. Wear torn jeans. Share the same cigarette. Fight for the last puff. Ask for a cutting chai with bun maska and sit for hours till the Irani hotel guy switches the fan off as a tacit but overt sign of his disapproval. Take a girl to out to a nearby restaurant only to find that the rest of your gang has suddenly realized that they too are hungry, even though you guys have just hogged lunch together. Start studying only when you get the exam timetable in hand. That too you come to know only on the day of the sitting arrangement.
You rehearse for your play with such fervent passion that will put even Lawrence Olivier to shame. Only to find that you can’t recollect what to say when you see your co artist’s eyes begging you to begin the monologue in the last scene and you feel your knees trembling beneath the trouser that you are wearing.
You fight with your friends not because they don’t listen to you but because they don’t listen to their own heart. You sit in the lawn singing hotel California to Bade achche lagte hain for hours together over and over again till the college watchman kicks you out of the premises. Then you go outside the gate and start singing. Sometimes you set up an orchestra in G8, which is the gent’s loo, and have girls standing outside and listening.
After having studied in the college library you go triple - sit on a khatara bike at three in the night to a friends place to sleep so that you can hope to pass in the paper the next day.You scrape through while your other friend gets a KT (To appear in the next term)and you both decide to celebrate it over a cup of tea. Your first love. Your first taste of success. Your first feeling of belonging. Your first rebellion. Your first heartbreak. Your first fallout. Your first performance. Your first real friendship. Your first peg. Your first smoke. Your first kiss. Your first make out. Your all firsts started here…
“Chalo Dadar TT…” the conductor called out. I come out of my reverie. I look around. Some kids from my college are sitting next to me discussing the accounts paper. I look out my stop has come. I get up. “Maine piecemeal main silly mistake kar diya yaar!” The kid next to me tells his friend as he makes way for me to go. I get down. I am feeling lighter. Unusually lighter but this time I am humming a song whose lyrics I know by heart. Bade achche lagte hain…”

Monday, April 04, 2005


Vijay (Guru Dutt) meets Meena (Mala Sinha) his ex-girlfirend after a gap of many years.They look at each other for sometime.She breaks the silence and asks, "Kaise rahe ab tak?"
Vijay: Zinda..."


An agitated Meena asks Vijay, "Tum phir se kyon aaye meri zindagi main?"
Vijay replies,"Main tumhari zindagi se gaya hi kab tha Meena?Tum hi toh gayi thi meri zindagi se..."


A stone drunk Vijay is climbing up the stairs supported by Gulab (Waheeda Rehman) who holds him so that he doesn't fall.Gulab worried looks at his condition and says,"Haal sambhalne ke baad chale jaana."
Vijay smiles to himself and replies, "Ab toh chale jaane ke baad hi haal sambhlega..."

All this aided by the haunting harmonica played Panchamda himself in the background.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Shahryar. The name might not mean anything to most of us. For those few others who are roughly aware of his existence know him no more than the lyricist of Umrao Jaan. He has been one of my favourite shayars for some time now. I thought the moment had come for writing an ode to him.

My introduction to Shahryar was the song “Seene main jalan aakhon main toofan sa kyon hai…”After I heard the song I got so touched by those lines that like a mad man I tried to find out who the hell was the lyricist of the song. Especially the last stanza of the song completely captivated me…
kyaa koi nayi baat nazar aatii hai ham mein
aaiinaa hamen dekh ke hairaan saa kyon hai

In this post I will share with you some of his best works.

ajeeb saanehaa mujh par guzar gayaa yaaro
main apne saaye se kal raat dar gayaa yaaro
har ek naqsh tamannaa kaa ho gayaa dhundhalaa
har ek zakm mere dil kaa bhar gayaa yaaro
bhatak rahii thii jo kashtii vo Gaqr-e-aab huii
chadhaa hua tha jo dariya utar gayaa yaaro
vo kaun thaa vo kahaan kaa tha kya hua tha use
sunaa hai aaj koi shaks mar gayaa yaaro

While the pathos of a broken man is evident in the above verses the next verse philosophies the fact of life.

kabhii kisii ko mukammal jahaan nahin miltaa
kahiin zameen to kahin aasmaan nahin miltaa

jise bhii dekhiye vo apne aap mein gum hai
zubaan milii hai magar ham_zubaan nahiin miltaa

bujhaa sakaa hai bhalaa kaun waqt ke shole
ye aisii aag hai jis mein dhuaan nahin miltaa

tere jahaan mein aisaa nahin ki pyaar na ho
jahaan ummiid ho is kii vahaan nahin miltaa

Then he uses words like…

aise hijr ke mausam ab kab aate hain
tere alavaa yaad hamen sab aate hain

jaagatii aankhon se bhii dekho duniyaa ko
Khvaabon kaa kyaa hai vo har shab aate hain

kaagaz kii kashtii mein dariyaa paar kiyaa
dekho ham ko kyaa kyaa kartab aate hain

The following sher was used in Umrao Jaan..

kis-kis tarah se mujh ko na rusvaa kiyaa gayaa
Gairo.n kaa naam mere lahuu se likhaa gayaa

kyon aaj us kaa zikr mujhe Khush na kar sakaa
kyo.n aaj us kaa naam meraa dil dukhaa gayaa

is haadase ko sun ke karegaa yaqiin koii
suraj ko ek jhonkaa havaa kaa bujhaa gayaa

He didn’t have the proficiency of a Faiz or the burning anger of a Sahir neither was his work acclaimed to the hilt but he gave us some of his simple unpretentious thoughts that don’t fail to touch a cord. No matter who you are.

And lastly couplets of his immortal song from Umrao Jaan…

justajoo jis kii thii us ko to na paya hamne
is bahane se magar dekh lii duniya ham ne

kab milii thii kahaan bichhadii thii hamen yaad nahiin
zindagii tujh ko to bas Khvaab mein dekhaa ham ne...