February 26, 2012

Untitled: Part 4 (Prologue)

[Previous Part]

*Trrringgggg* *Trrringgggg* *Trringgggg*

My mobile alarm startled me. I desperately ran my hands all over the bed to somehow get to the phone. Luckily I found it soon enough, and put it on snooze. It's a universal truth that the sleeping period during the 5-10 minutes of snooze time is the sweetest. I kept tussling with the wailing alarm but after the 6th snooze went off, I finally gave up.

[1 minute later]
With eyes half closed I looked at the watch. It was already over 8.30 am. I had to meet Pankaj, Saif and Parag around 10. Anymore time on bed and I was surely gonna get late. Sundays are the worst days to get up early. At first I thought of just leaving everything and go back to sleep, only to realize I was the one who made today's plan!

[15 minutes later]
Still not fully awake, I brushed my teeth, with Eminem's 'Won't Back Down' playing on the PMP. Brushing teeth is the easiest activity I do in the morning. Bathing is the hardest for me. I started looking for excuses to delay the dreaded activity. I folded the bedsheet, took out clothes to wear from Almirah, did the breakfast, thought of one random 'Good Morning' message to send as a group text. As the message start reaching all over India one by one, I polished  my boots, fully aware that I was going to wear chappals. But after running out of all the activities (and all songs of Recovery) I finally gathered all the courage and went to bath...

 [10 minutes later]
"Bathing is the best activity one can do in the morning, why do I get so afraid of bathing, then?" As I watched my cleaned but stubbled face umpteenth time in the mirror, I pondered over this age old question. Convinced I would never be able to solve this mystery, I got ready quickly and left the room, but not before checking myself in mirror one last time.

[5 minutes later]
As I walked the criss crossed paths, the cool breeze over the still wet hair felt good, the warm comforting sunshine engulfed me and everything around. The shiny flashy buildings, the gardens, the roads, the pavements, the construction workers working with zen like spirit, the beggar who didn't care to take a holiday even on Sunday, everything and everyone looked so bright, and in a weird sense cheerful. This was one of the most glorious mornings I was living, for a long time.

[6 minutes later]
As I reached the bus stop, I quickly glanced at the watch. It was already 9.44 am. Of course, I was going to get late, but they can't be my friends if they don't know I will *always* be late. The bus stand was fairly empty, probably because it was a Sunday. A group of 3-4 youth who looked like college students was chattering just in front of me, probably going for a movie or something. As I sat there reading all the 'Good Morning' replies I got, I noticed a girl sitting at the other end of the bench. I felt something was troubling her... Definitely.

February 24, 2012

If we could walk away with our memories...

The Lonely Bench 

How could you leave me alone.
How could you do that to me?
I know you wanted to move ahead in your life,
But wasn't I meant to be a big part of it?

How do you think will I survive,
For you have become the air I breath, the food I eat,
Sans you life will feel less,
more or less, it will be lifeless.

Deep down I knew the day would come,
But the urgency of it, I didn't know.
How life changes in a matter of seconds,
I don't have a better proof to show.

You knew I won't be able to stop you from going,
You knew I won't be able to change your mind,
You used my selflessness, my love, my longing,
How selfish are you, my friend.

I know it will be lies alright,
If you say I'll be back for you,
But can you still say that just once,
I just want something to cling on to.

Sometimes, I feel how good the life would be,
If we could walk away with our memories...


February 19, 2012

Untitled: Part 3

Reaching the front end of the bus was nothing short of an adventure in itself. If anyone ever wanted to research on how much flexible a human body can be, then they should try travelling in one of these Indian buses. But I have had plenty of such experiences travelling in Delhi buses, that I managed to do the impossible. After nudging the elbows, knees and feet of about 2 dozen men and women I somehow reached my 'destination' (destiny?). 

On any other day, I would have whined about how overcrowded Indian buses are or how overcrowded India itself is, or moaned about how easy it is for women to travel in buses with seats always reserved for them. More so in this city where I found that seats are reserved for women not on one but both sides of the bus! But not today. Today my mind was busy with something more useful!

I positioned myself in such a way so as to get a full glance of my... err... reason-to-be-in-the-bus. I had to push the 'uncle' on my right, a little, so as to occupy the premium view. He had this displeased look on his face, but today was not the day to care about normal people. 

And there she was! Still anxious, still silent, still beautiful... A warm smile spread all over my face. I really didn't have words to describe how good it felt seeing her. I was also a little worried she may recognize me and get suspicious. But her continued nervous expression reassured me that she was too busy in her thoughts to notice her silent admirer of last 37 minutes.

Her big round chunky eyes were looking out of the window, hair flowing back, black dupatta was sitting pretty on the right side of half sleeved black kurti and chhudidaars, a reddish orange thread on the left wrist, a kangan and watch on the right one, deep brown colored handbag over the lap, a phone in the right hand, a little black bindi on the forehead and a gold nose ring completed the look.

I really wanted to take a picture of my... , from my phone cam. But didn't have the courage to take one in front of everyone, and didn't have the skills to do it discreetly. Damn it!

So, I tried to memorize all the features of her round little face: the lips, the chin, the cheeks, the earlobes, the eyebrows, the eyelashes. I couldn't help but notice that beside a little eyeliner, she wasn't wearing any makeup. Probably, she also agreed with me that any artificial make-up harms the natural scenery. Ahh.. If only other girls agreed with us.

Suddenly, I realized that the phone in my pocket had been vibrating for sometime now. As I reached to take up the call, I knew who would be calling me at this time...

[to be continued]

February 18, 2012

तुझे तराशने में उसको बहुत वक्त लगा होगा...

काजल के घेरे में महफूज़ दो आँखें,
ठिठुरती सर्दी में सुकून देती वो साँसे,

झुककर उठतीं, उठकर झुकतीं पलकें,
उँगलियों से पूछतीं, घर का पता भूल बैठी लटें,

नर्म होटों पर पनाह लिए कुछ अलफ़ाज़,
कानों में मिसरी बन घुलती एक आवाज़,

चेहरे पर रुक रुक कर आती एक मासूम मुस्कान,
गालों पर पड़ते गड्ढे, झूमती बालियों से सजे कान,

केशों में फँसी ओस की बूंदे, 
तेरी बाहों पर झूलने को बेचैन नज़र आती हैं,
पाओं में पड़ी पायलें, 
इक इक कदम पर तेरे होने का एहसास कराती हैं,

बेशक तुझे तराशने में उसको बहुत वक्त लगा होगा.
आज तुझसे ज्यादा उस बनाने वाले पर प्यार आता है.

February 17, 2012

Untitled: Part 2

[Previous Part]

"Oh, there she is!!" I exclaimed in my head, being conscious no one should get to know why I was getting so excited in the middle of a packed bus! She was sitting on one of the front seats of the buses while I was hanging at the rear- end. Normally it would have been impossible to locate anyone in this sea of 'cattle class', but I could tell she was "she" from that red butterfly shaped hair clip she was wearing, which I had noticed at the bus stand.
Just as I was patting myself in the head for my excellent detective work, the conductor roared, "Ticket!". I found a middle aged man of medium built with a funny little mustache and that classic blue dress and grey colored bag so characteristic of the Indian conductors, standing in front of me. "Ticket!", he shouted again, clearly frustrated from his job.

I desperately thought of a name of some place where this bus was going only to realize I was new to the city! So, I asked him to tell me where was the bus was going. Surprised at my ignorance, he glared at me for a few seconds. And after that, the precision and speed with which he blabbered the incomprehensible names of the all the places the bus was going within the next few seconds, I couldn't help but compare him with my favorite Rap artists. I couldn't even remember the name of last place he said, so I asked him to give me the ticket for the last stop.

I could see him clinching his fist. The thought of getting kicked out  from the moving bus, sent a shiver down my spine! But thankfully, he quickly tore the ticket and asked for 17 Rs. in lieu of that. I quickly searched for a Rs. 10 note and 7 Rs. coins in my wallet and gave it to him and let the poor man free from his misery. 

As I watched him struggle to reach other passengers, I remembered one lady conductor I ran into the first day I got to travel in the buses of this Deccan city. Her sleekness, professionalism and the courtesy was really unforgettable. Not only did she change my view that only men can be bus conductors, she made me realize that women can do a far better job as a conductor (like in most other areas of life). And surprisingly, passengers themselves behave in a more civilized manner.

Anyway, back on the target! It was of no use standing at the rear end of the bus when the butterfly-clipped hair were towards the first end. I had to somehow reach there but the task was next to impossible. The crowd in between me and her was so much that even with my wiry body frame, I was sure I would suffocate to death, if I tried to move through it. But it was a risk worth taking! As I slowly started moving ahead, I could feel my pulse rate rising...

[to be continued]

February 16, 2012

Untitled: Part 1 (Fiction)

It was a Sunday morning. She had been sitting on the bench at the bus stop for last 10 minutes. She seemed a little stressed, waiting anxiously for the bus. She kept fiddling with the pen in her fingers, clicking it rapidly. In fact, I was a little worried about the pen in her hands. For every bus that came on the stop her eyes would lit up, only to glow down realizing it's not what she was looking for. For a moment I thought of asking what bus she was looking for, only to realize that it won't matter anyway.

I was so glued to watching her anticipating her carriage that I forgot to take my own bus. No, not forgotten to be honest, but pretended to forget! At least 5 buses would have gone by, by that time, but my mind was struggling to rationalize why not to take any of them: "Hey that's a little crowded... Oh, that bus doesn't seem to have proper seats. Hmm... that would take me through the longer route, I will definitely take the next one...". But somewhere I knew the real reason why I was ready to be late for the meeting!

After about 17 minutes, bus with route no. 341 came and stopped at the stand. It was that old modelled state corporation buses, that should have retired at least a decade ago but like the presidents of the sports associations in our country, they just refused to go away. She got up and hastily moved towards it. It was a rude shock for me, for I thought her bus would never come and I would enjoy her nervous waiting forever... But as they say "forever is too long to be true".

So, that was the little one sided meeting I had and from here onwards we were to supposed to go our own separate ways. Except, that I felt a deep anxiety in my heart, and the thought of never seeing that stranger ever again was surprisingly unbearable! Just as I saw that stupid old bus starting to dance its way on the road, I knew it was now or never decision I had to make. I rarely do things impulsively, but this time I found myself running madly behind the bus- which I had no idea, where it was going- shouting "Stoooppp! Myy Busss!".

The bus would have moved at least 50 metres away when I started my sprint, but thank God for that old 'khataara' bus that I hopped into it within next 50 metres. As I struggled to catch my breath while hanging at the gate steps, I realized that other passengers were staring at me, passing me that weird "what a lunatic, was he sleeping when the bus was standing at the stop?" look. 

There was also that troubling thought of not reaching my own destination on time, but I chose to throw those useless thoughts out of window, and searched frantically inside the bus. There was that teenaged couple standing near the gate talking teenaged-nonsense, there was that aunty haggling with the conductor over the petty fair just ahead of me, and also that old man looking out of the window with his glum eyes... but where was she? Did I... Did I hop into the wrong bus?

[To be continued]

February 04, 2012

तुझे जगाने का मन नहीं करता...

सर रक्खा है मेरे कांधे पर, 
जाना था कहीं,
पर तुझे जगाने का मन नहीं करता.

Untitled From Michi003, Creative Commons
सहा नहीं जाता,
इतना सुकूं है तेरे चेहरे पर,
पर इसे हटाने का मन नहीं करता.

तेरे जुल्फें खेलती हैं मेरे गालों से, 
हारना है पसंद,
पर इन्हें हराने का मन नहीं करता.

दुआ है रब से,
ये पल कभी खत्म ना हो,
इस पल से आगे जाने का मन नहीं करता.

अब ऐसा होना तो मुमकिन नहीं,
की हर बार मेरा कंधा तेरा तकिया बन सके,
पर ऐसा ना चाहने का भी मन नहीं करता.

~ रवि