वो गज़ल आपको सुनाता हूँ

जिसको मैं ओढ़ता बिछाता हूँ
वो गज़ल आपको सुनाता हूँ

हर तरफ ऐतराज़ होता है
जब भी मैं रौशनी में आता हूँ

तू किसी रेल से गुजरती है…

( दुष्यंत कुमार को याद करते हुए )

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एक वक़्त ऐसा आता है

ज़िन्दगी में जब

आप ख़ुद को देखते हैं

शीशे में

और ज़ेहन में एक खयाल आता है

मैं यही हूँ और

अब ऐसे ही जीना होगा

उस वक़्त या तो

आप ख़ुद को स्वीकार कर लेते हैं

या खुदकशी कर लेते हैं

या कसम खाते हैं –

शीशे के सामने फिर कभी ना जाने की..

Tennessee Williams के एक लेख से प्रेरित

Who was Ghalib ?

ये मसाइल-ए-तसव्वुफ,ये तेरा बयान गालिब,
तुझे हम वली समझते, जो न बादाख्वार होता…
These matters of spirit and the way you tell about them
We would have considered you a sage, had you not been a drunkard..

( On Ghalib’s birth anniversary)

As I turn another page..

The year 2017 would perhaps be one of the remarkable years of my life although I love saying this for all the years that I have lived so far. I think I should rather put it like this – 2017 will be as remarkable as any other year but may be just a little more. Because the year gone by taught me so many lessons which I always knew but never really acknowledged. It was also a year that put me through a lot of tests and almost anything and everything that could go wrong at a personal or professional level did go south. What amazed me was that की मुझे अब कोई फर्क़ ही नहीं पड़ता। थोड़े समय के लिए दुख होता है या खुश हो जाते हैं पर deep down एक आवाज़ आती है it will be OK you’ve been through worse and even if it doesn’t what the fuck!

My mind is still a bit jumbled up and it will be till I make a few decisions perhaps in the coming year but now I can step out and take a long and hard look to sift between me and what’s happening to me.

I learnt a few things last year :

यहां किसका चेहरा पढ़ा करूं

यहां कौन इतना करीब है

The source of my happiness and my misery is within me and not outside. I realized that in the end it’s you yourself and no one else. And not that everyone wishes bad or doesn’t want to see you happy and fulfilled it’s just that they can’t do much about it. It is your life and these are your circumstances and only you will have to rise up to the challenge. I don’t even bother to share most of the stuff with anyone anymore. I know that they won’t know what I am going through and even if they get a rough idea there is jolly little that they would be able to change.

कोई दोस्त है ना रक़ीब है

तेरा शेहेर कितना अजीब है

The other lesson that I learnt that loyalty is a myth. People can change at the slightest hint of their own self interest being taken care of. I don’t blame anyone it’s just human nature reflecting the materialistic self centered society we live in. Everyone is hard pressed to “succeed” so they have no option but to align with a vector that gives speed and direction to their idea of having achieved or having arrived. In the strife between immediate gain and long term commitment, the former almost always wins.

मैं किसे कहूँ मेरे साथ चल

यहां सब के सर पे सलीब है

I learned that one should always look upto folks who do not look upto you or to put it simply can stand on their own ground. Those who are looking upto you, would almost certainly start looking upto something or someone else as they don’t have that inner voice telling them – you don’t have to bother about others because you have it in you. They are too weak/dependent to be able to stand on their own. It is best not to seek any support at all. You know your strengths – bank upon them and develop new skills if you have to but be self reliant as much as possible.

तुझे देख कर मैं हूँ सोचता

तू हबीब है या रक़ीब है

I learnt that there are only situations. It is my own reaction that makes them good or bad. I won’t say that I didn’t get anxious or angry last year but I realized the importance of being stoic more than ever. It was a test of my years of practice that while things did affect me superficially deep down I was somewhat amused. One more very important thing – no one gives a damn about the other. We are so self obsessed that we won’t notice if someone died unless it was necessary or it affected us in some manner. I just kept doing what I love to do posts on Facebook, write my blog, sing on SoundCloud and of course get drunk whenever it was possible.

वो जो इश्क़ था वो जुनून था

ये जो हिज्र है ये नसीब है

And lastly, I learnt that the only way to be happy is to go with the flow. Acceptance is a small quite room. It’s not only a great virtue, it is also the fountainhead of tremendous courage to keep going on. You can never really plan anything. What you can do is pedal in a general direction where you think your destination might be but be open to new tracks if the landscape changes. Always know that there is no fixed destination. As you keep moving new opportunities will show up, new vistas will emerge, the weather may or may not be agreeable but it’s all fine just enjoy the journey. If it gets tough don’t give up and give it a good fight. And if things do work out in your favour don’t waste time in thinking and planning too much, enjoy the good days while they last. It’s a cycle every few months there are ups and downs and every few years there are major changes some good some not so good. But as long as the general trend is upwards, life should be worth living and welcoming each new year with hope and happiness.

कई सवाल हैं

याद हैं अब भी अपने ख्वाब तुम्हे

मुझसे मिलकर उदास भी हो क्या ?

बस मुझे यूँ ही एक ख्याल आया

सोचती हो तो सोचती हो क्या ?

अब मेरी कोई जिंदगी ही नहीं

अब भी तुम मेरी जिंदगी हो क्या ?

मेरे सब तंज बेअसर ही रहे

तुम बहोत दूर जा चुकी हो क्या ?

क्या कहा इश्क़ जावेदनी* है

आखिरी बार मिल रही हो क्या ?

*always and forever