हम लोग

इश्क़ में ला-जवाब हैं हम लोग,

माहताब आफ़्ताब हैं हम लोग

गरचे अहल-ए-शराब हैं हम लोग,

ये न समझो ख़राब हैं हम लोग ।

जब मिली आँख होश खो बैठे,

कितने हाज़िर-जवाब हैं हम लोग ।

जानता भी है उस को तू वाइज़,

जिस के मस्त-ओ-ख़राब हैं हम लोग

~ ज़िगर

And sometimes

Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too..

~ Pablo Neruda

The Crystal Ship

Before you slip into unconsciousness
I’d like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss

The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain
The time you ran was too insane
We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

Oh tell me where your freedom lies
The streets are fields that never die
Deliver me from reasons why
You’d rather cry, I’d rather fly

The crystal ship is being filled
A thousand girls, a thousand thrills
A million ways to spend your time
When we get back, I’ll drop a line

Incidentally I have used this song in one of my stories.

अकेले बैठ कर

जब दिन-दोपहर में शराब पी थी
तब हमजोलियों से ठिठोलियाँ करते
सोचा था :
कितने ख़तरनाक होते होंगे वे लोग
जो रात में अकेले बैठ कर पीते होंगे?

आज चाँदनी रात में
पहाड़ी काठघर में अकेला बैठा
ठिठुरी उँगलियों में ओस-नम प्याला घुमाते हुए
सोचता हूँ :
इस प्याले में चाँद की छाया है
चीड़ों की सिहरन
झर चुके फूलों की अनभूली महक
बीते बसन्तों की चिड़ियों की चहक है;
इस को-और इस के साथ अपनी (अब जैसी भी है)
किस्मत को सराहिए :
और कोई हमप्याला भला
अपने को क्यों चाहिए?

~ अज्ञेय

Desert Rain

I decided to name the post ‘Desert Rain’ after the band Indian Ocean’s album as it is inspired by a documentary on their life and times. I heard about the band some 16-17 years ago. On a visit to Planet M I had accidentally picked up Kandisa which was probably their second studio album and just fell in love with the sound. I am sure sure I have heard Ma Rewa some 100 times and I often quote Des mera Rangrez ye babu ghat ghat yahaan ghatata Jadu as it so aptly captures the spirit of this magical land we are born and live in.

Yesterday I got totally infatuated by Tu kisi rail si Guzarti hai from Masaan and after desperately begging and failing to convince my daughter to play the guitar along with me I thought let me at least learn the lyrics and the song as best as I can. The next day being Sunday I would certainly get to barter with her either for a movie on Netflix or access to Instagram( both of which can be accessed by her only through my phone) and then I will be ready. I don’t know why but both my kids hate my singing 😉

So while looking at the various covers I chanced upon this one 2 hour long documentary on the band. I got so hooked that I kept watching it in bits and pieces till I finished it some ten minutes ago. Apart from the music what the film captures is the whole struggle of the band members – the spirit of creating something new, the belief in what they are doing, the rejections they faced, the tenacity to keep going on even when things were not really looking up. What also hit me was the fact that Ashmit, Asheem, Ram and Amit were not only from normal middle class backgrounds, a few of them got married during the early years and even had kids!

The question that I asked myself was what was stopping me to take up my passion full time ? But the moment I asked myself this question two more questions came up : Is writing my passion or let me say something I can keep doing day in and day out without bothering about anything else or is it something else ? I like reading and spending time with myself, thinking, knowing more about the world I have been thrown in and sometimes when my thoughts swell they spill out either in the form of a story or a poem. But does it really qualify for me to call myself a writer? There are days sometimes weeks when I don’t write anything. To appreciate good thought and good literature is one thing but to devote your life to just writing and nothing else is another.

At this point I wanted to delve deeper and explore the situation and circumstances though which Indian Ocean members went through. I also thought about some other creative people, entrepreneurs, scholars and scientists. What was it that kept them going without acceptance by people around them facing hard times and challenges that an unconventional unstructured life brings in. I realized and this time strictly by way of comparison that more than anyone else they believed that they had something of extra ordinary value to offer. It’s only a matter of time that others will also know what the universe has bestowed upon them. That single belief kept them going on. In my case I feel I am myself not very sure. Actually, I do so many things which are average I am never able to put a finger on any one of it to tell myself that no one can do this as good as I can. And since my job makes the stakes too high in favour of a comfortable life, I am unable to make up my mind. At least not just yet.

New Year is round the corner and as 2018 beckons I have resolved to sort out all issues in my personal, professional and creative life.

I will be 47 years old this February – साला अब मरने से पहले time ही कितना रह गया है!!

One last thing whatever life brings me I will do it without any ambition or sense of high achievement. I will do it just for the joy of doing it, no hurry at all. I have all the time in the world. I have all the time in “my” world. Twenty years of slogging has at least given me that one comfort – to do thing my own way, pace them out, to allow for months if not years to pass before anything substantial happens 😉 और हाँ मुझे अब किसी को कुछ proove नहीं करना है। खुद को भी नहीं …


शाम की शराब
और सुबह की चाय
ये मेरे स्थायी व्यसन हैं
बाकी सब तो वासनाएं हैं