23 July 2017

3 Poems

Three short poems -

इंतिजार
पूछते हो की कब से कर रहा हूँ इंतिजार,
क्यों लेते हो ऐसी परीक्षा बारम्बार ?
अकले - अकले तुमहारे बिन,
निकल गए न जाने कितने दिन;
अब तो मुझ पर करो दया,
नहीं संभलती मुझसे तुम्हारी माया!

***

ईर्षा
कर दो मुझे इस ईर्षा से बरी,
नहीं कर सकता मैं तुम्हारी बराबरी;
नहीं करनी तुम्हारी हर कर्म की नकल,
नहीं करना तुम्हारा चिंतन हर पल;
नहीं करनी अपने हर प्रयास पर शंका,
स्वयं कि सुनने दो, चाहे मिले न तिनका;
नहीं चाहिए तुम्हारी मंजूरी,
 नहीं हैं तुम्हारी राय जरूरी;
भय करता हूँ की स्वयं को खो दूँगा,
फिर भी तुम जैसा कभी न बन पाऊँगा;
बान्ध कर ईर्षा का पाश,
मैंने कर दिया अपने जीवन का सर्वनाश।

***

मुस्कुराहट
कहते हो की मुस्कुराहट कि प्रशंसा नहीं करता,
क्या करूँ कोई शब्द पूरा नहीं पडता;
मंजूर हैं मुझे चुप रहना,
बस तुम ऐसे मुस्कुराते रहना।

17 June 2017

Archana / अर्चना

A dear friend shared this poem by Shri Rabindranath Tagore ji. It inspired me to write the following:

Swirling and twirling in the gentle breeze,
The centre of attraction of all bees;
Hanging from the अमलतास*,
Oh, these flowers wondrous!

Should I pluck them for my offering?
Or will that invite sin and suffering?
The sight is perfect and pure delight,
Disturbing it does not feel right.

But beauty has never lasted forever,
Sooner or later, all ties sever;
So too, it will be released,
Better to take now, before the dust('s) siege.

Does it want to touch the feet of God?
Or be attached to the birth cord?
I don't know the answers to these,
My ramblings continue, please read!

I sowed hundreds of seeds,
Yet, only a few took the lead;
Sun, manure and water I gave to all,
Then, why did only a few grow tall?

By God's grace, the seed germinates,
By God's grace, it doesn't terminate;
By God's grace, the flower shines,
And so to serve God, they're all in line!

There's nothing that is not His,
He doesn't need anything, He is bliss;
He accepts a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water**,
Like a mother from her toddler***.

What matters is devotion,
And not donation;
My धर्म, my study and my prayer,
Are to understand myself sans these layers.

I am back to the start,
Should I pluck or simply depart?
I am still unsure and so will give it a miss,
But, I will recite His name - to me, that is the simplest route to bliss!

*Laburnum; Do read The Laburnum Top by Ted Hughes. You may find traces of it in this poem.
**Bhagwad Gita Chapter 9, Verse 26
***Taken from the commentary on the aforesaid verse by Swami Maheshanand Giri ji Maharaj

अमलतास

15 June 2017

जीवन

My cousin sister passed away a few days ago. She was in her early thirties. Her death has left me unsettled and shocked. She died in a car accident. It could have been anyone. It could have been me. Something like this can happen to anyone, anytime. There wasn't disease. There wasn't illness. There was nothing anyone could do to prevent it. In a matter of seconds, everything came to an end. You imagine life in a particular way and then something happens out of the blue and then that alignment gets completely distorted. My perception of life got altered significantly.

The incident had a sobering effect on me, albeit temporarily. The rigours of everyday life make it too easy to not think and reflect. Her death made me realise that the feeling that I am alive, in itself, should be a source of happiness. I should be happy and grateful for every breath that I am able to take. I should be happy and grateful for every second that I am alive. Everything else is a top-up, sort of like a bonus.

It is true that I believe in the concept of a soul and that it is the soul that is permanent and blissful. I also believe that objects are not a source of happiness. If they were, then they would always give happiness and would give happiness to everyone. That is certainly not the case. Therefore, by implication, the body cannot be a source of happiness. However, (currently) I do not have enough conviction in the first premise i.e.: I am a soul (which is bliss) and not the body. Given this limitation, for me, the body is important as most of the time I identify with the body.

And thus, for me, the gift of the human body is immense. The human body is filled with a vast set of equipments and they enable us to do so many things. I can't type this article without the assistance of my fingers, my brain, my eyes and perhaps some other parts of the body I am not even aware of. The fact that the body remains with us for one additional second is, in itself, a blessing. A dear friend of mine once told me that the human body is the most spectacular piece of machinery. I couldn't agree more. Being able to use it for one more second, oh what a fortune!

I realised that most of the time I ignore this magnificent blessing. I am trying to consciously focus on it now. When I am a little low or when things don't go my way, I try to focus on the experience of being alive and that this experience, in itself, is something to be happy about. Everyday, I come across news and information of lives lost - in accidents, through disease, through crime, in natural calamities and what not.  I realise that at any given point in time I will either live or I will not. The fact that I survived should make me happy. I should not take being alive as a given. 

I hope I am able to cultivate this feeling of gratitude.

आंधी मे दीपक की तरह,
बारिश की बूंद की तरह,
भुकंप मे कांच के घर की तरह,
तूफान मे झोपडी की तरह,
तेज लेहर पर तेरती हुई पंखुडी की तरह,
पत्तझड की पत्ती की तरह,
 है  यह जीवन।

Benares

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/67/Early_morning_view_of_Varanasi_city_from_opposite_bank.jpg