Friday, February 26, 2010

चाँद और कवि


रात यों कहने लगा मुझसे गगन का चाँद,
आदमी भी क्या अनोखा जीव है!
उलझनें अपनी बनाकर आप ही फँसता,
और फिर बेचैन हो जगता, न सोता है।

जानता है तू कि मैं कितना पुराना हूँ?
मैं चुका हूँ देख मनु को जनमते-मरते
और लाखों बार तुझ-से पागलों को भी
चाँदनी में बैठ स्वप्नों पर सही करते।

आदमी का स्वप्न? है वह बुलबुला जल का
आज उठता और कल फिर फूट जाता है
किन्तु, फिर भी धन्य ठहरा आदमी ही तो?
बुलबुलों से खेलता, कविता बनाता है।

मैं न बोला किन्तु मेरी रागिनी बोली,
देख फिर से चाँद! मुझको जानता है तू?
स्वप्न मेरे बुलबुले हैं? है यही पानी?
आग को भी क्या नहीं पहचानता है तू?

मैं न वह जो स्वप्न पर केवल सही करते,
आग में उसको गला लोहा बनाता हूँ,
और उस पर नींव रखता हूँ नये घर की,
इस तरह दीवार फौलादी उठाता हूँ।

मनु नहीं, मनु-पुत्र है यह सामने, जिसकी
कल्पना की जीभ में भी धार होती है,
वाण ही होते विचारों के नहीं केवल,
स्वप्न के भी हाथ में तलवार होती है।

स्वर्ग के सम्राट को जाकर खबर कर दे-
रोज ही आकाश चढ़ते जा रहे हैं वे,
रोकिये, जैसे बने इन स्वप्नवालों को,
स्वर्ग की ही ओर बढ़ते आ रहे हैं वे।

- Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yaar tha Gulzar tha

Wilderness by Neha

yaar tha gulzar tha bad-e-saba thi main na tha
layaq-e-pa-bos-e-jan kya hina thi main na tha

hath
kyon bandhe mere chala agar chori hua
ye
sarapa shokhi-e-rang-e-hina thi main na tha

main
ne pucha kya hua wo ap ka husn-o-shabab
hans k bola wo sanam shan-e-Khuda thi main na tha

main
sisakta rah gaya aur mar gaye farahad-o-qais
kya unhin donon k hisse mein qaza thi main na tha

Bahadur Shah Zafar

Urdu Word Key : Gulzar= garden, saba = morning, qaza = judgement

Monday, February 22, 2010

Upside Down


This way by Neha

What if up became down
and down became up?

What if we lived in
a world with no names?

What if I said north
and south are the same?

What if breaking news
was making news ?

What if sun told
moon it was very cool?

What if a search engine
could find the golden pen I lost?

What if deadline
was a lifeline?

What if green
was feeling blue?

What if Schroedinger's cat
had nine radioactive lives?

What if silence
beautifully sang?

What if people came
with a handy user guide?

What if today was the
first day of your life?

What if absolute married
the relative?

What if square peg
met the round hole?

What if babies
knew it all?

What if life
was without a calendar?

What if a joke wanted
to be serious?

What if Karma and
Chaos were friends?

What if questions
were the answers?

What if this end
is that beginning?

What if up became down
and down became up?

- Neha

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Waiting for the barbarians

Waiting by Bondseye
( See image information below )

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?


The barbarians are due here today.


Why isn't anything happening in the senate?

Why do the senators sit there without legislating?


Because the barbarians are coming today.

What laws can the senators make now?

Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating.


Why did our emperor get up so early,

and why is he sitting at the city's main gate

on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?


Because the barbarians are coming today

and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.

He has even prepared a scroll to give him,

replete with titles, with imposing names.


Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today

wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?

Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,

and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?

Why are they carrying elegant canes

beautifully worked in silver and gold?


Because the barbarians are coming today

and things like that dazzle the barbarians.


Why don't our distinguished orators come forward as usual

to make their speeches, say what they have to say?


Because the barbarians are coming today

and they're bored by rhetoric and public speaking.


Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?

(How serious people's faces have become.)

Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,

everyone going home so lost in thought?


Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.

And some who have just returned from the border say

there are no barbarians any longer.


And now, what's going to happen to us without barbarians?

They were, those people, a kind of solution



- Constantine Cavafy


Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bondomania/482223348/sizes/m/

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Room With A View

Vincent'e Bedroom in Arles

My room has a view.
Romance with red sky at morning,
floating clouds, ballerina birds
and endless trails of toy planes .
Dance with highway cars, windy
road sign and dazzling street lights

My room has a view.
It says keep me light
Ignore the mail that brings
sales coupons by the dozens
And make me the beautiful kite
that soars higher and higher

My room has a view.
Wide open windows, mail vans, pizza pickups,
that sidewalk cafe by the kitchen wall
It says let me greet the endless sky
And when you paint my walls
let them be reflection of you and I

My room has a view.
It says come be with me now
And when memory lane sends an invitation
to forgotten bus stops and yellow brick lanes
Come back to my shades and feel the
layers of my pastel dreamy drapes

My room has a view.
A place beyond anticipation or projection
Spring blossoms, fall splashes and
winter's naked branches
My daisies, daydreaming and dancing
It celebrates all coming, going, growing

My room has a view.
It says I love when you wake up
to write these words
Between decisions, indecisions and reflections
Between these words and our worlds
I whisper how I love these views.

-Neha

Friday, February 19, 2010

Genius

Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh

Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.

Geniuses are people who dash of weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.

Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.

It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.

Geniuses are very singular.

If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.

If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.

If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can't make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.

If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.

If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.

But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs
of genius.

- Mark Twain

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Walk

" walkers by tricky ™"
( see image information below)

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Image information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sovietuk/2134028404/in/photostream/

Monday, February 15, 2010

The calming thought of all

" Birdwalk by Neha"

That coursing on whate'er men's speculations,
Amid the changing schools, theologies, philosophies,
Amid the bawling presentations new and old,
The round earth's silent vital laws, facts, modes continue.

- Walt Whitman

Credits : "The Calming Thought of All." New York Herald 27 May 1888: 12. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). ( Source: The Walt Whitman Archive , ID per.00124 )

Saturday, February 13, 2010

इस पार, उस पार

Frontier by Neha

1

इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!


यह चाँद उदित होकर नभ में कुछ ताप मिटाता जीवन का, लहरालहरा यह शाखाएँ कुछ शोक भुला देती मन का, कल मुर्झानेवाली कलियाँ हँसकर कहती हैं मगन रहो, बुलबुल तरु की फुनगी पर से संदेश सुनाती यौवन का, तुम देकर मदिरा के प्याले मेरा मन बहला देती हो, उस पार मुझे बहलाने का उपचार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

2

जग में रस की नदियाँ बहती, रसना दो बूंदें पाती है, जीवन की झिलमिलसी झाँकी नयनों के आगे आती है, स्वरतालमयी वीणा बजती, मिलती है बस झंकार मुझे, मेरे सुमनों की गंध कहीं यह वायु उड़ा ले जाती है; ऐसा सुनता, उस पार, प्रिये, ये साधन भी छिन जाएँगे; तब मानव की चेतनता का आधार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

3

प्याला है पर पी पाएँगे, है ज्ञात नहीं इतना हमको, इस पार नियति ने भेजा है, असमर्थबना कितना हमको, कहने वाले, पर कहते है, हम कर्मों में स्वाधीन सदा, करने वालों की परवशता है ज्ञात किसे, जितनी हमको? कह तो सकते हैं, कहकर ही कुछ दिल हलका कर लेते हैं, उस पार अभागे मानव का अधिकार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

4

कुछ भी न किया था जब उसका, उसने पथ में काँटे बोये, वे भार दिए धर कंधों पर, जो रो-रोकर हमने ढोए; महलों के सपनों के भीतर जर्जर खँडहर का सत्य भरा, उर में ऐसी हलचल भर दी, दो रात न हम सुख से सोए; अब तो हम अपने जीवन भर उस क्रूर कठिन को कोस चुके; उस पार नियति का मानव से व्यवहार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

5

संसृति के जीवन में, सुभगे ऐसी भी घड़ियाँ आएँगी, जब दिनकर की तमहर किरणे तम के अन्दर छिप जाएँगी, जब निज प्रियतम का शव, रजनी तम की चादर से ढक देगी, तब रवि-शशि-पोषित यह पृथ्वी कितने दिन खैर मनाएगी! जब इस लंबे-चौड़े जग का अस्तित्व न रहने पाएगा, तब हम दोनो का नन्हा-सा संसार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

6

ऐसा चिर पतझड़ आएगा कोयल न कुहुक फिर पाएगी, बुलबुल न अंधेरे में गागा जीवन की ज्योति जगाएगी, अगणित मृदु-नव पल्लव के स्वर ‘मरमर’ न सुने फिर जाएँगे, अलि-अवली कलि-दल पर गुंजन करने के हेतु न आएगी, जब इतनी रसमय ध्वनियों का अवसान, प्रिये, हो जाएगा, तब शुष्क हमारे कंठों का उद्गार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

7

सुन काल प्रबल का गुरु-गर्जन निर्झरिणी भूलेगी नर्तन, निर्झर भूलेगा निज ‘टलमल’, सरिता अपना ‘कलकल’ गायन, वह गायक-नायक सिन्धु कहीं, चुप हो छिप जाना चाहेगा, मुँह खोल खड़े रह जाएँगे गंधर्व, अप्सरा, किन्नरगण; संगीत सजीव हुआ जिनमें, जब मौन वही हो जाएँगे, तब, प्राण, तुम्हारी तंत्री का जड़ तार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

8

उतरे इन आखों के आगे जो हार चमेली ने पहने, वह छीन रहा, देखो, माली, सुकुमार लताओं के गहने, दो दिन में खींची जाएगी ऊषा की साड़ी सिन्दूरी, पट इन्द्रधनुष का सतरंगा पाएगा कितने दिन रहने; जब मूर्तिमती सत्ताओं की शोभा-सुषमा लुट जाएगी, तब कवि के कल्पित स्वप्नों का श्रृंगार न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

9

दृग देख जहाँ तक पाते हैं, तम का सागर लहराता है, फिर भी उस पार खड़ा कोई हम सब को खींच बुलाता है; मैं आज चला तुम आओगी कल, परसों सब संगीसाथी, दुनिया रोती-धोती रहती, जिसको जाना है, जाता है; मेरा तो होता मन डगडग, तट पर ही के हलकोरों से! जब मैं एकाकी पहुँचूँगा मँझधार, न जाने क्या होगा! इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

- Harivansh Rai Bachchan

We are many

The House of Many Colors by D-Kav
( see image information below)

Of the many men whom I am, whom we are,
I cannot settle on a single one.
They are lost to me under the cover of clothing
They have departed for another city.

When everything seems to be set
to show me off as a man of intelligence,
the fool I keep concealed on my person
takes over my talk and occupies my mouth.

On other occasions, I am dozing in the midst
of people of some distinction,
and when I summon my courageous self,
a coward completely unknown to me
swaddles my poor skeleton
in a thousand tiny reservations.

When a stately home bursts into flames,
instead of the fireman I summon,
an arsonist bursts on the scene,
and he is I. There is nothing I can do.
What must I do to distinguish myself?
How can I put myself together?

All the books I read
lionize dazzling hero figures,
brimming with self-assurance.
I die with envy of them;
and, in films where bullets fly on the wind,
I am left in envy of the cowboys,
left admiring even the horses.

But when I call upon my DASHING BEING,
out comes the same OLD LAZY SELF,
and so I never know just WHO I AM,
nor how many I am, nor WHO WE WILL BE BEING.
I would like to be able to touch a bell
and call up my real self, the truly me,
because if I really need my proper self,
I must not allow myself to disappear.

While I am writing, I am far away;
and when I come back, I have already left.
I should like to see if the same thing happens
to other people as it does to me,
to see if as many people are as I am,
and if they seem the same way to themselves.
When this problem has been thoroughly explored,
I am going to school myself so well in things
that, when I try to explain my problems,
I shall speak, not of self, but of geography.

- Pablo Neruda

Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/d-kav/4182436263/

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Circles

Circle on Earth by docman
( see image information below)

Circles. Of Life
Of beginnings, ends and in betweens

Circles. Of History
Of legends, stories and theories

Circles. Of Worldly
Of breaking news, scandals and make believe

Circles. Of Colors
Of rainbows, white halos and dark knights

Circles. Of Wishes
Of memories, yearnings and yarns

Circles. Of Fire
Of perfect tens, unrequited love and moonlit nights

Circles. Of Wonder
Of merry go rounds, windmills and circuses

Circles. Of Friendships
Of secrets, laughter and shoulders to lean on

Circles. Of Wanderlust
Of destinations, moving wheels and strange ties

Circles. Of Spirit
Of faith, idols and evolution

Circles. Of Mind
Of analysis, permutations and ripples

Circles. Of Full Circles
Of six degrees, circumference and angles

- Neha


Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/docman/4053631/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The Essence of Mind

" I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born."

- Jack Kerouac ( in a letter written to his first wife, Edie in 1957 , thanks to my friend AK for this as also for introducing me to Kerouac's writings which I so love)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

There is a way

A Thousand Steps by Neha

The intellect says: "The six directions are limits: there is no way out."
Love says: "There is a way. I have traveled it thousands of times."
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle;
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.

- Rumi

(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi )

Friday, February 05, 2010

Anthropology

Anthropologie by catatronic( see image information below)


Oxford dictionary defines 'Anthropology' as the study of humankind, especially the study of societies and cultures and human origins . The root of anthropology is "Anthrop" meaning "man" in Greek. Today, I passed through the remains of what was once "Anthropologie" of a tad ( not-so!) different kind - a chique retailer of high-end women's clothing and merchandize( designed to appeal to affluent professional women with total family annual income above $200,000 according to wikipedia ). It was heartbreaking to see the barebones warehouse with its tattered walls scraped of last traces of wallpaper and in your face emptiness in place of what was not so long ago a playground of fancy green living paraphernalia ranging from drapes to clothes to shoes to bags to jewellery to the new age green mantra books collection. You would understand the emotions at the sight of this site if you have seen it in all its glory. One online description by a starstruck admirer quite aptly says " Your eye darts right and alights on what seems to be a Tuscan dining porch, artfully packed with chipped dinnerware, rose-colored drinking glasses,whitewashed iron candlesticks, and weathered mismatched chairs. Just beyond, there is a jumble of fresh, bright wares -- hand-embroidered dishcloths, ceramic colanders, an enormous enameled teakettle -- on an old, rough-hewn French kitchen table that evokes a county fair............cast your eye back through the cavernous, high-ceilinged structure, and you get a flash of the Far East. A fringe of rag ribbons hung with glass lanterns marks the entrance to what looks like a stall in a North African souk, laden with embroidered pillows, throw rugs, beaded frames, old fishing baskets, and burnished copper vessels. In scattered vignettes of latticework chaise longues, velvet patchwork pillows, ornate birdcages, leather-bound books, sari fabrics, and teak benches, Morocco blends into Turkey and India mixes with Bali * " ...You get the picture! But that was then. Now remain the remains. Anthropology of Anthropologie . Busy beautiful dazzling stores. Passing eyes. Regular buys. Wide empty spaces. Here today. Gone tomorrow. And such is the anthropology of our lives. Recession. Succession. Progression. A marriage of Keats and Frost… A thing of beauty is a joy forever and nothing gold can stay!


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

- John Keats


Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


- Robert Frost


Notes:


[ * ] See : http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/65/sophisticated.html


Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/catatronic/2549372711/sizes/m/