Sunday, May 24, 2020

वादा:A Promise

इक कली का वादा
है मुझको - 
I have a promise
From a bud -
मिलूँगी तुमसे
जब भी ढूँढोगे
I shall meet you
Each time you yearn for me
किसी न किसी रूप में
पा लोगे मुझको
अभी अलक समाये हैं
हरी पत्तियों की बाहों में
In one form or another
You will find me
Even though at present
I'm tightly curled in the arms
Of the leaves that bind me
कल निहारो तो पंखुड़ियाँ नज़र
आ सकती हैं शायद 
मिलो परसों भी मुझे अगर
प्रेम से सहला पाओगे
Tomorrow perhaps you may see
Another delicate petal
Maybe you can caress it
If you visit the next day as well
खिल उठूँगी मैं
चूम लूँगी उन किरणों को
प्रेमालिंगन में बाँध लूँगी मैं
उन चंद मधुर क्षणों को
In my blossoming
I will kiss those rays
Those few sweet moments
In loving embrace
हो सकता है सुगंध मेरी
तुम्हें खींच लाए  फिर
चाहो तो बटोर लेना मुझे
बना लेना मुझे होली का अबीर
It is possible my fragrance
Might draw you closer
If you wish you may gather
Use me in Holi's colorful abeer
या समा लेना मेरी महक इत्र की पनाहों में
बसा सकते हो अज़ीज़ किताब के पन्नों  में
भेंट चढ़ा सकते हो गुलदान या किसी माला में
अर्पण कर सकते हो मुझे पूजार्चना की थाली में
Or distill me into sweet perfumes
Tuck me away in the folds of a book that's dear
Present me in a bouquet with a few other blooms
Or offer me on a platter to that all knowing Seer
चाहो तो
होने देना मेरी मुलाकात
और कई यार-दोस्तों से भी
चख सको फिर शायद मुझे
शहद के लज़ीज़ स्वाद में कभी
या फल के आनन्द में ही
If you like
Allow me to greet
Other beloveds in shared destiny
Perhaps you may then meet
Me in the taste of some honey
Perchance fruit as a sweet treat
हो सकता है
ये सब कुछ न हो
बस इसी पल का
हमारा ये साथ हो
It is possible though
None of this may come to pass
This present moment
We may never surpass
किसी रूप में मिल पाऊँ
या पाँच तत्वों में विलीन हो जाऊँ
Whether I greet you again in form
Or merge within the five elements
पर वादा है प्रियतम 
हमेशा मिलूँगी तुमसे
जब भी मुझे ढूँढोगे
I promise you my dearest
We shall meet
Anytime you yearn for me
May 24, 2020
July 4, 2020

मिलन : Union

Sunset at Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

पनियाला सा सूरज
फिराक में है कई देर से
कि पानी से जा मिले
बीच में मगर
पहाड़ों की दीवार आ गयी है

A watery sun has been
Looking for a chance
Yearning to meet the water itself
Prevented it is
By a mountainous wall

पूनम का चाँद है दूसरी ओर
तक रहा है घड़ी के कांटे वह भी  
छुप रहा है बादलों के पीछे
कि अभी वक़्त है बाकी
दर्पण से मिलने में

The full moon on the other side also
Stares down the clock
Hides behind the clouds
Counting down moments
Until it can meet the glistening mirror

- May 9, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hiding in the stone

I've heard it said
That figures lie
Hiding in the stone,
For the sculptor to set free

I've often wondered
At this mystery...
How does the sculptor
Know the real story?

I've been fortunate to
Have met many Masters
Adept at their art and
In their own way, unique sculptors

I've felt their glance
Pierce through my soul
Purging everything within
That didn't make me whole

I've experienced
Their words, their music, their art
Set me free, liberate me
To follow my own dear heart

I've let the sands of time
Chisel away
At everything within
That didn't need to stay

I've set upon my path
Seen how my journey
Becomes my destination
When I am present, it's uncanny

I've learned the art
Of looking within
Of trusting life even if
My patience runs thin

I've witnessed how my thoughts
Create my reality
How everything is me
No possibility of duality

I've given up figuring out
That which is limitless
Un-knowable, inexpressible
Unbounded, formless

I've seen how there's no doing
There can be only being
Loving, Living Life
Laughing, Celebrating

That the seer, the sight, the scenery
They're all really one
I am the sculptor, I am the chisel,
I am the stone

- December 18, 2011
(This was first published in the book 'You are Michelangelo and You are David' by Shahana Dattagupta)
Picture Courtesy: Akshardham Temple, Gujarat

Friday, May 8, 2020

एक खोज:The Quest

कुछ समय पहले तक
से लगता था डर
Scarcely understood
My palpable fear
Of loneliness under the hood
अकेलेपन से मन कतराता
तन्हाइयों से दिल घबराता
Isolation would make the mind freak
Loneliness could make my heart break
भर दिया उस समय को
न जाने कितने लम्हों से
भिनभिनाते, मंडराते
शोर मचाते खयालों से
भागते फिरते थे उन दिनों
अनगिनत सवालातों से

I filled this time
With countless meaningless moments
Buzzing, hovering
Noisy, nauseating thoughts
I resorted to running away
Escaping from endless questions at all costs
वो बेहिसाब प्रश्न
जाना चाहते थे गहराइयों में
Explorations too loud
Pointing to something deeper
I seldom ever allowed
साहस बटोर के
डुबकी जब लगाई अकस्मात
छलक पड़े कई रंग
फूट पड़ा उल्लास
Courage showed up
Unexpectedly one day
I dove right in
Colors splashed about
Adorning a joyous, gleeful grin
उन कोरे कागज़ों पर
रंग भरते भरते
हुआ एहसास

Filling up the empty pages
With these myriad colors
I realized my missteps and my errors
होती है हर सुबह
नित नयी शुरुआत!

That each morning can bring
A brand new beginning!
जिज्ञासा सहित परिक्षण
है आनंद की परिभाषा
हर्षित ध्यान हर क्षण
प्रेम की प्रथम भाषा
That curious, joyful examination
Can be an adventurous loving meditation

सवाल अब भी हैं अनगिनत
पर अब ये हिसाब नहीं मांगते
The endless questions still abound
Though they no longer seek an account

आप की गहराइयों की बाहों में
प्रश्नों को हैं समेट लेते
In the arms of the Beloved
An inquiry takes a new birth
डूब जाते हैं अपनी ही शून्यता में जब
खालीपन का अनोखा रस चख लेते हैं जब
शून्यता की पूर्णता में
सा की साधना में
रम से जाते हैं अब

-May 8 2017
When I submerge 
Into this still vastness
Into tasting the nectar of emptiness
In the very fullness of this hollowness
In merely the practice of this 'Sa' note as a meditation
I dissolve in the Self, immersed in the infinite ocean
-May 8 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Slice of life

A half-eaten apple
A bite from a slice of toast
In the ripple
Of a life on this west coast

Tousled sheets on an unmade bed
Pillow indented where lay the head

Laundry-mid stream… clothes hanging out together
Waiting their turn to greet the washer-dryer
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

A laptop tangled amid a collection of wire
Spreadsheets beckoning hither
Phone asleep on the charger

A notebook open, pens and papers
Ready to greet a few new capers

A sketchbook perched this way
Charcoal pencil holding sway
Over a distant memory on display

Baked glass goodies, waiting to be put away
Paintings to be hung, thirsty plants on a tray

Were you to walk through my door
What stories would you share
From this personal slice of life on display?
12 July 2019