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Yes its sinking in.. Rank 40, CSE 2015.The UPSC circle- the close and the beginning.

Bagh-e-Bahisht Se Mujhe Hukam-e-Safar Diya Tha Kyun Kaar-e-Jahan Daraz Hai, Ab Mera Intezar Kar                      - Mohammad...

Monday, May 22, 2017

The twins...

This is me. This is you.
And the cities we built here.
This is me. This is you.
And the cities we build here.
"अनचले रास्तों का कोई मोड़ हूँ। 
मुझको छू दे जिधर से तू ,मै कोई और हूँ।"

Photograph- Clicked by a photographer friend

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Will the sky envelope the plateau?

A half written letter craves
- to hear -
that warmth in your chest
curling around the trembling silence
of its half- constructed sentences
tonight once again quivered,
once again stirred.

To its envelope, it once again cribs :
"Hide me from this cold cold world."


"इसके आगे कहो , अब कहाँ जाऊँ मैं ?
गिरती बारिश -सा हूँ, लौट न पाऊँ मैं। "

Picture credits: A photographer friend.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

To Musoorie, with love.

"जाएगा भी तो कहाँ 
तू ये कारवाँ छोड़कर ?
तू ये कहानी लिए ,
बैठा है किस मोड़ पर ?

पलकों पर तेरी 
- जल रही है -
हाथों पर तेरे 
-बदल रही है -"
There is this something about places and people. If you collide with the right ones, the ones made up of the same material as you are, you are changed. I have fallen in love with people. I have fallen in love with places. I have learnt to move on, to absorb new places and people. But this. But You. Yes You, the queen of hills. You have truly been , by far, the most powerful experience of my life. And so, its going to be difficult.

Its not just that you were beautiful physically. Beautiful to look at, beautiful to traverse, beautiful to touch, to feel and absorb. No, not that. But that we could see the souls of one another.

 Like I had known you since ages as I climbed up on your boulders and cobbles. Like you had known me since ages, as I would find refuge in your conifer canopies. 

Like you knew we were going to have those conversations, share that laughter, shed those tears. Like I knew, you were going to make me fall in love with you, and smile that it happened, and weep that it ended. Ended so soon. 

You were beautiful to your core. And though I could never reach the magma you are made up of, I had felt it throb in your eyes and your touch. I had felt it stir you up, just as you had seen me stirred up so many times.

As I came back in a cab down the hills, and when I entered the plains, there was this song reverberating in my head. I kept playing it on a repeat in my earphones with wet eyes and a shivering body in may summer heat. 
"I wonder why, I wonder how, I wonder where they are.. 
the days we had, the songs we sang together.. 
So I say a little prayer. 
Hope my dreams will take me there 
where the skies are blue to see you once again."

Now this is what I have to say to you.

"You were your rocks and boulders and pebbles. You were your cracks and crevices. You were your rivers and waterfalls. You were your curved roads and pathways. You were your clouds and sunshine. You were your breeze, and snow and hail. 
You were your culture and music. You were food and wine and coffee.  You were your jokes and tickles and scream
s. You were your lights at night and sunrises at morning pt. You were the colours of buddhist flags and chants of Tibetan prayers. You were me.

You are me."

ps: Its been a day and a half back home, and I still am not here at my home. I am still there. I am still that. Its like a famous hindi song of the nineties:
ऐ वक़्त रुक जा , थम जा , ठहर जा ,
वापिस ज़रा दौड़ पीछे। 
मै  छोड़ आई  खुद को जहाँ पे ,
वो रह गया  मोड़ पीछे। "

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reading between your words

Your silence leaks
from in between your words
when you try
to lie
that you're laughing and singing loud,

and they love your songs.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In my entireness.

I miss you in the silence of the dusk,
which the noise of this city-town keeps breaking.

I miss you in the noise of this city-town,
which always leaves my heart crying and aching.

I miss you in the aching of my heart,
and it peeks as moisture from my weary eyes.

I miss you in my weary eyes craving for a peaceful sleep,
and making efforts for it tireless.
And there, yes there,
I miss you,in my entireness.

"तेरी शफ़कत थी , या कोई आज़ाब था ?
ये पता न चला, इब्तिदा कब हुई , कब मुक़म्मल हुआ।"

ps- शफ़कत - affection
आज़ाब - deluge, flood
इब्तिदा - beginning
मुक़म्मल - completion, totality

Monday, April 10, 2017

Between language and silence.

" मेरे हर हर्फ़ को, हर मेरे अलफ़ाज़ को,
तोलता सौ ज़ुबानों में , हर मेरे  एहसास को,
थक गया था मैं, जग की ये क्या रीत है।

पर ज़ुबां से तेरी जो मुख़ातिब हुआ,
तो ये जाना किया,
- मेरी ख़ामोशियों में भी संगीत है। -

कोई शफ़कत है ये ?
या अक़ीदत कोई ?
दे बता ऐ ख़ुदा।
ऐ ख़ुदा , दे बता।

मेरे बचपन से मुझमें , 

मुसलसल सा है ...
मेरी माँ का मुझे , हाँ वो हर रोज़ ही
तू सुनाया हुआ, हाँ वो परियों भरा
- रात का गीत है। -

तू मेरा कौन है?
मैं तेरा कौन हूँ ?
कौन अरमान है? 
कौन अनजान है ?
दे बता , ऐ ख़ुदा
ऐ  खुदा, दे बता ...

"To that question,
as to why I loved talking to him
day and night.
 He could talk to me
- mind to mind - 
 - thought to thought - 
- light to light - "

ps-  wrote something in Urdu after a long time.
हर्फ़ in urdu means : letter
अलफ़ाज़ : word
मुख़ातिब : to converse with
शफ़कत: affection
अक़ीदत : devotion
मुसलसल:  continuous, eternal

Saturday, April 8, 2017


"तू मेरे गीत का कौनसा लफ्ज़ है?
मैंने तुझको कभी, हाँ लिखा भी नहीं। "
Not in these places.
I find you in spaces
of me,
that I don't usually traverse.
And see you building hamlets there.

Lets build a boat.
And sail away
to those places
those spaces
of you
you don't usually traverse.
"तू मेरे गीत का, कौनसा लफ्ज़ है ?
मैंने तुझको कभी, हाँ लिखा भी नहीं। 
गुनगुनाता भी है ,मेरे एहसास में ,
कागज़ों पर मेरे, दीखता भी नहीं 
तू मेरा कौन है ?
मै तेरा कौन हूँ ?
कौन अरमान है ?
कौन अनजान है ?
 ए खुदा , दे बता 
दे बता , ए  ख़ुदा.."
ps: To Unworldly.

Friday, March 24, 2017

To mountains, with love.

Far away on those mountains, I see a small chalet, and there, a woman smiling at me with limpid eyes. She looks familiar. Like I can see myself in her, just a little older and wiser. 

Her eyes tell me she has traversed these paths before, and felt their soul. I can sense stories reeking out of her enchanting smile. Stories of love and loss, despondency and hope, of trust, of laughter, of togetherness, written right here, amidst these hills.

Stories deprived of language, but containing within them all that music is. Stories sans alphabet. For all that was to be said, had been spoken amidst these mountains once. And understood. Absorbed. Between dusk and night. Between coffee and wine. Between sound and meaning. Between emotion and embrace.

As these stories reach me, a strange mountain breeze blows from somewhere and my hair and scarf drift me ahead. I feel myself borne onward along a force whose source seems to be in all that is, in the very beginning of things, in the core which sustains us. I am drawn towards the mountains and as the breeze reaches my ears, I can hear what those two brown wise eyes and one enchanting smile on the other side have to say to me -

" Live. All that is here and now, is yours. Nothing more. Nothing less. Live. One day, you'll understand. And you'll smile, with wet limpid eyes. That day, you'll melt in these mountains, become one with them. After all, its for the molten magma inside, that the mountains rise. Live. "

"इन पहाड़ों में लिपटी हुई 
एक सुबह है यहाँ,
और एक शाम है 
मै इसी का तो हूँ,
इसमें खो जाऊंगा। 
इसका हो जाऊंगा। 

क्यों धुआं हैं यहाँ ?,क्या हुआ है यहाँ ?
क्या मेरा आसमाँ, मुझसे नाराज़ है?
क्या ये मेरी ज़मीं, मुझसे नासाज़ है?
मै इसी का तो हूँ,
इसमें खो जाऊंगा। 
इसका हो जाऊंगा। 

आसमाँ जब मिलेगा धरा से,
कुछ बारिशों में कहीं,
हाँ इसी का तो हूँ ,
मै बरस जाऊँगा  
तुझमें बस जाऊँगा। 

तुझमें सो जाऊँगा 
तेरा हो जाऊँगा। "

PS: wrote prose after a long time. Got reminded of something I wrote years back... Those two brown twinkling eyes.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This silence needs a healing.

This silence rushes like water
- spills and spreads -
through all the paths, 
it carefully treads..
This silence meanders.
Boulders and cobbles and pebbles and clay
whirl through its dreams and fears.

This silence is a river,
Whom its own debris keeps peeling.
This silence needs 
- a healing -

This silence combusts like a flame,
burning red and orange and yellow and white.
This silence flickers.
It is shivering in its own light.

This silence is an ignited gas
trapped between
- concealing and revealing -
This silence needs
- a healing -

This silence is an aching bird,
who's wings are melting away.
Will the sky hold it?
The bird still breathes, it is still feeling.
This silence needs
- a healing -

Monday, March 13, 2017

The colliding elements.

"क्या तुम इन पानियों में घुल गए हो ?
या मैं सागर-सा तुम पर गिरने लगा हूँ ? "

Have you dissolved 
in me 
- as blue -
oh sky!
Or have I begun, 
to fall 
- on you -
releasing myself 
from all 

Photograph: Clicked near Lakshadweep, India.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Because I had been searching.

"मैंने ढूंढा है, हाँ तुझको ; सारे जग में , सबमें , मुझमें 
पल-पल , दिन- दिन , हफ़्तों-हफ़्तों , सालों- सालों 
...................... सदियाँ -सदियाँ।  
 कोई खोया-सा बच्चा जैसे; हो ढूंढ रहा इस सागर में 
तत्पर-तत्पर , बेचैन- बेचैन ,बिस्मिल-बिस्मिल, बेकल- बेकल 
 ......................अपनी परियाँ।  "

Photograph: taken at Bangaram island, Lakshadweep, India
बिस्मिल - wounded
बेकल - distraught
तत्पर- ready, ripe

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Winning or losing.

It was never about you winning or you losing. It was all about making you better.
And then, did you actually want it so easy?
It was not about victory taking away all your darkness. It never can.
It was all about making you the light.
It was never about you winning or you losing.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Made of the same material.

Right at that moment I wanted to feel the sea. Know it complete. Touch all that was buried inside his heart. Difficult he was.

But believe me, it was like having found a friend who knows your melancholy, stirs it up, brings you face to face with your own turbulence. As if both of you were made up of the same material.

Its all water you see.
I wanted to cry in his blue arms. But I stood there smiling with wet eyes.
Its all water you see

Thursday, February 9, 2017

How do I answer the questions cities put to me?

शहरों से शहरों के बीच, तू मिल जाता है मुझको
हर एक रास्ते पर
हरा या पीला या सतरंगा कोई पेड़ बनके
मैं गाड़ी की खिड़की से तकतीं हूँ ,
तेरी शाखों पर बंधे धागे
- धागों से वादे -
- वादों से नग़में -
- और नग़मों से गुनगुनाती  -
मिट्टी की ख़ुशबू
बारिश की थिरकन
पत्तों की कंपन
और आसमां का मुझपर आसरा।

फिर भी इन शहरों में लोग अक्सर मुझसे पूछा करतें हैं,
" तू है कहाँ ?"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

How much can you absorb?

I have it all. Buried deep under my skin.
Too much. Too little.
- How much -
do you want ?

I have it all. Bubbling, burbling, murmuring
in the spaces of my mind
Too wide. Too narrow
- How much - 
can you hold?

I have it all. Foaming, spuming, sparkling 
in my soul
Too eternal. Too ephemeral
- How much -
can you absorb?

How much can you absorb?
With yours
Within yours?

Photograph clicked at: Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Friday, February 3, 2017

I will dance tonight.

The sun will rise.
over our own little planets.
The wind will erode you.
The rain will make you tremble.
Seasons and their cycles will dance upon us
- bubbling colours -
- curling syllables -
- spilling music -
that a stranger whispered in those ears 
once upon a time.
"Gather yourself. Assemble."

I will paint tonight.
I will colour my own darkness.
I will dance tonight.
I will fill with music, my own hollow.
I have seen enough lifelessness.
I will believe tonight. Life will follow.

Life will follow.

Photograph clicked at: Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I have fallen in love with places.

So the day drowns. I bubble blue songs at that fading yellow dot. It always reminds me of your smile.
I search that smile as I look at my palm holding these limpid crystals of snow.
Snow melts, I fear. Still I sit with faith on these logs talking to these shivering leaves, like we had known one another long ago.
I have fallen in love with people.
I have fallen in love with places.
Photograph clicked at: Jammu and Kashmir, India.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Have you tasted my poems?

Have you seen
- truth walk -
on these streets
wet with snow ?
I carry some of it in my eyes
wet with syllables
- unuttered -
- unaltered -
Have you seen it there
- reeking -
- peeking -
Beyond all perspective?

This wild
within me 
on my tongue.
Have you tasted my poems?

Photograph: clicked at kupwara, Kashmir, India.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The song which burns in water.

देखा न तूने अभी ,
मुझको बदलता हुआ। 
तू कोई अल्फ़ाज़ है,
आँखों में जलता हुआ। 
"You are a word made of fire.
You made me water.
And water reflects."
Photograph taken at Bhoj lake, Bhopal.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The universe knows to accelerate.

who are bound to meet,
Energy smiles.
The universe knows 
to accelerate.

Photograph: Clicked at Lbsnaa, Musoorie,India