wo..


वो सराब था के हकीकत
मालूम नहीं
मेरा जुनून था या के कोई ख्वाब
मालूम नहीं

सेहरा की तपती रेत पर थे
उसके क़दमों के निशां
और फलक पर आंच थी उसकी
एक खुशबू सी हवा में थी
दिल में एक याद थी उसकी

अश्कों की तरह बह निकली थी रेत
उठ्ठा दर्द का था एक गुबार
पाँव अंगार हुए थे फिर भी
उसके दीदार का था इन्तेज़ार

दश्त दर दश्त सफ़र करके
आ पहुचे थे उस तक
और फिर ओझल हुआ
आखों से तसव्वुर उसका

है उम्मीद के बरसेगा कोई अब्र
लिए उसकी चाहत की भीनी सी फुहार
और कर जायेगा मुझे
उसके इश्क की बारिश से
फिर इक बार सराबोर
और दे जायेगा यकीन
उसके होने का

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Phir Intezar


आज फिर शाख से सुनहरे पत्तों को
ज़मीं पर बरसते देखा
फिर तेरी याद के साये में
एक दिन को गुज़रते देखा
हवाओं की सरसराहट में सुनी फिर
तेरे गीतों की धुन

और फिर शाम के गहराते सायों में
गम की एक बद्ली सी उठी
आज फिर तेरे प्यार की तुषार से
भीगा मेरा मन्

पिघलते आसमा के स्पर्श से
मचल उठ्ठी जब सागर की लहरें
कुछ मेरे दिल में भी बीती हुई
रुपहली रंगीं रातों का तूफान उठा

फ़िज़ाओं में ऐ चाँद
तू क्यूँ है आज इतना गमगीन
सितारों की इस भीड़ में
क्या तू भी है मेरी तरह तनहा
क्यूँ आज तेरी चांदनी में
गम की नमी सी है
आज फिर यूँही नहाकर
तेरे अश्कों के समन्दर में
सोचती हूँ कि होगा क्या ये इन्तेज़ार ख़त्म
या फिर ऐ चाँद तेरी ही तरह
मुझको भी इक तन्हा मुसाफिर बनके
प्यार की राहों में युहीं दिन रात
भटकना होगा

indivine post. please vote

Aao phir kuch pyar ki baat Karen


आओ फिर कुछ प्यार की बात करें
वो प्यार जो कभी
मेरे और तुम्हारे बीच था
उन् बारिश से भीगी हुई
शामों का ज़िक्र करें

या फिर उन् तारों भरी रातों का
उन् सपनो का जो हमने
मिलकर थे बुने
या फिर डूबते सूरज से
रंगीन शामों का

और वो प्रेम की रातों में
जुगनुओं का चमकना याद करें

आओ बात करें उन चाहतों की,
उन् ख्वाहिशों की
उन् सर्द रातों की
जो तुम्हारी तपिश से
गरमा उठ्ठी थी

जब रुई से बर्फ के टुकडों
के साथ पंख लगा
हमारे मन् युहीं दूर
कहीं उड़ जाते थे

आओ बात करें
तुम्हारी उन् नटखट नशीली आँखों की
भीगे हुए सुर्ख हसीं लबों की
या फिर कानों में दबी सि आवाज़ में
तुम्हारी प्यार भरी बातों की

और हजारो दीपकों सी जगमाती
हसरतों की जिनकी रंगत से
तेरे गालो पे आ जाती थी लाली

उन् दहकते जिंसों की
उन् महकती रातों की
जो तेरे आगोश में
गुज़रीं थी कभी

आज उन् बिखरी हुई यादों के
मलबे में से
तुम्हारे कुछ ख्वाब
निकल के आयें हैं
आज फिर मुझको
दो घड़ी
तुम्हारी आगोश में
समाने का लुफ्त मिला है.

Sunday Scribblings


S- sincerely
O- offering apology
R- right from my heart
R- realizing my mistake and truly apologizing to
Y- you, with a promise to try not to commit that mistake again…

The events of the past few days have made me reflect on the much abused word in any language “Sorry”.

How easy it is to shrug all the responsibility and close the chapter by saying this five letter word. Mechanically without feeling anything we keep saying sorry for everything wrong we do and every hurt we cause. Most of the time people say it coz they are sorry they got caught not because they hurt someone’s feelings. It is always to save oneself not to resolve the issue. No one really feels and thinks about the pain caused and the holes drilled it the heart with the action or the words. it is merely a lip service they do to cover up.

Seeking forgiveness and uttering a hollow sorry are two different things. It is hard to burn the ego and seek forgiveness truly from heart never to commit the mistake again. Very few people do it.

Forgiveness does not come easy and many a times people just say sorry to cam the other person not coz they feel guilty of their own action and the hurt caused. Once the bonds of trust have been broken, it is the hardest thing to get back. It comes down to taking responsibility for our actions and realizing that when we have caused grief or hurt to another individual; than we must do our part to gain not only their trust again but their respect.

If a person has closed his senses to the wrongness of his/her act then what is the point of saying “sorry” a word which has no meaning but is used as a sealing agent.

For me apologizing and seeking forgiveness for my action is not hard as I believe that unless you can face yourself without guilt and remorse and if you believe in the bonds of hearts and value the relationships, you are unfit to live as humans.

Relationships may mean any relationship with the other living person even animals, birds. everything that has life. It is a respect to life as such.

Asking for forgiveness from the person whom who you have hurt in some way is not at all a sign of weakness. It may actually get you a lot more love and respect.

But unfortunately, relationships, love, friendship, forgiveness, honesty, sincerity all these words are loosing their worth each passing moment.

I wonder how many people reflect within and have the courage to kill their ego for a greater joy of rising above their current state of hollow living and finding new meanings in life by incorporating the philosophy behind these words rather than just using them for their superficial satisfaction.

Look within, is there someone who has been in some way hurt by you.. seek for forgiveness from heart and make sure you never repeat that action again. once done it is a mistake but done repeatedly it is a deliberate act of causing unforgettable pain.


A NaBloPoMo post

Intezar


 

फीर हुईं अश्क से नम् आँखें मेरी
फीर उठा दर्द आज सीने में
फीर तेरी याद सीने से लगाये
ढूढ़ते रहे हम तुझे शाम के
बेनूर अंधेरों में

तनहा थी मैं जब तक
तुम ना मीलेे थे
फीर तुम मिले , गम मीले ,
और इक कारवां सा बन गया

ओस से भीगी है रात कि अश्कों से
कर रहें हैं हम इन्तेज़ार बरसों से
सी लियें है लब तुने क्या जाने हम
वजह क्या है
इतनी ऊँची हैं दीवारें जो तुमने
बनायीं है हमारे बीच
वर्ना जान लेते थे हम सबब उदासी का
सिर्फ नज़रों से

बढालो फासले , मौन की ओढ़ लो चादर
बंद करदो सारे ज़रिये , सारे रस्ते
जो तुम तक पहुँचते हैं
मगर तुम देखना मेरी जां
तुम जिंतना दूर जाओगे
उनते ही करीब आओगे

ना जी सकोगे तुम ये हमें है पता
कर लो सारे जतन मुझे मालूम है
गर है मेरी मोहब्बत मी दम
एक दिन तुम लौट के ज़रूर आओगे

Peace: The world waits for thee


I stand and watch
the tranquility and the splendor
of peacefulness in the nature
and in the entire universe
I listen closely to the sweet melodies
sung by the silence of the night
calm mornings and serene evenings
every thing from a blade of grass
to the stars that shine above
all live in peaceful coexistence
love and compassion
but somewhere a lonely child
weeps and mourns
afraid, wounded, tucked away
under a tiny shed
and in her lap lies
the blood soaked body of her dad
The war continues
flashes of fire and cries of death
shatter the serenity of the earth
another gunshot resounds
and then complete silence prevails
she trembles with fear
And stares listlessly
at the night sky
somewhere across the world
another child mourns
hungry, devastated, lonesome
the mother watches
as yet another closes his eyes
and transients into eternal sleep
a maelstrom inside her
resounds in the stillness
their heartstrings join
in prayers for peace
a million starlit dreams
of hope and faith
illuminate the dark night of terror
The universe watches
Quiescent
Will the prayers be heard
and peace return
to calm our inner and
heal the world?

-Tikuli
STEP BLOG
The poem got published in the STEP newsletter to read the newsletter download the pdf file
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Varan Bhat : The taste of Maharashtra


Maharashtra’s delectable cuisine is rich in flavor and known for its distinguished presentation. Lentil and rice or “daal chawal” as it called in India, is a staple food all across India. Varan (sweet dal) is a simple comfort food eaten on daily basis in all Maharashtra homes. It is a cooked with yellow split peas, mashed, and spiced with a bit of turmeric and asafetida with a tiny amount of Jaggary.

A traditional varan is called “gor varan” or “sweet varan”

There can be many variations to this basic lentil like moong dal varan, fenugreek seed varan, cumin flavored varan, etc. Traditionally varan is served on a mound of hot steaming rice (Ambemohar or Basmati variety) with a spoon full of ghee (clarified butter) along with lemon and salt on the left side of the thali (plate).

During important functions and weddings it is an important starter for the main course and the rice is pressed into a flower shaped mould and inverted on the plate before varan and ghee is poured on top of it.

Here I present two scrumptious recipes comes from my mother’s kitchen. She is a great cook and we have always loved the two variations of healthy varan that she makes so lovingly.

1. Gor (sweet) Varan

Ingredients:

1-cup pigeon peas lentil

1 tsp. Turmeric

1/2 tsp. Asafoetida

2 cups water

Salt to taste

Lime, sliced

Jaggary size of a small walnut (grated)

1 tsp. Ghee (Clarified butter)

Method:

Clean and wash the lentil several times.

Add 2 cup of water, asafoetida and the turmeric powder and pressure cook until soft. Transfer the cooked lentil into a pot. Blend the cooked lentil until it mixes thoroughly.

Take a pan and pour the lentil in it to boil, add salt and Jaggary. Boil until the ingredients mix and remove from heat.

Serve hot on top of rice with a spoonful of ghee and a slice of lime.

Variation: add a tempering to the lentil. Heat oil; add mustard seeds, when it pops add cumin seeds, chopped onions. Cook until onions become transparent, add spices – cumin powder, coriander powder, as needed, then add chopped tomatoes, and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Add all this to the cooked lentil.

2. Ambat Varan (Sweet and Sour Varan)

“Ambat” means sour. This sweet and sour lentil recipe is a specialty of my mother.

Ingredients:

1-cup Pigeon peas lentil

1 tsp. Turmeric powder

1/3 tsp. Asafoetida

1/4 cup tamarind pulp (thin)

3-4 tbsp sugar or Jaggary

1/2 cup fresh Cilantro leaves chopped

For Tempering:

2 Tbsp Oil

Four cloves of fresh Garlic

1/4 tsp. Asafoetida

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp. Cumin Seeds

1 tsp. Red Chili powder

1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder

1 green chili – seeds removed and cut lengthwise into two parts

5-6 Curry leaves

Method:

Add 1 cup of water, asafoetida and the turmeric powder to nicely washed lentil. Pressure cook until soft and transfer the cooked lentil into a pot. Add 2 cups of water. Blend the cooked lentil until it mixes thoroughly.

Add the tamarind and Jaggary and cilantro leaves and bring it to a rapid boil. Add salt and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. Bring down the heat to medium and keep it boiling.

In another small pan, heat the oil until hot.

Add the garlic cloves and cook until golden brown. Now add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds.

Once the seeds start sputtering, add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves and green chili.

Cook for a few seconds and then temper the boiling lentil with this mixture. Bring it to another rapid boil.

Note: The sourness and sweetness needs to be adjusted, as the tamarind you use will vary in its tanginess.

Garnish with more chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with plain rice with a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) and a squeeze of lime.

I am sure all of you will love the aroma and the flavor of these two very simple yet delicious lentil preparations.

All is Unfair in the Fairness World


My maid asked me to give her some advance and the reason- some boy was coming to see her daughter for marriage. Her look told me there was some problem so I inquired if they were looking for dowry but it turned out that the reason was her dark skin. They wanted a simple, homely, fair and beautiful girl.

Well who says marriages are made in heaven, they are made in melanin cells..
I asked her why she is so concerned about the dark skin. So many Bollywood actresses are dusky and beautiful. She was not convinced and quoted some fairness cream ad saying her daughter may face difficulties later in life as her hubby may go for other fair women and that will kill her.

I reluctantly gave her the money and she happily said that it will bring her five tubes of fairness cream and regular use will make her daughter look beautiful in just a fortnight. I was shocked for I had not imagined the money was for fairness creams.. I gave her good sounding and then wondered how much the fairness ad campaigns are psychologically affecting the young and old. There was no value for the talent and intelligence ..what counted was the fair skin.

The same night I saw a disgusting ad on the TV where in a music video cum ad where a dark skinned girl contemplates suicide when miraculously this fairness product appears out of no where and in an instance she is blanched and fulfills her dream as a famous singer, life becomes fair once more.

I wondered whether the I&B ministry knows about this alarming ad and plans to do something about it. Such a disgusting ad was all I could think.

The four letter F word (Fair) seems to be the leading factor in each and every sphere of life. All girls want to be Nicole Kidman and now even men seem to be following Shahrukh Khan’s fairness campaign dreaming of the rose petal filled bath tub and the beauties around him.

Fooled by the fairness ads people forget the difference between a good complexion and color and the whooping 800 crore market of skin lightning cream industry cashes on the stupidity of the masses. Fairness creams, lotions even soaps .. it is unbelievable to what length the market will go and unfortunately the society laps it up.

It is not just the uneducated who have a fixation for fair skin. A neighbor spent 2k to get a specialized skin lightning treatment in an upmarket saloon only to realize that the cost kept going up and in the process she now had additional dark circles. Buy one get one free. I said.

I love my dusky skin and hate people who are in continuous pursuit of trying to look fair. The classic Indian beauties are all dusky and I think it is the attitude that matters not the color of your skin.

Wonder when this racist attitude will end where the fair skin is the emblem of virtue and desire. A country where there is a hue and cry over every little thing and the I&B industry plans to ban the international fashion channels, does anyone care to put an end to what’s being promoted in the name of advertising.

Disgraceful is the only word that comes to my mind. I think people ought to appreciate the beauty within a person. Skin tone barely scratches the surface of what makes a person beautiful.


Read this on a forum so sharing it here

“People are like coffee. Real connoisseurs drink it straight up dark. They know the rich vibrant flavors and textures of a deep colored brew. Dark roasts like Colombian, French, Viennese, are simply exotic beauties that ensnare the senses. And ah espresso, a shot of real dark espresso will keep you running all day.

On the other hand wussies cannot handle the real thing. They need all that cream and sugar to lighten it up and sweeten the deal. Often to the point that you have to gag on that filthy saccharine laced solution with ugly pasty opulence. What do they know about true taste?

So the conclusion is that those who are obsessed with fairness are wussies. some Indians are wussies. Half the country does not appreciate coffee. Darned followers of tea drinking bootwearers!!!!”

Well what would one say to that ..I being a coffee addict myself.

this is my NaBloPoMo post for today

Teri Yaad Sath hai …


यादों के धुंधले गलियारों में से
तेरी याद के साये ने दस्तक दी फिर
कुछ अधूरे पल
कुछ नगमे जिन्हें सुरों में बंधा था हमने
वो गीत वो लबों पर ठहरे रह गए
कुछ एहसास, चंद घडियां
जो तेरे साथ गुज़रीं थी
कुछ खतों के पन्नों की तरह
आँखों में नमी बनकर बस गयी
मुक्त होगये तुम सभी बन्धनों से
चले गए एक दूसरी ही दुनिया में
पर जाते हुए शायद
मेरी रूह का एक हिस्सा भी ले गए
पथराई आँखों में आंसू भी आने ने घबरा रहे हैं
शायद डरते हैं के कहीं
तुम्हारी तस्वीर भीग ना जाये
दिल की देहलीज़ पर रुके है
दर्द के बादल बरस जाने को,
तुमसे वादा था मिलने का एक दिन
पूरे करने थे वो अधूरे ख्वाब
जो बरसों से मन् की गहरायिओं में दफ़्न थे
पर पूरे चाँद की ये रात एक
अमावस की काली चादर उढा गयी
अब तेरी रूह से उलझी हूई है मेरी जां
और तेरी यादों से मेरे दिल के जुड़े हैं तार
हर वक़्त तू है करीब तेरा एहसास तेरी खुशबू
तेरी सांसों की गर्माहट
जिस्म को छोड़ रूह तेरी आजाद हूई
अब तो कोई बंधन नहीं कोई रिश्तों की डोर नहीं
कोई दीवार नहीं ना डर है अब
ज़माने की रुसवाई का
है तू मेरी जिस्म ओ जां का हिस्सा
मेरी रगों मी बहते लहू का रंग
मेरी तनहाइयों का हमदम
मेरे हर पल का मीत
है मुश्किल अब जुदा करना तुझे मुझसे
शायद आ गया है वक़्त उन अधूरे पलों
की खाली जगहों को भरने का

Remembering DAD and The Gift of Life


DAD AND MOM Just after their wedding

DAD AND MOM Just after their wedding


This is a NaBloPoMo post 4 under the theme Heroes

Today is my father’s third death anniversary and Sitting here alone praying for yet another life which is fighting to beat death I think of what he taught us as children. The biggest gift that my father gave us was the power to discern. To judge the right from wrong.
He always said that life is beautiful gift that has been given to us and we should respect and love it in all it’s forms. That our aim in life should be to blossom from within.

Dad was one of those rare people who left the comforts of a pampered Indian male’s life to fight for gender inequality and the orthodox system of favoring the male child.

He gave up all his rights to ancestral property and material benefits because he thought there were treasures much more valuable than these and led a simple life , never turning his desires into his wants.

All through my childhood and in later stages I wondered why my dad was different. Unlike all fathers why he did not earn and made mom work but slowly I recognized how much he cared about what mom wanted to do. When it became a choice about who will quit the job to bring up the family .. He did.

Mom excelled in her field and dad brought us up with the best education of humanity he could provide. We were a middle class family and the only wealth was his teachings, mom’s unconditional love and total support.

He not only practiced what he preached but also completely trusted the universe and the healing abilities of the human mind and body.

Three years ago when I watched him lying on his hospital bed in Pune, I wondered who was this person I am looking at? The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS, formerly known as “preleukemia”) took life out of him.
Silently waiting for his last journey he his eyes saw more death in the eyes of those around him.

Many a times he would slip into a state of delirium or go back to his childhood or teenage days, recounting stories to me. I felt he transferred a lot of insight and strength into me as we were very close.

He would want me to sit beside him and remember some nazm or sher from Firaq or Faiz and in quivering voice explain it to me. I with welled up eyes would hear but my mind would only listen to the sounds of my childhood, of happy evenings spent together playing chess or our long nature walks, even the long hours of conversations on life which I at that time detested sometimes calling them sessions , urging mom to rescue me.

Later I understood that at least some part of what he said I subconsciously retained and it helped me become a better person.

I dropped my surname coz he wanted me to be known by my name and not as someone’s daughter or belonging to some caste etc. I was initiated to become independent and courageous since childhood and he sent me on a trekking expedition when I just turned 13.
Never in my life I felt that my parents treated me and my brother differently, in fact I was given a higher status and persuaded to do every that is considered “For Boys only”.

He himself did everything in the house from getting us ready to school and cooking to managing finances and almost anything a homemaker would do. I think he did a better job than many women.
Not that mom did not do anything but in her life as a working woman she never had to bother about the home when dad was around.

There were negative elements too and every life in the house was open to debate and discussion. We were friends. Religion was not forced on us and he always told us to respect other people’s beliefs and listen to our inner voice.

Some people thought ours was an abnormal family as each one had a right to decided his or her own course of life but in reality we all were individuals with a choice to lead our lives in the best possible way. He and mom always said that they were their to guide and offer advice and support but we must learn to choose our own path and make our own destiny. Something rarely parents do.

Today I miss his physical presence but the gift that he have me lives in me and guides all my decisions in life.

A young life is about to end any time now unfortunately as I write this and my prayers are with him. He chose to squander the gift of life and did not use his power to discern. Drowning himself in alcohol for no apparent reasons or maybe just to avoid facing his own self. The lives attached to him are affected deeply and his own beautiful life is coming to an end. I have spend my childhood with him and known him like my self and all I can say is a gifted life wasted.

My prayers are with him and all the love and remembrance of happy times spent together.

Please do not squander your life as it is a gift. Love it respect it each moment and never do anything that is against your inner. Justify your existence on this earth as a human being and look within each day to see if you have done something that makes it difficult for you to face the mirror.

Do not forget to connect to people you love and especially those who love you and say your thank you and sorry before it is late.

LIVE ..DO NOT EXIST.