Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Anoop and me travelled to Adalaj, a small town 20 kms from Ahmedabad. It has vav or stepwell built in the 16th century. It's believed to be an architectural wonder, which goes 8 stories below ground level.
As we started going down it started getting cooler and more importantly, quieter. As we went down this lack of connection from the upper world made the vav calmer. Another thing which worked in our favour was that Anoop and me were not talking to each other. We were quietly clicking pictures. We were left with ourselves and the vav.
We reached the base, the best point of the structure. Immensely positive with a very cool and silent ambience. The only thing which we could hear was the sound of pigeons flying in and out of the step well. We thought of sitting there quietly for sometime. After about 2o minutes a bunch of irritating local tourists entered. There were about 15-20 youngsters. They were constantly talking, but it all got worse when they started shouting. Their shouts and screams echoed and the pigeons of the structure panicked. Within a few minutes this place had changed from a serene place to a chaotic 'tourist site'!
Anoop and I came to this resolution that we would go out only after we experience the silence again. More bunches of equally 'loud' people came in, checked their echo levels and both of us kept sitting to fulfill our selfish motives- of 'experiencing' silence again.
We kept sitting for around 2 and a half hours. And suddenly, there was no one. No human being except the both of us. It was SILENT again. The structure somehow suddenly displayed so much of power.
We got up, took a deep breath and walked out.
I feel sorry for those tourists who missed this power.
I entered this lake which was a part of Nalsarovar bird sanctuary. Fortunately for us, we entered the lake at the time of the sunset. We kept talking about how beautiful it was. With the boatman telling us about various species of the sanctuary, we moved ahead. He went on and on and got tired. for a split second, there was silence. No words... Sounds of birds flying over our heads, people (on some other boat)laughing at a distance and the boat being rowed.
Before I could register these sounds, the bhaiyya started talking again. It was his job to inform us afterall. Minutes later, we stopped at a mini-island. We got down admiring the beauty of the lake and the sunset. We posed for pictures, clicked some (including the one I have displayed here!) and continued talking about the beauty surrounding us. Trying to get a closer view of a bird I moved out of the group, may be to get a closer look. It was sitting there quietly. The voices of my friends faded out as I walked towards it and by the time I reached the bird, it was silent.
No talking, no noises... just nature. Sounds of the gentle breeze, the birds and of course, the calm water. The bird flew away, but by then it had done its job. It showed me how to listen to nature. I took a deep breath. This is what we lack.
It's called PEACE!
When I compare both the POINTS, I realise that we, human beings have grown so selfish, so full of ourselves. We can listen only when we stop talking. We can grow only when we listen. We talk of worl peace and shit like that, but when it comes to respecting peace at a historical site or at a lake, do we care?
We always miss the serene silence...
Monday, December 14, 2009
He didn’t know what was right and what was left.
He didn’t know and he didn’t WANT to know either. He could have stopped at a wise man to see the exact picture of his destination. But somehow, he didn’t want to see it. He was scared that it might be different from his imagination. And if it was better than his imagination, he didn’t want to be over-confident with the sight of those visuals.
It was amazing. For a long time, it was the destination which he looked forward to. But that day, out of nowhere, he realized that it was the WAY, which he was enjoying more.
So, he kept walking - learning things,smiling at the trees on the way, absorbing the vibes, hugging the needy, admiring the patterns of the sun rays, drinking the sweet water at the river… he kept walking.
As time passed, he got so engrossed in enjoying the way, that he thought less and less about the destination and learnt more and more from the journey.
One day, he reached the destination. He was very happy. With tears in his eyes, he thanked the ‘power’ which blessed him always. He hugged his destination, sat down, spoke to it and spent some quality time there.
But what now? Was that it?
It was a proud moment that he had reached the destination. Now people would talk about him, praise him and respect him.
But what now?
He sat there pondering over this question. He got the answer from within. Though he wanted to reach the destination, but it was the journey which he enjoyed more. It was the ‘walking’ which brought him to the destination, and made him learned. So he realized that he loved more that he loved the destination.
He got up, bid goodbye to his destination and moved ahead. The process of learning, enjoying, observing and absorbing continued. He thought of new destinations and kept reaching them. He realized the truth that if he would continue to enjoy the process of walking, he would definitely reach new destinations now and then.
From that day, he has conquered many destinations which mankind could not even think of covering.
He’s still doing doing what he enjoyed the most. He’s walking…
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wo behri, painee awazein,
Wo ghayal kar deni wali gati,
Kisi Anjani ore badhta ye kaafila…
Har raah par ek chaah,
Aur har chaah par ek prati-spardha.
Har pratispardha, mein ek vijeta aur anek parajit.
Sar utha kar mann aasma se poochta hai,
‘Kaisi chah? Kaisi spardha?’
Pehle na thi aisi chah, na aisi pratispardha,
Par phir bhi the anek vijeta.
Kisi anjani ore badhta ye kafila…
Na soch, na samajh,
Na Sabr, na na such,
Na sehensheelta, na muskurahat,
Bas haar, ya jeey.
Par kaisi jeet? Kiski jeet?
Kaisi haar? Kiski haar?
Aankhen oonchi kar,
aasma mein THEHRAAV aur shanty ko dekh,
Ji khush hota hai.
Aasma muskurakar kaehta,
Ek waqt tha,
Jab dharti par bhi,
Ye sab hota tha.
Ek waqt tha…
Kisi anjani ore badhta ye kaafila…
And an ocean of expectations.
When I open my eyes to decipher the simple codes,
The complexity of the world takes everything away.
When simple and happy curves can solve things,
Why do they use tough straight lines to complicate problems?
I say, ‘Look at the stars, they’re beautiful!’
But every time, they stop looking after the clouds.
They reply, ‘the clouds are too dense for them, VISIBILITY is hampered.’
Thinking simple has become so tough.
Friday, October 9, 2009
muskurate hue kaapna.
uss kad-kadati thand mein,
garma-garm khana kha razai ki
khushiyon tale dab jaana.
TV par nyunatam taapmaan dekh,
thand ka achanak badh jana.
Un mushkil se dikhne wali dhoop ki kirano ko,
aankhen moond gale lagana.
Inn yaadon ko ek potli mein baandh,
sang rakhunga apne,
wo pal waakai mein the,
ya the bas Dilli ke dikhay
kuch sunahre sapne?
Farvary ke aate hi,
sheher ke har phool ka achanak khil jana.
Har chowk-chowrahe par inn rango ko dekh,
maano mil jaye pyar karne ka bahana.
Garm kapdon ka dheere-dheere bakse mein chale jaana.
Fiza ka, nayee kitabon ki khushboo se bhar jana.
Inn yadon ko sarhane ke neeche chhipakar rakhunga apne,
wo pal waakai mein the,
ya the bass Dilli ke dikhay
kuch Sunahre sapne?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Where are the similarities...?
I am from Asia and 'you' are from America...Division!
I leave that discussin and come back to Asia...I look around, we are all Asians.
But i am from South Asia and 'you' are from the West. I chuck the debate and reach South Asia.
I breathe in ...feel good, We are all South Asians. We are one...NO
I am from India and 'you' are from Pakistan. We argue and we fight.
I leave the debate and reach India, my motherland, my nation, my heart!
Phew...no more divisions...We are all Indians...
But no, I am a South Indian and 'you' are a North Indian
I am a West Indian and 'you' are from the East, or from the North East.
I leave this debate too and come to Gujarat, where I am presently staying...All Gujjus? NO!
I am a Kathiwadi, you are from Saurashtra..Hindu-Muslim... Parsi-Sindhi...
I enter the NID gate and feel relieved...
All NIDians. Great...
But not really!
I am from A-hostel, 'you'are from B hostel. I am from FVC, 'you' are from Textiles...
I am dark, 'you' are fair, I recite the Hanuman chalisa and 'you' offer Namaz!
Who am 'I'? Who are 'YOU"?
There are differences... many infact, which is natural... There has to be divisions and partitions...
But when I ask 'YOU" ... "Deep inside, are we actually different? Are we divided?"
'You' think, ponder upon it, breathe in...and say "NO!"
'I' am 'you' and 'you' are 'I'...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
those shiny little beads,
falling from our eyes.
We see nothing before that,
nothing after that.
We never see the hurt eyebrows,
coming close to each other, contracting in space,
making the eyelids blink more.
What we always see,
are just those shtiny little beads,
We never see the tragic frown,
formed on the forehead,
trying its best to hide the sadness.
What we always see,
are those shiny little beads,
We never see the Adam's apple,
moving up and down,
fighting with the choked feelings,
trying its best not to show
those shiny little beads
We see them flow out
from the edge of the eyelids,
flowing down in a line,
those shiny little beads
But we never see the pale cheeks
which were red cushions because of smiles,
Do we see them
Those pale cheeks?
We never see the brave jawline,
on whose edge,
those beads balance themselves,
and then fall off,
disappearing into memories,
Do we see them?
That brave jaw-line?
We just see the loud sadness,
not the silent painwhere it comes from.
We see just the shallow scars,
not the deep wounds where they emerged from.
We see the sadness go,
and never wait to see the
wounds get healed.
We don't see the brows, the frowns,
the choke, the cheeks, the jawlines.
We just see those shiny little beads,
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Last friday was 14th August. It was Janmashtmi, the day of MATKI-PHOD!
I had never been a part of the brave pyramid which tried breaking the Matki, tied metres above the ground level. This year,for the first time, I joined in. The place was just under my hostel and the people in the pyramid were young men like me.
It was fun...
Holding each other tightly to make a good base... standing on shoulders with unbalanced expectations... heavy drops of water falling from the sky, shaking the pyramid every now and then... all of us falling down and rising again...
It was fun!
We all started with it at around 11pm, and by 12 I was tired, hurt and exhausted. But still, there was something, which drove all of us to get up and try again.
May be it was the MATKI, or may be, it was just the fun of climbing up and falling down, with smiles we will remember for the rest of our lives!
We got down to work again, 10 people at the base, 6 on them, 3 on the third level and one man would go for the final blow! It was equally tough and more painful. But all of a sudden, I heard someone shout,
"It's midnight, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!"
The phrase, changed everything. Between that mixture of men, mud, water and sweat, strange visuals crossed my mind.
I could visualise millions of youngsters throwing away their books and families just to join a struggle against an empire, which was as unapproachable as the MATKI above our heads. I could relate to their joy of making similar 'pyramids' with millions of hearts and stories!
My shoulders and my back ached because of the burden of men above me, but those visuals kept me still. It was magical! Such a magical co-incidence, that at the stroke of that midnight, i witnessed the pain and pleasure of that 'struggle'.
At 2:00 am, we finally broke the MATKI. We conquered it! When the MATKI broke, the whole pyramid collapsed. But this collapse, unlike the previous ones, had no pain. It had madness. We all jumped and danced, I hugged people whom I had never met before that moment. But it was that proud moment of 'WE' doing it, and not 'me' or 'you'
Out of nowhere, I could see those 'independence' visuals again. The people who had made that brave pyramid, 62 years ago, are no more with us.
We call them HEROES today. But we have started forgetting that big pyramid and the joy of breaking that big MATKI called independence was celebrated on this very land.
I guess it's time to make some new pyramids, as we have some new MATKIs waiting to be broken...
I am in! Anyone Game?
Monday, August 10, 2009
Shouted Pa. Vivek hated this line from Pa more than he hated the alarm clock. It was a pleasant Saturday morning, the fifth day of Vivek’s summer break from school.
With eyes half closed and feet trying to balance his body, Vivek reached the window. With his left hand he pushed it open. The lovely morning breeze entered Vivek’s hair. It refreshened him enough to open his eyes. The very smell of that breeze brought him back memories of his last summer vacation, when he was in class 3rd- going out for morning walks, watching ‘Disney Hour’, lying down on the floor with the cooler throwing ‘fresh’ droplets of water on his face, having those sweet yellow mangoes in the evening, playing cricket with one-tip-one-hand rules and...
“Vivek, you still not up? You’ll have to complete your ‘cycling’ thing today!”
Pa shouted again with a volume good enough to break those happy summer diaries of Vivek.
Yes, that was one thing Vivek was trying to learn from the past one week.
After watching Mukul and Vinay cycle with ease, Vivek had decided that he would learn it too. Afterall, both of them were of his age, and not elders!
So, on the first day of the summer break itself, Vivek had started learning cycling, with some help from Pa.
Vivek washed his face, changed to his shorts and started putting on his shoes. While wearing his socks, Vivek wondered whether he still liked cycling the way he liked it on the first day.
Because of his successive ffailures to balance the bicycle, Vivek’s interest in cycling had decreased over the week. The only thing he had gained was injuries. He was so irritated of it now that he often wondered,
“Is cycling really important for a successful life?”
Vivek ran down the stairs and on the playground, he saw Pa holding the bicycle by its carrier. Like every day, he had held it with just one hand. Pa said, “Come on Vivek, let’s begin!”
It had been the same sequence of events from the past one week from Pa waking Vivek up to Vivek trying to balance the two-wheeled machine. And every day, Vivek went back home with a failure!
Vivek reached the bicycle and like an ‘expert’, he sat on it. And the day began for him...
Every morning, when Vivek cycled he used to keep looking at the kids playing around listened to the birds chirping. But he had noticed that from the past 2 or 3 days he had stopped looking at the kids and he rarely heard the birds’ chirping sounds. He somehow got involved in balancing the bicycle.
Today was no different. His hands on the handle were making sure that the handle’s not shaking and his legs were trying their best to keep the pedals moving.
Vivek wanted to ask Pa about the progress, but he couldn’t speak. It seemed that even his mouth was somehow involved in balancing the bicycle!
So to ask Pa, Vivek turned his head and Pa wasn’t there. It all happened so fast-
Vivek turned... didn’t find Pa...he got sccared... looked at the bicycle... looked ahead... could not believe it... everything went mute!
Yes, Vivek was cycling, with no help from Pa. He continued cycling. Vivek felt proud of each and every part of his body helping him cycle. He felt the triumphant fresh breeze of success entering the gaps between his hair. He slowly moved his head towards the kids playing and he heard the birds chirping away.
The next morning was a different one. Vivek woke up early. Afterall, he had to show his new ‘skill’ to Mukul and Vinay.
Pa had told Vivek that they won’t cycle on Sundays. Vivek brushed his teeth, wore his shoes, entered Pa’s room and saw that Pa was sleeping.
Vivek cleared his throat and with a smile, he shouted,
“Get up boy, it’s 6:30 already!”
© K. Harish Singh 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
When do we get up?
What are dreams?
The ones we see while being asleep
or the ones we reach out for when are awake?
What are dreams?
What is peace?
The feeling of going deep into slumber
or that satisfying smile after helping a poor soul.
What is peace?
What is comfort?
When we lie down on a flat surface to close our eyes after a tiring day
or when we stand up and stretch after sitting on the same chair for the whole day?
What is comfort?
Are we asleep while being awake
or are we awake ahile being asleep?
The music which hums in the space,
is it because of the peaceful night,
or because of the feeling of succeeding in a day of HARDWORK?
What is more scary?
The nightmares we see while being asleep,
or the feeling of being LOST in a world where everyone KNOWS you?
We sleep to take a break from being awake,
and we wake up as we are TIRED of sleeping!
When do we sleep?
When do we get up?
When do we sleep...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I have a mind which lives in my body. I have a heart which lets me love my mind and my body!
All three work to take me forward in life. I walk, i run, i sleep... i thank my body, i thank my heart and i thank my mind too.
After all the hard work, sweating and running, i read somewhere that this LIFE IS A LIE!
Is it? i dont know.My mind, body and my heart would not work so hard, just for a LIE!
I can agree that it is a rehearsal or a training period to learn something, which is more important than life, but this life is definitely not a lie!
Afterall, rehearsals are very important for the final show; training is very important for the war! You work more in a rehearsal, than in the final show. Don't you?
i LOVE THIS lie... I'll continue working hard and I'll continue loving life... I'll continue rehearsing hard, 'cause this rehearsal is the most important one for me!
I live in a body, which works for my mind.
I have a mind which lives in my body. I have a heart which lets me love my mind and my body...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Rohan sat in front of Sheetal with folded hands. He wondered if it was the worst moment of his life or not. Sheetal was looking at the cup of coffee in his hands.
She had tears in her eyes. She could not cry aloud, as it was the canteen and she could not be quiet as it was hurting. It had hurt her really hard inside when Rohan told her that he had started liking someone else. After being in a relationship for more than a year, it was difficult to hear such a thing from the person whom she had loved the most.
There was stunned silence. They were not talking, but still everything was being communicated. It was the weirdest of communications; the communication through little gestures- of hands, frowns, eye-lids, lips and may be the vibes between them.
To break that communication for a second, Rohan lifted the cup to have a sip of coffee. As he started gulping the hot sip, his eyes met Sheetal’s. They were red, with the veins crying on the white surface of the ball. They were filled with tears. One of the eyes overflowed and a drop of that sad liquid rolled down Sheetal’s right cheek.
Rohan sipped the coffee.
It was the toughest sip of coffee. Sipping coffee had never been such a displeasurable experience.
He was disappointed. He was confused. He had been dishonest. He had no answers to the questions which Sheetal’s tears seemed to ask him. Why why why. It was bizarre.
He wondered how there was stunned silence between the two very individuals who had been chatting continuously about various issues for the last 13 months. It was different. Very different.
He looked up. He didn’t know but he realized soon that his heart could feel the tears in Sheetal’s eyes.
It could have gone anywhere from here now. Sheetal was angry, sad and disturbed but still, somewhere deep inside, she wanted it to go on!
Rohan told to himself, “Getting attracted to someone else can happen, as it’s natural, but not getting flown in that direction is commitment!” On one hand he was proud of the fact that he shared everything with Sheetal honestly, but at the same time he felt guilty of having created that crime.
Rohan did not say this to Sheetal, but it seemed that she heard everything.
There was silence. No one was talking, no one was crying. They were just breathing.
Rohan looked up. He took a deep breath and opened his mouth to say that one word, which came straight from the heart,
There is a difference between words spoken from the mouth and the ones spoken from the heart; and the difference is always, surprisingly visible!
Sheetal could sense the origin of that word. This word was good enough o break the disturbia, the mute air between them. They hugged each other and this time it was Rohan’s turn. He was crying.
His cheeks witnessed the guilty tears, which flowed from his eyes, on to his cheeks to Sheetal’s shoulders. It seemed that Rohan’s cheeks were telling Sheetal’s shoulders, “See, it hurts!”
And as they say, they lived happily ever after…
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