Thursday, March 28, 2013

किस रंग में बेरंग हो?

न सोच न समझ,
न सच न झलक,
न मंज़िल न कोई रास्ता,
क्यूँ बेरंग से बढ़ रहे,
किस रंग में बेरंग हो तुम?

किस रंग में?

न माता न पिता,
बस हैं कुछ दोस्त साथी,
जो आज हैं, पर देखा न उनके संग कल,
वो जाने हैं आज क्या हुआ,
पर न भनक उन्हे बीते हुए कल की,
क्यूँ बेरंग से बढ़ रहे?
किस रंग में बेरंग हो?

किस रंग में?

आज का दिन गुलाल का था,
न था लहू का, न था हिंसा का,
न था मदिरा का, न था गुमने का,
कहाँ से आए ये रंग ज़िंदगी में?
किस रंग में बेरंग हो तुम?

किस रंग में?
किस रंग में?
किस रंग में...

© के॰ हरीश सिंह 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving on!

Moving on!
Vikrant was a new employee of the Central  Public Works Department, which the world knew as the famous CPWD. He had finished his engineering from a prestigious engineering college and his family was quite happy at the fact that he had got a job in CPWD, an organization which was as old and as trustworthy  as ever.
It had been three months and the feeling of this new job had not yet settled in. Vikrant had just moved to Delhi and got a house here.  It was a nice life here in Delhi, compared to his hometown in UP. The best part for him was his family was no where around. Though they would never be after him to come and sleep on time, but it is just this responsibility which Vikrant had towards them. Now, all of a sudden, he did not have any and wasn't he happy about it!
Somewhere in central Delhi, Vikrant's team was doing a field survey of the number of slums in the area. They were going from one slum to another and checking and collecting documents from the slum owners. This was the first field operation which Vikrant was a part of.
Vikrant was the youngest member of his team and Sharma ji was the oldest. He was retiring the very next week. He had served in the organization for a period which was as much as Vikrant's age. Sharma ji had this hilarious habit of commanding his team with the words "Chalo, Moving on". So the team would check for the documents which included the ration card and the UID card and Sharma ji would shout with pride,"Chalo, moving on!"
Vikrant was enjoying the whole process of collecting the documents from people living there. He had never done this and was enjoying the respect he was getting from the people.
So they entered this slum which had an old woman standing at the door. "Shanti amma" she was called.  She smiled and called these men inside to sit. They came, they sat and waited for her documents. There was this woman who was randomly walking with the officers, telling them everything she knew about the houses. She was old too but was younger than shanti amma.
So as Vikrant was looking around the small house, Shanti amma came in abruptly and put a bag of documents on the floor and sat down looking for them. This was slightly shocking for Vikrant. Shanti amma started going through the documents in a haste. Vikrant could see the tension coming over her each and every moment. Sharma ji said in his deep voice to Shanti amma to chill and look for documents. He said that they are in no hurry. Vikrant liked this attitude of their team.
Shanti amma said that she is looking for her ration card which she can't find. Sharma ji asked her where did she see it last. She said that her son had seen it last. everyone was silently waiting for her to find the ration card. But all of a sudden, Shanit amma got up crying and left the room. This was weird for Vikrant. He thought that it was kind of funny too that a woman is crying for something which is as trivial as some document. Some Ration card!
The woman who was walking with these men spoke, "Sahab, she is a widow. She had a hard working son till last week."  Vikrant was confused when he heard this. What did the woman mean when she said "till last week"?
"He passed away last week in a truck accident. Shanti amma is alone after that. She keeps crying", said the woman.
Sharma ji got up and before anyone could say anything. he said that we can come back to Shanti Amma after sometime. Vikrant wanted to stay for some time, and talk to Shanti amma and comfort her. He felt very sad for this old woman who had recently lost his young son. But before he could do anything, his senior had asked him to move. He looked inside to get a glimpse of shanti amma, but he did not see her. They moved out of the slum.
Sharma ji summed up the whole experience in his trademark dialogue...
"Chalo, moving on!"
And they moved on.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Translation by Sambit Kr. Pradhan :)

This is the awesome translation which our very own Sambit Kumar Pradhan did. Love it:

वो माँ ...
वो माँ,
जिसने अपना बेटा
मुल्क से मामूली मुद्दे पर
लड़ते हुए खो दिया।
खिड़की पे बैठे वो याद करती है अपने बेटे को,
वो बच्चा, थका, पसीने में तर
साँझ के खुशगवार खेलों की मुस्कान लिए
भागा आता था रोज़ उसके पास।
खिड़की पे बैठे वो याद करती है अपने बेटे को।
वो मुल्क क्या है जिसके लिए वो मरा?
क्या वही राष्ट्र-गान है जो वो स्कूल में गाता था,
और उसके रौंगटे खड़े हो जाया करते थे?
क्या वही मुल्क है ये, जिसके लिए वो मरा?
वो मुल्क क्या है जिसके लिए वो मरा?
अनजानों को मारना सीखा था उसने,
सिर्फ इसलिए कि वो उसके मुल्क में घुसना चाहते थे।
वो इस मुल्क के माइने कैसे बताए?
वो कैसे इस मुल्क को अपना और
उस अनजान को अपना दुशमन बताए?
क्या वो उसे मारता अगर वो उसे
सड़क किनारे किसी चाय वाले के यहाँ मिलता?
कैसे मारता वो उसे,
क्या उस अनजान की माँ नहीं होगी?
और वो कौन सा मुल्क था, जिसके लिए वो मरा?
उसे कहा गया लड़ने को,
अनजान अनछुए इलाकों के लिए-
हालत खुदकी उतनी ही बुरी जैसे दुश्मन की।
वो फिर भी लड़ा उन से,
सिर्फ इसलिए के वो फ़िरंगी थे।
पर क्या उसे एहसास था
के उस दूर गाँव के जिन लोगों की
वो हिफाज़त कर रहा था वो भी
उसके लिए उतने ही फ़िरंगी से थे
जितना की वो दुशमन।
फिर, वो मुल्क क्या है जिसके लिए वो मरा?
ये सब सोच वो रोती है।
क्या यूँ बहतर न होता के
एक बड़े मुल्क के बजाए
एक बहतर समाज के लिए वो लड़ता-
सभी बंदिशों सरहदों के परे?
है न?
वो मगर अब न रहा,
क्या करे हमारे बहादुर बेटे की माँ?
वो माँ,
जिसने अपना बेटा खोया,
मुल्क से मामूली मुद्दे पर
लड़ते हुए

(The original poem in English, which I had posted on Feb 14, 2013)

That mother...

That mother,
who lost her son,
fighting over an issue
as trivial as the nation.

She sits next to the window and remembers her son,
this young boy who would come running to her,
all sweaty and tired,
with that happy smile of the evening games.
She sits next to the window and remembers her son.

What is the nation which he died for?
Is it the same national anthem which played in his school assembly,
and gave him the goosebumps?
 Is it the same nation, which he died for?
What is the nation he died for?

He was trained to kill unknown people,
just because they wanted to enter his 'nation',
How could he define this 'nation',
how could he call that person his enemy,
and his nation his 'own'.
Had he met him at the road side chai-wala,
would he have killed him.
How could he kill him,
didn't that man have a mother too?
What is the nation did he die for?

He was asked to fight for regions,
which were unknown and unvisited,
a condition as bad as the enemy's,
but he fought with them just because they were 'foreigners'.
But did he ever realise that the people of the village he was gaurding,
were as foreigner to him as the enemy?
What nation did he die for?

She weeps as she thinks of all these things.
Hadn't it been better had
he fought not for a bigger nation,
but for a better society,
irrespective of borders and boundaries?
Hadn't it?

But now he is no more,
what could our brave son's mother do?

That mother,
who lost her son,
fighting over an issue
as trivial as the nation.

गलत मोड

जाना था जंगपुरा,
पर गलत मोड ही था,
जो मुझे निज़ामुद्दीन के किसी कोने में छोड़ गयी,
वो बस!

थी वो हरी बस,
पर सपने रंग बिरंगे लिए,
मैं चल पड़ा जंगपुरा की ओर।

इतनी ठंडी हवा,
की जेबों से हाथ ही न निकले,
सिकुड़कर चलता रहा,
वो गलत मोड ही था,
जो मैं चल रहा था।

गाडियाँ इतनी तेज़,
की पालक झपकते ही सब गायब,
देखा मैंने की मैं ही हूँ,
जो चल रहा था।
गलत मोड जो ले लिया था।

पर चलते चलते मैंने वो सब देखा,
जो मैं कभी गाड़ी में सूंघ भी न पाता।

मेरी बंद कविताओं के वो सुलझते खुलासे,
मेरी कहानियों के वो अंजाने अंत,
मेरे उन बेसुरे गानों के वो सुंदर सुर,
सब साफ दिखने लगा मुझे।
वो सब जो मैं कभी गाड़ी से सूंघ भी न पाता।

मैं जो चला तो मुझे आया ये समझ,
की सही ही कहा था उस महान कवि ने,
की मोड़ कभी गलत नहीं होते,
बस इंसान गलत होते हैं।
बस इंसान गलत होते हैं।
बस इंसान गलत होते हैं।

'Ram Ram' India!

Bajju, Rajasthan. 9 pm In Bajju, every morning I wake up for chai and smile at strangers, who break their 'Being strangers' tag ...