The monarch lay upon his bier,
sconces were burning low
As through the lofty arches streamed
the setting sun’s red glow,
Still grasped he in his hand the blade
which well fought fields had won
And Aurangzeb beside him knelt;
Usurper, proud and son.
Remorse had stricken his false heart
and quenched his wonted fire
With gloomy brow and look intent
he gazed upon his sire,
hot tears burst from his eyes
As thus his grief found vent in words
to the warrior trains surprise
“Father thou were the goodliest king
that e’er the scepter swayed,
How could I then lift up my hand
against thee undismayed?
How could I send thee here to pine,
usurp the peacock throne
O had I perished in the womb
that deed were left undone.
Look all is changed that was estranged
awake my sire, my king,
Look soldiers in their war array
thy son in fetters bring,
Thy rebel son who will abide
thy word whate’er it be
And fearless meet the rack or steel;
rise up once more and see.
Thou will not hear, thou will not speak;
it is the last long sleep.
And am I not a king myself
what mean these stirrings deep,
O foolish eyes what means this rheum,
I will not call them tears
My heart which nothing ere could daunt
is faint with boding fears.
The past appears! a checkered field
Of guilt and shame and war,
What evil influence ruled my birth,
What swart malignant star?
Why did I barter peace of mind
For royal pomp and state?
Mad for the baleful meteor’s gleam
With worldly joys elate
Remembered voices speak my name
and call me parricide
The murdered Dara beckons me,
he was thy joy and pride.
And thus I fling the dear bought crown
but whither can I fly?
The awful thought still follows me
that even kings will die….
Today is the day. The day you start believing again. Oh, I know it’s been a hard road. I know these last few week, months, years have really tested you. They’ve scraped you up. Bruised you. Tested the limits of your strength. Stretched the boundaries of your heart. Hurt your hands as you tried so hard to hold on to things that were tearing at your grasp. And yet here you are. Unbroken. Still standing. Maybe still teary eyed and healing but ready.
Ready on this new day to start believing again. Believing that the plan for your life is not just what has already happened to you. Believing that your future, your destiny is still being written. Shaped. Refined. Perfected. Now is the perfect time to remember how to believe in love and in yourself. No matter who has hurt you, or what’s been taken from you, or how many times you have had to glue all the pieces of your heart back together. No matter how many times you’ve had to start over. Today. Today is the day you stop holding yourself back. Tied down with things you wish you’d done differently. Things you wish had gone differently. Burdened with the what ifs and the should- haves. And the if-onlys. Today.
Today is the day you remember that there are still good people in the this world. Who mean well. And want what you want. The day you finally realize that there truly is a purpose for everything. Each and every step. Every heartbreak. Every joy. Every loss. All just pieces of the puzzle that doesn’t even have a complete picture painted yet. But will. Today is your day. Your blank canvas. If you needed a sign, here it is. It’s time to let go. And go fearlessly, joyfully and with a boundless hope into your new life. It is the time.
ना जाने क्या था उसकी हवा में
शायद गंगा की खुशबू थी
जो साथ यहाँ तक चाली आई
आँखों से ओझल हो गए सपने
पर वो यादें कभी न मिटा पायी
बहुत पुराना रिश्ता है मेरा
ये शहर, ये गली और ये नदियों से
वो नाँव और धुन्दला सा सूरज
वक़्त भी रुक जाता था गंगा को देखते
खो गया है वक़्त अब
गुलमोहर के फूल और नीम की टहनी
अपनापन बताते थे
और गर्मी में लू बहुत सताते थे
फूल सूख गए आँख भीग गई
शहर बदल गया पर याद न बदली
हमे तो लगता है,
मोहब्बत हो गई है उसे शायद
जो बार बार सपने में आता है
बिना कहे कुछ बिना सुने कुछ
सिर्फ बीती पल याद दिलाता है
शायद कहता वापस आ जाओ
मैं वहीँ हवा चलाता हूँ
वो लोग न मिले तुम्हे शायद
पर एहसास वही दिलाऊंगा
I was in the middle of nowhere, trying to find who i am, in the midst of the haze. I don’t remember what it was, smoke or clouds? But i heard birds chirping, calling me and dancing butterflies trying to tell me you are one of us, free yourself and enjoy in this nowhere of yours. I was so much into those voices that i could barely think. There was also a fragrance coming with the breeze. I felt, it reminded me of some flowers which were there in my garden during my childhood days or maybe it was some sweetened scent of honeycomb mixed with spices of those woods. I was no longer able to concentrate to take a decision. I was so far from everything yet right in the middle of something.
I have always found myself lost at many situations of life, like when i am deeply thinking about something or maybe lost in some thought which i vaguely remember later. But this was the moment i enjoyed for being no one or to pretend to be someone. This was my favorite moment. I felt empty. My soul was able to connect with the nature, the smell of mud, sound of winds and welcoming postures of the eucalyptus trees waving towards me. I think those trees were pristine but the way it was letting their branches feel free it looked like clean and fresh as if they are new to this world. I was standing still or maybe i was moving forward, i wasn’t sure about that. All i noticed was clouds above me were in a hurry to go somewhere. I don’t know if they were really going somewhere or they were just nomads. Even i wanted to be a nomad, i wanted to break all the barriers and fly freely like they do. I wasn’t sure if i was jealous of them.
I met someone in those woods. I am not sure who it was, a human or an animal or a bird but i was so sure that i connected myself with the creature. First i thought it was a waff but it could have been the other way round too. Although that creature welcomed me with eye contact, the fact we were both so disconnected from the life or the real world, was enough for us to meet and feel connected. I stopped in my tracks and looked back. Where was I? This question suddenly made me so insecure about myself that i blanked out and neglected my friend-to-be. My friend-to-be thought i am some terrifying person and went somewhere.
Then this question started haunting in my mind. What is real world? Where i was pretending to be someone or this moment where i am no one but still feel the sense of being myself. I knew i will never get this answer and decided to go back to the place i came from. Gradually all those resonance of birds and woods faded out and a familiar voice hit my ears. I was in the middle of a national highway standing in the way of many vehicles. I was not welcomed back.
She was 23. She used to stare herself hours and hours in front of the mirror. She was beautiful both inside and out. Always wanted to be independent, her aim was to become a teacher, educate kids make them pragmatic and prudent. She had her aims. She had visions. She had beautiful plans for her future where she never imagined herself as lonely or contingent on someone. Her thoughts were unpredictable so was her life.
It was an arranged marriage. She was not ready but never went against her parents. She rearranged herself in a new city, with strangers, unfamiliar family and new sets of restrictions. She became no one. Suddenly she was forced to accept cooking, cleaning and celebration as her new hobbies. Time became her driver and responsibilities her moderator. She wasn’t young anymore. With time, she became pregnant. She lost all her beauty giving birth to a beautiful daugther. She wasn’t sure if everyone was happy around her. Later she gave birth to a son. She raised her children the way she wanted to educate by teaching. All of a sudden she was living her aim. She was a teacher, a mould giving shapes and a lover. Years passed and when she noticed herself in mirror again she was aging. Age was just a number, she felt beautiful whenever she looked at her daughter. She was proud at the upbringing of her son. Her love was selfless. Now she actually accepted cooking as her hobby and make delicious food just to make her children happy. Her children turned adults. It was the moment when they became selfish and left her for their future enhancement. She cried but no one heard it. She was still happy but lonely this time. She is still there, praying for them, waiting for their call, loving them, still sacrificing and being altruisitc. She is now flipping old albums somewhere in this world. She is a philanthropist. She is your Mother.
It all started with a cup of coffee
Then a soft drink amidst a movie
And grew with a silent kiss
Its a story of a romantic unforgettable fortnight.
The eyes did it all
For they spoke more than the words
A touch was enough to melt our hearts
The silence said it all.
The winds whispered the melody of love
The sand slipped below our toes
The sky had a different face
For the stars showered bright hopes for the future.
I could smell the fragrance in you
You were so soft as your touch
You handled me like a flower
And I closed my tender petals the moment you touched me.
What could I do?
A bud was I before I met you.
It could see the life beyond those twinkling stars
And hope for more for the days to come.
A flower was born in that fortnight of romance.