Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Us Nadi Ka Kinara

unka dil to sirf toota,
yahan to bas choora baccha hai,
vahan aanson bahe honge,
aur yahan, us nadi ka kinara baccha hai.

uska har aansoon ek moti,
aur har moti ke nishaan mere seene par hai,
uske saath jeena jannat tha,
uske bina, ek lagam mere jeene par hai.

usse dekh kar muskurane ka dil karta hai,
uski aankhon me doob jaane ki aas hai,
vo saath ho to meri parchai mujhse naraaz hoti hai,
kehti hai mujhse zyada vo tumhari khaas hai.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

The Greatest Armour


I have not had the muse to write, for quite a while now and so I pulled this one out of my archive,to post something here.It had been long.
This poem was the result of my attempt at writing epic poetry.


I tell you a tale,
a tale very old,
of a man , of faith personified,
for whom God was life ,God food & God gold.

His faith was parallel to none,
he remembered Him day & night,
& He took care of his every problem,
empowered him to overcome his every fright.

He was the king of the kings,
studded with gems & with gold,
he loved the children,
& respected the old.

He had thousands of elephants,
& miles of earth,
for he was the favourite of The Greatest,
for he in His heart had a special berth.

His palace was majestic, room heaven,
he slept on red royal bed,
over violet velvet,
with a red canopy overhead.

He had gorgeous gardens,
with towering pines & smiling flowers,
where he laid brick by brick,
a special bridge to connect him to Him for hours.

He ate with a silver spoon,
in silver dishes,
had milk & butter for breakfast,
& for dinner, he munched exotic fishes.

He had servants to comfort him,
when he was tired,
by every member of the town
he was admired.

All was well,
until intervened the devil,
& started a war,
a war twixt good & evil.


“Why’ve you made that man so happy?”
he asked God.
“He worships me with full dedication!”
came the answer from the Lord.

The devil continued,
“He worships you because he has no problem ,no tension,
had he been suffering ,
he would have paid you no attention!”

God smiling at his ignorance,
Agreed to take his favourite’s test,
Snatched all his wealth ,health,
his calm & his rest.

All was gone,
his seven sons killed,
gone was his red cozy bed,
was sitting outside..bones chilled.

He had no food to eat,
gone were the days of mutton,of meat,
gone were those exotic dishes,
he didn’t have a single grain of wheat!

The golden king,
was now a beggar,
down and crushed,
crushed under the devil’s hammer.

Robes and silks apart,
he had no cotton to cover himself,
but still had a fantastic faith ,
in God & in self!

His face was sick & pale,
eyes blood red,
“But when God has tried me,
I shall come forth as gold”, he said.

He said God gave everything ,
& had taken away all,
He didn’t fall to the tower of problems,
so challenging, so tall.

He was sure of finding a way,
after wandering in the dense wood ,
he believed that He will have the last word,
& that will be good.

God returned him everything he once had,
& the devil’s high headed arrogance grazed,
good & faith won over the bad,
the devil went back spellbound, amazed.

P.S : If you slept midway through this one, do let me know. I'd have to add you to the glorious hit list :)

Monday, 25 May 2009

Puppet on the Pyre


I am your puppet,
you hold the string,
you make me dance,
I make your show,
you gather the applause,
..and you go.

You were life,
now I can't move,
You leave me behind still,
in search of another puppet,
to work for another show,
to gather another applause,
you move on..you go.

You discover another road,
not a single glance back,
to see your puppet galloped by the fire,
to see your puppet on the pyre.

In this poem, I have tried to draw an analogy between life and how it is controlled by a force unknown.Humans , are essentially , puppets and we have bodies which are still and useless , once life is taken out of them

This is not meant to suggest that we should not live our life. Life is a fantastic journey to be enjoyed all the way through and to be celebrated on each milestone until the puppet goes on the pyre.When it eventually does,by then, it should have brought joy to a lot of people to ensure a life,well lived. The puppet will be remembered by those who matter.

Cheers

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Zeher

Har raah par tumhe dekhta hoon,
Har mod par dhoondta hoon,shaayad kahin tum mil jaao,
Har raat tumhe khwabon me dekhta hoon,
Shayad,shayad kabhi zindagi me utar aao.

Tumhari ek jhalak ke liye,ghanto intazzar karta hoon,
nahi dikhti,fir bhi jeeta hoon,
us ek mithe pal ke liye,
pal pal zeher pita hoon.

Log kehte hain main hasta nahin,
hassun bhi to kaise,
tum meri jaan ho,
aur jaan ke bina,bas ek sharir hoon jaise.

Tumhi se pyar kiya hai,tumhi se karoonga,
fir chahe dil ka ek kona kahe ki tum meri nahin,
Tum karo,naa karo,
tumhe pyar karne se mujhe koi rok sakta nahin.

Sirf ek yaad hoti to bhula deta,
tumhe har saans me jeeta hoon,
bhula sakta nahin,
yaad kar kar marta hoon.

Kal tumse milunga,
pata nahin ,fir milun bhi yaan nahi,
tumhare bina jiyunga,
pata nahin ,fir jiyun bhi yaan nahi.

(P.S : Like Echo , this is just a poetic experiment :) I have not had the misfortune of a heart break yet.I wrote an English version of this as well.I have posted that as a comment to this poem)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Rain,breaks and Arun Lal

Will it happen or won’t it? Where? When? How? There were a zillion questions over the second edition of the IPL but Lalit Modi’s leadership and BCCI’s brute force with all the money it generates, ensured that the games went on. After India realized that the general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha were more important than the razzmatazz brand of money generating cricket,SA edged out England as the venue for the cricket extravaganza.
It is amazing how every piece in the maze fit into place and the games began, almost on schedule.
The momentum is picking up now with higher scores and better pitches but up until now, there have been three dampeners for me.

SA gave IPL every possible guarantee but even Superman Modi can’t control the weather. The rain has been playing spoilsport in a number of matches and it seems to be extremely generous when KingsXI Punjab are on the field. T20 is lottery cricket indeed but rain, followed by the application of D/L method, leaves no chance for the match to be decided on skill of the team. Duckworth and Lewis of course, did not like the team batting first.

IPL’s business managers played a super shot by introducing the strategy breaks of 7.5 minutes after every 10 overs to allow for the advertisements to generate more revenue. The decision seems to have no cricketing logic. It breaks the momentum of the game and affects both bowlers as well as batsmen.
The beauty of T20 is the fast pace of the game and its uncertainty factor. Why not let it be that way?
Let the players on the field decide and make that strategy there, instead of doing it in a dug out.

And finally, as if missing the opportunity to watch the matches at the PCA stadium was not enough, my cable operator chooses the Hindi commentary feed to make things comically worse. Not that I do not like my mother tongue- I love it but sadly, there is not one decent Hindi commentator around who can talk sense. The humor team comprises of a tired Amarnath, Bollywoodized Hrishikesh and ever so brilliant Arun Lal,who cracks the most pathetic of jokes and follows it with his own hushed Haha.

I am typing in some of the commentary bits, I have to had bear in the past week :
[Stage : Preity Zinta on the screen]"Aur ye dekhiye , Punjab ke kheton ki haryali"

"Sachin ne apne janamdin par Ramgarh ka atta khaya hai , Gabbar ki tarah khel rahe hai"

"Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost"

"Aur ye bahot hi acha shot" [3 seconds of silence – absolute bliss ] "par ye seedha fielder ke haath me "
[This happens all the time. Brilliant exhibition of lack of judgment]

"Shot" [silence] "nahi,catch"[silence]"aur ye boundary"

"Nannes ne naani yaad kara di"

[Stage : A child in Katrina Kaif's lap] "Aur ye dekhiye,lucky baccha".


How I miss the combination of Mark Nicholas, Bhogle and Shastri. :|

I hope these three spoilers are removed as we go on.

Monday, 20 April 2009

IPL-Quiz time!

As excited as I am to catch the initial few matches of IPL-2009, the cable operator played spoil sport and I could not catch the KingsXI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils match live and so I went to my backup : the text commentary on Cricinfo.
From there, I banged into this IPL quiz :- Cricinfo Cricket Quiz
I have a score of 352 as I write this post
So all you cricket buffs out there,take the quiz and join in the competition. It is good fun and you get to learn about the IPL too.
As I typed that in, I thought,what a mismatch: IPL and 'learning'!
Anyway, I will now return to the Bangalore RC's chase of 180 vs CSK while I hope that Rahul Dravid plays a gem of an innings like the last time,again. Oh and his throw to run Hayden out was superb. Is he knocking on Indian ODI team's door again? I wish!

EDIT : My score now - 969 :D

Friday, 10 April 2009

Stains

You stepped on my pride and I shot,
your blood would stain my face forever,
you were neither my friend, nor my foe,
then why?..I do not know!

Tried washing the stains,
but they darken with each wash,
to remind me of pain,
the storm over..now its the time for rain.

I haven't slept,
water hasn't quenched my thirst,
.....Your blood makes it red,
since the day,the day I gifted you the death bed.

I orphaned a flower,
I widowed a bride,
I extinguished a flame,
Is it only me?...Only me to blame?

I killed you and I died myself,
Our chests decorated,
Yours with a medal,mine with a burden..a sin,
Why my friend?,why?,why did you step in?

Ammunition

I cried a tear,
nothing could have helped more,
to fight the fire,
rage and tears galore

At war,
they marched down the eyes,
to leave a victory trail,
The ammunition..those tears,those cries.

I gathered the wet ash,
for it was a memoir,
of the end of me,
end of the fire.

I now afloat,
on the sea,
numb and peaceful,
I was a battlefield,now barren...free.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Fair trials

The judicial system is the backbone of a democratic country .India, fortunately has a decent setup in place. If only, the time one needs to get justice in the court of law be reduced, it’d be as close to being perfect as is possible. The judgment, of course needs to be fair in any case. Is the time taken for a judgment directly proportional to its fairness and correctness?
I'm not quite sure.
In the case against anti-Sikh riots,the judgment came after a good long decade and a half, after which the victims (or their kin) had to take to the streets of Delhi to cry for justice which they think they did not get in the court.
Sajjan Kumar has been found guilty of murdering innocent Sikhs back then, though the quantum of punishment remains to be seen. When that happens, I hope Sajjan is not allowed to pull off a Sidhu and become our leader. On the other hand,Varun Gandhi has been detained after NSA was slapped on him,along with attempt to murder and more.Sadly,the rationale behind that does not seem to be legal as much it is political.

That said; allow me to embark upon an adventure, with a possibly invalid thought as its base.

Following the case of Kasav made me wonder,why the tax payers’ money was being spent to feed an unwanted guest. Apart from the daily expenditure on the terrorist, India has built a tunnel costing Rs. 2 crores, to allow him to commute safely from the guest room to the trial room. I am glad they did not arrange a trial right in his room for the comfort of our guest.Jokes apart, I understand there are concerns that Pakistan is trying to shut a mouth which could hamper its already battered image and damage their international standing. But in all these months, haven’t the authorities got all that they could, from him? And if yes, why not do the honors of killing the man yourself? If no, I don’t see the man talking much in the future either.
The system wants to prove him guilty beyond doubt,before hanging him, which is alright but when the system (read judiciary, police, law enforcers, NSG guards and the likes combined) did not consider that condition
(and they obviously should not have), while his counterparts were shot at, on the spot, why wait on him?
Yes I know that there is a procedure to be followed and I also know that it cannot be tweaked but I just wanted to present an alternative view and so I did.

I just hope that irrespective of the process, he gets his justice and the victims of Mumbai and India, get theirs because we simply cannot get used to a criminal proceeding in court with a decision pending.
The man, who attacked the symbol of the largest democracy in the world, has been our guest for seven years now. Despite a possibly invalid, almost preposterous thought, I am tempted to suggest: Can’t there be an exception to the process, in case of these of obvious criminals, whose crime has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, as they say?

Friday, 13 March 2009

Transition

India was playing West Indies in a Group A match in the ’96 cricket WC and it was the first cricket match for me. Though I did not understand the game completely, a brilliant 70 from Sachin Tendulkar,a 3-35 return from Anil Kumble and a five wicket Indian victory was enough to get me hooked to the game,which I would fall in love with, by the end of the tournament.

I have followed cricket religiously since then and for somebody like me, the current run of the Indian team starting with the T20 WC triumph has been a wonderful dream and I hope it continues forever.After the mid 90s, the Indian cricket can be broadly divided into three distinct phases each unique in itself.

First was the Azharuddin era.He was then considered one of the best Indian captains ever and needless to say,he was the most elegant on-side player on the scene with his typical Hyderabadi flick through the midwicket,only to be matched with Vishwanath and VVS Laxman. The team had greatness shaping up in the form of Sachin , Kumble and Srinath ,who were well supported by the likes of Sixer Sidhu,Prabhakar ,Prasad and my favorite , Muscles (for the uninitiated : Venkatpathy Raju). The blockbuster twin debut of two future Indian captains – Saurav Chandidass Ganguly and Rahul Dravid at Lords, in the summer of 96, gave India a great cricket team on paper which had individual brilliance on the field winning India its matches now and then. “Consistency” was not in the dictionary and hence India never got better than a ranking of 4-6 out of the ten or so cricket playing nations. It was a shame for a team which had brilliant players on the list. But then it is not always about brilliance and there were problems. Fielding was as bad as it could possibly be. If it had any competition, it came from India’s running between the wickets. It was worse. The apparently strong Indian batting line-up failed in alien conditions,be it the seam and swing in England and NZ or the bounce in Australia and South Africa.For a change , sadly , they were consistent with this. Dravid due to his impeccable technique and patience was an exception though.Amongst all this, I almost forgot Ajay Jadeja. His range of strokes, running between the wickets and superb fielding made him an ideal and effective ODI player.His career unfortunately was cut short by false (probably) allegations and a five-year ban ,which was later quashed by the court but it ruined a bright career anyway. Azhar , Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma ( surprisingly he played only one Test for India) were among the others caught in the scandal, which badly tarnished the image of the game in the country. It could have gotten worse but for the second phase.


Saurav Ganguly took over the reins of captaincy after it was indisputably clear that Sachin Tendulkar was not as good a leader as he was a player.Srinath later went on record to say that he expected the level of every player in the team to be the same as his.That of course was not possible. Ganguly primarily played three important roles. One, he motivated the players wonderfully well in those bad times and ensured that India started winning games, which was the best way to restore people’s lost faith. Two, he gave a sense of confidence to the youngsters.This was unheard of before in the Indian dressing room. As a result, over the years , the then youngsters : Yuvraj Singh (ironically the player who eventually pushed him out of the Test team), Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh bloomed into brilliant cricketers and now form the backbone of the team. He cannot be applauded enough for that apart from his elegant as well as destructive batting. Tendulkar meanwhile continued what he is probably born to do and became a legend from a great player.Three, he taught the team how to win and believe in their abilities. The team gelled together as a unit and produced great results especially away from home which almost never happened consistently before him. India tried something new with the introduction of a foreign coach : John Wright.The Ganguly-Wright combination clicked and a subdued Wright complimented the aggressive and commanding Ganguly well.Steve Waugh called the 2001 tour his final frontier and Australia started the series by demolishing India at Mumbai and they were well on their on way to do that again and seal the series at Kolkata, as India followed on.But then , Dravid and Laxman came together to stitch a partnership that would be engrossed in every cricket lover’s memory forever.Laxman’s 281 was magnificent and Dravid’s 180 was classic with delightful on-drives against Warne .The duo batted through the day, by the end of which Warne-McGrath and co were not even looking for answers.They tamely submitted to fate and to the genius of two of India’s best test batsmen.Harbhajan (Turbanator , after this series’ exploits) bamboozled the Aussies with his doosra and picked up 30 odd wickets to hand Indian cricket a famous win.India reached a low in NZ just before the WC 2003 but an inspired performance in the WC saw them reach the finals-the high point of the second phase.A successful experiment with a foreign coach tempted India to try the formula again but this time they got the wrong man for the job-Greg Chappell.He tried doing things his own way which would not have worked in a team full of greats who had already achieved so much. Dressing room controversies spilled out, the team was divided and soon, Ganguly found himself out of the team. Dravid took over and tried his bit to repair the damage but things got ugly. He was booed at the Eden Gardens, which is the best cricket ground in India but sadly, has arguably the worst crowd in its stands. India was knocked out of the much anticipated WC 2007 after being defeated by Bangladesh but such is the spirit for cricket in the country that after momentary anger, the support was back.India did well in tests in England and SA where Ganguly’s grit allowed him to make a successful comeback which was a slap in the face of his critics.It is funny how a paragraph meant for the entire team talks about Ganguly mostly but then such was the charisma of the man and it reflected on the team too. It was Dada time indeed!


The seniors of Indian cricket ‘opted’ out of the T20 WC in SA and the captaincy fell in the hands of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was given a young team which was led to the WC trophy and India were the T20 champions, a young brigade and force to be reckoned with. MSD was the new poster boy and was handed the ODI captaincy and eventually the Test crown too after Kumble had a brief but successful stint. India found a new coach, Gary Kirsten who would remain behind the scenes and yet keep a watchful eye on team’s progress. Specialization is the keyword now and India has separate fielding and bowling coaches on the bench. Fielding is not yet the best in the world but surely has improved appreciably with the influx of Rainas and Sharmas.Venkatesh Prasad has done a great job with Indian bowlers and for the first time , India has a pace attack to send the shivers down the opposition batsman’s spine.Ishant Sharma-Zaheer Khan is probably the best new ball bowling pair in the world at the moment. Zak has been the spearhead of the attack for quite some time now while Ishant provides the pace and bounce apart from his obnoxious seam movement.He made Ricky Ponting his bunny down under after the famous Sehwag-Ishant dialogue : “Ek aur karega?...Haan , karunga”. The spin department has been boosted by the introduction of variety in the form of Ojha and Chawla to aid Harbhajan.If only we can have a consistent third seamer, the bowling attack would be complete.Irfan often seems to show some signs of his good days but he needs to be consistent to give India the much needed all-rounder.His brother Yusuf, on the other hand , has come into his own after his IPL success and can be a nightmare for the bowlers in the death,or whenever maybe.Add to that his athletic fielding and a few overs of off spin and he is indispensable at No 7 in the shorter formats.Yuvraj Singh is currently the best hitter of the cricket ball and going through a period of golden form and forms the backbone of Indian middle order.MSD has improved his keeping a notch and batting has never been a problem for someone who is No.1 in ICC ODI batting rankings.At the top ,Virender Sehwag has rediscovered himself and does not give his wicket away after a cameo.He is just as destructive as before and now , a nightmare for the opposition bowlers.Gambhir is the perfect foil for him with his controlled aggression which necessarily does not come from big shots but from quick rotation of strike and powerful drives. Sachin Tendulkar , of course is continuing to pile the runs and records like he’d never stop.His innings of 163* against NZ recently was a delight with glimpses of Sachin of the old.Though his body is now showing signs of wear which is obvious after 17 years of cricket, he can easily continue for another two years and nobody needs to tell him when to go.Greats go on their own terms and so shall he.I am pretty sure he’ll hang his boots himself the day he is luggage for the team. That day is nowhere near for now and the critics can just keep shut until then;not that it matters for he answers all of them with his bat. IPL is one of the best things to have happened to Indian cricket in this era , unearthing a number of talented players like Amit Mishra,Ashok Dinda,Ravindra Jadeja ,Abhishek Nayar and the likes.They can happily warm the benches until they get to perform for India.The Indian dominance can be summed up by Vettori’s post match comment :

"We probably needed about 500 tonight the way they played.That would have been a good game."

The team does not rely on one player to win the matches and almost every win is a well-earned team effort which is so refreshing to see.The future now looks as bright as it ever has with India looking to be the best team in all formats of the game and if they continue playing like they have in the past 8 months,that day is not far.


P.S : I have scribbled whatever I remembered as I went on writing this article and thus I am sure I'd have missed a number of important points/players.Please chip in with those if you wish.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Canvas

A canvas born,
new stroke each second,
depictions and mysteries,
and the layers pile on.

Colours of joy,
tears to dilute,
layers to unearth,
mysteries to reveal.

Breath slows down,
the strokes weaken,
and brush withers,
a master piece created.

The painter cremated,
garlands to decorate,
tears leave the discoloured spots,
which dry to merge within.

The finishing touches,
and the painting ready to be hung on the wall
to gather dust,
and the layers pile on.

Echo


I tried erasing the sketch,
the boundaries darkened,
and shouted at me to tell,
that I love her even her more.

I lived on her smile,
rage,insanity and I punched.
A toothless smile,
a smile which I love even more.

She spoke and it was music,
I plugged my ears,
I cried a tear in the silence,
it trickled down to whisper in my ear,
I love her even more.

She is a painting,
I poured water,
the colors splashed over me,
and told,I love her even more

I climbed a mountain,
a torrent of air hit,
I heard an echo,
it said,I love her even more

She lived in my heart,
I burnt it down,
She rose from the ashes,
and I live no more,
A heartless life...a lifeless heart,
a heart which loves her even more.

Colours


He is red,
flame and fire,
He is burning,
and you will be ash.
Blood in his eyes and eyes on you,
Stop..for he won't!

He is blue,
water and sapphire,
Come,heal your burns,
give it back to him,
he will take it all,
for the storm is away and he is calm.

He is gray,
a dark cloud about to burst,
In a whirlpool,in pain,
he is losing,
as words,people and soul hurts,
giving him wounds forever.

He is orange,
he is shining bright,
A new dawn,
tears dry with the dew,
the birds celebrate
and flowers bloom

He is white,
grave and pyre,
he rests in peace.
All colors on the final display,
as the pyre burns,
and colors dance in the mirage.