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दिनचर्या


नितांत चलायमान घडी की ओर घंटों से टिकीं वो अथक आँखें मानो किसी दैवीय प्रेरणा की प्रतीक्षा कर रही थीं। भोर की प्रथम किरणों से मानो कह रही हों कि इस निरुद्देश्य जीवन में उद्देश्य की उष्णता का संचार करें । तभी अचानक किसी चिर-परिचित की आवाज़ उसके इस समाधि को भंग करती है ।

“गुटुर-गूं…  गुटुर-गूं”

“उफ्फ ! आती हूँ आती हूँ ! बेचारी भूखी होंगी; कितनी बार बोला है इनसे दाने डाल दिया करें; पर मेरी सुनता कौन है यहाँ ? ओह! आज तो ये हैं भी नहीं घर पर… पता नहीं भैय्या! दुनिया जहां के टूर भी इन्हें ही करने होते; दुनिया में जैसे सिर्फ यही हैं एक काम करने वाले!” अपने ही मन में बुदबुदाती, चावल के डब्बे से एक मुट्ठी चावल निकाल कर कबूतरों को खिलाती । पर यह क्या? कबूतर के पंख तो चारो ओर बिखरे पड़े हैं… ये बिलइय्या भी ना… एक दिन सारे कबूतर खा जायेगी… पता नहीं बच पायी होगी की नहीं बेचारी.… इसीलिए आज उनकी आवाज़ ऐसे दबी हुई सी आ रही थी।”

तभी उसकी नज़र अपने उजड़े-संवरे से बागीचे पर पड़ती है। और दसों हरे-भरे लहलहाते पौधों के बीच उसकी नज़र उसे एक पौधे की एक डाली खोज ही निकालती जो हलकी सी मुरझाई हुई हो। “कोई मेरे पेड़ पर ध्यान ही नहीं देता… कैसे मुरझा गए हैं बेचारे; इन्हे तो जब देखो सिर्फ अपने कैक्टस के पेड़ ही दिखते हैं।” दौड़ के फिर से वह अंदर जाती; मानो पानी के लिए उस पेड़ की करूँ पुकार उसके कानों को भेद रही हो। और एक गिलास पानी इतने प्यार से उसे पिलाती मानो अपने बच्चे को अपने हाथ से पिला रही हो।”

इसी तरह हर सुबह उसका स्वागत करता।  अपने बागीचे में टहल कर जब वो आती और क्षुदा उसे सताती, फ्रिज का दरवाज़ा खोल, वो रात की बची रोटियां तलाशती। कौन बनाएगा फिर से गरम रोटियाँ? अकेले इंसान के लिए भी कोई खाना बनाता है भला? और मेरा बच्चा भी तो ऐसे ही खाता होगा। उसको तो रोटी भी नहीं मिलती होगी।” यही सोंच कर दो में से एक ही रोटी खा कर रह जाती। “किसने बोला था उसे जर्मनी जाने को? इंडिया में क्या अच्छे कॉलेज नहीं हैं क्या?” कुछ देर मन ही मन खुद पे गुस्सा निकालने के बाद खुद ही खुद तो समझाती, “जर्मनी गया भी है तो पढ़ने ही ना? तीन साल बाद तो वापस आ ही जाएगा। और घर में बैठकर भी कभी पढ़ाई होती है भला? घर में रहता तो मैं ही परेशान करती रोज़ उसे: खाना खाओ, तो नहाने जाओ, तो कभी सोने का टाइम हो गया है… ऐसे भी कभी पढ़ाई होती भला?”

इन्हीं सब सोच में डूबी रहती और घर का काम करती। कभी गुड्डे के साथ थोड़ा मुस्कुरा लेती, कभी फूलों को निहार लेती। और इन्ही सब के बीच फिर से घडी की तरफ देखती और सोचती, “अब तो फोन करने का टाइम हो गया है इसका; अब फोन करेगा”। फिर अचानक दिमाग दौड़ता, “टाइम सही से तो देखा है ना? वहाँ का टाइम भी तो अलग होता है । अगर गलत टाइम पे फ़ोन किया और वो अपने प्रोफेसर से बात कर रहा होगा तो? और फिर अगर मुझे डाँट दिया तो?” फिर जल्दी से उँगलियों पे समय का अनुमान लगाती और फिर से इंतज़ार में बैठ जाती।  फ़ोन आता तो बात करती वरना मन मसोस के बैठ जाती और सोचती की शायद बहुत काम होगा आज।

रात होती तो खाना खाकर बेटे के वापस आने के दिन गिनती और मन ही मन खाने की लिस्ट बनाती।  आखिर जर्मनी के खाने में कहाँ है घर के खाने का स्वाद? “बेचारा पढ़ाई कैसे कर पाता होगा? वही आधा पका या पूरा जला खाना खाता होगा।”

इन्ही ख्यालों में डूबी, कुछ आंसू छुपाती, कुछ आंसू गटकती, रात की चादर में दुबक कर वो सो जाती… एक नयी सुबह, एक नयी प्रेरणा की तलाश में।

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Why do you weep?


weeping eyes

You weep in pain; you weep in grief. You weep in joy; you weep in relief. You weep in prayers, while talking to god. You weep when alone, of your own accord. But why mother? Why do you weep?

You think I don’t understand? Each pearl that tickles down your cheek has a world of emotions in it. When you weep in pain; each tear cries out loud, seeking the help you never ask for. It seeks the care you never receive. The one kiss, the one hug, the one touch that makes you forget your pain; that one look is all it seeks. When you weep in grief, dear mother; the tear hides the fear you never share, the thoughts that should never come true; the stories that better remain untold. And when in the evening prayers, in the dim light of the golden flame, when you converse with the god, sometimes water spills out of your brimming eyes. You think you can hide them? Nah… I see them all. And along with that, I see the millions of wishes you make, and yet none for yourself. You crave for success, for glory, for fame, for well being; yet none for yourself. Don’t I know for whom do you pray? I know it well… I know it all.

Do you know, mother, that tens of thousands of miles away, a heart sees each of your tears trickle? Do you know what it is to see it all, understand it all, feel it all and yet never respond? I think you know. For sure you know; else you won’t be my mother. I guess some feelings are best left unexpressed, some emotions are best untold; some words are best unspoken. Some feelings, emotions and words belong to the heart; and when hearts talk, not a single sound is made.

I promise mother, I will return. The person for whom you wept would return. And on my return, I promise to make you cry again. But this time the tears would be that of glory and pride. Your eyes would would brim with joys unbound and each tear would showcase a story of sacrifice and success to the world.

I will tell you why you weep. When the one who creates, needs to be created, he comes into your womb. When the one who feeds, needs to be fed, he is fed by you hands. When the one who gives shelter, seeks shelter for himself, he comes to your lap. Likewise, when the one who quenches thirst, is thirsty himself, he comes into your eyes.

And that is precisely why you weep…

जिसके गर्भ से सृजनकर्ता का सृजन है होता
जिसके आँचल सिर छिपाए कृष्ण भी है सोता
जिसके हाथों अन्नपूर्णा की क्षुदा है मिटती
उसकी आँखों में ही आकर जल की प्यास भी मिटती।

Another Heart Does Ache


tears2

With great care did I collect all the pearls of my dreams; with great aspirations did I polish them bright. Each breath of his made me alive. His happiness was the reason I lived. For years did I live for one reason… and then I was gone.

His innocent smile still rejuvenates my heart. His tears… well, they do moisten my heart but somewhere deep inside they foster a sense of relief… A relief that he is still my own. Oh time! You are way too cruel. You walk at your own pace. Traitor! You did rush around when he was here… didn’t you? And now when he is gone, you don’t seem to move at all! There was a time when I was happy running around the whole day… remember? And now my life has been so stagnant that it is eating me up.

“What do you do all day? Once dad has gone off to work, you stick to the TV… don’t you?”

Yes, my dear, I did stick to the TV all day. And magically does the havoc that you create each morning does restore back to peace. And the food that you demand – claiming full right – each day after you come back; that food is magically prepared by angels, right? Stupid! And why should I explain this to you now? Now you know it better. How long does it take to wash the clothes dear?

But… you know… in a sense you are right for my current situation. There is no one who creates havoc in the house each day. The sofa covers remain unwrinkled for ages. The same food is eaten for days. There is no one to scream to for not having lunch in time. Basically there is nothing to do.

So you know what do I do? I remain in illusion each day. After your dad leaves for the day, I imagine that you too have left for school. I wait for you. Each day, the clock ticks 2:30, I go out to see you coming; chatting with your friends. The school bus leaves, many children come back laughing and giggling. But you are not among them. Then I calculate the number of days left for your arrival. Unfortunately they are not days… they are months… sometimes a whole year. Well at least they say it so. For me, it seems to be ages. All blames on the bloody time. It doesn’t move at all. And then I sit back and cry sometimes… well most of the times. And then rush up and down the house doing nothing. Like a ghost in a haunted house.

And then in the evening when your dad comes back from work, we ask each other if you called. Mostly you don’t. “He must have been busy”. Then we again talk about you. What else can we talk about? I don’t understand his work. Then we mutually decide on a time to call you, or wait for your call. “He might have just returned.” “He might be sleeping.” “Today is Monday, he has a busy schedule on Mondays.” “Don’t call now! He might be in the canteen.”

And then, suddenly the phone rings. And then for a few minutes do we live. We live our whole day in a few minutes. And thus does rejoice our hearts. We laugh at your jokes, smile at your memories, cry at your loss and scold you for you nuisances. And hence thoughts, and thoughts alone do remain and hence ends our day; probably an era of living without you.

I know you have gone to reach the stars, to fulfill your dreams. But what can one do when the reason to live has gone away? One goes along with him. So here am I living a dual identity. Well… single to be precise… The only identity I have is with you. When your wounds bleed, so does my heart. When you cry, another heart does ache.

Will you rock my cradle O Mother…


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When eyes are brimming with tears

But there isn’t a tear to shed

When emotions are locked in heart

But are too difficult to be read

When I seem unaffected, detached from pain

Sometimes even stone-hearted, uncaring instead

Will you rock my cradle O Mother!

As I sleep in your loving bed?

Because you and you alone do know that

Emotions strong can hardly be expressed

 

If separations increase far too much

And far away do I go in race

When I am too far for you to reach

And rarely do we meet face to face

When I am panting; thirsty for love

Heart seems deserted and seeks solace

Will you rock my cradle O Mother!

As I sleep in your arms’ embrace?

Because your love is the only way to know

The path right, when there is no other trace

 

When at the end of the journey I fly

Tired of the long intense flight

When sun bids adieu to the day

Submerges the last ray of light

When my tired body aches

Of all the strife and the intense fight

Will you rock my cradle O Mother!

As I sleep through the endless night?

Will you take me to the greater world

Where endless is the joy and there is no fright?

Lifeless Life


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I remember those eyes brimming with tears

Innumerable doubts and unknown fears

Firm in belief that heLi would earn fame

But when he comes back, will he be the same?

The world is cruel and harsh and mean

But for him it’s mainly unseen

What if his friends don’t cooperate

Or if he is lost at night and it’s late?

Confusion and chaos fill up her head

And then I saw the lines unread

What happens to her when I bid adieu

When things to do are a countable few

For whom would she prepare; with no one to eat;

The wonderful delicacies and the occasional treat?

Whom would she talk to when on a low;

Won’t her life become way too slow?

No one to talk; no one to hear

No one to share, joy or fear

No grief to be lost, no joy to be found

How lifeless will be life, with no one around?

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