The Coach

Vishal had lost again the race

He could not keep the pace

This time too he lost the case

About winning the silver vase

All this had left him in a daze.

He decided to set out to a place

Seeking a guide, peace and solace

He reached a wooded green space

Where he met a coach named Grace

Who taught him well how to pace…

When it rained

The fields would sway to the wind
the children in trains waving back.

The tides would get back their surf
the farmers too engrossed in work.

When the rains hit us days on
it made pools of watery slush.

The mud would entrance the kids
who would make pots with the clay.

The sun would peep in on the dew
so the grass could retain the shine.

The grasshoppers would jump in joy
crickets playing the game of life.

The butterflies were very choosy
as to which flower they would sit.

This made it difficult for us to catch
by reading their minds in tiny heads.

Rain Series

A group of clouds came from nowhere
filled with water, they turned to a shower
it is rainy days here again, remarked some
kids left their games and did a rain dance
whatever was left to dry now taken inside
whatever needed to be wet was put outside
the rain drenched and washed the stench
bringing its own perfume that was earthen.

The clouds could now be seen fast receding
a child looked up to see them now flying away
what other task you have, to go soon so fast
please stay and pour some more water on us
to our hearts fill and to fill our pots and wells
No dear, we have other places to water well
and we better not be late, whispered the cloud
as he sped away to catch up with the others…

Making of a Guru

The wind wound up its path and made a detour
only to face poor me and accord a warm welcome
The canoe in which I was seated, wobbled slightly
not sure of how it would handle the shallow rocks.

The dried up lake seemed to end all of a sudden
its path cut off by a long line of rounded rocks
the jarring made by the canoe prompted me
to desert it, having reached new found land.

The jump into the slush was a rough landing
I made my way to the parched land, with cattle
looking at me, an intruder to their grazing fields
dried as it was, I wondered on what they fed.

I could see a pall of smoke rising from a few huts
the distance to it was still far for my tired legs
A tree came into view with a few stones around
I decided to sit for some time to rest myself.

I sat in a trance, and I knew not, how time passed
My beard and dress and long hair gave me a look
of a saintly man, though I had fled away from sins
The only option was now to make a new beginning.

When I opened my eyes, I could see a few men
waiting for me to open my dried eyes and behold
what miracles I could perform for them, a poor lot
was what I thought, as they prostrated themselves.

I smiled at them and that lit up their eyes and ears
for they wanted me to perform and speak words
only the wise could speak, with souls enlightened
could they follow me, is what came to mind first.

The words flowed from them, and was I thrilled
to understand, and when I spoke, they listened
for they thought I was a savior sent by the Lord
to heal their wounds of despair and woes of life.

They seemed to have everything in plenty but not
in bounty, was rain that made the land parched
them having to walk the distance to the water
where I made my descend a few hours away.

They offered fruits and water and was I thankful
when providence and attention was riveted upon
poor me, who was a fugitive all these months
having got into fights and theft before I could rest.

I waved them off, tired to smile back at every them
listening to murmurs and pleas from elderly folks
they having crowded so close to look at me,
a specimen who spent solitary years in a cell.

The next day the people went about their tasks
some huddled in front of me, a welcome guest
who they thought would bring them benefits,
if only I knew, glory was to bestowed upon me.

A spade lying across was now gleaming at me
asking as if to get up and make its life meaningful
it is when I thought I could make mine too with it
having decided to bring the river to this village.

When I started work, amused kids joined the fray
villagers were not left behind lest I cursed them
for not joining the holy activity and before long
a pond and a canal was dug with no water to feed.

I looked up at the sky, there was no cloud in sight
If only, I wished, it rained, the weather so ripe
I managed to set up a prayer and a feast for all
joining to get divine help for the parched land.

The collective group prayed with me for days
waiting for a miracle to happen with me in tow
getting tired and with faint hopes diminishing
by the hour, my divinity was put to the test.

I did not lose hope and worked on the pond
with collective hopes getting faded by the day
a few people now dismissed me as a mad man
who knew nothing but to dig his own grave.

The flow of flowers and the fruits dried up on me
as I meditated upon nature, to provide the bounty
not riches, but pure water only could it provide to
make the land and my new life worthwhile.

One day, it did rain, when we were least prepared
the flowing water filled the canal and wet the pond
the next day, with tidings came the river gushing
plenty, it filled the mighty pond as did our hearts.

These days, I am a Guru, giving my blessings to all
from poor folk to rich ones, from near and afar
and what better person could teach them than me,
a fugitive, who had learnt to live life the better way…

Blessings

Accumulate blessings not riches
dear love not desperate hate
sweet knowledge not sour ignorance
know yourself not about others.

Know well your nature to correct it
for we all have grey lines of fault
some seldom may point these out
some biding to take advantage of it.

These very flaws minute as they seem
take away our right to dear places
we could have so well reached
for time is a precious commodity
that can seldom be bartered.

Pure thyself by chanting His name
clothe your selves with His stories
illuminate thy self with his glory
when time is ripe for angels to arrive
be the lamp among the lost crowd.

As they take you undisturbed
to a place of peace you barely knew
with gained blessings on your crown
you chance upon His mighty throne
at His tender feet by His loving side.

Where no sorrows can abound
only carefree birds that chirp
the lovely scrolls of your Life
that got etched as you well lived
in times, good, bad and sad.

For each of us has limited time
so as you run around to make a mark
let the mark of blessing be upon you
leave no stone to accumulate it
for in the end it is all what matters.

To Him who holds store of good things
of blessings distributed to the needy
May you add to His cherished stock
as you reach him safe and sound
the ultimate heights you asked for.

The Indian Summer

English: Indian Summer
English: Indian Summer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A cackle of geese far receding
as if trying to escape the hot
wind that rushes upon them
is now let loose over the arid
plains now devoid of water.

With lips parched and shriveled skin
every now and then, a farmer
with a sweating brow looks
up to the sky to deliver for he
cannot bear the earthly pangs.

On the lookout to wet their thirst
Hark, they say, is it thunder?
whenever they hear large sounds
in the distance that turn out to
be a mirage as the birds arrive.

It is the Indian summer no doubt
conditions dreaded by many a traveler
as it seldom leaves you from clutches
that are humid and hot as you cry
and pray for the monsoon to arrive.

On the look out

Who looks at the crow in flight

and the lovely butterfly in sight.

Who ĺooks at the sun on shine

and the glowing moon so shy.

Who looks at the woman smiling

as she surveys the cows grazing.

Who looks at the clouds sailing

as the wind makes trees moving.

Who looks at the river flowing

flooded with heavy rain falling.

Who listens to the thunder falling

with looks of fear on faces passing.

Who listens to the birds chirping

in the silence of the ants climbing.

Who looks at the water while rowing

as the fish come to see who is sailing.

Who looks at the children playing

turning deaf to parents calling.

Who looks at mighty Lord so loving

who made mother nature pleasing.

Fun Mail

funmail

There was a girl who sent him a mail
he, who was sitting all the day pale
in a house that was put up for sale.

He set out to find the sender of the mail
the trail was long in a train on a rail
that brought him to a ship that set sail.

On a long journey that would surely fail
for the ship met face to face with a gale
that hit them for days on end with hail.

The food and the water turned out stale
when washed ashore, they put him in jail.
for papers he had none on him to set sail.

Our fellow took the pain to write her a mail
she received with pleasure to free him on bail
and thereby set a happy ending to our tale…

 

 

 

Friends who blossomed

The short Jasmine and the tall Lily
would talk  daily as they swayed
the gentle wind who would listen
the bright hovering sun who watched
the merciful rain falling to protect.

The moon shining bright every month
lighting them up as they slept unaware
looking over the ever so gentle beauties
blissfully lighting many a human heart
whose scanning eyes would pick them.

Their life spans so short to us humans
who would enjoy their beauty one day
not even  bothering to look over them
bodies of two friends lying withered
their memories fading into quick sand…

Divine Couplet

Satish walked into the narrow lane just in time to spot Veena walking upto him. This was supposedly to be their last meeting. Veena’s father was moving out from this town with his business partner to Ahmednagar . They walked hand in hand across the splattered street with the wind and the rain having played havoc in the small town for the last few days. The turmoil that played out in their minds was not any less compared to the unsettled elements right now.

They had met a few years ago when Veena had come inquiring of a friend who lived in the lane where Satish had moved a few months ago. Do you know where Meena stays, I mean this address, as she showed him a slip of paper on which it was Sajan Nivas, Pakeesa Lane. Yes it is that one said Satish pointing to the next well built house where her friend Meena stayed. And beware of their dog, do not enter unless someone comes to the gate. Call out and somebody should open the door for you. Veena was looking at Satish, a young handsome man who wore a kurta, albeit an old one which had seen many a wash. Thank you. You have been so kind, as she bid good bye. After that she seemed to be a frequent visitor at Meena’s place who was her school mate and had not continued her studies after 10th grade. After attending Lalaram college which was around a mile away, she made it a point to take a detour through this lane hoping that she could meet and chitchat with Meena and have a glimpse of Satish who rarely, it seemed, moved out of his house.

After inquiries from her friend, she came to know Satish was a writer, a poet who wrote nicely and he had a weekly column in the newspaper where his articles and creativity was put on show for a paltry sum of 250 rupees a week. With this money he could barely meet his own expenses, but in the hope that something would dawn on him soon helped him continue and churn out his usual creativity. Most of his poems bordered on the poor and the helpless although he wrote on anything under the Sun. The newspaper did not have a wide circulation, so the publisher much as he wanted to, could not raise Satish’s earnings.

Veena started reading the newspaper regularly more so because she wanted to know more about Satish through his writings and fell in love with what he wrote first and then with the character behind the articles. Slowly they became good friends while Veena was finishing college. She had written her exams and was waiting for the results which would come with the monsoon rains.
Their favorite haunt was the brick wall house where Satish lived or they meandered sometimes to the nearby river that flowed at a walkable distance behind the mangroves. Her father Ganpat Rai had a few shops in the town but of late they were not doing well and he was thinking of another plan to move to another town where he had spent his childhood and youth. His wife Janki was from this town and after marriage he had settled here to look after the family business. But one day, Janki left them succumbing to a rare disease when Veena was 8 years old and after that they were feeling lonely all these years in their palatial house. Veena’s grandmother who was always a lovable woman passed away last year.

It was at this time Shankarnath another business man who dealt in cotton and jute asked Ganpatrai to invest in his business in the same town where Ganpat was thinking of relocating. It seemed to be a good idea, as Shankarnath had quite a booming trading business in the mentioned town and this would prove to be a good start. The decision took some weeks to be cemented and once it was taken, Ganpat Rai sold whatever he had, including this house and was bent on investing the earned money with Shankarnath. It was this decision that was to separate Veena from Satish.

For both of them it was not the opportune moment to tell Veena’s father about their marriage plans. Veena was just turning 18 and there was nothing Satish had in him to seek her hand. He was just a small time writer who eked out a living by writing on scrips of paper in a brick house that was open to the elements just as his mind was…

They walked on the side of the river. The evening was giving way as the Sun was seen fast disappearing in the far off mountains. They had so much to talk and yet kept their silence for words did not carry much weight to the destiny that seemed to take them way. They cast longing looks at the fading sun and at each other, each trying to imprint the other’s face in their minds. How pretty Veena looked against the backdrop, just like a bride whose hands would be decked with Henna in a few years. The question was, would Satish come up in life to gain her father’s respect and seek her hand. Only time would tell. For the time being he captured her image in his heart, the memory of which would keep him alive in her absence.

Time had moved on. It was seven years today when they had met last. Veena and her father had moved to the other town and then after that there was no news from them. Satish waited for quite a few years and after that he too moved to another town , a good 100 miles away to the south but not before leaving pointers with the children in the neighborhood where he was moving to, as he sincerely hoped that one day Veena would come searching for him. He had moved away because the wall of bricks used to torture him with her thoughts, her laughter, the tinkling of her anklets which once ringed within the four walls whenever she used to visit him, to read his latest poems that were unpublished.

He wished to move away from that desolate place, lonely and barren now like the desert for without her presence, her memories used to suffocate him and make him breathless and hopeless at times. He could not, he would not eat, he would spend sleepless nights, the only hours he got sleep had him dreaming with her visiting him again and making his life lively with her constant chatter, her long laughs, and her face flickered before him like a candle that was getting snuffed out. It took him quite a struggle to get himself out of the wretched life in that town and here he was for the last 2 years where he had setup a book shop in this town new to him. He wrote for the leading 2 papers in this town and things were becoming better and he was better known in these places as a person who wrote about the different shades of life. The sorrow and the pain lingered in most of his writings and appeared realistic to his readers who themselves led struggling lives.

Although he was getting busy and getting engrossed in work writing new poems of despair, of loneliness sprinkled with liveliness, a large part of him still yearned for her, her presence and would be always on the lookout for dear her. Whenever the doors parted, partly because of the onrushing wind, he would look up, trying to take a glimpse of a sweetness that had long lost to him, thinking it would be her after all these years, but there was no one except the teasing wind which ruffled his hair just as she would a few times during their occasional meet ups. Will she come at any moment of time, his heart hoped while the rational mind had its doubts, would she pick up on the clues he left in the neighborhood for her to know where he presently lived, he could only cling on to dear hope that for him was now a string of rope that he was holding on to, for dear life, as for him, he could not live like this for long.

The postman while coming on his bicycle sounding his bell had Satish rushing to the door thinking it was some sweet tidings from his lost love, but all the time they would be letters for his neighbor or the monthly magazines to which he subscribed. Whenever he locked his house and frequented the newspaper offices once or twice in a week he would wonder if she would have come during the time when he was out and had gone back unable to find him. He made inquiries on his return but no one had come nor appeared. Who would come in search of a poet who could not make two ends meet with words that flowed from his fountain pen. The rain beating down on the asbestos roof brought back memories of the dilapidated brick house that was open to the elements. Would it have survived this raging monsoon, or the river in spate, he never would know…

This post was inspired yesterday by the couplet written by the late poet Kaif Bhopali which I am listing below for reference and sung divinely by the unmistakable Jagjit Singh with his velvet voice. Please listen to this as it would add meaning to my post.

Kaun aayega yaha

P.S Also, let me know if a sequel to this would be good to read…

Kaif Bhopali