Dec 12, 2014

सरस्वती सुमन हाइकु विशेषांक

सरस्वती सुमन हाइकु विशेषांक (अक्टूबर -दिसंबर २०१४ )
जो व्यक्ति यह पत्रिका नहीं प्राप्त कर पाये, वे इसे यहाँ पढ़ सकते है। 

Dec 3, 2014

प्रेम मोहना

मनभावन लुभावना 
प्रेम मेरा मोहना 

सजा था झिलमिल 
मस्जिद की चादर-सा 
पढ़ा मैंने उसे 
अल्लाह की नमाज़-सा। 

सुकूं आया था बहुत 
चोट के मरहम-सा 
दर्द भी इक उठा था 
सागर के तूफान-सा। 

सजाया था अधरों पर 
उसे कान्हा की बाँसुरी-सा 
बिताया लम्हा दर लम्हा 
मीरा की भक्ति-सा। 

मनभावन लुभावना 
प्रेम मेरा मोहना ...

Image courtesy: Google Images

Nov 29, 2014

स्मृतियों के फूल!


महके मन 

आरज़ू ने  खिलाए 

यादों के फूल । 



सराबोर हो उठी 

बरसे नेह 



सुषमा है बिखरी 

स्मृतियाँ खिलीं। 


हीरे-पन्ने -सी 

जीवन में शोभित 

अथाह यादें 


चमक उठे  

लुभावने -रँगीले 

यादों के फूल।



गूँजे है हर पोर 

कान्हा-सी यादें।

-Originally published at Hindi Haiku:यादों-के-फूल

Nov 26, 2014


एक ख्वाब देखा है तुम्हारे लिए
बड़ा नहीं लेकिन महत्वपूर्ण है। 

भरा है यह सपना आँखों में -
निश्चलता हो तुम्हारी आँखों में,
सरलता हो तुम्हारे हृदय में,
सादगी हो तुम्हरी सोच में। 

जरूरी नहीं सागर की तरह वेग हो
मगर हो उसकी गहराई,
जरूरी नहीं हो तुम में संगीत का शोर
मगर हो उसका मंत्रमुग्ध कर देने वाला सुर,
जरूरी नहीं आज का बिंदासपन हो तुम में
मगर जरूर हो आज का विश्वास, आज का हौसला। 

बाहरी चमक दमक से परे,
मन की चांदनी से सजा
हो तुम्हारा जीवन.
व्यक्तित्व में हो तुम्हारे बहुत सादगी
और मन में हो तुम्हारे, बहुत आदर। 

बहुत आगे जाओ,पढ़ो लिखो
कलाकार बनो
और लिखो अपने जीवन का गान स्वयं। 

Lots of love, mamma.
(अपनी प्यारी बिटिया के लिए लिखी एक कविता, मन के ख़्वाबों से सराबोर)

Image: From the personal file. 

Nov 17, 2014

The "Essence" ...

Times I wake up,
all eyes wide-open
after I travelled to
the full-Moon
a big smile reigns over my lips!

'Was that the highlight?
They don't know the essence
They know the Moon
Was full
But unaware every
Creature stands!

The rabbits we counted
The mountains we surpassed
The tunes we made to echo
The names we shouted
(yes, each other's)
The times our fingers entwined
The moments of the electrified touches
The passion of the quivering lips...
...yes, they know about the bodies!

What they don't know is the 'essence'
... the union of souls!

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Nov 10, 2014

Writer's Block!

यह बड़ी ही बेखुदी
है शब्दों की
जब मन होता है
चले आते है,
सैलाब सा ला-ज़ेहन में 
कागज़ पर घर बना जाते है। 

मैं तो माध्यम ही हूँ 
इस फेरे में,
पुकारूँ जब तो रूठे हुए 
भी पाती हूँ
तड़पा कर मुझे बेहिसाब 
चैन जाने कहाँ पाते है 
यह शब्द।

सोचती हूँ,
ऐसी भी क्या बेखुदी है 
मेरे ही हो मुझसे जुदा हो जाते 
है यह शब्द।

Image Courtesy: Google images

Sep 24, 2014


Burning there day & night
Filled in every breath I take,
still it eludes me!

Lines on my hand scream
Screeching sounds all I hear
no music no notes no harmony
still it eludes me!

Heart pounding each single day
shouting fighting with it 
is my own friend, my brain
still it eludes me!

Passionate longing it stays
touch of a romantic it seems like
drinking within me, in my every pore
still it eludes me!

Words phrases combinations
praising defying like HIM
poetry of mine it gives birth to
still it eludes me!

Order chaos rules warnings
Showing boards red and yellow
defining my each entry & exit
still it eludes me!

Fate destiny, I refer to it sometimes as
so enigmatic, so puzzling
so my own residing within me
still it eludes me!

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and poet said, "You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star". The chaos is the order that brings dreams to reality. With a bit of turbulence, this poem refers to this fire inside me which burns me, keeps me alive and still eludes me, keeping me far far away from what I dream to achieve. Life, a series of challenges and mine at present is to retain this fire and keep my chaos to bring life to order.  

The Phoenix!

However I try to hide
the more my words scream,
naked and bereft my soul stands
singing to the tunes of cold sorrow,
Waiting for the phoenix to rise
with a new ray of life!

This poem to me represents a new start. I do not know but I am curious is the Phoenix ever lived? Whatever is the myth or the belief the "phoenix" word has always attracted me and I wanted to write something that talks about it. This poem is my answer to that curiosity. A new life and a hope even after difficulties is what is phoenix to me. While searching for a image that best resonates this poem of mine, I came across pictures of the Phoenix rising (as in the poem), new buds and plants coming to life, and the one you see above. This image by Stefano Bonazzi felt perfect for this poem, because it portrays a new life. 

Image Courtesy- Google, Stefano Bonazzi

Sep 18, 2014

यादों के फूल

आकाश से गिरता पानी
कैसे खेत की मेढ़ों
में भर,
देता जीवन आने वाली फसलों को…
यहाँ भी
गिरती बारिश की बूँदें
गीला कर रही मन की जमीं को
और मैं इस आस में
भीगती हर ओर
खिलेंगे जीवन बेली में
तुम्हारी "यादों के फूल" ....

Sep 17, 2014

When A Note Ends A Marriage!

The pressure on young women to get married – never end a marriage – has dire consequences for some marriages, and lives.
Hailing from a country which heavily breathes on mostly one relationship between men and women, i.e. the fatal attraction, it is not uncommon to find parents searching for an appropriate life partner for their daughter. The times have still not changed in most parts of India, where, as a girl turns 18-23, the pressure gets more and more intense for her to be wed.
No doubt, the metros see a sea change with increasing number of live-in relationships but it’s a fact that this number is not huge. Many a girl is raised with the thought that she have to beautify someone else’s life, primarily her future husband’s. How often are parents seen teaching their girls about their own happiness, about their own peace, let alone the comfort of having sex as per their wishes and agreement?
Next, the wedding is a huge affair. Pomp and show, give and take, the forms of ostentation are numerous. Less are the objections to this style of wedding, and more the cases where the money spent sweeps the floor under the bride’s family. Parents save all their life to have a great wedding for their daughter. Mothers often are seen collecting gold, little by little for their girls. The bride’s dress, the jewelry, the beauty, the sanskaar (values) have to be impeccable but who questions the bridegroom! Just the fact he is a boy spares him of all the horror of evaluation and embarrassment.
Once happily wed, what is the proportion of ‘happily ever after’? How happy a girl now the daughter-in-law is, is measured by her husband’s love for her, the degree of comfort she finds in her new home. But, it is not hard to find as well as not much easier to believe, that a girl raised to be a future daughter-in-law can have her own personality.
How often does she feels betrayed by just the upbringing, the norms of society, the laws of the world, God’s categorization of man and woman….but whom can she question? One day, she just quits or exits the worldly affairs with a note full of questions and the ink reeks of the stench of the life she lived!

Just a note

Do I belong in your arms
Or in the solace of my being?
Hard to answer
Easy at first it may seem.
Outside the window
the trees stand naked
I wonder if they knew
the green is going to betray them?
Life’s a jungle
Dense, dark and cold
You don’t stand unique
For life to rain dark clouds on.
I wonder every now and then,
If I ask a valid question?
Harsh to predict
How innocuous that may look,
In the lines of her hand
She scratches a name
I wonder if she knew
If the henna colours-on or the future bleeds?
Where do I belong?
Immaterial, trivial, senseless-
A question it may seem
To a whole lot,
‘Cos they often think
Etched in the numerous moments
Your name and my being
Aren’t they one?
Endless trials to find
The answer
Yet standing empty-handed
With a heart hollow of love
I decide to take matters
In my custody and
I quit!

*This post was originally published at Women's Web:

Aug 1, 2014

नफ़े नुकसान के शहर में...

कुछ सीली सी यादें, एक गीला-सा मन लिये बैठी हूँ 
तमन्नाओं ख़्वाबों के नासमझ -रंगीन दिए जलाये बैठी हूँ

रेतों पर निशां को हाथों में समेटे बैठी हूँ 
हाथों की लकीरों में छप जाये वो, बस यही फ़रियाद लिये बैठी हूँ 

शब्दों की स्याही में नाम उसका लिए बैठी हूँ 
प्रेम ग्रन्थ लिख मिल जाये वो, बस यही उम्मीद लिये बैठी हूँ 

जहाँ के चमन में उसकी महक लिए बैठी हूँ 
जीवन के सहरा में वही गुलाब खिल जाये, बस यही दुआ लिये बैठी हूँ 

नफ़े नुकसान के शहर में हारती हर दम सी बैठी हूँ 
किसी दिन आके खरीद ले वो मुझे, बस यही ख्वाब लिये बैठी हूँ … 

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Jul 1, 2014

तुम और शब्द!

आज फिर शब्दों का दामन थामने
को मन मचला है
कहीं तुम्हें ही तो दिल ने नहीं
याद किया है!

साँसों में भरकर
खुशबू स्याही की,
खत तुम्हारे ही नाम शायद
लिखा जा रहा है!

हरी दूब से कोमल
कागज़ पर उकेरा शब्द
कहीं तुम्हारी ही सीरत
तो नहीं सजा रहा है!

दिन बहुत बीते
बीते कई वर्ष
न रुकता है, न थमता है
यह रिश्ता
तुम्हारा और मेरे शब्दों का!

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Jun 30, 2014

You are not your skin-color!

Black Dolls, White Dolls : Every Doll Is Beautiful

We often confine beauty to outer appearances, especially complexion. Here is one of my post originally published on Women's Web, that talks about why each one of us is beautiful in our own way, and we must love ourselves!

Last week, when I went to buy a doll for my daughter, one thing that caught my attention was that all the dolls were fair skinned! It left me with a question that has haunted me numerous times. What is it with the colour of the skin that overpowers one’s heart like gold or conscience as clear as water? Why this bias in our society that lets us knowingly or subconsciously make a judgement or opinion about a person with dark skin-tone?

The desire to have a ‘gori bahu’ (fair-skinned daughter-in-law) is not uncommon. How many times have we heard in our families “you know, Malati (XYZ) is so beautiful, she is fair” ? How many times have we found ourselves appreciating someone’s beauty just because of their fair skin colour? We are all a part of this system, the scale does not matter. 
How many times have we found ourselves appreciating someone's beauty just because of their fair skin colour?
 Then there comes the media! Media – isn’t it supposed to be the mirror of society and at the same time, aid in enlightening the community about its evils and fallacies? Look at our age-old and famous Fair and Lovely cream. It is the leading skin-whitening cream for women in India. Back in 2007, its television advertisements were stopped owing to their propagating the message “white is beautiful”.
Before the ads were stopped, how many innocent hearts were influenced? How many dreams to become fairer and more successful, shattered? Can we give a thought – why did this happen and is this over now? The reasons are simple – our beliefs, thought-process, peer-pressure, inferiority complex and many similar ones. Just imagine, how pathetic and heart-wrenching  would it feel to be uncomfortable in your skin!
How pathetic and heart-wrenching would it feel to be uncomfortable in your skin!
One of the most surprising facts I learnt living outside India, now for almost 10 years, is that black is not always beautiful everywhere. Yes, you read it right!
Clark couple (Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clark) were psychologists of African-American origin. They are famous for their “Dolls experiment”. This was conducted in the 1940s to study how black children felt about their race, esp. their colour. They started with two white and two brown dolls. Children were asked questions like which is a doll they would like to play with/a doll which is nice/which is a bad doll.
It was found that a majority of children rejected the dark (black or brown) doll. When they were asked which was a doll that was like them, the children chose the rejected dolls. Some didn’t answer or just left the room. How traumatic! Such low self-esteem in children; where will it take them? Will they ever be able to get out of this thought-process?
Today, we are dealing with inhumane behaviour towards girls. There are no answers about safety. We have to start changing our attitude towards a lot of things – be it physical strength of women or their mental power. We have to start with self-love.
Love thyself. These are a few points which we, as women, cannot miss:
  • You are not your skin colour or the fat you have on your skeleton! You are not born for the body. The body is the chariot and your soul, the charioteer. Be guided to success and happiness.
  • Accept yourself for what you are and what you can achieve with your hard-work, knowledge, and passion.
  • Charity begins at home and change starts with self. Do not wait till society changes its perception about you. Question- do you like yourself? If not, why? What is it that you have yet to achieve that will make you feel confident? Who stops you? Break the shackles of your mind and liberate yourself !
  • Do not copy. God made you original, why to try to be like someone else?
  • Be kind and peaceful. These are virtues that will make you strong to tackle any battle life throws at you.

Jun 28, 2014


एक दिन जब ढूँढ़ना चाहोगे मुझे 
उस दिन जब नहीं मिलूँगी मैं 
अपनी मेज़ पर काम करते,
या रसोई में सब्जी काटते 
या फिर बिस्तर की तह भी ठीक करते ना मिल पाऊँ। 

नहीं मिल पाऊँ जब दीनों-दुनिया की
खातिर मुस्कुराते-बात करते 
या फिर दौड़ते-भागते इस काया को 
चुस्त रखने की आस में,
नहीं मिल पाऊँ जब हमारे घर के 
कोने-कोने में,
मोहल्ले के पार्क में बच्चों को 
खेलती देख भी जब ना मिलूँ। 

उस दिन समझ जाना 
मेरा सर्वस्व अब नहीं रहा तुम्हारे नाम का 
मैं डूब गयी कतरा-कतरा अपने 
उसमें जिसे चाहा मैंने रूह से

उस दिन समझ जाना 
पा लिया मैंने स्वयं को 
मैं विलीन हो गयी अपने शब्दों में!

Image Courtesy: (Google) Underwater painting by Californian artist Erika Craig

Jun 26, 2014

Where do I belong?

Do I belong
In your arms
In the solace of my being?

Hard to answer
Easy at first may seem,
Outside the window
The trees stand naked
I wonder if they knew
The greens gonna betray them?

Life's a jungle
Dense, dark and cold
You don't stand unique
For life to rain dark clouds on
I wonder every now & then
I ask a valid question?

Harsh to predict
How innocuous that may look,
In the lines of her hand
She scratches a name
I wonder if she knew
The henna colors-on or the future bleeds?

Where do I belong?
Immaterial, trivial senseless-
A question it may seem
Itched in the numerous moments
Your name & my being
Aren't they one?

Endless trials to find
The answer
Yet standing empty-handed
With a heart hollow of love
I decide to take matters
In my custody and I leave with a note-
"I quit!"

Image Courtesy: Google Images
This poem was originally published in my article on Women's Web, 'When a Note Ends a Marriage', which can be read here-

May 28, 2014


Awake in the middle of the night
she rubs her eyes incessantly
goes back to hide under the covers
sleep is often an escape route!

Bright Sun burns her eyes
often she runs indoor
the world's quite a playground
defeat her kin too often!

Searching the pages of life
hope to stumble upon an alphabet
resonates which with peace
often though well aware it do not exist!

Outside the window stands tall palms
often she sighs an alas, cries a moan
despair that no tree for enlightenment
grows in her own backyard!

The spaghetti lines on the hands
she often sees changing
rays of hope births 'may be'
a day she will find her 'Zen'!

The image used in this poem is clicked by me. The words are from one of my all time favorite books "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. Here he speaks about Pain.

May 21, 2014


ये कैसी प्यास है 
जितनी बुझती उतनी उठती 
ये कैसे पल है 
जितने आते उतने बीतते 
ये कैसा बंधन है 
ना छूटे में ना बंधे में 
जीवन और तुम-में 
नदी के पाट-सा रिश्ता 
और मैं खड़ी इस पाट 
एक अनवरत हूक के साथ!

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Apr 29, 2014

"The Sun & the Moon"

April 14, 2014, we saw the Lunar Eclipse. The highlight was the 'Blood Moon'. I never thought Moon could look so romantic. My better half clicked this beautiful photo and yes, now we have the memory of watching it together on that breezy night. 

I wrote this poem "The Sun & the Moon" a few months ago, and found the combination of the click & the poem satisfying.

Apr 15, 2014

मन करता है…


साँसों में भरकर 
तुम्हारी खुशबू 
आज जीवन को मीठे शहद-सा 
जीने को मन करता है .... 

उँगलियों में फँसा कर 
तुम्हारी उंगलियाँ 
आज सफर लम्बा 
तय करने को मन करता है .... 

पैरों की आहटों में 
रुनझुन तुम्हारी सुन कर 
आज मोहब्बत की ख़ामोशी में 
मदहोश होने को मन करता है .... 

हर पोर में होते स्पंदन 
तुम्हारे स्पर्श से 
सात जन्मों तक बस तेरा ही 
रह जाने को मन करता है  .... 

(Image clicked at Huntington Beach, California)