Friday, March 30, 2018

तुमने तो कहा था

तुमने तो कहा था,

की सब कुछ ठीक हो जाएगा I

तुमने तो कहा था,

की पत्थर से पानी फुटेगा,

अंबर से तारा टूटेगा,

आँखों में नर्मी लौटेगी,

साँसों में गर्मी लौटेगी,

तुमने तो कहा था,

की सब कुछ ठीक हो जाएगा I

तुमने तो कहा था,

अधरों में अमृत प्याला होगा,

चरणों में मनिक्या मतवाला होगा,

सूरज से सोना निकलेगा,

धीरज से जीना निखरेगा,

तुमने तो कहा था,

की सब कुछ ठीक हो जाएगा I


ये होना होता क्या है?

सब कुछ तो किया ,
पर कुछ ना हुआ I

ये होना इतना तिलिस्मि क्यूँ है,
ये होना होता क्या है?

चलना तो माने नहीं रखता है,
कहीं पहुँचना हीं माने रखता हैI

वो कहते हैं इंतेज़ार करो
लेकिन कब तक ?

इधर तो सब धुआँ धुआँ होता है I

क्या पता कब होगा ये होना हमारे साथ?
जैसे सबका होता है I

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Travelling through different worlds!

It was somewhere in mid-2012. I was told by my office to go to Delhi from Kolkata. And from there I was supposed to go to Haryana and Punjab with my seniors on a marketing trip to sell pig iron. As I was rummaging through websites to book the train tickets for my journey, I was told that I would go to Delhi by plane along with my two seniors and the company would arrange it. 

One of my seniors said that air journey was kind of reward for me for my good work done (good selling of pig iron). I didn’t believe it at first (as decisions can be changed in seconds in private companies) that the company was so kind to sponsor my air trip, because some fortnight ago there were talks of me being thrown out of the company due to non-performance (the yardsticks of non-performance are drawn out by the employer in such a way that even if you work tooth and nail and achieve targets reasonably, there are heavy chances of you embracing the tag of a non-performer). Though I had sold some good chunk of pig iron but the threat of losing the job loomed large over me.

Anyways, ecstatic to go by plane for the first time in life, I reached the airport next day. After some initial formalities, I boarded the plane. First time in life, I had boarded a plane. My heart was racing; I wanted to cry in exhilaration. But I controlled myself. Maintaining a somber look, I sat on the window seat allotted to me, my seniors sat beside me. 

I put on the belt and when the plane started to soar, I felt as if something was dragging me up in the sky with utmost force putting behind my waist. It was something that I was feeling very first time in life. As the plane reached a certain altitude, it started travelling at a horizontal level. My adrenaline rush subsided a bit but the exploration of the new world was on. And as I watched the scenes outside the window of the plane, I was amazed. I was seeing clouds swimming just beside me. It was all -together a new world for me and I was loving the world outside the window to a tee. Had there not been the glass on the window, I would have stuck my hand out, and squeezed the clouds to drench my hands. 

After an hour or so the plane landed in Delhi. An SUV was waiting for us. We went to the head office in Delhi.  My seniors went to the meeting with top management of the company. I was stopped from going to the meeting and told to wait outside saying that the top management was not happy with me so it was better for me to stay out of the meeting.

After an hour or so, my seniors came out… I had a feeling that something was cooking. Anyways, acting as if I was a total birdbrain who can’t surmise the undercurrent…I continued the journey with my seniors (as if there was any other way out).  We moved towards Haryana in the SUV.

We went to several Pig Iron dealers and businessmen in Haryana and Punjab. Starting from Samhalkha to Ludhiana and Jalandhar. I was seeing the new places and meeting new people. I was kind of enjoying it. The farm houses and the foods were really exhilarating.

I was meeting such rich people for the first time in my life.
We went to one businessman who introduced his son to us. His son had done MBA. And the father proudly announced that he would open one furnace factory(where the pig iron is melted to mold new products) for him.

And I was thinking that how lucky his son was as after doing an MBA he was to become owner of a company and after doing an MBA, here I was running from pillar  to the post, from one businessman to the other to secure just a salary at the end of the month and that too was in danger. What a dichotomy!  

When we were at a different businessman’s place, the conversation on real estate started after we have had our talks for pig iron. Here the businessman, comparing between the situations of real estate in India and Britain, said “Nowadays, it is more beneficial to book a bungalow in London.” And I was like, we, middle class, slog off whole life and still end up retiring in a rented accommodation, owing to exorbitant prices of homes in India, and here he was buying homes in the U.K. But then such is India for us: a coherent scene knitted with incoherent threads.

Anyways, the whole tour ended on a fruitful note, we gathered some orders. I was hoping that this would help my stint in the company.

As we were returning back from Haryana to Delhi, one of my  seniors started getting philosophical sitting on the back seat of the SUV, I was on the front seat beside the driver. He told “Life is full of opportunities Neeraj, be positive in life… ups and downs come in life…”

I was feeling sleepy due to tiredness of the journey of the whole day and it was around midnight also. But his words made me alert, I knew what he meant. I knew my time was up in the company.
Anyways, controlling my emotions I replied, “I agree sir.”

Our SUV was racing at optimum speed. At one place my senior advised the driver to stop. We all got down and went to a place called Sukhdev Dhaba. And I was amazed to see a throng of people binging on pure north Indian delicacies even after mid- night. It seemed like a gala night. People had come there with families also. To think to go out in a mid-night for a dinner with family in a small city like mine might sound bizarre, where most eateries close down as the clock strikes 9 p.m. But things were very normal at the dhaba.  In the dhaba, the night was not sleeping. It was chirping with the chomping of mouth.

After a week from the return of the marketing tour, I was officially told to furnish my resignation. But the tour gave me open- mindedness and opportunities to traverse between different worlds that I would not have got otherwise. 

First opportunity was to be among the world of clouds (which I had only seen from far away earth until then), second was about an enlightenment that even if there are homeless Britons, yet the homes are always available for rich Indians in the U.K, and the third was about the revelation that mid-night is just as perfect as an afternoon for a binge.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Conversations on water in an arid land!

When I woke up today, I found myself in an arid land.  The air was bereft of any moist. It seemed as if every gush of air, laced with burning arrows of sunrays, was pricking my body, In short intervals there were sand storms spiraling up and blanketing me completely with sand. There was no sign of a single human, a single tree or a single animal. 

Dusting the sand off my body, I started trudging through the smoldering sand with bare feet in search of water as I was feeling really parched. My throat was bone dry. I saw a small pool of water some ten steps ahead. I raced towards that. But as I reached the place, the pool of water moved some few steps ahead. I was flabbergasted. And then it dawned upon me that it was just a mirage about which I had read in school books.

Frazzled by strolling amid sand, I sat down in the shadow of a big rock to take shelter from scorching sun. As I was resting, I heard some noise of digging. “Someone must be digging for water,” I thought in my mind. I got up and scuttled towards the digging sound.

As I reached there, I saw an old man with long white hair and beard digging the sand frantically.  Some laptops and mobile phones were scattered around the ditch.

“What are you doing?” I asked the old man.

“Can’t you see?” asked the old man in return.

“I can see…but…anyways…do you know where can I find some water…I am really thirsty?”

“What do you think I am searching in the sand? I am also thirsty and thirstier than you,” said the old man in rude tone.

“But why are you digging laptops and mobile phones from the sand don’t you know the place where we can dig some water?”

“I am digging laptops and mobiles because you loved only these, had you loved water, I would not have to be thirsty for fifty years or so?” replied the old man.

“What? you are thirsty for fifty years?”

“Yes, since the year this beautiful city died due to lack of water in June of 2049 to today in June of 2099, I am thirsty,” replied the old man.

“What? It is 2099? I can’t believe it. When last night I slept, it was March 2018,” I opposed.

“Seeing is believing dear, can you see any trace of year 2018 around you?” asked the old man.

“But which city it was?”

“It was a tech city… Bengaluru, in India, people in the city cared more for computers, mobiles and modern technics, but they forgot to take care for water. They forgot to save water. They forgot to respect water. They believed more in cutting chai but forgot to include #CuttingPani in their lifestyle. Gradually, they started dying due to dearth of water and finally they evaporated from this world.”

“I don’t think that people of Bengaluru are such careless fellows, they respect water.”

“Had they respected, you would not have been seeing such dessert around you… and leave about people, do you respect water? When you had kept the tap open while shaving… had you realized that it was a way of wasting water? and when you had thrown the half- drunk bottle of water in the dustbin after your train journey from Patna last month…had you realized that it was a waste of water?” asked the old man in stern voice.

“How do you know all these things? Who are you? And how come you are alive after so many years of human extinction in Bengaluru?” 

“I am the one who is cursed to be alive till the end of this world…I am Ashwathama,” said the old man removing the hairs dangling on his forehead to wipe something.

As he removed his dangling hair, my eyes went directly on his forehead that was oozing with pus and blood. 

I moved ahead to touch the mythological character, but fell from my bed with a thud.

“What happened?” cried my mother from kitchen.

“Nothing!” I replied to assure her by trying to make my voice as unruffled as possible. My mind was in a spin and body was drenched with sweat. As I managed myself to get back on my bed and rested for a while, I got reminded of a Livepure initiative to save water. Seeing the gruesome future of the city in my dream, I then and there signed the petition. You are also invited to do so. Click here and commit yourself to save water: