All posts by Mzee

Just trying to make the most of today, experience all that is possible and not forgetting to breath.


I always thought that scenes in the movies when the protagonists stood looking over themselves, was a little far fetched till I found myself in that very same balcony where it all started.
 There I was looking at myself
….at the scene when we sat there making plans, giving final touches to the plan that was not just a business plan but a vision of the future filled with gumption, hope and whole lot of energy. A scene where we sat arguing about little nuances and epic dreams.
…at the same spot on the balcony where I talked about creating presentations with only visuals that resonated with words in our heads.
…at the scene where we looked at holiday pictures eating coconut cream natural ice cream.
….at the place where we shared stories of success, of small impacts created, reaffirmed plans, and  exchanges anecdotes filled with histrionics.
…at the same balcony where the first thought of moving along was said aloud. The thought of an alternative with no judgments was whispered into the air.
….and where we shared homemade cake, drank red wine, remembered the bright orange fishes that died tragically and of the air gun that never found its prey.
…and where I returned with stories of new places,new people, new dreams and so many new possibilities.
…as I see us all huddled around thinking of a second helping, what remains ever so constant are eyes rapt in attention, words never harsh or presumptuous and a presence of acceptance and genuine care.
It wasn’t my last evening on that balcony,  coz I will return to it, armed with a bag full of stories to fill the cold evening breeze and fill my bowl with the second helping of dessert on offer yet again.
To moving away and the echoes of wandering…..


BANJARA by Javed Akhtar


main banjara
waqt ke kitne shaharo se gujra hun
waqt ke is shahar se jaate jaate
mudkar dekh raha hun
soch raha hun
tumse mera ye nata bhi toot raha hai
tumne mujhko chhoda tha jis shahar mein aake
wo shahar bhi mujhse chhoot raha hai

mujhko wida karne aaye hain
wo saare din
jinke kandhe per soti hai
ab bhi tere julf ki khushboo
wo saare lamhe
jinke maathe per hain raushan
ab bhi tumhare lams ka tika
nam aankho se
gumsum mujhko dekh rahe hain
mujhko inke dukh ka pata hai
inko mere gham ki khabar hai
lekin mujhko hukme-safar
jana hoga
waqt ke agle sheher ab mujhe jana hoga

naye sheher ke sab din sab raatein
jo tumse nawaakif honge
wo kab meri baat sunenge
mujhse kahenge
jao apni rah lo rahi
hamko kitne kaam pade hain
jo biti so beet gayi
ab wo kyun dohrate ho
kandhe par jholi rakhe
kyun phirte ho kya paate ho

main bechara
ik banjara
awaara firte firte jab thak jaunga
tanhai ke teele per jakar baithunga
phir jaise pehchan ke mujhko
ik banjara jaan ke mujhko
waqt ke agle sheher ke
sare nanhe munne bhole lamhe
nange pao.n
bhage bhage aa jayenge
mujhko gher ke baithenge
aur mujhse kahenge kyun banjare
tum to waqt ke kitne shahro se gujre ho
un shehro ki koi kahani hame sunao.

Unse kahunga
nanhe lamho –
ek thhi rani….
sunke kahani
sare nanhe lamhe
ghamgeen lamhe mujhse ye poochhenge
tum kyun unke shahar na aayi
lekin unko behla lunga
unse kahunga ye mat poochho
aankhe mundo
aur ye socho
tum hoti to kaisa hota
tum ye kahti tum wo kahti
tum is baat pe hairaa.n hoti
tum is baat pe kitni hasti
tum hoti to aisa hota
tum hoti to waisa hota

dheere dheere
sare nanhe lamhe so jayenge
aur main haule se uthhkar
waqt ke agle shahr ke raste ho lunga
yahi kahani phir dohrane

tum hoti to aisa hota
tum hoti to waisa hota.

Translation by David Matthews
I, a banjara
Have passed so many cities of time.
As I pass through this city of time,
I turn, I look and think
That even this bond we share is breaking;
This time of city in which you came
Then left me, is also ebbing far away from me
All the people of the town have come to bid farewell to me.
All those days on whose shoulders sleeps
The pefume of your tresses even now.
All those moments on whose forehead shines
the mark of your soft hand even now, with tearful eyes
They look at me now numb and lost.
I understand their pain
They know the grief I feel but I am comanded to travel on
I must depart and go on to the next city of time.
Those who dwell in the next city of time
All those days and all those nights
Who do not know you will never listen to my words.
They will say to me:
Go traveller! Be on your Way!
See how busy we are.
What has passed has passed.
Why do you repeat yourself?
With you bag on your shoulder
Why do you roam, what do you gain?
I, a wretched fellow,
A banjara
Wander aimlessly and when I tire,
I shall go and sit on a mound of loneliness.
Then as if they recognise me
Knowing that I am a Banjara
From the next city of time
All the tiny simple moments will come
Barefoot hurrying and scurrying
And sit around me
And say
Tell us Banjara
How many cities of time have you passed through
Tell us the stories of those cities.
And I shall say
Little moments!
Once upon a time there was a queen…..
And after the story
All these little moments will be sad and ask me
Why you did not come to their city
But I shall console them and tell them
Do not ask, close your eyes and think
If you were here then what might be
If you said this,
If you said that,
You would have been amazed by this
How you would laughed to hear that
If you were here then this might be
If you were here then that might be
Softly, gently
All my little moments
Will fall asleep
And I,
Slowly getting up once more
Putting my bag of memories upon my shoulders
Will take the road again
And head towards the next city of time,
To explain my tiny moments
To console my innocent moments
To tell my story once again.
If you were here then this might be
If you were here then that might be.

Widowed Souls

There is a piece of land between the railway tracks and the main road which takes me home. Its unkempt, stark and strewn with weeds. Although a pathway runs below the tracks leading to the other side of the road, the barrenness of this no man’s land, meant that it was not used by pedestrians. This week I noticed the widowed and utterly ignored space been adopted by vegetables vendors, adding vibrancy and attracting those heading home just like me.

It led to me think how uninhabited spaces get adopted into ghettos, slums, bazaars and markets, that we eventually forget how cold and unwanted that place was in the first place.

In the colorful montage of life as it surrounds us today, the white veil of widowed spaces and souls surrounds us, paradoxically wrapped in the most vibrant colors. Look past the garb and her eyes tell you of the story of betrayal. The tale of her first love, made companion, who no longer is the person she loved when she was 19, yet married to him now, the father of her child.

The hurt of abandonment emerges and lays bare the pain caused sometimes by a trusted parent or loyal friend now a stranger or a sibling now estranged.

The late Leonard Cohen who through his music soothingly embraced all of humanity’s corruption, in one of his songs says that a crack in everything is how the light gets in.

Paige O’hara Sculpture

But if not all humanity is created equally (in terms of mental strength at least), then what is the price we pay for the cracks we endure?

No matter how much we take hurdles in our stride, cracks show up and create a shadow of souls widowed, and tugs at my heart to see it unable to trust too quickly, love unabashedly or give another chance to friendships that beckon.

We are never the same at the other bank of the river. Fighting the river that we thought would carry us ashore but unexpectedly tried to drown us leaves gasping with disbelief.

But Oh widowed soul
Do you know that love pleads for another chance?
Do you not feel the strings of intimacy playing your tune?
Does the beating drum not fire your loins with passion?

Why not let the wind shatter the wall of disillusionment
Give the chimes of hope a chance to dance in the rain
Allow chirping giggles to overcome the deafening silence you endure
Or simply try giving your widowed soul a chance to bloom again…

There is an amazing illustration by Zen Pencils on Love….sharing it here:2013-02-12-lewis.jpg

This week’s poem by Parveen Shakir named Barish hui to phoolon ke tan chak ho gaye.


Barish hui to phoolon ke tan chak ho gaye
mausam ke hath bhig ke saffak ho gaye

baadal ko kya khabar ki barish ke chah mein
kitne buland-o-bala shajar khak ho gaye

Juganu ko din ke vaqt pakadne ki zid karen
bache hamare ahad ke chalak ho gaye

jab bhi garib-e-shahar se kuch guftagu hui
lahaje hava-e-sham ke namnaak ho gaye

lahara rahi hai barf ke chadar hata ke ghas
suraj ke shah pe tinake bhi bebak ho gaye

sahil pe jitne aab-gazeeda the sab ke sab
dariya ke rukh badalate hi tairak ho gaye


As it rained the flowers had holes in their bodies made
The weather now drenched became a tyrant

How would the clouds know that while waiting for rain
So many tall and mighty trees had turned to ashes

They insist on testing the firefly in the daylight
Children of today have become so bright

Whenever a conversation with those away from home rose
The evening breeze with their words grew moist

Unveiling the cover of snow, the grass now sways
Egged by the sun the straws are now fearless

All those who would out of fear the water shunned
Became swimmers as the river changed its course.

Ending with Mr. Cohen and his amazing voice.