Category Archives: Gulzar

Crickets


Sitting at my desk, the wind carries with it the humdrum of life outside. 

The chaotic little shrieks of children playing just after school hours reminds me of my happy childhood where I played for long hours outside, till my mother came calling for dinner.

The incessant blaring horns signal a traffic jam somewhere in the lanes behind home, leading me to imagine the frustrated looks and words exchanged by those caught in its midst.

This week late at night, as I sat at my desk furiously working the laptop while the energy outside started to mellow down, the slow chirp of crickets filtered in through my window transporting me to another time.

I have always wondered what made their sounds grow louder and louder and then fall way low, before they began the ritual again?  Often finding myself mimic their chorus or try and break their rhythm.

The chirp of crickets reminds me of late nights in the outdoors, camping under the stars, surrounded by darkness, with only their sound for company.

But what it reminds me of the most is this tree that lay on the road that led to my art classes. It was a massive tree that I think housed hundreds of them or so I imagined back then.

The sound of crickets terrified me then, so much so, that this memory lies etched in mind from 30 years ago.

You see, I was convinced that when I walked under that tree, these loud, invisible creatures would all at once sweep down and attack me. So there I was, all of 8, standing at the edge where its branches started, holding  my breath, gritting my teeth, clenching my fist, ready to make a dash to the other side where the tree ended.  

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Looking back, I am sure the crickets wondered why this little human increased her pace so furiously when walking under that tree.

This continued for the entire summer till art classes thankfully concluded and I no longer had to make that all too stressful walk under the tree.

What does their sound remind you of? Do you have memory associated with it?

Or any memory that gets ignited by a particular sound?

Do share if you do.

This week’s s poem by Gulzar again, about that tree…..his tree. Like so many trees, either lost to development or time.

treelined4

Mod pe dekha hai?

By Gulzar

Mod pe dekha hai wo boodha-sa ek ped kabhi ?
Mera waqif hai, bahut salon se mein use jaanata hoon

Jab mein chhota tha to ik aam udaane ke liye
Parli deewar se kandhon pe chadha tha uske
Jaane dukhti huee kis shaakh se jaa paanv lagaa
Dhaad se phenk diya tha muje neeche usne
Meine khunnas main bahut phenke the pathar us par

Meri shaadi pe mujhe yaad hai shaakhein dekar
Meri vedi ka hawan garm kiya tha usne
Aur jab haamla thi ‘Biba’ to dopahar main har din
Meri biwi ki taraf kairiyan phenki thi isi ne
Waqt ke saath sabhi phool, sabhi patti gaye

Tab bhi jal jaata tha jab Munne se kehti ‘Biba’
‘Haan,usi ped se aaya hai tu, Ped ka phal hai’
Ab bhi jal jaata hoon. jab mod se gujarte mein kabhi
Khaanskar kehta hai, ‘Kyo, Sar ke sabhi baal gaye?’

‘Subah se kaat rahe hain woh Kameti wale
Mod tak jaane ki himmat nahin hoti mujhko’

The Tree at The Corner

Translation by Pavan K Verma

Have you seen at the corner that ageing tree?
It is an acquaintance I have known for years.

When I was small, I had climbed on to its shoulders
From the adjacent wall to steal a mango
My feet touched on of its branches that was hurting
It threw me down with a thud
Angry, I threw many stones at it.

At my wedding I remember it gave its branches
To warm the fire of the havan
And when Biba was pregnant, it threw every afternoon
its raw mangoes at my wife
With time all its leaves and flowers disappeared
I would be jealous when Biba told the baby:
“You have come from that tree, you are his fruit”
Even today I feel angry when, as I pass the turning, he coughs
And says, ” Have you lost your hair”

Today since morning, the municipal authorities are cutting it to pieces
I do not have the courage to go up to the corner.

Bikhre Lavz now has a page on Facebook. Do like to get updates and more poetry related stuff!

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Unfinished Tango


lastdancepp-1

The music begins to play somewhere in the background
And the tango of our emotions takes stage……

There is no mention of the long absence
Or your sudden arrival
There has never been…..

We dive into words with a hastiness that only distance can create,
As I douse you with endless stories of those we both know.
Filling the blanks created these last few months,
With tales of new entrants who are now part of my life.

You laugh at my anecdotes, never exasperated with their triviality.
Your eyes light up listening to me recount that amazing experience,
Where you were missed deeply,
And imagined and wished if you had been there.

I beam with happiness, smiling with pride,
At your accomplishments and the distance you have traveled.
While visualizing if I had been there,
As I put a wish out there for countless more.

You confess to meeting new people,
Some who uncovered unknown biases,
Others who surprised you pleasantly with their kindness and generosity,
And made you believe in miracles again.

I watch with joy the happiness you experience
As you hum that song your little girl can’t get out of her head,
Recounting how she drives everyone crazy
With her nasal rendition all day long.

We share a meal; discover karaoke for the first time,
Grind spices to cook a meal, listen to jazz.
Hope changes hands, trust strengthens, comfort created
And love transferred.

The harmony of our emotions reaches its peak,
With every swing and twist in tandem.
But that’s all the time we have.
As the music begins to fade, we make that final move with a clink of our glasses.

This unfinished tango will continue another time
Picking up right where we left it.

============

A late night rendition for a an old friend that is dedicated to friendships that allow you to pick up just where they are left off….

tango-feet

I love these 2 poem by Gulzar for their simplicity just as much as for the visuals they create.

Poem by Gulzar

Main rehta is taraf hu yaar ki dewaar ke lekin,
Mera saya abhi dewaar ke us paar girta hai

Badhi kacchi si sarhad ek apne jismo-jaan ki hai

I live on this side of my friend’s wall and yet
My shadow falls on the other side

Very weak the border between body and soul

Sketch By Gulzar

Yaad hai ek din
Meri meez par bethe-bethe
Cigarette ki dibya pe tumne
Chote se ek podhe ka
Ek sketch banaaya tha

Aa kar dekho
Us podhe par phool aaya hai!

Remember one day
While sitting at my table
You sketched on a cigarette box
A tiny plant

Come and see
That plant has bloomed!

This visual has been the most lingering for me!