Tag Archives: Friends

Unfinished Tango


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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.

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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!

 

Same same but different


 

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A grand dark cloud gathered all around her.

She wouldn’t be lying if she admitted that she knew it was lurking around, ready to swallow her whole. Standing at the edge, knowing how close it was, how easy it was for her to take a step and fall into that bottomless pit, made her clinch her gut. In that instant she could not breath, fearful at the prospect of falling in again.

But everyday acts needed to be performed, and this resulted in bland meals cooked without soul, paint brushes waiting to be stroked, that bright new dress still hanging in the closet, that pen lying in wait, no words, no new thoughts, just a grayness all around.

If Buddha were to hear her tale, he might simply ask her to live in the moment.

In the moment……

If this moment now is what defines me, then what of the moments that have made me, Me. Right at this moment am I not a culmination of moments past? Made of memories, hurt, pain, victory, satisfaction. If the past defines me, why am I not allowed to escape to the future? Just worry a little, stress out about things I cant control, create negative scenarios where all is lost?

And so she relinquishes control, falling slowing, each part of her body going numb slowly.

In the midst of the grayness, her happy past brings even darker fears; what if the future does not hold the same fervor? As time passes will she be able to fight hurt and failure with the same gusto she did in the past? May be her strength is failing her, may be she never was strong, may be they were right……

huge.96.480867She lives inside the worm hole for a day, the day turns into a week. She can hear them call her, telling her how beautiful, how special she is. She makes mental notes on everything right in her life, everything that she has, trying hard to be grateful.

It’s a bend in the road they say, not the end….come back to us, for we are ever waiting.

 


Deep darkness sometimes surrounds many of us. Depression, Negativity, Fear, Phobias, call it by any name, is a reality. Prevalent and spreading like wild fire, it is sometimes compared to a silent and slow drug.  Making me wonder how many of those happy faces around me are hiding within them this darkness, never being able to confess.

The fear of being ridiculed, being labeled weak, a vacuum of good listeners, neither friends who can be cathartic or an ego to big to admit, leads to the dark hole growing bigger.

My wish then is not that you never to be in that place, because the truth is we all do visit it. But I wish that it doesn’t last too long, that you kick the hell out of it and not linger there too long.

And I pray that you have around you, those who are patient, who believe when you don’t, who wait for you to emerge and smile that knowing smile.

The words of Kaifi Azmi in this poem talks about the lover, which sometimes can be the beloved or could it also be our darkness in whose arms we sometimes lie.

Transliteration

Uljhe uljhe jazbaat na pooch
Sehmi sehmi inayat na pooch
baar baar uska karam farmana
chupke chupke sare-baali aana
jaane kya kya woh mujhe samjhana
aur aap hi sharmajana
mukhtasar kitni thi woh raat na pooch

Aah mamnune-asar ho ki na ho
dekhiye raat basar ho ki na ho
abr ujdhe hue mandhlaye hue
taur sehme hoye ghabraye hue
ashk rukhsaar pe kuch aaye huye
aur kuch palko mein tharraye huye
aur khuda jaane seher ho ki na ho.

Translation

I did not find any prominent renditions of this poem or translations. Hence this is my humble attempt at translating his words.

Don’t ask about those knotted emotions
Don’t ask about those fearful blessings
Again and again you shower your grace
Quietly lie next to my pillow
Explaining to me all kinds of things
and feeling shy at the end of it
Don’t ask how minuscule that night felt.

Even if my sighs may or may not be that impressive
Even if the night may or may not exist
The clouds all uprooted and confused
The demeanor fearful and frightened
Those tears that lie on the cheeks
And some that lie captured in those eyelashes
Only the lord knows if the morning will ever arrive.