Friday, July 30, 2010

The Gift of the Monsoon

At last you came..

I waited for long with a desire of a thirsty wings of a bird to fly

But now as the moment came when you came finally

I have nothing to offer you

Except lostness and solitude.

The moment you came....

A hush of sharp wind swept the city of gray concretes

The begging bowl dropped from the hands of a wrinkled beggar

With scattered pieces of coins

Two college girls passed me running with their eyes half-closed

A swarm of dust strangled the traffic for seconds

And then the last ray of sun shaded away from the day

And my sun-burnt red face got the first touch of the Monsoon

My frustrations and all the daily hazards

Now got soaked in the water droplets

Making me nothing

But Pure..Very Pure.

And then you came

In twinkling dancing tottering lips..

In open soaked muddy shoes..

In Loving soul..

And in the first blooming of the first letter..first word..

The first tune of rhythm..

Another ordinary evening which turned special

As I got a poem..

I started walking in the rain..

I walked completely soaked..

Behind me the city looked green washed in rain

The scent of the wet soil in air..

I walked

I walked..

And I smiled..

I can loose everything but still I would be special

I would be different

As I have the gift of words with me..

The sheer amazement of poetry..

Which is my truth

My Private Honour!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Night in the Lost Land

I am standing before a rock.

A brownish black moisture ridden age old rock. Beneath the deep blue sky and the boundless moonlight and the dancing shades of tree leaves in a land of utter silence , I again observed the rock. On it are engraved with little sharp letters..J.P. From the dust covered and wretched stretch marks of the rock, it looks like the letters are written much early may be several hundred years ago. Or may be I am mistaking, the search of exact time and period is meaningless without a carbon test but still I feel, that the letters..those two letters means something special..a story..a romance of the gone days..when this vast tract of popular land was nothing but deserted and only jungles abundant. And within such wilderness…those misty tunes of ancient nature..themes of lostness..natural canopy of sublime moonlight..windy scarce nights..days of endless rain I tried to retrospect a figure of a man roaming within these area and dropping and bending before rocks amd may be one day in a mood of eternal wanderer engraving in this rock those very two letters..


James Princep.

In this place, this remote village far away from Sanchi..a famous spot of Madhya Pradesh in such mood of exploring travelers one can remember of only one man..James Princep..a rich East India Company merchant, the assay-master of the India Government Mint, Calcutta, a brilliant Archaeologist and the Secretaryof the Asiatic Society who not only was also a numismatic to find out descent of the Gupta coins from the Kushan prototypes and the Punch-marked system of coin manufacture in India.

Again I looked at the letters.

Moonlight is little less now it is now being sliced by moving flocks of clouds. Winds a bit harsh at this hour of the night of the month of August.

Looking at the engraved letters on the rock I again tried to think that for years a man lying in this land of jungles and mapless remote tracts with surrounded numbered inhabitants and coolies, each day trying to study the mysterious letters on rocks and edicts and each night spending almost sleepless under fire dedicating himself to only one solve the mysteries of time..the letters offering wealth of untold people and land and their deeds..the curve of the letters..the bend of the letters..the sharp cut..the steep rise..the numismatic diagonasi of different writings of various civilisation..I try to think about the man who by himself changed the course of Indian History and Indian Archaeology and thus finished the unfinished work of Sir William Jones after forty years of his death when in day he found the link to solve and decipher the scripts and locate the word ‘Danam’ (gifts) in numerous inscriptions and the similarity of Brahmi Script with other Writings..

‘Babu, ustaraf mat Jaiye, khatra hai!’
Suddenly, a voice came from behind.

I got so much absorbed in my thinkings seeing the letters J.P. that it took time to cone to presence.

I turned and saw a young boy is standing, he is wearing only a loincloth, his upper part naked, his hairs uncombed for days.

‘Khatra?’( Danger?’) I asked.

‘Ha babu, pahar ke upar bhalu hai, Bara sap bhi hai’(In the Jungle up the hills there is bear, snakes too!)

‘Aur keya hai?’ I asked again smiling.

‘Cabe hai Babu?’

Cabe kya?’

The boy started describing me.

And then I found out that ‘Cabe’ means ‘Cave’.

I got excited.

Caves? Kahan?’

The boy pointed up the hills.

I started to walk.

The boy came along with me.

‘Ap nehi ja sakte Babu’! Oonha koi nehi jata! Jungle hai!’

(The boy prevented me to go there as there is deep jungle and no one goes there.)

‘Kis taraf hai?’(Which way, the cave?’)

The boy again pointed his hand towards the hills.

It’s much upwards and in this night without any arms and instruments and a group it is impoosible really to go there. I nooded and agreed with the boy.

I stopped.

And then asked the boy his name.

‘Shahu Babu, Rambilas Sahu.’

I again questioned him that what he is doing here at this hour?

‘Chaukidar ne bheja mujhe aapko bulane ke liye.’

I undersood that the Chaukidar of the House where I am staying for the night send him to call me. The house was empty and it was one of my friend’s ancestral home. I love remote places and specially I always wanted to spend a night here in this village just miles away from Sanchi.

‘Aap jaoge pahar ke upar Babu?’

The boy asked.

I nodded.

‘Kal subah main apko le jaoonga!’

The boy promised me that tomorrow morning he would take me up the hills but tomorrow early morning I have to depart to Bhopal, as next day I have to reach office.

‘Aur Kabhi aa jana Babu! Mera nam yaad rakhna.. Shahu!’

I will definitely remember the name of the boy. And I really wish that one day I would return here to go up the hills and explore the caves.

I again looked at those two letters..J.P.

May be these two letters means something else.

May be it do not denote whom I thought..but to me the initials which I found within a rock in the foothills of Sanchi would always represent the man who deciphered the Brahmi Script and Ashokan Edicts..James Princep..

I handed over the boy, a twenty rupee note.

Shahu smiled.

An innocent smile of the village boy.

‘Next time I would surely go up the hills with you Shahu!’

I smiled and started walking.

And then again stopped.

Then turned and kept my eyes over the hills.

Night is ripe now..some birds flying high..searching homes..a night bird with a sweet melancholy tune filling up the air..moon again shining with its full deep blue..stars shining near the horizon..Far across over the hills the Buddhist Monument of Sanchi can be seen..its brilliant architecture..and far upwards..much higher..almost near the summit..some dark mysterious rocky structures can be seen..are the the caves?..I decided to come back here once more..may be within those caves..some more romances of history waiting for ages footsteps of civilized men to bring wanders of limelight..

Or may be I would never come back here..

Let if there are some hidden wonders of history are preserved within the caves..let it be remain there..let something should remain which would still arose amazement..wonders this so called civilized world..where men are climbing and climbing all stages of success and wanders..trying to remove all mysteries by their teachings..

Let some thing should remain..

For which may be a simple this innocent village boy Shahu can live on..

And being illiterate still can draw such wonderful innocent smile..

I again looked at the caves..

Let the mystery remain..

Let some script still remain undeciphered..

I walked on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sketches of a Corporate Monk

As Some time in some specified moments I took up my pen and started writing over the white sheet I found myself open in the fresh air with blue sky or traces of clouds..birds flying high and shades of nature crystallized in different segregations of wonder. And as this mood grips me I find that this particular moment has been created only for me..and an urge continue to grow within me..I have to go..where I don’t know but somewhere I have to go..far from the maddening crowd in a place which may or may not have any invitation for me..

But still there is the call..
The call of the road..and I found that within days I am on a new tour..
Having no notion of where to to go.. but just walk on..
Like the monks walking in search of divine bliss!
The term “monk” may be a sure exaggeration..
Much justified in this 21st C would be the term Corporate Monk!

I travelled across the countries for official works..sometimes just for travel..and I come across certain sketches of life..

I remember that day when I spent the night in a park..I walked on for long..but I in the busy Gariahat(a hub of Calcutta) road I saw a dirty boy wearing a torn shirt with no buttons licking an already drank bottle of Pepsi..with a beautiful smile in his face..for a moment it appeared to me that is the Face of evening I saw a farmer walking through the streets of Sector V(IT Park) like a lost man..among the corporates he is almost looking like an unmatched paradox..a clown..but as he passed with grains of rice in heaps in his hands..I saw his eyes bearing an utter ignorance to all of us.. another day as I am returning from Delhi and the Rajdhani crossing the Ganges over Allahabad I saw from the window that a man..dipped in the Ganges praying with hands was a moonlit night..the Ganges shining white in moon..the moving train..its designs of the moving windows and the yellow lights floating scattered over the white water..suddenly I not only before me I saw an scene but it was life at its pure..there the vast nature in full flow..and there in the river a single man standing unmoved as almost like a solitary soul in the holy river..I met a coolie in Shahjahanpur station who brought me a chilled cup of tea in a chilled night and as the train moved and I went to give him money..he said smiling.. ‘Nehi babu..ap mahman hai!’(You are a Guest Babu!)..from where this may be illiterate poverty-stricken old man got such philosophy..where from?I saw a lonely woman watching the train passed over a lonely station as it was all her life meant utmost desire flashing in her eyes.. I saw a blind old lady everyday coming at Hazra more and sitting and waiting for his boy to come as from there he got lost..I saw a small boy climbing a tree just beside a plateau in is a very common scene..but the brown plateau with the green fields and the tree with red flowers and the half-naked boy climbing it in motion..the scene..startled an early morning..when night still hanging and the dawn slowly blooming I saw a Baul walking with ektara in hand..over the Lalmati or red grains soil of Santiniketan..again a picture of an alone man making her way through the vastness of the earth..

All the pictures put together will represent its vastness and again if the pictures like fragments are kept scattered it would show the individualness and completeness of life is a mystery and I love to get folded in that mystery..thus I also continued with my life..

And thus now I felt I should hold these in words..
These invaluable moments.

As nothing but..
The Sketches of a Corporate Monk..!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chittore Revisited

I really wanted to spend a night in Chittore.

And thus when one day I got a chance I took it.

I was struck in work there and thus have no option but to stay a night there.

From the day I started loving History, from the day I became a student of archaeology,and the day I became an Junior Archaeologist….it was a dream of mine.To face history….to spend nights in historical places.

I finished my dinner within ten thirty and then came and sat down in a chair. The sky was filled with spongy clouds which is kissing the moon and adoring her light. The wind was blowing gently though it also sometimes brought dust with it.

After taking an hours rest and when no one in the whole house seemed awake I slowly slipped out of the house. I started walking slowly. I took the road towards the fort. It was a steep sloppy surface . the sky is now totally clear and the moon was shining in her own majesty. The moonlit night was slowly gripping the night of Chittore.

I passed the temple of goddesses Kali. I passed some houses built of rocks which had their origin in last three to four centuries ago. Within some wrecked houses I found fire was burning. Maybe in this cold weather some shelterless person earning warmth.

A shadow of a person appeared before me in distant near. The shadow almost tottering came towards me and then asked ‘Brijesh keya? Lakhan ka dukan keya bandh ho gaya?’(A meaningless question to someone )I ignored him and went on walking. That person again said something. It was useless answering him as he was drunk and not in sense.

The wind touched me with a splash. I looked upwards. Clouds were gathering and breaking up. Much like my feelings … a feeling of despair all coming..gathering .. and then breaking up.

To the left side of mine was total empty steep slopes ran down almost down to the foothills of the town. In my right side broken houses ,scattered pieces of rocks some illegible memorablia, almost like an inscription, numerous bushes and trees and dark dimmy small houses on the steep slopes….and more than anything a different strange smell..a smell which denotes old things existing in the present day earth which is itself an amusing and pecuiliar feature.

I came down to the gate of the fort. There ought to be some security here but I cant saw any one of them. I smiled. I went inside and thought if anybody asked me my motive for such an night ride it would be difficult to explain them. But what would not be difficult was showing them my ID card of A.S.I.

A whole new world awaited inside. It was simply mesmerizing . The light of the moon now flooded everywhere. I came and sat over a rock near Vijay-Stambha which Rana Kumbha has built to commemorate his success. It was a glorious architecture symbolizing the best specimen of Rajput architecture. I have seen it numerous times but never in such a moonlit night. I have seen moonlit Taj , this is an experience comparable to it. The tower of Vijay-Stambha was looking totally white as if it was built of marble and it seems the white light was pouring down from there to the ground and then throughout everywhere. The moon light has started writing a lyrics in her own tune in the modern world with themes of past.
It was a night which I never forget..
I went to Chittore later also sometimes.
But never found that sizzling touches of moments like that night.
May be I have changed..may be I have become old..thus lost those senses of romanticism..
But still remember that one night when..
Time stopped at Chittore!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Wild Truth

Sometimes I think life is a brilliant wonder..

Sometime a soothing orchestra of wet drops of rain..

Sometime life is all about passing by through a distant whistle of a running train..

Sometime again it is an urge or a nemesis of a break away run..

...........And the run begins from cascading the known from the open world of unknown..and thus

I found myself totally exposed..walking alone beneath the horizon..

As I walk I found myself..

On the pitch coloured road of the vast world..

Following the engraved footsteps and footprints of the millions who have passed

For ages and decades and centenary..

May be the name of this particular road has changed..may be the name itself is a misinterpretation of epigraphed regionalism..

May be the grains of daily struggles of life is itself now a rich history..

May be the pattern of ages has changed the passion of needs..

May be the whole known surroundings has been fragmented into a new..totally new identity..

May be underneath my feet the history remains silent for ever knowing everything..

May be the reason for growth and cause of destruction..

Of each period..each empire..each event..

But as I walk I found out with a shiver..

Beneath my feet the road..the path.. can loose everything ..except..

The wild truth..

The touch of a new man walking on a new road on a new Journey..

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Night in a Remote Station..

It was twenty past twelve.

And through the shades of midnight the Rajdhani Express suddenly halted.It was unexpected as Rajdhani stops only in some stations..clearly it was nothing but a matter of signal..I can hardly take bed so early thus I stood up and peeped through the glasses.

And I got stranded.

A beautiful night awaiting for me outside.

The station was totally empty..over the glasses I saw some yellow green leaves running scatterdly over the platform in clear..stars shining at regular intervals.

It became tough for me to remain within the train.

I walked from the AC –Sleeper class,opened the door and stepped into the station.

As my feet touched the platform, a wind swept me which bear an unknown fresh smell

.Is it a smell of the soil?

Is it a smell of the cattlefields?

Is it the smell of the tree, its branches?

Or is it the smell of the night?

I don’t know but I felt the smell contains ingredients from all of it.

I looked front. There was no trace of any signal.

I started walking. The scattered leaves now roamed over my feet.

The wind blowing in different tunes..the sky looks trace of clouds..a faint moonlight spreading herself over this unknown station at this particular night..the air is cold..

I stared at the mesmerizing view of the night which lay before me.

The station though almost empty has a view of solitary loneliness..only a light of the lamppost of the station glowing and pouring on a banyan tree..the tree is old with numerous branches..some green..some yellow..some without leaves..some with leaves shaking in winds..throughout the station beneath the the blue sky the banyan tree with all its shades of colour and spreading of green leaves among the yellowish image resembling as if the only symbol of life..behind the plots of cattlefields..behind some bushes..I saw ..quite far from here..a hazy layout of a steep plateau like structures..from which direction the winds are suppose to be blowing..there was hardly any sound in the place except..the clattering of a night bird..the flapping of its wings..a dog running through the fields parallel to the tracks..a cow standing in the night over the grazing fields..sometimes nodding its head unconsciously..all pictures of loneliness..all a piece of singleness trying to hold the epigraph of time..of life..all sketches of solitude..all pictures of a different world which made this night,this moment,this station so very precious to me..

I thanked God that the train stopped here..

It was really unique..far from all the resemblance of our known world..far from the sorrows and daily struggles of survival..this night showed the vast epitome of the world..lesson of feeling the world for some moment instead of only running and searching for meaningless worldly things..a desire of surrender to this open myself completely and absorb all the wonderful gifts that the nature had to offer..a raga of timeless sensations..a feeling of individualness which can be so mouthful of essences of rendezvous..

But at that moment the signal was shown.

The green light flashed.

I boarded the steps of Rajdhani.

The train started slowly.

The yellowish platform passed.

The beautiful banyan tree passed.

Its dancing leaves passed.

The blue sky with numerous stars passed.

And then passed the ‘board’ on which the station name was written.

The light of the station as well as the moonlight fell on the name.


I came back to my seat.

Through the looking glass I saw moonlight kissing all corners of the earth outside.

The outside world with all its people and their emotions was running again parallel to the train.

Another station came.


Another came.


But I know I can never forget this remotestation which gave me nothing but a sense of solitary individualness..and gifts of unpredicted beauty!

And another thing..

A smell of lonely romanticism!