Thursday, November 02, 2006

'न' जमलेली कविता

खुप डोक लढवल मी
पण कविता कधी जमलिच नाही !
बुद्धी नाही तो मनाचा प्रांत
हे अम्हाला समजलच नाही !

प्रेमात मोठ्ठा पोपट झाला
म्हंटल अता तरी कविता जमेल
प्रेम तर सोडा आमच साध
यमक सुद्धा कधी जुळल नाही !

थोडे पुढे निघुन गेले
काहींना मागे सोडल मी
अता खंत फक्त एव्हडिच्
'बरोबर' अस कोणी राहिलच नाही !

तसा सगळा वेळ वायाच गेला
पण काही क्षण विसरणार नाही
सापडले जरी शब्द युगानी
सूर अता तो मिळणे नाही !

खर म्हणजे मला कोणाची गरजच नस्ती
थांबल नाही कोणी, वाट मी कधी पाहिली नाही
खरच असत अस तर बंधन सगळिच सुटली अस्ती
पण मोहं हा बेडीचा, आमच्यानी काही तुटतच नाही !

जाउदेत emotions, आपण logic टाकू
जगण्याचा, अर्थ तरी शोधू... पण शेवटी,
का अलो इथे काय करायचय?
हे कोड कधी सुटतच नाही

खुप डोकं लढवलं मी
पण साली कविता कधी जमलिच नाही !

Saturday, August 12, 2006

सोमा ने 'न' लावलेल पान

NOTE 1: please forgive my marathi. i know its horrible
NOTE 2: i am saying this with great relectance, but please use IE for this.

पुण्याच्य 'सारस बाग' ह्या भागात कधी गेला असाल तर तो भाग किती जिवंत अहे ते तुम्हाला जाणवल असेलच. पण किती लोकांना माहित अहे कि जिवंत माणसांना होतो तसा पुण्याच्य ह्या भागाल 'schizophrenia' or 'split personality' नावाचा रोग फार पुर्वी पासुन आहे. तुम्ही जरका इथे दिवसा अला असाल तर तुम्हाला असंख्य 'family' category मधली लोक, तळ्यतल्या गणपतीला किंव्हा मग पोरांच्या giant wheel, horse ride (थोडक्यत 'जिवाची जत्रा') साठी आलेले दिसतील.
पण रात्री इथे वेगळ्च चित्र दिसत. त्या चित्राच्या तप्शिलात मी शिरत नाही पण माझ्या सारख्या 'निशाचर' category मधल्या लोकांना ते आपापल्या मनात रंगवता येईल. रात्री १-२ ला party संपली की जेवणाची सोय कुठे करायची? ह्या प्रशणाला काही ठराविक उत्तरं आहेत. (ज्यंना "मग party मधे काय केलत?" असा प्रश्ण पडला असेल, त्यांना देव माफ करेल.) lucky चा mutton khima, station किंव्हा shivajinagar ची अंडा भुरजी, गिरिजा किंव्हा सारस बाग ची पावभाजी आणि milk shake (काही लोकांसाठी party नंतर 'दुग्धजन्य' पदार्थांना एक वेगळच महत्व आहे)
असो..तर अश्या ह्या सारस बागेच्या एका कोपर्यात 'सोमा शेठ' ह्यांची पानाची टपरी आहे. 'रामप्रसाद पावभाजी' शेजारी. तिथे अजुन पण एक-दोन टपर्या आहेत. पण सोमाच पान सर्वात popular. आम्ही पण कायम त्याच्या कडेच जायचो. तोंडात कायम तोबरा भरलेला आणि समोर १५-२० पानं मांडलेली. पुलंच्या भाषेत तो 'अस्स्ल पानवाला' मुळीच नाहिये. rather तो पान बनवन्याची assembly line असावा. पण मी पण 'अस्स्ल' पान खाणारा नसल्यामुळे, आपल्याला काय फरक पडतो??
तर असच एकदा मी आणि माझा एक मित्र सोमाच्या टपरी वर गेलो. मी माझ नेहेमीच 'बनारस मसाला' सांगितल आणि रव्यानी त्याच ते 'फुलचंद १२०/३००, रिमझिम कम, चुना ज्यादा' वगेरे-वगेरे सांगितल. नुकताच पाउस पडुन गेला होता, रस्ते अजुन ओले होते. basically एक नंबर वातावरण होत. मी म्हंटल आज काहितरी वेगळ try करुय (हे वाक्य जरी innocent वाटत आसल तरी त्यच्या सहजपणा वर जाउ नका. जाणकारांना हे माहित असेलच कि life मधल्या अनेक imp गोष्टी अश्याच सुरु होतात - चांगल्या आणि वाईट).
मी: सोमा शेठ. आपल्याला पण तंबाकु पान घ्या आज. रव्या ते details सांग कायते.
ह्यावर सोमाने नुस्त थोड मान हालवल्या सारख केल. त्याचा अर्थ 'busy आहे, वेळ लागेल' असा लावला, आणि गप्पा मारत उभा राहिलो.पण मित्राच पान येउन ५ मिनिट झाल्यावर मला लक्षात अल कि हा बहुतेक विसर्ला.
मी: शेठ. आपल्याला एक first class तंबाकु पान लावा.
सोमा: नाही लावणार.
मला obviously काही झेपलच नाही. माझी उधारी फार झाली का, असा मी विचार करत होतो.
सोमा: शिकल्या-सवर्लेल्या लोकांना रस्त्यावर आणलेल पाहिल आहे मी. भिका मागितल्या आहेत ह्या तंबाकु पाई.
मी आणि रव्या एकमेकांन कडे बघुन हासायला लागलो. काय येडा झाला का सोमा!!
मी: अहो शेठ. पण मला खायचय्. लावा तुम्ही.
सोमा: नाही साहेब. बाकी काहिही मागा. तंबाकु लय वाईट.
बराच वेळ हुज्जत घालुन पण तो ऐकेच ना. शेवटी मलाच कंटाळा आला. मसाला पान तोंडात भरुन तसाच घरी गेलो.

ह्याला अता बरिच वर्ष झाली आहेत. पण अजुनही हे आठवल कि मजा वाटते. रोज शेकडो तंबाकु पान विकणार्याला अचानक त्या रात्री काय झाल? एकदम त्याचा गांधी बाबा का झाला?
i guess आपल्या मधल्या प्रत्येकाला कुथेतरी चांगल बनायची उपजत ईच्छा असवी. पण शिक्षण/पैसा ह्याला जसं formal recognition आहे तसं चांगुलपणाला नाही. म्हणुन somehow ते 'optional' बनत जातं. जितक कौतुक आपण performance/prize च करतो तितक ह्याच करतो का?how many of us would dare to do good and come second? or be called unprofessional for that. Unprofessional seems to be the worst remark u can get these days.
his act was obviously unprofessional...even stupid. आयुष्यभराच एक गिराहिक त्यानी स्वताहून घालवल. but do u think he was a fool for doing this?

विषयांतर झालच आहे तर अजुन थोड करतो. 'चांगल माणुस' म्हंटल कि मला माझे अजोबा आठवतात. त्यांनी काही अचाट पैसा कमावला नाही. थरवल अस्त तर कमवू शकले अस्ते. (he was real real smart) पण असंख्य लोकांकडुन त्यांच्या बद्द्ल एकच वाक्य ऐकलय "विसुभाउ म्हणजे देवमाणुस". त्यांच हसण मला अज़ुन आठवत. मला लहान मुलांच्या निरागस हासण्याच कौतुक वाटत नाही. त्यांना मुळात काही समजतच नस्तं.पण ज्या माणसानी आयुष्यातिल सगळी सुख-दुख्खा पाहिली, त्याच्या हसण्यात कण भर सुद्धा कटुता नसावी?आजच्या standards नी त्यांना कदाचित successful म्हणता येणार नाही, पण मला त्या हसण्याचा हेवा वाटतो, आणि आजुबाजुचा compitition/acheivement oriented जग पाहुन एकच वाक्य डोक्यात येत....

ते पुर्वीच पुण अता नाही राहिल!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Anchor...lost

"Don't you have a home to go to?"
I dont recollect me leaving the bar. It was dark and the streets were deserted. This was the "not so respectable" part of the town. The town was new for me but it felt strangely familier. I vagely remember admiring my complete lack of fear as I walked down the road. Blank.

I woke up suddenly, terrified and sweating. It was 6:00am Sunday. It was a dream. I was terribly late for something, everybody was scolding me for being late. And I..I was running hopelessly to catch something. I knew I wont get there, but I couldn't see it leave either.
hmm...funny

I like it when I wake up before dawn and still stay in bed. Its like everybody thinks you are asleep but you are awake and quietly thinking about stuff. basically you can daydream without feeling guilty about it.
Something abt last night was making me uneasy. I was having my beer chating with the bartender. It was late and they were closing.....
"we r always the last to leave buddy!! cheers!!! " somebody behind me said this and i raised my glass on reflex. The bartender saw me keep the glass down without the customary sip.
bartender: new to town?
me: visiting
bartender: where u from?
I dont know if it was the beer or the question...but it suddenly threw me back...a long time back

"To friendship...and all the hot chicks in the world". It was a familier place. all of us were huddled together on a small table. cozy. There was noise, and laughter, actually a lot of it. I dont remember the occasion but back then, we didn't need one to get together. Everywhere I went there were people I knew, friends. It was a small town and I had lived there for 25 years. ...

The alarm went off and jolted me out of my memory ride. hmm i hate it when that happens..
I woke reluctantly and got dressed.
Ah, where was coffee, and milk and some bagels too. This is why i love a hotel more than a house. Hotels take care of you no matter what, but a house demands that you take care of it first....how unfair is that!!

I brewed a nice hot cup for myself and pulled a chair to face the patio. light breeze and some tall palms swaying lazyly.....a beautiful day indeed. I have always hated my ability to find something wrong even in perfect situations. Right now the slow swaying of those trees was making me uneasy. What was it reminding me of?? Why cant we just look at a object and admire its present?
Damn!! those trees did look familier. I am very sure I have never been here before.
hmm.....deja vu.....
someone knocked on the door. I opened the door wide without even bothering to ask.

S: I'm Sorry. Am I interupting you?
M: Oh no not at all.
S: I believe this is yours... (my wallet...in her hand)
M: is there money in it?
S: well there was...
M: (smile) i will take it anyway...please come in
S: I'm glad you found your way back from the lounge yesterday
M: i usually do....coffee?
S: sure. you were pretty messed up last night.
M: well excessive intake of alcohol tends to have that effect on people.
S: some how I dont think it was the alcohol.

I stopped and looked at her...
M: what do u mean?
S: I am sorry but i overheard ur conversation with jimmy.
M: jimmy?
S: the bartender, he is a friend of mine.
M: oh ok. dont know what happened last night. guess i was tired.
S: you know, something you said last night, i cant get it out of my head
M: really? what did i say?
S: u said u cant remember your hometown anymore...

I felt a sudden pang in my heart. why did this have to come up.
M: i said that? it seems i said a lot of things i shouldn't have.
S: how long have you been traveling like this?
M: hmm i dont know. for ever it seems...
S: u always travel alone?
M: always
S: im sorry, did i put you in a bad mood? i really didn't mean to.
M: not ur fault
S: anyways i should get going now. njoy ur day and see u around.
she smiled and rose to leave.

M: please dont go.
It was such a reflex reaction that it caught myself off guard. I quickly recovered
M: I mean i am a better cook than u would guess. Let me fix u some breakfast.
S: is this provided that I dont ask any more questions?
M: haha...No. on the contrary i want you to ask questions. (I gluped down my coffee and headed for the kitchen) Its been a long time I have talked with somebody abt myself.

she walked up to the patio
S: I grew up right across the road. Been here all my life.
M: looks like a beautiful place to grow up.
S: indeed it is. and to stay on too.
S: so u like travelling?
M: i used to. i loved travelling. The mere thought of being in a completely new place made me pack my bags and get going. Unknown roads, unknown people, unknown shops and unknown surprises. That is what i lived for.
S: sounds like a very interesting life to me..
M: yup. it sure was.
S: hey! why do u keep using the past tense. u are still alive. arnt u?

i looked up and stared at her with the scarist and the coldest look i could manage
M: actually. i died a few years ago.

she clenched the sofa covers like a falling man will hold on to a rope. I could see her shudder and go pale with sheer fright.
i looked at her reaction and couldn't control myself. I burst out laughing.
M: i was so kidding.
S: god damn u stranger!! god damn u. scared the shit out of me u spook!!
M: i am very very sorry. really am. guess i have a ghastly sense of humor.
S: u bet
M: breakfast is ready.

She sat down at the table and I served.
M: hope u r not a vegetarian
S: im not and u r avoiding my question.
M: excuse me?
S: why do u keep refering to these things in the past tense. dont u like it anymore.
M: yes. i dont.

I sat down besides her.
M: I dont know what happened but somewhere along i lost that zeal, the urge or maybe the energy to do new things explore new places. And that is when I realised something which is far more scary than my jokes.
S: that u have nowhere to go back?
M: yes. that I cant stop moving now. I have nothing, nothing that will hold me down to one place. It feels like the earth has lost its gravity.
S: Well Newton might say that we stay at one place 'cause of the earth's gravity, but my grand mother had a rival theory. She used to say its the bond between people that keeps us down on this earth, newton didn't know shit. And somehow I believe her. Break that bond and u float around like u are doing right now.

I cant say that i cried. But the simple truth of her words starteled me. It was not that I didn't know this. But there are some things which you dont accept, till some else tells you the same thing but with genuine conviction and honesty.

S: yesterday you were talking about a bunch of close friends and how you had good times with them. what happened?
M: yes i have some memories of those times. but they are so distant it almost seems like a dream now. All i remember is that one by one we all seperated. There was no fight, not even a quarrel. i guess everybody got so engrossed in their own lives that we simply forgot abt each other. I wouldn't have believed that such a thing could happen if it hadnt happened to myself. "out of sight, out of mind" is a more deadly truth than we give it credit for.

S: how was the town? do u remember anything atall?
M: it was a small town. trees, lazy roads. people roaming about on the streets. everybody knows everybody. i think it was much like this town. i lived there for 25 years but never since..
S: was there nothing that made u not leave that town?? nothing atall?
M: hmm...what can possibly stop a young man of 25? fame and money, or........a girl he falls for.
S: and?
M: well...he was not interested in the first two and the third, was not interested in him. (smile)
S: so u just left? and never turned back?
M: yes. that is exactly what i did.
S: my goodness!! men are such babies. this is so unbelievable. she says no and u just run way crying?
M: hey!! i didn't run...I "walked away", there is a difference. and i have never cried in my entire life.
S: you know what? the only thing that i admire in all this is ur ability to stick to ur decisions.
M: thank you
S: ur welcome. so you never found anybody after that? not even a friend? it seems u have been to litrally every city in the world.
M: never did. not a single friend. Later on i developed a fear of getting involved. Not just people, I couldn't stay in one place for more than a month 'cause i feared i would like it there. And finally when I overcame this fear it was already too late. I was so used to living with myself that I just kept doing it. Time slowly got rid of the fear and worries but it got rid of my memories, my past too.
S: hmm.....so much for ur life's story.
M: ya. so much. so what do u think abt it?
S: well i wud say little red riding hood was smarter than u
M: i know. i kinda missed the 'droping the bread crums' part. Now there is no going back.
S: oh the bread crums remind me, breakfast was delicious.
M: thank u. its been my pleasure
S: i am sorry i have to go now but you seem to have got into a better mood already.
M: thanks to you
S: that would be my pleasure (smile)
I walked her to the door.

S: well then, lets hope we will find each other the next time you r in this town.
I couldn't see her leave. Was she the one I was trying to stop in my dream this morning? I had known her for the last 30 mins, but she seemed eerily familier. I didn't want to be late this time.

M: I am not coming back.
S: oh
M: that is because i am not leaving
S: what?
M: i am done travelling. I know I cant go back but nobody says I cant start afresh. I have one chance to undo my mistakes. I want to settle down. stay here for the rest of my life. with u..
she took a step back. didn't look me in the eye. concerned and careful, she said

S: i really wish i could say yes stranger, but i cant do that. i am married. im really sorry, hope u understand

i could not move. i dont think i could breathe either. everything just stopped.
dont know how much time went by but the next thing i remember was that she was laughing like crazy and saying
S: now who has a ghastlier sense of humor?

that was the scariest joke i have ever heard....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

we just might get lucky...

i like patterns. it is fun to construct the full picture looking at the pieces. some times the pieces are so outspoken that they can lead to only one logical conclusion. But most of the times they are shy. showing themselves and disappearing in a flash. But for the experienced eye that flash is enough to know all that it wants to say. I am no expert at this, but hey you can't blame da man for trying!!
Enough of cryptic introductions...the point is this

There have been some events in the near past which sketched a pattern in my novice mind. Events like "raang de basanti" and "hazaroon khawhishee aisi", engineers playing a hand at politics, some friends leaving corporate worlds to join IAS, a general feeling of emptiness in many, inspite of acheiving excellent success socio-economicaly, almost all indians that I meet here in the US looking(though silently) to plot a way back home...
the list can extend but I will leave the rest as you might think they r too insignificant or unrelated, but I see a connection in them nevertheless.

What is this leading to? a revolution of some kind? young educated indians slowly but surely taking matters in their own hands. boldly leaving what they are supposed to do and doing what they really want to. Making an attempt (at great personal agony I might add) to change what we all know is wrong, but nobody considered the possiblility that individuals like you and me are supposed to, or more importantly are capable of changing. Changing what?? the face of india??...maybe. As an individual it is difficult, almost impossible to think so big. me..changing a country!!! insane. Well apprenently some have other plans.
I dont want to comment on what will happen, just the possibilities. As I said I am no fortune teller just a pattern matcher.

If there is no "revolution" as such then we don't have to think about much.
But..but if something really brews up, each one of us in our generation will have to make a choice. I say our generation 'cause at that time we will be old enough to understand the choice and young enough to act. The choice will be either to keep ones life unaffected as much as possible or to dive in. There will be no telling how far it might go. But where will sacrifices involved. personal, social, economic, maybe physical too. the million dollor question. Will it be worth it?

I dont know what I will choose. But I think we will be lucky enough just to be presented with the question. 2 generations back they had their task cut out, Independence. I was beginning to believe that our generation would be left alone.

If I remember my 8th std history correctly it was the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand which started the first World War. But that was just a trigger. One event cannot start such a massive spill, unless there is a build up before that. What we are seeing in urban india right now looks like a build up. slow, sporadic and seemingly uncorrelated. What will ultimetly bind these actions together will be history herself.
There will always be determined guys who can't care less about a movement and will do it alone, and when our history lady writes her judgement, these will be the guys who started it all.

It is like we r sitting in a green room below the stage. what roles each one of us will be playing on the earthen stage above us wont be known till the curtain raises, if it raises that is....

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Letter to myself

This is the StarShip Enterprise. Star Date 01142006.1314. Captains log.

Hi. This is you. On a lazy Sunday afternoon in Boston you decided to write down what you thought abt things. Your honest views when you were 25. You had nobody in perticular near you to talk to so what you did was tell it to everybody in general. hehe...u were smart or what!
Long ago when you were a kid you were the best at hiding your emotions and opinions from people. But now you have grown up and not afraid of saying them out loud. Good for you man! or maybe you have realised that people are always engrosed in their own lives and they dont give a damn abt what you think anyway.
whatever the case maybe I know at least one person who is going to be interested in reading this. You yourself, many many years after you wrote it. So now that many years have passed, sit back and relax as you get to travel back in time to rediscover....you. I dont know wheather you have changed or not, but I have a feeling you have...you always do :)
For those of you who are not me you can enjoy a sneak-peak at somebody's personal diary of sorts.

Lets change the grammer to present tense now.
I have already mentioned the stardate but this is just to refresh your memory. You have come here on 6th Aug 2005 to try and get a Masters degree in Boston University. 1st sem is over and 2nd is about to begin tomorrow. You are still getting over your life of leisure and enjoyment that you were so used to in puNe. damn!! those were fun days. Anyways..here goes

Intelligence, Beauty and your dad's money
These are the 3 most important things till you are in college, and in that order.
The irony is you are born with all the three. I always wondered why some poeple did better than me in college and why I did better than some. Sometimes I used to hate myself for not being able to do what I wanted. Now I realise it was not that big a deal. Because the most important thing you need to do in college is build what they call a character. From then on slowly these three things start taking a back seat and the character thing becomes the driver. You develop it with every decision you take, every dream that you fulfil and every desire that you let go. being proud of intelliegence or beauty is childish. What you should be really concerned abt is this guy. After all what is the fun in winning when you have good cards, its the bad cards that make the game worth playing. Or maybe I am just jealous.

India
I am no patriot. "Patriotrism is a virtue of the vicious" they say. But I like India. And sometimes I feel like doing something for it. Not immidiately but sometime. Maybe not a lot but something. Why? dont know. I have found nothing that is actually fulfilling. I dont know wheather I ever will. But this might come close. Lets see.

Marriage
Now thats scary. Scary things interest me. I have thought abt it a lot. I mean why poeple marry. Obviously where is a trivial solution. If you find someone you love and she returns the favor then ur all set. Now for the more "complex" part.
We need a witness for your lives. Somebody to be there for us at the end of the day, and more importantly _only_ for us. I guess the actual person doesn't matter that much. You can get used to almost any decent individual once you accept that she is the one. What does being commited to a person give you? It gives you a purpose. To enrich her life, raise a family, etc. etc. And boy! are we hungry for a purpose! Plus it comes with added atraction like sex, somebody who will make you feel important and wanted, plus there is the pension plan with old-age companionship too. All in all its a good solution to a lot of problems. My only concern is that it might be lot more than it promises. So much more that you might lose track of any other purpose that you had or could have had. Will find out..

will add more later...

Picard