Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looking Back

NostalgiaImage by patrmach via Flickr


There once was a time when a treat meant 50 paise Pepsis from the local store. There was a time for games in the summer sun and football in the rains. There were games for every season and no reason. There once was a time when thought and action were the same. There was a time when dads were feared and young. A time when art was drawing with crayons and school was cheap. There was a time when guidebooks had answers to every question and exams were enough to cause fevers and loose motions. A time when laying your head in your mom’s lap could make you vanish into a safer world. That was a time.

There was a time when shorts were short and chosen by mom. There was a time when 10 Rs was big money. A time when friendships were based on understanding and unspoken trust. A time when no friend demanded phone calls to prove your faith or understanding. They just knew. When cricket games were not about teams but about area. There was a time when blood was spilt on cement pitches and abuses hurled with stumps over an argument of 2 runs. There was a time when the train journey was better than the picnic. A time when jumping up and down the sleeper class bunks was the trip of a lifetime. There was a time when A/C sleeper classes were a dream.

There was a time when you played WWE at home with chairs around for ring posts. There was a time when most of your conversations revolved around cricket and not girls. That still has a time. But less than more. There was a time when jeans were loose and t shirts were in bright colours. You just wore what you found in your closet. There was a time when shirt collars were always up, ties undone and shoe laces tied round your feet. There once was a time when Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly were the upcoming stars of Indian Cricket and Leander Paes still young.   

There was a time when cigarettes were borrowed. A time for teasing, flirting spent on staircases. There was a time when the chalk piece missile sounded real cool. There was a time when everything stunning was jhakaas or fataang, not awesome. There was a time when friends were made without being formal or pleasing. There once was a time when movies were a luxury, like auto rides. A time when travelling ticketless on the train was a sign of derring do.

 There was a time when cousins, friends and people around you were unmarried. A time when drinks were easy to come by. A time when style, ambience and location of a place did not matter. All you did was walk in and drink anyways. There was a time when revolutions were chapters in history books and not happening on your street. There once was a time when it was easier to wake up in the morning and easier to sleep in the night. That was a time.  
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My Muse


She did not see me. I wish she did. But it made no difference. Things would still have gone on in the same way.  I would not wish it any other way. I turned again to glance at her face through the wafting cigarette smoke. Calm, smiling and playful like a child. There was something about her in that bustling street that stood out. Her hands kept returning to that pooch dawdling by her side. I couldn’t help but smile at that innocence.

The tapri was busy with people coming and going. Everyone warming their wet noses with the steam from the ginger tea. Others like me savoring the silent smoke that wafted beside. I had just returned from a wet ride through the streets. My head was aching and my nose running. Then I spotted this stream of sunlight in the middle of the street.

She was kneeling down on the street playing with her dog. At least, I thought it was her dog. The pooch was just as happy as she was. They were a pretty sight in the corner of a street with rotten garbage smelling close by. Her face was not exceptionally beautiful. Nor was I in one of my poetic moods. In fact, I had lost that a long time ago. It is hard to come by good poetry without a muse. Then I heard this laughter. Pilfering through the horns and screeching hawkers, negotiating traffic and skipping puddles formed on sticky residue on sidewalks. It touched my ears, and I saw her.

No this is not love, I am too logical for that. This was not a crush. I never fall for that. This was something else. Something that called to me within. I stared and stared till my tea went cold and the ashes fell from my fingers. Then I saw her turn. I froze, half hoping she did not see me, half wishing she did. But she stood up straight and looked past me. Or so I thought. Her cane made a splotch on the puddle in front and the dog walked away as she held out her hand to a friend.

For nature to rob such a vision of sight. Oh does nature treasure its beauties with wrath. I wondered if she knew her own face. If she ever sought to see. But there was she, my muse walking, seeing with her fingers what I would never see. Evry skin traced, every raindrop filtered through those fingertips and emotions translated through handshakes. And there I was inane to every change in nature, cocooned in my own version of reality. While my muse sent me a message through her laughter. 

Bas yahi soch kar tujhse mohabbat karta hu main Faraz
Mera to koi nahi par tera to koi ho....