Monday, April 25, 2011


मैंने जब जवाब मांगे तो सवाल थमा दिए,
मंजिलें तय करीं तो सारे रास्ते हटा दिए |

सोचा उलझनों पर सवार ही चलते हैं अब,
ख़्वाबों के पहियों के आगे कांटे फैला दिए |

दुश्मनी जाने कौन सी खुद से निकालनी है,
आबरू को सर-ए-राह दो चांटे लगा दिए |

मुश्किल से जो दो-एक दोस्त इक्कठा किये,
बेदर्दी से तब उनके घरों पे ताले लगा दिए |

ग़ैर ने हालात थमाए होते तो कुछ बात थी,
'विती' तुमने यह नज़ारे खुद ही सजा दिए |

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This is where it ends, and begins

The kohl lined eyes of the angel
Look for all the little dreams lost.
Troubled, squinting & searching,
Lost in a dreary, unending maze.

मेरी नज़रें थकेंगी नहीं, गर ऐसा सोचा हो तुमने |
किनारे से मिलने का सपना लेकर चली है लहर,
फ़ना होना पसंद करेगी, साहिल बन जाना नहीं |

The world stops to listen in now.
Leaving it all behind, who knew,
Everything will find its way back?

दर-ओ-दीवारें बनाते देर कहाँ लगती है, जनाब?
लोगों को इनकी नज़ाकत समझाते वक़्त लगता है |

This is where it ends, and begins.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

~~~...बस की नहीं...~~~

पोशाक पर पोशाक, परत पर परत चढ़ी हुई हैं;
तेरे दिल तक पहुंचना बस की नहीं, दूर है बहुत |

किताब हो तुम जिसके पन्ने पलटते उम्र गुज़री है,
अभी तो आधे रास्ते तक भी नहीं पहुँच पायी हूँ |

पुरानी किताबों में खुशबुयें सी होती हैं वक़्त की,
पुराने पत्ते, फूल भी कभी; मुझे कुछ नहीं मिला |

कहने को बाहों में थामा जाने कितनी बार, पर,
चमकती आँखों के राज़ अभी तलक लापता से हैं |

काग़ज़ों के पुर्जों में छुपाया है सारे वादों को मैंने,
खुद को पढ़वाती रहती हूँ, ताकि यकीं बना रहे |

आजकल 'नूर' की मांग शायद ग्राहकों में बढ़ी है,
'विती' हक़ रखती ज़रूर है, मगर जताती नहीं |

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Many Muses of Insanity [Part 1]

The plane sped on the runway, about to take off.  Buckled in and sitting at a window seat, I realized my mind kept wandering back to everything that had happened in the last month.  Crazy was the only word to describe it.  I shook my head, hoping that the action would disrupt the thoughts and maybe I could finally catch some sleep.  I closed my eyes, and of course, a baby started crying in the plane as soon as the wheels left the ground and we rose up into the air.  Mental note: try not to travel via air when my kid is still an infant, if I ever become a mother.  There was no way I was going to get any sleep.  I suppose thinking about all the madness might actually be a good thing.  Once again, I shut my eyes and tried to produce a chronological collection of memories.

The insanity began when I made my way to my hometown, Nagzabad, after an absence of nearly 3 years.  The year was 2010 then, a month ago in December.   

My journey's first step was flying into Delhi, and I had kept a week aside for exploring the city.  There is a certain charm that Delhi has held for me, always, ever since I can remember.  Old Delhi, mind you.  Oh, and Qutub Minar.  Somehow that one monument has become a symbol of the things that matter a lot to me but I seldom mention.  The structure looms in the time-tarnished corners of my mind, but it is very much there, and it emerges subconsciously in dreams whenever I let go of the control that rules my waking hours.

The Qutub should have been the ideal place for a day out with old friends.  Instead it turned into the stage for a bizarre sequence of events.

Barely audible notifications sounded just then, for wearing the seatbelt was no longer necessary.  I was forced to open my eyes with the bustle of people moving about.  Dinner to be served soon, the attendant announced.  The story would have to wait until I finish eating.  Creativity of this sort, I have realized, has the potential to build up a huge appetite.