Ghazal #6


बे-रंग ज़िन्दगी पे होता रहा मलाल
इक रोज़ हमने उसपे ढ़ंग से रंगा गुलाल
Be-rang zindagi pe hota raha malaal
Ik roz hmne uspe dhaNg se raNga gulaal

आँसू का रंग देखा बादल ने एक रोज़
बादल से तब से अब तक बरसा किया गुलाल
aaNsu ka raNg dekha baadal ne ek roz
baadal se tab se ab tak barsa kia gulaal

हर रंग है बरसता आँखों से मेरे हरदम
आँखों में मेरे अब तक कम ना हुआ गुलाल
har raNg hai barsta aaNkhoN se mere hardam
aaNkhoN se mere ab tak kam na hua gulaal

सूरज की लालिमा भी कुछ बे-सबब नहीं
शब भर जो हमने चांद पे ऐसा मला गुलाल
sooraj ki lalima bhi kuch besabab nhiN
shab bhr jo hmne chaNd pe esa mala gulaal

होली रही महकती सिमइयों की ख़ुशबुओं से
मोहर्रम पे भी तो अब के जम के उड़ा गुलाल
holi rhi mehkti siwaayiyoN ki khushbuoN se
mohrram pe bhi to ab k jam k uda gulaal


This Ghazal was submitted to ‘Inter IIT Cultural Meet, Kanpur (28th-30th December, 2017) in Hindi Poetry Slam. ‘Gulaal’ was the theme given to every IIT. I represented IIT Guwahati and submitted this and one more Ghazal on the open theme. This poem was the only entry in the Ghazal form among 17 IITs and 34 entries which surprised me a bit. However that’s different thing that we could not win the competition.

Let me know your opinion about this one in the comment section.

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Not Enough

He stood at the edge of the mountain road that ascended the mighty mountain like a serpent around its victim. He stood perfectly still, his eyes fixed at the deep valley below & his conscience struggling with the challenging quandary, to jump or not to jump. Of course he had made up his mind hours ago, but then, standing at the edge of life itself, the task seemed impossible. But maybe it was because he was pondering over something he had already decided upon. It seemed logical – logic that bent and warped with every passing moment. Logic that led him to believe that securing 87% marks was not enough. Securing 19th position in the class was enough. Just qualifying the college-entry-level exam was not enough. Distancing yourself from every means of entertainment to secure good marks in board exams was not enough. But it was not entirely his fault. His being was moulded by the social strain of society and hardened by the booming competition.

So he jumped, dismissing the hurdling thoughts and accepting the ultimate truth – the one backed by logic. For a moment he felt a gush of fresh air across his face, but then it was only the branches and leaves. He hit one and bounced off another until his body stuck in a thick alpine.

******

Four hours later 2 teams of disaster-SOS department arrived at the already crowded spot. TV reporters were busy interviewing a fellow, reportedly the only eye-witness. He was one who alerted the police about the incident. It took the SOS team around 30 minutes to descend the deep gorge and rescue the boy from the thick green alpine cover. Once on the boy reached the safety of the ground, a SOS unit doctor examined him.

“A broken limb, another wounded, dislocated shoulder, possible fracture in the right arm and some bruises. No serious head injury. He will live.”, the doctor declared.

“He is a lucky fellow. The thick tree cover along the slope saved him.”, said the team leader.

“How much?”, the doctor asked.

“A hundred feet, give or take”, replied the team leader.

“Lucky indeed”, said the doctor.

Somewhere in the medical van, struggling with fading consciousness, the disfigured boy lay waste to his latest failure. One last thought crossed his grumpy mind as his consciousness gave in to the overpowering anaesthesia – a hundred feet is not enough!

******

Fridays with DX

IF TIME STOPS…

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In late Uranium age, Torman was a planet with beings whose bodies were made up of jelly like structure. They used to respire methane through their skins.

The Tormanians thought that they were the sole rational beings in the whole universe. They had advanced technologies like ‘calcitops’, ‘compucus’, ‘nuclear telescope’etc.

The TAA (Tormanian Agency of Astronomy) had discovered a new sickly blue-green planet in the solar system and named it ‘Earth’. They found that this tenth planet of the solar system was infested with other intellectual beings also besides them in the universe. They were very jealous when they became acquainted with this fact. They also found that people on earth never grew old. People of earth were always young. They had no misery, jealousy, bitterness among them.
Tormanian scientists made several investigations & research to find the reason for this utopia. They found that there is a place on earth called ‘Stone Henge’ , which is a castle of a very intelligent young man, Adam- who rules the earth. He had a large and beautiful clock in his castle which never worked and for the same reason it had earned the sobriquet of “stopped-time-clock”.

The  Tormanians with the help of ‘wireless sleuthing‘, had found that every night Adam rotates a dial in that clock due to which the time had stopped in it and hence the clock doesn’t work.

They were curious to know the reason for it. So, Torman Armed Force(TAF) was sent to the earth to retrieve that mysterious clock.
There was a devastating war between the Torman army and the Earthly creatures. The war ended very soon, with the effect,that the clock being seized by the Tormanians, who took it back to their planet.

Now a major change started coming over the people of earth. They started growing old. They acquired several diseases also. There was unhappiness, greed, hunger, bitterness, jealousy among them.
And on the contrary, the Tormanians had stopped growing. On their planet, Torman, old were now old, and young were young. So, this highlighted the magical power of that clock- which stopped the time.
At the beginning of Polonium age, Earth had also become quite developed & the scientists were trying to bring that clock back. But a comet named SUPRA struck Torman and and the planet was completely destroyed including that clock.

Since then, we have nine planets in our solar system and humans on earth are continuosly growing up & meeting their ends. Thus, there would not have been any jealousy, bitterness, cruelty, unhappiness, greed in the world if the time would have stopped…

STORY WRITTEN BY VIVEK….

BLACK AND WHITE…

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***BLACK***

Little Zara woke up with a start, the last fragments of a monster dream slowly fading from her mind. Her tiny hands reached up to shield her eyes from what she expected would be the morning sun. However, she was in for a surprise. As she stole a glance through her fingers, she noticed that the only light that flooded the room was the white glow from the living room lamp. She darted to the window and looked out- it was as dark as it had been when she had fallen asleep; and yet the clock to her left confidently pointed 8 with its twisted hands! Something was not quite right.

Scratching her head in sleepy confusion, she ran into the living room and straight into her father’s lap. Mr Shah had been busy reading the newspaper, with an unusually bewildered expression on his face. In the kitchen, Mrs Shah presided over a brewing coffee, her eyes wide with disbelief. She called out to her husband, “Figured it out yet? What do the science people have to say about this? Is there an explanation?” Mr Shah sighed deeply. “Just a lot of scientific jargon… Nobody really knows why the earth stopped rotating last night…”

Zara’s head jerked up from her father’s lap where it had been resting comfortably, and whatever little sleepiness remained disappeared in one go. She sat erect and attentive; her ears wide open, trying to comprehend what she had just heard. “But papa, why would the earth do that? Did it get tired?”, she asked in her squeaky kid voice. Mr Shah, even more bewildered now, replied with a groan, “Nobody knows, dear! It probably got dizzy with so much dancing around. Perhaps just decided to relax for a bit..”. He scratched his head, smiling at his own little joke.

Zara, the curious kid, would not be convinced so easily. She probed further, “What happens if the earth stops dancing?”. Mrs Shah appeared, absent-mindedly spilling the coffee, “It means that one half of the earth is stuck with day and the other half has been plunged into darkness…forever. We are in the ‘black’ part of the world.” Zara frowned.

It was true! The earth had decided to relax- it still continued its wobble around the sun, but all that dancing around had taken a toll on its health; it had decided to stop before it fainted and lost consciousness. And thus had come about the phenomenon of the ‘black and white’. The earth now had a black half and a white half, and several shades of grey in transition.

Zara tried to analyse this sudden change. After thinking for several minutes, she broke into her gap-toothed smile. She had concluded that this was a change for the better- being in the black side had its advantages. The first thought that struck her mind was about school- since there was no daytime, there would obviously be no school! Little kids like herself could not be expected to walk to school in the dark; of course it wasn’t safe with all those ghosts and monsters around? And no school obviously meant no homework! And freedom from agonising punishments!

They’d be able to play all day long, rather all night long, for the night would never end! There would be no way to differentiate between the two 9 o’clock s- neither would they have to read one as 9:00 and the other as 21:00!

But wait, wouldn’t that mean that the day (which was actually the night) would get shortened to 12 hours instead of the usual 24? 2 nights in a day? Which meant that she would be eating, sleeping, playing and watching television more frequently than before…again a change for the better. Would she miss seeing the sun? It was possible, but there was very little chance of that happening since the sky was far more beautiful and mysterious at night than during the day, illuminated with the moon and the stars. How strange it is that sometimes darkness shows us the things that light does not! And how beautiful too that some stars reveal their brilliance only in the darkness!

From her window Zara could see the bewildered milkmen and newspaper boys scurrying off to work. Confused animals looked up at the sky trying to comprehend what time of the day it was. Cautious dogs moved their heads to and fro stupidly, wondering whether they had slept through an entire day, or whether they had not slept at all. Cows looked longingly at newspapers, as if trying to read what had happened. Zara smiled when she noticed the birds-the poor creatures were still sleeping! Their ancestors had taught them to get up when the sun rose and sleep when it went down, and they were doing just that- This, thought Zara with a smirk, is what happens when you follow traditions blindly. She felt jubilant at having defeated the birds at getting up early. The foolish creatures would probably sleep for another 2 or 3 days before their sleeping capacities were exhausted, and their belief in their ancestors’ teachings shaken.

The black world was interesting. Lights shone in most houses- people were still trying to behave like it was day. Zara wondered, perhaps as we grow into adults, we get so tied down by routine that we want to stick to it even in the face of radical change! The night breeze caressed her cheek and the moon shone captivatingly- Zara smiled her missing-tooth smile. The darkness, she decided, was mysterious, but it was more serene and exquisite than any other time of the day…

***WHITE***

In 70 Fargo Street, Boston, Mr. Pearson slung his bag over his shoulder in a somewhat mellowed down state of rage. An endless day had begun several hours ago. The sun shone madly, unapologetically in a bright blue cloudless sky. He would have loved the lovely, cheerful weather if it had not brought with it some infuriating developments.

In no time, the news had spread everywhere- the earth was not going to rotate anymore. Seasons would change- the sun would shine with varying intensities all the year round, but it would never leave the sky. The white part of the world had a great reason to rejoice- their energy requirements were going to be halved! And whatever little requirement remained could be fulfilled by the endless solar radiation.

Mr. Pearson had been at office when these developments surfaced. He had only begun counting the pros and cons of the situation when the terrifying announcement was made. Mr. Pearson’s employers were extremely shrewd and cunning people. They had decided to make hay while the sun shined (and of course, a lot of hay could be made in this situation since the sun was never going to stop shining!). As soon as they had had become sure that they were in the ‘white’ half, they had called a meeting. They had studied the situation and decided that since there were now going to be two 12 hour days in a single day, nobody would be able to differentiate one 8 o’clock from another; therefore it would only be justified to have office twice a day. Of course, the number of hours in each shift would have to be reduced, but the total hours would increase.

All employees had been enraged when they were informed about this new system. Some had hurled abuses, some had resorted to violent expressions of grief and anger and some others had almost fainted with rage. Mr. Pearson had sat dumbstruck, paralysed with rage and cursing the earth for going on unsanctioned leave from its rotatory responsibilities.

Now, at 8:00 p.m., which was as bright as its a.m. counterpart, as Mr Pearson set out for office again, his rage began to ebb. The absurdity of what had happened hit him, and disbelief coursed through him.

He was certainly going to miss the night; he already had begun missing it. Try as he might, he had found it impossible to sleep even with the blinds shut tightly. Moreover, it was always going to look like a Monday morning- bright and cheerful in appearance and hiding untold woes underneath.

Animals in the white part of the world were faced by a different dilemma. They blinked their eyes in the bright sun, trying to find solace in shadows. The birds in the white world had developed dark circles under their eyes- they had not known when it was time to sleep. They flied sluggishly, dragging their wings, and panted exhaustedly. Mr Pearson sympathised with the poor creatures- this is what happened when one listened to celestial bodies like the sun, rather than one’s own body…

Everywhere he saw, there were people sitting dejectedly, wondering whether to go to work or to sleep. The world had gone topsy-turvy. Somehow, he couldn’t help envying the people in the ‘black’ world- of course they were going to face practical problems, but somehow, he would have loved the laid back, relaxed feeling that darkness brought with it. The warm air touched his face, and the only thought that came to his mind was to somehow go to outer space and with a huge stick, push the earth into rotation once again!

***

The white and the black had separated, like two sides of a chessboard. Well, one would have imagined that there is confusion in mixing, and therefore all mixtures of black and white would have signified chaos; however, there is even greater chaos in clarity- black and white separated have the potential to cause herculean confusion!

The black will eventually absorb all routine and the white will enlarge it several times by reflection. The black world will forever reside in mystery, and the white world shall always complain of too much to do…and the sheer clarity of it causes confusion!

 

This is the winning story of a short-story competition organized by The Author’s Blog. Congrats VANYA NIGAM! A stunning example of creativity blended with imagination.

ATTENTION READERS!

Dear Readers,

Team TAB is organizing an online competition in flash fiction category. Everyone is invited to participate. There are no restrictions as to only blog followers or regular readers can submit a post. Each and every person reading this post directly or indirectly can submit a post. There are no strict rules and regulations but the few are mentioned below –

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Choosing the winner is simple. The post which gets the most likes on wordpress including facebook/twitter/google+ votes wins the competition. WordPress likes would be counted as two votes and the rest as one only.
You can submit your post till 18 august 2013 at theauthorsblogg@gmail.com. All the entries will be posted on our blog (theauthorsblogg.wordpress.com). The voting process is quite simple, just click on the social plug-in links provided at the bottom of each post, on which you would like to vote. The post which gets the most number of votes as counted on 19th august 12.00 am wins the competition.
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At Sixiteen #3

 

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#3 BEGINNING

Filled with unlimited enthusiasm we were attending our first class in our coaching. Teacher popularly called PNP sir (Premnath Pathak), who was also amazed by the faculty’s nomenclature pattern in the commercial coaching business, told how his name was abbreviated from a classic antique to a famous transisitor’s doping pattern. He was so enthusiastic and a great motivator that if there would be exam just after the lecture, everyone in the class was a true contender for the top rank.

I discovered later in Kota that there are three types of students. First: those who know what to do and how to do. Second: those who know what to do but doubtful in execution and third ones are neither know their aim nor bother themselves in setting them.

I was from the first kind and pulkit belonged to second moreover the first condition i.e ‘what to do’ is forced in pulkit’s case. Unlike pulkit kota was my personal choice. Neither forced nor stimulated. Coincidently that day pulkit was sitting on the adjacent bench to mine. Without paying any heed about what teacher was saying he was busy in the practice sheet provided. I glimpsed on his sheet and, to my surprise, he had almost completed first exercise. He seemed a bit unusual to me and weird too. I kept on staring him and the speed of solving the problems. Trust me that was really demotivating. Even though I was quite confident about myself and my knowledge but after witnessing pulkit I think I had went 2 years back in my knowledge status.

Suddenly his concentration was broken by his mobile lying next to his practice sheet. He saw it and saw it and kept on seeing it and made me curious what he was actually seeing without even touching (except only when mobile backlight turned off automatically). I bent a bit towards his bench and noticed there is a girl photo as wallpaper. She was wearing a black top, matched with black glittering nail polish on her bent fingers supporting her chin, contrasting her milky-cream complexion. I was so busy in observing her that I didn’t notice that pulkit had caught me red-handed or for him lust-eyed. First time in my life I realized what the fear is when I looked in his eyes. I immediately came back to my previous position as he gave me don’t-do-it-again look. I shifted my concentration once again in the class. PNP sir was still busy on elaborating the 89th out of 101 ways of cracking the JEE.

‘May I come in sir?’ a girl was standing at the door.

‘You are late.’ Sir answered after looking at the watch.

‘Sir, I was struck in the traffic.’

Pulkit and I looked at each other for two seconds. Then he, suddenly, shifted his glance to that girl whereas I ….to the mobile wallpaper.