चाँद और प्यार 

‘प्यार चाँद की तरह होता है, जब बढ़ता नहीं है, तब घटने लगता है’
गाड़ी का शीशा नीचे करते हुए स्मिता बोली “देखो! वो चाँद है क्या?वाह! इतना बड़ा है और इतना सुंदर। आज लिखो न चाँद पर कुछ!” 

बड़े से चाँद की एक-दो कहानियाँ स्मिता को सुनाने के बाद मैंने लालघाटी में चढ़ते चाँद को देखा। वाकई में बहुत बड़ा और सुंदर था – बिलकुल प्यार की तरह! 

मेरे प्यार की कहानी का शीर्षक सोचकर हंसी आ गई – प्यार, चाँद की तरह होता है, जब बढ़ता नहीं है, तब घटने लगता है। खैर, आज शाम क्षितिज की सीढ़ियों से ऊपर चढ़ता चाँद किसी महंगे रेस्तरां की छप्पनभोग थाली जैसा दिख रहा था। प्यार भी कुछ पूनम के नए चाँद जैसा होता है – भावनाओं के छप्पनभोग में होता है ज़िन्दगी का खट्टा – मीठा स्वाद। नया नया चाँद, नया नया प्यार, छप्पनभोग थाली, उफ्फ ये हार्मोनल गश!

मैं चाँद के खूबसूरत क्रेटर्स देख ही रही थी कि एक और ख्याल आया – जो लोग चाँद की रोशनी को देखकर हैरान होते हैं, वो जानते ही नहीं कि चाँद खुद रोशन नहीं होता, वह सूरज की रोशनी को प्रतिबिंबित करता है- ठीक प्यार की तरह, जिसमें चमक है मेरी चमक से, प्यार में फूल तभी खिलते हैं जब मेरे जज्बातों की बारिश होती है, प्यार में सबकुछ अच्छा लगता है क्योंकि मैं खुश हूँ। मेरा प्यार मेरी आत्मा का प्रतिबिंब है।

चाँद चढ़ चुका है आसमान में। अब दिखाई नहीं दे रहा खिड़की से। पर देख रही थी चाँद को चढ़ते हुए और घटते हुए। प्यार को भी देखा है – चढ़ते, बढ़ते, घटते और डूब जाते हुए। 

अरे हाँ! प्यार इस मामले में भी चाँद के समान है कि वह भी चाँद की तरह मेरी कहानी का मेहमान है और कैलेंडर की तारीखों का हिसाब रखते हुए चला जाएगा और फिर आएगा नया चाँद। 

नींद खुल गई है। घर आ गया है। अलविदा बड़े चाँद!


A Spark Of Jealousy 

You held her in your arms .

And I saw you .

Holding her tighter .

The pillow was warm and wet,

And I clenched it,

Gripping it tighter .

You stroked her curly hairs,

And the forest-fire burning inside her,

Dragging her closer .

Your fingers are soar and painful .

And I caress them .

Distant dreams seem closer .

You pluck the strings ,

And so beautifully She sings , 

Your souls burn brighter .

The page is blank and unruled ,

And so is my soul !

The love burns much brighter!

A Gift or A lesson!

Picture Credit : Smita’s Craft Hut

Dear Arthur

Life is awesome here. I hope wherever you are , you are spreading whatever you have there too. Hopefully the positivity and not your illogical attitude towards Life! I know I haven’t written to you in months but today when I was scrolling through the pages of my digital diary , I found this and I was compelled to write to you. It was My last year’s Secret Letter to Santa on Christmas.

Here with this mail i am attaching that letter. Hey! I know you don’t feel even tad guilt for whatever happened, so please don’t even try to throw tantrums that I am trying to make you feel bad. I am writing this letter with an intention to make you feel even worse ( not just bad ).

The disappeared scars were fresh back then when I was writing this letter, I remember . I had thought you were a gift but No! You were a lesson. I always knew Life had better plans for me. Just wanted to say thanks. Thank You Arthur ! for you were the one because of whom I learnt what betrayal is. You were full package of betrayal in yourself. So, it kinda saved a lot of my precious time. Now I don’t need to know the different kinds of betrayals from different persons. You betrayed me in millions of ways. 

But I have always loved surprises, and so all was welcome, even a dagger in disguise of love. And I have learnt by heart whatever was taught to me from last Christmas season to this. 

You know Arthur! Sun still rises in the east and sets in the west , I am still awed by nature , Music still soothes me , I still believe in Love and I still smile.Because I have got a Life , I choose what to do with it. I chose you to be a lesson and now I dump you in the dustbin. You do deserve a better place but believe me you do not deserve a Bliss. And my life is heaven in itself ! So you are not welcome.

Eternally Mine


अच्छा लगता है !

अच्छा लगता है 
पंछियों को आज़ाद करके 

पिंजरा छोड़ जब वो

उड़ते हैं ऊपर 

डैने नापते हैं अपने 

और नापते हैं 

आसमान की ऊंचाई ।

अच्छा लगता है 

उन्हें ऊंचा उड़ता देख

दूर जाता देख।

पिंजरा था आशाओं का 

जंजीरें थी उम्मीदों की

जो गले पर कसती थी 

प्यार के नाम पर ।

अच्छा लगता है 

पिंजरे का ताला खोल

पंछी को 

दरवाज़े तक आता देख ।

पंछी के दिल में था 

राजकुमारी के लिए प्यार 

और थी चाहत 

ऊंचा उड़ने की ।

अच्छा लगता है 

आज़ादी की चाहत को 

जीतता देख

प्यार को हारता देख ।

राजकुमारी के नंगे पाँव पर

महसूस होती है 

भट्टी की आग।

अच्छा लगता है 

प्यार के पिंजरे के 

लोहे को पिघलता देख।

Demonetisation : As Seen Through My Eyes 

Returned to my room at 8:30 o’clock in the evening from bank. My phone rang. It’s Dad.He chuckled, “Why is your mom taking out all of her 10-15 purses and extracting from the deepest of pockets, currency notes of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 ? What is it they are playing on TV ? It was Nov. 8, 2016.Completely unaware of what is happening , I asked my Dad to give me sometime to catch up with the news. I switched on the TV. 

Surprise ! Surprise ! The News Reporter peeped through the 20% of area available on screen for him ( 80% being flashes, headlines, advertisements and tweets ) screamed at the top of his voice that – from Nov. 9th onwards ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 banknotes cease to be legal tender. 

My eyebrows raised as a banker imagining ‘ How this surprise move is going to change my job profile for next few months‘. My eyebrows raised as common man , scratching head , thinking ‘ How this thing is going to influence me, by the way , what the hell is this demonetisation?‘ And somewhere else, the unnerved corrupts raised their eyebrows to widen their eyes so as to absorb even a single hint of hope , of relief to keep the stacks and racks of hoarded currency hold some value. 

Nevertheless, What occupied my mind was a single flash on TV screen that read ‘ Banks to stay closed Tomorrow ‘ ( observed later that it added ‘for public’ in faded letters). Avoiding the floods in official whatsapp group , first thing I did , was calling my Branch Manager to ask if it’s holiday tomorrow? With a straight face he said, ” No financial transactions to be carried out tomorrow so you are expected to stay on field for Recovery “. I hushed ” Damn! Not even this surprise demonetisation move can bring change to my routine.” But deep inside , I was anticipating a change, not in my routine, but a change in the things going around at this moment. The wheels of change are set into motion.

To continue reading click here Shivani Writes More.

Demonetisation : As Seen Through My Eyes

And in the days that followed, India saw it all : the bitter-mouthed opposition, the complaining citizen ( these are the ones over-reacting initially) and the innumerable jokes and trolls sprawling all over the social media with hashtag demonetisation and black money and oops the hashtag Roll-off

Believe me! The bankers who sweated through days and nights will not even give you a chance to re-think if you say ‘ Roll-off this demonetisation’ in front of them. They have worked their heads off , skipping lunch ( appreciate Khokrakalan ) , sleeping least just to keep everything in the right place.

Rome was not built in a day and this introduced change is just a drop in the ocean , enough said. Thinking of that chemistry lab experiment in which the single drop added from the Burette to the beaker made all the difference and concluded the calculation.

Change is the keyword here.  ” All Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and Gorgeous in the end”

And we have seen India go through worse , this being just a beginning, a challenge, a surprise attack to the very roots of corruption. We have all dreamt of a Better India then why are we cringing away from the roles we are allotted to play?

As a banker I have seen myself spraying volini and likewise on my back and the swollen sleep-deprived eyes of my colleagues. And as a common man I have seen my Mamaji stand in a bank queue for 5 hours just to get cash for my Mausiji’s funeral. And I have seen a soldier calmly waiting for his turn to ask for lower denomination banknotes for shifting his wife and 3 year old to Sikkim where he is posted. Bankers are not always rude. His wish was granted. 

If you are not having it today, you will have it tomorrow. Do you know, you were born without knee-caps? It gradually developed with age. It’s high time to Patiently Embrace The Change!

Demonetisation : As Seen Through My Eyes 

Simhasta in Shajapur ? What the hell is this crowd doing in front of my office. I crossed the well packed crowd shamelessly with a few “Side Hona Bhaiya” and “Thoda Khisakna Aunty” and ouch. I struck my nose on the channel gate.Why the hell is gate closed at 9 o’clock. For a moment, I was furious, the next, I was pleading the guard appointed by local police to let me enter my workplace.

Both as a banker and as a common man , I could see the moist air of mess , confusion, commotion and ruckus prevailing in the bank premise. With abundant supply of staff, stationery and answers, my colleagues were trying hard to soothe winds of turbulence among the customers and non-customers who came to exchange cash.

Sitting at my desk, I saw the three kinds of people constituting India : The calm-headed welcoming the change, The over-reacting confused as ever and The Tensed with guilt of theft brimming in their eyes. And there exists a fourth category , who were nowhere to be seen in banks and queues but were heard over phones to Branch Managers and Chartered Accountants shamelessly asking methods of changing the colour of their money from black to white.  

I woke up from the deep philosophical notion of Changing India when Manager Sir asked me to sit at the payment counter. Rest of the day I struggled with crunching numbers of payments and the ultra-sharp ₹2000 banknote that repeatedly cut my index finger.

I returned home to an angry brother asking me for lower denomination currency to buy his stuff. I thought I could easily arrange it. The day ended apologising , ” Please, Mommy, I swear I will buy his stuff tomorrow and bring enough ₹100 notes for next one year. “

Banks were closed late, clock striking near 12. And while one of my colleagues asked to “make a straight line” , the other mumbled “bhaiya ghar ke chhape notes to lana hi mat mere paas” in their sleepless dreams, I was struggling with just a single thought ‘ How is my retired Dad going to pay the labourers working on our Dream Home.But then ! Country has been through worse – terrorism , natural disasters, dictatorship, emergency , corruption, discrimination etc. A ray of hope in the form of change lulled me to sleep.

To continue reading click here Shivani Writes More