Sunday, September 12, 2010

AFTER THE RAINS...............

Uff yeh bheega hua akhbaar!
Paperwale ko change karo
Paanch sau gaon
Bah gaye isbaar

(Oh! This drenched newspaper
Do change the vendor
Five hundred villages
Have been flooded this year)

A crisp, curt note of remorse in the inimical style of Gulzaar Sahib craftily swivels around my cerebrum, not without a reason though.

Ages back when we were in school, the months of May June and July were the most enjoyable ones. These were the months of our summer vacation starting exactly on the 15th of May till 14th of July. As school reopened on the 15th of July, the monsoonal deluge would unleash without a day’s delay. During those days, the Capital boasted of extreme climates. After being barbecued in the dry scalding heat for four months (starting from March end), the torrential downpour would be the harbinger of immense relief and respite. It would rain incessantly for days. Umbrella would just be an excuse. Everyday we would walk to and fro school drenched like wayward kittens. Reaching home, our prime activity would be to dry our shoes, socks and uniforms so that these could be re-worn after wash. Those were days of simple pleasure uncluttered with modern amenities of relaxations and recreations. It would be an additional pleasure to play in the rains or simply walk down the alley without a cover. Or just sit by the window reading a book or stare unthinkingly at the dripping leaves of a drenched tree, a rain-soaked sky, a cloud worn moon, the slippery pathway darting by the house. This would go on till saturated by the overstretched longevity of the rainy season, we’d pray frantically for a peep by the sun even in its palest of pale charm and glow.

But all said and done, rains always attracted me. They still do.

Rains evoke romance
Of song and dance
Of a meet by chance
Of eyes that prance
With sizzle of dreams
Known not known………


A sloshed moon
With the cup of
Rain wine
Tipsy, tilted
Crystal shine
On the silver banks
Of sozzled clouds
Staggering past
In Bohemian galore


Words just pour by on their own whim
As we talk of a rainy dream………
Of smoky mist, of hasty feet
Returning home
Down a sliver of wet-shine field

Thereafter many seasons have passed by. The Capital has changed colour. So has it’s environ. Now a short spell of summer blaze gives way to muggy, humid days heightened by skimpy, close-fisted drizzle. The other day I told my friend wistfully, “Oh how it used to pour when we were in school years ago. It doesn’t so, now. How I miss my childhood rains. Hope it rains again like those days” Lo! That day must have been extremely bright and the invisible angels traipsing by must have placed their ears on the wind and picked up the words of my frantic wish and murmured a quiet “tathaastu”.

As a result, how it has poured this season! With such disheveled, demoniacal mirth that Yamunaji has crossed its safety mark and the city has been slashed and lashed by sudden unexpected aqua bouts which have at times turned into a showering inferno oozing murky muck out of the pot holes, gorges, ravines and craters of the city’s dented geography. A gang of rickshaw pullers had parked their rickshaws by an anorexic river at night and retired to makeshift beds on the banks. The unfortunate ones woke up the next morning to find their only means of bread and butter drifted away by the flood without any trace. A grinning, obese belle, pregnant with satanic intent and glee, scampered by the banks with undisguised merriment! It has been that bad for the earthlings of the Capital and good for the armchair poets who can afford the luxury of a comfortable doze or a nostalgic reminisce by a wet window.

All said and done, rains are the best friends of verses which tumble out of the closet in a spur of joy and jive. Like this one…………

The leaves are still wet with the tears of a bygone rain
The sky is still morose with the reminisce of a past pour
The clouds still hang around like the echo of a desperate wail
The birds have still not picked up the thread of the song last chirped
The wind bemoans the morsel of a grain blown away to a faraway land
The meadows have” saronged” a sequined sheet of pearly dew drops around
The bathed alleys, gullies, the pathways shine in the pale moonshine
A pall of mist rises as though a phoenix from a heap of” grime”
The croons of the night sounds waft softly encircling the surround
Recedes a drenched night on tiptoe to welcome the grey daylight
A calm before the storm prevails a lull before the chime
And I have not yet stitched the drape over a tale long heard unwind
In bemused silence to be buried in the weeping sands of time

It had again rained pell mell throughout the previous night…………

And here comes the audacious attempt…………….

Patte geeley hain abhi kissi beetey sawan ke ashkon se
Asasman murjhaya hai ab tak guzre paawas ke yaadon mein
Baadal abhi jhuke se hain ek hataash cheekh ki goonj si
Pancchiyon ne abhi cchede nahin shesh sur peecchley geet ke
Pawan udaas hai us kann ke liye jo jaa udaa door desh kahin
Baagaanon ne odh lee chaadar shabnam jadi motiyon si
Chamaktey dhule galiyaan, raahen, pagdandiya peeli chaandni mein
Dhund ki dali uthti hai phoenix jaise ubhre raakh ke dher se
Shab ki aawaazein dheemee si gunguhaati bahi charon dishaaon mein
Ek bheegi si raat dabe paon lautti hai usha ki swaagat mein
Ek shaant si hai toofaan ke pehl ek chup jhanak se pehle
Aur maine abhi silley nahin qafan jo udhaaoon us kahaani pe
Suni thi jisse sadiyaan pahle muskuraate sannaton ne
Phir dohraaye dafan ke liye bilakhte retiley samay ke dhaaron mein
Picchli raat bhar phir se khub barsi barsaat umadhghumadh ke …………….

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