Saturday, July 21, 2007

Me

In front of thousands or more
I surrendered
I held her hand,
brought her home
She was called my wife.

She too submitted
to me and my family

marriage was consummated
I made love
She lost her virginity.

We were now man and wife
I followed all rituals
like all couples do.

Now she even bears my child
but lord oh lord there is another
who bears my soul.

Shubhra, 17th June 07

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Single Woman

Men,
whatever their status
married or single

whatever their age
old or young
want her

Women,
the married ones
envy her space
her freedom
the younger ones
idolize her success
her independence

Parents,
worry and silently hope

Bosses,
prefer her to her married counterparts

Friends,
count on her for her availability

They see
success
freedom
independence
space
they see it all
yet they don't see much

most wanted
and yet she feels so unwanted.

Goes back at night to
an empty house
an empty bed

sleeps cuddled with her teddy bear
waking up alone to another day

gets ready
puts on her best dress
and that dab of mascara

with the mask on
she is now ready to face life again

to conquer a few more hearts
to be wanted again

Shubhra 17th March, 2007 edited on July 3, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

Seeking Legitimacy

I am full to the brim,
with an ocean of emotions inside.
The heart is threatening to spill over.
I wish I could find a reason that
appears legitimate to the world.

Shubhra, June 4, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Prediction

I wait for him like the farmer
who waits for the monsoon rains.
Monsoon can be predicted,
But who can predict his arrival?

Shubhra May 15, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

साथ साथ

आज सुबह जब खुद को तन्हा पाया
तो दिल मे एक टीस उठी
याद आ गयी कल की बीती हुई सुबह
जब मैं तुम्हारी बाहों मे थी

दिल ने पुकारा काश की
ये सपना ना टूटे
ये साथ ना छूटे
मन ने समझाया
क्या था पास हुमारे
खाली दिल कुछ यादे
तन्हा दिन और राते
तुम आए अचानक
और सब कुछ नया हुआ
जीवन को एक नया मोड़ दिया
इस दिल को फिर से मछलाया
रात और दिन को रगीन बनाया
सुबह और शाम को महकाया

कुछ नही था पास हमारे
आज दामन है भरा हुआ

जो तुम दे ना सके उसकी ख़लिश तो है
पर जो तुमने दिया उसके शुक्रगुज़ार हैं हम

क्या हुआ जो हम एक साथ ना हुए
हम साथ साथ तो हैं.

शुभ्रा April 23, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Anything but deceit…

Anything but deceit…

I have forgotten you; Well almost. But, your memories, when they come, they sweep me unexpectedly like a storm. Events swirl in my mind with a flurry like the leaves that whirl with the force of the wind.

Hurriedly I shut all the windows of my mind just as I would have done at home at the onset of a storm. The mind gets hazy and brown. The heart beats faster and face gets flushed red with rush of blood. Anger, hatred and disgust fill my thoughts. Just as rains succeed the summer dust storms, the storm within calms down as tears flow.

Still, after all these years? Yes.

How I wish I had lost you to anything but this. I ask myself questions. What if you’d gone off to some distant land, some road that was calling out your name, and a forbidden country from which no return was ever possible? Or if you had died, in a plane crash or in a road accident or just plain naturally? Then you’d be the man I thought you were and I, the woman that I want to be.

I would have cried. Known that very exquisite and special pain that the loss of a loved one brings about. Your touch would have nestled in my body forever…. But then I would have moved on, with treasured memories of all the good times and endless jokes and of all the days and some nights when we were together, even memories of those endless waits. I remember one of such endless waits of mine at the bus stop with a bunch of flowers for you when a cow came and munched off the flowers and how you laughed and made fun of me, while still accepting the flowerless bunch. My image of who you were would have remained intact but alas you are still around somewhere and still alive…

Oh and what a cheat, what a liar, what a slimy bastard you turned out to be. My memories of you are like dark sooty charcoal pieces. Memories when they do flood my mind are like dark angry sea waves. All that my heart desires then is to drown you under these angry waves, and then to see you gasp for breath, trying to save yourself from the clutches of sure death. How I wish I had lost you to anything that destiny would bring than to deceit.

Shubhra
19th April 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Dreams oh these dreams

As I lie in bed, still half asleep
I dream of you beside me
I can feel your arms around me,
your lips on my neck,
your warm breath,
caressing me gently.
How I wish never to wake up,
unless its you who wakes me.

Shubhra 6th April, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why a woman's day?

Why do you need a day to celebrate and recognize women?
What about the remaining 364 days?
Is a woman any less important on the remaining days?
Is she not worth 365 days of celebration and recognition?

Oh you foolish women...
Stop being dependent on a day
to celebrate yourself
You are worth each moment of your existence

and

Oh you selfish men...
Wakeup and look around.
You would not exist
if the woman didn't.

Shubhra 8th March 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mind of its own

I wonder
What happened?
How did this happen?
and why?
Neither intended
nor proposed
Not in the scheme of things.
Yet, I came this far
I had plans
set to reason.
How then did this happen?
Wonder I did
and then it dawned.
The mind makes plans,
sets them to logic.
But the heart?
Well, it has a mind
of its own.

Shubhra 26th February, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Whose loss is it anyway?

Recently a close aunt of mine passed away. I would say close because the families were very close till we were in Kanpur. Later as we moved away distance did affect everyone. My childhood had fond memories of visit to her house and playing in their vast lawns. I somehow always liked her presence.

When one Sunday evening I heard of her death, I remembered her for a moment and then carried on with whatever else I was doing. It was then it struck me, death after all affects who? I questioned and answered and then argued within my head. Finally I did get my answer. Its always a loss only to the immediate family or friends.

Now one would think what a profound answer that is. To my mind it is. For me it is. What is death, absence of the person in his/her physical form. Now the real loss or pain of that life long absence is felt only by those who are in the absolute daily contact of the person. A father, a son, a daughter, a mother, a grand mother, a grand father, a long associated servant, the dearest friend.... Who else can one think of? The others are anyway not in everyday touch with the person. They will indeed miss the person, but I doubt if its the same loss as a person whose immediate family member dies and suddenly when the life comes to normalcy he/she realises that the person so always present in their life is no where to be found.

I can explain it better with my experience. When my cousin in Gwalior passed away I was in 11th standard. I obviously was heart broken but soon life was normal. I did not have to go through her absence in my life each day. When I did visit Gwalior, there was a void but there were others paying attention and life seemed normal. I felt as if she is just out of town and will be back. However when my grandmother, with whom I lived all my life, passed away in Kanpur, many many years later, the loss seemed irreparable. When I reached Kanpur after her death, in that big mighty house she was no where to be seen. It didn't feel as if she is out there somewhere and will be back. It was evident that she is no more and she will never be back. The loss of my grand parents in my life has ever since been irreparable.

I do not in anyway, wish to lessen the loss of people whenever death takes them away. However what I do realise is that with times as they are today... life is taken for granted for everyone and death is just another loss. And unless you are directly affected by the absence of the person one wonders whose loss is it anyway. So you hear about so and so passing away and then another passing away and then another. You pay your homage, your condolences and sometimes shed a tear or two but you never really get affected in your normal life by such losses or do you?

Shubhra 4th February 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Behind the masquerade




















Medium: Oil on Canvas
January 21, 2007

सवाल

ज़िंदगी में कयी ऐसे सवाल होते हैं
जिनके कोई जवाब नही होते
और अगर होते भी हैं
तो उनको कहने वाले जनाब नही होते

वो जवाब कहीं रह जाते हैं
खो जाते हैं
कभी खामोशियों में
कभी शोर में
हो जाते हैं गुम
कुछ सच्चाई से डर कर
कुछ ज़माने से डर कर
कुछ खुद सावल ही से डर कर
बस हो जाते हैं गुम

पर वो सवाल कहीँ नही जाते हैं
वो घूमते रहते हैं
यहाँ से वहाँ तक
इस पन्ने से उस पन्ने तक
इस ज़ुबान से उस ज़ुबान तक
इस मन से उस मन तक
इस कविता से उस कविता तक
एक सदी से दूसरी सदी तक

जिसके पास भी जाते हैं
बस जवाब ढूँढते हैं
परेशान करते हैं
उलझनें पैदा करते हैं
नये सवाल खड़े करते हैं
पर उनको फिर भी मिलते नही जवाब

वो जवाब ऐसे ही रहते हैं गुम
रहते हैं खामोश
करते हैं इंतज़ार
उस एक जनाब का
जिसके लफ़्ज़ों में
इन सवालों के जवाबों को
कभी मिले पनाह

शुभ्रा,
January 19, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

Chained
















Medium: Oil paint on canvas. December 17, 2006

Thursday, January 18, 2007

When the sun goes down...

I long for your touch
for that soothing kiss
for the warm embrace where I lose myself to you
for your look that assures all will be well
today I just long for you

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just a passing thought...

Last night it was very cold and slightly foggy. It must have been about 11.30 pm or so and I was on my way back from office. On the signal near my house, I saw a beggar. I always see him. A frail old guy, grey, almost white hair, wearing glasses that were thick and one could hardly see what his eyes were like. He was clad in a light green dhoti or what we in UP call angocha, and a kurta which had almost gone black with all the smoke from the vehicles. He had an aluminum bowl in his hand and he was begging. Shivering and shaking, going from one car to another. He was bare feet and upto his thighs his legs were all bare.

All the cars waiting had their windows up, mostly must have had their heaters on and hardly bothered about him. Some didn't even notice him, their attention was focused on the signal, waiting for it to turn green.

I was farther off in my car, windows down, enjoying the feel of the winter and watching this old beggar go from one car to another... Before he came to me the signal turned green and I too like others sped away.

This beggar however left me unsettled and triggered some questions:

  • What would I have done if he had come to me?
  • I generally don't give money to beggars but what would I have done to this one who was shivering in cold?
  • He genuinely was shivering out of cold or was pretending?
  • Would a rupee or two have been of any use to him or should I have taken off my warm sweater and given to him?
  • Would he have survived yet another day to be back at night begging again?
  • Is it right to not help beggars by way of giving them a rupee today and then letting them be like this forever?
  • Does a one rupee clear my conscious and can I still go to bed and sleep well?
  • Does that beggar think of all these things or is it that for him its a business...

As I write this I remember a joke told to me by my grandmother, long back. She once scolded a beggar begging on the traffic signal,"Why are you begging, why don't you do some work?" He replied, "that's what I am doing, can you beg on the crossing in this heat? Try it" My grand mother did not know where to look.

Just a passing thought...