Mute : Haiku

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                                                                           mute anguish of love
                                                                           has silenced forever... that                                                                                                                                                   blithe chime of my heart

 Image source:here  

वो रुपहली सांझ आये

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                                                                  वो रुपहली सांझ आये  

                                                                   स्वप्न वन में झूलने को 
                                                                   मन की व्यथाएं भूलने को, 
                                                                   स्नेह का मधुमास छाए 
                                                                   वो रुपहली  .... 

                                                                   मन-धरा के भाव उर्वर  
                                                                   कृतित्व के उन्नत शिखर पर, 
                                                                   यश-विधु फिर मुस्कुराये  
                                                                   वो रुपहली   ...... 

                                                                   निर्दोष कौतुक के वसन  में 
                                                                   मन के सूने  प्रांगण में 
                                                                   प्रणय दीपक जगमगाए 

                                                                   वो रुपहली सांझ आये 

रुपहली सांझ -  the argent, silvery dusk                                                                मधुमास - the honeysweet time 
उर्वर -  prolific                                                                                                     कृतित्व  - creativity, vision 
निर्दोष - innocent, naive                                                                                       कौतुक - childlike wonder
वसन  - cloth. here attire                                                                                      यश-विधु - the moon of glory                                             सूने  - empty, lonely                                                                                           प्रणय - romance, love 

Wishing for this argent dusk to descend and liquidate the sorrows into its silver depths. Wishing the dark night to fall to embrace the ugliness of life and switch on the twinkling stars of hope. 
Wishing the earthen lamp of love to be kindled, so what, if by a transient spark ? 
Wishing the innocent childlike wonder to stay, the faith to take a deep hold, make the night earth glow under the lambent moon. 

Harsh unmasking sunrays are still a dream or two away.
 Wishes.. for life:)

Image (Summer Dreaming) : HERE

देहरी : The Threshold (A Haiku and a Tanka )

                                                                     कलिका प्यारी 
                                                                     तुषार कणों मध्य
                                                                     भी स्नेह मग्न

                                                                      मृदुल तन
                                                                      शिशु सा भोलापन
                                                                      द्वैत में मन ... 
                                                                      देहरी पे अटका,
                                                                      अल्हड बचपन !

The Haiku and the Tanka are written for the audio prompt given by dear friend Ravish Mani who created the prompt on my special request .. ahem-ahem :) 

I chose to portray the bridal joy and anticipation, as the audio gave me the ambivalent feeling of happiness and nervousness at the same time. 
Irrespective of her age and education, a bride is essentially a girl going to become a responsible person, an epitome of grace, dignity and maturity just in that distance from her maternal abode to her in-law's home.
Half aware of it, the hurt childhood hesitates but refuses to budge, while the dreams of ensuing future spur her towards that image of rosy bliss.
And there she wonders at the Threshold....  a sweet dilemma!

कलिका  - a bud                                                                                                                                     तुषार कणों  - Frost                           स्नेह - affection                                                                                                                                         मग्न- lost, absorbed           
मृदुल - soft                                                                                                                                               भोलापन - innocence                       द्वैत  - duality, dilemma                                                                                                                               देहरी  - threshold                       अटका - hitched                                                                                                                                           अल्हड -  carefree, jaunty 

Image Courtesy : Here 

Aloha! Woman's Day :)

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Ahalyā draupadī sītā tārā mandodarī tathā ।

pancakanyah smaren nityaṃ mahāpātakanāśakam ॥

Early in my life, I heard this shloka of the 'Pratah Smarneeya Panch Kanya' which says that Draupadi, Ahilya, Tara, Seeta and Kunti/Mandodari  are the five holy virgins and by chanting their names first thing in the morning our sins are abated.

It made me realize the futility of adornments. The hollowness of words.
Those who were mauled and molested to be called eternal virgins! 

Somewhat like the Nirbhaya Act of our times.Where we fail on all grounds of humanity and morality, when we found ourselves worse than barbaric animals, we try to heal (?) and replenish by making the victims sit on a pedestal, converting them into saints, angels, Devis and martyrs.

There are innumerable examples of female stereotyping, but for me, it goes deeper than that. The basic reason for it seems to be the ability to give life which a woman possesses and a man does not. Perhaps this deep rooted insecurity of this power of her goaded him to create rules and traditions.This deep-set insecurity is in the psyche, as well as in the genes. 

So, she is either a Goddess, the pious and the giving one, benign, smiling benevolently, patient and forgiving OR a witch, the bloodthirsty one, selfish, conniving, sly and scheming. A Total terror. 
 Nowhere is she accepted as Manvi .. the Human. A person.
A person having small dreams and moderate aspirations. Lakhs of men can survive a dull life of daily drudgery with aplomb, but for a woman to be happy being just a teller is looked down upon! She needs to prove herself by being nothing less than a Kiran Mazumdar Shaw or an Indira Nooyi. Otherwise, her education is a waste! 

She is not accepted as a person with human weaknesses and human follies. Not allowed to falter in speech, dressing and behaviour!

It made me wary of being good or bad actually, of being labelled.
I was determined to be happy.
To take responsibility for my mistakes and credits of my heroic deeds which I seem to perform left, right and centre! (Yeah yeah, I am still pretty good there.)
I also felt most males as a bundle of clueless energy, not knowing in which direction they ought to run but I never felt them being better or lesser than females. They were just different..well, slightly. 

Hence, I faced the discrimination , the mindset, the stereotyping simply as a human and not as a female. I have actually taught myself that. Not to mind such comments/questions like,  You are a late riser? Don't you like cooking? You like wandering aimlessly?  yak-yak ..
Yes. I am an owl who likes to burn the midnight oil and why don't you take charge of the morning chores if YOU are an early riser? I enjoy cooking but I don't feel an adrenalin rush to realize that I have to be in the kitchen five times a day daily, like Forever! 

Munshi Premchand once  said, 

"If some traits of a male come in a female she becomes demonic and if the female traits enter in a male, he attains godliness."

Do not misinterpret it as he simply meant that The Perfect Raymond's Man, The Ideal Suitable Boy, when imbibes only a few of the feminine traits like of compassion, unending affection and patience, he becomes God!
Urvashi, our very own celestial nymph has said that to Pururva, her heroic and valiant lover, who was so smitten with her that in order to invoke her soft feelings he went on for days singing about his own heroic deeds! To which she simply replied -

 *देवालय में देव नहीं केवल मैं हूँ 
मेरी प्रतिमा को घेर उठ रही अगरु गंध 
बज रहा अर्चना में मेरी, मेरा नूपुर  

Meaning it's the masculine energy adorned with the feminine nature which makes him complete - a God from a warrior. Without her, he is just a doer, an achiever ..with 'her' he becomes a creator.
The feminine energy is that elixir which is said to be dripping from the hood of the deadliest venomous pythons and snakes, protecting them from their own poison. 

So I give two pence to dress up according to the in-thing and not even one paisa to be considered as an 'in-sync' person. I simply can not afford to care! 

I am the only sari-clad bahu in my entire family including the extended khandan.. simply because as a child I used to see my mother get ready for college in smooth shiny silks, pastel chiffons and crisp cottons with peacocks sauntering on her hems and creepers dangling coyly on the pallav! No one, including my strict and ultra-modern mum-in-law, could put me off from getting decked up in sarees! I would drape the whole six yard (anyhow) and emerge confidently to face the world rather dazedly pass through the world, as I used to be too engrossed in adoring the softness of the saree, the colours which make me feel as if I had draped myself in a piece of sky or am in Eden with flowers blooming shyly all over me!  

And for a full one year, I have teamed-up my sarees with a pair of powder blue running shoes! Don't ask why as that was the need of the hour..err.. year. They were cute as a blue bunny but for some reasons unknown, the neighbourhood aunties at my in-law's home felt otherwise and found them to be hideous! *rolling eyes*
Obviously, I did not pay heed.
 I was and still am too busy living this one life to the fullest. 

It does not matter to me if the world knows about Tandava only, as I know the Lasya.
The extremely soft dance of Parvati, the dance of grace and beauty,  which she performs in response to Shiva's roudra Tandava - the dance of destruction. It's through Lasya that she harbours the seeds of life, protects the fauna, nourishes it with her tears of love and  caress the scorched black earth back to life. I firmly believe in that part of the balance and no one can stereotype me for it. Unless of course, I am willing to be.

* In the temple it's not the Lord, but I
The incense fragrance encircles  my idol,  
The bell of my anklet tinkles in the worship of I

The Post is written as my views on Being Woman for my dear friend  and fellow blogger Dr. Kiran Acharya.  To read her wonderful post talking about gender stereotyping vist HERE. 

Her post is studded with nuggets of  wisdom from some of us women bloggers, which we have experienced, gathered or wilfully lost !. 

I am indebted to Kiran for this beautiful initiative :)

Image Courtesy: Here  



                                                                       आओगी जब तुम जान जाऊंगा मैं  
                                                                        चटकेंगी  कलियां और फूल खिलेंगे। 

                                                                       हवा होगी जैसे तेरा महका आँचल, 
                                                                       थपक देगी मुझको सितारों की झिलमिल 
                                                                       सुनाएगी लोरी थपकते-थपकते, 
                                                                       ये चाँद हंसेगा और तारे दमकेंगे।  

                                                                      सूरज भी चमकेगा निखर -निखर 
                                                                       पेड़ों पे हरे-हरे  पत्ते निकलेंगे 
                                                                      आओगी जब तुम जान जाऊँगा मैं, 
                                                                       ठुमक-ठुमक  नयें चूज़े चलेंगे !

                                                                      झूमेगा सावन, गरज- गरज  कर 
                                                                      इन्द्रधनुष के रंग बिखरेंगे  
                                                                      गगन होगा नीला जरा और ज्यादा, 
                                                                      धरा पर अबीरी रंग उतरेंगे    

                                                                      आओगी जब तुम जान जाऊंगा मैं झट से, 
                                                                      क्योंकि आँसू नहीं तब मोती बरसेंगे।                                                                                  

Love makes us infinite. Or is it imagination?

My above effort of a poem stands true for every child, but it's for those small ones who wait in orphanages, who are too young to grasp the reality, to understand the futility of their hope and hold this image so close to their heart, cherish it and nurture it daily with newer embellishments. So certain and inventive are they in this 'waiting'. Always sure .. that it's just a matter of time when like movies, their mother will embosom them forever. Till then, no one dares to strike a jarring note in their dream symphony. 

  चटकेंगी  कलियां-   crackling of buds                                                                                 लोरी - lullaby 
थपकना   -      shush patting, to make one sleep                                                            सितारों - stars                                                                    झिलमिल  - twinkling                                                                                                            निखर-निखर = bright, radiant 
  धरा - earth                                                                                                                                 ठुमक-ठुमक = strutting walk 
अबीरी रंग -  fragrant colour (specially red and silver ) or fragrance

The Bull and The Butterfly

there was once a bull Magnifique 
his Moo.. was sonorous calm
his grazing refined, his gait sublime 
he got that earthy charm

he'd romp and play in flowers and grass
in pastures green and gold,
placid, content in his life
his countenance, a joy to behold.

his long horns set wide in a majestic curve 
proud and decked up with blooms  
the cows were awed and calves in love 
leaving other bulls to spume and fume 

Protesting they cried, "No time to gambol
with the weeds, lofty tasks have to be done !"
a ludicrous grin and a silly look
was all they could get out from him 

so for work, he was coaxed to sit near a bush,
with a thing trapped buzzing inside
It was a Bee with a sting like death!
which pierced all the way through his hide

he screamed and stomped, bellowed and rushed
and raged till it ceased to pain 
but the field was ploughed, and the branches crushed 
a work pending from weeks in vain!

Then one fine May day, a butterfly came 
fluttering carefree and bright 
flitting like an iridescent star fallen
from the dark veil of the night 

the bull was amazed by the dainty thing
enamoured and  bewitched 
followed her to the end of the river  
till his hooves were deep in the sand 

He  mooed a 'hello', which scared our girl
and she seemed to fly into oblivion
he collected his senses, donned his gentlest face  
and lured her back to the Eden  

loved and secured, now she gently nudges
him, to wonders unknown within his psyche 
while smelling nosegays, he now moos in cadence 
he was moo-sical yes, right from his birth, Alright! 

Like an elfin charm, a flying flower 
she flits ahead, with her compliant bull behind
And when he rests; she dances nearby
lush warmth filling both their minds

The sun spills gold, moon pours effulgence 
whilst they saunter in the rich verdant
more honey than bees, sweet sunshine in the frost
with each other they have found.

Both Images: Courtsey here 

This attempt of a poem is inspired by a dear Taurean friend for the impeccable match of habits with the main character! So, in case you like it, the credit goes to a gifted Bull :)

विनम्रता : Docile

नहीं पूछते कभी गगन से, 
क्यों वह घर नहीं जाता है ?
और सूर्य से यह , की क्यों वह 
धूप  यहाँ फैलाता  है ?

पूछा नदिया से यह,  कल-कल 
स्वर में शोर मचाती क्यूँ  ?
और ऊँचे निर्झर से पूछों , 
जल में धुंध उठा दी क्यूँ ?

पूछा कभी बेल से, क्यों वह 
स्वयं नहीं कुछ करती श्रम ?
और पवन का जब मन आये 
करता धमाचौकड़ी  ऊधम !

पूछा ढीठ चाँद से क्यूँ 
निज, चौर्य कला पर इतराता ?
और जलद  से यह कि क्यों वह 
 घर में पानी भर जाता !

क्यों मुझ पर ही सारे बंधन 
सारी नीति , ज्ञान नियम 
जो चाहे वो आँख तरेरे, 
जो चाहे , डाँटे हरदम। 

Being docile is a vice at times just like being naive or too trustful. You are called dumb and are taken for granted. Moreover, you raise the bar of expectation so high that people want you to be pleasant, sunny, smiling, fun to be with  and undemanding failing which you are a hypocrite and venomous. In short listening to your heart can lead you into a soup, scalding hot, thick and muddy! 
A light take on that :/

श्रम : labor, diligence                                                  जलद  : clouds

नेह का मोल

बस यही नेह  का मोल ?

नभ छोर छोड़ कर क्यूँ जाऊँ
संशय से मन में सकुचाउँ
बंधन में जाकर अकुलाऊँ
जब  नील तरी में कर आऊँ
मैं, मेघों के साथ हिंडोल ?

कोमल मन, अधर विहँसते  हैं
मृग शावक के से नैनों में
वासंती स्वप्न विचरते हैं
फिर क्यों इस स्वछंद स्वप्न  में
लूँ , विरह की  पीड़ा घोल ?

सब शब्द छद्म हैं, मालूम है
बिन अर्थ खोखले बजते हैं
जो  कहें,  बेपनाह चाहते  हैं
बेवजह भुलाया करते हैं
फिर क्यों अवसाद मलिन
तम में, गाउँ उषा के बोल ?

हाँ,  यही नेह का मोल। 

नेह = affection                                                                                                       मोल =  value
संशय = doubt , dillemma                                                                                                                 सकुचाउँ = hesitation
बंधन = boundations                                                                                           अकुलाऊँ =  getting fidgety , restless 
नील तरी  = a blue (sky) boat                                                                                                  मेघों = clouds
हिंडोल  = swing                                                                                                                                विहँसते = laughs
मृग शावक =  fawn                                                                                            वासंती =  of spring , nascant
स्वछंद  = free                                                                                                                          विरह =  sorrow of being apart
घोल  = dissolve                                                                                                                                  छद्म =  fake , trickery
खोखले =  hollow                                                                                                                               बेपनाह = limitless
बेवजह =  without reason                                                                                 अवसाद मलिन = made squalid by melonchaly
तम  = darkness                                                                                                 उषा के बोल =  words of dawn

ऋजुता : Honesty

अधरों पर सजता सलज हास
उर में शीतलता का विकास
दृग में अटके कुछ मुक्ताकण
निःस्वार्थ  नेह का सहज भास्

कौतुक  से टप-टपती  पलकें
बच्चों जैसा विस्मय अगाध
जिद्दी मन, चिंतन अति गूढ़
जाने कैसा मिश्रण प्रगाढ़

दुर्लभ लगती यह सृष्टि पर
है सरल लभ्य, बड़ा ऋजु मार्ग
बस, ऋजुता ही पा  जाते जो
नहीं होती छिन्न-विछिन्न आज

मिटटी मिटटी बन जाती है
मणिकर्ण दमकते रहते बस
हृत्पिंड धड़कता सदियों तक
आहत , लज्जित , मृतप्राय , अवश।

सलज हास = a naturally demure smile                              उर= heart , mind  
दृग  = eyes                                                                                       मुक्ताकण = pearls, here teardrops (liquid gaze ) 
कौतुक = curiosity with amazement                                          अवश = helpless
विस्मय = wonder, awe                                                                  अगाध = fathomless
सृष्टि = nature, here creation                                                ऋजु = straight, simple 
मणिकर्ण  = the ruby earrings, here the blazing pyres of the Manikarnika Ghat                                                      सदियों = for centuries                                                          हृत्पिंड = heart, here- just a beating lump of a heart. आहत = hurt                                                                         लज्जित = ashamed 
 मृतप्राय = moribund                                                          

उपसंहार : The Epilogue

                                            इन कहानियों में हँसता है,
                                            शैशव और यौवन अभिराम 
                                            इन शब्दों में छुपे हुए हैं , 
                                            स्नेहसिक्त अश्रु अविराम 
ह्रदय वेदना मसि है मेरी, 
भावों में ढाले हैं प्राण 
है अल्हड़ मन के बचकाने, 
स्वप्नों की उन्मुक्त उड़ान 
                                             बाध्य नहीं हूँ कर जाने को ,
                                             व्यथा -कथा निज व्यापक मैं 
                                             पर लगता है , उलझा मन कोई 
                                             पा लेगा कुछ पल विश्राम 

First Light : Haiku / Senryu

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                                                                               first light of winter
                                                                               makes frost glow  defies dark  like,
                                                                               love defies reason 

linking with #894 prompt of  Carpe Diem Kai.

Senryu is a 'Human Haiku' following the syllable count of 17 in the pattern of 5-7-5 in three lines but with the focus on human idiosyncrasies and life situations rather than seasons and natural beauty. Senryu generally don't have a kireji (cutting word ) and a kigo (season word) and are  generally dark humored  or cynical.
My above versehere, fits the bill for both, hence, is a hybrid! :)

Image credit : Here

Reflecting on Life: THE 'REVERSE' GAME!

Sreedhar Bhattaram Sir is a blogger par excellence  and needs no introduction here. His all posts are nuggets of wisdom which he selflessly pass on to us readers in his charismatic simple way which at times reminds me of Premchand - the great Hindi writer. The post which I am reblogging here is a glowing example of how truth shines without magniloquence and strikes a chord! Read ON .

Reflecting on Life: THE 'REVERSE' GAME!: To a stranger on road for the smallest help received..   ' Oh! Many many thanks for the great help you had given me at this point of t...

Fuyusoubi : Winter rose

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petals dyed crimson 
 by love, joy decks the blooms like,
  rime on  winter rose 

dulcet winter rose
like a stubborn love misplaced 
blooming against frost

linked with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai week Fuyusoubi. Fuyusoubi means 'rose in winter'  - a classical kigo for winter.
Image credits: Here and Here

Midway : haiku


                                                   realized midway                                                                                               that I had begun long back ,                                                                                      winding path of love 

Image credit : Here 

Find : Haiku

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                                                                                        liquid moonbeams fall
                                                                                    someplace between reverie                                                                                                                                                         and dreams, I find you


Image credits : Here

Written for HaikuHorizons 

Spring : Haiku


                                                                              lush and vernal blooms
                                                                              sun-kissed valleys, spring is sweet -
                                                                              lonelier this time

Image credits : Here

Adieu : A Tanka String

                                                                            young fair lilies bloom
                                                                            tranquil in the lap of night 
                                                                            glowing through the dark 
                                                                            for those few borrowed moments
                                                                            smiling with the fading moon

                                                                            slender lilies sweet
                                                                            dreams folded within their souls
                                                                            tender petals blush
                                                                            moon spills in the sky- adieu    
                                                                            dew forms on dying flowers 

A Tanka (tan-short, kah-verse) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. 

It's an unrhymed verse of five lines with a syllable count of  5-7-5-7-7. 
It's generally not titled unless in a 'tanka string' or 'sequence'.

 Like haiku it nudges, hints and guides the mind to explore the hidden meanings but unlike haiku, it has a broad aesthetic and to let the reader wander  through the infinite possibilities, the capitalization of the first letter and the use of full stop after the last is avoided. 

Happy Reading.

Image: Here

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