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गणेशोत्सव 2011

At this moment, the entire nation is burning in the fires of "the second war of independence" and writing about something else just does not seem appropriate. But there are, nevertheless, other important issues to tackle....
Ganeshotsav is just around the corner and we, the devotees are eagerly waiting to welcome our dear Bappa home. Markets are flooded with the most mesmerizing, near-live murtis of Ganeshji. Like many others, even I get tempted to bring Bappa home, I really enjoy the excitement around this festival. But then there are certain things that deter me from doing so.
My dad tells me stories of Ganeshotsav celebrations as a child, in our village in Orissa. Although the celebrations there didn’t witness such grandeur, the enthusiasm was always unchallenged. My granny would bathe and redress the Ganesh idol at home, He would be brought out of his usual residence n be presided over a special throne for his birthday. My granny would then treat him with laddoos. The next day, he would go back to his domicile.
What a rationalist celebration!!
Those who understand the significance of His arrival and immersion know that it is only symbolic of the life and death cycle of the Hindu mythology. Now the question we should be asking ourselves is: if the whole idea is just symbolic, can’t the celebration be such too? It’s time we started reasoning our actions! I beg you not spend so much money on buying new idols every year. Let the visarjan be only in your bath-tub or wash basin. We REALLY cannot afford wastage of gallons and gallons of water in the process of immersion. Let alone the damage caused to the ecological system through thermocol and other chemical waste that is let into the waters. And above all that is the grief to sea beheaded and amputated bodies of our dear Bappa lying on seashores the next day.
Although Anna's fight is corruption, the basic underlying idea there is thinking for oneself. It is the need of the hour to change our outlook towards customs and traditions and to modify them a little to match up with the current scenario.

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कविता

कविता लिखना किसी इंसान के बस की बात नहीं है
कविता ख़ुद ही अपने आप को लिखती है
इक ज़रिया है बस हम तो
कविता ख़ुद ही ख़ुद को आईना में दिखती है

यह ख़ुद अपनी ज़ुबां चुनती है
लफ्ज़ अपने ख़ुद ही ढूँढ़ती है
कोशिश कर लेना तुम कभी
झूठ लिखते ही ये टूटती है

देर रात यह सपने में आती
मन के दरवाज़े पर दस्तक देती
लिफ़ाफ़े में बंद चिट्ठी में
अपने आप को तुम्हें दे जाती
लिखावट काग़ज़ पर तुम्हारी है बेशक़
पर कलम में सियाही तो वो ही भर जाती

कभी यूँ ही शाम को मिलने आती
खिड़की के पास बैठ चाय की चुस्कियाँ लगाती
रोम रोम में इक महक सी भर जाती है
दिल की धड़कनें कानों तक गूँज जाती है
बाहर की खिड़की खोलते खोलते
यह रूह के दरवाज़े खोल जाती है

एक बार कविता हर किसी को छूने आती है
जब टुटा हो दिल प्यार में, तो यह कुछ ज़्यादा जी लुभाती है
जब हाथ बढ़ाए तुम्हारी ओर, झट से थाम लेना, साहीर
यह बार बार गले नहीं लगती है।