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In the eyes of the beholder

They are strange droplets of water, or could I say magical? They are like mirage in the dry desert of life. Well, they might not necessarily quench your thirst but they give you hope and the strength to carry on. But they are magical also because they appear at other times too, when you do not necessarily expect them to be there. Any overwhelming emotion, happiness, surprise, delight, fear, love…absolutely anything in excess could ring an alarm and call for them. They are always at your disposal. Believe me, they are! You just have to knock your forehead, check the exact location of this inexhaustible well and there you go! Women are believed to have an easier access to them than men. Some even go to the extent of saying that they are a woman’s best weapon. Well, I really do not know how far it is true, but I really do not mind if it is! It is indeed a good feeling to go to bed with your head resting on a wet pillow. That makes me think about 2 things: they are a great sedative and have several advantages: they do not need a prescription, they come for free and it is an absolutely discreet and personal affair. Second thing, if they were specifically a woman’s property, thank God there is no menopause for them! Wow!! Tears are so many things and we thought they were just another salty excretion of the body?

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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।

The 20 lakh package

In the corner of a room Clustered only with a
rusty stove And an old bed, A tattered book he read to his sister Trying to put her to bed.
The day had been long He had to cook with Baba And clean and dust, The woman of the house Had lads she could trust
At night Baba watched over the neighborhood And him, over their humble abode For his earnest parents This was his gentle ode
Finally came home Mommy Who was playing nanny To another little angel Whose parents took turns too Earning their hefty packages

L’Amour Courtois: Really a phenomenon of just the Middle Ages?

After the “epopee” or epic that greatly valorizes the honor of a chevalier who dies in the battle field, literature took on a new dimension, with love playing an essential role. The chevalier was now more eager to prove his worth to his mistress than to his land. It was not just important to love but win his love over the others.
Almost ten centuries later, the concept of love, for men, does not seem to have changed much. This is especially true for Indian men (am not commenting on others as I hardly know any). L’amour courtois rejects all kinds of indiscretion and also any hasty confession of love, everything has to be done as per a “code of conduct”: friendship --> courtship (the most important and probably also the longest lasting stage) --> love.
Is it related to the masculinity of men and their perpetual need to prove it to themselves and to others? Even in today’s age, men prefer a woman who plays the role of the Dame courtoise, or of the Indian “devi” in the Indian context…