Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Janki and Mansoor (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

(Suryakant Tripathi)

I have laid out the bare facts of the story of Janki and Mansoor, that I know from hindsight now. I am a CID officer, Suryakant Tripathi, working at the headquarters. When I get transfered back to the police department, I will serve as an Inspector. How I got here to this clerk-like nonsense post from being the king of streets, is actually what I am trying to tell you. The latest fad is to call the Delhi Police cops Raja, somehow the age old Mamu (mother's brother) has fallen out of favor with public.

The two murders took place twenty years ago, yes, that fatal year of 1992. You must have been much younger then, or maybe weren't born at all. As a reader you can choose to be whatever age, shape, color, caste and intelligence level you wish to be. I have limited options. I am five nine, just inches above the acceptable height to become a policeman. I am a policeman and my father and his father were in army. They thought that army has outlived its importance, and in times of peace, the Junta (public) resents freeloading army anyway. I am important to this story, not only because I will acting as your guide and narrator, but also because I was the one who arrested Mansoor on charges of corruption, and later investigated those murders. Mr. Agrawal was a man of shady character, but I must tell you this, that he knew how to get a job done, and paid the right tributes to the deserving.

I shall not say that I am the most honest person around. But these days, honesty means "not taking bribes from them who are absolutely in right, and cannot afford to pay." In the Kalyug (era of sin), the present Yugam (era), one good deed is worth what years of penance of Satyug (era of truth). In Kalyug honesty, truth, respect have new meanings. Truth is what has been proclaimed as fact by the most powerful group of people and announced loudest by the media. Respect is allowing the elders a few words, before ignoring all they have to say and looking at woman, without touching. Unfortunately, Mansoor was a Muslim and did not understand the concept of Kalyug. He was always intent on showing that he was better than rest of us, and could survive with the government salary itself. Saala Sham! He got a pension for his years at Army and he could get everything at half price from the Military Canteen. We all knew he was promoted to Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) position in double quick time, both due to Muslim quota and due to ex-serviceman quota. If someone were to give me ration at half price and promotion in double quick time, why would I not show myself as pure and righteous?

If you ask me to tell just the story brother, I will remind you that this is a Brahmin's recital. It meanders, it launches into lives of previous births as well as future circumstances or possibilities, and everything everywhere is connected to it. You must not question why I mention so many things. I will throw all I know at you, rather than keep a part with me and find out later that it could have been crucial to the case.

The case of Janki and Mansoor! I am still uncertain why they called it the case of Janki and Mansoor. If they wanted to highlight the murders, they should have mentioned Mr. Agrawal and Mansoor. I guess the journalists just like to think that way, and of course, the names of a Muslim male and a Hindu female together makes for a catchy headline. In 1992, when the Delhi folks got up on 12 August morning, the newspapers carried the news of murder on the third page. It was the first news among the local items; first page used to be sacrosanct then. Only national and international news showed up there. Only a decade later, first page had turned into a tabloid daydream and now in 2012, real news is found only on certain blog sites.

I found out about the murders from the newspaper. On 11 August, I had met Mansoor outside the grocery store. He was suspended officer and I was a Police Hawaldaar (sergeant) on duty. I had the urge to mock him, but his smile unnerved me. I did not need to salute him, but I did, I guess by sheer habit. Training as a policeman and an army-man is essentially a training in saluting. We bang our foot on the floor scores of times a day. No wonder our brains fall into our knees, and once they do, we become useful cadets for the government work. I asked him if the file dealing with revoking his suspension had moved. He smiled, and said, "I can't afford that."

I wanted to say, "What use are your principles now?" To my own surprise, I asked him, "Who is holding it? Lekhawat sahib, the Lucknow lackey? That guy is related to me, on my dead wife's side. He owes me a favor or two. So I will see what can be done." Mansoor had just nodded his head. Having met him in person only a day before, made the news of his murder a nauseating read for me. Mr. Agrawal's death was going to hit me more severely though; he contributed half of the monthly installment I was paying for a flat in a building constructed by him. This building was secure for his own flat was on the top floor.

(To be continued...)

Other chapters found here

Googlies: The off-playground matches, stars and ICL/BCCI standoff

Indian cricket, like a typical Bollywood movie, has all kinds of masala associated with it. Be it the affair of Sangeeta Bijlani with Mohammad Azharuddin, or the reports of Nagma luring Saurav Ganguly or Kim Sharma showing attraction for Yuvraj Singh, we savor the gossip about the cricketers lives as much (or maybe more) than we savor real matches. The whole Indian political system, with its flaws: corruption, reservation, quota and regionalism are exhibited at the expense of national team. Personal ends and vendetta of BCCI and state organizations makes more frequent headlines than dropping or picking of the right players. Who hasn't heard of Dalmiya's rise and fall? Bindra throws more googlies than Kumble can imagine. "Pawar ki power ka jawab nahin" (Who can have an answer to the Power of Pawar?)

A phenomenon which old times like me missed out completely hit India during the last world cup. Unfortunately, people like me were already in the states. Mandira Bedi became an overnight celebrity as her dipping necklines kept the breaks in the match as highest viewed parts of the match (!!). Roshni Chopra is said to have emulated her well in Doordharshan's bid to match Mandira. It is another matter that India has a decent women cricket team and most of us cannot name more than a player of that team. When we talk of cricketing women, Mandira somehow tops the list. If you follow news on rediff, you will have seen reports about apologies, protests and applauses Mandira got for her dressing style and cricket acumen or lack of both.

The latest story of public sector vs private enterprise debate has engulfed cricket with the launch of Indian Cricket League. The absence of Bengal players from A-team inspite of being Ranji finalists two years in a row is actually remarkable. I would have never noticed it, but for seven of Bengal's players switching to the ICL. Ambati Rayudu has been on sidelines in spite of great performances few years back. Shikhar Dhawan, an opener from Delhi who failed to sparkle this season, or maybe gave up hope, was scoring like Bradman in matches where Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia and likes were ending up as no shows. BCCI seems to be behaving like a cry baby in the issue: had they set their house in order (don't have website still, locked into advertizing battles of all kinds, poor support system for retired players and state associations), the state of Indian cricket could have been much better. Like many other things in India, the team functions in spite of the system. We can't even decide on a coach. We can't even decide on broadcasters. But when it comes to some kid playing for a tournament we disapprove of, we formulate rules, statements, bans against him in a matter of seconds. Many years ago, someone called BCCI "a safed haathi" (White Elephant), and I cannot agree more.

It is often said that you need to be from Mumbai to be considered seriously. Karnatka, due to good Ranji seasons has had more than couple of players in Indian team. But Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, Panjab, Baroda, Railways and Delhi have, like Bengal, been traditionally good performers, and yet they seem to get a raw deal. No wonder Mohinder Amranath called selectors a bunch of jokers. The whole Kiran More tenure was bizarre, to say the least. The whole zonal system, the quota system, must be done away with. Period.

Kaif and Raina, who broke into national team managed to be great fielders and below expectation batsmen. I have lost faith in their ability to perform at a level that can make them into replacements for Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman. I have lot more faith in P Ojha, Manoj Tiwary, Piyush Chawla and young Jadeja. I am waiting for their likes to emerge as lead performers for a new Indian team that will live unto the 2011 World Cup. I hope BCCI will clean up its act, find a way to absorb all the money and changes ICL will help to bring about, and after Mandira and Roshni, the era of cheerleading in cricket will arrive as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Googlies: Thinking of cricket: Intro

I watch and follow cricket more intently than anything on earth, including women, stock prices, experimental data, mathematical equations and poems. Hence I must contribute to the word of cricket by writing about it. I started my life as prose writer on internet with a comic take on how physics can be taught using cricket, but that was in 2002, and I have not written a word ever since.

I follow scorecards for Ranji, Irani, Deodhar tropies. Even the Ranji plate division, which features the second league teams, like Himachal Pradesh and Orissa who were the finalists this time. I follow under 16, under 19, A team and also the Challenger Trophy. So I have known Yuvraj, Kaif, Piyush Chawla, Pathan from the days when they won us matches between teenagers from all countries, and when teenagers from Pakistan fought battles with Indian teenagers. I also usually read up all the sense, nonsense, commentary, statistics, views, blogs written on cricinfo, bbc and rediff sites.

Essentially I wish to claim that I am a qualified professional, and I be taken seriously. As seriously as Sidhu for my views, and not necessarily for my one liners.

Since this is the first post of the series, I must start by paying tribute to Kumble, the player who I think deserves the biggest awards from Indian cricketers and media, for consistently showing how a fighter can win, irrespective of predictions and conditions. The latest in his series of feats is a century he made in his 118th Test Match, in 151st Innings.

Another player who has proved that mettle is the meat of a warrior is Saurav Ganguly. You may like him, dislike him, adore him, worship him or want him shot for his sheer Ganguliness: the haughty demenour, the pride in the stride, the off-side play, the inertia for taking quick singles, the medium pacers, the frustrating tendency to let himself be out done by a bowler or fielder, or the whole Chappel episode. You might think whatever of him at times, you must admit that the guy has the mettle. "Zazba" ज़ज्बा is the word from Hindi/Urdu. I wish we had more like him, without the stated flaws. Like every human being, a cricketer comes with his flaws; the greats rise in spite of them.

Lastly, India lost once again today. A few extra runs saved during fielding could have helped. But what was surprising was why Kartik came at first down, especially when Tendulkar fell early, Dravid was expected. Even if the surprise element of sending Karthik in place of Dravid or Yuvraj would have worked, I would have still demanded them to revert to the policy of having the most important batsman fight at position number 3. In a battle, the most important warriors must ride ahead.

More cricket will follow. Hope India plays to win the next game.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

aaj ka kavi

देखता हूँ आइना जब भी,
कोई चेहरा नज़र नहीं आता
कोई पहचानता नहीं आजकल मुझको,
कोई मुझसा नज़र नहीं आता

गुमनाम नहीं होना था मुझे
और न ही अतीत में समाना था
पर खोजता हूँ तो आजकल में
मेरा वजूद नज़र नहीं आता

प्रीत की पहली नज़म मेरी लिखी हुई
अब मूरखों ने अपना ली है
आशिकी के नाम पर हर जाहिल ने
कलम पर स्याही चड़ा ली है
तुकबंदी हर पनवाड़ी के यहाँ बिकती है
हर हलवाई ने शायरों सी दाढ़ी बड़ा ली है

न अब वो गीत है, न ग़ज़लों का ज़माना है
न हुस्न में वो नजाकत है, न अब वैसा कोई दीवाना है
कौन पूछता है ग़ालिब तुझको, मीर कौन है, क्या पता?
बच्चन तेरी मधुशाला अब कहाँ नदारद है?
अब कहाँ है वो धरम करम की बातों का मोल?
दिनकर तेरी रश्मिरथी का कृश्ण और करण कहाँ?
कुरान पुरान निज भाषा अब जाहिल ढूंडा करते है

वो ज़माना जब पंडित विद्वान सलाह दिया करते थे
है गुजर गया, बंट गया अब मिथ्या और साहित्य में
अब तो पहलवान पंच, और गुंडे शिक्षा मंत्री बनते है
ग्यानी हुआ तो क्या किया, भूखा स्कूल टीचर बना
शास्त्र जाने तो घर घर पहुँचा मंत्र पढ़ पढ़ ग्रहशांति करने
आएतें आई, तो आलिफ बे ते मुफ़्त में पढा कर
मुफ्ती की मोटी जेब में जेवर भर दिए

या फ़िर बैठा है पराये देश में, खोजता तथ्य
या अंजानो के मध्य अपनापन, अपना परिचय?
या दो शब्द जो वहम ही दे देंगे प्रगति का
या वो नाम, वो शोहरत जिसके दम पर
किसी रोज़ चंद लोग तुझे याद करेंगे

कैसा विवेक है तेरा यह दोस्त जो माया में फंसा
तलाश रहा है मिट्टी का तन, मिट्टी सा धन,
रुक थम सोच ध्यान लगा, तुझको क्या भय है
आदी-अंत, शान्ति -सम्पति, गति-अगति, अतीत-भविष्य
सब वहम है, तेरा स्वपन है,
है प्रतिबिम्ब तेरा धूमिल ही नहीं
धूल धुआं तेरा सर्वस्व है.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Janki and Mansoor


Janki's husband Mr. Agrawal was murdered in the broad daylight in presence of twenty people who refused to testify. Mr. Agrawal was a contractor, who had build his fortune by making buildings for the government. Overpriced stock was underused to make sub-standard buildings for a housing board colony. Each flat was sold at a subsidized rate to the government employees. Janki had seen her husband rise from a one room rented apartment to a a contractor who owned a farmhouse each in Poona and in Delhi. In their village in Kapurthala, their rise in fortune had turned them into mini-celebrities. The five feet two inch body of Janki, with five kilo gold ornaments worn as bangles, nose-ring, anklet, belly-belt and earrings, in all fifty-five kilos of her frame resounded with howls that rung in the street for hours.

Somewhere else in the city the murderers sat solemnly in a temple, listening to Bhajans. A dozen people had died in a building collapse; Mr. Agrawal was proven innocent in the court. Now the dead were avenged "as they should be".

Janki had two sons. Both were lodged in Dehradoon boarding school. Mr. Agrawal wanted his sons to inherit a business empire. Janki was going to continue his efforts to build one. The story so far looks like a Bollywood movie, and all I need to finish it is a bunch of villains, the sons in love with two daughters of their father's enemy and a bunch of song dance sequences. In this story though, things happen in a different fashion, and there is no known enemy. Mr. Agrawal's death brought out his will: he had written off nearly everything to Subedaar Mansoor Ahmed, except the house and two acres of ancestral land in Kapurthala. Janki was surprised. Mansoor Ahmed was their neighbor, their landlord a decade ago. He still lived in the same building in Old Delhi and called upon their family on every festival, with a box of laddus in his hand. After the will was read, Janki howled even louder than she had cried at her husband's death.

Mansoor always had the reputation of being discretely honest in all his dealings. Janki had known no instance of his taking single penny as bribe in his capacity as a policeman. After a long stint in Army, where he was a Subedar, he had enrolled in Delhi Police and worked vigilantly for six years. He was suspended last year for failing to arrest the people who were suspected of implanting a bomb inside the building that had collapsed. The defense of Mr. Agrawal, with help of some well-mannered, highly influential police officers had proved beyond doubt that the building had imploded. Four names were floated as suspects, Mansoor was put on their trail, and later suspended under pretext of letting the criminals off, by accepting bribe for it. A cardboard box containing two hundred thousand rupees was found in his house. He was saved of the jail term by Janki. For years, she had addressed him as bhaijaan, and so Mansoor let her pay for his bail and release.

Mansoor was murdered six hours after the will was read. Mr. Agrawal's elder son was with his mother all day and younger one left an hour or two after the will was disclosed. He was in a state of extreme, and nervous excitement - his father had died only three days ago and had left everything to Mansoor Khan in a strange will. When the news of Mansoor's death was related to Janki, she immediately wanted to know where the younger son was.

The younger son returned to the house nearly four hours after the murder of Mansoor Khan. His mother had fainted three times already. A doctor sat at her bed stead. Two policemen waited for him. It turned out that he was gone to their family lawyer's house, and had been in discussion with him, to figure out if the will could be altered to the advantage of the sons. The policemen called the lawyer up and the alibi was perfect.

To be continued....

Other chapters found here

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chand Ghazalnuma Sher

कभी फ़ुरसत हमको ना थी, कभी आप मश-रूफ़ थे.
बुडापे में सोचेंगे, हम जवानी में कितने बेबकूफ़ थे.

मिलना कोई क़यामत से कम नहीं होता पहले पहले इश्क़ में
बुत्परस्ति का डर था, या बच्चपना, हम कितने नामाक़ूल थे.

लम्हे ना रुकते हैं, ना थमते हैं, बस गुज़रते हैं.
जिनकी खातिर जहाँ जीता, वो चले गये कितने दूर थे.

कहते हो शायर हो, इस शौक़ इस फ़न से क्यूं दिल ना जीता,
विवेक ही जानते है की तब हम कितने बेइलम, कितने मन्कूब थे.


kabhi fursat hamko na thi, kabhi aap mash-roofh thay.
budaape mein sochenge, hum jawani mein kitne bebkoof thay.

milna koi qayamat se kum nahin hota pahle pahle ishq mein
butparasti ka dar tha, ya bachchpana, hum kitne namakool thay.

lamhe na rukte hain, na thamte hain, buss gujartay hain.
jinki khatir hamne jahan jeeta, woh chale gaye kitne dur thay.

kahte ho shayar ho, is shauq is fann se kyun dil na jeeta,
vivek hi jaante hai ki tab hum kitne beilam, kitne mankoob thay.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Twentieth Century Poets: Two poems by Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam and Marina Tsvetaeva are the most prominent Russian poetic voices from the first half of twentieth century. These were the poets continuously contained, arrested or prosecuted by Stalin and communist police, and yet their continued to sing beautiful rhymes throughout the turbulent 1920s and thereafter. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature (which he refused to accept) after his novel Doctor Zhivago was smuggled and translated outside Russia and got him instant fame in the West. Mandelstam was prosecuted, and it was left to his wife Nazareth to bring his poems to print, and she also wrote two thick memoirs capturing the torrid times at the backdrop of the work of these poets.

Akhmatova was a poetess who won hearts of too many to count. She had the rare distinction of having both Pasternak and Mandelstam under her sway: both (two of the greatest poets on Russia) are said to have proposed to her (in spite of their wifes) and both were turned down by her. She also translated all the poems (eight volumes) of Rabindranath Tagore's poetry.

Right from an early age, she possessed the ability to write poems that become popular with the masses. Her poems became love letters in hands of many, she became the spoken word of women, she was the tacit, controlled, measured, rhymed, metered expression of love, empathy and dismay at the fate of Russia and Russians after the revolution.

Many of her poems are available in translation on this page. Read Muse, "If the moon on the skies", Requim, To Boris Pasternak, Crucifix, etc. There are some more poems in translation here. Her biography is available on Wikipedia link and on the page, here.

Here are two poems by her (my favorites). Rather than typing just her poems, I let myself write a short commentary about her. To be a poet in her circumstances requires a courage that is beyond heroism, and to write so well, with so much pathos, kindness, clarity and purity, puts her at forefront of the most important poets of last century.

In lieu of a dedication

I hide in the wood, go adrift on the swell,
Float on limpid enamel about it,
Separation I'll probably bear pretty well,
But a meeting with you - I doubt it.



I have been at the edge of something
For which there's no tag, no shelf...
An importunate, drowsy, numb thing,
A sliding away from oneself....


I am foot up the gangway for some journey
Which all many take, but not at equal cost...
Upon this ship there is a cabin for me,
The wind hangs in sails - and the dread moment
When my own shore will dwindle and be lost.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

You killed Alex (A short story)

"You killed him. You killed Alex. O my Alex! You killed him."

Randhir drove into his parking lot at around 9:30 pm. The Georgia sun had retired half an hour ago. The night was beginning to make its routine stop over the surfaces in Atlanta and dim out objects in the eyes of people. Purvi set next to Randhir, and was involved in a heated discussion about feminism with him. The definition of duties of Purvi as a wife became a debate on what should be expected of a modern Indian working woman in a household. A trifle personal matter exploded into a textbook conflict. Questions of women empowerment and centuries of inequality formed crux of Purvi's argument. Randhir was irritated with the whole issue, brought in without much context. He was a bad cook and he was irresponsible when it came to financial matters. He considered the latter to be a bigger problem, and was ready to accept his failings there. But all his bickering was about his not cutting the onions right.

He had tried. The size did not match Purvi's precise requirements. He was similarly incapable of making round chappattis. This, she said, was representative of how useless the mankind was, how deficient their aesthetic sense was. When he mumbled that half a mm smaller onion doesn't cook any better, and circular roti tastes no better than a rectangular one, she cited it to say it showed how unwilling men were to change, to adjustment and to the idea that the women should get their due. Purvi was now expounding theories of how men would become unnecessary in the age of test-tube babies. This was her way of doing her bit for women empowerment: harassing her husband about issues that she hardly cared about. She was a housewife herself, and did not want a regular job, "for the sake of our kids" she would say, and add that they would have kids only after eight years of marriage. Randhir never pointed these things out, and was usually happy with his wife's cooking, cleaning and ability to dress up for every evening, every encounter. "Her tongue is a small price to pay for all the goodies", he consoled himself. For now, her words were rolling in an accelerated pace, while the car was lulling into a patient park.

"You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him."

Randhir was driving a Ford Mustang. The car was only few months old. Purvi was 2003 model, he used to say to her, while the car was 2007 model. The older the model, more it costs to maintain it, he would think, and check himself before reaching the conclusion that the old model should be discarded. Their marriage was in the fourth year of blissful confrontation. Purvi loved conflict, the sound of it. She would say it releases the poisons with. She had tried arguing with Randhir about why Indian villagers must never wear jeans, and preserve ethnicity. Randhir advised her to try wearing sarees. She complained that sarees were unsuitable for city bred woman, especially if they lived in the US. When he smiled, she complained, "You always divert from the real issue". For her villagers were responsible for the culture and traditions of Indians, and by moving across Atlantic, she was obligated to wear American brands. "To fit in," she would say.

Once she tried advocating the imposition of communist dictatorship in India; Randhir reminded her how much she hated her patriarch grandfather. She emoted, "You are plain inconsistent and inconsiderate. When the national issues were at stake, personal experiences and beliefs were to be kept aside. But you always want to insult or attack my family to win in an argument." In moments like these, he never understood what his fault was. He just frowned, pursed his lips, and closed his eyes and waited for her radio transmission to end on its own. She thought this was cute and loved him for it. Of late, all her arguments were about women empowerment. The election of female President in India had supplied her with a range of arguments that she could have never thought of herself. She was testing these on Randhir. Randhir was thankful for the Mustang, that drove like a charm, and kept his spirits up. The fruitless debate was reaching its crescendo, when Randhir drove into the parking lot.

"You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him."

Randhir parked. Purvi was pouring the grand finale of her rhetoric.

"You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him."

The words came later. First came a woman, in white T-shirt, running towards the car. She appeared from nowhere, till the trees behind her came into sight. She ran out from this shady grove next to the apartment, and emerged out of dark like scary strangers manage to do in horror movies. Two large dogs, one black and another white one, followed her.

"You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him." The words made sense much later. First came this woman, white as her T-shirt, and she immediately bent down and started checking under the tires of Randhir's car.

Randhir was too shocked and his hand remained half-suspended in the act of turning key of the car into silence of night. "You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him." The words, when they finally spoke to him, came in a plaintive, almost tearful voice of the white woman. Purvi had stepped out from the car, and when both the dogs tried to measure her height with their front paws, Randhir asked her to return to the car, and sit still. "You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him." The woman went on. "Help me guys. O my God. Oh my God."

Randhir asked Purvi if she had seen anyone. "I was too busy attacking my poor hubby, sorry Randheer, my baby, I can't even let you drive in peace," said Purvi, "I will keep my mouth shut from now on."

"That would be nice. But damn it. I didn't see anyone." Insurance costs, court cases and maybe extradition to India loomed in his unexpressed thoughts. The real import of these would hit him later. Right now, his head was blank, and his eyes followed every movement of the white woman.

"You killed him. You killed Alex. Oh my Alex! You killed him. My puppy, my baby, oh my God, where are you Alex. Talk to mummy, Alex."

"Puppy," Randhir repeated, in irritation. "She said Puppy! All this is about a dog, damn it. But I saw no dog." He was happy for an instant, and then he remembered it wasn't India. Here dogs had rights. Plus he needed to clean his Mustang of stains, and a dent would be disastrous.

"I am sorry, it is all my fault, " said Purvi. Meanwhile the white woman had gone around the car three or four times, calling for Alex, bending down, checking under tires, getting up, howling and crying and then bending down. Her other two dogs saw how agitated she was and ran around her.

Suddenly Randhir saw his neighbor Philosopher. Purvi had named him Philosopher because he had a ponytail and he wore thick glasses. Randhir cringed at the thought of this guy being a Philosopher. He had not mentioned to Purvi that this Philosopher spent his time to make a living out of online poker. Randhir thought of this Philosopher as a failure, a lost cause and ignored him. But today Philosopher came out of the dark like a flashlight that rescues a man from a deer-trap dug in a forest. "Are you looking for this little monster?" He shouted, his teeth appeared when the smoke of his cigarette dissolved away. Alex, a puppy no bigger than a rabbit, came wagging its tail was rolling at his feet. The puppy and the woman hurried into each others arms. Then the white woman picked him up, and hugged him like a baby. all this while, she was crying with a nervous joy, "O my baby. Mummy got so scared baby."

Randhir mustered the courage to get out of the car now. Purvi got down as well.

"I am sorry," said the white woman raising her tear drenched face to look at them. She was crouching on the ground, her three "sons" with her, and Alex got more kisses in few minutes than Randhir managed in an entire week.

Randhir just opened his eyes, wide, raised his eyebrows, shook his head sideways and walked on.

"Bitch," Purvi said, as she caught up with him. "She needs a man in her life."

"God save the mankind," thought Randhir, and he put his arm around Purvi's waist. She snuggled close to him and started walking in his rhythm, her head on his shoulder. "What a day!" he sighed. She nodded and smiled.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

khaali samay mein kab kavita kahi maine

ख़ाली समय में कब कविता कही मैने
तन्हाई और फ़ुरसत शायर ढूँडा करते है
मैं कवि हूँ - कालिदास, तुलसी, दिनकर धरम का
लिखता हूँ, प्रतिदिन परिश्रम भी करता हूँ
उल्लास की स्तुति भी, दर्द की अनुभूति भी
मैं हूँ योगी सा, पर हूँ व्यास, बच्चन के धरम का

khaali samay mein kab kavita kahi maine
tanhai aur fursat shayar dhoonda karte hai
main kavi hun - kalidas, tulsi, dinkar dharam ka
likhta hun, pratidin parishram bhi karta hun
ullaas ki stuti bhi, dard ki anubhuti bhi
main hun yogi sa, par hun vyaas, bachchan ke dharam ka

(Loose translation as a comment)