I realise that as a writer I enjoy poetry the most. It’s simple, variable in the readers’ interpretation and spontaneous. So today’s poem is a Hindi / Urdu one which came to me one morning when I just could not sleep. There were just too many thoughts whirring in my brain and I had to write.
I usually do not like explaining the thought behind a poem because I feel it takes away the possibility of differing opinions and perceptions but, this ones different. This one, is about unrequited love or infatuation. Inspired by a sticky situation that a friend has been in off late and from many stories of unrequited love / feelings (maybe, including mine!), I can safely say that love is indeed a beautiful feeling / emotion, especially romantic love. However, love isn’t forced or that, it does not chain one’s heart. From what I understand now that those Bollywood flicks or old school poems were trying to convey, love is a free emotion and can be felt by anyone for anyone or thing, something that makes you become better – though love for things is greater these days! Won’t kill the read now and will stop here. Read on!
Sketch in black Indian ink on ruled paper
Hindi / Urdu
Kaun tha tu?
Kahan hai tu?
Kaun thi woh, jo padhi tere pyaar mein?
Itni besudh hui tere ishq mein
Ki bhool gayi thi apna wajood main.
Jise ishq samjha tha
Woh to nadaani samjhi tune.
Ik pal mein mera jahan ban gaya tha tu
Arey haan! Thi to bilkul nadaan hi main.
Par tu to samajhdaar tha?
Tujhe nahi dikh raha tha?
Kyun behlaya tune mujhe fir?
Kyun nahi apna asli chehra dikhlaya?
Khair, aaj mujhe tujhse nahi hai kuch gila
Na ki thi tab bhi maine koi shiqayat.
Jis pal tune mere jazbaat ko nakara tha
Jis pal tune apne banaye sach ko jhutlaya tha
Us pal hi maine apna wajood wapis paaya tha
Shayad us samay tabhi mere muh se sivay hasi ke kuch nahi nikla tha.
Mere mann me chhayi ik ajeeb si shanti thi
Jaise bahut ghane toofan ke beech ek chuppi
Dabe paon meethe meethe sannate mein mujhe gholi ja rahi ho
Jaise ki wo sab aur kuch nahi has ek sapna tha
Aur ab main jag gayi hun.
Who were you?
Where are you?
Who was she, the one who fell for you?
Was so lost in your love
That I had lost my self.
What I thought was love
You took it to be silly infatuation.
In a moment, you had become my world.
Oh yes, I was indeed silly.
But, weren’t you wiser?
Could you not see?
Why did you lead me on then?
Why couldn’t you say the truth?
I have nothing against you anyway, now.
Nor did I complain then.
The moment you denied my feelings
The moment you broke the truth that you had built
That moment itself, I found my self again.
Maybe that’s why in that moment, all I could respond with was a smile.
There was a strange sort of peace in my heart
As if in the midst of a terrible storm, a silence had
Creeped up and stirred up sweet silence in my heart, in my being.
As if all of it was a dream
And I am awake now.
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Had this scene in mind with a faint idea of a poem since January 2014. Sometimes the scene came out but, the words didn’t and sometimes the words were fine while the scene didn’t match. Finally sketched this the other night. Text below:
I had seen her every morning,
The lady in white;
Trudging along the pavement.
She would be constantly mumbling.
Maybe, she saw someone?
I would peer at her through the
White lace of mother’s curtains,
My heart thumping with fear –
What if she saw me?
I was eight then.
I left home.
I heard she died one morning,
How did they figure out, you ask?
She wasn’t seen mumbling,
hollow eyes darting, trudging along
for a week.
They say the stench traveled
Till the end of the road.
Why didn’t they go earlier, you ask?
Pope says, ‘Ignorance is bliss.’.
I still dream of her
No, she doesn’t haunt me with
Those empty eyes.
It is the emptiness of her life
That kills me now.
Was reminded of this sort of incomplete poem written a few months ago while talking to a friend about the idea of loneliness tonight. I remember writing this with the thought alienation that an urban life can bring in at times weighing on my mind – the desire to connect with human beings but, the simultaneous hesitation and mistrust to do that ultimately failing to recognise that we are a religious, casteist, regional group later but, a ‘human’ community first.
The concept of loneliness used to be pretty alien (as well as pretty scary) to me earlier especially while doing a project on it for an Archaeology class back in 2012. I remember the five of us dwelling on the concept of loneliness and what people resort to as a coping mechanism. We covered the likes of art as a way of venting out to addiction as another escape. While the former can be cathartic in a way, the latter has worse consequences by way of slowly taking away ‘life’ from a person. Of course, what one implies by ‘life’ can be rather subjective. Precisely why I chose not to dwell on the reason why addiction as a way of dealing with loneliness is not the best idea. I couldn’t really point out which part of the subjective answers to ‘what is life?’ I related to.
However, talking to this one friend today I realise that life means to have the will to move ahead – a step a day maybe, but to move ahead. And I say this not in the ‘move-ahead-only-career-wise’ way of thought (can take it as that too if one pleases) but, essentially to keep pushing oneself to grow as a human being a step a day. Sounds vague? Maybe. But, in each one of us is a tendency (or many tendencies) which makes one unhappy. The will to change that trying harder every time one feels defeated is the essence of life.
Where does loneliness fit in all this? Loneliness stems from the occasional or regular lack of the desire to be better every day. When lonely and lacking in this desire one would loop in that constant feeling of self pity (and anger maybe?) that grabs the focus of the mind so strongly that one cannot think of anything but, being lonely and miserable and unfortunate; totally, forgetting that one is an independent entity with one’s own choices and to choose to not grow and learn is what brings the stagnation that is loneliness.