अपनी ओर

अपनी ओर खींचा क्यों जब दूर फेंख नज़रें फेर लेनी थी?
तेरी याद कर कितना रोई| मेरी चीखें कभी सुनाई दी हैं?
तेरा नाम लिया करती थी| दौड़ती थी , फिर थक के चलती थी |
जो रास्ता तेरा वादा करता उसी पे नाक की सीध में चल देती| पर न तू था न तेरे आने की खबर।
अच्छा प्यार किया है तुमने, अब तुमको कैसे भूलेंगे ?
तेरी याद में तारे गिन कोने कोने को टटोलेंगे |
जिंदा आज भी हूँ ; तेरे बिना अभी भी जान बाकी है|
पर आज भी देखा करती हूँ हर शाम उसी खिड़की से बहार. तुम तो 
मुँह उठा के चल दिए, और हम तुम्हारे भगत बन फिरते रह गए|

Eccentric Bastards

I was reading some Poe before I drifted into my own version of hell. An eccentric man such as him who speaks of mesmerizing the dead and walling in the alive- he speaks of no unnatural phenomena but of the beasts that snarl inside us. Were they his demons?

His eccentricity, it lulled me from web to web.

I’d feel a slight heaviness as I cradled my head preciously on the pillow. I was afraid to fall asleep, lest I gnaw at my conscience and beg me to allow me to wake up. My nightmares are grotesque hunks of deformed truths I had come to accept in waking life; as I scampered and tried to ease myself into life-giving deadly sleep, flashes of a past horror would run along the length of my memory and rip its fabric apart. Back then, I remember waking thrilled and relieved.

This nightmare, I beamed inwardly that cloudy morn, will be another head sewn to my anthology of short stories; a contract is a contract.

My, writers can  be eccentric.


Dog in a Ditch

I saw a dog guiltily soaking in the cool relief of a ditch flooded with weeds swimming through loose muddy water. I had been scouting for a place to lunch at, marching to and from and peeping into all gullies and streets in the afternoon sun when this half grown stray mutt caught my eye. I do not know whether it was my giraffe t-shirt that day or the doggie was really terrified of human presence (wearing giraffe tees?)

A scared dog or two or many is no news for me anymore. That’s how they behave generally; they yelp and gallop for their lives when they spot people. The fear of being chased wherever they choose to stretch and yawn and sleep skins the life off of them. Every man is as stupid and ill-intentioned as the next.  [Not so wrong, are they?]
But diseased and lonely isn’t how dogs should be!
I remember mongrels in Noida clearly, even though my bi-annual trips back home rarely afford me the time to gawk around and play with the canines.
Roger was a... special dog.

Roger was a… special dog.

They are insanely open and affectionate. Unless you run at them with murderous intent, they laze around like the happy dogs they are (doggies who are served breakfast by aunties in apartments: my mom’s part of the brigade! A full tummy makes a happy doggie, yes?) and their default function is to wag their tails and loll their tongues and pit-pat on the concrete sidewalks to squeeze all of your attention with puppy eyes. Other than that, they can be very nasty if you are. They respond to your whistle and clicking of the fingers. My father visited his college a couple of months back, aybe a year. Here’s what non-Oriya dogs pups do when they see you– 
Launching Lickity Lick Attack!
Formation Complete, Fire!
In Bhubaneshwar, they flee.
That makes me sad. When I’m out on down the road, these muddle-headed things are sure to bump into me.
When my last shot of coffee for the day/night decides to kick in and yet another seduces cuppa me into another chapter of that I’ve been stealing glances at, I hear them howl. Not one, not amy. An indistinguishable number rises from the dead of the inky balck night and meets up. An important conference perhaps, where all the dogs putting up in my college campus are invited to attend to strategize further strategies to pound concern and sympathy or an inviting helplessness to goad another idiot into stoning them away, eating another bite into uneasy consciences. You thought cats were scheming by nature?
 I was hoping to be able to do something for these muddle-headed doggies; I am onto a few plans. Let’s hope they fall into place. Injured and weak dogs aren’t a loving sight to the eye or the heart, trust me.