खतों के सिलसिले

 

वो दिन भी क्या खूब हुआ करते थे
खतों में दोस्तों से रूबरू हुआ करते थे
खत भी हमारे अजीब ही होते थे
लड़कपन के ऊलजलूल ख्वाबों से सजते थे
यूँ ही हंसा जाते थे, तमाम बातें कह जाते थे
कभी शिकायतें कर जाते तो
कभी शेखी बघारने का तरीका तो
कभी छुट्टियों में मिलने की तरकीब बन जाते थे
महीने भर की कहानी सुना जाते थे तो
सालगिरह पर तमाम बधाई दे जाते थे
वो बंद लिफाफे बेक़रार कर जाते थे
अब सब अपनी उलझनों में मशगूल हैं
खतों के सिलसिले लगते फ़िज़ूल हैं
अब डाकिये दस्तक देते नहीं
चिट्ठियों के पुलिंदे लाते नहीं
अब बातें पुरानी हो जाती हैं
उन्हें बांटने की बेसब्री हम दिखते नहीं
अब हम मिलने  के मंसूबे बनाते नहीं
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वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 

वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 
जो नन्ही कली का कुचलना 
यूँ ही गुमसुम देखता है 
वो मेरा भगवान् नहीं 
जो बीभत्स दुःकर्मियों  
यूँ ही हाथ बांधे रक्षा करता है 
वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 
यूँ ही जो अधर्म में आँखे मूंदे सोता है 
कैसा इश्वर है 
जो खोखले नारों में जीता है?
जो बेमतलब प्रथाओं में रमता है?
जो निरीह कन्या की पुकार 
को नहीं सुनता है? 
कहाँ है वो इश्वर 
अधर्म मिटाने को जिसने 
हर युग में जन्म लेने 
का किया था प्रण 
कहाँ है वो इश्वर 
जिसने अत्याचार से रक्षा 
का दिया था वचन?
ऐसा अँधा बहरा गूंगा और अपाहिज 
वो मेरा भगवान् नहीं
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Book Review: The Jasmine Bloom

Book: The Jasmine Bloom

Author: Rajat Narula

Genre: Fiction

Publication: Srishti Publishers

I need to apologize for finishing the book in two days flat but not putting up the review sooner.

No! I did not skip pages or skimmed through. Yes! If the first few pages of the book hold my interest, I can finish reading in one sitting.

There, I said it! Yes I liked the story.

The cover of ‘The Jasmine Bloom’ by Rajat Narula itself gives a summery  vibe. Sameer Chaddha, a middle-aged corporate guy who is stagnating in his career and hence unhappy and withdrawn all the time seems to be like some people I know….married for almost two decades, with teenager kids and unsatisfied with career graph. But the similarity ends just there…and I am glad it does.

Sameer Chaddha and his wife Kavita seem to be communicating less and less over the years with both retreating into a shell. His interaction with his teenage daughter is counterproductive leaving him more frustrated. The physical intimacy between the husband and wife is almost nil.

At such time in his life, Sameer finds himself falling headlong in a whirlwind  affair with his colleague Ritu who also is dealing with an abusive husband and an autistic child. As the two give in to their lust ignoring and ruining the fabric of their respective families, certain events bring their dream world crashing to reality.

The story however is not with the regular obvious end where each character realizes the folly and starts afresh with their spouses and all ends well. There is a twist….the characters do recollect the threads and reconcile with the changed circumstances and try finding semblance and happiness. They try building bridges and mend broken ties but with new perspective.

Am not an advocate of finding love outside marriage just because one of the partner is bored or needs some change in life. Am more of a loyal and ‘yours forever’ kind of person. So when I said I liked the story, it wasn’t to glamorize infidelity. The good thing about the story is its pace and structure. There is no unnecessary drag in the story.

The circumstances in the story that lead to torrid affair are though very clichéd and convenient yet the story reads well. The angst of a teenager is captured well. That the wife always knows when the husband is cheating is also woven in the story.

However I would like to read someday a story without these excuses of midlife crisis or boredom or abusive husband. A story bold enough to scream “I wanted this, so I cheated and I have no regrets”. Lets see how people react…

Till that kind of story gets written, we can read ones which try to reason an affair. The book is good read.

Also read on Amazon and  Goodreads

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कुछ लम्हे ख़ास होते हैं

कुछ लम्हे ख़ास होते हैं
यूँ ही दस्तक दे, छन से बिखर जाते हैं
सवाल खड़े कर जाते हैं…
वह पल पहले आता तो?
क्या यूँ ही गुदगुदा जाता?
या तब भी ओझल हो जाता ?
वक्त तब क्या करवट लेता?
रुला जाता या नशा चढ़ा जाता?
क्या बरसों की धूल से मैला हो जाता?
या अब सा नया ही रहता?
या इश्क़ बन जाता?
कि कुछ घडी का खेल?
खैर वक्त किसने बाँचा है…..
इन छोटे छोटे लम्हों को पिरो लो
तो दिल का एक कोना
हरा हो जाता है…
ऐसे लम्हों का इन्तजार रह जाता है

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तुम और मैं


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तुम और मैं
अब हम बन
नयी राह पर चल पड़े हैं
तेरे सपने मेरे सपने
अब हम बन
नये आसमां में उड़ चले हैं
अब तू अगर राह के कंकर चुन लेगा
तो रोड़ों को मैं भी दूर करूंगी
राह के गड्ढों को तू पाट देगा
तो खायी मैँ भी नाप लूंगी
ताल में नैय्या तैरा लेगा
तो समुन्दर मैं भी पार करूंगी
तेज़ हवा में लौ बुझने न देगा
तो आँधियों से में भी लड़ सकूंगी
मेरे आंखियों के मोती बिखरने न देगा
तो तेरे हर दुःख का नाश करूंगी
अगर देगा तू साथ सदा
तो हर रिश्ता मैं भी निभा रहूंगी
बस हाथ थामे संग रहना
तू देखना
मैं तुझपर कितना प्यार करूंगी

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फिर भी..


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हर दिन हों लगे चाहे सारे छप्पन भोग,
पर रस-स्वाद ढूँढ़ते हैं वो लोग,
हम तो लगाते अपने प्रभु को,
नमक-सूखी रोटी का भोग,
फिर भी हर दिन थोडा,
मुस्कुरा लेते हैं हम लोग !!

फीके रंग, कपड़ा ढीला या तंग,
इसका करते हैं वो सोग,
पुराने-फटे पिछली होली के
रंगे कपड़ों में,
साल बिता लेते हैं हम लोग,
फिर भी हर दिन थोडा,
मुस्कुरा लेते हैं हम लोग !!

रौशनी के महलों,
ठंडी हवा के झोकों में,
भी निर-निराले उन्हें
लग जाते हैं रोग,
सितारों की चादर तले
सर्द-गर्म हवा को लगा गले,
यूँ ही इश्वर को,
प्यारे हों जाते हैं हम लोग
फिर भी हर दिन थोडा,
मुस्कुरा लेते हैं हम लोग !!

इस रोटी, कपड़ा और मकान
की जंग में ,
हर दिन हारते हैं हम लोग,
फिर भी हर दिन थोडा,
मुस्कुरा लेते हैं हम लोग !!

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Book Review: Europa


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Book: Europa

Author: Hywel Richard Pinto

Genre: Science Fiction

Publishers: Story Mirror

The closest I have come to read science and fiction together are books by the ‘Robin Cook’ who mixed medicine and thriller for his stories. And I loved his stories. Though in past few years haven’t read him.

I grew up watching television series ‘Star Trek’ with Captain Kirk and Mr Spock. It used to be a much awaited series every week with the crew of the space ship tele-porting from one place to other, fighting aliens and traveling non-stop in space.

It is with these kind of influences playing on my mind, that I started reading the book ‘Europa’ by Hywel Richard Pinto.

The book is very ambitious in its space travel story. Though the unmanned spacecrafts have flown past planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune but as yet no man has traveled and walked on surface on these planets.  The story of Europa however sees a crew of astronauts and biologists travel to Europa, the moon of planet Jupiter, in search of earlier mission survivors and collect samples from the surface.

The time that the space ship Europa takes to travel is over one year when most of the crew sleeps in life-sustaining pods. But two of the crew who have been planted by the crooks to do nefarious activities wake up earlier than others to carry out the plan. However surprisingly the captain and his first officer wake up too. Mystery shrouds the strange waking up cycle till the time other crew members wake up six months later. And then the discovery of a crew member’s death creates trouble.

When the crew lands on the moon of Jupiter, they come face to face with not only the previous mission’s survivors but also strange hypnotizing creatures who all have survived in caves of that moon which is surprisingly filled with pure oxygen and has a large water body.

Through various twists and turns the mission is accomplished and the crew returns to earth where the captain of the Europa mission has to answer a lot of questions about deaths of crew members during mission. The crooks meanwhile out of greed become each other’s doom and all ends well.

The book is high on imagination and sees continuous action without losing its grasp on story. The investigative court however seems to have not been given much thought and it ends abruptly. The part of story dedicated to assassins though written well but doesn’t really concern the mission. It is parallel and mentions the mission very marginally.The Indian connection of the assassin and his master was not really required.

The book also has some grammatical errors. Another big mistake on part of publisher may be is that pages 7,8,9,10 and page 66 are repeat pages. The problem this creates is that if you are involved in reading the story and suddenly similar text starts appearing, it breaks not only the rhythm but also confuses the reader for few seconds.

But even with such silly mistakes, the story is a good science fiction with thrill and suspense thrown in. Not a bad read.

Indeed a courageous and good effort by the author.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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