Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nights are tough

Eleven years have passed in this city. Next to where you are breaking your promise of serving breakfast only to me, I remember buying a book from my first salary: Safdar Hashmi - The fifth flame. Life had just begun to explore new theatres of existence. I was raw; I did not know how to cut a slice of pizza. I would lose my way almost every day, thinking South Extension was nearer to Saket than IIT Gate. There were no counters of boiled corn those days; people would eat peanuts while waiting for the bus, warming their hands on a small bonfire lit by a friendly watchman. Very few people had cars those days. The roads were emptier. There were no malls, no Cafe Coffee Days. The lawns of the National School of Drama offered solace to lovers. Holding hands in the darkness of a cinemahall would rid the heart of triglycerides. Mosquitoes would still die from Tortoise coils.
Eleven years later, I am making pilgrimmages to all those places we visited together. As I sit alone, I almost talk to the empty chair in front of me. This is the table where you created arcs with your nails. This is the granite floor where your one foot would hang over the other, like guilt. No one notices me today. I have merged with the indoor plants. My head serves as a portrait on the wall where the orange paint has peeled off. As I sip on black coffee, imagining it to be hemlock, I wonder what you are doing: rubbing coconut oil in his head?
I go back home, eat frugally, and lie down. I switch off the light.

Aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar
chashme nam muskuraati rahi raat bhar

Raat bhar dard ki shamma jalti rahi
gham ki lau thartharati rahi raat bhar

Yaad ke chaand dil mein utarte rahe
chandni jagmagaati rahi raat bhar

Koi deewana galiyon mein phirta raha
koi aawaz aati rahi raat bhar

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rahul, this brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could travel with you. NSD hi sahi...Manisha

Shubhra said...

Rahul,

This is beautiful. For someone to write like that, he must have so much within... The sensitivity, the helplessness, the urge to have life back... oh its all so painful... I liked the promise bit.. "Next to where you are breaking your promise of serving breakfast only to me" I have seen too many people break their promises. It breaks my heart whenever a promise is broken... I also like that "I wonder what you are doing: rubbing coconut oil in his head?" I really feel a lump in my throat as I write this one...

Aditya Raj Kaul said...

I'm still in the dream, that this short piece led me to.
Rahul, Thanks for writing this piece, which really brought those memories back to my mind. Its just so great to remember our old golder struggling days, or just what we have all been seeing, a change, a lifetime. A few tears did tricle down my eyes, but then there was this smile on my face.
... sahi mein... koi aawaz aati rahi raat bhar...Koi aawaz goonjati rahi raat bar !

Rahul Pandita said...

Thanks, Manisha, Shubhra. And to you Aditya: Kya bataun ki chaahta kya tha...

Anonymous said...

yaad ke galiyare bade sakre hote hain...
wahan har shaks jazbe kee parchaiye mein rehta...
uska har gunah pyara lagtah hai, gar wo ab bhi, dil mein rehta rai...

en galiyon mein awaaze goonjti hain
magar sirf hamko sunai deti hain
sada ban kar hami tak aati hain
aur bechain karti hain

pooja said...

hi Rahul..,

it seemed as if i was watching you go through all that pain.. u made me live this written piece even when i have no personal aquaintance of you.

and well i guess its true... sometimes the moments that helped us survive are today the memories that at times bring inconsolable tears... and there's just one who wipes those away... my own fingers.

warm regards,
Pooja Shali

Rahul Pandita said...

anonymous, even i can hear those voices all the time.
Pooja, it is difficult to watch a sunset.

nikhil said...

Yaad ke chaand dil mein utarte rahe
chandni jagmagaati rahi raat bhar

Koi deewana galiyon mein phirta raha
koi aawaz aati rahi raat bhar


too good dude!! lovely blog! u have been blogrolled

Anonymous said...

Rahul

Hi Raju Raina here, its after long 12 years we are getting in touch with each other. Just send me your phone number to get in touch with you. My cell number is 09892235423.

Raju Raina

StandbyMind said...

The memories...

U gatta an awesome blog and I love the template!!!

Neeru said...

This piece is really touchy. One can actually feel the emotions and can relate with the whole thing. The way you potray your feelings is amazing....One can actually visualize things and its feels like being a part of it.I really have fallen in love with ur writing......

Kakshi said...

Awesome one.. like i said before.. really cannot get enough..
I really cannot believe it.. I have never seen a guy so deeply in love..
Kudos!

Reflectionz! said...

classic!

Rahul said...

Thanks, Shalini.