Memory lane..

An unusual silence enveloped the place that usually was lighted up by life always! And there we sat, gazing at the purple evening, where clouds kissed and parted, only to meet sooner, and the cold night fell, like an ink on a clean paper. 

I would lend an ear to his memories of this place, while ordering another two cups of tea. Except for the two of us and a couple of workers, there was none. I could hear the cold air sonorating through the pines like chimes. “Buddies” was a pent up to his emotions that he kept bottled up somewhere inside him. And since then the place coupled perfectly with us every evening. 

A set of friends would come by at times to share a light moment after a rough day at work and I would watch them, listen to their endless talks and wonder how they managed to talk endlessly! 

On our way back, I would try matching his footsteps, or listen to him humming an old song, and the walk didn’t seem long then! We had befriended the paths, the woods, and the birds. What was to be afraid of then! I was pampered by his silence, I was embraced by his gestures, I was loved by his glances and everything around me was all about him! 



I wasn’t unfamiliar with that silence! I could lounge in its warmth and dawdle in its chill! His careful whispers would startle my ears. He’d blow softly on the window glass and I’d gently move my finger on that fog to write the first alphabets of our names. And he’d  flash his rare smile, it would make my day! 

Never did we walk holding hands, for he felt his love was greater than possession. We’d walk to the scandal delights on the Mall, and I’d gaze at him in that balmy evening, in those dim lights among those unfamiliar faces and those colourful bottles of wine. He was a sort who would order tea in the bar and endlessly scribble on his notepad.

  Don’t drink beyond your capacity, we have a long way to go!” He’d say to me, and I would care less, for nothing could blitzed me any further! What his tea did to him, his presence did to me! 

And the night would be silent again, so silent that I could hear the breeze whispering to the leaves and fondling the pages of his notepad. I’d advance towards the window, to shut ourselves close to the world outside, for I was selfish to have him for myself, for a while! 

He’d open the window to let the moonlight flood our abode, and we’d sit beside the window, making patterns in the star studded sky. And I’d put my selfishness to bed; every minute and second, in every breath I took and every step I walked, he has been mine. 

My travel tales….

His silence cast a spell on me, sloshed me in ways no alcohol could! 

Black” he said, was his favourite colour!

And those cold nights in the blue hills, his silence kept me warm! 

There were times when he spoke, as if he had perfected the art of speaking! We took the long walks among the silent pines of charabara forest, that echoed with his shayari’s! And it seemed the birds too joined the feat! 

He would tell me tales about the haunted dhukani house, and I would drape my shawl more tightly, that was the time he would put his hand on my shoulder, that was the only physical touch we had, and it kept me warm till we would reach our abode! 

He’d ask me to feel the fragrance of the mud, freshly wetted by the elixir that God poured from above ; it would sedate my body and soul, and he’d say he felt the same for me! 

Those were rare moments when he’d confess his love to me! But I never craved for more. 

We’d savour the misty mornings with a cup of creamy hot tea. His fingers would flatter my tresses, I’d feel his tips caressing my nape, and that would startle me! There would be but us, the sky, the hills, the muddy aroma, his poetry and that sonorous silence! 

I turned the pages of his jotted reveries and this tugged at my heartstrings……

“Jab do logon ke darmiyan khamoshi aaramdeh ho, 
Jan jao ki tumhe jis pyar ki talash thi weh talaash ab khatm hui !”

In the quest to live forever..

Golden waters kiss my bare feet when I stand on the last step on the bank of Bhagirathi,

Though scared of the depth, I find myself embosomed as I step deeper, I find myself so free.

The dip and chanting shlokas purifies the soul, a beginning of uniting me with thee…

I feel the urge to leave my body or is it my body that urges to leave me? 

I return on the bank the very evening with the lamps lit in pure ghee..

Offering those to the river so they reach the deceased souls, brightening up their journey to immortality.

I forget not, to put one lamp near the tatty hut, that has been there for centuries…

Where in the disgusted disguise, live my lord thee

I listen to the song offering that reaches even the dead ears, filling them with tranquility. 

Their paths are lighted and their journey made so easy. 

Death a mourning for the living and a celebration for the deceased. 

Such is thy love that pulls me to thee.

I walk towards where the pyres hiss and spit orange embers into the night so inky. 

And nothing more beautiful than that could ever be. 

Feel detached from the flesh and blood, it no longer soothes me….

The nightingale mourns the eyes that lick those well served lies about humanity, 

And I strip off the lies that skin me, to unite with thee. 

Burning on the bank, mixing with the sand, immersing in the Bhagirathi 

I have been dead for ages and now is the journey towards immortality. 

I have battled in hell and rested in heaven  I ponder how enchanting would our meeting place be. 

Reverend than the sun rays, warmer than the bonfire, brighter than the yellow roses and higher than the orgasmic heights, with thee I will lie in peace. 

Picture credits: Rajiv Srivastava

The DYING goddess and the ruining epitome of love

The picture presents a striking co-existence in India, the one driven by urbanisation while the other by the tradition. The Yamuna stands as a stagnant pool of filth between the two worlds, in the lap of which lord Krishna is believed to have played, according to the Indian mythology. On the one end is the muck and dirt which is a result of rapid urbanisation. The cow that is believed to contain various deities within her body, according to the Hindu mythology, here is seen feeding on the garbage and dross. 

On the other end stands the seventh wonder of the world, an epitome of love, the Taj Mahal that has witnessed generations of romance driven couples before it, now is surrounded by swarms of insects that are supercharged by the nutritious green algae blooming profusely along the banks of polluted Yamuna. Are we waiting for the most beloved monument to turn into the most visited “RUIN” for the tourists in the coming years? 

But I strongly feel, the determination of accomplishing something noble isn’t too difficult to be bridged. 

✨Picture credits : Rajiv Srivastava ✨ srivastava

Sack of gold to a “thirsty” soul

The picture was captured in a remote village of Rajasthan, the land of mournful kingdom of sand where water scarcity is nothing new. In this village that has a single source of water- a dried well, makes it inevitable for humans and animals to struggle for every drop of water. A young girl who should be carrying books to school and getting education for the betterment of her future walks barefoot, in the blistering sand and blazing heat, carrying a pitcher of water, matched with the camel carrying a sack of water on its back, gives a pitiable image of the problems faced by the animals and inhabitants of the village. Water crisis is the most invisible dimension of ecological imbalance and devastation on earth. Such lands of lost borders piled up with simmering heat and dried sources of water make it a suffering both for the animals and the man to walk miles in the burning sand and scorching heat, to quench their thirst.
Picture credits: Rajiv Srivastava srivastava 

Trek O’ Treat!

Trek O’ Treat!

Amidst the rocky mountains, in the thick of deserted and parched lands lies the Guna Mata temple, which is a 6.5 km trek from Naddi, meclodganj. Unpaved and less travelled paths, with a trail of grass and naturally flowing water at some points, paves the way to the temple. A scanty and savage gaddi population resides in a small village, that is crossed during the trek. I could conclude from the simple lifestyle of people of the village, that modernisation has not yet struck to that part of the city. After having crossed the village, one can only see the scarcely dotted hills, sprinting along the path to the temple. There is no royal road to such pristine, devotional places.

Deities reside in the highest of altitudes, marked by little vegetation or commodities that could make the sustenance easy. I hadn’t covered even half the path when I saw a huge mountain that stood straight, with all its prestige; Stiff and staunch, cut out into innumerous stairs, that its mere sight made me give up on the “not a cakewalk” Trekking. Somehow, I gathered all the spirit I was left with and it took me 3 Hours to complete the trek. An empty water bottle, a defunct cellphone, bouts of sweat, a fine trail of devotees and tons of dust and dirt accompanied me in my odyssey. Till I reached the temple, I was tired to an inexplicable context. But all the hardwork didn’t fall flat.

I was astounded to see the mighty, nova white structure standing in the midst of the snow clad mountains. There was marked silence all around, just the hubub of sonorant temple bells and sweet chirping of birds could be heard. Winds colder but soul soothing, blew. Tiredness was shrugged off.

Its the divine power I feel that makes it possible for people to tread such difficult terrains. Its the Gods who call upon us, the positivity instantly follows and keeps us going.

a bluish pink hue appeared in the sky, as if even the Goddess was celebrating our devotion. Sound of spluttering of onions, spices and garlic in the mustard oil, smelled so divine. My gluttony rose up when people told me that “mutton and rice” are served as sacrament in the temple everyday. What could be better than such an authentic “TREAT” after such a tiresome trekking, After all one has to go back walking again!