Tamasha : Musings of a master storyteller

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* * * 1/2

Once upon a time in Bollywood, the usual enemies of love were external – parents,  goons or evil relatives, love was a solution to life’s problems, and a destination in itself. Then came people like Ayan Mukherjee, Shakun Batra, Imtiaz Ali and love became an instrument to self-discovery , and had to face bigger battles- that with self, thoughts and beliefs. Interestingly, Ranbir Kapoor has been a frequent part of such stories, and Tamasha adds an illustrious feather to that hat. This is a beautiful cinematic experience, not so much a commercial love story, but a story of stories, metaphors, soul searching and ultimately, love helping you discover them all. Imtiaz Ali excels with this intense and passionate tale of defying conventions and finding your own story, and comes up with a cinematic triumph!

Tamasha is an experience, a theatrical presentation which uses the metaphor of story-telling beautifully and weaves a character and story about whom you care, and in the process start thinking about your own life and dreams. Why always the same story – the film questions frequently, while also reiterating the fact that most stories, across cultures, nations, times are similar at the core, and all our stories are somewhere a mix of that, but we need to find that within ourself. In a key moment of the film, the moment of realization, the protagonist realizes that it was nothing else but fear that had been stopping him from finding his own story, living his own dream. The strength of that one moment is enormous, and elevates the movie to a different level. The movie tells us the story of a Ved (Ranbir) , who has grown up listening to stories, and lives through them. Unable to separate real life from the stories he hears, when he is forced to give them up and follow the same journey as everyone, he loses his own self and becomes what is expected of him by the society. How a trip to beautiful Corsica and a meeting with Tara (Deepika) changes his life and makes him discover his real self, forms the crux of the story. It might sound a bit high minded, pretentious and first world, but it isn’t. Infact one of the characters says, jinki life me koi problem nahi hoti, wo khud problems create karte hain, and sadly many people especially in our country might agree to that, and that irony itself drives home strongly the point of this movie.

Hence, in no way this is a safe movie to make and be a part of. Imtiaz Ali must be applauded for sticking to his beliefs and coming up with movies which have a strong voice and something to say. But more importantly, it is Ranbir who deserves praise for his strong performance, which once again shows why he is regarded as the next superstar, and despite seeing a few failures has not given in to the safe commercial choices in cinema. His portrayal of Ved is perfect and leaves you spell bound. Deepika shines too, though her role has not been defined clearly and also treated often as secondary to Ranbir’s. A R Rahman is magical as always, adding the required pathos and volumes to silences. The camera beautifully captures the beauty of Corsica and lanes of Hauz Khas Village in Delhi. In second half the movie does meander for some time, and some might find the pacing slow. But with all its ideas of self-actualization and being true to self, the movie does manage to find a middle path between reality, practicality and romanticism, and that’s the best part of the story. Because, how many of us have really been stopped from pursuing our dreams by our parents, or lack of money? More often than not, it is only our fear of breaking the convention, leaving the comfort zones which restricts us. Tamasha teaches us to forget the fears, live our own story, and question, why always the same story!

Go for it, absolutely!

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo: Scary demons of a bygone era

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1/5

Imagine the following scenes, set in a mansion which looks like a cross between royal palace of the Mughals and a five star hotel, and the characters dressed in heavy jewelry, saris, lehengas, kurta payjamas and pagdis, with swords for accessories.

  1. The king and his sisters reunite, hug and make peace. The soon-to-be-queen of the king can’t control her happiness and runs through the entire corridor and stops near a golden pillar to breath heavily, with her chest doing a hundred sit-ups, and covers half her face coyly, contracts her eyes and runs again, only to be joined by a hundred fellow dancers and break into a dance number
  2. The girl’s mother says, – we have a tradition where in return of a gift, we also give a gift, and here is your gift- and enters the girl. Okay.
  3. The king stands and waves from his balcony, and on the grounds, the people of his city stand cheering and waving the flag (?) of his ‘kingdom’, and going by the iPhones on display the year is definitely not 1850.

If the above description has not scared you already, sample this. There is a special area (playboy mansion, anyone?) which is for the king and queen to spend some ‘quality time’ together. The king’s doppelganger jokes about it too, quality time ke liye room kam pad gaye they kya?, though later when the princess is seduced enough by 4 days of considerate behaviour by the ‘King’, she herself asks him to write on her back,( meri peeth pe likhiye) with a feather.

Yes, it is that bad, all of it. This is the kind of cinema which makes you wonder if the makers ever saw what they were putting in cinemas, and worse, makes you question your own judgement in choice of movies, and makes you worried if there are people around you who actually like this.

Suraj Barjatya has never been a great director. He made two good films, which captured the mood of a changing nation, a nation opening to liberalization and the influence of west and at the same time struggling to establish an identity of its own culture amidst it, and those two movies came just at the right time and hence got catapulted to legendary status. But his later movies, all of which were bad critically and either moderate success or washouts at the box office, showed his severe limitations as a filmmaker. Grey isn’t his area, he is a man who believes in white and black. The morals and Indian sanskaars on which the movies tries to weave a story around seem very dated and out of sync with the times. The movie tells the story of a commoner Prem who has a crush on a royal Princess, and luckily he is a lookalike of the Prince to which she is engaged. Predictably, a case of exchanged identity occurs and the bhai with a golden heart solves all problems of the royal family (which are as clichéd as one could fear). All this would be forgiven if the resultant was even remotely entertaining, but it is far from it. There is a terrible lack of consistency in the way characters act behave and speak. Which royals travel actually by a chariot in today’s age? Why do the citizens start looking like coming from a Mughal era at times? Add to these, some terrible VFX, and really bad acting (overacting) from the leading man, and you have a perfect disaster for the festival.

If you love your family, take them for a lunch instead, that will definitely not give them a headache and nausea.

Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 : Double the bias, double the fun – This one ups the ante!

* * * 1/2

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The best works of art are those which make no pretension of being impartial and free of bias. Hence, label this movie (like its predecessor) misogynistic but the makers open their line of attack with a full throttle and boy, they score again and how!  You may agree or disagree with the view, but the credit (or a well-intended blame) lies in how convincingly, and of-course entertainingly they manage to present it on celluloid. That’s precisely where the original succeeded, and became a cult classic with time. The good news is, the sequel (though it could have been called a remake as well!) despite following the set template and caricatures of the original, is equally hilarious and identifiable! The feminists, and a majority of the fairer sex might get heavily offended, but as they say, why should girls have all the fun? So, this one could be a version of the male kitty party, where (pardon the crassness) the ‘dogs’ get to bitch! The purists might argue that the real life women are not as contriving or manipulating, and they won’t be wrong. But then, this movie is a boys’ party – where they all are sure to relate to a few sequences and sufferings. Even the women might, reluctantly, identify more than once with the behaviour on display by the girls. That the women in the movie are entirely made up of those fallacies is indeed a flaw of the script, but the makers being clear in their intention, can’t really be judged for that. Infact so convincing is the story, that at no point you feel hatred for the girls, since none of the things girls do seem outlandish or unheard or unseen of, only an exaggeration and amalgamation of all the female traits you might have come across.

The actors do a fairly good job and you instantly believe in their world. The girls in particular, despite having heavily stereotyped roles, prevent their characters from being annoying caricatures. With the ground already established in the original, the movie takes time to explore some urbane concepts of modern relationships in detail – money splitting, the girl having a male best-friend and ofcourse the troubles of social media ‘updates’. All these concepts take the movie a few notches up from the previous, in terms of detailing. The technical aspects of the movie are good, making it look classy and chic. The songs are few, thankfully, and the much acclaimed monologue of the prequel is repeated with a longer air time, though it does seem a bit stretched.The hilarious spoof of the anti-smoking ad before the interval, or the hooking up of the 3 couples.are some sequences which show the skilled touch of the director.

If you are a guy, chances are pretty high you will love this (though the ‘bribe’ might not let you admit that), and if you are a girl, you’ll love to hate this one. Definitely a one-up on its prequel, this one is a must watch.

Masaan : Redemption, Art and Banaras

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* * * *

The darkest spots are often beneath the flame. Varanasi, Benaras or Kashi- the religious capital of India, the oldest living city of world, the home to Shiva might draw people from all over the world with the lure of nirvana, of witnessing a living museum of the times as old as the Ganga and as new as the latest McDonalds menu blending together, but when left alone, it often burns along with the funeral pyre on its ghats every day, in hope of resurrection, in hopes of setting itself free. The only problem being those shackles often are an inseparable part of its identity.

Masaan as a movie transports you to the insides of a city, which is known as the gateway to moksha and ironically becomes a cage for itself. The movie might be based in Varanasi on the banks of the Holy Ganga, but the context extends easily to the majority of our society. However, staying true to its setting, the movie not only does justice, but includes the holy city and river as an inseparable part of the story so that they emerge as the most important characters of the story. A city with religion as the major source of income and least opportunities for those chasing their dreams in a non-spiritual world, a city with most number of tourists from across the globe but itself still battling with the old definitions of morality defined by the societies that existed on these very riversides, a city with a sprawling growth of educational institutions but preparing the young minds so that they have no option but to fly away from the city to achieve their dreams, a city which might beam at the dream and ‘plans’ of a metro train but is yet to experience a road devoid of craters- there is no dearth of ironies here. The movie explores in such a set-up, the minds of its residents, 5 of them who struggle to break the shackles, fight with others and themselves to question the definitions of right and wrong. And when, as an audience, you find asking those questions to yourself, it is an example of immense power of cinema, and that’s where Masaan soars.

It is a city where romance might still be done in hushed tones, hearts exchanged on pretense of stationery and a young couple engaging in consensual sex in a closed hotel room might be the cause of scandal- but that does not mean the aspirations and dreams are limited and caged like the moralities. Just that the manifestations are different. When Devi Pathak decides to explore her sexuality with her friend from the coaching institute, in all her sensibilities and righteousness she (and hopefully, the audience) is convinced that she is doing no wrong. When Deepak falls in love (the loves story being one of the most subtle and beautiful in recent times) with Shaloo who is from a caste deemed ‘higher’ in the social order of archaic times (but very much present day as well), he somewhere has a flicker of hope, ignited by the education he had that the girl herself won’t give in to such beliefs, a hope which is very well lived, as a symbol of the changing winds of the society. When the old man trying to make money for his and his daughter’s honour succumbs to the need and lets the kid dive in the river for money, the conflict in his heart is palpable, and you can’t decide what is right.

This could have been a film much less than what it is, if not for the metaphors dispersed throughout in the context of the city and river. Despite being about death, loss and mourning the film never looks at the city in a negative tone, but only in a redemptive and caressing look. The camera doesn’t focus on the touristy and airbrushed visuals, but portrays the city in all its glory and shame, leading to a touch of reality never before seen on celluloid. The performances are brilliant, but the one who really stands out is Vicky Kaushal in the role of Deepak. The scene where is breaks down with his friends haunts you for hours after the movie. The authenticity of the dialogues, milieu, locations and accent is perfect and acts as a powerful support to a heart wrenching story. The soundtrack by Indian Ocean deserves special mention. It blends in the movie and gets lost in lanes of the city filling it with the feeling of poise. The camera makes love to the city of Benaras like never before. The ghats, temples, funeral pyres, durga pooja, local markets, restaurants – all come alive in a way cinema has never seen. But the real hero is of course the writer and director, who have managed to pull this haunting tale in a way it’s hard to stop thinking about it for long.

Take a bow!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan ***1/2

Salman, Secularism and actually a ‘Story’, Rejoice!

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It was high time someone actually realized the potential of Bhai’s stardom, and made a better use of it than just making him do embarrassing moves and mouth silly lines in an incoherent apology of a story. Not that it stopped his fans from turning those movies into blockbusters, but there was always a lack of sensibility associated with it, which Bajrangi Bhaijaan changes, and how! So, ladies and gentlemen, this definitely is the best Salman Khan movie you have seen in years, and for that matter, one of the better movies you will see in recent times.

In one of the most un-Salman movies of his career, the superstar isn’t seen bashing goons to dust at a drop of the hat, or flexing his muscles and his shirt doesn’t get ripped off. Instead he is a “zero” who is pretty much good for nothing except having a heart of gold and being a staunch devotee of Bajrang Bali, and that’s how Pawan kumar chaturvedi gets nicknamed Bajrangi in India, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan across the border. The story of Bajrangi helping a 6 year old mute Pakistani girl stranded in India to reach her home in Pakistan might not be very novel or the most intelligent one, but has definitely got its heart at the right place, and along the way it teaches the audience some important lessons about the true meaning of secularism, love and accepting the diversity, overcoming the deep rooted prejudices we might have. Kabir Khan, other than having a consistent box-office record (Kabul Express, NewYork, Ek Tha Tiger) has always been considered a sensitive filmmaker, an image which he somehow distanced himself from in his last work (and leading to a bigger commercial success). But with Bajrangi, he seems to have found a middle path, between a  Rajkumar Hirani entertainer and a typical Bhai film, and that’s no mean feat! In fact while the movie will keep typical Salman fans happy with the Selfie number and a forced romance track involving Kareena in a cameo, it has more than enough soul to even draw the non-fans (do they exist, btw?) to the cinemas.

Salman is good, in fact better than he usually is, since he actually acts here. Nawazuddin Siddique is crowd puller as always, with his chemistry with Salman again sparkling after Kick, and Kareena should really start looking at meatier roles if she wants to be taken seriously as an actor. But the best thing, as you would have guessed by now, is the 6 year old Harshali Malhotra, who as the mute Munni/ Shahida steals your heart with her expressions, and is a big reason why the movie works the way it does. The music is good, with the Adnan Sami qawwali giving you goose bumps. The screenplay is often silly, and too contrived to be believed. Especially in the second half towards the climax, it gets a bit too filmy, but then that the perhaps the least you expect when you go for a Salman Khan movie.

But at the end what elevates this movie is the spirit of Secularism, of not being a Hindu or a Muslim , but just ‘being human’! Go for it.

आकार

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                      कुछ आकार सा ले रहा है

             विचारों के बादलों को कुछ दिशा सी मिल रही है
             धुंधली तस्वीरों पर छाया कोहरा छंट सा रहा है
           इस नितदिन के कोलाहल में कुछ साकार सा हो रहा है
                    कुछ आकार सा ले रहा है,
                 एक नियम सा, एक दिनचर्या सी
                 इस व्यस्तता की एक अपेक्षा सी।

          हर एक दिन की अनिश्चितता अब कुछ निश्चित सी है,
          क्लेश और कलह की हलचल भी एक पूर्वानुमान सी है
              इस आकार में एक ख़ुशी है ,एक ठहराव भी है
            यदि नवीनता से अलगाव ,तो ठहराव से जुड़ाव भी है
                 शाम का उत्साह व सुबह का अवसाद
               दिनभर की हलचल और रात की स्थिरता
               सब कुछ अब जाना पहचाना सा लगता है
          किसी अचरज का इंतज़ार, इंतज़ार अंतहीन सा लगता है
             वह भावनाओं का अतिरेक , जज़्बातों का वेग
        थमा हुआ सा , एक दिनचर्या के तले सांसें गिनता हुआ सा लगता है।
              और देखता हुआ झलक , उस भविष्य की
                    जहाँ न धुंध हैं न बादल है
                    जहां हर दिन हर दिन जैसा है
               अतिरेक व् उत्तेजना की न कोई फेरबदल है
                उस सम्पूर्ण फलक में रंगों का यह चित्र
                       एक आकार सा ले रहा है

	

Any Body Might Dance, but certainly not anybody (or everybody) can make a movie!

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* *

In what can be one of the most cruel comments for the makers of this movie, it reminds you disturbingly of that Farah Khan atrocity –Happy New Year, in many ways. Both the films are about an international dance championship, the protagonists are a bunch of losers out to win the competition to restore or avenge their lost dignity, and well, both have almost negligible work on the script. However, the good part is Ms Khan’s is an attempt really tough to match in terms of sheer absurdity and crassness, hence this Remo D’souza work is not as scarring an experience as HNY, if only for its dance sequences.
Dance is a genre that has not really been explored in Bollywood before, except the previous installment of this movie itself. However that cannot be an excuse for the ignorance of basic hygiene factors of movie-making that the movie suffers from. If watching some stunning dance sequences is the sole purpose, one would rather switch on the TV instead of shelling out 300 bucks for some really immature film-making. So poor is the writing, that despite some stunning dance sequences and top stars, it feels like a shoddy amateurish B-grade production.

The first culprit is screenplay. Yes, dance movies are not exactly known for their innovation or novel script and they have more or less a fixed template of a story – the rise of the underdog. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to follow every tried and tested formula leaving no scope for even the slightest of unpredictability or surprise. This is as clichéd and ghisa-pita as it gets.

Excess melodrama and forced patriotism, rather jingoism is another major turn-off. Again in a major hangover of Happy New year, there are the regular sequences of firangs bashing India and the ensuing fist fights, and since we are proud Indians, we have to carry that emotion on our sleeves and never leave an opportunity to push it in everyone’s face. The sudden bursts of patriotism are as forced as some of the dialogues. Sample this, – ‘We dance to express, not to impress. Paise ho ya na ho, usse kya.’’ Yes, it is that random, and annoying.

Lastly, the plot leaves some seriously mysterious loose ends. Why did they cheat, what led them to it or did they even do it? These are some of the questions the director never chooses to address and leaves the audience in doubt. Who are these people, what are their backgrounds, anything at all, is not explained. Now this would have worked if the movie was some meta statement about dancing, and preaching a philosophy. But in lack of any depth these loopholes just alienate the viewers and fail to evoke any feelings for the characters.

The dance sequences are good, but nothing that you won’t find on your daily supply of the reality shows starring some of these very people. The music is ordinary, another major let-down for a dance based film. In absence of a single grand dance number that you could take home with you or that could be the party number, there is just nothing to care about this close to 3 hours of dance-video ensemble.

Talking about Varun and Shraddha, well let’s just say that maybe Remo is right, and Anybody can actually dance, but we certainly can not say the same about acting.

Avoid.

Dil Dhadakne Do : First world problems, solutions from the heart!

* * *

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In a country of modest means yet one of the largest number of millionaires, while the aspiration value of the lifestyle of the rich might be high, yet (or maybe hence) it is one of the easiest targets to make fun of. Hence a movie which deals with a dysfunctional family of a multi millionaire business tycoon runs on a very high risk of running into the caricature and shallow zone; and the best thing that can be said about this Zoya Akhtar spectacle is that steers away from those murky waters, and sails its own breezy and sunny course.

In her previous 2 outings, Ms Akhtar had displayed an uncanny flair in laying bare the turmoil that goes inside our hearts, and with the dreamy, feel-good poetic sense of belongingness created by some masterful poetry. Her movies have had us root for them. DDD, while not an exception, but certainly isn’t her finest work, or even upto the level set up by her. A dysfunctional family of a rich tycoon, the Mehras set off for a 10 day cruise trip with their social circle to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. How this journey brings them closer and helps them get rid of the issues that were brushed under the carpet forms the crux of the story. At close to 3 hours running time, the movie takes its own time to move, and make its point. The slow pace and lack of dramatic moments might restrict the movie to certain class of audience who like their movies subtle, where the conflicts are not between the hero and villain, but within self. Also, the major narrative tool used; the voiceover by the family dog Pluto voiced by Aamir Khan is probably the biggest weakness of the film. Aamir is surprisingly still in his PK mode, with continuous references to the ‘weird ways of these humans’. But the bigger question is why a director like Zoya who is known for her subtle and discreet sense of story-telling needed a spoon feeding tool like this to make its audience ‘understand’ the nuisances of the Mehra family. In an otherwise endearing film, this is probably the weakest part of the script.

These flaws withstanding, DDD is a fairly enjoyable work of cinema with its leisurely pace and a no-rush approach in heading towards its destination. Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah are perfect as the mother and father, and Ranveer and Priyanka display flashes of brilliance in their sibling chemistry. However, its Anushka and Ranveer’s romantic chemistry that has some of the most enjoyable moments of the film. Farhan Akhtar and Rahul Bose are their usual self in extended cameos. However, while ZNMD explored a new genre and was fresh and very different from her previous outing, (Luck By Chance, very underrated) DDD has strong hangover of ZNMD, which often doesn’t work in its favour. Even the music, while enjoyable isn’t at par with what you’d expect from a usual family drama multi starrer.

Despite all the flaws, Dil Dhadakne Do deserves a watch, because, well it has its heart in the right place. It makes you long for your family and think if you have been ‘connecting’ to them lately, and the realization that at the end, it’s all about loving your family.

Like a flowing river

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Like a flowing river
Peaceful, serene, soothing and calm
On your sides, I breathe easy
By your sides, I drop the yards of pretension
Shed my masks of belief
In your closeness, I let go off the noise
Of surroundings and insides
The sounds made in the silence
You, an absorber of them
You, the dilution of intensity
The intensity of mildness
The direction to lost thoughts
In your flow, lies a poise, a balance
Like a gentle melody Of the flowing waters
Moving ahead, with the traces of times,
Some carried along, some left behind
The sound of peace, of relief, of moving
With your own pace, in your own world
A flowing river, a gentle melody.
Like a beautiful painting
Quite, vulnerable, delicate, beautiful
Bearing the prints of the past
Blemished, tampered, Yet pure, yet true
Meddled with life, deepened by sorrow
Like a pensive mood
You.

बचपन

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मेरे कमरे की बालकनी से

बाहर गली, मकानों और पेड़ों के बीच अब भी बचपन खेलता हुआ दिखता है

शाम के हुल्लड़ और झगड़ों में , मुझे दूर दूर से अजनबी सा देखता है

कल जो मेरा आज था , आज वही  एक मजबूर  सा, एक भूले हुए एहसास सा जूझता  है

इन सड़को पर कंधे पर बैग टाँगे स्कूल जाते थे,

उन पर आज ट्राली बैग लेकर भूले बिसरे आना भी एक सपने सा लगता है

सड़कों पर बिछी कई परतों में, वक़्त  के साथ साथ वो मिटटी भी खो गयी है

जिसपर बने गड्ढों में बारिश में नाव चलाते थे, अब उसकी परतों में दबी सिर्फ याद है

गड्ढे तो वो अब भी हैं, पर ना मिटटी में वो खुशबू , न ही उन दोस्तों का साथ है

टाफी  वाली दुकान  तो वहीँ है , पर न वो अंकल , न उनसे करने को कोई बात है

पेड़ों की घनी हरियाली अब ठूंठ बनने की ओर अग्रसर दिखती है ,

पूँछ हिलाते हुए पीछे घूमने वाले वो जानवर भी अब अनजान से लगते हैं ,

सूंघ सूंघ कर इस मिटटी में दबी बचपन की खुशबू का ज़िक्र खोजते हैं


मेरे कमरे की बालकनी से

अंदर की  दीवारों अलमारी व दराजों में, एक कहानी लिखी हुई सी दिखती है

तस्वीरों, पोस्टरों, नोटबुकों और उस रेडियो में बयान वो

अब एक मूक फिल्म सी सन्नाटे में सब कुछ कहती हुई लगती है

कैसेट से ऍफ़ एम , वीडियो गेम से लैपटॉप तक के सफर के निशान

अब भी इस कमरे में महसूस होते हैं

चित्रहार से यू ट्यूब तक के गानों की तरंगें भी शायद इन दीवारों में लहराती हैं

वो कहानी , जिसमे पात्र भी हम, और दर्शक भी हम

जिसमें चेहरों पर निशाँ भले बढ़ गए हो, पर सवाल अब भी उतने ही हैं

पास जितना भी हूँ इसके, पर फासले न जाने कितने ही हैं

दिन, महीनो , वर्षों के ; बचपन, लड़कपन और जवानी के.

किस पड़ाव पे इसको छोड़ चले

प्रगति की आस में ऐसी होड़ तले

जो बंजारे सा निरंतर भटका, जड़ों से अपनी दूर चला

अपनी आत्मा के टुकड़ो को, यहाँ वहां बदस्तूर छोड़ चला

इस बालकनी,  इस गली,इस शहर में ढूँढू उन्हें  कहाँ कहाँ


मेरी गली के बाहर ,

उस मंदिर के आँगन में ,  उन सुबहों की यादें दिखती है

सूरज से पहले जब दादाजी, व्यायाम कराने लाते थे

चप्पलों के ढेर के पास वो नींद जो प्यारी लगती थी

फिर भजन और घंटी की धुन पे, सूरज के साथ ही आखें खुलती थी

दीवार वही है, ढेर वही है , मंदिर में भगवान वहीँ है

बस दूर से आती आवाज़ें हैं

भजन और  घंटी की धुन में मिश्रित अनर्गल शोर शराबे हैं

देर सवेरे मंदिर के आँगन में बिखरे, फूलों की पंखुड़ियों से मेरे बचपन के टुकड़े


मेरे शहर से होकर एक  जीवन धारा बहती है

उस जीवनदायिनी माँ को देखकर आज भी

हाथ संग दिल के तार कई यूँ जुड़ते हैं

घाटों के उस पार मुझे अनर्गल  पल यूँ  बिखरे मिलते हैं

मंदिरों और शिवालों के प्रांगण में, बचपन के कुछ सपने भूले बिसरे हैं

सीढ़ियों को भिगोती लहरों में कुछ चश्में और सिक्के जो  गुम से हैं

सागर को जाते वेग में  जो जलते दिए डूबे से थे

आज दरकती लहरों में , वे बुझे हुए कुछ दिखते  से हैं

नावों की डगमग गति  में कई नींद के झोंके जो खोये से थे

आज ठहरी नैया में वो कुछ शांत,  खुद कुछ सोये से हैं

उस पार जो रेतीली धरती में , मिटटी के घर बनाये थे

आज वो अपने ‘फ्लैट’ से ज़्यादा अपने लगते से हैं

इन किनारों में और लहरों में,

रेत के बनाये हुए उन महलों में

जो सार बन गए हैं जीवन का, अभीष्ट सभी सपनों का

जो ले गए है दूर जहाँ , न ये लहरें न ही साथ अपनों का

इस जल में कहीं बचपन की सरलता सी दिखती है

प्रदूषित उस मासूमियत की छवि ,इस काले हो रहे पानी पर पड़ती है

इस अविरल धारा में, इस माँ की गोद  में

तेरे जल में डूब कर, निर्मल , पावन हो जाना चाहता हूँ

आज फिर बचपन को जीना चाहता हूँ।