Tuesday, March 29, 2016

तरु मै विशाल !

तरु मै विशाल केवल देखने में नहीं हूँ |
सिर्फ शीतल छाया नहीं देता,
तोड़ने भी देता हूँ पत्ते फल और अपनी डाल |
तुम मनुष्य खेलते भी हो चढ़ मुझपर,
या कि मुझपर झूले डाल,
मै पंछियों को घर और विषैले सर्प को तक,
आश्रय दे देता हूँ |
वर्षों वर्ष प्रकृति मुझपर कभी स्नेह की धूप,
कभी अघाढ़ प्रेम के बादल,
कभी प्रचंड गुस्से के तूफ़ान और सूखे को बरसाती है |
कभी वसंत बनकर बेवजह ही,
मुझपर असंख्य कलियाँ खिलाती है,
मै खुद होकर भी खुदपर कोई अधिकार नहीं जता सकता |
कभी कभी किसी की निर्मम कुल्हाड़ी
मुझको पूरा भी काट जाती है |
कि मुझको दर्द नहीं होता यह अफवाह ही है बस |
मेरे अन्दर अथाह सहनशीलता है,
पृथ्वी की तरह सभी के लिए अपनापन है,
सूर्य कि तरह सभी को मै एक ही दृष्टि से देखता हूँ |
समर्पण की भावना से मैंने,
प्रकृति के हाँथ खुद को सोँप दिया है,
जब वो मुझे हवा के पलने झुलाती है,
तब मै भी घडी दो घडी चार पल,
सुख की नींद सोता हूँ|
कहने को कभी न मरने वाला,
कई सौ साल प्राचीन वृछ हूँ लेकिन,
मेरा एक पत्ता भी मेरा नहीं है,
तरु मै विशाल सिर्फ तेरा हूँ ...
तरु मै विशाल सिर्फ तेरा हूँ |

-गरिमा सिंह

निर्झरिणी की व्यथा

मै अपने अतीत की गहरी खाई
से बाहर आ तो गयी 
लेकिन, कुछ था जो अन्दर ही अन्दर
मुझे सूखा कर गया था |
बारिश की कई बूँदें एक साथ मिलकर भी
उस सूखे के आभास को भिगो न सकी |
एहसास दम तोड़ कर उसी खाई में
छूट गया, और मेरे हाँथ में सिर्फ
एक लम्बी तन्हाई आ पड़ी |
देखने से लगता था मै और भी सशक्त हो गयी थी |
सत्य मै जानती थी कि मै
निश्चय ही पाषाण हो गयी थी |
उस सूखे का एहसास बस मेरी रूह ही को था |
चेहरे पर मेरे कोई शिकन नहीं थी,
देखा सभी ने मेरे चेहरे को खूब देखा,
जाना उन्होंने मुझको उथले से दायरे में,
छूता कोई जो मन को शायद वो देख पाता,
रूह में अरसे से जो एक बर्फ सी जमी थी |
कोई हवा का झोंका उसको तो छू के जाता,
वैसे तो आँधियों की कोई कमी नहीं थी |
नज़रें थी खोजती कुछ हलकी सी रौशनी में,
कोई कहीं नहीं था बस आस सी लगी थी |
अबके बरस जो आये फिर जेठ की दुपहरी ,
पिघले अगर ये चद्दर जो मुझको ढक गयी थी ,
तो मै प्रवाह बन कर रस्ता नया चुनूंगी ,
जिस जिस जगह हो सूखा उस उस जगह बहूंगी ,
पत्थर पहाड़ जंगल मेरे अधीन होंगे ,
उन सबको लांघकर ही तुमसे मै जा मिलूंगी |
निर्झरिणी की व्यथा को कोई सोचे तो कैसे सोचे, 

समझे अगर उसे तो सागर ही खूब समझे |

-गरिमा सिंह

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Nail biting account of a swimmer’s escape from a macabre Inferno

I was one hell of a swimmer.  At least I believed so until the day a swimming competition came my way and to a million more like me. I never imagined how that day would bring about my victory and defeat at the same time.
Our goal was way ahead of us in the form of jelly doors to an oval room at one end of the canal. The winner could only claim victory by making through the doors and shutting them off to all other contestants by turning on a switch that would make them impermeable. This was a competition of its own kind that almost all of us waited for ever since we had cognized our zeal to swim, compete and prove ourselves.
The firth was narrow and everyone was smart. But something in me told me that I was perfect, desirable, and that I am destined to be a winner. My sleek body had the power of hundred elephants and speed of a panther; agility and focus of an eagle. I could see through my sixth sense, the white jelly doors where I would claim my eternal victory.
A cutthroat chase began with a leap of faith that all of us took in the fast paced gushing current of water in that extraordinarily slippery basin. Fly, back, breast, and free- the choice was yours. Soon an individual medley ensued. As soon as I jumped, I hit a corner and fell back to a place from where I could barely see others. But I knew God was there at my side. Just then a great force came as a wave in the canal and whew!! I was propelled, in less than a millionth of a second, too far, way ahead of the others. From then on, I never looked back.
My goal fast approached as I mentally bid farewell to a million others. Final free stroke lead me into the slimy interiors of the oval room as I made past the white jelly doors. From behind the translucent chamber, I saw them watching- some applauding, some wailing over their loss, some still trying to stick to the walls as I turned the impermeability switch on.
 There I was-a winner. What was my prize- I wondered? A soft voice told me- “You are your own prize my dear – now you get to stay here for long until you discover your own real self. Such an opportunity is rare and let this be your holiday, here.” A chill ran down my spine at once- in exhilaration of triumph and fear of being caged into my own prize. Had I gotten myself into trouble? What will happen to my craze for swimming now? Though the oval room was wonderful but it was curiously creepy as there was no one else other than me. How could have I spent even a single day there as a holiday- let alone for quite some time?
 Exhaustion and depression put me into a deep slumber just to knock me all muddled up in the middle of the night. I felt something enveloping me from all sides. Before I could even open my eyes it engulfed my whole existence. An excruciating pain in my body made me cry as this thing cruelly ruptured it. I had lost my lustrous body. Was this my prize? I had a faint vision of God smiling at me, while I gasped into delirium. Something made me immobile. Speed was my life and a slender agile body my identity. I had been ripped off these two. I sure was dying or was already dead.

Inertia followed throwing me into a deep limbo until one day, I don’t know after how long, I was whacked back into senses. I had been transformed. My lean body had grown large and something in it made rhythmic beats. As soon as a beat occurred I felt a little energetic but nothing as compared to when I was a swimmer. I wanted to run away before getting turned into a monstrous creature but whenever I tried, despite that huge body, something pulled me back. It was sort of a rope attached to my middle at one end and at the other end to that eternal freaky switch on one of the walls of the oval room.  A conspicuous disturbing roar, like that of thousand oceans was the characteristic of the room that too had been transformed into a gigantic pouch by now.
I never knew that life could get so worse. Sometimes I would float and rock but at other times I was pulled upward with a force and released down. It felt like those airplane mid-air nauseous jitters when it shakes out of air disturbances. Life here was constant hell. The only good thing was sleep that took care of my depression. Months passed by before one day I noticed that I had grown leaps and bounds ever since I woke up of that first deep sleep. May be this was what God mentioned about. May be the growing size would help me push my way out of the dungeon. 
I had lost all sense of time and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Fully unsure of what future brings, I kept waiting. One day I heard someone said “Hi! How are you my baby- I love you so much.” That feminine voice resembled that of God’s voice. Was God too changing his form? Then a male voice followed, it felt like he had patted the rooftop. Ah ha! So someone was out there to rescue me finally. In sheer excitement, I jumped and barely managed to move the huge loaf that I had become.
After this I got more and more attuned to what was going on outside the cell. I didn’t know yet, how to communicate in their languages but I jumped and moved my limbs whenever I needed some extra attention in flimsy anticipation of freedom. In return, someone would screech back. Sometimes I would dream of my swimming days and of the competition day. I missed the million buddies and I often found myself in tears at my current state.
One fine day, the rock and roll stopped and floating was unusually slow. I had grown huge. I liked that the noise was minimized. Soon bedlam followed and with a great force, something like the pulsating wave that had helped me take a long leap towards the oval goal on the doomsday, the jelly doors got ripped open. The ocean rose into high tidal waves, spouting past me as I watched horror-stuck. 
I felt naked without that warm water which gently rocked me and made me feel home. What was in store now? God had stripped me off my final comfort zone. First speed, then body, and now waters! I got goose bumps all over. I tried my best to move out with the oceanic waves but all of that happened too soon. To make matters worse, the mad screeching started. Why was God crying? I felt jolts in addition to the chills. There was some commotion going on outside as well. What kind of inferno it was?
Suddenly I felt a push and was forced out into a narrow dark tunnel. I almost fell unconscious with the grueling headache before I felt something pulling me at neck. I saw creatures ten times bigger than me. Half of my body was still stuck in the tunnel and they were trying to pull me out with all their might. I shut my eyes tight as the blinding glow of this new world was intolerable.
In hours I was pulled out of it with ropes still attached. They hung me upside down. Ocean water that I hid in myself too had to be expelled out. I started crying in agony. Instead of the ocean of water, I was now in the ocean of something else that felt not so wet – was it a breath of fresh air? But I wanted my ocean, the gentle rocking pace of it and the thundering noise. Then someone poured water on me. I immediately felt at home. Life had changed. Some call it being born twice. I wonder how much more was to come in the new lands.

Friday, May 16, 2014

What's on your mind?

Wouldn’t it be nice if whatever happens around us didn't keep bothering us for longer than it needed to?  A mosquito bites you and you feel the pain and irritation for some time and after that you are okay. Suppose all the annoyances of this world affected you only to the extent of the damage they have caused.

Why do we not get emotional about it? We could be saying things like–“Oh! That mosquito bit us and sucked our blood, inflicted pain, itching, and swollen redness. What wrong did I do to that mosquito? Why that mosquito bit me when there are many other animals and human beings? Why am I always a victim of mosquito? Is this my destiny or karma that mosquitoes always feed on my blood?"

Are our miseries really true? It is one thing to push things under the carpet or go into denial of facts about our situation and it is another to make it an ongoing repetitive drama in the mind. Most of us love these sad situations so much that our mind doesn’t want to let go of the negative things. It gets a certain pleasure by analyzing or demanding from a position of being so negative. The fact can be as small as a mosquito bite or as big as a tragedy.

Actually when it is a tragedy or an emergency, mind starts functioning in better ways.  We are more in present moment when we had a great fall or an accident or in case of emergency. Our hidden capacities to find solutions, show empathy and love surface when things go out of control. It is because we have no choice but to accept that something bad just happened and because of the urgency of that situation an action has to come spontaneously right then, so we can't be but one hundred percent present in the moment with the event.

However, our mind can keep chewing on all those smaller, minor, mundane, insignificant things that do not need our urgent action making mountain out of molehill, going into bouts of negativity or even depression. Sometimes it can make them appear a significant part of our identity if they signify a phenomenon, pattern or belief we have about anything in general. 

Most of the life's problems are very simple and can be tackled at their level. They can be solved with simple solutions. There is something we could do when we face such a small irritating problems -

1. Accepting that there is a nagging problem but understanding its capacity and keeping it where it belongs.

2. Not confusing one nagging problem with the other. Really separating what the concern is from the mesh of varying emotions and feelings one might have as a result of many different problems.

3. Not generalizing the problem or making it eternal and basing every future action on that faulty judgment.

4. Deciding what we want to do with it- deal with it later, deal with it now or let time solve it? Many times these problems sort themselves out.

5. Taking that first rate limiting step towards solving it.

6. Accepting that we are feeling “insert any negative feeling” and move on from there to feeling better. Realizing that it is okay to feel horrible but it is not reasonable to keep feeling horrible. So taking that first step towards feeling good, whatever that might be (other than running away, going into another trap that will backfire or going on and on about this problem with someone) would be good starting point.

7. Maintaining happiness by consistently doing those things that make us feel good. We may think since we felt good on Christmas, on some beach with someone, the source of happiness was that place, time, person or situations around it. That may partly be true but this feeling of good came from within us. Other things may be supportive of it yet this feeling comes from within us. Familiarity brings happiness but it can be boring too.

8. Expanding our view of world, people, and how things work. Usually we think that only we are going through a particular situation in life because “insert things to be blamed.” But if we opened up a little more by going out of our comfort zone, really knowing people, places, culture, emotions and situations, we would come to an understanding that everyone is on the same boat. People may be from diverse backgrounds, age groups, socioeconomic status but they feel the same emotions and the problems they face can be strikingly similar to ours.

9. Going with above point, becoming more and more accepting of people and situations including ourselves and our situation would come easier if one is open to trying new things in life.

10. Developing a sense of humor for real in real time. Rather than being an average morose who needs jokes, other people, media, and all that paraphernalia to get amused, wouldn’t it be good if we could laugh at antics of our own minds? Wouldn’t it be good to see our own drama as drama and watch other people getting stuck in it from time to time and smile internally? It is hard to imagine or do this all the time but in every person’s life there at least has been one such instance of epiphany when randomness of events took the best of them and they simply laughed at how life was just a game. There is nothing serious about it and nobody comes alive out of it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

भावनाएं बन गयी हैं "प्रेम-तत्व"।

भावनाएं अब ना बहें,
तूफानी आब में भटकी कश्ती सी ,
शोर करती एक नदी सी ,
किनारों से झगडती लहर सी, 
सूखी  रेगिस्तानी नदी के बंजर सी । 

भावनाएं अब ना उड़ें हवा सी,
कभी चंचल, कभी आंधी, 
बदहवास सी, कभी विध्वंस मचाती । 
कभी उष्म और कभी शीत-लहर सी । 

भावनाएं अब ना रहें पृथ्वी सी, 
रुकी-थमी-जमी । 
धूल  की परत दर परत पाषाण सी । 
कभी पानी मिले मिटटी के पंक सी । 
कभी भूकम्प में फटी ज़मी की दरार सी । 

भावनाएं अब ना झुलसें आग सी ,
कभी अधजली, धधकती,
कभी धुआं बिखेरती बुझी हुई सी सुलगती  । 
कभी शांत सी जैसे दिया-बाती ,
या कभी शहर के शहर जलाती । 

भावनाएं उड़ रहीं हैं अब हौले-हौले, 
अश्रु-जल से मिलकर, नम होकर,  
धरा की अग्नि से उठे हों जैसे 
पुरवाई के सोंधे-सोंधे हिंडोले । 

अनगिनत पुष्पों की महक खुद में बसाये 
भावनाएं मंद-मंद निरंतर मुस्कुराएं ।
भावनाएं उठ गयी हैं तत्वों से ऊपर,
भावनाएं बन गयी हैं "प्रेम-तत्व"। 

-गरिमा सिंह

Thursday, June 6, 2013

सूखे- सूखे आँसू ,
गीले-गीले दर्द से ,
पिघलता दिल ।
चाँदनी रातों के
अँधेरे से कभी डर जाना ।
दिन के उजाले में भी
ऊँघकर सो जाना। 
ख़ामोशी के शोर से
दिल का परेशां होना। 
भीड़ के बीच में
खुद को छुपा लेना ।
देख कर भी अनदेखा करना
उल्फत की हर नज़र को बेजा करना ।
कैसी ये खुद से कश्मकश सी है
आज भी ज़िन्दगी उलझी सी है ।
-गरिमा सिंह

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

स्वदेश क्या है?

जहाँ मैंने जन्म लिया, पला-बढा ?
जिसने मुझे आसरा दिया ?
जहाँ की सर ज़मीं पर मेरे माँ बाप का घर थी?

वो छोटा स्कूल और एक कॉलेज,
जहाँ मैंने बचपन और जवानी बिता दिए?

या फिर वह दुनिया जहाँ पर मैं बड़ा होकर पढने आया,
जहाँ मैंने नौकरी करके नाम, पैसा और औहदा कमाया?

या कि वो सब देश जहाँ बरसों बरस,
काम की तलाश में, नौकरी के बहाने,
या फिर था सिर्फ घूमने भर के लिए आया ?

मेरा देश क्या है?
मेरे लोग कौन हैं?
मैं खुद को वतन परस्त कहूँ  भी तो कैसे ?
जिस-जिस देश में गया,
मिटटी सब जगह एक ही सी थी।
लोग भी सब एक जैसी भावनाओं से भरे थे ।
जिस-जिस ज़मीं पर मैंने पाँव रखे,
उस-उस शहर ने मुझे दिल खोल  के गले लगाया।

मातृ  -भूमि क्या है?
वह जहाँ पर हमें जन्म मिला?
या वह जिसे हमने अपनी माँ सामान पवित्र समझा?
जिसने बदले में हमें सब दिया-
घर, नौकरी, दोस्त और दुनियाँ ?

हाँ  मैं "देश-भक्त" हूँ ।
मेरा देश है हर वो धरती जहाँ मैं रहता हूँ ।
और हर वो ज़मीं भी जहाँ मैं अभी तक नहीं रहा।

अपने कदमोँ  के नीचे की धरती का सम्मान करूँ,
अपने आस पास के लोगोँ  को अपना समझूँ,
यही मेरी देश-भक्ति है ।

अपने हर काम को इमानदारी से करूँ,
यही मेरी कर्मठता है ।
अपने आस पास के लोगोँ और वातावरण का ख्याल रखूं
यही मेरी ज़िम्मेदारी है |

मेरी कोई जाति, धर्म, या देश नहीं,
इंसानियत ही मेरा मज़हब है ।
ये सम्पूर्ण विश्व ही मेरा देश है ।

-गरिमा सिंह