Sunday, 20 April 2014

Life:by choice and not by chance

             The walls and floor of the oncology ward were the same pale shade,colourless as the lives of those who currently inhabited it.  Some faces were old and scarred,ex animate.....some etched with years of agony while some stone-like with their eyes transfixed to some distant point.

             But among those,one stood out - as we huddled around her bed,a girl much younger than me.  She beamed at us.  Though she was bald and wore the same printed gown as the rest;her smile distinguished her from the uninterested others.

             The procedure to be demonstrated was a simple lumbar puncture.  She was made to lie down on her side,crouched as we watched,excitedly as children at a magic show.  After all it was our first.  A doctor pulled out a long,slender needle and told her to relax.  An assistant swabbed her lower back.  The doctor,then,felt her spine,stopped at a point and expertly started to push in the needle through her bare skin.....not a drop of blood...neither a wince.

             Suddenly....SLOP!one of us had nearly hit the ground,fainting by the scene.  I looked around at other faces and received terrified glances.  I felt goosebumps.It must have been so painful,but then i realised,it was routine for her.
             The girl turned over after sometime.  Not a tear.  She looked at our stunned faces and smiled again,her face not showing the remotest sign of pain.  And this must be so minor compared to the burden of her terminal illness...the fatal,onerous,malignancy she was diagnosed with....the side effects of palliative chemotherapy that meant to alleviate her pain,ease it until death only freed her of it all.

I stared at her,but i could not smile.  I felt weak at my knees.  She continued to embarrass me with her smile.  I noticed that she was very pretty.

I noticed something else that day.  The answer to a question that we all have asked ourselves at some point of our lives.
"Does destiny really exist?"

For if it didn't,then how were some born blind,some crippled and some with inevitable suffering or incurable disease?

I now knew that the important question was not if it really existed,rather we should ask ourselves-"Even if it did,should one believe in it?"
        Because did not i,just a split second ago,see a girl younger than me defeat it?Because wouldn't believing in destiny mean setting ones own limits?And don't we all have a right to be free?



For the blind have learnt how to read,the cripples have managed to walk and technology has defeated most of,if not all burdensome diseases.  And for the ones which still don't have a cure---------- human faith and determination is still stronger than any destined 'fate' . 

(true life incident)
-Niharika Prasad

Thursday, 17 April 2014

It is you i miss..

As i stood there frigid,staring vaguely at distant sky,
distraught and desolate,unable to cry 

as the flames leapt menacingly in the void air above,
i watched helpless,as they devoured my first love

I must have been less than a year mother,
when i must have fumbled from one word to another
yet you must have smiled and patiently repeated,
till i said it right,all my fears defeated

and wasn't i just a little over five,
when i clung to your sari and followed you around
and at the sight of any stranger arrive,
i would hide in its folds without a sound

and a couple of years from then,
as i ran to you after school,all covered with dirt
you would remind me the rules again,
then just smile and ask me to change my shirt

and as u checked my tiffin and frowned,
don't you remember how i laughed and dashed away
after long search,when hidden and asleep i was found,
i was awake mother,as you carried me to bed,and beside me you lay

i was awake mother,as you lightly kissed me on my forehead,
as you gently whispered into my ear
i did not hear what you exactly said,
but i felt you wrap around your arm and draw me near

i shared all my secrets with you,even as older i grew,
but wasn't it around thirteen that things became a little different
for now there were things new,things that more than you,i knew,
was it then we distanced more and more?mother,it wasn't by intent

but now i wasn't a small kid anymore,
not that obedient as i used to be
it wasn't that i did not adore you as before,
just that it wasn't as before,things on which we both could agree

and as you could not help me with my homework,
nor choose which clothes i should wear
and when you hugged me,my friends would smirk.
so you would just smile.
why dint i feel your despair?

and as i surrounded myself with friends of my age,
mother i dint realize that sometimes you felt out of place
the pain you felt i could not gauge,
for all those years you bore it with such grace

and then came college,and i left you,
and so engrossed was i in my own life
unaware of the mistakes i could never undo,
i was sorting out my own strife

then came the final parting,my wedding,had time slipped so fast,
despite your frantic worrying,i looked like an elegant bride
my childhood memories glided past,
was it then that i saw at last,
i had to act strong,so i wiped my tears,
but yours mother,you could not hide

promises i had made many that day,
so many vows,that maybe i forgot the one to you
that even when i was living far away,
i would stay in touch,remind you of your,purple,blue

so i got busy,and i assumed you were too,
you seemed fine on the phone,and when we met rarely
i didn't know you worried all day through,
that it hurt you,that we now spoke barely

so it was a blot of thunder,something out of the blue,
my files slipped off my hand,i grabbed onto the nearest support
and before the voice on the other end finished,i knew,i knew,
what my heart did not want to believe,my mind knew to be true

i cursed myself,i wished it was all a lie,
for when i finally saw you mother,were you in disguise?
these sparrow feet circling your eyes,were they always there?
and these wrinkles mapping your face,all from where?

why dint you tell me mother,over and over again,
why dint you try and rescue me,pull me out of my vain
while i was so busy with my own work,day and night,
i failed to even ensure that you took your medicines right

i know i am late,and time is such a cruel monster,
unforgiving,so deceiving,i was not warned of such disaster
i wish i could somehow rewind it though,back to happier times,
when i would repeat after you,those funny rhymes

and when you threw me up in the air,for a moment i was so scared,
but then i laughed loud mother,as to catch me you were prepared
i am falling again mother,into an unknown and dark,bottomless abyss,
staring blankly with tearful eyes,it is you i miss
it is you i miss

 - Niharika prasad

नन्हें कदम:(view from my terrace)

रिमझिम टपकती बूंदों संग, थपथपाते नन्हें कदम ,
गर्मी की उमस को उड़ाता आया एक नया मौसम ,
बारिश की बूंदों संग ,नटखट बच्चों का शोर है ,
काले ,गुमसुम अंधेरे को तोड़ता ,मानो नया एक भोर है। 

खिलखिलाते ,कोमल बच्चों के ऊपर बरगद की फैली छाव है ,
गर्मी की थकान दूर करता ,बरगद मुस्कुराता ,पर मौन है। 
गर्मी की उमस हो या फिर मेघों का कठोर गर्जन,
उनकी सुरक्षा के लिए ,उसने हमेशा किया खुद को अर्पण। 

पत्तियों की घटा है,लेकिन, एक पक्की छत नहीं,
झिलमिलाते धूप और तेज बारिश, को वो रोक सकती नहीं। 
पर नटखट बच्चों को चाहिए नहीं एक पक्की छत ,
उन्हें तो लगी है ,खुले आस्मां तले, खेलने की लत। 

एक सरकारी विद्यालय के बगल में ,मैदान जहाँ खाली है ,
वहीं गर्व से फूलती ,बच्चों को देखती ,बरगद की हर डाली है। 
उसी विद्यालय के बगल में ,कुदरत का एक विद्यालय है,
खड़ा वर्षों से जिसमे ,बरगद जैसे हिमालय है। 

लड़खड़ाते ,कभी ये गिरते ,सम्भलते हैं ,नन्हें कदम ,
आने वाली मुश्किलों से बेपरवाह ,दौड़ते यें हरदम। 

 रिमझिम टपकती बूंदों संग, थपथपाते नन्हें कदम ,
गर्मी की उमस को उड़ाता आया एक नया मौसम ,
बारिश की बूंदों संग ,नटखट बच्चों का शोर है ,
काले ,गुमसुम अंधेरे को तोड़ता ,मानो नया एक भोर है। 

-निहारिका प्रसाद


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer..(short poem(hindi))

देवों की प्रतिमा मध्य उपस्थित ,पूजा सामग्री लिए अगिनत उपासक,
आखिर कब आएगी वो घड़ी जब  प्रकट  होंगे ईश ,वो  दुख  विनाशक। 

एक सज्जन उस भीड़ में, दिखते है बड़े असहाय ,
बलिष्ठ शरीर ,कीमती वस्त्र धरे ,फिर भी बैठे हाथ फैलाये। 

जिस प्रकार माँ  के ध्यान के लिए ,एक नन्हा शिशु शोर करता है ,
कुछ उसी कदर भक्त घंटियों को बारम्बार ठनठनाता, मंत्र बोलता है। 

जब परमात्मा ने मनुष्य की रचना की इस सृष्टि में ,
एक अंश उनका भी मानो,उसमे  भी एकाग्र हुआ। 
परं ज्योति मानो,खण्डित हुई टुकड़ों टुकड़ों में,
एक बड़े सूर्य से छितरे चमचमाते तारों की कदर,मनुष्य तेरा निर्माण हुआ। 

तू अव्वल है,तू सबल है ,
क्या कमी तुझमें कि तू स्वयं पर विश्वस्त नहीं?
हाथ की लकीरें क्या पत्थर पे खुदी हैं ?
अरे किस्मत तो उनकी भी है ,जिनके हाथ ही नहीं। 

परं आत्मा का एक अंश,हे मनुष्य तुझमें समाया ,
आत्मा बन तेरे ही भीतर,जब उन्होंने तुझे रचाया।

तभी तो संतो ने कहा है,
'ना मैं मंदिर ,ना मैं मस्जिद,ना काबे कैलास में,
खोजि होये तो तुरंतै मिलि हों ,पल भर की तालास में।

असफलता का ये अड़चन ,
तेरे मार्ग का हर काँटा; अल्पकालिक है ,एक साजिश है ,
खुदा को तो देखना है तेरा बल ,और तेरी ख्वाइश है। 

फिर क्यों तू मेरे द्वारा निर्मित,मासूम कलियों को तोड़ता है ?
और उन निर्मित कलियों को गुथ,मेरी प्रतिमा पे छोड़ता है ?

कष्ट के पलों में,मंदिरो में,तू दिखता सात्विक सदा,
पर मंदिरो के बाहर भी, ईश्वर देखता तुझे सर्वदा।
फिर क्यों मनुष्य तू ईश से कपट कर बना एक वंचक ,
चारों ओर विनाश फैला कर,आज तू दिखता बस एक भक्षक।

चोरी,घृणा,ईर्ष्या  या लोभ की  आती जब तुझमें वो भावना,
तब अपनी ही गहराईओं से सुन,आत्मा का तुझे पुकारना,
सुन ले तू,अब भी समय है,अपने भीतर का संताप,
प्रत्याख्यान करना ना उसे,नहीं तो सह तू दैविक अभिशाप।

- निहारिका प्रसाद