The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A New Poem

Photo credit: Shefali
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Today we had a wonderful poetic evening amidst talented poets, a kavi sammelan. I had my contribution too. This time my poem did not come out of the cauldron of translation. It is a direct composition in Hindi. I enjoyed writing it and then reciting it amidst applause; but I must say the more soul-stirring experience to me was to listen to others. Dr Nandkishore Nandan, the revered chief guest was at his best, as always. He was transformed into a 70-year young, the captain of the street cricket team playing at Ridge Shimla stirring his muse to produce the freshest poem in his repertoire. He had romantic and rebellious poems too, his heart weeping in pain seeing mother Nature disregarded, over-exploited and fast heading towards an ominous future; the condition of deprived sections of the society going from bad to worse every passing day. Dr Saraswat had the grace of a poet in all his gestures, not only restricted to the words and expressions he used in his nice poems of spiritual theme. Dr Usha Bande had an English poem to render--so full of sensitivity, struggle and hope! Dr Pankaj Kapoor had a awesome simile to depict the trivialisation in human relationship: there's no iron in our blood so that the magnet of human warmth can attract us each other. How true! Mr Ratiram Sharma had his muse drawn from the herdsman of Himalayas who have hard lives to live but leaving the footprints of wisdom behind them everywhere they moved. Madam Sangeeta recited a poem that sparked in her mind finding winter this year so obstinately prolonging even up to the end of March, one that slightly matched my last post, not in words but in spirit. Poets of Shimla feel and think alike! it was a wonderful evening at the end of the day. 

Here is what I recited.
----------------------------------------------------


             नंगे पाँव 

देखा तो नहीं, फिर भी जानता हूँ मैं भली-भाँति   
मेरे अपने जन्म का वृतांत, निहायत कोरा-सा
निर्बल, निर्वस्त्र, परन्तु निसंकोच, निधड़क, गुमनाम
ऐसे क्यों ?
मालिक से मिले आदेश, शायद भुलना कठिन था   
बस, चलना तो था, और चलता ही रहा ।
 
जूतों के बगैर मैंने काम तो बड़ा किया  
बड़ी-सी छलांग लगाई, इस धरती पर आ टपका,  
कोई फरक न पड़ा, एक भी अंग न टूटा
माँ का दुलार मिला, चलने का हक मिला
नदी में तैरना हुआ, और पेड़ों पर चढ़ता गया
आखिर जूतों के वगैर मैंने सब कुछ तो कर ही लिया !
वाह! जूतों के वगैर मैंने सब कुछ तो कर ही लिया!

मुझे याद है उस बुजुर्ग को मरते हुए देख  
अरसे बीत गए हैं पर याद मेरी अब भी ताज़ी है
बुजुर्ग लपेटे गए थे कपड़े बिलकुल नए थे
गोरे-से ललाट पर, रोड़ी-चन्दन के लेप थे  
अंगूठी चाँदी की थी और कंधे से जनेव लटके  
पर नहीं थे जूते, पैर उनके बेजान ही थे ।

स्वर्ग में जाकर उस बेचारे ने क्या-क्या किया होगा.
खुदा ही जाने क्या-क्या किया होगा
इतनी दूरी थी फिर भी उन्हें पैदल वहाँ जाना था  
स्वर्ग है, कोई मामूली इलाका तो नहीं
आड़े-तिरछे हाईवे, ट्रैफ़िक लाईटें बेसुमार होंगे  
वहाँ के रास्ते पर क्या गद्दे सब फैलाए गए हैं?

बड़े धार्मिक स्वभाव के थे वे फिर भी
मान लो सिर्फ एक मिनट के लिए
अगर रास्ता भटक गए होंगे वे नरक की दिशा में  
वहाँ का माहौल कुछ अच्छा नहीं,
जैसा लोगों से सुना है मैंने  
जूतों के वगैर वहाँ क्या वे करते होंगे ?
स्वर्ग में जा कर या नरक की ओर भटक कर
जूतों के वगैर वहाँ क्या वे करते होंगे ?

जूते तो, ऐसा लगता है, स्वर्ग के आभूषण हैं
भरत ने सही चुना था रामजी को पूजने ।  
इस धरती पर जूतों का क्या काम है ?
सिर्फ इंसान की आदत बिगाड़ना उसे खूब आता है
जूते तो केवल लात मारने के काम आते हैं,
थप्पड़ की खड़खड़ाहट दूर-दूर तक सुनाने में 
घास, फूल-पतियों को रौंद डालने में
गले में जूतों का हार लटका कर
बड़े चोर द्वारा
छोटे चोर का बतंगड़ बनाने में
सिवाय उसके  
इस धरती पर जूतों का क्या काम है ?

आवेश में आ कर, इतने अनुराग से 
भई, जूतों की इबादत तो करते हो
दूसरों के जूते ख़ूब चमकाते हो,
दूसरों के जूते भी चाट लेते हो
कहाँ जाओगे इन्हें पहन कर?
हर जगह तो अब ट्रैफ़िक जाम है
इंसान के लिए केवल ज्ञान का धाम खुला है
वहाँ तक पहूँचने के लिए नंगे पाँव तो जाना है
फिर जूतों का क्या काम है ? 
इस धरती पर जूतों का क्या नाम है ?

जूते, चमड़े से तो बनते हैं, हम सब जानते हैं  
पर किसके थे ये चमड़े?
बेज़बान जानवर वे जो पगडण्डी चाटते हैं
सबके लिए सोचते है, ख़ामोशी से
सबकी भलाई चाहते हैं, दिल से, 
दधिची का हमारे लिए अपनी अस्थियों का त्यागना   
हम बड़ी आसानी से उसे भूल जाते हैं
जूते, चमड़े से तो बनते हैं, हम सब जानते हैं ।

कैसे विचार हैं देखो मालिक के   
घोड़ों को, गाय को—सबको पैदाइशी मिल गए जूते 
पर आते-आते इंसान की बारी, उनके स्टाक ख़त्म हो गए
कहने लगे, ‘अरे नर ! जानते नहीं, ज्यादा लालच बुरा है ?
बुद्धि, विवेक, सब कुछ तो झपट लिया झोली भर-भर कर
करोगे क्या इतना सिवाय सन्दूक में भरने के    
अब जूतों के लिए इतना हंगामा क्यों है ?
ज्ञान के बूते दो कदम फालतू चलने में तुम काबिल हो   
बस, जूतों की माँग को छोड़ उतने में खुश रहो
ज्ञान तक पहुँचने के लिए ज्ञान की पूँछ पकड़ो  
वहाँ तक जाने के लिए सूट-बूट की क्या ज़रुरत ?  
भूल जाओ है यह महज़ घटिया-सा अवसरवाद
जूतों के वगैर लिये हो जनम
और मरना ही होगा नंगे पाँव ।’
---------------------------------
By
A N Nanda
Shimla
8-4-2014
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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Shri Nand,
It was a veritable pleasure to go through the entries of your blog. Of course, you are a prolific writer and I could not read that much but whatever I read, I found it of immense interest.
First of all, you are a quick blogger because the event that took place last evening was on the blog in the morning with very accurate assessment of the Kavi Goshti and the poems read. I appreciated the over-all tune of the passage.
The program was indeed relaxing and enervating. It was a new experience and the credit goes to you and your enthusiastic team. You gave them an opportunity to come out from the claustrophobic office atmosphere and breathe in the open. So many talented young people came out to vent their feelings.
About your poems and stories: I read the two poems you recited yesterday. You have subtle humor in both and yet you tell the truth. That is a remarkable quality. Your Hindi poem makes a distinct mark coming from a person who has not studied Hindi formally. Congrats!
Your poem on snow in Shimla reads like a piece of literature with so much play on words like a person from literature and though you are from History. The imagery is powerful and evocative.
Being from the faculty of History you might enjoy going through my Coffee table book Forts and Palaces of Himachal Pradesh, with colored photographs. I shall bring it with me when I visit your office.
I read two of your stories > For Dignity's Sake and Hindi Bukhar. The first story has very powerful but hidden humor and makes an interesting reading. The suspense is maintained all through till the end. The twist in the tail is appealing. But I would like to discuss the ending personally sometime. Just my ideas. No offence meant.
"Bukhar" gives a convincing account of the life in Nicobar islands, the sea-side beauty and the duty consciousness of your department's worker at the grass roots. It has pathos but happy ending.
From the endings of these two stories I find your attitude to be positive and optimistic. Any other writer would have shown the simple man suffering from high fever and dying but you make him active, alive and happy for performing his duty well. Congrats.
I could not write at the "comment" section of the blog because there are certain conditions which I am not well conversant with. i wrote but could not send it. So this mail.
I remember having written a piece on a postman (who collects Dak from letter boxes) I used to see walking all the way. At that time we were new to Shimla and were not very conversant with the topography. I wrote on his duty-bound and punctual presence. After reading your story I am thinking of polishing mine.
I shall read more and get back to you soon. In the mean time shall learn how to send comments.
with best wishes
Usha Bande

7:34 AM  
Blogger Anant Nanda said...

Thank you ma'am. You really have left nothing to chance when you decided to encourage me. I'm so very blessed.
Your comments are of such value to my blog that I copied them onto my blog as an anonymous visitor.
As to the story "Bukhar" I'd translated the same and posted on my blog available in the archive of September 2009. The story is entitled "Fever-the Story They All Liked".
Thanx once again.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a great poem. I like it very much.......And I made your big fan for this poem.........


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2:18 AM  

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