Bhang Ka Rang

Being someone from IT BHU, it relates me to the rich culture of Varanasi (also known as Banaras). Be it the Ghats or the Lassi or the Sankatmochan or the Dhrupad or the chats at Godaulia or the Mahashivaratri or the Thandai with a tinge of Bhang, I can feel it. I close my eyes and I can taste it once again. I close my eyes and I can remember how people behaved or it would be better to say how people reacted when they had Bhang.

I was residing in Morvi Hostel in those days. It was late in the evening. The twilight was fading away. Suddenly, I heard somebody’s cries for help. I ran in direction of the sound and then I saw a crowd in front of a room. A M. Tech student used to live in that room. A closer look revealed that the resident of that room had taken bhang and now he was feeling as if he’s gonna fly. I went inside the room to have a closer look. The guy was holding the bed as tightly as possible. He was sending SOS signal directly to the god, “Mahadev…Bacha lo aj. Main uda ja raha hoon. Main marne wala hoon…Bacha lo Aj..(Oh Lord Shiva! Save me. I am flying. I am gonna die. Save me. Please save me.) ”. It went on and on until he finally slept.

One more incident I can remember when I saw somebody carrying his track pant in his hands, making cyclic rounds in his room and crooning his original song, ”Ab main ise pehnoonga…Ab mai ise pehnoonga….Ab main ise pehnonga…” He kept making rounds inside his room and we kept laughing madly at him. I didn’t have a handy cam otherwise I would have not missed the opportunity to direct a chartbuster.

The date was 4th august 2003. I was in the final year. I had an offer from Infosys. Almost all the boys in my gang had an offer by that fateful day. So, it was the time for celebrations. We went to Godauliya. It was 1’O clock in the night. All the shops were closed. One of the Thandai shops was about to close when we ran to the shop and asked for a couple of glasses of Thandai. When the shopkeeper asked if he should mix Bhang with the Thandai, everybody looked askance at each other and a loud acknowledgement came in unison. After drinking Thandai we went to Dashashwamegh Ghat. We found a suitable place for us on the stairs. After some time, Bhang’s affect was quite obvious on each and everyone who chose to mix the bhang. One of my friends was continuously climbing stairs up and down, down and up, up and down…He kept saying, “I am in control.” But, actually he had lost the control on himself. One of them felt as if he’s going to fall even when he was lying on a flat surface. He end up sitting in my lap while coming back to hostel. One of my friends was bitten by mosquito. He kept slapping that part of the body where the mosquito took a sip of his blood. It was fun.

I devote this poem to all the guys who were together at Dashashwamegh Ghat on 4th Aug 2003.

“Bhang ke rang main doob gaye sab,
Yaad nahi raha ki kaun hai ab,
Zameen pe tar kheeche laye,
Dekhte hi dekhte chand ki saer kar aye hum,
Panchi ki tarah udne lage sab,
Pankhon ki to jarorat nahi ab,
Chand alankar sab seekh gaye ab,
Shero shayri kehne lage sab,
Waah waah bhhi kuch aisi thi,
Na khatam hone wali goonj jaisi thi,
Kuch bas haste hi rahe,
Kuch ka man rone main laga,
Kuch ko laga ki who gir padenge,
Kuch ne unhe sambhal lia,
Bas kuch aisi hi wo raat thi
Bas kuch aisi hi wo raat thi”

I remember many more incidents but I am not writing a book. So, I stop here।



The Time is Right

The time is right,
When the sun shines bright,
The heat can cause a retreat,
It can roast your feet,
But, oh my dear! Don’t quit,
’cause if you persist,
You will find the pride.

The time is right,
When the lightening strikes,
The clouds come shooting at you,
Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap!
They make everything wet,
But, oh my dear! Don’t run for a shelter,
‘Coz if you persist,
You will win your fear and they will call you a brave heart.

The time is right,
When it is a cold winter night,
When someone close gives you the last kiss and says goodbye,
Emotions will erupt,
They will try to burst,
But, Oh my dear! hold on for a few minutes,
‘Coz, if you managed to last,
You will learn to fight against yourself at last.

The time is right,
When the leaves fall down to the ground,
When the flowers don’t bloom,
When you do not find the droplet of water on the petals in the mornings,
You will want to close your eyes,
But, Oh my dear! Keep your eyes open,
‘Coz, if you persist,
You will see the spring coming into the sight.

I believe that,
Every weather is right,
To rage a fight,
So, my dear, Don’t retreat,
Coz, if you persist,
You will become a warrior so great,
Nothing will dare to stand against.


Ye Dil Mange More…

When we have something we crave for something better. When I had a bicycle, I wanted to ride a bike; when I had one kite, it ran to get another one; when I got a job, I craved for the one that pays more and now I think a job cannot quench my thirst; when I had Reynolds, I wanted a Parker. This is human nature. It never stops.

Lately, I have been trying to stop myself from asking the god why some things are happening to me. Why do I make plans, dream about them and then cannot give them the shape I once visualized for them. Now, I don’t want to ask for more from the god; Now, I never want to lie; Now, I don’t want to recede when it comes to protecting my beliefs; Now, I don’t want to keep quiet when my voice should be heard; Now, I don’t want to have any damn expectation from anyone; Now, I don’t want to let anyone trespass into my life; Now, I want to live for the love of my life; Now, I want to chase my dreams irrespective of whatever it takes; Now, I want to be close to my subconscious; Now, I don’t want to prove anything to others; Now, I am against myself; Now, I want to see who wins.

Ye dil mange more. I will feed it until it stops asking for more. I ain’t gonna stop. I ain’t gonna stop. I ain’t gonna stop……..


Train Ka Safar hai Ye Kaisa SUFFER

Utkarsha was a shy guy. But, his friends were not shy at all. Even when they were in college they fell in ‘Love’ or it would be better to say that they used to get attracted to many girls simultaneously. As they say that the desires increase as they are fed, his friends didn’t hesitate to an extra mile for getting their latest crush convinced that she’s the one they born for. Utkarsha also had the same feelings; he too used to get attracted to different girls every now and then. But, he never said anything to anybody because he always knew that this world is cruel and his friends were crueler.

On a fine sunny, bright, moist day, one of his friends came to him. He was wearing an ear to ear smile and it’s a fact that a boy will give such a wide grin to another boy if and only if his orientations are not straight or he wants a favor from him. Being a traditional Indian Utkarsha grew up believing that no Indian boy would be disoriented. So, it was a silent request for a favor. He asked Utkarsha if he was going home. Upon Utkarsha’s positive acknowledgment, he went ahead and asked if Utkarsha could travel with a girl. He told Utkarsha that he planned to go with her earlier but due to some unfavorable circumstance he couldn’t give company to the ‘girl’. Utkarsha knew the girl because she was from the same batch as Utkarsha and his smiling friend were. He agreed. He was happy, excited ….etc but he didn’t let his feelings come to his face. His friend was not smiling now. Suddenly, he was smiling again. Utkarsha asked if he wants to tell anything else. Then his friend asked him to talk about him and take her views about him during the journey.

Finally, they day came when both of them had to travel to the same destination. Both bole to Utkarsha and ‘Her’. There was another girl who gave them company for sometime. After she stepped down, a void was created between ‘Him’ and ‘Her’. Please refer to the figure below for clearer picture.

|Auto Driver|
|Him|*Void*| Her|

Utkarsha wanted to fill this void and he finally filled it with his bag. Please refer to the figure below for clearer picture

|Auto Driver|
|Him|*Bag*| Her|

Both were silent. Both of them started speaking together and then stopped together. There was a lot of traffic and the noise level was deafening but silence was being heard. Then the jinx was broken.

“Do you go to home often”, she asked.
“Quite frequently. Will let you know when I plan for the next trip”, Utkarsha replied.
Utkarsha was going a bit fast. He thought to start the conversation again. He started and this time the silence was unheard. They were late. They couldn’t get the tickets. But, they had to go so they boarded the train. Earlier they were sitting alone, face to face. Please see the figure below.
|She— Him|

|———— |
But a lot of goddamn juniors were traveling on that fateful day. Most of them knew her. After some time the seating arrangement as seen from the top was as following

|She —Jun|
|Jun — Jun|
|Jun — Him|

| ———–|

After some more time,

|She —Jun|
|Jun — Jun|
|Jun — Jun|

| ———–|—————————- | Him @ the exit|

Utkarsha was frustrated and devastated. He felt like kicking all the juniors out of the coach but he couldn’t do anything besides smiling at them when they came into his line of sight. The journey was completed. He was disappointed that he couldn’t even talk to her. But, the damage was done and damage can only be created and cannot be destroyed. Utkarsha had started liking her or it would be better to say that he had got crush on her.

Days passed and Utkarsha was back to the campus. As soon as he reached his room his friend came smiling to him.
“So, how was the trip?” he asked.
“Rocking.” Utkarsha winked.
“So, did you talk about me?” He asked again.
“Yes, I talked a lot about you. I kept talking about you. I told her everything about you.”, Utkarsha winked again.
“What? Everything!” He was a bit worried now.
“I mean all the good things”, Utkarsha grinned.
“So, how did you find her?” He asked.
“She is a good girl. Who aisi waisi bandi nahi hai”, Utkarsha eyes glittered.
“Ohhh…Tu Lakshman ban ke gaya tha aur Ravan banker wapis aaya. Mujhe tujhse ye asha nahi thi. ” he was laughing now.

Utkarsha understood he has caused himself a great trouble which will keep troubling him until eternity. Next day, the news was in the air. Anybody in the line of sight of Utkarsha asked him “Wo kaisi ladki hai?”

Utkarsha never traveled with a girl again.

Kal Bhi..Aj Bhi..Tum Hi

One day while watching Padosan (an old Hindi movie) Utkarsha realized that he has also crossed twenty five year age threshold set by the Vedas for getting into a relationship with someone special.

The hunt for the ‘One’ had started. But, when the search for the one starts the standards are high and the beauty quotient takes a back seat. What he was looking for was a girl who was simple, sweet, caring, bubbly etc and beautiful [Phew]. He had been trying to find out these qualities in every girl he was in touch with or he luckily gets to talk with. One day he realized that he knows someone who has all the qualities. He went straight to her and said, “I am rich. Marry me”.

“I have read it somewhere. Probably, on one of your t shirts. Why the heck would I go with you?” She replied.

“You will meet many guys like me but I ain’t gonna meet anyone like you”, Utkarsha said.

“I have read it somewhere. Yeah, now I remember. Narayanamurthy proposed Sudha Murthy in a similar way. I am not convinced”, She said again.

“When I wake up I see your face, when I sleep I see your face. What should I do? I can’t help it?” Utkarsha said with a hope in his eyes.

“Your problem. Many people tell me the same things every now n then.” She snapped.

The infatuation was now turning into madness. He felt as if he won’t enjoy his life again if she doesn’t accept. He forgot that these things happen often and one should be able to control himself.

“What should I do to convince you that I love you?” Utkarsha asked.

“Nothing”, quick reply came from her.

“Do you see Hindi movies? I mean emotional Hindi movies.” Utkarsha asked.

“Yes, of course.” She replied.

“So you must have seen actresses assuming the actor as their husband. Similarly, I have also assumed you as my prospective bride.” Utkarsha said again.

“Ha Ha Ha Ha. Which temple did you go to?” She asked.

“Bajrang Bali Ke”, Utkarsha replied.

She fell down laughing.

“So, you are ready. Right?” , Utkarsha giggled.

“Excuse me.” She said.

“You are ready to be my would-be bride and a girl friend as of now” Utkarsha clarified.

“No. What made you feel so?” She said (still laughing).
“Do you want me to become another bachelor prime minister of India who writes poems?” Utkarsha said.
“I would love to see you as a prime minister but a bachelor prime minister who also writes poem will be a treat”, she winked.
“Ok. I will meet you after 50 years with all my poems which I will write in your memories.” Utkarsha said loudly.

“Sure.” She said.

One year passed…
Second year passed…
Fifty years passed.

The breeze was cold. Utkarsha was holding a sheet of paper. A sudden gust of wind snatched the paper from his hand. He started running after the flying paper but he suddenly stopped.

“Khwabon main,
Khayalon main,
Din main,
Raat main,
Pal Pal main,
Pani main,
Dharti main,
Akash main
Baadalon main,
Chand main,
Suraj main
Asha main,
Nirasha main,
Tum hi tum dikhti ho.

Kal bhi tum hi thi,
Aj bhi tum hi ho,
Bhula nahi paaya,
Samay bhi teri yadon ko,
Aj bhi teri muskaan ko sochkar,
Hum has lia karte hai,
Na main devdas bana,
Na hi devidas,
Manzilein paayi hai maine,
Jo soch rakhi thi,
Har kahani poori ki maine,
Par reh gayi ek adhoori kahani,
Jisme keval tum hi rahi aur tum hi rahogi,
Kal Bhi
Aj bhi….”

She read it aloud.
“You still look beautiful.” Utkarsha said.
“Kahan…I have grown old.” She blushed.
“So, did you marry?” She asked.
“No. I told you that I assumed someone as my …” Utkarsha said.

She was walking towards Utkarsha when she slipped and fell into his arms. Suddenly, the famous song from Andhi (Tum Aa gaye ho..Noor Aa gaya hai…featuring Sanjeev kumar and Suchitra Sen) started playing.

Utkarsha felt as if something dry had gone wet. Please don’t speculate much. It was Utkarsha’s roommate who had just poured a bucket of water on Utkarsha’s face to wake him up.

Utkarsha was awake. He asked his roommate, “Abe kitna aacha sapna dekh raha. Budhape main ishq lada raha tha”

His friend poured another bucket of water on him”Ab jaag Jaa”.