कोशिश करो: दो कवी के बीच का वार्तालाप

दो कवी मिले एक दफा,

सुनाने लगे एक दुसरे को अपने ज़िदगी की कथा.

बातों ही बातों में अपना दर्द बाटने लगे,

ज़िन्दगी की इस पहेली को सुलझाने लगे.


पेहले कवी ने कहा,

‘हर किसी की एक अलग कहानी है,

हर कोई अपनी अलग ही जंग लड़ रहा है.

हर किसी की अपनी एक अलग मजबूरी है

हर कोई ज़िन्दगी से जूझ रहा है; झगड़ रहा है.


आराम की ज़िन्दगी कोई नहीं जी रहा

सुकून यहाँ किसी के पास नहीं,

मुश्किलें हर एक की राहों में है बीछी हुई,

कोई लड़ते लड़ते मर रहा है, और कोई है, जिसमे लड़ने की हिम्मत अब बची नहीं.’


उसके मन के क्लेश को समझते हुए दुसरे कवी ने कहा,

‘ख़ुशी के पहले हमेशा,

दुःख का एक पढ़ाव आता है,

तभी तो ख़ुशी इतनी मीठी लगती है,

और पढ़ाव के आगे निकलने को जी चाहता है.


सफलता के रास्ते सीधे नहीं है मेरे दोस्त,

तकलीफें सबको उठानी पडती है,

शोहरतों की डाली नीचे नहीं आती,

छलांग हमें ही लगानी पड़ती है.’


ये सुन पेहला कवी निराश हुआ

और अपने मन के विचारों में और उलझ गया

‘माना की मुश्किलें हर एक के रास्तों में होती है,

पर ज़िन्दगी का कडवा सच ये भी है,

की जो इन मुश्किलों को पार कर जाता है,

वो विजेता कहलाता है

और जो इन मुश्किलों में उलझ कर रह जाता है,

उसे ये ज़माना भूल जाता है.


हर एक इंसान इस दल दल से बाहर नहीं निकलता

जो निकल जाता है, बस उसे ये ज़माना याद रखता है.

पर जो इस दल दल में डूब कर मर जाता है,

उसकी परवाह, मुझे बताओ, भला कौन करता है?’


अपने दोस्त का हौसला टूटते हुए देख दूसरा कवी हताश हुआ,

और अपने दोस्त के मन का मतभेद दूर करने हेतु कहा,

‘माना की हर किसी को अपनी जंग मिली है,

माना की हर किसी की राहों में मुश्किलें बीछी है,

पर ज़िन्दगी का मकसद जीतना नहीं है मेरे दोस्त,

ज़िन्दगी का मकसद तो है लड़ना.


क्यूंकि हारा वो नहीं है जो दल दल में डूब गया है,

हारा तो वो है, जो अपने रास्ते पे चलने से डर रहा है.

और मौत किसी सफ़र के अंत में नहीं आती है,

बल्कि सफ़र का अंत तब हो जाता है, जब मुश्किलों से लड़ने की हिम्मत चली जाती है.’


ये सुन पेहला कवी बौखलाया,

‘तो तुम चाहते हो की मै हारने के लिए लडू?’

तो दूसरा कवी मुस्कुराया,

‘नहीं मेरे दोस्त, मै चाहता हूँ की तुम जीतने की पूरी कोशिश करो.’


झिझकते हुए पेहले कवी ने पूछा,

‘और फिर भी हार गया तो?’

तब दुसरे कवी ने मुस्कुराते हुए कहा,

‘तो मेरे दोस्त, दुबारा कोशिश करो.’


Before sunrise

There is tiredness in staying awake all night alone. You think too much, you drink too much and you analyze too much. You worry too much, you feel lonely and you listen to sad songs; it is depressing. Being awake all night alone is an exhaustive experience and he hated it. This was so much better, he thought.

It was a clear sky. The stars were sparkling and sprinkling their magic all over the world. The sea was in a good mood. The calm waves crashed the shore from time to time without disturbing anyone. Occasionally, it would rise a little higher and crash a little louder just to remind everyone of its presence. The wind was cold and breezy but not cold enough to deserve their attention. He looked at her and was happy that tonight he wasn’t alone. They had had a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant and decided to take a walk to the beach to keep the conversation going. Walking to the beach, neither had planned to spend the entire night there but they had just lost track of time as the conversations kept flowing. They didn’t realize that they had, not consciously but by not mentioning how late it was getting, decided to sit there till as long as they could. They talked, initially, about the everyday routine of their life. The first few hours quickly passed by talking about the usual stuff, about mutual friends and sharing funny stories from their everyday boring routine. After a while, the conversation turned a little personal. Even though they had been dating for a while now, when it came to personal stuff, their always seemed to be something they hadn’t shared with each other before. That is the thing about secrets. We all have secrets in our life and every secret requires a trust limit that needs to be crossed to be privileged enough to know it. A certain trust limit had been achieved tonight and they were willing to share a bit more of their personal life with each other – their fears, their insecurities and their worries. For some reason, sharing their secrets, their deepest fears, things that mattered the most to them didn’t seem very hard today. They both felt in sync with each other. The side of them they never shared in fear of being misjudged and thought of as weird, was shared today without a second thought. It felt good. That was the beauty of their love. Some days everything seemed perfect and some days, nothing did. Thankfully, this was the former.

The night seemed to be coming to an end. They could see the initial sign of sun in the sky. It was still dark but the sun was not far away and they knew it would be morning soon. He pause the music. They were listening to songs from her favorite playlist and staring at the endless sea for some time now. He turned towards her and stared at her. He could see an ocean of emotions in her eyes. For some strange reason he couldn’t put his finger on, she looked more beautiful in that moment than any moment ever, as far as he could remember. The wind was playing with her hair and complimenting her beauty. He wondered what it was about the night that made her look so beautiful. May be it was the moonlight falling on her face or the stars twinkling in her eyes or the smile of contentment and joy that staring into the infinite sea brought to her face or maybe it was a combination of it all, he thought. After a few seconds, she realized that the music had stopped. She turned around to look at him. She saw him staring at her intensely like some hero in a romantic movie of the 90s looks at the love of his life. She knew he loved her, although they had never said it to each other. She looked at him and saw the look in his eyes and smiled as she saw something else in his eyes too. Besides the I-am-in-love look that he had in his eyes, he also had this other look where he wanted to kiss her and she knew it all too well. Being the romantic guy that he was, he never seemed to have enough of kissing her and in a moment like this he always wanted to kiss. And he looked so cute with that look on his face that she couldn’t resist him either. She moved forward and kissed him on the lips.

Under the starry sky, with the sound of waves crashing in a rhythm that was music to their ears, with the cool wind breezing past them only bringing them closer and the sun now ready to rise in the sky to announce the new day, they kissed. As she started to let go, he pulled her back in; not ready to let go yet. He kissed her strongly and she responded back with the same passion that he exhibited. At first it was just a normal sweet kiss and then all the passion took over. They kissed for as long as they could only parting lips to let some oxygen in. They lingered for a moment. Their eyes were shut and their lips were still close to each other’s and they could feel each other’s breath in their mouth. When he had caught his breath, he gave a small but lasting peck on her lips to end the kiss and she smiled. Sometimes he just does everything the right way, she thought.

They opened their eyes and moved apart to face the sea again. It was morning. The darkness of night was washed away by the first rays of the sun and the sky was a light blue. It was a beautiful morning. ‘We kissed at night and that moment felt like eternity and when we parted away and opened our eyes, it was morning. That kiss converted the night into morning. It drove away the darkness out of my life and brightened my life. It was the most memorable kiss I have ever had and this has been one of the best nights of my life’ he said. She looked at him with an amused look, half smiling. He was and always has been the more romantic person in their relationship but even after dating him for all this time, she never actually got used to how he came with the cheesiest of things to say. She was happily amused. Looking at the amused look on her face, he added ‘Too much of my romantic, poetic shit for you to handle?’ feeling awkward at having said it in such a bad way when all he wanted to convey was a very basic feeling that she was very special to him. He knew that sometimes in his desperate attempt to be a romantic, he just said plainly stupid things. ‘No, no… nothing like that. The thought and the gesture were sweet, and the kiss was great and memorable too… and this has been one of the best nights of my life as well… but only if you had said it all in a better way…’ she trailed off. He smiled at her, glad to know that she felt the same way. ‘Well, in a fairy tale version of the story, I do say it in a better way’ he replied giving a weak defense for his stupidity.  ‘Well’, she started, leaning towards him at the same time, ‘this is the closest I have come to any fairy tale and I love every bit of it, including you’ she said. ‘I love you’ she added, before kissing him again. She hadn’t thought she would say it tonight. She wasn’t even sure if she loved him till before tonight but saying it to him made her sure of it. For a moment, it scared her – the realization of having said it and of admitting it but only till he leaned forward and kissed her with full intensity. After that, she just kind of forgot having ever said it.

Start walking again

Sitting at the end of the road
Smoking the last of your precious cigars
Smiling at your fate, you scream for help
Staring into the horizon, you ask yourself

Should I have taken this path of struggle?
Should I have taken the other, with less troubles?
Soon you’ll wonder if this was worth it
Soon you’ll think back and regret this

Sometimes we end up making the wrong choices
Some days nothing seems to be going right
Sanity seems to no longer be our mate
Sun doesn’t seem able to make our days bright

Sometimes all you can do is accept your failure
Stare it in the face and acknowledge the pain
Somewhere lies a better destiny waiting for you
So you have to get up and start walking again.


PS: This is a poem written as a submission to the daily prompt exercise, called Fearful Symmetry, of writing a poem where every line starts with the same letter. I have chosen the letter ‘S’ because, well, my name starts with it. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/daily-prompt-symmetry/