Gratitude

The flame is born to shine,
But can only shape to a rhyme,
When a breeze chooses to chime.

The earth is bound to hold,
But whether that is grain or gold,
Plots the potter when it is mold.

The flying fragrance of the flower,
Follows the hand that plucks forever,
Destined to where it’s smell shall shower.

So, to those who rid you of platitude,
For your fame, fortune, and fortitude,
For them, spare a thought of gratitude.

Gratitude is called kataññutā in Pali. The word consists of two parts: kata, which means that which has been done, especially to oneself; and annuta means knowing or recognizing. So katannuta means knowing and recognizing what has been done to one for one’s benefit.

You and Me

You and me
We fight so hard
Every word
Like a flying shard

You and me
And days of yonder
How far we’ve come
Do you remember?

You and me
Why do the eyes weep?
In our arms
When we now seep

You and me
In a gaze deep
The hugs last long
We fail to sleep

You and me
A future we wrote
But somewhere along
We forgot to dote

You and me
What rocked our boat?
Love slowly sinks
Hope falters to float

शिवाई

जन्म झाला शिवनेरी ।
रयत ऋणी जीजाई ।।
शप्पथ स्वराज्याची ।
रायरेश्वरी शिवलिंग साक्षी ।।

भेदरली आदिलशाही ।
पाहून रक्तरंजित भवानी ।।
धडकी मुगल दरबारी ।
तो नतमस्तक रामदासी ।।

उभा अखंड सह्याद्री ।
घेऊन दरी राई ।।
संगे समुद्र अरबी ।
शिवगुण गायी ।।

मग काय करू शाहिरी ।
कोड्यात हा गोंधळी ।।
खंत एकच तुळजाई ।
नशिबा नव्हती शिवाई ।।

Shivaji, who was born to Jijabai at the fort of Shivneri, renounced the inherited comforts and swore to establish self-rule for the people of the land. He shook the tyrannical powers of the Adilshah of Bijapur and the Mughal empire in Delhi fighting many violent battles while humbly accepting the teachings of Sant Ramdas. When today the hills of Sahyadri and the waves of the Arabian sea sing his praises, neither can I better them nor can I shed my envy for unlike them, my life could not witness the acts of his valor.

The format of this verse is called Pawada. Over the centuries, it was the song of the wandering poets in Maharashtra called Gondhali. In a prescient observation, Harry Acworth wrote the following in his book, “Ballads of the Marathas”, published in 1894, “…the advantages of civilization will no doubt, before many years are over, be too much for these products of a time when the steam-engine and the high school were not.”

लम्हे

कमबख़्त  वक़्त के फरिश्ते
बेईमानी पे उतर आते हैं
पलक झपकते ही
कुछ साल गुज़र जाते हैं
कुछ रिश्तों के रंग
कुछ अपने खो जाते हैं

कमबख़्त वक़्त के फरिश्ते
बेईमानी पे उतर आते हैं
पलक झपकते ही
कुछ साल याद आते हैं
कुछ मौजुदगिया तो दरकार हैं
कुछ लम्हे कह जाते हैं

कहानी

ये तो खेल हैं बस सियासतगरों का
नहीं जोधा या पद्मावती की कहानी
जो दिखा रहे हैं सीना तान के दिलेरी
उनकी तो आदत हैं तख़्त की दलाली

चलो मान भी लो हैं सारे इलज़ाम सही
जिनपे हैं ऊँगली उठी वह हैं मुजरिम भी
मगर धमका के एक नारी को रखी लाज हमारी
क्या ये गर्व से कहेगी हमारी रानी?

India has had a complex history with multiple versions of the same events. Any intentional efforts to malign respected figures who sacrificed in the making of our nation should be discouraged – I support that. But no one has to live in the fear of their life if ever there is such an act in question. #Padmavati

हर हर महादेव

Mavala

शत्रूची लूट
पंढरीची तूट
सोसले मुकट
हर हर महादेव

प्रजा बेजार
मुठीत तलवार
एकच ललकार
हर हर महादेव

शिवबाशी मेळ
मावळ्याचं बळ
स्वराज्याचा खेळ
हर हर महादेव

काफिरास संदेश
सोड प्रदेश
भवानीचा आदेश
हर हर महादेव

मातीची शप्पथ
उजळणार मुलुख
भगव्या रंगानं
हर हर महादेव

ओतून रक्तास
सजवू सह्याद्रीस
घडवू इतिहास
हर हर महादेव

 

History only remembers it’s leaders and heroes who led with a grand vision, but not the many without a name or face who gave their blood and sweat to make that vision a reality. With the war cry of हर हर महादेव (Har Har Mahadev), the mavala army of Shivaji captured over 300 forts across the rugged western ghats laying the foundation for swaraj or self rule.

PS: The religious references are only an attempt to recreate the times that existed 350 years ago. Today, such sentiments are anachronistic – as much as possible, religion and governance should stay as apart from each other.

कदाचित…

तीनही लोकांचा राजा
आईविना होतो भिकारी
होऊन सारे वजा
उरल्या फक्त आठवणी

भूक, ठेच, वेदना
झेलताना मुखात “आई”
आता साद घालाया
शब्द जिभेवर नाही

गरजा, अडचणी, दुःख
घेणारी तू ओंजळीत
राहून सदा हसतमुख
मग आज का निजलीस?

प्रत्येक श्वासात बंधला
तू दिलेला प्राण
कुठे फेडू हे ऋण?
माझे मन मौन

कुठल्यातरी पूर्वीच्या जन्माचं
पुण्य असेल कदाचित
लाभलं तुझं छत्र
जन्मलो तुझ्या कुशीत

कुठल्यातरी पूर्वीच्या जन्माचं
पापच असेल कदाचित
मुकलो तुझ्या देहास
चिताही तुझी शीत

The Green Light On The Dock

I wonder from where
Could I gather such fare
To take me from this rock
Over the bay to that dock
Where shines that light
Bright green all night.

Shall I embrace the waves?
My yearning heart craves
Or a breeze shall I become
To fly to the only one
Where shines that light
Bright green all night.

Memories have not faded
A little, in years jaded
But for courage I strive
A little, for me to arrive
Where shines that light
Bright green all night.

I throw the alms I own
And the fame I have sown
For a sight with your eyes
So I can cease my sighs
Where shines that light
Bright green all night.

This poem is inspired by the character of Gatsby from the 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald titled “The Great Gatsby”. The green light is an electric lamp at the end of Daisy and Tom Buchanan’s boat dock.  Because the Buchanans’ mansion is direct across the bay from Gatsby’s mansion, Gatsby can always see the green light. In the first part of the novel, the green light represents a symbol of hope for Gatsby. He stares at it obsessively while dreaming to recover the lost love of Daisy.

Vipassanā (विपश्यन)

The wings of the hummingbird
The swing of the warrior’s sword
The water from the tallest fall
The force of advancing gall
When it reacts at everything small
The mind hops faster than all.

But instead when the mind makes
A choice to only observe the stakes
The agitation, the angst, the anger
The commotion, and the will to meander
None but inner peace it brings forth
For a needle that always points North.

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

Reference: http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/about/vipassana

The “Distorted” World

The one unwilling to undress the mind
From years of nurture and experiences
To treat each argument on its merits
But be biased by memories of one’s kind
Will be the one who believes
The world is damaged and distorted
When on a rainy day through glass minted
The outside scenery that mind sees.

यथा दृष्टि, तथा सृष्टि – Yatha Drishti, Tatha Srishti. Dristhi is vision, srishti is the universe. The Sanskrit proverb implies “as you see the world, that is how the world is for you.”