Stupid Things in Night (Chapter – 1)

I woke up with an unwillingness to start the day’s proceedings. All I wanted to do was lie down, eat and sleep.

So I slept. Morning, afternoon and in evening. Now it is night. Everything has gone silent. I am awake. My back hurts and the bed is uncomfortable. I listen to the same songs again. Repetition is boring. And I am lonely now.

How wonderful it would be to have someone to talk to now, I think. I pick up the phone and go through my Facebook and WhatsApp list. No one to talk to.

I remember things of old days. Mostly school time. College is OK but not memorable. Memories of friends, teachers and crushes come up. And comes this sense of unease. I feel choked with these memories. I get up and walk out of the room.

There is a sudden chill in the wind. It means the arrival of winter. There are hardly any stars in the sky. The only sound comes from the road far away. I go inside.

What a boring person I have become. I was not so. I used to be fun. I remember my friends always laughed when they were with me. But a lot of them got married and have families of their own to support now. I also want to get married. I just have not found a suitable girl yet. Last year father got many proposals from other parents. I turned all of them down. I did not want to get married last year. I was fresh out of College and wanted to live a little. This went on for few months. Lately, there have been no proposals for marriage.

I think about Anjana. She was my classmate. We were best friends for a few months in College before she got herself a boyfriend. She started spending more time with him. Our interactions receded. By the time College ended, she was someone less than a friend but more than an acquaintance. It sucked and I genuinely felt bad when our talks decreased, because she was a good listener.

I want to talk to her. But her Facebook account has been inactive for some time. She must have changed her number, as her WhatsApp status have been invisible to me for a long time. Maybe she has moved on towards the next big things in her life. I feel happiness for a split second. I am happy for her, because she has got things planned. Hardly surprising, since she always knew what to do.

And there was Lata. She was my senior. We met while we participated in inter-class debate competition. From there started the hi-hello in corridors and we progressed to eating lunch and talked often during our free lectures. She was funny. But she graduated soon after.

I did not remember her until today. I search her on Facebook. We have three mutual friends. I also sent a ‘hi’ message along with my friend request.

It is midnight, so the chances of a reply and getting my request accepted are none. I close my eyes and wait for sleep to come.

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My old friend

My friend,

I am a memory of your past.

Or I am just living it again in these hours of loneliness.

I am alone now, left by all.

But I remember the days when we were together.

It was schooltime.

We ate together, we played together.

We even got our heart broken together.

So many things between us trapped in memories of a time which has gone and will not return,

despite my nonstop requests.

Bring those times back, is the only phrase I can speak these days.

As if our friendship is only limited to those days.

What happened?

Did life happened to us?

Or it was the distance between us and our talks.

I do not want to be a stranger to you.

Someone you will see years later in crowd and try to avoid.

Damn this life and world and people and their practicality at all times.

A man got to live.

Let him live in his memories.

Do not inflict lonelinesses on more and more people.

Let them meet their friends for once and without any kind of worries and limits.

Let them sit together and laugh over old memories and make new one, together.

Where are your friends tonight?

I do not want to face this question ever again.

I say we must be unluckiest of people on the Earth,

When we have got insane means of communication,

And still we have become a stranger to each other.

I feel trapped with memories.

A man can endure God knows how many heartbreaks,

But the silence of his own friends whom he knew better than himself,

It is defying and something unknown to him.

Make new friends and meet new people,

It is all nice and sunshine.

But where are the old pals of yours?

This is the question I need to answer.

Friends do not come with an expiry date.

My friend, let’s meet someday.

I would like to tell you about this life I’ve lived.

You’d tell me about yours.

Now that we are old, do not fret if you tend to forget the days between your memories of things.

We will fill it mad laughter which will go out in all directions.

Let’s sit down and talk,

Before this flickering light of life goes away or our memory of our years fails us.

My friend.

Floating above the crowd has lead me to things.

I picked up their talks and things and learnt that,

It does not matter what the occasion is,

I will always find ways to make it about me.

I am fascinated with myself.

But, It is you I want to be fascinated with.

I want to talk to you, and maybe play these songs.

Yearning with each day and its hours and minutes is useless.

I know it well.

But, I do not want to strip away these notions to their barebones when it does not work.

Mind’s crazy antiques want to treat you like a treasure and put you up on a pedestal.

It is a stupid thing to think and do.

Irksome, they are.

I can only hope if there is some plan to this limited world of ours,

Then it works out for both of us.

खामखा फरियादी बने है

हम पूछ बैठे कि दुःख काहे इतना सारा है,

किधर शुरू और कहाँ ये खत्म हो,

हमने तनिक इतना पूछा।

आप उत्तर दे ना पाओ,

या आपका उतर हमे पसन्द ना आये,

बस स्मरण रहे कि हम केवल फिल्मी बातें ना दोहराए है।

कुछ बीस बरस की जिन्दगानी जिसमे,

पंद्रह या सौलह मुफ़्तख़ोरी के है,

अब जब हम यहां तक ऐसे आये,

तो क्यों आज हम निकम्मे और नालायक कहलाए।

बड़ी इमारतें, गाड़ी और इनमें बसते बड़े लोग,

क्यों ना हमें भी अपने बीच स्थान दिलवाओ।

मानते है औकात कम है और,

फकीरी का रुतबा पहले जैसा ना है,

परन्तु इंसानियत अभी भी जिंदा होनी तो चाहिए ही।

कामचोरी की दिक्कत ना है हमें,

भरपूर किस्म के दंश झेले फिरते है हम,

पर पुश्तैनी नाम हमारा इतना मजबूत ना हुआ,

कि हम उसको जोड़कर अपना दुःख बाजारू करें।

मेरे सरकारी माईबाप,

बस कदम चूमेंगे या पैर दबाएंगे,

तुम कहो तो तुम्हारे बोले को गीतापाठ समझ बोल जाएंगे,

तुम कहो तो हम पानी समझ तेजाब पी जाएंगे,

केवल सरकारी नौकरी दे देना।

दरअसल मुद्दा यह है कि तंगी केवल रुपयों की ही ना है,

पर रिश्तेदारों और अजीज जानकारों के बीच इज्जत की भी है।

सब कामचोर समझते है।

तुम्हारी कृपा होगी तो इज्जत भतेरी होगी।

दुःख झेलना हमारा रोज का कार्य है,

कहो कि आदत हुई है अब यह,

बस ये इज्जत का मामला रुलाता है।

दुःख रोज मिले पर रिश्तेदार साल में एक बार,

तो उनकी हँसी हमें तीखा कुरेदती है।

अंत करे तो अब किस्मत को कहते है,

कि क्यों हमसे रूठी हुई हो।

क्यों हमारे मन मुताबिक ना बनती है।

कहो तो मनाने के लिए व्रत करे या उपवास।

बल्कि यह बात तो हम संसार से कहेंगे,

कि क्या उपाय करें कि तुम अपनी विशालता का एक हिस्सा या एक कोना,

हमारे साथ बाँटो।

हम जुगाड़ी बंधु है सारे।

कमी पड़ने पर सब मिलजुल हिसाब बैठा लेते है।

तुम्हारा कोना अगर हमारे पैरो को छोटा भी पड़े,

तो घुटनो के बल भी हम किसी तरह,

उसमे चले जायेंगे और खुश रहेंगे।

उस पल का एक कष्टदायक सुख,

हमारे वर्तमान की तुलना में बेहतर ही होगा।

तो अब बताओ कि कब यह सब हो रहा है,

हुक्म करो तो पंडित से मुहूर्त निकलवाए,

कोई कमी पड़े तो फौरन बताओ,

हम अभी जुगाड़ बैठाए।

हम अभी जुगाड़ बैठाए।

बस इन दुःखो का टिकाऊ इलाज कर दो,

फिर हम भी चैन-सुख से सो जाएं।

A Lone Feel

Loneliness can do so many things to a man.

I do not know them otherwise I’d write them down.

But I do know the feel when there was no one around.

No one to talk with or ask for help.

No one and nothing to feel this void with.

No one to share things with, like this new song I found today.

And today when I sought someone from crowd to call my name like it mattered to him or her.

Absolutely no one when there was so much of free time and the absurdity of its,

Vastness, kicked me to the solid ground.

And it was only when I hit the ground I came to know it was solid.

There have been times I wanted to ask for help.

But something stops ticking, stops my voice as I speak.

Keep your baggage to yourself and carry it.

Alone.

Everyone is. And they do not ask you for any help.

I’ve thought if I stop speaking,

Then, maybe only then,

I will learn how to go through life and things and not let any feel dwindle myself.

I pray and I hope for its meaning to add to life.