एक दिन था वो .

एक हसीन दिन था वो ..
एक शाम थी मस्तानी .
नज़रें मिली,
पलके झुकी ..
कुछ कहा तोह नही उन्होने,
पर हमने कुछ सुन तोह लिया..
मुड़ कर देखा तोह नही उन्होने,
पर हमने एक ख्वाब बुन तोह लिया ..

Under the Stars .

Yesterday, I lived one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Its nothing great as such, might be irrelevant for many, but for me – it was life in a moment.

I remember writing a few years ago about how I wished to live in complete unison with nature. How I wanted to lay down under a night sky full of stars and forget that there existed a world down here.
Last night I did exactly that, here in France. I’ve been living here since few months in a city called Rouen, west of Paris. It is a beautiful historic town, almost as good as Paris, with the Seine flowing by. Afterall thats what gives Paris most of its charm too – The Seine. And ofcourse, the hills and residences up on the hills from where you can see the views of the entire city. I did that in Montmartre – a hill in Paris and also, up the Eiffel tower. And then yesterday, it was time to witness another town from the top.

It was 3 am, and we had had a good time out on the Friday night. But before heading back home, we decided to take a different turn and go straight up to the top of the hilly areas from where one can have the best views of Rouen. It was chilly. It was very chilly. Ofcourse, its a February night afterall. The winds were blowing way too hard, and I couldn’t feel my body. But the view that my eyes beheld, was all that I needed to feel in that moment. I like how we have electricity in the 21st century and in such scenarios, we can see towns lit up all yellow and orangey and white during the night time.

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The Seine, and the city of Rouen all lit up. (Click on the picture to enlarge it)

But what was even more breathtaking was not in front of my eyes. To see the better of the world, I had to lift my head up, and in that moment I felt the wind on my face even more strongly, but the happiness of being alive, all over my senses.

There were so many stars up there. SO many! And we could spot a constellation! The Big Dipper!

Its sad that to see the stars these days, we need to go to special places like little towns, hilly areas and such. We can barely see any stars in the big cities. But once in a while, we get to experience things like this, and in that moment, you can be sure that you live in a magical world. Just that we’ve forgotten how to see that magic, while looking out for inventions that are apparently ‘magical’ , yet cost us a fortune.
But here was something that took my breath away. I forgot all about the lit up city down below, with all the yellow, orangey and white lights, and my eyes were fixed up there in the sky. Soon my neck started paining, so I had to have a more comfortable view. So, I found a bench right there, closed the zipper of my coat, lay down under the sky. My friends, already freezing, went back into the car, but I asked for a few more minutes to live those moments, before we headed back home.

Now it was just me , and the stars. For those few moments, the only colours I could see were black and white. Shining bright. My face was definitely as bright as one of the stars, and my eyes twinkling, just as one of them.
There, for a few moments, I let myself forget that there was life full of struggle down below in the city where I lived. Because here in this moment, I was myself, where I wanted to be, and fully and happily alive. It was life in life.

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Rouen , France. Sadly, I couldn’t take a clear picture of the starry sky, because my iPhone 4 camera sucks big time. But I leave it to the reader’s imagination to paint a picture of what was there up above. (Click on the picture to enlarge it)

The Mirabeau Bridge, Paris

Le Pont Mirabeau is the name of a bridge in Paris. And also, it is a poem. A very beautiful poem, written by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918). I had first read it when I was in the second year of my graduation in French. That was when I was developing keen interest in poetry, and this was one of the poems that made me want to read more and more of it.

Its sad that sometimes we can’t read some great works in their original language, because, even though how accurate, something gets lost in translation. But I was lucky enough to have been able to read and understand this one particular poem. Here is the original French version :

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
            Et nos amours
       Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
 
     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure
 
Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
            Tandis que sous
       Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse
 
     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure
 
L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
            L’amour s’en va
       Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l’Espérance est violente
 
     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure
 
Passent les jours et passent les semaines
            Ni temps passé
       Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
 
     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure

And here is the English translation for the same :

 

 Below the Mirabeau bridge there flows the Seine
As for our love
Must I recall how then
After each sorrow joy would come again

Let night come toll hours away
Days go by me here I stay

Let us stay hand in hand face to face
While down below
The bridge of our embrace
Roll the waves weary of our endless gaze

Let night come toll hours away
Days go by me here I stay

Love goes away the way the waters flow
Love goes away
How life is long and slow
How hope of life can deal so strong a blow

Let night come toll hours away
Days go by me here I stay

The days the weeks are passing from our ken
Neither time passed
Nor love can come again
Below the Mirabeau bridge there flows the Seine

Let night come toll hours away
Days go by me here I stay

The poet is contemplating about life and love, in reference to the bridge. He talks about the fact that days and months and years go by ; life changes ; lovers come and go and yet time never ceases to flow. Just like the river Seine under the bridge. The poem has a very bitter sweet feeling to it. The words strike a cord in the heart and one thought comes to the mind – How similar is what we humans feel, even in different eras. How fragile is the heart and that what it feels. How nature inspires great thinkers, and how just looking at a river flowing by, we learn and contemplate about life.

Everytime I read this poem, I had this thought in my mind . Such great words!, I thought to myself. And then one day, I was lucky enough to be there, from where this poem gets its inspiration. The same place where the poet had often strolled in the previous century . Well, that is the charm of Paris. If you’re a keen reader and poetry enthusiast, you can literally trace the steps of your favourite French writers, most of who have been inspired by this magical city. And when I stepped outside and started walking towards the bridge, my mind suddenly started recalling the words of the poem that I had read a few years ago. And I could see, with my very own eyes, that what had inspired such breathtaking poetry.

The Eiffel Tower, from the Mirabeau Bridge, Paris. December 2014.

The Eiffel Tower, from the Mirabeau Bridge, Paris.
December 2014.



It was one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris. When we talk about Parisian bridges, we immediately think about the love locks bridge. But this , I would day, is much more beautiful. And what makes it beautiful is the wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, The Eiffel Tower. Probably one of the most hyped monuments in the world. But it does have some inexplicable feeling to it. Just looking at it, all lit up in the evening sky, as the sun was just about to set, I was filled with a rush of emotions. And thoughts came running to my mind, as I looked upon that beautiful river, The Seine, and the play of colours in the Parisian sky on that December evening.
And in that moment, I saw it with my own eyes – that what had inspired such incredible poetry.

The River Seine, flowing under the Mirabeau Bridge , Paris. December 2014.

The River Seine, flowing under the Mirabeau Bridge , Paris.
December 2014.

कुछ लोग ..

कभी कभी कुछ कह जाते हैं लोग ..
कभी कभी एक जादू सा कर जाते हैं लोग ..
हसाते भी हैं, रुलाते भी हैं ..
गम देते भी हैं, गम लेते भी हैं ..
ना जाने कहाँ से आते हैं ये लोग ..
फिर मूड के एक दिन, चले जाते हैं ये लोग ..

Nature – Trees and simplicity

There are moments in life when you just look around yourself and you see so much beauty that you cannot believe that life on the other hand can be extremely cruel as well. These, for me, mostly have been breathtaking sights of nature.
When I say breathtaking , you might assume that I’m taking about landscapes and huge mountains and oceans. No. They, of course are breathtaking sights. But even the tinniest and the most ignored things in nature can also be breathtaking .. You just have to look carefully.

I’m always been keen on going to places where I can see a lot of trees. I love trees. I think they are the most soothing wonders of nature. Just looking at a tree sometimes gives me such an incredible positive feeling and calm. It does have the power to soothe. If you’ve never tried doing that .. then do so. Look at a tree, and concentrate. Take in all that it has to offer. The peaceful green. The ages old bark. The patterns of leaves. The branches .. everything .

I clicked this picture on my way to a football stadium in Normandy, France. I was walking with a group of friends, trying to find our way to where we were supposed to go. And on the way, we crossed this little field. It was raining lightly, and everyone kept on walking, but I couldn't resist . I had to stop there and admire the beauty for a few moments.

I clicked this picture on my way to a football stadium in Normandy, France. I was walking with a group of friends, trying to find our way to where we were supposed to go. And on the way, we crossed this little field. It was raining lightly, and everyone kept on walking, but I couldn’t resist . I had to stop there and admire the beauty for a few moments.

I hate living indoors – except when I’m sleeping. I wish to live outside, but not in the world surrounded by huge buildings and cars. I don’t want to step out into a world where all you can see are man-made advances. Its sad that we have our lives here in the big cities. The work and studies, family and responsibilities. It would have been so much better if we had never known this life. If we had been raised simply. With flowers, rather than perfumes to smell. With fields of green instead of buildings to see. With rabbits and deers to run into, rather than cars and bikes. And with stars to count in the sky . .

I wish we never had to make a choice between these two lives. Because really, for us who have been brought up in cities, it is very hard to cut off from the life we know here. But one day I know , I will.

इश्क़

हम पलके बिच्छाए,
रातें बितायें,
तुम्हे चुपके से बुलाए,
ये दिल की आवाज़.
हम कब तक बितायें,
ये सूने से पल..
हम कब तक बितायें ये सूने से पल ?
तुम कहते क्यू नही,
जो बातें हैं दिल की?
डरते तो सब हैं इश्क़ से,
डरते तो सब हैं इश्क़ से,
पर वो इश्क़ ही क्या जो थोड़ा सा ना तडपाए,
जो थोद सा ना बेह्काये .