Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Earth Shook, My Mind Shook Too

I am still delusional from last night. Had the TV news channels not started corroborating what I experienced about fifteen minutes after the incident, I might have been in a position to dismiss it as a ghoulish dream. Tell me, how easy, or ordinary is it to be suddenly shaken out of your leisure reading time by an earthquake that seemed to last an eternity?

That is precisely what happened with me (and a million other nocturnal swots I presume) last  night at approximately 0200 hours. My room felt analogous to a fragile cardboard box, usurped effortlessly by a giant, who was now shaking it vigorously. My study table moved to and fro, my bed quivered, the keys hanging from my almirah went on clinking ominously- I lost all my wits in that one minute, and worst of all, I had my young sister comfortably sleeping away with the most wonderfully innocent and smug expression on her face. Her face scared me no end.

My heart refused to believe what my eyes were seeing. My mind frankly stated- 'this is it!'. Yes. I feared my building would collapse. And don't blame me for it, or don't dismiss my thoughts as silly. It is the first time I have actually experienced shivering and shaking because of something other than cold. I was stupefied when one of my classmates early in the morning stated that such happenings were as normal as frequent weather changes for her when she lived in Indonesia. All that shaking that went on for an impossible length of time did not scare her. I mean, now how is that humanly possible? I, in that space of time had thought a million things, offered myself consolations (like the epicentre being located far, far away from us- turned out false), said a million prayers. Gosh! I now feel so silly. But, I did not last night. I was very, very serious with everything I was reflecting on in my mind.

So, after ruminating much, once again overtaken by disbelief, I walked (cautiously) towards my parents' room.  My whole body was undergoing convulsions. Even before I could ask my mother to confirm or refute, I switched on the light to check time- their room's precariously balanced clock was oscillating still. I showed it to my mother, warned her, and came back to my room to sleep. Was not able to.

When I switched off the light, and snuggled into my quilt, hugging my own self to stop all that shivering which just refused to leave me, I once again lost myself to my thoughts. My mind no longer was disorderly or scared, it was now only reflecting. So much could have happened in that short duration of time. For that matter, so much can happen in life in just about seconds. None of us is privy to the thought process of Providence, if there does exist anything like that at all. All plans, prudentialities and wishes could have gone extinct then and there. (They might have, for some. I have not really bothered to check the news) How imperative is it then to live here and now? Very. One should not be like me. At all. I should not be like myself. I fret over little moments lost. Little loves lost. At times, I feel, I rummage for reasons to feel sad, or for reasons to start crying. I fret for hours. For days sometimes. The time wasted fretting could be so productively utilized; in my own interest, or in that of the others. Although I forget this momentarily when loaded with excessive psychological pressure, I have earnestly believed that if I could make one extra person smile, I would die a death marginally lesser painful. I fear pain; though not as much as nature. And its elements. My fear for nature has now held onto my for close to a decade. And it stems from one basic cognition- Go on, exploit, be callous; but remember, when Nature dictates, you can only meekly follow. Very, very meekly.

Anyway. So now that is over. I can smile. I cannot stop fretting right away (not that fast a learner), but I can at least instruct myself to get into the process. I can be grateful to existence. I can thank the beautiful like that surrounds me. I can love because tomorrow is not certain. I must not postpone anything beautiful for tomorrow. I must live intensively, live totally, here and now.

And I must share with the readers of my blog the resplendent lines by the great poet- Harivansh Rai 'Bachchan'. These lines were recited to me by Dr. K. H. Singh, my Political Science professor, yesterday at a brief meeting with him.

 जीवन में एक सितारा था
माना वह बेहद प्यारा था
वह डूब गया तो डूब गया
अंबर के आनन  को देखो
कितने इसके तारे टूटे
कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे
जो छूट गए फ़िर कहाँ मिले
पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर
कब अंबर शोक मनाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात ग

जीवन में वह था एक कुसुम
थे उस पर नित्य निछावर तुम
वह सूख गया तो सूख गया
मधुबन की छाती को देखो
सूखी कितनी इसकी कलियाँ
मुरझाईं कितनी वल्लरियाँ
जो मुरझाईं फ़िर कहाँ खिलीं
पर बोलो सूखे फूलों पर
कब मधुबन शोर मचाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में मधु का प्याला था
तुमने तन मन दे डाला था
वह टूट गया तो टूट गया
मदिरालय का आंगन देखो
कितने प्याले हिल जाते हैं
गिर मिट्टी में मिल जाते हैं
जो गिरते हैं कब उठते हैं
पर बोलो टूटे प्यालों पर
कब मदिरालय पछताता है

जो बीत गई सो बात गई

मृदु मिट्टी के बने हुए हैं
मधु घट फूटा ही करते हैं
लघु जीवन ले कर आए हैं
प्याले टूटा ही करते हैं
फ़िर भी मदिरालय के अन्दर
मधु के घट हैं,मधु प्याले हैं
जो मादकता के मारे हैं
वे मधु लूटा ही करते हैं
वह कच्चा पीने वाला है
जिसकी ममता घट प्यालों पर
जो सच्चे मधु से जला हुआ
कब रोता है चिल्लाता है

जो बीत गई सो बात गई


  1. oh my lord.. it was treat going through your blog.

  2. saumya...this is awesome.....i dnt hv words 2 describe ur writing abilities.....keep it up.......swati mendiratta

  3. for a person living in delhi which is an earthquake zone.....reacting like this sounds a bit bizzare....yes it lasted for eternity but it was not worth writing a blog on

  4. absolutely amazing

  5. @Anonymous1- Thank you. It would have been wonderful had I known your name too...But thanks still!

    @Swati- Hey!!! It is so awesome to see your response to my writing. I mean, I never expected you to comment here. Thanks a ton Swati. You offer me a lot of encouragement, always.

  6. @X- I concur. And that is why i have taken the liberty of calling myself silly a time or two in the blog. It was the first time I experienced something of this sort, and hence i felt the need to record it.

  7. @Aditi- Hey Aditi! It is wonderful to hear from you, both here, and on fb. Hope you are doing well. Keep reading, keep commenting! :)