Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pyaar is PACH

Dear PACH

You know writing to you means a lot to me. A lot more than these letters are ever able to convey to you. I always thought of you as this grand entity, to whom I could write a lot of letters, about the kind of difference you make to my life - and you would give my letters a cursory glance, a benign nod at most, and then forget about it, allowing it to sink somewhere in the deluge of fanmail you get. But you, PACH, you're different. Nervous and excited, as I entered your ninth carnivalesque gathering, little did I know that you would have ready for me letters and notes and colours and brush-strokes - an entire collection of artistic treasures in response to all these words and love-filled gestures I have sent your way. Its only someone with a heart as large as yours who could have managed it - yes, you!
"P aur CH ki shaadi se kaam achchhe hue hain
Mubarak ho aapko, PACHche hue hain!"
 


Remember that day you were born? Oh, I am talking of your rebirth - not in that faraway land, but in my own backyard. That was the day you filled me with mirth, and filled three other quiet quills with inspiration. Yes. You were born as an inspiration, or better still, you were born to inspire, to motivate, to instil in tentative minds an urge to explore their dormant creative facets. I am not kidding - you can ask them around. Yes, you can ask those very faces who were waiting to burst into cheers and laughs from behind the colourful door at Bade Bhaiya's house. Tell me, aren't you glad that genuinely amazing people like Bade Bhaiya, Bhabhi, Sripriya and Amma associate themselves with you? That they not only open the doors of their house, but also of their hearts for you? That their love reaches you not just via the warm reception you get, but also through the aroma of most sumptuous, home-made food that is laid down specially for you? That Manmohan bhaiya always manages to find time to share his compositions with you despite having ultra-busy schedules? Also, aren't you, like, totally flabbergasted to have someone like Sandeep bhaiya add dollops of exuberance to your already lively existence, and then, to have him invite you over for a snug session somewhere in the chilly month of December? Yes yes, I know you are excited to go over and revel in the mutual exchange of happy, positive energies - but there is time till we get to that. 
Bade Bhaiya - "Larger Than Life"

S P Uncle, Manmohan Bhaiya and Sripriya -
I consider myself lucky to have met them :) 

I am not able to get over the love that poured out of sweet dish which Amma made for us. And the subtle cheer which Ambika bhabhi carried in her personality. And also the wisdom which poured out of S. P. Uncle's simple versus drawing a contest between technology and traditions. This time when we all met, there was a perfect confluence of enthusiasm and sagacity - an experience that can only be felt, not delineated. When the teacher and taught are present in the same room, with no walls separating them - as spectators what you get are little hints into what 'perfection' in life comprises of and what the true definition of a 'blessing' is. It all happens when you go places, PACH. And you are zooming around at a pretty mind-boggling speed. You still give us ample time to sit down and savour moments and allow them to seep deep into our beings. How you manage such crazy, magical, impossible, contradictory acts - well, its time I stopped asking you that banal question. 
When excitement was on its uphill journey 



I hope the superboss does not mind this little transgression I am going to make while whispering something into your ears. I remember this day I gave my mother a long-ish letter, written in my unbelievably grotesque handwriting, with a lot of random crayon strokes forming the background. She said nothing, merely read it and smiled - and this day, I know she was happy and proud. But more than either of them, she was surprised - because she did not think I was capable of such expressiveness (and yes, I am trying hard not to sound vain, but PACH, I know you understand. PACH always understands). I wrote that letter for no specific occasion; only because I felt like doing it, and invested great hours into perfecting each sentence, so my mother understands how important she is to my life. The sense behind narrating this non-eclectic incident to you is to try and approximate the immediate thought which occupied my head between the end of surprises and beginning of introductions. PACH, you surprised me. Well, I know thats what you intended - but no! Its not the surprise that surprised me - your capacity and capability did. Your skills and warmth did. Your eagerness to love did. Your will to share did. Your remarkable maturity did. The gleam in your eyes did. So much more did. I feel like telling you what I often tell Anup - whoever gave birth to this phenomenon, it now has acquired a life of its own. It just knows where to go, how to progress. 
"Poore PACH ka jama chittha, ek jagah chipkaya hai"


You have little idea of what you pulled off. Given a week's distance, I am in a better position to understand and appreciate the spectacle. To Neha, I need to say - I cried. I should have been howling, but I could not understand half the buzz which surrounded me. Its a great feeling to be subdued once in a while - take my word for it. I might try and repeat the mommy metaphor here - but, you get the drift. 
One day, we'll read and not eat this one :) 


Dear PACH, how does one pack so much together? Do you know what all? Drama + Mad laughs + Chocolates + Feelings + Love + Tears + Sugar + Bling + Disbelief + Riddles + Poems + Colours + Energy + Creativity + Blessings + Beauty + More disbelief + Even more love + Wishes + Fishes + Hugs + Tales + Some more love... and I'm cutting short this list only because I am too sleepy. You can still know that you made me feel infinitely special. I can go ahead and say that this was one piece missing from the jigsaw of life. Only you were capable of putting it there with all crazy, gaudy shades. 

This picture carries one of the rarer, photographed smiles of
perhaps the most prolific poet I know - Navin Dutta. I'm learning from him, each day. 
He just might be narrating his letter to his future wife here.
Wonder how many would be scurrying in his direction after hearing him out. 

I came back home and I cried. Shamelessly. I cried remembering the surprise and the things that followed thereafter. I couldn't get over the fact that people from such diverse backgrounds and experiences sat down together and shared anecdotes without any fear or inhibitions. My favourite part of the day was when a voice that has alternately and ironically been called the fairer, but second sex found expression in a poem which contained echoes from a pleading womb. A few of us related incidents where our gender became our curse, but then, the elders in the gathering assured us that things are changing - that daughters are the glory parents are eager to embrace. PACH, I felt secure among all those good people, and I am carrying the satisfaction of having arrived at a good and pure place in life. 
Nautanki! But bahut pyaari wali

Aastha didi - why could have I not met you sooner?

This letter is not even close to its end, but, I would quote the tiny princess of PACH here and rest my quill till the next (festive) tryst with you. Also, because I am sleepy and will drop dead in next five minutes. So, as Aavika says - "Kuchh baatein adhoori rehne diya karo, mann bhara rehta hai."



You see that guy in his staple red shirt?
I am proudly his fan! 
There, right there are seated some of the most awesome poets Delhi has been witness to. 

PACH, among the many epithets you've acquired, I love it when they say - Love is PACH, and PACH is love (I heard both). I'll thank you once again, with a kiss this time. I am happily, crazily in love with you. 


More love, 

Saumya
(Panda)
Alter ego. Happily so!


PS - We're meeting next a day before Diwali. You're all like family now, and it only makes sense to share some sweets and hugs with you on this grand, bright, merry occasion. No firecrackers, unless they are of the Mago variety which cause laughter mayhem whenever lighted. Even if you have never been to PACH, and are reading about it for the first time, trust my word and book this Saturday for us. Drop a mail to poetry@pach.in for an invite. We're looking forward to you all! 



I wish I had preserved this!


Heights of craziness is this - gifting me Afremov. How?
(Thanks Kamal!)

22 comments:

  1. :-) This was much awaited and so is the other post you have told me about. I am bad at introducing or talking about people. I am really bad. ..But when i think of you, my fingers just indulge with the keyboard and they speak volumes.. no matter how poetic and crazy it may sound, i just don't stop.. Knowing you is like going for a drive in dark night through a road full of puzzles, away from the city of the known and then peeping out of the car's window in pursuit of absolute bliss, to spot the brightest star out there. It is so bright that every one aspires to have it and be with... just gaze and weave stories..write poems.. while truth is that the star is far in the space; it shines and attracts every single person equally.. Perhaps it is the gravitational pull of the star that even the star can't control. Its hot. It burns with passion. It has tremendous amount of energy. It shines and is destined to witness bigger things. May God bless you with all the good things out there. May you shine enough to pierce any tinge of darkness around and induce light. May you emit light and happiness like you always do. God Bless!! :-)

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    1. Baap re.

      But mujhe pata hai who wrote this one, so thanks! Thanks for always spreading those cheers!

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  2. Touch-wood,as always. You are right, PACH always understands. For it is not just a small pun-word, but a mass of enlightened souls.

    Your post encouraged me to create this.
    जब वोह नही था तो कुछ भी नही था.
    अब वौह है तो कुछ भी न चाहिए. Be blessed.

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    Replies
    1. Yet again, such beautiful lines. They sure do define what PACH has come to mean in our lives.

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  3. Much awaited post :)
    Glad to see the smiling Navin ji for a change !
    God bless you loads of love and much more luck in all you do ..

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :)

      And yes, I know who is the person hiding behind this anonymous comment as well.

      Delete
  4. Ab to padh k samajh bhi nahi ata ki likhu kya..sab kuch to bol diya, likh diya.

    Btw gifting you this painting is one of the most special feeling I have ever had, for this is my first painting that I was able to give away. It was like a child is getting away from her mother. But it became so easy just because of you.

    You are the best. You are awesomeness personified.

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    Replies
    1. I can never thank you enough - you know! Afremov is one of the first things I want for the home that I will go on to own somewhere down the road of life. And to know your sentiments behind that gift makes it all the more special. Thanks, right from the core of my heart.

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  5. Your letters to PACH are really something to wait for.
    Coming to think of it, I imagine stories in PACH Tales to be sewn together with these.
    :)

    Much love..
    Whoever.

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    Replies
    1. That's among the nicer things you've told me. God willing, PACH will move closer to the grand vision, soon enough.

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  6. Beautiful post as always, my dear Saumya! I cannot describe how much I love this and how much I love you. This is a perfect letter and I am going to take some tips on writing a heartfelt letter from this post, to write to someone I love.. Thanks for this Saumya !

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    1. Arre! You say too much!

      But really Sonalika di, when the feelings involved are so pure, these words just spill out. I am in mad love with PACH - its one of those loves I wish I am able to spend a lifetime cherishing and nurturing.

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  7. Read it once last night, couldn't come up with words. Just like your cuddled tears were your only possible expression of what PACH 9 did to you. This time, I read it imagining you reading it out in your voice. And I know I am only a little close to knowing what PACH 9 was like, and will be always, for you, but I am simply GLAD that all the little surprises made you happy in the many ways that it did, for you only deserve more. Gratitude is limiting after all, you see! (:

    Oh and I loved reading the anecdote about you writing a letter to your mommy dearest!
    The utter pristine tenor of the ebb of thoughts in your letters to PACH, is a treasure meant for keeps. Each of your letters end up giving voice to those emotions, lying deep in the inner recesses of our being- very much there, seated gracefully, but not quite in our grasp. For none of us can describe this sacrosanct feeling - and your words only help purge that sweet- bitter restlessness each time. Much love- to You, and the blessing called PACH =)

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    1. Shruti! Your words, so exquisite, so perfect - I am in love with your expression. Whatever my letter could not express, I think your words did. Beautiful comment - thank you :)

      I am glad to have you as a part of PACH. You bring so much to our togetherness, I only wish we hung around more.

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  8. pach is a signifier of collective happiness for me, a fortnightly punch of amazing lunch of poesy.
    couldn't help mentioning this.... :)

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    1. I am glad you wrote something here which has not been copy pasted from the blog itself. Collective happiness, yes. It most certainly is.

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  10. A little late, but here I am.. I love you di
    and I love you PACH! sach! :)

    ReplyDelete