Saturday, October 12, 2013

That Chocolaty After-taste

Dear PACH,

You have completely taken over my blog. Which should be fine, because in essence, you have actually taken over my life. You're grand, so grand that I am scared of sending a lot of letters to you. What if they get lost in your fan-mail? Are you promising me to hold them special, each word I write to you? Thanks. And I know you make the same promise to each name which associates itself with you. For all this warmth you show to a growing tribe of urban poets, I am proud of you. So proud.

The PACH #8 Invited - crafted by Aastha di and Sidhant Mago. 

A level up, each time. I am not even going to ask you now how you manage it. Lets both take it as a given. Lets also be clear that all this love that we have towards each other will stay, will grow and will spread to more hearts. Yes, more of those loving hearts connected with us last time - in manners so unique and new and pristine. Who would've known that PACH family would expand to over 50 members, all so soon! Its so incredible its crazy. But then, you're bored of this adjective, aren't you? Positively insane, lets adopt this for today.
Thats not all of us, but most of us. 

You're growing rich with all these emotions, dear PACH. Can you tell me how to handle them all at once? I mean, how do you react when a little, vivacious girl opens her heart to romance and its naughtiness with an understanding of relationships which leaves us flabbergasted? It was a Sunday she dedicated romance to, and it was a Sunday she made special for all of us staring at her with an open mouth, refusing to come out of the influence of those coveted love-filled moments. Mago said there are some poems you hear, and immediately wish you had written them. That silly little girl, Aavika, precisely turned out such a gem. At her age, how? And this 'how' will remain.
That cute, little show-stealer.

My twin came along a little late this time, to recite the verses which were her first. Do you remember PACH, this was the same girl who had gone on record saying that she cannot at all compose a poem, and hence even tried to stay away from you. But you, you managed to permeate to her creative inside, in which resided a poet who could give expression to both, love and angst. She shared them both with you, PACH. In that sense, you are lucky.
She is pretty, she is my twin, and the chain goes on...

Our latest tryst with you happened at the most pleasing and apt spot - the Kunzum Travel Cafe, that fabled place in Delhi which allows you to pay as much as you like for the lovely coffee, cookies and aromas they serve. Lets both admit, you and me, that Kunzum has been one of the best places we have met each other, and a host of other poets. Some things about you don't change, which are definitively looked forward to. One such thing is Mago's humour, which manifested in a poem we managed to sing along. His understanding and insight into feminine preoccupations is so perfect, that it leaves us in splits. Another such regular feature with you is a certain duet poetry performance, which leaves some hearts amazed, and yet more craving. These are the masters of poetry-dom. They rule over it with verses which are impossible to concoct, but effortless to connect with.
At the lovely Kunzum Travel Cafe - thankful to them for entertaining us at such short notice and tolerating us for such long hours. 

And then, there were these innumerable moments which I am living, reliving and enjoying each time I picture them on my memory-scape. Who do I share them with, if not you? Do you remember that song, 'Happiness'? Its one of those PACH moments I  which I tug onto with full force lest the melody and the message desert me. Lets not comment on the philosophy and ecstasy of Abhishek sir's contribution to PACH. Lets just gently savour the fact that a certain new addition has been made to the way you go about, and lets both fervently hope this guitar tradition continues. Talking of additions, how can you miss out on Aastha di's dialogue with God, which began at your seventh instalment, and attained culmination in the eighth. Her nervous excitement, and the care with which words tumbled out of her lips - don't you feel ridiculously special when people share such intimate, new aspects of their life with you? You must. Feel special, and stay innocent. Pretty please, always.
"Lay's ka packet hai, Happiness!"

Aastha di, with all her nervous excitement

Poets with round-rimmed glasses come and share their farewell musings with you and start crying on their own verses as well as those of others. I am, of course, talking of Sudhanshu. I have to admit, that his mention has an ulterior motive - it is to let you know a certain compliment he gave you behind your back. In his words, PACH, you are that which scratches old wounds, but then, you also heal them, you cause such tears to flow which carry negativity out, which purge some and comfort others. You don't just make us share tears and painful pasts, you also encourage dialogues on forms of poetry, 'Ghazals' being the subject of discussion the last time around. Aditya and Rohini shared some wonderful ghazals, and I was unfortunate to have missed out the latter's recitation. I also missed experimentation with Bangla poetry, but I am not sad. I know you will help me make up for it. Oh, by the way, you still have fan-poets like Nabila and Mukul who had you as their muse. Blushing, or growing vain? The former, I know.
Getting ready for a masterpiece to come our way. 

When we listen to those amazing lines. 

Among those many that thank you for reviving the creative spirit in them, I think Navin ji stands right in the front. Not only does he write the most amazing lines, but the way he recites them makes each listener's heart grow fonder. He said something about being unimaginably busy and yet wanting to share useless details with that one good friend, that loving presence. You know, this is a routine I follow, which he set in such beautiful words. For you, PACH, Navin ji does one more fabulous thing. He creates doodles as finely crafted memories from each session. You're lucky people spend time after you - drawing sketches, making posters, editing pictures - all because they want to do it, not because you ask them to. Again, when did you become so special to all of them? Kamal, Aaqib, Gaurav - they all are the fabulous people who help preserve your most special moments in exquisite frames. They should be given a nice chocolate next time, what say? Not out of my quota, of course!
The PACH #8 doodle. 

From realization of eradication of small pox, to a man traversing through life; from thirteen dimensions bestowed on a pillow to fascination with unrequited love; from meeting old familiar faces, to entertaining complete strangers for an entire day; from remembering Shail Chaturvedi to encouraging some unbelievable creative spirits; from verses written by ailing dads to poems sent by members living overseas - aren't you perplexed by the amount and the diversity you are able to subsume within yourself and yet be ready for more? I mean, you're still dreaming of those dizzying peaks which we all have to ascend to, right? I'll be there with you throughout, its a promise I don't even need to be consciously aware of. Meeting you was like falling in love. As days go by, I feel I am growing in love and also growing up in love - don't you feel the same?
Dobara, Chal Gayi!

Do you remember, I had claimed once that I already have my favourite PACH decided, while you were still in your nascent days? Well, that just changed. This one became very special. Not just for what I witnessed, but for the way I participated too. Rahul said that you can know more about a person through his poetry than anything else. I think I agree. You help me connect with myself too, in moments when I write those stoic paeans of love, or those dirges of what has remained in place of what could have been. You allow me to share all that heavy load with so many beautiful people. Few become pensive, few others shed tears. I maintain, shedding tears is good, it lets out so much of negativity. And then, the best thing, the realization that we share with each other because we trust each other. We love each other, of course, but trust - more important, for me. Not only during, but also before and after your six-hour-long stay, I had moments I am keeping with myself. Looking forward to you, and looking back at you. There is all this love I feel, that just stays. 
All set to recite.

Warmth. As the first signs of winters start raising their shy heads in our city, I am feeling this splendid glow from inside, this warmth, which refuses to go. It all seems normal, natural now. But I will never forget how if I step back and see it all, it seems like magic. People are going crazy after you just by hearing about you. Lets hope they all come to meet you the next time. Lets hope they too become a part of this magic you are casting on sleepy poets of the world. 

The colours I am gifted with. The moods too. 

I did not eat any chocolate this time while you were on, but I can feel the satisfaction of having gobbled up an entire Bournville, Cranberry flavoured, alone, which I earned, of course!

Just outside your nascent days.
Still revelling in your magical ways.
Living your memories like a sweet, chocolaty after-taste.

PS - What is also astonishing are all these bonds which have formed between all of us. I found a comforting elder sister here. Many others call PACH their family. And a family celebrates the happiness of its members. We celebrated the birthday of Aaqib and Pratibha this time, trying to make them feel special by some mad, last minute efforts. PACH, and all those who make it send them their best. We're all going to grow up together, right? 


  1. While i was reading this , i thought ki ye hindi me hota to shaayad aur bhi rM jaata .. par pach pyaar to language se pare hai .. i dnt read the posts for the memories. All of us have those special moments stored in head and heart .. but i also dnt know why i read all about pach. Infact its 30 min that you tweeted about writjng this post Nd i had this blog opened and refreshing it from last 10 min.

    Pach is special. But it is so 'cause sone very special people keep it so pure , so vibrant , so heartfelt and so much amazing. I can not thank enough the day i saw the pach pist in your blog and decided to step out of my silence and meet you all. I can not that enough for the smiles pach has given to my darlings. I can not stop thanking you dor managing each pach not like an event but a grand celebration. A free flowing sea of love that touches all.

    Thank you saumya . Thank you pach.
    Love you both. A bit too much :*

    1. A free flowing sea of love - how aptly you put it Pratibha! And trust me, I was the happiest when I heard from Yogesh that you would be joining us. The only thing on my mind was how to make this PACH special for you, given that your special day was around the corner. Would've liked to do more, but I hope it was enough :)

      See you next time!

    2. More ??? Jaan le lo aap to pyaar se .. khwaabon me mat rakho .. kuch insaanon se dil lag gaya hai ab .. aap se jud gaya to kehar hi ho jaayega .. kahan se batorungi inna pyaaar !

    3. Love, lots of love, is the last thing you need to be scared of. And jaan pyaar se jaaye toh kya hi baat hai!

      I am glad to be feeling all this love for so long now. All thanks to you guys.

  2. Kya bolte ho(as i've said earlier), kya likhte ho n kya sunate ho..Aavika k sath sath mere b idol bn gae ho ap to..awesome DI.

    PACH #8 can be lived here, n is bari to mera naam b aya..amazing.

    Kudos to PACH n three cheera to SAUMYA DI. (hurray-3).

    1. PACH #8 can be lived best in the pictures you, Shruti and Navin ji so lovingly captured. I doubt any moment could escape your lens. And Aavika se mat seekh. Find better idols in life ;)

    2. Saumya di there are very few people who gets to know n interact n learn from their idol at the same time. I m NOW among those people n it feels good- real good. I didn't had any till now coz i didn't find that kind of person or probably didn't care to find.
      But the day i spoke- not even met- just spoke to you, had a significant impact on me that yes a person CAN talk to a total stranger with so much authenticity( i m using authenticity coz i cud think of the apt word which wud express my feeling). M saying all of this right from my heart- which i rarely do- n its not just to please u or something. Its just that it feels right. You like from the very core.

      Someday surely i wud like to speak like you. Just this quality wud do.n if i do speak like you someday believe me i wud make it big, n now i know i can n i will do it, thats why i've made YOU my idol, inspiration to be more precise.

      Thank you PACH n aavika for everything from 8th of september onwards.

      P.S.- yo aaj to bahut sara likh diya.

    3. So, I have to tell you - I had tears in my eyes while reading this. Bahut badi baatein bol gaye ho tum Kamal. I don't know about the need for any idols in life, but what I can assure you is that I will be around in case you need guidance or support on this road of life. The best thing I know about you is that you are a good person, and this goodness is what will take you places. Rest all is secondary. But yes, as far as public speaking is concerned, that is something both of us will work on, definitely!

  3. I agree completely with you. We all are growing & growing together. Its just letting go the old self and becoming something new & better. I cant stop thanking you, anup bhaiya, PACH, and trust me there's not been one day ever since we started this, that I have forgotten to thank you for this. (And my mother that my name initiates with double 'a') Also, I think PACH-letters are crucial to me, it completes each meeting with fabulous people. I love your letters. And ofcourse I love you. For appreciation and what not. I know am becoming a better person than what I was. And of course, PACH has happened to me when I had lost most of the will to move forth. Am I just lucky? or what?
    Thank you di <3

    1. As I have said earlier, PACH thanks you back. What is it, if not a product of all our creativity and warmth put together?

      And Aavika, when you say that PACH is helping you become a better person, even though I do not fully comprehend what that means, I am filled with an acute sense of satisfaction. I have no clue what we thought of at the end of PACH #1, but what I do know for sure is that whatever we are getting is leaps and bounds ahead of our collective imagination.

      Stay good. Stay blessed.

  4. Tumne jitni khoobsoorti se yeh lekh likha, main bata nahi sakti, yeh padhkar mujhe itna acha laga. Aisa laga jaise kisi ne bahut pyaar se hug kiya, jaise kisi ne pyaar se garam chai banayi hai, jaisi kisi ne pyaar se kambal udha diya ho ... itna pyaar bhara hua hai is post mein.

    Main toh thi bhi nahi is PACH mein, magar, dil khush hogaya yeh padhkar. Tum sab ko khush dekh kar khushi mil rahi hai. Bahut pyaar aa raha hai. Mann kar raha hai, ek ek sadasya ko milkar hug karoon aur paas baitha kar, unki kavitaayein sunti rahi.

    Saumya, thank you so much for creating this (and of course Anup) and for letting me be a part. I love this.

    1. Sonalika di, firstly - thanks to you for taking out time and being a part of PACH.

      Secondly, I am so happy you wrote this entire comment in Hindi. There is a different feel to it.

      I will always pray for your good health. And happiness. Your creative expressions were missed dearly at last PACH. Please make sure you come this time around. Pakka!

      And as soon as my exams get over, a date with you is due!

  5. Beautiful :)
    Aur post ke baad aise sunder comments padh ke aur dil khush ho jata hai :)

    "Blushing, or growing vain?" Definitely blushing. PACH, the person, is a damn lucky person.

    1. PACH bhi kisi aur level par tha, and yeh comments bhi kisi aur level ke hain. Pata nahi kya kya bol dete hain log PACH ke baare mein. But its a happy feeling, perhaps the happiest feeling I have known in life. So, 'thank you'. Rakh lo isse.


  6. "Warmth. As the first signs of winters start raising their shy heads in our city, I am feeling this splendid glow from inside, this warmth, which refuses to go. It all seems normal, natural now. But I will never forget how if I step back and see it all, it seems like magic."

    PS: I am not good at commenting at posts on blogs. So what I do, is copy paste the lines that affected me most.
    PPS: A thank you would have been in order, but it is implied by default.

    1. Haha! Okay!

      Please get into the habit of commenting on blogs. Its a good habit. Trust me.

      And you, I am waiting for another 'Fluke' by you, which will again leave us all in splits. On demand!

  7. Yaar kya kahoo tum....itna pyaar kaha se laati ho :))
    PACH has given me that one purpose in life which was missing for ages and I proudly flaunt to people I am a part of this group. And it is love of you which made me so comfortable in this group where I knew not many at start and now you all are family.
    Jo bhi kahoo kam hai......
    Bahooot hi pyaar hai aaapse aur PACH se :)

    1. Humein bhi pyaar hai aapse. Bahut zyada.

      I was happy to read your tweet the other day, about poetry and feminism giving you a purpose in life. And as far as poetry is concerned, whatever PACH could add to it is a matter of privilege. Stay around, till the very old ages of PACH :)