Thursday, August 27, 2015

एक नया संसार A New World

पूर्णागिरि पर्वत,
उसके शिखर पर मंदिर,
सौ कदम नीचे बांज का पेड़,
उसके नीचे छोटा, सुन्दर फर्न-पादप,
और उसकी छतरी तले
अनजानी, अन-पहचानी वनस्पति
कलाई घड़ी की सुई के बराबर.
उससे टपकती ओस की बूँद
जिसमें कल रात पैदा हुआ
अदृश्य-सा मेरा दोस्त
आज दो नन्हों को जन्म देकर
सुस्ता रहा था.

अचानक मंदिर का घंटा बजा,
कम्पन हुआ,
फर्न हिला,
सूक्ष्म शलाका हिली,
बूँद हिली.
फिर घंट बजा,
बूँद हिली, और हिली,
हिली और गिर गई.
नन्हे खुश थे, दोस्त शांत.

आज रात का आखिरी घंटा
बज चुकने के बाद
मेरे दोस्त के बच्चे
एक नई ओस बूँद में
नया संसार रचेंगे!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Famila: a charcoal painting

I composed this one long back, and gave it the name FAMILA. Some lines that needed to go remained and some more have since appeared because of aging and folding of canvas.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Me and my time मेरा देश, मेरा काल

Have seen the mighty eat dust, so can't think of even trying to measure my expanse and my time. Like a weaver bird, I've limited ambitions that I'm trying to live up to.

I'm impressed with the tireless weaving that the weaver bird does in one season but discards the nest the next season, not ruing her labour lost. I posted another poem on the weaver bird long ago.  

आकाश को छूकर नहीं देखा कभी.
क्षितिज ही है लक्ष्मण -रेखा अभी.
युग काल की गिनती करूंगा मैं शुरू,
हो चुकेगा उम्र का लेखा, तभी.

नदी के तट आ चुकी है रेत जो,
अमर दिखते पर्वतों का प्रेत तो.
मेरी नियति है बस उभरना डूबना,
मैं नदी के तीर सोया खेत, हो.

बादलों ने धारा धोई तर-बतर
खो गए कुछ चमक, कुछ गरज कर.
ओस की मैं बूँद चुप-चुप बिखरती,
कब बनी, कब मिट गई किसको खबर.

ईंट-पत्थर ढो न सकती मैं बया,
नीड़ लेकिन कब अधूरा रह गया.
देश मेरा, काल मेरा जब तलक
घोंसले में मैं लगाती तृण नया!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How much will you live? कितना जियोगे?

कितना जियोगे?

मथ डालूँगा समुद्र के साथ साथ
आकाश भी,
राहु-केतु  को न पीने दूँगा
एक भी बूँद
अमृत की.
निचोड़ कर सबकुछ
उतारूँगा तुम्हारे गले.

देवताओ, कितना पियोगे?

छल से, तप से,
जितने वर पाए हैं
उनसे सहस्र बार
ले जाओ
वर मुझसे.
युग जी लो,
युगांत जी लो,
सृष्टि भर जी लो,
उसके परे जी लो.

देवताओ,
कितना जियोगे?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Governments and social media: what lacks is intent, not technology

I was going through social media networks of some governments and public organisations in India and abroad when this old concern resurfaced: How are Indian governments and public service organisations leveraging the potential of social media, and what is being achieved out of it?

In the last few months, ‘social media’ has become a fashionable expression in government circles. Dozens of reports have appeared in major English newspapers on how government offices are adopting social media. Everybody is keen to be on Facebook and Twitter, either to comply with some order from the above, or to be seen tech-savvy, or to tom tom one's achievements. Not only the central government, state governments are equally keen to ride the social media bandwagon. Also Ministers. And senior officers. And PROs...

From opening social media accounts and forgetting them, to using such accounts to broadcast daily engagements and ‘achievements’,  a lot is happening in this area. Governments have found a new toy to play with and toss around. 

This is not the case when it comes to the social media usage by progressive governments and public-spirited organisations. As it happens with all big organisations, a lot of jargon, hierarchy, technological overkill and other forms of crap seeps in even in the best governmental systems in the world, and social media management is no exception. But, many of these governments and organisations have learnt lessons and moved forward. They have learnt to make good use of the new technology. 

Adopting technology as an end to itself?

None of the reformers and mass leaders (remember Guru Nanak and Gandhiji for quick reference) had tools like Facebook and Twitter, and yet they could achieve far better than many of our leaders of the day. None of the great rulers (think of Chandragupta and Akbar) had such tools either, and they delivered much better than many governments of the day. What they had was the intent.  

That takes me to the concern that I referred to earlier. Most of the social media engagement that we in India are obsessed about centres around adopting the technology. At the best, it is taken as a great new tool for communicating, as if that is the end of it. One of the most essential requirements of good governance, the spirit to serve the people, seems to be lacking or at least secondary. (There are some honorable exceptions to this, of course.) There is need for putting the horse before the cart: serving people must come before use of tools. Flashing one's achievements or showing off use of tech must take a back seat.

You might like to browse my earlier take on social media

The views expressed here are observations on a governance topic. I do not intend to praise or blame/ criticise any particular government or associated political formation for what I perceive as governance failures. The views expressed here are my own and do not represent the organisation that I belong to.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

जुलूस

पग-पग जमी घूल से उठते सिरों का जमघट
ढक लेता माटी को, पतझड़ कुछ ज़्यादा हुआ सा.

अधूरी इच्छाओं को दांतों से मसलकर
हँसते होंठ खिसियाई हँसी को,

मरोड़ खाते कुछ होंठ
जनते मधुमक्खी के छत्ते के टूटने सी आवाजें.

सहसा गलों में हुआ विस्फोट,
बिखरे चीखों के कतरे -
गूंजती चीखें,
फुसफुसाती चीखें,
गिरती-लडखडाती चीखें.

होंठ सी दो,
तो भी 
गला चीखेगा ही.
जुलूस उठेगा ही.