By Sadho Ram
|| मुझे भी गम होता बेहद, 'गर होता कोई मेरे साथ नहीं
मुझे पता है मैं क्या हूँ के मैं मर गया तो होगी कोई बात नहीं
पर उस सुखनवर का क्या करूँ जिसने यह सोच कर आज ख़ुदकुशी की है
की उसके शब्द बड़े फीके हैं, उसकी जुबान बड़ी तीखी है
और उसकी स्याही में कभी था कोई जज्बात नहीं ||
I know my repute in society so if I die tomorrow there wouldn’t be any talk about me
But what to do about that bard in me who hanged himself today thinking that
His words are awfully sallow, his tongue is extremely sharp
And he possessed that dismal ink which never had a sentiment in it ||
In Bombay they say – ‘No matter what, nothing ever stops. And so as the saying goes, nothing really stopped.’
Life at every corner, at every junction went on as it used to. Vehicles zoomed away farting the toxic smoke while the rag pickers continued their ‘cleaning campaign’ at the nearby block.
And the ambience in the room no. 786 of the building no. 43 inside the Aazad nagar colony was in full swing when I stepped inside its periphery. The weekly gathering around the fading evening there of few regulars was yet another proof that, indeed, in Bombay nothing ever stops.
Anyways, their drinks surely did stop, though, for a second only when they raised their glasses to greet me. I bowed at them and threw myself over the bundle of cushions which were kept on one side of the room.
I sat there quietly looking at them when one of them came to me with a big sized glass of bear.
‘Have some, brother.’
I looked at him and as I was going to politely decline his offer a ‘someone’ yelled at him from behind –
‘Bloody, how many
fucking times we have to fucking hark back to you that Sadho doesn’t fucking drink?’
And before I could part my lips to utter something ‘the one’ who had come to me offering the glass of bear was already begging and pleading –
‘Oh shit, brother, please, forgive me, please. I always tend to forget this one little thing. I hope you didn’t felt bad ...’
And he would have gone on and on had I not requested him to stop. I felt he was genuinely feeling bad it. And eventually I felt bad for him that he had to feel as such coz of me. Then just to cheer him up I patted on his shoulder and smiled at him and even though he didn't but I could see the feeling of embarrassment was fading away slowly.
‘Come on, guys, let it go now.’ – I requested everyone.
It took some time before the bear again started to roll down through their throats. The mood gradually but mercifully started to mount again as everyone, except me, got in the battle to gulp down as much bear as one could.
And though, I was not feeling the way I always felt whenever I was around them but I tried to hide my uncalled emotions from them. It was that moment when they started to insist me for some food for thought without much realising that Sadho today is a bit lost.
‘Never mind’ – I said to myself.
And tried my best to gather few words and force a line out of them for these literary nerds. Well, I failed. And I kept on failing and they kept on staring at me. Not in disbelief but in anticipation that any moment from now on Sadho will say something on ‘love’s lamenting’ which will not only be intense but will also heal their wound. But, I failed.
I closed my eyes. Not that I was trying to think. But instead, I was trying to avoid their anticipated gaze which was so full of humbling appreciation that it shamed me. The appreciation which I, at least, at that moment did not at all deserved.
How could I? After failing to fulfil their little wish how could the Sadho in me take something from them which did not belong to him? How could he?
And, so he didn’t!
I stood up from there and at once flushed myself out of their presence. I had failed today. Today at the birth and also the death day of Prophet Mohammad, at the day of ‘Eid-E-Miladulnabi’ ...the poet in me has failed so miserably that I felt –
‘Damn, such a promising day, along with such humble friends... and, yet another bard succumbs.’
May he – “Rest In Peace.”