आज रात मेरी यह ख़ामोशी…

आज रात मेरी यह ख़ामोशी उन्हें सुना देना,
कुछ ना सुने तो आंसू से फैली श्याही दिखा देना,
मैं तो घायल हू दी गई उसकी खता से,
तुम जुर्म इ-मोहब्बत के कुछ फ़साने सुना देना,
आज रात मेरी यह ख़ामोशी उन्हें सुना देना।

– कृतिका वशिस्ट 

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कहना चाहती हु…

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रात की इस ख़ामोशी में
इस कलम की सरगोशी में
मैं तुमसे कुछ कहना चाहती हु।

यूह तोह मेरी होके भी यह कलम
तुम्हारी ही बातें करती है सनम
चाहती हु आज यह मेरी सुने
मेरी भी आज यह लिखे
वोह बात जो मैं बताना चाहती हु।

मालुम है तुम इसे नादानी कहते हो
कुछ मेरे इश्क़ की बदनामी कहते हो
बे-पायान होती है मोहोब्बत कुछ को
तुम्हे समझाना चाहती हु।

तुम्हारे साथ होके भी
तुम्हसे दूर रहके भी
इस बे-बाक मोहोब्बत को,
बिना किसे शिकायत के करना जानती हु।

इन आँखों की नमी में
अल्फाज़ो की कमी में
बस यही कहना चाहती हु;
इश्क़ मंज़िल है यह,
कोई राह नहीं जो मोड़ना चाहती हु।

-कृतिका वशिस्ट
(Dec,2014)

Stairway to Heaven

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There was no scope for a late evening walk that day. After wandering nowhere with my already fragile body and weak yet, strong thoughts in a bitter cold weather, there was no energy left to look at dead stars and veiled moon while I walk through rarely preferred thoughts. It is weird how these weak thoughts are able to remain strong in your head.

I unsealed a bottle of rum and served it neat to myself. When you are alone with your unbridled thoughts, the cold wind that passes through you gets colder. Neat rum, a pen and a notepad were necessary to keep myself warm. I knew what to write, I didn’t know how to. I opened the pad and started writing, “And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last. When all are one and one is all.”

I was certain that it wasn’t just me who was writing. My soul, and I were gathered to write a poetry about how messed up my mind is, about my desires and contentment and about heaven of my soul and heaven of my mind. Writing with my soul was the only way when all could have been one and one could have been all. I had written away everything that perturbed me, in my own words with a bleeding pen. However, that day it was all from the soul to the nib of the pen. I willingly let the soul talk about her, my own mean and greedy mind.

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold. And she’s buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for,” the soul started to talk. She always takes an easy way to get all things she wants. She knows it isn’t difficult as long as the world is crafty like her as it takes another crook to get what she comes for. Realizing my mistake of never hearing the soul’s song, of being ignorant about my thoughts I wrote, “In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings. Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. Oh, it makes me wonder.”

“In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking. Oh, it makes me wonder,” I continued as I perceived the vision of my soul and realized how I had ignored those weak yet, strong rings of smokes.

My soul knew that these realizations had made me nervous and regretful, and it also knew how to bring back some hope in me. The soul replied optimistically, “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now. It’s just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes, there are two paths you can go by , but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” It was after these words that my face made creases of happiness, to know that there is always a chance.

I was no longer worried. I wasn’t feeling cold. My body was relaxed and I was relieved. I had known how cunning she has been till now. I had also known how to set everything right and to stop my spirit from leaving. To embrace whatever was there and to bring down all my endless desires. I had known to not follow the mean her. I had known about the unpleasant whispering winds. And I had known that the sinful whispering of winds would never take me to heaven, heaven of my soul.

I swigged down the last sip of the rum and continued the poem, “Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know, your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”
The clouds unveiled the moon and I penned the last line of our poem, “And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last, when all are one and one is all.”

-Kritika Vashist

(Song by Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven)

Don’t Write Me Off, Just Yet

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When a thing is left alone it becomes fragile, old and dusty. Though it stays at its place, but no one touches it. It becomes a thing occupying some space, covered with dust and memories. Her grand piano in the hall of her house was that one thing.

If someone complimented her how beautiful she is, or how beautiful she plays, she would tell them that is not her beauty, or her voice, that it was only her piano. She would then look at it and sing, “Since I met you, my whole life has changed. It’s not just my furniture you have rearranged.” Unlike what people usually in this world do to each other, she treated her piano like her own life, she caressed it like a mother, she loved it like a lover. Like colours are to rainbow, her piano was to her. For others, it was just another thing, for her it was her everything. For others, it was few songs with pleasing music, for her it was her words trying to match its melody. “It’s never been easy for me to find words to go along with a melody,” was her first line of the first page of her piano diary.

Like a ritual, she would play it right at 8:10 pm, every night. However, one fine night at the same time, the dusty cover of the piano rolled down. The dust on it started to jump as the keys danced. The dust between the keys didn’t interfere with keys dance. The keys were resting for many years, so was the dust. A sound and an unknown voice was heard, and the voice started to sing, “For years I’ve been telling myself the same old story. That I’m happy to live off my so-called former glories. But you’ve given me a reason to take another chance. Now I need you.” It felt more like a cry than a song. It felt as if someone was singing to her beloved who left him alone.

That painful melody, that beautiful voice was of her piano. Piano that looked beautiful once, dropped a few notes in between to drop some tears for one who left it alone 4 years ago when cancer won over her life. It was not just her who loved that gorgeous thing, piano loved her, too. The keys started to dance again and the voice began to sing, “All I’m asking you is don’t write me off, just yet.”

– Kritika Vashist

(Song by Hugh Grant, Don’t Write Me Off Just Yet)

Comfortably Numb

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“I might take some more time to get ready, so for you I’ll leave the door open,” the messaged popped on his screen when he was just 2 minutes away from her place. Unlike what a guy would bring on his girl’s birthday, he just had a book and a painting which he didn’t bother to gift wrap.

Hello? Hello? Hello? …is there anybody in there?,” he started to sing while he entered the house. When no voice was heard from the other side, he thought she was playing her favorite, hide and seek game. To see her, he entered her room and continued with the song, “Well I can ease the pain. Get you on your feet agg….”. He couldn’t complete the word after what he saw. He never sang that song ever again. Maybe, he regretted for choosing that song. The words in the song were now meaningless. Every pain, her every dream, all the sickness, all her love she had within herself, and the wait for being loved the way she deserved, everything had gone. She knew about her dangerously false hope, and she knew that complaining to him was more dangerous. Her lips didn’t move, yet, she had spoken everything for the final time. 

Her body was still on the floor, which had become red because of the blood. She was in her favorite full length red colored dress. She was all jeweled up. To his surprise, she left nothing behind, not even a letter, not a last word. However, she was holding the rose he had given her 16 months ago. The rose still had its leaves, all its petals as they were before. The rose just had become old, the petals were wrinkled, yet it looked beautiful in her hands.

He never wanted her to wait for him or anything related to him, and that’s what he used to tell her whenever she waited for him, for his love. Maybe she had waited for too long, for him, for his surprise. He wanted her to speak something, anything. But he had told her to not complain, and she didn’t, even before her last breath.

He vociferated. He laughed out loud outside, he cried bad inside. He held her closely and kissed her. Seeing her resting on the floor, he knew that now she had become comfortably numb

– Kritika Vashist

(Song by Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb)

Tonight as I write

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Tonight,
in this cold of the night,
I again think about you,
I write about you.

My hands are frozen,
but, my heart is warm,
thinking about you.

There isn’t much I haven’t said,
in words,
in all kisses and hugs.

Though tonight,
my pen wishes to,
whisper about you.

Tonight as I write,
I think,
of all moments we had,
of all our laughs,
of all our fights.

Tonight as I write,
I realise,
how special you are to me,
how special I am to you.
what you mean to me,
what I mean to you.

Tonight as I write,
I cry a bit,
remembering roads I walked with you,
philosophies I talked with you,
days I kissed you,
nights I missed you.

Tonight as I write,
I fear,
if it always be this strong,
if this beauty of us will remain,
if it will go on forever and ever.

Tonight as I write,
I smile,
to know that you love me,
that I love you more,
that you’ll always remember me,
like I’ll always remember you.

Tonight is painfully beautiful,
as I love you in this moment,
and I miss you, too.

Tonight and forever,
I’m certain,
that you are the oxygen in my body,
that you are everything of me,
that you will always be loved,
that you will always have me.

Tonight and forever,
I am grateful to have you,
to be loved by you,
in silent nights,
in rustling shores.

Tonight as I write,
I wait,
this freezing night to end,
to hug you again,
to see you smile,
while you read whatever I’ve penned.

Kritika Vashist