ખીલું ખીલું

ખીલું ખીલું

 હતું  ગીત કો  અધૂરું  ઘર સૂનું સૂનું,
બધું  લાગતું  હતું  જરાક  જૂનું જૂનું.

 આજ દિલમાં ગાયે  કોઈ ધીમું ધીમું,
હાસ્ય હોઠમાં  છુપાવું  હું મીઠું  મીઠું.

 સખા, સુખડ સુવાસે મન ભીનું ભીનું,
ઝરે ઝાકળ ઝીણેરી તેને ઝીલું ઝીલું.

 ફરી હેતલ  હરિયાળીમાં લીલું લીલું,
એની નજરોનો આસવ હું પીઉં પીઉં.

  મારે નયણે સમાય આભ નીલું નીલું,
સ્નેહ  કોમળ  કળી  કહે ખીલું ખીલું.
——

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Sujata-a face in his paintings ચિત્રોમાં એક ચહેરો

Sujata – a face in his paintings

I had always seen my friend, Sujata, surrounded by some admiring girlfriends and worshiping boys in our neighborhood playground.  It was 1958, when I was a dreamy-eyed twelve-year-old, and my friend Sujata was three years older than I. We all wanted to be her best friend and felt privileged when we could stand next to her. She knew how to please the people around her. She was a very good athlete, a clever student with a charming personality. Some used to compare her to the contemporary film star, Nutan.

In spite of the three-year age difference, we became best friends. I did not bribe Sujata with any special gifts or a fruit from my garden. Of course, having a good-looking older brother might have helped. An awkward, clueless young girl as I was, I learned from Sujata how to be sweet and make friends. Every evening, boys and girls played at our neighborhood playground.  We used to get a kick out of telling her which older boy was staring at her. Her response would be a hidden smile. She loved all that attention.

Sujata graduated from high school and joined an art college. She was very successful in sports, dance and in her studies. Later, we were not very close, but I would hear about her love affairs and her brothers beating up the guys to keep them away from Sujata.  But our friends felt that she was making good choices. One boy was very right for her, but her family would not allow a union. After she graduated from college, Sujata went away to live with her sister in another city for some time.
Then one day, her marriage was arranged. It was disheartening to see her being pressured to say “yes” to a man of her family’s choice. I met him at their wedding. Some younger, crude friends started joking, “Sujata, he looks so dull – if you slap him, he would not say anything.”  One sister of the groom heard the comments and protested sharply, “Don’t you dare. Our brother is not like that.” I said, “Our Sujata is not someone who would slap anyone.” But the damage was done, and Sujata felt ashamed.
But, unfortunately it happened the other way around – the groom hit our Sujata. She came back to her parents’ home after a month or so. She was very upset and refused to return to her in-laws’ house. It was a big scandal. Her mother-in-law came to take her back, and after some tricks, threats, and promises, Sujata had to return.  After that, every time I saw her my heart ached for her and my mind questioned, “Is this the same Sujata?”  The last time I saw her was with her six-month-old-baby. She said, “This baby has brought some joy to my life.”

A few years later, I moved to the USA from India and did not meet Sujata again for several years.  I heard that Sujata had two daughters and was living a somber life.
We were in California. My life was full with two lively children, my parents-in-law, and other family members in the house. One time, some friends of my father-in-law came to visit from northern California. We were talking about my hometown, and he asked me whether I knew Sujata! When I told them that she was my friend, they told me a story which shook me up.
The elderly uncle said, “We have one artist named Ritik in our neighborhood who still worships Sujata after all these years.”
I did not know this fellow because they had met when Sujata stayed with her older sister in another town, but I had heard his name. He had gone to school in a different city but was from the same town and caste as Sujata.  As soon as he found out about me, Ritik called. He wanted to know all about Sujata. Then he requested, “Can you please, mail a letter for me from your address and also receive Sujata’s reply at your address? I don’t want to create any problem for her.”
Wow! I was puzzled by this new romantic complication. Anyway, I agreed and a few letters passed back and forth through my hand. After several months the letters stopped. During a visit to India I met Sujata briefly. She inquired about Ritik, but I did not have any information. I asked her a few questions before we bid goodbye.
With another twist of circumstances, Ritik and our family moved to the same city, and we were invited to his exhibition of paintings. We established a connection. After a few weeks, we sat down for a long talk.
Ritik’s life had been hanging by a thread named Sujata. He said, “In my paintings, do you recognize her face? The day I met Sujata was like a planned event by the stars up above. I believed that Destiny had Her hand in bringing us together. It was love at first sight for me. I met her several times and expressed my feelings and hoped to spend our lives together. I had a hard time reading her thoughts. She was casually agreeing with my feelings and was sweet to me. I made her a painting and presented it to her. Her sister did not look very pleased with our friendship but did not say anything. Sujata was inquiring about my finances and education, which were quite modest. The day came when she had to go back to her parents’ home. I asked, ‘What about us? I love you. Can I come to your house and ask your parents for your hand in marriage?’ She said, ‘My parents will not agree and my brothers will beat you up badly. I cannot displease my family.’ I was devastated.  I had sort of written away my life to her name.  With time, I realized that she had been making up excuses. Maybe she was not committed to this relationship as I had been. But it was too late for me to return to my old self.”
In India, the conversation I had had with Sujata flashed in my mind. I had asked her, ‘Why did you marry this guy instead of Ritik?’ She confessed, ‘I was envious of the girls around me marring the rich guys – so greed clouded my judgment and I agreed to marry an engineer instead of an artist.’
I asked about the letters. Ritik said, “When I wrote the first letter, I was skeptical, but when I received her reply, I felt that on the branch of my mute life the birds started to sing. She said that she had been thinking about me often and missed being with me. As communications continued, she begged me to make arrangements to bring her to America with her two teenage daughters. That proposal made me look at this revived fling differently. I am secretly corresponding with someone’s wife! And I stopped.

So, in this lifetime, I feel rich that I have loved someone. I am not alone because in the corner of my heart Sujata is there. I look and see her face in my paintings. The question does not arise whether she loved me or not because, for me, the reality is that I will always love her.”

Her face in my paintings…
She loved me, she loved me not,
The question does not prick anymore.
Her presence is here like a twinkle in a star,
I am out of her circle, a far-fallen star.

She came into my life, I felt it destined,
Left her shadow melted barely with mine.
Those were the days–tepid, trivial for her.
They still trim colors for this lifelong dreamer.

I offered her a simple and singular daisy,
She chose to take the bunch of roses.
A sweet melancholy comes to sit beside,
Keeps me warm and cozy inside.

My precious past is anchored deep within,
On my blues and grays, bright red reigns.
There she may be, withered and wise,
But smiles in my paintings with a shy surprise.
———-

Saryu Parikh.  www.saryu.wordpress.com

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સ્વભાવનું સત્ય

સ્વભાવનું સત્ય

એક  દિવસ  કહેવાને  બેઠી સ્વભાવ કેરું સત્ય,
ગૂંચવાયેલી  લાગણીઓમાં  અટવાયેલું   તથ્ય.

મધ્યબિંદુમાં સ્વભાવ, ફરતે વિચારના વમળાટ,
ભયના કુંડાળામાં રહીને, અહંમ તણો સૂસવાટ.

બાળકને પણ આપપ્રેમની જન્મજાત અનુભૂતિ,
મગરૂરીમાં  સ્વાર્થભોગની   ચાલે   પુનરાવૃત્તિ.

મોર  ન  દેખે  મોરકળા  કે  સૂરજ  રંગધનુષને,
પ્રેમપુષ્પની  સુવાસ  પ્રસરે, લે  તેનું દિલ હરખે.

ક્યમ  સમજાવું  જળબિંદુ કે પાંદડીઓના રંગો,
ખોવાયેલા  ખ્યાલની જેવા બદલાતા  મનરંગો.

વહેતી  ધારા પારખવા નહીં  કોઈ માપ પ્રમાણ,
કોશિશ ના કર વિશ્લેષણની, સમજાવે  સુજાણ.

——–

Tian

 

    મુંગી, બહેરી, ટીએન કહેશે;

મારા ઓષ્ઠો હલે ને તારી આંખ સાંભળે,
મૃદુ મનના તરંગ અનુકંપ સાંભળે.

મારા હ્રુદિયાના ભાવ, કરે આંગળી સંવાદ.
મારી ભીતરમાં સપનાઓ સળવળે.

નિરાશાના બોલ મને વાગેલા તીર,
મારા સ્વજનોના આચરણ તરવરે.

તારા સ્નેહની બહાર અને ચહેરાના ભાવ,
ધીર નીરજ સંવેદના લાવે વિશ્વાસ.

ભલે મૂક ને બધિર, રહી કુદરતની વાત,
ના ખામીઓ સતાવે શું એની વિસાત!
————
મુંગી -બહેરી મારી વિદ્યાર્થિની, ટીએન.

       Tian might say…

Your lips are moving, that’s what I hear.
What is a whisper! . . . What are vibrations!
I never knew and may never know.

My heart and mind just talk, talk and talk.
And some of you listen, how wonderful it is!
My eyes give messages, please try to read them right,
I mostly see replies of pity and pretense.

I am quite perfect, because I can see and feel.
please try me out beyond my lacking abilities.
I’m a shining star, just partially covered in cloud,
Forget about the cloud and help me brightly shine.
——
My hearing- and speech-impaired student. I was her volunteer tutor for five years. She earned a degree in graphic design.

 

 

 

It’s Outside

 It’s Outside
Our big, lovely present came in a small package,
So sweet and so neat, so wise beyond her age.

Her perfect, pink dress and very gentle steps,
Her pretty, poised self, wins a special place.

She carried her pillow, was her time to take a nap,
She quietly laid down, adjusting her cap.

The thunder and the rain woke her up in fright,
The big disturbing noise had shaken her inside.

She gathered her courage to fight her fear,
“Bapu, lightening is outside, not in house-not here.
The rumble is for sure . . . not very near.”

By thinking and reflecting, she made her mind clear,
How to fight the fear, we learned from Soni Dear!
——-

 

                                       p286

               

Help me Heal…..

This melting sky makes me cry,
O’ my beloved! In rain I’m dry.

My tears of joy and peace of my soul,
  Haven’t come back since you’re gone.

The birds sing soft, hide in the loft,
Melodies of love shyly moan.

Why this way, my heart just aches?
My fluttering feelings, I can’t catch.

I open my door and stare your way,
You come and stay, don’t stay at bay.

I can’t understand the flair of my mind,
This world around is not so kind.

I long to be yours and share my bliss,
Our hearts will heal with a sweet little kiss.
——

લિંક

મૌનનો મહિમા

મૌનનો મહિમા

તીખા ને કડવા અધીરા એ વેણ,
તેજીલી ધાર પર કજીયાના કહેણ
વાળો તેમ વળશે જીવ્હા ને રેણ,
ગમતી ગંગાનાં મનગમતા વહેણ.

ઓછું બોલવાના અહોય અષ્ટ ગુણ,
સોચી સમજીને જાળવશે સમતુલ,
ભૂલો છૂપાયે ને સચવાયે મુલ,
માન સખી, ઓછું બોલ્યાંના અષ્ટગુણ.

સૌ કહેતા, ન બોલવામાં નવ ગુણ
શાંત સરોવર સમાવે અવગુણ.
વાત હો સાચી સ્થિર ચેતનાથી પૂર્ણ,
ન બોલવામાં ખરે લાગે નવ ગુણ.

મૌન સંગીત જે અંતરથી ઊગે ને,
વણબોલ્યે મંજુલ તરંગ સ્નેહ છલકે.
શાતા ને સાંત્વના લયબધ્ધ લહેકે,
અંતરમન મૌનના દસેદસ ગુણ.

ખરું મૌન મહાતમ જે મસ્તકમાં રાજે,
ઘટ ઘટમાં આનંદની ઘંટી બજાવે.
——–

એકાકાર

એકાકાર

કોઈ રેશમ રાગિણી બજાવી,
મારા દિલના દામનને ભરી દે.
શીતળ સ્પંદન ચહેરાને સજાવે,
એવું તું એક સ્મિત કરી દે.

નયન ઉજ્વલ ને રોશની ઝબૂકે,
ગાલ ખંજનમાં મોરલો ટહૂકે,
મારું વામકુક્ષ ફૂલ સુ ફરૂકે,
એવી તું કોઈ વાત કહી દે.

ચપળ ચંદ્રમા ચૂપકીથી ચાલે,
હેત સ્પર્શી લે અવનીને ગાલે,
એ લાલી આ હથેળીઓ સંવારે,
એવું તું કોઈ ગીત લખી દે.

છબી મારી લઈ આવી ઓવારે,
મને ખોવાને નવલ નિરાકારે,
બનું બિંદુ તવ સિંધુમાં સમાવે,
એવો તું કોઈ મર્મ કહી દે.

અલગ અસ્તિત્વ એકમાં મિલાવે
એવી તું દિવ્ય કૃપા કરી દે .
—–

 

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