Taradevi Trek

Taradevi temple is situated at a height of about 1900 meters from sea level, near Shoghi. It is some 20 kms away from my university. It was a sunday so we guys were planning to go for a trek or something at a nearby place. First we went to Shoghi, there we had lunch at 'Royal Dhaba' - awesome food, must say. Then we took a bus to Taradevi temple(5.5 Kms). When we reached the top, the view was exhilarating. After 'darshan', we decided to return back to shoghi by trekking down. So we started and reached the toy train track and guess what, a toy train passed by, at just the right moment :)

All-n-all, it was a great experience.

Here are a few snaps:

Puppy love

(I read this article in Tribune editorial. Highly Recommended.)

by A.J. Philip

AT the end of my story, Payal Sodhi, founder trustee of the Chandigarh chapter of the People for Animals (PFA), was in tears and sobbing like a child. And every time we met afterwards, she would tell me not to tell any more such stories. I do not know whether it was my narration that brought her to tears or the poignancy of the story.

To begin at the beginning, my neighbour at Kayamkulam in Kerala had a puppy, which was more lovey-dovey than he wanted it to be. He saw in it a fierce future protector of his home and property but it turned out to be a cuddly puppy which would rather give him company than guard his house.

A non-nonsensical businessman, he decided to part with the puppy, barely a few months old. He realised it was not the kind that would bark and bite. The next time he went to Thiruvananthapuram, 120 km away from his hometown, he took the puppy in his car. On the way, 20 km before the state capital, he stopped the car and left the puppy on the roadside.

As my neighbour sped from there, he could see the puppy in his rearview mirror, running after the car. It was a heartrending sight but he kept pressing the accelerator till the dog faded out of sight. He thought the story of the puppy had ended.

One and a half years later, he had a surprise of surprises when one morning he found a dog at his doorstep wagging its tail. One look and he recognised the dog he had last seen in the mirror.

It had grown into an adult. The leather collar he had put around its neck was still there. Around it was a festering wound with puss oozing out. It happened because the neck had grown bigger than the collar.

The dog was stinking and he had to use a cane to shoo it away. All his efforts to keep it at a distance were in vain. He remembered that as a puppy it enjoyed sitting on his lap, though he did not encourage the idea much. His children, too, feared to go anywhere near it, though the dog longed for their company.

It was a mystery how the dog returned to the house. For one and a half years its single-minded objective must have been to reach his master who, it did not know, had abandoned him. Nothing else would have mattered to him. Not even the constant pain the over-tight collar must have given.

Imagine which other animal would have shown so much love for its master as to cover a distance of 100 km in one and a half years. But, alas, my neighbour did not know how to handle him.

In retrospect, he could have taken the dog to a vet and he would have got the collar removed and freed it from pain. And the dog could have lived a full life. But my neighbour had a different plan.

A pharmacist by profession, he knew what poisonous substance could kill the dog. Yes, that is what he did when he administered potassium cyanide to his pet.

When my neighbour told me this story, I nearly cried. For days together, the killing haunted me. Of course, I did not tell Payal Sodhi that the intense grief she felt was mine, too, when I heard the story from my neighbour.



बच्चा बोला अपने दादा से
बाबा तुम क्यूँ नहीं खेलते हमारे संग 
बाबा बोले बेटा मैं बूढा हो गया 
जब मैं तेरी उमर का था तब खेलता था 
बच्चा बोला तो क्या हुआ
खेलो ना ! 
बाबा बोले, मेरा शरीर साथ न दे पायेगा  
और पता है तब बच्चे ने क्या किया 
बाबा को कुर्सी पे बिठाकर गेंद थमा दी 
बाबा ने अपना बचपन जिया
उनकी आँखें नम थीं  
जो अपना बेटा तक न कर पाया कभी
वो आज पोते ने कर दिया !

Main Mar Raha Hoon

मैं मर रहा हूँ  

दरख्त सूख जाते हैं
फूल मुरझाते 
और पत्ते झड़ जाते हैं 
जिजीविषा की जड़ें तक जब बाहर आने लगें ज़मीं से
तब समझ लेना
कि मैं मर रहा हूँ  

मिला सोने का पिंजरा, चाँदी की कटोरी
बिछडा साथ और अपनी रोटी
तकता हूँ आसमान को, भूला अपने गीत
और उड़ना तक जब भूलने लगूँ मैं
तब समझ लेना 
कि मैं मर रहा हूँ  

तेज़ भागती ज़िन्दगी में 
अपनों के लिए समय न पाऊं
किसी आंसू को देखकर भी
बिना डिगे आगे बढ़ जाऊं
जाने अनजाने बात बेबात
किसी दिल को दुखाऊं
झूठ, कपट, हिंसा और चोरी
देखूं फिर भी चैन से सो जाऊं
अरे ! 
मुस्कुराऊं फिर भी न मुस्कुरा पाऊं
तब समझ लेना
कि मैं मर रहा हूँ |

(English - transliterated form)

Main Mar Raha Hoon

Darakht sookh jaate hain
Phool Murjhaate
Aur patte jhad jaate hain
Jadein tak jab bahar aane lagti hain zamin se
Tab samajh lena
Ki main mar raha hoon

Mila sone Ka pinjra, chaandi ki katori
Bichhda saath aur apni roti
Takta hoon aasmaan ko, bhoola apne geet
Aur udna tak jab bhulne lagun main
Tab samajh lena
Ki main mar raha hoon

Tez bhaagti zindagi mein
Apno ke liye samay na paaun
Kisi aansu ko dekhkar bhi
Bina dige aage badh jaaun
Jaane anjane baat bebaat
Kisi dil ko dukhaaun
Jhooth, kapat, hinsa aur chori
Dekhun phir bhi chain se so jaaun
Arrey !
Muskuraaun phir bhi na muskura paaun
Tab samajh lena
Ki Main Mar Raha Hoon.