एक हसीं शाम, दो ख़ामोश ज़ुबान….

एक हसीं शाम, दो ख़ामोश ज़ुबान
छत पर गिरती कुछ बारिश के बूंदें
नदी किनारे की वो छोटी
चाय की दुकान

कई सालों बाद आज फिर यहाँ आ गये हैं दोनो
आज फिर यहाँ शोर सिर्फ बूंदों का है
उबलती हुए चाय से आती हुई महक
आज फिर पुराना वक़्त साथ ला रही है

वही बेचैन नज़रें वही हल्की मुस्कान
वही बढ़ी हुई धड़कनें दिल में उठते फिर कई सवाल

बीच में हैं दो काँच के गिलास
और उनसे उभरता, हल्का-सा धुआं
ख़ामोशी में ठहरा हुआ वक़्त
और झुकी पलकों से होतीं कहानियाँ बयान

इसी जगह कभी पहले मिला करते थे वो
चाय से होती थी बातें शुरू
चुस्कियों के बहाने मिला करती थीं नज़रें
दबी मुस्कुराहट से हुई थी ये दोस्ती शुरू

आज भी कुछ वैसी ही शाम है
आज भी हैं बीच में दो चाय के गिलास
आज भी नज़रों से हो रही हैं बातें
आज भी उनके मिलने से ठहरा है वक़्त

                                      -सौनक पाल

Elixir of Life

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A magical liquid,
a golden hue
The small chalice perspires
Like morning flowers dotted with dew

Slowly rising smoke
And a refreshing aroma
Like along the river
Someone playing the viola

Over small sips friends bond
Over small sips blossoms young love
Many stories are shared
with a warm cup in hand
Many memories come back
With its sweet fragrance

It is what brings you and me together
It is the excuse
that makes my evening bright
With small sips I often see you smile
It is the elixir of my life

-Saunak Pal

A walk into the light

Today finally the day has come
a day of reckoning, some would say
He looked back again, towards the empty ward
remembering how, he was brought that day

It was a different day, of a different year
For those who cared, he found them near
Holding his hands gently, he was made to sit in the chair
‘Everything will be fine’, was all that he could hear

Slowly the days turned into months,
and nights got painfully long
those who used to visit daily earlier
now turned up barely once

The ward became his new kingdom,
the bed, a Throne unsought
through the window danced light and shadows
a sight that kept his hopes afloat

Often he saw the nurse’s grim face
when the doctor checked his charts
with teary eyes he prayed for relief,
if not, then at least to stop his heart

then one fine day the news came
news as blessings for his prayers
‘there’s nothing more that can be done,
so its better you spend time back home’

Now is the time to say Goodbye,
a goodbye to bygone years
With a smile he marches to the door
eyes moist with tears

He knows it might be just for one last time
but still he is free for now
to smell the air and touch the tree
and greet the light
that danced at his lonely window

He knows, finally the day had come
To say goodbye to all that’s been done

To welcome darkness with open arms
he walks into the light, just this once

-Saunak Pal

Forgotten songs of Amber

Cassette-tapes-and-Pencil

I saw it dangling from an old tree
shining like a string of amber in the morning light
On closer look I knew what i was
Nostalgia of my childhood soon hit me

How it used to smoothly roll across a small sponge bridge
Tightly wound between two wheels
As it sailed freely the music flowed
like soft waves on a moonlit shore

A little twist of fate
and the song would get stuck
A magic wand from the pencil box
would come out to do the work

Firmly it would hold the toothed wheel
like a prefect key fits in a lock
A small turn towards the left
would be enough to straighten the cluttered mess

This string of amber used to hold plenty songs
some long forgotten, some that would stay for lifelong
Sleepless nights went by in compiling love sonnets
Recording and rewinding to find the perfect balance

Those were the days of making mixed tapes
listing songs on paper and gifting audiotapes

Today it lies alone,
shattered, unwanted
Few remember that as it played,
some broken hearts mended

Now it lies dangling carelessly from a tree’s crest
left by the crow who once used it, to decorate its nest.

                                                                            -Saunak Pal

The Burdened Bridge

135542_1413852121045_239931_o I wait today above the stream alone
Bruised and sullied over gone years
Burdened with time riding on my shoulders
I listen to the changing days with battered ears

I saw you that twilight when she came to meet you
I heard your heart skip a beat
Your eyes shone brightly on seeing her
your hands trembled as your lips met

I met you again one evening
when you walked with a heavy heart
Over my shoulders I felt your tears
I stayed up with you as you wept

I have also seen forest change and villages move
I carried caravans across rivers and borders
I connected lands that stood long divided
I helped cultures and religions cross over

Over my back Civilizations formed
Holding my hand grew cities
Today they say I help radicals cross over
I am the reason why the river bleeds

By breaking me down if this bloodshed stops
then break me down at once
By burning me down if broken hearts mend
then burn down all those bridges

I connect land and connect hearts
I have been doing that for ages

To Love or Hate is all up to you

You have made WARRIORS
and you have made SAGES.

-Saunak Pal

In Love….all over again

That day, a sweet fragrance swept in
          through the windows of my dream
Colours from the morning sun
          brought back memories of last spring

Like a brush moving softly on a canvas
          the rays painted a picture on the floor
A hazy face, a forgotten smile
          brought memories long lost as lore

Some shadows arose of past evening walks
          some voices echoed with your radiant laugh
The smell that came with fresh rain drops
          Reminded of nights you wept, on my behalf

Those days of love have long gone
          and gone are the nights of rain
But yet I smile remembering your shining eyes
          which make me fall in love, all over again… 

                                                                -Saunak Pal

Tale of a Starry Night

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This is a tale of one strange evening
When bright stars smiled along with their siblings
   Amidst stray clouds the half-moon stayed
Playing hide and seek with those who looked up and cared

I felt a cool breeze passing through my hair
As if someone touched to tell me “I care”

She came to see me, that very night
To take me away from the long day’s plight
Her sweet smile, her kind gaze
was all that I needed to clear the haze

Hand in hand we talked for hours
At times we laughed at times we were in tears
We shared all stories some personal some vague
To confide can be serene, I realised that very day

From childhood memories to present day fears
All seemed at peace with the passing hours
Along came dawn with the brightest star of all
Her sun-kissed bright eyes giving me hope to go on

Calmed and in peace I closed my eyes
Not knowing she will be gone as soon as I rise

She might have been an angel, a kind angel of the night
Who came to share my stories and relieve me of my plight

Smiling to myself I went back to my usual day
Hoping for another strange starry night

To meet my friend ‘the angel’;
Somewhere on the way

-Saunak Pal