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

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