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


The Burdened Bridge












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

आज़ाद हूँ क्या मैं..?

देखता हूँ चरों और जब मैं
कई रंग नज़र आते हैं
रंगों मैं ढले हुए
अलग अलग लोग नज़र आते है

आवाज़ें है कई आज भी
भीड़ से उठती इस शोर मैं
हर आवाज मैं छुपी हुई
अलग भाषा सुनाई देती है

इन रंगों में, भाषाओँ मैं
अपना रंग, अपनी अलग आवाज ढूंढता हूँ
इन एहसासों के ज़रिये ही
खुदको तुझसे अलग पहचानता हूँ

तेरी पहनावे से मैं तेरी, सीरत को परखता हूँ
एक मुस्कान से मैं तेरी, नीयत को तोलता हूँ

तू आती है मेरे शहर में
बदनाम तुझे करने का हख बनता है
तेरे नए लिबास, नए विचार आज भी
मेरे शहर को गन्दा करता है

आज़ाद हूँ क्या मैं, रंगों में लिपटी इन बंदिशों से?
आज़ाद हूँ क्या मैं जाती और रिवाजों से?

सूरज की किरणें खिड़की से आकार
जब मुझको हर सुबह जगाती है
कौनसा वो रंग है जो
उन किरणों को मुझतक लाती है?

हवा के झोंके जब
फूलों की खुशबु मुझतक लाती है
कौनसी वो बोली है जो
उसको मेरे घर का पता बताती है?

आज़ाद है वह सूरज, रंगों के पहचानों से
आज़ाद है ये हवाएँ, भाषाओँ के आवाजों से

आज इतने साल हुए मुझे
आज़ाद कहलाते हुए
फिरभी इन सवालों से
शायद अब भी मैं आज़ाद नहीं

बंधा हूँ आज भी मैं
अपने विचारों के बंदिशों से
कैद हूँ आज भी मैं
रंगों और भाषाओँ के जंज़ीरों से

                                            -सौनक पाल