Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Found. Faded Flowers, Fading Memories.

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Ever wondered what those books behind the glass doors of the cupboard might be thinking or feeling? Ever wondered if they are saying something to you? Yes, to you. And to me too, as we are busy clicking fingers on our laptops, ipads whatever.

Ever wondered if those pages, with that fresh-printed or that old-musty smell, are missing the touch of your fingers from the times you gently turned them over? Ever wondered if there is a look of longing in the stillness with which those old books continue to gaze in your direction as your eyes glaze over the screen of your gadget?

Ever wondered what all has been lost in this transition from books to e-books?

He did. That Hindi/Urdu poet, film-maker, writer, and storyteller. Gulzar, who celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday.

Read what he has to say about those books behind the glass doors.

About those evenings spent in their company, and those nights slept with them. About those dried, faded flowers found in their pages, and the fading memories of the old letters and notes hidden between some others. About the relationships birthed in the game of borrowing and lending books.

About the romance of the books, and where it has gone in today’s age.

किताबें झाँकती है बंद अलमारी के शीशों से
बड़ी हसरत से तकती है
महीनों अब मुलाक़ातें नही होती
जो शामें उनकी सोहबत में कटा करती थी
अब अक्सर गुज़र जाती है कम्प्यूटर के परदे पर
बड़ी बैचेन रहती है किताबें
उन्हें अब नींद में चलने की आदत हो गई है

जो ग़ज़लें वो सुनाती थी कि जिनके शल कभी गिरते नही थे
जो रिश्तें वो सुनाती थी वो सारे उधड़े-उधड़े है
कोई सफ़्हा पलटता हूँ तो इक सिसकी निकलती है
कई लफ़्ज़ों के मानी गिर पड़े है
बिना पत्तों के सूखे टूँड लगते है वो सब अल्फ़ाज़
जिन पर अब कोई मानी उगते नही है

जबाँ पर ज़ायका आता था सफ़्हे पलटने का
अब उँगली क्लिक करने से बस एक झपकी गुज़रती है
बहोत कुछ तह-ब-तह खुलता चला जाता है परदे पर
क़िताबों से जो ज़ाती राब्ता था वो कट-सा गया है

कभी सीनें पर रखकर लेट जाते थे
कभी गोदी में लेते थे
कभी घुटनों को अपने रहल की सूरत बनाकर
नीम सज़दे में पढ़ा करते थे
छूते थे जंबीं से

वो सारा इल्म तो मिलता रहेगा आइन्दा भी
मगर वो जो उन क़िताबों में मिला करते थे
सूखे फूल और महके हुए रूक्के
क़िताबें माँगने, गिरने, उठाने के बहाने जो रिश्ते बनते थे
अब उनका क्या होगा…!!


“I often find sentences that seem to me beautiful in writing or in print, but once I utter them aloud, become harsh and unmusical; and sometimes the reverse happens…I have often at first sight condemned a sentence as harsh and ugly, which, when I read it aloud, I was surprised to find apt and harmonious. From this I infer that if a writer’s works appear beautiful in print or manuscript, but not beautiful when read aloud, he may be set down as a good artist in calligraphy, but a bad artist in literature, since suggestion to the eye is the perfume of the written, but suggestion to the ear the perfume of the spoken word.” (Sri Aurobindo, The Harmony of Virtue)

Listen to Gulzar, reciting Kitabein

Linking this post with ABC Wednesday, F: F is for Found, Faded, Flowers.
photo credit: Moyan_Brenn via photopin cc

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