fatima *updated*

is baar wo ghar aaaya
to anmana sa tha
simta simta
bikhra bikhra sa
aisa laga
jaise apni koi keemti cheej
wahin hostel mein chhod aaya ho
maine poocha
to hansa
sar jhuka ke, dheere se
aur phir, pata nahi
aankhein kya dhoondhne lagi thi duur, uski!

is baar jab wo ghar aaya
to maine usse gale lagaya
puchkara pyaar se
nazar utari
baba ka tabeej bhi bandha
par laga
jaise kuch bant gaya hai andar uske

is baar jab beta ghar aaya
to laga
ki wo mera nahi raha ab
kahin usse… pyaar… ???

इस बार वो घर आया
तो अनमना सा था
सिमटा सिमटा
बिखरा बिखरा सा
ऐसा लगा
जैसे अपनी कोई कीमती चीज
वहीं हॉस्टल में छोड़ आया हो
मैने पूछा
तो हँसा
सर झुका के, धीरे से
और फिर, पता नहीं
आँखें क्या ढूंढने लगी थीं दूर, उसकी!

इस बार जब वो घर आया
तो मैने उसे गले लगाया
पुचकारा प्यार से
नजर उतारी
बाबा का ताबीज भी बांधा
पर लगा
जैसे कुछ बंट गया अंदर उसके

इस बार जब बेटा घर आया
तो लगा
कि वो मेरा नहीं रहा अब
कहीं उसे…प्यार…???

Hindi script, courtesy Sameer from Udan Tashtri. his blog is a must, if u can read Hindi.
still, no attempts to translate this though. god knows if anybody will help me.
this is a mother, fatima’s anxiety about her son. the first realisation, when he returns from hostel, not in his elements, lost in thoughts, with eyes searching something far away, he behaves as if he has left something precious back there. she does everything ritually, the greetings, the embrace, the amulet to protect from evil eyes, but still, she feels he is divided somehow.
this is her anxiety, perhaps, he is not mine now. perhaps… he has fallen in love.

the poem emerged from the thoughts about one of dee’s friend who has gone home madly in love but with little hopes of realisation. and also from the anxiety i read in my mother’s eyes when my behaviour had changed appreciably last year, around this very time period. i was meeting dee on a regular basis, still unaware about my feelings, (but ‘ma’ had read it before even i realized) and to counter any of mother’s probing questions, i invented a fictional name for her. ‘fatima’ that is.


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