It suddenly appeared across the hill, across the river and the rocks. Before it appeared in its seven visible vibgyor colours, there was a wedding of giddad-giddadi (he and she jackal); as was the folklore to describe rain and sun appearing together.

It appeared so near and yet so far. As a young boy I ran after it, to catch it in my little soiled hands, to bathe in its vivid hues, even to climb up and look down on the world through its prism. At that time it appeared far; it was near when I didn’t want to own it, when I wasn’t very conscious of its existence; it was far when it crept over my consciousness, when I wanted to hold it and possess it.

I have had the same experience with Time.

Before I lost myself in the rapid whirlpool of later-life Time, it flowed like a gentle stream. Indeed, at times it stood still and placid like a pond, like a lake. I didn’t know how much of it I had but it appeared vast, endless, infinite.

I played lukan-chhipi (hide n seek) with my friends and graduated to marbles, gilli-danda, football and cricket. I was small but Time was big. It was everywhere and totally free. I bought kaafal (a type of berry sold near my school, Vijay High School, Mandi), ice on stick, and an anna a booklet of film-songs lyrics. But, I never had to buy Time.

Perhaps because it was freely available, I didn’t place too much of value on it. As a young boy, I read Herman Wouk’s Caine Mutiny and as was normal for me during those days, finished it in a night’s time. How much I still remember; I am surprised. “Wasted hours” it said somewhere in the book, “Are just as painful in the beginning as in the end; only, in the end, it becomes more apparent”.

And now, looking back in time, that halcyon period of my life, when I had all the Time in the world, passed so quickly. I never tried to catch it but it appeared and disappeared like a rainbow; it was here a moment ago: red, orange, yellow and so on and now it is gone; not even the fading colours beyond violet and below red are there now.

Last to last night I saw the Hindi movie Maya that I wanted to see with its beautiful Salil da numbers based on Western classical music beats: Tasveer teri dil mein, jis din se banaayi hai and Jaa re jaa re udd jaa re panchhi. It turned out to be a trash movie and I rued the two and a half hours’ time that I wasted watching it. Two and half hours; in my boyhood days, I used to spend many times that time just day dreaming, writing worthless poetry or catching butterflies.

It is the same sand, passing through the same small opening in the hour-glass; why does it appear to be draining out much faster now? There appears to be lots to do and very little Time to do it. How do I slow it down? Should I catch it now before it gets still faster and makes me akin to a twig being pushed through the flow against my wish? Did I ever have the power to slow it, to stop it; if not to reverse it? Could I have ever caught the rainbow?

Hour Glass

I don’t even think about how it would have been if I had thought, planned and done things differently. I am not even filled with ‘If Only’ regrets. But, it still gnaws me to think about whether I ever had the power to do things independently in my own way or whether I have been in a puppet in the hands of Time, trying to catch rainbows and doing things what have been writ for me including writing this article?

ज़िन्दगी में
ज़िन्दगी की तलाश में
ज़िन्दगी को पाने के लिए
कहाँ कहाँ नहीं गया?
क्या क्या ना किया?
पल पल, छिन छिन,
ज़िन्दगी मोम की तरह
पिघलती रही
ना जाने क्या थी?
ना जाने क्या है?
चंद लम्हे और मिल जाते
लौ कुछ और देर जलती
फिर क्या होता?
वक़्त का सितम
ठहर जाता क्या?
यादों के मरहले
खड़े होके क्या ना बिखरते?
हाथ में आ जाता क्या?
ख्वाब की
ख़याल की
सराब की
असलियत समझ आ जाती क्या?
किस को मिली है आज़ादी
वक़्त की ज़ंजीरों से?
कौन समझा  है?

Sand castle

Zindagi mein
Zindagi ki talaash mein
Zindagi ko paane ke liye
Kahaan kahaan nahin gaya?
Kyaa kyaa na kiyaa?
Pal pal, chhin chhin,
Zindagi mome ki tarah
Pighalti rahi.
Naa jaane kyaa thi?
Naa jaane kyaa hai?
Chand lamhe aur mil jaate
Lau kuchh aur der jalati
Phir kyaa hota?
Waqt ka sitam
Thehar jaata kyaa?
Yaadon ke marhale
Khade hoke kyaa na bikharte?
Haath mein aa jaata kyaa?
Khwaab ki
Khayaal ki
Saraab ki
Asleeyat samajh aa jaati kyaa?
Kis ko mili hai azaadi
Waqt ki zanjeeron se?
Kaun samajha hai?

© 2015, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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  1. sir, you captured these thoughts very nicely. I guess everyone at some point or other in one’s life reflects on the passing of time. Some thoughts bring a smile while some make you cringe. But if you can say overall you spent your time well, then life was worth living.

    1. I agree Anil. I have no regrets. My only question to myself and anyone who has the answer is: how much of my life was dependent on my own thoughts and actions or was it all writ for me?

  2. It depends what one is looking for in life. Most say we want happiness! But most of us look outside for that, whereas it is within us. Once we search for it inside us every moment becomes a bliss. : Kadee apnee App nu Pariya nahee:

  3. Many religious thoughts say so ; it is ordained , a writ. That might be for discipline or order sake. But when we reflect as Sir you have in this wrire-up , about how we lead our life ? then it is not a writ rather …… MERI MURJEE.

  4. Many religious faiths preach our lives are pre ordained and all our actions are a writ.We are puppets of that big hand. Nevertheless , when we reflect n contemplate as SIR yoy have in this write-up, about the life we have lead so far…. It is crystal clear … Meri murjee

    1. I hope so Lucky. Indeed, the only practical way in which the world goes on is that even though Man has no free-will, he can still contribute towards changing his destiny.