21 Sep 2013


गुजारिशें करते रह गए हम,
 हर आने जाने वाले राही  से,
के एक पल रुक सके वो अगर दो  चार शब्दों के लिए,
तो मिलेगी ख़ुशी हमें,
धधकती धूप में चलने पर भी। 

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किसे होगी फुर्सत इतनी,
के अजनबियों के नाम अपनी शाम कर दे। 
हम तो अपनों से अजनबी हुए,
तन्हा ही जीना सीख गए। 
कहा हमसे कितनों ने, के 
ज़ंजीरें  तूने खुद बाँधी हैं। 

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लेकिन ग़म रहा नहीं कभी इस कदर मिट जाने का,
खुशबू हमारी रह जाएँगी फिज़ाओं में ,
के शब् का भी कभी कोई नाम रहा है?
जन्नतें हासिल होती नहीं सिर्फ ख्वाबों के बिनाह  पर, 
एक ख्वाहिश तो कर दिल मेरे, कदम तेरे खुद ब खुद ही बढ़ जाएँगे।

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20 Sep 2013


"You are the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen, Sagarika..." Nikhil mused, holding me in his arms as I stared into the night sky. I could feel a tremor run through him but I don't look into his eyes. He is not the first man to tell me so, but every time someone has said this, it felt like a slap on my face. It was something I didn't want to hear. I wanted to hear something more real, more substantial and more deeper. Not something that's limited to superficial appreciation and I love yous. But what I was currently involved with, didn't let me have the luxury of feeling such things. And to hear something from this man, would have been a futile futile expectation. 

You are mine and only mine, 
I will, for you, build a shrine,
Touch me and tell me to shine, 
The night will drink you like a wine.

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"Hmmm, and this is the most beautiful night that I have ever seen. Are you sure you want to stay? I wouldn't do such a thing, if I were you, Nikhil." I turn my eyes towards him, looking into the two dark brown liquid pools that were dilated, soaked in my charisma. I loved the effect I had on him, but I was tired. I wanted to go back to the place where I belonged. My headquarters. My gun. My uniform. 

I am yours but never yours,
For him I have held you sure,
Can you see beyond the shore,
It's the darkness before the four.

"I want to stay. And I wouldn't find you again, I know. What if this is the last time I see you?" Nikhil insists, kissing my neck as I sigh and give in to the abysmal urge of the human body - to pretend to be satiated but never be so, to pretend to live like a saint but carry that taint forever - that need, that fire, which burns all the rights and wrongs and when that need becomes a necessity - the questions of right and wrong, morality and virtuosity cease to exist. I did not decide to propose my body because of my physical necessity. I did not. And sometimes there are bigger causes than yourself. I am lost in my own swirling thoughts while Nikhil tenderly keeps kissing me, never breaching the limit. I melt in his arms, pretending to doze off while I feel him roll over and get out of bed. I have to come back again tomorrow. 

You are a shell made up of lies
But I know how time flies,
Give and take your smiles and cries,
I am beyond your virgin prize.

He leaves quietly, leaving a small kiss on my cheek, without disturbing me as I roll over to find the horizon outside my window bleeding colors - spilling blue and gold and pink, coloring me in its hues. I hug myself tightly, crawl out of the bed, give a call to my agent, dress up and walk out of the hotel. No one bothers to throw a second glance towards me. I exhale and walk towards the waiting black Scorpio, haloed in the cold crisp fog.Yes, I was an undercover agent. No, I wasn't sleeping around for fun. I was tracking the biggest mafia of all times.

I am a puzzle not yet found,
Pieces of me disappear like sound,
Will you come back to turn around,
We are together, forever bound.

My co-agent drives quietly, not disturbing me of my reverie. I reach my area, dressed in the most inconspicuous clothing, a simple brown kurti and jeans, with my hair tied in a knot, my face devoid of any makeup. I hook my gun in the belt of my jeans, wear my watch and police id card in the Scorpio that drops almost a kilometer away from my house. I say goodbye to the agent who pulls away but stops ahead, keeping an eye on me while I walk briskly towards my home. I enter the apartment and unlock the door. 

Beep Beep Beep.

My official number rings the instant I sit on the sofa. A Private number. Ah, this could not be good.

"Sagarika, it's been three weeks since you have been on this mission. Have you reached anywhere close to what we had decided? I want him dead or alive in a week.." My client, the ACP tells me. He had taken special permission to go the unconventional way to capture the mafia - Ranjan aka Nikhil to me.
"I am on it Sir." I say and hang up. I have a headache building up, as I replay the events of last night. I had not asked any questions to Nikhil since the day we had accidentally met at The Blue. He was sitting next to me, drinking nothing but plain water, while I sipped on my strawberry daiquiri. I had one of my best looks on - a black sheath dress that was high necked and didn't reveal anything more than it should. Also the fact that my gun was attached to my thigh was relevant. He had cleared his throat and asked, "How do you like your drink?" I give him a nonchalant look and continue with my reverie. "I am sorry, I don't mean to intrude. Please carry on. However, if you need anything, just let me know." He offers, getting up, leaving his card on the bar. I notice that he owns The Blue. I look at him and let him go. He was exceptionally good looking, his hair chopped to perfection and no accessory to reveal he was filthy rich. He also definitely knew his game - he was testing me. I had left the card and walked out after my drink, only to notice in my peripheral vision that he had lingered outside near his car to check me out. 

You are dark cloud, shimmering like the moon,
You have me captured, running like a loon,
Will I ever leave you love, too soon?
What are you, bane or boon?

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Slowly, I had let him woo me, but I never asked a single question. I had a feeling that today could be the end of this. I had to end this. I knew he had fallen for me hard. Ranjan had to come out today - for me. I change and sleep - after a huge mug of coffee - to give myself some rest. I had barely dozed off when my phone rings again. The other phone. I don't pick up and ignore. I wanted to sleep so bad. After a while I receive a text. 
"I have a surprise for you tonight. Can I pick you up at around 8? Tell me where can I come?"
I reply after half an hour later. "Meet me at The Blue."
"Good choice, love. See you sooner."

I look at the clock, it's 8 AM in the morning - I had a LOT of time. I tried to push his thoughts out of my head and sleep, but they kept coming back - he loved me, but never touched me without my discretion, had never tried to force me and always left, in case I feel awkward. He never attended calls while I was with him,, had his focus completely on me - and all in all, he seemed such a nice guy that an ache build up in my heart. I didn't want to fall for him. I ignore my feelings and wait for the evening. I leave my hair open, wear a dark blue chiffon saree, with white pearls around my neck. My light brown eyes danced with mischief as I applied kohl. And my gun, it was hidden in the small corner of my handbag. I will have to be careful about that. I look beautiful - for Nikhil - for Ranjan. I call up my agent and tell him to meet me around 10 PM. I hail a taxi and get down at the Restaurant at 7:30 PM. I go inside and order plain water and wait. I had to calm myself down. I had a mission. I rest my forehead on my hand and stare at the crowd. I was nervous as hell - it would serious professional misconduct if I falter. But I was confused as well. I liked him. A lot. His smile was true and his demeanor not at all threatening. 

Tonight  it's fight or flight
Disastrous end or start in your sight,
What will I do, I have lost my might,
To love you forever, will be my delight.

"Hey." A finger caresses me, as I feel my heart miss a mighty beat. I turn around and give him the most indulgent smile I can muster. Nikhil looks spectacular in a black tux. He takes my arm and escorts me out to his waiting car. I am quiet. He seems so different, so much at ease. He asks his driver to leave and takes the wheel himself. I look at him, thinking of ways in which to shoot him, that would hurt him the least and not kill him. I can feel my handbag getting heavier by second. . 

"Why are you so quiet?" Nikhil asks as we move towards the beach. 
"Hmm? Nothing, I am just a little nervous." I reply truthfully.
"Haha! Why? Don't be. It's my turn to be nervous." He says. 
"Why? Planning to propose to me or what?" I wink at him, relaxing a little bit. 
"You never know." He grins. "But I have to tell you something." He says, as the car stops and we get down - to be welcomed by a artificially lit canopy, with a table and two chairs. A candle flame dances on the table, while a chilling champagne sits. I look at him in awe, as he takes my hand and walks towards it. We sit as he pours the drink and looks at me. "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, Sagarika. I love you." He says, his eyes wide and innocent - expecting me to say something.

I gave him a smile, not saying anything, but conveying everything from my eyes. I take a deep breath and hesitate. He looks at me enquiringly, "I would like to go the car for a while." I ask. He nods, a little tensed as I walk towards the car. I take out the gun and tuck it behind me. Nikhil is waiting patiently as I sit on the opposite chair and forward a card to him -

I know what you hide, in your heart I reside,
But will you be my own, if I turn the tide,
And if you choose and bide,
I can let you live by my side.

"Sagarika?.... I am Ranjan." He says, tensed.
"I know." I say. I watch him get up slowly and come towards me. At that moment, I know I have to make a choice. I smile at him, locking my eyes with him. He bends down, his lips inches from mine and his intoxicating breath making me swoon. I hold my breath and do not make a movement. He suddenly grips my throat lightly and tilts my head, bending over me. I slowly put my right arm behind my back and take a hold on the gun. 

"Are you not afraid of me? I own this place - the sand you walk on, the air you breathe and the water you drink....every single thing. Even your life, Sagarika." He says, gritting his teeth, but not in anger, There is a vulnerability in him, that is dying to come out. 
"I am not afraid of you. I have given you my nights and days, Rajan. Your name or this pseudo hubris does not make any difference to me." I say, sounding more confident than I feel. I close my eyes and wait for the tense moment to pass. He gives me a soft peck on my lips and leaves. I sigh, opening my eyes and look at him. I know at my cue, everyone with close in. I ask him to walk with me on the beach, towards my targeted area. He smiles sadly and walks. Once we reach near a shack - I turn towards him in the moonlight. I suddenly hug him, surprising him. He hugs me back tightly and once we are in the moment, I whisper in his ears, "Forgive me for this, but I promise to save you." Understanding dawns upon him as I shoot him in the shoulder blade. He staggers with a soft scream - "What the hell....!" as I shoot in his thigh, as my team starts closing on him from all the sides. I feel tears streaming down my eyes as I rush to break his fall and whisper in his ears - "I love you. Always Have. Always Will." as he loses his consciousness, smiling.

And there are no words for what I feel,
Was it love or the fortune wheel?
Forever my love will be true,
I trust you, do you?

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