I wrote a poem when I was eight that got published in a a really dull children's magazine (no, not Champak). It was about a cat that chased rats and sat on a mat. That's how far my poetic instincts ever went. May be excepting something insincere about world peace/ poverty/ despair I wrote in middle school. And my benchmark to judge poetry was simple-I liked them as long as they rhymed.
But then recently, late one night, when I was moping alone about how I was too old to be this clueless about life, I stumbled upon these lines:
"These paperboats of mine are meant to dance upon the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination."
And this simple line written by a white haired gentleman many years ago, uplifted the mood of a person born four generations later.
I know I have these vague ambitions of making a difference in people's lives. But can anything I do (as an average economist, consultant or government servant) match the kind of a impact a poet can have?
Think of how happy the average Bollywood lyricist can make you.
Feeling daunted by work or life?
"Mitti ke parato ko nanhe se ankur bhi cheerein....
Suraj ki kirano ko roke yeh salakhen hai kahaan; sapno pe pehren de, yeh aankhen hai kahaan"
Or the more prosaic,
"Tension vension kya lena maathe pe bal hote hai
Beparvah muskano se hi masle hal hote hai"
"Lena dena nahi duniya se bas ab tujhse kaam hai
Teri ankhiyon ke shahar mein yaara sab intezam hai
Khushiyon ka tukra mile ya mila dukh khurchane
Tere mere kharche main sab ka ek daam hai"
Stunned by nature's beauty?
"Aasman ke chhat pe hain apni duniya
Khilkhilati jismein hai apni khushiya
Chaand ki chalni liye
Taare chunte hai hum
Jadui hai yeh jahaan
Hai nahi koi gham."
Of course this is not to deny that the same sentiment could be described by
"Yeh blue hai pani pani pani pani
Aur din bhi saaanny sannny saanny".