the tavern

one of my dear friends asks me this question –

‘how do we know the exact moment when night ends and day begins?’

i’ve always treated the moment i wake up from slumber – irrespective of the time – as the dawn of the new day. would some of you want to answer that question for my friend?


‘chhote se jeevan mein kitnaa, pyaar karoon, pee loon haalaa
aane ke hi saath jagat mein, kahlaayaa jaane waalaa
swaagat ke hi saath bidaa ki, hoatee dekhee tayyaari
band lagee hone khulate hi, meri jeevan madhushaalaa’

those are some lines from madhushala – a poem of some 100 odd verses written by harivansh rai bachchan. though i’ve never been the poetry kinds, this book has deeply moved me by touching a chord buried somwhere deep inside. i first came across madhushala through a college friend and simply fell in love with the words. thanks to my colleague, i’m listening to the verses sung by manna dey right now. i’m not sure if my love for this work is because of the profound words of bachchan or because of the dey’s beautiful rendition of the verses, or both!

bachchan, in these verses, beautifully combines the metaphors of the tavern, wine, the glass, the server and so on to paint a hard hitting and realistic picture of life filled with its dilemmas, intoxications and frustrations. i especially like the poem because of the stress on the philosophy of living in the ‘moment’.

the above verse, roughly translated (by me of course!) reads as follows –

‘how much can i love, how much wine can i drink in this ephemeral life?
the moment he arrives, it is known that he will leave
with the welcoming have i seen the preparations for the farewell
barely upon opening is it shutting down, the tavern of my life’

beautiful, isn’t it?


“the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like and do what you would rather not”
– Mark Twain

(am sure my father would immediately disagree!)


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