It’s Always Later Than Sooner…

in relating to them around me.

A month or so ago, I missed the call when it came. Coming from a distant suburb, he wanted to know if I was home and he could drop in. ‘Never mind, I’ll make it next time I’m in those parts,’ he promised.

Well,,,it didn’t happen. Unknown to me, a week back he had suddenly passed away leaving me waiting still for his call and visit.

J was in my school, in my class and a bench-mate for years. Once out of school, we were in touch off and on. Never really got to spend time together. He was busy climbing the corporate ladder scaling one peak after another along the way while I was going gray in my grind. But when we met, we always picked up the threads like it was yesterday.

It was a few years ago when J came down to my place last. And spent time engaging my mother, an old lady not in best of health. Seeing my house in a mess on that occasion, this generous soul spontaneously offered to help me financially and with a paid assignment, entirely unsolicited.

Regrettably this is not the first time fate dealt a vicious kick when least expected. ‘Better sooner than later’ seems to be a lesson never learnt in the school of life.

Well…I’m no Munir Niazi to say it exactly as it feels, as only he can in so few words:

हमेशा देर कर देता हूँ मैं / मुनीर नियाज़ी
1923 – 2006, Lahore, Pakistan

ज़रूरी बात कहनी हो 
कोई वादा निभाना हो 
उसे आवाज़ देनी हो 
उसे वापस बुलाना हो 
हमेशा देर कर देता हूँ मैं

मदद करनी हो उसकी 
यार का धाढ़स बंधाना हो 
बहुत देरीना[1] रास्तों पर 
किसी से मिलने जाना हो 
हमेशा देर कर देता हूँ मैं 

बदलते मौसमों की सैर में 
दिल को लगाना हो 
किसी को याद रखना हो 
किसी को भूल जाना हो 
हमेशा देर कर देता हूँ मैं 

किसी को मौत से पहले 
किसी ग़म से बचाना हो 
हक़ीक़त और थी कुछ 
उस को जा के ये बताना हो 
हमेशा देर कर देता हूँ मैं 


Source: and clip from Gul Advani

6 Responses to It’s Always Later Than Sooner…

  1. Sanjay says:

    Wonderful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SRKannan says:

    Beautiful. How did you locate such an apt poem for the occasion? You must be well read!!
    So true for any occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anand Shastri says:

    Dear Raghu,

    This happens to all of us. I think it is designed that way – while people are around, we assume, validly, that they are there for ever, till a final sudden separation does us apart. That is the whole charm and tragedy too of life.

    Since you seem okay with Devanagari, I much recommend the song from a Hindi film, on the same theme, except that this is between a man and his woman. One of my favourites. Watch the video too, if you want.

    जिन्दगी के सफ़र में गुजर जाते हैं जो मकाम
    वो फिर नहीं आते, वो फिर नहीं आते

    फूल खिलते हैं, लोग मिलते हैं मगर
    पतझड में जो फूल मुरझा जाते हैं
    वो बहारों के आने से खिलते नहीं
    कुछ लोग एक रोज जो बिछड़ जाते हैं
    वो हजारों के आने से मिलते नहीं
    उम्रभर चाहे कोई पुकारा करे उनका नाम
    वो फिर नहीं आते …

    आँख धोखा है, क्या भरोसा है, सुनो
    दोस्तों शक दोस्ती का दुश्मन है
    अपने दिल में इसे घर बनाने ना दो
    कल तड़पना पड़े याद में जिनकी
    रोक लो, रुठकर उनको जाने ना दो
    बाद में प्यार के, चाहे भेजो हजारो सलाम
    वो फिर नहीं आते …

    सुबह आती है, रात जाती है, यूँही
    वक्त चलता ही रहता है, रुकता नहीं
    एक पल में ये आगे निकल जाता है
    आदमी ठीक से देख पाता नहीं
    और परदे पे मंजर बदल जाता है
    एक बार चले जाते हैं, जो दिन रात सुबह शाम
    वो फिर नहीं आते …

    गीत : आनंद बक्षी,
    गायक : किशोर कुमार,
    संगीत: राहुलदेव बर्मन,
    फिल्म : आप की कसम (१९७४)

    Liked by 1 person

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