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Yes its sinking in.. Rank 40, CSE 2015.The UPSC circle- the close and the beginning.

Bagh-e-Bahisht Se Mujhe Hukam-e-Safar Diya Tha Kyun Kaar-e-Jahan Daraz Hai, Ab Mera Intezar Kar                      - Mohammad...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December songs - Stories you carry within...

जाएगा भी तो कहाँ 
तू ये कारवाँ छोड़कर ?
तू ये कहानी लिए ,
बैठा है किस मोड़ पर ?

पलकों पर तेरी 
- जल रही है -
हाथों पर तेरे 
-बदल रही है -

Photograph clicked at: Lbsnaa, Musoorie, India

Monday, December 26, 2016

December songs- Alehda

इन आसमानों तले, इक पल अलहदा -सा है। 
ऊँचे पहाड़ों में इक ,छोटे से घरौंदे में छुपा ,
चुप -चाप  रहता -सा है। 
सर्दी की हर इक सुबह , में हर जमीं ओस की
- कहानी -
कागज़ पे कहता -सा है। 
इन आसमानों तले , इक पल अलहदा -सा है। 
कांगड़ी की आँच में , जल रहे कुछ 
- कांच के लफ़्ज़ों को -
- लाक के हर्फ़ों को -
- नगमों को -
- वादों को -
- धागों को -
खुद में संजोये भी है ,फिर क्यों यहाँ  ढूंढता 
हर रोज़ रहता -सा है ?
फिर क्यों यहाँ  ढूंढता ,हर रोज़ रहता -सा है ?
इन आसमानों तले , इक पल अलहदा -सा है। 

Alehda- In urdu means separated
Picture: Clicked at George Everest, Musoorie, India

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The falling.


Falling apart.
But if you can know,
- To rise -           
is a part of
falling.
This is what
shall set you apart.

Falling. I am.
Like
- light -     falling through glass.
Like
- sand -      falling in this hourglass.
Measure me,
Like 
- time -      and tuck me away
              with you
              safe.

Will you? Please.

Picture: clicked at Dalai hill, Musoorie

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The staircase and the crossing.

What alphabet? What rhythm? What song?
What did HE
- whisper -
to HER ?

HE said : 
" Let not
time
- curve - 
- warp - 
- rewind -
in those two beautiful eyes
just to plead
- GET BACK YOUR MADNESS - "

Two eyes just collided.
Two lives just crossed.
The staircase smiled.

Picture: taken at Lbsnaa, Musoorie.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Who has known the iron flowing in your blood?

It takes time to settle in
Machine.
A giant accelerating machine.
Pouring numbness.
Restlessly.
Over my pervasive being.

Do you know?
Have you cared to notice?
How does it feel
Being judged.
Hunted.
All the time.
Like you were all but a symbol.
Just to be seen.
But never to be
- reached -
- deciphered -
- absorbed -

Amidst all this
Why do you still search for
Those limpid eyes
With that fire, that light
 - which burns you -
 -  Which burns in you -

Amidst all this
Why do you still search for
That one deep voice
Loud.
- like galaxies colliding in your mind -
Silent.
- like atoms spinning in your eardrums -

Amidst all this.
Why do you still search for
That one gentle touch
Which knows
- the music curling on your fingers -
- the colours spinning in your eyes -
- the blood throbbing in your veins -
- and the IRON flowing in your blood -

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Somewhere in these hills.


Don't go tonight.
I only want to give you back
what you gave me that day.
A little of my love.
A little more of my truth.
And all of my light.

Just don't go tonight.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The music of dusk.

"एक ख़ामोशी का दरिया है 
उस  पार कहीं वो रहता है 
जैसे तेरी ही आवाज़ें 
तुझसे ही आकर कहता है 

तेरी शाम जहाँ पर सोती है ,
उस पेड़ की शाखों पर इसी लिए ,
सुबह हर रोज़ ये होती है "

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Silence can be music.

Silently approaching winters 
and suspended fog over fallen dew
bubble in me
- tales -
of train journeys,
of coffee.
of ink.
and sometimes you.

Silence
is not always
the absence of music.
It just depends
on what you choose to do.

Either you reach the music
hidden in 'their' silence.
Or you let silence make music
every moment, inside you.

Photograph: Clicked @George Everest, Musoorie

Friday, October 21, 2016

Build me a home here

Build me a home here. 
I need to break free from everything else 
and let the sun dance on my bare face. 
I want to sip some coffee here and listen to the music of the breeze caressing my hair. 
I want to fill my eyes with sunshine to the brim, and become a firefly. 
I want to be known as who I am, 
not what I seem to be.

Build me a home here.

I want to sing you lullabies
and watch you go to sleep.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The world made me cold...


"कुछ खोयी हुई, कुछ दबी हुई 
सीली, ठंडी, अनकही सभी 
- उड़ानों का  -
तू साखी है...  
जिनका लेकिन, मुझमें अब भी 
बस इक एहसास, बाकी है., 
हाँ बाकी है,,,

उड़ जाता है, जुगनू की तरह, फिर क्यों ?
मेरी पलकों से, तू यूँ 
- उजालों सा -

पर घुला भी है, हर्फ़ों की तरह, फिर क्यों?
मेरी आँखों में, तू यूँ 
- सवालों सा -

तू कौन है, तेरा नाम है क्या ?
तेरा मुझमें कहीं एहतराम है क्या ?
तू मिल जाए तो क्या होगा ?
घुल जाए मुझमे तो क्या होगा ?
क्या होगा ?"
ps: "The world made me cold.
You made me water.
Someday we'll be clouds"
- Ian Thomas

(The previous night a conversation reminded me of these three lines by Ian Thomas and they are still reverberating in my mind.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

You my home, reside in me.

My rhythm had known you from ages.
You were always here, 
and yet out of sight.
I am searching you each dawn and dusk 
in the layers of my soul
Come, dwell in me, 
be my home tonight.
"तेरा घर उस पार कहीं है और, 
इस पार कहीं घर मेरा है ...
मैं पर्वत-पर्वत,वादी-वादी,
नदिया-नदिया,घाटी-घाटी 
क्या  ढूंढ रहा? क्यों ढूंढ रहा? 

तूने घर मुझमें है लिया बना 
और यार तू ही घर मेरा है।" 

Picture: Clicked at himalayan trek, @on the way to doditaal, Uttarakhand, India

Monday, September 19, 2016

You live here.

I don't just
- exist -
I live here.
"बस एक गुज़रता लम्हा ही नहीं मैं  
जो पलकों  पर से उड़ जाता हूँ 
मैं एक बरसता कलमा हूँ 
धागों की तरह जुड़ जाता हूँ  "
कलमा: in Urdu means word
Picture: Taken in Lbsnaa, Musoorie, India

Friday, September 16, 2016

The said and the unsaid.

"कैसे मैं तुम्हे कह दूँ बोलो ,ये  बात नहीं अल्फ़ाज़ों की 
ये रसमुलखत का खेल नहीं, ये बात है बस एहसासों की 
आँखों में मेरे ये रक्स करे  
मिल जायेगी इन पलकों के तले 
- ये रिसती हुई -
- ये उड़ती हुई -

तुम बस छू दो इसको आँखों से अपनी 
- दानिश मैं नहीं - "

How do I speak or write to you?
This is not a thing of words.
This is no play of alphabets.
This is just something to be sensed
- Known -
- Explored -
- Absorbed -

It dances right here in my eyes.
If only you come searching
You shall find it
Beneath my eyelashes
- leaking - 
- flickering -
Yet intact.
If only you could touch it with your eyes
Because I am not
- direct -

Picture source: Clicked by me on the way to binog hill, Musoorie
रसमुलखत : An urdu word meaning alphabets
दानिश  : Direct

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If only.

If you are here 
only to see my colours 
you shall be disappointed.
If only you could see 
what has kept me
all this while
- integrated -
Because I only wish 
to reach the music
which kindles this fire 
I see in your eyes
even when, the world says you have 
- dissipated -
"कैसे अक़ीदत से मैं, दूँ बता, मुखातिब तुझे मेरे हौंसलों का 
शहर अजनबी है, और अभी तू  मुझसे ताहरूफ़ नहीं है। "

Picture- clicked at LBSNAA, Musoorie
अक़ीदत : An urdu word meaning devotion
मुखातिब : Address
ताहरूफ़ : known or introduced

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What the world does not see.


मैंने यहाँ सुन लिया 
तेरी जलती हुई कहानी का 
- संगीत -
हर हर्फ़ तेरा, मुझमे रहता
- ताबिंदा है -
जग ने बस मेरे माथे पर, उगता सूरज देखा है
वो क्या जाने, पलकों पे मेरे जुगनू की तरह
- तू ज़िंदा है -

Photograph- clicked by me at Lbsnaa, Musoorie 
# ताबिंदा = An urdu word which means shining bright
   हर्फ़ = word

Friday, August 26, 2016

To everything unknown.

What have you been looking for?
- all this long -
- all along -
And stories connect. And songs collide.
We all need those words and silence
to walk with us, just beside.
- in our journeys long -
- all along -

I believe you will 'find' me there.
between fear and love.
between right and wrong.
- all along -
I have been walking 
in this everything unknown,
with my music, with my song.
- all along -
"तू मेरे गीत का कौनसा लफ्ज़ है ?
मैंने तुझको कभी, हाँ लिखा भी नहीं। 
गुनगुनाता भी है , मुझमें एहसास-सा 
कागजों पर मेरे दीखता भी नहीं ..
तू मेरा कौन है? मैं तेरा कौन हूँ ?
कौन अरमान है ?
कौन अनजान है ?
दे बता 
ऐ ख़ुदा 
ऐ ख़ुदा 
ऐ ख़ुदा। "

photograph- Clicked by me @ train journey

Monday, August 1, 2016

The song of the missing words.

I wondered-
" why he never talked,
all this time 
- in laughter - 
- or in cries. -"

May be he just waits. 
Silently 
for his season. 
For I had seen 'spring' in those eyes.

And I had seen
'spring' 
- swimming -
- brimming -
- coming - 
in those crystalline eyes. 
Photography- One of my garden clicks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The law of everything.


There is a law of everything.
But then, do you know?
Have you cared to wonder,
who writes it?
There is gold and fire in every being here.
But then, its all about
- when -
and
- who -
ignites it.
" तू क्या ढूंढता है ?
तू क्या जानता है ?
तू किन कायदों को,
लिखा मानता है ? 
 रुका तू कहाँ है ?
बुझा तू कहाँ है ?
तेरी आग तो तेरे अंदर कहीं है। 
तू सैलाब भी है, बस समंदर नहीं है। 
- जब उठता है खुद में , तो किनारों को तोड़े -
- या पिघलाए धरती और पहाड़ों को मोड़े -
वो संगीत तेरा 
तुझी में तो है ,बस  यही देखना है 
इसे कौन कब 
कैसे पहचानता है। 

Photography: https://www.instagram.com/p/BITC09dBonM/?taken-by=gazalbharadwaj

Friday, July 8, 2016

That innocence you think you lost.

" तेरी पलकों पे बैठा हुआ हूँ। 
तुझमें बचपन - सा रहता रहा हूँ। 
और तू पूछता है, कहाँ हूँ  ? "
If only you could take off your glasses,
You would find me flicker, dancing on your delicate eyelashes.
If only you could let go of those masks,
you would find me rise from inside you, from ashes.
Let me flicker, 
let me rise, 
let me dance.

P.S. - We seem to have lost it, dropped it somewhere. Stuck in hectic city lives, we  keep searching the premises of our own innocence, thinking that we left it back somewhere disowned, at some place..

Friday, July 1, 2016

The unfinished stories we encounter...


... like a hundred lights dancing on his lashes
had a hundred stories to tell,
with a hundred pauses flickering
between his light and his darkness
I wondered where that 'real him' dwelled.
And I could not tell
which light was his true light
That story I happened to collide with that eve
remains an unfinished painting till this night.

तू क्या हारकर, जीतने को चला है?
तू  क्या जीत कर, आज फिर लड़ रहा है?

  - तेरी जीत क्या है?  -
  - तेरी हार क्या है?  -
तेरी कोशिशों का
तेरी बंदिशों का
तेरे फैसलों का
तेरे हौंसलो का
  - आधार क्या है? -

Monday, June 27, 2016

To the city beautiful.

There is something about cities.
You can lose yourself in them, 
... in their concrete buildings and traffic.
And you can find yourself.

Being brought up in a small and calm town like Roorkee, I've been associated to two cities till today, and both of them have a special place in my heart, just as my hometown does.
As I write this today, I look back at myself exactly a year and a half back, and I smile. This is what I wrote then, and shared on my blog :

JANUARY, 2015 (http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/01/blog-post.html )
"There is this something which is troubling me since past few days. I wish to resolve it. 

I  bid adieu to New delhi, few days back. And here I am in one of the most beautiful cities of India, Chandigarh. Delhi made me a different person. I would rather say, it transformed me from a kid to a young woman, a thinking and questioning woman. I learned. I failed. I rose. I lost. I found. Yes, Delhi I remember everything you gave me, and I'm thankful to you. I'll come back one day I promise.


I am on my way to something, and I do not know if I'd get it or not. People make choices, sometimes sacrifices. Sometimes life itself is taking away from you, some sacrifices, without even your knowledge. That is how they say, the balance is maintained, Isostasy, you see. 


People come and people go. Moments appear and moments depart. Cities, villages, towns, all so different and yet full of similar people become a part of our lives, and so do their stories. We're all heading somewhere. And we don't know whether we'll get there or not. But let this not stop us from living life as it comes, cherishing it, growing old with it, wiser and evolved. We are humans after all. We can think, question, complicate, and resolve. For its all in our heads. For even animals can feel. But we can channelise our feelings, derive energy from them.


Living alone in a new city, teaches you a lot of things. Yes you're alone and that pinches you often. But, you know you have a purpose. And you have somewhere started to trust your efforts. Believe me, don't trust anyone else, but them."



When I wrote these lines here in Chandigarh, I was on my way to something.
Tonight, when I type these lines here again, I'm on my way to something too.
But there is a difference. That difference is what this city shall always be remembered for.
"There's something about cities.
You can lose yourself there.
And you can find yourself all over again.
Do the latter, and you shall make the city yours."

Yours forever. 
Cheers to you- the city beautiful.To you:
कारवानों में तू ढूंढे वो लम्हा तेरा 
और लम्हे तेरे कारवाँ लिख रहें हैं 
लफ्ज़ और खामोशियों के बीच में...

लफ्ज़ बंदिश भी हैं 
और हवा की तरह 
लफ्ज़ आज़ाद हैं 
इनको जी ले , कि  यें , 
बस तेरे आज हैं 
कल रहें न रहें, 
कल मिलें न मिलें 
बीते लम्हों को मत तोल, 
वो कब रहे साथ हैं ?

कारवानों में इन, तू है लम्हा वो इक,
ढूंढता तू जिसे है, अब यहाँ, अब वहाँ 
ढूंढता जग जिसे है सदा से रहा, 
जाने पहचानों और बेगानों के बीच में...


PS: In remembrance of the journey:
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/09/the-shouting-rhymes.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/09/roshni-3-let-me-change-like-this-city.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/09/unworldly.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/09/i-know-you-cant.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/05/hot-air.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/06/defying-gravity.html
http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/11/the-brittle-dream.html



Friday, June 17, 2016

Its all about what we are made up of.

In the windmill...
  - mass meets mass - 
  - acceleration feels acceleration -
  - force knows force -
  - energy becomes energy -
We all transform. Don't we?

So You?
Do You know?
Have You seen, heard, known, touched?
My elements and my atoms?
Yes, I am the wind.
Fast, slow, warm, cold, clear, hazy
Contained in myself and yet free.
Free.
Have you seen, heard, known, touched?
My harmony?

Its all about what we are made up of.
Its all about what we shall become.

Photograph source : www.capstoneinfrastructure.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Let me.

I know the darkness between these spaces
I am light.
Will you let me reach you then?
For I'm going to rain tonight.
....तू उलझा है जब जब
तू टूटा है जब जब
इन हौंसलों  सा;
जमा है नमी सा
रहा है  कमी सा

तू जुड़ जाएगा फिर
कहानी-सा इक दिन
तू मिल जाएगा फिर
रास्तों में किसी दिन.


तू इन धमनियों में,
धधकता हुआ -सा
अरमान बनके,
तू जाना-सा कोई
अनजान  बनके ,
मिल जाएगा फिर
रास्तों में किसी दिन.

https://in.pinterest.com/pin/491525746812554826/

Monday, May 23, 2016

The dawn is within.

पहाड़ों की हर इक सुबह को मगर मैं 
समेटे हूँ खुद में। 
है खोया बहुत कुछ जहाँ में, फिर इक दिन 
मिला सब वो मुझ में। 

तू जाने जिसे है खुदा से भी ज़्यादा 
वो एहसास क्या है ?
तू गर दूर खुद से यूँ होने लगेगा,
तो फिर पास क्या है ?
photograph: clicked by me @Tattapani, Himachal

Friday, May 13, 2016

Yes its sinking in.. Rank 40, CSE 2015.The UPSC circle- the close and the beginning.



Bagh-e-Bahisht Se Mujhe Hukam-e-Safar Diya Tha Kyun
Kaar-e-Jahan Daraz Hai, Ab Mera Intezar Kar
                     - Mohammad Iqbal.
(Why did You order me to quit the Garden of Eden? 
Now I have work to finish. Now you will have to wait for me.)

Yes, it has now started to sink in. What is it I think, this whole thing about getting an all India rank 40 in UPSC 2015? Well it is a feeling. A beautiful feeling. A powerful feeling. And why is it beautiful and powerful? Because, it strengthens that belief, a deeply held belief that whatever happens in our lives, is for a reason. And the reason is to make us grow, evolve and expand, learning from our failures and mistakes. The reason is always us.

It is beautiful and powerful because it makes me feel today, that I stand right between the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one. But the song remains the same. And there is so much of work to be finished in this new journey.

And lastly, it is beautiful and powerful because of the very manner it came to me. So, I ask myself, why after writing three mains previously and missing it so close every time? Why not then, and why now? But now I have the answer. When Dr. Kalam passed away, I was stirred to writing a post for him. It was not a post, it was everything I wanted to tell him whenever I meet him. I share the link here. (http://gazalbharadwaj.blogspot.in/2015/07/you-do-not-die.html)

Every time I found out I missed the list by 11, 35 and 9 marks respectively, I would read his same book, same pages, same words and put my pieces back, back to work. I quote his words here, because they are the answer-

When he missed his dream of being an air force pilot, scoring 9th position where as there were only 8 slots available, this is what he had to say- “walked around for a while till I reached the edge of a cliff” before deciding to go to Rishikesh and “seek a new way forward.”... Or when he was pushed to the edge by one of his mentors, “It is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives,”

Yes. This is it. This is the answer. This is what makes me feel beautiful and powerful today. It was there inside. God/ Nature/ Universe, whatever we may call that energy which empowers us wanted me to explore, to burn, to learn and to grow. If today in some parallel universe, I get the chance of an alternate timeline, I would still choose this long one. Because these four years have made me who you see today. These failures and learning to grow out of them have made me ready for the challenges that my job will require me to face tomorrow. I wrote the following words last year on my blog, and they fit so perfectly here today- 

"THE CIRCLE OF DREAMS
Its not about whether you will win or not. Its about what you win.
Remember, when you jump up,
you will also hit the ground.
And jump up again..

What would remain is-
The impact you made on the ground.
and the embrace on your cheek, of the air around."

My blog has always been a story, my story. It has been my hiding place, my refuge, my abode. This is where the real me resides. And this moment, this part of my story I dedicate to Mum and Dad for giving me roots and wings and making me the free bird who loves to fly. And you ‘babybrother’ for being my friend and bearing with meJ. I love you all. And a big thank you hug. Here’s a song from boyzone I dedicate to you-

“You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me
And I can't believe it's you, I can't believe it's true
I needed you and you were there
And I'll never leave, why should I leave? I'd be a fool
'Cause I finally found someone who really cares
You needed me. Yes you needed me."

All I feel like saying is that there are two things battling with each other inside our mind- fear and love. If you want something, fall in love with it, and never ever give up on it. I feel like quoting something which always keeps me moving-
"I don’t think you understand who you’re dealing with! I have no limits! I cannot be contained because I’m the container. You can’t contain the container, man! You can’t contain the container! My soul is not contained within the limits of my body. My body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.” -Jim Carrey, Graduation speech at M.U.M. University.
_________________________________________________________ picture credits- Krittika Swamee.

I am attaching my marksheet here: Written total 748, Personality test 206, Board- Mr. P.K Joshi, Optional HISTORY(245)






















RECENT: I HAVE POSTED A DETAILED PREPARATION STRATEGY OF HISTORY OPTIONAL HERE : http://www.insightsonindia.com/2016/05/20/optional-strategy-history-gazal-bharadwaj-rank-40-cse-2015/

I HAVE POSTED A DETAILED ESSAY STRATEGY HERE: http://www.insightsonindia.com/2016/05/25/essay-strategy-gazal-bharadwaj-rank-40-marks-jumped-74-cse-2013-147-cse-2015/

I HAVE POSTED A DETAILED PRELIMS STRATEGY HERE:
http://www.insightsonindia.com/2016/06/21/upsc-ias-prelims-strategy-gazal-bharadwaj-rank-40-cse-2015/

REGARDING INTERVIEW:
1. MY SUMMARY SHEET : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Zk4bMabIY2X0Z6S2hfb21LdWM/view?usp=sharing

2. INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: My interview was mostly based on economics, for reasons I do not know. Thankfully, I had been well versed with it as I had taught economics after mains and also prepared it for my tiss hrm interview, so I could do justice with the questions. 

CHAIRMAN: Is there anything else you are doing?
CHAIRMAN: There is this inflation problem in India. Explain the causes behind it.
CHAIRMAN: What are the measures taken for the farm sector in the recent budget?
CHAIRMAN: What are the functions of the IMF?
CHAIRMAN: What is the difference between IMF and WB?
M1: The recent budget speech did not even mention properly the defence sector. Do you think it was right to do so?
M1: But still, if you cannot secure the borders, what farm security are we talking about?
M1: Have you read Madhushala?
M1: ok. Do you know who wrote it?
M1: Which poets do you like?
M1: You have participated in nukkad team. What is a nukkad?
M2: What are your views on Kashmir problem? Grilled on it via cross questioning.
M2: Is India a strong/weak/ medium state?
M3: Difference between fiscal deficit and current account deficit?
M3: How is money created in an economy?
M3: Impact of federal reserve’s decisions recently on Indian economy? Tapering, quantitative easing, currency devaluations etc
M3: problems of Indian exports?
M4: Your views on Railway budget?
M4: What is axle load? (grilled on it, as I didn’t remember it despite being a civil engg)
M4: What is troposphere?
M4:What is the difference between bod an cod?