नए साल की पहली चाय

(Scroll below for English translation– The First Cup of the New Year Tea)

फ़र्क़ सिर्फ़ इतना था 

कि बाक़ी सब प्रियजन पुराने साल में अभी तक सो रहे थे 

और मैं जल्दी उठ कर 

नये साल की पहली चाय बना रहा था 

देखा जाए तो नए साल की पहली चाय में 

कुछ नया नहीं है

वही अदरक के तीखे तेवर  

चायपत्ती का हल्का कड़वापन 

गुड की मनमोहक मिठास 

और दूध का प्यार भरा अंदाज़ 

और मेरे जीवन में भी कुछ कायाकल्प नहीं हुआ आज 

टेबल पे कुछ सपने अधूरे पड़े हैं 

जीने की क़ीमतें याद दिलाती रसीदें बुकमार्क बन चुकी हैं 

प्रिय जन अभी भी ३१ की रात की थकान में सो रहे हैं 

उनकी उम्मीदें और शिकायतें भी अधूरी हैं 

वो कहाँ पुराने साल के दायरे में दफ़्न होती है 

वो तो बस नए साल की अपेक्षा में पुनर्जन्म लेती है 

चाय का प्याला धीरे धीरे ख़ाली हो रहा है 

क्या उसे पता है नए साल होने का मतलब?

वो तो रोज़ शिद्दत से मुझे उठाता है 

चंद पलों के लिए अपनी महफ़ूज़ दुनिया में लाता है 

फिर ख़ाली होकर धुलता है 

और रात भर एक नई सुबह की नई चाय का इंतज़ार करता है

काश मैं भी यह सीख पाता 

अपनी भूमिकाओं को बख़ूबी निभा कर 

खालीपन में लौट जाता 

और हर सुबह ही एक नए साल का इंतज़ार करता 

मैं भी तो एक ख़ाली प्याला हूँ 

मिट्टी से तपकर बना हूँ 

मिट्टी में ही मिल जाऊँगा एक दिन 

हर सुबह एक नई चाय मेरे जीवन को भरती है 

कुछ मिठास कुछ कड़वापन लिए 

मुझे एक दिन और जीने के लिए प्रेरित करती है

हर रात मैं अकेले बिताता हूँ 

उन शांत पलों में अपने विधाता के क़रीब आता हूँ 

हर सुबह मैं एक प्याला बन जाता हूँ 

और एक नई चाय को गले लगाता हूँ

— मनीष श्रीवास्तव


सुबह ६।३० बजे 

(This poem is a part of upcoming book by Manish Srivastava. Pls write to speaktomanu@gmail.com for more details)

(english translation)

The First Cup of the New Year Tea 

The only difference was 

That my loved ones were still sleeping in the comfort of the old year 

While I woke up early to make myself 

The first cup of the new year tea 

Otherwise, there is nothing special 

About this tea 

Same refreshing sharpness of ginger 

Necessary bitterness of tea leaves 

Uplifting sweetness of jaggery 

And loving harmony of the boiled milk 

Likewise, there is nothing transformative 

About my new year’s morning 

My table is filled with many unfinished dreams 

Bills have become bookmarks 

Reminding me of the cost of living 

My family sleeps in the exhaustion of the old year 

While their hopes and complains 

Roll on the floor, waiting for the completion 

Desires never dissolve with the passing year 

They only get renewed with the new 

My teacup is slowly being emptied 

Does it (he) know the meaning of the new year? 

He loyally wakes me up every morning 

Gives me a few moments of warmth and safety 

Once emptied, he quietly waits to be washed 

The whole night he dries up alone 

Preparing for a new morning tea 

I wish he could teach me 

To play my part diligently each day 

Return to emptiness each night 

And wait for a new year to fill me up, each morning 

I am an empty cup of a tea 

Baked from earth 

In earth will I dissolve one day 

Every morning fills me up with life 

Inspiring me with its sweet bitterness 

Every night I retreat in solitude 

Awaiting a new cup of morning tea 

Happy new year, 2023! 

— Manish Srivastava 

6.30 am, 1st January 2023

(This poem is a part of upcoming book by Manish Srivastava. Pls write to speaktomanu@gmail.com for more details)

Forgiveness- an old mantra to create new possibilities for coming year! 

Threshold of the new year is an invitation for us to reflect on the passing year and make a new start for the coming. Today’s cover page article on “Forgiveness” in the Pune Mirror brought a refreshing perspective on forgiveness as a way to dissolve our old hurts, angst and helplessness, and, create new possibilities in the coming year. It made me contemplate on what forgiveness means to me.


What is forgiveness, really?

Forgiveness is a magical mantra that can
Dissolve eons of hurt
In an instance

Forgiveness is an ancient wisdom
that healed broken hearts; restored sanity
And weaved the quilt to keep our children warm

Forgiveness is a paradox that’s simultaneously
Selfish— serving the deep individual need to be free
And selfless— opening our hearts to others vulnerability

Forgiveness is a choice that refreshes the earth,
Soft, tilled, black soil
Ready for rebirth

Forgiveness is the only way a victim is
Liberated from the prison of lifelong misery
Riding the wings of grace and compassion

Forgiveness is where the anger of past
And the fear of future dissolves in
The present moment

You and I are mere parts
In the grand play
Now relaxing in the script we never wrote


How do I forgive in true sense?

True forgiveness is not a transaction triggered by an apology
Sometimes, eyelids are more expressive than lips
Silence has more sorrow than “sorrys”
Regrets are realisations too fine for linguistics
Then why do we get stuck?
Waiting forever for a well articulated confession

Forgiveness is an inner journey that starts only when
A soul sees the self-destructive pay-off of nurturing hurt
Pointless power game of victimhood
And disproportionate suffering on behalf of a collective
that we have little or no memory of

Forgiveness is a calling for
The courage of Rama,
Fierceness of Shiva,
Grace of Shakti
And innocence of a butterfly

It is a radical simplicity—
of seeing yourself mirrored in the others
Acknowledging the broken humanness
Dropping the sword of vengeance
Becoming the Sovereign
And embracing the wounded heart!


Where do I begin? 

Oh my bleeding heart!
How deeply I long to forgive
Most of all, my own self!
For failing to stand for my innocence

All those faces, I love to despise
Hold a piece of my broken heart
Standing in a hesitant circle around me
Hoping to return what’s truly mine

As the year ends
I restore the lost pieces of my heart
Sitting alone with my brokenness
Letting others dissolve within

For the old soul taught us
“Wound is where the light enters…”






Wish you a wonderful new year!

Manish Srivastava
The Sacred Well

December 31st 2017

[Poetry & Pictures by Manish Srivastava]



5 questions that helped me in practicing forgiveness and freeing my inner power: 

[I am a practitioner and a poet. I need to integrate the insights in my practice. So, I reflected on 5 questions to help me release old hurts from 2017 and stepping in 2018 with new energy. Adding them below, in case, the practitioner-in-you longs to take similar journey]

  1. HURT: This year, what were the moments when I felt most angered, hurt, helpless or victimised? By whom and when?
  2. MY NEEDS: What needs/values of mine were most compromised? What are my regrets from self?
  3. OTHER’S VULNERABILITY: What might be the helplessness/stuckness/ fears that others might have experienced that made them behave the way they did?
  4. LET-GO: What is the burden (hurt, emotions, old story, memory etc) that I do not wish to carry anymore? What I am ready to let-go off now?
  5. HONOUR: How can I truly honour my deep needs/ values myself in future? What learning, resources, strengths I have gathered in all these year(s) to honour myself?