Tuesday, July 25, 2017


क्यों हार गए
जो हारे नहीं 
मगर है 
समय अलग 
दौर अलग 
माहौल अलग। 

कांधो पर जिनके 
सर रखे 
नीर बहाये थे पुरज़ोर 
उनके आँसू
कौन पिए 
कौन सुनाए 
ढाँढस बोल। 

वो थे आधार 
स्थायी स्तंभ 
आके गुज़र गए 
उनकी छाओं में 
सहमे, कुचले 
पनपे और ख़ुशहाल हुए 
अब जो टूटे 
शाख से पत्ते 
पीले, मुरझाये हुए 
कौन खबर ले 
उन शाखों की,
उन प्रश्नों के
उत्तर क्या 
उनकी बातों का 
मोल है कितना 
उनके जज़्बे की 
कीमत क्या। 

वो आज भी कहते 
हारे नही
पर फिर क्यों 
थक के चूर लगें 
संघर्ष है बेमानी 
अब क्यों 
मकसद सब झूट लगें। 

उनसे आँख 
 न मिलती है 
बस आँख दिखा 
रह जाते हैं 
हम अन्यमनस्क से रहते हैं 
वो भी 
अब बस मुस्काते हैं। 
उनकी मुस्कान में है गहरी 
शिकस्तों वाली वेदना 
हार का एहसास 
हार की ग़मगीनियां 
अपने अनदेखे में भी 
हारे हुए की अवहेलना 
उपहास का आभास 
अपमान की  भावना। 

वह हार गए
शायद उनके 
सिद्धांतों का था
अंजाम यही 
उनकी शिकस्त का आगाज़ था 
उनके शब्दों का दम खोना 
मतलब तो अब भी हासिल थे 
सुननेवालों का काम होना 
था सब्र नहीं 
विवेक नहीं 
फिर श्रवण हुए का 
क्या मतलब 
जब हुए चेतना शुन्य सभी 
तो व्यर्थ हुए वह शब्द सभी 
वो बातें भी 
जो थीं गौर-तलब। 
वो हार गए 
तब, जबकि 
सब हाथ छोड़कर 
अलग हुए 
बहके दूसरे लफ्ज़ो से 
संघर्ष से लाचार हुए। 

कहने को 
अब भी  लड़ते हैं 
पर जान चुके हैं 
भाँती भली 
शिकस्त मिल चुकी कबकी ही 
ये तो बस अब आदत है 
न तब थी टली,
न अब है टली। 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


How easy is it
to put a gun in hand,
How easy is it
to be a man,
and in times like these
it is hard to reason
and understand,
with minds
that are full 
of dope,
crazy notions of hope.

Can you describe 

the feeling
when you are going down 
this slope?
Now you are down
with several others
whose name and
you know not
whose life and
you somehow chose.
the chosen ones,
also the chosen ones,
part of someone else's war,
The gods whose face
remain unknown
the enemies sworn.

Your cause,

their consequences,
what does all that 
make of us,
spectators of your deeds,
of the hatred
that you sow,
the hatred
that you feed.

"Will you stop

if the victory
is yours?"

Why do I

ask this question,
perhaps because 
you don’t leave
a choice.
so many of them
cross my mind,
all useless,
pretentious and sham.

How easy is it

to take a life.
How easy is it
to terrorize.
How easy is it
to talk of pain and sadness,
macabre and gloom
to write these lines
of wrong and rights,
finishing the notes
switching off the lights.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Raat aur Din

रात का इरादा है 
यूँही साथ बैठे बीत जाने का 
दिन के इरादे पता नही 
कल जाने ये दिन होगा भी या नही 

रात का इरादा है 
सहरा में बैठे चाँद निहारते रहने का 
दिन बेचैन है 
कल के ठिकाने के ख्याल से झूंझते 

रात का इरादा है 
हौले हौले चलते, परबत की दूसरी ज़ानिब जाने का 
दिन की आँखों में नींद है गहरी 
अब सोये तो न जाने फिर कब उठे 

रात का इरादा 
कभी नेक, कभी फरेब, कभी शोख़ी से इतराने का 
दिन साकित 
गुमसूम, किसी बंद कमरे का मेहमां 

रात इरादों की गिरफ़्त में 
आज़ादी से अफलाकों में टहलती है 
दिन अफ़सुर्दा 
फ़लक से मुख़्तसर सी मुलाक़ात को तरसता है

ये रात इरादों की रात है 
इस रात की अब कोई सुबह नहीं 
दिन राहगीर, मंज़िल है जिसको नसीब 
इस दिन का अब कोई सफर नही 

Monday, November 09, 2015

My thoughts on 2015 Bihar Election Results

So, what was the giveaway from yesterday's poll results; in short, Lalu-Nitish won, BJP lost. However, dig deeper and you realize that the biggest loser of these polls were the people of Bihar. It is a shame that they have to choose a person like Lalu. Perhaps they thought that Nitish would be able to rein in and keep Lalu and RJD in control. Nevertheless, with RJD being the bigger partner in the alliance, only time will tell how easy will that be. The fact that Congress won 75% of the seats they fought, is another worrying factor. Wasn't 2014 election supposed to be the beginning of an end of these parties? This is why it is a shame, a shame for us who are governed, and a missed opportunity for the BJP and to large extent, BJP (and it's think-tank) are to be blamed as well.

When BJP came to power in 2014, there was much promise of development and country finally moving in right direction, after the corruption filled times of previous govt. 'Sabke saath, sabka vikas' proclaimed BJP (actually Modi) and people believed. Even the skeptics like me were willing to sit, wait and watch. Moreover, people like me wwere looking forward to be proven wrong. It will not be wrong to say that Modi had everything going for him. Yet, for all the talks of development before election, what one got instead was Adityanaths, Girirajs, Sakshi Maharajs and saadhvis. It was not Dinanath Batra, ghar wapsi, beef ban, lynching, hindutva and polarization that people have voted for, it was something else that was promised. As time went, doubts became real. When a statesman like Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not able to control the thugs within BJP, how much of a chance Modi had, given that he seemed to align with them anyways. Bhakts might not agree to this, but Modi is no Vajpayee and it will be long before he can become one. Vajpayee could carry the government and the country despite the rouges in BJP and the constraints that he faced. Modi, on the other hand, had a much clear verdict after 2014 elections and held a (seemingly) much firmer grasp, and effect, on BJP cadre, and despite all that, his record of accomplishment is average to say the least.

It is not that Modi govt has not done anything. I, for one, do not mind his foreign trips. I think it has instilled confidence in Indians in general and for a country claiming to be next superpower, it is important that its leaders act like one. Modi has that persona and it does not harm if he projects that at the world level. He is a good orator and has a charismatic personality that he uses to good effects in general, when on foreign tours. Nothing wrong with that. There are several other things worth noting. His govt's response to evacuating people from middle east, Naga accord and operations in Myanmar are all noteworthy and so are his symbolic gestures/efforts, be it Jan Dhan yojna or swacch bharat. No sane Indian will criticize these efforts. However, amidst all this, elements of RSS and hindutva brigade made sure that they remain the talking point (unfortunately). One can argue, "But look Modi has done some good work and he can't check everyone" or "he needs time". But that just goes against the very image PM Modi has been projecting. Wasn't he supposed to be the one who does not keep mum, unlike MMS. Wasn't he supposed to the strong one, the one who is control and get things done his way (be it marginalization of the likes of Advani and Joshi or keeping RSS brigade in check during his Guj CM time). Therefore, when such a person decides to keep quiet and takes no action against the likes of Giriraj and Adityanath, it sends the wrong message. It shows him as either weak or most likely as someone who is a party to these affairs. In our country, though, it doesn't take much for fortunes to change (take Lalu for example) and images to break. Nobody will mind Modi taking time to fix the ills of this country, be it finances or infrastructure or health and education. But Modi need to understand that what his brigade seem to concentrate their energies on (hindutva, polarization, unnecessary arrogance and chauvinism, communalisation), are also the ills that we want to get rid of. Pushing agenda on these lines has never reaped benefits and it is not going to in future either.

After Bihar results, I was having a whatsapp conversation with my friends and a friend said that Bihar has always voted along caste lines and it is not different this time either. At this moment, another friend, who hails from Bihar, corrected us. He said that all elections were fought along caste lines except the 2010 election. Perhaps, there lied the key and I am amazed that our so-called seasoned politicians failed to see it. The 2010 Bihar assembly elections were fought on the issue of development and these were the elections where BJP registered its only success in Bihar. BJP had won 91 seats in these elections. They fought 2014 elections in the name of development and got a thumping majority. The pattern is clear and has always existed. So why did they fought this election on bogus issues that are seemingly more RSS promoted. Why did they indulge in negativity (patakha in Pakistan etc.), when negativity has seldom paid back (be it BJP losing 2004 elections when they campaigned negatively against Sonia or 2014, when congress campaigned negatively against Modi).

I hope BJP top brass realizes that Bihar is no aberration, just as Delhi was not. There is still time for BJP and Modi to get their act together and start focusing on development agenda, for that is the only factor that guarantees success. If Modi wants to be the proactive, progressive leader that he aspires for, and hopes that people will remember him as, then he needs to rein in the unnecessary elements within his party (and affiliates). Else, writing is already on the wall. Choice is for BJP/Modi to make, whether they want to win the polls only on social media or win hearts of people by doing the real work instead of indulging in foolish one-upmanship that most bhakts indulge in on Social media. Unfortunately, until that time arrives, it is a pity for our country and its citizens, that all the messiahs that spring time and again giving us hope and expectation, ultimately they all turn out to be Lalus, in one form or the other.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

On Female Authors I've Read - 1

When I look back at the books that I have read in last 10 years, which happen to form the bulk of my reading, I realize that I have not read as many female authors as male. It is not that I completely overlooked the works of female writers but the list is smaller in comparison. Perhaps it is because I was never able to take a fancy to the female authors whose work I have read. Therefore, unlike Ruskin Bond, Jose Saramago or Haruki Murakami, whose multiple books form the part of my reading shelf, I hardly possess more than one book of any female author. It is not as if female authors are completely neglected. From the likes of Doris Lessing and Alice Munro to mainstream authors like Elif Shafak and then a number of authors in native Indian Languages, including the likes of Ismat Chugtai, Indira Goswami, Quratulain Haider and Mridula Garg, I have done my bit of reading, though not as extensive as the works of male authors.

In this multi-part blog post, I have decided to recall some of the female authors, and their works, that I have read over the years, with a hope that this exercise will inspire me to read their other works, or perhaps explore other female authors.

I begin with Doris Lessing and Alice Munro, two authors of supreme quality and paragons of storytelling and craft. In Doris Lessing's case, I think I picked the wrong book (The Cleft). Perhaps I should have started with her classic Shikasta, but when I read that there are five books that form the series (Known as Canopus in Argos), I backed off. My plan was to read something else to get familiar with Doris Lessing's style and once I have acquainted myself with it, I will pick the five-part Shikasta. Sadly, The Cleft did not inspire me enough to pick another Doris Lessing book. Not that it was a bad book; the basic idea of reimagining the very start of humankind, and that too from a feministic point of view, was interesting and so was her take on relationship between men and women, something that she attempts to explore from a very primal perspective. Yet, for all its ambition, the novel was not exciting enough. On a side note though, Doris Lessing, who died few years ago, remains itched in my memory for her cute reaction on winning the Nobel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBODHFBZ8k), it just lights you up and brings a smile on your face.

Alice Munro’s was a different case. For last few years, I have been receiving a Murakami book as my birthday gift, my wife well versed about my preferences. The Nobel Prize for literature is usually announced around the same time and for few years running Haruki Murakami’s name has been circulating in media speculation as the frontrunner. However, Murakami has been constantly overlooked in favour of someone else, like it was in 2013 when Canadian author Alice Munro, a master short story teller, won it. Therefore, it was out of curiosity that I picked one of her books, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (Interesting name), in Cincinnati. The book has around ten stories, though I have so far managed to read only one. Strangely enough, though I thoroughly enjoyed this story, somehow I never managed to go beyond that one story.

Often when I travel to a particular country, I pick up books of authors from that country. I bought Elif Shafak’s Forty Rules of Love in Istanbul, following the recommendation of the shop owner (His obvious suggestion was Pamuk, but I have already read him before). A quick read in comparison to say The Cleft, and a bestseller in several countries, the book, which keeps switching between modern day America and 13th century Persia and is high on Sufism, somehow came across as too sweet to me, a bit like Sufi version of Mills and Boons. Especially the narrative set in modern times. Whereas Rumi and his relationship with Shams Tabrizi (who, instead of Rumi, happens to be the central character) makes up for great reading (my inclination towards historical fiction perhaps resulting in the bias), the second narrative come across as superficial and unreal in comparison. A light read, but not good enough to make me an Elif Shafak fan.

In next post, I will list some of the female writers from India and their works that I have read.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Hawa Mein Thehre Shabd

ये उसके शब्द थे
हवा में ठहरे हुए
होटों से निकल तो गए थे
पर अंजाम तक पहुंचे नही।
एक डोर से बंधे हुए शब्द थे ये 
साँसों की डोर से बंधे शब्द,
साँसों के चढ़ते उतरते
ये शब्द अपना मतलब, मकसद,  स्वरूप
सब बदलते थे,
पर रहते वहीँ थे 
हवा में ठहरे हुए।
अगर कभी वो डोर टूटती
तो छीटक कर गिरते 
और तब शायद 
उनके गिरकर टूटने की आवाज़ 
उन कानो से जा टकराती 
जो मंजिल थी उन शब्दों की,
पर कौन कह सकता था 
क्या मतलब निकाला जाता 
इन हवा में ठहरे शब्दों का तब। 
आसान तो इस जहाँ में कुछ भी नहीं 
न कह पाना ही 
न सुन पाना ही 
न सुन के समझ पाना ही।

बारिश की बूंदों में 
भीग रहे हैं 
हवा में ठहरे कुछ शब्द 
धीरे - धीरे अपना वजूद खोते 
बेनूर, बदरंग, बेरंग, 
बेआवाज़, बेमतलब, बेमकसद 

बारिश अब थम गयी है 
हवा अब सधी हुई है;
अब सिर्फ हवा है 
हवा में ठहरे शब्द नहीं।  

Picture: Wheat Field With Crows (Vincent Van Gogh)

Monday, November 19, 2012

One of Those Days

One of those days,
when the heart is not at its place,
and the mind isn't straight,
I am not where its at;

today is one of those days.

This love forsakes me 

and I am clouded with a vision
about many a things and events
dwelling realms of reality and illusion
no one but I bother
for I feel the guilt
of removing the layers
of wanting to know the truth
that perhaps exists
only within my mind.

I want to shrug them off
want to turn my face away
look the other side
but I abide
and delve deeper
into those dark corners
hoping that they will
reveal themselves to me
I trudge through these dark corners
that I've never been
never before
never again
for when a day like this
arrives the next time
corners will change
paths will be different

even the illusory truths I seek
will be distinct.

As time passes
nothing remains the same
the only constant is me
and my agony
of neither being able to
travel the whole
or turn away
without even a cursory glance;
I might do it that way
one fine day,

today is not one of those days.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colour of My Moon

This moon is White
He has been playing in snow
all through the night

This moon is Blue
Lovelorn for the girl
he once knew

This moon is red
He is full of life
yet angry and sad

This moon is Green
Burning away in envy
Losing his sheen

This moon is Yellow
seems feverish and sick,
devoid of glow

This moon is Orange
pretending to be the setting sun
he was bored and looked for a change

This moon should have been Purple
But like Buddha
he disliked being royal

No colour bears this moon
He rose too early
died too soon

I thought of painting my moon some more
Alas the morning came
and he left therefore.

Pic Courtesy: http://underwaterphotography.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/jheller_rainboweclipse2.jpg

Monday, August 13, 2012

For The Love of Music (What can We do with Indian Music - 1)

Reading sometimes need time, which is nowadays at premium, but listening music requires little effort and is doable even in busy times. If there was anything to inspire me to be active on the blog again it had to be music. For long I had thought of posting a series of clips, in audio or video format, of music and musicians who enchant me greatly. 

Since I couldn't find a better title, I title this latest endeavor of mine as 'For the Love of Music'. I start this with a series of 6 posts showcasing the brilliance of music when our Indian music is amalgamated with music from other parts of the world or musical forms that are not intrinsic to it. From suggestions by friends to accidental discoveries to recommendations on web, the posts that form the part of this series showcase music that I find highly enjoyable and inspires me to further explore the beautiful world of music. I hope that readers too will find the music presented enjoyable and inspiring enough to embark on their own musical journey; and if you do come across some fascinating music during this journey of yours, don't forget to return the favor by mentioning the same in the comments :)

Tinariwen with Kiran Ahluwalia
Mast Mast 

I discovered Tinariwen accidentally about five years ago while listening to Ali Farka Toure on Youtube. Youtube's sidebar having list of suggested videos had a Tinariwen song as one of the suggestions,  dont remember which one perhaps Cler Achel. Since then Tinariwen has remained my favorite band from Africa, inspiring me further explore the great wealth of African music and leading me to great african acts such as Toumani Diabate and several others. Having admired and listened to Tinariwen, it filled me with great excitement when in 2011 they recorded 'Mast Mast' with the impressive Indo-Canadian singer Kiran Ahluwalia. Many of us have listened several versions of 'Dam mast mast' and yet this Tuareg-Indian fusion stands out for its unique experimentation and registers the magical impact this great sufi sing is capable of. This song has looped on a repeat for a long time on my music player and high chances that it will end up the same way on yours. Enjoy :)

There's a longer version of this song available of youtube as well that shouldn't be difficult to find the same :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Monologue (The One of Turqoise Eyes - 5)

"It took you a while, my love. Strange that I mention a notion of time, for all this while time had been buried within me; I guess even time won’t be able to answer since when. Not because it does not know the answer, but because the answer needs to be spoken and I don’t permit anyone but myself to be heard and spoken. You can call me full of arrogance and insolence, but you won’t find a better lord of one’s self than me. I am, as they say, 'Nothing' and by virtue of being 'Nothing', I command an aura and presence, in front of which everyone else's presence not just dwindles down or fade away, but submits and submerges."

"But my love, you are not amongst those who got lost within my labyrinths. In fact, I am the one who is losing ‘me’ in your presence. And I wonder if it’s because you compel me to a situation like this or is it that I want to myself trudge this path of self destruction. And yes, destruction is not such a nice word to describe the whole sea of emotions that drowns me now. Who will believe this scenario, perhaps no one, because no one exists. How I wish that there was someone to witness this special occasion. Perhaps this is the only time I regret my entirety, my completeness."

"In some sense I am probably wrong to brag about my completeness. I always thought that I am complete, absolute in every sense and respect. All the more reason to be surprised at the state in which I find myself now, for perhaps there was always a yearning existing somewhere, a yearning whose presence was oblivious to me. How can that be? Perhaps it was easier for your presence to permeate even Nothingness, otherwise how could it ever happen to someone like me, the one who has made oneself devoid of all that is tangible and perceptible."

"You won’t believe if I tell you how happy I was with my mundane existence. You can call it life if you want, but fact is that I never even allowed my breath to escape from myself. And then it all changed. Not suddenly though. I cannot say if there was any sign or indication of it. No never. Not even when you stood on the bridge gazing intently at me. Not then. Not even when you opened your arms, perhaps to embrace me and took that leap, I believe a leap of faith, in expectation of me reciprocating. But somehow, somewhere amidst all this that change happened. I engulfed you or perhaps you engulfed me, who knows. But now I find myself melting within you. My vast nihility, my nonexistence is suddenly gaining a shape. Inch by inch, word by word, moment by moment, I conform, I become; I die. Yes I am approaching my death. And yet I have no qualms, fortunate is a lover who gets such a death, death in one's lover's arms. And as they used to say in those folktales of once, those which all got lost to me, even death couldn’t keep them apart; for they have by then become one."

"I give myself to you, my love, wholly, completely, thoroughly. From now on my love, this Nothingness ceases to exist for the world, for I have found a new existence, within you".

The Rainbow Bridge over Nothingness (The One of Turqoise Eyes - 4)

The Dream (The One of Turqoise Eyes - 3)
The One of Turqoise Eyes - 2

The One of Turqoise Eyes -1

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Real Bond :)

A Short Biographical sketch of my favourite writer.

(As published in  "Ruskin Bond." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.

Born in India to British parents, author Ruskin Bond paints sensitive, colorful portraits of life in his native country to capture the imagination of his young readers. One of India's most noted children's authors, he depicts the many facets of India's natural and social landscape through his simple stories--from a temple near a quiet, rural village or a bazaar in a small provincial town to a narrow city street brimming with buses, bicycles, and the clamor of people. As Bond notes in his Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas, "I have been writing in order to sustain the sort of life I like to lead--unhurried, even-paced, sensual, in step with the natural world, most at home with humble people."
A natural storyteller, Bond found that his talent enabled him to make a living away from the more highly industrialized, congested areas of India. Following the philosophy he outlined in "What's Your Dream?," an autobiographical essay from 1982's A Garland of Memories, Bond has found "a room of his own" at Ivy Cottage, a house in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and has pursued his single dream by dedicating his life to being a storyteller.
Bond had his first success as a writer very early in his career. In fact, he was not even twenty when he published The Room on the Roof, a novel that dealt with growing up in a changing India. When Rusty, the tale's orphaned protagonist, discovers that he is of mixed Indian-English heritage, he decides to strike out on his own and work as a tutor in the town of Dehra Dun. His naive romantic relationship with the mother of his young charge leads to discovery by her alcoholic husband. Rusty is forced to leave the life he has made for himself and move to another city to find a new place in society. Although Helen W. Coonley senses the author's youth--Bond was seventeen when he wrote the novel--and notes in Kliatt that The Room on the Roof incorporates a somewhat immature outlook, she concludes that "though awkward in parts, the book is still fresh and likable." The Room on the Roof was the winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957, an annual award given to a quality work of fiction written by a resident of the British Commonwealth (which then included India) under the age of thirty.
The Room on the Roof made its author something of a celebrity in India, not only because of his young age but because he was able to capture the spirit of the land and its people so sensitively through his fiction. Throughout his twenties Bond continued to write adult novels about his childhood, not turning to writing for children until he had reached his thirties. Since then, he has written numerous stories and poems that capture his nostalgia for the days of his boyhood: the natural beauty and tranquility of his grandparent's home and the close, secure, loving relationships that he experienced with friends and family.
"Bond illustrates his vision of childhood as a carefree age of mischief and joy where the only worries are associated with cricket matches, beetle races, and parental anger at bad report cards," explains Meena Khorana in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers. "In this comfortable and familiar world, there is a sense of security in friendship and the love and guidance of adults." In books such as The Cherry Tree, The Adventures of Rusty, and Getting Granny's Glasses, relationships among friends and family are warmly illustrated through incidents in the lives of each of Bond's youthful characters. The Cherry Tree, for example, is Bond's heartwarming story of six-year-old Rakhi's attempt to grow a cherry tree from a seed. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praises the book as "abound[ing] with quiet wisdom and love of life."
Drama and suspense are often found in Bond's fiction for children. In Flames in the Forest, young Romi finds himself caught in a forest fire. He and another boy must help each other race to the river--along with frightened birds and animals and even an elephant herd--to escape the smoke and flames. The determined Romi and his partner manage to survive the tragedy in a story that Ellen D. Warwick describes in School Library Journal as full of "action, suspense, local color, even a bit of humor."
Angry River is another of Bond's dramatic adventures. The novel features a young girl who has been left alone on her island home while her grandfather takes his dying wife to the hospital. As the river surrounding her island rises, Sita climbs a tree to safety; after the tree is washed downriver by the raging water, she is rescued by the providential appearance of a boy in a boat. "The power and size of the river, the fear and the danger are all present," states a Times Literary Supplement reviewer, "as is the sense of smallness in a vast world. . . . This really is India you feel."
"At the heart of [Bond's] writings is the value placed on simplicity and a selfless attitude toward life," explains Khorana. "Although the stories deal with the pleasures of humble people, their lives are enriched by meaningful experiences and a profound insight into life." Bond himself gains much of his inspiration from his surroundings and develops many of his ideas for children's books on the long walks he takes on the mountains near his home. "My interests (mountains, animals, trees, wild flowers) are embodied in these and other writings," Bond once explained. "I live in the foothills of the Himalayas and my window opens out on the forest and the distant snow-peaks--the highest mountains in the world. . . . I sit here and, inspired by the life of the hill people and the presence of birds and trees, write my stories and poems." Of his preoccupation with the landscape that features so prominently in his work, Bond once explained, "Once you have lived in the mountains, you belong to them and must come back again and again. There is no escape."


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

कभी कभी

कभी रात हमको सतायेगी, कभी हम उनको सताते हैं
वो अलसायी गरमी सा झुंझलाते हैं, हम आहें भर रह जाते हैं

कभी वो ख़ामोशी में आवाज़ हैं, खतो का इंतज़ार हैं
यूं तो उनके बहाने हज़ार हैं, कुछ डूब गए कुछ पार हैं

कभी कलियों की चटख रुखसार पर ले हँसी बहाते हैं 
लालिमा सूरज की लेकर गुस्से में सब पिघलाते हैं

कभी वो जुल्फों में उलझाते हैं, कभी यूंही बातें बनाते हैं 
कभी बिन सावन बरसात सा बस यूँही बरस जाते हैं

कभी धुप से नाराजगी, कभी भीड़ से घबराते हैं
कभी बेवजह के नखरों पर मेरी हामी चाहते हैं

कभी मैं भी उनसा बनता हूँ, हाँ में हाँ भर देता हूँ
वैसे तो करता नहीं पर उनकी खातिर कर लेता हूँ

आँखों में भरकर रातें, सपनो में दिन भर लेता हूँ
वो प्यार लड़कपन वाला अब भी, कभी कभी कर लेता हूँ

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

NEWs - 1


Of late I have been listening quite a bit of classical stuff, both Western and Hindustani classical. It seemingly started with a list of greatest classical composers of all times published in some magazine of repute (I forgot the name but I think it was NY Times), that ranked top ten western classical greats, including the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and others. What intrigued me was the presence of certain artists who I had no idea about. Barring the usual suspects like Mozart, Bach etc, there were fewer names that I knew. Guys like Wagner, Schubert, Handel and others, who are very well renowned but are not so famous amongst average Indian fellows like me whose knowledge about Western Classical is limited to that gained through high school textbooks which often limit themselves to Mozart and Beethoven.
Aided by Grooveshark I have so far embarked on my little journey towards understanding and appreciating the work of these great masters. Needless to say that my enthusiasm and excitement is purely that of a listener seeking musical euphoria and ecstasy through these masterpieces and not of someone who is trying to build his knowledge in western classical. I guess so far I have been able to develop a bit of taste for this kind of music and I am glad for taking this small positive step.
Similar is my journey to the Indian Classical. Indian classical music reminds me of few things; Doordarshan's Shastriya Sangeet ka Karyakram, which sounded so bore during childhood and 'Call of the Valley' a Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma cassette that my father had bought. My father was never a keen music lover, I wonder why he ended up buying that partiular album but I remember him being very enthusiastic. It was perhaps the only album he ever bought. Sadly though, I ended up dubbing some regular bollywood stuff on top it, cos nobody used to listen to it anyway. Little did I know at that time that this is one legendary album. My father never scolded me for that but as I look at it now, I feel bad about it. The only saving grace is that I still have that cassette, of course sans the songs that were originally recorded on it.
My taste in Indian Classical is limited mostly to flute and santoor but I often enjoy other instruments like shahnai and saarangi as well. My favorite though, remian the thumris. Not classical in the true sense, more of semi-classical but there are times when Shobha Gurtu or Girija Devi is what constantly plays on my music player.
This recent activity has also resulted me in reading MUSIC, a monthly magazine published by BBC dedicated to classical music. What I like about this magazine is that even though I dont understand a whole lot about Western classical, the magazine is still quite an enjoyable experience :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WebTrotting Today

Two articles on education.

Spare Yourself The Nightmare

Out Before They Are In

Are we taking away the childhood of our kids? Are we too fascinated with English? Is a English Medium education from an esteemed and costly school necessary for professional success? All valid questions raised and discussed; but the bottom line is more staggering, do we know the answer or cure?

Is our education system equipped enough to deal with these growing demand of quality schools and teachers? Are government measures like doing away with Interview process for admission sufficient?



RoseBowl Channel on YouTube

A channel aimed at youth. Though it has varied stuff, what interested me most was some amazing Indi-Jazz studio concert recordings from not so well known but amazingly talented budding Indian singers and musicians.


Pran and Chacha Chaudhary

One of my favorite cartoon character is Chacha Chaudhary. I still remember reading second digest in the Raka series, my earliest Chacha Chaudhary memory dating back to mid Eighties. So its good to read a bit about Chacha's creator and glad that he is still going strong.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

चलो अब सोते हैं

वो क्या है की यूं तो हादसे होते ही रहते हैं
चलो अब सोते हैं

ये रात भी यूंही बेपरवाह निकल जायेगी
इस बात का क्या है
सुबह तक तो टल ही जायेगी

फिर चुस्की ले चाय की, अखबार में बाकी टटोल लेंगे
लाइनों के बीच भी मतलब कई होते हैं
चलो अब सोते हैं

ये बातें खाली तलवारों के मायन सी हैं
चुभती तो हैं बहुत लेकिन
बिन तीरों के नाकारा कमान सी हैं

इन पर भी कर लेंगे गौर कभी
फिलहाल के लम्हों को क्यों इन पर खोते हैं
चलो अब सोते हैं

जैसा हर बार करते हैं इस बार नहीं क्यों
टालना, बहलाना, गफलतों के चलते उलझना,
मुगालतों का हुनर भी अब गया हमको

जो पड गयीं सो पड गयीं
क्यों बनी हुई आदतें ख़राब करते हैं
चलो अब सोते हैं

यूं उठकर भी कब किसने क्या पाया है
आना जाना, खोना पाना
तो यूं भी मोह माया है

फिर दोस्तों की महफ़िल में बैठ फलसफे बयां करेंगे
ऐसे भी ये लम्हे अफ्सुर्दगी में गुज़रते हैं
चलो अब सोते हैं।

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some thoughts

  • Just read that Govt has decided to shift and restrict the telecast of two crappy reality TV shows. I have not myself watched these shows but I guess there's no need to watch these shows to form an opinion. I wonder why government just restricted itself to these two shows, I guess there are all these crap shows on MTV (Roadies, Ghodies, SplitKhopdies, and so on) which should be treated the same way.
  • With all the hype created over 'Sheila Ki Jawani' it was no wonder that it turns out to be another bummer, as expected the music is nothing to talk about and so is the case with the way it is filmed.
  • News of Ashish Kumar and Virdhawal Khade's achievement filled my heart with great pleasure. Great going lads, we are proud of you.
  • Each and everyone should watch the trailer of 'Khuda Kasam', its funny in a unique way.
  • Looking forward to release of Notion Ink's ADAM 'a tablet thats more than a tablet' :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Death of a Poem

Lost before conception,
she knew
it was time's fault;
and her creator's,
for he kept thinking
of those dreamy lands,
of magic moments
and love fountains.
In his mind
he was by the ocean
passing night in seclusion
in someone else's arms;
she was then a mere illusion.
He thought and thought
and kept on thinking,
she fought
but for a lost cause
cos' it was never upto her.
It was he, with whom rested
every authority and reason
power to take a decision.
The irony was,
it wasn't she
who started it all,
it was entirely his call.
And now
here she is
dying in neglect
her creator
is her perpetrator
leaving her
to a sad death

Pic Courtesy: http://www.carltonhobbs.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/vestal-reale-1024x688.jpg