Search

Random Thoughts

The World as I see it

दिनचर्या


नितांत चलायमान घडी की ओर घंटों से टिकीं वो अथक आँखें मानो किसी दैवीय प्रेरणा की प्रतीक्षा कर रही थीं। भोर की प्रथम किरणों से मानो कह रही हों कि इस निरुद्देश्य जीवन में उद्देश्य की उष्णता का संचार करें । तभी अचानक किसी चिर-परिचित की आवाज़ उसके इस समाधि को भंग करती है ।

“गुटुर-गूं…  गुटुर-गूं”

“उफ्फ ! आती हूँ आती हूँ ! बेचारी भूखी होंगी; कितनी बार बोला है इनसे दाने डाल दिया करें; पर मेरी सुनता कौन है यहाँ ? ओह! आज तो ये हैं भी नहीं घर पर… पता नहीं भैय्या! दुनिया जहां के टूर भी इन्हें ही करने होते; दुनिया में जैसे सिर्फ यही हैं एक काम करने वाले!” अपने ही मन में बुदबुदाती, चावल के डब्बे से एक मुट्ठी चावल निकाल कर कबूतरों को खिलाती । पर यह क्या? कबूतर के पंख तो चारो ओर बिखरे पड़े हैं… ये बिलइय्या भी ना… एक दिन सारे कबूतर खा जायेगी… पता नहीं बच पायी होगी की नहीं बेचारी.… इसीलिए आज उनकी आवाज़ ऐसे दबी हुई सी आ रही थी।”

तभी उसकी नज़र अपने उजड़े-संवरे से बागीचे पर पड़ती है। और दसों हरे-भरे लहलहाते पौधों के बीच उसकी नज़र उसे एक पौधे की एक डाली खोज ही निकालती जो हलकी सी मुरझाई हुई हो। “कोई मेरे पेड़ पर ध्यान ही नहीं देता… कैसे मुरझा गए हैं बेचारे; इन्हे तो जब देखो सिर्फ अपने कैक्टस के पेड़ ही दिखते हैं।” दौड़ के फिर से वह अंदर जाती; मानो पानी के लिए उस पेड़ की करूँ पुकार उसके कानों को भेद रही हो। और एक गिलास पानी इतने प्यार से उसे पिलाती मानो अपने बच्चे को अपने हाथ से पिला रही हो।”

इसी तरह हर सुबह उसका स्वागत करता।  अपने बागीचे में टहल कर जब वो आती और क्षुदा उसे सताती, फ्रिज का दरवाज़ा खोल, वो रात की बची रोटियां तलाशती। कौन बनाएगा फिर से गरम रोटियाँ? अकेले इंसान के लिए भी कोई खाना बनाता है भला? और मेरा बच्चा भी तो ऐसे ही खाता होगा। उसको तो रोटी भी नहीं मिलती होगी।” यही सोंच कर दो में से एक ही रोटी खा कर रह जाती। “किसने बोला था उसे जर्मनी जाने को? इंडिया में क्या अच्छे कॉलेज नहीं हैं क्या?” कुछ देर मन ही मन खुद पे गुस्सा निकालने के बाद खुद ही खुद तो समझाती, “जर्मनी गया भी है तो पढ़ने ही ना? तीन साल बाद तो वापस आ ही जाएगा। और घर में बैठकर भी कभी पढ़ाई होती है भला? घर में रहता तो मैं ही परेशान करती रोज़ उसे: खाना खाओ, तो नहाने जाओ, तो कभी सोने का टाइम हो गया है… ऐसे भी कभी पढ़ाई होती भला?”

इन्हीं सब सोच में डूबी रहती और घर का काम करती। कभी गुड्डे के साथ थोड़ा मुस्कुरा लेती, कभी फूलों को निहार लेती। और इन्ही सब के बीच फिर से घडी की तरफ देखती और सोचती, “अब तो फोन करने का टाइम हो गया है इसका; अब फोन करेगा”। फिर अचानक दिमाग दौड़ता, “टाइम सही से तो देखा है ना? वहाँ का टाइम भी तो अलग होता है । अगर गलत टाइम पे फ़ोन किया और वो अपने प्रोफेसर से बात कर रहा होगा तो? और फिर अगर मुझे डाँट दिया तो?” फिर जल्दी से उँगलियों पे समय का अनुमान लगाती और फिर से इंतज़ार में बैठ जाती।  फ़ोन आता तो बात करती वरना मन मसोस के बैठ जाती और सोचती की शायद बहुत काम होगा आज।

रात होती तो खाना खाकर बेटे के वापस आने के दिन गिनती और मन ही मन खाने की लिस्ट बनाती।  आखिर जर्मनी के खाने में कहाँ है घर के खाने का स्वाद? “बेचारा पढ़ाई कैसे कर पाता होगा? वही आधा पका या पूरा जला खाना खाता होगा।”

इन्ही ख्यालों में डूबी, कुछ आंसू छुपाती, कुछ आंसू गटकती, रात की चादर में दुबक कर वो सो जाती… एक नयी सुबह, एक नयी प्रेरणा की तलाश में।

quote-Lorene-Scafaria-routine-is-part-of-coping-212547

हिंदी दिवस और Indiawaale!!


After over an year of virtually non-existent blogging and numerous requests to write by White Shadows, Neurodrooling, Randomly Abstract, I’m Pheonix and Creatigentt, here I come with a guest who got so frustrated by my writing (or the lack of it) that she re-accepted the re-invitation. Generally a writer of humour and sarcasm, this time blesses the ‘Hindi Diwas’ with her sarcastic smile.

A week long festival, celebrating the greatness of Hindi language made its impact in Indian media after prime time, and in international media of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the like. The failed attempt to make it a success was quite laudable. The applauses that it received were so loud that even the blast of a terrorist attack in Madhya Pradesh — which was the host of the carnival — could not attract the desired attention. People opine that Hindi is dying. Not only in official correspondence but also in common language of the masses, Hindi is being replaced by English wherein people would use a Hindi word only if they don’t know the English translation of it. In an attempt to attract a larger audience, the “दसवाँ विश्व हिंदी सम्मलेन” was also accompanied by its English counterpart “10th ‘World Hindi Conference” in the event posters. It was meant to prevent Hindi from extinction. But why care about Hindi? The following traits of Hindi make it totally worth preserving:-

  1. Kindness: All over the world, India must be the only country where people proudly boast the lack of knowledge of about their regional language. Saying that they don’t know it or that they don’t read Hindi newspaper makes their social stature increase atleast 10 times. People taunt each other by calling “hindiwaala”. Do you see the kindness of Hindi?  It gives so much liberty to its own people that you can use Hindi to mock itself. If Hindi becomes extinct, Indians will loose another way to mock each other. And that is definitely not socially acceptable in India.
  2. Symbol of the fool: In any society, wise create problems. They are the ones who question the ways of society and try to change them. In Indian society, a Hindi speaking person is prima facie considered a fool. So, a revival of Hindi would reduce the number of wise in society, making society stable and less prone to change. Since changes are generally greeted with resistance (and hence, violence), Hindi helps in maintaining peace in the world. And given the current state of violence in the world, it would be bad to loose a language that keeps peace.
  3. A language class apart: A person’s real language is the one in which he abuses. And by this criterion, one can never ever let Hindi be extinct. We do science, technology, IT etc in English but even now when a person is on the verge of the cliff in the moments of anger, he would not be pacified until he remembers the family members of the opponent.
  4. Emerged as a brand: No language is a brand in itself. But this distinction has been crowned on Hindi. The people who speak Hindi are referred as ‘HMT”. There was one HMT watches about which it was popular that they don’t stop and the other is HMT (HIndi Medium Types) who just don’t start.

 

However sometimes I feel that something has gone wrong with Hindi’s brand value since Modi became our PM. It is said about our Prime Minister that he became the PM by starting his career as a tea seller. And today, due to that event, a person who studied in Hindi medium thinks that instead of studying in Hindi, he should have been a tea vendor.

After I received this article from Harshda, I complemented her on the quality of the article; only to be revealed with the great secret, “Arrey yaar! This essay I wrote yesterday morning so that I could send it to the locality’s Hindi Diwas competition. And today I forgot to send it. Ab kya karti… That is why I sent it to you.

For more humorous articles which might have missed their submission deadlines… feel free to visit her blog :P

23

We are all Writers


sr-1-18

One of my friends once said that every person has a story to tell; he or she is just waiting for the right person to share it with at the right time. Life is a journey, and each one of us starts alone on a solitary road, with an empty earthen pot on our head. As we walk on this road, it occasionally rains. These rains are what we call experiences. We collect some of them in our earthen pots. We collect them, preserve them but keep them to ourselves. And on the warm sunny days with clear blue skies, when we have all the time to introspect, water sometimes seeps out through the porous walls of the pot. That is when our fellow travelers can see a part of us. They know us through our stories. The stories that are shaped out of our experiences. These warm sunny days are when we reflect upon ourselves. These warm sunny days are when we tell our stories. These warm sunny days are when we write.

When on the topic of writing, I get reminded of the tens of times when tens of my friends have reminded me the most obvious fact — that I have not been writing lately; and that I SHOULD be writing. While their allegations are justified, it is not true that I haven’t thought of writing lately. And it was during one of these ‘thought’ sessions that this weird thought came to my mind that I have not been all that dormant these days. I have been writing. In fact, all of us are continuously writing. A researcher has been writing articles in journals, a reporter has been writing columns in the newspaper, a musician has been writing new music, a painter has been writing new paintings, a player is writing new milestones.

Writing is penning down stories and embedding emotions and experiences in them. This embedding need not always be in words. In fact, most of us don’t write words. Painters tell their stories through paintings, photographers by their photos, and dancers by their dance. Most people, however like their stories simply spoken to an individual. Everyone writes stories. Everyone shares their experiences. The only factor that changes is the people with whom the stories are shared.

The longer we walk on the road of life, the more water does our earthen pot collect. Water is heavy and so are the experiences. We all walk along until the pot is too heavy to carry. The pot then topples and eventually falls.. And all the water spills on the ever-thirsty sands; and all that remains are marks and a fading trail… Until we pick up another empty pot and embark on another journey again…

The Unending Game


Sea

As I stand on the sea-shore
With waves washing my feet
I drown into my pensive lanes
As I see them retreat

Million forms of the formless
And yet they are the same
Million colours of the colourless
Playing the same old game

Thousand waves that strike a day
Trying hard to gain some land
Endless efforts go in vain
Invincible stands the rule of sand

And then to roaring seas I ask
“What do you boast of all day
There is no song of glory to sing
You try in vain, the world does say”

Smiling at me the giant said
I seek no songs, no glories, no praise
All those are transient, they come and go
It is the joy that forever stays

Where is the joy you talk about
In this never ending game?
Never shall you gain an inch
The land shall forever be same

What do you think of the sand below
Lying beneath your innocent feet?
Weren’t they rocks, years ago
Smashed by the game of approach and retreat?

From rocks to stones to pebbles to sand
And all the snow in all the land
With stories untold, come to me
To loose themselves and merge with the grand

One day, to me, you too would come
As a part of this unending game
And so would everything under sun
But I shall still remain the same…

How many ages have passed?


mans hand using door knocker on wood effect upvc door cold calling household
So, ‘the festival’ has ended. Although the festive season in India is in full swing; ‘the festival’ of Bengal culminated yesterday with ‘Vijayadashami’ or ‘Dussehra’. So Shubho Bijaya and Happy Dussehra to all of you. BTW, is anyone still here?

Before I move on; it is my responsibility to tell you about my whereabouts during these days. Simply put I was busy doing effectively absolutely nothing. So let’s see what did I do in these months. Firstly I spent my birthday alone in a foreign land (Germany… to be precise) sitting lonely in a room as no-one knew about my birthday. No-one except probably a bird who used to sit on my window each day. I also wrote a 200 odd page document that contained nothing… well effectively nothing… although some people call it a ‘Project Report’ and were seemingly impressed by it.

After coming back home I spent effectively 2 months in one of the most ‘interesting’ endeavors of my life – preparing for PhD applications. It might seem interesting to you that it order to get a very good PhD position in ‘Physics’, the most important skill to master is ‘English’. You heard it right… English vocabulary is the key to succeed in Physics research… Not the laws, equations, theorems, diagrams, postulates or any other crap that you learnt in the last 5 years as a physics student… ONLY ENGLISH. Confused? So to put things straight, to get a successful PhD position in a reputed place in USA or Europe, you need to score extremely well in and English exam called GRE which requires you to know meanings of words which you would never use in a ‘sane, cultured society’. There were 1500 such words that I mugged up ‘in principle’; and needless to say, deleted from my memory the second I walked out of the exam hall. And this, my dear friends is called ‘system’.

Agaain, it goes without saying that thanks to my brilliant luck, my exam was scheduled yesterday – the last day of a 10 day long festival – and hence when my friends were enjoying the festival on the streets, I was sitting in my room improving my English. People buy new dress during the festivals, I couldn’t even mend my torn shoes this time. Although the reason for that is ‘laziness at its peak’.

And yes, there is one more thing that ‘we’ did as a nation. We reached mars. I guess you have heard a lot about that news, so I would just like to congratulate ISRO and my countrymen for the achievement. Although as a science student, I know that for future missions, a technological leap is needed (for the science enthusiasts; we need to perfect the cryogenic stage of GSLV to carry heavier payloads). I wish ISRO the best for that too.

So this was a random post, just to wake up my blog and to pay gratitude to my readers who have been following me. Especially the few of you who actually poked me time and again, informing me how they missed my blog. ‘Serious’ stuff comes in the following posts. Till then, take care.

The Left-Right Dilemma…


Left-or-Right

The most important question in life is: “What do you do when you when you are walking on a road and you see another person heading towards you on a collision path: Do you move to the left or to the right?” What do you think of the importance of the question? Worthless? Nah… its not worthless. Let me explain. In countries like India, people would mutually agree and move slightly to their respective lefts. In countries like Germany, people would move right. In both cases collision is avoided and life is good. The problem arises when people from India (where Left is right and Right is wrong) visit Germany (where Left is left and Right is right). What happens then is called the left-right dilemma.

What happens is that you being an Indian move too your left and he moves to his right; still making keeping you in the collision track. And when both of you come dangerously close to collision, both of you stop and you look at the person closely for the first time; you observe two features distinctively. His height and his built. And both of them make you feel so timid. Believe me 6 feet tall in India is a big deal but it is there that you realise how ‘large’ the world is! So all the pride is washed out and a 6 feet tall bamboo stick looks ‘up’ to a person – an act that is not common in his homeland. What comes next is worse. Some words are spoken – and there is no chance of you understanding ANYTHING of it. C’mon we learn 3 languages ‘by default’ how much more can a sane mind grasp? So after the few seconds of understanding nothing, the scared and confused you is left with 4 options – ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Sorry’ or ‘English Please’.

The trouble does not end here. The whole traffic system seems to be so ‘wrong sided’. Turning left is NOT always allowed as in India; turning right is. And the driving seat is on the left. So to communicate to a car which waits for you pedestrian as you watch in awe (yes… this NEVER happens in India), you look to the left of the car and not to the right.

And finally… How many times have I looked in the wrong direction while crossing the road. Now THAT is dangerous.

Sometimes I wonder… wouldn’t it be better if one nation would have colonised the whole world; the world would have been a much less confusing place to live in. :P

The Complete


पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||

Translated as

This is complete; that too is complete. What this completeness yields itself is complete.

And from this completeness; even if the complete is taken out, what remains is complete.

A verse from the Isha Upnishad which which has intrigued me since childhood. Not only due to the marvelous rhythm of the verse itself (which was the first reason to get attracted to it), but also due to the layers of meanings that one can derive out of it.

The first quarter beautifully states that “Not only this; but even that is complete… Everything around us is complete.” Complete in what sense? I feel it to be complete in manifestation. Complete in its identity. Complete in its reason to exist. What it also indicates is as all are complete; hence all are equal. How is it that everything is complete? It says, “What completeness yields is also complete.” It is a self propagating engine. And hence the source of all completeness, which is also complete, which we (probably naively) call the creator. And if the complete creator, creates us; we too are complete… We too are the manifestations of the same creator… so much so, that we are the creators in our own right.

The last part is the most fascinating. “Even if complete is taken out from the complete, what remains is complete.” Completeness is unharmed, indestructible. Howsoever large part of it do you try to carve out; the complete still remains complete. Whatever you do to the creator, the creator remains unaltered.

I can’t help but bring out the parallel with the concept of infinity. In science and mathematics, whatever you add or subtract to infinity, it remains unaltered.

Irrespective of truth and validity of mythology, the fact remains that some brilliant minds could think and perceive of these ideas thousands of years ago and moreover put them in such beautiful poetic forms. Respect is a small word for them…

Why do you weep?


weeping eyes

You weep in pain; you weep in grief. You weep in joy; you weep in relief. You weep in prayers, while talking to god. You weep when alone, of your own accord. But why mother? Why do you weep?

You think I don’t understand? Each pearl that tickles down your cheek has a world of emotions in it. When you weep in pain; each tear cries out loud, seeking the help you never ask for. It seeks the care you never receive. The one kiss, the one hug, the one touch that makes you forget your pain; that one look is all it seeks. When you weep in grief, dear mother; the tear hides the fear you never share, the thoughts that should never come true; the stories that better remain untold. And when in the evening prayers, in the dim light of the golden flame, when you converse with the god, sometimes water spills out of your brimming eyes. You think you can hide them? Nah… I see them all. And along with that, I see the millions of wishes you make, and yet none for yourself. You crave for success, for glory, for fame, for well being; yet none for yourself. Don’t I know for whom do you pray? I know it well… I know it all.

Do you know, mother, that tens of thousands of miles away, a heart sees each of your tears trickle? Do you know what it is to see it all, understand it all, feel it all and yet never respond? I think you know. For sure you know; else you won’t be my mother. I guess some feelings are best left unexpressed, some emotions are best untold; some words are best unspoken. Some feelings, emotions and words belong to the heart; and when hearts talk, not a single sound is made.

I promise mother, I will return. The person for whom you wept would return. And on my return, I promise to make you cry again. But this time the tears would be that of glory and pride. Your eyes would would brim with joys unbound and each tear would showcase a story of sacrifice and success to the world.

I will tell you why you weep. When the one who creates, needs to be created, he comes into your womb. When the one who feeds, needs to be fed, he is fed by you hands. When the one who gives shelter, seeks shelter for himself, he comes to your lap. Likewise, when the one who quenches thirst, is thirsty himself, he comes into your eyes.

And that is precisely why you weep…

जिसके गर्भ से सृजनकर्ता का सृजन है होता
जिसके आँचल सिर छिपाए कृष्ण भी है सोता
जिसके हाथों अन्नपूर्णा की क्षुदा है मिटती
उसकी आँखों में ही आकर जल की प्यास भी मिटती।

काल एक पल को थम जाए


Mahabharat

कठिन समय है. श्यामल बादल फिर आकाश में छाये;
उग्र वेग से पवन है बहता, सूरज दीख न पाये |
घोर ध्वनि में गर्जन करते, मेघ धरती को घेरे;
अनंत निशा में डूबी पृथ्वी, खो गए हैं सवेरे |

पर है यह संकेत कि निकट भविष्य में, भीषण युद्ध निश्चित है;
घोर तिमिर पर अखंड प्रकाश की, विजय पुनः निश्चित है |
रक्त की प्यासी काली माँ का, उन्मत्त नर्तन निश्चित है;
दानव-दल-वध करने दुर्गा का अवतरण निश्चित है |

तो हो जाए यह अंतिम रण,
जिसमें करने जीवन अर्पण;
हैं वीर खड़े उकसाए से,
न किंचित भी घबराये से |

फिर गांडीव की हो टंकार.
फिर पाञ्चजन्य की हो हुंकार;
फिर से सुन शत्रु की ललकार,
उबल उठे फिर रक्त की धार |

तीरों से तीर फिर टकराएं,
खडग-त्रिशूल फिर लड़ जाएँ;
पौरुष का ऐसा प्रदर्शन हो,
कि काल एक पल को थम जाए |

The Sea of People


population

What’s the population of your city?”

This innocent looking question seemingly becomes one of the most frequently asked question in ‘foreign lands’. And if you are live in the west ask this question to an Indian, well I, being an Indian can guarantee you that situation will become humorously awkward in in a few moments. Why? Two reasons… Firstly, we generally don’t remember the population statistics of our cities. On the contrary I (including my friends) find it weird that people in the west actually remember their city’s population. So the most common answer that you would get any of the facial expressions expressing shock and confusion, a strange look, five seconds of pin-drop silence followed by a hesitant ‘quite large’. And I am telling you, he is being modest. Secondly if you meet an exceptional statics-crammer or a person who has faced this situation earlier and learnt from it; well then his answer will most probably blow your mind out. Believe me! Me and my friends have been asked this question many number of times in our short foreign tours and… there have been no exceptions… ‘Shock’ is the only word that can describe the situation of the person who asked the question.

Example required? OK… I am from Kolkata. And the population of Kolkata is… well infinite. No… probably ‘more than infinite’ is a better approximation. You may object to this claim and open up Wikipedia and say that it is ‘ONLY… 14 MILLION’… and then after a gulp, still defend your pride by saying… “Well that’s still not infinite.”

To that I would only say, “What matters is the feeling… Come to Kolkata and you would realise what I mean.” Upon that… it is not the population what matters is the population density. And you CANNOT beat my city on that. People seem to be crammed up in this city. Open up the list of densest cities in the world and you will find 5 out out of the top ten cities to be Indian. What is more surprising is that ALL of these cities are practically in Kolkata. Beat that if you can!

And if you really want to see the population miracle of the city; board the local trains. It would be an astounding experience for the newcomer to realise the various weird angles at which our human bodies can bend when crammed for space. And if you are a young boy; you might very well try hanging out from the doors of a running train. I have tried it (or have been forced to try it) several number of times and trust me… you can never get bored (my parents are not reading the post, right? :P ). And if that was not enough, your self-esteem will surely get a severe blow once you see a vendor with a huge basket on his head moving smoothly through a compartment which you thought could not accommodate a single more soul.

But all of this said, Kolkata is a city of its own kind. The cheapest, the vibrant and the nostalgic. quoting from my earlier post. There is something in the city which always captures your imagination. There is something in the city that it has produced so many greats in the world. There is something in the city that I just want to be a tiny drop in the sea of people… forever…

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 726 other followers