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September 2013

Come to Form; O Formless!


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O one who gives the sun its glow
O one who makes the rivers flow
In whose praise the seas do roar
Come to form; O Formless!
With a mighty uproar

O one who flows in veins as life
O one who holds us through war and strife
The creator of smile on a warrior’s face
Come to form; O Formless!
And the world you do embrace

O one who is spread on the lands so vast
O one who flutters the flags on masts
On rhythms of whom life does flow
Come to form; O Formless!
With your majestic glow

O one who transforms the sweat into grains
O one who showers new life as rains
On whose arrival the earth does smile
Come to form; O Formless!
It has been a long while…

 

One of the biggest Indian festivals – Durga Puja (Navratri) – is knocking on the door. And this poem calls upon the omnipresent Goddess Durga to take form and reside in our hearts. Happy Navratri to all of you.

 

This poem was originally written in Hindi. I then translated it to English. I tried to keep the essence intact and not the exact meaning. Here is the original poem in Hindi.

सूरज बन धधक रही जिसकी ज्वाला 

नदियों की जो उज्जवल धारा 
भर रही जो सागर में हुंकार 
समाहित है जिसमें सारा संसार 
साकार रूप में अवतरित हो; हे माँ निराकार!
 
शरीर में बन रक्तिम धार 
कर रही जो नव-जीवन संचार 
मन में ले  ढाँढस का अवतार 
प्रसारित कर ज्योति अपरम्पार 
साकार रूप में अवतरित हो; हे माँ निराकार!
 
जिसके लय पर थिरके जीवन 
ताल पे जिसके नाचे सावन 
विस्तार है जिसका अनंत अपार 
उद्घोषित कर प्रचंड रण-हुंकार 
साकार रूप में अवतरित हो; हे माँ निराकार!
 
सुगन्धित कर दो वन-उपवन 
बरसाकर निज-आशीष पावन 
देखो भक्तों की भीड़ अपार 
प्रतीक्षा करता सारा संसार 
साकार रूप में अवतरित हो; हे माँ निराकार!
 
And here is its Anglicized version… (for those who can’t read the Hindi script) …
 

Suraj ban dhadhak rahi jiski jwala
Nadiyon ki jo ujjwal dhaaraa
Bhar rahi jo saagar mein hunkaar
Samaahit hai jismein samast sansaar
Saakaar roop mein awtarit ho; he ma nirakaar!

Sharir mein ban raktim dhaar
Kar rahi jo nav jeewan sanchaar
Man mein le dhaandhas ka awtaar
Prasarit kar jyoti aparampaar
Saakaar roop mein awtarit ho; he ma nirakaar!

Jiske laya par thirke jeewan
Taal pe jiske naache saawan
Vistaar hai jiska anant apaar
Udghoshit kar prachand ran hunkaar
Saakaar roop mein awtarit ho; he ma nirakaar!

Sugandhit kar har van upvan
Barsakar nij aashish paawan
Dekho ma bhakton ki bheed apaar
Prateeksha karta saara sansaar
Saakaar roop mein awtarit ho; he ma nirakaar!

Just in case you are curious: The verse (shloka) in the image is in Sanskrit which translates (roughly)to…
The one who is present in all forms; in all beings and has all the powers…
One who removes all fears; We bow to that Goddess Durga…

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Hostel in Exam Mode


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Well, my exams are just over; and I am one of the lucky ones to enjoy this luxury so early. (And I can see my friends giving me that envious look). Although the education system of India has made us extremely habituated to this periodic ritual of exams; they are still a distinctively special event. Even before you enter the hostel, you would be able to tell if the hostel is in its ‘exam mode’. Here are some features of this grand event of ours.

1. Night Canteen: Inevitably the sales of the night canteen increases at least 10 folds. After all late night studies imply a continuous supply of glucose to the brain cells. And hence night canteens become our place of pilgrimage. Add on that the amazing sight and aroma of bakery products. How can one resist?

2. Philosophy of Life: Another universal fact. Creativity of brain increases to its maximum. The only problem is that creativity increases in a direction that is never evaluated. Brilliant questions arise – “What is Life?”, “Why do we exist?”, “Is this world real”, “What if it is just a mirage?”, “What is the real use of studies?” – And brilliant answers accompany too. But alas! none of our subjects offer us credits on these questions. An open challenge to all professors reading this… Ask us the ‘real’ questions and check our real brilliance.

3. Coffee: This one does not need elaboration. The formula is pretty simple: The more you drink coffee, the less do you sleep; the less you sleep, the more is the opportunity to study. (Note: Creating opportunity to study is totally unrelated to amount actually studied – read the next point)

4. Movie Time: With a plate of pastry in your reach, a mug of coffee in you hand and the most philosophical questions in mind, how can one expect to study? The most obvious option at hand is… VLC player. Thanks to the technology. Well, we try to be earnest. “Only this scene. Promise!” But we all know, promises are made to be broken, right?

5. The Slang: Well, this and the next points are censored. What does that mean? Reader’s discretion is expected Please read them more carefully. The use of figures of speech of our colourful hostel language – slang, swear words and curses – is intensified. Why? Simple. Anger and frustration do need a way out. And in the line of fire come the professors, the subject, the author of book, the founders of the subject and obviously our own dear friends.

6. The Smoke and Booze: The ultimate motivation. And my persistent, humble no. However, no description of exam time can be complete without these two companions of ours. 🙂

No matter how much, we hate exams, the fact remains that exam preparations in hostel are an experience of their own. And for me, they would surely be one of the most cherished periods of my hostel life.

“So my dear room-mates… Studying for the exams? With a coffee mug in hand and a movie on the lappy? Good! Please continue… ;)”

Cradle of Joys


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Patiently waiting for the next dawn

Sleeps the city with a dark blanket on

A blanket so large, A blanket so grand

Beneath which does the world stand

 

Structure-less, formless, and all too void

A scary silence that I wish to avoid

All I see is nothing but a house of fear

But it’s too lonely and I dare not go near

 

But then I stand and closely observe

Patiently and silently as I hold my nerve

And slowly does the beauty emerge

A song of ecstasy is carved out of the dirge

 

Beneath the blanket, the city does breathe

In a land of dreams and hopes underneath

In a land of peace is a music composed

In a land of knowledge are ideas imposed

 

And in the dark, the eyes do dream

Of a peaceful tomorrow; of self esteem

Of a future of hope, of a future so bright

Of a brighter dawn, beyond this night

 

A night is a cradle of ideas and dreams

Of painful memories; experiences extreme

A cradle of love intimate and profound

A cradle of joys, yet to be found

 

Inspired by a poem by Sarmishtha Basu

Carrier of Smiles


Look around, O bird and spread out your wings

Undo the bondage and rip off the strings

Spread out your wings and off you fly

Up ahead awaits you the blue endless sky

 

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And in your flight, carefree you sing

A melody so joyous that a smile does it bring

Carefree you sing as you sing out your heart

A song that heals a heart torn apart

 

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Find out a tree, and on the branch you land

For a moment you rest to adore the world grand

On the branch you land and collect a twig

And build a nest small to house your dreams big

 

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And up ahead you fly, and sing and dance

And do care for none, just ahead do advance

And sing and dance O carrier of smiles

The sky is too large and you have to cover miles…

 

Photo Courtesy to my dear friend and a fabulous photographer (and I know he would deny) Chitram Banerjee. Enjoy the visual treat of his photos… Its worth it… Trust me.

 

And a Happy Ganesh Chaturthy to all of you… 🙂

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