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January 2014

अपनी माटी


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जहाँ सूर्य की पहली किरण से
हर सवेरा अपनी माँग सजाता;
जहाँ अनंत नील गगन
असीम समुद्र में लय हो जाता;
जहाँ लहराते हरे खेतों पर
स्वर्णिम सरसों मुकुट चढ़ाती;
सब रंगों से सजी हुई
सतरंगी है वह अपनी माटी।

जहाँ ईश्वर को साथ पुकारें
मस्जिद की अजान मंदिर की घंटी;
जहाँ प्रभात का स्वागत करती
कोयल की वह मधुर बोली;
जहाँ आज भी रास रचाती
राधा की पायल कान्हे की बंसी;
अमर रागों को सुनती-गाती
सुरीली है वह अपनी माटी।

आज वही सूरज वही गगन
वही कोयल है पुनः पुकारती;
दिल में लाखों प्रश्न लिए
आर्य-पुत्र को है ललकारती।
गीत शौर्य का गाते हुए
बलिदानों की याद दिलाती
महापुरुषों ने देखा जो सपना
वही स्वप्न है पुनः दिखाती

बहुत कुछ है पाया; बहुत कुछ है पाना
लम्बे कठिन इस मार्ग पे तुम कहीं थक न जाना।
मार्ग कठिन है; देखो देश कहीं भटक न जाए
कीचड़ से कली फूटी है; बिन खिले सूख जाए।

Happy Republic Day to all Indians… 🙂

Translation is not possible (yet again)… However, I present the Roman transliteration for some of my dear readers…

Jahaan surya ki pratham kiran se
Har sawera apni maang sawaarta
Jahan anant neel gagan
Aseem samudra mein lay ho jaataa
Jahaan lehraate hare kheton par
Swarnim sarson mukut chadhaati
Sab rangon se saji hui
Sanrangi hai wah apni dharti

Jahaan prabhaat ka swaagat karti
Koyal ki wah madhur boli
Jahaan ishwar ko saath pukaaren
Masjid ki ajaan, mandir ki ghanti
Jahaan aaj bhi raas rachaaye
Raadhaa ki paayal, Kanhe ki bansi
Amar raagon ko sunti gaati
Surili hai wah apni maati

Aaj wahi suraj, wahi gagan
Wahi koyal hai punah bulaati
Dil mein laakhon prashn liye
Arya putra ko hai lalkaarti
Geet shaurya ka gaate hue
Balidaanon ki yaad dilaati
Maha purushon ne dekha jo sapna
Wahi swapn hai punah dikhaati

Bahut kuchh hai paayaa, bahut kuchh hai paana
Lambe kathin is maarg pe; kahin tum thak na jaana
Marg kathin hai, dekho desh kahin dhatak na jaaye
Keechad se kali phooti hai, bin khile sookh na jaaye.

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खूनी हस्ताक्षर


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In memory of the great man who created an army to free his motherland…

The very famous (and one my favorite) poem by Gopal Prasad Vyas…

Happy Birthday… dear son of India…

वह खून कहो किस मतलब का
जिसमें उबाल का नाम नहीं।
वह खून कहो किस मतलब का
आ सके देश के काम नहीं।

वह खून कहो किस मतलब का
जिसमें जीवन, न रवानी है!
जो परवश होकर बहता है,
वह खून नहीं, पानी है!

उस दिन लोगों ने सही-सही
खून की कीमत पहचानी थी।
जिस दिन सुभाष ने बर्मा में
मॉंगी उनसे कुरबानी थी।

बोले, “स्वतंत्रता की खातिर
बलिदान तुम्हें करना होगा।
तुम बहुत जी चुके जग में,
लेकिन आगे मरना होगा।

आज़ादी के चरणें में जो,
जयमाल चढ़ाई जाएगी।
वह सुनो, तुम्हारे शीशों के
फूलों से गूँथी जाएगी।

आजादी का संग्राम कहीं
पैसे पर खेला जाता है?
यह शीश कटाने का सौदा
नंगे सर झेला जाता है”

यूँ कहते-कहते वक्ता की
आंखों में खून उतर आया!
मुख रक्त-वर्ण हो दमक उठा
दमकी उनकी रक्तिम काया!

आजानु-बाहु ऊँची करके,
वे बोले, “रक्त मुझे देना।
इसके बदले भारत की
आज़ादी तुम मुझसे लेना।”

हो गई सभा में उथल-पुथल,
सीने में दिल न समाते थे।
स्वर इनकलाब के नारों के
कोसों तक छाए जाते थे।

“हम देंगे-देंगे खून”
शब्द बस यही सुनाई देते थे।
रण में जाने को युवक खड़े
तैयार दिखाई देते थे।

बोले सुभाष, “इस तरह नहीं,
बातों से मतलब सरता है।
लो, यह कागज़, है कौन यहॉं
आकर हस्ताक्षर करता है?

इसको भरनेवाले जन को
सर्वस्व-समर्पण काना है।
अपना तन-मन-धन-जन-जीवन
माता को अर्पण करना है।

पर यह साधारण पत्र नहीं,
आज़ादी का परवाना है।
इस पर तुमको अपने तन का
कुछ उज्जवल रक्त गिराना है!

वह आगे आए जिसके तन में
खून भारतीय बहता हो।
वह आगे आए जो अपने को
हिंदुस्तानी कहता हो!

वह आगे आए, जो इस पर
खूनी हस्ताक्षर करता हो!
मैं कफ़न बढ़ाता हूँ, आए
जो इसको हँसकर लेता हो!”

सारी जनता हुंकार उठी-
हम आते हैं, हम आते हैं!
माता के चरणों में यह लो,
हम अपना रक्त चढाते हैं!

साहस से बढ़े युबक उस दिन,
देखा, बढ़ते ही आते थे!
चाकू-छुरी कटारियों से,
वे अपना रक्त गिराते थे!

फिर उस रक्त की स्याही में,
वे अपनी कलम डुबाते थे!
आज़ादी के परवाने पर
हस्ताक्षर करते जाते थे!

उस दिन तारों ने देखा था
हिंदुस्तानी विश्वास नया।
जब लिक्खा महा रणवीरों ने
ख़ूँ से अपना इतिहास नया।

Arise! Awake!


Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached!

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उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत |

A part of a verse from Katha-Upnishad. Translated and popularised by youth icon Swami Vivekananda. Belated National Youth Day to all Indians.

On the Dutch Dining Table


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A spoon, a fork and a knife; and a large chunk of chicken leg piece on the plate. And just besides that, a person utterly confused about what to do with the silverware. Never ever in his wildest of dreams had he imagined that one could use any of those to eat chicken. Why can’t I eat with with my bare hands? What’s more? A bowl of red chili powder on the table and the person not pouring it all into his food just for the sake of humility. Why? Because the person besides the table is an Indian (that’s me) and as per his standards that chili powder isn’t hot at all. Really… Believe me, I added 4-5 teaspoons of it in my food and the the taste didn’t change at all.

Enjoy!”, said the Dutch friend sitting opposite to me. “Enjoy!”, I reciprocated. “So, how do you say ‘Enjoy’ in…”, the Dutch paused and pondered for a couple of seconds and continued “’Enjoy!’ in INDIAN?”. I corrected, “You mean Hindi?”. “Oh ya… ya… in Hindi”, he smiled. This seemed to be a trivial question for my friend to ask but it was one of the most difficult questions ever asked. “Do we ever say such a thing in Hindi?”, I thought. But in a desperate search of answers gave it my best try, “Shuru kiya jaaye…”. “Shu-ru khi-yaa jhaa-ye?”. “Yup! That’s right”, I smiled. Now my Indian friends may suggest the possible better versions of the response, but you would have to admit; given the fraction of second I had, that was a good try.

I spent about two months in Netherlands and realised one thing for sure. If I ever get an opportunity to teach them something, I would definitely go for cooking. Whenever I added a ‘chhaunk’ to daal (pulses) in the kitchen out there it was the most amazing thing they had ever seen in life. The shrilling noise of the process and the aromatic fumes which which brings smiles to the faces of us Indians, brought tears in their eyes and concern on their faces. “That thing which you did there… Isn’t that hazardous?” “Nope! We do it all the time”. I tried to be convincing and reassuring but still the expressions on the faces could almost be heard out loud, “I am telling you dude! You will kill us someday.”

My visit to Netherlands made me realise one undeniable fact. We live in one of the most ‘complicated’ countries of the world… A large, weird, diverse, colourful, confused and complicated country. The look on the face of the people around you when come to know of the population of the cities… when they come to know that we have 18 official languages, hundreds of dialects and still no national language… when they come to know that it takes almost 3 days to cross the country… THAT expression on their faces makes us truly realise the great identity of the nation we live in… It gives you the true feeling of being an Indian… A feeling which we generally overlook.

I realised for the first time that we live in a ‘diamond’ shaped country. A country with the largest populations of followers of (at least) 5 different religions, with almost all possible geographical terrains and probably the most number of festivals. No surprises that we live in a diamond shaped country… No surprise we live in India.

P.S. –

1. The meal which I was talking about earlier… I took 2 hours to eat the meal. And then I realised the true meaning of the saying, “Apnaa haath Jagannath” 😛

2. I also realised how complicated our mythology is. An interested friend asked me to explain the gist of the story Bhagwad Gita… And I had a tough time explaining why we worship a man who persuaded his friend to go for war against his own kin. After all the gods are supposed to be peace loving. Isn’t it?

The Silent Spectator


Living in a sea of dust is an experience in itself. An experience which does not befriend many. And oddly enough the experience is not one that I hate. Living within 50 meters of three JCB’s (showing their extraordinary acrobatic skills), two construction cranes and hundreds of striking hammers is actually thrilling – to say the least. After all, who won’t inhale a ‘bit’ of dust for all the excitement?

Anyways… the fact of the matter is that at the moment, the sea of dust has calmed down. The JCB’s are resting cuddled up in the blanket of this dark night, and the hundred pairs of hands are in their dreamland, carving aspirations of their uncertain future. And I am staring at the top right corner of my laptop which shows 12:15 AM. So all of you those who are, or have been in hostels, a hearty good evening to them. The same goes for all the students in their late teens, inseperable lovers and other nocturnal beings. To the others, sorry for disturbing your midnight sleep.

And what am I actually doing in this sleepy world? Well, one of the most favorite tasks of mine – doing nothing. Really… absolutely nothing. And believe me, this is one of the busiest things in this world. To think nothing at all. Just observe. Be a silent spectator to this silent world which ironically is bubbling with chaos and commotion. Don’t believe me? Okay then…

Think of the security guard strolling around in the hostel. Eyes begging for sleep; mind cursing a moron whose constant stare doesn’t let his eyelids come closer. But is he desperate for a sleep? Nah… Proof? A boy does up to him and asks, “Ki dada? Kemon cholchhe?” (What’s up bro?) and there starts the conversation. Five minutes later, Indian politics becomes the hot topic on the table which a moment ago rested a dozing soul. That person is not really sleepy. He is starving. Starving for company… Battling against boredom in this chilly night.

Nights are subtle, shrewd, mysterious, lonely things. In its embrace lies only silence. But silence has a language of its own. It speaks. It speaks through fear – in the eyes of a girl trapped on a lonely road, trying to get back home. It speaks through tears – in the memory of a long lost love. It speaks through thoughts – in the focused vision of the visionary. It speaks through dreams – to achieve the un-achieved. It speaks through joy – of the ecstatic achievements of the day. It speaks through hopes – of a brighter tomorrow which we may just witness.

A night has a long silent story to tell. And you too can listen to it. All you have to do is be be silent and listen… All you have to be is the silent spectator.

Inspired by The Outsiders

Guest Post: And Fly Away To Touch The Sky!!


Please put your hands together to welcome one of my very special friends and the guest of the morning (or evening or any other time of the day :P) Neeli. I am really humbled that she agreed to write on the prompt I gave her. It is nothing but the magic of words which can transform a very ordinary looking phrase into a heart touching story. And this post truly vindicates the fact. I am honoured to have her as a guest.

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 “I’m not good in studies, I’m not good looking, I don’t have good friends, I cannot talk to anyone like my friends, ‘m not updated about world and technologies, people are more intelligent than me, nobody likes me, every single guy is ready to become boyfriend when I get a little friendly with him, my friends ask me to come out of self-confinement, I’m not good in making contacts with others, I have no confidence to talk to anyone…”, as she poured her heart out in one phone call, her elder sister could only listen in amazement. Not that her sister was unaware of her condition; she had already spoken and consoled this lil kid, but that day… patience had reached its limit and everything spilled out in front of her. Her sister was ashamed; she was dejected with her own self. Why couldn’t she speak to her own blood all these days? Busy consoling her own friends and others, how she forgot her own sister? Who was at fault? How could she ignore her own sister and leave her all alone?

While I’m struggling to find suitable words to define that beautiful soul, she must be in her sleep, wandering in her dream world! A girl with a cute smile, those beautiful eyes bearing the burden of half frame specs since quite some time, that mesmerizing voice, which barely reached its high pitch. A mind which is always indulged in chemical thought process!! She’s not the only child of her parents; she bears the wrath and love of her elder sister and manages to handle the naughtiness of a younger brother!! Her parents never discriminated between any of their children. Equality in terms of everything was given to all three of them. But a girl, who was a chatterbox during her childhood, turned into a silent girl with growing age. The most beautiful and pretty among all three kids, she grew with grace. As this silent girl grew up silently, nobody realized when she became a refined girl. For her family she was still that pretty little girl, with two ponies and kajal (kohl) in her beautiful eyes happily going to school. She is a very good cook who keeps experimenting new stuffs at home, possesses good drawing skills, has beautiful soft voice and looks great when you shower your love and pull her chubby cheeks. And when you find her doing something unusual and point it out… she’ll blush… and believe me that makes her look even more amazing!

It is said that only daughters can understand their parents and help them when it is not even anticipated from them. And she was not an exception. She helped her father financially when her elder sister was due for her MBA admission in a prestigious and expensive college. The university and course fees was too much for her father to pay at a stretch and that too at the moment when both of his daughters were supposed to go for their higher education. She was in a dilemma for her career options and when she finalized a course, she made all efforts come true to get admission in country’s most prestigious central university where the annual course fee was less than her sister’s three month’s pocket money. While her sister went off to pursue her career to a different city, she stayed in the prestigious university in her hometown.

Wheels of time turned and history repeated itself. This time it was her brother and she, who were supposed to go for their higher studies at the same time. As her brother went down to southern part of country, she was left alone with her mother… but this time the scenario was little different, her friends too had left the place and university and settled outside for higher education.

Loneliness started consuming her. She had no friends around to share her emotions; no one that she could look up to. And slowly loneliness turned into frustration. Witnessing her friends and own siblings going out and excelling were disturbing for her. And adding fuel to fire was her friends coming home during vacation and evoking anger and frustration in her with hollow descriptions of their life style and achievements outside. It worked like a slow poison for her and she started reacting to it in front of her parents by blaming them for not sending her out for studies and confining her in their shelter. The girl, who rarely used to get angry, started reacting to every single stuff. Hard times at both fronts- personal and career, made her go crazy, but she still kept her head above water. Every time she made efforts to move out or she spoke about it to her parents, something or other ruined her plans and she was left to cry alone. She wanted to go out and see world like her siblings and so-called friends. She craved to travel alone like her siblings and friends with confidence, to become demanded among friends, to be talk of the town in positive sense, to walk the ramp of life with full confidence, knowledge and grace. Declining self-confidence, lack of self-motivation, self-comparison with every tom-dick and harry and jealously started occupying her mind and body.

This true story is about my lil sister- T; who helped my dad in her own ways so that he can spend on my and my brother’s education. I’m obliged to her in every sense. She’s the best sister we could ever have. This little silent girl has many stories in her heart to which she doesn’t breathe a word to us. She keeps taking whatever life throws at her. I sometimes feel bad that she could not manage to go out for her studies or any other stuff. Blame it her destiny or my parents… it never happened. Yes, I do understand and try making T understand as well that just by going out for studies doesn’t make any big difference when you are getting best of education in your own city. But still… kids are kids. She wants to go out, witness new stuffs, people, explore life, learn new things, meet lots of people, be confident, present herself to world, shoo away stage fear, make good contacts… but somehow she’s failing to do all these.

touch_the_sky___jump_48_of_100_by_escaped_emotions-d4kpt62I tried my level best to listen her that day, consoled her but all in vain; she was totally disappointed, demotivated, no argument of mine helped heal her injured heart. I must say that she’s brave enough to tolerate this aloofness all these days. It’s time for her now to come out of her gloominess and see the life with new spectacles. She has to… and I’ve promised her as well as to myself that very soon she will be again that lovely, charming, confident girl once she used to be… I want my baby to grow and be bold… She already is, in her own way. She behaves very maturely in cases where I behave childish.

Anybody can fall in love with her. She’s the most beautiful and pretty among three of us… beautiful by personality, beautiful by heart! I really wish her to touch heights of success, to be very strong and successful in all spheres of life, to achieve whatever she wants to… I love both my kids T & D whom my parents have given me and I really want them to fly away to touch the sky…

May god bless them…

Love you T, D, Maa & Papa…

Neeli….

Glow in Your own Flame


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This is the translation of an inspirational part from an inspirational Bengali song… Ekla Cholo Re… 

O Unfortunate one! If they don’t hold up the flame
If in the thunderous and rainy night, all doors close
Then burn your heart and
Glow in your own flame…

Original Part in Bengali

যদি আলো না ধরে, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি ঝড়-বাদলে আঁধার রাতে দুয়ার দেয় ঘরে-
তবে বজ্রানলে
আপন বুকের পাঁজর জ্বালিয়ে নিয়ে একলা জ্বলো রে।।

Transliteration

Jodi aalo naa dhore, ore ore o abhaagaa, aalo na dhore
Jodi jhor-baadole aadhaara raate duyaar deye ghore-
Tobe bajraanole
aapon buker paajor jaaliye niye ekalaa jolo re

Follow me…


follow

Don’t follow what I do, but follow what I say…

Because

If you follow what I do, you will only reach as high as me…

And not higher than me.

One of the most beloved piece of advice by my father

Imperishable it is


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न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा न भविता वा न भूय:।
अजो नित्य​: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे॥

Transliteration

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

Translation

Neither is it ever born, nor does it ever die
Neither is it recreated as body is born
Birthless, eternal, unaltering, timeless it is
Imperishable it is in the perishable body.

Needless to say, it is the soul which is being talked about here. I sometimes wonder what do they mean by soul? How is it imperishable. The reason I love this shloka (and Gita in general) is that it leaves a scope open for thought and interpretation. I feel that it is the law of nature which is the soul. Unaltered, unborn, unchanging. It manifests itself as everything that surrounds us. And unaffected by the death and birth of the bodies, it persists as the imperishable. The bodies come and go just leaving a mark on the evolution of universe.

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