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The World as I see it

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I was never good at making sketches as a kid. I was even worse at coloring them. The colors would never stay within the bounds of the outline, would always mix in undesirable ways, and would simply never obey my command.

As I grew older, I realized that life is a canvas, not a blank one though, but outlined by various economic, social, political and other constraints. And this sketch can be colored in many different ways. So why not start coloring this mosaic with the colorful plate of vegetable mixed rice (aka namkeen chawal).

P.S.: Just discovered that cooking ‘real’ food can be a good way to color the relatively bland and monotonous last few months of a graduate student. You won’t be annoyed by a few pictures cropping up on your timeline every now and then, would you? 🙂

Since my last post…


Since my last post…

Half an year has passed by,
Millions of leaves have fallen dry
Thousands have fled their homes;
And are living under the blue sky.

Millions of eyes, brimming with tears
Millions of hearts throbbing in fears
Thousands of bullets and hundreds of bombs
Scarring humanity for the coming years

Yet…

Millions of flowers have welcomed the springs
And colourful butterflies have fluttered their wings
And gleefully have giggled the millions of kids
Under the trees, over the swings

Cutting their way against the breeze
Still sing the birds on the trees
Still does the pensive turtle
Waddle along the violent seas

Are they blind to the streams of blood?
Or oblivious to the waves of flood?
Or do they simply turn a deaf ear
To the cries of a child covered in mud?

Probably they don’t even care
For not long can darkness stare
After a time, as has always been
It will be vanished, into thin air.

अपनी माटी


indian-national-flag-images

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.

Nostalgia…Impressions from the Past…Part 1


Cultural Diversity – National Integrity

Some Moments don’t die. This is one of them

Running Around to Keep the Chariot Still


imagesCAWET4NA

Reading is a pre-requisite to writing. While I must admit that I am not a voracious reader of ‘highly intellectual literary material’, since my entry into the blogosphere I have been reading and enjoying (otherwise I won’t read) thoughts and views by people around the world. So in this regular routine of reading blogs, I came across this interesting piece by my friend priyom…

Recollections

Dad accompanied and insisted on waiting with us for the school bus. We didn’t want him there, (certain issues regarding inappropriately-handled-teenage-trauma) we were perfectly capable of waiting on our own and we were already shaking with nervousness in our new grey skirts with matching grey stockings.

And it was in those quiet few minutes of silent anticipation that we saw a man with khaki pants and loose chappals. The man was making loud hand gestures and was walking around in circles. We smirked at the behavioral ridiculousness and wondered if there was something wrong with him. Our dad however did not even reciprocate by a small hu-ta-tu.

After that, we would see him there almost every single day, same routine of course. We pronounced him to be unhappily senile and yet crazily amusing. On perfectly good days, he would sometimes sit down to talk to himself from perfect hollow memory. At times, he would simply march to and fro. However if there were in fact more fitting conclusions to this daily show, we never did know because our bus timings did not allow us the opportunity of any more such clarifications.

In the afternoon, we would see him perched on this bench outside a tiny tea shop, staring into the distance. We speculated on an extremely sad family history and on his whereabouts during the night, if he actually had any place he could call home. We saw him as weak and uncared for.

We made it a point to shamelessly stare at him each morning till the day we allowed ourselves to grow up and till there was no longer a bus at 8.30 anymore. We gave ourselves the permission to forget about him simply because we didn’t care enough.

*********************************************

It was some time before I came back home for my college holidays. That day, they were sawing the huge birch tree near our lane. But that old tea-shop was still there. And sitting with the same vacant expression, was the same person that I had lost to memory some years back.

It was not like he was a part of an exciting story and deserved any specific remembrance. But somehow, on highly dramatic grounds, the fact that he was still there, unchanged, unaffected had me feeling triumphant.

His being there told me that he had survived changes and time. Because I sure as hell hadn’t.  Yes, he was a consolation. He was still there.

The author does not state what he had he been doing in the earlier days. Neither do we know whether he was successful in his quest. But the story reminds me of people around me who seemingly achieved nothing all their lives. You might very well say that they wasted one great chance over their cynical acts. Delve deeper into their lives, only to realize how they have meticulously succeeded in what they aimed for. In most cases their rarely appreciated contributions are instrumental in consolidating ground for things which can be appreciated.

Hats off to the wheels of the chariot of success on which our heroes ride; for they are the ones who keep running around to keep the chariot still…

The Exam of Life


download

 

Why are you so restless, my mind?

Is peace that you seek so difficult to find?

Why do you tumble through ups and downs?

Why do you care about the smiles and the frowns?

“Sir! Please! For my Children…” (Bhaiyya! Bachchon ke liye kuchh de do). These words awakened me from a nap, only to  see a pair of hands been spread out in hope of money. I raised my eyes to see a lady, very poorly dressed along with a child, maybe in his tens. I took out a rupee coin and gave it to her.

It was a lazy afternoon and waiting for a train on the platform made it even boring. And after a very busy Christmas, one requires a short nap for sure. But as my sleep was already broken, I decided to take a walk down the platform. Then I saw a bunch of coolies (the people who carry heavy luggage for people) discussing the recent India-Pakistan cricket match. They seemed to be enjoying the rare respite from the work they do.

The jolly mind of mine turned pensive. I was happily rejoicing the long awaited results (which stated that I was amongst the toppers of the class), the eagerly awaited holidays and the ever delicious home-made food (one of the two reasons I want to goto home – the other being sleep). But now I was filled with questions.

“Look at yourself, Arindam! What do you do? Feed yourself over a huge scholarship! And why did you get the silly scholarship? Because you cleared an exam. Does clearing an exam make you so eligible that you make your living virtually without efforts for the next 5 years of life? Where does the money of your scholarship come from? From the government. More precisely, the tax payers. That includes the coolies sitting there, the vegetable vendor who comes to your house daily, the auto driver who drove you to the station.”

Very true! It is eventually they who let me study throughout at subsidised rates. And for all these favours, what do they expect in return? Development. Why is it that the lady had to spread her arms in times of need? I believe that I still have something to do to make the people here proud.

The problem of the country starts only when the brighter lot of the country flees away from the responsibilities. If I use the advantages given by my people for my own benefit and luxury I would be a parasite, a cheater.

So what, if you were born in a dirty lake? If you run away from the lake into a cleaner one, the lake remains to be dirty. Why not clean the lake instead to make the lake realise its true true identity?

“Try to make others happy; happiness for you is born out of the happiness they get.”

Yes I topped my class and a handful of people congratulate me on that. But I await the day when I die – May the world congratulate me on succeeding a exam – the exam of life…

Difficulties


Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you, but to help you realise your hidden potential and power. Let difficulties know you are too difficult.

– Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Music Beyond Language


http://mp3hungama.com/music/download.php?song_id=22119

A track from Rhythmscape by Bikram Ghosh

Batman Dreams


Batman Dreams.

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