Monday, January 25, 2010

Suyee Dhaaga (सुई धागा)

एक तीखी पतली सी सुई से,  और
एक सादे सफ़ेद कात के धागे के रोल से
एक दिन दर्जी ने गौर से पूछा,

के तुम दोनों इतना जो साथ निभाते हो
चलो मेरे तो बहुत काम आते हो
पर तुम क्या इससे कुछ पाते हो?

सुई बोली के क्या बतायें
"इतने टाँके जो साथ लगाये
कितने ताने जो साथ बनाये
वो बेशक सब हम भूल जायें,

"पर मन कहता है याद रहेगा,
जब तुमने पहले पहल इस धागे को
मेरी आँख में पिरोया था, समोया था!
तब से एक मैं हूँ और एक ये धागा!

"फिर हर किस्म के, नर्म खुरदुरे
देखे सौ लिबास हमने साथ
अन्दर बाहर, तह तह को सिलते सिलते
छन गयी कुछ ख़ास हममें बात

"अब समझ है उमदा, परख है पक्की
एक दुसरे की ऐसी जैसे
दो साथी, दो हमसफ़र, यूँ कहें कि,
दो प्रेमी हों, बरसों पुराने!

"अब दिन भर की सिलाई चुभती नहीं
अगर रात भर मैं, इस धागे को
आँख बसाए, तेरे सुई-डिब्बे में
थोडा आराम करूं, सुस्ताऊँ, सो लूं!"

"अरे बस बस!", दर्जी ने ली लम्बी उबासी
"है खरी लड़की एकदम तू , पट पट बोलती जाती!
चल धागे से पूछता हूँ अब मैं ज़रा सी

"तू कहाँ फँस गया आ इस दूकान में
मुई सुई के वश में दिन दिन घटता, कम होता
क्यूँ नहीं जा बसा किसी पतंग बाज़ के?

फिर लाल रंग चढ़ता तुझपे,
और काँच वाँच भी! मांझा कहलाता...
और आसमान में उड़ता, चढ़ता, काटता!"

नीरा धागा बोला "का बताऊँ, मालिक
सादा हूँ, ये सब तो जानता नहीं
पर सच कहूं तो इस रिश्ते से पहले
ना सोचा कुछ और, ना चाहूंगा बाद भी!
... चल सुई!"

- On and for our second anniversary...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ek Sitara

The single-most important 'nakshatra' that I've got... written a while ago for omnifuse. Retrofitting lyrics to an existing tune is a pain... ended up using words as fillers and changing to less 'real' words just to suit the beat / tone.

दो तबस्सुम हज़ार है, एक हंसी बेशुमार है

आलम-ए-शब थी, चांदनी फीकी
एक सितारे की, बीनाई देखी
आलम-ए-शब थी, चांदनी फीकी
इस सितारे से शायद प्यार है

रौशनी रहगुज़ार है, एक सितारे से प्यार है

अंतरा १)

माहताबों से बढ़के रौशन तू,
रिन हिजाबों से बढ़के दिलकश तू.

अर्श से हासिल, हष्र को काबिल,
अलबत्ता शामिल, रहनुमाई भी
अर्श से हासिल, हष्र को काबिल,
इस सितारे से शायद प्यार है

रौशनी रहगुज़ार है, एक सितारे से प्यार है|

अंतरा २)

कब से था हर फलक हर तरफ बंजर
जब न था वो दिखा सब था बेमंज़र

एक मर्तबा वो, लख्त-ए-जन्नत जो
मिले रहमत को, शुरू इबादत हो
मिला रहमत को, लख्त-ए-जन्नत जो
इस सितारे से शायद प्यार है

रौशनी रहगुज़ार है, एक सितारे से प्यार है|

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Madhushala!

I was frantically trying to get to the bottom of the daily mail stack, with Dream Theater blasting through the Sony headphones, that have been used mercilessly and stay plastered together somehow through generous use of cello-tape. I don't fancy Dream Theater for music... but they sure are complicated and fast paced enough to make me defocus from the song itself. It was Bosh that intro'ed me to them.

And then I saw Madhushala in the playlist... hadn't played it in more than a year. Hadn't heard vivid ras-daar hindi geet by Bachchan Sr., which I was in love with for so long. I once had it mostly memorized. (Is not easy, it's a 30 minute long song... and aah Manna De's calm soothing voice of). I used to play it on my cheap Transcend mp3 player and get lost in the tune.

I played it, and got lost again. It's 12 minutes to go for some freaking important meeting and instead of going through the notes, I am writing this!

मदिरालय जाने को घर से चलता है पीनेवाला
किस पथ से जाऊं असमंजस में है वो भोलाभाला|
अलग अलग पथ बतलाते सब, पर मैं ये बतलाता हूँ
राह पकड़ तू एक चलाचल पा जायिएगा मधुशाला!!

सुन कल कल छल छल मधुघट से गिरती प्यालों में हाला
सुन रन झुन रन झुन चल वितरण करती मधुसाकी बाला
बस आ पहुंचे दूर नहीं कुछ चार कदम अब चलना है
चहक रहे सुन पीनेवाले, महक रही ले मधुशाला!

अधरों पर हो कोई भी रस , जीव्हा पर लगती हाला
भाजन हो कोई हाथों में , लगता रखा है प्याला
हर सूरत साकी की सूरत में परिवर्तित होती है
आँखों के आगे हो कुछ भी, आँखों में है मधुशाला !!

and on and on it goes holding me again in gentle trance... bin sharaab ki hai ye madhushala!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rest in peace

Another song for Omnifuse... when will we finally release an album?! This one is set in a rock'ish tune! Wish I could post the tune here! (or wish you could read staff notation!).

This one is about death.

आग का एक दरिया है, डूब के जाना
जिस्म जलते एक देखा है, एक है जलाना
ज़िन्दगी मिट गयी एक
एक बची, अध मरी, मांगती मौत भी|

तेरी यादें कईं, सारी बातें रहीं
एक ज़रा सी आँखें भी नम||

चार दिन और सात सुर और लाखों आसमान
दो परिंदे थे मोहब्बत में जिए जहां
एक दफा, पुरज़ोर बदहवा
यूँ चली, एक पंछी ना रहा
वो जब तक उडे, सुर मिलाते रहे
सा रे , सा रे , सा रे रे!

तेरी यादें कईं, सारी बातें रहीं
एक ज़रा सी आँखें भी नम||

दिन महीने साल बीते, सूखी शायरी
रिस रहा हर घाव दिल का लेकिन आज भी!
हाथ मेरे एक कलम थी, एक थी ज़िन्दगी
बन गया एक गीत अंतिम, साँसें आखिरी !!

ले लहू लिख डाली लफ्जों में मेरी लाचारगी...

तेरी यादें कईं, सारी बातें रहीं

एक ज़रा शी आँखें भी नम||


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

उन्मुक्त , बंधनों के साथ!

चल खिवैया खे ले अपनी नाव ले पतवार भइया
दूर दीप है जाना
रुक मुसाफिर देख दुनिया, नील गगन औ' नीला दरिया
बिसरा भी दे ठिकाना

देख मुसाफिर...
ओर छोर खारा पानी पाताल गगन को चूमे
उस अंत में गोला लाल, रवि छुन छुन पानी में डूबे
मछरी भर भर कश्तियों का, मोड़ नोक फिर तट की ओर
गाँव घर लौट आना
नाव नाक की सीध में अपनी बढती जाए दूर क्षितिज के
झ्हरने से भीड़ जाना

सुन खिवैया...
सब सुंदर है जल अंबर पर नहीं हैं मेरे अपने

(काम चालु है ... :) )

iPod-dar!

Its true. Thanks to a generous sweet gesture by wife, the great, I am finally iPod-dar!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Streetful of Misery

Long time after... I wrote this for our Band @ Cisco, Firmware!

There’s a cop on his beat, making sure
The world is as should be
There’s a crook by the bank, making plans
To change his destiny

He has no doubt about
The million he can get out
If he
Could just get a gun…

Got a few dead dreams
Locked away cold
In a cellblock on the
Old jail road

Chorus

When he
dreams their death at night
he screams, inside
Let me out, let me out, let me out!

Think about it, everyday,
Think about it, everyday,
He cries in pain and shrieks aloud
Help me! Help me!

There’s a man on the street, eating mud
To fill his hungry pit.
Doesn’t matter he says, to himself
Things will change in a bit.

If there’s a heaven above,
It sure will send its love
To me
When I am dead and gone

Got a few dead dreams
Buried deep down
Under his home stone on
The pavement ground


Chorus followed by lead

(slow and silent)
Poison in equal measures
Was passed around to all
In God’s eyes all are the same
No one’s big or small

(Reprise)
Pain is good, and he could

Never
Dream of joy, nor love
Nor life, he bides his
Time to die, time to die, time to die

Think about it, everyday,
Think about it, everyday,
He cries in pain and shrieks aloud
Help me! Help me!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where there is wall...

That scrapes through to begin well,
Doesn't need to end just so.
Some lives live half a good life
Give the other half to stupidity

To see and to ignore it still
The elephant sits in the room
Look hard and I then find
It's but a hallucination.

Lovely are the tears that are
Shed when people meet again
Is such beauty ever found
In those wasted on going away

Why ego when cogito ergo sum?
Why spite when thy neighbor love?
Why glean when to give is religion?
Why glean when share is economic?
Why learn hate when so much science unknown?
Why pray when there's no sign above?
Why borders, vasudhaiv kutumbakam... :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Night. Life?

What stares me in the face outside the window is the absolute quite of the city... the city of Mumbai, that never sleeps. Maybe it finally gave in to this no-night-life Bangalorean and slept... Yes, it sure seems late, and yet not early enough for the paperwallahs and doodhwallas and few remaining muezzins (what with the sena) to be rustling back to life. It's the only hour, when I guess, Mumbai sleeps. And I am awake.

What do I write about? I am here to attend a wedding of a palghat Iyer (capital 'I' intended) friend with a Marathi mulgi (capital 'M' accidental). Marriages are not made in heaven I say! No, nay, negative, nopes... they are very much crafted and treasured by dexterous and trembling human hands. Gorgeous in their success, embarrassed when they fail. The hands still often do a decent job of making that one institution that provides for the lonely days. And I have a lonely night!

What else do I care for? It is difficult to be truthful when you do not want to cause pain. And is it not hard to lie and then live through it? Your people skills are best left for people you dont care for. Come on, there's still life on the planet! I got off the Andheri station and asked a building watchman directions for Juhu gully. He says, out, right thenleft. A shop owner, overhearing, called out from behind, 'Juhu Gully mein kidhar?', and based on my answer fine tuned the directions to 'out, left then right'! As I started going out, a woman with vamp thick blue mascara, passed by and offered me to walk me to there, through the market shortcuts. Would Delhites do this for strangers?

Why does Raj Thackeray want my ilk out of this city? Lets be grown-ups about this. You know, if you throw out all the Bihari's out of Bangalore, there wouldn't be any good panipuri left.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yellow blooms

As I walk on a sidewalk, try to find my path again
I chance upon a tree of gold that is blooming in vain
Its flowers picked by few, never for love, seldom for religion.
I walk on, pray someone soon inflicts on them that pain

Before they fall like their siblings scores on the wayside
Before the wheels weighed down by humans quash
That smaller hope within small petals, tender and timid
Of being of use at least in death if not in yellow blush.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My time here...

My time here was done and over a long time ago,
And my time here, now takes flight another time
Every moment that has dared to step on my toe
Now begs forgivance from its master, yes, that's me!

A flower, was it? or rather a bloom of them
Starry eyed I look on in delight all of tonight!
Evil eyes, gentle eyes, playful eyes, just eyes
What other eyes are squinting to see the light?

I Spy with my little eye, a spark here and there
Fie! Fie! on the wicked sly, that does not still accept
Past has been, and may it rest, and never to be seen
Whats not in here but soon will be...  is there and in between!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Khaaleee

That's what my home in Sun City is, absolutely khalee! Itna ke hall mein rah ke ghar phone karo to bolte hain ki 'Kuwen mein se bol raha hai kya?' I have wilfully checked myself from buying any furniture, though spent lavishly on the white goods. I wanted to do a well-matched interior-decorated furnishing in the whole house that gives it a contemporarily vibrant but not flashy look. But now it's getting to me... I need a chair! I need a table! I cannot 'Work From Home' with the laptop on the fridge carton and my butt on the bucket that leaves a mark on the soft tissue.

It pinched me big when this Sunday evening Kimi went and won at Magny Cours and I could not see it... just read about it and see his picture on TOI sports page, exulting in warm red of this year instead of the cool silver. While on the colours; I had a black and silver McLaren helmet that said Kimi somewhere. I lost that and a few others, broke a couple as well, and now I have another silver-black Kimi one. Inappropriate, I know, but do I have the flash to pull off red streaked helmets? I will, when Harley changes me.

And khalee ghar bhi bharega. Bas ek adad interior decorator aur ek billi chahiye... that's not more than a year from now.

All is good in blissville and we are
softly treading the path to permanence
We prepared with armours for the war
that never started, all saw the good sense!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bhi are in... Bihar - II

We went on to Ballia, where I was greeted by two unusually silent cousins. The two girls were almost always on mute in front of me and dad, and talked a bit with mom. Was it the dictator-like rule of uncle on the family? Was it because they never really went to college, and instead just prepared at home for the annual exams? The culture had somehow etched on them that shy, reserved, dumb was equal to ideal homely girl. Now because of that, the elder cousin is not able impress any groom her father finds for her. The guys want smarter girls nowadays. Whose mistake then, uncle?

We went to Dad's high school in Ballia. Forty four years ago, he used to cycle here from Sanha (an hour up and down) to study when his brothers were busy either playing in the fields or helping at Dada's shop. Dad was the first engineer in his village following Dada's footsteps, who was the first metric-pass. He must have felt nostalgic. The same arch, the same building, the same classrooms. But it looked like the benches weren't different either. And the same truancy, the same mediocre teachers? In this school maybe, but not in D.A.V, Begusarai where Sujeet Gandhi is grasping the neo-hindu ways of monotheism and no idol worship in addition to competitive formal education. Change's knocking, what?

Sanha, my best day in Bihar was spent here. A real village with open spaces, green and mud-brown fields, thatched roofs, domestic cattle even at the richest house, ours. Rameshwar Poddar was once sarpanch of Sanha and now too his address is: Rameshwar Poddar, Gram Sanha, Jilla Begusarai, Bihar. And Sanha has a lac people now. Serious. On the morning walk my cousin chhotu took me to the banks of dried up Ganga and showed me masjid, school, playground and our fields. It must all look rustic and common to Sanha'ians, but urban I loved it.

My cousins Rani and Rakhi are the sweetest and most doting two girls I've seen! Both are pretty, bubbly and yet demure. Both are smarter than what's required of housewives. Such a contrast from the Ballia cousins! Maybe the reason is that their dad, my youngest chacha, who has suffered from a brain nerve damage, hasn't had that strict 'authority' during their bringing up. I hope they get husbands who dont need a nerve damage to remove malignant chauvinism.

There are more muslims than hindus in Sanha, and it has a special communal harmony. No cross-marriages, no close contact, but no mud-slinging or bitching either. Muslimon ke ghar ka paani nahin piyenge, par khoon bhi kyun piyen? Achchha hai!

Bhi are in... Bihar - I

I traveled with my parents to Patna on the 28th May. My mother's sprawling family tree of 13 first branch siblings and a hundred leaf node kids belongs here. We are headed now to Ballia and the Sanha Village in Begusarai district, where my father's side is - sensibly big and, I daresay, more close-knit.

We got off at the Patna Rajendra nagar station on the election day when by law no motor vehicle is allowed on roads. While the 2 cycle-rickshaw moved through the narrow lanes to Mama's home, we saw four policemen with guns and a pistol chasing a man. The rickshaw walla said a polling booth was nearby and the chase was just to scare away the booth capturers. There was almost a curfew like ban on any motor vehicle, especially around polling booths. This was to prevent the the 'neta ka tattu log' from rounding and bringing people as vote banks in tempos. But ironically, that should also be one big inconvenience for the voters possibly resulting in low turnout, no?

I met a lot of my cousins, and by lot i mean in dozens. Many of them don't have Poddar in their school registered names. Reason? To prevent people from finding out their caste. We aren't SC/ST, then why? Cause generally it's a good idea to hide one's caste and only let merit show. So there was this DM in Begusarai called Manish Kumar and no one had a clue where he belonged, and no one dared ask. It wasn't possible to raise objections of partisanship against him. My cousins are Tushar Gaurav, Pranay Pallav ... even a Sujeet Gandhi. (Gandhi is oft-used muddler surname... I am Bihari, I am Gandhi, go figure my caste). Very sensible I'd say.

Bihar does have some special things. Parval ki mithai, khaajaa, sattu, litti chokha, badhi, teesi, boot ka saag, guramma... We were at a sweet shop in East Patna (less developed and more old-city like than West Patna) buying kilos of sweets for my many maternal relatives in that city. As I stood outside trying to mix-and-match 3 different kinds in 9 boxes, a hadrly sixteen girl in salwar kurta walked out of the shop and stood outside. A middle-aged man walked up to me from somewhere outside, pointed at her and asked me "Dost Banayenge?".

Patna's heat was oppressive and staying indoors was a torture, especially for Mom, who wants to sit inside the A/C when she sees one. So we decided to rather go to a cental A/C anything - mall, multiplex, theatre. Dad found out that the Vishal Mart was a central A/C mall, and Regent was an A/C theatre. No multiplex, but let's not quibble for more. Plan made: Book A/C Bolero, Afternoon in the A/C Planetorium and vishal Mart, evening show at Regent. Mom was looking forward to it all. Well, planetorium was closed, Regent was Air/Cooled and badly so, but the biggest surprise was Vishal Mart. A/C alright, but it was Patna's equivalent of Big Bazar, and as happily crowded as well. Patna's only A/C mall is a superstore. Long road ahead!

Low Brow Love

The point I want to make is that most intellectuals either remain dissatisfied in love or become fickle, and that those that remain at just the basic levels of understanding, care and compromise in the relationship not only stay faithful and happy but also in the end are the real winners in the craziness of relationships where single absolute truths are rarely found.

Take a happy couple in which One has had an earlier love in a smart, whimsical but unworldly person. Now, ask that One with a broad smile, "Isn't everything just perfect?" Chances are an ideological junkie will not reflect your enthusiasm, at least not genuinely... and anyways the real thinkers would die before faking a smile. A simpler One would have learnt that what was lost was possibly not worth all the pining.

Take a literary couple. Each has maybe churned out real thought-foods on, say Tagore, apartheid, contemporary art, economics or mediterranean cooking. One goes and finds a paramour - forbidden love that grows sweeter and eventually essential. Ask One what's right. Chances are the free-spirited individualist who believes in each-to-his-own, would choose to stop doing what the 'society' thinks is right and would go with the soul's calling.

Intellectuals have a flair for debating on the very tenets and norms of society, a knack of proving right their choices not only to others but to themselves too. They contrast more starkly what they have with what they want. They grow to like their own minds and think they deserve keeping only such like around. Intellectuals brood on the past more and demand more from the future. Intellectuals walk out on committments more often.

It may not be a winning argument, and who am I to win an argument against the high-brows... When it comes to love, simple seems good enough.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Aashi and I

20th May was a good Sunday. Invitation to togetherness, foreverness... and acceptance for life. We are in it for good now. Let the fights, complaints, misunderstandings, begin now! We're ready to take on them all! Aren't we, dear?

You've been so good to me all this while
It's been so perfect thus far
Can you see if we'll last the miles
Dont you want to see who we are

Come on now, lets gaze a bit
What lies ahead for us in it

Can you see a family, happy with a pup
Can you see bitter fights and sweet making up
Can you see me ...
Can you see ...
Can you see this love brim over, die eventually
Can you see another love that keeps us company

We won't be needy, nor hungry nor poor
We'll go see the world, maybe the moon too
We'll be fighting fit, live to ninety five
Love wont be needed to keep us alive

But will we, be our best together
And will we, stay closest forever
Well love's got a part to play in that
and you can see what I am getting at

I'll love you, untill I have this head on me
You can be, my music, my ... , my sweet would-be
So let's just fix it the, jigsaw is perfectly placed.
Marry me, marry me, marry me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bean counting

I am back.

A small city like Baroda will have everything within an arm's length. I pick up dad's Honda Activa and reach within fifteen minutes, anywhere I'd like to be. (Within city limits i.e., cause I'd like to be someplace else if given a choice). Groceries, one hop away, malls, two hops... bank, movies, doctor a couple more kangaroo hops away. It is a perfect place to lead a comfortable and happy life.

A big city like Bangalore will have everything within my wallet's reach. I pick up my huge fat Cisco Salary and reach within hours, anywhere I'd like to go. (Including Goa, Maldives, Europe, or beyond). Groceries, within 1k, shopping at malls, within 10k... Harley, Honda Civic, property, investments, within a couple more millions. It is a perfect place to lead a content and ambitious life.

But for few months from now, dad says, and I agree I'll be in Bangalore living the Baroda way... bean counting.

On Bean....

Check out Atkinson's dance in Mr. Bean's Holiday... physically funny yet not slapstick.



And the two trailers... It's running in INOX, Baroda but I am gonna wait and watch this one in Bangalore.



Monday, January 08, 2007

Dogtag for a new chapter

Yesterday, it all ended with a thud. Today I deleted every single mail, chat, pictures and files associated.
Yesterday, it all began with a start. Today, I got a confirmation that it's time I start treasuring new mails, chats, pictures and files associated.
 
Smooth transition, what? I'll be back here in another 90 days. Till then, ISB.