Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pagli Ladki - by Dr. Kumar Vishwas

Dr. Kumar Vishwas is a very promising Hindi poet and lyricist and is very popular especially amongst the youth. He has a large fan following especially in the IITs where he is the star attraction in almost every fest. For those who haven't had the chance to know him or his poetry - here is one of his best poems which when he recites, he leaves the audience spell-bound, numb and enthralled.

Amawas ki kaali raaton mein dil ka darwaja khulta hai,
Jab dard ki pyaali raaton mein gum ansoon ke sang hote hain,
Jab pichwade ke kamre mein hum nipat akele hote hain,
Jab ghadiyan tik-tik chalti hain, sab sote hain, hum rote hain,
Jab baar baar dohrane se saari yaadein chuk jaati hain,
Jab unch-neech samjhane mein mathe ki nas dukh jaati hain,
Tab ek pagli ladki ke bin jeena gaddari lagta hai,
Aur us pagli ladki ke bin marna bhi bhari lagta hai.

Jab pothe khali hote hain, jab har sawali hote hain,
Jab gazlen raas nahin aatin, afsane gaali hote hain.
Jab baasi feeki dhoop sametein din jaldi dhal jaata hai,
Jab suraj ka laskhar chhat se galiyon mein der se jaata hai,
Jab jaldi ghar jaane ki ichha mann hi mann ghut jaati hai,
Jab college se ghar laane waali pahli bus chhut jaati hai,
Jab beman se khaana khaane par maa gussa ho jaati hai,
Jab lakh mana karne par bhi Paaro padhne aa jaati hai,
Jab apna har manchaha kaam koi lachari lagta hai,
Tab ek pagli ladki ke bin jeena gaddari lagta hai,
Aur us pagli ladki ke bin marna bhi bhari lagta hai.

Jab kamre mein sannate ki awaj sunai deti hai,
Jab darpan mein aankhon ke neeche jhai dikhai deti hai,
Jab badki bhabhi kahti hain, kuchh sehat ka bhi dhyan karo,
Kya likhte ho lalla dinbhar, kuchh sapnon ka bhi samman karo,
Jab baba waali baithak mein kuchh rishte waale aate hain,
Jab baba humein bulate hain, hum jaate hain, ghabrate hain,
Jab saari pahne ek ladki ka ek photo laya jaata hai,
Jab bhabhi humein manati hain, photo dikhlaya jaata hai,
Jab saare ghar ka samjhana humko fankari lagta hai,
Tab ek pagli ladki ke bin jeena gaddari lagta hai,
Aur us pagli ladki ke bin marna bhi bhari lagta hai.

Didi kahti hain us pagli ladki ki kuchh aukat nahin,
Uske dil mein bhaiya tere jaise pyare jasbat nahin,
Woh pagli ladki nau din mere liye bhooki rahti hai,
Chup-chup saare vrat karti hai, par mujhse kabhi na kahti hai,
Jo pagli ladki kahti hai, main pyar tumhi se karti hoon,
Lekin mein hoon majboor bahut, amma-baba se darti hoon,
Us pagli ladki par apna kuchh adhikar nahin baba,
Yeh katha-kahani kisse hain, kuchh bhi to saar nahin baba,
Bas us pagli ladki ke sang jeena fulwari lagta hai,
Aur us pagli ladki ke bin marna bhi bhari lagta hai.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Questions unanswered...

A few days back while returning home from City Centre I heard an auto-driver call out in a feeble voice "Karunamoyee". Immediately I stopped as I needed an auto to that place but was shocked to see the driver! He was in his 70's, possibly his late 70's. He looked fit and steady yet old enough to make you keep staring and wondering...

I sat down as I had stopped but it was a long wait. Since the auto was not at the usual queue, he was not getting any passengers even though he kept calling out. Under normal circumstances, because of the rush to reach home, I would get down and walk up to the place I could get an auto faster but this time I didn't have the heart to do so. The man though old, looked educated and seemed to belong to a good family. He was symbolic of the 'Dadu' of a typical Bengali family - those who have a disciplined lifestyle like getting up early in the morning, going for morning walk, having healthy food habits, reading books, thinking intellectually, discussing the new generation's values and vices with people in their age group and loving their grandchildren whatsoever.

As I waited, my mind wandered away trying to think as to what could have led him to do this. It was obvious that there must be some financial crisis, I wondered if there was no other job that would be easier for him. Was he doing this to keep himself active and independent? Had his children abandoned him? Did his family face some unexpected misfortune or tragedy? Did his son who was the bread earner of his family, meet with an accident or something worse like death?

My thoughts were broken when I saw him turn around and say something to me. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn't hear him, he repeated, asked me in English, "Where would you be going from Karunamoyee?" I wasn't surprised to hear him talk in English neither to observe that the sentence was gramatically correct. Soon a teen-aged boy got up and I kept hoping that he too would be ready to wait. He did and perhaps for the same reason I was doing.

Finally in few more minutes we were five and ready to go. I could read from everyone's faces that we all sympathized with him. I was wondering how he would fare as a driver, he had an automatic-start one - so the start was smooth as we geared up for the short journey. He was very good, not slow as perhaps expected by some of us neither like the rash auto-drivers. It was a pleasant journey and we reached our destination. I turned around to take one last glance at him and moved on with those questions still on my mind...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Remembering Laxman's 281

Yesterday on reading a joint interview of Yusuf and Irfan Pathan in t2 brought back an old memory... Both the Pathan brothers had picked V.V.S. Laxman as their favourite cricketer. Instantly, I remembered that awesome innings played by Laxman way back in 2001 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Initially forced to watch cricket out of no other option because of Baba and Dada, I took a liking to the sport and the Indian Cricket team. I still remember that morning when I was studying and also keeping a track of the score at the same time. India batted miserably in the first innings with Laxman unbeaten at one end while wickets tumbled one by one at the other. Forced to follow-on by Australia, what followed was an innings by Laxman which is considered as one of the best of the century.

Runs flowed in with boundaries as Geoffrey Boycott chuckled "V. V. S. Laxman is on fire!" Laxman was unstoppable as he kept timing the ball to the fences - later on Warne admitted that he was clueless on how to stop Laxman! From the other end Rahul Dravid also kept the momentum going and together they built up a huge partnership. Until that day I had thought test cricket to be boring with so many maiden overs but that was the best test match I have ever watched. On the verge of an innings defeat, India went on to win the Test. Innings like these are unforgettable and leave behind a postive spirit and energy in our minds.

I went on to become a big fan of Laxman and read up all articles on him and learnt his full name - Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman which is his village's name, father's name, name of family God - in that order. But he is more popularly and rightfully known as Very Very Special Laxman!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Mix and mingle the different hues of a rainbow in different proportions and you would get a new colour each time. Name any and you can get bangles of that colour - they are so widely available. Shining and gleaming with a light of their own, these circular pieces are an important part of traditional Indian jewellery.

No Indian wedding would be complete without bangles. For many Indian cultures, bangles signify the marital status of a woman. Punjabi women wear 'chooda' on and after marriage - it is a set of red and white bangles with decoration. Bengali women wear the traditional 'Shakha', 'Pola' and 'Loha Badhano' after marriage.

Intricately designed or plain and simple, studded with diamonds or with pearls, for centuries, bangles have been decorating the hands of Indian women - the presence of bangles have been traced back to the Mohenjo Daro Civilization.

The charm of bangles is in the sweet jingling sound they make as they collide with each other. The sound one can hear as a teacher raises her hand to point to something on the blackboard, the sound one can hear as a mother pats her child to sleep, the sound one can hear as a girl shyly runs away from her lover...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Namaste my India!

A tribute to India's diversity and rich culture on the eve of our country's 62nd year of Independence.

Republic Day parade at Rajpath,
Jana-Gana-Mana by Rabindranath.

Moonlit Taj Mahal,
Fuchkas at Victoria Memorial.

Gulal and bhang on Holi,
Deepawali with Diyas and Rangoli.

Centuries of cricket maestro Sachin,
Vishwanathan Anand's brainstorming.

Singing sensation Shreya,
Diva of beauty Aishwarya.

Sindur and bindi,
Doli and Baraati.

Choodiyaan and payal,
Shringaar and kajal.

Sea beaches of Goa,
Backwaters of Kerala.

Bhangra and Kathakali,
Bharathnatyam and Manipuri.

Tamil, Telegu, Oriya and Bengali,
United in national language Hindi.

Colours of saffron, white and green,
In the centre the navy blue wheel.

Proud to be an Indian!

Life - A Mixture of the Bitter and the Sweet

" Life is no straight and easy corridor along which we travel free and unhampered, but a maze of passages, through which we must seek our way, lost and confused, now and again checked in a blind alley.
But always, if we have faith, God will open a door for us, not perhaps one that we ourselves would ever have thought of, but one that will ultimately prove good for us." - A. J. Cronin

Life is like a roller-coaster ride with an equal number of ups and downs. It is when we develop an attitude of treating both the ups and downs of life equally, that we master the art of living.

Disappointments, betrayals, failures, tragedies, deaths of loved ones can leave us shattered and completely heart-broken. Departure of a loved one from our lives can leave us directionless, betrayal in a cherished relationship can leave us never to trust again, failure in fulfilling a golden dream can leave us never to dream again.

Very often we tend to take them up as a course for unending sorrow and grief, waste our days mourning what we lost than think about what we still have or what we can have in future. To accept and move on in life is the key. Find it and open the door and you will be out of the darkness into the light.

If life had been a 'bed of roses', it would have been dull and monotonous. Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

When a tragedy of any form befalls you, do not despair. Know for sure that these tough times are not to be there always. A whole lot of happiness awaits you and God knows the right time for sending it to you. What to us is a sorrow, to God it is His test of our faith, courage and character. As they very truly say - "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

Many of us including me, do not enjoy the periods of happiness to the fullest. We are scared of losing them, scared of the dreadful dark clouds reappearing again.
A verse for such of us-
" We worry about our tomorrows,
Of missing the joys of today,
Troubled about what may happen;
Yet tomorrow may not come our way.
The future is safe in God's keeping,
We can live but one day at a time."

It is human nature to get depressed by setbacks but it is a super-human task to rise above your circumstances and rewrite your destiny. The one that stands erect and unfazed in the face of adversity ultimately leaves the footprints to success.

Today I recall what my Maths teacher wrote for me before I left school -
"Remember Anindita, that you are once in a lifetime, unique creation of God - never to be repeated, never was and never will be. So get ready to make your unique contribution to the world! "

Let us all make our lives a beautiful and successful journey.