चलो कहीं डेरा डाल लेते हैं

This year has begun with great promise: one made by me, some made by life. After all the running around and hassles of the years gone by, there looks to be signs of peace.

There is hope that we can settle down (in more ways than one), let go of the trifles of everyday living, and rest.

 

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आज छोड़ चलते हैं…

2015 is coming to an end, and with that a phase of life draws to a close. In wishing you all a very happy 2016, and indeed, the rest of your life, I also wish goodbye to the days that have passed… This poem is a celebration of the era that draws to a close today – childhood, with all its vicissitudes and victories, with all its charms and challenges, with all its memories.

I hope you had a great 2015. I wish you all the love, hope, strength, and fulfilment in 2016!

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Reading Gulzar – Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

This has been a long time coming.

I think the blog hasn’t been updated for a while now (a month to be precise), but that hasn’t really been for a lack of trying. A couple of pieces that I have been working on are taking an impossibly high amount of time to get done with. As such, not quite able to head anywhere with my own words, I have decided to return to the relief and comfort of those of Gulzar.

There are a few songs where the singing of the words surpasses their poetry, if you know what I mean. Usually, the latter is so good that if you were to sing it (and I am assuming here that you’re as bad a bathroom singer as any), you’d still find joy. You’d find joy in merely reading the poetry. But the rare songs I refer to are those where the poetry’s meaning and emotion is enhanced by the manner in which they have been sung. They will be beautiful if you read them, or make your best un-donkeybray effort at singing, but they won’t be as beautiful as the original, shot-on-film, sung-by-the-gods song itself.

This film, Gulzar’s ‘Parichay’ has both these kinds of songs: there is the former of the rich poetry, and this, the latter.

When you listen to the song, or rather, watch it, you’ll see how Lata Mangeshkar and Jaya Bachchan begin the song more like a narration, like singing a song you knew the words to but thry don’t really mean anything personal to you. For a song that is inherently sad in its words, watch the latter smile and enjoy the singing. Then, watch how Bhupinder’s voice and Sanjeev’s introduction to the scene adds the feels to it, like moments beginning to form out of the mist of memories. You know this is more than just a collection of words for him. This leads beautifully to the second verse, by which they’re both emoting, yearning for the filling of a common void.

It is subtle. It is, in fact, aspiration.

Incidentally (and sadly, for it highlights the dearth we’ve had of actors of his ilk in Hindi cinema), Sanjeev Kumar who plays Jaya Bachchan’s father in this song was cast opposite her in ‘Anamika’. Incidentally, again, R. D. gave the music to that film too!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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दोबारा

रिश्तों की उम्र कौन माप पाया है?

कुछ सदियों ज़िंदा रहते हैं, हमें शेरों-कहानियों में मिलते हैं। कुछ पूरी ज़िन्दगी अपने पैरों पर खड़े होने में लगा देते हैं, कुछ पूरी ज़िन्दगी हर दिन जीते हैं। हर एक की अपनी उम्र होती है। हाँ, कहानियां सबकी एक ही लगती है मुझे।

काफ़ी रिश्तों को क़रीब से देखा है मैंने। पाया है की जहां ख़ुशी है, रंग हैं, वह सब लोगों के अपने हैं।  पर जहां कलह है, दुःख, रुस्वाई है, उन सबकी एक सी पहचान होती है। ऐसा लगता है की मानों एक को देख लिया हो, तो सबको देख लिया। हम उन्ही मसौदों पर रूठते हैं, वैसे ही बेगैरद लहज़े से बात करतें हैं, उसी दर्द से बिछड़ते हैं, वही आंसू रोते हैं… सब वही है, हमने कुछ नहीं सीखा है। इन्ही उलझनों से गुज़रने का नाम हमने ज़िन्दगी कर दिया है। यही चेहरे, यही मोड़, यही सब चलता रहता है, एक के बाद एक, दोबारा…

इन्ही किस्सों, कहानियों, दोस्तों, और लोगों के ग़म को देखा है मैंने, और उसे संजो के ये कविता लिखी है। उमीद है कुछ पसंद आएगी।

 

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Reading Gulzar – Filhaal

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is, arguably, no escape from the ephemeral nature of Life.

We sail on a sea of motion, where the tides of Time and Chance decide our destinations as much as the forces of Will and Desire. Life is lost and found in the finite moments of tranquility that exist in the storms that ravage, ceaselessly, these waters. And we are all, always, fighting for these moments.

Which is why, at times, it seems prudent to forget the big picture, let go of the dream of the golden shore of destination that awaits on the other side. They will come, yes; but for what it is worth, we could always breathe a little. Make do with the simple pleasures that abound in the featureless commonality and redundancy of Routine. Love ourselves a little.

We know not when the wind will change its course, we know not what the weather gods decide, we can never foresee what the next moment will bring. But if we enjoy what we have, when we have it, no joy is too small to be celebrated.

I have written earlier of Gulzar’s celebration of everyday objects, occurrences, and experiences (here and here, for your reading pleasure). This piece, instead, is about everyday sentiments.

Film: Filhaal

Music: Anu Malik

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Songs By The Lake

Songs by the Lake

I don’t believe in Valentine’s, but I so do believe in love. And here’s something I wrote celebrating it.

It’s the first “story” I have published here. Let me know how you like it.


They sat there, on the shore, watching the sun set over the calm waters. A frigid wind was blowing, as if it had been waiting for the sun to descend, and the birds had vacated the skies.

Far away, they knew, there were people waiting. Homes, families, the call of the world. They knew that, for the next God alone knows how long, that’s where they were going to be. These were precious moments.

But neither spoke, or perhaps could speak. Their eyes scanned the horizon, and a glint of moisture resided in them. Their fingers were entwined, those of his left and her right, but they sat distanced. Intermittently, he would take his little finger and poke, scratch hers. She let him.

The sun was a mere ring, faint, on the water’s edge. Night had all but put him to sleep, and with a loving smile.

She spoke.

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Ghosts

The last post might have led you to believe that I am quite bitter at the end of the year. But that’s not entirely true!

The end of any particular thing makes me quite emotional and vulnerable, and Nostalgia rather frequently gathers its dark clouds and pours forth memories and miseries in a storm I am quite incapable of withstanding. From this storm of friends and lovers, good times and bad, hopes and hermitages, alliances and accords, come scenes that were once lived.

I see them, feel them, but they are distant. I cannot touch them, but only endure them in moments of pathos and hopelessness. My friends, should you read this, know that I remember our time together. I am grateful that I found you, and you me, and of all that passed to this point. I am happy that I will always have you.

What time is once past is finished, and yet we keep going back, like ghosts.

 

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Of Education, Leadership, and the AAP Experiment

Of Education, Leadership, and the AAP Experiment

If there is one outright positive adjective I’d like to use for myself, it’d be individualistic. I think as me first, and mostly, that’s all how I can think.

The year gone by got me a lot of chances to reflect on that word: me. And since this is my blog, I’d like to share a few of them with you.

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Reading Gulzar – Mera Kuchh Saamaan

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

A succession of pain interspersed with a little melancholy and even less joy: this is what most relationships result in, don’t they? How much do we suffer, how much do we pray for the endurance, the lasting of something, which we ourselves aren’t sure of? I, as always, speak on the basis of what I have seen. And what I have seen is that man has the highest faculty for survival. Nothing else, not love or loyalty, not desire, nor ambition. He lives for living, for continuing to live. As and when things demand change, he changes. It may seem inhuman, it perhaps is the epitome of selfish thought, but it isn’t because we’re cruel, self-centered animals. It is because we’re human.

And if it is this humanity that gets us to move out of situations we don’t have the courage to see through, it is also this humanity that forces us to remember the past and cry out for a little mercy. Each tiny moment of love, each everyday act of care – the shadows of all of them haunt us and doom us to our solitude. Everyone who has walked out on a loved one and still longs to meet them, if only to say thanks, and knows he can’t… everyone such knows the horrendous pain that looking back on those moments bring.

And that is what this song does: look back on those moments. I doubt there are many who haven’t lived what is described here, who haven’t remembered these described moments long after they’re dead, and who haven’t cried a little in memoriam.

Film: Ijaazat

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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