Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life is Arbitrary!

Seriously, life is arbitrary.

Just got off the phone after talking to a friend, who was not keen to live any longer. I tried highlighting all the life's worth and life in life that lies ahead. I think my pep talk was helpful and the conversation ended up with a delightful good night.

And as I sat in front of my comp, chatting to another friend, I came to know that her very close friend passed away. I never even imagined world's most chirpy person sounding so grave. Life is really, really arbitrary.

During the preparatory programme at IIMA, I gave an impromptu talk on life. Among many positive points on life, I remember quoting that "life is not worth living" and that "life is a sexually transmitted disease". Today, I realize it all over again that how worthy and precious life is, not only for oneself but also for all those whose life is connected with the one.

The movie "It's a Wonderful Life" gave a really great perspective about this thought. However, seeing that in a film with the guardian angel in the background and experiencing the ironies and mockeries of life personally are two entirely different things. In the former, life is wonderful. In the latter, life is arbitrary! Damn arbitrary!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Diaries

I started writing diary as a result of my obsessive compulsive disorder of collecting and listing every random piece of information. I made my first diary in class IV to note jokes, riddles, and fascinating facts. After a while, I realized that it is a messy business and I do not like same jokes or riddles over time. After tearing off that diary, I made another for noting quotations and the lines I liked in the books I read. Soon the diary got heavier with noting of small couplets and poems. Later on, I started writing diary on my own, mostly about how I spent my day.

However, the real diary-panache began a little after I started writing poems myself. Initially, it was all in one diary - a big bundle of everything. Then, I made separate diaries for everything - my own poetry, the collections of others' works, personal diary, and also a slam-diary - on the lines of a slam-book, in which my friends can scribble anything they wish. Below are a few shots of all my present diaries - a large number I'd say. However, among all my old and new ones, I really miss the one which didi had read - after shredding that in small pieces, I and Parimal blew that at night in Gomti river. That was perhaps my most precious diary for it was full of memories of Emma.

All My Diaries
The ones for collection

And the two for my poetry

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Frankly my dear... I don't give a damn!

I don't know why some people think they are so important that someone would be wasting their time and efforts for them. I guess some people are like that - so damn a liar that they lie even to oneself (and yet profess the virtues of truth). Another characteristic of such losers is that they live in delusions of self-grandeur and belief that everybody is trying to measure up to them and is expecting them to budge. Perhaps, they should realize that even if they were important once upon a time, they might have lost all their significance now.

To all such liars and losers, my one line response is - Frankly my dear... I don't give a DAMN!!

P.S. - As I said a few days ago, "a worthy message shall find a worthy recipient"©, I know this message will reach the 'worthy' (or shall I say the worthless) one, whether they are 100 meters away or 1661 kilometers away.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


जन्मदिन की असीम शुभकामनायें गुलज़ार साहब

I do not like it when one tampers or misquotes a शेर, even when the misquotation is as small as replacing a 'में' with 'से'. And if it is a favorite one, forget any forgiveness. Now sample this:

ये इश्क नहीं आसाँ
अजी एड्स का खतरा है
पतवार पहन जाना
ये आग का दरिया है

And this comes from the mighty pen of Gulzar... and my love for Gulzar has grown only with these lines. The depth of the thought and the subtlety of the emotion, both are unparalleled, except for, may be, Ghalib. I don't know how does he put a poetic sweetness in words like fatak, hu-tu-tu, and dhadak-dhadak. His poetry is like a breeze of freshness and sweetest experimentation amidst the cacophony and thoughtless repetition of old emotions.

And this is when Gulzar's writings in films is just the tip of the iceberg of his poetic and literary genius. His short stories in रावी पार are binding and his poetry is... well, beyond words. The following verse inspired name of the two of his collections - पुखराज and रात पश्मीने की.

इक सबब मरने का
इक तलब जीने की
चाँद पुखराज का
रात पश्मीने की

I distinctly remember the night, when I was tired of studies and sitting in the IIMA library, I read रात पश्मीने की. Around midnight, I was so overwhelmed that I wrote a poem for Gulzar. Even more distinctly, I remember the day when I got to recite the same poem in front of the Maestro himself and at the end of it, he hugged and blessed me. With such genius and status, such simplicity and sweetness is what makes Gulzar even more special and lovable.

As Gulzar celebrates his 73rd birthday today, I hope to see a worldwide celebration for him two years later - on his अमृत महोत्सव (perhaps a picture of him between an already won Oscar and a probable Nobel). He is one of the most special persons in my life. I wish गुलज़ार many more moments and many more aeons of creation, poetry, love, admiration, and sweetness.

Monday, August 10, 2009

सबसे पीछे हम खड़े...

Some words left unsaid, some deeds left undone, some things not made...
and also,
some things done, some words said...

I regret a lot of things in life... I never wanted hurting you to be one of those things! and I would love if I can just repent enough for all that that hurt you...

If I, if I have been unkind,

I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.

Friday, August 7, 2009


They say focus. I say I am focused! Just that our understanding of the term is different.

I want to do so many things - research, travel, trekking, writing, poetry, photography, social work, politics, teaching, singing, sketching, and many more. I want to read so many things - history, philosophy, psychology, economics, literature, sociology, politics, war, religion, mythology, physics, mathematics. Even within research of economics, I want to work on development issues, education, behavioral aspects, financial economics, and policy matters.

And they again say - Focus. My point is that I have got just one life to live and just one life to die... so why not do everything I like in the only life I've.... here is a message for 'them'!

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, August 3, 2009

Inspired... again

Today, I stumbled across this video after so long and the small kid in the video made my eyes wet once more. More than that, I am inspired again and feeling all reinvigorated for my fight against systemic rot at IIMA (and beyond).

A little detail - About four months ago, as a result of complaining against dirty drinking water at IIMA, I was asked to head the committee for drinking water reforms. Working with IIMA administration up close, I realized why in our first year, a professor had said in class that this is "Indian Institute of Mismanagement". The institute may definitely be world class but the administration is typically 'sarkari' (read corrupt, political, and inefficient).

After doing some surprise checks on water plant, talking to some more informed people, doing a lot of unpaid consultancy, and preparing long minutes and reports, the whole thing was sidelined. The new system should have been in place on May 29, 2009 (i.e. - 2 days before the preparatory programme begins) but thanks to bureaucracy, not only the old system continued but also the 'bad' vendor was extended host of other benefits too. And in the process, all I got was hostility and bad behavior from the administration.

I was disgusted and dismayed. In fact, I had given up on the system - I have enough of academic load to keep me on toes. And for the past few days, I was in a dilemma of holding the baton or letting it go. However, now I've decided again to lead the fight against this system. After all, the society suffers less from wickedness of wicked and more from idleness of good. I hope to make some change, even if a small one and I believe it is high time to do so - to retain my faith in all that we hold good.


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