Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jaipur Literature Festival

It was the fifth edition of the event but a first for me. And it couldn't have come at a better time as I was almost free. Although I had some last minute travel jitters (I have those specially when I travel alone) but thanks to mom, a friend, and Indian railways, who all persuaded me successfully to be there.

If you are a literature lover (and even if you are not), imagine yourself in a place with luminaries of Indian and English literature. Although the event website has detailed lists, I can't resist to share some names - Gulzar, William Dalrymple, Tony Wheeler, Niall Ferguson, Girish Karnad, Om Puri, Javed Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi, Vikram Chandra, Roberto Colasso, Chetan Bhagat, Nayanatara Sehgal, K. Satchidanandan, Christophe Jaffrelot, Sheen Kaaf Nizam... and the list goes on.

And the best part of the fest was that everyone was floating around - the authors, the artists, the delegates,and the audience, all were roaming around freely. Even the leisurely venue - Diggi Palace - was awesome - crowded but serene. And so were the musical shows, the painting gallery, the bookstalls, the decor with lights and kites, and the free entry too.

Somehow, Jaipur has been a lucky place for me. I met and won accolades from Gulzar and Nizam for the first time in Jaipur in January 2009 and got the same chance again in Jaipur in January 2010. I again got a chance to recite before the two among many others and thankfully, I again got some pats on the back. Nizam was, in fact, so nice to guide me through many a nuances of poetry.

I know that this post is not as good as it could be and not enough to raise your curiosity to pull you there in the next edition. But believe me, no amount of words can paint quite a picture of the experience... it was heavenly and a testimony to that is that I am already roaring to be there next year. Find some of my clicks of the festival in my Picasa Album.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

गुलज़ार, जयपुर, और एक बरस

Gulzar!!! The maestro signed this autograph exactly one year ago, when I was in Jaipur for a poetry workshop. Exactly one year after that fateful day, I am again in Jaipur. This time, I am attending the Jaipur Literature Festival. Gulzar is one of the speakers on the very first day and I am hoping for some good clicks of him. I may not even get to speak to him this time; perhaps, at most, would get to see him up close... but then, that is what makes the day a year ago so special for that was the day when, in reaction to my poem, he hugged and blessed me.

Hope to have something more to write about once I return :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

তুমি কেমোন আচ্ছো? Très Bien! शुक्रिया!

Watched life's first Tamil movie today. The movie was good but more than that, I realized that how true an old friend was in observing that Tamil is a very rhythmic and sort of 'musical' language. However, the realization does little to affect my wish-list of learning favorite languages - Bangla, french, and Urdu (apart from obviously lovable Hindi and English).

Long back, I took the Business French course at IIMA and that was enough to fall in Love with the language of romantics. Around the same time, I took few lessons in Bangla from a friend. I didn't get to practice much of French afterwards but the notebook is still on my work-pile. And Bangla - I've tried a few times and been listening to Bangla songs too. Someday, I'll devote more attention to both these languages... some day. Urdu is also high on cards and among the three in wish-list, I am conversant in this one only, don't know the script though.

And why these languages only?? Coz there is some specialty in all of these. Great literature is the obvious guess but there is more to it. Hindi sounds to me like a call from a friend. English is, although, for professional usage but progressively, it is the language in which I think. The delicacy of Urdu is like sweetness in ears, like I speak to a valued guest - the language of manners and etiquette. French stirs sweetness in heart - like I would want to speak to treasured beloved - the language of romance. And Bangla... the sweetness is incomparable, for it is the language that sounds like mother has just called.

P.S. - The title is in three parts and three languages. First is Bangla, asking 'how are you?'; second is French, answering 'very good!', and ; third is Urdu (in Devnaagri script), saying 'Thank you!'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I am becoming God

And I am pretty darn serious about it. Though I realized it today morning only that I am becoming God - or actually a poor look alike of several Gods.

Those who meet me even for the first time often find my face familiar. No wonder in that. From some particular angles (and that means all), my face looks like a modern reincarnation of Lord Hanuman. Imagine that with a complexion 2.39 shade fairer than Goddess Kali and there, you find me. Any of my professors can certify that my brain is as good as Nandi, the revered bull of Lord Shiva. I also have the height of Vaaman, the n-th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. My irritating activities are just like another incarnation of Lord Vishnu - Varaah - by the ready declaration of my mother (actually she says 'suar' every time I irritate her and also when I don't).

And now raison d'etre of this sudden flash of self-actualization. After months and weeks of strongest determinations and most seriously well-laid plans, I finally began some exercising today. And that was when I realized that I became 'more God-like'. I looked at my tummy which is, now, just like Lord Ganesh's.

Now you better watch what you say about me coz at this speed, I may soon become more God than God :D

Monday, January 4, 2010

गम रोज़गार के

As per the last count, there are as many as eighteen 'draft' posts that I have written and not published. Some of these 18 are just title, whereas some need a finishing touch only. It is just a matter of time when I decide that most of these are too old to publish and finally delete them. That backlog notwithstanding, I hope to run a series of posts on my two blogs pretty soon. There are few ideas as well - some theme based 'a picture a day for a week' type series for my photo blog and to write about policy, politics, economics, history, and similar interest areas on this blog. But as they say, if wishes were horses...

And these grand plans of interminable blogging because within next week, I am hoping to submit a defensible draft of my thesis for the final examination. And after that.... No, I'll not be completely free to do all the nothing I always wanted. Although I wish to run few whole day movie extravaganzas, to finish some long pending backlog of literature and other readings, some days of documentaries and subsequent research in my interest areas, and to catch up with some most desired trips with a toothbrush and a camera.

As the thesis work comes to a close, I am beginning to realize that now I have to run from pillar to post for an academic position and got to finish few papers, proposals, projects, and ponderings too. If this is the situation while I am still not done with my PhD and still not out of the campus, I don't want to know what will be the scene once I am out. I don't know how much time will I be able to pull out of my professional obligations to pursue my dreams... or even the time to miss my dreams... as Faiz wrote:

दुनिया ने तेरी याद से बेगाना कर दिया
तुझसे भी दिलफ़रेब हैं गम रोज़गार के


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