Thursday, June 30, 2011

The snake in my backyard

Some pics from few days back, when a snake was spotted in my backyard. I rushed back from office to home but I didn't miss picking up my camera before that :D

So this is how the hunt began
and went on for two hours...

And after a lot of circus,
the snake was killed.
The idea was to catch it in a jute-bag,
but it ran so furiously that...
Can you see its forked tongue?

Let's take a closer look at the 'face' now.

And there stood the valiant ones -
shaking badly upon sighting the snake
but gloating in gallantry soon after the killing.

The poor snake went on for some time like this in pain

and then, it was taken to a ground at some distance

to be burnt and put to rest,
and to drop the the curtains on the drama....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Poetic Geniuses - 2

It is rather common knowledge that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was frequently jailed for his revolutionary poems in pakistan. I always felt proud that barring emergency period, nothing of that sort had happened in independent India. However, few days back, I encountered something contrary to my belief and quite sad.

In the post-independence days, Majrooh Sultanpuri used to be a fiery poet before he started writing for films. He was an active member of Progressive Writers' Association (PWA). In a labor rally circa 1949, Majrooh read his poem ‘अमन का झंडा’, which had the following lines:

अमन का झंडा इस धरती पे
किसने कहा लहराने ना पाए,
ये भी है कोई हिटलर का चेला
मार ले साथी, जाने ना पाए,
कामनवेल्थ का दास है नेहरू
अब कि तबाही लाने ना पाए!

Such 'anti-Nehru' poem attracted the attention of state. The home minister of erstwhile Bombay state, Morarji Desai called upon Majrooh and asked him to apologize or face arrest. Instead, Majrooh went in hiding and eluded police warrant. However, he came out of hiding to attend a meeting of PWA to protest the incarceration of Sajjad Zaheer and Faiz in pakistan's 'Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case'. Majrooh was arrested after that meeting in 1951 and spent a little more than a year in Bombay's Arthur Road Jail.

Years later, Majrooh got angry again, although rather hypocritically.

In May 1998, Talat Mehmood passed away and a tribute was held in the Dinanath Mangeshkar Auditorium of Mumbai. Majrooh got on stage to pay tribute and started lambasting film lyrics of the day, specially targeting a recent song 'Aati Kya Khandala' from the movie 'Ghulam', sung by the actor Amir Khan. This became a huge talk-point soon as it came in the presence of who's who of the Hindi film music. Amir Khan and Vikram Bhatt (director of 'Ghulam') shot back soon by observing that Majrooh has no moral right to comment on their song as he himself had written 'C-A-T cat, cat maane billi'.

Majrooh Sultanpuri became the first lyricist to be awarded 'Dada Saheb Phalke' Award. However, he won only one Filmfare Award in 1965 (for 'Chahoonga Main Tujhe' from Dosti). He was often bitter about it, alleging that awards are not given on merit but proximity.

He felt that Shailendra didn't deserve to beat him in Filmfare. Shailendra won the Filmfare award for best lyricist in 1960 for 'Sab Kuchh Seekha Humne' from Anari, beating Majrooh Sultanpuri's 'Jalte Hain Jiske Liye' from Sujata and Sahir Ludhianvi's 'Tu Hindu Banega' from Dhool Ka Phool. Similarly, he felt that he was more deserving to win Filmfare in 1989 for 'Papa Kehte Hain' from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak rather than Gulzar for writing 'Mera Kuchh Saamaan' from Ijaazat.

He considered himself more eligible for various other prizes as well. For example, he received 'Iqbal Award' for literature but felt that it should have been given to him before Anand Narayan 'Mulla'. He also believed that he was a 'purer' revolutionary poet than Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

You are free to judge him for his bitterness and for his poetry too but at the same time, he gave some of the most beautiful compositions to the Hindi film industry ((हम बेख़ुदी में तुमको पुकारे चले गए / साग़र को ज़िंदगी में उतारे चले गए) and to the world of Urdu poetry also. For example:

जला के मशाल-ए-जां हम जुनूं सिफात चले
जो घर को आग लगाए हमारे साथ चले

दयार-ए-शाम नहीं, मंजिल-ए-सहर भी नहीं
अजब नगर है यहाँ दिन चले न रात चले

हुआ असीर कोई हमनवा तो दूर तलक
ब-पास-ए-तर्ज़-ए-नवा हम भी साथ साथ चले

सुतून-ए-दार पे रखते चलो सरों के चिराग
जहाँ तलक ये सितम की सियाह रात चले

बुला ही बैठे जब अहल-ए-हरम तो ऐ मजरूह
बगल में हम भी लिए इक सनम का हाथ चले

Monday, June 13, 2011

एक आदमी जो हार गया

वो अंदर से बिल्कुल खाली था - प्रेम, विद्रोह, ज्ञान, कवित्त, सामर्थ्य और लाचारी से लबालब भरा हुआ _ _ _ और तब भी बिल्कुल खाली.

उसके अन्दर एक वीराना था - जहाँ वो अक्सर सारे आस-पास से दूर जा के बैठ जाता और अपने खालीपन को भरी-भरी आँखों से देखता रहता।

एक आदमी जो हार गया।

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Lucknow trip I'll always treasure

After a long long while, I finally decided to go back to the city of nostalgia, memories, and wounds - Lucknow. And what a trip that was - everyday flew off so amazingly like a perfect dream.

It started with the bus ride to Kanpur for the wedding of two friends - after six years of affairs, events, and struggle, SSS and Pavitra tied the knot. A beautiful evening in Bithoor on the banks of Ganges culminated into a wonderful dance night and ended with an early morning bus-ride back home. And the chain of happenings that started with a marriage ceremony closed with the engagement ceremony of another friend - Onu. Another wicket down!!
But what happened in between the two was even more amazing and never before kind, thanks to my Lucknow Book Club friends, specially Masto - the single point of all information and arrangements. First we had a 'nashist' (a setup of learners and learned of Urdu poetry) in the guidance of some doyens of Urdu poetry, like Bekhud and Ajiz saheb, also joined by the internationally renowned poet Khushbeer Singh Shaad.The next evening, I was listening the mushaira of 'Kaifi Azmi Foundation' and clicking Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar. And then another mushaira, where I also got to recite in the presence of over 40 poets and authors. It was beautiful to hear so much of 'zaheen-o-nafees' Urdu after so long.But the next one was the most fascinating - the first edition of our very own Lucknow Book Club's five day event - HABLAR (which means chit-chat in Spanish). HABLAR had discussions on the finer art of acting and theater, a play-read by the playwright and some stimulating discussions on Mohandas Gandhi, stage adaptation of Saadat Hasan Manto's story, comics as forms of literature, and select reading of two stories by yours truly on the final day. We also shared our own works and writings before we grouped for photographs and vowed to make it an annual event with a perhaps shorter version in winters also.

It may seem way too small a start with barely 12-20 people attending sessions but isn't that where Jaipur Literature Festival started from - six people in the first session? Well, whether we reach such fame and heights or not is for times to tell but the fact remains that I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of HABLAR and also this Lucknow trip - each day perfectly timed and filled with one of my many loves - literature.
I wanted to stay longer but perhaps, God does not play dices. So my trip was crafted as a perfect itinerary.... and till I reach the city of dreams, smiles, and memories again, this is what I read on my way back -

अब इसके बाद सुब्ह है और सुब्हे-नौ मजाज़
हम पर है खत्म शामे-गरीबाने-लखनऊ


Related Posts with Thumbnails