Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 - Poetry and Me


This is the only poetic involvement that I've had during 2012 - 
one talk on Gulzar's work - to celebrate Gulzar's birthday, and
another talk - tonight - on Ghalib, on Ghalib's birthday.

And also, some incomplete poems...!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

शुक्रिया लखनऊ शुक्रिया हिमांशु वाजपेयी


इस बार लखनऊ जाना काफ़ी दिल तोड़ने वाला तजुर्बा रहा। लखनऊ हवाई अड्डे के पुराने टर्मिनल की जगह, जो लखनऊ की किसी पुरानी इमारत या पुराने दोस्त जैसा था, इस बार नया टर्मिनल मिला - किसी अन्जान अर्दली जैसा।

उसके आगे जो दिल टूटना शुरु हुए तो दस दिन तक शहर की आबोहवा से लेकर तहज़ीब तक, सड़कों से लेकर बाशिंदों तक, और लहज़े से लेकर अपनापे तक, बस, टूटते ही रहे।

इस बार पूरे दस महीने बाद लखनऊ जाने की हुमक वैसी थी जैसे अपनी पुरानी महबूबा से  मिलने का जोश। और लखनऊ का रंग कुछ ऐसा जैसे उस महबूबा को किसी और का हुआ देखना।

न पुराने दोस्त बचे थे, न पुराने अड्डे, न पुराने रास्ते, न पुरानी मंज़िलें। ऐसे में अगर पूरे शहर में कोई दिलासा देने वाली शय मिली थी तो केवल ये तस्वीर वाले साहब - कवि, पत्रकार, लेखक, मित्र, बन्धु, भ्राता, और अड्डेबाज़ी और आवारगी के साथी। इस बार लखनऊ मे अगर हिमांशु वाजपेयी जी से नहीं मिला होता (पूरे साढ़े तीन बार) तो अगली बार लखनऊ की तरफ़ कदम नहीं उठते।
शुक्रिया मित्रवर,
मेरे शहर को 
और मेरी जड़ों को 
मेरे भीतर 
जीवित रखने के लिये 
:) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The spectrum of life...

The unusual things I did in past few days:

Bird-watching at Lodhi Garden
Gardening and pruning trees
Watched a snake cross the road in front of my car
Photography
Teaching history
Reading Ambedkar, Lohia, and Golwalkar
Yoga
Exercising with tread-mill
Cleaned up house 
Experimental Cooking
Witnessed a Bulbul and Robin fighting for a juicy grasshopper
Planned an international vacation
Air Travel for apparently no reason
Food walk in mid-night market
Attended stand-up act
Got myself a new credit card
Poetry recital without getting hooted
Put up a night out (almost)
Cracked jokes which nobody understood
Scolded people in public
Found a snake hiding behind a dustbin
Ate at Subway
Read some horoscopes
Got one research paper accepted
Raided hostels and penalized students
Hosted Antakshari on stage
Ramp walk 
Fighting with some jackasses 
Presented Bouquets 
Inaugurated a fest
Gifted books and got the book-gifts
Delivered an inaugural lecture 
Drove with full speakers on
Ate a 2 kg papaya
Listed all unusual things I did in past few days

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ऊधौ मोहे ब्रज बिसरत नाहिं

Spotted three trucks on a highway yesterday... all three had Lucknow registration number. And well, then I realized how Krishn would have had felt when he said to Uddhav the following:
ऊधौ मोहे ब्रज बिसरत नाहिं.

Lucknow, after all, is where the life was, is, and will be....

जाने-आलम मोहिं लखनऊ बिसरत नाहिं 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Economics and Poetry

When my mind and heart both run towards economics and poetry both, in no particular order, I get more insane than usual. Wrote the following verses in such a state at different times...



One for Microeconomics of demand and supply:

तेरे गुस्से की सप्लाई कुछ इतनी ज़्यादा है जानाँ 
तेरे गुस्से का भाव दिन-ब-दिन गिरता ही जाता है 


And one for macroeconomics of inflation (first two lines are for setting the tone only):

मौला मेरे ऐसा कर दे
उसको मेरे जैसा कर दे

इन्फ़्लेशन बढ़ जायेगा गर तू 
मिट्टी को भी पैसे कर दे 



And one for socialism:

जिनके बच्चों को रोटी मयस्सर नहीं 
उनको सपने दिखाये बदामी सुनो 





Saturday, August 4, 2012

एक नज़्म माज़ी के नाम


लिखने पता नहीं क्या बैठा था, लिख पता नहीं क्या गया। जो लिख गया वो, हमेशा की तरह, समझने वाला एक ही है। और अब उसकी भी कोई खबर नहीं आती। खैर, इसी बहाने लेकिन एक नज़्म तो हुई - उन पुराने दिनों के नाम - 

तुम्हे पता भी नहीं 
वो
तुम्हारे वास्ते 
सुबहों को 
लाता था पपीते जो 
तुम्हारी इक हँसी के वास्ते  
चुन-चुन के 
रटता था लतीफ़े जो 
तुम्हारे वास्ते 
भर-भर के 
पढ़ता था कसीदे जो 
तुम्हारे वास्ते जिसने 
बदल डाले अकीदे वो 

जिसे तुमने कभी अपनी 
कहानी का कोई 
फ़रियाल लिखा था 
कि जिसके कंधे पर 
सर रख के तुमने 
कुछ न बोला था 
कि जिसके सामने तुमने 
बिछा दीं बारहा 
तस्वीरे 
अपने माज़ी की सारी 
कि जिसके सामने तुमने 
सभी मासूम अपनी ख्वाहिशें 
ज़ाहिर करी थीं ना 

वही इक शख्स 
जिसकी इल्तिजा बस इतनी रहती थी 
कि तुम हँसती दिखो हरदम 
वही इक शख्स 
जिसकी हर दुआ इतनी ही रहती थी 
कि आसूदा रहो हरदम 
वही इक शख्स 
जिसका एक ही इसरार था तुमसे 
बनो ता-ज़ीस्त के हमदम 
वही इक शख्स 
अब हर शब 
तुम्हें यूँ याद करता है 
किसी दम दम निकल जाये 
तो शायद तेरे दामन तक 
कोई फिर रास्ता निकले
कि अब तो इस जनम के रास्ते सारे 
बस इक अंधेरे कमरे तक 
पहुँच कर 
खत्म होते हैं।  

4 अगस्त 2012 

Friday, July 27, 2012

नहीं लूजिये जी होप थोड़ा फाइटवा करो जी

Life has been terribly busy past few months. Admittedly, I have been entangled in way too many things too - birding, photography, poetry, writing, research, teaching, course designs, administering programs, debates, history, politics, and what not...!! To add to that already huge basket of interests and activities, two more things got added - HoD of economics area and Warden for student affairs. An avenue of solace, whether personally or professionally, has been as easy to find as an oasis.

The work schedule has taken its toll most on my own writing, whether blogs or research. I don't know how many blog posts have been written inside my head and forgotten. The new blog on eco-politic affairs I so often talked about is not born yet. There are songs and movies, policies and politics, books and authors, places and pictures I have been meaning to write about but free-thinking time is sheer luxury.

Anyhow, few days back, I heard these lines from Gangs of Wasseypur - II:

फ़्रस्टियाओ नहीं मूड़ा नरभसाओ नहीं मूड़ा  
जो भी रौंगवा है उसे सेट राइटवा करो जी 
नहीं लूजिये जी होप थोड़ा फाइटवा करो जी



And then, yesterday, I stepped on an old post of this blog - the one belonging to the time when I was in the final months of my affair with IIMA and started a fight against the system there. Find it here: Inspired again. This was the post that reinvigorated me all over again - the fighter me shall never be dead!!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Owl that tried flying in the day

Sitting in my study today noon, I noticed the watchman crossing several times and then some ruckus. As I looked in that direction, there flew a large bird towards my porch. I thought that these watchmen are chasing and harassing some poor bird and ran outside barefoot. 

Indeed, there was a barn owl that was being chased, not for a sinister reason though. The watchmen were afraid that this (probably) injured owl, blinded by day-light will fall prey to a stray dog or cat. 

Slightly confused, more concerned, I snatched a curtain and gave it to the watchmen for catching the owl and leave it in a safe place. And they did that swiftly and softly enough. 


Within less than a minute, we were trying to put the owl on a branch high enough to keep it safe. The poor soul couldn't even hold the branch properly. Anyhow, it fell into the safe zone beyond iron grills and tried moving for few second blindingly.

I checked on it till late evening and it was sitting there peacefully. The eyes were opening better as the darkness dawned. However, the pic below was the last one that I clicked, as I was sure the wise owl was already tired and scared enough of his human interaction today.
P.S. - Just checked for it now at 10 pm. The owl is not there... hopefully it has flew away and having a happy dinner with family :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

मुझको फिर से गलत कहेंगे वो...

Since I abandoned my poetry blog some years ago, I never shared my poems on any other forum. 
However, last month I shared a ghazal through a Facebook note. Sharing the same here again: 
दौरे-हाज़िर में रह रहा हूँ मैं
किस कदर ज़ुल्म सह रहा हूँ मैं।

अपनी आवाज़ भूल जाता हूँ
कितना खामोश रह रहा हूँ मैं।

इक समन्दर है मेरे भीतर ही
और चुपचाप बह रहा हूँ मैं।

कभी उठा था आस्माँ की तरह
अब तो टुकड़ों में ढह रहा हूँ मैं।

ये जहाँ मात चाहता था सदा
और हमेशा ही शह रहा हूँ मैं।

जब वो यह चाहते थे वो था मैं
चाहिये वो तो यह रहा हूँ मैं।

मुझको फिर से गलत कहेंगे वो
फिर से कुछ उनसे कह रहा हूँ मैं।

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anniversaries

Today, it's been 8 years since I arrived back at home after leaving IRMA. Between the day and night of the day eons ago, my whole life changed. About a week back, I was with one of my FPM batchmates and I happily reminded her that it was 7 years since our very first class at IIMA.

In 3 days' time, it will be 2 years of a great back-stab and in 9 days' time, of another. 3 weeks to the 8th anniversary of the day, when I decided to end this life and second anniversary to the time, when life went for another full toss.

Well, if you are wondering what is so special about this month of June, there is nothing. June has been one of the more happening months of my life but so is the case with November, March, October, May, December, April, August, and 4 more months.

In a month, it will be almost a full 2 years, when we talked for the first time. And in exactly a month, it will be full two years, when talked for the last time. In essence, every day of the year has a memory associated with it - seeing you or not seeing you, missing you or missing you completely, finding you completely or losing myself completely....

Sometimes I wonder - how many anniversaries can I remember? How many anniversaries should I remember? There have been ups and downs and special occasions in my professional life and more so in my personal life. Both have affected me for good and for bad but every time any such date crosses the calender, it crosses my mind too. And as I live those memories over and over again, I get sometimes nostalgic, sometimes poetic, sometimes idiotic.

But now, I think it is been too much for too long for too many memories... they have run their course...they are faded... they are too far back in past... the persons do not matter any more... the events are beyond impact... the past is dead... I better forget it now, for now is the time...!!!

मैं ये हर शाम कहता हूँ 
कि तुमको भूल जाऊँगा 
मगर जब सुबह होती है
भुलाना भूल जाता हूँ

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Poetic Geniuses - 4

Read Poetic geniuses - 1   Read Poetic geniuses - 2   Read Poetic geniuses - 3

When the television debut of Aamir Khan - Satyamev Jayate - opened today with these lines, I knew what I am going to write next here. I knew I am going to talk about Dushyant Kumar today. Before I begin, here are the lines quoted by Aamir Khan:


सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं
मेरी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही
हो कहीं भी आग लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।

My first encounter with Dushyant Kumar (दुष्यन्त कुमार) was during my first year of graduation. The Student Federation of India (SFI), the left-wing student organization, was running a poster gallery on the Lucknow University campus. Although I had little idea about their political philosophy but I was so impressed with their slogans that I became their life-member then and there. I still remember those posters with lines of Dushyant Kumar: 

भूख है तो सब्र कर रोटी नहीं तो क्या हुआ 
आजकल दिल्ली में है ज़ेर-ए-बहस ये मुदद्आ| 

गिड़गिड़ाने का यहां कोई असर होता नही 
पेट भरकर गालियां दो, आह भरकर बददुआ| 

and also, 


रहनुमाओं की अदाओं पे फ़िदा है दुनिया
इस बहकती हुई दुनिया को सँभालो यारो

कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ हो नहीं सकता
एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारो



Years later, I realized that what I was introduced to that day will come back some day to stay with me for life. In my post-graduation days of 2003, when Hindi literature was nowhere on internet, the good old book-guide uncle at Indian Book Depot, Aminabad suggested me a book called - Saaye Mein Dhoop ( साये में धूप). For very long, this was the only available volume of Dushyant Kumar. I started liking this poet all over again. He was perfect for the age I was passing through, for he had a perfect rebel in him -


मत कहो, आकाश में कुहरा घना है
यह किसी की व्यक्तिगत आलोचना है 

रक्त वर्षों से नसों में खौलता है
आप कहते हैं क्षणिक उत्तेजना है


and at the same, a perfect romantic too -


चांदनी छत पे चल रही होगी 
अब अकेली टहल रही होगी 

जिन हवाओं ने तुझ को दुलराया 
उन में मेरी ग़ज़ल रही होगी 

Few years later, when internet was all pervasive and I had enough time and know-how, I started reading about Dushyant Kumar. It came as a shocker to me that he died at an early age of 42 (September 1, 1933 to December 30, 1975). He was the greatest signature of Hindi ghazal till today, with only Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' coming close. The rebellion spirit in his poetry is no less than what Faiz Ahmed Faiz brought to Urdu poetry. This is why he is the most quoted poet in any 'energized' gathering even today.

Recently, I ran a 10-day long a-picture-a-day series with Dushyant Kumar's couplets as a tribute to him. The series can be found here. However, my most favorite poem of his still remains the one, which I had quoted on a hand-made card to my nephew on his first birthday.

जा तेरे स्वप्न बड़े हों।
भावना की गोद से उतर कर
जल्द पृथ्वी पर चलना सीखें।
चाँद तारों सी अप्राप्य ऊचाँइयों के लिये
रूठना मचलना सीखें।
हँसें
मुस्कुराऐं
गाऐं।
हर दीये की रोशनी देखकर ललचायें
उँगली जलायें।
अपने पाँव पर खड़े हों।
जा तेरे स्वप्न बड़े हों।




Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Crackpot Prophecy

Well, here is a chain of thoughts which had entered my mind I-don't-know when and it sounds completely insane even to me. At times I feel it is like a prophetic voice telling this to me, at times I feel it emerged out of a game-theoretic strategic forecasting that I did for a term-paper and at times, it is like the circle of insanity has completed.
For the simple reason of not having any basis or corroborative proof of whatever I am going to write down here, I have resisted the idea from coming out of my diary. But I guess, there are times when the insanity supersedes the rationality of this professor homo economicus. So here it goes - read it at your own risk.

  1. Manmohan Singh will not see the dawn of 2013 as the prime minister of India. I don't know why or how but he'll not. 
  2. Rahul Gandhi will never become the prime minister of India and so will be the case any other Gandhi for very long.
  3. Narendra Modi will never become the leader of Bhartiya Janta Party as a whole. Although it may be like Indira Gandhi's Congress (Indira) to Indian National Congress. 
  4. 2012 will, indeed, be the end of world but end of the world as we know it. The year will change the world for ever and for better.
  5. China eventually (by the end of 2012) will form an 'open' alliance will islamic nations against India, Israel, Japan, and western powers (USA and EU in particular).
  6. There will be a war between Sino-islamic alliance and Hindu-Jew-Christian alliance, divided on these lines only. That will be the end of many nations and the world order as we know it. 
  7. India will fall briefly to China and will resurrect under a leader, who will be a radical, staunch Indian, and will lead the nation to the days of ancient glory. I have no idea who this one could be but sometimes I feel like it could be a completely new face or Narendra Modi. In either case, he will start his campaign from western UP or Karnataka - perhaps Udupi.
  8. China will finally fall to India, aided by an internal revolt from Chinese people and perhaps an islamic back-stab.
  9. One continent will be completely gone by the end of this war and most probably, that would be north America.
  10. And there is something more stuck inside my head but that will take another round of crack.
Now, don't blame me for going cuckoo. You asked for it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hope and Children

Only reason I see 
hope and happiness 
in this idiot world -
Children :)
Just talk to a child
play with her
or do nothing 
but observe
and you'll see
why the world again 
becomes full of hope!!

And that is why, 
to survive this idiot world, 
I never miss a chance
to be with children....

whether they are my sister's kids :)




















Or my friend's new born 
or a friend's playful child

or children from a deaf-n-dumb orphanage in Jaipur 
They are always curious, 
innocent, 
and full of joy!
:)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Holi हो ली

Played Holi after 15 years... last time, I played was during class 10th boards in 1997. Those were the days when we started preparing at least a week in advance - colors, balloons, equipments, routes to cover, and plans of painting the town in every color. And then, on the Holi day, the day used to begin at six in the morning with colors and went on for hours, at least till the time Mom has called several times for lunch. And in between, Chowk, Raja Bazar, and several other areas over few miles were easily covered on foot. Then, the cleaning and bathing used to take at least an hour, that too after a lot of preliminary cleaning with dry clothes and 'ubtan', a paste of gram-flour, curd, and turmeric.

Today, it started at 11 and ended before 12.30, with only dry colors in between. Bathing took 20 minutes without much efforts. There wasn't anyone to call off playing and despite that, I felt like ending up it sooner than later.

Everyone grows and grows up with time but some grow older much before their time. Here is one more Peter Pan, who grew up too fast, too soon, too much. This reminds me of a free verse - nazm:





एक छोटा-सा लड़का था मैं जिन दिनों
एक मेले में पहुँचा हुमकता हुआ
जी मचलता था एक-एक शै पर मगर
जेब खाली थी कुछ मोल ले न सका
लौट आया लिए हसरतें सैकड़ों
एक छोटा-सा लड़का था मैं जिन दिनों

खै़र महरूमियों के वो दिन तो गए

आज मेला लगा है इसी शान से
आज चाहूँ तो इक-इक दुकां मोल लूँ
आज चाहूं तो सारा जहां मोल लूँ

नारसाई का जी में है धड़का कहाँ ?
पर वो छोटा-सा अल्हड़-सा लड़का कहाँ ?

- इब्न-ए-इंशा 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Can't say they didn't warn me!!

Parivaar (1956)
Yaar Tum Shaadi Mat Karna

Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (1973)
Mujhe Meri Biwi Se Bachaao

Thanedar (1990)
Jabse Hui Hai Shaadi

Action Replay (2010)
Zor Ka Jhatka 
video

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Government of India - An Assemblage

India has a Coalition government, 
lead by Congress. 
With a majority in Parliament, 
it has appointed many Committees.
:
:
:
Such an innocuous statement that is!! 
Till we look for some collective nouns of assemblage. 


A Group of Cheetahs - Coalition 


A Group of  Baboons - Congress 

A Group of  Owls - Parliament 

A Group of  Vultures - Committee 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Best Friends' Wedding :)

So this was the time for another unscheduled visit to Lucknow, for two of my best friends were finally tying the nuptial knot with each other after such a long wait!!

 Gunjan and Meha - so long for so good!!
January 4, 2012

What a relieved look at her face!!
More than six years for the moment :)

 And the good ol' pal also stole a moment there :D
(it is Impossible to get a neat, undisturbed frame in Indian weddings!!)

And after the rituals came the fun-filled frolicking!!
The happy couple danced away the winter chill and function fatigue \m/

But after all, my best pic was this only - 
present but beyond all the hullabaloo of festivities, 
the recipe of inner peace is an apple in mom's lap :)

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