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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finally!

After a lot of time waste, i have finally managed to customize this blog. As you can see now, there are contents on both left and rights sides of posts section. Took a little bit of tweak, but now it looks good atleast it can have more data now.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

हमारा भाग

हमारे भाग में था आपका दर्शन करना और मैं आपसे कुछ मांगता नहीं हूँ | जो आप देंगे बस वही |



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recently

Recently, following things have fascinated me:

1. US primary caucuses, particularly the democratic side of it. I have loved to watch the debates and these debated are tutorials on public speaking, making your point, and how politicians should go about it. On the last one at South Carolina, we saw some mud-slinging too but it was done in such a graceful manner and replied with same grace by Obama. The idea of having questions on you-tube is too good, its one of the finest examples of technology used by masses and what a way to use it. Coming back to Obama, his speeches about hope, change are awesome, he speaks beautifully and literally it is his speeches that have captured everyone's attention and making him such a good candidate. Finally, the idea of candidates debating on key issues is very good, something that should be practised in India, i strongly think.

2. Harsha Bhogle: With the current India-Australlia series being broadcasted on Star-cricket, its good to see the usual team (Harsha, Sunil, Ravi Shastri et al) back and they just take the commentary several notches higher...there is no mandira etc only cricket and all are passionate about it.

3. On dropping Ganguly: Ganguly has been dropped dfor the one day series. Now previously, before Ganguly made a come back, i have never been a fan of him as a batsman but i respected him for his captaincy. But after his comeback, he has looked different, hungry, mature and statisitics speak for themselves. There is beauty in comebacks, always is. You have seen both sides of the coin, the sunny one and dark one and you know how people change. It is never easy to make a comeback, self-belief is tested to its core and you always rediscover yourself. With ganguly, it happened. The morons at BCCI have proved it (again!) that they dont know what cricket is all about.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Its all for the children

Today i visited a gurdwara nearby. Five of us went there and strangely none of us have been to a gurdwara before (in the last 10 years), even in India. While although one of the primary reasons to go was to enjoy the sunday langar, but it was a good experience.
Firstly, one of us was smart enough to take handkerchiefs to cover our heads and some rice as an offering. I had no idea that we should take it , i was more or less taking it as an outing.

We reached just on time, snacks included mathri, pakode and bread pakode together with coke.
Then we went inside the pooja hall and once inside, the whole trip changed for me. There were close to 150 people there, all praying, some 5-6 pandits( i dont know what you call the person who proctors the puja in gurdwara). The sweet sound of gurbani, even though one cannot understand a single word, just the melody is enough to bring peace to hearts, smile to face. One of the facets that interested me the most was that there were close to 20 children helping adults in giving prashad, serving food and most importantly chanting prayers. Their prayer was not that sophisticated one, just one line repeated but they were singing it quite well. Then one of my friends remarked that "whereever there are sardars, there is a gurdwara". And i thought that it is true for arya samajis too, infact for temples too. This offhand comment hit me and i asked why, why would people give free lunches every week, have this beautiful building constructed and carry on the proceedings. All of us have a small temple at home, we can do it at home here and especially in US, you are not even in India, why would you take pains to establish a community here.
The reason that i think that is the most important, although not normally spoken, is because of the children. The idea is to give as much as possible to them, to make them aware of their roots, to make them aware of the scriptures, to give them a similar environment that the adults had went through when they were children, to atleast give them an option, to teach them right from wrong.
I distinctly remember my childhood days, when i was able to recite all the sanskrit mantras in havan. I attended DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vidyalaya) till class 7, and apart from the morning prayer, we had a subject - Dharam Shiksha(Moral teaching). I used to top the subject, and even though i did not understood most of the shlokas, but my parents made it a point to make me learn. It makes a difference, even the mere chanting of them used to give me a lot of peace and more importantly confidence. The small token of tying moli ka dhaga on my wrists, or wearing kada on wrist had a deep impact on me. The tap of agni during havan gave me enrgy, it made me feel good, i dont know why or how but it did. And even today, chanting those bhajans, simple lyrics, little melody gives so much peace to me. Even though i think differently now and dont believe in most of the rituals but whenever i attend them, the small 45 mins to myself helps me recollect a lot of thoughts. My point is that i had the luxury of having an option, i had gone through these small prayers everyday, i had an option of whether i want to follow them or not and i am aware of what i have done. Most importantly, these things have given me an attitude to look at things rationally and i do realize the importance of these gurbanis, these havans etc.

So the primary reason that the sikh commukknity builds such spaces is to give the children the same atmosphere. The simple task of serving a langar food teaches you self-less service, respecting others, respecting food and so many other things. Its not all about the prayers, its not all about the chanting, every small small activity makes a difference.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

snow

It snowed here in atlanta. First snow of my life. The beauty of living in US is almost every screen shot captured by my eye is like a postcard. And when it snowed, the postcard became too good.
Snow covered plants, sidewalks, cars, children playing in snow, everything turned white. And since we live inside houses where temperature is controlled, whenever i look outside my window, it feels like i am watching a movie. Beautiful spectacle!
And today afternoon i went to walmart in my friend's car. Again temperature is controlled inside cars, and we were traveling at a decent speed. There was no human in sight, snow covered roofs, plains, offices, equipments. My eyes were like a camera capturing a tracking shot. We passed by a plant that was closed. It reminded me of some movie (probably fog and war) which shows a concentration camp -deserted and covered with snow.
Good experience! Enjoyed it a lot!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Majhi tor Naam Janina

An amazing song from Meghe Dhake Tara(Cloud-capped star). Directed by Rhitwik ghatak.

I have searched this song for close to a year now. I think this was the song that inspired the Raincoat's song: Akele hum nadiya kinare. Both are classic in their own respect.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Think of me

Think of me as a song
Do not try to remember me
But whenever i am played
just hum along

Think of me as an umbrella
Useless for most of the time
But keep me still
for when the dark clouds come
i will help.

Think of me as your handwriting
Do not try to improve me
But whenever you feel like writing
just go with the flow.

Think of me as a passing thought
A thought that occupied you
just for an instant
but brought a smile to your face.

That 70s show

Today is the last day of my winter break. The holidays have been very good. I did nothing and literally nothing means nothing.
Anyways, i dedicate my winter break to That 70s show. That 70s show has 8 seasons totaling 200 episodes. I must have seen close to 135-140 of them in this break.
The show is hilarious, it is not the best show ever but it has its moments of brilliance. There is fundoo creativity in some of the gags like the circle, dream sequences, water tower, helmet etc. The character development is very very good and once it is developed, the lines become witty on their own and laughs are inevitable.
My fav character is Leo. Man! his lines are complete nonsense and he tells them with such high :) that i just adore him.
One of the beauty of this show is that it is impossible to single out any single actor and give credit. Its the combination, the team that makes the show and they gel perfectly. This show is THE example of how a comedy show should be.

And finally a note on the 70s era. I dont know how factually correct they were but the idea is good..adults watch it because they associate themselves with it saying we did this and young people watch it cause they are experiencing the same now. So thats 2 birds with an arrow.

Sahir Lakhnavi

An exceptional poet, songwriter, lyricist.

He has written the lyrics of classics such as "yeh duniya agar mar bhi jaye toh kya hai", ,"main zindagi ka saath", "abhi na jao chodd ke", "tadbeer se bigdi hui " and many more. This wiki page is a good doc on his life and work : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahir_Ludhianvi

This post is to highlight some of his lines:

प्यार पर बस तो नहीं है मेरा लेकिन फिर भी
तू बता दे के तुझे प्यार करूं या ना करूं - in the movie Sone ki Chidiya.

chalo ik baar phir se ajnabii ban jaayeiN ham donoN!
na maiN tum se koii ummeed rakhouN dil-navaazii kii
na tum meri taraf dekho Ghalat-andaaz nazroN se
na mere dil kii dhaRkan laRkhaRaaye merii baatoN meiN
na zaahir ho tumhaari kash-ma-kash kaa raaz nazroN se

maiN ne jo geet tire pyaar ki Khaatir likkhe
aaj un geetoN ko baazaar meiN le aayaa houN - from the poem fankaar

More of hs works can be read at : http://www.sahirludhianvi.com/blog/

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ironic

Two quotes from two movie advertisements

Paradise Now:
Sometimes the most courageous act is what you don't do.

The Namesake:
The greatest journeys are the ones that bring you home.



Tuesday, January 1, 2008

WnL

shhhhh! shhhh!
someone is watching us.
someone is reading us.
look good.
smile.

Hey you!
standing next to me
take my hand.
let it be a flow
from me to you and so on.

hey you loner!
standing alone.
stand straight!
dont lean on either sides.
let the spaces you see
be seen by others too.

Hey you!
starting everything
Rise and shine.
shift right.
dont be close to me
respect the distance between us.

hey you dots!
sometimes with an exclamation
Dont go too far.
stand close to me.
you complete me!


Words And Letters.


Sometimes the title should come at the ending.

Jeevan nahin mara karta hai

Chip Chip ashru bahaane waalon
Moti vyarth lutane waalon !
Kuch sapnon ke mar jane se,
jeevan nahin mara karta hai


Sapnaa kya hai ?
Nayan sez par,Soya hua aankh ka paani,
Aur tootna hai uska jyonJage kachchi neend jawani.
Geelee umar banaane walon! Doobe bina nahaane waalon,
Kuch pani ke bah jane se saawan nahin mara karta hai.


Mala bikhar gayi to kya hai,
Khud hi hal ho gayi samasyaa .
Aansoo gar neelaam huye to,
Samjho poori huyi tapasyaa.
Roothe divas manaane walon!
Phati kameez silaane waalon!
Kuch deepon ke bujh jaane se ,
aangan nahin mara karta hai.


Khota kuch bhi nahin yahan par.
Kewal zild badaltee pothee .
Jaise raat utaar chandani,
Pehne subah dhoop ki dhoti.
Vastra badal kar aane waalon !
Chaal badalkar jaane waalon!
Chand Khilounon ke khone se ,
bachpan nahin maraa karta hai.


Laakhon baar gagriyaan phooteen.
Shikan na aayi panghat par.
Lakhon baar kishtiyaan doobeen.
Chahal-pehal wo hi hai tat par .
Tam ki umra badhaane waalon!
Lau ki aayu ghatane waalon !
Laakh kare patjhad koshish par,
upvan nahin maraa kartaa hai .


Loot liya maali ne upvan,
Luti na lekin gandh phool ki.
Toofaanon tak ne cheda par,
Khidki band na huyi dhool kee.
Nafrat gale lagaane waalon!
Sab par dhool udaane waalon,
Kuch mukhdon ki naaraazee se ,
darpan nahin maraa karta ha.


iChip Chip ashru bahaane waalon ,
Moti vyarth lutane waalon !
Kuch sapnon ke mar jane se,
jeevan nahin mara karta hai .


Gopal Das 'Neeraj'

Taare zamein par!

Well firstly, it is a good movie. Great acting by the young kid, some good cinematography, great paintings, good story, the maa song really tocuhed me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_21qBZpD7FM
The scene in which he fights with the shower...thats good...reminded me of calvin (from C&H) fighting the monster in his bath tub. Similarly, the one with 3X9 in exam and plut not being a planet anymore ... the spaceman spiff from calvin (if you can see it) ....it was nice to see that.

Clearly it is one of the good movies coming out of commercial bollywood but its not the best movie ever.
Firstly, it is too long..2 hrs 40 mins could have been easily reduced to 2 hrs.
I can easily compare this movie with a movie like freedom writers or dead poet's society (minus ending). But i would still rate these 2 above taare. Why?
1. Aamir khan's role was too coated. His opening scene comes out of nowhere. That 5 min song was the worst part of the movie. once aamir khan steps in, the movie is dominated by him and not by the kid.
2. It was also the case with freedom writers and it is also a case here...... characters are shown in black and white,no shades of grey. All teachers (except aamir) are totally against the boy. there could have been some intermediate people.
3. I may be too scrupulous now but like the questions like "explain the hindi poem" and the answer that he gives... come on he is a class 3 kid. Where is the dot on the board and the time when he makes a glider on water in arts class.... somehow i dont buy it.

Now comes the difficult question... The idea of making a movie is to show the audience an ideal scenario...the idea of an hero, the perfect world. But the trick is to do it as realistically as possible. One of my favourite examples of this thin line is the book as well as the movie " To kill a mocking bird". Characters are ideal, perfect but still they are very realistic. Thats class! Its difficult, i understand. Freedom writers was based on a true story, Dead poet's society's ending was a masterpiece making it much closer to reality (although still an extreme). If you are looking for indian examples, look at Khosla ka ghosla...simple setup, many knows about the housing problem but the solution is althouhgh far-fetched but everything gels. Look at monsoon wedding, water. And i am quoting the recent movies so that comparison is better.

Taare zamein par is a very good attempt. Movies like this will change the future of bollywood. They deserve success. But to call it a "god-level" movie, thats an overstatement.