Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hemant Kumar and Gulzaar

Just happened to browse through some old music collection. Was left mesmerized with Hemant Kumar's voice to Gulzar's creativity in this song from the 1969 film Khamoshi -

होठ पे लिए हुए, दिल की बात हम,
जागते रहेंगे और, कितनी रात हम
मुख़्तसर सी बात है, तुमसे प्यार है
तुम्हारा इंतज़ार है...
तुम पुकार लो!

दिल बहल तो जाएगा, इस ख़याल से,
हाल मिल गया तुम्हारा, अपने हाल से
रात ये क़रार की, बेक़रार है
तुम्हारा इंतज़ार है...
तुम पुकार लो!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The 'Angrezi' Culture!

For the 'swadesi' me, it has been rather difficult from the very beginning to assimilate the 'angrezi' culture of B-Schools. A die-hard supporter of desi-bhashaa-swadesi-vyavahaar; there are thousands of irritating things out here which have constantly harassed my mental peace.

One of them is that most ubiquitous of the several phrases used by those 'Yo-dudes' (for the 'uneducated': if you are having difficulty picturing them, just imagine a bunch of gays chatting in shorts and 'I'm Pagal' Tees and 3-inch heeled sandals called 'kittos') - "rock".

Rock is everywhere. The 'about me' section of someone's orkut profile would say 'I rock!' The dinner suddenly becomes eatable one day and the 'Mess Committee rocks!' They haven't seen a sea-beach in their entire lifetime, and the first exclamation would be 'The place rocks!' The most 'jhamtee' guy in the class solves the problems for the next day's submissions and everybody copies it, 'He rocks!' The only good teacher of the last term becomes 'That prof rocked!' Why do you always have to "rock"? Why can't you 'jazz' or 'hip-hop' or 'heavy metal' or 'country blue'? Or rather, can't you simply 'aalaap'? He 'aalaaps', he 'thumrees', he 'qawwalis'… might even go like he 'bhajan-kirtans'!!

Now don't argue with me for the word meaning of 'rock'. The dictionary is clear about it. Current usage isn't what the word is meant to be. I'd selectively quote a few of the dictionary meanings-

rock: \ˈräk\


1. a large mass of stone forming a hill, cliff, promontory, or the like.
… … …
2. offensive term: an offensive term for the testicles ( slang )
… … …

–transitive verb
1. to move back and forth in or as if in a cradle
… … …

–intransitive verb
3. to sing, dance to, or play rock music
… … …

1. between a rock and a hard place, between undesirable alternatives.
2. get one's rocks off, Slang: Vulgar. to have an orgasm.
3. on the rocks,
a. Informal. in or into a state of disaster or ruin: Their marriage is on the rocks.
b. Informal. without funds; destitute; bankrupt.
c. (of a beverage, esp. liquor or a cocktail) with, or containing, ice cubes: Scotch on the rocks; a vodka martini on the rocks.

–Related forms
rockless, adjective
rocklike, adjective

So, whenever I hear someone saying 'he rocks', I usually tend to think about the second meaning of the word as a noun, mentioned in my list - poor guy, whatever might've happened to his 'rocks'! To sum this post up, all I want to convey is, can't we use the word in its more interesting forms, rather than the gay-usage? Look at the second and the third idioms in the above list. There are pretty 'rocking' usages of the word, can't people just 'get their rocks off' once and for all and stop this particularly irritating usage of making anybody rock?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


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कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
पानी पर फिसलते शिकारे में तुम्हारी मादकता का एहसास था
झील की सतह सहलाते तुम्हारे बालों से भँवर सा आभास था
तुम्हारे चेहरे पर तितली की टिप्पियों सा मधुर हास था
तुम्हारी आँखों की गहराईयों में परावर्तित सारा आकाश था

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
पानी में भिगोई तुम्हारी उँगलियों में भीनी सी छुअन थी
किनारे की डालियों में तुम्हारे चेहरे को छू जाने की तड़पन थी
तुम्हारी हथेली पर आने को कमल की पत्ती पर की ओस व्याकुल थी
बादलों के बीच से तुम्हारी झलक पाने को सूरज की किरण आकुल थी

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
तुम्हें स्पर्श करती उस पार से आती बयार मेरी ईर्ष्या बढ़ाती थी
पानी से छलकी दो बूँदें तुम्हारे होठों पर बैठ मुझे चिढ़ाती थीं
तुम्हारी उँगलियों से खेलती धार मेरी निर्बलता का एहसास दिलाती थी
तुम्हारे बालों से उलझती कुछ शैवालें मेरा परिहास उड़ाती थीं

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
हृदय के दूरस्थ कोने में छुपे उद्गारों को हवा देता स्वप्न
एकांत जीवन की निरर्थकता जताकर मुझे झकझोरता स्वप्न
खुली आँखों में तुम्हारी मृगतृष्णा समान मँडराता स्वप्न
असत्य, व्यर्थ, मूर्खतापूर्ण, क्रूर "प्यारा" सा स्वप्न...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Placements, IIMs et al

If you "analyse it objectively", you can conclude that there are only two things in the life of any run-of-the-mill IIM grad - "summers" and "finals". Both these are celebrated as festivals and are the sole reaps targeting which we spend sleepless nights in studying.

IIMs are less of academic institutions, they are "glorified placement agencies" in essence, and you hardly come to learn, you come to get placed! Given this level of importance to the process, we have two official placement seasons, "summer placements" for first year students and "final placements" for second year students. Both the gala ceremonies have an equal importance with same number of companies fighting to recruit candidates. Within two weeks after admission process completes in an IIM, the preparations for the "festivals" start off. CV building, targeting big-shot companies and booming sectors and finally, "returns". Placement rules are more sacred than all religious practices of the world put together, and deviations, which might have been tolerable by God, are not tolerated here.

My suicide attempts of trying internships on my own failed with the expiry of the Placement Committee's "guilt free pass" (the pass reads as - you are granted a limited period boon to try and do any off-campus kill-yourself thing without the Gods being infuriated). I'd managed positive responses from a rare few, and most of the HRs had "ditched" me, "dumped" me, and that too with the worst possible break-up line - "Hope you can find yourself a good company that will give you a useful exposure". As if, someone is really waiting for me to expose oneself!

As the "festivals" back at K would take off, I'd join the "single and looking" band for that one fool who'd hire me for two months hoping I might turn useful. ;)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A slice of life

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
- Aristotle

Last Saturday, enjoyed a well deserved outing to a local Panchayat called Mavoor. The trip was meant to be a field visit for an academic project, though, it ended up more as a picnic.

The countryside in Kerala has been discriminately blessed by nature. For a philosophical mind, a drive on its narrow roads can be alluring at the least - it inspires many moods at once. The breath-taking vistas abundantly strewn across the land's vast fabric are catalysts for poets and heaven for photographers.

Trees flanking the roads provide a natural respite from the sun

The roads are narrow but well laid for most of the stretches, including many National Highways. The abundant greenery and the calm blanket of peace spread across the entire landscape can provide a good food for thought for creative minds.

The Stretch to Mavoor

Water is the most abundant of all elements in the "God's own country". Monsoons bless the earth in Kerala for as much as 4 to 5 months in the calendar year and large stretches can be found covered with water during June to September.

A snapshot from our bikes

Many rivulets emerge only during the rains

Coconut is one of the primary floras of the area and those classic picturesque scenaries of tall pine like trees can be spotted almost everywhere. Drying coconut is one of the primary occupations of local people and inhabitations are located across most of the rivulets besides which such trees are found in abundance.

Most parts of Mavoor are on the banks of "Chaliyar". Heavy coconut vegetation can be noted in the background

A local coconut drying unit

In terms of education, which was one of the major thrust areas in our study, I found the state to be pretty well "advanced". Even the small village had a decent higher secondary school complete with all basic necessities. A healthy male-female ratio, low drop-out rates and a sufficient number of teachers, all constitute a substantial arrangement.

The Higher Secondary School building at Mavoor

Imagining a school this large in a small village is tough for people coming from most parts of northern India

The trip as a whole was the best enjoyment I've had since coming to this place. An exhilarating journey, a wonderful respite from the mundane work and a first-hand experience of the God's own expanse, all contributed to the hearty smile on everyone's face!

A part of our group

They ended it all with the customary sutta!

P.S. All pictures courtesy Kajal, the "unofficial" trip photographer! :D

Saturday, August 18, 2007


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व्यस्त जीवन के कुछेक बेचैन पलों में जब
तुम्हारी यादों की क़सक होती है
जड़-चेतन हर तत्व में हर ओर
सिर्फ़ तुम्हारी झलक होती है

इन अनवरत बारिशों में
तुम्हारे नटखटपन की मिलावट है
इन विस्तृत घाटियों के खालीपन में
तुम्हारी उत्कटता की आहट है

इन घुमावदार सड़कों के उस पार अब भी
तुम्हारी परछाईयाँ अठखेली करती हैं
उन पर्वतों में डूबती-उतराती घटाएं
यादों की आँख मिचौली करती हैं

रात्रि के तीसरे पहर वाले सन्नाटे में
तुम्हारी मोहक-अविरल बातें गूँजती हैं
रौशनी के नीचे असँख्य कीट-पतँगों की भन्नाहट में
तुम्हारी उच्छृन्खलता खलती है

माना आज तुम साथ न सही
पर इक सुखद अनुभूति तो है
वो चंचल मुस्कान आस-पास न सही
भरोसा उन यादों के प्रति तो है

जीवन से कुछ प्राप्त हुआ हो न हो
पर स्वयं पर इतना अभिमान तो है
तुम्हारी चेतना में क्षण भर को ही सही
आज भी आता मेरा नाम तो है!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I need a miracle

The marvellous Bon Jovi...

"He said
I'm just one man, that's all I'll ever be
I never can be everything you wanted from me
I've got plans so big
That any blind man could see "

There's more to it...

"Your feet are grounded still
You're reaching for the sky
You can let 'em clip your wings
'Cause I believe that you can fly"

And the best part...

"It ain't all for nothing
Life ain't written in the sand
I know the tide is coming
But it's time we made a stand
With a miracle"

Friday, August 10, 2007

आओ मिल कर बैठें

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कई वर्षों की ख्वाहिश है
तमाम ज़िन्दगी यूँ ही बिताने की
कुछ गिले-शिकवे मिटाने की
कुछ पुरानी यादें सजाने की

वो रंगीन किस्से, वो छोटी मुलाकातें
उन जामों का हल्का सुरूर, वो दिल की बातें
वो परिंदों सी आज़ादी, वो सुकूनी रातें
फिर साथ आने की, वो बाज़ियाँ बिछाने की

कुछ पुराने साथी, कुछ पुराने मंज़र
कुछ दिलफेंक नज़ारे, कुछ हसीन खंजर
कई आड़ी तिरछी राहें, कई अजीब सफ़र
हमाम में एक बार फिर, वही नज़्में गुनगुनाने की

कोशिश तुम्हारे ग़मों को फिर अपनाने की
एक ही थाली में फिर हर रोज़ खाने की
तुम्हारे दिल का वो कोना वापस पाने की
ख्वाहिश है, एक बार फिर दिल-से मुस्कुराने की

Inspired by Chandra's post.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The frosted glass

Something seems to be going against the natural. I am being taught to divide life - into grids. And its being blatantly preached with such simplicity as if the world has always been like this, in a two-by-two matrix. It started off with a minor discomfort, theories to divide businesses into grids. Moved on to a more disastrous idea of dividing problems and solutions into grids. Consequently followed division of the population - they named it segmentation. And they didn't stop. Our "education" seemed to be incomplete without including the outrageous ideas of dividing personalities... I'd rather use the direct term than the metaphor - dividing "humans" into grids.

The system thus goes on. After all, you must learn this "art" to secure your 14th storey office in an uptown location (By the way, "I LOVE NY" is a common phrase on T-shirts of "humans" studying here). Find out what characterizes him: "high" on this, "low" on this. Pat, here's your chance to spot the "opportunity". "Target" that, encash that, you are suddenly the winner. Applause.

Its been a mixed experience in terms of my own life in the past one and a half months since I am here. Its a good feeling when you observe that your parents have a sense of proud because you are here. Friends have a reason to bask in glory; juniors have reasons to ping you up in the hope of some tips which might just work. Your own demeanour changes when you walk on the roads in other cities with that IIMK T-shirt.

The other half - I'm slowly learning how to be a programmed machine integrated with time-management functionalities so as to generate maximum possible outcome. I learnt DC++ usage so that I can search for sunrise pics on the network - the sunrise which nobody here would see in their two years' stay and which is always covered by others' cameras. I learnt to repeatedly boast of the natural beauty of the place to friends on phone, though I myself experienced it just once with that Kappad trip in the initial days. When I sometimes feel to drown into alcohol on weekends (its a different story that the time never permits you), it goes against my own old-days preachings - people drink not because they want to ward off trouble, its rather to have good times with friends. Everything is too artificial from all perspectives, I'm learning to pretend to be happy.

It rains for almost half of the year in Kerala. And I am dying to get drenched...

Too much of a pessimist I am, huh?

Friday, June 01, 2007


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काश मेरे पास बस थोड़ा कुछ होता...
एक कतरा आसमान का विस्तार
एक दोने भर नदी का बलखाना
एक थैली सागर की उठती लहर
एक मुठ्ठी पुरवईया का झोंका
एक साँस भर भीगी काली घटा
एक नज़र भर इँद्रधनुष का रँग

मैं ज़्यादा कुछ की लालसा नहीं रखता...
बस एक नग सरसराती पत्ती उस झाड़ की
एक दामन इठलाहट पेड़ की डाल की
एक चुटकी भर महक पहली बारिश से नम मिट्टी की
एक छुअन चुलबुली मचलती उस गिलहरी की
एक चुल्लू खुशबू बाग़ के सारे फूलों की
एक हथेली पसीना माली की मेहनत का

मैंने सीमित कर डाले हैं अपने ख़्वाब, चाहिये अगर...
तो बस एक हिस्सा ऊँचे पर्वत की हिम्मत का
एक चमकीली किरण ढलते सूरज की
एक आईना तालाब में बनती चाँद की परछाई
एक मीठी सिहरन रात को समन्दर किनारे की ठण्डी रेत की
एक चेतना ऊँचाई से गिरती झरने की इक बूँद की
एक थोड़ा बंजारापन उस रेगिस्तान का

मैंने अपने लिये तो कभी कुछ चाहा ही नहीं...
बस एक मुठ्ठी विवेक से भरा मस्तिष्क
एक झोली मिठास से भरी वाणी
एक पर्वत भर ऊँचा विश्वास
एक चींटी भर जितना धैर्य
एक सागर भर गहरे प्रेम से भरा हृदय
और एक सम्पूर्ण "आत्मा" से भरा शरीर

काश मेरे पास बस थोड़ा कुछ होता...