Thursday, March 26, 2009

Intensity and a bit of Pamuk

I first heard Apne honton par sajana a few years ago (they were my pre-computer days. So, it must be roughly eight-nine years). I was charmed by the intensity of its lyrics by Qateel Shifai. Jagjit Singh’s voice worked its own magic (being one of my all time favourites). Scouted for the album for months before spotting it in a cassette shop in Ernakulam.

apane hoTho.n par sajaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
aa tujhe mai.n gunagunaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
koii aa.Nsuu tere daaman par giraakar 
buu.Nd ko motii banaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
thak gayaa mai.n karate-karate yaad tujhako 
ab tujhe mai.n yaad aanaa chaahataa huu.N 
chhaa rahaa hai saarii bastii me.n a.Ndheraa 
raushanii ho ghar jalaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
aaKharii hichakii tere zaano.n pe aaye 
maut bhi mai.n shaayaraanaa chaahataa huu.N 

Loose translation:

I wish to decorate on my lips/come I wish to hum you.

By dropping a few tears on your shawl/wish to convert droplets into pearls

I’m tired of remembering you/now I wish to be remembered by you.

The whole locality is engulfed in darkness/wish to burn my home to brighten it up.

My last hiccup should come on your lap/wish my death also to be poetic.

PS: the 3rd stanza is missing in the video. The fourth one is my favorite.                                                                                                       

Now a beautiful passage from Istanbul: Memories of a City by Orhan Pamuk:

At least once in a lifetime, self-reflection leads us to examine the circumstances of our birth. Why were we born in this particular corner of the world, on this particular date? These families into which we were born, these countries and cities to which the lottery of life has assigned us – they expect love from us, and in the end, we do love them, from the bottom of our hearts – but did we perhaps deserve better? I sometimes think myself unlucky to have been born in an ageing and impoverished city buried under the ashes of a ruined empire. But a voice inside me always insists this was really a piece of luck. If it were a matter of wealth, then I could certainly count myself fortunate to have been born into an affluent family at a time when the city was at its lowest ebb (though some have ably argued the contrary). Mostly I am disinclined to complain: I’ve accepted the city into which I was born in the same way I’ve accepted my body (much as I would have preferred to be more handsome and better built) and my gender (even though I still ask myself, naively, whether I might have been better off had I been born a woman). This is my fate, and there is no sense arguing with it. This book is about fate…. 

There are two reasons for this post:

1. To push the embarrassing previous post to the second place.
2. To fight the superstition that I can’t finish reading a book if I copy a quote or passage before completely reading it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

AirTel Marketing trying to turn me into a Megalomaniac

I received this Table Calendar in courier from my cellular service provider AirTel. Wish they had just given me few thousand free SMS’ (my lifeline) and a few free calls for my parents to use instead of spending this much money on making this calendar.

PS: A special thanks to my shy friend for helping me to scan this thing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A flowing river is never the same

I’ve heard the above phrase in a spiritual discourse or read in a book (not Paulo Coelho). It came back to me when I heard Kabir Bedi say this:

They (Bollywood) have this fantastic tradition called the narration. They pitch a film to you, not with the script. But by a narrator that comes to your house, it could be the director, it’d be the writer, it’d be a professional, who comes just to narrate the film. And, they give you this fantastic narration; almost shot to shot in its detail, and, you better remember this narration because you’ll never ever hear it again. And, secondly, when you’re given pieces of films, because films are never shot in order; scene eighty five followed by scene three followed scene one fifty two. You better know where all those pieces fit because you’ll never hear the story again and, there’s no script to go by.

to Riz Khan here about how actors are approached in Bollywood.

(Please don’t miss Kabir quoting Walt Whitman at the end of the video).

This talk reminded of an article on Hindustani Classical Music by Raghav R. Menon published in the Hindu Folio talking about the transient quality of Ragas:

Ragas had always been timeless and without history. For there are no old ragas just as there are no old rivers or old oceans or an old wind.

And, googling for the title phrase to check whether anyone else has used it lead me to this beautiful song:

You can get the lyrics of the song here.

This profound post by BG is the inspiration behind this ho-hum.

A couple of thanks:

A big thanks to my friend MM for sending me the audio of the song mentioned above.

And, a friend who is very shy of being introduced here for typing three-fourth of Raghav R. Menon’s article before I realised it is available online.

PS. This post has very little of my own thing. But, I still felt like sharing because these are the kind of things that have shaped my personality. Here is a similar post written more than a year ago.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ab Ke Hum Bichhade

A famous Ghazal sung by Mehdi Hassan resonating with life.

ab ke hum bichhade to shaayad kabhii khwabon mein milen
jis tarah suukhe hue phool kitaabon mein milen

(bichhade:part; shaayad:perhaps; khwab:dreams;
suukhe phool:dried flowers)

dhuundh ujade hue logon mein vafaa ke motii
ye khazaane tujhe mumkin hai kharaabon mein milen

(ujade hue:lost in desolate fogs; vafaa ke moti:pearls of loyalty;
khazaane:treasures; kharaabon:dark misfortune)

tuu khudaa hai na meraa ishq farishton jaisaa
dono insaan hain to kyon itne hijaabon mein milen

(khudaa:God; farishtey:angels; insaan:mortals; hijaab:veils)

gam-e-duniyaa bhii gam-e-yaar mein shaamil kar lo
nashaa badataa hai sharabein jo sharaabon mein milen

(gam-e-duniyaa: tragedies of life; gam-e-yaar: pathos of love,friendship;
nashaa: intoxication; sharaabein: liquor)

aaj ham daar pe kheenche gaye jin baaton par
kyaa ajab kal vo zamaane ko nisaabon mein milen

(kheenche gaye:tore us apart; nisaab:fate)

ab na vo main huun na tu hai na vo maazii hai `Faraaz',
jaise do shakhs tamannaa ke saraabon mein milen

(maazi:past; tamanna ke saraabon: mirage of desire)

Translation is taken from here

Poet is Ahmed Faraz

P. S. The video is a few stanza short.