Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Like The Flowing River'

This was my first Paulo Coelho book, “Like The Flowing River”. Frankly speaking, I never heard his name before getting that book.

Now when I see Paulo’s name mentioned here and there with so importance, it gives me impression of ‘little fabricated marketing hype’. Anyway, back to “Like The Flowing River”, it is a collection of many short stories and thoughts of Brazilian born writer. Two best parts of that book particularly for me are: One very beautiful picture at the cover and secondly, the simplicity of his writing. It is much more like hearing local tales or chatting with similar natured friends than reading a preaching literature. This book is all about life and viewing the life or even death.

With due respect to Mr. Coelho, there is nothing new in this book for an average Indian like me. Why I am saying so is that every other Indian have that philosophical mentality or thoughts which Coelho have collected in that book. If we sit for half an hour with a poor illiterate small Indian farmer manually ploughing his fields thousands miles away from brightly illuminated metros, even he would tell us thousand such stories very enthusiastically like those written in that book, only because we are brought up in such culture and atmosphere.

But even then this book is very important. Important cause that preserved atmosphere is being polluted with today’s so called Eco-friendly globalization and that globalization is destroying our rare culture and this book can help us to keep those memories afresh. Some of the tales are only half a page long so the reader can never get tired.

I may try some of Paulo Coelho’s other books one day.

‘Detective’ was much much better novel of Arthur Hailey’s than ‘Wheels’ written in 1971, I finished last week. Arthur has his well known style of digging and reaching the hard surface depth of any subject while writing a novel. Wheels very prominently show that style one again.

‘Wheels’ is about America’s auto industry in Detroit. It is about cars, people who design cars or who manufacture cars or those who sell those cars or about every person who is connected with that city of cars. Hailey tried to reveal every shining and spitting spot of that industry.

The novel have no story neither could it bound me with reading. But I read because I had no other book to read.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Blog

Around mid December last year, while I was searching the net for the poems of Sumitranandan Pant when I found myself on the pages of Manish’s blog. It was the first time when I read a blog. I think I spent a long time on his blog and some others chained with his pages. I found many thoughts of his similar to mine and I sent a mail to Manish congratulating him for his pages and he in return motivated me to start my own blog.

I never thought that I could write in not-so-bad way and could keep my pages updated regularly but today on 18th December, I found myself on footsteps of completion of a year of blogging when I wrote my first post on the same day of last year.

It was and it is really a very surprising experience of blogging for me. Most amazingly, I had never thought of ever writing poems but here I found myself writing poems and writing so easily and regularly (Though I won’t say I am very good at writing). Finding new friends is another soothing factor of blogging.

Now when it is a year already, I do sadly feel that why didn’t I start my blog three or four years back (like when I visit & read another blogs pretty older than mine) when I was literally wasting time chatting or playing games whenever on the net. How come I never found myself at someone’s blog like of Manish’s? But it is as simple as we say, “Jab jab jo hona hai, tab tab woh hota hai”. Anyway I am enjoying maintaining my blog and I think I will keep enjoying for the times to come.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What is Life ?

He was a nationalist, had given almost all of his life for the upliftment of this country. A part time writer, who had written around half a dozen books mostly containing issues belonging to our nation. An intellectual who could speak, read and write at least five languages. But even then very far from name and fame.

In 1995, he was on Himachal tour for a week and I had to perform as his driver. I was college student then and a very good driver (which I think still I am). On the way to interior Himachal, in one town our night arrangement was made at a local house. The owners of that house were joint family members who had a boy of my age doing his CA that time in their family. The room of this boy was arranged for the writer. The room was an ordinary room with very little furniture. There was a notepad hanging just above a study table in that room. The facing page of that notepad was blank when the room was occupied by that writer.

The next morning after breakfast, when we were ready for the journey of that day to another place, I had to enter that room to get something from the study table. I again looked at the notepad hanging above there. The facing blank page was no more blank. There was some scribbling in Hindi on it which could be translated as, “Life is a bridge, we have to cross it and not to sit on it.” No name was mentioned who wrote this but I knew.

Question is, do we take our life as a bridge or we keep dying everyday to live forever on that bridge?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Tishay !

Sometimes Time just flies away. Like no one of us realise till today when & how Tishay grew to one year. Today on 28Th, he has completed his one year on this planet.

He is real naughty and intelligent. Whenever he is awake he keeps everyone busy and engaged in himself.

What else to say, my poem says all of it. My dearest Tishay, may you live long and live large.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Give Me A Break !

Enough is enough ! I am very tired now. I need a break. Past couple of months it was (it still is) such hectic and exhausting period over business front that I think I desperately needs to sit down for a while and recollect my breath.

It was six months back when I had two days holidays in May at Renukaji, but these holidays were not the like I always wanted my holidays to be. The real one was now almost a year back in January when we trekked Jalorijot Pass.

I am missing mountains and the icy cooled rivers. I need to walk in the dense woods. I am missing the long tiring trek in steep hilly terrains and the joy of watching down at earth from a hill top. The exotic misty jungle scented air is still afresh deep inside my mind. I need to inhale that air again. Wandering around a sea shore sounds like superb idea too. The last time I walked bare footed on a lonely beach was damn long seventeen years back (Oh my God! Seventeen ? I never realised that till now). The list of places-must-visit is getting long and long and overdue. Long standing desire of buying a SLR camera has started pinching now.

But when ? Whew ! When? Question remains unanswered.

Just closing my eyes and imagining myself sitting at a stone up there on a hilltop cliff watching a hawk maneuvering on winds with it's wings open like inviting you for a hug. Don't wake me up!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shubh Deepawali

Wishing everyone a very joyful, prosperous and fortunate Deepawali.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My First Lady !

Rereading Irving Wallace’s “The Second Lady” after so many years, brought me a funny thought this time.

One of the best thrillers of Irving’s, The Second Lady is about a plot webbed by Russian spy agency KGB to replace a Russian theater artist Vera Vavilova with USA president Andrew Bradford’s smart and beautiful wife Billie Bradford. Vera being a look alike of Billie went under some surgical operations to match every mole and hair of American First Lady and very scrupulously practiced and adopted Billie’s habits, styles and manners. KGB dug very deep to get all the details of Bradford’s and took care of every aspect (which could arise in a reader’s brain) to make their ‘Second Lady’ successfully planted in White House and fetch first hand information directly from the president to win a crucial diplomatic summit connected with the holding of power and peace of this world.

Married with Billie for eight years, Andrew Bradford the president of USA amazingly could not find out through out the novel that his wife was replaced with a Russian spy and not only behaved very normally with her but also revealed the vital information which she was looking for.

Leaving that novel story here, I was wondering whether it is possible for a husband (married for eight years) to not to recognize his wife if she is replaced by her look alike? I think even if one may practice like anything to adopt someone’s styles still cannot copy every this and that of a person. Everybody has a typical way of behaving which cannot be copied by even best actors of this planet.

The funny thought? I was thinking what if this happens with me, (though I am not that lucky L ) I think I will realize in max 24 hours about her.

Eight years! How much a person can know about his wife in eight years? My emphasizes on eight years cause we two are in eighth year now and I am sure I have minimum hundred solid ways to know about her switching with someone else. Here is the checklist of some ways if ever God be kind on me to switch her with someone else. :P Yummy idea !

  • Only she could sleep soundly even with books, pen/pencils, combs, her mobile or even knife under her at the bed without even realizing them. If she is making up her bed it means she is a Russian spy.

  • The very first thing she would definitely do after sitting in car is to switch over to FM if CD is playing and to switch over to CD if FM is already tuned.

  • That only real Vande would let any object (it could be her own photograph) lay on the floor of her bedroom for months (if stupid maid does not show her intelligence to pick it) and if she herself picks it up and place on an appropriate place, she is defiantly her look alike.

  • Only Vande can sleep wearing her most favorite and most expensive dress on, her look alike would never do that and will get caught. Ha ha ha !

  • She would genuinely start mumbling a song and more genuinely would never complete even a single line with correct wordings. A tough task for KGB agent.

  • That only she would run the water tap at maximum speed even if she requires a tiny drop of water.

  • If ever I find her expensive golden Titan (her first gift from me) safely kept in her cupboard and not in the shoe rack or any place like that, I know she is switched by some foreign spy.

  • If the bedroom wardrobe is neatly maintained and is not occupied with toys, books, spoon, water bottle etc (or anything beyond imagination to be there) I have strong reason to suspect her reality.

  • The original Vande would keep fumbling with electronic gadgets including power window switches of car or my ipod. Her only favorite electronic item is TV remote (precisely channel 3 button, star plus for saas bahu).

  • The right hand of actual Vande would automatically scratch her left arm whenever she would laugh out loudly. Did you know that Vera Vavilova?

  • Even our neighbors can hear her speaking within the house and I wonder even if her mother could hear her on the other side whenever she chats with her over telephone, she speaks so lowly. A cool trap for any spy.

  • Vande always forgets the names of companies I deals with, obviously it won’t be easy for her look alike to pretend.

  • She would reveal the suspense on a movie promptly if she has seen it already and you have not seen. On the other side would keep grilling you for revealing the suspense if she has not seen it before but unluckily you have seen that movie. A blowout situation for her replaced clone.

  • And finally the Russian spy would have to meditate for years to achieve Vande’s cool. She would never loose her temper even being married to such an irritating and always complaining person like me.

  • Only the real Vande would keep praying for our bondage to be for seven lives and like this is not sufficient she wants this one to be the first life among seven. Of course no spy on earth can spend a single day pretending to be wife with a hubby like me who can write all this. :)
There are a lot more points I can verify about her but I don't wanna reveal all and put here on record that one day KGB chief General Ivan Petrov may discover them and start thinking of some new misadventure. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

'Russian Folk Tales'

While shuffling my small personal library at home, a very old thick book caught my eye. ‘Russi Lok Kathayen’ (Russian Folk Tales), I think I received this book as prize from my school around 22 years back in 1985 when I was in 6th standard. Since then I must have read this book not less than 100 times. I never get tired of books, movies or music I like, and can read, watch or listen over and over again for countless times.

First published in 1960, this 373 pages book has got collection of 33 short and long Russian folk tales translated in Hindi. These stories are part of Russian culture since generations and carry the same world of magic, devils, angles, beautiful princess and poor peasants as our Indian folk tales do as our mom or grandma used to tell us in our childhood. Some of the stories are one page long and some are 10-15 pages long as one keep flipping the pages.

I still remember the fantasies I used to get dragged in while reading this book in my childhood. That was amazing world, when there was no tension or worries or targets to be achieved. Entering those worlds of imagination was not at all difficult as like today. Few pages a day, kept mind of a reader like me engaged for weeks and floating with the little prince who is struggling hard to get his kingdom back from the clutches of lusty cruel Czar.

That amazing world had every color hidden inside. There were always some godly magic powered people or animal to help grief stricken hero or heroin of the story. It could be Beautiful girl Yelna or Wise Vasilisa, the princesses or brown wolf or brown horse or Feniest the Falcon or sometimes even a kind witch named Baba Yaga. Peasants like everywhere were innocent and being exploited by local rich landlords. There was beautiful princess cursed to be frog, retired army soldier who outsmarted and trapped ‘Death’ and is believed to be ‘still alive’, merchants with magical objects like flying ships, kings with extra ordinary beasts like singing cat, or golden falcon or flying horse, poor Ivan (almost always the hero of every tale) who had to walk and cross unlimited jungle or snow covered fields to fight anacondas, six headed fire throwing dragon named Zamai Gorinich or envious czar to achieve his destinations. Hateful cruel stepmothers, helpless fathers, wise and gorgeous daughters and brave sons are part of almost every story. Three iron caps, three pairs of iron shoes and three iron sticks were to break off to achieve every difficult mission.

There are some very interesting and funny stories which bring smile at the face of reader of any age. Gladly every story has a happy ending and brings relief for soft hearted innocent readers.

Reading these stories once again as a mature reader, I found that the feelings, emotions, dreams, desires, values, affections, lust, beauty, kindness, hate, responsibilities, duties or anything which touches a human heart are same all over this planet, no matter it is an Indian or Russian, no matter it is 16th century or 21st. We all are same.

Friday, September 28, 2007

' Wishing You.........'

No More Karuna

Received a mail this morning from a friend:

Murali A Raghavan

When my friend Ranjit wanted to strengthen the security at his Lokhandwala residence, the choice before him was to either install a Zicom security system or get a dog. Ranjit pitched his bets on the latter because a dog not only raised alarm but also mounted an attack on the aggressor and woke up the entire neighborhood and got them involved in your problem.
“Lets go” Ranjit said and we were off to a dealer to have a look in at the available stuff.
Mehta welcomed us and asked us to take seat. Ranjit began “Mehta, frankly speaking, I am buying a dog for the first time. I’d therefore like to see a few varieties before I could decide.”
“Sure” said Mehta and thrust an album on our hands and started explaining. “This brown one which is sturdy, long and well built with black splashed around the nose area is Alsatian. It is a great fighter and can scare anyone from a distance. If you have taken loan from Citibank and are unable to repay it, Alsatian is must in your portfolio. I have two of it with excellent pedigree. One of its ancestors held a top position with CBI. It is expensive but a great one-time investment. It is better to have one Alsatian than two sons who may send you to old-age home in your twilight years.”
“Can you show us something less expensive?”
Mehta turned the leaf and showed us another and said “This one is a black spaniel. If you have a temperamental wife who keeps throwing things around in a fit of anger, it is an ideal companion for you. A great reliever that it is, it will chase and bring back whatever that is flung. It has never dropped a catch unlike our slip fielders. His forefathers hail from the same place as Jonty Rhodes which gives it an edge in the fielding department.”
“Okay Mehta, what else you have on the block?”
Mehta turned another leaf and continued “Look at this one. It is such a fine baby with curly white hairs. It is called miniature poodle. You can call it by variety of fond names like Pinky, Dolly, Rosie, Darling and Deepu and have the same satisfaction of bringing up a daughter. It likes to go for a long ride in the evening and take bath twice a day with Aloe Vera and used to a luxurious life. So, unless you own a Ferrari and can afford two bottles of shampoo every month, you should think twice before laying hands on this.”
Ranjit flipped through the album and finally showed the snap on the last page and said “What is this? This black one with ugly look wearing dark glasses resembles some one from Tamil Nadu.”
“Yes. This is the latest to join the ranks of the dogs. Normally the dogs bark only at human beings but this one barks at Gods. Also, the dogs are generally faithful but this one is not. So you can say it is a black sheep among dogs. I don’t recommend it to anyone.”
“I don’t understand one thing. If you are not selling it why have you kept it on display?”
Mehta smiled “You see when people come to this page they feel any dog is better than this and buy one. It helps us sell other breeds easily.”

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jehadi Malik !

This is for the Shoaib Malik, Captain Pakistan cricket team who cause of his Jehadi mentality begged for the apologies from the entire Muslims of world at loosing Twenty 20 world cup to India. I don’t know who gave him this right.

But I wanna strongly restrict him here that he may fell to his knees or paint his face black while sitting on a donkey in front of all the Muslims for apology but he should not dare involving Indian Muslims in his I-wanna-say-sorry-to list. Indian Muslims do not need his sorry. They are on the celebrating side. Pakistan should understand that very well till now.

I wished our Irfan Pathan should have said these words there on behalf of all Indian people.

Anyway, Chak De India!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Something has went wrong here at Blogger, I cannot load my page from my laptop since so many days. Though I can publish a post or edit but I am unable to view my page.
Many of my friends can view my page with ease but may be not all. The best part is there is no one in the 'Blogger Help Desk' to help :(
Dunno when this gonna solve.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Morning Raga

I was simply astonished. For me heaven is here at places like that only. Watching Morning Raga’ in between much tensed one day cricket match between Indian & England yesterday gave me opportunity to inhale the glorious colors of Andhra Pradesh villages.

Though story was interesting either but I could not watch the entire movie and otherwise also I don’t wanna talk about the story here right now but the views that movie has holding within.

In a word it was breath-holding. The perfect mixture of vibrant colors, waters, sky, Saries, red chilies, coconut trees, old styled Indian village houses using exotic colors for decoration, lush green plantation and the rhythm of Karnataka Sangeet took my heart away. Till now I never realized that Andhara have such beautiful locations. Despite some net search about the exact location of the place all I could find was a name of some Kulla estates but nothing more. But it does not matter as I already have decided to be there once at least with my SLR this way or that, today or tomorrow.

Wanna ride ?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Enough Is Enough

Oh God, not again please, I can’t bear such news anymore.

After Sanju Baba now it’s Sallu Dada, news channel are crazy for. At a time when people at Hyderabad were wandering for the a piece of mutilated bodies of their relatives shattered in bomb blasts, all the channel (except NDTV) were busy showing Katrina visiting Salman Khan. And I know that this shameless show off of non attachment to larger issues in nation’s interest would go on air for many more days.

News channels like Star News, Aaj Tak, Zee News, India TV, IBN7 etc are full of crap and bullshit. All they need a cheap scoop and they would stick with it for hours till they get another. Then it could be Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Monica Bedi or a sting operation or even a domestic fight of a common person. These channels would never pray for a non scandalous nation cause then their shops would be closed.

On the other hand, Indian celebrities like Sanjay or Salman or Manu Sharma and many others think them above law and want special treatment. But many times I wonder that these people behave like and really act like to live abroad or opt for life outside India. How can they survive in other countries where law is above all or at least applied in full force? Do they ever realize this or they just simply behave outside India?

Friday, August 24, 2007


‘Never judge a book by its cover’, very rightly they say. But even then covers do effect your opinions (at least they do mine).

A beautiful, sharp and colorful picture of a Kathakali dancer at the cover forced me to pick the book and I went through its prologue and back cover briefings. I have always loved Indian art and wanted to know more and more about it. Though a hint of a side by story, the prologue and short briefing suggested that this book was about Kathakali dance and Navarasas: the nine emotions and expressions i.e. Sringaaram (love), Haasyam (contempt), Karunam (sorrow), Raudram (fury), Veeram (valour), Bhayaanakam (fear), Beebhalsam (disgust), Adbhutam (wonder) & Shaantam (detachment) used essentially in every ancient Indian art or literature.

It took me 60 days and a reissuing visit to library (still I have to pay late charges, I fear) to complete this 426 pages book written by Anita Nair. Though the writing style of Anita Nair is very interesting, this was entirely my strong willingness to not to return this novel unread that I somehow completed one third of tedious novel.

The main character is Koman, an international famed Kathakali dancer who worked hard and sacrificed a lot in pursuit of this dance art. Story begins when a Chris comes from London to write a book on Koman but he may have a secret mission hidden inside. The story webs in the exotic surroundings of Kerala, where Chris stays at Shyam’s Near-The-Nila resort who is husband of Koman’s niece Radha. Chris and Radha fell in love, no no here I wanna correct, Chris and Radha fell to their lusts and Radha keeps dangling in her mind through the navarasas. There are many complexities in the novel, complexities of the relations of different people. Those relations sounds to be love affairs but according to me those were not.

Writer scrupulously did her research on Kathakali, the within stories related to ‘Katha’ of Kathakali made those pages in novel very interesting, so was the way of relating those episodes with the lives of Koman or Radha. It was only Koman’s story which kept me reading the book otherwise I think Chris or Radha and poor fellow Shyam were unnecessarily dragged in the story, so was the so called hidden mission of Chris which turned out to be almost nothing.

Finally, it was not only about the usual ‘Mistress’ we obviously jumps to (like dear R did) but it’s more about every true artist being the ‘Mistress’ of his/her artistry like Koman or his Aashaan (teacher) or a mad artist in a story. But again the complexity is that either Art is ‘Mistress’ or the Artist.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

इस स्वतंत्रता का "स्व" कहॉ ?

Today is the day of joy and sorrow. Sorrow cause, we not only got independence from the British Raj but also lost a major part of our country in the partition.

Not only this, but once upon a time Bharatvarsh used to be a country with Ghandhar (now Kandhar), Dard & Kamboj (now part of Afghanistan), Bhu Utthan (now Bhutan), Trivishtap (now Tibet), Nepal, Brahamdesh (now Myanmar), Bengal (now Bangladesh), Sind and Punjab (now in Pakistan) and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) as integral parts. But by the passage of time and due to tactics of various invaders, these areas and people kept parting from India at different periods. Not going very back in the past, still a large part of Kashmir is under Pakistan and another large area of Aksai Chin is held by China.

This is a day to ruminate, that do we have right to sing our national anthem which includes, Punjab, Sind, Bengal as parts of India? And is everything alright across our beloved country? We are celebrating this day under the thick sheet of terror and threats.

Though there are lot of reasons and fields to celebrate about this day but this handicapped and mutilated body of our Bharatmata is demanding us something. Something like if we could not keep our country integrated in the past, at least now we should take care. At least this time we should say India will be divided over my dead body and really mean it unlike 1947 when great leader used to say these words in crowded rallies but never meant those words.

Vande Mataram!
(A very old poem from an unknown poet)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

True Music of India

Found this masterpeice of music full of true feelings. Jugalbandi of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma at santoor and Pandit Hariprasad Churasia at flute, a rare video which is not at all avaiable at our TV. Could not help sharing it here. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ab To Aaja !

Great Talat Mahmood is his usual mood and rhythm. Though sad but sweet. Listen and enjoy. (Scroll down and pause 'Enjoy What I Play for you" )