Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Fasting is nothing unusual for my wife as she for reasons best known to her is on fast every Monday, throughout the year . I am told this is a Shiv ji ka Vrat and at the backside, the general well being of husband is associated with it. I am a bit skeptic about all this seeing the plight I find myself in year after year. This week it was fast for two successive days for my loved and – in a strange way loving –one .

It is said that if God were not there , we would have to invent Him. The same saying with some modification applies to my wife, who for no valid reason would invent causes for worry. A few days back I developed some boils on my face and neck and after being administered some antibiotics, got cured , only to be faced again with one erupting near my right eye, which did not escape her notice. Pat came the strict instructions from her to go for a sugar test. This was on Monday -one day before the Karva Chauth . The person collected the sample from home and after taking meals I left for the office . At quarter to two in the after noon my wife called up asking me to inquire about the report. It was only after I conveyed to her that the sugar level was within the desirable limits that she got some relief.

Imagine , if the report were not favorable , what would be the reaction of my wife who is alarmed even when one of us dares to cough or sneeze . How difficult it is to answer a useless and baseless query like—yeh chheenk kyon aayee or yeh khaansi kyun hui.

Thank God this year Karva Chauth passed off peacefully. Was this “ no-sugar ” report not a gift from me to my wife !

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Escape from Numbers

Years ago, a friend who loves lecturing was making an attempt to make a block head like me understand the meaning of cardinal and ordinal numbers – which I did not make much of at that time as both pointed to a sequence. Only that the cardinal sequence went as one, two three ………and the ordinal as first, second third ……… and so on. Years later , now I do realize the significance of numbers. It is the numbers that decide so many things - for example which party is going to form the Government, who is going to be the PM or the CM as the case may be. So much so that even movies’ names had to be like, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, , Do Thug, Do Gundey , Do Bigha Zameen , Do Dooni Chaar ,Do Kaliyan, Do Raaste, Teen Deviyan , Teesri Manzil, Five Rifles , Saat Hindustani, Nau Do Gyarah etc etc. Even we have had masterpieces like A Tale Of Two Cities, Three Musketeers etc .
The phobia attached to the number thirteen worldwide is still an enigma . However one may recall that in a popular Bollywood number there is counting from Ek do teen….. to Barah terah .
Phrases like First Love, -as also the song -pehla nasha pehla khumar -are very popular and so are first crush, first impression, First born , second thoughts , third world, fourth column, sixth sense , seven day wonder, seven year itch , the eight fold path cloud nine , ten commandments , which are so frequently used that they do not need any explanation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A gift of Nature or ..........

I am afraid, prohibitionists will be after me hammer and tongs when I write a few words of praise about wine or liquor but admittedly, wine is one thing which has inspired high level poetry, from the pen of poets like, Omar Khayyam for whom

a book of verses, a goblet of wine and thou by my side ” was all that he wanted.

And a shayar who wrote

......meri baada parasti par na jao
jawani ko sahara mil gaya hai......”
found in it a support system
And back home our own the late Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan , the widely acclaimed Hindi poet ,who though himself a teetotaller , went on to write a trilogy – Madhubala, Madhushala & Madhukalash- eulogizing the gift of nature , more metaphorically than in the literal sense. We know that the great Mirza Ghalib was given to this addiction and himself admitted that but for this “vice” he would easily be considered a “wali” – a saint or a holy man. Who knows, the diwan -e- Ghalib, which immortalized him was the outcome of this addiction, as the manna makes your imagination run wild and the magical lyrics come out spontaneously.Gems of urdu poetry have flowed from the known addicts like Majaz Lakhnawi . Even Shiv Batalvi the Punjabi poet wrote paeans in praise of wine and himself was given to this habit. It is said that the great singer, K.L.Sehgal could not record a song unless he had downed a peg or two. Generally, those given to this habit are basically nice people, whose all negativity is drained away with a peg or two of wine. This I say out of my personal experience. Myself a teetotaller, I have enjoyed the company of people who get tipsy on special occasions and once you have a peep inside them , most of them emerge as nice people-kind hearted, least calculative and generally do-gooders. If at all , most of them are enemies to themselves , perhaps to their family also when , wearing an escapist attitude, they shirk responsibilities. Sometimes, I feel that being a teetotaller, I have been a loser. I have few friends, to keep company, can’t get things done easily and for all that professed goodness , am considered a big bore.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Since times immemorial, Kajal is used for the eyes to enhance the beauty and attraction. Not that it suits all eyes- it depends on the shape and color of the eyes as well as the total impact, it is able to make. Two female members in my family, who , for my own security reasons, I dare not name, are a living example . The one ,if she does not apply it, gives a sickly appearance, and the other, if she applies it even by mistake, makes one wish that the black device were not invented or discovered in the first place. But this does add to the looks of some and ravishingly so. Perhaps, Cupid used this device to strike some unsuspecting lover through the Kajal.
Long long ago, a legend was handed down to me, by a literary and very knowledgeable person, as to how Kajal came into existence.
It is so believed that Moosa, the great paigambar, who being either too early or too late in offering morning prayers to the God, saw a mountain coming between him and the Sun , thus obstructing his view . In a fit of rage he angrily gazed at the mountain and the mountain turned black and virtually into a heap of Kajal.
While poets and shayars have waxed eloquent about the lover being smitten by the kohl-lined eyes i.e. Kajrare Naina of the beloved, the following couplet, spells out the plaint or complaint of a lover so smitten:

Dawa karungaa khoon ka Moosa pe roz-e –hashr,
Kyon usne taab di mere Qatil ki teg ko.

There is going to be no escape from the effect of Kajrare Kajrare Naina .

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dil Da Mamla

Though basically I am a fan of old bollywood songs, occasionally I listen to songs like – Dil da mamla hai and dil ka mamla hai dilbar and enjoy them and after a while forget about them. But not so any more, as dil da mamla is not so simple as one may think it to be. “Times Life” the magazine section of Sunday Times dated 26 th Sept, 2010 was mostly devoted to stories and articles on Heart, the day being the World Heart Day. The lead article was “ Back from the Brink” showing celebrities like , Rohit Bal, Arpana Caur, Rakesh Roshan, Randhir Kapoor, who have had their brush with heart ailment of one type or the other. This does ring alarm bells in all of us particularly those on the wrong side of fifty. The best way would be to do some exercise or brisk walking, abstain from drinks and fats , keep tension at bay and not to respond positively to the urge of the dil which always maange more and not to allow any khalbali.