Thursday, March 31, 2011

पुष्प की अभिलाषा

" चाह नहीं कि सुरबाला के गहनों में गूंथा जाऊं
चाह नहीं प्रेमी माला में बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ
मुझे तोड़ लेना वनमाली , उस पथ पर तुम देना फ़ेंक
मातृ भूमि पर शीश चढ़ाने जिस पथ जाएँ वीर अनेक "
( माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी )

" देता नहीं बोस्तां भी सहारा मुझको
करती नहीं बुलबुल भी इशारा मुझको
मुरझाये फूल ने ये हसरत से कहा
अब तोड़ के फ़ेंक दो खुदारा मुझको "
( ' जोश ' मलीहाबादी )

Monday, March 28, 2011

ख्याल अपना अपना

हम हुए तुम हुए के मीर हुए
उनकी जुल्फों के सब असीर हुए
( मीर तकी 'मीर' )

छोड़ द्रुमों की मृदु छाया , तोड़ प्रकृति से भी माया
बाले तेरे बाल जाल में कैसे उलझा दूं लोचन
( सुमित्रानंदन पन्त )

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dream of watching " Dream Girl "

I can say I am a very contented man , happy with what I have and do not pine for what I do not have. Still I do have some wishes at times , though very small ones and am most happy when these small wishes are granted by Him. I had an occasion to feel grateful when my small dream of watching “Dream Girl ” was fulfilled.

It was in the seventies that I had landed a bank job near Solan . Still a bachelor , once when I was having a walk on the Mall , I saw posters of the movie “Dream Girl ” with attractive faces of the lead pair Dharmender and Hema Malini.. With some vague idea of having some Chandramukhi entering my life , at once I felt a desire to watch the movie , but did not know how it would be possible. New in a job, it looked odd to apply for leave , especially to watch a movie , and evening/ night show was completely ruled out in my case as I did not live within walking distance. As if only to help me out, the Govt of India, in its wisdom decided to demonetize the Currency Notes of Rs One thousand denomination and a day was fixed for the banks to exchange such notes at the SBOP , Solan, which was carrying out such like functions. The only currency note that my branch had, had been exchanged earlier, so with nothing else to do, it was a paid holiday. Needless to say, I watched the Movie that day.

The movie did not disappoint me. !

The lead pair also were to marry each other in real life , as we all know .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

अर्ज़ है !

काफिया, रदीफ़, मिसरा, ये सब सुन रखा है पर इनकी कैफियत मालूम नहीं .
फिर भी दो उदाहरण जो मुझे बतलाये गए थे , आपकी नज़र हैं :

बदगुमानी इस क़दर कि कोई चूम न ले
वो अपने आँचल से नक्शे पा को मिटाए जा रहे हैं

दावते इश्क है चले आओ आबे रवां की मानिंद
वो अपने आँचल से नक्शे पा को मिटाए जा रहे हैं

Friday, March 18, 2011


Happy Holi to all .
May the festival fill your life with colour and gaiety !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Charan Samudrik

On 13th of March, 71 years ago Shaheed Udham Singh shot down, Michael O’Dwyer, in Caxton Hall , London, to avenge the massacre of innocent civilians at Jalianwala Bagh , Amritsar , on Baisakhi day in 1919. I came across an article, “Rethinking a Revolution in New India ” in the Sunday Times , which also carried a photograph of the martyr.

This took me back to many years in time when I came across an anecdote with the heading ‘Charan Samudrik ‘ in a Hindi magazine, about the Martyr.

As per the anecdote, one afternoon Udham Singh was sitting in the company of a few friends, when a palmist came along and offered to read the palm of the small group. When the turn of Udham Singh came, jokingly, he offered to advance his foot instead of palm, in case the palmist had no objection. . The palmist took no offence and started reading the lines at the bottom of the foot and told Udham Singh in no uncertain terms that he would go to England but won’t come back. Udham Singh and his friends may have dismissed the prophecy at that time, but it was to come true, years later when the above event took place on March 13, 1940 and subsequently Udham Singh was hanged on July, 31st, 1940 after a hurried trial. Only his ashes came back in the year 1974, when he was formally cremated and his ashes were immersed in the river Satluj.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Death , are you rightly proud !

It is rightly said-death keeps no calendar. For no particular reason, I am taken some twenty years back in timeline , when my father passed away after being bed ridden for a few months due to painless kidney infection, the only sign of illness being swollen feet and the difficulty he had in moving even indoors due to this. On leave from my workplace in connection with the last rites as per prevailing custom, it was a drab routine with not much to do except meeting and sitting with relatives and other people who came visiting to offer their condolences. During one of these days, while going through a Hindi newspaper, in the In Memoriam column my eyes suddenly caught sight of the small photograph of a familiar face. On reading the lines below the photograph, it was a rude shock to find that it was Rajesh, my classmate in school who had passed away some 3-4 years back. Only I had not known about it due to my postings out of Shimla.
I was lamenting on the death of my father who was well into his seventies at that time and here was not-the -less shocking news of a buddy having been cut in the early thirties, i.e. prime of his life. It was only after some months that Ravinder , another member of the trio told me that Rajesh had died of a motor vehicle accident .Rajesh, Ravinder and I – the three Rs became bench fellows in Class 9 in a school in Shimla and remained so during the entire academic year. While I was an introvert, through and through, these two fellows were , jolly, jovial, always cutting and cracking jokes and it took me quite some days to adjust myself in the new company and the bond became stronger and stronger, as I was able to understand them.
Even earlier, death had laid its icy hand on three other classmates of mine, Biren, Rajinder and Nihal, of course at different times, but would write of them later
But, why am I writing all this, I do not know !

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lightning & Thunder

For centuries, Mankind had been baffled by the natural phenomena of lightning & thunder, occurring at the same time and lightning particularly proving destructive to objects and fatal to all living beings, if struck directly. Even the great poet Ghalib wrote :

“ Ujala toh hua kuchh der ko sehn-e-gulistan mein

Balaa se bijliyon ne phoonk dala aashiyan mera ….”

However it was Benjamin Franklin , who by a kite flying experiment proved that the lightning was nothing but electricity produced by coming close of two clouds carrying opposite charge, viz. negative and positive. Even today, lightning kills thousands of persons world wide every year , as there is no escape from it outdoors.

The other day while watching a video clip of a Lata-Rafi duet - Ku hu ku hu boley koyaliya - from the Bollywood movie Suvarna Sundari , it amused me no end to see that the lyricist has made a beautiful use of this phenomenon in this song. :

“ Kahe Ghata mein bijuri chamkey

Kahe Ghata mein bijuri chamkey”

And the probable answer ;

Ho sakta hai , meghraj ne baadriya ka shyam shyam mukh choom liya ho …..

-so near to the scientific explanation and yet so romantic !

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shivratri fare - the Gourmet's delight

I do not have a big appetite, but , yes , I am a gourmet in small measures, as I always love variety in food , whatever is available as a strictly vegetarian fare. Little wonder then, that I have long associated festivals with eating and enjoying food mostly reserved for the occasion. In short “pet pooja” takes precedence over other pooja, which is the exclusive domain of my wife, as far as my small nuclear family is concerned. She observes fast wherever ordained, visits nearby temple and also sits in worship of God. This Shivratri also , despite not keeping well, she was on fast and as usual worshiped Shiv. However, this time gastronomical delights took a back seat.

This made me think of good old days, when, next only to Diwali, Shivratri & Janmashtami were looked forward to. My mother would observe nirahar vrat and in the evening ate only phalahar ” consisting of preparations made from ogla, singhara , bathu etc. ., of course with boiled potatoes made without onion and garlic. We also partook of these special preparations and enjoyed them fully.

Shivratri demanded more elaborate arrangements and preparation, as wheat atta had to be kneaded a day in advance and was kept in warmth so as to ferment it . For sweet roti , deep fried in ghee – known as rotku, babru, pakain in various areas – dough had to be made in gur chashni . papads made with rice flour were fried , and salted fare was the stuffed roties deep fried in kadahi. The ritual would start at about five in the evening when kadahi , half filled with vegetable ghee was put on coal-fed angithi in Shimla or on the traditional chulha, in the village. After keeping aside first two –three roties for worship , my mother- naturally familiar ,as she was ,with child psychology would allow us to have these , hot and fresh. Made in large quantities, this fare would last for good two –three days I am amused to recall that a lady in the neighbourhood out of mistake, put caustic soda instead of baking soda in the dough , but wouldn’t admit to it despite the dark colour of the roties , saying it all !