“60 years” – But nothing to be proud !

Independent India – out of the grips of colonial rule, is 60 years old, but I do see this period insignificant part of thousands of years of great grand Aryabhatta !

Today my Aryabhatta is a blend of Hindi & Urdu & English – Rock & Karnatic – Space shuttle & Bullock Cart – Jeans & Saari – Valentine Day & Karwa Chauth – Chess & Cricket – Google & Jyotish. Nothing wrong – I am part of it proudly.

 Imagining what if, if there had been no invaders / colonial rules here, had we remained the same? Perhaps, yes !

Celebrations.. Well I too did celebrate as there is a tricolor instinct inside, since childhood. But the fact is somewhere I do have a ‘pain behind this independence’.

Few questions keep revolving my mind! Why my country was dependent on / ruled by some other country for such a long time. These 60 years are still less then the around 200 years of colonial era. Why we needed to fight for the our own salt? Gandhi ji was great – but where does the courage missed in young generation of India, that time, such that we had to bring out Dandi march to make a memorable event. Though there had been Mughals and other empires too to rule our territory. There are socio-politico-economic and other reasons behind such things in case of a nation’s evolving process.

I have few regrets on our unconsciousness but still one burning question , I do search for an answer. That is, are we making a firm solid independent base for the gen next to stand upon? Are again we slowly allowing invaders to rule upon some or the otherway. Difficult question to answer ! But there is something Indian deep inside which loudly says – “No. “

To be practical, did this post of mine added anything for the national pride? If nothing much, its the freedom of speech – the only democratic backbone that ‘we re-attained’. It will revive its glory beyond ‘the freedom’.

Music for life – 3 : Begum Abida Parveen (Sufi Queen)

Aashna – Mystical fragrance of divine love by Begum Abida Parveen” is the album by Times Music – I am listening these days.

A taste for Sufi music – the diva have something great for your soul – through the channels of ears. One can understand that through the path of love one reaches the supreme joyous path leading to God. So what better than songs and poems can convey the feelings!

Begum Abida Parveen born on 1954 in Larkana, Pakistan has got trained voice brought up by her father Ghulam Haider’s music school and then Ustad Salamat Ali Khan (Sham chourasia Gharana). And the wings to her voice was given by her husband Ghulam Hussain Shiekh (senior producer of Radio Pakistan).

In this album she has picked up the lyrics of Urdu poets personally and the rendition is spiritual. Her heavy voice gives one a base to lift upwards the plane of love and hate one stays.

As the words are ‘Urdu – Punjabi’ type normal light song listeners needs some effort to understand the words deeply. But the voice have spiritual touch for sure, simple disciplined yet carefree.

Lyrics of Sufi verses from CD 1 – >

Song no. 1
Bulle noon samjhana Aaiyaa ( Poet : Baba Bulleh Shah )

Ganga tirath mul naa mil yaa painde behisaab hu
Jag daa murshid mil yaa baahu chhutte sab azzake hu
God is neither found in the sky, nor at the pilgrim towns
He cannot be found in bookish knowledge, even in high towers
God was not near to Ganga( But He is here)
All my troubles have ceases since my preceptor looked at me.

Song no: 3
Rabba Mere Haal Da ( Poet: Hazrat Shah Hussain)

Rabba mere haal da mehram tu
( You are the only one who understands my pain)

Jo kucch baab mere dukh karde Hai ki khabar kise nun
(No one knows how much pain my sorrows give)

So yaa jane kadar Mohammad Tanman lagdi jaenoon
( Only the one who experiences it, understands the pain)


Yaaran baaj Mohammad Bakhsha
Kaun kare damkhari
( God is kind, my friends ae around me
Who share my grief and sympathise with me )

Kahe Hussain faqir nimmana
Main nahin sab tu
(Helpless hussain can only say
All this is your energy, not mine)

Song no. 5 :
Ishq de pichche bane faqir ( Poet: Waris Shah)

Kaafire denda pinda vich saare
Aao kise faqir je hona je
Mang khavnaa, kamm na, kaaj karna
Na kujj chadhna te, nahin chauvnaa je
Zaraa kann padaaeeke swaah mallani
Guru saare hi jag da hovnaa je
( Ranjha is an addict of love, a maverick
He is like the king of the world
Love has made Ranjha
A sage, a renouncer , a fakir )

The bonus thing with this album is lyrics with meanings are given in a pretty good booklet (Which I reproduced partially). That helps to understand the lyrics in her mystic voice that sublimes one. Earlier when I didn’t go deep into sufi music, without any particular reason Nusrat Fateh Khan’s few songs I could hear for hours at stretch.

If one believes in spiritual touch of love for God and vice versa – this poetic album will surely uplift the listener – of course if one is ready to accept a taste – that is altogether a higher plane of music.

Geetanjali In Bengali Unicode

Geetanjali” literally means Geet(Song) + Anjali(Offerings) = “Song Offerings” to the God.

I have started the conversion of Kaviguru’s Nobel prize winning serenade to God, Geetanjali, in Bengali unicode. To the great genius Rabindranath Tagore, my efforts will be just a piece of respect after expanding its reach in the era of Internet. The word ‘Geetanjali’ is in some places written as ‘Gitanjali’ and it is as per Bengali pronunciation,its Gitanjoli. And I guess the ‘Geetanjali’ word seems better.

The need of hour is, I could not locate his original poems in unicode format on the net, though partial translations are there. Though It will require a lot of expertise for doing the translation as per my current level of confidence, thus I shall put only the Roman transription alongwith.

Her Marriage – The Dance of Life

This narration again goes to my sister, as she is so special to me. May be there are some traits of the woman, set as benchmark of excellence, though unread and unexplainable; my instinct keeps me away from most of the Bangalore’s highly materialistic girls.

The evening was not hot at all. But seeing her dance practices, it seemed that it was like a mid summer evening. She was perspiring with sweat, after so many rounds of dozens of dance swirling around her feet.Her payals used to set the neighborhood into vibrations. Though she lamented some times that why didn’t I learn table to that level. If I could have accompanied her, with the beats, she could have better coordinated her foot falls.

“Dada, I completed all rounds without stops.” And she was very much optimistic about her 6th year’s courses in Kathak despite really limited resources in the small town. And why not, her Lasik operations gave her a new look to life again. The weekly classes, by her Guruji, who used to come from Raiganj, she attended attentively, as well as cleverly, a trait mandatory in artistic learning. At the end of her weekly classes, I had to go for escorting her, in late evenings. . No matter, when midnight touches, she used to note down the all theoretical parts of dance, in her diaries, because she had to return back the book to someone.

That time with a perfect composure of a classical dancer, after all sweating out, her wheatish complexion appeared brighter and more confident, which is skin deep.

After she completed Sangeet Prabhakar in classical dance, her only wish remained, is to continue the education under some competent guru, with a guru-shishya parampara at some good place. Other option, she had been chosen that, she will learn Shahnaz Hussain’s beauty courses, and start her own entrepreneurship.

She has been artistic. And if literally to say, inclination towards arts subjects. Math remained the major obstacle in her career. Though she tried her best, but in fact it needed spoon feeding sometimes. During her secondary school exams, she got some trivial tips to solve problem from her favourite teacher. And I enjoyed the role as, I knew well, where she misses ‘the connecting links’ between a problem and derived solution.

Dreaming is a stepping stone, realization of the same is bliss. We didn’t have resources or someone well connected to metros to find out the details of scope for her.


And her years passed off teaching the neighborhood girls Kathak & painting , and engaging herself in free bridal make up services only in well close relations.

But there was a time, when we had to see the scopes of hers to find her day of bridal appearance. Her marriage searches started off. Newspapers were scanned for matrimonial ads. Ma emphasized that as she gets dressed in her best in functions and Durga Puja. Might she can draw in someone’s attention !

Its told, in our side unless the father’s sandal’s sole erases out, getting a groom is not possible. But this time, having her ultimate faith on me, I have to share the roles as well as decision with Baba.

Nights of ours just spent exploring all the possible scopes to us. Never we slept before 11 pm. It appeared as if we are desperate to send her out somewhere unknown. Family members’ opinions and discussions went on.

I think in these times, Ma’s duties increased to keep pushing Baba for efforts of groom searching. And endless were the talks of Ma-Baba, sometimes taking shape of arguments. Though Baba averred me as always taking Ma’s side, I managed their opinions, and derived the common thread between their opinions !

I made a presentable bio-data of hers as the best girl in the world. And next tasks were getting some of her snaps. Really difficult task one ! There were some of hers snapped in the local studios. And we started to search her best appearing snap, where everything looks perfect. Even the plates of saree, fingers well arranged, long hairs displayed with decency – and we got some picture perfect snaps. But among around 10 selected snaps with varied angles, we could choose out only two – in those she looked more beautiful. The interesting thing was both of them were snapped on our roof, not in studios! These snaps were snapped by our photographer, Vilash uncle, who came some day on her call, and everything went unnoticed to us until snaps bills came to Baba. Rest all hundreds of bucks spent in studios could not bring her natural smile in artificially painted studio backgrounds.

And this side, whenever I used be in journey for possible approaches, I had to but a weight on my heart. From the day, she appeared into our house, she had been lucky for the family in many more ways. And the fact is, from the day she left us; we became almost dispersed family and unable to manage the same. And it wouldn’t be same ever again, unless such a pious soul again enters our home in any form.

With every possible negotiation talks, there were budding hopes, dreaming castles and sudden or slow melting of the same too.

One of them is worth interesting, when Ma wanted to buy the groom !

Without going into details, I would like to mention, her two line statement to the mediator over phone was, “Why 5 lakhs, I shall give 7 lakhs to Mr. X , for his handsome engineer son. And as I might have paid such a pretty sum, he has to just leave his son, and he will be only ours forever! ” – she smiled back on the customs again.

And our children union, we needed some smart gossips to just pass off the time.

In our children arena, we calculated the good grooms available on that day. Suppose there are 100 Hindu guys to be married, in our contact. As we have managed till now a teetotaler culture, so seeing the habits of current generation, 70 will be out in screening test only. In rest 30, 10 guys will be already committed as Bengali girls are smarter to catch up job holder guys early, 10 guys will be searching for paper ad type beauty queens. In rest 10 guys, 5 will seek for professionally settled girls in preference. So there are only 5 guys for us in 100s. In rest, 5 we have to choose out one who will give her full opportunity to fly high. But where is 5’s and who is the last one, who will accept her, as she is.

Outside home, in the practical battlefield front, while meeting parents and guys, I knew how to evaporate the ego (be it mine or others), how to bring out their suppressed humanity, to start a genuine relation. And used to return home with bundles details to be talked till late nights, about people and their opinions, ideas and future preferences.

From our relatives and friends at home, many proposals came positive, some of them looking so great that, we can’t even dream off. Some places, she needed to be prepared to make compromise a lot. But as Ma have decided early that, we wouldn’t ever tell no to any guest. Let everyone come, respect the guest with your best and leave the fate to the Almighty.

The mantra worked well. One day in Tata Indica, came 5 guests. The guy, his sisters and uncle and friend. And we were prepared for a customary bride exhibition function (which I disliked most ). But this time by courtesy of the guests, they turned that into a casual homely talks.

Like others, they too departed and before departure the guy did our formal pranaam with manner and shacked hands with us (and with my sister too) and waived hands high with a wide smile, while getting back into the car.

Omen was well read.

Next Sunday, his parents, or better to say that the parents of the smart, fair and tall guy, accepted well the choice of his son, whatever she was, whole heartedly.

They invited us for their verification of house, business etc.! I predicted about, down to earth father-in-law, if the dream like day was going to be true.

After a minor verification by my parents, they decided to move ahead. Though I was told several times, but I was not willing to verify, and I was very much confident on the confidence of the guy and had chosen him out in the first glance only, as I had meet several other prospective grooms too.

On 21st day of their visit, his Tilak (Aashirwadi ) was done, as they wished . Marriage day was fixed. There was a gap of 4 months between his tilak and marriage. And the girl’s aashirwadi was not done, as if still she was free to move.

Ma & PinkyThe hazy snap of Ma & Pinky right here is taken out from the video clip, before we were to depart for Aashirwadi. Her fingers are still coloured with red alta, she just applied around Ma’s feet. Hope her fingers are dry :).


It was again another Saturday evening after one month of Aashirwadi. The to-be groom’s parents were at our home for some homely talks regarding marriage arrangements.

In the same evening, I received a call of my good friend, who was at home in vacations. He is a well placed professional in a reputed MNC in UK.

Sister was well noticed and well appreciated by his mother, much before, but never expressed clearly that to us. And undeniable fact is, on her face, she carries simplicity and a natural smile that’s obviously appears on the faces of many the small town girls or those who come from small towns.

Though we too thought some times to make a proposal as best relations never expect those bits of ego, but we could not approach them, as they might fall in ( prime ) dowry group as the status of groom and Ma’s unwillingness to promote this system. Other thing, we were not sure, as how much they will be able to give wings to fly, to a girl, as per her wishes, born in a Bengali culture.

He holds a command affection with me, and told that along with his parents he was coming next day. I scented his voice and purpose. I told there are guests related to her marriage at our home. He heard the news of negotiations of my sister are going on. And at the same time, he confirmed whether aashirwadi of her’s is done or not.

And as planned they were at our house next morning. And I respected them a lot, since last 10 or more years he has been like my brother and of course his parents like my own uncle-aunty.

But seeing the guests already present there, as early bird, they were really calm and the situation left me in real life dilemma. Their eyes were clearly hopeful still. And when luck brings to many things together, we are unable to decide whom to hear; heart or mind.

And it was our turn to decide. Whom to choose, if possible?

One with such a good qualification, a pay-package enough to raise the eyebrows of most of today’s girl’s, good looking NRI and best aspect was known to me since more than 10 years with all nitty-gritty of the personality.

Other with a B.Com of Kolkata university, an entrepreneur as well as a small tea estate owner. He does not have a pay –package, but earns hard worked profit, may be not comparable with a heavy NRI pay-package. The only concerned thing was, his past record and current actual status still unknown. How he may turn out for her in future, was not known to us. And visiting UK so easily, will be dream for him at least.

Houseful of guests. More lucks at home !

With opportunity of so many guests at home, varieties of Bengali cuisines were being served. And desperately, we needed a private talk among we family members that time, for a decision, if possible again.

And kitchen is the ultimate place of ours for such moments. I had to decide to an extent and I already decided something in my head.

I called sister in a another room. And told her – “See this is a once in lifetime chance. Your future is depending here. May your luck is giving you the better, that you deserved. About that guy I am sure and as well as for my friend, I am much more sure. Both’s parents are here today, and both of them want you with all the respect.”

“Dada, what ever you are telling that’s correct. You are thinking better for me. But now I am committed to him, as you people have done his aashirwadi too.” – She tried to make me understand.

“His is done, but your aashirwadi is not done. You can decide again, it’s a chance of UK, and best of out of this life, we could never think off, and a family that will be caring for you ever. You can fulfill all your dreams there. ” – I kept trying to convince her.

“Everything is fine. But he was the first to chosen me this way. I have talked with him too after aashirwadi. How I can think off leaving him alone here, and go for UK.” – She was moving her eyes away from me.

I recalled about her dreams of growing high with my best possible logic.

And she was undeterred and tried to avoid hearing my suggestions further. She hurried off to kitchen to help Ma.

Alone I was left in room. I was not pained at all. I was a proudest brother on the Earth of having such a sister of mine.

This coincidence of coming another guests with a prospective NRI guy, spread into guy’s family afterwards. And there was created a beautiful impression for a girl, ready to embrace her.

Before this day, at her to-be in-law’s house, I have seen her photo, that we sent for proposal, had been framed beautifully and kept on a single table between two newly bought flower vases in the drawing room. I never imagined this !

And she got married with best possible arrangements and best possible reception at their end. Though for us, we do prefer a very simple traditional Bengali marriage, but for her, I kept all our principles knowingly away for her dream day.

And she still receives the best care from her life partner, for the sacrifice she did or commitment she showed.

Her in-laws village is 35 km inside the national highway, but a well developed one with all facilities. However I can console my self, its worth to say, the place is never a chance to grow her talents, as she dreamt off. But the good thing is that , every one is flexible to let the couple reside in Darjeeling’s down town, where the guy have runs own business.

Willingness never dies. Creativity can’t be hidden. After few months of marriage, there was a day when in her neighborhood of in-laws house, a young girl wanted to learn classical dance from her. And happily from home, she carried her payals with her. And she started her one- student -class for just sake of little fee and engaging the time. And the neighborhood must have again started vibrating in payals’s sounds in the in-laws house. The vibrations , I could hear it here too.

“Dada, I have danced a lot yesterday, though my legs pained a bit.” – next day she was telling me over phone.

मेरी प्रेरणा

आज फिर तुमने कह दी,
बिना सोचे, बिना समझे ।
मुझे थोड़ा जाने, अनजाने ।
भींग गयी मेरी पुतलियाँ,
पर न थे कोई आँसु ।
भींग गया मेरा दिल ।
कुछ पंक्तियाँ, अपनापन लिए।
बिना पहचाने कि मैं कौन,
या खुब पहचाने मुझे ।

वर्षों पहले सुनता था,
ऐसी ही कुछ पंक्तियाँ,
मेरी नगण्य शक्ति पर।
बस आज तक वही ,
सच होती गयी ।
पता नहीं क्यों,
उसके बिना रहता ,
मै एक अकिंचन ।

मैं ढुंढ रहा था,
काफी दिनों सें,
कुछ ऐसे ही शब्द ।
आज फिर तुमने कह दी,
दुहरा दी वही बातें ।
थोड़ा हँसकर,
मेरी नादानी पर,
मोती से तेरे दाँत ।
थोड़ा गर्वित,
मेरे कारनामों पर,
होंठ कह गये कुछ पंक्तियाँ,
बस समझाकर ।

मैं उतावला नही दिखता,
पर सच पुछो तो – हूँ ।
पर लगता है फिर आज,
चुपके धड़कता है दिल मेरा ।
सच होंगी तेरी पंक्तियाँ,
सच होंगे मेरे सपने,
तु है फिर मेरी प्रेरणा ।

Chiranjeev (Jeev) Milkha Singh

“Let not people say you are Milkha’s son. Let them say I am Jeev’s father” those are the words of encouragement Milkha Singh gave to his son when the child Jeev started the career in Golf. Unlike athletics, which almost ceases after 30, Jeev wanted a career which can be played for more time. Surprising is it went unnoticed for many that, Jeev’s mother Nirmal too was the captain of Indian volleyball team.

In the teenage days, I had read about Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh. His will power on practicing bare feetMilkha Singh and his failure (success of breaking a world record) at Rome Olympics by distance of 0.1 second for a bronze is still having lessons for Indian youth. Those times stories inspired me to be at least as an athlete, hence active in sports, enough for a shy guy. To me among all the sportsmen & athletes, he deserves a fine place.

Still on athletics circuit, the father is unsatisfied as he wants to witness an Indian athlete winning an Olympic Gold Medal.

His golfer son, Jeev’s fourth feat in a year, after clinching Nippon Series proved himself icon in Indian golf circuit. Today Jeev is in top 50 in the world golf ranking. Among lakhs of Indians, I too was waiting for this day as Milkha couples must have waited.

Jeev Milkha SinghMay be like almost all parents, Milkha’s wanted to see their dreams come true from their children, if they could partially fulfill them. The talent becomes rewarding when parents recognizes them and provide them abundant opportunity to grow. Wonderful is that, Mikha’s name as well winning attitude of parents is intact with Jeev’s personality.

Though Golf is not a common man’s sport in India, but the respect, money and ultimate satisfaction of hard work, Jeev acquired, and still is to achieve, is really brilliant.

The only thing in such Indians undefeatable is the attitude !

ISKCON Bangalore – 1

ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The society is the outcome of hard work of 12 years of his divine grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ( Photo left side), established on 11 July 1966, and spread Krishna to the west. I am a regular visitor of the temple for the reason of my own solace out of my consciousness.

ISKCON is just again a vision of globalization of Krishna consciousness, arising from a small place of West Bengal. This has turned out to be a multinational organization/ society. In west Bengal, the Gauriya Math (The Gaurango-Nitai – devotees photo -right) is the center of Krishna devotees. And ISKCON is the outgrowth of its sibling which has succeeded with its approach.

Now the good thing, I noticed there while registering for the Yoga retreat course (I shall write more once I attend it), that those great MNC guys coming for solace like me. Most people I see in the MNCs are seeking for some sort of satisfaction in their daily monotonous (strenous) life. The course may be one of such way to find the solution.

ISKCON Bangalore is just not a temple of Hindus, but a society building to spread the basic Indian cultural values all over the world for the consciousness about the Krishna avatar which is the most popular in Indians. The thing which made this organization successful is its youth power. The priests/managers are young; many joined after leaving the lucrative jobs and hone the technical/managerial/literary expertise. Their fund raising efforts are well crafted, and I do support this with active participation.

Not as a devotee of particular religion, but as a unique persona, I do feel that Religion is just not the specific way of remembering the supreme and finding or not finding the shape out of it, it’s the way we try to understand the relations between “I and around”.

WTO and Kamal Nath

The average Indian is not aware of Hong Kong WTO resolution. Kudos our Minister for Commerce and Industry Mr. Kamal Nath ,who took lead on behalf of developing countries and persuaded them towards free trade in banking and telecommunication. On behalf of these countries, the import restrictions reduction and making a point of lessening the subsidy on agriculture by developed countries leading to zero subsidy were remarkable steps. Unlike Kankum and Doha submit this summit of WTO at Hong Kong got something at least for long term benefit. Although the important point to note is that it was give and take negotiation with 30 hours debate magic.

Thanks God, he is not among the Operation Duryodhana's MPs.

Kamalahasan Speaks – and I like that

In a column, Kamalahasan spoke of himself in the Telegraph- ETC, 31st Dec, 2004 issue. I would like to share it with you .

On self: I am first a fan of Kamalahasan. You must appreciate what you are doing. Tell me, when do you become a respectable person in society? When you start respecting yourself .That is when you take care of yourself. That is when you comb your hair, groom yourself and cleanse your body. You do all this because you respect yourself. You may not wear a dress because you may not look good in that. My being a fan of Kamalahasan is also like that.

On criticism: I might even agree with the person if it is sensible criticism. There are some people who criticize because they have to do to. Icon-bashing is the greatest of all sport. I can spot that at once.

On Performance: Very easy. If you kept criticizing yourself, the zenith of it is suicide , You hate yourself so much that you are you are ready to kill it . Yes, I said ‘it’ and not him or me. So criticism is easy. Some people suffer from it because they don’t know when to stop criticising. It is like eating sweets. You must stop when to stop.

On filmmaking: No profession is as versatile as this one. If you ask me how many days I work in a week, I would reply I don’t work. It has been nearly 20 years since I worked. Acting ceases to be work because I enjoy it. But it feels like working when I do bad work, especially when I know it is bad …. I am a fan of cinema. I am so fortunate that it also happens to be my chosen profession. That happens very rarely.