Monday, January 23, 2012

Review of the Play - Hum Safar (Hum Suffer?)

Most stories end with "And they lived happily ever after" or at "And they were unhappy for the rest of their lives". This, however, was a story that started with "And then they were divorced.... "

When we tell the story of a marriage, we start at the nuptials (or maybe the courtship if we want to be all propah about it), and we end it at one of the following end points:
the death of either spouse, the marriage of children  or the flying of the nest, the separation and the subsequent reunion. And maybe, just maybe, at the divorce that does not lead to a reunion.

This, however, is a story that starts AT the divorce. After 15 years and 2 children, a couple decides to part ways. The play starts with the night of the divorce, coincidentally, also, the night of their 15th wedding anniversary..

And then, like a river, it meanders through the lives of those 2 protagonists as they deal with the separation, and continue to bump into each other in ways that co-parents must - the children, deaths in the family, so on..

This play is a classic must watch. If not for anything, just for Lubna Salim. She has enough stage presence to light up an entire stage  by being in it. There is no other performer on stage - just these 2 - in Delhi, it was Harsh Chhaya and Lubna Salim.

The play also has Gulzar's poetry in his own voice - a treat, and extremely well selected - that poetry does a lot of story telling in the play.

Most people in the audience will identify with the play. We will all see slices of ourselves in those 2 characters.. its a rare performance that makes u uncomfortable in your seat. And in your comfort zone. This was one of those performances.

One of the Gulzar poems used in the play says "Rishte agar hum libaason ki tarah badal sakte... " but you see, thats not possible, not just bcs of shared children and logistics, but because... relationships are not bought off the shelf. They have to be woven bit by bit..

Multiple dialogues from the play come to mind. But here is the one that stayed the most:

Husband: All these years later, and still a bitch.
Wife: Better than being a bithch-ari (bechari)

The play got a full hall standing ovation last night. And i woke up at 4 in the morning, thinking of the character of Lubna Salim. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

paid holiday for elections - ONLY if u vote

As usual, there is a plan to give people a paid holiday to vote. But what most people end up doing is watching movies at home, finishing the monthly grocery shopping et al..

soo... methinks.. suppose, we make this a paid holiday, ONLY if you come back the following day and show your office the black ink mark. you can fake it of course, but at least some people might go to vote for the paid holiday.

i understand the logistics pain.. having someone in each floor to check the ink marks of employees.... how to know when someone has faked it.. but at least, it will get people thinking about why they have been given that holiday. and maybe, just maybe, a few of our great indian middle class will make its way to the polling booth.. leaving some of that apathy at home.. ?

what do u think?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

tu zinda hai to zindagi ki jeet par yakeen kar..

.. agar kahin hai swarg to utaar laa zameen par..

right now, am just posting the youtube link... will post lyrics later..

these lines - tu zinda hai to zindagi ki jaat par yakeen kar.. have pulled one out of many, many dark moments.. should u get up and get working ? if u r still breathing, you should... :-)

ya dil ki suno duniya vaalo... from anupama

it takes a lot of screen presence to stand in a room full of ppl - no props.. Dharmendra is among the few who could have pulled it off...

yaa dil kee suno duniyaawaalon
yaa mujh ko abhee choop rahane do
main gam ko khushee kaise kah doon
jo kahate hain unako kahane do
ye fool chaman mein kaisaa khilaa
maalee kee najar mein pyaar nahee
hasate huye kyaa kyaa dekh liyaa
ab bahate hain aansoo bahane do
ek khwaab khushee kaa dekhaa nahee
dekhaa jo kabhee to bhool gaye
maangaa huaa tum kuchh de naa sake
jo tum ne diyaa wo sahane do
kyaa dard kisee kaa legaa koee
itanaa to kisee mein dard nahee
bahate huye aansoo aaur bahe
ab ayesee tasallee rahane do

just the current song in head.. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If you forget me (Pablo Neruda)

 I want you to know
one thing.
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Thank you: this gem was also found at the browsing corner group. :-)

pablo neruda - 1

"I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love"

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

Pablo Neruda, “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII” from The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, edited by Mark Eisner. Copyright © 2004 City Lights Books.

in gratitude: this poem was picked up from the facebook page of delhidreams. thank you!

Devesh Matharia's poem - from the browsing corner

चुप हो तुम
बहुत चुप...

तुम बिस्तर पर साथ हो लेकिन
यूँ लगता है...
... रात बिछा कर साहिल पर
एक खामोश नदी को ताकता हूँ...

कहाँ गई वो कलकल बहती हंसी तुम्हारी
कहाँ गए वो आबशार जो तुमने पैरों में बांधे थे
कहाँ छुपा दी है तुमने
वो चढ़ी हुई त्योरियां
किस दराज में रख कर भूल गए हो
अपनी आँखों के सूरज

उठो... देखो... बोलो...
जानम ज़रा आँखें तो खोलो...

चुप हो तुम
बहुत चुप...

कहाँ गई वो तितली
जो मेरे कंधे पर उड़ आती थी
कहाँ छुपाई तुमने वो पंखुड़ी
जो होंठ मेरे छू जाती थी
मेज़ पर यह चाबियों का छल्ला क्यों रख छोड़ा है
तुमने इस घर को लावारिस सा क्यूँ छोड़ा है...

फिर हक़ से आओ न
मेरी छोटी बातों पर... फिर झाल्लाओ न
ख़त कितने भेजे हैं मैंने
ख़त से लिपटो... ख़त में बैठो... ख़त से घर आ जाओ न...

आओ... देखो.. बोलो...
मुझसे मिल कर चाहे रो लो...

चुप हो तुम
बहुत चुप...

यह आसमान पर बंधी हुई चादर को खोलो
घुटने लगा हूँ अब तन्हा मैं
तुम अपनी बातों की सांसें खोलो...

चुप हो तुम
बहुत चुप...

- देव -
as usual, translations welcome :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Lohri

From the bad times, came good things... patience, perseverance, courage..

When things get worse, one is forced to become better at looking for sustenance within..

At the worst times, we discover the best in ourselves...

Thank you God, for the Sacred Fire... Happy Lohri..

PS: As an afterthought, has it occured to you that most rites of passage have a fire ritual attached? :-)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

more sylvia plath

I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.
I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.