Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bachpan se...

अक्कड़ बक्कड़ बम्बे बो
अस्सी नब्बे पूरे सौ
सौ में आगा धागा
चोर निकल के भागा


पोशम पा भाई पोशम पा
लाल किले में क्या हुआ
सौ रुपये की घडी चुराई
अब तो जेल में जाना पड़ेगा
जेल की रोटी कहानी पड़ेगी
जेल का पानी पीना पड़ेगा
अब तो जेल में जाना पड़ेगा

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mere Dukh ki koi dawa na karo by Sudarshan Fakir

मेरे दुःख की कोई दवा न करो 
मुझे खुद से अभी जुदा न करो 


नाखुदा को खुदा कहा है तो फिर 
डूब जाओ खुदा खुदा न करो 


ये सिखाया है दोस्ती ने हमें 
दोस्त बन कर कभी वफ़ा न करो 


आशिकी हो के बंदगी "फ़ाकिर"
बे दिली से तो इब्तदा न करो...



Niti ke Dohe / नीति के दोहे

साई इतना दीजिये, जा में कुटुंब समाये,
मैं भी भूखा न रहूँ, साधू न भूखा जाए


God, grant me enough for my family. Let my family have enough to eat, and may we have enough to feed a guest who comes to the door.

Monday, October 16, 2017

On Childhood Depression

डॉक्टर: क्या तकलीफ है?


अभिभावक: ये हंसती बोलती नहीं है. हमेशा गम सुम सी रहती है


डॉक्टर: तो पहले हंसती बोलती थी?


अभिभावक: जी हाँ, पहले तो इतनी बातें करती थी कि क्या बताऊँ!


डॉक्टर: तो तब आप क्या करते थे?


अभिभावक: मैं इस से कहता था की बेटा चुप हो जाओ! मेरा दिमाग मत खाओ! चुप रहा करो!


डॉक्टर: और अब ये चुप रहती है?


अभिभावक: ओफ्फोह! मैंने अभी तो बताया आपको!


डॉक्टर: अच्छा. तो इलाज की ज़रुरत किसे है?


अभिभावक: इसे है, और किसे है?


डॉक्टर: ठीक है. मैं दवाई लिखे देता हूँ. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Random thoughts on love and life..


I keep staring at my WhatsApp all day, as if, magically, some meaning will pop out of a message there and enter my life.


**************
Love is not a linear scale. We don't love people more or less than each other. Love is a radial diagram. We love everyone in a different way.
***************

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why do you write in Hindi

क्यों लिखते हो हिंदी में?
ये बिकती कहाँ है?


इसीलिए लिखते हैं साहब 
ये बिकती नहीं है. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

आओ माँ, मेरे संग खेलो !

आओ माँ, मेरे संग खेलो !


रुक जा मुन्नी, सांस तो ले लूँ !


देखो  माँ, गुड़िया मेरी है
कितनी देर इस ने झेली है!
रूठ गया ये मेरा बादल
कहता अब मैं खेलूंगा कल!


मोटर कार भी हुई पुरानी
पर तुमने ये रेस न जानी
हवाई जहाज़ में जंग लग गया
राह तकते हर कोई थक गया!


सब काम तुम्हारे हो जाते हैं,
बस यही एक काम न होता
मेरे संग खेलो न, अम्मा,
कहते कहते मैं बन गयी तोता!


अच्छा गुड़िया रानी आओ,
मेरे सारे काम भुलाओ
तुमसे बढ़ कर क्या है परी जी,
ले आओ अब अपनी छड़ी जी


हम तुम देर शाम तक खेलें
बाबा की भी राह न देखें!
न दाल बनेगी न तरकारी,
खुश हो गई न, मेरी प्यारी!



Sunday, October 08, 2017

Katranein / कतरनें


तुमने बहुत बरस मेरा इंतज़ार किया न?


हाँ.


पूरे १८ बरस. 


अभी आगे के ३० बरस तो साथ के हैं. सौदा फायदे का रहा!


और जो मैं ३० बरस न रहूँ? जो मैं दग़ाबाज़ी कर के जल्दी ही चल दूँ, तो?


जो तुम कल ही चल दो, मेरे साथ कल तक भी न रहो, तो भी ये सौदा फायदे का ही रहा. 



Saturday, October 07, 2017

ਫਸਲ / फसल / Harvest


बीज तो अपने दिल में रोपा जाता है
दर्द खाद है
कविता उगती जाती है। 


The seed is sown
in the heart
Pain provides the nourishment
and Poetry is born.


ਰੋਪੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਜੀ ਨੇ
ਪੀੜ ਨੇ ਪਾਈ ਖਾਦ
ਕਵਿਤਾ ਉਗਦੀ ਵੇੜੇ
ਨਾ ਅਥਰੂ ਨਾ ਪਾਸ਼। 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Sher on reaping the benefits of hard work

धूप कब तक मुझे जलायेगी,
कल मेरे पेड़ भी बड़े होंगे 


Dhoop Kab tak mujhe jalayegi
Kal mere peD bhi bade honge..
- I think its by Bashir Badr, but not sure..

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Khilone Vala by Subhadrakkumari Chauhan

वह देखो माँ आज 
खिलौने वाला फिर से आया है 
कई तरह के सुन्दर सुन्दर 
नए खिलौने लाया है 
हरा हरा तोता पिंजरे में 
गेंद एक पैसे वाली 
छोटी सी मोटर गाडी है 
सर सर सर चलने वाली

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Professionalism in India -circa 2017

Happiness is:

1. People unable to tell the difference between a page of propaganda and a pic borrowed from a site.

2. People cancelling a handshake deal over the phone, claiming that they "did not register" the first condition that was told to them, then calling up 2 months later as if nothing has happened and asking when we can start working. 

3. People adding clauses to a contract just because they can. The entire contract is messed up and wrong. 

#allinaday'sjobonplanetearth.. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

On Dussera and the burning of Ravan


महसूस किया है कभी
उस जलते हुए रावण का दुःख
जो सामने खड़ी भीड़ से बारबार पूछ रहा था.....
*"तुम में से कोई राम है क्या*❓

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Random Clip art - because we like to share




Trees in Summer

Cloud Art

Cloud Art

Water Color - Background

Water Color for Background

Cherry Tree Water Color

Tree - Water Color

Big flower - Water Color

Water Color Flower Bouquet

Basic Fruit Basket Water Color

Water Color background

Water Color Rameshwaram Temple

Water Color Solo tree

Nightscape Water color

Orange Oil Pastels Clip Art

Child's Ball wax crayons clip art

Pot oil pastels clip art

canopy water color background

Embroidery tulips clip art

Tree Stump Photo

Sanskrit Vibhakti Clip Art

The vachan in Sanskrit Clip Art

Shabd Roop Sanskrit Logic Clip Art


Why relationships break


यह : पिछले कुछ दिनों में, तुम पर कुछ अधिकार सा बोध होने लगा है.. जैसे मेरा तुम पर कुछ अधिकार हो.. 


वह: ये तो अच्छा है. अधिकार तो है ही, तुम्हारा मुझ पर. 


यह: नहीं. क्यूंकि ये अधिकार एकतरफा सा है. अपने ऊपर तुम्हारा अधिकार मैं नहीं महसूस करती।


वह: तो.....?


यह: तुम पुरुष हो. समर्पण तुम्हारी प्रकृति में नहीं है. तुम केवल अधिपत्य जानते हो, समर्पण नहीं। एक तरफ़ा वर्चस्व समर्पण मांगता है. तुम स्वीकार नहीं कर पाओगे, इस दशा को. 


वह: हाँ, ये तो है. 


यह: तो फिर मैं अपना अधिकार बोध वापिस लेती हूँ. तुम पर मेरा कोई अधिकार नहीं।।


वह: हाँ, ये ठीक रहेगा।


यह: अच्छा।


वह: अच्छा।

Friday, September 29, 2017

Punjabi Lokokti and Muhavare

ਹੋਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਹੋਰੀ ਦੀ ਤੇ ਅੰਨ੍ਹੇ ਨੂੰ ਡੰਗੋਰੀ ਦੀ


This means that everyone looks for something that is of use to them.


ਘਰੋਂ ਜਾਈਏ ਖਾ ਕੇ, ਤੇ ਅਗੋਂ ਮਿਲੇ ਪਕਾ ਕੇ,
ਘਰੋਂ ਜਾਓ ਭੂਖੇ ਤੇ ਅੱਗੇ ਕੋਈ ਨਾ ਪੂਛੇ


Don't leave your house without eating in the morning. If you eat at home, you will meet abundance wherever you go. But leave hungry, and no one will ask you for food all day.
My bua used to use this one on me when I wanted to leave for school without eating. I now use it on the child. :)


ਸੌ ਕੋਸ ਦਰਿਆ, ਤੇ ਸੁੱਥਣ ਮੋਢੇ ਤੇ
The river is still 100 kos away, but he has already put his clothes on his shoulder to protect them. (Unnecessary caution)



Children's poem on Navratri


अम्बा ,अम्बिके
दुर्गा , वैष्णो माता
कितने नाम हैं
कितना यश!
कहीं उपवास, कहीं मिठाई
कहीं नाचना , कहीं बधाई!
नवरात्रि में अम्मा
हम सब की तो मौज है आई!



Friday, September 22, 2017

हम से मिलने की दुआ करते
फैज़ इतने वो कब हमारे थे ?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lawyer Rohit Krishna Mahanta























Sometime in mid September, 2 documentary students were working near AIIMS. It was 1 am and they felt like having paranthas. They headed to a nearby stall. AIIMS is well populated and well lit all the time.


Something happened at this stall. Some reports say that they tried to save a man who was already being troubled by Rohit Krishna Mahanta, who was dead drunk at the time. Some say that they requested him to not smoke and he started abusing them and their religion. Either way, the 2 students left the scene soon after. But the drunk Rohit Krishna Mahanta would have none of it. He took his car, followed these two, rammed the car into their bike, and then dragged them on the road. He also hit 2 other vehicles after that, but he deliberately murdered only these 2.


Make no mistake - this was a hate crime directed against their religion. Gurpreet Singh's father indicated that Rohit Krishna Mahanta also blew smoke balls in their faces deliberately. He made statements like, "In Assam, I would have you killed and no one would know."


Why am I writing this? Because obviously, Rohit Krishna Mahanta is a man drunk on power. His father is a visiting faculty at IIT Delhi. He knows, even when he is drunk, that he can get people killed at will - Assam or Delhi makes no difference. So he will get out. Then he will go on to finish his Law degree, and he will become a lawyer. I hope that one day, when you are looking for him, google will bring you to this page. And you will see what he is really like.


He has not been arrested yet. Because he has also "sustained injuries" and is "undergoing treatment". However, he was well enough to be "released on bail" earlier. He is practising under a standing Counsel for the Assam government.


http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/21-yr-old-bhatinda-student-killed-after-no-smoking-request-drunk-driver-allegedly-rams-into-bike-1753099


http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/asked-not-to-smoke-in-public-drunk-lawyer-runs-car-over-21-year-old-arrested/story-kCUmsxUxc5ARO0HSGqEXOM.html


http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/rowdy-student-runs-over-two-youths-just-because-they-objected-to-smoking-in-public-one-killed-330148.html


https://www.change.org/p/harpreet-kaur-hit-and-run-2-badly-injured-1-on-ventilator/



Friday, September 15, 2017

New Taxation that I would like to see

Everyone is saying that Income Tax rates are too high. I agree. I believe it is time to move from individual earning taxation to taxing on the basis of the burden an individual puts on the ecosystem.


So these are the 2 taxes I want:
1. Children Tax: The state allows you to have 2 children. You want more than that, you better be able to afford them and compensate for their carbon footprint on the world.


There's more: In a Christian wedding, before you get married, you have to undergo mandatory counselling in the church. I believe this is an excellent way to prepare people for life changes. There should be a mandatory mental fitness test that parents should have to pass before they have children. This will put an end to people who have kids just to get rid of pesky relatives. If you don't have it in you to be responsible for a child for 18 years, then please don't have children.


While adoptive parents have to prove a thousand things, the State takes no measures to ensure the safety and well being of biologically born children. If a couple is not fit to be a parent - they should not be allowed to have children. Because children are a nation's collective resource. And no child should be abused or ignored by indifferent parenting. Parenting is not a right or a fertility contest. Its a responsibility. If you can't take it, have the courage to tell your families. And to yourself.


2. Trash Tax: A person should be taxed on the basis of how much trash they generate. Commercial establishments too. This will ensure that 5 star hotels start serving their guests water in glass tumblers instead of generating plastic waste for every 200 ml of water their guests drink. This will ensure that people think before they buy. A mindful consumer will be rewarded in this way and the environment will be automatically better. Amazon will start shipping in containers that actually match the product being shipped. And people will learn to not waste food. If you do not do waste segregation at source, you should have to pay extra because someone else has to do it for you.


The Trash Tax will reduce consumerism, and therefore, will be bitterly opposed by the major companies of the world. I think it is time we decided, as a species, which we need more - the world, or the  growth of the companies.


The world has enough for our need, not enough for our greed. - This quote is usually attributed to Gandhi.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Loneliness


They printed it in the newspapers today
"Loneliness is fatal"
the headlines screamed


From the grave
I whispered,
"I know."

WHo were the bullies in Pathways Noida? Faizal Wani and Sahil

It was a guy called Faizal Wani and a guy called Sahil.


The fragile egos of the parents have been so proactive that they have immediately removed the hyperlinks that named the children. So I am going to post this in a few days, when their powerful snoops have stopped hounding the namers of their misguided children.


In an earlier post, I have posted the video. Here now is the story in the words of the child who got slapped so hard. Please read the full impact of this action on his life. Since you are a foreign university, you will anyway give admission to these children. And we are very glad that you will. This is precisely the kind of scum of the earth that we want to get rid of. Do us a favour - their parents are rich enough to buy citizenship in Canada or Switzerland. Please convince them to do that also. Losing the money is a very small price to pay to get rid of people like this. They are a walking (sorry, driving) threat to the rest of us.


I can bet that within 10 years from now, these children will have bullied their way. They may not have an FIR against their name, but they will have done enough tormenting.


Here is the letter:
Respected Principal, Teachers and my dear friends

I am writing this mail to express my feelings about how my school has handled this situation.

I also want to make it clear that I have forgiven all those who did this to me.

I did not attend today's assembly where kids who bullied me were to apologise to me, because I do not feel safe to walk back in to my own school.

I was slapped 4 / 5 days before this incident by another boy, and I had told the Principal about it. i did not hit back. Despite that, after just 4 / 5 days I was again attacked by a group of my schoolmates.

I have suffered a lot of pain and humiliation over the incident, but I am glad that they have said sorry to me. I hope that they have learnt their lesson and they will not frighten or threaten me or other children in the future.

This was not a "slap bet". I never made a "slap bet" with Faisal or any of the other boys who attacked/filmed me. Sahil made a bet with me, and no one else had anything to do with it.

Yet, my school has issued a public statement that this was a "consensual" slap bet incident between us. They have also said there was no bullying. This was intentional bullying.

I feel really sad to hear that. I feel really ashamed about this incident. They had ganged up on me since that morning, and made me so scared that I had no option but to let him hit me on my face without even flinching. Did you know that before this slap which was caught on video, he had slapped me but I had flinched because I have braces and he knew I have had a surgery in my ear when I was 4, yet he slapped me saying "nothing will happen, chill". Further, he told me that if I did not take the slap without flinching, the situation would be a lot worse.

I was afraid, and I am now ashamed of being afraid. Many people have asked me as to why I did not hit back or try to defend myself. The only answer I have is ‘fear’, the fear of getting hit again and harder. I knew for a fact that things would’ve gone ugly in the washroom. My upbringing has always told me that physical violence is never the right option.

Right after the incident, my mother was not informed about the incident by the School. She got to know about it only when a student sent her the video. She was also made to wait for 30 minutes outside the Principal's office before she could meet me.

I truly love my alma mater and I want to feel secure there. I spend seventy percent of my whole day at school. I hoped that at least my school would protect me and prevent such a thing from happening to me or anyone else. And so I have put my faith in the school.

If I’m not safe at school then there is no other place around where I would be safe.

I’ve always taken my academics seriously and have been doing fairly well at them but when things like these happen, it would definitely leave me traumatised and wouldn’t allow me to focus on the things where I need to.

But I feel most hurt because the school has called this incident "consensual", as if I am somehow to share the blame. I wish my school was more worried about my and other kid's wellbeing, who are bullied. But they have simply said there was no bullying.

I am in physical pain as well. I have been told by the doctor that my ear drum has been perforated with a large hole with internal bleeding. It was also said that I have temporarily lost partial loss of hearing in the left ear. As per the doctor, this should heal in 10-12 weeks. What if it doesn’t ?

I play squash 5 days a week, go for dance twice a week and the gym 3 times a week. The worst part is that I have to give up all of these until I get better. The doctor said that these activities would cause me greater pain and would stall or even stop my recovery. I was scared when the doctor had told me that there are a lot of chances of me losing my hearing permanently. I cried because I was scared and I think anyone else would be too.

Over the last four days I’ve had serious thoughts about quitting the school. However, when I woke up this morning I realised that I’m not the one who resorted to violence, would it be the right thing for me to give up ?

I respect and love my school, and expect that my teachers and friends will do everything possible so that I can come back to school with my head held high. I hope my school will stand by me, and make sure something like this does not happen to any kid in the future.

Yours truly
Rajveer Bansal

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Faizal Wani/ Faisal Wani

Take a look at this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSWPW9B8cZ4


This is Faizal Wani slapping a surrounded Rajveer Bansal. As a result of this incident, Rajveer lost 25% of hearing in one ear.


The boys were "suspended" for a short time. There is no legal action against them.


Because we have
http://www.indiatvnews.com/buzz/life-noida-pathways-school-bully-slaps-a-classmate-brutally-for-snapchat-boy-loses-25-of-hearing-400386


and this:
Faizal Wani


I am disgusted with this boy and his friends. I hate the whole lot and hope to hell that they die looking at their money burning.


and this isn't the first time. Take a look at this:


http://www.fashionscandal.com/2014/03/bullies-modern-school-vasant-vihar/

Saturday, September 02, 2017

कमल, चल घर चल - Baal Kavita

कमल, चल घर चल


घर में है चमचम
आ खा लें चमचम


चल घर चल


घर में है मलमल
कोमल है मलमल
आ ओढ़ें मलमल


चल घर चल


घर में है धनक
धनक में सब रंग


चल घर चल। 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

पेड़ / Trees

हरे हरे हरियाले पेड़
आँखों को लगें प्यारे पेड़


फूल, फल, छाया और लकड़ी
कितना सब दे जाते पेड़


वन से वायु, वन से वृष्टि
आओ हम सब लगाएं पेड़

Monday, August 28, 2017

Love: I


I have learnt
that love
is like sunshine.
You don't have to do anything to get it
except
opening the doors and windows
of the heart.
And if you don't,
It will warm the heart
from the outside
awaiting its time
day after day.






Love: II

I have learnt
that love
is like air
Its invisible
yet
everywhere.
The only time it becomes unbearable
is when
its not allowed to breathe.
Some days
like a breeze
it creates just the right weather
to be in.
Some days
it turns everything
topsy turvy
and annihilates.

Love: III

I have learnt
that love
is like water
It fills up
whatever it is put into.
It quenches
an ancient, primal thirst
That nothing else can.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Quote

Anything that can be bought for money or power is already too cheap.


With age, I become aware of the sheer uselessness of money and power beyond a point. But when we invest of ourselves, our own time, our own commitment and our own passion... that's the most precious resource we have. And when something asks us to invest that, what they are truly asking for, is to be a part of the core of our existence.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saas Bahu


If you want to understand how Saas bahu fights lead to divorces among couples, please learn from the Narayan Murthy-Vishal Sikka-Infosys story.

Friday, August 25, 2017

हम जो लोग हैं/ People like us

हम जो बावरे से लोग हैं,
बस कविता ही में रहते हैं 
कविता में आती हैं सांसें 
कविता में मर जाते हैं .


सब्ज़ी, भाजी, रोज़गार 
सब पचड़े पाल के रखे हैं 
देह हमारी मुर्दा मुर्दा 
हम जीवित बच जाते हैं .


एक स्वप्न के झूले पर 
सौर मंडल के पार निकलते हैं 
पिकनिक शब्दों संग मना कर 
फिर दुनिया में आ जाते हैं. 


पेड़ों के संग बैठक - अड्डा 
लोगों में सकुचाते हैं 
हम जो लोग हैं कविता वाले 
बस, ऐसे ही बतियाते हैं। 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Rubber Bands

Rubber Bands
snap
according to
their strength.


Some just fray
some get cut
some break under pressure
some get too old
and lose their ability
to get back to their former shape.


Its the same
with people.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Accidently

It was always a fragile peace
like 2 warring tribes
sharing the same mountain
or gangs
sharing
the same neighbourhood.




One slap, one drunken outburst
One day of intolerance
of the "couldn't-help-myself" behaviour
is all it takes
to start the war again
Then, seeing the bloodshed
a temporary truce called in
by the police
or the "social worker"


And that
is how one dies
after 20 years of marriage.
Or 7.
Or 2.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Disilusioned? Ignore that cacophony!

From 1930 to 1947, a gradual, but definite radicalisation was done. This radicalisation took in its fold rational intellectuals like Allama Iqbal (who went from translating the Gayatri Mantra to insisting on offering namaaz at a converted cathedral) and Md. Ali Jinnah(who went from being staunchly anti Pakistan in 1936 to being the Qaid-e-azam of Pakistan) - people who had grown up in cosmopolitan surroundings, had friends from all faiths and nationalities.


Even they were converted to radicalism by this paranoia of "Muslims cannot co exist with Hindus without living in perpetual fear." As a result of this, not one but 2 separate and new countries were created, for Muslims to live in peace, without fear and with freedom to practice their religion.


It has now been 70 years. History has seen the result of the 2 theories - that Muslims will live in fear in a Hindu country, and that Muslims will live well in a country of their own.


Today, I see the replay of that paranoia. I hear the same cacophony that played from 1930 to 1947. So, as a survivor of 1947, here is my humble request to you:


If you feel that Muslims are not secure or free to live as they please in India, please understand that this is not a new or original thought. With exactly this fear in mind, Jinnah has created 2 countries for Muslims to live free and happy. All you need to do is, prepare your citizenship papers, then go to the country of your choice, and tell them, "My forefathers made a mistake when they decided to continue living in India. Jinnah was right. Muslims cannot live in a Hindu India without fearing for their life and belief. Please don't punish me for the wrong decision of my grandparents. I need to join the dream that Jinnah saw for us."


But please, do NOT poison the air that we breathe. Because when I turn off your cacophony and look around me, I see Muslim craftsmen making Jain marble temples. I see maids saying "Didi I wont come tomorrow, its my Eid, and the Hindu didi putting enough money to cover the Eidi of all the maid's children. I see a national Muslim body saying they will sing Saare Jahaan se accha instead of Vande Mataram, and no one batting an eyelid.


This poison is worse than you can imagine in your wildest dreams. It killed millions of people in a gory, bloody journey, displaced millions, created orphans and widows who didn't care about religion in the first place. Just honest men and women concerned with earning their daily bread. My family went through this and By God , I do not want to go through this again. So please, unless you can control the consequences of your short term power hunger(and you cannot): SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Janmashtami poem for kids

प्यारे कृष्णा आओ न!
माखन हमें खिलाओ न
अम्मा नटखट बनने न देती
नटखट हमें बनाओ न!


आज करें हम मस्ती सारी
जन्माष्टमी है आज हमारी!


झूला झुलाएं, पकवान खाएं
कृष्णा के संग मौज मनाएं!



Thursday, August 10, 2017

The contribution of the Congress Party to the Sikhs

The Indian National Congress has played a very important role in modern Sikh history. There are 3 landmarks that must be remembered:


1. 1947 : As Amardeep Singh says in his book , the rioters during the partition came with the slogan - Hindu ka zar aur sardaar ka sar (Loot the Hindu and kill the Sikh), the Sikhs suffered more fatalities. This was because the Sikhs were considered more capable of fighting back and needed to be killed.


2. The partition of Punjab: The Congress party prevented the Sikhs from creating a strong regional party by convincing Master Tara Singh that he had a seat at the table and that Sikh concerns will be heard and absorbed in the partition talks. Instead, the Punjabi sooba was most mercilessly partitioned with no consideration for the ethnic mix. Most sacred Sikh shrines were handed over to Pakistan, where they now rot and are written about by Amardeep Singh. Not only that, the Sikhs were largely land owning farmers. Their wealth was stripped off them and remained in Pakistan as they escaped with nothing but their lives.


3. Post independence, Punjab was the first state to be broken into smaller states - even though Punjabi was spoken all the way from Delhi to Jammu - the original extent of the Punjab state. First Himachal, and then Haryana were carved out of Punjab with exactly one objective - the weakening of the Punjab state.


4. Who can forget Bhindrawale? Just to ensure that the Akalis do not get power on the basis of their allegiance to the Sikh panth, she created a monster that plunged Punjab into a decade of pointless, violent and inhuman terrorism. She should have been tried for the worst crime against humanity. 


5. After that, the 1984 riots happened. 3000 people were killed in 3 days on the streets of the national capital of India. Their bodies were swept away and rewarded with 1000 rs by the aakas of the riots. Read H. S Phoolka's book to know more on the subject. It has now been 33 years, and we are still waiting for the Indian judicial system to do its constitutional duty. In spite of 1984, no Sikh ever retaliated with violence. Not in 33 years.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the contribution of the Congress to modern Sikh history. This video sums it up rather well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_Kp8gsdne0&feature=youtu.be

On bullying and assertiveness


आज मैंने अपने बेटे को सिखाया 
डराओ मत, पर 
डरो भी मत 


हराओ नहीं 
पर 
हारो भी मत 

Why i worship Gurdas Mann

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_Kp8gsdne0&feature=youtu.be




47 ਵਿਚੋਂ ਲੰਗ ਕੇ ਆਈ ਸੀ, ਤੂੰ 84 ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤਾ..
ਹੁਣ ਖੌਰੇ ਕੇਦਾ ਵਰਯਾ ਦੇਣਾ ਈ




ਕੀ ਖਟਿਆ ਮੈਂ ਤੇਰੀ ਹੀਰ ਬਣ ਕੇ...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Indian Marriages

कितनी शादियां बचाई हैं
रातों की तन्हाई के डर ने

"जाऊंगी कहाँ? करूंगी क्या?" ने

"मैं तुम्हे दहेज़ के मामले में अंदर करवा दूँगी" ने

कितनी शादियां बचायी हैं
डर , मजबूरी, और खलिश ने.










Poorly translated, but here goes:

So many marriages have been saved
by the fear of lonely nights
"What will I do?" s
"I will get you arrested for dowry." s

So many marriages have been saved
by fear, emptiness and helplessness.
("saved" is satirical)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gentle reminder for the day..

जहां सफाई, वहां खुदाई


Cleanliness is Godliness...



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Book Review


Its hard to get a book that flows like  a gentle river and does not bore. For someone who is addicted to the pace of thrillers and murder mysteries, to be engaged with a book that does not have the pace of a Ferrari on a race track, is saying something.


The book has characters that are well developed, and you get the sense that you know them well. Asked to do a character sketch, you could easily visualise Mr. JLB Maketoni, Precious and even the young apprentice who has taken to the Lord.


The plot is simple, if one can call it that. It feels a lot like a slice out of a life that is ongoing. The reader is aware at all times that there was an eventful life before this book,  and there will be more events in these lives after the book as well. Yet there is a sense of completeness as one turns the last page. More like one has just gotten up from a very long high tea with close friends, than that one has just turned the last page on a book.


Compared to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, this one was a little short on the details, and there were some loose ends, which is rare for this author. For instance, how come Precious did not check up on the credentials of the rival detective agency? And how did that agency suddenly shut down? We can surmise, of course, but these are loose ends that leave the reader wondering..




Sunday, July 16, 2017

On Work Life Balance - The story of the scientist

Once, there was a scientist. He was brilliant at his work and it kept him very very busy. He was at his work all  the time - late nights, weekends, everything. This scientist spent no time with his family at all.


One day, his wife left him. He was very distraught and could not understand why. So he called her, and she told him that she had left him because he never had any time for her and the child, being forever busy with the work.
He was very sad to hear it.


After she left, he realised how hard it was to do the simple things in a house - to keep it clean, to have 3 meals on the table, to just sleep at night - alone. When he had returned from work, he had just assumed that his wife and child would be there, so when he went to sleep, he was not alone in the house. Even if he never spoke to them, he realised now how much their presence meant.


After a few days, he was very sad and lonely. It was impossible to both keep house and maintain his work. So he decided to make amends and called his wife again. He told her that he would change now, spend more time at home. That he had learnt his lesson. Could she and the child please come back?


The wife replied, "It is not what you do, my darling. Over the years, I have realised, this is who you are. It is not something you do deliberately. As a personality, you value your work above all else. If I come back, you will make efforts for a few days, but will eventually go back to being who you really are. No my dear, it is best that you live with that which matters to you - your work." And so saying, she refused to come home.


He was very sad after this talk and just could not concentrate on work. His colleague saw him sad and asked what had happened. He told him everything and then said, "The thing is, my wife is right. I am inherently like that. I do love my work above all else. But I also miss my family a lot. I don't know what to do."


The friend then said, " Let us say that you plant 2 trees at the same time. You have a limited amount of water and manure each day.  If you give all of your water and manure to one tree, it will grow big and strong and definitely taller and bigger than all other trees around it planted at the same time. But the other tree will wilt within a short time and die away. Then you cannot bring it back.


If you divide your water and manure among the 2 trees, they will both grow only moderately, you will never touch the heights that you could have touched with either, but they will both be in your garden.


This is a decision that we all have to make. If we pay no attention to the family, we can reach great heights in our careers, because our time and attention is the water and manure that we have every day. If we do work life balance, we must do so with the conscious idea that we will not win Nobel prizes in our profession so easily. But we will have a family to go home to.


Everyday, that water and manure - our time and attention, must be divided between the 2 trees. But most importantly, you must know,  that the trees are exactly the way you want them to be. It is, my friend, time for you to make a decision. If you want to rise to great heights in your career, you must abide by the decision of your wife - because she is right. And if you want your family, you must know, right now, that it will be wise to sacrifice some of your ambition. You will see some of your colleagues outshine you. And you must not regret or grudge them their success or ambition, for you have traded happily, the place on the podium for a place by the hearth. It must be a conscious decision - one that you take for yourself, and not one that is taken for you.  Your wife has taken a decision once for you. Don't let that happen again. Go home and think. "


With these words, the colleague left the scientist. The scientist came home and thought. All of that night and all of the next day he thought.
That night, he called his wife again. He spoke to her at length, and by next morning, she had come home with the child.


The scientist and his family were happy this time. They lived together for many years. Finally, the son grew up. He studied, and started earning his own living. It was then time for him to get married. He fell in love with a very smart young lady, and announced the decision to his parents. His parents welcomed the idea and the young lady into their home.


That night, the scientist took his son aside, and said, "There is something I must share with you. You do know that there are 2 pots in the garden that I always take care of myself. No matter how large the garden or how small, no gardener is allowed to touch my 2 plants. You have often asked me the secret of my fascination for those 2 plants. I will tell you today. It is not the plants. It is the pots that house those plants.


Many years ago, your mother left me because I had no time for you and her. When I pleaded with her to come back, she reminded me, that I was not busy at work so as to avoid her. This is who I was. And I would do it again. She was right, of course. Your mother always is. So one night, I brought these 2 tiny saplings home. I told her, that I was going to nurture both those plants. Every morning, I would water them the same way that I had divided my time between home and work the previous day. So if I had ignored my family for a day because of an important thing at work, I ignored the family plant entirely the next morning. On a good day, I would come home on time and spend time teaching you, asking her about her day and telling her about mine. On such a day, I would water and nurture both plants equally. On the weekends, I would not work. And then, I would not nurture or weed the work plant either.


In this way, the minute a plant starts to wilt, I will know that that aspect of my life needs attention. If one plant was not flourishing, I would know before any real harm came to my life. Over the years, those plants have been my daily reminders, companions and guides. When you get married, remember to plant such saplings, so that you and your wife always remember that a family needs attention too. That is the secret of my 2 plants, and why I wouldn't let any gardener interfere with those 2 pots."


The son was amazed to hear this. He had never imagined that 2 pots could mean so much to his father. Or to anyone. He had no idea that he really needed to work on being a family. He thought it just happened on its own. Then he reflected upon his own hours at work, and smiled. He was his father's son all right. He was going to need the 2 pots of his own.

Dard/ दर्द / Translations

दर्द 
यूँ तो 
हर भाषा में 
अपने ही तरीके से 
बयाँ होता  है 
पर एक स्तर के ऊपर 
मैंने देखा है 
कि 
दर्द का तर्जुमा 
बड़ा आसान सा हो जाता है 
चीख 
सबकी 
एक सी ही निकलती है 
और चुप्पी भी 
हर भाषा की 
समझ में आ ही जाती है ...
*******


ਪੀੜ
ਹਰ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ ਵਿਚ
ਵੱਖਰੀ ਜਤਾਈ ਜਾਣਦੀ ਹੈ
ਪਰ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਜਾਪਦਾ
ਜਿਦਾਂ ਇਕ ਮੁਕਾਮ ਤੋਂ ਪਰੇ
ਪੀੜ ਦਾ ਤਰਜੁਮਾ
ਸੌਖਾ ਜੇਹਾ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ


ਚੀਖ ਤੇ ਸਬਦੀ
ਇਕੋ ਜੇਹੀ ਨਿਕਲਦੀ ਹੈ
ਤੇ ਚੁੱਪੀ ਵੀ
ਹਰ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ ਦੀ
ਸੋਜੀ ਪੈ ਹੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ / ਸਮਝ ਆ ਹੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ
***********
Pain
no doubt
is described differently
in every language,
but I have observed
that when it crosses a certain level
it is really easy
to translate
the expression of pain


Screams
sound the same
in every language.


And it is possible
to understand silence
in any language.
**********

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More good songs.. for posterity

Swarg Nark

My dadi had a really strange theory


कोई स्वर्ग या नर्क नहीं होता. स्वर्ग और नर्क दोनों यहीं होते हैं. हर किसी को बूढा होना है और हर किसी को मरना है. धीरे, धीरे, दर्द से मरते हुए मरना, औरों पर मोहताज होकर जीना, यही नर्क है. अपने पैरों चलते जाना, बिना बीमारी के निकलना, यही स्वर्ग है.


Now, whenever I do anything bad, the picture of dying in pain, dependant upon other people, alarms me no end. Its a very effective threat.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

We don't live in a world of circumstances

Wrote this for the Edit today of TCP - the newspaper I make my child everyday.


Thought this was relevant in more ways than one. So posting it here


How many times have you heard people complain about other people? Things? The government?
Today, give it a shot and count. Chances are, we hear complaints at least 100 times a day. With friends, from teachers, on social media, in the traffic.
Now, take another survey. How many times in a day do you hear – “I am going to change this in myself to make that better.” I haven’t heard that in ages.
When I was very young, I went to my grandfather with a complaint. He listened to me and then asked, “Very well. What are you going to do to change that?”
“Me? But I am only a little person!”
“But you are one person, and you are affected. What are you going to do to change that?”
On that day, a transformation happened. That day, I stopped complaining, and started asking the question, “What am I going to do to change that?”


Think about that around you – are you going to stop taking shortcuts to your tuition class? Are you going to start doing your homework so that the teacher doesn’t have to be rude?
We often think that we live in a world of circumstances. We don’t. We live in a world of possibilities.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

21st century parenting


How did we learn life long lessons? In moments, in one liners
and sometimes,
on long, silent walks
In an admonishment
or a forced walk ...
to a Gurudrawa
the mandatory 20 minutes of "meditation" during which
we closed eyes and
rehashed jokes to ourselves.
In a prayer
heard only once
and read many times : Make me a channel of your peace".

The children, they are doing the same things.
Our parents
threw no security blanket around us
they trusted teh goodness of strangers
And that, methinks
is the only difference.
The goodness of others
And our belief in it
Are both rare commodities
getting rarer still.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Identity confusion

In the halfway home
between consciousness
and lack of it
I find
a longing
for  you.


At all other times
life is good.


Are you a station
on that route?
Or are you
the final saviour
before the abyss?

Monday, July 03, 2017

more one liners

ऐ मैं  क्या सारी उम्र जलेबी के थाल से मक्खियां उड़ाती रहूंगी? - on marrying a handsome man.


आज़ादी सिर्फ मर्दो की होती है।  - Begum Jaan, on Independence Day



Thursday, June 29, 2017

4 kos par paani badle, 8 kos par baani..

४ कोस पर पानी बदले, ८ कोस पर बाणी। 


This is an old saying from India that means, literally translated, "The quality of the groundwater will change after every 4 kos (12km app) , and the dialect will change at 8 kos (app 24 km) .


Here is what it means, specifically for the anthropologists:

 The 24 km diameter is a coherent unit of human habitation. Just like they found out that a person cannot have more than 150 "real" friends, someone extapolated that dialect must change beyond a certain point. A coherent, uniform settlement unit will use the same dialect.

 
I have found this one liner very useful when it comes to understanding differences in people - they grew up with different resources (4 kos par paani badle) and with different ideas, ideals and social structures (8 kos par baani)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Swiss Air Business Class Review

I usually don't do travel reviews, but this one, methinks, deserves to be done, because I did not find enough online when looking.


We travelled Delhi-Zurich and Zurich Delhi on a round trip in June 2017.


I am a big fan of Lufthansa's A 380 business class flying from Delhi to Germany. But this time, the destination was Zurich, and having a port of entry in Germany would have changed the visa process, the layover time everything. So we decided to risk it and fly Swiss Air direct to Zurich - an 8 hour flight.


For starters, there is no comparison. Swiss Air uses A 330 - a relatively old craft on the Delhi - Zurich line, and I don't think they have any A 380s. So that experience should be automatically discounted.


Even for an A 330, we expected a comfortable trip. In particular, since it was a night flight,  we expected comfortable beds so we could start the day refreshed.


Here is what works and doesn't work:
1. The crew from Zurich - Delhi was way better than the Delhi- Zurich crew. For starters, they actually responded to call buttons - within half an hour, sometimes less. The Delhi - Zurich crew is equipped with special call button ignoring devices that ensures that you get up from  your seat, go to the gallery and ask them for whatever it is that you want.


2. The business class does not provide bathroom slippers, just the stockings, so please carry your own. The washrooms definitely need the slippers bcs I don't think they were serviced as often.


3. There is just no stowage/ storage next to your seat! That is insane!


4. The crew does have at least one Hindi speaking member and announcements are also made in Hindi.


5.  The food was decidedly better on the Zurich-Delhi sector. The Delhi-Zurich sector, we asked for chocolates and were told that they are in the "rear section" and someone will have to get them. I stared at her incredulously. We were travelling to the chocolate capital of the world, on the national carrier, and they did not have chocolates for children on board! The result of this glare was that miraculously, a box of pralines was produced. I asked her to leave it there and we will return it when the child is done with them. This was done rather reluctantly.


6. The entertainment on board is very limited for kids, and the display is nothing to write home about. Its not convenient when you are lying down. For me, there were a couple of options, but can't say I enjoyed the selection. I just chose because.. well, there were 8 hours to be killed.


7. The recline, I think, is the biggest disappointment. If you want to recline at 45 degrees, curl your feet up and watch a good movie, this is how you do it: Activate the "bed", stop at the right incline, then put up the feet. I figured that out after some experimentation, so will help you.


8. The flat bed basically is the chair sinking down to the floor. So no window view if you are lying down.


9. The seating configuration. Really, you just have to see it to know what I mean. Go there. Checking out the config through online pictures does not do justice to the hilarity of that seat configuration.


10. Last but not the least, the crafts are old. So please expect the same experience that you would on board old Air India crafts. The date is roughly the same, as is the level of staining on the seat covers.




Will I recommend this airline and this class of travel? NOT for this price. The price is the same as the A380 Lufthansa business class, with a lot less thrown in.




The experience was hugely underwhelming.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe in Sukhwinder Singh's voice

Every time I heard Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe, I could only think of this being in Sukhwinder Singh's voice..
Here, then, finally, is Deh Shiva Bar Mohe in Sukhwinder Singh's voice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AN9-YDqwhU




And here are some other Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe renditions that merit a mention:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McRE3IUFsF4


Diljit Dosaanjh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiiZa8erSs4


Manna De: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zso6s79rw7s


Jagjit Singh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fVLx20jG8Q









Sunday, June 25, 2017

Anant Mutreja's poetry at Rekhta 2017

Anant recited these 2 pieces of poetry at Jashn-e-Rekhta 2017.  I just could not get these poems out of my head.. FINALLY got both those poems. Sharing them with you here:


Ma:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFYbqsNEL2Y


Biwi:
https://www.facebook.com/RekhtaForum/videos/1464635383559117/


Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Fathers' Day

"A father
is a banker
provided by nature."

The one liner may be funny,
but its not
in jest.

A father is the one who,
when you are packing for a trip
and the mother is busy packing things to eat
secretly tucks
some extra money
in your backpack
for you to find later.

When you ask a father
what he wants
for a birthday, anniversary, or Father's Day
the answer is usually "Nothing."

When people think of
unconditional love
they think of mother
and miss out
on fathers
smiling gently
as the family
narrates a picnic
or a day of vacation
well spent
while they toiled
at their work place.

To fathers
who invest
their time, involvement and love
in nurturing a child.
While also working
to provide..

Happy Fathers' Day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

10 day itinerary in Switzerland for Indians

1. You do not need 10 days in Switzerland if you are from India. If you want to see Jungfrau and Titlis, go to Eastern Himachal. If you want to see the rest of Swiss, to go Western Himachal or southern reaches of JnK.


2. Book EVERYTHING directly. Not through a travel agent. This includes insurance, ticket, visa and stay. The Swiss Airlines website offers insurance. Just take that. Everything else is a breeze. The VFS website for visa was more helpful than our stupid agent.


3. The place is one painting after another. There is good architecture and everything is overpriced.


4. Don't stay in a hotel. Use AirBnb and book an apartment. Europe has no concept of service. Better to at least get a good space for yourself.


5. Do not stay at the following places:
https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/schwizi-s-apartments/hotel/ringgenberg-ch.html?cid=-208


6. Buy a first class Swiss pass. It is better than the DB pass for Germany in that it covers all forms of travel within Swiss and gives you flexibility.


7. Do NOT buy cuckoo clocks or anything else. Everything from the same brands is available in India much cheaper.


Will share the itinerary etc. soon. But basically, we are bored to death on the 7th day.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

How to lose your advantage

In a country of 22 recognised languages and 2400 dialects, 90% of our reading is in English. Most of us cannot even read in an Indian language fluently.


Its not tragic for the languages. Its tragic for us. Our entire thought process is limited to what one language can offer. Its like being born in a university, and choosing to spend your life in a pre school.

Today's Gratitude

2 awesome things happened today..


1. I opened the balcony and heard the unmistakable sound of a.. lizard. Needless to add, there was a frantic Where-is-it search. After a while, I realised, the sound was coming, not from the vicinity, but from the green patch in front of the balcony. And its not a lizard.. its the sound of crickets in the forest. I have not stopped smiling since!


2. My son was trying to go play, and was wondering when his friends will reach the park. Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and I hear the loudest "Where are you, my friend? I am here!" - The entire gang was here!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The flora of Sikkim


Sikkim is a botanist's dream come true.
I am not a botanist, but the sheer variety or plants and leaves leaves one speechless.

So this trip, I tried to find out more about the local flora of Sikkim. To my utter dismay, while there were articles on the internet, not one of them referred to the local names of the plants. They had weird Latin names and some description. But the thing is, the people who live in these places have had a long standing relationship with these plants. They have names, and uses and truly a deep connect. Why is that knowledge not being captured anywhere?

So this is a different sort of feature on Sikkim flora. The next day, I took my driver with us as a guide, and requested him to tell me anything he could about the plants we found on our way. The Sikkim zoo is amazing for plant varieties, so that's where this is from.

The names are mostly Nepali, though some day I would love to go back and do the same thing with a Lepcha guide too.





Brush. About 1.5 meters in height. Red flowers in Feb-March.

Flowering shrub

सिंघानी - goat fodder

लांकूर - Timber. The leaves are dark, and roughly the size of mango leaves.

Cow fodder only.

This one is simply called red flower. Flowering shrub

सातो कावला - Tall, sturdy stem used for timber




पतले कातूस - used for timber


लाल चन्दन - USED FOR TIMBER

Jungle Patti. Used as cow fodder.

चुलात्रो  - only used for cow fodder

सांप का मकई - No particular use, and not a plant the locals are very fond of.

सांप की मकई leaves. The leaves have a gentle magenta outline and veins.

धूपी  - All conifer leaves are burnt in the gompa/ stupa for incense. And the smell is truly heavenly. Since they are used for Dhoop, hence the name Dhoopi.

तुसारे is a flowering shrub. No other use.

लालू पत्ती - flowering shrub


शिष्नु - edible leafy vegetable