Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Right, Ability, and Responsibility of an Opinion

 मत देने से पहले सुनिश्चित कर लेना चाहिए 

मत का अधिकार। 

सभा में बोलने से पहले, सभासद होने की योग्यता ज़रूरी है। 

अंतर है 

मत के अधिकार 

और मत की क्षमता में भी। 

और मत की क्षमता, मत देने का 

उत्तरदायित्व नहीं है। 

This is not really a poem. It tries to explain 3 concepts that I have been thinking of a lot. 

Since the advent of social media, we live in an opinion epidemic. One would expect reasonably intelligent people to know when to speak up, and when to shut up. But apparently, social media performed some sort of invisible brain surgery and took common sense away. Overnight, we all lost our ears and were blessed with a thousand tongues, that could wag at the same time. We were experts at whatever was happening anywhere. From Palestine to America, from Military affairs to public health, we were specialists at everything. What is even more appalling is that opinions are expressed, not from a place of humility (I may not know much, but I feel~) but from a place of blatant entitlement. The 

The right to have and express an opinion

 Before you speak at the table, you must have a seat at the table. 

Do you have a locus standi? Are you a stakeholder in the issue? 

If not, you may have an opinion, but seriously, it has no weight.

The ability to have an opinion 

I am a Sikh. That gives me a seat at the table for issues related to the social ills we see within Sikhism. But my exposure to them is so limited that I have neither anecdotal nor scholarly inputs to offer. There is the right, but not the ability to offer an opinion. 

The responsibility of an opinion 

And this brings me to the wise old owl. The more he saw, the less he spoke. The right and ability to have an opinion - does it place upon our shoulders the responsibility to have an opinion? What do you think? 

My experience has been that in almost every sphere, the truly aware do not speak as often, or as much. What has been your experience? 


 मैंने देखा है 

कि बागीचे के पौधों को 

वसंत और वर्षा में 

देखभाल की 

कोई जरूरत नहीं होती 

खुद ही उगते और पनपते हैं 


मौसम, खाद, कीट, सर्दी, गर्मी जैसी 

छोटी छोटी बातों का 

मोल ही क्या है? 

ग्रीष्म और शिशिर में 

देनी पड़ती है 

छाँव, गर्माहट 

मन का भी 

कुछ ऐसा ही है। 


Not so perfect English Translation: 


I have seen 

that the plants in the garden 

need nothing

during spring

and monsoon

They sprout and grow

as if on their own 

oblivious to 

small things like 

manure, weather, pests, or other silly things. 

Come summer or winter, however, 

and the very survival 

needs shade

and warmth. 

I think 

the human heart 

is a little like that too. 


Sunday, September 20, 2020

कतरनें - तुला

 कृष्ण के प्रति राधा का प्रेम, कृष्ण के प्रति मीरा का प्रेम - इनकी उपमा दी जाती है। 

कृष्ण का राधा के प्रति प्रेम, कृष्ण का मीरा के प्रति प्रेम - इनकी उपमा नहीं दी जाती। 

प्रेम में और तुला में, यही अंतर है। प्रेम में संतुलन नहीं होता। 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Poem on Hindi Divas हिन्दी दिवस पर कविता

हिन्द की भाषा हिन्दी
हम सब की माता हिन्दी

संस्कृत की बेटी
ज्ञान की पेटी

रंग  से भरी 
बचपन की परी

गर्मी में बनती बयार
जाड़े में कुनकुनी ज्वाल

मिट्टी की सौंधी सुगंध
लोरी माँ के आँचल संग

ऐसी मुझको लगती हिन्दी
मेरी अपनी, प्यारी हिन्दी

Note: This poem was written for my son's class assignment on Hindi Diwas. If reusing, pls give credit. Thank you!  

Today's original quote

In our films, the quality of production has gone up, the quality of direction has plummeted.

To watch a Bimal Da film, or any of the international classics, shows us what is missing in our cinema today - the heart and soul of story telling. 

Corporatisation has its benefits. Soulful cinema is not one of them. 

I don't meant the socialist cinema of NSD alumni. I mean directors who really had an individuality, a voice, a thing that they wanted to say in a certain way, and the standards that they held themselves to. 

I miss that. Truly. 

On reducing privacy and no one being appalled by it: 

Why are we humans in a race to become goldfish in a glass bowl? 

Sunday, September 06, 2020


में होता है
और अंत.

वृत्त में

Stories have a beginning, middle and end.
But in a circle, there is no such distinction.
Circles are complete unto themselves. That which is the start might well be the middle, or even the end.

The idea is from the Indian philosophy of Advait - non-duality. So long as we view time as a linear concept and see a duality between us and the world, there will be a concept of a beginning and an end. But the minute we view the entire cosmos as a unified whole, we understand that like a circle, it is complete and forever. There is no beginning, no end, no pain, no attachment, nothing except a feeling of wholeness and perfection. 

The wordplay is on the word for narration (vritaant) and circle (vrit) in Hindi.

Sambhaav/ समभाव

पहले बुद्धि
फिर अनुभूति
फिर समरसता
फिर आनंद
फिर प्रेम

इस से आगे का रास्ता
अभी नहीं देखा.

प्रेम से ऊपर
केवल दीप्ति
न स्रोत का ज्ञान
न गंतव्य की आवश्यकता