Sunday, September 05, 2021

On Teachers Day

मास्टर जी की मार बताना याद रहा 

प्यार बताना भूल गए 

उनका सजा देना याद रहा 

तुमने जो सताया, भूल गए 


अंग्रेज़ी बोलना याद रहा 

किसने सिखाया भूल गए 


बहुत हो गई चुहल ठिठोली 

फिकरे कसना, निंदक बोली 

शिक्षा प्रशासन पर 

भद्दे व्यंग की गोली 


चलो, इस बार कुछ खास करते हैं 

गुरु का फिर से मान करते हैं। 

************* 







Tuesday, August 31, 2021

More quotes

 Wilful ignorance is a crime, just not in a legal sort of a way. 

 Of course we can't have him arrested. Stupidity is still not a crime. In fact, its the popular option. 




Monday, August 30, 2021

पहुंचे दफ्तर मिस्टर नोटे Pahunche Daftar Mister Note


पहुंचे दफ्तर मिस्टर नोटे

इरादे हैं सब इनके खोटे

सबसे लेते हैं ये घूस

और खुद हैं बिल्कुल कंजूस!




बिजली, पानी, या अनुदान,

सब पर रहता इनका ध्यान!

इस से बड़े, उस से छोटे,

पर लेते सबसे मिस्टर नोटे!




भगवान को लगता जैसे भोग,

वैसे हिस्सा लाते लोग

चपरासी हो या ठेकेदार

सब पर पड़ती इनकी मार।




देने वाले देते जाते

नोटे जी बहुत इतराते

मोटी तोंद के नाटे नट

नोटे जी तुम हो बस ठग!





Tuesday, August 24, 2021

जिम्मेदारी तुम्हारी भी है

 वो पहला दिन 

जब तुम्हारा दीन 

तुम्हें इबादत गाह  के अलावा 

कहीं और ले जाए 

उस दिन 

तुम्हें 

छोड़ देना चाहिए उस दीन को 

या छुड़ा लेना चाहिए उसे 

उनके पंजों से 

जो दीन से इबादत निकाल कर 

उस में किसी और चीज की 

मिलावट करना चाहते हैं।  


वो पहला दिन 

जब तुम्हारा दीन 

तुम्हें ये बताए 

कि किसी और को क्या करना चाहिए 

उस दिन 

तुम्हें 

छोड़ देना चाहिए उस दीन को 

या छुड़ा लेना चाहिए उसे 

उनके पंजों से 

जो उसे 

जंगी हथियार बनाना चाहते हैं 


वो पहला दिन 

जब तुम्हारा दीन 

तुम्हें ये बताए 

कि तुम्हारा वोट किसको हो 

उस दिन 

तुम्हें छोड़ देना चाहिए 

उस दीन को 

या छुड़ा लेना चाहिए उसे 

उन के शिकंजे से 

जो उसे 

सत्ता का सामान बनाना चाहते हैं। 

Background to this: 

As a Sikh, my worst nightmare is to live through the Khalistan tag again. And I wondered - What would I do if people did start equating all Sikhs with Khalistanis? And I realised, it IS our responsibility to stand up and say that religion is a personal thing. It IS every Sikh's responsibility to stand up against Khalistanis. Just like we did in the 1980s. Terror of Punjab did not last. KPS Gill gets half the credit, but the other half goes to Punjabi villagers who stood night vigil at the borders of their villages, shooting AK47 holders at sight. 

This is also the reason that my conscience is absolutely clear in denying support to the "Farmers' Protest" when the appeal to support them came from religious quarters. 

Everyone who tries to tell me about SGPC issuing Hukmnamas to support a certain political party et al, immediately gets a retort that before every ardaas we say - Sab Sikhan ko humn hai, Guru Maanyo Granth - All Sikhs are hereby commanded - the only Guru is the Granth Sahib. No one else can issue Hukmnamas (religious orders) to us. And the SGPC is a Prabandhak Committee - Management Committee. They enjoy NO religious power or spiritual authority over the Sikhs. They may wield their material power, but that power is not de jure. It is de facto. 


Monday, August 23, 2021

Let's think again, shall we?

She sells her sexual skills, so she is a prostitute. 

- Says the father who sells his children's pictures to Facebook for 30 minutes of browsing every day. 

*********************** 

She sells her sexual skills, so she is a prostitute. 

I sell my non-sexual skills, so I am a professional. 

I trade in favours, so I am the boss/ employee. 

Apparently, it is the product that is tainted, but only so long as it remains in the hands of the seller. As soon as it is given to the buyer, the taint is gone. The customer is not a customer, he is a purifying agent. 

*******************




Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Book Review: Suryabala ki Lokpriya Kahaniyaan

इस पुस्तक की समीक्षा कोई कैसे करे? मोती की माला नहीं कह सकते, क्यूंकि हर मोती सुंदर तो होता है, किन्तु लगता एक सा है। इस कथावली की हर कहानी अलग रस की है। 

पुराने सिंधु घाटी के अवशेषों में देखा है, ऐसे हार हुआ करते थे जिनका एक एक मनका (bead) अपने आप में सम्पूर्ण और विलक्षण हुआ करता था। ये पुस्तक उन्ही हारों के जैसी है। एक एक कहानी की समीक्षा अलग से करने का मन करता है। पर पाठक के पास पुस्तक से लंबी समीक्षा पढ़ने का समय कहाँ हैं? 

सबसे बड़ी दुख की बात ये है कि यह पुस्तक हमें सोचने पर विवश करती है। कई कई सवाल, जो भीतर उठते तो हैं, पर उत्तर नहीं पाते। इस पुस्तक को पढ़ने में रस है, हर कहानी मन को बांधती है। पर पढे जाने पर मन को छोडती नहीं। पुराने समय में जैसे माँ सफर पर चलने से पहले गुड़ ढेला साथ बांध देती थी न, ये कहानियाँ भी ऐसा ही कुछ करती हैं। 

मैंने अंतिम कहानी - माय नेम इस ताशा से पुस्तक शुरू की थी। अच्छा किया। 

माय नेम इस ताशा, रमन की चाची, बाउजी और बंदर, दूज का टीका, कंगाल, न किन्नी न  - ये कहानियाँ परिवारों के बारे में गहराई से सोचने पर मजबूर करती हैं। क्या सच में अधिकार के हनन से ही परिवार का सृजन हो सकता है? हमारी आधुनिकता ने हमें जो दिया है, और हम  से जो ले लिया है, दोनों स्पष्ट सामने दिखते हैं । जो पाया है, उसके बिना जीना संभव नहीं। और जो खो दिया है, वह भी हमें अपने साथ लिए जाता है, शून्य की ओर। अकेला नहीं मरेगा वह, हमें साथ ले कर मरेगा। क्यूंकि उसके बिना जीवन प्लास्टिक के फूल की तरह चटक, रंगदार, और सुंदर तो है, उतना ही निस्सार भी है। 

कुछ कहानियाँ बाल मन का प्रतिनिधित्व करती हैं। माय नेम इस ताशा, तोहफा, मेरा विद्रोह। एक बार फिर से, जो पा लिया है, उसका आमना सामना, जी खो चुके हैं, उस से होता है। और एक बहुत बड़ा प्रश्न सीधा आ कर सामने खड़ा हो जाता है - बताओ, क्या महत्वपूर्ण है? क्या रख पाओगे? 

कुछ कहानियाँ स्त्री मन की हैं। वे मीठे मीठे सपने, वे सब बातें, जो हर स्त्री जानती भी है, और सोचती भी है। 

लाल पलाश के फूल - उन बहुत कम कहानियों में से है, जो पढ़ने पर अधूरी सी लगती हैं, या लगता है, इसका अंत जीवन में ऐसा होता तो है, पर कहानी में ऐसा होना नहीं चाहिए था। 

पर एक इंद्रधनुष जुबेदा के नाम अपने आप में पूरी कहानी है। कुछ आधा छूटा नहीं। 

इस संग्रह में 15 कहानियाँ हैं। इसे अवश्य पढिए। 




Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Ped

 कभी सोचा है? 

शहरों में पेड़ रोपे, 

और पहाड़ों में काटे 

क्यूँ जाते हैं? 


क्यूंकि शहर में पेड़ का अर्थ होता है 

आक्सिजन 

और पहाड़ पर, 

लकड़ी, रोजगार, पैसा। 

** 



Monday, August 02, 2021

Book Review: Bawla Murder Case


 

The book starts with attempted kidnapping of a lady and the incidental murder of a Mumbai businessman. That case is solved early enough. The rest of the book then tries to convince the author that the "real culprits" , by association, the Holkar royal family, were not brought to book. 

Here is what is good and not so good about the book: 

What works 

A. Research - The author has really done his research very well. Not just about the main players in the story, but also about the entire ensemble cast - their families, motivations, circumstances, triggers for action, consequences, the works. 

B. Lucid and easy writing - The author really has tried his best to simplify it all for the reader by not being too academic. The book truly was unputdownable and left one scratchign their head figuring out all the players and the sequence of the intrigue. 

C. Great Hook - Bawla Murder Case is inifinitely more likely to get a reader to pick up the book than a title like - The Scandal in the House of Holkars. 

D. The Cover - The Cover design really is excellent. 

What doesn't work

A. The images - Since this is, evidently, a book about history, using plates or illustrations, even contemporary pictures, would have greatly added to the experience of the book. 

B. Presenting the research - That the research is thorough we all agree. That it is presented poorly, is another thing we can all agree upon. Towards the end, the fate of the Holkars, their subsequent marriages and the fate of those marriages - that has been presented neatly and systematically. Everything else feels like being in the middle of a street fight full of he said, she said, they said. Even after the courts have clearly found and punished the culprits, the author goes on to keep insinuating that the Crown was involved but is not able to make the case convincingly. Why a king would be so besotted with one lady in the zenana, is never explained. The nature of that relationship is never explored. Only insinuations. What is worse is, the marital state of the king, or the other members of the zenana are also given scant space. 

C. The most irritating part of the book was the author's conviction that Indian princes and princely houses were places of debauchery. Even an indifferent reader of the history of India's princes will know that this narrative is one-sided and presents a rather incomplete picture of the life of the princes, and the Gora Sahibs. If there was debauchery, it was not just on the side of the princes. The gora sahib, the tawaif community, and other stakeholders partook of it and benefited or lost - in equal measure.  

D. Even though Abdul Kader Bawla was not married at the time of his death in 1925, Mumtaz Begum is called his mistress and not his partner. He spent time with her, she was carrying his baby, and he died defending her. I think, that an epithet other than "mistress" would be more appropriate, no? 

Endnote: I would recommend this book for a short, one time read. It is the truth, but not the whole truth, and definitely not nothing but the truth. Also, this book should be called - The Curious Case of the Holkars. Poor Bawla, just like in the main story, has only lent his name to it, though he had so much more to offer. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Detective Fiction: Best stuff to watch

 If, like me, you like detective fiction and the content on OTT and TV is an assault on the senses, here is what we can use to salvage us: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBuAYDly250  

57:00 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2bi5Nm04jI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NSw-5TjQCs


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5x2h7_TKOM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzJT0axQxuo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r54p3ZEqOps


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdZNa_K-sfQ


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


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgtnNkyM76k


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


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSUjC_L0IyA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t9icMCiBUM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSUjC_L0IyA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4EPG9eNsfM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjEIsGauX04


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sej8zi9307s


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0c9ilOTOUw


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvDoCKAoI8I

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Kujj vi Nahi

 ਮੈਨੂ ਮਿਲ ਕੇ ਜਾਵੀਂ ਸੱਜਣਾ 

ਨ ਮੈਂ ਰੋਣਾ ਨ ਪਿੱਟਣਾ 

ਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਤਰਲੇ - ਮਿੰਨਤਾਂ 

ਨ ਮੋੜਨਾ ਕੂਜ, 

ਨ ਲੈਣਾ 

ਕੱਖ ਨਹੀਂ 

ਬਸ ਇੱਕ ਹਾਥ ਮਿਲਾਉਣਾ 

ਹਾਥ 

ਜਿਨਾਨੂ ਦੇਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ ਵਿਦਾ 

ਪਰ ਦੇਂਦੇ ਓ 

ਕੂਜ ਵੀ ਨਹੀਂ 

  

Mainu Mil ke jaanvi sajjna 

Na main rona na pittna 

Na tere Tarle Minnataan 

Na MoDna kujj 

Na Laina 

Kakh nahi 


Bas ik Haath Mailauna 

Hath 

Jinanu 

Deni chahidi vida

Par dende o 

kujj vi nahi 

******** 

Meet me before you go. 

Not because

there is something to return 

or say 

or plead. 

No final embrace

no promises or regrets

A simple shaking of the hand

That should say GoodBye 

But it says 

nothing. 

********** 

The Hindi version did not ring true, so it was deleted, until a kind friend read it out in her voice and Lo! It came alive! 

Presenting the Hindi version: 

प्रिय तुम मुझसे मिल कर जाना। 


लौटाऊँगा कुछ भी नहीं, 

ना माँगूँगा.   

ना कोई वादा, न शिकवा 

न कोई निवेदन, 

न क्षुब्ध वंदन 

इन में से कुछ भी नहीं ।

 

अच्छा न बुरा, 

कुछ भी नहीं। 

अंतिम आलिंगन? 

वह भी नहीं। 


हाथ मिलाना, बस। 

 

हाथ, जिन्हें देनी चाहिए विदा

पर देंगे वे 

कुछ भी नहीं. 

************ 



Sunday, July 04, 2021

Logic Puzzle: Where are they?

Ritu and Poorna started walking. They walked 2 kms to the east, then turned right and walked another 4 kms in a straight line. Then, they turned right again and walked another 2 kilometers. Then they turned left and walked another kilometer. 

How far are they from the starting point? In which direction from the starting point are they? 

Logic Puzzle: A long way from home

This morning, my friend and I started out from home and walked 2 kms towards the North. Then we turned left and walked another 3 kilometers. At this point, we started to get hungry and my friend said that perhaps we should start the 5 kms walk back. I laughed and said, "But home is only 4 kilometers away!" 

Who was right? Why? 

Logic Puzzle: The Reddy Children

The Reddy children are all grown up now, making it difficult to guess who is elder or younger to whom. 

At a recent family get together, this became quite the topic of discussion. An old, distantly related grandma offered to jog her memory and share whatever she could remember. Can you piece together the order (eldest - youngest) in which the Reddy children were born, with these statements? (The Reddy children themselves offer no help, no further guidance from anywhere is forthcoming) - ONLY these statements? 

A. Madan was named after Gopal, his immediate elder brother. 

B. Nisha is older than Supriya and Saurabh is elder to Pavan. 

C. Asha was the eldest, and Madan right in the middle. 

D. Supriya was born just a few years before Saurabh. 

Yes, these clues are enough. 

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Logic Puzzle: School Timetable

Mrs. Vijayan, the headmistress, is completely flummoxed. She can't find the timetable that she spent hours preparing just yesterday! Before it could get to the school record keeper for publication, the piece of paper was lost. 

Under the new school policy, school is a 4 day affair, and each day can have only 4 periods. The school teachers volunteer to help her re-create the timetable. Each of the subject teachers shares what she remembers: 

English: My subject is the only subject that was to be taught every single day, but no two days had English in the same period. 1st period one day, 2nd period another day, and so on. 

Maths: I also have 4 periods, but not one on each day. I had the last 2 periods every Monday, and nothing on Tuesday. The first period on Thursdays though. 

Hindi: I had 3 periods during the week - the first periods of Tuesday and Wednesday, and one period on Thursday. 

Science: I also had 3 periods during the week, but never a first period, and never the same period on any two days. On Wednesdays, it was the last period. 

Art: I only got 2 periods - the final period on Tuesdays and one on Thursdays. In fact, other than maths, no one had a double class on any day. 

English: My period is immediately after Maths on Wednesdays. 

Science: And my period is immediately before Maths on Mondays! 

Mrs. Vijayan: Oh, I remember now! Hindi was just before English on Thursdays! 

Can you piece the school schedule together from this? 


Logic Puzzle: 4 Friends (Ver 2)

Hello! My name is Asha and this puzzle is about me and my 3 friends. We are good friends, even though we are in different grades and go to different schools. We each like a different game, so we play favourite games by turns. Can you figure out who is in which class, which school, and likes which game? 

We are Asha, Bhargavi, Chinu, and Daksha. 

1. Bhargavi loves Uno and the girl in grade 9 likes Ludo. 

2. I am the youngest of them all, just in Grade 3, and I don't like chess, though the girl in Grade 4 likes it a lot. 

3. The girl in Grade 9 goes to RV School, while I go to BVM School. 

4. The children of LS School are given special training in chess. That's why our friend from that school loves chess best. 

5. Chinu does not go to LS School. 

6. The friend from SS school is in grade 7 and she is not the one who likes Scrabble. 

Logic Puzzle: 4 friends

We are 4 friends who live in the same colony, but our houses are painted different colours, so you can tell them apart. I am Puri, and this puzzle is about my friends, our homes, professions, and what our partners do. Their names are Rajan, Vijay, Suri, and Puri (that's me!) 

1. There are 2 artists in the group, and they are not married to each other. 

2. Rajan, the CA, lives in the red house. The teacher does not live in the red house. 

3. The green house belongs to the filmmaker but not to the photographer. 

4. I am an artist and my house is Yellow. 

5. Vijay is a doctor, while Suri is a photographer. 

6. The blue house does not have an artist, but it does have a teacher. 

7. The entrepreneur is my partner. 


Friday, July 02, 2021

Morning Musing

To think of non-followers as non-humans. 

There is a technical term for it - de-humanising the victim. 

But i can't think of a single moral term for it. 

#Thought Trigger - Colonialism and natives

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

More on Fathers Day

My dad used to tell us these short poems. Thinking of him this Fathers Day and of course, preserving these for the future


ਬਾਪੂ ਬਾਪੂ ਕਹਿੰਦੇ ਸੀ 

ਬੜੇ ਸੁਖੀ ਰਹਿੰਦੇ ਸੀ 

ਬਾਪੂ ਬਾਪੂ ਅਖਵਾਯਾ ਹੈ 

ਬੜਾ ਦੁਖ ਪਾਯਾ ਹੈ 

Baapu Baapu kahinde see, 

BaDaa/Daade sukhi rahinde see 

Baapu Baapu akhwaya hai 

bada/Daada dukh paaya hai 


The second one: 

ਢੀਆਂ ਜੁੱਵਾਈ ਲੈ ਗਏ, 

ਤੇ ਨੂਵਾਂ ਲੈ ਗਈ ਪੂਤ 

ਕਹੈ ਮਨੋਹਰ ਜਾਫ਼ਰੀ, 

ਹਮ  ਰਹੇ ਊਤ ਕੇ ਊਤ 

Dheeyaan juwai lai gaye, 

Te nuhaan lai gayi poot

Kahe Manohar Jafri 

Ham rahe oot ke oot. 




Monday, June 21, 2021

On Father's Day

भौतिक विज्ञान (Physics) के अध्यापक ने समझाया, 

मात्रा वज़न और वेग (Momentum) बदल सकती है 

दिशा नहीं। 


माँ सहेली से बोलीं, 

"इनका तो तुम जानती ही हो। अब रोज रोज क्या कहना!" 

मैं बोला, 

"मेरे पापा के तो क्या कहने!" 


* This is a wordplay on 2 figures of speech and 2 meanings of the same word in Hindi

क्या कहना (resignation) and क्या कहने (praise)

मात्रा means quantity and the addition of the vowel to the consonant in the Hindi script. 


In the first paragraph, 

The Physics teacher explains that quantity (Matra) can change 

the mass 

and the momentum of a body

but not its direction. 


In the second paragraph, a change of matra (vowel) changes the direction of the insinuation completely. In the first line, the mother uses a Hindi phrase (Kya Kehna) that usually indicates resignation (in this case, to her husband's habits). 

In the second line, the child changes one vowel sound (Kya kehne) and this phrase means "My dad is incomparable! in a complimentary way. 


 

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Lakshadweep: What's really happening there?

In December 2020, Praful K Patel was made the administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. 

Since then, he has managed to make himself rather unpopular. 

So, I decided to understand why someone would want to be so unpopular. 

I have just finished reading over 2000 pages of content on Lakshadweep - History, Census reports, official documents, the works. 

Let me try to piece that complex story bit by bit. 

First, the current state

It is the smallest UT in India, with just one district. 

It has 36 islands, of which 10 are uninhabited. 

It also has the highest population density in India. 

The density of population of the district as per 2011 Census is 2,149 persons per sq.km as against 1895 in 2001. 

In terms of participation in the work force, 70% of the people in the island are "Not Working" - neither full time nor part time, as per the 2011 Census. 

There are two aerial connects - Agatti and Bangaram. The other way to get there is to take a cruise ship from the mainland (Kerala). The commute is 14-15 hours. 

All tourism is owned by the state government, except one private hotel, which is on Bangaram island. This hotel is now closed on account of some legal issues with the administration. 

Lakshadweep is 97% Muslim. 

The entire place allows no alcohol because it is an Islamic region (yes, this is different from alcohol ban in Bihar and Gujarat, where the cause of ban is control over crime rate. Here, the reason for the ban is the religion of the majority). Further, carrying of drugs and narcotics is a punishable offence. 

There is only one crop on the entire region - coconuts. Some people have private vegetable gardens etc. but mostly everything, including the diesel needed to provide electricity on the island, is carried from the mainland. 

In terms of livestock, most islanders keep goats and poultry. Cattle is rare because feed is expensive and hard to come by. 

There are only 2 occupations - fishing and coconut farming. Tourism is NOT a major employment option. 

There is a solar power plant that was operational even in 2012, but the island has made no move towards solar, hydel, tidal, wind, or any other renewable energy resource. Diesel continues to be the mainstay of power generation. 

There is ONE coir processing factory, nothing to create processed food items from coconut. 

The per capita income is, as expected, low. But what is even more interesting is the level of skew. Because of the strong caste based employment, the land owning communities make a lot more money than the (non) working other communities. 

Tuna is one of the most expensive fish in the world. It is abundant in the waters around Lakshadweep. What is even more remarkable is that because of very low pollution, the tuna of Lakshadweep will command high prices. But the first time tuna was exported from Lakshadweep was in June 2021.  This was because the processing centers and cold storage were built very recently. 

So, how do people manage? Well, there is free drinking water, free education, reservation for Lakshadweep students in many mainland colleges, and cheap electricity and petrol/diesel. 

There are no movie theaters. 

Choppy phone connection (only BSNL).  

The closest port to Lakshadweep is Maldives. While both regions are very similar in terms of what they offer to tourists (Maldives is larger, but the coral reefs, tropical climate, etc. are very similar and offer the same tourism experience), the tourism arrivals to both areas are poles apart. Maldives has NOT spoilt its natural beauty or resources. Therefore, the idea that tourism will destroy the natural beauty is not true.  

(Up to 1956, people used to visit each other from Maldives to Lakshadweep and vice versa with no paperwork. But when Lakshadweep became an Indian territory in 1956, these visits were stopped). 

The History 

This is where things get really interesting. For 32 sq kms, this place really has some history to its credit. 

The official website of Lakshadweep mentions that Lakshadweep is, and always has been, Muslim Majority. In fact, according to the Census, only three religions even make up the count - Muslims, 97%, Hindus, and Christians. 

But there is a problem with that. The main surnames are all Hindu. The matrilineal tradition followed on the island is the same as Malayali Hindus. The caste system is a derivative of the Hindu system. 

This account of the history helped me piece a few things together: History of Lakshadweep from British Era to status of a union territory of India (mapsofindia.com) The Wiki history also corroborates largely what is given in the mapsofIndia article. 

According to this, there was mass conversion in the middle ages. This is in line with what happened in the rest of Karnataka and Tipu Sultan's domain. 

However, in the rest of the country, diversity returned slowly. What is absolutely remarkable is that in Lakshadweep, this concentration has only deepened with each decade. 

The Census Records for Lakshadweep are only valid from the 1971 Census, because until then, there was reorganisation. This is the population chart. 


The only other place where we observe this patterns is Kashmir after the 1990 Hindu exodus 

The Moplah Massacre 

In 1921, the Muslims of Malabar, Minicoy, and other islands (in the area we now collectively call Lakshadweep) joined the Khilafat Movement with the mainland Muslim leaders. 

This event is euphemistically called the Moplah Rebellion and other names. While the area usually marked for the Moplah is Kerala, it is interesting that the population of Lakshadweep reduced from 1911 to 1921. 

There were many causes for the Moplah massacre. But the motivation for participation was religious. All non Muslims were massacred. These were mostly two classes - the colonial overlords (all of whom were Christians) and the Hindus.  

Administrative History 

This is also very interesting. This 36 island, 32 sq km archipelago has seen the Beebi empire - Tipu Sultan (1787, after a revolt by the islanders against the Beebi) - British (1799, after the third Carnatic war) - South Canara - Madras Presidency  - India - Reorganisation and eventually, Lakshadweep. 
The administrative entity as we know it today, dates back to 1956. 


My questions for Lakshadweep 

There are some questions I have about Lakshadweep, as a citizen of India. 

1. In the table I shared earlier, Lakshadweep has not allowed any diversity to develop in the region. In every part of India, diversity has been restored as people moved from one place to another and also as old prejudices were overwritten by modern education and tolerance. But Lakshadweep has been sending its young people to reserved seats all over mainland India, without allowing any incursion into itself from that same mainland. Why? 

2. From the same table, the part of the table that, for me, deserves the most attention: 
Where are the Hindu women? In 1991, the same time that it happened in Kashmir, the population of Hindu women started decreasing. Within a decade, they were 62% of what they were in 1991, but in 2011, this population reduction was too drastic to not be alarming. Only 185 Hindu women remain on the islands? WHY? 

3. This question has a half page background. You can read or skip straight to the question.  
As per the Budget Document of 2020-21, the actual expenditure on providing ONLY the central govt benefits and administration expenses on Lakshadweep was 1376.46 crores. Let us assume that the rate of population growth over one decade is the same as the rate of population growth over the previous 3 decades (rolling average). According to this, the average rate of decadal population growth on the island is 17%  and the expected population in 2020-21 should be 75,662. 

This means that the per capita govt expenditure of the government on Lakshadweep was 1,81,922 rs. Read that again: The Government of India spent 1,81,922 rs on the diesel, electricity, and other freebies on EVERY INDIVIDUAL citizen of Lakshadweep. This number, in 2021, according to the Budget document linked above, is going to rise to 1,93,930 rs. 

Receipts from Lakshadweep for the last 3 years: 0. 

Why is this number shocking? Because, dear heart, the per capita income of an Indian in 2020 is Indian rupees 94, 954. Yes, half of the subsidies received by someone from Lakshadweep. 

Why would Lakshadweep be such an honoured citizen? 

Why is it that India is ok with 70% of Lakshadweep residents not doing any work, giving them more in subsidy than a mainland citizen makes in per capita income, and also being ok with ZERO receipts from the island? 

The answer i got was that Lakshadweep islands are strategically located and it is important to keep the local population happy to ensure the protection of our marine borders and to keep an eye on international waters through the local residents. 

So, How did we do on that front? 

After the Church attacks in Sri Lanka, the boat carrying the terrorists made its way to Lakshadweep. As the Swarajya mag asks, How did the terrorists know they would find shelter and support in India's Lakshadweep? 

Today, the administrator actually has to send government officials on local "fishing" boats to monitor its own local citizens and their activities. 
The locals insist that they keep their eyes and ears open. Since actual data is not in the public domain, we will simply say that for some reason, that surveillance is not being seen as enough. 

Therefore, my question is - 

Would it not make more sense to rehabilitate the 65000 residents of Lakshadweep and convert the area to a pure naval base, with no civilian activity? 

We are not earning from tourism, the local population continues to depend on the mainland for everything, and the Navy is missing out on a very important base. 

In this plan, about 5 tourist facilities were ready to be deployed for eco-tourism. Where are they today? 
Why does the island not want to serve alcohol when Maldives, with an absolutely similar religion profile, has no such issues and has been able to sustainably tap the eco-tourism potential? 

5. If you read the articles related to the Lakshadweep issue, they have either been written by islanders based in the mainland, or by mainland journalists. In most cases, the correspondents have given a voice to the Muslim population of the island. That is great. But any impartial journalist would at least ask a couple of Hindu islanders how they feel about the changes? 

6. In the Lakshadweep Census, only a Hindu can belong to a Scheduled Caste, but Muslims can also belong to a Scheduled Tribe. If all Muslims are universal brothers, and they have no concept of tribe, why is ST reservation available to them? Tribe and caste are both ethnographic concepts endemic to the Indic people - largely called Hindu (as in the religion) but both these are social constructs within that religion. The concept of tribe does not exist in Islam (the religion). So, why are non-Indic religions eligible for  SC, ST, or OBC? They are entitled to minority benefits in all parts of the country. (In my view, minority religion benefits should be by state population compositions). 

And now, to what's really going on

The Swarajya mag does a very good job of explaining the orders and the details, and I largely agree with them. That no mainstream media has even bothered to explain these points is a very telling data point. 

But lets go over them one by one:  


A. No one who has more than 2 children can contest Panchayat Elections  (with exceptions) 

As a citizen, I FULLY SUPPORT and endorse this. This provision is also in force in other states and makes perfect sense. An ecologically sensitive area should, on its own, be mindful of its population.

When the locals tell us in their news reports that they have only 32 sq. kms of land in all their islands, we want to say the exact same thing back to them - you should not have waited until there is a govt directive. You should have controlled the population on your own one decade ago. 

If people feel that this directive is aimed at a certain religion - that religion should understand that the fertility rate of Iran is 2.115 Iran is an Islamic country. The fertility rate for Maldives, its closest cousin, is 1.8! The documented fertility rate of Lakshadweep is 1.6. Which means that in effect, there should not be an issue in implementing this rule. Since its a matrilineal society, I am not sure that the reason of the man having multiple wives and therefore having more than 2 children will be valid in Lakshadweep. One user on Quora mentions that this is because most Panchayat contenders are senior citizens who do have more than 2 children. And that is how misinformation is spread. The rule applies only to infants born after the date of notification. Which means that if you have been elected before and have more than 2 children, no issues. If you are planning to get elected and are expecting your nth child already, no problem. The regulation is only for the future. 

Further, the rules provide for 50% of the Panchayat seats being reserved for women. I support this too. 


B. The Goonda Act - The argument being provided against this is that with such low crime rate, why is Goonda Act needed? 
Crime Rate is a function of reported crime. If, as the locals allege, there really is no crime, why the fear of the Goonda Act? 
Because it is arbitrary. Because it allows law enforcement to detain someone at will. 
And to that extent, my view is that if the administration is allowing this, it must be for a very good reason. It is a case of he says - she says, and it is up to each one of us to think whom we believe. 

C. Allowing alcohol on the islands - The locals are up in arms against this because of their religious beliefs and the latest I have read is that it will encourage hooliganism. But alcohol is being allowed for tourists. The locals do not have to consume it if it goes against their religious beliefs. The key word is allow, not impose. No one is forcing the locals to consume alcohol, and the locals should not force non locals to abstain. They may be only 2000 Hindus on the island, but they are still there. If the dietary preference of the majority is important, then the preference of the minority also should be. 

D. Ban beef - In a largely Muslim island, banning beef is stupid to say the least. Even as it comes to picking battles, this one is best left to a skirmish zone. At this point, national security and the role of the islanders in it is more important than their feeding habits. 
But how much cattle is there in Lakshadweep? According to a Quora user, 44 cows and 8 buffaloes support the dairy needs of 60,000 people. I will leave it at that. Could not find the official livestock numbers. 

E. All coconut solid waste must be disposed responsibly - The islanders are protesting because "this is how we have always done it" and if you want us to do more responsible waste management, you must create the infrastructure for it. We have always just thrown our coconuts around. 
Time to stop, I think. 

F. Govt officials will go on fishing boats to gather intelligence - Again, given the strategic importance of these islands, this should be welcomed, not resisted, by the locals. In most such cases, one would worry about corruption on the boat, but like, what are the fishing boats earning except the fish? Observers being on the boats will help the officials to benefit from the outreach of the fishing boats in the ocean. I see no reason to resist this. 

G. And we keep the best for the last  - The Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation. This allows the government to acquire land for development projects in Lakshadweep. Let's go back to two data points: 
A. The 2018 sustainable ecotourism development proposed by Niti Aayog. (linked above) 
B. The fact that 70 percent of the island's population is "Not Working". 

It has now been 3 years since that report. The report has maps of areas that have been identified for specific projects. Yet, not ONE of those projects has taken off. 

The LDAR rules are being touted as "autocratic" yet they are no different from land acquisition rules anywhere in the country. 

The locals are indicating that this will allow the govt to kill the sensitive ecology of the place. 
Inherent in this accusation is a distrust of the government's intentions. I want to challenge that inherent distrust. If they have inherent distrust in the intentions of the government, they should not remain under the doles given by that government. One cannot take incredible subsidies with one hand and write notes of distrust with another. If the intentions of the government in ensuring that Lakshadweep residents get easy admissions on the mainland in higher education, ensuring that the islanders are not left wanting for anything, are trust worthy, then the intentions of the govt in this development are trustworthy too. 

The population pyramid of Lakshadweep indicates a very high young population - a population that needs to work. 


Lakshadweep needs to create opportunities to work, and do it in a sustainable way. And they have to trust the government to do this right. OR they have to find a way to make sustainable economic opportunities for their people. I would support that. That population pyramid, left without work, on the coastal area of the islands, is recipe for unlawful activities. 

And therefore, according to me, the issue is not the LDAR, but the growth and sustenance of Lakshadweep. I am ok if the islanders take charge. But if not, they have to trust someone else to do the right thing. 

Bibliography 
A. Detailed Census reports of the islands from 1951 to 2011 
B. Quora answers on Lakshadweep 
C. Various online mainstream media publications on the issue 
D. Gazette notifications where applicable
E. Blogs et al as linked 
G. Research reports by private organisations who researched tourism, both as a commission from the state govt, and on their own 
H. Academic papers on tuna fishing and other industries of Lakshadweep 
I. India Budget documents related to Lakshadweep
J. Niti Aayog and other govt plan documents 
K. Maps - both Google and Bing maps and paper atlases from India and historical atlases. 

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Book review: Quotations for our time, compiled by Dr. Laurence Peter

Phew! What a book! 

A book of quotations rarely deserves a review for itself. But this one is truly special. The difference that a curator makes to a collection can only be appreciated when we read something that is superlatively compiled. This is that rare book of quotations that is superlatively compiled. 

I am a sucker for quotes and suffice to say that I have read plenty of quote compilations. And while every editor does a good job, this one truly, truly stands out. 

1. First, the size. 5000 quotes is not a joke. 

2. The quality of content. This book has content that we can now read with the advantage of hindsight. And its amazing how right the naysayers were and how wrong the promoters turned out to me. All the warnings were given, and obviously ignored. We ended up with exactly what the warning implied and it was not good. But the foresight of those warnings. Someone had to dig them up, organise and publish them. 

3. The contraditions and the repeats - if two ppl have said the same thing at any time, we will hear about it here. 

4. The author's comments - the BEST part of the book are these bracketed quotes which are the author's comments. They make the book hilarious in some parts. 

What didn'twork 

Its good as a reference book, but I was reading it as a book, and that can get tedious and intellectually tiring at times. This book was read over many pauses for over a month. 

There are some repeats

And also, some cases where the author's better judgement either worked too well or left him entirely. 



Saturday, June 05, 2021

The day i lost respect for PV Narsimha Rao

 So,  we started watching Scam 1992 and then The Big Bull. Then Googled who the PM was who was in the pocket of Harshad Mehta. 

Realised it was PV Narsimha Rao. 

And that,  is how i lost all respect for PV Narsimha Rao. 

I really was stupid enough to think he was not corrupt. He was a Congress PM. Even a Prince,  when he becomes a Congress CM, cannot stop selling the vaccines that he bought under govt procurement to private hospitals.  



Friday, June 04, 2021

Five Awesome Netflix documentaries to watch

1. Spycraft - if you like espionage this is one of the best that i have seen. 


2. Inside Job - on the 2008 crisis, but with the macro view that is usually missing. 


3. The Great Hack -  The documentary that explains the Cambridge Analytica phenomenon. 


4. The Social Dilemma - The documentary that explains social media addiction - how it works, how pervasive it already is. 


5. Bad Boy Billionaires - I loved this documentary because the popular discourse is that these businessmen were fraudsters to start with. But when you see this documentary, you realise that its a nuanced story each time. They were riding a tiger, or just plain vilified. 


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Dohe

Attempted Dohas. The thoughts are not first timers, the expression has been tried before, but I have never been able to get them right. So, am grateful that one could get them.

 मेरी अपनी धरती, मेरे हिस्से का आकाश 

सेठ से जब मिलेगा, जब बही पाएँ बाँच। 

************** 

छोटी सी चिरैया , जाती अपने देस 

तुम्हारा सोना कनक, मेरा हरा हेम। 

* कनक has two meanings - wheat, and the golden colour. 

********** 

पीड़ा को पीड़ा मिले, कर कर लंबे हाथ 

धन को आ कर धन मिले, सबको प्यारा साथ। 


साध को मिलती सिद्ध, हम को मिलता ज्ञान 

बच्चे को मीठा मिले, आनंद एक समान। 

***************

आनंद की खान है, भोली तोतली बात 

दादी माँ सी सीख है, दादी जैसे दांत। 

********** 

One series was actually a dohavali from which i removed a few in the list above. THe whole thing is here: 

 

पीड़ा को पीड़ा मिले, कर कर लंबे हाथ 

धन को आ कर धन मिले, सबको प्यारा साथ। 


सबको प्यारा साथ सखी, अखरे हर एकांत 

कच्चा-पक्का ही सही, प्रीत का धागा बांध। 

 

प्रीत का धागा बांध प्रिये,  किछु न जाए साथ 

प्रीत की भर कर पोटली, हाथ में रखता साध। 


साध को मिलती सिद्ध सखी, हम को मिलता ज्ञान 

बच्चे को मीठा मिले, आनंद एक समान। 

************


Monday, May 17, 2021

How does the soul leave the body?

Today, in meditation, i asked for guidance on how to leave the body. The Tibetan Buddhists have kept that practice alive but we don't seem to have that in our practices any more. 

Here is how it goes: 


You can expand your soul at any time. Your soul is not limited to this body. At the same time, your soul can be in your body and can surround it (this happened). 

Your soul can be here and can encompass an area as large as you'd like. The soul is not limited. It is infinite and not bound by the laws of Physics. (i did not experience this stretch) 


When the soul leaves the body, it is not upwards from the feet, as is usually believed. Slowly, it detaches itself from the body - starting with the skin. When you cook masala, you see that a well cooked masala leaves the bowl on its own. There is no pressure, no force, no residue on the pan.  It is exactly the same with the soul. In a ready soul, it detaches itself easily and with love from the body. An attached soul feels force, and therefore, pain. An attached soul resists, leading to friction, which also causes pain. The process of leaving the body, when one is ready, is beautiful, peaceful, and completely painless. It happens around us every day, and yet we do not notice. 

How does the soul then leave the body? 

The soul leaves the body either through the crown chakra, or the heart chakra, or the root chakra, depending on the nature and life of the person. Rarely, it also uses the stomach chakra. It can use more than one chakra, but that is not the usual practice, and the soul always assimilates above the body. All souls, when they are done, even the tormented ones, wait for a while above the body and thank it for its service. The body is bound by the laws of the physical world and must remain in this realm. But at this time, the consciousness of the body, no matter how miniscule, does accept the gratitude of the soul. At this moment, the body is the benefactor and the soul is the beneficiary. The body has selflessly allowed the soul to experience this physical world for a period of time. 

Only after this gratitude to the body does the soul go on its onward journey. From here, the journey that you somewhat aware of begins. 

What happens to tormented souls or souls who are still attached to the physical world? 

They leave the physical world only when they are ready. But the reason is not always attachment only. Sometimes, a soul has to be guardian to another soul. In that case, even if an even makes it impossible for the soul to have a physical body, the soul can remain in the physical world if it so desires. 

There is never any rush or pressure to return or to come away from the physical world. Nor is the physical world inaccessible between births. Think of it as two neighbouring countries. We live in one, but we visit the other at will. That is how physical souls visit the realm and the realm souls come back to check on their loved ones or protect them whenever they want. 

What about reincarnation? 

Only the physical body soul has forgotten the past. The soul remembers. It does not remember the specifics. But it carries forward the spiritual knowledge and some part of physical knowledge as well. Your spiritual knowledge is never forgotten. It cannot be forgotten. 

Do souls sometimes come back to a lower level? 

There is no upper and lower level. To a molecule of water, what is up? A spot near the top of the bucket, or on the sides? We all learn and assimilate. All levels and all layers have their use. Some are kinder, some are more cruel. They are both valuable. The more we know, the kinder we become, the more our propensity to help and make other souls feel good. It is not superior or inferior. I have told you this before also. Every speck of dust, every atom, every quark, every tormented soul, has its place in the world. 

And that is the lesson from today :) 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Monday, May 10, 2021

Lockdown par Kshanikaayein

 ज़बरदस्ती के दूर रहने ने 

पास आना सिखा दिया देखो 

****** 

गंध और सांस किस गिनती में थे

कैसा सिक्का जमा दिया देखो! 

********* 

 इसका, उसका, ये क्या हिमाकत है

सबको अपना बना दिया देखो। 

******* 


Thursday, May 06, 2021

On being a channel

To be a channel, you have to be निरासक्त - completely not attached to the family/person that you are helping. 

A pipe does not keep any water or anything that it is channelling. If it does, we say it is dirty and don't use it until it is cleaned and is able to completely transfer its contents. It is the same with being a channel of prayers. You send prayers and you transmit healing or benediction. If you are not doing that cleanly, if there is even a little bit of attachment, the pipe and the channel need to be cleaned. 

The water pipe does not see where the water is coming from, and it does not see what happens to the water after it leaves the pipe. It is natural to wonder. It is not natural to worry. It is definitely not ok to grieve if the water is not used properly. 


Monday, May 03, 2021

Pralay par Kshanikaayein

धरती रहती है 

रहेगी 

प्रलय न रही 

न रहती 

************ 

प्रलय 

घड़ी का घंटा 

सृजन , जीवन 

कालचक्र - 

निरंतर और 

अनवरत 

******** 

On why I talk of hope even in these times 

मैं दीपक हूँ 

आकाश को 

प्रज्वलित नहीं कर सकता 

मैं दीपक हूँ 

अंधेरा 

नहीं दे सकता 

******** 





  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

On Humour Writing

आजकल हास्य लेखन दुनिया के सब से विषम व्यवसायों में है। 

अपने जीवन में हास्यास्पद कुछ रहा नहीं, और दूसरों पर हंस नहीं सकते। 

किन्तु लेखक जीवन यूं भी विषमताओं से भरा है। 

एक लेखक मित्र ने बताया - उदास कविता लिखा करते थे, रिश्तेदार अवसाद के इलाज बताने लगे। 

एक और लेखक मित्र की सगाई टूट गई। लड़की वालों ने रेफ चेक कराया और इन महोदय का रोमानी चिट्ठा (blog) पकड़ में आया। लाख समझाया, कि लेखन अपनी जगह है, और जीवन अपनी जगह, पर ऐसे 'गंदे' विचारों वाले लड़के को लड़की देने के मत में वे चाचा लोग बिल्कुल नहीं थे, जो स्वयं ३-४ बच्चों के पिता रह चुके थे। वर्जिन मेरी केवल ईसाई धर्म में ही नहीं हुई हैं। इन चाचा लोगों की मानें तो पूरा भारतवर्ष ही कुंवारा बाप है! 

सबसे बड़ी त्रासदी तो ये है कि जब दुनिया के सबसे जोखिम भरे व्यवसायों के बारे में लिखा जाता है, तो लेखक की गणना कहीं नहीं होती। भाई, विवाह संबंध टूट जाना, नौकरी चली जाना, घर वालों से लड़ाई हो जाना, यहाँ तक कि जान पर बन आना, ये क्या कम जोखिम है? 

बात हास्य लेखन से शुरू हुई थी, त्रासदी पर समाप्त होती है। अंग्रेजी में क्या कहावत है? 

हमारी हंसी में छुपी है हमारी पीड़ा,

 हमारे उपहास में हमारा यथार्थ है। 


Humour writing is one of the world’s riskiest professions today.

There is nothing funny in my life and for political reasons, one cannot laugh at anyone else any more. No lawyers, no doctors, not even clowns! 

But its not just humour writing. Writing, by itself, is an eminently perilous path.

A friend’s poetry was slightly dark. Her relatives started suggesting home remedies for depression. She was cured. Of poetry.

Another friend had to pay a steeper price. His arranged marriage was called off when the girl’s side, as part of routine matrimonial verification, stumbled upon his anonymous erotica blog. The poor fellow tried to explain that writing and living are two different things, but the protective uncles of the innocent girl decided that a boy with such ‘dirty’ thoughts was not suitable for their daughter. These uncles, of course, had sired 3-4 children themselves. Which leads me to believe that virgin birth was not just a concept in Christianity. If these uncles are to be believed, the entire population of India was Immaculately Conceived.

 But the greatest tragedy, imho, is this – in the lists of Top 10 Most Dangerous Professions in the World, writing is seldom mentioned. Tell me, what is more dangerous than being assumed mentally ill, losing a job, broken marriage, and even threats to life and family?

Sigh! We started with humour writing and ended with tragedy. What do they say again? 

Our sorrows are hidden in our sweetest smiles. 

Our tragedies in our jokes most vile.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Aaj ka gyaan

 1 AMA होता है - Against Medical Advice.

India में, 1 AMA उस से भी ज्यादा खतरनाक होता है - Against Mother's Advice
AMA usually stands for - Against Medical Advice.
India has an AMA that is even deadlier - Against Mother's Advice.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Raat Bhar ka hai mehmaan andheraa, kis ke roke rukaa hai saweraa

When one is low, one thinks of poetry to lift spirits. 

Presenting, 3 songs that have helped one much. : 

 

रात भर का है मेहमान अंधेरा 

किस के रोके रुका है सवेरा 


रात जितनी भी संगीन होगी 

सुबह उतनी ही रंगीन होगी 

ग़म न कर गर है बादल घनेरा 

किसके रोके रुका है सवेरा 


लैब पे शिकवा न कर अश्क पी ले 

जिस तरह भी हो कुछ देर जी ले 

अब उखड़ने को है ग़म का डेरा 

किसके रोके रुका है सवेरा 


आ कोई मिलके तदबीर सोचें 

सुख के सपनों की तासीर सोचें 

जो तेरा है वो ही ग़म है मेरा 

किस के रोके रुका है सवेरा 

- साहिर लुधियानवी 


************* 

दिल न-उम्मीद तो नहीं, नाकाम ही तो है 

लंबी है ग़म की शाम, मगर शाम ही तो है। 

- जावेद अख्तर 

*********

निर्बल से लड़ाई बलवान की, 
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की. 

इक रात अंधियारी, थीं दिशाएं कारी-कारी
मंद-मंद पवन था चल रहा
अंधियारे को मिटाने, जग में ज्योत जगाने
एक छोटा-सा दीया था कहीं जल रहा
अपनी धुन में मगन, उसके तन में अगन
उसकी लौ में लगन भगवान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
कहीं दूर था तूफ़ान, दीये से था बलवान
सारे जग को मसलने मचल रहा
झाड़ हों या पहाड़, दे वो पल में उखाड़
सोच-सोच के ज़मीं पे था उछल रहा
एक नन्हा-सा दीया, उसने हमला किया
अब देखो लीला विधि के विधान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
दुनिया ने साथ छोड़ा, ममता ने मुख मोड़ा
अब दीये पे यह दुख पड़ने लगा -२
पर हिम्मत न हार, मन में मरना विचार
अत्याचार की हवा से लड़ने लगा
सर उठाना या झुकाना, या भलाई में मर जाना
घड़ी आई उसके भी इम्तेहान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
फिर ऐसी घड़ी आई, घनघोर घटा छाई
अब दीये का भी दिल लगा काँपने
बड़े ज़ोर से तूफ़ान, आया भरता उड़ान
उस छोटे से दीये का बल मापने
तब दीया दुखियारा, वह बेचारा बेसहारा
चला दाव पे लगाने, बाज़ी प्राण की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
लड़ते-लड़ते वो थका, फिर भी बुझ न सका
उसकी ज्योत में था बल रे सच्चाई का
चाहे था वो कमज़ोर, पर टूटी नहीं डोर
उसने बीड़ा था उठाया रे भलाई का
हुआ नहीं वो निराश, चली जब तक साँस
उसे आस थी प्रभु के वरदान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
सर पटक-पटक, पग झटक-झटक
न हटा पाया दीये को अपनी आन से
बार-बार वार कर, अंत में हार कर
तूफ़ान भागा रे मैदान से
अत्याचार से उभर, जली ज्योत अमर
रही अमर निशानी बलिदान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की
निर्बल से लड़ाई बलवान की
यह कहानी है दीये की और तूफ़ान की। 
- भरत व्यास (This song's lyrics taken from Lyrics India



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Duniya ka sabse neech kaam/ The most debased act possible

बहुधा मन में विचार आता था 

कि दुनिया का 

सबसे नीच काम क्या है? 


आज, बहुत मंथन के बाद 

निश्चय किया है 

कि मेरी मति से 

दुनिया का सब से नीच काम है 


बच्चों, 

फूलों, 

शब्दों,

और खाने वाले अन्न 

को लेकर 

कोइ 

प्रतियोगिता कराना 



************* 


ਮੈਂ ਸਾਰੀ ਉਮਰ ਸੋਚਦਾ ਰਹਯਾ 

ਕੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦਾ 

ਸਬਤੋਂ ਭੈੜਾ ਕੰਮ ਕੀ ਹੈ 

ਸਬਤੋਂ ਵਡਾ ਪਾਪ 

ਸਬਤੋਂ ਡੂੰਗੀ ਖਾਈ 


ਆਜ ਜਾਪਦਾ 

ਕੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨੋਂ, 

ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦਾ ਸਬਤੋਂ ਵਡਾ ਪਾਪ ਹੈ 


ਨਯਾਨਆਂ 

ਫੁੱਲਾਂ 

ਰੋਟੀ 

ਜਾਂ ਅੱਖਰਾਂ ਦਾ 

ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ 

ਕੋਈ 

ਮੁਕਾਬਲਾ ਕਰਾਣਾ । 


i used to often wonder

what might 

the basest thing be 

the worst, absolutely the most dastardly thing 

to do. 


Today, realised that 

in my mind

the worst thing ever, the most debauched 


is to hold a competition 

for 

flowers 

children 

food 

or words. 

PS: This is a wip post. If you have suggestions for saying this better, pls do share. 


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Book Review: Guru Dutt ki Yaadgaari kahaniyaan

 This book is published by Hind Pocket books. 

The blurb mentions that according to a UN survey, Guru Dutt was the best read Hindi author in the 1960s and 70s. 

It is easy to understand why, when one reads the stories. 

The stories are eternal yet gripping. Each story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, while drawing to a close. 

Some, like Vani ki shuchita, are short and make a point quickly. 

Some, like Talaak (my personal favourite story in the book) demonstrate the strength inherent in Indian women. 

Akhiri Kist is, unfortunately, as relevant today as it was in the 1940s. In fact, reading that story gave me goosebumps because it would be so true today! In any part of of India. 

Unmaad ki chitiksa is hilarious, but only for those who understand the dark humour inherent in it. It drws upon some very Indian concepts. 

GuDiya Raani is predictable, judgemental. 

The other story, after Talaak, that hits you and stays with you, is Apni Dafli. It speaks about a joint family over a long period of time. It really got me thinking, not because everything indicated in the story is true, but because it raises some very pertinent hypothetical questions. 

If you read Hindi short stories, this book is highly recommended. The language is simple, but beautiful. The story telling is nuanced, and very engaging. 

Hindi kitabay - Gurudutt Ki Yadgari Kahania (bookduniya.com)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

पतियों का महामंत्र

 

कहते हैं कि खरबूजे को देख कर खरबूजा रंग बदलता हैये भी कहते हैं कि चिंगारी से चिंगारी जलती हैये उन दोनों में से कौन सा है, पता नहींपर यह लेख नम्रता जी के लेख से सम्मोहित (उफ्फ़!!!! प्रेरित) हो कर के लिखा गया है

पति पत्नी एक दूसरे के पूरक होते हैंवे आपस में सखा, मित्र, आदि भी होते हैंकिन्तु हम, अपने पति की शिष्या होना चाहती हैंउन्हें अपना गुरु बनाना चाहती हैं

क्यूँ?

क्यूंकि हम उनसे एक विशेष जादुई मंत्र सीखना चाहते हैं। 

आइए पहले जानते हैं, इस मंत्र का महात्मय:

 

यह मंत्र ब्रह्मास्त्र की तरह अचूक और घातक हैयह कभी कार्यसिद्धि में विफल नहीं होता

महा मृत्युंजय मंत्र आपकी जान बचाए, उस से पहले आपको उसे २१ बार बांचना होगाकिन्तु यह मंत्र एक ही दिन में २१ बार आपकी जान किसी भी प्रकार के संकट से बचा सकता है

इस चमत्कारी मंत्र का ज्ञान हर बालक को जन्म घुट्टी के समान स्वाभाविक रूप से मिलता है, किन्तु किसी भी कन्या को दहेज के साथ भी बांध कर नहीं दिया जाता

मंत्र के बोल विशिष्ट नहीं हैं, विशेष है, उन्हें प्रयोग करने की विधिहर बार, अचूक तरीके से, यह मंत्र हमारे पति द्वारा प्रयोग किया जाता है, किन्तु आज तक, इसका छोटा सा उपयोग भी हम से सफलता पूर्वक हो पाया

 

तो इसलिए, पति नाम की धूनी रमा कर, हम तपस्या में लीन हैं

 

जब तक हम इस के उपयोग का भेद जान नहीं लेते, यह तपस्या अखंड रहेगी

  

आप सोचते होंगे, क्या है वह मंत्र, और उसका प्रयोग इतना कठिन कैसे हो सकता है

 

तो सुनिए, मंत्र केवल शब्दों का है

 पर इसकी महिमा, इसकी उपलब्धियों का गुणगान, किसी प्रकार संभव नहीं है

 

आप केवल उदाहरण लीजिए

 *************

कार्यालय से फोनपतिदेव : जी सिर, देशों का प्रोजेक्ट, करोड़ का टेन्डरमैंने पहले कभी किया तो नहीं है सर, पर आप चिंता मत कीजिए, मैं १५ दिन में सब काम सीख भी लूँगा, और सम्हाल भी लूँगा

..

इस से पहले.. नहीं सर करोड़ से ऊपर का प्रोजेक्ट किया तो नहीं है, पर आप चिंता कीजिए सर, सब हो जाएगाजी सरआपको भी

 

मिनट बाद हम इन्हीं विद्या विशारद से कहते हैं, “सुनिए जी, ज़रा बर्तन धो देंगे, मुझे छोंक लगाने को चाहिए?”

 

और ये निकला महामंत्र:  मुझे बर्तन धोने कहाँ आते हैं? मुझसे कैसे होगा?”

*****

घर पर शादी हैपतिदेव: माँ, आप चिंता करें, मैं केटरिंग वालों का सब हिसाब किताब देख लूँगासब चीज़ का ध्यान रखूँगा, आटा , चावल, तेल, मजाल है, जो एक भी चीज़ खराब करें!

 

१५ मिनट बाद हम पतिदेव से कहते हैं, “सुनो, ज़रा देखना बच्चे इस साड़ी पर कूदें नहींबड़ी मुश्किल से प्रेस करवाई हैमैं बाल बनवा कर आती हूँ

 

मैं? मुझ से कैसे होगा?

***********

 

पार्टी में पतिदेव पास वाली भाभीजी को इम्प्रेस करने के चक्कर में किवदंती सुनाते हैं, “अरे स्कूल में तो मजाल है कभी १०० से नीचे नंबर जाते भाभी जीटीचर तक को खुला चैलेंज दे कर आते थेआधी रात को उठा कर पूछ लीजिए कान्सेप्ट, बिल्कुल सटीक याद रहता था।“

 

अगले दिन उन्हीं पतिदेव से हम: “सुनिए, बिट्टू कब से कह रहा है उसे कम्पाउन्ड इन्टरिस्ट समझ नहीं रहाएक बार बैठ कर समझा देंगे आप?”

 

पतिदेव (आश्चर्यचकित): मैं? मुझ से कैसे होगा?

********

अब प्रिय बहनों, आपकी धीमी मुस्कान और सहमति में हिलता सर बताते हैं कि यह महामंत्र विश्वव्यापी हैइसके उपयोग अनेकानेक हैंएक बार इसे प्रयोग करने की विधा सीख लेने पर, ऐसा कोई संकट नहीं जिस से बचा जा सके

अत: सखियों, हम अपने पति की शिष्या बनना चाहते हैं।

****************************** 

विद्या सीख कर करेंगे क्या

बस, जैसे अंडे की टोकरी खरीद कर बच्चों को डांटने का सफर ख्यालीराम जी ने कुछ ही क्षणों में पूरा कर लिया था वैसे ही, लेख लिखते ही हम सोचने लगे, कि इस अचूक विद्या के प्राप्त होने पर हम उसका प्रयोग किस प्रकार करेंगे

ये देखिए:

१.  पति: सुनती हो, आज मां और दीदी आएंगे, उन्हें ज़रा शॉपिंग कराने ले जाना प्लीज  और देखो, पैसे उन्हें मत देने देनासब जगह तुम्हीं देना

हम (बड़ी बड़ी आँखें और बड़ी खोल कर): मैं? मुझ से कैसे होगा?

 

२.  पति: सुनती हो, आज आते हुए, बाजार से ज़रा ये सब समान ले आना

हम : मैं? मैं घर छोड़ कर कैसे जाऊँगी? मुझ से कैसे होगा?

 

३.  सुनो, इस बार की घर की किस्त तुम्हारी तनख्वाह से देनी होगी, मेरा जरा दफ़तर की पार्टी में खर्च ज़्यादा हो गया

हम: मैं? मुझ से कैसे होगा?

 

४.  सासु माँ: बेटा, मैंने शालिनी आंटी से कह दिया है, कि दही भले तो जैसे मेरी बहु बनाती है, कोई बना ही नहीं सकताअगले हफ्ते उनकी किटी पार्टी पर दही भल्ले मेरी ओर से होंगे

मैं: मुझ से कैसे होगा?

 

५.  अर्रे! रसोई में लाल मिर्च नहीं है!

हम: देखो जी, रसोई रसोई में १५० चीजें हैं, साबुन तेल आदि में और १०, बच्चों कि किताब कॉपी ४० और, ट्यूइशन का हिसाब, और, बच्चों के एक एक कपड़े, जूते, जुराब कि हालत, मरम्मत, लोकेशन, एक एक होमवर्क का स्टैटस अपडेट, करंट लोकेशन, कुल मिला कर, ००- ०० चीजों का हिसाब, दिमाग ही दिमाग में रखना! मुझ से कैसे होगा?


६.  अगले हफ्ते दीदी के बेटे का बर्थ्डै हैबाजार जा कर ज़रा पार्टी का समान ला कर दीदी के घर पहुंचा देनाऔर हाँ, अपनी ओर से भी महंगा गिफ्ट ले आनालग्न चाहिए कि मामा ने दिया है!

हम : पसंद दीदी की, भेंट तुम्हारी! मुझ से कैसे होगा?



७.  मम्मी, मम्मी, देखो ये सवाल नहीं रहा

हम: बेटा, स्कूल छोड़े उतने ही साल हमें हुए जीतने पिता जी कोउन्हें याद नहीं है, वे पढ़ के समझ सकते हैंतो, मुझ से कैसे होगा?