Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Work!

This work is very important for the business.

Yeah, and so is cleaning the loos in office, and thats what I'm gonna suggest you do next.

What?? You take offence?? Why Why Why ??

Monday, November 09, 2009

The little things

The weekend was spent with the heart warming little things - re-reading the James Herriot. Watching Chupke Chupke and Khoobsoorat. Listening to old hindi songs. Pottering around the house.  

I slowly realised I'd forgotten how much balm they can bring. The happy little things !

And the joy of unexpectedly hearing an old favourite, which brought back happy memories 
katra katra milti hai
katra katra jeene do
zindagi hai, behane do
pyasi hun main pyasi rehne do 

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Burn After Reading

A rather wierd movie, can't say I really liked it much.

Although, as a concept it would've been hilarious, had it really come out well. A poking fun at american stereotypes in a stereotypical way thing. But I think somewhere or the other, the movie lost its bearings, can't quite pin point where, leaving it at best an average one.

Probably worth a watch on tv sometime!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Remains of the day - Kazuo Ishiguro

Another interesting one from Ishiguro, although somehow I found this one a little slower in the beginning.

Written in the first person account of an ageing butler, as he reflects on his life at one of aristocratic political houses during the interlude between the two world wars.

As you make your choices for dignity and duty and doing the right thing, what really is the price you pay for those? What are the remains of your day?

Another parallel thread running was about the so called elitist notions of decision making. That one was interestingly put too.

Overall a nice read.

Monday, November 02, 2009

कारवां गुज़र गया - नीरज

The poem that has haunted me for the past few days. Don't know if its the memory of one of those priceless kavi sammelan's I'd attended with papa so long ago, where the incomparable Neeraj  had recited this. Or perhaps the sudden aptness of the words as I find myself trying to catch hold of the fast slipping life. Or is it the lyricism and cadence of the words, almost a sing song lullaby lament. And then again maybe , its just the immense anger and sadness for the way things have turned out , too old now to wish on eye lashes.


स्वप्न झरे फूल से ,
मीत चुभे शूल से ,

लुट गये सिंगार सभी बाग़ के बबूल से ,

और हम खड़ेखड़े बहार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे !
नींद भी खुली न थी कि हाय धूप ढल गई ,

पाँव जब तलक उठे कि ज़िन्दगी फिसल गई ,

पातपात झर गये कि शाख़शाख़ जल गई ,

चाह तो निकल सकी न , पर उमर निकल गई ,

गीत अश्क बन गए ,

छंद हो दफन गए ,

साथ के सभी दिऐ धुआँधुआँ पहन गये ,

और हम झुकेझुके ,

मोड़ पर रुकेरुके

उम्र के चढ़ाव का उतार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे।
क्या शबाब था कि फूलफूल प्यार कर उठा ,

क्या कमाल था कि देख आइना सिहर उठा,

इस तरफ़ ज़मीन और आस्मां उधर उठा,

थाम कर जिगर उठा कि जो मिला नज़र उठा ,

एक दिन मगर यहाँ ,

ऐसी कुछ हवा चली ,

लुट गयी कलीकली कि घुट गयी गलीगली ,

और हम लुटेलुटे ,

वक्त से पिटेपिटे ,

साँस की शराब का खुमार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे।
हाथ थे मिले कि जुल्फ चाँद की सँवार दूँ ,

होठ थे खुले कि हर बहार को पुकार दूँ ,

दर्द था दिया गया कि हर दुखी को प्यार दूँ ,

और साँस यूँ कि स्वर्ग भूमी पर उतार दूँ ,

हो सका न कुछ मगर ,

शाम बन गई सहर ,

वो उठी लहर कि ढह गये किले बिखरबिखर ,

और हम डरेडरे ,

नीर नैन में भरे ,

ओढ़कर कफ़न पड़े, मज़ार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे !
माँग भर चली कि एक , जब नई नई किरन ,

ढोलकें धुमुक उठीं , ठुमक उठे चरनचरन ,

शोर मच गया कि लो चली दुल्हन , चली दुल्हन ,

गाँव सब उमड़ पड़ा , बहक उठे नयननयन ,

पर तभी ज़हर भरी ,

गाज एक वो गिरी ,

पुँछ गया सिंदूर तारतार हुई चूनरी ,

और हम अजानसे ,

दूर के मकान से ,

पालकी लिये हुए कहार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे।
स्वप्न झरे फूल से ,

मीत चुभे शूल से ,

लुट गये सिंगार सभी बाग़ के बबूल से ,

और हम खड़ेखड़े बहार देखते रहे।

कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे !
- गोपालदास नीरज
English Script:
Swapna-jhare phool se,

Meet-chubhe shool se,

Lut gaye singaar sabhi baag ke babool se,

Aur hum khade-khade bahaar dekhte rahe,

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe.
Neend bhi khuli na thi ki hai dhoop dhal gayi,

Paon jab talak uthe ki zindagi fisal gayi,

Paat-paat jhar gaye ki shaakh-shaakh jal gayi,

Chah to nikal saki na par umar nikal gayi. par umar nikal gayi

Geet ashk ban gaye,

swapna ho dafan gaye,

Saath ke sabhi diye dhuan-dhuan pehen gaye,

Aur hum jhuke-jhuke,

Mod par ruke-ruke,

Umar ke chadhaav ka utaar dekhte rahe,

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe!
Kya shabaab tha ki phool-phool pyar kar utha,

Kya kamaal tha ki dekh aina sihar utha,

Is taraf zameen aur asmaan udhar utha,

Thaam kar jigar utha ki jo mila nazar utha,

Ek din magar Yahan,

Aisee kuchh hawa chali,

Lut gayi kali-kali ki ghut gayi gali-gali,

Aur hum lute-lute,

Waqt se pite-pite,

saans ki sharaab ka khumaar dekhte rahe,

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe!
Haath the mile ki zulf chaand ki sanwaar doon,

Honth the khule ki har bahaar ko pukaar doon,

Dard tha diya gaya ki har dukhi ko pyar doon,

Aur saans yoon ki swarg bhoomi par utaar doon,

Ho saka na kuchh magar,

Shaam ban gayi seher,

Woh uthi lehar ki dheh gaye kile bikhar-bikhar,

Aur ham dare-dare,

Neer nayan mein bhare,

Odh-kar kafan pade mazaar dekhte rahe,

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe!
Maang bhar chali ki ek jab nayi-nayi kiran,

Dholke dhunuk uthi, thumuk uthe charan-charan,

Shor mach gaya ki lo chali dulhan, chali dulhan,

Gaaon sab umad pada, behek uthe nayan-nayan,

Par tabhi zehar bhari,

Gaaz ek woh giri,

Punchh gaya sindoor, taar-taar hui choonri,

Aur ham ajaan se,

Door ke makaan se,

Palki liye hue kahar dekhte rahe!

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe!!

Swapna-jhare phool se,

Meet-chubhe shool se,

Lut gaye singaar sabhi baag ke babool se,

Aur hum khade-khade bahaar dekhte rahe,

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe

Karvan guzar gaya, Gubar dekhte rahe
Gopaldas Neeraj

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Flowers @Rangashankara

Caught this play written by Girish Karnad at Rangashankara today, and quite liked it. Unlike the last play, which was more of a conventional comedy, this one is complex, and harder to comment on. 


Its a monologue by a priest. ( A good performance from Rajit Kapoor there ). As he tries to come to terms with his love for his god, his feelings for his wife, and his losing fight against the lust for a courtesan. Questions arise about the boundaries and parameters which govern our emotions/longings and places where they blend in. Questions about the norms, sometimes unsaid,  which have come to govern us as a society, and how superfluous and contradictory they can appear. 


The ending was a bit of a disappointment, although keeping the the complexity of the questions under debate, its not an easy job to script an ending I suppose. However, I would have preferred a less allegorical finale.


The lighting, and set design, looked perfect to me. Of course, I've seen maybe a handful of plays in my life, so don't have too much idea of how things are done normally. But the bare stage, with a sprinkling of flowers, the water laden vessel, and the flower covered shivling seemed apt. The mid air half lingam again, perched on which Rajit recites his story, was unusual, but effective. The subtle sounds of the night in the backdrop also helped to set the mood. Another concept new to me, was the fact that theatre can tingle another of our senses - smell. So the smell of camphor, again sets the tone of a perceived and associated "religiosity" so to speak. 


Overall a good experience, although I'd be curious to see what a different director/actor would make of the play. Here the journey is sombre, subdued, and the calm is sought to be broken by the content of his tale, it could even be enacted / set in a reverse order, or perhaps at a neutral venue. Lets see if anyone ever attempts it.