Hymn of Creation

Cosmos is a mystery and man have been curios to know how it came into being. What was there in the beginning? In India the intelligent mind began striving since the first millennium, for convincing explanations of cosmic mystery. In the latest phase of Rig Veda poets began wondering about creation. There is beautiful hymn called “Hymn of Creation” in the Rig Veda. It marks the beginning of abstract thinking and work of a very great poet who is asking questions which are fundamental in nature. It portrays whole vision of mysterious chaos before creation and the ineffable forces working in the depths of the primeval void. It goes like this:

“Then even nothingness was not, nor existence.

There was no air then, nor the heaven beyond it.

what covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?

“Then there was neither death nor immortality,

nor was there then the torch of night and day.

The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.

There was that One then, and there was no other.

“At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness

All this was only unillumined water.

That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,

arose at last, born of the power of heat.

“In the beginning desire descended on it-

that was the primal seed, born of the mind.

The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom

know that which is is kin to that which is not.

“And they have stretched their cord  across void.

and know what was above, and what below,

seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.

Below was strength, and over it was impulse.

“But, after all, who knows and who can say

whence it all come and how creation happened?

The gods themselves are later than creation,

so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

“Whence all creation had its origin,

he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not

he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,

he knows -or maybe even he does not know”

This was used in Hindi as the starting track of the Doordarshan serial “Bharat Ek Khoj” by Shyam Benegal.

Modern physics is also striving to know the answer in theory called “Big Bang”. Its basic surmise is the there was energy only everywhere and matter did not come to existence. After the big band some of  the energy condensed to become matter.

 

Then & Now

These days, I am taking a look at the posts which I had posted since the beginning of this blog. After going through the older posts in my blog, I am surprised how original I was since 3 to 4 years back. But I did not got much responses. My statistics were very dismal. In fact they were sustained by the posts which were copied from the internet. These were like sprinkling of the salt on the salad. Even a nutritious food cannot be savored if it does not contain the spices.

I find that the newer ones are not as original as the older ones. They are mixture of my own thoughts, pictures and literature referred from newspapers, scientific books and internet. In fact, I have realized that I cannot write better stuff because our experience of the world around us is very limited. We are content with our work and after the working hours come straight to our home. We watch television which takes away any effort we could have put in for imagining the scenarios. Our eyes and ears are fully occupied by the trivial stuff being screened on the television.

The real life experience only comes when we come in contact with people of all sorts. For example, a barber shop can be good place to listen to gossips and watch the customers. In India, in these shops in addition to the real customers, a continuous stream of young dandies come and go into the barber shop. Most of them, take the combs without any formality of asking and comb their hair in front the big mirrors. During this exercise, they hum the songs or whistle. Anyway, what I mean is that literature is born out of first hand experiences and for these either penury will push you into the throngs of the people of all hues or you are of the type who cannot sit in the comfort of the home and prefer to loiter outside.

I am realizing that how original I was writing when I was living at a remote place thousands of miles apart from my family. It is mostly copy and paste nowadays.

Shiv Kumar Batalvi: Master of Metaphor

In the Punjabi literature, the name of Shiv Kumar Batalvi stands out amongst the poets. He was the master of metaphor. He drew his metaphors from the rural life of Punjab, animals, birds, farming, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Guru Granth Sahib and the Patwaris and quarrels about the land. As with all gifted poets, he had keen eye to observe the life around him. This closeness to the soil may have been the effect of his father being the Land officer.

His poetry expressed the anguish and helplessness of the downtrodden, oppression of the women in the male dominated society.  The epic “Luna” as narrated by him is the fitting example of the latter. Luna, daughter of poor man was forced to marry the King who was like her father in the years and she was just a young woman. The king who had a son by his another wife was just about the same age as Luna. Luna, naturally chanced to see him and developed a soft corner for him. A society which was intolerant to women freedom and equality labelled her a ignoble and characterless woman. The story was rewritten by Shiv, who questioned such insults to her and instead asked why the society never raised a finger at the king for marrying a girl the age of his daughter with poverty and beauty as her only faults.

He never compromised about his poetry in his life. He wrote for some films also but poems were already written by him and these were adopted in the films. Many of his poems became the anthem of the youth in Punjab and even today no upcoming serious Punjabi singers is satisfied till he renders some poetry of Shiv. The last in this line is the singer Rabbi Gill who sang the sufi song of Baba Bulleh Shah namely “Bulla ki Jana main Kaun” and the song became a rage. Other prominent singers who have sung the poetry of Shiv are Jagjit Singh, Surinder Kaur, Asa Singh Mastana, Mohamad Rafi and Mohinder Kapoor.

He fell in love with a girl belonging to Sikh community. The girl was married off to someone else by her father. Heart broken, Shiv resorted to fatalism and turned to the drinking. Many of his poems reflect the chasm between rich and poor and helplessness. He went away so soon and deprived us more of beautiful literature.

Vanraj Bhatia: The Genius who did not Get his due

Vanraj Bhatia is a music maestro of India. No one can forget his haunting melodies in selected movies he gave his music. Take “Manthan“, “Junoon” and other classical movies and immediately you will be transported to those time when many brilliant directors like Shyam Benegal made beautiful movies and Vanraj Bhatia provided music. Melodies still haunt.

I consider, him a genius who has not got his due. This happened to many others like him who won’t compromise and worked with directors who gave them complete freedom to unleash their creativity. A cursory search on you tube reveals only two pages of displaying his work which is mostly religious songs and songs of Junoon, Manthan movies.

He is the first music director to compose the music for an Indian advertisement. Till date he has composed jingles for over 7000 ad films. I feel very bad that we have not heard more gems from him had he got chance to compose music for more movies. He displayed a vast array of musical styles in the brief  body of work he had done for the films.

The life is slipping like sand through palms

The hour glass shows the sand slowly slipping from the upper globe through a narrow passage to the lower globe. Various devices to mimic the passage of time. You can always flip the hour glass and the cycle can restart.

But that is not so with the real life. The hour glass of the real life cannot be flipped. Whatever has passed the passage cannot be reloaded in the upper globe. The life now is slipping like the sand through the sands: freely flowing. It never relents for a moment and every bit of the allotted hours are leaking away. Whatever water has passed under the bridge will not return.

Blankness stares in the front. What was wished to be done could not be done. The vice like hand of time is closing on my life. Life which would resist till last. The hand will go on squeezing every bit of it from the body. Ultimately, the eternal truth will happen. Body will become limp. Proteins will begin to breakdown releasing amines which reek of death. Muscles will become tense. It will be consigned to the earth which once nourished it like a mother. But the truth remains. From “Ashes unto Ashes”.

What is in a Name?

It is said that a person feels elated when you remember his or her name and call that person by the name. Even the Shakespeare said hundreds of years ago “What is in a name?” A rose smells the same by any other name”.  But think of this peculiar situation in the Village Guanlli of Kopal district of Karnataka. Every male is called Gyanappa and every female as Gyanavva. If you give the shout Gyanappa, you can imagine how everyone in the listening distance will respond.

Identity is created by prefixing with certain words. Elders are called Dodda and kids Chikka. The gyanappa derives from the name of Saint Gyaneshwar who lived in this place. He was revered by the people for his miracles and nearness to the God. Villagers since believe that perpetuation of the name keeps them protected from evils and there is a peace and healthy ambiance all around.

This belief has been consolidated even further from the fact that the few who tried to break the tradition suffered bad luck and have to repent and rename their children. peaceful and healthy lives. Presently no one is going to change the names and you have to be very sure which Gyanappa or Gyanavva you are going to see if you are visiting that place.

What will I say to Him?

What answer shall I gave Him when he will ask me to explain about my thumb? How will I face Him. I am sure with downcast eyes. I know He knows every thing and I hope He will ignore, but He may not. He can say that I had sent you as a complete entity and there you have not cared for what I gave you and lost some of the limbs. I am a part of Him and onus is on me to care for what I had. I am only a custodian of His fraction.

Here, I give many explanations which cannot stand the critical scrutiny. But I know people are not really so much worried they ask only for the sake of their social duty. But before Him, nothing can be hidden. So I will surrender and ask for the forgiveness. He is the father of us all. May be He will put it right , right here in this nether world itself, before I shall report to Him.