Thoughts

Writing does not come easily. Thoughts jostle with one another in the brain. Confusion abounds in the head. Everything is hazy. Threads of thoughts seemed to be entangled on one another. Incoherent stream of them is what comes out.

Inside there is overcrowding of thoughts, because the thinking process is unending, but it seems that they don’t want to leave the brain. They seem to be pushing one another out.

Occasionally, some thoughts come popping out and spill on to the paper. The ink hardly dries from pen because the words do not flow like torrents but just as a trickle. How I wish that floodgates of words open and words pour onto the paper.

I pray to Goddess Saraswati, patron of the arts to impart me this boon at least. Presently, both the Goddesses: Saraswati and Laxmi, have showered blessings which are just average. I don’t say that I have not been lucky.

I wanted to do doctorate in Chemistry but the time seems to have run out. My resolutions have been very weak. Had they been stronger, I would have satisfy my attitude for writing and knowing the mysteries of nature through science at least.

Indians as such are steeped in the metaphysics with umpteen number of Gods and Goddesses in the mythology of Hinduism. It seems that there are enough numbers of Gods for supervision of the activities on this earth as well as the higher world and also nether world.

Then and 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 my experience of the world around us is very limited. Most of us are content with their work and after the working hours come straight to 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.

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. 
All this was only unillumined water.
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.
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.

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 due to of his father being the Land officer.

Shiv Kumar Batalvi Sketch

His poetry expresses the anguish and helplessness of the downtrodden, oppression of the women in the male dominated society.  The epic poem “Luna” as narrated by him is a 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, chanced to see him and naturally developed a soft corner for him. A society which was intolerant to women freedom and equality labelled her a ignoble and characterless woman. This timeless tale of Punjab reflects the general attitude towards women.

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. His poems which were already written by him were used 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, Hans Raj Hans and Mohinder Kapoor.

It is said that he fell in love with a girl belonging to the Sikh community. But 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.

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 to lead 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!!

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”.

Personalities : Character No.1

You come across many different characters in your life. Their personalities are shaped by the experiences of life and their capacities to survive through life struggles. Here is the personality description of one of my colleagues.

Booming & sibilant voice; neck tilted to left side; runty bodied and very aggressive. You can hear him from a far off distance because of the volume of his voice. Thinks himself to be very intelligent and clever; voracious eater despite his small physique and very vindictive.

While eating, spills the victuals all around; attaches the diminutive bones  of fish to the rim of the plate. He is unrestrained in his speech and criticizes everyone without any impartiality.

Sometimes, he stands for long times leaning on to a door and lost in the thoughts contemplating and thinking ways to multiply his money. He is a miser to the core. He has a single track mind and selfish and always finding ways to further his own interests.

His appetite is legendary; he gulps down very large quantities of the food within minutes like a piranha fish. Nothing remains on the plate. He can digest anything: chapatis, dal, vegetables, kerosene, curd ( many days stale), any type of oil be it vegetable or minerals.

He lacks manners in everyday life; would sit down in front of you on the table while you are sitting on the chair behind.

When he takes breakfast it is sight to behold. In one hand will be his socks and other a chapati and he will eat it walking here and there. Tea in the cups will become cold and stale as he forgets to finish it and busies himself in others tasks.

Lingering Look??

She gave him a look which seemed to linger for a moment longer than cursory look you give to the strangers. He had come to enquire about some official matter. She was sitting in her chair in the office and a table stood between him and her.

Her eyes rested for a moment and her gaze fixed on his face; it was momentary but said so many things because the silence is powerful than the speech. It gave him a pang in his heart and he remembered his youth when he was a handsome young man having athletic figure and swarthy complexion and a broad chest and shoulders.

Men from North India where he belonged are generally stronger; they are less sentimental and Platonic love is not of much value there. They love to exhibit their physical charms more and assert their love in a coarser manner.

She might also have recalled such thoughts from the recesses of her past youth. The memory only is what remains and it is to be kept and cherished.

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.

Life will Never be the Same Again

No one can fathom the ways of God. We are very easily disturbed when something bad happens to us or to our near and dear ones. This is because we love our life too much and cling to it as the baby clings to its mother, moss to stones and are too afraid to face the realities of life. We always hope for the best to happen.

Sometimes one cannot imagine that a small incident or accident can permanently alter the course of one’s life forever. But at this stage, it is too late and birds had already flown away. Take it otherwise, no one have the power to change whatever has to happen will happen.

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