Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Khalil Gibran: 12 years later

Last time when I drowned myself in this strange beauiful words, that was summer of 1997.

As Sampuran Singh would say : "Ik Puranaa Mausam Lautaa/Yaad Bhari Purbayee Bhi".

A few of 'His' words lest I forget again :

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

Good and Evil:
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Of Pain:
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears


And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Of Joy and Sorrow:

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sab kuch aise hi chalta hain

Sab kuch aise hi chalta hain
Zindagi ka ajab sa karbat hain ye
abhi kuch paas jo tha
abhi kuch dhundlayee si ho gayee o
Sab kuch aise hi chalta hain.

mutthi par daag chipak ke dhunye jaisaa bighal taa hain
ek pal me sona to duje me mitti lagtaa hain
har ek din ek benaam bhir aake mere jehan ko chun gaye
har ek din us bhir se nikle koi apnaa lagtaa hain
Sab kuch aise hi chaltaa hain.

o jo mere ainee pe chaand sa kabhi chamke the
aaj unhi-ke aankhon me kohraa ka waseraa lagtaa hain
haath pakadr ne ke liye ye haath bhi to pehlanaa hain
Manzil to chuth gaye bas afsanaa kuch kehlanaa hain
Apna sehaar na jaane kab se itnaa ghum shum lagtaa hain
Sab kuch aise hi chaltaa hain.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The obituary I am not supposed to write

I was pretty busy searching for an obscure German movie when imdb flashed the news. The melancholy of a 'mega' celebrity death then came to sit in my living room through 'cathode-ray' mourning of fox/cnn/abc.
I was surprised, I was bewildered, I was feeling a little perplexed. And then when weeks passed smeared in the usual color of bitterness and we got rid of all those shiny commemorative issues ( I got one from TIME and decided not to go for LIFE), suddenly death of Michael Jackson brings lots of fragmented memories thrown up from this daily whirlpool called my cubicle-bound mind.
I can see that rented apartment whose yellow wall once beamed from the glow of a cheap poster of 'BAD' bought from local expo. I can see the first mtv video transmitted in one of those forbidden afternoons in DD2 showing us a thin albino-ish man's impossible dancing skill. I can hear trace of those long forgotten songs, songs which to my hindi 'muzic' loving ears sounded like coming straight out of a heavy blend of cacophony and bliss! I remember buying 'Thriller' from M.N.Biswas and Symphony ( Where is that shop now? Shopping malls engulfed it?) and flaunting it to my suburban neighborhood by playing it for at least 10.5 times a day with volume of my T.Rex aged Phillips cassette player turned up to the heaven.
And then I remember my departure from the world of MJ. By the time I reached 17, a song, if not played by four relatively long haired men and did not come with heavy drum beats and at least with a two minutes screaming of electric guitar, was destined to be labeled as trash. And 'pop' was the only synonym for trash those days. In a way it still is. So MJ bowed down to Bryan Adams/Bon Jovi and then to Pink Floyd/The Doors/Led Zep/Metallica and then to that monster of sucking everybody's emotions from Duluth,MN and then...

Naturally as I entered the age of being a serios rockophile , the alleged pedophile of LA started to live a thousand miles away from my world of music. Today, when his ashes has gone to dust and vultures of media has got the first hint that time has come to give their unflinching claws a little rest (until death of ... Britney ?), why do I care for the death of a guy who for the most of us has long become Whacko-Jacko ?
I looked back in that half-lighted lane of memory. The smell of adolescence, the portrait of a small town boy listening to some alien songs, the sound of some alien songs talking to him in a forbidden tongue, the first stab at finding identity in a world of faceless zombies suddenly make my throat to feel that slimy sadness that it has ceased to feel for a long time. It's not Michael, the MJ, the peter pan, the whacko-jacko who lies there in the womb of tender death, it is my childhood ---all the bridges burnt, all the innocence lost, all the meaning of freedom grinded under this hallowed dog-life--stares at me with a morbid, weak glance.
I pull down the lid of the coffin.

Friday, April 10, 2009

another year with Zimmerman

This is Good Friday. Presumably almost two thousands year ago the last prophet to walk on earth was killed today. This is Good Friday. I sit and die slowly in my cubicle just like any other day. I check my ipod.Two weeks ago I had 1566 songs loaded into it. Then I updated software to 2.2 and everything got erased. 1566 songs. 1566 creations of Art, consumerism and magic. How much did I listen of those 1566? I try to remember. Which one was the most oft-repeated song from that gigantic playlist? Was it "us & them", was it "Hain Laun Zindagi", was it Yo Yo Ma, Metallica, Rage against the machine, Paul Schwartz, Britney Spears.......? And again, that grumpy old man in his expensive suit and top hat starts crooning in my head...."Ramona, come closer...set softly your watery eyes/ the pangs of your sadness will pass as the senses will rise".

And how closer did I come to you, you grumpy old cowboy of an era long gone? You fallen prophet of a music that promised to hold my hand in this "version of death called life". You thief and the tormentor, robbing me of all those words and scenes which I could claim as my creation. Any one of them. Any one of them to make me immortal to my own heart. When I was young, my long lost father used to tell me that every moment of life has a Tagore's song for it. And when I grew up to share with him the same map of disappointment, the same kiss of hopelessness planted under the tender valley beneath both the eyes...you came to me just like Tagore came to him. Year after year, life after life, I drag on to see if any of my pain, any of the stones I carry, any of the anguish I use as the body pillow, did it escape your pen, did it escape your guitar? And you bang and you crash on any other insignificant day and pour into my black heart those words, those images, those imitations which in my words, in my frail power of expression would always remain mute.

People would say that I discover you. I discover one song after another and live enuf for it to fill my inside until another of your torment wash me clean. But they don't know. It's you who discover me. On a rainy evening you came with your 'Tell-Tale Signs" and without giving me a chance to get ready starts attacking with "Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears/In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors /Lookin' into the lost forgotten years / For dignity---- Soul of a nation is under the knife/Death is standing in the doorway of life, /In the next room a man fighting with his wife/over Dignity."

You lure me with love that I never knew, with chants of heartbreaks that are closer to home, you smirk, you mock, and you sympathize and talk in the tongues of angel and in the tongues of men. And then you leave me. Leave me as a termite-eaten puppet. Still ready to jump if strings are pulled but the master has left the building a little too soon. And all those good times reek in my brain thruout the days and the weeks which lost their colors and names long ago. Monday brings "Everything is broken" ("Broken dishes, broken parts,/Streets are filled with broken hearts./Broken words never meant to be spoken,/Everything is broken.) Tuesday starts with Huck's tune (Well I wandered alone,/through a desert of stone,/and I dreamt of my future wife./My sword's in my hand,/and I'm next in command,/in this version of Death called Life.) Thursday's demons croon what left of Wednesday's angels in "Born in Time"("In the lonely night/in the blinking stardust of a pale blue light/you’re comin' thru to me in black and white/When we were made of dreams.") And behold another week, another insignificant piece of life ends here as my head chants "I tried to find one smilin' face/To drive the shadow from my head/I'm stranded in this nameless place/Lyin' restless in a heavy bed."

See, when this last song runs enuf, when I reach that place where you tell us, "Remember me you'll understand/Emotions we can never share.", that feeling of being so shallow, this limitation of all my dreams and words never being able to touch the feet of that all encompassing despondence of my existence makes me ashamed, makes me angry. I want to shake you off, to deny and defy you, to tell myself,"This ain't the place to put my faith on”. But then your harmonica starts to play a tune which is truer than hunger, deeper than desire, sweeter than ballads of daily death. And my realization whispers in my ears that time has come again to spend another year with Bob Dylan.

Friday, March 20, 2009

in a mood of lists

I told my Amrican friend, we the brown-nigga's from 3rd World are actually more fortunate. We get to taste best of both worlds. So, my now dead taste for songs is presented here.

My Mother Tongue (Bengali): Kabir Suman, Debabrata Biswas , Hemanta Mukherjee
My National Toungue(Hindi): A.R. Rahman till Sathiyaa (2000, and then....well, later), Jagjit Singh,Kishore Kumar, R D Burman, Lucky Ali(Till his 'Sifar')

My daily tongue(English) : Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan(Will I ever finish listening and consuming his whole catalog ?), Black Sabbath,Rage Against The Machine, Clapton, B B King, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Paul Simon,Led Zeppelin,Korn, Metallica(well)

The eternal toungue : Mozart, muzic of Satyajit Ray, Music of Nino Rota for Fellini, YO YO MA, Joe Satriani, Yungwee Malmsteen, John Lee Hooker's Solo, Enigma( till cross of changes), Fatboy Slim, Paul Scwartz and Aria,Naveen's flute

O.K. I am done with my listing. Does Springsteen and my new found love for 'Wrestler' and 'Queen of Supermarket' are there? oops.

Which Ghazal to choose?

Blogs should be simple and sweet. In an era when love death hate sex everything comes in travel pack with labor day sale tags on them, I completely obey this dictum. After completing(!!) my previous post in almost one and half years time, here is my endeavor to fame. A list of ghazals that shook the world. I mean, my world. The world of a man in search of his art, the world from which a banishment is my only reward. Well , here's my list:

1. Sochaa to meraa sayaa bhi---- do not remember (Jagjit Singh, Someone somewhere)
2. Dil hi to Hain--------- Mirza (Chitra singh, Mirza Ghalib)
3. Patta Patta Butaa Butaa-------???(Hariharan, Live)
4.Hain Noor Zindagi-----Gulzar(Jagjit Singh,Koi Baat Chale)
5.Koi Dost Hain Na Raqeeb-----???(Jagjit Singh,???)
6.Dhuaan uthaa hain----Gulzar(Jagjit Singh,Leela OST)
7. Seharo Seharo Aaj Hain Tanhaa--???(Jagjit Singh ,???)
8.Bajichaa-E-Atfal------Mirza(Jagjit Singh, Mirza Ghalib)
9.Kabhi Aansoo Kabhi Khushi Bechee-???(Jagjit Singh, Cry for Cry)
10. Din Kuch Aisaa Gujartaa hain koi---Guljar(Jagjit Singh,Marasim)

consumable, ain't that?