Sunday, January 31, 2010


घट रहा है
घटा रहा है
कट रहा है
काट रहा है
बह रहा है
बहा रहा है

जा रहा है,
ले जा रहा है
पल पल
दूर दूर दूर

Friday, January 29, 2010

Abhang Tukaram- Anuraniya Thokara

Heard this early morning. Made my day. Killed me. Will translate, Insha Allah.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This composition, 'ja ja re apne mandirwa'(जा जा रे अपने मंदिरवा) is a famed one in bhimpalasi. Almost everyone has sung it. A rendition by Ashwini Bhide used to yell from my laptop some time ago. To my utter surprise one day our geek-friend Atishay, was humming it, with all gamaks and aakaars complete :D. Apparently the song sort of caught-on with him, even though he had no particular liking for classical music. Sort of surprised me. Anyway.

Here is bhimpalai by Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Rajan Sajan and Ashwini bhide . Jasraj one, comes to you easily but Pt. Rajan Sajan will grow on you. I am embedding only Rajan-Sajan one. For Jasraj click here and for Ashwini bhide here. Ashwini has also sung it well, though my guess is most people will like the Jasraj version most.

I think its a nice and light composition.


सत्य की तरह झूठलाये जा रहा हूँ मैं,
अपने अस्तित्व को |


क्या है विचार की अंतिम गति?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dying Man

We will call him 'dying-man'. If you ask him he is never gonna tell you that, but the truth is, that he is dying. He is not sick or old, he is fairly-fit and young but he is dying. Everyone is dying too, you can say that, but everyone is living too. For him, he has lost that connection with life. There is nothing left in the gamut of human experiences, which can evoke his interest. He is just waiting now for the, 'THE-END'.

Dying-man picked up a packet of biscuit, a packet of cheese with holes and some tea. There was a long queue at the cash counter. It was a weekend after all. This civilization had created this unique travesty of relief, weekends. May be there is some deeper human fixation with ends. May Be. Dying-man was also waiting for his end, 'The End'. But his kind of 'end' was not a means towards some end. He just wanted himself to end. Period.

He decided not to stand in the queue, he was in no hurry. Causally he studied the merchandise stocked in racks. A super market is a sensual feast. 1000 kind of things, and then 1000 types of those 1000 kind of things. Aisle after aisle he moved on. Looking at everything, yet not quite noticing it. Suddenly, he heard a giggle, shrieky enough to pull him out of his reverie. Two bright eyes were looking at him. Shining ones, rare ones. He gave those eyes a glance back, but the eyes had disappeared. He thought, he did some thing uncharacteristic
to attract this. Could be. He was other-worldly, always. Cash counter still had a long queue.

He moved on. To another aisle, to another set of products. Products products and more products, super fertility of industrial economies. Increase production, increase consumption, deck up everything up in shiny packaging, to arrest your eyes and ears. He was a dying man. Unfazed, he moved on, no commodity could create arousal in his system. His shopping basket already had, all what he needed.

He heard the giggle again, the same shining eyes were now smiling. He made an eye contact, he noticed those eyes had mischief, playfulness, innocence. The dying man smiled. Rarely did the dying-man smile, this was one such occasion. Shining eyes clapped in glee.The little one had little hands, little legs, chubby cheeks, and the frivolity which can make a dying-man smile. Dying-man gazed continuously, enchanted. The little one laughed, ran and hid himself behind his mother's legs.

The Dying-man had just felt the stroke of aliveness in his skin. The little one, peeped again, standing behind his mother's legs and then hid himself up again. For the first time now, the dying-man REALLY looked at the merchandise. He grabbed a big bar of Mars, a big bar of Bounty and Twix.

He had just met Life. Our dying-man.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26th Jan

Sound Seeing Samkhya

I dont know much about dance. I dont know much about music either but at least with music I have some familiarity. My education and interests however have often made me ponder about music and its connection with time. How do we bring our modern understanding of vibration/sound(longitudinal wave) /fourier series/vocal apparatus/human anatomy to realm of Indian classical music(ICM)?

Indian classical music(both Hindustani/Carnatic) has this unique feature of using this concept of 'taal'(rhythmic cycle?) to convey time and also timelessness. Using a circular concept, passage of time is conveyed via aavartans (आवर्तन). Using a cyclical approach, time is divided into repetitive recurring pieces. The most defining event in this repetitive-cycle is the starting point(called Sam सम) and ending point (also termed Sam and it begins another cycle). I call this the Big-bang or the Big gong when t=0.

This blog also, has wasted several CPU cycles (आवर्तन ;-)) on Time and its mythification. And of course the sense of passage of time and tense bla bla bla.

Then one day I heard Pt Birju maharaj saying, u can hear tala via tabla, mridang and pakhawaj but to see tala u need a dancer :). This made me tinker further with the idea of, "seeing the time". Music and dance have this unique capability, one can 'see' and 'hear' the "time". Of-course I am using the wider definition of time here.(I think you can fathom what I am hinting at)

Now think on these lines. All of you know very well, from the Indian perspective, sound is categorized as para-pashyanti-madhyama-vaikhiri.Para being the most subtle and vaikhiri being gross. Pashyanti is made from the root (pashya/too see), means seeing the sound. So, just before the unmanifested sound(para) the first perception of sound is pashyanti(seeing).
Now sound. The only way sound can be defined, is an auditory sensation. So the argument now becomes, that the perception of sound(hearing) first happens as pashyanti i.e. vision.

Now think of those Vedic seers, the so called mantra drastha crowd. The 'seers' of the 'sound' chaps. And ofcourse now we bring in time here. Shruti is Eternal ..Right ? Eternal means all the time. Now connect all of this to concept of taala.

In someway this all somewhat becomes absurd, since as per the thesis put forth by the tradition, hearing (sound) is a more fundamental property than seeing(light). In my own personal understanding, also I feel the same. To me, hearing does indeed happen at a zone where image making mechanism of mind is inactive. Hearing is a more subtle sense than seeing is my firm belief/experience.But the tradition it seems, calls the subtlest form of hearing, seeing(pashyanti) :) at one place but at some other place says hearing is subtlest(akasa) and seeing is grosser(agni).

Ok maybe I have not made myself clear enough. But I am sure few of you can catch the trash which I just threw. I can develop this further, connecting time to pinda(body) and brahmanda(cosmos) but some other day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Piya milan ko jaana

Pankaj Mullick. If I write anything about this song I will only sully it.

Just listen

जग की लाज, मन की मौज, दोनों को निभाना
पिया मिलन को जाना, हां पिया मिलन को जाना

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ragini: Tu raja ki raj dulari

Now that I have been gently reprimanded by my Guruji for being too cerebral (see comments of previous post), I seek redemption in this post :)

Here is ragini, a folk-music form, from Hariyana. Most raginis are centered around events/stories and are musical descriptions of the same. This is a very fundamental, a very earthy music. Lyrics are important here, but not in the way they are in Ghazal(its HR!). This ragini describes Shiva warning Parvati of unpleasant consequences, if Parvati's imagined marital endeavors fructify. Don't forget this is 'Shiva-the-jat' of haryana, he aint gonna talk Vigyan Bhairav tantra in this land :).

Do watch the video with its beautiful visuals, and of course even more beautiful lyrics! This is not for you if you are faint hearted or under 18 (in that case you would need adult supervision).

I have also put up the lyrics which have been copied from here, the English uttar-mimansic translation is of yours truly.

तू राजा की राज-दुलारी, मैं सिर्फ लंगोटे वाला सूं (हूँ का हरियाणवी बोल)
भांग रगड़ के पिया करूं मैं, उंडी (कटोरा) - सोटे (दंड) वाला सूं
You sport Tag Heuer and wear Estée Lauder, I a street hoodlum, who just got a mug shot
I partake controlled substances, with possessions far and few

तू राजा की छोरी सै, मेरे एक भी दासी दोस्त नहीं
शाल दुशाले ओढ़न वाली, म्हारे कम्बल तक भी पास नहीं...
You a wine glass socialite, I a lonesome antisocial
You wear cashmere, I naturist by compulsion

तू बागां की कोयल सै (है) अढे (यहाँ) बर्फ पड़े, हरी घास नहीं
किस तरयाँ (तरह) दिल लागेगा तेरा, सतरा चौ प्रकाश नहीं
In your centrally heated room u do karaoke, I a destitute
There is no glitter of Manhattan here dear, power cuts abound

किसी साहूकार के (यहाँ 'से' के अर्थ में प्रयुक्त) ब्याह करवाले, मैं खाली सोटे वाला सूं.
Marry an i-Banker lady, raise kids in east coast, I am eternally broke

मैं धूनी तपा करूँ, तू आग देख के डर जायगी,
रंग घोल के पिया करूं, मेरा राग देख के डर जायगी
My Life is not so Rosy, my Rosy, fears it has plenty
My cannabis induced ecstasy, is the stuff which horror movies are made of

सौ सौ साल पड़े रहे जल में, तू नाग देख के डर जाएगी.
तांडव नाच करे बन में, रंग राग देख के डर जायगी
O'Beauty, I am a beast, fear and trepidation my companions
My free-style vacillation is no Flamenco

तने (तुझे) जुल्फां (ज़ुल्फ़) वाला छोरा चाहिए (यानी मोडर्न),
मैं लाम्बे (लम्बे) चोटे (जटा) वाला सूं.
Prince charming, well-groomed, with chic hair-do is what u need
A ruffian with head lice is not what girly dreams are made of!

PS1: reminds moi of a sanskrit subhashit, स्वयं पञ्चमुखः पुत्रौ गजाननषडाननौ दिगम्बरः कथं जीवेत् अन्नपूर्णा न चेद्गृहे (5 mouthed himself, sons having 6 mouths/elphant mouths, how would digambar(shiva) live, if annupurna(parvati) wasnt in his home? ;)

PS2: Ok,So what if Shiva dint expound VBT here, every HR-SRTC bus has many live Bhiarvas which can offer u shaktipat anytime ;)

PS3: Who cares about Shiva, when Krishna chose Haryana to sing Gita :) :) :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


"Cafe Latte" he said nonchalantly. His order was fixed. Since many many years.
"Tall? Grand? Venti?" , he was demanded.
"Venti", he said. Only capitalistic abundance can make the smallest, tallest, He thought.

He searched for a corner seat. Corner is where 2 walls meet. Three also, actually. But he chose the two one. Sitting on that bean bag, he was a picture of tranquility, if only anyone noticed. Everyone was too busy. Good for him, he despised human attention.

'Stupendo, fantastico', A young couple was conversing in Italian. His favorite tongue, Italian. He could hear all languages there, you name it. The powerful arbabic, the delicate french, the chirpy spanish, the throaty danish, norwegian, everything. This place mixed, flavors, smells and languages and created a unique one of its own. You don't need to be a 'parivrajaka' anymore, this place has brought into being that possibility. This place could be called, a laboratory to investigate human thought. To see how different cultures think, to see how they think no-different. Wont you call such a place, an institution? A sacred one?

But he dint come here for that. He knew where thinking could lead,No-where. He had crossed the hurdle of thinking long back. No, No, he was also not not-thinking. Though he knew not-thinking also through and through. He knew all the turns mind can take, he knew all identifications of mind. Insanity/sanity he knew it all. Nirvikalpa/shoonyata/id/ego/super-ego/cognitive-psychology/epistemology, what have you. The whole philosophy of mind.

"Sir, your Cafe latte", he heard.
Without sugar, is what he used to prefer. He felt the warm-dark-bitter-milky fluid in his mouth. Every sip bitter than the other sip. Every sip making way for another sip. Brahman is bitter, he knew it.

Monday, January 18, 2010


हम मिल रहे हैं
पल पल
मिल नहीं पा रहे हैं


नींद भी इसे,
मिटा पाती नही|
ये थकान,
जाती नहीं ||

Bend in the Sarayu - A soota chronicle

A bird just flew from the sacred southern shores of IN and landed in my vicinity, bringing with him two books which I had sought. I spent a good weekend, in that bird's generous hospitality, all tucked up in the bed catching up with my fast disappearing reading habit(while bird cooked and fed me and ran odd jobs for me!). It seems,I gave some trouble, to various stakeholders involved in my wish fulfillment mission(of book acquisition), but my gratitude I hope will make up for it :).

So, I read a nice travelogue book, 'Bend in the Sarayu - A Soota Chronicle'. Its an interesting tale of Authors journey, beginning in Delhi across the dusty lands of eastern UP. Author, an engineer by profession, goes on a pilgrimage of some sort to Ayodhya and Naimish. In the process are uncovered, customs of hinterland, fables from purana and (my fav.), lessons of life learnt from perceptions of those body-mind systems which are oblivious of an urbanized life full of fret-rush and push-push. Its a good peek into history/culture/mythology(very generous dose of it), of the land where Rama, a 'high impact factor character' in the Indian 'diviniscape' was born. Some chapters were set in villages and described rural life, they were so enchanting and the characters so emotive that I was totally moved. Some premchand's traits there in story-telling, perhaps!

Even as I knew most puranic stories told there, some of my impressions about North indian 'mytho-scape' were challenged, esp. when I discovered, much to my chagrin that Varaha avatar is worshiped in Eastern UP. I was under the impression that, the erstwhile puranic gods had more or less left the popular imagination of Indo Gangetic plain, as north indians today mostly worship Rama Krishna,Shiva and Durga and hanuman. Some descriptions of Bairagi(vairagi) brought to my mind descriptions of Sant Mat and Udasi Sampradayas etc.

In the puranic lore, Soota is the traditional story teller. Author pictures himself as Soota in the book. But I would say, Soota of the book willy-nilly creates a sutra, yes a sutra which he then adorns, by plucking flowers from all traditions of India(from kamban to tulasi), and creates a floral garland. That sutra is devotion. Cant help thinking of akshar-manamalai, considering, that author ends the book with Upadesa Saram. Good Read!

Since, we are at Rama, here is chaupai from RCM, that my mother used to sing to me often, its from Beauty-Kand.

प्रबिसि नगर कीजे सब काजा। हृदयँ राखि कौसलपुर राजा।
गरल सुधा रिपु करहिं मिताई। गोपद सिंधु अनल सितलाई।।
गरुड़ सुमेरु रेनू सम ताही। राम कृपा करि चितवा जाही।
अति लघु रूप धरेउ हनुमाना। पैठा नगर सुमिरि भगवाना।।

Here are some more details about the book.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Highway Lessons

It was one of those days, those kind of days, which days are normally supposed to be. Uneventful, silent, usual, though not exactly boring, boredom had left his system long long ago. He was diseased, the cause unknown but the suffering, so real. It was a dark night and through his windscreen, he could see the dark highway tar divided by the white line.

The same road can lead you to two different ends, it just depends on what side of line you are on, he said to himself. Someone draws the line and one chooses one's side. Line had taught him a lesson.

Keep to your left, he said to himself, as he was speeding away. A speeding car, on a dark night, on a high way, is such a reflective setting! He searched for a CD but stopped, he wasnt sure he needed music. One symptom of this disease was not being sure, in any case, nothing really entertained him these days(that's another symptom), so why bother.

A deep breath later, he saw the white line again. It wasn't really a white line. It was a dotted line. Or you can say a broken line. Or lots of small lines with gaps in between. He was looking mindlessly at the line. May be the motion had made him still. It happens, stillness sometimes emerges from motion. We can call it restful motion. Oxymoron..right ? He understood one thing ,may be we can use personification here, 'the line made him understand'. The line made him understand, that lots of lines can become one line, that 'lines' is 'line' when aligned. That singular is also plural sometimes.That that sometimes gaps can create continuity and vice versa, continuity can have gaps.

Suddenly the car shook, the speed breaker told him, his presence had absence(that's another symptom). He inhaled deeply, the familiar bright street light shone through his windscreen, he was home!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


घट रहे हो तुम,
मेरे भीतर,
पल पल|
और घट रहा हूँ,
मैं भी शायद ||

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


पेन्सिल की तरह,
तुम्हारे हाथों में|
छिल रहा हूँ,
घिस रहा हूँ,
और लिखता जा रहा हूँ ,
तुम्हारी आत्मकथा ||
यही तो है बस,
मेरे जीवन की व्यथा |

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kenu sang khelun holi

Meera bhajan,very very well sung, by Lata and extraordinary music by Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Lata-Hridaynath is such a beautiful combination. Its a pity that Hindi cinema did not have the caliber to exploit Hridaynathji properly. Reminds me of a great album Lekin, where Lata and Hridaynath have given soulful songs.

Anyway. Enjoy, solitude, melancholy, pain.

Kenu sang khelun holi, piya taj gaye hain akeli
With whom should I play holi?, beloved(the only companion!) has forsaken me.

Jo nar dukh mein dukh nahi maane

Nice, Shabad.

Jo nar dukh mein dukh nahi maane. Sukh saneh aru bhaya nahi jaake.
A being who doesnt accept grief as grief. Pleasure, attachement, fear who has neither.

Web says its by guru teg bahadur, but the 'takhallus' says its guru nanak. Shrikant Bakreji sings it well.

Here are the lyrics.

जो नर दुख में दुख नहिं मानै।
सुख सनेह अरु भय नहिं जाके, कंचन माटी जानै।।
नहिं निंदा नहिं अस्तुति जाके, लोभ-मोह अभिमाना।
हरष शोक तें रहै नियारो, नाहिं मान-अपमाना।।
आसा मनसा सकल त्यागि के, जग तें रहै निरासा।
काम, क्रोध जेहि परसे नाहीं, तेहि घट ब्रह्म निवासा।।
गुरु किरपा जेहि नर पै कीन्हीं, तिन्ह यह जुगुति पिछानी।
नानक लीन भयो गोबिंद सों, ज्यों पानी सों पानी।।

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Like many others, he too had read, he too had heard and he too had contemplated. Mountain beckoned and he arrived.He saw the mountain. Mountain was serene and the peak was inviting. His face beamed. But the inner voice said to him, "this is just another peak, after all what is there in peaks! What do you want to add to yourself by reaching summits, scaling heights ?".

The problem with inner voice is, it rarely shuts up, moreover the more you try to shut it up, the more it roars back.

This time however, he saw some sanity in inner voice. He saw a deeper meaning in it, to surrender expectations related to forthcoming moments.
After all, the sky which was above him right now,the same sky is above the peak too. Will he get any closer to it by reaching the top ?

The inner voice said, "you dont climb to see the sky, you climb to see the earth, the same earth is not the same, when seen from the top"."When you go up it changes the way you look at what is down".

A tear dropped and trickle followed.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Rudrashtak: Shivraj Shitole

I have been looking for some sweet rendition of this famous Shiva hymn by Tulasidas. The sanskrit text and trans. is already there on Stutimandal. Today I found a nice rendition of the same. Artist is Shivraj Shitole. He has sweet voice and apparently some connection with yogic tradition. Anyway, enjoy the music also sample the other number, Karpur Arti. Get back or comment on this blog if you know something more about him.

To listen click here.

here is Rudrashtak sung by Pt. Channulaal Mishra ji

थकी हुई नदी - tired river

थकी हुई नदी:

कितना नदी और बहे?
कि वो सागर से मिले?

नदी भी सोचती है कभी कभी
कि क्यों निकल पड़ी
खाने ठोकर पत्थरों की
जंगलों की

क्यों निकल पड़ी आखिर
मार्गहीन पथ पर?
थक गयी है अब नदी.

क्यों धर्म नदी का नदी को?
सागर ओर ले जाता है
सागर नहीं क्यों खुद ही बढ़कर?
निकट नदी के आता है ?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

OS Arun Bhajan Shyam Shyam MM 2009

The way OS Arunji, says "shyam shyam shyam" the aakar etc. is ditto Pt. Jasraj. The anu-nasiks(nasals) also reminded me of Jasraj. Ofcourse he maintains his own creative distinctness. Interesting also is the way the audience responded, moving and shaking and clapping, he seemed to have cast a hypnotic spell on his audience. They dint seem like classic-Mylapore-wale-rasikas. This goes a long way to show how effective Arunji is.

More power to you Arunji. We love your music. Some songs that he sang are very popular in north india and my mind kept going back to Pt. Bhimsen and Lata and their renditions of the same. But Arunji has energy, and boy he is totally immersed in his music.He deserves at least Padma Bhushan.

Do watch the other parts of this performance which he gave at Margazhi'09. They have been uploaded as a playlist by the same channel.

Btw btw, I read on the web that Arunji has launched his album of Tamil-gazhal. You read it right Tam-gaz ;)

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year

But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.

It's been a long time that I'm waiting
Been a long time that I'm blown
been a long time that I've wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind's eye.