You may not wage the war, but…

You may not wage the war.
But… let’s not forget,
this world itself
is a battleground.
Each one fights
… for space,
… to find his place,
… or leave her trace.
In this world,
the attacker swings
from the right …
or will hurl at you
from the left;
or hit you
from the rear …
or swing a blow,
straight at
your face.
Over time,
Life teaches you,
my friend, to
be cautious.
Be prepared…
There’s little choice…
get trampled upon…
or, hold your ground.
What’s your choice?

~ Pictowrit

You can replay your favorite song, but…

Life moves on, and you can never rewind nor replay it, ever. That is a fact, my friend, even if this song is drawn from fiction.

Aap Ki Kasam
Rajesh Khanna in “Aap ki Kasam” (1974). Background score “Zindagi ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hain Jo Makaam”

 

Over four decades ago, for a film situation, a very special lyricist wrote a song sprinkled with beautiful metaphors. Today is his 86th birth anniversary.

Story Context: A man, blinded by suspicion, throws his wife out from his life. Much later he realizes his folly. Alas it is too late; she is now married to another man. Deeply saddened, forlorn, he wanders around, regretting his rash decision, aching for the love he had recklessly abandoned.

Here is my transliteration of that iconic Hindi song.

Flowers will bloom, but some will fall off in autumn, to never bloom again next spring. Consider this, you meet thousands of people along life’s journey, but although you call out for some over a lifetime, alas, they may never return… you may never again meet those who had parted – disappointed with you – a long time ago some day.

A note of caution. What your eyes see may not be the entire truth. Don’t open your doors to suspicion… it is the darkest foe of friendship. Pay heed, ’cause if you don’t, you will regret it deeply, and all through your lifetime. No matter how often you call out to your friend (read ‘beloved’), your ‘hello’ will meet a deep ‘silence’. Those who have gone, will never return… ever. Refrain from such recklessness.

A new day will dawn, and dusk will bid goodbye, then another day will dawn, and this cycle of night and day will go on. Time moves on, the moment is here, and before you realize it, it’s gone… it won’t ever return. Man barely takes in the scene on screen, but in a flash it’s gone.

In life, the milestones that go past, will never return.

Here’s the song, I’ve just transcribed in Hindi.

ज़िन्दगी के सफ़र में गुज़र जाते हैं जो मक़ाम
वो, फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

ज़िन्दगी के सफ़र में गुज़र जाते हैं जो मक़ाम
वो, फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

फूल खिलते हैं, लोग मिलते हैं
फूल खिलते हैं, लोग मिलते हैं मगर
पतझड़ में जो फूल मुरझा जाते हैं
वो बहारों के आने से खिलते नहीं
कुछ लोग इक रोज़ जो बिछड़ जाते हैं
वो हज़ारों के आने से मिलते नहीं
उम्र-भर चाहे कोई पुकारा करे उनका नाम
वो, फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

आँख धोख़ा है, क्या भरोसा है
आँख धोख़ा है, क्या भरोसा है सुनो
दोस्तों, शक़ दोस्ती का दुश्मन है
अपने दिल में इसे घर बनाने न दो
कल तड़पना पड़े याद में जिनकी
रोक लो रूठ कर उनको जाने न दो
बाद में प्यार के चाहे भेजो हज़ारों सलाम
वो, फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

सुबह आती है, रात जाती है
सुबह आती है, रात जाती है यूँही
वक़्त चलता ही रहता है रुकता नहीं
इक पल में ये आगे निकल जाता है
आदमी ठीक से देख पाता नहीं
और परदे पे मंज़र बदल जाता है
इक बार चले जाते हैं जो दिन-रात सुब-ओ-शाम
वो, वो फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

ज़िन्दगी के सफ़र में गुज़र जाते हैं जो मक़ाम
वो, फिर नहीं आते, वो, फिर नहीं आते

The melancholy that seeps through Rahul Dev Burman‘s music composition, and Kishore Kumar‘s voice, along with the visual portrayal of Rajesh Khanna‘s helplessness, his forlorn state in the film, especially during the height of his career, has made this song from “Aap ki Kasam” (1974) memorable. These lucid lyrics, the mastery of Anand Bakshi saab’s metaphors in this film’s context are endearing, easy to sing along, soulful.

Daughters… they’re special!

Daughters… why are they special?

Like dew drops, soothing.

A balm for your slightest pain

Crying silently,

She hides her tears

Fame with fortune for just one family…

Who’s that? Of course, your son

He carries your name…

Bringing respect-n-respectability to not one, but to two families;

Who do you think that is…  No doubt, your daughter!

Who may give up her name… embracing another

One’s no less than the other…

Your son’s the star, diamond-like… bright, shining

Your daughter’s the hidden pearl… elegant, her luster brilliant

Call it nature, be it fate, or the ways of this strange world,

Treading the ground strewn with thorns, she walks alone,

Tender, flower-like, calming to your eyes… that is your daughter.

No, this isn’t blank verse,

Search for no meter, no beat, nor rhythm in these words,

But they’re not empty, and there is a rhyme and reason

About why they’re written

A cup of crystal-clear water,

Or the morning dew drop,

When you’re down, or feeling downright low

You’ll pick up the phone

To call someone…

What’s there to think

Who do you have

On speed dial

More than likely

There’s your daughter!

~ words-n-motion

Joy… you can hardly wait for more.

It’s like butter
You love it,
You spread it

It’s like chocolate
Once you taste it,
You’ll crave for it

It’s much like ice-cream
Cool,
Even refreshing

It’s like mamma’s milk
While babies thrive on it
As adults
We’ve forgotten it

It’s like music
When you feel it
Inside you
You sing along
Tap your feet
Then play it all again

Joy is all of this, and
None of it
But once you’ve experienced it
You know it, and there’s nothing
That can beat it.

~ words-n-motion

If it’s Houston this must be Texas… really?

If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium… but,

20150501_195425_Richtone(HDR)

Ask any Texan, Houston is Hewston…

If it is mid-week, never say Wed-nes-day

But if you’re in New York, and

Headed to Wall Street

riding the subway,

or walking on foot — call it route 11

You’re bound to cross Houston

But wait… remember this street is Howston

Take your chances

Crossing this line involves

high stakes

Now don’t cross the Nee Yawker

Or be prepared for defamation

Yeah, all over the famous ‘Gawker’

Now if you’re South Asian

No matter where you are

up North, or in the North East

Or down all the way20150402_135831_Richtone(HDR)

flying south by Southwest

Please don’t insist you’re visiting Hooston

Headed West?

Surely not to ‘Frisco’!

Headed to ‘Cali’ you say?

Oh, goddess Kali… cut, this isn’t Calicut

If it’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday

or Sunday… who cares

It just doesn’t matter

You’ll stand out like a sore thumb

Deriding San Francisco &

Californians!

They aren’t Texans!

Oh, but didn’t you know

Texas has Frisco, a city

But California has the city,

the biggest in the area + the Bay

So call it by its entire name

“San Francisco”… now you know

That’s Northern California

Away from LA, and miles away from San Dee-ey-Go

Nope, not Sen Diaago

Aww… never mind,

20150307_135740_Richtone(HDR)(1)

California’s tail end has two cities

and then some… did I mention

Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and even Disney

Mere neighborhoods and a land that’s

Spinning stories, making it merry for this world to go around

Now that… is Southern California!

Texans have hard cash… see, Oil?

Californians have their eyes

On your software skills

For this they’ll poach… occasionally, when not

relaxing at the zoo or safari;

but that said, they do prefer the laissez-faire style

Ouch… but today IS Monday… and there’s no IF

There’s no ambiguity… no ‘but’, nor ‘if’

That’s how it stands… like it, or leave

Stand on no formalities, wait for no goodbyes

People come, and people go

Time waits for no one

If it’s Tuesday, or Thursday

Be it at home, or on holiday in Rome!

Technology Turns…

FaceBook Usership_2017
Graphic added in 2017. For a further age and gender break up on same source site, visit https://www.statista.com/statistics/187041/us-user-age-distribution-on-facebook/

 

Facebook का यह मेला क्या है?
अजी समझो, यह एक भूल भुलैया है
‘गर अन्दर गए,
तो फिर बाहर आने की कोशिश,
मान लो आप, वोह बेकार ही है.

अब ले लो इस बला को
जिसे कहते हैं लोग ट्विट्टर
पंछियों की इस चह-चहाट में
ढूँढें किस तरह से हम
कोयल की उस मीठी कुहू कु को!

जुड़ जाते हैं हम रोज़,
आज इस फोरम में
कल उस महफ़िल में
निशाना और मकसद
हैं सभी के अलग अलग.

कोई है हसीं चेहरे की तलाश में
कोई चाहत को पुकारते हुए
किसी को तरन्नुम की,
तो किसी को साज़ की
तलाश करते करते
किसी आवाज़ खींच लाती है
किसी के गीत बुलाते हैं हमें

किसी को दोस्ती की खोज है
तो किसी को नौकरी की
किसी को सिफारिश की ज़रुरत है
किसी को सुन्दर लड़की; या युवा लड़के की ख्वाहिश
आप खुद यहाँ क्यों हैं, क्या आप को है पता
माफ़ कीजिये, सवाल मन में उठा खुद अपने वास्ते
पर  पूछ लिया आप से!

चलो, निकल पड़ते हैं साथ साथ
इस सवाल के जवाब की खोज में
वहीँ से शुरू करते हैं खोज अपनी
जहां खो जाना आसान है;
करोड़ों की संख्या जो है!
पर अजीब बात यह है की
खोकर भी चुटकी में मिल जाना आसान है.
ढूंढो, और न मिले, यह तो बात नामुमकिन है
एक गूगल ही तो है
जहां खोजना मुमकिन है,
और खोकर पाना और भी आसान!

यह तो था सिर्फ गूगल सर्च
पर हुआ यह के लग गए लोग
करना सर्च के ऊपर सर्च,
यानी मान लो रिसर्च!

पर बहुत हो गया यह सिलसिला
छोडो यह facebook , ट्विट्टर का चक्कर,
आओ, फिर से उस जगह
जहां पचपन से कम उम्र के मिलते हैं इंसान
जिनको सीधे शब्द में कहते हैं लोग ‘जवां’!

कहो इसे एक नया अड्डा, या कहो अनोखा सा इक घर,
यह शहर, यह जगह, यह, मोहल्ला, बस है तो यह
एक अनोखी दुनिया
जिसे हम पहले कहते थे गली का नुक्कड़,
आज वोह है दोस्तों और दोस्ती का मिश्रण
सर्च की कोख से जन्मा यह संगम
चलो, मिलते हैं एक अलौकिक गली में
उसे आप नुक्कड़ कहो… कोई कहे हेंग-आउट
technology वालों ने दिया नाम उसे Google +!

Buried whole…

Vacant days

Empty space

Blank verse

Barren thoughts

Forced words

Deafening silence

Frozen time

Wasted talent

Blinding signals

Glaring darkness

Bottomless hole

Buried whole.

Chitralekha vs Chitralekhan… the distinction.

On a Google search for ‘chitralekhan‘, I always encounter this question: Did you mean chitralekha?

NO! I meant what I typed… gee, doesn’t Google get it! The following popped up as one of the search results… it’s fascinating. So I’m reproducing it here for my own future reference. (Not plagiarizing, please.) Incidentally, juggernaut , derived from Lord Jagannatha, holds a special place in my life.

Thank you, harekrsna.com; thanks, Wikipedia… and thanks, Google. 😉

Scroll Paintings in Lord Jagannath’s Orissa

BY: ASIS K. CHAKRABARTI

Pataua Folk Painting, West Bengal

Feb 20, KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL (SUN) — A two-part review of the tradition of scroll paintings with special emphasis on Lord Jagannatha.

Folk art is an indivisible part of folk culture. The study of folk culture in the subcontinents of India dates back to the 19th century. Some eminent personalities or connoisseurs began to study folk culture absolutely to quench their personal interest. In this respect, the names of Dinesh Chandra, Sen. Reverend Lalbehari De, Ramendrasundar Trivedi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore and Gurusaday Dutt should be always mentioned. Of them, Gurusaday Dutt is the foremost pioneer in the field of collection, consequation and deliberation of folk art and culture in Orissa.

As quoted by the famous Bengali historian Nihar Ranjan Roy, Gurusaday Dutt had revealed the origin and flow of folk art and culture with the insight of an expert jeweller, who can easily identify a real stone.

Folk art has been defined in various ways and words. A thorough observation of the social, historical, geographical and cultural remains of the Indian subcontinent suggests that folk art is the art form created by the rural people for the rural people, which is centered round different kinds of folk and tribal religious rites, customs and festivals. The creation of folk art needs no grammatical norms set up by any ancient author of folk art and culture. The art form that is created by the spontaneity of a rural artist in the simplest possible way with the help of natural colours and ingredients may rightly be termed as folk art.
Antiquity of Scroll Painting: Historical Backdrop

Generally speaking, ‘pattachitra’ refers to an art form or painting created on paper or cloth. The literal meaning of the works ‘pattachitra’ or ‘drawing of a patta’ seems quite absurd, and this term might have been added later on, which is why, we find even in Tagore’s songs – the words –

    Tumi Ki Kebol-i-chobi,
    Shudhu Patte likha”
    “Are you just a painting written only on a scroll?”

The word chitralekha has been in use for a very long time. In ancient India, the word ‘chitra’ signified hand-drawn pictures and inscriptions or sculpted out images. In that age, to differentiate hand-painted pictures from smeared or inscribed pictures, these were called written or “lekhya” pictures, and the practice of drawing was known as ‘chitralekhan’. In spite of being unaware of the grammatical authenticity of the word ‘chitralekha’ (writing of a picture), the Patuas have coined the term ‘pattalekha’ (writing of a scroll). The word ‘lekha’ suggests a link of the Patuas with the ancient scroll painters.

According to the concept of folk paintings being executed by the folk painter, scrolls are written rather than drawn or painted by them. In Sanskrit, ‘patta’ means ‘a cloth’. According to the history of Indian art, in ancient ages, pictures were ‘pattachitra’. The creators of ‘pattachitra’ were introduced as the ‘patuas’. On the basis of regional differences, the Patuas are classified as – pattikar, patkere, pattidar, mistry and so on.

However, the Patuas claim to have descended as a class belonging to ‘Chitrakara’, who had taken birth from celestial parents – the celestial artist, Vishwakarma and the celestial dancer, Ghritachi. Nowadays, art formS are not created on cloth, rather all the creations are produced on paper. Gazi Patta and Yama Patta, collected by Gurusaday Dutt, were made on cloth. These are now conserved in the Gurusaday Museum of Bratacharigram, Joka, Kolkata.

The Chitrakaras, or the scroll-painters, were mentioned in the 10th chapter of Brahmavaivarta Purana, written in the 11th or 12th century A.D. At a certain time, the celestial artist Vishwakarma descended from heaven and took birth in a Brahmin family. Simultaneously the celestial dancer, Ghritachi, took birth as the daughter of a gopa (milk producer) family. They got married and gave birth to nine sons: Malakara, Karmakara, Sankhakara, Kundibaka or Tantubayee, Kumbhakara, Kangsakara, Sutradhara, Chitrakara and Swarnakara.

According to the story, Vishwakarma and Ghritachi were the original parents or ancestors of the Patuas or Chitrakaras. In this regard, they are as honourable as any other artist or artisan of the Hindu society. In reality, however, Patuas are considered to be untouchable and ostracized. There is a myth behind this ostracism. An ancestor of the present day Patuas once drew the portrait of Mahadeva, the Great Lord of Hindu religion, without seeking His permission. After drawing the portrait, the artist was naturally very much annoyed and afraid as to what would happen if the Lord were to get angry with him. Incidentally, Mahadeva was just then coming by.

The painter hid the paint brush inside his mouth. Mahadeva asked the artist why had he made the brush unclean by keeping it inside his mouth. The Patua replied that he had done it out of fear. Mahadeva got angry and said that the Patua could have thrown it away. Instead he had made it unclean, so he had to accept the punishment. Then Mahadeva imprecated that from then on, the Patuas would be ostracized from the society. They would neither be Hindus nor Muslims. They would have to perform Muslim rites and work like the Hindus, i.e., they would draw pictures and read or sing.

As far as history is concerned, this is the reason behind the ostracism of the Patuas due to the imprecation of Mahadeva. So the Patuas now go to Mosques like the Muslims and draws the pictures of Hindu deities, sculpt out their images and sing the praises of Hindu deities presented on the scrolls.

The reason for the ostracism of the Patua community has been mentioned in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. Since they had violated the rules of painting directed by the Brahman, the Brahmin society cursed them. As a consequence, they have been outcasted. So, both history and folklore suggest that violation of set up norms led to the ostracism of the Patuas. This fact is further supported by Parasurama’s sloka:

    “Vyati Kramena Chitranang Sadyashchitra Karashtta Patito Brahmo shapeno Brahmonanancho kopata”Deviation from the normal art form has led the Patuas to be outcasted by the curse of the Brahmin society.

Regarding the ostracism of Patuas, Gurusaday Dutt pointed that the form of Bengal’s generalized Hindu religion is quite separate from the scriptural religion devoted only to Brahma. The eternal, independent imaginative Bengali soul could not conform to a fixed regulation set up by the scripture while performing religions rites and creating images of deities. Rather, the Bengali Patuas have formed and moulded the images of deities according to their own imagination and expression. As a result, Bengal has its own forms of Rama, Sita, Laksmana, Shiva and Durga. They bear little similarity to their original historical forms.

The generalized form of Bengali Radha-Krishna does not conform to their corresponding historical or lila form. Bengali Patua’s Sita-Rama are different in appearance and nature from their counterparts, mentioned and portrayed by Valmiki or Krittibasa. To reach the masses and to fulfill their heart’s desire and imagination, the Patuas were courageous enough to violate the rules set up by the dominating Brahmin society even at the cost of their identity and existence. They have been bold enough to reflect Bengali sentiment and spirit in their songs, on their pattas and in the moulding of images of deities.

(Reproduced from HareKrsna.com)

Gayatri Mantra… enunciation for my reference.

IMG_0399

Aum (ॐ) Bhur (भूर्) Bhuvah (भुव:) Swaha (स्व:)

Tat (तत्) Sa-Vi-Tur (सवितुर् ) Va-Re-Ny-Am (वरेण्यं)

Bhar-Go (भर्गो) De-Vas-Ya (देवस्य) Dhi-Ma-Hi (धीमहि)

Dhi-Yo (धीयो ) Yo (यो ) Nah (न: ) Pra-Cho-Da-Yat (प्रचोदयात् )

Learn these words by uttering them aloud. To practise saying the words, listen to the intonations in the chants .

When chanted accurately, breathing should improve.

Ultimately, this should help improve overall respiration.

Now, there are: 24 syllables i.e. 3 lines of eight syllables each…

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

Aum Bhur Bhuvah  Swah

Tat  Savitur  Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

In a nutshell, from the explanations detailed in the above links my understanding is as follows:

Aum = OM = primordial sound. ‘Beej’ Mantra i.e. ‘Seed’, “Pranav” – i.e. most fundamental mantra.

Bhur Bhuvah Swaha” = describe fundamental qualities of the Supreme being.

Bhu-r = Earthy | Divine | a Constant | Life itself

Bhuvah = Consciousness | Supreme Being untouched by Sorrow | Supreme Being is ‘Anant’ – limitless, boundless

Swaha = Connect with the Supreme Being to experience Bliss

Tat = He or That (third person, referring to the Supreme Being)

Savitur = Bestowed upon mankind by “Tat = Supreme Being”, is the fountain (of knowledge to distinguish right from wrong) as well as the immense ‘potential’ or ‘power’ to act, empowered by this fountain.

Varenyam = An uninhibited acceptance of the one who is worthy to lead i.e. this Supreme Being who has endowed each of us with the knowledge and has empowered us to act righteously.

Bhargo= the purity of the Supreme Being’s Light that allows each of us to see through the darkness of maya = illusion.

Devasya = Likeness (of qualities) to the Supreme Being, since each of us exist because of that being (and as an extension of him? I wonder).

Dheemahi = Focus on the purity of the Supreme Being (embodiment of virtues) i.e. meditate to remove thoughts that are anything but pure.

Dhi-yo= Allow the influence of the Supreme Being to impact one’s ‘intellect’ = ‘dhi-yo’.

Yo = Third Person ‘that’ i.e. The Supreme Being

Nah = an earnest sincere request to the Supreme Being on behalf of the entire universe and its inhabitants (a family as a whole, with everyone connected somehow) to continually endow us with that generous fountain of knowledge + potential to act righteously.

Prachodayat = a summary, culminating from the above, completing this acknowledgement of the Supreme being and the request to the common benefactor with the end goal of peace, prosperity and fundamental joy.

Sathvaro Radheshyam No… brought to you in the US by…

It’s Sunday and in my determination to locate the sponsors/organizers of the dance ballet production, here’s the precise theme information I found:

Gujarati Dance Ballet produced by Arpita and Nilesh Thakkar
Gujarati Dance Ballet produced by Arpita and Nilesh Thakkar
Gokul, Vrindavan, Nathdwara or say, "Shrinathji".
Gokul, Vrindavan, Nathdwara or say, "Shrinathji".