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.

Hima Kala Kendra

We knew her as Ms Hima Devi.

I always remember her as a lady with immense attitude, a cigarette between her fingers, puffing smoke in our middle school classroom. After a while our Victorian “ha, hoo” shocked by her stance, simply stopped.

Hima was just Hima… cool. No, we did not use that term then. But in my mind, I always remember Hima as an angry woman. Upset with the world outside, while the insides of her brain were immersed in drama – Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Shakespeare… and continually pacing in the classroom, her feet were perhaps eager to dance in Manipuri while her fiery eyes matched the exaggerated movements in a Kathakali.

She once picked on me in class announcing rather dramatically that I would be the first to go behind the ghunghat (a long veil drawn over my face) — symbolic of a newly-wed bride (in another era)… 😉 Would she chuckle, I wonder, if she knew that I almost missed that opportunity of wearing the coveted veil… or would she roll her eyes in disbelief!

I wonder if anyone remembers how we were summoned to pay an immediate visit to Strand Book Stall – no, not New York’s Strand that claims to hold miles of books in its single store in Manhattan, but the one off Pherozeshah Mehta Road, and a stone’s throw from the Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai. Alas, Mr. T.N. Shanbag has also passed on. The book, I remember, that was imperative for us to get – in middle school, again, within walking distance of this ‘bookstall’ (a book lover’s delight)  – was the late 17th century literary work of John Bunyan… The Pilgrim’s Progress!

There’s very little I actually knew then about this doyenne, a grand dame if you will… every now and again I run a search to find so little. While updating my previous post that I wrote five years ago, in the comments I added some articles others have referenced her in. But here are some visuals… piece these together to learn a little bit more… note how far back these will take you…

Hima 10Hima 8Hima 7Hima 6Hima 5Hima 4Hima 3Hima 2

 

Although there are few references available, there’s little doubt in my mind that hundreds and thousands of students who were under her tutelage, however briefly, would always have at least an atom sized space about Hima, in their memory. We loved you, admired you. Few can emulate your grace, sharp wit, your elegance, your style, your sense of timing, your voice, the words, the tone, the pitch, diction, the drama… you will stay with us.

 

 

 

 

 

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

“Alone”

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

My heart feels very heavy; the worries creep along

20150527_104408

Look, wispy clouds are wafting; yonder, romance is thickening

The chill came along, it made its home here;

But look outside, aren’t those butterflies flaunting?

Listen to my heart, in it lives the whole wide world;

Hear this thumping heart, it’s amassed all its silence

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

——————————————————————

Despair is fleeting, life is nothing, there’s no reality, it’s only fiction

When a knife pierces through, why wait in vain,

There’s never counteraction

In this wheel called ‘Time’, I ponder, “Who am I?”

I’m nothing; just a trifling, at best, a tiny-teensy ‘cog’

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

——————————————————————–

No matter whom I talk to, fear seizes me

I press my hands together,

With respect, all in all in good faith

In case you are my teacher

In case I am thy teacher

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

——————————————————————-

Someone comes up close

Someone drifts afar

Nothing holds an appeal, alas,

This heart is still ablaze

It seems I’m just a jumble

Perhaps I’m a maze

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

——————————————————————-

She who dwells inside this heart

Today, her thoughts keep haunting me

O Lord, our parting was a curse upon me

It filled my heart with despair,

Now despair doesn’t pause to catch its breath;

It just keeps trickling down

Today again I’m alone; yet again so lonely

(P.S.: This was my humble attempt at translating a Hindi poem, “Akela”, published by Vijay Akela in “Lashkar“.)

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!

Bollywood fans? Awaara Dream Sequence Interpretation

By sheer accident a few minutes ago, came upon this site… Now what was I searching for? Yeah, Awaara – interpretation of the dream sequence in this film. For a project I’m working on in collaborative mode, I’d considered a very different interpretation for the end of this song… (without having ever watched the iconic classic of the early ’50s; had just read the storyline).
Wondering whether Raj Kapoor calls out Seeta, Seeta Seeta at the end, or is it Rita, Rita, Rita… or as someone suggested – Neeta Neeta Neeta… 🙂 I thought he utters “Seeta Seeta Seeta” – his mother is banished by her husband on grounds of infidelity when she’s abducted by a rogue character. But in fact, the rogue had learned that she’s an expectant mother. So he leaves her untouched. After a few days, he allows her to return to her husband (he’s a judge by profession, and the abduction by Jagga was some vendetta of sorts). But the Judge would not accept his wife on grounds of possible tainted chastity. She’s now a destitute. Her baby grows up into this young man, a role played by Raj Kapoor. Nargis, leading lady in the film, is the daughter of the Judge (well, he had raised her, it seems and she’s a lawyer by profession). For Raj Kapoor’s misdemeanor she stands as his advocate. (He’s obviously smitten by her beauty+brains). As a consequence of the inner conflicts of his mind and heart this dream sequence conjures up in his head. It could also be a nightmare of sorts. Towards the end of the sequence he calls out to Nargis, who’s being pulled by this evil genie like Jagga and she’s fast fading away. Raj Kapoor calls out… now was he all mixed up and calling out to save his mother who’s the virtuous Seeta Maiyaa  type character in the film? Seeta who was abducted  by Ravana in the epic tale Ramayana? On her return to Ayodhya, she’s banished by her husband Rama (who had rescued her from Lanka)  under pressure from the people. She had to prove her chastity! Oh well, so… I viewed RK as calling out to Seeta… Never mind all of the above. 😉
If you’d like to watch the dream sequence here it is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLCmhNeaYfA
If the storyline I wrote in a mish-mash manner piqued your interest, bookmark this page for further info.
For the plausible interpretation, check this out… http://www.letstalkaboutbollywood.com/article-20545057.html
Now I just found yet another reference to the ‘direct inspiration’ for the dream dance from Uday Shankar’s “Kalpana” (1948). Check this out. http://cinemanrityagharana.blogspot.com/2013/04/simkies-choreography-in-awara-dream.html  This page also has the link to the older film itself. (Am watching it here now). 😉

 

The About Me reads: “I’m a French lover of Indian cinema, but I’m also interested in literature, science, art, and reflection in general. This blog will reflect these tastes more or less!French lover of Indian cinema, but I’m also interested in literature, science, art, and reflection in general. This blog will reflect these tastes more or less!” Wow… kudos to him/her for the interpretation. We may never learn the late actor Raj Kapoor’s true metaphoric intentions.  A bit more about the actor for those who’re interested is an interesting read @ http://southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/website/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Raj_Kapoor_film_comments.pdf

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 +!

Hah! Who fooled me?

Yeah, I got fooled… not on All Fool’s day, not today, nor yesterday.

Everyday, for the past  eight months, and especially over the last few days, I’ve looked at some archives of my photos! I’ve searched, and searched, and searched deeper for pictures I would like the world to see… even if they aren’t exactly the Ansel Adams kind. How can they be so, ’cause I’m an amateur photographer, besides, I rarely take b/w photos. There are some awesome photos I’ve seen here on wordpress (bloggers, those who have awesome pix, I’ve paid you a compliment each, right?) though. I could have looked on Flickr, or Shutterbug, or browsed through Getty images, but, wait, this post is not about photography, (sorry, I digressed) it’s about who fooled me, recall? 😉 😦

But why did the subject of photos creep into my writing here? Is it because I’m not focused? 😉 You see that, right? But of course, you do… is it in my photographs, or in my writing, or in my thoughts! It’s I who cannot see it… umm, is it ‘I’ or should it be ‘me’? Which of these pronouns should it be?  Do I need to go back to high school grammar? (‘I’, I know that for certain) 😉 Whoa… and I thought I could take up some professional writing again. But does it really matter? Grammar seems to be of such little consequence in these days of flash messaging, symbols, and sextext. Also, with each passing year, there are numerous additions to the English vocabulary… ever looked at ‘urban dictionary’ (does any kid refer to The Oxford English Dictionary anymore, or, to Webster’s Dictionary, for that matter)? Who knows if grammar – as we knew it, once upon a time (may have to peek at the Way Back Machine),  is also morphing  into a form that may soon be hard to recognize! In a world that’s spinning on speed reading, the length of my text thus far, is already way too long…

Okay, so my point is that, to speak to, or to grab the attention of anyone, marketers must speak the language of their target audience. Now, if I want to capture the 15-25 teen-adult attention through my word-net, shouldn’t my lingo match theirs? (Yeah, yeah, would have to keep my wits together for that). How do I do that? How should I hold the attention of that  ‘youth’ out there? Stay focused, I say to myself. But if parents – are finding it hard to speak to their own kids (that is when they do get to speak to them), how is the marketer to succeed in grabbing attention, leave alone  retaining youth attention. How does the copywriter succeed?

Billions of dollars worth of goods and services are being marketed across the globe, and a larger chunk of this population internationally constitutes the Boomerang generation, more simply referred to as Gen Y of the new millennium… or call it the youth bulge. As a business content writer, it is key to be able to write copy that is keyword heavy and search friendly. About the tricks of the search marketing trade I will revisit some other time. Nevertheless, I consider this a diabolical situation. To write well for business, one needs to be experienced enough. If you’re experienced, chances are you’re already too old to speak the parlance of this crowd (not coterie) aka Peter Pan. See the irony?

Well, so… in an effort to start again with some meaningful writing, albeit random, I reverted to this space on words-n-motion. But the words were hard to find. I took the shortcut and delved into photo archives instead, plugged in a few descriptive words (with a nudge from the blog-platform designer/architects), and voilà… I had my blog going again… revived. Yes, this fooled nobody, but yours truly! I fooled me… grammar begone, the joke’s on me!  But before I go…  will hum along while I listen to Robin (r.i.p.) 😦  as he sings ‘I started a joke’ (Bee Gees).

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.

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.