Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another nail

Voila, eet ees Sanjeeviah Park.

Abutting the Hussain Sagar, about 60 acres in all. Not a great space, not particularly well landscaped but a lung nevertheless. Snogging couples in particular find it a most inspiring retreat. Sunday mornings bring in the fitness-conscious: yoga classes, runners, walkers. The water isn't very clean - after all, this is the Hussain Sagar, the dumping place for no fewer than five streams of sewage and industrial waste. But there is hope because once the effluent treatment machinery falls into place, once they figure out exactly how to contain the Ganesh festival dumpings, there is every chance the lake will become a cleanish place.

We were here last Sunday to do some summer birding. The pied mynas were there, nesting with heartening gusto. Then, towards the end of our ambles, a bit of news that left us looking rather grim. Instead of seeing how best they can save this space, how optimally they can use these acres to absorb the havoc we create in the city, how well they can provide a space for flora and fauna as well as the more sensitive of homo sapiens... instead of this, authorities are planning, wait for it, an amusement park. Apparently as it stands the park doesn't bring in revenue.

The present plan includes a maze, a miniature park (World) with replicas of the Hanging Gardens, Niagara Falls, Eiffel Tower and what-not; a children's park with a shoe house, windmill, a sand castle; a miniature park (India) with a version of the Meenakshi Temple, step wells of Gujarat, a Taj Mahal and such-like. There will also be a mono rail, an underground tunnel, cable car and party zones.

I can see it perfectly, of course. The steady stream of revellers and party makers, with their children in tow, consuming chips, kurkure and cola by the armful, throwing wrappers around, wheeeing as they take the cable car. Lovely.

Tax payers' money going on these monstrosities! and I assure you, monstrosities they will be. These chaps routinely exhibit the most appalling taste and have contrived to put NTR Gardens on any top ten list of the ugliest man-made spaces.

I hate feeling ineffectual. Bah! I will spare you my seething blubberings.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

a passing cloud

आज कल फिर दिल-ए-बरबाद की बातें है वही
हम तो समझे थे के कुछ अक्ल ठिकाने आयी

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

गर नहीं वस्ल तो हसरत ही सही

An excuse merely to use this lovely devnagri script conversion thingy that blogger gives us. What a wonderful tool this is! I love the script but hate to write in it - it's fiddly, my handwriting goes out of control and I never manage the spaces well.

I've just typed a couple of things and indeed the software seems to read my mind, allowing for corrections and variations with ridiculous ease. Who knew!

Anyway, here's one of the pieces I picked up to experiment with, this ghazal of Ghalib’s. I particularly love the images this one evokes...

the idea of a sigh released into the universe, working its magic in small packets of energy, weaving its yearning endlessly till the desired effect at long-last takes place.
आह को चाहिऐ इक उम्र असर होने तक
कौन जीता है तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ के सर होने तक

Ghalib turns a bit Dantesque here and a poor droplet is exposed to the ravenous jaws of a hundred open-jawed crocodiles... its journey to becoming a pearl is fraught with perils.
दाम हर मौज में है हल्का-ए-सद्काम-ए-नहंग
देखें क्या गुज़रे है कतरे पे गुहार होने तक

आशिकी सब्र तलब और तमन्ना बेताब
दिल का क्या रंग करूं ख़ून-ए-जिगर होने तक

हमने माना के तगाफुल ना करोगे लेकिन
ख़ाक हो जायेंगे हम तुमको खबर होने तक

The rays of the sun bring with it the dewdrop's destruction: a glance from grace.
पर्तावे खुर से है शबनम को फ़ना कि तालीम
मैं भी हूँ एक इनायत कि नज़र होने तक

Old magic, the proverbial blink of Shiva's eye. Not longer than a glimpse, the duration of life; we are held entranced only while the spark dances.
यक नज़र बेश नहीं फुर्सत-ए-हस्ती गाफिल
गरमी-ए-बज़्म है एक रक्स-ए-शरर होने तक

What but death, 'Asad', can cure this life? The candle burns in every hue...
गम-ए-हस्ती का 'असद' किस से हो जुज़ मर्ग इलाज
शम्मा हर रंग में जलती है सेहर होने तक