Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In Twos and Threes

As always, stuff comes in twos and threes.

Earlier this week, I was reminded of Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s heart-wrenching Maaye ni maaye main shikra yaar banaya. I had read an excerpt from the much-praised H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald’s account of a goshawk she raised. It sounds fascinating and I can’t wait to read it.

Batalvi, experienced perhaps in loving wild things and having them leave him, is enamoured of the hawk in this poem. He says:

Choori kuTaaN
Te o khaaNda naaheeN
Uhnu dil da maas khavaaiya
Ik uDaari aesi maari
O muR vatani na aaiya

I crushed choori, but he would not eat it.
So I fed him the flesh of my heart...
He took flight, and such a flight it was
That he never turned this way again...
Oh, I befriended a hawk, mother!

Jagjit Singh sings a melancholy version of this poem here:

And while on this, I found something else. Jagjit Singh singing Batalvi again and this one, the utterly pathetic Maaye ni maaye mere geetan ne nainan vich...
I clung to this song for a while, when I was grieving my mother’s death so intensely a few years ago.

Aakh su ni kha laye Tuk
HijaraaN da pahkiya,
LekhaaN de ni puTHaRe tave!
Chat laye tarel looni
GhamaaN de gulaab toN ni,
Kaalaje nu hausala rave!

Tell him, mother, to swallow the bread
Of separation.
He is fated to mourn.
Tell him to lick the salty dew
On the roses of sorrow,
And stay strong.

Although I still love Nusrat’s version best, here is (a very young) Jagjit Singh giving it a shot:

Translations are from Suman Kashyap, or based on her translations.

So far, so good

I feel like posting today, only I don't know what.

Let's see...
  • Instead of kriyas, I went for Hatha Yoga this morning with an energetic round of Angamardana. I should have kept it up but somehow I prioritised the more spiritually punchy Surya Kriya and Yogasanas. Upayoga is dashed useful, so I kept that up. Angamardana is very physical and frankly requires quite a bit of fortitude from lazy people like me - and it sort of became the rarest practice. But it was lovely today - I'm bouncing off the walls.
  • I didn't care for the pongal Dad had made (too tamsic and sleep inducing), so dumped some shredded cabbage into dosa batter and made some uttapams.
  • I caught a bit of the song from Aashiqui 2: Aashiqui baazi hai taash ki and it left me feeling so sad all over again. Poignant despair. It did good, that movie, to leave such an enduring mood-cloud almost intact after so many months of watching it. That's success, isn't it?
  • I do like Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor. They make a nice pair and seemed so sweetly in love on Koffee with Karan last year. So romantic! *moony-eyed*
  • It's been weeks since I saw a movie - the last was a marathon that included Birdman, Rahasya and Dolly ki Doli. I'm going to book as soon as it opens for Dum Lagake Haisha. Yay! 
  • I was impressed with but didn't exactly like Birdman - pretentious, I felt, and without an emotional connect. I'm afraid technical wizardry goes only so far without a story. It seemed to have swept the Oscars though. I much preferred Boyhood. Not only for its amazing concept and 12-year span but also its content, its genuine interest in growth.
  • Did not watch the Oscars yesterday but keen to catch Lady Gaga's act if I can. 
That's it. Those are the things on my mind. Plus the fact that I need to watch the clock to do the kriyas I didn't do in the morning. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015


So, I'm talking to my sister today and, in the middle of narrating her dinacharya, she says, "I found an unusual sympath... sympathy-giver... today."
"Confidant, sympathiser...," I suggest synonyms.
"No, no, it's not enough - I mean sympathant."
And so we see the birth of a new word.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Mood piece

It is a cloud, you might say, darkly glowering with blue edges. But it has other shades too - here and there rays of a sparkling yellow pierce it, hinting at an outer world. There is a region of red that we must gingerly tiptoe around, a patch of smudged pink that I'm trying to clean, a riot of green that must be encouraged to grow.

But on the whole, given this terrain, we prefer the black to the blue - the black, we have a handle on. Black is self indulgent, we can dig in our heels here, be surly and contrary. But blue comes leaching in and how's one to tackle that? We tend to drown in blue treacle, unable to row, swim or navigate.

I need to redecorate.

Friday, February 06, 2015

No luck

I was on my way to an event today - a dastangoi of extracts from Alice in Wonderland. Very excited, I'd arranged my whole day around this event, although I'm very stressed for time.
Halfway there, I look at my phone and find they've rescheduled from 5pm to 6.30. I take a u turn and come back home. I can use even 45 minutes to do some of the things on my list. Then finding myself still enthusiastic, I set out again. Now I'm caught in horrendous traffic and am sure to be at least 20 minutes late to a 50 minute session.
It's one of those days!


धीरे धीरे प्यार को बढ़ाना है, हद से गुज़र जाना है
मुझे बस तुझसे दिल लगाना है, हद से गुज़र जाना है