The Fiery Rebel


Indian story in most fields is of a rebel coming over, changing the ways for the masses and bringing about some changes, good or bad. From Buddha to Gandhi, Pataudi to Ganguly and Dhoni the leadership has mostly succeeded only when the things are done out of ordinary, shouldered by someone extra ordinarily determined and different. Talking about cricket, I was obviously not born to be able to comment much on Pataudi.

Ganguly was the first time Indian cricket got an arrogant, in-your-face “Prince” to give back to the cricketing world what was recieved, mostly along with interest. Indian cricketers, just like the Indians were supposed to be spiritual, calm and composed, and sure we did have many such legends over the years. But the first major international success was achieved under a Haryanavi, while a phase of global respect came only under a person ready to antagonise anyone to serve his purpose.. So Not Indian, so many noses quivered and too many questions were raised over Ganguly, he just haughtily shooed them away. Until ofcourse age caught up.

Dhoni was the other rebel, coming from a small town, a wicketkeeper who was the example of crude and power… Sooo Not Indian, where went the wrists and blades and glances, the powers of Indian batsmen, we all sighed. And yet did he come and conquer all, the Captain Cool with his calmness won over most of the critics and earned grudging respect from the critics who still couldn’t accept him. Until, of course, time caught up.

Cometh Kohli then, DTC (Delhi ka Typical Chutiya) sala, bursting into 5 min abusathon at the flutter of a bird or the flying of a fly. The violent, the aggressive, the wild. The one we all dont want to be in our lives, the one about whom our parents have warned us all our lives. The one who was supposed to fail sooner or later due to his anger and violence.

I never really liked Ganguly much since the beginning, he was a puny batsmen compared to the other legends. Dhoni and his batting or his keeping I never liked. Kohli, the brash DTC , I never liked his attitude. Another reason for disliking Kohli was the fact that my then girlfriend had a crush on him when he was rising. :P

None of the three I liked much in the beginning. Yet, two of them have proved me all wrong, writing their names in the pantheons of Indian cricket legends. Proved me all wrong and earned the grudging respect. Kohli as a batsmen has done all he couldve done to prove me wrong. As a captain, I can only hope to again shower grudging respect on another player who wants to do things his own way and yet succeed belying all and sundry.

His captaincy at Bangalore has never inspired much hope but we all know IPL is his undoing and its the national cap which brings out the best in the fiery lad.. I still don’t appreciate such a player but in the end, what we want is runs and wins from him.
Here is wishing the New Crown Holder a glorious reign.

Surrender Not Bannerjee

The pages of History which I go through
One of the biggest gain I find
The joy of marvel, the awe of being humbled
When I get to meet the giants of past

One such super cool, Bearded Suave Rockstar
One whose speeches India first heard
Was our dear old Surendranath Bannerjee
Or as I like to call him, SNB

Raja Rammohan Roy,the first modern Indian
Nehru might after all be the first independent one
But, my dear friends, talk of the Indian who was first free
The one who stood as Indian, our SNB was the one

Surrender Not Banerjee was what the British would call him
A fan of Mazzini, Garibaldi, the first Indian ICS
This was the man who scared Hume
And thus we got our own Congress

He was the one who started mutinies and won them too
Fought and won the post of ICS once
Until they couldn’t but dismiss on whim
And thus was born the first radical

Buried in the pages of Moderatism
The free Indian got blown by Tilak
The Rashtraguru faded into oblivion
But not before he had made the mark

Years countless have passed since your birth
Almost a century since your death
And yet this one son of your nation
And a lover of your extremism

Shall always remember you
The one with poise but too the swag to push it up
The one who started it all for us..
The one great grandfather we all forgot

Il Risorgimento


Lets talk of a unification great
Of an empire that once was supreme
Lay sprawling in the dust
The nation of Italians which once was foremost

A king sagacious, A statesman peerless
A dreamy Revolutionary and A hero of two worlds
Emmanuel , Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi
Four names I hope Italians still do adore

Sardinia was to be the core of it all
State of Emmanuel with the guile of Cavour
Became the shining light of Italy
A leader to all, the guiding force

Napolean,the other one came to the rescue
Nationalist at heart,a carbonari he once was
Melted away at the plight of a nation old
At Plombiers he vowed, To deliver the birth

Won the war Napolean did for Italy
But stopped short of the desired victory
Lombardy they got from the clutches of tyrants
But the fratello Venetian lay still under the foreign yoke.

Parma, Modena, Bologna, Tuscany then
People all stood up in the name of their nation great
The British bulldog came to Cavours help
Keeping Austrians at the bay and Napolean could just watch and wonder

Turn of the two Sicilies it was next
Up in arms they stood against the Bourbon French
Cavour, hand tied due to the Catholic effect
Brought along the sword of Italy to fight the battle rest

Expedition of the Thousand rode across the kingdoms
Garibaldi and the Red Shirts won the piece missing
The kingdom of Italy thence was made
Emmanuel the King, through a republican sword.

Rome still with the Pope, Austria lorded the Venice
Bismarck,the Champion provided opportunities two great
Snatched Venice from the enemy Austrian
Drove Napolean’s armies away from Rome

King Emmanuel never the fool
Death of Cavour couldn’t deter
Fall of 70 he made Rome his own
When Cadorna crossed the Papal frontiers

Garibaldi tending his field in Caprera, Cavour in his grave gone
Mazzini the scholar lost, King Emmanuel who wore the crown
Four men who made the Italy
Could finally that day, have taken rest

Man ki Swachchhata

Indian win over Pakistan to win Gold Medal in Hockey.Dream come true for so many Indians who wouldn’t have known names of perhaps 2 hockey team players (Sardar Singh might be known because of being flag bearer). The era of 1948,1971 and the ages of percieved equality in 80s and 90s are gone. We have surged ahead of Pakistan. We are an emerging global power, Pakistan is a failing nation, the competition ended years ago.

Pakistan is a separated brother, agreed they are temperamental, hostile but which younger brother is not hostile to seemingly harmless actions of a big brother because of the fear of domination. I saw the fear in eyes of my 1 year old nephew. Kids are kids, my older nephew came and snatched away the toy from his younger brother and played away to glory. We the elders were left to pacify the younger one distracting him away from the toy.I wouldn’t comment too much on Pakistan but India (hopefully) has matured over the years. We are a young nation with the famous “Dividend” , not a toddler. Age of brow beating and toy snatching is gone. India’s vision, as too that of India’s youth, should be higher, better and suitable things rather than the joy of beating Pak to win Gold in a second grade competition against a similarly woeful opponent.

I would have liked atleast one to say, “This should be a building block, India should now aim for greater glory in Olympics”, it wasn’t even a celebration of India’s victory, but a defeat of Pakistan. India has moved beyond 90s in many things, this is one of the vestiges which need to be shed soonest.

With the vested interest making up political leadership in both countries, any chances of peace and brotherhood are limited for India-Pakistan. More than Pakistan, India needs a peaceful Pakistan and good relation for its benefit. Its our prerogative to offer the hand of friendship. Diplomatically its a tough nut. Only way out is “Dil Milna” of the aawam of 2 nations. When I see, some of the most politically correct, unbiased of my friends celebrating Pakistan’s loss. I can only pray for “Man ki Sawchchhata” of some, just to make a beginning. Brothers can fight but shouldn’t kill or humiliate..
Someday before I die in a world seemingly impossible hopefully realistic, I would like to able to shout the slogan “Hind-Pak ek maa ki santaan” without any brow beating or violence.

The Evergreen

I’ve seen the Angry Young Man and felt awed and at times despised, have seen the SRK and again would smile at him, look at him and move on, the great Dilip Kumar was never my taste, the amir being too perfect for me, and salman too mindless. Raj Kapoor was a bit too distant despite being in the same age as anyone, Rajesh Khanna would almost always remain a caricature in my mind, Dharmendra would be amongst the favourite of the lot and yet, the Haryana ka jatt with his muscular and monkeyish prowess would always be a show great and yet nothing more. Guru dutt shall remain a figure beyond comprehension for most ordinary minds. Shammi Kapoor being the one who appealed most among the lot, with his brand of rock n roll music and his Yahoo, was the epitome of what I liked on the screen.

And yet above all, stand the ever enthralling, evergreen Dev Anand. I don’t have a clue as to when Dev Anand must have come into the circle of my senses. All I can guess is, must have been an infant, my mom being a big (old hindi) music buff. Although my mom, if any had a choice in Shammi Kapoor, so while she has been a huge reason in me imbibing a taste for Shammi. Dev was a self developed taste, just like many others. And yet, the kind of love, the imbibement, the recognition I had with this artist, his muic and his movies, have never felt anywhere.

I had thought of writing about the great Shammi kapoor when he died, unfortunately the lethargy gave away. Yet when the evergreen tree fades away, I really had to express my pain, the hurt of losing someone, who never was present in my life and yet was always a presence.I’ve always seen him the simple, loving guy, ready to share a word or two, a smile or two, hardly ever tackling the bullies and yet be smart enough to get through. I’ve always wondered at his wit, have always smiled at his smarrt assery, always wanted to be the fav of all like he always was, with his gentle speech and yet more than anything he has been my love guru. Music and love are two of the vital cogs in my life (Knowledge and happiness being two of the others), and this is where this love guru has always touched me, he’s taught me how to express love, how to feel love and how to love a person. It might not be your sweet heart, it might be the guy next door, or your lovely mother. The day I start accepting all with love, I’d feel like returning something to my love guru, The Raju Guide/Jewel Thief/inspector Shekhar/The captain Anand/the Heera/the Johny&lt who although would always have had others' words put in his mouth but must've had some efforts in cultivating such an image.

Today, the man breathed his last, I am a bit sad, the logic behind which I wouldn’t really understand. Not as if he was doing any more work or churning out some gems like before. I'm not sad because a person is dead, I'm perhaps thick skinned enough to care of any celeb's death. The biggest loss I feel is, that some part of me might have gone with him, how will now I say the words "Abhi na jao chhod ke" to my sanam. How shall I now hum "main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya", how shall I console myself by humming to myself "kabhi khud pe kabhi haalat pe rona aaya" when the man who gave me these lines, these words which have stayed me through my life is gone. Some hollowness shall ring through me, every time I try to express my love, my life, my pain in his words. The only other image to portray me so truly, the Beatles were always an entity for me, gone long before I knew them. Dev Anand instead was always that happy, shaky, cheerful,smart and likable person on screen who was still the evergreen when I opened my eyes, well past his prime.

I wouldn’t try and ring any of his words to describe the situation, he was the one who always created the words and he never created one for such a real occasion, he wouldn’t even have ever wanted to. All he'd ever want to talk of would be Life. If only i was skilled enough as his writers were, would have written a lot about the Dev Anand breed of love and life, yet being just a guy, would sign off with 5 of my fav Dev Anand songs.

1. Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke

2. Abhi Na jao chhod ke

3. Main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya

4. Hai Apna dil to awara

5.Dil ka bhanwar

Nero’s Remorse

(Famous painting, Remorse of Nero by John William Waterhouse, which got me into writing this)

She was the Empress, She was Augusta
She was my mother, She gave me birth
I am the Caesar, I’m the will
And it was her blood that law demanded

She had to be killed
She was the treacherous
She looked to usurp the Caesar
That bloody woman shall never be calm

Claudius, she killed with, The Food of God
My turn could have come again
Britannicus was her next cog in wheel
The cat could never be tamed

I wanted it a peaceful tale
I arranged for her to go the Gods
If only she could have sunk in the Nemi lake
I had it all arranged nice and calm

She the treacherous, still ran away
Dare again she disobey the Caesar great
Had no choice, no words left
I had to kill her, by the hand

For never shall a citizen be above empire
Never shall a conspirator be left alive
No eyes that look at throne shall ever be spared
For above you all, lies the Caesar

She were to be executed as the order decried
She was my mother, who gave me birth
Yet all along in front of court, cried the ungainly wretch
“Smite my womb, that produced the son abominable”

As the dagger, struck the wound
In front of these eyes, her gift divine
As the woman most strong lay down in dust
She the woman most beautiful, bore it with a sigh

Years dozen have come and gone
Since that fateful night in Rome.
Justice was served,the treacherous was killed
Justice was served,a mother was lost

I could never kill the empress
How could I banish the woman great
The arm of justice had it made and done
For above you all, lies the Caesar


My (almost correct) historically retelling of the remorse of Roman Emperor, Nero on his act of getting his mother, Agrippina killed. Agrippina is one of the devious n famous women in Roman history described as ‘ruthless, ambitious, violent and domineering’ by various historians. She had incestuous relations with her brother (who was Emperor Caligula) gaining almost empirical powers during his reign, married her uncle Emperor Claudius, whom she then killed to bring her son, Nero to power. Only to be plotting against him as well, as he started drifting off from her influence and trying to supplant him with Britannicus, son of Claudius.

As wiki lists out, her list of victims is not too small. And yet getting her killed for his own safety, was an event her son, rued all his life.

Admiring Wrong people

While I was growing up, I had read / listened a quote, quite a few times. I am not sure about the origins of the quote, a part of my brain says, it could have been the gyaan doled out by Gautam Buddha, other part says, it’s a basic tenet of Hindu Religion, while the other part of my brain says, it could have been just a general quote uttered by some unknown person, in some unknown text at some unknown time which has persevered through some pages of history. The quote says a very simple thing
“Hate the wrong, not the wrong-doer” or to say in hindi
“घ्रणा पाप से करो पापी से नहीं  “
Many years from then, I have no interest/affinity left for religions, hinduism or buddhism, but this one line has always stayed with me. One of the things I like to abide by in my life.

This, whole background, can be understood as continuation of my earlier post. The reason I can’t hate Hitler, the reason I can’t hate Godse, the reason I can’t hate Saddam or Osama. I will until the day of my death condemn the actions of these man and will argue for long hours with someone who doesn’t consider  these men’s actions wrong, or who appreciates/support their actions (again, not all actions, but my reader would be sufficiently intelligent and aware to decipher which actions I am talking of).

Yet, leave aside Hitler (who I have always been appreciative of in some sense). You ask me to hate the person Osama or you ask me to perhaps kill such a person if they are under my power (which would be a very fitting solution in eyes of many). I shall pull my hands back and strongly disagree with you.  Although I might not have problem with a court of law awarding them death penalty, as it the duty of the court to punish the guilty for their actions.This is one of the points of meeting of my mathematical/scientific philosophies and the humanitarian/historical ideas. I have always been a strong believer in the concept of duality, which in my opinion is one of the very basic fundamentals this universe/existence is based on.

Applying that scientific funda to humans/history is where I (just for myself) exonerate these wrong people from eternal hatred on my side. I consider a person and his actions as the two components of a single unit, which although can’t be separated from each other and shall always define each other. But, it is always possible to analyse the two different components of that unit individually which is, where you will find the support for all these ‘individuals’. Because leaving aside the actions of these people, they are humans, who have some ideas (talking about the ones different from their actions), who have done some deeds, who have achieved something in their life. Who might have been a success, who might have been examples to the future generations to achieve (preferably something else) in their lives.

All these arguments might seem fantasy words to the people who have suffered at the hands of such tyrants, and they have my heart-felt apologies. I will always like to such criminals meted out their deserved punishments. But I, myself would like to follow this funda of not overlooking the good/impressive qualities these ‘Wrong people’ have! Some people hate Nehru for the division of India, the loss of POK and many such things, some people might kill Jinnah for his actions which were instrumental in the partition of India, which resulted in such a horrendous blood bath and separated brothers on either side of the border.

And, as long as I have the belief in the concept of duality, I can always be found admiring a Gandhi, a Hitler, an Osama (perhaps, haven’t found anything very impressive in him yet) and mentioning them all in one single line with some respect, some disregard, some curiosity.