Ye duniya agar

One of the most important feature of this year for me has been my music and more so on my blog. Things have come and gone, many thigns have changed a lot, yet the only constant through this tumultous year for me has been my music, even when my life had almost deserted me, it was the music which played a major part in keeping me sane. Thats why I thought what better way to end the year but with a post on a song, yet again. I have written a lot about the english music and shall be (hopefully) doing so, in near future as well. Thats why, a little bit of detour lands up us at Sahir Ludhianavi from Paul McCartney.

Since inconcievable time, I have always been enamoured by Sahir Ludhianavi, to my own admission, I havent listened much of his writings. Yet, the very rare that I had the pleasure of listening, has been exemplary. I generally dont have much fondness for the music of Amitabh Bachhan era, specially his songs, yet the 2 songs of AB, which I prefer the most have been penned down by Sahir Ludhianavi. Rafi as I have alread mentioned has been my favourite male singer in bollywood. S.D.Burman has since time infinite been my favourite music composer, while the world has always gone gaga about the other Burmam, but for me its always been the elder Burman, who called the shots, never liked RD as much. While Guru Dutt is a genius whose standing in hindi film industry has been rarely challenged by people coming after him. Its only when all 4 of these people met in a song that we could get the awesomeness better known as Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye .

Its only been 53 years since the song and the movie were released and the song carried on just by the soulful voice of Rafi with almost nill instruments, might seem to be the death cry of a person and could be rather too mellow to be considered a song. Still, a few listens of the song or a read through the lyrics and you are just too overcome by the beauty, the pain, the euphoria of the song to be able to say anything and any effort to describe the song in any way shall remain rather futile. Even I shall not dwell too much on the lyrics or any aspects of the song, beside just stating perhaps a million times that things rarely do come better than this.

Leaving with my fav paragraph from the song :

जहां एक खिलौना है इंसान की हस्ती
ये बस्ती है मुर्दा परस्तों की बस्ती
यहाँ पर तो जीवन से है मौत सस्ती
ये दुनिया अगर मिल भी जाये तो क्या है


Guru Dutt : Pyaasa




BTW wishing you all, a

Happy New Year!!!

Summing up 2010

1. What did you do in 2010 that you had never done before?
Bike trips
Bought diamond
Had a fracture
Used a wheel chair

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but in 2011 🙂

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully no 🙂

5. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
My first interstate bike trip
Clearing IISc maths written exam

7. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm.. Like almost all other years of my life, not being able to get a girl 😛

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Should I count

9. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
A distant angrez friend 🙂

10. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Who cares

11. Where did most of your money go?
no money for last 6 months

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
IISc interview 😉

13. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Waving flag – K’naan

14. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Definitely not happier

15. What do you wish you had done more of?

16. What do you wish you had done less of?

17. Most memorable moments
New years week’ 09-10
My sister’s marriage
Second operation

18. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Have always been in love, shall always remain in love, it’s the only the objects which change

19. How many one night stands?
Night stands of?

20. What was your favorite TV program?
That 70s show, forever!

21. What was the best book you read?
The God Delusion (still a bit is left)

22. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Paul McCartney, I was a Beatles fan till 2009, became a Macca fan in 2k10.
Band on the Run and Flaming pie might be the most played albums of the year for me (after ofcourse Abbey Road and Revolver)

23. What did you want and get?
Answers to Q6.

24. What did you want and not get?
Euro Trip

25. What was your favorite film of this year?
Perhaps, udaan, really no good movies released this year
(yeah I know peepli live was released this year)

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 23 this year, nothing much, just usual!

27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If 29th may could have been removed

28. What kept you sane?
Family, friends and perhaps a bit of courage!

29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Life has it all, its just the time it striketh, and yet you can never leave living

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Tujhse naraz nahin zindagi

PS: Taken from Sunshine’s blog!

Get Back

We (atleast me) have heard a lot of special Dylan, Lennon, McCartney songs through the anals of rock music. Best thing about musicians is, the inspiration they take listening to each other’s music, observing then write and work. Lennon did a Dylan first, then  Dylan did a Lennon which had only left Paul McCartney as one of my all time fav artist, not to be in the mix, and that’s when Get Back come to my listening circles.

Most interesting part of the song is, the lyrics and the theme/tune of the song. This is a pure McCartney song, where you are blasted with his super amazing voice in the starting of the song along with the Ringo drumming at its full fore, pretty strange for a Macca song. Which mostly rely on less of instruments, and even if needed, they are piano/guitar, never the heavy thumping of the drum.

An interesting aspect of Lennon’s writing always is, the slogan or catch phrase writing which he does. Give Peace a Chance, Imagine, All you need is love, You know my name, there are countless such examples and this is the exact same technique applied by Macca.

Such songs, generally have a strong line which is the whole-soul of the song, while there are a few lines thrown here and there, many times they wont even make sense, sometimes they might be a >conversation between 2 people, while the theme line takes most of duration of the song. The aforementioned features (more or less) in above songs can as well be, very easily observed in Get Back.

Song Trivia : –
1. According to Lennon, Paul looked at Ono, everytime while singing the line, “Get Back to where you once belonged”.
– I say ‘Super Win’
2. Although many artists like Clapton have recorded with Beatles, but no one ever got any credit in Beatles songs, Billy Preston, for this song is the only Non-Beatles to have ever got a credit on any Beatles song.


Rafi vs Kishore

Of the 5 “classic” hindi singers, the biggest fight has always been between Kishore and Rafi. Asha Bhosle growing up in the shadows of Lata Mangeshkar could only ever go as high as Lata (perhaps at times succeeding her). Lata is perhaps the greatest of them all, men and women. Mukesh, Kishore and Rafi don’t stand as far apart as Lata and Asha. Yet, I (and many people I know) put Mukesh on a paddle below the other two, partly due to fact that he’s a bit typecasted.
Mukesh = rona dhona , raj kapooor euphoria songs.

Just like the McCartney- Lennon comparison which has egged on Classic Rock enthusiasts for generations, Rafi vs Kishore battle has been going on, even in the present generation, even though Rafi died, a good 7 years before I (avg age of our generation) was born and Kishore died a few months after my birth. Now coming to the main question, the debate between the two and my view on it. Even though I was a Kishore Kumar enthusiast since the time I can remember done in by his yodeling and the masti in his songs, also coupled by the fact that until quite some back I wasnt proficient in recognizing the different voices of Rafi & Kishore ( I still can hardly distinguish between old Lata & Asha songs, although newer songs are easily identifiable).

It would actually be a sin to downgrade Kishore when compared to Rafi, coz there might not be much of a difference, but if you ask me, my fav male singer in Bollywood, there’s only going to be 1 answer, Mohammed Rafi.

For the starters, a fact which many might not know is, although its Kishore who is associated with Yodeling and is the only Indian in this list, but its Rafi who was the first one to bring  it into bollywood, using it in songs, as early as the early 50s, while Kishore Kumar popularized it almost a decade later.

I have always had a fascination with the songs of 50s, 60s featuring people like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee and people of that generation and while songs from Rajesh Khanna period are huge favourites with people all around, but I have more than often found those songs, either sad (lost of rajesh khanna songs) or Happy go lucky(typical Kishore songs) and I like these kinds of songs, but the soul stirring, the harmoniously beautiful songs which came in the 50s and the happy go lucky  + romantic songs in 60s, are more of a feature of Rafi than Kishore. Kishore Kumar while managing to be succesful in the early decades of his career (he had a proper start to his career in mid 50s) only came to the fore in 70s with songs in the film Aradhana, being the important milestone in his career, but before that it was Rafi all the way.

In my opinion, while Mukesh is chained to sad songs, Kishore is more or less limited to the cheerful and sad songs, but Rafi with his ethereal voice always fits the bill for me, whatever be the type of songs, he has hummed out songs, which would surpass Mukesh anyday, his romantic songs/duets with Lata/Geeta Dutt would always be counted as the most romantic chapter of hindi music, while he couldnt give Kishore a running when it came to the bubbly and ecstatis songs, but perhaps the most famous fast paced song of bollywood, Yahoo! Chahe koi mujhe Junglee kahe, was sung by NOT Kishore but Rafi, which can us a fair idea about his talent.

While I will always be enamoured by Kishore’s voice in songs like Diye Jalte hain, Roop Tera Mastana, Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz and likes but the only question to my all time listing preferences will always be Rafi because his songs have always  retained that freshness for me 50-60 years after they were recorded, but with Kishore you at times tend to get bored, more so coz of the type of songs he sang, rather than his voice being the reason. But, when you dont have much to chose from, this is the type of things which can make the minor difference.

Open Letter to Sun

Dear Mr. Sun,

At the onset I would like to thank you as a nation, as from time infinity (that is since India left the Antartic plate and crashed into the Asian plate), we have been very gratefully endowed by your sparkling rays which have been the constant source of energy and life for us. Unlike some of the countries in higher latitudes, we dont have months of night and neither do we have the inclement winters, and are allowed to live in a weather which wouldnt be termed gloomy.

Keeping in mind, all these points, there are somethings I wanted to discuss with you. Although, you are heartily welcome in our parts as and when you decide to shine upon us. Yet, as the adage goes Too much of anything is bad. As we keep moving to the southern parts of our country, your affinity also keeps increasing, and instead of 3 months in higher latitudes, and 7-8 months in northerm part of India, you keep increasing the months allotted to you.

All these years, circling around the earth (as we see it), you must have got to know humans quite closely, and humans as you might know, are rebellious creatures. No sooner do they get used to something, they rebel against the system. We living in Hyderabad, are quite used to bearing your brunt almost through the years. But, there are months in the Gregorian Calendar (mostly December and January) which are supposed to be free from your interference.

After waiting for the winters so long, we finally got something which resembled winter and you were neatly tucked behind a layer of clouds, giving us a nice charming comfortable feeling. Yet, true to your nature, you couldn’t stop showing your dominance and strength, and after a period of dormancy, you finally came up the cloud cover, with the usual dose of hot rays and skin burns (which is your primary weapon). Its only in light of the very recent events that I would sincerely like  you to


I’ve had enough for you.

Thank You

Yours Sincerly
Himank Sharma

World Cup Round up

India – The hosts, the arguably(?) best team at the moment, though the reality should be clear after the SA tour. Only thing I can say is, they would be unfortunate not to win this cup. They have The Best batting line up in Tests & ODIs, in Dhoni they have a smart enough captain and perhaps the best keeper batsman beside Sanga (yeah I Know McCullum!), bowling, they have Zaheer and well.. Others! Bhajji, we are still hoping he will perhaps perform, Praveen Kumar and Nehra are good to okayish for ODIs. Although in the end it shall all depend on Batting and ofcourse The God.

Man to look out for – Are you asking Me?

Sri LankaGood team, great composition and since this is the sub continent, they are always there. Have got a good batting line up and in the form of Malinga and Murali(?) they have the power in bowling. Yet, to me the most important person of this tournament for them could be Matthews, the player you would love to have in ODI’s, he can bat well, he can always be depended for a good spell and quite frequently wickets. He is the man to look out for!

Man to look out for – Angelo Matthews is my pick.

England Aah! The new darlings of world cricket,  courtesy them belting Australia out, everyone’s hailing the Poms. They have some of the better batsmen in the world at this time (which has always been rare in my memory). Their pacers are nice enough and yet they have the spinner so required for sub-continent, again for the first time in my memory they have a world class spinner. They have done that recently (T20 world cup). They are the hot favorites, if not the 2 hosts, and had the WC not been scheduled in the subcontinent, they could well have been the second favs after India

Man to look out for – Eoin Morgan,He is the one Sachin tipped. He’s exciting, the ideal guy for sub continent.

South Africa Oh the perennial favorites, and the perennial chockers. They never have had any problems , they have been almost the best team always, they would have players, they will win matches and yet something or the other would happen. In Amla and AB, they have the 2 best ODI batsmen, Smith is there and Kallis, is still there, he’s never gonna leave you. They have Steyn and (?) Morkel. Only problem they seem to have is of a quality spinner(which they never have had) although some Pakistani player who shifted to SA could be an answer.

Man to look out for – Well they have always been a team.. May be AB? Amla?

Australia – Australia, Australia!! Oh mighty Australia. How far have you fallen. If only not for the fact that they are Australians, they def would have been atleast 1 and probably 2 spots down . Yet since they are Australia and they are still the no 1 side in the world. They remain in fray! In Ponting, they have a dilemma, he is one of the best batsman in the world and this is gonna be his swan song, he is going to try so hard to save his legacy which (depending on Ashes result) could have been trodden down upon or barely there. He’s gonna give it all to it and although his sub continent record say something different, but his last tour to India is something he can count upon. He definitely is the man to look for in this squad. One thing which they have going in their favour is, they have had success at sub continent more than the English, SA(ODIs), WI and likes. They are more familiar to subcontinent

Man to look out for – The Old Horse, Ricky Thomas Ponting

PakistanPerhaps for the first time ever, you rank them in the lower category. They have always been mercurial, they will always surprise you, that’s why even mediocre pakistani teams have been rated highly. Yet, this time, it feels like too much has happened. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bangladesh can defeat Pakistan comprehensively.

Player to look out for – Are there any left?

West Indies – This is where it starts getting inconsequential. You have all your lives hoped for a Caribbean revival but it has never happened and although they have fared okayish in sub continent but still 2nd level.

Player to look out for – ?

New ZealandWould have put them above the windies but a 4-0(even if you don’t consider Bangladesh as minnows) and a 5-0 loss, it just doesn’t give me confidence at all. They have the players who can perhaps by the sheer grit save matches for you, but this is not test matches we are playing. They just don’t have the fire power and in the sub continent, you cant do without it.

Player to look out for – I’d rather not look at them

Bangladesh Could I put them above NZ, given the current affairs? Somehow the conventional wisdom sets in. With their slow left armers and a guy names Shakib-Al-Hasan, they definitely are going to the 2nd round, specially given the home crowd. Their they might won some matches but don’t see them going ahead. Although stranger things will happen. Readers – Can they make this one a SL 1996 kind of triumph?

Players to look out for – Shakib

Zimbabwe Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!

PS: Bear with the arbitrary links, checking out a WP feature.

खता ज़िन्दगी से

उस तरफ इश्क का जनाज़ा है
इस तरफ मुहब्बत का आगाज़ है

उस तरफ ग़मों की तन्हाई है
इस तरफ पलों की कहानी है

उस तरफ बादलों की परछाई है
इस तरफ मौसम की अंगड़ाई है

उस तरफ आब्लापों पे अजमाइश है
इस तरफ ज़िन्दगी की फरमाइश है

उस तरफ सदकों की गुज़ारिश है
इस तरफ सहर की हसीं शुरुआत है

पर खता ज़िन्दगी से ये है कि,
उस तरफ हम खड़े हैं,
और इस तरफ तुम

Dream Come true

Its the twinkling of the stars
Its the shimmering of the sun
Its the drizzling of the rain

Its the breaking of the dawn
Its the falling of the night
Its the pleasure of love

Its the mumble of rainbows
Its the charm of winds
Its the calm of sea

Its a moment to rejoice
Its a picture to admire
its afterall a dream come true

Good Morning

When I dragged myself out of bed at 9:30 am after having slept at 6 last night, not even the tiniest of feelings in my heart were inclined on looking up at the day that was going to unfold in front of me. A coffee laden day inching towards its end. Yet the moment I take a step out of my house, I feel a chill. I feel a gush of cold wind blowing across me. Finally Hyderabad has got the chills, finally the season which I look forward to has arrived. The people who would be unaware of what Gulabi Sardi is, can look up to the skies and realise this is as close to Gulabi Sardi as any other thing.

Unlike winters and summers, which make you want to stay in the comfort of your house as long as possible, this is the kind of morning which invites you with loving arms to come out and enjoy the weather. Forced by the Western(actually Northern) world’s influence on our arts, we only see about the stories of summer and spring, no one really talks about the gulabi sardi or the chilly winter. I would say, all the Indian romances flourish more in the winters, because ofcourse thats the season to go to a tea stall and have a glass of chai using the glass to warm your hand. For all its versatility for the tea addicts, tea is essentially not a summer noon drink in sweltering heat, but its the slightly chilly weather when you can have a tete-a-tete with tea in your hand, and for what its worth, its almost the national drink of India. Numerous relations must have brewed up with a cup of tea in the winters of north.

Look at the sky above you, the calmness of white clouds covering the sky almost like a sheet, how can it not win a heart, how can it not make you dance with joy under the cover. When the sun tries to shine from behind the cover, when you can only see it covered in a veil of clouds, trying to register its presence. You enjoy it, because its not the cold weather marred by a stick moist feeling of the rain which can chill your bones, its just the simple arrival of winter in its purest form. A day when you should be thinking of moving out and seeing the world in a new light, a cool light 🙂

A morning which can make your day!

U.P. ka wasi!

I have lived a year in Kota, the supposed melange of indian students aspiring for the richness of Great Engineering colleges of India, which has been followed by almost 5.5 years in the city of Hyderabad, first studying in a national college which has people from all corners of India. Infact out of my closest friends, there hardly are any people from my native state, UP. I have had roomies from Delhi, Goa, project partners from Rajasthan, AP, some very good friends from all parts of India viz MP, Bengal, Orissa. After coming to office, I’ve had a boss who’s from Tamil Nadu, some close friends from the same state and a real good friend from the place which has eastern most railway station and airport of India(read the state of Assam). I’ve had a real close friend from Bengal and have always drooled at the high non veg diet they have.

Without sounding judgemental or anything and even though I have enjoyed the company of people from all corners of India, I have always mantained the fact that its the hindi speaking people which I’d prefer moree coz its your native language in which you are always more comfortable and can forge great relationships, instead of just good friendships and once this condition had been fulfilled,I have always been of an opinion that not only a person from the Hindi belt (viz M.P., Rajasthan, Bihar and likes) but even people from other parts of India who can speak decent Hindi (i.e. with an ability to distinguish between the genders of things and able to speak with no accent) should able to fulfill all requirements for a good relation.

I was fully assured of the fact that “Home is where the heart lies” adage doesnt really apply that well to me, and I am a real nationalist in every sense of word who can find his heart in each and every corner of India. And yet, so many years after being away from my home land, there is always a sense of belonging which can only come with a certain place which has the same culture as you. Make no mistake, I love Hyderabad, and would definitely live here instead of even the bigger cities of UP like Meerut (Lucknow being the only “worthy of living city” in the state). And even the prospect of going back and living in a city of my home state can be daunting for me, who is used to living here.

Still, at times, the ears yearn for the pronounciation of the word Bhokal from some mouth, and yet at other times when you in anger feel like threatening a person with a kantaap, only to realise he wont even know what this is supposed to mean. And although I have always enjoyed doing BC with my friends all this time, but at times I wish to do tafri ekdum UP style. I havnt, to date been able to find a person not hailing from UP who understands what’s a tahri and whats the diff between Pulao and Tahri, while its such a common place usage in UP, thats it was rather a shock for me, when I came to know, people dont even know of the existence of such a thing. And at times, the feeling I get when talking to my friends from the state, one who can understand and really appreciate the meaning of the term “Gulabi Sardi” is just beyond measures of happiness.

In the end I guess, one thing is for sure, I would really like to have my life partner from my home state (though will be desperately seeking for a non-veg one) because after all
“Home is where the heart lies!”

PS1: I have intentionally not mentioned my flatmate, who is from U.P., no need reminding me 🙂
PS2: And specially this season, I am also missing UP ki sardi 😐