The Winter Tales

My first memory of winter must be a good 20 years ago when I saw the most beautiful white sun. It was an Uttarkashi winter sun. Winters in hills are quite enjoyable, unlike the Ganga plain, hills have sunny winter  days when you can savour the true joy  of dhoop sekna. Most days are like this, but then there are some which are cold, and this, the aforementioned one was such a cold one. The sun unable to break through, sat smarting behind an overarching sheet of clouds, looking like a shiny white halogen light. The clouds and the sun were, amongst the more beautiful afternoons one will see. The literal icing on the cake though, was the first snowfall in my own city. I had seen  snow, many inches of it in places nearby. But, this was my 1st snowfall, that too in my own backyard. A day, I will never forget.

 

My second memories, belong to the last of my school days, those amazing days of class XII, when instead of being all tensed about our careers, we were a bunch of teenagers, having the best innocent fun of their lives with an amazing set of friends. In such fun times, do I place the winters of 2003-04 of Lucknow. Hard gruelling classes of preparation for IIT finished around 8. Wrapped in jackets, some of them wearing mufflers or caps, all picked up their vehicles, ranging from the TVS Scooty to the stylish lucky ones with bikes, there was only one thing on our minds, soon as the class got over. Drive from the coaching centre to our destination was hardly 5 mins, but the hands were almost freezing by the time we reached our destination, the Samose wala bhaia in front of Nabard gate. Piping hot samose with the chutney, both khatti and meethi, were the warmest of hug one could have in the cruel foggy Northern winter. A whole lot of ganging up, leofying, and occasional dose of 2nd samosa, if someone was feeling rich enough to afford it, whole lot of coins were jangled, pockets searched to come up with notes of Rs. 5 and 10 later, someone paying for the other with a grudge and an occasional abuse. Finally, brought a fulfilment to the chilly cold day. 11 years later, after being recruited to NABARD, going to the training college, finding the samose wali shop was one of the first thing I did.

 

Lots of living in hyd left me pining, looking and hoping for some chill every sad, silent winter night! But, my ghumakkad life, thankfully landed me up to deal with the Dilli ki Sardi. There are a lot of nights and days to be remembered, yet the most memorable would be the first day of 2013. 31st December 2012 was a wild drunk night, the morning after was full of headaches and black tea along with sutta, there was a fear of one of the flatmates jumping down from his balcony. All in all, it was a typical boys night out new year who were all set to be sober for a few days. But, the delhi winter seemingly had different plans. The temperature starting dipping appreciably, by the time sun set, our bengali flatmate was trying to warm even his glove adorned hands with hot tea. Those, the north indian ones of us, were almost shaking even in the 2-3 layers of clothing we were wearing. The cold was absolutely bone chilling, poor UPSC students couldnt even think of a heater/blower, Until… The brilliant idea stuck one of us, “Old Monk“, the Dilli ki lifeline. And lo and behold, the guys who were blaming ‘Signature’ in the morning were, 10 hours later, sitting with pegs all in their hands. And slowly, as the Rum started kicking in, the sardi became our muse and thus started a  winter full of rum, joy and life and a life long love story with Dilli ki Sardi.

 

4 years later, I see these pic of my parents in snow of Munsiyari
Winter Snow

 

And me poor chum is stuck in Mumbai, of the three quarters and full shirts fame.
Oh my dear winters, someday… Someday, We shall meet again!
Advertisements

The True Drunkards

One
Two pegs
Three pegs down
Some tipsy, some sound
Party runs deep into night

Drinks abound more than a few more round
Fun ,  gaiety   making   the  room   go  round
Mere   acquaintances   turning    into    bhais
Sex to philosophy , topics  gradually  change
A peg  goes  to  floor many more in the gulp
Stray   cigarettes  burn  and blacken the bed

Four,
Six, Eight
How count goes
As come pegs more
Slowly the drunk ones start
Falling senseless on bed and floor
Puking in bathroom starts in due time

Some people still sitting with pegs  in   hands
Finishing  the   bottle  being   their   only  aim
Unwavered , they  have seen  and  done it all
True  drunkards , who  can  hold  their drinks
Few and far, do come such meetings around
The  ones  who  can drink through the nights
Through  the  drinking  decade I  have  spent
Such  are the people  I have  treasured  most

So
The verse
A heartfelt tribute
To the ones standing
The people who hold enough
The drinkers who keep party alive
Are too the ones who’re cleaning mess
The real heroes of every such spirited night
The true drunkards I respect,always hard to find

Favourite Albums Deux

As soon as I conceived the idea of having album covers compilation, I had two things fixed, the no of albums would be 16 and each thumbnail 300×300 which would give me a collage of the size 1200×1200, a very comfortable size. My first list comprised 28 albums which condensed to 20 with only a little heartbreak. But the transformation from 20 to 16 was so heartbreaking and guilt inducing that I was quite tempted to have a 1600×1200 collage to have 20 albums. Finally decided against it, but the guilt, since then hasnt let me live in peace and thats why I am here with a list of 6 more albums, would have ahd 5 but difficult to have such a lopsided collage.

Of the movies that missed out in the first list, 2 have been the oldest surviving albums in my library, one is the sweetest music ever and me the proverbial good/sweet guy couldn’t be rude to that movie, another album, just one song of it was continuously on my play list all(most) all 24 hours during my UPSC Mains exam (comes out to be around 9 days), an amazing piece fo music, another is a cult classic with so many of my favourite songs missing out coz of its genre while the other was perhaps more of everything that Dev D was yet a few shades dark. So here I present albums list -2

Lakeer – If Saathiya is the oldest album in list, this one isnt much too new. Wiki describes the movie as “biggest disaster of the year at the box office” but A.R. Rahman, the magician is the only reason that this name hasnt ever slipped out of my radar. Offho Jalta hai in Asha’s voice is just sensual, Rozana by Viva is perhaps the only cheer leading song in Hindi and its as peppy as you would want it to be, Shehzaade in Kunal Ganjwala’s voice gives a magical feeling, nachley has Daler Mehndi at full pomp while the two soft songs Sadiyaan and Paighaam are exactly to my liking.
Fav Song : Sadiyaan

MTV Unplugged in New York – Everyone Nirvana story starts with Rape Me and Smells like Teen Spirit and then once you’re done with them, you explore some more of Nirvana. I too went on the similar lines and the first ‘other’ song of Nirvana I liked was Come as You are which was followed by Lake of Fire then came Plateau followed by Pennyroyal tea, Plateau, Jesus dont want me for a Sunbeam, the man who sold the world. Every song in this album is a grunge classic and I havent even mentioned Dumb, Polly, Where did you sleep last night. The one reason I didnt include it in the first list beside the scarcity of places was that I have hardly ever listened the album on a go but weighed on song to song, this is as good as an album can get.
Fav Song : The Man who sold the world

Raanjhanaa – I had fallen in love with the title track and never came out, I loved Tum tak and didn’t get bored, I was just amazed by Tu Mun Shudi, I had just absolutely adored the Rahman croon, Aise Na Dekho, Piya Mileneg was the perfect soul searcher, I thought I had enough of the album and then I discovered the song Banarasiya in December and it was magic unfolding, it couldnt figure out how I had missed out on this jewel. An album whose 3rd-4th ladder song could keep me captivated and calm enough during UPSC mains exam certainly deserves lots of kudos and definitely a mention in an all time list.
Fav Song : Raanjhanaa/Banarasiya

Saathiya – The first album to break into my albums compilation and since, has never had any scare of being pushed off the pedestal, the last movie kicked out of the last 16 list mainly because of being another Rahman movie in the list and losing out on a song to song basis to some heavyweights. The album has all that a Rahman album has, the soul-searching rahman crooning number, the different in every way songs, some great music and an absolutely magical song. The album came in our school time and I dont think many guys would have not imagined themselves riding an Enticer as Vivek does with the song O Humdum Suniyo Re playing on the earphones. Alas we were kids and all we got was cycles and scooties but the dream remained and so did the album in my play list.
This album was the sole reason behind putting up another list, my heart just wouldn’t forgive me for leaving out THIS movie.
Fav Song : Saathiya/O Humdum Suniyo Re/Chupke Se/Banjar/Aye Udi udi – just can’t pick up one

Wake Up Sid – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have given us a lot of great pop music, they’ve given us DCH,KHNH to name the least but the thing with pop music is (unless its Paul-the-love-sage-Mccartney) is that it doesnt have too long a shelf life in my library. The pop albums will rule my charts when they come but their magic wanes off until I only listen to selected songs. Wake up Sid doesnt have too many songs just 6 to savour but the gamut that S-E-L have put up, has a lot of soul, lot of softness and lots of feelings to just win me over for an eternity. Once you have seen the movie, it’s just impossible to not swoon over the songs which convey the same cool, loving and happy feel which the movie also conveys but even without that, there are some gems which stand on their own.
Fav Song : Iktara

Welcome to Sajjanpur – Amrita Rao is cuteness personified, Shreyas Talpade is the definition of a nice guy and they both meet to bring out an amazingly good and cute movie. The movie direceted by Shyam Benegal had intense message in the lightest possible way and the music by Shantanu Moitra does exactly that, when he talks of the message, it is done in a very rustic earthy style, when he talks of love its the sweetest ill you can imagine. I am yet to find an album with such rustic soul to appeal to such a metropolitan me. Sweet, simple and earthy just the perfect concoction for my top of tops
Fav Song : Ek Meetha Marz

And with this I shall finally conclude my album list although with an aim to remove any chances of guilt arising again, shall mention the other 6 movies that failed to make the cut even this time just for my sake more than any reading pleasure. The albums, as always in alphabetic order would be

Filhaal – A soft soulful compilation
Gangs of Wasseypur – At times feel the quality got diluted a bit over two albums but still part 1 is a path breaker, kudos to Sneha Kanwalkar
Gulaal – Only suffers a bit in terms of movie and album liking-hood due to the amazingness of Dev D released at a similar time. Another cult classic
Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na – Another Rahman album, another classic
Love Aaj Kal – Twist might perhaps be the only hep song played for my hearing repeatedly
Rock On – Sui generis in Indian cinema another memorable album by S-E-L

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

इंसान

हिंदी

कुदरत भी मैं हूँ, करिश्मा भी मैं ही
मैं ताकत भी हूँ, कमजोरियां मुझसे ही मिली
मैं नफरत भी हूँ, मुहब्बत नाम मेरा ही

महरूम भी मैं हूँ, खुशनसीबी भी मेरी
अजीबियत है मुझमें, आवाम भी मैं ही
फ़साने भी मैं सुनाऊँ, कसूर भी मेरे

बुलंदियां हैं मेरी, शिगाफे भी मैंने देखे
दानिश भी मैं हूँ, जाहिलियत भी मुझीमें
समझदारी महबूबा मेरी, महबूबा ही मेरी नादानी

मिसालियत ये मेरी, कि मैं हूँ एक इंसान

اردو

 

کدرت بھی میں ہوں   ،  کرشمہ بھی میں  ہی
میں ٹکٹ بھی ہوں  ،  کمزوریاں بھی مجھسے ملی
میں نفرت بھی ہوں    ،   محبّت نام میرا ہی

محروم بھی میں ہوں  ،   خوشنصیبی بھی میری
اجیبیت ہے مجھمے  ،  اوم بھی میں ہی
فسانے بھی میں سنوں  ،   کسور بھی میرے

بلندیاں ہے میری  ،  شگافےبھی مینے دیکھ
دانش بھی میں ہوں، جاہلیت بھی مجھمے
سمجھداری محبوبہ میری ،  محبوبہ ہی میری نادانی

مسلیت  یے میری کی میں ہوں ےک انسان

 

लो मेरा हाथ थम लो

हिंदी

भटक रहे हो अनजान राहों में
किसी हमसफ़र की तलाश में
राह में, साथी तुम्हारे बहुत
पर वो हमसफ़र है कहाँ

तलाश में जिसकी भटकती
नज़रें तुम्हारी बोझल
याद में जिसकी
नज़रें ये बेताब

ठोकरें खाते हुए निकल पड़े
अजनबी आशियानों को
लो मेरा हाथ थम लो
इन मुफलिस राहों पे

अजनबी तो मैं नहीं
इन अनजान राहों से
न ही मैं अनजान हूँ
इन शोख नज़रों के गम से

लो मेरा हाथ थाम लो
इन मुफलिस राहों में
मैं ही तो हूँ मंजिल तुम्हारी
मैं ही तो हूँ वो हमसफ़र

اردو

بھٹک رہے ہو انجان راہوں میں
کسی  ہمسفر کی تلاش میں
راہ میں ، ساتھی تمھارے بہت
پروو ہمسفر ہے  کہاں
 

تلاش میں جسکی بھٹکتی
نظریں تمہاری    بوجھل
یاد  میں جسکی
نظریں یہ  بیتاب

ٹھوکریں  کھاتے  ہوئے نکل پدی   ہو
اجنبی آشیانوں   کو
لو میرا ہاتھ تھام لو
ان مفلس  راہوں  پے

اجنبی تو میں نہیں
ین انجان راہوں  سے
نا ہی میں انجان ہوں
ین شوخ نظروں کے   گم سے

لو میرا ہاتھ تھام لو
ین مفلس راہوں میں
میں  ہی تو ہوں  منزل تمہاری
میں ہی تو ہوں وو ہمسفر