12 Candles

BHULAAYE NAHIN BHOOL SAKTA HAI KOI

Originally posted on 09 July 2010 : Thomas is right. Photography was frightfully expensive when we were at the NDA. When I sent out a few pictures last week, there was a request from Nirmal Mahajan asking me to scan the whole album and put it on the net. I think, I will do that, but bit by bit. There …

PILAA DE OAK SE SAQI, JO HAM SE NAFRAT HAI

Originally posted on 14 July 2010 : This is my prayer to Thee, my Lord, Give me and my compatriots the bandwidth of international standards If there are power cuts, we will sweat it out, but inverters will keep us going If there are pot holes on the roads, we will wriggle through and reach our destination If the water …

A LESS KNOWN COUPLET SUNG BY A LESSER KNOWN SINGER

Originally posted on 15 June 2010 : Yesterday, I heard a rarely recited ‘shair’ of Ghalib sung by an unknown singer. There was nothing great about his voice or the music, but he was able to deliver Mirza Nosha’s message with considerable finesse. The couplet goes like this: “Meri qismat meiN gham agar itna tha… And then before delivering the …

Tujhe Apnaya Gaya, Mujhe Dafnaya Gaya!

Originally posted on 24 May 2010 : NIKKAH & JANAAZA….. … The difference between a wedding and a funeral! IRSHAAD HAI  !!  FARQ SIRF ITNA SA THA Teri doli uthi, Meri mayyat uthi, Phool tujh par bhi barse, Phool mujh par bhi barse,               FARQ SIRF ITNA SA THA Tu saj gayi,Mujhe sajaya gaya . Tu bhi ghar ko chali, …

GHALIB, SPIRITUALI​TY AND ‘SPIRITS’

Originally posted on 29 Nov 2010 : Mirza Ghalib did not offer ‘namaaz’ as the good Muslims do. He did not observe ‘roza’ (fasting) and was given to boozing and gambling. He celebrated Diwali with infidels and was willing to go to the Church. His poetry is largely focused on human relations with particular emphasis on ‘ishq’ (love) ‘GHam’ (pain …

Ye mere sapne; yahi to hain apne; mujhse juda na honge, inke ye saaye

Originally posted on 08 Jan 2011 : In six months time, I will be seventy years old. That is the age specified for human beings in the bible; ‘three scores and ten’ (with a bonus of a decade for those who are strong). I have a confession to make. I do not yet know what I want or need. Like …

In praise of Sahir Ludhianvi

Originally posted on 10 Jan 2011 : The first collection of poems entitled “Talkhian” (bitternesses) written by Sahir Ludhianvi was published in 1944. It received critical acclaim, but the Urdu used by Sahir was so stiff that the lay Indian could not appreciate the work. Many years later, at the instance of Guru Dutt, the poet rewrote some of the …

NA KHUDA HI MILA NA VASAAL-E-S​ANAM

Originally posted on 8 Feb 2011 :  DOLLAR DREAMS When I was a child, people who had been to the UK were known as “England Returned” Every one gathered around them to listen to their accounts of the land from where our erstwhile rulers had come. They used to bring things which we had not seen before and talk of …

HUI MUDDAT KI GHALIB MAR GAYA, PAR YAAD AATA HAI

O Ghalib, Where are You??? It is generally agreed that mental torture is more difficult to bear than physical punishment, because the wounds and bruises which physical blows create heal with the passage of time, while the memories of psychological abuse stay forever and keep returning in the form of nightmares. Mirza Ghalib’s woes were emotional, but he got over …

XIX Course

EVEN THE KING’S CHARIOT BECOMES RICKETY WHEN IT BECOMES OLD !

Originally posted on 2 July 2011 : In a museum in Srinagar, I saw a carriage used by Maharaja Hari Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Jammu & Kashmir. It was carved out of the finest wood and designed specially for use in the mountains. It has a hand operated brake which was applied while travelling downhill, to prevent the carriage …