Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A rainy post

The sound of rain drops falling on a surface, whoever captured that and the music in them must have been a genius. The song from 1942 A Love Story- Bajta hai jal tarang teen ki chaat pe jab, motiyon jaisa jal barse describes it best. The song itself gives a pristine feel, has lovely looking Manisha Koirala and an ever handsome Anil Kapoor.

Though not one for getting wet and all the fun while getting wet or being wet in the rains, I am hooked to hearing and seeing the rain fall. It has happened after years of being unaware of the magic of the downpour, of years in haste, of years of hurry. Being in Kolkata and home alone in this weather, the monsoons, in all their grandeur I fixed myself in a spot near the French window of the bedroom that doesn’t look out to any garden or any such beauty but which offers a wide view of the grey skies. And I watched as it came in a rush like a hurried office goer who has to be present at the appointed hour.

I caught myself humming O sajna barkha bahar aayi, ras ki foohaar laayi, akhiyon main pyaar laai. I love
these Hindi words foohaar, barkha, bahar, ras. The music of this song had been created for a Bengali film and the song is an equally beautiful rendition in this language. Soon I was humming another favourite rain song immortalised by that lovely black and white picture of Raj Kapoor and Nargis clinging to a chhataa... I think Shailender provides the most apt answer to the love puzzle in this song. When the rain drops begin to fall in a puddle, synchronised with the background music and Manna Dey asks Pyaar hua iqraar hua hai, pyaar se fir kyun darta hai dil, you smile. When a lovely Nargis, tortured soul written all over her face answers...Kehta hai dil, rasta mushkil, maaloom nahi hai kahan understand everything there is to it.

Another one that I am reminded of right now is a Shammi Kapoor- Mala Sinha number that we were introduced in Jaisinghpur at my maasi’s place on her two-in-one and which remains a favourite with both us sisters Dil tera deewana hai sanam, jaante ho tum kuch na kahenge hum....
A peppy number is from the film Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya....Laga laga laga re laga prem rog for the simply hot looking Sushmita Sen (whom I adored till she went on and did a horrible movie called Chingari) and of course the one and only Salman Khan.
Sunidhi Chauhan has also sung a rain song that is one of my favs. Chameli’s Bhaage re light and ch
arming. Another one is an Akshaye Khanna- Sonali Bendre thing with all stuff bygone like love letters, buying gifts, dressing up for a meeting. Khanna looks so cute and Bendre is a heart stealer with those innocent expressions accompanied with a little hesitation mixed with certain eagerness....Ik mohabbat ka deewana dhoondhta sa fire, koi chahat ka nazrana dilruba ke liye..... Ek hasina idhar dekho kaisee bechain hai, raste par lage kaise uske do nain hai, sach puchhiye toh mere yar, dono key dil beikhtiyar, beikhtiyar hain pehli bar pehli bahar main

 Majrooh Sultanpuri, one of my personal favourites, provides the naughty quotient for the rains. With unmatchable score provided by senior Burman, no one can feel the full spirit of the rainy season without Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si....Tum hi kaho ye koi baat hai hmmmmmmmmmmm......tan bheega hai, sar geela hai, uska koi pench bhi dheela hai...
Madhubala reminds me of Garjat barsat saawan aayo re from Barsat ki Ek Raat. A handsome Bharat Bhushan and the beautiful qawalis, were the highlights of the movie but the lyrics of this particular song are just lovely.....Rimjhim rimjhim megha barse, tarse jiyarwa meen samaan, parr gayi feeki laal chunariya, piya nahi aaye.

Kaale megha kaale megha from Lagaan again makes use of lovely words kaare, chaaye badraa, bijuriya chamke, baan, amrit, jal but it still is not a great hit with me. Neither is a much popular Barso Re from Guru which though aces in cinematography. Similarly Chak dhoom dhoom from DTPH is okay while one is seeing it as well but does not merit much while simply listening to it. 

There is the handsome Dev Anand in the song Rimjhim ke taraane le ke aayi barsaat which I prefer to watch anything else more recent. I listened to Rimjhim ke geet sawan gaaye on my sister’s phone and fell in love with the line....Main chup hun aise, ke keh doon kaisem mera saajan nahi tu koi aur hai. Rimjhim gire sawan which describes rains beautifully is also amazing and as I found out recently I preferred the female version over Kishore’s.

Rains in Hindi films are also a perfect excuse for some sizzle. No don’t think Roop tera mastana but Bheegi bheegi raaton main, Aaj rapat jaayein, Tip tip barsa paani and Badal yun garajta hai...

Well I could go on and on and still there would some lovely numbers, but as I take leave of this post I cannot miss Asha Bhonsle-RD-Gulzar and not mention Choti si kahani here. And of course my own one and only rain masti song, Shubha Mudgal’s Ab kesawan aise barse.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Too hard or too little

There is a line between any two things. At times it is there fleshed out nicely between the dos and the dont's and sometimes we carve it out for our sanity.

There is a line, a fine one between trying hard and trying little. Not too hard not too little.

May be this moment I am trying too hard to be a writer. May be at that moment I was being too little of a mum. Who can say, if not I?

Balance which brings calm, peace, happiness is difficult to attain; more so to maintain. It is a real beauty. I know I have achieved it off and on. Maybe that is why I crave it.

Why are we so obsessed with adjectives? Why is the girl not sufficient? why does she have to be a good girl or a handsome boy or a succesful boy?

Autism: Parents need help too

One of the most complicated and least understood developmental disabilities, autism, is a result of a neurological disorder that interferes with the development of a child’s social interaction and communication skills. It may begin at birth and its symptoms might become noticeable within the first two to two-and-a-half years of a child’s life. Coping with an autistic child can be physically and emotionally straining. 

The parent needs come out of the varying degree of grief, disbelief and guilt they might feel on getting a diagnosis for their child and help the child discover the beauty of life. An article I wrote for women's web lists some useful hints for parents who have just received the heartbreaking news.

Monday, July 08, 2013

In praise of Hindi

A neighbour has nicknamed Netra Miss Hindi. This was done because Netra insists on speaking Hindi with her friends. She is beginning to understand Bangla and can very well understand and converse in English yet she chooses Hindi to communicate. Its only when forced to use English, she prattles in the said language.

Teaching English is mandatory. We do understand why that is today but we do not know who made it that way. Speaking with your kids in English to familiarise them with the language is great and all but Hindi, our own language, our mother tongue should hold a place of pride, first in our eyes and head.

Hindi is sweet. Hindi is more effective in terms of giving you the exact word for any emotion, moment or feeling than any other language maybe. Hindi is vast. And while we are talking about children, Hindi is far more easier to learn than is English with its confusing phonetics. Though I admit that English wins hands down in being an adapting language that has not shied away from accepting words from various other languages and making them its own. It boasts of a number of words that have been adopted from Hindi itself.

But Hindi has 'rasas'. Forty three  per cent of our population understands and uses Hindi. It is the sixth largest-language in the world. There is a sing song quality that lends itself easily to Hindi. A vast literature bank that lends itself to four very prominent forms covering under them everything from beauty to bravery. What joy in introducing valour by reciting Khoob ladi mardaani wo to Jhaansi waali raani thi or inspiring the little ones to never ever give up by singing gently jab tak na manzil paa sakoon, mujhe a viraam hai, chalna mera kaam hai or introducing them to satpudaa ke ghane jungle, neend se unghte, an- mane jungle!

Hindi is not to be known, learnt or read because it will get you ahead in a rat race or help you perch higher in the job market but parents must encourage children to learn Hindi and love it to be able to take pride in their rich cultural heritage, to appreciate beauty, to find joy in expressing their heart's desire in the exact way that it is being felt. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Quantifying grief

When you don't know how to cope up with grief, you innovate to take your mind off it. Death is an entirely new sort of shock to my system. I did not know how to react to it. I cried. It came naturally. But I did not cry for the gone one but for those whom he left behind.

I tried quantities when his voice rang in my ears.
I counted the people who came.
Then I counted those who wailed louder.
Then those who sniffled.
Then the ones who repeatedly wiped their dry eyes.
Then those who averted their gaze.
Then the few who had words to offer and those who did not pretend to empathise.
Then the ones who were well-versed with the hollowness that death of a son leaves in its wake.
I counted the ones who caught up with friends, exchanged news, had their tea and went their way.

I counted the number of paper cups we disposed off.
I counted the number of meals we consumed.
I counted the trips I made to the market.
I counted the number of faces that instantly aged.
I counted the hearts that were pierced.

I counted many more things these past few days but I could not count the tears his father did not shed and the number of times his mother repeated his name in vain.