Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And time just flew!

It has been a long long time since I really blogged something. To be less ambiguous, it has been close to six months, save a fit of insanity last weekend, when I have ended up posting something.

Apart from the fact that much of what I was facing was totally unbloggable (or, from another viewpoint, a typical movie script and very much blogworthy!), and the fact that I simply had much much bigger things to take care of in my life than this (my very own crazy little real estate in cyberspace) I had been pushed out of my wits to post anything meaningful. It is certainly not that I wasn't inspired enough to write. It's just that, the pieces never seemed to fit. Last weekend's sudden departure came as a piece of good news which prompted me to complete a pending draft and put up a plagiarised-ish quick post.

You heard the good news, it's time for the better news, and as all the strange conincidences of my life, it is no wonder that it is my hundredth post that coincides with the news that I have finally ended the drudgery and taken up a job in a field of my liking, or I would put it, not-to-my-disliking. Here's a poetic flavour to the episode, and here's to my bright (or dimly lit, in the least) future ...

Looking back from where I stand
My shadow has turned darker, longer
Is it dusk? I wonder,
Have my demons become stronger?

Or is it the dawn, I wistfully think
The sun is on the horizon's brink
I was sleeping I do not know
If its coming or getting ready to go

My footprints have a clue to say
They seem to come from far away
How did I come here? I cannot tell
Did I walk or is it from the sky that I fell?

But then the sun does finally rise
And I fall into my surmise
The shadow has turned long
Its grown in character, nothing wrong

It is the depth of wisdom I gain
Though it comes with the cost of pain
Old memories, I no longer keep
That wisdom, paints my shadow deep

They look the same, Dusk and Dawn,
Its not our worth to ponder on
Our fate, it is us who's making it
Building it by hand or just faking it

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Firaaq

रात यूं दिल में तेरी खोयी हुई याद आयी,
जैसे वीराने में चुपके से बहार आ जाए,
जैसे सहराओं में हौले से चले बाद-ऐ-नसीम,
जैसे बीमार को बेवजह करार आ जाए।
(फैज़ अहमद फैज़)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kaka Hathrasi

Vinod has recently started a blog on Kaka Hathrasi's creations. Here's my (literal) two cents ... two compositions as my personal tribute to Kaka's legacy, in his signature style.

The first one was written during the Hindu festival of Karva-Chauth in 2007. Picking up from the usual Kaka-Kaki nok-jhonk, here's how it goes ...
काका से काकी कहिन , हमारा खूब बनाया मेल,
मैं भी खेलूंगी इस बार करवा-चौथ का खेल।
करवा-चौथ का खेल, रखूँगी मैं उपवास,
उम्र तुम्हारी लम्बी हो, जेहि है मेरी आस।
सुनते ही काका की बुद्धि ऐसी चकराई,
सज़ा-टाइम की EXTENSION भला किसी को भायी?
कहे काका कविराय हाथ यूँ जोड़कर, “काकी,
इतना जीवन कम था क्या, कुछ कसार रह गई बाकी?”

... and the next one struck me on the day I got to know about this blog. Here's how that one sounds like,
एक हमारे बन्धु भये, उनका नाम विनोद,
काका की कवितायें वो नित दिन, लायें खोद खोद।
लायें खोद खोद, करें हम उनसे विनती,
अपने रचनाओं की भी, कभी करो भाई गिनती।
कहीं काका कविराय मजा तोह तब आवेगा,
ब्लागस्पाट.कॉम जब दद्दू-गीत गावेगा।

Here's a hick-a-doo to Kaka Hathrasi, the nuffiest poet known to man.
Hickkk-A-Diddle-Dooooo!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And then the old man said ...

Post Note : This is a one-time note. I am never going to write something like this again, and for no one else.

Like the archetypal character in Vinod's fantasy novels, each one of us in our lives has a "wise old man". He comes in different forms for different people. For some, its their fathers, for some its their uncles, their grandfathers, their neighbourly elder or someone. I found such an old man for myself in the early months of 2008. We immediately hit it off. He was about 3 years older to me, a man of principle and character. He was, so to say, someone whom I would like to live my life as sometime in the future.

In this place of "quick-to-change ethics" and magic words like "adaptability" and "fending-for-your-own", I had finally found someone who was "old school", who had the insight and the patience to look into the details, who used his homegrown intelligence to solve problems and someone who was oozing with confidence. He was someone I had once wanted to become. He was someone who made me realise that it was possible to live a life like that, someone who showed me how contentful it is to live likewise. He was someone who gave me hope.

Yet he was no superman. He was weak and vulnerable, just like me. I connected with him because I could. Very few could. But I was lucky. I was lucky to spend time with him. I was lucky to share thoughts. As much as I realised that it was only a tip of an iceberg that I could relate to in such a short time, it was still enough for my agitated mind. He could give me a sense of relief subconsciously which I had somehow lost in the past couple of years at IIT.

When I was packing my bags at IIT to return to my home for good, he came round and offered to accompany me, on my taxi, for the trip. I think I shall forever live under the assumption that this event happened just so that we could spend some more time together for one last time in THAT mode. Here's a brief conversation we had during that trip, amongst a lot of other "meaningless-yet-profound" transactions. (P.S : Don't mind the profanity, just look into the meaning)

He says, "You know what, you are a d**k."
I say, "Hmm?"
"Yeah, you are a d**k who is not interested in f**king."
"Hmm?" (BTW, this is the kind of response that I give to him whenever I want to keep him talking)
"Yes, and mind you, there are not a lot of people whom I consider d**ks."
"So what do you consider most of the people as?"
"Oh most of the people are c**ts. They are happy just getting f**ked. But you, you are the other kind, you are the one who has been made to f**k , but you're not realising it. You're simply not interested. Saumya Jain, work on this and you can really f**k the world. Realise your worth. You're a d**k and you know it!"
(I just smiled. At being called a d**k! And then he smiled, knowing that we both knew what had transpired in that heavily loaded Toyota Qualis speeding away on National Highway 91 on that scorching summer day)

I must say I was lucky to have stayed back in IIT that one extra semester. I was lucky to have met this wonderful person, who filled the proverbial much-needed-gap in my life. Here's to you, Raj, and I would gladly say that for me you have been the closest one to being the elder brother I never had.

Ball-Bearings, eh?

Oh Well, I might have lost my bearings, but I have surely not lost my balls!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ek aawaaz si toh tumko aayi hi hogi ...

माना कि गूँज रहे थे सन्नाटे,
माना चीख रही थी खामोशियाँ,
जब आह भरी थी हम ने, तब न सही ...
पर जब दिल चटखा था, तब एक आवाज़ सी तो तुमको आयी ही होगी।

माना कि उदास थी बहार,
माना खामोश था यह चहचहाता आँगन,
सूनी गलियों मे छुप रहे घुप्प अँधेरे में ही सही ...
मेरी एकाकी ने अपनी एक झलक तुमको चुपके से दिखलाई ही होगी।

माना चुप्पी लगी थी इस ओर भी उस ओर भी,
माना भरोसे की किल्लत थी इस ओर भी उस ओर भी,
यह भी मान लिया दोनों ही का अहम बड़ा था, लेकिन ...
इन दूरियों ने तुमको एक दीदार की गुहार तो लगायी ही होगी।

माना कि सपना टूट गया,
माना कि रिश्ता छूट गया,
पर यह तो आज भी कबूल नहीं कि थे तुम बेवफा ...
हमारी ही वफा ने तुमको शायद कोई कमी जतलायी होगी।

To The Nice Guys ...

Well, this is one of those instances which I call a SUUPER exception. Someone else's work on my blog! But still, I couldn't have agreed more. Here Goes ...
http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~jenf/writing/rant04.html

Ode to the Nice Guys

This rant was written for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing "serious" between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: "oh, but we’re just friends!" And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as "oh, he’s too nice to date" or "he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me" or "he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!" or the most frustrating of all: "no, it would ruin our friendship." Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks.

Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.

So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.
Fu-zu Jen, SEAS/WH, 2003

Its not too often that one finds, in another heart, a sense of pain that one has himself undergone, and in another's fingers, the same dexterity to put it in print. Well, I am (part)amused and (part)intrigued by this one.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blood.

Nothing lasts. Blood Survives.
Flowers wilt away.
The taste of chocolate fades in memory.
The touch of a hand lasts for merely seconds.
But blood. Blood sustains.
Blood only thickens with time.
Blood only becomes deeper as the clock ticks.
Blood doesn't doubt.
Blood doesn't flinch.
Blood cannot be washed away.
Blood stays.

Blood always stays with you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Perfect Analysis

I had once said about Vinod Khare "...one who would give me the coldest yet the brutally sanest advice on any issue", and there he goes again! This is a short conversation I had with him on our reunion at Alfaaz, IIT Kanpur's Literary Festival, which he is gracing as a Judge!!! Beats me how he manages to do that (too!), but however, that is not the point. Speaking of which, here is the point of the pointless conversation, (definitely not the first and surely not the last) that we had today on our time honoured practice of pilgrimage to "THE MT" for chai, samosa and whatnot.

The topic of the chat is the usual, "What is Saumya Jain supposed to be doing", hehe, something in which I have earned a D.Phil., needless to mention that all arguments expounded in which are as useless as the debate of the status of the planet Pluto in the Solar System. so, here goes ...

Saumya (talking about a day in recent forgotten history on which he had a bath): See, it is about perfection, about quality. It is about giving your best in everything you do. When I take a bath, I get an oil massage, a pedicure, a nice little sunbath and then I stand under the shower for ages. That, my friend is the perfect way to cleanse the body and the mind.

Vinod: Uh-huh.

Saumya: Yeah, nothing, absolutely nothing beats the feeling of your legs being soaked in warm water, sitting in the afternoon sun, and a relaxing massage with oil.

Vinod: Uhm! You mean "Getting a massage"? Are you employing people to do that? Really?

Saumya: Ah! No, no no. I mean I am rubbing oil in my hair myself, but, isn't the feeling just heavenly?

Vinod (pauses, thinks and then BANG!): Tumhe pata hai, tumko na Raja hona chahiye. Ekdum tumhaare laayak job hai! [You know what? You should be a king. Its a job just made for you!]

Saumya (Obviously surprised at the skewed parallel drawn between a king and a job desc): Hmm?

Vinod (Coldly, as though working out a case study. You just HAVE TO give it to this guy, he can remain SO indifferent even when he is speaking of such *disdainful* wisdom!) : Haan, na tum kuchh kaam karte ho, na kuchh karna chahte ho, bas pade rehte ho, aish karte rehte ho, aalsi bhi ho, ek hi cheez aati hai, bak bak karna aur morals baantna. Yehi sab toh karna hota hai. [Yes, its obvious. You don't do anything, neither do you want to. You just hang around all day long, making the most of your leisure-time, and you are slothful too. If you are good at something, it is talking crap and moralising. This is all that one requires to be a king.] You should have been born in the medieval times. You'd have done well.

Saumya (the truth hitting him at last): Yeah, I always thought that I was a bit old fashioned for this world. Too sad I missed the window. Waise, meri kundali mein shaayad Raj-yog likha hai. [Astrologically speaking, my fortune favours me to become one of the ruling class] Hehe. Kahan apply karoon? [Where do I sign up for this?]

Vinod (Smiling. Oh thank you holy mother of God): Hehe, chal chal, MT chal, fir bataataa hoon... [Hehe, walk on along, let me explain...]

And so we met again, probably for the last time on IITK soil. Probably for the last time to discuss this dreaded issue which I myself have been taking a bit too lightly (this blog-post notwithstanding). Hopefully though, I see some light at the end of this tunnel.

So anyhow, Ladies and Gentlemen, that, was Vinod Khare, and this, is me, signing off with this little poem, which will make sense to few. At least it does to me.

Adieu, adieu, adieu!
We'll miss you, Radley Boo,
You've been wronged,
and been miscast;
But all of that,
is in the Past.
Go on ahead, make a life,
No more worries, no more strife.
Speak out and you'll be heard,
No longer the caged mockingbird.
Go! Do the thing you wanna do,
Adieu, Boo, Adieu!

Quick Brown Fox, eh?

Remember, no quick brown fox is agile enough for a leap. And while we are at it, let me also tell you that Jackdaws have no romantic (or otherwise) interest whatsoever in any Gigantic Crystalline Animal-Deity.

Alt: Fox no Brown. Fox no Jump. Dog no Lazy. (P.S. : Fox no Quick too!)

Also Alt: (The conformist view) Exemplary Wizened Vicars Jump The Queue For The Kind God Above

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For Mel, or someone like her ...

There are good times, and then there are worse ones. There have been times when I have been lonely, forgotten, sad, desperate and depressed. There have been times when I have lost the will to do anything. There have been times when I have just let life slip past me.

And yet I am still here.

I am still here, because of a certain way I have been made. That tells me something about me. That tells me something about what I am capable of achieving, about what I am capable of doing but not realizing it just as yet. That tells me, I am.

But still, am I really all that I am? No. Because even in this higher sense of existence, I can feel that there is a spark that keeps me alive. There is a ray that shines through even the darkest of troubles, the deepest of chasms, and keeps me willing. Willing to breathe, willing to be. This spark, this ray doesn’t come from within. It comes from without.

It’s you.

It’s you, or maybe it’s just what I believe you are. It’s a concept that’s you. Or maybe it’s a concept which has your face. I wonder if it matters, but still it is your face I see. That tells me something. About me, about you. For now, I would like to believe it’s really you. I’d like to believe, because that’s how I live. We all live for a belief. And this, is my belief.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Closer, Farther ...

A not-so-random thought ...
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear to be; objects not in the mirror are farther than they appear to be.

Expounding this thought will go a long way ... hope I complete this article soon. More on this when we return!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Teree Kavitaa, Meree Kavitaa

७ फरवर २००८। माँ का जन्मदिन। ब्लॉगर पर मेरी पहली हिन्दी रचना।
माँ, तुम्हारे लिए...

तेरी कविता, मेरी कविता

पहला दूध, पहला खाना, पहली मिठाई।
पहली सहेली. बड़ी बहन. छोटी बहन।
तेरी कोख, तेरी गोद, तेरा आँचल।
तेरी पुचकार, तेरी थपकी, तेरी खुशबू।
तेरी पायल, तेरी बिंदी, तेरी साड़ी।
छ्न्न छन्न, खन्न खन्न, तेरी आहट।
तेरी मुस्कान, तेरी खुशी, मेरी खुशी।
तेरी आवाज़, तेरी लोरी, मेरी नीँद।

मेरा ग़म, तेरी बेचैनी, मेरा ग़म।
तेरा ग़म, मेरी बेचैनी, तेरा ग़म।
मेरी खुशी, तेरी खुशी, हमारी खुशी।
मेरी किस्मत, तेरी किस्मत, हमारी किस्मत।

मेरा झूठ, तेरी डाँट, तेरे आँसूं।
तेरे आँसूं, तेरा विश्वास. मेरा दुर्भाग्य।
तेरी माफी, तेरा प्यार, मेरा जीवन।
तेरा बेटा, मेरी माँ।

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Laying Some Demons to Rest

I recently noticed a couple of blogs I have started on my blogger account. This post is primarily to list 'em out and have a retrospection on when/why they were made. Here we go.

1. SaumyäSæz
[http://saumyajain.blogspot.com/] : This is my blog-a-la-originale. The authentic, the real McCoy, the right_from_the_horse's_mouth blog. I like to call it "My Rant". It has everything one could possibly know about me, or rather, at least everything I would let the world know about me. 81 posts including this one. The one that people know about, the one that I advertise. The one, that I write on. The one, that is me.

2. L.o.v.e.s.m.i.t.t.e.n.s.v.i.l.l.e
[http://luvbitten.blogspot.com/] : Once upon a time there was a guy who was smitten with love. Unreturned love. Or so he thought. Or so he did not. And thus he ended up bitten in love. This was supposed to be a "(s)pit-of-venom blog". Something to pour out, to vent out the anger, the inadequacy, the failure, the fall, the times, the promises, the quirkiness, the reality. It still has only one post. It will always have only one post. A post that I regret. A post that I shall never delete. Just to remind me never to write something like that again. Maybe, I guess, till I "fall" again.

3. A 100 days of solitude
[http://alifeinexile.blogspot.com/] : I will reproduce the only post this blog has, here.

Sunday, August 5, 2007
"An exile?"
"Yes."
"How? You are still around people you know."
"Yes, that is true. In physical terms, yes."
"Then?"
"Hmm... Well, it is an exile. Let's just leave it at that."

Akshay gives me a quizzical look. I smile back.

The idea to launch this blog came upon me a day before I wrote the luvbitten blog. It is after spewing out the spit of venom that I decided to end my 100 days of solitude on Day-2 itself. I realised that I was not ready for it then. A hundred days of solitude were meant as an experience to "grow", not to grow ugly and hateful. Thus ended my hundred days of exile, and so did the blog. (and so began my "Alter-Exile") But, unlike the "spit of venom blog", this is not a closed file. I know I shall come back to this again, although in very different circumstances and a totally different mindset. One day I shall be ready. It is then that I shall return to the blog, and to a hundred days of solitude, and hopefully, to a life in exile, away from "all this". What's "all this"? You'll know. Soon enough.

4. Posts on Love and Freedom, and Related Stuff :D
[http://luvandfreedom.blogspot.com/] : As the title says. This is for posts on Love, Freedom and Related Stuff. Hahahahah! Basically, it started out as an outlet for appreciating the finer things in life. It was there to remind me that I was not the only enlightened mind writing about human emotions. There have been lesser mortals before me who have succeeded in capturing intense emotions and packed them in words, mostly poetry. Basically, a place where I posted others' compositions centered around the strongest of human emotions, love and freedom. Sadly, given my age and circumstance, it boiled down to love more than freedom at that time, and soon I got so entangled with love that I actually stopped thinking about freedom, and if that was not enough, my posts on love too went on to merge with my rant blog, and so this blog became parched. I guess its time to renew this blog, now that my alter-exile is also over. And what better a post than Faiz's "Mujhse pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang"

5. Science and Technology Council IITK
[http://scitech-iitk.blogspot.com/] : Originally meant as a General Secretary (I was "that" once, :D) writing about his council in IITK, I guess it had one discussion and everyone soon forgot about it. Maybe because it was seen as a propaganda thingy back then. It was an honest attempt to bring in some people to life. I guess IITK was not ready back then. With lately my intent of doing something crazy with the IITK junta having found a supporting voice with Arvind Kothari, the currently outgoing PREJIDENT SAAHIB ;), I guess this blog may be used to complete a much awaited discourse on "What ails IITK" and also in the future, become a platform for my thoughts about Science and Technology as well as my days of being the "Scitech-Oh Seven" in IITK, the time and place where I gained, lost, learnt, became, befooled, did, undid, follied, jollied ... myself. All by myself.

6. The Techkriti Blog
[http://techkriti-ohseven.blogspot.com/] : "Wake me up when Techkriti Ends" ... This was Rakshit's status message. Techkriti was the brand, Oh Seven was the catchline, Us, the salesmen. I am absolutely immodest when it comes to this. It was THE Techkriti. Honest to God, great intentions without any fear of what will happen. For most of the people, where it was "just another tech fest", for us it was a matter of life, prestige and passion. Still is. There will be better ones I am sure. But one thing that no one can take away from Oh Seven is, it was the one that started it all. Nanda's Techkriti, to a large extent, inspired us. It was a benchmark. But we had a better base with the participants, and so by the end of it, I can safely say, we made Nanda proud. True, it had its glitches, it had its misses, they all do. I take all responsibility. Truly. I do believe I was the weakest link in the whole chain. BUT, I was also the superglue, heheh. Anyhow, this blog was made around the run up to the fest but soon discarded just like the scitech blog. There is still time before I fill it up with "How-to-organise-a-students-fest" guideline. (I have actually thought of doing so. Call me crazy.)

Aww shucks. This too has become just like all the old ones. Filling me with remorse over all my past life. [life. or something like it ;) ... Now where did I pick that one up from?] Anyhow, I am learning to live with it. I am learning to live with myself. The bottomline is, I am learning. That, I guess, is enough for me.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have you "fallen" in love ?

Man falls in love.

Such a simple statement. Such a profound thought.

I mean, he literally "falls" in love. A "man", in love, is a "fallen" creature. Think about it. It does make sense.

My train of thought? Man "falls" in love. Hits the ground ("ground reality", literally) and finds out the true nature of human emotion. He can choose to stay there, down and out, or he may choose to use this experience for the rest of his life, remembering to "rise" from his present state to unheard-of heights.

It is thus not only important but prescribed to fall (face first, given an option) in love once and to hit the ground. It is only then that you will truly become free, for its only then that you will realise how to rise. To rise and to love yourself. To love yourself more than anyone else could love someone and more than anyone could be loved. It is then, that you will really end up being happy.

Have you "fallen" yet?