Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This one is a lovely, amazingly beautiful poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi.
I love Rabbi's rendition, would have loved it more, had it been a 15 minute song and included all lyrics, stressing on each line multiple times and then going on. But nevertheless music is good.
But all credit goes to Shiv Batalvi sahab for it.
This blogs is one of the good blog to know about the great poet.

Ik kuRhii jidaa naam muhabbat, Gum hai Gum hai
Saad muraadii, sohni phabbat, Gum hai Gum hai

Soorat ossdi pariyaan vargii
Seerat dii o mariam lagdii
Hasdii hai taan phul jhaddade ne
Turdii hai taan gazal hai lagdii
Lamm-salammii, saru de kad dii
Umar aje hai marke agg dii
Par naina dii gal samajhdii
Gummeyaan janam janam han hoye
Par lagdaa jyon kal dii gal hai
Eyon lagdaa jyon ajj dii gal hai
Eyon lagdaa jyon hun dii gal hai

Huney taan mere kol khaRhii sii
Huney taan mere kol nahin hai
Eh kiI chhal hai, eh kIi bhatkan
Soch merii hairan baRhii hai
Nazar merii har aande jaande
Chehre daa rang phol rahii hai
Ous kuRhii nu Tol rahii hai

Saanjh Dhale baazaaraan de jad,
MoRhaan te khushboo ugdii hai
Vehal, thakaavat, bechainii jad,
Chauraaheyaan te aa juRhdii hai
Rauley lippi tanhaii de vich
Oss kuRhii dii thuRh khaandii hai
Oss kuRhii dii thuRh disdii hai
Har chhin mainoon eyon lagdaa hai
Har din mainoon eyon lagdaa hai
JuRhe jashan te bheeRhaan vichon
JuRhii mahak de jhurmat vichon
O mainoon aawaaz davegii
Main ohnoon pehchaan lavaanga
O mainoon pehchaan lavegii
Par ess raule de haRh vichon
Koyii vii mainoonu aawaaz naa dendaa
Koyii vii mere vall naa vehndaa

Par khaure kyun taplaa lagdaa
Par khaure kyun jhaullaa paindaa
Har din har ik bhiiRh juRhii chon
But ohdaa jyon langh ke jaandaa
Par mainoon hii nazar naa aundaa
Gum gayii main oss kuRhii de
Chehre de vich gummyaa rehndaa
Oss de gham vich ghullda rehndaa
Oss de gham vich khurdaa jaandaa

Oss kuRhii noon merii saun hai
Oss kuRhii noon apnii saun hai
Oss kuRhii noon sab di saun hai
Oss kuRhii noon jag di saun hai
Oss kuRhii noon rab di saun hai
Je kite paRhdii sundii hove
Jyundii jaan o mar rahii hove
Ik vaarii aa ke mil jaave
Wafaa merii noon daag na laave
Nahin taan methon jiyaa naa jaandaa
Geet koyii likheyaa naa jandaa

Ik kuRhii jidaa naam muhabbat, Gum hai Gum hai
Saad muraadii, sohni phabbat, Gum hai Gum hai

A girl whose name is love, is missing, is missing
Simple wisher, beautiful looking, is missing, is missing

Her looks are like that of fairies
Her nature is like that of Mariam
When she laughs, the flowers fall
When she walks, she looks like a gazal
She is tall like the sarroo tree
But her age is hardly like that of fire
But she can understand the talks of eyes
She is missing since ages
But it appears as yesterday’s talk
It appears as today’s talk
It appears as now’s talk

Just now, she was standing with me
Just now, she is not with me
What is this deception, what is this stranding
My thinking is very much surprised
My eyes are searching the colour of
Face of everybody coming or going
And are searching that girl

At the dawn of evening when in market
On the turns, fragrance starts appearing
When idleness, lethargy and uneasiness
Starts accumulating on the four-way crossings
In this Noisy loneliness
The absence of that girl eats me up
The absence of that girl becomes apparent
Every moment it appears to me
Every day it appears to me
In the celebrations and in the crowds
In the accumulated fragrances
She will call me
I will recognize her
She will recognize me
But in this flood of noise
Nobody calls me
Nobody looks towards me

But I don’t know why I get the feeling
But I don’t know why I appear to see
Every day in every crowd
Her statue appears to be going
But only I am not able to see her
I remain lost in the face of
That lost girl
I keep on deteriorating in her sorrow
I keep on depleting in her sorrow

I bind that girl with my oath
I bind that girl with her oath
I bind that girl with everybody’s oath
I bind that girl with world’s oath
I bind that girl with God’s oath
If she is somewhere reading or hearing
If she’s living or dying
Once she should come and meet me
She should not put a blot on my sincerity
Otherwise I can not live
I can not write any song

A girl whose name is love, is missing, is missing
Simple wisher, beautiful looking, is missing, is missing

Ikk Kudi... - Rabbi Shergill

Sunday, July 27, 2008

avenji ja nahin

So it was a friday morning with lots of work to be done in office and yet the desire for the day to end and weekend was getting stronger. To get past the day, i needed some good music but my music cells had given up and i was unable to decide what i should listen. So i went to my gtalk list, pinged Manmeet and asked for a music recommendation. And whoa! he promptly recommended Rabbi's new album - Avenji ja nahin. So now it has been 44 hrs since that conversation and i am still listening to that album and needless to say, i love it.

Avenji ja nahin is a great album, the best that i have heard from indian pop after a long time. Rabbi is doing what lucky ali did 10 years ago. Meaningful lyrics, simple but creative guitar accompany it and sung by a passion. My favourite song from the album is Bilqis(Jinhe naaz hain). It is about those people who had fought for a cause. And then he asks a question:
Jinhe naaz hai hind par, woh kahan the?
Jinhe naaz hai, woh kahan hain?
Lyrics (and its translation) can be found at ajn.co.in in music section.

Bilqis (Jinhe Naaz Hai) - Rabbi

I strongly encourage that you listen to other tracks such as challa and pagri sambhal.

The complete album can be heard here: http://www.fmw11.net/browser/category/view/3917/rabbi---avengi-ja-nahin-(june-2008)

Friday, July 25, 2008

It started as a homage to Quentin Tarantino. But soon it got devolved. Maybe i should have chosen a less meaningful topic, a topic with less impact. (The waitress tip topic is awesome).
Anyways, but soon it had to bear a stamp and so it was. Everyone has his own way of doing things.
Warning: Some people may find the language offensive. This article is not meant for them.

tainnnnnnnn, tai tttinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

I have no idea how i remembered this song but since today morning, it has been on my playlist. It is from the movie Paris, Texas. The movie starts and ends with this song and one can get the feel of the movie by just listening to it. Its composed by Ry cooder.

On the Couch - Ry Cooder

So after listening to the song some umpteen number of times, i could not resist to watch videos of Paris, Texas which is a beautiful movie. It is a movie in which the director has the guts to show two people talking for 20 minutes at the climax of the movie and nothing else and yet, the script, the actors, the music is so powerful that you dont move, even for a second.
Virah (longing) is the word that describe the movie, the music and ofcourse there is beauty in pain!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I believe him!

Check out this article:

It felt great joy on the day i heard the news that Manmohan singh is going to be the PM. It felt great when Chidambaram took over as FM, and Sonia Gandhi dissolved into the background. It was a blow par excellence for Indian politics. But soon after that, all shine was gone and everyone pointed fingers at PM, FM.

Media never showed the reason behind finger pointing, may be there never was. But all the time, it made me sad seeing good technocrats labeled as bad leaders. May be they were bad leaders but in either case no one gave any rationale behind it.

Manmohan Singh was labeled as the weakest PM, a dummy person and what-not and they gave instances where he had failed to act. Some part of me agreed but some part said that he is a man of action and not words, action not reported by media and absence of words leads to any interpretation.

But this time, he has taken a stand, he has set the bars and he also is not sure whether he can make it or not. (Disclosure: I am again ignorant on what N deal is but i trust that the big leaders (MS, Kalam, Gurcharan Das and hundreds of technocrats and if they say yes, i trust them). I have never read any article before by the person who wrote the above article but i believe him because it makes sense. It must have been a topic of great impact for which a party is ready to give up its power to achieve its goal. MS has taken it head-on and he is playing it.

Now there are rumours of bribery, promises etc to rope in votes. Congress is counting support from people like Shibu Soren and Lalu. What can be worst than this? But its all about numbers, isnt it? All about greater good?
All morality, all principles fail when it comes to Indian politics or kashmir issue. Things like greater good, majority, sentiments all overshadow the rationale. Is there no way out?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two anecdotes

I met Gautam and his new friends from Berkley on last saturday and had a great time. Two very interesting anecdotes were shared, which i would like to blog about:

First one is by Gautam on Newyork downtown red light. If you have been to Newyork and walked on the streets of Manhattan, then you must have experienced this. On a red light intersection there are scores of people waiting to cross from either side. One often wonders standing there that how will so many people cross each other at the same time? Gautam analogically compares it to a big gladiator war movie where armies are waiting in front of each other waiting for a signal from their captains to march ahead and attack the other side. This is so true. Even i can visualize the scene. The analogy is perfect here. And as the horses trample over the army and humans collide in LOTR, a scene of similar effect but with very low intensity happens on every redlight intersection after every minute or so.

Second one was shared by Michel, Gautam's friend. He says that he was named so because moments before he was about to be born, there was a soccer match going on and his dad had said that he will name his son after the name of the first guy who scores a goal. He thanks that Michel scored the first goal because other options had more Polish names and he is an Italian.

Ain't it nice!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Yay! This is the 100th post on this blog!

Many say that numbers don't matter, many believe that numbers don't matter and many think that numbers don't matter and the rest understand that all the above three are true.

I have no idea why important things in life are dedicated to anybody or anything. Is it to say thank you? If yes, then why don't you say it. I remember Aman came with the idea of dedicating out btp thesis to our parents respectively. He even got it printed neatly on a separate page. That thesis which they wont even read, and even if they try to read will not understand anything more than the abuse of english words and greek symbols in a fashion otherwise known as mathematics/theory.
I got to write the acknowledgment and i acknowledged Donal Knuth in it for inventing Latex. (Question: Who is a bigger thass amongst us?)

SPICMACAY dedicates its series to well known artists, often to someone who had passed away recently. I guess they are waiting for artists to die before they can dedicate.( bad/sad joke, i agree, but there are no counter examples).

But since we are at the topic of dedicating, i dedicate the first 100 posts to someone who are mentioned in this blog never or very less but to whom i owe a lot. Justin has got a beautiful "Therefore i am" section which is a brilliant idea, something that i had wanted to plagiarize for a long time but a guy with "hazarron khwaishein aisi" can not have less than a 1000 names. So on the 100th blog post, today, here is a partial list of people who have influenced me in more ways than 1:
(Not in any order)
1. Douglas adams : What satire in hitchhiker's guide!
2. Quentin Tarantino: A guy(Madsen) offers a drink to someone and says: "Wrap you lips around that". Can anyone write more cheezy than that?
3. Woody allen: If his movies are hilarious, you should read his novels. An example:
Q: How long do you think a man's legs should be?
A: Long enough to reach the ground.
4. Italo Calvino: The man behind Mr. Palomar. Its funny, i just read one story by him and i knew that yes, this is the model that i want to plagiarize. That story was : The Naked Bossom. The idea of Mr. Naman came out after reading this story.
5. Roger Waters: The man who made me understand the psychedlic jargon. Vera, Vera, what has become of you?
6. Naseeruddin shah: jaadu hai inki adakari mein!
7. Ghalib: The man behind the name of this blog and why i get so much hits everyday.
8. Gulzar: He is the reason why i want to read hindi books now.
9. Seinfeld: How can i forget this guy! "People! they are the worst", extracting humor out of day to day activities.
10. George Constanza: Purists may argue that Constanza is covered in Seinfeld but i disagree. A character in himself. The best character ever on tv for me.
11. Scott Adams: Even though i am over Scott for quite some time now, but he is something!
12. Bill Waterson: I love him but i respect him more. Genius. No more words are required.
13. Rehman: The man behind swades ost. Period.
14. Ayn Rand: She, who has written the best fiction for me.
15. Yudhishtir: The eldest brother who lived by dharma throughout his life and was requested by God himself to lie and had to spend some time in hell for that. A perfect example that there is a flaw in the concept of GOD.
16. Robert Frost: One poem is enough for me to always remember him.
17. Abida Parveen: There is only 1 cd with me and that is Jahan-e-Khusro by Abida Parveen. Too bad i am a Hindu, i cant even say - I will take it to the grave with me. (There is satire in everything!)
18. Harper Lee: One novel, one story a gift to humanity. To kill a mocking bird.
19. Joseph Heller:The joke about numbers above is inspired from Catch 22 by him. My fav quote from it was:
Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three

I guess thats it at the moment. I have intentionally left out people whom i have met and those who have inspired me. Why i did what i did above? Well these are names that are often not mentioned in my blog but they are so much in me that its difficult to write about them regularly.

And thats another wish taken care of!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things i would like to see on web...

(1) Tagging in group emails. A common example would be alumni_dit where 50% of the mails are people posting job openings or ic_gt(gatech mailing list) where 50% of mails is people looking for roommates etc. I agree that these mails should be part of the group but are for a specific purpose. There is no need to create a separate group for each specific purpose. Instead each group should have categorizations. Categories should be defined by group owners or group moderators and senders should be able to check which category does the mail applies to. Another way to look at it would be email tagging. So in addition to subject, sender etc, an email should have tags like "humor", "classified", "news", "forward", "bulk forward" etc. This would make email organization lot easier.

(2) News History : So news in all newspapers have a habit of reporting the current release and often fail to give the context. Take the example of India signing Nuclear dealing. Over the past 2 weeks news have covered what left said, how congress replied and how bjp is evading the situation but what is the N deal? why it is good or why it is bad?
So news should follow how gmail organizes my email - as a thread. And this service should come from news websites (hindu/new yorker) and not from news aggregator such as google news or yahoo news. This thread should form automatically.

(3) Social video: (this came out of discussion with Gurshi) I want to watch a video/movie and i also want you to watch it with me what do i do? i send you a link and we both play the video on our end. Now think of how games are played in messenger - We both log in to the messenger and one sends the invite to another. As the invitation is accepted, the game loads in both ends. Now replace the game with the video. Instead of the game, we both watch the video synchronized. Plus we can use other messenger tools (chat/talk) to discuss the video at the same time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

After India, everything's easy

Thanks to Gaurav Gandhi for forwarding this article on alumni_dit:
After India, everything's easy

To quote from the article:
"Most feelings for India among immigrants seem driven by extremes of nostalgia or nitpicking. They tend to either romanticise or demonise India, forgetting that there are advantages to life both in India and outside — depending on how you approach it. The karmic, roll-with-the-punches, cup-half-full, theory is that there are pluses in both places."
The above is so so true. It is applicable to me as well. I could relate to the story in 100s of levels.
The author, Chidanand Rajghatta, has written just what has been on my mind for so many days.

2 cents from my side: In California, there is a train service called VTA. It covers about 50 stations and it runs very slowly. To give you an idea, how slow it is, there is alternate train called Caltrain which covers the same pairs of station in 20 minutes where VTA takes more than an hr.
And people curse VTA, and literally curse it. Jokes like walking is faster than VTA and many of better quality can be heard. Now, the speed of VTA and the number of stations it covers is very very similar to metro in Delhi. There is a stop after every 2 mins in Delhi metro and same is true for VTA. While Delhi metro is hailed as the biggest development in Delhi in the past decade (and indeed it is, if you ask me), VTA gets a low-caste treatment here. Ofcourse the context surrounding both, the alternative transports available etc affects but if we look the two train services independent.

Another point that i have observed is the way we (or some of us) are unable to bear the cultural differences. A common example seen pointed to me by many would be two people passionately kissing each other in public. What can be a mere expression of love to them, for us it becomes a matter of public obscenity. And there are hundreds of other examples. I do not want to say that we are not open, we do have made significant progress in appreciating their culture and try to live alongside but still we all have a limit. And here i am talking about people who belong to my generation, i wonder what cultural shock it would be for people a generation earlier.

I often wonder about the life of a person(fictitious, probably a sikh) who was born in 1930 in Pakistan. He must be 17 years old when partition happened and he had to move to India, 50 years old when 84 riots happened and then at 60, his sons decided to settle in US/Canada and he ws forced to abandon his Indian land, relationships etc, come here and start life over again. I would like to hear his thoughts on all this, how he took it and most importantly, what advice he would have for us.

it is like watching hazarron khwaishein aisi(HKA), or listening to indian classical music or eating authentic kolkotta rasgulla or reading Ghalib. Many of my friends have liked HKA but if you ask them what you like about it (a) everyone has his own explanation (b) No one can define it properly. Its the abstract, the idea, the visual image one develops in mind, that gives that joy, the aha moment!, the wah wah. Well that is India to me. Like ghalib's poetry. I will never fully comprehend, may stop reading for some time but after some gap, it draws me. US has lots of things that are very good, but all can be defined. There is comfort leading to pleasure. And it is not at all wrong to live here. It is a person's independent decision and should be respected. Enjoying one's own life is not a crime anywhere. Those who criticise about brain drain, about people betraying their motherland should try to live without maids, without free labour and then speak. We all crave for comforts (materialistic comforts) and it is not at all bad. If someone has decided to settle in anyplace on Earth for whatever reasons he feels apropriate, if it makes him happy, it should be respected. You may not like the reason, i may not like the reason, the reason itself may be wrong but in all cases it should be respected.

Arey humare yahan toh rawan ki bhi pooja hoti hai, ram ne bhi rawan ke saamne haath jode the.

And finally, finally, as some scholar said "India is a land of spiritual fools". To him my answer would be the way Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind says it - So what, its okay. Its okay.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind

Alexander Pope poem:
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned;

There are handful of movies which are made with such skill, such art as this one. Charlie Kauffman's genius and Michael Gondry, aha. And there is Kate Winslet ensuring that the execution is flawless and Jim Carey gives his life's best performance. Music gives the added flavour and Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Eljiah Wood as sidekicks just bring together pieces to make it an all time classic.

ESOTSM should be watched whenever there is a doubt in mind about what should be watched. Each prayer accepted, each wish resigned.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

कैमरे के आगे हसना ही पड़ता है, बड़ों के सामने झुकना ही पड़ता है
ज़मीन पे जितना चाहे घूमो , पानी में तैरना ही पड़ता है

वोह कहते हैं कि जिंदगी का मकसद है तेरी खोज
बाहर जितना ही ढूँढो, तू अन्दर ही मिलता है

वफ़ा न हुई मुझसे मेरे यार की, रोया वोह रोया मैं
राम कृष्णा की भक्ति में समय बांटना ही पड़ता है

इश्क नहीं है मुझको पर दीवाना कह सकते हो
उसके दीदार में रास्ता ताकना ही पड़ता है

तुझे याद नहीं किया तो तू खफा हो गया
उसे मनाने के लिए दो बार माला फेरना ही पड़ता है

समझ ले तू अब यह इशारा है तेरी ओर
जबान से कहना बहुत मुश्किल पड़ता है

पान्चों उन्ग्लिइयां घी में, मौज कर ले अब अरविन्द
पर याद रखियो, घी चटने के बाद हाथ धोना ही पड़ता है

Friday, July 4, 2008

nusrat ki fitrat

I have the habit of listening music whenever i work. It is always there in the background.
But today something weird happened. I was busy in my work and indeed i have been working continuously for the past 3 hrs but then something very very strange happened. I started crying, my eyes were moist and i dont know why. His power was too much on me. Subconsciously he had taken his control over me and i had no idea how. I was listening to Nusrat sahab's following song.

Its translation can be found here.

The lines that brought me to tears were:

basad talaash na ab kuch vus’at-e-nazar se milaa
nishaan-e-manzil-e-maqsuud raahbar se milaa
Ali mile to mile Khaana-e-Khudaa saa hameN
Khudaa ko dhuuNdha to vo bhi Ali ke ghar se milaa

Don’t search for anything now, match the eternal search
match the footprints of the desired destination with guide
to get Ali is like getting a house of God
searching for God too, we found Him in Ali’s house.

When nusrat sings the last line, that was the time, the way he sung it, i had no control over myself.
Also the rendition below is sung both by nusrat sahab and sultan khan sahab. need i say more?

Ali Ali Ali Maula Ali Ali, Haq - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Sultan Khan