Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two songs

Two songs -

I end my today's blogging streak with these two songs. So many days, so many hrs, i have heard these tracks repeatedly. Gems! Wahan Kaun hai tera and Chalo Dildaar chalo

vahaan kaun hai tera, musaafir, jaayega kahaan
dam lele ghadi bhar, ye chhaiyaan, paayega kahaan
vahaan kaun hai tera, musaafir, jaayega kahaan
vahaan kaun hai tera.....................

beet gaye din, pyaar ke palchhin
sapna bani woh raaten
bhuul gaye woh, tu bhi bhula de
pyaar ki woh mulaaqaaten,
pyaar ki woh mulaaqaaten
sab door andhera, sab door andhera,
musaafir jaayega kahaan

koi bhi teri, raaha naa dekhe
nain bichhaaye naa koi
dard se tere, koi naa tadpa
aankh kisi ki naa royi,
aankh kisi ki naa royi
kahe kisko tu meraa, kahe kisko tu meraa,
musaafir jaayegaa kahaan
ho o o o, musaafir, tu jaaye gaa kahaan

kahate hai gyaani, duniya hai faani
paani pe likhi likhaayi
hai sabki dekhi, hai sabki jaani
haath kisike naa aayi
haath kisike naa aayi
kuchh teraa naa meraa, kuchh teraa naa meraa,
musaafir jaayegaa kahaan

chalo diladaar chalo chaa.Nd ke paar chalo
ham hai.n taiyaar chalo

(aao kho jaae.n sitaaro.n me.n kahii.n) \- 2
chho.D de.n aaj ye duniyaa ye zamii.n, duniyaa ye zamii.n
chalo diladaar...

(ham nashe me.n hai.n sambhaalo hame.n tum) \- (2)
nii.nd aatii hai jagaa lo hame.n tum, jagaa lo hame.n tum
chalo diladaar...

(zi.ndagii khatm bhii ho jaaye agar) \- (2)
na kabhii khatm ho ulfat kaa safar, ulfat kaa safar
chalo diladaar...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

मियाँ तुम कहाँ रहते हो?

मियाँ तुम कहाँ रहते हो?
अजी क्या इसी दुनिया में जीते हो

शरीर का बाज़ार हर रात को लगता है
एक अछूत अभी भी मंदिर के बाहर ही भटकता है
शादी में दहेज़ अभी भी ज़रूरी है
आधे गावों में बेटी अभी भी एक मजबूरी है
यह equality का नारा काहे बार बार दोहराते हो
मियाँ तुम कहाँ रहते हो? अजी क्या इसी दुनिया में जीते हो

देश आज़ाद होने से देश वासी आज़ाद नहीं होते
ज़रा रात को टहलो, लोग अभी भी सड़क पे हैं सोते
तुम तो पढ़ लिख गए, समाज अभी भी है अनपढ़
तुम्हारे मल्टी-नेशनल कंपनी का जमादार अभी भी है बेघर
यह अपनी अंग्रेजी किस पर दिखाते हो?
मियाँ तुम कहाँ रहते हो? अजी क्या इसी दुनिया में जीते हो

कर्म करो, फल की चिंता मत करो- यह है तुम्हारा विश्वास
सदा सत्य बोलो, निंदा न करो, यह है तुम्हारी करनी
माला फेरने वाले के सामने खूब जोर से ठहाके मारते हो.
परन्तु, लेकिन, किन्तु, ...
फसल उगाने वाले के घर में रोटी नहीं हैं
ज़िन्दगी भर बचाई हुई वोह पेन्शन कहीं खोई हुई है
पूरे दिन की मेहनत के बाद जेब अभी भी खाली पड़ी है
न जाऊं मंदिर तोह फिर कहाँ जाऊं
मेरे अंध विश्वास का मज़ाक काहे उड़ाते हो?
मियाँ तुम कहाँ रहते हो? अजी क्या इसी दुनिया में जीते हो

The smartness lies in doing it

The smartness lies in doing it

The smartness lies in doing it
It is not in thinking
Not at all in talking
Little bit in sharing
But mostly it lies in acting.

What is it that you don't know?
What is it that you don't understand?
There is a risk, I know you are little afraid,
Failure is a possibility, I know that too.
But the fact that you tried, that's what makes you smart.

You need an idea!
What is an idea? I ask.
Great on paper, worthless until materialized.
Execution of an idea is the only way to stop it from getting executed.
Smartness does not lie in talking the walk
It lies in walking the talk.

Talented - that i know you are
It is is not the risk that holds you back
Neither the fear of failure.
Time, yes time! rather time commitment.
1yr, 2yrs, 5 yrs, decade or a lifetime.
Unknown variables.....
The smartness does not lie in solving every unknown.
It exists in living with them.

Life in Jan 11 - Feb 27

Do not let Feb end. Do not let Feb go away. It just started and now its the end. Lets immortalize this month, this year, this day.

A very slow month for blogging so far, but today i am going to make it up.

My last two blog posts were book reviews. I have written many back to back movie reviews, songs, trips etc but back to back books - i am proud of it.

This post is not going to follow any chronological order of events - I will write things as they come to my mind.

A hiking day trip with Nikesh to Skyline trail - sometime in Jan. This is the link - But soon, we were on a different trail - under my signature directions but still managed to hike for 5 hrs. Good fun day under the trees. Went to ate lungar at Gurdwara after the hike :) Healthy food!

A trip to Muir beach last weekend. sat on the cold beach and saw waves, wrote couple of things and then went for a 1 mile hike. Alone! Then drove in my car for 3 hrs to find a spot to sit and read Half the sky. Couldn't find a peaceful spot but eventually sat in the hill next to Golden Gate. Read book for 3 hrs and then came back.

Started to make a hat for myself as my next knitting project. 1 inch done. Hoping that it will be done by winter :) - This is what Obama meant by - The audacity of hope.

Tried going to Tuten Khamen exhibition last weekend but ticket got sold out.

Visited Stanford, computer history museum with Deepti didi and family.

Finished two books - Snow and Half the sky. Reviews posted before.

Meetup - Joined a poker meetup, went to one of their events Lost 20$. Had not gone again. Too much to loose.

Meetup - Attended a film club meetup. They screen a movie once a month and no one in audience has any clue about the movie that they are going to see before the movie. It is a surprise. They also call someone from the movie to have a discussion kind of thing going. Last month, the movie was a documentary - The most dangerous man in America . They had also got the director. Brilliant movie. Must have to watch again. This is also nominated for oscar this year. I was looking at a red carpet celebrity there :) This movie deserves its own blog post.

Joined many other meetups but have not attended them.

Officially gave up my piano classes. Sad! Soul searching required.

Worklogue -
1. Jan was very hectic - was doing too many things.
2. Feb was month of disillusionment - need to diversify.
3. Learnt lot of systems :)
4. Went to Stanford career fair - The first career fair where i was on the opposite side of booth - instead of giving my resume, i was giving them. And explaining to everyone with a smile - what we do, why we do, challenges etc. It was quite tiring. But it was only for 2 hrs. Interesting experience.

Movielogue -
Hurt locker - Ok. Not great. The only scene that i liked was when he comes back to US and is buying cereals in a grocery store.

Man on wire - Review posted earlier.

Latest addiction - Law and Order - SVU.

New York, I love you - Not as good as Paris, I love you. Ok. Paris one was excellent.

The class - Foreign language oscar nominee for last year. Interesting, heavy, real, somewhat disturbing. A much appreciated change from Hollywood trash that comes out.

Bad ones - The book of ELI, Sherlock holmes.

Posted before - The Baader Meinhof Complex, Boondock saints.

Rewatched - Head on, ab tak 56.

Half the sky - Turning oppression into opportunity for women

Book - Half the sky. Amazon link

Written by Nikolas Kristof and Sheryl Dunof.
Why this post?
A google blog search with this title returns 6 million results. Meaning 6 million blog posts containing this term. Assuming that even if 1/6th of them are actually about this book, it still makes it a million. Then why am i even writing this post?
Ans - Because i do not want this book to go off my brain that easily.

Why this book?
I joined this meetup - Politically inspired book club. They read one book each month and then meet to discuss it. This was their Feb book and i read it too. Very rarely, i would read a book with so little background check, normally, i would wait until i have heard the book mention in many places before i dive in. Or it has to stand out way out of the way for me to read it. But this one - i just took it based on the face value - more so because i had been meaning to join a book reading club for a long time. The title was interesting and it was rated good on amazon. All were enough for me to read this book.

About the book -
The book is a study of women related issues across the globe focusing on topics such as prostitution, slave trade, mortality rates, abuse, rape and gender inequality issues. It focuses mainly on third world countries, mainly India, Pakistan, and African nations like Congo, Rwanda and their likes. After covering some of the issues, the book also covers some solutions that have worked such as micro-credit, kiva, it covers NGO/aid work going in these areas and how it has changed perople's lives. Lastly, the book covers on how you can help these women and discusses many ideas.

Review -
The above section is waste. No matter what i write, it can not explain what is written in the book. The first 100 pages were a torture to read, issues, issues - how can anyone do this? In India? Really! ? Near Nagpur, in kolkatta? where was the govt. ? Everyone knows? Why is no one saying anything? India shining huh!? Tears! Dude, this has happened, it is happening! Everyone knows. Some do, others read, and many remain ignorant. Stories, real stories - make you throw up, shout, anger! - helplessness. One after the another, acid throwing, fistula, sex-trafficking and it goes on and on. In my anyways pessimistic views about society, this book goes deep and takes me further down in my fears.

Yet after 100 pages or so, there are some solutions, not solutions but people who are making a difference, people who are not afraid, people - mostly women, some have lived it, others just felt it. The second half of this 250 page book gives hope and last section is almost a plea for help - come forward and make a difference.

Nothing above that you read will make any difference, until you have read the book. I will have to read this book again - when i gather enough courage, may be when time is right.

About the meetup -
Loved the meetup. Let me build the ambiance - It was on a Thursday evening - 8 pm to 10 pm at Red Rock cafe's second floor. Meetup over coffee is the culture in this part of the world and i like it. 9 people had RSVPed yes and 8 showed up. Two tables were joined and everyone sat down with hot coffee or tea. But there was just one oddity - Out of 8 discussing a totally feministic book - there were 7 women and 1 man (me!) Women came from all age groups and all backgrounds. There was one from India, one from Iran, one studying psychology, couple of them were over 50. Who cares about these statistics?

And yet, in this women dominated group, a sufficient amount of time was spent in discussing an idea that had completely skipped my mind. A women had posed this question - In many stories, it was always men who had an upper hand and women were oppressed. So, men would waste their money on drinks, drugs etc while women would save for food, children etc. Do you think that if it was other way around, women with higher power than men, earning higher than men, would they have behaved similarly, would they also be reckless in their habits?
i had not thought about it. Most women said yes.

We discussed randomly, each making some points, citing examples from the book, from personal lives etc. It was a very good discussion.

This was the meetup link -

The link has a link to a movie related to the subject above. But i do not have the courage to watch it now.

Next meetup is about Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky. I already have it from my library.

Monday, February 8, 2010


A novel by Orhan Pamuk

Feb 7, 2010, 10:23 am. Finished this book after starting at about 3 months ago. Before i give my review, some statistics i want to document.

Places where i have read this book -
In my car drinking Phil's coffee, at Peet's coffee shop, on my flight to Seattle, in the morning hrs at Aman's apartment in Seattle (waiting for him to wake up), on my way to Los Angeles, while eating an Indian lunch buffet and finally today - at Starbucks next to my home (listening to Blues music).

Snow is the kind of book that needs to be savored. The reason it took me three months to finish this book even though this book is so beautiful is that i could not have read it anytime. I had to be in my fresh mind, with my undivided attention, while i can feel everything that is written, visualize, be there in the author's world, understand it, live it. Because after reading every page or two, i had to take a break, to dream about it, staring aimlessly in front of me, wondering what it would be etc etc. Trying to understand the mystical, the unwritten, the feeling. I think that's what Orhan wants us to derive from the book.

About the book -
Snow is a book at the intersection of poetry, religion and politics. I admit with guilt that any book written with these three points in mind is going to interest me. At the heart of this book is a poet named Ka visiting a place called Kars and the whole book tells his 3 day long stay there. And those 3 days are more than a lifetime for many including the protagonist. In Kars, girls are committing suicide, and there is a military coup going on. It does not make any sense to write a summary of the story because it does not matter. What matters is how it is told and for that i can not do any justice to it.

Today, after i have finished this book, i am so much reminded of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's children. As i look at my blog logs [:)], i find it difficult to believe that its been an entire year since i finished the book. Some time ago, i made a comment that there is a formula behind all oscar winners for foreign language movies. I also tried to explain the formula. I bring back the same argument here. I get the same feeling after Snow, as i got after reading The Road, after reading Midnight's children. But this time i will not make an attempt to explain this behavior mainly because i have not fully understood what it is. One thing that is indeed shared is the attention to "emotional detail" in all of them. Yes, "emotional detail" because IMHO, detail comes in various forms, factual details, physical details, environmental details etc but in these books, the emotional details is the one that takes the highest precedence.

Another thing that i love about Snow is the way Orhan, the author inserts himself into the story line. He is writing the story and he is in the story. As i mentioned in Midnight's children, the distinction between reality and fiction is quite blurred there. While Salman maintains reality by writing about factual events, Orhan shows reality by introducing himself in the book, as a friend of the protagonist and writes how he came to write this book. This all creates a thought in the mind that the entire story could be true and indeed there might have been a poet Ka!

And the last thing about the book is that we read a lot of description on Ka writing the poems, what the poem is about, what inspired those poems, how he wrote those poems, how it came to them and that the poems are very complex, deep and great. But the book in which he is writing those poems is lost and hence we do not have any idea about the contents of this poem leaving it entirely to our imagination. I think its the right way, had Orhan published the poems, it may (again MAY) have reduced their importance in the minds of readers. By keeping them mystical, Orhan plays iwth us nicely!

And even though i wrote "last thing" in the last para, the last thing infact is the title - Snow. So many lines have been pored to describe Snow, its significance, its symbolism, its composition, its structure .... Indeed one feels in awe of it.

I am not sure if i will read this book ever again, the same way i do not think i will ever read Midnight's children again. But i may read these authors again in their different works. I hope this post captures the effect of reading such a book :)