Monday, October 22, 2007

Jumble Mumble 2

As the hijra pimp led the 7 year old girl into the house enticing her with stories of halwa-puri and led her to fat seth propped up against pillows on his mahogany bed, I sunk lower into the black seat and hugged my bag. I cringed thinking of the innocent 7 year old and what was about to happen to her. I felt a vacuum in the pit of my stomach and between my legs. I crossed my denim clad legs tighter...

(...while watching Deepa Mehta's Water in the bus from Mumbai to Pune on Sunday evening)

...and thanked my lucky stars, that I was born in more enlightened times in a well off, educated family.

After the movie, the assistant in the bus put on a CD of old hindi songs. And suddenly you could sense a change in atmosphere in the bus. The whole bus seemed to suddenly become one.
You could hear voices in bus softly singing along with rajesh khanna, dev anand, sharmila tagore, mumtaz, etc.
There snapping fingers keeping pace with the beats of these classics. Feet were tapping. Heads were bobbing.
And for a few minutes everybody was transformed back to a time when music had a power to hypnotize people.
Credits to:
Roop tera mastana..
Gore rang pe na itna ghumaan kar...
Meet na mila re man ka...
Gaata rahe mera dil...
Jaane Jaa, dhoondhta phir raha...
Mere Sapno ki rani kab aayegi tu...

Let the Music Play.

Jumble Mumble

Every week I take up this new thing to do. Last week it was picking up Urdu.
This site helped me:

From last week, here's what I came up with:

"Tumne hamein bheja koi pyaar ke paigaam nahi hai,
Magar afsaus, khwabo pe ikhtiyaar nahi hai"

(This was basically to use the word ikhtiyaar (control) in a sentence) :-)

This week it's reading more of Ogden Nash poetry. So today I found a whole PDF of Ogden Nash Poetry. There were many really nice ones. Here is one I picked out:

"My Dream

This is my dream
It is my own dream
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Ogden Nash"

And on that high note, jumble mumble takes a break.

मराठी Poetry

These are some poems I had written quite some time ago...some 6-8 months ago. Just got around to posting these 3 here.

Marathi Poem 1 - Tujha Haat Pakdun

tuza ha4 pkDUn

AayuXy jg~yace SvPn paihle

p` tuza ha4 pkDta pkDta

dus– sa4 soDUn gele

tuze SvPn tu3le,

tr tU maZyakDe Aalas rDt rDt

tuZya Do;\yatUn A&U pusta pusta

Svt: hs`e ivsrUn gele

roj s.@yaka;I ha4at ha4 2rUn

tuZya Do;\yat b6t raihle

tuZya do;\yat b6ta b6ta

insrgace r.g ivsrUn gele

tula maza 6raca rsta kay,

maz. nav hI Aa#vt nsel

tuZya 7o3\ya 7o3\ya jo*3I Aa#vt Aa#vt

mI Svt:la ivsrUn gele.

Marathi Poem 2 - Bhatukli

watuklI qe;ta qe;ta

Svtac: 6r zal., k;l. nahI

Aa.ByacI zaD. c!ta c!ta

kes ipkUn gele, k;l. nahI

wavLya.cI 6r bnvta bnvta

mula.cI 6r bsv~yacI ve; AalI

maZya 6uD^yavrce rKt Aa{ pusta pusta

mulICya lGnat pdravr Do;e pusaycI ve; AalI

wugol tasat jgaca Aakar ixkt ixkt prdexI pa#v~yac. vy zal.

jgace kayde kanUn smjta smjta

Tyala soDUn jaNyac. vy zal..

Marathi Poem 3 - Mi Daarat Ubhi Aahe

mI darat ]BHI Aahe

pa}l pu!e 3akayc kI nahI ya ivcarat

mage maz. balp`ac. 6r

pu!e A`o;qI rsTyaca c!av ]tar

darala lagUn Aa.g` Aahe

ya A.g`at maze im5 mEi5`I Aahet

Aa{ baba.Cya Premane

Aole ic.b iwjlele idvs ra5 Aahet

Aaj ya ].br#\yavr ]w rahUn

mI mage b6te, pu!e b6te

mage maze bewan Aayu*y

pu!e psrlela ha kora kagd

yaCyavr ilQaa` AjUn ]m3lele nahI

pu!cI va3 AjUn Aa.2arat Aahe

TyaCyavr ]jeD AjUn pDlela nahI

mI pu!e pa]l 3akLyavr

drvaJyavrca ha4 su3Un ja{l

nvIn ha4 2rayla va3 2rIn

maZya pa#Ivrca ha4 magerahUn ja{l

mI Aaj maZya AavtI wvtI b6te

maz. kam, maza ve;, maZya AavDI invDI

]dya tec ³Xy mla idst nahI

]dya ³Xy ks. Asel, te kahI k;t nahI

AajU bajU ko~a Asel, he koD. kahI su3t nahI

Aajce idvs ra5, ]dya kxe bdltIl

ya kLpnet Aahe

ha4a vrCya reqa, Aai~a pu!ca रस्ता kse ju;tIl,

ya ivcarat Aahe

Monday, October 08, 2007


There's poetry everywhere around you

In the leaves strewn on the path
Red and Orange
There's poetry in the dried leaves
That crackle when you step on them

In the colour of beer
Held against a light
There's poetry in
The Sunset in a glass

In the little ironies
That we see everyday
There's poetry in
The mysterious nature of life

In a succulent juicy
Well crafted dish
There's poetry in
A home cooked meal

In the way hair falls
Across the skin
There's poetry in
The light that's seen in their eyes

In the rain, wild and stormy
In the puddles that splash
There's poetry in
The pitter patter of rain on a tin roof

In the first step of your baby
In the first word she says
Theres poetry in
The way she holds on to your thumb

In a smile, a handshake
A phonecall
There's poetry in
The little things that make us smile

There's poetry everywhere around you
You just have to see it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One more time

Give me one more drag
Just one more puff
Only one more time;
I'm addicted to you

Just one more day
Let me spend with you
Give me one more chance
Just to be with you

Let the screw-ups go
Leave my problems by
Only one more time;
I'm addicted to you

My nerves are shot
I need some druggin'
You're my daily dose
I need to breathe you in

Lemme hold you now
Lemme have my fill
Only one more time
I'm addicted to you

C'mon, just one more drag
Only one more puff
One more time
Only one more time
Just one more time
I'm addicted to you.

The Business of Newspaper Cutlery

This post of Scott Adams about newspapers becoming extinct in the near future got me thinking. Nope, not about the pace of technological development or the future of the publishing industry but about the very nasal presence of the moongphali waala (peanut seller).

Now the moongphali waala is a very typical character in many Indian cities. This chappie sells hot roasted peanuts and groundnuts. You will find this chappie at bus stops, railway platforms, the more enterprising ones on the train. They'll be dispensing warm peanuts and groundnuts at Re. 1 or 2 a cone. This snack caters to the millions waiting on bus stops and railway stations, for trains and buses, tired faces that look temptingly at the auto rikshaws and cabs that pass by slowly, trafficking their wares to the bus-travellers. The moongphali (also called sengdana) is a quiche snack that fills an empty stomach at a cheap price.

The great thing about eating moongphali from the moongphali waala is not just the warm groundnuts and peanuts, sometimes even offered with a spicy topping of raw onion, thinly cut green chilies, some red chilly powder and a sprinkling of chaat masala. Its what you get after you finish your snack. Not just the contended feeling of a full stomach but the added mystery of "whats the cone made of today?"

The cone here is the perfectly shaped paper cone that holds the peanuts. The making of a perfect paper cone is itself an art. The seller's deft fingers shape and twist and turn the paper into a perfect cone in less than 3-4 seconds. It is typically made of a piece of old newspaper, and in the case of a seller whose business is doing well, its made from the glossies. The mystery comes from the fact that you never know what piece of newspaper has been used to craft that particular cone.

In Mumbai where I have devoured hundreds of moongphali cones, the newspapers varied not just in content but also in language. You could get Hindi, Marathi, English, Gujarati, Urdu, or even Tamil or Bengali. You could get a political news update, a stomach churning crime story, a story on the education system or a glossy on the newest scandal in Bollywood. It could be from last weeks or last month.
Thus for the princely sum of Rs. 2, you not only got a full stomach but your own little news widget on a platter.

It was the perfect way to spend the waiting time. Eat your fill and then squinting in the light of the street light, devour the contents of the used newspaper. You never knew what information you would learn. What forgotten piece of history would leap out at you from the annals of newsprint. And not only did you learn something new or got reminded of something long forgotten but you got to look at it with the fortunate backing of hindsight. So you probably knew what happened just after that piece of news had happened. Or how it affected other events in history. If it was a bit of sensational news, you would probably think back to where you were when you had first heard it.

Through the stages of evolution, the newspaper cutlery practice has diversified to cones of larger diameter that resemble large soup bowls. These are used by the bhel waalas - another important character in the lives of road side eaters.
Here you normally can't read the newspaper after eating because it normally gets soggy because of the chutneys. However the piece of newspaper is very useful once you are done eating to use as a tissue paper to wipe the remanants of chutney, spices, lemon juice off your fingers.

Though these examples leap to the mind, newspapers are used on the roadside to serve vada-pavs , dabelis, bhajiyas, samosas and umpteen other road side delicacies.

Now, as experts toss around debates on the extinction of newspapers, I cannot but feel fear about what will happen to the roadside vendors cutlery options.

Footnote: Yes, I know, bowls made of leaves or expensive and boring paper plates are often used as a substitute, but these are normally found at the more upscale road-side vendors. And tell me, what leaf bowl or paper plate can ever substitute a bowl/ plate, reading material and tissue paper all rolled into one?