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Sunday, August 29

I moved !!

Musafir ke raste badalte rahe,
kismat me chalna tha chalte rahe.
-- Bashir Badr

New place, new ways, new ppl, old faces
New paths, unknown destination,
New building on old bases.
-- me

This is abhaga from City of Gardens. I am loving it !!

Sunday, August 15

Kautilya ne kaha tha

Long have I bored u guys with tales of some distant Galaxies. Its time now to move closer to home and closer to reality :).
Today is our Independence Day and just like every year, its an occasion to feel proud of our country, its achievements and most of all its character. Although I strongly believe that we can surely do with being more aggressive and firm when it comes to international matters, it is not something I would be really proud of. It is more like a necessary evil which cannot be avoided in today's scenario.
This reminds me of someting from the famous Chanakya alias Kautilya. When questioned by one of his childhood friends about the rather ruteless image he had acquired, he said, "Under sab shubha hai, shuchi hai per uski raksha ke liye upper se kathorta ka aavaran od liya hai". A very simple and innocent looking statement but carries the essence of keeping right balance in life.
The world always tries to destroy the goodness within us, it makes us look like a fool when all we are is innocent, it projects our kindness as our weekness. Now we can either choose to learn what is called "Duniyadaari" which essentially means that the more shrwed we become from inside, the sweeter our toungue gets or we can heed to what the great man said.
This also reminds me of a quote that I picked up from some email. It said, " The only attitude in life that scales is taking no shit from anybody". On the face of it, Chanakya might seem to be doing the same but there is a subtle and important difference. Even though it may look negative at the first instance, Chanakya's stand is essentially positive, has something good at its core. The second statement hangs in pure void. It proudly tells u to take no shit from anybody but never suggests anything after that.
And this, I think is the basic difference is the Indian and western outlook of the world. I know I am generalizing to the limit of calling a bacteria and a elephant similar but they indeed fall into the same kingdom, don't they? Similarly this same theme can be seen, in one form or other, everywhere. The main strength of Indian tradition is the strong value system behind it and this value system is not limited to moral values only. It has much wider reverberations.
On this 57th Independence day, it is my heartly desire that my country and its people learn to walk the tight rope that Chanakya indicated towards. May God bless !

Thursday, August 12

Results are in

Both DS and PB ended up at a difference of .2%. So both the teams were decleared joint winners. GH took the second place.

Wednesday, August 11

Galaxy Remains !

What is better than watching a Galaxy? Of course being part of it :) but before I tell u more about it, here are the remaining editions of GT:
GH I
DS II

PB II
GH II

Apart from regular things like street plays, road paintings, the publicity events were a Parade and a Bhajan Singing march in which the aim was to collect as much money as u can by singing bhajans. These guys had the audacity of actually going to Dean's house and ask him for some money. I heard he bequeathed in the order of Rs. 6 to Rs 10 :), don't know who won in the end though. Lit events saw their usual crowd coming together although the events were much more experimental in nature.
I unfortunately missed the GH cul show but other two cul shows were quite impressive. There is however one observation which I cannot avoid making though I am not sure what to conclude from it. In our times, Hall 2 used to always get screwed in musicals which was the forte of Hall 3. In the play the situation was just the opposite. Even 3 years' gap was not enough to break the tradition :). DS put up an excellent play and opening but I felt it became very heavy and lacked any light element. PB had a nice choreo and some nice fillers (which they overdid and lost the effect). The two classical pieces were also wonderfully executed and a treat to listen to.
Results were not out till the writing of this post. And with the following words of Bashir Badr, Galaxy 2004 ended:

Dushmani jam ker karen lekin ye gunjaish rahe,
Jab kabhi hum dost ho jaayen to sharminda na hon.

The small part I got to play in this galaxy proved to be quite satisfying for more than one reason but it suffices to say that it was the best farewell which I could have hoped for. Since long have challenges been away from my life and what better way to embark on the next phase of ur life than to have a brush with the best that the life in past had to offer. The only thing left to say now is:

karo rukhsat hume ahal-e-chaman, ab hum to chalte hain,
Hawaayen dasht-e-nawardee ka fir paigaam laayi hain.

Thursday, August 5

GT - IInd Edition

is available here. This one is by the team "प्राणस्य भावः" (pranasya bhavah).

It turns out that out of the 7 teams proposed, only 3 are actually participating. I have mentioned about two of them already and fortunately or unfortunately, one of them comprises of Hall 2 guys and another, of Hall 3. But can anybody guess which is the 3rd team? With Hall 1 choosing to remain out of the picture for the most part, it is our very own GH that has a team in the running and as far as I have heard, they are working pretty hard.

In the golden olden times :), GH used to be one of the rotating teams. They used to be paired up with hall 1, hall2 and hall 3 in a cyclic order. Other rotating teams were the two PG hostels. Now although, I would not go on to say that GH used to be passive but Galaxy never seemed to arouse the same kind of passion there as was seen in Hall 2 and Hall 3. One reason is obvious. When u are being forced to change ur loyalties every year, it becomes kinda tough to identify urself with one of the teams in particular. I, however, feel the real reason lied elsewhere.

Galaxy required a lot of preparation and planning. There used to be a so called think tank which would comprise of the old timers of that hall, senior students from hall 1, new guys who have shown promise etc. Girls would all be there but they were hardly involved when it would come to decide about majors, minors, cul shows. It was more like, any girl known to be good in something, would be contacted through "appropriate channels" and would be roped in. There might be exceptions but that was the general picture. So the real challenge of Galaxy was almost missing from their experience.

On the contrary, this time they have their own team, they have their own "think tank" and they are doing whatever they decide to do and not just carry out the instructions being passed to them. For the first time, they are standing the post (refer to "A few good man" the movie) :). And I guess this feeling of being able to do what they want to do is the main incentive for going ahead and work.

In fact, this observation once again strongly proves what many simply decline to see. If u want betterment of your condition, if u want things to change, it is you who have to budge. Similarly if u want to improve somebody else's condition, again it is that somebody else who will have to do it. No matter how much energy u put in, how many methods u device, how many plans u roll out, nothing will succeed. I hope both the student community and the administration realize this as soon as possible.

Wednesday, August 4

News ! News !

Can't say that this makes me happy but it surely moves my heart. Galaxy is back !! Its very low scale, even if u are on campus, u can easily miss it all together, I haven't seen any of the events to comment on the quality but it is happening ! I have no doubt that the organizers are insane but galaxy can do that to u. I would try to do an online coverage of whatever happens and whatever I am able to catch but here are some tid-bits to start with:
Galaxy 2004 : Announcement Page
Galaxy Times : 1st Edition (Dhande Shining Team)

psd, I hope u remember the Galaxy Times :)

Tuesday, August 3

The Original !!

As pointed out by anonymous in the comments to last post, those lines are actually the English translation of a part of the following. It has been penned by noted Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz who is credited with introducing political awareness in Urdu language for the first time.

सुबह-ए-आज़ादी

ये दाग़ दाग़ उजाला, ये शब गज़ीदा सहर
वो इन्तज़ार था जिसका, ये वो सहर तो नहीं

ये वो सहर तो नहीं जिस की आरज़ू लेकर
चले थे यार कि मिल जायेगी कहीं न कहीं
फ़लक के दश्त में तारों की आख़िरी मंज़िल
कहीं तो होगा शब-ए-सुस्त मौज का साहिल
कहीं तो जा के रुकेगा सफ़ीना-ए-ग़म-ए-दिल
जवाँ लहू की पुर-असरार शाहराहों से
चले जो यार तो दामन पे कितने हाथ पडे
दयार-ए-हुस्न की बे-सब्र ख़्वाब-गाहों से
पुकारती रहीं बाहें बदन बुलाते रहे
बहुत अज़ीज़ थी लेकिन रुख़-ए-सहर की लगन
बहुत क़रीं था हसीनान-ए-नूर का दामन
सुबक सुबक थी तमन्ना, दबी दबी थी थकन

सुना है हो भी चुका है फ़िराक़-ए-ज़ुल्मत-ए-नूर
सुना है हो भी चुका है विसाल-ए-मंज़िल-ओ-गाम
बदल चुका है बहुत अहल्-ए-दर्द का दस्तूर
निशात-ए-वस्ल हलाल-ओ-अज़ाब्-ए-हिज्र-ए-हराम
जिगर की आग नज़र की उमंग, दिल की जलन
किसी पे चारा-ए-हिज्राँ का कुछ असर ही नहीं
कहाँ से आई निगार-ए-सबा, किधर को गई
अभी चिराग़-ए-सर-ए-राह को कुछ खबर ही नहीं
अभी गरानि-ए-शब में कमी नहीं आई
नजात-ए-दीदा-ओ-दिल की घड़ी नहीं आई
चले चलो कि वो मंज़िल अभी नहीं आई

For those who are having problem in viewing the Devanagari content, you can read the Roman transliterated version.

Monday, August 2

On a bright Monday Morning after Friendship Day !

This is one of my favorite pieces of poetry. Haven't been able to determine the original source but I picked it up from the .plan file of a senior. A pretty odd place to look for good poetry but pays off at times :)
To all my friends,

Life isn't fun anymore.
This isn't that long-looked for break of day,

That those comrades in arms set out in search of,
Hoping that in heaven's wide void,
Somewhere must be the star's last halting place,

Somewhere the verge of night's slow washing tide,

Somewhere an anchorage for the ship of heart ache.

One year, 21 days

Yesterday was the Friendship Day. I spent the last 21 Friendship Days without even knowing that they were passing by. But yesterday I came to know and there couldn't have been a better time.
Friendship is something that we all cherish but few of us understand. We all want friends but we seldom know what we want in a friend. We all call somebody our best friend and we hardly ever stop to think what does that mean. And then there is love. How do u differentiate between love and friendship? Where does one stop and the other start?
Unfortunately, a Friendship Day doesn't help us in resolving any of these issues. But what it does is that it gives us a chance to stop and think about them. It gives us a day to celebrate one of the most wonderful relationships in the world.
I think that the best way to celebrate it is to spend a day alone, away from all the friends. Now this may seem like a odd way to celebrate a Friendship Day but the thing to realize is that the beauty is not always in details. At times it is in the bigger picture. We spend the whole year interacting with our friends, being close to them, we absorb the details, we come to know them better. And so this one day should be used to absorb the bigger picture, a day when the individual qualities/eccentricities of a person doesn't come in the picture. You will be surprised at the colorful picture that emerges this way.
I can tell you all this cause I have spent not a day but a whole year like this, being away from a lot of my friends. Being away physically and being away mentally. And the best part was that unlike most of them who went on with their lives, I had lots of time on my hands to actually think about this. It was not at all a pleasant experience but then God's gifts are seldom wrapped in gift paper. But at the end of the year, I am rather thankful. From thinking that I may be the best thing to have happened to my friends, I have come to appreciate the patience that they must be having to put up with me.
This goes out to all of my friends. Past few months have not been very good and if I have been rather untouched and have been doing okay, I owe it to everyone of ur words and hugs and wishes that came my way. I owe it to all those chat sessions and long calls when u listened to my useless whining. I owe it to everyone of u. I might as well call the last one year, a friendship year of my life.
A friendship year to make up for 21 lost friendship days. Doesn't sound too bad :)