Saawan ki aayi bahar..

Shashi Kapoor’s movie Junoon was released in the year 1978. I have very faint memory of it as I must have watched it a few years later on Doordarshan. Later I read Ruskin Bond’s Flight of Pigeons and some more research revealed that it was directed by Shyam Benegal and had Jennifer Kandal (Kapoor’s wife) playing the role of a british lady in the movie. If I am not mistaken it was Nafisa Ali’s first movie and she played Shashi Kapoor’s love interest or should I say lust interest. Interestingly, Jennifer played her mom’s role. It also had Naseeruddin Shah as a revolutionary soldier trying to dethrown the English masters during the revolution of 1857. 

Ismat Chugtai played a role as the grandmother of Ruth. You can see her in the video ! It was perhaps the only movie she did.

Apart from the great historical setting and a interesting plot, for me the two compositions of Amir Khusrau “Aaj Rang Hai” and “Sawan ki Aayi Bahar” were the real treat. The melody of latter got stuck in my head and it comes back every monsoon when I find myself humming it inadvertently as I sit on the swing in my balcony listening to the chatter of the rain. 

In a way this song is quite special as it represents the spirit of India. A song written in Awadhi by a Muslim Sufi is sung by a Maharashtrian Brahmin in a Movie based on a novel by an Anglo Indian. The movie itself is directed by a Bengali dada and produced by a Punjabi whose parents migrated from Pakistan. 

Unfortunately, we seem to be losing this spirit and have forgotten to enjoy the richness of our checkered past and the diversity  of our heterogeneous present. Rather than enjoying the variety we are eager to place everyone in a box, to fit them in a certain stereotype which may exist only in our minds and offers a certain fillip  to our own point of view.

Anyways, you enjoy the music and the rains…घिर आयी कारी घटा मतवारी, सावन की आयी बहार रे !!

A poet’s home 

अपने अफ्कार के अशआर कि दुनिया है यही

जान-ए-मज़मून है ये शाहिद -ए-माना है यही

अपना मौज़ू-ए-सुखन इन  के सिवा और नही

तब्बा शायर का वतन इन कॆ सिवा और नही..

This is the world of my thoughts, my poems
This is the essence of my writing, the fate of this poet

There is no other subject of my Poetry,

There is no other home to my being but this..

~ Poetry by Faiz

Interpretation by Aahang 

Stability 

इन ‘स्टेबिलिटी’ वालों को मैं जानता हूँ. इनकी अच्छी बँधी आमदनी होती है. घर होता है, फर्नीचर होता है, फ्रीज होता है, बीमे की पालिसी होती है, ‘वीक एंड’ होता है, बच्चे कान्वेंट में होते हैं. ये इस बीमार आराम की निरंतरता में खलल नहीं चाहते. यही ‘स्टेबिलिटी’ का नारा लगाते हैं.

अस्पताल के प्राइवेट वार्ड में पलँग पर एक आदमी पड़ा है. मुलायम गद्दा है, तकिया है, कूलर है. उसे फलों का रस पड़े – पड़े मिल जाता है. विटामिन मिल जाते हैं. बिस्तर पर ही ‘एनीमा’ लगा दिया जाता है. उससे कहो – यार, जरा बाहर घूम – फिर आओ. वह कहेगा – 

नहीं, मुझे ‘स्टेबिलिटी’ चाहिए !

~ हरिशंकर परसाई

No Money, only Mangoes 

I had gone to pick up mangoes from the bus stand with a friend whose father grows them at his farm in Andhra. He loads the delicious organic Himayati Mangoes in the village on a bus and we go to Majestic bus stand and pick them up. Pretty cool ! On our way we were chatting and I said even I have been thinking of growing some veggies and selling it to Healthy Buddha or Big Basket but it works out that no matter how I try I just can’t make money as size of my land holding is too small. My friend said Rajnish why do you think the farmers are revolting ? This year there has been an over supply of many crops including mango. Typically, farmers have been selling mangoes to agents as low as 10-15 Rs. Per Kg. In an acre on an average you can grow about a quintal in the 5th year.So if you have 2 acres of land the maximum money that you can make is Rs. 20 thousand for a crop which grows only once a year. 2 acres is important as that is the average land holding of farmers in India. You can do maths with other crops with different prices which vary drastically but there is no way a farmer can cross the threshold of 30 thousand per acre per year. Now you look at the cost of inputs which are easily 30-40 % fertilizers, pesticides, water, transportation, labor etc. The net available for the farmer is just 3 thousand per month. Remember this is when everything is normal – no draught or floods or untimely rain.

So who has failed – the government. In 70 years we have not been able to come up with a market mechanism to get a fair price for the produce. While the farmer gets Rs.2 per Kg we pay Rs. 20  for the same tomatoes. In the case of my friend the entire apartment is happy buying Organic Himayati Mangoes at Rs. 150 per Kg which his father would have otherwise sold to the agent at Rs. 15. Why do you think we went all the way to Majestic bus Stand in the morning 😊

Hearts of people..

“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine – by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”

 ―Haruki Murakami