Wednesday, 30 March 2016



Day in and out , this way,
I spend my life
in a series of falsehood .
About me , about you , about everything else.
Every day , I lie
throughout the time that I stay awake .
Perhaps, the only time I’m true
is when I'm asleep .

Life is easier , if we lie;
we all know this
because that is what we have learnt
from our childhood till today.
Truth is a virtue
only for others to follow
and pay for it with their lives.

So for me and you
let these lies prevail , today.
I can’t risk to lose you now
with the truth , the ugly truth
naked as a baby , but still ugly

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Tea stall

Steam engines are no longer
seen on the railway tracks;
coal dust bothers no one anymore.
But trains still stop at this station
at all hours of the day.
As people come down
to loosen their limbs,
many look around to locate
the tea stall
on platform number three;
like all myths,
this has also become a folklore now.
The small boy with a kettle
helping his father
has now grown into an image
larger than life.
Belief has its own set of rules
either you follow them
or you don't.
Shadows that grow bigger
as long as you walk away from light.
Here and there,
often when the need arise,
the kettle is warmed to reheat
the fresh chai served to passengers.
The Chaiwallah knows well ,
on a train journey, nobody minds the taste;
as long as the chai is warm and sweet.
Because they want a cup of tea
more than anything else.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Hail the Brown pants

#HailtheBrownpants The Sturmabteilung (SA) also commonly known as the “Brownshirts “ were the  “Storm Troopers “ who functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party.

It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. The primary purpose of the group was providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Slavic and
Romani citizens, unionists, and Jews – for instance, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Later, in 1934 there was a bloody purge and thereafter the Stormtroopers were merged into the Schuzstaffel (SS) to be directly by Hitler and his Nazi party . Now can we see a parallel with the Brownpants here . It’s not a too farfetched analogy because at the core , the concept remains the same . Only place , time and people change.

 History is a very interesting subject . It can warn us against future only if we take the lessons from the past. Recently I have come across views expressed by some people that universities should not teach obsolete subjects like History , Geography , Sociology and other liberal arts because these are the breeding grounds for Naxalism and other anti national thoughts. I can guess the reason for this type of comments and views . They do not want the people to know . They will be happy if all the children of the country grow up only as Engineers , Doctors and MBAs wearing brown pants. And surprisingly there are many who support this theory . Yes, numerically such people will be much more than the population of Germany during Hitler’s time.

Super 10 line up for #WT20

#WT20 This World Cup is not about Men only ! Let us cheer our women in blue too and hail Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur , Smriti Mandhana and the other girls . Best wishes to our Indian team to win the Cup . Get going girls . Dikha do Zamaane ko . 

Meanwhile for the men, the Super 10 lineup for the tournament is now ready . Bangladesh joins Pakistan , NewZealand, Australia and the host India in Group 1 which is being widely described as the group of death. All the matches are expected to be tough and should give the spectators their moneys worth. Though Australia and India are frontrunners to reach the semifinals from this group , it will be necessary to win each match and try to top the table in order to be ahead .

The Group 2 , however has a curious mix of qualifier Afghanistan sharing the high table with West Indies, Sri Lanka, England and South Africa . South Africa looks the likely topper from this group with England coming up as the other semi finalist. But WI , SL and even Afghanistan has the ability to upset the English apple cart. The darkest horse of this tournament can be Afghanistan . Though they have miles to go in terms of technique , exposure and experience , they are displaying spirited performance on the field and also has a decent bowling attack with variety. The match being of 20 overs , any team and any player can just steal the limelight to turn the game on its head within the space of three or four overs .

I have a sneaky feeling that Afghanistan may do that . They may not reach the semis by themselves but will be the reason to stop one of the Biggies if they are not taken seriously. Because they are a surprise package and their carefree style of game may disturb the rhythm of their opponents . This will not happen in the case of Bangladesh because they are themselves under pressure to perform while all the opponents are aware of their game and will come down heavily on them with regular preparation to show them their place .

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Forbidden fantasy

I want to hold you like a pillow
I want to wrap you like a blanket
I would like to wake up every night
and find myself like this in your embrace.

I want to rest my head on your breast
and hear what your heart beats say
I want to touch your lips and feel
the softness of the welcome moan

I want to burn myself in the fires
that you carry in your veins
I want to taste the thunder tonight
and smell the scent of your sweat

I want you to leave me and let me do
whatever I want to do with you
I want you to take me to those depths
from where you can never release me.

I want to dive deep inside you
in search of those treasures buried
and would never like to come ashore
from the tumultuous waves of ecstasy

Friday, 11 March 2016


If the unexpressed desires of life
ever takes the shape of raindrops
falling from heaven ;
Go, get drenched in the shower
how much can you possibly hold in your hands.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Art of filling.

Using the Indian Army to manage the preparations of a jumboree organised by a self styled godman is perhaps being done as a patriotic gesture. I wonder if protesting against this will attract the anti-national label. So unless that is cleared by the appropriate authority, I am afraid to pass any comment. Moreover, who knows, some old retired Brigadier with long moustaches may come on TV and start shedding tears. People can become so sentimental.

Meanwhile, all the patriotic fervour generated during the Pathankot attack has evaporated. Nobody perhaps remember it anymore and so it should also not be discussed.  The bunglings which occured during the operation to counter the attack has been conveniently swept under the carpet . The brave announcements of revenge have faded away. The people who raised antinational slogans in JNU ( as claimed by government officials, minsters and ruling party functionaries) are yet to be identified and arrested. The students of the JNU has been villified , lampooned and labelled as anti nationals in the bargain .   But baby, you can't complain. Otherwise, you will be labelled as anti-national. What you can't say also is that in both the cases , there was a big gap in intelligence and handling at the ground level for which the Home minister should be sacked , of course if he is really in control of his department. Because criticism of the government is unpatriotic and intolerant , as espoused by some great mind .

All those bleeding ''nationalist'' patriotic hearts, are you listening? Remember, this is just a new benchmark for using the army. The government has full right and authority to use any person employed by it in whichever manner it deems fit and for whatever reasons . There is no criticism on that . But let us understand that the more the army is used in civilian requirements without any emergency reason, the more like Pakistan we will become. But then may be that is what we aspire to be . 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Hirak Rajar Deshe

#HirakRajarDeshe Sometimes revisiting a classic creation that stands the test of time makes us feel that special awe about the genius of the creator and rediscover many other facets hidden in small little things. One such experience that I had today was wahile watching the movie " Hirak Rajar Deshe " by chance. I don't really remember how many times I have seen the movie because this was a staple for my son during his summer holidays or other vacations . I had first watched the movie in 1980 but even after watching it so many times , I find something new with the movie.

And therein lies the genius of the master . Their creations conquer time and has an universal appeal . To put the perspective of the discussion in its proper context , we need to understand that Satyajit Ray made this movie as a statement against authoritarianism and dictatorship . Like many other people Ray was also disturbed, troubled and anguished with the imposition of Emergency rule by Mrs Gandhi's government. But he did not join a protest march or a political party to speak against it. He just did what he could do best . He made a film . That too a children's film with a structure layered in satire with witty but simple commonplace dialogues . He took so much care to ensure that the format remained simple to avoid censorship and yet convey what he wanted to say.

Hirak Rajar Deshe literally means The land of the Diamond king. The plot narrates the continuation of the adventures of the two protagonists Goopi Gayen and Bagha Bayen from the previous movie named after them . Incidentally , these characters were created by Ray's grandfather Upendrakishore in a tale of fantasy for children.
Goopi , a failed singer and Bagha , a lousy drumbeater were two simpletons who chanced upon the Bhooter Raja , the king of ghosts who transforms their lives by granting them three boons and pairs of shoes each . This enables them to travel anywhere by clapping hands doing a high five , order whatever food they think of and lastly , the power to transfix people by their music . Their lives are totatally transformed and they marry two princesses and enjoy life as kings .

All this happen in the epynomous story and movie Goopie Gyne Bagha Byne (1967) . But HRD begins as Goopie and Bagha venture out to the land of the Diamond King to attend a big function as guests of state .There, their musical performance wins the heart of everybody . But hidden behind the pomp and show of the kingdom lies the grim story of despotic rule by the king. People are signed up as bonded labours to procure diamonds from mines , schools are dissolved and farmers taxed with atrocious rates. The people have no hopes left in the face of oppression unleashed by the Hirok Raja . The diabolical punishment meted out to people in this land for not conforming is Magaj Dholai i.e. Brainwashing through a machine invented by a greedy scientist . The king is a megalomaniac and always surrounded by his pet acolytes . The poet laureate sings paens in his praise and the court astrologer also makes predictions which suit the king .

Goopie and Bagha are startled by the facts which they experience and befriend Udayan Pandit , an ousted teacher who leads the resistance. After he is arrested , Goopie Bagha saves him from being brainwashed and the country is freed from oppression by the King and his cohorts being brainwashed by people's power. The dictatorship of the king ends in dismantling of the giant statue of the king by people joined by the king himself symbolising a peaceful revolution.

The simple story is formatted as a satire and the dialogue is in rhymes . The sheer genius of Ray peeps through this rhymes , some of them have become folklore. Even a person with a low IQ will understand the story without any help whereas the discerning viewer can get the intrinsic message through the layer of satire and buffoonery. Apart from directing the movie ,Ray has written the story, scripted the screenplay , composed the music and and written the songs and dialogues too among other things. Utpal Dutta portrayed the king and perhaps noone else could have done this role any better. Soumitra Chatterjee as Udayan pandit , Robi Ghosh as Bagha and Topen Chatterjee as Goopie are the other memorable actors among a cast of very competent actors. Very interestingly, there is no female character in this movie .

My favourite are the rhyming lines by the king and his minister and I love the scene with the tiger . Singing a song based on Carnatic music , Goopie tries to neutralise a tiger guarding the keys while Bagha helps himself to the jewels . The song, the scene and the acting is superb and most people who have seen the movie will immediately recollect it. Hirak Rajar Deshe was made on a very small budget and was a big hit. It is still shown regularly on TV channels and children love it . Grownups also would not like to miss it once they watch a scene or two .

The beauty of the movie is such that people of any age, race or language will understand this movie . But knowing Bengali will add to the fun ten times over. A very serious message packaged in the most simple satire. After watching this movie one can only wonder at the vast reservoir of talent this person had and why he will always be considered as a towering intellect across the span of time. His other works may have been more acclaimed but Hirok Rajar Deshe stands out due to its simplicity. A childlike creation for the children and yet a big slap on the face of all despots . Chaplin had his Great Dictator , Ray provided us with HRD. Such uncluttered excellence which provides an awesome experience to the viewer.

Try to see the movie , if you can . You will not regret my advice , if you can. And the story will seem so contemporary that you will wonder if it was made 35 years back or is it really pointing to the present day situation. #SatyajitRay .