Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Toba Tek Singh

Read this short story online and then ordered the book. Someone told me that Manto's stories are very powerful and compelling especially in the way he captures the stuff around partition. He writes in Urdu and the first link is almost Urdu written in the Hindustani script. The second link is more hindi and easier to understand if you are not familiar with the regular urdu words.

Anyway, this is how it starts...
बँटवारे के दो-तीन साल बाद पाकिस्तान और हिंदुस्तान की हुकूमतों को ख़्याल आया कि अख़्लाक़ी क़ैदियों की तरह पागलों का भी तबादला होना चाहिए, यानी जो मुसलमान पागल हिंदुस्तान के पागलख़ानों में हैं, उन्हें पाकिस्तान पहुँचा दिया जाए और जो हिंदू और सिख पाकिस्तान के पागलख़ानों में हैं, उन्हें हिंदुस्तान के हवाले कर दिया जाए.

Complete Story  - More Urdu

Complete Story - More Hindi

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Language of Thought

There are times when I wonder if a generation of Indians who have migrated from their native languages to English as the primary language of thought have lost some part of their identities. This is a feeling that I get only when I look at people around my age group (+15/ -10 years), the rest clearly have a defined language of thought. 

When I look at the elder group (Age > x+15), I look at a bunch of people who have their thought and the ethos in their native cultures and contexts. They can talk any language they like but you know the language they are thinking in. 

Similarly, when I look at the younger bunch, they have a clear preference of language. Many of them would not even like to talk in the erstwhile native language. They have been clearly language naturalized. 

But my ilk, which I refer to as the 'Bridge' generation, is a mixed up bunch. Some of them have changed their language of thought and some are firmly entrenched in the native language. As a result, they often struggle to communicate with the preceding and the following generation. Not here to comment on where they should be. It is their own choice and they have either made it or they are stuck with it.

I started on this post when I was browsing online for a few books and my site suggested 'नीम का पेड़' (The Neem Tree) to me. Some from my generation might remember this TV serial from our childhood days. It used to start with a Ghazal sung by Jagjit and written by Nida Fazli. It started off beautifully:

मूँह की बात सुने हर कोई,
दिल के दर्द को जाने कौन
आवाजों के बाज़ारों में,
खामोशी पहचाने कौन !!
Let me try and translate it. This is how it goes:

Everyone hears the spoken word, Whom do I share with this sadness of mine
In this market of din and noise, Is there anyone who seeks silence...

And as it happens almost always, it does not translate well! Sigh!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Update on Running Committments

Hi Everyone, I have been away and I think it is becoming a pattern over the last few years. For some reason the first few months of a year, for the last 2-3 yrs, I have not been able to make any posts. I hope I will be little regular from now on.

To kick this year off, I would start with updating you on the Personal Commitments I had made in September last year. I had committed to run another 1000Km from Sept '09 through Feb '10. This is how I fared: 
  •  September 2009: 235.87 Km
  • October 2009: 190.45 Km
  • November 2009: 150.19 Km
  • Decemeber 2009: 159.81 Km
  • January 2011: 161.89 Km
  • February 2011: 124.81 Km
Hence, the total adds up to ~1023 Km over the time period. It was not easy to do this distance. It was very fulfilling to fulfill this commitment. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in this completing this. My running partners, friends, my kid sister, Dad and the better-half.

Thanks everyone!!

PS: The blog is now mobile friendly. There is a mobile version of this blog. Take a look and give me your feedback.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ek Saal...

मैं कभी बतलाता नहीं
पर अँधेरे से डरता हूँ मैं माँ 
यूँ तो मैं,दिखलाता नहीं
तेरी परवाह करता हूँ मैं माँ
तुझे सब है पता, हैं ना माँ
तुझे सब है पता, मेरी माँ

भीड़ में यूँ ना छोड़ो मुझे 
घर लौट के भी आ ना पाऊँ माँ
भेज ना इतना दूर मुझको तू
याद भी तुझको आ ना पाऊँ माँ
क्या इतना बुरा हूँ मैं माँ 
क्या इतना बुरा मेरी माँ 

मैं कभी बतलाता नहीं
पर अँधेरे से डरता हूँ मैं माँ 
यूँ तो मैं,दिखलाता नहीं
तेरी परवाह करता हूँ मैं माँ
तुझे सब था पता, हैं ना माँ 
तुझे सब था पता, मेरी माँ  
... तुझको गए हुए

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tumhari Yaad Aayegi

जीवन के सफ़र में राही, मिलते हैं बिछड़ जाने को
और दे जाते हैं यादें तन्हाई में तडपाने को

This is almost a month too late. But this has been in the offing for each day that has went by since 21st November, 2010. If in IIT I would have hummed the above tune, am sure Tank would have immediately quipped that these lines are from the film Munimji, Music by SD Burman and Lyrics by Sahir. We might have then spent some time on discussing how good a lyricist Sahir was. But sadly, none of this is going to happen...

I have been wanting to write a note on Ashwini ever since that fateful day when he passed away. I started typing a note on 21 November itself but it is still in my drafts folder. Somehow, I could not bring myself to write that email. We go back a long way. He was my junior at IITB. Ragged him in the first year. He was a great hindi music enthusiast and there might have been many competitions where we competed against/with each other.

After IITB, we were together at Dell. I was moving from Citibank and he had just finished his post grad from IIM Indore. We did not meet often at work as we were in different units. But we met regularly outside work and most of that can be attributed to running.

He was a regular runner and many from the RFL group at bangalore know him. He used to typically do sub-30K kind of distances. As for the half marathon kind of distance, he would have done that multiple times (~40-50 times). We had made a running trip to mysore, where he ran up and down the Chamundi hills twice.

He was a great photographer and his oft repeated complaint about trail running was that he could never make up his mind if he should be running or be behind the lens! You can browse though his photo-stream here.

He had recently moved to Delhi and was putting up in Noida with his brother. I met him on 19th Nov at a friend's (Aviral) wedding. He was looking fitter than what he was in Bangalore. I joked that he is losing weight faster than the remainder of his hair. He quipped, 'Tere bhi chale jaayenge'

We were to run the Airtel Delhi Half together. We had decided that we will start from Noida together to the run venue. However, he had some work and decided to take his car as well. He reached the starting point before us and My wife, brother in law and I joined him in the line leading to the hold-up area. I had had a bad run at the Bangalore Ultra and was yearning to get a decent time in the ADHM so I sped off at the starting point. Tank jokingly complained about that to Priyanka (my wife).

We crossed and shouted out to each other on the road leading to Rajpath where he was running with another runner from Bangalore. Priyanka met him later on the course and he was going strong. That was the last that we saw of him.

After the race, I looked for him for approx 3 hours as his car keys were with Priyanka. I checked at the medical center where I was told that no one by the name of 'Ashwini Tank' reported there. I just hoped that he had gone for whatever work he had after the run and everything was all right with him.

I had a flight to catch so we moved back to Noida. In the interim, we figured out the phone number of his ex-flat mate who gave us his address in Noida. We left the keys of his car there. We also got the number of his cousin who got through to his sister. She informed him that Ashwini had had a fall during the run and was hospitalized. I thought I will talk to him and figure out how he is doing. I finally got his brother's number from his cousin and called him up.

His brother, Achint, had received a call from the Delhi police around 1:30-2:00 PM informing him about Ashwini's demise. Ashwini was picked up by the Delhi Police Control Room Jeep and not by the medical response machinery put together by the organizers. They took him to the AIIMS trauma center where he was pronounced DOA. There was no emergency contact on his bib and hence they had to go back to the organizers to figure out his next of kin. No one else had any idea about what had happened to him till then. I was extremely shattered to hear that and was not running for a few days after this incident. He had a cardiac arrest just past the 18th Km into the run. He was too good a runner to have gone this way on a half marathon. I believe if he would have had received timely medical aid, things could have been different. One can only speculate on such things.

He was a very passionate person who was always full of life. He was a photographer, runner, friend, cook, reader, talker, philosopher amongst others. He will sorely be missed by friends and family. I wish his family all the strength they need.

RIP, dear friend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom. Thanks for Everything.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: Activity Update

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: Activity Update: "Most of the initial part of starting this foundation had us running around for getting the paperwork done, Pushing them through various stag..."

Update on the recent patient aid and wheel-chair donation

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maha parivartan!!

A friend of mine has decided to contest MLC elections from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He is my classmate from IITB and then went to a different IIM. It was very heartening to see him do this. He believes he has a good chance of being elected to the Vidhan Parishan, the upper house, in UP. I wish him all the best.

More about MLC, Vidhan Parishad and the process on the following links:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: T-Shirt Launched

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: T-Shirt Launched: "Hi Everyone, We have been away for the last month. There are a lot of updates that I hope to make in the following posts. There has been a ..."

We have launched a 'Beat Cancer' T-shirt. The foundation gets 150 INR for every T-shirt. Do share your feedback on the T-shirt and the design.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: Unveiling the Logo

Sudha Mehta Cancer Foundation: Unveiling the Logo: "After working relentlessly for a few days, we have been able to get the logo right. There was a little back and forth on this but finally ... The logo contains three key elements ..."