Thursday, March 19, 2009

An ode to Masakkalli

Today, on my way to the office I was listening to the song ‘Masakkali’ from the movie Dilli 6. I have heard this song earlier, but maybe I actually listened to it attentively today and enjoyed it completely. I think it captures the raw ‘dehati’ spirit of old Delhi in more ways than one. Firstly, ‘kabootar baazi’ is an art not practised anymore in the upcoming urban India. It’s a joy ful pastime from the era of nawabs, traces of which can still be found in ‘purani dilli’. In the circuitous gallis of Old Dehi, I will not be surprised to hear, if Mirza Ghalib had ever written a few heart warming couplets about the flight of pigeons. Till today, one can see clusters of pigeons on the sepia turned tombs of Jama masjid and Red Fort. They fly at a sudden disturbance; swoop and swerve in a sky for a quick flight only to come back just where they were.
Coming back to the song, I think that it beautifully captures this flighty nature of pigeons. ‘Zara pankh jhatak gayi dhool atak’ Notice the myriad adjectives used for sheer graceful movement of the bird. ‘lachak machak ke door bhatak’. It celebrates the sheer abandon and nonchalance in the behaviour. ‘Tadi se mud, hawa se jud...’ At a very metaphorical (it is actually quite evident) the song brings a parallel between the pigeon and a carefree girl.
While at one point the song takes the pigeon to an almost lofty level it brings back the ordinariness as the singer says ‘Dil tera saloni badal ki colony’. Man, I have heard such fantastic use of local hindi or Hindustani, to be more precise, after a very long time, and yet it is so brilliantly poetic. “thenga dikla de unko jo udna na jaane’ I think it can’t get cheekier and more rebellious than that.
Full credit goes to the singer who infuses life into the words. While listening to the song, I could picture a road side Romeo singing the song in Daryaganj (in undertones), in an ambiguous manner of teasing a girl. A girl, who can slap him right away if he is too direct with words. The singer, Mohit Chauhan captures the naughty spirit of the song, and sings as if he is casually talking in an alley.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


The movie is about a rat who loves to experiment with cooking and actually becomes a cook in a famous french reataurant! Uggh...that sounds repulsive, doesn't it? The subject makes me think waht a bold decision it would have been for its makers to actually make this movie. Well it has been a profitable risk. Money wise and appreciation wise as well. Watch the movie and you will come back thinking that finally what counts is teh spirit to cook. As Gustave the chef says in the Ratatouille, 'Anybody can cook' and inspires our little chef.

Rain in Pune

Finally it rained in Pune. Whenever anybody talks passionately about Pune, there are two things which make way into their animated eulogy; trees and rains. I witnessed the first monsoon rains in the city yesterday. Season's first rain made an unannounced entry on the city's stage and brought the house down by its sheer performance. The top floor of my office commands a bird's eye view of the green Pune city, cradled in the lap of Sahayadris. The rain completely fogged the view and suddenly the entire city seemed to have surrendered to the Rain God. Akshay's descriptions of the Pune rains rang loud and clear in my mind.

'When it begins to rain, IT JUST RAINS' It will stop at the right time, meaning when you are going to office in the morning and while you are coming back home in the evenings. God save you if you fail to play according to the rules. Once caught in will just get stranded wherever you are.'

Stories apart. It was an amazing downpour. Giant trees swing frantically to the force of winds and suddenly everything comes to a standstill. People take refuge under the eaves of shops. Fortunate souls can scurry off to the nearest vada paav shop to catch a quick bite while people like me who are caught in the office, just come outside to soak up their senses in the edible smell of earth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day one

It was stragely familiar yet vastly different. My first day in a south Indian household allowed me a sneak peek into a different culture. The decor of the drawing room seemed to have jumped out of some R.K Narayan novel. The room was adorned with many photogaraphs and idols of dieties. All of them, almost all, were known to me. The difference was that they now looked more tamillian with heavy necks and godesses wore nose pins on the right. There was a south Indian air about the house. The way elderly talked and joked in tamil, the way coffee was relished instead of tea. The threshold of the house bore a plastic sticker of a rangoli pattern. The way some of my prospective south indian relatives drank water from small glasses with turned brim. I drank water and then I remembered the custom of not touching the glass with one's mouth. Anyway, the deed was done and nobody seemed to notice.

Soon, Gayatri opened up her bridal trousseau and displayed the silk sarees she had purchased from Kumaran after much debate and deliberation between groups of uncles and aunties. Some jokes were shared about funny usage of tamil by some urbane cousin. Poor chap! atleast he knew something. May be he was a little like me, confusing Perima with Terima.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Month of June

I hear again...
The old kelvinator humming a tune amidst the laughter of jubilant youngsters.
Gluttural sound of the mother peigeon on the eaves of my room.
A sudden cooker whistle meshed with the tune of a popular daily soap.
I close my eyes and rest my limbs and drown in the lethargy of afternoon of June.

June, the month of prespiration,
The month of ice-creams and luscious mangoes,
Of exciting climbs on trees in the sun,
Of complete abandon, fear and fun.
It carries the burden of holiday homework,
It brings the gangs of cousins together,
It brings old pranks, old street cricket buddies,
It carves many memories for years to remember.

With mercury shooting with each passing day
and the capital waiting for thudershowers.
I pray for my old friend, the month of june,
and long for july to get delay.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

First day of college

Curious eyes, confident feet,
Rugged touch of the new denim,
Faint caresses of the new perfume.
A flamboyant satchel with some precious odds and ends,
dangling on a carefree shoulder.
A surge of joy, a flight of novelty.
Mint like freshness of the newly found freedom.
Tangy touch of the canteen food on
otherwise tame and domestic tongue.
Full throated laughter of old birds in kitchy grafittied corridors.
The bygone year, the movie of the day,
the latest heartthrob, the unavertable result
All a part of the wild assortment of staccato sophomore conversations.
Dainty-romantic drizzle of july suddenly annoints the young heads,
A loud and ferocious downpour pierces a caramel sensation and aroma of desire.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Friday, September 08, 2006


Who are you?
What a frank question!!! Its good you allow me to talk about myself rather than subjecting me to a mindless scrutiny.

I am water that is calm as well as turbulent. I am practical in an instant and a hopeless dreamer the other moment. If life is about contradictions and oppositions then I impersonate that necessary and fruitful conflict of life.

I embody a little fault of each person just as I imbibe a few grains of beauty from everybody. I am a storehouse of emotions . I am a unique bag of creation where several vices and virtues fuse to weave an exquisite fabric. If there is a song of cosmos then I am one of the essential notes of that song.
I am the world and the world is me.