Thought of the Day

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kutton Ki Ladai

Based on a unrecalled poem heard on the show Wah Wah Kya Baat Hai!

कुत्ते थे सरदार के सामने, शीश झुकाकर खड़े थे वोह
मांग रहे थे माफ़ी निरंतर, शर्म और डर से मरे थे वोह
सरदार ने बोला तुम्हरी वजह से, कुत्तों का नाम तबाह होगा
तुम नेताओं की तरह लड़ोगे, तो फिर अंजाम बुरा होगा

Kutte the sardar ke saamne, sheesh jhukaye khade the woh
Maang rahe the maafi nirantar, sharm aur dar se mare the woh
Sardar ne bola tumhari wajah se, kutton ka naam tabah hoga
Tum netaon ki tarah ladoge, toh phir anjaam buraa hoga

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Ode to Free Will

They sat around the logs and talked, they were friends for life
They had seen together thick and thin, joy as well as strife
The talk was gay and happy, it was 'bout a life well spent
So spoke the Lion, Monkey, Zebra, Wolf and the Elephant

They talked about life in the jungle, all that they had done
They still did whatever they pleased, O! What fun! What fun!
"Free will" became the topic, it was what they all claimed
The Zebra though was quiet, and without his wit inflamed

The Monkey spoke of the trees that he would wander on
The bananas, the ropes, the pranks he played, so-on so-on
The friends felt the cheerfulness, the freedom of it all
They bellowed, and did not see the Zebra's head fall

The Lion talked about the stalk, the pray that he would chase
The fear that he would create in folk, strolls at an easy pace
The group felt for the victims, but relished their King's choice
They cheered, and did not see the Zebra close his eyes

The Elephant was resplendant, talking about his girth
How no tree was a match for him, on the whole rotting earth
Hearing about his time in water, put them on a high
During all this, they did not hear, the Zebra's heavy sigh

The Wolf reminisced about hunting with his pack
The pack did what they wanted, there was no looking back
He lauded that the friends all did exactly what came to mind
This free will thing was good, and they could be bad or kind

The Zebra could not control himself, he burst out as a dam
This free will thing you talk about, is nothing but a sham
O! Look at the threads on your hands and feet, friends
You marionettes! The puppeteer holds the other ends

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Escape From The Planet

Gandar woke up in a forest. He was lying on a green patch of grass. His head was groggy. Where was he? It came to him - Thera. Thera? Last place he wanted to be! The Therans and the Anders, his race, did not quite see eye to eye. Had not for a few centuries. How did he get here? That answer refused to come to him.

First, he had to find out if he was really on Thera. He started walking and reflected on the history. What started the feud was now shrouded in history; something probably small and insignificant which should have been resolved in five minutes; something which had seeded a hate on both sides which continued to fester and made the two sides sit on the brink of active engagement. The Therans and the Anders detested each other and actively engaged in jingoism. Getting caught on this planet, if that is where he really was, would not do. Moreover, if he were mistaken for a spy, which was likely, the impact would be well beyond him.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Science Fiction As A Genre

I have always been fascinated by science fiction. More so than fiction set in normal settings. One aspect of this has always been related to my interest in technology and how stuff works. The futuristic aspects of technology in books as well as popular shows like Star Trek always worked well as far as my attention was concerned.

However, there seems to be an even more important factor - the flexibility that SciFi provides in creating settings. This ability to distort reality from any angle allows the author to bring out the central theme as clearly as possible. Readers of Nightfall by Sir Isaac Asimov will recognize this.

There is also a conundrum about SciFi. I have rarely come across a piece that I find acceptable. I am either quite enthused about what I read or quite disappointed. My first personal attempt at writing (as a young teenager) was also in the same genre; it turned out to be bad enough for me to not attempt again for over two decades. Now that I have begun to write again, I have thought about why SciFi elicits such extreme reactions from me. It seems that in exploiting the flexibility given, we can make good better, but we can also make bad worse.  Some thoughts on this below.


Thumbs Up!

Thumbs Down!

Story A good story line just like any good fiction No story line. A story line confused with a technical paper. A story line which would not work in regular fiction.
Technology / SettingSupports the story and provides a context for itIs the story. Interferes with the storyline.
Philosophy / PointClearly articulated using the story. The context allows for it to come out clearly.No philosophy or point at all. Preachy with the context providing an excuse.

Given that I would like to write some prose, and it will end up being SciFi, I hope the above thoughts will help me avoid staying away from writing for two more decades.

So, as somebody famously said, Engage...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sins Of The Past

I have a friend, and he is better than me
I asked my mom, when I was a child
Why he could jump higher than me
And she said, he is not a friend to you
His Grandma had denied water to yours
But you relax my Son, you will get even

I have a friend, and he is better than me
I asked my Dad, why I need to get even
And my Dad had tears in his eyes
He asked if my forefathers were important
He asked if past sins deserved fixing
But don't strain yourself, you will get even

I have a friend, and he is better than me
I asked my teacher, why he scored better
The teacher was kind and looked down at me
He told me about the grave injustices of the past
Him scoring better was a reflection of that
But don't worry child, you will get even

I have a friend, and he is better than me
I thought about the past, and reflected on the present
I did get water, and there was no injustice
But I had to fight the past right here in the present
I didn't know what I would do or wanted
But, I was confident, I would get even

I have a friend, and he is better than me
He worked tirelessly and did the right thing
He stayed up nights and got into college
I waltzed in just holding a piece of paper
The job he wanted was given to me
It seemed to me, I did get even

The ghosts of my mom, my dad and the teacher
Showered flowers on me, and said in unison
You showed him, you did, and you got even
I smiled, I thought and I reflected on this
I have a friend, and he is STILL better then me
It's not about past sins, it's just about him and me

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Main To Uske Paas Hi Hoon...

(Imagined as sung by the Late Jagjit Singh to the tune of  तुम गगन के चन्द्रमा हो)

मैं तो उसके पास ही हूँ, बस ज़रा सी दूर हूँ
उस ने मेरा हाथ थामा, तभी तो में मौजूद हूँ

साथ मेरा दे के उसने, की मेरी दुनिया हसीं
फिर भी मेरे दिल को अब तक, हो नहीं पाया यकीं
अब भी मैं जब सोचता हूँ, डर मुझे आता है याद
उस से मिलने की ख़ुशी में, रोने पर मजबूर हूँ

इसलिए कहना है उसको, छोड़ देना ना हमें
उस अकेलेपन की आदत, लग नहीं सकती हमें
आज फिर मैं ये तमन्ना, लेके आया द्वार पर
आज फिर मैं बुतपरस्ती, करने पे मजबूर हूँ

ऐ खुदा ये जान मेरी, खोई है जो ख्वाब में
उसको वापस कर दो मुझको, या उठा लो तुम हमें
तेरी दुनिया में तो खुशियाँ, कम ही लगती हैं मगर
और कम करने का कारण, जान लूं तो पूर्ण हूँ

Main to uske paas hi hoon, bas zara si door hoon
Us ne mera haath thama, tabhi to main maujood hoon

Saath mera deke usne, kii meri duniya haseen
Phir bhi mere dil ko ab tak, ho nahin paya yakin
Ab bhi mein jab sochtaa hoon, dar mujhe aata hai yaad
Us se milne ki kushi mein, rone par majboor hoon

Isliye kehna hai us ko, chod dena na hamein
Us akelepan ki aadat, lag nahin sakti hamein
Aaj phir mein ye tamanna, leke aaya dwaar par
Aaj phir mein butparasti, karne par majboor hoon

Ai khuda ye jaan meri, khoi hai jo khwab mein
Usko vapas ker do mujhko, ya utha lo tum hamein
Teri duniya mein to khushiyaan, kam hi lagti hain magar
Aur kam karne ka karan, jan loon to poorna hoon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Berukhi (indifference)

अश्कों से मैं डरता नहीं, बेरुखी की बात और है
तुम मेरे कुछ लगते हो, तभी तो रोना आता है

Ashkon se main dartaa nahin, berukhi ki baat aur hai
Tum mere kuchh lagte ho, tabhi to rona aata hai