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Another One of Those Dreadful Days

I am in Pune. There are rains. Rains came to Delhi and passed it by. I too ran off to Pune. I do not know why. There is such a severe stench of mendacity in the air which settles around this time of the year. A pretense of significance of my life in other lives around me, a pretense of significance of my life, in its own solitude. 
The city, which is always green and lush,  is violently green today. The airfield, the roads, the buildings- are all clean and washed and shiny. I did catch some drizzle outside the airport. Just a slight drizzle, failing miserably to clean the cobwebs on my soul. A soul that has aged years in last year. I finished Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre on the flight. 
The novel is a philosophical story wrapped around the search and eventual futility of existential meaning. I am always contemplative around the birthday (this I wrote last birthday - Why I Hate Birthdays?) . This birthday is even worse. While people claim that Forties is the new Twenties (some would even c…
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Avishi: VIshpala of Rig Veda- Book Review

Avishi: The Vishpala of Rig Veda
Pages: 388
My Rating: 5/5
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Amazon Link: Click HERE

I am a poor reader. Not that I read slow, or read less. I think, oftentimes, that I read too much for my own good. I read many books, in parallel, at the same time, picking one and dropping another and then going back to the earlier one. 
In every book, there are some moment of lapses of laziness, some bored silliness, intermittent, while we wait for that moment which could pull us back from our dreary journey from one page to another. I usually find hard sailing through such moments, and then move from one book to another- an very unfaithful reader. There are very few books which hold me by my ears, not letting me move a bit, one way or other. I would fold the book and close the eyes, in between, but then, in those moments, I would be transitioning into a world created in the book, and not escaping it. 
This book by Saiswaroopa Iyer is one such book. I must confess, I had picked th…

हे मातृवत् वसुंधरा - An Ode to the Motherland- Hindi Poem

हे मातृवत् वसुंधरा। 
 हे सप्तसिंधु की धरा।।

भरत की सिंह-गर्जना
सुलक्षणा सुदर्शना। 

शिव की योग-दृष्टि तुम 

प्रथम रचित सृष्टि तुम। 

हो भूमि तुम अशोक की 
हो वत्सला त्रिलोक की। 

हो शून्य तुम, अनंत तुम 

ग्रीष्म तुम, वसन्त तुम। 

सागर का जो विस्तार है 

सो राष्ट्र का आधार है। 

उत्तर में हिम प्राचीर है 

निर्भय अविचल वीर है।  

विंध्य की सुप्त -श्रंखला 

ज्यों सुंदरी की मेखला। 

पश्चिम का प्रखर प्रताप हो 
पूरब से उठी आलाप हो 

आज़ाद का अभिमान तुम 

बिस्मिल की अक्खड़ शान तुम। 
सुभाष का बलिदान तुम,
एक अनवरत अभियान तुम।

 माता तुम्ही में प्राण हैं 

श्रद्धा हो तुम, विश्वास तुम। 
निर्भीक तुमको सौंप दूँ 
मांगो जो अंतिम श्वास तुम। 

जो शीश भी तुम मांग लो 

संशय ना लूँ मन में ज़रा।  
हे मातृवत वसुंधरा। 
हे सप्त-सिंधु की धरा।।

         - साकेत

Click the Link below for the Audio:

Click to Listen on SoundCloud

India – That Is Bhaarat - Part I

“Every record had been destroyed or falsified, every book re-written, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…..Nothing exists excepts an endless present in which the Party is always right.” George Orwell, 1984.

Introduction:           The history of India has been manipulated and sullied similarly. So much so that even as Indians, we have forgotten our proud History as Indians and what we do remember is so full of remorse, so dense with defeat that instead of pride in being the descendants of one of longest-living, continuous train of civilization in the world, in spite of centuries of ruthless oppression, still surviving with a named identity, we are ashamed, embarrassed and confused. We are educated on propagandist history, which tells little and judges more, leaving us muddled, embarrassed and often fractured. There are earlier books written in the beginning of British rule, which were little apolitical an…

The Tyranny of Unwritten Word

Let me put it on record- Writing is not fun. There is no happiness in writing. There is immense satisfaction in having written. When one is too overwhelmed by the world around, and one cannot quite fathom how one should react to it, One writes. Writing is the outcome of inadequacy of action. 

No, this does not mean that writers are not men of action. Writers, more often than not, want so much action that their physical world fails to sustain. Thus, the imagination, the fiction, the fantasy and the words. Words- that exquisite conjoining of alphabets obtained in the excavation of the soul. 

The written word nourishes, the unwritten is a constant turmoil. What does the writer do when he is not writing? He is either cursing, belittling, downgrading himself in his own mind. His pen gets heavier with every wordless day. There is a reason that writers and poets are mostly sympathetic and friendly to one another. They know and can identify with one another's pain. They are almost like to s…

Jagga Jasoos- Movie Review

Movie: Jagga Jasoos

Actors: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saswata Chatterjee

Rating: 4.5/5

Graham Greene in his essay- 'Is It Criticism' writes-

"Film criticism, more than any other form of criticism, except perhaps that of the novel, is a compromise."
His point being that if one understands and writes about the craft, readers do not find such reviews readable. The reviewer at the same time is at pains to ensure that his review remains as enjoyable as the movie itself. I totally agree. What makes my job easier is that I am not a movie expert, at best, I am an avid movie-watcher and movie-lover. 
Be that as it may, the film, Jagga Jasoos, wins my affection on form and fun. The film, purely in terms of form, a spy-story-musical must be watched for the audacity of making such an extraordinarily structured movie, so far from the usual. The movie is cute, exquisitely beautiful riot of colors. Without a doubt, one would think this movie must have lived in the mind of the Producer…

अमरनाथ की अमरकथा - एक व्यंग्य

नितांत अन्धकारमय रात्री भी समाप्त होती है, सो यह रात भी हुई। नेताजी प्रसन्न हुए। कल की रात ज़रा मुश्किल से गई। कश्मीर में गोली चली थी। कुछ हिन्दू जो अमरनाथ दर्शन के लिए निकले थे, शहीद हुए। बड़के नेताजी सुबह सुबह आने की निर्देश दिए थे। तीर्थयात्रा एंगल हिंदू हृदय सम्राट (प्यार से हम उन्हें हिहस पुकारते हैं) को अत्यधिक कठिनाई देता था।

मीटिंग समय पर आरंभ हुई। हिहस शाँत थे, विचारमग्न थे।

'हम्मम..' - हिहस बोले

मंत्रीगण उत्साहित हुए, प्रफुल्लित हुए, मानो चकोर को चाँद के दर्शन हुए।

"गृहमंत्री जी, इस देश में तो रहना ही कठिन हो गया है"- हिहुस बोले

गृहमंत्री राजा महाराज जिन्हें सब प्यार से 'राजमा'कहते थे,की नज़रें कलाई से उठकर हिहस की ओर बढ़ी, मानों उलाहने से कह रही हों- 

'हमें का पता, काहे सबके सामने बेइज़्ज़ती कर रहे हो।'

राजमा बोले-

'हिहस, बाक़ी जगह ठीक है, कश्मीर की ही समस्या है, देश में रहने में कोई समस्या नहीं है।'
'अरे हम हमारे रहने की बात कर रहे हैं।' हिहुस झुँझलाए। 'रात भर हमारे ही समर्थक गरिया रहे हैं। आप को देखना था अन्य देशों में लोग कितन…