30 November 2006

where we teach you how to screw with a straight face

The Babus have committed a faux pas today. Nothing is up on the news sites yet, so no links here. Mamata was arrested a couple of hours ago for protesting against selling of agricultural land to industrialists. And then later dumped on Hooghly Bridge.

A few days ago, The Babus gave themselves away, big time. They said they wanted to allow selling of barga land (belonging to sharecroppers) for some sops and also make land acquisition easier. Clearer picture here.

Land brought them power. Land gave them the right to look down upon others and say, 'We get elected each time, coz we are the saviours of the poor.'

It's the same land that they now want to sell asap. Cant give enough to 'em capitalists. Other states in the country made selling of land for commercial purpose legal a long time ago. The Mannina Maga did it in my state. But the point is, the ruling parties in those states did it with a cruel straightness. They werent trained much in hypocritical snobbish bastardism with a straight face.

Two questions: 1. Will The Babus now call themselves the Capitalist Party of India-Money?
2. Now, that they have proven themselves beyond doubt to be JUST ANOTHER PARTY, can we move them over, people?

29 November 2006

Expandable memory

The deepest sorrows are those that stay with you, always, all the way.

Does growing up mean you understand you’ll never be the same again… and you sport a cynical line here and there?

How we think we will or we have forgotten, and move… only to remember it first thing in the morning, or after a long long day at office, when the only things you should be thinking about are food and sleep or a quickie, you know …

My cousin V keeps coming back to me, so does a lost love. Unshakeable in their absence, both. But V vaccums out something in the centre of me. I have cried before too, but these tears aren’t drying up. Each time, it’s vigorous. What could you lose at 18? when you haven’t even got much…

I grow more reckless by the day… live it now-types… and want to tell a client that ‘zilch’ is not slang because that’s her middle name. Will, will… soon.

Have strange nightmares nowadays… of daughters dying… daughters whom I know. Makes me guilty, but it came to me… not the other way round. When I wake up, it’s even worse though: I try to imagine the father’s face…

Don’t make babies: the future will hold them hostage.

25 November 2006

Mukesh, appa, my first article, etc

The earliest music I remember listening to is Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, and Manna Dey with my dad while he downed his drinks in the evening. The smattering of Urdu that he’d learnt was through these songs, so was to be mine. Through the years, we listened to the same songs with dad explaining the meaning of particularly beautiful phrases. He wanted to make sure I understood the lyrics.

Dil jalta hai, to jalne de

Aasoo na baha, fariyad na kar

Dil jalta hai, to jalne de

Tu parada nasheen ka aashiq hai 
Yoon naam-e-wafa barabaad na kar 
Dil jalata hai to jalane de ….
This was Mukesh’s first song and our favourite. It’s also a very niche song,
I realize as I have never, in all these years, heard this played anywhere.

Big time nostalgia today, coz I found this suddenly in my Yahoo briefcase.

I'd written a most amateurish piece on a ballet in a village. JS

Vijaya: You pushed me into a corner. Do I tell you of defects before I explain them to you, or do I pat your back now (only to thump it later)?

I limit my comments to a few striking flaws that I shall be talking about. I’ve inked red what I don’t like in your piece, and you’ll find my comments in blue.

But don’t let my comments discourage you. The defects that I’ve marked aren’t peculiar to you. Nor are you to blame. You’ve unconsciously absorbed all these and more from the Indlish-language papers and magazines you’ve been reading.

That’s what you’ll have to purge out of your system. And I’ll help you to purge them. I’ll give you lots of notes. They’ll give you short-cuts how to replace Indlish with English. I hope you’ll read them.

Only, there’s no short-cut to writing. Except maybe one: write, then re-write, then re-write what you’ve re-written.

We’ll have many interesting sessions on writing. Till then and after, keep writing. JS

The sessions continue... never seem to learn enough.

Nostalgia fuelled also by a photo of myself that I found. The pic's at least 4 years old. Cant recognise myself!

11 November 2006

Six rupees

That's how much Baby Naaz's family of five earns in a good day, cutting about 240 rubber slipper straps.

Six rupees for three meals for five people.

If it weren't so tragic, it would have made for a brain-racking puzzle.

(Part of ongoing work for a local NGO here. With luck, should be able to post all the stories here in the coming weeks.)