Sard siyah Raaten – A New Poem


shahr e gum se pare

ek ujda purana benur mandir

deewaron par barish ke  banaye nakqhe

aur yaden jo jagah jagah

qayi banker hari ho aayi hain

ek pehchani si khamoshi aur

kisi ke bhujte aalav se uthta  dhuaan

pedon ke jhurmutho pe gehrate saye

aur phigalte kajal si siyah raat ka kona pakde

badlon ke beech se guzarta hua

chand ka ek tukda

pehle bhi yuhin aaya karte the hum yahan

tab ye mandir aabad tha

gudgudati huyi sardi ki dhoop me

hum yuhin pedon tale khwaab buna karte the

purane bargad ki jataon ki tarah

wo bhi ulajh kar reh gaye hain

tumhe bhi to yaad honge wo pal

jab narm doob ke bichone par

seep si sard raaton me

jism ki lau taapa karte the hum

tere jane se kuch nahi badla

raat bhi aayi hai aur chaand bhi

aaj bhi us tapish ka dushala odhe

is benur mandir ke aangan me

yunhi jalta hain jism

aagosh me teri yadon ko liye

Sahar hone tak

tuhin chun chun ke

syahi se lipte sitare

ban jati hai har raat ik nazm

Updated 

शहर -ए -ग़म से परे
एक उजड़ा पुराना बेनूर मंदिर
दीवारों पे बारिश के बनाये नक़्शे
और यादें जो जगह जगह
कायी बनकर हरी हो आईं हैं ‘
एक पहचानी सी ख़ामोशी और
किसी के बुझते आलाव से उठता धुआँ
पेड़ों के झुरमुठों पे गहराते साये
और पिघलते काजल सी रात का कोना थामे
बादलों के बीच से गुज़रता हुआ चाँद का
एक टुकड़ा
पहले भी युहीं आया करते थे हम यहाँ
तब ये मंदिर आबाद था
सर्दी की गुदगुदाती हुयी धुप में
हम युहीं पेड़ों तले ख्वाब बुना करते थे
पुराने बरगद की जटाओं के तरह
वो भी उलझ कर रह गए हैं
तुम्हें भी याद होंगे वो पल
जब नरम धुप के बिछोने पर
सीप सी सर्द रातों में
जिस्म की लौ तापा करते थे हम
तेरे जाने से कुछ नहीं बदला
रात भी आयी है और चाँद भी
आज भी उस तपिश का दुशाला ओढ़े
इस बेनूर मंदिर के आँगन में
आगोश में तेरी यादों को लिए
युहीं जलता है जिस्म
सहर होने तक
और चुन चुन के स्याही से लिपटे सितारे
बन जाती हैं हर रात इक नयी नज़्म

 

 

Blue – Photo Theme for Thursday


This time the theme is  ” Blue ”  (Water, Sky, Vehicles, Houses, Flowers,…) and I thought one must find something unusual. Lights have a magical effect and one can do a  lot with them. Posting one photograph of blue lights wrapped on a hockey stick and inserted in a flower vase. The picture was taken on X-Mas night.

Another od my favorite is the blue smoky flame of cue de cologne burning . The lovely flames are a joy to watch and click. I am still learning to capture the fluid movement of the flame.

and let me end the post with yet another brilliant blue from my photoshop work done long time back. I am itching to get my laptop reformatted and then download the software to create magic.  Just learning to turn dreams into digital paintings.

 

Blue is a sensational color, a color of calmness and serenity and also of sadness and aloofness. A color of contrast , of ocean and sky. Blue is the color of the Throat Chakra, also known as Visuddha. A deeper blue symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery, and spiritual realization. It is the least gender specific color.

The blue ribbon has been widely recognized as a national symbol of child abuse awareness.

Want to know more about Blue  watch this space 

 

 

It’s time to TAB!


Each day technology is molded into a new shape, a unique design, it’s faster and better. Today we have a new star in the scene ” The Samsung Galaxy tab 750″ a star which is by far the most ‘meaningful invention’ and to describe it in one word, I would say Irreplaceable .

Samsung has gone all out to the kill the other competitors in the Tab market. No one  but this leviathan stands tall while other companies run for cover.

Here is the recorded live webcast of the Galaxy Tab 750 launch

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 750 presents a variety of amazing features. It is faster, meaner , sexier. It’s a dude and a macho one, with all the women running after it and the men envying it.

Features of the Power packed Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 –
Network – 
2G – GSM network
3G – HSPA+ network
WiFi 802.11 connectivity support
EDGE / GPRS
Bluetooth v3.0
With the help of HSPA and WiFi support one can easily connect with internet 24/7. Enjoy the fast browsing and downloading and lots more.
Camera –
3 MP camera with LED flash and auto focus.
2 MP camera secondary camera for video calling.
HD video recording.
While using Tab one can have a better experience of video calling.
Enjoy the dual cameras integrated in a Tab with great clarity. A useful gadget for business men to do video chat with their clients with a great clarity.
The camera quality of Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 is better than other Mobile phones, Tablets.

Layout –
10.1″ HD TFT capacitive display
Size : 256.7 X 175.3 X 8.6 mm
1280 X 800 screen resolution
A light weight and the thinnest Tab product in the world. Great design, easy to use and handle. Its weight is about 565g. Its high-definition 10.1 inch screen will offer you an excellent display. You can enjoy the videos, images, movies in high-definition with rich graphics.
Processor –

Dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
Operating System –

Android v3.1 Honeycomb operating system. Honeycomb is the latest version of Android operating system. It is specially developed for those devices which have large screen like Tablets. Better multitasking support. You can use more than one application in same time. Browse the web in desktop format. This latest version Android operating system will offer you a better experience while using the apps.
Audio / Video Playback –

MP3, AAC, WMA, AAC+ audio formats
HD video playback
DivX, VidX, WMV9, WMV7, WMV8, MPEG4 video codecs.
MP3, WMA, AAC, RA audio formats.
3.5 mm universal jack
Dual speakers surrounding the screen will give a surround sound effect.
It supports a large number of audio video formats. One can also play the videos easily which are in HD format.
     
Battery –

7000 mAH battery
It will kept more than 9 days without charging.
Tab 750 will give a long-span battery backup of 72 hours for music listeners or 9 hours for video entertainers.
Input / Output –

USB 2.0 support
3.5 mm universal jack support
30 pin dock connector
Memory –

1 GB of RAM
Internal memory of 64 GB(Maximum) and  16 GB(Minimum)

Other features –

Multitasking.
Better web browsing with adobe flash player support.
Accelerometer sensors, Gyroscope
Compass. A-GPS support and navigation with Google Maps.
Support millions of applications, downloadable from Android app market.
Enjoy clarity of text while reading the ebooks.
Social Hub will give you to easily manage multiple email accounts, IMs and social networking accounts.
Better accessories such as keyboard case.
Integrated Mobile office.
Google application – Google talk, Google maps, Google latitude, Google places.

The feature I love Most:

I don’t know which feature to pick and tell that I love the most, but if i still have to make a call I would pick the Amazing Dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. I am a fan of speed and there is nothing faster than this now. At least not in this world 😛

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 is a stunning experience. It delivers just that.

A complete Power packed, slimmer, lighter sensuous beauty. A dream come true.

you can promote  the post  on Indivine  HERE

Death Red – Dream Diary


Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
~René Francois Regnier

Someone slit my throat last night. I felt blood ..warm sticky ..slowly collecting at the nape of my neck and getting absorbed in the soft pillow. RED.

RED ….The color of our root chakra located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to the universal energies.. RED ….energizing, burning.  RED  color of poison, strength and aggression …RED…..Warm scented metallic taste  of  blood.

RED….   the highest arc of the rainbow, rebellious tainted love, the scarlet letter. Blazing red sunsets, sun stabbed skies.

Day before yesterday I mumbled something during my Reiki session at night. I did not know about it till my Reiki master told me the next day. Since some time night have been blotting paper for many sorrows and a bed for illicit desires, hopes, dreams and dark longings .

I am amused how death like a desirous lover shadows me each night relentlessly. Sometime lurking among the deep dark crevices of my mind at others trailing me from a safe distance. I feel it presence. Gentle , persevering she stays close. She ? Yes I know night with all its beauty and glorious charm can only be feminine.

It was an ordinary room with folding iron grill doors on both ends . Windowless. Sparsely furnished. A comfortable bed with soft white quilt duvet and a large frilled pillow. Spotless White.

I am draped in a sari. Thin floral Georgette in pastels. It has taken my shape.

I remember the bangles, glass bangles. I get the whiff of  roses but there aren’t any flowers.  No perfume.

The caretaker, a middle-aged woman  urges  me to go with the rest of the family. I ignore and  point towards the three fox-like dogs at the door and tell her to close the grill doors. They have pleading eyes. She lets them enter.

The animals look at me with intense eyes , pause for a moment and go out through the other door. The gaze stays.

I hear voices of other family members in the next room. laughing, arguing , debating and packing. They are ready to leave. Voices from a distance sound strangely mysterious. I try to catch the words as they drift through the thin walls and dark corridor. My caretaker too is set to leave. She continuously reports how others are irked and exasperated by my decision to stay and wait. Wait for someone to fulfill a promise.

Slowly the voices die.  Hush.

I lie awake and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’  A voice says to me, ‘ This is going to take more than one night. More than one life ‘

I close my eyes.  Someone pours red-hot lava inside my head. I shudder and  lie suspended between dark and light. An ache begins to numb my throbbing body.  I move my hand to my neck. It’s been slit. A neat cut. Sharp and precise.

I moved my hand slowly and touched my neck. Eyes still closed. I felt blood. warm and sticky.

Slowly I opened my eyes. Death stood there wearing midnight, her eyes cold as steel and yet I was alive.

I was amused. I still am. This tryst with death was unexpected. Unexplained. Liberating and calming instead of scary and suffocating. I watched the soft gray sky from the mesh doors. Stillness of soul helps one to have those rare flings with reality.

Red is also color of LOVE.  Sensual , stimulating color of  passion and seduction.

Red is Cupid and the Devil.

My heart explodes.

Love doesn’t come easy to me, Death does.

I know not what causes this  fervent rush inside me…. Is it  my heart surfing the Californian sunshine or is it my body bathed in sweetness that is Indian summer ?

The rain may have the answer or the wind.. or maybe

la petite mort

In Memoriam : Shehla Masood – The dauntless tigress silenced


 Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Shehla wrote in a blog post.

RTI crusader, wildlife conservationist, trekker, social causes leader, president Progressive Muslim Women’s Association, a born rebel, arguing with policy makers, foodie… This is how the slain activist and social worker Shehla Masood described herself in her twitter account.

She was just 38 years of age.  A fierce wildlife activist who dared to expose those who were mercilessly plundering our rivers, forests, killing tigers and destroying environment and eco-system. She was raising concerns about the nexus between the mining mafia and the ruling political regime. She feared for her life and had written to DGP Madhya Pradesh  { LINK } . The question is why Bhopal police ignores the well-defined threats?

On Tuesday 16th August she was gunned down right in front of her home by unidentified assailants. It clearly seems that taking advantage of the general chaos and the fact that the entire nation was gripped and being swallowed by the (anna)conda movement the mafia empire engineered her cold-blooded killing. Shehla Masood joins the unfortunate ranks of Satyendra Dubey, Shanmughan Manjunath, Shashidhar Mishra & 100s of others who got death by RTI.

She was a fearless Right To Information activist, a committed wildlife conservationist. She was seeking action against those responsible for the  brutal killing of  Jhurjhura tigress . The tigress,  a mother of three was brutally hit five to six times before she succumbs to fatal injuries. She was left to the mercy of God, with her three cubs destitute and failing to understand why their mother was seething in pain. The forest watched quiescent. Nothing was done to nab the accused as it happens in all wildlife crimes.

Shehla was fighting a legal battle to bring justice to the slain tigress. She dared to raise her voice against the rampant poaching of tigers  and the mining mafia which works hand in glove with the govt and the officials. Shehla challenged the issue of illegal Diamond mining project in Chhattarpur district, Madhya Pradesh by Rio Tinto and paid with her life like many other environmentalists and wild life conservationists who show dauntless courage to stand up against the all-powerful mafiosi. Fact sheet on Rio Tinto’s Illegal Diamond Mining in MP  (from an email attachment)

A Requiem for a tigress   Do read.

Just  as the accused are never convicted for wildlife crimes the accused for killing the wildlife activists are never punished.  Take the case of Swami Nighamanand , the crusader for river Ganges , the  nation has already forgotten his sacrifice.

Shehla’s father is not sure if the assailants of her courageous daughter will ever be nabbed as the police authorities have already started the cover up process by floating an utterly unbelievable crappy story about the suicide angle in Shehla death case. { Link } [LINK } .

Apart from those who love and support her cause No one, absolutely no one has come up to become the  torch bearer to get justice for Shehla Masood who herself was  a staunch Anna Hazare supporter. His concern is logical. Where are the anti corruption fasters, the anna brigade ? Has anyone given a single thought to the Slain RTI activist ? The nation is engulfed in mass hysteria over AH circus while citizens get murdered in broad day light and assailants sit comfy under the protection of politicians and corrupt officials .. Is anyone going on a hunger strike for these brave hearts ? The state of Madhya Pradesh for whose forests , rivers and wild life Shehla gave her life was shut down for anna andolan but did not mourn or condemn the killing of  Shehla.

If you be the change you want to see you are murdered. Shehla Masood dared to speak out and was gunned down right in front of her home. She was an eyesore for some bureaucrats, politicians, and industrialist of the State, as she had become very powerful as whistleblower. She had filed RTI queries against 19 IAS (Indian Administrative Service), 13 IFS (Indian Forest Service) and seven IPS (Indian Police Service), sources revealed. Some of mining mafias of the State also had grudges against her since she was working against them for longer time.

Social activist Ajay Dubey demanded probe by Central Bureau of Investigation, (CBI), India’s premier investigating agency, into the murder of Ms Shehla. He expressed doubt that since she had raised questions regarding several tiger deaths across the state forest officials who were involved in the racket may have got her killed. Mufti Arsh Shariff, a cousin of Ms Shehla Masood, revealed that she had got a threatening call from a Delhi number on Monday night. Speculations are on and while the police and higher authorities try to hush the matter those who stand for her will never  let her roar die. It will echo and haunt  every vigilant citizen of India.

My blood boils when I see how much is at stake for those who are fighting to keep our flora and fauna, rivers and mountains to breathe free and survive the human onslaught.  I wonder if those who are supporting AH (I hate to call it a movement) brigade really know what exactly they are crying hoarse for. Wildlife Conservation is not even remotely in the minds of people and that is the reason life of those who work for it has lost its value. Don’t know how many more it will take to awaken the masses, govt. we can forget about.

Right To Information has claimed ten more lives in the year 2010

1. Amit Jethwa – Gujarat – Shot to death – Enquiries about illegal mining that were a danger to the Gir reserve – July 20, 2010

2. Dattatreya Patil (farmer) – Kohlapur, Maharashtra – Beaten up and slashed with swords – Filed RTI against horse trading in Kohlapur Municipal Election – May 31, 2010

3. Vitthal Gite – Beed, Maharashtra – Killed by under the member’s scanner. – Exposed irregularities in a school in his village – April 21, 2010

4. Arun Sawant – Badlapur, Maharashtra – Shot dead Feb 26, 2010

5. Satish Shetty – Pune – Assaulted by assailants Exposed major land scams, near Mumbai-Pune expressway – Jan 13 2010

6. Vishram Laxman Dodiya – Ahmadabad – Shot dead – Sought info on illegal electricity connections in the city – Feb 11 2010

7. Shashidhar Mishra (street vendor) – Begusarai, Bihar – Shot dead – Filed more than a 1000 petitions before his murder – Feb 14 2010

8. Ramdas Ghadegaokar – Nanded, Maharashtra – Stoned to death – Took on the sand mafia – August 2010

9. Sola Ranga Rao – Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh – Found murdered – Filed a petition on funding of the village draining system – April 11 2010

10. Irfan Yusuf Qazi – Jaitapur,Mahrashtra – Killed when his scooter was hit by a police jeep –  Protested against nuclear power plant in Jaitapur – December 18, 2010

This post is not just about Shehla Masood it is also a tribute to all those brave hearts who stood against the system, for whom  RTI became a death warrant . Who is safe in this country? Not the common people certainly and those who raise their voices against unjust their days are numbered.

Isn’t it Ironic that  Tigers, wildlife crusaders and RTI activists are being hunted and killed mercilessly.. they are the endangered species.

We want justice for Shehla Masood . We want the killers nabbed and convicted. 

Please add your name to  Statement on the martyrdom of Shehla Masood 

My earlier post on bloggers for tigers  

The spark that she left in everyone’s heart will become a flame,  her roar will not be silenced. 

Girte hain Sheh-Sawar hi Maidan-e-Jung me
Woh Tifl kya gire jo ghutno ke bal chale

Part of some information is collected from fellow activists and supporters of Shehla and Internet articles. Due copyright credits to them.All image credits  go to the rightful owners.

A Bowlful of Butterflies by Ritu Lalit – Book Review


The début novel of Ritu Lalit , A Bowlful of Butterflies, has a fast paced  story that revolves around a middle class family based in NCR region.  The novel is primarily written for young adults but it resonates deeply with all of  us who have  been part of such extended middle class close-knit families. The younger generation of readers will surely relate with it.

It effectively portrays the angst, growing up pains, insecurities, complexities of relationships, new-found sexual urges, first crushes, dilemmas of career choices, continuous peer and parental pressure and the rebelliousness among the characters around whom the plot revolves.

As you progress reading the story holds your attention and urges you to become a part of  it, to participate  in the conversation. There were times when I felt like saying , ‘”where the heck was all this fun when I was growing up? why didn’t I have friends like Chandini ( Chandu), Amrit,  Soma ? It is an enjoyable refreshing read.

Some of the social issues like sexual preferences,  relationship issues like extra marital affairs, repercussions of parental discord on children are dealt with such subtlety.  The unspoken desires, hidden urges, the emotional upheavals that run deep through out the teenage hood are portrayed very deftly in the book.  Acceptance of  Vickramjeet (Vicky) as gay and his unconventional career choice of becoming a musician is a shocking experience for the middle class Ratra family. A reflection on  our society’s closed mind.

It was interesting to see Ritu bring out the attraction between Chandu and Jogi. It made me laugh as I remembered my teenage days and the huge crush I had on my cousin.  Not all accept it but it sure happens that  often the first crush comes within the extended family.

The novel certainly gives a cue to follow ones passion and make desired choices without succumbing to social pressures. The readers are left to ponder and gain some insight from the happenings in lives of these youngsters and their families.

I thought the dénouement was a bit weak. It seemed the author wanted a happy ending and a quick closure.  

The title A Bowlful of Butterflies is symbolic in more than one ways. Butterflies are symbols of the impressive process of metamorphosis. The kind of energy this transformation expends in such shot time is commendable. The plot of the novel spans a period of four months which show  transition of Chandini from girlhood to womanhood as she embraces the chances of her environment and her body and emerges with unfurling glory of  multi-hued butterfly. It also symbolizes the endless passionate bonds she shares with her siblings, childhood friends Soma and Amrit, her cousin Jogi and her first love Avni.

I am sure at some point or the other the story would touch a heart string and create music in the reader’s life. Life sure is a bowlful of Butterflies,  fragile, colorful and transitory.

Overall a light, entertaining read.

you can buy the book  HERE

Rakshabandhan – I can do without both “raksha” and “bandhan”


Sacrilege is it?  Well , so be it.

I have never liked this concept of tying a thread for protection and there are many there are many other ways to express the love. The bond of love sounds like a business deal to me. The festival may have religious and  traditional significance in the past but in today’s age it nothing but a commercial activity.

Why do we need men to do our “raksha” (protection) ? I don’t need one. I have never relied on any man for protection. We were not brought up that way. For us the sibling affection, caring and love was and is a continuous  process not limited to a day. We never bartered a fancy thread for money and gift and an unsigned bond of protection from the brother.

Emotionally and mentally women are stronger than men and many a time these brothers need our “protection” than the reverse. It is time they tied the “sacred thread” if at all on the wrists on their capable strong sisters.

I understand that these festivals are normally times for all to get together and relax and I am not against that.

What irks me is the attitude of certain brothers towards their sisters when it comes to their freedom, freedom to think and make choices for their lives etc. It is actually more of a man – woman thing than sibling attitude. In the name of protection and family honor this “bandhan” becomes “bondage” instead of “bond” .  I never liked the word “bandhan” in any of its forms. There should be fluidity in a relationship I believe.

The protective big brothers smother the sisters by pushing them towards so-called socially “accepted and expected” norms . One can really do without this. We don’t need a gate-keeper, Do we ? All their lives girls face barriers and restrictions and many brothers just do not let the sisters decide for themselves. I find this contradictory that on one hand they check the very essence of the lives of their sisters on the pretext of protection and honor and on the other want them to follow tradition and worship them. Yes it is a kind of  ” male worship” in my opinion. Many brothers feel empathetic towards their sisters are  moved and driven to make a better life for the girls but  then it is an assurance that comes from an inner awakening and not by tying a thread. I have seen this in my relationship with bhai. We never celebrated rakshabandhan but there was always an unsaid undeclared understanding, respect and love between us , still is.

News like this  LINK   and this LINK  show how much brothers honor their sisters. To these brothers so-called ” family honor ” is much more important than the life of the sister who had been lovingly tying the ” thread of protection” on her brother’s wrist hoping that he will stand by her  through thick and thin. I find it meaningless to submit oneself in hands of someone be it the sibling.

It hurts me when I see my domestic help’s daughter getting a second-hand treatment from the family when it comes to choosing between her and the brothers. The boys, who aren’t very old, maybe 10-14 , believe that they are superior to the sister and have the unsaid right to dominate her. They get the best of food, clothes and unrestricted freedom which is completely denied to the sister and they approve of it by putting it under the cover of “protection and honor”. How pathetic is that.

Even in the so-called educated families I have seen the underlying partial attitude. The festival of Rakshbandhan is just another way to flaunt money, jewelry, a glam show.

In the society where relationships and in fact human life is losing its value these festivals seem like a ritualistic show to me.

I also think about all those girls whose lives were cut short before they could blossom. Killed at birth or in the womb itself. Those sisters who never saw the light of the day. Who stood for their protection?

I also hate this “muh bola bhai” thing which has come up in recent years. It also may have some past references in the mythology and history but in these times it is just a façade.

I don’t want to pass judgement on anyone or hurt sentiments. This is my personal view.

I feel the sisters would certainly feel more proud of their brothers if they stood side by side and considered them their equals. If they voiced their anger against the unjust traditions and customs, if they considered them as human as they are. It should not be a one day program.

I don’t wish to sound cynical but this whole business of rituals and religion and the paraphernalia attached to it irks me.

I feel in a country where female infanticide, honor killing, sexual and other kind of abuse, rape and molestation is rampant , where women are treated as sub humans and inferior such festivals do not hold any meaning.

I have been an atheist all my life and never followed these rituals and I feel good that my parents and brother encouraged me to  fight my own battles, to speak for myself, assert my individuality and un-warp my dreams and realize them.  Helped me become a better human being, a much more confident woman and a responsible person .

I think I have a stronger “bond ”  with my brother without the crutches of these “threads” called “rakhi”  and we feel no “bandhan” between us. Ours is a luminous lucid relationship. That’s how it should be.