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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dugga Pujo - Bengali Poem

দুগ্গা পুজো 

আগমনী বার্তা এলো 
আকাশ জুড়ে আলোর খেলা 
দুগ্গা ঠাকুর আসবে বলে 
সবুজ ঘাসে মজার মেলা 
নতুন জামা, নতুন জুতো,
পুজোর ভিড়ে বেদম গুতো.

মাটির মায়ের মাটির মানুষ 
দুঃখ, জ্বালা হাউই ফানুস 
ঢাকের ওপর পড়বে কাঠি 
বাজবে কাসর ঘন্টা, 
খিলখিলিয়ে হাঁসব সবাই 
শুনব বিজয় ধংকা.

মহিষাসুর মরবে আবার,
মরবে সকল জরা,
শিউলি ফুলের গন্ধে ভাসে,
সকল জগত সারা. 
নাচব আমি নাচবে তুমি, 
নাচব ঢাকের ছন্দে,
করব সবাই মস্তি মজা 
মাতব যে আনন্দে. 

চপ, কচুরি, ফুচকা লুচি 
থাকবে সবই লিস্ট-এ 
চাউমিন আর চিল্লি চিচ্কেন 
প্রধান হবে ফিস্ট-এ.
সপ্তমী তে ঠাকুর দেখা, 
অস্তমি তে গরম ভোগ. 
নবমী তে মাংস কষা; 
দশমী তে রাজার ভোজ.

বিজয়া তে বিষন্ন মন 
দুগ্গা যাবে ফিরে, 
আসবে আবার বছর ঘুরে 
আনন্দলোক ঘিরে. 
ঢাকের তালে নাচব আবার,
বাজবে কাসর ঘন্টা, 
দশভূজার আহবানে 
শুদ্ধ হবে মনটা. 

Safar - Hindi poem

सदियों से चल रहा हूँ

उमीदों की राह में,


दुआओं में गा रहा हूँ


पनाह दो अपनी पनाह में.


राह के पत्थरों से कर ली


मैंने अपनी दोस्ती,


उलझनों में बहती जाती


उम्मीदों की कश्ती.


नयी शाखाओं में देखा,


हरियाली का दास्ताँ.


उलझनों में उलझ गयी है


मेरे मन की रास्ता.


छोटे छोटे छज्जो पे,


नयी धुप की छाओं है.


दूर किसी नदी में बहेती,


कश्माशों की नाव है.


लोथल पोथल लहरों में,


चंचल मन की नीव है,


मुश्किलों के करवटों में,


साहिलों का नीड है.


कदमो की आहटों को सुनती


मैं चला जाता हूँ


बेजुबान भीर में


गीत गुनगुनाता हूँ.


सदियों से चल रहा हूँ में


उमीदों की राह में


कोई नहीं तो खुद ही सही


सुनसान इस सफ़र में.


विश्वास की जड़ को मन मैं लिए


अग्निपथ पे चला जाता हूँ,


हर इंसान की मुस्कुराहटों में,


आज भी, सच्चाई देख पाता हूँ.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tarpan - In the name of departed soul


Today is Mahalaya.
This day is considered as one of the most auspicious day in Hindu calender. The day marks the end of 'pitri paksh' and beginning of 'devi paksh'. On this day, people pray for the departed soul of their parents. This ritual is predominant in eastern part of India, precisely in Bengal and Orissa. This ritual is popularly known as "Tarpan".
Across the Hindu religion it is believed that after death, the soul incarnates into a new form and embodies as animal, bird, reptile, human or any other form depending on the Karmas (deeds) in one’s past life. Thus, as one’s ancestors would have attained a new form after death, many people believe that why is Pitr-Puja necessary. It is obligatory in Hindu tradition.

As according to Bhagwad Gita : "Just as one removes old clothes and puts on new ones, so does the Jivatma abandon an old body and obtain a new one"
Thus, it is only the house and body that the soul changes, but whatever we as children are indebted to our ancestors should be repaid, because the soul never dies. The pitr-puja performed by the sons and grandchildren in memory of their ancestors, is preceded with the thought that: "O Pitrs in whichever form you may be, wherever you may be, we wish to remember and pray for your peace and welfare".
I lost my dad, two years ago. The first year, somehow I didn't feel like doing 'Tarpan', I don't know why, but I skipped the ritual. I guess, it took time for me to believe that he is no more with me. I mentally refused to do anything that would kill my faith, that he is dead. I was behaving like a child. I guess, every child is a child when it comes to their own parents. I remember, as a kid, my Baba would obediently follow all the rituals and pray for my grandfather's soul. As kids, we used to hardly understand the significance of this day. For us, it used to be Durga Puja countdown. We would think of holidays, puja shopping, pandal hopping and eating out at various food joints. The importance of puja or tarpan donned on me, much later.
As a kid, I would see my Baba getting ready before sunrise on the day of Mahalaya. He would drape a white dhoti, wear a white kurta and a new "poite" (sacred thread). He would take a holy dip, in the ghats of Ganges and then pray for his father and grandfather's soul. While coming back, he would bring piping hot samosas (shingaras) kachoris, alu rasa, sandesh for everyone at home. That day, we would have traditional breakfast.
The morning would start early on the day of Mahalaya. Baba would wake up around 4 am, and wake me and my brother from deep sleep. He would switch on the radio, while my Ma would be fast asleep. She would hear the radio from her bed, half-asleep. We would hear the immortal voice of BirendraKrishna Bhadro, reciting Sri Sri Chandi. Frankly speaking, the thought of it gives me goosebumps even today. His recitation would create an ambiance which would filter all sorts of negativity around us. The air would get purified with his crystal clear voice. We would stare at the radio and imagine the visuals of Goddess Durga fighting the demons and killing Mahisasura with Trishul (Pointed Weapon). Those were my early childhood days.
Few years later when we had a television set (black and white, of course), and Doordarshan started showing 'Mahisasurmardini' on the day of Mahalaya. The show would start immediately after the radio transmission of BirendraKrishna Bhadro's show. Baba would switch the TV on, and meanwhile we had to brush our teeth, take a shower and get ready for the puja. This used to be our regular ritual on the day of Mahalaya.
Baba practiced this ritual till his last year. He stopped visiting Ganges, after his first heart attack. Doctor's advised him to be careful. The cold river water was not advisable for a heart patient. But he would still pray for his forefathers on the day of Mahalaya. He would take an early morning bath, and execute the entire procedure in our puja room. I have seen such discipline in him, which I don't have. I don't think, I will ever be able to match up to his dedication and honesty.
Baba is no more. I am staying in Mumbai, with my wife. It's going to be a decade, since I have moved out from Kolkata. Now I am working in a film production company. We don't have holidays on Mahalaya and Durga Puja. In fact, very few people in this state observe this day as "father's day". Living in this city, has rubbed some influence in me, too. But somehow, this year, I felt that I must pray for my father's soul. I don't know why, I had his urge from within.
It was a sheer coincidence that a dear friend of mine, mentioned that I should pray for my father. She mentioned that, on this day, the soul returns to bless their sons and daughters. I argued with her, saying that does this really matter? Well, I guess it matters.
I don't know the procedure of 'tarpan' but I did what my heart said. I offered him sweets, til, flowers and diya. I prayed for him, I prayed for his soul and peace. While praying for him, I was remembering those lovely memories from childhood. I had a lump in my throat. Eyes moist, I thought about him, with my eyes shut. I realized that he is no more with me, physically. I realized that, I have replaced him, it's my turn to pay tribute to my forefathers. I remembered, how smartly he taught me with his own deeds. How he wanted me to follow, the tradition of 'tarpan'. He never forced anything on me, still with his own discipline, he. managed to teach all of us, a lesson.
I know, he is around. I know, he is seeing me from the clouds. I know, he is happy, wherever he is.
But the vacuum that is created by his absence, shall remain empty. We realize the worth of a person when he is not around. Such is life, and such is love for our parents.
Love you Baba. Bhalo theko.









Friday, September 9, 2011

Banchiye Rakhe - Bengali Poem


বাঁচিয়ে রাখে...

অনিশ্চিয়তা আমাকে কুঁড়ে কুঁড়ে খায়ে,
আমার প্রতিটি দিন যেন সহস্র বছর 
বন্ধ দরজা, উন্মুক্ত আকাশের লালসা 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 
পাহাড়ের গা ঘেষে এক ফালি মেঘ,
শিশির বিন্দুর কানাকানি.
ডাক টিকিটের বন্ধ খাম,
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 

জীবিকার জীর্ণ রাস্তা,
অনিশ্চিয়তার রাজপ্রাসাদে 
একাকিত্বের মসনদে, নকল রাজা!
আকাঙ্খার ধংশস্তুপ পেরিয়ে 
কাঁচা মেঘের প্রথম বৃষ্টি 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে.
নতুন ঘাসের গন্ধ, গঙ্গার ঘোলাটে জল 
সূর্যের সান্ধ ডুব,
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 

অনিশ্চিয়তা আমাকে কুঁড়ে কুঁড়ে খায়ে,
আমার প্রতিটি দিন যেন সহস্র বছর,
তভুও আমি প্রতিদিন ঘুম থেকে উঠি,
এক মুঠো টাটকা স্বপ্ন নিয়ে. 
টেলিফোনের রিংটোন, 
এক অচেনা ই-মেল,
দৈনন্দিন সাংসারিক ঝগড়া,
মাছের বাজারে দরাদরি,
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 

অনিশ্চিয়তা আমাকে কুঁড়ে কুঁড়ে খায়ে,
কালকের চিন্তা, আমাকে আমার আজ-কে কেড়ে নেয়.
ডাকিনি যোগিনী আমার রাতের ঘুম,
তভুও আমি ঘুম থেকে উঠি,
কুয়াশা কাটিয়ে সুর্যোদয়ের প্রত্যাশা নিয়ে.
কফি হাউজের নির্ভেজাল আড্ডা,
নন্দন-এর রেলিঙে বসে সিনেমার কচকচানি,
রবীন্দ্র সদনের গানের জলসা 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 
শীতের বনা উল, পুজোয় মানুষের ঢল,
শালপাতায় ফুচকা, চিড়িয়াখানার পিকনিক 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 


প্রতাশার দিন, অপেক্ষার রাত 
ঘন মেঘের মত আমার বুকের ভিতর 
অন্ধকার করে আশা, যেন এক মোমের প্রদীপ 
মাস মাইনের জীবন যাপন, 
মেকি কথা, মেকি আশা, মেকি ভালবাসা 
মেকি তোমার চোখের ভাষা.
দোয়েলের ডাক, ভোরের আলো,
ফেরিওলার হাঁক, রিকশার টুঙ-টাঙ্গ
নতুন বইয়ের গন্ধ, বই মেলার ধুলো 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে!


অনর্গল টানাপড়েনের পর, 
হার মেনেছে অনিশ্চিয়তা, আমার কাছে! 
এক ফালি খুশি আজ আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে. 
ছাদের হুলোটা, মাঠের কাকতারুয়া,
খুড়ির চা, জগাদার তেলেভাজা,
আরসালান-এর বিরিয়ানি, ফ্লুরিস-এর কেক, 
ভাইচুন এর ফুটবল, পাড়ার নাটক 
উত্তম-সুচিত্রার প্রেম, রুদ্রাপ্রাসাদের রুদ্ধশ্বাস,
ময়দানের মিছিল, ভিক্টরিয়ার পরী,
মমতার ভাষণ, পরিবর্তেনের হাওয়া 
আমাকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখে!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pankh - Hindi poem

पंख

सपनों के पंख लगाये 
बादलों को चीर 
बेहेकति नदी की तरह 
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है
सपनों के पंख लगाये,
ढूंड रही है, खुद को,
लाखों बदालों के बीच.

खुशियाँ झिलमिलाती हुई 
झर्ना की तेज़ धार जैसी 
दिल को भिगोये, उड़ रही है.
नीले आस्मां को चीर,
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है,
बुलंदी के बुलंद दरवाज़े को दस्तक 
देती हुई मेरी आकांक्षाएं, आज उड़ रही है. 

सूरज की तपती किरणों से तेज़
पर्वत के चट्टानों को चीर,
संपर्क के बेड़ियों को चीर, 
गरजती बदालों में, पंख लगाये
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है,
ना कोई रोख, ना कोई बंधन. 
सपनों की रंगोली सजाये,
किसी कवी की कविता की तरह,
किसी लेखक की सोंच की तरह, 
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है,
सपनों के पंख लगाये. 

मन जो आज स्वतंत्र है
मन जो आज स्वच्छ है,
हवा में थिरकती पतंग की डोर जैसे 
उडती हुई, पंख लगाये, तूफानों से तेज़
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है,
छूना चाहती है, आत्मविष्वास की नीव को,
मेरी आकांक्षाएं आज उड़ रही है. 
सपनों को चीर, रस्मो को चीर,
उड़ रही है.

- राम कमल मुख़र्जी 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eid - It's not just about Briyani and Firni!


I love festivals. I love India. Well, we all do. But, have you ever thought the reason why we all love festivals? Most of Indians would say, "It's a holiday!" 
True. 
I remember, last year, we had off on Eid-ul-Fitr. But this year we are working. This year, while travelling, from my home to office, I was just wondering that why do certain private sector refuse to recognize Eid as one of the major festival of India? In fact, there are various other festivals, which gets ignored by private sectors. 
Opinions vary. Some feel that by giving holiday on festivals like Eid, the production will suffer. Some feel, that being a Hindu state, why recognize Eid as a major festival? Some even keep it as "optional" holidays for Muslim employees. But, aren't we secular? I am confused with this new definition of secularism in our country.   If private sectors can include Christmas as official holiday, then why mark Eid as "optional" holiday?
As a journalist, I used to never get any of these public holidays. Times of India, like any other dailies had only five holidays in a year. Republic Day, Holi, Independence Day, Diwali and Gandhi Jayanti. So, personally speaking, working on public holidays have never been my issue. 
I think, holidays in Mumbai are the days to rest. People long for such midweek breaks, so that they can sum up more energy and work harder for survival. The journey of 'aam janta' in this city is traumatic. They beat the crowd, beat the traffic, beat the heat, beat the beggars, beat the political rallies, beat the recession, beat all sorts of odds, and finally reach office. Work hard, (not all days though) and then retire for the day. 
These public holidays are like bonus for people who work hard throughout the year, We must respect their emotions. 
Keeping aside the emotional side of the story, logically, we must give Eid-ul-Fitr as the status of compulsory holiday, because in our country we have sizable population of Muslims, and they are very much part of our culture and heritage. Mughals have ruled us for years, gave us culture, cuisine, music, art, gems and literature. Like the way, we have incorporated British culture and it's language, we must also take the positive aspects from the Mughals. I think, every religion has it's positive and negative aspect. You need to be rational enough to judge the best. 
Eid, reminds me of my early days of journalism. I started my career as a full time journalist with The Asian Age, Kolkata. Farah Choudhury, who used to head the features department, was probably the first Muslim personality, with whom I had proper interaction on religion. My knowledge about Muslims were restricted to Ghazaals, Briyani and Firni. 
But after interacting with Farah, my idea changed. In high school, my first Muslim friend was Parvez Imam. He officially introduced me to Holy Quran. I read the English version of the Holy Book. I remember, that he asked me to wash my feet and hand, (wazoo) and then sat on a carpet, placed the book on a wooden stand and then read the book. He wanted me to know that facts about Allah and the fictions which actually distorts the piousness of the book.
After High School, he decided to move back to Christchurch (NZ) and we remained as "pen friends" for years. Later on, I guess, we both became busy and lost the connect. I searched him on various social networking sites, tried to get his number through common friends. But all in vain. It's been almost ten years that we have lost touch. But, I am sure, the day we meet, we will be able to connect. His family was so humble, educated and caring. In our letters we used to share our thoughts about Hindu and Islam religion. The good and the bad, the fun and ugly. He would share his reservations, I would speak my mind.
Later, I came across various other friends, colleagues and actors who are Muslims. They have shown me the brighter side of this religion. It's true that some of them do practice violence, terrorism and anti-national activities, but then, you cannot categorize them. Like Muslim fanatics, we do have Hindu counterpart too. It's people, who makes the difference. Hatred is a state of mind, and certainly not the mind of any State.
Respect, is the core word for any religion. I have learnt that from Parvez, Farah and even my driver Amjad.
R.

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