The world of writing is marred by strange twists and turns. It’s never easy for a writer, whether established or novice, to keep pace with time in an easy-going manner in world dominated by materialistic principles, which treats nurturing aesthetic pleasures as some sort of waste of time. When selling rose becomes more worthwhile task than to appreciate its scent, it’s quite certain that one would not gain much by falling in love with creative pursuits. I faced extremely tough conditions with humiliating episodes taking place quite frequently, but I always tried not to take them to heart, remembering that great writers of previous eras also received similar treatment. Pain and humiliation do not break a writer ( unless destiny has predestined such a fate) but make him gain more insights, not available to ordinary mortals. The other thing that really kept me going ahead with ease despite huge setbacks was constant support of extremely talented souls, who appeared at various stages of my life as friends and colleagues. Apart from them, I feel really privileged that I also got an opportunity to spent some precious moments with towering figures in world of literature. These very special moments still keep me spirited and cheerful in depressing times even as memories related with those meetings have been clouded by the affairs of time.
I met Ruskin Bond and Gulzar at a time when my bonhomie with the writing world was gaining depth. However, after meeting them, I became certain that being a writer was no crime! I always met people who stupidly asked me( and thereby revealing the actual worth of their grey cells) about my work sphere even as I told them that I write! ” It’s okay that you write but what work you do?” That’s the sort of queries which always chased me. Thank God such queries today neither appear nor they have any relevance left in my life. The sight of Gulzar and Ruskin had left me spellbound, although I had met them separately, but exhibition of feelings remained the same.
I became the fan of Ruskin Bond at the very moment when in one of the boring literature classes of my school, I first came to read his story “The Eyes Have It”. The intensity of emotions expressed in this story fascinated my young heart to great extent. Though my class teacher, the other school mates and the old-fashioned academic standards, compelled me to anticipate the story in a given way, I came to visualize many other things as I read this story. And that’s why I met Ruskin Bond not only as reader but also as a writer! It’s the writings of Ruskin which taught me that how you say is equally important as what you come to say! However, the greatest lesson Ruskin taught me was that great writing is simple writing! Never use bundle of complicated expressions, which make a reader be involved more in picking up a dictionary than being lost in the content of the post! It’s one of the reasons why I avoid reading Arundhati Roy unless I have to sleep early!
Ruskin Bond, the Sahitya Akademi and Padma Shri awards winner, visited Allahabad, circa 2003. He had come here to attend promotional event organised by a leading publisher Rupa & Co. I wasn’t prepared for this meeting, but the moment I heard news of his arrival, I got prepared my manuscript related with my first unpublished anthology- The Petals Of Life. When I met him, I saw him surrounded by his well-wishers. I waited for my turn, and fortunately when my turn came he had some spare moments. He gave a fabulous smile when I introduced myself as a writer and informed him about my literary pursuits. When I handed him my poems, he seemed to be very pleased by this gesture. He patted my back and asked me to keep writing. Though he was tired but he still obliged me by giving me his autograph at number of places. Our conversations lasted for few minutes but the undercurrents still remain alive. And so I refuse to leave the company of pen!
Gulzar- the Oscar Award winner lyricist-also visited Allahabad, at the invitation of same publisher, during the same period. My meeting with him was once again a hurried affair than a pre-planned affair. When I reached the place where he was about to arrive after couple of hours, I was apprehensive about the meeting. However, call it my luck, despite presence of huge crowd, I created space for my meeting with this amazing man. It was hard for my eyes to acknowledge the fact that maker of landmark movies like Aandhi, Ijaazat, Kitaab, Parichay and Achanak, to name a few, was sitting right before my eyes. Like always, this time, too, he was clad in white kurta-pajama. And like always donned his lips a typical smile, which any Gulzar fan would easily recognize had he/she been noticing photographs of him quite sincerely. To be honest, I had not read enough literature penned by him but I had watched his movies and heard his songs with exceptional zeal and abnormal seriousness. And that’s why his “surrealism” permeated in my writings as well. Anyway, he remained seated in relaxed way. When I informed him about my credentials, his faced remained expressionless yet I noticed that he was pretty conscious! And as I finished saying what I had to say, he gave a very deep look at me. A stare that refused to leave me and became part of my being. I left the space after spending couple of minutes with him but as I came out of that place and headed towards my home these particular lines from this immortal song “Aknhon Mein Humne Aapke” kept appearing and disappearing within mind’s chamber-
“नज़रे उठाई आपने तो वक्त रुक गया
ठहरे हुए पलो में जमाने बिताये है “
- When you looked at me, the time stopped
And in those moments I came to live many lives.
Many thanks to these gentlemen who appeared at a very important juncture in my life. I needed some genuine encouragement and their generosity in display of emotions proved to be a tonic for my spirit chased by uncertainties. The uncertainties remain the same but my spirit attained the required evolution and so my writings. And so I am still writing! Pervert critics remain the same and situation remains hopeless like always and yet I am above all these negative concerns. A proof that meeting such enlightened gentlemen did not go in vain.
“I wondered if I would be able to prevent her from discovering that I was blind. Provided I keep to my seat, I thought, it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“The man who had entered the compartment broke into my reverie.
‘You must be dissapointed,’ he said. ‘I’m not nearly as attractive a traveling companion as the one who just left.’
‘She was an interesting girl,’ I said. ‘Can you tell me – did she keep her hair long or short?’
‘I don’t remember,’ he said, sounding puzzled. ‘It was her eyes I noticed, not her hair. She had beautiful eyes – but they were of no use to her. She was completely blind. Didn’t you notice?’”
Song: Ankhon Mein Humne Aapke..
Movie: Thodi Si Bewafai
Singers: Lata and Kishore
In Conversation With A Well-Known Author: Revealing The Flaws Of Sourav Ganguly In Company Of Ramachandra Guha!
Sourav Ganguly’s contributions for the Indian Cricket Team cannot be ignored. He introduced the concept of aggressive captaincy.However, having said that, the fact that he systematically destroyed the harmonious unity which held the players together in previous eras is too bitter to be digested easily.The Indian Team, during his regime, also gave way to factionalism, wherein team spirit gave way to individualism of most worst type. That’s why it’s hard to acknowledge him as a good captain. He might have been a successful captain but, in the same breath, it cannot be argued in his favour that he was a good captain.
That became clear as I discussed the same controversial aspect in conversation with Ramachandra Guha- the eminent historian whose passion for cricket makes us smile. He and Prabhash Joshi make it clear that even intellectuals dealing with grim issues can fall in love with charm of cricket! Anyway, this conversation took place some eight years back but that in no way undermines its relevance. After all, the game of cricket has shifted to lesser values in recent days.
This has reference to Ramachandra Guha’s article “Two cheers for Ganguly” published in The Telegraph on January 08, 2005. The naked truth about Ganguly is that he has failed to maintain a safe distance from narcissistic tendencies. Something that has always caused the downfall of the Emperors ( read Maharajas), who, however, were endowed with refined qualities. This fatal flaw in his personality has been behind the numerous judgmental blunders made by him in recent times- apparently a period that blemishes his stupendous achievements. The observation might sound cynical but the fact confirm this suspicion.
What could be the reason behind his strange absence from the crucial encounter with the Australians in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy? Well, cover-ups such as ‘mysterious injury’ aren’t enough to hide the glaring shortcomings in his mannerism, or, for that matter, satiate the curiosity, of his admirers, who unfortunately expect too much from him. Again he does not believe in the rule that match is open till the last bowl. His usual and the first line of defense at tense moments is either thrust himself or rope in one of his favourites. Instead of appearing composed, he looks more like wrecked ship in deciding hours.
Steve Waugh, Naseer Hussain and even Hansie Cronje depicted a much better attitude than him to safely rise above the critical situations. Without overshadowing his contributions, it would not be wrong to state that he does not qualify to share the platform with above mentioned gentlemen. They played solely for their teams and individual considerations never prevented them from framing innovative methods to take their team to glorious heights. Hasn’t Ganguly missed the bus?
Ramachandra Guha’s Viewpoint:
Thanks for your mail, which very nicely elaborates which I had merely hinted at but not explicitly expressed.
About Ramachandra Guha:
Ramachandra Guha (born 29 April 1958) is an Indian historian and writer whose research interests include environmental, social, political and cricket history. He is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where he currently holds the position of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs. He is also a columnistfor the newspapers The Telegraph (syndicated in several Indian languages) and Hindustan Times. A regular contributor to various academic journals, Guha has written extensively for the magazines The Caravan and Outlook.
His recent book “India after Gandhi” has managed to stir hornet’s nest.
Ramachandra Guha: Two Cheers For Ganguly, The Telegraph, January 08, 2005.
In the long writing career, spanning over nearly two decades, I got many chances to interact with enlightened minds and share with them a piece of my mind in matters pertaining to critical issues. A long back ago when I was regular contributor for The Statesman’s Viewpoint Column ( Calcutta Edition), I came in touch with Jeremy Seabrook who was then writing for one of its popular columns.
This conversation related with falling standards of education system took place after I came to read his article” Learning Revisited” published in The Statesman on March 14, 2005.
Your write-up is an eye-opener, allowing one to reckon with the hidden facets of education. I am appalled at the manner in which institutions offering so-called gems of knowledge, which in reality are antithetical to creative tendencies lying latent within the recipients, have solidified their base. One reason for it could be that parents are now no longer interested in “value-oriented” teaching methods, simply because it stands in the way of attaining ‘name and fame’. No wonder this could be the reason behind the mind-boggling network of coaching factories, which are making huge profit in the name of offering conductive atmosphere for cracking the entrance tests.
This attitude of parents has brought a sea change in the attitude of present day students, who weigh everything in materialistic yardsticks or, in other words, in rupee:dollar ratio. After all, who has time for values in the fast-paced life of ours! The real quest for supreme knowledge would always remain a distant dream in absence of change of mindset, especially the parents. Well, it’s never too easy to change mindset without giving way to measures mired in transparent means. What has guaranteed failure of projects in this regard has been wide gap between theory and practice besides infrastructural bottlenecks. Let’s realize that mere propaganda is not going to solve this issue.
Unfortunately, this is what both Left and Right wings are used to. Their stances, diametrically opposite to each other, have wiped out the vigour of those wishing to make worthwhile contributions, so much so that if one does not yield to their outdated notions one is bound to invite troubles of all sorts. The message is clear: Rise above ideological fanaticism to stop the degradation of education system, something so imperative to prevent the innocent minds turning into robot.
Vivekananda rightly remarked that ” education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and run riot there, undigested, all life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas”. Will anyone please translate this into reality?
Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:
Many thanks for your helpful and kind e-mail. Indeed, education has become not an end in itself, noble and worthwhile, but an instrument for material gain and industrial conformism. In this sense, of course, the educational system is only an emanation of the society that produces it, and an expression of the social values and mores of which it is a symptom. Intervention for change involves a complete change in the social and moral structures of globalism-no small thing, but a project we should not abandon simply because of its apparent attainability.
About Jeremy Seabrook:
My first book was The Unprivileged, 1967, the story of my own family, a path breaking oral history from the late 18th century to the 1960s. This was followed by City Close-Up, a portrait, through the words of the people, of Blackburn in Lancashire.
In the 1970s, I wrote What Went Wrong? Working People and the Ideals of the Labour Movement; a book which, when published in the USA, was sub-titled Why hasn’t Having More Made People Happier?
Mother and Son, a memoir, appeared in 1980, and an indictment of Thatcher’s Britain,Unemployment, in 1982.
Work on India and Bangladesh followed, notably, Notes from another India and Children of Other Worlds, a comparison of child labour in nineteenth century London and present-day Dhaka in Bangladesh. My book, Love in a Different Climate, described how male same-sex relationships in India differ from those in the West.
I have contributed to most major newspapers in Britain over the years, and have written for Granta. I am a regular contributor to New Internationalist – which has published three of my books in the last decade, most recently Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. I write for Race and Class and Third World Resurgence, based in Penang, Malaysia.
More About Jeremy Seabrook:
“He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards.
He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues.
Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others.
He has also written over 40 books, including;
Travels in the Skin Trade – looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures (Pluto Press).
A World Growing Old – the implications of an ageing population, north and south (Pluto Press).”
Courtesy: The Guardian
The Statesman ( Kolkata Edition)
I am neither misogynist nor anti-feminist, and not even a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA). Many of my friends working for these organisations feel I should be one like them in a formal way, but being on a different route, I prefer not to identify with any organization, be they ones from spiritual or political background. So it would be useless to measure the worth of author’s views as someone acting as mouthpiece of any organization. Let’s not forget that to come up with entirely different set of facts, a different version of reality not in tune with set patterns, is not bizarre. On the contrary, it’s the result of having viewed the world from close angles! An open mind would certainly realize it. To follow a different route does not make anyone regressive, biased, much less a Talibani with a capacity to issue a fatwa! Ridiculous assertion!
Why should every analyst of our times present a syrupy version of happenings taking place in world of present times women, wherein “every bad thing any man has ever committed highlighted and exaggerated; every bit of good systematically undermined, vilified or ignored”? It’s only that I feel inclined to represent the cause of men, not out sense of any “same gender” feeling but only from justice point of view, which demands that other side should also be heard well. It’s the other side of the fence that I am presenting with total sincerity, different perspective and neutral stance !
कुछ नहीं दिखता था अंधेरे में मगर, आंखें तो थीं,
ये कैसी रोशनी आई कि सब अंधे हो गए।।
(Though we cannot see in dark with our eyes,
It’s strange that we cannot see even as there is light around us)….
Feminism, as a movement, was started in late nineteenth century to demand female rights in society. “At the end of the nineteenth century was that women began to realize that it is unfair for them to be constantly under the power of men simply because the social system has traditionally favored males.” At this point, it’s inappropriate to discuss the impact of this movement in West, but this movement seems to have lost its impact there in modern times. May be because women have gained enough rights there but, in my eyes, it’s because both have realized well that battle of the sexes serves no purpose other than breeding animosity. “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.
The Indian women, who have misplaced beliefs that having all the rights ensures better days should, at least, have the guts to critically analyze the impact of such divisive and lethal movement in Western societies. Anyway, it’s better that I confine myself to Indian landscape. It’s better to understand the essential elements of Indian society, viewing it not through the myopic terms coined by the so-called progressive elements, but in a conscious way to tear apart the great game of gender equality. It’s interesting that many arguments have been forwarded to show the worth of female mind. Many love to cite the growing academic excellence of Indian women as one of the parameters to upheld the intellectual superiority of women. However, wisdom and real understanding have nothing to do with academic excellence. Many of the great contributors, in fact, nearly all creative geniuses, were very poor in academic terms plus they were never part of institutionalized structures. I say that not to lessen the importance of academic excellence but to highlight the worth of education offered in Indian schools and universities, which are killing all the good elements which a child possesses.
The Indian society might have so-called patriarchal model but it’s a sheer diabolical myth that it was framed to suppress the position of women, much less, exploit the women. The Indian society has always been women-centered society. The concept like “”Ardhanareeswara”, aimed at equality of women, which ensured that Shiva without female principle “Shakti” means nothing, always made Indian women enjoy dignified position in Indian society. Even in modern Indian Hindu families, having a balanced and sensible approach, the women always gain upper hand in all issues. All important issues have her consent, wherein her views gain as much importance than any male member. Have a look at the marriage vows. They in clear terms ensure that women come to enjoy an equal ground.
Gribhnami te saubhagatvaya hastam mayapatya jardastirayathasah|
Bhagoaryyamma savita purandhiramahyam tvadurgaharpatya devah||
That is – “Oh dear! On this auspicious occasion of our life, I take your hand in mine in the presence of invoked deities. Oh blessed woman! You be with me as a fortunate partner for a very long time. I hand over the control of my family in your hands, discharge your duties joyously.”
It’s a fallacious assertion that men enjoyed privileges in past while the women remained an oppressed lot. “Society is largely constructed for the benefit of women and children and always has been, otherwise it doesn’t survive. …It takes a gigantic lack of imagination (usually the sole province of baby feminists) to believe that women wanted the economic and political involvement they claim now when the demands and risks of these endeavours were as they were then (ancient times)”. The Indian society is also no exception. It’s always portrayed as if women in the past were some sort of domestic slaves, devoid of any sort of right to decide by themselves. Well, such a claim can only be made by people who have not bothered to know Indian society in its entirety. Even the most ancient ladies in Indian history had the right to chose their husbands via a ceremony called Swyamvara. The women were well versed in scriptural knowledge and many among them were qualified scholars.
True, with advent of time many of the glorious traditions (the great spirit which led to their origin) faded away to give way to their corrupt versions. It would not be out of place to mention that practice like dowry was basically the Streedhan to ensure that a woman is “not left wanting anything after the wedding”. The impression of men being unconcerned about the rights of women is quite powerfully projected but lesser known aspect is that men have played an instrumental role in any movement aimed at improvement of women. The greatest example in this category is abolition of Sati Pratha and banning of child marriages. Anyway, the division in labour in Indian society was done by the sages, who played an impartial role while framing laws related with basic structure of Indian society. It favoured none.
Had Indian society been truly patriarchal in nature, as suggested by new age scholars, it would have never led to emergence of bold Indian women who always played equal role in Indian society. Be they queens of ancient era, or the women freedom fighters of pre-Independence era, the Indian women played a significant role. It would not have been possible had women been denied the right to make choices. The modern Indian society is facing new set of complexities but the solution is not devaluation of ancient practices. The empowerment of Indian women does not mean women be entitled to make arbitrary choices on the grounds that men also did the same! In fact, it presupposes that men enjoyed unlimited freedom of all sorts. It’s totally false and erroneous notion. Their choices were also determined by the prescribed rules, keeping in mind the interests of women and children. Let’s be clear that the empowerment of women does not mean to give way to propaganda that “women alone have sufferings and women alone have problems in life”.
At present, the situation has become pretty confusing and dangerous for the growth of Indian society. The men are being repeatedly portrayed as abusers, leading to anti-family and anti-marriage laws. Indeed, there are problems related with Indian women but then effective measures in form of stringent laws are already there to take note of them. There are many institutions to take care of plight of women, whose recommendations have led to new rules, fresh amendments and etc. in form of Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Act and Maintenance Act, to name a few. In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court of India in 1997 laid down the guidelines to ensure that sexual harassment at the workplace does not take place, which resulted in framing of the “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012″. The problems pertaining to women are being systematically dealt with, and much of the problems have not arisen out of lack of concern for the cause of women in Indian society, but because of lack of effective implementation. So it’s really shrewd to suggest that patriarchal society favours men!
Let’s understand that in name of personal freedom and personal choices one cannot give way to lifestyle which ensures conflicts and dilemmas of disturbing nature. A choice has to be in league with prevalent norms and customs. Or else, women need to effectively satisfy that their choices would not lead to turbulent state of affairs. There is nothing like absolute freedom. She has to convince what would be the state of affairs in such a society, which allows women unrestricted freedom in name of personal choices? That’s because, if there comes no plausible explanation, and still we went in for such a society, it would be hard to wipe out the new set of complexities. That’s the case in other parts of the hemisphere. To see the resistance offered by men, or by the people belonging to old order of living patterns as an attempt to hold back the privileges enjoyed in the patriarchal set-up is not the right interpretation. It’s also not fear to lose the power or monopoly. On the contrary, it’s an attempt to prevent the citadels of society from crumbling down.
It’s simply not issue of having choices/making choices in free manner; it’s more about long term consequences of having choices, which indicate the high probability of single women, pills, abortions, extra-marital relations, same-sex relations, stress-related burdens, broken families, deviant kids and etc.? What about the dangerous interference in the evolutionary process, wherein for ages men played the role of protector and women the role of nurturing the kids? With this kind of perverted “role reversal”, are’t we on the wrong track? One of my friends, during gender related conversation, referring to Sunita Williams ( as if only after that Indian women learnt the art to make exceptional choices) stated that she did not have kids for the sake of work! It would be suffice to say that if all women made such a choice, it would not be hard to imagine the fate of evolution of human species! However, this is classic example of selective approach, wherein a woman seeks benefits of traditional society when she feels trapped by her weaknesses but she is absolutely modern when it comes to making choices and rights. That’s paradox at its best since.
After all, it involves taming of the men species to ensure that inequality gets reduced! That has begun in a cruel fashion. Men are now supposed to do something which is never their strength, and a retaliatory gesture on their part is enough to get them the tag of being an abuser and an oppressor! Who will bear the consequences of ”placing men and women in a conflicting role and creating confusion in values”? But that’s still not as ominous as an attempt to create a society which denies even the right to protest on part of men. ”Under cover of the notion of chivalry, as understood by Modern Feminism, Political and Sentimental Feminists alike would deprive men of the most elementary rights of self-defence against women and would exonerate the latter practically from all punishment for the most dastardly crimes against men. They know they can rely upon the support of the sentimental section of public opinion with some such parrot cry of: “Treat a woman in this way!”/ “What! Hit a woman!”.
It’s interesting that women learnt to move out of their houses, refusing to remain confined to prison like state of affairs within the home, and began to notice that world outside is a different affair altogether. It missed the “having all the pleasure factor” which they had assumed prevailed in men’s life as they began to venture outside. The world would remain a hell’s replica and it would not going to change whether women remains inside the home or moves outside, fulfilling their aspirations and dreams in fullest manner. However, having said that, let’s make the world safer and better for the women community. Nobody said that problems pertaining to women’s life, be they of any type, sexual assault, low wages, discrimination, should be ignored.
What I wish to suggest is that while dealing with women’s issues, the gender politics should not get mixed with the reforms. An attempt to distort the intimate relationship with men and women should not become the prime motive in guise of welfare. Sadly, that’s how one feels while analyzing the current state of affairs, wherein right from biological facts, psychological facts and legal truths, all are being selectively quoted, or quoted in perverted manner to suit the vested interests acting as agents of change in world of women.
That’s why all conscious souls, interested in right developments, should become alert when “there is no distinction between potential and probability. An allegation suffices for proof. Hearsay is taken for gospel.” (Charles E. Corry). Rohan, Men’s Rights activist, Bangalore, conveys the same sentiments in a different way: ” Women have the right to be seated when in a bus or in a train. They have the right to 50% reservation in govt. jobs and academics. They have the right to claim alimony and maintenance, even in a live-in relationship. They have only rights and men only have duties. This is called equality, according to feminazis.”
Precisely, it’s for the very same reason it has become need of the hour to present the happenings taking place in world of men in an aggressive and conscious manner. The happier side of the movements aimed to improve the life of women has been “demolition of the idea that women are inherently nice”. The thing that’s now taking place is that discrimination and abuse stories related with women are being presented both in right and wrong way, with help of paid media. Facts, right and wrong, are flowing thick and past to show that how women have been underprivileged and suppressed lot. No one is bothered to check either the authenticity of facts nor the source, forget about probing them from wide angles.
Anyway, since all this is happening in the name of ensuring a better world for women, I am but compelled to endorse them. But with a condition and appeal: Let’s also reveal the true picture of the sufferings, pains, humiliation, torture faced by men side-by-side the stories which talk about sufferings of women, with the same honesty and intensity! That alone will bring the true story, true picture. At present, we are witnessing with abuse stories related with women only. That’s unfair to hear/see only one side in any story and jump to flawed conclusions applicable to totality.
Why such a wish irks those concerned with rights of women? Will society be a better place only if you enable the women to have all the rights? Why shouldn’t the rights of men be discussed in the same breath? Why should not adequate attention be paid to silent sufferings of men? It leaves me aghast that tragedies, stories of discrimination associated with men, their precarious state of affairs being involved in hazardous and tough activities and regular interaction with dilemmas and ironies of peculiar type are being talked about in matter-of-fact tones. Worse, any attempt to bring the truth get checkmated by giving the impression that since men are about to lose the power, lose the privileges, these are reactionary backlash. That’s an absurd and fleeting observation. The right interpretation is that men have now begun to get organized to make “gender equality” attain a right shape, a right balance, a right proportion. And this would never stop.
P.S.: Many thanks to my friend, Rohan, whose views I have borrowed from the conversation we had on Instablogs on one of my posts having the same theme. He is Men’s Rights Activist hailing from Bangalore.
Society Always Tilted Towards Women
Carvind, belonged to the world of naughtiest kids. This image of innocence, a pure-hearted spirit, was always found involved in some sort of mess by his parents, who were quite a character in themselves. Naturally, Carvind was natural ally for all disturbing elements. One day, the Lord appeared in his dreams at an unusual hour and said:” My son, I want to visit earth to see how it fares in Kali Age.” “Lord I have heard that you give darshana (appear) at auspicious hours and so I am really surprised to find you at such an odd hour,” said Carvind.
Carvind had slept late in the night. “Vatsa (my dear son), what can I do! You people have given way to strange habits, which defy my system. I waited for you to sleep at proper time but you never did so,” answered the Lord. Carvind felt really embarrassed. “My son, I would come tomorrow and be visible only to you. Though you have often entered in nuisance of all sorts and defied my mode of life as mentioned in the scriptures, it’s quite pleasing to see the temple of innocence prevailing in your heart. I am glad that you find time to remember me.”
Carvind was now fully awake after being in that trance like state. He started recollecting the episodes. How beautiful Lord appeared! The one infinite blue-bodied Narayana was clothed in his “yellow garb”. In his four hands, he carried the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. A soft but impressive golden light environed the Lord. He soon became sad as he failed to greet Lord with folded hands and also did not bother to touch his feet.
Carvind decided to rectify his mistake. This morning he extended the duration of his pooja, performing it with greater concentration. He planned to greet Him methodically on His arrival. Carvind got involved in preparations to receive Him and the day soon gave way to evening. He went to bed soon but since he never slept that early, the sleep remained elusive. Anyway, his mind was full of excitement-something that kept sleep at safe distance from the eyes.
He woke up at 3 am. It was dark outside and others were still in deep slumber. Carvind had his bath, which created noise sufficient enough to awaken his mother from deep sleep. She saw Carvind shivering and lost her cool. “So it was not cat but you who were producing such strange sounds in the middle of the night!” “You have become the agent of problems for us” she said before marching towards her bedroom.
Carvind ignored her wrath and sat down for meditation. Today, he attained the divine state very soon. The various zones of his brain got filled with divine consciousness.” Now I have attained a perfect state of mind to receive Him” spoke Carvind to himself as he waited for the Lord’s arrival. He was becoming quite impatient. “Has the Lord forgotten his promise? By now He should have arrived.” Then under the impact of past tendencies, his mind got focused on beautiful girl, whom he had seen at magazine shop near his home.
“Dear son! Please regain your sense. It’s time to break your sahaj yoga (spontaneous attunement), “a familiar voice hit the ear drums of Carvind. The Lord was standing in front of Carvind and His smile said all! Carvind, for a while said nothing, just the way a child gets caught by the mother stealing food from the kitchen. He bent down and touched His Lotus feet, offered some flowers which he had stolen from the garden of his neighbor guarded by a dangerous Doberman, and then washed his feet with holy water, which her mother had warned not to use at all; after all, she had brought it from quite a distance.
The fragrance of His body left him spell bound, rejuvenating his dull senses. “Will Lord, tell me the name of the perfume He uses? If I get hold of this brand of perfume, it would make him instant hit amid his boring girlfriends, always complaining about his choice of clothes and perfume.”
“ Won’t we move out, little angel?” asked the Lord in pleasing voice. “Oh! Definitely Lord” said Carvind, once again found caught on the wrong foot by the Lord. They were now on the road to Sangam(Confluence of three rivers at Allahabad: the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati). The tempo in which they were sitting was nearly chock-a-block with passengers. The record player was on and devotional songs, based on latest chart-busters echoed inside the tempo. “If I am not wrong, these songs in some way seem to be connected with me,” remarked the Lord with displeasure. “Lord, very few people in the world remember you in the ways prescribed by you in ancient times. Human beings of modern times have attained new means of attaining intimacy with you. They are no longer interested in going by your likes and dislikes.”
“My son, I find iron rods on every roof top, connected to strange Chakra (discus) like round object. What purpose do they serve? Are they some sort of safety device, which prevent you people from dangers?” “No Lord! They do not save human beings from dangers; instead, they drown them deeper into ocean of heinous crimes and problems. This is known as dish antenna, which is connected with a device called Television, watched by human beings the way Yogis fix attention on your form during meditation!”
They were now on the banks of the Ganges. The unhygienic condition that prevailed there left Lord in bitter mood. Dead bodies, bones and waste material were floating on the water. “Whom are you trying to locate?” asked Carvind. “Vatsa, in my previous incarnations I always found people meditating and performing tapas at the banks of Ganges. I am really surprised that nobody is engaged in such pious activity. Where have these people disappeared?” “Lord, they are all sleeping. They are all lost in deep sleep after having watched late night movies, and people like my father and mother, who usually work till late hours of the night, and then go to sleep, just cannot leave bed too early.”
The Lord was pleased to find a Shiva temple. They entered inside the temple and found dogs roaming there. One of them was busy in searching leftovers there; another one was comfortably sleeping over the Shivalinga. I looked at the face of Lord to notice His reaction but He seemed to be lost in some different world.
“Lord, it is not the fault of these dogs. These hungry dogs arrived here in search of food, and entered inside the temple” The compassionate Lord produced food and offered them to the hungry dogs. Carvind’s attitude towards animals had please the Lord. After performing pooja there, they moved out of the temple. In the way, they met some cows. The Lord rushed towards them. He was visibly very happy on seeing them. “Do you love cows?” asked the Lord. “Yes, since they remind me of my mother. She has cow like eyes and when she is angry I also notice same pointed thorns on her head as I come to notice in these cows.” These cows had very little fat on their bodies and most of them looked quite weak.
“Don’t you people take care of creatures? Have I not provided you enough resources and, in some cases, more than enough? In fact, the case is that you people have become greedy and do not believe in charity at all.” The cows standing there suddenly vanished. The Lord sent them to unknown destination, having grass and safe water in abundance. The Lord had suggested Carvind to take him to the needy people. They moved towards slums located close to the rail tracks. The Lord was eager to cross these tracks to reach to the other side but Carvind prevented him from doing so.
“But why?“ asked the Lord. “The signal lights are bright green and so let’s wait. Let the train pass.” He thanked Carvind for providing such valuable life-giving information. The train passed and they moved to the other side. Carvind was amazed at the simplicity of the Lord. The Lord was moved to see the bare bodies of the starving children. The labourers living there were getting ready to leave in search of work. It was a noisy scene. The pungent smell of garbage, scattered around us, entered inside our nostrils, which forced us to leave the spot.
The Lord seemed to be lost in some thoughts after witnessing such a scene. “Lord, that‘s the condition which prevails in the whole nation. The wealth has been distributed in an unequal manner. The rich people have got everything; the poor people have been left at the mercy of fate. The poor person always finds himself in all sorts of troubles. Lord, you sound right that greed is cause of sufferings. “Is nobody working for the cause of poor people?” inquired Lord. “Lord, nobody is working sincerely for their cause. Some organizations, which in the beginning worked in whole-hearted manner, became political in their approach, and thus, deviated away from the cause of the poor people.
They had now arrived near a school. God wished to see the activities inside the school. Unfortunately, it was a government-run school. The teachers were nowhere in sight. The blackboard was barren like a dead river. Some senior students were busy in discussion revolving around good and bad points of latest movies running in the theaters of city. The junior ones were seriously trying to make their paper aircraft attain the maximum height, and also attain the perfect aerial route! Some girls have already opened their Tiffin boxes and were in great hurry to finish the lunch! We found one section of boys getting ready for cricket match and so heated discussion regarding the format of the match was in full flow.
They had moved out of the school and now walking on the road in leisurely way. They came to anticipate a large gathering of people and they turned towards it. It was a meeting organized by the rationalists to create awareness in society and motivate people to develop scientific spirit. The chief speaker asked loudly, “Has anyone of us seen God? No. Then why do we believe in His existence? My friend, you people should not waste time in adoring abstractions by strengthening faith in Lord. I request you all to be more realistic by giving way to scientific explanations.”
For a while they listened to him with great attention but they soon gave way to peals of derisive laughter. They said enough is enough and made sure, as they moved away from that spot, that his words fail to hit their ear drums. Carvind was now feeling hungry as he had not eaten anything since morning. The sun was now shining above their heads. Carvind brought two cups of tea and some pieces of bread from nearby tea stall.
“Vatsa, I find its taste unique. I wasn’t offered this flavor during my previous arrivals on earth. I need nothing, and, therefore, I come to taste this drink, sheer out of grace, as an offering on part of little Bhakta (devotee) like you” said the Lord in a hilarious tone.
“Lord, please forgive me! I am ruled by my desires. That‘s why I dared to offer you tea. However, Lord, if tea vanished from our lives, millions of people across the globe would never get out of their beds! We have become slaves of very things we have discovered!”
They did not drink the tea even as the Lord was eager to empty the cup totally. They arrived at a juice corner and sat there on a bench in a relaxed manner. The staff at the juice corner was asked to serve the juice. The person, who was told to serve the juice, was surprised that I needed one extra glass even as I was all alone! At a close distance was a busy bus stand. Some college going girls had been waiting for the arrival of buses. Like previous days, arrived some youths and started making obscene gestures at them. There were many people present at the bus stand but they preferred to remain mute spectator. But toady something unusual happened. Some men in uniform appeared from nowhere and beat these youths black and blue. They were arrested and taken to police station. The girls and others were quite taken aback as they never found men in uniform intervening in such a timely manner. They like, filmy cops, were used to arrive only after the criminals have left the crime scene.
Carvind stared at the face of Lord and a big smile appeared on his cute face. He realized why the cops had appeared all of a sudden. “Lord, these grown up modern youths do not believe in living life based on values and principles. At next corner, you would find girls and boys consuming cigarette and beer. The cut throat competition has murdered their sensitivity.”
“ My son, every age has got its own peculiar tendencies. The cycle of good and bad actions never stops and as it rotates, it unleashes various effects. You are an enlightened soul, Carvind! You must be aware that Gunas(attributes) constitute character of a human being. When Sattva increases, it brings peace and knowledge. The increase in Rajas creates desires, leading to hectic activities and rise of Tamas creates ignorance, bringing pain and misery. One should always try to increase ones sattva portion in the personality. That also ensures peace and stability in the external world. The change is inevitable and so one should not worry too much about particular condition or happening.”
“Vatsa, now I wish to return back to my abode but before I disappear I would love to meet a real devotee. Carvind took him to home of man in late 40s. He had a wife and three daughters. Though he wanted to have a male child, he had only daughters. He had no source of income and yet he and his family were always found smiling. The girls went to government run school and were talented in many ways. Since the person had gone outside, Carvind and Lord were welcomed by his wife and daughters. His wife was always delighted to find Carvind at his door step and sudden visit has surprised them all. Lord had a close look the home. It lacked many articles required for sophisticated living yet the home looked complete. It had traces of bliss in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, his wife told Carvind that his husband is retarded in terms of worldly understanding. He has no idea what it means to live life in practical terms. The people around him treat him to be a fool but it appears he doesn’t feel bad about it. Meanwhile his youngest daughter, Gauri, interrupting the monologue of her mother, sang for us a beautiful devotional song. Her amazing voice left all of us spellbound. What Carvind really liked about her was that she never said no to singing, even in front of strangers. However, she disliked film music unless it had classical base or really sweet melody. His father has now arrived and seeing Carvind became really happy.
Carvind told him that Gauri had just now sung a beautiful bhajan for us. His father seemed to be pleased but said that she was least interested in refining her voice through regular practice sessions. He stated that Lord has given him enough and though he cannot manage all, he is always in a relaxed state of mind. He never felt he is the actual doer. Lord is driving this body and he noticed that instead of me, Lord has taken better care of his family. Lord’s effort brings greater results than his own individual effort. And so whenever he has to leave home all of a sudden for a long distance journey, he leaves leaving everything on Lord’s shoulder and when he returns he finds home in lesser mess. At that point, his wife informed him that, like always, person acting as in-charge of their fields has cheated them by giving less share of the produce! He received the news with smile. At that point, Carvind and Lord left his room after seeking permission from his family. However, before leaving, this man didn’t forget to compliment Carvind about his eyes and smile and told him that today he found him unusually attractive! “My mother called me this morning son of monkey,” said Carvind. Hearing that not even Lord could prevent himself from giving way to loud laughter! Others were naturally in grip of incredulous laughter.
“Before leaving do teach fitting lesson to my mother. No time for me and not even for herself. She all the time works and just works. And my father! He is like you in a sense that he is always lost in some thoughts. When he is not thinking that way, he is always writing something. They are always pretty conscious about my monkey business. Is it a crime to steal guavas from someone’s trees? If I do not steal them, they soon fall on ground and become unfit for eating. I am preventing the fruits from getting wasted and they all perceive it as a monkey business and give me a bad name.”
Lord heard the tale of Carvind with great attention. He noticed that Carvind has become extremely sad on hearing that he was about to leave. “Do not lose heart. I promise to reside in your heart forever. I would always remain one with you. I know everything, and, therefore, such visits do not mean anything to Me. I come on earth to meet extremely cute children like you-monkeys with sensibility found in cows! So promise me that you would not act as monkey with a razor not only for this world but also for your parents!”
“ I had to say something to you. You would never drop me from your memory and your heart as you come to live a life based on virtues. In nutshell, move in this world freely with an unbroken remembrance of mine” said Lord as He embraced Carvind in His divine arms.
Carvind bent down to touch his Lotus feet and soon forgot everything. Carvind regained normalcy after few hours. Carvind desperately looked for Him but in vain. Lord had returned to His abode. As he closed his eyes, Carvind, felt deep peace within his mind and heart. It was sign of His eternal presence. He had vanished to become one with Carvind!
Pic Two (Internet)
The messages of Krishna offer great solace to us in present times marred by confusion and disorder of worst types. I know it’s one of the easiest tasks to read the great words. It’s proper reflection and subsequent action plans that really matters in the long run. However, such shortcomings on part of human beings do not make these words lose relevance. Even a casual approach on our part while dealing with these pearls of wisdom proves to be a meaningful gesture.
A beginning is something that really matters. It’s better to be part of the journey than remain always trapped in a statue mode. In most cases, the beginning is often in the form of casual interactions with words spoken by enlightened souls. Have you noticed that when we are journeying we often read great messages posted on walls of railway stations? You are in great hurry but even then these words manage to catch your attention. From that very moment a reflection takes place birth inside your mind which if given conscious direction on part of us could lead to miraculous transformation.
So on this occasion when the world is celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, let’s try to reconnect with Him for one more time via his messages. In lighter vein, Lord Krishna is representative of Absolute Self that’s above birth and death, and still we celebrate his birth with great fanfare. But is it that easy to keep the great charmer Krishna away from one’s life whose very name means the one who has power to attract us-the attractive one?
In the end, I wish to quote the words of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh to make us aware of the worth of messages spread in The Bhagavad Gita. According to Sri Aurobindo Ghosh one should always remember Krishna’s teaching because it ensures “perfection of action. It makes man great. It gives him the utter strength, the utter bliss which is the goal of life in the world.
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
-Bhagavad Gita 18.5
“Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up; they must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great souls.”
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
- Bhagavad Gita 7.3
“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.”
gatir bharta prabhuh saksi
nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam
- Bhagavad Gita 9.18
“I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.”
ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
- Bhagavad Gita 9.22
“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.”
tvam aksharam paramam veditavyam
tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam purusho mato me
- Bhagavad Gita 11.18
“You are the supreme primal objective. You are the ultimate resting place of this entire universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion.”
yam hi na vyathayanty ete
so ’mrtatvaya kalpate
-Bhagavad Gita 2.15
“O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.”
daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
- Bhagavad Gita 7.14
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
tam eva saranam gaccha
tat-prasadat param shantim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam
- Bhagavad Gita 18.62
“O scion of Bharata, surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.”
Gulzar is in news again. Not for right reason this time. This brilliant poet dealing in surrealism is accused of dealing in plagiarism. Stunning and outrageous isn’t it? One of the lesser heard name from world of poetry has accused him of lifting the idea and verses from Nazım Hikmet’s, a famous Turkish poet, playwright and novelist, poem “Mera Janaza”. Well, it’s not a hard nut to crack to ascertain the real motive of such people who are trying to ride roughshod over his genuine achievements. They are all burning in the fire of envy.
There are two ways to attain success in literary world. Either work hard, write good pieces, or since that takes lot of energy besides needing lots of intellectual usage of brain, the easier route to fame for most of upcoming writers have been to enter into conflict with some established writer. That way you gain instant recognition. Some depressed and frustrated writers not able to gain the desired recognition try to heal themselves by painting other eminent writers into wrong colours. It’s easy for them to give rise to vain controversies and gain quick popularity which they failed to attain via their creations. In Indian literary landscape, it’s commonplace to find one writer engaged in character assassination of other writer. A constant effort is made by some writers, under the aegis of fake institutions, to label the good work done by other writers as rubbish.
It’s really sad that at least, in India, it has become some sort of fashion for writers to write less and play politics more. That not only ensures them awards, cream posts in various academic institutions but also provides them a chance to be branded as successful writer! After all, what’s the point in calling Gulzar a plagiarist ? He is an Academy Award winner for penning best song in movie ” Slumdog Millionaire”. His poems are read across the globe for their beautiful metaphors blended with delicate lyrical construction. The free flowing loosely constructed verses not only talk about ironies of life but also direct our vision towards something beyond the normal human perceptions. It’s ridiculous to suggest that a poet of such an evolved nature, capable of penning good poetry with such great ease, can enter in plagiarism. Why the hell would he ever do that?
The argument that there is remarkable resemblance between the two poems i.e. one penned by Gulzar, Mai Neeche Chal Ke Rahta Hun, and other penned by Nazım Hikmet, Mera Janaza, is quite laughable. It may be that he was quiet inspired and he came to write his own version of the same feelings echoed in Mera Janaza but somehow failed to give due credit to the said poet. However, Gulzar has already mentioned that he always loved to read Russian writers or, for that matter, take note of great writings spread in foreign literature.
He never kept it secret that he has not read works of Russian writers. It itself is a proof that one can trace his source of inspiration! I need to say that there are always chances that two people come to express the same views with great degree of similarity in expressions. That’s called a rare coincidence. However, I am ready to admit that in this case the level of similarity is of greater degree, and therefore, Gulzar should have specifically mentioned about Nazım Hikmet’s poem as footnote.
However, I raise strong objection to the efforts made by some people to make Gulzar get branded as plagiarist. That’s only the sign of mental retardation of people making such attempts. Even the Western worlds are not above such crude attempts. Just few years back V. S. Naipaul labeled some great writer’s creations as rubbish!
I mean one can see some meaning in words of Noble Prize winner writer like Naipaul but it’s hard to understand how can writers devoid of stature can paint another writer enjoying great fame as plagiarist? Do they have the moral courage or enough stature, attained after writing good pieces, to pass judgement on the worth of writings of their contemporary great writers? To be honest, let those who have not attained any height stop measuring the worth of writers who have given us some excellent creations. Who has given the intellectual dwarfs to issue certificates of excellence to literary geniuses like Gulzar? Any answers?
Anyway, listen this Gulzar’s song from movie Aandhi: Is Mode Se Jaate Hai
गुलज़ार पर अभी किसी ने नाजिम हिकमत की कविता “ मेरा जनाजा ” (लिंक पर क्लिक करे) को चोरी करने का इलज़ाम लगाया है. अरे भाई इतना माथा को दही नही बनाने का इस मामले में. सीधी सी बात है जिगर में इर्ष्या की आग जल रही है. सब के अन्दर से धुँआ सा उठ रहा है. देखिये साहब प्रोग्रेस करने के दो तरीके है. या तो आप मेहनत करे और और लोगो से आगे निकल जाए सो ऐसा हो नहीं सकता क्योकि मेहनत के साथ अक्ल की भी जरुरत होती है सो वो तो है नहीं. अब सबसे आसान रास्ता बचता है उसपे थूको और उसकी रचनाओ को या तो चोरी की या तो कूड़ा बताओ, उसको बदनाम करो और उसके बाद सब लोग संगठित होके उसकी टांग खीचो, उसका बहिष्कार करो. साहित्यकार आजकल साहित्य कम और जोड़ तोड़ में ज्यादा तल्लीन है. ऐसे अवार्ड भी मिल जाते है और आप शीर्ष साहित्यकार भी बन जाते है. कम से कम आप जिससें इर्ष्या करते थे उससें तो आगे ही निकल जाते है.
गुलज़ार की रचनाओ में जो मौलिकता व्याप्त है उसपे प्रश्नचिन्ह लगाना अपने मानसिक क्षुद्रता की निशानी है. एक संवेदनशील रचनाकार जो की खुद सक्षम है लिख पाने में वो भला दुसरो की कृति को क्यों चुराने लगेगा ? गुलज़ार तो खुद ही अच्छा लिखते है वे भला दुसरो का लिखा को अपना क्यों कहेंगे ? ” इब्ने बतूता “ गीत पर भी यही हंगामा मचा था पर बात साफ़ है दुनिया में मौलिक कुछ भी नहीं और किसी के कुछ विचार दूसरे से अवश्य मिल सकते है प्रेरणा के नाम पर या फिर सिर्फ इत्तेफाक की वजह से.
पता नहीं दुनिया में हर साहित्यकार, खासकर जो कुछ नहीं हासिल नहीं कर पाए है, वे दूसरे को एक सर्टिफिकेट देने में पता नहीं क्यों इतनी रूचि दिखाते है ? ऐसा सिर्फ हमारे यहाँ नहीं होता बाहर भी खूब होता है. वहा भी अपने को श्रेष्ठ बता के दुसरो को कूड़ा बताने की परंपरा है. वी एस नायपाल ऐसा उदहारण प्रस्तुत कर चुके है. खैर उनका भी एक स्तर है. वे एक बार ऐसा कर सकते है पर हमारे यहाँ जो लिख रहे है वे गुलज़ार पर ऊँगली उठाने का नैतिक साहस या रचनात्मक ऊंचाई रखते है ?
चलते चलते ये गुलज़ार की कविता पढ़े.
किताबें झाँकती हैं बन्द अलमारी के शीशों से
बड़ी हसरत से तकती हैं
महीनों अब मुलाकातें नहीं होतीं
जो शामें इन की सोहबत में कटा करती थीं
अब अक्सर …….
गुज़र जाती हैं ‘कम्प्यूटर’ के पदों पर
बड़ी बेचैन रहती हैं किताबें ….
इन्हें अब नींद में चलने की आदत हो गई है
बड़ी हसरत से तकती हैं,
जो क़दरें वो सुनाती थीं,
कि जिनके ‘सेल’ कभी मरते नहीं थे
वो क़दरें अब नज़र आतीं नहीं घर में
जो रिश्ते वो सुनाती थीं
वह सारे उधड़े-उधड़े हैं
कोई सफ़ा पलटता हूँ तो इक सिसकी निकलती है
कई लफ़्ज़ों के मानी गिर पड़े हैं
बिना पत्तों के सूखे ठूँठ लगते हैं वो सब अल्फ़ाज़
जिन पर अब कोई मानी नहीं उगते
बहुत-सी इस्तलाहें हैं
जो मिट्टी के सकोरों की तरह बिखरी पड़ी हैं
गिलासों ने उन्हें मतरूक कर डाला
ज़ुबान पर ज़ायका आता था जो सफ्हे पलटने का
अब ऊँगली ‘क्लिक’ करने से बस इक
झपकी गुज़रती है
बहुत कुछ तह-ब-तह खुलता चला जाता है परदे पर
किताबों से जो ज़ाती राब्ता था, कट गया है
कभी सीने पे रख के लेट जाते थे
कभी गोदी में लेते थे,
कभी घुटनों को अपने रिहल की सूरत बना कर
नीम-सजदे में पढ़ा करते थे, छूते थे जबीं से
वो सारा इल्म तो मिलता रहेगा आइन्दा भी
मगर वो जो किताबों में मिला करते थे सूखे फूल
और महके हुए रुक्क़े
किताबें माँगने, गिरने, उठाने क़े बहाने रिश्ते बनते थे
उनका क्या होगा ?
वो शायद अब नहीं होंगे !
ये गीत भी सुन ले: खामोश सा अफसाना पानी से लिखा होता, ना तुमने सुना होता ना हमने कहा होता..
संगीत: आर डी बर्मन
गायक: सुरेश वाडेकर, लता
मेरे संगीत और रेडियो की दुनिया में विचरणे वाले मित्रो में से एक ख़ास मित्र अनुरागजी शर्माजी ने मुझे आज सुबह सुबह शहरयार से जुड़े एक लेख का लिंक दिया जिसमे काफी ह्रदय विदारक घटनाओ का उल्लेख है. इस लेख में शहरयार की पूर्व पत्नी नजमा साहिबजी अपना दुःख प्रकट करते हुए इस बात का उल्लेख करती है कि ” शहरयार शायद एक अच्छे शायर जरूर हो सकते हैं, अदब के आला-तरीन एजाज [सम्मान] भी मिल सकते हैं, लेकिन यह जरूरी नहीं कि वे एक बा-अदब इंसान भी हों। वे एक अच्छे शौहर और एक अच्छे बाप नहीं बन सके.”
” रातों को शहरयार अमूमन क्लब में रहते थे। वहा ताश और शराब के शगल, रात में किसी भी वक्त घर लौटना, घर वालों की नींद खराब करना, बच्चों को आधी रात घर से बाहर निकालना, शराब के नशे में या बगैर नशे के चीखना-चिल्लाना, घर सर पर उठा लेना। मैं, मेरे बच्चे जिल्लत के इस अहसास से दोचार थे।किसी तरह मैं खुद पर काबू रखके जवाब नहीं देती थी। शाम से रात तक बच्चों को पढ़ाने-लिखाने और देखभाल का काम करती थी। बच्चों के जेहन पर इन हालात का बुरा असर हो रहा था और मेरे जेहन पर भी। कभी बच्चे बीमार पड़ते या मैं पड़ती तो समझते कि मैं या बच्चे पागल हो गए हैं और फौरन घर से बाहर फरार हो जाते।जब मैंने महसूस किया कि मेरा और बच्चों का जेहनी तवाजुन [मानसिक संतुलन] कायम नहीं रह पाएगा तो मैं अलग होने के बारे में सोचने लगी। तो एक दिन शहरयार बोले, ‘अलग हो गई तो लोग नोच खाएंगे तुम्हें!’ एक दिन बोले, ‘आइ वाट टु मर्डर यू.. लेकिन, तुम तो मजलूम बन जाओगी!”
इससें तो यही समझ में आता है कि तस्वीर के कई पहलु होते है. मतलब त्रिकोण का चौथा कोण भी हो सकता है. लेकिन मै पाठको का ध्यान दूसरी तरफ दिलाना चाहूँगा और मुझे इस बात का एहसास है कि आप सब इस पहलु से वाकिफ होगे. यद्यपि नजमा साहिबाजी, शहरयारजी की पत्नी, से मेरी पूरी हमदर्दी है पर क्या आपको नहीं लगता कि रचनात्मक लोगो की जो बेमेल जिंदगी होती है वो अक्सर घरेलु सांचे में फिट नहीं होती ? क्या ऐसी ही शिकायत गाँधी के आचरण से गांधी के पुत्रो को नहीं थी? उनके बेटो ने भी उन पर परिवार की उपेक्षा का आरोप लगाया था ? मधुबाला के दिल में भी शायद इस बात कि कचोट थी कि किशोर कुमार को थोडा वक्त और देना चाहिए था और वो भी तब जब किशोर साहब ने देख रेख में कोई लापरवाही ना बरती थी. फिराक गोरखपुरी के सम्बन्ध भी अपनी पत्नी से ठीक नहीं थे और उनकी पत्नी का भी यही कहना था कि फिराक उनसे बहुत क्रूरता से पेश आते थे और उन्हें पीटते भी थे. मै किसी के गलत हरकतों को जस्टिफाय नहीं कर रहा हूँ पर यकीनन कही नहीं कही पति पत्नी के सोच में जमीन आसमान का फासला अक्सर ऐसी घटनाओ की परिणिति में खत्म होता है. अक्सर एक बेहतर सोच में अग्रसर व्यक्तित्व घरेलु संकीर्ण मान्यताओं के साथ सामान्य सम्बन्ध नहीं बना पाता. मतलब दोनों का निर्वाह एक साथ एक समय में बराबरी से निर्वाह करना अक्सर संभव नहीं हो पाता. अब इससें क्या मतलब निकालना चाहिए ?
लेकिन इसका एक दूसरा पहलु भी है. कितना इन पत्नियों की बात में कडुवी सच्चाई है और कितनी बनावट शामिल है ये कहा नहीं जा सकता ? बहुत संभव हो इनकी अपनी संकीर्ण सोच एक रचनात्मक ह्रदय के साथ तालमेल ना बना पायी और अपनी नाकामयाबी छुपाने के लिए पति की गैर मामूली हरकतों को बढ़ा चढ़ाकर पेश किया.. आप कभी पत्नियों की डिवोर्स याचिका देखे तो समझ में आएगा कि कैसे झूठे इल्जाम लगाती है पत्निया !!!
खैर नजमा साहिबा से मेरी पूरी हमदर्दी है और उनके दुःख को मै कम कर के नहीं आंक रहा हूँ. एक संतुलन तो होना ही चाहिए घर और बाहर की जिंदगी में. पर इस बात का निर्धारण करना बहुत कठिन है कि ऐसा इरादतन होता है या स्वाभाविक रूप से सोच और कर्त्तव्य निर्धारण की परिभाषाओ में फर्क की वजह से. सनद रहे एक रचनात्मक सोच रखने वाले इंसान की सोच आम इंसान से भिन्न होती है. इसलिए तालमेल ना हो ऐसा बहुत संभव है. इसके लिए किसी को खासकर रूप से जिम्मेदार ठहराना ठीक नहीं क्योकि सीने में जलन यूँही नहीं पैदा होती अगर सोच या रूह सीमित होती है तो.
तो क्यों ना सुन ले ये अमर गीत जिसने शहरयार को पहचान तो दी ही पर जयदेव के संगीत सफ़र में एक नया मोती जड़ा.
श्रोत एवम चित्र आभार:
To say something about love in confused and distorted times of ours is not an easy task. The generation dependent on money, social networking sites and exhibitionism treats love as some sort of fast food- easy to prepare and quickly consumed. It has no patience to see it blooming in all its colour. No wonder one of my colleagues treats arrival of Valentine’s day as arrival of mating season of dogs.
One of the recent Supreme Court verdicts has made it clear that tendency on part of well educated girls from good families to enter in prostitution is quite alarming. I mean having sex in the guise of love has become one of the easiest mode to attain richness. I cannot avoid quoting such recent trends as it’s necessary to make it clear that with such murkier shades in existence the love with its gentle shades has been pushed to the fringes.
One of the controversial books released shortly that deals with sexual appetite of women suggests once again that love is nothing more than release of chemicals ” dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine ” and when women fall in love it’s more management of “resource benefits’ and “genetic benefits” than bonhomie with romantic attributes. Now who will dare to love with such sort of horrible revelations? When it’s all biology the heart of lover seems to have become a frog ready to be dissected by the sharp razor in soft hands of lady love!! It’s a tough time for people who are in real love with someone for whom” absence from those we love is self from self – a deadly banishment” (Shakespeare)
Imagine the plight of lover who is in tine with ancient instincts -the idealistic instincts- which perceives his beloved a mean to knock at the door of bliss. When I refer to idealistic sense I am referring to vision which perceives love in its old mode- a gateway to totality. This totality is the result of complete identification with the beloved. To have glimpse of these idealistic portrait one needs to read the short poem by Shelly named ” To Jane”:
The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising among them,
The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
As the moon’s soft splendour
O’er the faint cold starlight of Heaven
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
The poetic beauty attributed to Jane makes her gain timeless appeal. This sublimity is direct result of being in love with greater emotions, which allows one to imbibe unheard emotions, enabling one to carve larger than life portrayal of the lover. This sort of attachment is missing in our times as so called notions of realism have made us away from the realm of purer emotions.
Loving with animal instincts closes the opportunity to trace better perceptions. However, in our times loving the beastly way is normal now and it , in fact, has attained some sort of legitimacy. The story of break-ups, deception, cheating and torture are some of the glorious happenings that one hears whenever love makes its presence felt. By love I mean the romantic relationships which exists between two young hearts. Love has many other variations but it would not be appropriate to discuss them at this point of time as I have not seen that frequently young people buying roses for their parents as spending huge amounts of money on beer and girls on Valentine’s Day.
Well, being incapable of honouring the beastly version of love in our times, I place myself on road to refined love, abandoned by all, which takes me to days when it was easier for the heart to sense the true love often. I am recollecting those days with some classic love songs from bygone days: