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 line 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
Globalization Is A Great Leveller: Patterns Of Exploitation And Corruption Now Become Same In India And Peru!
Globalization has reduced differences in geographical terms. But, at the same time, it has also changed the geography in a crude way by mindless destruction of flora and fauna. The sad thing about whole affair is that the stories depicting better aspects of globalization do reach us regularly but the negative sides either get censored or, for that matter, fail to get extensive coverage. Just to take an example, the commercials promote McDonald’s pizzas and burgers but are there enough advertisements which highlight the negative effect of consuming them? Globalization believes in the fact that “all that glitters is gold”. It has nothing to do with pains of exploited workers who work in MNCs like a caged parrot, having no power to execute their discretion other than one serving the interests of global masters.
Sometimes back S Ambika, a 22 year old woman factory-worker, permanently employed at Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sriperumbadur in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, got killed in a tragic way when she tried to repair the jam inside the loader machine. It proved to be fatal exercise for her since she was not a technician, but she still came to do that to meet the production targets. A wait for the technicians meant slowing the pace of production! That’s one of the stories, which reveal in sad way the plight of people working in MNCs.
Vaibhav Mani Tripathi, a by-product of Jawahar Lal University (JNU), in his research paper titled, “Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”, highlights the ways and means employed by the MNCs to ensure growth in democracies across the globe. ” In democracies of third world, which are new and have lesser degree of accountable governments; methods of bribery, and loot system were adopted by MNCs, in order to get established. By dealing in such ways MNCs get some illegal relaxations and manage to cut cost by getting cheapest labour and denying rules of pollution control etc. In democracies, which are most established and transparent, MNCs change their techniques. By promising high taxes and employment to countrymen, they demand for special industrial estates or special economic zones. This is the biggest irony of Globalization. They demand tax relaxations in order to get established and they promise government to pay huge aid for fighting poverty, pollution and social evils like AIDS!”
One having a close look at the progress stories of various countries, especially the nations trying to emerge as economic giants, one would find that exploitation of workers along with rapid destruction of ecological balance are the integral part of every such story! Before I contrast the happenings in two different countries, India and Peru, to highlight the woes of globalization, I wish to highlight grave tale of negligence which suggests that so-called progress is not only destroying cherished values but also destroying cultural artifacts. One of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids, which remained in existence for more than 2,300 years, got destroyed by a construction crew involved in a road project.The company used the structure’s limestone walls as road fill! In fact, Time Magazine reports that “much of the monumental architecture at Belize’s San Estevan site, which dates back to 800 B.C., was bulldozed during the late 1990s to provide material for roads.”
From Belize in Central America, now, let’s move to Peru in South America to notice the impact of gold rush in amazon! The lust for gold in other nations keeps increasing but the heavy price other nations pays to satiate the lust never becomes subject of discussion in mainstream media. True, there is lack of jobs and illegal gold mining ensures survival of large number of families but then how can one ignore the dangerous consequences of deforestation in Amazon? A report issued by NASA says that ‘with the price of gold skyrocketing (360 percent in 10 years from 2001 to 2011), unlicensed miners began pouring into Peru’s Madre de Dios. They cleared 12,500 acres from the forest between 2003–2009. Landsat images showed local deforestation increasing at a rate of 26 percent per year.”
The report also highlights the fatal consequences of mercury used in the mining process. The extracts of mercury which after vaporization turn airborne contaminate the water resources, which later enter into the bodies of residents. A very recent study suggests “unsafe levels of the toxic metal in almost 80% of adults and 60% of fish sold at local markets” in Peru. The Peru’s mining department taking stern steps against illegal mining began raiding Madre de Dios. That has led to tense formation between miners, environmental activists and the authorities. However, it appears that such strict steps are now a necessity to reduce the loss of forest area in amazon, which has already lost 18,000 hectares. Needless to state, that Peruvian amazon is remarkable for its large degree of biodiversity.
India is also facing severe consequences caused by deforestation. One of the major causes of deforestation has been depletion of forests to extract minerals of various types. Expansion of agriculture, timber harvesting and shifting cultivation are some of the prime reasons for loss of forest area in India. However, another grim consequence has been displacement of tribal people, leading to militant movement like Naxalism. It establishes something quite well that pattern of exploitation in India and Peru is one and the same and in both the places original inhabitants are in direct conflict with the authorities. If Peru is tormented by illegal gold mining, India is haunted by illegal coal mining and diamond mining! The “Coalgate scam” has clearly revealed that how sensitive rulers of this nation have been while dealing with mineral resources of this nation. In other words, globalization has ensured huge profits for government and private bodies but the same profit never got distributed to tribal people-ones who were responsible for protecting these resources. On the contrary, they got displaced and faced bullets instead of receiving rewards for their indigenous efforts. Now if we see such developments in light of environmental issues, like erratic weather pattern in Indian subcontinent, the situation is pretty grim.
It’s good that people, the ones affected by government’s poorly planned projects, have learnt to come in conflict with the authorities. Nandigram bears testimony to the fact that the Special Economic Zones, not taking care of interests of people in judicious way, shall always meet fierce opposition from people. The farmers in Uttar Pradesh also entered in violent protests in year 2011 over land acquisition policy framed by the state government. The trend pattern involved is that big corporate houses either forcibly acquire the land or they come to acquire it in fraudulent means by keeping in dark the actual content of the deal. The Allahabad High Court staying Ganga Expressway project, expressed deep anguish the way it got initiated without having environmental clearance! This project involving JP Group required acquisition of huge lands situated in the alluvial belt and still no homework was done on part of state government.
One can notice that how rules get manipulated to benefit big corporations, caring a damn for the interests of people. In fact, the concerns related with environment also get neglected. It’s not hard to decipher that two nations even if they are situated in different continents could still exhibit similar pattern of exploitation and corruption. Globalization has not only roped in similar lifestyle patterns across the globe but also introduced identical methods of corruption. And who is the victim? The underprivileged, who never gets a chance to visit McDonald, who never gets a chance to buy gold ornaments, and who also never gets a chance to drive SUV on Expressways! Noam Chomsky sounds quite right when he says that ‘ Market discipline is perfect for poor people in El Salvador, or working mothers in the slums. They have to learn responsibility, but not the rich and the powerful. They have to be protected.”
“Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible”- An article by Vaibhav Mani Tripathi in Aavartan.
(The article was first published in Dash Magazine, New Delhi, October, 2007)
Shyam Benegal has dared to enrich cinematic landscape by making movies loaded with radical ideas. For example, in his movie Ankur he was successful in giving the impression that it’s not impossible to to turn the tables in society dominated by feudalistic perceptions. The movie successfully portrayed that awakening among the common people would alone bring revolutionary changes. His movies mainly centered around social and political dilemmas. His movie Manthan, which went on to win National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1977 was based on White Revolution of India (Operation Flood). Interestingly, the story was penned by none other than Dr. Verghese Kurien, hailed as the Father of the White Revolution in India.
One can notice that Shyam Benegal was a sensitive filmmaker moved by the plight of the underprivileged. His movies dealt with the power of common man and his ability to emerge successful in society governed by anti-human tendencies. In movie Manthan we find that poor farmers in Gujarat, learn to rise above individualistic tendencies to form the Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union. The film highlights the impact of caste-politics found in Indian villages.
This maker of New or Alternate Cinema chose to flirt with complex themes in a masterly way. His movie Bhumika dealt with trials and tribulations of a woman in search of suitable place for herself in society dotted with so many prejudices. Smita Patil once again played her part perfectly to highlight the various shades of Usha, the movie actress in love with various men, even with a married person much older than her age! One of the best things about Shyam Benegal is that he not only explores bold themes but also at the same time keeps experimenting with the style which sometimes makes us remind of Satyajit Ray. Nishant, Mandi and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1993) prove that point quite well. Interestingly, Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda is a novel penned by well known Hindi writer Dharmavir Bharati, who hailed from Allahabad.
As a matter of fact, he tried to force viewers to don the thinking cap by bringing to the fore various shades of problems plaguing the society. He helped many actors, including Smita Patil and Naseruddin Shah, to name a few, to carve a niche for themselves in the world of realistic cinema. However, having said that, let me state that directors of Parallel cinema are responsible for failing to interpret the mood of viewers with the changing times. Though it’s an uphill task to project complex themes in lighter vein, the art to present complex themes in a palatable way has to be learnt by the movie-makers. This has been learnt quite well by directors like Shekhar Kapoor and Kundan Shah but most of them have struggled to give way to flexibility.
It’s a harsh reality that satellite channels and Doordarshan have been held hostage to a variety of cheap entertainment- all in the name of catering to the taste of new generation. To bring a change, it’s necessary that art filmmakers learn to blend their serious themes with interesting styles. Needles to state that Shyam Benegal has the capacity to set a good precedent in this regard as well.
Shyam Benegal: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/index.html
In Conversation With British Author Jeremy Seabrook: Analyzing The Sexual Beliefs In The Modern Indian Society!
I feel really privileged that few well-known established authors had some time saved for me as well as they came to express their views on some sensitive issues. The issue at hand ” The changing sexual beliefs in modern Indian society’ is a very sensitive in nature. The views which I have shared here in this article have already found place in various other articles but it would be interesting to inform the readers that they first appeared in this discussion with Jeremy Seabrook.
This has reference to Jeremy Seabrook’s article “Sex Education And The Free Market” published in The Statesman ( March 28, 2005). Unveiling the road-map for future, it’s evident that we cannot dispense with observance of better principles including those related with sexual attitudes. You ( read Jeremy Seabrook) have touched the issue in a thought-provoking manner, unfolding the requirements in an unambiguous style. However, having said that, there are missing elements as well, which I would like to highlight. The Indian society has always treated sex not as a taboo subject but considered it an essential element of balanced human life. This is why it finds place in four “Purusharthas” ( objectives) laid down in Hinduism as Kama; Dharma, Artha and Moksha being the other three objectives, which help the man to go up the ladder of evolution. It’s not very clear how did it come to attain its present distorted form.
One reason for it could be that long Muslim rule plus gradual inclination of Indian towards Victorian Ideals/perceptions during the British regime distanced them from its glorious aspects. While it’s true that taking refuge in Indian values cannot rescue impressionable minds from the mess, which has become part and parcel of the modern times, however, it could still be stated without doubt that had traces of Hindu ideals been altogether absent the damage would have been irreparable. If there is still a ray of hope, it’s only because Hindu ideals are still there doing what they have been doing since time immemorial- soaking the impurities without their lustre.
In nutshell, what I wish to state is that better results could be obtained by combining sex education with revival of past values. Sex education alone holds no meaning if it is not backed up by strong ideals. The issues you have touched has a very complicated angle as well. It’s a bitter truth that pornographic stuff helps us to relieve sexual tension, more so in age which keeps women at par with “use and throw objects”. Women liberalization movements may or may not have taught women to honour progressive ideals but it has certainly capped them with ability to use her body for commercial interests in the market-oriented world of ours. As a result their bodies no longer evoke innocent delight but feelings mired in sexual fantasies.
How can you expect these young minds to behave like “expert yogis’ adept in controlling their senses? Interestingly, adults themselves are surrounded by illusions of all sorts in these matters. Indeed, we are living in strange times. In my city, the prominent magazine corner lies adjacent to a theater showing “BF”. If that’s not enough, cast a glance around and eyes are soon going to intercept posters showing semi-clad women in suggestive postures.
Globalization has brought sea-change in our mannerism. Not only it has distanced us from finer values but also turned women into object of pleasure rather than turning them into instruments for attaining higher ends. The Western world has cleverly dumped its dubious habits in this country ( read India). Or, in other words, the Indians failed to borrow West’s glorious analytic abilities and instead zeroed-on their dark aspects to an extent that to many their bubble gum literature became the source of enlightenment. It may far fetched but it’s true that global powers have effectively projected woman’s false image to deviate Indian minds from higher concerns. Who knows they may have plans to shackle this nation again in their chains? Young minds, after all, they have no knowledge of corrupt practices of the adult world, are bound to collapse, being too inept to counteract its charms.
Against this backdrop, it’s not hard to imagine why pornographic magazines, X-rated movies, and etc. have bombarded the lives of young people. That’s why their unusual interest in these matters should not leave us in shock and awe. This is bound to happen since aping Western values has become the prestige issue for both middle and elite class, even if that means deterioration of Indian ethos. Let me make it very clear that I am not trying to legitimize the existence of pornographic materials in our society. On the contrary, I am of the opinion that cheap titillation of the senses should give way to deep and mature relationship between man and woman. In my eyes, this can never be achieved by roping in sex education. It demands more.
The dynamics between man and woman and society at large needs to be governed by refined and elevated principles-the hallmark of Indian ideals. Sex education does serve the purpose but in a flimsy manner. The perfect mantra for survival is possible only through tryst with Hinduism, or in secular terms, by once again establishing firm bond with the nation’s roots.
Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:
Many thanks for your e-mail message, which I much appreciated. Of course, I agree much of what you say- in the West also women have shifted from being drudges, servants and comforters of men to being sex-objects. This is not what I understand by liberation. On the other hand, the repression and subordination of women is also indefensible. And there is no possibility of going back to the past- to some degree the past can inform one’s values and ideas which can be carried forward, but it is irrecoverable.
It is not a happy position, and I don’t think many people would have chosen to be where we are now; but we have no choice but to start from here. These are all intractable questions, and there is no obvious way forward. That does not however, mean we should stop trying and seeking.
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
1. Vaibhav Mani Tripathi: Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible? ( An article published in “Aavartan” – A quarterly bilingual journal of academic activities in social sciences, environment and literary arena )
It’s a brilliant article which deals with the impact of globalization from many angles.
Excerpt from it:
” But the educational system what globalization promotes is focused in making technocrats so that they get huge work force with technical abilities. Democracy also needs well-educated people for its growth. But democratic societies flourish in a value based educational system and not a technology based system. The technology based educational system is result oriented and it has nothing to do with the values which human beings nurtured for generations so that they can live as human beings.”
2. Jeremy Seabrook: “Sex Education And The Free Market” published in The Statesman ( March 28, 2005).
सरबजीत की मौत बेहद दुखद खबर है। ये अलग बात है कि मुझे आश्चर्य नहीं हुआ। ये मौत सम्भावित थी। ये एक तयशुदा मौत थी। पकिस्तान जैसे कानून विहीन और अराजकता के शिखर पर स्थित देश के लिए किसी की मौत क्या मायने रख सकती है! वो तो केवल ओसामा बिन लादेन को शरण दे सकती है फूलप्रूफ। दाऊद इब्राहिम और अजहर महमूद को ही बेहतर पनाह दे सकती है। सरबजीत की हिफाज़त करके उसे क्या मिलता? लिहाजा सरबजीत का मरना तय था। कसाब और अफज़ल गुरु के फांसी लग जाने के बाद अन्दर ही अन्दर सुलगते पाकिस्तान के लिए सरबजीत से बेहतर बलि का बकरा तो कोई हो ही नहीं सकता था। सरबजीत की मौत तो उसी वक्त तय हो गयी थी जब पाकिस्तान समर्थित दो आतंकवादी कसाब और अफज़ल गुरु फांसी पे लटका दिए गए।
ये शान्ति वार्ता की नौटंकी, सरबजीत को माफ़ी देने की नौटंकी, उसका बेहतर इलाज़ कराने की नौटंकी ये सब आवरण उस कुटिलता को छुपाने के लिए था जिसकी झलक हर नज़र रखने वाले को साफ़ साफ़ दिख रही थी। सिर्फ ना देख पाने का भ्रम भारत की सरकार कर रही थी। खैर सरबजीत की मौत से एक बात तो साफ़ हुई। दो राष्ट्रों की राजनीति में मोहरे बनते है आम आदमी। जब मै राष्ट्र शब्द का इस्तेमाल कर रहा हो तो इसका मतलब ये नहीं है कि पाकिस्तान को मै एक राष्ट्र के रूप में देख रहा हूँ। ये एक राष्ट्र नहीं है। शैतानी लोगो का हुजूम है। शैतानी लोगो का भीड़ तंत्र है जहा पे राष्ट्रपति कोर्ट से भागकर नज़रबंद हो जाता है। खैर मै बता रहा था कि दो राष्ट्रों की दुश्मनी का शिकार सबसे कमज़ोर और मासूम लोग होते है।
कोई बताये सरबजीत का गुनाह क्या था कि पहले तो सोलह साल जेल में काटे बिना किसी गुनाह के और फिर इस तरह बर्बर मौत? उसकी मौत का जिम्मेदार कौन सा राष्ट्र ज्यादा है? रीढविहीन नेताओ के जरिए शान्ति की बात करता भारत या गुनाहों को साए में पलता पाकिस्तान? खैर एक बात तो समझ में आई की जेल में कैदियों को न्याय पाने की आशा से नहीं रखा जाता है बल्कि अक्सर सरकार की आँख की किरकरी बन चुके लोगो को चुपके से खत्म कर देने के लिए रखा जाता है। चूकि मौत पाकिस्तान में एक भारतीय की हुई है लिहाज़ा मानवाधिकार की वकालत करने वालो का ना भौकना लाजमी हो जाता है। ये तब भौकते है अगर भूले से कोई जम्मू कश्मीर में कोई भारतीय सैनिक के हाथो मारा जाता है। इनकी मुखरता तब देखते बनती है।
सरबजीत की आत्मा को शान्ति मिले। मेरी तरफ से यही विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि है सरकारी नौटंकी के इस दौर में। सबसे दुखद यही है कि मरते सिर्फ मासूम आदमी ही है। बिलखते है शोक संतप्त परिजन ही है। मुल्क के नेता तो हर अवसर को कैश कर लेते है। दुःख हो या सुख हर रास्ता सत्ता की तरफ ही मुड़ जाता है।
” तुमने जिस ख़ून को मक़्तल में दबाना चाहा
आज वह कूचा-ओ-बाज़ार में आ निकला है
कहीं शोला, कहीं नारा, कहीं पत्थर बनकर
ख़ून चलता है तो रूकता नहीं संगीनों से
सर उठाता है तो दबता नहीं आईनों से
जिस्म की मौत कोई मौत नहीं होती है
जिस्म मिट जाने से इन्सान नहीं मर जाते
धड़कनें रूकने से अरमान नहीं मर जाते
साँस थम जाने से ऐलान नहीं मर जाते
होंठ जम जाने से फ़रमान नहीं मर जाते
जिस्म की मौत कोई मौत नहीं होती “
“Life is a system of half-truths and lies, Opportunistic, convenient evasion.”
It’s amusing to note that in any controversial issue the general lot never takes a proper stance. The so-called peacemakers try to convey the impression that various parties involved in any contentious issue do have valid reasons to pursue their respective rights. That’s not called resolving the issue or defending the right of weaker lot-the harassed lot. It’s not hard to sense that when you start playing safe, taking a neutral stance, you are prima facie defending the accused.
Worse, when the the wrong forces emerge as peacemakers, the situation goes out of control since they never let right arguments to prevail. They see suppression of viewpoints, ideas, beliefs, arguments as a mean to ensure peace! After all, arguments in their eyes, escalate the tension! However, the truth is that shrewd manipulators avoid arguments to prevent themselves from getting exposed. The point is that if people learn to argue well in any issue by deciding well whom they actually represent, the bothering issues would soon get resolved. The issue remains unsolved because the cowards, the gutless souls, acting as peacemakers play politics in name of offering amicable solutions.
Separation sometimes becomes the fate of a cherished relationship. On most occasions, the inherent contradictions, operating in a relationship, lead to untimely demise of the relationship. If that’s not the case, the societal pressure, resting on the vilification campaign of the petty minds, paves the way for parting of ways. The thing that really hurts is that factors ensuring the break-up dominate the life’s cruel drama. However, the positive elements involved into the making of new relationship, after the break-up, never operate with the same pace, the way negative elements led to dissolution of previous relationship. Building a home is difficult affair than bulldozing a well-built home!
Ravana, used shrewd means, to abduct Shree Sitaji, which was an easy affair. The abduction part was an easy task. However, Lord Rama had to enter in dangerous war with Ravana to ensure the freedom of Shree Sitaji. It’s really stunning that shrewdness-an aasuri pravitti (demoniacal attribute)- has now become synonymous with intelligence in modern times. On the contrary, the person exhibiting simplicity, representative of Lord Rama’s persona, is seen as representative of dumbness. The dominance of this sort of understanding is really baffling. People justify their shrewdness in name of battle of survival!
However, the pangs of separation, is never easy to bear. It does manifest, no matter, how hard you try to keep it confined within chambers of heart. When used constructively such depressive mood leads to origin of great literature, but the ordinary mortals- the greater lot- succumb to lesser means or, for that matter, give way to annihilation of life-force. Well, let’s learn to drink poison like Lord Shiva, or if that’s not possible then let the molten lava of emotions flow. There is no point in holding back the strong emotions.
बसंत ऋतू का आगमन हो चुका है। बहकना स्वाभाविक है। गाँव में तो फगुआ की बयार बहती है। ग्लोबल संस्कृति से सजी संवरी शहरी सभ्यता में क्या होलियाना रंग, क्या दीपावली के दियो की ल़ौ की चमक। दोनों पे कृत्रिमता की चादर चढ़ चुकी है। या तो समय का रोना है या फिर महँगाई का हवाला या फिर जैसे तैसे निपटा कर फिर से घरेलु कार्यो/आफिस के कामकाज में जुट जाने की धुन। त्यौहार कब आते है कब चले जाते है पता भी नहीं चलता। ये बड़ी बिडम्बना है कि त्यौहार सब के लिए दौड़ती भागती जिंदगी में टीवी सीरियल में आने वाले दो मिनट के ब्रेक जैसे हो गए है। सब के लिए त्यौहार के मायने ही बदल गए है। अलग अलग उम्र के वर्गों के लिए त्यौहार का मतलब जुदा जुदा सा है। और मतलब अलग भले ही होता हो लेकिन उद्देश्य त्यौहार के रंग में रंगने का नहीं वरन जीवन से कुछ पल फुरसत के चुरा लेने का होता है।
इन सब से परे मुझे याद आते है कई मधुर होली के रंग। वो लखनऊ की पहली होली जिसमे कमीने तिवारी ने मेरी मासुमियत का नाजायज़ फायदा उठाते हुए और लखनऊ की तहजीब की चिंदी चिंदी करते हुए मुझे रंग भरे टैंक में धक्का देकर गिरा दिया था। बहुत देर के बाद एक गीत उस तिवारी के लायक बजा है हर दोस्त कमीना होता है। तिवारी का नाम इस लिस्ट में पहले है। ये इतना मनहूस रहा है शनिचर की तरह कि हर अनुभव इसके साथ बुरा ही रहा है। बताइए बैंक के कैम्पस के अन्दर छुट्टी वाले दिन बैंक की चारदीवारी फांद कर हर्बेरिअम फाइल के लिए फूल तोड़ने का आईडिया ऐसे शैतानी दिमाग के आलावा कहा उपज सकती थी। गार्ड धर लेता तो निश्चित ही बैंक लूटने का आरोप लग जाता। वो तो कहिये हम लोग फूल-पत्तियों सहित इतनी तेज़ी से उड़न छू हुएं कि इतनी तेज़ी से प्रेतात्माएं भी न प्रकट होके गायब होती होंगी। गाँव की होली याद आती है जिसमे गुलाल तो कम उड़ रहे थें गीली माटी ज्यादा उड़ रही थी। पानी के गुब्बारों से निशाना साधना याद आता है। सुबह से सिर्फ पानी की बाल्टी और गुब्बारा लेकर तैयार रहते थें। याद आते है वार्निश पुते चेहरे, बिना भांग के गोले के ही बहकते मित्र, गुजिया पे पैनी नज़र। ये सब बहुत याद आता है। अपने मन को धन्यवाद देता हूँ कि मष्तिष्क का अन्दर इन यादो के रंग अभी भी ताज़े है।
स्मृतियाँ तकलीफ भी देती है और आनंद भी। इन्ही स्मृतियों में भींगकर पाठको को होली से जुड़े कुछ विशुद्ध शास्त्रीय संगीत पे आधारित ठुमरी/गीत जिनमे अपने प्यारे राधा और कन्हैय्या के होली का वर्णन है को सुनवा रहा हूँ। ये अलग बात है कि मेरे मित्रो के श्रेणी में इन गीतों को सुनने के संस्कार अभी ना जगे हो लेकिन इन्हें स्थापित उस्तादों ने इतना डूब कर गाया है कि अन्दर रस की धार फूट पड़ती है। कुछ एक गीत चलचित्र से भी है, अन्य भाषा के भी है भोजपुरी सहित। इन्हें जैसे तैसे आप सुन लें अगर एक बार भी तो मुझे यकीन है कि संवेदनशील ह्रदय इनसे आसानी से तादात्म्य कर लेंगे हमेशा के लिए। और इसके बाद भी यदि शुष्क ह्रदय रस में ना भीग सके तो उनके लिए जगजीत सिंह का भंगड़ा आधारित गीत भी है। सुने जरूर। ह्रदय हर्ष के हिलोरों से हिल जाएगा।
1. रंग डारूंगी, डारूंगी, रंग डारूंगी नन्द के लालन पे (पंडित छन्नूलाल मिश्र)
पंडितजी को सुनने का मतलब है आत्मा में आनंद के सागर को न्योता देने का सरीखा सा है। बनारस की शान पंडितजी से आप चाहे ठुमरी गवा लीजिये, कजरी गवा लीजिये, या ख्याल वो सीधे आपके रूह पे काबिज हो जाता है। ये किसी परिचय के मोहताज़ नहीं और ईश्वर की कृपा रही है कि प्रयाग की भूमि पर इनको साक्षात सुनने का मौका मिला है। ख़ास बात ये रहती है कि ये गीत के बीच में आपको मधुरतम तरीकें से आपको कुछ न कुछ बताते चलते है। और इस तरीके से बताते है कि आप सुनने को विवश हो जाते है। खैर इस बनारसी अंग में राधा जी ने अच्छी खबर ली है कृष्ण की। मुझे नारी बनाया सो लो अब आप नाचो मेरे संग स्त्री बन के। सुने कृष्ण का स्त्री रूप में अद्भुत रूपांतरण राधाजी के द्वारा होली के अवसर पर।
संध्या मुखर्जी को मैंने पहले नहीं सुना। इस लेख को लिखने के दौरान इनको सुनने का सौभाग्य मिला। बंगाली संगीत में निपुण इस गायिका की आवाज़ मन में घर कर गयी। उस्ताद बड़े ग़ुलाम अली खान की शिष्या बंगाली फिल्मो सहित हिंदी फिल्मो के लिए भी गीत गाये। इस शास्त्रीय गीत को सुनने के बाद आपको राधाजी का किसी बात पे रूठना याद आता है। कोई शिकायत जो अभिव्यक्त होने से रह गयी उसी की खीज इस गीत में प्रकट हो रही है। दर्द है तो प्रकट होगा ही। इसमें कौन से बड़ी बात है लेकिन ये क्या कि आप फगुआ की बयार में बहने से इन्कार कर दे? शिकायत दूर कर के होली जरूर खेले मै तो बस यही कहूँगा।
होली पे मुझे तो वैसे अक्सर ये गीत “होली आई रे कन्हाई” (मदर इंडिया) याद आ जाता है लेकिन ये गीत कम बजता है। बहुत मधुर गीत है। व्ही शांताराम के फिल्मो के ये विशेषता रही है कि भारतीयता के सुंदर पक्षों को उन्होंने बड़े कलात्मक तरीके से उकेरा है हम सभी के चित्तो पर। नवरंग के सभी गीत बेहद सुंदर है जैसे “श्यामल श्यामल वरन” और “आधा है चन्द्रमा रात आधी” लेकिन कृष्ण और राधा के होली प्रसंग पर आधारित गीत कालजयी बन गया। कौन कहता है कि भारतीय स्त्री बोल्ड नहीं रही? देखिये क्या कह रही है राधा इसमें जिसको जीवंत कर दिया संध्या के सधे हुए नृत्य की भाव भंगिमाओ ने। महेंद्र कपूर और आशा भोंसले ने गीत में स्वर दिया है। संगीत सी रामचंद्र का है और गीत हिंदी गीतों को शुद्ध हिंदी के शब्द देने वाले भरत व्यास का लिखा है।
नदिया के पार ने ऐतहासिक सफलता प्राप्त की थी भोजपुरी में होने के बावजूद। रविन्द्र जैन का गीत और संगीत मील का पत्थर बन गया। और यही से भोजपुरी संगीत ने एक नयी उंचाई प्राप्त की लेकिन ये अलग बात है उस मूल तत्त्व से भटक गया जिसके दर्शन इस फिल्मो के गीतों में हुए है। भारतीय फिल्मो में गाँव कभी भी असल तरीके से प्रकट नहीं हुआ। ये कुछ उन विलक्षण फिल्मो में से एक है जिसमे गाँव ने अपनी आत्मा को प्रकट किया है अपने कई मूल तत्वों के साथ।
इस गीत को सिर्फ इसलिए सुनवा रहा हूँ कि इस गीत में मेरे गाँव का स्वरूप बिलकुल यथावत तरीकें से प्रस्तुतीकरण हुआ है। इस में दीखते रास्ते, पगडण्डीयाँ, खेत, नदी बिलकुल अपने गाँव सरीखा है। गीत के बीच में आपको पालकी पे विदा होती दुल्हन भी दिख जायेगी। क्योकि पालकी पे सवार होकर कभी दुल्हन को विदा होते हुए होते देखा था सो इस युग में जहाँ पे सजी धजी कार में दुल्हन को भेज़ने की नौटंकी होती है वहां ये दृश्य आपको बिलकुल भावविभोर कर देता है। खैर गीत सुने जो बहुत मधुर है ऐसा शायद बताने की जरुरत ना पड़े। ये बताने की जरुरत अवश्य पड़ सकती है कि गीत को गाया है हेमलता और जसपाल सिंह नें।
मनोज तिवारी की आवाज में ये भोजपुरी गीत मन को भाता है। ये अलग बात है कि गीत को भोजपुरी गीतों में व्याप्त लटको झटको जैसा ही फिल्माया गया है। वही रंग बिरंगी परिधानों में कूदती फांदती स्त्रिया जो गीत के साथ न्याय नहीं करती प्रतीत होती। फिर भी हरे भरे खेत मन में उमंग को जगह तो दे हे देते है। भाग्यश्री “मैंने प्यार किया” के बाद लगभग गायब ही हो गयी। मैंने प्यार किया जैसी वाहियात फ़िल्म मैंने देखी नहीं सो बता नहीं सकता कि ये टैलेंटेड है कि नहीं लेकिन जहा तक इस गीत की बात है गीत में इनकी उपस्थिति से चार चाँद तो लग ही रहे है लुक्स की वजह सें। खैर इतने दिनों बाद देखना इस एक्ट्रेस को और वो भी एक भोजपुरी गीत में एक सुखद आश्चर्य है।
लारा लप्पा “एक थी लड़की” से बहुत ही सुंदर गीत है। इसी के खोज में ये जगजीत सिंह का ये पंजाबी गीत हाथ लग गया। इसको जगजीत सिंह ने जिस चिरपरिचित दिलकश अंदाज़ में गाया है उतने ही कमाल के तरीकें से इनके साजिंदों ने बजाया है। निश्चित ही सुनने योग्य गीत अगर आप चाहते है कि आप का दिल बल्ले बल्ले करने पे मजबूर हो उठें। वैसे इस गीत के शुरू में मजनू ने अपनी लैला को काली कहने वालो की दृष्टि को गरियाया है सभ्य तर्कों के साथ वो भी सुन लें। हम तो भाई मजनू से बस इतना ही कहेंगे कि जो बकते है उनको बकने दो काहे कि “यथा दृष्टि तथा सृष्टि” ( जैसी हमारी दृष्टि होती है, वैसी ही यह सृष्टि हमें दिखती है)
A trap is always there for genuine souls. A sponsored hand is always there. Negative forces are all the time trying best to keep you confused about the reality. A truly conscious mind is aware of all these developments quite well.The sponsored love, sponsored hatred, sponsored disputes, sponsored issues, and , above all, sponsored whistle blowers, supported by hidden negative forces, make the cause of genuine souls weak. That’s the worst development. That’s why if there arises any opportunity to wipe out negative forces, do it well, not for the sake of one’s natural moral duty but for the sake of cause of genuine souls. It would help to create space for right people.
The only option left for positive forces is to keep doing what’s in their hands. One cannot change the whole world.That not even an Avatara (Lord’s incarnation) can do. However, we must do all that’s possible in our own capacity. At least, in that regard, we should not be reluctant in playing our part well. Our whole energy gets lost in blaming others. Let’s learn to play our part well. Our small insignificant steps also matter a lot in resurrecting right values. I agree negative forces are in operation in much organized way but that’s no excuse for the right souls not to do anything. Let’s play our part well. It’s entirely in our hands either to be swayed by Manisha’s innocence or Katrina’s sex appeal!
We need better rulers. We need conscious individuals, who can get their priorities right. That’s the only way we can bring better changes. Or else, a “better future” shall always remain an utopia. It’s a sad commentary on state of present day affairs that people at helm of affairs are behaving in irresponsible manner. This tendency has to be curbed that you can fool all the people all the time !
And as we do that, let’s allow the wrong souls to laugh at our efforts. Their ridiculing, their taunting, their silly remarks and their devaluation should only encourage the right souls to remain on right track. A good and powerful soul should refuse to be disappointed. Let that’s be the case with all good souls really wishing to act as agent of change. Let’s that be the guiding force of all positive elements. I don’t know about others but my aim is absolutely clear: Wipe out the negative forces in totality as much as you can.
But be careful as you get involved in the process of resurrection of better ideals. “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” So never ignore the strength of stupid people. The power of stupidity should not be undervalued. It would take few minutes to wipe out Lord Rama but the arrival of another Lord Rama takes place million of years. It’s easy to demolish any good formation but to simultaneously create another beautiful world at the same speed is beyond the capabilities of human beings. That could be better understood if we witness the impact of atomic attack in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The future generations paid heavy price for attack which lasted for few minutes. “लम्हों ने खता की है…सदियों ने सजा पाई ” ( The errors got committed in few seconds, but many generations paid the price). Therefore, the good souls need to be wise enough while handling the ”Aasurs” ( Demons) and “Aasuri Vrittis” ( Demoniacal Orientations). The beautiful souls should realize their worth and keep themselves safe until the “Lord’s Will” finally ask them to quit the drama of life. This beautiful Urdu couplet says all:
हजारों साल नरगिस अपनी बेनूरी पर रोती है,
बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन में दीदावर पैदा।
- Allama Iqbal
( For a thousand years the narcissus has been lamenting its blindness;
With great difficulty the one with true vision is born in the garden )