Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roothi Raat

The following piece is dedicated to a good friend. For us, the night is always like a lovely bride, who we decorate with conversations, music, spirits and food, when we meet. On one occasion, recently, we couldn't, despite making all the plans to do so. And then, these words came.

Roothi Raat
Ek Roothi Aur Bezaar Raat
Dulhan Bante Bante Reh Gayee
Na Gehne Aaye, Na Sajaanewala
Aur Na Hi Band Baaja

Akele Sone Ki Koshish Mein
Lagi Rahi Woh Saari Raat
Aaj Chand Bhi Saath Na Tha
Taare Toh Door Ki Baat

Bas Ab Subah Ka Intezaar Tha
Ke Chamakti Roshni Aaye
Aur Apni Aaghosh Mein Lekar
Khatm Kare Yeh Aazmaayish

Subah Ke Intezaar Mein
Dulhan Ban-ne Ke Khwaab Mein
Aakhir Aankh Lag Hi Gayi Us Raat Ki
Kaun Jaane Agli Raat Ka Kya Hoga?

I apologize to my non Hindi / Urdu readers for not putting up a translation of the lines in English (as I usually do). I tried but I'm unable to do justice (as of now). Perhaps I shall be succesful later.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Obama in Mumbai

The president of the United States of America, Barrack Obama will be in Mumbai on 6th of November, 2010, which happens to be the Diwaali (Indian festival of Lights) weekend for India.

Feeling too lazy to drive, I hopped into a taxi to reach office. The friendly Taxi Driver started to chat. Translated in English, the conversation went like this.

Taxi Driver: Sir, this leader from faraway land, Okaama or Onaama…when is he coming? He has screwed up Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights) Holidays of the Traffic & Security Cops.

My reply: I agree with you Sir.

No further conversation happened between us as I got a phone call from an old friend.

Then I reach my office building to see the sidewalk below the building getting a new coat of paint by a mal-nourished looking man while a healthier looking supervisor (my assumption) was giving instructions. Another quick conversation happened between me and the supervisor.

My remark: ‘Obamaa???’

Supervisor’s reply: ‘Yeah…Barrrack Obaama. He is coming with lots of Dollars!’

The man who was painting applied a fresh coat of yellow and I walked inside the building. A couple of hours later, I wrote this.

Bhari Sadkein, Khaali Pet
Bhari Sadkein
Khaali Pet
Mumbai ke laakhon ka
Hai Ye fate

Ek Vada Paav Mein
Din Nikaalte Hai
Raat Ki Khaali Sadak Ko
Bistar Aur Takiya Bana Lete Hain

Door Desh Ke Obama
Nahin Milenge In Laakhon Se
Chamakti Sadkon aur Sea-Link Dekh Kar
Chale Jaaayenge Waapas USA

Bhari Sadkon Mein Bheed Badhti Jaayegi
Lekin Pet Shaayad Khaali Hi Rahega
Sone Ki Jagah Thodi Aur Kam Hogi
Mumbai Sheher Jaari Rahega

Stuffed Roads, Empty Bellies (a rough translation)
Stuffed roads
Empty bellies
This is the fate of
Millions of Mumbaiites

One Vada-Paav (Indian Veg -burger)
Sees them through the day
And in the night-time
Streets become their pillow and bed

Obama from faraway land
Won’t meet these millions
After seeing the sparkling roads & Sea-Link
He will go back to the USA

Stuffed streets will get more crowded
But bellies will remain empt, perhaps
Sleeping spaces will get smaller
While Mumbai will keep going on

Here’s wishing all my readers a very Happy Diwali!