Monday, December 15, 2008

Chhod de sari duniya: Lyrics from Saraswati Chandra

Kaha Chala Aye Mere Jogi, Jeewan Se Tu Bhaag Ke
kisi Ek Dil Ke Karan, Yun Sari Duniya Tyaag Ke

chhod De Sari Duniya Kisi Ke Liye
yeh Munaasib Nahin Aadmi Ke Liye
pyaar Se Bhi Zaroori Kayi Kam Hain
pyaar Sab Kuchh Nahin Zindagi Ke Liye
chhod De Sari Duniya Kisi Ke Liye

tann Se Tann Ka Milan Ho Na Paaya To Kya
mann Se Mann Ka Milan Koi Kam To Nahin (2)
khushboo Aati Rahe Door Hi Se Sahi
saamne Ho Chaman Koi Kam To Nahin (2)
chand Milta Nahin Sabko Sansaar Mein
hai Diya Hi Bahut Roshni Ke Liye
chhod De Sari Duniya Kisi Ke Liye

kitni Hasrat Se Takti Hain Kaliyan Tumhe
kyun Bahaaron Ko Phir Se Bulaate Nahin (2)
ek Duniya Ujad Hi Gayi Hai To Kya
doosra Tum Jahan Kyun Basaate Nahin
dil Ne Chaahe Bhi To Saath Sansaar Ke
chalna Padta Hai Sab Ki Khushi Ke Liye
chhod De Sari Duniya Kisi Ke Liye

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Namma Chennai

Its been almost two and a half years in IIT Madras, Chennai.
I still recall those days in the beginning when we used to say (& sometimes even now we say) that Chennai Sucks Man!
But, its a very strange relationship between a city and its people. A city, like a recipe, consists of its people as the main ingredients. And they significantly affect the way, a city tastes to them, to outsiders , to everyone.
Two n half years back, we had all those problems while travelling from A to B. All jam packed buses, high fare autos, ignorance about the locations, and not to mention the inability to speak Tamil.
Well, all these things still persist, but its like the city has changed a little and we have changed a little. Thats how it works, isnt it?? We evolve and the city evolves with us. We adapt the city and the city adapts us. Now, we know much more than what we knew then. Now, we know the locations for many places. Now we know, what to catch, from where to catch and where to land. Extension on this local train route near Madhya Kailash, for example, has made our journeys on that route much easier. Now we know, how to bargain with autos. Now we know what to speak in Tamil to get better bargains.Now, we know whom to ask and how to reach.

There are times, when you would say "I hate Chennai, Man!" But surely, there are times, when I say, " I love Chennai". Not everywhere in India, you get to enjoy Murugan Idli or Marina Beach or pleasant winter and many more things. There are times when people dont like the weather. Summers, the HOT summers of Chennai, they are so unbearable, but still I have faced them in both of my summer vacations ( though I live in IIT M campuse which is slightly cooler than outside). We dont feel cold here. Winters are awesome here. Such a pleasant weather it is.
And not to mention the heavy rains. They are simply amazing. It feels great when it rains.

There was a time, when we didnt like idlis n dosas n vadais. But now, I dont have anything like that in mind. I have adapted to Chennai. I love eating idlis n dosas. We used to say, we wouldnt like to get placed in Chennai after IIT. But now I say, It doesnt matter for me...infact I would love to stay here, learn more tamil n njoy this place. Now, I feel the affection ...the attachment with it.....
See how proudly we used relate our spirits when Chennai Super Kings were there in IPL.
We used to crib about tamil movies , songs, etc etc etc. Well, ofcourse they havent changed much, but surely I have accepted all these things as they are. Things are globalised as they say. Thats how a metro is...perhaps a new experience for a person like me ( who didnt get to live in such a big city earlier). People are helpful in general. Things are costly in general. People dont care much about others, in general. All of them are busy in their works, as usual. Well, thats how a city is. Millions of people living together serving each others' needs.
Compared to other cities, say Delhi or Bombay, we have less extravaganza here. Less show off. more conservation. Yeah, that sound a little odd...but thats how it is. They have still preserved those traditions so well. And I really admire those beautifully designed dravidian style temples. Such intricate details in the scriptures simply leaves you jaw dropped.
And not to mention,
One of the most peaceful cities in the country with no terror threats so far.
This is so wonderful, man!
Just like they say Hamari Dilli, Aamchi Mumbai, ...
I feel proud to say NAMMA CHENNAI.
I love chennai. The music, the food, the weather, the people and so many things....

Technically, someone would say, all this affection is the result of my two n half yrs stay at Chennai and it will be same with any other city. Well, in that case, how wonderful it is to realise that wherever you go, you start loving that place. Just like you start loving your new house and after some time you call it HOME.
But I love all this. Things become much simpler as the time continues. The city as adopted us and we have adapted to the city.
I love Chennai.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Courtesy: Amitabh Bachchhan's Blog. Day 231,

An old man was visiting a city for the first time in his life. He had grown up in a remote mountain village, worked hard raising his children, and was then enjoying his first visit to his children”s modern homes.

While being shown around the city, the old man heard a sound that stung his ears. He had never heard such an awful noise in his quiet mountain village. Following the grating sound back to its source, he came to a room in the back of a house where a small boy was practising on a violin.

“Screech! Screech!” came the discordant notes form the groaning violin. When he was told that it was called a “violin”, he decided he never wanted to hear such a horrible thing again.

The next day, in a different part of the city, the old man heard a beautiful sound, which seemed to caress his aged ears. He had never heard such an enchanting melody in his mountain valley. Following the delightful sound back to its source, he came to a room in the front of a house where an old lady, a maestro, was performing a sonata on a violin.

At once, the old man realised his mistake. The terrible sound that he had heard the previous day was not the fault of the violin, nor even the boy. It was just that the young man had yet to learn his instrument well.

With a wisdom reserved for the simple folk, the old man thought it was the same with religion. When we come across a religious enthusiast causing such strife with his beliefs, it is incorrect to blame the religion.

It is just that the novice has yet to learn his religion well. When we come across a saint, a maestro of her religion, it is such a sweet encounter that it inspires us for many years, whatever their beliefs.

But that was not the end of the story…..

The third day, in a different part of the city, the old man heardanother sound that surpassed in its beauty and purity even that of the maestro on her violin. What do you think that sound was?

It was a sound more beautiful than the cascade of the mountain stream in spring, than the autumn wind through the forest groves, or than the mountain birds singing after a heavy rain. It was even more beautiful than the silence in the mountain hollows on a still winter”s night. What was that sound that moved the old man”s heart more powerfully than anything before?

It was a large orchestra playing a symphony.

The reason it was, for the old man, the most beautiful sound in the world is that firstly, every member of that orchestra was a maestro of their own instrument; and secondly, they had further learned how to play together in harmony.

“May it be the same with religion,” the old man thought. “Let each one of us learn through the lessons of life the soft heart of our beliefs. Let us each be a maestro of the love within our religion. Then, having learned our religion well, let us go further and learn how to play, like members of an orchestra, with other religions in harmony together!”

That would be the most beautiful melody!

Tackling the terrorist within

Arun Babani

Courtesy:; 12th Dec 08

Terrorism was born in man's heart quite a long time ago, and today it is evident on every street. A rickshaw will unabashedly brush past you, the man on the motorbike won't let you cross, the man lying on the road won't attract the slightest attention, a building secretary will be murdered by another committee member because he wanted to be the secretary, a jilted lover will not even blink before killing his ex-girlfriend at point blank. Aren't our mornings spent on brooding over such ghastly information in the newspapers day in and day out? This is terrorism, of an unripe kind, the kind that will ripen in time to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people in broad daylight.
Terrorism is no longer a state subject, or a political matter. It is a human subject, brought about by the moral and ethical downfall of man. These young men who we call terrorists were innocent once. But what they saw around them as they grew up made them jump into the war front. Don't blame either the politicians, or police, or terrorists. Look into your heart and see whether it beats for the tiny daily terrorisms, or does it beat with compassion?
This inhuman and brutal social system where a few enjoy five-star luxuries and the rest count pennies has been around for too long to change it from its roots. But when you sit, lie and sleep on absolute injustice and corruption for centuries, this is what you deserve. When you consider yourself too busy to think of the society you live in, where everyone is busy chasing success and money, you sure need a bomb or two to wake you up from your long slumber. Five-star Mumbai has been snoring for too long.
Terrorism is a reality in every street, every building, every society, every nook and corner of the road. And these roads lead ultimately to aggression like the violence we saw in Mumbai. All of us are guilty of breeding aggression and violence, at home, in the workplace, on the roads and all this violence is the stuff terrorism is made of. It is not about RDX and grenades; it is rather about the insults, abuses and hatred in our heart for the other person. We are terrorists in embryos waiting to bad mouth or blow up our neighbours or our boss.
Ultimately a terrorist attack should lead us to ask questions about life, and its purpose, about why we are here, what are our goals on this extraordinarily beautiful planet. We have forgotten to ask questions and we don't ponder about life and its meaning. It is high time we start the journey of discovery, which may free us from all hatred.
–Arun Babani

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CAR...inspired by Food

3/5,Under Graduate Student
Dept. of Engg. Design

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

She is here

वो कानों की बाली
वो जुल्फों की सिलवट ,
चमकते इस चेहरे की
हँसी ये मुस्कराहट .......
खूबसूरत इस सीरत को
और क्या मैं कहूं ?
जी भर के यूँ ही बस देखता रहूँ ....
ख्यालों में तेरे यूँ डूबा रहूँ
जागा रहूँ या की सोया रहूँ......
तेरे इश्क में ये साँसें , बस थमती रहें
आहों पे आहें निकलती रहें ....
जो है साथ तेरा, खुशी संग है,
जिंदगी के वो सारे हर इक रंग है ॥

Few more works

Ganpati...then and now

Then... and now....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chetan Bhagat's speech @ Symbiosis Pune - Keep the Spark Alive


Following is the full text of the speech by Chetan Bhagat.

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates - there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party, several months in advance, just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp's flame. The first aspect is nurturing - to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms. To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn't any external measure - a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house. Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn't the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won't be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current level s feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature's design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don't just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order. There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes - Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark - don't take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said - don't be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It's ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I've told you three things - reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don't go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades - how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it's life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember - if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that's where you want to be.

Disappointment' s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don't know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved- movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result - at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan - I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life - friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness - this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it - not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damn lucky by Indian standards. Let's be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don't. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don't get literary praise. It's ok. I don't look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It's ok. Don't let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I've told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying - I come from the land of a billion sparks.

Thank You.