Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Phir Bhi Karte hain Meer Sahab Ishq
Hain Jawaan ikhtiyaar rakhate hain...

(Inspite of all this Mr.Meer likes to love
Of course. He's young; he has the right.)

Aarazooein hazaar rakhte hain...

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Meer Taqi Meer

During some singing competition in college the most talented singer on Campus sang a Jagjit Singh Ghazal,

Thukarao ya ab ke pyaar karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon,
Jo Chaho mere yaar karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon,

Ab bhi Dila Raha hoon yakeen-e-wafa magar,
Mera na aitabaara karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon

I can't recall the rest of the lyrics, but I loved that song.

Sometime ago I caught a Pankaj Udhas song on iTV - which did go "Main Nashe Mein hoon" but it wasn't quite the same. The lyrics were difficult to follow.

Around that time I was reading "Delhi" by Khushwant Singh. In that there is a chapter "Meer Taqi Meer" , in which the poet Meer Taqi Meer, who lived in the 18th Century, narrates the story of his life in Delhi and Agra and his ardent love for one woman. (The whole of "Delhi" is written in the first person)

The chapter is full of Khushwant Singh's translations of Meer's poems and one of them happened to be,

...For I am a little Drunk

I found the translation quite nice and it reminded me of " Thukrao ya..." so the next weekend I searched for "Main Nashe mein hoon" and "Meer Taqui Meer" and I got to know about this Album by Pankaj Udhas called "In Search of Meer". Ah! Now that Video on iTV made sense.

I have the casette with me now. The Ghazals are quite nice.

Here's Main Nashe Mein Hoon from the casette. The English Translations are a joint effort by me and Khushwant Singh, without his knowledge. Check out the punch-couplet (sic) in the end.

Main Nashe Mein Hoon

Yaron mujhe muaaf rakho, main nashe mein hoon
Ab do to jaam khali hi do, main nashe mein hoon

Masti se bad-hami hai meri guftagoo ke beech ( guftagoo=conversation)
Jo chaho tum bhi mujh ko kaho, main nashe mein hoon.

Ya haaton-haat lo mujhe manind-e-jaam-e-mai,
Ya thodi der saat chalo main nashe mein hoon

Nazuk mizaaj, aap kayamat hai Meer-ji,
Jon Sheesha mere mooh na lago main nashe mein hoon.

I am a little Drunk

Friends please forgive me, for I am a little drunk,
If you do hand me the glass, make sure its empty,
for I am a little drunk.

If out of excitement, there is a rudeness in my speech,
You too can call me what you like, for I am a little drunk

Either hold me a bit, like you hold the wine glass
Or at least walk a bit with me, for I am a little drunk

The glass-like, delicate-tempered Meer is a dangerous fellow
Don't you mess with me, for I am a little drunk

Sunday, December 21, 2003

There's a wall painting of a Rooster and a Hen on one of the walls of the Casa Piccola on CMH road.

That rooster reminds me of a rooster-painting competition I once participated in. It was a regular painting competition, I mean, but the topics were given in advance. One of the two topics was : Rooster.

On my first practice attempt, which happened in the drawing class I think, I drew my best Rooster. He had a crown and feathers and legs and stuff. And he was a pretty well-fed rooster too. Any decent hen, if you got her a bit drunk, would have easily fallen for him. But seriously, I think He was a pretty good rooster. Actually he was very similar to the one on the Casa Piccola walls.

But what happened, I got a bit ambitious, and perhaps a bit insecure. I thought, would just a mere rooster win the prize. So I started drawing stuff around the Rooster, like a hut and a winding road etc. My final practice picture, which I duplicated during the contest, contained a glorious sunrise over the hills, a serene river, waving fields, birds in the sky, besides the winding road and the hut and a small, okay types Rooster in the lower right hand corner, just above my signature.

Sheesh. To think I could have won the prize!

I am sitting at lunch with a Sardar, bearded and pagadi-ed and all, and the only conversation topic that comes to my mind is 'Where are you from?'

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Ab bhi Dila Raha hoon yakeen-e-wafa magar,
Mera na aitabaara karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon.

Thukarao ya ab ke pyaar karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon,
Jo Chaho mere yaar karo,
Main Nashe mein hoon..

Monday, December 08, 2003

Whenever I see a -ic at the end of a word, these days, I am tempted to pronounce it as -ich, Balkan style, like in Milosevic.

So Chronich, Tropich, and of course Blog Topich.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Things are looking up for me after all.
One of the hits on my blog was from a Google Search -"finding boyfriends in Bangalore"
My Blog is right up there in the Google list, at number six, after maitri.com.

Friday, December 05, 2003

In the syama-vine I see your slender limbs;
your glance in the gazelle's startled eye;
the cool radiance of the moon in your face;
your tresses in the peacock's luxuriant train;
your eyebrow's graceful curve in the stream's small waves,
but alas! O Cruel One, I see not
your whole likeness anywhere in any one thing.

This above creation is not mine but Kalidasa's.

When you read my blog, perhaps you wonder about the amount of de-focus there is in my literary interests. I wonder too. Now, I am listening to Ghalib, then I go back to Tyagaraja. Now I buy a casette of Meer's Ghazals, then I read Kalidasa's epics (translated, ofcourse). About a year back I was crazy about Sufi Music. Now I can just about bear it. Several old hindi songs have dropped out of the list of favourites.

There is de-focus in my life, otherwise too.

Religion. Now, I am praying to Goddess Saraswati to make me a learned man, then, I think what about Lakshmi.

Love. I let every Eena, Meena, Deeka break my silly heart.

Focus. I say. Focus, is what is required in my life:-). I must drop, at once, this child-in-a-toy-shop attitude. One God. One love. One Poet. That is the only way to bliss, fame and salvation.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

If, one of these days, I lay my hands on a time machine, I will (before dropping in at one of Ghalib's mehfil's) take the opportunity to go and fall at the lotus feet of the great Saint Tyagaraja. And this is no general romantic, poetic stuff that I am saying. I am dead serious:-)

S**t! Wonder how it felt. To write your own lyrics. Set them to your own music. And then SING them yourself. By God. And here I am, I can't even do one of these things.

And the beauty of the whole thing is if someone sings Tyagaraja's songs today they probably sound very much the same as when he first sang them, since he wrote down the exact music also. ( Unlike Urdu poetry by Ghalib, say, which is set to n different tunes (that doesnt take anything away from it though)).

By the way lots of carnatic mp3s are downloadable at:


If you want to start to listen to carnatic music you might perhaps try out
"kanakana ruchira" or "Jagadanada Karaka" or "Endarao Mahanubhavulu". These are the most popular creations of the most popular Carnatic composer- Sri Tyagaraja. The lyrics are also available, with meanings. I would strongly recommend that you went through them, as well.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Here's the poem 'The Catcher in The Rye' gets its name from.
Both the original by the Scottish poet Robert Burns and the translated English are cut and paste here from the net.

I like the rhyme and rhythm especially the last two stanzas.

In the "Catcher in the Rye" the narrator hears a kid sing, "when a body catch some body coming through the rye".


Coming thro' the rye, poor body,
Coming thro' the rye,
She draiglet a' her petticoatie
Coming thro' the rye.

O, Jenny's a' wat, poor body;
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draiglet a' her petticoatie
Coming thro' the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Coming thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body--
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Coming thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body--
Need the warld ken?

Approximate Translation:

Coming through the rye, poor girl,
Coming through the rye,
She always drags her petticoat
Coming through the rye.

Oh, Jenny's always wet, poor girl,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She always drags her petticoat
Coming through the rye.

Can a person meet a person
Coming through the rye,
Can a person kiss a person -
Need that person cry.

Can a person meet a person
Coming through the glen,
Can a person kiss a person -
Without everyone knowing?