Posts Tagged ‘hindi’

Eid at Fatima’s home, 050619

June 6, 2019

Fatima (in the lehenga..she’s 20, can you believe it?) teaches K1 Hindi. She invited us over for Eid and, with her family, extended such warm hospitality!

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Fatima, her parents and brother Zain, with K1 and K2

When we got home, I explained to the children how Imitiaz, her father, had fallen on hard times and had to shut his tailoring shop. The children have just brought out some toys that they want to give Zain, her 7-year-old brother.

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The feast at Fatima’s
I am very proud of of Fatima, who works in an office; and I am very proud of my grandchildren. This warmth and inclusiveness is what Eid, or any other festival, is all about.

Tansen: Theatre Review from the Hindu

May 31, 2019

Watch a play covering the various aspects of this 16th Century musician’s life

In a little less than two years, The Trialogue Company has had 30 shows of its Hindi play Tansen. It was first staged in July 2017 at NSD, in New Delhi. It took playwrights Sudheer Rikhari and Mohammad Faheem six months to hone the script and meticulously sew classical melodies into this period musical that portrays Tansen in a novel light.

“I was inspired by Girish Chaturvedi’s 1973 novel Tansen which revealed many unknown facets of this 16th Century musician’s life in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It speaks of several aspects of his persona and life, and to present it on stage became my dream,” says Sudheer Rikhari, who is also behind the design, direction, music and production of the play.

The play has three lead actors — Mohammad Faheem, Sudheer Rikhari and Ridhima Bagga — apart from musicians singing live. “We will have the pakhawaj maestro Roman Das, a student of Gundecha Brothers, and Daksh Raj Sharma on the harmonium, travelling to Bengaluru for this show. We believe in live instruments and live voices on stage for this play,” shares Sudheer, a science graduate with a Masters in Hindustani classical and a passion for theatre.

Tansen, born in a Hindu family as Ramtanu to Parvati and Makarand in Behab near Gwalior, is brought up by Gaus Baba, a fakir who sent him to Brindavan to learn music from Swami Haridas. Even as Tansen’s first love Taani makes poignant entries into his life often, he journeys into the forests for a musical riyaaz before being spotted by the King of Rewa Raja Ramchandra Singh, where his musical expertise gains widespread fame. His music gains the attention of Emperor Akbar and Raja Ramchandra is forced to send him to the Moghul court where his melodious aptitude earns him the title ‘Mia Tansen.’ “How he marries Hussaini and his high appraisal of his self-worth sees him lose to the young musician Baiju Bawra, closes on a story infused with worldly lessons,” says Sudheer, who adds the play would also have an audience interaction.

As many as 16 songs will be presented in the course of the play, which has a duration of nearly 110 minutes and an almost continuous background score. “We have compositions by Gundecha Brothers, Pravesh Mallick and Vinay Chandra Mudgal sung by singer-actors Sudheer and Mohammad. It also includes melodies ranging from Dhrupad, Qawwali and Hori to Khayal Gaayaki accompanied by instruments,” says Ridhima, a Kathak artiste, who curated the choreography and costumes for Tansen.

“Although we have performed at the Theatre Olympics at Kalagram in Bengaluru in 2018, we are looking forward to the theatrical performance at Ranga Shankara on June 1 where we have two shows slotted,” she adds.

The play is a ruminative and absorbing journey of an artiste. “A portryal of the see-saw of emotions in the life of Tansen,” says Sudheer, going back to his dialogues in the play which are an introspection of what made Tansen great. What was the musician’s life-long quest — worship of his art or the ever-elusive emotional bond of true love? “The play begins with a dilemma over ‘Ibadat’ and ‘Ishq’ – what is worship and what is love?” he adds.

There are a few historical accounts of Tansen’s life on record. “We culled facts from Chaturvedi’s book for this musical. Many are not aware of his affair with his teenage muse Taani and subsequent marriage to Hussaini. This gripping tale mirrors Tansen’s persona,” says Sudheer, adding that the play is a metaphor on the rigours of life.

(Hindi musical ‘Tansen’ June 1, Ranga Shankara, 3.30pm and 7.30 pm, tickets at the venue and bookmyshow)

Sri Lalit “Achar”ya, Cheetal Resort, Madhai, Madhya Pradesh, 010219

March 26, 2019

When I went for the Bird Survey at the Satpura Tiger Reserve, in Madhya Pradesh,I stayed at the

Cheetal Resort at Madhai

It was a most impressive home stay, but apart from everything else, I spotted this sign:

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Pickle and food research room! That intrigued me very much. Little did I know that I was going to get a course on Pickle Making 101 from Sri Lalit Khattar, who owns the resort!

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At lunch, Lalit ji noticed me taking a lot of interest in, and relishing, the ginger, small-mango (“midi mAvinkAi” in Kannada or “mAvadu” in Tamizh) and date pickles

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that Karthik Hegde gave me to try, and walked up, asking if I would like to know more, and see the Pickle Research room. I was delighted to agree!

A very instructive and interesting time followed as my friends Harish, Sharmila and I went with him. Here he is, with some of his pickle jars.

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Lalitji says that pickles can be made from almost any vegetable or fruit.Properly made, he adds, the pickle has as long a life as the person who’s making it, and possibly longer!

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Harish and Sharmila talk to Lalit ji

Some pickles, he says, need to be made with oil, and some without. Very few pickles need the constituent vegetable to be boiled or otherwise cooked beforehand. However, he cautions, the process must be very carefully followed.

Most Indian pickles (called “achAr” in Hindi..in Tamizh, it’s “oorugAi”, meaning, “soaked vegetables” and in Kannada the name is “uppinkAi” or “salted vegetables”) have condiments (a combination of various spices) added to them,stuffed or marinaded , to soak into the vegetable, fruit or flower, and add the unique taste. His research, he remarks, is to try various combinations of spices, and also vary the process of preparing the pickle, and to see what tastes the best, and lasts the longest.

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Lalitji shows some of the “masAlA” (condiments) made to be added to the pickles.

His oldest pickle, that he showed us, was made with lemon…35 years ago! It still smelt heavenly!

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These are pickles made with “kundru” (Coccinia grandis, the ivy gourd, or “tindOrA”) They were crunchy.

He had some very unusual pickles to show us, too. Here are pickles made from Mahua (Madhuca longifolia) flowers. I knew that they were used to make a potent liquor, but the pickles were something new.

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He showed us a pickle made from Guava seeds, and mentioned how he’s made pickles with the seeds of the Tulsi (Basil) plant. “The cost of the seeds is about Rs.500 per kilo,” he said. “Oh, who buys it then?” I asked. “I don’t sell it!” was the reply. I make it for my own satisfaction and consumption.” Now that’s what I’d call a “consuming” passion for the pickle-making art!

Karthik Hegde, who manages the home stay, is an enthusiastic participant in the ongoing research. It was he who gave Lalit ji the recipe for the small-mango pickle…which was made perfectly, tasting absolutely authentic, from the small mangoes that grew on the trees in the homestay (which is also a farm in itself.) Here, Karthik and Lalit ji discuss the product and the process.

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Storing the pickles properly is vital to the long shelf-life of the pickle, Lalit ji is quick to emphasize. But if stored properly, he adds, metal, glass, or plastic containers, anything can be used for storage. His room bore witness to his words.

Many tart substances, such as lemon or lime juice, or tamarind, can be used as a base for pickles. These, too, should be properly processed to ensure a good shelf-life. Tamarind itself can be a pickle! So can chillies, apart from being a component of the condiment, in the form of chilli powder, or added as green chillies to give heat to the pickle. Apparently, chillies, and their varieties, are a huge subject by themselves, in this art.

Some pickles need to be kept in the sun for a few days or weeks; some need to be stirred at regular intervals. Definitely, there needs to be an investment of patience, time, and dedicated effort in making these delectable additions to our Indian meals.

A pickle can be eaten with anything; whether it’s rOtis, nAn, rice or pulAo, just with curds (yoghurt)..or sometimes, as I did lip-smackingly with the date pickles.. all by itself!

I did want to discuss some of the short-life pickles I make (such as “menthiya mAngAi” or “puLi miLagAi”) but alas, the survey that we had come to do didn’t leave much time for discussion! So I mean to have a further chat the next time I go to Madhai..and meanwhile, let me confer the title of “AchAryA” (respected teacher, and a pun on the word “achAr”) on Sri Lalit Khattar!

Long may his research on this tasty part of Indian cuisine last. I have been savouring the wonderful date pickles that he told Karthik to gift me as I left (I saw it only when I returned home!) and think of the very interesting time I had with the “AchAryA”!

Multilingual humour

June 28, 2017

What do you call a bee that comes from America?

USB

What do you call a lady who drinks only one tea in a day?

Jaswanti

Why don’t people clap in Afghanistan?

Because of ‘Tali-ban’

How do you ask your ‘Maasi’ to take a dip in water?

Diplomacy!😀😀

How do you say “she is calling a cab” in one word?

Vocabulary

Which Pakistani cricketer does not have a date of birth?

Umar Gul

What you call a fat girl waiting at the Bus Stop.

MOTIVATING.

K1’s progress with Hindi: Blr, 110716

July 11, 2016

She first looked at the Hindi alphabet in March of this year…and I think her progress (while handling so much that is new and tough) is excellent. Here she is (as usual, in the car!) reciting a Hindi poem about a bird:

Both my daughter and my granddaughter continue to amaze me….!

Monsoon

June 9, 2016

The air cools rapidly, and the light dims as boiling, heavy clouds boil over the landscape. The breeze builds rapidly into a wind, whipping up the summer dust, lashing the palm fronds into a frenzy. The first huge drops splash upon the parched ground.

Every sense is overwhelmed: the ears by the thunder, the eyes by the strange,dim light from behind the massing clouds, and the lightning that dances across them, or that lances to the ground; the skin by the feel of the rain, the nose by the aroma of wet earth… that incomparable fragrance that fills the air.

We raise our eyes to the heavens, and give thanks for the life-giving showers.After the torrid summer, the monsoon is here.

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Here’s one song describing the arrival of the monsoon, and the eager wait for it.

The last few seconds depict, too. how disappointing (and cataclysmic to the farmer) it can be when the rains fail.

Chidiyon ka pinjra, Ranga Shankara, 151114: Theatre review

November 17, 2014

found that

this review

has said it all equally well!

The only thing I have to add is that I am sorry that there was no brochure, and no introduction of the cast and crew…two things that always add to my enjoyment of a play.

Ghastly Hindi jokes about celebs

September 14, 2014

Pankaj fell in love
Pankaj married
Pankaj divorced
Pankaj udaas

Sonia was walking
Sonia slipped
Sonia fell into the drain
Sonia gandhi

Sameera went to parlor
Sameera did her hair
Sameera did her makeup
Sameera reddy

Kangana hit the ball
Kangana took a single
Kangana did not reach the crease
Kangana ranaut

Hrithik buys bulb
Hrithik puts bulb in socket
Hrithik switches bulb on
Hrithik roshan

Bade Miyaan Deewane: Play Review, 080614

June 9, 2014

here

is my review of the Hindustani play that I went to watch at Ranga Shankara yesterday.

Another excellent review is

here

The story of the play, as given by Ranga Shankara:

The play is essentially about a rich and eccentric octogenarian, who is used to a luxurious and flamboyant lifestyle. He is swept off his feet by a beautiful young girl in his neighborhood, who also happens to be the love interest of his son.

Meer Sahab falls for his neighbour’s young daughter. His son, Tabish, is also in love with the same girl and wants to marry her. Sheikh Sahab, on the other hand, wants his daughter to marry a dynamic man. Shaukat, a charming young writer, is an acquaintance of both Meer Sahab and Sheikh Sahab. Shaukat is a genuine well-wisher of Meer Sahab, who wants him to stop splurging his wealth on his tawaif (Heera & Gulab) and return to his good old days. Meer Sahab wants Shaukat to convince Sheikh that he is a great prospect for his daughter and at the same time, Sheikh wants Shaukat to counter Mir Sahab’s advances and teach him a lesson.

बड़ा महत्व है….

June 6, 2014

ससुराल में साली का
बाग़ में माली का
होंठो में लाली का
पुलिस में गाली का
मकान में नाली का
कान में बाली का
पूजा में थाली का
खुशी में ताली का——बड़ा महत्व है

फलों में आम का
भगवान में राम का
मयखाने में जाम का
फैक्ट्री में काम का
सुर्ख़ियों में नाम का
बाज़ार में दाम का
मोहब्ब्त में शाम का——-बड़ा महत्व है

व्यापार में घाटा का
लड़ाई में चांटा का
रईसों में टाटा का
जूतों में बाटा का
रसोई में आटा का—–बड़ा महत्व है

फ़िल्म में गाने का
झगड़े में थाने का
प्यार में पाने का
अंधों में काने का
परिंदों में दाने का—–बड़ा महत्व है

ज़िंदगी में मोहब्ब्त का
परिवार में इज्ज़त का
तरक्की में किसमत का
दीवानो में हसरत का——बड़ा महत्व है

पंछियों में बसेरे का
दुनिया में सवेरे का
डगर में उजेरे का
शादी में फेरे का——बड़ा महत्व है

खेलों में क्रिकेट का
विमानों में जेट का
शारीर में पेट का
दूरसंचार में नेट का—–बड़ा महत्व है

मौजों में किनारों का
गुर्वतों में सहारों का
दुनिया में नज़ारों का
प्यार में इशारों का——बड़ा महत्व है

खेत में फसल का
तालाब में कमल का
उधार में असल का
परीक्षा में नकल का—–बड़ा महत्व है

ससुराल में जमाई का
परदेश में कमाई का
जाड़े में रजाई का
दूध में मलाई का —–बड़ा महत्व है

बंदूक में गोली का
पूजा में रोली का
समाज में बोली का
त्योहारों में होली का
श्रृंगार में चोली का—–बड़ा महत्व है

बारात में दूल्हे का
हड्डियों में कूल्हे का
रसोई में चूल्हे का——-बड़ा महत्व है

सब्जियों में आलू का
बिहार में लालू का
मशाले में बालू का
जंगल में भालू का
बोलने में तालू का——-बड़ा महत्व है

मौसम में सावन का
घर में आँगन का
दुआ में दामन का
लंका में रावन का——-बड़ा महत्व है

चमन में बहार का
डोली में कहार का
खाने में अचार का
मकान में दीवार का—–बड़ा महत्व है

सलाद में मूली का
फूलों में जूली का
सज़ा में सूली का
स्टेशन में कूली का——बड़ा महत्व है

पकवानों में पूरी का
रिश्तों में दूरी का
आँखों में भूरी का
रसोई में छूरी का —-बड़ा महत्व है

LAST ONE

खेत में साप का
सिलाई में नाप का
खानदान में बाप का
और
Face book पर आप का—-
बड़ा महत्व है

This is rhyming doggerel and I can’t really translate it, sorry, non-Hindi reading folks!