Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Govind

April 22, 2017

Should I wait
For it to be exactly six months
Since you decided
To change the plane of your existence?
Do I not remember you
Very often, never mind what date
Or day, or time it is?
When two of my friends
Had surgery recently
To remove growths
You come to mind
Whenever I lift a camera
I often see you,
Before I see the scene in front of me.
When I see good planning
And crisp execution
You slip into my thoughts.
When I laugh at jokes
I recollect how you used humour to heal yourself.
The determination that got you through so much,
The travels all over the world
The staunch affection…
You are there in every thought I have
About such things.
Time will flow past:
Six months may turn into years.
My friend, you are always here
Where it matters.
In my heart, and in my memories.

Memories are made of this…

December 18, 2016

Many years hence, we’ll gently look back
On fading, black-and-white memories…
Of seeing many birds, of the winter sunshine,
Of the drive on roads with many trees….

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Road to Jigani, 181216

Memories, and feelings

October 13, 2014

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How to take the sting
Out of sad memories?
How to prevent the thoughts
From running down one’s cheeks
In pearls of relived emotion?
Perhaps, one should store memories
Consciously; peel away the layers
Of emotion that make them memorable.
Leave the facts–what happened…
Like flowers laid away in books,
Which have no fragrance, no roundness,
But still bring back the remembered time,
One’s memories can then take one back
To relive the times, without the wracking feelings
That wrenched at one’s heart then,
With deep pain and gut-wrenching agony.
Can one sanitize memories?
Or will they, as a friend says,
Always be associated with the emotions,
And shake one deeply each time
Those days pass once again before the mind’s eye?
Is a sad memory always a living thing
That brings back those feelings
That have been lying, forgotten, but present?
Or…can one mummify memories
And make of them life-like things
That yet have no pain…
Nor the power to bring agony to life afresh?

Memories of Pujo

October 2, 2014

IMG_0009 Durga Puja, Ulsoor, 06

চেযে দেখলাম নিজের মনের মধ্যে।
পুজোর সে দিনগুলি আবার
চোখের সামনে এসে পড়ল।
ঢাকি, প্রসাদ, নতুন কাপড় জামা,মিষ্টি,ঘুঘনি,সে যে ভীড় ….
মনে করিলাম সেই দৃশ্যগুলোকে।
আজ আমি অনেক দূরে আছি.
তবুও আমার মন ক্ষণে পৌঁছে গেল
মায়ের কাছে….
মহিষাসুর মর্ধিনি! দেবী!
আমার প্রনাম স্বীকার কর গো মা!
তোমার চরণ স্পর্শতে
আমার মন ও আত্মা
কমলের মতন ফুটিয়া পড়ে।
জননী, ই জগতের রক্ষা কর !

I looked back, in my mind,
And revisited the days of Pujo.
The dhaakis, prasad, new clothes, sweets, those crowds..
I saw those scenes once again.
Today, I am very far away.
But my mind reached the Mother
In an instant.
O Slayer of Mahishasur! O Goddess!
Accept my reverence, O Mother!
At the touch of your feet
My mind and soul
Blossom like lotuses.
O Mother, protect this Earth!

here

is my blogpost from 8 years ago! Happy Bijoya to everyone!

August 4, 2014

I was looking at a Facebook post, made by Viju JB,of a very old photograph, of a couple, taken at their wedding. This suddenly put me in mind of an old English magazine that was very much a part of our lives…the

Illustrated Weekly of India.

The subject title is because we had a Marwari newspaper/magazine agent, who would come regularly to our home, bringing the latest magazines, and comics. (Something that just doesn’t happen any more.) I can still remember his face! He would arrive on his cycle, accept a cup of chai from my mother, and both of them would sit, and settle down for a nice session. Dell (and later, Gold Key) comics, Archie comics, Illustrated Classics comics, and Disney….my mother truly bought them by the dozen, and though the Reader’s Digest had started coming home by post, my mother (my father only provided; he was never home, all these were my mother’s interests!) would buy the magazines…I remember the starting of the “Junior Statesman” which was soon called “JS” and became the trendy youth magazine. (I also remember feeling out of touch with the very Westernized lifestyle it seemed to espouse.) Time, Life, National Geographic, Femina, Caravan, Filmfare…and of course, what our newsagent called the “Lusted Weekly”, and which most of us referred to as just the “Weekly”. It was a large-sized magazine (they all were!), and I went through each issue eagerly.

The wedding photos used to be a regular feature at the back of the issue, comprising many couples, looking deadpan into the camera in the wedding fashions of the day. (Almost no one had a smile on their faces.)

I also remember Nissim Ezekiel writing regularly, Kamala Das’ “My Life”, and Khushwant Singh’s editorial stamp on the magazine….I do remember that Pritish Nandy was the editor at a later stage…his daughter and mine were born on the same day, and the mothers shared a room at the Woodlands Nursing Home (Nov 2, 1978.)

I enjoyed Mario Miranda’s wonderful cartoons, and Raji Nimboopani and Moonswamy were good friends. I remember Raghu Rai’s excellent photographs….oh…the Lusted Weekly was certainly a wonderful part of our lives in those days. R K Laxman did a lot of work for the magazine, too; I never dreamed that years later (Dec 8, 1992) I would meet Laxman himself, in Bangalore, and have a long chat with him about his work and life.

I never did know why or how the closed down, but it did, and passed into history…the Wiki says it closed down in 1993….the Wiki says it started in 1880, so that’s more than a century of life!

My life was always full of excellent reading material, and I must say, the “Weekly” supplied a lot of it! Thank you, Viju, for making me look back….v

Peace and quiet

February 21, 2014

I thought it must be lovely to rest, with the winds from the field blowing one’s way, the sun shining around, and open to the elements:

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When the colours are washed out, it’s not monotony, but a serene, peaceful monochrome.

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But then, I felt that the departed soul might mingle with the Everlasting, and might not identify with just one spot. The memorial is not for those who are gone, but for those in whose memories the departed live..

Suchitra Sen: beauty, talent, and haunting songs

January 17, 2014

Movie stars…are often known for their beauty, and less often, for their histrionic talent.

Suchitra Sen

had a combination of both…in the Bengali film world, she was called “mahAnAyikA” or “the great heroine” (a politically incorrect word today, but it’s more precise.) Her foray into the Hindi film world was not as successful…but she acted in some great movies, and I always associate her with some of the most lilting songs I know.
If you want to watch one of her movies, inspired by the life of Indira Gandhi, here:

Here’s a beautiful song about the eternity of love in nature…whether the person exists physically, or not:

Here’s another of my great favourites…the clip has good English subtitles:

And another one, also dealing with a relationship that has broken:

“su chitra”, literally means, “good picture”…to me, Suchitra Sen will remain the good picture of beauty and talent combined. I will not forget her.

jInA…aur pInA…

December 26, 2013

भरी महफ़िल थी । हम सब मिले ।
दोस्तों की कमी न थी ।
पुरानी यादों में दिल रोया
पर आँखों में नमीं न थी ।
हॅसते हैं हम , और
अपना काम किये जाते हैँ ।
जाम पीते हैं कुछ लोग महफ़िल में;
हम अपने आँसू पीए जाते हैं ।

Transliteration:

bharI mehfil thI. ham sab milEy.
dOsthOn kI kamI nahIn.
purAnI yAdOn mEin dil rOyA
par AnkhOn mEin namIn nahIn.
hasthEy hain ham, aur
apnA kAm kiyEy jAthEy hain.
jAm pIthEy hain kucch lOg mehfil mein;
ham apnI aansoo piyEy jAthEy hain.

We met at the gathering.
There was no dearth of friends.
The heart wept with old memories,
But there was no moisture in my eyes.
I laugh,and
I go on with my work.
Some people swallow intoxicants at the gathering:
I swallow my tears.

Ek nagm

October 25, 2013

Ek bachpan kA zamAna thA,
jismE khushiyOn kA khazAna thA;

There was a world of childhood,
Where there was a treasury of joys;

chAhat chAnd kO pAnE kI thI,
par dil titli kA dIwAnA thA.

The ambition was to get the moon,
But the heart wanted the butterfly, too.

khabar na thI kuch subah kI,
na shAm kA thikAnA thA;

There was no knowledge of mornings
No certainty of the evenings;

thak hArke AnA padhAyI sE,
par khElnE bhI jAnA thA.

We’d come tired from school
But we could go and play.

mA kI kahAnI thI,
pariyOn kA fasAnA thA;
bArish mEn kAgaz kI nAv thI,
har mausam suhAnA thA.

There were mother’s stories,
Stories about fairies;
There were paper boats in the rains;
Every season was pleasant.

har khEl mEn sAthI thE,
har rishtA nibhAnA thA;
gam kI zubAn na hOtI thI,
na zakhmOn kA paimAnA thA.

There were friends for every game,
Every relationship was important;
There was no sorrow,
Nor the pain of wounds.

rOnE kI wajah na thI,
na hansne kA bahAnA thA;
kyOn hO gayE ham itnE badE,
isse achhA tO wOh bachpan kA zamAnA thA…

No cause to cry,
No pretense in laughter;
Why have we grown up…
Our world of childhood was better….

Cars in India…my memories

August 29, 2013

A very enjoyable chat with a friend in Sweden set me thinking about the various cars that I’ve seen and used during my life.

My father, who rose from the lowest to the highest executive postition in the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), had all his cars provided by the company, so we went through a wide variety of cars.

It is usual of think of India of the 60’s and 70’s having only the Ambassador and Fiat…but in reality, there were certainly a lot more cars around.

In the beginning, I saw a lot of cars of British make in Calcutta (probably imported from Britain; I don’t think they were manufactured in India.) There were Austin (the chrome letters actually announced, “Austin of England”, Humber, Studebakers, and Raleighs. There were all the American cars that were status symbols…”Shevorley” (Chevrolet) which had the famous “Impala” and the other large-fin “kappal cars” (cars like ships!) that floated their lengths along the roads.

Standard was a car company that had the small cars of that era….the Standard 8 and the Standard 10 were tiny little cars. I have no idea about the performance of these cars…they were just cars that I saw around.

Hindustan Motors manufactured the ubiquitous rhinos of the Indian roads….Ambassador cars (and still do, even now) and their predecessors, the Landmaster. For some reason, I always thought of cars with rounded boots as female, and those with even small tail fins as male. Don’t ask me why! I remember the Fiat (before it became Premier Motors) 800 with a rounded boot, and the 1000 with slight fins (nothing like the kappal cars!). One Fiat model was one of the last cars I’ve seen where the front door hinge was the reverse of the usual near-the-dashboard.I feel this must be quite convenient, and still don’t know why this kind of front door was phased out.

The Fords could sometimes be huge mammoths, in which I felt lost once I got in. I do not remember air-conditioned cars in my childhood, at all. Window seats were eagerly looked forward to, and captured, after pleadings to parents and fights with siblings!

It took a while for the realization to sink in that we Indians were getting the reject cars and designs…at some point, yes, I did realize it.

Standard also had that ever-present car, the Herald. This car, too, came in two models, I remember the engine cowl of one opening the other way (not hinged near the windshield)…the only car engine cowling I’ve seen opening like that. These cars would stop in just a few inches of water, and so they were called the Stranded Herald! They were two-door cars…I’ve always detested two-door cars.

I never thought of the company and the model name as different…such was my ignorance. I had heard, as in a dream, of the Rolls Royce, and seen some photos…but I don’t recall ever seeing one, or having one pointed out to me. Daimlers and Bentleys were simply not in my ken.

I do recall several Volkswagens, yes, the Beetles, running around the city, but they, too, were not very frequent.

I think it was in the 80’s that Standard introduced the Rover. Even I, with my lack of knowledge, realized that it was an uneconomical, unreliable vehicle…I remember calling it the Sub-standard Rover, and said that it had enough fuel range to get from petrol pump to petrol pump.Apparently, the sleek-looking design of the car made it a great attraction to many people.

At some point of time (mid 80’s?) there was a Karnataka-manufactured clunker called the Badal, the only 3-wheeler passenger car that I have seen. Does anyone remember this?

Premier, too, introduced a lemon called the 118 NE, which had some fuel-pump problems. I remember having to abandon our car in the Western ghats once, and coming home by bus!

The arrival of the Maruti 800 truly galvanized mass car ownership in India…it’s amazing to think of the revolution! Everyone who had a Lambretta or a Vespa or a Bajaj scooter now had a Maruti….a major change, indeed. It was tiny, convenient, and one of the most useful cars that I’ve seen. Another useful car was the Maruti Esteem…we used to joke that it would be even more cost-friendly if it would run on e-“steam”.

Now the variety and number of cars manufactured in India is mind-boggling, and the roads are clogged with drivers wishing that the other cars and their owners had stayed home….driving in our cities, with the lack of enforcement of traffic rules, is no longer a pleasure. I have started using buses, and own no car now….and am pretty happy about that!

I do wonder how car designers are doing, hunting around for new car names…it must be getting more and more difficult.

Ah, felt good to set down my memories of cars on Indian roads….if any of you have additions..you are welcome to put them in!