Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mail That Did Not Bounce

 (This is my humble tribute, mediocre effort and  poor attempt to rever and respect my favorite writers, their style , the central plot, etc . PL  Deshpande and PG Wodehouse are my Idols. Please not that thios is work of fiction and all charatcters are imaginary.)

Today Mr and Mrs Bhatavadekar are the esteemed guests for dinner at our place. I am worried about how I should face them after almost a decade.. Actually I am feeling guilty that instead of being happy and excited about the reunion with someone who had been my best friend during most of my teens and young adulthood. But I am scared about both the past and the  future. Let me take back to the past first to explain root cause of my worries in present and define effects of present in my future.

When I say past , I mean those glorious college days with lots of friends, events, treks, picnics, restaurant food, movies, dramas when in Pune and Infinite fun of hostel life at a remote place. Life was an succession of events as endless like an Ekta Kapoor serial plot where something happens all the time. The most arduous task in life during those days was attending the lectures at 8 am in the morning after waking up at 7 45am squeezing breakfast in between. The most testing times were at the end of each semester where we would attend an event called as End Term Exams. The most bizarre task was to get inside my digestive system the most tasteless, pungent smelling and uncooked food someone can ever eat. I dont know how I could have survived without  those omelets and Maggie dishes served at Naren Da (made to sound as NOren Da in Bengal) night canteen. The best parts of the life were the summer and winter vacations in Pune.

The past which I referring to was enacted in one of those winter vacations and the protagonist was my best friend Harshavardhan popularly knows at HB pencil. The genesis of this name was his pencil like tall and thin stature and his initials. Harshavardhan Bhatavadekar is a long name and if you add middle name it becomes an infinite loop. His fathers name is Shrinivas. I wonder if he gets enough space on the forms he need to fill in. I and HB met at preschool and had been together like a pillow and cushion till we parted ways after 12 th to different Engineering Colleges. We also had few other boys and girls in our motley group. We had named our group as MTV (empty vessels) as we made lot of noise. We had Prakash the eternal  forgetful day dreamer, Sumedh aka KK Kishore Kumar , Seema the emotional fool, Pradnya the fighter. HB was the joker and they called me scholar for my scholastic skills. I parted the group to join my far off college in middle of nowhere..

As we met in that eventful vacation, I found HB always lost like a passenger waiting for his Departure gate  to be announced at an European Airport. He was very uncharacteristically quiet  like a tap in a house where the water supply is cut due to non payment.  I could not trace the reason. I tried to talk to him but the guy avoided the topic like one avoids karela sabzi in the plate . But I am as persistent as a tele-caller. Sunset is the best time and any hill around Pune is the best place for one to feel more philosophical and feel an urge to open out to someone like one feels an impulse to throw out after smelling rotten fish. But what HB threw out was expression of his love he felt for Seema.

Higher Supreme Court Order

There is a Higher Court Over and above any Man-made Institution. It has decided in favor of all, that there would be no restrictions for anyone to:
Enjoy the Festival with Near and Dear Ones.
Buying Useful things for Self and Near and Dear Ones.
Be Creative in the Decoration, Illumination, Food, and other things during the Festival.
See New and Favorite Places.
Gain Knowledge, Health, Prosperity, Recognition and Self Actualization throughout the Next Year.
Spread Love, Harmony, Peace, Unity, Cleanliness, Discipline and Charity throughout the Next Year.
Help those who need the help throughout Next Year.
Stay Happy

So Please do not Violate this Order. Happy Diwali.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

From R D Fan: Songs of Life

Repeating this post from past: Why RD today ?  Neither today is 27th June nor 4th January. But as they say RD was timeless like depicted in the song pciturised below or ahead of his times as thought be some. Just listening to his melodes made me republish same.

Oh Mazi Re...

Songs of Life: Tribute to RD
Last week we celebrated RD’s birth anniversary. Due to some issues, had to remain at home that day. Luckily one FM channel was playing RD songs throughout the day.  Lot has been said about genius of RD Burman. There are folklores amongst music lovers about his personality.  But I have a different angle to pay tribute to RD. His songs make you reflect upon various situations about life and thus they appeal. Though some might technically and correctly credit major part of that to lyricists but I feel the haunting music facilitates that reflection. Here is my case.
Most of us have some complaints about life thus the most favourite song of mine is applicable universally: ‘Tuzse Naaraz Nahin Zindagi Hairan Hoon Main’. Note the difference between Naaraz (being dejected) and being ‘Hairan’ (bemused). It’s subtle and also note on stress in the music of “Main”. That ‘main’ is what magic of Panchamda does to lyrics. Also note the differentiating nuances of Naaraz and Hairan which go parallel. ‘ Main’ (meaning I) is universal.  I am driver of my own life, ambition, my problems, my destiny. So I have all rights either to be naraaz but I am not pessimist so I am hairan (live human will). Isn’t it amazing? Most of us strive hard and get perplexed by life. Some situations add to misery so that you feel “muskurayen to muskurane ke karz utarane honge” ie even if you find small pleasures you have to pay big price for that figuratively.
Life moves on.  Being in naraz state of mind leads to the resilience of human mind and this resilience reaches stage where you are content with what you have. Katra katra milti hain. Life is like that. I am enjoying my pain and let me stay where I am.  The repetitive echo of asha sound creates magic as if this is an afterthought...
They say the darkest part of night is before the dawn. When something bad happens to our lives we feel dejected and song to capture this is helplessness of ‘Chingari koibhadke’
Then there is  aredemption and a dawn where human mind which is a universal seeker of knowledge, happiness and destiny regroups and starts the new journey. The wanderlust, indomitable spirit of never ending journey is reflected in tune of ‘Musafir Hoon Yarron’
Then comes the moksha , destiny and happiness. Not necessarily at the end of journey but journey becomes destiny and there is eternal calm, euphoria. The spirit of having conquered everything slightly bordering on egotist feelings are reflected in ‘Aaj Kal paaon zameen par nahin padte ‘
That completes the spiritual cycle of life as canvassed musically by RD. RDs music have given love , romance a great meaning and style across all films but his music touches all physical stages of human journey.
Childhood is benign, innocent, vivacious and bubbly. The imagination of child can turn a stick into horse and they can take you to a horse ride journey. How many of us have played like those kids in the song ‘Lakdi ki kathi’?
Child grows in to a youth and he collects friends of his choice. As they say one cannot choose relatives but can choose friends. These friendship bonds turn into lifelong bonds. Very aptly said in “Diye jalte hain, phool khilte  hain , badi mushkil duniyan me dost milte hain’ . Do you remember your childhood, college, work friends while listening to this song?
Then she comes into your life. There is heartburn. You idolize her to be a fairy from heaven. You are scared whether she will reciprocate. All that you can request is ‘Huzur is kadar bhi na iterate chaliyen’. You keep on waiting and waiting for her to show up in your life.
 You can wait long. Sso what do you do is propose her. And what a way to do that in the song ‘O mere dil ke chain, chain aye mere dil ko duaan kijiye’
For few lucky people, it works for many it doesn’t. But they say there one mate for everyone in universe (unless female infanticide in India changes that ratio). Two minds meet, and their only  wish  is to meet. In that stage, all the roads have a specific destination. How beautiful is the song ‘Is mode pe jaaten hain’
Then there is a small tiff or a mischief and then comes repentance. How many guys would like their girl to sing ‘Oh mera sona re’ ,  and girls would like to hear ‘Meri soni, meri tammanna’
Some unlucky souls are betrayed not just in typical hindi film manner. But expectations are let down, reality sets in and one has a complaint against life (not against someone)’Kya Huan tera wada’
Some people take up vices to forget these small dejection. This sprit is captured beautifully in ‘Nadiya se darya’. Not to glorify the vices as pointed by Aamir Khan in satyamev jayate recently but then the human mind is weak and it is sucked into vices. Idea is to be strong and live life healthily living with all its deficiencies, problems. This spirit is captured in “Tere Bina Jindai se koi
The family and career goes on. Some have success some not so. Nevertheless constant threat of living up to the public image is universal for family and career. This kills our originality, creativity and thus we have to follow advise of’ Kuch to log kahenge’
Beautiful emotions of parenting are reflected in “ Bada Natkhat hain yeh
Life goes on to a stage when live more in past than in present. But you cannot do anything to correct and change past deeds and destiny which is sadly expressed in ‘ Zindagi ke safar mein gujar jaaten hain jo mukaam”
Finally one realizes that only solace is either spirituality or hedonism. Both are diametrically opposite but both give same effect as sung in ‘Hare Krishna Hare Ram’ and ‘Aayo Kahan se Ghanshyam”
That completes both spiritual and actual life cycles as composed by RD a great composer. Somehow I cannot imagine that the mediocre decade of 80s, was so cruel to RD. Especially barring few producers like Vidhoo Vinod Chopra, no one gave work to RD  . Somehow 80s were  strange. 70s were brilliant. Amitabh was on decline in the 80s. Economy was strange under Rajeev Gandhi. Politics was dirty with likes of VP singh, Devilal. Cricket saw some success in 83 and 85. But we were waiting for khans to explode in 90s along with economic liberalization and Sachin. Ironically Sachin was named after father of RD.
Somehow one has to admit that RD was ahead of times as now we acknowledge that.....

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Happy Dussehra

May you drive your limits till the final frontiers, derive all the happiness from the journey and integrate all your strenghts towards your dreaams this Dussehra. Happy Dussehra

Monday, October 15, 2018

Late Flight Cadet Parag Chandrakant Limaye

I remember watching Rang De Basanti. Scene marks out for us is the one in which Aamir Khan jibes Madhavan that he will die with gun salute draped in Tricolor. We lost our friend in MIG crash on 25th Oct 1995 (born on 14th Oct 1973). Parag Limaye our batchmate at katariya Highschool, was never destined to be designated a Fighter Pilot: A dream which he shared with us in primary school. This is one man who had clear objective in school days when all of us mere mortals decided to join rat race of medical/engineering to be later evolved most of us into IT coolies of new age India. Parag was lone son of Sujata and Late Chandakant Limaye who used to work with Defense accounts. Right from school days he got into preparatory mode for NDA entrance. That mainly comprised of entrance exam books, exercise, and expert advice from defense guys. To top that he attended a gliding course at Hadapsar. He went into SP College in 11 and 12th with main focus on NDA entrance. He cleared the first attempt but was denied airforce in first attempt. So he had to do engineering course at COEP (had got good marks in 12th to manage that). But he attempted twice. He then cleared PAPT and health test to enter India squadron of NDA. Throughout he remained an enthusiast about trekking and other adventure sports. We still remember his comments in his soft spoken style and unique voice during our treks to places like rajgad, makarandgad, etc. We used to meet him at NDA or in Pune on his Sunday offs. He used to tell us stories of hardships in NDA life and most importantly the fun part of it as interpreted by him. He then went into Air-force training academy at Allahabad. He completed his solo flight; instructor led flight and had just few routines to be designated as Fighter Pilot. That was never to be…
During routine instructor led flight alongside Sq ldr Anuj Baid, on fateful day of 25th Oct 1995, his MIG developed a technical snag and crashed into Ganga river near sangam.. His dreams and parents aspirations were killed on same date…
His mother and few friends, relatives brushed aside the loss and decided to keep his memory alive in form of a Trust in his name. Lt Flt Cdt Parag Chandrakant Limaye memorial trust was formed in 1998 to stand for everything he stood for. The main cause is to promote defense entrance, support adventure sports and other social causes. The Trust carries out activities every October. It has donated the best cadet trophy for Pune NCC camp, defense entrance books to SP College, Rani Laxmi School. The Trust Constituted trophy for punt race at COEP boat club. Trust conducted defense entrance lectures by experts at Nerlekar school, SP College. Trust conducted treks for underprivileged children, sponsored Ramkrishna Math students to Bhosala military school, had rappelling, parasailing camps. Trust wishes to continue this work further and enliven his memory. You can contact  or on 9403185508 for any support.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Happy Navratri

Happy Navratri to all. Lets celebrate and respect Women Power

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Whats Up: October Fest

He came , He saw and He conquered us for ten days and made us longing for more and then departed creating a feeling of sadness but his promise to return next year keeps us going. As the fortnight to remember the departed  coming to close, now we head towards nine nights filled with Dandiyas, Bhondalas, Poojas to the tenth day when we celebrate Dussehra and challenge new frontiers. With Kojagiri fun and then festival of lights beckoning, we are promised with action packed October

Pune has faced tragedies, crime and people have faced  many problems which existed from ages but are left without resolution. The water canal breach was very serious issue. Water is lifeline and how can we be so callous about it. Though no fatal casualties were reported but many poor people lost their livelihoods. We need permanent solutions and just cover up knee jerk actions. Pune need to have separate governing body for water management and don’t have to rely upon irrigation department. Both should have independent access to same resources allocated once for all. A full-time team should manage the coordination between irrigation dept and PMC water works.

Next tragedy was hoarding crash. It was again a man-made disaster due to negligence and corruption. City need signage policy and flexes should have blanket ban period. Many politicians will find it tough but those who fight for this ban will get lot of public goodwill.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Short Story: Closed Circuit

Please note that this is story is a fiction and no such characterss exists in reality.

Closed Circuit

Last week I was driving my daughter to an industry in Branford CT for her visit. The road passes through countryside which resembles Indian landscape especially in konkan. There were farms, hills, winding small roads, cattle, tin covered houses.  There was hardly any traffic either ways. We were using GPS. At one place there was cemetery with many crosses on a vast ground. Road winds through the cemetery. GPS asked me to turn left and take a U turn. It happened few times. I panicked and my thinking was clouded as well. Maybe its human psychology. I thought we were caught in Closed Circuit popularly know as ‘Chakwa’ in Marathi. Suddenly I remembered by grandmother who had once said to break the circuit (chakwa) you should pray god and do take new unknown path. I did that we reached a highway and were then properly guided by GPS till destination.

I remember in my childhood my grandfather Grand Mother used to narrate story to all grandchildren about Closed Circuit. Her native village was in border district of Belgaum between Maharashtra and Karnataka. The incident happened in 1920s. She and her 4-5 siblings were traveling back to her village after attending marriage in neighboring village.It was getting dark and road passed through a Forest area. The driver of the bullock cart asked kids to take a blanket and pray to God. Kids asked questions but driver asked them to be quiet. Later when they reached home the driver told my grandmothers father that he was caught in Closed Circuit. Finally he took the cart uphill on non conventional road and reached their village safely

This experience also took me back 20 years ( Bees saal baad)