Friday, 28 March 2008

Ghazal

yaqeen ban gaya hai jab tijarat ka ik samaan
ay dil kahin aur chal ke hai tu ab bhi nadaan

har fakr tut gaya har garur jhootha paya
ab karte hain doston ke bedili pe hi gumaan

waqif hoon khoob haqiqat-e-ranayee se main
koi to par bahlaye ke zakhm bharna hai asaan

is ikhtesaar-e-khatirdari se jab mujarrab hai tu
phir kyun is mahfil se aaj Aseer hai hairaan

ab jab aankhein benoor hai nashaad hai ye rooh
ab sab parda uth chuka hai, benaqaab hai insaan

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A Conversation

A Conversation

Recorded by

Faiz A Faiz

31/10/06

Mourya Sheraton

Scene: Mourya Sheraton. National summit of a renowned institute is going on. The ACs are off. Students are in suits(which according to them are of cheap quality and highly uncomfortable). Two students A and B are sitting together.

A: don’t we loo perfect clown in this get up?

B: Yeah, we do. (pauses)

But then an educated person should always look like. Remember how much we pay those fashion designers to d├ęcor ourself.

A: at least the ACs should be on.

B: I feel so. (takes a deep breath)

(continues…) faculties are here too but they are in more comfortable clothes.

(suddenly everyone claps. Guess is another honcho has just finished his lecture).

A and B also clap.

A: Why the hell are you clapping? You don’t even know the topic.

B; Gentlemen claps only when others are clapping i.e. when they feel they should clap , they clap

(yawns..) I don’t understand.

A: What?

B: Why they expect us to understand topics in 30 minutes which they took 30 years to understand?

A: exactly.

B: It’s so monotonous.

A: cheer up. At least you are in a 5 tar hotel.

B: It is even more pathetic. For two days we are in a 5 star hotel and we haven’t enjoyed for a single moment.

A: (sigh…) You talk so well. You are almost always correct.

B: It is not like that. You have a very agreeable nature.

A: oh, it’s nothing. But by God, look at her (and they get engaged in a deep conversation about a very beautiful girl who is their classmate).

Suddenly everyone stands up and takes their shoes in their hands.

A: now, he has not talked that badly.

B: but he is asking for it. And as a future manager you must learn how to please everyone.

A: But you can’t please both Rama and Ravana at the same time!

B: Then you are not a good manager. You will never be on that podium to bore the future generation even after 20 yrs.

A: I wonder.

B: For the next 6 hours you are only allowed to do that.

A; don’t forget the sleep factor.

B laughs. Then cautiously checks whether anyone is noticing. Then relaxes.

Another honcho finishes. Among clapping comes the most awaited announcement. Students are asked to take their tea.

With plateful of unknown delicacies they start roaming. They come face to face with advertisements.

A: now what Hutch expects to gain by sponsoring our summit? All of us to change our connexions to Hutch?

B: oh no. its called quid pro quo. Our college will say “you know, HUTCH sponsored our summit” and Hutch will say “you know, we were the main sponsor of that summit at Sheraton”.

A: Its so silly.

B: everything regarding this is. (starts singing… yaara silli silly birha ke dhup me jalna)….

Jaan jalake rakh diya is silly thing ne.

Tea finishes. They reluctantly retraces to their seats.

Lecture starts again.

A: What about the faculty? Aren’t they bored?

B: I don’t know but I wish they are. They bore us everyday in class so let them get bored at least for two days.

A: (mockingly) you bad boy. You should respect your teachers.

B: (seriously) oh, but I do, I do. Now don’t drag me into any controversy. I am not a second class heroine of bollywood who are forced to survive on controversy.

A: (excitingly) have you seen my new Katrina Kaif wallpaper in my lapy? She is looking so cute.

B: she always look cute, whether on your lapy or not. (smiles)

(Then they doze for a while, curtain comes down.)

Part-II

Scene: summit has ended for the day. Its evening. A and B are on the street outside the hotel, walking towards hostel probably to save a few rupees.

A: So how was the day?

B: you know that yourself.

A: I was but sleeping.

B: I can’t claim that I was awake.

A: What do you think about the whole thing?

B: That I wanna to be in the disciplinary committee next year.

A: why?

B: ‘coz none was monitoring heir activities. You can be free.

A: god observation.

B: oh that’s nothing. You only have to keep your eyes open.

A: oh, but you were sleeping, weren’t you?

(both starts laughing)

B: I can’t find a cigarette shop!

A: oh, there is one.

(They both lit and drags with closed eyes. Tremendous pleasure is visible on their face.)

A: now I feel burdens removed.

B: huh.

(Silently they drag for a few moments)

A: so. What do you make out of the topic of the summit?

B: what was ir?

(they try to remember, stress is evident)

A: it was something like “unleashing India’s transformation for growth potential” or was it “transforming India’s growth potential for unleashing”?

(they both discuss the topic and after various permutation and combination of those words agree that the topic was “India’s potential growth for transforming unleashed”).

A: now what does that mean?

B: MBAs shouldn’t discuss topics which have any real meaning. The topics must be obscure. Only then they can debate. You know, you can only discuss and argue when nobody knows the answer and nobody understand the topic. So a very well chosen topic.

A: are you a cynic? Never do you talk straight.

B: whatever I do I have learnt from the big-shots. This is not an exception.

Unfinished…………….

Monday, 24 March 2008

Interracial plights........................

Some people always claim about the unity of Indian subcontinent and to drive it into our subconscious quite consciously, they make us read it during our early years of education (this also means this theory is only saleable to the educated or better to say degree holders). But tell me is it so? Diversity is so much visible, Punjabis are popular jokestock of others, a Bengali is always a small and not-so-brave and uri-baba saying creatures and Biharis are uneducated (hats off to our union railway minister for popularizing this image) and a Jatth only understands about his latth. They say about cricket, but a Bengali will always pray for a century from Sourav and win for India is a secondary issue. So, grave is the problem.

Well if I elaborate on this issue then it will advertise only my poor and shallow knowledge. So I will talk about how this diversity or its language aspect can be killer for interracial friendship or relationship. I had three such experiences and I will list them chronologically.

I met this boy Jawed during my engg. Days. Along with others I was down to the dining hall and we had two chairs between us. But none of us knew the other. Neither it was known to me that Jawed doesn’t speak Bengali at all but can only guess. We started and somebody asked Jawed for the pulse which in Bengali is “Daal de”. Now the point is here D of Daal is as in Doll. Jawed was perplexed, and he smiled (those rather sheepish smiles people produce when they don’t understand at all, sorry Jawed bhai). The boy who asked was also surprised and asked someone else to forward the bowl of pulse. I was intrigued and when we made for our rooms on the third floor (of course that floor only, all the lower floors were preferred by the seniors) I asked him. He candidly said in hindi, I don’t understand Bengali, I am trying to learn. And that boy was asking me “Daal de” and I cudnt understand “kya Daalna hai”.

This friend of mine produced a lot of gems during his early Bengali learning months like when he developed a tummy he lamented, in bengali of course, “amar pet hoyeche” which in Bengali means ….ummmmmm….. blush blush………….. I am pregnant.

But I will not go listing all these as he used to produce one or two gems daily. Rather one day I went into his room looking for someone to accompany me to the far located snacks shop (well that is how my English skill translates a telebhaja or pakoda shop). He also said “yaar, I need a copy so I am coming of course”. We two moved and I was happy that he is purchasing coffee and thinking about how to get the maximum share of it. We two went to the snacks shop and had a favorite Bengali light food (by that time Jawed bhai was quite comfortable with that). Then we moved to the local stationary and I on Jawed’s request asked the shop owner for coffee. He produced a Nescafe costing around 50. I asked Jawed and he said “how come I know which size you want”. I was a bit perplexed but shrugged, considered and settled for a pack worth Rs. 25. Then I was looking towards Jawed to make the payment and vice versa. It was his turn of shrugging now and he produced his wallet and we started moving towards our hostel. Halfway Jawed startled and said, “yaar, I forgot to buy my copy”. I was bamboozled and reminded him of our recent purchase. He said “who needs coffee, I thought you need it, mujhe likhne ke liye copy chahiye(I need an exercise book to write on)”. Then we went back and fabricated a story on our way to cover our foolhardiness and somehow replaced the coffee with a copy. Not knowing the term popularly used for exercise books in hindi speaking regions, thus, demolished my hope of an early morning coffee before going to bed at someone else’s expense.

Lastly, this one is quite serious one if we consider all mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws share relationship like those portrayed in Ekta Kapoor’s soaps. My mother recently visited me in Dilli and looking at me produced one of her fond declaration “you look deadly thin and you need nutrition”. Well, I am engaged to a girl who is trying to learn Bengali very earnestly but sadly, isn’t Bengali. She duly paid a visit and I sent them both shopping, one acting as guide another one the explorer. It started with my mother’s announcement of going out to buy some sabzi and her daughter-to-be’s astonishment and suggestion that here in Dilli the hotels are of poor quality, not at all comparable to those of Lucknow’s and my mother shouldn’t buy sabzi from outside but should prepare those herself as I have the cooking facilities with me. Please note Sabzi in Bengali means raw vegetables and in Hindi cooked curries. I solved it for them but hardly knew what was coming.

I was busy surfing when the call came. My mobile showed an incoming call from my beloved’s mobile and I picked it up. She was almost whispering and asked me “babu, tum log magarmach khate ho?” meaning “Do you people eat crocodiles?”. I was stunned by this and gently enquired what on earth made her think that. Then she handed the phone to my mother who enquired something sounding similar “babu, ekhane magur mach kothai paoa jai re?” meaning “where can I find Magur fish here?”.

P.S. Magur is a species of fish which Bengalis prefer as nutritious and easy to digest.