Monday, February 22, 2010

Stop romanticizing, Mr. Kabir Suman

I used to admire you for some great poetry that you made in last 20 years. I used to admire you for those great music that you made in last 20 years. I have all your albums released so far, and I love listening to them while I’m on a long drive to villages & beaches of Maharashtra. I used to fight with my friends that you sing Rabindra-Sangeet well – knowing very well that you stand nowhere among those stalwarts of this genre. But Mr. Suman, I’m deeply hurt when I listened to ‘Chatradhorer Gaan’ & ‘Bonduk Hate Nile’ kind of songs where you’ve supported all those maniacs who paralyzed normal life in West-Midnapore for almost 2 years now.

Mr. Suman, though I’m in Mumbai and live a corporate life, but my roots belong to those Sal & Mohua trees; I have been born, brought up, spent the first & best 26 years of my life at Jhargram – I love the place much more than anyone who tries to be creative after having some local hooch. And my family & friends are suffering to the extreme possible level for last 2 years due to this Maoists/PCPA menace – and being a creative person, you are writing songs supporting them! Shame on you, Mr. Suman!

Entire Jhargram town suffered from strike for almost 200 days in the year 2009. One of my friends who took loan to purchase a bus, couldn’t take out his vehicle for half of the year, but had to pay hefty installments to bank – and now he’s almost bankrupt. Can you write a song on him? My mother, who is in her late 60s, needs to go to market on a normal day, stands in queue for hours to buy as much as possible as she doesn’t know when the next strike will be and that will last for how many days. Wanna write a song on her? Lots of patients died just because they couldn’t be shifted to better hospitals, why don’t you write few words for them, Mr. Suman. I have been grown up & lorded on those roads of Jhargram literally any hour of the day. Now my friends drop me home by 8 o’clock at night when I’m there – everybody is surviving with a fear of those so-called Maoists and PCPA – for what? Each & everybody including those who are fighting is also sufferer – and supporting their non-ideology driven blood-hungry movement is not a crime, but sin!

Stop romanticizing this movement; this is not a movement at all! I’m sure you’re matured enough to understand that your songs are going to inspire another few hundreds to pick up AK47 for wrong reasons. As a creative person, I understand where you are coming from. But this happens only when we want to grow larger than our shadow. Enough Mr. Kabir Suman – PLEASE STOP!

On vacation, almost...

The smell of holidays is in the air, a long overdue one! It's six l-o-n-g moths of working, photography, traveling assignments, scriptwriting, mingling with friends and overnight parties, almost all that you can think of, but this time it's going to be 12 days of holiday with my family. I'm going to see my mom, wife and my son, now 6 months old! Perhaps this thought of seeing my child after a gap of 6 months making this holiday so special, sure he forgot my face by now. But its going to be truly interesting to see how he behaves and how I take his naughty moments. For some unknown reason, few lines from 'The Prophet' is coming in my mind:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."

-- Kahlil Gibran, on children

I wish to remember these lines for life, and nothing much for now. I just wish to spend quality time in this vacation.

Business, see ya later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just 1141 left...

From 40,000 to just 1,141...what a drastic fall in numbers within less than hundred years of our National Animal - Tigers! All it started in the name of Royal Sport, and now completely re-branded as poaching - killing tigers never stopped in India. From Bandhavgarh to Sunderbans, the story is almost same and the bottom line is just 1,141 of tigers are left in India.

It's truly high time, that we join hands to save them...or else our next generation will only see the photos or a few in zoos. Thanks to Aircel for starting the campaign for saving the tigers. I support them wholeheartedly and I request all my readers to join the roar, in whichever way it's possible for you. No help is smaller and every bit of it will be counted to save this animal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kalaghoda 2010 – The Emotional Attyachar!

The first shock – no place to park a vehicle around 200 meters of Jahangir art gallery on the Saturday evening. I kept on playing with the clutch & accelerator for few more minutes and couple of red signals more to get in the Café Mondegar lane and had to fight for another fifteen minutes to get a decent parking. Fair enough, I told myself; at least I don’t have to bother when the towing van will do their dirty job with my vehicle and I can enjoy the paintings & artworks with peace of mind. Another six minutes walk, I was in front of Prince of Wales Museum.

The second shock – the crowd! Gosh, is it a picnic time or time to get the kid’s portrait done by the roadside pencil artists/craftsmen (with due respect, art must have left them long back). People are gathering to get their names written on a rice or getting a quick mehendi done on their palm. And the final shock, some young crowd making tattoos; both temporary and permanent! And we’re calling all these an ‘Art Festival’ cumulatively!

There were three exhibitions of paintings – two within Jahangir Gallery and other one at the Max Muller’s. I don’t think I’m qualified enough to be an art-critic, but being an art lover, I didn’t like any of the works. When I came out of these exhibitions, I started feeling good by looking at photography exhibitions. There were lots, I think first time in Kalaghoda’s history that these numbers of photographers & enthusiasts had participated. Among all, the works from the group ‘Blind with Camera’ ( was commendable. Hats off to Mr. Partho Bhowmik who takes all the pain of teaching photography to the blind children just for self-satisfaction. I was overwhelmed, congratulated Partho da there and I expressed my wish to be a part of a workshop with them in future.

I was hungry by then, so thought to have some bites at the Café Samovar. Hard luck, there was a queue waiting for a table there. Well, then I remembered about those yummy kebabs of Bade Miyan, and started walking in jiffy. Another setback – all the tables are full at 7:45 PM and people are waiting! Finally I got a chicken wrap from Gokul’s take away counter and started negotiating with rogue drivers on completely dug-up narrow roads of my sweet Bombay.