कुछ वो पल : Review

The book cover embellished with
my pink Jaipur Stones earrings
depicting 'Kuchh wo pal' or
those few moments beautiful
and precious as these jewels...


The book ' Kuchh Wo Pal'  is the debut effort of Subrat Saurabh in Hindi poetry where the poet has penned down his journey of life from the eyes of a sensitive young boy leaving home for hostel, as someone who is growing up in this world making new friendships, losing some and missing a few others, as someone who has just found his first love, someone nursing a broken heart, as a son, a grandson, a loner, a thinker and many more faces of himself taking us on a roller coaster of myriad emotions of love, longing, loneliness, apathy, frustration, separation, romance and abandonment.
These emotions are sculpted into words in the form of 50 poems all of which are independent and are written in a simple, easy to understand Hindi. The poems generally start in a promising manner but somehow lose their sheen midway coming to an insipid end. 

Writing Style
The poet has the writhing desire to express his feelings, that insuppressible itch to write and create something beautiful but unfortunately, this effort falls flat on face ending into a vapid cacophony of words and phrases. 
Hindi is a beautiful language be it in its pure form (शुद्ध साहित्यिक संस्कृतनिष्ठ  भाषा ) or in its Urdu, English mixed Hindustani form (साधारण  उर्दू-आंग्ल-हिंदी का गंगा-जमनी संगम ) but, the book fails on both levels as the crucial thing missing from these verses is - the soul, without which words are like empty husks, attractive but meaningless. The poems fail to leave any impact and are just an assortment of words making less sense and more noise.

My Take
 A poem is a spontaneous flow of emotions where the poet's world merges with that of the reader indistinguishably and we feel his journey to be ours. His joys bring a smile on our faces and his woes are our miseries. His first love brings a rosy blush on our cheeks and a naughty twinkle in our eyes whilst his first break-up chars our heart! We lose ourselves in the ebb and flow of his verse and like puppets are controlled by the inky strings of his pen. 
Alas! it is not the scene here.
Almost all the verses have an intriguing opening line but,just that. like- अगर कोई आये पूछते हुए मेरा नाम, 
हम इस कदर खो गए,  तिनके संभाल के रखें हैं झरोखों पर , यूँ बारिश की तरह कभी बेवक़्त आना... How I wished the next lines to be as interesting and promising.

Shortcomings
The verses are quite immature lacking depth. These are neither  governed by any poetic meter (which is not a flaw) nor have the lyrical grace of a free flowing poetry.  Even vers libre has a certain reckless excitement and an open uninhibited attitude to them which is entirely missing here. What disappointed me the most is that, not even a single verse in the book has energy or intensity of any kind to it!
It entirely fails on all emotional grounds lacking in everything be it pathos, pain, compassion, satire, love or fondness.
At places, there are grammatical errors of maatra like (सीलवटों  = सिलवटों ) and at others ,either the words are too prosaic or harsh tones are used making certain words stand out like odd eyesores.

I hardly ever criticize a book so harshly but this sadly, is a lack-lustre collection of stale emotions presented in a very insipid manner. 

However, a faltering never spelled failure. It simply means a need for a better grip.
So, I wish the poet loads of intense emotions sprinkled with that grace of expression for his future endeavours as I would definitely like to read him in a better avatar. 


About the poet:
Subrat Saurabh is a writer and a blogger known by his pen-name ChickenBiryanii on social media.He is proficient in writing witty one-liners, a skill he employs liberally on Twitter using his pen name. His tweets and witty liners were telecast over television channels and  frequently gets picked up and published in leading newspapers or online news portals.He currently lives in Bangalore but in his own words, he is a small- town boy born in Muzaffarpur, Bihar; who is a keen observer of different moods and phases of people around him inspiring him to write in Hindi. He can be contacted at
 Website Address www.chickenbiryanii.com and Here 




The book was received with gratitude as a part of  the Book Review Program by Blogadda for an honest review.









Halloween Night : A poem and some thoughts.


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A night of black cats; flying witches are seen
                                                                 Harvest moon whispers eerily, "It's Halloween!"

                                                                    In ruse with prowling ghosts and spectres free

                                                                 The orb laughs noiselessly with a malicious glee.

                                                                    Wolves are silent tonight but, spirits howl within,

                                                                  For some of us,  isn't it a daily din?

                                                                     G
raveyards sit up, voodoo dolls pandiculate
                                                                   Dark shadows of sin creep up to the wicker gate!

                                                                      Church bells are mum, toothy pumpkins greet

                                                                   We goblins are here, say,  "Trick or treat?"🎃🎃





                                                        For these sweetest devils ever! 👻👻




 Epilogue


Nothing exist in today's world  till it's been dissected and debated by self proclaimed critics on so-called 'elite' (read 'highly questionable) platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  From downright acerbic to wittily sarcastic to rarely genuine, the discussion can be of any genre and, Halloween
 is one of them. 
Spooky!

People wonder in print why
 Indians are celebrating it?  ...and, I wonder what IS there to wonder? Specially after I witness them aping the West, shopping for every occasion from X-mas, Valentine, to Father's, Mother's and all the other days! 

But, I have wondered more and much before. Before the Twitter age when I myself was a teen.

 I had wondered why ladies have sargi on karwachauth eve when it's a tradition in Punjab and not in Uttar pradesh? 

Why the Marwari brides wear chooda when it's essentially a part of  the bridal trousseau of a Sikh bride? 
Neither they understand the tradition and emotions attached  to it not they care to follow. Just a fad?
And, why everyone is trying a pretty Rakhi in Dravidian regions when  it is a tradition of the northern belt!
Why most of the UP people are keeping Ganesha idols at their home complete with the ' Laal Baagacha Raja' caption when they have no connection with Mumbai!

Simple. Because Media, movies and TV have popularized these customs and everyone wants to create
their own magical Cadbury moments with their family and loved ones.


As Bhartendu Harishchand had once observed, Festivals are our life-lines,the traditional systems of maintaining social structure, keeping our EQ healthy, multiplying affection, providing opportunities for forgiving mistakes,  working together as a team...simply put,  occasions for being happy!


In addition to that innate and primitive emotion, the phenomenon of consumerism has boosted the trend as more the occasions, merrier will be the business with loads of shopping bonanzas.

The Metro-city and Mall culture provided optimum environment to grab every new festival or event, regional, local, patriotic or international. Soon we'll be celebrating Losar, Hanukkah,  Mayan festivals perhaps with a boom in the sale of  lion masks, lama cloaks, red lanterns and Aztec prints respectively.
And...
I don't see any wrong in this provided that the children are made to understand the thoughts behind the occasion.

Why, I still remember the childlike thrill I felt when I 'observed' Onam being celebrated in Karnataka which is far enough place from the original hometown of the festival!

I did not witness any snake boat races but I was thrilled beyond words to be at a place where  something, about which, I had read only in GK books was actually happening! To find myself in the midst of that buzz was bliss enough for me! And with the same childlike glee I look forward to see the Hola Mohalla and the Kullu Dussehra as now I am in the middle of some real country living in Dev bhoomi Himachal!

I wish us to be global citizens, to  understand the culture and we may be pleasantly surprised to find the thoughts of someone several light years far from us to be similar!

Don't forget your roots but let your branches grow in all directions, let your flowers bloom with an unbiased beauty and then you'd bear the fruits of affection and brotherhood.
Stop debate, understand and accept.
Don't ape guys, grow.




Pic courtesy :  sunshine blue blog

Aloha! Woman's Day :)

Top Post on IndiBlogger
Ahalyā draupadī sītā tārā mandodarī tathā ।

pancakanyah smaren nityaṃ mahāpātakanāśakam ॥

Early in my life, I heard this shloka of the 'Pratah Smarneeya Panch Kanya' which says that Draupadi, Ahilya, Tara, Seeta and Kunti/Mandodari  are the five holy virgins and by chanting their names first thing in the morning our sins are abated.

It made me realize the futility of adornments. The hollowness of words.
Those who were mauled and molested to be called eternal virgins! 

Somewhat like the Nirbhaya Act of our times.Where we fail on all grounds of humanity and morality, when we found ourselves worse than barbaric animals, we try to heal (?) and replenish by making the victims sit on a pedestal, converting them into saints, angels, Devis and martyrs.

There are innumerable examples of female stereotyping, but for me, it goes deeper than that. The basic reason for it seems to be the ability to give life which a woman possesses and a man does not. Perhaps this deep rooted insecurity of this power of her goaded him to create rules and traditions.This deep-set insecurity is in the psyche, as well as in the genes. 

So, she is either a Goddess, the pious and the giving one, benign, smiling benevolently, patient and forgiving OR a witch, the bloodthirsty one, selfish, conniving, sly and scheming. A Total terror. 
 Nowhere is she accepted as Manvi .. the Human. A person.
A person having small dreams and moderate aspirations. Lakhs of men can survive a dull life of daily drudgery with aplomb, but for a woman to be happy being just a teller is looked down upon! She needs to prove herself by being nothing less than a Kiran Mazumdar Shaw or an Indira Nooyi. Otherwise, her education is a waste! 

She is not accepted as a person with human weaknesses and human follies. Not allowed to falter in speech, dressing and behaviour!

It made me wary of being good or bad actually, of being labelled.
I was determined to be happy.
To take responsibility for my mistakes and credits of my heroic deeds which I seem to perform left, right and centre! (Yeah yeah, I am still pretty good there.)
I also felt most males as a bundle of clueless energy, not knowing in which direction they ought to run but I never felt them being better or lesser than females. They were just different..well, slightly. 

Hence, I faced the discrimination , the mindset, the stereotyping simply as a human and not as a female. I have actually taught myself that. Not to mind such comments/questions like,  You are a late riser? Don't you like cooking? You like wandering aimlessly?  yak-yak ..
Yes. I am an owl who likes to burn the midnight oil and why don't you take charge of the morning chores if YOU are an early riser? I enjoy cooking but I don't feel an adrenalin rush to realize that I have to be in the kitchen five times a day daily, like Forever! 

Munshi Premchand once  said, 

"If some traits of a male come in a female she becomes demonic and if the female traits enter in a male, he attains godliness."

Do not misinterpret it as he simply meant that The Perfect Raymond's Man, The Ideal Suitable Boy, when imbibes only a few of the feminine traits like of compassion, unending affection and patience, he becomes God!
Urvashi, our very own celestial nymph has said that to Pururva, her heroic and valiant lover, who was so smitten with her that in order to invoke her soft feelings he went on for days singing about his own heroic deeds! To which she simply replied -

 *देवालय में देव नहीं केवल मैं हूँ 
मेरी प्रतिमा को घेर उठ रही अगरु गंध 
बज रहा अर्चना में मेरी, मेरा नूपुर  

Meaning it's the masculine energy adorned with the feminine nature which makes him complete - a God from a warrior. Without her, he is just a doer, an achiever ..with 'her' he becomes a creator.
The feminine energy is that elixir which is said to be dripping from the hood of the deadliest venomous pythons and snakes, protecting them from their own poison. 

So I give two pence to dress up according to the in-thing and not even one paisa to be considered as an 'in-sync' person. I simply can not afford to care! 

I am the only sari-clad bahu in my entire family including the extended khandan.. simply because as a child I used to see my mother get ready for college in smooth shiny silks, pastel chiffons and crisp cottons with peacocks sauntering on her hems and creepers dangling coyly on the pallav! No one, including my strict and ultra-modern mum-in-law, could put me off from getting decked up in sarees! I would drape the whole six yard (anyhow) and emerge confidently to face the world rather dazedly pass through the world, as I used to be too engrossed in adoring the softness of the saree, the colours which make me feel as if I had draped myself in a piece of sky or am in Eden with flowers blooming shyly all over me!  

And for a full one year, I have teamed-up my sarees with a pair of powder blue running shoes! Don't ask why as that was the need of the hour..err.. year. They were cute as a blue bunny but for some reasons unknown, the neighbourhood aunties at my in-law's home felt otherwise and found them to be hideous! *rolling eyes*
Obviously, I did not pay heed.
 I was and still am too busy living this one life to the fullest. 

It does not matter to me if the world knows about Tandava only, as I know the Lasya.
The extremely soft dance of Parvati, the dance of grace and beauty,  which she performs in response to Shiva's roudra Tandava - the dance of destruction. It's through Lasya that she harbours the seeds of life, protects the fauna, nourishes it with her tears of love and  caress the scorched black earth back to life. I firmly believe in that part of the balance and no one can stereotype me for it. Unless of course, I am willing to be.





* In the temple it's not the Lord, but I
The incense fragrance encircles  my idol,  
The bell of my anklet tinkles in the worship of I


The Post is written as my views on Being Woman for my dear friend  and fellow blogger Dr. Kiran Acharya.  To read her wonderful post talking about gender stereotyping vist HERE. 

Her post is studded with nuggets of  wisdom from some of us women bloggers, which we have experienced, gathered or wilfully lost !. 

I am indebted to Kiran for this beautiful initiative :)


Image Courtesy: Here