August 19, 2012

My favourite songs 1: Ekla Chalo re

I want to start a series where I would like to give a link to my favourite songs and also give the lyrics and meaning. Here's the first one.  Ekla Chalo Re, is a Bengali patriotic song written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905. The song exhorts the listener to continue his or her journey, despite abandonment or lack of support from others. The song is often quoted in the context of political or social change movements. Mahatma Gandhi, who was deeply influenced by this song, cited it as one his favorite songs.
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Here are links to three versions: the first, by the one and only Kishore Kumar, the second, a sensitive rendering by  Shreya Ghoshal, and yes, the third is Amitabh Bacchhan's from Kahani. It is good too. The lyrics and the translation follow.

Kishore Kumar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=Pmzvr3aZXQc&NR=1
Shreya Ghoshal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPqdlR_X1Vk&feature=related
Amitabh Bacchhan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8WLwipB8c&feature=fvwrel

Jodi tor daak shune keu naa ashe tobe ekla cholo re
 (Tobe ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo re)2

Jodi keu kothaa naa koye, ore ore o abhaagaa, keu kothaa na koye
(Jodi shobai thaake mukh phiraaye shobai kore bhoye)2
Tobe poraan khule (o tui mukh phute tor moner kothaa, eklaa bolo re)2

Jodi shobai phire jaaye, ore ore o abhaagaa, shobai phire jaaye
(Jodi gohan pothe jaabaar kaale keu phire naa chaaye)2
Tobe pothera kaantaa (o tui rokto maakhaa choronatole eklaa dolo re)2

Jodi aalo naa dhore, ore ore o abhaagaa, aalo na dhore
(Jodi jhor-baadole aadhaara raate duyaar deye ghore)2
Tobe bajraanole (aapon buker paajor jaaliye niye ekalaa jolo re)

If they answer not to thy call walk alone.
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.

Music is a very important aspect of my life, and is sure to drive away those low times. I hope to come back to these posts again and again when I need to feel good.

August 14, 2012

India @ 66


Today we show our national pride
through a profile picture

Sixty six years ago,
people were a little different

Today we support a cause by joining a page
They joined a march

We stand up for something through a status update
For them, it was a matter of status

We show our dissent by sharing a link
They formed a human chain

We spread awareness in less than 140 characters
Back then, a hundred and forty thousand took to the streets

We express our opinions from the comforts of our Wall
They did it from the confines of a cell

We raise an issue by standing in front of a camera
They stared down the barrel of a gun

We pledge support by sending an SMS
They sent someone from every family

So is it time for us to stop being passive observers
And start being active supporters?

Can we stop rallying from behind
And step up in front?

Let's borrow a little spirit of independence from history
And take it into the future

Maybe then national pride will last longer than just one day.

Happy Independence Day!

(From The Hindu, 15 August 2012)

August 12, 2012

A walk around festive Charminar one August evening

I joined my photographer friend Lakshmi Prabhala and two of her friends for a leisurely stroll cum photo shoot around the Charminar area. This is Ramzan time, and so the place looked colourful and festive. It was nice to be with highly motivated artists...of course, they would have taken fantastic photos. Mine are merely to document an interesting evening.

Here, there, everywhere...
Busy shopping for Eid...
You have to buy some bangles when you enter these shops in Laad bazar!
The colours are such a treat!
Chappals...thousands of them!

Shopping for perfumes, shararas, etc
This guy looked rather lonely
The buzz, from behind a glass
Yummy street food!

An apology to Africans

We have had a professional connect with Africa for a long time. While at ICRISAT during the eighties, we met and were friends with sever...