Archive for the ‘Creative Expression’ Category

A Political Love Letter to My Son

This is post done on March 4th, 2016 on my Facebook page (Here) . Kind of emotional !
Dear Rimil Peter, my son..
Thanks for watching Kanhaiya speech in JNU ..with me for 45 minutes. I have explained how a colonial law ..which was used on Bhagat Singh being used to define our patriotism and allegiance to our country.
You enjoyed the style of his speech delivery (and also of Ravish).. how we need to argue out our differences of opinion ..with ABVP, the saffron brigade ..who are not ‘enemies’ but the opposition group / ideology.
My son, though you are yet to witness ..what a university is like narratives of my days in Jamia Millia Islamia ..and cultural youth activism with friends like Kapil Sharma whom you have met ..and will do more.. will surely help you to understand and visualise or dream of spaces ..which allow free discussion on democracy, diverse perspectives on autonomy, culture, sexuality etc.
What you saw as a movie in Rang De Basanti happening with a different script present JNU times. The young voices are being crushed ..forced to suicide (Rohit in Hyderabad University), or being put in jail. Kashmir and Bastar (Chhatisgarh) cannot be discussed publicly by citizens.. as these are issues of national security !
My son (and all young ones).. Do not allow your questions / enquiry to end. Keep the child in you alive ..and question your teachers the most absurd questions you have. As change comes when you are unsatisfied.. A radical change brought by a collective effort is what a Revolution or Inquilab is about. इंकलाब ज़िंदाबाद means Long live the Revolution.

Bhaag Milkha – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

We have watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag more than twice on home television.

Why I write about Milkha over here, is the mention it has found in my daughter Zohra’s conversations. When I was exercising one day (which I rarely am able to do regularly.. just 2-3 times in a week), she admired my exercising in shorts and vest ..and said that I was jogging like Milkha.

Then whenever I play the songs of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara …and the poetry recitations come she again says ..its Milkha speaking. Yes, that’s it .. Farhan Akhtar has played the role so well that his voice is synonymous connected with the character he has played.

Listen to his Farhan’s wonderful narration of Javed Akhtar’s poetry … यह जो गहरे सन्नाटे है, वक़्त ने सबको ही बाटें है Ye Jo gahre sannate hai, waqt ne sab ko hee baatein hai …. these mysterious silences resound in the lives of each human being, it has been equally been placed in each human’s life .. to make their own effort to understand it.

While I want this blog to remain a personal blog .. and hence have not given any external links so far.. but here is the the link on ZNMD on wikipedia.. (During the writing of this blog I understood that Farhan is also called Imraan … and Imraan’s Shayari here is that of Javed Akhtar)

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag .. is a film about great sportsman of India Milkha Singh .. who won many Olympics Gold medal in atheletics.

While coming out of Social Development Centre (SDC) in Ranchi one day I showed the publicity board of a girl in a Judo Karate dress … this was an advertisment of the classes that take place in Purulia Road for girls. I told her that’s the way Mary Kom (the Indian women’s boxing champ) looks like… and that some time later soon she can join the classes to be as sporting as Mary.

So that’s how characters play their effect on children’s minds. And they can be tremendous mover .. and today’s generation of children have smart brains.. they catch things very fast !!

Romantic Songs – My Initial Starters into Public Singing

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

The songs or choir classes had not started as yet, but whenever there was some free time after Teacher had taken the class or in the absence of a class teacher when the class monitor was to maintain class, I was asked to sing a song. As far as I can remember there were another two friends who used to sing their songs.

When I was in 5th standard schooling the song that was my favourite was ‘Neele Neele Ambar Par Chand Jab Aaye’. The song is popular amongst the learners in guitar. The lyrics say about longing for the lover during a night sky with moon, and mentions ‘thirst of the heart’ to be fulfilled.

In 7th standard I had also taken to English songs. It was due to the Grammy’s Award telecast on the television, and we were looking at the pop charts closely. And my favourite was ‘Whats Love Got To Do With It’.  This Tina Turner’s song starts with ‘You must understand that the touch of your hand makes my pulse react, Its physical ..’

Now when I try to analyse I can see commonness in the two songs – a strong romantic element with lyrics about a boy-girl relationship.  So between the age of 10 to 13 years I was singing quite romantic songs and the boy-girl physical relationship were important themes of that era of my music life or life as a whole.

There is further to be written about socialisation with opposite sex which I will do in a separate post (the reason why I purposely admitted them for schooling in a Co-Ed school). But to strike the note .. the point is that some bit of attraction to romantic feelings starts coming at a young age. And this should get creative expression.

Allah Ke Bande

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment

This is the song that I want to talk about today. Sung by Kailash Kher, the latest hit amongst the Sufi music experience.

One of the song I had wanted to sing for a long time. But was not able to practice because of the low to high tone that it demanded. A couple of weeks ago, finally I was able to practice it. This was during my favourite practice session sites of mobike driving.

Maybe I forgot to tell you that I drive the roads of Ranchi, singing Khalbali hai Khalbali and Ru-Ba-Ru Roshni Hai, because of the heights of voice that these songs require. Rimil sings along, and the crowd on the road does not gets much disturbed as it is at least better than the horns of cars and mobikes.

So it was during my mobike travels in the roads of Pakur, in drizzling rains of Aug-Sept, driving 100 to 150kms a day, that I practiced the song with the MP3 player connecting to my ears, under my helmet.

In Ranchi when I come for weekend stay with my family, Rimil checks the songs in my Mobile chip, and starts playing his favorites. And what by chance ? He has also started liking the song, and he practiced with me for 2 days last weekend.

Zohra also says Allah Ke Bande ! She has been hearing a lot of Allah with the twin kids (girls of 4 yrs age) of our House Owner, saying ‘Hai Allah!’ at every small thing while playing. She has also learnt some other things which I am trying hard to help her de-learn, like carrying a dupatta and a small purse, and always using her hands to put them in place. I tell her, ‘No dupatta and purse in front of me’. At times he cries, but that’s how the hard learning is during childhood, and she forgets the issue in a very short moment.

Girl’s body movements have been restricted by their clothes, given to them through traditions. We need to break away such gendered way of upbringing and help our children to grow up as equals… with equal opportunity to boys and girls to play (all kinds of games), dance (all kinds of dance), and spread their wings.

Readers please read Kamla Bhasin’s ‘Ladka kya hai, Ladki kya hai ?’ for more information on gendered upbringing of our children, the role our cultures play and the need to bring about a change.

Reminds me, that few days back Rimil was learning ‘Paryayvachi’ words in Hindi (words with same meaning), and he was learning Naari (woman) has another word ‘Abla’ (Incapable and Dependent) with the same meaning. But that is what the women’s movement in India has challenged by bringing out a magazine ‘Sabla’ (Capable), which focuses on women’s capacities which have been utilsed in a very limited manner by society. I did not poked him at that stage, but will have to after an year, to tell what ‘Abla’ and ‘Sabla’ means.

Spending Time with Children

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

For some past months my workstation is a suburban district Pakur, which is a 10 hours train journey from Ranchi, where my family stays. Every weekend I come to Ranchi, to spend time with them, and get re-energised.

Staying almost alone in Pakur, and handling all affairs from cooking to office work, has moved me into a phase of life, where I am enjoying my ‘independence’, and re-learning how to do my personal things on my own.. otherwise frankly speaking, marriage relationship is full of inter-dependence to which I have also got addicted, to some extent.

The changeover has helped me in quite many ways, in trying to re-define my lifestyle.. in trying to bring my ‘self’ to a fuller person. Trying to spend time, energy and thought to what I was restricted to due to proximity to family. Trying to re-discover.. somewhat like Gautam Buddha who left his family for other ‘respectable’ affairs. But is ‘coming together’, and ‘leaving’ means so much in life? Why do we get tied in relationships and why can’t we have umpteen relationships / emotional bondage ?

There are some benefits, of course, of human bondage, with the kind of sharing and ‘stay’ that it brings to fast running life. Over here, I will now tell you about my experience with my family these days.

Coming on weekends to spend time with them, I get engaged in the following tasks with them – taking them out on my motorcycle at least once each day for 3-4 hours (this could be a visit to a close friend or visit to a park or bazaar), watching movies with them, dancing and singing for 2 hours each day on the mike (with Khushi in my hands and Rimil around playing with him, preparing food and together eating for 2 hours, playing Chess for an hour, internet search for Rimil’s questions (like that on Zodiac signs), visiting the library to return / bring books, reading stories to them in the best of dialogue form.

All this exercise takes place while I also complete my own tasks of completing the pending office reports, organisational work report and communications and most importantly, the work to check the Facebook updates, like and comment. Why important? Well social networking has become an important part of sharing and even this blog which I write. I feel its relevant to contribute / share / communicate in some forms, your ideas, opinions and strategies. This has been a space for me to express myself freely, though ‘freedom of expression’ in absolute or to a large extent is something I understand is a still quite far for me. It will take more time for me to ‘liberate’ my expression.

So the two days of weekend goes in a struggling effort on my side to keep balance between the different forms of communication – speaking, story telling, singing, photo shooting, playing, reading and liking in FB, blog writing, etc. This is challenging .. keeping a balance of my role as a father, husband, a social activist, and a net-worker communicator. Still it is a great joy overcoming the challenges, and trying to complete the umpteen tasks in various roles.

Will come to this issue again for deeper analysis later ! Thanks readers !!


Cultural Workshop for Children

Rimil was in Pakur, spending his summer holidays, when his Daddy saw an announcement in the newspaper calling children of 8 to 16 years for a cultural workshop on behalf of Deptt of Arts, Culture and Youth of Jharkhand. Dad ordered the whole team of his family to pack up for Ranchi, for the 20 days workshop.

So the workshop started and as advised by Dad, Rimil opted for Theatre, and left out the other options Classical Singing, Classical Dance and Arts& Crafts, as the children had to choose only one subject. I advised him, .. Listen you can learn Singing from me, Dance you are doing in a Saturday Christian youth meet, and hence take Theatre as it is a conglomeration of various art forms, and is a group activity.

In the Theatre workshop he did the play by Russian writer, Chekhov, ‘The Chameleon’ named Girgit in Hindi. When I went through the original script few minutes ago.. realised that there have been some minor adaptations.. but the idea remains the same.. that of treating a High Official’s son or dog differently than what a treatment a common man or dog gets.

So what did Rimil gained.. skills of how a theatre dialogues and physical movement done to create a scene, a story.. and besides that the joy and experience of working in a group. Yes, theatre helps one to gain the confidence of working in a group.. this is what I have learnt during my engagement in my college years. It has helped me delving deep into the roles that I play.. an impact that an actor has to make to fulfill the role fully, he or she plays.. Remembering Shakespeare, All the World’s a Stage, and each of us play a role.. So let’s do it, at its best.

Parents need to play an immense role in helping their children to flower their talents and interests. Linking it up with Aamir Khan, the young filmi revolutionary.. who is known for his social commitment films/ events.. parents need to invest a lot of their time and money into building .. these Taare Zameen Par (the stars who live with us on ground).

Deepti used to take both the children to the Morhabadi Hockey Stadium ..getting up at 5am, preparing breakfast/ tiffin.. stay over the workshop from 7am to 1030am.. and then return back in auto. On weekends they got my assistance on the bike.. this went on for 20 days.. to end at the final show at Dr Ram Dayal Munda Cultural Centre.. near Hotwar Stadium in Ranchi. An experience for children and their parents !

In my college days I did a play Tota Kahani (The Parrot Story), based on story by Rabindranath Tagore. It was about how the formal schooling system is so boring / non-creative.. that it kills (the thought process). And hence there is a need to take up creative arts ..with children.. so that they can play, enjoy, create, and develop in this process of enhancing their skills.

O Ri Chiraiya

Yesterday we bought a small battery backed ampli-speaker with mike. I had surveyed the market earlier and with family we visited the shop at Ranchi Roshpa Tower, which sold guitar, harmonium etc. Rimil tested the system over there with the song ‘O Ri Chiraiya’. This is the latest sentimental song which came up in the first episode of Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate.

We (means Rimil and myself), had downloaded the song as soon as we viewed it on the TV. StarPlus has uploaded the song just few minutes after the telecast. Rimil has a solo song competition coming up after the summer holidays (a vacation of almost a month 10th May to 10th June, in all Ranchi schools). While we were discussing which song to prepare, this came up.. and we went ahead to google the lyrics… found it and then wrote the song in devnagri script (Hindi) with the help of the latest of Google tools I am using.. Google Transliterate.. which provides support to write Hindi in Mangal font ..while working offline.

So now Rimil has O Ri Chiraiya.. in Roman and Devnagri script in his hand and he has started practicing  singing on the mike. And yes, he is able to get the pick up the music and mood well in his spirit. When we sing together.. I do see a good possibility of him becoming a good co-singer with me.. something like a son-father team ..performing for social causes. Would like to see this dream coming to reality ..even if in small manners !

Last words, there has been a back biting team working on Aamir, as Mr Perfectionist, trying to en-cash the sentiments that people express, and making profit out of it. This is highly cynical, and would rather like to have more dream makers like him to come on the world stage and take the task of social change ahead. Another thought that has come to me.. is to initiate a local Satyamev Jayate Campaign. Any buyers to this idea.. let us work together !


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