सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे तो…

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सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे
तो सब कुछ बदल जाएगा.
मगर ये सूरज,
ये तो ना उगने से थकता है
ना ढलने से डरता है.

सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे
तो ये भी मेरी तरह
बादलों की चादर में गुम,
उठने से इनकार करेगा.
मगर देखो ना,
कैसी चमकती धूप खिली है आँगन में!

सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे,
तो ये चिड़ियाँ मायूस सी,
मेरी तरह चहकना भूल जाएँगी.
शायद पेड़ो की डालियों में कही च्चिप जाएँगी.
मगर देखो ना,
ये तो नया ही कोई राग गाने लगी हैं.

सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे
तो तुम्हारे बाग़ीचे के फूल
मेरी ही तरह, तुम्हारी याद में मुरझा जाएँगे..
मगर देखो ना,
ये तो बरसात आने पर फिर खिल गये.

सोचा था तुम चले जाओगे,
तो सब कुछ बदल जाएगा..
मगर देखो ना,
सब कुछ तो दुनिया में वही है..
बस हम बदल गये.

दो पल .

दो पल की ज़िंदगी के
दो पल हमें देदो.
ना ज़्यादा ना कम,
जो है वो हमें देदो.

यूँ तो हज़ारों साल जी लें तुम्हारे बिना,
मगर बिच्छाड़ने का अगर इरादा है,
तो ये जान अभी लेलो.

How Bollywood movies ruined my life .

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First things first – I love Bollywood. But I also hate the fact that I love it. If you’ve ever watched a Bollywood movie, you’d know what I’m talking about. My question to the filmmakers though, is – WHY? WHY WOULD YOU TELL US LIES?

As I was growing up, Bollywood was a major, major part of my life. No, my parents weren’t taking me to the cinema all the time, but yes, I grew up with that idiot box I don’t even care about anymore. So well, as I was growing up, during the late 90s and early 21st century, we had movies on the television all the time. They still do, but I was kinda jobless back then, and I loved watching whatever was available on TV. Ofcourse we didn’t have an internet connection at home back then, so there was no possibility of getting in the touch with the rest of the world and watch what they had to offer. You lucky kids these days can watch everything from Game of Thrones to Californication. But me, I watched DDLJ, Mohabbatein, Jab we met, Kuch kuch hota hai, Dil toh pagal hai et crap. And that too, over and over and over again. So much so that I know all the dialogues by heart. And as ashamed I am to say this, I STILL love watching these movies.

It was a trap. I was all a trap. These Bollywood movies turned me into a filmy character, one crazy bubbly girl right from cheeziest Bollywood film. Everytime I’d watch a new Bollywood movie, I’d want to be like the female lead in my real life. And that’s how I turned from an introvert to a loud Punjabi kudi in 2010, after watching Jab We Met. Yes, that’s the secret. But, bleh. Also, my parents HAD to name me Simran. Even though I was named before DDLJ was released, people think it was the other way round. And it hurts. Its hurts (LOL). My whole identity is based on a stupid Bollywood movie. People have to mention Raj everytime they talk about my love life, and guys named Raj think they can flirt with me because, duh, Simran and Raj forever and ever? And not to miss, every time I’m doing something exciting or going away from home – I think people’s hands itch or they can’t breathe if they don’t say – Jaa Simran jaa jeele apni zindagi!

Let me tell you about Bollywood movies. You’re so lucky if you don’t know about them though. So Bollywood movies have the tendency to take you far, far away from reality and the fact that there is in fact no real life prince charming riding on a white horse. When I realized how the world actually works, I was shocked and heartbroken. All my fantasies turned to nothingness and I wondered why why why why why why why did my parents ever let me watch all this crap! Honestly, I would never let my children or anybody else’s children grow up with this nonsense. LIKE SERIOUSLY. These 90s Bollywood movies turned me into a hardcore romantic, always dreaming about love, and emotions and separation et crap. And I genuinely wonder if I would have been different if I hadn’t grown up with this. I am pretty sure my whole personality would have been something different. I wouldn’t have constantly been juggling between characters and doing all the drama. I would have been more serious and enlightened about my life. And I might have understood earlier that people don’t prioritize love. Love isn’t everything that they think about, all day, 24×7 like in those movies. Guys don’t fall in love at first sight with a girl wearing a pretty suit and bangles, and violins don’t start playing in the background, and the wind doesn’t blow and the heart doesn’t beat faster. I’m sure people do fall in love, but I should have been told when I was a teenager that they don’t fall in love like in the Bollywood movies.

69th Indian Independence Day .

Image Source : Google

Image Source : Google

”At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.’’
– Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of Independent India.

It was on this fateful night of 15th August 1947, that our motherland gained freedom. After a long period of struggle and sacrifices, both silent and violent. Many have suffered endlessly, killed brutally, been exploited and tortured for reasons as simple as turning against the forced government.
It has been almost seven decades. 69 years of Independence . We Indians who were born much later, might never realize what this fateful night back then would have meant for a people. We might never know what it feels like to die for the motherland , to kill for the motherland, and to fight for the motherland.

We, the modern and westernized Indians, might never ‘feel’ the passionate struggle for freedom. We might read about it, hear about it, and watch movies about it, but we might never ‘feel’ it that way. We’ve come too far away from that life, and those times. The world has changed and so has the spirit of our nation.
This nation of ours which is SO special. But let me tell you that India isn’t just another developing democratic country. Our people aren’t just poor and corrupt. That is just one aspect and challenge for a developing country.
India is a huge nation . The fact that it still stands strong, is proof enough of its greatness.

A country with such epic diversity. Where the language, customs, dress up, cuisine, and religion changes every few miles. Each state is like a whole new country, with so much to learn and explore, even for an Indian. And yet, there is unity . We might be Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Rajasthani etc, but at the end of the day, we are Indians.

Our history is unique, our culture is unique . We are an ancient nation, which has contributed so much to the world. There is so much that even we Indians don’t know about our country. Specially the younger generations. And I’m afraid that with increasing globalization, the spirit of our nation would die, sooner or later.
What have our ancestors fought for then? What did they die for?
No, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take part in the global culture. We must contribute and grow as a nation. But not at the cost of our own motherland.
India has been going through changes for long now .

People are questioning the system, moving away, ignoring the better side, and turning away from what must be seen. And that is – the potential and hope that our country has.

To inspire ourselves to do something for our nation, we must see WHY. If we do not take pride in what India is, we might never be able to overcome the challenges we are facing today. Running away and adapting new cultures is very easy. But to live with what we have and make an effort to change what needs to be changed, is the biggest challenge. We can’t turn away because we face problems today. What we must see is that we need to protect and care for our motherland, which is in more need of care now, than it ever was.

To gain independence from domination is difficult. But to handle that gift of freedom is even more difficult. The gift that our ancestors have given to us, must be utilized wisely. And it is we, the children of modern India, who can pledge to grow with the changing world, and yet protect the spirit of our motherland. Without which, the world wouldn’t be complete in itself.

India is the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother history, he grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. – Mark Twain

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made. – Albert Einstein
Vande Mataram!
Happy 69th Independence Day!

हिन्दुस्तान-पाकिस्तान

Indian Flag.

एक वक़्त था जब सोने की चिड़िया कहते थे इस देश को.
वो आए तो थे करने व्यापार,
मगर लेकर चले गये हमारा सब कुछ.
कहते थे हमने दिया है बदले में बोहोत कुछ.

कभी एक वक़्त था जब ज़रूरत नही थी अँग्रेज़ी के काएदे की.
सब अपनी ही भाषा में करते थे इज़हार.
मगर अब तो अगर अँग्रेज़ी ना बोलें, तो कहते हैं आप हो अनपढ़ गवार!

वो आए तो थे सदियो पहले,
मगर छोड़ गये हैं अपनी छाप.
कुछ 1947 की कड़वी यादें,
और हिन्दू मुसलमान का बढ़ता तकरार.

वो कहते तो थे हमने हिन्दुस्तान पर किया है एहसान,
मगर बँटवारा करवाके छोड़ गए एक पाकिस्तान.
दो देश हैं ये, मगर एक जान.
वही दोनो का इतिहास है,
और वही दोनो की शान.
क्या होता अगर आज एक ही होता हिन्दुस्तान?

वो हमारे ही तोह लोग हैं सरहद पार.
जैसे एक घर के दो बेटों में हुई हो तकरार.
एक दिन की दूरी पर मनाते हैं ये आज़ादी का त्योहार!

ज़िंदगी .

ज़िंदगी की एक शाम ढलती है
तो एक दूसरी आ गुज़रती है.
दिन, महीने साल, यूँही गुज़रते हैं.
यूही एक उन्मीद लेकर चलते है.
और ये मुझसे पूछती है ,

”क्या बदलेगा कल, जो आज नही बदला?
तुम क्यूँ इस तरह उन्मीदो से बँधे हो?
यहा तो वही मौसम हैं, और वही आसमान.
वही दिलो को टूटना और रूह का रोना.
वही दिन और वही रातें.
यहा तो सूरज भी अपनी मर्ज़ी का मेहमान है,
और चाँद भी उन बादलों का मोहताज है.
तो क्या बदलेगा कल जो आज नही बदला?
तुम क्यू इस तरह उन्मीदो से बँधे हो?

अब हम क्या समझायें इसे,
कि हमें तोह इश्क़ है
इसके इसी अंदाज़ से.
हमें गम नही है अपने आँसू का,
क्यूकी वो तो इसने सभी को दिए हैं.
मगर खुशी इस बात की है,
कि यहा कोई कितना भी खफा हो,
फिर भी वक़्त उसे पिघलाता ज़रूर है.
चाँद छुपकर  निकलता ज़रूर है.
और सूरज ढालकर चढ़ता ज़रूर है.

Holi – The Festival of Colours .

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Holi – The festival of colours . The festival of love, and the festival that celebrates spring!
Everytime I meet a foreigner and they get to know that I’m an Indian, this is one of the most commonly asked questions by them – What is this festival of colours that you celebrate in your country? And everytime, I have a smile on my face, as I explain.

Holi isn’t just a festival in which we paint each other’s faces. The mere act of doing that is symbolic of love and togetherness. On this day, we come together , regardless of race, caste, sex, colour and religion. We come together and paint each other in colours of happiness and love. And not just that, we celebrate a history of love and the victory of good over evil. Holi does have a connection to the Hindu mythology, and even though I’m not a Hindu, it intrigiues me to know and share why!

Mythological Significance
Holi gets us close to our religion and our mythology as it is essentially the celebration of various legends associated with the festival.
Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the ‘Holika dahan’ comes mainly from this legend.

Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying colour on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.
Mythology also states that Holi is the celebration of death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it.
Another legend of Holi which is extremely popular in Southern India is that of Lord Shiva and Kaamadeva.According to the legend, people in south celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.

Also, popular is the legend of Ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Raghu and was ultimately chased away by the pranks of the children on the day of Holi. Showing their belief in the legend, children till date play pranks and hurl abuses at the time of Holika Dahan.

Cultural Significance
Celebration of the various legends associated with Holi reassure the people of the power of the truth as the moral of all these legends is the ultimate victory of good over evil. The legend of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad also points to the fact that extreme devotion to god pays as god always takes his true devotee in his shelter.

All these legends help the people to follow a good conduct in their lives and believe in the virtue of being truthful. This is extremely important in the modern day society when so many people resort to evil practices for small gains and torture one who is honest. Holi helps the people to believe in the virtue of being truthful and honest and also to fight away the evil.

Besides, holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people a good reason to rejoice, make merry and submerge themselves in the spirit of Holi.

Holi is celebrated widely in India, but there is no comparison to the celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna was born and brought up. There, the celebrations go on for days! There are also other traditions and rituals apart from throwing coloured powders and water on each other. But that, ofcourse is the highlight!
We come together to play with colours, dance, drink and eat traditional foods. It is one of my dearest Indian festivals, and this time since I was in France, I thought I wouldn’t be able to celebrate it. But thanks to a community of Indian students in Paris, I could. And God knows, this was the best Holi celebration of my life!

Here, there weren’t just Indians, but people from all over the world, looking alike with their faces coloured in green, yellow, red, pink, orange, purple and what not! It was held at the  Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, starting from India House, moving on the Dutch House and ending with the French house. With a wide variety of colours provided, along with drinks and amazing Hindi and Punjabi music, it just felt like home! Non stop dancing for more than 5 hours, out in the Parisian cold . And oh, not to forget, the samosas at the end of the celebrations! It really was an experience and a day I would never forget!
Thanks to everyone who organised it. Happy Holi and Joyous Spring to everyone!

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Excerpts from – http://www.holifestival.org/holi-festival.html