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My Banaras Journey (Continued)

5th September,
Amroha, 9:30 pm

The sky right outside the train window looks magical. There are very few or no lights at all, so I get to see the sky with most of the starts in the sky. These are stars which I have just seen once in my life, in the  Andhra sky in my father's village long ago. I look into the same sky and it takes me back into time, years ago.
Times have changed, I have changed, but what hasn't changed are the skies and the beautiful stars.
Like the stars, there is some twinkling of the Fireflies, which adds so much more to the visual. This journey is just marvellous. :)
...

Muradabad, 10:15pm

Finally, I have started liking these two guys sitting with me. They are quite happy at the fact that I am a South Indian and I speak in such good Hindi. Happiness.
Meanwhile, I try and catch their accent, which is more interesting. They have begun introducing Banaras. Excited I am!

(to be continued...)

Banaras... Phase 1

The recent trip to Banaras (Varanasi) is been recorded in my diary entries. here we go...

5th September '13
Simbhala, UP, 8:35 pm

I am entering the interiors of UP, which I always wanted to do. Staying in Delhi does expose me to a lot of UPites, but when it comes to UP itself, no one else can replace UP itself. I just wanted to get a hint of the journey of the the way changed from the British United Province to the Hindustani Uttar Pradesh...both UP's.
'Trying' to get the UP accent is quite different from 'Getting' it. This is so peculiar, so effortless, so beautiful.

There are different accents across India.  It is true that India has 18 languages, which is quite a lot for a nation. But what is stranger is the no. of  dialects which this nation has. They say that every 40 kms, the dialect changes, which makes the land multi-cultural and diverse.

For instance, one one hand I have this guy in my compartment from Banaras, who is extra respectful and on the other h…

My One liners :)

It was half past midnight in my watch, half past mid-night in yours... Yours had crossed 12 and was sad... mine was still waiting for 1...all hopeful! 

Monsoon travel diaries

And it was just any other monsoon with the same old stories of a somewhat 'Early' monsoon and I don't know what all. What was new for me was that I was in back in Delhi fter ages... having spent a nice and 'full' monsoon last year at Mumbai. I had worked hard there and was slightly confused whether is it fool-proof to start something new in a city which is famous for all the wrong reasons, or should I say, is notorious.
What happened was not a part of my plan.

The films on which I had worked last year as an AD (Assistant Director) had begun to release now, when I was in Delhi. When in Mumbai, I could not see a glimpse of anything of this. What I had seen always and still believe in is the fact that one should work hard for TODAY and forget everything else.
First came BOMBAY TALKIES, where I was assisting Dibakar Banerjee, and I was the Da (Director's Assistant), then came out SHIP OF THESEUS (by Anand Gandhi), where we had all worked very hard and never knew w…

The Beauty

Sitting in the auto I looked out,
it was raining, with the roads full of people,
getting late for office,
getting later for work, which was anyway ahead of them,
people getting late, as always.

Sitting in the auto, I still looked out,
at the non-stop rain, refusing to stop,
refusing to fight against people getting late,
refusing to inspire people, who were never late.

Sitting in the auto, I noticed the sunlight coming up,
lighting up every nook and corner, still drenched in the rain,
with sun rays as beautiful as ever,
making everything look as good as gold,
but the people kept running, fighting with time.

There were people running against time,
and missing those shiny droplets of rain, getting lost in the sunlight,
there were men and women fleeing in panic,
and I was sure that they had definitely won the race against time,

but they had defiinitely missed seeing the shine around them,
they had missed how scenic the sky looked,
they had missed how beautiful the RAINBOW looked in the s…

The pleasure :)

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The play which was more of a dream,
more of an illusion,
which happened and there were smiles everywhere.

There was applause,
and there were so many things which we could learn,
but what could not be described was the feelng on the stage,
when we all bowed down after the play, together,
and we all smiled with our heads bent,
with so much of pride,
such an award that smile was.,
Such joy.

Such pleasure :)

The Afghani journey

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A group of twelve men and women, from Kabul had recently visited India, to see and learn things at the Indian NGO's so that they could take and go back things to Afghanistan which would help them in rebuilding their society. These men and women had come through this organisation called Action Aid, Afghanistan.

I had got a call from Action Aid India to make a film on this journey which these young men and women were taking. I got excited and I started shooting and travelling with the Afghan team for the next 4 days.

This trip has been an eye opener not just for the Afghans but also for me. It has taught me a lot and also made me realise the fact that this country has so much to offer and I need to travel and explore so much before I talk . The film is getting ready and I would share it soon.

Cheers



Did I sleep well?

I got up early and i slept again.
I definitely got up, but did i sleep well?
With men dying in the mountains,
and kids crying next to the dead bodies.

I could not sleep at all.
I just got up...

That open window

That open window,
right above my pillow,
has happy questions,
with unhappy answers.

The sun rays enter,
wake me up,
from dreams,
unseen and unknown.

Just because of that window,
that open window above my pillow,
that I keep forgetting
my doubts and my problems,
unseen and unknown.

Questions I have,
about life and death,
murders and suicides.
I stare into that window,
and miss my parents,
who are happy just with the memories of my happiness,
all unseen and unknown.

So, it is just this windo,
which answers my questions,
all unseen and unknown.
JUST THAT OPEN WINDOW
and nothing else.


Just the fan, Bablu ji!

Delhi is super hot this year, I think much more than the previous years I have lived here. Also, adding to this is the fact is that I have been living in a room with the fan not working and the cooler without a pump, so what happens is that the cooler throws air, which is hot and killing!
I have been staying alone in Delhi and I am liking the experience till now. It is nice and pleasant. But about 8 days ago, my fan stopped working and right on the next day, my cooler's pump stopped too. I stay alone in the room, so I complained it to my landlady about this and she gave me the no. of this electrician called Bablu ji. 
Now the thing is that when Bablu ji comes to repair the fan/cooler, I have already left for office and when I come back (which is late), I can't get Bablu ji. Amidst this mismatch of time between me and bablu ji, I had started to grow accustomed to the whole concept of living in a room without a fan and a hot cooler! In the beginning, this was a huge problem for me…

The joy of 6 am

6 am, Delhi. Post school, this has been a time I would never be awake at. But a recent trip to Jharkhand, changed things for me. When I am home in Hyderabad, this is when my parents would also wake me up for early morning chai and after chai, they would leave for the morning  walk and I would get back to my happy slumber.
In Ranchi, I was spending a couple of days at my mama's. So every day I would get up at 6 and with my mama , my cousin and mai (mama's wife!) I would go for a walk. But this Jharkhand journey was one of those trips where I am open to everything new. Things which might have been happening in my life, since childhood, but in some of these trips, I leave all my beliefs on one side, and I UNLEARN. I had actually gone there to do some research for one of my documentaries, but I was open to everything coming my way. So, me and my cousin, Divya walked behind and my mama-mai walked forward. It was early morning and I could feel the freshness in the air. Divya and I w…

किस रंग में बेरंग हो?

न सोच न समझ, न सच न झलक, न मंज़िल न कोई रास्ता, क्यूँ बेरंग से बढ़ रहे, किस रंग में बेरंग हो तुम?
किस रंग में?
न माता न पिता, बस हैं कुछ दोस्त साथी, जो आज हैं, पर देखा न उनके संग कल, वो जाने हैं आज क्या हुआ, पर न भनक उन्हे बीते हुए कल की, क्यूँ बेरंग से बढ़ रहे? किस रंग में बेरंग हो?
किस रंग में?
आज का दिन गुलाल का था, न था लहू का, न था हिंसा का, न था मदिरा का, न था गुमने का, कहाँ से आए ये रंग ज़िंदगी में? किस रंग में बेरंग हो तुम?
किस रंग में? किस रंग में? किस रंग में...

© के॰ हरीश सिंह 2013

Moving on!

Moving on! Vikrant was a new employee of the Central  Public Works Department, which the world knew as the famous CPWD. He had finished his engineering from a prestigious engineering college and his family was quite happy at the fact that he had got a job in CPWD, an organization which was as old and as trustworthy  as ever. It had been three months and the feeling of this new job had not yet settled in. Vikrant had just moved to Delhi and got a house here.  It was a nice life here in Delhi, compared to his hometown in UP. The best part for him was his family was no where around. Though they would never be after him to come and sleep on time, but it is just this responsibility which Vikrant had towards them. Now, all of a sudden, he did not have any and wasn't he happy about it! Somewhere in central Delhi, Vikrant's team was doing a field survey of the number of slums in the area. They were going from one slum to another and checking and collecting documents from the slum owners.…

Translation by Sambit Kr. Pradhan :)

This is the awesome translation which our very own Sambit Kumar Pradhan did. Love it:


वो माँ ... वो माँ,
जिसने अपना बेटा
मुल्क से मामूली मुद्दे पर
लड़ते हुए खो दिया। खिड़की पे बैठे वो याद करती है अपने बेटे को,
वो बच्चा, थका, पसीने में तर
साँझ के खुशगवार खेलों की मुस्कान लिए
भागा आता था रोज़ उसके पास।
खिड़की पे बैठे वो याद करती है अपने बेटे को। वो मुल्क क्या है जिसके लिए वो मरा?
क्या वही राष्ट्र-गान है जो वो स्कूल में गाता था,
और उसके रौंगटे खड़े हो जाया करते थे?
क्या वही मुल्क है ये, जिसके लिए वो मरा?
वो मुल्क क्या है जिसके लिए वो मरा? अनजानों को मारना सीखा था उसने,
सिर्फ इसलिए कि वो उसके मुल्क में घुसना चाहते थे।
वो इस मुल्क के माइने कैसे बताए?
वो कैसे इस मुल्क को अपना और
उस अनजान को अपना दुशमन बताए?
क्या वो उसे मारता अगर वो उसे
सड़क किनारे किसी चाय वाले के यहाँ मिलता?
कैसे मारता वो उसे,
क्या उस अनजान की माँ नहीं होगी?
और वो कौन सा मुल्क था, जिसके लिए वो मरा? उसे कहा गया लड़ने को,
अनजान अनछुए इलाकों के लिए-
हालत खुदकी उतनी ही बुरी जैसे दुश्मन की।
वो फिर भी लड़ा उन से,
सिर्फ इसलिए के वो फ़िरंगी थे।
पर क्या उ…

गलत मोड

जाना था जंगपुरा, पर गलत मोड ही था, जो मुझे निज़ामुद्दीन के किसी कोने में छोड़ गयी, वो बस!
थी वो हरी बस, पर सपने रंग बिरंगे लिए, मैं चल पड़ा जंगपुरा की ओर।
इतनी ठंडी हवा, की जेबों से हाथ ही न निकले, सिकुड़कर चलता रहा, वो गलत मोड ही था, जो मैं चल रहा था।
गाडियाँ इतनी तेज़, की पालक झपकते ही सब गायब, देखा मैंने की मैं ही हूँ, जो चल रहा था। गलत मोड जो ले लिया था।
पर चलते चलते मैंने वो सब देखा, जो मैं कभी गाड़ी में सूंघ भी न पाता।
मेरी बंद कविताओं के वो सुलझते खुलासे, मेरी कहानियों के वो अंजाने अंत, मेरे उन बेसुरे गानों के वो सुंदर सुर, सब साफ दिखने लगा मुझे। वो सब जो मैं कभी गाड़ी से सूंघ भी न पाता।
मैं जो चला तो मुझे आया ये समझ, की सही ही कहा था उस महान कवि ने, की मोड़ कभी गलत नहीं होते, बस इंसान गलत होते हैं। बस इंसान गलत होते हैं। बस इंसान गलत होते हैं।

The ruler

Image
With the Ganges at its spiritual best,
I saw him look at me,
his eyes said that the river is his,
I agreed,
and with some unexplained happiness,
I met,
the dog who ruled the river... :)

The 'Perspective'

Sometimes or should I say once in a lifetime, you go through a phase where there are so many changes happening in life, that you start going crazy! Some of them are unwelcome but some of them are welcome changes, which you somehow want to take place.

During these times, I have just realised or I have been 'enlightened' with this technique which is absolutely marvelous  It is called 'stepping back' and analyzing your life.

I was in Mumbai. I have been busy exploring the developments I was making career wise but I had just stopped looking at my own life. How stupid could I get! I could see the whole race I was a part of of, I could see my competitors competing with, but how could I not see myself running in the race. That is the technique.
When I come out of the race and look at myself with the competitors. I ask the existence of my own self. In fact when I concentrate,I ask the existence of the race in my life!

I am in Delhi, miles away from where the mad race was happ…

My first film

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Active Participation

Was a film I made in the first year of graduation, in MBICEM. We were all so young and stupid back then, but not a bad film :)



That mother...

That mother,
who lost her son,
fighting over an issue
as trivial as the nation.

She sits next to the window and remembers her son,
this young boy who would come running to her,
all sweaty and tired,
with that happy smile of the evening games.
She sits next to the window and remembers her son.

What is the nation which he died for?
Is it the same national anthem which played in his school assembly,
and gave him the goosebumps?
 Is it the same nation, which he died for?
What is the nation he died for?

He was trained to kill unknown people,
just because they wanted to enter his 'nation',
How could he define this 'nation',
how could he call that person his enemy,
and his nation his 'own'.
Had he met him at the road side chai-wala,
would he have killed him.
How could he kill him,
didn't that man have a mother too?
What is the nation did he die for?

He was asked to fight for regions,
which were unknown and unvisited,
a condition as bad as the enemy's,
but he …

Freedom!

February 2013, Jungpura, Delhi.

This is the weather I have always loved about Delhi. The February sun is like the best thing you could ever get. It is comfortably cold and I am very happy that it is COLD. I had missed the cold ever since I moved to my days n Ahmedabad and Mumbai. So I am back!

The one year spent at Mumbai has been quite rewarding in terms of work experience. I just want to be free now. What is freedom? How do u define it?

Freedom is defined as being able to do anything anytime, irrespective of the timing, or the place where you are. That I believe, is freedom!

I wanted a change of space, which I have. Will (hopefully) get a nice place to stay. And I want to write and keep writing...

"In this nice and lazy weather, with sleepy eyes, 
I write and get lost.
 From the lost world, i hear sounds of Delhi I have lived in. 
It is the same city which has survived ages and still stands upright
with all the walls and the gates. 
As I write, I wonder what is right or what is wron…

Gokul

(This story is an introduction of a series of stories I have been writing, called 'Gokul's Summer Vaccation'. So read and comment. The series would be out (hopefully in print) soon. Enjoy...)


It was a 2 bhk apartment which had four people staying in it. Gokul was one of them sharing the partment.
Gokul Srinivas was new in Mumbai and his search for a job was on. It was just the day before, when he had turned 23. Gokul believed that it was his worst birthday ever. He got calls only from Ma and Pa . All his friends just sent him smses. He would have taken them with happiness, but not on a day when he was frustrated at the situation he was trapped in- A new city- No job- Very expensive!
Gokul entered the room and closed the door behind him. There was some relief for Gokul as his roommate was not home and he had the whole room to himself. Gokul sat on the floor and felt sad at the way things were moving, or not moving at all.
As he was looking around for deviations to enter his li…

पता नहीं क्यूँ ?

शुरू सही ही की थी कविता,
सही शब्द, सही विराम,
पर कहीं बीच में, थम सा गया हूँ।
पता नहीं क्यूँ?

विचार बहुत हैं, असीमित।
ख्याल बहुत हैं, असंख्य।
पंक्तियाँ भी बहुत हैं, अनगिनत।
अब कैसे लगाऊँ?
क्या लगाऊँ?
कहाँ लगाऊँ?
बस बीच में, थम सा गया हूँ।
पता नहीं क्यूँ?

गीत भी लिखना शुरू ही किया था,
सुबह की गर्मा-गर्म कॉफी के साथ,
सही अल्फ़ाज़ बने, और बढ़ा गाना मेरा,
पर अब न समझूँ, की कोरस क्या होगा,
पता नहीं कहीं बीच में,
थम सा गया हूँ।
पता नहीं क्यूँ?

न मैं थमता, और न ही सोचता,
ख़ुश हूँ की मैंने शुरुआत तो की,
थमा हूँ, पर रुका नहीं,
विकल्प अब भी जारी है।
थम ज़रूर गया हूँ, पर कविता,
अब भी जारी है।
सोच अब भी जारी है।
जारी है...

The Shift!

3rd March 2011 was the day I had reached Bombay and my 'struggle' had just started. So in the last 10 months I have been working day in and day out and I seem to be loving this. I had started working as an intern in Recyclewala films with Anand Gandhi and helped (ran around) in the post production of 'Ship of Theseus'. After this, I joined AKFPL (Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt Limitid).
Another journey that was assisting Shlok Sharma and in the group where all film students want to be a part of. Quite an experience as t was also my first feature film, where I was the continuity AD. Taught me a lot of things and I became friends with a huge group of nice people.
I did an ad film and a couple of prjects here and there and I got admission in DBP (Dibakar Banerjee Production) as the DA (Direcor's Assistant) on his new short film which is a part of a bigger feature. The process I am sure was a big learning process for me. But to add to it, Dibakara had got 2 AD's from Delhi…

The Dream on wheels

Every morning,
at the Andheri station as I stand,
I see millions of dreams,
multiple lives, fighting with each other,
over-taking each other,
amidst all the announcements of the trains coming,
I see the train, the shining Local,
all set to accomodate all the dreams inside.
We all jump up on the dream on wheels.
The journey begins...

Each train is a world in its own right,
Full of races,
full of people getting late,
full of noises,
full of illogical jokes people laugh on,
full of the Mumbai I see and know of,
full of ...Life,
There is a reason why are they called the dream on wheels!

As I stand waiting for Bandra to come,
I see a group of people playing music and singing,
these are all religious songs, as loud as the train sounds are,
sung in voices which are absolutely brilliant,
in terms of power and talent.
The train approaches Bandra,
I see them stop singing, packing up,
They are all office goers, who just sing for the time to pass.
Absolutely awesome it is.
As I stand and wonder …