Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Potential fathers-in-law, chill maadi

So I don't know what triggered my memory this morning, but I remembered this "something" I had written at least thirteen years ago. Plucked it out from some old word file.


When I followed him into the forest...
Geese cackled and ducks quacked
Sparrows chirped and swallows tittered
Bitterns boomed and owls hooted
Eagles screamed and hyenas laughed
Beetles droned and wrens warbled
Pigs grunted and asses brayed
Bulls bellowed and parrots chattered
Mice squealed and wolves howled
Apes gibbered and turkeys gobbled...

My father-in-law, the movie producer was so amused-
He laughed until he cried
"they think you are one of them”, he told me
And he gave me the role of Tarzan
But the movie flopped miserable
And I'm beginning to feel-but he won't admit-
That it was HE
Not I
Who they had thought was one of them

© Mohit Salgaonkar


(Yeah, I don't know/remember what that was all about either :P)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Potti pataoonga magar hallu hallu

So there's this girl, who's drop-dead cute. Like DROP-DEAD cute. Sigh! The first time I saw her, I was so overwhelmed that I almost fainted (I suspect I suffer from Stendhal syndrome). Ever since, whenever I spot her, I forget what I was doing, my coordination goes for a toss, and I keep ogling her. Like those children were drawn to the Pied Piper. Only in this case she doesn't play any magical pipe. She doesn't need to, you see. Her face itself is music. Naturally, I've been dreaming of spending my life with her. So I requested a friend to devise a plan for me, which'll help me hook up with her. "Slow and steady does it," he said, and told me the following steps:
  1. Start spending more time around her so she notices you, but don't make it obvious right from the beginning.
  2. Look into her eyes and compliment her. Maybe on her earrings.
  3. Help her in her time of need, without hitting on her.
  4. Drop her home.
  5. Take her out to have a cup of tea, and make small talk.
  6. Keep her company when she shops. Choose a nice dress for her.
  7. Subliminally and subtly plant in her head the idea of you being her man of choice.
  8. And finally, pop the question when you think she is most likely to say "yes".
Sounds good? OK, let's do a rehearsal before I do it for real. I trust you guys will let me know how I fared.


Start spending more time around her so she notices you, but don't make it obvious right from the beginning.


Look into her eyes and compliment her. Maybe on her earrings.


Help her in her time of need, without hitting on her.


Drop her home.


Take her out to have a cup of tea, and make small talk.


Keep her company when she shops. Choose a nice dress for her.


Subliminally and subtly plant in her head the idea of you being her man of choice.


Pop the question when you think she is most likely to say "yes".


Okk! {rubbing palms in excitement} How did I do, folks?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Filmy cricket

I have a few videos lined up here. Each of these videos makes me recollect some or the other famous moment in Indian cricket. On some occasions, it is not really a specific moment but more the general characteristic of a player. Watch the videos, and then click the links underneath them. The links contain my opinion.

Here's my opinion

Here's my opinion

Notice how close the hero's mouth is to the heroine's ears, and then notice the volume level and pitch of the "ho"

Hope you had a good time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

मगर यूँही

Decided to stop by for a quick note today. I was reciting my favorite nazm (the original कभी कभी मेरे दिल में ख़याल आता है by Sahir Ludhianvi) to my friend Yatin, and I shared with him my observation about probably the most unobtrusive little two-word phrase in the poem (which is the title of this post). Here's the absolutely ravishing nazm by Sahir saab.

कभी कभी मेरे दिल में ख़याल आता है
कि ज़िन्दगी तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ों की नर्म छाँव में
गुज़रने पाती तो शादाब हो भी सकती थी
ये तीरगी जो मेरी ज़ीस्त का मुक़द्दर है
तेरी नज़र की शुआओं में खो भी सकती थी
अजब न था कि मैं बेगाना-ए-अलम रह कर
तेरे जमाल की रानाईयों में खो रहता
तेरा गुदाज़ बदन तेरी नीमबाज़ आँखें
इन्हीं हसीन फ़सानों में महव हो रहता
पुकारतीं मुझे जब तल्ख़ियाँ ज़माने की
तेरे लबों से हलावट के घूँट पी लेता
हयात चीखती फिरती बरहना-सर, और मैं
घनेरी ज़ुल्फ़ के साए में छुप के जी लेता
मगर ये हो न सका और अब ये आलम है
कि तू नहीं, तेरा ग़म, तेरी जुस्तजू भी नहीं
गुज़र रही है कुछ इस तरह ज़िन्दगी जैसे
इसे किसी के सहारे की आरज़ू भी नहीं
ज़माने भर के दुखों को लगा चुका हूँ गले
गुज़र रहा हूँ कुछ अनजानी रह्गुज़ारों से
मुहीब साए मेरी सिम्त बढ़ते आते हैं
हयात-ओ-मौत के पुरहौल ख़ारज़ारों से
न कोई जादह न मंज़िल न रौशनी का सुराग़
भटक रही है ख़लाओं में ज़िन्दगी मेरी
इन्हीं ख़लाओं में रह जाऊँगा कभी खोकर
मैं जानता हूँ मेरी हमनफ़स मगर यूँही
कभी कभी मेरे दिल में ख़याल आता है

A web page, http://kounterstrike.blogspot.com/2008/03/kabhi-kabhithe-original-poem.html, has basic meanings of the difficult words listed, and I'm copying that list here:

Shaadaab - Blissful
Teergi - Darkness
Zeest - Life
Shuaon - Brightness
Begana-e-alam - Alien to sadness/grief
Jamaal - Beauty
Raanaaiyon - Elegance
Gudaaz - Tender
Neem-baaz - Half-open
Mehav - Drowned
Talkhiyan – Bitternesses
Halaawat - Deliciousness
Hayaat - Life
Barahana-sar - Uncovered-head
Rahguzaaron - Paths
Muheeb - Dreadful
Simt - Direction
Hayaat-o-maut - Life and death
Pur-haul - Full of terror
khaar-zaaron - Small trees with many thorns
Jaada - Path
Khalaaon - Vacuum, Void
Hum-nafas - Companion, Of the same breath

Now, amid all the stunning imagery jumping out from the verses and flying across the page, there is that quiet little मगर यूँही in the penultimate line. IMO, in a way, the whole nazm hinges on that मगर यूँही. That's because it suddenly kind of "answers" the question that has been put up in this क़मर जलालवी she'r:

उन्हे ख़त में लिखा था दिल मुज़्तरिब है; जवाब उनका आया मोहब्बत न करते
तुम्हे दिल लगाने को किसने कहा था; बहल जाएगा दिल बहलते बहलते

(मुज़्तरिब = distressed)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rose Rose आँखों तले

Okay, here comes a guest post. I’m writing a “guest post” on my own blog because I’ve not written for eons and I might not end up writing for eons after this. This post had always been in the pipeline when I was posting frequently, and I thought it deserves to see the light of the day. This is one post where I’m optimistic about getting generous responses from at least my “library friends” because I have a feeling they’ll at once know whom this is about. For the readers who didn’t go to the same library: this post is about a girl who had “possessed” me at that time. Unwittingly, of course. The post is about my attempt at reciprocation—trying to make her my possession. When I write this, I’m going to be as shameless as I normally am. Yet I’m going to try to keep this as generic as possible. I don’t want her to read this and hate me even more (if that's even possible). Okay, let’s call her Rose.

So one day I was fooling around in the library as usual when Rose came walking in that room. That was the day that I saw her for the first time. Ahh, what a sight it was. I have no clue what drew me to her, but something did. “My heart went out to her.” In an instant, I knew that she was the one for me. हो बस अगर तुम हमारे सनम, हम तो सितारों पे रख दें क़दम, is how Majrooh Sultanpuri put it. Now, I'm no Majrooh Sultanpuri, so for me, it was something like the following video:

So now that I had established that this is the girl for me, I thought I should conduct a background check on her. By background check I do not mean the check that they have at airports where they move their hands over your back pockets and say, “sir hum log bum ki checking karte hain”. By background check, I mean finding out where the girl is from, what she is studying, etc. My friend Parikshit and I had a routine of drinking tea at the tapri outside Azad restaurant (overlooking the library) in the evenings. One late evening, Parikshit said he wanted to have tea. I told him to go ahead and that I’d join him at the tapri in a couple of minutes. Just then, Rose got up to leave. I don’t know what got into me, but I left after her. After a while, I realized I was following her! What a creep! Don’t blame me, though. It was my feet that followed her, not me. (much like “my body spake, not I” from The Ballad of Father Gilligan.) So I followed and followed. Through the main road and the lanes and all. Trying to keep myself unsighted by hiding behind the कचरापट्टी and all. In a bid to keep a distance, I lost her after a while. Ah, what was to be done now? “Inquiry” is the word.

By the time I returned, Parikshit had probably finished drinking all the tea in the tapri while he was waiting for me.

Now, as you saw in the previous video, there were already many उम्मीदवारs in the queue for her. I later learnt that half of the library was after her! (BTW, half of the library constitutes all the males.)

So my next aim was to increase my "visibility" by ensuring that I always sat in the same room as Rose. But the library was huge! How was I to walk into each and every room all the time and look where she’s sitting? So I made friends with a library attendant who generally stood at the entrance of the library, ensuring members who came in had their I-cards and made proper entries in the register while checking in. So whenever I would check in, I would ask him, “आली?” he would say “आली.” Now, this became a little confusing because in a hush hush voice, we didn‘t know which “आली” was interrogative and which “आली” was affirmative because the same word doubles up as a question and its answer. (much like “सू करे छे” doubles up as both the question and its answer, at least at specific times.) So we moved on to a much more sophisticated signaling system whose code only he and I knew. So, now when I would check in, my attendant friend would make a special sign, which at once indicated which room she was sitting in, what she was wearing, what she was reading, and a fourth parameter that is unmentionable here. Take a look at a similar demonstration:

Now that I was able to know where she’s sitting from the moment I entered the library, I ensured I always sat at the same table she sat at, preferably in front of her. There were only two things she would now be able to see. Either the pages of her book or my face. I had suddenly become “ubiquitous” to her. Look up and there I was. Go to the canteen and there I was. Go downstairs and there I was. So essentially, barring one place in the library, where I did not have an entry, she would find me in front of her virtually everywhere she went. Much like the video below:

So needless to say I was already dreaming about getting married to Rose. In the preparatory leave that we got before our exam, I was preparing the following speech:

So when we would get married, my friends Satish, Parikshit, and Rohan would perform an exotic baraat dance, preparing her for the ghostliness to come in her life, now that she was married to me. Watch them in action below. (The left one is Rohan, the middle one is Parikshit, and the right one is Satish.)

Okay, okay, I know that by now the readers that know me and Rose will be saying, "enough dreaming, you fool!" and would be wanting to get me out of the dream by doing the following to me:

Okay, okay, कोई बात नहीं चीते, सितारों से आगे जहाँ और भी हैं.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Shreya ghazal

I was traveling in a BEST bus from Mahim to Powai when I first heard the song Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale on my MP3 player. It was love at first listen.

My affection for Shreya grew as months passed. I decided to write a ghazal for her. Being a rookie at ghazal writing, I requested my friend and Urdu mentor Roshan for help. He was extremely gracious and generous in commenting at length on each of the verses I would throw at him. Finally, after 193 e-mail exchanges with him, my ghazal was ready. This was around a year ago.

Ever since, I’ve been trying to meet Shreya in every possible way I can. I plucked out all the pictures of her that existed on the internet, chose one, and created a design, with the ghazal written in Devanagari next to her picture. Because I have no exposure to graphic design, I couldn’t do a good job. However, I put everything into it in terms of effort. I framed the image. It can definitely reach her through an indirect contact I have, but I want to hand it over to her myself. I’ve not been in Mumbai for more than nine months now.

When I was in Seattle, I heard she was coming there to perform. I went to a supermarket to buy another frame. I was checking out their large collection. I noticed a lady having stacked up quite a few frames. Curiously, I asked her whether she actually planned to buy all those frames. She replied in the affirmative, and told me that it’s part of her job because she is a professional photographer. So I thought I’d ask her for her judgment on the kind of frame I should buy. I did not have a print of the image I had created, so I could only describe it to her. I told her that the image has the picture of a girl on the left and poetry I wrote for her, on the right. She looked me up and down and after suggesting the kind of frame I should buy, she advised, “Don’t buy an expensive frame.” :)

Then when I was in Hyderabad, Shreya came to perform there. I’d requested her for a meeting over Twitter. She replied saying she’ll meet me if everything goes all right. I don’t know what went wrong; she didn’t meet me.

Then she came to Bangalore. Because I’ve recently not been active on Twitter , I ddin’t know that some of her other Twitter fans would be attending the Bangalore concert. They got to meet her after the concert. Had I known this, I’d have hung around with them.

All this makes me think that I’m not destined to meet her. At least as a fan. I’ll need to become a music composer. Then I should be able to meet her.

So, now that I’ve given up the hope of meeting her, here’s the ghazal I wrote for her:

वो गहराई! रवानी! और लय! अल्लाह ही अल्लाह!
कहीं दिल से निकलती तो नहीं आवाज़ श्रेया की!

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: That depth! That flow! That rhythm! O Lord!

Sentence 2: I wonder whether Shreya's voice emanates from her heart (instead of her throat!)

More detailed explanation:

Depth (metaphorically), flow, and rhythm are attributes associated with the heart. Shreya's voice has all three to an uncanny extent. Therefore, when one listens to her voice, it would not be surprising if a thought crosses one's mind, making one wonder whether Shreya's voice comes from her heart instead of her throat.

गरजती बर्क़ भी शर्मिंदा हो गर सामने पाए
जमाल-ए-रू-ए-श्रेया और बुलंद आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: Striking lightning would also be put to shame if it encounters in front of it...

Sentence 2: ...the beauty of Shreya's face and her sublime voice.

More detailed explanation:

Lightning is a phenomenon that has the atrtributes of light and sound. Shreya has two similar atrtibutes--beauty and voice. When lightning strikes, the pristine white light looks very beautiful. And the sound of thunder is extremely powerful and has an element of height associated with it because lightning appears above the skyline. This couplet says that even though striking lightning has an extremely beautiful visual aspect and a very powerful associated sound, Shreya's face is prettier, and she has a voice that's more sublime than thunder. Therefore, encountering Shreya would put striking lightning to shame.

सुनी आवाज़ रब की और बताए राह पर निकला
हुआ गुमराह लेकिन जब सुनी आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: I heard God's voice and started to walk on the path suggested by Him.

Sentence 2: However, when I heard Shreya's voice, I went astray (off that path).

More detailed explanation:

I heard the voice of God and started walking on the path shown by Him. However, when I heard Shreya's voice, I went astray. Because in this couplet I have not clearly stated the reason I went astray, it is open to interpretation. A potential (and the intended) reason is that while I was walking on the path sugggested by God, I heard a voice again (this time Shreya's) and mistook it for the voice of God and started to walk in that direction, leaving my current path.

क़यामत हो अगर सुनता रहूँ आवाज़ श्रेया की
क़यामत हो मगर सुनता रहूँ आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1:

Meaning 1: If I keep listening to Shreya's voice, this will indeed be an extraordinary occurence.
Meaning 2: The last day of the universe will eventually come if I keep listening to Shreya's voice.

Sentence 2: Let the last day of the universe come if it has to; however, I would still like to continue to keep listening to Shreya's voice even after that.

More detailed explanation:

The first line says that if I keep listening to Shreya's voice, this will indeed be an extraordinary occurence because there cannot be anything better in the world than listening to her voice, and ordinarily it is not possible for anyone to keep listening to her voice non-stop. The line also means that if I keep listening to her voice, eventually the last day of the universe will arrive. The general conception is that everything in the universe will get destroyed on this day. However, because I love listening to Shreya's voice so much, I can never get enough of it even if I keep listening to it till the last day of the universe arrives. Therefore, even after the last day passes, meaning, even after everything is destroyed (which ideally includes both me and her voice), I would still like to keep listening to her voice.

मेरी धड़कन का बस रस्मी-सा रिश्ता है मेरे दिल से
समझ लो वो रुकी जिस दम थमी आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: My heartbeats have only a perfunctory (something done only for the sake of doing it) relationship with my heart.

Sentence 2: My heartbeats will stop when Shreya's voice ebbs for even a moment.

More detailed explanation:

Generally, as long as the heart is functional (working), heartbeats exist. But here I'm saying that in my case, my heart shares only a perfunctory and superficial relationship with my heartbeats. The real reason my for the existence of my heartbeats is Shreya's voice. Therefore, the moment Shreya's voice ebbs (or pauses) even a little, my heartbeats will stop.

परे हैं मौत के हाथों से, उनको मर्ग का क्या ग़म?
ख़ुशी से मर गए हैं सुनके जो आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: (They) are beyond the clutches of death; how can death cause them grief?

Sentence 2: These people happily gave away their lives when they heard Shreya's voice.

More detailed explanation:

The people who can happily give up their lives in the honor of Shreya's voice are beyond the cluthches of death, and death can never cause them grief.

अगर दिल वज्द में आया, तो धड़कन शोर कर देगी
ज़रा दिल थामकर "मोहित" सुनो आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: If the heart goes absolutely wild in rapture, its heartbeats will be so loud and heavy that they'll cause noise.

Sentence 2: Restrain your heart, and then listen to Shreya's voice.

More detailed explanation:

Shreya's voice always makes the heart go absolutely wild in rapture. Therefore, one always craves to listen to it. However, on listening to it, one's heart becomes euphoric. Consequently, the hearbeats become very loud and heavy, which causes noise and is a hindrance in the process of listening to her voice. Therefore, restrain your heart, and then listen to Shreya's voice.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Mommy opened my drawer one day to find reams of tissue papers inside. That might not sound very odd save the fact that the papers had Hindi/Urdu couplets in Devanagari scribbled all over them. Mommy was upset that I preferred using tissue papers to write stuff on despite her having “donated” me her almost empty notebook. I told her that all the lines I write are subconsciously inside me somewhere, but they prefer not to come out alone. And thanks to my irritable bowel syndrome, they have frequent company.

The restroom (I take that term to be somewhat of a euphemism) of my ex-company was where all the inspiration would hit me. My newborn couplets would enjoy a few hours of glory. Then I would email them to Roshan. After reading his comments, I’d realize that I had succeeded in creating what I had originally set out to when I was visiting the restroom: crap. Of course, without him, I wouldn’t even know the difference between good, bad, and ugly. Thank God for him.

Ah but I’m digressing. What I really wanted to say in this post is that since I have established that the place where I get all my inspiration is the restroom, I had been thinking how best I can cash on that. It’s quite plain that the better my restroom, the better my poetry. What I can do to make my restroom experience as awesome as possible is something that had been eating into me for a long time now. And finally I’ve found the answer! I’m going to buy the royal restroom the maharajas used in Udaipur palace. And I’d appreciate donations from you guys. I know you’d not make any donations without taking a look at the royal restroom. So here it is: click the link below.

Maharaja's restroom (It's soon going to be mine, yayyyyy!)