Melody from Dev Bhumi Himachal.

Morning I saw a newsletter from Himvani, a site dedicated to Himachal Pradesh, telling about the next release of a Himachali Band “Laman”. This is their second release and they made it as beautiful and melodious as their previous track. (Track posted at the end).

Laman

Shishir Chauhan, Pankaj Badra and Abhishek Bisht. The Laman Band.

This band from Shimla is still new and their aim is to make fusion of Indian folks and semi-classical music. They have taken an initiative to explore and recreate our folk melodies from India, with the help of contemporary instruments so that today’s world could identify with this music. The two songs released as of now are both from Himachal folk music. Continue reading

…. fills my heart with wonder and I sing…..

To me, he is the most highly gifted poet of the Renaissance in India in its various aspects — literary, religious, social and philosophical. His intense religious mysticism combined with joy in life’s various interests, has a hypnotic hold on me.

“For East is East, and West is West,
And never the twain shall meet.” – Rudyard Kipling

I always find this very popular line by Kipling,  forgotten in Tagores work especially in his religious mysticism!!! There’s a spiritual fusion of East and West.

Today on his birth anniversary, I dedicate this song. A great bong friend of mine first made me listen to it while explaining the meaning. Later I found the hindi version of  the same. Continue reading

Nirbal se ladaai balwaan ki.

Today morning I heard this song, posted by a music lover in a music group. (Posted at the end of the article). Its after ages that I heard this song. I had almost like forgotten its existence itself. I was listening and suddenly the lyrics of the song jolted me. I could relate myself so much to the song and my thought went back to last few years.

The general gist of the song is very simple but has a deep meaning. Its telling a story about a Lamp and Storm. The night was dark and everything around was in darkness. And this small lamp decided to light up and eliminate this darkness. Somewhere else a storm was also getting ready to destroy everything. It was far greater in strength than the small Lamp. It attacked the lamp but the Lamp decided to stand and face it, fight it out. Everything around this Lamp, all its near and dear ones left him alone. It was under deep sadness. And a time came when it decides to give up, but then got help and was again back to its do or die spirit. It again starts fighting with the storm. The storm tried its best, the lamp also got tired, but it never stopped flashing. The storm tried its best to attack the lamp but could never make the lamp submit. And finally it left the Lamp alone to glow. Continue reading

Achyutam Keshavam

This particular Bhajan sung by Vikram Hazra (Posted at the end) has been a favourite of mine for long. And last few months, I have been listening to this song every morning before leaving for work. Its so divine and calms me a lot, helping me in turn to get through the day wonderfully. It touches the soul.

The lyrics of the song answers so many of my questions. Why doesn’t God listen to me, how can I get him near me, and so many. The song tells the simple ways to pray the Lord, tells us how to get near him. “Kaun kehta hai bhagwan aate nahi, Meera ke jaise bulate nahi”, this line always hits me when I hear this bhajan. We all seem to be doing so many things to call the Lord. Money is laundered in the name of “Puja” to get him near us. But how many of us really call him with the same devotion as Meera, to try calling him from base of the heart. The lyrics of this song conveys the absolute truth about what devotion really means. Meerabai and Shabari are the beautiful examples.

I salute you O Achyuta, Shri Krishna, the Infallible one, who is perfect, who can never fall or be wrong, for he is the perfection of the perfect. Few more lines that comes to my mind when I listen to the song….

Kaun kehte hain Bhagvan maante nahi, tum Radha ke jaise manaate nahi.
Kaun kehte hain Bhagvan samjhaate nahi, Arjun ke tarah tum samajhte nahin.

Kaun kehte hain Bhagvan sunte nahi, Soordas ke tarah tum sunaate nahin.
Kaun kehte hain Bhagvan saath rehte nahin, Hanuman jaise dil mein basaate nahi.

Jokhon porbe na mor payer chinho ei bate….

Don’t go by the title and think my post is something in bengali. It’s related to my favorite poet – Gurudev. Its 249th blog post and before hitting the 250 mark, thought of dedicating this one to this great human being.

I was reading one of his poem, translated from the Bengali song “jokhun porbe na moor…” today. Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry, especially this one, always leave me thinking how he could speak about death in such a bitter sweet manner!!! Just like a nostalgia after death!!! We remember the one’s we loose, feel their presence, and Gurudev expresses them so beautifully. The poem represents the real life’s story in this world and the next.

After going through some trying days last few months and seeing death from very close quarters, I see these lines today with a much clear mind. Gurudev has talked about death in many of his poems and he has uttered death in such a profound and subtle acceptance. That’s how it should be!!! I have realised life is never safe for anyone. And tomorrow if I too am not there, these words of Gurudev are just what even I would say to all my near and dear ones!!!

And here’s the poem and also the Bengali song for you all.

When my footprints fall no more on this marketplace
When I stop ferrying my boat at this ghat (ferry stop)

When I will have stopped trading my goods
When I will have balanced my books
When comings and goings have stopped at this marketplace
Then,…..
Please do not remember me.
Gazing at the stars, do not call my name.

When dust fall on the strings of my tanpura
Thorny vines creep up the walls
Mould appears on the sides of the lake
Then……
Please do not remember me
Gazing at the stars, do not call my name.

Then the sound of the flute will be as it is today
The days will pass by as they do today
At the ghat, the ferries will run
Cows will graze, cowherds will play in the meadows
Then…
Please do not remember me
Gazing at the stars, do not call my name.

Then….
Who says that in that morn, that I am not?
In every game, the same I will be there,
With a new name you will call upon me,
With new arms I will be embraced
The same eternal I, will be coming and going.
Then…
Please do not remember me
Gazing at the stars, do not call my name.

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Har ek haq chheene zindagi se, Har ek pal sach se bhage – Sadda Hak, Aithe Rakh.

What amazing words coming from Irshad Kamil. Great job!! Each word pinches and hits right into the heart. And good work by AR Rahman and Mohit Chauhan and Clinton to give the words LIFE. Like many of the Rehman’s songs, first time when I listened to it, it didn’t click. But after hearing it few more times, more attention given to the lyrics, I found its really inspiring.

It’s sad we do self realisation after a jolt, be it in anything. We idolise likes of Lord Buddha and Vivekananda but lack the devotion and commitment of theirs. Maybe that’s how it is. Most of us are so used to sleep walking that a powerful jolt is actually needed to do some soul searching and give meaning to life.The movie tells all.

The song and its lyrics:

Tum logon ki, iss duniya mein
Har kadam pe, insaan galat
Main sahi samaj ke jo bhi kahoon
Tum kehte ho galat, main galat hoon phir kaun sahi (phir kaun sahi)
Marzi se jeene ki bhi main
Kya tum sabko main arzi doon
Matlab ki tum sabka mujhpe
Mujhse bhi zyada haq hai
Saadda haq, aithe rakh

Saadda haq, aithe rakh Na na na ..
Saadda haq, aithe rakh

Hey inn gadaaron mein ya udhaaron mein
Tum mere jeenay ki aadat ka kyun gott rahe dum
Besaleeqa main, uss gali ka main
Na jis mein haya, na jis mein sharam
Mann bole ke ras mein jeenay ka harjaana duniya dushman
Sab begaana inhe aag lagaana
Mann bole mann bole, mann se jeena ya marr jaana

Saadda haq, aithe rakh
Na na na ..

O eco-friendly, nature ke rakshak, main bhi hoon nature
Rivaazon se, samaajhon se kyon
Tu kaate mujhe, kyun baante mujhse iss tarah
Kyun sach ka sabak sikhaaye, jab sach sunn bhi na paaye
Sach koi bole toh tu niyam kanoon bataaye
Tera darr, tera pyaar, teri waah, tu hi rakh (rakh saali)
Saadda haq, aithe rakh
Aithe aithe rakh
Saadda haq, aithe rakh.

Har ek haq chheene zindagi se …… Har ek pal sach se bhaage!!!!!

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The Power of “Tongue”.

“Think twice before you say something” is what the quote say. But I would rather say, think 10 times before you say ‘something’. And atleast once after you say that thing. Because words are like bullets!!!

Getting into one’s good books is the most difficult task. You spend weeks/months/years to do that, but spoiling it, it takes just one second. Maybe even a fraction of a second! Just a wrong “Word” and poof, it goes down the drains.

The most powerful word in English is – Sorry.

This word is so powerful that, it can change any situation to a favourable/good one! And of course, it requires a lot of courage (real) to say this. But trust me, it’s worth it. And people like to hear it.

Exceptions:

This is not applicable for the following 2 types of “Sorry”.

1) The ‘sarcastic sorry’ – That’s abuse.

2) “I’ll do anything I want and get away with a sorry” sorry – Now that’s misuse.

Another word which is my favourite – “Please”!! With this simple word you can get your work done in a much easier way than it is meant to be! Now tell me, who won’t like you, if you say ‘please’ with a smile on your face?

Swear words – I rather prefer not to use them!!!

Hate words – NEVER.

They say that the tongue is the most powerful weapon. In my opinion, it’s like an animal, tame it! You’ll be proud of it! You’ll love it. It’s also a prisoner, as ferocious/dangerous as ‘Hannibal Lector’.  Think before you let him out. Sometimes its better not to let him out, remember the damage Dr. Lector could do!!!

Even when you are left with nothing else in this world, you’ll still have words with you. You can count on them! Last but not the least – Words have the power to take anyone’s heart away – Sweet words, Lovely words, Awesome words!!

Listen to this song. An awesome song telling what “Words” can do. Posting the video with lyrics included.

Enjoy!!!!!

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Bansuri and Me are inseparable!!!

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Bamboo Flute - Bansuri

Many of my friends here have been asking me last few weeks to share some tracks of Bansuri played by me and also share some tit bits about the instrument.

Playing Bansuri has been more of a hobby for me. It never was a passion hence I could never give the dedication it required. It started more as a fun-play for me during childhood. Our village used to be visited by a guy selling Bansuri. He would roam around the village playing one himself. I used to love listening to his recitals and when free would even follow him. I felt like buying one but as kids we were told by our elders never to talk to hawkers let alone buy anything.

Then came a “Mela” (Fair) and I saw this man even there selling Bansuri. Mela was then a place to buy anything and I requested my brother to buy one. There started my journey with this instrument. I would play randomly, without any tune and even get to hear shouts asking to stop. One day hearing me play some “Besura” tunes, this Bansuri seller while passing our house stopped. He sat down on the porch and then started showing me how to play simple SaReGaMaPa on flute. The coaching went on for weeks and ended in his coming everyday late afternoon when I was back from school, have lunch that my mother would serve him and then guide me. He was my first Guru!!!!

Later after I started with my higher education, I got myself a proper Guru so that I can learn it better. Here I realised how important it is to always get started with a proper Guru. If you learn on your own, your finger movements get set as per your need and ease. This could always be the wrong movement and now when you get started with proper coaching, its extremely difficult to set them back to track.

The most important thing to remember while holding Bansuri is that the three fingers of each hand that cover fingering holes, should be free to move quickly on the Bansuri. In other words, these fingers should not be used to grip the Bansuri and you should not force them around it. They should be as light as possible. One of the most common mistakes is to grip the Bansuri with the index finger of the top hand. If you grip the Bansuri with your playing fingers, they will not be able to move fast enough and your playing speed will suffer.

The gripping style also has two school of thoughts. One school of thought asks you to close fingering holes with finger tips while the other asks you to close fingering holes with the middle part of the fingers. The first school of thought was followed by Pt. Pannalal Ghosh while second one we can see Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia following.

One of my most memorable day in life was when I met Pt Chaurasiaji personally few years back. He was on a visit to IIT KgP for a live concert and fortunately, the IIT administration gave me the responsibility to be at his side as long as he was on the campus. The tips I received from him and discussions I had with him, always stay as a cherishing memory for me. These days playing Bansuri has turned more of entertaining myself. It soothes me a lot whenever I am in any turmoil. I can never get the dedication required to be a pro but I can’t keep it away from me either. Its always there with me when I take any trip, be it anywhere!!!!

There’s  lot about Bansuri that I feel like telling. But best to stop here and share two tracks with you all.


A light track, played for fun sake, more of time pass.


Playing Raag Bhupali during a homely get-together on my Guru’s insistence.


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Happy Valentines day to all my Friends!!!!

Some people say friend’s are great, some say they are good to have around.
Some say that a friend is a treasure and that they are hard to be found.
Some people say that a friend is someone that is honest and true.
But when somebody asks me what a friend is,
I simply point all of you.

I cherish your friendship and wish you all a Very Happy Valentines Day.


Mother o’ mine

While reading the poems collection of Rudyard Kippling today, I came across this poem. His poems have always been a very favourite of mine and I go through the collection whenever I am free. They are in very simple language but always touch you. When he was five his parents had sent him off to England while they stayed back in India. That had actually made him very sad and many of his poems show it.

Here’s a poem by him which again is a simple one. Nothing too poetic but it touches you.

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

And while reading through the poem I suddenly recalled a song by Jimmy Osmond – Mother of Mine. A song again with very nice lyrics and Jimmy has sung it too with lot of feel.

And here are the lyrics of the song.

Mother of mine you gave to me,
all of my life to do as I please,
I owe everything I have to you,
Mother sweet Mother of mine.

Mother of mine when I was young
you showed me the right way
things should be done,
without your love where would I be,
Mother sweet Mother of mine.

Mother you gave me happiness,
much more than words can say,
I play the lord that he may bless you,
every night and every day.

Mother of mine now I am grown
and I can walk straight all on my own,
I’d like to give you what you gave to me,
Mother sweet Mother of mine.

Maa hai Rab da Roop – Malkit Singh

Morning the song came to my mind when I started preparing my lunch and found the only option left is the all rounder “Bread”. Only food I know how to cook without any hassle or burning. But that reminded me of this song by Malkit. I did not go “Pardes” but still, now miss those rotis when I have to eat these breads =)

Here’s a song of Malkit Singh which is very touching and I love it a lot. The song again carries very strong meaningful lyrics.

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So true “Maa hai rab da roop”


Maa da rishta saare rishtaya nalon goodha rishta!!!

Maa chahe jhirka maare par os diya ta jhirkan wadiaan changian lagdian ne!!!


Thanks Malkit for the wonderful song!!!!


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Amma Poochhdi (Morni) – Song that I can never forget

This is a Pahadi Song sung by Mohit Chauhan, of the band Silk Route. Its a very popular folk song from Himachal.

I grew up hearing my mother humming the song and always used to find it very soothing. It still brings back all those memories of my village life in Shimla. It’s a haunting melody that I can never forget ever more as now Maasa is no more with me.

I had no idea it has been sung by Mohit and the track is available too. Here’s the song.

It’s a song where the son is asking questions to his mother on different things and the mother is replying to him while doing her daily chores. The last question and it’s reply is the part I love most of this song.

The son asks his mother – Where does the moon and stars go, where do people close to our heart go?

The mother replies – Moon and stars hide at this time of the day while people close to our heart never hide anywhere. They stay within us forever!!!

The full lyrics of the song:

Amma Poochdi, Sun Dhiye Meriye.
Zubali Itni Tu Kiyan Kaari Hoyi Ho.

Par Le Baniya, More Jo Boley Ho.
Aamaji Iney More Ninder Gavai Ho.

Sadh Le Bandhukhi Jo, Sadh Le Shakari Jo
Dhiye Bhala Eta More Maar Girana Ho.

More Ni Maarna.
More Ni Gavana Ho.
Aamaji Eta More Pinjrey Puwana Ho.

Kuthi Janda Chandrama, Kuthi Jandey Tarey Ho.
Oo Ama Ji Kuthi Jandey Dilan De Payare Ho.

Oo Chupi Janda Chandrama, Chupi Jandey Tarey Ho.
Oo Dhiye Bhala Naiyon Chupdey Dilan De Payarey Ho.