Sunday, November 20, 2011

LADY by Lionel Richie

Lady, I'm your knight in shining armor and I love you
You have made me what I am and I'm yours
My love, there's so many ways I want to say I love you
Let me hold you in my arms forever more

There were days when we were close
Just to be ignorant that we chose
All around I kept looking for you
You were there, but I never knew

You have gone and made me such a fool
I'm so lost in your love
And oh, we belong together
Won't you believe in my song?

Lady, for so many years I thought I'd never find you
You have come into my life and, made me whole
Forever let me wake to see you each and every morning
Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear

In my eyes I see no one else but you
There's no other love like our love
Oh yes, I'll always want you near me
I've waited for you for so long

Oh, Lady, your love's the only love I need
And beside me is where I want you to be
'cause,'cos, my love, my love, there's somethin' I want you to know
You're the love of my life, of my life, you're my lady
You're my lady

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No sun's too bright for you

Look above up in the sky
Greater heights there do lie
Bother you not from the dark eye
Never give up but apply
Still are there things to do
No sun's too bright for you

*** ***

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

hasat raha

हसत रहा

हातावर हात ठेवून, गुडघ्यावर डोकं ठेवून
मिटलेल्या त्या डोळ्यांच्या, आडून जरा हसत असता

लपलेल्या अश्रूंनी, आणि बंद ओठांनी
 आतली ती मूक व्यथा, दबकत सांगत असता

तुला असं वाटतं का, दु:ख असं दाटतं का
कलंडलेल्या बरणीतलं पीठ, जमिनीवर साठतं का

दाटलं तर दाटून दे, साठलं तर साठून दे
उरातला कढ आता, गोठतोय तर गोठून दे

गोठलेल्या कढाचा आपण छान आलेपाक करू
नाहीतर घालून चिंच नि गूळ, त्याचा लालीपाप करू

तरीही जर कललेलं उन्ह, डोळ्यांना तुझ्या सुखवत नाही
पश्चिमेचा थंड वारा, रुसलेली कळी खुलवत नाही 

तर, मग मात्र असं कर, कागदाची एक होडी कर 
घरातून बाहेर पड पण, होडी जरा जपून धर

चालत रहा चालत रहा, नदीवरच्या पुलाकडे पहा
चालत रहा चालत रहा, पुलावरून नदीकडे पहा

आता पुन्हा चालू लाग, गाठ पुलापलीकडचा भाग
पाण्याकडे पहात पाय-या, घाटावरच्या उतरू लाग

पाण्यामध्ये पाय टाकून, मनाला कसे भिजून दे 
आता होडी हातात घे, आणि पाण्यामध्ये सोडून दे

होडी पाण्यात तरंगू लागेल, लाटांमध्ये डुलू लागेल
नव्या मैत्रिणींबरोबर, गुजगोष्टी करू लागेल

मग एक लाट अशी येईल, होडीला बरोबर नेईल
जाणा-या होडीकडे पहात रहा, गालातल्या गालात हसत रहा

*** ***

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Leh Ride Route

View Chandigarh - Leh - Khardung La - Leh in a larger map
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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Leh Ride preparations

There is a news from my side. Bike ride to Leh-Ladhakh region is on cards. As per the latest revision in the travel plan, the ride will begin on 11 June from Delhi. We plan to have three bikes. One Bullet Machismo 2003 model, one Standard Bullet 1986 model and one Bajaj Discover. The bullets were booked at Chennai Central this afternoon for transportation to Delhi . We expect them to be loaded in a suitable train on Sunday. The bikes will reach Delhi (station code - NDLS) by Wednesday. The discover will be sent to NDLS from Aurangabad on Monday, June 6. The discover is kept ready for transportation.

The bullets needed some repair work, which was done at Royal Enfield's factory owned service station in Thiruvanmiyur. The bikes were taken for repairs on 14 May after some ten day's of waiting. The service station returned the bikes, one on June 2 and one on June 3 after a lot of persuasion, cajoling and eventually after applying some pressure from the top. A few issues which were left unnoticed by REL service station were addressed till the morning of June 4, which is the date today. The rim replacements for Standard'86 was completed at 2.30 am this morning and at last both bikes came into our possession, together.

We, Shri Vidyadhar Tagade and myself went for an early morning ride to Mahabalipuram. Total riding of around 100 km was a blessing as we were running short of time. We still found front fork oil leakage on my bike, which we managed to get rectified at REL service station en route Chennai Central. The culprit turned out to be the loosely tightened screw. There was also an effort to tune the Standard'86's carburettor. Thus were over our pre-tour preparations of the bikes. Ideally we would have like to have the bikes repaired at least four days in advance before dispatch so that we could test them enough to have a good confidence level.

Never the less, the day has been fruitful otherwise. The two bikes have been handed over to Railway Parcel Office at Chennai Central. This matches perfectly with our plan. As per the original plan, we were looking for sending them to Chandigarh but found out today that the direct train runs only on Thursdays which wouldn't have suited our schedule. Upon knowing this, unanimously it was decided that the bikes would be sent to NDLS thus adding a few more kilometers to our desired odometer reading! We are only too happy to ride the extra distance.

Sending of the bikes would not be so hassle free without help from Shri Kannan Dhanushkodi and my friend Kumar, both natives of Tamilnadu. Among the two, Kannan will travel with us all along in a utility vehicle which will be hired from Chandigarh. The hiring arrangements are done in advance. But we might end up in getting a friend's Innova after actually reaching Chandigarh.

I have managed to take snaps of Machismo but I could not manage it for Standard'86 due to scarcity of time. Will upload them once we get the bikes in Delhi.

Bullet Machismo 2003

Shri Vidyadhar Tagade and Shri Kannan Dhanushkodi

Veiled Machismo

Veiled Standard'83

Sunday, February 13, 2011

'pandhariche bhoot mothe' by Sant Tukaram

A friend sent me a video link of an abhang recently. It was sung by noted vocalist duo Ranjani and Gayatri. The abhang was composed by much revered poet-saint Sant Tukaram Maharaj (1608-50). Maharaj spent most of time of his life in Dehu at around 25 km from city of Pune in Maharashtra. He along with other contemporary poet-saints like Samarth Ramdas was instrumental in keeping alive the cultural and religious identities of the religion in and around Mahrashtra through the Bhakti Sampradaay's philosophy. It is also known as Warakari Sampradaay and Bhakti Movement. The efforts were praiseworthy in the atmosphere prevailing then in the region. The region was was in great turmoil due to the never ending assaults and oppressions upon the natives thrusted by the Moghul army from the North and sultanates of Nagar, Vijapur (Bijapur) and Bhaganagar (today's Hyderabad). He also attacked the hypocritical behavior of a certain section of priestly class in the Hindu society. He spread the message of equality and devotion to Shri Hari Vitthal through his compositions.

At a later stage of life, Maharaj traveled to South and preached his philosophy, spread his thoughts through numerous compositions, written mostly in Marathi. He also restored a number of temples of Shri Vitthal, built many new temples with the help of local community. In Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, he is still remembered and his compositions are sung by people. I attended a few such programs, kirtan, in Chennai, Kalpakkam and Thenangur wherein the groups performed compositions of Tukaram Maharaj devotedly. Native Tamil singers with no knowledge of Marathi singing those abhangs is the icing on cake. These groups and the artistes like Ranjani and Gayatri are the reasons for Tukaram Maharaj's compositions in South India to survive test of the time.

पंढरीचे भूत मोठे
आल्या गेल्या झडपी वाटे

बहु खेचरीचं रान
बघ हे वेडे होय मन

जाऊ नका कोणी, तिथे जाऊ नका कोणी
जे गेले, नाही आले परतोनी

तुका पंढरीसी गेला
पुन्हा जन्मा नाही आला

The abhang 'Pandhariche bhoot moThe' is in the praise of Shri Kshetra Pandharpur , also called as Pandhari, and which is the chosen abode of Shri Vitthal and Devi Rukmini. Some of the characteristics of the place are described by Maharaj in this composition. He has adopted an unusual way while narrating the characteristics. He terms the place as the notorious one and goes on giving his own experience as an example to prove his hypothesis. It may be mentioned here that it is nothing but natural to understand that what he really means is not what his words literally suggest. Maharaj has used a soft humor in instilling a deep belief into the minds of people that the place is special. It is divine. It is the final destination the soul is searching to rest in peace. The abhang also tells us that one can have humor over Gods. The well intentioned one will please Gods and also can become wonderful vehicle for Him to reach the common man. This narration can be likened to descriptions of Mathura or Gokul known for the numerous tales of the naughtiness and deeds of a divine baby named krushna. The arguments put forward by Maharaj go as follows.

पंढरीचे भूत मोठे
आल्या गेल्या झडपी वाटे
Beware people! Pandhari (Pandharpur) is haunted by a dreadful ghost. Be careful when you are passing by this place or visiting it. This ghost nabs every one going near the place. If you are afraid of being possessed by the ghost, change your path or just cancel your plan in the interest of your (so called) well being.

That was literal meaning. In the hindsight, Maharaj wants to suggest exactly the opposite. He hints, if you stay away from the place, you will never have the divine experience which is possible only in the company of Vitthal-Rakhumaai. (Rukmini is referred to as Rakhumaai in Pandharpur and elsewhere by devotees.) And this is possible only if you go to Pandhari. The place will possess you when you will reach this place. You will loose your own self, ego, desires and the earthly beliefs. Thus, in no time, you will experience a closeness to the God.

बहु खेचरीचं रान 
बघ हे वेडे होय मन
The land around Pandhari is so fertile, and it is full with green. It is nothing but natural that the animals from all over would rush there for grazing. Hence the land is full with animals of all sorts. The sight will make your mind go crazy if you go even near to Pandhari. (खेचर is a hybrid between horse and donkey.)

The purpose of using this metaphor is not very clear and the metaphor may have different interpretations. I am picking the most logical according to me. It could possibly go like this. Like the land full with grass attracts the cattle, Pandhari being the food - source of energy - attracts mobs of people from all over the world. And when somebody goes there, the ghost does not leave him or her in its original form. This can be applied to the gender, race, caste, religion and species too. Thus forms hybrid minds which is possessed by the divinity.

जाऊ नका कोणी, तिथे जाऊ नका कोणी

जे गेले, नाही आले परतोनी
Maharaj cautions everybody that such a place which you are tempted to visit, a place which hosts a dreadful ghost whose only business is to nab and possess each passerby, should be left at a distance. Every sane person, every one who does not like such possession and the one who wants to escape if possessed, should not go to the place. Because, Maharaj says, no one has returned from this place. What a dangerous place! Even thought of going there should be forbidden.

तुका पंढरीसी गेला

पुन्हा जन्मा नाही आला
Maharaj gives his own example to support his arguments. He says, finally Tuka (Tukaram Maharaj himself) himself went to Pandhari intending to find the truth. Not only that he never returned, but also that he was never ever born again!

While concluding the abhang, Maharaj describes the great centripetal force the sacred place possesses that acts on each visitor and eventually does not let him go away. He goes on to tell us his own experience that underlines the holiness of Pandhari. He suggests that the life cycle of one's soul can completed with the pilgrimage of Pandhari. You attain moksha at sacred place. Actually, Sant Tukaram subtly tells us that he attained moksha after visiting Pandhari by saying that he was never reborn. In reality, numerous folklores exist about his सदेह वैकुंठगमन, the travel to Vaikuntha without shedding his physical form.