Thursday, June 21, 2012

Song In Head #3

Ok, quite some time has passed since this song first appeared on TV and lodged itself in my brain and was flushed out therefrom, replaced by other catchy ditties.

But the song is quite significant in terms of lyrics, and I’ve caught myself thinking about it quite often. It’s significant simply for mentioning the word Bharat AND not using any corny epithets (usual suspects: pyara desh/watan, jaan se bhi zyada, mitti ki kasam etc) with it. Old patriotic songs, to me, sound like such misfits when they are blared out on occasions like Independence Day, when hardly any people show up for flag-hoistings, and when they do, they decide to leave ample proof of attendance by carelessly tossing around little paper flags & used paper cups. Patriotism is a very lofty ideal when people can’t be bothered with basic civic sense.

And that’s why I love this song, and hope to hear it playing through loudspeakers this fifteenth of August:

Sone ki chidiya,

Dengue, malaria,

Gud bhi hai gobar bhi

Bharat mata ki jai!

Just the right amount of irony to make you think, with a touch of carefree humour so that folks don’t get riled up.

And notice how there’s a pause after “Bharat mata ki”? Is it just me, or does it remind you of a certain Hindi cuss phrase? I don’t intend blasphemy, patriotism to me means much more than just repeating a chant.

Happy World Music Day, and,
Bharat mata ki jai!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Murder most foul

I witnessed a murder today
from my bedroom window,
there was nothing I could do
but watch
as the henchmen
cruelly cut short a life
in cold blood.
I didn’t know what to do,
nobody asked for my statement.
No candles were lighted for the departed soul,
no TV channel or newspaper
reported the passing.

How is it, that though
the right to life of unborn babies
is protected by “pro-life” activists,
Though we are asked to think twice
before making an animal our food,
Though pleas are made for
the most devilish criminals on death roll,
Nobody gives a damn
when a tree is felled?

I watched
as motorists stopped a moment,
and carefully avoided the wizened-
but falling-
branches, cursing the roadblock it caused.
As the birds
circled the sky above the ground
where the tree once stood.
As the workers,
wiping sweat from their faces,
swiftly cut the trunk & branches
into neat long pieces
to be sold somewhere.
As the children
coming back from school
excitedly plucked flowers from the chopped branches,
finally within their reach.
As the axes
went chop, chop, chop
about their work
till it was made sure
that the tree would never grow back again.

Yes, I am a tree-hugging hippie.

And if you look at this from a really oblique angle, I’m also thumbing my nose at all those “vegan” people who go, “How can you shed innocent blood for your food?”
“What, that lettuce you’re munching into was arrested for manslaughter??”