Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The case much harder

This time it was 'Crime and Punishment' by Fyodor Dostoevsky that made me nervous.  It has now been a typical situation.  I visit to book stalls and book exhibitions; rather they pull me towards them.  I just go through the books with eager eyes.  I just go through the books knowing that I cannot afford buying them.  I just go through the books knowing that it's going to make me panicky at the end.  I can't help myself to keep away from the book stores and exhibitions.

I learnt the poem 'The Two Boys' by Mary Lamb in my college days.  The first boy, who cannot buy books, tries to read books at the bookstall itself.  The stall-man shout at him saying "You, Sir, you never buy a book, therefore in one you shall not look."  And the boy has to leave the stall with a sigh wishing if he had never been taught to read, then he should have no need of the old churl's books.  On another day, the poetess sees another boy, very much hungry by his appearance, looking at meat in a tavern larder, and she thinks this boy's case is surely harder and "No wonder if he wish he ne'er had learned to eat."

I am not fully convinced that the second boy's case was really harder.  For one who loves reading, it's no less dreadful not to get books than not getting food to a hungry.  If not getting food kills the body, not getting to read the long-wished books (after being so close to them) kills the Self.  The first boy's case was no lesser worse than the second one's.

One another poem I remember is 'Kondawada' (i.e. Dungeon) by a Marathi poet Daya Pawar.  Born in a dalit (then untouchables) family, he and his family always had to succumb to various socioeconomic stressors, and he had a thought that he expressed beautifully in the concluding lines of this poem--I could not translate it, just the wildest translation--'Better if I had remained as illiterate as a stone.  I would have happily done all that that other people do.  At least, I would not have to suffer this scorpion-sting-like pain.'

And here I wish--better if I had remained…--oh, nay…better if I had enough resources…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

David Diop: A voice of Negritude

Yesterday, I got to read the poem 'Africa' by a Senegalese poet David Diop, which is considered as a milestone in the history of West African literature.  In order to know more about the poet, I went on googling and was very much surprised to find very little or almost no information about him on net--just one or two poetry pages and one or two blog posts.  Even the English Wikipedia has no article on Diop, and I had to translate the French wiki page (that itself was a stub) to know a bit more about him.  Here is the essence of all that I could find.

David Diop was born to a Senegalese father and Cameroonian mother in the city of Bordeaux, France, in 1927.  He debuted writing poetry while he was still at school.  He was one a contributor to Leopold Senghor's (who would later become the first president of independent Senegal) anthology of poems published in French.  This was a major milestone in the history of black french literature as it put forth the movement of 'Negritude' by asserting the greatness of black people contrary to the white man's dismissal of them as primitive and uncivilized.

Diop's poetry talks about the glorious past of Africa and also recollects the untold sufferings and humilities endured by the Africans in the last few hundred years.  It also warns the Africans that political freedom will not essentially bring back their old glory and they have to work had to regain it or they will only get "the bitter taste of liberty."

Diop suffered from poor health for the most part of his life and died at a very early age of 33 in an air crash off Dakar, Senegal, in 1960.  His poetry will always be remembered as one of the keystones in the arch of African literature.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Paul Samuelson: Father of Modern Economics

I don't care who writes a nation's laws or crafts its advanced treaties, if I can write its economics textbooks.  ~Paul Samuelson.

The news came last night.  Paul Samuelson, whose work helped to form the basis of modern economics, died on December 13, 2009 at the age of 94 after a brief illness.  Paul Samuelson was best known for his work about making economics more practical and oriented towards problem-solving rather than just subject of academic discussions.  He was the first American to get a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1970.  The Nobel Prize Committee stated, while giving the award, that he has "done more than any contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory."  He is justly considered as 'Father of Modern Economics' for his contribution revitalization of the basic economics by Keynes.

Samuelson is mostly known for his epoch-making book Economics: An Introductory Analysis, which has been used as a standard textbook of economics worldwide over decades with a print of millions of copies with above 40 editions and reprints.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Paul Samuleson devoted his career, notes:  "The world is different today because he was with us for many years."  The world of economics too feels the same paying its modest homage to the economist of the economists.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Parsis in India: On the verge of extinction

While we are looking forward at the national census of 2010, a striking fact from the last census of 2001 caught my attention yesterday.  In the enormously growing trend of population, there is one community, which is literally on the verge of extinction compromising just 0.006% of the Indian population.  And it is not any tribal community from the islands of Great Nicobar, but a highly civilized community from the economical capital of India:  The Parsis.  This community, not only in India but also in all over the world, is undergoing a sharp quantitative decline and immediate measures are the need of time to save the rich civilization of the Zoroastrians and its people from being disappeared from the planet.

As per the 2001 census, the Parsi population in the country is 69,601 (33949 males and 35652 females) down from their population of 76,382 (37,736 males and 38646 females) in 1991.  This is a clear but unfortunate decline.

The Parsis have always been contributing their best for the Nation.  From the Great Old Man Dadabhai Naoroji to former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee, along with many others, Homi Bhabha, one of the greatest scientist India has very produced,  Major General Manekshaw, one of only two Field Marshals of Indian Army, and many other who lived and are living for this country being a part of Indian Nation.  Now this is time for the Nation to save the community through immediate appropriate measures in the best of the Parsis.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's bit more ghalibana now!

You may say, as Shakespeare said, and people often quote “What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” But don’t we have any attachment with the names, which give us our identity from birth to death and even after that? Don’t we expect people to use our name correctly and properly? Don’t we keep on pondering over the names of our beloved ones as a token of our love even we know that the names are only dry alphabets and are as different from those beloved ones as crocodile and cucumber? We do know that the names are merely names, and still we love them as we love their owners. Names work as the token of our beloved ones in our hearts. Not only the names of the living things, but also the names of nonliving objects, even the abstract ones, have some meanings in them that can make us happy or sad or anything.

But why I am telling all this to you now? It’s because I have been thinking over the name ‘Ghalibana’ for the last few days. I registered this name on blogger when I had been reading ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib’ and was very much impressed by Ghalib’s poetry. In that state of mind, I chose the name Ghalibana. I didn’t even know the exact meaning of the term, but knew ghalibana is widely used to refer something that is poetic. It is widely used as an adjective. Anything like that of Ghalib is ghalibana. I found the word very much ghalibana (poetic) in itself. I created the blog, but had nothing to write on it, so it remained idle for few months until I had an idea of combined blog of us three. I was not very much convinced about the success of this idea, so rather than starting a new blog, I used ‘Ghalibana’ for this purpose on an experimental basis. And it worked. It has been working more successfully than I had ever thought. And at this point, taking a variety of subjects on this blog in consideration, I had a thought that is the name ‘Ghalibana’ still suitable so that it can be continued forever? The blog is still poetic in its heart, and forever it will remain so, but there is also a vast material that does not seem to be poetic from any angle. So should we go on with the same name or think upon changing it?

I went on searching the exact meaning of ghalibana, but found no word ghalibana in Urdu dictionary. I did find ‘ghalib’, which means ‘probably.’ This meaning is far away from the poetic meaning of ghalibana. I again went on thinking why did Ghalib choose such a word as his takhallus? It certainly would not mean anything poetic in his days. He would certainly have the meaning ‘probably’ in is mind. He would certainly have some hearty attachments with the meaning ‘probably’, so that he gave up his real name ‘Asad’, and changed his pen name to ‘Ghalib’ though he had already started gaining popularity with his original name.

Ghalib loved introspection. He was a great critic of himself. Certainly, he had had respect for other people’s opinion—I think like this. You may have another point of view on this issue and probably yours may be a more appropriate one than that of mine—this philosophy of life would have prompted him to chose ‘Ghalib’ as his takhallus. I find this explanation very much possible one for his choosing such a pen name, which would be very awkward-looking in his days.

And what we do on ‘Ghalibana’? We put our point of views and expect counter-views from each other. In this way, we are going on with our great tradition of arguments and counter-arguments. It may not be ghalibana in a poetic manner, but it certainly is ghalibana in this broad manner. Coming on this conclusion, I assured myself that the name ‘Ghalibana’ is the most appropriate one for our blog. Now in this new light, this name worth more to me than it had been previously.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The almond tree that blossomed

I said to the almond tree, "Friend, speak to me of God." And the almond tree blossomed. ~Nikos Kazantzakis

I always interpret myself as a man who loves to interpret things. I believe that things are told at their best, when they are told most tacitly, because then they leave a lot of room to think over them, to see them from our point of view, and then to accept the thought within them as if it was always of our own. And this belief again got deeper in me when I got the above quote on my Twitter homepage from Kailasha.

At such times, I could not, and if fact, don't want to, restrain myself from pondering over the words--from lingering over the thought. "I said to the almond tree, "Friend, speak me of God." And the almond tree blossomed. What shall I do? Where to go? Whom to tell? I asked the almond tree to speak me of God and it blossomed. I am speechless. I don't need my tongue anymore, nor do I need my ears. I just asked the almond tree to speak me of God. I had really not expected too much but a word or two. I just asked her for a word or two, and she blossomed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The story behind Bandit Queen

India is celebrating 50th anniversary of commencement of Indian Constitution. Though the Constitution was commenced on January 26, 1950 and India was proclaimed to be a Republic from that day, the constitution was adopted and enacted by the people of India on November 26, 1949. India celebrates Constitution Day on this day. In accordance to that, here is a very popular case in the Supreme Court of India, which illustrates the role of the Apex Court in assuring the Fundamental Rights of the citizens, right to freedom of speech and expression (article 19-a) in this case.

In 'Bobby Art International V Om Pal Singh Hoon' [(1996) 4 SCC 1], popularly known as 'Bandit Queen Case', the respondent filed a writ petition in the court for quashing the certificate of exhibition given to the film "Bandit Queen" and restraining its exhibition in India. The film "Bandit Queen" is the story of a village child (Phoolan Devi) exposed to from a very early age to the brutality and lust of men. Phoolan Devi was married to a man old enough o be her father. She was beaten and raped by him. Further few village boys made some advances, which were repulsed by her, but the village Panchayat found her guilty of the enticement of that boy, because he was of high class and she was forced to leave village. She was arrested by the police and subjected to indignity and humiliation in the police station. Furthermore, she was kidnapped by dacoits and raped by their leader, Babu Singh Gujjar. Another member of the gang, Vikram Mallah, shot Babu Gujjar dead while he was assaulting Phoolan Devi, and she found an allay in her secure. With his assistance, she took revenge from her husband. Shortly after that, her rescuer Vikram Mallah was shot dead by the leader of a gang of Thakurs who made advances and was spurned. Phoolan was gang-raped by the leader and his colleagues. She was humiliated in the sight of village, stripped naked, and was made to fetch water from the village well under the gaze of villagers, but no one came to her rescue. To take revenge from her prosecutors, she joined a dacoit gang headed by Babu Mustkin and killed 20 Thakurs of the village of Bahmain. Ultimately, she surrendered and was in jail for number of years.

The film was presented for certification to the Censor Board. The Examining Committee of the Censor Board referred it to the Revision Committee, which recommended that the film be graded an 'A' certificate (for adults only) subject to certain modifications and cuts. Aggrieved by the decision of the revision committee, an appeal was filed before the Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal consisted of a chairman and three other members who were ladies. The Tribunal granted the film an 'A' certificate. The respondent, then, filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the certificate granted to the film and restrain ti exhibition in India. He contended that though the audiences were led to believe that the film was depicted the character of "a former queen of ravines", also known as Phoolan Devi, the depiction was "abhorrent and unconscionable and slur on the womanhood of India." The respondent and his community has been depicted in a most depraved way especially in the scene of rape by Babu Gujjar, which scene was "suggestive of the moral depravity of the Gujjar community." The High Court held that the film was obscene and quashed the order of the Tribunal. The Supreme Court, allowing the appeal, held that the certificate issued to the film bandit queen upon conditions imposed by the appellate tribunal is valid and is therefore restored. The court held that the film must be "judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact."

The story of the film is a serious and sad story of a village-born female child becoming a dreaded dacoit. The film levels an accusing finger at the member of society who compelled her to become a dreaded dacoit. The scene where she is humiliated, stripped naked, paraded, made to draw water from the well within the circle of hundreds of men, the exposure of her breasts and genitals to those men is intended by those who strip her to demean her. This does not arose the cinema-goer's lust, but arouse in him sympathy for the victim and disgust for the perpetrators. Nakedness does not always arouse the baser instinct. Bandit Queen tells a powerful human story and to that story the scene of Phoolan Devi's enforced naked parade in central. It helps to explain why Phoolan Devi became what she was, her rape and vendetta against the society that had heaped indignities upon her. It shows what a terrible and terrifying effect rape and lust can have upon the victim. A film that illustrates the consequences of a social evil necessarily must show that social evil. The guidelines in the Cinematograph Act must be interpreted in that light. A film that carries the message that the social evil is evil cannot be impermissible on the ground that it depicts the social evil. The Tribunal is a multi-member body. It consists of persons who gauge public reactions, and except in cases of stark breach of guidelines, should be permitted to go about its task. In the present case, apart from the Chairman, three member of the Tribunal were women. It is hardly to be supposed that three women would permit a film to be screened, which denigrates women, insults Indian womanhood, or is obscene or pornographic. Instead, the tribunal took the view that it would do women some good to see the film. The tribunal had viewed the film in its true perspective and had, in compliance with the requirement of the guidelines, granted to the film 'A' certificate. The High Court ought not to have entertained the respondent's petition challenging the grant of certificate to the film.

The Supreme Court, accordingly, set aside the judgment of the high court and restored the order of appellate tribunal.

(Ref Source: Constitutional law of India: Prof. J. N. Pandey)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Obama, Elections, and Greenland

Lot of issues are in mind to discuss, but cannot find time to think over them. Just trying to keep them in front of you:
1. Elections in Maharashtra. Counting on November 13. Shivsena/BJP has no issues and Congress/NCP has 10 years of anti-incumbency. Maharashtra is waiting for results this Diwali.
2. We had talked about Greenland. We talked about how can such a big territory remain under sovereignty of some other state (Denmark)? It is an autonomous state under the Kingdom of Denmark with the queen of Denmark as the Head of State.
3. The topic of Greenland gave rise to thoughts about many other united dominions that form a state collectively. UAE consists of seven separate Emirates: Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi are well known to us. Each Emirate is ruled by a separate Amir.
4. Nobel prize of peace for Obama. Obama states: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.
5. Nobel prize of literature to Herta Muller, Romanian-born German novelist and poet.
6. Nobel prize to Venki Ramakrishnan, Indian-American molecular biologist.
7. Problems on permutation and combination, I find them very tough.

Waiting for you views. ~~Ganesh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Buddham Saranam Gacchāmi

Today is VijayaDashmi, the day of great joy and celebrations for the Indians. The Hindu population of India celebrates this day for some mythologic reasons, but we, the Buddhists in India, celebrate this day with a more strong and more historic reason. This is the day of resurrection of Buddhism in India after hundreds of years of suppression. On this day in 1956 (October 14, 1956 according to Gregorian calendar), Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar embraced Buddhism with his millions of followers at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur.

Thousands of people visit Deekshabhoomi every year on this day from what distant states and unknown regions to pay tribute to that great man. Let us join them. They are the part of us. Let us say from the deep of our heart: Buddham Saranam Gacchāmi.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Good fences make good friends

Sometimes I feel that I take both of you very much for granted. I think that both of you are yet single, have no major family worries to disturb you, and are well to do. With feelings like this, I want you to be in my service anytime whenever I need; and when I found you not available for me, it hurts me the most. Is it really the best approach for a friendship? Certainly not! It is not even a good one. Friendship is not only expecting and taking. Friendship flows, at least should flow, bidirectionally. Though being one of the closest relations, it must have some limits for expectations from each other so that it should forever go on happily. Sometimes I really have this kind of thoughts and they really disturb me. Yesterday, when I tried to call you and you were not available for me, I had a sudden flair of such thoughts that made me depressed for the most part of the evening until you called me back. It was not your fault. You were trying again and again to contact me, and from my side, I was also dialing up for you. It might have caused my cellphone to be engaged. It was a cent percent technical problem, but I was in no mood of understanding the situation. I just wanted some suggestion from you. I just wanted you to be with me. And I felt that you are not available for me.

Perhaps, you know the poem of Robert Frost: Mending Walls. Often I feel that it metaphorically refers to friendship: One friend who does not believe the necessity and existence of walls between them and the other who understands the importance of them. Robert Frost takes the part of first friend, who argues that do they really need walls between their fields when there are no cows to cross the borders, but his neighbor just quotes an old adage: “Good fences make good neighbours.” Robert Frost, as I do, did not believe in this philosophy at first, but by reaching to last line of the poem, he ends it with his friend’s words, as if he is fully agreeable to him: Good fences make good neighbours.

I too did not believe in the necessity of a fence. But it does exist. You must accept it in a friendly manner. After all, it is for our well-being and not for anything else. Last night taught me this fact so that I can go on happily with no childish thoughts for such silly things. I will try my best to respect each other. You too feel free to let me know if you ever find me crossing my fence. Let us respect the fences to be good friends forever.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Old Civilization and Our Inheritance

To know the old civilization let us try to forget the present for a while and go back 2000 or 3000 years in Egypt and in ancient Knossos in Crete. The ancient civilization took root in these two countries as well as in what is called Iraq or Mesopotamia, and in China and India and Greece. Greece, perhaps, came a little later than the others. So that the civilization of India takes rank in age with its sister-civilizations of Egypt and China and Iraq. And even ancient Greece is a younger sister of these.

What happened to these ancient civilizations? Knossos is no more. Indeed, for nearly 3000 years it has been no more. The people of younger civilization of Greece came and destroyed it. The old civilization of Egypt, after a splendid history lasting for thousands of years, vanished and left no trace behind it, except the great Pyramids and the Sphinx, and the ruins of great temples and mummies and the like. Of course Egypt, the country, is still there and the river Nile flows through it as of old, and men and women live in it as in other countries. But there is no connecting link between these modern people and the old civilization of their country.

Iraq and Persia-- how many empires have flourished there and followed each other into oblivion! Babylonia and Assyria and Chaldea, to mention the oldest only. And the great cities of Babylon and Nineveh. The Old Testament in the Bible is full of the record of these people. Later, in this land of ancient history, other empires flourished, and them ceased to flourish. Here was Baghdad, the magic city of the Arabian Nights. But empires come and empires go, and the biggest and proudest of kings and emperors strut on the world's stage for a brief while only. But civilizations endure. In Iraq and Persia, however, the old civilization went utterly, even as the old civilization of Egypt.

Greece in her ancient days was great indeed, and people read even now of her glory with wonder. We stand awed and wonder-struck before the beauty of her marble statuary, and read the fragments of her old literature that have come down to us with reverence and amazement. It is said, and rightly, that modern Europe is in some ways the child of ancient Greece, so much has Europe been influenced by Greek thought and Greek ways. But the glory that was Greece, where is it now? For ages past, the old civilization has been no more, and other ways have taken its place, the Greece to-day is but a petty country in the south-east of Europe.

Egypt, Knossos, Iraq and Greece--they have all gone. Their old civilizations, even as Babylon and Nineveh, have ceased to exist. What, then, of the two other ancients in the company of old civilizations? What of China and India? As in other countries, they too have had empire after empire. There have been invasions and destructions and loot on a vast scale. Dynasties of kings have ruled for hundreds of years and then been replaced by others. All this has happened in India and China, as elsewhere. But nowhere else, apart from India and China, has there been a real continuity of civilization. In spite of all the changes and battles and invasions, the thread of ancient civilizations has continued to run on in both these countries. It is true that both of them have fallen greatly from their old estate, and that the ancient cultures are covered up with a heap of dust, and sometimes filth, which the long ages have accumulated.But still they endure and the old Indian civilization is the basis of Indian life even to-day. New conditions have arisen in the world now; and the coming of the steamship and the railway and the great factory has changed the face of the world. It may be, it is indeed probable, that they will change as they are already changing, the face of India also.

But it is interesting and rather wonderful to think of this long range and continuity of Indian culture civilization, right from the dawn of history, through long ages, down to us. In a sense, we in India are the heirs of these thousands of years. We are in the direct line, it may be, with the ancients, who came down through the north-western mountain passes into the smiling plains of what was to be known as Brahmavarta and Aryavarta and Bharatavarsha and Hindustan. Can you not see them trekking down the mountain passes into the unknown land below? Think of them, those distant ancestors of ours, marching on and on, and suddenly reaching the banks of noble Ganga flowing majestically down to the sea. How the sight must have filled them with joy!

It is indeed wonderful to think that we are the heirs of all these ages. But let us not become conceited, for if we are the heirs of the ages, we are the heirs of both the good and the bad. And there is a great deal of evil in our present inheritance in India, a great deal that has kept us down in the world, and reduced our noble country to great poverty, and made her a plaything in the hands of few peoples. But have we not decided that this must no longer continue?

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The first term used to describe India is sovereign. What does it mean? It means supremacy of power that is not limited by any law inside or outside the state. Sovereignty is a basic characteristic of the state. A state cannot exist unless it is sovereign. There are four basic characteristics of the state: People, government, territory, and sovereignty. Out of these four, sovereignty is the most important one, because it distinguishes a state from other forms of human institutions. Other institutions may have people, they may have government and administration of their own, they may possess land, but unless they have sovereignty, they cannot be termed as states. For example, Indian Cricket Board has people, autonomous administration, they possess their land, but it is not state because it is responsible to some another authority. It has to follow the laws of India. Similarly, the states of Maharashtra, Kerla, or any other state, they have three other components but do not have sovereignty, so they are not states in a legal perspective.

In the preamble, we have proclaimed our sovereignty in ourselves. In a democratic country like ours, people are sovereign. This is called as popular sovereignty. But legally, our sovereignty lies in our constitution and the authorities described by it.

We, the people of India (Part I)

The preamble of Indian Constitution: Students recite it everyday in schools and we too have heard it and read it for several times, but did we ever try to realize its meaning? Do we really understand the importance of those golden words that proclaim our supremacy above all? Do we ever care to remember our resolution to constitute our country as our great heroes had dreamt? Very rarely do we care to understand the dreams of those great sons of this land, who burnt all their lives to confer us such a noble framework. Let us take this opportunity to read, think over, and work as per the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Here is the exact draft of the preamble. Let us read it once again by heart.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


Have you learnt it by heart? Did you get the feeling of it? If yes, let’s move towards the discussion.

You may have noticed the preamble has only a single, but comprehensive sentence. It is drafted so, because the legal language has to be very exact and accurate. The beauty of legal language lies in its bareness and straight-forwardness.

The preamble starts with “We, the people of India.” It implies that it is being proclaimed by the people of India, by you and me! And why are we proclaiming? Because we have resolved solemnly to achieve two objects: The first one is to constitute India as a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic state; and second is to secure all its citizens justice, liberty, equality, and promote fraternity among all of them. Having this resolved solemnly in our constituent assembly on 26/11/1949, we adopt, enact, and give this constitution to ourselves.

This is the first-hand meaning of the preamble. We will discuss the detailed description of the specific terms used in this draft in our next sessions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday 'SIR'

Today, I am not calling you 'Master', because I really want to call you 'Sir' from the bottom of my heart. You taught me many things that helped me to live life successfully. You gave me the view how to look towards life positively; you told me that a girl also could be in love with me; I also can live normal life as others; I also can have the feelings of love.

I was nothing before meeting you; and you also know this well, but now I feel I am little worthy to live in this world. My life was totally different before meeting you both, aimless, directionless, and I was wandering in darkness. You created interest in me for literature, arts, history and so many branches of knowledge. You told how to look at a particular thing and what to think about it.

Sometimes, when you both discuss on a particular topic, I find I can not understand what is going on, but after discussion, one of you explains it to me in details, then only I can understand. I know my grasping power is not so well, but even you tell me explaining everything well; this is the most valuable thing for me. I want to learn many more things from you, so please adjust me, a friend who wants to live always with you, who wants to listen you always.

I will be always younger before you both in every aspect of life. So, please don't leave me, I want to be always with you till the last beat of my heart.

So please let me call you 'Sir'. I want to express my sincere gratitude on this occasion of your birthday.

Once again Happy Birthday Sir!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Vinod

Vinod Suradkar, or simply master. I still remember the day when I first met him. Before meeting him, I could not ever imagine that that day was going to introduce me with a to-be lifelong friend. It was almost a love at first sight. In fact, I tried to avoid him before first acquaintance, but when we met each other and had a little chat, I found that our likes, dislikes, thoughts, beliefs, and even lives were so similar that within no time we became good friends.

So well learned and yet so simple in nature and in his looks that no one, or sometimes even I, cannot believe that this simple-looking man can have such a good fund of knowledge. But the thing for which I appreciate him the most is his love towards literature and his ability to appreciate it critically.

Sometimes, I just think that why these boys love me so much? What did I give them? Am I really worthy for their love? But all these questions remain behind when we get an opportunity to meet together. We have a lot of fun talking all over the nights discussing on every subject under and above the sky, but very rarely we can get such opportunities.

Vinod is having his birthday this week. I am not even sure if it is 4th or 5th of September. I always found it a formality to wish each other when we lived together. But now when he lives far away from us, I find it my honour to wish my best friend from the bottom of my heart: Happy Birth Day Vinod.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fiction and facts.

When you asked me for a list of books for your school library, I had lot of names in my mind. Hundreds and hundreds of names jumbled in my mind and I could not send you a list earlier only because I could not sort out only a few names out of them. I had the list of best 100 novels by Times in my mind. I had a lot of literary classics in my mind. I had many veteran names from the fictional world in my mind. Then what did I choose?

I preferred non-fiction to the fiction. I preferred not literature, but I preferred history, politics, social studies, and science. The list I have sent you mail contains only one or two names in fiction and all the others are just non-fiction.

It is not that I do not understand the importance of fiction in life. It is not that I underestimate the importance of literature. It is not that I am only a cold-hearted lover of science. I love literature as I love my life. Literature has helped me to move forward when I was in great worries in my personal life. You know it.

But, again it is a time to move forward. Literature gives you ‘nazariya’ to look at the things, but science and facts give you a ‘nazar’. They tell you exactly what the thing is.

Let’s move towards the list. The first name in my list is the biography of Rabindranath Tagore written by Robinson and Dutta. I have been strongly attracted towards Tagore over the period of last few years when I read his Gitanjali and some of his short stories. I want to know more and more about him. How as a human being he was? How he lived? How he loved? How he looked towards the life? This is the only reason that the list also contains complete work of Rabindranath Tagore, which is the only fictional list other than Midnight’s Children.

The next name is ‘Poverty and Famines’ by Amartya Sen. We know his authority on this subject, and after reading his ‘The Argumentative Indian’, I wanted to read him more and more for his completely logical attitude to see the basic problems in the Indian society.

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, as I told you, is the only fictional work except works of Tagore in this list. This book is one of the best 100 novels selected by Times and it was also selected as the best from those 100 at various occasions, so I eagerly want to read this one.

What the Buddha taught us? is the scholarly work about the teachings of Buddha by a SriLankan monk and scholar Walpola Rahula. It has been regarded as an important introductory work on Buddhism. The explanation of ‘suffering’ in Buddhism by him worth to be read in original.

The next number in the list is Ten days that shook the world.’ This is the book written by John Reed, an American journalist that is based on October revolution in Russia in 1917.

The next one is ‘Discovery of India’ by Jawaharlal Nehru and this hardly needs any explanation. You have been reading his Glimpses of world history over the last few days and you must be very keen to read this another work by him as I am.

From this point, the list takes a sharp turn and moves towards the field of basic sciences. The first book in this part is ‘Philip’s Atlas of the World.’ You are very much acquainted with my interest in the maps and this would be a great thing if I can have such an atlas of my own to be kept with me always.

The next number is A history of India by Romila Thapar. As you know, Romila Thapar is a well-known historian and author of at least a score of books including great works such as ‘Asoka and the decline of Mauryan Empire’ published by Oxford University Press. This book covers the period from Mughal rule through the years of British control to the government of Nehru, with emphasis on the continuity of development from one era to the next.

The next three books—Thinking Chemistry, Explaining Physics, and Illustrated Biology published by Oxford University Press—are standard works of basics in these three branches of pure science. My love to the basic sciences urges me to read such kind of works again and again.

‘The evolution of Indian economy’ is published by NCERT and would be of great help in understanding this aspect of our society.

The last one that I forgot to mention in the list is the classic work by a notable scholar of Indian constitution. ‘Working on a democratic constitution’ by Granville Austin is an important work if you want to learn more about constitutional structure of our country.

You may get surprise on viewing this list. Study, study everywhere and no fiction to read. But let me tell you, this is the time to move forward. This is the time to know the things as they are. A long, long life is spread in front of us to have fun. This is study time.

You may get details, such as publisher and prices, of these books from net if you need them for technical needs.

I am keenly waiting for you reply.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What else can we expect from Mr. Shourie?

The name is Arun Shourie is everywhere in the news all over this week. So, I deem it very timely to introduce with Mr. Arun Shourie.

He may be anything to the world. For me, he is the author of the book ‘Worshipping false gods.’

Worshipping false gods is the series of articles written by Mr. Arun Shourie to deglorify the name and fame of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The series was too much controversial and he had to face lot of oppositions from all over the India, and especially from Maharashtra. Even though he went ahead and published that series in a large, above 600-page tome. His main allegations against Dr. Ambedkar were serious ones as he claimed Dr. Ambedkar to be a willing stooge of British Government and not actually the father of Indian Constitution. Shourie refers him just an instrument of British’s divide and rule politics.

And what Mr. Shourie assumes himself to be? Does he assume himself so great that he can malign one of the greatest heroes that India has ever produced? Shourie is just a white-collared scholar with Sangh’s voice. Even with his latest bombardment against BJP, he requested the RSS to take over BJP, because he believes no one but Sangha has the power to lead BJP in a great future.

Mr. Arun Shourie is the real face of RSS. We cannot expect anything else from him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Privacy and Secrecy

Often we may be in doubt as to what to do. It is not easy matter to decide what is right what is not. One little test I shall ask you to apply whenever you are in doubt. It may help you. Never do anything in secret or anything that you would wish to hide. For the desire to hide anything means that you are afraid, and fear is a bad thing and unworthy of you. Be brave, and all the rest follows. If you are brave, you will not fear and will not do anything of which you are ashamed. You know that in our great Freedom Movement, under Bapuji's leadership, there was no room for secrecy or hiding. We have nothing to hide. We are not afraid of what we do and what we say. We work in the sun and in the light. Even so in our private lives let us make friends with the sun and work in the light and do nothing secretly or furtively. Privacy, of course, we may have and should have, but that is a very different thing from secrecy. And if you do so, my dear, you will grow up a child of light, unafraid and serene and unruffled, whatever may happen.
This is what he has written to her about privacy and secrecy. Of course, there should be nothing to hide. Why should we afraid of anything, as the sun and the whole universe is with us? We are loving everything from the bottom of heart and soul.
How smart Arnav is!
He is the same as I saw him in the dream last night.
I am in love with him now.
Same face , same eyes, and same smile. I played a lot with him last night in the dream. Is this a co-incidence?

I will be here

I will be here very soon to join Galibana. I read all posts hurridly.I am at Jalgaon Jamod for some official work and spared some time to come and meet you . And very glad seeing your contribution to Galibana. Wish both of you very happy Ganeshotsav.

Monday, August 24, 2009

That magic touch has lost!

This is the work of perfection. This is the work of complete dedication to, and a lot of homework in, a particular subject. With this letter on Ghalibana, you can tell yourself confidently: Gone are the days of depression. Gone are the days of darkness. Here is a new dawn waiting for a bright morning…
I went through the last letter in a little bit hurry. I read it completely but did not have much time to swallow and digest it. I will read it again and again. This work deserves to be read again and again. I have not had a chance to get the complete book yet, but I can read it now with your help. I have always been fascinated by the idea of a father to write such letters to a daughter who was just 13.
While going through it, it stopped to the line “But the days of that faith are gone, and gone with them is that magic touch in stone.” On this note, I just want to make you aware of a sharp contrast to this line. Just last week, stone-pelting ritual at Pandhurna claimed about 50 casualties. This year, the ritual was banned by Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission and the district administration. When people came to know that they couldn’t hurl stone at each other, they targeted the police vans and the journalists covering the event. The administration needed to bow before the vandalists. The age-old ceremony was celebrated with bloodshed. Who says the days of faith are gone? Just that magic touch is nowhere now. The stones are used as weapons nowadays behind the name of religion.
Let’s discuss it later. Till then, keep writing…



As I’ve habit of reading anything from the last page, I started reading the "Glimpses of World History" from the last page. I read first the last letter which is 196th letter written by him to his daughter. Into that, he tells he has spread out a lot of swadeshi ink on swadeshi paper to write the previous 195 letters. Was it worth while, he wonders? Will all this paper and ink convey any message to her that will interest her? But he thinks himself that she will say yes; of course she will feel that any other answer might hurt him.
In the same letter he tells her that she must not take what he has written in those letters as the final authority on any subject. A politician wants to have a say on every subject, and he always pretends to know much more than he actually does. He has to be watched carefully. He admits in the letter that there may be many errors as a prison, with no libraries or reference books at hand, is not the most suitable place to write on historical subjects.
He tells her that he has given the barest outline; this is not a history; they are just fleeting glimpses of our long past. If history interests her, if she feels some of the fascination of history, she will find her way to many books which will help her to unravel the threads of past ages. But reading books alone will not help. If she would know she must look upon it with sympathy and with understanding. To understand a person who lived long ago, you will have to understand his environment, the conditions under which he lived, the ideas that filled his mind. It is absurd for us to judge the past people as if they lived now and thought as we do. There is no one to defend slavery today and the great Pluto held that the slavery was essential. We can not judge the past from the standards of the present. Every one will willingly admit this. But every one will not admit the equally absurd habit of judging the present by the standards of the past. The various religions have especially helped in petrifying old beliefs and faiths and customs, which may have had some use in the age and the country of their birth, but which are singularly unsuitable in our present age.
If, then, you look upon past history with the eye of sympathy, the dry bones will fill up with flesh and blood, and you will see a mighty procession of living men and women and children in every age in every clime, different from us and yet very like us, with much the same human virtues and human failings. History is not a magic show, but there is plenty of magic in it for those who have eyes to see.
The past brings us many gifts; indeed, all that we have today of culture, civilization, science, or knowledge of some aspects of the truths, is a gift of distant or recent past to us. It is right that we acknowledge our obligation to the past. But the past does not exhaust our duty or obligation. We owe our duty to the future also, and perhaps that obligation is even greater than the one we owe to the past. For the past is past and done with, we cannot change it; the future is yet to come, and perhaps we may be able to shape it a little. If the past has given us some part of truth, the future also hides many aspects of the truth, and invites us to search for them.
History, it is said, has many lessons to teach us; and there is another saying that history never repeats itself. Both are true; for we cannot learn anything from it by slavishly trying to copy it, learn something from it by prying behind it and trying to discover the forces that move it. Even so, what we get is seldom a straight answer. “History,” says Karl Marx “has no other way of answering old questions than by putting new ones.”
The old days were the days of faith, blind, unquestioning faith. The wonderful temples and mosques and cathedrals of past centuries could never have been built but for the overpowering faith of the architects and builders and people generally. The very stones that they reverently put one on top of the other, or carved into beautiful designs, tell us of this faith. The old temple spire, the mosques with its slender minarets, the Gothic cathedrals—all of them pointing upward with an amazing intensity of devotion, as if offering a prayer in stone or marble to the sky above—thrill us even now, though we may be lacking in that faith of old of which they are the embodiments. But the days of that faith are gone, and gone with them is that magic touch in stone. Thousands of temples and mosques and cathedrals continue to be built, but they lack the spirit that made them live during the Middle Ages. There is little difference between them and the commercial offices which are so representative of our age.
Our age is different one; it is an age of disillusion, of doubt and uncertainty and questioning. We can no longer accept many of the ancient beliefs and customs; we have no more faith in them, in Asia or in Europe or America. So we search for new ways, new aspects of truth more in harmony with our environment. And we question each other and debate and quarrel and evolve any number of “isms” and philosophies. As in the days of Socrates, we live in an age of questioning, but that questioning is not confined to a city like Athens; it is world-wide.
In the same letter he writes, it is easy to admire the beauties of the universe to live in a world of thought and imagination. But to try to escape in this way from the unhappiness of others, caring little what happens to them, is not sign of courage or fellow-feeling. Thought, in order to justify itself, must lead to action. “Action is the end of thought.”, says Romain Rolland. “All thought which does not look towards action is an abortion and a treachery. If we are the servants of thought we must be the servants of action.”
People avoid action often because they are afraid of the consequences, for action means risk and danger. Danger seems terrible from a distance; it is not so bad if you have a close look at it. And often it is a pleasant companion, adding to the zest and delight of life. The ordinary course of life becomes dull at times, and we take too many things for granted and have no joy in them. And yet how we appreciate these common things of life when we have lived without them for a while!
And here he closes his last letter giving 35th poem or prayer from ‘Gitanjali’ by Rabindra Nath Tagore:--
Where the mind is without fear and
The head is held high;
Where the knowledge is free;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

So that’s all. We will meet very soon with a new letter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who says?

Who says that my friend cannot write good English? You certainly can do better, but this was really a good start. Vocabulary is not a big problem. You will start to get the words by their own, you just keep on writing. I need run back home now. It's too late. ~~Ganesh.

I started life again as I want

Yesterday I felt better as I started reading again. I started reading "Glimpses of World History." Yesterday I read the Last Letter written by Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter. I'll tell later what he has written in that, as I have very less time now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We shall overcome

I got your depressed message early in the morning today. I never wanted to make you feel depressed; I just wanted to pour out my feeling. Let it be. Life is so colorful, and a normal day has only 24 hours to live.

You are given responsibilities because you are considered to be worthy for them. Responsibilities are not bestowed to anyone under the sky. We suffer, because we are chosen. We suffer, because we ourselves have chosen us to be suffered. To complain and regret over the happenings is not the best way to face the situations that we own have created for us. Let the life be unpityful. We shall never ask anyone for pity. We shall overcome. We shall overcome. We shall overcome some day…

Explore yourself and fetch your thoughts up till the bottom of your soul is vividly clear. Don't let the thoughts rule over you. You control them, because only you have the power to do so. And never be depressed. I felt very bad when I read you writing you want to get rid of such life. I was really surprised when I saw a lively chap like you talking about the obstacles and not about the dreams.

Follow your dreams with full of life. Dreams cannot be achieved always from the straight and smooth roads. Dreams should be perished and nourished till the spring comes. And the spring will spring up suddenly on some nice morning after a dark depressed night. You just need to keep yourself cool till then.

Be happy and make others happy. I am always there with you in sorrows and joys, but I want you to be happy. I want you to overcome your depressed mood before you come here in the next month. I, once again, want that lively Kailash here and not a pity soul. We will meet soon on a happy note. Yours, ~~Ganesh.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Onam days are going on now!

I am very much disappointed with your response to Ghalibana. I thought that you would be most interested in sharing things with me, but it doesn't seem so. I know you are very much busy in your daily chores, but if you have a will you can certainly find out a little bit of your time for me.

Days are not so good for me too. I don't now why, but I am not feeling well. I am not being able to keep my mind fresh and my mood okay. I cannot smile even if I try to do so. Everything is going well, but nothing pleases me. I get some relief with Arnav. Looking at him when he smiles with himself gives some relief, but the life is so demanding that I cannot afford sitting besides him all the day. I have almost stopped studying for the last few days. I know I need to start it as early as possible. I am preparing to start studies with a good spirit, but things are not going well.

These are all excuses. Excuses cannot lead you to good future. We need to stop giving excuses every here and there. I know everything and I know naught.

Mom and papa are here and these are the days of Onam. Myth behind Oman must be known to you: The beloved king of the masses, BaLi, who was sent to 'pataal' by Vishnu, gets only a single chance to meet his people in a year. People, who live in penury all over the year, do not want their king to see them in such condition and celebrate the days of Oman, so that the king BaLi may feel that his ryot is well-to-do and has no worries at all. They all dress well and celebrate the day of Onam for their beloved king BaLi forgetting all their lifetime worries for a single day. But, the celebrations cannot be continued all over the year. BaLi needs to go. Celebrations stop. Onam ends. Life starts again with same, and some new, worries.

Onam days are going on now!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

changing the location

This is to inform you that we are going to change our Reshimbag house in the next one or two days. I have seen a nice place near Manewada. It's a nice compounded house with three spacious rooms, terrace, well for water, and overall the houseowner does not live there, so it would be ours at all. Rent is merely 1500. It is very much uncomfortable to live in a single room, especially having Arnav with us now. I am eagerly waiting both of you to meet at the new location.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Let's hope for a better future!

Working from Wikipedia seems to be very useful. When you can't get things straightforward, get them by hook or crook. (Its just a saying not my whole life philosophy.)
I just wanted to share a few things with you on which I have been thinking for the last few days. The things may sound trivial to you but I believe these things have some importance and you should know them.
The first thing is the issue of Imran Hashmi's house. Last week media has got a sensational news when Imran asked,"Do I look like a terrorist?" The real issue was he was denied a house in Pali Hill area of Mumbai just because he is a Muslim. He registered a formal complaint in State Minority Commission and thus the news came to media. Media covered both the aspects of the issue. The Saffron Brigade held Imran guilty that he brought his religion in just a minor issue of getting or not getting a house. The secularist held that Imran's example is just a part of a huge iceberg. People must not be discriminated on the basis of caste, creed or ethnicity. Arguments and counter-arguments went on for the whole week and when they seem to calm down, ShivSena came in. In Saamna, it's own publication, Sena started a maligning campaign against Imran. He was referred to as "Chindhi actor", "dum hilau actor(tail moving actor)", etc.
This is not for the first time that a Muslim was rejected a house. Few years ago, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi were also rejected only because they are Muslims. And also, this is not the first time when Shivsena took such a derogatary stand in a delicate issue like this.
Let it be. I told you the whole issue because you should know what is happening in your home state.
Now let's go to another news. And fortunately, it is a good one. Government of Maharashtra has sanctioned the first engineering college in Gadchiroli district. This is an important news, because the district was always neglected when it came to developmental decisions. Gadchiroli is still far away from the lightening fast speed of 21st century. This decision could help it to become somewhat familiar to the new world. Establishing new college does not mean everything. We would hardly get students from district own for the first few years, because we dont have that quality of primary and secondary education in Gadchiroli in present situation. But with the college, outside people will go to Gadchiroli. It would help to minimise the stigmata of naxalism from the district. New opportunities of employment would be created for the native people. They would get something to think over rather than just sitting idly all over the day. There are chances that the situations may turn towards good basic education, and that's all what the district needs badly.
By Ganesh.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I have been going through Ghalibana on a very frequent basis. I do get your messages within few hours of your posting (unless its monday, because i don't come here on Mondays). I really appreciate your longing to read me. I too have so many things that i want to discuss with both of you, but I cannot use blogger on a daily basis because certain problems. However, I would really try to write something on a weekly basis. You don't be disheartened and stop writing. I always eagerly wait for your posts and open Ghalibana as soon as I start my PC. I hope I could write something in the next two or three days.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

two lines

Apni gali mein mujhko na kar dafan baad-e-qatal,
Mere pate se khalaq ko kyon tera ghar mile?

Rone se aur ishq mein bebak ho gaye

Dhoye gaye hum itne ki bas paak ho gaye

write something

If you are getting time, please write something for us.We are waiting for your posts. Everyday I'm checking for new posts

Monday, August 3, 2009

to ganesh

no problem about using of my gmail. there is nothing personal and secret.u r right there should a platform where we all 3 can meet.
I will send you photos of my quarter where I'm living. I'm trying to improve my English, please help me improve. yes, you are absolutely right, I'm little bit lucky to have connected with this world by mobile/net.
I promised you that I'll tell you at least a letter daily from the book "Glimpses of World History", but I could not as I am not getting any free period during school hours.
ok how is Arnav?
yesterday I could not call you as all the networks were down due to some reason till 10 o'clock

To kailash..

Sorry! I used your gmail account with your password to accept the invitation of this blog. This was only to enable you to post here. Sorry once again for stoling your password. Now start blogging, Ghalibana is ready for you..

I have also seen your Kasargod album at Facebook. Your school is nice, but i would really like to see your room, the place where you live, the sea coast and beach of Kasargod, etc. Hope to see you soon. ~~Ganesh.


Hi friends! and friends means only you two. You know i am referring to you. I do not need to especially name you. Its a fact: Friends means only you two.

Over some period of time, i was thinking of some place for us to be in contact. Telephonic conversations will be there always, but as always we must have some written cotact. Letters, emails, blogs...

All of us have three seperate blogs. But we do not have a common one. It would be a very nice idea to share one blog by three of us.

This blog is named ghalibana. I do not know the exact meaning, but i can feel the meaning. I know you can feel it too. Master's blog also is a nice place. The only thing you need to do is invite kailash and me as the members of that blog. I always wanted to have friends somewhere in blog's name. But, that's another option. Let us at first start. As you know, i cannot access to gmail very frequently. Ghalibana would be a nice option for all of us to be at one place.

I have sent invitations to both of you as users of this blog. Just sign in blogger and you will get them. You just have to accept it. After that, you can post your posts with your own account and your own password with your own name. Master has already accepted it.

There are certain rules in my mind: Do post at least something whenever you get a chance to do so. Because, i want to read both of you. I know, you both are very lonely there. Master is more. Not even having a cellphone facility for most of the time is really being very lonely. Far away from our people. Far away from so many things. Kailash at least have some access to this world. Anoter rule is 'Use copy paste as sparingly as possible.' I want our own writings and not the copy-pastes. We can certainly copy and paste when we are talking over that thing, let's say gazal. But no only copy pastes. One more thing: Please use English whenever possible, as i do not have unicode on my windows 98.

Kailash has been reading "Glimpses of world history" nowadays. He has promised me that he would call me daily to tell what has he read. This would be a better option for him to right your readings on this blog.

I miss you both a lot. You know it. Arnav also misses you. He wants to meet my friends. I would not be able to right so much about arnav on this blog, because its an open space and people are not yet so kind to accept everything as it is.

I have got an MPSC application today. I wish i can try a little bit seriously this time. May Arnav would encourage me.

Let's hope for an early meeting. ~~Ganesh.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

कयूंकर उस बुत से रखूं जान

कयूंकर उस बुत से रखूं जान `अज़ीज़कया नहीं है मुझे ईमान `अज़ीज़
दिल से निकला पह न निकला दिल सेहै तिरे तीर का पैकान `अज़ीज़
ताब लाए ही बनेगी ग़ालिबवाक़ि`अह सख़त है और जान `अज़ीज़