Mausam


What can a change in weather trigger?

A tirade of memories, a sense of longing or a stomach full of butterflies.

If life is an adventure and the call of the new keeps the wheels in motion, then a sudden change in atmosphere, a low pressure hanging over the Arabian sea, something very banal and scientific, suddenly carries the mind back in time and drops it at the edge of the balcony where many a cool evenings were spent.

This sudden onset of cool winds in the peak of the Indian summer brings me back here today, on my blog.

Although the weather is a most welcome respite and I have spent the evening taking long walks, sharing a cuppa, sitting outdoors in a cafe with south Indian filter coffee accompanied by soft puffed pasty, the heart longs for the familiar, to the city of my youth, my childhood and my home.

Bangalore is now a buzz word, beaming with pride and so much envy. In a country like India, it is utopian in many ways, and now home to so many Indians, who have their own version of the city they have made home.

But I do not refer to the shiny bars, the glimmering malls, the breweries or the shops that line 100 feet road on Indiranagar, nor the buzz of koramangala and the  high rises of the south.

I refer to the yellow tabebuia trees that bloom every year at the onset of summer. Especially the ones that line the road leading upto Windsor Manor. I have memories of seeing these trees in bloom from my days in school, early in the morning when riding  the school bus.

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Or the soft pastel pink trees or tabebuia rosea that paint Cubbon Park into an image of romance, and urge you to take the diversion into the road leading into the park as you criss-cross across the city.

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I reminisce the massive Jacaranda trees that line Mosque road and make you look up as you maneuver your car in the traffic and park on the side to just enjoy the colorful canopy.

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Or the magnificent Jacaranda trees in Domlur as you drive towards airport road. Not to forget the Pink cassia trees around the city or the gulmohar tress also known as the flame of the forest in east Bangalore, around Malleswaram and Sankey Tank.

The trees inside Jaymahal or the ones that line Ulsoor lake carpet the streets with flowers and when it gets too hot for the city, a light shower brings down the mercury and the city smells like the first blush of romance.

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To rainy evenings and cool breezes….also a reminder to not pick the flowers, but let them be.

Transliteration

Darakht sochte hai jab, toh phool aate hai
Woh dhoop main duboke ungaliyan
Khayal likhte hai lachakti shaakhon par,
Toh rang rang lavz chunte hai,
Khushbuon se bolte hai aur bulate hai.

Hamara shook dekhiye….
Ki gardane ki kaat lete hai
jahan koi mehekta hai koi

In Hindi

दरख़्त सोचते हैं जब, तो फूल आते हैं,
वो धुप में डुबो के उँगलियाँ,
ख़्याल लिखते हैं, लचकती शाख़ों पर,
तो रंग रंग लफ्ज़ चुनते हैं,
खुशबुओं से बोलते हैं और बुलाते हैं.

हमारा शौक़ देखिये
की गर्दनें ही काट लेते हैं,
जहां कहीं महकता है कोई

Translation By Pavan K Verma

Blooms blossom when trees sink in thoughts,
With fingers smudged in sunshine,
They carve their emotions on swaying shoots,
Weave the words, painted in shades of colours,
Speaking with the fragrances, they then intimate us.

And see, in the name of desire,
We prune it off its stem,
the moment its fragrance reaches us.

A short movie with Gulzar’s voice

An amazing art work series inspired by the trees of Bangalore: Here

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Gentle Giant


I write this for you, for when you mind worries, your heart aches or you sometimes feel that maybe you did not do right by him.

I hope that it reminds you that there lies no ounce of truth in that thought. And that these words form a balm to those painful moments.

——————

He took me by surprise in the most endearing way one can imagine.

The excuse to start the conversation was a casual “let me help you with dishes.”

Was I surprised? Of course I was, since he had never uttered a word when I left.  Not a complain,  neither a disapproving remark nor a glimmer of disappointment.

With the most empathetic eyes he looks up from the dirty dish, deep into my eyes and asks me whether I am happy here, right now in this place, this moment.

The little rascal I knew,  that impossible to manage, always annoying little kid was gone and there stood this warm big soul. Reaching out to me, trying to feel my pain, wanting to hear of my hardships, asking me questions filled with deep care and absolute affection.

As I shared the conundrums of where I was today,  how I missed those little things back home, the smells, the foods, and mostly the people,  I could see that he didn’t just know but also felt what I was feeling.

Heavy with wisdom far beyond his years, he assures me and tells me that I always have a choice and that you would be the one to speak to when days seems too heavy or life too complex.

Without ever saying it,  at that moment we both agreed that you will always be the one to listen to us,  when we really want someone to listen.

To make me feel better,  he shares with me his happiness of always going back home, to his space, his city, his abode.  Back to you, no matter where he goes and how home is where his life, his soul lies.

As I listen to his voice and how invested he was in me, slowly the image of the little boy evaporates and there stands a man who cares. I feel like I am engulfed in the warmth of his tender heart inconspicuously hidden beneath his frame.

He might still annoy,  ridicule, argue with you and with me. For we know the competitive battle between us will never die.

But somewhere inside, lies this magical soul, nurtured by your love, your words, your actions and even your mistakes that has created the gentle giant who will reach out to aching souls,  share a tender moment with those he loves and cherish the million small memories which we so easily forget, recounting them in the greatest detail.

He will always hold on and he will find his way.

You have done so much right and when in doubt, simply read these words again.


This week’s post is dedicated to the mother of that boy I once knew and seeing him becoming a man.

A poem by Prasoon Joshi on Maa,

Tujhe Sab hai Pata, Meri Maa

Main Kabhi Batlata Nahin
Par Andhere Se Darta Hoon Main Maa
Yun To Main, Dikhlata Nahin
Teri Parwaah Karta Hoon Main Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata, Hain Na Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata, Meri Maa

I never tell,
But I’m afraid of the dark, o mother
I don’t show it,
But I care for you, o mother
You know it all, don’t you, mother?
You know it all my mother..

Bheed Mein Yun Na Chodo Mujhe
Ghar Laut Ke Bhi Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Bhej Na Itna Door Mujhko Tu
Yaad Bhi Tujhko Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Kya Itna Bura Hoon Main Maa
Kya Itna Bura Meri Maa

Don’t leave me in the crowd like that,
I won’t even be able to come back home, mother,
Don’t send me so far away
that you cannot even remember me, mother
Am I so bad, o mother?
That bad, my mother?

Jab Bhi Kabhi Papa Mujhe
Jo Zor Se Jhoola Jhulate Hain Maa
Meri Nazar Dhoondhe Tujhe
Sochu Yahi Tu Aa Ke Thaamegi Maa
Unse Main Yeh Kehta Nahin
Par Main Seham Jaata Hoon Maa
Chehre Pe Aana Deta Nahin
Dil Hi Dil Mein Ghabraata Hoon Maa
Tujhe Sab Hai Pata Hai Naa Maa
Tujhe Sab Hai Pata Meri Maa

Whenever dad pushes me hard on a swing,
My eyes look for you,
(thinking) you would stop me o mother
I don’t tell him, but I feel fear o mother
I don’t let it show on my face,
but I am afraid in my heart, o mother
you know it all, don’t you, mother?
You know it all, my mother…

Here is the song:

 

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