Tag Archives: bangalore

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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Celebrating Poetry


Bangalore was treated to a host of poets and their original works from across the nation at the 2 day poetry festival, at Leela Palace this weekend.

The Bangalore Poetry Festival was an initiative by Atta Galatta, a beautiful bookstore with a focus on Indian Vernacular Writing, while also being a venue for literary, art and cultural events located in Koramangala.

As Javed Akhtar mentioned during his talk, poetry is seeing a revival today and this meant the crowds were filled with numerous young poets and poetry lovers.

Among the many poets, I was mesmerized by Akhil Khatyal, a Delhi based poet and translator. He was not just a poet, but in many ways a raconteur with ample doses of humor and sarcasm.

You can watch him in action in the video below, where he performs Dorothy Parker’s Hindi translation:

Apart from Hindi poets there were poets from the North-East of India, who read some amazing poetry about displacement, identity and violence.

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A poem by Nitoo Das, who was present at the festival:

how to cut a fish

you have to sit
         properly
woman-like on the floor
put one foot
strongly gingerly on the base of the blade
hold the fish with firm hands
head and tail       
and swing
him quick left right left right to remove the scales 
check beneath the gills red fans
cut them swift and
then fins here there up down and tail
feel that perfect line
where the head ends and the body begins 
choose it fine and move slow over the edge
feel the resistance of white flesh, staring eye and open mouth
but keep at it 
let him feel the pressure of your fingers
until it is done and the head sits isolated with a hole
dripping with stuff 
and then halve
him down his body and pull out the red mess
make equal pieces cutting him so that
the bones do not disturb
afterwards.

The master performer and Hindi Poet Piyush Mishra was also part of the festival:

Listen to him perform here:

 

The festival had numerous workshops for children and adults and a book section where you could buy poetry by the attending speakers as well as some old greats.

I bought this one,  the highly  controversial  Shikwa and Jawab by Iqbal, translated by Mustanvir Delhvi, who was also present at the festival.

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As a poetry lover, this year has been amazing, with me being part of the Jashne-Rekhta Festival earlier this year and now a Poetry Festival right in my city!

More power to Atta Galatta and their entire team of volunteers, organizers and to the poets who came and conquered hearts.

To many more festivals and poetry celebrations.