One liners

Sometimes one liners can create a deep and lasting impact on one’s mind. I received a post from one of my WhatsApp group acquaintances that was meant to bring out a laughter or two, but ended up making an impact on the heart and mind. Let me loosely translate these one liners that are originally in Hindi:

कल सैलून वाले क़ी दुकान पर एक स्लोगन पढा़ ..
“हम दिल का बोझ तो नहीं पर सिर का बोझ जरूर हल्का कर सकते हैं “..🤣

Yesterday came across this slogan at hair cutting salon that read – “ We may not lighten the load of your heart, but can definitely make your head lighter.”

It’s a nice interpretation of reducing the burden on one’s head – literally speaking from one’s head!

लाइट क़ी दुकान वाले ने बोर्ड के नीचे लिखवाया ..
“आपके दिमाग की बत्ती भले ही जले या ना जले,परंतु हमारा बल्ब ज़रूर जलेगा “.. 🤣

A board at the electrical shop, “ your mind may not flash an idea, but our bulb will flash in your room and light it up.”

Dimag ki batti is typical Hindi saying, having no literal equal in English, but flashing and idea and light do go hand in hand.

चाय के होटल वाले ने काउंटर पर लिखवाया ..
“मैं भले ही साधारण हूँ, पर चाय स्पेशल बनाता हूँ।”🤣

Written at a tea shop read, “ I may be ordinary, but my tea is special.”

This one is a take on special tea that all our tea stalls have on offer.

एक रेस्टोरेंट ने सबसे अलग स्लोगन लिखवाया ..
“यहाँ घऱ जैसा खाना नहीं मिलता, आप निश्चिंत होकर अंदर पधारें।” 😃😟

Slogan outside a restaurant, “ Walk in with confidence; we assure you that we don’t serve home like food. “

I found this to be the best. We always get fascinated by the cafe round the corner claiming to be offering homely food. But do we go to restaurants to replicate the experience of in-house dining?

इलेक्ट्रॉनिक दुकान पर स्लोगन पढ़ा तो मैं भाव विभोर हो गया ..
“अगर आपका कोई फैन नहीं है तो यहाँ से ले जाइए “..😂

An appliance shop had a notice, “ if you have no fan (as in admirer or follower), take one from us.”

This is typical example of an English word having multiple usages.

गोलगप्पे के ठेले पर एक स्लोगन लिखा था ..
“गोलगप्पे खाने के लिए दिल बड़ा हो ना हो, मुँह बड़ा रखें, पूरा खोलें” ..🤣

A Panipuri vendor had an interesting slogan on his cart, “ Even if you are not large hearted, keep your mouth open large so that our panipuris can go inside smoothly.”

Big hearted is a positive quality, but big mouthed is not- but I liked the subtlety.

फल भंडार वाले ने तो स्लोगन लिखने की हद ही कर दी ..
“आप तो बस कर्म करिए, फल हम दे देंगे “.. 🤣

A fruit vendor had a beautiful interpretation of the core message of Bhagvad Gita that read, “ you perform your karma ( duty) , we will give you fruit! “

This is another superb example of interpreting the core message of Bhagvad Gita in a contrarian way. Gita’s message is not to crave for the fruit of our action, but this fruit vendor is rewarding us with fruits !

घड़ी वाले ने एक ग़ज़ब स्लोगन लिखा ..?
“भागते हुए समय को बस में रखें, चाहे दीवार पर टांगें, चाहे हाथ पर बांधें…”..🤣

A watch shop had this statement on its walls,” Keep time in your control – either by hanging it on your hand or wall! “

This is difficult to translate as time bhaag raha hai is typical though in English we do say that time flies.

ज्योतिषी ने बोर्ड पर स्लोगन लिखवाया۔
“आइए .. मात्र 100 रुपए में अपनी ज़िंदगी के आने वाले एपिसोड देखिए …”🤣

An astrologer’s placard read, “ Watch the future episodes of your life for Rs100.”

When OTT’s are offering anything in episodes, episodic viewing is more in vogue rather than the entire picture.

बालों के तेल क़ी एक कंपनी ने हर प्रोडक्ट पर एक स्लोगन लिखा ..
“भगवान ही नहीं, हम भी बाल बाल बचाते हैं।” ..😂😀🤣

A hair oil manufacturing company’s UDP, “ Why only God, even we save you from a close shave!”

This was a real tough one though bal bal bachna and close shave do have a salon in common!

Hope you all enjoy these interesting one liners that have a nice interpretation around them.

Is there any use of our existence?

Elements viz air, water, earth, fire and space have no use in themselves till they are sought by plants. Plants draw sunlight, breath in air, draw water through their roots in the earth to nourish themselves. These plants are then sought by herbivores who eat plants for their food. Herbivores are useful for carnivores or animals that eat other animals to satisfy their hunger. You call it life cycle or food chain, this is the reality of life as it exists in nature. In fact, this is the law of the wild and jungle.

A man is a civilised animal. He, in fact, disturbs the nature and its balance. He clears forests to create farmlands, where he sows seeds and grow crops to satisfy his hunger. Unlike jungle, where the mightiest rules ( might is right) and there’s no ownership of the area, in a civilised world, the man becomes owner of the farm and that too in perpetuity, because after his death, his inheritors become entitled to his estate. And as you extrapolate the above thesis, you very well understand the cause of all the negativity we see around ourselves – pollution, global warming, territorial claims, social malaise etc. it also stems from the man’s ownership instinct and his greed to own and possess more.

How does one relate the above two scenarios ? On one hand, nature has very fine balance; there’s no concept of ownership or perpetuity of ownership. It’s about survival and use for others – elements for plants , plants for lower animals, lower animals for higher animals and higher animals amongst themselves based on animal instincts. What about man and his greed to make everything his?

It’s beautifully explained that it’s for nothing that the God has made a man to be superior to all other beings. He’s expected to understand this and become useful for others – his fellow beings, society, country, world, environment by understanding the futility of amassing material objects or Maya! Every existence matters if it’s of use to others!

It’s not for nothing that Bhagvad Gita, which is the word of Lord Krishna himself, is called the mother of not only scriptures but also treatises and management books! The above is beautiful interpretation of this particular aspect of Bhagvad Gita by redoubtable Devdutt Pattanaik in his book My Gita!

Chak De india

India’s last hockey gold was in 1968 ( India won hockey Gold in 1980 Moscow Olympics , but that was a watered down version of olympics in view of boycott of the games by large number of nations) and thereafter new strong powers in the form of Germany and Netherlands emerged. European style of hockey was power game replete with long passes and fierce hits. Change in the rules of the game also helped the European style power game. However, there was a crescendo in the form of India’s World Cup victory against arch rivals Pakistan in 1975. Led by redoubtable Ajit Pal Singh, the team had icons like Govinda, dribbling expert Ashok Kumar ( son of all time great Dhyanachand) , Harcharan , Michael Kindo, who became overnight heroes. Pakistan had lightening fast forward Samiullah, another all time great and Islahuddin . 1975 was probably a year of blockbusters. Apart from Indian hockey team’s World Cup victory, it was also the year of the release of Bollywood’s all time hit Sholay. Like we all remember Sholay dialogues line by line, many of us hockey aficionados remember the entire line up of our teams 2-3-5 formation of our 1975 winning outfit ! And now after 41 years, led by midfielder Manpreet Singh, we re-wrote history by winning bronze after defeating a formidable Germany in the playoff. Coming on the heels of great show by Rani Rampal’s girls, this great achievement by Manpreet’s boys has elated the nation. Suddenly, all the roads are leading to Mithapur, a non – descript village in the outskirts of Jalandhar, Manpreet’s home.

This is truly what India and its hidden potential is! It’s soil is full of raw talent such as Lovlina, Mirabai, Mary Kom, Phogat sisters, Ravi Dahiya, Manpreet, Rani Malik, Dutee, Neeraj Chopra and PV Sidhu etc. We just need to invest in them – by giving our mind share, providing them with facilities, diet, training, making them financially secured and encouraging them the way we encourage and applaud our cricketers. And state of Odisha has set an example by sponsoring National hockey team. Other states, corporate, social organisation should follow Odisha example and then we will see a different India- a sporting powerhouse!

Let’s invest in our players and talents instead of wasting it on things that weaken our nation to fulfil our resolve to be a general powerhouse – a superpower in real sense! For the time being let’s celebrate the victory of Manpreet’s boys and other great performances by our boys and girls!

A salute to my friends

I just finished a rather difficult book, H for Hawk. The book is about solitude and loneliness and how an untamed beast, a Hawk, provides company to the protagonist. The book is full of falconry and literature thereon and there’s a parallel track on certain Mr White, a split personality, whose attempts at falconry, which he takes to overcome the complexities in his personality, actually pushes him deeper into the quagmire.

And I am happy that I finished this book on the friendship day, as it highlights the importance of company in one’s life and who else but the friends provide the same!

Lucky are those who enter into lasting friendships. Just as I am penning this blog, I have finished exchanging greetings on the occasion of birthday of wife of my school buddy. And it’s a matter of great pride that a few of these friendships commenced not towards the end of the schooling but right at the very start, which was way back in 1968! And now many of us are on the verge of retiring from the active careers and are grandparents!

More luckily, the process of making friends didn’t stop with the school. The list has only grown with friends from college, first job, subsequent jobs, neighbourhoods and on social media like Facebook and Instagram embellishing my life with experience and happiness!

While parents occupy Supreme place, siblings are lifelong companions, relatives provide social support and one’s spouse is expected to be one’s best friend, a friendship is more unique a relationship in the sense it’s bereft of any expectations, formalities or rituals.

Let me complete this eulogy to friendship by writing an ode that says:

A friend is no ordinary thief

For he steals our tears, sorrows and miseries

And he never gets caught

For his love runs in our arteries!

And a friendship is a relationship

Beyond the cast, religion or creed

He’s always there for us to justify the adage

A friend in need is a friend indeed!

Happy friendship day to all my friends.

Two recent developments

We Indians were never known to be much of travellers till the economic boom raised the income levels and foreign travel became a fad. In one of my earlier blogs, I had mentioned about my father never owning a passport and his much of inland travelling also happening after his retirement. And here I am not including those who have their children abroad. Travelling to them can hardly be described as tourism though our children do take us out to the most cherished spots of the region when we visit them.

Of course, we do have a section of society that’s known for not only travelling but also making their travels knowledge trips. Bengalis distinguish themselves in this field and even if some of the middle class families can’t afford exotic locations abroad, they do travel extensively within the country.

The provocation for suddenly writing on this theme arose from two recent developments – one pleasant and one none too pleasant! Space travel by two of the most maverick business persons, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and their intent to open it for discerning and ultra rich section of society was covered extensively by media. It’s indeed a big achievement and I am sure like everything else, as the technology progresses, this is likely to become more commonplace with more and more people fulfilling this wish of seeing our beautiful planet from the top and experiencing zero gravity.

Second news was unpleasant and cause for concern. It was around the public, frustrated by repeated and stretched lockdowns and travel restrictions, crowding the popular hill stations and making mockery of social distancing and other Covid related protocols! It was rightly termed by certain learned commentators as an open welcome to the third wave.

It’s really a mystery that when we are repeatedly coming across cases of even fully vaccinated people getting affected by Corona, delta variant raising its ugly head in large number of countries, including advanced nation and large sections of the society yet to be vaccinated, still we are simply throwing caution to the winds and trying our best to invite third wave. While the first wave caught the world by surprise, it’s surprising that we are refusing to learn any lessons from extremely virulent and lethal second wave! We all understand that health workers, sanitary workers, law keepers, essential service providers and daily earners do not have option of sitting and working from home. But the fun seekers, party animals, travel bug bitten and other outgoing types must restrain themselves if we are to collectively defeat Covid .

Hope good sense prevails over the people! Ultimately , like the crowd has no face, the suffering also comes without seeing any face and this face could be yours or mine!

Obeisance

On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, I have composed a few lines to pay deference to all those from I have received knowledge and guidance. The composition reads as under:

We are born with a belief

Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh form a holy trinity;

But the Guru enjoys a position as important if not more

By his comparison to trinity, we give him divinity.

As goes the another saying,

I bow before Guru ahead of the God ;

For had my Guru not shown me the path,

How would ever I would have realised the God?

And if such is the place of Guru in our scriptures,

I rather be a student perpetually than be a Guru

Bow today in front of all those who taught me

And thank those who have placed me on the high pedestal of a Guru!

A very happy Guru Purnima to all my Gurus and to my friends and well wishers who have placed me on such a pedestal of which I am not worthy of.

Pi

Received an interesting WhatsApp post from my friend Sunil Babbar informing that rational number 22/7 is greater than pi. Further search on the net reveals that if using the systematic method the value of pi works out to 3.1459 then it’s value is indeed less than 22/7, which approximately works out to 3.142857. But this is trivia. More importantly we write 22nd July as 22/7 that’s also value of pi. All our life we have used formulas for calculating circumference and area of circle as 2pir and pir square! But for me, it holds a special significance as it’s my work anniversary day. It was on 22/7 of the year 1985 that I joined State Bank as a probationary officer. Not that my professional life was tasty like a cream pie all along, nevertheless it would continue to be an important day in my life and I continue to cherish the memories.

Net surfing has further revealed that while 22/7 and symbol pi could be a figment of imagination, there’s actually a world pi day celebrated each year on 14th March, based on its numerical value 314!

One thing leads to another! Thanks to Mr Babbar for sharing this interesting post that rekindled my childhood memories ( area and circumference of circle), my youth age memories ( work anniversary) and my old age learning that actually there’s a pi day celebrated in the world!

Could life be so cruel?

I came across the above picture in social media and started crying inconsolably. It stirred my core. This purportedly is a Japanese boy who is in queue to cremate his infant brother whose body is tied on his back. The infant has died in an assault during the World War 2.

While it’s a sad depiction of human misery and plight, what probably brought tears to my eyes is it’s correlation to the recent happenings. We came across similar scenes some 80 years after world war 2 with the nears and dears of the Covid victims waiting at crematoriums to perform the last rites of their beloved. And I have come across families that have witnessed multiple deaths with no adult left in the immediate family to perform the last rites. In fact, like the picture above, I came across a heart rending picture of Orissa, where a 6 year’s old girl was trying to take care of her infant brother, as the children had both their parents dead. I understand that mercifully some NGO took charge of the lives of these children.

We are all lost in our day to day struggle for better life, little realising the uncertainty and fragility of this life. Those of us who are lucky to have the kindness bestowed upon us by life, should not close our eyes to the harsh reality of the life being unkind to many so that we collectively work for upliftment of the entire fraternity .

Days gone by

As the age catches up, nostalgia becomes a predominant feeling. One frequently tends to get nostalgic about even very mundane and trivial things that have really no bearing on today’s reality.

The other day, while going through the plight of the film industry, especially theatres and multiplexes, I became nostalgic about how watching movie in a theatre used to be a big event. For a big movie like Trishul, Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony releasing on Friday, booking plans would open on Monday morning with film buffs queuing outside the booking counters by 8 AM. I distinctly remember, to watch Sholay, my dad had to take a few hours off from his office to buy the tickets and by that time the movie was well into its 3rd month of release. I don’t think this generation would ever experience that orgy associated with watching movie on a big screen with deft advanced planning.

And what about queuing up for the opening any booking of an awaited event – DDA or MHADA flats, Reliance IPO, admission forms of a sought after college, Bajaj Chetak scooter, last date of deposition of electricity bill et al! Not a cherished event but nostalgic nonetheless.

Denizens of any city always lament about the good old days that their city had seen and this is especially true of eating joints where we had our best meals in our hey days. While Mumbaikars miss Purohit’s Thali, Samovar cafe and those good old Parsi- Iranian joints, Delhiites seem it hard to get over Madras Hotel ! Kolkata’s Indian coffee house is still surviving at the College Street though only the God knows for how long?

Ambassador, Fiat, Bajaj Chetak, Vijai Super, Delite biscuit, Jai soap, Dalima and J.B Mangharam biscuits are some of the brands of my childhood that couldn’t survive!

Philosophically, we all try to make ourselves understand that in this world change is the only constant and we should adapt to change to succeed in life. However, to my mind, nostalgia is an involuntary feeling that repeatedly comes to remind you of the days gone by.

Original King saves the junior

The recent news of Aamir Khan and his second wife Kiran Rao’s decision to separate amicably went viral on social media. I really can’t understand that notwithstanding public’s to interest in the lives of their favourite stars, why a personal decision and that too on amicable terms should be trolled so viciously? Someone called it 15 years itch ( incidentally his first marriage to Reena Datta also lasted 15 years), while others called him fully RTO compliant, junking the old vehicle ( read wife) after 15 years. A few others went to give it a completely unnecessary colour of religion.

Why he divorced his first and second wives and whether he will now marry Fatima Sana Shaikh are the matters that are very very personal and intimate to Aamir and his partners and why people like us sitting at a distance without having any clarity on reason for his separation should not only become judgmental but troll him so very unkindly?

Some people also pulled out a few earlier episodes of his famous TV show Satyadev Jayate in which the talked about married life and harmony! It’s the same set who are trolling Saurav Ganguly who is advertising Fortune oil for its heart friendly properties but who had to undergo heart procedure recently for insertion of stents ! We all know that stars and models have their personal lives that could be absolutely split from professional lives!

However, the original Khan, the original King of Bollywood, the thespian, Dilip Kumar, whom all Bollywood stars, including Khans, Kumars and others have deliberately or unknowingly emulated, came to the rescue of the junior Khan even in his death. His death plunged not only the Bollywood but the whole nation into such a deep sorrow that no other news mattered and in the process Aamir escaped further trolling.

While it’s easy to criticise and troll a person for his or her intemperance, religion bigotry or other such needlessly imposed attributes, I think the grace and respect with which Aamir has treated his first family and all the amicability around his divorce from Kiran are clear proof of his maturity, conduct and persona.

The nation requires our collective endeavours for progress and unity. Let’s channelise our energies constructively rather than wasting time and energy in poking out noses in personal lives of others.