musical infatuation, philosophical me, tribute, Uncategorized

Personal Tribute to a person with whom I neither had a personal nor professional relation

My parents say I was born on 15th of May 1986 . Having no memories of the day in question or for that matter any day in the eighties, I can do little but trust the people who are the reason I have grown up to be a person who can, among other things, put thoughts onto paper or into network, the choice of words being left to fight between the literary and figurative thoughts of our brain. Inexplicably, in some ways the clarity and shape of my very first memories of human life have been far consigned to some remote corner of my brain from where they refuse to create any decipherable sights and sounds. For a child born in the eighties, my most distant memories are from the nineties that followed the eighties. Maybe this is the connection that I share with all the children born on that hot day. A connection not as mystical as the connection between Salim Sinai and the rest of midnight’s children but a connection, nonetheless, that has no traceable outlines or any touchable edges.

Among other things, I did not have any say in was the name,the place and mother-tongue I was to be identified with for my life. For some, still mysterious and unknown reason, there was a sense of pride in all the three aspects of my life that was thrust-ed down my metaphorical throat. Now that my emotional and intellectual self was moulded .beyond repair by the time I started storing my first longterm memories , it was all but natural for me to create the portrait of the people I shall idolize for my life. An Assamese as I was, there was no dearth of Assamese heroes but from Sankardev to Lachit to Bishnu Rabha, they chose to exist only in the pages of history. No living person seemed great enough to compete with the long dead heroes for a piece of my awe. However there was an exception, the solitary link between my motherland and the world. No mosaic of India seemed complete without the presence of this black cap adorned old man. The fact that he answered to same surname as mine did no harm to the stability of the tall monument of this man who had started rising in my mind.

In my earliest remembered days, I used to jump up and down when the sole Assamese man could be seen on television sets, I used to jump up and down saying that koka (Assamese for grandfather) was on TV. In those days, I didn’t know what Filmfare or Oscars were but I knew what Dada Saheb Phalke and Asia-Pacific International Music prize was. By class five, I had shifted to Don Bosco Dibrugarh and I participated in my first singing competition. Due to lack of any formal training and dedication, me forays into the singing lane was limited but I did win my fair share of prizes. Needless to say, the great mans song got me quite a few of those prizes. For a ten-year old, appearing on local television is a big deal, my earlier exploits in songs got me to the team that sang in the school on formal occasions and there I was on TV, humming another of his song. That memory is still strong that even today I remember the tune of the song and the first few lines. A song that I have not hard for the last fifteen years through my physical ears.

The closest I came to Dr. Hazarika in person was on a flight to my home from Calcutta. He seemed happy to know that even I was a Hazarika and gave nice message on my boarding pass. Unfortunately as fate would have it, he wrote it on the place of the security seal and the only proof of our solitary existence was snatched away by security. It was also in my college days that I used Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s creation for sinister pleasures. We had an annual NCC camp which was very physically demanding, the air force station where we had our camp was headed by an Assamese, so there was a need of and Assamese song on the cultural show. I jumped into the opportunity to laze through the day and rendered one of his creation. All day was spent sleeping while my friends were marching.

All good things come to an end. The great man was a human after all and had to breathe his last. On the day he died, I was relieved. Relieved – this is not a typo – I was pained to see the greatest musician and lyricist of Assam being unable to sing his own songs for last few years. His death had rolled back the years and he was restored to his prime in my memories. The person who towered over all of Assam was no longer present in the body that once represented everything that was great about Assam. But today I feel a sense of pride and sadness and emptiness. Pride to see how his death united all of Assam drowning all divisions of caste,creed or religion. Sadness to know that never again a tune that can outlast a generation be created in Assam,to know that now we have a count on the number of great odes to Brahmaputra. Emptiness to know that next time a portrait of India is painted, not only the tile that was common for my entire life would be absent but probably there wont be any tile for my motherland and mother-tongue.

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materialistic philosophy

Emotionally unresearched and (il)logically argued

It was not so long ago I had a conversation in the canteen below my office which meandered from imperfections to human thinking to randomness of random number generators to evolution in the context of randomness. Somehow, today as I start writing another of my philosophical blogs, I take refuge in evolution to talk about some of the resent happenings of India. Based on human knowledge of evolution it seems human species is the pinnacle of the race of survival of the fittest. It is wounded in our DNA structure to protect ourselves or at least pretend to ourselves to protect ourselves. That is probably the reason why even a person who tries to commit suicide always welcomes help. It is probably a decision taken out of our illogical part of our mind. Why do I say this when I say that I write this blog as a response to recent happenings? This is because somehow my mind does not conform to both mainstream and extremist reactions to the recent grenade attacks in Kashmir.

Now that I have unveiled what made me write.It is perhaps time to mention why does some random comment of probably one of the few parts of India I have never visited bother me, a person born in Assam, lived in Assam, Delhi, Bengal, Andhra(/Telangana), Tamil Nadu (?). For the sake of self-satisfaction, I left the question inside the quote for it gives me immense pleasure to phrase the sentence “I chose to take liberty in my punctuation for my answer lies in the question.”

Assam is one of the states that still has the AFSPA enforced although arguably it is today one of the most peaceful states in India in terms of people killed in terrorist violence. As I grew up, my brain and living memory had been permanently scared by the memories of “Secret Killings”. The killings which were according to a judicial commission by Justice Saikia were perpetuated by ex C.M. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.Whenever I think of AFSPA, I remember my solitary bicycle ride on the streets of Dibrugarh, after people protesting some recent deaths of two individuals one of them being my ex classmate at school. People say they saw who killed the protesters. But till today nothing has happened.

Funny, may be a very incongruous word, but death does alter the memories towards a person for whom you never had a very positive emotion. Dheeraj was never a great friend of mine at school, it would not be wrong to say we were acquaintance rather than friends but then hearing about his death when I was in class 9 was shocking. For a sheltered teenager, death only strikes old people. While I was in the same house another day altered my subconscious. These were the screams of my neighbor. Assam is very unlike rest of India and we follow a different version of Hinduism and Islam. We were Hindu and our neighbor was Muslim.This neighbor was also a distant relative. It was a love marriage between one of my hindu uncle and an aunt in this family. I would not say we were very distant but we were not very close either. One day, the small kids in the house were crying. Did I say crying? Maybe I am wrong,they were wailing, somehow some of those screams still ring in my ear. They say Army had picked up their father and their uncle. A few days later their mutilated corpse was found. They say they belonged to MULFA (a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist organization). Maybe, they were terrorist, but till date I can’t convince myself of that.

AFSPA and disturbed areas act have no place in a country where citizens are free. It seems more farcical today when terrorism can strike anywhere. Citizens living under the shadow of terrorism are anyways victimized why should be victimized more. Somehow, if a terrorist kills a person I love, I know I can fight back against the enemy by hopefully voting for a candidate who will go after them. If I have enough determination,may be I can join the system and fight the evil. But if some organ of government kills or does not do enough to remove false doubts, it is kind of helpless situation.

Now where do I tie all that I have written together. I will diverge from the common thread tying all my posts. I am not going to end with an open-ended question. I am going to just preach something that I can’t argue for logically: AFSPA is just the fertilizer terrorism needs to breed more terrorist. I shall give no research, no logical arguments just naked emotional memories.

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philosophical me

Yesterday

Yesterday promised to be another day
 A day when all that I  see bathes in sun ray
A day when every sunflower fights for the touch of sun’s every ray.
But it was yesterday a forlorn souls last day.

The stream that kept my thirst at bay seemed to have run away
There was no garden to gratify my hunger
There was no jester to give me laughter
All I could I could see was snow and ice
But I felt like I was burning in some hot fire.

But my mind refused to surrender
It made me hear sound of some piper
Tricked that bliss lay in the lap of the musical whispers
I walked the road told by an ancient dreamer.

But ‘t was not a lie that I was engulfed fire
‘T was true that the lake was all snowy and people were walking on water
But the warmth of my body melted my road into water
The fire that was roasting me gave way to frost bites.

I grasped for breath
I prayed for air
But I  was no fish with gills
In a dreamy state I made my way to a distant paradise
And today I wait for a kiss of life to wake me from my slumber.

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Hobbies, life, Literary experience, philosophical me

Verse, blank-verse and converse

Although there is no cookbook for wisdom and knowledge, the same cannot be said about the intangible adjective called literate.  For all I can do or wish to do it is now forever etched into my gray matter that the 3 Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic make up the seven course meal called literacy. It is another matter that the gray matter is not gray and arithmetic does not start with an ‘R’ yet this is the very sequence of words I shall tattoo into the minds of any impressionable target that comes across me. Like most middle-class parents of their generation, my parents too thought that I should master the three R’s. I was in school.

The thing about school and blog is that language classes are much more easier to ponder over and ruminate then the numerical theories which I now believe to be the only absolute truth. Scientific theories come and go, Religions are born and buried but if one bird on a tree is joined by another bird, we have only two birds on the tree.The thing about language lessons is that we learn “Twinkle Twinkle little star” and “A for Apple” from beyond the time hidden in my subconscious by the mist of time.  This was my initiation to the world of prose and poetry.

As the years went by, poems changed from small songs to sonnets to blank verse. My English papers periodically had exotic sounding words like “iambic pentameter“. But the thing with poems which I have referred to as verse and blank verse is that I was never really sure if I had diverged from what the writer actually wanted to say. Most of the times , the safe approach was the approach of your teacher.  Even the neurons of time have failed to remove the veil of ignorance that envelops my understanding of words that I had once read.

Even today,some questions remain unanswered. Even today , I can’t help wondering if there is more to the poems than that meets the eye. Even today , I want to wax lyrical but indulge in mundane and intrinsic science called prose writing.

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Citizen me, life, materialistic philosophy

A childhood in the fringes of national consciousness

gunFor the last few days, it seems only a curfew can stand between a bullet and a young gullible kashmiri. Today was one of the better days it seems some tangible property has been demolished . Loss to property is a loss nonetheless but it is not something that cannot be replaced. Loss of life on the other hand happens only once. Some of my earliest political memories I have is of the total apathy of my government as huge chunks of land in my maternal village were swallowed by the mighty Brahmaputra. Huge blocks of land simple leapt into whistling water to create another homeless family. It became a sort of yearly ritual to see people lose everything. It went for years and now the place where I spent many of my happy and innocent days of childhood no longer exists, the roads of that ghost village are only their in some hidden compartment of my memories. At those times, it seemed independence from the beastly creature called India was the only way out. That was the mind of a guy who was less than ten years of age. It seemed the cause of all problems was the occupation by India. I guess I am contradicting myself in this post like I usually do reminiscing about the political leanings of my early childhood. It didn’t help that newspapers were bombarded with reports of how the army and other central para-military forces were harassing the masses. I was given to understand that unified command was a mechanism by which security personal were permitted to rape the relatives of militants who did not surrender.

In those days we were more scared of military than the militants. Militants used to usually kill politicians usually giving us a reason to celebrate. A death of a militant was deeply mourned as that of a family member. One of our neighbours son was killed in an encounter. I was simple overwhelmed by the public outpour of grief on the streets. I was eleven years old. Gradually things began to change or at least my perspective of things changed. Having seen many militants surrender and make millions looting and killing the common man-made me realise there is no difference between the politicians I deride. It was also the time the hypocrisy in me was maturing. I found myself with a brain with better than average processing power and soon made my way out of my birthplace . Now I am a visitor to the place where I learnt to walk, speak and talk. On an average day,, the language I am most likely to speak is my mother-tongue.

Back then even though I hated the government of India, it was kind of perplexing I always supported the Indian team on the field. Maybe my childhood is a perfect example of the fact that you may love your country and hate the government. Since I am writing this post in 2010, its time for me to jump back to the present and write a few words bashing Armed Forces Special Powers Act. I know this generational jump is quite of sync with the title of the post and rather abrupt. But I feel too strongly about this issue to care for anything else. It is not so easy living under the shadow of the gun. It is even more difficult when the people who are there to protect you is the biggest threat to your lives.

Whenever sensible people talk about removing AFSPA, the top brass of army raise a hue and cry, the very same top brass whose corruption is a bigger threat to the jawans than the repeal of this act. I am told today there are twenty security personals for every civilian in Kashmir. They are immune to any criminal proceedings for human rights violation. Some might argue that there is a provision under some act or other but for heavens sake is it really practical. Some argue that our soldiers are already under lots of stress and adding the stress of criminal proceedings is not done. I am too biased and emotionally and psychologically scarred to say something impartial on the matter but I do try to give myself a high moral ground supporting higher wages and better facilities for the soldiers of the nation. I believe RR Patil should be hanged before Kasab for the death of Hemant Karkare. But then I have a lot of beliefs some rational.some nonsensical and some utterly comical.

In the end what I want to say is that we have lost over fifty young man in Kashmir due to stone pelting if at all they were allowed to pelt stones maybe we would have lost a few buildings, a few buses a few cars but it would have been far more preferable.

On footnote : after I have left Assam, the militants started colliding with ministers and killing innocents. I was aghast at the happenings but somehow it was easier to hate them and want them to die than the feeling of despair on being vulnerable at the hands of your supposed protectors.

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bike, humour, materialistic philosophy, my life

Antonyms and Synonyms (Oh fuck !! and Oh sex!!)

All the dictionaries of the world unite in proclaiming  antonym as a word opposite in meaning while synonym is a word that has the same meaning. I can’t speak for all languages but the ones claiming to be an authority in English, there is little ambiguity in the matter. But over the course of our lives, we also use words outside the recommended vocabulary of the parliament. The ignorant and not so ignorant classify these words as slang. This classification is not entirely wrong but what is not wrong need not be right. I have a self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual who need his dose of intellectual masturbation.I call this facet of our vocabulary as swear words.

Fuck and sex. No matter in which language you speak, the verbal interpretation of sexual intercourse lends its vocal syllables to swear words. Although, I do not need any certificate from any censor board, and I am  a fan of the writers of GodFellas, I guess it will serve my post no purpose if I elaborate on my exhaustible knowledge of derivatives of fuck in different human languages. In short fuck and sex in human vocabulary  is ubiquitous. I hope I have put my point across.

Now comes the part of the post wherein I dwell on the conflicting emotions that drove me to write this post. Although sex and Fornification under consent of king  essentially mean the same thing to a laymen, when he swear he means entirely different context in both the use cases. I used the term laymen for the overwhelmingly large percentage of my rationalist and hyper intelligent friends can go to any lengths to research all the garbage under the sun and create a ten thousand word long essay on the difference in meaning of fuck and sex. Having shut down the critics with the most infallible argument -“Please suppress your rationality” , it’s now time to come back to the topic. I can’t help wondering how many of our conversations would read like if we had interchanged the words. To drive the point home, I shall first give a brief background of the situation.

So here are a few of imaginary conversations

  • One of your friends of opposite sex (I know they are rare if you are a male iitian), looks full of energy for a competition.I hope you get the idea and fill the dots and blanks. You cheer her up saying you look all sexed up for the occasion. I am sure you will still be friends after that. Imagine trying to encourage saying you look fucked up for the occasion.
  • Your friends girlfriend is looking real hot and you are with your girlfriend. (yeah yeah Utopia, what the hell!! lemme create a world I please in my blog ), You compliment her saying that she looks sexy. I guess she would be happy.I think saying that she looks like fuck wont qualify as a complement besides the other side effects that might occur.
  • To end it all from where it all started, I was thinking of a few mods to my bike and exclaiming in my mind that it will look like sex, if every some one uses fuck in relation to my bike I would really start pitying the intelligence of the person.

I guess that is enough in this interesting observation which I find quite humorous.

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musical infatuation

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

I was brought up in a home that had no MTV. For the early part of my life, my experiments with my ear drums were confined to the whims and fancies of doordarshan. As I started calling different geographical co-ordinates as my home,I got a glimpse of the world that lay beyond what I had experienced. But, still I am largely ignorant of the existence of numerous lovely melodies that are yet to be copied by Pritam or Anu Malik. One thing about me is that if I like something I really fall for it and now and then, I come across a song that starts making an infinite loop in my mp3 player. Although I believe I am quite unique, I feel there are many others who might be ignorant of my current infatuation. Besides a new status message and hopefully a few comments don’t hurt my inflated ego.

So here is my current musical infatuation

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