Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Translation...New York Nagaram...

One of the best songs of A.R. Rehman written by Kavingar Vaali.

New York nagaram urangum neram thanimai adarndhadhe
paniyum padarndhadhe kappal irangiye
kaatrum karayil nadandhadhe
naangu kannaadi suvargalukkulle naanum mezhuguvarthiyum
thanimai thanimayo thanimai thanimaiyo
kodumai kodumaiyo

(New York)


Pechellaam thaalaattu pola ennai uranga vaikka nee illai
Dinamum oru mutham thandhu kaalai coffee kodukka nee illai
Vizhiyil vizhum thoosithannai naavaal edukka nee ingu illai
manadhil yezhum kuzhappamthannai theerkka nee inge illai
naan inge neeyum ange indha thanimayil nimishangal varushamaanadheno
vaan inge neelam ange indha uvamaikku iruvarum vilakkamaanadheno


(New York)

Naatkurippil nooru dhadavai undhan peyarai yezhudhum yen paena
yezhudhiyadhum erumbu moikka peyarum aanadhenna thaena
Jil yendru boomi irundhum indha tharunathil kulir kaalam kodai aanadhaeno
vaa anbe neeyum vandhaal sendhanalkooda pani katti pola aagume

(New York)

Its my attempt to translate the song without spoiling the spirit of the song. If there is any disconnect between the tune and the translation or interpretation anomalies please forgive me.


The hero of the story is in New York, away from his beloved. (they have not stayed away from each other in their 5 ~ 6 years of marriage)

The song goes like this….

As the New York city sleeps,
Loneliness creeps (like) the fog (that) spreads,
(like) the (cold) wind (that) strolls.
Trapped in the four glass walls,
Me and the candle...

Oh (this) loneliness, Oh (this) loneliness
(It’s a) tyranny, (It’s a) tyranny.

I miss the way you rock me to sleep with your sweet nothings,
I miss the way you wake me up with a kiss and a cup of coffee,
I miss the way you wipe my tears with your lips,
I miss the way you clear my insecurities,

(This) Loneliness masks the minutes to (look like) Years.
Alas, we have become the explanation for the metaphor of separation!

As the New York city sleeps,
Loneliness creeps (like) the fog (that) spreads.

My pen writes your name, my honey,
Only to be swarmed by bees for the honey.
Despite the chillness of the winter air,
I feel the heat of summer.
Come to me, my love
With you around, burning coal feels like a cube of ice.

As the New York city sleeps,
Loneliness creeps (like) the fog (that) spreads.
(like) the (cold) wind (that) strolls
Trapped in the four glass walls,
Me and the candle…

Oh (this) loneliness, Oh (this) loneliness
Oh (this) loneliness, Oh (this) loneliness
(It’s a) tyranny, (It’s a) tyranny.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Technology is a term that never stops to amaze me.
I Am sitting at singasandra – a place that does not have proper infrastructure in my new apartment, that is not yet complete, and still I have the internet at my disposal.

I use my laptop to compose this post, connect to the internet using my mobile phone and actually post it !!!

I cant wait to see the future.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

We are not sorry. The seat is "Reserved"

I read a OBC leader's opinion. He says that, in the general category there are 50% percent of seats and there are only 15% of Upper Cast people.

If the upper cast has to make an impact in our own country we need numbers by our side. It's a long term process and if we start now in about 18 years we can double upper cast numbers (that can vote) and from there, probably we can bring the population distribution to a 50-50 proportion.

Survival of the fittest, how perfectly it fits to our current situation?

When mandal one happened, I took it as a step towards improvement. I thought we are empowering the oppressed. That I am from TN and I already was forced to give up my Engineering aspirations to a person of lower cast who had marks just like mine or even lesser is a different question.

I always accept when some one who is more capable than me defeats me. But when unfair practices beat me, I am pained.

Now when mandal 2 is happening, I am near tears, since I feel that this severely restricts my children for absolutely no fault of theirs and because its utterly unfair.

I am feeling so very helpless and frustrated. I feel like doing something, but don't know what!! More than what, it's the price that I might have to pay for what ever it is, is what weighing in my mind.

It's just like ragging in the colleges. Juniors got ragged just because when the seniors were juniors they were ragged. It's a vicious circle. My forefathers some centuries back did some not so nice things. I am paying for it. My children will pay for it. May be my grandchildren will still pay for it. I am not sure if it will ever stop. And if by chance the tables get reversed and IF upper cast become majority, I hope the cycle does not start again.

I believed in my constitution, that says, all are equal.
Looks like my constitution is not as fair as it claims to be.

I believed every word of the pledge that we used to take every day in our school.
I treated all my fellow Indians as brothers and sisters. In my 25 yeas of existence, i have not discriminated against any one. My country paid me back by making it more difficult for my children and grandchildren to get into an education institution of respect.

I was proud of calling myself as Indian.

Why should I care?

I go to my office, I get a monthly salary, I have invested in a nice flat, I am investing in retirement funds, and I drive around in a vehicle that I could get at mortgage.

The roads are pathetic. Why should I care?

I am not patient at the traffic lights, Coz I need to go where ever I go. The person on the other side of the traffic light also got to go where ever he has to go, so what? Red is just another color!!! Why should I care?

Government is displacing hundreds of villages, without proper infrastructure and transparent relocation plans. SO WHAT? It’s not next to my flat! Why should I care?

In my country, secularism has become synonymous with insensitivity to one religion or other depending on who is ruling there. Why should I care?

As I write this today, hundred of students up north are facing the wrath of their own governments, because they feel that social assertion agenda of the government is not fair. So what? Why do I care?

A state, which is integral part of my country, is refusing water to other state (Except at the time of floods), which is also an integral part of my country, claiming ownership of the river. The farmers don’t want to share the natural resources with their counterparts elsewhere. Why should I care? It’s there problem. Let them solve it.

Fuel prices are skyrocketing. There are other factors involved. But, do I know, what are the taxes that I pay, the surcharges I pay to get that fuel? I don’t think I should know, All I know is I can afford or not. If I cannot afford, I will find alternatives, like vehicles that give more mileage, public transport system, etc. Oh, I forgot to mention, the buses, don’t stop at their designated stops. Chalta hai! I will run and cling on to the footboard with a toe and a fingernail.

I have become disconnected with everything around me. I have gone into a cocoon and I refuse to see what is going on around me. I have a thick skin.

My forefathers, not so long ago, spilled their blood, sweat and guts to give me this freedom. Now I am free. I can do what I please. It’s my freedom. I choose to have thick skin; I refuse to wake up from the slumber. I am very happy that majority of my fellow Indians are like me.

Arre baba! They will take care of everything. They will set it right. They will change things around. Things will get sorted out.

Me? I will go back home, enjoy my cup of tea and relax.

Pramod Mahajan - Killed

When I write this, a great personality will be burning to ashes.

Yes, one of the few political leaders who the younger generation could lookup to has lost his life to the jealousy of his younger sibling.In the span of few weeks (before this was written), I happened to witness two prominent figures take leave from this world.

The emotion both evoked in me was so different.

When the news of Mr. Mahajan’s demise came out, I had felt a pang in my stomach. There was a lump in my throat. I don’t know this person. I have not heard him render his famous speech; I have not seen his much praised organizational skills and problem solving skills. Still I am feeling a great loss.

All I know of him is through newspapers and TV clippings. Having seen many a70 some thing politicians, ruling the roost, I thought, here is a young man, who seems to have something to offer in terms of a different perspective, and approach the issues with a modern outlook. Somewhere deep inside me I had visualized him as India’s prime minister. I liked that idea a lot. I have to say with a sigh, we have lost a greatleader.

When the news of Mr. Rajkumar’s demise came out, I was not that surprised or sad. May be it was because, He was much older, and the cause of death wasnatural and the element of suspense was not there. It was like, “Here is thenews, Deal with it” Where as in the case of Mr. Mahajan, It was like, “May be” “May be not” for12 long days, with a nation rooting for his recovery and well-being.

Probably that was the reason for the huge sense of disappointment felt by many. Couple of days before the end of Mr. Mahajan, My aunt said, that according to the astrologers, if Mr. Mahajan survives on April 29, then he would be the “King”. He did live beyondthat date. Along with that, lived my hopes of his revival.

The only thing that is not corrupted (yet) in this world is Death. It is also the most secular, equal opportunity provider and establishes the equality with finality. It goes about doing its duty irrespective of color, cast, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, you name any discrimination ever conceived. I cannot seem to respect death enough.

I mean, how many times some one has bribed and avoided death? So many people have spent few minutes each to wish that Mr. Mahajan were not dead! They would have pleaded, begged, and prayed. On the contrary, when He was shot, there would have been enough people whowished that he never saw the day light again, and he breathed his last onthat day itself, and cursed the health care professionals who took care ofhim. They would also have pleaded, begged, and prayed that he died with outany further delay.

But No!!! Our beloved Death did not think so! It has set a date, and it was going to make it, no matter what others would want! This incident is yet another reason, to live life to its fullest.

You neverknow when your turn comes. You also don’t know when the person you care for,will get his/her call.

Kannada demigod Dr. Rajkumar Passed away.

The reaction was spontaneous and followed a pattern.
Some state transport buses stopped on their tracks others, burnt. Sporadic violence in someareas. Some tyres burned.The common man ran for cover and did not dare to venture out.What followed the next day was only logical. Entire Bangalore (I could sayentire Karnataka) was brought to a stand still.

A bandh was called. I commuted to my workplace in about 25 minutes (It normally takes about 45minutes).

Under all this, what struck me the most was, the love and respect they havefor their “Hero”. I could see, men, women, and children were pouring in fromall directions. Their destination ? The stadium where the mortal remains of their Demigod was kept.

All of them, either did not have jobs or did not care for their jobs. Theyare in a state of shock and grieving as though one of their own familymember had passed away. All along the way, I could see, photos and posters of Late. Dr. Rajkumar, heavily garlanded, with "dhoopam" and "dheepam". There were bunch of young guys riding on their bikes with his photograph perched in the front.

In my life I had seen couple of more instances like these. Dr. M.GRamachandran, Dr. N.T. Rama Rao all cinema personalities, endowed with Honorary Doctorate, Who ruled thetinsel town for over couple of decades. The only difference between Dr.Rajkumar’s counter parts from Andhra and Tamil Nadu, the other two had beenRuling their States too.

What makes them worthy of the love, respect and reverence that is usuallyreserved for gods?At the end of the day, they are just human beings, who made acting theirchoice of profession and earned their livings. They are no better than you and me in that aspect, we chose a line of profession and earn our livings.

Yes, in that process, they shone like the way only they can.They knew the pulse of their audience and played their fantasy. They masses could identify with them when they played the policeman who would not budgefrom his principles and provides justice to the oppressed. Or the angryyoung man who questions the atrocities committed by more fortunate against the not so fortunate, or the mythological character that would do nothingbut the good. When they play the role, they are so convincing that, one who would watch them, feels that they are the oppressed and in some strange way,the man on the screen has vindicated what they feel and had acted the way one would want to react to the specific stimuli. Combined with some grittydialogs, and songs that talk about virtues, the right things to do, etc etc, that were tailor made for them.The audience will cry, rejoice, laugh, be angry on the villain, just the waytheir demigod feels on the screen.

All these unanimously point out to one thing, we who live in the southernpart of this great nation (Keralites are exempted to some extent…since Ihave not seen anything similar happening there), are a bunch of emotionally challenged lot of people. We have too much of time, resources to spend on movies and we are the best escapist as it gets. Yes, we always look for some messiah to jump from the sky to save us from every thing. We will not move a finger to save our self is an entirely different question. Our brains aretuned to worship our heroes. There are people in our country who spend almost their entire days wage overa three-hour movie. How can you explain that other than escapism? They somehow get the feeling of safety and comfort when they watch their demi god sing those thought provoking songs, and handout justice to one and all. Theywalk out of the cinema, hoping to god that, one day his hero will save himfrom his misery.

Do any of them say to them, that they are to fend forthemselves ? and they have to provide for themselves ? There are people whospend their hard earned money to buy garland and other offerings for their demigod’s photographs and cutouts!!!! All said and done all the three personalities, have been the best in their fields. They ruledthe minds of couple of generations and have been influential in shaping themindset of people.

May their souls rest in peace.