शुक्रवार, 30 दिसंबर 2011

In the Search of Peace and Freedom…………………

“If they are not getting peace and freedom home, they cannot achieve it in any part of the world”, says the caretaker of Krishnamurti Foundation, Rajghat, Varanasi. Krishnamurti foundation shows people the way to get the ultimate peace and freedom. The peace and freedom which always remain in them but they have been searching it in all over the world probably since their birth.

The Study Centre of Krishnamurti Foundation, at Varanasi, is situated at Rajghat. It is running many schools and colleges in the city, including Vasanta Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Rajghat, Varanasi. The study centre is located in the house, in which Krishnamurti lived during his annual visits. Set on a high prominence overlooking the Ganga, the campus has a guest house and a few cottages attached to the study centre/retreat. The study centre consists of a library and a mini-archive. Apart from offering the usual facilities of a Krishnamurti study centre, it has a translations and publications cell, where its Hindi, Bengali, and Urdu translations are available. 

Stepping in from the main gate of the Krishnamurti Foundation at Rajghat, we observed the peace and the sense of freedom which we never feel in this competitive and cacophonic life of the city side. The well constructed garden greened with trees and plants never give someone a chance to think about the outside world. The people from all over the world come here in the search of peace and freedom, and probably they get it.

“Need not to go anywhere in the search of peace and freedom, which remain inside us. Need is to search it in our own”, the caretaker adds.

गुरुवार, 29 दिसंबर 2011

Observing the Observatory

The Manmandir Observatory, situated at Manmandir ghat of the river Ganga in Varanasi, looks as big and old as the other buildings of the ancient Varanasi. This observatory was constructed by the remarkable monarch of Jaipur Maharaja Sewai Jai Singh. He was the person behind the foundation of many cities, including Jaipur, in the country.

Entering inside the gate, there are stairs to get upside. There is a corridor giving the experience of a palace of the Mughal era. The paining depicted on the walls of the corridor are the finest examples of Mughal-era painting. The building is constituted with many corridors, yards, and stairs. 

Major attraction of the building is the well constructed solar watch on the roof of the observatory. It man-made clock works by nature. This watch is based in the sun. By watching the shadow made on it, we can easily estimate the time. The solar time-set is very accurate.

From the balconies of the observatory, we see both the banks of the river Ganga. This one is the most eye-catching view from here. From this height, seeing boats in the river and people roaming here and there on the ghat is another wonderful experiences. 

This observatory is one of the beautiful examples of the ancient Varanasi. It is a well-maintained building and is very efficiently taken care of by the caretakers. The experience gathered at such a beautiful ancient place rejuvenates one’s mind, body and soul.

मंगलवार, 27 दिसंबर 2011

Sarnath to meet Akhata Village!

A team of students led by Prof Mridula Jaiswal of Archaeology Department, Banaras Hindu University, is excavating in Aktha village to disclose its relation with Sarnath. She may have been excavating for the few days but has been researching on this relation for a long time.

“It is intuition but logical one, which makes you confident about the place to be excavated”, Jaiswal asserts. 

She shows two places in the village, which are being excavated by her team consisting of her students with herself. Having excavated for a plenty of metres, she got several evidences to prove her intuition as logical one. Pottery of different periods, which is got from the burial, proves to be the a thing that is all time favourite and all time necessity of the people. It is in red colour but in various shapes. Some coins of various designs have also been found from the soil. They themselves tell the story of their periods.

The layers on the walls of the excavated area are also a measure of chronological order. Different layers mark out different periods of time. The red coloured bricks demonstrate a periods of time rather different than black ones. It means, red colour bricks were used in a different period and black colour bricks were used in a different one.

“The age of stones are determined by carbon-14”, Jaiswal adds. She is quite confident about the 'soil-relation' of Sarnath with Akhata village. If she becomes successful in searching the facts of Buddha period from the soil, she would like to go ahead with some more metres of excavation so that she could be acquainted with some more past centuries sleeping in the historical soil.

सोमवार, 26 दिसंबर 2011

The Legend’s Place: Lamhi

Lamhi, the village which became the witness of the birth of the legendary Hindi author Munsi Prem Chand. The village looks just like an ordinary Indian village but became extraordinary due to the name of Premchand who was born here on 31st July, 1880. He died in 1936 and his wife lived here till her death in 1976. 

Premchand’s house in Lamhi is a three storied small but well constructed building. It is opened for demonstration to people who are curious about the life of the noted writer. In the front-side of the airy house, there are two doors and several windows. These were the windows against which Premchand used to sit and see the outside world when he was terribly ill in his last days. The houses are now maintained by the government authorities. A gallery of Premchand’s creations is situated, just a stone throw from the house. Several portraits, demonstrating the biography of the great author with pictorial representation of his stories, are depicted on the wall of the gallery. 

“Many freedom fighters afford their lives for the freedom of the country, and Premchand’s first novel made sacrifice for the noble cause”, says the caretaker of Premchand’s legacy at Lamhi.

The ‘Soz-e-Watan’, Premchand’s first novel was burnt by the Britishers. Premchand died before completing his last novel the ‘Mangalsutra’. His fate did not give him a chance to complete the last creation. His world famous novel the ‘Gaban’ is now the part of a research to find out the reasons of its popularity.

“This is all the work of Premchand, which gave him popularity, and me livelihood”, adds the caretaker, and becomes emotional due to his attachment with his favourite author.

In the legend's memory, the government has sanctioned a huge amount of money to construct a pond near this house. Almost half of the work is completed, and the rest is awaiting some more money from the government. 

The ‘Lamhi’ and the ‘Pousa Ki Raat’, the two novels of Premchand, are based on the same village.

बुधवार, 30 नवंबर 2011

On a Boating Trip: Ganges


The definition of one of the ancient cities, Varanasi, is incomplete if we don’t talk about the ghats here. Varanasi is known as the city of eighty-four ghats. Every ghat contains a distinctive feature within itself. 

We took a glance of the beauty of river Ganga, and many of its ghats, when we had chance for a boating trip in the river. We started from Assi ghat and ended with Rajghat as our final destinations before returning. 

The holy river Ganga is the pilgrimage for a number of people, who follow Hindu religion. Ganga flows from south to north. We were flowing in the direction. Meanwhile, we saw how the garbage of whole city is thrown in the holy river. Gangas water is not as safe and clean as it was centuries back. 

We also got acquainted with the specialities of some of the ghats during our trips. Mata Anandmai Ashram is situated at Mata Anandmai ghat. Hanuman ghat is the place where Tamil, Telugu, Kannad and Malyalam languages speaking people reside together. A huge Shiv Temple is situated at Kedar ghat.

Satyajit Ray, the noted film maker shot for his films several times during 1955 to 1975 at the ghats, including Ranamehal ghat and Ahilyabai ghat, which had been the venue for many of his films.

The Manmandir ghat became a destination for us when we made a visit to Manmandir observatory. Our last destination Rajghat is a part of the ancient Kashi. The famous Krishnamurty Foundation and Vasant Mahila Mahavidyalaya are situated at Rajghat. Having visited these places, we turned back to Assi ghat. We returned seeing again all the ghats and recalling the facts and figures we had learned the same day only.



सोमवार, 28 नवंबर 2011

In the Heart of Varanasi: Sarnath


It was a pretty cold day when we were roaming in the veins of the heart of the holy city Varanasi. We spent a day in Sarnath.

One of the major attractions of the place, a Buddha temple is situated just a stone throw from the first crossing of Sarnath. Huge gardens, various trees and plants providing elegantly green touch to the campus suddenly catch your eyes.

Apart from this natural beauty, the artistic beauty of the Buddhist pilgrimage is also taken care of, which can be observed suddenly by just entering in the campus. Buddha’s statue provides a unfelt peace to the mind, body and soul.  The walls of the temple are painted with the various portraits of Buddha and his followers whose stories are frequently told in the Buddhist epic. A large range of animals and birds is available in the zoo of the temple.

The aesthetic beauty of the temples lies in the sculptures of Buddha and his four disciples. These statues are installed at the same place where Buddha gave his maiden sermon. There is a tradition to write your wish on small pieces of clothes looking like flags and fasten it with the strings on the walls of that area to make your wish come true.

A huge dome-shaped Buddha stoop is another spot to get your wishes true. People supposed to have their wishes realized if they move seven times round of this stoop. Copper strips are fitted on it to protect the stoop from thunder. We wished to visit there again and move on.

Our next destination at Sarnath was the popular museum. Many Buddha’s statues, swastika, arms and weapons like draggers, swords, axes etc, and other antiques of Buddha’s period are the main contents of the museum. The prime attraction for us was the wheeled shaped stone carved as a huge umbrella. The touch screen computers in every side of museum were telling the technologically advanced of the place and providing the knowledge of the items of the museum in national and international languages.

Another Buddha temple in Sarnath is the live presentation of fresco style of painting. Splendid picture of Buddha is depicted on the wall of the temple. The colourful temple is really soothing to the eyes. The beauty of the lawn in the campus is enhanced in the presence of the fountain here.

Sarnath is always been a fascination place for tourists, whether they are Indian or foreigner. They come here to see the culture, history and of course Buddhism. People like to buy accessories and other decorative items depicting entity of Buddhism.

The roads of Sarnath are well-mentioned and the environment is pollution-free. Many colonies are being constructed in different parts of Sarnath. Now a days, people are seeking a house at a place having a peaceful atmosphere. People of the city are moving in Sarnath to attain a peaceful life far from the cacophony of the main city. We were gratified to make peaceful at least a day of our life, when we were in Sarnath.

शुक्रवार, 18 नवंबर 2011

No joy for Julian

The Swedish view of Julian Assange, who lost his appeal against extradition to face sex allegations on November 2, has changed in a year from the James Bond of the internet to a paranoid chauvinist pig. The man who has been holed up in an English country house instead of allowing himself to be questioned here in Sweden about an alleged rape cuts an increasingly pitiable figure. His attempts to depict Sweden as a banana republic that would ship him on to the United States is another sign of how desperate Assange has become. You can blame Sweden for lots of things -- filthy weather, overrated crime novels, Ikea furniture -- but to claim this country is the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) accomplice, with an extremist law on sex crimes, irritates even his most loyal fans, of whom there are still a few.
It is ironic that Sweden, the country Assange once admired because of laws that shield our freedom of expression and freedom of the press, should have been the place where his sun began to set. In the spring of 2010, when the Collateral Damage video had just been released, he announced that he wanted to move central parts of the WikiLeaks operation to Stockholm.
Sweden  is one of the most wired-up countries in the world and a culture of illegal downloading and net activism is strong here. Perhaps that's why the love affair between Assange and Sweden started so strongly. Even among those who would never use their computers for anything but Google and email, the remains of the anti-Americanism of the 1970s radical left produced a certain admiration for the man.

Assange-the-hero vanished somewhere in that anti-Semitic and anti-feminist slime. Sweden's relatively high measure of sexual equality and consciousness when it comes to gender questions is a matter of national pride. That a dodgy hacker from Australia started knocking the country was not popular.
Last month, two women journalists who started a Twitter campaign over Assange's contemptuous remarks about Swedish women were nominated for the most prestigious prize in Swedish journalism. The "Let's Talk About It" campaign got thousands of people to discuss the grey areas of sexual conduct openly. 
Assange was not the radical hero he had supposed but "a solitary and shabby libertarian who wants to tear down democratic societies".

रविवार, 13 नवंबर 2011

हम किस गली जा रहे हैं.....


भारतीय राजनीति का अंधा युग अब शुरू हो गया लगता है। जिस रफ्तार से नेताओं पर घोटाले, हत्या और यहाँ तक कि बलात्कार के आरोप लग रहे हैं, आम जनता का विश्वास लोकतंत्र से उठता जा रहा है। आज जहाँ भारत की आम जनता भ्रष्टाचार, महंगाई और बेरोजगारी जैसी तमाम तरह की समस्याओं से जूझ रही है, वहीं इस मुल्क के अफसरान और हुक्मरान दोनों ही बस अपनी तिजोरियाँ भरने में लगे हैं। अब तो किसी को याद भी नहीं होगा कि देश के इन कर्णधारों ने आखिरी बार जनहित में कब कोई फैसला लिया था। हाँ, इनके द्वारा अंजाम दी गई तमाम तरह की आपराधिक गतिविधियाँ अक्सर अखबार की सुर्खियों में अपनी जगह बना लेती है।

किसी भी राष्ट्र का भविष्य उसे चलाने वाले लोगों के चरित्र पर निर्भर करता है। भारत निश्चित रूप से इस मामले में सबसे गरीब देश है। आर्थिक विकास के आँकड़ों में हम भले ही दुनिया के अग्रणी देशों में शामिल हों, पर जमीनी हकीकत इससे काफी जुदा है। आज भी इस देश में कई इलाके ऐसे हैं जहाँ लोगों के लिए रोटी, कपड़ा और मकान जैसी मूलभूत सुविधाओं का होना ही सबसे बड़ा ख्वाब है। देश की राजधानी में ही तमाम ऐसी झुग्गियाँ हैं जहाँ आप छोटे बच्चों को भूख से बिलबिलाते देख सकते हैं। ऐसा लगता है कि आलीशान बंगले में रहने वालों के लिए ये सड़क पर घूमने वाले आवारा कुत्तों से ज्यादा कुछ नहीं हैं। काश कि लोग इनके खिलाफ कायदे से खड़े हों, और यकीन मानिए, मैंने भी अभी तक इनके खिलाफ कुछ नहीं किया है।

शुक्रवार, 11 नवंबर 2011

गजल..


कुछ और ही रोशन अब शहर हुआ है।
शायद कोई गरीब फिर बेघर हुआ है।

तुम चीखते चिल्लाते ही रह जाओगे,
हुकूमत पर भी कभी असर हुआ है?

इस सन्नाटे को यारों, गौर से सुनना,
कोई हंगामा यहाँ पर रातभर हुआ है।

चुपचाप गिनती हैं लाशों को सरकारें,
कत्लेआम अखबारों की खबर हुआ है।

इस दिये में तेल से भीगी हुई बाती तो है


पिछले कुछ समय से चल रहे राजनीतिक ड्रामों को देखकर अब ये कहा जा सकता है कि भारतीय राजनेता मानसिक दीवालियेपन का शिकार हो चुके हैं। अब उन्हें जनता की समस्याओं से कोई सरोकार नहीं रहा। उनकी सारी उर्जा यात्राओं, एक-दूसरे पर लांछन लगाने और अपने आप को किसी भी कीमत पर पाक साफ साबित करते रहने में लग रही है। अब तो इन सबके बारे में इतना कुछ सुना जा चुका है, इतना कुछ देखा जा चुका है कि अब कोई घोटाला नहीं चौंकाता, इनकी कोई भी कारस्तानी अब तकलीफ नहीं देती। आम भारतीय जनता कष्ट झेलने की आदती हो गई है।

आजकल हमारे नेता और धर्मगुरू भी यात्राओं पर काफी जोर दे रहे हैं। हाँ, ऐसी यात्राएँ करके ये जनता की तकलीफें और बढ़ा ही देते हैं। जिस दिन इनकी यात्रा किसी शहर से गुजरती है, उस दिल वहाँ ट्रैफिक जाम लग ही जाता है। स्कूल जाते बच्चों और छोटी मोटी मजदूरी करके अपना पेट पालने वालों पर इन महानुभावों की यात्राओं का खासा असर पड़ता है। ये ठीक वैसी ही होती हैं जैसे कभी पुराने समय में राजा-महाराजा अपनी रियासत का चक्कर काटने निकलते रहे होंगे। ये आधुनिक समय के ‘राजाबस जनता की तबाही का मंजर देखते हैं और सोचते हैं कि इनको नोचने की और कितनी गुंजाईश बची है।

आम लोगों की बेबसी जब देखनी हो तो किसी सरकारी अस्पताल के जनरल वार्ड में या फिर रेल के जनरल अपार्टमेंट में आराम से देख सकते हैं। उनके लिए इन दोनों जगहों पर केवल थोड़ी सी जगह मिल जाए तो काफी है। हैरानी तो मुझे तब होती है जब इस हालत में भी इन्हें आमतौर पर खुश देखता हूँ। थोड़ी सी लेटने की भी जगह मिल जाए तो अपने आपको खुशनसीब समझते हैं। जबकि इनका ही खरबों रूपया स्विस बैंको में हमारे नेताओं ने जमा करा रखा है। पाँच साल गरियाने के बाद अगर नेताजी इनके खर का रूख करते हैं तो ये खुद को धन्य मानने लगते हैं। हजारों साल की दासता झेलने के बाद एक आम आदमी देश के निर्माण में अपनी भागीदारी के बारे में सोच भी कैसे सकता है?

रहा सवाल हमारे युवाओं का, तो इसमें भी दो वर्ग एक साथ दिखाई देते हैं। एक वो जिसके सामने सुनहरा भविष्य है और दूसरा वो जो बेरोजगारी के अँधियारे में अपनी उम्मीदों को टटोल रहा है। मेरे खयाल से अगर इस समय किसी का सबसे ज्यादा शोषण हो रहा है तो वो इस देश के युवा ही हैं। इनकी सबसे बड़ी त्रासदी यही होती है कि इन्होंने चमकदार भविष्य के ढेर सारे सपने सँजोए होते हैं। और जब ये सपने टूटते हैं तो कुंठा के रूप में जन्म लेते हैं। हमारे देश के ये नौजवान अगर संकल्प लें कुछ कर गुजरने का, इस देश के भाग्य को बदलने का, तो वो दिन दूर नहीं जब एक अभिनव भारत दुनिया के नक्शे पर होगा, जहाँ कोई शोषित नहीं होगा, जहाँ कोई शोषक नहीं होगा। जैसा कि कभी दुष्यंत कुमार ने कहा था...

इस नदी की धार से ठंडी हवा आती तो है
नाव जर्जर ही सही, लहरों से टकराती तो है
एक चिंगारी कहीं से ढूँढ लाओ दोस्तो
इस दिये में तेल से भीगी हुई बाती तो है।

गुरुवार, 10 नवंबर 2011

My love is gone.

I am ever alone.
My love is gone.
Apathy and zeal.
Have the same feel.
Moments of enlightening.
Far from frightening.
Only time guides me.
shimmering sky.
Passes by.
Far fetched dreams swallow
into
a river called reality.
I sit down opposite to
my grievances
to share the spoils.
One hope of memory fades fast.
I must complement almighty
for this conviction.
uprooted feet
still moving
on self created tunes
like deserted dunes.
I fear alone
My love is gone
Ablution of soul
The World of mime at whole
Re-birth is about to occur.
Everybody is fallible
But not  always.
Now my heart knows
Why my love is gone?


यूँ ही, अचानक...


कुछ यादें, कुछ चीजें,
आस-पास बिखरी हुईं,
अक्सर दिख जाती हैं,
यूँ ही,
अचानक।
उनका वजूद,
कुछ खास नहीं होता,
लेकिन,
उनसे जुड़ी होती हैं,
कई कहानियाँ,
कई किस्से।

एक लॉकेट,
जो किसी ने दी थी,
बहुत प्यार से,
जो आज वहाँ,
उस खूँटी पर पड़ी है।
या फिर ये टी-शर्ट,
और ये कॉफी मग,
सबके पीछे कई कहानियाँ है,
हर एक चीज में,
दिखता है अक्स,
किसी न किसी का।

और ये कलम,
इसे कैसे भूल सकता हूँ,
किसी ने दी थी,
बड़े प्यार से,
कुछ किस्से, कुछ नगमे,
ये भी तो लिख जाती है,
यूँ ही,
अचानक।

जंजीरें....


वहाँ पेड़ों में जंजीरे बँधी थी,
लोहे की,
काफी मजबूत जंजीरें,
न जाने कौन बाँध गया था,
और क्यों?
मन को कुछ खटक रहा था,
क्यों कोई ऐसा करेगा?
ऐसे तो ये पेड़ उदास से दिखते हैं
चल दिया मैं अपनी राह।
खोया हुआ सा खुद में,
फिर एक रोज जाना हुआ उधर,
जंजीरों में तख्तियाँ लगी थीं अब,
और बच्चे झूल रहे थे,
उन झूलों पर,
गायब हो गयी थीं पेड़ों की उदासी,
और तभी कुछ बूढ़े नजर आये,
जंजीरों में बँधे हुए,
ठीक वैसे ही,
जैसे,
कभी पेड़ों में जंजीरे बँधी थी।

रविवार, 30 अक्तूबर 2011

Staying Calm, Being Ready.............


I knew that earlier, this month will be a comparatively small month for me in terms of job as I was set to come Varanasi, my home town, at the beginning of the last week. As always, I was excited to come here…..but at the same time I was tired of my routined life in the national capital…… I was waiting for such a refreshment which I could get only my home… I was badly tired of that ‘office-office’ kind of life… And the moment came and I reached my hometown to live there for at least a week…

Being in Varanasi, I tried to spend most of my time at home with family. I went outside for important purposes only….as this time, I was not in a mood of experiencing the newness of the ancient city. I have been here for about a week now and it’s time to move. I will be in the train to back in Delhi tomorrow.

This small vacation was really a refreshing one for me after a tight work schedule for the last three and half months, following my last visit to the hometown. I am again ready for work….and having more stamina to explore some more ideas playing in my mind…..and to visit some more ways going towards my own goal… I know, I will have to choose. This selection process is as difficult as it is important in our life… I am not in a mood to discuss it right now, how I will do it and what I am going to do…. I want some time, only after which I will be able to say something on these topics…

This time, let me stay calm…because a tight schedule is again waiting for me, starting from the day after tomorrow……for which I am trying to be ready…

मंगलवार, 4 अक्तूबर 2011

दोस्त मेरा आजकल....


लगता है मुझको कि कोई दूसरा सा है।
दोस्त मेरा आजकल, खफा-खफा सा है।

हजार मिन्नतें मेरी यूँ नाकाम हो गयीं,
अंदाज उसका भी बिल्कुल खुदा-सा है।

गम हो या खुशी कि आँखें ढूँढ़ती उसको,
कैसे मान लूँ मैं वो मुझसे जुदा-सा है?

धड़कनें तो धड़कती हैं, हलचल नहीं कोई,
उसके बगैर दिल इक खाली मकां-सा है।

है सूखे का मौसम मगर उम्मीद कायम है,
दोस्ती के दरख्त में, एक पत्ता हरा-सा है।