Is This What We Fought for?

(AnAugust 2017 blog reblogged)

Relevant even on Jan 26, 2019

AS A FORERUNNER TO AUGUST 15, INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY A FRIEND MAILED ME an old film song from the 1959 film Didi, sung by Asha Bhonsle, Sudha Malhotra and Mohammed Rafi.

The song, ‘Humne Suna That Ek Hai Bharat‘ (We heard that India is United’) summarises India’s recent history – its journey from a struggle for Independence marked by unique principles of non-violence and civil disobedience to dynasty rule, caste rivalry and communal disharmony, not to speak of the dirtiest politics imaginable.

How meaningful were old songs! From those soulful songs that touched hearts to today’s shouting and meaningless cacaphony of ‘lyrics’ without harmony is a similar journey of deterioration.

It was a film that starred the late Sunil Dutt. Can any reader remember the film? Or the name of the first boy on who was shown singing the song?

2019 – A New Year Has Begun

2019 – A NEW YEAR has arrived. Today, January 1, is the day of promises to oneself, New Year resolutions, bucket lists, and plans…a day of greeting everyone you know and even strangers.

This will be followed by unfulfilled promises, resolutions broken, lists that remain on paper and plans that remain in the mind. This is a pessimistic view. Some people do make a new beginning, start implementing resolutions and try to make the new year a happy one as desired

In my case, the last quarter of this year would mean completion of 80 years of age – one more year of a vigil at the exit gate of life, waiting for it to open. The boastful ‘unstoppable’ is slowing down and a decision is to be taken on whether to continue till 80 or make it ‘stoppable’ now — neither acclaimed if continued nor missed if stopped.

This post is being written, perhaps, due to the Indian belief that what happens on a new year day or a birthday will happen throughout the year – which explains why some celebrate these days by feasting and wearing new clothes.

Writing this is, however, not to ensure that this would continue for the year but an acknowledgment of the fact that I have lived, from the age of 16, by writing, with no great achievements in the past and certainly none likely in the few weeks or months that remain. That is the story of most. not all, people on earth.

And yet we wish each other a Happy New Year and celebrate the occasion. The famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1937-1984) who migrated to Pakistan during Partition (to start Communist movement there, but was frustrated due to his failure) asks what is new in the new year or how it is ‘happy’.

ऐ नए साल बता, तुझमें नया-पन क्या है

हर तरफ़ ख़ल्क़ ने क्यूँ शोर मचा रक्खा है

रौशनी दिन की वही, तारों भरी रात वही

आज हम को नज़र आती है हर इक बात वही

आसमाँ बदला है, अफ़सोस, ना बदली है ज़मीं

एक हिंदसे का बदलना कोई जिद्दत तो नहीं

अगले बरसों की तरह होंगे क़रीने तेरे

किस को मालूम नहीं बारह महीने तेरे

जनवरी, फ़रवरी और मार्च पड़ेगी सर्दी
और अप्रैल, मई, जून में होगी गर्मी

तेरा मन दहर में कुछ खोएगा, कुछ पाएगा
अपनी मीआद बसर कर के चला जाएगा

तू नया है तो दिखा सुबह नयी, शाम नयी

वरना इन आँखों ने देखे हैं नए साल कई

बे-सबब देते हैं क्यूँ लोग मुबारकबादें

ग़ालिबन भूल गए वक़्त की कड़वी यादें

तेरी आमद से घटी उम्र जहाँ में सब की
‘फ़ैज़’ ने लिक्खी है यह नज़्म निराले ढब की

……………………….
meanings —
ख़ल्क़ – मानवता, हिंदसे – संख्या, जिद्दत – नया-पन, अगले /पिछले -गुज़रे हुए, क़रीने – क्रम, दहर – दुनिया. मीआद/मियाद – अवधि, बे-सबब – बे-वजह,ग़ालिबन – शायद, आमद – आना, ढब – तरीक़ा l

And yet, as a positive outlook and attitudes play a decisive role in life, I wish all A HAPPY NEW YEAR

And yet, as a positive outlook and attitudes play a decisive role in life, I wish all A HAPPY NEW YEAR