Friday, May 11, 2012

With due apologies to one Mr. Asadullah Beg Khan

If you ask for the literal meaning, this is what Ghalib says:
दर्द से है मेरे तुझको बेक़रारी, हाय हाय.
(You say my pain leaves you restless, Dear God!)
क्या हुई ज़ालिम तेरी गफ़ल्ताशीयारी, हाय हाय. 
(Just what happened to your cruel carelessness, Dear God!)

But if only the man were that simple to explain, in words or in illustration! So I decided, I had had enough of not being able to draw Ghalib in the seriousness that he dictates. There you go, Ghalib! That's what happens when you write gloriously lyrical thoughts that cannot be expressed in any other medium. People draw silly cartoons about them.

Hairy leg! Thou must be punished...

Who was the first person who thought this would be a good idea? You know pouring some hot, molten caramel on bare skin, rubbing it on for good measure and then yanking it right off! Clearly someone, somewhere hated body hair in a badass way. Also they were very very sick and should have been kept in the isolation ward of the 'dangerously insane'.

So anyhow, given how insane the society in general is, this thing became pretty popular; a normal routine thing in fact. Body hair has been shunned from decent society. Still it shows up every month. Shame on you, you hairy leg! Even after all the pain you have been through, you don't give up. Thou must be punished...

There is only so much liberal arts crap that you can dish out to your mother

Trust mothers to put a bit of common-sense into a liberal-arts lecture...

अब और कितने स्टेशन बाक़ी हैं?

इक्कीस फ़रवरी का टिकट,         
जेब में छुट्टे पैसे खोजना.         
एक गरम कप कॉफ़ी में,         
एक हज़ार बातें घोलना.          
पल-पल की पाबंदी है,          
क्या बात कहेंक्या जानें दें?          
और उसपर भी ये तय करना,          
समझायें या समझानें दें?         
अब भारी मन से चढ़ तो गए,          
जाने की भी मजबूरी है.          
तुम रुक जाओ, हम साथ चलें,          
कितनी लम्बी ये दूरी है.         
ये किस्सा सुन शायद दुनिया,          
हंस-हंस कर पागल हो जाए.          
रोने से फुर्सत कहाँ हमें,          
कि उनको जज़्बा समझायें.          
है गला रुंधा और सिर भारी,          
वरना उनको समझाते हम.          
हर प्लेटफ़ॉर्म पर बिछड़-बिछड़,          
फिर दूजे पे मिल जाते हम.          

How does one celebrate seven years of not running out of words to say to each other? By holding hands over a humble cup of coffee on the railway station as we continue talking. At railway stations all over the country, we have had inconsolable, heart-breaking farewells; only to poetically reunite on similar railway stations at a later date. Movie scripts can only aspire to match this sort of drama. (The comic relief we provide to the general public is a bonus feature.) Darling, what other love can I aspire to? You have set the benchmark too high.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The thin line between comedy and tragedy

Laughter and applause. What a crowd, what a night! But they won't let him leave without one last wisecrack. The jester sighs behind his painted smile. And fishes in his little bag of tragedies to craft one more joke for the night...