Sunday, February 7, 2021

Poetry of Protest -4

Every beautiful poem is an act of resistance. —Mahmoud Darwish

Continuing from the series of the Poetry of Protest - 1, Poetry of Protest - 2, and Poetry of Protest - 3, we will read a compilation of the resistance poems. Why? We are living in consumerism and post-truth era without a memory, which accepts, without much resistance, ideological interpretations of the history, as dictated by the regime and enforced by its media. The solidarity of the protest can only be built by a form of literature that is emotionally compelling, contributes to the combating of loneliness, and makes the reader less terrified of themselves and the political powers which surround them. Literature is about recording what is forgotten, but also about living and recreating the life that surrounds us.  Here is the list of such poems 
  1. First they came... --- Martin Niemöller
  2. Unadikum ( I Call on You ) ---Tawfiq Zayyad (1929-1994)
  3. The Will of Life --- Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi.
  4. Grass ---Carl Sandberg
  5. I am the People ---Ahmed Fouad Nigm
  6. The Times They Are a-Changin' --- Bob Dylan
  7. Let them not say ---Jane Hirshfield
  8. Pity the nation ---Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  9. Write me down I am an Indian Ajmal Khan
  10. Pity the nation --Khalil Gibran
  11. Write down! I am an Arab ---Mahmoud Darwish
  12. Dreams --- Langston Hughes
  13. Still, I Rise ---Maya Angelou
  14. Two Poems of Resistance ---Ayat al-Qormezi
  15. Strange Fruits--- Abel Meeropol
  16. ख़्वाब मरते नहीं --- अहमद फ़राज़
  17. एकला चलो रे। --- रबिन्द्रनाथ टैगोर,
  18. आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौला चलो --- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
  19. खेत में दबाये गये दाने की तरह --- भवानीप्रसाद मिश्र
  20.  होने लगी है जिस्म में जुंबिश तो देखिये --- दुष्यंत कुमार
  21. कोसल में विचारों की कमी है! --- श्रीकांत वर्मा
  22. उनका डर --- गोरख पांडेय
  23. दस्तूर --- हबीब जालिब
  24. कविता पर रोक --- शहरोज़
  25. बोल कि लब आज़ाद हैं तेरे --- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
  26. ये दाग-दाग उजाला --- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
  27. हम देखेंगे --- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
  28. हम लड़ेंगे --- पाश
  29. भूख के एहसास को शेरो-सुख़न तक ले चलो --- अदम गोंडवी
  30. वेद में जिनका हवाला हाशिये पर भी नहीं --- अदम गोंडवी
  31. जो अपराधी नहीं होंगे, मारे जाएंगे...--- राजेश जोशी
  32. बच्चों का दूध --- रामधारी सिंह "दिनकर"
  33. आग जलनी चाहिए --- दुष्यन्त कुमार
  34. 'अब क़लम से इज़ारबंद ही डाल' --- हबीब जालिब
  35. हम कागज़ नहीं दिखाएंगे --- वरुण ग्रोवर
  36.  मैं भी काफ़िर, तू भी क़ाफ़िर --- सलमान हैदर

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why I am infrequent here ?

I have been working as a social impact consultant from last 8 years and before that was a student of rural management. This parallel journey kept me occupied and took negative toll on 'Sparsh' blog. Due to nature of the work, I started reading blogs related to development studies, social sciences, economics, agriculture, public policy, rural management, and related field. Yet, I found lot of factual blog but very few personal blogs on topics above. So, I created a blog: Diary of Rural Manager! where I have a space to write exclusively on social impact sector, sustainability and rural management. Maybe it was time to admit that I was the writer I was waiting for.

It was cathartic to speak to the community and to feel that I was standing in dialogue with them fully as myself. In the process my ideas started to develop. I could finally articulate what I had only felt vaguely all along the journey. I had even written on the idea behind incubation of Diary of Rural Journey in 2013.

I traveled, lived, worked and enjoyed life as a rural manager in rural India (often referred in popular vocab: the field). I made an effort not to refer rural India with any connotations of exotic otherness. Rural India suggests hardship, bad roads and yet a rough terrain inside mine comfort zone, into the unknown. A journey on muddy road has always showed me to re-examine managerial education, renouncing the elite hook and turn into pragmatist. Actual or feared, exploration is my fuel for the writing.

Why Diary of Rural Manager! blog is important? The writing process of blog helps me to establish today’s insights and record them for posterity. Often, we find that truths established today are thoroughly debunked for at some future time, while some neglected truths are later uncovered and brought to the fore. Blogs, at their heart, have a lot of characteristics that are going away in changing times. Blog had stable URL and can be accessed without any app on any web browser. Blog is  not particularly tied to any platform like Facebook, Instagram or Google.

The difficulty of good blog is not to write, but to convey what one mean and want. Blogging is a game of rhythm but the process of writing usually goes into two distinct modes. In the first mode, its all about endurance and discipline. In the second mode, long periods of inactivity are mixed with brief bursts of power and inspiration. Deadlines for writinf, just don’t work out for me, due to inherent laziness. Blogging like Marginal Revolution , JabberWock, and Cinemascope is a work of a master craftsman who understands that talent and skill has to be paired with tactics and strategy to being success.

Like a startup, blog requires a lot of interaction with potential readers to reach and validate the early stages of the content quality and ease of reading posts and outreach. Otherwise just forcing a way into an idea lead towards a gossip ditch. Idea behind this blog now is to share insights so that more students can avail the benefits of professional counselling and choose the right career at the right time. An information asymmetry acts as an important early career lubricant, allowing the privileged to manoeuvre into more promising career tracks, resist exploitative employment and take risky opportunities – all of which increase their chances of long-term success.

Those who make a commitment to an idea ironically find a sense of freedom. People care about people — and a blog is not a newspaper that has to be published regularly. The neglect of Sparsh has given way to lethargic numbness on personal space. It’s important to nourish yourself; to keep emptying yourself out through words and then filling yourself again with observations and experiences. Easier to say in hindsight today but nothing starts as easy in beginning. Hopefully I shall resume blogging on Sparsh and keep on repeating the process.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Thoughtful Present

In the name of "They got what they deserve", a great deal of injustice gets explained away and perpetuated in each society! We self-deceive to make us feel better about ourselves and naturally think in ways that come to conclusions that favor us. Strength of the country is not just in its GDP but in the confidence of its citizens on the fairness and equality of justice there.

I was guided by several articles on issues of Justice, Liberalism, Secular State, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities, Need of strong Institutions. I was inspired by persons like Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nadeem Parcha, Pratap Bhanu Mehta etc. Also, I interacted with a progressive, and liberal individual whose essays have impacted me in a positive manner. The person is Mr. Namit Arora whose blog was a insight into heart of a humanist.

It was his great gesture to share a copy of The Lottery of Birth: On Inherited Social Inequalities with a young reader for a social network friendship. Thanks Sir for the gift.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Books read in 2016

“When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape – into different countries, mores, speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life’s subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic.” ― Julian Barnes, A Life with Books

Beliefs acquired by reading fictional narratives are integrated into real-world knowledge. I am addicted to surfing news articles and watching movies.But the internet has this addictive quality, and it’s one thing I am unable to control. I had less time to read, but I still enjoy a good book now and again. I discerned my love for spiritual reading from early age as our problems are on the enigma of life. The joy of reading comes from entertainment, enjoyment, education, enrichment, escape, and the way it eases life in a stressful world. But a deep reading always increase the insight in tragic world and the escape route looks more difficult. Deep reading does demand a lot of focus. I can't possibly comprehend the book without paying attention to it completely. Hence, I had surrendered myself to self-chosen ignorance and proving difficult to change inertia.

To cut a long story short, I have seen better days in reading. No self pity, but one see through the present crisis of confidence, fitness and concentration. I was more cynical, asshole in complete sense, bad judge of person and minor burnout due to work. To say that I let the momentum slip away is an understatement. Longevity in any field is a achieved only through endurance, endurance is a product of persistence amid ups and downs of the path. I have to extract 'fight' or 'flight' response. There are no half measures. I am trying to read more in tranquillity, to revive mind and body. Hope springs eternal. Repository of hope in a broken system is all that I need to set a target free 2017.

This year was cruel one as my favourite writer Martin Crowe passed away with a lasting legacy. The grand plan of reading 2 book a month for perfection was an abysmal failure. I realised the stupidity of it all, and instead would settle for a long, slow reading. I have completely updated goodreads profile and this sort of classification comes naturally to me.

Books Read in 2016:

Playing It My Way - Sachin Tendulkar - English - 7/10 -autobiography of former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with popular anecdotes.

Durbar - Tavleen Singh - English - 7.5/10 - Comprehensive chronicle of the events from the Emergency to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi with a few well written sections.

India's Broken Tryst - Tavleen Singh - English - 6.5/10 - A lot of potential is wasted on documenting history and insights are more personal in nature.

Battle of the Ten Kings - Ashok K. Banker- English - 5/10 - Historical fiction and expanding a story into novella.

A History of the Sikhs, Volume 1 : 1469-1839 - English - 8/10 - A comprehensive history of Sikhism, spanning the social, political and religious factors accessible to a general audience.

A History of the Sikhs - Volume 2: 1839-2004 - English - 8/10 - An essential reading into the history of the sikh community and it ends with a beautiful epilogue on the challenges ahead.

The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan -  Yasmin Khan - English - 6/10 - Densely written academic South Asian history during partition era with deep focus on communal line in political parties

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New face of Indian Cricket - 4

Indian cricket team is on the verge of playing England in the middle of grueling home season. To go back to the famous Ashis Nandy line, "Cricket is an Indian game accidentally discovered by the English." England have won their last three Test series against India, but this time they are branding themselves as “massive underdogs”. Despite of many pundits writing England off, one must look for Captain Cook leading from the front for a tough duel. Grit, Aggression and looking for results will be the highlights of the series.

Coaching job went in the hands of Anil Kumble mid of this year. It's unreasonable to expect extraordinary work from someone who isn't trusted to create it. Indian camp has highest regard for Ravi Shastri as a professional cricketers and wanted to be transition to be smooth as possible.  It is argued that the game comes easier to the greats, making coach job of solving problems of an average or even good players much more difficult. There is an counter argument in case of bowlers on because they have more understanding of cricket to survive in the batsman friendly era. Indians hope that Kumble Kohli partnership can go for establishing India in good records in abroad too. Both of them has forged relationship, mentored the team sensibly and had taken decisions under pressure in the right manner in all the tours.

There is ongoing state of conflict between the philosophy of aggressive dominant style and playing the match scenario. The parameter for the judgement was fixated on the strike rate of batsman. With Kumble in coach position, the debate of batsman around grafter and entertainer in test match is quite settled limited on positive approach only. Any team in subcontinent did not need to score at a rate deemed attractive to the public, but in their understated way can decide the outcome of the series. Batting seems counterintuitive in nature on day 4-5 in India. With the turning tracks in the picture, the batting unit need to use their feet and manoeuvre the ball and get more singles and twos before going for boundaries.

Test cricket is not a finishing school for the players but a first time series in subcontinent for English cricketers will be baptism by spin and reverse swing. As a debutant every player want to feel belonged on their first days at work. Ben Duckett, Haseeb Hameed, Hardik Pandya & Karun Nair will catch the eyes of public with their intent and performance in this series. The selection woes continues with the search of and fast bowling allrounder. We waited for the system to produce, rather than for us to actively promote. Sometimes, selectors pick players depending on what future tours are in mind.  Amid great negative reaction on the selection of Hardik Pandya, let us recall a quote by John Wright - “The key is to identify the right players to back. They must have reasonable ability and technique, but you must understand that there are certain players who might not be as talented as others, but boy, they have big hearts and a huge desire to succeed. Those guys, and teams with that attitude, will always surprise you.” In the dynamic of the selection, selectors must explain why certain players have been taken on the basis of potential and why few else have been subjected to limited chance. All players possess basic levels of natural talent to reach at the highest level and then it becomes a question of temperament and self belief. The self-belief to turn it on when it really mattered was the trademark of Kevin Pietersen.

Let us applaud Indians for using the Decision Review System (DRS) in the test series. Stars are born in the tough situations & qualities like character, holding up under pressure, putting your hand up to do the tough task will be scrutinised in this tour.  For too long, however, India has been a story mostly of potential. Turning possibility into reality will demand a greater focus on winning test matches in a ruthless way. India should be ready enough in international cricket to start dominating Test matches and win those crucial situations and sessions. That’s how India can become a better team.