Posts Tagged ‘Life’

ಈಸಿ ಭವದಿ ಜಯಿಸಬೇಕು

April 25, 2022

ಈಸಿ ಭವದಿ ಜಯಿಸಬೇಕು
ರಚನೆ: ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರು

ಪುಟ್ಟ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಯಾದರೂ
ದಿಟ್ಟ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಯಾಗಲಿ
ಗುರಿಯ ಮುಟ್ಟೊ ತನಕ ನಿಮ್ಮ
ಮನಸು ಅಚಲವಾಗಲಿ

ಬೇಡದ ಬೋಧನೆ ಮಾಡುವರು
ವೇದನೆ ನೀಡುತ ಬಾಳುವರು
ಶೋಧನೆ ಮಂತ್ರವ ಜಪಿಸುತ ನೀವು
ಸಾಧನೆ ಮಾರ್ಗದಿ ಚಲಿಸಿರಿ ನೀವು

ಏಳು ಬೀಳುಗಳು ನೂರೆಂಟು
ಬಿದ್ದವ ಖಂಡಿತ ಏಳುವುದುಂಟು
ಕಷ್ಟಪಟ್ಟು ಕೈ ಚಾಚಿದರೆ
ಸಿಗುವುದು ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೆಲುವಿನ ಗಂಟು

ಗುರಿಯ ತಲುಪಲು ಗುರುವು ಬೇಕು
ದೈವಕೃಪೆಯು ಲಭಿಸಬೇಕು
ಮನಸು ಪಕ್ವಗೊಳಿಸಬೇಕು
ಈಸಿ ಭವದಿ ಜಯಿಸಬೇಕು

What is TMC?

October 3, 2016

rwb-tmc

Also see:

Kaveri / Cauvery Water Dispute parody

A to Z of Cauvery Dispute

Amma parody 1

William Tell appears in Cauvery Riots cartoon

WTF: Water Turns Fire (Cauvery Water Dispute)

Cauvery Water Dispute: Cartoon

40 more Songs that make me cry – Part 1

December 19, 2015

1. Sur Na Saje (Basant Bahar): Can experience the beauty of Raag Piloo here! The alap at the very beginning, the sitar piece all through the song and the line when Manna Dey sings ‘swar ki sadhana’.

2. Pucho Na Kaise Maine (Mere Surat Tere Ankhen): The intense pathos associated with raag Ahir Bhirav is captured beautifully in Shailedra’s lyric, incorporated in SD Burman’s musical composition and expressed uniquely in Manna Dey’s singing. Beginning till end, this song makes me cry.

3. Rishtey Bante Hain (non film: Dil Padosi Hai): Asha Bhonsle had teamed up with Gulzar and R.D. Burman to produce this soulful number. This was included in the album Dil Padosi Hai. A music lover will know that the songs in this album were experimental in nature with a completely new sound, an extension of the sounds introduced by RDB in Ijaazat. The oneiric ambience in “Rishte Bante Hain” is maybe due to Asha’s overlapping phrases which float like clouds over swelling strings, soft tabla beats… love the second stanza:
ek hi lamhe pe ik saath gire the dono
ho ek hi lamhe pe ik saath gire the dono
o khud sanbhalate yaa zaraa mujhako sanbhalane dete
kachche lamhe ko zaraa shaakh pe pakane dete
pakane dete

o rishte banate hai bade dhire-se banane dete
kachche lamhe ko zaraa shaakh pe pakane dete
pakane dete

4. Bheeni Bheeni Bhor Aayi (non film: Dil Padosi Hai): Again Pancham + Asha + Gulzar (1987)! Raag Miyan ki Todi at its best! I bow to RD Burman for composing, Gulzar saab for penning and Asha Bhosle for singing this song. She has brought this raga to life.

5. Tanha Dil (non film: Tanha Dil): Shaan’s best solo album to date! Released a year after my mother passed away. I was working at Music World when this was released. If you have a lump in your throat listening to this song, you are normal and alive! Excellent picturisation and very well rendered by Shaan.

6. Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hain Jo Maqaam (Aap Ki Kasam): Life”s philosophy so melodiously sung by Kishore Kumar! You can feel the pathos in his voice here.
Umr Bhar Chahe Koi Pukaara Kare Unka Naam
Voh Phir Nahin Aate, Voh Phir Nahin Aate

Aadmi Theek Se Dekh Paata Nahin
Aur Pardey Pe Manzar Badal Jaata Hai
Ek Baar Chale Jaate Hain Jo Din-Raat, Subah-o-Shaam
Voh Phir Nahin Aate, Vo Phir Nahin Aate
Zindagi Ke Safar Mein..

Pierces my heart in the memories of whomever I have lost… True reality of life…

7. Theme music of Minchina Ota (1980): One of the best theme music I have heard, thanks to Prabhakar Badri. Me and my son simply love to hear the guitar and violin combination that brings to life the various hues of life.

8. Theme music of Kasturi Nivasa (1971): Close to the ending, where Raj is writing a letter (his Will) and hands it over to Ashwath. The guitar strings and the violin crescendo add up to the tragic scene. I don’t look at my son when this scene comes. He doesn’t see mine. We both know our eyes are moist.

***

Also read:

40 Songs that make me cry – Part 1
40 Songs that make me cry – Part 2

ಪಾರಮಾರ್ಥಿಕದ ಕಾಳು (ರಚನೆ: ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರು)

June 19, 2013

rwbparamarthikadakaalu_190613

 

ಪಾರಮಾರ್ಥಿಕದ ಕಾಳು (ರಚನೆ: ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರು)

Shankar Rao: The Unsung Hero

April 18, 2009

rwbshankarrao190409
Pics: PS Prakruthi

This is the story of a very inspirational 98 year old Indian World War II and army veteran whom I met in Bengaluru. He led an amazingly difficult life but was still a very cheerful and happy person. His story is truly uplifting and touched everyone he met.

by PS Prakruthi

In the month of May 2008, I made another cherished trip to India. Unlike other trips where I would mostly spend time in my grandmother’s home, talk and laugh with my relatives and friends, explore the local areas and tour the famous sites of the South, during this trip my family and I went to see the awe-inspiring Himalayas. Having lived and grown up in the U.S., to touch the soil of the Rishis and visit Vyasa’s cave, see the origin of the Saraswati River, and visit the very last village at the Indian border was overwhelming that cannot be articulated. I felt at peace and rejuvenated. Later, I went back for a few days to Bengaluru, to Vyalikaval extension, 4th main road. What more could this visit have in store?

Down the road, adjacent to my grandparents’ home is an old nondescript house. Among all the bustle and clatter of busy the 2nd main road, living alone, not in the nondescript house, but in its 10ft x 10ft shed, was a quiet and elderly gentleman. This man sat serenely in a small chair with a japa mala in one hand quietly doing japa. The shed was extremely austere, but the gentleman, looking younger than his 98 years, always wore a tranquil smile. He carried a worn pocket-sized copy of the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit with him always. If you happened to notice him, and took time to ask, he would tell you his compelling and unbelievable life story.

Born on May 5, 1910, in what was known as British Malaya, he had a peaceful existence until he was 12 years old. Without warning, his parents were tragically killed in their home by a bomb. A war was going on then and bombings had become commonplace. The young child had been to school and came home to find his parents killed and his home destroyed. This horrific incident sent him into shock and he had to be taken care of by a neighbour. His mind had erased the memory of who he was and he could not recall his name or that of his family and life. While he was thus recuperating, the British came in and without a hint took him away to serve in the British army. At the age of 12 he lost his parents, his home and his freedom.

“The Britishers asked me my name and when I told them that I did not remember, they gave me one,” he said on the day I met him in 2008, sitting behind a desk beside a picture of Shirdi Sai Baba. “So, they said ‘OK, from now on you will be called Shankar Rao,’”. Ripped from the only family and home he ever knew, Shankar Rao at the age of 12 was put to work in the British military. He had to live and move with the British army soldiers, wherever they were encamped and engage whomever they battled with. Rao said that he and other Indian children were used as workers to help in the battlefields, helping to load ammunition and to be at the service of the British soldiers during battles.

When he turned 14, Rao was then forced to fight in the British army. He fought in battles of wars that he knew little of much less why he was fighting. He fought in Burma; he describes how, as a child soldier, he walked with other children soldiers from Singapore to Thailand and from Burma to Manipur to Assam. In Burma and Thailand he fought under the command of Lord Wavell, the Field Marshall for his unit. When they had reached Assam by foot, the British took the Indian soldiers to Kabul and then Kandahar. Then the British decided that he would fight for them in Europe during World War II.

Having survived the battles in Asia he was sent to fight in the Middle East, then onward to Tunisia, Africa, and finally, to the Italian warfront. Rao recalled how the British, Americans, and Russians had pushed the German forces back. He vividly remembered the Indian freedom fighters who were being held in the Andaman Islands being released. Among them was Subhash Chandra Bose, who was the leader of the Indian freedom forces. Rao animatedly described that he witnessed many of the unspeakable horrors that were prevalent in World War II. He sadly stated that there was so much blood and destruction that he had witnessed unceasingly since his childhood and now in the worldwide conflict that he became seriously ill. He was weak and in need of serious recuperation, his mind once again had come under the constant onslaught of violence. In 1944, with the war coming to a frenzied end, he was finally sent back to India with barely any strength, his body and mind exhausted and broken. He spent the next three months recuperating in the General Hospital in Delhi. Mercifully perhaps, some of the atrocities he had once again witnessed in the long war were erased from his memory.

I asked Rao how he was treated by the British who needed him and others like him to fight their wars. Rao said that the Indian soldiers were mistreated and discriminated against; there was a lot of racism, and in battle, that made things even more perilous. Rao recalled that the world and Indian history of that time lucidly, a unique historian that one would be hard pressed to find nowadays. He remembered pivotal moments not only in WW II but also in the quest for India’s people gaining their much fought for independence. He described how at that time he was in the hospital in Delhi, Subhash Chandra Bose was captured and his personal assistant SA Iyer was released. After his brief rest at the hospital, the British weren’t finished with him; he was sent to Jabalpur to work in the armoury making guns and weapons for the British. But by this time, India’s people had risen. Once again Rao would be called upon to fight and risk his well-being and life. But this time was different. Now he would finally be fighting for his own people and for his country. During the violence that marked the days of the Indian partition, Rao fought to defend India against Pakistan’s attacks. India was finally free of the British despot and so was he. He went on to defend India against China in 1964 when the Chinese attacked Indian Territory.

Rao served and sacrificed for his country again and again and was unsung, unheard of, and unknown. There are few Indians of my generation who know of or can comprehend it. I imagined him as a young boy, losing his family, forced to work and fight for the foreigners that were ruling his land and finally being able to fight for his own people. My journey to the Himalayas, to the borders of India, everything that I was able to see and revel in is only possible because of the tremendous sacrifice of heroes like Rao who fought to make freedom possible. Most of them are totally unheard of and their life stories cannot even be retold to the younger generation because so few are alive now who can tell it. So much has gone unrecorded. The history books banally repeat the same tired and prosaic litany of ‘events’.

Moreover, I was astonished to note that Rao told his story without any bitterness or contempt for those who had taken everything away from him and brought so much turmoil to his life. His eyes have compassion and understanding in them as he detailed his past tribulations and those of others he knew. In fact, if one had seen him one would not even guess that his life had been touched by anything untoward. One might wonder how this is possible – for a 98 year old man without any living family who has to live alone on his military pension and whose living arrangements are literally ascetic. He called his small room with a cot, a bookcase and a desk his home. There was no running water in the room, only one cold water faucet behind the shed where he took his bath. Yet, he never complained and looked happy and peaceful.

How, I wondered, can a person who had sacrificed and suffered so much, went totally unnoticed and unappreciated, who was elderly and alone, got that kind of contentment and insight? Rao himself provided the answer. He said his immense strength and implacable serenity came to him directly from a Higher source. He was a very devout man and he believed there was only good in this world. “Of course everything is fundamentally good,” he said, as though it should be obvious to everyone. “If you think everything is good, you yourself are God. Paramathma lives in you. “ I asked him if he had any family that he knows of, I was startled by his reply: “Everyone I meet is my family, whoever talks to me, I see them as a member of my family.” He said with a smile on his face. Rao firmly believed in the power of good thoughts and was constantly doing japa. “Instead of thinking nonsense, or gossiping, I do japa. Even when I have a few minutes with nothing to do or if I’m waiting for someone or something, I do japa.” He stated. Throughout his life, his unshakeable faith in God and his deep-rooted Hindu values kept him grounded and saved him from anguish and despair. “Certainly, that faith in Him is what has kept me so long and so well”.

I thanked Rao profusely for taking the time and effort to share his remarkable story with me; to this he replied “I am so happy to see a young person such as you, who wants to know and learn about our past. It is so important that everyone understand their history and past and not forget. For the present generation life is different; they want money and enjoyment, they care not for other things. But if everybody is willing to learn the world will be a beautiful place. God Bless you”.

And I do feel truly blessed that my remarkable journey which took me to the peaks of the Himalayas and down South to Bengaluru ended with my finding out about this extraordinary 98 year old veteran gentleman who personified sacrifice, kindness and everything our Hindu and Vedic knowledge embodies. My husband says Rao reminded him of a Kannada poem by D.V. Gundappa which means: “Let me be like a flower in the dense jungle that blooms and is fragrant even when no one is there to appreciate its beauty; let me bloom for the sake of the Lord.”

Shankar Rao passed away peacefully in his sleep on Vishu/ Tamil New Year day (April 14, 2009) at the age of 98. He donated his eyes and his body to hospitals for the benefit of others.

Life and Death

August 29, 2008

A coffin left the gate in the morning. A cradle entered in in the evening.

It was a dozen years ago when I first met the elderly man who came to stay in our apartments along with his wife. He was very soft spoken and smiled at me when ever he went for a walk. For the past two years, he rarely came out of the house and used to watch life from his second floor balcony, atop mine. He became very reclusive off late and hardly spoke to anyone. On Tuesday evening, he came from the balcony to the ‘living room’, rubbed Vicks on his chest, and sat in front of the TV. He slowly collapsed on the sofa, and died in the ‘living room’. The sun set in his life literally at sunset time.

He left for his last journey yesterday morning, and a young one started on life’s adventurous journey in the evening. The lady opposite our flat entered the apartment complex with a young bundle of joy.

Rare to see life and death at such close quarters on the same day!