Tuesday, 28 July 2015


God's providence is your only inheritance. 

Small aim is a crime.

If you want to shine like the sun, first you must burn like it.

These are some of  the thoughts of perhaps the greatest visionary of our generation.  The man who inspired millions transcending all barriers that exist, who encouraged us to embark on our dream journey has finished his own.

This post is a tribute to  India’s Missile Man, People's President, Bharat Ratna......the epithets will never end. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a person par excellence with his vision of India 2020 and an uncanny ability to inspire every single soul he interacted with. Here is my message for him.

You made us feel empowered with your enthusiasm.  Your vision of Developed India by 2020 and your tireless efforts to work towards it showed us what passion really means.

As a scientist, you were the face behind India’s missile program.
As a teacher,  you taught us how to think, not what to think.
As a writer, you shared your own story for us to learn from.
As a politician, you taught us to engage in developmental politics rather than political politics. You became the most accessible President till date.
As a human, you set the example of simple living high thinking.

Every profession you touched.......you became the face of it.

Today, the nation really mourns your demise.  Perhaps there was no better way to leave the world like you did. It is a way of telling that even death bowed to a person like you.

You will be fondly remembered.

May your soul rest in peace.

Sincerely Yours,
The Youth of India.

Sunday, 19 July 2015


As I flip through the albums in the closet,
A wave of memories hits me.
I am reminded of the days gone by
Days of innocence and joy.

What fun it was, going to school
Bringing back just homework, not suppressed anger
Oh what fun it was playing in the neighbourhood
Coming home with scrapped knees and elbows,
Not emotional injuries that cut through the heart

Celebrating the rain, not cursing the traffic.

Climbing the trees just to see what the world from above looks like.
A cricket match in your area...
Held more promise than the stock market.
The Mickey Mouse watch gifted by your friends
is always more special than Rado and Rolex…..
Where maturity didn’t come in the way of living your heart out.

The summer hols, with cousins and friends.

The afternoons had no time for boredom.
Full of cartoons, books and ice creams and toys,
And huge fandoms Power Rangers and Ben 10.
Trading cards of WWE, and Pokemon.
Delightful; in the truest sense of the word.

The birthday parties with the funniest hats possible.

The cake, candles and the chocolates.
You didn’t need facebook to remind you your friends’ birthdays.
Their lunch boxes were always tastier than yours.
Mornings started with Bournvita
And treats meant homemade sweets.
The innumerable marbles and gums we ate,
Just to collect the stickers and tattoos.

Love was unconditional, and fights transient.

Lived as if there was no tomorrow.
People ask all the time
What do you wanna do when you grow up?
I am a grown up and I have an answer now……
I wanna be a child again.


PS: The above-written poem is a memoir which celebrates childhood. As I turn an year older today, and enter the real world, I can only hope that the innocence of childhood and the joy of those days should guide and inspire my journey ahead. :) 

Picture Credit: A Donald Zolan Painting.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Rangabati Reborn..........

It has been a really long time. More than a month since my last post. I know there is no possible excuse as to why I didn't put my passion first, but in my defense I had my 2nd semester and then my 1st professional exams are just round the corner. A busy, hectic and a super stressful time.
So back here trying my best not to hate my books, and thinking of what to write. You know I am actually amazed at how often a writer's block could hit you.

By the way, did I mention I am a bit of a fan of MTV Coke Studio? I kinda like it, the vibe and all. So no surprises there when I was very excited to see an Oriya song being reset to a new tune. Something like selling old wine in a new bottle. And I thought probably I should share something about this with you.

This particular song I am talking about....Its called Rangabati. A typical Kosali folk song with the ability to lift your mood up. It is a number which celebrates life and human emotions; and equates them with the beauty of nature. More importantly, it symbolises Sambalpuri culture and the koshali dialect of oriya. I could tell you all about Koshal, but that is best reserved for another day.
Rangabati is (or used to be) the party anthem of Western Odisha. It is an amazing song with awesome lyrics, a catchy tune and voiced by two super-talented singers.

So as it turns out, this song was remixed and it went on air nationally on 5th of this month. People had mixed reactions to this. The young blood liked it, and the seniors felt that it should be left the way it is, and this debate has taken away all the 9 pm slots on the local news channels. There has been a copyright lawsuit, ad some dissatisfaction. I think it is completely ridiculous.

I am one of those people who believe that you have to be the savior of your own culture. You have to take the initiative and save it. Nobody else would do it for you. And this is where we failed.
We failed by keeping mum. Our silence and inaction slapped us right on the face. Talk to any person on the street and they couldn't care less. To be honest, Rangabati was dying. It was reduced to just a Baraat song. Now that someone has taken the time to remake it, present it to the world and you have a problem with it? Maybe it is just your guilt.

I have had an opportunity to know the singer of this cult song. You'd be surprised at the way he now lives. His presence is somewhat unnoticed. He was duped by a music label and lost his elder son to a car accident. All this probably didn't hurt him as much as the apathy of people did. I call it indifference. A humble person, clad in a Sambalpuri shirt and simple trousers, volunteering at a local blood donation camp has much more that pains him.

The new age Sambalpuri songs are a bit vulgar. A 'bit' would be an understatement. They are vulgar, and while maintaining the high energy beats, they have lost their significance. They don't celebrate nature like they used to, and I think most girls would find it derogatory.
So what did you do about this? Sadly, nothing. Instead of protesting, you were busy shaking your bodies to their tunes.This is where you lost your say on your music.

Coming back to the rangabati impact, you never complained about the excess of Punjabi or Rajasthani music in Bollywood. In fact most of you love the peppy bhangra beats. So how did you gt to love the music of a state that is almost diametrically opposite to yours? They remained flexible about their songs; which resulted in greater publicity. Same is the case here.

Thanks to the Coke studio remix, this epic song, which did not have a standing in Coastal Odisha till now has been popularized throughout the nation. It managed to be one of the top trending topics on all social networking sites. And all credit goes to Sona Mohapatra, Rituraj Mohanty and Ram Sampath for that. Every time someone hears of it, they will 'google' for the original version.

As for me, I am glad. Along with a place in your Walkman or I pod, it has managed to secure a place in your heart.
I am glad about the fact that a 40 year old folk song has been reborn.

I am glad about the fact that hopefully this might evoke the sense of responsibility in today's youth about preserving their culture.