The Best Things In Life Are Free

1 min read | About City, Bhopal, Festival

I am not talking about talking-for-free to absolutely anyone in any corner of the world (through Skype); nor is it about free Hotmail account you’re using for more than 10 years now. I’m talking about real things in life, which actually count. And they actually happen to be free.

Okay, I am not very good at English vocabulary (or Gujarati or Hindi) and in the public interest, I will keep from being poetic. Still, let me ask you something. Have you ever spent a breezy spring evening, by a lakeside? Let me portray the scene: an amphitheatre by the lakeside, with the audience facing the lake. The artiste sits in front with well-lit stage and the perfect ambience. Trust me, if the word angélique has a meaning, it can’t be better than this: a heavenly sight!

Oh, I can see my non-charismatic words haven't reproduced my zeal, the divine fiesta. The occasion was the celebration of successful 24 years completion of the local cultural activity organization ‘Bharat Bhawan’. Ustad Zakir Hussein on Tabla and Ustad Shultan Khan on Sarangee to inaugurate with, the 12 days long event staged Dr Kanak Rele’s Mohini-attam, Mrs Sharda Sinha’s Bhojpuri classical singing, Swami Ramswaroop Sinha’s Rasleela, and Pandit Ronu Majumdar’s Bansuri-vaadan and Kadri Gopalnath’s Carnatic style Saxophone jugalbandi to conclude: it was a power packed event overflowing with Indian classical music, and the best of the artistes in the field.

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Confusing Hard Work With Struggle

2 min read | About Career, City, Bhopal

I’ve not referred to the Webster’s, Oxford’s or Gala’s or any other reliable (or even unreliable) dictionary for an absolute meaning of the noun ‘struggle’. Somehow it gives me a negative feeling and therefore, I defy its relation - whatsoever - with the noun ‘success’.

We often hear from our parents, grand-parents, elder siblings, some times even friends (the early-age achievers, talking like 90’s at the age of 20’s) referring our cousin for how hard-working s/he’s been; our senior school-mate how he struggled for the position he’s into today; some nobody on some not-yet-claimed-planet-in-the-galaxy telling how much pain she went through to reach where she is today.

Okay wait: what has ‘pain’ got to do with success or achievements in the first place?? Even the laziest as$ would agree that some sort of hard work is must. But that simply shouldn’t inflict struggle into the picture. In fact, in this jet-age, a struggler (to start with) is most likely to enjoy the rest of his/her life as a successful struggler (by choice) only. Don’t we know it’s a call for smart work, instant money and faster growth today? Of course, this never rules out the importance of hard work, nor can anything else do that.

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Blessed By The Maestros... Twice!

2 min read | About City, Music, Life, Bhopal

If there's anything like 'luck', then I've been the luckiest. Twice! Twice I've been privileged to see and hear their master-duo. Probably it all happened just to reinforce my strong-old belief that if one isn't into one or the other form of art apart from her/his professional work, s/he's always missing on something. As of me, such a life can never be called complete. Especially for we Indians (at heart, or at least on passport), in the field of art and culture, only the sky is the limit. Rich heritage of thousands of years of art in the form of dance and music (and many other fine arts), nurtured by the best in their field Ustaads and Pandits, it's tougher to find an excuse not to be associated with one.

It was a sheer coincidence since we weren't aware of this grand event till very morning. That is, the last morning. Thanks to our local non-reliable newspaper (which proved us wrong for this case), we realized Ustaad Zakir Hussein would be playing for Bharat-Bhavan in the evening. We reached the venue on time, being prepared for the typical formal event to be carried with bureaucratic formalities like inauguration speech, conclusion, vote of thanks etc. However, it was just the evening of surprises: the inauguration formality didn't last for long, which actually was held by the Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (Mr Shivraj Chauhan), and His Excellency Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Dr Balram Jhakhar. This eventually was my third meeting (encounter?) with the new CM of MP. Any way. The surprising part was that it was not just Ustad Zakir Hussein, there were also Dr Kanak Rele (MohiniAttam Classical Dancer), Mrs Sharda Sinha (Bhojpuri folksinger) and Swami Ramswaroop Sinha (Rasleelacharya) present in the squad!! Quite a bagful, I must say. However, only Ustad Hussein was to play. Still, it certainly was a bonanza!

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