हे सर्व कोठून येते? – A Book Review

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If you are aware of the contemporary Marathi theatre scene, then one name will be very familiar to you: Vijay Tendulkar. He was a fantastic playwright with many milestones in Marathi theatre like Ghashiram Kotwal, Gidhade and Sakharam Bainder which are recorded on his name. He had also written stories for some amazing films, such as Ardhasatya, Akrosh and Nishant. On the other hand, he had written many short and long articles, essays on various occasions. “हे सर्व कोठून येते?” is a compilation.

While talking about this book in its prologue, he said “After observing people for so many years, I feel labeling them is pointless. They are very complex, we can only scrape the surface of one’s personality. We have to accept that every person has a whole different life other than one we have experienced. We should not make judgments about the ‘other part’ of life. If we do, then it should be for our own musing.”

This book is all about people he met, interacted and worked with in his long span of a career as a journalist; an editor of various periodicals, a writer and during his work under Nehru Fellowship. He came across various politicians as a journalist and editor and he has tried to present them differently trying to put some light on their unique facet. He had taken the interview of ex-CM of Maharashtra Vasantrao Naik, ex-CM of Gujrat Chimanbhai Patel and J P Naik but in this book he has written elaborately about them and his experience of meeting them for an interview.

While working for Maratha, one of the old popular Marathi daily, he had witnessed a lot of different avatars of Pra. Ke. Atre, legendary writer, orator and owner of Maratha. He has been active in politics in those days and was famous for being blunt while putting his thoughts to words. He has dedicated some of the articles to his fellow writer, friends, and colleagues.

But the last two articles from the book are really different than others. They talk about death, murders and death penalty elaborately. These two articles have made me reschedule my today’s blog post for next week and write this review for you guys. I tell you, folks, I had never read anything so thought-provoking about somebody’s death or somebodies act of murdering another human. I wasn’t able to speak about anything for almost 15 minutes after I finished the book on this note. Guys, I recommend that you grab a copy of the book at least for these two articles. I know, it’s a Marathi book but you feel free to ask me anything if the language is a barrier for you, I will be very happy to help you in this matter.

My rating: – 4.5/5

Name of the book: हे सर्व कोठून येते?

Publisher: Rajhans Prakashan

Pages: 195

ISBN: 81-7434-317-2

ISBN13: 9788174343178

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सडा पडे प्राजक्ताचा,
आज माझ्या ग अंगणी,
बघ कसा दरवळे,
आसमंत सुवासानी.

केले शिंपण मोतीये,
श्रावणाच्या ग सरींनी,
जलबिंदूंचे तोरण
बांधियले पावसानी.

सारी सृष्टीही नटली,
साज ओढ्याचे लेवूनी,
सारा सोहळा बघून,
भरे मन आनंदानी.

Transcript to phonetic roman script

Saḍā paḍē prājaktāchā,
āja mājhyā ga aṅgaṇī,
bagha kasā daravaḷē,
āsamanta suvāsānī.

Kēlē shimpaṇa mōtīyē,
shrāvaṇācyā ga sarīnnī,
jalabindūn̄chē tōraṇa 
bāndhiyalē pāvasānī.

Sārī sr̥ṣṭīhī naṭalī,
sāja ōḍhyāchē lēvūnī,
sārā sōhaḷā baghūna,
bharē mana ānandānī.

Rough English translation (non-poetic)

Today flowers of Prajakta are sprinkled in my courtyard.
Look how air is filled with the mild fragrance.
Showers of Shravan had sprinkled pearls around,
rains have hung festoons of droplets.
mother earth has worn the jewelry of streams.
my mind is full of happiness when I witness this festivity…

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सोबतीला श्रावण घेऊन,
भिजत आलीस दारात,
उनही आणले आहेस,
बांधून थोडे पदरात..

केस झटकतांना जणू तू,
सडा घातलास अंगणात,
दार उघडताच लगबगीने,
आलीस तू घरात..

पदरचे ऊन मग गजऱ्यात गुंफून,
माळलेस तू केसांत.
चिंब ओलेते रूप तुझे
साठवले मी डोळ्यात..

Sōbatīlā śrāvaṇa ghē'ūna,
bhijata ālīsa dārāta,
unahī āṇalē āhēsa,
bāndhūna thōḍē padarāta..

Kēsa jhaṭakatānnā jaṇū tū,
saḍā ghātalāsa aṅgaṇāta,
dāra ughaḍatāch lagabagīnē,
ālīsa tū gharāta..

Padarachē ūna maga gajaṟyāta gumphūna,
māḷalēsa tū kēsānta.
Chimba ōlētē rūpa tujhē
sāṭhavalē mī ḍōḷyāta..

Rough translation (non-poetic)


Drenched in the Shravan rains,

you come to my door,
oh, you also brought some sunshine,
wrapped under your saree’s padar (pallu),
As you flick your drenched hair,
you sprinkled my courtyard,
you got in the house quickly,
soon I opened the door.
You wove the sunshine into a gajra,
and put it in your hair.
I stare at your drenched beauty,
to store it in my eyes.


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Absolute Khushwant – A Book Review


It has been a busy month so far. I just shifted to a new place and was busy in settling down in my new home. When I was putting my books on the shelf, I realised that I had piled up lots of half-read books in the past few months. So I put myself on a new mission to finish these books before I pick up any new book from my ‘yet TBR’ pile.

One of the books in that half-read pile was Absolute Khushwant. I had picked it up when I was traveling from Nashik to Pune as my ‘one for the road’ book. But I had barely managed to read very few pages; thanks to the bumpy ride of the under construction highway. As I reached Pune, the book got sidelined and joined the others in ‘half-read’ pile. I am fascinated by his way of writing so I decided to finish this book before any other book.

This is my first book of Khushwant Singh. I have not read any of his works, not even his weekly columns which used to get published in some Indian newspapers. But the rawness with which he pens his thoughts just holds you till the last word. This simplicity and frankness always touch your heart even if you disagree with his views.

In this book, this 96 old guy writes very frankly on almost all of the aspects of human life. He opens the dialogue, by telling us how he feels about being old. In the later pages, he opens up about his views on sex, love and marriages. He talks about his relationship with his wife Kaval and the rough patch in their marriage. He also writes about his worries, insecurities and much more.

He then moves on to the people he came across in his life, few he liked, he respected and some whom he trashed with his pen. He had trashed the religious fundoos (his word for fundamentalists) from all the religions including his own with harsh strokes of his pen. He took a strong stand against Bhindranwale for which he was on their hit list for years. He shares his views about politics, terrorism and the riots of 1984.

Even being agnostic himself, he writes elaborately on various religious scriptures and what he finds good in them. There is a long piece on Sikh community in the book along with one on the city of Delhi. Khushwant shares his love for Urdu language and especially for Urdu poetry, where he tells us how he enjoyed translating works of great poets in English and his favorites amongst those legends.

As the book comes to an end, topics of his essays turn philosophical like destiny, luck, faith in humanity, etc. He aptly concludes the journey on the point of death. He shares how the death’s of his family members which he witnessed at a tender age affected him, and now at the age of 96 how he expects to put the full stop to his journey, and then he signs off with his remarks on himself.

Overall a good read. I liked his style, the rawness of thoughts, no sugar coating and being straightforward. Now I am looking forward to reading more of his work. I would rate it 3.5/5. I would recommend you this book if you are interested in non-fiction short writings.

Paperback: 200 pages

Publisher: Penguin India (17 August 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0143068717

ISBN-13: 978-0143068716

Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm

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बारीश और तुम #३


धुँवाधार बारिश है ये, थमने का कुछ नाम नही,
पहाडोसे बिछड़नेपर, शायद फुटके रो रही।

हम तुम भी तो बिछड़े है, महीनोसे ना मिल पाए,
इन बरसते बादलसीही, क्या तुमभी बेहाल हो?

जब हवा बादल उड़ा लाई, तबसे ये है जान गए,
मुलाकात अब पहाड़की, अगले साल ही नसीब है।

ये कंबख्त नौकरी जब, दूरी हममें डालती है,
आहे तुम भी भरती होगी, जुदाई बड़ी लम्बी है।

पानी छोड़ो हल्के होलो, झटसे फिर ऊपर जाएंगे,
शायद बादलोने सोचा हो, क्या ये फिजिक्स पढ़े है?

तुमभी यूँही सब करती हो, बससे सफर जब चालू हो,
समान छोड़ू, उतर जाऊ, लेने आओ  कहती हो।

बादल और पहड़की ये, कहानी सदियोंकी है,
सालाना जब बारिश हो तब, बादलकी शक्ल रोनी है।

ये बादल जब रोते है, मन उदास हो जाता है,
तुमसे फिरसे मिलनेमे, अबभी दो माह बाकी है।

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बारीश और तुम #२

कल रातकी बारिश कुछ बूंदे छोड गयी है, वहा खिडकीकी चौखटपर ,
मेरी कलाई की घडी मे फसी तुम्हारे कुर्तेके कुछ रेशमी धागों जैसी।

मेरे कंधेपे सर रखकर अपनी उँगलिसे मेरे सिनेपे तुमने जो लिखे थे,
वो अल्फाज अपने नाजुक हाथोंमें समेटे, देखो वो पल घूम रहे है मेरे इर्दगिर्द।

जालीम हवा झोका कुछ बुंदोंको चौखटसे गिराकर गया है अभी अभी,
जैसे वक़्तकी टिकटीकाती सुइयोंने बडी बेरेहेमीसे तुम्हे मेरे बाहोंसे छीना था।

कुछ और भी बूंदे शायद शहिद हो जाती उस बेरहम हवा के झोंकेसे,
पर तुम्हारी यादोंकी तरह उन्हें भी बचा लिया है मैंने।
खिड़किया जो बंद करली है मैंने कमरेकी, और दिल की भी।

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