Friday, May 29, 2015


मेंडक जल का राजा है

मेंडक जल का राजा है
रोज बजाता बाजा है
हाथ लगाओगे तो यह हंसेगा
बहार निकालोगे तो ये नाचेगा!

 Another ode to  मछली जल की रानी है’
Introducing kids to amphibians

(With input from Asha)

Ab dilli door nahi

अब दिल्ली दूर नहीं

भूक, गरीबी, अत्याचार,अज्ञान की जंजीरों ने
जकड़ा था भारत-वर्ष, थी गुलामी लकीरों में
गूँज रहा तब भारत नरेन् के आवाहानो से
दहक रहा था, महक रहा था ‘बहादुर’ के बलिदानों से,
अरविन्द के अक्षर प्रेरणा स्रोत बनते थे,
पर भारतीय शीश गौरव से नहीं तानते थे

अठारह सौ सन सत्तानवे, तिथि थी तेईस की,
जनवरी का मास, देखो भारत कैसे बना रिणी
नरेन् का तू ‘पुत्र’ बन, हुआ जनम नवजागरण का
सुभाष चंद्र था नाम, पर प्रकाश तेरा सूरज सा

भारत के भविष्य में अब भरी धुल नहीं
आज़ादी के बाशिंदों, अब दिल्ली दूर नहीं!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ramayan for the four year old

Ramayan for the four year old
As narrated to my nephew on Vijayadashmi, 2012

There was once a very evil king called ravan. He used to beat everyone, kill everyone, hurt everyone. He troubled everyone. People tried to stop him, but could not do so. So what did they do? What do you do when someone troubles and you are unable to stop him? You go to your parents, right? So that is what everyone did. They went to bhagwaan vishnu and asked him for help. Vishnuji said that he will take birth as ram and then kill ravan.

Ramjee was born. He had 3 brothers. Their names were bharat, lakshman and shatrughan. Then they all went to study, like you do. But their study was different, they went away from their parents for their studies. Would you go away from your parents to study? It can possibly happen if needed. Ramjee studied very hard, became very knowledgeable and brave and returned back to his parents.

Sitaji was a princess. Her father said who ever can break a large bow will marry his daughter. Since ramji had become very strong through regular practice, he broke the bow easily and got maried to sitaji. Ramji's father decided to make him the king. But bharat's mother wanted bharat to be the king and asked ram be sent to the forest for many years. Ramjee's father had to agree. Bharat was missing at his maternal grand father's home at this time.  As soon as ramji got to know the wish of their parents, he decied to go to the forest.

Would you leave for the forest if your parents ask you? I guess not. But ramji was a very obediant son. He used to obey everything his parents said. He was brave and was not afraid to go to the forest. Lakshmana loved his brother a lot so he also went him ramji, and so did sita. Will you go with your brother/sister if they are in a problem or will you be scared?

Then ramji, lakshman and sita started living in the forest. One day ravan kidnapped sitaji. Ramji tried to search sita everywhere but could not find her. Ravan took sita to lanka, his capital. He promised to give sita lot of presents, jewellery, comforts, if she starts living with him. But sita refused and continued to live out in the open, but not live with the evil king. Like sita, u should never accept any presents from a bad person or a stranger.

Ramji kept looking for sita. He finally found hanumanjee. Do u know hanumanjee? Hanumanjee could fly like a plane over seas n oceans. He went to lanka and found sitaji there. He immediately came back and informed ramjee.

Ramjee decided to talk to ravan. He first sent his friend to tell ravan that he will not fight with him, if he returns back sita. He doesnt like violence n hurting people. But ravan didnt agree. Remember this, if anyone troubles u, dont fight with him/her. First try to talk to him n stop him.

Ramji had to attack ravan. Becuase he was a very good man, brave, and powerful, he defeated ravana. Everyone became very happy, since ravan was troubling everyone. Ramji went back to his family with sita and happily lived ever after.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tulsidas's Winning formula

Tulsidas's Winning formula
(Attempted careful translation by a novice; From the ramcharitmanas)

Ravanu rathi birath raghubira, dekhi bibhishana bhayau adheera
Charioted Ravana Uncharioted Ram makes Bibhishana impatient

Adhik preeti mann bha sandeha, bandi charan kahe sahit saneha
Immense love for the Lord brings doubt in the mind of Bibhishana,
Saluting the feet of the Lord, he say with *sneha* (love)
(That Bibhishana knew Ram was God, how could he doubt the victory of Ram, 
but his love to the Lord overrides his rationality and in love, he finds himself worried 
about the safety of Ram; Only Tulisidas writes like this)

Nath na rathu nahi tan prad teana, kehi bidhi jitab beer balvaana
Lord, you are without a chariot, wihout protection for feet or body, how will you win the very-powerful

Sunehu sakha kaha kripanidhana, jehi jaya hoi se syandan aana
Listen O friend says Ram, the granter of boons, 
he only wins who has a chariot of this kind...


Sauraj dheeraj tahi rath chaka, Satya sheel drid dhvaja pataka
Whose wheels are braveness and patience
Truthfulness, Calmness are its steady flag
(patience not in the usual sense but one that comes from faith in righteousness,
that of 'God sees but waits')

Bal bibek dam par hit ghore, chchama kripa samta raju jore
Strength, Discrimination, charity are the horses pulling the chariot
Forgiveness, Compassion, Non-discrimination are the ropes that connect
(Bibek, discrimination in the first sentence is the ability to discriminate 
between the good and bad in the worldly sense, between real and unreal 
in the philosophical.Samta: non-discrimination in the second sentence is 
seeing everyone with an equal eye)

Ees bhajan saarathi sujaana, Virati Varm Santosh kripana
Belief in God (humility) is the able charioteer, 
Renunciation is amour, Contentness is the Sword

Daan parsu budhi shakti prachanda, bar bigyan kathin kodanda
Charity is parsu (a weapon), intellect is power
Method is difficult to attain bow
(translation of second line with low confidence!)

Amal Achal mann tron samaana, Sam Jam Niyam Silmukh nana
Pure steadfast mind is like the arrow-holder
Steadfastness, self-discipline are the many arrow heads

Kavach abhed bipra guru puja, Aihe sam bijaya upaaya na duja
Devotion to one's teacher, one's ideal is impenetrable protecting shield
There is no other 'secret sauce' to win!
(note: some interpretation in first line!)

Sakha dharma-maya as rath jake, jeetan kahu na katahu taake 
Whoever posseses such a righteous chariot, he always wins!

Happy Vijaya Dashmi. May the righteous win!

See here Ram himself elucidiating the winning formula:


With so many folks talking about *winning formula* and *how to win*, I remember one which was prescribed by Tulsidas and was delivered by the lips of the Lord himself. A part of the Ramcharitmanas, I read this first when I was in class ninth. But it has stayed with me and shall stay with me providing the simplest formula for winning, yet impactful.>

The death of hope


Death of Aparajita
The Delhi Rape Victim