Thursday, April 24, 2014

"U" for "Umwelt"

Umwelt as per wiki means the environment or surroundings to which a particular organism is adapted to or which affect its behavior. In simple words it comprises of everything which makes up the “model” of the world suitable for an organism to live. As I started thinking about this word nothing other than “facebook” came to my mind. Facebook is umwelt to all possible human beings from a toddler to a retired old man. A toddler creating a profile is slightly tough as he can punch only the air with his fists and not the keys of the laptop. Parents of today are more than happy to create an umwelt for their kiddos who just started breathing the not so fresh air of the earth and are rocking the world in their cradle.

They for sure don’t have to rock the world with their facebook profile or a page. It’s funny when a busy dad working in a software company creates a profile for his month old son and sends requests to everyone snatching the baby’s freedom and privacy of creating his own profile when he grows up! The same parents after 10 years will for sure complain about their son and his fellow friends as they will be spending unusually long time in front of the computer. Dad will buy an iPad or a Samsung galaxy tab for a 15 year old and repent later as he gets transfixed by the tab and spends hours holding it ignoring people around him. The sleek and beautiful umwelt was provided to his dear son by himself and hence there’s no scope to actually restrict and complain much.

I remember a time when umwelt to me meant our 4 room quarter with a beautiful garden well maintained by mom. I used to help her in gardening. When power used to go off without any prior notice during those hot sweltering summer nights we all used to gather outside our home under the natural AC of a Neem tree along with neighbors whom we all knew by names and played antyakshari. We used to have a candle light dinner and enjoy to the fullest even in the midst of mosquito bites. Now all a kid wants to do is stay in his own private umwelt and play temple run or angry birds in an air conditioned room. It’s surprising to me when I see an eight year old absorbed in apple products playing all the games to hearts content. The boy is cut off from social life at an early age. By the time he grows he might suffer from social phobia. Social phobia or social anxiety is a condition which is predominant these days. The way a 9 year or 10 year old kids make facebook their C/O address disheartens me.  I had a latest experience in a wedding where a 14 year old girl was totally immersed in her smart phone and the facebook app. I was trying to talk to her but she was lost somewhere. I also have a smart phone but what is the point of going out in a gathering when all you want to do is check your updates and live in your cozy dim corner even there?
Image source : here

A mother to a Son: “Why are you always sitting in front of your laptop? It is not good for your eyes. Go out in the garden area and play.”
The son takes his laptop to garden area and starts playing there. You all would have come across this joke on internet in the recent past which holds true for many kids.
“Mom. Do you know that the fucker who is involved in match fixing earned some 50 lakhs!” says 11 year old Aakash to his mom much to her bewilderment.
“Aakaaaaaash. Where did you learn these words?” stormed Aakash’s mom.
“Oops. Sorry mom.  The other day I saw a comment on some photo on a website where many different words were used for that match fixer. Honestly it just came in the flow mom. I am really sorry.” Replied Aakash.
At some point of time both mom and son stop bothering about the cuss words in the movies, TV or internet as they are abundantly available anywhere. Kids follow the footsteps of parents. If parents are happy in their virtual umwelt then kids have no other choice than getting adapted to the same umwelt. It’s not uncommon to see a father and daughter staying in touch only via facebook comments or pings. Friends can be partners in Farmville or criminal case but very few people take time to meet in real and have a cup of coffee and a happy face to face conversation.  It is high time for everyone to start thinking about their cozy umwelts where they are in touch with whole world but they are absolutely oblivious when it comes to knowing a neighbor. It’s a task which they feel is tougher than adding a friend on facebook. They are ready to add the neighbor or a person sitting in the next cubicle in office if he/she sends a friend request!
“You feel like having greenery in the blue ground

You don’t want to hide behind a wall, you want to be found
If you are unheard you make a lot of sound
You shout in rage and cry as if you got a wound
Slowly thy fans and the folks arrive one after the other in a round
These figures are better than your savings. You can smile and turn around!”
The above poem is dedicated to facebook users who enjoy the facebook veggie delight every day. The veggie delight here means the people who are as good as vegetables on face book. This poem is also for those who think facebook can heal and seal all their wounds. All offence meant to them!
 So, what is your umwelt? Do you want to change it?

My favorite Tea time posts from yesterday :)

Dee takes me to flashback with Throwback- Back in my day 

RajRupa's lively Train Travel experiences 

Suzy Que's Temple

Richa's Time for Change

This is my 21st  post for  A to Z challenge 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"T" for "Tea"

A cuppa filled with love till the brim

A cuppa which lifts your spirits and clears your head

A cuppa which almost erases the bad vibes

A cuppa which makes one dance and sing

To start a day with out this cuppa is tough

If I miss the morning cuppa my day gets rough

In the absence of this cuppa which energizes me I can't do any task

With just one cuppa I get up and smile and in the morning glory I bask!

As the day goes by, the office hours create a lull and I become dull

This cuppa comes like a savior and activates my brain cells and I mull

Over this one cuppa we have hundreds of conversations

The chit-chat never ends and never ending are the interactions!
Image source: here

When I have to discuss serious issues this cuppa comes to rescue

This cuppa is my sincere friend when ever I feel blue

The whiff of this elixir brings an instant smile on my lips

The hot smoke emanating from the cup gives my headache a miss!

This divine cup of hot soothing tea makes my mornings energetic and bright

A sleepy, groggy me wakes up to its aroma and takes a colorful flight

Again in the evening when I am bored or tried a high-tea is just what I need

A single sip of the heavenly tea makes me come out of the shackles and I am freed!

The Chai as we call it in India is the gateway to many relationships

A chai & sutta (smoke) break gives the friends a reason to sneak out from office

The one who doesn't drink chai is for sure missing some thing in life

For chai gives you energy to bear the routine and day to day strife!

Image source: Tea

Tea originated in China as a medical drink. This aromatic beverage is obtained from leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis . After water tea is the highest consumed liquid in the world. It has a cooling effect and an astringent taste which is relieving. There are hundreds of variations of tea as per the taste of each individual/ region / country. Tea has many health benefits too. Green tea may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, promote oral health, reduce blood pressure, help with weight control, improve antibacterial and antivirasic activity, provide protection from solar ultraviolet light and increase bone mineral density. Green tea is also said to have "anti-fibrotic properties, and neuroprotective power. For more go to wiki

Have a cup of tea and have a great day :-)

Note:  I felt very Tired Thinking about the words for T. After Taking suggestions from A to Zers I Tried and Tested Too many T words and finally rounded on my most favorite drink- The Tea :) Now I need a cuppa for sure :) Thanks for your support friends. I appreciate it a lot !

This is my 20th post for  A to Z challenge 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"S" for "Shammi Kapoor"

Many Veteran Actors hold big names in the industry . Many are recognized only due to their family surname be it a Khanna , Khan or a Kapoor but there are very few people who really bring glory to the surname or to the work they do. One such name which can definitely be engraved in golden letters in the history of Hindi Cinema is Shammi Kapoor!  The unique style, flamboyance, the vibrancy, the instant happiness / sadness his songs bring are all enthralling. It is not just tough but impossible to say that this one movie/ song is HIS BEST.  There are many songs which come in the BEST list and which can immediately lift your mood. Be itYAHOOOOOO Chaahe Koi mujhe jungle kahe kehne do ji kehta rahe” … “ Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche har zubaan par”  or - “O haseena zulfon waali Jaane jahaan “…. “ Taareef Karun kya uski Jisne tumhe banayaa” or  “Tumne mujhe dekha hoke bekaraar”, there are too many which get appended to this list. Dil ke jharoke me Tujhko Bithaakar is my all time favourite.
Here I have to share a memory with you all. We all went to an industrial trip in my 3rd year engineering. We booked rooms in Mysore. I don’t exactly remember the name but I guess it was Hotel Rajprakash . It was in a scarcely populated, very calm street with just an audio cassette shop and a super market adjacent to hotel and a small tiffin center opposite to it. After we roamed around Mysore and did some shopping, all were tired and sleeping in the evening. I can never sleep when there is still day light even if I am dead tired. My friends always wonder at this –They used to question, "How can you not sleep even when you are tired??"If and only if I am awake for 3-4 nights due to exams or partying or attending weddings/ functions I may sleep during day. So usually I am very bored when everyone else is taking a happy nap and my roomie was snoring too! I thought I would stroll around the hotel. I first went to the supermarket and bought shampoo sachets and other essentials and some biscuits and other junk food as they will come handy in journey. Then I went to the audio cassette shop. It was 2005 but I still had my Videocon Walkman then with me. I browsed through the rack of the cassettes. There were some 90s song collection , Lata mangeshkars collection and even Shahrukh khan too. That day my eyes fell only on one man “Shammi Kapoor” ! I found  2-3 cassettes with Shammi kapoor's collection on it - “O mere sona re sona re sona" clipping  flashed on one cassette” . “ Badan pe sitaare lapete huye” on another and the most beautiful Saira Banu was peeping through the third cassette.  She was damn gorgeous! I first thought to buy a book. Then I changed my plans and bought all the three cassettes. That was my first tryst with Shammi kapoor! Not exactly first but a proper tryst where I decided to listen to almost all of his songs during my tour. I used to watch most of his songs in “Rangoli” and “Chitrahaar”(These are the programs in Indian channel Door Darshan. I am thankful to the channel forever for these) .I had few in some old cassettes :: courtesy: Mom dad. But I never really had a collection. So I was excited about my purchases. I came back to my room. My roomies were wide awake and getting ready . They hurried me so that we could go and purchase some Mysore silk sarees and do any other shopping if possible. So I went with them.
After chit chatting and gossiping till late midnight we all dispersed to our rooms at around 1 -2 and every one almost immediately fell asleep as if they were put on sleeping drought (potion which induces sleep :P). I tilted and turned but couldn’t sleep. I was sleeping on a single bed window side and my three friends were sharing the master bed. Suddenly I heard a sharp wail on the road ! My heart was beating in my throat. I was worried thinking of ghosts and criminals.  The wail became soft and then it was muffled. I felt it was coming from a place very near to hotel. I tried waking up my friend Krishna. She murmured something and said, “Please sleep! We gotta wake up early tomorrow." I called up 9. No one lifted. I again tried 333 or 555 some number for reception/ room service which was written on the phone.
Me: “Hello! Some woman is crying on the road.”
Receptionist: “It daily happens mam. She is some mad girl. You don’t worry!”
Me: “Are you sure?”
(I asked this as the wailing though was subdued was too continuous to avoid.)
R: “Yes mam ! We know her.” (In a groggy voice)
Me: “hmm OK.”
I had put down the receiver but was thinking about her. The crying continued for a while. I couldn’t sleep. It was 3AM. I took my walkman and had put Shammi kapoor's cassette in it. The songs started with "baar baar dekho hazaar baar dekho"“ badan pe sitaare lapete huye..o jaane tamanna kahaan jaarahe ho” followed by “Deewana hua baadal” …”Akele akele kahan jaa rahe ho” …” Kashmir ki kali hu mai mujhse na rootho babuji”……….”Tum ne mujhe dekha hokar bekaraar”……”Aaaja aaja mai hu pyar tera” and so on so forth. The way he dances like no one is watching him, the way he woos all the sweet / gorgeous girls with whom he acted made me smile. The vibrant, handsome, amazing Shammi was floating in front of my eyes that whole night! Then I guess it was quite dramatic when at around 4 AM when the song “ mai gaaooon tum sojaaoooo sukh sapnon me khojaao “ started playing in my walkie. I dozed off a bit hearing to that lullaby.I got up at 6:30 –7 when my room mate beat me hard saying , "it is your turn.Go get ready. We need to start in 1hr"!
I shouted “ aaja aaja mai hu pyar teraaaaa alllah allah Inkaaaaaar tera” and started clearing the clutter on my bed, dancing with the blanket and towel with tooth brush in my mouth.  My roomies looked at me as if I lost my brain overnight and they looked at each other understandably as they know my random emotions very well :P .They silently smirked to each other and one of my friends said,“It is ok. She will be fine in some time.”   BUT, NO! I was humming his songs throughout the tour at one place or the other. When I went to Brundavan gardens I sang badan pe sitaaaare lapete huye after seeing the musical fountain and sang Maine tujhe zara der me jaaaaaana when my friend was angry with me and told Tum se acha kaun hai when I liked some boy in the crowd and the fun continued till my friends also started singing them! The songs are really evergreen. I sang to my mom as and when I came back from the trip, " Hai na bolo bolo Kyu hai na bolo bolo .Pappa ko mummy se mummy ko papa se pyar haiii pyaar hai,"  When my mom laughed loud, I told “Shammi is so cute mom. I wish I get a man like him!"
Image source: here
Some of his noteworthy films are---Brahmchari , Kashmir ki kali , Rajkumar , Janwar ,  Teesri Manzil, An Evening In paris. I am sure these are only few which I can recollect as of now.
Shamsher Raj Kapoor is one of the finest actors Hindi film industry had ever produced.
Some facts which I came to know from a Cinematographer:  Shammi always wanted  Shankar Jaikishan and OP nayyar to do music for him. Once When RD burman was doing O haseena zulfon waali for him he was not happy/comfortable. Later he listened to him and agreed and then he went to Mohd Rafi and said I would be making this dance move in this particular line so make sure you sing accordingly! He never really needed a choreographer. Confidence comes with success and success comes with confidence. Both at times are very much interrelated and confidence of people like Shammi is very contagious!
The good looks, physique, fun and frolic aura he creates on screen , his play boyish nature , the foundation he laid for romance in Bollywood are all note worthy! I never knew I love him so much till his demise on  Aug 14 2011. He died at the age of 79 . I dreamt on the same night that there was some live concert and Shammi was playing piano for “Dil ke Jharoke me tujhko bithaakar yadon ko mai teri dulhan banakar rakhunga mai dil ke paas mat ho meri jaan udaas!!! :|” and I was taking pics in that huge auditorium! I always remember him as the same young Shammi with green twinkling eyes which can charm you. He is a cult. So many youngsters  dancing to his songs till date goes to prove this. Many young actors and movie makers pay tribute to him by copying his dance moves or by taking his name or using his song's lyrics in their own songs. He is still a YOUTH ICON who can evoke the kid in you!

one of his many evergreen songs from the movie Brahmachari

Source : Wiki Although nominated before, in 1968, he received the first Filmfare Best Actor award of his career for the film Bramhachari.He made a unique place for himself in the industry as he was the only dancing hero in Hindi Films from the late fifties till early seventies.Saira Banu said in an interview "At the time when Dilip sahab, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled the industry, it was Shammi Kapoor who created a niche for himself with his unique dance moves. He used to say he didn't know how to dance but he would just listen to the music and feel it. He was the only 'dancing hero' at that time.He used to compose dancing steps by himself in the songs picturised on him and never needed a choreographer.This earned him the name of Elvis Presley of India. Nasir Hussain Aamir Khan's Uncle directed many movies for Shammi like Dil deke dekho and Teesri Manzil ! Shammi is attached to Aamir. Aamir stated that “Shammi is not Elvis presley of India. Elvis Presley is Shammi of America”:)

Long live Shammi !
This is my 19th post for  A to Z challenge 2014


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