Team India – The midnight blue

Published on Times of India on 3rd April 2011

A dedication to Team India

Twenty-eight years we waited for this day, for the sun to warm the midnight blue;

To dazzle an ocean of a billion who say “Our victory is sweet and finally true”.

Our Men in blue prepared for glory, setting sail on a ship of grit & steel;

And resolved that hell hath no fury, under a scorching blaze of flaming keel.

The Captain of destiny, the name is Dhoni, steered the rudder with sharp fidelity;

Tearing to shreds cynicism and misandry, sealing the fate of the eleven’s ability.

The day began with an unexpected dual toss, a doubt crept in by all and sundry;

Who would scalp the other with a loss? Heads or tails was then the impending quandary.

Amidst the ocean of fans galore, there were luminaries of glitz and fame;

Rajni, Ambani, Netas and more, cheering the hallowed with a bigger name.

The Lankans commenced the duel with bats, Raavan’s lineage descended on the track;

Tharanga and Dilshan balked at our cats, Zaheer & Bhajji pushed them back.

The men in blue lunged and stopped, that white as it eerily flew;

Precious runs were tactfully mopped, saving the day a precious few.

One who was charitable and free, raising our doubts on his skill;

This “Lucky” charm called Shree, played magnanimity with utmost frill.

Sanga and Jaya continued their plan, and swished their bats with finesse and flourish;

Jaya’s knock of class and élan, failed to deter an impending perish.

Crown Prince Yuvraj with gusto and pomp, knocked a few with great bravado;

The Lankans in vain tried to stomp, a sea of blue and a raging inferno.

The last four overs of the inning, made some sweat break on the brow;

The fans by then feverishly praying, for a damned end to the Lankan show.

A target to reach was now on hand, Harsha & Siddhu analyzing a grand start;

Twenty minutes of Siddhu’s chant, lethal like a Pigmy’s poison dart.

It was then time for the chase, the tricolor unfurling in waves of ecstasy;

Will our openers be our mace? Will we hold the cup or will it be a fantasy?

God descended with his mate, looked to the heavens and we chanted his name;

A flash, Viru first then by quirk of fate, Alas, God decided to end his game.

Was this the herald to doom? Will we be able to cross the line?

As a hush silence descended in gloom, and tears streaming down fine.

Adding salt to peeled off skin, commentary of an inglorious few;

Rattling our nerves through thick and thin, Ravi & Sanjay I could slew.

Then came Gambhir proud and mighty, roared and lofted with trinket and trifle;

The ocean swirled on his dashing fifty, and with Kohli begun the Lankan stifle.

When Kohli left the Captain came, gripping the wheel with utmost grit;

To “form” at last in one last game, that now belonged to one most fit.

The King and the Prince steered the ship, brave hearts of the effulgent game;

No slip now between the cup and the lip, one last six for the invincible name.

God has now fulfilled a desire, capturing fate with his wish;

Never will I admire, another with such extraordinary relish.

Amidst the chants of a nation, our hearts beating in delightful rhapsody;

The Swan dance in final formation, for legend Murali’s melancholy.

We shall play this night, our memory sealed and locked;

Oh legends of glorious might, in our hearts you have docked.

Twenty- eight years we waited for this day, for the sun to warm the midnight blue;

To dazzle an ocean of a billion who say “Our victory is sweet and finally true”.


147 Responses to “Team India – The midnight blue”

  1. Cool poem, Sharmila, it lets me relive the whole glory in one sitting.

    Some of your lines are excellent. I love the “with Kohli begun the Lankan stifle” or “the tears streaming down fin” and many more.

    Well done, thank you.


  2. Correction.. grr…

    not fin, that’s “end” in French… fine, of course…

  3. Sharmila Says:

    Thank you Renate.. You are kind.. 🙂


    by: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

    BEAT! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
    Through the windows — through doors — burst like a ruthless force,
    Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
    Into the school where the scholar is studying;
    Leave not the bridegroom quiet — no happiness must he have now with his bride,
    Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
    So fierce you whirr and pound you drums — so shrill you bugles blow.

    Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
    Over the traffic of cities — over the rumble of wheels in the streets;
    Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
    No bargainers’ bargains by day — no brokers or speculators — would they continue?
    Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
    Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
    Then rattle quicker, heavier drums — you bugles wilder blow.

    Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
    Make no parley — stop for no expostulation,
    Mind not the timid — mind not the weeper or prayer,
    Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
    Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,
    Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,
    So strong you thump O terrible drums — so loud you bugles blow.

    • Drums – if your beat is so loud and so strong, you must be very sure of your tune. No rat catcher’s enchantment, no lemming’s tomfoolery.

  5. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt

  6. Reader – Are you in India? Or back? I wish you could join Hazare’s cause of you were in India.

  7. Aishwarya Says:


    This is wonderful. A beautiful way to celebrate the unforgettable moments of a game that took us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from anticipation…despair…to hope, joy and pride.

    Mr. Nandy’s ‘Power of Inclusivity’ was strangely disturbing. I found the references to the colonial hangover and our ‘differences’ misleading and misplaced. Why create ripples and stir up muck in this pristine purity of happiness? Perhaps he was targetting the Indians living abroad who are muddled up with their sense of belonging. Or he is talking to the new breed of ‘virtual’ humans who tweet even before they emote! Or he is speaking to couples where the happiness of celebrating India’s victory has to be elaborated upon because one is Indian and the other is trying to fit in…the kind of ‘fitting in’ that reminds me of the sambar the junior boys prepared in our hostel in Moscow with…chopped sausages!

    India, as a nation, is vibrant and colorful – a perfect ‘solution’… not a muddy suspension. As a nation of 1.21 billion, every Indian is his/her own benchmark. Something that Sachin proves to us over and over by breaking his own records! The rest of the world is welcome to stand and gawk and talk differences. Achievers have no time for pettiness.

    An ode to the team is exactly what we needed. Happy that you wrote it.



  8. LOTTUS.... Says:

    Nice poem.

  9. Sharmila,

    I am back in the ME. Even if I was in India I wouldn’t go to Anna’s program.

    nothing personal. I know him from my hometown in Pune. He is a die-hard Gandhian, a socialist democrat and one who parted ways with Sharad Pawar after Pawar drifted away from socialism to venture capitalism.

    In those days Sharad Pawar had broken from the Congress and formed his own party called PWF or PDF. Pawar is prodigy of Yashwantrao Chavan, the Home Minister and right hand man of Indira Gandhi. However, in his younger days he was a crusader of Leninist ideas and followed the communist ideologies of Madhu Dandavate and likes from central Maharashtra.

    There were two star Gandhians alive and kicking in those days. One was Anna Hazare and the other was Baba Amte.

    Baba Amte dropped out of politics completely. He set-up a leprosy eradication campaign and spent all his life taking care of patients in an ashram outside Pune, a place called Alandi, the birth place of Saints Dynaneshwar and Namdeo. Saint Namdeo is one of the writers of the Guru Granth Saheb that is read by Sikhs in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

    Anna Hazare chose to become of the voice of the farmers. A political activist whose activism was limited to the state unlike Medha Patkar who ventured into unknown territories like the tribes of Gujarat on teh Narmada Valley and the forests of Madhya Pradesh.

    Those were revolutionary days in Maharshtra. Chavan forced the cooperative societies act and the land reforms. Farmlands were confiscated from owners across the state were handed over to the farmhands. Brahmins who had moved to the cities were made landless. The Maratha community took over. A similar stragety was devised and worked later by Lingayats in Karnataka.

    Anna Hazare is a communist converted to a social democrat. This is the forst time he was ventured out of the state.

    He has never succeeded in Maharshtra primarily because of his spineless nature. He has brought the Maharashtra State government to its knees on many occassions. However, each time, he signs on the dotted line and withdraws peacefully. Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave or Jayaprakash Narayan would never bow in front of an evil regime regardless of what sops the rulers offered.

    I have no hopes for this hunger strike. He has done it before. He doesn’t know how to make it work. He backs out midway.

    Look at the status of corruption in our country:

    try getting one of these without an= professional tout:

    1. Driving License

    2. Ration Card

    3. PAN Card

    4. Electricity connection

    5. Water Connection

    6. Voters ID

    7. Land Source documents (History)

    8. Passport

    9. Income Tax Clearance

    10. Domicile Cerificate

    11. Birth/ Death certificate

    At what level is the corruption in our country? A lokpal bill may corner the MP or an MLA. How will it fix the babu and his touts? The illiterate villagers can’t even fill a form.

    • Sorry, many grammatical errors. But its okay. Anna doesn’t read English.

      • ha ha ha .. this comment had me in splits. But, there is one man who is doing something to fight corruption. Yes, he may balk.. but maybe he balks because he does not get the support! Nobody rallies behind “losers” in this country. I think he deserves public support, forget the antiquated bill, this man needs support for the intent!

      • Reader,

        From what I read, Lokhpal will also address problems on lower levels and help people get their problems solved.

        Why are you not endorsing Anna? Do you have a better way?

        Fasting unto death does not sound spineless to me.

  10. Anand Khare Says:

    Is it relevant on this post?:)


  11. I am becoming good at the obvious.

    Just heard on the news that Anna got Sharad Pawar to step down from the GoP.

  12. The Anna Hazare story is developing into thriller. What’s next?

    1. If he succeeds – the lokball pill – I mean, Lokpal bill, will be passed and subverted by the bureaucrats later.

    2. If he withdraws like he does normally after a few weeks, he will be rewarded with a Padmashri or something similar.

    3. If he is assassinated by someone, he’ll become a martyr, the government will collapse and the country will witness anarchy like never before.

    4. If he joins the GoM as a member of the drafting commitee, the whole campaign will be compromised.

    Lets see what happens. This is interesting.

    I don’t expect corruption to be wished away by a hunger strike.

  13. Renate,

    Ofcourse there is a better way.

    In fact, in my opinion, there is only one way of eradicating corruption. We must reform the corrupt. The corrupt people are as much citizens of India as I am. They are my brothers and sisters like everyone else.

    What Anna Hazare is doing is not non-violence. It is not Gandhian at all. He is inciting violence among the masses. The people will go on a rampage if his stunt fizzles out or if he becomes a martyr.

    • Caution: Reform does not mean modernization or westernization.

    • How do you reform the corrupt?

      Raising children we get told to use incentives, not punishment, in order to see the desired results. But the corrupt are already reaping the “incentives”.

      Gandhi used hunger strikes successfully. Why is it inciting violence if Anna does the same?

      • Gandhi’s hunger strikes were for asking the guests “The colonists” not overstay in the hospitality of the Indians and to go back to their homes in England.

        Where should the corrupt go?

        Reforming the corrupt is easy. Walk into their houses and ask them to stop.

      • I wonder…

        It’s much easier to get people to shout slogans and brandish signs than walk into their unknown neighbor’s house and talk to him.

        I like your approach. On a large scale it might even be successful. Only, how do you organize the large scale without running into the old problems?

  14. There is no first-aid for a viral infection. Corruption is a third world phenomenon. We must grow out of it. It is not a part of the body politic that can be amputated.

    • So how do you “grow out of it” with no action?

      If the virus is latent, as it seems to be now, nothing will change and the body grows weaker with time.

      If it turns virulent, there will be an eruption and the cost of a revolution may be too high.

      Why not find some “home remedies” to help get over it?

      • I said that already. The “home temedy” is to reform the corrupt. Walk into their houses and ask them to stop.

        Nationalism is not a teenage gossip item on twitter or facebook.

        India is not a kingdom or sheikhdom. It is the largest democracy in the world.

  15. The bureaucrats will have the last laugh in all this fiasco. The government may bend backwards to please the people. Politicians will fall like nine pins. The administration and the corruption will survive in the name of a democratic republic.

  16. On another subject:

    The Tiger is an endangered animal and hockey is a dying sport in India. Why not change the National Animal and the National Sport?

    The National Sport should be the most popular one which is Cricket and the National Animal should be the most populous one which is the street dog.

  17. Anna… Anna.. Anna.. This is Anna…

    • No subtitles 😦

      The rousing fanfare is by an American composer.

      Aaron Copeland, Fanfare for the Common Man:

  18. The ultimate Anna of the Indian streets – Anna, Velu Nayagan…

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Yenna ithu? Anna Nayagan aayitaaru… 😎


      Corruption is a common noun. It’s about as common as it can get.
      Not a proper noun like the ‘Brit’ we fought.

      I hope we are clear about ‘what’ we are fighting and not ‘firing blindly’…

      • This is not a fight for independence from a foreign power. It is a fight against our own system. We do not need a revolution. We need reforms.

        Anna is not a Gandhian. Gandhi would never advocate anything that incites violence as an alternative.

        The people will become violent once Anna fails in this mission. He is bound to fail because the premise is wrong. The system breeds corruption, not the politician. The target has to be the administration.

        Anarchy cannot replace democracy. Remember the state of Germany before WW II. We are in the same position. The business community and their stooges in the government are holding the nation at ransom.

      • We need a revolution to get the reforms! Nothing else seems to work!

      • I must clarify the second paragraph.

        Anna is a die-hard Gandhian. He is a follower of Gandhi’s principles. No doubt.

        But his method is not Gandhian. Hunger strike against a british empire for independence is not the same thing as brow beating your own elected politicians.

        It is not going to work.

      • I think it will work if he gets support. This time India is awake.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        I hope we can adopt a peaceful method that will work and there are reforms in the system…and this is not just a media distraction until the IPL begins…

      • Fingers crossed Aish!

      • Ye Aish? Anna Nayagan aavikudadha? Avaru ipathiki ondre ondhu nayagan!

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Appadi sollalai…:)

        ‘Nayagan’ oru Don.
        Ivar yennangal ‘Indian’ maathiri arumayaanathu…

    • I LOVE VELU NAYAGAN! I have watched this movie 23 times.. love it!

  19. Saw the documentary called Berlusconi’s empire yesterday on tv. The corruption in Italy puts India to shame. I thought atleast we don’t have any competition when it comes to corruption, but seems like we do.

  20. Sahir…

    • The song above:

      Cheen o Arab humaara, hindostaan humaara
      Rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahan humaara

      … … … China and Arabia are ours, India is ours
      … … … No home to live in, yet the world is ours

      Kholi bhi cchin gayi hai, benchein bhi cchin gayi hai
      Sadkon pe ghumtaa hai ab karvaan humaara

      … … … Rooms have been confiscated, benches are also taken
      … … … Our caravan now roams on the streets

      Jeben hai aoni khaali, kyon deta varna gaali
      Voh santri humaara, voh paasbaan humaara

      … … … Our pockets are empty, else why would he abuse us
      … … … Our own sentry, our own protector

      Jitnin bhi buildingein thi, sethon na baant li hai
      Footpath bumbai ke, hai ashiyaan humaara

      … … … All the buildings there are have been taken by rich people
      … … … The footpaths of Mumbai are now our shelters

      Sone ko hum kalandar, aate hai bori bunder
      Harr ek coolie yahan ka, hai raazdaan humaara

      … … … For sleeping we tramps come to bori bunder (VT station)
      … … … Every coolie here is our confidant

      Cheen o Arab humaara, hindostaan humaara
      Rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahan humaara

      … … … China and Arabia are ours, India is ours
      … … … No home to live in, yet the world is ours

      Taalim hai adhuri milti nahin majoori
      Maalum kya kisi ko dard-e-nihan humaara

      … … … Education is incomplete, there is no value in the efforts
      … … … Who is there to know the pain of our living

      Cheen o Arab humaara, hindostaan humaara
      Rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahan humaara

      … … … China and Arabia are ours, India is ours
      … … … No home to live in, yet the world is ours

      Badla hai haal apna, lekin lahu hai gada
      Faulad se bana hai har naujavaan humaara

      … … … The conditions have changed but our blood is thick
      … … … Our youth is made of iron resolve

      Miljul ke iss vatan ko hum aisa sajaayenge hum
      Hairath se munh takega saara jahan humaara

      … … … Together let us make this country so beautiful
      … … … The world will stare at us with wonder

      Cheen o Arab humaara, hindostaan humaara
      Rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahan humaara

      … … … China and Arabia are ours, India is ours
      … … … No home to live in, yet the world is ours

      Sahir Ludhianvi

      Translation Mine

  21. Harivanshrai Bachchan…

  22. Sahir…

    • Aishwarya Says:

      I admire the secular approach in his poetry…of Gautam, Tulsi, Mandir, Masjid…intense and pure in expression…

    • Thank you Aish,

      Sahir is the only poet who can make me breakdown with simple words. The last part of the clip is well done. Sahir’s expession in the photograph speak volumes even without his words.

      The song above:

      Ab koii gulshan na ujade, ab watan azaad hai
      Rooh Gangaa ki Himalaa kaa watan azaad hai

      … … … May not any garden be raised again, the land is liberated
      … … … The soul of Ganges and the land of himalayas is liberated

      Khetiyan sona ugayen, waadiyan moti lutayen
      Aaj Gautam ki zameen tulsii ka bann azaad hai

      … … … Farm fields grow gold, hills and dales sprinkle pearls
      … … … Today Buddha’s land and Tulsi’s garden is liberated

      Mandiron mein shankh baaje, masjido mein ho azaan
      Sheikh ka dharm aur peer-e-barhaman aazaad hain

      … … … The conch sounds in temples, the adhaan in Mosques
      … … … The religions of the Sheikhs and Brahmins is liberated

      Dhool jaisi bhi ho iss desh mein rehne na paye
      Aaj sabkey vaaste dhartii ka dhan azaad hain

      … … … No dust shall be allowed to be raised in this land now
      … … … Today the wealth of this land is liberated for everyone

      Sahir Ludhianvi

      Translation Mine

    • Beautiful lyrics….

    • Thank you for the translation.


  23. Meena Kumari… her own poem in her own voice…

    Aghaaz to hota hai anjaam nahin hota…

    … … … There is a beginning to everything, but no end…

  24. Ahal-e-dil aur bhi hain ahl-e-vafaa aur bhi hain
    Ek hum hi nahin duniyaa se khafaa aur bhi hain

    … … There are many more with feeling hearts, and loyal there are many more
    … … I am not the only one disappointed with this world, there are many more

    kya hua gar mere yaaron ki zabaanen chup hain
    Mere shaahid mere yaaron ke sivaa aur bhi hain

    … … … What if my friends choose to be silent and tongue tied
    … … … My witnesses, besides my friends, there are many more

    Hum pe hi khatm nahin maslak-e-shoridaa saari
    Chaak-e-dil aur bhi hai chaak-e-qabaa aur bhi hain

    … … … This rebllious expression will not end with my demise
    … … … There are broken hearts and demeanours many more

    Sar salaamat hai to kya sang-e-malaamat ki kami
    Jaan baaqi hai to paikaan-e-qazaa aur bhi hain

    … … … There is no dearth of stones hurled at a head held high
    … … … So long as one lives the means of death are many more

    Munsif-e-shahar ki vahadat pe na harf aa jaaye
    Loug kehate hain ke arbaab-e-jafaa aur bhi hain

    … … … Don’t be surprised by the unity of the justice providers
    … … … People say they have means of oppression many more

    Sahir Ludhianvi

    Translation Mine

  25. Dabegi kab talak aawaaz-e-aadam, hum bhi dekhenge
    Rukenge kab talak jazbaat-e-barham, hum bhi dekhenge
    Chalo yun hi sahi ye jaur-e-paiham, hum bhi dekhenge

    … … … How long will man’s voice be suppressed, we will see
    … … … How long can emotions be withheld thus, we will see
    … … … So be it if in this manner, their atrocities, we will see

    Dar-e-zindaan se dekhein ya urooj-e-daar se dekhein
    Tumhe ruswa sar-e-bazar-e-aalam hum bhi dekhenge
    Zara dum lo ma’al-e-shaukat-e-jam hum bhi dekhenge

    … … … From behind the gates of the prison or from the gallows
    … … … When you are shamed publicly by the world, we will see
    … … … Take a breath; that final end of your might, we will see

    Ba-zom-e-quwwat-e-faulaad-o-aahan dekh lo tum bhi
    Ba-faiz-e-jazbaa-e-imaan-e-mohkam hum bhi dekhenge
    Jabeen-e-kaj-kulaahi khaak par kham hum bhi dekhenge

    … … … The strength of our iron spirits, you too must see
    … … … The resolves of our faith and feelings, we will see
    … … … The rulers’ proud heads buried in dust we will see

    Mukaafaat-e-amal taareekh-e-insaan ki rawaayat hai
    Karoge kab talak naawak faraaham hum bhi dekhenge
    Kahan tak hai tumhare zulm mein dum hum bhi dekhenge

    … … … Just results for one’s past actions is a convention
    … … … How long you use those evil weapons, we will see
    … … … How much strength your injustice has, we will see

    Ye hangaam-e-widaa-e-shab hai aie zulmat ke farzando
    Sehar ke dosh par gulnaar parcham hum bhi dekhenge
    Tumhein bhi dekhna hoga ye aalam hum bhi dekhenge

    … … … It is time to bid goodbye to the darkness, O sons of repression
    … … … On the wide shoulders of a dawn, the crimson flag, we will see
    … … … You will witness this spectacular event unfolding as we will see

    Sahir Ludhianvi

    Translation Mine

    • This sounds positively hopeful and optimistic – is that not rare for Sahir’s poetry?

      Is India singing his songs now as events are unfolding around the Hunger Strike?

      • Sahir is the ultimate nationalist and rebel among Indian poets. His poems of pride and celebration do not have many occasions to quote these days.

  26. Sazaa kaa haal sunaaye ya jazaa ki baat karen
    Khudaa milaa ho jinhen vo khudaa ki baat karen

    … … … I shall speak of my torture or speak of my liberation
    … … … Those who have found God, let them speak of God

    Unhe pataa bhi chale aur vo khafa bhi na ho
    Iss ehatiyaat se kyaa mazaa ki baat karen

    … … … That they should be appraised and should not be upset either
    … … … With such diplomacy what can I speak of that is of any value?

    Humaare ahd ki tehazeeb mein qabaa hi nahin
    Agar qabaa ho to band-e-qabaa ki baat karen

    … … … The culture of this era wears no clothes whatsoever
    … … … If there were clothes I could speak of what is worth

    Har ek daur kaa mazhab nayaa Khuda laata hai
    Karen to hum bhi magar kis khuda ki baat karen

    … … … Every belief in every era creates a new God with it
    … … … If I were to speak at all, which God can I speak of?

    Vafa shiyaar kai hain koi hasin bhi to ho
    Chalo phir aaj usi bevafaa ki baat karen

    … … … Many are devoted, but there must be one that’s charming
    … … … Come, lets speak again today of that same unfaithful one

    Sahir Ludhianvi

    Translation Mine

  27. Lots of variety today! This is great. Sorry to drop by so late, was a crazy day, but good to be back in the presence of evolved souls 🙂

  28. Hazaaron khwaaishen aisi ki har khwaaish pe dum nikale
    Bahut nikale mere armaan lekin phir bhi kum nikale

    … … … Thousands of desires such that each desire takes away the breath
    … … … Many wishes did I express yet none were ever enough

    Dare kyun meraa qaatil kyaa rahegaa usaki garrdan par
    Woh Khoon jo chashm-e-tar se umr bhar yun dam-ba-dam nikale

    … … … Why should my killer be afraid, what is there to be liable for?
    … … … Those tears in my eyes have always flowed like blood all my life

    Nikalna khuld se aadam kaa sunte aaye hain lekin
    Bahut be-aabruu hokar tere kooche se hum nikale

    … … … I’ve heard that Adam was expelled from paradise but
    … … … I was evicted from your house far more disgracefully

    Muhabbat mein nahin hai farq jeene aur marne kaa
    Usii ko dekh kar jeete hain jis kaafir pe dum nikale

    … … … Love never knows the difference between living and dying
    … … … Live seeing the faithless whose sight makes one breathless

    Kahaan maikhaane ka darawaaza ‘Ghalib’ aur kahaan vaaiz
    Par itanaa jaanate hain kal woh jaataa thaa ke hum nikale

    … … … Where is the entrance to the pub “Ghalib” and where is your preacher
    … … … All I know is that I was coming out last night when I saw him go there

    Mirza Ghalib

    Translation Mine

  29. Reader – You are at your best again. Thanks for the links and verses.. BTW, where is MonaLisa???

  30. Zulm phir zulm hai, badhta hai to mit jaataa hai
    Khoon phir khoon hai, tapkega to jumm jaayega

    … … … Atrocity is an atrocity after all, when it grows it perishes
    … … … Blood is blood after all, when it spills out it will coagulate

    Khaak-e-sehra pe jame ya kaf-e-qatil pe jame
    Farq-e-insaaf pe yaa paa-e-salaasal pe jame
    Tegh-e-bedaad pe yaa laasha-e-bismil pe jame
    Khoon phir Khoon hai tapkega to jumm jaayega

    … … … May it clot on the dust of dawn or the hands of a killer
    … … … On discriminated justice or on the shackles of bondage
    … … … On an unscrupulous sword or on the corpse of a hopeful
    … … … Blood is blood after all, when it spills out it will coagulate

    Laakh baithe koi chhup chhup ke kamin gaahon mein
    Khoon khud detaa hai jalaadon ke maskan ka suraag
    Saazishe laakh udaati rahein zulmat ka naqaab
    Le ke harr boond nikalti hai hathelii pe chiraag

    … … … Hide where ever they may in dark corners
    … … … Trails of blood reveal the butcher’s hideout
    … … … Conspiracies unveil the face of oppression
    … … … Every drop of blood carries a flame within

    Tum ne jis khoon ko maqtal mein dabaana chaaha
    Aaj woh kuchaa-o-bazaar mein aa nikala hai
    kahin shola kahin naarah kahin patthar ban ke
    Khoon chalta hai to rukta nahin sangeeno se
    Sar jo uthtaa hai to dabtaa nahin aaeeno se

    … … … The blood that you tried to hide in your closets
    … … … Is now flowing on the roads and the markets
    … … … A fire somewhere, a slogan or pelted stones
    … … … When blood moves, it cannot be stopped by arms
    … … … When a head rises high it cannot bend to diktats

    Zulm ki baat hi kya, zulm ki auqaat hi kya
    Zulm bas zulm hai, aagaaz se anjaam talak

    … … … Oppression has no virtues, it has neither eminence
    … … … It is just oppression, from the beginning to the end

    Khoon phir Khoon hai, sou shakl badal sakta hai
    Aisi shaklein ke mitaaoo to mitaaye na bane
    Aise shole ke bujhaao toh bujhaaye na bane
    Aise naare ke dabaao toh dabaaye na bane

    … … … Blood is still blood, it can acquire a hundred new faces
    … … … Such faces that nothing can obliterate no matter how
    … … … Such inferno that nothing can smother no matter how
    … … … Such voices that nothing can suppress no matter how

    Sahir Ludhianvi

    Translation Mine

  31. Just a thought:

    Can Anna Hazare be charged for sedition?

    Mahatma Gandhi was charged, convicted and jailed for 6 years under the same law.

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Jail Bharo on 12th.

      • I don’t know how jail bharo is relevant to the issue on hand.

        The objective of this mission is just one misniterial decree and a parliamentary bill.

        Anna Hazare is not aiming at the root of corruption. There is reform on his agenda.

        Everyone is corrupt. Even little toddlers in our houses are corrupted. They have to please their parents to get something in return.

        We are living in an inverted morality. Rights have become negotiable instruments. Relationships have become products of mutual trade. Individual virtues are evaluated for utility.

        This is the root of corruption. No law or act can enforce a turnaround.

        Anna Hazare is wasting his time.

      • Important Correction: Para 3: There is “no” social reform on his agenda.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        A toddler does a task with utmost perseverance – perfecting and fine tuning the process until he is satisfied and gets the desired end-result. Only then does he look up for a smile…or a reward. I think that is fair…and natural.

        A bribe is given for ‘initiating’ the job.


        What is corruption?

        Can I complain that the dhoodhwaala gives more paani than dhoodh? Or that a kg of chana has more stones than chana?

        How many problems of the common man will be solved by this bill? Will the red tape reduce? Will the govt. officials stop sipping tea by the hour and speeden up procedures? Will the gatekeepers and peons stop accepting bribes? Or is the lokpal bill only about the ‘ill-gotten’ wealth of politicians and bureaucrats?

        This may be a step forward in the right direction…unless the bill collects dust after the initial hype.

        I hope it works. For all of us…

      • Aish,

        Let me respond to the second half first.

        This whole campaign lead by Anna Hazare is so naive and white collar.

        There is no such thing as ill-gotten wealth of a politician or a governmemnt employee. It is a part of the same cash economy that pervades in the private sector. As I have said earlier it is 90% of the total volume of cash in the market.

        It can only be called that money for which taxes are not evaded. I don’t think this cash is affecting me personally. I believe with good reasons that the cash economy that I live in is more useful to me than the taxes that I pay to the government.

        There are many who believe that India’s inflation is caused by the cash economy. I don’t think that is true. The inflation is caused by the white economy and the surplus currency circulated by the RBI in the market through the banks.

        For me, corruption is an ethical and moral issue. Not political.


        Coming to the other issue of corruption in relationships beginning at home:

        A relationship that is designed to function on transactional performance is a trade-off.

        If a husband, wife or child is expected to behave in a certain way to establish a relationship, it is corrupted. This corruption is not in the behavior. It is in the need to have expectations that can result in a mutually acceptable transaction.

        Hold that in contrast to the previous generation of parents in India. My mother was always curious to know why I did whatever I did. She did not expect it as a condition for her approval of my behavior. I never needed such approvals. She never thought I did.

        Corruption is seeded in a family that is built on transactional relationships. Like, “It is your duty as a….” “This is your baby as well as mine…” “I am giving you pleasure…” etc

        On the other hand, societal relationships are necessarily transactional. They are built on negotiated choices. There is no corruption in a society of voluntary memberships. For example, a society of thieves doesn’t even need a written constitution, execuative or judiciary or media. There is no corruption among thieves.

        Corruption is a white collar phenomenon. The lazy hypocratic salaried class that pays for its laziness and lack of enterpreneurship.

        Take a simple example like buying a ticket in the cinema halls or a RTO office or the collector office or the district magistrate’s court. The white collar arrives at the last moment, is too cowardly to be noticed, too impatient to wait in the queue, bribes everyone from the gatekeeper to the lawyers etc and goes home happily. He is the same person who grows a french beard on the chin after losing the crop on the head. He has to keep up the fake facade of righteousness. His wife and offsprings mimic him as their ideal. Very clever and pragmatic these intellectuals.

      • Correction: Para 4: Money for which taxes “ARE” evaded.

      • Aishwarya Says:


        You are right. Corruption is a white-collared phenomenon brought on by our laziness.

        We have fallen into a pit that we dug ourselves…so dark and deep now that we are unable to see the light above.

        Reforms will have to begin in the mindsets of people in all sections of the society, from the poor to the rich and influential, from the base of the pyramid working upwards.


        I feel a true relationship is one where both partners or parent/child bring out the best in each other…in virtues and attitude. To the extent that we notice how positive an influence the person had been, only when the person is not with us anymore. It was neither ‘asked’ nor ‘given’.

        A healthy relationship makes us a better person.

        A transaction makes us a bitter person.


  32. Indian law? Or British?

  33. Just another observation:

    Right now as the media is goiing full steam on Anna Hazare and a parilamentary bill, Tamilians across the state of tamilnadu are preparing to exercise the only right they have in a democracy – the vote.

    They are negotiating it for a TV, washing machine, food processors, 35 kg of rice per family and cash. The individual’s vote is triviliased by all parties who are in the fray.

    Famed journalists and speakers like Cho, Ram and Swamy are waiting for the elections to get over. They will begin their rhetoric after wards. After all they have five years to negotiate before the next polls in the state.

    The political parties have budgets of about 25 crores in each constitutency, which comes to about 9000 crores. This is ofcourse peanuts compared to the 2 trillion rupee value of the states resources and GDP.

    But forget that.

    Lets talk of our hero of the moment. Anna Hazare for passing a bill in the parliament for strengthening the democratic republic.

  34. If I were a politician or a social animal:

    I would put up another stage near the Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial in Delhi and start a parallel fast for eradicating corruption from the people’s hearts and minds. I would call Sonio and Advani and all polticians to join hands.

    But frankly, I am not a social animal. I don’t respect people. I love ideas and live on values. People be damned. I would rather attend a funeral than a birthday party.

  35. I think many celebs are trying to ride an imaginary wave. Dodgy owls.

  36. Quotable Quotes:

    Tried to donate blood today. Didn’t realize you had to give your own.

    Apparently, cluelessness is a sign of stupidity. I had no idea.

    98% of the time I am right. Why worry about the other 3%

    If people talk behind your back, it’s because you’re ahead of them.

    There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.

    When push comes to shove try not be to standing on the edge of anything.

    The last line about push and shove is specially good. Beware of the herd. Never follow a celeb to the altar. You are likely to be consumed as feedstock in the name of God, the son of God and the holy spirit.

  37. Disclosing a state secret:

    A few years ago Mammo had dense hair under that turban. I am told by reliable sources that due to the past two years of scams and scandals there is practically nothing left under the turban anymore.

    Dense, yes. Hair, no.

  38. Stop Press:

    Congress spokesman and stand-up comedian Manu Singhvi at the media briefing, live on TV, says : We have to comply with constitutional procedures in order to change the constitutional procedures!!!

    Every word of my prediction above is coming true. The administration is falling back on the Constitution which is the root cause of this evil. The bureaucrat and its touts will survive this bill in the name of a democratic republic.

    We need constituitional reforms. Not a roadshow of diplomatic skills.

  39. So, now we will have the following:

    1. CBI

    2. IB

    3. ACB

    4. CVC

    5. CAG

    6. PAC

    7. ED

    8. IT

    9. FEMA

    10. RAW

    11. Lok Ayukta

    12. Lok pal

    Any guesses for where this is going?

    What happens to a private citizen who files an RTI application? He dies in a road traffic accident.

    Anna is live on TV flagging Gandhian modesty while back in the dark lanes of Tamilnadu politicians are raping democracy.

    • Reader – The point is Anna is the start. Have you seen the support this lone man has been able to muster?? As I said in my blog, the technicalities of the lokpal bill is not the main issue, it is the ability for us to group together for the right cause! This is a remarkable chain of events that we are witnessing.

      • Sharmila,

        I do not support Anna Hazare and this movement. The end does not justify the means.

        Mahatma Gandhi never asked the British to repeal or make new laws. He told them in no uncertain terms: “We’ll make our own laws, please leave our country.” His fasting, non-cooperation and satyagraha shook the empire.

        Gandhi’s method of fasting and satyagraha is the nuclear weapon of peaceful, non-violent, non-coooperation. It has to be used with great discretion.

        In comparison, Anna has triviliazed Gandhi’s strongest weapon by using it to make a minor point.

        His demand for another anti-corruption agency after galvanising the whole nation is like excavating a mountain to dig up a rat. It is not an anti-government crusade for constitutional reforms.

        I bet hundreds of millions of people are going to be disappointed at the end of this. Those who have benefitted by riding the bandwagon for a few hours may call it historical till the bill is passed into an act where it will join the thousands of other similar acts lying dormant since 1857.

        Interestingly today Mahatma Gandhi’s own family member, Tushar, has refused to attend this roadshow for exactly the same reasons that I had given yesterday.

        The cause is right. The premise is not. Corruption is a subject for social reforms, not political reforms. Social reform begins with scrapping the constitutional provisions that breed corruption.

        Anna’s campaign does not have this on the agenda. He is going to call it off as soon as the demands for the bill are met.

        So, I say, the end does not justify the means in this case.

  40. All these investigating agencies are reactive organisation locking the stable after the horse has bolted.

    Investigating agenices are not preventive measures. Not even threatening if we go by the recent scams. Social reforms cannot be brought about by the police force.

    Also, the social activists who are apeearing on the stage with Anna are well known lobyyists and panelists of TV channnels.

  41. Now AB supports Hazare too.

  42. I knew AB did, he has just made it vocal.

    • Are you sure? What is being quoted on the Hindi and English channels from his blog and twitter account says that AB supports anything that is in the interest of the nation. He has quoted his father that he supports anyone with a spine.

      I think those are general comments and apply to anyone who is not an anti-national – you, me and every Indian around the world.

      I don’t think anyone involved in the issue of corruption is anti-national. We are all citizens of the same nation.

  43. 3 Idiots of the Congress party:

    Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

  44. Tushar Gandhi calls the public sloganeering and crowds “Activist Tourism”.

  45. Other pending motions:

    Womens bill: 50% reservation of seats in the parliament and prisons for women.

    Oxygen Tax: A 5% levy on all those who breath oxygen in the Indian airspace.

    Amendment to Backward Class & Scheduled Tribes Act: Perecntage of population in backward classes and scheduled tribes to be increased from 72.50% to 99.99%. One percent reserved for Indians of Foreign origin.

  46. Miscellaneous Trivia:

    The song that is being played on the streets by all activists across the nation:

    Yeh desh hai veer jawaano ka, albelo ka mastaano ka…

    A song written by Sahir Ludhianvi.

  47. Someone used the word inclusivity recently. 50% of the countries population is directly and indirectly employed by the government. They are the targets of the lokpal bill. Reform or revolution? Family or anarchy? Unification or division?

  48. Reader – If changes are to be made to the constitution, we need the right people with similar thinking to be at the helm of affairs, as in politics. How do we get the right people or ensure the right people stay right? By introducing stringent measures on corruption, dont you think?

    • Sharmila,

      Thats right. The opportunity for chosing those people is during an election as is happening right now in Tamilnadu. Why are Cho, Subramanian Swamy and others silent now? This is the moment for them to shed light on the characters of the candidates of each party.

      This is not a missed opportunity in Tamilnadu. It is the nature of our republic.

  49. Tushar Gandhi is on CNNIBN live now, supporting the method of Anna’s!

    • I saw his interview on Headlines Today in the afternoon.

      • On headlines Today he explained why he didn’t participate and called it a media event and an “Activist Tourism”. Most people at Jantar Mantar are eating Dosas at a make shift kiosk.

        Anna is being used.

    • Sharmila,

      That link is live. It’s already on the day’s scorecard and tomorrows agenda. Shabana Azmi is going “I think… I think.. I think…” Sometimes I wonder why she has to remind herself so frequently.

  50. Anna should have gone on a mission to re-write the constitution. Thats something Gandhi might have done.

    This fasting for drafting and passage of a bill for instituting an investigating agency could have been done by an NGO like that of Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy. Apart from getting the same result, the fasting would have done a world of good for Arundhati’s general appearance.

  51. We are being so harsh on the corrupt people in our country.

    Horse Ali, Maddy, GG Raja etc would have made it above Ambani in the Forbes list if only they could keep the money in India without paying taxes. They have way more wealth than Gates or Buffet can imagine.

  52. Aishwarya Says:


    It’s past 12 a.m. in HK…

    Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday! May the Almighty bless you with love, joy and abundance the year through, and may all your wishes and dreams come true.

    Have a blast!




  54. Happy Birthday, Sharmila!

    May all your dreams and wishes come true, today and all year long.

  55. Shambhavi Says:


    Wish you a very Happy birthday!!

    Enjoy your special day and have a wonderful year full of pleasant experiences.

  56. Anna’s andolan:

    Instant Impact.

    1. Services of the freelance touts outside government offices will be phased out for the neo-rich salaried class and replaced by qualified lawyers as prevalent in the West and among the rich in India.

    2. State and Central Government employees’ trade unions are on high alert. Expect a general slowdown in government services. I mean slower than what they are already.

    3. Corruption in high places between the industry and government will be re-structured with more emphasis on kind than cash.

    4. The trust deficit between the government employee and the common man will be charged to the common man at no extra cost to the self-employed.

    • This is funny Reader.. but for Lord’s sake, I hope your prediction fizzles!!

      Again Thank you, Renate and Aishwarya – you guys ROCK.. ML rocks too.. not sure where she is rocking now though!

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