Posts Tagged ‘marathi’

Shivaji: Saffronization of a secular king

February 20, 2012

Yesterday was the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680).  It was celebrated with great joy all over the Maharashtra and by all Marathi-speaking people wherever they are in some form or other.  Shivaji was one national hero of who is still revered by millions above cast and creed.  Indeed Shivaji is a towering name above all, and if you ask anyone to give just one name that binds all Marathi people together, it would be that of Shivaji without a second thought.

Let him remain as he was.  Don't color him saffron.

The popularity and greatness of Shivaji’s character have given rise to a typical phenomenon in the modern India.  Each and every ideological group want him colored in their own color, and unfortunately the far-right saffron Hindutva folks succeeded in it.  They distorted his image so much that he is almost deified as an incarnation of God who took birth “to save the Hindu people from the tyranny of Muslim rulers”; and this is far from truth.

This needs to be checked against historical facts and people should be made aware about this.  This has become more important in the post-1992 and post-Godhra India where Shivaji is again and again projected as a destroyer and enemy of Muslims.

(more…)

Of a wonderful evening and National Book Fair

January 8, 2012

What what what a wonderful evening this had been!  I just went out for a Sunday-evening ride and saw an ad of National Book Fair held at Kasturchand Park, Nagpur.  This is a yearly book exhibition fair and I kind of wait for this fair every year.  I saw the ad and then what could stop me!  I had only 100 rupees in my wallet, but said “let’s see” and made my way to Kasturchand Park.

It usually takes me more than three-four hours to go through the fair, more than 100 book stalls each with thousands of books.  Although conscious of my wallet size, today I had thought of only a short stride.  And Look what I came back with:  Eleven books, more than 1800 pages!  I could not resist.  Chose the books, talked to the shopkeeper, went to an ATM, got the money out, paid, and done!  Very unlikely of me, I took all the books from one stall only, by National Book Trust.  They are wonderful people, consistently publishing standard books, and a lot of nonfiction!  I picked every book like pick-at-first-site, without even bothering to peek through it, like I was looking for them all my life.  And look what I came up with:

(more…)

Kailash makes his very first Wikipedia edit!

December 19, 2011

I’m quite happy.  Today Kailash made his very first edit on Marathi Wikipedia.  I was almost pushing him to do this for the last two to three years, and finally he did it.  He created his first article about Ambhora, a small village in Nagpur district, famous for its confluence of five rivers.  This article is yet a stub; you can have a look at it here (Marathi content).

I mailed him a little manual this evening on basic Wikipedia editing and formatting as per his request.  He chose the subject and wrote it on his own.  We solved the little difficulties he had via phone.  As it was a learning experience for him, it was a learning experience for me too!

Kailash made my day today!

Bless me O God!

November 10, 2011

Morning!  I started the PC and was about to start work.  I usually keep humming all the time, may be it at home, at work, while riding a bike, or while doing nothing (no one has ever enlightened me on how to do nothing).  And I started humming an abhanga by Tukaram:  हेची दान देगा देवा तुझा विसर न व्हावा, विसर न व्हावा तुझा विसर न व्हावा!!  “Bless me O God; I shall never forgot thou, never, never ever!”  How couldn’t I love these words, how couldn’t I!! Oh God, bless me, I shall never forget thou, never ever!

I knew a similar couplet by Bashir BadrWo bada rahim o karim hai mujhe ye sifat bhi ata karein, tujhe bhulne ke duaa karoon to meri duaa mein asar na ho.”  He is really a kind one, He should grant me a wish–if I ever wish to forget you, I wish must never be granted.  And I loved these lines too, but this time Tukaram took my heart away!

In case of Bashir Badr, he wishes he should never forget his beloved one.  And Tukaram?  For him, the God is his beloved, and he is asking the God never to let him forget Him.

I was humming it all over the day, it was constantly going in my head while all the work was going:  हेची दान देगा देवा तुझा विसर न व्हावा, विसर न  व्हावा तुझा विसर न व्हावा!!

For a moment I thought did Tukaram mean that God should always keep us unhappy that we must not forget him?  Nay, it cannot be such.  Tukaram didn’t mean it that way.  May be it was the case with Bashir Badr, certainly not with Tukaram!

Be with me! Never let me go! Hold me to your heart!! And how can I forget you?  Isn’t it what Tukaram means?  Never let me go!

Tukaram made my day today!!

Notes:
Tukaram (1608-1650) was a Marathi seer poet and is considered the zenith of the Warkari tradition, which sought salvation for all irrespective of caste and creed.  Tukaram wrote poetry in the form of abhangas (literally something that cannot be broken).  Tukaram is considered as one of the best poets the language has ever produced.  Tukaram’s abhangas are still played in the households of Maharashtra.

Bashir Badr is a contemporary Urdu poet, one of my favorite.

Books, internet, and a giant wheel? It’s really random!!

October 15, 2011

I love books, I love the feel they give me while reading, it cannot be felt such while reading books on screen.  It’s fine when we cannot get hard copies, may be the book is rare, or too costly, or just you don’t want to buy it, but still there is nothing like reading a book, in printed characters, on paper.

Definitely, my net habits have affected my reading a lot.  I stay online almost 12-13 hours a day everyday, may be for work, and then for my personal use too, blogging, random surfing, social networking, uploading photos; reading has taken a back seat, it’s unfortunate, really!

A giant wheel at Dhantoli, Nagpur

I had been to a book exhibition at Shankar Nagar today; brought a novel by Sane Guruji Ramacha shela (रामाचा शेला); I really wanted to read something by him other than Shyamchi aai (श्यामची आई).  At this moment, I should have been reading the book, in print.  I am instead tuck-tucking here.

On a different note, sharing the picture of a giant wheel I pic’ed last Sunday in Dhantoli, Nagpur.  I didn’t get a chance to upload it earlier.  Giant wheels look good only from a distance.  I am afraid of even the thought of sitting in it.  So, I have look at it, from a distance.

N.B. Clicking on the giant wheel will take you to Panoramio photo page, if you are interested in exactly where the photo was taken, to be precise, it was taken at 21° 8′ 5.88″ N  79° 5′ 4.24″ E.  Good Night :-)

Related Posts:

Day 1: Post a Day October 2011 — A thirty-day challenge

October 1, 2011

So, here am I with the first post of my 30-day challenge for the month of October 2011.  The idea of posting everyday on a blog is really fascinating and it will be more so with continued support and motivation from all of you.

There are certainly some reservations.  Can it really be creative?  Won’t it just be writing for the sake of writing?  Won’t it be writing because I have the challenge to complete?  Yes, it will be, but writing something is better than not writing at all.  And I know, whatever I will write, I would always be kind of creative in some way or other.

Creativity is “to create”.  He who creates is a creative and not the one who just thinks.  Having some feelings and putting them down on the paper (or on screen) are two really different things.  One cannot be called creative unless he transforms his thinking in the form of creation.

I think I won’t fall short of ideas for at least this 30-day challenge.  I have a lot to tell you.  If I just wait for the form, the form would never come and whatever I am thinking will fade out.  So, before it fades out, I want to put in out in whatever form it takes.

Once a Prashant Vaidya (a Marathi ghazal writer from Kalyan) told me, “Ganesh, we won’t become a poet by just writing good poems for say three months or three years.  To be called a poet, you must give out good poetry for some 30 years. ”  Soon after that, I almost stopped writing poems.  My short poetic career did not even last for three years.  After a keen reading of classics, I had made my taste so special and had raised my bars so high that I could never reach them, and I never wrote again.  And then a lot of things happened and eventually the ideas stopped to occur to me.  Thus, I became a no-poet.

So now, without waiting for ideas or form, I am going to start writing.  And I know, as I will move ahead, I will get my form back.  I know what my form is; I will rediscover it.  I don’t mean that I will start writing poetry again, or stories or novel or some sort of book, but certainly I will start loving writing as it used to do.

So, this is for today, for the first of October 2011; and a whole month of excitement ahead.

P.S.  And I will have to learn to stop too, otherwise I will write a long, long posts for the first few days and will stop writing altogether after that.  So, stop, stop, stop… Enough for today.

Stubbing on Wikipedia

September 19, 2011

I have not been working on any major projects on Wikipedia for the last few months.  I have not created a single full-fledged article after a couple of “Did you know?” articles about an year ago.  Life is getting more and more demanding and I can find almost no time to do the research it needs to create a good article on Wikipedia.  So, I have just been stubbing.

Stub is a little Wikipedia article that contains only very basic information.  It may consist of just a line or two about what really the object in question is.  A good stub is expected to contain some basic information with proper references.  It can further be expanded in a full-length article with community collaboration.

I have written about four stubs around the last month, all of them just a few-liners.  I created them just because I thought the topic important enough to be covered on Wikipedia.  New users usually hesitate starting a new article; I wanted to make these stubs available for them so that they can add information to it.

My first stub was about Maharashtra State Highway 196.  This state highway passes via my village Manegaon.  I just wanted to create this article as a part of major project covering all the highways in India.

The next stub was about Marathi author Sadanand Deshmukh.  He was awarded with Sahitya Akademi award in 2004 for his novel Baromas (बारोमास).  This article was a long-due.  He is certainly a notable personality and there is almost no information available about him on net.  He belongs to the same district of Maharashtra that I do.  I had very little biographic information about him, so I was waiting for someone to write an article about him, but as nobody did it, I had to take initiative and create a stub.  The article is still in a stub state and I have no means to find any information about him other than getting one of his books and find some author info, so it is pending.

Nag River was the article that I was really expecting someone to start.  It is a tiny river, rather a stream that drains the garbage and sewage water out of Nagpur.  But it certainly has an encyclopedic value as it provides the etymology to the City of Nagpur.  According to a theory, Nagpur is named so because of this river (there is also another theory proposed by Dr. Ambedkar that the river and the city are named after Naga people who settled here in the distant history).  The Wikipedia article about Nagpur has just mentioned this river, so I took the opportunity to create a separate article about it.  It still lacks a lot of information, but still I am expecting some expert to work on it, or I will have to find some time to do some research.  Just googling will not work here, I will have to find printed resources.

The fourth article Machchhindrakhed (मच्छिंद्रखेड) is just a little village in Buldhana district, famous in the locality for the aasara devi temple there.  I had my first family trip there as a kid.  Again, this article was created as a part of better coverage of local knowledge on the world wide web.

So my overall activity on Wikipedia is limited to stubbing only nowadays.  Hope I can get some leisure to do something more!

Once I used to be a poet! (Another junk from my Outlook draft folder!)

August 31, 2011

They say once I used to be a poet. I have a diary full of poems I had written in my hostel days. Some of my poems were published in local newspapers, and one of them had gotten a wide critical acclaim. I still occasionally get messages, are you the same Ganesh Dhamodkar, the poet of that ghazal? I hesitantly say, yes, I am the same one, but it was a thing of past; I don’t write anymore! And practically, it was one of the very last poems of mine. My short poetic career ended just in less than a couple of years.

Why did I stop writing, in particular writing poems?

At this ghostly hour

August 28, 2011

If you must ask me what I am doing at this ghostly hour on my pc (It’s 4:10 a.m. IST), I would say I am just enjoying the freedom of not needing to go office this morning (or rather tomorrow as it’s still “tonight” for me and the feeling of dawn is not here yet).

I wanted to test my YouTube downloader and this is the best time to do so because of free uncongested network. I have downloaded a 7:10 minute record video of unbelievable Danger Dave, and Enge enathu kavithai (as I love the lyrics by Varaimuthu and Sirish has told me about the beautiful picturization of the song with Aishwarya on screen), and I am again going to download another Varaimuthu/Rahman song Evano oruvan vasikiran, again as I love the lyrics.

Just checked my mail to see a comment on my Marathi blog. It was not on the latest post that I wrote last evening (or earlier tonight), but on a previous post.; but the post fetched about 40 visits since it’s published.

I have two options now, to go sleep or to go on a morning walk, after so many days, at 5 o’clock! I would love going on a walk; I guess it’s not raining out! But I’m awake since 3 a.m. and not sure if I can get rest in the day tomorrow. Shall I try to get some sleep?

And next, What else? I’m writing this post for you!!

Love, Life, and a Book Fair!

June 15, 2011

I am happy today, really!  And this happiness is mostly because I found myself happy after getting out of a book exhibition.  Usually, it happens that I come out of the book exhibitions sad and depressed.  Previously, it used to be such, because I could not buy the books of my choice just because of my low budget, but for the last few years, there had been a strange reason for my post-book-fair sadness.  It was no more the problem of low budget, but now I knew whatever I had bought, I could hardly read – for lack of time and more so for the lack of interest!  This lack of interest was killing.  I have been a kind of bookworm for all my childhood.  I remember I used to devour all the textbooks of my sisters who were years ahead to me in school, and not only language books for stories, but I remember reading history, science, and even math books.  I still remember my excitement when my father gifted me the Arabian Nights after I passed my third grade exam and Sindabad was the first fictional character in my life.  I still remember how I waited for my seventh grade exam to end, because I wanted to read mathematical puzzles book that I had kept hidden in the library itself so that no one should pick it before me; and also the days when I used to read five novels in five days, sometimes even in moonlight on summer nights as we didn’t have electricity in our village back then.

But I lost almost all of this in the last few years.  I go to book exhibitions as a drunkard going to the wine bar, sometimes involuntarily, just because I cannot stop myself.  I walk through the book fairs; now I can afford buying books, so pick a few of my choice and come out.  The books just lay untouched at home.  I take them, put my name and the date on the first page, and then put them somewhere to never take again.  And this lack of interest kills me the next time whenever I hear of a book fair somewhere in the city.

The books I got from Novelty Book Fair, June 15, 2011

I got them from a book exhibition today at a good discount!

So as I heard of a book exhibition in Dharampeth today, it was really something that made me excited for a while, but then the thought came –“hope it won’t make me sad again!”  All the time I was working, I had a constant thought about the exhibition.  I finished work almost one hour ahead of my scheduled time and was now free to go there, but it was raining out heavily and I was in a bit hesitation whether to go or not.  A colleague asked me to drop him home and I almost canceled my plan to go there, dropped him at Manewada, and came to Krida Chowk, just a couple squares away from my home.  I was just about to reach home, but all of a sudden had a change of mind, turned about, and went all the way back to Dharampeth.

It was quite a small exhibition as compared to the yearly National Book Fair at Kasturchand Park, but still a definitely decent-sized (occupying a two-story block) and nice one than I had expected it to be.  There was a nice collection.  Don’t know why, there was no light on the ground floor and we had to light our cells to explored thorough the books.  It was a dreamy journey.  This time, I picked Marathi books, mostly because thinking about the untouched English tomes at home.  Out of the whole lot, I picked what appealed me:  Indhan by Hamid Dalwai, a novel based on a Konkani Hindu-Muslim social background; Vyasparva, an analytical treatise about the characters of Mahabharata by Durga Bhagwat; and Mitwa, a collection of literary critical short essays by Manik Godghate, Grace – the first two were those I always wanted to read and reading Grace is anyways going to be a treat.  I am so excited about reading the books, I am just playing with them, opening and just looking at them, as if I want to sense them in every way possible.  I can nowhere sense the lack of interest in or around me that usually grips me after a book fair visit and I am happy, even before actually starting to read, that I am going to read them.

So buddies, wish me the best luck – I’m gonna be on a dream wave this week, with my love, my life, my books!  Wish my interest remains intact, rather grow and reach to where it had been; and wait for a few nice posts about this dream journey!  See you soon :)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers