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Eid e Nowruz : The Persian New Year


The word Nowruz meaning New Day, is the most anticipated and favorite celebration for Persians. It occurs exactly on the Spring Equinox. This occasion has been renowned in one form or another by all the major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia. Sumerians, 3000 BC, Babylonians, the ancient kingdom of Elam in Southern Persia and Akaddians in the second millennium BC, all celebrated this festival. What we celebrate today as Norooz (Also spelled Now Ruz, Norooz or Norouz) has been around for at least 3000 years and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of the Zoroastrians of the Sassanian period.

It’s no secret that Persians love any excuse to celebrate. But of all the many reasons to celebrate, Norouz, The Persian New Year, is by far the most important and dear in the hearts of Iranians around the globe. Literally translating to “A New Day,” Norouz marks the first day of Spring (March 21st) and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar.

Originally a Zoroastrian holiday, Norouz has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years. The most significant aspect of Norouz is the fact that it is a non-religious and non-ethnic celebration. Norouz brings together several hundred million diverse peoples spanning from Iran to northwest China, India and Central Asian republics,Turkey and Eastern Europe, Iraq and westward to Egypt; all celebrating this joyous holiday which represents new Beginnings, and the start of Spring.

Sofreh Haft Seen

In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Persian new year celebration starts on the first day of Spring, illustrated by a beautiful spread Haft Seen:

haft seen1

 

A symbolic illustration of Norouz is the “Haft Seen” (Persian translation of “Seven S”), a ceremonial table spread, including at least seven items whose names start with the letter “S” in the Persian alphabet; hence the name “Haft Seen” or “Seven S”. The spread itself is usually a beautifully crafted and decorated fabric such as “Termeh.”

At the specific time of Vernal Equinox (when the sun is observed to be directly over the equator) which varies every year, the family gathers around Haft Seen holding hands. At the moment of transition into the New Year or “Sal Tahvil,” family members embrace each other and eat a sweet…for a sweet year! This is followed by exchanges of “Aydi” (cash gifts exchanged) and having the traditional new year dish “Sabzi-polo and Mahi” (herbed rice and white fish).

The Most Common Haft Seen Items: 

Sib (Apple): Red apples representing health and natural beauty.

Sabzeh (Sprouts): Wheat, barley or lentils sprouts growing in a dish,
symbolizing the fertility of the land in the Spring and the rebirth of nature.

Samanu: Common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as
this sweet and creamy pudding, representing the reward of patience.

Sir (Garlic): Displayed in beautifully decorated dishes, garlic represents
good health, and is believed to chase away evil spirits.

Sumac: A popular Persian spice used as a symbol to wish for some zest
in life in the new year.

Senjed (Oleaster): The Senjed or wild olives represent love and compassion.

Sombol (Hyacinth): Hyacinth is placed in the Haft Seen to signify the beauty
and fragrance of Spring, and the rebirth of nature.

Sekkeh (coin): Coins representing wealth and hopes for prosperity.

Serkeh (vinegar): The vinegar also placed in a beautiful bowl or decorative
container is a symbol for maturity, and the wisdom and patience that comes
with age.SONY DSC

Other items not starting with letter “S”, but included because of their symbolic
meaning and cultural significance include:

Mirror: The mirror is usually set at the top center of the Haft Seen,
representing self-reflection.

Candles: Lit candles are more commonly set on each side of the mirror
and represent enlightenment and happiness.

Gold Fish: One of the most fun traditions of Norouz is buying the gold
fish for Haft Seen. The gold fish are used to represent joy and movement.

Holy or Poetry Book: Religious families will often place their holy book
in the center of the Haft Seen. Others opt for famous poetry books such
as Divan of Hafiz or Shahnameh.

Eggs: Usually, one for each member of the family, artfully decorated eggs
are used to represent the human race, as well as, fertility.

Sweets: Traditional Persian sweets are another popular item for the Haft Seen.
The pastries are a symbol for a sweet life and are meant to be eaten
during the celebration.

Seville orange: Floating in a bowl of water, it represents the earth
floating in space.

(Credits: The above text and pictures are crossposted  from here: http://www.partybravo.com/Norooz-Persian-New-Year-Haft-Seen).

Other traditions of Nowruz:

Hajji Firouz:

Haji Firouz (Persian: حاجی فیروز / هاجی فیروز – Hāji Firuz‎‎) or Khwaja Piruz (Persian: خواجه پیروز – Xwāje Piruz‎‎),[1] also spelled Hajji Firouz, is a fictional character in Iranian folklore who appears in the streets by the beginning of Nowruz. His face is covered in soot, and he is clad in bright red clothes and a felt hat. He dances through the streets while singing and playing a tambourine, and is the companion of Amu Nowruz(“Uncle Nowruz”).
(Source & further details: here >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajji_Firuz).

Lyrics:
Beškan Beškan
Beškan beškan e, beškan! (It’s a snap-snap, snap!)
Man nemi-škanam, beškan! (I won’t snap, snap!)
Injā beškanam, yār gele dāre (If I snap here, this one will complain)
Unjā beškanam, yār gele dāre (If I snap there, that one will complain)
In siāh e bičāre če qad howsele dāre! (How patient this poor man is!)

Bonfire:

People traditionally jump over bonfires, shouting “Zardie man az to, sorkhie to as man,” which means “May my pallor be yours and your red glow be mine.”
The flames symbolically take away the unpleasant things from the last year.

Nowruz fire.jpg

Following is my favorite song  Nasim-e-Farvardin( The breeze of Spring) by Marzieh , an ode to arrival of  Spring:

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A peep into Truck Art- a chat with ‘truck artist’ Haider Ali


While strolling in a Pakistani Mela,  Khyber to Mehran, in Mississauga I was attracted to a giant canvas partly filled with vibrant colors. As we got closer, we saw a man with was effortlessly making strokes with a brush creating flawless images. Without the initial sketch, even the symmetry was perfect.

That’s truck art.” Screamed my daughter. I stood watching him in awe…not just the perfection, but the speed and the choice of colors. He turned back and in response to our questioning smile, introduced himself as ‘truck artist Haider Ali’ from Karachi. ( The stress was on the first two words).

Haider Ali is visiting Canada on the special sponsorship of the Pakistani Consulate and represented Pakistani Truck Art  in the South Asian Heritage Celebrations called RUNG, at Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and Carrasauga Festival in Mississauga in May. Last week he also painted a panel at the Canadian Parliament at Ottawa.

I had a million questions to ask about the Truck Art, so I followed him at the exhibition Moving Art  arranged by a  friend Asma Mahmood at her Promenade Gallery

First of all I wanted to know the history of the origin of truck art:

“It all developed very gradually. In 1950s after partition, the Karachi Port ( Keamari Port) became the main source of trade. It was mainly the camel carts and the donkey carts that carried the goods. The camel carts being bigger, brought goods from the port upto wide roads and then transferred the good were carried on smaller donkey carts, to navigate through the narrow lanes leading to the City Station from where trains carried them to the rest of Pakistan. The painters painted camel, donkey and horse carts , while their animals were adorned with intricate accessories and ornaments made out of beads and wool.
In 1960s, Bedford trucks started to arrive from Luton, England. So the trucks gradually replaced the camel carts. Three  painters which included his father, started to comply to the demands by the truck drivers’ demands to paint the names of their cities, and sometimes for their kids mention on the truck.

  • Mera Sona sheher Chakwal
  • Aao sanam Kashmir chalein
  • Sonu tey Billo di gaddi.

Like the animal cart owners, they considered their trucks as their companions. Perhaps ( speculates Haider Ali), the more imaginative ones wanted their trucks also to be more ornately adorned like these animals. Hence the idea of more detailed motifs developed. The idea got better, and better. The painters started to add more colors, and designs like flowers, birds, scenes, and human figures on the truck. This inspired a competitive spirit, not just between the truck owners but also between the painters, who boasted of their  newer and more creative designs. Thus the art kept evolving, and it still is.”

“In the 60s and 70s the Garden area, which is the hub of truck art in Karachi, used to look like an artists street from Italy or Spain”. says Haider Ali.  Many foreigners used to come and appreciate the art. Many wrote articles on it, as they went back.

Haider ali began learning from his father at the age of 7. After school he used to play around the place where his father painted, and sometime out of curiosity for colors, his father let him put dots or lines on the truck. He learnt mixing of colors, contrasts, and how to make strokes. Seeing his interest and flair in strokes, his father sent him to a friend who used to paint posters for films.

At the age of 22 he decorated a truck for the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. one of the most detailed piece he has painted, The truck still stands there at the institute.

HyderAliSmithsonian

He has exhibited his art on a truck &  vans in London and Luton too:

hyderAliUK

HyderAlivansUK

A bus and a friend ship car in Turkey. The doors of the car below show King Faisal Mosque(Pakistan) on the left  and Blue Dome mosque(Turkey) on the right.

HyderAliTurkey

HyderAliTurkeyBus

There are so many  colors and details to be added. Isn’t it very complicated?

“Each truck is worked by 6-7 group of artists specializing in different areas.When it is our turn to paint,  start from a white painted background, the add details over details. Once painted, a sticker paper is added in lines to reflect the light, called the chamak patti. Then the electrician adds the electric fitting like colorful bulbs , metal workers add the colored chains, and metallic frames to make it more intricate. Even the interiors are explicitly detailed, including the faux leather seats, which  match the motif designs.”

The play of color begins:

HyderAliColors

HyderAliWhiteTruck

HyderAliPredetailsHyderAliDetails

The explicitly detailed interiors:

Elaborate Truck Art Of Pakistan
Asking him about the details of the kind of motifs the truck drivers demand, he says.

The image that stands most popular since time immemorial is Ataullah EsaKhel.  They love his songs, and he has been painted thousands time over.
Ayub Khan was also one of the popular figure among the drivers from KPK na they often comes with: Teri yaad aayi tere jaane ke baad.”
Are there any demands for politicians? Yes few have aslked for Baloch sardars, but mostly it is Ayub Khan. Some have now started to paint

Imran Khan, but I guess now this demand will increase. He has painted the famous Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s  photo for a few:

HyderAliBB

Film stars?

“Yes Mustafa Qureshi was very much in demand some time ago. Amongst the Bollywood, Mamta Kulkarni with a unique picture of a chain in her mouth( I have asked Haider to look for the picture) is much in demand. He has also made a few of Rani Mukherjee, and one of Aishwarya Rai”.

Any male stars? Shahrukh or Amitabh Bachan?

And he smiles, “No. Not yet.”

Among the monuments, Minar-e-Pakistan, Faisal Mosque and Khyber Gate are the most popular. Taj Mahal is also demanded by many.( That was a surprise, indeed.)

HyderAliMinarePakistan

HyderAliTaj

“One driver demanded Bruce Lee on his truck.” smiles Haider Ali.
HyderAliBruceLee

Many want birds, or even sher ( for which he paints a tiger).

HyderAliSher

Haider Ali loves drawing all kinds of birds and their details including falcon, peacocks, partridges, eagles etc.

HyderAliMacawsHyderAliDove

HyderAliPeacocks

Are there any unusual themes that you worked for?

The demand for themes and designs vary with changing times.
For example, in the times of war, in 60s and 70s, there were patriotic slogans with missiles and jet planes.”

HyderAli6

While in the last elections, he painted a truck on demand for Pak Election 2013, by SAMAA TV channel.

hyderAli5

Talking of the slogans, he said calligraphy on trucks is another field and many artists do it as a separate. He loves to do the calligraphy too.

What are your favorite slogans:

Anything that a truck driver demands. Almost all trucks adorn a Masha Allah on the head. If they leave on us, we choose for them.

  • Dekho fasla rakho, warna pya ho jaaega.( Keep distance, otherwise we’ll fall in love)
  • Hum chalein, dushman jalein( As we roll, our rivals envy)
  • Na ghabra ai zaalim paas aney sey, Khuda bhi rooth jata hai kisi ka dil dukhane sey.
    (Don’t be afrais of coming close, even God is displease by those who hurt others.).

Most who get their trick repainted the favorite is:

  • “Waqt ne pher sey dulhan bana diya.” (Time has turned us into a bride again).

Haider Ali’s favorite shair being:

  • Tum ney aisa rabta rakha, na paas aye na door rakha. ( You kept such a relationship, neither came close, nor went too far apart).
  • Zid na ker, assi aap barey ziddi aan. ( Don’t be stubborn, I am the same too).

HyderAli8

Among the famous in Pakistan Tapu Javeri the photographer, had commissioned him to make a panel for his house. Ever since they became friends. Haider Ali pays tribute to his friend by at times changing the famous slogan to:

  • “Tapu yaar tang na ker.”

HyderAliTapu

Can truck art be used to promote Peace for India Pakistan Peace friendship?

Haider says he went to Museum of Peace in India  just 1.5 km from Atari and painted an India Pakistan friendship van. He again has been called to Calcutta this September for a yet undisclosed Project.

HyderAliIndoPakdostiVan

My daughter was curious: “Does NCA or Indus Valley have Truck Art’ in their course? Have yuo ever been to those places?”
He smiles: They don’t consider truck art as an art. However, thanks to Sabeen Mahmood, I have my works on display all the time at T2F. And Lok Virsa.  In Pakistan we are a moving exhibition, 24X7, spreading the message of peace and harmony through colors and slogans. You will not find any hateful message on any truck or bus. Like our designs, our location of exhibit have no bounds.( “Hamre art ko koi qaid nahin hai.” ( Our art knows no bounds neither of ideas, nor of locations).

People copy your ideas?

“Yes, though our art is not considered an art, many designers have copied them on dresses, furniture, crockery etc. They can copy our designs, but can’t copy our ideas and skill. I don’t feel offended. Infinite is the limit of ideas for a ‘truck artist’. No two motifs are identical, no two trucks are same. And they are what they call in art world, ‘custom designed.’. .”

If not painting on truck, Haider Ali loves to make painting depicting stories( owing to his interest and training in painting the film posters when young.

I particularly liked the one of Omar Khayyam:

HyderAliOmarKhayyam

And the Sohni Mahiwal

HyderAliSohniMahiwal

He has a two year old son, who he aspires to be a ‘truck artist’ too, but also wants him to first complete his education, which Haider Ali missed out on. If educated person will come in the truck art, we will get more recognition.

My daughter pointed out how in film BOL the place where trucks are painted was shown as the place where the transgender boy was raped. Haider Ali retorted, “There are good and bad everywhere.” Though there is no dearth of respect and recognition we get world over, wish our Pakistani films and dramas showed the positive side of lives too.

Some more of Haider Ali’s works:

hyderali1

hyderAli0

He invited me to his work shop in Karachi to learn the swift and  steady brush strokes that fascinates me so much. But before I seriously go and master them, I practiced them out on the ‘truck art’ inspired  silk scarves the same evening.
(One in Hindi & the other in Urdu)

TruckArtScarves

TruckArtScarves1

Mango tree, a symbol of love


“A beautiful, golden radiant princess, the daughter of Sun God landed on Earth. The King of the land instantly fell in love with her, and desired to marry her. However, a sorceress fell jealous of how King was enamoured by her, and turned her into ashes. From these ashes a huge tree with dark green leaves grew, which bore golden fruits taking to the radiance of the princess. As one of the fruits ripened and fell on Earth, it instantly turned back into the same Princess Surya Bai. The King recognised her, and they got married.”

This is how the legend of the origin of a mango tree, symbolizing  eternal love, is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature.

The tree is known to date back to 4000BC in India and the fruit it bore, has been known as the ‘fruit of Gods’.

There is another legend which says that :

Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati were gifted with a golden fruit by Narada, the son of Lord Brahma and with an instruction to be eaten by only one person. So they chose to give to one of their two sons, with a condition that whoever will take 3 rounds of the universe first will be rewarded with this fruit. Ganesh being a smart child took three rounds around his parents and reached back earlier than the other brother, Karthik, saying,  “My parents are my universe”.

Hence Ganesha got the fruit, owing to his unequivocal love for his parents.

Not just the fruit, the whole mango tree is revered in Hindu mythology.

Considered auspicious, its dark, big leaves are  used to adorn the house in festivals like Diwali and Pongal.

In the weddings too, as a symbol of love and fertility, the leaves are held in a row by a string and hung at the door to welcome the new bride into the house.


A
uspicious mango leaves adorning the door.

As an evergreen mango tree starts to blossom with buds, it heralds the onset of spring, and hence called madhu duta( the messenger of spring) that invites love.

A sanksrit couplet says:
aṅkurite pallavite korakite vikasite ca sahakāre |
aṅkuritaḥ pallavitaḥ korakito vikasitaś ca madano ‘sau ||

As the mango flowers begin to swell, to put forth sprouts, to bud and finally to blossom,
Love too swelled, sprouted, budded and blossomed.

The dark green leaves, with fragrant buds and blossoms attract the swarms of humming bees and singing cuckoo birds. The relationship of Mango tree laden with blossoms and Cuckoo bird is that of a lover and the beloved.

The secret of Cuckoo’s melodious voice is associated with the sweet fragrance of mango blossoms and honey laden mango fruits. Perhaps owing to this, mango buds were known to be eaten by singers in old days to make their voice melodious.


Cuckoo on a  mango tree.

Kalidas in his poetry Seasons( Ritusamharam) describes the Spring (Vasanta) as:

” Intoxicated by the nectar of mango blossoms ,
The cuckoo kisses his mate happily in love,….”
“The lovely mango shoot is his choicest arrow,
the swarm of bees is his bow string,
……….
May the world-conquering Manmatha,
Accompanied by vasanta,
Grant you more and more joy.”

Amir Khusrau relates them as:

sakal ban phool rahi sarson
ambva phootey, tesu phule,
koel boley dar dar,
gori karat shingar

The mustard blooms in every field,
Mango buds snap open, the flower blooms,
The cuckoo sings from every branch,
The damsel adorns make-up.

Apart from Gods, even the Rajas, Maharajas, Mughal Emperors and Nawabs could not contain their love for Mangoes, and it is no secret. They were known to keep mango orchards, and took pride in showing off their orchards to the royal guests and spending time with their queens in the orchards when they trees were laden with fragrant blossoms.

Sending a baskets of select mangoes to friends and kins was considered a coveted gesture. Along with the sweetness and aroma, it carried the affection from its sender.

There are folk songs, passed on from generations, relating to Cuckoo bird as the beloved of mango tree:

A Hindi song from India:

Amuva ki dali bole: “Kaali koyaliya, aajaa balmuva hamaar, aja balamuva hamaar.
~The mango branch calls out: “Oh the black cuckoo, come my beloved, come my beloved.” 

Yet another one a Punjabi folk song from Pakistan:

Ambewaan de booteyan pe lag gaya bore nee, rut we milaapan waalin, chann mera door nee.
~There are blossoms on  mango tree, and the season of being together is there, but my friend is away. 

 

A  dussehri mango shaped like a heart, a gift of nature, grown on the mango tree in  Reena Satin`s garden.

 

P.S. A few more blogs to follow on mango and a some  interesting recipes using mango 🙂

Maaya


Ah! the cushioned embrace,
Of the satine fur.

Err! the writhing thrill,
Of the trembling purr.

Ouch! the naughty grab,
With dinky jaws.

Eww! that nasty scratch,
From dainty claws.

A feel so feline,
Oh! So divine.

Delhi Diary: Gossip on Wheels –2


Continued from the previous post….

Delhi roads, or for that matter roads on any metropolitan city in the world is so very stressfull. If only these vehicles did not share their light hearted smalltalks or gossiped or flirted on the way, they would be having high rates of ‘heart attacks’ like us humans.
Only if we too knew how to wade our ways through chaotic and bumpy roads of life with humour, life would seem much less of a burden.

Again open your ears, shush your mouths and hear them gossip and flirt and romance…..
Madame Maruti: Haaaye teri baat ne dil khush kar diya.

Truck ji: Chal Rani tera Rabb Raakhaa
Mme Maruti: Rani, haan who tou main hun. Thankyou for the dua, yaar.

Auto bhai: “Papa Jaldi Ghar aa Jaana.”
Maruti behn: Bhai, ghar mein bachey wait kar rahe hain, zara safely
chalao.

Another auto bhai: “Mera Bharat Pareshan[My India is Troubled].”
Maruti : Tere jaise careless auto se pareshaan nahi hoga tou kya hoga…India.

Maruti, the advisor: Yar tou kaali ko bhool ja, kamai kar buss…

Romeo Truck: “Kaho na pyaar hai”
Laila Maruti: Kyun, ek baar bol diya na, bar baar kyun boloon, huhh.

Maruti( sharma ke): Awaein, mere kol koi hor kum ni haega..

Truck Dada: “Road King”
Maruti: Tabhi tou itna chaura ho ke chalta hai, sarak pe.

Lalchi Maruti: Hain, to kya ye sara maal vi mera. Haaye meri kismat.

Truck in denial: “Gori fir se hui jawan”
Maruti: Kya bola? Zara apne aap ko sheshey mein tou dekh.

Creepy Truck: Tou hi meri dulhan, tou hi mera dahej
Maruti: Yar mat tang ker, us bichari nai Maruti ko.

Truck ji: Bus peecha karoge, ya kabhi dil mein bhi baithogey
Maruti: Arre, peecha kaun kar raha hai, awein hero mat ban.

Truch ji: Dekho, dekho,dekho,magar pyaar se
Maruti: Yahan marne ki fursat nahin hai, tum pya se dekhne ki baat karte ho.

Maruti: Haan, haan woh to nazar aa raha hai.

JattTruck: Jatt Di Mercedez
Maruti, the sophisticated: To tum bhi koi Jutt se kam nahin ho bhai.

Truck the philospher: Hun Tu Kaun te Main Kaun
Maruti the sufi: O truckeya, tu ki jana main kaun…

Maruti: Hahaha kya baat hai…:D

Haseen Lorry: “Kashmir Ki Kali”
Maruti( jealous): Chal chal zyada ghuroor mat ker apne ooper.

Badtameez Tanker: Zarra Hatt ke Laadli
Maruti( ghussey se): Oye tameez se baat ker…

Filmi Truck: “दुल्हन वही जो पिया मन भाये,
गाड़ी वही जो नोट कमाए”
Dulhan wohi jo piya man bhaye
Gaari wohi jo note kamaye.

Maruti, the feminist: Yaar, aajkal to dulhan bhi note kamaye…

Pendu Truck: Himmat hai to pass ker, warna burdass kar.
Shehri Maruti: Lagta hai gaon se naye naye aaye ho, Dilli shehr mein. 🙂

When we part, we get emotional 😥 :
Maruti: Chal TATA. Kabhi Salam bho ker liya ker…

Jazbati Truck: Milega Mukaddar , Pher milangey
Maruti, (equally emo): Haan kismet hui tou zaroor milenge isi road pe, ek na ek din.

Devdaas Truck: Chalo ek Baar Phir se Ajnabi ban JaayeN
Paro Maruti: *sob sob, sniff sniff* Haan chalo, Khuda Hafiz.

And this is how they meet each day, with gossipping, joking, flirting on the roads and making their way through packed roads. Their spirit and zest to survive is touching.

Maruti remarked: Yess we give space on the roads to these beings too, . Do you Humans do the same with animals?

Maruti taunted: Dont you think there are Supermen amongst you only. We have them too.

Maruti( with proud): We have Superwomen too.

Maruti: See we are considerate for our poor too. And we give them way.

Maruti: We believe in UNITY IN DIVERSITY.

Maruti, the thinker: And we believe in PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE .

Indeed, one thing remarkable about the traffic community is their ‘unity in diversity’. How they coexist with some noisy peace and give way to each other with no vengeance, is worth commending.

We humans need to learn some real ‘good’ lessons from these vehicles.

Delhi Diary: Gossip on Wheels–Part 1


Commuting through the streets of Delhi with almost an hour and a half’s drive each side was no less than a Herculean task. The journey back home, in the evening, would result in a bursting headache.

The megacity with hundreds of newly built flyovers and underpasses, still gets choked in its veins at the peak office hours. The traffic is dense, diverse and chaotic. Perhaps when going through licence training they are made to practice to honk horns as much as possible, sworn not to use the dipper and taken pledge not to follow lanes. In fact the dividing lines whether broken white or solid yellow are to be kept exactly in the middle of one’s vehicle—be it a cycle, a cycle rickshaw, auto rickshaw , a car, truck or a tanker.

I felt the dire necessity to have the cake ( wading the traffic all the way each day) and relish it too( enjoy their antics without getting headache).

So I began to hallucinate…

….and began to see and hear all the secret conversations and the relationships the my car had with the traffic around it. I was enlightened now as to why they dive and dodge across the lines ( just like a five year old kid) when another vehicle tries to overtake or chase them. And no wonder why they honk horns so much—in disgust ( just like us humans) when they see injustice .

Oh ! they are all so much like us humans- chaotic and noisy. And like us they gossip, flirt and swear too at each other, on the way.

Only the wise could see that, and I happen to be one of those few. 
I began keeping my eyes and ears open to what was going on between my car and the other fellow vehicles…..

And from then on travelling was fun—after all I am as human as them. and I too love to eavesdrop on what Madame Maruti ( my car) would babble and flirt with fellow trucks and autos along the way.

So from here on just shhhand listen to what Madame Maruti gossips…

Mme Maruti: “Yeah , I know we’ve got to honk the horn for ‘Road Symphony’, but what’s this OK doing in the middle.”

Truck Ji :“Use horn ok please dipper”
Mme Maruti: Hold on, What did you say? Pagla gae ho ?

Mme Maruti: “Kyon? Kya landan se aae ho? Yahan koi dipper wipper nahi janta”.
( Have you come from London, no one knows dipper here).

Mme Maruti: “Yeah only if you had listened to your Mum and been to school, you would know how to say Hallo.”

Mr Truck: “Wait for side.”
Mme Maruti: I’m waiting. But kab takk? ( How long)

We have some of wicked amongst us, just like humans, who can’t wish well for others….
Idealist Maruti: Since when did you become racist, man. Ain’t humans enough?

Burger Truck: “Bad nazar wale tera thobda black.”
Desi Maruti: Lagta hai dost, angrezi filmein zyada dekhne lage ho ?

Dukhi Truck: “चलती है गाड़ी, उड़ती है धूल, जलतें हैं दुश्मन, बिखरतें हैं फूल.”
Chalti hai gari urti hai dhool, jalte hain dushman bikharte hain phool
Maruti, the reformer: Yaar, kabhi kisi ka bhala bhi soch liya karou.( Think of good also sometimes).

Foul mouthed Truck:“बुरी नज़र वाले, तेरे बच्चे जियें, बड़े होकर, देसी शराब पियें”
( Buri nazar wale tere bachey jiyein, Bade ho kar desi sharab piyein).
Maruti, the preacher: O’ bhai, uski to nazar buri hai, per tumhari to soch insaanon ki tarah gandi hai. Uske bachon ney tumhara kya bigada hai?

Mean Truck: बुरी नज़र वाले तू जिए, और तेरा बेटा बड़ा होकर तेरा खून पिए! ( Buri nazar wale tere bachey jiyen, bade ho kar tera khoon piyen).
Maruti, the Gandhian: Arre bhai, kya tum bhi insaan ban gaye jo khoon peene ki baat kar rahe ho ?

Some of us are really kind and thoughtful too:
Maruti: Wah, yeh ki na tum ne sau aane wali baat. 🙂

Saint Truck: Na koi buri nazar
Na kisi ka muh kala,
Sab ka bhala chahta hai
barah tiresath (12-63)wala!

Maruti:Kaash, hamre baqi bhai log bhi aisa hi sochein? Aur insaan bhi 😦

Maruti: Sach keh rahe ho, magar ye insaan ki samajh mein aye to baat hai.

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Maruti: Wah bilkul theek kaha tum ne.

Our social responsibility, we understand so well. I wish all mankind could think like us too:
Maruti, the samajhdar: Agar insaan ki ye samajh mein aa jae to is duniya ki mushkil hi khatm ho jae.

Maruti, the patriot: Is mehengai ke daur mein, bilkul theek.

Mr Truck: “Ek ya do buss.”
Mme Maruti: “Kya shaadi ya bacheyy?”

Mr Truck:बीवी रहे टिपटॉप
दो के बाद फुल स्टॉप
(Biwi rahe teep taap
Do ke baad fullstap)

Mme Maruti: “Khayal umdah hai, feminist lagtey ho !”

Truck, the Anna Hazare: Sau mein nabbey beimaan, phir bhi mera desh mahaan.
Maruti, the Sonia: Han haan, buss tum hi to ek imaandar ho poore desh mein.

Mr Truck, the poet: शेर दो हों मगर सलीके के,
घर को ऐसी ग़ज़ल बनाना है
(Sher do hon magar saleeqe ke
Ghar ko aisi ghazal bana hai).

Mme Maruti: “Uff, ye ‘sher’ aur ‘ghazal’ se tou Ghalib ki
yaad taza ho gai.”

Truck, the poet: “Malik ki gadi, driver ka pasina, chalti hai road par, banke hassina”
Maruti: Haaye, kya Shayar ban gaya…

Truck Sahab, the wannabe poet: “Fool se kante ache hai jo daman tham lete hain, dost se dushman ache hain jo jal kar bhi naam lete hain”
Maruti, the judgemental: Haaye teri Urdu se tou Hazrat Ghalib pareshan ho jayeinge.

Maruti: “What should I say, you said it all?”

PS: Some less serious gossip in the next blog.

Mom


When it was time to leave the baby asked,  “Tell me God, why are you sending me to Eartt?  How am I going to live there, so small and helpless?”

God : “I have assigned you an angel on Earth that is eagerly waiting for you to hold you and care for you.”

Baby, anxious: “It’s so Heavenly here, there are no worries. I just smile, sing and play.”

God, “Yes it isn’t Heaven down there, but the angel’s lap will be a small heaven I’ve ensured for you. The angel will always wear a smile looking at you, will sing you lullabys and will even play with you.”

Baby:  “How will I be able to live in that mad world?

God: “Your angel will blow into you the most beautiful feeling called love that will give you strength, and with much patience and care, will teach you how to live.”

Baby: “Will that angel protect me from the shrewd world?”

God said, “Your angel will never leave you in risk, will defend you even if it means risking it’s own life, even if you tell the angel, you need it no more.”

Baby: “But God, I will miss you?”

God : “Just look into the angel’s  eyes and you will find me there. Just beneath its feet, you will feel the same pleasure as that in Heaven.”

Baby: “No God, if I miss you a lot, promise you will call me back.”

God:  “Don’t ever say that. The angel  will bring you closer to me, in its care, you will thank me for having sent you there.”

God ( again): “Dear baby, delay no more, the angel is in great pain, waiting to have you”.

Baby (rushes, then turns back): “God, but please tell me, how will I know who’s my Angel?”

God: “You simply call her Mom.”

There’s nothing like the first hug,  a Mama hug.

There no word called ‘insomnia’ in the world within a Mom’s arms.


There’s nothing more warmer than a Mom’s touch, and nothing more touching than Mom’s love.

The first sense that a baby learns to identify his Mom is her smell.

The first language in which  a baby talks to his Mom is through smile.

Even the toughest of Mom’s have gentlest of hearts.

Whether from her breast or  her throat, she will do whatever it takes to feed her kids.

Kids are born with wings, Mom teaches them to fly.


A Mom teaches her babies how to swim against the rough tides.


Some more about Moms:

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.
~Stevie Wonder

The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.
~Henry Ward Beecher

A good mother is worth hundreds of schoolmasters.
~George Herbert

The post is dedicated to  Moms, one and all,  of  the world who begin as the first teachers, and then never cease to be one, all their life.