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To Speak or not

20 Jul

Commenting on our class participation levels, my Services Marketing prof mailed this excerpt to us. 🙂

There are a sort of men whose visages
do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
do a wilful stillness entertain

purpose to be dressed in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,

As who should say, “I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark”

O my Antonio, I do know of these

That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing;

I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,

Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools….

for Silence is commendable a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible…


William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice.

Shakespearean English is not really my cup of tea, so it took me a while to figure out (and hence this out of sync punctuation). But well, this essentially means that there are people who claim to be wise and hence hold silence, but most of them are not wise- and if they speak it will be very evident. So silence is rarely a sign of virtue.

As one T-shirt quote says-

It’s better to let people think that you are smart than open your mouth and remove all doubts. 🙂

So- if you are wise you will not speak, and if you are not wise; well you should not speak. (i.e. speak only if you don’t want to speak :D).

But as an Hindi proverb says- बोलना चांदी है तो चुप रहना सोना! पर बिना बोले बात कैसे बनेगी?? (if  talking is silver then silence is golden.)  Especially in a scenario where you need to sell your skills more often then not!

As Mastero Jagjit Singh sings,

मुंह की बात सुने हर कोई, दिल के दर्द को जाने कौन
आवाजों के बाज़ारों में, ख़ामोशी पहचाने कौन?

(Everybody listens to my voice but who cares to hear my heart? This is a market of voices, who can value silences!)

So, back to the question- to speak or not.

Well silence is really golden, especially when it is inside you -(that’s what meditation does). But speak, when you need to sell yourself.

Culture here would be another issue- in India we are told when not to speak, but we are not told when to speak. Result- I speak little and I say even littler (the two are different). Given an opportunity, I would like to forego the opportunity to impress the world- only a few people matter to me and I really do not need to say a lot to impress them.

So keep deciding– To Speak or Not…


Ghalib and Daag : A convolution

25 Mar

Two great poets- Ghalib and Daag, two different eras, two different moods- alternating shers to create something unique- A total Beauty! By Tina Sani

ये न थी हमारी किस्मत, कि विसाल-ए-यार होता,
अगर और जीते रहते, यही इंतज़ार होता    –Ghalib
अज़ब अपना हाल होता, जो विसाल-ए-यार होता,
कभी जान सदके होती, कभी दिल निसार होता.. —Daag
कोई मेरे दिल से पूछे, तेरे तीर-ए-नीमकश को,
ये खलिश कहाँ से होती, जो जिगर के पार होता.. –Ghalib
ये मज़ा था दिल्लगी का, कि बराबर आग लगती,
न तुझे करार होता, न मुझे करार होता.. —Daag
हुए मर के हम जो रुसवा, हुए क्यूँ न गर्क-ए-दरिया,
न कभी ज़नाज़ा उठता, न कहीं मज़ार होता…

कोई फ़ितना था क़यामत, ना फिर आशकार होता
तेरे दिल पे काश ज़ालिम, मुझे इख़्तियार होता..
ये कहाँ की दोस्ती है, कि बने हैं दोस्त नासेह,
कोई चारासाज़ होता, कोई ग़म-गुसार होता,

न मज़ा है दुश्मनी में, न है लुत्फ़ दोस्ती में,
कोई गैर-गैर होता, कोई यार-यार होता..
तेरे वादे पर जिए हम, तो ये जान झूठ जाना,
कि ख़ुशी से मर न जाते, अगर ऐतबार होता
तेरे वादे पर सितमगर, अभी और सब्र करते,
अगर अपनी ज़िन्दगी का, हमें ऐतबार होता…
कहूँ किससे मैं की क्या है, शब्-ए-ग़म बुरी बला है,
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना, अगर एक बार होता..

अगर और जीते रहते, यही इंतज़ार होता
अज़ब अपना हाल होता, जो विसाल-ए-यार होता,
कभी जान सदके होती, कभी दिल निसार होता..

Zee-hale miskin

7 Mar

“Zehal-e miskin makun taghaful” is quite an old poem by Amir Khusro. He was one of the first poets of Hindi. The beauty about this poem is that it has alternating lines in pure Persian and pure Hindi (Brij). Really a masterpiece.

Here is the song in intoxicating voice of Ghualm Ali. A perfect package.

जीहाल-ए- मिस्कीं मकुन तगाफुल, दराए नैना बनाये बतियाँ;
कि ताब-ए हिज्राँ नदाराम-ए जान, न लेहो काहे लगाये छतियां.

शबान-ए हिज्राँ दराज़ चूँ ज़ुल्फ़ व रोज़-ए वस्लत चो उम्र कोता;
सखी पिया को जो मैं न देखूं तो कैसे काटूँ अँधेरी रतियाँ.

यकायक अज दिल दो चश्म-ए जादू बसद फरेबम बबुर्द तस्कीं;
किसे पड़ी है जो जा सुनावे पियारे पि को हमारी बतियाँ.

चू शम्मा सोजाँ चू ज़र्रा हैराँ, हमेशा गिरयां बे इश्क आन में;
न नींद नैना न अंग चैना न आप आवें न भेजें पतियाँ.

बहक्क-ए रोज़-ए विसाल-ए दिलबर कि दाद मारा ग़रीब खुसरो;
सपेट मन के वराए राखूं जो जाए पाऊँ पिया के खतियाँ


Zehaal-e-miskeen makun taghaful,
Duraye naina banaye batiyan.

Do not overlook my misery,
by blandishing your eyes and weaving tales,

Ke taab-e-hijran nadaram ay jaan,
Na leho kahe lagaye chatiyan.

My patience has over-brimmed, O sweetheart!
why do you not take me to your bosom.

Shaban-e-hijran daraz chun zulf,
Wa roz-e-waslat cho umer kotah.

Long like curls in the night of separation
short like life on the day of our union.

Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun,
To kaise kaTun andheri ratiyan.

My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.

Yakayak az dil do chashm-e-jadu,
Basad farebam baburd taskin.

Suddenly, using a thousand tricks
the enchanting eyes robbed me of my tranquil mind.

Kisay pari hai jo ja sunave,
Piyare pi ko hamari batiyan,

Who would care to go and report
this matter to my darling.

Cho shama sozan cho zaraa hairan,
Hamesha giryan be ishq an meh.

Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love.

Na nind naina na ang chaina,
Na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan,

Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.

Ke daad mara gharib Khusro.

In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusro!

Sapet man ke varaye rakhun,
Jo jaye pauN piya ke khatiyan.

I shall keep my heart suppressed
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.



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