Oh me!

We are so small between the stars & so large against the sky. and lost in subway croud, I try to catch your eye …..

Protected: Notes to self

December16

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Protected: What I realized 11/18/14

December4

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अब तुम रूठो / गोपालदास नीरज

November21

अब तुम रूठो, रूठे सब संसार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।
दीप, स्वयं बन गया शलभ अब जलते-जलते,
मंजिल ही बन गया मुसाफिर चलते-चलते,
गाते गाते गेय हो गया गायक ही खुद,
सत्य स्वप्न ही हुआ स्वयं को छलते छलते,
डूबे जहां कहीं भी तरी वहीं अब तट है,
अब चाहे हर लहर बने मंझधार मुझे परवाह नहीं है।
अब तुम रूठो, रूठे सब संसार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।

अब पंछी को नहीं बसेरे की है आशा,
और बागबां को न बहारों की अभिलाषा,
अब हर दूरी पास, दूर है हर समीपता,
एक मुझे लगती अब सुख दुःख की परिभाषा,
अब न ओंठ पर हंसी, न आंखों में हैं आंसू,
अब तुम फेंको मुझ पर रोज अंगार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।
अब तुम रूठो, रूठे सब संसार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।

अब मेरी आवाज़ मुझे टेरा करती है,
अब मेरी दुनियां मेरे पीछे फिरती है,
देखा करती है, मेरी तस्वीर मुझे अब,
मेरी ही चिर प्यास अमृत मुझ पर झरती है,
अब मैं खुद को पूज, पूज तुमको लेता हूं,
बन्द रखो अब तुम मंदिर के द्वार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।
अब तुम रूठो, रूठे सब संसार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।

अब हर एक नज़र पहचानी सी लगती है,
अब हर एक डगर कुछ जानी सी लगती है,
बात किया करता है, अब सूनापन मुझसे,
टूट रही हर सांस कहानी सी लगती है,
अब मेरी परछाई तक मुझसे न अलग है,
अब तुम चाहे करो घृणा या प्यार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।
अब तुम रूठो, रूठे सब संसार, मुझे परवाह नहीं है।

प्यार के तरीके

November13

♂ “ मैंने तो तुम्हे इतना प्यार किया,,, और आज भी करता हूँ, मुझे अभी भी समझ नहीं आता की तुम्हे इतना प्यार करने के बावजूद हम यहाँ कैसे पहुँच गये.  :’( ”
♀ “ हमारे प्यार करने के तरीके अलग हैं ”

Boston, 11/12/2014

=====

सुनता हूँ की प्यार करने का एक तरीका होता है

ऐसे  नहीं, की दूसरा pressure में आ जाए

प्यार को तर्कसंगत होना चाहिए,

सधा होना चाहिए।

 

ये नहीं की ले लो उसे आगोश में कभी भी

पार्क में बैठे हुए थोड़ी तमीज़ से पेश आना चाहिए

ये नहीं की खाना बनाते हुए परेशान करते रहो   ,

इश्क करने का सही समय होना चाहिए

 

वो तुम्हे हर वक़्त ILU नहीं कह सकती

और न चाहती है की तुम हमेशा कहो ऐसा उसे

हर वक़्त excited  रहने की कोई जरूरत नहीं है,

आखिर हम कोई 15 साल के बच्चे नहीं हैं

 

हम 30  साल के हैं  - परिपक्व और शांत

जैसे मेरे घर के सामने बहती चार्ल्स नदी

जैसे बालकनी में रखी दो कुर्सियां

जैसे सर्दी के मौसम में हिमाद्रित पेड़

जैसे कमरे में चुपचाप पड़ी दराज़

 

ये चाय पीने जैसा है

गर्म पानी में भीगने दो Teabag को,

और उसमे फिर डालो आधा चम्मच चीनी

और थोडा सा half-and-half

कोई अजमेर  रेलवे स्टेशन  नहीं

की एक ही पतीले की गन्दी चाय

दिन भर गर्म करते रहो

 

बेवक़ूफ़ दिल

लाख समझा लो उसे सुसंस्कृत Starbucks  के फायेदे

उसे अजमेर रेलवे स्टेशन की चाय ही पसंद आती है।

 

Boston , 6 सितम्बर 2013

 

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आज उसे फिर याद किया /

November6

आज ज़रा फ़ुर्सत पाई थी आज उसे फिर याद किया
बंद गली के आख़िरी घर को खोल के फिर आबाद किया

खोल के खिड़की चाँद हँसा फिर चाँद ने दोनों हाथों से
रंग उड़ाए फूल खिलाए चिड़ियों को आज़ाद किया

बड़े बड़े ग़म खड़े हुए थे रस्ता रोके राहों में
छोटी छोटी ख़ुशियों से ही हम ने दिल को शाद किया

बात बहुत मामूली सी थी उलझ गई तकरारों में
एक ज़रा सी ज़िद ने आख़िर दोनों को बर्बाद किया

दानाओं की बात न मानी काम आई नादानी ही
सुना हवा को पढ़ा नदी को मौसम को उस्ताद किया

( निदा फ़ाज़ली, 1970s ?)

Taken from Kavitakosh.

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Happy Halloween

November3

My friend, Amit Shah, created this painting. This shows me in my halloween dress! Amit’s creations can be found at http://sketchysultaan.blogspot.com/

Eikon – I will follow you

October25

There’s a hunger in my heart,
a hunger in my soul for you Lord
and it grows and it grows
and it feeds me like its never fed me before
There’s a hunger in my heart,
there’s a fever in my bones for you Lord
and it grows and it grows
and it feeds me it feeds me like never before

I, will follow you

(Eikon – I will follow you)

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सूर्यास्त

October25

समुन्दर किनारे
शुरू करता हूँ
मैं सूर्यास्त देखना

लहर आती जाती हैं
विचार आते जाते हैं
लोग आते जाते हैं
लेकिन मैं ठहर जाता हूँ

आश्चर्यचकित, मैं पाता हूँ,
पैरों को रेत में आधा गढ़ा
अतीत और भविष्य के बीच
आधा ज़िंदा, आधा मरा

( Boston, 10/24/2014 )

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Off to Mars!

October18

 

boarding pass

तुझसे नाराज़ नहीं ज़िन्दगी…

September21

तुझसे नाराज़ नहीं ज़िन्दगी, हैरान हूँ मैं
ओ हैरान हूँ मैं
तेरे मासूम सवालों से परेशान हूँ मैं
ओ परेशान हूँ मैं

जीने के लिये सोचा ही न था, दर्द सम्भालने होंगे
मुस्कुराऊँ तो, मुस्कुराने के कर्ज़ उठाने होंगे
मुस्कुराऊँ कभी तो लगता है
जैसे होंठों पे कर्ज़ रखा है
तुझसे …

आज अगर भर आई हैं, बूँदें बरस जायेंगी
कल क्या पता इनके लिये आँखें तरस जायेंगी
जाने कहाँ गुम कहाँ खोया
एक आँसू छुपाके रखा था
तुझसे …

ज़िन्दगी तेरे ग़म ने हमें रिश्ते नये समझाये
मिले जो हमें धूप में मिले छाँव के ठंडे साये
ओ तुझसे …

 

( Gulzaar, C. 1980s , from the movie, “Masoom”) . This has been taken from here.

Suppose

September19

And suppose I never ever met you
Suppose we never fell in love
Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
Suppose I never ever saw you
Suppose we never ever called
Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall
Just to break my fall
Break my fall
Break my fall

 

( Regina Spektor, “Fidelity”  2006)

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घर छोड़ना

August22

“निकलना खुल्द से आदम का सुना था हमने,
पर बड़े बे-आबरू हो तेरे कूचे से हम निकले (ग़ालिब )”

–  –   —   —  –  —   –

 

ज़्यादा समय नहीं लगता
अपना बोरिआ बिस्तर बाँधने में

कुल जमा एक अलमारी का सामान है
और दो सूटकेस काफी हैं
अपनी किताबों, कपड़ों, डाक टिकट
डायरी और जूते रखने के लिए

आधे घंटे सामान रखो
और ज़िन्दगी भर सोचते रहो
क्या छोड़ आया, क्या ले आया

ढाई बजे की धुप मखमली है
चार्ल्स नदी सतत बहती है.

 

( Boston, 8/22/2014 )

उम्र – सुलोचना वर्मा

August19

मेरे तुम्हारे बीच
आकर ठहर गया है
एक लम्बा मौन
छुपी हैं जिसमे
उम्र भर की शिकायतें

हर एक शिकायत की
है अपनी अपनी उम्र

उम्र लम्बी है शिकायतों की
और उम्र से लम्बा है मौन

( 2014 )

Taken from Kavitakosh Also available at Poetess’ blog here.

English अष्टपदी

June6

Wild winter, warm coffee
Mom’s gone, do you love me?
Blazing summer, cold coffee
Baby’s gone, do you love me?

 

- Sylvan Esso, Coffee

Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr5AIKRPIHo&feature=kp

Spotify :   Sylvan Esso – Coffee

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आभार – शिवमंगल सिंह ‘सुमन’

May20

this poem has been taken from here.

जिस-जिस से पथ पर स्नेह मिला, उस-उस राही को धन्यवाद।

जीवन अस्थिर अनजाने ही, हो जाता पथ पर मेल कहीं,
सीमित पग डग, लम्बी मंज़िल, तय कर लेना कुछ खेल नहीं।
दाएँ-बाएँ सुख-दुख चलते, सम्मुख चलता पथ का प्रसाद –
जिस-जिस से पथ पर स्नेह मिला, उस-उस राही को धन्यवाद।

साँसों पर अवलम्बित काया, जब चलते-चलते चूर हुई,
दो स्नेह-शब्द मिल गये, मिली नव स्फूर्ति, थकावट दूर हुई।
पथ के पहचाने छूट गये, पर साथ-साथ चल रही याद –
जिस-जिस से पथ पर स्नेह मिला, उस-उस राही को धन्यवाद।

जो साथ न मेरा दे पाये, उनसे कब सूनी हुई डगर?
मैं भी न चलूँ यदि तो क्या, राही मर लेकिन राह अमर।
इस पथ पर वे ही चलते हैं, जो चलने का पा गये स्वाद –
जिस-जिस से पथ पर स्नेह मिला, उस-उस राही को धन्यवाद।

कैसे चल पाता यदि न मिला होता मुझको आकुल अंतर?
कैसे चल पाता यदि मिलते, चिर-तृप्ति अमरता-पूर्ण प्रहर!
आभारी हूँ मैं उन सबका, दे गये व्यथा का जो प्रसाद –
जिस-जिस से पथ पर स्नेह मिला, उस-उस राही को धन्यवाद।

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Of Ambition

May19

Most emotions are not unique to human beings. Even a plant like touch-me-not gets afraid. A dog is affectionate and loyal. Dolphins have excellent memory. Elephants are intelligent. Tigers are aggressive.  Almost all carnivores have courage.

The animal kingdom can claim all emotions except one … Ambition.No other animal, to the best of my knowledge, strives for fame and excellence. None wants to be remembered after death.

Without ambition, there is no difference between a human and an animal.

Lord, make me human.. Lord, make me ambitious!!

To a poet a thousand years hence

April12

I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.

I care not if you bridge the seas,
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.

But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?

How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Moeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.

Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.

 

By James Elroy Flecker  in 1911. The poem has been taken from Project Gutenberg.

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O fortuna

February3

Oh uncertain future,

you are like the street dog

Your bark is worse than your bite

The more I get affected, the more you scare me

But when I stop running and look in your eyes

you just stare back.

How can you stop something that was never started

how can you take away something from a pauper

who had nothing, who shall have nothing.

devoid of attachments,

I fear no one

 

Boston, 02/03/2014

 

I am That – Swami Raamteertha

December13

I have no scruple of change, nor fear of death,
Nor was I ever born,
Nor had I parents.
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute,
I am That, I am That,

I cause no misery, nor am I miserable;
I have no enemy, nor am I enemy.
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute,
I am That, I am That,

I am without form, without limit,
Beyond space, beyond time,
I am in everything, everything is in me.
I am the bliss of the universe,
Everywhere am I.
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute,
I am That, I am That,

I am without body or change of the body,
I am neither senses, nor object of the senses,
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute,
I am That, I am That,

I am neither sin, nor virtue,
Nor temple, nor worship
Nor pilgrimage, nor books.
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute,
I am That, I am That,

 

( Taken from here.  Author’s biography is here. )

आलिंगन

December4

तुमसे नाराज़ हो , मैं सोचता हूँ
कितनी खरी खोटी सुनानी है तुम्हे
कितना लड़ना है
कितना ह्रदय दुखाना है तुम्हारा ….

लेकिन शाम मैं घर आता हूँ
और तुम आलिंगनबद्ध करती हो मुझे ….
मैं भूल जाता हूँ
अपने आप से किये वादे
आह ! मैं दुःखी न रह पाता हूँ
अपने को तुम्हारे प्रेम में बावरा पाता हूँ।

 

( Boston, 3  Dec 2013 )

 

Protected: मिलना और खोना

November26

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Like mist

November22

Your thoughts pass through my soul

like the mist near Atlantic Wharf

they appear from nowhere

fill me with countless drops

of unbridled swirling emotions

and dissapear in nothingness.

The sun wonders

not a drop has rained

yet I am drenched.

 

( Boston, 11/22/13 )

 

 

 

 

मैं क्या करूँ ?

November21

अगर २२ मंज़िली ईमारत
कि सोलह माले पर भी
सर्दी कि धूप
मुझे ढूंढ कर गुदगुदा दे
तो मैं क्या करूँ ?

अगर रेल के अंदर बंद बंद भी
कुछ लाल पीले पतझड़ के निशाँ
मेरे muffler से आलिंगनबद्ध
मुझे जाने न दें ,
तो मैं क्या करूँ ?

अगर आज सुबह
तुम्हारी चाय कि गर्मी
इस सूखे दिन को
भर दें जिजीविषा से
तो मैं क्या करूँ ?

( Boston, 11/21/13 )

Atlas wants to heal.

November19

Throw away the weights

Of incessant guilt

Atlas is tired of suffering

Atlas wants to stand straight

Atlas wants to heal.

 

Boston, 11/19/13

Protected: जो मैंने समझा – १० नवम्बर २०१३

November11

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परिचय ( रामधारी सिंह दिनकर ) १९०८ – १९७४

October16

सलिल कण हूँ, या पारावार हूँ मैं
स्वयं छाया, स्वयं आधार हूँ मैं
बँधा हूँ, स्वपन हूँ, लघु वृत हूँ मैं
नहीं तो व्योम का विस्तार हूँ मैं

समाना चाहता है, जो बीन उर में
विकल उस शुन्य की झनंकार हूँ मैं
भटकता खोजता हूँ, ज्योति तम में
सुना है ज्योति का आगार हूँ मैं

जिसे निशि खोजती तारे जलाकर
उसीका कर रहा अभिसार हूँ मैं
जनम कर मर चुका सौ बार लेकिन
अगम का पा सका क्या पार हूँ मैं

कली की पंखुडीं पर ओस-कण में
रंगीले स्वपन का संसार हूँ मैं
मुझे क्या आज ही या कल झरुँ मैं
सुमन हूँ, एक लघु उपहार हूँ मैं

मधुर जीवन हुआ कुछ प्राण! जब से
लगा ढोने व्यथा का भार हूँ मैं
रुंदन अनमोल धन कवि का, इसी से
पिरोता आँसुओं का हार हूँ मैं

मुझे क्या गर्व हो अपनी विभा का
चिता का धूलिकण हूँ, क्षार हूँ मैं
पता मेरा तुझे मिट्टी कहेगी
समा जिस्में चुका सौ बार हूँ मैं

न देंखे विश्व, पर मुझको घृणा से
मनुज हूँ, सृष्टि का श्रृंगार हूँ मैं
पुजारिन, धुलि से मुझको उठा ले
तुम्हारे देवता का हार हूँ मैं

सुनुँ क्या सिंधु, मैं गर्जन तुम्हारा
स्वयं युग-धर्म की हुँकार हूँ मैं
कठिन निर्घोष हूँ भीषण अशनि का
प्रलय-गांडीव की टंकार हूँ मैं

दबी सी आग हूँ भीषण क्षुधा का
दलित का मौन हाहाकार हूँ मैं
सजग संसार, तू निज को सम्हाले
प्रलय का क्षुब्ध पारावार हूँ मैं

बंधा तुफान हूँ, चलना मना है
बँधी उद्याम निर्झर-धार हूँ मैं
कहूँ क्या कौन हूँ, क्या आग मेरी
बँधी है लेखनी, लाचार हूँ मैं।।

 

(From  कविताकोश  )

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Protected: मैं भी कुछ हूँ

October14

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तुम कभी थे सूर्य / चंद्रसेन विराट

September13

This post has been taken from Kavitakosh 

 

तुम कभी थे सूर्य लेकिन अब दियों तक आ गये।
थे कभी मुख्पृष्ठ पर अब हाशियों तक आ गये ॥

प्रेम के आख्यान मे तुम आत्मा से थे चले ।
घूम फिर कर देह की गोलाईयों तक आ गये ॥

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तुम पड़ी हो by केदारनाथ अग्रवाल

May29

The original text is taken from Kavitakosh

तुम पड़ी हो शान्त सम्मुख

स्वप्नदेही दीप्त यमुना

बाँसुरी का गीत जैसे पाँखुरी पर

पौ फटे की चेतना जैसे क्षितिज पर

मैं तुम्हें अवलोकता हूँ ।

 

(My translation follows)

You lie peaceful on the bed

your body supine,

like a dream -

like the gleaming ganges in the evening sun

like the sound of a flute made of flowers

like the truth of dawn on horizon

I only look at you…

 

Boston, 5/29/13

of mediocrity

May23

“I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky ; notes from underground

 

Of Indian horoscope based marriages

April29

F*** Y** Indian caste and horoscope system. You put more weight into a man’s time of birth than his character, more importance in his surname than his credentials, more thought on his God than his ethics, more scrutiny into his sun-sign than his ability to excel at work.

F*** Y** all ye ladkewale. You will go to a pundit to tell you if you should marry a person because you are too stupid to even understand what a janamkundli means. You wont even know why are you doing it.. you wouldn’t know which scripture tells you to do it, yet you will do it. Because you are so shit scared that something will go wrong you don’t want to take a risk. Then of course you will demand obscene amount of dowry because after all that’’s a ladkewala’s birthright.

F*** Y** all ye ladkiwale. You will educate your girl only because you want her to be a “blend of traditional and modern values”. You won’t let her find love because dating-is-oh-so-bad. Then you will force her to marry  a guy who is rich, whose “parents are somebody” and who doesn’t drink or smoke. (“What, he drinks a beer? Oh wo to bahut bigda hua hai. Pata nahi duniya ko kya ho gaya hai aajkal”)

F*** Y**, all ye marriage ceremonies with vulgar and gaudy display of money. Where both parties try to project what they are not, spending lakhs on just another night’s entertainment. With the pandit again coming and chanting shlokas that no one has an idea about. And with the pundit demanding copious amounts of money during the ceremony, you will exchange varmalas at 2 AM in night – with no guests present, all relatives asleep and you ready to perpetuate the cycle.

I hate it.

Leave me as I am – Rita Petro

March26

( Taken from  http://www.albanianliterature.net/authors_modern1/petro_poetry.html)

Hindi translation has been taken from here. Translator: Siddheshwar Singh

रहने दो मुझे जैसी हूँ मैं
अगर नींद मुझे पकड़  लेती है पेड़ों के बीच
हो सकता मैंने पहने हों आधे – अधूरे कपड़े
रहने दो मुझे जैसी हूँ मैं।

पे्ड़ों को और मुझे भी
भाता है पहनने और निर्वसन होने का कौतुक
वे सूर्य के समक्ष करते हैं यह काम
और मैं तुम्हारे।

===

Leave me as I am,
If sleep finds me between those trees,
Even though I am only half-dressed,
Leave me as I am!
The trees and I
Love to dress and undress.
They do it in front of the sun,
I do it in front of you.

[Lermë kështu siç jam, from the volume Vargje të përfolura, Tirana 1994, p. 11. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

सफलता

March12

मैंने अभी अभी पॉल सिंगर का annual  letter पढ़ा। सिंगर ने Forbes 400 की सूची का अन्वेक्षण करने पर पाया की 2012 में 64% Billionaires  self-made थे। अर्थात जो कल सबसे अमीर थे वे आज नहीं हैं। बेशक जो आज हैं वो कल नहीं रहेंगे।

हम successful  क्यूँ नहीं हैं? इसके अनेक कारण हो सकते हैं। लेकिन जो कारण मुझे सबसे ज्यादा important  लगता है वो है की हम मेहनत नहीं करते। ये, और दूसरा की हम risk नहीं लेते। हमे जो मिला उसमे हम खुश हैं। हमे लगता है की ये कितनी बड़ी बात है की सर पर छत, खाने को रोटी और पैर में जूता है। हमें रहने को ताज, खाने को मिठाई और पैर में Ferrari नहीं चाहिए। भगवन ने जो दिया, सो अच्छा।
मुझे नहीं लगता की भगवन ने संतुष्ट होने को कहा है। गीता में प्रभु बार बार कहते हैं – कर्म करो। कर्म करो का अर्थ हुआ पूरी पूरी इमानदारी से कर्म करो। इमानदारी से कर्म करने का ये भी अर्थ है की अगर 5 काम मिले तो पांचो को सर्वोत्कृष्ट तरीके से करो। दूसरों का तो पता नहीं, लेकिन मैं ऐसा नहीं कर रहा हूँ। बस उतना करता हूँ की काम चल जाये। अपनी ओर  से कुछ ज्यादा  नहीं कर रहा। सुबह office पहुंचा तो पहले देखा की boss  आया है की नहीं। boss  से पहले पहुँचने में ही आधी सुबह निकल रही है। दुपहर घर पहुँचने की इच्छा में व्यतीत हो रही है। लड़कियों से बात करने में रात बीते जाती है। जीवन बस निपटाया जा रहा है, जिया नहीं जा रहा। कर्म नहीं किया जा रहा है। धर्म नहीं किया जा रहा है।
भगवन ने अकल दी है, ये बात मुझे पता है। सोचने समझने की शक्ति दी है। वो परिस्थितियां भी दी हैं की सफलता मिले। मसलन   ऐसे परिवार में पैदा किया की पढने लिखने पे जोर था, और स्वतंत्रता थी की जो चाहे करो। चाहो तो खेलो, चाहो तो पढो, चाहो तो लिखो। बाद में भी किस्मत ठीक ठाक ही रही की अच्छी जगह पढने को मिला और अच्छी जगह नौकरी मिली।
तो अब क्या हुआ? अब क्यूँ रुक गया हूँ मैं?
आलस्य ने डस लिया है। आराम की बुरी आदत पड़  गयी है। कर्म छोड़ दिया है, माया में खो गया हूँ।
धिक्कार!!

पूर्णविराम

December16

ये उचित ही है,
की संबंधों के समाप्त होने पर,
सोचना बंद कर दिया जाये.
अर्धविराम से कहीं बेहतर है पूर्णविराम.

अधूरी अपेक्षाओं से,
किसी का उद्धार हुआ है कभी?

अर्धविराम = comma (,)
पूर्णविराम = period (.)

Boston / San Francisco , May 31, 2012.

अलविदा

December1

सर्दी की धुप से सजी,

दीवारों, कमरों, दरवाज़ों का क्या होगा?

जाने पहचाने चेहरों का क्या होगा?

मेंरे चले जाने के बाद,

मेरे शहरों का क्या होगा?

Boston, 30 Nov 2012

Two poems by Laltu

October24

Dr. Harjinder Singh, who is perhaps better known by his pen name ‘Laltu’ is a prolific writer and scientist. His biography is available here.

सुबह

सुबह

तुम इतनी साफ कैसे हो

तुम्हारी खिड़कियों पर अदृश्य काँच जड़ा है

तुम हो रेनोआ*  की कृति


चिड़ियों की आवाज़ों में

तुम धीर शांत

कदाचित कहीं दूर कोई गाड़ी की आवाज़

तोड़ती है ओंस भरी नींद ।
इतनी खूबसूरत

तुम्हें कैसे छुऊँ

कहाँ छुऊँ ?

-  Bremmen (Germany), July 2001

* Renoir refers to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter.
.

दरख़्त* को क्यों इतनी झेंप

दरख़्त को क्यों इतनी झेंप

जब भी देखूँ

लाज से काँप जाता

.

पूछा भी कितनी बार

छुआ भी सँभल-सँभल

फिर भी आँखें फिसलतीं

पत्ते सरसराकर इधर उधर

झेंप झेंप बुरा हाल।

दरख़्त  = tree

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for you.

August20

I’m late for the 7:55 train ,

will perhaps miss 8:19 too

Sunlight dancing through glass panes

asks, “Bhaiyyu, where are you?”

.

Its Autumn and the leaves of Maple

are dressed in a hundred shades of yellow

The ice cream truck is again on my street,

downstairs someone plays ‘The entertainer’ mellow

.

The world keeps enticing me

via its giggles, suggestions, chatters

but lying next to you my darling,

hardly anything matters.

.

- Cambridge, Massachusetts.  20 August 2012.

Tao te Ching – Success and Failure

August17

Success is as dangerous as failure.

Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?

Hope and fear are both phantoms

that arise from thinking of the self

when we don’t see the self as self,

what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self

Have faith in the way things are.

Love the world as your self

then you can care for all things

- Lao Tsu, C. 500 BC

( Translated from Old Chinese  by Stephen Mitchell, page 13 of his translation)

याद आया

August12
पिछली बारिश में धीमे भीगना याद आया,
तेरे साथ New York की सड़कों पर चलना याद आया.
.
हवा से बात करती मेरी पुरानी गाडी,
और तेरी जुल्फों का खुलना याद आया.
.
Central Park में बैठे हम और तुम,
पीछे Tulips का खिलना याद आया.
.
कतील शिफाई से Walt Whitman तलक,
तेरी खूबसूरती, तेरा मीठा बोलना याद आया .
.
इन्द्रधनुष में समायें हैं मदहोशी के सात रंग,
आज जो सोचा तेरे बारे, तो एक एक याद आया.
- Boston, 11 August 2012

Not written about anyone, Art for Art’s sake.

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More thoughts on Columbia MSOR

July25

Good things:

  • Brand name of Columbia University
  • Opportunity to take good courses and learn useful skills
  • New York location advantage
  • Flexibility of choosing courses and study plan

Bad things:

  • IEOR Department is at best apathetic and at worse discriminatory towards MSOR students
  • MSOR course structure does not follow a nice pattern like MSFE courses ( staggered  in Summer, Fall, Spring)
  • Some courses are restricted to MSFE students

Job prospects

  • In general job prospects for MSOR grads are inferior to MSFE grads
  • This inferiority results from :
  1. MSOR grads being less qualified, OR
  2. MSOR grads being less aware of things in general, OR
  3. MSOR grads simply not being given the opportunity to apply to certain jobs.
  • Qualified, perseverant  and hard working people from any program at Columbia University (MAFN, MSOR, MSE, MSFE, MS Stats etc) will find countless doors being opened for them.

Should I join Columbia MSOR?

  • YES, if:
  1. You are self motivated and hard working, AND
  2. You have a good idea of what you want to do, AND
  3. You possess the skills to learn advanced math, stat and computing concepts in school ( read you’re not afraid of Math/computing) , AND
  4. You have a back up plan if you don’t get a job out of school
  • NO, if:
  1. You ‘think’ you like finance/consulting but are not sure of it, OR
  2. You do not possess good mathematical skills, OR
  3. Not getting a job will severely impact your next 7+ years, OR
  4. Your financial position makes you taking a USD 50,000+ loan prohibitive, OR
  5. You get easily discouraged…for the job market is Nasty

I took a risk and it paid off. For some others it didn’t.  Should the wheels of time turn back and I be given the choice of accepting MSOR or rejecting it,  I would still accept it. I am much indebted to Columbia (and to God)  for how my career turned out to be.

Cherry Blossom poem

June26

cherry-blossom

The Light Filling the air

is so mild this Spring day

only the Cherry Blossoms

Keep falling in haste -

why is that so?

- Ki no Tomonori,  C850 -904 AD

Image is copyrighted and has been taken from this page

Mulholland Drive, Van Gogh और दिल तो बच्चा है जी.

June24

पहली एक फिल्म है, दुसरे एक बेहतरीन कलाकार थे जबकि तीसरा एक गाना है. सभी में एक बात सामान्य है, और वो ये की तीनो ही protagonist की नज़र से किसी चीज़ को देखते हैं न की वास्तविकता से. कला की यही बात तो उसे मनुष्य की एक बेहतरीन कृति बनती है! Mulholland Drive में सपने और हकीक़त आपस में चीनी और पानी की तरह घुल मिल जाते हैं, इतना ज्यादा की दोनों में भेद करना असंभव हो जाता है. यहाँ में पाठकों को Mulholland Drive ( Connie Stevens) के Sixteen reasons why I love you गाने की याद दिलाना चाहूँगा. Naomi Watts को लगता है की director उसी को देख रहा है, जबकि वो तो Laura Harring से इश्क फर्मा रहा होता है. पूरा दृश्य Naomi के दृष्टिकोण से फिल्माया गया है!

Mulholland Drive - Sixteen reasons

Mulholland Drive - Sixteen reasons

अब Van Gogh को लीजिये. Starry Night नाम की एक बेहद उम्दा चित्र में रात उमड़ती हुई प्रतीत होती है. तारे घुमते हैं, हवा हिल्गोचे खाती है , चाँद सूर्य से भी ज्यादा दीप्त है… सब कुछ चित्रकार के मन मैं है! लेकिन देखिये वो एक तारे की रात को कैसा अलोकिक बना देता है! मैंने लन्दन में जब इनकी बनाई दृश्यों को देखा तो ठगा सा रह गया !

आखिर में इश्क्यियाँ का गाना ” दिल तो बच्चा है जी”. निर्देशक ने पूरा गाना ऐसे फ़रमाया है की वो खालुजान ( नसीरुद्दीन ) की भावनाओ को दिखता है.. शायद विद्या बालन ने कोई मामूली सी बात नसीर को कही होगी, लेकिन नसीर के किरदार ने उसके अनेक मतलब निकाले.. नसीर का किरदार ‘कृष्णा’ को प्यार करता है और उसे लगता है की कृष्णा भी करती है.. “the heart easily believes what it wants to believe or what it is afraid to believe” .. ज़रा शब्दों पे गौर फरमाईये ..

“किसको पता था ,पहलु में रखा,
दिल ऐसा बाज़ी भी होगा.
हम तो हमेशा, समझते थे कोई ,
हम जैसा हाजी ही होगा
हाए जोर करे, कितना शोर करे
… बेवजह बातों पे ऐंवे गौर करे…
दिल सा कोई कमीना नहीं”
— गुलज़ार

written Feb 1, 2010 @ Mumbai.

नदी by शंभुनाथ_सिंह

June21

गंगा तट पर बैठे, मैंने अक्सर यही सोचा है. मेरे से पहले भी नदी थी, मेरे बाद भी रहेगी. प्रलय के बाद भी रहेगी. कितना क्षणभंगुर है मनुष्य जीवन!

एक मीनार उठती रही
एक मीनार ढहती रही
अनरुकी अनथकी सामने
यह नदी किन्तु बहती रही

पर्वतों में उतरती हुई
घाटियाँ पार करती हुई,
तोड़ती पत्थरों के क़िले
बीहड़ों से गुज़रती हुई,

चाँद से बात करती रही
सूर्य के घात सहती रही ।

धूप में jhilmilati  हुई
छाँव में गुनगुनाती हुई,
पास सबको बुलाती हुई
प्यास सबकी बुझाती हुई,

ताप सबका मिटाती हुई
रेत में आप दहती रही ।

बारिशों में उबलती हुई
बस्तियों को निगलती हुई,
छोड़ती राह में केंचुलें
साँप की चाल चलती हुई ।

हर तरफ़ तोड़ती सरहदें,
सरहदों बीच रहती रही ।

सभ्यताएँ बनाती हुई
सभ्यताएँ मिटाती हुई,
इस किनारे रुकी ज़िंदगी
उस किनारे लगाती हुई ।

कान में हर सदी के नदी
अनकही बात कहती रही ।

Protected: Of being ready for marriage

June18

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मुग़ल-ए-आज़म

June16

आज मुग़ल ए आज़म का गाना “प्यार किया तो डरना क्या” के कुछ अल्फाज़ मेरे मन से निकलते ही नहीं हैं.. गौर फरमाईये..


आज कहेंगे दिल का फ़साना*
जान भी ले ले चाहे ज़माना
मौत वही जो दुनिया देखे,
घुट घुट* कर यूँ मरना क्या?

[ फ़साना = story ; घुट घुट = suffocate ]
….
छुप न सकेगा इश्क हमारा .
चारों तरफ है उनका नज़ारा
पर्दा नहीं जब कोई खुदा से,
बन्दों से पर्दा करना क्या?*

जब प्यार किया तो डरना क्या? ”

[ When we cannot hide things from God, why hide things from humans? ]

शकील बदायुनी साहब ने ये बेहद कमाल की बात कही है – पर्दा नहीं जब कोई खुदा से, बन्दों से पर्दा करना क्या? – . This is akin to spirituality being served a la carte. कितनी आसानी से शायर अपनी बात कहते हैं. अगर हम भगवन से कुछ छुपा नहीं सकते, तो इंसानों से कुछ क्यूँ छुपाना? इस कथन के हजारों अभिप्राय हैं, जो की पाठक सोचे तो स्वयं ढूंढ लेंगे. साधू कवि, साधू!

First post of 2012

May11

( part of an email that I sent to my friends today)

My office timings are very reasonable. I leave at 8 AM and am back by 6 PM, 5 days a week – which is unusual in the financial world. My team, like most of HMC, is very talented and diverse. I like working in the team and never feel left out or alone. Work is intense and challenging, requires attention to details and am still learning the details. Working in these places makes one humble. When we see so many smart people, it is difficult to fall under any false hubris.

I live near the university in a place called Cambridge, which has its own history. It takes me 35 minutes to reach office from here by taking a subway. Cambridge is a student area and almost everyone is a student at Harvard or MIT. While I have not interacted with many people as yet, there is a palpable feeling that these kids are smart – and most importantly – diverse in their interests and hobbies. The local laundry house is proof of that. Laundry mats are places where you really miss the good old dhobi twice a month. They are the US equivalents of Indian barber shops – just like barber shops in India they are full of popular movie magazines and tabloids. Thanks to them, I have known that Kim Kadarshian is having a fight with her mom and that there are tension brewing in Brad Pitt and Ms Jolie. BUT, the Laundromat near my house has Vogue/Cosmopolitan as well as books on East Asian food, Michelangelo’s life, Louvre’s collection, and Rocky mountains among other things. The clientele looks different and they demand different entertainment

Boston is considered to be a ‘Old money’ place in stark comparison to New York’s nouveau riche population. Locals don’t like the big apple that much and neither do they that emotion. Loyalties to football/baseball/basketball teams are almost jingoistic in appeal and I even saw a car sporting(?) a sticker – Yankees S*** ( ref to New York Yankees baseball team). I have no idea about these sports and thus find myself as the only person in bars on a Friday evening ho isn’t agitated.

I would however have to admit that Boston is much more beautiful and calmer than New York, if you leave out Manhattan’s Central Park that is. People are not running all the time and they usually have a better standard of living than their Yankee counterparts. Perhaps people are more well mannered too. The architecture, though not impressive as some other cities is special because of its association with many historic events. Khalil Gibran was here, just like Swami Vivekanand and Robert Frost. Boston is in fact over-educated , more than 40% of citizens have a college degree which is very high by American standards.

Over the summer months I plan to explore the city and make excursions to Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. There is so much to see here and I don’t want to miss any of it. Visiting Grand Canyon and Yellowstone national park is on the cards too, will keep you posted on this.

अब जबकि तुम इस शहर में नहीं हो ( शरद बिलौरे )

April26

(कवि मात्र 25 साल के थे जब 1982 में लू लगने से उनका निधन हो गया. )

इस कविता को समझने के लिए प्रेम में होना (या किसी समय रहा होना ) आवश्यक है. साधू!

कविताकोश के साभार ली गयी है ये रचना.

===

हफ़्ते भर से चल रहे हैं
जेब में सात रुपये
और शरीर पर
एक जोड़ कपड़े

एक पूरा चार सौ पृष्ठों का उपन्यास
कल ही पूरा पढ़ा,
और कल ही
अफ़सर ने
मेरे काम की तारीफ़ की।

दोस्तों को मैंने उनकी चिट्ठियों के
लम्बे-लम्बे उत्तर लिखे
और माँ को लिखा
कि मुझे उसकी ख़ूब-ख़ूब याद आती है।

सम्वादों के
अपमान की हद पार करने पर भी
मुझे मारपीट जितना
गुस्सा नहीं आया

और बरसात में
सड़क पार करती लड़कियों को
घूरते हुए मैं झिझका नहीं

तुम्हें मेरी दाढ़ी अच्छी लगती है
और अब जबकि तुम
इस शहर में नहीं हो
मैं
दाढ़ी कटवाने के बारे में सोच रहा हूँ।

On the notion of India and Indians being ‘Better’ (whatever that means)

April25

आज जब मैं “श्री रामचन्द्र कृपालु भजुमन….” स्तुति का अनुवाद इन्टरनेट पर खोज रहा था, तब एक वेबसाइट पर ये उपलब्ध मिला. इसमें कोई शंका नही की अनुवादकर्ता ने बहुत सुन्दर रचना की है, किन्तु परेशानी मुझे preamble से है. विवेक शर्मा जी की पहली लाइन कहती है, ” Ramayana is the most important and influential epic ever written…..While Illiad and Odessey claim a greater fame in the West, among ancient epics, only Mahabharata ….comes close to Ramayana in grandeur and impact on the combined psyche and daily living of a large section of humanity. ”

This is not the first time that I have come across sweeping statements like these. Some people in India inculcate this notion of India being the best in everything – from culture to science, from ethics to nationalism. This jingoism reminds one of mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s German or in more recent times, Kim il Sung’s North Korea (c.f. North Koreans are told that the “beloved leader” of North Korea ‘invented’ the Hamburger ). Growing up in 1990′s Ajmer, I often heard comments of how Indian minds are superior to those in west and how Indians abroad control the intellectual seat of knowledge. And who has not heard the local pundit touting hinduism over everything else?

I call it BS. The mere idea of one culture being superior to other is the root cause of so many problems in the world. How can one say that Hindi Literature is better than Greek literature? For subjective qualities like these how can one even make a statement of one thing being better than other?? For objective things we still can compare notes and the reality is no where close to this illusion. Who wins the Nobel prizes? (science ones – not that farce called ‘peace prize’ ) Who excelled in studies in Columbia University? ( answer – French! ) Which countries are top ranking in HRD indexes? Can the people who have made comments about India being the Greatest country have name the other 192 countries?

I think people who claim one culture/language/literature is better than others are too blinded by their beleifs to appreciate things. Those who have very limited knowledge can make idiotic comments of their culture being superior.

Those who know the world, those who have a quest for knowledge , inevitably end up realising that the world is only a repetitive pattern of same basic things. That no one is superior to other. That we all are same wine in differnet bottles.

….and that’s exactly what Lao Tsu realised 2500 years ago:

“The tao that can be told,
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name

The unnamable is eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realise the mystery
Caught in the desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.”

(Tao te Ching)

सम्बन्ध by आभा बोधिसत्त्व

April15

यह कविता “कविताकोश” से ली गयी है. आभा बोधिसत्त्व जी दांपत्य जीवन के मर्म को समझती हैं, इस कविता के द्वारा….

चलो हम दीया बन जाते हैं
और तुम बाती …

हमें सात फेरों या कि “कुबूल है” से
क्या लेना-देना

हमें तो बनाए रखना है
अपने दिया-बाती के
सम्बन्ध को……… मसलन रोशनी

हम थोड़ा-थोड़ा जलेंगे
हम खो जाएँगे हवा में
मिट जाएगी फिर रोशनी भी हमारी
पर हम थोड़ी चमक देकर ही जाएँगे
न ज़्यादा सही कोई भूला भटका
खोज पाएगा कम से कम एक नेम-प्लेट
या कोई पढ़ पाएगा ख़त हमारी चमक में ।

तो क्या हम दीया बन जाए
तुम मंजूर करते हो बाती बनना।
मंजूर करते हो मेरे साथ चलना कुछ देर के लिए
मेरे साथ जगर-मगर की यात्रा में चलना….कुछ पल।

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फूले वनांत के कांचनार

March20

Spring is here! 20th March 2012 will be the day when day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Nature is already starting to bloom – outside my building I see robins and new leaves on trees. Soon, Washington will explode in Cherry Blossom white and then it will be a riot of colors again.

Let’s celebrate spring by reading amodh’s poem of Springtime in 1962 – exactly 50 years young this season! ( This page has been taken from KavitaKosh)

Note: Kachnar looks like this

फूले वनांत के कांचनार !
खेतों के चंचल अंचल से आती रह-रह सुरभित बयार ।
फूले वनांत के कांचनार ।
( वनांत = wilderness)

मिट्टी की गोराई निखरी,
रग-रग में अरुणाई बिखरी,
कामना-कली सिहरी-सिहरी पाकर ओठों पर मधुर भार ।
फूले वनांत के कांचनार !

घासों पर अब छाई लाली,
चरवाहों के स्वर में गाली,
सकुची पगडंडी फैल चली लेकर अपना पूरा प्रसार ।
फूले वनांत के कांचनार !

शाखों से फूटे लाल-लाल,
सेमल के मन के मधु-ज्वाल,

उमड़े पलास के मुक्त हास, गुमसुम है उत्सुक कर्णिकार ।
फूले वनांत के कांचनार !
( कर्णिकार = a wild tree)

मंजरियों का मादक रस पी,
बागों में फिर कोयल कूकी,
उत्सव के गीतों से अहरह मुखरित ग्रामों के द्वार-द्वार ।
फूले वनांत के कांचनार !
(अहरह = daily, continuously)

the times, they never change

February11

As mark Twain wrote, “It was the best of the times, it was the worst of the times”

The times haven’t really changed much. There is a Poonam Pandey who decides to strip if india wins the match, and then blatantly backtracks. I remember there was a Rakhi Sawant before her, Mallika Sherawat before Rakhi, Raveena Tandon before Mallika, and Mamta Kulkarni before Raveena. And before all of them was the American Porn industry, with black and white videos dating to 1920′s.

There is a Baba Ramdev who hides in women’s clothing. I remember there was a Nithyanand baba, who was caught in porn scandal. Then there was a sathya Sai Baba who was gay before nithyanand, and a certain asaram babu who was a child molestor and the baap of all of them – osho who openly said, “leave me for the rich people”.

There is a generation that wants to earn more money than their parents, or grandparents, or all previous generations combined. And then there are the sons who want to waste more money than their parents,or grandparents, or all previous generations combined.

शेष होते हुए

December16

A beautiful poem on ending relationships/ divorce by Govind mathur. This has been taken from Kavitakosh. This poem and the collection) got the poet Rajasthan Sahitya Academy award in 1986.

A simple poem, but very deep. Mr Mathur blogs at http://www.govind-mathur.blogspot.com/

इस तरीके से नही
पहले हमें
सहज होना होगा
किसी तनाव में
टूटने से बेहतर है
धीरे-धीरे
अज्ञात दिशाओं में
गुम हो जाएँ

हमारे सम्बन्ध
कच्ची बर्फ से नही
कि हथेलियों में
उठाते ही पिघल जाएँ
आख़िर हमने
एक-दूसरे की
गर्माहट महसूस की है

इतने दिनों तक
तुमने और मैंने
चौराहे पर खड़े हो कर
अपने अस्तित्व को
बनाए रखा है
ये ठीक है कि
हमें गुम भी
इस ही
चौराहे से होना है

पर इस तरीके से नही
पहले हमें
मासूम होना होगा
उतना ही मासूम
जितना हम
एक दूसरे से
मिलने के पूर्व थे

पहले मैं या तुम
कोई भी
एक आरोप लगाएंगे
न समझ पाने का
तुम्हें या मुझे
और फिर
महसूस करेगें
उपेक्षा
अपनी-अपनी

कितना आसान होगा
हमारा अलग हो जाना
जब हम
किसी उदास शाम को
चौराहे पर मौन खड़े होंगे

और फिर जब
तुम्हारे और मेरे बीच
संवाद टूट जएगा
कभी तुम चौराहे पर
अकेले खड़े होगें
और कभी मैं

फिर धीरे-धीरे
हमें एक दूसरे की
प्रतीक्षा नही होगी
कितना सहज होगा
हमारा अजनबी हो जाना
जब हम सड़कों और गलियों में
एक दूसरे को देख कर
मुस्करा भर देंगे
या हमारा हाथ
एक औपचारिकता में
उठ जाया करेगा

हाँ हमें
इतनी जल्दी भी क्या है
ये सब
सहज ही हो जाएगा
फिर हमें
बीती बातों के नाम पर
यदि याद रहेगा तो
सिर्फ़
एक-दूसरे का नाम

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How to find a job

December7

After spending countless hours preparing Cover Letters, Resumes and networking, I finally found a job last week. It took me 4 months, 174 applications and countless hours before I found a job that I was really excited about. Over the past 14 months, I constantly asked seniors, alumni and mentors the question – How can I find a job in these choppy markets? When every institution is in firing mode, how do I as an international student differentiate myself?

I’m writing this post to summarize what I learnt. I hope the reader ( perhaps a Columbia University IEOR Grad student like me) benefits and adds his/her observations along. I did not do all these things, at some of them I failed miserably. But a wise person is one who learns from others mistake.

Before Starting College

1) Your job hunt does not starts 1 semester before graduation. It starts from the day that you get your college admit letter. You should have only 3 focus areas in college. a) Learn (study) as much as possible b) Enjoy your college life in a responsible way and c) never forget the end result of education – a dream job.

2) When you arrive in college, You should already have the first draft of your resume ready. You should have ideally spent atleast 20 hours on making your resume. The only thing that should change is the top line of education heading, where you decide your courses and put relevant courses,

3) You should read every page of your university’s career website. For Columbia University, it would mean that you have read everything at http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/

4) Make a Linkedin Profile. Your goal should be to have 500+ connections before your last semester.

The First Semester

5) Arrive in US one month before course starts. Give yourself sufficient time to find an apartment and to acclimatize with the new culture. Contact seniors. Get all stupid things like phone, housing, food etc sorted out so that you waste minimal time thinking about them once school starts.

6) Talk to seniors and alumni before selecting courses. Although you should select courses that you like, keep in mind that certain classes are very important for jobs. For example, Security Pricing is a must if you want to be in finance.

7) Dont bite more than what you can chew. Select at least one ‘easy’ class each semester to maintain a decent GPA.

8) in light of points 6 and 7 above, Talk to your advisor ( or better still Jenny Mak in IEOR department ) before settling on a course,

9) Once college starts, You’ll be always short of time. For the first month, try to participate in everything possible. After first month, concentrate on a few things that suit your interest. Don’t compromise on studies for extra-curricular work. The only thing that may take a upper hand is interviewing where even if you have to miss classes, its ok.

10) GPA is not absolute. There are “bands” of GPA. below 3.0 you are pretty much screwed. 3.0 – 3.3 is just ok. 3.3 – 3.5 is average. 3.5 – 3.8 is good. 3.8 to 4.0 is very good. 4.0 + is excellent. The positive impact of a 4.0+ GPA is very high, just like the negative impact of a 3.0 and lesser GPA. That said, a higher GPA is always better

11) Sometime after the mid-sems, start applying for Spring and Summer Internships. I suggest you concentrate on CCE and IEOR job postings for the start. I ask you to wait till mid sems so that you can make some sense of job postings’ work description. This way, u’ll come across as a smart applicant who knows what he/she is talking about in cover letter.

12) A spring internship will mean that a) Your free time will disappear completely b) You’ll have to compromise on your social life c) You’ll have to work extra hard for grades d) you’ll miss out on some required extra-curricular activities. The good thing is that you’ll add a US work experience on your resume which will help you find a summer internship as well as a full time job.

Winter Break

13) Take 3-4 days off after the hectic first semester. Then, get down to work. The two odd weeks should be used to remedy your coding and math skills. I suggest you pick up 1 language – VBA or C++ preferably, otherwise MATLAB and try to code as much as possible. Make a schedule so you don’t waste time in spring semester to learn these things. ( I regret that I did not do this – big mistake)

14) Go to various companies website and note the deadline for summer internships. Make an excel sheet where you note the designation, deadline, and required documents. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss any stuff.

15) Good time to go to Linkedin ans see where your school alumni are working. On the excel sheet in point 14, make another column for people you should contact about jobs details in the specific company. EG. “UBS – ER Intern – 12 Jan 2012 – resume/CoverLetter – Contact Mr XYZ of MSOR 2004 to know more”

Second Semester.

This section assumes you have a GPA of 3.4+

16) This is when you’ll learn the most. There are amazing courses available in this semester. Asset Allocation, Term Structure, Volatility smile, Security Pricing, Application Programming etc are all good courses. You should try to audit as many courses in the first two weeks as possible. Remember, what you choose to learn in this semester will modify your job hunt in a major way.

17) If you are not interning this semester, study very very hard. Don’t limit yourself to 3 hard, 1 easy course rule. Take all those subjects where you think u’ll learn the most. In addition, audit another subject if you so wish. Crux – this semester forms the bulk of your knowledge base for any job you will do. Think of this semester as on-job training.

18) The only other objective in Spring semester is to find a Summer Internship. Be ready to apply to 50, 100 or even 150 places. Your objectives in the internship should be – firstly Brand Name, Secondly job content and thirdly Money. . Don’t feel bad if you are not earning as much as some others in summer internship. Brand Name and job content are far more important in long run.

19) Again, CCE and IEOR postings are my preferred way of searching for jobs. Others say that websites like internship dot com, monster dot com and efinancial careers are also good. But as you will observe, you’ll get around 200 – 500 job postings for relevant internships. For me, that was more than enough.

20) Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get an internship by April. People got internships as late as June. In the end, about 70% of my (known) classmates of MSOR ’2011 had internships. Some unpaid, some paid. Mostly paid between $9 and $43 per hour.

21) The best way to find internship/jobs , apart from CCE, is networking.

Summer Internship

I’ll post another article here mentioning what you can do to maximize your benefits from Summer Internship.

The Last Semester

22) Try to have a light courseload in your last semester because you want to focus all your energy on job hunting.

23) Right after summer internship, make at-least 4-5 types of cover letters. Rework your resume. Have 3-4 types of resumes ready as well.

24) These cover Letters and resumes should not be longer than 1 page each. They should be easy to read and be specific to major types of job roles that you are planing to apply to. For example, in finance they can be one each for Equity Research, Portfolio Management, Credit Risk, Market Risk, Aset Allocation, Quant Research, Quant Trading, Technical (coding), Structured Finance etc. Bring out your different qualities as needed in each job. For Example, Equity Research should focus on your ” seeing the big picture” trait while Quant Trading should focus on ” Quick mathematical mind”.

25) Get your Cover letters and Resumes reviewed by someone in CCE.

26) For heaven’s sake, make sure you are addressing the correct company/person/job in your cover letter. Dont be stupid to send one cover letter to another company. ( I did this and I truly regretted it)

27) Not all jobs in CCE will be for Grad students. Some of them will only be for undergrads or postdocs. For these posting, go to the website directly and apply.

28) Not all jobs will be open to International Students. Don’t waste your time for jobs that require US Citizenship !!

29) My personal experience with job fairs is that they are useless if you haven’t researched the company and roles before visiting the fair. If you go there, the only way u can separate yourself from 100′s of people is when you ask quesntions like, “So I saw your profile at website and you mention that you need so-and-so. I have this-and-this and am good at such-and-such. Do you think I’ll fit in/ can you enlighten me abt this/ can i speak to someone in your this department/ I met XYZ and really liked the role, can you tell me what differentiates a good candiate from others?” etc. Moot point is – don’t sound dumb and ask stupid qns which amazingly enough, 90% of people do.

30) Don’t loose heart if you are rejected! Everyone who got a job amongst my friends received at least 40-50 rejects. Some people like me received 174 rejects. You’re not the first one who’ll receive a reject nor the last one. There will be times when you’ll just not know why u didnt get a interview call, when you clearly were the best. Instead of pondering too much over it, move on.

31) In light of point 30 above, if you are tired of job hunt, take a break, for as long as a week. Leave some applications. Its ok to miss a few deadlines. Don’t take it too hard on yourself. I suggest after every 30 applications, you take two days off and do no job hunting.

32) If everything fails, mobilize your networks and LinkedIn to full force. If you have been diligent, you would have already spoken to a number of people over the past 15 months, and now is the time ( on your 3-4th interaction) to very tactically ask, “is there any job that you know of? “. Please note that you’ll need to raise this topic very sensitively with your networks, I’ll write another post on this topic sometime.

33) If you have done all the above things, the only thing that can stop you from getting a job is your poor luck. And if that happens, remember what happens, happens for the best. Have faith in the Lord for He who creates is He who feeds.

Columbia MSOR placements / job offers

December3

I had to wait, as usual, for Kaushik to get ready for dinner. So in the 30 odd minutes of waiting for his highness to ‘suit up’, Mittal and me did some rudimentary analysis on the job statistics of MSOR / EMS class of 2011. Here’s the results

First the disclaimers : We only surveyed people whom we interact with and took into account facts known among friends. There may have been job offers that were not disclosed. Also, the sample size is 31 while the class size is perhaps 200. We did not consider any visa restrictions and our facts may be horribly wrong. Most importantly, The course has not even finished and people still have 1 month of course + 2 months of grace period + 3 months of OPT = 6 months more to search for a job offer. It is highly likely that (almost) everyone will get a job in the next 6 months. It is certain that the next round of great jobs will come from freshers ( first quarter of 2012 )

Now the results:

Sample size = 31
Of which Indian citizens = 31
People with job offers = 15 ( 48.4%)
People with job offers who are happy with status quo ( no more job huntng) = 8 ( 25.8% of sample size)
People with Work Experience = 19
…. of which who got offers = 12.
=> 63 % of work ex junta got offers as of December 2, 2011

People without Work Experience = 12
…. of which who got offers = 03.
=> 25 % of freshers got offers as of December 2, 2011

Number of people who had a summer internship = 24
…. Of which got offers = 13

=> internship considerably inreases your chance to get an offer.

Sample list of companies: AmEx, PwC, E&Y, Thomson Reuters, Goldman Sachs, Nomura etc.
Sample Designations: Analyst, Senior Analyst, Associate, Consultant, Sr. Consultant

Notes:

1) Work experience is defined as anyone who has more than 12 months of work experience in any field.
2) Only relies on publicly available information
3) Salary disclosure is rare, so no statistics are available.

Newton’s third law

November11

a) If you like someone, there is a good chance he/she will like you too
b) If you hate someone, it is certain that he/she will hate you.

But!

c) If you love someone, there is no guarantee that the favor will be returned.

Protected: Of interviewers

November8

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These interviews..

November5

I often think, had I only said this – or more often, Not said that – I would have cleared the interview. But then I think, what’s the point of getting a job through deceit? Why should I start a career on foundations weak?

Lord, give me the job that I deserve, not the one I lust after.

100,000 Hits

November3

Nov 1, 2011 marked the 100,000th ‘hit’ at www.bhaiyyu.com Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came on this website. I had not imagined at the time of recording my thoughts that it will become this popular on the net. “Hindi Poem on Nature” search lists my website as the number 1 result, which I think is quite awesome :)

Quick facts:

Website traffic is concentrated from India and US. However, people have visited the site from Mongolia to Guinea.

On an average I get about 150 – 200 hits per day

A project that I did on predicting time series analysis of website hits was graded A+ in Columbia and even got me an internship at MathWorks.

People are usually on my website for CFA or poems, but they occasionally looks at categories like MFE, New York and Marriage as well.

The data shows a strong seasonality of 7 days.

I’ve got about 280 comments till date. 43 of them were spam.

…lost motivation to write more…this sounds so narcissistic :(

The Finest Hour

October20

मई जून 1940 की बात है. हिटलर ने पूरे महाद्वीप पर कब्ज़ा कर लिया. Blitzkreig कामयाब हुआ प्रतीत होता था. france ने घुटने टेक दिए थे. अब britain की बारी थी. हिटलर ने कहा, आत्मसमर्पण कर दो. churchill ने parliament को कहा –

“… we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old…”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_shall_fight_on_the_beaches#Peroration)

और फिर उन्होंने कहा,

“…. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour....”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_was_their_finest_hour)

===

साला देश के देश नहीं रुकते परेशानी में,पर उनकी बात छोडो.. siberian crane नहीं रूकती हिन्दुकुश पार करने से, चींटी नहीं रूकती दाना उठाने में, spider नहीं रुकता बार बार गिर कर उठने की कोशिश करने में, गड्ढे में गिरी गाय नहीं रूकती निकलने की कोशिश करने में … इंसान होकर मैं रुक जाऊं तो धिक्कार है मुझ पे!! जब चीज़ें आसान हो तो कोई भी नाम कर सकता है. मुश्किल से जूझना ही तो मर्दानगी है. और अगर इतना पढ़ के, इतना कर के, इतने अच्छे रिश्तेदारों और मित्रों का साथ पाने के बावजूद मैं घबरा जाऊं, तो मुझमे है की क्या गर्व के लिए??

अच्छा और बुरा

October19

क्या अच्छा है, क्या बुरा? आजीवन सोचता रहूँ तब भी किसी नतीजे पे नहीं आ सकता. जैसे की मेरे घर के बाहर लगा maple का पेड़. जब कोई interview call आती है और मेरे पैरों में उछाल होता है, तब वो कितना प्यारा दीखता है. जब कोई मुझे नकारता है और मैं ज़मीन में गढ़ा जाता हूँ, तब वो कैसा मरणासन्न लगता है. पेड़ तो पेड़ है. autumn तो autumn ही है. columbia university तो columbia university ही है. मैं भी वोही का वोही हूँ.

नज़रों में जरूर फर्क है…

Of Job Hunting – part 2

October16

I am feeling much better now. And the reason is that I spoke to my mom and she made me see some basic things, which i had forgotten in my panic.

I have started getting some interview calls. Some more are in the pipeline. 3 interviews for their final round are scheduled this month…something should come out of it I hope! And then, there are still 6 months to go before my Visa requirements force me to go back to India. Assuming the worst case of 3 calls per month – that means 20 interview calls. Lets think I get an offer only in 1 of 5 companies. That means I should have 4 final decisions to choose. In the rarest case of cracking only 10% interview – I still should have 2 offers to choose from. If even that doesn’t work, I’ll do some research or something, try to be here for 3-4 more month and get a job. And frankly, If I don’t get a job even after 12 months, then I am better off going to India.

So what’s the worst which may happen? I’ll go back to India. India is a booming market. There is Finance, there is IT, there is education. I did very good work at ICICI Bank and I think people still remember it. I may get a job at ICICI, if not in some other bank. If not in Finance, I will join an IT company. If even that fails I will join an MBA college/coaching. Heck, I may just open up a institute myself.

Strange that my mom should put some sense in me, of all the people whom I know of.

Protected: निराशा का समाधान

September29

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Protected: Of Job hunting and the stuff that comes with it.

September28

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Protected: The good things ( sep/oct 2010)

September11

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रंग

August11

हज़ारों रंग में तुम
तुम में हज़ार रंग.
सात रंग में इन्द्रधनुष है, किन्तु
मात्र तुम में स्पंदन.

Boston, 11 August 2011

word meaning
स्पंदन – the essence of motion / heartbeat

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Protected: फोन

August2

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तितली

July14

तुम तितली हो
इठलाती, बल खाती
मुझे बावरा कर मंडराती,
हे मेरी तुम,
तुम मेरे जीवन की रागिनी हो.

Boston , 13 जुलाई 2011

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Protected: स्वरक्षा (self defense )

July13

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दूर होना

July6

इधर कुछ दिनों से महसूस हो रहा है की धीरे धीरे भारत से दूर होता जा रहा हूँ और अमरीका के करीब. ये चीज़ पहले पाश्चात्य शहरों की खूबसूरती से शुरू हुई, लेकिन मालूम पड़ता है की अब ये tangible की जगह intangible बातों पर टिक रही है, और मुझे लगता है की ये तो खतरनाक है!

अगर मैं सड़कों पर फ़िदा हूँ, या अगर मैं नदियों और समुद्रतट पर वारा जाऊं, तो ठीक है. पेड़ और फूल कहीं भी खिल सकते हैं. इमारतें मुंबई और दिल्ली में खडी हो सकती हैं.

लेकिन अगर मैं अमरीकी जीवनशैली का कद्रदान बनता जाऊं, तो बड़ी भारी मुश्किल होगी. मुझे स्वतंत्रता अच्छी लगने लगी है, मुझे आदत होने लगी है की लोग मुझसे अच्छी तरह से बात करेंगे. मैं भूलने लगा हूँ की किसी समय मैं ऐसी जगह था जहाँ corruption , भीड़ भाड़ और इंसानी जीवन की क्षणभंगुरता सदैव उपस्थित – सदा स्वीकृत सत्य थे.

मुझे लगता है की मैं “धोबी का कुत्ता – न घर का, न घाट का” वाले पथ पर अग्रसर हूँ….

बगीचा

July5

बुझा बुझा सा है,
मेरा रंगीन बगीचा.
मानो लाल पीला नीला,
Daisy और hydangea ,
सब बदल गए मुरझाए सफ़ेद में.

तुम आओ,
मुस्काओ,
बगीचे में रंग भर दो.

हे मेरी तुम,
अपने रस से,
मुझे फिर से जीवित कर दो..

- 4 जुलाई 2011 , boston

Two short poems on Death

June23

Aunt Helen by T S Eliot

Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt,
And lived in a small house near a fashionable square
Cared for by servants to the number of four.
Now when she died there was silence in heaven
And silence at her end of the street.
The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet–
He was aware that this sort of thing had occurred before.
The dogs were handsomely provided for,
But shortly afterwards the parrot died too.
The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece,
And the footman sat upon the dining-table
Holding the second housemaid on his knees–
Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived.

====

Death of a mechanic – Paul Pellicci

He was fixing his car
Held up only by a jack
While underneath working
It came crashing down
He was using a ratchet wrench
3/8 socket driven into his skull
Wasn’t all that unusual
3/8 is a very common size.
He was buried
By a neglected wife and kids
The emotion was shock
Those tears seemed dry
We all wondered
Who’s getting his tools?

Top 10 signs that you are activated on a matrimonial site

June22

10) You stop completing your linkedin profile and start worrying about xyzmatrimony.com

9) While taking a picture you start thinking of making it a abcmatrimony profile pic rather than a FB profile pic.

8) You start noticing people’s surnames – something you never did in the past 27 years of your life.

7) You realize that now in addition to preparing, “Why do you want this job?” you also have to prepare, “What do I expect from my life partner?”

6) The girl who sits in the next cabin starts looking OK to you.

5) (Almost) Every ‘correct age’ unmarried women starts being judged from a is-she-ok-for-me point of view

4) You start realizing that all your ex-girlfriends weren’t that bad after all.

3) You moods begin alternating between being S*** scared and irrational exuberance(and I dont mean that in an Alan Greenspanish way)

2) Every time your mom calls up, you feel the consternation that she’ll either mention a new ‘rishtaa’ or ask, “Bhaiyyu, did you find someone on xyzmatrimony?”

1) You are undecided that which of the above 9 points should be ranked numero uno, for all of them are as weird and as true as it gets.

hagar

संगीता स्वरुप की कुछ कवितायेँ

June18

संगीता जी दिल्ली में रहती हैं और बिखरे मोती नाम का एक ब्लॉग रखती हैं. http://gatika-sangeeta.blogspot.com/ . सार्थक नाम है इनके ब्लॉग का ! इतनी सुन्दर और कोमल रचनायें पढ़ मन गद-गद हो गया. ये सभी कवितायेँ इनके ब्लॉग से ली गयीं हैं और इनके सर्वाधिकार संगीता जी के पास सुरक्षित हैं. मैं इन्हें केवल non -commercial तरीके से प्रस्तृत कर रहा हूँ…

http://gatika-sangeeta.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_18.html पलाश

पलक पर जमी
शबनम की बूंद को
तर्जनी पर ले कर
जैसे ही तुमने चूमा
मेरी आँखों में
न जाने कितने
पलाश खिल गए ….

http://gatika-sangeeta.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post.html

खामोशियाँ
ठहर गयीं हैं
आज
आ कर
मेरे लबों पर

खानाबदोशी की
ज़िंदगी शायद
उन्हें
रास नहीं आई

http://gatika-sangeeta.blogspot.com/2010/07/blog-post_21.हटमल

तमन्ना ने तेरी
होठों पे उंगली
रख कर
जैसे ही कहा

“श्श्शश्श”

सारे मेरे ख्वाब
ठिठक कर
रुक गए…

http://gatika-sangeeta.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-post_24.हटमल

कल्पना के
इन्द्रधनुष को
किसी क्षितिज की
दरकार नहीं

ये तो
उग आते हैं
मन के
आँगन के
किसी कोने में ….

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वो लम्हे

June9

रुक जाता है New York ,
ठहर जातें हैं चलते कदम,
चुप हो जाती है सभी सडकें,
उन चंद लम्हों के लिए,
जब तुम मेरी किसी बात पर,
शर्माती हो…

8 जून २०११, Boston

New York stops.
footsteps stop,
and the streets turn silent,
for those few moments
When while listening to me,
you blush.

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May10

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Of Money

May2

What is money worth? How important is it to others and how important is it to me?

Interestingly enough, the answers to the above questions have started to become more clear to me. Money is worth only what you think it worth, and thus its importance differs from person to person. While this may seem a banal truth to the reader, I think the appreciation of this fact is invaluable to me.

About two years back, on a chilly December night in Delhi, I took an Auto from Katwaria Sarai to AIIMS. After the standard negotiation I observed that the auto driver was a bit different. He looked different from others and he behaved differently from others, even while negotiating for fare. So I asked this 50 year old, “who are you? You were not always an auto driverit seems!”. And then this guy said, ” I was an industrialist and I had three houses and 5 cars. I had bad luck and I lost everything. Now since an year I’m driving an auto.” This was very weird! I then asked him, ” Are you not sad and discouraged with life?” and he replied, “No, God had given me good days and god has given me bad days as well”.

—-

2 weeks back, McKinsey sponsored a symposium in Boston. of the 5000 odd resumes that they received, they selected 50 people to come. I was one of those 50. I boarded Acela Express, and McKinsey paid the $230 round ticket from NYC -Boston. I attended a party in the evening where I could have one the most expensive wines of the world. At night I was in one of the best rooms of Ritz-Carlton that overlooked Boston Common. Next Morning, after the expensive wines, king-type bath and a 5 star stay, I looked outside and thought – where has life taken me today! Where was I 25 years back in my village where we used to get electricity only 10 hours a day? How was my first school where i took classes under open sky because the roof wasn’t ready! How I used to travel in sleeper class trains for 18 hours before reaching home, sometimes sitting on the ground because I had no reservation! And how I am here today! How I went to London! How I came to Columbia University….. and most importantly where I may be tomorrow?

What is wealth? It comes and goes. What is money? it is here today, and not there tomorrow. Life & luck are so fickle minded that it is pointless to associate our happiness with money. I am thankful to Lord that he giveth me this newfound wealth, but I remain cautious of growing too attached to it.Of course I need money to feed myself and my family, to live a decent lifestyle and to take care of my family’s health. But beyond that, its plain useless to me.

साईं इतना दीजिये, जा मे कुटुम समाय ।
मैं भी भूखा न रहूँ, साधु ना भूखा जाय ॥

नहीं आयीं तुम

April27

नहीं आयीं तुम,

आज फिर से,
न कुछ लिखा ,
न कुछ बताया.
सब मन में छुपाया.
हे मेरी तुम,
क्यूँ हो ये राज़,
तुम्हारे मेरे बीच,
क्यों हो ये संबंध,
कडवे, संदेह से सींच?
* “हे मेरी तुम” केदार की अनेक रचनाओ का नाम है.

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April12

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आजीवन – Lifelong – (लाल्टू )

April11

This poem has been taken from http://vatsanurag.blogspot.com/2008/09/blog-post_07.html . It is a very nice blog where you can read poems spanning the whole spectrum of emotions.

This poem, by Laltu, talks about ‘correct’ distances – It is difficult for me to write what it is about. Suffice to say that I was touched.


फिर मिले
फिर किया वादा
फिर मिलेंगे।


बहुत दूर
इतनी दूर से नहीं कह सकते
जो कुछ भी कहना चाहिए

होते करीब तो कहते वह सब
जो नहीं कहना चाहिए

आजीवन ढूंढते रहेंगे
वह दूरी
सही सही जिसमें कही जाएँगी बातें

posted under Emotion, poem | 1 Comment »

ये दिन – केदारनाथ अग्रवाल ( These days by Kedarnath Agrawal)

March22

Kedar often did not name his poems. The first lines were  the name of the poem, something I dont think makes sense. Have thus changed the name of this poem

भूल सकता मैं नहीं

ये कुच-खुले दिन,

ओठ से चूमे गए,

उजले, धुले दिन,

जो तुम्हारे साथ बीते

रस-भरे दिन,

बावरे दिन,

दीप की लौ-से

गरम दिन ।

(My translation follows)

Try yet I cannot forget,

these open breasted days -

kissed by your lips,

these bright, just bathed days.

The ones spent with you,

these sap filled days.

crazy days.

warm, -

warm like the candle flame days.

The subway ride

February7

She surrenders to him, completely,

letting guards down,

( not wanting to let survival skills kick in)

listening to Simon and Garfunkel,

preach about the subway Gods

वेणुगोपाल की 2 रचनायें

January30

ये दोनों कवितायेँ ‘अनुभूति‘ से ली गयी हैं. 

उड़ते हुए

कभी
अपने नवजात पंखों को देखता हूँ
कभी आकाश को
उड़ते हुए
लेकिन ऋणी मैं फिर भी
ज़मीन का हूँ।


जहाँ तब भी था – जब पंख ही न थे
तब भी रहूँगा जब पंख झर जाएँगे।

===

ख़तरे

ख़तरे पारदर्शी होते हैं।
खूबसूरत।
अपने पार भविष्य दिखाते हुए।


जैसे छोटे से गुदाज़ बदन वाली बच्ची
किसी जंगली जानवर का मुखौटा लगाए
धम्म से आ कूदे हमारे आगे
और हम डरें नहीं।
बल्कि देख लें
उसके बचपन के पार
एक जवान खुशी
और गोद में उठा लें उसे।


ऐसे ही कुछ होते हैं ख़तरे।
अगर डरे तो ख़तरे और अगर
नहीं तो भविष्य दिखाते
रंगीन पारदर्शी शीशे के टुकड़े।

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January26

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Protected: Fixed Income Trader at a very big Investment bank.

January26

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January26

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People who strive

December11

Chango and Golu are examples that hard work and struggle are the key elements of success. It is not that they have climbed the everest or gone to the North Pole, but their achievements of finding a job and getting through Med School are no less inspiring for me, the friend and brother.

Both on their paths encountered numerous problems, sleepless nights , backbreaking work and rejects all around. Both were denied the sweet fruit of their labor for that long a time where Satan becomes an everpresent echo, “you’re not going to make it”. Both of them stuck at their paths longer than any other of my friends, and certainly much longer than my attempts at persistence.

And now, withing a week, both have found something to be proud of, at London and New York – where they really wanted to be.

It is these achievements that restore my faith in hard work, when the world seems unfair and the night seems long and cold.

How to make a typical punjabi video song

November30

1) choose some hot girls ( or wanna be hot girls)
2) choose some good beats
3) for i = 1 to n
{ open punjabi dictionary,
choose random word,
open english dictionary,
choose random word,
Insert “soniye, kudiye” every second line
next i }
4) go to USA/Canada
5) make hot girl wear skimpy clothes
6) hire a sexy car
7) make video

Note: These steps need not be done in order

for end product, see : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW8r-aaJRX8

Yesterday ( W.S. Merwin)

November25

No comments.

ऐतिहासिक फ़ासले – Historical Distances by Kunwar Narayan

November21

अच्छी तरह याद है
तब तेरह दिन लगे थे ट्रेन से
साइबेरिया के मैदानों को पार करके
मास्को से बाइजिंग तक पहुँचने में।

अब केवल सात दिन लगते हैं
उसी फ़ासले को तय करने में −
हवाई जहाज से सात घंटे भी नहीं लगते।

पुराने ज़मानों में बरसों लगते थे
उसी दूरी को तय करने में।

दूरियों का भूगोल नहीं
उनका समय बदलता है।

कितना ऐतिहासिक लगता है आज
तुमसे उस दिन मिलना।

===

(My Translation follows)

I distinctly remember,
it took 13 days,
To cross the Trans-Siberian rail,
reaching Beijing from Moscow.

Now it takes only 7 days,
to travel the same distance,
and a flight takes less than 7 hours.

In the ‘old’ times,
It would take years to make that journey

Not the geography of distances,
rather their times change.

Today It feels so historical ,
to have met you that day.

कुंवर नारायण – घर पहुंचना

November19

( As usual, this poem has been taken from Kavitakosh )

Trains entice me. And today, while coming back from wall street I was indeed thinking about how to reach home as quickly as possible.. Probably catch a 2 to 96th Street and then a 1 to 125th Street. The question is : what if journey is staid, and rest is transient? Amazing thought by Kunwar Narayan. Highly Recommended!

हम सब एक सीधी ट्रेन पकड़ कर
अपने अपने घर पहुँचना चाहते

हम सब ट्रेनें बदलने की
झंझटों से बचना चाहते

हम सब चाहते एक चरम यात्रा
और एक परम धाम

हम सोच लेते कि यात्राएँ दुखद हैं
और घर उनसे मुक्ति

सचाई यूँ भी हो सकती है
कि यात्रा एक अवसर हो
और घर एक संभावना

ट्रेनें बदलना
विचार बदलने की तरह हो
और हम सब जब जहाँ जिनके बीच हों
वही हो

Heartless

November17

Do you proclaim me heartless,
incapable
of loving someone?

Like the yellow leaf of Maple Autumn;
A recipient of adulating eyes,
yet an apathetic passer-by?

========

Flirt, who wants to?
when the heart pines to hear
for the songs of soul
to be heard
through your breath
and your kiss
and your
togetherness.

– Varun. Nov 16, New York

God’s communication

November14

Apparently God wants to communicate with me.

And he is doing it by singing.

Listen, Rejoice.

(This post will be continuously updated. )

Next 5 courtesy D. Y.

4 May – Sinnerman remix – nina simone – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_raonMRuT54

April 11 – The chemical Brothers’ soundtrack for Hanna . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb6ZuyPSxhM and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRQY0Si3dBo&feature=related

24 Feb : – Take it all by Adele

14 Nov : – Feeling Good by Nina SImone.

14 Nov – Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground

Nov: Lets Fall in Love by Ella Fitzgerald

Nov: Still crazy after all these years by Paul SImon

2011: We’ve got more bounce in California : Soul Kid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO_hfc3ceu4

2009 :- Under The Bridge – RHCP

2008 :- Rockstar – Nickleback

2008:- आओगे जब तुम साजना – उस्ताद रशीद खान
ओ हमदम सुनियो रे. …साथिया
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green देस
Wonderwall – Oasis
फिर छिड़ी रात बात फूलों की — तलत अज़ीज़ (बाज़ार) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meif1oIfJ5o

फ़ज़ा भी है जवाँ जवाँ   – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8eCqj6Bg7o
न जाओ सैय्याँ, छुड़ा के बैय्याँ  - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7sADAXyI-M

Haiku

November9

When I plan to flirt ,
In NY’s Central Park
it never works
I
end up
making Haiku remarks.

11th Sunday at New York

November1

1) Woke up at 7 AM
2) Went for a walk in Riverside Park till 92nd street
3) Saw many squirrels, touched one
4) Went inside St John’s Cathedral
5) Read about Cotton bonds by confederation. Could connect a lot of things to it- Mumbai’s wealth for example
6) Came back to study Time Series, sort of understood it
7) Had Lunch at an Italian place I thought I’d visit one day.
8) Went for Halloween Parade at 14th Street
9) Came back now and would be off to sleep. Will wake at 11 AM again tomorrow.

उदासी के रंग – कुंवर नारायण

October25

यह कविता यहा से ली गयी है. ( क़विता कोश)
यह कविता, जो बहुत कम शब्दों में बहुत अधिक कह जाती है, हमे बताती है की कुंवर नारायण को साहित्य अकादमी का सम्मान क्यूँ मिला! बेहद खूबसूरत, कमाल है!

====

उदासी भी
एक पक्का रंग है जीवन का

उदासी के भी तमाम रंग होते हैं

जैसे

फ़क्कड़ जोगिया

पतझरी भूरा

फीका मटमैला

आसमानी नीला

वीरान हरा

बर्फ़ीला सफ़ेद

बुझता लाल

बीमार पीला

कभी-कभी धोखा होता

उल्लास के इंद्रधनुषी रंगों से खेलते वक्त

कि कहीं वे

किन्हीं उदासियों से ही

छीने हुए रंग तो नहीं हैं ?

Seventh Week at Columbia University

October22

A part time job does not mean that you save some money. It only means that that you spend more without feeling guilty.

In my Greek Architecture class, prof showed a sample whose size was 10 metres. When asked how many feet, he was confused (He is Greek). When no one could figure how much is that after about 30 seconds I said “33 Feet”. Professor was impressed

In my Stochastic Calculus class, when I asked why dont we take the third order derivatives of Brownian Motion, the professor gave me the “What – a – dork – he – doesnt- even – know – that” look

In my Time Series class, the prof showed us 3 graphs, whose x axis and y axis were not labelled. He said , ” to anyone who can identify even one graph, a drink is due”. I guessed two ( including one which was the brightness magnitude of a double star system over 300 years). And yet I did not get a drink.

My first midterm was OKish. I made some silly mistakes. Forgetting the calculator at home was not a mistake, it was a catastrophe.
My part time job involves taking notes and forwarding phone calls to concerned people. I sort of miss ICICI

The punishment for plagiarizing is suspension. If you are caught cheating for the second time, you are sent back to your country. Needless to say one can never come back.

US is amazingly rich. Even after staying here for 3 months, I still think that’s true. Yes, you can find beggars here. Yes you can find homeless people here. But for every one of them, you also see 10 coffee makers thrown in the garbage because it is discolored or 20 chairs on the street because their handle is loose. Or a wooden chest in the garbage because one drawer is squeaky. Very few people repair stuff, its all just thrown away.

ये शब्द वही हैं – कुंवर नारायण

October18

यह जगह वही है
जहां कभी मैंने जन्म लिया होगा
इस जन्म से पहले

यह मौसम वही है
जिसमें कभी मैंने प्यार किया होगा
इस प्यार से पहले

यह समय वही है
जिसमें मैं बीत चुका हूँ कभी
इस समय से पहले

वहीं कहीं ठहरी रह गयी है एक कविता
जहां हमने वादा किया था कि फिर मिलेंगे

ये शब्द वही हैं
जिनमें कभी मैंने जिया होगा एक अधूरा जीवन
इस जीवन से पहले।

पुनश्‍च (once again)

October18

This poem by Kunwar Narayan has been taken from Kavitakosh. It talks about the ambitions of a man, who probably being bored of his mediocre life, wants to start anew, afresh. Reminds me of my days at I Bank. The poem uses simple language and alludes to a meager paycheck being the be all and end all of one’s worth.

मैं इस्‍तीफा देता हूं
व्‍यापार से
परिवार से
सरकार से

मैं अस्‍वीकार करता हूं
रिआयती दरों पर
आसान किश्‍तों में
अपना भुगतान

मैं सीखना चाहता हूं
फिर से जीना…
बच्‍चों की तरह बढ़ना
घुटनों के बल चलना
अपने पैरों पर खड़े होना

और अंतिम बार
लड़खड़ा कर गिरने से पहले
मैं कामयाब होना चाहता हूं
फिर एक बार
जीने में

Sixth week at Columbia University

October15

The mercury has been dropping on a daily basis here and it seems that pretty soon I’ll be exposed to the infamous NY cold. It is 9′C today and over the weekend the low may reach 7′C. Funnily I am getting used to “F and dont feel intimidated by something that reads 62/44 ( 17/07)

Another thing that I realised this week was that everyone keeps bumping into me. It happened thrice on Sunday and finally I understood (although pretty late) that I’m the one who’s walking on the wrong side. I’m used to walking on the left of a stairway/road and like driving, that’s opposite in US. It’s a conscious effort to correct myself these days.

Last Friday on a whim, me and my friend decided to walk from our house to Times Square, and back. It was a 16 KM (10 miles) walk that took us 4 hours. We crossed 170 streets and three avenues. Columbia has this wonderful program of giving discounted movie tickets at $6.50 instead of the regular $13. These tickets have no expiry date and are valid throughout the US. Making use of this opportunity, we saw “Social Network” a movie about facebook. This movie hall (AMC) is located near the 42nd street Subway station, and the subway lines pass under the movie hall. As a result, every 5 minutes or so there was a 10 second vibration period. Amusing at first but irritating later on.

As a classic case of stumbling upon happiness, I was offered three part time jobs at the same time this week. I’m not very keen on working too much as I’d rather focus my energy on other things, but having sid that working for 10 hours per week isnt that bad an idea. I was offered a job at Engg Library, at the International Affair library and at the Dean Student Affairs’ office. Library was offering me $ 9 an hour. At the Dean’s office the lady who interviewed me said, ” We normally pay $10 – 12 per hour, but since you’re a CFA, we’ll give you $14 an hour.” This was the first time CFA was of some monetary use to me :) . She pressed me to work 15 hours a week but I accepted 10, which turns out to about $ 550 a month.

My courses are getting more and more difficult with every passing class. Midterms are due next week and I dont see myself free for at least a week now.

That’s pretty much it.

Fourth week in Columbia University

October5

( I am writing this post in a hurry, so the language may contain many flaws)

This week was notable for three things:

1) I took two long walks in the city. The first was from 9th street to 90th street, and across 4 Avenues. That would be roughly 10 KMs, which was quite long by my standards! It was a beautiful day and I walked almost half of this big Island with my brother who was visiting me from Washington. Me and Golu saw all the beautiful buildings, and explored all the nooks and corners in our way. So, e.g, we now know where can you find the cheapest I love NY shirts here! Golu also took me to a very good coffee shop at 9th Street, where the to-go coffee was really nice!
My second escapade was yesterday when I walked the length of Riverside Park.. About 60 streets and then crossed the Central Park to the MET museum. About 7 Kms in total. Riverside Park is, well, on the river. It starts right behind my house and I had the opportunity to see the sun settle across the river. A very nice evening indeed. By the time I reached the museum, it was closed. And for the first time I observed the magnitude of that huge building , being made only more colossal by the lack of thronging crowds .

2) While coming back from my second walk, I was noticing the price of a haircut – from $13 to $ 20 – in different barber shops. I briefly toyed with the idea of giving myself a haircut, but then realised that my life’s worth is more than $20. Anyways, I located a saloon at 96th street for $12. Overcoming the idea of spending Rs 600 on a haircut is a major roadblock away for me now!
BTW barbers everywhere are the same. They are quiet a chatterbox. This one, someone from Uzbekistan, was no different. He spoke at length about the Indian movies he saw in the USSR days, and asked my opinions on them. He did not pay much attention that I was more interested in talking about Samarkand instead. Anyways, I emerged
a more decent looking person &
much more knowledgeable about bollywood ; from this adventure

3) We have to study a subject known as “Stochastic calculus” . It is considered to be difficult and deals with the Probabilities and Mathematical Inferences. While doing some homework on something known as ” Wald’s Equations” , I got curious about this equation and googled the term. As it turns out, Abraham Wald was a research scientist at Columbia University, and my professor didn’t even mention this! The fact that my university has produced such great people makes me humble and ambitious at the same time.

:)

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