Friday, March 23, 2012

Hum aur humara U.P.

The other day , I was chatting with my Bengali friend .
I got really pissed off at someone and ( angreji gayi choolhe mein ) strated ranting off in hindi .
As soon as I stopped , she began giggling ,”Now that was typical UP ki hindi “
Banaras Ghats

Which made me realize . How come I have never written a blog about hamara UP :-D
From the ‘tehzeeb’ and ‘nawabs’ of Lucknow , the ghats of Benaras , the temples of Brindavan , the Ganga at Haridwar , the ‘thugoo ke laddo’ of Kanpur , the Sangam at Allahabad , and of’course , the Taj ( excluding it’s corridor ) at Agra . 

Hum pesh karte hai  , Hamara UP *adaab arz hai*

1.Hamare UP ki chai 

“Tanik dudhwa kam daliyega . Chai maange hai , sarbat naahi “

Trust me , I’ve tasted chai in every part of the country ( and sometimes, outside the country ) . 
But there is something about hamari UP ki chai .
The way people scream across offices/fields/roads/houses ,”Bhaiya jeeeeeeeeeeee… chai piyoge kaa ? “
No matter whether you get something or not , chai toh milegi hi !
‘Kulhad’ waali station chai , that special ‘masala waali cutting chai’ , the thick ‘kadak’ chai seeping through tiny pores of ‘chhalni’ .

The tea leaves are the same , the sugar and milk too .But I guess it’s the UP ka flavour which makes it more special .

2.Hamare UP ki shaadi 

Bhaiya aisa hai , ki shaadi toh you need to see in UP ! 

The firing of fire-arms , the dance in Baraats ( and there is always that ONE guy who does a bawaaliya ‘naagin’ dance ) , the fighting over buffet and the photo-shoot of the dulan ( with flowers in the background and that red saree )
The bride’s family cursing the groom’s in songs ( if you have been to village marriages ).
The way chachi , bua , tai , mami , bhauji , mausi , naati , poti , gaav waali ‘dooooor’ ki nanad get together and gossip . Music to the ears gentlemen .

And the super loud ( totally off beat ) band wala playing “aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai  .
Aye haye , karejwa maan aag lag jaat hai ! ;-)

3.Hamare UP ka khana 

Ye toh aapko kahin aur mil hi nahi sakta ( you just cannot get it anywhere else ) .
The khasta , poori , kachauri , oil soaked bread-rolls ,matar-paneer and chhole combo on
Special’ occasions !

Lucknow ke kabab , Mathura ke pede , Agra ke pethe , Kanpur ke laddoo .. all epic in themselves .
The imarti , gujiya , 20 different types of milk sweets ,thandai , Chandra-kala ( again ,a village delicacy ) and the most exquisite , CHAAT ! 

If you are a UPite ( even if you aren’t ) you’ll be drooling over your keyboard right now :D

4. Hamare UP ki kala
UP is the home to Kathak , one of the ancient ( and still surviving ) dance forms .

Not to mention ,the seat of Hindustani classical music ( the other form of Indian classical music is the Carnatic music .. in South India  )

Most of the hindi ( and urdu ) literature arose from UP .
Munshi Premchand ,one of the foremost hindi-urdu authors .

From the urdu shayars under nawabs , to the forlorn kavis writing on the banks of Ganga , we have held our heads high .

Be it the chikan-work of Lucknow , the Benarasi silk sarees ,the jamdani weaving , the 'batik' work or the famous 'attar' from those long forgotten bazaars ...
You know why the we are a bit 'high handed' at times ;-) 

But of’course , (if you are in UP ) you can never ignore the Bhojpuri music and the timeless classics ( saiyyan magan Pahalwani mein , Rus gayel sayya hamar , Aye Sawaan ki Bela ) 

Of’course ,in case you haven’t enjoyed the bliss of Bhojpuri … you can always opt for James Bond (translated ) ;-)
“hammar naam ba Bond … James Bond “

5. Paan aur Politics . 
'Paan' has always been a part of 'nawabi' tehzeeb . 
Those crimson paans ,and silver spitoons are inseparable from the Awadhi culture .
 However , thins do degrade with time .
I have a feeling that Paan Parag and Rajnigandha ( and other such poisons ) have been running solely on Uttar Pradesh .

The amount of paan masala , paan ki paati , choona , kattha , bidi ( and God knows what not ) that gets consumed everyday , is staggering .
And then of’course , there is the ‘peek’ .On the road , in offices , schools , hotels , shamshaan ghats ..omnipresent !

I have a feeling Congress should adopt the “peek” as their election symbol in our state  .Maybe that’ll help :D
Ah ! We are the one of biggest states ,and still send the largest number of MPs to the centre .

But alas , caste politics zindabaad ! We are caught between two parties . How do we say it in hindi ?
‘Ek ser toh dooja sava ser” *sigh*

Ganga Arti - Haridwar

All in all , I have left a lot of things out . It’s almost impossible to cover the entire state in one article . 

Yes , we are not the most developed state ( *cheeky grin* ) . But then , we’ll get there one day .If statues stop erecting themselves and people don’t get trampled under cycles .
Ji ,humara Lucknow

But the UP spirit of living ,our ‘majakiya andaaz’ , the bhaukali style , the ‘never say die’ attitude is something you wouldn’t find anywhere .

      Kabhi tashreef laiye . You'll love it :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Great Chennai Summers !

*camera shifts into focus*
You are walking in a haphazard fashion . Clothes sticking to you back ,you armpits ( and other pits in general ).
Tongue lolling out in distress , skin glittering with an unnatural sheen and your hair plastered flat over your eyes ( if you have coconut oil on . Oh well, That’s a bonus treat ) 
Infact  , you are so disoriented that hallucinations of Amma serving you ‘sambhar sadam’   float in front of your eyes .

Well , welcome to Chennai summers .
That lovely season of the year when roads glitter with heat , lungis get folded as high as possible ( sometimes even higher ) and the demand for ‘moar’ ( read buttermilk ) increases tenfold .

The sweat .
If you live in a hostel with no air-conditioner/cooler in your room ( Yes , my story ) …You would definitely know what am I talking about .
It just dosen’t come out , it flows . It seeps in , it soaks the very existence of your being .

 Infact , I would like to quote Tennyson’s ‘Brook’ here ,
“By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges;
By twenty thorps, a little town, And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip's farm I flow, To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.”

Metaphorically speaking , replace the hills with with our nose , ear , eye lids , thighs , belly , bum ( or any other curves you might have ) .
Replace the ridges with your armpits , the little town with your belly button and the bridges with your fingers .
The Philips’ farm can very well be some areas down there ( shhhh … Idhu adult blog illae sir . Please understand ) 
And yes , you’ve got the general picture . 

Ps – Getting up in the middle of the night ,realizing there is a layer of sweat between you and the bed sheet .
 It makes you wonder why people waste money on saunas :D

The Power Cut .
Yes, thankfully we have it for just two hours in namma Chennai .It’s around 9-10 hours in dear old Coimbatore and elsewhere .
Have you seen ever seen exorcism ? no ?

Vaangu sir . come to our hostel during (4-6)pm  .People will be roaming with eyes dilated , hair all dishevelled and torn and I would rather not discuss the state of (un)dress ;-)

Some might be found shaking uncontrollably , staring vacantly into space or abusing/shouting/banging walls without any apparent reason . 

Ah ! the simple joys of standing fully clothed under shower and (literally) soaking the marvel of nature , water :D

The solution .
Enna sir ? Namma Chennai la … In our Chennai you will be finding all solutions sir .

Lungi rocks – I am sorely tempted to try my first one this summer . The sheer bliss of feeling air circulating around Philip’s farm !
And automatic air control included .Just shorten it as the temperature keeps soaring ;-)

Coconut – God bless it ! Rs.10 worth of Heaven’s manna .

The talcum powder – Do it macha style da ! Spray it , pour it , bathe in the ecstasy and frangrance of this gift of cosmetics .
Make sure it reaches all the crevices ( It might take some practice before you cover all crevices . But don’t give up hope ) :P

Marina Beach – Pack your lunch , put on your shiniest shirt ,some sexy goggles ( a gold chain wouldn’t go amiss either ) and just hop on .
Just mind you step . Considering the amount of ‘chinna papas’ ( read, nasty brats ) that roam around , you might stumble over and fall face down in someone’s ‘bhajji’ plate leftover :D

General caution : Please avoid buses between (6-8) pm . Trust me ,Hitler could’ve learnt a few tricks for his gas chambers from them !!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fallen leaf

And btw , someone turned 23 yesterday . THANK YOU .
To all those people who called and wished and made me feel so special :D