Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Life – T&C Apply…

What happens when one doesn’t write a post for a year or so? Out of the many things one forgets is the name of the app they have been using to compose posts. It took me 30 secs to remember what is ‘Windows live writer’ called today (It’s called ‘Open live writer’) as I went on to write a bunch of posts in the end of December to fill up the year’s quota of posts on the blog. I had taken my annual break of 2 weeks, gladly in the month of December and you would ask why? ‘Because I have my leaves accumulated’ is one of the answers but the obvious reason that everyone might guess is to spend time with the family. In my case, it was more specific than that – to spend time with myself. Out of the many things people say, one of the things they say right is that you never get that straight 8 hours of sleep once you become a parent. Over the course of the year, I have bought books which I have felt so keen about to read but either have not been able to start them or have left them incomplete. I had wished to spend the break time primarily doing that and have been able to read 5 books, not as many as I thought I would but happy to have a number greater than 0. I wanted to do more – like drive a car or join a Zumba class but where is the time.

Every person in this country who has a bank account knows about SBI and this year, SBI promoted its new online website named Yono. It was advertised using emails, newspaper ads, hoardings, etc. making sure everyone who used Internet banking went on to try Yono at least once. The first time I tried testing, I found something like the following while trying to fill in occupation:

Part of Card Application Form

We haven’t got to ‘E’ in this screenshot and that was the end of Yono for me. If anyone has created a longer drop-down list than this one ever in their life, please let me know in the comment section below.

I have lost a good number of senior family members in 2019. With each death, I have realized that life is not just short, it is too short, and it doesn’t matter if I live to the age of 94 (like my Grandmama who died this year) or to a mere 46 (like my Mother who died in 2010). Whatever that number be, life is very short indeed and it would be a total waste of my time if I do redundant things that don’t matter in the end, that don’t contribute to my prime goal at the end. My mother lived for a few years but wrote 27 journals to her credit. She wrote very fast because she had the capability of writing down things as people spoke. Sometimes I wonder if she knew what was coming along. Being with my mother taught me love, her leaving has taught me life. In general, the deaths have taught me to focus on important things, be mindful of the days that are not going to come back and do things that make me truly happy without bothering or causing trouble to anyone else and if there is a paradise, I wish I can be granted a place there and I so wish to meet some of the loved ones there, whom I have lost here, one time again, this one which would be forever.

On that note, I wish you & your family/friends a Great (replace ‘Great’ with any/all adjectives you like) 2020 – the start to another decade and hopefully one with a better climate, a bit more peaceful & safe and one which can make the world a better place to live for future generations to come.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Trip to the UK

This year, I travelled to UK in September for about a month and before the year ends, I would like to share my memories from the trip. I would like to start with the best part first. I travelled with my father and daughter. My father has been to China before this. When asked to describe the China trip in a few words, he said ‘Though the country like us has a lot of people, it doesn’t feel so in the public places. People are cleaning there all the time. They have a simple technique to pick up cigarette butts. The metro is just wonderful, but I so wish if the people there could speak some English’. About UK he said ‘the GPS is extremely useful, and I could read the directions very well for the first time on phone. There are pigeons and ducks everywhere. Everything though is of higher quality but very expensive. People are jogging/running all the time which explains the fewer Pharmacies. Our Railways follow the same system as theirs, it’s just that theirs looks cleaner’. It was the first trip outside India for my daughter. I have no idea how she would describe it. Maybe she can say something in future when she looks at the pictures. From what I could observe, she loved the green grass in parks with fewer children to share it with. She ran, slept and rolled over the grass, while she keeps on the lookout for insects here.

Green grass

We did some touristy things like visiting the London eye, Madame Tussauds, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, a lot of Parks like the James’s Park/Regents Park/Kensington Gardens/Greenwich Park and even visited farms for my daughter like Mudchute, and museums like the National Maritime Museum. It was quite a feeling to stand on the Meridian line and observe the home of Greenwich Mean Time at the National Maritime Museum. Sakura had the experience of traveling on a Buggy for a month. The first time she saw us preparing the Buggy for travel she cried but once she realized how comfortable it was to ride on, she used to just go and sit on the Buggy asking me to take her out on a walk. The weather was chilly, but the air was clean and none of us had to take any anti-allergens or medicines for cold.

I used to visit the nearby Supermarkets, Tesco mostly, to buy everyday stuff. On most of the days, Sakura sat on the Buggy while I picked up items and paid at the counter but one day she wanted to come out and check the aisles herself. Without me forecasting what she could do, I pulled her out of the buggy and there she was, wandering around me. While I moved to different aisles, she stuck to the one with chocolates and I didn’t mind her doing that till she was just being observant. It must have been a few minutes when I heard one of the shopkeepers asking me to check what my baby was up to. She had thrown a lot of chocolates on the floor and the moment she saw me, she started shouting, anticipating a not so pleasant conversation between her and me. Well… that was one embarrassing situation. I disliked myself for having taken her out of the Buggy in a Supermarket.

At a local park in London

We got 4 complete weekends, one of which we spent by traveling to a town named York. My father found a driver from Kerala, South India to speak to. In a 20 min Uber ride, the driver narrated his life in brief. That’s how simple I wish to keep my life too, one which can be explained in a few sentences, its goals and objectives clearly stated. He told my father that he loved his life in York as a driver. His wife who was a nurse had brought him to York. He has 2 lovely children and York has some of the finest schools in UK, something that he is very happy of. My father asked how life of a medical practitioner in UK was, to which he said “It’s tiring. The work hours are long, and doctors/nurses often work overtime because there is just so much to be done and written down.” My father was glad that the doctors are at least not beaten up like in our country. There are nearly 150 Indian families in a small town like York in UK and nearly 40 from just one South Indian state. One of the serious questions my father asked him was if he missed his home country to which he said ‘Not at all. The country and town have given him so much that he considers coming to York one of the best decisions of his life’.

We walked almost the whole town of York, covering the York city wall, York Minster, York’s chocolate story, York Shambles including the Wizardry shops, bakeries, open market, etc. We also met an elderly man who came forward on his own to take pictures for us as a family. Maybe he saw how I sulked at taking selfies/groupfies. People were extremely friendly; it seemed they had time to talk to strangers. It was quite nice to see a lot of elderly couple coming out and having breakfast together, chatting/talking to each other instead of using mobile phones. Street life seemed like a part of their life because by the time it was lunch hour, the streets were full of locals.

The highlight of my whole trip was catching a glimpse of Mr. Tom Branson (Real name: Allen Leech) from Downton Abbey. I saw him at the York Railway station on our return trip back to London and I think my eyes were wide open, but he happened to smile. I was so shocked to see him that I forgot to notice who was walking next to him, but I did notice that he smiled at his neighbor too as he walked along, almost saying something non-verbally in his smile.

In swing motion

The month flew by and all I’m left with now are memories, mostly beautiful and some funny ones. Now, if you wish to catch a few glimpses of my trip through my lens, please look at an album here.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sketchbook Once More…

…Probably for the last time because of this post. As promised there, here are some pages from the last volume (14) of Sketchbook and my guesses at what is going on there.

Sketchbook v14 Pg6-7

Sora has fallen sick and expects to take medicines for a month!? So counts the pills in the bottle and makes sure there are 90 of them so that she can take 3 at a time? Maybe I’m as confused as Ao here.

Sketchbook v14 Pg16-17

The Art Students have gone fishing and they catch a fish that they don’t want… neither does the cat!

Sketchbook v14 Pg20-21

Ahh… the simplicity of Sketchbook that made me fall in love with this manga! Self-explanatory panels here.

Sketchbook v14 Pg42-43

Ahh… the complexity of Sketchbook that made me fall in love with this manga! Self-Bug-explanatory panels here.

Sketchbook v14 Pg58-59

Kate is again struck with some of the “idiosyncracies” of the Japanese script… Found some connection to Tetris?

Sketchbook v14 Pg68-69

Ahh… the simplicity complexity of Origami… Asaka & Sora have made aeroplanes that don’t quite fly but others have successfully made a lobster and a frog!

Sketchbook v14 Pg82-83

Finally, the long-awaited panels with Kuga and Tsukiyo. Tsukiyo seems to be fond of cats or is it the other way around? Also, is Kuga scared of black Cats?


Friday, December 27, 2019

Toddler Psychology

I wonder what goes in their teeny-weeny brains. When my daughter was in the womb, my friends and family requested me to listen to good music. They asked me to continue listening after she was born. I’m not sure what impact the music has had on her because I listen to random music – anything that I feel like. I somehow feel she is very kind and humble. Not sure again if that’s how all the toddlers are. The other day Sakura and I were in a close by market when she saw a man using crutches. A person like me is scared to watch a man holding crutches because it reminds me of pain. But Sakura, as her usual self, shouted ‘dada’ and then said a ‘hiii’. He smiled and waved a ‘hiii’ back when she told me ‘daaada’ by pointing fingers at him. Then she looked at him again when he had barely walked a few meters and said ‘tata dada’ (tata means bye and she uses these 2 words interchangeably).

A month or so back I bought her 5 pim-poms (candies) and she started to have one while we were returning from the market. When we reached our place, as soon as she saw the caretaker’s granddaughter in the parking area, she asked me to share one with her which I dutifully did. A few weeks later I was playing with her in the parking area as part of my everyday routine and Sakura saw that the granddaughter was holding a candy as well as a packet of chips in her hand. The girl first held the 2 items close to herself indicating her intention not to share and quickly found her way to hide the eatables under the sheet of the bed she was sitting on. Sakura looked at me trying to say something but did not. Instead she asked the girl to come play with her in a few words. I knew Sakura had connected the dots but she made me realize that it doesn’t matter. What people give back to you doesn’t matter. One needs to do things without expectations of something in return.

Things are not that rosy or enlightening all the time, though. She is quite passionate about teddies, to the extent that she is not willing to share the ones that are not even hers to begin with. We found that out recently while visiting a family gathering and she tried to monopolize a huge teddy at that house in the presence of (at least) two other kids. And witnessing such incidents – some sweet, some heart-warming, and some not so much – I have come to the end of 2019. So far, it has been a wonderful, wonderful experience watching Sakura grow. God bless her!

Sakura on her Own

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Inextensible and Infallible…

As mentioned here, I wrote a paper “rubbishing” another paper. We had sent its authors a couple of detailed emails about what we thought were problematic statements in their paper regarding the way they refer to our earlier (and related) papers. They seemed to agree with most of our objections and told us that they would fix them in version 2 of their paper. So far so good. We wait for nearly half a year and see no new version! Now, as Bill Bailey says: Contentment is knowing you are right but Happiness is knowing someone else is wrong!😊 So I decided to be both content and happy. I had already figured out something new about $\widehat{E}$ quivers which in itself wasn’t worth posting to arXiv. But with the “new” quivers in that paper whose twisted index hadn’t been calculated, I had something non-trivial to add to the literature. I did just that and evaluated twisted indices explicitly for some of those quivers because why not? After all, our claim was that the algorithm we use is exact & complete along with being simpler, faster, and easier to implement than theirs! Also, these new results confirmed the thing I had figured out about $\widehat{E}$ quivers too, so included the $\widehat{E}$ quivers in the appendix and called it a day after posting this paper on arXiv. After a few weeks of this submission, they updated their paper without correcting any of the problematic statements. What a bunch of %^&*! They even ignored this new paper of mine (which must have jolted them to action) because then they wouldn’t be able to write statements like “interesting possibility consists in ⋯ computing their topologically twisted index”, for their future directions.😁

Anyway, the title of this post is not regarding this paper but its predecessor. In it, we generalize the “well-known” toric relation (misleadingly called index theorem here) to a non-toric relation and give explicit examples in the form of $\widehat{D}$ quivers. The explicit computation requires additional new steps in the algorithm that had not appeared before in the literature because nobody had cared to look at the non-toric examples. Even after we had done so in a related context ages ago! People don’t even look at $\widehat{A}$ quivers (toric example) in general, they just keep repeating one ABJM calculation in different guises. And when something more than ABJM is done, these people go through all the emotional stages of being rejected. Basically, people are averse to the idea that their (or their colleagues’) ideas can be extended or improved. I have known this for quite some time but I witnessed this again in the referee reports and the few papers that didn’t cite this(these) paper(s) despite being aware of it(them)! This is like Yang & Mills generalizing Maxwell theory (non-abelian generalization of abelian gauge theory) but people deciding not to give any credit to YM because hey, $F_{μν}$ still looks like $F_{μν}$.

$\widehat{ADE}$ Quivers

For all those people (presumably none) wondering why this physics-heavy post is posted on this blog and not in the physics blog instead: That Blog is for Physics not

Sociology of Physics

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Mahapragya Ashtakam

Changing the music style a bit, here are eight Sanskrit stanzas in praise of the tenth Acharya of Jain Terapanth sect – Acharya Mahapragya.

महाप्रज्ञ अष्टकम्

पुनीतान्तः प्रज्ञा गहनतम-तत्त्वेषु निपुणा
श्रुतस्वाध्यायेन सुविदितरहस्यो विभुवरः |
प्रशस्या शास्त्राणां सुषमतर-सम्पादन-सृतिः
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

विशुद्धा सम्भाषा विनयति विबाधाः प्रतिपदम्
प्रकाण्डं पाण्डित्यं श्रुवति मुखपद्मात् प्रवचने |
प्रभावी व्याहारो जनयति समाधिं जनचये
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

गभीरं साहित्यं सुमतिविदुषां प्रीतिजनकम्
प्रदत्ते सौहित्यं पठनपर-लोकाय विपुलम् |
विशिष्टश्लोकानां विरचनमकार्यायशुकविना
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

तनावग्रस्तोऽयं विविधभययुक्तश्च मनुजः
विधत्ते सन्तापं प्रशमसमभावाद् विरहितः |
शुभं प्रेक्षाध्यानं सहजसुखदं विश्ववरदम्
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

विकासो बुद्धेः स्याद् विशदतरभावेन सहितः
पवित्रा लेश्या चेत् प्रखरमतिलाभोऽपि सुफलः |
शिवा शिक्षाक्षेत्रे बुधनरमता जीवनकला
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

अहिंसा शक्तीनां भवतु समवायः सुखकरः
सदा यात्रा भूयात् विविधजनताया हितकृते |
जगत्यां तेजस्ते प्रहरतुतमां व्याप्त तिमिरम्
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

दयाभावः पुण्यो विलसतितरां पूतहृदये
प्रकामं वात्सल्यं प्रवहति सुधातुल्यममलम् |
प्रसन्ना मुद्रेयं स्फुरति वदने शान्ति-जननी
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

शरच्चन्द्रेश्वेतो गण गगन भानुर्गतमलः
सुलब्धा प्रख्यातिः प्रणयन-कलायां कविकुले |
प्रदत्तं विज्ञेभ्यः कठिनतर पृच्छा-प्रतिवचः
महाप्रज्ञः पूज्यो जिनपतिसरूपो गुरुवरः ||

– युवाचार्य महाश्रमण

आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ और युवाचार्य महाश्रमण

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

End of Another Era…

This post is not in the context of manga but technology. More specifically, it is about the end of support for the Windows phones/mobiles.

Now, most of the insane people didn’t bother with WinPhones but even most of the sane ones started moving on to other phones like Android since MS announced the plans, or rather, no plans to continue with WinPhones a couple of years ago. Since the WinPhone support was supposed to end in December this year (now it ends mid-Jan next year?), we decided to move on too in the last quarter of this year. We got a couple of Nokia’s Android Phones (1 & 7.2). Well, we wanted some familiarity with our past WinPhones. But that’s where it all ends. In the last couple of months, we have been begrudgingly using these phones because we do not feel like looking at the dead screens of AndPhones. WinPhones had live screens! Even when there was nothing to look at, it was fun to look at the dynamic screen full of Live Tiles… one could just flick the screen up and down fluently, an interaction well-worth-it and then move on. It felt like something was accomplished. AndPhones’ screens are just dumb to look at and even when I’m reading an important email or news item, it feels like a waste of time. More so with the uninspiring home screen, which feels underwhelming to look at with all those static uniformly shaped icons. There’s nothing that says: hey pick up the phone, some pleasant screen time here…

My Superpartner has lot more quibbles with the keyboard. She feels that the WinPhone keyboard was way ahead with predicting emojis and not just the text! (She’s the one on WhatsApp and WeChat so needs all those typing features.) Swiftkey is supposed to be a good substitute in AndPhones but nope, doesn’t feel right. There’s random lag while swiping and longer words are just not as accurate as WinPhone’s keyboard was. Did I say predictions are also not as good?

My frustration with Android reached another level when I tried to make a minimal working version (MWV) of AcBook for my Superpartner’s AndPhone. Because she doesn’t have enough time to run the full-fledged version of AcBook on SP4 on a regular basis, she wanted something light-weight on mobile for daily usage. Now, I thought it would be nice to consider a cross-platform solution which runs on both Windows 10 (forget WinPhones already, man!) and Android. I downloaded Visual Studio 2019 and started browsing through some Xamarin tutorials. After a few months of copying and pasting codes from such tutorials and StackOverflow, I did succeed in making a MWV of AcBook (as mentioned here) but oh boy, is Android primitive! It doesn’t even have an automatic splash screen creator… Seriously, after all these years, a splash screen has to be coded explicitly by a programmer as an “activity”, which is supposed to be a single usable screen of the app where a user does something! What the hell? Even MathWorks provided that functionality when they realized their users were actually making standalone programs and their MCR (MATLAB Compiler Runtime) took a helluva long time to start such programs (even in 2019!). They revamped their compilers to generate splash screens without the programmers having to worry about it (and stop people from ripping their clients off). And guess what? UWP apps on Win10 have automatic splash screens generated too!

The frustration continues with the realization that Android also doesn’t have a system-wide save file dialog. Or if it does, they don’t want me to know about it… so what the hell again! There is no universal dark theme even for the 1st party apps including Settings… Are these guys serious? How the hell is this OS the most widely used mobile OS in the world? All because of the deluge of “dum-bass” people wanting “apps” to do a single “activity” on a “smartphone”!

Anyway, so long WinPhones… esp. our Nokia 735 and 950XL. We’ll miss you!

Screens of our WinPhones

Back of our WinPhones

Even after resetting these phones to the point that the screen is as bland as it could be, it looks refreshing. Way more inviting than our current AndPhones’ screens!

Nokia AndPhones

Monday, December 23, 2019

It's a Lovely Day...

Winters are here, short and good, and it feels like an atmosphere of holidays. I wish the Sun would set a bit late for us to enjoy the daylight a little bit more and be outside a little bit more. ‘So much universe and so little time’. But there are always great songs to cheer us up. Here's another one inspired by watching Mrs. Maisel.

The weather is frightening
The thunder and lightning
Seem to be having their way
But as far as I'm concerned, it's a lovely day

The turn in the weather
Will keep us together
So I can honestly say
That as far as I'm concerned, it's a lovely day

And everything's okay
This… Isn't this a lovely day?
To be caught in the rain?
You were going on your way
Now you've got to remain
Yes, just as you were going
Leaving me all at sea
The clouds broke, they broke
And oh, what a break for me
Now I can see the sun up high
Though we're caught in the storm
I can see where you and I
Could be cozy and warm
Let the rain pitter patter
But it really doesn't matter
If the skies are gray
Long as I can be with you, it's a lovely day

Isn't this a lovely day?
To be caught in the rain?
You were going on your way
Now you've got to remain
Yes, just as you were going
Leaving me all at sea
The clouds broke, they broke
And oh, what a break for me
I can see the sun up high
Though we're caught in the storm
I can see where you and I
Could be cozy and warm
Let the rain pitter patter
But it really doesn't matter
If the skies are gray
Long as I can be with you, it's a lovely day

I can see the sun up high
Though we're caught in the storm
…caught in the storm
I can see where you and I
Could be cozy and warm
…cozy and warm
Let the rain pitter patter
But it really doesn't matter
If the skies are gray
Long as I can be with you, it's a lovely day

Long as I can be with you, it's a lovely day

– Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
[Song featured in the movie – Top Hat]

Sakura & Newspapers

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Another Round of Fillers Begin!

Unlike last year, we have a lot of posts to publish this year to reach the magic number.

But we hope it is possible and the quest to do that has already started with the previous post. It may not have felt like a filler so this post will take care of that feeling.

A lot of things have happened this year, mostly unpleasant (both academic and social/personal), which deserve their own posts, but my Superpartner convinced me to postpone making those “public” right after they’d happened so for now I’ll leave those events be.

A few pleasant things did manage to happen this year:

1. Getting a paper published with half a dozen authors whose initials form AB²J²M (the second J being me).

2. Making a barebones AcBook app for Android (+Win10 UWP) which only my Superpartner and my nephew use. More on this in a later filler.

3. Visiting IMSc, Chennai (twice) including Sujay’s treat at the “Little Italy”; HRI, Allahabad (once); IISER TVM (once).

4. Putting up a paper on arXiv “rubbishing” another paper, whose authors did not bother to correct their misleading claims about our earlier papers (including other related papers). More on this in a later filler.

5. Giving half a dozen lectures on “Supersymmetry” at S.N. Bose Centre, the new institute I joined as a postdoc after SINP.

Us at Diwali

So that’s it for now and look forward (or don’t) to other fillers appearing almost daily till the end of this year.😀

A Tale by Bob Mortimer

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Seasons

I recently finished watching the 3rd season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel & The Crown. The season 3 of Mrs. Maisel was much more musical this time. I totally liked it, not sure about my Superpartner though and on beautiful days like today, I listen to all the songs from all the episodes in a loop. It is these rare occasions when I understand the lyrics without having to listen to the songs over and over again. Most of the songs chosen in the Series have simple lyrics and are slow in the rhythm, sort of my taste. I have many personal favorites but here is one for you to listen and sing along.


Maybe I'm right, and maybe I'm wrong
And maybe I'm weak, and maybe I'm strong
But nevertheless, I'm in love, with you

Maybe I'll win, and maybe I'll lose
And maybe I'm in for crying the blues
But nevertheless, I'm in love, with you

Somehow, I know at a glance
The terrible chances I'm taking
Fine at the start, then left with a heart that is breaking

Maybe I'll live a life of regret,
And maybe I'll give much more than I'll get
But nevertheless, I'm in love with you

Somehow, I know at a glance
The terrible chances I'm taking
Fine at the start, then left with a heart that is breaking

Maybe I'll live a life of regret,
And maybe I'll give much more than I'll get
But nevertheless, I'm in love with you
But nevertheless, I'm in love with you

– The Mills Brothers
[Song featured in the MGM movie – Three Little Words]

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Great Shayari Once More

Not sure if we will reach the magic number of posts this year but let me publish one to start, anyway.

This year has been an interesting point in my life, both personally and professionally. I have been recently diagnosed with middle-age, less-than-average-functioning body organs and couldn’t-care-less-attitude. In short, haven’t got many years left to live, which is a good thing given the state of this world.

With that internal note out of the way, let me translate a couple of ghazals by the great poet Shakeel Azmi. Giving credit where credit is due, read the tab above marked “Shayari” first and then let’s crack on with the first Ghazal.

कहानी जिसकी थी उसके ही जैसा हो गया था मैं
तमाशा करते करते खुद तमाशा हो गया था मैं

Kahaani jiski thi uske hi jaisa ho gaya tha main
Tamaasha karte karte khud tamaasha ho gaya tha main

I became just like them, whom-so-ever's story it was
Playing so many dramas, a drama was what I'd become

न मेरा नाम था न दाम बाजार-ए-मोहब्बत में
बस उसने भाव पूछा और महंगा हो गया था मैं

Na mera naam tha na daam bazaar-e-mohabbat mein
Bas usne bhaav puchha aur mahanga ho gaya tha main

Neither had I fame nor wealth in the market-of-love
She just asked price, and valuable was what I'd become

बितादी उम्र मैंने उसकी एक आवाज सुनने में
उसे जब बोलना आया तो बहरा हो गया था मैं

Bitaadi umra maine uski ek awaaz sunne mein
Use jab bolna aaya to bahra ho gaya tha main

Spent my whole life expecting to hear her speak once
When she was able to speak, deaf was what I'd become

बुझा तो खुद में एक चिंगारी भी बाकी नहीं रखी
उसे तारा बनाने में अंधेरा हो गया था मैं

Bujha to khud mein ek chingaari bhi baaki nahin rakhi
Use taara banaane mein andhera ho gaya tha main

No sparks were left in me when I got extinguished
To make her a star, darkness was what I'd become

खुद को ढूंढ कर एक रोज गोली मार दी मैंने
जिसे चाहा उसी की जान का खतरा हो गया था मैं

Khud ko dhoondh kar ek roz goli maar di maine
Jise chaaha usi ki jaan ka khatra ho gaya tha main

Having searched, I found and shot myself one day
For my loved one's life, danger was what I'd become

That went in quite a different direction by the end so let us start a second Ghazal:

शाम होने को है घर जाते हैं
अब बुलंदी से उतर जाते हैं

Shaam hone ko hai ghar jaate hain
Ab bulandi se utar jaate hain

It's about dusk, let's go home
Now, let us get off the summit

ज़िंदगी सामने मत आया कर
हम तुझे देख कर डर जाते हैं

Zindagi saamne mat aaya kar
Ham tujhe dekh kar dar jaate hain

Life, do not confront me
I get scared at your sight

ख़ाब क्या देखें थके हारे लोग
ऐसे सोते हैं की मर जाते हैं

Khaab kya dekhen thake haare log
Aise sote hain ki mar jaate hain

How can the tired dream?
They sleep and they die

Well, not quite a full-fledged Ghazal, but here is a bonus Sher and a great one at that:

उसे भूला भी दिया याद भी रखा उसको
नशा उतार दिया ख़ुमार रहने दिया

Use bhula bhi diya yaad bhi rakha usko
Nasha utaar diya khumaar rahne diya

I forgot her and kept her in memories too
Hangover cured but intoxication retained

– शकील आज़मी (Shakeel Azmi)

That’s all for this post. Till the next one,

Discover more of Azmi’s Shayari

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sketchbook 208

This is the last chapter of Sketchbook. It was released on 25th June and the great saga of Art Club has ended with that. This chapter is special as it does not follow the usual 4-panel style. Most probably, it tells the story of the last day of the students at the school, their graduation, their future, and so on. They also seem to be preparing a feast in the club room. The last page has Sora sitting beside a sketch of all her friends, colleagues and teachers.

Sora in the final chapter...

An era has ended with the end of Sketchbook. My life won’t be the same anymore. No more looking forward to 25th of each month to ‘read’ less than a dozen pages of supposed hilarity, trivialities and enlightenment about bugs, insects, plants and life in general. This was a true slice of life manga. The manga which I could relate to because of my life experiences whether in school or otherwise. All characters felt like they were part of me and in turn, it felt like I was a part of the manga.

I could have been Sora trying to find some courage to speak to a stranger. I could have been Natsumi trying to be carefree. I could have been Hazuki trying to save some money. I could have been Kokage trying to be dark and witty. I could have been Nagisa trying to be knowledgeable about everything and Juju trying to remain calm in the presence of caterpillars. I could never be the SuzuKaze combo but could have been Fuu and Ryou trying to be resourceful just for the hell of it. I could have been Asaka trying to never fail in my endeavours and Daichi trying to convince others that I AM NOT ANGRY! I could have been Kate trying to see the funny or dumb side of things. I could have been Asakura-Sensei trying to be an adult among kids, Kasugano-Sensei trying to be a child among adults and the President (Ujou) trying to be just the right person among all. I could have been Takane and Kei trying to avoid extra-curricular activities. I could have been Minamo trying to learn photography. I could have been Ao trying to help my sister in the kitchen. I could have been Tsukiyo trying to vanish in the background of this world.

The last volume 14 of Sketchbook should be released in a few months. Will share it as and when I get my hands on it. For now, I leave you with the

Official Website