Are we forgetting our national anthem?

Something really interesting happened while having breakfast at Anna’s today. A middle-aged man, a coach in a school, claimed that most adults, and even children, do not know our national anthem. I said no! That could not be.

To prove his point, he immediately asked Anna, to which Anna replied, “Which one is the national anthem – Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram?”

After that he asked the cleaners, other customers, and even two school-going children, none of which who knew the national anthem. With us being patriotic only before a movie starts or on independence and republic days, are we seriously forgetting our national anthem?


Kickass Mornings


Today was one of those mornings which I call … the kickass mornings. To light up my day were a hundred little kids in Chittaranjan Vatika. And those who know me, know my love for both, kids as well as parks. Both put together, is like a blackforest cake with cherry toppings for me. Also, an important lesson learned …  Never click pictures of little kids come to a park for a picnic EVEN IF YOU ARE AN ENTHUSIASTIC BLOGGER. The teachers may think of you as a spy and scream at you. Who cares! It was a kickass morning, anyway!


Pankh sikudkar baithe hai aise,
Kisi chotese pinjare me band ho jaise.

Chahte hai darr ka darwaza todkar,
Ude ek aam panchi ki tarah, aazaad hokar.

Dusro ko dekhte hai unchi udaan bharte jab,
Khud par taras aata hai tab.

Aisi hi udaan hum bhi bharna chahte hai,
Dur tak, ab hum bhi udna chahte hai.

Pankh toh humare paas bhi hai,
Kami sirf azaadi ki hai.

Khul jaayenge yeh darwaaze jab,
Aasmaa ko chuyenge hum bhi tab.

Na rok paayega koi, na tok sakega hume,
Kya kabiliyat rakhte hai ye tab dikhayenge unhe.

Bas ye darwaza todkar nikal jaana hai,
Aazaad hokar ab hume bhi ud jana hai.

Adhuri Kahani

Kya hua mil na paaye hum agar,
Kya hua milne se pehle hi juda ho gaye agar,
Dil me toh pyaar ab bhi hai,
Is aaj ke baad aane wala ek kal bhi hai.

Milenge kabhi hum bhi inttefaq se,
Dekhkar ek dusre ko, nazare churayenge apne aap se,
Kuch ho sakta tha shayad, is baat ka dukh hume bhi hoga,
Pata hai kyuki, is kahani ka kabhi ant nahi hoga.

Don’t you just love the spirit of oldies in Pune!

Apart from the “Puneri patya” and “Kokanastha tomne”, there is one thing I absolutely love about Pune, the oldies. Here in Pune, you’ll see them driving their scooties, laughing out loud during their yoga classes, and also shake a leg at dance studios. Some even compete in the regularly-held story telling competitions conducted at Kathayatra – a yearly 3-day festival by Bhaashaa foundation. While most senior citizens may spend their time watching Aastha channel, you can easily spot a cool 60 year old dude with sunglasses and funky earphones plugged in. As a student in MIT, I knew a 20-member club, who without a miss, would come to Anna Ki Tapri, for their everyday chai. And trust me, their conversations were to die for! No, they were not the ones who would badmouth today’s generation for hours, for everything that is wrong with the world. They were the cool oldies who would plan their weekends and pull each other’s legs.

Also remarkable are the old couples in the city. While in most cities they are too shy for any PDA whatsover, old couples holding hands and being romantic is a norm here. One such couple I knew was Mr. and Mrs. Arole. Mr. Arole, without a fail, would get a gajra for his wife everyday, and she would show it off beautifully. Mrs. Arole too, would make it a point to make her husband’s favourite upma every morning. When her lungs failed and she was bedridden, it was he who bathed her, changed her and fed her. A year after she has passed away, everytime he visits us, he still goes, “aamchya hila tar na … “. One of the most adorable couples I have met so far.

What made me write this post today was my early morning walk at the Kamla Nehru Park. I saw the cutest of dadas and dadis in track suits and funky t-shirts. Some of them for their brisk walk, some for their yoga classes, and some, to play freesbee with their grandkids. Some were chitchatting with their fellas, some were there for their society meeting, and some were of course discussing politics. And I thought … Don’t you just love the spirit of oldies in Pune!