Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules undersea lodge image courtsey: jules.com

‘Jules’ 21 feet under the sea.

The Legendary Sub-marine off Florida.

Jules Verne and his Nautilus (the fictitious sub-marine) that could dip to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea! Had attracted the fancy of children (as well as adults all over the world) Jules Under Sea Lodge also has some thing common with it as first the name ‘Jules’ is for the tribute of the great author Jules Verne himself. Nautilus went so many leagues (whole 200,000) under the sea (in no where in the sea such a huge depth exists is another matter) Jules’ Under Sea Lodge is under the sea and reachable via scuba diving only. This is the largest and most luxurious among habitable underwater stations in the world.

Relaxing under water!

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge image courtsey: dne.enaa.com

‘Jules Lodge located in a lagoon adjacent to Key Largo in Florida, is a natural nursery for many reef-fishes and tropical mangrove varieties. Jules was originally established as an under-sea research laboratory to study the Continental Shelf of Puerto Rico but in a very rare and innovative step it has been opened for common men even for those who never have attempted to dive beforehand! It may be akin to the scenes of a sci-fi movie scene to imagine that people with scuba diving suit dining relaxing and sleeping how can it be possible? The scuba diving suit can be changed soon after you enter the lodge as in the lodge clean atmospheric air is available to breath.

A musical kitchen.

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules under sea lodge image courtsey: ministryoftech.com

Not just breathing but talking relaxing eating good food all exactly as in any other luxury lodges. Rooms are air-conditioned with attached bathrooms provided with hot showers, telephones and all amenities a good lodge can provide. The kitchen is well stocked with refrigerator, micro-wave oven, a good library with exclusive books. You can cook your favorite dish dissolved in the stereophonic music flow from most modern system fills the entire atmosphere!

Finned friends are just neighbors!

If a good sleep is missing what does it means with the word comfort; here the bed is luxuriously cozy with wide 42” windows nearby there are a lot of fish as your visitors over the windows having a look at those strangers snuggling in the bed under the dim light of the bed-room lamp! Don’t worry they these scaled friends are not Peeping Toms they see such scenes every day; just paying a visit to see who the day’s guests are.

A window not to be opened.

Jules Under-Sea Lodge is located in mangrove lagoon a natural nursery of many reef-fishes like the angel fish, parrot fish, barracuda, snappers etc. The visitors at your windows may be any or some of these original residents of the locality. Pities that you can’t please the visitors by some treats as the window cannot be opened remember that fact that you are in deep blue sea!

Marriages are made beneath the sea!

This lodge offers very interesting facilities like under water weddings where flowers, ‘under-water wedding cake’ and all paraphernalia associated with a traditional wedding is supplied so that couples who are stuck to their traditional customs can marry in a very rare and trendy style! After marriage, what about an instant honey-moon? No problem that also can be celebrated among angel fishes as Peep Toms! There are many celebrities in their visitors list like Pierre Trudeau erstwhile P M of Canada, Rock star Steve Tylor etc the list is rather long.

Not just a sub-marine lodge.

This is not just an under-water lodge it is a marine archeological institute as well. A re-creation of old wreck of a Spanish Galleon provides the inmates with the basic lessons as well as practical procedures related to marine archeological researches. There are courses offered for ‘aquanauts’ (like astronauts going and living in space aquanauts go beneath water and get trained in the techniques of living and doing researches) and certificates issued for those who successfully complete the courses. In a sense it is a full fledged marine university rather a “sub-marine university”. Its inmates are allowed unlimited diving time with scuba gear and the air-tanks provided by the lodge there is no time or air limits but 24 hours recuperation is compulsory after every diving sessions for the sake of safety.

A ground station for back-support.

It is the ground station located in the edge of the emerald lagoon that controls all the operations and requirements of the lodge like air, water, power and communications all and above the provisions required for the comforts of the occupants. Staffs there are in twenty four hour duty to see the lodge as well as lab works smoothly and safely. The services include a ‘Mer-chef’ (mer for mermaid!) Neil Monney and Ian Kublick; who have over 50 years of experience ocean research in the Marine Resource Foundation are the architects behind this innovative enterprise (Ian Kublick was the president of the Marine Research Foundation in the seventies).

Happy sub-marine honeymoon.

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge image courtsey: slimg.com

At present they are flooded with enquiries from various organizations for installing similar projects. In the near future there may be so many sub-marine lodges so that the rates for a stay may not be so hefty and ordinary people also may be able to celebrate their honey-moons in such an ambient atmosphere where there may be angel fishes as spectators! Happy would be honey moons under water!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Table Mountain

Table Mountain South Africa (Tafel berg).

Table Mountain South Africa image courtsey: virtualtourist.com

There are numerous mountains but just one Table Mountain!

Mountains with pyramid shapes are not just common but that is the norm for them, but Mother Nature has gifted something extraordinary to Table Mountain a flat foot ball ground like surface. Located in the Democratic Republic of South Africa; very near to Cape Town this land mark stands tall as the most important tourist location in that nation. The unusual shaped top (flat like a table top) of this mountain has been doing the job of pulling crowds since ancient times, still it remains as the number one among the exotic places for South Africa and it is a part of the Table Mountain National Park a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site since 2004..

What are there?

This table mountain formed of stand-stone is two miles wide and about 3500 feet above sea-level and stands encircled by The Robben Island, Table Bay and Cape-Town. The steep pathways to reach top are many, it will take about four hours for a healthy man to cover the distance, but the journey is worth its effort as the steep climb enables one to see the rarest of the rare members of the plant kingdom as well as mammals, butterflies, reptiles etc quite exclusive to the locality. As a tourist hot spot there are many tour operators who arrange packaged hiking tours like a four day tour with all arrangements to three nights sleep and sufficient relaxing facilities.

An easy way!

It is advisable for those with not so good health can catch a cable way and reach at the top within minutes, these cable cars are able to revolve on its center that can enable the visitor to have a look at the surroundings of the climb simply sitting idle, a feeling of being at the to of the world without much effort! Only problem that can upset a visitor is the occasional arrival of dense clouds that can hinder visibility and the visitor may be forced to return being not able to see anything. These clouds are considered as ‘table- cloth’ as the place Table Mountain.

The Kruger National Park.

The Kruger National Park is as vast as a small country and tourists can experience wild life like the giant African Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras and Lions as well as all sorts of animals as well as endemic vegetations in its original habitat. Kristenbosch National Botanical Garden is a real pride to the South African Nation which is a treasure house of plants of all hues, most of them indigenous to the continent.


Table Mountain South Africa image courtsey: bookinafrica.com

The land mass at the south-western tip of South Africa consists of alternating layers of fine-grained wacko sand-stone and slate is one of the oldest rock formation in the world. These rocks were a part of the erstwhile Super Continent the Gondwanaland –a continent that was split millions of years back - which transformed in to the present continents of Africa, Its tabular shape results from nearly horizontal layers of sand stones got exposed by natural forces like sun, wind, and the rain which took away the weak parts left at the top; revealing the underlying hard sand stone. For centuries this peculiar shaped mountain had attracted sea farers.


The history of South Africa is not much different from other undeveloped nations, as Europeans come first colonize and then turn in the masters of the natives. It was the Dutch merchant Van Riebeeck who first established a European settlement at the periphery of Table Mountain. Migration of foreigners caused the Xhosa tribes (indigenous people) to retreat eastwards. There were a lot of battles the Europeans had to fight for the establishment of their power in this region. Battle of Blood River was one of the land mark event where Voorlrekker defeated the Zulus in the Anglo Zulu war and annexed Natal and the entire Zululand. After the Anglo-Boer war the whole Boer Republic came under the British Crown. The ascent of the right wing nationalists coming to power and the reign of the Apartheid era are all the things of the recent past.

Richly endowed.

The actual uniqueness of the region is not a flat topped mountain; but the biodiversity this part of the land is endowed with. The entire Table Mountain National Park covers about 55,000 acres of land. The entire Table Mountain National Park hosts more species of animal and plant kingdom than Great Britain. That is the intensity of biological richness of this area. About 111 species of invertebrates are endemic (not found in other places) to this part of the land. The Fynbos (biological conservation sites) Site located at the north and west of Table Mountain. The mole cricket found in this region is very much exclusive to this region even though it is considered as an agricultural pest. It is a pity that most of the species both animal (mostly invertebrates) and plants are not well documented.

Recent woes!

Recent human invasions (clearing natural forests for cultivation of pine) also cause havoc to the exclusive variety of plants and animals that inhabit there. Influx of tourists and other service providers often cause destruction by causing wild fires and stampedes. It was recently reported that criminals intrude in to tourist service providers’ role and engage in mugging and other antisocial activities all causing destruction to an environmentally fragile eco-system.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Red Vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

Red Vented Bulbul

Red Vented Bulbul image coutsey: cs.albany.edu

Blacklisted by many nations but this little ruffian is unfazed.

The red-vented Bulbuls are comparatively very small birds which rarely exceed 8 inches is length; but the miniature size does not in any way lessen their invasive, quarrelsome and aggressive postures. Recent sighting of a pair of Red-vented Bulbul in Auckland raised alarm bell through out the area and people were asked to shoot those birds at sight; that is clout of RVBs (Red-vented Bulbuls)! They not only destroy crops (annual loss of crops in Hawaii due to these little birds is estimated to be $ 30,000) but harm the indigenous birds there. While they are mere pests for the farmers for the far away; Rvbs are not so in their native land – the Indian Peninsula.

Out of iron-bars, to rule the roost!

For scientists they are Pycnonotus cafer belonging to the family pycnonotidae of the giant order passerine birds (in which the house sparrows are included). It is a native of Indian subcontinent but of late they have immigrated to various other parts like Fiji, New Zealand etc (by getting released from cages). These birds gained immediate notoriety in the host countries by causing damage of their farm produces and eliminating the native species of birds there.

Red ventral parts.

Red-vented bulbuls reach the length of about 8 inches in length (smaller than a mynah), their head and neck sport glossy black color. Upper portion of their back has smoke-brown and white scale like markings. Their white tipped tails are dressed in a shade of dark brown color which turns lighter as progresses to the anterior. The very easily distinguishable crimson patch at the base of the tail is the reason for the name of the bird – the name red vented bulbul.

Loved by the natives.

Red-vented bulbuls are natives of India and after crows Bulbuls are the most popular birds of this part of the land. Here these noisy, active and mischievous little birds are hot favorites. They live among the villages and close to human habitations hence people are familiar with them and love them for its lovable antics and attractive call notes. North Indians love bulbuls so much that they address their loves mates as ‘bulbuls’ to express affection!

The wake up call from the grandma.

Here farmers love to wake up hearing the call of the bulbul’s ‘drink-up, quick-drink’ call it may be felt that the birds are asking lazy people to wake up and go to work instead of wasting time in the bed; like a nagging grandma. Many poets who have written songs about the smartness of these birds and Indian film-songs too have many references of Bulbuls.

The Rvbs are usually found in pairs (there is a strong bond between the pairs) hence young couples who travel together are compared to bulbuls by their elders. Rvbs seldom live and feed in flocks; but when fresh rain come and winged termites fly around they too join in the fray of birds to feed on them; otherwise for them tow is company and three is crowd.

Often foolish!

These mischievous birds are not very cautious in guarding their nests as in the case of other birds, they build it in the shape of cups on small shrubs with dry grass and fibers. Inside of the nests are lined with cotton or such smooth fibers. Their uncontrolled chattering often attracts predators landing these birds in trouble, yet bulbuls go on chattering like fools inviting problems.

Friend of the trees.

The Bulbuls are of use to horticulturists (those who grow tree-plantations) as their digestive juices give a trigger for the seeds to germinate and these birds help in dispersal of seeds. Seeds of trees like sandal will not germinate unless the fruits are eaten by bulbuls and deposited at the dropping.

Buddha and Bulbul.

There is one old story in India connecting Buddha and Bulbuls. Gautam Buddha was meditating under a large banyan tree for a long period seeking the root cause of sorrows that haunt human beings. While on meditation he watched all the environments surrounding the tree like squirrels, birds, flies, snakes, pedestrians who passed by etc.

Never be afraid of the people.

It was the chattering and ever-active bulbuls which attracted him the most, while all human beings were depressed these little birds were never moody or sad they kept on chattering! Buddha gave a message to bulbuls “Never be afraid of the people whether they are rich or poor, wake them up in the morning, give them company by your endless chattering while they work on the field, sing again at the fall of the night this may be my message”.

The message.

Do you know what these little birds always chatter, it is the message Sri Buddha has entrusted it to tell to the people “By conquering self, lust and wealth, people will see the Eternal Beauty and know that deliverance lies within them selves”

The irony!

The bulbuls are delivering the message of Buddha and many countries have banned them from entering in their land, even shoot at sight orders are their against these poor little messengers, what an irony!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Scarlet Minivet

Scarlet Minivet or the Song-bird.

Scarlet Minivet

Scarlet Minivet image courtsey: manikonline.net

Cousin of the House Sparrows.

Minivets are small passerine (related to the sparrow group) birds of the giant order perching birds (scientific name Pericrocotus flammeus) popularly known as song-birds. This order is represented by the house sparrows (passer domesticus), that brought in the name ‘passerine’ to this group. Scarlet Minivets are common sight in the Himalayan ranges as well as some of the forests of Burma Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. These birds are at home in the forests as well as woody areas up to the heights of about 6000 feet above sea-level.

Smart Insect hunter.

Minivets are often mentioned as the ‘birds of the paradise’ because of their sweet song, glossy plumage and dazzling collage of colors they sport. Scarlet Minivets are often found in flocks; and they prefer either flying here and there catching insects or rest on the trees the seldom descent to the ground as mostly arboreal in habitat. They are 20 -22 centimeters in length, long wings and have dark and strong beaks. They are able to catch insects while they fly or rest. Minivets shake the braches by fluttering their strong wings and when insects fly out catch them.

The Techni-color effect.

They sport a vide variety of colors, when young males are with pale yellow ventral parts without any tinge of black feathers, adult males are with glossy jet-black top and scarlet ventral parts where as females have an entirely different in color combination they are yellow with grey shoulders and wings and tail have yellow and black feathers. All these jointly appear like a techni-color picture presented in a canvas.

Orange Minivets.

There is one more species related to the scarlet minivet; by name orange-minivet; found in the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula, Western Ghats as well as Sri Lanka. These orange minivets (as a rarer group) are feast for the eye to all bird lovers all over the world. They are distinguished by the orange color the sport in their ventral parts.

Birds of the Paradise.

Except during breeding season they live in flocks. It is the cheerful song that has earned the birds the title the ‘birds of the paradise’, in behavior also they are active and cheerful as swift flyers busy in catching insects or just flying from the top of one tree to another all of the flocks following the first who flies. They make nests by joining roots of grass; tiny twigs etc and bind them together with spider’s web!

The Home-making.

Scarlet Minivet

Scarlet Minivet imagecourtsey: karnatakawildernesstourism.org

It is the April – May period they breed, eggs are laid in cup like nests which are well camouflaged. Only close observation can reveal the nest located at the small branches of the trees. The brood is generally small as the clutch does not exceed two or three. The eggs are glossless and lightly dotted with pale green color. Though incubation is mainly managed by the females; males are of help in the rearing of the chicks.

Winged friends.

Birds are our winged friends, without them mankind would not exist, the quantity of insects birds devour is tremendous, without them these insects were enough to wreak havoc to the crops creating starvation deaths. There are approximately 8600 species of birds which live from the most remote portion of the ocean to the heights of the Himalayas. Though man has played the traditional enemy of these poor birds by catching them and killing them for sheer pleasure, birds always had been in service to the humanity from prehistoric times, and they will always be there as long as they survive!

Related Reading

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Telephone and its story

Telephone and its story.


Telephone image courtsey: falmouthcomputers.co.uk

Though abused to the extreme it still remains as a good device.

Realizing the death of the distance.

With the advent of mobile phones old telephones have become ‘land lines’ and got pushed to a corner. It is time to think seriously that whether these old friends of ours are on the path of becoming history! This is not a requiem to these old friends but a history of the landmarks. Telephones have passed through numerous landmarks before becoming a very popular and useful device. In realizing the ‘death of the distance’ telephones have played a more prominent role than advanced transportation through super highways or bullet trains.

A very simple technology.

Its technology works like this spoken words said in to the mouth-piece of the user get converted in to electrical waves by his set and get transmitted through cables in the exchange. The exchange redirect (formerly it was done manually) the electrical waves to the destination (the receiver’s phone) his telephone reconverts the electrical waves in to sound (spoken words) and make him able to hear what is said. A telephone set does the dual functions of receiving as well as sending signals. This technology appears so simple but at that time of inception it took many stages to get developed in to perfection.

The chronology.

The story starts with the awarding of patent for telephone to Mr. Alexander Graham Bell in March 7, 1876. The right to this patent is considered as one of the most valuable one ever awarded. It is said that if Mr. Bell was late in filing the application by few hours the credit would have gone to one Elisha Gray, who also had been working in the same line.

The first user for a telephone Mr. Charles Williams who installed one in April 4, 1877, he connected his office and home with this device.

The first exchange.

May 17, 1877 Edwin Homes interconnected five telephones belonging to his clients’ offices with a common switch board (the first cousin of the exchange was thus born).

Mrs. Emma Nutt enters in to the pages of telephone history by joining as the first female

telephone operator in September 1, 1878. It is history that late this field became the fiefdom of women.

As a trading machine!

When the New York Stock Exchange introduced telephone in to its floor, it was the real break to the device to become ‘the money making machine’. Operators began to make millions just by sitting on the chair (This golden break came to telephone in 1879).

A numerical revolution.

So far the telephone subscribers were recorded in names and as their numbers swelled; it became difficult for the operators to memorize their names hence each subscriber was allotted with a number! A numerical revolution for the first time!

Telephone and sky scraper.

It is a seldom quoted fact that telephone was behind the emergence of sky-scrappers. World’s first sky scrapper built in Chicago for the Home Insurance Company would not have been conceived if communication facility via telephone was not developed, just think of messengers climbing so many floors with office documents!

The coin operated telephone the ubiquitous device of today came in to existence in August 13, 1889 in Connecticut. First telephone booths a novelty at that time was made of carved oak wood and decorated with fine draperies.

It would be strange to hear that it was an undertaker firm from Kansas City who gained patent for the first direct line telephone.

Friend of the farmer.

Telephone got the status of a rural developer in February 9, 1909 when Mr. Theodore Roosevelt then American President stated that telephones can play important roles in warding off rural isolation and can boost agricultural productivity.

With a phone on the desk.

It was in March 27, 1929 telephone got installed on the desk of a US president for the first time. Before that the president had to leave his chair to the booth outside!

A war and a phone-call.


Telephone image courtsey: sparkmuseum.com

September 1, 1939. At 2.40 AM President Franklin Roosevelt receives first word of the Second World War as a telephone call from Paris informs him that Hitler had invaded Poland. The world war in fact has done much for the proliferation of telephone density as it more than doubled during the war time.

November 18, 1963. Push button service introduced there by saving time and effort of the caller.

The introduction of telephones that can automatically reverse charges gave birth to the modern fad catalogue shopping; this was in June 14, 1965. Telephone was thus getting raised to the status of a business machine.

Use and abuse.

When young ones shout over mobile; instead of getting annoyed just think that the history of telephone is so magnificent that a kid’s misuse of it can never make us hate it. This device has changed the process of communication as simple as the entire globe on which we live has got reduced to a small settlement that one can talk to the other sitting from one end to the other end.

A pet dog that bites at times but catches criminals!

A phone is like a pet dog which is always with the owner at times it may bite; but is always very helpful and company. Excuse the kid for overusing and abusing the device. Almost all the recent crimes were proved with the help of mobile phone records; in that aspect it excels the police officers. In future also mobile phones will remain as the single largest catchers of criminals.

Poor North Koreans!

North Korea is a nation where mobile phones are banned, the reason is best known to the authorities. The help mobiles offer to criminals may be the perceived reason (for North Korea the term mean people who wish to live in freedom and prosperity!). Admitted that crimes are committed with the use of advanced communications like mobile phones; but these devices leave a trail for all the conversations made and thus help police to follow and catching the culprits sitting in the comforts of their office. Don’t hesitate; go mobile as the ad goes. Don’t be a North Korean sans mobile!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Roshan's everlasting bond with Mohammad Rafi

Roshan's everlasting bond with Mohammad Rafi

Roshan galvanised the Indian horizon of film music with his excellent experiments on melody. He had created mujras, qawallis, ghazals, classical compositions which match the exact requirement of the theme of the films wherever he had worked.

The earlier films like Bawre Nain was created at a time when recording was not modernised to that extent. Even then his songs in the 50s like "bade armano se rakha hai balam" were hits. In the 60s Roshan utilized the Golden voice of Indian cinema, Mohammad Rafi in the most melodious manner that was possible. In the film Barsaat ki Raat,1960, the song "zindagi bhar nahin bhulenge woh barsaat ki raat" mesmerised the music lovers with the melody of the sarengi that was used so well. Rafi's voice floated like cirus clouds in the air and Bharatbhusan's performance in the film was well acclaimed by the Indian audience.The same film had a qawalli "yeh isq isq hai, isq isq" which was staretd by Manna Dey and completed by Rafi. The grammer of Qawalli was fully existant in the song.

Besides Roshan created songs with a very serene dimension in the film Aarti, 1963, picturised on pradeepkumar.Most of the songs were on Raag Pahari. Rafi created an intoxicating appeal with the songs "Ab kya misal doon mai tumhare shabab ki" and "aapne yaad dilaya tha to mujhe yaad aya". Meenakumari's performace was matched with the background score in the song "baharon ki manzil rahi."

In the film Tajmahal,1963, the andaz of Pradeepkumar almost replicated the style of living of emperor Shahjahan that existed during the mughal period.The songs of Rafi namely "Jo wada kiya ho nibhana parega" and "payon chulene do phulon ko inayat hogi" had matched the badshahi andaz of the historical period.The lyrics were written by shari Ludhiyanvi.Besides other everlasting creations of Roshan include "laga chunri me daag chupayun kase" sung by Manna Dey in the film "Dil hi to hai" picturised on Raj Kapoor, and "Kya baat hai tujhme teri tasver me nahin" sung by Mohammad Rafi.

In the film Chitralekha,1965, picturised on Pradeep Kumar, Roshan motivated Rafi to sing a legendary bhajan titled "man re to kahena dhir dhare, woh nir mohi moh na jane jinka moh kare". It was a blank verse with very little musical instruments being used. Rafi's performance was amazing. In the film Bheegi Raat, 1965, Rafi made people spell bound with the songs "jane woh kaun hai kya naam hai in ankhoka," and "dil jo na keh saka, wohi raze dil".Pradeep kumar's scrreen presence was outstanding as Roshan's orchestration and the sensational performance of Rafi.

Noted poet and music director Salil Chowdhury in his interview with Asha bhosle had said he admired Roshan the most because of his use of melody through the instruments used in the songs including sarengi, tabla, sexaphone, guitar and noted instruments. Asha Bhosle said that Rafi, Lata and others have worshipped Roshan like sage. The song in the film Bahubegum, titled "niklethe kahan jane ke liye pahunchethe kahan maloom nahi", almost told the story of Meenakumari who left home for not marrying pradeep kumar and ended up in a kotha.It was a mujra and the orchestration was outstanding by every means. The same film had one of the most immortal performance of Lata titled"Duniya kare sawal to hum kya jawab de." Rafi was outstanding with his final performance "hum intezer karenge tera qawamat tak, khuda karen ki qawamat ho aur tu aye." Viewers became speechless in the cinemahall with this song.

Besides Roshan's performance in the Film Mamta, 1967 is worth mentioning. Mamta was the hindi version of the Bengali film "Uttar Phalguni", which depicted the story of a tawaif who was victim of circumstances and shed blood to make her daughter a Barrister who ultimately pleads in the High Court of Calcutta in an alleged murder case of her mother.The performance of Suchitra Sen, the most versatile Actress of Bengali Cinema cannot be described in words.But the big challenge was matching the quality music composed by Robin chatterji in bengali film where the majority of the songs were sung by classical singer Sandhya Mukherjee.Roshan created the asme class of music in the film.the popular songs included "Rahe na rahen hum" sung by Lata and "in baharon me akela na phiro, rah me kaighata rok nale" sung by Rafi. But the type of Hindustani classical songs that used to be sung in the Class of singers called baijees in the late 18th century was displayed by Roshan.Roshan died in 1969 with his last film "anokhi raat." It is big loss for the Film industry because if aany composer had utilized the Royal style of Rafi's singing it was Roshan himself. Rafi's archive should contain the works of Roshan so that future generations can learn the grammer of Hindustani classical used under different moods.

Article By Souvik Chatterji
Master of Law from Warwick University, Coventry, UK.
Master of Law from Case Western Reserve Univerwsity, Cleveland, Ohio,USA.

Browse more Articles by Souvik Chatterji

Friday, August 17, 2007

SD Burman and Mohammad Rafi

SD Burman and Mohammad Rafi

Sachin Dev BurmanSD Burman

Sachin Dev Burman was born in Tripura, where the fields, soil, trees and nature as a whole had shaped the music. There cannot be any music which is sweeter than the compositions that God has created in nature for human beings to cherish generation after generations. What is required is the poetic and musical mind to realise the melodies evident in the breeze, in the rainfall, in the fragrance of flowers blossoming at the arrival of spring.Tripura is situated at the border of East Bengal, and as a landmass has similarity with East Bengal and West Bengal which in Bengali we term as "nodi matric" meaning being fed by a number of rivers.The minds of the people in this part of the world is as soft as the alluvial soil of the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Padma and other rivers.

SD Burman came to Kolkata and learned Classical Music from the Giant of Ustadi Gharana named Viswadev Chatterji.Viswadev's famous song "Nabaruno Rage" used to be played as the first song in All India Radio in the morning, everyday and acted as messanger of dawn.The genius had taught SD Burman, ragas of different origin and created a legacy of Hindustani classical which shaped SD Burman into a grand creator as known by the later generations.

SD Burman had his won basic discs in Bengali, some having flavour of folk songs, others having the orthodox ragas embedded in them.His notable songs include "Paddar dheu re", "Jhilmil jhilmil jhiler jole dheu kheliya jaire","mono dilona, badhu",etc.When he went to Bombay, he took Manna Dey with him, another legendary singer of the Bengali modern era.Manna Dey
dominated the BEngali film arena with his tremedous performance in Uttamkumar's films "shankhobela", "Antony firingi",etc in the 60s and 70s.

SD Burman got involved with the Navketan Banner and composed most of his songs for that banner.But he developed an everlasting bond with Mohammad Rafi, the man with the golden voice who had an answer for the different emotions of human being, including happiness, tragedy, comedy,etc.

SD Burman had composed the songs "yeh mahalon ,yeh takhton, yeh tajho ki duniya" in the film Pyasa, 1957 and "Bichre sabhi, bari bari" in the film Kagaz ke phool, 1959, for Gurudutt, with whatever pathos e had in min. Rafi brought tears in the eyes of music lovers with his compassionate andaz.

Manna Dey sometimes had a grievance, that inspite of the classical control being possessed by him SD Burman had preferred Rafi in som of the clasical compositions. in the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, Manna Dey gave a superlative performance with the song "Pucho na kaise maine rain bitayi." Rafi had superceded SD Burman himself with the performance of "Tere bin sune" composed in raag Pilu which was the hindi version of SD's own song"Ami chinu Eka basoro Jagaye".

In the film Tere Ghar ke saamne, 1963, SD Burman's composition "tu kahan yeh bata","tere gharke saamne" "dil ka bhanwar karen pukar"and the rest of the songs combined sweetness of Rafi's with the folk effect in the orchestration.In the film "Teen deviyan" Rafi's song "aise to na dekho" and "Kahin bekhayal hoker" had Ghazal andaz.Besides Rafi's preformance in Guide,
1965, with the songs "Tere mere sapne", "din Dhal Jaye""Kaise kya ho gaya bewafa hogaya tere pyar me" brought out the softer side of SD Burman.

There are other songs like "Hum bekhudi me tumko pukare chale gaye" in the film kalapani,1960, where Rafi matched SD Burman himself (his bengali song was "Ghum bhulechi") and "yeh di diwana hai" and "mehbooba teri tasveer" in te film "Isqe par zor nahin" where Rafi's excellence is balanced with SD Burman's orchestration.In Rajenderkumar's film Talash, SD Burman brought out his best for Rafi in the song "Palkon ke peeche se."

The list of songs showing Rafi's combination with SD Burman can go on. But one thing is common, whenever SD Burman was passionate about the hindi version of his own songs, Rafi appeared in his mind automatically. Rafi's Archive should contain SD Burman's creation also to show the background of folk song and hindustani classical, used in the songs composed in 50s, 60s, 70s.

Article By Souvik Chatterji

Master of Law from Warwick University, Coventry, UK.
Master of Law from Case Western Reserve Univerwsity, Cleveland, Ohio,USA

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

“Mommy,I want an Iraq too!…”

I was rather surprised as well as enlightened to hear my friend’s elder sisters youngest child(its not as complicated as it seems to be) saying she wanted to buy an iraq too. It told me two things about the friggin human race-one, that even a kid knows to an extent how an advanced capitalist society works, two, that the kid along with a lot more other persons are gravely misinformed.

So on the outset itself,let me make one thing clear. Iraq is not for sale. Granted the u.s has already brought it, but it was, lets call it, ‘forced transaction’. There is a war on iraq not because of 9/11 but because it has resisted to sell its oilfields. After the war, the oil fields in iraq are under the giant conglomerate ‘shell’ along with one other corporate in the scene as well(American of course). In short no iraqi owned company or its government has control over its own natural resource-not even one percent! Talking about one percent, that’s the amount out of the profits that the oil owning companies in iraq have to pay the Iraqi government as tax, which is worse than laughable. Its lamentable.

Don’t even for one second think that this is something superficial that’s not gonna affect you, regardless of the space on earth u a located at. The Indian government along with any and other governments in need of oil(ha ha ha) should now deal with shell and other corporates instead of the Iraqi government which means a higher price(already its triple the rate it was 5 years back). So oil prices go up in india and elsewhere which inturn causes the hike in general goods. Kerala, where I come from, already holds a ‘key position’ in the case of suicide. We don’t need anymore reasons do we?

The war on iraq is just the culminative symptom of the global corporatisation. The situation is worsening elsewhere as well. 40% of chattisgarh, India is already under naxal control, along with parts of Punjab, haryana, kerala and Gujarat. Who created these so called ‘naxalites’? we did. For selling off resources to corporates, the governments evicted people from lands evicting them from their livelihoods as well. The agricultural output of kerala has come down drastically. More than 50% of agricultural farms are under corporate control now, the paradox of which is that farmers who used to work in a particular farmland get evicted and the corporate who are the new owners employ them again, only this time at lower wages often in inhuman condition, and the prices of the products are hiked up to make everyone dizzy. Its these evicted people who find themselves considered my the many as ‘naxalites’.

U must be wondering if I am not being paranoid here. After all there aint that much news goin on about such things.right?

Wrong. U don’t get to hear about such things because the corporate owned media would not let u know it. Because they fear that if u know about it, u will recognize the grave injustice that is being done to people and maybe, just maybe, u may actually do something about it. The situation is not one of empathy or sympathy anymore. This is a case of self-defence. Ignoring it is sheer suicide. U may keep ignoring it and sit on ur ass scratching ur wifes when some masked personnel crashes in and lay off some of ur hard earned wealth as well as doing some kamasutra shit on ur wife. People rarely think straight when in rage.

Lets take a break now. I will tell u a story. This really happened to me. I was having this conversation with someone who is very near and dear to me(he still is) and somehow it strayed into a news article that came up on some journal recently. It was about the sex tourism in kovalam, how little kids are getting used and all that. My near n dear person then said something that really grabbed my attention-for the wrong reasons. He said “whats wrong with these fucking journalists? They should not bring out such news. As long as we keep our images clean, we can all make money and be happy”. There must have been a time when the knowledge of someone getting hurt in vile manners would have been enough for the general population to do something about it. Not anymore. Now the only language we understand is the language of greed. And hence I will provide u with some reasons along those lines so that u can reconsider ur stand on corporate globalization. And if u happen to belong to the profile of my near n dear one I told u about, two options are there for u-‘get over it!’ or ‘get off!’. I am not george.w.bush the lesser here saying “u r either with us or against us’.thats horseshit. To this date the u.s has not produced any evidence linking saddam Hussein to 9/11 attacks. But we have plenty of proof of iraq not complying with shell or other American corporates prior to the war. All I am saying here is that there is simply no time left for grooming convertees now. Time is of essence here. Each second we are sitting idle, someone out there gets hurt or killed for it.

Land lobbying is the ‘in-thing’ in kerala now. Of course, evicting the poor for accommodating the rich is now new thing. Its practically a cliché. But not to those getting evicted, for them it’s a nightmare. In trivandrum where I am located at now, land mafias evict the poor systematically, with or without government support is ur guess, and builds up multi-apartment flats. The major portion of subscribers to such apartments are not surprisingly the employees of one or other companies in he IT booms gift to trivandrum-‘technopark’.

The land with fresher air, clearer water, better infrastructure are being reserved for these people(which could be u or me) while the people who previously lived on those lands (which,again,could be u or me) find themselves on the streets one fine day, without even an ample compensation package. Those who don’t actually own the land they are victed from are even worse off. They cant even keep a small glimmer of hope for any compensation. That’s not how a democracy is run. Just because they don’t own land does not mean they should be out on the streets. Last time I checked, u dont have to be a property owner to be an Indian citizen. And last time I double checked, all Indians have the right to their basic necessities including a place to stay in. of course I am not saying that corporate globalization is the sole reason for escalating number of internally displaced in our nation as well as elsewhere, I am saying that its rising by the minute due to corporate globalization. Can u assure me that these ‘displaced’ as we love to call them are not gonna come after the economically better off who live in houses with good air and watr? Again I am not being paranoid. It has begun already. The number of people turning to ‘anti-social behaviour’ is at an all time high. Its almost funny that this all is happening at a time of unparalleled economic boom for India as well as across the world. But this era of mammoth economy is also the era of poverty. Yes, while the average economic growth of major capitalist nation is commendable, the number of people below the poverty line is escalating( at a steady 2.5% per year in India). 4% of indias population gets work in corporate/associated fields a year, at the price of 2.5% in poverty. Is it fair enough a price? Whaddya think? Do u honestly think there is one good enough reason we can give them to urge them not to partake in the uprisal already happening across India, that too at a steadily escalating pace.

If u r concerned and not like my ‘dear n near’ one, here are certain things u can do to ensure corporate ethics. Saying everything should be under government control is foolish and impractical. Hence what we want here is for the corporates to take up responsibilities.

First of all, there are hosts of low key builders in every major cities who have apartments ready for u. they too survive by keeping the ‘goondas’ happy and paying them. But they are not paying the goondas for evicting people. They pay them just to appease them. When u have to buy an apartment, check with these builders.

If u r working for a corporate(which in this day and age just about everyone is.its all the same, so boring…), u r not doing so bad to begin with. Work for a corporate, but don’t be a fucking leech. Work for some years, make money and get out of there. Find a low key job once u r financially secure. U know u really don’t need that fourth villa facing the goddam beach.

The corporates have inadvertently put into our hands an incredible weapon-the internet. Use it to good effect. Even this blogspot, I don’t know how many corporates are supporting it and how many of them are honest and well meaning..(dream on..), but use such spaces anyway to spread awareness. And spreading awareness is never enough. That’s just the first step girlie. What u have to do then is take up action.

Partake in peaceful demonstrations that are for worthwhile causes.put pressure on the governments to ensure that no one, absolutely no one gets hurt for the sake of globalization. The ‘globalisation of tourism’ has found the kids in kovalam at the low end. Don’t allow such victims.

Word of caution:it would be wise on ur part not to partake in demonstrations organized by political parties unless u r absolutely sure of it. There are a lot of people’s resistance movements happening around mostly out of necessity and sometimes out of sheer frustration. Join up these and march with them. Collect up signatures, u r a citizen, send the signed form to the relevant minister and ensure that u have shown him/her u r displeaces with the way a situation or commodity is being ‘globalised’. The costal areas across India is the latest in the array of ‘commodities’ to be corporatized and the ordinary fisherfolk would most probably lose their livelihood with big players coming into the play. That’s a worthy cause. Join up. Or u may soon find u have to but stale fish stored- at below freezing temperatures and sold at finger burning prices. No bargains anymore. No siree…

And probably the greatest form of revolt u can perform in this day and age is the act of not buying. Small scale industries still exist, though on the verge of extinction. Buy their products. There are substitute products available for most corporate products,most of them better than the much publicized. Look for such items. If u have to buy a magazine, don’t buy it from the corporate franchise, buy it from the local street vendor. And avoid buying stuff u don’t really want. That saves money and a lot of lives. In this day of advanced capitalism, each and every act of buying ou not buying is a political act in itself.

I am very much aware that most of those who read this wouldn’t even give this a second thought. The only thought they would come up with will be something like-“whats wrong with this bloke, ant up his ass?” I respect the assessment and yes, there is an ant up our collective asses and its working its way to our brain, and unless we act it will eat up our brains and we will be dead in no time.

Justify Full

Then again there will be a few who will consider this extremely seriously. They will see the urgency of the situation. They will do something, anything, to counter the effect of widening the ridge between the rich and poor. There will be a few who actually cares about others without pretentions. I hope you are one of those few, for its in the hands of the few that the future of our world rests.