Thursday, September 30, 2004

Of Unknown Poets and Life Fundaes 

Recently, I finished re-reading a Marathi book : Tu Bhramat Ahasi Waya (loosely translated -- You're wandering unnecessarily, a line from Dnyaneshwari if I'm not wrong), by Vasant Kale (known as Va. Pu. Kale or just Vapu). He was one of the distinguishing writers in Marathi, appreciated both by masses and classes. This book is like the pinnacle of his writing, synthesizing thoughts from Kabir to Dnyaneshwar seamlessly. If there is one complaint I have against this book, it's that some of the quotations are without any source. For instance, here is an excerpt of a hindi poem that one of the characters in the book recites:
jeevan me madhu ka pyala tha
tumne tanman de dala tha
wah tut gaya to tut gaya
madiralay ka aangan dekho
kitne pyale hil jate hain
gir mitti-me mil jate hain
par bolo tute pyalon par
kab madiralay pachtata hain?

mridu mitti ke hain bane hue
madhughat futa hi karte hain
phri bhi madiralay ke andar
madhughat hain, madhu-pyale hain
jo madkta ke mare hain
woh madhu luta hi karte hain

jiski mamta ghat-pyalon par
woh kaccha peene wala hai
joh sacche madhu se jala hua
kab rota hai chillata hai?
Does anyone know who is the poet? For some time I believed that it's Hariwanshrai Bachchan, but then I searched in few of his anthologies, and couldn't find this. Anyways, if anyone knows source of these excerpts, I'll be indebted if you could share that with me...

Question of Trust 

With some reservations, I'm blogging on this subject. TOI, Sep 23, had this news item: Army gets women recruits examined by male docs, which I found quite a non-campaign.
Normally it's up to a woman whether she wishes to go to a female or a male gynecologist. In fact, most prefer female practitioners. But it seems the Indian Army doesn't give women the choice..
For one, this is like questioning professionalism of Army (or any male) gynecologist. Secondly, to expect Army to provide for preferences (sic) of recruits is, frankly, ridiculous! What next? An upper caste doctor for upper caste males who prefer not being touched by the so-called untouchables? Where will this stop. Somewhere, one has to accept professionals as professionals! On a lighter note (I couldn't resists this!) what if the female gynecologist that Army manages to hire turns out to be a closet lesbian?

Thankfully, some Priya Mansingh calls spade a spade in letters to editor: Miss Misfit:
This is with reference to the news item 'Army gets women recruits examined by male docs' (Sep 23). It is amazing that a young girl about to join the armed forces should have such outdated views. As an army officer's wife, I would like to allay Ms Moudgil's fears and remind her that the army prides itself of gentlemanly behaviour.

The army recruitment ads say 'DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU?' It seems Ms Moudgil does not have it in her to rough it. It would be better if she joins some other profession. With her mediaeval mindset she is likely to raise many a storm when posted to difficult and isolated army stations with male colleagues.
Okay, so what if that bit about Gentlemanly behaviour is a bit exaggerated...

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