Saturday, April 12, 2014

Interview with Zest Literary Journal

Dear Friends,

As a follow up of publication of Issue 3 of Zest Literary Journal, I am extremely delighted to share the news that I had the wonderful privilege by the Executive Editor, Kate Alexander, to feature me in an interview.

Click here to read it: Why We Write: Amit Herlekar


Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Rocking Chair

Sunk in my chair, legs crossed
Fingers gently brushing my lips
Rocking my chair pensively
You cross my mind
Then the rocking stops
My face blooms with a faint smile
Looking up at the azure sky
My eyes begin to glitter
Against the rays of the setting sun
While the birds are soaring gaily
Returning to their homes
I pull you back from my memory
And see through the life we lived,
Together with love & compassion

I never missed laughing
At all your jokes
Knowing they weren't funny
That was one way to
See the best picture
Of my life:
Your beautiful face 
Wearing a lovely smile

We walked hand in hand
On our everyday strolls at dusk
Enjoyed the cool weather all around
Made sure words didn't steal our smiles
Glimpsing at each other from time to time
For our eyes spoke a thousand words at once
And innocence dominated the air
Filling it with long-lasting fragrance
Of overgrown budding jasmines
While we watched the little kids play

Back home,
 As you laid your head
On my shoulder
With my arms around you
In my inner eye
I wondered: Is this a dream?
Or, am I in heaven?
Then I returned to reality
With a firm belief:
I am blessed to have you

Now those golden years are bygone
I sit here, in this chair, and cherish
Those priceless moments
Which come to me as dreams
For I lived my life to the fullest,
Without any regrets
Even though you've left this world
I know you are watching over me
From the heavens above

December 19, 2013

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jee Le Zaraa...

This is an English translation of the Hindi song: Jee Le Zara from the movie: Talaash. I must confess, this is not a word-by-word translation of the song. I have attempted to bring out the real essence out of it. That said, no translation can beat the song. Its about keeping the last dying hope alive, sung beautifully in a voice filled with pain. This song moved me a lot. So the translation below, is my tribute to it. Please listen to the song first:

I am pondering in silence; you are quiet as well, 
Honestly, the fault is all because of the time
Every heartbeat always resonates grief and sorrow
And yet, I don't know why the heart still says:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

I don't deny that life is full of pain
But there is solace in it as well
We both know: I am yours and you are mine
So let us be the same; so will be the desire between us
But, why is the bridge broken between our hearts?
Why are we upset even to live our own lives?
Come, let us open the doors of our hearts,
And let us both pour our hearts out:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

Let the clouds of sadness pass away
Now then let our lives shimmer with joy
Put the bitter past behind our backs
At least listen to what the heart has to say:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recent Reading Experience

What I really feel according to my recent reading experience is that, stories should only nudge your mind, not your heart. I mean, a story should carry intelligence, twists, etc. It should not be that, I should get emotionally attached to a book. Otherwise, it messes my mind and heart. I recently read Frankenstein and The Catcher of the Rye - both, excellent novels. Frankenstein, as described in my book review, is a fantastic novel. But its a very depressing story. It manipulated me in some way. I felt very low. Same is the case with The Catcher in the Rye. Its a sad monotonous novel about a secluded boy. There is never a doubt about the magnificence of these works. But, they made me emotionally crippled. It affected the real me. That's a huge problem. I stop being myself and start being someone else without even realizing it. Could you possibly see how confused I became in the swamp of mental distress? I lost control - the grip of being strong. I became fragile and weak emotionally, and thus leading to dilemma and dismay. I was trapped in the mist of melancholy and negative thoughts overpowered me continuously. Trust me, its terrible to go through this. I felt as if my life was taking its toll. I am writing these words now because I am gaining that lost strength, regaining my old self. I haven't picked up a book for the past four days as I was determined to take a break. I never knew this break would lead to this realization. I guess whatever happened, its good. It became my "Self realization exercise". It got best exercised now: when I am alone. Boy, books are indeed harmful!

Novels on detective science, mystery, crime, thrillers, adventures won't let me down if I find them really good. They deal only with the mind. They boost my spirits up to a great degree and the control is entirely held by my mind. It makes me ambitious to come up with something new, something creative. I had plans of reading Charles Dickens critically acclaimed novel: Great Exceptions and there is one classic by Russian author titled: Crime and Punishment. I guess I have to remove these books from my reading list to have a healthy and sound mind. Next reading stop: The Daughter of Time. I am feeling so much better having let all of this down here. Thank God! My blog saves me from many troubles. Whew!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Please Vote!

You heard what I said. Please vote. That's the least you could do. Legally. To witness change in this country we live in, that's all we can do. Vote! That's our right; our only privilege to change the face of our nation. Let's exercise it.

I have been festering in the middle of so many discussions about India's problems and unresolved issues while having lunch with colleagues and during tea breaks. I sit quietly because I very well know I can't do anything about it. Mainly because I am not at all interested in it and secondly, I really can't do anything about it. I am helpless. Everyone is smart enough to talk and debate for hours about high voltage drama that's shown on news channels and in the newspapers. Today's media is constantly feeding negativism. So our minds are tuned to it. We don't get excited if there is any pleasant news. And how can media lose their business, when they know that only the scandalous news is making money for them? And we, "smart people", all we do is talking. If we are so much concerned about the country's progress, why do we just sit and blabber about how pathetic India is? Why don't we join politics and start making the change?

So, considering most citizens, who want to live their lives the easy way, but sick and tired of the state of affairs of the country, the best thing we can do is vote. We are seeing drama everyday on TV. We are watching news, interviews and talk shows involving our leading political leaders. So, its an undeniable fact that we do have just enough intelligence to foresee a person leading our country who can bring in that change. I am not saying the change will happen overnight. It will certainly take time. But by exercising our basic right of casting vote is the first step towards the change that we anticipate. "How does my vote count? After all It's a single vote! It hardly matters." The answer is, no! It matters. Even I used to think in the same way. Trust me, there are many citizens who think likewise. And what happens? Looking at the total voting count, the number dangles between 45% and 60%. And this number is going to decide who is going to govern the country! What's worse! Some part of this percentage comes from people who are lured by money and all other immoral/illegal means to cast their votes to hand-picked "so called" leaders without their free will. Therefore, I am entreating all the citizens of India to cast their votes in this year's general elections.

When I shared this with my colleague, he came up with new information. This time there is a choice of "None of these" on the voting machines. If you think that none of the political leaders are fit, you can select this option. What next? Well, there is a fight going on in the Supreme Court. If the count of this is 50% and above, there will be a re-election. The Election Commission will set a directive which won't let the same babus stand a chance for the second time. Well, I think this is a start, better than nothing.

I implore to all the politicians of India. Improvement of the nation not only means to bring in new opportunities, industries, jobs, infrastructure, etc. All of this will happen anyway. There is no way stopping these objectives from execution. But lets accept the fact. India is in huge pile of mess and corruption is the stinking scum of it. It needs to be cleaned up - from the grass-roots to the leaves. Then, it will be a big leap forward to make our country flourish faster. Then any citizen won't have to bribe in any Government offices. Elected officials should be bound to do their duties rightfully. Otherwise, they should be sacked. Its so distressing even to think of situations when I had to bribe just to make them listen to my words. Curbing corruption will certainly improve the overall development progress of the entire nation. The other point that is equally indispensable is security. People are afraid to walk on streets. Indian judiciary is very strong. But it lacks strict and prompt execution. Cops are meant to protect people. Their duty is to ensure security. But they act powerless. So people are scared of cops. This is deplorable.

Now, please don't tell me you don't have a voter's card. That's such lame and a crappy excuse man. Give me a break! Its such a ridiculous reason. If you don't have this and/or you don't want to cast your vote, then please don't talk anything about current affairs of this country. Because you don't have the god damn right to discuss bullshit. I want to have my meal peacefully at least once in a day. I don't want spoil my day with your crap filled bowl of political diagnosis which will always leave my stomach upset!