Saturday, February 27, 2010


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

If - Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Monday, January 09, 2006


After 'Baavra Mann', come this second song that has moved me a lot. A song that I can identify with. Haven't listened to any other song in the last 4 days. Sung by 'Strings' with vocals in between by John Abraham, this song is just perfect..

ये है मेरी कहानी.. खामोश ज़िंदगानी..
सन्‍नाटा कह रहा है.. क्‍यूँ जु़ल्‍म सह रहा है..

एक दासताँ पुरानी.. तनहाई की ज़ुबानी..
हर ज़ख्म खिल रहा है.. कुछ मुझसे कह रहा है..

चुभते काँटें याँदों के.. दामन से चुनता हूँ..
गिरती दीवारों के.. आँचल में ज़िंदा हूँ..

बस ये मेरी कहानी.. बेनिशाँ निशानी..
एक दर्द बह रहा है.. कुछ मुझसे कह रहा है..

चुभते काँटें याँदों के.. दामन से चुनता हूँ..
गिरती दीवारों के.. आँचल में ज़िंदा हूँ..

बजाए प्यार की शबनम मेरे गुलिस्ता में..
बरसतें रहतें हैं हर ज़िंद मौत के साय..
स्याहिंयों से उलझ पड़तीं हैं मेरीं आँखें..
कोई नहीं, कोई भी नहीं जो बतलाए..
कितनी देर उजालों की राह देखूँगा..
कोई नहीं, है कोई भी नहीं.. ना पास ना दूर..
एक यार है.. दिल की धड़कन..
अपनी चाहत का जो ऐलान किये जाती है..
ज़िंदगी है जो जीये जाती है..
खून की बूँद पीये जाती है..
ख़्वाब काँटो से सीये जाती है..

अब ना कोई पास है.. फिर भी एहसास है..
स्याहिंयों में उलझीं पड़ीं... जीने की एक आस है..

यादों का जंगल ये दिल.. काँटों से जल-थल ये दिल..

चुभते काँटें याँदों के.. दामन से चुनता हूँ..
गिरती दीवारों के.. आँचल में ज़िंदा हूँ..

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The best things in my life....

  • falling asleep with Maa stroking my head..
  • having friends that jeer, mock, make fun of and criticize me..
  • watching 20000 diyas light up simultaneously..
  • seeing passion in the eyes of my friends..
  • catching the first glimpse of maa, baba and shalu waiting desperately for me on the platform at Nasik railway station every time I go back home, usually every 4-5 months..
  • sleeping the moment I fall on the bed.. and waking up on my own, without any alarm..
  • getting a call from a school friend after a gap for 6 years and being asked: "Do you still top in your class?"
  • even after staying away from home for the last 3 and a half years, being asked everytime by my parents and my sister when they call whether I have had a bath that day or not, whether I have had my food on time, whether I have shaved.. man, that's something..
  • sitting in the first row of your class, fantasizing yourself to be Shahrukh Khan romancing Kajol around romantic trees. The professor suddenly asking whether you have a doubt. And then, without actually having any idea whatsover of what is being taught, asking an intelligent doubt :)
  • catching a glance of someone for a fleeting moment and getting blown off.. desperately wanting to spend your life with her..
  • getting a mail from your mentor/boss without any reason just asking about how things are on your side..
  • cheering for Team RP whenever we win..
  • screaming at the top of my voice..
  • dancing as if I am the best dancer in the world..
  • solving a problem in the best way that I could have..
  • getting a scolding from my guide NBC and wishing that when I am 76 years old as he is, I have the same amount of tempo and grit that he has at this age..

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

He Lives....

Aah.. my heart cries when i realise that time has sped by pretty fast and that I am in my last year at KGP now.. last year with a person and a phenomenon called Chintan S Thakkar..

I am surprised that for a guy who is never short of words, I, the chatter-box, am at loss to start writing this testimonial for Chintan.. God knows where to start..

He deserves more than the 1024 characters that orkut offers.. he deserves more than what I have written henceforth.. he deserves the best that life has to offer..

He is easily the boy next door.. the girl who gets him will be the luckiest in the world.. who wouldn't want a guy who eats, drinks, sleeps on time and in the right amount.. who washes his own clothes, who drinks milk and bathes daily (for half an hour !!! - well, that's a different case).. who appreciates good food, is soft spoken, is nice at heart and is simply AWESOME !!

Academically, no one can beat Chintan when it comes to asking doubts.. an inquisitive mind, an innovative and creative attitude.. i will cherish all those classes I have taken with him, all the time we have spent appreciating or mocking our professors, all the lab assignments, all those hugely satisfying intellectual discussions.. dude ! i am gonna miss all those..

He is my worst critic.. someone who can make me shut up.. someone who I listen to.. someone who has had the guts and the gumption to withstand me all the time.. he has been my best audience.. listens to all that I have to say.. has never given me any wrong advice.. he is a counsellor par excellence.. a good decision maker, a suauve diplomat, a smooth talker, a lot of everything !

He, alongwith all my friends, Amit, Kesh, Niket, Rachit and everyone else has made my stay in KGP bearable.. life would have been pretty diffferent and not the same as it is now without all of them..

Chintan, thanks for being what you are.. I know I have troubled you more than what you had imagined I would.. but thanks for still staying put :-) i am still gonna continue doing all that you hate and always advise me strongly against.. but keep scolding me.. keep me on my feet.. i know I am yet to earn all your faith, and I am responsible for that.. but yes, you have earned mine.. I can bet all my dollars on you !

Have a great life.. its all yours to rock !! stay healthy, stay fit, and inspite of all that I tell you about your eating and sleeping and bathing habits and how you overdo them, don't listen to me.. keep doing all that.. its these mundane but important things that are going to take you far far ahead than the rest of us..

He lives..
King Size..

Cheers !

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Bihari

At the onset, let me give a brief background about where my roots are and why I say what I am going to say.

Baba was born and brought up in a pretty affluent family by Bihar standards, in a place called Siwan, which is by far the most gruesome example of a plagued Bihar town nowadays. Anyways, he completed his engineering, had a very bad patch during the JP movement when in between college he was left without classes/aim/motivation for a complete year, and then by dint and effort, landed up a job in Maharashtra State Electricity Board. He since then migrated out to Maharashtra and I was born and brought up there. As I always put it, I have been fortunate enough to have had the best of both the worlds: the Bihari mindset of working hard and respect and the Maharashtrian way of living fast and ensuring that the dearth of facilities like electricity and water don't come in the way of your progress.

Coming back to the point. I am a proud Bihari. Proud of my roots. Proud enough to engage in a furios debate with anyone who thinks otherwise of Bihar. Since my childhood I have been mocked at by fellow kids who always equated Bihar with 'a land of fat, stupid, dumb idiots.' I don't think I am as angry on them as I used to be when I was a kid because none of us mature enough then. But nowadays, it pains sometimes when grown-ups have the same kind of attitude. For someone who is reading these lines, it might occur that I am a big champion of Bihari sentimentalities and am overlooking the problems that has led Bihar to the state it is in today. Read on.

When I was a kid, I used to see that we rarely locked our homes in Maharashtra with 4-5 locks, as my Nani and Dadi used to do in Patna and Siwan. In Maharashtra, my sister and I were allowed to play in the open till late in the evening and were free to roam about. In Siwan however, Maa closely guarded us both. My chacha used to call me 'Disco Bhateeja' because I was a 'Bambaiya' (I have never lived in Mumbai, but to every person in Bihar, a Maharashtrian means a 'Bambaiya'). I was warned not to move around in T- Shirts and jeans for the fear of getting kidnapped. I was utterly confused. The open fields of Siwan, the wells, the river that went through the city, the ghats where we used to go for 'Chatth Pooja': these were better places to have fun and play ass kids than the concrete jungles of the cities of Maharashtra. I have seen kids aged 10-12 dying of meningitis because they couldn't get medicines on time. The last time I went to Siwan, it took me 8 hours for a 120 kms journey. That was 3 years ago. Things, I have heard, haven't changed.

I love the Bihari accent that has come to face severe contempt and scorn. It is a symbol of the Bihari stupidity. Why? Because it sounds funny. Why does it sound funny? Because most of the Hindi movies always had a village bumpkin who acted stupid irrespective of where in India he cam from, (it could have been Gujarat or Rajasthan), he always spoke in (distorted) Bhojpuri. (To all those misinformed people, there is no such dialect or language such as 'Bihari'. What it is confused with most often is 'Bhojpuri'). Why did it so happen that almost always the court jester was a Bihari? Because: look around you. Look at the number of Biharis around you. Because its the mass present everywhere. Be it a mason working to build your house (when we built our own house in Nasik, the mason, the carpenter and everyone involved were Biharis. Why? Because there weren't any other available), or your District Magistrate or the person who's blog you are reading now. Well, I will not be foolish to claim that 'we' are the single largest community and so on. But please recognise the penetration, right from rock bottom to the top.

But haven't we Indians mocked every community amongst ourselves? Sardars, gults, bangalis, tams, kannadigas, marathis.. the list is endless. I personally have had a taste of all this being in IIT Kharagpur, truly a diverse place. The point remains that whether it hurts a Sardar as much as it does a Bihari when you tease them?

Coming back to the language and the customs. How much I hate the fact that I don't have that kind of accent that Baba or chachaji has. Baba always says that Bhojpuri is dead. His generation was the last to speak proper Bhojpuri now. It has now become corrupt. What hasn't become corrupt in Bihar? Corruption has reached every place that it can. I always thought that Maharashtra was a very nicey-nicey state. However, you can find corruption in Maharashtra also. There are problems that persist in equal quantities in both the states. But, it is how the people deal with the situation that differs in both the places. In Maharashtra, if you pay the bribe, you actually can expect to get your work done. Not that I endorse such a practice, but in Bihar, there's no guarantee that such a thing can take place.

In Bihar, a threshold has been crossed wherein no one follows any rules nowadays because no one 'else' follows any rules nowadays. I remember how a very rich guy with a starched kurta and a golden chain dangling in his neck, spat publicly on Patna Railway station, caring zilch about the people surrounding him. Such a thing would have evoked atleast a protest from people in Nasik or Mumbai. But there is again a difference. If someone is in some kind of a problem, people in Maharashtra will not take notice, but in Bihar, people will indeed ask.

I often ask this question to myself: I am a proud Bihari, but what Bihari do I represent? The Bihari who stays back in Bihar, works the shit out of himself but still problems of caste, economy and corruption prevent him from progressing, or those who directly or indirectly have come out of that hole and with their persistence and hard work, have made a name for themselves. The answer is obvious.

What is bad is the current situation in Bihar. In a way, us Biharis, the great migrant populace can be blamed for it. They say that the talent is out of Bihar. And that's why Bihar is in a bad state. No. Biharis aren't genetically much different from other communities. The emerging socio-economic conditions of the post independence era made life difficult for people and they went out and progressed. I guess something similar would have happened had Andhra would have got a Lalu Yadav as a CM. Conditions became averse and the same people fought hard against the system and won and became known. However, its the failures that the junta always remembers and not the successes.

Coming to the conclusion: I have just one request to you all. Whenever you deal with me, deal with me as Siddharth Seth, not as a Bihari, or an Indian, or an RPian, or a KGPian, or a THOKa.. the list is endless. Treat me for what I am. I am made up of 'all' of these things and not just one of them. I am a proud Bihari, a proud Indian and a proud lots of things. I wouldn't want to go and prove to every Tom Dick and Harry about my group identification. Tell me when I am wrong, why I am wrong. Don't discard my mistakes as being mistakes because I belong to a particular community. Criticize me individually for my mistakes. Never blame an entire community for the mistakes or wrong doings of a few. Remember a cult or a group for all the good things that it did as a group.

Check your watches, you are in the 21st Century...

Comments invited. They will go a long way in teaching me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

बाँवरा मन...

बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..
बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..

बाँवरे से मन की देखो बाँवरीं हैं बातें..
बाँवरे से मन की देखो बाँवरीं हैं बातें..

बाँवरीं सीं धड़कनें हैं, बाँवरीं हैं साँसें..
बाँवरीं सीं करवटों से नींदियाँ दूर भागे..
बाँवरे से नैंन चाहें, बाँवरे झरोखों से,
बाँवरे नज़ारों को तकना..

बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..

बाँवरे से इस जहाँ में, बाँवरा एक साथ हो..
इस सयानी भीड़ में बस हाथों में तेरा हाथ हो..
बाँवरीं सी धुन हो कोई, बाँवरा एक राग हो..
बाँवरीं सी धुन हो कोई, बाँवरा एक राग हो..
बाँवरे से पैर चाहैं, बाँवरे तरानों के,
बाँवरे से बोल पे थिरकना..

बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..

बाँवरा सा हो अँधेरा, बाँवरी खामोशियाँ..
बाँवरा सा हो अँधेरा, बाँवरी खामोशियाँ..
थरथराती लौह मद्धम, बाँवरी मदहोशियाँ..
बाँवरा एक घुँघटा चाहे, हौले हौले, बिन बताए..
बाँवरा एक घुँघटा चाहे, हौले हौले, बिन बताए..
बाँवरे से मुखड़े से सरकना..

बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..
बाँवरा मन देखने चला एक सपना..