Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daat Dard :(

Daaton ka dard toh tutey dil key dard sey zyada bura hota hai
is pain mey toh pet bhi bhugat ta hai!
ice cream dekh kar jee lalchata hai, toh seekh kabab dekhkar man rota hai
ek bite lee nahi ki ankhon mey ansun aa jatey hain
chahey kitney combiflam ya voveran kha lo
lekin kambakht daat dard mera peecha nahi chodtey hain!
wafers ka ek tukda daton mey ja fasta hai
aur ye daaton ka kafila raat bhar rulata hai
jab bhi munh mey pani dalon nas chakra jata hai
haye ye daaton ka dard bada satata hai!!!
naye naye brush aur brissles ka ad dekh
thak gayi hun mai
mehenga sey mehenga tooth paste bhi kharid kar bekar baithey hain,
filling aur root canalling karwa karwa kar dentist ko amir banaya hai
lekin ye daton ka dard kabhi na picha chodey hai!

Kumartuli- as it prepares for Maa Durga's arrival

As one walks past the dinghy bylanes of Kumartuli, the hub of the artisans of West Bengal, one can't help but notice the idols of Goddess Durga half completed and covered as she is preparing for her arrival in next 36 days.
But Syamshree Pal, 55 years, is spending sleepless nights not only completing the orders he has in hand but thinking how will he able to finish them on time, as Kumartuli is hit with severe labour shortage this year.
He needs the labourers most as his children are not interested in pursuing this career and walk on his footsteps. His 26 year old son, is a pharmaceutical marketing executive. Though it is his family business and the nuances of craftmanship has been passed on to him through last three generations and after him the business will vanish from the family.
Shyamshree says, "I have been working as an artisan since i remember but i did not want my son to get into this business as it does not pay at all. It becomes difficult to run the family also there are a lot hardships in this business. We live in shabby homes , we are awake the whole night to complete these idols and it also has health hazards as we work with mirrors used in paints."
Also this year, most of the artisans have not been able to take big orders fearing non-completion of projects as labour shortage grips Kumartuli. Some potters have hauled projects as they look for labours.
Shyamshree continues, "I have hired four labours and I pay them Rs 1000 per day including food and shelter, whereas last year we had paid an average Rs 350 per day. Most of the laborers dont come since they get 100 day jobs with NREGS and some go to Mumbai and South where they get paid more. So it becomes to difficult for us to hire people."
With 42 idols for completion Shyamshree has a long way before he can sigh in relief.
The story is same for every artisan in this area. Every artisan is now paying anything between Rs 700-Rs 1000 per day as wages as compared to Rs 350-400 last year, a jump of 133- 150 per cent.
Nimai Chandra Pal, President, Kumartuli Mritshilpi Samiti, had joined his father straight out of college and learnt the tricks of the trade by watching his father and uncles at the workshop.
Nimai says, "Due to labour trouble the production is getting hampered seriously and the labour shortage is of around 40 per cent. Infact we have not been able to take more orders and we have already started refusing customers. We are worried whether artisans would be able to finish the existing orders in hand. If last year someone was making 35 idols this year he has only 20 projects. "
If only the fear of meeting the deadline wasn't enough the artisans are faced with contraction in margins in their business.
Last year artisans of Kumartuli had dispatched orders of 4000 idols which is slated to come down by minimum 20 per cent this year, vouch artisans.
Nimai adds, " At this point we can not give exact numbers but the production shortage number will be significant."
And to add to the list of existing woes of the artisans is the increase in raw material prices and their inability to pass it on to the end consumers.
Raw materials like bamboo, mirror, paints cost, shola (pit)has increased by 30 per cent as compared to last year.
The president further explains, "Nobody is trying to adjust the increase in prices that we are facing due to increase in raw material etc, for example if an idol was sold for Rs 20,000 last year it should be selling at Rs 26,000 this year, but the prices at which we are forced to sell is around Rs 22,000-24,000. so rest of the difference has to be borne by us."
As margin contraction dents the euphoria and excitement of the artisans of Kumartuli, those craftsmen who used to make big money by selling idols to over seas clients are facing trouble too. For a change, the mahisasur in the form of financial crisis is obstructing the sales of the idols of the Goddess of Power, Durga and it is unlikely that Durga will win this time.
Montu Pal, secretary, Kumartuli Mritshilpi Samiti, says, "This year I am supplying only 2 idols overseas one to cambridge and the other to Australia. Every year I sell more but this year orders are less. This year the margins have come down by 15-20 per cent."
Idols which travel overseas fetch anything starting from Rs 1.5 lakhs to Rs 2 lakhs. also with middle men in the bay, margins are squeezing further.
Montu adds, " Foreigners would not come to such places, the bylanes are narrow and unkempt, we can not expect them to come here and walk around see our work and then place orders. Very few people get direct orders most of them have to get it from middle men for these international orders. With business not so robust this year, and middle men not cutting their margins, it is really a challenging one this year."
As Mintu leaves hurriedly, with 30 idols to complete, including a 52 feet high fibre glass Maa Durga Idol which would adron FD Block in Salt lake, a first in India, this year Durga Puja hoppers will have lesser pandals to queue.

And I walk past the lanes looking at every corner selling puja materials, after all maa ashbey baritey (Durga will come home)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ek nayi udaan

Aye parindey udtey huye, zara tham ja is pal mey,
sun iskey dil ki chah ko, udney ka hausla zara dey isey
Chala hai ye dhundney apni nayi dagar, hai iskey dil mey ek chota sa dar,
sath dey ja bankar tu iska humsafar!
andhiyan toh bas ek shan hai, zara yad dila isey un thandi sisakti patton ki theh-thahati gunj ki yadein
hai nahi mushkil ek nayi safar
jab sath ho sathiyon ki leher,
toh kya hua jo tu hai aaj akela
aye parindey bata isey tu tha kaisey uda-
band pinjdon sey nikal, paron ko tha tuney kaisey sambhala
aye parindey zara tham ley isey is pal, le ja sang isey apney seher
dur kar apney man ka sangharsh le bhar udan aaj lekar ek nai sparsh!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You broke my heart

You broke my heart, slithered it apart
you thought its fine, you didn't give a dime.
you thought its fine to walk on that path, never bothering to look back.
you let me cry all by, you didnt even check where was I
Love did me in, looked like a sin.
you didnt even care to find my trace
left me to fend for my own sense
I walked under the sun looking hard for a shade with all those burn
walked hard on with the rain, looking for a light to drain
Its all disdaine as i stand alone with this pain,
with a broken heart and memories uncanned.

PS-these are lyrics that i write...

take my bow

You rotten dud, you broke my heart
you spoiled brat , drugged rat,
I dont care what you say anymore,
your time is up now don even bore
pack ya' bags and set ya' foot up
u dont belong to this door
its closed for you, forever and more...
I dont need you anymore,
your calls bug me and chats are gore
you seriously should walk out that door
it never matters what you say after the credits roll
what stays is what you did while you walked along
you broke the headlights bang on
now you are crushed beneath your soul
aint no forgiveness that can fill that hole
you messed it big time you little mole
now game is up and move ur arse through the door.

Monday, August 1, 2011

ये शहर है मुंबई

ट्राफ्फिक में फसे एक अन्थोनी साहब का गुस्सा

या लोकल ट्रेन की भीड़ में अटके शर्माजी का पिछला हिस्सा

सुबह अखबार देने आने वाला अब्दुल का किस्सा

या चौराहे पर खड़े हवालदार ताम्बे का वो बड़ा वाला मस्सा

येहाँ सबकी अकल में और सबकी शकल में

उम्मीद से देखते हुए उस कल में और इस भागते हुए पल में

जीतोड़ मेहनत के फल में

और पानी से सूखा बेचारे मुनिसिपलिटी के नल में

दिखता है ये शहर, इस शहर का छाप

दिखता है प्यार और ज़हन में छुपा थोडा सा पाप

दिखता है इस शहर की तेज़ी, इस शहर की रफ़्तार

दिखते हैं कई आम आदमी और कुछ अवतार

पैसा भी दिखता है और प्यार भी दिखता है

इस रोज़ मर्रा की ज़िन्दगी में कई रास्ता बार-बार भी दिखता है

हर शहर की तरह सुबह भी दिखती है और दिखती है रात भी

पर कुछ कोनो में फिल्मी सितारें और कोशिश की बरात भी

येहाँ भीड़ है फिर भी इलाज सूनेपन का नहीं

लम्बी इमारतें हैं, पर नामोनिशान आँगन का नहीं

दूरियां हैं पर तन्हाईयों का काम नहीं

घर तो फिर भी मिल जाता है यहाँ पर पडोसी का नाम नहीं

यहाँ सबको पाना है, सबको कमाना है

नापसंद कर के भी सबको यहीं रुक जाना है

सड़क की खड्डों को कोसना है और कभी उन पे ही हँसना है,

कभी उसी सड़क के कोने में खड़े होके छुपके से रोना है

क्यूंकि ऐसे ना धड़कता किसी और शहर का गली चौपारा

वो मरीन ड्राइव पे चलना और फलोरा फाउन्टेन का फव्वारा

ना ट्रेन के धक्के खाके रोज़ ऑफिस आना

ना ऑटो-वाले की खिट-पिट और ना टेक्सी-वाले का बहाना

बैठ के सोचो तो सब बुरा है फिर भी कुछ तो अच्चा है

अभी भी यहाँ लोगों के दिल में कुछ तो सच्चा है

बदमाश है पाटिल, पर प्यारा उसका बच्चा है

अमीरों की भीड़ में गरीब यहाँ भी कच्चा है

कई हैं खामियां, रोज़ कमियाँ हैं नई

गन्दगी, धूल, मिट्टी है पर मिट्टी की खुशबू हैं कई

अँधेरी से चेम्बूर, या जाओ कोलाबा से पोवाई

हर वक़्त एक नया ही अहसास दिलाये, ये शहर है मुंबई

Kindly Note: This poem has been written by Promit Mukherjee, from DNA Money, one of the most kickass writer i know :)