Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Hobo's Life
Barnali Saha 
The drifting soul at dawn awakes

A new journey everyday he makes

Climbing the heavy breast of the sleeping watchmen

The gypsy goes on a new quest yet again

The undulating tail of the morning train

Its whistle mellow, a new hope again

A vagabond life-bound he has no plight

He is a happy lark enjoying the ride

From Wyoming to Mississippi his train runs fast

While he stands there smelling the smoking dust

Hallelujah, Hallelujah his heart cries

The cold air his tainted lips bite

And as dusk sets in and evening yawns

In the heaving train his heart beckons

A home like others, a mortal shade

Love for his consort his bones abrade

The gentle soul croons and chimes

To send-off the mourning railroad climes

But as morning comes around hard and stale

The hobo bids adieu to his nightly wail

He sweeps the street and fixes the road

Wiping his sweat with his raggedy cloth

A piece of bread is all he wants

Singing the hobo song of daring swans

The peripatetic spirit to the whistle bound

Climbs on the train embracing a land lost and found

Roaming the wide world taking a ride

The train is his soulmate, his only pride

The mounts and valleys pass and end

From winter to spring the seasons bend

But his journey goes from station next

To a new destination his heart behest

The cage of life is a deathbed for him

For he is a traveler a wandering beam.

Thougths on MNK with a little belaboring

Certainly, My Name is Khan will sing the goodnight lullaby in our ears and strike the right chords of emotionalism in our heart. With a heart wrenching story and beautiful acting by the starlets of Bollywood, this moving drama is nothing short of an award winning masterpiece. However, I am not here to sing gracious paeans to the odyssey of Rizwan khan, I am here to talk of a rather unpleasant subject of Bollywood overtaking our nation. From IPL to ad-world we see the face of Bollywood poking its nose everywhere. Be it politics or aesthetics, interiors or fashion designing you are sure to find one King Khan or one Queen Sheba everywhere. In the hands of these super heroic thespians India is morphing into a filmdom driven nation.  A country that was once led by luminaries like Netaji Subhas Bose, Gandhi-ji, Rabindra Nath Tagore has been demoted to a lovedriven kingdom helmed by the sweethearts of Bollywood. Who is Sharukh Khan or Amitabh Bachan by the way, who are they? Did they ever do anything heroic in real life like taking good care of our country, speaking about the challenges India faces every other day. No, they did not. They are the couch potatoes of modern India living in glass houses writing sweet sounding blogs about their happy gee life of amplitude. While people, their till-death-do-us-part followers, shout and tear away their shirts in the hope of an autograph outside their palaces. Poor fellows! Why blame them, blame their heroes. They are the ones who never miss an opportunity of media exposure. Take the Indian Premier League for example. The whole thing would have gone quite well for the Knight Riders had it not been for Sharukh Khan jumping around the stage, dancing and even advising players as to how they should hold the bat. The same goes for Kings XI Punjab, their downfall might be the result of the overexposure the team got in the hands of their dainty darling owner, Preity Zinta. Zinta was Miss Goody two shoes kissing and encouraging her players asking them to get her the chalice of victory. But the affection, I believe, went a wee bit over the top resulting in the collapse of the team back in the last two seasons. I wish them a speedy recovery this time. Now, let's get back to My Name is Khan, shall we? Ah, it was indeed a nice movie only that I think the United States of America should confer active citizenship to Karan Johar very soon. Well, they should since all his movies from Kal Ho Na Ho to My Name Is Khan are based on USA. Look out chaps, here comes Karan the Desi-boy! Truly he is an American in soul making his hero go through the ordeal of meeting the American President, even though he has a noble cause or erasing the stigma cast on people due to their religious backgrounds. A commendable effort I must say.  But is such stigma of racial deformation unavailable in the Indian soil? Or is it talking about India and telling the Indian Prime Minister the same dramatic line Rizwan Khan wanted to say to the American leader not worth it? Look at the situation of Dalits in India, look at the utter helpless scenario of racial hostility that still lurks in several Indian states and more than that look at the terrorist activities searing the Indian soil. Are they not material for an Indianized version of My Name Is Khan? Does Rizwan really have to come to USA to talk about the social troubles following a terrorist activity when the same thing is happening in India almost every year? Did we all forget 26/11 and remember only the horrors of 9/11? It seems that USA has recovered from the shock of the holocaust but India hasn’t. 9/11 is a banal subject now, sorry to say that but that is the truth. We have had enough of 9/11 stories, Karan.  

On a different note, the movie is a good guide to American life for some would be American Indians (still Indian citizens though) teaching them the nooks and corners of American politics. 'The charismatic guy with a teleprompter' does steal the show in the end. A shout of joy for the Democrats, I think I can hear itJ

Have a good one!

© Barnali Banerjee., all rights reserved.