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मुकल्या आणि बुन्कुस

This marathi poem is my very first attempt at writing my very own poem.

When I was a kid, we used to get these thin booklets (with very big fonts) that told the most imaginative marathi short stories and poems. Over the years I saw them decline. I do not know if these are still available. This poem is for all my nieces and nephews, who (I hope not) might be missing those stories and poems.

The characters, मुकल्या , is a three year old girl staying in a remote village in Maharashtra, and बुन्कुस is her stuffed toy Giraffe. She gets बुन्कुस when she is very lonely. For her, बुन्कुस represents everything, a friend, a play buddy, someone who will always be there for her, thereby making him more alive to her than to anyone else.
Heres hoping that you like the poem and crossed my fingers that I manage to pen down a few more on their exploits.

This poem, मुकल्या आणि बुन्कुस, is also a tribute to Bill Watterson's famous comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes.

Wiki states that the comic strip follows the exploits of a highly precocious and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed  tiger.

परिक्षा संपली आणि सुट्टी झाली सुरु,
पण मी आहे एकटी, कोणाशी खेळू?
मंदा गेली गावी आणि चंदा गेली फिरायला,
आता नाही कोणी मैत्रिण राहिली इथे खेळायला.
बाबा गेले शेतावर, आई करे स्वयंपाक,
एकटी बसून, एकटे खेळून, खूप आलाय कंटाळ.

पण एके दिवशी काय झाले,
बाबांनी एक खेळणे आणले.
आणला छोटासा गोड जिराफ, रंग ज्याचा निळा,
आणि म्हणाले, "आता तुम्ही दोघे खेळा."

जिराफला आहेत हिरवे-हिरवे कान,
लाल लाल पाय अन लांब सडक मान.
काळे-काळे  छोटे डोळे अन छोटीशी एक शेपटी,
इतका छान जिराफ माझा, जमली आमची गट्टी.

ऐका मी एक सिक्रेट सांगते, कुठे नका फोडू,
मी आणि जिराफ एकटे असलो, की होते एक जादू.
जिराफ होतो एकदम जागा माझ्या संगे खेळतो,
पण तिसरे कोणी आले की कोपर्यात जाऊन झोपतो.
छोटे काळे डोळे मिचकावत, कायम फिरतो माझ्या पाठी
समजू नका याला बावळट-सावळत, याला अक्कल आहे मोठी.
जिराफ मस्त प्लान बनवतो, पण होते कायम गोची,
अन सगळ्यांना वाटतं मी मस्ती करते भारी.

जिराफ आणि मी, आम्ही गमती खूप-खूप करतो,
आई होते हैराण अणि बाबा म्हणतात, "तुला आता चोप देतो".
जिराफ आणि मी, आम्ही खूप-खूप फिरतो,
खेळतो, बागडतो, आणि झोपळ्यावर झुलतो.
कधी जातो जवळच्या मोठ्या आंब्याच्या बागेत.
झाडावरती बसून आंबे खातो मजेत.
कधी जातो राना पलीकडल्या जादुच्या नगरीत,
जिथे भेटते आम्हाला परी-राणी हिरव्यागार झाडीत.

आता नाही एक्टि मी, मला मिळाला आहे नवा मित्र,
दोघे मिळून पुस्तक वाचतो, अन काढतो रंगित चित्र.
जिराफ बरोबर वेळ कसा पळतो काही कळत नाही,
 जिराफ बरोबर असला की मला बोअर होत नाही.

नाव काय नाव काय म्हणून सारख नको विचारूस,
मी आहे मुकल्या अणि हा माझा बुन्कुस!

Movie Mania, the jinx is on

Hello all,

After a loong time...Hic!  My Queen's Day hangover just refuses to let go.
Guess what? After my failed manic attempt to  watch something decent on TV, I tried the cinema.
Saw three recent releases. Housefull, Prince-its showtime (Vivek Oberoi ........aaaaaaa I dont have words) and The Clash of the Titans.

After watching this fool house of  a movie, I forgot the spelling of the word.
Well that's how it has been for sometime now. With the weather playing the sometimes wind and sometimes rain game.....And Sun...guess hes on holiday.

So being cooped up at home for some time and not much to do, me and my sister in law decided to watch the latest movie-Housefull. Its about a loser Akshay kumar...and what all he does, first to get away from the jinx tag, and then to find true love....Some jokes are so bad, you don't even feel like twitching your lips, with the fear of what will form as a smile.

I won't  go into the details of this movie because  it is a senseless one. The only thing that got us laughing (more out of frustration) was Chunky Pandey as Aakhri Pasta, and his signature line for the film-- "Mamamiya, I was just joking"!!!! Oh man!!! I can still laugh remembering it. Deshmukh Junior is getting good at gay roles. That one had us smiling too.But wat was the whole suff about Ritesh Deshmukh jumping like a monkey yelping लिंगरी.

I was trying to find Chunky's videos on youtube. Snippets from the movie, that could be shared. Sadly....none.
I read somewhere that this movie is a hit back home.
This one?

Remember what Delula says: Movie not worth wasting ticket money on. Else YOU will become the biggest loser.

And then there was a chor with more.....more glamour, more gals, much more enemies and no memory..............And must I sense, no script.....bad casting. Good premise gone wrong with the subconscious inspiration from Bourne films...They never copy stuff intentionally Dearies.... So they get that benefit of doubt.
But lines like, "Its showtime", look good when blurted by glamour guys with great bods...and not not dear Vivek Oberoi, Bhaisaab bane Modern. Nandana Sen needs a stylist pronto, She has a good bosom....but she need not flash it out every second....Someone...please do her hair and change her eyemakeup!!!!!!!!!  pleaseeeeeeeee.
Coz in the movie, she looks unflaterring and wannabe. Her acting, strictly okaz.The other two chicks are okays one exemplary.

I did not understand why the villian had a robotic hand, and why he never shaved making him look constipated.....

Lastly Vivek Oberoi...There was nothing wrong with him/his acting...but he should stick to common man roles only. There were many moments where we friends had a great laugh..

Again did not understand why this movie went a hit back home. Do we really have a dearth of good movies?
Delulaa's verdict: Watch it with a group of friends so that you can find flaws, poke fun and have a great laugh.

Lastly: The clash of the Titans
Question: Why was this movie in 3D?
The special effects are no great shakes. And story is not great either.
Its about the hero, Perseus, who discovers that his real father is the king of the Gods-Zeus. But was raised by a family of mortals, whom he loses tragically. Perseus, then sets on a journey to save Argos from the fury of the Gods and fulfills his destiny.
We were so frustrated that while moving out of the theater, Delulaa, n a single entity....combined our powers into a colossal mental force to block out any memories of this movie.
Aaaaaaaaah!!!!What a toll, this cinematic karash (have made up a new magical word for mess....similar to all thos jabaerwakees and ktrakens) took on the denizens of Chhatre Land, that the other two of the family were up in arms....a Mop and a air purifier....against moi for recommending this movie.
Delulaa says: STAY Away from the Kraken and the crackpot thing called Clash of the titans.

So here we are, idiot box (nothing to see), Film Factories: bad products.
Suggest a timepass, else Delulaa and I, we might combine forces and shop shop shop in Amsterdam

The Queen of good times

Amsterdam has been hugely popular as the sex capital of the world, and is also known for its intoxicating moments thanks to the open sale of marijuana, making it THE place to have drop dead fun, especially for single revellers. But there are few (mostly Europeans and few from other parts of the world) who have attended the party of the year-Queen's Day Celebrations, or Koninginnedag (कोनिंखेंदाख) as is known in the Dutch Land.

The Queen's Birthday party begins early, starts a night before, much to the glee of party animals. There are the private house parties which are much more popular. Foot tapping music, dancing, beer and barbeque, dominate the scenes.

The next day, is even more lively. A concert at Museum plein grounds is the main stay where a number of people (around 500,000 to 800,000 visitors) can enjoy. In addition, makeshift arches of heights of a floor, where the DJs blast music or every possible genre (but the slow mushy numbers),cheap beer and good food dot the streets of Amsterdam. Whats more! The canals are dotted with private boats, with groups of people enjoying their own noise and tipple. The whole experience is out of the ordinary....few minutes on the road, and even a non-party person, will get up and dance.

The streets are filled with tourists and locals alike, all dressed in Orange, from head to toe. People wear orange clothes, and eccentric orange accesories........the funda being, the weirder, the better. They might also drink orange coloured drinks at times. This is known as the oranjegekte or orange craze, where the colour orange is a ubiquitous sight, and refers to the name of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.

Queens Day is also the day for vrijmarkt (the free market) and many of the streets, side walks, and parks are lined with a wide variety of stalls selling everything from second hand toys and discards to clothes, food and jewellery. Since the day being a Dutch Government holiday, sellers need not pay taxes on their sales.

(Only on Queen's Day will the cost of Beer be cheaper than the cost to pee)

The best way to enjoy this day is to dress in orange and walk across the streets of Amsterdam, drinking beer and soaking in the party weather. So make sure, you visit Amsterdam around April End next year.

Till then,

A little bit of History:
According to information on wikipedia, the present-day celebration of Queen's Day started with the celebration of the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina on 31 August 1885. The day was not only the birthday of the Queen, but also the last day of the summer vacation, which made the celebrations popular with children. However, after Queen Juliana ascended to the Dutch throne, Queen's Day celebrations moved on to her birthday on 30th of April every year. When her daughter, Princess Beatrix succeeded her mother as the Queen on 30 April 1980, she decided to keep the holiday on 30 April as a tribute to her mother.

Education be dammned


Well o' well!!! या शिक्षणाच्या आई चा घो!!! (Education be dammned)

The movie has got me thinking about the discussions on the Indian Education system. Before blaming it for all that is wrong, we should take a breath and realise that it is this very system that has produced one too many illuminated minds of the silicon valley, Biotech zones, etc. And it is this very system, at the same time, which pushed students to take their own lives. But is the education system alone to blame? What about the nagging parents and finger-pointing society who do not allow the kids to go ahead in the vocation of their choice?

I get nostalgic in the months of March and April. 
Those are the times when the SSC and HSC examinations take place back home.

An anxious Mom, ready with soaked almonds and 2 tablespoons of Dabur's Shankapushpi tonic to increase her dear baby's memory, LMRs (For those who had a non-serious SSc, LMR stands for a book for algebra n' geometry-Last Minute Revision), self-study-books, navneet guides, solved papers.......hohohoho...we had a book that contained question papers of all the subjects (March and October) of past 10 years.

By-hearting text book pages...was the key to success, back then.

By heart: Give reasons for your answer, fill in the blanks, answer in one sentence, big questions, tables, formulae, theorms, equations, diagrams....ooooof!!!

One of the trends also back then was to solve as many papers as you can, before the actual examination, and get them corrected from teachers...Come October, and the parent-rush to get their kids corrected used to start....10-15-20-25.................these were the comparative numbers of papers solved and corrected. There were a few odd-ball parents, who were so involved with their kids, "I wake my kid at 6, he/she has saffron milk, then the paper solving for the morning, read balbharti-while shitting, school, the rote learning, tutions, paper, rote learning, sleep....and my Baby scored a whopping 90 percent in the prelims :D," used to beam the nothing-else-to-do-other than cook-mother.

My mom used to get a major complex. She was a practicing physiotherapist and balancing house and work was a big circus...add to that, a daughter, in 10th, who is not serious about the exams, and add to that these aunties. Poor thing, she always thought she was doing less for me. :(

But still, things were pretty much okay, and pressures were not much. Mostly (for me) because my Mom never expected me to be a topper. She was aware of my academic track record. But seriously, there were very rare cases of student suicides.

After a few years though, there were the citings. One of the students, from a famous merit-churner vernacular school from my city, had to drop out for a year. She was a shivering, nervous wreck because the poor thing, could not get in the Division 'A'. Please dont confuse this for grade..In India, we have 4-5 classes for each in 10thA, 10thB, 10thC and 10thD. In most schools toppers are in the 'A' Division, and losers in D.

Cut to 2010: This subject was talk of the town with the release of a Marathi movie, by the name-शिक्षणाच्या आई चा घो, which literally means Education be dammned. Everything about the movie, right from the title was controversial..But I guess, somehwere it just struck a chord with parents and school goers alike. So, after reading pages of reviews and PR pieces about the current situation; and watching some footage, we watched the movie. 

An impactful movie that it was, it set me thinking that if this movie has touched a chord with the audience, does that mean, that the movie is depicting today's sorry state of affairs? And if the answer to this question is a big 'YES', then we seriously need to do some introspection, as to how we slid up to here, rather than blame the education system.

Most of you may not agree...but just remember one thing...our generation and the earlier one also went through the same grind. What is it that was different for us?A popular answer might be that the competition is more intense now, than in our times......But won't it always be that way? In our parents' time, the competition factor was much lower....almost not there... I believe, to a certain extent its we ourselves are to blame......... comparing ourselves with others. 

Always trying to up our ante. I have come across many parents, talking about their kids as though some trophies. For God's sake, we even make our kids go to school (albeit a play one) earlier.We have a set notion of success and failure. How many parents can accept that their child is not a doctor/engineer/techie/writer/film-maker, or not a money churner in general? 

Many kids might want to join the armed forces, or just paint, be a fashion designer or a documentary film-maker, or make a name in sports. Do we give them those options? Whats more, we rob them off their childhood, making them go to tutions and classes.

One of the experiences of my friend Richa, when she was in US: She used to teach part-time at kids school and found that Indian parents used to check and double check their sonny's homework. The kids never enjoyed studies. As against this, the other kids did their own homework, learnt from their own mistakes (without the fear of getting a low grade) and more importantly.....imagined and innovated, be it studies or exttra curricular activites. What is good?Or bad? right or wrong?

There is no answer to this situation. We have to remember that this is the very education system that has churned out some of the highly successful  names in the Silicon Valley or in any other fields for that matter. So the education system alone, might not be to blame.

The movie in question, stared by quoting George Bernard Shaw, "The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school."

I would like to end (in a weird way) through this calvin and hobbes strip and also by quoting Albert Einstein, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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