United In Pain, Divided By Destiny

I have been reading HarivanshRai Bachchan’s aatmkatha since now a month. The entire volume is divided into 4 books, each covering a distinct phase of his life and work. I am mid way through the second book and must tell that it has been an exhilarating experience so far.

Most of His classic poems were written when He was going through a deep personal crisis. And under circumstances where many of the lesser mortals would have succumbed to their fate, He rose to His Glory and Fame. What stood by Him was a strange play of His destiny and will power. And this is where, I think, He scored over other geniuses’ who were victims of their fate. Gurudutt, for example, despite his creative talent, lost it at an early age.

Both HarivanshRai and Gurudutt were successful in their creative domains and were, at the darkest phase of life, separated from their love, but where HarivanshRai found his solace in the metaphor of ‘haala, the very same ‘haala’ took away Gurudutt!

Hai Andheri Raat Par, Diwa Jalaana Kab Mana Hai…

Reading The autobiography has made quite an impact on me. For one, it has re-affirmed my belief in ‘hoping against hope’ and ‘considering oneself on the right side of destiny as long as one is alive’. HarivanshRai just did that. By the time He was 29, He had already witnessed the death of the three closest people in his life. Combine this with no fixed job and an incomplete education, and out comes a deadly potion, one that is sufficient enough to take anyone into doom and despair. But that was not be in His case. Why? Well, because destiny had other plans for Him! In the days to come, He met all the right people, got all the right avenues and all worked so well that a person who thought He would die when he will sleep in the night (this happened just after the death of His first wife; He was so depressed that He thought He will follow His wife in Her death) went on to become a parliamentarian and led a highly successful and content life.

Do you need to be affected by the downs of your life? Does the rough phase in your life give you the option of self-rejection and self destruction or worse still, does it lead you to question your self worth?

As recession sets in, as more and more jobs are lost, questions like these will become more potent and pertinent. Yes, every case is different and people will analyze and react according to their understanding of the situation. And this is where the relevance of HarivanshRai’s autobiography comes in. ¬†Destiny will play its role; we just to have keep our eyes and ears open, and keep meeting and ‘networking’. You ne’er know who or what will become your trump card!

Tale of Two Serials

The idiot box is no more an idiot. After surfing endless channels, I finally managed to pick up two serials which suits my taste as well as the time slot.

Boston Legal (BL) is a high-power legal drama and revolves mostly around an articulate lawyer Alan Shore (played by James Spader). I would not fail to admit that the character of Alan has very largely contributed to my understanding of the profession of law. Spader is a perfect master of the art. He’s got a phenomenal hold on his character and I sometimes wonder that if he decides to enter the legal profession, he’d definitely give all big attorneys a run for their money. BL is judiciously balanced between courtroom drama and the personal lives of the lawyers at the fictitious law firm, Craine, Pool and Schimdt. This balancing act gives BL an edge over Ally Mcbeal, another courtroom drama which, unhappily for me, always turns out to be a mouthpiece for women empowerment.

Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma (TMKOC) is a comic serial with a ‘moral’ heart. It portrays the daily grind of Jethalal Gadha, a Gujarati businessman settled in Mumbai, at the hands of his family members – his hysterically amazing wife Daya, his commanding father Champak and his naughty son Tappu. The society where he lives forms the ensemble cast of the serial. The serial derives it title from the famed Gujarati journalist Tarak Mehta who im-mortalised Jetha Lal, his real-life neighbor, in his columns that appeared in various newspapers. TMKOC’s USP lies in its subtle presentation of virtuous teachings without sounding ‘preachy’ and without compromising on the entertainment value.¬†

College Blues

The college has started (that is started taking its toll on me). The day goes by in a perennial sleepy mode. The slumberness just refuses to go away. Bed to Office, Office to College, and back to Bed are only three significant events in the whole of any working day. A normal sleep for me now means a maximum of 6 hours. The only other time I manage to get a little nap is when I get into the cab to reach the college. Now, even that sleep is not guaranteed. Considering the public transport (or the lack of it), that Gurgaon offers to its residents, it is only one’s luck that one reaches the college, and that too, on most occasions, losing out on the first class.

The classes are fairly well managed except for one subject. Property Law in itself is a very boring topic and when taught by a teacher who herself is not interested in teaching the subject only make the matter worse. Family Law is taught by the Professor-in-Charge of our Law Centre. She is a highly opinionated lady and has got a dry sense of humor. Most of the things she teaches us are not the things she believes in but nevertheless her interest in teaching the subject does not fade away. Either she is very professional or she is a good actor. In any case, she adds a new dimension to teaching at Law Centre.¬† And it just helps that she has authored a very exhaustive book on the subject. For Law of Evidence, we have got the same teacher who taught us the Law of Contracts in the last semester. He is a fairly good teacher but one can take out the best from him only when one comes in the class with at least one reading of the topic he’s about to teach on that day. Public International Law is a subject I find most interesting of the current lot. The teacher is well versed with the subject and teaches well. Criminal Law, since we are reading part 2, also has a repeat teacher, the one who taught us Criminal Law-1. Many of my class-mates are all praises for him, but I beg to differ. He is, no doubt, one of the best academicians at our faculty but his teaching skills are not students friendly. I said this to someone a few days back that the Criminal Law teacher is like an Ekta Kapoor serial. You watch the serial for a week and the story moves an inch!

Vignettes

Meanwhile, ‘Speaker’ Somnath ‘Chatter’ jee resigns from his political career, a high-powered parliamentary committee says Delhi is not ready for Commonwealth Games 2010 , Slumdogs replace palace rats (and as a side effect young Jamaal says he’s not getting proper sleep at his Dharavi shanty due to mosquitoes and lack of proper bed, Freida dumps her struggling days boy friend for a more suave and successful one {in an uncanny similarity with Deepika Padukone}), Baby AB breaks the record for maximum number of public appearances by an actor in different cities and on a single day, Nithari perpetrators get hangings and Satyam goes on the verge of becoming another Aarushi.