Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ek boond

Rain is supposed to be light and refreshing, like it is here in Seattle. When we have an inch of rain in a single day, we think we've had a pretty rough day.

In Bangalore, 3 inches of rain uproots trees and blocks roads.

In Chennai, I was caught once when a massive depression hit the city, and dumped 8 inches of rain, bringing the city to a standstill. I thought that was horrible.

But 37 inches? What can people do when a great city like Mumbai faces the wrath of an angry Indra? When an entire region is devastated? How can you but admire the resilience and courage of such a city?

The people will rise again, mourn their losses and go on with their lives. But efficient government means issuing warnings when you know there is going to be massive amounts of rain. It means having relief and rescue teams coordinated before a tragedy strikes, not declaring a tragedy to be a tragedy. It means we should not rely only on the sheer courage and generosity of the citizens of the region.

But I'm just shocked, upset and overwhelmed by the force of nature. I cannot just blame the administration, but I have to blame someone.

I'll just hope that it never happens again to any place on earth. I'll (irrationally) hope that nature stops reminding us how small we are.

note: The title, Ek boond, means "one drop", and was the name of a Hindi poem we read years ago, about a drop of rain, written by Ayodhyasingh Upadhyay "Hariaudh" (thanks for reminding me Aditya)

27 comments:

Aditya said...

sunil: are you referring to "एक बूँद" by अयोध्यासिंह उपाध्याय "हरिऔध" - the first lines are as follows:

जो निकलकर बादलों की गोद से।
थी अभी एक बूँद कुछ आगे बढी॥
....
and concludes with
लोग यूँ ही है झिझकते सोचते।
जबकि उनको छोडना पडता है घर॥

किंतु घर का छोडना अकसर उन्हें।
बूँद लो कुछ और ही देता है कर॥
[rendering of unicode devanagari is best in IE]

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
Yes, 37 inches boggles the mind. But there is no use getting upset with nature. Nature is nature. Like the recent Tsunami, these things can and will happen. We can blame people for not being more prepared.

My hope is that in 20 years time, Mumbai will put in state of the art flood control. This will save lives and prevent a devestating lose of property. Money cannot buy everything but it can buy confort and a certain amount of security. As India develops, they will be better able to cope with such natural disasters.

Sunil said...

Aditya...you'r absolutely right, thanks for that! Though i remembered the poem, i couldn't remember the poet's name, and you reminded me perfectly...

...Boond lo kuch aur hi deta hai kar....

Michael.....I'm not blaming nature.....I know it happens. I know it's irrational. But yes, we can hope that the city learns to become more prepared. We don't want to see the tsunami repeat itself every year (in a different guise)......Mumbai and the rest of India indeed can learn from Florida, which survived 4 massive hurricanes with less loss of life.

gawker said...

We could blame global warming.

charu said...

Sunil the Chennai rains are different - they are always due to some depression in the bay.

but bombay, this is the time for monsoons there - and year after year the city is taken by surprise - altho this time it was beyond anyone's expectations... but why wait each year till after the damage is done...?

Sandeep said...

Hey... Is this the poem where this raindrop falls from the sky; unsure of it's fate? And I guess it finally falls into a clam-shell or something and becomes a pearl.
I hope we're both referring to the same poem here.. Hehe ;-P

Aditya said...

yeah sandeep thats the one ...

एक सुंदर सीप का था मुँह खुला
बूँद उसमें जा गिरी मोती बनी ...

GREATBONG said...

I cant believe that you guys also learnt that poem....

I thought we were the only ones who had to suffer through that and another one about Rana Pratap's horse Chetak.

Sunil said...

Arnab.....

It was in the ICSC syllabus...didn't have a choice :-)

But we had some pretty good Hindi teachers, and I enjoyed many of the poems we learnt. I actually also liked the novel we had in 10th.."badal aa gaye"...pretty deep stuff....which would have made a pretty good movie had Guru Dutt made it.

GREATBONG said...

But I was not in ICSE...I was in WB Secondary and we had this poem in Class 8 as part of Hindi 3rd language which I took in Class 7-8 because I wanted to understand Hindi movies...(Sanskrit was the other choice and Shankaravaranam kind of lost out to understanding QSQT)

Sunil said...

i see...
ek boondh was in our 8th standard text book also.....

hehe...Shankarabharanam, Arnab....
A rare case of a Bong using a "v" instead of a "b" :-)

but on a more serious note....I'm just reading reports of a fairly substantial death toll in the deluge. And it might repeat in Ahmedabad.

How many natural disasters need to strike for the government to at least bring in strict construction laws, and to insist that watershead and waterflow areas are not built upon.

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
Congratulations on passing 10000 visitors...lots of hard blogging.

Sunil said...

Michael......I didn't notice!

But I have an admission, it is not 10000 unique visitiors! I couldn't figure out how to set the counter to distinguish between new and returning visitors, so it counts unique page views......

so, it's about 30% more than the number of visitors (new and returning).....

Sandeep said...

Hmm... Funny thing. I learnt the poem when I was in CBSE; which was before class 7. I switched to ICSE after 6, (so best of both worlds??)
although the Hindi standard wasn't as tough as it was in CBSE.
But I DO remember this poem quite clearly!

pennathur said...

Now, at least, are we going to hear about 7/26 and the Bombay spirit and the unruffled people going about as if nothing happened?

Anonymous said...

I learnt the poem in a different syllabus( Not CBSE or ICSE - is n't it ICSC, though? never mind the system of education...).

I have read this poem many times and I *want*
to read this poem at some specific times in
life. It's that time, now, and I felt like
reading that poem and this is the first link that came up. So, here I am blogging.

To me this poem is more about "leaving home"
and fear of losing identity in the world and hope.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if someone remembers a poem on Chetak which goes like

"....joh tanik hawa se bagh hile, lekar sawar ud jata tha...rana ki putli hili nahi tabtak chetak mur jata tha...."

Anonymous said...

Hi

Yes that was a wonderful poem.Its titled "Chetak ki Veerta"...Iv been trying to find this one online for a long time but cant find it...infact I googled Poem+Chetak and found you.do you know where can I find this one on line....Another one of my absolute fav Hindi poems is " Jhansi ki Rani" by subhadra kumari chauhan.

eurekamoka said...

Hi,

I logged on to try and find the same chetak poem and found u. Rani ki jhansi is available in class 5 textbooks hindi (at least for shriram school in delhi etc). i will send it to u as i am also trying to get it.

aarti said...

so reassuring to find people out there who remember with fondness poems such as these....some of my favorites too.
bachpan by subhadra k chauhan is another poem i will never get enough of..baar baar aati hai mujhko, madhur yaad bachpan teri, gaya le gaya tu jeevan ki, sabse mast khushi meri.......
aarti999@yahoo.com

shreyaa.sharma@gmail.com said...

hey i dont know anything about your blog or what its about actually i came to this page much like everyone else looking fer the poem chetak ki veerta.
any way i couldn't find it here but i did infact find it so i thought i maight as well post the link.
http://www.geeta-kavita.com/article.asp?article=haldighati_yudh

i found the poem there i'm figuring you read hindi n will enjoy it as much as i did.
i had it in my 5th grade hindi icsce syllabus and remember that shorter version till this date.
enjoy
regards
shreyaa

Anonymous said...

Hi Aadi i was searching that poem "Ek boond" can u plz send me that whole poem "ek boond" on my id i'll be thankful to u..
my id is sumit.kandwal@gmail.com

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anamika said...

where can I get the poem "nanhi nanhi jal ki boonde jab lekar ke aata badal.....bela ki nav pankhuriyon me moti se bikhrata badal, kuch sihar sihar kuch...." Actually this is the poem which i used to sing with all my frnz very loudly during lunch time when I was in Vth standard....I'm unable to find it anywhere on google...

Sunil said...

anamika....I have no idea about this one. Perhaps someone else might.

Anonymous said...

i want a hindi poetry

Josh Rajesh said...

Hi just saw entry requesting for CHetak ki veerta..... here it is for u .....Njoy!

Ranbir chokdi bhar bhar kar Chetak ban gaya nirala tha
Rana Pratap ke khode se pad gaya hawa ko pala tha
Girta na kabhi Chetak Tan par, Rana Pratap ka ghoda tha
Wo daud raha ari mastak par, ya aasman par ghoda tha

Jo tanik hawa se baag hile, lekar sawar ud jata tha
Rana ki putli phiri nahi, tabtak Chetak Mud jata tha
Kaushal dikhlaye chalo me, ud gaya bhayanak bhalo me
Nirbheek gaya wo dhalo me, sarpat dauda karwalo me

Hai yahen raha aab yahan nahi, wo wahin raha aab wahan nahi
the jagah na koi jahan nahi, kis ari mastak par kahan nahi

Bhala girta girta nishang, hai tapo se khan gaya aang,
bairi samaj reh gaya dang , Chetak ka dekh ke aiysa rang.