AFSPA, Judicial Activism and National Security

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कौरव कौन

अटल जी की एक कविता
अटल जी ने हमेशा जीवन की चुनौतियों का आगे बढ़कर सामना किया। अपने राजनीतिक जीवन में कविताओं से लोगों का मन मोहने वाले अटल जी की कुछ कविताएं तो समय की सबसे अच्छी परिभाषा व्यक्त करती हैं।
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कौरव कौन
कौन पांडव
टेढ़ा सवाल है
दोनों ओर शकुनि
का फैला
कूटजाल है
धर्मराज ने छोड़ी नहीं
जुए की लत है
हर पंचायत में
अपमानित है
बिना कृष्ण के
महाभारत होना है,
कोई राजा बने,
रंक को तो रोना है
My tribute to the great son of India.
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आहिस्ता चल ज़िंदगी, अभी कई क़र्ज़ चुकाना बाकी है,
कुछ दर्द मिटाना बाकी है, कुछ फ़र्ज़ निभाना बाकी है I

रफ़्तार में तेरे चलने से कुछ रूठ गये, कुछ छूट गये,
रूठों को मानना बाकी है, रोतों को हसाना बाकी है I

कुछ हसरातें अभी अधूरी हैं, कुछ काम भी और ज़रूरी है,
ख्वाहिशें जो घुट गयी इस दिल में, उनको दफ़नाना बाकी है I

कुछ रिश्ते बन कर टूट गये, कुछ जुड़ते-जुड़ते छूट गये,
उन टूटे छूटे रिश्तों के ज़ख़्मों को मिटाना बाकी है I

तू आगे चल मैं आता हूँ, क्या छोड़ तुझे जी पाऊँगा?
इन साँसों पर हक़्क़ है जिनका, उनको समझाना बाकी है I

आहिस्ता चल ज़िंदगी, अभी कई क़र्ज़ चुकाना बाकी है II

(I received this poem from a friend Jagjit Singh Sidhoo written in Roman English, which I transliterated in hindi. Shiv Rana)

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My Life

What a pleasure to reminisce God given 3 score & 11 summers & winters, in the company of family and friends, in the civvies and in Olive Green. When I look back and anamnesis I feel it was just yesterday; that I was going to the school or taking off my DMS boots after a lay long “Speed March” in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh: day soaked with rains. I can smell the aroma of packed cold Puris with Aloo Sabji still buffeting my nostrils from nearby fire lit by our Johnnies to warm up food.

And also now enjoying 20 years of retired life with no work to do. It has been wonderful years gone by. What a life!!!



And ? ? ?

Thank God.

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Whither Sparrow?

(On the World Sparrow Day: 20th Mar)

Today in the newspaper (Times of India, Delhi edition, page 2) I read that 20th of Mar each year is being celebrated as World Sparrow Day. I admit, I was not aware.

News item stirred something in my mind that I had written a small poem sometime in 2004/2005 about little sparrow in Nepali while I was in my village to meet my mother.

I began a frantic search for my old Poem file. And with great effort I did manage to find it and also found the piece of paper in which I had jotted it down the poem with pencil. A scanned copy of the same is being place below for those who can read Nepali.

But for wider readership I thought to translate it in English. It’s a modest effort and I wonder if I have been able to do proper justice in doing so. Those who can help in improving it will be welcome and I will really appreciate. Please put it down in the comments.

Shiv Rana


English Translation

Whiter Sparrow?

Small bird, chirping on roof top
I don’t see it now.
Where has it gone?

Sparrow and human lived

and coursed their journey together
That small bird was dependent
for her food and nests on us

In good old times our ladies cleaned 

and threw shrivelled grains of rice and daal
which were food for these birds
They made their nests
in the roofs made of sedge grass

From egg to hatching and then,

baby sparrows were fed,
beak to beak by their parents
squeaking and squawking

An adult sparrow flew away 

from the parents nest
Taught us life cycle

But it vanished today. Whither?

Today we do not live in houses 

made of wood sod and sedges
Today we do not pick on shrivelled
and withered grains

Time is at premium

Therefore there are no sparrows

In changing culture

slowly sparrows have disappeared
And today’s generation is denied to
to watch the life science before them
And read only in books.

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The Valley of Seventies

Col Shiv Om Rana

I enter the valley of seventies.
Beautiful swirling nimbus cloud
grey and silver at the far end
making an artists brush go around.

The valley spread far and wide,
with colourful flowers and clear stream
flowing beside the pathway,
snowy peaks and fresh water lake below.

I walk with creaky knees,
to cross the valley of long years
to reach another valley of
enchanting beauty which few experience.

I sink in the joy of the landscape
with caution and swivet then
dementia, alzheimer and parkinson
stare at me with intent.

But I still will wander uninhibited
through the turns and curve, humming,
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya[1]
to seduction awaiting in another valley.

I will negotiate every turn and curve
to find another pulchritude awaiting,
With bewitching charm
of another gorge to be seen.

I look back and smile.
What a wonderful journey it has been.
Friends I made, company they gave.
All had been wow moments.

Walk alone or walk with companion,
walk I must with smile coz,
I have entered the valley of seventy
with hope and contemplation.

[1] Translation : I cruise along giving company to my life (An old Hindi song of Bollywod cinema)

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My Night of Dream


I liked a Nepali poem by Chandi Raj Dahal of Kathmandu, Nepal. I thought to translate it and share it with the world. I hope I have done justice to the translation. (Nepali poem is also given below the translated version) ……………. Shiv Om Rana

My awaken night and
you in deep slumber
left your body in your house and
came to my garden to saunter.

My planted flowers
awaited the arrival of spring,
and spread fragrance around
They also attracted butterflies and bees.

You attired in white gown
like an angel
wearing white anklets and ear rings,
dainty and delicate like angels from the heaven.

Moon smiled at you in appreciation
My garden was delighted and
roses, shirish1 and rhododendrons              (1 – name of a flower)
welcomed you singing “Su-swagatam2”.      (2 – welcome)

To welcome you in my garden
I decorated my wooden table with a rose
And spread two straw mats on a bench
And placed two red wines to say “cheers” to you.

When I looked at you,
you were gazing at me: adrift and lost
Your eyes expressed palpable love
Your hair floating like clouds in the sky.

While extending our love
Breaking the calmness of night
You disappeared when
suddenly I called you. I awoke.

Did I feel embarrassed, thinking of you?

My awaken night and
you in deep slumber
left your body in your house and
came to my garden to saunter.

……translated by Shiv Om Rana from Nepali to English


म ब्युँझेको रात (by Chandi Raj Dahal)

म ब्युँझेको रात
तिमी मस्त निद्रामा
अचेत शरीरलाई घरै छोडी
मेरो बगैंचामा डुल्न आएकी थियौ ।

मैले रोपेका फूलहरुले

बसन्तलाई डाकेका थिए,

बगैंचामा सुगन्ध थपेका थिए ।

पुतली र भमरालाई पनि बोलाएका थिए ।

तिमी परीझैं

सेतो गाउनमा सजिएकी,
सेतै पाउजु र झुम्का लाएकी,
स्वर्गकी अप्सराझैं कोमल, मुलायम बनेकी ।

जुनले तिमीलाई चियाउँदा

मेरो बगैंचा मुस्कुराइरहेको थियो

गुलाफ, शिरिष र गुराँसले तिमीलाई

स्वागतम् सुस्वागतम् भन्दै गाइरहेका थिए ।

तिम्रो स्वागतार्थ मैले

काठको टेबलमा एउटा रातो गुलाफ अड्याएको थिएँ ।

काठकै बेन्चमा खोसेलाका दुइटा चकटी ओछ्याएको थिएँ ।
अनि तिमीलाई ‘चियर्स’ भन्न दुइटा ‘रेड वाइन’ पनि मगाएको थिएँ ।

मैले तिमीलाई हेर्दा
तिमी मतिर हेरी टोलाइरहेकी थियौ
तिम्रा आँखामा अनन्त प्रेम छछल्किरहेको थियो 

तिम्रो कपाल स्वच्छ आकाशमा बादलजस्तै सल्बलाइरहेको थियो ।

रातको सन्नाटालाई चिर्दै
आपसमा भावना साट्दै गर्दा
तिमी त एकाएक विलिन भइछौ ।
अनायसै चिच्याएर तिमीलाई बोलाउँदा, म झसंग ब्युँझेछु ।

आफैंसँग लजाउँछै, तिमीलाई सम्झँदा …

म ब्युँझेको रात

तिमी मस्त निद्रामा
अचेत शरीरलाई घरै छोडी
मेरो बगैंचामा डुल्न आएकी थियौ ।

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You Didn’t Come Yaar

I met a very old friend yesterday in one of the malls here in Delhi. He said, as he would always say when we met, “Come over friend. We live in the same city”. I was fed up of his saying this all the time.

Yesterday I replied to him. Buddy (no name here please) distance from my house to your house is exactly the same as the distance from your house to mine. Tell me how many times have you come?

He fell silent and walked away. His wife and children were some distance away.

Did I reply him correctly? I wonder???

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Welcome 2018

It is officially 2018 now as I write. I hope the New Year brings peace and understanding in the world. Communalism is pushed back to the deepest hell. “Sadbhawana (सदभावना)”, as the army calls it, that is mutual respect to each other grows. There is atmosphere of peace all over the world and it becomes better place to live.


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The Year That Was : 2017

Let me go back in time to recall certain important events (as I saw them and in my opinion) during the year before I say adieu to 2017 and open my arms to welcome the new year 2018. the year was full of events but I will only try and record what I consider important.

1. The year began with the President Trump assuming the office of POTUS and what caught the fancy of the people was call given by President Trump’s “America First” policy. Some may call it isolationist and protectionist. But in my mind the call seems to have caught the fancy of youth in America and may parts of the globe. They think that free immigration in to the country is robbing them of their jobs by the cheap labour offered by these immigrants. I do see some truth in it. BREXIT last year (fall out of Trump presidential campaign) and gain of right parties in various parts of the globe is an indicator towards this. India is not untouched.

2. Doklam stand off with the Chinese in Jun occupied the minds of Indian people. India stood firm ground and it augers well for the future while dealing with the Chinese. It did offer challenges to the foreign policy makers and the military which stood ground and called off the bluff of PLA. It did help to clear the cobweb of decades of decrepit bureaucracy with 1962 psyche. But the initial days did give the shock wave and volatility shook the Indian Stock exchanges.

3. An online campaign, hashtag “Not In My Name” ( #NotInMyName) was started to protest against the mob violence and cow vigilantism after the killing of Junaid while travelling in the train. It became viral in the Facebook and TV channels fell head over heels to capture prime time viewership. But it did bring the focus on the free wheeling mob lynching happening in the country. The Prime Minister was forced to openly criticise such lynching in the name of religion.

4. Another hashtag campaign which took the world by storm was “MeToo” (#MeToo). It started to openly bring in the domain of social media about the magnitude of sexual harassment and assault being faced in every kind of environment. It started when many of women accused the film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and misogynistic behaviour as a male chauvinistic attitude. The hashtag trended in India too. Bollywood film industry came out in open to bring this menace in open.

5. Another aspect which bothered me in 2017 was fake news. Our veteran community was not untouched. Political parties indulged in it freely. In the era of connected communities fake news spreads like wild fire with negative impacts. Hope this is halted by somebody some how.

The year was full of events which touched our lives like GST and North Korean crisis in the international scene. But I consider the above mentioned five events which have shaped our thinking differently.

With that I bid farewell to 2017 and get up to welcome 2018 with my open arms and full of hopes. I am optimist by nature and I wish happy new year to all my readers. May our world become more liveable and communities become more tolerant to each other. Amen!!!

Red roseRed roseRed rosePeacePeacePeaceNoteNoteNoteRed heartRed heartRed heart

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