Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tolo Chinna Bina ....sweet song indeed

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There are songs that make us happy when we are morose and there are some that make is subdued when we are high. However, some songs make us feel nice, happy no matter what the situation is. Tolo Chinno Bina - a Bengali song from Ekanto Apun would come in this category. I discovered this song from the blog of Bishwanath and ever since, i am in love with the tune. Amazing RD with his fabulous repertoire of musical jewels and one such jewel is Tolo Chinna Bina.

I was very keen to get the lyrics for this song but I could not get it on google. I must persist with my Bengali friends to get these and also English translation. Until then, I shall keep playing this song on my PC and feel elated.

Thanks to Atish,I got the lyrics

Tolo chhinno beena, bandho notun taare,
Bhore nao shur gao jiboner-i joyogaan
Aagami diner aalo, du chokhe mekhe nao,
Aandhar ghuchiye dao bholo abhiman

Jotoi boro hok raatri kaalo,
Jaanbe totoi kaachhe bhorero aalo
Jodi ekla pothhe kono shaathhi na mele,
Jodi shara nahi pao shara debe tobo gaan

Tolo chhinno beena, bandho notun taare,
Bhore nao shur gao jiboner-i joyogaan

Cholai jibon theme jao-i moron
Bhebe nao tumi kaake korbe boron
Koto shopno aachhe dekho ankhite tomar
Taake shotyi koro tobe hobe je mohan

Agami diner aalo, du chokhe mekhe nao,
Aandhar ghuchiye dao bholo abhiman
Tolo chhinno beena, bandho notun taare,
Bhore nao shur gao jiboner-i joyogaan

p.s : subasish from pancham yahoo forum wrote about hindi version of this song ' Laharake Dagar Chalti Hain'. I was utterely disapppointed to listen to this but in the process, stumbled upon a wonderful FM station that plays music on demand. FM Radio by Demand is Nepal based station that accepts your request and plays it.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Akshta

Do we meet people by chance or is it preordained destiny? I am not sure but I would tend to agree with later. Else, how would we be all set to celebrate Akshta's b'day at ISKON temple in Singapore.

It was Sunday evening at Orchard road in Singapore. We were sitting on a bench facing Metro - a departmental store that hangs reproductions of Maunet, Van Gogh in corridor leading to its toilet. Orchard Place was buzzing with travelers and tourists. Shoppers and sellers both frenzied by weekend transactions. Neon lights of elite brands reflecting on tiled footpath. And amidst all that - three bright youngsters - in saffron robe playing Hare Rama Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. It didn’t take long for Akshta to start clapping her tiny palms,and tapping her feet to the chant. Most people around were amused by her trance except perhaps a young teenagers next to our bench who were in their own trance of hugging and kissing. I am sure, seeing a toddler engrossed in their chant, must have made young devotees of ISKON renewed their energy.

Thanks to Akshta, we discovered ISKON temple in Singapore and week after that I even managed to see the one at Bangalore. Akshta would celebrate her b'day - not with rhyme of 'Happy Birthday ..." but Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. Wishing akshta Happy B'day in languages and culture that I interact with :

Arabic : Kul sana wa i tayeba!
Bengali:Shuvo Jonmodin!
Chinese-Mandarin : qu ni sheng er kuai le
Croatian :Sretan Rodendan!
Farsi:Tavalodet Mobarak!
Gujarati :Janma Divas Mubarak!
Hindi : Janam Din ki shubkamnaayein!
Hungarian :Boldog szuletesnapot! or Isten eltessen!
Indonesian :Selamat Ulang Tahun!
Japanese :Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!
Kannada :Huttida Habba Subashayagalu!
Telugu :Puttina Roju Shubakanksalu!
Malayalam :Pirannal Aasamsakal!
Malaysian :Selamat Hari Jadi!
Marathi :Wadhdiwasachya Shubhechha!
Nepali :Janma dhin ko Subha kamana!
Oriya :Janmadina Abhinandan!
Pashto :adayish rawaz day unbaraksha!
Persian :Tavalodet Mobarak!
Portuguese :Parabens pelo seu aniversario!
Punjabi :Janam din diyan wadhayian!
Rajasthani :Janam ghaanth ri badhai, khoob jeeyo!
Sanskrit :Ravihi janmadinam aacharati!
Spanish :Feliz Cumplea–os!
Sri Lankan :Suba Upan dinayak vewa!
Swahili :Hongera! or Heri ya Siku kuu!
Tagalog :Maligayang Bati Sa Iyong Kaarawan!
Telugu :Puttina Roju Shubakanksalu!
Thai :Suk San Wan Keut!
Tibetean :Droonkher Tashi Delek!
Urdu :Saalgirah Mubarak!
Zulu :Ilanga elimndandi kuwe!


Friday, March 07, 2008

Jakarta, Rains and Singapore Airlines

Little dots of green and brown in the middle of surfing waves was the first glimpse of Indonesia’s many islands as my plane pierced through the clouds. I always take a window seat whenever it’s a day journey or if it's my first visit to the country. So was this time. I was visiting Indonesia first time. As I approached Jakarta, I could also see many rectangular shaped string of wooden sticks stuck in the water. Were these fishing nets? My curiosity of deciphering them without success may have made my nose tip flat by pressing hard against the aircraft window but it didn’t deter me to shift my focus to check of any human settlement on these little islands. Most of them did not show except an occasional house perched amidst banana and coconut trees. I wondered the economic feasibility of providing electricity, food to these 17,000 islands. No wonder only 6,000 are inhabited. Can Indonesia not consider making money by selling these islands to rich people of the west? My wild thought was interrupted as we landed in Jakarta.

Regular visitors to Indonesia know what’s the best thing to do when aircraft doors open. They run towards visa window!! We too did the same and managed to reach ahead of others. In one cubicle that processed the visa, a young man was there all by himself on his computer, entering the data, collecting the money and issuing the visa. Importance of early arrival at the Visa window made sense. With Chinese New-year holiday, there were many Chinese to spend vacation in Jakarta. As I watched their incessant chatting, I could see our young man slipping out of his cubicle holding our passports, running towards immigration. It seems his computer was not accepting his commands. We started chasing him as he went past one person to another. How those visitors patiently waiting for their turn in the queue would have reacted to an empty window. But as I thought about possible fracas, a surge of people packed the immigration hall. Another plane may have arrived. We were reconciled to spending hours in immigration seeing friendly immigration staff chatting with passengers. But soon, things were sorted out and we were driven past the red Indonesian soil, banana tress, row of packed concrete housing separated by drainage canal to disorderly small hutments, traffic signals with beggars- Jakarta looked every inch India. Ex President Suharto’s had passed away just a week before, his legacy was being discussed in media over last few but in this new regime and new generation, there was no sign of him. How cruelly a nation’s posterity treats their dictators. As I entered the city, I was observing the biggest Islamic country with great enthusiasm.

My first surprise was when I checked in at Shangri La – a spanking, glitzy hotel costing just US$80 per night, second surprise was to see branded shops in string of malls but devoid of any crowd. I was looking at the symptoms of Indonesian economic collapse and its struggle to post the recovery. Robust and tall buildings in the downtown were the reflection of the heady days of Indonesia. Evening in Jakarta became memorable as we drove around the city to reach for dinner at the Crystal Jade. I have not seen many opulent restaurants as that of Crystal Jade in Jakarta. I think this is a chain of restaurants from Hong-kong and also see them in Singapore. Barely few hours ago, in my flight magazine, I was reading about top five Chinese restaurants in the world, but after being at Crystal Jade, I wonder why this restaurant with massive high-ceiling crystal chandelier, decorative Chinese wooden furniture, fine bone china dishes saddled on stainless steel mesh design plates, elegant hostess serving sumptuous ethnic Chinese food did not make it in that league.

This one-day trip to Jakarta was also eventful as I almost spent as much time at the airport as I did in the city. Day before my arrival in Jakarta, it was hot and sunny but by night it had started pouring and by the time I reached airport next day , city was flooded and the airstrip was submerged with continuous rains.

A test of any organization comes when the crisis happens and how soon they respond. Ground staff of Singapore Airlines at Jakarta showed why this airline is well respected and admired. When deluge closed the Jakarta airport, there were three SQ flights ready to leave on that day. Staff immediately housed all passengers in business lounge and fed them. I think that was smart move. You cannot sell anything to hungry stomach. As people relaxed, staff kept updating passengers on PA system. When first aircraft was due to land, they combined the passengers giving priority to those who had connecting flight. A little box of sweets may have made some passengers happy but I was elated when I got US$100 duty voucher for downgrading my class and another amount for difference in fare with a sincere apology note. In India Jet and Kingfisher airlines have done great job in domestic aviation but I do feel TATA –SQ partnership proposal would have raised efficiency bar further.

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