Vaishnava Jana To… A good man is one who feels another’s pain, shares another’s sorrow

Narsinha Mehta – Postal Stamp- India. Poet: Vasihnava Jana To

On Gandhi’s birth anniversary (2nd October), thought of writing this quick post about one of Gandhi’s favourite hymns.  A hymn that also often helps me form an opinion and decide on the course of action.

Almost every Gandhi feature includes a rendition of  “Vaishnava Jana To …” and many even think that it was Gandhi’s creation.

However “Vaishnava Jana To …” was actually written by the poet Narsinh Mehta, in the Gujarati language, way back in the 15th century.

While the entire poem is beautiful and profound, I have always been most drawn to the first two lines Continue reading “Vaishnava Jana To… A good man is one who feels another’s pain, shares another’s sorrow”

Was MJ The Last English Star In India? Has India Gone Back To Its Roots?

Michael Jackson, the ‘king of pop’ was today finally laid to rest, 10 weeks after his death. Michael Jackson was easily the biggest global entertainer ever. Through the 80s and 90s he enjoyed unfathomable levels of popularity across the globe and India was no exception. Thinking of MJ got me thinking of impact of western culture & entertainment on Indians, and it suddenly dawned on me that MJ was perhaps the last English superstar in India. Continue reading “Was MJ The Last English Star In India? Has India Gone Back To Its Roots?”

Rock On Has Got It Spot On

Writing this as I listen to the music of the movie ‘Rock On’. Rock On has got it Spot On. It’s Hindi rock and not another attempt at English rock. It’s not like it’s the greatest music ever but it just seems like an important landmark in the journey of rock music in India.

Indians rocking in English and essentially copying English rock stars and their mannerisms seemed very pseudo for it to ever catch on in India. I am nowhere near a music expert or even a connoisseur but it seemed pretty obvious that unless Indian musicians dropped the English language and moved to Indian languages, they were never going to become mainstream. So ‘Rock On‘ might be a big step in the direction of establishing Indian rock music.

Farhan Akhtar seems to emerge stronger by the day. He makes sensible movies and now also acts and sings. His talent is not surprising considering that he is Javed Akhtar’s son. However his emergence is heartening as hopefully he will lead the move away from the over the top mushy and slippery brand of common hindi movies.