So This is My English Blog

Friends,

As traffic on http://vikrantdeshmukh.blogspot.com has increased enormously, I have decided to take English section away from it. Now all my articles written in English, will be posted on this new blog. Hope you continue to read and appreciate what I scribble occasionaly…….

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The Conjuration Called Mugdha

(टीप – मागे ब्लॉगवर प्रकाशित केलेला या लेखाचा काही भाग वाचकांना खुपच आवडला. त्यावर प्रतिक्रीया म्हणून पूर्ण लेख इथे द्यावा अश्या धर्तीच्या अनेक विनंत्या आल्या. जवळचे मित्र-मैत्रिणी व मुग्धाच्या चाहत्यांनीही याबाबत सुचवले. प्रोजेक्टच्या कामात व्यस्त असल्याने मला जुना डेटा काढून अपलोड करणे शक्य होत नव्हते. आता या नाताळच्या सुट्टीत मात्र हे काम प्राधान्याने करत आहे !!! तसेही हा लेख लिहून बरोबर एक वर्ष पुर्ण होत आहे म्हणून याच आठवड्यात पुनर्प्रकाशनाचे औचित्य साधले.
काही संदर्भ तात्कालीन असले तरी विषय प्रस्तुत लेखकाच्या अतिशय जिव्हाळ्याचा व प्रेरणादायी असल्याने त्याला परत एकदा इथे सादर करताना आनंदच होतो आहे.
This is definitely one of my best articles written in English………….)
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28 July 2008.
I still very vividly remember this day when I saw & heard Mugdha Vaishampayan first time.
It was one of those misty nights in early monsoon. Bustling on streets had nearly vanished. I was taking
a casual stroll in my balcony savoring the beauty of occasional sprinkling.
I am not an avid tele-viewer anyway. So instead of watching this newly started music reality show ‘Sa ReGa Ma Little Champs’ on zee Marathi, I chose to take few rounds outside. In between, I could hear kids performing one by one and getting applauded.
Light wind was blowing across my face. The fragrance of wet soil was enamoring.
Suddenly I heard the most ecstatic words of that evening from a very naïve but refreshing voice. ‘Akash Pangharoni, Jag shant zopale he’ (Marathi song – roughly meaning ‘When the entire world is resting peacefully under vast sky……’). I was awestruck..……..
The power in those words pulled me to it with great force. The voice was simply enchanting. I rushed in to see who was performing.
On my LG screen, I saw a stunningly cute and immensely innocent face, singing with calm & composed demeanor.
Clad in light pink dress, she would have been the most gorgeous contestant I ever saw in any reality show. She was rendering this beautiful composition in literally breathstopping manner.
“Who is she?” I screamed with paramount anxiety.
“Mugdha Vaishampayan, from Alibag.” pat came the reply from my parents who were glued to TV set and were equally mesmerized.
Little did I know that this name would go on and engulf my life completely in a year or so.
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Mugdha won hearts of thousands of viewers and music lovers by her marked style.
The ease with which she accomplishes fiery numbers in a show or on stage in public appearance is simply astonishing.
Though her tender voice portrays fervent emotions extremely well, she had astounding command over wholesome range of all genres –folk, devotional, classical and modern foottapping ones!!
She has inherent talent, required base knowledge and has worked strenuously to understand the thread-bare of music. Her natural trait is singing in bright notes i.e. in high octave. However, she also furnishes softer melodies and soul touching songs with utmost perfection.
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When I heard Mugdha singing extremely difficult ‘Radhadhar Madhumilind’, my jaws fell apart in disbelief. I experienced same perplexing when she attempted ‘Vikalman Aaj’, ‘Ang Ang Tav Anang’, ‘Hurhur Asate’ or ‘Ugavala Chandra Punavecha’ and many more.
These all are thorough challenging and difficult tracks by any benchmark.
How lucidly she accomplished those!!!
Her exceptionally brilliant undertakings prove one thing again & again – she had worked arduously on her gifted voice.
Hardworking, studious & critical Mugdha dives deep in whatever she does.
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Style comes very swiftly to Mugdha. Or we can say her entire personality is so alluring that anything she does, there is elegance in it.
Her mellifluent voice, her sugared pronunciations, her majestic entries on stage, her tapping on mike by tiny fingers, her dignified body language, her heart-touching gestures, her sparkling and photogenic eyes, her winsome smile…. everything is filled with great panache.
But the main point is that she carries it with lifelike ease.
Never, never she wore any artificial mask or attained forced flair for the sake of others. She stuck to her instincts and that innocence sets Mugdha apart from other contestants.
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Have you ever heard mystic sound of ocean waves on full moon night?
Have you ever heard the shrill voice of tropical wind while cutting across those tall Bamboo woods?
Have you ever heard the melody created by falling raindrops and its background cloud?
And have you ever heard, in your lifetime, the peculiar rhythmic music originated from you every moment by your own breathing?
Mugdha’s singing reminds us all those cosmic tunes being played in the universe uninterruptedly.
Her voice has magical charm of elevating the agitated mind to a different soothing & enriching realm of pure bliss.
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Mugdha has very special way of delivering her songs.
It’s effervescent, at the same time full with fascinating maturity that portrays any sentiment perfectly.
She doesn’t stray from core theme but innovatively adds her own things or two in any composition. This improvisation often multiplies the beauty of original song and makes it worth remembering – purely for Mugdha!!!
Those who have seen her performing will unanimously vouch for one thing – She exhibits tremendous confidence. This blended with amazing simplicity and characteristic innocence, makes her rendition the unique experience of its own kind!!!
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“How you handle this newly gained celebrity hood?” somebody on TV asked little Mugdha excitedly.
Her very first reaction to this was slightly raised eyebrows and a big question mark spread all over her face.
‘What the damn thing is this?’ she might have murmured to herself.
Mugdha’s premier virtues – simplicity & down-to-earth conduct – are very much intact even at the wake of runaway success and monumental popularity. People who know her from close quadrants say that she has not changed at all!!!!
Keeping one’s feet strongly grouted on ground amidst of such huge acclaim is a sign of great artist. And Mugdha, through her splendid example, essays this point time and again.
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Mugdha’s songs may not be classically best or popular chart-busters by market standard but the overall effect she induces is very entrancing.
She never imitates anybody.
She never gets carried away trying unnecessarily ALAAP or TAAN.
And she never ever allows the technicality of song to overpower her own style of singing.
Yet the very prominent feature of Mugdha is the melodious web she weaves by encircling any number.
The manner, in which she renders her voice to any emotion, turns that verse into gold.
Mugdha and her parents know very well that, if properly cultivated, this voice is going to be the most memorable one in near future.
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‘Mugdha Vaishampayan’ has become a familiar name in every household of Maharashtra after her dream run in ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Little Champs’.
Kids are taking inspiration from her.
Their parents are adoring her for her shear praiseworthy qualities.
Oldies are thanking her for reviving the golden era of ‘their’ time and making them nostalgic.
Experts are raving her for depth, understanding and grueling efforts.
Music lovers are having a feast of her peachy singing day and night.
The incantation caused by Mugdha is not ready to reside. It has refilled liveliness in every strata of Marathi world.
Brand ‘Mugdha’ is a smash hit………………..
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Reminiscences of Mugdha and her delightful appearances keep on playing in mind.
She stormed straight into the inner world of listeners – showering happiness, joy and auriferous music.
She, with four other little champs – fondly called as PANCHRATNA (meaning ‘five gems’) – not only transfused the profound liking for singing among many but also resurrected Marathi Music to regain its erstwhile glory & pride.
Mugdha’s saga continues…..
Her repertoires continue to lighten our lives…..
Her sweet, Godly voice continues to haunt……
Her delicate vocals continue to touch our souls and produce occasional tear drops….
Final winner or not, the aroma of divine flower ‘Mugdha’ will keep on dwelling in hearts of her fans till eternity!!!
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‘Vikrant Chitale’ – My Sage Round the Corner

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today the way you are ……Uzma Afreen

Prologue
My mind was going again and again to Gujarat where Vikrant had decided to set his foot out for monastic life.
Call and mail from him had created a huge agitation in my mind.
His words “I am going to resign and spend couple of months in the search of myself and in search of God” kept ringing in my ears.
His maiden voyage towards spiritual pinnacle – as per his beloved ideology – was enchanting. Still I was bit concerned about him.
On that secluded evening, I was pacing back & forth looking at dusky sky and thinking only about my dear friend Vikrant’s brave but arduous step.
Tears rolled out and I suddenly realized that he is God’s favorite son!!!!!!!
His austerity would become a path-braking example for ordinary people like me.
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The beginning of camaraderie
It was the day when (otherwise harsh) life graced me with one of the most precious gift of my life – My dearest friend Vikrant Sudhir Chitale.
It was the day that brought me an angel who would stand by me in my thick and thin, who would continuously remind me about the elusive abode of divine supremacy and who will always – leading by his own example – prove the ancient principles of balanced Physio-spiritual life.
It was our first day in Thermax. During ice-breaking session, I noticed a neat, tidy person carrying a thorough decent look on his face.
He was appearing very intelligent and composed.
“My Name is Vikrant Chitale. Passed out from VIT”. He introduced himself.
The words were indeed very soft and there was a beaming confidence blended with professionalism.
“Hi, I am Vikrant Deshmukh.” I murmured.
“Whoop… So we have two Vikrants here”. Somebody shouted.
“Oh, great” Vikrant looked immensely pleased. Pressing my hand with affection he said, “How beautiful!! So we have a long way to go……”
The warmth is still been intact. The mutual respect has grown multifold.
Today after so many years when I recall this incident, I consider myself lucky to have met this person at very appropriate time.
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People wonder how our friendship blossomed, survived and grown inspite of our polar opposite natures.
He is calm, composed and sensitive person while me being impulsive, turbulent and restless creature.
Vikrant is a complete family person with tremendous love, caring & compassion in his heart. I am dry, conservative analytic.
Seriousness with thinking in totality is Vikrant’s fore. On the other hand, chaotic wandering of mind & flickering in decisions is common in my case.
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Intelligence Incarnated
Primitive years in Thermax allowed me to take a peep into Vikrant’s intellectual word. His urge of learning new things, brilliant grasping power, hardwork and his uncanny ability to simplify things had a powerful impact on me. Vikrant always use to think away from orthodox perspective thus giving a totally new dimension to the topic. The habit of looking any thing from open mind – thus making its unbiased analysis possible – helps him a lot even today. Like or dislike of subject matter never played a spoilsport in Vikrant’s intake. He learns enthusiastically, revises dedicatedly and applies cleverly.
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Friend, philosopher and guide
After the day we have met, I can’t remember a single major decision in my life where I haven’t consulted my buddy. May it be a financial trivia, critical family matter, career strategy, spiritual confusion or just any thing that poses a serious threat to peace of mind, Vikrant’s door is always open for me.
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I sometimes get envy at Vikrant’s coolness. Undeterred by worldly assaults, firm with his values & principles and endowed with astonishing temperament Vikrant is rock solid when it comes to responding to crisis. I haven’t seen him bogged down or unnecessarily worrying about situation, environment and/or people. Taking problem heads on with ultra-cool mindset is his unique quality.
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In his own backyards

“Live From Moment to Moment” – J Krishnamurthy

A quick look at Vikrant’s life confirms the embodiment of above teaching. He regards every small pleasure of life with uttermost dignity and takes keen interest even in (otherwise) dull chores.
I remember his excitement when we together decided to hit the gym.
I can recall his narrations of maiden Switzerland trip.
Vikrant always exhibits characteristic dutifulness in whatever he does in his personal life. He believes in living life joyfully, morally and divinely.
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Spiritualism Personified
The core of my friend is full with burning desire of attaining God, extreme BHAV, devotion to his master and unbreakable faith in our great spiritual heritage. I have been witness to his graceful worships as well as stern SADHANA.
Very humble by nature, Vikrant doesn’t talk at depth about the various mystical experiences he had while traversing on the path towards God.
Ever readiness to sing the glory of almighty, surrendering completely to him and infinite love & respect towards the SADGURU are key corner stones of Vikrant’s spiritual practice.
Looking & observing Vikrant, one gets convinced about the practicality of age-old principles written in scriptures. He is epitome of balanced life. If anybody has a doubt about the possibility of incorporating spirituality into paced & demanding day to day life, come and see my friend!!!!
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Epilogue
How can you know a person fully?
As I look back and try to figure out which mould my dear friend belongs to, I almost get lost in multitude of his reminiscences.
Tender hearted, sweet talking Vikrant……..
Sharp, witty yet very straightforward Vikrant………
Trend-setter, experimental Vikrant……
The sincere employee…..Fabulous team member…….outright professional Vikrant
Total devotee by heart…..ideal disciple by action……honest follower by thinking ….. The perfect aspirant Vikrant……..
Meticulous in planning……. Critical in judgments…… Always positive & cheerful Vikrant……
Appreciator of tiny pearls of life……connoisseur of its diverse colors….. My friend with silken heart, Vikrant……..
There will never be dearth of his praises. As we continue to be intimate friends, more and more of his inner world gets unleashed…..and I continue to get dumbfounded….like always…….like ever…….

In The ‘Troubled’ Waters…..

Unprecedented Water cuts in Pune. I don’t know how to react on this……
Pune is always known as Green city and it never got bruised on water front.
But this year, situation is really bad. Main reservoirs have dried up. Dams have meager supply – inadequate to cater gigantic demand from all quadrants of city.
To err is human and to repeat errors without learning lessons is ‘Government’ and ‘Indians’!!!
We seldom learn from past and we never proactively plan for future. We pat our backs for so called ‘crisis management’ but never really believe in ‘Pokayoke’ – a Japanese term for mistake-proofing.
At the wake of this 30% water cut (which is first-of-its-kind situation for Pune in last 40 years) I have few questions popping up in my mind.
1. Why water discharge for agricultural usage continued till 30th May whereas the normal cut-off in the past used to be 15th May?
2. With the kind of down pouring we observe in catchment areas, every year PWD is forced to release water that floods Mutha and downstream rivers like Bheema. So its pretty clear that the capacity of our dams has to be increased to store more water and to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious fall water. While Pune’s consumption growing multifold, why nobody has pondered on capacity expansion of major dams?
3. When are we coming out of geo-political compulsions and come up with new irrigation & water supply schemes are different parts rather than expecting everything to get fed by Krishna Valley?
4. Where is water-management? Why PMC doesn’t enforce uniform water distribution, water meters and water saving drives?
5. Like “Earth-Worm breeding” or “waste-disposal” projects, why municipal authorities don’t insist on rain-water harvesting projects in housing societies and bungalows? In fact, they can come up novel ideas like discounts in property taxes for the households implementing rain-water harvesting.
6. Are we serious enough on arresting water leakages happening all cross city owing to inferior hardware quality, wrong (and sometimes stupid) designs & layouts, shortage of maintenance people etc etc?
7. Why to curse only slums? Stories often make round about many societies having illegal, unauthorized water connections. This is seen especially in upcoming areas which got included in corporation limits recently. These politician-turned-builders might be pressurizing civic authorities and/or using their own crude ways to obtain water connections for new buildings they construct. Who and will account for such non-legitimate water supplies? And how?
8. Why common Punekars use drinking water to wash their vehicles? Why can’t they use bore-well water or get it done from washing centers?
9. Why so many buildings still don’t have automatic water level control mechanisms which will trip lifting pump, avoiding spilling from overhead tanks?
10. And why still after so many years, we recurringly fail to predict monsoon and its behavior with fair degree of accuracy? Though we are well versed with the wild gyrations in quantity & quality of tropical rain, can’t we devise some robust models to foresee and cope up with that? How long you expect to be haplessly dependent on nature? …….
Time to wake up guys………

Dweller’s Monologue

Its been pretty long time on this earth !!!!! And man, its really like a longgggg dream…. falsified dream, albeit….
Every passing year, every passing day rings a warning bell – end is near 😦 and yet so many things to be achieved…..
Beholder’s dilemma continues…..
I don’t like to look back and I hate thinking too much about future…..
Today is the day……Introspect….. dive deep…… hit the rock……Zenith is still far away…..
Or may be very near……. who knows??
Be open to the life that gets unfolded every moment….. naturally, at ease……..

– Vikrant (14/05/2009…… his(?) birthday !!!!!)

Beating The Heat (???)

Some respite finally !!!
After two weeks of scorching heat and ever rising mercury, Pune witnessed some marginal drop in temperature – thanks to strong blowing tropical wind !!!
This summer is really been very tough. Heat waves, dry air & absolute clear sky that hold no clouds caused the exceptionally hot condition. What a brutal burning it has been……
One may blame it on global warming, pollution, unprecedented (and unorganized) growth, sever cutting of green belts ……so on so forth…….. Whatever the cause may be, climatic conditions are not going to be easily predictable in future.
We blow our trumpets for every invention that helps us to measure & predict weather. However, nature always has its ultimate say. And it is proven time & again.
Not that our Ecologists and metrological labs are useless. But the way things are rapidly changing on the surface of the earth, it has become extremely difficult to guess precisely the climatic impacts.
Interestingly, our tolerance limits are going down day by day. While in primitive stages of development, we had our own unique ways of tackling external discomforts. With advent of technology and easy availability of mechanical equipments, I think, we are losing our endurance slowly slowly.
We are becoming overly dependent on amenities falsely assuming them the ultimate solace. Worse, we are forgetting that they re to be put for limited use.
We are not in sync with Nature anymore.
One of the disadvantages of civilization and uncontrolled developments is you creating a separate layer of living that doesn’t have any harmony with external world & its dynamics.
And when cosmic forces show their might, you simply crumble!!!
What would human species do to save themselves and save ambience around them?
Awareness about environment & ecological system might be just a beginning.
We need solid, transformative initiatives at all levels to come out of this false pace of material life. We should pay heed to the mysterious, subtle signal nature gives us.
We also want determined, all inclusive efforts, precise actions and passionate involvement by everybody.
I have read somewhere, “This is the last generation who can do something to save earth and leave it as a good staying place for our children & grandchildren”…. True…… How True !!!
P.S. – While writing this blog, I had a strong craving for Thomas Friedman’s masterpiece “HOT, FLAT and CROWDED”. I am going to read it soon. Try to get across this beautiful book having a very walloping tagline ‘Why the world needs a green revolution – And how we can renew our global future’.

‘V’ for Voting

It is a shameful fact for all of us to know that the biggest democracy in the word (Read: India) has voting percentage ranging between 40 to 50% average. This means, our leaders & rulers are chosen by only half of the population ….and out of this 40% , everybody knows, who the majority of folks are!!!!!
There is no point in cursing the pathetic governance and all-round chaos after the thieves, goons, corrupted, criminals & looters take over the crown. If you are willing to do something – not for society, but for you & your family – same needs to be done before letting them elected through an easy win. And the very first & primitive thing to be done is to VOTE.
Political parties would never encourage educated people to vote as learned person can easily distinguish between good and bad – at least he is expected to do so!!! It’s always easy for parties to ‘buy’ slums & under poverty class rather than convincing a well learnt person based on their ideology & development plans. But now one has to decide whether or not to fall prey to such age old gimmicks.
Choice is yours. Continue showing apathy towards your constitutional rights, use Election Day holiday for picnics & funfair and then continue suffering in all walks of the life for next five years.
Or else participate vigilantly in electing your representative who can bring incremental changes (if not radical) around you.
Every constituency normally has one or two candidates who rise above all political theatricals and really aspire to serve people in most possible noble way. They lack money & mass support but their intents are pretty honest.
You have to look for these ‘few-good-men’ and send them to be part of our nation’s strategy & policy formation.
You have to identify such sincere and dedicated people and give them an opportunity to implement their ideas for betterment of society.
Remember, every vote counts. So cast a vote this time ….. And cast in favor of deserving one. Right to vote is your strength and you have to use it very very effectively.