Lost in Many Faces of Gods – #Poem

My neighbor comes out every morning to cut beautiful roses and other flowers growing outside her house and she collects them to offer them to God. After seeing this scene again and again, this poem is written.

I don’t know O God, your wishes
Based on my understanding, I thee worships

I cut beautiful flowers from your creation
And offer them to photo frames of my vision

In many faces, I have imagined you
To please you, many rituals I do

Sometimes in scary image of Goddess Kali
I’ve feared your wrath and offered havana nightly

Krishna, Murti, God, Hindu, Indian

Or I fast for nine days in honor of demon-slayer Maa Durga
And begin my days with prayers to kind and portly Lord Ganesha

I have sought you in neutral face of Lord Mahavira
Or in wise verses of Lord Buddha

Sometimes I seek you in a mosque without an image or fuss
And sometimes your love bleeds from an object, a cross

In many rituals, fasts, prayers and customs I have tied you
And bound myself in fortified walls of bigotry, all for you

Which of you is real, I am lost in your many faces,
All of my own making, I’m lost in rituals and customs

But I forget the face that is in front on me everyday
When snakes slither, cows moo, when goats bray

When peacock puts on an amazing display
To win his beloved, when I see chimps tease and dolphins play

When autumn showers gold, in awe I say, it’s not the doom
Hope is rekindled when spring flowers bloom

And yet spring is no more a start than autumn an end
I find summer glow of my soul in desolate winter or barren desert sand

I don’t know of many Gods, or of A God or A Goddess
And yet I see everyday how the divine reveals

There is presence of the divine all around
On this wondrous earth and in the galaxy beyond

I looked in temples, churches and mosques….
In the end, I found divine within my heart, Rumi says


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ईश्वर के कई चहेरे मेरी फोटो फ्रेम में – #Hindi #Poem

I have written this poem in English, Hindi and Gujarati and am posting in all three languages. Each time the words are slightly altered.

मेरी पड़ोस में रहती हुई महिला रोज बहार आकर अपने घर के पास उगते हुए सुंदर गुलाब और अन्य फूलों को काटकर अपनी पूजा की थाली में इकट्ठा करके घर ले जाती है। इस दृश्य को बार बार देखने के बाद  यह काव्य लिखा है 

मुझे नहीं पता हे ईश्वर आपकी क्या मर्जी है
आपको भजति हु जैसी मेरी समज होती है  

आप के ही सर्जन के सुंदर फूल चुनकर  
अपने  मातापिता सामान पौधों से अलग कर 

प्रस्तुत करती हूँ आप ही की सुन्दर छबि के सामने 
आपके कई चहेरे मैंने फोटो फ्रेम में उतारे है 

कभी सोचा आप को, डरावने माँ काली के रूप में
कभी अनुरागशील गणेशजी और कभी मां दुर्गा के स्वरूप में

कभी बुद्ध और महावीर के तटस्थ चेहरे में पाया 
कभी बिन चहेरे आपको मस्जिद में मेने पाया 

मेरे ठहराए गए रस्मो कस्मो से आपको बांध लिया  
कभी फल खाकर कभी रोजा रखकर आपको प्रसन्न किया  

कभी इशू के क्रॉस पर लहू में आपकी दया को देखकर
कभी कृष्ण की बांसुरी की ध्वनिमें आपकी भक्ति में रंगकर 

खोजने आपको मंदिर मस्जिद चर्च और कहाँ कहाँ भटकी  
अलग अलग नियमो और रस्मो से में परेशान हुई 

मैंने अपनी कल्पना से तुम्हारे कई चेहरे गढ़े हैं
पर भूल जाती हु वोही चेहरा जो मेरे सामने है

Various dance poses of an Indian Male Peacock stock photo

मोर की कला, तेंदुए की दौडान, मेंढक की छलांग
सिंह का गुर्राना कोयल के टहूके, पंखी का कलरव 

कोयल के टहूकने में, भमरे के भनभनानेमें, 
आप को पा लू में फुलोके खिलने और मुर्झानेमे  

मैं छवि में आपका चेहरा क्यों बनाऊ 
रस्मो रिवाजमे क्यों हैरान हो जाऊ 

अलौकिक, आपकी यह रचना अमृतमयी
मान क्यों न लें कि यही आपकी पुष्टि आपकी छवि


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JOBS – October, 2021

Reagent & Assay Development Research Associate – Santa Clara, CA

Female industrial worker working with manufacturing equipment in a factory Professional young industrial factory woman employee working with machine parts putting, checking and testing industrial equipments cables in large Electric electronics wire and cable manufacturing plant factory warehouse Laboratory Stock Photo

There is an exciting job opportunity for Reagent & Assay Development Research Associate in Sunnyvale, CA with a company developing innovative single-molecule detection & ultra-high sensitivity platforms based on its expertise in optofluidics, assay development, system integration and microsystem technologies. This product development infrastructure and suite of proprietary technologies are ideally suited for the robust development of advanced diagnostic products. Competitive compensation will include an opportunity to participate in equity.

Candidate Requirements: Hands-on experience in protein & nucleic acid biochemistry, bioassay development and spectroscopy/microscopy; BS/ MS in biochemistry, biophysics or bio-analytical chemistry with 0-2 years of industrial experiences (recent graduates welcome to apply). Strong understanding of biochemical & bio-analytical techniques for protein, nucleic acids and nanoparticles/biopolymer characterization is required.  Also preferred, hands-on experience in Fluorescence Spectroscopy/Microscopy, Protein Assays, Electrophoresis, Dynamic Light Scattering/Zeta Potential, UV-VIS Spectroscopy, Chromatography, qPCR); Some experience with immunoassays and nucleic acid assays.  Excellent foundation of data analysis procedures and knowledge of basic statistical concepts is ideal. Experience with reagent preparation for single-molecule detection techniques is a big plus.

Bioanalytical Scientist – N. San Jose, CA

There is an exciting immediate job opportunity for a bioanalytical scientist in San Jose, CA to work on novel drug device combinations for treating chronic diseases. There are three opportunities and position, salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience. This position will be involved in the development of in vitro/in vivo models by performing a variety of microplate assays; Configure, program and troubleshoot laboratory automated platforms; Optimize existing automated processes to improve efficiency, throughput, robustness and quality; Perform routine data management tasks; Support regulatory efforts; Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements: BS with 2-5 years or MS with 0-3 years or Ph. D. with 2+ years of industry experience is required; Also required, Experience in preclinical & clinical research; experience in biochemical analysis such as spectrophotometric, fluorescence immuno assays, HPLC, CE, LC-MS; Experience with microplate assays; Hands-on experience in automation and liquid handling in a bioanalytical lab setting; Experience working with statistical software like Excel, GraphPad Prism and Softmax Pro; and Experience with writing reports/protocols and SOPs. Experience with Luminex MapX technology is an advantage.

R&D Scientist – N. San Jose

A drug delivery company with unique technology to deliver biologics has an exciting job opportunity in San Jose, CA for R&D Scientist.  

Requirements: BS/MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering or related; 5+ years pharma or biotech experience in biologics analytical development, particularly, experience in biophysical techniques and analytical characterization of peptides and proteins is a must. Candidates must have experience of working in GLP/GMP regulated environment and working knowledge in product formulation (solid oral dosage, and/or parenteral sustained release) and process development from early to late phase development or at minimum hands on experience in providing analytical support to these activities. Also required, knowledge of state of the art analytical techniques such as various HPLC modes and detections, LC-MS, CE-SDS, peptide mapping, ELISA, cell based assays etc for product characterization, comparability testing and PK/PD analyses. Experience in working with drug-device combination products is a plus.
Responsibilities:  Assessing chemical and physical stability of formulations and identifying appropriate stability, manufacturability, and performance critical quality attributes; Establishing and managing reference standard and stability programs; Participate in method and tech transfer from R&D to Manufacturing as appropriate; Writing, reviewing and approving CMC sections of regulatory filings; Assessing utilization of resources and identifying when, and where additional resources may be needed; Communicate effectively to the project team and present data at team meetings; Maintain high quality documentation of all activities in notebooks, Other duties as explained.

Molecular Biologist – South San Francisco, CA

An early stage biotechnology company located in S. San Francisco, CA has developed patented technology for engineering mammalian cells to vastly increase their productivity for therapeutic protein or virus production and has an exciting opportunity for senior molecular biologist. 

Requirements: Must have PhD in a related field or equivalent amount of experience with recombinant mammalian cell line creation; mammalian cell culture expertise; experience with general molecular biology techniques for designing and constructing vectors and transfecting mammalian cells; experience with protein assay techniques for screening transfected cells. Also highly preferred, Experience with flow cytometry, virology, cell banking, transposase transfection methods; experience with protein analytical methods; knowledge of the regulatory environment related to creating and testing cells destined for GMP manufacturing; and photomicroscopy.

Responsibilities: This position is responsible for helping develop the technology toward full commercialization. Responsibilities include work with cell engineering, vector design and construction, transfection, mammalian cell culture, cloning and screening, flow cytometry, and other related molecular and cellular biology techniques. 

Quality Assurance Engineer – North San Jose, CA

There is immediate opportunity for Quality Engineer in well funded startup by a veteran leader with a world class team to support compliance with applicable regulatory requirements by maintaining an effective quality management system and implementing continuous improvements. This position is responsible for activities ranging from product development through commercialization. This is a hands-on role where the Sr. Quality Engineer will apply diversified knowledge of engineering, quality principles and practices for class II and class III medical devices and combination products. This position also ensures that the company complies with all applicable federal, industry, and company procedures, guidelines, and regulations during the receipt, storage, manufacture, and distribution of products.

Responsibilities: Maintain and improve quality system in accordance with FDA Quality System Regulation and ISO 13485 requirements; Support quality assurance activities, including, but not limited to: Risk Management (FMEAs, HA), internal and external audits, NCMRs and CAPAs; Investigate product quality problems and determine root cause, gather and analyze data, and implement corrective actions to reduce or eliminate cause; Lead the resolution of quality issues related to non-conformance reports and CAPAs; Assist in development, review and approval of process and equipment validation/qualifications (IQ, OQ, PQ); Provide QE support to production, purchasing and engineering; Support/lead test method validation activities; Conduct and support the development and validation of appropriate test methods for product and process performance; Develop and initiate sampling procedures and statistical process control methods; Support product line manufacturing and design stages by ensuring validation of manufacturing equipment and processes are conducted in accordance with the Validation Master Plan; Address systemic quality issues with suppliers or internal groups; Oversee calibration and preventive maintenance program; Assist in the review of lot history records and disposition of product (subassembly and finished goods); Work with engineering to develop adequate inspection criteria; Perform statistical analysis such as capability, gage R&R, and statistical process control; Evaluate product changes for qualification and validation requirements and assist in change implementations.

Requirements: A minimum of 7 years quality assurance/engineering experience is required. Experience in a regulated industry (medical device), Experience with FDA Quality System Regulations, ISO Standards (ISO 13485 and ISO 14971), Experience with non-conformances, CAPA, and Risk Management, Experience in performing test method validation and Gage R&Rs, Extensive experience regarding root cause analysis and statistical techniques (such as Cause and Effect Analysis, Fishbone Diagram, 5 Whys, Six Sigma processes) and BS in Engineering is required. CQE, CQA preferred

Senior R&D Mechanical Engineer – N. San Jose, CA

This is a very exciting opportunity to work at grounds level on a stealth mode project, with a veteran entrepreneur, with several successful prior ventures. Requires 8+ years of medical device product development experience and strong expertise in Solidworks.

Senior Manufacturing Engineer – S. San Jose, CA

Bay Area start-up focusing on improving healthcare delivery through state-of-the-art catheter development has an immediate opening for senior manufacturing enginee, to support the development and production of innovative catheters ensuring high reliability, regulatory adherence, and cost-effective manufacturability.

Requirements: Minimum 10 years history of experience in medical device manufacturing environment; Proficiency in Solidworks; Experience writing protocols & test reports; Experience using inspection and test equipment (vision systems, tensile testing) are required.

Responsibilities: Support manufacturing activities; Spend time on the manufacturing line with the assemblers to improve processes & increase quality; Develop assembly & test fixturing; Create, validate & document new manufacturing processes; Write protocols & test reports; Prepare manufacturing lines for significant scale up; Conduct process verification & validation activities; Initiate failure analysis in manufacturing; Design, write & perform equipment qualifications & process validations; Facilitate transitioning development products to full scale production line; Collaborate with existing suppliers & bring up new ones with an eye towards partnership & efficiency. 

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Gujarati Poem: દ્રષ્ટિ વિસ્તૃત કરીએ – Let’s expand our vision

જાવેદ જાફરીના હિન્દી માં લખેલ કાવ્ય નો મેં ગુજરાતી માં અનુવાદ કર્યો છે. તેમાં થોડા શબ્દો બદલ્યા છે અને તે કાવ્યને અહીં પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું.

three young friends of different religions Three young girls standing happily together in the corner hindu muslim stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

નફરત ની અસર જુઓ,જાનવરો વેચાય ગયા
ગાય હિન્દૂ અને બકરા મુસલમાન મનાય ગયા

ક્યારે તેમનો થશે બટવારો, ચિંતિત છે પંખીઓ
ઝાડ પાન ને શાખાઓ મૂંઝવણ માં મુકાય ગયા

સૂકા મેવા ની વહેંચણી માં નાળિયેર હિન્દૂ
ને ખજૂર મુસલમાન ના કહેવાય ગયા

રંગ માં યે જુદાઈ આવી, ધર્મની વિભાજીત માં
લાલ હિન્દૂ નો ને લીલા રંગ મુસલમાન ગણાય ગયા

માનો કે લીલા શાકભાજી હવે મુસલમાનના થશે
હિંદુના ઘરે ગાજર, ટામેટા ના થેલા મુકાય ગયા

પણ સમસ્યા મોટી ઉભી રહી તરબુચની
વિધવાનો માથા ખંજવાળતા રહી ગયા

બિચારું ઉપરથી છે મુસલમાન, અંદર થી હિન્દૂ
આ વિભાજન માં એવા કૈંક નિર્દોષો ખપાય ગયા

આ કાવ્ય ને આસ્વાદ ની તો જરૂર નથી. પણ આ કાવ્ય નો અંત બોલતા મને એ કહેવું છે કે એક વ્યક્તિની આઇડેન્ટિટી એટલે ઓળખ માત્ર તેના ધર્મ માં નથી. તે વ્યક્તિ કોઈની માં છે, બહેન છે, પત્ની છે, તેને હિન્દી ચલચિત્રો પસંદ છે, ગાવાની શોખીન છે, રસોઈ મસ્ત બનાવે છે, કેરમ રમવાનો શોખ ધરાવે છે ને વ્યવસાયે વકીલ છે. આમ લોકો કેટલા જટિલ હોય છે. ક્યારેક ઘૃણા અને ભેદભાવ માં રંગાઈને તેમની ઓળખ અને જટિલતા ને એક નાના એવા બોક્સ માં બેસાડીએ છીએ ત્યારે એ પણ ભૂલી જઈએ છીએ કે એજ વ્યક્તિ આપણી પાડોશણ, સખી, પિક્ચર જોવામાં સહભાગી અને પ્રેમથી જમાડવામાં પાવરધી હતી. અને અત્યારે તેવો અત્યાચાર ઇથિયોપિયા માં (જ્યાં મેં મારુ બાળપણ વિતાવ્યું) ત્યાં થઇ રહ્યો છે જ્યાં હજારોની સંખ્યા માં નાની યુવતીઓ અને બાળકીઓ બળાત્કાર અને જાતીય હિંસાનો ભોગ બની રહી છે. ટીગ્રી જાતિની વ્યક્તિઓ ઉપર આ અત્યાચાર થઇ રહ્યો છે. મેં એ આશા સાથે આ કાવ્ય અને તેનો અંત લખ્યો છે કે આપણે વ્યક્તિઓની ઓળખ આઇડેન્ટિટી ને કોઈ એક ખ્યાલ માં સંકોચીને જોવાની બદલે તેમને એક પૂર્ણ વ્યક્તિ તરીકે જોઈને મૈત્રીભાવ કેળવી શકીશું.

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Hindi Review: Premchand Munshi’s Tehrir Godaan गोदान

प्रेमचंद मुंशीजी की गोदान पर आधारित “तहरीर” धारावाहिक की समीक्षा 

“गोदान” मुंशी प्रेमचंद का एक प्रसिद्ध हिंदी उपन्यास है। सन १९३६ में प्रकाशित हुआ यह उपन्यास हिंदी साहित्य के महान उपन्यासों में गिना जाता है। यह उपन्यास की बात करने से पहले मुंशीजी के बारे में थोड़ी बाते करते है. हिंदी साहित्य की दुनिया में मुंशी जी का स्थान बहोत उत्कृस्ट लेखकों में है. उन्होंने लिखे हुए उपन्यासमे गोदान, कर्मभूमि, गबन, मानसरोवर, ईदगाह जैसी प्रसिद्ध और लोकप्रिय किताबे शामिल है. उन्होंने १२ से अधिक प्रसिद्द किताबे लिखी है और ३०० से ऊपर छोटी कहानिया लिखी है और उनकी किताबो का अंग्रेजी और कई विदेशी भाषाओंमे अनुवाद किया गया है.     

सन १९६३ में “गोदान” के ऊपर हिंदी चलचित्र बनाया गया था जिसमे राज कुमार, कामिनी कौशल, महमूद और शशिकला ने अभिनय किया है. 

सन 2004 में, मुंशीजी की गोदान के ऊपर आधारित,  गुलज़ार द्वारा निर्देशित, टीवी श्रृंखला, “तहरीर” दूरदर्शन के ऊपर पेश की गई थी जिसमे पंकज कपूर और सुरेखा सीकरी ने अभिनय किया है. 

Nature, Kokan, Sindhudurg, Goa, Farmer, Green

यह 1930 के दशक के ग्रामीण भारत में बस्ते हुए किसानों के जीवन पर केंद्रित एक उत्कृष्ट कहानी है। ये गरीब और बड़े पैमाने पर अशिक्षित किसान गरीबी और कर्ज के चक्र में फंसे हुए हैं। जमींदार, ठाकुर, पंचायत के सदस्य और ब्राह्मण पुजारी सहित उच्च वर्ग के विभिन्न सदस्य इस तथ्य का लाभ उठाते हैं कि किसान उनकी बड़ी इज्जत करते हैं और उनका गहरा सम्मान करते हैं। वास्तविक और काल्पनिक अपराधों के लिए, किसानों पर जुर्माना लगाया जाता है, उनके जानवरों (और कभी-कभी उनके खेतों) को अत्यधिक ब्याज दरों पर दिए गए ऋण के बदले में जब्त कर लिया जाता है. इस प्रकार पीढ़ियों से गरीबी का चक्र जारी रहता है। कभी-कभी ये किसान ईर्ष्या के कारण अपने ही वर्ग के सदस्यों का निशाना भी बन जाते हैं. और जब एक किसान पूरी तरह से कर्ज में डूब जाता है और उस गरीब आदमी से निकालने के लिए कुछ भी नहीं बचा है, जिसने अपनी युवावस्था खो दी है तभी उसे अपनी प्यारी जवान बेटी की शादी बूढ़े आदमी से कराने के लिए प्रेरित किया जाता है। 

यह धारावाहिक विशेष रूप से एक किसान होरीराम और उसकी पत्नी धनिया और उनके तीन बच्चों के इर्द-गिर्द केंद्रित है। किसान होरीराम की भूमिका में पंकज कपूर और उनकी पत्नी धनिया की भूमिका में सुरेखा सीकरी का अभिनय अति उत्कृर्ष्ट और शानदार है. 

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Tehrir – Premchand Munshi’s Godaan serial review

“Godaan” is a famous Hindi novel by Munshi Premchand. Published in 1936, this novel is counted among the greatest novels of Hindi literature. Before talking about this novel and the series that is based on this novel and is streaming on Youtube, let’s talk a little about Munshiji. Munshi ji’s place in the world of Hindi literature is among some of the most outstanding writers. The novels he has written include famous and popular books like Godaan, Karmabhoomi, Gaban, Mansarovar, Idgah. He has written more than 12 famous books and over 300 short stories and his books have been translated into English and other foreign languages. I have written reviews in Hindi and Gujarati and will post them as well.

In 1963, a Bollywood film was made on “Godaan”, starring Raj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Mehmood and Sashikala. 

In 2004, Tehrir, directed by Gulzar, based on Munshiji’s Godaan, was aired on Doordarshan, starring Pankaj Kapur and Surekha Sikri.

Farmer ploughing field Rural farmer of Indian ethnicity ploughing field using wooden plough which is riding by two bullock. Farmer Stock Photo

This is a masterfully told story focusing on the lives of farmers in rural India of 1930s. These poor and largely uneducated farmers are caught in a cycle of poverty and debt. Various members of the upper classes including, jamindars, thakurs, members of the Panchayat, and brahmin priests take advantage of the fact that the farmers look up to them and deeply respect them. For real and imagined transgressions, fines are levied on the farmers, their animals (and sometimes their farms) are seized in return for loans given at exorbitant interest rates, receipts are never given of loan repayments leaving it to their will how much to extract from the poor farmers and thus continues the cycle of poverty for generations. Sometimes these farmers even become a target of the members of their own class, on account of jealousy. And when a farmer is fully driven into debt and there is nothing left to extract out of the poor man who has lost his youthful spirit and is well into his middle age, then he is cajoled into marrying his beloved young daughter to old man, twice her age, but one who is not likely to demand a dowry and may help the family financially. 

The serial is specifically centered around a farmer, Horiram and his wife, Dhania and their three children. Performances by Pankaj Kapur as Hori and Surekha Sikri as Dhaniya are absolutely flawless. The serial is heart-rending, flawlessly made with superb performances and engaging story, beautifully told. I watched it in Hindi but since Munshi’s stories are translated in other languages, I highly recommend that you try and find it and watch if possible.

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Me & You – #poetry

There is a very old tradition of poetry in Afghanistan, before the arrival of the Taliban. Written as couplets, they were called landay. After the Taliban came, women began writing and sharing in small private groups. And yet when her family members or Taliban came to know about it, women were sometimes whipped and even killed for writing poetry. Eliza Griswold, a Guggenheim Fellow traveled with photographer Seamus Murphy on assignment with the New York Times Magazine to learn about one such young poetess who was killed by her family for writing poems. There she privately met small groups of women and collected landays or poems written by them. For more details and to read these couplets: See the URL below.


In one of my literature groups, we had to say something on the topic of “Me and You” in Gujarati language. I selected a few lines from their couplets and took the liberty to slightly modify them to fit the theme and shared them after translating in Gujarati language. I am posting them here along with my own poem below..

You forced me into marriage with an old man 
May Allah burn down the house where I spent my childhood

Making love to you old man
Is like fucking a shriveled cornstalk blackened by mold.

When sisters gather, they admire their brothers
When you brothers meet, you sell your sisters, kill them, burn them.

My body is my own;
Yet you are its master

And finally sharing the poem below that I wrote………

I, me — are not just words to inflate my ego
You — you are not just your masculinity

You and I are not always separate
Sometimes, you and I are a relationship

Then I exist, so do you
For a woman may have come from a man’s rib but once

But a man is born from her womb everyday 
If you are the question, I am the answer

Don’t make my existence the focus of your dominance

If you close me inside a veil, I will not cease to be

Don’t spend your time erasing my nail polish
For when your life is erased, how will you prove your worth in heaven?

Virgins don’t need nail polish scrubbers
But surely, gates of hell will remain open for your arrival

Afghan Women Fight for Their Identity | Voice of America - English


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Perspective – દ્રષ્ટિકોણ: હું અને તું

 અફઘાનિસ્તાન માં તાલિબાન ના આવ્યા પહેલા કવિતા ની પ્રણાલિકા હતી. તાલિબાન આવ્યા બાદ સ્ત્રીઓ પોતાના કાવ્યો ખાનગીમાં લખતી રહી. પરંતુ ક્યારેક તેમના કુટુંબીજનો અથવા તાલિબાન ને જાણ થતા તેમની હત્યા કરવામાં આવી છે. અમેરિકા ની લેખિકા એ ત્યાં પહોંચીને વીણી વીણીને સ્ત્રીઓએ લખેલ કાવ્યો ભેગા કરીને તેમના નામ વગર સંગ્રહ પ્રકાશિત કર્યો.  તેમાંના ઘણા કાવ્યો સ્ત્રીઓએ ત્યાંના પુરુષોને સંબોધીને લખેલ છે. તે કાવ્યોની થોડી “હું અને તું” ને લગતી પંક્તિઓ અહીં થોડા ફેરફાર કરીને મુકેલી છે. તે ઉપરાંત વધુ માહિતી આ સાઈટ ઉપર મળશે.

તમે મને એક ડોસા સાથે પરણાવી દીધી 
જ્યાં મારુ બાળપણ વીત્યું ખુદા તે ઘર ને જલાવી દ્યે 

તું ડોસો મારા શરીર ને પીંખે જયારે 
તો ફુગાયેલી કરચલાવાળી દાંડી ને ચોદવા જેવું મને લાગે 

આ દેશમાં બહેનો સાથે મળે ત્યારે ભાઈઓની પ્રશંસા કરે છે.
ભાઈઓ સાથે મળે ત્યારે બહેનોને વેચે છે, મારે છે, સળગાવે છે. મારું શરીર મારું પોતાનું છે;

મારું શરીર મારું પોતાનું છે;
તોય તું તેનો હકદાર છે.

ખુદા તાલિબાનનો નાશ કરે, તારા યુદ્ધનો અંત લાવે.
તેં અફઘાન મહિલાઓને વિધવા અને વેશ્યા બનાવી છે.

અને છેલ્લે મારા શબ્દોમાં 

હું એ માત્ર મારા અહંકાર નો શબ્દ નથી 
તું એ માત્ર તારી મર્દાનગીની ઓળખ નથી 

હું અને તું હંમેશા અલગ પણ નથી 
ક્યારેક હું અને તું એક સબંધ છે 

તેમાં હું છું તો તું છે.
તું સવાલ છે તો હું જવાબ છું 

બનાવ નહિ મારા અસ્તિત્વને તારા વર્ચસ્વનું કેન્દ્રબિંદુ 
બુરખામાં મને બંધ રાખીશ તો હું મટી નહિ જાઉં 

મારા નેઇલ પોલિશ ને ભૂંસતા ભૂંસતા જો તારી જિંદગી ભૂંસાઈ જશે 
તો સ્વર્ગમાં તું શી કાબિલિયત સાબિત કરશે?

કુમારિકાઓને નેઇલ પોલિશ ભુસનારાની જરૂર નથી 
હા, નરક ના દરવાજા તારા આગમન માટે જરૂર ખુલ્લા રહેશે 

Afghan Women Fight for Their Identity | Voice of America - English


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Buddha – Play Review

Buddha, Naatak’s grand musical in the park in San Jose is written and directed by the brilliant Sujit Saraf.  Producer and dance director is Soumya Agastya and Music Direction is by Nachiketa Yakkundi

The play is set in the sixth century BCE and viewers are given a booklet written in English, with full text of the music and brief descriptions of all that transpires in between. 

May be an image of 8 people and people standing

Siddharth Gautam was born in a land known as Madhyam Desh (most likely today’s Nepal) at a time when aside from Ved, only about five Upanishads had been composed and the epics Ramayan and Mahabharat had not yet come into existence. This was not a time when there was a great deal of conformity of thought and beliefs. Atheists, ascetics, heterodox thinkers and others subscribed to their own version of good, bad, evil and virtuous, while Brahmanical Hinduism was a weaker sect among others.

Siddhartha was born a prince and could not find contentment in his easy going life. When he witnessed suffering, death and disease, he was deeply moved and set about trying to find enlightenment and gave up his lavish lifestyle. When poverty and suffering also failed to bring peace then he promoted the “middle way”, existing between two extremes, a life without indulgences but also without deprivation.   He preached attainment of enlightenment through achieving morality, meditation, and wisdom. One can say that it was one of the first attempts at religion through spirituality, and minus the invention of a deity.

Following Buddha’s death, his disciples gathered to jot down Buddha’s spiritual journey and his path to enlightenment under the Peepal tree and to compile his teachings. The play is largely based on what emerged in these compilations.

Naatak’s play attempts to capture Buddha’s spiritual journey, almost 2,500 years ago, through a combination of songs, captivating dances and dialogues, written entirely in rhyme, in “prachin” hindi.. The play is performed outdoors in the shade of giant maple and oak trees, in San Jose, CA.

For tickets, please go to www.naatak.org .

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The conundrum that is Afghanistan – Was there even a right solution?

Let’s first get this out of the way. The joke going around is that it took the USA 4 Presidents, thousands of lives, trillions of dollars and 20 years — to replace Taliban with Taliban. And also the fact that the Taliban was created and nurtured by the USA, during the cold war, to gain leverage over the former Soviet Union. So USA helped create Taliban, USA tried to destroy Taliban and USA leaving helped restore Taliban.

We can’t fight our old history but certainly must question the recent historical turn of events. 

Let’s consider reasons to leave and reasons to have stayed.

Why it is a right decision for US to pull out troops from Afghanistan

  • It has become a prolonged war, with no end in sight.
  • This war has cost the US and allies billions of dollars.
  • Wars consume lives and we should not risk any American lives for a prolonged war where the public has lost interest and we can’t remember what is in it for us.
  • Most importantly, if Afghani people are  just incapable or uninterested in minding their own country, then no matter how much external help they get, they will never rise up to gain control of their own country out of the hands of terrorists, tribal warlords, marijuana growers, and religious fanatics. There is not much anyone can do to help, until the people rise up to the challenge.

Why this decision to pull out the troops now is utterly wrong AND it has been strategically an absolute disaster. See from no. 5 to no. 1 — all the reasons.

  • Troubled countries cost resources, whether or not we are at war with them. If we are not keeping terrorists at bay and helping Afghani people to regain control then we will be fighting with terrorist insurgence, increased drug trafficking, and trying to ward off Russia from becoming cozy with the Taliban OR heaven forbid, even re enter Afghanistan.
  • We have reached a stable period where US and NATO commitment has substantially decreased. There have been only 3500 US military personnel AND not a single casualty in over 18 months. THAT IS AN INDICATION THAT THE COUNTRY IS LEARNING TO MANAGE ON ITS OWN, albeing under the guidance of the big brother.
  • We entered and stayed in Afghanistan with the lofty goal of rebuilding the country. THAT WAS THE HEIGHT OF HYPOCRISY. There is a Chinese proverb that says something like, if you want to grow rice, it’ll take 2 years, to grow trees it’ll take 20 years. But if you wish to grow and nurture people, you will need 200 years. REBUILDING A COUNTRY TAKES growing up of an entirely new generation. If USA did not have that kind of patience, didn’t want to make that kind of commitment then it should not have falsely claimed that to be the objective. AND YET, there wasn’t massive nation building troop presence requiring precipitous withdrawal. There was a happy medium of minimal troop presence. Instead, now USA abandoned even the new embassy after spending a billion dollars to build it.
  • US and allies needed to have considered the alternative and carefully weighed it against the current situation. Supposedly, USA and allies needed to maintain a small troop presence for an unforeseeable future then why would  it automatically be a bad situation? USA has troop presence for prolonged periods in other places — Germany and Korea for instance. If casualties are minimal and their presence is enabling young girls and boys to stay out of burkhas and fighting and keeps them in school then wouldn’t it have been only a matter of some more time when this new generation would assume control?
Afghanistan, School, Classroom, Girls, Children

Finally, THERE WAS AN ENTIRELY NEW GENERATION GROWING UP AND GETTING READY TO ASSUME CONTROL, when none other than a democrat President pulled the plug in the most strategically unsound manner, that may compromise the cream of that very generation that was the future and hope of this country. There is growing up an entire generation of educated young women committed to ensuring that this freedom is never lost and this hope is never taken from them by terrorists. Young men thus far had only got the taste for fighting and engaging in petty tribalism and protecting their manhood with strict nonsensical conservative, religiously sanctioned fanatical sharia system. And now there was a new crop of young men grown up with values of diversity, inclusiveness, gender equality and democracy. The best and the most committed of this new generation may perhaps be in the greatest danger because USA and the Western world cannot keep their commitment, don’t care about compromising others’ lives, and in the end make every bad decision that ends up with a tragic impact on other countries because they just don’t have the patience to nurture people and must not speak of winning the hearts and minds.

Map, Afghanistan, Atlas, Middle East, Asia, Geography

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