Some Things Never Change (Chapter-2)

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Vinit kept his bag down on the old, dirt fed rug and went to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water for his father as the old man, like an impaired soul, sat with a thud on the couch. Vinit appeared before him with a glass of water, a dispirin tablet for him and a chilled bottle of water for himself. His father opened his eyes with great effort. “You still drink straight from the bottle, eh?”, he asked, with a smirk.

“Yes. Some things never change. Like your drinking proportions”, reverted Vinit with a scornful look in his eyes.

The old man understood the intent of the statement and gulped the water in a go.

“Be ready at 11 o’clock sharp in the morning. I am cooking breakfast. Now go to sleep. We will talk tomorrow. When you’ll be sober. Hopefully”, said Vinit.

His father waived his hand in a I-got-it-bruh gesture and fell asleep on the couch himself. While Vinit, on the other hand, felt restless and sleepless. He went to his mother’s room where the family once used to sleep. Only to find to his utter surprise that it has been turned into a store room which lacked of anything that could remind him or his father of his mother. This happens. We leave things behind us hoping to see them the same as we left them. But, everything changes. Iron corrodes with time, people age with time, eatables catch fungi with time, bodies decay with time and even Gods change with time. That is what Mr. Khurrana, Vinit’s father needed. Time. Time from Vinit. While philosophising everything in his sight, Vinit’s eye balls caught hold of the rusty red bicycle which his father gifted when he passed his matriculation exam. He advanced towards it and managed to take it out. He then searched for a cloth to wipe off dirt off of it. The chain gone, the tyres deflated, this too, much like his old father needed some repair. And that is when he realized, things aren’t too well. Sad and tired, Vinit went his bedroom with a plan in his mind for the following day.

The next day, Mr. Khurrana woke up with a heavy head, like every drunkard in the world and saw a box lying on the dining table which read, “Wear this and thank me by paying for the breakfast :P”.

The miserable old man smiled through his eyes and with an unimaginable excitement opened the box. His son had gifted him a Green Khaki kurta and a pyjama. He went to the bathroom, took a bath, got ready and sat at the dining table waiting for his son to arrive. All sorts of questions rose in his mind: “Where would he be?” ; “Where will we heading to?” ; “Is he up to any mischief?”. Parents are like that to be very honest. Everything their kids do is mistaken for a mischief. Finally, breaking the thoughts, an array of wild bells rang in his ears. He swiftly got up and opened the door. It was Vinit.

“Kahan tha bhayi tu?” (Where were you?).

“Arey is sab ka time nahi hai. Chalo mere sath” ( We don’t have time for all this. Come with me).

“Arey achha darwazey par taala laga du” (Okay but let me lock the door).

“Koi zarurat nahi hai Kuber maharaja” (No need, The God of Wealth)

They went downstairs and Mr. Khurrana gave Vinit a stern look when he joined the dots.

“No. Are we really going riding this?”, asked Vinit’s father.

“No. We aren’t. You are! And I’ll sit on the bar. Just like the old times”, said Vinit pleadingly.

“Don’t make that face”

“Which face, dad?”

“The pleading puppy face, Vinit!”

“Okay so grab the seat, Mr. Khurrana”.

The old man once again lost to his beloved son’s stubbornness and sat on Vinit’s old bicycle. Vinit sat on the bar of the frame of the bicycle and ordered, “Madarasi’s Café”. Just like the old times.

The 100 metre was a little bit hard , scary, scandalous, embarrassing and difficult journey for both of them. They were now on the main roads of Dehradun. Half sleepy languid air, roads scarcely kissed by motors and the mild Sun slipping out from the hands the trees’ on the side of the road. Vinit turned his head back to his father and caught him enjoying the peaceful environment with a smile on his face. It has been years that he saw him smile. So many so that it didn’t fit in with the face. Vinit again turned his head towards the road and the father-son duo kept enjoying the journey. Two right turns after a kilometre of journey and they were there. They both got down from the bicycle and looked at each other. Knowing each other’s plight after sitting on a bar and cycling for a kilometre. Yet none of them didn’t let it reflect on their faces. This is how a man to man relationship works. Vinit looked at his father and smiled. He smiled back. They exchanged the I love you- I love you too conversation a dad-son couple is not supposed to have and finally went inside. The waiter being free due to the early hours of the day instantly teleported himself from the cash register to their table. Before the old man could shell a word out of his mouth, Vinit said:

“One Masala Dosa with extra coriander, onion and peas with milk-badaam for the man and One rawa Idli for me”.

Mr. Khurana smiled and astonishingly asked, “How do you know I was going to order that?”

“Some things never change. Just like your food orders”.

It took almost 28 minutes for the order to get served and they talked about just everything- politics, sports, economy, social issues and also the Baba cult in India. As soon as the order arrived, Vinit folded his sleeves up and started munching the food. No matter if he is drinking or eating, he used to do this at the table. Mr. Khurana knew it and kept looking at his left forearm.

“You still have those?”, he asked while pointing to the blade cuts on Vinit’s forearm.

Looking at them Vinit replied, “Yes. Memories haunt you, right?”, with a wink.

His father took the cue and said, “Sheetal. Right?”.

“Haha. You still remember? Yes. Sheetal”.

“How could I forget? I caught you writing that post breakup love letter for her and resolved that you’ll imprint one mark a day which passes without her. Lame!”, mocked Vinit’s father.

“Yeah Yeah. I was 18, Dad. Plus, she was my first love”.

“Love my ass! I called her in front of you, right? Faking that you have attempted suicide. What ever  happened let you know that she doesn’t care and we do? She hung up blatantly. Love much?”, said the man pulling off the joke a bit.

“Okay, Dad. Enough. Don’t pull my leg anymore”, said an embarrassed Vinit.

“Haha! Waise you should pay because I saved you from that bitch”, he said winking at his son.

“Such a miser. Bachpan me rawa idli ke baad candy floss nahi aur ab toh bill bhi nahi!”, avenged Vinit taking a dig at his father. Both shared a healthy laugh. Soon enough, silence prevailed.

“Dad?”

“Yes?”

“The tables have turned”

“What? I didn’t get you, son”

“You are exactly where I was 9 years ago. I cut myself every single day that passed without her and you cut yourself with every sip of that cheap alcohol. I didn’t think of you or mom when I harmed myself and you’re not thinking of me when you do that to yourself. I ran after the wrong person and you are too”, said Vinit.

He played on his strength. Taking the prey by surprise. That makes the enemy clueless and gives him no time to prepare himself thus, spilling out the real thing. His father who was a lively man until he said this, stopped eating and looked at his son. Tears in the eyes and anger, rage and frustration of being cheated, betrayed and used. He said nothing but spoke everything. Vinit took out his mobile phone and dialled his mother’s number.

“C’mon she knows I won’t kill myself”, retorted his father.

“I know. So you talk and take it all out on her. Once and for all. I don’t want you to die every day. You are the man!”

She picked the phone up and Vinit put it on speaker.

“Hello Vinit beta”, said the lady.

Vinit nahi uska baap” (It is not Vinit, it is his father), replied the man.

Oh bolo. Is Vinit with you?”

“Yes. And we are not missing you. Actually we are not. You don’t deserve a family. You don’t. What did you say while leaving the house? I am a loser? You are loser! You lost a man who loves you more than anything ;who kept his ass off of the house to meet your demands. So that you could show it off in your kitty parties. You lost a son who is so loving, caring and I am glad that you didn’t. I am glad you went with that filthy rich middle aged guy. I wouldn’t have gotten my son back if it wasn’t for you leaving me for him. Oh sorry not for him but for his money. You are a fucking commodity. NO! Even commodity has a Maximum retail price. You don’t. Fuck off” and he disconnected the call. He didn’t realise that his son watching him, the waiters were watching him and he was all red in anger. And finally the blood pressure came back to normal. Silence prevailed for a few minutes and Mr. Khurrana looked at Vinit and said, “This was so intelligent of you. You opened my eyes. Thank you, son!”.

“Some things never change, Dad. Never! There was a lesson 9 years back and there is a lesson today as well”.

 

Some Things Never Change ( Chapter 1)

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“Hello?”, said a feeble voice from the other side of the phone.

“Yes, Dad?”, responded Vinit. Pre-occupied in the excel sheet of the Quarter sales. So busy that he didn’t even notice the cracking voice of his father who was on the wrong side of his fifties.  A couple of seconds later when he was done prioritizing his work, he kept his laptop aside and again said, “Dad? Are you okay?”.

“Hmm. I am fine. I am sorry for disturbing you, son. You must be busy. Carry on with your work”.  Sensing the gravity of the situation Vinit started anticipating the motive behind his father’s call. He felt strange. Strange because he comes from a world where communication meant presentation reminders, EMI reminders, birthday reminders, WhatsApp jokes and not a phone call from the old man in the house called father in the terminology of family tree. Addressing the Elephant in the room, Vinit lurked back out of the sub-conscious and heard his father replying to his son’s questions with a meagre solidness,

“I..I just feel alone. It has been two years that your mother has separated ways. I don’t have you here. You might I am ageing and drinking regularly that is why I am calling you up. Both being true, trust me, I miss you both in my life. All my life I have been busy being the man of the family. But I have realised, late though, it takes more than just a phallus and a pair of balls to be a man. Take your mother for that instance. She’s a man. Sorry! THE MAN!! Enjoying her road trips with her boss-in-the-office-husband-in-the-house. What about me? I am just a..a what do you call in your language? Pussy! Yes! A Pussy! Drinking and crying like a kid stuck on the same page she left me at. I miss you, beta. I miss you a lot. Please pay me a visit before I drown and die in this sadness and loneliness” and hung up.

The fast moving cars in the six-lane roads of the city of Delhi came to a halt. At least for Vinit. Before he could gather a manly voice, his father had hung up on him and on the life he’d been leading for so long now. Maybe. Vinit walked towards the balcony of his well-furnished, lush and elite looking flat with trembling legs which felt like all the life has been sucked right out of them. He leaned against the glass of the balcony and looked at his cell phone. Scrolled down the notification bar and for a change, notifications didn’t matter to him; opened the gallery and started swiping blindly towards left to the find the pictures of his ‘once a happy’ family. The pictures which he transferred to his mobile with great stealth to avoid a wrath of his drunkard father when he was moving to Delhi. He saw people. 3 of them. All happy and jolly with each other. He couldn’t see the cracks between them. He never could. And everything became blurry. Just when the door far behind him made a thud. It was his flat mate Ranjan. What a timing! Isn’t it? Mother nature doesn’t even let men cry peacefully. Unless they’re old or like Vinit’s father. Ranjan walked towards Vinit with an air of excitement and jolted both his shoulder traps from behind yelling, “Saturday is finally here motherfucker! Let’s party!”. When you work in a city like Delhi and earn your bread well, you only look forward to two things- weekends and alcohol. Not getting the expected reply from Vinit, Ranjan went by his side and looked into the phone. His friend was still gazing at the old picture. And, the picture made the picture clear for Ranjan. He placed a hand on the left shoulder of Vinit and Vinit looked at him. The kind of relation that flat mates share makes you believe that the digital world is not that digital. Fire of emotions still burns in the busy Iceland.

“Dad called”, Vinit started.

“And?”

“He needs me”.

Ranjan took Vinit’s cell-phone from his hands and immediately booked the next flight to Dehradun online.

“Tuesday is off as well. It is Eid”, he said while turning the screen towards his numb mate.

“But I can’t go. Monday is still there”, Vinit tried to bail out.

“You just portrayed great excusing talent of yours. Come up with a better one on Monday. The flight is in an hour”, retorted Ranjan.

Sometimes you need to have someone as cynical as Ranjan in your life to make reckless and impulsive decisions on your behalf.

Two hours of flight and an hour and a half of drive later, a doorbell rang. Vinit stood at the door waiting for his father to break away from the hangover and open the door for him. Good 25 minutes later, the door gets opened and the old man was surprised to see his son standing before him. In the moment of overflowing emotions, he hugged Vinit. Vinit too, awkwardly though, put his arms around his father. He smelled of cheap alcohol as if he washes his clothes in it.

The Winter Night

Just as the biting cold winter wind hit her, he pulled her close and tugged her in his warm coat. She kept her hand on his chest and they kept walking past equidistant orange street lights on the silent, deserted, and untrodden road.

“Do you recall that today is the same day when we became one?” she asked him with a hope that he would remember,at least, the most special day of their lives.

He knew what was on her mind and replied without wasting a second, “Yes! I do remember, my love. Today is the day when when I saw you struggling with your hair, your earphones, your spectacles, your architectural drawing class material, and with your eraser. The whole world stopped when I saw you in your perplexed state. The confusion of what to handle first reflected in the innocence of your eyes. I can never forget that. I still remember the day when, by mere coincidence, we happened to be at the same wedding on that very day. I remember the terrified look on your face when you lost one of your earrings and that struck me right in my heart. I went all around the wedding venue just for your earring and when I returned it to you, drenched in sweat, you hugged me so tight that I almost choked. I remember the days when you sat in front of my classes, waiting for them to get over, so that you could feed me home cooked food. You know how much I complained about the food service in my rented room. I remember how I used to teach you subjects which weren’t even in my course. Despite getting mad at you for not studying enough, I used to melt and start teaching you again. When your face radiated the glow of happiness when I brought you a pair of earrings every month and gifted you your favorite book on your birthday. I remember when I tried killing myself and you  gave me your shoulder to lean on. I knew nothing about love and then I met you. Every memory in my heart, is as fresh as a flower in the spring. I remember everything, baby.”

All this while, she kept gazing into his eyes, they glimmered, the expressions changed and those eyebrows moved artistically. She was lost in his talks. The chilled wind, the deserted road or the time didn’t matter any more. She felt like she stood next to a bonfire that imparted its warmth to her soul on a winter evening.

A teary diamond left her eye and rested on her cheek. He held her face, wiped the tear off her cheek, kissed her forehead and hugged her. She shivered, he knew it was a sign of her break down. Without even a word he understood everything. That is how love is supposed to be, I guess.
You don’t have to speak to communicate.

He held her closer, whispering into her ears the comforting words, “I know. I totally know what’s bothering you. Had your family not cared about its position in the society, we would have been alive today, not dead. Our mortal bodies would be clinging on to each other, but it’s okay. We are free now, forever. They killed our bodies not our souls or our love.”

On The Idea of Death

Often I’ve been questioned about choosing Death as a subject for my writing.
“Isn’t there anything else in the world, apart from death?”, Quite a few times, this inquiry has been thrown right in my face and today, I ask you instead of answering the question, “Is there anything as real as death?”.
Absolutely No! All of this you’re witnessing around yourself is a mere illusion. In no way I mean to sound ventriloquist inspired by a God Man we bump into almost everyday. But ask yourself, isn’t death the only truth you’ll ever come across in your life? Death is the ultimate truth and the penultimate truth is the realization of this truth.
Just to support my view, I shall use a short anecdote as a tool.
Once, a police officer returned to the HQ where his senior was stationed. He entered his office shouting, “We’ve killed all the staunch rebels whose rebellion was based on religion. Also, we were able to kill all the gangs fighting over the piece of land just along the national highway. So, technically, we’ve killed our enemies and they’ve lost the battle to us.”
The senior with much of a disinterested expression looked up from the files, laughed a bit so that his shoulders sprung in the air for milliseconds and asked, “Can you tell me which of the deceased bodies were from the gang or which of them were the rebellions?”.
The policeman’s face turned serious and his eyes poured out perplexity “But how can I do that, sir? They’re all dead and now they’re in the morgue. Corpses from both the groups have been kept together!”, he managed to say with a bit of hesitation and confusion.
“Exactly!”, the senior said as if to make him understand a very complex matter and continued, “They’re dead. They’re no more either rebellions or gangsters. They were. Now, they don’t have any kind of identity or significance. All of it has come to an end. Their religion, their rebellion or whatever may it be. They’ve been living it all their lives and in a bullet or two, it all gets over. They’re all corpses now. And, we haven’t killed our enemies. We’ve just replaced one with another. That is how it works. They’ll die, new ones will join. Likewise, we’ll die and new ones will take a pledge”.
Nothing lasts forever.
This world is full of lies- our parents who’ll ultimately kick us out at one point of time if we don’t earn a bread for ourselves: even if they won’t, they’ll die one day. All this will come to an end.
I don’t know why death is being looked upon as a curse. Look around yourself, look into the eyes of the animate being sitting next to you. Did you find sadness? Or even a bit of it? Look closely, you’ll!
Death will enclose it all. It’ll engulf us all, all our worries, our debts, our sadness, our struggles and our happiness.
As a matter of fact, death is the only thing that’ll hold you in his arms regardless of how much wealth you’ve accumulated or how much hits you’ve taken of your master and this rogue world. It’ll never ask what creed are you of; your caste; your skin color or even your virginity.
Death is something we all should acknowledge as our destiny.
And no, it’s not depressing and neither reflects upon the state of my mind but I find it fascinating how one tool in all of human life can leave you with numerous stories, ideas and realizations.

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Rebirth

“She was thankful to be born again”, I give the header to an MS Word file and the cursor keeps appearing periodically. I am about to pen down, or I should say type a story dwelling on what I saw the other day in the park. And I can’t help but relive that moment yet again.

The Sun shone with much less ruthlessness now over the young green leaves of pine trees; rattling every time nature threw a handful of wind at them.
The orangish light of the setting Sun had shrouded the world and it could never be so beautiful,
the view on the streets and in the skies were almost same; lives flocking back to their homes after a tiring day. I sat on the short green grass of the park and tried to gain some inspiration like a true Wordsworthian poet.
Just then I saw, at the footpath along the periphery of the oval shaped park, a boy teaching his sister how to ride a bicycle. Rivers of sweat flowed all over his face but he kept on running beside the bicycle holding its rear from his right hand and the handle with his left.
I clearly remember how she looked being seated on the seat of the bicycle. Her hair talked to the winds while her dirty, stained rags kept hugging her body each time the wind hit her. Her timid frame sat like a statue; her feet seemed to be miles away from the pedals but she smiled perpetually. Her red lips smiled ears to ears.
My eyes caught a glimpse of people they kept surpassing laughing at them as if it were a scene from a comedy movie. Something struck me. Something struck me really hard so much so that I put on my spectacles to find something amusing in the scene that made people crack up and when he reached on my side of the footpath, I stopped the child in between and asked him, “What are you doing, son?”, my eyes set themselves automatically on the doll that was seated at the seat. The doll that I had mistaken for his sister.
“Can’t you see? I’m teaching my sister how to ride a bicycle”, he said, catching some breath and shoving the pool of seat off his forehead. Interested, I wished to know more so I inquired,
“Oh is that your sister?
But why is everyone laughing at you?” smiling continuously at his innocence.
“I don’t know. They’re mad, maybe. I guess you’re one of them too. They see me keeping this doll on the seat of my bicycle and talk about me as if I’m mad. But no one will ever know how badly my deceased sister wanted to learn cycling. She died of dengue and even on her deathbed she kept saying she’ll learn cycling once she recovers. This is her favorite doll and I bring her here every evening to teach her bicycling. See you. Need to go”, the little wizard ran away with his sister and I was left alone to decipher who was really mad-He or us? Who had the last laugh- He or us?

I recover from the incident and return to the present to find out the cursor’s still blinking but my eyes blankly gaping at the screen. I hit backspace and yet again I could not do justice to their story and the fact that I’m unable to do so (both,to understand his love for the dead sister and my inability to bind the emotion in a few hundreds and thousands of words) makes my condition even more pitiable.

My Messenger

I just depend on this breeze to take my words of love to you. And to tug them along your hair when it reaches you or probably whisper in your ears the sweet, melodious verses I’m writing for you.
When in the scorching heat you’ll look for some shade, this might comfort you to sleep singing you the lullabies of the words I’m jotting down for you.
Or, in the cold wintery nights when you’ll lean on your rocking chair by the fire, these might originate from the flames and lend you the warmth of my love.
For we’re so distant, let this breeze be my messenger.

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“…I already have kids”

They saw the Sun setting beyond the horizon, in front of them.
The sea waves continuously kissing the Sun and their feet, like a pendulum swinging in between.
Caressing cool breezes, the crowd getting disappeared on the vast beach and the birds flying back to their homes made it a perfect setting for Ashraf to confess something to the girl he loved. Nazma looked straight across the wide sea and her tresses, just like Ashraf, kept pecking her cheeks. She seemed lost either in a thought or in the wait for Ashraf to say something. But no one spoke; the silence tore apart their minds, their souls and maybe their relationship.
“There’s something I’ve been hiding from you, all these years”, Ashraf’s intentions finally found some words. Nazma looked at him, tucking her streaks behind the ear and said, “Yes! You’ve been! I know! It’s okay I can see you without clothes after we get married, if that’s how you want to be seen”, with her tongue out in a flash and a naughty wink.
“I’m serious, Nazma. This is serious. I really haven’t told you something about me and I want you to know it before I meet your parents”, Ashraf said, trying to table his truth in front of her.
“Okay. Chill! Go on. I’m marrying you anyway and I’m glad you’re telling it yourself”, she replied, placing her hand on his shoulder in order to make it easier for him.
“I know you’d want to have a family with me. Everyone wants to, and there’s nothing wrong in it and even I want our family. But…this is hard how to say this! Ummm…I can’t have babies. We can’t have our own family”. There! He said it! Obviously, letting out a deep, now stress free sigh. “My poor baby jerked off too much imagining me? Ah! It’s okay, Ashraf. This is 21st century! You can get it treated. If that doesn’t work, we can go for test tube baby or adopt a child even. Just this? I love you. You’re my man and I take you for whatever you’re and however you’re!”, she said without taking a breath in between. She could see the tension still playing on Ashraf’s face and even building up all the more. She was afraid if the worst part of it was yet to hit right in her face and her heart. And, she was right.
“No. I mean, I already have children.”, he said, breaking the truth to her. She was taken aback, her eyes glimmering with tears, her throat choked a bit but words finally came out feebly, though, “I want to meet them. Right now!”.
He understood the magnitude of love she had for him and cursed himself for lying to her for this long. He blindfolded her, made her sit in the car. She could not speak a word for his words were still resonant in her ears. All she could feel was the rights and the lefts he took. The car finally stopped, creating a cloud of dust around her. She coughed and waved her hands in the air to get rid of the particles trying to enter her nostrils. Ashraf held her by her arm and took her inside. It was all silent, but the inside of her was as noisy as the streets of India. Yet, her body was the soundproof wall that stood between all the chaos on the inside and the depressing silence on the outside. Suddenly, all she could hear was the delighted voices of children approaching and screaming  unanimously, “Abbu!”.
Ashraf left her side and went away. She heard him say, “Open the blindfold”. She did it and she saw children. Hundreds of them and Ashraf standing amongst them and saying, “Hello Miss Nazma. I’m your to be fiance and to be husband. I am Ashraf, the guy from HCL and a part time worker here, at Savera Child Organization. And these, are my children. Will you marry me and become their Ammi?”. He came close to her and went on his knees, took out a ring and asked again, “Will you?”. “Yes”, she uttered automatically, still trying to believe what she just went through. Her tears were  unstoppable and suddenly, the frenzy sounds of thunderous claps  went on a spree and all she could hear was “Ammi! Ammi!”.

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I: The Story of a Man

I,
I was born a man.
Just like every other person is. An idol of perfection giving birth to her child.
I was fascinated by her and people alike.
I grew up, I met a girl who turned into my best friend later,
By the time I had graduated, I had developed an affinity towards this sex.
I read Feminism & Virginia Woolf.
Something changed,
When I used to step out in the streets,
People would laugh,
Call me names,
Kept their children crossing me.
But I never stopped.
Felt dismayed at first,
But got accustomed to it gradually.
All this happened after the day,
I got converted into a girl.
Before that day, I had thought that freedom was something real.
That it was my body and my choice.
And that humans are really humans.

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15 Compositions from Coke Studio India That Have Redefined Music

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Music is said to have no boundaries, no language and no age. For, music is needed to be felt, not understood. A raag, semi classical, Bollywood, fusion, sufi, western, rock, metal, jazz, blue, any composition of any age, of any genre can tug a string at your heart. Out of many attempts to showcase the diversity in the genre of Music, Coke Studio is one such attempt. Here are some of the best compositions from the Indian version of this Studio.

1. “CHADH CHADH JANA” (BHANVARI DEVI, RAM SAMPATH)

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A perfect blend of traditional Rajasthani Folk and groovy music, this song is full of energy both in the instrumental and the vocal sphere. Darshan Doshi portrays why he’s one of the best drummers India has ever produced.

2. “NIMOLI” ( ILA ARUN, BOBKAT)

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A melodious fusion of Indian lyrics, Western Rap, Rajasthani Folk and Arabian Music! The songs gets you going from the very first note that’s hit by Ila’s rustic voice.

3. “TERIYAAN TU JAANE” (HARSHDEEP KAUR, JYOTI NOORAN AND AMIT TRIVEDI)

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This crafty version of a Sufi song is enough to keep you stuck to your earphones. The lyrics might seem to have a little downfall in quality when Amit Trivedi does a cameo but the music makes up for every shortcoming possible.

4. “LAADKI” (SACHIN-JIGAR, TANISHKA SANGHVI, KIRTIDAN GADHVI & REKHA BHARDWAJ)

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This musically and emotionally rich song is definitely the one which has made some room in our hearts. The emotional conversation between a daughter and her father is beautifully weaved into the music. Kirtidan Gadhvi gives it a touch of Gujarati Folk.

5. “KATTEY” (BHAVARI DEVI feat. HARD KAUR)

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Another Rajasthani folk in the voice of Bhanvari Devi and rustic rap from Hard Kaur on her journey of life. The song’s beats, for sure, will resound in your mind. Kudos, to the Drummer.

6. “ZARIYA” (A.R. RAHMAN, ANI CHOYING AND FARAH SIRAJ)

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A complete masterpiece from the Maestro who needs no introduction, Allah Rakha Rahman! Blends Jordanian Traditional Music, Buddhist Traditional Music and Indian Traditional Music beyond perfection! Not to overlook Sivamani, other percussionists work and Mohini Dey’s dancing fingers on bass guitar.

7. “PEER MANAWAN CHALLIYAN” (SALIM-SULAIMAN feat. SUKHWINDER SINGH)

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A composition that’ll fill you with volumes of patriotism, Salim-Sulaiman give this one a Punjabi touch, on one hand, with Dhol and a western, on the other, with drums. Tricky song and ethnic music, a combination that only Sukhwinder Singh can handle.

8. “RABBA” (AMIT TRIVEDI feat. JAGGI)

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A composition with totally fresh music from Amit Trivedi. However, the lyrics department isn’t at par with the music, this number makes it solely due to the outstanding composition.

9.“ANTH BAHAR” (RAJASTHAN ROOTS AND FUNC.)

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The fusion of Rajashtan Roots with Func. A fast, refreshing number with flamboyant colors of Rajasthani culture and western music. The jugalbandi of khartal and guitar is worth listening to.

10. “JAGAO MERE DESH KO” (A.R. RAHMAN feat. SUCHI, BLAAZE)

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Only the talent of the scale of A.R. Rahman can find a middle ground, to introduce a heavy carnatic-influenced rhythm section sitting under funky guitar line.

11. “DINAE DINAE” (PAPON AND HARSHDEEP KAUR)

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Serving as a bridge between the North Indian and East Indian Music, this song has it all. The start is soothingly typical Bengali-Assamese, it takes off almost at the half duration, stands still at Harshdeep’s part and takes off again.

12. “BISMILLAH” (SALIM-SULAIMAN, KAILASH KHER feat. MUNAWAR MASOOM)

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The soothing composition of Salim-Sulaiman, the magic of Kailash Kher, the enigma of Munawar Masoom and the soulful, back-to-root sufi music isn’t it a perfect recipe for a memorable composition? It sure as hell is!

13. “MADARI” (VISHAL DADLANI, SONU KAKKAR)

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A song you’d want to hum and to listen to whole day. Credit goes to the composition by Clinton Cerejo, peppy music, catchy lyrics,awesome Mandolin section and drums to give it the touch of perfection.

14. “CHAUDHARY” (AMIT TRIVEDI feat. MAME KHAN)

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Addressed to the village Chaudhary by his young beloved girl, this song is accompanied by the traditional khartal and sarangi fused with drums and guitars, it’s a new take on Rajasthani folk. Sanket Athale showcases his pure genius on the percussions.

15. “AAO BALMA” (A.R. RAHMAN feat. USTAD GHULAM MUSTAFA KHAN)

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Again showcasing his class, A.R. Rahman this time fuses Hindustani Classical Vocals with carnatic scales. For this, he brings Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, his sons and grandson; with the guitar genius of Prasanna trading blows with Sivamani’s exposive percussion.

(Think I missed out on any great composition? Comment below!)

Love: Do it. Do it right.

Catch sudden glimpses.
Steal kisses in between a conversation.
Make nervous eye contacts and exchange smiles .
Give her warm hugs and
comfortable spoonings.
Dance with her to the tunes of wind chimes.
Play with her fingers.
Linger upon her from the back and kiss her neck.
Let the air you breathe out collide with her soft skin and hear them make the sound of “I love you”
Curl her hair in your fingers.
Smell her body like she’s a flower.
Fight, make her cry, give her your sleeve when her nose blows, kiss her face when her mascara is all over it.
Be possessive for the kind of stupidity you both share.
Write your name with your finger on her bare back.
For, the things which are invisible can leave a long lasting impression.
Cover her shoulder when her strap shows because that’s sexier than seeing her without clothes.
Know how to love.
Because, if you’re not loving, you’re not living.

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