December 23, 2009

Ek pal to ab humein jeene do...

The last time I was really moved by the lyrics of a Hindi movie song was when I listened to ‘Maa…’, from Taare Zameen Par. The touching lyrics and emotional representation by Shankar Mahadevan had the old tear ducts working overtime the very first time I heard the song.

The same thing happened a couple of days back, when I was listening to the one of songs of ‘3 Idiots’. ‘3 Idiots’ is the big screen adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Five Point Someone’. I enjoy good music and by good music I mean the kind that has understandable lyrics and doesn’t get out of your head that easily. “Give me some sunshine…Give me some rain” is one of those kind of songs. It has quite simple relatable lyrics, an easy to sing along with kind of chorus and a hummable tune.

Saari umr hum, mar mar ke jee liye, Ek pal to ab humein jeene do, jeene do…
(All our life, lived like we were dead, Let us live for a moment, at least now….)


Rishvat dena to khud Papa ne sikhaya, 99% marks laaoge to ghadi, varna chhadi….
(Dad taught me the art of bribery, A wristwatch if you get 99% marks, else a whipping….)


Concentrated H2S04 ne poora poora bachpan jala dala….
(All my childhood burnt away by Concentrated H2S04….)


Bachpan to gaya, jawani bhi gayi ik pal to abh hamain jeene do jeene do ….
(Our Childhood’s gone and so has our youth, at least now let us live for a moment…)


It’s like a paean(…a song of joyful praise or euphoria) to a childhood lost to the rat race of academics. ‘Bachpan to gaya, jawani bhi gayi’……

How many people have sacrificed the best years of their life at the altar of studies? (…well I am one of them.)

How many hours wasted mugging up stuff which has never been of any use in our adult life? […we used to call exams as ‘Intellectual Vomiting’, because we mug up all the answers before the exam and vomited it on the answer paper. Remember how you feel after leaving examination hall?...the same feeling we get after vomiting…feel good feeling :) ]

How many have wondered after their first successful job interview why the 5 marks for which their parents/teachers had berated you, did not matter that much? […I remember my mom slapped because I left one question in Social Science exam]

Why hadn’t employers even glanced at that holiest of holies – the 10th standard mark sheet , for which so many young ones are driven to insanity or even worse, suicide?

If I put myself in my parents shoes I can understand the parent’s point of view. In a developing nation like ours a good education does seem like the only way to ensure a your wards’ future financial security. But somewhere along the line the combined pressure from the schools (…must not blemish school’s flawless /impeccable record) and parents (…how can they face others if their son/daughter is a failure?) so many youngsters are forced to lead a life devoid of imagination and devoted to learning by rote(…memorization by repetition), random data which can be rehearsed/ regurgitated at exams.

Add to that the pressure to be an all-rounder today’s child has after school tuitions, dance classes, drawing classes, karate classes, sports coaching, vocal lessons, personality development classes and what not, all of which he or she is supposed to excel in!!! Honestly, if Newton were a child in present day India he would never have developed his theory of gravitation. Lets imagine the scene, young Newton lazing under an apple tree. Of course, the odds are an enraged parent or teacher will grab him by the ear and drag him back to his books scolding, ‘Good for nothing dude, lazing around instead of studying. Get back to your book or you will be an utter failure in life’

In a our country India where currently, the ultimate dream of every parent and ambition of every young student is to become a software engineer (....previously favorites like Civil engineer, IAS, Banking, or even a medical degree are not as popular as before), the number of unemployed engineers are increasing as colleges set up mainly for the purpose of making money, churn out more and more numbers of “*unemployable engineers*”. NASSCOM reported that 75% of Indian engineering students are unemployable(http://www.educationmaster.org/news/nasscom-report-75-indian-engineering-students-unemployable.html ). With the combined push of parents, school, tuitions, coaching institutes students somehow manage secure admission into a professional college(…like I get). And that’s where many of them feel cut aimless or adrift, the group which had pushed them into this, now seem unable to help them any longer. That’s where they realize that getting there was just half the job. That their work is barely over.

The song echoes the angst of these youth caught in such a situation and who seem to be demanding for just a moment to be themselves. Though the lyrics are poignant, it does not sound gloomy or mournful?(….no violins moaning in the background). In fact the music is quite upbeat peppy and playful. Do listen to the song.

-K Himaanshu Meehirs' Shukla

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

education and exams give me night mares

Kaaya Thapliyal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaaya Thapliyal said...

I heard the song a few days back and liked it very much and your post reminded me of a friend Somya who after starting to work bought a guitar and started learning she said that she wanted to do it since childhood but her parents never allowed her and pushed her to be an engineer which she became but in the process maybe we lost a talented musician we never may never know...am I right??????????????

Anonymous said...

Great job done. It's a crazy world out there. I don't know whats going to happen when ali and I have children.

~Sara

Anonymous said...

nice one

Anonymous said...

10th standard mark sheet ....hmmm what to say, 10th mark list is only a way 2 get admission in 12th .Thats it.Now a days most of the MNC's ask at the max 65% in both 10th and 12th...I'm happy that my parents didn't pressurize me much in 10th and 12th unlike there siblings(many of my cousins, there 10th and 12th are still a nightmare , though they are working ,got married and having kids)...

Ankur said...

Very well said and i really admire the way you write, so simple and yet meaningful...keep it up mate...

Anonymous said...

awesome baby

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