Yaar Mod Do – Guru Randhawa, Millind Gaba

This heart-warming song sung and penned by the young mellifluous duo of the Punjabi Music Industry, Guru Randhawa and Millind Gaba, is the newest ode to Friendship. I happened to hear it while flipping through my favourite Punjabi channels and honestly, paused because of Guru Randhawa. His songs like Khat, Outfit and Patola are a rage (Patola, being a personal favourite). I’m glad I stopped to listen because there hasn’t been such a soulful number on friendship in a long time. The instant you think Friendship Song, you think Yaar Anmulle (Sherry Mann) or Yaariyan (Babbal Rai) but now we have another and I don’t hear anyone complaining!

The sincerity in their words travels through their beautiful voices and into your bloodstream like tiny shock-waves, leaving you covered in goosebumps. No matter who you are – a college student who meets his gang everyday but hasn’t realised how valuable they really are or a professional perpetually short on time who can’t recall the last time he caught up with his pals – this track will compel you to stop, reflect and act. It plucks at the heart-strings and will make you pick that phone to make the long-overdue call to your BFF.

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The song is intensely nostalgia-evoking with the melody in perfect tandem. You may catch yourself day-dreaming and smiling as you’re reminded of your gang. Passing the bill on and pretending you’re out of cash, happy-highs with the squad, demanding a treat like it’s your birth-right, leg-pulling and endless laughter. The video, however, is heartrending. Seems like an anomaly when observed separately but if you’re not the baal-ki-khaal nikaalne waala person, you’ll appreciate how the picturisation and vocals manage to blend beautifully all the same. The song takes your mind on an emotional journey, replete with smiles and tears.

Do note the tick-tick-tick of a clock that plays throughout the song. It starts the instant the boys are informed about their friends’ critical condition (at 1:23 in the video), to when they see them after a successful, life-saving operation (at 4:46) There’s a moment where we see a clock’s hands move and the beats drop down to a mere tick-tock (2:38). Though fleeting, it adds a metaphorical touch, almost signifying the ephemeral nature of our being.

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Lai lo paisa te lai lo pyaar, mainu mere yaar mod do… Take money and take love away but please return my friends to me. Less literally, the lead vocalists recount memories with their buddies and offer to give up everything they possess, in exchange of those lost friends. Phone de wallpaper te ne jo chaar, ohi chaar yaar mod do… Words that hit home and make you realise how friendship takes a blow in this mad rush called life.

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Special mention to Millind Gaba for his touching performance. He’s the man behind the music that does justice to the sublime lyrics. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he can act too. In a particular scene where he is seen reminiscing their Shanivaar drinking-in-the-car scenes (3:16), the seamless change in expressions, from smiling to being reduced to tears, reveals his acting prowess!

It’s been around 2 weeks to the release and the song’s been playing on-loop ever since. Yaar Mod Do is after my heart for more reasons than one. Maybe that’s why I felt compelled to write and let the world know about its sheer brilliance on all counts; right from the spell-binding lyrics to the vocals, the video to its execution. This isn’t a review by any means, it’s pure appreciation. Kudos and major respect to everyone behind this master piece! Thank you for giving us the latest Friendship Anthem.

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Puppy Eyes

Don’t know why I sauntered to my living room window for a peek; call it intuition, if you please. There they were! Three balls of fur huddled and struggling over a bowl of food. Their unrestrained tails wagging at top speed. Yes, I’m talking about a litter of adorable puppies; two whites and a brown.

I write this, however, in memory of the other 3 babies who were lost to human negligence.

The security personnel of my building complex (bless them!) share an incredible human-animal bond with the strays in our locality, petting and feeding them biscuits. Street dogs particularly; cats are aloof, condescending and suspicious, albeit endearing in a mysterious way!

The management of the complex I live in doesn’t approve of harbouring strays. (Well, curses to them!) So, when the litter was born, our neighbours in the adjacent building took them in, to keep till they grow strong enough to take on the world.

I smile as I recall my first visit. 24 baby paws crawled up to me, licked my feet (that tickles!) and stared with beady eyes. In that moment, I realised I’d made six new friends; the best a person can have.

Choosing a favourite is practically impossible! The golden fellow was an over enthusiastic, exceptionally friendly one. The black-with-white-patches, was remarkably obedient; he’d just come and sit quietly by my side. On the other hand, the one with shiny black fur, turned out to be quite a little drama queen! Ignore him for a minute, and he would lay down flat on the ground, pretending to be sad. He’d then roll over, looking expectantly for a pat and treat.

Dogs have pretty, moist eyes. They attack poor, unsuspecting humans with weapons of innocence and cuteness. It’s unfair, I tell you! Those puppy eyes can melt the iciest of hearts.

Time constraints don’t permit me many visits. I was in the dark until the security guard informed me how the little black one was the first to succumb to an accident. A biker ran over him at mid night as he was crossing the road with his mother. I blanked out for a moment, numb. Mr. Black Beauty… No, this can’t be… But he was so small! He went on to explain how the other 2 babies met the same unfortunate fate; all in a matter of two consecutive weeks. My buddies! Mr. Patches and chubby Mr. Golden Bully; oh how I’ll miss them!

Such motorists should be fined, jailed and have their license revoked. Though laws are meant to protect defenceless creatures from the brunt of human recklessness, unfortunately nabbing these criminals is nearly impossible. The loss has left us all rattled.

They’re nearly 2 months old now and fast outgrowing their first home. Their protective mommy is training them to survive in the big bad world. Them return sometimes for a treat or two and I watch them from the vantage point of my first floor apartment. The yip-yaps and shrill calls enliven the atmosphere. They play games that resemble hide-and-seek, catch-and-catch and mock-wrestling; much like human children. While one prances, the other dawdles off with the empty bowl in its mouth.

They’re a delight to the senses. Simply looking at them can lift one’s spirits. I miss having them in the vicinity all the time. I also miss my other 3 tiny packets of love; R.I.P, my angels.

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A Never Ending Summer

The little hand plucked a vibrant purple flower. A smile spread across her pretty baby face. With winter gone, summer had taken over in all its glory. Her favourite season. The warmth of the sunshine made her feel happy.
Simaya was going home today and was overjoyed. She sat outside on the grass, wondering what it would be like. “They seemed like wonderful people. I’ll call him baba,” she thought aloud, “and the lovely lady who came to visit me yesterday, asked me to call her maa. Yes, so that’s settled, maa and baba.”
Just then, Miss Rose came out to see her. They had finally come to take her. Maa and baba. Formalities completed, it was time Simaya bid adieu to the place that had kept her for the first 7 years of her life; most of which she had no memory.
No longer would she have to live in the orphanage. No more rebukes from Miss Rose. No more going to bed hungry. Above all, no more sorrow, no more winter.
The beautiful radiant face of that gentle natured woman, who she’d call maa from today, gave her a sense of assurance. The surety she had been longing for. Baba called out to her and Simaya went skipping away with them. The sun smiled down upon her, as though blessing the child with a guarantee of a bright future, like a never ending summer.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

A Life Full Of Colour

Every day on her way to school, Asha walked past the slum and invariably encountered the little boy. That little boy, of about 8-10 years, with sad brown eyes and tear-stained cheeks. Every morning she found him right there. Sitting on the floor, leaning on the wall of his ramshackle shanty, staring blankly into space. She didn’t know what drew her to him or why he reminded her of herself. All she knew was that he was terribly poor and terribly sad. She often caught herself thinking, ‘he’s only a small child. I wish I was rich and had lots of money so I could do something for him.’
Holi was just around the corner. An indicator of the advent of spring, the season of new hope. Hope, that’s what her name meant too. Maybe that’s why she’d always had a mental connection with this festival of colours!
It was Thursday, the day before Holi. Asha was on her way back from the market after making a huge purchase of water pistols and gulaal. She was eagerly awaiting the family reunion and Holi celebration. That’s when she saw him again. The little boy.
She was about to look away and walk off as usual only to drown herself in guilt later. Without a substantial amount of money she couldn’t possibly do a thing for him, could she? She didn’t have that kind of money. Barely had she taken another step, when she felt drops of water fall on her face. It had started drizzling and with the first shower of the year, Asha felt a strange feeling. A sense of liberation and courage. It was as thought the Heavens had opened up to give her a sign. She immediately opened up a pack of colours, beckoned to the boy and offered it to him. He hesitated and then stepped forward. She applied a little colour to her own face and smiled. He did the same and smiled too. That was the first time she saw a glimmer in those vacant eyes. A tiny troop of children from the slum joined in their mini celebration. They laughed and enjoyed the colours and the rain.
Much to her mother’s astonishment, Asha returned home drenched and colored but with a spring in her step and smile on her face. She’d realized you don’t need to be rich to add a dash of colour to someone’s life. Nor do you need to be wealthy to feel content. All you need is a willing heart and smile to live a life full of colour.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Stroke Of Luck

I re-visited school after 4 years on Founder’s Day. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d make it but as fate would have it, classes at the University were called off. Stroke of luck!
Strolling down those familiar corridors of my Alma Mater, I felt myself instinctively halt outside what used to be class 12 Commerce. My classroom. His classroom.
Memories came flooding back. His bright grin that flaunted an even set of pearly whites. The radiant, perfectly chiseled face, with beautiful brown eyes I could never look into for too long; maybe because I was too shy, or he was too good looking, or both. The charm that left girls swooning. Impish retorts that compelled the strictest teachers to smile. School crush. Ah! How cute, I thought as I walked in. A series of flashbacks and the rush entailed, followed suit.
That’s where our group would sit, I reminisced. The teacher’s table, where we submitted homework. Some of us, at least. That’s where Vikrant had ‘proposed’ to Saloni and right here, Arjun had pretended to faint, which landed him in the Principal’s office, instead of the infirmary, I mused, pacing.
And him. His group would occupy the middle rows with him bang in the centre of the class; cynosure of all eyes that he had been. Yes, that’s where he’d sat.
It was then that I chanced upon something I’d never noticed before. Words etched into the desk surface. His desk. Probably with a compass, someone finally put to use. His name. A little heart. And mine. Wait, what? Mine? I blinked and read my name again, as I felt my heart perform a jig. Who? How? Did he…?
Questions zoomed in and out of my already hyper active brain as my scooty zipped past snail paced cars; the breeze tossing my hair and a smile playing on my lips. School – it never fails to make your day. A discovery and a kaleidoscope of memories. Stroke of luck, indeed.

The Monologue

“You know dad,” she said, “sometimes I feel you don’t listen when I speak.” No reply. “Like when I call out to you, you don’t seem to hear me. Do you even care? You saw me cry today but didn’t comfort me. I wonder how you can be so heartless!” No response, not a word. “See! This is exactly what I mean. You’re still doing it. Will you even turn and face me while I speak now or should I believe I don’t exist for you?” Desperate, she screamed, “Dad! Answer me!” He didn’t flinch at the sound of his beloved daughter’s cry. He lay there stone cold. They covered his face with a shroud and lifted his body. Tears streamed down her face while she heard the words “Raam Naam Satya Hai”; loud at first, slowly fading, as the procession took him further away, leaving the conversation incomplete, forever.