Monday, May 01, 2017

Tokyo Again

Visited Tokyo again after 2 years. End of spring, means the weather was pleasant. Having experienced hong kong a little bit, had a little different perspective. Was not sure what to expect while visiting the city 10 after my first encounter with her.

Was good to catch up with colleagues , but time was limited. Stayed with my cousin at Funabori after the official trip was over. Went to Hitachi national park in a rented car over a weekend with his colleagues. Was a fun road trip-my first time in Japan.

Throughout the trip, I realized how the world has come closer in 10 years. With the penetration of Whatsapp and 3g/4g, making a call home or getting one from home was no different than a local call. With apps like AIR news and wynk, the Indian contents were available throughout.

Tokyo has started preparing big time for the 2020 Olympics. Push for English is evident. I was pleasantly surprised when a girl handing out BigEcho pamplates helped me with an address in perfect English. On a couple of occasions, when people realized the sorry level of my Nihongo, they pulled up a translation app to talk - now everybody owns a smartphone!  Restaurants had English menu cards, special options for vegetarians and explanation of contents.

I could explore Tokyo for a week. Met a friend for lunch around Kagurazaka. Came across a jinja while strolling and realized that I had visited the same one during my stay a few years back. Deja vu! Went to the Waseda University-good campus. Caught the only tram in Tokyo from Waseda to the last station Minowa. Was a fun ride on the Arakawa sen. The Minowa area has a local market. A lot of cemeteries in the area indicate how old it must be.

Searching for the Sakura and onsen experience, went to Takaragawa onsen. Travelled by local trains and buses. Tick off travel by shonan shinjuku line. There was rain, a little snow, no crowd as it was a weekday- a memorable trip. My earlier visit to Minakami a few years back was for rafting.

Caught up with old friends over beer and pizza. Visited shinagawa, ebisu, shibuya, roppongi, akihabara etc. Visited denenchofu , but the bungalows failed to impress me this time. Perhaps the Pune scene of Mahatma society, Abhimanshri, Ideal colony, Prabhat road is now irreplaceable in my mind.

Could not visit Meguro, any gardens and could not walk much around the city. I still feel the city is my home away from home. Don't know why the last 2 lines of the below poem came to mind quite a few times..


अशा काही रात्री गेल्या ज्यांत काळवंडलो असतो
अशा काही वेळा आल्या होतो तसे उरलो नसतो

वादळ असे भरून आले तारू अडकणार होते
लाटा अशा घेरत होत्या काही सावरणार नव्हते

हरपून जावे भलतीकडेच इतके उरले नव्हते भान
करपून गेलो असतो इतके पेटून आले होते रान

असे घडत होते डाव सारा खेळ उधळून द्यावा
विरस असे झाले होते जीव पुरा विटून जावा

कसे निभावून गेलो कळत नाही, कळले नव्हते
तसे काही जवळ नव्हते - नुसते हाती हात होते!

कवि अनिल

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Revisiting Tokyo

Visited Tokyo for a week. Was a nostalgic trip after a gap of 5 years. The office has shifted to a new place-Otemachi, which is business district near the Imperial palace. Everybody told me  Ebisu was nicer. I agree.

Visited all the places that I used to frequent - old home, old office, indian and Italian restaurants. Lot of them still there, but a few are gone. Caught up with friends over beer. Went to Yoyogi and Harajuku. Walked a lot even though it was very hot and humid.  Night walking remains my favourite activity in Tokyo! Still a few places could not be covered.

The feeling that I get is the city has remained the same to a large extent. But I did not feel the same this time about it like when I did while revisiting 6 months after shifting from there. I think it's really a case of कृष्णकाठी कुंडल आता पाहिले उरले नाही..

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From android

writing this blog from android app. The apps have sure proved a game changer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The lost songs - found again

Walking in Tokyo is a very nice experience. Big roads, empty footpaths, no pollution, greenery around, mild weather and absolute safety - it feels blessed to be walking. And such walks invariably result into some philosophical thoughts.

Five -Six months after I'd bought iPhone, I was walking to a friend's place. He used to stay near Tokyo Tower which was a good 5 km from my home. And I started thinking how much dependent I had become on iPhone. I could not imagine a train ride in the morning without bbc news podcast, nytimes and wsj, lunch without checking twitter and facebook, evenings without songs, weekend train journeys without games, songs and maps. I didn't know how I was surviving before iPhone. Medium of entertainment after a period becomes a prime dependency. Think of the internet. How did people stay in foreign countries when there was no Internet? What did people do when there were no radios? 150 years before that, when there were no newspapers?

Fast forward by one year- and am actually surviving w/o iPhone. Started listening to radio in Mumbai, but the old charm is gone. There are 10s of channels, but none can make me want to tune into. Marketing has taken precedence over content. RJs think lack of knowledge and preparation can be hidden if they use slang and bright adjectives.
In the sadness that this realization brought, I remembered the AIR days -Vijay Raghav Rao's flute recital caught on Hubli or some such station out of pure luck on a quiet late night, Satish Vyas's unforgettable Chandrakaus broadcast, Harsha Bhogle's thrilling commentary of the Hero Cup semifinal, beautiful unheard Marathi songs played in the morning on Mumbai station.

And then I thought of finding these Marathi songs on internet which I could never find in any music stores. That completes a circle- a new medium giving me back what the old medium had introduced to. Here's a list of the Marathi songs that I found-

1. This song I'd heard in 90s. Seems they have come up with a collection of Ramds Kamat's old songs in 2007.


- 7th song. Maya javal nase ya

-Shalela Nightana song




Song 11- tujhech roop


10. Still not found- Hasalis Ekda Bhijalya Sharad Rati ( Singer Bhupendra, Music Ashok Patki)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bipin Nadkarni movies

श्वास चित्रपटानंतर मराठी चित्रपटांनी कात टाकली. सुरुवात करुन देण्यास श्वास कारण झाला, एवढेच माझ्या लेखी त्याचे श्रेय. मला तो चांगलाच बटबटीत आणि एक सामान्य प्रतीचा चित्रपट वाटला होता/वाटतो. melodramatic.
या काळात, बिपिन नाडकर्णी या दिग्दर्शकाचे दोन चित्रपट प्रदर्शित झाले. उत्तरायण आणि एवढसं आभाळ.
दोन्हीही आवडले. उत्तरायण मी बराच आधी पहिला होता. आज एवढसं आभाळ् पाहिला.
सुरेख कथा - आणि दोन्ही चित्रपटांत मांडणी अतिशय संयतपणे केली आहे.

कित्यकदा चित्रपट पाहिल्यावर लोक चित्रपट आवडला, कारण काय सुरेख गाणी होती, काय जबरी acting होती अशा प्रतिक्रिया देतात. ते एका परीने दिग्दर्शकाचे अपयश म्हटले पाहिजे. अभिनय, संगीत, छायाचित्रण ही सगळी साधने आहेत्, त्याला काय म्हणायचे आहे ते प्रेक्षकांपर्यंत पोहचवण्याची.
या कसोटीवर नाडकर्णी १०० तक्के यशस्वी होतात.

माझ्या collection मधे highest rating. दोन्ही आवर्जून पहा.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


( काय भारदस्त title जमले आहे!)     

हल्लीच 'वाटेवरले सोबती' हे विजय पाडळकरांचे पुस्तक वाचले. वाचता वाचता मनात कायमच्या घर करुन राहिलेल्या व्यक्तींविषयी आहे. व्यक्तिरेखा म्हणत नाही, कारण या व्यक्ती मनात राह्तात त्या निव्वळ लेखकाने निर्माण केलेले पात्र म्हणून नव्हे, तर खरोखरच भेट झालेल्या जिवंत माणसांसारख्या. कोरडी समीक्षा नाही किंवा अगदी बाळबोध 'हे असे असे घडते' छाप गोषवाराही दिलेला नाही. कलाकृतीशी ओळख होईल आणि प्रत्यक्ष वाचण्याची इच्छा होईल अशा प्रकारे लिहिले आहे.
पण एकंदरीतच पुस्तकांविषयी लिहिताना लोकांना त्यामागची प्रतीके शोधाविशी का वाटतात, कळत नाही. कित्येकदा, खुद्द लेखकाच्या मनात नेहमी 'मला अमुक एक गोष्ट मांडायची आहे. त्याचे प्रतीक म्हणून मी आता हे असे-असे लिहितो' असली भावना असेल, हे पटत नाही. कारण, जे काही सांगायचे आहे, ते सरळ सांगायला कसली आडकाठी आहे? आणि सामान्य वाचक- म्हणजे आमच्यासारखे :)- किती वेळा हे याचे प्रतीक आहे बरे का, असला विचार करतात? की मग कोणतीही कलाकृती महान ठरवायची असेल, तर तिने काहीतरी प्रतीकात्मकरित्या सांगितलेले असलेच पाहिजे असा नियम आहे की काय्, असेही वाटून जाते.
बरेचदा मात्र काहीतरी संदेश द्यायचा म्हणून केलेले लिखाण  इतके सुरेख उतरते, की पुढे काळ बदलला, त्या समस्यांना फारसा अर्थ राहीला नाही, तरी ते पुन्हा पुन्हा वाचले जाते. याचे एक उदाहरण म्हणून 'वायफळाचा मळा' हे चिं. वि. जोशींचे पुस्तक सांगता येईल. त्याची प्रस्तावना वाचली, की त्या कथा कोणत्या उद्देशाने लिहिल्या होत्या याची कल्पना येते. आज त्यातील बरेच problem अप्रस्तुत असले, तरी ते पुस्तक तितकेच अफलातून वाटते. म्हणजे, प्रतीके अल्पजीवी ठरली, पण ती मांडणार-या गोष्टी evergreen.
मला ईसापनीतीच्या गोष्टीदेखील वाचायला आवडत,आवडतात.  त्यांचे तात्पर्य  कधीच सांगता आलेले नाही. गोष्टीच्या खाली लिहिलेले असेल, ते गोष्टीचे तात्पर्य!

चित्रपटांच्या बाबतीत हे आणखीनच complex होते. आणि याचे एक मुख्य कारण blogs वर लिहिली जाणारी 'आस्वादक समीक्षा' हेही कदाचित आहे :)
तात्पर्य़ : बोंबला, हे हवेच आहे का?    

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where are the blogs written for readers?

I think in Marathi. But blogging in Marathi is difficult. Not sure how others do it. Do they write in Marathi on paper and then just copy that?

Of course this depends on what kind of stuff you are writing. If it's a story, probably you have some rough structure ready in your mind and then you write it. If it's a suspense story or somhing with a twist at the end , then generally writing is executed as a project with all the drafts and characters ready. Same for novels.

The question here is more about free form of writing. Something akin to what I've seen on Abhijit Bathe's blog.

I see more and more bloggers , who write something else than just a diary kind of stuff, are leaning towards this kind of free form of writing. To a certain extent this is nice. But there's a danger there- when you feel the need of reading something that has entertainment value, this kind of writing cannot satisfy it. Of course, somebody could argue that it is not written with the intention of entertaining others. The writer writes because he needs to ; not really for the readers.

Where are those master storytellers who have a story to write and who are first and foremost catering to the readers? Call my taste cheap and ordinary, but am looking for such blogs..