“Madhushala is a poem in the tradition of Sufi mysticism of Persian
poets like Omar Khayyam which employs the symbols of wine and its
associates to express the reaction of a sensitive soul to life its rich
variety, its intoxicating loveliness and also its poignant
frustrations. Madhushala is the epitome of "live in the present". It
stresses the importance of "now". It is too vexing to think of
tomorrow, too frustrating to wail over the bygone days. Within the
limited scope of poetry, Bachchan has portrayed a way of life.”
Recently when the third term mid-terms were on, i suddenly felt very bored. Notwithstanding the fact that i should have been studying at that time, decided to do something that i had last done around a decade ago…. read the masterpiece Madhushala.
Now, my affair with the classic began when Wadekar Sir recited some couplets from it in class. The silky smooth verses made me go to the local library that very evening and check out the book. Luckly, it was available, and to date it remains the only Hindi work of art that i have read in its entirety (i wish there were many more). The simplicity of the verse and the different meanings that they generate every time you read them make it an all time favourite of mine.
But over the years I somehow lost touch with the classic. So, this Feb when I decided to google for it, i did not know whether it’ll even be available on the net. As always, google did not disappoint 🙂 and i got the entire book and that too in its original devanagri script.
I also decided to share my joy with my batchmates here in MDI and so sent a pdf copy to them too. 🙂 That many people took it as a form of RG is another matter altogether. (that anything here can be twisted to look like a form of RG is another matter altogether :))
Another pleasant surprise I got yesterday was while I was surfing. My random meanderings around the world wide web took me across the blog of the actor Rahul Khanna. Didn’t expect much from an actor’s blog but decided to go in anyway. The guy actually writes pretty well so the trip was worth it. But the even bigger surprise was that even he is a fan of Madhushala like me and many others. He’s got a pretty old post on his encounter with the poem which captures the essence of the epic perfectly. Couldn’t have said it better myself.