Thursday, December 31, 2009

Motorycycle Memories...

I was supposed to update this blog as soon as we returned back home from our BIKE TRIP down South with our legs on either side of the wheels but laziness has its way with my mind.

Okay, at last, I’m here. It was a truly phenomenal journey and it was for three of us (including my colleagues, Tushar and Lawrence). We set out on this 4000 km road trip on 1st of December and returned home on evening of 15th December. Needless to say, hardly anyone from my family was approving of this endeavor and most wanted me to stay back and don’t even think of it. But thankfully, my Amma was in Manipal at that time so it was pretty easy convincing my dad!

Well, talking of this trip, statistics don’t count. 4000 km or 15 days on road or 5 states we touched, hardly matters. What matters is that we made 2009 memorable. We decided to do something and we did it. It was Tushar who masterminded everything from the roadmap we’ll be following to the halts we’ll be taking. We had just two bikes, as I don’t own a bike so I was pillion-seated most of the time with the camera and handycam in tow.

We crossed Maharashtra and stepped over to Karnataka through Solapur and then circled Karnataka around Bijapur, Badami, Hospet, Hampi and sticking in via Shimoga, Jog Falls and then stretching downwards toward Mangalore and Manipal. After this, we decided to sneak into Kerala and we vroomed till Kasargod, visiting two completely empty and beautiful beaches on the coast. After returning back to Manipal, we were to draw into Tamil Nadu so decided to catch NH-48 and reached Mysore, touching Hassan and Shravanabelagola (Gomateshwara) on the way.

After Mysore, it was upward climb of Chamundi Hills and Nilgiri Hills!! We then crossed the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border through Bandipura Forest (former lair of Veerappan!!)and reached Ooty and I have to admit it was a lame trip since the climate was too chilly for us and the ambiance was for hunky-dorky honeymoon couples, not for sunburned bike-runners. So we came back to our base, Manipal, suffering bad roads, rowdy truck drivers and reckless bus drivers.

Now the real road was waiting for us. NH-17. The road which I first saw in that movie, Dil Chahta Hai and fell in love with it. Its one of the finest roads in all of India and best suited for bikes. We invaded Goa and frolicked naked feet on beaches where foreigners seem so homely compared to our novelty. After Goa, it was ride home and we left Panjim City early morning and took the northward direction towards Panvel and rushed home safely with no casualty.

We took lots and lots of pics and videos too. It amounts to more than 17 GB on digital scale. But frankly speaking the moments we had on road were the real gems, the real souvenirs. There were kids waving hands to us from road side, farmers herding their cattles, womenfolk carrying water pots on their head, birds of different color and cry, hills and landforms unimaginable, good road, not that good road and bad road, bridges over rivers, endless trails of human faith, heaps of filth and garbage, surprised looks on youth thanks to our cruisers!

There was hardly any mis-happenstance. Everything was so cool and so fine in detail that it felt like a movie. This was the longest in recent times I guess when I was sans any Internet facility. No newspaper. By the way we were surprised to know that Telangana issue was burning while we were happy burning petrol.

All and all, I can say it was a job well done. The only crease was Lawry losing his cellphone and Tush, his glares! Other than that, I guess it was smooth. Oh, I almost forgot to say, I lost my nose out there on the road. Its still a bit burnt. But I am happy 2009 is leaving me on a happy note and I hope that 2010 brings with it more road trips, more traveling and less stagnancy for India is too huge a country to cover in one lifetime.

Monday, November 30, 2009

South Indian Motorcyle Trip...

I’ve been talking of traveling since I came to know that there was a world out there. So at last, I’m going to do that. Travel. And see for myself what exactly is on the road and beyond.

Like Prophet Mohammad said, “Don’t tell me how much you studied. Just tell me how much you traveled.” Well, I can’t actually tell any one how much studied because I don’t even have a degree to boast so I better stick to the traveling plan to avoid shame!

According to our plan, we will be leaving on bike early morning tomorrow (Tuesday, 1st December, 2009) from Sanpada, Navi-Mumbai and will endeavor to cover at least 3000 km on road straight towards Kerala’s northern district of Kasargod. This road trip will last for more than a fortnight and will definitely kill our backs. Hopefully, I won’t be riding the bike because my partners, Tushar and Lawry, won’t trust me with their bike thanks to my unreliable riding skills. So I guess I’ll be switching pillion-seats which I wish it to be an easier job!!!

Our plan is simple; we will stick to NH-9 and try to reach Solapur on our first day out. Then stay the night there and head towards Bagalkot and then towards Hampi, followed by Shimoga and Udupi and then towards the kissing edge of Karnataka and Kerala. We won’t enjoy Goa on our way down but will sneak in while coming back.

Tushar is the mastermind behind this trip and Lawry is the supporting “lever” behind the total plan and I’m definitely sitting “behind” these two geniuses! By the way, my Ma who is currently in Mangalore, is worried that we are starting the damn journey on Tuesday and she wants us to postpone the event but superstition hardly matters to us so sorry Amma!

I’m getting a lot of advice from people I meet be it real or internet-induced and all are saying, “It’s going to be tough!” It won’t be an easy job but I guess its time we took this decision because we all are bored of our monotony and need a punch or a kick or a crash or a screech to pinch us alive!

I’m allergic to sunlight like that Vampire from Twilight (Hahaha) so I guess I’ll be having a real rough time under sun. But after spending the last two years of my life working in a graveyard shift, it will be all worth it! And I sincerely hope my stupidity don’t kill me or anyone as its not their fault that they are my friends!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Marat's journey cut short!

I’m a huge tennis fan and to tell you the truth, my tennis begins with Federer and mostly ends with him. This may be true today but I was initiated into tennis by a player named Marat Safin.

I started watching tennis way back in 2003 and at that time there was no Federer legacy to follow. There was this Russian and to be more inquisitive, a Russian Muslim and he was happening with his macho swagger, pulled-back collars, careless yet powerful shots, emotive tennis, verbal altercations with chair umpires, mooning, thrashing of rackets and everything that Federer doesn’t relate to, at least, not as of now.

I remember “cultivating” my hair long after watching his long mane bunned up during Davis Cup which Russia won that same year.

Marat won two Grand Slams and one could guess this guy was going to add a lot of GS to his name. But he lost track somewhere in the middle and lost his focus, his ambitions and eventually the tennis he was building up. His anger on court was palpable but his continuance with it wasn’t. In simple words, he was an emotional wreck as someone who will break rackets at will. I don’t think anyone else comes close to him in racket-thrashing feat! He must have lost a lot of his earnings on penalties!

Yesterday he lost to Juan DelPo in 2nd round of Paris Masters, an event he has won thrice and Federer hasn’t even got one yet! But I guess he is happy to leave tennis and go back to lead a “tourless” life and watch movies (he is a huge cinephile like me!!!) where he doesn’t have to complain about the exorbitant price of food in England or be brutally honest about the way he felt of things around him. He never minced words like most sportspersons do.

I was happy when I came to know that Marat Safin was scheduled to participate in Mumbai Open in ’07 but pulled back due to some injury. But am glad today that he is leaving tennis for good. I hope he gets what he wants from life and even show up in Guest Box to cheer Dinara Safina because he never does that as most others do.

He will always be remember as the “quintessential underachiever” and he is leaving a bit too early at 29 though a bit too easy. Will surely miss you, Marat. Thank you for keeping us glued to that racket for we never knew what would happen to it!!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thousands of Walls to fall...

20 years ago, on this day, a Wall fell down. This Wall was not just a concrete slab that was dividing humanity on either side. It was a veil of sort that was too thick to be seen through. I’m talking about Berlin Wall. The Wall that was created in Germany striking out a full-fledged Cold War, once the world was done with WW2. This Wall stood for everything that was not good between the US and the USSR. It defined the fall of trust and the rise of deception. Politicians on each side were trying to cement it with mortar of propaganda and furthered estrangement of people who shared history long before Cold War took place. It was more like the Wall crossed their life, not the other way around.

The fall of this Wall, no matter how ideological it was in nature, cries out to millions of people out here in the world. It shoots a signal that we can overcome anything, anytime as long as we are ready to take the blow. There are thousands of wall that has to crumble down and give way to new direction of life, be it in Israel or Cuba or India or China. There are still reasons to not give into hope. Its like we are so afraid of hoping that we assume we are better off hopping from one make-believe to another.

I must say that we are alive in the best possible time of humankind era with Social Media in its full form. Internet has made it possible for us to sneeze here and receive a “Gesundheit!” from the antipodes! Its possible now to send words across the world within seconds that our ancestors would have taken lifetime to do. But this connectivity has brought with it a sense of superiority and misconstructions between countries and between cultures and of course, between religions. It is not dismal completely yet provides us with thousands of reasons to build in a chasm that widens and deepens.

We can start breaking these walls down silently with our words. Let’s talk.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Give hope a chance

“We are giving too much importance to Pakistan. It is just a small piece of land. India can’t be compared with Pakistan.”

Recently, Rahul Gandhi commented on Indian Media’s obsession with Pakistan. His quotes were direct and concise, just like his political demeanor. The statement was a breather to a lot of us who are tired of this ongoing enmity, a sort of a political test match that is punctuated by constant terror attacks, verbal ripostes and border altercations. Of course, Media is not to be blamed entirely here. Its just doing its job and blowing something out of reach is one of its jobs too. It can’t depend on transparency alone. There are a lot of paper page to be filled and it has to be done somehow, either by postulating events or predicting future or consequences and so on.

Trust is the key factor between us two nations and sadly, it is also the biggest commodity not found in our EXIM. We cannot rescind our bitter history with this country that happens to be our neighbor. So what we can at least try to do is emulate a model of level-headedness, something that is not being done since long time. The urgent need of the time is peace. Insurgency and infiltration are some issues that are paramount to our defense and can’t be curtailed in any sense but on a more broader scheme, its time to start a new chapter.
Pakistan is not a failed state. It’s a failing state. And if at all, by devil’s luck, it fails; India will have to face repercussions too. India does not choose its neighbors, as Shashi Tharoor noted. Like any good neighbor, we need to take care of our fence but at the very same, make sure things are all well on the other side of the fence. There might be some measures of “clandestine vindication” in some Indians whenever news flashes on our TV displaying bomb blasts or other attacks emanating on Pakistani soil and killing innocent civilians or seemingly brave Pakistani Army personnel. But that pleasure is not only voyeuristic but also vain at best.

Every country has a face. If it has a face, then most certainly, it must have expressions. Now, if one single expression is shown again and again then it becomes difficult to recognize that face by another expression. That maxim applies on Pakistan. We are bestowed by our history of conflict, this cruel expression that is hell bent on disrupting our peace and functioning. Sadly though, I must say, we are missing some others expressions that should be highlighted. These expressions are willingness on the other side of the border to cooperate and coexist in peace and progression. There are students out there like us who want to have a better future just like we do.

If our politicians could bargain a bit better than they are currently doing, then I’m pretty sure that peace can be bartered. Blood and wails don’t ensure anything except vengeance. We had enough of mistrust. Enough of political manipulations. Enough of emotional mishandlings and connivance on part of our leaders and fanatical rebels. Issues like Kashmir will always be there but my best guess is that its time to leave it for future generations to decide what they want for themselves. Let the future Kashmiris decide their ultimate fate. I say so because the people who are representing the Valley are victims of recent history. Their self-interest undeniably supersedes people’s welfare.

Just imagine how prosperous India would be if it didn’t have to worry about constant threat from West in the form of state-sponsored terrorists blowing themselves up in major cities across the Indian mainland. An assured India can focus more on education budget than defense budget that is eating off schools, dreams and opportunities for millions of Indians. Similarly, Pakistan too will benefit a lot if it manages to assure India of its cooperation. Military-ruled Pakistan doesn’t represent Pakistanis. It represents the miniscule men in Olive Green who are having the best of life out there. India can help Pakistan revive its democratic roots. After all, it was supposed to be democratic but somehow staggered down the line of coup.

The question is not about who is right or who is wrong. We’ve traveled a long distance from that burning question. Right now, its time to pause and think and start working towards a healthy future ahead. A future when the sky space over India will have PIA flying with no worry and Air India will land in Karachi. A time when fishermen who stray won’t be hassled and made pawns in diplomatic warfare. A time when Cricket will be back in fashion between these two cricketing giants and both the flags will fly side by side with decent hooliganism that football can only wish for. A time when Pakistanis won’t have to watch pirated Bollywood movies and Pakistani singers won’t be reviled for getting jobs in movies. A time when Dubai won’t be the meeting point or the marketplace between us!
I wish for the best type of border, an invisible border. Until that happens, I’ll be a dreamer and I guess I must be politically incorrect. But I believe being pessimist doesn’t guarantee me peace either. We are passing away and time’s running so why not save some hope for generations to come and stop at once this madness.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


There are million of topics to cover. Still, I’ve decided to write about my mother. It has something to do with recent “developments” around me. She turned 57 yesterday. And we celebrated it for the first time! Birthdays aren’t a big event in our household especially after my younger brother’s demise that happened too soon and too long back.

Lately, I haven’t been good to her and of course, I feel bad about it. And the worst thing is, she never changed a bit towards me. I did the changing part. The same old love, the same old care, the usual insecurity about my future. I wasn’t this bad when I was a kid. She used to call me “bangaar baaley” which in Tulu translates to “Golden Kid”. I hardly troubled her with my studies because I was an above average kid in school whereas my younger bro, Sai, was terrible and a pathetic student. He kept my poor amma (mom) on her heels.

But times change, don’t they? Today, he is the blue-eyed boy who picked himself up and made strides to book himself among the brights whereas I left the corridor of success to wander in the delight of carelessness. I don’t blame anything or anyone for my current state of disarray but the only one person who really suffered was she. She placed huge hopes and labor to realize her dreams of seeing me like my former schoolmates and friends are now.

She was supportive even when I told her I wanted to be a writer. My dad didn’t had a clue how a writer becomes a writer. But she had her doubts and those doubts took the better off her. She was misled into believing that writers or academicians had no “healthy” future. Remarkably, she didn’t coerce me into engineering. I was just listless so I must admit she just did her part of a good mother, accompanying me to colleges for rounds of application and cut-offs. She was always there trying to catch up with my quick steps.

I didn’t complete my graduation. Let alone complete, I didn’t attend even college properly or appeared for exams. Instead I was lost in my world of words and poem. I was sinking in the quicksand of world cinema. I used to bunk college to attend film festivals all over Mumbai. I did everything that I was already doing in Nashik but at least I was studying well there. Here, I was a thorough truant, possessed and a confirmed variant. Ultimately I left engineering for good in 2008.
She is a pious lady so she was appalled when I decided to discontinue practicing the religious rituals I was used to since I was a kid. That too disappointed her a bit but she never wailed or made a big fuss out of it. Although at times, she did made it known that maybe, I was paying for disservice towards God. She thought my mind was clouded. I just laughed it off and I still laugh.

Even on the day of cancelling admission, I remember her talking to the clerk with poignant expression and asking her “whether “it was common for students to leave engineering?” She is naive but honest. I exploited every bit of it.

She is beloved. Everyone loves her. She used to be crowded by my friends during school days whenever she came for exam paper checking day. Even today, my colleagues at office seemingly feel that I’m the “bad guy” in the play. They are right, nonetheless.

One of my closest friend, Afzal, lost his mom last week and I saw him cry for the very first time in our five years of contact. I can’t even fathom the kind of lost he must be feeling. How can you ever replace someone as vital as you mother? Will I be able to make it outside if there isn’t a mother inside my home? Was I really not a mama’s boy and just pretended to be papa’s champ? Questions kept flooding and are still flowing in. Mothers are just great and that’s exceptionally natural.

So, yesterday, I decided to cut off from my usual classes and decided to surprise her by taking her to an eatery nearby and it was one great affair. While Its funny how I never took my mother anywhere because I was busy with my movies, Internet, poems and words. Sai was the one doing the things a son is supposed to. I was busier calling him “amma’s pet”! By the way, she wanted me to visit my barber as a birthday gift!

I wish she lives a happy life and find a day to see me as someone I want to be-contend and free. But she is of the old mode so it will take time and I’m going to make the best of that time available. I’m going nowhere. I’m just going to change.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wake Up Byd (Bollywood)

I’ve been waiting for Wake Up Sid since I saw its promos during Kaminey. It was released on Gandhi Jayanthi and I went to watch it yester-evening. And I knew this movie would have a bit of me in it just like most of my fellow youth out there!
First of all, I was glad that Bollywood is coming out of age and encouraging movies like these which isn’t “family-oriented” in general sense of bollywoodish speaking! The story is about a guy named Sidharth (Sid) who is the only son of a wealthy businessman and is not sure about his present or future, let alone his life. He is just happy spendthrifting his dad’s money on friends and lot. Then he meets this girl named Aisha who had somehow fulfilled her dream of coming to Mumbai from Kolkata and wants to lead an independent life of her.
The boy who is much younger than the female protagonist [which is't a norm yet!!] and has failed in his final years exam of graduation! The movie takes us through the unaware innocence of Sid’s hedonism and also through Aisha’s perceived emotional dependence that she initially doesn’t realize until the day Sid is about to move out of her life! Every guy has a bit of Sid in him and every gal has a bit of Aisha.
So you get the exact picture here. The movie is not the usual B’wood masala. It’s not novel either. If you follow cinema, you surely must have come across such movies where the boy is totally confused and lost about his career or what he wants to do with his life. Karan Johar who produced this movie is one of the “young turks” of Bollywood who will flirt with such ideas that are not only refreshing but even palatable in many ways, at least to the urban GenNext crowd, mostly college going kids!
This deviation started with the success of Dil Chahta Hai (DCH) by Farhan Akhtar who successfully made a movie that not only made college movies cool again but started a trend of sort. And I’m absolutely delighted with this new dawn in B’wood.
Wake Up Sid is a perfect tribute to the essence of Bombay (or Mumbai, if you like) and sings ode to the city with thousands of snaps throughout the movie. I guess its one of the kind, at least to my narrow knowledge where Mumbai is shown in such bright light. The music was awesome and Shankar-Ehsan-Loy rocked again. They did their magic with DCH earlier and this time too, they didn’t disappoint.
Its time Bollywood wakes up to such cinema and am glad she's yawning her way out of stupid formula movie with running around the tree thing!! Wake Up Bollywood!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


In 30 minutes time, we’ll be passing Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th birth anniversary and will step into just another common day. But before that happens, I wish to do something with this remnant left of a great day that’s celebrated not only in India but also all across the world.

I admire Gandhi like no one else. To me, he defines humanity. His life, as a votary of stark truth, makes me ponder if at all, someone ever in flesh again can ever emulate him, at least on such a global scale. He is an inspiration, not only to legions of legendary greats like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu but even to millions of unnamed hordes we’ll never know.

It’s a bit amusing to see my fellow colleagues talk about Gandhi as he was a villain of sort who partitioned India during independence. Foremost of all, they don’t have their basics cleared. They don’t read, nor wish to read and get a strong part in argument. They just believe the folklore we are so accustomed to where Gandhi represents a guy who gave up a huge part of India on its eastern and western side to some guy in Saville Row suit!! Obviously, I can’t argue with them and get make them see things in a brighter light but it’s all right as long as I don’t lose my cool and I must say, I haven’t yet.

No leader, be it spiritual or political, was able to bring such mass movement. He wasn’t under anyone’s patronage and still managed to bring about such a huge following which hasn’t died even today. Before him, India had northern leader, southern leader, western leader and eastern leader but he was the first to rightly call himself the national leader. He was never the one for photo finish. He hardly got any honorary recognition that contemparory leaders are so used to. He was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for a record five times and each time he was brushed aside due to political reasons. Britain and Sweden had a cordial relationship and didn’t want to ruin it for some “seditious fakir” in dhoti!

At last, after India got her independence in ‘47, the Nobel committee decided to nominate him again but before anything could be done, some guy shot him dead. The Nobel decided not to give the Prize to anyone that year as a sign of recognition to the pacifist soul. He wasn’t the one who unfurled tricolor on that “tryst with destiny” night. He was far too busy in Bengal trying to douse communal fire. A man who could have lived a fox life with a lapel that says, “I’m a lawyer”, decided to change course of his life in truth and eventually lives of millions and billions henceforth.

Today’s generation is a bit loose on fact files and knowledge. They think history is dead but the truth is even present is dead if we don’t get in touch with our past. They will always come up with loopholes and try to upfront their line that Gandhi was flawed. Well, he was flawed like any personality in the whole annals of history but at least he had the courage to accept it and move on rather than stay accustomed to the clichés of greatness and covering of demerits. He didn’t leave behind him a filial political dynasty that other freedom fighters mostly do. It’s irony that Nehru family ruled India under the pseudonym of Gandhi!

Gandhi was, and is, and surely will be the Mahatma, no matter how much our so-called urban GenNext dislike it. Like Einstein said, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

Its time India wakes up to what Gandhi was up to, he wanted India the way he was; austere, honest, self-reliant, moralistic, persevering and courageous.

By the way, i’m 5 minutes count down to next day, a new start, a new midnight that has its tryst with truth.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Loving you

What is there to love, except,
some words of wit, cadence of praise
in bountiful lores of delicious taste,
a beguiling line of face called smile
and thunderous call called words
blood flowing like ink of life
writing stories of endless pain and plight
and cute ears that listens to mine,
and sweet sight called gaze of eyes
that cries and begets my lies
every single line, every single time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shashi Tharoor Twittered!

We, Indians, have this way with emotions that is quite unique in all aspects of understanding. It’s difficult to decipher when and how we’ll be offended. It has something to do with our DNA that defines us the way we are and the funny thing is that we are absolutely OKAY with it. I guess there must be a strong reason behind this whole panorama, to say the least. But for the time being, let the sleeping devil lie!

I have no issue with us being Indians and acting all “Indian”, be it our choice of cinema, our music, way of life and humor but it gets on my nerve when I see our dear MEDIA trying to milk away on us. The recent episode of Shashi Tharoor (I’m sure you all know him; if not, then Google him. Its time you do) and his “tweeting” controversy (labeled Twittergate!!!), all scrutinized and condemned by the politicos and journos, tells us how much our so-called fourth estate needs a change of view, just for a change.

Well, Shashi Tharoor is not the everyday corrupt MP that India is so used to and he comes from an elite background and a career that glistens in his everyday life activities (Tweeter being one of them).

Tweeter is gumption in today’s world and I can’t exclude India from that world, even if it’s confined to just urban areas. It’s a kind of mini-blogging site where you can post message or sentence of 140 characters including the space and punctuations. In simpler words, it’s a craze of sort. Or else, how can we explain the presence of dignitaries like Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown, gleefully tweeting on it, and not to mention other famous and big shots like Oprah Winfrey, Ashton Kutcher, Jonathan Ross, Hugh Jackman and sports personalities like Andy Murray, Williams Sisters, Shaq O’Neal and Lance Armstrong. Some renowned Indians too have made their presence (read Tweets) felt on Twitter including Pritesh Nandy, Chetan Bhagat, Priyanka Chopra and Karan Johar but SHASHI THAROOR takes the cake with 231,635 followers, as of now.

Tharoor’s presence on Twitter definitely contributed to its success in India. He has this aura of success, achievement and definitely a missing demeanor that is the need of time. He is an able diplomat cum author cum human rights activist. His success in recent General Election in which he shook the stronghold of communist party in Thiruvananthapuram, his constituent now, is a breather for many. But one cardinal rule remains true to Shashi Tharoor: He is not a politician. And this ‘liability’ is what making the mountain of a mole in Tharoor’s case. But does he really need to be one to serve his beloved nation?

About a week or so ago, he was asked by a journalist on Twitter whether he too will travel in cattle class (a famous reference to anything crowded), in view of the recent austerity drive preached and ‘proposed to be practiced’ by the ruling party, Congress, to which Tharoor belongs. Since the question was asked in jest, he too answered in jest saying “absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows.”

Of course, he didn’t mean any offense considering the fact that he isn’t the kind who shies away from temple to prove his western outlook. But the way the media played the role of devil’s advocate was not only tiresome and clichéd but even haphazard in some sense. They encroached on his Twittering as if it was a crime of sort.

The media joke didn’t end there. It went on publish stories of how Tharoor was complaining about excessive workload that was backlogging on him due to his 6 days visit to Liberia and Ghana. Thankfully, Tharoor continued twittering about his visit in bright positivity on strengthening international relationships. The sad part was, when instead of covering the African visit, the media was busy pinning on Twittergate and its backlashes from opposition party demanding Tharoor’s resignation!!

Media just couldn’t overcome the hangover on that stupid joke that was supposed to be forgotten like our wise PM suggested. I’m glad our PM is a man to reckon with, not the usual fools we have up there.

I read Tharoor was supposedly asked to refrain from Twittering which I don’t think he adhered to, thus debunking the hogwash of our everyday newspapers and lot. He is a public servant and he needs to keep his personal perspective in check and I do agree with the required code of conduct but I don’t think you need to teach a guy who spent almost three decades as a diplomat in United Nations and had a Ph.D at the age of 22 and has authored more than ten books. His only crime was his sense of humor!

In a country where politicians are hardly looked up to, let alone followed, Tharoor is ray of hope for us or at least to me. I’ve been following him since long and I was thrilled with his appointment as a Minister in External Affairs. I’m active on Twitter too and follow Shashi Tharoor’s comments with zeal because he exudes this enigmatic charm that was absent in almost all of the past public servant, may be due to lack of Internet Age or maybe, plain lack of magnetism!

One thing is for sure, now, Mr. Tharoor must be well aware of Indian Media’s strong ambiguity when it comes to a guy who spent most of his life traveling around the world and settles down in India with a silver ticket to Parliament!!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2 years of typing and listening!

Today I completed 2 years. Two years of utter delight in performing 'sleight-of-hand' that may sound frivolous to a "careerist"!

It was exactly on this day in 2007 that I started my job here at Green Point Technology Services [GPTS] as a trainee transcriber. I had failed in my fourth semester exams and was nervous but wanted to get out my house and earn money anyhow. I was an insomniac too so it helped in my job as it required nocturnal presence. I remember being so happy and excited then. The happiness gradually gave way to rationality and beckoning of reality. And that's the sad part about staying at a job where you don't know what your tomorrow is all about. Moreover, my parents hated this job of mine!

For starters, business transcription is a simpleton job where you listen to an audio file on headphone and transcribe it out on MS Word document. It all depends on your English listening skill, discerning quality and typing speed. I was a bit slow initially during my training days but eventually brewed up to comfortable "finger-tapping". Today its my speed that is making me stay put in this company coz I don't see any better reason for a transcription company to hold on to a guy who hasn't promoted himself to Editor's post yet, in 2 years time!

Time flies by and we can't hold on to it but we certainly can rely a lot on our indiscreet memory. I reminisce how quickly the time has flown. Two years!! The last two years saw most of my polytechnic and college friends begin their "career" in some MNCs either in Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore. And they really tried hard to coax me out of here by using the same ole career mumbo-jumbo. I stuck to my grounds (or to my idiocracy) and here I'm still transcribing away to glory!

We all pursue happiness and for some, it has a huge price of societal bondage. Mine is a bit simpler. I don't deal with real society. I'm far happy with the virtual internet society and I can't blame anyone for being 23 years of age and having no career, girlfriend or life! But I can surely bring some perspective to the role that my current job played in three of the above mentioned arena.

I never wanted a career. I remember telling my mom that I would be a writer like Ruskin Bond after completing SSC. That was quite naïve and my parents were not too thrilled about my choice. Eventually, I packed my bag to Government Polytechnic Nashik for three years diploma. Then came back to Mumbai for Bachelors degree which still eludes me and I'm not talking about the one in Electronics. I haven't got one in Arts either though I must say I've starting in the RIGHT direction by getting enrolling in long distance B.A course! But who cares about career in a transcription industry. Everyone is so engrossed with the file and TAT and deadline and devil-knows-what that it hardly matters what field you come from (or are going to)!!!

Turning to the second topic, I never expected to have any girlfriend here at this job where females are considered RUMORS!! So that pretty much helped me keep my slate clean and title of "MOST SINGLEST GUY EVER" alive! But I must say that I was pretty blessed after meeting some like-minded friends out here who were a lot like me (but will deny it). I met Tushar (who later became my brokeback partner… not the movie kind of course!) We are mostly broke and I'm always on back of his bike. Then there were Shybu, Rojella (he keeps changing his name so I'm sticking with this one), Deeva (light-eyed wonder boy with sweaty hands and empty pants) and Aly (well his name is Alliston but I prefer Aly, nickname for Alien). All of these guys rocked on day one and still manage to do, somehow.

Thirdly, my life has been pretty much erratic, confused and sweet with lots of movies (CINEMA saved me from insanity), football (I still play bad but I'm happy with it), music (language evaporated a long time back), PC upgradation (at last I was able to do something about my piggish PC tho its not worth it… its still not kosher, nor working well), aphthous ulcers (it happens with graveyard shift dinner time), poems (I left poetry writing and now prefer one-liners which I post regularly on Facebook, Twitter and Orkut though not everything I post belongs to me…I'm a great 'copywriter' too) and yada yada yada….

Two years is not a huge number to boast of considering my dad is completing his 40th year under one hotel family but considering the job-jumping guys do around, I guess it's certainly an achievement and it's my first full-time job too. We can keep regretting the decisions we took but it hardly matters when the curtain is down. So I must say I'm pretty much elated with everything around me and I wouldn't have missed it at any given cost. GPTS rocks, my colleagues rock and foremost of all, my ignorance rocks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sixth time unlucky at US Open!

I know I'm not the only one on this face of planet with a broken heart tonight. There are millions out there who wanted Roger Federer to go an inch further and grab that title. Of course, I'm talking about US Open 2009 which was snatched by Juan Martin Del Potro (DelPo), a 20 year lad from Argentina, with overpowering game and feral instinct on court. If only the match was won by my athletic icon, I would have been writing this blog in a different tone, a more triumphant sort of one. But sadly, that isn't the case and I can just hopelessly reflect on what happened in that deciding 5th set.

Federer was comfortable in the first set with an easy win, was persistent in the second set which ultimately went into a tie-breaker and won by DelPo. The third set saw Federer get back to what he does best: WIN. The fourth set had all the drama of a perfect movie script. Both were neck to neck fighting, one for the title, other to stay in the match and force a fifth setter. Ultimately it was the hopeless that fought and won hope. Federer lost the 4th set and had to play in the decider set. The fourth set contained a match point for Federer which could have avoided the disappointment that was to follow but DelPo was strong and firm enough to stave away the scare. Federer not only lost the set but even lost his ubiquitous cool. He even used the F-word against the Chair Umpire. When was the last time Federer used an audible F-word on court?

With the fifth set getting on a go, it turned the heat up on both the players and it showed. DelPo with his lean, tall stature was showing sign of extreme fatigue whereas the ever-cool Federer was exhibiting signs of mental torture, not only from his failing game strategy but also due to the boisterous crowd ranting "Vamos DelPo" and "Ole" at full stretch. The crowd was more appropriate for soccer match and even the Chair Umpire realized it as very few was paying heeding to the famous "Thank you, Silence Please!!"

Within a span of 15 minutes, DelPo was leading 3-0 and it made me damn nervous, least to say. I could smell something really bad will follow and it did. Federer was not only hitting balls miles away from his usual bull's eye but even was falling prey to conniptions. That showed when he argued with the Chair Umpire about a call that turned out to be a false and was actually made by some erratic spectator. Federer wasn't Federer and it clearly resulted in giving up which Federer hardly ever does, at least not in a Grand Slam event. Within the next 30 minutes, the match was up, DelPo was down….on the court crying tears of joy and Federer, in his gentlemanly best, applauded the new Champion at award giving ceremony.

If only Federer had won this one and kept his 40 match winning streaks at US Open alive, I would have had a better day today. This may sound hyped but I couldn't sleep after watching this "horror". The last set kept repeating itself in my dreams and messed up my already twisted brain! For me, it's more like watching a guy who can extend the threshold of human endurance and create new boundaries for future humankind to achieve and upset. Pete Sampras made it possible for a Federer to dream of 14 and more Grand Slam titles. Similarly, I want Federer to make it possible for a DelPo or a Murray to dream of 20 or more GS titles someday in future. But as of now, Federer is still stuck at 15!!!

I remember Federer crying like a sweetheart after losing to Rafael Nadal in this year's Australian Open Final and I tried to convince myself that he'll come back strong. And thankfully he did come back like a Phoenix. And that's exactly what I'll do again. I can't give up on a great Champion like him. Nadal, without his knees is nothing and that's because his game is centered on his pace whereas Federer is a more complete and nuanced player. I can only fret about how close Federer was to the well but he died thirsty and all but it doesn't matter. He missed on the William Renshaw's record of 6 consecutive Wimbledon titles, thanks to Nadal and similarly, he missed Bill Tilden's 6th consecutive US titles record.

But it's OK. It's all right. He will rise again and grab what belongs to him and in a manner that won't have any angry tantrum with the Chair Umpire or any sign of complacency. He is a genius and even geniuses have bad days. Today was just one of them and he can get over it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaching Kids English!

For the past three years or so, I've been involved with teaching English to kids, mostly of eight to ten grades. Of course, teaching is a tougher job than studying and I can claim to have first hand knowledge of this adage. It all started when I failed in my second year degree examination in '06 and decided to "earn" while I waited for my sophomore exams! I thought it was a good idea then. I still do.

I love English. I just love this language. I'm better off being biased to it. Although I do believe that language must be confined to its basic job of transfer of ideas but there aren't many other languages that can match English in its malleable nuances. Knowing English and learning it is one thing while teaching it is something else. But when my former math tutor, Akbar Sir called me to ask whether I was ready to "impart" my grammar skills to some of his students, I readily accepted. I guess it was more of a need rather than any calculated move. I was at home killing time (and my parents' hopes for me becoming an Electronics engineer in future which I ultimately succeeded in killing!!) so I looked at this chance as a move out of home and saving me some vituperative comments from my adorable mom!

I remember it was the month of December and I was called at around 8 in the morning to this place which I'm quite familiar with as I had spend a huge part of my school day life there. I was directed to a room with a decent green-board (blackboard are passé) and about 40 kids sitting down on the floor with unassumingly curious eyes. I started my lesson with the line, "Kids, English is a tough language……" I don't remember much of what happened next but that line remains with me till date. Many things have changed since then. The class is now pronounced and established and called Akbar's Academy. But something didn't change. The students loved me I guess and that love has remained till date. Perhaps, I like to think that way, whether it's true or false as I've learnt that it's impossible to endear your style of teaching with all the kids attending. There are always some kids who miss the learning train. It's either my fault or theirs but it's painful because I get my pay whereas they don't get their marks.

I have been teaching this insanely beautiful language since then and if you ask me, I'm a lousy teacher, in fact, terrible but I must say it has been a heck of a ride for me. As of today, I teach 279 kids, divided in six batches and ranging from grade IX, X and XI. I hardly manage to remember not more than few dozens of names. It's not only taxing on my already stressed mind to ask names but also cruel to memorize it so I leave the name and go with the face. I only work on weekends with these kids and no doubt, weekends aren't a day of relish for me, as it is for my colleagues. Its tough handling two jobs!

I frequently ask myself whether it's for money or is it just a vocation that I dearly am attracted to. I don't get a straight answer. Its better that way; to have a sign of mystery to my purpose. There are times when I don’t wish to continue anymore and leave the job for good. There are times when the lack of energy to impose discipline overwhelms my discretion. I'm a disciplinarian but not the draconian kind. I expect my kids to be communicative but at the same time, I also want them to communicate with me, not their co-benchers. Asking students to observe silence and obedience is difficult but not entirely impossible.

Now coming to the English part, the kids I deal with represents a locality which is no more so a ghetto with middle-middle class locales with lower-middle class mentality at best. The people I'm talking about are ignorant about world news, don't care about civility, are bellicose in general and don't neither give a hoot about English nor watch English language news, shows or movies on TV and don't read English newspapers, magazines or periodicals. In spite of all these shortcomings, they are adamant about one thing; THEY WANT THEIR KIDS TO KNOW AND SPEAK ENGLISH!!

I won't say that this expectation is wrong or unreasonable because these are hard-working people who want their offspring to take a better course towards life. Moreover, they also acknowledge the strength of English in outside world but sadly don't prescribe it to their daily life. The only reason they aren't helping my case is in their steep ignorance and apathy towards "learning" and "helping" their kids learn it. Being a parent, they can do a lot like buying comics and story books and stuff like that which my semi-educated dad used to do on his own. Forget it; things don't change unless things change.

I don't teach their parents but I always make it a point to put a big part of the blame on them since I can't get myself to understand their layman "plight". Anyways, I'm doing great with the kids at hand and I try to mention how grateful they should be for their parents are working like clock for their tuition fee! It’s a double-edged argument for me. On one hand, I hate the whole philistine ambiance and on the other, I'd want these kids to not end up like their parents!

The hilarious part of English is its grammar. You can't teach nor learn grammar if you don't think in that language. It's an innate feeling. No matter how much I try to differentiate the baloney of using "am" in front of "They", the kids won't get it until and unless they start loving the language like I did way back when I was in seventh grade and got in touch with this superb teacher and present mentor, Aslam Sir. But that's where the fun of teaching grammar lies. You have no idea what is going on in those small little brains of these cute growing kids but you want them to think and question like you do. It never works successfully every single time. But I love to gamble on the better odds!

In these fast forwarded years I had with Akbar's, I've witnessed some sweet success stories too. One of my students named Farooq notched 88 marks out of 100, beating all previous SSC records in English exam in his school (which coincidentally was mine too). And thankfully, none of my kids have failed though some were apathetic enough to just score passing mark. Whole and sole, I can say I've been lucky with the kind of work I've did and the kind of results I expected and the kind of results I got. I even worked as an assistant English teacher at a school as the registered teacher was ill or something and I completed the portion in 3 months flat. That was one heck of an experience too.

I'm not sure how long will I continue with this so called vocation of mine. I'm not pursuing engineering either. To be honest, I left engineering four months ago and joined long distance bachelors program for a degree in B.A. My parents were appalled at my guts but I just didn't want to continue with engineering math and formulas. My friends and colleagues think I can make a future in teaching but I can't even say "yeah" as my vacillating mind will dance to different tune any given next day! But whatever the future be, right now I'm loving the pressure of weekends that includes making notes, preparing question papers, taking tests and checking answer sheets and even the noise of the backbenchers who are hell-bent on not learning and I'm happy fighting and trying to inculcate the dose of this beautiful language into their novice ears!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Felt by me

If only words knew what i wanted to say now,
I must be lonely forever or I am in love....
missing all the moments, the sweet little time
with you and your smile that brightened my life!
It must have been a dream or some spell
that I saw your eyes and couldn't tell
whether it was a mirage or was it real
but whatever it was, it was deeply felt....
and i guess i must be in love with me
I must be a narc and I just can't see
the beautiful spark in your eyes,
your honest beauty and my wicked lies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I wish I could write down...

I wish I could write down like I used to... but now-a-days its more like laziness has crept over me and I'm stranded inside of me. I'm working two jobs 6 1/2 days a week to make sure my idle mind doesn't get it fodder for devil and my pocket stays comfy. But still I'm getting all weaned up of my earlier creative side which included newspaper clippings and poems and stories and novels alike.

I wish I could write down like I used to... about the times I felt like killing my wrist and live but I never did it and instead used to pen, to write down the shame. I wrote down everything that I felt under sunburn. Today, I'm writing it all but not in details like I used to. My words are not as sharp as it was with life before, with narrow tips and broader lips, I used to catch all my figments with words.

I wish I could write down like I used to... with angst and pangs and songs and dance performed by paragraphs and stanzas and quarts and limericks and acrostics and haikus. But those were the times when I had lot of time to gaze into the greenery around the emptiness of sky and the cloud of rains and smile. I laughed a lot then with hardly any care of how the brutal world could get and how wrong was I.

I wish I could write down like I used to... of endless anecdotes I'd love to entail for legacy to be made out of me. I know this futile dream of fame and glory for my work which I haven't did, is so true to me. Its so numbingly naive and full of dices and displays of luck at every crossroad of time. I don't desire to be read now for I don't care anymore. I just wish to write like I used to.

I wish I could write down like I used to... like I'm doing now...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Federer & Roddick story at SW19

So it was done just like I thought except a bit of improvisation in the final moments. I was wishing that Murray will face the riposte from Feddie boy but coincidentally it was Andy Roddick who went through the drill.

Federer and Roddick have a history of their own and it goes back to their junior days as well but as far as the professional men's tennis is concerned, Federer clearly thumped out better and stronger among the two with 18 victory out of 20 matches with the "King of Tennis". So in a nutshell, it would have been an one-sided affair. But it wasn't meant to be an one-sided story. And it wasn't.

Roddick came to Center Court focused like never before as he knew exactly what it means to be facing Federer on the other side of the net and he remembers how he was reined like a mule by Roger in the US Open in 2006 in front of his cheering crowd. The game plan was to attack Federer with piercing serve and approaching net as many times as possible and this stratagem clearly paid off in the first set itself. He won the first set of the duel with a breakpoint at the very end. So the score now was at 1-0 in Rod's favor.

The second set too was all about holding service and attacking with everything possible and trying to keep the set elongated and durable. But the balance was again tilting in Roddick's favor with the second set reaching a tie break where Roddick again held his serve and posted a 6-2 lead, needing just one point to wrap up the second set. But here's where Federer proved why he is what he is considered and called. He changed the complete face of the tie break and stalled Roddick (who committed some uncharacteristic unforced errors too) at 6 and moved from 2 to 8 thus winning the second set 7-6 (8-6).

Third set again was all too similar to 2nd set and approached tie breaker where Federer showed his upper hand and won the set 7-6 (7-5). By this time, most of the punters must have assumed that Federer will chalk out the match within four set and kiss the golden trophy.

However, Fourth set saw the resurgence of A-Rod and broke Federer's service twice to grab the set 6-3. Mind you, till now Federer failed to gain even a break point in spite of having several feasible chances, which meant Roddick has managed to remain unbroken against Federer for four consecutive sets which became a Grand Slam record in itself for him against Roger in 8 meetings.

So the match is tied at 2-sets each and fifth set was the decider and no one would have guessed that this set would be the longest 5th-setter ever in Wimbledon history lasting 95 minutes and 30 games. Last year, it was an epic battle between Federer and Nadal. This year, it was an epic 5th-setter and it did amazed everyone from retired "legends" sitting in front row to Rog & Rod's family and team to boisterous crowd to millions glued to TV.

Now the game is overwhelming at 14-15 in Roger's favor and Rod is trying to avoid break point and stay alive in the match. Roger Federer who didn't break Roddick's serve even once till now does so when its needed the most and exalts a huge yelp of relief and creates history in the meantime with all the dignitaries including Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver delivering a standing ovation to the true "King of Sward". Roddick looked heartbroken but that didn't downed his sense of humor when he pointed to Sampras and said, "Sorry, Pete. I tried to hold him off."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Roger Federer's French Victory!

Yesterday, on June 7th, 2009, Roger Federer won the French Open Title for the first time ever, after being denied the exclusive Musketeers Cup by Rafael Nadal for the past 4 years and thus, once and for all he proved that he doesn't have to answer any more questions related to '"Who is the best player ever?" debate.... coz the verdict is out... HE IS AND HE WILL BE THE BEST EVER.....

How many players of any era can claim to have such long success on tour as he did... how many players can claim lore and legends to their closet like he does and that too at the age of 27!... and no other player enjoy crowd support like he does due to his calm demeanor, no fuss, no controversy lifestyle, his fluency in more than 3 languages, his school boy looks and no doubt, his exceptional ease on the court with his racket and his executive shots...

This isn't the end of a jinx... its just a beginning of an incredible story for ages to come and ponder and wonder that a boy from the shadows of Alps came up to conquer the tennis world with huge dreams in his eyes and an impatient fire in his belly.... and eventually did, unsurprisingly!

No wonder, after his grand success in a finale, he is heaped with praises from every corner of the tennis world, from almost every old-timers who carry value to their words are validating his claim to history as the best tennis player ever. One of these "worder" was a guy featured against him in the final itself, Robin Soderling from Sweden who overcame a bevy of top ranked players in the tournament including Nadal, Ferrer, Davydenko and Gonzalez but conspicuously looked like a novice on the court and in his own admission said, "Federer makes me play bad...."

Like some say, Federer is the best player ever and that is certified by the best player ever himself (read Rod Laver!!!).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good things around me!!!

The world seems 2 b gettin better....coz UPA is back wid a thump n Rahul G reminds us of his dad n his squeaky clean image...Pakistan ws the 1st country 2 congratulate the new govt!...Obama is working its way wid Africa, starting wid Ghana which i believe is a stepping stone or shud i say, shot in the arm for African poverty...n wat else 2 feel happy abt?.. yes, Speaker in House of Commons ws made 2 step down due 2 some expense related controversy, thus rewriting a 300 yr record of not impeaching any speaker under any condition.... then there is Sharmila Tagore in colorful saree rubbing shoulders wid the like of Robin Wright, Baman Ghodabi and Saïd Taghmaoui.... n even Ash smiling away 2 camera-clicks!... wat else?... yup, then the new Poet Laureate is a woman 4 the 1st time ever... n she's a lesbian too!! can't get better!!!.... then LTTE having a funeral down south, no more "world's most successful terrorist outfit tag to carry n worry"....Ang Sang Suu Kyi too seem 2 gather thin hope of getting free at last coz protests hv never been so loud b it Paris or Durban.....AR Rehman will work in a full-fledge Holly movie 4 the 1st time ever, Federer smiled after a long time, Phelps showed his human side (i mean in pool, he showed his demonic side bit earlier wid dat pot!!!)... then there's my home in Sanpada which i never liked 2 return bt rite now i just can't wait 2 get bck 2 my abode coz i kno no1 is there waiting 4 me n dat feeling is so feelsome!!!!...just 4 a change, wanted 2 c wat is gud abt my ambiance!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Voted for the 1st time n felt all patriotic n empowered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So my motherland India is having its general election and i stay in Mumbai so we had our poll yesterday and this was the first time i ever voted in a 'political' the excitement all started a while ago, long before yesterday... coz i too like most of my fellow youths didn't believed in voting corrupt politicians to power (and let me remind you that today, politicals bigshots in India are not like Gandhi or Patel or... in simple words, most of them are easy sleazeballs hungry for power) so i wasn't keen to exercise my adult franchise.

But in February this year, i came across an article on Hindustan Times that kind of questioned our youth's apathy which they have started confusing for anarchy! Simple procrastination is now perceived as defiance of "old world order". Most of the youth don't want to be active in any program that doesn't bother directly with their career and luxury. This is very much evident with the lack of student protests which is hardly seen on our streets like the way it is pronounced and visible in other major cities.

I don't wish to sound like a total renegade here going all against my city just because i dared to vote this time for my very first time but the ground reality is youth is getting wasted on youth, like they say.

Coming back to my voting experience, well there's hardly anything to add coz the whole affair got over in less than 15 minutes i guess so there's hardly anything to say about it except that the indigo-mark they left on my middle finger nail is flashed around innocently!!!! But still its a bit more than just saddening that only 43%, give or take, turned out this time for voting and for a city that breathes life every single moment, its a sign of complete disregard to the call of civil duty. The truth remains that democracy came too easily to India whereas to the CIS nations, they had to face a mighty long-faced Commie govt....

"Voting doesn't change things overnight but it atleast gives you an opportunity to throw around your valuable rejections...."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A prank gone all wrong

The following is inspired by a true story...

There was this girl in a Medical College and stayed in hostel. She was beautiful, rich and spoilt. She was a bit disturbed by some personal problems and didn't like mingling with other students on campus. This created a sort of sequestrated feel about her character. She was probably the only girl around without any friends, not even female ones. No one knew why she was disturbed and what was her side of the story. Though a lot of fellow students, particularly boys tried to make an advance and kindle friendship with her but she stayed aloof and rejected any relationship. The boys were kept at a distance and girls were envious-pretty balanced scale of enmity.

Slowly but steadily she was becoming the talk of the campus not only because of her solitude but also because of her beauty. She wasn't particularly attentive in classes or practicals but she made sure she was never absent. The teachers had no issue with her detached personality since her grades were decent.
Once, a brash boy who thought he could claim to be the first to develop 'contact' with her, decided to express his love to her and the words he used were heavy with emotions but didn't create the same reaction on the girl. On the contrary, she went ballistic with her rigid response and called him names such as Romeo, chauvinist and a fool!

This encounter from which he had expected to bear romance had gone all sour and prickly. He was no doubt hurt but he wasn't the one to stay silent. He decided to teach this arrogant girl a lesson. He contemplated a plan he thought wasn't horrible but no less innocent either. He along with some of his friends decided to play a prank on her.

So, this girl returned to her room like usual after visiting library and having food at local mess. As soon as she entered the room and locked the door, someone strapped the door shut from the outside as well. Obviously, she was irritated and surprised by this act. She called out to open the door and kept on banging it. But no one responded as if like the whole hostel had gone deaf.
Tired of this prank, she retired to her bed. As she leaned back to lay her head on the pillow, she felt something under the pillow. This was the actual prank awaiting her. So out of curiosity and anger, she lifted the pillow to find an amputated hand which no doubted was made available from College morgue.

A deep shriek boomed out of the room. This cry of fear was reciprocated by a equally loud choir of laughter from the crowd standing outside the door, presumably waiting to hear the bawl. But the laughter outnumbered the wailing voice because the deep sound of fear and angst didn't repeat but the laughter kept on multiplying.
The prank was supposed to have ended here and someone was supposed to unlock the door and let the poor soul out. But that didn't took place, may be everyone were so indulged in laughing riot that they forgot to lower curtain on the show.
As many hours passed by, one of the participating girl realized that no one had opened the door and she decided to open it herself but at the last moment thought it would be better if someone would accompany her so she asked one of her friend and ultimately collected a few more students and they all came to open the door and see if the girl was asleep or what.

But the sight they were going to witness was neither called for nor planned but a severe consequence of a blatantly irresponsible act. As soon as the door flanged open, they saw that there was no one bed, nor under it, the windows were tight shut from inside, and this created panic. Amid this ill puzzlement, someone from the crowd glanced above to the space between the ceiling and cupboard.

The vision of a girl with dried tears and disheveled hair and strange mannerism greeted them. The girl was sitting devoid of any display of emotion on her face but her teeth were busy chewing something. The very sight of this once beautiful girl turned diabolical sent chills through the crowd because she was indiscreetly chewing the amputated hand that was the tool of joke for the crowd staring below.
The mental trauma the girl suffered is unfathomable but the question is the level of barbarism one can stoop to just to get a kick out of it.

[The credit to this story goes to some independent film makers who made a short film on the same story.]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

First smooth bike ride... vvvrrrrrooooooooom

This morning, i did something which i had attempted to do quite some time ago, in fact about 4 years ago but failed miserably-----riding a motorbike. But today, at just before dawn, after heading for home from office, as usual i was pillion seated and out of sudden i asked my dear friend Tushar to let me drive his Enticer and for his kind n laidback nature, he allowed me.

And i was getting all jittery with the long-forgotten instructions of neutral-kick-clutch-gear-vroom. But after 4 futile attempts at kicking the damn pedal, Tush took pity n at last got the motor roaring... now was the time to hold the clutch and gear one, followed by the hardest part of leaving the clutch slowly along with triggering the accelerator and quite strangely, i got it right and off i go....into the darkness of freedom n liberation!!!!

This ride will be memorable for a long time to come coz I'd decided quite a long time ago that I'll always be the pillion-seated rubbernecking the views around and free of worry... but after getting my successful kick (or shud i say, ride) today, I'm thinking of pursuing this skill... must say, the ride was gr8 and i wish i learn the basics of using brakes, changing gears and riding like a pro...coz me, Tush, Danny n Deeva r thinking of riding to Goa on bike!!!

Now the interesting thing abt today's ride was how i stopped the bike n believe me, even Valentino Rossi wud have been proud to see how i applied the brake along with rising accelerator... it skid a good two meter apart and then wobbled as if the bike was scared of its rider!!! Good biking and gr8 life is awaiting me....vvvvrrrooommmm

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bhutan, our friendly neighbor

Let me tell u about Bhutan… this was told by my GEO-GOD bro who went something like, “We have the baddest and the most dangerous neighbors… and out of these sad next-doors, we have a gem in a country like Bhutan coz v already share a friendly relation wid Bhutan… in fact Bhutan was the 1st country to recognize Independent India… our relation has more to do with heart than wid bilateral give n take… Bhutan as we all know is a hermit country, ruled historically by Kings n inhabited by calm buddhist subjects…. this country ws recently called the happiest country in the world coz it does not care about its GDP but works on its GNH (Gross National Happiness)... just imagine something similar to that happening in my city, Mum-bye…(silent goodbye)!!…

This nation has only 1 functioning traffic signal in Thimpu (its capital) n ppl don’t care to follow it coz there is hardly any vehicles n if at all, they r not crazy about speeding… they hv only 5 elevators in whole of the country!!!!…. of course ppl will say its a small country wid minuscle population bt u can’t overlook the serene simplicity they exhibit…now the gud thing is their king Wangchuck decided to go 4 democracy voluntarily — no protest, no bloodshed, no opinion..simply handed the crown over to his son n now the country is in its 1st yr of functional democracy….. he did it coz he is educated in western stream n realized dat the times of monarchy is beyond the horizon….n 1 more thing, he’s a huge MOVIE addict n has the biggest movie collection in the whole of Bhutan, something 2 cheer for me!

The surprising thing abt this episode is that our students r not thought anything abt our neighbors in detail, thus fueling cliche of they-r-enemies mentality… and the sad thing is our history books (even in SSC) ends at a chapter called INDIA WINS INDEPENDENCE… thus pulling a brake to better understanding of the unfolding events after independence…. its no huge wonder dat our kids don’t know neither natl anthem nor natl song… forget abt its verbal meaning…. no country in the present time can show such unpatriotic fervor… nationalism is not thought in school, it just brings us up wid us… i’m goin on n on… dat is a syndrome called Shaktian Effect!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slumdog's Oscar moments

I woke up at 4.15 in the morning coz i did not want to lose any chance of watching red carpet ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Of course, I was going to watch this thing from my home TV but what was unique about this year was the fact that Slumdog Millionaire was considered to be a hot shot in terms of odds and there was very little doubt that it would be spurned to stand overlooked. But then, one can argue that the Academy has always proved to be a party pooper when it came to general mass hysteria. The Academy was audacious enough to avoid Martin Scorsese for a long, long time until the game of hide n seek couldn’t be left to reason and at the same time it was foolish enough to let The Shawshank Redemption go empty handed. If the Academy was right and sagacious in its way of dealing then the same could have been wanted out of every movie that’s made around the world, but that isn’t the case and so we can forgive The Academy for overriding over Orson Welles and David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.

But that was legacy, legend and lores of Oscar’s magnificent history. Today it was a magical tale for a movie called Slumdog Millionaire. Every single thing that followed once Hugh Jackman took the stage and made excellent parody of all movies nominated for Best Picture to the last moment when Slumdog Millionaire was handed the Best Picture statuette, every single thing was seductively celestial. There was hardly any slip-ups or accidents on stage. Even Frieda Pinto was elegant and sharp when she came hand in hand with Liam Neeson to hand away the Oscar award for Best Foreign Film. She didn’t miss a beat while announcing the nominated movies.

Slumdog was nominated in 10 categories and luckily scrapped 8 while pundits were betting on it to make it 10 on 10. Yet the achievement was nonetheless exceptional taking into account numerous liabilities such as inadequate finance, lack of star cast, no set up or state-of-art studio… still with the help of a strong script and talented kids from around the street and some remarkable performance delivered by big time actors like Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan, the movie found its path.

Without its music, no one would have found that chord connect with the movie but thanks to AR Rahman’s magical resonance and montage of songs put in small bits but in proper place, the movie finds its tempo. And thankfully, the Academy didn’t mess up this time as Peter Gabriel wasn’t willing to perform with AR Rahman as he didn’t like his song being cut to 65 seconds in order to accommodate the tight schedule. But Gabriel or no Gabriel, the show went on with full fervor and the Indian Dhols and Bharat Natyam exponents took to stage along with AR and did a show unforgettable for a long time to come.

There was something purely mystical about the way AR carries himself. There have been moments when I’ve felt God’s sanctity in AR’s songs and music and no wonder, i sometimes feel the touch of his halo when i see him walk up the stage with a modest drooping shoulder and collect some words to thank people who really mean close to him. And he didn’t change that thing about himself even at the Oscars. He thanked his team at Mumbai and Chennai like he often does. He also mentioned his mother. He didn’t forget to thank the ALmighty for everyone knows that Rahman is a pious sufism-inclined musician who happen to follow music as a search of life. Even Resul was fabulously calm when he uttered his reason of belief in the sound of Om. The whole speech was beautifully executed.

I followed this year’s Oscars and wish to congratulate Slumdog Millionaire on its historic victory at Oscars.This ‘curio’ was sweetened by the fact that AR Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Gulzarsaab were honored with befitting awards, thus making the event “Indian” in celebration. The whole movie’s cast, particularly the kids who acted in it, were present on the stage when the movie was handed the Best Picture award and that i believe is one of the most defining moments at Oscars this time. The Indian feel of this year’s Oscars can’t be denied, be it AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty’s inspiring acceptance speeches, Smile Pinki (a story based on an Indian girl) winning an Oscar for Short Subject Documentary or AR Rahman’s lively performance with Dhol and Bharat Natyam dancers moving to his tune on stage. The scene was something completely new to Oscars and a path-breaker in the cultural context.

Slumdog Millionaire is a movie made with talented but obscure Indian cast, directed by a British director and produced by an American production but still managed to garner such extraordinary success, support and recognition. However it failed to strike a chord with the common Indian masses and that part of the debate could get intriguing and argumentative at best. .All and all, this movie will be seen as a bridge to fill the gap between Indian and Western Cinema in the years to come and will create more cross-overs with bigger plots and better visibility factor. Well done, Slumdog. Jai Ho!

I care no more

No more nests to build, no more seeds to spill
I care no more
of love and pain and change and shame
I've walked too long with my head intact
and my draining brain and my stupid lines
can't stay the same with my face of ole
need to paint a life i never knew

No more woods to carve, no more water to draw
I care no more
of hatred and rain and sun and bane
I've touched that canvas of reasoning in past
and have seen with my eyes how wrong i am
won't give a minute to my sorry state
will move on and move long afar

No more repairs needed, no more words to preach
I care no more
of trust and fray and loss and game
I'd heard some tales of my gods up there
the mistakes they did and their lies
now i need no god, no words to chant
I'll create my image on the drooping sunlight.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chin up, Fed!

I’ve been following Roger Federer since long and there is one thing I’ve learnt about him that makes me love him more; he is inhumanely transparent. He is not only a great champion but a reasonable human being too. He is not caught up in coruscating glitter or glamor like most of the contemporary sports persons are, notwithstanding the moolahs he rakes on tour. Not since Borg have we seen a calmer figure on court with such sheer talent. But after watching yesterday’s final against arch-rival Rafael Nadal in Australian Open, I’m left with some questions that are better left unanswered to time.

He was defeated in five grueling sets and if that wasn’t heart wrenching, he wept his emotions out, watching Rod Laver handing the coveted trophy to Nadal. Now most of us tennis lovers will have so many doubts about Federer’s prowess on court, especially against Nadal who has long eclipsed Federer in one-to-one battle. Every great player, sooner or later finds his successor and there is no doubt Nadal deserves it more than any one else out there, yet being a Federer follower, I just wish that he bring the world to halt by lifting Roland Garros in May and let all mouths gape. That is only possible remedy to this tale of error and succession.

On any given day and under any circumstance of play, every spectator would accept the fact that Federer is a genius who doesn’t come along too often, and Nadal is a hard sweater who won’t let a single ball go wasted. Federer is mentally a weaker opponent than Nadal who on the contrary, sums up as a better and more versatile player under suppressing pressure. Still, I just wish, and I’m sure Federer won’t disappoint. He will surely lift much more than titles than Sampras or others, if at all. Till then, keep smiling and fight hard, Fed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Everybody loves his/her cellphone. It has become an integral part of urbane (and mundane) life that makes it quite inextricable in sensible thinking. I too loved my cellphone. It wasn’t a fancy Blackberry or NSeries but still it was dear to me. We literally slept together, I on the pillow and it beneath it. All was going fairy tale well until this morning at around 4, when out of sudden it wasn’t there anymore. It got lost. Or stolen. Or maybe lost and then probably stolen. Anyway I was the crying baby on either side of the argument. For the record, this is my third mobile which I successfully lost in the last four years. So that validates my absent-mindedness and my declining faith in humanity!

The first thing you feel after losing your mobile is utter desperation, a kind of vacuum. This feeling has nothing to do with your mistake of being so careless. It is very nascent in its purest form. You start reminiscing who was the last person you called. From whom did you got your last SMS. How will you get all the contact numbers back. By the way, the last SMS I received was from my dear friend Tanmay who informed about Rooney’s 55th second goal against Wigan. I was thrilled like anything for Man U topping Liverpool soon, unaware of getting my mobile vanished for good just an hour or two later.

Cellphones to most of us is a link to outside world. It connects us exponentially to people irrespective of the impending distance in between. It is a benevolent invention in spite of constant scientific threats availing it as radiating toxics into our brain (through ear!) and even low sperm count (due to closeness!). Besides, people don’t live with nothing to dare anymore. All are dangling on the edge of danger and who cares about invisible radiation when there are so many visible and imminent vices staring us right in the eye. Radiations are like cellphone stealers, I must add. Both can’t be seen.

Coming back to anguish and self-pity, after realizing this vacuum, there flashes the torch of practical bereavement. And foremost of it is the money put behind the gadget, the balance in it, the numbers, birth dates of friends, notes and gods-know-what. You start cursing yourself for being so birdy and also for not noting down the numbers in a diary or something. Balance is not a major issue in most cases because we all know the stealer is not stupid enough to make a call that will come back to him and nab him. Mostly, it’s a safety measure practiced by ‘expert stealers’. So your balance is assured but what about everything else. You have developed a connection that is so strong and unique with this petite inorganic device. There is very few non-living creatures with whom you might be able to develop such a bond viz. iPod. But then again, the list is too small to allow competition. How many electronics gadgets do you sling along with your wherever you go? Very few, in fact very, very few. And luckily, mobile is one of them.

It not only transcends words in both verbal and textual form but also keeps it intact and affirmed in its record, thus building the lost human touch carved in by time and distance. You won’t take your computer along with you to the market or even laptops are pretty much elite in this case. Mobile with its granular size and indispensable necessity can squeeze in, anywhere, anytime. India is by the way one of the largest cell using nation in the world and no surprise, huge cell phone companies are using national sentiments in advocating their products. People are generally emotional. They talk, argue, gossip, chat but in the end, words fill up something that was missing. Mobile does that job today. Earlier telephones were employed for vis-à-vis but still telephone wasn’t ubiquitous, at least not in a developing country for sure. Cellphone is not a luxury like telephones used to be. It’s like an everyday necessity now, standing on the same scale of usage to a doctor and a temple priest as well.

After weeks of advertising how good a movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is, I’m getting back in business with cellphone spiel! However, the funniest part of all this tragedy was the look on my face when I realized my cell wasn’t in my pocket. You should ask another dear friend Tushar who witnessed this wretched hilarity. It takes courage to overcome errors. You need to be careful so that moments don’t catch you unawares. Losing a mobile phone is one thing and losing it repeatedly is another. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, then you lose the right to err. I haven’t lost my right yet, though!

After all, it was just a mobile, right. Whatever the nostalgic story be behind its success and fame, it’s still just a plastic plated, rubber padded, radiation emitting equipment that could be replaced anyhow. There are much more important things out there that could cast a horror in your life if you lost them, for say, your mind, your touch of reality, your sense of knowing your friends and family. That would be truly terrible. I’ve watched this splendid movie Away from Her and I can say it must be something else. As for me, I’ve got myself a Rs.500 ugly looking third-hand mobile. It reminds me of my penitence to be more attentive about stuffs around. My dad pasted me an unforgettable quote on hearing my predicament, “If you keep on losing things like this, I wonder, whether you’ll remember not to lose yourself someday.”

Friday, January 9, 2009

The good ol' media

The clarity of oneness and the transparent reporting by journalists were hardly meddled by any editor until and unless some fiery deadline was on bait. Radio was the uniquest way of expression and newspapers, the solemnest. But today, with emerging mass media of various kind and size, it can be safely said that journalists are in a dire twist of choice. They are presented with a hoi polloi so variant in nature and so depicted in their perspective, that it hardly makes any sense to demarcate their trust.

The journalists are having a hard time. They are already enveloped with heavy duty job and now they are having a heavy mass on the tip list. Entertaining a diverse group of people could get challenging. One of the toughest jobs, after fishing, must be journalism. The most inadvertent changer of views and implementers of new ideas on print don't get it that easy as it seems with the crisp presentation of news in studio or on field. They are embedded in wars; freelancers don't even get that luxury, so to say. Yet with the change in trend and demassified crowd on run, these poor cluster of reporters are made to hold marbles far exceeding their palm.

The standard of media is very subjective and even objective, in case of repressive governments, such as China and Pakistan. The media have always showed inextricable loyalty towards exposing the malignant power on chair. They could be termed disloyal or even quislings! But their purpose of unifying en masse onto similar ground is astonishing and noteworthy. In United States, the scenario is a bit too complicated. Here the mass media is ruled by a consortium of less than half a dozen of big media houses. These houses have made sure that their unanimous money churning roll-outs of news stay uninterrupted, as seen in recent Afghanistan and Iraq war fiascos. European mass media seems to bask in the same groove as it had shown in the 60s and continued on. It provokes intellectual bias and do so without clashing out with its consumers, but reviling was hardly encouraged in this paradigm of free society. Now, where does India sub-continental media stand in these criteria. Moreover, where does India stand here, duly because of its enormous influence over the place?

The answer could be both the way of reasoning. The common populace is tired of the old clichés prevalent in print and screen. The new generation wants something refreshing and spookier than prescribed. Taking into account the fact that India is the world's youngest nation, with 54% of its population lying in the age bracket of 15 to 25, which means in 15 years time period, all the grooming of the current generation will fruition into actual utopia of change. The media is juxtaposed between finding a mere balance between this quickly receding gap in thoughts and actions. A look at Indian news channel in regional language, save DD, all others are mere display of tiring effort at keeping the TRPs on trail of competition. It is pathetic and embarrassing to witness such degradation of an effective platform.

This is the problem. What about the solution. The answer lies in the demographics and the distribution of population across the nation. The city lurkers are critical and have opinion on every issue around whereas the rural scouts don't show such spontaneity and are limited in their horizon of sagacity. It doesn't imply to say that the urbaners are high handed in the design of mass media output. It simply cites the involvement in the architectural by product of media. The rural world lacks in participation what urban world lacks in unanimity. This colliding factor isn't helping the media cause in the bigger picture. The news prints are faring better in this case. All the newspaper, almost everyone, has this obligation to reporting as per se, the scenario. A single paper charges in minute scale and dwarfs in comparison to the www score of pay per view format.

Education too must be a culprit here, not mentioning the reason behind its uninformed distribution but the lore tale myopic view that is rampant in most Indian people and are anarchical subjugation of facts on hand, and jumping upon the wagon of explicit entertainment. Media can't grow well when its provider is not meted with a constructive remedy. Besides, polarization is good provided the polarized concept is free of prejudice and bias. Now, how to bring the new tech world to a point when such bias is eliminated free hand wombs the true solution. Indian mass media along with its postal caliber was always well rated in global rank, but in recent time, due to cable TV invasion of private space of common people, the weights are against holding a dumbed down show of happenings with good and loyal returns. The fourth estate is greeting its knights with daily loop of curious task which demands singularity in thoughts, print and view.