Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year Nosolutions

It's that time of the year when the year seems to be ending quicker than the previous one. Of course, it’s just an illusion. And these are moments when Albert “Theory of Relativity” Einstein can’t stop rolling in his coffin. Actually the problem lies somewhere north of our eyes. We are “blessed” with a brain they say, a wet mesh that imagines and fantasizes and whatnot.

We want to make time relevant to us which aren’t always the case. Most of the time, time doesn’t give a damn about us. We are just another fart in the air for it. So to convince ourselves of our importance and objectives, we create New Year resolutions. Yes, that long list of unattainable endeavors that takes you nowhere but back to New Year. This list is very much like the bucket list, the only difference being there isn’t a movie called *New Year Resolutions* yet.

See, we don’t want to age. We don’t want to grow any stupider than we already are. We want to prosper. Some even want to lose weight and gain health. Most of us want to become famous, at least on social media, if not in real life. A few of us also want to get married and then have a resolution of “I won’t marry again!” for next year. And yes, I repeat, we don’t want to age.

People are so centered on the way they look. It’s like neo-narcissism or something. In simpler words, we are becoming narcissists who are badly in love with our ugliness. Aging was supposed to be an indication of wisdom but today it’s more like a testament to the beauty products one applies. It’s not our fault I guess. It’s part of evolution (or devolution, for the simple minded!). C’mon, your beauty belongs to you, not time.

Every year leaves behind a pile of unnecessary lessons to learn and New Year resolutions to scorn. I too have my last year’s promises which sadly I couldn’t see through in ‘10. In fact, I’ve got just 2 more days to go before my 2010 New Year resolutions' top priority – getting a tattoo – expires. But it’s OK. I won’t kill myself – my seventh and last priority.

Methinks more important stuff gets overlooked. Like last year, I was clueless about what I wanted to be but right now I'm full of clues but no definite answer. You know, shit happens. And then repeats itself. Like karmic cycle.

Anyway, I've realized that years will come and go but New Year resolutions will stay with us. Always. They are like our best friends we never thought we had. They’ll stick with us through thick and thin and everything in between.

As of me, I won’t have resolutions, notwithstanding my skin-deep desire to get inked. I’ll be as careless as I can be. I’ll try my best not to give into societal diction. I may sound a goner but that’s what I am. Perhaps I’m just another 24 year old fool afraid of turning into a 25 year old fool, this coming year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

(W)ork (T)hy (F)riday

I've never before posted a blog piece from office i.e. during office hours. Not that I'm too busy working my ass off for my country's economy but blogging is difficult when you're busy sneaking on Twitter and Facebook. Being a dedicated employee, I've got to make a choice. But today is different.

First of all, today is the last working Friday of the year. Yes, yes, you can go "Thank God It's Friday" as if God gives a damn about Friday. But on the brighter side, it feels like a Friday. I mean, I'm done for the night and can leave for home which obviously I won't as the very reason for going home is not there anymore – work.

For the record, I'm doing absolutely nothing right now. I mean, other than tweeting my usual crap. Office feels like home, so to lie. And you know you are in trouble when you have such inappropriate feeling towards your workplace. Home is no good either if you switch off the PC but then that's another story. Honestly speaking, this is how an office should be. At least on working days. That's not very much to ask for, I guess.

When you're chasing deadlines like they were skirts, good ole memories have a tendency to tease you. You reminisce your childhood days, school and all those carefreeness that you took for granted. I'm not sure about you but I do think of aforementioned stuff before turning clinically depressed. It can get overwhelmingly nostalgic with work on one hand and work on another hand and mind stuck in the middle. It's a point where it's difficult to say whether you are suffering work or vice versa.

Actually my office is gifted with true professionals. Unfortunately, these hardworking folks are not endangered YET. And needless to say, they make my life tougher than it should be. You can't blame them. Nor kill them. You've got to adjust and convince that each one of us is here for the greenbacks. There is enough space for everyone, be it promotion, jealousy or indolence. After all, some of my colleagues do help me with my job and become "my bestest friend ever" for that particular day.

I just work long hours but I don't put my heart and soul into it. I can't be that cruel to myself. To me, like most of you, work is a dirty word. Work loves me but I don't reciprocate. Still, the bitch never gives up. I don't know what I want but I know what I don't want. I don't want to work. Work continues to be challenged by my weak approach towards strong procrastination. In granular words, I'd rather be bored to death than worked to death.

By the way, if you think I'm ranting, you better put yourself in my chair and don't get up until you are done with all my work. Thank you.

Hmm. That's enough ranting for a Friday.

Speaking of Friday again, if there was a vote for the day with most goodwill, my vote will definitely go for Friday instead of Sunday. Honestly, how many of us actually "live" Sunday. Friday is the perfect balance between slavery, hope and then freedom. This is the day when you work thinking of weekend. This can also be the day when you feel everything is getting better and someone reminds you of pending work. However, Friday is worth the weekdays' pain. Seriously.

Like I always say, Friday is a true working class hero.

Friday, December 17, 2010

20 Names in Cinema

I often lie that I can never run out of ideas as I’m too lazy to run. But this stupid joke doesn’t help me much, especially when it comes to blogging. My mind is mostly blank and I dread clicking on the “New Post” option. But today I’ve come up with something related to my first love. Cinema.

I’ve compiled a list of 20 of my favouritest movies, in no particular order. It’s impossible to pluck just 20 names when there are thousands out there, equally befitting and deserving. Anyway, when it comes to movies, writing/typing is always a pain; true to my very own adage “Watching is the easiest thing to do after sleeping!”

I’ve tried to pick up movies from across the world cinema. For the record, these movies (and many more) shaped me into the deformity that I am today. I won’t be revealing too much of the movie plot and spoil the joy for you.

By the way, this post is dedicated to my dearest Moni who inspired me into writing this post and somehow helped in updating my usually dormant blog.

Okay, here we go!


1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

There is a reason why this movie has been at the top of IMDb list for such a long period of time and is in no imminent danger of getting replaced by something else. This movie has everything one can hope for. Good script, great casting, strong storyline…everything. The story is set in a prison and shows us how human fortitude can overcome time and defeat hopelessness. Hats off to everyone associated with this gem. And if you haven’t watched this movie, you don’t qualify as human.

2. Stalker (1979)

Whenever I mention Andrey Tarkovskiy, people usually go ‘huh?’ and that’s a gigantic shame. On us. Here is the movie and the director himself who literally segued direction with cinematography. He, like many masters of cinema, changed the way we look at our screens. Stalker is like an expansive canvas of dreams converting into reality. It covers almost everything out there to behold and lets us close our eyes and go back to dreams, for a change.

3. Fight Club (1999)

This champ is a poetry in commotion. The intensity with which it seeps into your psyche and troubles you is beyond words. Its rich philosophy and in-your-face dialogues shake the very fundamentals of whatever you hitherto believed in. A super book converted into a superb movie doesn’t happen very often but FC is a happy exception. There are many who became insomniac after watching this movie. Anyway, it isn’t a mere movie. It’s a cult, for all the obvious reasons.

4. The Woman in the Dunes (1964)

We all want to escape and we all want to get trapped. What if you escape into a trap? And what if the trap becomes an escape again? Not sure? Then watch this one. That’s exactly what happens in this Japanese masterpiece. The emotions conveyed will stay with you till amnesia takes over or kingdom come.

5. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

This Argentine thriller is epic from the word go. Though the movie revolves around a crime, every character is so interlinked to all the human aspects be it expression, deception, sacrifice or redemption. This is one of the finest Spanish movies I’ve ever seen. It’s impossible to remember the entire movie no matter how many times you watch it. We are only capable of remembering few beloved scenes. For me, the final moments of this beauty is simply unforgettable.

6. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Martin Scorsese smuggled mafia into Hollywood and made some of the finest mafiosi movies but this Italian comical drama has nothing to do with that. On the contrary, this one reeks of nostalgia. It’s about a small kid who is madly in love with cinema and eventually becomes an acclaimed director. You’ll fall in love with cinema, if nothing else. Well, personally, I relate to the kid and I’m sure most of you will. You better watch it.

7. Anand (1971)

Bollywood and I don’t get along very well but then I can’t deny the existence of some marvelous work of art in golden olden days and Anand is definitely one of them. It’s about a guy detected with terminal disease but is too bubbly to fade away with despair. This movie is a salute to undying human spirit. Almost every single dialogue is meticulously intertwined with the flow of the movie. In other words, Anand was way ahead of its time. And still is.

8. Hunger (1966)

To be honest, Danish movies are not always appealing, if you cut out Dogme. But this classic is way above par and one of the most poignant yet engaging experiences of all time. Sad movies often leave you depressed but this one won’t. It will raise your appetite for respectful cinema like never before. You will relate to the character and his struggles even though he is not you.

9. A Clockwork Orange (1962)

I better not say anything about this cinematic rebel. No, seriously.

10. Amélie (2001)

French with their rich names and substance know how to make a movie and Amélie is one such glaring example of it. A story about a good-hearted girl who helps in sorting out other people’s life but has very little idea on how to sort out her own. Beautiful is the word.

11. Children of Heaven (1997)

Often called the best children's movie of all time. And it has nothing to do with animation. Iranian cinema is famous for churning out society-centric movies. This one deals with the innocent relationship between a boy and his sister. The boy has made a promise to his sister and wants to keep it at all cost, even at the cost of losing. Cute is the word for this one. Long live Iranian Cinema!

12. Downfall (2004)


13. Into the Wild (2007)

All young hearts dream of breaking off from the society and moving to a jungle or some faraway land and build a hermit of peace. The character in this modern masterpiece tries exactly the same. And dies in the process. Premature. Emile Hirsch is the one-man army in the entire movie and Sean Penn did a commendable job behind the camera.

14. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Korean movies are famous for their rawness. Bittersweet Life will take you through cinema’s history with lots of scenes paying respect to the old masters of filmmaking. The movie is about a I-don’t-give-a-damn guy who is torn between his unassuming love for a girl and loyalty to his boss. There are many other Korean pearls like “Old Boy” and but I chose this one for selfish reasons.

15. In the Name of God (2007)

This was the first (and till-date, only) Pakistani movie I ever watched and it was just remarkable. With an international casting and story so relevant in today’s Islamophobic world, it cut through many issues that modern as well as not-so-modern Muslim world face on a daily basis, post 9/11.

16. In the Mood for Love (2000)

Magic is the word. Kar Wai Wong is the name to reckon. Love is just an excuse.

17. The Man from Earth (2007)

Independent movies usually don’t witness independence. They mostly get lost in the path due to weak promotion and weaker distribution but TMFE was quite different. It made its present felt thanks to its unprecedented success among torrents users and became a sensation on internet. Thankfully, the movie was worth the hype. In fact, its out-of-the-box storyline was a subtle killer. In a good way.

18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Jack Nicholson as we know today doesn’t like to share screen. He believes in devouring the entire frame for himself. In this classic about sanity and insanity and chasm separating them, we see young Jack doing exactly the same but with subtlety. The movie is one of the finest movies on the correlation between freedom, humanity and mental problems.

19. In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges is a dark movie which deals with guilt, promise and love. You will watch this one again and again. The dialogues keeps pace with wits. Story is strong. Acting fulfilling. And background music won’t haunt you.

20. Angela's Ashes (1999)

One of the finest Irish-theme movies. An impoverished family trying to survive bad days and how its affects everyone in the house, especially the eldest son who is also the narrator of the movie, is beautifully woven into one simple, heart-warming story.

21. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

20 is NEVER enough. Though I've already mentioned my dislike for failing Bollywood standards, i'd rather make an exception here. This movie literally kick-started the entire GenNext Bollywood era with its free-spirited urbane middle class colour. Spunky storyline with measured mix of joy and sadness and lessons in life in between. Just like "Andaz Apna Apna" is synonymous with humour in Bolly, this movie is the preface of neo-modern Hindi cinema.


Needless to say, it's impossible to have do justice to the list. As expected, I missed on a lot of my favourites like The Big Lebowski, Se7en, Godfather Trilogy, LOTR Trilogy, Goodfellas and Martin Sorcesee’s geniuses as well as Woody Allen’s verbosity and of course Tarantino’s eccentricity and THOUSAND more!

I have respect for those who have disrespect for cheap cinema. And this post is just a token of appreciation to some of the finest out there.

On a side note, I had a job to do. I had to update my blog. And I’m running out of ideas, you see?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Saga!

For all the weekdays' pain, weekend is worth the wait. This is the time of the week when you start believing in the world-is-a-nice-place shit. But once it arrives, you are as clueless as the moon in the sky. You want to make the best of it considering the fact that it is too little, too precious. After all, two days can’t stand against five days, democratically speaking.

Yet, you want to make it worthwhile with your plans and whatnot. You don’t want to lose it for nothing. Some go holidaying, some visit their friends and relatives, some treat themselves with luxury and some just sleep and watch movies. By the way, I belong to the last category. And my excuse is utter lethargy to try anything that has to do with stepping out of the door. Let’s just say, I’m lazy against my wish on weekends and hardworking against my wish on weekdays. Wishful life, yes.

Well, most of us believe in the liberation weekend stands for. And lot more. But not all of us end up good with the allotted time before a reality called Monday steps in. Moreover, Saturday and Sunday always seems to be in a hurry. Time plots a conspiracy against us poor proles. After all, weekdays are never appears to be in a rush to commit suicide or hebdomadal resurrection.

When I was in school, Sunday meant a lot to me. Today, I can’t figure out when exactly Saturday ends and Sunday begins and Monday sneaks. Most of the blame will squarely fall on my godforsaken graveyard shift job. If you don’t sleep well during working days, you’ll be narcoleptic during weekend and won’t even care about losing free time on dreamland. And when you wake up, there’ll be hardly anything to do other than log onto social networking sites or watch movie after movie after movie. You just don’t care anymore and start pretending there are worse things in life than not knowing what to spend your weekends on.

Yes, you can get productive too. Like visit a salon and get a bad haircut or something. And then wonder whether your haircut is more boring than your weekend.

See, frankly, these are losers’ talk. A brainful person won’t bury oneself under huge expectations. S/he will simply enjoy the weekend in the best possible way.

The bottom-line is they won’t crib on lost time when they go back to work on Monday whereas for the apathetic idiots, the only highlight of their weekend will be spending more time on Twitter or Facebook or other Internet boons. But then again, you can’t judge the social networkers by the time they spent on tweeting or facebooking. To be fair, with every passing weekend, trying to convince yourself life doesn't suck depends entirely on your mind. Nothing else.

Do you feel a sharp ting in your head? If yes, its enlightenment. If not, enjoy your weekend.

Friday, November 19, 2010


mute lanes
I’ve seen some places
where dreams are sold
tears are bargained
smiles are stored,
where hopes are built
aims dropped and prayers failed
like a smile shroud in darkness too
like hearts do
nowhere to escape, nowhere to go
with nothing left to prove,
peaceful days are all left behind
once you cross this line
call it a bliss or a curse
never again you'll find yourself sane,
these words are just a drop
of endless stories untold;
I’ve seen some places
where dreams are sold.

wish was there a world
Wish was there a world
with no boundaries to share
no borders to cross
no anthems to sing
no false glorious tales to remember
no cold songs to render
no paper to buy or sell
no coins to make a sound
no tears wasted on time,
where hatred paid no fear
or wrongs had a way of its own
none lost in rage or pride
no lines drawn between genders,
colors to celebrate, not to discriminate
lifeless' life in art
nature to love and be loved,
no wars to run, no leaders shunned
no bullets to eat, no worries to meet
kids will smile on our streets.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Burmese Connections

OK. This is historical. No, I’m not talking about Obama’s India visit. I’m referring to Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest in Myanmar. And with her release comes the freedom to imagine democracy and all the goodness that it supposedly promises. She was awarded Nobel Peace Prize 20 years ago and has been mostly under arrest since for raising her voice against dictatorship that engulfs her nation even today.

When Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in Robben Island prison and then went on to become the first black President of South Africa, there was worldspread jubilation. The reason was pretty simple. Here was a man who with his strong convictions and non-violent methods led a nation against apartheid. And today, looking at the way South Africa is holding a prominent place on geopolitical canvas, one can conclude that it was worth such a long struggle.

Suu Kyi’s devotion to her cause has been timeless but her release doesn’t contain the magnitude Mandela’s did. She has a long way to go now. Military junta is in no mood to concede power and let democracy flourish. That isn’t going to happen too soon but every positive sign is welcome and her cherished democratic voice behooves aspiration, not only in Asia but also across the planet. No wonder, everyone from POTUS to U.K. PM expressed their happiness and are looking forward to concrete political transformation.

It’s pretty obvious by now that Indian government don’t give a damn about democracy in Myanmar. Our foreign minister’s restrained comment on Suu Kyi’s release speaks volume of the catch-22 we are in. Of course, we’ve got our foreign policies too, which keenly demands closer ties with the infamous junta who apparently ensure us security cooperation on North-East front. But we shouldn’t overlook at the sentiments here. After all, its not about some cheap thrill baam-boom photo-op leader. We are talking about a lady who was once handed a choice between her ailing husband abroad and her nation. She chose the latter.

After attaining independence, India was a nation full of issues but had morality at the right place – on top. As of today, we are still in the thick of gigantic problems but our priorities are not the same. In spite of Myanmar being our instant neighbor, we haven’t extended the support Suu Kyi’s fight deserves and needs.

India is the world’s largest functioning democracy and it’s a shame to see ourselves dragging feet on core human rights issues. We can always escape debate by pointing towards domestic shortcomings but for a nation aspiring to be in-the-not-so-distant-future superpower, its time we got our moral math right.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stop playing dice with paradise!

By all accounts, J&K has become a nerve-wrecking problem for all the stakeholders in that region right from the Kashmiris themselves to the mechanical arrangements that involves India and Pakistan in this long and complex arena of conflicts, apathy, pathos and despair.

It’d be very lucid to say anything about ‘K’ without addressing the evolution of this state. Kashmir has been a lingering issue that should have been resolved way back. I agree India has failed Kashmir. Pakistan too has. They have failed to address people’s concerns. It has rather become fashionable to speak over the ownership rights of this disputed land. Grandiosity from both side of the border steals the limelight while addressing people directly takes a back burner. No wonder, empty rhetoric is what is left on the table.

When the British finally decided to relinquish the Indian subcontinent, they were discussing about how the future state/s would take place. Various ideas right from creation of nations on the basis of language, basic culture, region & religion emerged. Of all the factors, religion became the ultimate criterion.

Though the Indian subcontinent boasted of nearly all-existing world religions right from the Indic beliefs of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism & Sikhism to Abrahamic yet Indianised versions of Islam, Christianity & Judaism as well. Considering social passions, it was decided to include Islam and ‘the rest’ as primary dividing factors and thus, the modern states of multi-religious India and largely Muslim Pakistan got created.

But some regions became a thorn for resolution, primarily, the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir being a Muslim majority area was claimed by Pakistan for obvious reasons whereas India’s claims rested on ‘accession’ agreement signed between the Maharaja of J&K and the Indian government. It also needs to be pointed that though Pakistan was proclaiming itself as the homeland for sub-continental Muslims, even then, the modern partitioned India had more Muslims in entirety than Pakistan.

Also, Pakistan’s convictions further deteriorated when its eastern wing got separated to form the present independent nation of Bangladesh. The struggle for independent B’desh from united ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ was on linguistic basis and not religion as cornerstone. It somehow proved that religion couldn’t always be a cohesive factor.

Now coming back to ‘K’.

More than 60 years have died giving birth to this problem as it is, and still we are running in political circles. People who’ve been following Kashmir can easily vouch for the fact that not all is well in paradise. Sadly, it is burning. And I suppose people with a benevolent heart and mind would feel pained to witness their agony and would like to see an end to their sufferings. Kashmiris themselves are tired and are demanding ‘Azaadi’. ‘Azaadi’ from the daily humiliation they go through and ‘Azaadi’ to live in a functional society with pristine atmosphere. After all, it’s a basic right for every breathing human being.

No one likes Army or, for that matter, any non-civilian body interrupting daily course of life, and that too on a weak hint of suspicion. And it’s a naked secret that defense forces have used coercion and violation at a drop of hat.

Having said that, playing devil’s advocate, what I don’t understand about voices coming from the Valley with statements such as “Kashmiri society and Indian society are different” and that “Kashmiri culture and Indian culture varies”.

My questions are - What is Indian culture? Can anyone define Indian culture? Is India too homogenous to assimilate Kashmir influence within its society and national frame? Can you identify any single aspect (say language/religion/culture) and declare it’s truly Indian and rest as not?

On the contrary, Indian society is a vast and diverse phenomenon. India’s diversity is capable of holding variety of interests and ideas even when conflicting each other eventually leading to broad based assimilation. Can’t beautiful Kashmir fit into exotic India? Don’t you think of all the existing options for Kashmir its continuance, as part of India would be a crown for its own welfare as well as for an idea called India?

Normality must return to Valley, at the earnest. We all agree. But what after that? A permanent solution must yield taking all the relevant factors into consideration. People who have long reneged on their Kashmiri identity in favor of power should keep their mouth shut and mind open. They are misleading the masses into false utopian beliefs. It will be nothing more than a farce and eventually too late to reconcile with truth. Arrogant Army powers must be severely amended, if not repealed completely. Crime is a crime and that applies to everyone. Shopian rape case showed how fragile the judiciary is in J&K. The culprits were not held accountable for their misdeeds. It was blindfolded Themis that went to trial and acrimoniously disrobed. Events as such shouldn’t be allowed to repeat.

And yes, there is an undeniable gap between mainland Indians and people in the northernmost state. Lack of communication has been a huge deterrent. Tourism in J&K, which helped a lot in fostering economy, goodwill and camaraderie was, no wonder, attacked by the secessionist/terrorist elements. As long as people-to-people connect is absent, all other efforts will only be on paper. If we want to call a country with 28 states, then we better not act like a 27 states nation. Interestingly, Bollywood of the past glorified Kashmir as a tourist destination, but today, even it prefers Swiss Alps.

My post here reeks of parochialism and I can’t do anything about it for a very simple reason: I am an Indian. My nation was built on common aspirations, common dreams and a search for common identity. We weren’t forced to shout “I am an Indian” at any point of time. The sense of Indianness trickles from our heart no matter whichever state we belong to or whatever tongue we speak. Yes, we are facing problems in the form of poverty, Naxalism, corruption and whatnot but talking of secession of Kashmir, I don’t think it helps the case.

India has a timeless history of tolerance. Even today, we tolerate a lot. But frankly, toleration of sedition is one thing and secession, another. We don’t have to look weak. All we have to do is be right and right now, we are far from right. We are in the middle of somewhere.

Prosperous Jammu & Kashmir, Progressive India and South Asian haleness should be the ultimate aim.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday blues?

Every once in a while, you ask yourself irritating questions like “Why do my life suck?” and “Where did I go wrong?” and to add injury to insult, you are answerless. The irritation grows on you and you are numb. By the way, all the aforementioned happens mostly on Sunday night, once the weekend is over and the reality called Monday starts to kick in. Don’t know about others but in my case, its cent percent true.

All through the weekdays, we slog. The minuscule few among us will dare to commit blasphemy by admitting lines like “I love my job”. Well, they’ve got good karma to lean their back on. The majority of us with our overburdening baggage of bad thoughts, bad words and bad deeds are meant to do what we do best – sulk.

I often ask myself the second question, “Where did I go wrong?” because there is no pointing asking the first question. Frankly speaking, I have no idea. As a kid, I was lost in the cartoon world and my hero was none other than Mowgli. I wanted to be like him. The funny thing is I still do. I’ve never been a people’s person. I just hate being in a crowd. I guess I think a lot and do lot less. Maybe it has something to do with Mowgli. He grew up with wild animals around him. He did what no one in the history of humankind did, at least not in Indian jungle: he talked to animals. I mean, like he knew animalian language. That was something I wanted to do. Being a human, you can climb Mt. Everest or dribble like Ronaldinho or serve like Federer or goof-up like Kalmadi but you can’t talk to animals, like really “speak” to them. Forget it. I know Mowgli sounds far-stretched but you get the point.

Well, the thing is, we gradually grow up with societal conditioning that comes free of cost but very taxing in the long run. We stop being original. People around us want us to look up to someone for inspiration. No one tells you to look at yourself, to find the real YOU. Apparently, the elders play safe. Having seen the hardship of life, they want their kids to grow up safe and sound (no matter how deafening the reality is!).

Just imagine how the world could have been had no one of us abandoned our childhood dreams behind. People often give up their dreams and then call themselves ‘practical’. Nothing wrong with being practical but practical zombie is what we become. Life becomes mundane. Everything becomes scheduled. Routine takes over.

My dad left his village and escaped to Bombay in ’60 (the very year modern B’bay took birth) at the age of 13 but he wasn’t chasing dreams. He was just tired of being punished in school for he knew he wasn’t up for education. Compared to me with my so-called education, his life has been something. Something to cherish for in days to come, with tales of endurance and endeavor in almost every step he took since. If only we are courageous, as we once used to be. Or maybe not.

I’ve got nothing against education. People high on adrenaline may say education makes us feeble and coward but I don’t think so. On the contrary, I believe education makes us accountable for our actions, or the lack of it. But somewhere down the line, our education is falling short, way too short of its potential.

People around us are fading away and we see it happening every single day but we don’t stop and stare lest someone does the same to us. We are in a hurry to make money and whatnot. It’s like being a race where no one is a winner but someone or the other is a foolproof loser.

Novelty entails boredom and the cycle carries on till it crashes. I’m waiting for this materialistic bubble to burst and make such a loud noise that it can shudder us out of our slumber. I'll be in Ladakh or maybe Tamang by then. Hopefully.

As of now, I’ll be slogging too. Hello Monday, nice to meet you again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Why do you need leader(s)? Can't we function on an individual basis? How does leadership differ at political level? Where does the solution lie for political apathy?

These are questions. And I don't have the answers. At least, I thought so.

Firstly, whenever the question of assuming a leader and then following him/her comes up, we sense a sigh of relief, for various reasons. The biggest reason could be the anointment of a person who could be charged responsible; if at all something goes wrong. I know that sounds a bit cynical but let's take a chance with cynicism for a change. See, we humans are just like any another animal in groups. In other words, we are a herd and we require steering. And that's exactly where a leader comes in. S/He makes sure the herd is given direction and we are not talking about right or wrong or lame direction here. We are just getting into the mindset of how one accepts another human being as a leader. It could be plain stupidity on the hoi polloi's side or superior intellect on the leader's side, sometimes parlayed by the leader's cronies.

Secondly, individuality is much stronger than leadership. The leaders themselves are individuals at grass root level. The concept of leadership peculiarly pertains to urban life. In rural areas, the idea of leadership is gradually catching up; the reason being family orientation and self-sustenance, be it in life or produce. Villagers are known for working together. They help out each other on agrarian and related issues without conforming to the norm of leadership. Here, a person is designated a job and s/he does it with will. The standard of execution may not be ratified but everyone involved are accountable to each other. The success can be at an individual level, not necessarily at leadership level only. Art can make a good case study for individual progress.

Thirdly, in politics, the concept of leadership changes a bit. Here, the role of a leader gets mysteriously curtailed to the interest of the party s/he belongs to. It's easy to dismiss politics as a corruptible institution but there are some inherent home truths to face too. There is a difference between a politician and a leader. Not every politician can successfully transcend into a leader. The days of Gandhis are gone. 
Today we have less of leaders and more of dealers. The alphabet remains put but a little anagram and the meaning changes. We are in for a bitter reality and the funny thing is we don't find it bitter anymore. We are sort of immune to the political idiocy. If a leader in a corporate company isn't performing well, it exhibits his lack of authority over his team-members. The blame could either solely rest on the leader or the members or both. The bottom-line is, all are accountable. In politics, we never get to peek through the veneer of the structure and hence the only person we get to pinpoint is the one at the top – the pseudo-leaders.

Fourthly, participation in political process is the key. We can keep playing the blame game but that won't work, in the long run. Our country is presently what it is today just because our leaders are not what they should be and neither are the citizens. We need to know our enemies before we go to battle. In this case, though, the enemy could be our strongest friend. Yes, I'm talking about our scam-laced politicians. If only we monitor the white-clothed people who flock to our doors before election time, things can improve a lot. If only the politicians realize that we'll not only be looking at their report card but also their progress (or prognosis). We cannot fool ourselves by believing the politicians won't run for office just because he can't run the office. They are worse. It's like a disease and needs cure. And the best part is, it's not that tough. All we have to do is be conscious and use the power endowed on us by the Constitution and use RTI. Yeah, it's easier said than done but someday we'll get tired of saying.

Leaders who can't run the country ruin the country. As simple as that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Go back to your caves!

All of a sudden, some thoughts just visited my mind and before they ditch me, its better i type them down.
See, it all started in the caves. Yes, you read it right, caves. That’s where we all come from and if you ask me, that’s where we’ll return. We were never in a garden called Eden, in the first place. It’s just a bogus story that's sadly more popular than water. We all are caves-folks who don’t look like one anymore but feel free to act in similar fashion as per circumstance.
As we started leaving our caves, we learnt more and more and eventually got ourselves into an eternal quest of progress. We were brave and that is evident in the fact that we traveled a long way from being nothing to being something, overcoming almost everything and apparently taking a reverse back to nothing. I say so because, if we look at our history, our success is not only astonishing but also unparalleled in animal kingdom. In simpler words, we defeated animal kingdom to rule over it. And lo! where we are today!
We succeeded long before science and math entered the picture. Of course, S&M has played a titanic role in making us what we are today. It has given us choices we can’t refuse. Well, the sad part is there are too many choices and we want them all. We won the war of survival but the fight against Nature is prevalent even today. Needless to say, it’s a wrong war. We can never beat Nature by replacing indigenous wild habitat with severe human encroachment. We see failure every single day, yet we choose to ignore it.
Here’s exact where cave-mentality jumps in. When you are in a cave, you see things myopically. Everything is constrained. Your thoughts are frame-worked your rationality is handicapped with nearsighted objectives, enormously trivial. Even today, people are mostly sensitive about irrelevant things like religion and nationalistic ego but don’t give a damn about ground realities like failing environment and plastic choking Earth. We are largely bellicose and irrational when panic decides to test us. Whenever the time arrives for us to act, we either act as we don’t know what to do or as someone who is deaf and blind, or both. Of course, there are exceptions but like we all know, they are in the sweet minority.
Enough of cave-folks analogy (read: nonsense) for now. Time for some music. Yeah!
A very dear friend of mine (whom i can't thank enough and haven't thanked enough) suggested Enjoy The Ride and its been on my eardrums since. Awesome lyrics and music by a not-so-well-known band called ‘Morcheeba’.
Once you're done with the song. Go back to your caves.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bloggers' Block

The trouble with maintaining a not-that-active blog is the need to write not-that-inactive post. And trust me, its far more difficult than it seems. Needless to say, much of the blame must squarely rest on procrastination. Also, you realize you are not the same person you used to be when it comes to writing subsequent paragraphs.

Apparently, you are not at all excited about your blog the way you were once upon a time. You used to post stupid poems, memorable anecdotes from your miserable life and how it could had been worse; strength of your blog’s ability to let you share your sorry-ness with poor bystanders who are gullible enough to read your pathetic state of affair; and then of course your “expert” views on everything from movies, sports to politics, and yes, also the belief that your blog is destroying this world one post at a time.

Not anymore.

These ideas wear off over time and apathy takes over. All of a sudden, you find yourself in a 140-character fix. Yes, I’m talking about Twitter. In the pre-Twitter era, you used to make notes on topics you wanted to blog on. But now, you are busy scribbling one-liners that sound funny enough to you, notwithstanding the fact that your followers are either sympathizing with your nonsense of humor or silently cursing you.

Of course, these are blatant excuses for not keeping up with your laziness. If only you were a bit organized and a little less tardy with blog-tweet balance, you wouldn’t have suffered the toil of typing this piece. There are always hundreds of ideas in your mind about what to write on but unlike before, you now don’t care to work on it. You are just too busy being tabulous and you are failing to explore your writing skills.

Anyways, these are my personal views about myself but I am mighty glad that I was able to write a new post. So job well done for me. Unfortunately, can’t say the same about you reading this crap. Better luck next time, if at all, it happens.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Uncommon, Wealth & Games

By now, we all are well aware of the Great Indian Parody called Commonwealth Games that looks anything but positive. Be it completion of venues, athlete training, merchandising, advertisement, publicity, etc. You name it and we can be pretty much sure that it would be running behind schedule. In one sentence “we have messed up!”

To amend the above line, “We have messed up big time!”

It is in fact incredible to read the catchphrase of 2010 CWG which says, ‘Come out and play’ and I’m compelled to ask ‘Where?’

After all this fiasco involving crores of money being siphoned and financial irregularities of titanic amounts, what bothers me most is the emergence of concern from all various strata of the society.

Firstly, our political class. Two years ago, in the run-up to the Games, the authorities were indulged in the now infamous ‘austerity’ measures. Apart from the recent parliamentary elections, austerity was one of the many reasons (read: excuses) for the delay in the implementation of the Games plans (if any). The politicians feared being associated with the ‘expensive Games’ as it would tarnish their ‘austere’ image. They sat on the agendas and books required for the Games paperwork thus delaying the process of actual launch. But it didn't stop the very same lot from filling their merry pockets.

Secondly, our media which is happily playing whistle-blower for majority of their screen-time don’t justify their concern per se. I say so with alacrity as they too are guilty of being a bit too late in reporting the real-time development or the lack of it. They pounced on the topic when the situation was pretty much out of hand.

Thirdly, we, the common citizens, denizens, netizens who show our outraged disappointment now were hardly following the preparations, neither raised our voice when it was much needed. We can harp for hours on the infrastructure failure but the fact remains that we espoused the very path of ignorance like is our wont.

We have failed India because we couldn’t judge the aspirations of Young India. We failed to maintain a balance between social welfare and empowerment of our poor while delivering on the multi-sporting events. I can only sincerely hope CWG proves me wrong.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The state of Urdu

For starters, Urdu is the official state language of J&K. However clichéd it may sound, State of Jammu & Kashmir is a land of varied cultures, languages, and ethnicities as rest of India is. Precisely, J&K can be classified into three different regions namely Valley region, Jammu and Ladakh, each having a distinct identity of its own. Agreed Valley and Jammu are intermingled thanks to ‘Kashmiriyat’ but serene Ladakh has been quiet, composed and aloof since ages.

Now, as far as my knowledge regarding linguistic composure of J&K goes, Kashmiri is the lingua franca of the Valley region and Dogri language being predominantly spoken in Jammu region whereas Ladakhi being spoken in Ladakh. This arrangement exists among the sea of other Dardic, Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan languages in this complex state.

Now, my question is where does Urdu fits in this vexed arrangement. Urdu is not a native language of J&K. Urdu is an eloquent and refined Indian language that finds its roots in Persian and Sanskrit and largely spoken in the Indo-Gangetic plains down south of J&K. Urdu was once the court language of the Mughals. Even when the Mughals reined Kashmir, they didn’t impose Urdu on them. Persian was encouraged then. In fact the rich literature Kashmiri has, is the consequence of such assimilation, it went through time and again. In fact, it’s the only Dardic language with any sort of literature present today.

In the end result, by deciding Urdu as the official language of diverse J&K, the policy makers escaped the dilemma in choosing a more native language for such designation. Besides, this prevailing arrangement complicated the minds of the people of this state and has further estranged them from us. When Home minister P. Chidambaram says in the Parliament that he feels pain for the people of the valley and state as they are part of us, I doubt whether it echoes from the other side of the core. The policy makers in both Delhi and Srinagar have made a lot of follies in their deeds towards the subjects of this state.

I won't go into the political baloney (enough has been said about it with no end solution in sight) but this grave mistake with regards to the cultural policy of this state is awry and has been haunting and will continue to haunt Delhi and the whole state of Jammu & Kashmir for a very long time ahead.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dependence on Independence

When a citizen says s/he is independent, what exactly are they trying to imply? That they are free to do anything of their wish? Or that they are no more under colonial cloud? Or just that they feel good about the way things are running around them?

Maybe, all of the above. Maybe, none.

Independence is just an idea. Like everything else, it too begins and ends with you. That’s a very simplistic way of looking at things and even foolhardy, in most cases. We discuss independence with only human society in general. We don’t consider the animals and the birds and reptiles and others who “live”. And that’s exactly where we lose the right to be pointy on matter of related to independence. You see, excluding humankind, every other living is predominantly independent because they can afford so. But human society had long lost the virtue of independence. Maybe we left it in the caves, in search of better living conditions.

My point is, we are NEVER independent; physically, emotionally or in any other sphere of relation. We can never be independent. The very fact that we are not on the list of endangered species yet (but are gladly putting others on it!) proves the reach of our interdependence.

I find it rather trivial that we celebrate “Independence Day”, not “Freedom Day” because if we look at it, the colonizers were dependent on the colonies, not the other way around. The colonies just wanted them to empty the room which didn’t belong to the colonizers in the first place.


Either you care about independence or you don't. Either way, it doesn't matter.

P.S. If you are reading this tripe, please forgive me for being naive. I sympathize with your loss of time. Honestly.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blame it on Twitter!

I haven’t updated my blog for a long time now. More than one month to be precise. Anyways, I wasn’t too regular on my blog but this is the longest gap.

The truth is, I’ve been occupied by lot of extra-curricular activities viz. Twitter, Office and Home. I’ve placed Twitter ahead of the other two because I realize that I’ve been madly active on it, be it at work or at peace. I won’t say I regret it for I understand its one of the finest thing that ever happened to me. Its like asking a boy what you want to be and he says, “Heard” and lo! the boy gets a Twitter handle and shouts his mind out. That boy is me.

I’ve never been this expressive with words as long as my shy memory goes. I’ve always been a painful introvert. The people I grew up with aren’t around anymore. I’m not saying they all got exterminated in a secret nuclear action. I’m just saying that we hardly keep in touch and they’ve seen my Twitter page and they notice a change. They acknowledge that I do have a voice that doesn’t care a bit about mundane mores. This voice can get a bit too stupid too as it mocks the boss at office and family at home. But who cares.

My brother is a huge critic of my tweeting habits and I don’t blame him. He says I’m wasting my invisible-to-me talent on something that’s worthless. Well, all I can say is, “It doesn’t take talent to tweet, just a keyboard or keypad on cellphone will do. People either follow you or don’t but you walk alone. Always.” Though, I never say this to anyone. There is no need, you see.

People live by passion and then leave by memory. At the end of the day, nothing remains but words. Think about it. Its either words or in my case, tweets.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup and Africa

What's so BIG about football World Cup? Why is it such a craze in spite of being a once-in-a-4-year affair? Why are these football fans so crazy? How come they can have heartache and ecstasy at the same time?

These are some legitimate questions........ for someone who doesn't get it!!

As for the rest of us, well, World Cup is the biggest thing that ever happened to this god-forsaken world, as a whole. It’s larger than UN or Olympics, simply by the sheer participation of nations across the globe.

In simpler words, it brings us closer. Just take a look at the stats and you'll get an idea how huge it is not only in viewership numbers but also the kind of impact it enjoys that no other sporting event can ever dream of. Like I said, it brings the world closer. I mean, when was the last you even bothered with names like "Slovakia" or "Ghana"?

I'm glad that South Africa got to host this year's World Cup. It’s the first time World Cup has entered African soil. That's good for both football and Africa, at large. Egypt was the first African nation to participate in a World Cup way back in 1934 which was followed by Morocco in 1970 but Roger Milla changed the face of African football with his impressive goals and even more impressive goal celebrations.

Every World Cup tourney keeps us guessing on who will be the winner and it’s always the favorites like Germany and Brazil who come up on top of guess. This World Cup saw 6 teams (including South Africa) in the first round but only Ghana qualified to the second round. For the record, only two continents have won the trophy and Africa doesn't stand a longshot at it. As of now, that is.

Whatever be the outcome of this World Cup, one thing is for sure. Its going to be memorable for all the goals, adrenaline, drama, political tidbits and the list goes on and on till the next World Cup takes place.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Five Fave Fotos For Fun!

This blog post is dedicated to BlogAdda's Travel Photo Contest for which I'm posting 5 of my favorite travel pics.

The pics I've selected for this contest belongs to the bike trip I and my friends took late December. We traveled down South and covered more than 3900 kms (how much I love boasting this figure!) and vroomed through 5 states including Maharashtra in 18 days.

Its pretty tough choice to make considering the amount of photos we clicked on road. You can check out some of the other pics here.

These are the 5 short-listed shots......

This pic was taken early morning after leaving our lodge in Solapur. The whole scenario was so breath-taking that we didn't had to signal each other to stop. We just did...on impulse and I clicked the sun-meets-fog moment!

This pic was taken somewhere near Hampi and it was fascinating to see a green chameleon literally robot-dancing its way on the middle of the road and a equally fascinated dog trying to check it out.

This mosque is located on the NH leading to Manjeshwar Beach in Kerala. The reason I love this picture is because of the contrasting green leaves against the beautiful white structure.

Traveling is lot about meeting interesting people and here you can see one such interesting guy in Ooty named Tenzing who was a Tibetan refugee but spoke far better Tamil than my amma. The person seated next to him with his mafiosi look was a local horse-rider and spoke impeccable Hindi! Diverse India indeed.

Two things are always difficult when the bike is, riding on NH at night-time and two, trying to click a snap pillion-seated! The focus is hardly there thanks to bumpy roads! This pic was taken very early morning when we left Panjim City for home!

Hope you enjoyed! Hopefully, that is. Thanks a lot for your time.

This contest is sponsored by Pringoo.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

25 years and counting...

If you happen to read my blogs regularly, you’ll notice me notice two things: One, you readers are in the minority and two, I’ve been writing about my family for a change, recently. The reason could be anything from lack of perception to laziness. But trust me, I enjoy doing so!

Yesterday, my parents celebrated their 25th year of marriage. I’m purposefully not using ‘wedding’ here. Wedding happens every day but marriage takes time. They got married on 31st of May, 1985 and it’s been a long journey for them. For a pessimist like me who doesn’t conform to societal norms which sadly includes MARRIAGE too, I find my parents “conjugal bliss” overwhelmingly inspiring!

I’m not being judgmental here but we Indians tend to fight against all absurdity of individual space and try our best to make our marriage a success, unlike in the West. My parents were no different I guess. They always had their altercations; even on the smallest of issues like the taste of salt in food or the way Amma dressed us. They could argue on the stupidest of event. So the question keeps lingering in my head……...HOW DO YOU GET ALONG WITH A PERSON AS A SPOUSE FOR 25 LONG YEARS? I do admit that 25 is not a record or anything but from the way I see it, it’s indeed a record considering how different my mom and dad are from each other.

Ma has always been a fighter. She wouldn't give up easily and was not an emotional fool, so to say. Being educated from Manipal, like most of the girls at her time, she too wanted to be a nurse but she ended up a teacher. She kept injecting her pedagogy-moral values in us which make my brother and me the kind of person we are today. On the contrary, my dad was a softie with a very generous heart and a deeper pocket. He has always been a good human being and whole of Chembur can vouch for that! But I would say, out of these two enigmatic characters, Amma was the one who made their marriage work, all because of her adaptability to situations. Dad just floated along with the mundane wave and made sure we never fell out of basic comfort.

I like joking that my parents were happy for a long time…..and then they got married to each other. But at the back of my mind I see how happy they are together today, with all of us under one roof. He still calls her "Ponno" which is Tulu for "Girl" and that sounds beautiful during their never-ending arguments. Every morning, they go out together for walk and come back debating on trivial topics but there’s an undeniable cuteness to it. I hate idiotic TV soaps but my parents are a huge fan and that doesn't help my case either! They realize the fact they are not young anymore and they need each other more than ever.

As for me, of course, they don’t like my apathy towards “filial responsibilities” nor do they like my being more sincere on virtual world than in real, but they ADJUST and that’s been the key to their quarter century marriage run!

P.S. By the way, we celebrated their anniversary by visiting holy places like Siddi Vinayak Temple, Mahalakshmi Temple and Haji Ali. I didn’t trudge along this time. In fact, I participated and enjoyed too, in spite of my disdain for religious corners. We, along with my brother, had lunch and dinner together which is a rarity considering the clash of timing on usual days. It was a real celebration.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


We live our life in a way that enamors millions of stories, some of them true and some of them not-that-true. But if we look into our past, the very idea of a story is mostly passed on to us by our grandparents, and in my part of the world, it’s undoubtedly grandma.

I too had one such grandma, from my maternal side. She was beautiful in spite of having thousands of lines on her face. She was kind and unbiased like no other person I know. Not even my amma matches her in this regard. Grandma was something else. You don’t find that kind of people very often.

Everything single time something bad happens (which happens most of the time!), the face that comes in front of me is not of my surviving family (with whom I hardly connect with!). That face belongs to someone who used to called me “Sunilo” when I was a kid and used to take me to river bank for a bath. The knot at the end of her sari used to be an territory of discord between all of her grandchildren but I liked to believe that I was her favorite grandchild.

It’s amazing how a person once gone refuses to go out of your memory and keeps reminding you of your inextricable roots. She died pretty weak and famished as her internal organs stagnated and her memory bid her farewell. I didn’t see her on her deathbed but I heard later that she looked peaceful in her deep sleep. Anyone could guess where she was leaving for.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blowing out the 24th Candle!

Birthday is supposed to be a huge affair, be it yours or your dog's, for the simple reason that it doesn't repeat itself for more than once in a year. I'm not talking about those "leap year kids" who wait a bit too long for their next birthday to celebrate!

Well, talking of myself, I completed 24 years yesterday, on May 9th, 2010. Its like saying I accomplished 24 free trips around the sun. There's definitely a good feeling to have survived this long, with a bit of amnesia and growing grey hairs to count for. One more year and boom, quarter of allotted 100 years are gone. But who lives for a 100 year now-a-days except for some Japs and MF Hussain look-alikes.

There is some legend attached to my birthday and like all other legends, this one too, does not precede me. I was born on the very same day Tenzing Norgay died. He died during daytime and I was born by night. He was the first human being EVER to climb to the toppest tip on the face of our planet. He kissed Mt. Everest, poetically speaking. He climbed to the top and I'm digging deepest to the core!

Other than melancholy perception towards life, I believe these years I had were the best for any breathing soul out there. Though I sound pessimistic and dark on my Facebook statuses and Twitter tweets, but deep down I know I was one lucky bugger who got to do things the way he like, no matter how unappetizing it turned out in the end.

On a softer note, my bro and ma gifted me a nice piece of Fastrack watch, knowing perfectly well that I don't wear watches. But it was a failed attempt on their side and almost ruined the day for all of us! I kissed her Happy Mother's Day and made peace. As far as bro goes, I don't give much wind!

For the coming years, I want to be more responsible. I kept running away from my responsibilities and believed running is good for my health! I don't want to make the same old excuses. I want to try some new ones too. I concur that I'm terribly self-obsessed but frankly, I do realize that. But my only wish is to be remembered as that boy who never failed to laugh in spite of harboring heavy-duty mouth ulcers!

Maybe its time to think about life. Maybe its time to look out for that old-fashioned girl who is crazy enough to fall in love with me. Maybe its time to put a stop to all this absurdity called 'liberation from societal norm'. Maybe its time to just SHUT UP!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sleepless L'affaire

I can’t sleep with my eyes open. Or should I say I cannot concentrate on sleeping!

Sleep is overestimated. It is a luxury. It doesn’t occur to everyone alike. Some get it. Some just dream about it with their unclosed sight. This has been my case since the end of school. Some like to call it insomnia or whatever but I prefer to call it life. I’ve never been a great sleeper, no pun intended whatsoever. Even during my hostel days, I used to defy the call of laziness and was a morning shiner. Oversleeping was never my forte, unlike my room partners who didn’t remember the date they went to sleep. Sometimes I wonder how lucky deaf people are, for they can sleep the tightest compared to those with discerning pair of ears!

There is nothing wrong with being an insomniac. It doesn’t kill you. Instantly, I mean. It kills you eventually like all other things, be it good or bad. But you can speed up the death part by worrying a lot about it. I say, worrying because now-a-days people have started confusing thinking with worrying. Worrying is not thinking. Simple as that!

Insomnia is a spell. You may grab 4 hours sleep one day and just two the other. There is nothing fixed. No patterns. Nothing works. Only you do and your weary imagination does. The longest I’ve gone awake or should I call it “the enlightened phase” is 43 hours. Now I don’t like talking about it as its nothing to be proud of but whenever folks ask me what I did during that phase, I reply “I watched movies after movies after movies and wrote some of my dearest poems…”

“Dark night sang her lullaby to my sweet ears but deaf was I to hear them without keeping my eyes open.”

Even right now, I’m awake. What more can I say!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shashi Tharoor resigns to political designs

For those who follow current affairs, must be knowing by now that Shashi Tharoor won’t be having an easy sleep tonight. He offered his resignation as Junior Foreign Minister and quite sadly, the Prime Minister accepted it impromptu.

Let me state first that I’m a huge fan of Mr. Tharoor. I believe he’s a fresh breath of air for Indian politics that is mired under the hopeless weight of decadence. Before entering political field, Tharoor was serving for United Nations with an impeccable record and almost clinched the Secretary General post, had it not been for United States’ meddling. Soon after, he left UN and headed to his home state Kerala and decided to contest general election from Trivandrum for Congress. Astonishingly, he won Parliament seat and was made Junior Foreign Minister under the UPA government. With senile SM Krishna at the top of Foreign Affairs, no one would doubt that he was to become India’s next Foreign Minister.

But one thing stayed firm: He was a political outsider who won’t have it easy with his western demeanor.

People say he puts foot into mouth and speaks out of turn. I don’t buy that. Unlike most other politicians, he has opinions, opinions that matter and he isn’t afraid to put them forth through mass media. If that is wrong, then the very idea of India adopting democracy is wrong.

The only time I felt he went out of sync was when he got himself into the big bad money spinning world of IPL which is headed by the egoistical Lalit Modi. Tharoor voiced his support for Kochi’s inclusion into the franchise for next season. He wanted Kerala to be on the cricket map and considering the lack of investment in this predominantly “Left” state (that is famous for infamous attitude towards any sort of revenue generating idea), IPL was a welcome move.

We are all well aware of Tharoor’s love for the gentleman’s game but that decision was the beginning of undone for him. The episode started with Modi questioning the identity of multi-crore stakeholders in Kochi team. After a week-long hue and cry with the opposition party accusing him of deigning to secure his girlfriend‘s stake in Kochi team, Tharoor gave up and resigned.

I can’t say Tharoor is clean or not but I can surely say that he paid a huge price compared to other people on the dais who have the audacity to judge him now. I don’t want to sound political but the whole Parliament reeks of distasteful scent of corruption and no one gets hurt there. Every one of them is safe thanks to their clout. On the other hand, Tharoor was left alone to defend himself against charges in Lok Sabha. Not even his home party voiced any support. The biggest surprise was the lack of any warmth from his home state for which he supposedly used his “influence”!!

Tomorrow’s newspaper will have interesting headlines but nothing will change the equilibrium of common sense. For we all know that unlike the spiteful politicians we are so used to, Tharoor inspired the new generation to think about our country for once. Unlike them, he practiced what he preached. And most importantly, unlike them, he paid a price to an open question of whether he was truly guilty or not. He is a role model for millions of Youngistanis and I’m not talking about Twitter alone. His reach towards youth is par expectation and something not seen since the days of our freedom struggle.

Shashi Tharoor resigned with no fault of *our* own. But the fact of the matter remains that he's still a parliamentarian and an able one at that so I wish he comes back stronger than ever and don’t give up this easily to unfair sagacity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No more INSANE Sania marriage news!

Today is a historic day. Sania Mirza got married. At last. And by any media calculation, it means the end of circus.

We, hoi polloi, on both side of the border were glued to this drama for over three weeks now and no matter how much we hated the futile news coverage, we didn’t dare ignore the charade.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Sania Mirza. To me, she had something of a wonder run and then she got caught on the wrong side of fame. She is the first Indian to cover a lot of milestones in the field of tennis but then she could have done a lot better had she stayed focused on her on-court preparations rather than off-court distractions. She could have been the Saina Nehwal of tennis, which sounds a bit clichéd now! Alas.

Coming back to her marriage part, I thought, isn’t it too early for her to jump the wedding gun. She’s of my age and I don’t think 23 is an ideal age to marry considering her incredible “second-round-success” on WTA tour. She should have waited a bit longer for her form to return. Who knows she just could have got her form back, which is almost non-existent just like her alleged wrist injuries. Whatever, who am I to suggest anything and who is she to waste my blog space!

I’m also a bit aghast at her choice of beau. I mean, I’m sure almost all of us must have had this thought, “…couldn’t she find something better??!!”. I too felt the same given Shoaib Malik’s history of tasting his foot again and again with no fault of his for we are born the way we are and some of us learn and some of us just, well, run. I remember his famous gaffe after Pakistan defeated India and he went onto thank all the Muslims in the world for supporting Pakistan, forgetting that there were two active Muslim players in Indian side at that time, if not, millions of Indian Muslims right over the border!

Anyways, it’s her life and in a more generalized sense, she’s doing what very few Indian girls do and that is breaking historically-built barriers. I just hope she finds happiness wherever she is, for she belongs to us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

If death kisses me goodbye!

Whenever I talk about death, people think I'm being naive but in reality I'm just being futuristic! Now is that bad thing? No.

I keep thinking of death as if I’m older than I already am. I'm 23 but I feel like "world oldest 23 year old" so no wonder I can’t escape the question of how and when I'll be seeing my end. I believe life is unpredictable but death is totally unsustainable. It has this overpowering clout over restless heart.

Now what will happen if I die (either by train, road, freak accidents or whatever) today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow????

I guess the biggest change will be on my most visited Internet websites. I say so considering all the other deeds I've done in my life span. I don’t think anything comes close to the kind of passion I have for “virtual world” which in fact, seems more genuine than the real world I breathe in. If I overlook my failures being a loser that I am, I guess Internet has been a super-duper success for me. I have a voice on Internet pages and I don’t care whether it’s heard or not!

Once I’m dead, the first change will be noticed on my Twitter timeline! There won’t be any updates about what I’m thinking. The timeline will just pause. It won’t move ahead, just like that. No more sharing of stupid ideas passed off as wisdom or office-bashing lines or #JustSaying tweets or news-related links. Secondly my Facebook page will face the same calamity. I don’t know how my friends will react to this because they will be having no idea that I’m in hell waiting for them!

Talking of my virtual world friends, I guess they will be left in the lurch of ignorance as there won’t be any worldwide networking of the news of my departure. It would be as silent as it was before I entered the Internet age and found myself a comfortable space among these wonderful people (or tweeple as we call them now) I love to interact with. But then, I think they’ll give up on me. It is inevitable. My Internet pals in NYC or Romania or Pakistan won’t come looking for me in Mumbai once I stopped tweeting or social networking!

I also wonder about the kind of effort I put in on updating my Twitter 140-space, Facebook profile. I mean, no one will do that for me once I’m gone. I also worry about my Twitter handle, I mean, who will take care of that?!! And also what will happen to this devil-forsaken blog which is overwhelmingly forgettable, at best!

I know these are all speculations but it’s worthy. I don’t count my family here. That’s due to the fact that they are not as dysfunctional as I would like them to be. You have to be on either end of the extremes to be mentioned in my blog! Ah! So they better be left out of my foretasted death scenario.

On the other side, I just love my life on Twitter, Facebook and blogspot, not to mention several other sites where I regularly contribute my time. I’m an Internet addict, if that’s what you are pondering as of now and I wish to be this way till sanity (or death...whichever comes first) takes over!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hanging up my chalks!

I started teaching SSC kids English in 2007. I wasn’t supposed to do that. But I did like always, going against popular opinion!

Amma was strongly against my decision to spend weekends with students instead of studying. She, herself being a teacher in Kannada medium, was well aware of its impediments. She was into teaching “field” as she never considered it a “business”. To her, it was a way of saying thanks to her parents who gifted her education. Her argument was that one person from family was enough for the deed. Even my dad’s dad was a primary school teacher and had the most beautiful handwriting of all. At least my dad says so.

Teaching is a noble job. It brings with it this magnanimous attitude that is remarkably different from anything else you do in life. Connecting with kids, hearing their side of confusion, maintaining discipline and conversation on the same line are some of the facets that inject adrenaline on an otherwise dull morning.

Fastforward to 2010, I’ve decided I won’t be teaching anymore. No more sleepless weekends for me. I guess I’ve grown out of this stupid idea of “changing the world” with education. It’s not a worthy fight. Honestly. Every time I came back home, I had pictures of those kids in my mind who never spoke or were too mischievous to even care. It was always good apples and bad apples. On a lighter note, I’m tired of selling false dreams to these students for they’ll learn the way of life sooner or later and they’ll know that it isn’t going to be an easy ride either!

I was the youngest staff member too everywhere I went, be it classes, community school or small-time tuitions. And I’m happy I’m still young while I’m getting away from it to explore unseen avenues like learn French or violin or whatever. Teaching was the best thing I ever did in my godforsaken pale life and like they say, “Once a former teacher, always a former teacher!”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why am I not blogging?

Maintaining a blog has got its share of problems too. And the biggest problem is UPDATING it regularly.

I find it really hard to sit down and write a post and update it on a periodic basis. No wonder that I’ve got like 60 or so posts in the last 4 years or so. It’s a funny feeling to have thousands of ideas and wishing to write a piece on it ASAP but going blank as soon as you punch the keys.

One more thing, I don’t understand why I bother to blog. I mean, I hardly have any attachment left with this thing. It’s a stupid blog after all. No one cares. Not even me. For a long while I was the only one who was reading my blog and now I’ve got like 25 people or so who at least have blog-rolled me (out of sympathy!) but am pretty sure that they are happy that I don’t update my nonsensical posts! Sigh.

Right now, the most important thing in my life is Twitter and tweeting my stupid thoughts and concerns on my timeline is indispensable. Its like a passion I guess. Amazing. I wish I was passionate about blogging too. Like I once read somewhere that Ruskin Bond dedicates certain part of his day to writing and nothing else and I started wondering how does he do that and that too on a daily basis. Maybe that's why he's a writer and I'm a struggling writer!

I’m even amused by Kushwant Singh’s age-defying touch with pen (he's averse to modern technologies like Computer!). This guy is 95 and never fails to write what he feels strongly about. He used to fantasize about Indira years ago and now he does the same with Mandira!

My point is, why am I not doing something which could have been my profession. I always wanted to write but I guess the idea of passivity and procrastination grew up on me. Sadly, that is.

Anyways, I guess I’ve fulfilled my intention here. Just updated my newest post with whatever Bullshit I could manage! Hahahahahahahaa

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A big deal called Oscars!

Oscars ended yesterday morning and as usual, I’m delayed on my blogging. Not a big deal considering the kind of blog-following I garner! Hahahahha

No matter how clichéd and OTT Oscars are, no one can deny its power of magnetism, the grandiose of its operation thanks to all the actors who are stars, unimaginable. So keeping all these factors in mind, I woke up at 3.30 am to make sure I don’t miss any of it. But thanks to my haphazard knowledge of timing and all, I wasted much of my sleep as the show was scheduled at 6.30 am. Not a big deal either!

The show kicked off with a song by Neil Patrick Harris as if he was following suit to last year’s host Hugh Jackman who too started off with a song! But as things turned out, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin descended from above to take their position as this year’s host. And for the record, this was the first time in television age that two hosts took stage! And they were hilarious taking digs at almost everyone under the ceiling including Meryl Streep and George Clooney. The only guy who was spared the jokes butt was Tiger Woods because the Academy thought the jokes would be too rude on his already blemished character!!

The first award of the ceremony, Best Supporting Actor was handed to Christoph Waltz, a little known, Austrian stage and TV actor who blew our minds off with his inch-perfect performance as a SS “Jew Hunter” in Inglourious Basterds and he was also immaculate while delivering his acceptance speech. I guess he deserved that award moreover, for speaking four languages in that movie!

Sadly, other than this award for Waltz, Inglourious Basterds was largely snubbed by the Academy as it was nominated in seven other categories but came out zilch on podium! I badly wanted it to win for Original Screenplay and was also wishing for Tarantino to bag his Best Director award and pull brake on the duel between James Cameron (Avatar) and Katherine Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)!

Not a big deal either, because Katherine Bigelow created history by becoming the first woman Director ever to win an Oscars. In simpler words, she defeated her ex-husband Cameron in the “Battle of the Ex-es”! Indeed a proud day, and coincidentally it was International Women’s Day too!!

The Hurt Locker was also adjudged the Best Picture and by that, it also became the lowest box-office grossing movie ever to win Oscars! Additionally, it also defeated the most successful movie ever, Avatar, to the gold. In fact, Avatar won in just three of the nominated nine categories. Personally, I’m glad Avatar lost the Best Picture to The Hurt Locker as the latter was a pack-budgeted movie with real story to tell. I mean, no disrespect to Cameron and his team for their fantastic endeavor that took 15 years in the making. Still, Avatar had its share of success at the BO so let The Hurt Locker ring the bell on the download sites!

One movie that came, saw and conquered (like predicted) was the animation masterpiece "UP"...was my favorite animated movie of the year!

Best Actor and Actresses were predictable with Jeff Bridges winning his first on his overall fifth nomination for “Crazy Heart” and his speech was emotional too. I first acknowledged his talent in “Arlington Road” and that character is one of the reasons why I took up teaching job on weekends. So no wonder am happy that he got the statuette!

Sandra Bullock was graceful on her big win for “The Blind Side” though I badly wanted my favoritest actress of all time, Meryl Streep to win as she holds the record for the most number of Oscars nominations for any actor at 16 but with just 2 wins! So obviously I wanted her to take the tally to 3…..which woefully didn’t happen!

Last year, we had a lot Indian thing going on at Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire, Jai Ho and Smile Pinky. This year, the only Indian connection I saw was the nomination of “Kavi” in the Best Short Film Category. Apparently, it didn’t win. Other than that, I found Indian connection in Sonia Bhalla who was the Second Assistant Director in “Up in the Air” which was nominated in six categories but won nothing! Not a big deal either!

There were many emotional moments too (like it happens every single time!) and it reveals to us the fact that these so-called stars are humans too with hardship, perseverance and their sacrifice for movies and life and everything that comes in between.

Its amazing how everyone at Oscars turns up in tuxedo and gowns and keep the Oscar tradition alive whereas we don't see much of sarees or achkan or any other Indian attires at display in our trite award functions!

Smokin Pooja at Home

Hinduism, to me, is the most liberal form of religion NEVER invented! I don't wish to sound religious here coz I'm NOT, no matter how much my amma wants me to be! I'm posting these pics as I haven't done a lot of photography since the bike trip.

Anyways, we had "Satya Narayan Pooja" at our place and for that occasion, the interior walls were all colored up and the house looked cleaner than it does during Diwali season!

It all started with this "rangoli" that was completed by the pandit in less than 5 mins top! Awesome job indeed!
The Holy Fire he created to destroy the "negative forces" by burning up their eyes (and ours as well while he was at it!)
Holy Smoke fills up the house, and then even moves outside towards the stairs!
This sparrow was nowhere to be seen once the Holy Smoke covered the floor! LOL
This is an old Indian tradition in which boiling milk is allowed to lap over the utensil, as a sign of completion of Pooja!
The last remnants of "Holy Smoke" captured on camera!
That's my cousin's kid and he wanted to wear a "peta" so my bro made him one from towel!
That is my giant younger brother Sai who doesn't need crane to help him!
That is me in my traditional mundu/vyesthi gleaming with my stupidest grin!