Friday, December 12, 2008

Him and Her


One weekend, Him & Her decided to go kayaking in the Kundalika River. The Kundalika is more like a thick turbid stream than a river. The expedition was His idea, attractively packaged as an 'adventure experience'.
The ride to the starting point was about a 1.5 hours drive away from home and Him was convinced that it'd be a nice start to the adventure that lay ahead. Him picked up Her and started early so as to avoid the traffic and have the road to themselves. They were going to be joined by some other at the meeting point about 30 minutes away from their place.
Now when they reached the appointed stop, no one was to be found. Him and Her waited a bit, with Her trying to control her fuming and not let Him notice it. Him called up the organizers to ask about the rest and learnt that they'd already gone ahead. With all chances of someone to lead the right way to the kayaking spot disappearing, Him decided to go ahead and make it there by themselves. Knowing Him's sense of direction and his absolute faith in his own instincts, Her was sure the adventure had already started.
Her vaguely believed that the whole thing would be over in about 4 hours and she'd be back home in no time. She had been rashly assured that 'you won't fall in' and 'it'll be just the two of us most of the time'.
The road was beautiful and lonely, except for an occasional lorry or a herd of cattle. There was a heavy layer of fog combined with mist everywhere. And though it blocked the view beyond some distance, it evoked a feeling of mystery and romance. Her enjoyed the drive, and kept her eyes peeled for all possible signs that assured her that they were headed in the right direction. Him was ever the hero, singing in a soulful way, whistling some, driving at a nice pace. He had thoughtfully included Her's favourite soundtracks on the car stereo system.
The two adventurers arrived at the starting point, to find that they were the first on the spot inspite of starting later than the rest. The weather, traitorous as always, was cooler than expected, much to Her's distress. After ten minutes or so, the other folks began to arrive. However, the 'organizer' was missing.
He showed up a little while later and informed the group without much ado that the kayaking would not happen that day. Her was irritated by this attitude and specially since she had sacrificed a resting Saturday to be there. Him saw the dark clouds of fury hovering over Her and afraid of a downpour, quickly decided to have a word with the organizer. It turned out that since the water was not being let out from the dam that morning, the river would not have enough flow and density to kayak in. Him painted a colorful picture of how they had come from far to enjoy this adventure and how Her would be disappointed about not even setting foot in the water. Him, of course, forgot to mention the threat to his life and limb should the trip go waste. A deal was struck. The organiser was going to let Him and Her do a bit of canoeing in the river at no charge. 
Him conveyed this to Her who took the news half heartedly. Him tried to cheer her up by adding that they could have fun in the water when they were done canoeing and then have a picnic lunch before leaving.
Him had prior experience with kayaking, but not canoeing. But he refused to reveal his ignorance. Both got themselves lifejackets and helmets. The lead canoer showed them sitting positions and rowing styles. Through all this, Him inserted sentences like, "It’s easy. Really.", You'll manage fine." which did nothing to boost Her's confidence.
So Him sat in front and Her in the back of the 2 Cox canoe. While Her got the basics right after a while, Him was merrily free-styling in front leading the canoe astray. The pair was soon enveloped in the loving embrace of branches near the bank. Him continued to executing random strokes with reckless abandon considering he had to live up to his claim of being an expert in these matters. Her furiously ordered Him to 'stop rowing, PLEASE' and assigned him the task of pushing the canoe away from the branches by getting into the water. Him , aware of having tested Her's patience, meekly obeyed orders while Her dreamed of a warm, dry bed.
By the time they managed to finally get themselves out of the mess, nerves were already a little frayed. The romantic expedition soured somewhat for Her, although Him was floating on an adrenaline cloud high in the sky.
After a few more valiant skirmishes with overhanging branches, their boat began to follow a less schizophrenic path. Things went swimmingly for a while, until Her expressed a heart-felt desire to answer the call of nature. Him navigated the canoe towards the bank. Before Him could get down and steady the canoe for Her to hop out, Her got up and tried to step out. And Lo and behold, the two of them were in the soup.
Neither of them was prepared for this drenching at the moment. The canoe had overturned and it took them sometime to get their bearings. In the meantime, the canoe had merrily floated downstream and along with it went the two paddles. Him launched himself at the task of retrieving them with gusto and swam away with powerful strokes. The guilty party hung back with a heart full of concern and eyes following Him's, every move. 
As Her watched Her Him’s bobbing helmet, she shouted back seat directions about what path the canoe was taking. Her waited on the bank cold and miserable while Him managed to get the canoe and both paddles after a chase. The fact that the flow slackened further downriver helped achieve this. Her received Him with much fanfare and wandered away to fulfil the original intent of the whole episode.
By now, both Him and Her were completely wet and had had enough of the canoe. They made their way to shallower waters and took off the lifejackets to swim a bit. Him had fun drenching Her with water when she least expected it. Her did not fall for his overtures to lead her mid stream under the pretext of a great view and then proceed to dunk her headlong. She stayed in the safe zone of the banks and collected smooth stones to take home.
An hour passed this way and both were famished. Over the spicy snack that Her had conjured up, they had a great laugh about the ‘unplanned’ adventure.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Um..

Suddenly in the middle of the day, I am feeling like hugging my Mommy!




Friday, November 28, 2008

STOP!!

Media!!! Please STOP using the word "spectacular" while referring to the Mumbai incidents.
Media again!!! Please stop milking these incidents for TRP.

In my country....coming to terms

My friend wrote a very poignant comment on my earlier post. She does not want to come to terms with this ever. And she is absolutely right.
However, I do want to come to terms with other things. To carry forward the thread of my last post, I want to realize, once and for all, is that every day that I live to see the sun rise, every day I talk and joke with my folks, every day that I tackle challenges at work and every day that I get to sleep in my bed after a hard day is the day someone, somewhere in MY country is falling prey to the undiminished and inhuman thirst for blood. It seems a routine and mundane enough day in my life but in the life of MY country it is anything but that. From now on no day is normal, or ordinary...because we do not live in normal times.

I will carry a threat to my life as long as I live, like all my fellow citizens in JK or the far east do. I am not different or special or less vulnerable because I am distant from these location. In fact the battle is at the doorstep.

I have stopped being a party to the blame game. Period. It helps no one, least of all us.

And I will remember, oh yes, I will remember. I may not be able to mow down every manic who who picks up a gun and slaughters people in the name of religion, I may not see action up close or be directly affected, but I will remember as long as I live what it means to loose a dear one to their bullets. Fear and hatred are two emotions we do not need at times like this.

And, I will never forget who the true heroes of every success that we gain are. However small it is, however insignificant in the eyes of the powers that be. And I do not mean to wear my patriotism on my sleeve.

I have come to terms with the fact that this and more has shaped my life to come. I do not wish to have it any other way.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In my country

In the interest of getting this out asap here are thoughts in random order…..
Was this attack a front to finish of guys deeply involved in the Malegaon case?
That a parallel and heavily armed guerilla force can tot guns and go on rampage in our country speaks volumes about our vulnerability. I wonder about countries with liberal gun possession laws..aside from occasional psychotic individuals totting guns for massacres is not a known trend there.
It is indeed very difficult to stop individuals who are not afraid to die……… cant put the entire blame on intelligence failures….you can take away a mans freedom, but you cannot take away his ability to think. It seems to me this is more a battle of the nerves than that of fire power or numbers. He who blinks first loses. The security agencies must apply their minds to this, if not forces. It has got all the makings of a real life psychological thriller.
For once, we cannot blame a “foreign hand” in this attack. We just gotta pull up our socks.
Please, please do not run to the US for sound bytes or have them call on you to gain for brownie points. They can only condemn verbally…that nation is incapable of starting something to take it to a logical end. They are just like up-starts…..damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
We as a nation need to be on high alert at all times….there is no way we can let our guard down.
Mumbaikars, this time please don’t act as if nothing has happened and carry on. Please react strongly enough to be heard. Since you are such an influential city, your reaction will be magnified manifold and may bring the much needed change in policy.
We are far to divided ourselves as a nation. In that, we are our biggest enemy. This way we are much more prone to playing into the hands of anyone who seeks to gain by putting us in a state of chaos.
We were a nation whose greatest strength was assimilation..of all castes and creeds. Where are we going wrong?
More to come…I need time to come to terms.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peacock's Imlee :)

Musashi has penned a very insightful log of our recent excursion. He has adorned it with tell-tale photos as well. Catch all the action here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Of doing nothing and other stories...

I had plonked the bean bag in front of the window that afternoon in preparation for a prolonged reading session. Ever since, I was stretched out lazily on the length of it. I'd adjusted the bag's height in a way to cut out the view of any building nearby and only the sky was visible from the window. Those distracting cable wires continued to be in the frame, but then birds of all variety were found swinging from them and I was willing to overlook that distracting foreground to a bright blue sky.

I had gathered all the Sunday newspapers to go through into a pile after lunch. As an afterthought, I add a book to that, in case the Sunday edits bored me. The plan had been to transition to a siesta as I read.  The sunlight made zebra strips on my feet through the window bars and it disappeared after sometime as the Sun moved West. My feet were left feeling warm.

The gentle wind was not letting up a bit and I liked it that way. I had been reading non-stop for 5 hours now...something I used to do often till some years back and before work consumed me. Except for an occasional vehicle or the chirping of birds, nothing dented the silence.

I was done with the book. The newspapers lying around did not attract me. I decided I wanted to do nothing for sometime. No wait, I did not close my eyes....I wanted to consciously do nothing. 

The breeze continued to have a soothing effect, the chirping was lost in the background of the new nothingness that enveloped me....I was conscious only of my breath as it crossed the wind's flow. I stared at the sky, that haze of immenseness, that in daylight hides the stars of old, the blueness that filled my sight. The wires were distant specks, insignificant. My head was be fret of any thoughts, deliberate or stray.  

I have never tried this before and it felt good to not have the mind strung like bow for once. This may be what they call a meditative state. 

Maybe not. 


Monday, October 06, 2008

#24

....pen to paper
like song to heart
a mid summer night's dream
and haze to clear....


To dos...update


Since October 2008 I have added a new item to the top of this list (which i keep updating due to my compulsive lister nature) to seek out new and interesting ways to keep my friend smiling all the time. To do that, one either has to be genuinely funny or simply be willing to make a complete fool of oneself once in a while. I think I am slightly better off at doing the latter. (Tee hee!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

#23

People are like stained glass windows: 
they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, 
but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed 
only if there is a light within. 

~~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Banana Seller

And a more methodical man could not be found. Every night, he arrives like clockwork to take stock of his fruit…..how many customers has he satisfied today? He stops his cart right below the street lamp near my house. He tempts passersby with the few remaining wares...they gleam golden in the sodium lamps. After a wait of about half an hour, he begins the long process of safety wrapping up the left over fruit in netting. 
First, he un-wraps a substantial length of rope and lays it out in a zig-zag pattern. This enables him to pull it at will without causing tangles. Then, out comes the netting.  It is made of porous material which helps the fruit breathe even though it is wrapped under several layers.This, he spreads evenly over his cart, gently folding the corners, as if tucking in a child in bed. He stands back to admire his effort and once satisfied, lays on the rope with the expertise of a fisherman casting a net. A sharp tug ensures that one end is secure. Then he throws the other end over and over…till it is all fixed.
Sometimes in the middle of the pack up session, longing souls linger by the cart— terribly hunger students going home from the thousand and ten classes they attend..the bananas will sustain them till dinner, couples out for a walk struck with the last minute idea of having bananas for breakfast, old folks who can have heaps of the yellow fruit without having to bother about teeth, …..the fruit lures them all. Bananas are the most wholesome fruit, I think— filling, sweet, no seeds..just peel-eat-throw.
Ungrudging, as always, the man fulfills everyone’s desires. He returns to his task once more. Finally, he is done and ready to go home.
One more day on this earth is snugly wrapped up thus.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

And reclaiming life....

Talking of life, I think we should view hospitals as places for reclaiming life and every veritable sign of it. There is a lot of negativity associated with those places, and not unduly so. Death lurks at every corner and there is more pain, anxiety and uncertainty put together there than in a match where our boys in blue put up a show for the benefit of suckers watching them make an attempt at the game. (Tsk tsk)


It's a place you walk in sick into. And at most times walk out better, if not well. It is a place where every second is spent reclaiming life, every action is directed towards that sole purpose, where you turn the odds in your favour, where you push away the uncertainty, the grey areas to move towards the white, towards clarity. Where you fight like you've never fought before for every rightful breath you can take. You fight to win.


I've spent half of the past six months of my life in and out of these places. I've been through frustrating consulting experiences. Plans of action which defy all logic, mixing up symptoms, indecisiveness...arrgh! And all of this from those with enough degrees to fill a bill board. They may be finding it hard to confront the fact that they are dealing with live beings day in day out. If that is really the case, and I almost think it is, they'd better wake up to that reality (shudder!) and shock themselves into mending their ways. And while you are at it, keep those bloated egos in check, will you?


And one thing that they have to, have to do is to LISTEN to the patient. I don't care if they calculate patient time in seconds; they'd better be all f***ing ears!! Not all patients are blind followers of their train of thoughts and patient do come with an iota to innate logic. And they know a thing or two about what's happening to them because it's their b****y body that is going through all that grind. So believe and comply.....!


To be just, not all may be of the variety we were unfortunate enough to encounter. Why, we had one gem of a human being in our midst till he was taken away untimely, tragically falling prey to surgery induced infection.


While I continue to be so bitter about these individuals, I am all praise for the support staff. In these surroundings a smile goes a long way. Nothing like a little humour to start the patients day. Even though I have yet to come across nursing practitioners like the one from the Polo ad, I've seen the best of their ranks practice their profession with dedication. it is not easy to keep a cheerful face in a sombre place like that. I salute them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

8-8-8

Right, no posts in August thus far. But then, it's been a unusual month.

It all started with me checking out of the gym at 8.08 AM on the 8th day of the 8th month of the 8th year of this century. I know, too much!


Thereafter, things got hectic. I don't know if that was an after effect of the 8-8-8, or not. Hectic yes, but not unruly. Life does throw in a few unexpected ones just for the fun, so those were taken into stride as well.

So there I was, towards the fag end of an 6 month ordeal. 6 months of crash courses in kitchen tinkering, mood swing management, wellness counseling, fragile egos management, temperamental balancing, planning far far ahead, and extreme time management. And looking after myself between all that. I could start a Zen discourse right away.

The time has not yet come to look back on all this, it'll be another three months before I do that. So am I glad we went through this crisis so far? Yes (actually yes) and No! NO for all the extreme pain, anguish, hopelessness, grief, uncertainty and the mind numbing feeling of emptiness. But yes, oh yes!! for all these new challenges and the thrill of surmounting them. And the reassuring presence of friends (Oh what would I ever do without y'all!) and sometimes family, the kind words from them and strangers alike, the constant tirade of positive thoughts, the timely help coming in even after requests at untimely hours. For the discovery of different threads in relationships, of deeper bondings and new meanings. And for new relationships that hold a mirror to a different me.

And for life in a new light!

P.S.Thanks A, A, S, R, M, L, P, P. You guys Rock!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Robert Schank's Maxims

Came across these gems sometime ago. Robert turns all that we believed in so far on the head! I love the last one best! :) And it is, oddly, the 11th maxim. Hmm.

1. Look for anomalies. Anomalies are where the action is, creatively speaking.

2. Listen. You can't find anomalies if you weren't paying attention to what was going on in the first place.

3. Find data. Before you make a theory, look to the world around you, ask yourself what is happening. The more you know the more you can create.

4. Classify, and invent new classifications. Their real value is the generalization they capture.


5. Make rash generalizations. The idea behind making rash generalizations is not to be right, but to be thinking.

6. Explain. When we learn something, it's because we have invented an explanation for it. We have explained it to ourselves.

7. Refuse to learn the rules. You must pick your spots for rebellion, be sure that you have reason on your side, and be prepared to take the consequences.


8. Reject old explanations. Ask why. [Authorities tell us to simple explanations to complex issues] . . . it is important to learn to distrust these explanations, not because someone is trying to fool you, but because the standard wisdom might be wrong.

9. Let your mind wander. . . . the process of letting your mind go where it wants can be useful if where it wants turns out to be an interesting place to go.... If you don't give your mind a little freedom every now and a again, it may stop wandering.

10. Fail early and fail often. Failure is a good thing. We learn from failure. Take a chance. Have an idea and allow the possibility that it might be a bad idea.

11. Reject all the above maxims. Who says I know what I'm talking about. Can we really enhance our creativity? That's a good question.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wierdness

We're all a little wierd. And life's a little wierd. 
And when we find someone who's wierdness is compatible to ours,
we join up with them
and fall into a mutually satisfying wierdness
and call it love, true love.
I think I could do with a different shade. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

All pent up!

I really should be reading more. I have this feeling of insatiability and unless I grab each and every reading opportunity that comes my way, I’ll miss that important pulse. Of course, my groaning bookshelf and my heart know otherwise. I have enough to just sit back and absorb it all. But somehow it seems to me that every minute, every second is fleeting by, every grain of sand is shifting down and my time will be up. I think I can do with an uninhabited island and live there for a couple of years, only reading...right about NOW. And I want to write.

I love to suck the honey out of every precious experience. I still have a voracious appetite for stories, and to me an experience is just that. It doesn’t matter what happened, I will remember it differently, several twilights later. I want to do something that involves, engages, and completely instigates every one of my faculties. I can’t understand or explain this urgency. All this pent-up ‘get-up and go’ is knotted in my veins and tires me beyond exhaustion.

Hmmm.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Damn!

I think it is a tragic reality of life – that we cannot listen to a person with an open heart, with belief, and assumption of the truth. On the other hand, a lifetime of experiences of feeling let down in various degrees has hardened me up...and now!

There are people who will talk to please and to keep appearances. Of course, I get angry that I should be such a sucker a lot of times, but again, it’s not their fault. They do their best in a given situation...make hay..... And WHY do I have to be such a sucker anyway? This refusal of mine to see this daylight of truth.....this abject refusal to see things for what they are....sheesh!. Why can’t I learn that there are people who will talk only what they feel I like to hear? Why can’t I learn something that is so fundamentally simple? I mean, if I can learn to reverse and park a vehicle in the tightest of spots, surely there must be some iota of intelligence in my dull head that gets it.

It took me a time to realise that I needed to stay on guarded and not succumb so easily to sweet talk. But…this balancing things out took a lot of time. I now understand that you must choose reserve in some situations with some people, and absolutely trust with some others. I am sure I'll be reaaalllly tested on this one..there will be a time of reckoning. But I am not worried. I know I will get through this too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Harajuku ~ Meadow Lodging

The newly opened 'O' Hotel in Koregaon Park, bang opposite the German Bakery, has a cozy Japanese meadow lodging ~ Harajuku. It's a well set, but as of now a sparsely populated restaurant. The maroon ambiance is well balanced by the use of gold and curvy arrangement for private seating (and we thought it was the tank which held fresh sealife, sheesh!). The lighting is appropriately dim and the sake goes down well with that. :)




On entering, we saw a party comprising of some desis and japs. One good sign of authenticity of the food there.


We'd come decided to gorge on sushi, R being the 'expert' and yours truly having some eating experience in that area. The menu is compact enough to enable a patron to make a choice and has helpful notes. But it is constrained by the grouping together of sushi varieties. I wish they'd just open it all up and let patrons make their own sets. After all, make-your-own works well these days. We had soups, a salad, lots of sushi and downed it all with a bottle of sake between the four of us.









The Verdict:

The not so nice first: The service is a bit slow...its new so maybe they are taking time adjusting....they don't have the more exotic listings on the menu yet..like octopus and tuna....yet..again I'd give them some time....they had just one brand of sake....the menu listed about 8...but that made it easier for us..not being habitual sake drinkers..we asked for it and they just got the bottle over with smallish cups made of fine china.

Now the good: The cutlery and crockery is fantastic..good taste there..the sake cups were perfectly sized to hold 4 deep sips..the glasses had an angular bottom, so they stayed tilted when kept down..nice touch that..... and the sushi was good..and i mean it...the avocado one, the California sushi had crab....the prawn sushi was well cooked....sushi ingredients should be raw without seeming so.....i liked that..the wasabi was perfect..gave a head rush..as was the vinegar..the service though slow was impeccable and they did it in style..the soups were really good...had those thin noodles...lots of water...i like the clear variety....they tasted unlike anything I've had before.....and the sushi was better than what I tasted in a jap restaurant in Chicago...only wish they had Asahi...the jap beer to go with all this. :)


And oh! I managed to eat everything with chopsticks (thanks to A!). No, not the soup, if you must ask.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A swan song why

Why do I not remember all this in the middle of pathos?Because it is meant for me to realise, with a sudden rush of familiarity, that I have a wonderful life after all.

Why do I feel elated in the midst of this bleak situation?
Because there is one life to love and one to love for life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A win-win in sustainable developement...

In this article, The Economist strongly argues for involvement of local communities in preservation and sustainable development of forests in which they dwell. Further on, it states that poor people who rely on nature's gifts for their livelyhood, should be helped to help themselves. The Forest Rights Bill that the Indian government is considering at this point, if enacted, would mark a huge step forward in securing the rights of forest dwelling adivasis. The Bill also provides tribal communities the right to protect and manage any ‘community forest resource’ that they have been traditionally conserving, and to impose penalties on anyone violating traditional rules of conservation. This could be an impetus to the villagers of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, who are protecting forests despite not having the legitimacy by law.

Finally, all this lands up at the door step of prosperity of these masses. For these people, wildlife provides not only cash but food and health care (in the form of natural medicines). That is particularly important for the world's poorest people, like those in India, since any poverty-reduction efforts depend on the survival of natural wildlife. Wildlife trade also provides cash that helps children go to school, get better education and move up the value chain.
Finally a win win situation and hopefully a solution no one will be able to hijack for pseudo-social activism. 

I just hope the bill sees the light of day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And some more....

Why have my priorities changed?
Because priorities are meant to be shuffled every time you revisit them. Every re-look brings with it new wisdom, new experiences, new circumstances, and new challenges.


Why does it feel fulfilling to write as well as read?Because the cumulative knowledge of this universe can be passed on that way.

Why does the mirror never lie?
Because you know what you are going to see before you actually do.



Why am a stronger person today?
Because the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More whys.......


Why do I listen more then I hear?
Because I realise that I make a better person that way.

Why is time money?
Because you cannot buy any off the shelf. One is as good as the other.

Why do I appreciate art depicting real life more than abstracts?
Because truth is stranger then fiction.

Why are cell phones indispensable these days?
Because people these days can only communicate when they are at a distance from each other.

Why do I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep?
Because that is the only way I am able to sleep through a nightlong road laying racket right outside my window.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The why series continues...

Why does hope jump on a roller coaster every time I turn to it?
Because that is the only way to enjoy the ride of life. Expressways are painfully uninteresting.


Why is that elusive peace of mind finally within reach?
Because I love life in the circumstance it is in.


Why do I watch people more than I look at them?
Because no one has come up with a lifetime movie ticket plan to show all the movies ever made. And this is the next best thing.


Why is the not-so-good 20% able to affect the remaining 80%?
Because the remaining 80% will do nothing but stand and watch.


Why does Windows Vista suck?
Because it has not learnt to differentiate between a enabling a user and overwhelming one.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

In response to the whys.......

Why does it have to happen to me?
Because I am made of sterner stuff than I think.


Why do people simply not understand?
Because it is my job to make myself understood. I obviously need to try harder.


Why do I like khaki?
Because to me, it personifies discipline, dignity and organization.


Why is it extremely important to be courteous to those from whom you have no benefit?
Because you are going to be in their place more often than you think.


Why is it that opportunities for sleaze and slander come my way?
Because I will speak the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth. No making hay while the sun shines there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jalte Hain Jiske Liye

Jalte Hain Jiske Liye Teri Aakhon Ke Diye
Dhoond Laya Hoon Wahi Geet Main Tere Liye
Jalte Hain Jiske Liye....

Dil Main Rakh Lena Ise
Haathon Se Ye Chhute Na Kahin
Geet Nazuk Hai Mere
Sheeshe Se Bhi Toote Na Kahin
Gungunaunga Yehi Geet Main Tere Liye
Jalte Hain Jiske Liye......

Jab Talak Na Yeh Tere
Ras Ke Bhare Hontoon Se Mile
Yunhi Awara Phirega
Yeh Teri Zulfon Ke Tale
Gaye Jaunga Yehi Geet Main Tere Liye
Jalte Hain Jiske Liye.....

I don't know..maybe it is the perfect season for romantics or the time is just right. Or maybe the newly launched FM channel in the city has judged the pulse of the masses well by making us swoon to these songs with the golden touch..they air is permeated thickly with love. Love in the Time of Cholera, love in the time of inflation, love in the time of the nuclear deal, love in the time of booming real eatate.....hmm.
This song is very close to me as is the film it is from. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton is an exceptionally film in many ways. First, there is George Clooney and he is just so right. He’s this suited fixer of a lawyer (they call him the janitor, who cleans up other’s legal mess) who lives in throes of personal disarray. Yet there’s something so kind and generous in those vagabond eyes. He’s a really beautiful man. There’s a strong eternal warmth and genuine-ness in his smile.

Then there is the cold..the film is shot in a cold city, in cold weather and has some cold hearted characters. The film starts with a car blowing up on a lonely highway and is followed by shots of empty offices, dark streets, and lonely buildings. The fire that envelopes the car, does not bring warmth. The film involves you from the word go. The clues and the plot start piecing together.The futility of a number of factors….relationships, commitment, trust and lack of it, betrayal, greed is brought home poignantly and climaxes with the ultimate triumph.



Sydney Pollack as Marty Bach is exceptional as the lawyer with years of litigation history on the UNorth account behind him. The heart wringing struggle for moral release is genuine.


The climax is so hushed, simple and sad. It’s a strongly and intentionally played subtlety. That scene when George Clooney says his final words to the lady and walks away – that scene is just painted in cadence. And because a moment of triumph is treated with quietude instead of clamour, you still find yourself glued to your seat in the end, when Clooney is driving around New York in a cab.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

And in this way...

And in this way I reach my 100th post. No, there is no great story hiding behind this....just thought I'd mention it out loud. Here is to many more centuries. . .
PS. I might feel the need to update this post and say something useful..something worth the let's-uncork-the-bubbly-moment someday. Keep watching the space. :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Relationships...

Later that day I got to thinking about relationships.
There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous. 

Monday, April 07, 2008

Longing..

There she stood, as always, complete with a pretty outfit and her curly hair as golden as the sun. Sometime she was looking out of the window, her head raised slightly skywards. On other occasions, she stood sideways on the sill, looking inwards..perhaps introspecting? Whatever be her mood, the contentment on her face was unmistakable. Every time I passed her by I wondered, what made her day, or was it life in general that continued to woo her?

Maybe it had something to do with her involvement with the differently-abled kids who visited her class each day. She gave them immense pleasure and joy time after time.

On rare occasions she stood with her hands stretched out towards the flowers on the other side of the window. On those days, her tranquil face belied her inner turmoil. When there were no flowers, the toy cars gave her company on the sill. She seemed content as usual, but I could tell that she yearned greatly for those flowers. Sadly they could never be hers.

This enigma of a doll that I see standing every single day beyond the glass of the classroom window fascinates me to no end. I pass her by and blow her a kiss, praying that one day she finds a prince who’ll give her plenty of flowers and more.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The sky, the sun and the cobs


I dont know what I have with sunsets and sunrises. But I seem to capture a hell lot of them on my cam. Here is a really effective one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To earth thou shall return.........

The shopping street was bursting at the seams with shoppers. They were undeterred by the intense heat of the Sun at it's best. The footpaths were occupied by hawkers selling everything from film star posters which gleamed due to their lamination and perhaps because they carried the image of current box office stars, to ropes and strings which could have as varied uses as hanging clothes to keeping pajamas in place. Jostling for pace among them were standee vendors selling lip smacking channa chor, cool cucumbers, delicious nariyal pani and even cubes of sugarcane. Crowd of shoppers congregated around these guys seeking respite, not from the sun, but from the non-stop shopping. Everyone had at least two bags hanging from their hands. It is amazing and paradoxical at the same time…this inexhaustible appetite for shopping…and the dooms day prediction of inflation.

Breaking the monotony of happy, colorful shoppers and happier shopkeepers was a sparkling white ambulance. It was standing parked at the foot of a building from where a staircase leads to the floors above. I tried to remember if I had ever seen an ambulance caked with mud, or much the worse for scrubbing. Not even close, I cannot remember an ambulance vehicle with so much as a speck of dirt on it. I understand the sanitary concerns and all that but just could not help wondering. A group of individuals had gathered near it. They were about 6-10 of them, people of various ages. A body, completely wrapped in stark white cloth, was brought out from the staircase. It was hard to make out anything of the individual whose mortal remains the stretcher was bearing. I briefly glanced at it, not letting my eyes linger more than a few seconds. There was no emotion on the face of those waiting around, no wailing women either. They placed the body in the ambulance with surprising quickness. Perhaps they had to make it to the cremation ground at the appointed time. I was preparing the cross the road when my eyes fell on an aged man, standing silent and watchful. He was standing by the side of the ambulance with a small cloth bag in his hand. A carrot or two peeped out of its top suggesting he’d been shopping for veggies on a street which sold anything but that. He looked at the building once, trying to guess perhaps the floor from which the body had been carried down. And then he looked at the body. His hands shook. For a fleeting moment I think he thought about his time here.


I went and bought myself a white pin stripped shirt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Repeat Orders

Such is Life...with a capital L. The past week has been tumultuous.

One of my favourite blogs has this beautiful poem that just summed it up really well. No more..no less. That it revolves around food is no coincidence.

I sit at my favorite table
In a purple coffee shop
Wearing smart corduroys
And a flimsy orange top.

I usually just take the largest cup
Of the hottest, strongest brew,
But it’s one of those days when I decide
To check out the menu.

Next to a dried blob of ketchup
Is a dish that sounds wry
It’s called ‘A slice of Life’
And it’s a piece of creamy fruit pie

I order it immediately
It sounds so cheery bright
It promises of taste and sin
And sounds just about right

I get my pie on a yellow plate
It’s a heaving slice in the center
A long metal spoon to scoop up with
It’s a positive Dementer

The pie has blueberries and apples
Folded cozily in creamy layers
And also hunks of warm custard bread
As some of its major players

It’s soft and spongy and buttery-sweet
And thickened to perfection
The fruit pieces blend in like
Image and reflection

I pick up the last morsel
And savour it with a sigh
I promise to remember this forever…
But I forget it by and by

Many seasons later
I am at a club for drinks,
I am now quite the party animal
Or so everyone around me thinks

I look for ruby concoctions
They are my secret fancy
I like to hear my ice cubes clink
To the feet of people dancing

But today there is something strange
The menu has a new wine
It’s called ‘A slice of Life’
So surreal, I sense, so apt,
and so completely mine

I order it and it comes
In an icy, sweaty glass
It has a thick, treacly residue
The color of sun-burnt grass

The slice of life that I had thought
To indicate a gesture divine
Was nothing more than a tubby squish
A squeeze of wet, sour lime

The music fades around me
And I remember a misty dream
A day in time in life in world
A pie with fruits and cream

They say there is rapture
In a sublimity that is unblinking
But the things one understands so well
When you are simply eating and drinking

A slice of life – a slice of life
How it changes so with time
Sometimes it is a cherished pie
Sometimes it is expensive wine

A slice of life – a slice of life
How it pushes perspective to the border
But however unexpected it may turn out
You only get it when you order.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The snug feeling

Hrithik is Adonis personified in JA. Those rippling well cut sinews are up for grabs…….by eyeballs that is. J It must be snug stuff.

I have been happily ignoring the snug feeling all these years. Yeah, it’s been 10 years, on and off, (more on than off) that I’ve been working out now. There’s not a machine I did not try or a technique I have not used. It took years for something close to a bulge to be added to my biceps, triceps, quads and calf. But when they did emerge finally, they were there to stay. I have given up on the six pack dream long ago..so we’re not going there. As long as I can see my feet completely when I bow my head and look, I’m OK, I think.

Gymming is a religion. The brotherhood of iron. So where were we..yes..the snug feeling. While my muscles decided to grow themselves, I was busy perusing fashions for active people. At one time I owned close to 5 track pants and a dozen tees, exclusively for the gym. I did not notice it when I could easily lift a 25 kg sack and carry it some distance. Nor I did not notice it when my stamina and endurance increased considerably and helped me achieve more in my outdoor adventures. I failed to take in the ease of being in my body and the comfort it gave. And I did not notice the confidence I exuded. All my eyes could see was how well my clothes fitted me toned frame and how my muscles.

It was the age for muscles to flourish and that they did superbly. I maintained an exercise log (still do) and meticulously recorded measurements. I looked forward to every month end when I could see and measure the progress. It was all about the data . . . every mm counted. Arrgh! The tiny details, the fine print.

Before I knew it, I was closer to the 30s. I can do all the above and more….but I see differently now. One grey winter day, I was packing up after working on my shoulders, lats and back. I changed my shoes, returned the thumb supports to their cases and dropped the towel in my bag. My back was aching with the effort. I winced as put on my sweatshirt. Everyone around was blowing on their hands, pulling on layers of woolly clothing, and generally trying to be warm. And all I could feel was snug….in just a tee, track pant and sweatshirt. The chill could not touch me..for I was warm on the inside. This was a different kind of snug. Not the kind you feel when you have the thickest fur or the fattest windcheater on you. This was the ‘hugging-the-teddy’ kind of snug. The ‘stay-in-bed-under-the-blanket’ kind of snug. While I was busy with the details, the big picture had passed me by.

I drove home with the joy of Archimedes making a discovery. The cold breeze licked my bare head and teased my 2 mm hair. It pinched my ears and turned them red. It could not make them cold to touch though. They were glowing in the warmth of new found old familiarity and the joy of discovering one more reason to live.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Celebrating F.R.I.E.N.D.S !!

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

A more apt poem hath never been put to paper. To all the friends I am privileged to have in my life and hold! This one is for you with everlasting love.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Reason

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You [x4]

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you....|||
By HOOBASTANK from the album The Reason

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flowers in the sky....

Laxmi Pujan is the best day of Diwali. I love it when Mother takes out the silver coins and other jewellery items for the puja and careful decorates them with flowers and rangoli. Then there is the unlimited Mithai to eat... yum!

The thing that most delights moi though is the festive fireworks that light up the night skies. They come in all shades of yellow, reds, blues and green...typically from the coloring agents used. Each variety has a typical burst audio and visual. First, they scattered in perfect alignment of a flower form, releasing a lot of light and heat. Latently, you hear a sharp (trrrac..t!) or a dull (dhum..t!) report of the burst. The fiery sparks fall to earth as they die out and I can hear their pitter-patter on my roof. Year after year, as I watch the magic unfold it remains superimposed in my eyes. Till the next year........

And yes, there are those times when India celebrates a rare win on the cricket and all festive hell breaks lose. .But those fireworks do not have same charm me thinks.

So what prompted this untimely post? Click here to read this interesting items on why Japan still makes the best fireworks ever.

I'll make it my next destination now!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2 items in my wishlist!

I am a great one for convenience. Little attributes that make a great product…..friendly, fast, cheap, and usable. Here are two I would love to lay my hands on.

I love cartoons and comics, and by correlation also love people who love these two. And I believe you can learn or impart much more learning/training from using comics that anything else. Which brings me to product # 1. Anybody who has seen the Adams Family toon, even in passing, will have noticed 'The Hand'. It runs, scurries, holds cards and fetches things. Well, now you can have you own ‘Hand’ to do your bidding. Read the interesting comments from geeks who follow such kind of things. :) [Sample: Can we get video of two of these hands jousting?] Very interesting!

And the second is a convenience for all those who love to cycle to work and but can’t due to the stuff they need to carry with them, like laptops etc. Ah! The sheer bliss of riding on a compact machine with nothing sticking out of the bicycle operational area, nothing to poke the walkers passing by…. A huge disclaimer though, India, or rather Pune will not figure on users map of this product, ever. Click here to find out.

The Grand Entrance