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Showing posts from 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 s…

Um..

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




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 …

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. P…

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.

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 …

#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!)

#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

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…

One from my garden.....

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The Night bloom

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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…

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, hop…

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. Rejec…

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. :)

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…

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…

Harajuku ~ Meadow Lodging

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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…

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.

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 …

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.

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.

Refraction!

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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.

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.

#22

...One cannot be without the other contrast and coexist yin and yang..

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!

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 …

B/W

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The eyes, look at the eyes.

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. :)

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. 
Sex and the City

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…

Looking ahead..both of us!

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Looking ahead, both of us. And me, ironically, it seems through the rear view! :)

The sky, the sun and the cobs

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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!

Sun sets over Pune

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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 channachor, cool cucumbers, delicious nariyalpani 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 p…

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 …

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 car…

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.

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 …

Flowers in the sky....

LaxmiPujan 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…

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…

The Grand Entrance

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