Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Main aur meri tanhai...

Chamakte chaand ko toota hua taara bana dala
Meri aawaargi ne mujhko aawaara bana dala

Aawargi (Ghulam Ali)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kuch Kuch Socha Hai!!

People have different ways of staying awake for late nights - coffee, loud music, cigarettes et al; for me Diet Coke works great. The only problem is that right now I have so much caffeine in my system, I can't get back to sleep if even though I want to. So have decided to write something, anything...

Karan "I'm in love with Shahrukh" Johar has made four movies:

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (K2H2)
Kal Ho Naa Ho (KHNH)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G)
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK)

I haven't seen two of these (KANK, K3G), but can note so many similarities within all his movies that I am tempted to just outline them, and then try to predict a few things for the next one.

The foreign l(h)and: I assume Yash Johar didn't allow KJo enough money to go abroad on the first one (K2H2, except for the songs in Scotland), but he made up for it by building a completely Americanized campus in the movie (bhai humein to bambai mein bhi aisa campus nahi dikha) - (and if mountain will not come to Muhammad...), he got Rani Mukherjee from London. Elsewhere, the locations have been New York (KANK, KHNH) and London (K3G).

Next location: London deserves another chance just to even it out.

1. The disco number (with English words): KANK - "Where's the Party tonight", K3G - "You're my Sonia", KHNH - "It's Time to Disco".

Next: "Let's do the disco tonight, Sonia"

2. The "If I have Amitabh Bachhan in my movie, I will make him dance" song: KANK - "Rock and Roll Soniye", K3G - "Say Shava Shava".

3. Opening peppy (correct Hindi term chulbula number which could include the word ladka/ladki) - K2H2 - "Ladki Badi Anjaani Hai", K3G - "Yeh Ladka Hai Allah", KHNH - "Pretty Woman". Not possible to have peppy numbers in KANK, people had kids at the beginning of the movie.

4. The "traditional Indian family marriage" number: Not possible for KANK - the entire theme was too un-traditional-Indian to begin with and sabki shaadi ho chuki thi. K3G - "Bole Chudiya", KHNH - "Maahi Ve", K2H2 - "Saajan ji Ghar Aaye".

5. The Title Song - woh to hona zaroori hai. Bina kisi gaane ke log poochenge, itna lamba naam kyun rakha film ka.

Injured/Dying people
KANK - He broke Shahrukh's leg
KHNH - He gave Shahrukh some terminal disease (I hope it was not blood cancer, the traditional bane of the upright Hindi film hero).
K2H2 - Rani ko maar diya!
Haven't seen K3G to know, but don't think anybody died.

Next: I hope he gives Shahrukhs lymphocarcoma of the intestine (or maybe the bladder, the colon, the cockles)!!

Shahrukh Khan can play macho sports
KANK - Football, KHNH - Rugby, K2H2 - Basketball

Next - Since he has done hockey in Chak De and cricket is too cliched, he might do baseball.

The foreign returned/staying guy/gal who follows Indian traditions and knows a song to prove that or something to the effect that Indian culture is the best
K2H2 - Rani, "Om Jai Jagdeesh",
KHNH - Some song plays while they are opening an Indian restaurant instead of a Chinese one
K3G - Somebody sings the Indian national anthem in the UK.

Next: Since LCMD ("My Apron is Stained") has done with Hanuman Chalisa, I think the next one will likely feature "Vande Matram" (both religious and nationalistic angle!)

It is late in the night, and even though I can go on for long, I think I'll just stop. Can feel sleep finally coming over me. Will draw something around the other Yash (Chopra) movies some other time.


I turned 23 recently; no firecrackers went up, no thunderstorms lashed the city; even the traffic was pretty quiet :). My manager came to know of it, and took the team out to dinner. I returned to office and worked till 5 in the morning.

Different years signify different turns in life:

3 - eyes wide open
5 - first lie
9 - crossing the street
10 - riding a bicycle
12 - girls, self-consciousness
16 - rebellion
18 - ambition
21 - expectations
24 - maturity
30 - responsibilities
35 - mid-life crisis
40 - last chance for greatness

I can't imagine a life beyond 40, not yet.

What does 23 mean? At 23, I and other close ones have expectations from me; I am not fully mature yet. It is one of those in-between phases, like the period between two exams.

I am fairly confident of clearing the exams - have spent the last 23 years, coached by parents, teachers, friends and circumstances to become mature and go on to take responsibilities (sort of like an MBA after bachelors :D).

Except that the exams never end, and as they say, it is not the marks that matter, it is what you have learnt; and so how you do in them is perhaps not so important as studying hard and enjoying the subjects you are being taught. Also, one doesn't need to take particular subjects just because a teacher recommended it, or because the guy next to you is taking it.

In interviews/chats with friends, I have been asked, "where I see myself 5/10/20/30 years down the line" - I have a few ready answers, none of which is any closer to the truth than the other.

I really don't know what I want to do beyond 40, or even before it. What I know is that I am no longer afraid of it - the subjects are interesting, and in any case, exams mein luck factor bhi to hota hai :D.

Monday, October 22, 2007


It's been nigh 15 months since I joined my job, and after the initial honeymoon of the first few months had gotten over, I had settled into a staid, stultifying, low energy, low enthu routine - where I would work just enough to satisfy my boss - and never go the extra mile. Until now.

I am liking this assignment - I stay late for work a lot now, but am cribbing less about it. The work is fun, and I am taking extra responsibilities and doing them well. What has been the impulse for this change? I am not too sure, but a combination of greater respect of my abilities by my current boss, resolution of several past hangups, acceptance of my limitations vis-a-vis my other colleagues and satisfaction about my current state in life (and love-life) - all these have led to it.

I am not too worried about my career these days - I had done badly in an assignment a few months back and now that expectations from me are low, I can finally look above them and see myself doing better.

I read a poem by Longfellow the other day, and have fallen in love with it; am reproducing it fully here:

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Indeed, into each life, some rain must fall :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


“What can be done in hell? They sang. For where there is no more hope, song remains.”

-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary

Friday, September 07, 2007


If on a winter's night a traveller....

...takes the road less travelled....

...he'll probably have miles to go before he sleeps.

I am in love with...

...the model who appears in HDFC Standard Life Insurance ad as "Neha" who wants to go to the US to study but has a funding problem ("US ki scholarship mili lekin sirf aadhi") until her father pitches is ("koi hai jo saalon se tumhare liye paise ka intezaam kar raha hai").

In the same ad, she displays intelligence (US mein padhai karne ja rahi hai bhai), vulnerability ("lekin paise kahan se aayenge"), confidence (the way she walks in a suit at the end) and vivacity ("main to abhi bhi itti si hoon"), and I go weak in my knees and start singing the three JAVA versions song - mar java, mit java, kar java :D

My dear blog readers, if any of you know about her, or anyone who might know about her - please tell me. Main tumhari US ki scholarship poori lagwa dunga. Neha ko kehna ki US na jaaye, aur yadi woh jaa chuki hai to use bata dena ki main aa raha hoon.


I suggest (the very few readers of this blog) to take the shortest political quiz in the world.

I discovered that I was a Centrist

CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government

control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on

the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention

and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.

Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind,

tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what

they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

I always though I was right conservative and that is reflected in my position in the political chart

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just a Thought

If there is one attribute I would like to add to my personality, it is wit. I really admire and envy people who are witty. They are the kings of conversation and given short attention spans, nobody really remembers the stories people tell; quips and punch-lines however really stick.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thoughts on a Friday evening...

Restless people stay unsatisfied underachievers; as soon as they achieve a modicum of success at anything, they get bored and start looking around.

To be truly successful, not only does one need to be innovative and bold and flamboyant but also sometimes persistent and dogged; having the will to do the most mundane things in the world, to get to the top. As we learn soberingly, the most talented aren't necessarily the most successful, and genius is overrated in comparison to will.

The path to success doesn't end with designing the first stone but by relentless laying of the same stone through the entire path.

And retroconsequently, there are those who promise so much, yet deliver so little, leaving us with only the thought of what they could have done with a little less genius and a little more stability. Am reminded of one such man:

"I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just a Thought

I grew up believing that one reason India didn't do well in sports was that we were too divided, never really gelled as a team, each man for himself kind (point of view deeply influenced by the newspapers which parroted the same thing). But if you look at it, the only times Indians have done well in sports have been team events - hockey, cricket and tennis-doubles! Compared to individual sports (which are many more in number) where we have no past/present world champion to speak of (chess/cue games aren't strictly sports in my opinion), our performance in team sports has been quite better.

Though the data points aren't too many, is it time we question the long-held assumption that we are a selfish nation?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ruk! Ruk! Ruk! Arre baba ruk!

Watching Hindi movies of the mid-90s leaves me dumbfounded. Movies I remember liking at that time now seem to have such juvenile plotlines, hammed acting, pointless sequences and just plain bad dialogues; makes me wonder how I could have watched them then.

Case in point - I happened to watch a few minutes of Raja by Indra Kumar the other day. I remember watching the movie when it came out and liking it. But seeing it this second time was such a pain. There was no visible link from scene to another. Loads of toilet humour (a prelude to the sex comedies we have now), inane dialogues - "ek ladki ka pehla chumban uske mehboob ke liye hota hai memsaab, kisi rahgeer ke liye nahi" - and this dialogue delivered with a wooden face by Sanjay Kapoor floored Madhuri!! Man, I should have been 20 then, would have had better luck with the ladies :)

Similarly, the other day, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was coming on TV. I can't imagine what made me spend my parents' hard-earned money to watch the movie twice in theatres. Watching Laxmikant Berde ham through his lines and assorted relatives talk about how happy, lucky and well-fed they were left me worried about what sort of person I was, growing up.

I understand that Hindi movies reached the Nadir in the 80s with "Himmatwala" Jitendra and assorted Govinda, Mithun flicks which had actresses of the ilk of Jayaprada, Kimi Katkar, Meenakshi, Sonam etc. The early 1990s it seems weren't much better. Now we have the Johar-Chopra-RGV-SLB movies which though have excuses for storylines, generally make it up with better production values and (most of the time) decent acting (though there are exceptions like Dhoom2, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom etc).

Maybe things haven't changed a bit, and I am probably just watching better movies by preselecting them; while I was indiscriminate during my childhood, lapping up anything/everything that came up for viewing. And seeing that a crappy movie like Dhoom2 can make more than a 100 crores makes me realise that there are still children growing up like me; and I fully sympathize with them.

I really like some of the small independent (multiplex?) movies that come out these days. Iqbal, Dor, Pyaar ke Side Effects, Life in a Metro, Khosla ka Ghosla etc are some of my favourites. It is good that economics have worked out in the favour of such flicks, that they can recover their cost without catering to the (really) lowest common denominator. The occasional Chak de India never hurts too.

I guess many directors have the ability to make good movies, but a few years struggling in the industry makes them realise the demand is for masala movies and they begin catering to that, to survive and flourish and as years pass, their instincts go away too. You either need to be really brave or really carefree to make movies you want them to be like. And not many succeed.

But some do. I was watching Chupke Chupke last weekend and sat through the entire movie, and liked it. Hrishikesh Mukherjee made really beautiful movies and Golmaal, Anand, Bawarchi, Khatti-Meethi, Chupke Chupke have stayed with me even though I first saw them so many years ago. I guess he was able to achieve the perfect balance between good and marketable movies.

But then these are few and far between. Most only make up good actresses like Tabu dance to the tune of "Love, love, love, love....tumse love hua".

Monday, August 20, 2007

And the Oscar goes to.......Arindam Chaudhuri!!

Picked up from Google News. Please read the entire thing. I am not in a position to comment on it - mujhe to kehne layak hi nahi chhoda!!

Make way for Planman Motion Pictures THE LAST LEAR!

Immediately in the heels of the Cannes spectacle, where Rituparno Ghosh's DOSAR, produced by Planman Motion Pictures was screened to an enthralled world audience, Planman Motion Pictures announces the biggest thing to happen to Indian cinema this year. Their film THE LAST LEAR, directed by Rituparno Ghosh, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal and Shefali Shah, is having its World Premiere at The Toronto International Film Festival this year. This Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri presentation will be premiered on September 9 at the Roy Thomson Hall, the largest and most important cinema theatre in Toronto. The film has been selected for the Gala Premiere, the most prestigious section and centerpiece of the illustrious Festival. Walking the Red Carpet would be Amitabh Bachchan, Rituparno Ghosh, Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri, Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal and other cast and crew of the film. A jubilant Prof. Chaudhuri says, "THE LAST LEAR is indeed a very important and powerful film. The story, Rituparno Ghosh's magic and the performances are all world class. This is our next film in our commitment towards fine cinema. I am sure this film will be appreciated as much by the world audience as by the Indians."

THE LAST LEAR, as it is just completed, seems to be only beginning its run now. Over the last 32 years, the Toronto International Film Festival has grown into one of the most important film festivals of the world, showcasing the cream of world cinema. It is an honor for not only the makers, but for the entire nation to be present on such a revered platform. Of course, the entire team is extremely excited about the selection. Says Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee, CEO � Planman Motion Pictures, "THE LAST LEAR is a powerful Indian English film, mounted and styled in a way that it appeals to the global audience. We are planning and programming the campaign in such a way that it becomes a truly international presentation from India. We can assure that the Toronto Gala Premiere will just be the beginning of an ambitious original Indian presentation."

In the Mussoorie schedule of the film, there were some intense and difficult scenes that needed to be shot in the mountainous town. As the spellbound crew watched in amazement as Mr. Bachchan, Preity and Arjun enacted some tough scenes, even the animals seemed to have taken a break from their daily activities to watch the mavericks. The only roar that could be heard was of Mr. Bachchans, the only other sound was that of the rolling camera. Says a unit member, "It was amazing! We were all watching Mr. Bachchan perform in stunned silence. Suddenly, he breaks into the song 'The hills are alive with the sound of music', it was so unexpected that we all took a few seconds to realize it and join in. It was a welcome break in the otherwise strenuous schedule!"

Planman Motion Pictures has been consistently making good cinema, since its inception in 2002. Good cinema, as they say, knows no boundaries. Their last release, DOSAR, is making waves at film festivals around the world. Since its release in Kolkata, DOSAR is now highly sought-after all across the world. It has already been an official selection in over ten prestigious film festivals and now after Toronto, it will be screened at Washington followed by a gala screening at The Indo-American Arts Council in New York. Still touring, the film is currently in Europe and in the USA, mesmerizing audiences all over. FALTU, yet another Planman Motion Pictures production was in competition at a Festival in Spain, where it stunned the Western audience with its dazzling visuals and distinct narrative. For Planman Motion Pictures, it's been an exceptionally busy year with Cannes also wanting to include MITHYA (Directed by Rajat Kapoor) in their official programme for 2007. However, the film was not complete then and they didn't want to compromise on the quality of post-production by rushing through it. But MITHYA was showcased at the recently held Osian Cinefan in New Delhi. The attendance there was tremendous, with the overfull auditorium having enthusiastic viewers sitting even on the stairways and blocking the gangways! The audience clapped, whistled and cheered all through the film, a sight that is very rare these days. After a bumper preview response, MITHYA is generating tremendous response in several 'A' league film festivals across the world, while in the home circuit; distributors are all too keen to lap up the film with their best offers.

While these films are already creating waves, Planman Motion Pictures has also just completed the shooting of it's next in the line-up, I M 24. This modern day laugh riot is written and directed by Saurabh Shukla. The next in pre-production right now is RANGEEN, which is a hilarious adaptation of Shakespeare's �A Midsummer Night's Dream'. The film is written and directed by Sharat Katariya of BHEJA FRY fame. Immediately after THE LAST LEAR's grand premiere in Toronto, Planman Motion Pictures would wrap up the post-production of Rituparno Ghosh's comic fantasy SUNGLASS starring Jaya Bachchan, Madhavan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Naseeruddin Shah and Raima Sen. This comic entertainer also promises path breaking music by Kolkata band 21 grams, the lyrics of which have been penned by Prasoon Joshi and the songs have been choreographed by Bosco-Ceaser. Quite a palette this is! Seems like THE LAST LEAR is only the first of many fine films coming from the Planman Motion Pictures stable!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Weekends with Me

Weekends have always been very important to me. From "the dreary desert sand of dead habit" of the weekdays, weekends uplift me. On Friday afternoons, I usually leave early deciding to get some work done on Sunday evening, but as with all "best laid plans", this too never transpires; the work spilling over to Monday morning. But no worries, I am in a really good mood today because I had a really nice weekend.

Started out with going out for dinner on Friday evening with my brother-in-law who was in town - though the conversation dragged on for a bit; he couldn't stop talking about stock markets, IPOs, portfolios, how much money he was making, blah, blah...Thankfully, the food was amazing and I didn't mind as long as my mouth was full. After dinner, he dropped me to my place and I drifted off to a long sleep.

Saturday morning - I woke up and called a friend, whom I hadn't seen in quite a while and made a lunch appointment. I started watching "Stagecoach" and finished it, and had started "Judgment at Nuremberg" by the time he came. We walked out to lunch, and the weather was really pleasant as we talked of college days, and what was happening to so many of our common friends. We found a good restaurant, had lunch and he dropped me since he had to go to office and we promised to meet up in the evening. I went off to sleep and woke up to continue watching Judgment. Meanwhile, my Mama called me up inviting me to dinner Sunday night and asked what my exact date of birth was (?). Anyways, it was a really long movie and before I could finish it; my friend had come up to my place. We went bowling. I like bowling; it is a game where reducing your margin of error can fetch you great dividends, and my specialty in bowling is sending down absolutely straight balls right in the centre, and I was in good form that day. After bowling, we had dinner and he came up to my place. We started seeing "A Christmas Story" but before we could finish it, both of us drifted to sleep.

I woke up to my phone ringing. I didn't recognize the number; it was from my sister's in-laws some of who live in this town. They invited me to a lunch to their place and despite some protests (albeit weak); they were insistent and I had to agree. I drifted off to sleep before they called me up again to give their address. I couldn't get back to sleep so I finished off "A Christmas Story". My friend also got up and after having breakfast, left. I went up to my sister's in-laws place and endured a long painful conversation with some elder members of their family (some concerning my specialization in engineering) before some young people joined the group after which it was more fun. After lunch, I took my leave and returned to complete watching "Judgment at Nuremberg" (amazing movie, btw) . After that, I called up a couple of juniors to get together for dinner and they invited me to come to their place. On the way, I called up my Mama and cancelled the evening plan saying I was too tired to take the long drive to and fro from his place. At my juniors', it was nice chatting up with them after a long time; met with some of their colleagues from other colleges; spent a lot of time comparing one institute to another and post-dinner went off to have some ice-cream. They dropped me to my place; and after watching some TV, I went off to some very peaceful sleep.

This is what a weekend should be like - full of sleep, good food and some good times with friends!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday afternoon blues!

What was a crisis yesterday seems trivial today, what seems a hindrance today will cease to be important tomorrow!

As Major Kuldeep Singh Chandupuri (Sunny Deol) admonished Mathura Das (Sudesh Berry) in 'Border' - "zindagi ka naam hi problem hai, kab tak bhagte rahoge"

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Experiments With Lies

I consider myself some sort of an expert at lying. Successful lying is actually textbook stuff:

1. Have a straight face and speak clearly
2. Say it confidently - with the true parts of the story with greater emphasis and lower your voice for the false parts
3. Reference to the above - no story can be completely false, do have some "universally true" statements within the story to make it believable - it needs to believably ambiguous
4. Most importantly, you have to believe in the story (for the time being) yourself!

Lying is very addictive. Seeing somebody believe a story you created has a very special thrill; making up something as you go along is much more fun (and riskier). Once I had discovered that I was good at it, I started lying about very mundane things, like,"what did you have for breakfast","which cricket team do you like" etc, just to see what limits I could stretch. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I never used it with an intent of malice.

Then there are those who are really good at catching lies. I have a lot of admiration for such people. I knew a girl in college who caught me the first time I tried to spin something by her (I was trying to describe my hometown), and I have respected her ever since.

I don't have a point to make here but I guess what I started out to write was that sometimes I feel incredibly guilty about lying and think about abandoning it altogether, and I am able to (atleast for a while); but life seems so trite and boring and mundane and uneventful, that I come back to it.

Therefore, lie but with care!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


As sad as my life is, I sometimes wonder what it is like for others? Since I have been able to mask the pointlessness of my own existence so well with others, has the same been going on with everybody else too? Do we all lead lives of quiet depression?

I really don't know, and for the world's sake; I hope I am wrong!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Gold teeth and a curse for this town...

"Would you rather lead an unhappy life with a greater purpose, or an ordinary but pleasant and happy one?" I was discussing future career options with a colleague/friend, when he brought this question up. I thought some time before replying to it.

Like the well-worn cliche, my life has been a series of ups and downs. When I try to take a look back and see what it has been like, I remember being worried/sad/frustrated/angry through most of it. In hindsight, many things that I have worried about/been sad about have turned out to be unimportant in the long run. There have been flashes of happiness but few and far between. Most of them have been due to winning races, but since the race never ends but one only changes tracks, it has been mostly a sad journey.

On the surface, it shouldn't be so. I am a pretty successful person professionally. I have a great job at which I am not doing too badly and have good future prospects. My parents love me, I have a decent set of friends (many of with whom I don't interact as much as I probably should), and I have a set of hobbies that I can't spend enough time on.

But the fact remains that if I have to try and record over a sufficient period of time; the %age of time I have been happy v/s sad - it is a sad fact of life, that the answer weighs heavily in favour of the latter.

At some stage, I diagnosed that this was probably due to my own high expectations of myself, my fear of defeats and my constant pushing myself towards something more challenging, and that too not very healthily, not in a positive sense of trying to push my limits, but something more sinister; like a screw tightening the bolt to fit in a slot.

I have tried to turn the tide; most recently early this year; tried to bring myself to face with my strengths and shortcomings and make peace with my own self. It didn't really work out, and I don't really care too much about the details.

A part has to do with the fact that I am an incredibly lonely person. There are three reasons for that:

1. My family is not one that talks about emotions, feelings etc. From the childhood itself, I have never been able to open upto them about these things; and as things have grown more complicated, it has grown more difficult.

2. I haven't really had strong friends. My childhood was spent largely alone, mostly in the company of books, and most friendships I have made have been of a symbiotic transactional nature. The closest I have gotten to real friends was pretty late too - in college and even that was screwed by the third and the biggest reason.

3. For some reason (maybe due to my insularity during childhood or my incredibly competitive nature); I have had very cautious and suspicious instincts against people in general and my peers in particular. It was later compounded by my completely inability to converse in truth which reduced my trustworthiness among others.

My two failed experiments at relationships with the other sex hasn't helped matters. As much as I hope that I am able to get over things, I am too scared right now, and my self-belief in having and maintaining relationships is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

All this has now led to a belief that I am probably pathologically incapable of being happy; and conditions being such, I should probably find a cause/reason to live for rather than try to live a life for myself.

Thus, I replied to my friend,"If the cause is something worthwhile, as in something that affects the lives of people in a positive fashion, and not something like increasing the turnover of a company etc, I think yes, I would be willing to choose a life of purpose over a life of happiness".

As much as I wish my answer changes in the future, I don't think it will.

P.S. This is being written at 12 in the night in an airport while waiting for a 3 o'clock flight. Due to the lack of sleep and general mood of sadness all around me, things might look worse than they actually are. Or maybe as a friend leaving for London said in parting, "Just get a girl, everything will be all right"

For my own sake, I hope he is right!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jawaan ho yaaron...

Two movies I can watch infinite number of times, and which make me happy, cheerful and hopeful of the future, movies which came in the early 1990s, and which I have seen so many times, and remain as fresh as ever - "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar" and "Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa".

I am not going to analyze this too much. Last night, I had to make a very important presentation; I had to get up at 3 to work, because I ended up watching Shahrukh Khan (probably in the only performance which I unconditionally love) try and fail in getting Anna.

Similarly, the first song that comes to me when I get ready for a group song is always "Jawaan ho yaaron", and I don't know anyone who doesn't love "Pehla Nasha", the pure innocence of the youthful love never fails to send goosebumps through me.

Over the years, as I have become more cynical (reading too much Russian literature and watching von Trier movies hasn't helped I suppose :D), it is these kind of movies which can just make me feel good about myself/and the world.

P.S. The presentation went off fine, btw.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kisi Shayar ki Ghazal...

It is 5:30 PM. I have a flight at 6:30, and the airport is still some distance away. I am getting fidgety. My driver misses a traffic signal, I start fidgeting some more. Then it happens...

An auto stops to the left of us. I turn my head. The auto is slightly ahead of us, so all I can see of the passenger are the legs. She is wearing a red salwar kameez, and sandals of the ethnic variety, like the ones you'd get at Janpath - I never liked Janpath stuff particularly but I knew someone who did, so ended up going there and buying a lot. A few memories return but only for a fleeting second as curiosity takes over and I crane my head slightly. I can see her hands now, they are small, and she is drumming her fingers, fiddling with the phone.- she has the same Nokia as I do. And she is wearing brown nail-polish.

I am interrupted by a small kid who comes to the window, peddling tabloids. He tries a few times, but finding me uninterested, goes to the auto next. She takes one and then brings out her purse from the other side, and pays him. And then my driver inches slightly ahead and I get a look...

Golden brown, texture like sun
Lays me down, with my mind she runs

The light turns green and we speed ahead. I try saying something; nothing comes out, I mutter to the driver to rush, and he complies. I make it to the airport and fly back home.

The song is still running in my mind.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I have a dream...

I have a dream that one day this world will fall on its feet and cry out "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are not created equal. There are some born to rule and some born to serve"

I have a dream that one day on the steppes of the Americas and the plains of Asia, people will sit down together at the table and praise the Lord for delivering me to the world.

I have a dream that one day what I say will be gospel and the leaders of men will be in attendance to my presence.

I had a dream today.

And then, I woke up and went to office to continue making slides.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In and Around

As I was looking out from the office window, just decided to put down a few things which can be seen from where I sit.

My office faces an air-hostess training centre :D, so there is a constant stream of pretty young girls moving in and out, through the day. There are several reasons work doesn't get done during the day, not the least this one - since a lot of time is spent by me and my colleagues just staring out of the window. Another reason for a constant peep outside the window is the long line of the most expensive and good-looking cars that make an appearance in our porch. There have been Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Audis, BMWs and Mercs are a constant fixture.

Our office also faces a Barista, which we frequent very regularly (and unlike college, we order too!). During my nine months here, my order dish has changed quite a bit. I would initially favour the usual Brrrista but then moved to ordering Apple Smoothie, and having gotten tired of it, now order Black Currant Smoothie and an Apple Pie (with sauce). Our version of siesta is to go to barista after lunch, order something with caffeine (to avoid sleep during the afternoons) and chat around for a while - and we really look forward to doing that.

I like my job - and where I work adds to the satisfaction level tremendously!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


In the beginning of the year, I made a resolution that for the next 12 months, I would take life easy. It is to my credit that I have been able to sustain this for half-a-year. I have slowed down a bit, stopped thinking about my career all the time, gotten in touch with a few old friends, and generally have had a more chilled out life. Increasingly, however, there are signs that I am going to get back to the constant-fight-in-life mode once again. Spurred on by a senior's advice that I need to accelerate it a bit, I am now coming to terms with the fact that I have a tremendous fear of failure. And as philosophical it is to say that I need to get over it, I am not ready to. Yet.

Am spending more time in the office these days; though not working so much since I still need to shake off the habit of reading numerous blogs, and constant browsing through wikipedia. It has become addictive to the extent that I am up till 1 in the office since I spent the entire morning on

This blog is unlikely to see a lot of activity from now on. Don't have much to write since I don't think about very interesting things anymore.

But then, I could be very wrong about this prediction too.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

" "

In the last post, I mentioned Chasing Amy as one of my favourite movies. Now, I like almost all Kevin Smith movies, but in my opinion Clerks is not only more popular but also better made. Why, I like Chasing Amy a lot has to do with one piece of conversation that occurs in the movie and I reproduce it here for your benefit:

"Silent Bob: [to Holden] So there's me an' Amy, and we're all inseparable, right? Just big time in love. And then about four months in, I ask about the ex-boyfriend. Dumb move, I know, but you know how it is - you don't really want to know, but you just have to... stupid guy bullshit. Anyway she starts telling me all about him - how they dated for years, lived together, her mother likes me better, blah, blah, blah - and I'm okay. But then she tells me that a couple times, he brought other people to bed with them - ménage a tois, I believe it's called. Now this just blows my mind. I mean, I'm not used to that sort of thing, right? I was raised Catholic.

: Saint Shithead.

Silent Bob: So I get weirded out, and just start blasting her, right? This is the only way I can deal with it - by calling her a slut, and telling her that she was used - I mean, I'm out for blood I want to hurt her - because I don't know how to deal with what I'm feeling. And I'm like "What the fuck is wrong with you?" and she's telling me that it was that time, in that place, and she didn't do anything wrong, so she's not gonna apologize. So I tell her it's over, and I walk.

Jay: Fucking-A.

Silent Bob: No, idiot. It was a mistake. I wasn't disgusted with her, I was afraid. At that moment, I felt small - like I'd lacked experience, like I'd never be on her level or never be enough for her or something. And what I didn't get was that she didn't care. She wasn't looking for that guy anymore. She was looking for me, for the Bob. But by the time I realized this, it was too late, you know. She'd moved on, and all I had to show for it was some foolish pride, which then gave way to regret. She was the girl, I know that now. But I pushed her away...So I've spent every day since then chasing Amy...So to speak."

Kevin Smith plays Silent Bob and reserves himself the best lines:

[in Clerks]

"You know, there's a million fine-looking women in the world, but they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of them just cheat on you."

Sometimes, in the most unexpected of places, we learn about love, life and relationships.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Random List

Movies, which never became blockbusters or won oscars (or filmfares), or even developed a major cult f0llowing, but are some of my personal favourites:

1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. O Brother, Where Art Thou!
3. Socha Na Tha
4. The Straight Story
5. True Romance
6. Chasing Amy
7. Dogville
8. Garden State

Just felt like noting them down somewhere!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Despite several complaints, time and again, my newspaperwala ends up depositing The Times of India outside our flat. We shifted to the The Hindustan Times long back (it is atleast readable), but I guess the commission is heftier in TOI that periodically he decides to throw it at our doorstep (a rant about TOI some other time). So, many mornings I have to subject myself to read the filth that it spews. What has pissed me however is the way in which - in the last few weeks - there has been atleast a column a day lambasting Sachin Tendulkar, and suggestions from former players (many of whom had to be kicked out of the team) asking Tendulkar to retire "gracefully", as they put it.

I started watching cricket in the early 1990s. I remember seeing my first ODI in 1991 - an India/WI match which was a tie - it was a thriller of a match, with the last WI wicket falling with 1 run required. I was hooked!

It was a very bad time for Indian cricket. We used to lose consistently; defeats from positions of strength were very common; we didn't have many exciting players, no great heroes, the last one - Kapil Dev, only a shadow of his former self. The lineup consisted of such elegant ball-leavers and padders - Shastri, Manjrekar, Sidhu et al (interestingly all commentators now), and the action was provided by Srikkanth, whose batting was more Harbhajan Singh than Adam Gilchrist (both in style and extent of stay). Then, one yearned for a matchwinner, somebody who could singlehandedly take the battle to the opposition, somebody who could swing his bat and grind the bowlers to dust, somebody who wouldn't disappoint you! We got one - a boy, oh! but what a man he was, Sachin Tendulkar!

Every nation-generation needs a sporting hero. While one can applaud Pete Sampras or Michael Schumacher, it is difficult to embrace somebody who lives saat samundar paar and doesn't talk/eat/dress like you. Maybe in a smaller nation, but a nation of 1 billion can't outsource its need for heroes like that. In our generation, who spent our teens in the mid-90s to early 2000s, our hero was Sachin.

Before the ascent of Ganguly, Dravid etc, it was Sachin who would lead the Indian batting show. Azharuddin was a wonderful batsman in his own right, but scandal has marred his legacy. In any case, he never caught the imagination of the nation. The other batsmen were merely support cast. When Sachin would get out, people would close off their TV sets and go to sleep, similarly, until he stayed, hope still reigned that "something" would happen, and it sometimes did.

For many years, Sachin and Anil Kumble were the only two genuine match-winners India had. Most of the matches India won in the mid-90s were through their performances (alone or together) - sometimes almost super-human (the two crazy nights in Sharjah, the 10-wicket haul against Pakistan). They laid the foundation on which Indian cricket enjoyed a golden period in the early 2000s, what with the victories against Australia, Pakistan, England and the WC Finals. But by then, they had company; until then they had carried on, Atlas-like carrying the hopes and expectations of a billion.

Well, and how has the nation responded to them. Anil Kumble has been made fun of by almost everyone - "he can't spin a ball", "batsman can play him as they play medium-pacers", "only on Indian wickets"; nobody noticing the fact that through guile and variation, he tricked batsmen to almost 550 test wickets, that when Tendulkar failed, most of the batsmen didn't leave him with even 200 runs to bowl 10 full overs to. Kumble's story is more about a man not getting his due, but then bowlers have never been given much attention in this game (even Kapil Dev is known more for his dare-devilry with the bat than his exploits with the ball).

As the Tendulkar controversy is unfolding, it is suprising and exasperating that people are baying for his blood, even though he can keep his place in the team purely on the basis of current form - that the team has no bench strength, that to find somebody to replace Sachin, even at current form is not easy. Even his most ardent supporters will agree that he is long past his prime, and is unlikely to be the Sachin of old. But he deserves the right to be allowed to retire when he feels it is time, he has been criticised several times but has come back with a bang - I believe he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt, who knows he still has it in him, and if he doesn't, lets trust him to realize that and quit on his own.

For many years, Sachin was the sporting icon of this nation, and he bore the mantle with grace and dignity. It's just "not cricket" to treat him thus now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sei Samay

Browsing through Wikiquote, I chanced upon the page of "The Wonder Years". This show used to be telecast on Star in the mid-to-late 90s in the afternoons at 4:30; I would get back from school just in time to change my clothes and eat my evening snack in front of the TV . As I went through the page, I was transported back to the my time in school, the time before I turned all worldly-wise and cynical and stopped trying to make sense of things around me.

Going through the page, I realised I remembered many episodes very vividly. The nostalgia here hits you harder not only because I saw that show before I left home (and the life associated therewith) but also because it was a show about nostalgia. Granted, there wasn't much common that happened in my life with Kevin Arnold's in terms of actual events (particularly those relating to the incomparable Winnie Cooper) but then the connect went deeper than that.

"It was a strange and passionate time. Some of our dreams dissolved into thin air. They almost seem comical now. But some of our dreams are lasting and real"

Adolescence is the age when you pay a lot of attention to yourself. I mean as a child, your thinking is mostly driven by your parents and teachers, after 20 you start worrying about the future and after that you are almost always too embroiled with the world to pay attention to yourself (Note : I am extrapolating based on the life of adults I have seen and the way my life is shaping here - I have no direct evidence of this. In the realm of possibility, maybe most middle-aged people actually spend a lot of time in self-exploration rather than worrying about their kids' education and collecting enough to buy a house.) So, it was the time I used to dream; at various times, I thought of becoming a cricketer (not caring that I found it difficult to even carry a bat), a film-star, a treasure hunter (yes! I used to actually spend a lot of time digging the fields behind my house, the high point of the brief career being a shoe my father had lost a few years before) and many such things. It was the time, when the mind was trying to think on its own. I wouldn't go so far as to say that watching the show changed my life, but yes at times it gave me some perspective; told me it was okay to be confused.

"In 7th grade, who you are is what other 7th graders say you are. The funny thing is it’s hard to remember the names of kids you spent so much time trying to impress".

I used to very self-conscious when in school, maybe everybody was, but then I didn't know that. There were a few girls I had crushes on and I used to behave very awkwardly around them. I remember straightening my tie for the perfect knot, agonizingly removing the last crease from my shirt, trying to get the perfect curl on my forehead. I was taking the first tentative steps in the field of male-female relationship dynamics - and it was very difficult, and complicated and interesting and full of discoveries all at the same time. I guess we all start by assuming that the world is logical and plays by certain rules - and hope to discover what they are.

"Maybe we weren't aware of it then, amid the school paper-drives, and the scalloped potatoes, and the sounds of the neighbor's children playing... But life was rich there… In our small sanctuary. And precious."

And it is now that I have begun to yearn for the place I spent my childhood in. I spent around a week there some time back and remembered being calm and comfortable with my surroundings after a lot of time. It's not as if growing up is perfect - in fact it is a very painful period fraught with possibility of scars that last lifetimes, but it is also the last peaceful calm before the inevitable storm. And having left the shores now, I can only look back and wonder.

"Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder."

The next best thing to do is to watch the show again. Will try to get my hand on some episodes. :D

Friday, March 30, 2007


Are narcissists gay?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Abort, Retry, Fail?

It seems many people started using computers only after Windows 95 had come in, and don't have any clue as to what the earlier OS (the ubiquitous MSDOS) was like. I had started out using Windows 3.1 which had to be run as an executable file - C:\WINDOWS win [enter]. While working on MSDOS, often the drives couldn't detect media (e.g. floppy drives) and the following message would appear: Ab0rt, Retry, Fail?

What you then did, and which option you chose has an interesting correlation to what sort of a person you are, and how you would react during relationship crises!

If you were the "this is done - let's move and look for something else" kind, you would say "Fail", and then go and try to look for something else which would run the application. In relationships, these are people who can rebound from one to another quickly, without any emotional baggage.

If you were the "I'm done for - this the end of everything" kind, you would press "Abort" and get out of the mess. Such people aren't able to take heartbreaks easily and take a lot of time to come out of the hangover.

Lastly, if you are the "main fight maarunga" kind you would press "Retry" again and again, and despite knowing that most likely nothing in the system has changed and the probability of the thing working after a retry is minuscule, you would keep on retrying. The analogy is pretty clear and doesn't need an explanation.

Now, yours truly considers himself a fighter, and it is pretty clear what my attempts during relationships have been. There are times, however, when the realization sets in that enough is enough, probably pressing 'R' again and again is just going to hurt your fingers; and however much you might wish that the drive works; you realize that some drive and media are just not meant to be mutually readable.

After several retries during five years (and three junctions in life); it is finally time to say "Fail", and as much as a failure hurts you, it is sometimes the only thing to do to avoid a system crash.

C'est la vie!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I have been working (or atleast getting away by looking busy) for around 8 months now, and have come to know many people, primarily the superiors in my firm, who are successful, who have so-to-speak, made it in life. Almost all of them of them belong to the usual meritocratic class - strong academic performances - IIT/IIM, fighter spirit and the ambition to go ahead. I work hard to learn from them, emulate them, and when I see signs within myself that I am slowly becoming like them, I feel great. All such signs, except one.

During my stay here, there have been several instances where I have seen them being rude, abusive and (at the least) condescending to people who are in a lower economic strata than they are. This includes taxi chauffeurs, waiters, liftmen, peons and the like. I find it terribly disgusting when I see them shouting at them, knowing the other can't get back at you. Seeing them thus, I have told myself several times that I would never stoop to such a level, would always try to look at things from the other point of view, and would maintain my dignity, and believed that I would be able to do this. Until yesterday.

I happened to be at the Old Delhi railway station yesterday afternoon, and it was raining heavily. I had left the car on the main road, and when my business at the station was done and I had to leave, I asked the car to come in and get me. Either my instructions were not clear enough, or the traffic was very heavy; in any case neither my driver or me were able to locate each other. So being the impatient man that I am, I came out into the rain and started looking for it outside the station. As I was getting drenched (I haven't seen it rain so heavily in Delhi in recent memory), I started shouting at the driver on the phone. The mental image of him safely ensconced in the car, while it poured, was flashing through my head and I launched into a long tirade, all the while getting more worked up (and wet!). After about 10 minutes of this, he finally located me and I got in.

Then it occurred to me; I was behaving exactly like I had seen one of my superiors behave with his driver. And I had hated him for it. I felt really bad. I apologised to the driver and completed the rest of the journey in quiet introspection.

As I have grown, I have always prided myself upon the fact that I could relate to most people, had my feet firmly on the ground and didn't discriminate on artificial ground. But this incident shook me. Was I acquiring the good with the bad, would I really become arrogant and vain? And that scared me. The fact that I was conscious of this made me hope that this was a one-off, a momentary lapse in the heat of the moment and nothing concrete. However, the verdict is still out on this.

As I got out of the car, I apologised again. I went upstairs to my room, put on "Snow" by RHCP, and tried to forget about it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Remember these Ads?

My favourite was the Dabur Lal Dantmanjan one in the classroom, "Raju, tumhare daant to motiyon se chamak rahe hain"

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Holi-er than Thou!

My relatives who live 10 hours from Delhi had called me up on Tuesday, inviting me over for Holi. I procrastinated till Thursday afternoon, and then tried getting tickets. Unfortunately, it was too late and I couldn't get any; and I was left to spend Holi alone, since both my roommates had also gone home.

When I was small, Holi used to be a yearly nightmare for me. I lived in a colony that was separated by a small distance from a large colony and every Holi a large crowd of people from the other colony would emerge on our grounds and would shout out the names of each and everyone in our colony to come out, with dire threats if any of us tried to stay inside. And everyone who ventured out was inundated with the collective enthu of fifty people. To reduce the overall effect, my entire family would venture out together. Except me, the rest of my family seemed to enjoy it, but it was quite an ordeal for me, and I remember crying on more than one occasion. Slowly, interests waned and as the young crowd left for higher studies and jobs elsewhere, Holi slowly became more of a polite 'gulaal lagao' affair; of middle-aged people sitting in the sun and talking of old times or their children.

In college, Holi was completely different. I don't think colour was much used; people were more interested in drenching each other, and tearing the clothes off (and on one occasion, photographing them thus!). It used to be riotous; one would run from one corridor to another making alliances and fighting with others to bring people out of their rooms; slowly floors and corridors were conquered at the end of which everybody in the hostel was completely drenched. It would end only when all the water in the tank finished, sometime before people could wash off the colour. People carried the colour for days and as I remember today, people would forget temporary differences and come together in this very, for want of a better word, "primal" celebration of youth, because that's what Holi always symbolised to me, a concession by the otherwise straitjacketed conservative society to the youth to go out and go wild.

As we grow older, with more responsibilities and fears and prejudices, one needs such occasions just to be free for once, just to let it go. In the morning, I watched people, of all ages, playing Holi with their near and dear ones and I felt good. Sometimes, the world seems so drab and lonely but then I guess some colour can just do the trick. Soon, I came down too, and put some gulaal, to 1/2 people I knew, and as a kid pointed his pichkari towards me, I shooed him away though later wishing he hadn't done so. It was good.

After some time, as I was going with a friend out for lunch, he looked at the people on the street, multicoloured, and dancing; and made some rude comments. I was feeling so good, I didn't even bother to rebut.

Happy Holi, everyone!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Stray Thought

What you are, in a lot of ways, is reflected by what you do in office when you don't have any work!

I, for one, browse wikipedia. Don't want to get into what that tells about me.

There's been a temporary lull in work for a few days. Am not used to it now. Am slightly uncomfortable. Hope life resumes its hectic pace as was before.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The "Nowheres"

This came up in a discussion I was having with a friend a few days back. He was trying to define people like him and me amongst the people of our kind, the upper-middle class, well educated young urban crowd. There were two extremes, and we lay in between.

There were the 'pseuds' who were distinctly different from the others in their propensity to talk in English (unconsciously, for some reason that seemed to be their first tongue), who had already had multiple trips abroad, who wouldn't be able to tell you the Chief Minister of their state, and for whom it had probably been years since they watched a Bollywood movie. No, these guys (for the most part) aren't snobs; they just hadn't grown up like us. They probably slept through Mahabharat when we sat glued to our TVs as kids, they probably ended up watching the English version of Duck Tales rather than the DD one.

On the other extreme were the 'desis', people who had typically come from the hinterland, who had seen English movies only in the passing, who still sing Hindi songs, whose first trip abroad was/is going to be really important for them, who can discuss Hindu mythology with passion, and who are only able to abuse in Hindi! These guys were the best from whichever part of the country they came from, and now into the city, are finding their roots again. Many of these will be the parents of the people like us, the third kind, the "nowheres".

We are a curious mix of the above two kinds. We know Beethoven and Bach and know Altaf Raja but prefer listening to someone like A R Rahman. We have seen the Westerns and Sholay and can laugh at Jim Carrey as well as Johnny Lever. We can talk of Greek mythology as well as whether Karan was the greater hero than Arjun. As conversationists, we are in demand everywhere, we can blend in any crowd. So, what you might ask is the problem?

The problem is when you start thinking about which place you should call home. Where and who do you belong to/with? It is difficult to find people who we can really bond with, who would understand us both ways, carry out a full-blooded conversation encompassing everything. The biggest problem in this obviously is in finding a person of the opposite sex who would be like this. I mean, the "nowheres" are never seen as the "nowheres", people take them either to be the first extreme or the second, and they aren't even able to identify each other. So, it is difficult finding another "nowhere" and then getting them to like you is a completely different and difficult proposition. And any relationship with a person of either extreme is never completely fulfilling.

It is a lonely world, my friend!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The World We Live In - Part II

Who is making the decisions in our lives? Who is leading our generation into its future? It is such a travesty that the world is controlled by old men, who don't have much to live and couldn't care less about the future of the world. The fundamental disconnect that they have to the reality of the world around them makes them see everything with an eye of the past. And they couldn't care less about a world they don't recognize. Is this the reason why the world as I know it is in such a downward spiral? Because those in charge, don't really care? The young are too busy either fighting or enjoying sensual pleasures to notice the fact that their lives are being screwed. And it's the old that hold the reins of power. Previous attempts at revolutions have failed, because power is vested to a generation which then young later becomes old and cyncial, giving more importance to temporary materialistic sensual pleasures than more sustainable efforts.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The World We Live In - Part I

Increasingly, I have bouts of paranoia where I start thinking that the real world is being taken away from us. No one I talk to has a sense of what is happening around him, all around people are happy going about their jobs, shopping rituals and parties without any knowledge of what the rest of humanity is up to. For all we know, there might be people building bombs outside our own houses to blow us up. We wouldn't know. The media is too busy covering the parties in South Bombay/Delhi, and worrying about fashion sense of the classes. As much as I am worried about the trivialisation and tabloidisation of media, what is more worrying is the apparent unconcern about it, even among people we would call the "buddhijivi". When the entire front page is covered by articles about Shilpa Shetty, Rakhi Sawant and the Bachhans' temple trips, you wonder what is really happening out there. Nobody has any clue; nobody cares. Nobody has risen up in arms against the fact that we are not being told important things, that we are being surrounded by utter faff and nonsense.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Zindagi hai to khwaab hai
Khwaab hai to manzile hain
Manzile hain to faasle hain
Faasle hain to raaste hain
Raaste hain to mushkile hain
Mushkile hain to hausla hai
Hausla hai to vishwaas hai
Vishwaas hai to jeet hai

Kyunki, fighter hamesha jeet ta hai!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Will You'll Not Destroy

For me, the most important metric in calculating whether I admire a man or not is how capable he is of doing what he needs to do. I am not crazy about people who perform spectacularly well at something, are prodigies, the likes; I admire people who so-to-speak have a great hit-rate, are able to complete most tasks they are given to, with the requisite quality.

Lets try to now see what this 'capability' actually consists of and what factors influence it.

Capability = Talent X Hardwork

Capability = [Theoretical Talent (knowledge of systems, process, work methodologies) + Practical Talent (jugaad) ] X [Will (relentlessness, confidence) + Stamina (pressure resistance, sounds physical and mental faculties]

The most interesting among these factors is will. I can't analyse it further, say where it stems from, whether it is an effect of the environment he/she grows through or something ingrained. And that for me is the defining quality of a man I would admire, whose ambition and endless pursuit of a particular goal gets him there while so many others having all other qualities might fail.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti

[Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, just the top 3 songs in each category. I invariably end up mixing them a lot, which probably explains why I am in such weird moods sometimes :D]

Songs I would hear when in love

1. Yellow - Coldplay
2. Beautiful Girl - INXS
3. Wonderful tonight - Eric Clapton

Songs I would hear when out of love

1. Aadat - Jal
2. She hates me - Puddle of Mud
3. Metallica - The Unforgiven II

Songs I would hear when trying to fall in love

1. November rain - Guns and Roses
2. Wonderwall - Oasis
3. Annie's Song - John Denver

Songs I would hear before an important exam/interview/meeting

1. Lakshya - Lakshya
2. Woh Sikandar hi - Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar
3. Zindagi ki yahi reet - Mr. India

Songs I would hear before facing large amounts of work

1. Right here, right now - Van Halen
2. The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel
3. Kandhon se milte hain kandhe - Lakshya

Songs I would hear when I feel like doing nothing

1. Hotel California - Eagles
2. Turn the Page - Bob Seger
3. Raindrops - B J Thomas

Songs I hear when I miss home

1. Country roads - John Denver
2. Kagaz Ki Kashti - Ghulam Ali
3. New Slang - The Shins

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Stray Thought

In the long run [pause], we are all dead

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Man of Constant Sorrow

Wednesday morning. Half an hour into the office. Staring at the laptop. Already visited gmail and orkut to check for any new messages. Desperately trying to think of something to write on the blog. Shitloads of work staring at me, waiting for me to begin; I slide the stack of papers out of the reach of my eyes, but still they creep towards me looking beseechingly at me.

I don't want to work.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dilli Ki Sardi

The plane taxied on the tarmac, and passengers coming from the year-round-pleasant-weather cities of South India huddled closer together as they saw the fog outside. As soon as we stepped out of the plane, a blast of cold air hit us and as I chained up my jacket, I called out to the shivering man in a half-sweater over a half-sleeved shirt behind me, "Welcome to Delhi".

I've here for more than six years now, and all along I have battled the winters here as one does a strategic foe. You have to be on your guard all the time. It attacks you from all sides and doesn't relent, and the chill is of a quality that hurts you, not one in which you can go out for walks muffled up, no sir no, you'd better stay bundled under your rajai and watch TV/computer or read a book. The chill creeps in from all directions prickling you like needles and if you are not ready, it can seriously hurt you.

But slowly you overcome it and begin liking it. Over the years, many winter nights have been spent in front of the computer watching a movie slowly, too lazy to fastforward it or change it, then on the call of some friends mustering courage enough to get up and get some coffee outside, three-four friends all sitting together with several layers of insulation eating pizza or talking till the wee hours of the morning. For some reason, I have grown to love Delhi's winters and delayed as they were this year, I was getting irritated looking at the sight of my blankets and warm clothing lying unused. It was like itching to go home where you know very irritating siblings and cousins awaited you but you wanted to go there all same. It has become a part of me and I can't wait for them.

Now that they are in full swing, I suddenly feel very good; I am finally at home :)

As somebody told me a few days back, "if you can survive Delhi, you can survive anywhere". I like that.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On The Road

In life, we move. From one place to another, from one station to another, from one group of people to another and so on. All along, it is something we are chasing that drives us on, and sometimes, where and who we are with is not the right train to be on and we get off it and take another one. All around us, people are doing the same and we meet several people on the way, some we leave behind with a shrug, some with a sigh.

All my life, I have focussed too much on which station to get off at, what next train to take, believing that the next train is the last one, and that's where I'll put down my luggage and finally, smile. However, in the past few days, I have realized that there is no final station, the journey is endless, and you'd rather keep smiling all along or else you'll forget how to. This was triggered by a conversation I had with a senior colleague.

While going to the hotel from the airport, we started upon a conversation about what I wanted to do in life; and I said I wanted to become 'x' at the age of 30-32, 'y' by 40, 'z' by 50 and so on. And then I started outlining how I'd get there, with suitable job-changes and degrees and experiences and so on.

My colleague was silent for some time before he said, "You know you'd rather think about whether you'll enjoy becoming an x,y,z and how you could become a better x, y, z than thinking about how you'd get there. If you like being there and you are good enough you will get there, a few years here and there. You run the risk of getting into someone you don't like and screwing your life".

And then I started thinking about all the conversations I have had with friends, who have constantly asked me to get out of the 'object-oriented-programming' mode which I have constantly refused to do, and I realised that I needed to maintain an equilibrium between looking at the right time/station to get off and get on and enjoying the ride. The destination will wait for some time, I needed to enjoy what I was doing, needed to be able to do things that I liked to do. I needed to live my life.

So I have decided to try and become less obsessive, object-oriented and overall, pay more attention to things which I like doing.

On a new year, right time to usher in "The Year of The Journey".