Friday, December 26, 2008

Can’t get there from here

Indian roads are more fatal than bomb blasts and AK47s. They are disorderly and chaotic. The red signal is just a fucking joke – that’s what most of us feel…
Whoever tells you that India is ‘shinning’, that it’ll be a superpower by 2030 or whatever year is a fucking liar.

How can it be a superpower? On what basis? The bloody GDP and FDI? I don’t care about them, no sir! Give me a good road to walk on and some public transportation first. Fuck the Indian cricket. I don’t care if we loose every single match henceforth or Sachin gets out on 99 till he retires, I simply don’t give a fuck! Those are the least important things in our country’s context.

We need real growth. We need mobilization of funds and people, of minds and acts, to put the people first. The one billion people are expecting some basics in their lives from the government. And those expectations have been there for ages now. Don’t sell us the story of a shinning India for there exists none. The multi-millions of poor have always been in the rear view, much closer than they appear. But we have been ignoring all of them…I say we since it is not some alien superpower or our very ‘friendly’ neighbors that have caused the exploitation of our masses. It’s been us all along the way. We have shunted our own growth. We, who don’t pay taxes, we who break the signal everyday, we who bribe as per our convenience and then close our eyes and shout in protest, we who realize only after a dozen and more cops die from the 7.62 mm Kalashnikov bullets that ‘OH! They did not have good enough bullet proof vests’. You fucking morons, it took you a bunch of brave hearts cops’ death to realize that???

And in argument, some fuckhead will tell me – why don’t you do something then?? Go join the Army. I’ll say this – Firstly, I’m doing what I want to do, and then, I do what is expected of me – I pay my taxes, I stop at the red light (before the zebra crossing), I don’t bribe. I expect or rather DEMAND, that the government I have elected do its job. And more than that, I expect the fellow Indians to do their duty. Don’t be a filthy hypocrite bunch, yelling abuses at the traffic cop while your million rupee vehicle mows down people on the road. Change. Change yourself.

We have reached here without any planning. This country is an accident. The causalities have been low, but they are increasing. We are growing, but that’s inflation. The cities have no roads, but the fucking builders are producing bastard malls by raping the earth. Where are the roads? The road that was 10m wide 10 years back is still 10m wide – the traffic- that’s 10 folds…and now there is a five story mall by the roadside, right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Which country worth its soil has this??

The list is endless – millions without sanitation, electricity, EDUCATION! I sound like an everyday chest beater who cries his country’s follies and then snuggles up in his warm bed and blanket at night, forgetting everything. But lately, it’s been tough having a sound sleep. It’s a point blanc life we live these days. It better get settled down and WE need to ensure it does so.

Change is very important. Even a promise of it made someone the President and an election campaign probably the most successful in that country’s history. Well, I don’t see an Obama in India’s future. What we do have is us – a billion Obamas. We are everywhere. We are the ones who run the civil services, the hospitals, the courts, the schools, the farms, the buses - everywhere, everything. We need to change. No other way will do.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wes Anderson’s characters

Wes Anderson’s movies are about people who are almost total nutcases.

His world is full of people who want to be loved but don’t care about others, who have lost someone even before he or she is dead, who are not sure if the person they love loves them back, who try suicide but not enough so that they’ll die….nutcases, in a way.

The characters all are a bit cartoon-like. They wear the same cloths and same hairstyle when they are 12 and when they are 30 – the jumpsuits worn by Ben Stiller and his sons’ characters in The Tenenbaums is a prime example. I think he uses it primarily to show that these people have not grown up – but then isn’t it a too literal representation? The humour in his movies is quite subtle (and the dialogues work on multitude of levels), but because of the humour, the audience may not be really emphatic about the plight of the characters. So it is not a full blown comedy, and it is not a drama, it is something in between – it is becomes quite lukewarm in the process.

Probably there is sarcasm that I can’t read and a lot irony as well. There is the portrayal of a slice of personalities that if you met otherwise if real life, you will certainly be wary of, for they will stand out in a crowd and their presence around you will make you quite uncomfortable. His movies are not about regular folks, they are about folks who want to be regular, want a regular, normal (in their own definition) life.

The last movie I watched was Rushmore. It is a good movie – acting is fine, the story isn’t too bad (a little dragging at times); the same thing could be said about The Darjeeling Limited, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life aquatic….but I fail to really care for the characters – they are all hurt in some way, their family is broken (most of the times), they fall for women whom they can’t have etc….but still, by the end of the movie, I really don’t care which way the fate swings for them.

The movie that stands out is Bottle Rocket. First few minutes into the movie and I was totally engrossed into the lives of the two lead characters, played by the Wilson brothers (Owen Wilson’s debut role). This is the most moving film Anderson has ever made. The movie revolves around two friends who are small time thieves with big dreams; one of them just out of a rehab for breakdown, played by Luke Wilson. He is the more sensitive one, and you wonder why did he have to go the rehab in the first place.

You do wonder Dignan, played by Owen Wilson, needs some help! He is spot on as the bumbling, hyper active type who has big dreams…no matter if they involve robbing book stores and cold storage units! He plays a similar character in The Royal Tenenbaums, who ultimately needs some psychiatric help to get over his troubles. His character reminds me of some kids in my school. These were the boys that got into trouble with teachers all the time. They were friends with some kids who were way older and weirder. These were the kids who bunked school mid-day to go play or did it just for the heck of it. When you talked with them, they were a little less coherent in their thoughts but not dumb. They were the unpredictables.

Owen Wilson plays it to perfection. He is almost adorable in that role.

The more subdued part of the group is Luke Wilson’s character –his character symbolizes the directionlessness in life, and the effort to find that missing direction; he falls in love with a room service girl at a motel, and that is when he realizes he has found something to hold on to.

Unlike the other Anderson movies, I cared for what happens to these guys in the end, partly because unlike his other movies, the cast is smaller. There isn’t an ensemble of characters like in the Tenenbaums or Life Aquatic. Which also means the story is more focused compared to other movie, and you are not made to watch through a microscope the slide show of clashing personalities in great numbers.

The quest for spirituality in The Darjeeling Ltd was too lame. Being an Indian, I really don’t get that impressed when someone from outside tries to make it a theme in his movie. But it worked well in the US. It did move people (I guess). I failed to understand why someone would come to India, when they need to look within. There is a lot of symbolism in this movie, although not everyone is going to get it. I did not. I was left with this half empty, half full feeling after watched the move. While I enjoyed the train journey with the three brothers across my country, it failed to move me.

His movies are interesting, and he has his own unique style (with all those slow-motions – almost Bollywoodisque!). They put me in a kind of confused mode – I liked The Royal Tenenbaums, but I’m not sure if I give a damn about any of them? Why so?

When a movie does make you think – ‘why are you not thinking about the fate of the characters?’ ,does it mean that the movie is working??

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

There is no Sun here!

After you take a right turn in front of the Bishop’s Co Ed in Kalyani nagar, you enter a very narrow lane. This is the beginning of the ‘mega’ road that leads you to the so called ‘Sun City’ by the Bramha Builders in Pune.

There are about 3 blind turns (90 degrees sharp) along the way…oh and it gets better…this is also the PMT route. So when the bus, which is wider than the paved tar road, enters this stretch, it sends a cold shiver down the spine of every biker and car-wala (more so in the later case)…say goodbye to atleast 45 minutes if you are at the far opposite end of road, either on left or right!

So you somehow manage to reach the place (by the way there is another way in, from Nagar road, but it is only convenient if you are NOT coming from Kalyani nagar or KP; and to use it, you have to get to Nagar road first, a travesty in itself), you come inside and go park and go to the entrance lobby.

Wait wait wait…let me go back to the entrance again…supposedly Asia’s largest gate…so you enter after feeling like your life’s goal has been achieved, you will be greeted by some well landscaped greenery, which is quite well done.

You get to the desired building and to the lobby. You see two KONE lifts, but only one is active. You wonder why:

If you stay on the 7th or 8th floor, then do not dare leave for office between 9 and 9:30 in the morning. Why, the only available lift is being used by the garbage collectors! Yes, and they will keep it busy for atleast 30-45 minutes, everyday.

That’s not all that’s phony about this place. There is one security guard in two buildings. So your security is really compromised. The area is open to one side due to ongoing construction from which anyone can enter.
There are heavy vehicles which use the same internal roads used buy all the residents and children as well. It’s a pain to be awakened by noisy trucks on Sunday mornings.

There is no space between two buildings. You can’t tell where one building starts and where it merges into the next one (this is the layout of choice for an increasing number of housing projects in Pune. A modern chawl system…it is disgusting I tell you!).
All the buildings are atleast 8-9 stories high. So when you are standing on the tarmac below, it’s am imposing concreter jungle.

Since the buildings are built like Siamese twins, there is no privacy left – sounds, smells, light – everything is free flowing. Unless you have a corner flat, your apartment is only open on one side, that too only enough open in one balcony - so very meager sun light and wind in you room.

This was one of the most hyped projects when it was launched in Pune, with Katrina Kaif as brand ambassador. It fails to deliver on a lot of points. Having stayed in Magarpatta City before moving here, I felt even more strongly against the short comings. Magarpatta is so well managed in all the regards. It is the only township in Pune which should be allowed to add ‘City’ in the name. Here, the garbage collectors just dump all the litter from the buildings right in the parking lot! So it’s a feast for the stray dogs. (I dare not call them stray, for they live here more than I do, if you count the hours!) . In Magarpatta, the garbage was directly put in a tractor that arrived at the same time as the garbage collectors, so all the garbage was out of the building within half an hour.

The lifts are ill maintained, apart from only one being active, as I’ve already mentioned:

Instead of using bolts and screws, we see insulation tape - What an idea!

And it does…oops!

No one should buy or rent out (like I am) a place here. Even if one overlooks all these things, the major drawback is the approach road, there is none that’s big enough – a road from Adlabs was to be ready last year which would have directly come till the entrance – there are no signs of that happening anytime soon…So find a better place to enjoy the Sun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Kossu, anyone?

Finns are funny people...

Finnish flat tyre
Antero is driving down the road when 'boom' he gets a flat tyre. "Saatana" he says, and after discovering he doesn't have a jack, he decides to walk down the road and try to borrow one from someone.
As he's walking, he's thinking "Damn, they probably won't have one." He walks a little further, and the growing suspicion increases... "I BET they don't have one". He walks further... "DAMN IT, I'm sure they won't have one, and if they did they wouldn't lend it to me anyway."
Finally he reaches a cottage, picks up a rock and hurls it through the window, shouting "KEEP YOUR BLOODY JACK!!"


Finnish drinking game
There are two versions of this game for Finns; regular and advanced.
Regular: Three Finnish guys go into the sauna, each with half a litre of Kossu (Finland's famous Koskenkorva vodka). They each drink the vodka, and then one guy goes outside. The other two have to guess who went outside....
Advanced: TWO Finnish guys go into the sauna, each with a litre of Kossu. They each drink the vodka, and then one guy goes outside. The other guy has to guess who went outside....


Taking the Bull to the Butcher

Extract from 'Under the North Star' - Väinö Linna
"Well then, this old man once went to take a bull to the butcher, and he took some turpentine with him. And that bull got tired, so the old man put some turpentine on his balls. Then the bull started running so fast that the old man put turpentine on his own balls. But the bull's balls stopped stinging before the old man's and when the old man got to the butcher's he handed him the rope and said hold on to this I've still got a ways to go..."


At the airport...
A guy sitting at an airport bar in Atlanta noticed a beautiful woman sitting next to him.
He thought to himself, "Wow, she's gorgeous! And I think she's a flight attendant...but which airline does she work for?"
Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and uttered the Delta slogan, "Love to fly and it shows?"
She gave him a blank, confused stare and he immediately thought to himself, "Hmm, no, she doesn't work for Delta."
A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again; "Something special in the air?"
She gave him the same confused look. He mentally kicked himself, and scratched American Airlines off the list. Next he tried the United slogan, "I would really love to fly your friendly skies!"
This time the woman looked at him, irritated, and screamed "What the $%#! do you want?!"
The man slumped back in his chair, and said: "Ahh, Finnair..."


Finnish soldier
A young female reporter from a British newspaper was sent to Finland to write an article about Finnish soldiers returning from the Winter War. Interviewing one infantry-man, Jussi, she asked
"When you came home, when the war was over, what was the first thing you did?"
"I screwed my wife," Jussi replied bluntly.
The journalist went red, and tried to change the subject.
"After that, I mean. What did you do after that?"
"I screwed her again," he answered.
The journalist turned an even darker shade of red.
"Other than that! Uh - what did you do when you were finished with all that?"
"I took off my skis and had a beer."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The only river...

The man stood there, in the arid land of the Deccan, with thorn bushes scattered in the entire flat valley. His eyes shone as bright as the perpendicular Sun above. His thick grey beard made him look very aged, contrary to what the eyes told.

The hot air made his cloth flutter around him violently.

He started walking towards the settlement that lay beyond the dry riverbed.

A Safari pulled up somewhere in the large dustbowl. Its white now all khaki, the dark windows still rolled up. Two people climbed out.

“Darn hot it is; this is an oven man”

“We start say, about there, near those rocks. That seems like the smack middle of the river”

The two are carrying some instruments. They seem scientific, both the men and their equipments.

“You know, as I think of this, it seems like a big waste of my adult life. This, here, is a place which is baking in the sun as we walk. It is May for God’s sake. Do you see anything around us? This is like Mars, only worse cause we are not astronauts, and that makes it so uncool!

The older of the two hasn’t spoken a word yet. He is analyzing the riverbed.

The river, when it was blessed to be aqueous a long time ago, flowed in all its grandeur, two hundred meters wide here. The valley now was the river then.
The smoothened rocks were a testament to the furious waters that once noised around the river bend. On this May afternoon, everything was quiet, apart from an occasional Kite as it searched for an odd snake or two.

It seemed as if history suffered from the Alzimer’s disease, forgetting about this magnificent river as each year passed. The river started losing its scale, and no one knew why. The rains were there each year, so there was no dearth of water. Still the waters reduced from the bank, year after year. Folks moved away from her, blaming the decay on the powers Above; the fertile riverbank became many sandlots. She was left alone to her fate, and one day, she just vanished.

“Set up that thing over here and start taking readings”. The older one finally broke his silence.

“I want to be exact this time. We’ll need to tread along at least a hundred meters, from here”, he pointed out a spot to the younger one.

“Did you say hundred?”

“Yes I did. That’s just the beginning. The earth here is soft. This is the best spot to catch her. We’ll concentrate all our efforts here, say a stretch of two kilometers along the river.”

They got busy with their task as the Sun began the journey to the other end of the sky.

“She was looking for some solace I guess. At least it seems like that to a mere mortal like me”

They look up to see the man standing there.

“How long were you observing us?”

The man smiles, “Since your were a child”

“That’s a good one.”

“Aren’t you a little lost here? The other pilgrims usually take the bridge to cross the bank, don’t they?”

The man smiles again.
“So any success with your endeavor?”

“How do you even know what are we up to here?”

“Oh I know, so very well. You are trying to see if this is where she is resting. You are trying to hear her playful sounds through the earth. That’s what I know”

“So you know she is here? How old are you?” asked the older scientist, wiping off the sweat on his forehead, a little bewildered.

“Age is what one goes investigating about a man whose words seem too right for his attire”

“That would make a pretty neat status message” the younger one was enjoying this visit now

“Tell us more”

“This is all; around you, what you see, this is the present. She is down there. Let her be in peace”

“If she is indeed flowing below our feet, then she would solve a lot of issues. Do you see a single flowering plant for miles around you? This land needs water in abundance. This was once a farmland…it could well be the same again”

“She went under because she was tired, long tired of carrying all the filth that the World offered, that’s all it had to offer. She went away; now she is in a different world, a world of her own. “

“She will be the only pure thing left when this world erodes away; she will water the parched earth when the harsh seasons have wiped away all the greenery and hope from this planet. Save her for that…she is the future hope of this very predictable and dark present”.

The man started walking away, leaving his words hung in the dry air like dark balloons.

The two kept looking at him till he was gone. They looked at each other and got back to their task.

“The heat must have got him” The younger one opined.

The older one looked again in the direction in which the man had gone.

“I guess it did. It made him see the future”.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

looking back

I'm missing college, really a lot! Not because we had great teachers (we didn't) or that the campus was awesome (it wasn't) I'm missing my friends! At the end of two years, we were just getting bonded so well and that's when the departure came about.

And this is despite all the ups and downs in the friendships, all the misunderstandings and petty issues..all that was a part of it...and that was fine.

I'm also missing them because I'm the one who got left behind, like a soldier left behind in the war field...(kidding!) So it feels even more, when I pass through the street where I used to hang out, or when I pass in front of the college...and the other day I was looking at the scribbling day T-shirt, and that was quite nostalgic! People have really written some very interesting things about me there - lady charmer !? (why not? hehehe) cracks me up every time :)

I think it is natural that one will feel this way when the friends one had around suddenly went away one fine day! That's the way it happened...two years we literally ran into each other I have to make new (good) friends, which is not easy, since the set of people I meet regularly is quite small.

Anyway, so this is the deal. I'm coping with it. It's not a life critical situation. But I look at someone and it reminds of a friend from the batch, or I think about watching a movie, and I miss those with whom I really enjoyed watching movies and attending the film festival here...things will not be that way ever again...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

near wild heaven...but not near enough!

I want to fall in love so well that the rationale clouds in my head won’t make a difference; the conviction out of it should be stronger than the gravity of a black hole…well, that’s what and how it should be…ideally. And as the legacy of love as such suggests, all the greatest lovers had that conviction, somehow.

It’s not that easy…I can’t override the rational mind and apply my emotions right away, cause at each moment, my rational mind is evaluating my emotions, checking them against a zillion things. WHY?

I hate to be so cautious, but I don’t know any other way.

It also happens because I feel I need to be ‘right’ about everything that I decide. The difference is, I should ‘feel’ the rightness rather than arrive at it or ‘calculate’ it. It is what we call intuition or going by the heart….hmmmm…see, I know how I need to be. Very well indeed, but I am not there yet.

Or is it that love happens despite all these things being there, and somehow your state of mind is a combination of rational and irrational (emotional) outlooks towards that one person…?

I think I need to take a breather and not wreck my brains out over all this…but I’m not thinking of all this out of context…there is a context… and there are constraints…constraints sounds so technical! There are considerations let’s say…, which I must look into. If they call it falling in love, then they should have known that some of us would fall with a parachute, because the impact would be too harsh if one falls anywhere else!

I need the sunrays of clear thought piercing the clouds in my head…

I’m staring in the mirror, and there is a stranger staring right back at me and I hope he tells me something about me that I have not yet known!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Advices

The phone rings. It seems to be ringing in the dream I am watching, but it keeps ringing and I’m finally taken away from imagery paradise...


“Dude, sorry to wake you up at this hr”

If he had said ‘Were you sleeping?” I would have sent a bullet through the airwaves

I recognize the caller

“What’s the matter?”

“Well, I need some advice”

“At this hour? You need some sleep “

“Had it been any other hour, I would have asked for much more”

He says it so matter of fact that I’m taken aback for a second. Oh that’s so generous of you, I think in my mind.


“Ok. Well..Umm..I have this friend who is new to Pune and he and some friends wanted to know if it was safe to go to Station at this hour... and they stay in Kalyaninagar, kinda inside, so and some of them are in town just for a couple of days you know”

“Have you fallen on your head? Did a bat suck the living wisdom out of you??” It’s’s ( check my watch) 2:40 in the night man!!!” “You are asking the worst...this is not even an advice that you are asking!? I’m not a bloody nightwatchman to be bothered about the nocturnal safe places of visit in the city!

(I’m screaming in a low voice, and it bothers the dog; he gives me a look of tired hopelessness)

“What I wanted your opinion on, is something else”

“ I hope you don’t want to know which particular bakery or tea stall they should visit at 3 am, cause most of the tea stalls don’t have sign boards and I would recommend the Viceroy bakery...can I sleep now?”

“It’s about this girl...well she is with them, and I like her! I know it sounds a bit weird, and well right now I’m headed towards where they are staying, in Kalyaninagar, kinda inside I told you...anyway, so I have my bike and she might ride with me...and I just ...I need an opening”

“An opening?”

“I did break ice in the day when we were together”

(Where did two of you go to break ice, the Alps?) I didn’t say it out loud cause between a good joke and sleep, always go for sleep - you can laugh in your dreams...but this bugger friend of mine was not letting me of the hook just yet.

“that’s grand”

(silence on the other end”)

“Take her to..ummm...Khadakwasla. It’s almost full moon tonight...the lake and moonlight, she by your side etc etc...or go and sit at some secluded place like the Z bridge near Decaan “ (What the hell am I saying!?)

“Well, I was thinking more about your place”

“(upright in the bed)what about my place?”

“Like I can bring her there and we will sit in your balcony and talk till the daybreak”

“Are you crazy? Have you completely lost your already evaporating mind? I’ve a dog, dirty laundry and oh, A DAY TOMORROW!!! No way!”

“ Look, simple advice, don’t get your hopes high...go to Station...have some tea and pastries...take her on a know the city like no other punk, and just roam around...make conversation. Where is she from by the way?”


Goa? Hmmm exotic...”

“Just go there and things will happen, that’s the best I can tell you...I’m no Don Juan you know it” (not feeling too proud saying that)

“Are you there?”

“Yes...ok.I’ll see..I’ll try not to mess it up...thanks for talking”

“Relax and just be cool man. Don’t think about the mess, cause you don’t have anything to mess. Be spontaneous”



“Ok. I’ll see you in the morning”

“Hehe...No. I don’t think so. My day will be late by atleast a couple of hours, so ...until some solid double digit hours...goodbye. Take it easy”

“Yeah sure”

I’m back in my bed. This was random, quite so, I mean the conversation. It didn’t make any sense and in the end, I’m damn sure it didn’t help him. It did make me wonder about a certain profession, suddenly. I don’t know why about this particular profession that I found a similarity between it and the conversation I just had:

Is this what consultants do?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The chronicles of loneliness

Lying in the twin sized bed, he is wondering, with a single pillow under his single head. The song is talking about someone on a similar bed, with a similar pillow under a similar head.

He is not alone, he is lonely.

He is inside his dark room, tucked away beneath the dark corridors which only his eyes can see. They are inside him, the corridors, in the morose corner of his mind.

He is longing for a perspective, a view above the horizon. He is not interested in the dark side of the moon, but that’s what he is been getting. He is tired of bits and pieces coming his way.

He is riding an ending spiral. The lights in the room are lit, but he can’t see anything. He is blinded by the sight. His heart is like a window pane after a rain shower, smeared by raindrops, which eventually leave behind the smear marks.

It is no one’s fault. The seats were already taken when he wished to sit. He doesn’t mind standing, as long as there is someone standing by him.

In his head there are only echoes and remains. of friends and lovers, as if they really made his day someday.

He writes to be reached, but the lines are down always.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Breakup

Snap out of it as soon as possible. Not worth bursting your hearts and brains about it.

The car is in full speed when the blue truck in front suddenly breaks, the trailer behind it turning clockwise, threatening to strike the car out. She breaks hard, and decides to take the car off the highway, into the fields, turning hard to the left. She feels a solid jerk as the car hits the ditch. She misses the sweeping truck by inches; it hits the van that was traveling just ahead of her, the metal making a sad and friction noise, accompanied by the ugly screeching of breaks. Then there is silence. And smoke. She is in a corn field, her rear view mirror showing the metal carnage behind.

She is still, her heart pounding like a hydraulic drill. But she is stable, not trembling. She gets out of the car. The sun is low to the left of her, where the road meets the horizon. From the look of it, it seems no lives might be lost here. A lot of damage to the vehicles.

She is thinking about the fight...or ‘discussion as he preferred calling it. A break up is a break up... no denying its aftershocks. She felt as if it all had been a big deception. NOW it made all sense – just too good to have been true anytime during its two years existence. She never thought he was capable of such a deceit. A lot of other men would have loved her more...and true

“Aap OK hai, ma’m?”

A constable is asking her, from a patrolling jeep that happened to be passing by. His partner is helping the guy from the van.

“I’m fine”

He comes closer and examines her, then the car. The Mini seems in a good condition.

Just the god damned icing on the cake. What a way to get him out of my mind. What a nice accident! No loss of life, just an interruption in the everyday mundane life.

The traffic is mounting on the road, the hint of an inevitable traffic jam. One more police jeep arrives; she hears a cry of sirens getting closer – an ambulance perhaps.

The evening is nice. A cool breeze accompanies the golden sunlight. She feels thrilled. At the expense of some broken bones of complete strangers! The thought brings a smile to her face. Her long, auburn hair is looking like golden fiber optic. She hadn’t felt so relieved in days. And now, thinking about the past few minutes, she realizes that she could have been all but trapped inside the mangled remains of her car, her body twisted in weird shape, medics trying fruitlessly to get her back to breathing. Alright, what’s the big deal? It wasn’t an NDE. Being crippled, now that’s the worst thing. You’re still standing on two.

The truck is spilling beans, from a small slit door that has gotten opened. The beans are a kind she hasn’t seen before. She hears someone calling them oil seeds. The reason for the accident is a broken down Corolla. It has got a big dent on the behind, where the truck had thumped it. A woman is standing a few feet away from the car, with a baby in her arms. Her husband is on the phone, asking for a replacement vehicle.

“Abe car ki wat lag gayi hai, mai jinda hu yahi badi baat hai. Car bhej de...koi bhi bhej yaar, ye saala meeting crucial hai”

“Send me yours then! Just send me a car, any car. I’m at...”

There is space enough only for a single car to pass by, where the truck has come to rest on the road. Its trailer is bent and overturned on its side, blocking the entire left side of the road.

She is still on the Expressway, two hours after the accident, when the crane arrives. An hour later, the road is back to its ‘express’ state.

As she gets in the driver seat, she gets this jolt of relief, a moment of pure joy, almost orgasmic in its nature! She is smiling.

She feels free, away from all that was binding, all that maligned her heart, she feels like a phoenix, rising up and away from the ashes of afflicting memories...she is no more’s a new day for her, the night is no more dark.

As she enters the sleeping city, she knows the day would be one of the loveliest ever.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Witpick of the day!

If the grass is greener on the other side, then the guy with the greener grass doesn't think your grass is greener now does he?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

witpick of the day!

Pretty girls like to recruit their rejections and call them friends

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A line matters!

Movie taglines are the one line telling of the entire story. They can be quite effective in catching the attention..or not! These are ten of the more memorable ones, in no particular order.

"The truth can be adjusted" - Michael Clayton

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire" - Schindler's List

Movie-wise, there has never been anything like it - laugh-wise, love-wise, or otherwise-wise!" - The Apartment

A homespun murder story." - Fargo

On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody." - Taxi Driver

Stealin' Stones and Breakin' Bones" - Snatch.

Movies were his passion. Women were his inspiration. Angora sweaters were his weakness." - Ed Wood

In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary...A year later their footage was found." - The Blair Witch Project

The Strangest Vengeance Ever Planned!" - Touch of Evil

The mission is a man." - Saving Private Ryan

Friday, May 9, 2008

Foo fighters, toothpicks etc

There is a lot of time on my hands these days. Especially when I'm up around 6 a.m.! I go jogging, no kidding!

TV is boring, the IPL is very monotonous, and though I do read books, somehow that has gone down a bit.

So, I turned to the internet. Wikipedia to be precise. I started reading there, on a variety of topics.

The state of Maine in the US is the largest exporter of blueberries and toothpicks! Isn't that interesting! I have never tasted a blueberry, but I'm sure I would like it! It's blue after all, my favorite colour. And toothpicks, ah! I had a good four years training on them! I had braces.

And the UFOs! The probable reasons given for UFOs are - clouds, lightening, commercial planes, squid boats' lights reflected on the clouds(!), Venus, Mercury, baloons, light houses etc.

There is a page on wiki which lists the UFO sightings so far around the globe.

Some of them are really dumb - especially abductions - Who would believe that a Brazilian (or was it French?) farm worker was abducted by these little aliens, and on the ship, he had sex with this fab alien blond! Sounds promising; but what if she came back and claimed child support? Do they accept Mastercard in Andromeda galaxy?

One Chinese guy even claims that after he got lucky ( in his case, the alien blond came to his bedroom!) and when they took him to the ship, he was told that in sixty years on some planet, a Chinese peasants child would be born! I mean come on! Mao in the milky way!? No way!

A few accounts seem quite genuine - those reported by air force pilots of different countries. In some cases they include the UFO's radar signature, which strengthens the assumption that there must have been something up there! Most notable is the Tehran incident of 1976 and the Caron Sink incident, 1952

These stories are an interesting read. And there are plenty of them so I'm not complaining!

P.S. - What's a foo fighter? Any guesses?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What sets you free?

Is it the challenge to live a better life, a moment of forgiveness, the laughter from an unseen corner, the lights chasing away the shadows, or is it something you don’t know yet?

Is it the music you cannot resist, the visions you see, the dreams you vivify, the words that inspire...

Is it the truth that beacons, the moments that thrill, the love that transcends or the knowledge that enlightens?

What sets you free?

a modern midnight conversation

+ The things aren’t’ very normal anywhere. In your home, in the school, out in the market, in the government. Your eyes search for normalcy and settle their vision there where they find some.

= You are a big skeptic, aren’t you?

+ Look around you, man.

= I do look around. I find a perfect little normal world.

+ You have to look beneath the surface, examine the cracks a little better. How are things at home?

= How does that make sense in this discussion?

+ How are you folks, I mean with each other?

= What are you talking about?

+ Let me, ah, REPHRASE the question – How’s their married life?

= (a stare) it is quite seamless.

+ That’s the surface, my friend. When you go home after the exam, just observe. Little things, the way they sort out little differences, the unnecessary tiffs that happen over the slightest issues, the...

= You don’t know them, stop getting bloody judgmental.

They sit silently and sip from their Kingfisher cans. The night is warm and sweaty, without any wind, the moonlight making it seem extra warm. Typical summer. The balcony overlooks a slum dwelling, tin roofs and walls, but increasingly concrete houses, most of them under construction.

The two are in their early 20s, engineering grads. They are preparing for their semester exams, but at that moment, they are just killing the exam boredom that’s characteristically engineering-type.

He lights his B&H Lights and sits back

= Those things are part of any marriage. That is very normal. Nothing is ever 100%, is it?
+ Take my example. When I started going around with $, the first few weeks, were just a bliss, man. It was flawless Even the first year, we were cool. Now, after almost 2 years, it is not that, right? For me, that was normal, so what we have now is far from it. We fight, we take each other for granted, we try to have our way in things, and I see it happening. And it’s well past the normalcy phase.

= Look, you have to work on things. You can’t just say things got out of hands.

+ It’s better if things happen on their own.

= If you don’t contain a river, it’s bound to overflow its bank. If it matters a lot to you, you should be ready to go to any length to make it work

He suddenly grabs him by his arms – in a fake Irish accent – ‘What are you prepared to do?”

+ You have gone crazy!

= that was from...

+ I know, the Untouchables

= It seemed appropriate at this juncture

They both burst into laughter

= When I was returning from home, this really weird thing happened in my bogy. The TTE came, and started checking tickets, ok.

TTE, to this Bihari “Ticket dikhao”

The guy “khidki pe hai”

Everyone there, including the TE, was like, taken aback! Seriously, that guy was not kidding.

TTE - “kaunsi khidki pe?”

Bihari - “ticket wali”

TTE, trying his best to make sense of the whole thing – “to tum idhar kya kar raha hai?’

Bihari – “Wo khidkiwala bola wait karo, tum waiting list me hai. To humne socha chalo train he me na wait kar le, kyun? Sahi kiye na hum?”

Both of them start laughing uncontrollably.

+ Kya badawala chuitya hoga wo..

= Abe bihari babu to mast tha. No tension. TTE to do minute tak ekdum chup!

+ fir settle kaise kiya?

= wo bihari babu aapne 2-4 dost leke aaya kahi se. to fir TTE ki thodi fat li (laughter)... usko kone me leke gaya, kuch to setting kiya, TTE ko khilaya kuch 100-200. Mai us time nahi hasa tha, par baad me yaad aake ganda hasa tha. Saala bolta hai ticket khidki pe hai (laughter)

= tera kitna hua hai?

+ Pahele do ho gaye

= sahi hai be. Doosra kafi bada hai. Full architecture. I hate this CO shit

+ It’s not that tough.

= Dude, it’s a pain in my royal ass. I can’t remember all the schematics and block diagrams man.

+ Do it with thanda dimaag. It’ll fit right in. Chalo, bahut bukchodi kar li be. Wo harami laga hua hai nau baje se, saala kal tak poora chat ke phirse baithega.

= Ek sutta share karenge?

+ Thik hai

# What are you guys drinking?

The voice belongs to a short, tense looking fella. Red eyes and bushy hair. He is doing engineering for the knowledge’s sake

= Ho gayi teri padhai harami?

+ Kingfisher...mineral water

# Really? Does it taste better than Bisleri?

+ Yes it tastes much better

# You are drinking beer!

+ Haan, ghante. You think we would waste time and money on some dumbass mineral water?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I've been collecting a few quotes for sometime now. They are from the movies I liked, from the people I admire - actors and musicians and such, from the articles I've read - It's a personal collection. So here it is!

"Running introduces you to your worst enemy, to that person who tells you, "Ooh, our ankles hurt and we should stop. Why do we need to run eight kilometers? Let us run five". That is the same person who says to the man," Hey, your wife will never find out if you sleep with her," and the same person who tells a 16-year old, "you are not gonna be cool if you do not smoke it". If you start giving in to that person, you will never get to your goals"

- Will Smith

"Music should reach out to people, you can't afford to be so introverted. I think that anything that reaches out and touches people emotionally is doing a service whether people understand why it's moving them or not. We always wanted our music to have heart, you know. That's why we sometimes sound a little weird and cranky 'cause we always try to leave the heart in. And also, we always wanted our records to be like doors to other worlds. We wanted to say, 'Look, here's the door, why not open it and walk through to the otherside and maybe take a look around and see if you like it?'"

- Peter Buck (R.E.M.)

I tell people,"Start your career tomorrow. If you had a bad year, learn from it and do better. If you had a good year, I've already forgotten about it"

- Jeffery R. Immelt
CEO & Chairman, GE

"If you're smart, you'll always be humble. You can learn all you want, but there'll always be somebody who's never read a book who'll know twice what you know."

- David Duchovny

Gavin Banek: "It's like you go to the beach. You go down to the water. It's a little cold. You're not sure you want to go in. There's a pretty girl standing next to you. She doesn't want to go in either. She sees you, and you know that if you just asked her her name, you would leave with her. Forget your life, whoever you came with, and leave the beach with her. And after that day, you remember. Not every day, every week... she comes back to you. It's the memory of another life you could have had. Today is that girl."

- from "Changing Lanes"

This one's not exactly a quote, just a piece of dialog. If you have seen the movie, you'll know!

Will: Do you like apples?
Clark: Yeah.
Will: Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?

- from "Good Will Hunting"

a song for the summer (respite)

I want to go
someplace colder
where the trees shiver
and sunlight seldom wanders

the night is icy blue
the day shiny cool
the coffee ever lasting
a fireplace for the fool

the smoke rings remind
the days foregone
the foggy window
forever alone

the air so clear
the leaves are frosty
the moon at the horizon
so cool and mighty!


All the crazy things to write , that’s what gets decided when they come inside the brain , but when you start writing , oh boy, they are no more. What if you saw people on the street outside your house at three fifty in the morning, with torches. Imagine that – you are trying to sleep but can’t. Some random, stupid, may be uncompleted wishes (read ‘Should have asked her out….or’ Should I still?’ ‘What’s with the age thing anyway, doesn’t make much sense. Much? No sense’) and crazy thoughts, like how would a bullet from an ak 47 would feel hitting you and twisting its way inside the flesh would feel. This might sound like a dream of a sadist, but given the position acquired by this weapon in pop-psyche, its no wonder. Or if you really want a milder version, how about shooting someone else, or being a Special Forces member or something, and may be an MP5 or an M16 instead. Anyway, going a bit too wide of the middle stick here. So you are trying to sleep. The bed is perpendicular to the road, with your head to the wall and legs towards the street.

Scene 1
A quiet street, late at night…It’s a street in a residential area; houses on both sides…most of the houses are right on the steet without any porches or verandas. There are three guys in a house. Say post grad students.

(In the house)

Lights are out. All are asleep except one. He is twisting and turning, trying to stay still. Rest is not assured for him tonight. He hears some murmur outside. May be a dog sniffing at a bush. But those are footsteps, like feathers dropping on tin. The window is right behind him, He moves his head up, he can see the trees at the other side of the road, the leaves enjoying a late night breeze.Suddenly,the first flame appears, immediately followed by the other and then the next. The same view is on the other side. They are parallel running.
He is dumb founded. Not sure if scared, may be thrilled.
The torch bearers are clad in uniforms, ritual like. Kind of KKK, but not white, and certainly not with a pointed hood and a child in one arm. The faces are visible, but they have no vision. The vision is fixed somewhere ahead. They are drawn towards a larger flame it seems. Now there is a third row, walking in between the two lines….

They finally finish. He is still, playing it again and again. I could have taken that on video, given I had a camera. The beauty of it he can not deny. Will this occur again? May be. Goes back to the bed. His own response seems too cold for him. This is like none other, this is X Files stuff; well this ain’t Roswell either. He laughs at that one. Is an explanation necessary? Who cares who they were. Some cult which believes in not disturbing people by not making any noise. Oh but if some pudding hearted fool sees this at 4 o clock in the morning, he is going to think the British have come again to claim one of their biggest colonies back, and a Satyagraha is already underway.Hmmm.He might as well wake the entire street up and call up the fire brigade. Who knows.

A star is not alone

A star is not alone. At least 3/4th of them aren’t. They have companions. Take Castor for example, in the constellation of Taurus. It is made of SIX stars! Three pairs of revolving binaries, and they are separable only by a spectroscope - by differentiating between their individual spectra. It will be amazing to travel to such a star system. Just imagine watching six stars revolving around each other – well it is not that simple, but the view would be breathtaking!

Paired stars are not uncommon, it’s the loners like our Sun that are. One of the early theories about the extinction of dinosaurs assumed that the Sun had a companion. It was the proximity of that other star, during one of its revolutions that produced imbalance in the Earth’s ecosystem, resulting in the destruction of the giant reptiles. If so, that buddy star should have been found by now, and its orbit determined.

Another exciting phenomenon occurs when one of the stars dies and becomes a black hole – you have a scene where one star is revolving around nothing, since the black hole will only be visible in x-ray or infrared wavelengths!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Letter Never Sent

Waiting for the letter, waiting for it desperately, cause everything later depends on that letter. You might as well call me a letterhead! And in this case, the later the better does not apply;it better be early as its quite late already. Even the Indian Postal Service would be quicker i guess. I have even started to hate that show - the late show with David Letterman - it has 'late' and 'letter' together.
Actually, it's not the letter thats late - well it is late - but someone hasn't sent it. So the sender is late in sending a letter that is waiting to be sent - like suspended in the space-time continuum, lying on the event horizon of a black hole that's present in the sender's mind and body which is not letting him/her send the poor letter (the after effects of "Universe in a nutshell" - Stephen Hawking).
Man I'm impatient about this letter! It's like waiting for the last few mega bites of your torrent, the ETA is 45 secs but it takes forever...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"The batch of '06-08' (rare group photo)"


Stay Or Leave...

Two years went by in a swoosh. The time was my best time spent in a college (!). Probably because engineering can really be a bitch...we'll take that up some other time.

It was really endearing to meet so many different shades of personalities. I think that's the reason why the time was so fabulous, for me at least. There is a prevailing sense among some people that the batch as a whole really didn't care about each other! I think there is no point taking THAT with you when you go away from here...I made some very good friends and I made acquaintances and I barely know some people...that's what it boils down to in the end.

I felt ,and have been feeling, quiet heavy hearted that this time was coming to an end. I've been told that I'll meet new people and other such condolences, as if that's a big secret. May be it is because all is coming to an end rather abruptly. I know it is alright to feel this way...I only want to miss what I loved and enjoyed, and nothing else.

The CRP was the crux of activities, the most awaited marathon, a roller coaster... 'Work' will take new meaning for us in a few days.

Well, if it started with an outbound, it's only proper to wish that it should have ended with an inbound!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I heard it through the grapewine...

I have found out something about me! Well it was me who realised it...that I love to gossip! Really! It is hilarious, devilish and so much fun...especially when it is about people who know you know something but they aren’t sure about it and you know that they probably know that you know...!

It is fun to share with your co-gossipers the details of how you unearthed or came across things that were too subtle to be noticed by the other, linear minded people! And when all these leads, yours and theirs, point towards one ‘truth’ and you are like – ‘No way man, really, how could they be doing this! I never thought he had anything for her!!!’ HA HA...that’s the point of nirvana; it IS what you thought it was!

And research (somewhere) has shown that guys gossip more than girls. We are very keenly interested in others’ lives; we just don’t show it that openly that we are. This is the probable reason why there are secret agents and intelligence operatives who usually are should possess the basic curiosity about everything around. For example, a room which is usually not bolted from within being bolted one fine day, two people finding a sack full of reasons for spending time together alone – and reasons which on their surface seem very natural, everyday explanations, but you have to do away the clouds and take a good look at the stars behind...they shine light on everything then!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ways of the world

Ways of the world. What does that mean? People say I’m too naïve to gauge real intentions behind people’s actions. I think I know what they mean. If someone is being cunning and bad towards me, I don’t think I’m a Forrest Gump not to understand it; what they mean by my naivety is that I may not react to the cunningness the way one is supposed to. All along I’m quite sure of their intentions and I usually just back off. But there are times when I react. The anger is boundless then, and not a very good thing for me. The anger destroys my peace. But I’ve experienced that keeping it inside is even worse. There are people who don’t deserve to be treated with my respect when they wrong me. They deserve hell then, and I give it out to them.

So, does that make me a very worldly, smart bloke? Does being angry and showing off arrogance and outrage signify a man’s coming off age? How does one handle bad company? I should give an eye for an eye, may be. But what if I don’t really care about it? If I’ve been mistreated, can’t I just forget about it? That would be nice now, wouldn’t it? But I usually don’t forget it...

Forgiveness is a virtue often taken as a man’s weakness, but it is that quality in one which will make matters so easy to resolve. At the same time, a tough and sharp mind will make sure you are not in a position where you have to compromise your position for the benefit of someone else

And as I have pondered over this with my friends, I realized everyone has a problem with it, either one way or the other. They snap too quickly, or they just keep it inside and let it seethe

Confront or avoid? Sustain or shoot it out? Maintain or manipulate?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Creepy, cryptic, haunting, crisp, jangling, stream-of-consciousness, southern, college, alien, mumbled, arpeggio, post punk, jittery, random, between...and so on... words aren't enough to describe R.E.M.'s music. I can't pinpoint the reason why I like them; it's just that it appeals so rightly to my ears...this is THE music for has a personality, a free spirited one; it's like a light and warm summer day, which just wraps around you so naturally. It is difficult to open the songs and look at each element separately. Many a mortals have tried that and failed gloriously! Well you don't need to dissect the songs. They are so open already! Take it the way you want to be. Like Peter Buck said, they are the doors to another world- open them, and see if you like what you find. If not, you are not forced to stay...

When I was young and full of grace and spirited
A rattlesnake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You're on your honour not to tell
I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract
Explain the change, the difference between
What you want and what you need
There's the key, your adventure for today
What do you do between the horns of the day?

I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in

When I was young and give and take
And foolish said my fool awake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You're on your honour, on your honour
Trust in your calling, make sure your calling's true
Think of others, the others think of you
Silly rule golden words make practice
Practice makes perfect
Perfect is a fault and fault lines change

I believe my humour's wearing thin
And change is what I believe in

I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in

When I was young and full of grace and spirited
A rattlesnake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You're on your honour, on your honour
I believe in example
I believe my throat hurts
Example is the checker to the key

I believe my humour's wearing thin
And I believe the poles are shifting
I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in

"I Believe" from 'Lifes Rich Pageant'

Monday, February 4, 2008

"You can't stop what's coming"

The movie is called ‘No Country for Old Men'. Weird title. For me, it's the most gripping story I have seen unfolding on screen since The Usual Suspects. The acting is brilliant. The script is crisp, tight, one major reason to compare it with Suspects. Coens were never so good. But it’s the cinematography that is the jewel of this crown.

The movie presents the themes of death, fate and the changing times. It presents the incomprehensible nature of mindless violence, especially the inability of the law to even understand it.

I’ve used the word ‘presents’ because there is no comment made in the movie on these issues. It does not dissect the topic by making its characters preach. That is left to us. One might look at it just as an intense thriller, without looking at all these themes I mentioned. But doing so would greatly undermine the source material, the novel by the same name by Cormac McCarthy.

The movie is not the typical good vs. evil drama. Why, by the end if it, one is not so sure if being on either side is enough to survive.

It also examines the randomness of death, represented by the cold blooded assassin (Javier Berdem). He is always dressed in black and not a muscle on his face flinches when he puts someone down. But it is not that he is unbeatable. An equal conviction from the opposite side is what is required. Barring one character, no one seems to possess it.

The movie is about a man (Josh Brolin) who stumbles upon a lot of cash while he is hunting in Texan outback, at a place where a drug deal has gone bad. He runs with the cash, and is chased by people who want the cash back. One of them is our psycho- killer. A Sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and his deputy are the third group of people, going through the crime scenes and trying to put the pieces together.

This is a landscape driven film, shot in Texas and New Mexico, Very nice cinematography, I can’t praise it enough.

It’s not to be missed.

Ellis: Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity.