Friday, December 29, 2006

Tag of the (New) Year

Don't think too much..... just hop on and write how you celebrated your last year New Year eve, how you plan to do it this time.... and a few more easy questions...

  1. How did you celebrate last New Year eve (at least two unforgettable things of the occasion)

  2. What were your New Year resolutions for the last year (hope you’d made at least 2 resolutions for last year)

  3. How successful were you in any/each of them?

  4. How do you plan to celebrate them this New Year eve (any crazy wild plans are most welcome!!)

  5. So any resolutions for this year(hoping again that you’ll at least make two resolutions this year as well)

  6. What do you think are the chances of those succeeding?

  7. Tag at least 3 people to know better about them

  1. With friends in Goa for 3-4 days:

    Most of the time was on beaches followed by some awkward but memorable incidents:

    First I lost the bike key, then when we got a new key my friend Ankit was demonstrating to me how to keep the key safely in trouser pockets and instead went away to city with the key and leaving me and my friend Soumya feeling helpless with a bike beside but no keys!!

    Then some small fights with autowallahs and roaming and late night driving in lonely roads of Goa.

    The extremely bumpy and uncomfortable ride back to Bangalore by bus

  1. a) To quit procrastination

    b) To be more honest with few things in life which earlier I think I was not.

    c) To be not tempted or moved by short term gains and view things in long term perspective.

    (d) To wake up early morning and do some physical exercise.

  1. a) I have procrastinated quitting procrastination.

    b) I think I have done justice here….so may be my life is better because of this one thing

    c) A little justice I can say but still confused over it.

    (d) Quit on that the very next day, now I know these adventures are not for me.

  1. No special plans… going to Bangalore so may be just another night of drinking and crashing out.

  1. a) To quit procrastination …again!!

    b) To work for an NGO for at least a couple of months.

    (c) To travel to some parts of India, something which I have deprived myself of greatly…

    (d) To do some physical exercise combined with some meditation

  1. a) I think I can do it… I just need to be reminded of it. The only problem is I can put reminders for this in each nook and corner but how would I be reminded to put the reminder.

    b) I think the possibility for this is fairly good, considering some thinking I have done because of Last Year Resolution No. 2. So I think I can take out time to work for NGO’s something which I have wanted to do for a long time.

    c) I think this should be done fairly ok too but again I will need to be reminded. For the past 2 years in Mysore, I had never been to the Mysore Zoo thinking it to be a collection of dying animals in dilapidated shacks. This time when I visited the Zoo, I got the shock of my life. It was one of the best zoos I have seen in India.

    Another evidence of bad record in this. Having stayed in Delhi for more than 4 years I have never visited Lal Quila, Qutab Minar !!

    (d) Since this is New Year resolutions, I don’t want to spoil the mood by commenting negatively on this. Diplomatically, this too stands a good chance.

  1. Sid, Amrut, Cuckoo, Jat, Arun, Avishek and anyone and everyone who would like to join in.

And How can I leave without saying that May all of you have a rocking New Year and may you all achieve what 2006 denied to you.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Weaker Sex!!

This news shook me

...A woman, even if she is involved in an illicit relationship, cannot be punished for adultery and is treated as the victim under law

.....And the National Commission for Women (NCW) has shot down proposals for amending Section 497 so that women can be prosecuted for adultery.

....that considering the relatively socially disempowered position of women, the Commission suggests no amendments to Section 497 of IPC.

....The existing provision in the IPC is based on the mindset that the wife is a personal possession of the husband, who is the sole aggrieved person in an incident of adultery.

In turn NCW has recommended that

as the wife already can take action against her husband under various other legal provisions, such as Section 498A of IPC, there is no reason that she should be debarred from initiating prosecution under Section 198 (which as of now disqualifies the wife of an unfaithful husband from prosecuting him for his promiscuous behavior) of CRPC.

While the second recommendation above is understandable in light of the further recommendation by NCW that “adultery should be treated as a civil wrong and not a criminal offence” but the whole article makes me feel like thanking NCW members that they didn’t recommend instead that women adultery should be treated as civil wrong while men’s as criminal offence!!

Time for NCM, eh?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dhoom Machale ....Dhoom Machale ...Dhoom

After Venkatesh Prasad's reply to Aamir Sohail I think this is the only reply which has amused me.

While Venkatesh's reply was suitably apt in "language of cricket" this was a step ahead and apt in both satire and befitting in "cricketing language". Although it had similarities to Javed Miandad replying to Denis Lilee.

P.S.: And please note that Sreesanth in his personal life loves break dance and once has been declared the National Break Dance Champion too and that too in eight grade. It seems he has learnt his lessons quite well!!! [Source]

Credits: courtesy Google Videos and Youtube

Update: Seems like there was a entry fee for the break dance, because Sreesanth has been fined 30% of his match fee for this. [Source]

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

MTV Bakra!!

Well I don't need to explain what the first two words of the post-title suggest. Well not that someone played MTV Bakra on me, but having watched this show on and off makes me think, how would I behave if someone played something like this one me and how alert should one be to find out if someone may be playing MTV Bakra on me.

It happened one Saturday; I went with a friend of mine to do some shopping at Levis Signature@ Devraja Urs Road. She was giving me some t-shirts to try out and later some jeans as well and I used to come out of trial room to take second opinion. I don't know what was on her mind but sometimes she was giving me one of the weirdest color combinations that I would ever lay my hands on (red & black was one...on me!!… yuck). Well after some time I had tried some 5-6 combinations and I think we kept the staff busy collecting the tried-n-discarded stuff from the trial room. Well, to put it mildly they were amused at my state.

All along when I used to come out, my frnd was standing out waiting to approve/disapprove; I was noticing this guy, standing at a distance and just casually checking out clothes. He was taking side glances with i-pity-you kind of looks. I noticed him smirking twice or thrice and getting amused.

So just once when I tried this yucky red& black combo, I came out he was standing at the far end near the counter and as soon as I came out, my friend started laughing a bit loudly, attracting the attention of most of the other people in the store at that time. Then I noticed this guy lean on to this friend of his and whisper in his ear something, as if saying "look at that poor mannequin/guy!!" (my sorry state of affairs didn’t hint anything else to me). I was so conscious of this that I quickly went back into the trial room.

She was still laughing, so I casually asked if she was playing some MTV Bakra on me. I said this was the final combo and closed the trial room door. Then the big questions hit me-- what if?? All this time I was trying out different pairs which meant that for most part of the time in the trial room, I would be clad in just the basic garments. So I just looked around in the trial room for any traces of holes and some camera chord hanging out.

Thankfully there was none. But I did hallucinate the people in the store to break into peals of laughter, as I am coming out of the trial room, shouting, “bakra………” with the dreaded bakra-cap!!

So what would you do if you doubt that you are in this situation??

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blog Vs Diary

This article got me thinking if there indeed may be a difference between a diary and a blog. Although the statistics are inaccurately presented to draw the conclusion, but to think about the headline, the ones who can answer this comfortably and rightly are very few because the domain itself of people who blog as well as maintain a diary/journal is limited. I am one of those lucky limited.

Having been blogging for around 1 year and maintaining a diary for 6-7 years now, I can say that there are indeed differences between a diary and a blog, but subtly so. There may indeed be differences but no topic can be exclusively set aside as being written in diaries only or blogs only.

Apart from the usual longevity factor differences related to either medium, while a diary is a more personal and generally has restricted access, blog is nothing but throwing open ideas, creations in public for adulation, revisions, discussion, criticism et al. So going on emotions side, to me my diary gives me a more personal feel than any blog of mine or anybody else; the ink, the writing and the impressions on the paper and even the awry letters and designs on the diary are simply inimitable.

A blog is meant for observations, individual opinions/interpretations on a news item, articles, journals, reviews. In fact, it’s something synonymous to journalism, covering all and everything under the sun. Blogs are more about someone’s passion, interests and hobbies. Like some maintain a technology blogs, some Photoshop edited photos, some pen humorous takes on things of this world. True, these may be penned by an enthusiast in one’s own journal as well but someone in need of some praise and motivation is more likely to use a blog. Similarly, someone caring to keep certain events of one’s life hidden from public purview would appropriately choose a diary.

A difference in language style ensues after this basic difference. While the one in diary can take more freedom with (mix of) language, words the same may not produce a desirable difference in case of blogs. Other differences arise because of availability of tools, while blogs can be made visually more appealing with plethora of tools available on cyber community, diary entries can still attract a lot of attention through original crafts, sketches which still are much more appreciated than the same in digital counterparts.

So which is the better medium and which is lesser. Well as the article itself lists a few things, things which you would like to share, collaborate, display in full glory are meant for blogs and you can earn pretty decent dough out of it. While the things that you wish to keep to yourself and a trusted few, and come back time and again and revisit it are more apt for the diary. And again the choice will definitely depend on the matters you wish to write, its sensitivity for you, its effect on others etc.

Anyways in the end both are a medium to write and interesting thing is to see them together rather than against each other. One says, your sad, happy and ecstatic moments, other tells about your inclinations, preferences, hobbies, triggers. In a way they gel with each other to put together in nearly complete totality a perfect you!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Swades Revisited Finale- Spiritualism of convenience.

Contd from previous post…. There is something more that came to my mind (although not everyone of you might be able to relate to it…realization is personal… if you ever talked to me on such topics you’d be lucky enough to notice it). I realized that in every debate related to Indian society, populace, choices, freedom I have very often presented contradictory and confusing views.

I realized that I’ve seen the life here at the village wherein there is very little freedom, very little choices and primary struggle is survival, not prosperity, I’ve seen the life at Alhbd wherein there is a little freedom, people have a couple of choices, I’ve seen the life in Delhi wherein people have more freedom and choices and finally I’ve just been lucky to see the life at UK, wherein people can’t imagine life without freedom and/or choices. May be I’ve read/seen/experienced the best and worst of so many strata of societies wherein excess of one strata is the basic necessity of the other one and taking into account all indexes no particular hierarchical ratings for “best society” can be decided. So may be, just may be, I have not been able to decide what package is best for anyone of any strata and I keep swinging like a pendulum to grab the best of all the worlds, hence the confusion.

Later while I was at Alhbd, I had a good discussion with my mother over the entire puja and concept of spiritualism. I told my mother that I don’t really believe in idol worship very much although don’t deny it at all. I argued that if really these big pujas would be a better way to make Him notice your faith, then would money not be the ultimate God; you spend more of it, have a grander puja and God would notice it more. Then why God, why not do everything to achieve money since it is a way to reach Him.

Well, my mother didn’t have much to argue against it but she felt as if I didn’t like spending money on the puja. She tried to turn the tables on me with this idea but I clearly said that I did the puja because they all wanted and I am not very religious at all. Then I further told her how pandits fighting and pandits discrimination ultimately defies the whole logic of puja-path, that I don’t totally neglect a mandir when I pass by one but don’t believe that running every Tuesday to Sankatmochan will make Hanumanji happy (or maintaining a dry day on Wednesday or any other day will appease any other God, although I didn’t mention this).

Although (to criticize it) this may be called as spiritualism of convenience but I have faith and I don’t hurt anyone by this and the best part is atleast I am not vulnerable to faith-breaks like in incidents like those of Shabrimala and Amarnath.

The interesting part is that my mother had no reply to all this, and in some ways she did agree to what I was saying but she is planning another puja shortly. Seems my arguments were good but not effective enough.

But the point to think is this, is spiritualism only/more effective if you take pains to reach, adulate Him or as Mohan Bhargava puts it across to Ravana in Ramleela, “Dekh taj ke paap Ravana, Ram tere man mein hai” spiritualism is a self-faith and self-satisfaction thing. (thanks to Sid for making me realise the connection)

Update: And this article couldn’t have come at a better time. Read 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 : TOI survey on youth’s take on spirituality!!

Next Blog: Blog Vs Diary!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Swades Revisited-III-Apni To Paathshaala

The day after, while I was waiting for a local transport (now jeeps run from my village to bus stand every 30 mins) beside the school of the village.

I had to admire this school because what was earlier a dilapidated building hardly running classes till 5th class was now well bordered area hosting classes till 8th. To make matters still more circumstantially coinciding with Swades’s plot, a part of school also hosted panchayat’s meetings; and in case of disease outbreaks, it was also used as a make shift hospital.

My cousin sisters had bunked the school to see me off and were with me there so I thought of visiting the school. Each cousin was enthusiastic to take me to their class, so Mohan Bhargava approached the school. It was a typical scene in some classes wherein I could see that the classrooms were much bigger for the no. of students attending school that day. In some classes I saw the teachers had put up a veil of newspaper between them and the students, each busy in their own worlds.

By this time this Swades idea had hit me and I just smiled thinking if there might be a Gitaji too. I went to a cousin’s classroom, expecting Gitaji but I think I was expecting too much. Had I said this to my college friends, they would have said, “Agar tu Mohan Bhargava hai to woh bhi Gita se kam nahin rahi hogi” (replace the name of the characters with the name of the actors). In this class, apparently the chalk had finished so the Gitaji had drawn a typical chemistry diagram of a round bottom flask with spirit lamp, wire gauge for steam forming moisture on a glass rod. The edges of the diagram were thinning down maybe because of small, spent-up pieces of chalks were used for drawing. She told me that she was from a nearby town and simultaneously also managed to keep interrupting the students’ chat-break, quietly asked everyone to continue drawing the diagram in their science copies and everyone willingly followed. May be my cousin had told her that I am an engineer and work in Mysore, so may be she was a bit impressed and a bit conscious while talking.

I took leave from her and visited my other cousin’s class. As soon as I entered, all the students stood up folding hands chanting Namaste in unison. This took me by surprise and I laughed noticing that the same class hosted Sanskrit for class 4th and Mathematics for 5th! I talked to masterji and he told me that he is very committed to teaching these children and wished that all the 5th class children should apply for Navodaya but the students are non-sincere. If I had to name him a character from Swades, I’d name him Mela Ram.

At the end of the visit, I realized that may be women do a better job than men when it comes to social service and selfless commitment; there may always be exceptions but somehow women are able to nurture more passion than men do who most often do it perfunctorily.

I have seen my village trotting to progress; it has a big school and the electricity is also slated to reach the village within a year. So how does the village benefit from me? Well my father had promised to build a room in the school for the children. With now the plans for the school to be built till high school, I have thought of contributing to it. Although resourceless, I will contribute it in one way or the other in future.

Next and Series Finale Blog: My Expts. With Spiritualism (refer to my previous blog to know more) – Conversation with my mother on God, puja, bhagwat and spiritualism.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Swades Revisited-II

Mea Culpa folks! I wrote the last post in a hurry to save the dying blog of mine in a crunch situation so didn’t bother to edit the blog, as I normally do. So changes

  • this grand puja is called Bhagwat as I came to know later

  • Certain other mistakes in word usage.

Anyways, I am here to continue about my visit to my village. And while telling you about the pandits I forgot to mention that the one pandit was fighting with Guru Maharaj (as the name suggests, the supreme pandit) for share of the dakshina which was collected during the dan-dakshina and my mother eventually settled it by paying extra to the pandit.

I was very little interested in the puja, may be because at some point in my life I was a hardcore atheist and although I do believe in God but such display of worship, puja, bhagwat doesn’t appeal to me at all. So while all the time pandits were running through the mantras, I sneaked into the nearby garden to enjoy the cool wind. When my elder brother came to know of this, he (() scolded me for sneaking away from bhagwat.

Well here is the funny part; when I reached home, it got a little dark and everyone was having food, my chachi cracked the joke that Guru Maharaj (GM) had earlier said that in Bhagwats, cow-dung and cow-urine should be taken as charnamrit instead of normal milk, curd, sugar, coconut etc etc. I would have refused to take it or better thrust it down the throat of GM had he tried that. But chachi kept on laughing about it, so that made me suspicious and in the end mummy relented and said that charnamrit did contain a little of the sacred stuff. Now at that time if you give me water, in the dark (if I haven’t already told you my village is a backward village where electricity is still not there) it appeared like urine. Boy, I was furious but it was of no use now. I still smile as I think that I was nagging like a child when this news took me by surprise, although to be quite honest I didn’t feel any difference in the taste probably because of the heavy sugar to counter it. But would you agree to swim in a swimming pool, if you were told that a little boy just pissed a few drops in the pool? ((

P.S.: This incident triggered a good debate between me and my mother on God, Faith and spiritualism when we reached Allahabad but more of that in the next blogs of this series...

P.S.S.: Coming up in the next blog of this series: Mohan Bhargava in my village’s school!!

P.S.S.S.: You wouldn’t want to hear how my chachi went about collecting the urine and how unadulterated sample was tested on my two young cousins ((

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Swades Revisited-I

It had been around 7-8 months since I had gone home and may be 4-5 year since I celebrated Diwali at home last so this time my mother insisted that I spend Diwali holidays this time. She had already planned a grand puja in my village called Hanna Vinaika (a village at the SW end of UP in Banda district). Infact, I think I was the last to know that the puja was to be done. The reason: my family had undertaken a mannat that they will do this puja at the end of successful completion of my two years in job life and this was hinted to my mother by some pandit of my village. And here is the catchy deal, that entire had to be on my hard earned money. The only consolation was that by the time I would reach my village the puja would be nearing its end and I would just be there in the puja for around 3-4 days.

Ok, so how grand was this puja. Well most of my relatives were coming from outside for this puja (this grand puja is called Pandit as I came to know later). The custom in my village goes that whenever you invite any relatives from outside you’ve got to bear all the expenses for their coming and going + some gifts are obvious.(Thanks god they don’t ask for accommodation, which anyways is managed by sharing house-pool of the family; I mean my house, my uncles’ house etc). The pandit also entails some dakshina to the pandits and a feast to the entire village. The pandit is done at Hanumanji, a temple some 2-3 Kms away from the village. It’s a very famous temple with lots of stories attached to it.

So when I reached Allahabad (Alhbd), I was denied my unusual rest and was asked to proceed towards the village (some 120 Kms far from Alhbd immediately). To add to my troubles was unusual weather which was extremely hot, erratic transport service to my village. I was hinted that I might have to sleep on the floor at the site of puja. Now I was furiously searching this pandit who’s giving this kind of expensive hints to my mother. And this idea, I simply refused to do this. So some religious arguments were given as to why my sleeping there won’t cause any harm.

Infact, this reminds me of what I said to one of blog-interviews, that spirituality and religion lack confidence twisting traditions and practices to modern day person’s convenience and that may be spirituality is identical to Indian Penal Court wherein any arguments for/against something is unacceptable just to justify it.

So the next day puja began, I can’t really tell you all the details but it contained all the usual things: hawan, aarti, mantra, honking bells, obeisance, chadhawa, distributing charnamrit etc etc. I was sitting just getting bored after the first round when the charnamrit was being distributed. The Pandit was distributing it and everyone was taking it with respect. He went and gave the prasad to a lower cast person from a distance, cursing them on and off. And this was all acceptable to the worshippers, pandits (who ironically sometime back were telling mantras that God loves all equally). I thought of giving prasad to them with respect but by the time I made a decision and looked for prasad he was gone.

The experience is big and space small…. To be continued in the next blog. To be out soon

Saturday, October 07, 2006

God...where art thou.....?? Why have you deserted me....

I was very unhappy and asked God why have you deserted me .... why me..... why??

He replied patiently ...... I am everywhere but only visible to those who wish and strive to find me this moment I am hidden in this entire blog page.... all you have to do is to STRIVE to search me!!!

See if you really want to search me, I am HERE...right close to you...IF you have found me and smiled that's my divine gift to you today.......Just hope many would make use of this opportunity to smile a little and write their blogs in enthusiastic/happy/smiling/cheerful moods.....

try harder and try to read between the may find ME!!

I establish my presence in even such games and try to make ppl smile ... why do they say that I have deserted them??

...P.S. will post the link to God a little later...I have left clues and trails to God here itself

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Gandhigiri - Star Gold's version

Coming is the long weekend due to Bapu’s b’day; a week full of celebrations here in Mysore owing to Dasara as well.

Gandhi Jayanti may mean different things to different people. For school, college and office goers it may mean just another welcome weekday holiday, for academicians it may mean another opportunity to discuss the relevance of Gandhian principles in today’s society, for wine and hard drink enthusiasts it may mean cursing Gandhi because it’s a dry day throughout the country; very often a one day frenzy to do and discuss every thing closely or remotely related to Gandhi. (Disclaimer here: Remember the list is not inclusive and in no way mutually exclusive)

So govt. may hold a Shanti Sabha, politicians will garland Gandhi’s idol which else would have been gathering dust for the entire past year, very few might consider visiting a nearby Gandhi gallery and most may just be happy to watch a movie on Gandhi on one of the TV channels. It is the later part which I think has left a little distaste with me this Gandhi Jayanti.

This Dasara, yet again channels are springing to cash in on the long weekend crowd and grab the highest share of TRP’s by attracting crowd. Referring to one noticeable attempt by Star Gold, I think either Star Gold has a very poor knowledge of Gandhi (and for that matter history) or it’s just one of those typical channels driven by monetary concerns and with very less aptitude for appripriateness.

It’s very easy to guess that the program schedule is driven by business sense with no regard for what is being shown and to what degree of appropriateness and relevance. Gandhi Jayanti Spl is being shown on 1st Oct and RDB is being shown on 2nd Oct, a movie which I personally, think is a little inappropriate if not grossly unfair.

Leaving aside arguments of business sense, one might argue
· RDB does represent nationalistic (debatable) sentiments so is totally appropriate to the scene
· Gandhi Jayanti has lost its significance so screening of RDB or any other movie doesn’t make much difference
· I am being far more sensitive on this topic than one should be

But I am not for any typical leftist opinion that foreign companies should be banned because they propagate SCB (Subhash Chandra Bose) sentiments when they should be preaching Gandhigiri but I think the schedule has definitely left a bad taste on me.

I am no ardent supporter of Gandhi but to say that he didn’t have any significant positive contribution to the Indian society would be foolish and I respect him for his contributions and in fact in some ways look up to him. It is driven by this respect and probably (as some of you may accuse and I will admit as well) mine one day frenzy, I believe that Star Gold could have done better by planning the program schedule in a better way.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Poems.. Ah those Poems!!

I remember a poem by Rudard Kipling 'IF'. An excerpt:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
...And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Then I wondered why are all these poems so idealistic and never ever seem to have a semblance of normal human emotions, psychology or they never seem to respect anything that is human (inclinations that is)!! They always tell you something that is so inhumanly human leaving no space for practicality and reality.

Addendum: One may argue that such people do exist then was the poem aimed at being elitist, telling us not about generic crowd but a little few and why is it that whatever they did should be a guide for everyone. I mean why can't they accept failure for a change. It' s not that these poems don't inspire me but I question each and every thing even those things which I believe in!!

Think:Well if you are asked to make a fresh start. If everything that you did till now is undone or you realise it wasn't worthy the effort, some may make a fresh start but would there be some of you who may not breathe a word about your loss??

P.S.: Those of my Infosys colleagues can find the post on InfyBlogs here. Also there are some interesting points discussed therein. I will post some them as an update in this blog itself sometime later.

Monday, September 25, 2006

India's Entry 2 Oscar

This piece on rediff prompted me to think what should have been India's entry to the Oscars. Out of all the options mentioned, I too ended up with 3 final choices: RDB, LRM and Omkara. Which one should be India's entry to Oscar’s? Rather I should ask 2 questions here given what previous trends at Oscar are
1) Which movie deserves to go to Oscars?
2) Which movie had better chances of winning an Oscar for India?

While answer for the 1 will vary from person to person, to answer 2 One should look at the theme of these movies....

1) RDB- asking the new generation to repeat what Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh did for India. Yes, British have gone but they are virtually still there as some of our own brethren.

DisAdv: While the theme is anti western but the scope of the theme is not international

Adv: Unique presentation, inspiring.

2) LRM- entertaining Gandhian principles in non preachy way

DisAdv: No one knows Munnabhai outside India and the presentation may make the message appear to the judges as hilarious and therefore insincere.

Adv: Gandhi sells big time on international scenario (as mentioned in the opening scenes of RDB itself)

3) Omkara- Indian adaptation of Othello

Adv: very original everything from songs, script and plot is very uniquely adapted to Indian scenario

DisaAdv: No international appeal, and frankly no one knows the situation in any town of BIMARU statesSo what do you think should have been sent to Oscar’s this time to have a better chance of winning Oscars??

I think I would have gone for Omkara in both the cases. The disadvantage in case of RDB is simply too high for it to win Oscars.

According to you all which movie deserves to go Oscars (Question 1)??

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Story, a Kiss and a Lullaby

He walks along the street
winds hitting his face
ruffling his hair , and
rains slowing down his pace

he knows why
he moves against flow
when he can
very well avoid the cold blow

A father he is
happy to be one
but a son he is
in this world to none

he wants to turn back
wake up his child
kiss her, lull her to sleep with a story
and sleep wild

But a faint figure
in the clouds urges the sleepless on
with a hope which
makes him move till dawn

holding his breath
he starts to sprint
and starts to cry like
a kid after his mint

The Wind is harsh on him
harsher on the figure
probably it's yet another night
when he won't make it near

exhausted he stoops down crying to the dispersed figure
"stories I've told many but heard none,
just this once, just one last story, a kiss
and lull me to one last
good sleep I'd call it a bliss"!!!

“Hope of a good night's sleep
hath brought me here
just wanted a story, a kiss and lullaby
and that, ‘Sleep tight, dear!!’

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Classic Songs = Pessimism??

Well there was a time when I used to heavily listen to those old heart wrenching classics of Kishore, Rafi, Manna de. That was actually not a good time of the life I'd say. Then when slowly I decided that I have to do something about all this I quit listening to those songs.

I didn't listen much of those songs for the past 1 year but when I started living in this new house with my 2 friends. One of them, Amit is a real hardcore Kishore, Manna De and Rafi fan and has an amazing assortment of such songs and ghazals. Basically a guy who guesses the name of the movie by the playback singers and music composers!!

We all agree that a lot of meaning is packed into such songs. But that meaning most often dissuades us from pursuing what we all want to and is mostly masochistic, melancholic to listen to. Try imagining the situation when in one room I am reading Eric Segals' Doctor and in another room Kishore's song (forgotten which was the songs that was playing that day) is playing telling me that my reading books will do no good because I've come alone and go away alone from this world!!

And as if nature's conspiracy...the timing is nearly perfect in these situations.

Now Amit plays these songs all day and night long (even when he is sleeping)! Not that I have a problem with that. But to me those songs have become a symbol of pessimism. Just the right ones to play on an evening when you are drunk/stoned and think about life's past shit..!! Or just think why such songs sound perfect in a lonely lounge/bar. I am not a habitual smoker (I've quit actually just at the right time)...but his songs give me an urge to go out and sit in the balcony and smoke as long as the songs are playing.

So every evening my head really begins to spin when I come home in a good mood and the sound of all those songs greets me at the doorstep thereby activating my melancholy. So forget java or any puzzles book, the best you can do is go to sleep, if you can that is.

Just to defend the beauty of such songs, this line of arguing, it seems is my own defense mechanism to believe that Life is still beautiful!!

P.S. I don’t know how good a job of defending these classical songs I did in the last line!!

Friday, September 01, 2006


Well I was looking for something to write when Sid tagged me. Interesting enough to write especially when I was hungry to write something and knowing that it’s the first time someone has tagged me.
4 jobs I’ve had:Let me recollect…..

  • Infosys – First company

  • Working for SIDH- A dedicated blog on this experience.

  • Teacher – a failed attempt to earn some pocket money in Delhi. I sucked at it.
4 films I could watch again and again:My job is more difficult than Sid’z because I have even hollywood movies to choose from!!
  1. Masoom

  2. Guide

  3. Forrest Gump

  4. Lakshya
4 places I’ve lived in:
Since my father was a govt. official there are so many places I have lived in and each has its own distinct memories. But I think I will name those places which have had a distinct effect on me.  
  1. Varanasi- through 2 schools and 7-8 years made some amazing friends, but there is still something which makes me hate this place. Probably, hard lessons started here and went on to my college life.

  2. New Delhi- 4 yrs of my life here. Earned some good friends, learned some hard lessons

  3. Hyderabad/UK- Clubbed both of them together because I spent roughly the same time in these places: 3 months. Both were like “Little work full pay”.

  4. Mysore – My idea of life: Jobs like u do in Bangalore and stay in Mysore.
4 TV series I like to watch:Not much of a TV buff I am
  1. YES BOSS (Mohan ji and Meera ji’s hilarious comedy)

  2. CID (I like there detective serials)

  3. FRIENDS (not too much but I have seen lot of episode on CDs)

  4. The Big Fight, We The People (Repository of some amazing topics to think about)
4 places that I’ve been on vacation to:I haven’t been much of a vacation guy, but still there are some amazing places I have been to.
  1. Goa- visited twice during the carnival season.

  2. Mussoorie- the one month spent here were eye opening experiences for me.

  3. UK- Amazing places in UK like London, Swansea Beach, Lake District.

  4. Pune
4 websites I visit everyday:
  1. Blog - mine and others

  2. Rediff

  3. Gmail

  4. Wikiepdia- for randomly searching some trivia.
4 books I’d love to read again and again:
  1. India Unbound - Gurcharan Das

  2. Godfather- Mario Muzo

  3. Rising Sun- Michael Crichton

  4. 1984- George Orwell
4 favorite dishes:
  1. Bhindi

  2. Baigan Bharta

  3. Chicken Biryani –with Raita.

  4. Any crap thing served with Curd/Yoghurt- thanks to my hostel days.
4 places where I’d like to be right now:
  1. Varanasi- with old friends- The only reason to be there.

  2. Mussoorie - In the very same village

  3. On a lonely trip to Kerala

  4. Goa Beach, but alone again, with my diary and keep writing.
4 people I’m gonna tag:
  1. Jat

  2. Avishek

  3. Danny

  4. Naveen
P.S.: This post also wishes my friend (name withheld intentionally), best of health. He recently discovered that he is suffering from Hepatitis-B. I am still not able to get in touch with him. In fact I really don’t know what I am going to say when I will call him. Here’s wishing best of health to you dost!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Zinda Revisited!!

Well it was the time when I have had enough of chocophobia because of the severe dental problems I had during my stay in UK. Chewing has become a labour while chocolates and sweets a taboo. I had already made up my mind to finish off this problem one and for all.

My dentist took a couple of X-rays and told me that I would be spending nearly 12 k on my dental treatment, 7 ceramic teeth and 2 teeth extraction: one of which was just barely visibly at the top of the gums. So a date for the extraction of one of the tooth was fixed and the date was 22nd August, 2006.

When I went to his clinic, he rinsed my teeth with a pressure jet. Since I Am already experienced in this tooth extraction I thought there would be nothing new to me. But there was. The same procedure was the same. He took a syringe and inserted it in gums to give me a local anesthesia; worse for me it didn’t go well, so he went for another shot of anesthesia.

In just 2 minutes, I lost the sensation in the left portion of my mouth. I was able to just feel the tooth with my tongue but the sensation in the lips was all gone and I was having difficulty speaking. He asked me not to chew my lips if you are not able to feel them and I think he did advise right since one would tend to do that if not advised against. Since I was to have a bridge of 4 teeth to go over the extracted tooth, he first drilled the two adjacent teeth by 2 mm roughly. I couldn’t feel anything and he was using a pressure jet of water along with the cutter so that took away a lot of sensation as well.

I just inspected my teeth after the drilling operation in the mirror and now there would be a space, distinct and visible to an outsider, no matter how hard I grind my teeth together. Well then came the most interesting/weird part. He asked me to lie down, put on the light and told me that if it pains just lift your hands and I’ll stop. He started struggling with my teeth but was not able to either get a good trip on the teeth or penetrate the gums because the teeth wasn’t solid at all; it was like the grid of pebbles by the riverside. I had the mirror in my mind and had an urge to see what’s going on.

Although getting a good angle for the mirror in my left hand was difficult, I tried and eventually got one. He was still struggling with my teeth. Then suddenly, he was successful. Either a nerve or a tissue had been ruptures and blood started coloring my gums, adjacent teeth and tongue and since my head was a bit slant, the blood mixed with saliva started collecting at the site of the teeth, rising in volume slowly to eventually touch the gums, where it would shine in the light distinctly. He paused and said, “Don’t try to look at this, sometimes it gets more painful if you look at yourself being operated upon”. He later told me this is told to them in one of their psychology classes.

Then he was back at his job and I was on mine. I remember that in the childhood when I went for my first injection the doctor’s assistant asked me to look the other side. I did because he asked me to but I didn’t like that he said that. But when he was about to give me one, I turned my head and focused on the spot where he was giving the injection. It was over in a couple of seconds. But this wasn’t.
Finally he pushed out (and not pulled out) the fragments of teeth by creating enough depth in the gums to reach the fragment’s base and then push it out from there. While he was pulling out the teeth, I wasn’t thinking about the blood, rather thinking what it would feel like if I didn’t have the anesthesia but since the sensation of pain was all gone, I was thinking that had I been in his place I would be rougher with the operation. The teeth had troubled me a lot and I’d trouble the fella a lot in this farewell operation.

But the whole blood thing and pushing the tooth out and the doctor struggling with most of his physical strength registered in my mind reminded me of Zinda where Sanjay Dutt pulls out a teeth of a fellow with a hammer. Some call it psychotic some weird, what’s your take??

Update: I am about to undergo another tooth extraction on 30th August, 2006. It will be lot scarier and greater a war since its the last tooth on the upper jaw on RHS. One hour appointment has been reserved for this. And unlike the last time where the tooth was a little into the gums, this is very firmly embedded in the gums and one wall of it outside it not there. So another big tussle. Thinking what new will it be this time. Will blood start dripping drop by drop and if it happens to land outside on my face, will it start trickling down forming a weird pattern!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Find the fallacy in this argument.
“The only rule of the world is that every rule has exceptions”

  1. Now the RULE says every rule has exceptions. The fact that this RULE holds true is an exception to itself so this RULE holds good.

  2. But then this RULE has an exception, the RULE itself. So how can this rule be true if it has an exception?
So is this a hypothesis or a rule or just an exception??

Friday, July 07, 2006

Not Done Mr PM!!

Well this article explains what I wish to say very briefly. Briefly, because I wish to rant today. Congress coming into power was a choice by elimination for what BJP had conspired in Godhra.
But looks as if Congress too is on the same path.

Ok enough rant to vent frustration. Now business!

Well Manmohan Singh, quotably the hero of Gurcharan Das’s book India Unbound (Amazon link), the father of reforms has been booed down by his own siblings or let’s say masters!!
The article rightly points out instances wherein PM went weak

  1. Lalu held a separate inquiry into Godhra and PM couldn’t do anything about it.

  2. Opposition brushing aside Chidambaram’s Minimum wage prescription and now,

  3. The decision of divestment in non-Navratna companies (which naturally takes away the excuse of this decision going against CMP). And then the revoke

  4. But there are some more instances which the report missed and which were covered in KT’s interview. Some of the examples that we all must be remembering from media follow-ups were

  5. Arjun Singh embarrassing PM by announcing that 27% reservation would be implemented in IITs, IIMs and AIIMS. PMO came out with an explanation that this was done without PM’s knowledge and even without top Congress leaders’ knowledge.

  6. In AIIMS case too PM gave in to the PMK’s absurd handling of AIIMS. A bureaucrat was allowed to make absurd decisions of removing the people for bureaucratic conveniences. AIIMS autonomy is definitely undermined in throwing out a man as eminent as Venugopal unceremoniously.
The point here is not to discuss the merit-demerit of any of issues and prove that UPA made wrong decision in each case but to say that the leader they chose didn’t choose to lead but simply follow threats from other people and submit to whatever little wails they rose. I think Karan rightly put it in today’s discussion when he said that Vajpayee too dealt with RSS and VHP but he managed his way out.

True, it’s a different ball game with coalition politics, listening to everyone but then here it seems the govt. has been listening only and not making its own opinion clear. While PM has been boasting at foreign visits at how the reforms are not going to stop, he declares that he is not wedded to reforms. Although there is a slight subjectivity but to me it is lack of consistency which someone of the ranks of PM should display. And he won’t be held as Adam for doing what Eve has demonstrated during her career. I am talking about Margaret Thatcher who fought her own party against lots of investment related decisions and is being justifiably celebrated for this.

True, he has been tough on issues like petrol price hike to stop bleed oil companies. But the way he has been handled by his own colleagues and that too on public platform through media has often embarrassed him without much redress action. So in the end, not done Mr PM!!

Friday, June 30, 2006


You know you surf Internet for 8-9 hrs per day on your laptop at home when:

  1. You are talking to people with your hand on the table and fingers virtual-typing the words you are speaking and you feel bad that you can’t catch up with your speed

  2. When sitting in office you graze your thumb slightly over the space on the platform near the keyboard hoping that the pointer on screen would move.

  3. You move the pointer on the right side of the screen hoping that in some time dock-bar of Google Desktop will move out giving you the latest news and newest articles on your most favourite RSS enabled websites.

  4. While typing e-mail, you suddenly think of a phrase that could accurately describe the point. However, you curse silently when you realise you don’t have Internet there in the company to verify the same (and do further follow-ups such as etymology and other similar words) on Google or Wikipedia.

  5. On a fateful day when there is no internet and friends come inquiring if you are ok since net is not available, you ask

  6. “Hey you got your cell phone right now?”
    “Yeah, why?”
    “Which service provider do you have?”
    “&^%&^%* one, it is cheap and…”
    “And does this offer include a GPRS connection as well!”

  7. You iron your clothes for going to office the next day; you keep checking your laptop for Internet connection but of no avail. So to your mind back to “normality” you keep ironing the clothes with a pint of neat Vodka beside you.

  8. When a volunteer turns up at your door asking for donation to aid young women of UK and claims that their organisation has done a lot of pioneering work in this area, you are tempted to ask, “ Do you have a website where I can see your claims and verify it and get back to you??”

  9. When you overhear a colleague talking on phone ".....its like the kiss of apocalypse ". You wonder what does he mean by that and open Outlook go to Draft, open a saved mail and add this topic to your list reminding yourself to mail the list at EOD and search all the terms in the list @ Google and/or wikipedia. If you couldn't get the phrase anywhere you ask this fellow the meaning of that. OR alternatively you have been given new mouse-mats and on the back of it are claims of ultra-precise-tracking. You wonder if that's related to the UK/European patent no. mentioned below, you add these nos. to your list as well.

  10. The meanings of FORWARDS stops holding any meaning/significance for you since all FORWARDS related to current affairs or otherwise have already been read by you. So when someone sends you a forward about "being careful of DELL laptops since one exploded and he is about to tell you the context, you say, "Yeah!, I know ..during a Japanese conference"

  11. When you type e-mail in a typical blog fashion quoting people's comments/views in italics and giving hyperlinks to whichever folder you mention.

  12. When you realize that you are really a crazy maniac and a freak for internet and you think of quitting this habit. You tell your friends at a party that you want to quit and they say, “Well yes you should. However, you should first go and write a blog about that. Ha ha.. hee hee.. hoo hoo.(group laughter sounds)”

  13. As you are typing this article at Office for posting a blog at home, you are wondering if there is anything more to write about and wondering what will you do as you’ve finished typing “……wondering what will you do as you’ve finished typing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Google Masti..

Well if you thought this blog is about typing a certain search string in Google and then have a gag over the results, you may or may not be correct. Well continuing my binge of internet surfing and reading abstract and any article let me to this link. This is what it has to say, something that will excite you to read the whole 55 Funs and my blog as well.

Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped has released the full PDF of his wonderful book, 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google at
You probably use Google everyday, but do you know… the Google Snake Game? Googledromes? Memecodes? Googlesport? The Google Calculator? Googlepark and Google Weddings? Google hacking, fighting and rhyming? In this book, you’ll find Google-related games, cartoons, oddities, tips, stories and everything else that’s fun. Reading it, you won’t be the same searcher as before!

  • Well to put it some of them may be the ones you must have surely tried for sure like EgoGooglism (searching for your name with qualifiers or supporting verbs added to it and then laughing and smirking over the results).

  • There are others at which you may not be successful at all even during your entire lifetime- what could such a thing be, well try Googlewhacking.

  • Still not sure what are Google Labs, Google X, Google Local, Google Scholar, Froogle?? Check the free PDF out, it has all the answers and not in a boring discursive style but rapid-fire kind of answers.

  • The masti @ Google may seem something utterly poor sense of humour but try more and it may seem so funny. Try celebrating non-weddings between two people. Try certain other games that are fun @ parties like Google Rebus or Google Image Storyteller. I just tried the phrase, “the best way to kill Alice is to keep someone alive” and broke into a hysterical laughter. Hope could capture it put it up on youtube for all you folks. (Update: the result is always the same i.e. same pictures so check the result for yourself)

  • Well design your own house using Sketch-Up and mail it to him and your creation might appear here.

  • Then there are a couple of tips that a random net freak individual may already know. There are advanced searches in Google to make the search smarter. If you haven’t discovered it find it here, here and here.

  • Finally if you are really freaky enough, read the document and do care to peep in Fun no. 29, (Alien attacks Google), Fun no. 30 (top ten signs you are addicted to Google), Fun no. 31(Dig Through Earth), Fun no. 42( an amazing incident that gives you a first hand a/c of the power of internet and finally the role of Google in such a wild area-Read Josh’s experiences)

  • Oops !! How can an amazing topic like this not end with kid games, well try some kiddish games with Google images, Google translation (the fun part here is something that you get in “Chinese whisper”game)

Finally I do really believe that after reading this I am a changed Googler, how about you???

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Law's Advocate vs Devil's Advocate

That’s how the interview began claiming FM Chidambaram as an advocate of reservation. The pun however is on FM’s former profession, law practice and Karan’s present profession- Devil’s advocacy. - Karan Thapar vs. P. Chidambaram. It was an interview I was looking out for since while Karan is a master at adding fuel to smoke and show that it’s a fire, enraging and even breaking down the interviewee, FM by the very outlook looks as cold as ice who wouldn’t provoked.

However in this tussle Karan gained the upper edge ‘coz several times Chidambaram did seem perturbed defending his stand. His answers sometimes sounded too generalist missing the main point entirely. He seemed closed on certain issues too.

As far as Karan Thapar was concerned, at times he did seem to quibble with words, but I think he is the Devil’s advocate. It’s his job to provoke, to provide interpretations in order to get a consistent meaning out of the whole affair.

At the end of the interview, I have certain reservations with the replies of Mr. Chidambaram.

  1. In the very beginning of the interview

Karan Thapar: So you think that reservation is the right thing.
P Chidambaram: Among all the instruments available to us for affirmative action, the one that is proved most effective is reservation.

Well what are those other instruments that he talks of and has govt. ever contemplated about implementing them since the first time reservation was implemented so that even though empirically at least there is a comparison.

In addition, disappointment emerges from his reply to relevance of review of reservation, the efficiency as well as functional aspects too.

Karan Thapar: Let me ask the question differently - after 50 odd years of reservations and the controversy that they have created, at least in some quarters, do you believe that a review of how they function would be a sensible thing to do?
P Chidambaram: If review means questioning the justification of reservation, I say 'no'.

  1. He says that there is ample material available to support the govt’s stand. Karan seems to suggest that ministry might fudge data or concoct reports to support their evidence and FM says that reports are stacked somewhere only they need to be pulled out and drafted properly in an affidavit. But this whole saga has been continuing for around a month and never did we ever hear of these reports. Now the govt. can’t cry wolf saying that media didn’t cover them too!!

  2. The most disappointing part was this:
P Chidambaram: In the Cabinet, I will give my opinion.
Karan Thapar: Share it with the country. We look up to you and the country is listening to you.
P Chidambaram: I don't agree with you. A very small section understands English and listens to your programme
So what if only a small section comes to know of his stand, at least one could have heard about the grounds on which an intellectual like him believes that reservation is the right way forward? We surely do not expect a volte-face from him that he will revert his opinion while voting in the cabinet.

  1. His unease at defending Mandal’s report even though Rajiv Gandhi had disputed the data was quite clear at the interview and his answers were more or less had an assumption that since one thing has been implemented in the past it is not erroneous or can’t be questioned.

Karan Thapar: His conclusion is important. In the end, it may be emphasized that the survey has no pretensions to being a piece of academic research. On what basis then today, as successors to Rajiv Gandhi, do you want to keep pursuing the report?
P Chidambaram: Please remember, after that speech, in 1991, a Congress Government implemented reservation in Government jobs and that has come to stay.
Karan Thapar: So, in other words, Mr Gandhi's position has been forgotten?
P Chidambaram: No, I respect his view.
Karan Thapar: So much so that you want to go ahead with the report that was effectively rubbishing.
P Chidambaram: Please remember, it has been implemented in 1991. This is not the first time it is being implemented.
Karan Thapar: He was deeply critical of the 52 per cent figure.
P Chidambaram: He was.
Karan Thapar: He actually said that this figure includes many castes that are forward castes and many castes that are Scheduled Castes, he disputed that figure.
P Chidambaram: I am aware of that speech, but the fact remains that in 1991, a Congress Government implemented reservation in Government jobs. And now, 15 years later, the demand is to implement reservations in educational institutions.
Karan Thapar: Today, your Government that functions effectively under the tutelage of his widow will be in fact implementing something that he in his greatest speech had deeply criticised.
P Chidambaram: That is a wrong way to look at it. The Government has to reflect the realities and the aspirations of today. Today, there is a Parliament, there are political parties, there are political parties representing the very backward castes as a coalition Government, MPs reflect, I believe, the aspirations of their constituents. If Parliament decides that a Bill must be passed to provide for reservation for Backward Castes in educational institutions, that is not showing disrespect to Rajiv Gandhi, the way you put it, that means we are reflecting the current realities.
Well the last response showed the severe disconnect. Does he mean to say that the report that was termed as unscientific by Rajiv Gandhi at that time suddenly has become relevant and reflects current realities! Did Nostradamus himself investigate this issue? Btw one might read through why Rajiv Gandhi had objections with the report as narrated by Karan and be convinced that the report is indeed very unscientific.
In the end even I wait for the reply to the closing words of Rajiv’s speech
“Let us not have one man’s obstinacy holding India hostage ... Let that man’s obstinacy not lead to caste war ... I appeal to the patriotism and patriotic feelings of every member in this House not to remain idle, not to remain quiet and save this nation from the obstinacy of one person.”
May someone please stand up and reply.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Neeti Nahin Chanakyaneeti!!

Now that both the participants to the reservation debate are resting easy post Supreme Court order I think I can talk about some thing different but still connected to mainstream idea.

I watched and wondered at the amazing dumbness with which Arjun Singh wiped out the war of words waged by Karan Thapar @ The devil’s Advocate, Meira Kumar’s final nail in the coffin to implement reservation in private sector within 2 years.  I watched Meira Kumar’s interview as well where she denied the survey done by her own wing (NSSO) and was willing to implement reservation further even though industry came out figures showing that they already had what she wanted without reservation but she wants more and more topping on an already a wonderful pizza.

Well all this time as this RDB Effect was sweeping everyone I was happy about something; the way students and professors @IIT came out in opposition to reservation. As a part of the alumni, I have known that IITs have been very media shy and the students have never before participated on a social topic at such a large level. Now quite a no. of my friends has joined protest march and some even volunteered for hunger strike.

But this is not a hue and cry about the same. I chanced to come across this article by Chetan Bhagat on Rediff which is of a lot of substance given the experience of convincing the politicians to at least come out with a white paper proving that reservation has done some good. Well all along journalists, academicians (here & here), some of my professors (here), dedicated blogs (here, here & here ) survey done by govt. bodies (NSSO, NFHS) have always been pointing out DATA, hard core facts as to why reservation has not helped all along and why it might more damage than help. But looking at the response given by politicians, they have very easily denounced their own data and have always said things which appeal to senses in terms of moral and social upliftment hence not letting their stand go in un-noticed.

Quoting Chetan “After all, the point of making a noise is to be heard. And to be heard, one doesn't have to burn himself -- that is foolish and a one-time flash in the pan.” He elaborates some ways for the campaign to be more alive and he makes practical sense when he recommends having a more visually appealing campaign, use emotions more than reason and intentions more than actions. Whatever data one gives is easily denied by politicians with cliché excuses but no one has any logic against emotions.

So post the forthcoming drama of merit Vs reservation the further campaign, if need be,   should be more emotionally charged, involve more use of multimedia and handling media in a better way. Clearly all the attention received this time was due to attention from media (terming this as Mandal-II). Medicos and Engg students should really project themselves as savior and the govt. as vultures to gain more support, may be garner more support on internet communities, have open forums instead of some anger showing protests like hunger strike.

While the drama might continue the medicos and engg students should ensure that the fire is not doused by the cold blows of time by organizing at regular intervals conferences, discussion at inter-collegiate level and in ways which on and off catches media attention and gives the public some assurance that whatever they did earlier was not temporary but is going to stay, that they believe in what they said this time. While senior doctors have started wearing black tapes as a symbol of protest but there should be catchier and in fact more provocative means which even media would be too happy to cover.
Medicos while giving prescription should distribute pamphlets to the patients so that they cover more people with their ideas. Put up a big model of India in the campus and choreo the whole event to put your point across. Even the same ideas could be emulated by engg students. This will keep the govt. on heels and not forget that there is one force which is waiting in hiding and wields a power to reckon with. To sum up, neeti nahin Chanakya Neeti se hi jung mein fateh milegi.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Learning sentences without learning alphabets!!

Breaking my temporary break from blogging, I thought of writing a blog. Well there were lots of topics in my mind; some of them could be reservation, medico’s strike. But then I was caught unaware and in fact shocked by an article of TOI that India has now surpassed South Africa in terms of HIV infected population. It was shocking to learn that India now houses 5.7 million infected people and only 7% of these are receiving ARTs.

Well shocked I was definitely to learn that although with effort of WHO and UNAIDS to open 25 free ART distribution centers across India. (Which till date I deemed as considerable) this disease could not be held in check. Then when I gave thought to probable reasons I came up with some usual ones like expensive medicines (which still cost 1200-2500 per dose), social stigma attached, difficulty in educating the people about it et al. Coming to control on price of ARTs, its difficult to control the price given the expensive medicine and patent protection regime gearing up in India making it difficult to “copy” the same medicine here in India, the govt. should ensure that they do a better job with controlling the other aspects since many people do not come up because of the social stigma attached. The govt. was doing a fine job with educating with posters in mumbai reading Will Balbir Pasha get AIDS, running ads on TV depicting mother dropping hints to their children by knowingly holding object with AIDS awareness message on it, opening hotlines, messages in magazines, billboards, through awareness campaigns signing up celebrities and whats and what nots. And it was working for Mumbai

The govt. was doing a fine job until this happened. Reportedly in WB, govt. has sought to redesign the communication campaign by alleging that use of words like condom, sangam (intercourse), jingles from movies like hum tum ek kamre mein band hon claiming that these are “offending”. Well I leave it to you to ascertain the meaning and impact of these offending words and would wonder in such times when the communication should be more open considering the stage that India has entered owing to poor communication (enough was done but as we now find it…sad but true. ..that it was not enough). It’s like when one’s boat is getting drowned the govt. is saying that life guards shouldn’t use get the child wet because she will feel cold!!

I have always been a staunch supporter of sex education in India right at an appropriate school level because given the ignorance in such matters the atmosphere at home too doesn’t help much to make up for the same. With such kind of knowledge about basics of gender differences its not surprising if the volunteers have had tough time explaining things to younger and if I am not wrong the most vulnerable group leave apart the difficulty in opening them up.

Still wondering what the new campaign would read like without the use of basic words like sex and condom…any ideas?????

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


For past sometime I have heard this Old Italian quote doing the rounds, After the game the king and the pawn go into the same box. Well for those who still couldn’t get around the meaning of the quote may well be advised to listen to the Linkin Park song, “I tried so hard, I got so far but in the end it doesn’t even matter”

Well I came across it first while searching for a topic which I can throw across to an audience to speak on in a toastmaster meeting. Till then it was unheard of but it gave a chance to the people to speak their own idea about how life should be conducted. No body sought to speak on this topic. Anyways later I watched it being heard in the Bollywood movie, Being Cyrus. Then people started writing that no one should be worried of worldly possessions just because….

So as the quote says its all about Kings, pawns and boxes….or rather its only box, we all meet the same endings and it doesn’t matter who’s the king and who’s the pawn. So that’s it all about!! But wait, isn’t there one more thing which we are forgetting about. Isn’t this about GAME as well, isn’t it about closing your fist when you checkmate and isn’t it about flaring your nose, abusing yourself when you are checkmated. What if kings and pawns don’t play the game thinking they have to end in the same box? At any rate you are known by the measure of skill you show at playing the game and in one sense the game is larger than any king, any pawn. People are remembered for that, for playing it in a way that helped others play the game better. For that matter any box as well; kings and pawn may come and go, the box may always be there to receive you but you will be known by how much you give to the game. And going forward on that are all games about Kings and Pawns and not about others as well like queens, bishops and knights? And finally look at your aspirations, everyone wants to be king and no one wants to be a pawn, but everyone does want to have a stint at playing a game.

Give it a thought … and then may be you’ll say “Before going into the box king, queen, bishop, rook and pawn play the game and they give their best.”

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Last night when I logged into yahoo messenger through GPRS I read the offliner of my junior who is currently finishing his MS at California. He forwarded the link to an ET article. Being really bored to go to the link late in the night I deleted it but was thinking what could be that article about India which caught his interest and he though may catch my interest. Well I think I should have guessed. While randomly walking through blogs I chanced to read Varun’s blog. Well let me quote first paragraph of this article.

“Quota Raj: Half of IIT, IIM seats may be reserved

These institutions already provide reservations for Scheduled Castes (15%) and Scheduled Tribes (7.5%), as mandated by the Constitution…”

Well so I thought I should also add some value to my blog by atleast something. Well a careful reading of the news might suggest that keeping a tag on central institutes such as Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IITs and IIMs can be done only by a central body and not by a state body and final word is still awited.

The news might mean distributing laddoos for some people (those who are going to be benefited by it), for some it might mean moving hands on the forehead thinking of a tougher future (those who might have to face a tougher competition) while others (who are not directly affected by it) are going to enter into verbal brawl arguing for or against reservation. There will be a fourth category that will be affected by it comprising of such bodies which although don’t exist physically but are a consortium of such efforts which are vital to a nation’s progress- the colleges. More of them later….

The Reservation was introduced in the constitution of India by Bhimrao Ambedkar with an aim to scrap such a thing within some time span. Now even so many years after the framing does it look any better in the sense that the lesser privileged have caught up with more privileged; this despite giving reservation in premier institutions, govt jobs, parliament, legislative assemblies and latest probably to private sector and Indian army as well?

Not hard to guess the term HUM LOG collectively applies to both the more privileged category and less privileged category. One yardstick to assess the success of such scheme is to check if disparity has reduced or not. The government (or let’s call them VE LOG because VE LOG don’t seem to understand the equations within HUM LOG) probably doesn’t think so which in a way highlights their failure.

The point VE LOG seem to miss in this whole thing is to atleast realize that within the less privileged category there are some mini sections which have advanced to more privileged category and same for some mini section within the more privileged category who have slipped into the former category. All govt. does while framing any policy is refer to Mandal Commission which dates back to 1980. So we still have wards of IAS officers, doctors, ministers, top notch bureaucrats enjoying the same right which a poor brahmin’s son in Orissa is denied. So the least govt. should do to come up with a mechanism so that atleast that mini section of less privileged can be screened out in this lottery scheme. After all that’s the premise of equality.

The government while framing rules should see that even in less privileged category the meritorious gets priority. The present approach seems to be too flawed where in a whole group of people are benefited just based on caste and not the monthly income. So instead govt. should make a fund out of which a person should funded if he’s secured admission to a college and needs funds to continue his education. The whole purpose is foiled if the person secures admission in colleges or gets a job in private sector and is not able to do justice to the education/job and finally end up in the less privileged section again. That’s where VE LOG ensures that the colleges by going back a little in meritocracy are actually contributing to the society.

And again it should be a lottery system wherein you are given one coupon for your lifetime when you can cash the appropriate benefits only once. If you avail of it while education then you will be admitted in that quota. If you avail of it while sitting for a civil service then bars should be lowered for you. After all lifetime offer is given by only Hutch, Airtel and Tata Indicom!

But the interesting part will be to see if at all such a mandate is thrown at central institutions too then will the top IIMs (and this time IITs) too will revolt against the govt. as they had some time back. I don’t think that IITs are still so financially independent that they can carry out the whole functioning themselves!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Deja Vu

Ever had an eerie feeling on a dinner table when suddenly you look someone/something that you have seen the one/thing before in the perfectly the same setting earlier and then as if in aura of trance, when you turn the head to a side you find the next sequences very logical and consistent with your previous experiences? You somehow find that this sequence couldn’t have been in a dream, from previous experience ‘coz the way a person is holding the spoon and rotating, it just couldn’t be repeated/imitated, ‘coz the way a person is smiling and lifting the finger bowl and passing it on is simply so unique!

Well some of you know that the name for such experiences is Déjà vu. But what most of you may not know is that the correct and closest term for such 'already experienced' or 'already lived through feeling is Déjà vécu.

Déjà vu (French: "already seen", also called paramnesia) describes the experience of feeling that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously. The term was given by Emile Boirac.

Déjà vécu- the kind of experiences one-third of the population, mostly highly educated people / frequent travelers, goes through between the age of 15 and 25.
Déjà senti - a feeling of having already ‘felt something’. It’s primarily a mental happening sans precognitive experience, induced by some thought mental/verbalized but in the end only the feeling of feeling remains, the causal thought blurs out.
Déjà visité - an uncanny knowledge of some place, town or landscape. Dreams, reincarnation, out-of-the-body travel and extensive reading of a place have been evoked as reasons.

Myth: déjà vu is an act of "precognition" or "prophecy". Actually it is an anomaly of memory; it is the impression that an experience is "being recalled" which is false. Even you will admit that when experiencing these things, the sense of recollection is strong but a precise knowledge of the previous incident (when, where, how) is uncertain. Likewise later there is little or no recollection of the details of the incident/experience.


  • Overlap between neurological systems responsible for short term (responsible for present events) and long term memory (responsible for past events).

  • Certain disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, epilepsy. Another reasons attributed to are improper electrical discharge in the brain resulting in a mild epileptic episode- a jerk, similar to what most people have just before sleep.

  • Associated with precognition, clairvoyance but never reproduced in clinical research.

  • An extension of dreams/scenes; the ones which are in subconscious mind.

Other Experiences
  • Jamais vu: explicitly “not remembering” having seen something before coupled with a rational knowledge of having been in the situation before.

  • Presque vu: "almost seen," the expression means almost, but not quite, remembering something. A kind of “on the tip of the tongues” experience.

  • Déjà éprouvé: "already attempted or tried"

  • It is supposed to originate in temporal lobe behind the head.

  • Experiments have been conducted to reproduce the feeling of Deja visite and related feelings of unconscious familiarity.

My Observations
  • The research has been mainly done on the visual part. It is silent on the other aspects of sensory perception such as smell, touch, sound etc.

  • The argument of little recollection of details incident/experience doesn’t hold true in many cases. People may remember them

  • The first cause of such experiences might explain the reason for slight state of trance.

  • I used to have those feelings when I was still a student, preferred not to come out of the house and definitely was no scholar at all.

  • I am not special and won’t ever know what future has in for me or anybody else.

Friday, March 17, 2006

IF>= (Holi Day).fun THEN holiday=TRUE!!

I think I needn’t explain what the blog is about. If you still can’t guess take a hard lood at the inequality and you will know the subtle idea. Well it was another day to cherish after all hardly I get to celebrate my festivals here in Mysore with as enthu as I used to back at college or as a child at home. So there I was, had planned for a holi excursion with some of the friends, my room-mate being the anchor. It was a day full of fun and some adventure too, less on my part more on the others part. Well to describe the whole experience now would be a cliché since my friends Sid and Amrut have already blogged about it in good detail.

The Best of Me

There were some misfires on this day which might have escaped the attention of others:
  1. I thought of going to Heritage Shelter’s @ 200 bucks but at the end of holi I felt better saving the 200 bucks and going on this thing instead. The day started with gulals when we bumped into an anonymous group of Infoscions. The good part about this day is you play holi with anyone you wish to even if you are not familiar with the one.
  2. We reached for breakfast @ Surya when I spotted this girl with whom I had attended a one day workshop held in my campus. I didn’t think twice before muttering hi and wishing Happy Holi and extending my hands to shake hands. It was only when I saw expression on her face did I realize that she was slightly uncomfortable in recognizing my existence (especially with my face smeared all over with gulals perceptibly with the fear of ending in a similar way). I tried to make amends by asking if she doesn’t play holi and then parted with valedictory cool-down remark of no problem (or something like that). My friends teased me compliments of large contacts but I don’t think I will be plagiarizing if I say we are (may be) just friends!
  3. Well I learnt that Bullet is a very stable bike. I took a round trip on bullet to and from Balmuri. And imagine the rider doing all sorts of acrobats on the bullet (leaving both the hands, putting both the legs on the handle, standing straight on the footrest fixing the handle on the forelegs) and me sitting on the back clutching my hands at the back to grab hold of something that wasn’t!! But no sir, the bullet won’t budge. On a down slope the bullet cruised down coolly without any problem. But cynic I am when it comes to driving, don’t believe the rider!
  4. The Rider, The Fighter, The Bullet

  5. When I was a child and I used to see people riding bikes on a high speed I used to say to myself,”look at these mawalis”. It was something that came to me when I returned from Balmuri (reservoir for KRS dam in Mysore) in half torn sturdy t-shirt that I thought no body can tear apart and shouting happy holi to passers by in the loudest voice possible.
  6. My skill level at swimming is decent but I can’t stay afloat on water (cycling I mean). Balmuri is a reservoir around 700-800 feet deep with the banks around 5 feet deep. In the swimming pool @ my college as a security precaution I used to swim in the deeper section near the wall only. But this time when I saw my friends churning deeper waters I against my initial fears, went a little ahead in deep water. But different from a swimming pool it feels scarier there. Sid plunged in deep waters on our coaxing and was troublesome to control when he stopped short of a stone. Amit too slipped off the bank and had locked my legs with both of his just like a small scared kid does. It will be a waste to mention the end since the blog is dated post-holi.
  7. There was a small t-shirt faado session @ Balmuri, which left everyone’s clothes in tatters. Sid’s kurta was already torn in the shape of a queen’s dress, short shirt from the front and superman’s red accessory from behind; the remains of it adorning our foreheads or wrists. Then everyone took turns in picking one at a time and tearing the t-shirt. I was fortunate enough to have escaped with minimum loss. But I didn’t expect this since the cloth was too sturdy.

  8. The Way We Were Earlier

    The Way Some of Us Were Later

  9. Previous bhaang experiences were not as pleasant as this time. I had consumed the remains of the bhaang which was obviously more bhaang less milk. So in them mid when Jitu started laughing, Amrut broke into a hysterical laughter, Sid was having slight problem controlling it; I joined the party, laughing at anything to everything. Towards the evening lethargy had stepped in the spirits while the body was more floating.
  10. The very next day did I get to know that bhang is a variant of Marijuana and as such should be illegal.
  11. I had never imagined the day would end up this funny and pleasant.

    The day ended with a quite dinner @ TopStuff but I think ate more or it was bhaang’s effect my tummy was so distended the next day that I had to skip brunch.

    P.S. Do see the other blogs by Sid, Amrut to see more pics and experiences.