Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Comedy Circus On Sony TV

Comedy Circus started with a unique concept on Sony TV where a seasoned comic was paired with a TV actor .For instance Swapnil Joshi (of Krishna fame) was paired with VIP(best mimic on Indian TV imho) and Ali Ashgar(dutiful brother-in-law of Kahani Ghar-Ghar Ki)with Kasif(comedian from across the border) and so on.The show already has had two successful seasons and has provided great entertainment along the way.At present the Kaante Ki Takkar round is coming to its conclusion.The show has the best judges in Shekhar Suman and Archana Puran Singh (Sateesh Shah was also a judge previously)who don't go by considerations other than performance,which sadly is not the case in other such shows where judges often get emotionally involved with their favourites.This saturday(27th December) i missed out on watching the Comedy Circus Kaante Ki Takkar Finale and an internet site came to my rescue.Just watch the clipping where Sunny Deol, Himesh Reshamiya and Nana Patekar are left with no option but to sell cd/dvds of their movies as their movie career seems to be all but over.

You can watch all the episodes of the comedy circus at Latika's blog :

This video is courtesy :

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes Man ....

On the final sunday of the year,the plan was to watch the Aamir Khan starrer Ghazini with a friend of mine,but all the shows were sold out.I was approached by a shady character outside the Satyam multiplex(Nehru Place) who made me an offer I had to refuse(shelling Rs.300 for Ghazini ticket which otherwise costs Rs.180 was definitely not my idea of having a good time).I refused or should i say he refused to bargain and i took a long walk back to my car.I caught hold of my Army friend near Ansal Plaza and we decided to watch Jim Carrey's Yes Man instead, at PVR Saket.The movie started and i found myself staring straight at the pagri of one Sardarji sitting in front of me.I tried to move my head little to the left and right but it was no use ,his headgear kept blocking one-tenth of the screen approximately.When Jim Carey speaks Korean in the movie i had to do a lot of head exercise in order to read the subtitles as the sardarji in front didn't budge.Anyway the movie was a treat to watch and a laugh riot and to top it all, had a sweet message.Say yes to people,opportunities,requests,orders,ideas etc etc for a change.Just go with the flow for once and see if it brings any change to the routine life.It definitely does so in the movie for Jim Carrey's character(the cute actress by the way is Zooey Deschanel).This movie is based on a true story and book of the same name by British humorist Danny Wallace who has also a fleeting role in the movie.But the point being made, and rightly so,is that by all means say yes but only because you want to and not just because you have to.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tu Meri Zindagi Hai ...

The mind-blowing song from the movie 'Aashiqui' that created box-office history solely on the basis of super-duper hit music.Not one song but almost all the songs of the movie make ones heart beat even after so many years.
Can anyone forget these songs :
1. Ek sanam chahiey aashiqui kay liye
2. Main duniya bhula doonga
3. Dheeray dheeray say meri zindagi main aana
4. Ab tere bin jee lenge hum
5. Dil ka aalam main kya bataun tujhey
6. Tu meri zindagi hai
7. Nazar kay saamne jigar kay paas

The movie released in the year 1991 and it changed the fortunes of T-series,Kumar Shaanu ,Anuradha Paudwal and Nadeem-Shravan.

While searching Youtube i came across the Pakistani version of "Tu Meri Zindagi Hai" from where it seems the super-hit track was lifted with some modifications and cosmetic changes. Here are the songs ,you decide which is better .....

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kavi Sammelan :Days Goneby !!!

While growing up Doordarshan (DD) was the only source of entertainment till the invasion of satellite TV and the good,old DD with its recurrent badly scrawled 'Rukawat Ke liye Khed' messages slipped slowly into oblivion.Though one still remembers the landmark serials like 'Ramayan','Mahabharat'(Ekta Kapoor's serial is so pathetic in comparison to the original),'Jungle Book',and so on which made Sunday mornings a real treat.When the Mahabharat was really at its peak,the market places used to be deserted as everyone was glued to the television sets waiting in anticipation for the next move by Duryodhan and company.Kavi sammelans also used to be a regular feature on festive occasions but not anymore ,at least not on TV.I am posting a youtube video courtesy Mayank Shukla 1 who had originally posted it on You Tube.Enjoy !!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan !!!

This movie deserves to be seen at least once by anyone who resides in a metro city ,as it holds a mirror to the metro life.Though the movie showcases Mumbai and its spirit,i could relate to movie as a Delhiite as well.The movie showcases the 'rich brat' syndrome, communal stereotyping,insensitive media, policemen and their compulsions etc.And all of this is shown without being preachy at any point .The movie leaves one with hope that all is not lost and if all of us make a small effort to understand 'the other' maybe the difference of opinions can be sorted out without any recourse to violent means.Media guys will do well to watch this movie and just for once introspect that what the public supposedly is interested in may not be in 'public interest'.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ek Haseen Shaam Ko .....

The deadline set by Amit Da (under the influence of alcohol)for me to find someone in order to attend his promised Bengali treat came and went without any change in my status.As a result I was not invited even if the treat did take place as planned but i have my doubts.
Anyway I had been invited by a good friend for dinner on 20th and so i went there instead. I knew only two people there,the host and the host's girl friend ,who incidentally is my school-friend. The connection does not stop there, the host of the evening is from Jorhat in Assam ,from where i did my engineering.So,the theory of 'it is a small world' has some truth to it.When i reached at 9 PM ,the party was truly underway.I was customarily introduced to all those present and as soon as the next person told me his name ,i forgot the name of the person before and so on.The crowd was diverse as there were people from Advertising,Newschannels,Newspapers,MBA students and me representing corporate social responsibility.For some reason ,people were very appreciative of my company as in the company which i work for.But Mani,who works for Indian Express had a grouse that Mithun Chakraboty's cult movie 'Goonda' was not available in Moser Baer's original CD/DVD.Everyone present there agreed with him and to pacify the 'mob' i also expressed my deep admiration for Mithun Da.
Later on the talk veered around to astrology (again and i was the culprit) and I found support from Sujeet,Bijoy da(who incidentally is married to Bengali actor Prosenjit's niece)and Satyam Da,but everybody had their own way of interpreting how things can be predicted by astrologers.Somebody said that Linda Goodman is right almost always and then someone recounted that he has noticed that HT repeats the weekly forecasts as it appears in TOI after a time lag of one week or vice versa.Some prediction that !

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bhojan Ka Nimantran !

It seemed just like a normal day when I woke up (and how mistaken I was). I went to my parent’s room to drink my morning tea and also to watch news on TV. Though I am a big time critic of News-channels and the rubbish they dish out usually barring a few exceptions like NDTV, CNN-IBN and good old DD News .Instead of news I saw that mummy was watching a Panditji on TV (it was Sahara Samay ) and he was going on and on about various rashi’s (zodiacs) and what was in store for people belonging to particular zodiacs. After a while it was the turn of Vrishchik Rashi (Scorpio) and he said “ Aaj aapko bhojan ka nimantran mil sakta hai ”. I smiled at mummy and told her that lets see if I get invited today and she smiled back.
Around 10 am I was ready to leave for office and left home. On my way I had to drive on the wrong side of the road as cars in front of me were moving a bit slow and I was listening to an energetic Bappi Lahiri number from the film Suraksha (Mausam hai gaane ka ….) and then suddenly a scooterist appeared. I was completely oblivious of the fact that he was mighty pissed off at seeing me driving on the wrong side while I was trying to overtake other vehicles (it was not a main road).I added further fuel to the fire raging within him by using the dipper. He reacted just like a woman scorned (plz don’t mind the wrong use of phrase) and waved his arm frantically (just like a bowler shows the way to the pavilion to a batsman!) to indicate where I should be driving. Thankfully I did not hear the profanities he must have uttered.I looked at him in the rear view mirror and saw that he was also looking back intermittently and I started wondering whether he will take a u-turn and demand at least an explanation from me. After that I tried consciously to forget this incident but it kept haunting me till I reached office. Yes, I was on the wrong side but was his behaviour right ? No easy answers I suppose.
Since my boss was away for the first-half and I had some work pending ,I started in earnest. After some time I received a call from boss that some people would be coming from an NGO and putting up a stall in our cafeteria and I had to facilitate their stay and provide them anything they might need. I was working on excel sheets when a girl came accompanied by one office staff and enquired about the whereabouts of my boss. I realized that this girl might be from the NGO and introduced myself . She told me that she has come along with two other colleagues and they have already put up a stall in the cafeteria and she had come to ask my boss that why people were not coming to buy products from their stall. I forgot to save the excel sheet and went with the flow and her to the cafeteria. As we reached cafeteria which is on the second floor, we saw some people looking at things in their stall. She told me that I was lucky for them as customers had started to come. I humbly smiled and assured all three girls my assistance if required and came back to my seat where I received the shock of the day.The excel sheet which I had been working on for close to two hours had a different look to it.I tried to undo the damage but to no avail, I had to start afresh again.
A little later my phone rang , I picked it up and was greeted with the question “Are you sleeping ?”
I said no I usually don’t sleep at work unlike many of my good friends (which is a half-truth).Then he asked me whether I could come this Saturday to his place for dinner .I replied in the affirmative and my thought straight-away went to the prediction that I had heard on TV. My belief in astrology is getting stronger by the day :)

Since it was lunch time ,I went to the cafeteria to find how the NGO interns were doing. The girl who had come downstairs earlier to meet me turned out to be a documentary film-maker, the second was a MBA student and third was working full time with the NGO. The docu-filmmaker suggested that instead of all four of us having lunch together, we can have lunch two at a time so that someone is there to take care of the stall at all times (which made imminent sense to me). So myself and the docu-film director took lunch together and I hardly remember when was the last time (if ever) I had lunch with a person of the opposite gender all alone. Though I have lunch with my boss daily in office but then that is different. So it was a nice feeling , and the budding docu-film director seemed to know her craft well. She did complain that the two actors she has taken for her 15 minute short fiction film “Ishrat”(meaning jannat or heaven) ‘over-act’ a lot.
After lunch it was back to my struggle with excel sheets(which for the record is continuing still) and then my boss returned from her meeting. The meeting had gone really well and we were discussing it when the film-director entered the frame again with a shoulder bag. I introduced her to my boss and they exchanged pleasantries. She told that she had to leave a bit early due to some prior engagements(film shooting) and I thought it fit that I should see her off till the office gate. She had to go to Indraprastha Park for the film shoot and her actors were repeatedly calling her and she was requesting them to rehearse their lines till the time she gets there. As luck would have it there were no autos in sight, she said that she will walk and catch a auto or bus somewhere and I returned back to office.

Around 6:20 I left for home, and experienced the mother of all traffic jams which converted my 20 minutes drive into a 45 minute ordeal. And when I reached home I found the same two girls playing badminton. I tried to be strong and approached the dangerous situation with overt calm. I could not let any emotions show on my face and as I walked there was the sound of another smash and giggles.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hor(r)orscope ???

Astrology is a science to some and an art to deceive people for others. But the fact remains that most of us do read the weekly/daily astrological predictions in newspapers.Well ,i read the weekly horoscope as it appears in TOI and also the astrological prediction in 'The Week' magazine.Now, few weeks back my astrological prediction was something on these lines :
1.You are going to have trouble with office matters - and since then i am having the rough end of the stick as far as official matters are concerned.
2.You are going to be a source of motivation for others - and as a matter of fact now a days i am motivating youngsters who want to take up civil services exams etc.
3.Thirdly it hinted at some romantic liaisons which seems to be the only area where the prediction seems to be failing(unfortunately) !

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unlucky Oye !!!

Yesterday, i.e. on 10th of December, I attended the birthday party of my school friend who also lives in Delhi. Since he had asked me to come at 8 pm (I could sense the hidden message in the timing prescribed!) ,I thought I would leave a bit early from office(now a days I leave at 6 pm and face the traffic bottleneck at Nehru Place) but it so happened that I could leave office much later at 6:40 pm. Anyway, I reached home around 7 pm and realized that I would have to hurry in order to reach in time as my friend Mainak (urf DM) lives in Palika Nikunj (near Le Meredien ) which is at least 40 minutes drive from my home. So finally, I dressed up and left home completely oblivious of the danger that was waiting to confront me. As I walked out towards my car, I saw two kids playing badminton. I tried to walk by without disrupting their game but at that very moment one of them smashed and the shuttlecock headed straight towards me.A freak accident ,who would have thought that one can be hit by a shuttlecock in the night and that too right in the centre of the forehead. There was no time to react (now I fully realize how bogus those special effects in films are) and the girl who had inadvertently hit me said sorry(while trying hard to stop her laughter and even i would have considered the situation funny but for the fact that i was at the receiving end!) and I had to conceal my embarrassment and agony with a smile and say its “okay”. But one has to give credit where its due and that kid has a good aim and needs to be groomed properly and definitely not let loose on the streets !
I reached DM’s place and there I met his cousin Amit da and his wife and another of his school friend Nikunj. Soon, I realized that I was the only bachelor as it turned out that Nikunj also was married and also has a 7 month old kid. After the cake cutting it was time for the ‘spirits’ to soar. Black label was opened and I being a beer/wine person declined but DM pleasantly surprised me by offering me red wine. Amit da turned out be the in-house expert at opening the bottle of wine and did it with some panache.
So Amit da and Nikunj started in earnest with black label while myself and DM had a glass of wine ,mind you just to keep them company ;) . The fact that DM’s parents were in the other room made drinking a risky proposition but somehow the temptation was too much and under Amit da’s radical leadership everyone threw caution to the winds. By the time we had dinner, Nikunj and Amit da were in high spirits as was evident from their behavior. Even I was under the influence but the narrator has to have some leeway. When it was time to return and as all four of us myself,Nikunj ,Amit da and his wife were headed to south delhi ,we decided that we will go together. But Nikunj left suddenly and since Amit da had a driver I asked him that I would be following their vehicle. We started and maybe Amit da forgot to tell his driver that I would be following their car or maybe his driver thought that this was a night F1 race and over-estimated my capabilities as a driver. Very soon I realized that following Amit da’s driver was a much riskier proposition than merely losing track of one's way.So I slowed down to a speed I was comfortable with while the desi hamilton sped away in the dark of the night. All in all it was an interesting evening and under the influence of alcohol Amit da promised us a Bengali treat on 20th December but with a condition that I should not be coming alone.What luck !!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pro-incumbency ???

The election results of assembly elections have come as a surprise to layman and political pundits alike. What is amazing is the fact that in three out of the five states(yes elections were also held in Mizoram !) where elections were held, the incumbent governments have come back to power.
Even in Rajasthan ,it was a close fight and but for the rebel factor Vasundhra Raje might have still held on to the reigns of power. It is basically two all for Congress and BJP as both are going to form governments in two states each. In Mizoram, Congress has defeated Zoramthanga’s Mizo National Front(MNF) but the BJP hardly has a visible presence there or in any of the other northeastern states.
The most outstanding and unexpected result has been Sheila Dixit’s victory over V.K.Malhotra led BJP in Delhi.I ,for one,thought that Congress would have a tough time and after the Mumbai attacks I firmly believed that Congress was on its way out in Delhi. But the election results have clearly shown that people in Delhi as in other states are voting more on development issues than on emotional or fear appeals.
One analyst made a very good point in a TV debate that the decline in democratic process seen over the years is because people vote for parties rather than voting for good individuals. He claimed ,and rightly so, that if we would have been voting for good candidates without caste, creed, religion and party affiliation coming into play then it would not have mattered as to which party won or lost because only a good candidate would have won.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai mayhem and its aftermath ....

For almost four days the whole of India has been under siege and people glued to their television sets as one of the most audacious terrorist attack took place in Mumbai.Terrorist strike is not a novel event as far as India is concerned as India has been the victim of terror for a long time now.Countless people have lost their lives and yet the powers that be are not bothered.In this particular terrorist attack, close to 200 people have lost their lives and many more injured and yet the (dis)honourable Home Minister of Maharastra claimed as a matter of fact that in such a big city such incidents do happen.Well ,it is precisely this kind of callous attitude of the political class of our country cutting across partylines which has brought terror to our doorstep.These politicians are busy getting Z and Zplus security for themselves while the common man is exposed to the vagaries of terrorism.
The police officers and the NSG commandos who laid down their lives fighting these terrorists are the real heroes.But their supreme sacrifice would go in vain if the people of India do not rise up to the challenge posed by terrorism.We Indians need to stop fighting with each other on religious and regional grounds and make it known to the politicians that the buck stops right here.No more empty rhetoric from Manmohan Singh and party,either put up a strong anti terror infrastructure in place or resign but dont just try to take us for a ride every time terrorists strike.While there can be no foolproof security,the least that can be done is to put in place mechanisms that ensure swift response and elimination of terrorists.One also finds a serious problem with the pseudo secularist brigade who want to be so politically correct that they end up sounding plain silly.I was watching NDTV India and there the anchor Vinod Dua was going on and on about how the NSG team was cheered by cries of 'Bharat mata ki jai' when it went inside the Nariman house for the final assault.Now Mr.Dua was very upset as he thought that shouting 'Bharatmata ki jai' was somehow being communal.I have serious issues with such psedo-secularists who see 'bharatmata ki jai' as a communal slogan.This has been the bane of India ,where instead of assimilation having your separate identity gives you more clout.When one is deriving benefit out of being 'different' ,why would one want to assimilate.As a result we see people protesting in a big way when Saddam is executed in Iraq by USA (totally unrelated to India) but hardly any outrage when there is a terror strike in India.Hopefully,we have learnt our lesson this time !

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So What ???

I was wanting to watch the Madhur Bhandarkar movie "Fashion" for quite some time as generally his movies are quite realistic and not the typical formula based movies for which Bollywood is famous.On 20th November ,I along-with two of my friends went to Satyam Multiplex(Nehru Place) to know about the fashion industry from up-close.After buying the tickets and going through the security check(a complete misnomer as i have serious doubts about the training these security people have received) we made ourselves comfortable in our respective seats.Just before the movie was to begin, a middle-aged couple came and sat just next to my right.The movie began and with it began the spontaneous remarks of the 'uncleji' sitting to my right.To every dramatic dialogue in the film (and there were quite a few of those),he was ever ready with his comments like "so what","why not" etc etc.In fact some of his remarks were quite inappropriate for his age.We could barely control our laughter and it had absolutely no effect on uncleji and he went on and on.Uncleji was quite impressed with the movie and told auntyji that they must see the other films by this director.Personally,I found the movie to be watchable but definitely not in the same league as some of Bhandarkar's earlier flicks like 'Chandni Bar','Corporate','Traffic Signal' etc.The movie gives a snapshot of the fashion industry and somehow reinforces the stereotype that if you are a male and a designer then even if you are not happy you would always be 'gay' ;).I heard 'Kangana Ranaut looks very cute'from a fellow film-watcher every time Kangana made an appearance in the film and by the time movie ended i had developed a liking for Ms Ranaut.
After the movie i received a 'jor ka jhatka' when i failed to locate the parking slip which i remembered as having kept in my shirt pocket.As i was wearing a half sweater,i tried to locate the front pocket of my shirt and realised that this particular shirt i was wearing had no front pocket.Then we tried to reason with
the parking attendant who promptly showed us a notice pasted on the wall "Rs 50 fine if parking slip lost" plus the regular parking amount.After looking everywhere (but in the right place) we paid the requisite amount and drove off.A little later my friend said something which made me realise that maybe i had put the parking slip inside my sweater thinking that the shirt has a pocket and as i found out it was lodged between my shirt and the sweater.So the moral of the story is always keep the parking slip in the car itself and never wear a shirt with no front pocket !

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dasvidaniya !

I was looking forward to watching this movie for quite some time and yesterday in the company of two of my friends (who are now officially a couple)got to see this gem of a movie in select city walk at saket.I know people are going ga-ga over a movie like Dostana but Dasvidania is the movie that one should really be watching .The film tugs at your heartstrings and at the same time makes you smile.Everyone in the cast has played their role to perfection and what can one say about the versatile Vinay Pathak.The musical score by Kailash Kher matches so well with the movie and the song that Vinay Pathak sings for his mother touches the heart and when the poor guy realises that his hard of hearing mom has not heard his song(half of it),it also makes you smile.The scene where Vinay Pathak expresses his love to Neha Dhupia has been conceptualised so well that its a definite tear-jerker.My friend (who specifically asked me not to mention about it) was so overcome with emotions that she cried (i also felt a lump in my throat and so would anybody who has his heart in the right place) and i would suggest anybody going to watch Dasvidaniya to keep a tissue paper in close vicinity.The movie was so good that i would like to forgive select city walk (like the guy in Bajaj Avenger advertisement who forgives all and sundry)for grossly over-charging right from ticket price to popcorns.Live Life !!!!

Post script : This post is especially for my school friend (since class6,though we really became friends in class7)Tala and a very sweet girl whose name rhymes with the first half of capital of Burkina Faso :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quantum of Solace ???

So yesterday, I along with a friend of mine (Rohan) went to see the latest Bond flick. I was hoping that the film would live upto its name and 007 lineage, but it was a disappointment. Thankfully before watching the movie,we had taken some mild intoxicants and that made the movie bearable. Daniel Craig is a more physical James Bond compared to the previous James Bonds who used to rely more on unbelievable gizmos rather than just on physical prowess.Daniel Craig on the other hands bashes up all and sundry without resorting to use of any over the top innovations.The film is fast paced and storyline difficult to comprehend unless you remember what had transpired in Casino Royale.Anyway a James Bond movie is never too bad to watch at least once.Though,it did not provide me the little bit of solace that i was looking for and left me shaken but not stirred.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quiz Yourself - 1

This is the first in a series of fortnightly quizzes that i would be posting for quiz lovers and people with an interest in trivia.

1.Can you name the discoverer of Oxygen ? (Hint: A person who prays to god might be of help)

2.Which one of the Beetles member had the pseudonym "Kaptain Kundalini" ?

3.Who is the richest duck in the world with one quanta-million dollars and sixteen cents?

4.What is the common name of the sport 'Tauromachy' ?

5.Who is the creator of Dilbert comic strip ?

6.Which term, often used in Indian classical music, is of Persian origin meaning 'imagination' ?

7.Washington D.C. is located on the banks of which river ?

8.In which James Bond movie did Kabir Bedi play a negative role ?

9.Who lives in 10,Downing Street ?

10.In mathematics, of what are 'complex','vulgar' and 'mixed' types ?

Good Luck . You can post your answer in comments .I will be posting the answers after a few days in comments.Happy Quizzing !!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saurav Ganguly's Swansong ....

The fourth cricket test match starting today (6th November 2008) at Nagpur between India and Australia has all the makings of an absorbing one. With Anil Kumble's unexpected retirement in Kotla Test and Ganguly's final test match here in Nagpur , a glorious era in Indian cricket is coming to an end. And most probably in a year or two Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS laxman will also hang their boots creating a big vaccum in Indian cricket. For those of us who have grown up watching Sachin and rest of the 'Fab Four' cricket watching would not be the same again.I remember when India and Pakistan used to play in Sarjah quite frequently in 1990s , a Sachin hundred used to be the ultimate treat and he seldom disappointed.
For all his follies on and off the field ,Ganguly has been the best cricket captain India had.He gave the youngsters confidence and made the team into a winning combination.Before he took the reins hardly any Indian test team used to win abroad in test matches and that too with fair regularity.The Indian cricket needs to go one step forward under Dhoni's leadership where they are not satisfied winning just a one off test match abroad but try and win the test series.Hopefully , India will make the scoreline 2-0 in its favour in Nagpur and make Ricky Ponting and the rest of his gang of ugly Australians eat crow.What is very disappointing is Adam Gilchrist's baseless accusations in his (fictional)autobiography, now Gilchrist was a really good cricketer but it seems he has left all his sportsmanship on the cricket pitch and suffering from some kind of delusion of persecution.Psychotherapy seems to be his only hope !

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The weight of expectations ...

It is almost certain that US is going to have its first (technically) Black President as Obama enjoys a commanding lead over his rival McCain. US Presidential election is unique in many ways and different from the way we elect our President in India.In USA ,there is two party system - The Republican Party and The Democratic Party - which allows that much more stability than the multi-party system as we have in India.
If any one person can be directly credited for Obama's resounding win, it is no one other than President George Bush and his flawed policies. Bush's 'war on terror' has made the word unsafe and given a kind of legitimacy to the Jihadi groups operating worldwide.The invasion of Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein and get control over its oil sources has become an albatross around the neck of USA.The recession and accompanying job losses have made the situation even worse for Americans and also for rest of the world as US economy accounts for 20% of world's GDP(gross domestic product).
Obama for all his charisma will have to walk the talk and take some tough decisions. He has assured of a quick withdrawal of troops from Iraq which given the ground situation there is going to be a hot potato. Obama starts his innings with huge popularity but very soon it can be his undoing if he is not able to deliver on the promises. People in US and elsewhere would want quick-fix solutions and that does not happen at least in politics.

The New Cell Phone Syndrome ....

Yesterday , i transferred my sim card from my old cell phone to the new N-96. It took me lot of effort to transfer the contact details from my old phone to the new one. Somehow i expected that i would be getting lot of phone calls ,but for some reason i have received only two calls and that too from a young lady wanting me to invest in some scheme to make a quick buck. In fact i told her that i have no money to invest which did not unfaze her at all and she continued to make me see reason. Finally, i succeeded in persuading her to forgive me and harass someone else. The very next minute i received a call from another number, and i was asked the same question about my predisposition to invest.Suddenly i realised that she was the same person who had called just before. I told her that you have dialled the same number again, which made her conscious of her folly and led to immediate termination of the call. I thought that receiving two calls so soon on my new mobile portends a healthy trend.But since then till now more than 24 hours have passed and i am yet to receive any phone call.In the meantime i am giving myself missed calls from the landline number ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Freedom At 5 PM ...

On 1st November 2008 at 5 pm the bell tolled at the UPSC examination hall and my tryst with the written part of civil services exam came to an end.It has been a journey of 4 years with its fair share of highs and lows.The euphoria of clearing prelims for the first time and the agony of missing out on clearing mains for the second time in a row.The joy of getting my first UPSC interview call and the heartbreak at not being in the final list.The unconditional support of family and friends and the self-doubt that arose from time to time.All in all it has been an adventure full of promise and ripe with uncertainties.I am glad that i got the opportunity to pursue my dream of joining civil services ,whether the dream materialises or not remains to be seen.Here's hoping for the best and keeping fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Delhi Blasts

Yet another serial blast in the span of a few months and that too in the heart of the country, and still one is not sure whether the blasts made enough noise for the govt. to sit up and take notice. Yes, there were the usual noises made be the powers that be about the need to maintain calm , monetary compensation for the victims and the next of kin and that was about it. There is no change in the ground realities, ‘intelligence’ failure has become so routine that it would be better if they rename it as ‘ignorance’, which is what it actually is. There can be no politics in tackling terrorism but it is invariably given a communal colour and pseudo-secular politicians come running to the defence of organizations like SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) ,a case in point is Lalu Prasad Yadav who openly defended the lifting of ban on SIMI. The Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, has come under lot of criticism and rightly so for his inept handling of internal security related matters. But in a parliamentary democracy ,there is the concept of ‘collective responsibility’ and the whole UPA govt. is responsible for this state of affairs. While there cannot be foolproof security everywhere at all the times, but the least govt. can do is to frame stringent anti-terror laws and ensure their compliance. The 1993 Bombay blast trials got concluded last year ,and this is where the crux of the problem lies. There is no deterrent effect of law if the perpetrators know that one they won’t be caught and second even if they are caught then the trials will go on and on much like the Duracell batteries. It is high time that we as the citizens of India also take some responsibility of defeating the terrorists. We need to be vigilant in public places and cooperate with law enforcement agencies. There is no way these terrorists would have succeeded but for the logisitical help provided by some misguided sections of society who wrongly feel that killing innocents is justified in the name of religion. No religion can justify these killings and those who have done this are surely going to hell one way or the other.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Hadron Collider : The Big Bang !!!

Finally, the most complex scientific experiment undertaken by humans is underway in the border area of France and Switzerland. For the layman (and I am one of them), the experiment involves recreating the conditions which led to the original big-bang and consequently the creation of universe as we know. The sub-atomic particles (protons and ions ) would be accelerated close to the speed of light and smashed together ,which would lead to high temperatures close to what is found on the sun ,but in a microscopic space. This high velocity impact of sub-atomic particles is supposed to give significant clues which would help the scientists in unraveling the mystery of the Universe. It is expected by scientists that it may give evidence of the existence of God’s particle or Higg’s Boson. More importantly , CERN(European Centre for Nuclera Research) which is at the forefront of this mega experiment is trying its best to allay the fears of people relating to the end of the world if something goes wrong with the experiment. CERN has categorically stated that such a possibility has a very insignificant probability of occurring ,but a probability nonetheless.
I don’t how much sense this scientific mumbo-jumbo makes to the vast majority of people all around the world. Taking advantage of this the Hindi News Channels in general and India TV of Rajat Sharma in particular went on a fear inducing spree in the masses by showing distressing visuals with headlines “Duniya Ka Vinaash” to name just one. This was journalism at its worst, as it was aimed at garnering TRPs through a misinformation campaign. Today, some news channels have reported that one girl in a remote village committed suicide fearing that the world is coming to an end. Now ,this is a very serious matter and I&B Ministry as well as the courts need to take suo motu notice of this new kind of terrorism perpetrated by devoid of ethics news channels. Shame on Rajat Sharma (of Aapki Adalat Fame and owner of India TV) for exercising no editorial control on the content of India TV or maybe it was shown with his consent. In that case ,if Ansals can be charged with murder for Uphaar tragedy ,then surely rajat Sharma should be booked for abetting the suicide of the unfortunate teenager.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Language problem ???

Raj Thackeray is once again in the news and for the wrong reasons. He wants Jaya Bachchan to apologise for hurting the sentiments of Marathi speaking people. Nothing wrong in asking for an apology for any perceived wrong done to someone, but what is wrong is the way in which he demands an apology “…either you say sorry or we will make you feel sorry …”. Raj Thackeray is a non-entity as far as Maharastra politics is concerned and this looks like his only way to get few minutes of airtime. With the proliferating news channels always on the lookout for such (un)noteworthy events, people like Raj get their share of publicity. What upset Raj Thackeray was Jaya’s insistence on speaking in Hindi at a function after duly apologizing to the Marathi speaking people for her inability to speak in marathi. Now some busy-bodies from media or elsewhere read something between the lines which suggested to them that Jaya was making a barb at Raj Thackeray and his love for Marathi. Now the situation looks like taking a turn for the worse as some people are going to jump in to get their share of political mileage out of this. Language is synonymous with identity in our country and there have been ugly incidents in the past where people have been attacked and even killed for belonging to a particular linguistic group. The killing of hindi speaking migrant labourers in Assam ,the attack on Tamilians in Bangalore , and many such incidents which don’t get reported point to some systemic flaw in our conception of nationhood.We think of ourselves as belonging to one nation and sharing a common brotherhood only in case of war, natural disaster ,cricket match etc. Otherwise, our identity as an Indian always takes a backseat to our identity as a Marathi, Bihari, Bengali, Tamil, Kannadiga, Punjabi etc. This is what allows people like Raj Thackeray to issue threats and take shelter under the umbrella of regional chauvinism.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nuclear Deal At Last !

On 6th September'2008,India finally got the go ahead from the 45 member Nuclear Supplier's Group(NSG) after seemingly endless rounds of parleys between the Indian delegation,their US counterparts and G-6 countries(Ireland,Austria,NewZealand,Netherlands,Norway and Switzerland).The G-6 countries were hell bent on scuttling the deal as in their view India had not done enough for non-proliferation to be granted full civilian nuclear cooperation rights.The statement by India's External Affairs Minister reiterating India's longstanding commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and its unilateral voluntary moratorium on further nuclear testing definitely played a role in getting the NSG waiver for India.The US also pitched in with its support and like it or not ,US still exercises a big say in international affairs.
The NSG waiver ensures that India can go for full civilian nuclear cooperation not only with USA ,but also with countries like Russia and France.The waiver has come at the right time as India's energy needs are growing at a fast clip and with fossil fuels running out as well as their adverse impact on environment, nuclear energy seems a much better bet for ensuring India's energy security in the future.
The question doing the rounds in all TV channels and other media outlets is what price would India have to pay for getting up,close and personal with USA.Well,yes,India will have to pay a price in the sense that US will seek India's active involvement in seeking its foreign policy goals and also military cooperation.Already India conducts joint military exercises with US and also with other countries plus having good relation with the lone super power in the world is also in India's best interests.Non-alignment is well past its sell by date and India is an emerging global player and if US wants to help India to contain China(the primary reason why Left is dead opposed to nuclear deal)so be it.India is a vibrant democracy,yes it is far from perfect in its operation but surely no Indian govt. can ride roughshod over public opinion.This effectively means that India's foreign policy might be pro-US in times to come but definitely not dictated by US as feared by skeptics of the deal.Instead of focusing on what US stands to gain, we should focus more on the gains for India.This deal has secured for India its rightful place on the nuclear high table and the real gain of the deal would be visible when India becomes self-sufficient in its energy needs.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Drunken Driving !!!

This is the recollection of an actual incident which happened while I was in third year of engineering. As it was ‘Bihu’ time, most of the crowd had left for their homes to enjoy the holidays and it was only a few hardened souls, who were from far off places or were sick of going to home time and again(reverse of home sickness), occupying the hostel. One of our senior ,who was from Jorhat itself, invited all of us (around 10-12)who were staying back during Bihu vacations to attend the marriage of his elder sister. It was an offer (of great food)that we could not refuse much like the offer made by Marlon Brando in the movie ‘Godfather’. So ,on the appointed day ,we went in full strength to attend the wedding. We were introduced to the bride and the bridegroom and then we made ourselves comfortable. After that we had a nice dinner and it was time (10 pm) to make the journey back to hostel, somebody suggested that a vehicle would drop us but it turned out to be a rumour. We started walking with a heavy heart and even heavier stomachs as the food was too delicious.Suddenly a tempo (bigger auto) appeared on the horizon and a deal was struck to drop us till the petrol pump from where our hostel was a further 3.2 kilometres afar. We wanted the tempo to take us all the way but he refused point blank and we realized that any more argument might not get us even to the petrol pump. We reached the petrol pump and found one auto-rickshaw and 12 of us keen to get on it.But the driver was nowhere to be found. He appeared a little later totally drunk and swaying from one side to the other.He offered to take all 12 of us to the hostel in one trip,we realized that it was the ‘spirit’ inside him which was making that tall claim.It was anyone’s guess as to where he would take us in such a drunken state,the highway to hell was in clear sight with him driving the auto. Any other day ,one would have refused to go along but we had our compulsions,after a hefty dinner the last thing one wanted to do was walk a marathon.The majority decided to take a chance with the drunken master who all this while had kept his auto running.Just then a Maruti 800 driven by another senior came and it already had three occupants.They stopped and offered to take us to hostel but only 8 of us managed to squeeze in.Myself,my roommate and two juniors were left standing as there was no room and we felt that we would take our chances with the drunk driver who in the meanwhile had sobered quite a bit.We started and covered the distance in double quick time , thankfully at such late hour there was no traffic on the road.We thanked the autowala for giving us a frightening experience without any damage to our person.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BMW Case

So, finally after nearly a decade of courtroom hearings Sanjeev Nanda has been covicted under a section of IPC which relates to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.In 1999,Sanjeev Nanda mowed down six people with his sister's BMW which he was driving under the influence of alcohol.It was a very open and shut case ,but then Nandas had money power which forced many witnesses to turn hostile and investigating machinery to proceed at snail's pace,even though of those six killed,three were cops.The wheels of justice moved very slowly ,but the fact that they moved was because of Media's focus on the case and the fact that it happened in New Delhi where even if a pin drops ,it makes noise in the media circles.
The case also saw a sting operation done by NDTV which clearly showed the nexus between public prosecutor and defence lawyer and offering of bribe to eyewitness for changing his testimony in the accused's favour.This was one sting operation which seemed to be in public interest as opposed to the numerous stings which are done primarily for grabbing eyeballs by showing lascivious content.Now the High Court has suspened both the lawyers from practicing for four months, a relatively light sentence but a step in the right direction.
Some people and more importantly TOI(Times of India)in its editorial felt that Sanjiv Nanda has been made a target because he is rich and famous and have argued that what about the numerous Blue Line drivers who routinely cause 'murder' on Delhi roads. Rather than arguing for a lesser sentence for Sanjiv Nanda and equating him with Blue Line drivers who are back behind the wheels soon after causing accidents ,the better approach would be to make the investigation process tighter , justice delivery system faster and exemplary punishment handed out to those who cause accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol.The punishment should be equal ,whether you are a driving a BMW or a Blueline !

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When a loss means more than a win ...

Today, Indian cricket team somehow managed to defeat Srilanka ,while the boxer Jitender Kumar lost in a tough fight to Russian boxer Balakshin.I did not watch the cricket match but came back from office to watch the boxing bout.In fact ,cricket commentary was coming on 1o6.4(FM gold) instead of the usual old songs and it didn't please me one bit.Somehow ,one day cricket has stopped exciting me and it is not because i am a big fan of 20-20 either.I am very fond of Test cricket and the last two India-Australia series played in Australia remain very memorable even to this day. It was disappointing to see the young Jitender lose ,but his loss is much bigger than the victory achieved in cricket.Though,its unfair to compare sports ,but even losing in a olympic quarterfinal means a lot more than a solitary ODI win.I was watching NDTV India and the anchor Ravish Kumar reporting from Bhiwani (the home district of all three boxers from India who have reached quarter finals) talked about how in the absence of good facilities ,the people are so much driven towards sports.In fact ,sports is a means to name,fame and most importantly a govt. job for most of the youngsters from Bhiwani and nearby areas.
India has won a bronze medal (Sushil Kumar ,66 kg, freestyle) in wrestling ,52 years after K.Jadhav won the first individual olympic medal for independent India in Helsinki(1952)olympics.In a shortwhile the third boxer ,Vijender Kumar is going to fight for a medal against a 19 year old boxer from Ecuador.Will Indian boxing be third time lucky ? One sincerely hopes so...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bowing Out ...

The news is dominated by bowing out of two individuals.One bowed out a hero even in defeat while the other had to leave in disgrace.Akhil Kumar ,who lifted us with hopes of a olympic medal bowed out in the quarterfinals ,but remains a hero to all of us and a inspiration to Indian boxers still in the fray for a medal.On the other hand the suave Pervez Musharraf had to resign on the face of an impending impeachment.
Fortune favours the brave ,but believe me even the brave face fear once in a while.Akhil Kumar defeated the world champion in earlier round as he did not have the burden of a billion expectations.But with the media spotlight and medal in sight,it just might have caused Akhil to become a bit more conscious of what a victory would mean from hereon.If the govt.,the media and most importantly we the people forget his contribution just because he did not win a medal ,we would be guilty of killing a sportsman's spirit and will to fight against all odds.One hopes that the other two boxers would not be perturbed by all the media attention back home and just take it one round and one bout at a time.
As for Musharraf ,it is curtains for him as far as political power in Pakistan is concerned.He should have read the writing on the wall much earlier ,but the intoxication of power subdues one's senses and Musharraf was also human after all.Now Mr.Zardari(Benazeer Bhutto's husband) also known as Mr. Ten percent (his commission in all major deals while his wife was ruling) and much maligned Nawaz (not so) Sharif are going to rule.But it remains a moot point that with the common enemy gone how long would it be before these two power hungary individuals start targeting each other.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the edge ...

There is a very good programme that comes on NDTV 24x7 - 'We The People' hosted by Miss Barkha Dutt.The programme is usually on any raging issue and has panelists from both sides of the divide as well as neutrals to debate it from all possible angles.Tonight the issue was ,what else, Jammu versus Kashmir.The debate was volatile and it soon became a shouting match.Barkha Dutt is usually in control but tonight even she had a tough time soothing the frayed tempers.Though the debate was inconclusive ,as is usually the case, as neither side would concede the issue even if they know that they are wrong.In any case there are no absolutes, neither is Sangharsh Samiti right in forcing an economic blockade of the valley nor are the separatist forces in the valley in trying to link up the land transfer issue to 'Hinduisation' of Kashmir.
The Indian govt. led by Dr.Manmohan Singh was busy trying to buy 'trust' of the MPs while J&K was burning.The govt. sat still while the situation spiraled out of control and now it seems almost beyond repair.The govt must take a firm stand by stating unequivocally that the Amarnath Yatra would continue as in previous years and the pilgrims would be allowed greater facilities ,and at the same time it would involve no transfer of land to the shrine board.End of the day ,Amarnath pilgrims want better facilities and uninterrupted Yatra ,they don't intend to settle down permanently there.So land should remain with the state govt. and it will take away the main argument of separatists about the threat to Kashmiri identity.One only hopes that Mr.Prime Minister wakes up to the problem and act decisively rather than procrastinating till it becomes an international issue.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Boxing Day !!!

Remember Dingko Singh ,the boxer who won Asian Games gold medal in Bangkok(1998).Well ,it seems we all have forgotten his heroics.In a nation ,where only cricket matters ,it is no surprise that other sportsperson are soon forgotten.Coming to Beijing Olympics ,Abhinav Bindra's gold has brought cheer to a billion Indians and more importantly it has inspired Indian boxers to come up with some superlative performances.Now as things stand ,three Indian boxers namely,Akhil Kumar(bantam weight),Jitender Kumar(fly-weight) and Virender Kumar(middle-weight) have booked quarterfinal berths.Akhil Kumar stands out as he defeated world champion Sergei in a tough fight and through a split verdict after being tied 9-9 on points.He has set his eyes firmly on the gold and if there was a gold medal for confidence he would have won hands down. Jitender and Virender have had comprehensive victories over their respective opponents.One just hopes that all three of them box away to sporting glory.Hopefully, it will inspire not just the govt.,but more importantly the general public to take interest in sports other than cricket and consider sports as a viable profession and not just a pass-time.The parents who want their sons and daughters to excel only in studies have to understand that there is a world beyond academic achievements and they should extend all support to their wards if they show that spark in any field and not just force them to outscore the neighbour's child in exam.Wishful thinking ,huh ?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Losing the plot again ...

So ,India is on the brink of another series defeat in Test cricket.Nothing new ,as Indian cricket team has made a habit of losing series after going one zero up or after leveling the series and bad habits are difficult to change.Any other team with five wickets down and two days to play for would still have an outside chance of saving the match by playing out of their skin.Many teams have done it in the past and very recently South Africa saved a test match against England by battling it out for a draw.But with our Indian cricket team,its almost guaranteed that Srilankans would be celebrating tomorrow afternoon or even earlier.Something ,somewhere is not right ,we either win comfortably or lose pathetically.Supporters,at least those who think,don't mind if their team loses but at least there should be a fighting effort till the very end.News channels will be after the players ,in fact they have already started the head hunting exercise and Sachin is their target this time.Lets hope against hope that Indian cricket team bats out of its skin and saves this match because in Test matches saving a match when the opposition is smelling victory is no lesser than a win.
While lots of newsprint and even more of prime time by news channels would be devoted to understanding the defeat of Indian cricket team,at the same time the Indian football team has reached the finals of AFC Challenge Cup virtually unnoticed and uncared both by the public and the media.The final is on 13th august at New Delhi between India and Tajikistan.

Jammu versus Kashmir ???

I remember that when i was in school,one always used to read about Jammu and Kashmir as one single entity.But of late the two have drifted apart and media also talks about Kashmir valley and Jammu in isolation.With the criminal mishandling of Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) land issue, initially by state govt. and later on by central govt.,things have come to such a point where bifurcation and trifurcation of state is being sought on religious grounds.The congress govt. both at the state and the centre have given fundamentalists a handle to beat them with.The govt. should have been pro-active but they just waited for things to spin out of control and now they have started discussions which are more in the nature of an eyewash.
The BJP is also playing into the hands of pro-pakistan elements by communalizing the issue.The issue should be seen in its proper perspective bereft of any communal angle.Yes ,there should be facilities for Amarnath pilgrims as it also boosts the local econonmy and gives employment to many locals as porters,lodge owners,transporters etc. But at the same time local sentiments should be addressed and any misgiving as to the permanence of land transfer should be removed.Making this a hindu-muslim issue ,which it is certainly not,would only vitiate the atmosphere further and benefit none in the long run.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dark Night !

Finally ,after days of planning (in vain) and wishful thinking ,I managed to watch the best movie of the year so far and by some distance.The reviews say it all , and while watching the first half was in itself so engrossing that interval came as a rude shock.Before that shock ,i had experienced another minor jolt on reaching PVR Saket.On asking for tickets ,we were politely told to take a walk and we were contemplating taking a long walk back to the home pavillion.But at that very moment appeared a shady character with a smile on his face and tickets in his hands.Black of movie tickets is in good shape,after confirming the date and time on the ticket we shelled out the requisite amount.We had to pay fifty rupees over the counter and the movie was worth every single rupee.But i have a big issue with PVR Saket management ,the sound is just too much for such small halls.Believe me, if you watch three movies on the trot you are sure to do permanent damage to your ears and even otherwise sound is just maddening.
Movie has mind blowing action and a very taut script supported by excellent acting by Heath Ledger(Joker) and Christian Bale(Batman) and everybody else.It reminded me of the time when i used to be an avid watcher of Batman series on starplus(1997).Mostly the serials were in two parts and the first part used to end at a point where Batman and Robin used to be in some trouble with questions thrown in like "Will the cape crusaders have the better of Joker/Riddler/Penguin etc" ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Being a Leftist at Home !

Please don't get me wrong ,i don't subscribe to the warped and extremely limited world view of our communist friends. Its just that today i realised that unwittingly i was acting like the Left parties as far as home affairs were concerned.For the past three years i was at home and extending 'outside support' to my mother in the administration of home affairs.This support or the lack of support very much resembled what the Left front was doing with UPA govt.I wanted the power to interfere in homely matters without taking any responsibility for the exercise of that power.My criticism and opposition to certain essential activities often bordered on foolishness and sometimes went even beyond.I opposed and continue to do so every constructive or construction activity in the house out of the force of habit very much what Left was doing with the nuclear deal.The opposition was sometimes more for the sake of opposition as is true for the Left front.Yes,occasionally my opposition proved right but such instances were few and far between.Now,i have started working and have withdrawn my outside support to home activities as has the Left.Both me and Left will continue to oppose but knowing pretty well that the opposition is the end in itself !

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Traffic Signal !

Traffic signals are supposed to make traffic orderly and avoid mishaps, but even a good thing if taken to the extreme can turn out to be counterproductive.Now Delhi Traffic Police has gone on a traffic lights installing spree and are putting these signals at the unlikeliest of places and making the lives of road users that much more risky.
So,one day last week i started for my office at around 10 am and usually i take the U-turn below savitri cinema flyover,but that day there was a huge pile up of cars and i thought that better i take the U-turn from chirag delhi flyover.I climbed up the savitri flyover and took the U-turn from under the chirag delhi flyover.I was feeling smug at the thought of being cleverer than those poor souls who must still be stuck in the traffic jam at savitri U-turn.So i started accelerating as the road is usually clear from there till Nehru Place.But the traffic police have installed a signal near savitri cinema flyover(moving towards nehru place side) which you can see only if you want to see it.Some drivers see the signal and some don't and there are some belonging to 'i see it but i won't stop' variety.Now ,this makes for a potentially deadly cocktail.As i was approaching that camouflaged signal i saw it turning slowly from green to amber and i accelerated in the hope that i can make it past the signal before it turns red.As i was about to jump the signal(i am usually a law abiding citizen !)i saw a traffic policemen cutting a challan about 15 metres ahead.This sight automatically made me ease my foot on the accelerator and apply the brake.I brought the car to an abrupt stop just on the line,two other vehicles stopped on either side and as i looked in the rear view mirror,blood drained from my face.A motorcyclist was following me with similar (bad) intentions of jumping the light and i saw him hitting my car at some speed and immediately falling down.I was totally shocked by the turn of events ,some bystanders rushed to help him ,I removed my seatbelts and was thinking of getting down when he appeared in my rear view mirror holding his head.Thank god he was not hurt badly and was just dazed by the impact.He was led to the pavement by some people and the light turned green.I drove very slowly as the incident had shaken me badly and i also thought that the traffic policemen up ahead would stop me,he did not.I reached my office and parked my car and while closing the door i managed to hit the door on my nose(quite inexplicable but absolutely true) and the only saving grace was that i did not bleed otherwise it would have led to further ignominy.
Today while on my way to the office ,i took the savitri cinema flyover u-turn and what do i find - a young woman pacing up and down the road,a stopped I-10 car ,a motor cycle lying on the ground behind the car and a person holding his head looking dazed.I plan to write a letter to 'The Hindu' to bring it to the notice of concerned authorities before something serious happens on the stretch not because of absence of traffic light but because of its presence !

Monday, July 21, 2008

What's The Big Deal ???

So,what do we have in front of us once again ? The great Indian political drama continues and it has so many twists and turns that it can give any Ekta Kapoor made serial a run for its money.The leftists can never be 'right' ,can they ? Well even they will agree that they are not right but maybe in a different context.But, nobody can deny that Left is living in a time which is past.For them,making irrelevant demands is the only way they can be relevant in Indian polity.Barring West Bengal,Kerala and Tripura ,Left has no existence in Indian political scene and the mere fact that they were able to hold the UPA government to ransom these four years points to the lack of spine in Congress.Congress is also trying to be too clever by staking its continuance on power on the Nuclear Deal and thereby diverting public attention from the more pressing issue of price rise.The opposition ,especially BJP is also trying to make castles in the air and thus opposing a deal which was its brainchild to start with.But then in politics everything comes secondary to serving your own interests and national interest last of all, if ever.
There are deals being made for staying in power as well as to throw the govt.out of power.My guess is that the government will survive ,but Mr.Manmohan Singh will lose his claim to being a clean politician,because all is being done in his name.Everyone knows that at least the nuclear deal is not the issue ,but nobody is willing to tell the emperor(in this case Mr.Prakash Karat and his henchmen)that he is without clothes.The galloping inflation is the real threat ,both to the Left and to the Congress.Congress is going to feel the heat because it is in power and Left is going to burn because its keeping UPA in power.So ,the leftists are trying to play it smart by trying to prop Miss Mayawati to decimate whatever is left of governance in the country.I know ,nobody is above board in this dirty politics ,but the Leftists are the real culprits and one can only hope that free and fair elections are held in communist ruled states and people show them the door to political wilderness which they leftly deserve !!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Parking woes and Road rage Combo !!!

Well ,well ,well ,all the denizens of delhi are no stranger to parking problems and display of road rage.Psychologically speaking(or should it be writing..err typing),the desire to safeguard your parking spot at any cost (to others) comes from the territoriality instinct(mark ones territory) of humans.It is more pronounced in case of males than females, that is why one usually sees only men fighting tooth and nail for parking spots.I got a taste of this parking problem when yesterday morning i started my drive to office.Soon i realised that my car's power steering was not functioning well as it was requiring too much effort to keep my car on a straight line path.I stopped the car to have a look and found that the front tyre was deflated and that was the reason why car was veering towards the right side.On further inspection ,it was found that it was an act of sabotage as two other tyres were also on the verge of deflation.Why did this happen ?...just because the night before i had parked my car in front of a building which is empty but for few caretakers.One of these caretakers did take care of my car in the night or early morning.Lesson learnt the hard way:don't ever park your car in front of anyone's gate ,its not worth the physical effort and emotional trauma !
Road-rage :every day one reads about one or the other case of road rage in newspaper.While driving ,i usually listen to FM106.4(FM Gold),they play good old songs which helps in making the drive less stressful.Only a few days back i encountered a traffic pile up near Nehru Place and when i got nearer to Lotus Temple turn ,i saw an old man involved in a shouting match with a motorcyclist.I was disgusted with their lack of self-control.This evening while coming back home the car in front stopped in the middle of the road,i also had to stop and waited for the backseat passenger to alight.The fellow came out slowly and started walking towards his home,at this point i honked so that the driver in front would allow me to cross.Suddenly,this (un)gentleman turned and shouted at me and i was totally taken aback.Was i supposed to wait endlessly or what ,i lost my composure and shouted back and he was gone.Later on i thought about the incident and came to the conclusion that if the person had smiled and said that please wait for a while ,i would not have reacted in the manner i did.The reason i think i shouted at him was because i felt that i was the aggrieved party as i was waiting for him to get down and only after that i honked .One other factor which might have played a role is the loud horn that i have installed !!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's wrong with electronic media ???

For the last month or so ,the news channels have been besotted with the Aarushi murder case.No doubt ,the murder was most foul and done in a diabolical manner.There were no clear motives and this gave the electronic media a licence to go berserk with wild theories and conjectures about the twin murders.
The news channels have sequentially tried to hold a parallel trial and proclaim people guilty even before the investigations have been completed.The freedom of speech and expression has been abused by the news channels and there appears to be an urgent need for some kind of regulatory mechanism to be put in place which holds news channels accountable for the trash they are dishing out to the unsuspecting viewers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dislocating My Jaw ...

Somehow I have managed to dislocate my jaw ,unintentionally of course.It happened on friday morning and while brushing my teeth i observed that something was amiss in the way my upper jaw was meeting the lower jaw.It is supposed to come down in a straight line but i could sense that it was tracing a curvilinear path and making a clicking noise and paining as well.Since at that point of time i had no idea that it was dislocation of my jaw that was causing me pain ,i tried to open my mouth wide repeatedly oblivious of the fact that with each opening and closing of mouth i was aggravating my condition.
I was thinking that the pain would subside in a day or two but when it didn't ,alarm bell started ringing .Believe me i have a fear of dentist and i can count on my fingers the few times i have gone for a dental examination .Last time was in April this year and the visit resulted in filling up of numerous cavities.The process was not lengthy by any means but thoroughly unpleasant.You have to lie down with your mouth wide open and the dentist drills his way into your teeth and at that same time a kind of pump keeps spraying something into your mouth.Enough of this nightmarish flashback,coming back to the dislocation of jaw which is far more prestigious problem to have.Everybody at home was concerned once it became known that i have dislocated my jaw ,and for some reason i was feeling glad.There are very few medical conditions ,if any ,which have this kind of effect.I searched the internet and found that jaw dislocation is not to be taken lightly , it can have serious consequences.
Today ,i went to the dentist and what i was thinking to be a dislocation turned out to be mere displacement .Clever wordplay by the dentist to rob me off of my sense of importance concerning my medical condition.When i told my boss that i had dislocated my jaw with a smile ,she was at a loss and asked me to get it checked as soon as possible.Even the person working nearby stared at me for some time in awe. I know displacement is not going to earn me any respect!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

No work !!!

I am no workaholic,in fact i like lazing around.But today i had nothing to do the whole day and it was pretty frustrating.I feel that it always is better if you have something to keep u occupied.We all crib about the workload and stuff ,but even in school and college i found that as soon as exams were over,things were not much fun afterwards even though one used to look forward to days without exam fever.
Another phenomena that i got reminded of today was the sleepiness that one used to experience while attending classes.I remember that in college while attending some(most,actually)lectures one felt like dozing off but as soon as one heard the bell ringing,it used to rejuvenate us.But then again the next lecturer used to undo the rejuvenation withing 5-10 minutes and the cycle got repeated.I called up a friend and asked his opinion about my frustration due to lack of work.I wanted to make sure that it is not a sign of some kind of mental disequilibrium or worse.To my relief he told me that he also has days without any work and that too for weeks but soon after work comes flooding.So make hay while the sun shines .I agree !!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sir, Meetha ???

Today morning i made my monthly visit to the barber shop in the vicinity.It is 10 minutes walk from my home and the service is quite okay,though even now i am not sure of their rates which vary from person to person as per my observation.Since the barber who had taken it upon himself to cut my hair to size was giving final touches to his previous client ,i had to wait and to make my wait a little less frustrating he offered me tea :
barber :sir ,chai lenge aap ?
me :nahi(formality wala)
barber : le lijiye sir ,hum bhi pi lenge
me :(i realised that now i have to agree for his and my sake)theek hai
barber:sir meetha ?(i did not hear 'kitna')
me :nahi koi jarurat nahi hai(i was wondering ki aaj yeh itna takalluf kisliye as i equated meetha with offer for sweets)
barber:(surprised look)sir cheeni bilkul nahi ?
me:(tried to mask my embarrassment with a smile)accha,ek chammach chalega ,maine socha meetha as in mithai
barber:are sahab woh bhi manga lenge agar aap bolte hain to

While drinking my tea mixed with embarrassment,i heard people discussing what else but the most sensationalised account of a young girl's murder.There has been so much coverage, and most of it unwarranted, by TV news channels that it has now become sickening to hear newsanchors go on and on about the murder.Its the duty of media to report and raise awareness about issues ,but what we see in this 'murder most foul' case is a total lack of sensitivity in media reporting.Theories have been concocted out of thin air,people have been presumed guilty and lot of sleaze has been dished to the unsuspecting viewers.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Poetic Injustice !!!

Roger Federer lost and badly at that to Rafael Nadal ,who is got to be one of the best clay courter in a long long time.Everyone will go on and on about how Federer has lost three times in a row to Nadal ,but reaching the final thrice in a row on a surface not amenable to his style of play is no mean achievement.Anyway,Federer remains a champion player and if not for Nadal would have had a French Open title by now for sure.He has promised that he would be back next year ,one only hopes that he puts up a better show then.
Coming to my mundane life which has become little bit more active because of the job that i have taken up.For the last week i did hardly any work but was rewarded with tea for my lack of efforts.And today when i really sweated(reason being somewhat different as i had no clue about what i was asked to do by boss n it being a simple task compounded my agony !)i was denied my share of tea.Sometimes it does appear that there is no justice in this world !(Roger would agree)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pehla Haftaa ...

Finally, after four long years of sitting at home and doing precious little i have joined the ranks of employed people.The first week of work or should i say lack of it has been a learning experience nonetheless.The work is in the field of 'corporate social responsibility' and which is something that holds the possibility of providing not only professional but also personal satisfaction of having contributed not just to oneself or the company but to people at large.
The office is twenty minutes of slow drive from my home and office timings are 10 am to 6 pm.I have to report to my superior who herself is the CSR head of the company and having good deal of experience plus a zeal towards work.I am looking forward to making a positive difference in whatsoever little way i can.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding in Kolkata

Time flies and i came to realise the import of this truism when i left delhi on 20th may to attend the wedding of my friend since class 7,Anirban.It seems not like yesterday but not too distant also when he had joined the school.He was good in three important disciplines namely,studies(parents happy);cricket(friends happy);and girls(made him very happy).
I had last visited Kolkata in 2000 and i was pretty excited to visit the city of joy after a gap of eight years.I landed at Netazi Subhash International Airport at around 8 pm (no relation to the liquor advt.)and the airport seemed familiar despite the many changes.Anirban had come to receive me and off we went to saltlake where i was to stay for the night.The same night another of our school friend arrived from Bengaluru.Next day i shifted to a place near his home in Beleghata and met uncle,aunty and didi for the first time after 1999 and could notice hardly any change in their appearance,they looked just the way i had seen them in Itanagar.Though the same was not true of me as they told me that i looked much thinner than what they expected based on my schooltime plumpness.
Watching a traditional bengali wedding from up close was a wonderful experience ,and the groom was smiling all d time (one doesnt expect this normally)
and hardly paying much attention to d rituals going on ....the bride looked stunning to say the least and for once our goodluking friend was overshadowed and rightly so.
During my stay i got to eat amazing bengali food and mishti doi(sweet curd) being two outstanding delicacies and mind you i hardly eat fish and curd otherwise ,so one can well imagine the tastiness of the food items...
I wud like to wish nabamita and anirban the best of everything that life has to offer ...
The day after the wedding ,myself and romel(bangalore friend)went for 'kolkata darshan'.We started at the college street which is famous for the range of books available and at heavy discount.We had coffee at the historical "Coffee House" which once was frequented by intellectuals and is now struggling to remain afloat in the times of Barista and Cafe Coffeeday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How i feel ...

I feel down ,the results finally came today at 7:30 pm and my name was not there.I wanted to be in the list like all the other 1892 aspirants but then it was not to be.Maybe someone has to lose for others to win.It is more disappointing because it was my third attempt,i have been trying to crack the IAS nut without any sucess since october 2004 and this was the closest i got.Now i have prelims on sunday,ie 18th may .This is going to be my fourth and final attempt ,and i plan to give it simultaneously while working.I know it wont be easy but then one has to move on in life.It is a exam where relative performances matter ,and i tried my best but i guess my best was not good enough.Now is going to be the real test of character for me ,how well and quickly i can pull myself up and get going.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pink City !!!

The last few days have been nightmarish for a variety of reasons.Two days back there was serial blast in Jaipur.Over sixty innocent people lost their lives and hundreds got injured and we have the politicians blaming everyone under the sun but their flawed policies and misplaced priorities.Terrorism is a hydra headed monster and we all need to play our part in fighting against it.One more thing which is so troubling is that the left parties which create a ruckus every time Indo-US nuclear deal threatens to move forward have hardly anything strong to say on the subject of terrorism.It is high time that citizens become more vigilant especially in crowded public places.But at the same time we should not fall prey to the fear psychosis that the perpetrators want to spread.
Coming to IPL ,Delhi Daredevils after starting so well in the tournament have lost last four matches ,and the sad part is that in all those matches they had the upper hand.Especially the defeat to Kolkata Knightriders was unpalatable.Shoaib Akhtar bowled well but Delhi team could have handled him much better.Rajasthan Royals looks to be the best team in the fray and it has the best captain on display ,Shane Warne.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What if .....

Finally the judgment day is approaching when the UPSC will decide the fate of 1892 candidates who have appeared for the interview this time.This will bring down the curtain on civil services 2007 exam which began with the notification issued sometimes in December 2006.The process is as long drawn as it can be and the eighteen months or so which it takes to complete the process have its fair share of highs and lows.
Around 450-500 candidates are expected to make the grade in the final merit list and the rest are going to be disappointed."It works on the"all or nothing "principle ,though the difference between those making it and those who are left behind is going to be marginal.
There are only two possibilities to put it plainly ,being on the list and not being on the list.While the first case is preferable ,the second case is also a distinct possibility.The final selection depends on 'Mains'(out of 2000) score plus the Interview score(out of 300).All kinds of permutations and combinations are possible.
Hoping for the best and keeping fingers crossed !!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

IPL : Ecstasy and Agony !!!

On 29th april ,i got hold of VVIP passes for the Delhi Daredevils versus Bangalore Royal Challengers.Being a long time 'arm chair' cricket fanatic,getting the passes to watch a match live was an exciting proposition and plus the thought of getting VVIP treatment made me delirious.But as always never judge a book by its cover ,and in my case never go by the VVIP tag,you can be in for a nasty surprise.
So finally this evening(30th april)at around 6:30 pm i started for Ferozeshah Kotla where the match was to be played.Normally ,it is a 30 minute drive from my place ,but i had not bargained for the BRT(Bus Rapid Transit)nightmare.I got stuck in the traffic jam and had to witness the fireworks from inside the car itself.Around 8:10 i reached the VVIP gate and was confronted by a crowd of fellow VVIP's and after lot of jostling and pushing made my way into the cool environs of the VVIP lounge.My eyes searched in vain for a seat that would give me a panoramic view of the proceedings.I resigned myself to watching the match from a seat which gave me the best view of the sightscreen and for the first time in my cricket viewing life i felt a tinge of sympathy for all those idiots who disturb the batsmen by moving around the sightscreen as i was one of them now.
The match went on predictable lines and Delhi Daredevils knocked down the Bangalore Royal Challengers in style.But the real fight as it turned out was to get the complimentary dinner.People jostled with each other for the delicacies and it was just one step removed from a full fledged stampede.The global food shortage made sense at that moment to me and after trying for about ten minutes i realised the futility as in those ten minutes i was not able to move even an inch closer to the food.I (un)smartly thought that let the more hungry people eat first and later on i can have my dinner in more relaxed environment,but when i returned after 15 minutes of sight-seeing ,there were hardly any people in the dining hall(no problem) and there was no food either(big problem).
As i watched most of the match from the media box,i managed to see Sunil Gavaskar,Greg Chappell,Aamir Sohail and last but not the least Ranjit Fernando(arguably the worst commentator in world cricket).Though the experience of watching the match was enjoyable but being more of a self-styled cricket expert i would prefer watching the match on TV anyday with replays and statistics et al.(Denial of food has got nothing to do with it !)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Day ,First Show !!!

On 17th march the civil services (main) 2007 result came out.I was surfing the net when a friend of mine informed me about the results.I thought that as usual the UPSC website would not open as is the case usually once results are announced.But to my surprise it opened and very soon i found myself going through the list of roll numbers and was elated to find my roll number(after having twice missed the interview bus).But the joy soon turned into horror when on 19th afternoon i got a speedpost from UPSC informing me that my interview was on 31st march at 9 am ,i.e., first day first show.Panic set in and i prepared myself for running against time.Some suggested be your natural self ,and some others told me to fake it ,leaving me totally confused.Then there were mock(ing) interviews which were useful as well as counterproductive.In fact ,my confidence took a nosedive on 27th after a late night mock session.Next day i met Ravindran Sir(vajiram) and his words boosted my confidence.On 29th ,i went for my final mock at Chanakya which went off well.
On 31st i got up at 6 am (very early by my sleeping standards)and by 8:20 i was on my way to Dholpur House.I reached the UPSC main gate at 8:45 am and found a crowd of fellow 'sufferers' impeccably dressed and in high spirits. I met Sudhir(orissa),Pushkar(CISF,Bihar),Rohit(BSF) and few others and we asked each other about the number of attempts and optionals.A sense of camaraderie develops when you have the same optionals and more so if you have made the same number of attempts.There were lot of third attempt 'veterans' ,so i felt at home.At 9 am sharp we were allowed inside the hallowed portals.After signing the register we were asked to wait in a big hall.There were 7 round tables,everybody had been alloted a particular round table. In my group, there were Harkamal(Chandigarh),Aastha(JNU,Patna),myself and Lalit Kumar(Delhi).Since of the four i was the first one to arrive ,i assumed(wrongly)that there were three guys and one girl in our group.But Harkamal turned out to be female(later on i told her about my misperception and we shared a laugh).Very soon i was joined by the other three candidates and we started talking ,sharing our fears and apprehensions and about various national and international issues which had the potential of troubling us if asked by the Interview Board.We were served tea and biscuits and i thought that having tea outside would be a good defence if panel offers me tea inside as i could always say that "Sir/Madam i have just had tea outside".Soon after we came to know that we were in Ms Parveen Talha's board and felt relieved as the adjacent board was of Prof.D.P.Agarwal. Anyway i was scheduled to go third after Harkamal and Aastha.
I was called at 12:30 pm and was asked to wait outside.Just as i was waiting for the bell to ring (at which point i had to go inside),instead the door opened and two
people came out of the room,the staff outside told me that they were Board members and were taking a toilet break.Soon after the 'bell tolled' for me and i opened the door and went inside.As soon as i entered Chairperson(Madam Parveen Talha)was reading my name, i wished her good afternoon and also wished other members(all male,M1 M2 M3 M4).
Madam: Abhishek ,have you lived in Mahoba (my hometown) ?
Me: Maam ,I was born there but have since lived in Northeast.

Madam: Ok ,but do you know what Mahoba is famous for ? (after a pause she answered herself)Paan ,have u seen paan growing ?
Me: Maam , I have not seen paan growing in Mahoba but i have seen it growing in my home in Itanagar,sorry Tezu where my dad was posted .

Madam:Have u eaten paan ?
Me: Yes maam ,i have eaten raw paan.

Madam:Do you know what all is put inside a paan ?
Me: (I had no clue how shud i say katha ,chuna etc)I m sorry maam ,i m not very sure.

Madam:fine,do u know what is facebook ?what can we do in it ?
Me: Maam,facebook is a social networking site ,used to make new friends,write about one's likes ,dislikes etc.Though orkut is more popular in India.

Madam:Since you have lived in northeast ,what do you think is the problem there?
Me:Maam,northeast is somewhat cut-off from rest of India and the pace of development has suffered on that count as compared to rest of India.

Madam:what can be done about it ?
Me: Maam,we should try for emotional integration of northeast with rest of India by making them feel cared for and looked after.People of northeast should be involved in development planning for northeast.

Madam:(pointed to next member)Aap poonchiye

M1:Which newspaper do u read regularly and why ?
Me:Sir, I read 'The Hindu' regularly and i like it because it gives due respect to its readers and i have written letters to it and have got them published.

M1:Do you read editorials ,what is the difference between editorial and rest of the newspaper ?
Me: Sir,i have been reading editorials regularly but for the last few days i have not gone through it.Editorial contains the views of the newspaper on any particular issue and rest of the newspaper contains news about various events.

M1:Have u played cricket(my hobby) and at what level?
Me:Sir,I have played the game but not at a competitive level and yes I do follow the game.

M1:Why the test match was drawn yesterday(Chennai Test,Sehwag's 319)?
Me: Sir,the pitch was very docile,the batsmen dominated completely and so there was no result.

M1:What about the other two test matches,what is going to happen ,do u know where the matches will be played ?
Me:I am not sure sir.

M1:Well the next two matches are going to be hosted at Ahmedabad and Kanpur.what will happen there?
Me:sir,kanpur is again known for its docile wicket so there may not be a result there ,but at ahmedabad there may be turn for the spinners and result may be possible.

M1:Sachin has got injured and selection committee has recalled Kaif ,do u support it ?
Me:(was totally unaware of kaif's recall)Sir,sachin is an irreplaceable kind of player.
M2:(cuts me angrily)you mean to say he should be played even if he is injured?
Me: No sir,if he is injured he should not be played.
M1:What about Kaif ?
Me: sir,Kaif is a very good player in his own right and if he has been included in the team he should be played.
M1:ok (gestures to next member)

M2:You are from a technical background,can u tell me that with the rapid advancement in information technology and also in biotechnology ,what are the ethical issues that have cropped up ?(question was very vague)
Me:Sir,can u please clarify
M2:(again said something about IT,Biotech and ethics,made me still more confused)
Me:Sir,due to IT revolution,there is lot of information being exchanged on the internet and there are e-crimes (at this point he cut me off and told that no you are not understanding the question i m specifically asking about the ethical issues)
Me:Sir,there are some websites which are putting up false propaganda on the internet which they may feel is right but may be offensive to others(M2 nods)so there is a question of ethics involved there.And Sir,in case of bio-tech there is the issue of cloning.while reproductive cloning is unethical,therapeutic cloning is ethical.
M2:Is there consensus on therapeutic cloning?
Me:Sir,consensus is emerging on the issue.Even Indian govt. allows therapeutic cloning.
M2:should therapeutic cloning be used to create humans?
Me:No sir,it should be used only for creating organs.
M2:(gestures to next member)

M3:You have talked about northeast problem ,and about emotional integration,how will you do it ?
Me:Sir,the people of northeast will have to be made stakeholders in development process.Planning should not be done at the centre ,but at the grassroots and based on the needs of the people.
M3:Northeast is disaster prone area ,how u will use technology to solve the problems?
Me:Sir,i will make use of GIS to map out disaster prone areas and create awareness among the people living in those areas about the steps they should take if disaster strikes and use networking to take help of central agencies.I will do all this to mitigate impact of disaster.
M3:(gestures to next member)

M4:Mr.Mishra since u have done your engineering from Jorhat ,can u tell me the name of two famous saints of Assam ?
Me:Sir,Sri Sankar Dev and second i m not sure but may be his disciple Sri Madhab Dev.
M4:good.You have been talking about alienation in northeast but i do not think so,students of northeast are studying in Bangalore ,Delhi and other places ,so there is no alienation.
Me: Yes sir ,but there is a sense of alienation among the people of northeast.
M4:No,the insurgency problem is because of Bangladesh's support,top leadership of ULFA is operating from there.
Me:Yes sir,these factors are also there,illegal migration from B'desh has created social disharmony.
M4:The govt. is hand in glove with the insurgents,there is no alienation ,all is being done for money,dont u know about Sibsagar Supt.of Police from whose house two militants were caught?
Me:sir ,one or two stray incidents should not make us think that .We should try to remove the root cause of the problem.
M4:You are taking a soft stand (and he continued with his tirade against the system,i tried my best to remain normal and smiling)(At this point Madam said"next question please",to which he said no more questions)

Madam:(smilingly)Ok Abhishek,now do you have any question ?
Me:No,Thank you Maam.
Madam:Ok,but let me tell you about what all goes inside a paan .See first of all a paste of 'kattha' ,then some 'chunaa',then 'supari' and if the person so desires some tobacco .(smilingly)And when you go outside,you eat a paan .You can go now.
Me:Thank you maam,thank you sirs.

I came out of the room in a positive frame of mind.Now i dont know whether it was good or bad ,but the experience was great and madam was very cordial.Now hoping for a positive outcome ...

Postscript: I got 180/300 , a decent score but i was hovering near the cut-off in mains score ,so missed out from being in the final list :(

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bheja Fry !!!!

Well ,everyday all of us encounter one or the other situation which makes our 'bheja' fry .Three-four months back there was a movie of the same name by Rajat Kapoor starring Vinay Pathak ,Ranvir Shourey,Milind Soman,Sarika and himself.I was busy with my exams at that time and hence could not watch it then.When i did have time ,it was off the multiplexes which fried my bheja little bit.But two weeks back while wandering aimlessly in 'my computer' i managed to locate the movie.I started viewing the movie, but after 30 minutes or so the movie again started from the first scene which at first i thought had something to do with some subconscious clicking of mouse on my part.I tried to fast forward the movie but the win-dvd movie player refused to budge.After trying all tricks of the trade which included rebooting the pc ,i resigned myself to watching the movie from the start again.But this time after watching it for 10 minutes or so ,i noticed that the audio was not in sych with the scene and it led to more frying of the bheja.I started the movie again and thankfully this time there was no such issue ,but afer watching it till 30th minute ,it again started from the first reel ,and by this time i was really exasperated.I realised that i was not just watching the movie but also experiencing it.The fact that I had enjoyed the movie till that point and was unable to watch further really made me cringe.
And just when i thought that my half 'bheja fry' will not get completed anytime soon ,i received a pleasant shock.Tonight Sahara Filmy showed "Bheja fry" and
i could watch the movie and fry my bheja completely.A really nice movie and true to its title !

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hockey and Cricket

All of a sudden Indian Hockey is on the center stage albeit for the wrong reasons.For some strange reason,media and the people in general are reacting with disproportionate shock and surprise at Indian men's hockey team not making it to the Olympics.It is not that Indian hockey was in a very good shape till yesterday.Indian hockey has been on a downward slope for quite some time.The advent of astro-turf(earlier it was played on grass) in hockey made the game more suited to european style of play which was based more on power than plain skill.Other than this,the step-motherly treatment of Hockey by the government ,the media and the public has also hurt its prospects.It is easy to blame the Indian Hockey Federation led by supercop K.P.S. Gill for all that is wrong with Indian hockey but the malaise runs deeper.Without big money coming into the game ,youngsters will not take to hockey and therein lies the catch.Money will not start coming unless the sponsors are assured of the game's popularity among the masses and with Indian hockey team performing poorly it seems a far-fetched idea.Another disconcerting aspect is the differential treatment meted by the government to cricketers and to other sportspersons.After the 20-20 win, the cricketers were showered with money from almost all the state governments but the Indian hockey team which won the Asia Cup(by any standards a more creditable achievement)was hardly given its due.And after all this we raise a hue and cry if Indian hockey team does not qualify for Olympics ....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Unity in Diversity ???

India is a country that prides itself for its unity in diversity.It is next to impossible to find a country having so many ethnicities,languages and cultural variations as is seen in India.In fact ,India has never been one united nation as per historical accounts and so the Indian identity as such is a comparatively recent phenomena.It was only the Mughals under Aurangzeb(bigot par excellence) and later on the British who united India under one administration for their own selfish motives.
The Indian freedom struggle nurtured the pan-Indian identity and weakened the regional feeling among the people.In 1956 the states were reorganized on linguistic lines and since then language has become a rallying point for all kinds of regional chauvinists.What is happening in Maharashtra today is old wine(originally brewed by Raj's uncle Bal Thackeray)being served in new bottle,but the concoction remains as harmful as ever.We all know that there is an undercurrent of sympathy among Marathi Manus(Marathi people) for anti-outsider agitation ,but surely nobody wants the recourse to violence.The definition of outsider needs a rethink as a person of Bihari lineage born in Mumbai is more Marathi than a person of Marathi parentage born out of Maharastra.At the same time ,people coming from other regions should also try their best to assimilate into the local culture but this cannot be done by use of force.
One important point to ponder for Thackerays and all other politicians would be that if tomorrow Indians(who incidentally may be Marathis) are attacked in a foreign country ,with what conviction can the Indian govt. demand that its citizens be protected while it is failing to do so within India !

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poetic Justice ....

India's tour to Australia has generated plenty of heat ,both on and off the field.Racism,bad umpiring,and two evenly matched sides made for some gripping cricket and lots of news for the media.Aussie cricketers wanted to teach Indian team a lesson but they were in for a surprise.It was the Aussie team which came in for a lot of flak for its unsporting behavior throughout the test series.India's test victory at Perth came as an apt reminder that 'nice guys' need not always finish second.Though India lost the test series 2-1 to Australia ,but the Sydney test was an aberration and an anti-thesis of this gentleman's game.
Nobody ,including yours truly , gave India a chance in the tri-series.Everybody was more upset with the exclusion of Saurav Ganguly and a drubbing was more or less expected.But the young team defeated the mighty aussies and the wily srilankans to lift the tri-series cup.It was a dream final for Indian fans as the Indian team defeated Australia twice in the space of two days to lift the Commonwealth Bank Cup.The victory in the tri-series does not mean that India has taken over the mantle of world champions from the Aussies but it does mean that they are not invincible anymore.