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.