December 30, 2007

Stop to shop

Lord save me from the disastrous shopping trips I end up into. Last afternoon, my parents got a pleasant surprise when I announced, ‘I feel like shopping.’ Their eyes gleamed on hearing this rare expression from the Big B and immediately mom got ready to accompany me for shopping.

Alright, I know I’m a little too choosy when it comes to clothes (more than 4 clothes still have price tags attached to it and more than a dozen shirts that I haven’t touched since ages still usurp my wardrobe space). But then, that’s me. Live with it.

Almost an hour into the shop, and I felt like banging my head against the wall. Why, no I mean, WHY don’t I ever get the kind of clothes I want?? All of them are so tight and dhinchak. Why can’t they just keep simple, normal clothes? Everything has to be so bloody body-fitted. I mean, how do even people breathe in it? Tight jeans and tight t-shirt. Go to a tailor and he wouldn’t even have to take out his measuring tape to know your vital stats! And everything seems to be so loud (probably, it’s my mistake - I went during party season). Everything was glittering – loaded with sequins, stones and God alone knows what all.

Anyways, my point is why does fashion have to come in the way of what you feel comfortable in? Isn’t it ok if I don’t like those clothes? Wouldn’t it be just fine to move around in my jeans and kurta? No, I’m absolutely normal. Just that I detest this whole idea of going with the ‘in’ thing.

End of topic. No more shopping trips for me. In 2007 I mean. Better luck in 2008!

Wish you all a very happy New Year!!! :)

December 27, 2007

5 taare to Taare Zameen Par

2 days back I watched TZP. I must admit, it’s after a long long time that a movie made me cry. After all the gyaan regarding video-production in DCS, I started looking at cinema from a very cynical point of view. So everytime I watched a movie, I would scrutinize it to the core and comment on it left right and centre. The result, I would never enjoy the movie. And this left me cinematically malnourished. Thankfully, this movie came forth as a saviour.

The subject itself is so strong that you happily overlook the minor flaws here and there. It’s a simple story beautifully captured and complete with brilliant performances. There is an instant connect with the character of Ishaan (Darsheel) – the dyslexic child burdened with the expectations of his parents and teachers alike. At some point in time, everyone has been misunderstood in his/her childhood. And this story is just about that – the vulnerable state of a child when people dearest to him are not ready to understand his state.

Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Aamir Khan’s role as the art teacher Nikumbh compels us to reflect on parent’s behaviour towards children who are forced to join the rat-race; parents who are not ready to understand that ‘every child is special.’ His concern for Ishaan looks genuine, his fear for Ishaan’s future wants us to get up and help him too. The unspoken words between Nikumbh and Ishaan; the depressed look on Ishaan’s face; Nikumbh’s moist eyes – there are so many instances where you feel a gulp in your throat.

Add to it Prasoon Joshi’s beautiful lyrics; Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s unfailing music; lovely animations that take us into Ishaan’s mind; some unusually great performances by many debutants and the documentary shots of children shown during the credits. The year couldn’t have ended better!

CNN-IBN: Taare Zameen Par, directed by Aamir Khan and written by Amole Gupte, is the one film you have to watch, even if you haven't watched anything else this year because it's a film with a big heart, an important message, but mostly because it's a film that could change your life.

December 26, 2007

My long lost handwriting

Few days back I appeared for an exam – a written exam! Yeah, the exclamation mark ‘cos it’s not everyday that I write 20+ foolscap pages. There were 4 exams in all – 2 on each day. The first paper I sat down to WRITE gave some good exercise to my fingers. The first paragraph took quite some effort and had different handwriting on every line. Thankfully, I continued with the best sample of the lot.

Everytime I released the static position in which one holds the pen, there was a slight crackling sound in my fingers. It took some effort and some pain in the knuckles to get back to the pen-holding position once again. Three hours and 20+ written pages later I realized what a humungous task writing has become. I don’t remember the last time I wrote a long letter. I haven’t opened my diary since last 10 months! Scrawling my illegible signature; underling sentences in a book; scribbling some lines here are there – these are the only things I remember doing with a pen nowadays. We are so used to keying in data that we’ve even forgotten how our handwriting looks like!

I mean, think about it – aren’t we losing a quintessential part of our identity? Everyone keys in the same-looking characters on the screen. So what happens to a whole stream called handwriting analysis? When you read someone’s hand-written letters, you can actually see that person’s face superimposed on that letter (ya, 70’s film type). Your sweat can drip on a note; your perfume can be absorbed by the fibres of the paper…Can you feel the same when you read a mail?

Mails, chats, sms – communication is becoming shorter and quicker. In the process, writing is becoming an archaic form of communication. The ability to communicate without editing is being lost. I mean, when was the last time you typed even one complete paragraph without pressing the backspace key?

Typing is faster while writing is slow. No wonder I have lost patience for creating a text at a speed slower than I think. At the same time, I love to write and I don’t want my writing skills to decay. I want to continue to write, to pour my feelings on a piece of paper and then read it after years and wonder if it was my tear drop that caused a smudge on that paper…

December 25, 2007


She was done with her work for the day but didn’t feel like going home. It was still afternoon. What could she possibly do at home – watch Travel and Living? Well, that wasn’t a bad idea either. Thankfully she thought of something else and landed at one of her favourite places – Tea Centre.

She took a corner table meant for four and ordered masala chai. Two groups of people seated on the other side were discussing Sensex and Modi; neither of which interested her. She looked the other side and peered through the clear glass wall. Surprisingly, from that height the traffic looked much more organized. Strange things that people do while waiting on a signal – a girl combing her hair, a biker trying to squeeze in his bike between two cars to move ahead faster - caught her attention. Meanwhile, her masala tea arrived - two full cups made from tea liqueur, ginger, pudina and other tea masala. As she sipped the piping hot tea, she wondered why people still referred to Gujarat as a dry state; they could always enjoy intoxicating drinks like this one!

That afternoon, time moved at a leisurely pace, letting her enjoy every moment of it - the soothing white and lime green interiors, the glass wall between her and the chaotic world outside, the aroma of the chai, doing nothing in particular…

After a long time she found some good company. After a long time she spent time with herself…

P.S.: This is my 52nd post (missed the half century!). No, it hasn’t been a long journey. Rather, the journey has just begun. Looking forward to your company ahead :) Cheers!

December 19, 2007

Death of a different kind…

The blogosphere seems like one vast ocean of knowledge, inspiration, creativity, questions, musings, thoughts, fancies, cribs, scattered emotions, non-sense – every single thing that defines us. At times I’m happy to see that such a thing actually exists and at times I’m simply awed by this unbelievably never-ending process of dissemination!

One of the best parts about blogs is that you are sure to find an expression to some of your deepest thoughts which you could never put into words. I came across this post on Atul’s blog. It’s something that I have been thinking about since long but could never spell out so neatly…

...blogs, like memories, don't die. Or something to that effect. And I believe so. People delete blogs, they stop writing at their blogs, yet blogs themselves don't die. They may be pushed back in the darkest deepest recesses of an inaccessible server somewhere, but they don’t die. At worst, they don't grow - they stagnate for want of nutrition.

December 18, 2007

Between A and B

A: Isn’t 18 the official age to marry?

B: Not any more… they’ve changed it to 21 years for girls and 23 for guys.

A: Oh, ok

B: It’s so weird…at 18 they think you’re capable of making national decisions but not your personal ones!

A: That's 'cos national decisions don’t f**k you up so badly…

December 17, 2007

Sunday Morning

It’s a cold morning. She wakes up earlier than usual and heads for the front door to pick up the Sunday paper. Without even glancing through the headlines, she turns directly to Page 20. The world can wait; she needs to know what the coming week has in store for her. “An exciting week ahead. Financial matters will improve.” She grins. “But…” Oho, why the BUT? “But the sudden change in planets can pose a problem on the social front. Parents or friends may not agree to your plans.” Shittt.

Life’s so predictable...

December 15, 2007

Jitega Gujarat?

The big debate about Gujarat continues on all news channels. Ghosts of Godhra and Sohrabuddin haunt back, taking up most of the air-space and the crowd once again gets divided into extremes – to be or not to be (with Modi). While Mr. Bandukwalla said that its time to forget 2002 and move ahead, there are people who think that Modi needs to be hanged for all the blood and gore that shredded the moral fibre of the state.

I switch off the television and am lost in deep thought. This is for the 1st time I’ll be voting. It’s quite a responsibility. On one hand we have a Modi who has changed the face of Gujarat, made it the land of investments and convinced people that we live in a ‘Vibrant Gujarat’. On the other, he’s the mass-murderer – the modern day Nero who set the state on fire and gleefully watched it from a safe distance. So while people do not stop praising him for making Gujarat one of the most progressive states of India, the same people abhor him when they watch the sting operations with men describing the details of the Gujarat genocide. And now that it’s time to take a stand – Modi or no Modi - people are struggling under the burden of choice.

My question is - Can the Modi of 2002 be separated from the Modi of 2007? Is it really possible to forget (if not forgive) everything and move towards a better future? Is it possible not to think about ethics but only about economics? Can there be a middle path? Can progress and justice co-exist in Gujarat once again?

The dichotomies boggle me and I fear the consequences.

To be or not to be (with Modi) is the question my Lord.

December 14, 2007

O re piyaa...


It’s amazing how one song can capture all of these emotions so powerfully. It’s after a really long time that a song has touched my heart so deeply. The lyrics are so euphemistic, the music so sufiana and the voice simply magical...

It’s the song ‘O re piya’ from the movie Aaja Nachle, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

O re piya haye
Udne laga kyon man baawla re
Aaya kahan se yeh hosla re
O re piya haye

Tanabana tanabana bunti hawaa haaye bunti hawa
Boondein bhi to aaye nahi baaz yahan

Sagish mein shaamil sara jahan hai
Har zare zare ki yeh iltiza hai

O re Piya
O re Piya haye
O re Piya

Nazrein bolen duniya bole
dil ki zaban haaye dil ki zubaan
Ishq maange ishq chahe koi toofan

Chalna aahiste ishq naya hai
Pehla yeh vada humne kiya hai

O re piya haaye
O re piya

Nange pairo pe angaro
chalti rahi haaye chalti rahi
Lagta hai ke gairo mein
Palti rahi haaye
le chal wahan jo
Mulk tera hai
Jahil zamana
dushman mera hai


O re piya haye

You need to listen to it to know what I’m saying. Here it is.

December 12, 2007

Your favourite restaurant can help you improve your blog!

My 1st post on blogging got a pretty decent response. I had written it when I was still new to the blogosphere. Now, having spent a considerable amount of time reading hundreds of blogs and being significantly regular with my posts, I am trying to interrogate what factors make or break a blog.

This analogy struck me while having dinner in one of my favourite restaurants last Sunday. I have been to this place umpteen number of times but on this particular visit I consciously thought - what is it that brings me back to this place? Alright… let’s put it this way – why would you go to a particular restaurant?

a) the food is really good
b) you like the ambience
c) the service is flawless
d) it sets a standard

Ditto applies to a good blog!!!

a) Excellent food: Everyone’s in search of good food for thought. Good writing and good topics are definitely the first things that draw readers to your blog. Like a specialized v/s multi-cuisine restaurant, you too can find your forte. You could either maintain a blog that projects you as a pro in a specific subject (media, photography,etc.) or offer the world on your plate. However, do not forget to lay emphasis on the presentation. Well-garnished food not only looks good but also tastes better. Quotes, pictures, etc can give a complete facelift to your posts.

b) Ambience: Many people seem to underestimate this but the fact remains that the look of the blog matters. It doesn’t mean that your template should be fancy or extremely stylized; it should be visually appealing and ‘clean’. Personally speaking, a blog with thousands of links on either side puts me off and leaves me hunting for the actual post.

You love to go in a restaurant where you feel most comfortable. Similarly, the reader should be comfortable when he/she visits your blog. They should be able to concentrate on the substance of your blog. I’ve come across some blogs where a heavy backdrop moves with the cursor. It’s very irritating and I end up with a headache :P

c) Service: Ask yourself - is there any way my readers benefit from my blog? If yes, they are sure to visit your blog time and again. ‘Benefit’ here has no one definition – you may be a pro in some field helping them with information or you could be engaging them in a dialogue/debate that helps them look at the finer nuances of life.

d) Set a standard - Inconsistency can become a big hurdle. When you go to a restaurant, you know what to expect from that place; the same applies to your blog. It’s important to maintain a standard. People visiting your blog should not be disappointed. Do some homework – find out which posts are most popular; what is it that your readers appreciate on your blog. Accordingly, try to improve; experiment a bit if need be!

They say, if you pour your love in food, it is sure to taste better. So no matter what you write, if it’s from the heart it will definitely be appreciated :)

If you have any suggestions, do share!

December 07, 2007

To end on a sweet note...

It had been a hard day for her. In an attempt to divert her mind to something pleasant, she turned on the radio. Just then, she heard that tune – it was one of her favourite songs. She gently smiled; kept the little transistor next to her ears. Every word which was so beautifully woven in that soulful music touched her heart once again…

Aapki manzil hun main, meri manzil aap hain
Kyun main toofan se darun, mera saahil aap hain

Koi toofanon se keh de mil gaya saahil mujhe
Dil ki ae dhadkan thehar ja, mil gayi manzil mujhe

The magic of the song still lingering in her mind, she sighed. All’s well that ends well. Tomorrow shall be a new day…

December 05, 2007

English, Professor!

There are those famous jokes about the way Gujaratis speak English – snack-snakes; hall-hole, etc. For 21 years in Ahmedabad, I had never come across any Gujarati who spoke that way. However, sometime in 2004, while on my train to Pune, a Gujarati girl scared the shit out of me when she said, “My bag is full of snakes.” It took some seconds to realize what she meant.

My point being, English is a very funny language. Just a slight twitch of a syllable and the entire context changes. And professors are those species who have the knack of using it in the weirdest ways. Forget the ‘open the windows and let the airforce come in’ under-grad jokes. We are talking about the use of English language at the Masters level. And when it comes to DCS, you are sure to chance upon some real gems of phonetic bends.

Here, every professor has a distinct style. Let me begin with Mr D – the same not-so-beloved professor who taught us the basics of Mass Com. His tragedy is that he often gets confused with the long 'eeee' and the short 'i' in words. The result – some absolutely new meanings emerging out of bland sentences and many embarrassing moments…

The beginning – innocent and forgivable…

Media is a very complex subject. To understand it completely, you need to pip into the nuances. (peep into the nuances).

For a class that would dig double-meaning in every sentence, this was perhaps their best chance…

This was during our class trip to Goa:
This is such a rare sight – so many goats on a bitch!!! (beach)

After this one, girls were ready to kill him!

While talking about the Press Council of India:
It’s like a paper tiger with rubber *** (teeth)

But this is just the teeep of the iceberg. Once you seeeet in his class, you’ll realize how torturous things can get! His tongue sleeps was too much :P

December 04, 2007

Isn’t it?

Fair, wheatish, dark - In the marriage market, women are reduced to a shade card.

December 03, 2007

Rewind – stop – play

Pune. Call it a seductress – that’s what it is. Three years of bitter-sweet experiences in this city have made me the person I am today. And here is an attempt to relive those moments that are etched in my memory. Funny, sad, nonsensical, enlightening – documenting some of these moments is my way of falling in love with the city all over again. So let’s start where my life took a 360 degree turn – the University of Pune.

June 2004

Our not-so-beloved professor is teaching us the basics of Mass-Com. Most of the students are yawning, others are daydreaming. It’s just the first month and many have already mastered the art of sleeping with their eyes wide open! I’m the unfortunate one – sitting in the first row, obediently listening to each and every word and taking down extensive notes. The voice of an over- enthusiastic professor in the next classroom cuts across the fake sound-proof walls and makes the already boring lecture absolutely incomprehensible. And it’s not just the voice; a foul smell too enters the classroom. The dead souls in the class start making some movement. Twitched noses and disgusted looks finally bring us all to a common ground. Everyone exchanges quick looks, suspecting that the one sitting next to him has farted. Not that such an incident had never taken place in school or college but studying at a Master’s level in this esteemed University made me believe that students no longer open-fire in stuffed classrooms. After 15 minutes of torture, the lecture gets over and we catch hold of the culprit – it’s the unclean loo, strategically constructed a few steps away from our class. Eeewww…

Welcome to a whole new world of academic experience. We call it DCS – The Department of Communication Studies. Tucked away in a not-so-nice-looking corner of the oh-so-beautiful Pune University, this is the place where I shall be unlearning the old ways of learning for the coming two years.

November 30, 2007


She rings the door bell, palm covering the eye-hole. As she hears his footsteps approaching, her heart beats faster. The door opens and he’s dumbfounded. His face holds the exact expression that she’d imagined – happy, confused, surprised. She cannot stop smiling and gives him a huge hug. The same sweet smell that she’d been missing embraces her body once again. He gently kisses her forehead and gazes into her kajal-laced eyes. They don’t say a word, just look into each other's eyes and smile.

Tears roll down her cheek. She’s daydreaming again...

November 28, 2007

I Hope You Dance

There are times when you feel so lonely, you almost want to run away from the crowd. Times when you feel so lost, you have no clue of what you are doing. You need someone so badly by your side that every passing minute seems like hell. But you need to calm yourself down and not let this phase overpower your senses. And then, a song comes to your rescue. It’s almost miraculous how the lyrics give you strength to fight a lone battle.

My inspiration comes from this beautiful song by Lee Anne Womak and I thank that someone special for introducing me to it:

I Hope You Dance
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand besides the ocean,
When one door closes I hope another opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance...I hope you dance...
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth taking,
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making,
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance...I hope you dance...
I hope you still feel small when you stand besides the ocean,
When one door closes I hope another opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
Dance...I hope you dance...
I hope you dance...I hope you dance...

You can listen to it here.

November 26, 2007

Let there be light...

She would go to the maidan every evening and see the sun set. It gave her a sense of completeness – to see the orange sky die and the darkness of night take over. She almost turned philosopher during those moments and no matter how harsh the day had been, the transitional phase calmed her. She knew, no matter how dark it gets, the brightness of the sun shall triumph once again; it’s just a matter of time.

November 20, 2007

Om Shanti Om - The Review

Well, there are three types of cinema goers:

1. Those who consider cinema as a work of art, have some cinematic sense and look for an aesthetic appeal.

2. Those who consider cinema as a product and look for a complete paisa-vasool experience.

3. Those who watch anything and everything.

Well, OSO – arguably the biggest film of 2007 – is a treat for everyone. I must confess at the very beginning of this post that by no means am I an SRK fan. However, he is the plastic beauty (tweaking the phrase) from Bollywood that can mould himself into characters from a fun loving college student in most of his movies to the legendary Ashoka to the socially responsible NRI in Swades. So whether you like him or not, he’s definitely worth a watch for the sheer fact that he is the King of Bollywood.

Spoofs have always been a favourite with the Indian audience. And when an entire movie rests on Bollywood’s attempt to laugh at itself (including SRK), it is sure to catch many eyeballs. Farah Khan leaves no stone unturned and gives the audience just what they love the most – a riot of film stars, larger-than-life sets, good music, hot babes and babas (how can you forget the six packs?!) and the eternal happy ending.

The film churns out a potpourri of tried and tested success formulae, carefully handpicked from many films. Like any super-duper hit movie, OSO has everything – emotions, drama (way too much), suspense, horror (oh yes!) and action. And all of this spiced up with a dash of nostalgia – the 70’s look. Especially the song, ‘Main Agar Kahoon’ is a visual treat - the blue-tinted night, the moving scenery against the car, the full moon rising in the background forming lovely silhouettes…Farah almost romanticizes the bygone era and leaves you wanting for more. But then comes the kahani mein twist. The hero must die to come back in another era with more drama. And this is achieved by not attributing any hero-like qualities to the character. So unlike the matrix stunts of Main Hoon Na, you have Om, the superman doing ‘Udibaba’!

As for the performances, SRK doesn’t have to try too hard to fit into the 70’S melodramatic role – overacting comes naturally to him. Deepika looks ravishing and Shreyas is adorable. As for Kiron Kher – she could have replaced Madhubala in Mughal-E-Azam ;). Towards the end, the real heroes of the movie – all the crew members - are honoured on the red carpet in patent Farah style.

Overall, OSO is to be seen not so much for the stardom but for the sheer amount of hard work that has gone into making a visually appealing film.

November 07, 2007

Happy Diwali :)

Came across this flyer a couple of days back. Check out the spellings at the bottom :P

November 02, 2007

My Favourite Jingles :)

I was going through some of the best TV commercials India has produced and then, I thought of taking note of the best jingles that have won the hearts of millions:

Tan ki shakti, mann ki shakti…Bournvita
Nope, boost wasn’t the secret of my energy; it was Bournvita and the credit goes to this very catchy jingle. Even the latest ‘epang, opang, jhapang’ is quite popular.

Tandurusti ki raksha karta hai Lifebuoy
Yes, the red coloured brick with a strong smell was (and continues to be) one of the highest selling soaps in India. Do not remember any other soap that became popular owing to its jingle.

Buland bharat ki buland tasveer…Hamara bajaj
It’s not only about the song but also the product with which you were so attached some years ago. Remember those scooters which had to be tilted on one side? The song rings a note of patriotism (I don’t know why, but it does.) One of the finest jingles produced till date.

Kurram kurram…Lijjat papad
People dressed in rabbit costumes and a bunch of people dancing in a garden made for a really funny campaign for Lijjat papad. Nonetheless, the kurram kurram was the perfect use of onomatopoeia for these crispy papads. I also distinctly remember the little rabbit that would pop up in the end!

Jab ghar ki ronak badhani ho – Nerolac paints
Simple lyrics and a lovely tune – a perfect combination that caught one’s attention, especially during Diwali.

Zandu balm…zandu balm
Some jingles may not be great but the fact that you remember them till date – just like some stupid nursery rhymes – make them worth mentioning. Zandu balm jingle falls under that category.

Nirma…nirma...nirma detergent tikiya
Think of great jingles and you’re sure to mention this one. Over the years, the Nirma ads have changed but they still use the same jingle.

No lyrics here but Mozart’s soulful symphony mesmerizes the audience till date. The moment you hear it you know its Titan. That’s what they call ‘excellent recall value’ in advertising.

Maggi maggi maggi
Had it as a kid, have it even now – it’s the ultimate quick-dish. However, I’ve never managed to prepare it in 2 minutes.

Mera gaanv – Amul dairy
Ok, some may not recognize this one. Probably it was aired more in Gujarat. Smita Patil and shots from the movie ‘Manthan’ talk about women-empowerment and how Amul dairy has brought in a revolution. It has the feel of a navratri song, though the lyrics are in Hindi.

These were some jingles from the bygone era. As for the new ones, probably I’ll publish another post :)

October 31, 2007

1947 – An Unknown Story

History has never been discussed openly in our family. Not much is known of what happened when my grandparents fled from Pakistan and came to India in 1947. As an inquisitive child, I pestered my grandparents on several occasions but in vain. All I remember is the real-life ‘story’ my nani would relate everytime I asked her about that historic journey from Pakistan to India. “You won’t believe, we had a swing adorned with gems and gold chips back in our haveli in Pakistan,” she said with an air of spontaneity. Each time I heard that, my eyes would gleam with surprise. It was hard to believe that my nani used to live in some kind of a palatial house. I would imagine her lying on a gem-studded swing, the kinds they showed on Tipu-Sultan series on Doordarshan. “But we had to leave all of that behind and rush to India. All we could bring along were the many silver and gold coins we had,” she continued. I knew what was to follow – the most designer belt I had ever heard of. “I had this belt with a zip running on its back side. It served as a secret pocket and I hid all the coins in there and wore it under my saree.” Next to follow were the long train journeys with unknown people who shared the same sense of insecurity; the survival stories in unhygienic camps; passing through jungles where snakes would simply slither away and hiding in unusual places. Finally, after many days they reached Mumbai and from there they shifted to Ahmedabad.

That’s it; my excitement level would suddenly dip. Everything that followed seemed very routine and took place in a country I live in. I wanted to know more about Pakistan – as if it were a country very different from India. So nani would tell me tales about her village in Pakistan – how she would play with her friends there, the household tasks she would do….She would get transported to some other world – a place she once called her home. “Aisa nahin nani, kuch alag batao,” I would suddenly interrupt and break her trance. My demands would snatch her back to reality - to a place where she was compelled to unlearn the old ways of learning and start from scratch. It was disturbing for her and that clearly reflected in her tone. “Aur kya sunaun? Mujhe aur kuch yaad nahin,” she would dismiss me and I would leave disappointed. Then for quite some time she would sit all alone and get lost in her world once again.

I knew she lied. She did remember a lot about her days in Pakistan but never wanted to tell us. Perhaps she didn’t want anybody to intrude in the little corner of her world – the fields where she could run carefree; the friends with whom she could share her dreams; the people who didn’t hold any prejudices; the haveli with its overarching doors and the gem studded swing where she could lie down peacefully.

October 28, 2007

In the name of God

i came alive
from the burning flames
while she stood there
succumbing to the political games

they slit open her womb
and flung the foetus in the pyre
who would say they are humans?
they were beasts
in human’s attire

‘in the name of god we do this’
they killed mercilessly and said
one ghastly act provoked another
and soon the untamed fire spread

six years have passed
but those screams still haunt me
the bloodbath, the horrifying sights
flash across unexpectedly and jolt me

‘you were lucky to have escaped the genocide’,
they thank the lord and say
somebody go tell them
i was saved once
but i die every single day

October 24, 2007

Urban Escape

As I drive to office, I cannot help but notice the dichotomies surrounding me at every juncture. I find myself staring at streets and pedestrians, looking for a deeper meaning hidden behind each of them - the tall buildings juxtaposed against the slums of the construction workers; an old man struggling to peddle his cycle being overtaken by a minor riding a kinetic; an empty restaurant next to a roadside tea stall thronging with customers; a man selling low-priced clothes on a hand-cart parked under a huge hoarding of Benzer; a group of IT engineers crossing the road while being cautious not to step on the coconuts and lemons sprinkled with sindoor and placed on the crossroads in order to ward off evil... Every single day I come across a new story and find myself getting lost in the details of urbanity. The multi-layered essences intrigue, inspire and enthrall me. The city in its myriad facets weaves a reality that is so hard to believe and so convenient to ignore…

October 20, 2007

A fly without its wings would be called a 'walk'.

October 18, 2007

Of Old Times and New

When I was a kid, birthdays were such a simple affair – streamers and balloons adorning the room (ma would spend the entire evening on it), home-made snacks for friends (samosas and wafers were the favs), playing passing-the-parcel and musical chairs (the best part :)) and giving away pencil box or pens as return gifts (everybody would fight for a colour of their choice). The occasion was more about having a good time with friends and family, not bothering about the shape of your cake or the colour of the wrapping paper on the return gifts.

Cut to the new-age birthday parties. First and foremost, you need to think of a theme -Barbie doll parties (where everyone dresses in pink) or jungle theme parties (where kids behave wildly as ever) are passé. Today, ‘A journey into space’ and Harry Potter themes are the favourites. Once you have decided upon a theme, plan the decoration. It doesn’t matter if it implies hiring a professional who’d charge thousands for the paper mache models and the paper cut-outs – the decoration should transform the birthday party venue (preferably a restaurant or a club-house) into a space station or Hogwart’s school of witchcraft. Invitation cards, birthday cake, games and return gifts – everything needs to be in sync with the theme. Some people go to the extent of coordinating the colours too! Such is the madness that the preparations start almost a month in advance – frenzied mothers surf the net for suggestions, the shape of the cake is decided, the cooks are booked - making the event nothing short of a marriage…infact, it’s an annual headache.

And after having attended many such parties and seen the tamasha, I wonder – is it really worth it? Whom are these people trying to please? Do the kids really want such stuff or is it the parents who are the ones conscious about their status? What was wrong with the kind of birthday parties we had? And can such celebrations match the innocence and joy of those humble parties we had not so long ago?

October 12, 2007

'ello Mr. Moth

We exist.
Life persists.
And light travels.

The planet heaves.

Moths hang around
attracted to the light
and the life of the night.

Shaam ke parvane,
they troop in,
gather their selves, and pop out.

You can see them doing the Salsa at times.

They leave behind their visiting cards:
pairs of wings you can almost see through.

Munir Kabani

October 09, 2007

Dreaming of You

there’s something about the look in your eyes
something I noticed when the light was just right
it reminded me twice that I was alive
and it reminded me that you’re so worth the fight

October 03, 2007

compromise v/s adjustment

When you reach a suitable age, your parents start getting worried about your marriage. They are more worried that you'll have some weird ideas about the kind of life partner you want. So they keep telling you, "Beta, shaadi mein thoda compromise to karna hi padta hai."

I keep saying, "I'm ready to adjust, not compromise."

Many do not differentiate between the two, but there is a stark difference.

Compromise is letting go something of your self in order to create some kind of balance in a relationship. It may become mandatory since the relationship demands it, or more often than not, because of major ego clashes.

Adjustment can be seen as a voluntary act. It's at your own free will. You think of making things better, of creating a perfect blend and hence are ready to alter the degree of one or more of your characteristics. I repeat, you alter, do not shun the characteristic completely, which happens in case of compromise.

In a relationship, two people are like two musical notes. Both the notes are equally important and have a role to play. When one is high, the other ought to be low and vice versa. Only then can they produce music that sounds melodious. Adjustment is all about moulding yourself according to the situation. When you compromise, you are losing on one of the notes and hence taking away the essence of music.

September 24, 2007

Chak De India!!!

24th September 2007 - India wins the world championship after 24 years! Call it number game or the spirit of the men in blue led by our true Indian Idol- Mr. Dhoni, the match that shall remain as one of the most glorious victories of the Indian Cricket team in years to come!! Congratulations team India :)

September 20, 2007


I was made for this moment

As the sun rises, I get ready,
put my best (read garish) clothes
and wear jewellery that shines so bright
then stand on the road-side
in a posture that is sure to attract
many a buyer

Many eyes fall on me
I know I'm the best of the lot
A man approaches and asks, "how much?"
The man next to me replies " 501"
"Not a penny more than 250"
The man agrees, takes the money
and hands me over to him

I go to his place
and am treated like some god
I'm placed on a pedestal,
showered with flowers
and offered the best food every day

Soon many people
start talking about me
and line up
just to steal a look

My popularity grows by the day
but this doesn’t last for long…

Soon they ask me to leave
Nonetheless, with the promise
That I come to their place
The next year…

"Ganpati bapa moriya
Agle baras tu jaldi aa"

September 18, 2007

On Writing

"The scariest moment is always just before you start"
Stephen King
Well, Calvin has a different viewpoint...

September 12, 2007

if life were like nails…

if life were like nails…

i would chop off the ends
when they got too ugly
or unmanageable

smoothen its rough edges
and give it a desirable shape

then apply some enamel
which leaves it shining

and gives it strength
to grow again…

August 31, 2007

@ L 5 -13

This one comes especially for my roomies, with whom i've spent some of the best moments of my life :) makuts...we rock!!

Hariyali se dhaki un galiyon mein
Humne bhi ek jahan banaya tha

Ek chote se kamre mein
Duniya ke har sukh ko paaya tha

Yaaron ke saath bitayi thi kai shaamein
Tanhaiyon mein thandi hawaon ko apnaya tha

Bin vajah kiye the jahan jhagde
Phir gale lag, ek dusre ko manaya tha

Har baat pe hasi
Har cheez mein shararat
Har pal ek naya khwaab sajaya tha

Us kamre ki woh choti khidki se
Humein ek naya aasmaan nazar aaya tha

Shayad khud hi ko khokar
Humne wahan ek naye main ko paya tha

August 27, 2007

Ratatouille - The movie review

Ratatouille may seem like a simple story of a rat named Remy who wants to become a chef, but it goes much beyond than that. It's a story that reinstates the idea that nothing is impossible to achieve. People will always ridicule you and let you down, they'll tell you time and again that you are not made for a particular task, but that shouldn’t come in your way of realizing your dreams. There may be 'ego' clashes too (ego is a food-critic in the movie), but if you have the passion and the determination, nobody can stop you from achieving what you want. It does a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and re-establishes the notion - Believe in yourself!

My favourites from the movie:

The art of cooking

Food is like music. Each thing has its own taste, just like the different sounds. But when they come together, they create a symphony of sorts. There are immense possibilities and all you need to do is close your eyes and imagine what magic can be created when these things merge. In that sense, every cook is an artist who's culinary skill strikes a chord.


Gustauve, the famous chef from Paris and Remy's mentor believes "Anyone can be a cook." It's a thought that comes across time and again in the movie, only to reinforce the idea that everyone in the world has the potential to achieve something great. You just need to realize it.


Ego, the cynical food-critic says some really beautiful lines towards the end, which are from his last article in the paper. He talks about the job of a critic - a person who simply needs to pass a word on the hardwork of someone else. Over the years, the critic may grow accustomed to his power, may become 'ego'istic, but then comes a time where he realizes his mistake.

It's a must-watch for everyone! So go ahead, have a laugh, enlighten yourself and return to comment on this post :)

August 22, 2007

There she comes..

Ah, there she comes…

With a spirit that finds solace
In the chilly wind
Which cracks her skin
And reaches out to her soul

With a silence that speaks
Of the gratitude she feels
Towards the one that lit
An unflinching fire in her heart

With restless eyes
Looking for something
She had unwilling left behind
The last time

Now her eyes light up
A smile dawns on her face

She is back to the place where she belongs -


August 09, 2007

Pune Calling!

Yayyy! Leaving for a 4 day getaway to Pune today. Been away from this beautiful city for almost 4 months and this is just the right time to be there. I have been informed by reliable sources that the weather there is awesome! All I can think of right now is the lush-green University, coffee and muska bun at good luck and hours of chit-chatting with good ol' friends…Will have more stories to share once I'm back! :)

August 08, 2007

On rains..

Seems like all good memories get evaporated
And strike on you in the form of rain
When it rains
you feel refreshed
though you sit in a room
and don't get wet
Sipping tea while it rains
Funny how a drizzle
is enough to start a flood
of thoughts

July 31, 2007

What stops us from blogging?

The following reasons are based solely on my observation and interpretation. You are free to add some more:

a) Fear. This is perhaps the most common and biggest problem. Blogs being public diaries give you an online face-value. You don't want to end up writing something rubbish. You also have the fear that perhaps your language is not fit enough to be 'published' online or not as good as your creative friends'. I would say - chill. There is only one way to overcome this fear - write, write some more and keep writing to flex those writer's muscles or else they will soon become inactive.

b) Too many ideas at one time. This is another problem with many people, including me :) . I always start with one idea but can never concentrate on it. As a result I have many unfinished works. Finally, I have realized that there is no harm in it but it shouldn't distract you to such a great extent that you do not write anything at all!

c) The perfect blend. You always want to write something which has a perfect flow - a good beginning, middle and an end. But when you sit to write, you cannot write accordingly. It's always that the writer in you clashes with the editor in you. I would suggest - let the creative juices flow. Then put on the editor's hat and give it the final touch.

d) Time. Yes, it’s one of other big reasons which we always produce when someone asks us, 'Hey, haven't seen you update your blog lately?'. I know we all have prior commitments and loads of peripheral work which requires all our attention. But it doesn’t take hours to write something, isn't it? So just log on, write something- one or two lines of how your day has been, some random thoughts, song of the day, some lyrics that kept haunting you, etc etc. These little things will help you stay in the groove.

e) Motivation. Whatever you do, you look for some kind of motivation. In case of blogs, it's the reader's comments. When you see those comments, you know someone out there is reading your blog and hence are motivated to post something more and also experiment a bit with your topics, your language. Comments help you grow as a blogger, which is something not possible with your personal diaries. So, if you read something which is good or wherein you could add something, always leave a comment. Not only does it help you in networking, but it also motivates the other person.

Like I said before, these are solely based on some talks with friends and observation. So, I many or may not be right. The reason I state the ways we can overcome this block is because I think everyone has a story to tell and blogs are a fantastic way to share them. So, keep blogging and hope to see your updated blog soon :)

July 27, 2007

The best things in life…

Smell of the rain-soaked earth
A long-distance call
Receiving an email from an old friend
Finding a ten rupee note in your washed jeans
Listening to your favourite song on the radio
Finding a pressed flower in your book
Reading funny notes you'd written during lectures
Reading old messages
Singing a stupid song in chorus with friends
A head massage after a long day
A hot shower
Laughing over a stupid joke
Having someone play with your hair
Home-made food
Girls' night out
Watching a classic
Getting your first salary
Sitting under the shade of a tree
Watching the sun set
Walking on the beach
Making maggi at midnight
The smell of coffee
Blushing when friends tease you
Having someone tell you that you're beautiful
Candle-light dinners
Walking hand in hand with the one you love
Realizing that there is so much more in life to be explored….

July 25, 2007

Who wants to be a Millionaire??

My prophecy has come true! FILMY entertainment channel is actually launching a talent hunt show called "Bathroom Singer"! (Thanks Ritu for the breaking news!) For people who have come in late : .The tagline of the show says "Jismein jitna zyaada jhaag hoga woh jeetega". Just incase people have any confusion, they have clearly stated that here 'jhaag' refers to the "entertainment quotient".

I simply cannot imagine how will they choose the participants. I have all sorts of ideas which I'd rather not mention here ;). And as far as the audience goes, imagine a participant's mother saying "Isse bachpan se hi gaane ka bahut shauk tha. Jabhi bathroom mein jaati thi, zor zor se gaati thi. Padosi bhi pareshan ho jaate the! Lekin mujhe pata tha ki iske talent to ek din zaroor mauka milega aur aaj yeh 'bathroom singer' ke floor, sorry, manch par aa pahunchi hai!"

The weirdness of this venture doesn’t end here. The prize money is an unbelievable Rs. 2.5 million, higher than all the singing talent hunt shows so far!! So who wants to be a millionaire?? I'm sure there are many takers here.

July 18, 2007

Fresss Vegetables

Last week I decided to go vegetable-shopping to Reliance Fresh with my mother. For people who are not familiar with this place, it is a chain of 'vegetable malls' started by Reliance. So you get all your tomatoes-potatoes, dals, oils, masalas, wafers and everything edible at this place. In short, it's a place where you buy vegetables in an air-conditioned atmosphere and more importantly, you cannot bargain! The prices are clearly written on a board, which is neatly placed on top of the counter. What's the fun?! So you just keep walking with the cart, keep cursing the rising prices of the vegetables and end up buying very little.

The 'vegetable mall' has surely revolutionized the way we look at this whole business of vegetable buying. However, the aunties are still learning to adapt themselves to it. So you see your Kamlaben checking every single bhindi before she puts it in the polythene. Then she puts it on the automatic weighing machine. It reads 106 gms. Naaah, that's not what she's looking for. She removes exactly 2 bhindis. The machine now reads 100 gms. Perfecttt! Her eyes lit up as if she has achieved the impossible!

While Kamlaben enjoys her moments of joy, I see my mother getting irritated by the strange mechanics of vegetable buying that she has been introduced to - the air-conditioned atmosphere, radio mirchi playing in the background, a person announcing the 'Fresss offers' on the mike…She decides that she'd rather buy the remaining vegetables from the vendors who have their carts standing just opposite the mall. So, we head out of this place and walk to the usual sabji-wallas.

The vegetables are neatly arranged on the cart, gleaming fresh with the water that has just been sprinkled on it. You can smell the fresh pudina and the green chillies. The yellow of lemons looks beautiful placed next to the red tomatoes. This time mother feels much more comfortable. She checks every vegetable with her expert hand, throws it on the weighing machine and haggles with the vendor. Her voice is loud and clear, despite the noise of the vehicles honking in the background. The vendor gives in and reduces Rs. 5 on the overall bill. I look at her and smile, giving her the 'I'm loving it!' look. Mother feels happy and we walk away with great satisfaction and two bags full of vegetables.

July 14, 2007

While She Waits

I'm scared of her. She haunts me everyday. As I climb up the stairs, I can feel her presence. Clad in her white Pakistani pyjama - kurta and head covered with a thick dupatta, she sits on the last fleet of stairs. She watches me as I take deeper breaths while climbing the last few steps. As I move around doing my work upstairs, I feel she is standing behind me, watching me carefully.

I hear some strange noise and look behind. Nobody. But I know it was her. She must be getting some kind of sadistic pleasure in watching me all tensed and sweating. She knows I have this inexplicable fear of being all alone upstairs. It's been years, but still I haven’t been able to overcome this fear.

Climbing down the stairs is the thing I dread the most. There is darkness behind me and in that darkness I know she is following me. I can feel it - she is right behind me. As I try to move ahead faster, she gets closer. It's just a matter of a few steps. My heart beats faster. I don’t want her to snatch me away. Last four steps, three, two, one, ground. She's gone. The moment I touch the ground, she vanishes. Looks like she has no power beyond the fleet of stairs.

I heave a sigh of relief. Once again I have returned safe from her territory. I have been lucky for the past 15 years. But I know, one day she'll take me away with her….

July 11, 2007

Learning to move on

While I was returning home after class today, I felt a gulp in my throat. It was a sense of loss I couldn’t decipher. A lot of things filled up my mind. Was I unhappy, shocked or just getting emotional, given the moment? I don’t know what was it that had gone wrong, but atleast I realized that something had definitely gone wrong.

It was her last day in college today. She is a professor that came across to me as a rebel, as a dreamer, as a person who always wished to accomplish something more each day. There were many who didn’t like her - called her a snob or selfish. But I knew from the first lecture that I attended that I wanted to be her. It was a secret desire and I did keep it a secret till date. It's only now, as she leaves the college that I choose to reveal it.

Indian writing in English - that's her field if specialization. It's a subject constantly surrounded with issues of identity, authenticity, and of the sense of 'Indianness'. It was not a safe subject for a college professor, I thought. Then why did she have to take it? Perhaps, she liked to do the unconventional.

As and how days passed, I felt an urge to know more about her. She taught us poems of A.K. Ramanujan. "Memories like a snake slither away at the most unexpected moments," she said while explaining one of his poems. The passion with which she taught the subject made me wonder that perhaps even she has a past that comes back to her and makes her feel uncomfortable at times. She talked about the identity of Indian-English authors but deep within she was questioning her own. It was reflected in her initiative to investigate the dilemmas of Sindhis who fled from Pakistan during Partition and settled in Gujarat.

She is a Sindhi married to a Gujarati and realized that in the bargain Sindhis had lost a lot - their land, their traditions and now are even losing on their language. I saw her battling for identity. I saw a self burning from within, wanting to break loose and make a mark for herself, a self ready to take on challenges and show to the world the person they had been underestimating all this while. In her voice, in her words, in her look I saw myself…

She made me realize that to learn something from life, you need to move on. There shouldn’t be any guilt in leaving something behind because that's how you grow. The many talks with her enlightened me, pacified me and encouraged me to take the steps that I did. She instigated the desire in me to make my dreams come true. And today, when she was leaving I couldn’t react. I saw the me in her moving away. But then, she has left a bit of her in me to keep the fire burning…

July 09, 2007

Rim jhim gire saawan

Sulag sulag jaaye mann

Bheege aaj is mausam mein

Lagi kaisi ye agan…

July 06, 2007

I feel like KKKKilling them!

God, how can someone even stand them - yes, I'm talking about the much detested K serials. A few days ago I did sit through one of those stupid programs. Feels like I went through some kind of agnipariKsha…but people, I survived! I was helpless - had fever and a severe headache and was lying on the sofa in the room. My mother entered the room realizing that it's 9 and religiously switched on the television to watch Kasautii Zindagii Kay. (don’t know why the double 'i' and why the spelling 'kay' while it is pronounced as 'ki' ??)

Mother was relieved to find that she'd simply missed the recap. And guess what? Even I thought of watching the program, since there was nothing else to do…duh. But I wanted to know what is it about these serials that women simply cannot resist. So, I gathered all courage and sat through the torture for 30 minutes.

How, no I mean HOW idiotic can any program get?? Everyone seems to be staying in a raj-mahal; there is no concept of day and night - it always seems like day, thanks to the flat lighting; there is no concept of age - you look like 25 even when you have a daughter of that age?! And yes, the men apparently never go to office and the women are always decked-up in glittering saris and loaded with matching jewellery (the latter can be witnessed in any social gathering nowadays!). There is much more than this, but even listing it down gives me a headache.

But what really got on my nerves was the editing pattern. One nonsensical sentence by a character and the camera goes dhatang dhatang (back and forth disco style) on all the peripheral characters present in a room. While one face has the expression of omigod, the other simply says OH…MY…GAWD. At the end of the day, all of them give the same expression. But do not underestimate the editor. He has other ways of showing astonishment, anger, sorrow, etc. The camera goes whoosh ( left to right), then whoosh (right to left) and another whoosh (tilting from top to bottom). So it serves as some kind of a repeat telecast. If you missed it once, here we are showing it to you the second time. Oh, you missed it again? Never mind, we are here to go whoosh even the third time.
The more whooshes, the more dhatang dhatangs on various characters, the better the registration amongst audience- well, that's what the editors think.

Thankfully, there were more advertisements during the serial, which were far more entertaining than the program. At the end of those 30 minutes, my head started to ache even more severely (what else could you expect?). But I still cannot decide who is more dim-witted - the makers of the serial or the viewers...

July 02, 2007

Colours of Paradise

Ochre - not yellow, not brown, something in between
Grey - just a drop of black in the white so clean

Violet - blue and green merge to create a sight so captive
But beware, for looks can be deceptive!

Green - the blue sky and yellow sun come alive
Nurturing a colour that breathes new life

Orange- the fire in yellow gets more wild
Engulfs a tinge of red and makes it mild

Pink - the softness of white gets more loveable
Embraces the feminine and makes it adorable

Blue - each hue so different, different stories it tells,
Some of a precious stone, while some of rains spells

June 27, 2007

Rain-soaked memories

In the labyrinth streets of my mind, memories find their place in every nook and corner. As I pass through these, I notice some rain-soaked memories tucked away in a corner - under a shed to help them from fading away. These are some handful memories of the days wrapped in the smell of the earth, the hot puffs from the bhajiyas and the endless cups of teas. While some are wrapped in an inexplicable search for the purpose of my being, some are full of fond memories with an evening spent with a loved one.

I have spent many evenings all by myself; walking alone on a path that leads nowhere and taking in whatever nature has to offer - rain, splashes, insects. On this journey though, I did ask myself many questions - why I was here in this city, away from home; what is it that I plan to achieve; what is it that I want to do 3 months down the line when I'll be compelled to leave this city and go back to my hometown. I needed time with myself - to answer these questions, rather to simply raise these questions. And there, on the lonely path, walking on soaked leaves and saving myself from splashes , I experienced many doubts being washed away from my mind and feeling one with the purpose of being here.

Now as it watch the raindrops from the window of my office, I can't help but think of the rainy day I asked myself, "What is it that I want to be?". It's another rainy day, in another city and I crave for the puzzled me who asked that question. I didn’t have any directions then and was head bound to find one, rather make a path for myself. I loved the restlessness, the passion, the many questions that left me sleepless at night. The showers instigated me to answer those questions. It was as if it were saying, "Here I am, pouring on the earth - the place where I belong. Where is your destiny taking you?" There was a perplexed me, a mystified me, a confused yet ambitious me who wanted to answer the rains.

Yes, it's another rainy day, in another city, so what is it that's bothering me? I'm cozy and comfortable in the four walls of this office. So what if I cannot run out and soak myself in the rain, but watch it from the glass windows? So what if I cannot smell the earth or feel the cool breeze? While it pours, I get a glimpse of the perplexed me standing in front of me. Drenched in the showers from head to toe, she smirks at me and asks, "Is this what you wanted to be?". There is no reply. Not yet.

June 25, 2007

An Unbearable Wait

dreams await
wishes call out to me
wait longer, they say
the fruit shall be sweeter

let me go, i say…
to my surprise, they let me
i move ahead, full of joy
and rush to open the door

only to find myself
in a bigger cage…

June 06, 2007

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you.... The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'"

June 01, 2007

On bathroom singing...

I do not have a sweet voice. But that doesn’t deter me from singing, atleast not in the bathroom! One tumbler of water and the Lata Mangeshkar in me comes to life. Seriously, what is it about bathrooms and water that you can't help singing in the most horrible voice that has been granted to you?!

Ok, I guess I've figured out some good reasons:

1) You need to do some kind of timepass- obviously, how can you just pick a tumbler and pour water on you all the time?! You need some entertainment bhai...

2) Nobody ever listens to you. So the bathroom serves as a vent for all your pent up feelings. Atleast you can listen to your own voice.

3) The closed 'room' with the shower in your hand makes you feel like you are standing (or sitting, whatever you prefer!) in a karaoke studio and are about to come out with your debut album. SOLO ofcourse ;)

4) It's a good place to practice your singing skills which nobody ever appreciates. Who knows you may enter the next Maha (or is it Vishwa?) Yudh and become the 'Voice of India'!

5) And the most important : You are all alone in the bathroom so no matter how bad you sing, nobody can do anything!

And there are interesting features too that I have cited:

1) The songs HAVE to be fast-numbered or else it slows the pace at which you bathe. You see, the beats of the songs are directly proportional to the speed of bathing. And there are very rare occasions that you can spend hours in bathing.

2) The songs are majorly from the latest flicks, mostly the ones that Radio Mirchi plays in the morning. Only at times do I feel like singing good ol' songs like 'Kabhie-Kabhie', which eventually I have to fast forward due to unavailability of time.

3) Yet another important feature of bathroom singing is that it teaches you to adapt yourself to different situations. Imagine this: you are singing 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' (which happens to be my latest favourite) It is the time for you to apply some face wash. Obviously, you cannot continue singing but nothing can stop you from humming. So you continue humming the next stanza with all kinds of alterations in the pitches as your hand moves over the cheeks or the nose.

4) And it definitely evokes creativity. See for yourself - the songs get a personal touch when the latest events become a part of the song. It can be some political event, some problem at home, the name of your loved ones and so on.

Bathroom singing is god's gift to all of us! So do not, I repeat - DO NOT pass off bathroom singing as something frivolous. You never know, in future there might be some competition like 'Bathroom Idol'.

If you too have any logic for bathroom singing or any bathroom favourites, do share it! :)

May 29, 2007

May 23, 2007

Diamonds are forever

Finally! After more than 2 days of grueling, around 10-15 'fresh' concepts, and hours of introspection, one of my concepts was finalized…phew! Firstly the clients are never clear about what they want :

"You make something that gives a corporate feel." Eh…what do you mean by that?

"Ok, make something that talks greatly of our company". Well…that’s what we are paid to do anyways

"Oh, then why don’t you think about some concept and show it to us after 2 days." As usual, not at all focused.

Anyways, when I did make a few concepts, they said,

"Well, this is not what we want." Is it? Then why don’t you just vomit out what you want?

"Value - yes, make something on values." Hmm…that doesn’t help either but atleast something is better than nothing.

So another 2 days, loads of brain storming and at the eleventh hour my muse gets active and I hurriedly write a concept. I show it to my boss, he looks at me, and says, "Wow! That’s nice…that’s one of the best concepts I've seen lately. Minimum words, great impact!"

Whoa! I never expected a compliment like that from my boss. And then he adds, "Well, the client wants the complete film in 4 days. Just wish that they approve of it." BANG. So the grueling is still not over. I just wish the client likes this one, not because I've worked really hard on this but because I think this will really look great visually. Well, I forgot to tell you about the client - they are one of the biggest diamond dealers of Gujarat! I don't mind getting a solitaire as a reward for good work ;)

May 18, 2007

Coffee and conversations

In a country that thrives on tea-drinking populace, a coffee joint would have never been a profitable venture. Or so we thought. Just look around and you will see the shift in the 'drink' that people prefer now. Coffee joints like Barista, CCD, Mochas and others have given rise to a whole new culture- the coffee culture. They attract teens and college crowd who are purely after making an impression . So you would hear pseudo accents, narrating pseudo stories among pseudo friends - all at an attractive price that brings you the not-so-good coffee.

I have been to this new generation coffee joints but I loathe the coffee they offer. With all its fancy names and sky rocketing prices, what they offer is least impressive. I'd rather have a coffee at the nearby tapri for something less than Rs. 10 and still be satisfied. And weren’t coffee joints meant for some quiet time with friends and more so with yourself? Ah, ofcourse these joints offer you that facility - with games, loud music, the guitar kept on one side, the cozy couches and the fancy snacks, they do make sure that you spend quality time out there.

Nonetheless I do visit these places at times just to observe the crowd - they are young and hungry for attention. Clad in the latest fads and lingos, the girls and boys try their best to look upbeat with the cuppa coffee in their hands. The place compels them to behave in a particular manner and that inturn turns out to be a complete turn off.(too many turns here!)

But you cannot deny the fact that these places have surely been successful in spreading a culture that goes beyond the drink. So, if you are at some place where you are asked "coffee or tea?" and you answer "coffee", it means you are the young and restless, cool and happening kind of person, image-conscious, fashion savvy, intellectual types. And if you say "tea", it would mean you are like any other local round the corner, who works and sweats and comes home and has tea and is not aware about the latest fads and book releases.

In an attempt to make even tea-drinkers look hep, a tea joint was set up here in Ahmedabad, called 'Tea Centre'. The greatest irony is that this place is set up right above a Barista. Next to the most popular coffee joint there are almost invisible stairs which take you to this small and cozy place. I believe I must have been to this place more than I have been to a coffee joint. I simply love the interiors of this place - white and light green in colour, it gives you a feeling of freshness. You can watch the busy crossroads from its glass walls while you sip one of the 20 plus variety of teas this place has to offer! Though the strategy of both the places is the same - cool interiors, great variety and not-so-humble prices- the 'Tea Centre' still breeds the kind of people who come there for the love of the national drink rather than being seen as a part of a status symbol.

But there is nothing that beats the simplicity of the old Iranian coffee joint in Pune called 'Good Luck'. Situated on the road which gets its name from the famous college on it - Fergusson- 'Good Luck' has been serving for more than 5 decades now. It rests on a crossroads little ahead of Barista and CCD and still throughout the day it throngs with people who have literally been fed on its coffees and muska buns over the years. The many windows draw in the traffic noise, the waiters run hither thither in sweaty uniforms and the people walk-in in bathroom slippers and a worn out t-shirt. Still, this place is more genuine than any of the new coffee joints. A steaming cup of coffee served with maska bun loaded with butter that melts in your mouth after being dipped in the coffee….ummmm. Absolutely divine.

And as I walk out of this place I spot a Mochas round the corner. The dim lights and the smell of vanilla and strawberry flavoured hookahs make it look like some suspicious place. I read the phrase "coffee and conversations" and ask myself "is it?"

May 16, 2007

The Broken Image

In January 2004, I attented the first literary seminar of my life - the Katha Seminar. By far, it has been one of my most memorable trips to Delhi - the literary talks, the many movies at the film fest, the Delhi winters...I enjoyed every minute of it! The seminar opened a whole new world for me and I realized that there is life beyond classroom lectures. Not that I didn't know about it earlier, just that it hit me the strongest during this seminar and compelled me to take a step ahead. It was precisely at this point that I decided that I would pursue my Masters in Media Studies.

I attented several workshops at the seminar and one of it was a workshop on poetry writing conducted by George Szirtes - a renowned poet from Europe, who has also extensively worked in the field of translation ( During the workshop he asked us to think of an object, personify it and use it as the subject of our poem. After 15 minutes I had in hand the first poem I'd ever written. This one holds a special place for me. Let's see if you can guess what is the object that is personified here :)

But once I was
Loaded with images
like books stacked
shelf after shelf,
I could see everything-
yes, everything
But myself…

The hidden tear
The child's fear
The first grey hair
Following an unknown path
Leading nowhere

But now,
A thin line cuts deep through me
Like a once bountiful
but now dried up sea
And I can still see it all..
The hidden tear
The child's fear
Alas! I'm hacked in two
They don’t come near...

May 15, 2007

The first step...

it's just a matter of minutes and it's done! why the hell did it take so long for me to start my blog? i was always looking for the 'right moment' - don't know what that means 'cos i just had to click a few buttons to start blogging. Today, finally i said- well, i have to start blogging, no matter what. So, here i am finally with my blog. I've got loads to say, loads to write and loads to share. And finally i have a space of my own to do this...i'm so excited! :)