Thursday, September 18, 2014

Penumbra

Her voice echoes
In the empty chambers of my heart
Whose walls once cemented with love
Beaten, black and blue

The abuse of silence
The equation unbalanced
Everynight is a fight
Between you and your memories

The attack of desultory thoughts
Mixed in anger and regret
In the reflection of dying fire
Refuses to die

Every drop of pain, moving
In search of palliation..like
A raindrop on a glass window, moving
In search of elysian happiness

Oh the ostentatious laughter
Oh the misery of acutest kind
Oh the pretentious smile
Oh the impatient longing

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A lot can happen over coffee..

A beautiful monsoon weather sans rain. Here I am, sitting at Starbucks KP, observing people.

Next to two empty tables in front of me, a young couple, perhaps in college having heated discussion on a unique topic- Positive Attention! Wonder what does that mean..

Idle brain is devil's workshop and I decided to eavesdrop.

Broadcasting Live..

The upstairs of this store leads to a balcony with few coffee tables.

Two children are playing beside me, banging the big glass wall to get their mom's attention; their mom is sitting on the other side of the glass. They are making it impossible to eavesdrop. Also too much of honking on the street, difficult to concentrate on the couple's conversation. I have to improve my listening skills.

The young girl has shifted her topic to crushes and confession pages. She says some kind of confession would have had made her day.

She likes music and books. Great choices!

The girl is garrulous. The guy is suave. The guy is wearing a geeky black specs. I cannot see the girls face as she is sitting facing the guy. She is wearing blue top and has her hair untied.

Ok here it came- the topic of marriage! The guy just said "You change the diaper and I feed" The girl is definitely leaving, I thought. Or atleast will defend but to my surprise she is not defending but giving an example of probably a distant relative of how he literally changed after marriage, emphasising on the word literally.

Conclusion: the girl is not a feminist vampire and is relying on reasoning.

Thankfully the children have gone but the honking on the street continues.

Next topic - How relationship works! Both giving examples of their friends. The girl asked if he has any fears. Fear of water, he said. Embarrassed by his own answer, the guy tried to take sweet revenge and joked if she watches Fear Factor too much.

Now the guy starts his favourite topic! He mentions one of his favourite songs whose lyrics is all about sex. Coincidentally, the girl has listened to this song. They are unanimously talking in one voice now.

This topic has lead to parenting and openness of society.

"The more open the parents are, the less mistakes their children make", said the girl.

Interesting quote! Have to ponder if it holds true. Her mother is very open minded, she chirped.

She is 17, too young. Her birthday falls on 16th October 1997. I was wrong they must be in school.

The new generation (at 17) talking about sex, marriage, relationship, parenting et al.

I wonder what I use to talk when I was 17? Got the answer! Cricket it was.

Time to go! My coffee is over!

Oh, and the girl is wearing white shorts.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Why Modi Should Become The Prime Minister

According to Economic Times, at 63, Narendra Modi is clocking more than 100 rallies a month with an average of 4 rallies per day. Unlike the chaos that usually marks an Indian election campaign; a typical day in the life of Narendra Modi is a meticulously planned affair. His travails start at 5 am with Yoga and end in bed by 1 am. In between lays hectic campaign to blossom 272+ Lotus thereby dismantling the adamantine wall of Congress.

The element of conjecture and speculation surrounding in the media is that if Modi becomes PM he will steer economic policy, titivate foreign policy, lit up fire in Cimmerian darkness and what not. It cannot be said with certainty whether he can do this or cannot do that but one thing is sure that his work ethics will instill faith in millions of passionate young Indians.

Faith when blended with passion can produce wonders.

His meteoric rise from nobody to somebody will make an 18 year old of impatient desire cock-sure that one doesn’t need to be born with a silver spoon; with hard work, dedication, and determination one can achieve what he/she wants in life. Unlike uninspiring leadership of Manmohan Singh, his leadership is ardent and self-assured laced with great oratory skills. With a carte blanche style of functioning, he will ensure bureaucrats do not underestimate themselves and ministers do not overestimate themselves as had happened during UPAs regime.

His critics have had left no stone unturned to sustain fictions for several years. For 12 years (still on), the general prejudice against him in the media was so violent that it needed a miracle to place him in an amiable light. He has strained every nerve of his to fight the loathsome campaign against him. He has shown how to handle success; how to handle failure; how to handle criticisms; how to ignore hatred of shenanigans; how to bask in love of supporters and most importantly how to turn adversary into realm of opportunity.

The figure on the sand of times has reached a substantial sum; 10 years of little growth would suffice for a generation to become impatient. Before the abdomen of youths, heavily charged with molten lava explodes, the nation needs a good keeper to ensure that the country is not set on fire.

Will he become the Prime Minister?

After 16th May, the answer to this question will serve as a pointer to the future.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Choices I Had

I thought of becoming a Doctor,for one-I had handwriting & I knew the difference b/w pulmonary arteries & pulmonary veins. Then XYZ sex determination chromosome(punishable) forced me to quit

I thought of becoming a Lawyer,for one-I had good vocal cords and argumentative skills. Then I realized I cannot become a lawyer as everyone understands what I say

I thought of becoming a Gambler(share market),for one–I had the recipe of success : analytical skill, probabilistic skill and tenacity. Then I realized recipes don’t work without salt. Salt=Luck

I thought of becoming an Indian Novelist,for one–I had naturally occurring grammatical erring skills. Then I realized constructing a perfect sentence is the not the easiest thing in the world

I thought of becoming a Comedian,for one-I had timing and content. Then I was too strong to make fun of myself or too lean to make fun of others

After failing in the above vocations, I become an Engineer and got an IIM tag

*IIM= Indian, IT and Male

Saturday, February 1, 2014

'Red' Face of Arvind Kejriwal

When Gopal Krishna Gokhale said "What Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow" he had AAP in mind. Delhi and West Bengal are locking their horns to take each other's idiosyncrasies. Delhi is hell bent to become Bengal while Bengal always wanted its pride of having the capital - Rape capital, if not capital. Let’s see some core policies of AAP.

Fight against Corruption:- The loudest noise on the streets of Delhi today is the silence of Kejriwal on Shiela Dixit. Justice Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party has come out with a list of corrupt politicians which includes names like Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi et al. The certificate distributing university of AAP didn’t include Shiela Dixit’s name, who was indicted by Shunglu Committee which investigated the CWG scam. Furthermore, the 370 pages proof which Justice Kejriwal himself had submitted to the Police before Delhi election was not enough for Mrs. Dixit to make the elite list. It’s only a matter of time when in Delhi Courts, the white statue of blindfolded Lady Justice holding a weighing scale and a sword will be replaced by the statue of Justice Kejriwal, wearing AAP cap and holding broom in both the hands. Within one month Delhi has been declared corruption free but Kejriwal doesn't have any legitimate evidentiary support to back his assertion rendering it incongruous.

Mohalla Sabhas :- There is little difference between Mohalla Sabha/Area Unions and Trade Union of Bengal or Khap Panchayat of Haryana. All are known for its vigilante justice. Mohalla Sabha is an organization of unelected mobs who are supposed to do bear the torch of doing justice without being held responsible or accountable. It leads to chaos culminating in dangerous and brutal society. What happened in Birbhum gang rape case? A 20 year old girl was brutally gang raped by 13 men on orders of Panchayat as punishment. Delhi health minister, Satyendra Jain dismissed the existing hospital management societies, the Rogi Kalyan Samitis, and that Aam Aadmi Party volunteers, with their trademark caps, were conducting inspections and helping out with administration in government hospitals, apparently without formal orders.

Look at the incident of Somnath Bharti's vigilante style raid on African nationals at Khirki extention. Delhi has always been xenophobic and even considers people of North East India as intruders (ban on the word Chinki by SC). May be few Africans were involved in sex/drug racket but arresting women(without warrants) at night and branding the whole African community as nuisance creator is obnoxious. Recently, an Arunachal Pradesh student (son of Congress MLA of Assam) was beaten to death by a mob in South Delhi, in an alleged racist attack. This directionless enthusiasm will create a fear among expats and migrants hurting the image of India globally. Governance is certainly not a de rigueur for AAP but dharna which holds a state to ransom, is its birth right. With mindless dharna can anyone have his way? Aren't we setting a dangerous precedent? The latest AAP theatrics had carried an immense security risk around Republic Day but thanks to law of diminishing returns, faced by hamletian dilemma- To Hold or Not to Hold, Kejriwal called off his dharna asserting false victory in front of media shutterbugs which provides oxygen to AAP.

Subsidy: - Subsidy is justified to be an effective instrument policy when it promotes not only equality but also growth. AAP’s water subsidy fails on both fronts. The intelligent acrobats had announced subsidy of 666 liters of free water a day to households who have meters but no free water for a large chunk of households(generally poor) who don’t have meters. Secondly, for a 3 member family 666 liters of water per day is more than enough and to believe basic human nature, anything free will be over consumed and wasted. But for a family of say 8-10 people, 666 liters of water won’t suffice and the said family ends up consuming less and paying more as any usage beyond 666 liters shall be charged. This decision was obviously political opportunism than sound ratiocination. AAP had made many false promises which they need to fulfill by hook or by crook. They never had any policies hence took succor in easiest way of governance –providing subsidy. Swaminathan Aiyar, a known critic of Narendra Modi, had showered encomium on Modi for solving water problems (Read here and here) in Gujarat which is a drought prone state, with 70% of its area classified as semi-arid and arid. Moreover, AAP promised to cut the power bill by 50%. The rationale provided by Kejriwal for increase in power tariffs was corruption in power companies. Instead of eliminating corruption, he took the easiest route and provided power subsidy. Isn't this self contradictory? Well hypocrisy is supposedly post-colonial. Shouldn't he had waited for audit of power companies to complete instead of burdening the exchequer?

Until now Kejriwal has been judged by prism of his good intention. But however a good intention may be, a bad idea is a bad idea. For example, if management of private corporations implements a bad policy, the company goes bankrupt and its shareholders take a hit. In case of public policy, if government implements a bad idea then the taxpayer bears the brunt. In both cases, the role of intention is redundant. Time and again Kejriwal has taken stands only to relent. AAP’s popularity is rapidly fading among middle class voters and is left with support base of only urban poor – auto rickshaw drivers, daily wage laborers et al. The much celebrated celebrities (Meera Sanyal, V. Balakrishnan ,Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai) who joined AAP with media fanfare have either hibernated themselves or openly critical of the party’s functioning.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sachin: The Immortal of India

“His life was gentle, and the elements so mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up and say to the entire world, This was a man”

– Shakespeare



Sachin’s career can be divided into two eras: pre ‘99 and post ‘99. During most of the ‘90s, he was a one man army when batting and a man with golden arms when bowling. Post 99’ era, the likes of Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman shared the onus of the Indian batting line up.

[The initial days of Sachin post ’99 era were marked with tennis elbow injury. He subsided his usual aggression and stopped coming down to the pitch to launch projectiles of sixes destined for apogee. He began to rely more on placements and boundaries. He also experimented with his batting position by coming down the order. The losing streak of the team India aggravated the situation. These events resulted in some aficionados turning fans and some fans turning critics. I can put a wager that there was not a single critic of Sachin in pre ’99 era. ]

As they say, childhood memories are most savoring therefore following are the two special memories of pre ’99 era:-

1. An indelible memory of Sachin would be the semi-final innings of 141 against Australia at Sharjah in 1998. On that day, he was like a kamikaze waiting to explode. The two sixes off Michael Kasprowicz at deep mid wicket boundary and that coupled with euphonic commentary of Tony Grieg set the tone for an amazing match. Dancing down to the pitch to hit Warne’s googly over the top with a puckish straight bat was a feast for the eyes. For the first time, Aussies saw the fearlessness hidden under that 5 ft 5” minuscule body.

2. Another indelible memory of Sachin would be the hysteria that enveloped me after the defeat in the 1996 World Cup semi-finals against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens. I remember when my Dad, an ardent cricket follower, optimistically stopped me from bursting strings of Lady bomb after India won the Quarter Finals against Pakistan. I vividly remember his words-“Don’t finish..save for Semi Finals against Sri Lanka”. [On that day] Sachin’s batting was a treat to watch when he hit every bowler down to the ground. He was batting in full zeal when obliviously he got stumped on 63 while sweeping Murlidharan. After his dismissal, the ball started taking 180 degree turn and the whole team fell like a pack of cards. Moment of grief struck my sinking heart, aggravated by Kamli’s uncontrollable pooling from the tear glands. I swear, I would have painted the town red with my Lady bombs had India won.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

General Election 2014- Prognosis

No States No of cons. B.J.P I.N.C
1 Andhra Pradesh 42 1 12
2 Arunachal Pradesh 2 1 1
3 Assam 14 5 7
4 Bihar 40 15 0
5 Chhattisgarh 12 9 2
6 Goa 2 2 0
7 Gujarat 26 22 4
8 Haryana 10 1 5
9 Himachal Pradesh 4 3 1
10 Jammu & Kashmir 6 1 2
11 Jharkhand 14 8 2
12 Karnataka 28 10 16
13 Kerala 20 0 8
14 Madhya Pradesh 29 24 5
15 Maharastra 48 15 15
16 Manipur 2 0 1
17 Meghalaya 2 0 2
18 Mizoram 1 0 0
19 Nagaland 1 0 1
20 Orrisa 21 1 4
21 Punjab 13 2 4
22 Rajasthan 25 20 5
23 Sikkim 1 0 0
24 Tamil Nadu 39 0 3
25 Tripura 2 0 2
26 Uttrakhand 5 4 1
27 Uttar Pradesh 80 30 10
28 West Bengal 42 0 5
1 Andaman & Nicobar 1 1 0
2 Chandigarhr 1 0 0
3 Dadar & Nagar Haveli 1 1 0
4 Daman & Diu 1 1 0
5 Delhi 7 5 2
6 Lakshadweep 1 0 1
7 Pondicherry 1 0 0
Total 545 182 121


Note :- As of July 2013 before the anointment of Narendra Modi as PM candidate of BJP.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I will never forgive Tendulkar


I will never forgive you for reddening my palm during India vs Australia final at Sharjah (1998). I was only 11 year old.

I will never forgive you for keeping me awake till 3 am just to watch your boring cover drives and stupid straight drives during Toronto cup (late 90’s). I had to go to school next day.

I will never forgive you for playing with MRF bats. I had spent months of my pocket money buying a stupid heavy bat labeled MRF.

I will never forgive you for trusting your team-mates (to score 17 runs) after getting out on 136 vs Pakistan at Chepauk (1999). India lost the match by 12 runs.

I will never forgive you for your blatant show off of Patriotism during 1999 world cup. It had been only two days since your father passed away and you came back and scored 140* against Kenya.

I will never forgive you for walking without protest after being adjudged SBW-Shoulder Before Wicket, during India vs Australia test series (2000). You didn’t learn anything from Gavaskar.

I will never forgive you for the indelible moment of sixes off Akhtar and Caddick during the 2003 world cup. I have only one brain with limited memory.

I will never forgive you for being the first man on the planet to score a double century. I lost a wager that if anyone could score then it would be Sehwag.

I will never forgive you for not reacting to criticisms and let your bat do the talking with records recorded for posterity.

I will never forgive you for preserving your dignity and integrity in the shower of money, when cricketers were stripped of their respect in the chalice of avarice in 2000.

I will never forgive you for holding the Titan cup in your hand wearing a white cap. I have always preferred MRF in your hand with blue on your head.

And lastly, I will never forgive you for retiring from cricket. God never retires.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Movie Review- Ye Jawani Hai Deewani


There is Siddharth Mallya and then there is Ranbir Kapoor; both born to purple and inherited DNA of great potential. The former is an unmitigated disaster while the latter has signature of class and stamp of authority. Ranbir Kapoor arrived in the industry with a towel carrying an onus of huge expectations of the Kapoor lineage. Since then he has grown leaps and bounds, and has now reached a height where everything he does appears natural and effortless. It’s incredible how much of talent is stored in his 6 foot framework. In his entire but short oeuvre, he has already turned into a poster boy of young India, blazing a trail for others to follow. Girls adore him while guys imitate. He set the trend of photography in Wake Up Sid (Cannon & Nikon should be grateful to him for the surge in the sale of SLRs) and after this movie globetrotting and ear piercing are next.

Precaution encourages caution and a caution plays a significant role in prevention. If you belong to a tribe who like to watch a movie which makes sense then prevention is better than cure. The movie has clich├ęs, weak storyline and tad slow second half but the performance, songs and glamour overrides them. Bunny aka Kabir Thapar (Ranbir) is a new age cool guy who was an LLB (Lord of Last Bench) in school, believes in philandering which keeps him healthy and has no marriage no children type attitude. He has a scrapbook which contains to-do list of globetrotting and he wants to realize his dreams with no strings attached. In his other to do list is Naina (Deepika Padukone), who is simple, studious and geeky medical student in the first half but turns luscious, ambrosial, and captivating lady in the second half.

Naina joins Bunny and his two friends on a trek to the Himalayas in Manali. Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur) is unshorn helpless inebriated loser while Aditi (Kalki Koelchin), wild and impulsive, is a treat to watch in a new avatar. Naina falls in love with self-absorbed Bunny but before she could accost, he goes to the US to pursue his dream, leaving behind his friends sulking. After eight short years he comes back to attend Aditi’s lavish wedding in Udaipur and then the movie becomes unpredictably predictable. At the end, Bunny had to choose between his to do list of globetrotting and his other to do list -Naina. Given the inexplicable need of human contact, he chooses what every guy worth his salt will choose after looking at the contours of Naina’s body.

Ayan Mukerjee tried adding some parts from his previous hit Wake Up Sid but fails miserably. The hostile relation between Bunny and Avi looks unconvincing when compared with Sid and Rishi of WUS. While Farooq Sheikh (Bunny’s father) and Bunny’s not so strained relationship does start an emotional wheel reeling but was ephemeral. The movie questions the moral story of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Review) which tried to impale the audience to follow your dream whatever it takes.

Pritam’s music has always been soothing to the senses wherever it might have come. The not so sufi song, Kabira, will touch every single chord in your heart. Badtameez Dil and Balam Pichkari will be the flavors of this wedding season. The brilliant choreography complements the songs. Madhuri Dixit looks gorgeous as ever in her item number. The cinematography is colorful and glossy as anyone would expect from a Karan Johar movie. The editor could have done a better job as the second half stretches a bit and becomes slow.

Inspite of not so good script, Ranbir and Deepika saves Ayan Mukerjee from being a disaster. A fun watch!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Obituary: Bal Thackray


It can be said with impunity that the greatest Maratha after Shivaji who upheld the Marathi pride was Balasaheb Thackray. If people lived by rule book so did he, only the rules were his own and the rule book was written by him. Balasaheb started his career as a cartoonist and was acclaimed for his witty display of uncanny humor through his cartoons. In 1960's he started his own journal Marmik that turned to be his entry point into the political arena. Then a major turning point came when his articles germinated the perduring idea of insider-outsider. It had been only thirteen years when modern India came out of external invasion to foray into the penumbra of internal division. Through his publication he planted weeds in the caste jungle of India targeting Gujaratis, Marwaris & South Indians for taking up supposedly local Marathi jobs and began to fertilize those weeds. He announced that people should boycott Hindi movies produced by south Indians till the protest against Hindi movies in Tamil Nadu continues. His jibes on south Indians were like a poison edged shard;the infamous slogan at one of his rallies -“Bajao Pungi, Hatao Lungi” (Remove South Indians by kicking them). This insider-outsider debate became the totem pole of his political ideologue which culminated in launching his own political party , Shiv Sena, infront of a massive crowd on Dussehra at Shivaji Park in 1966.

This fearless Maratha coined the term Marathi Manoos and soon gravitated huge Marathi support in Mumbai. The ratiocination behind the term being, the soil belongs to son-of-soils. His biggest strength was his unadulterated love for Marathi Manoos. Listening to his nuncupative speeches firing joule, thousands of Shiv Sainiks would rally behind him. His psychic oratory was all evident: his phrases offered hope and acted as a security blanket against the bitter winds of joblessness to the locals. As political oratory opens door to power, Shiv Sainiks wrested the control of several trade unions from the Communist Party of India across Mumbai. By 1980’s he consolidated his position by winning Bombay Municipal elections.

During the early 90’s, Balasaheb sensed where the political wind was blowing and being an astute politician he quickly transformed himself and became the apostle of Ram Janambhoomi movement along with the BJP. With the demolition of Babri Masjid the fortune for BJP changed and sailing on country’s pro Hindutva current, Balasaheb went on a image makeover and turned himself into a staunch Hindu. His new target were Muslims. The role of Shiv Sena in 1992-93 Mumbai riots gave him the tag of Hindu Hriday Samrat. He was non hypocritical and never minced his words in accepting the role of Shiv Sainiks in the riots. He even criticised BJP for shying away from owning up the responsibility for Babri Masjid demolition. He went one step ahead and said with chutzpah "If nobody was involved then my Sainiks were involved in the demolition of Babri. Do whatever you can. Garv se kaho hum Hindu hai(Be proud to be a Hindu)"

He soon started building Shiv Sena citadels all across Maharastra. His citadels were sprouting in rural Maharashtra and his travails from race to power came up when Sena-BJP alliance swept the 1995 Maharastra Assembly polls. The oath ceremony of the new government was not conducted in Raj Bhavan as per the custom. It was held at Shivaji Park in presence of a mammoth gathering. The photo op moment was when Manohar Joshi, the sworn-in Chief Minister, first bowed to touch Balasaheb’s feet and then took the oath.

Balasaheb had become a cult personality who transformed Maharastra politics by becoming the anodyne master of Marathis Manoos. He openly smoked pipe, drank beer and wore his trademark dark glasses. He became the colossal figure who without holding any public office was dominant and powerful. The fact of the matter was he had people’s support and that made him matter of fact. Every year Shiv Sainiks would line up for his infamous annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park and drink fearlessness from his disposition.

Whenever Balasaheb drew the line in Mumbai, he didn't doodle on the sand. He was straightforward and balked every law which he never believed. Whenever he roared, Mumbai halted and nobody had the audacity to touch him...not even the government. Bal Thackray ruled Mumbai. It is believed that Sunil Dutt, the then Congress MP, pleaded before Balasaheb for the release of his son Sanjay Dutt, found guilty of possessing arms & ammunition, even though Congress was in power during 1992-93. The most interesting story is when in 1995 the then chairperson of Enron International, Rebecca Mark, visited Balasaheb at his residence, "Matoshree", to overcome Sena’s opposition to the Enron project in the state. Another instance of his larger than life personality was when Michael Jackson went to "Matoshree" to get clearance for his sole concert in India.

Balasaheb’s view on India’s relationship with Pakistan is well known. He was vehemently against any engagement with Pakistan: be it diplomatic ties or sports. On one encounter the Shiv Sainiks dug up Ferozeshah Kotla pitch in Delhi before the start of the test match between India & Pakistan. We may not agree with his style of politics but he was a true nationalist. He was a rare combination of religious pride layered with multiple coating of patriotism. He launched an Ambulance Service for Mumbai and today Shiv Sena has fleets of Ambulance plying on the roads. As the story goes, after Amitabh Bachchan got severely injured while shooting for his film Coolie in Bangalore, he was brought to Mumbai to get admitted in Breach Candy Hospital. Balasaheb asked the party workers to send an ambulance to carry Bachchan to the hospital. It was the first ambulance of the party. Renowned author and nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul said Shiv Sena is the only party which cared about the health and hygiene of the city's poorest.

But as age took over him the elan that he possessed slowly started waning. First, the Sena-BJP combo lost the 1999 assembly election and never recovered followed by the big stalwarts of the party: Sanjay Nirupam, Chaghan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane quit Shiv Sena and joined Congress. The biggest jolt of his life came when his nephew, Raj Thackray, floated his own party Maharastra Navnirman Sena eating into the Sena-BJP vote bank. Before he kicked the bucket, his last solace was 2012 Mumbai Civic poll where Sena-BJP combo splendidly won. Today he made the city sleep which never slept.

To quote Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat: - Full of life, Balasaheb Thackeray was an epitome of courage & valour