Monday, November 09, 2009

2009 - year now... gone soon

The world has changed since the last time I logged into this site(a year ago). And, changed it has drastically & dramatically - more so for some Wall street smarts who find themselves in a highly impoverished, sticky corner.
That said, we all know change is inevitable, and important. It is one constant on plant earth that needs no further mathematical expression. The Gita talks about it. Every philosopher who walked the earth extolled on it. Change defines our history, our past glories and fun stories. Mythologically speaking we could call it the brahmastra, all primed and ready to go. In Potter style, it is always lurking in the shadows, not necessarily the dark alleys, ready to sweep in and take shape whether we are ready for it or not. ready
As I look back on the year, I wonder what's really changed... you may say it's not time yet for this - we are only in Nov. It's not too early, trust me. In fact, I am afraid we are too late. There is no better time to analyse it than now. And I am not talking only chronologically.
Eat this: The MAHA govt gets sworn in 17 days after election results. Drink this: India lose another cricket series and half the nation has an expert opinion on Indian cricket yet again. Sleep on this: we are having problems aplenty with our padosans - Ziddi _Pakistan & Buddhi _China. Big brother ain't letting us have our way and btw, Obama wins Nobel Peace. Bollywood continues to dish out more flop movies in a year than any other film industry in the world. Rakhi Sawant records more air time than Manmohan Singh. Vande Mataram becomes a source of difference of opinion. Indian Airlines is seeing RED and so are passengers. Delhi Metro threatened after bridge collapses. Big BOSS house is more more interesting and profit generating than our Parliament house. And the icing on the cake, Kasab is still alive, one year after the Mumbai terror attacks.
The point over here is not about pessimism. It's not about failures. It's only about lost chances, a change for a better collective consicence. Everytime we decided against affirmative action, we shied away from change, we gifted ourselves a society that was light years behind it's actual intellectual capabilities. I say, we should forget the moon, mars and all the stars in the universe, we are unaware of our own atronomy. We don't know if our allegiance lies with our family or friends, values or money, consumerism or austerity, media or logic, success or obscurity, KFC or McD, MTV or Channel V, State or Nation, Peace or war. I am not for one moment saying we are confused. But we can't ignore the fact that we have lost the power to differentiate and to make an informed choice. We are on auto pilot with a risk apetite lower than an ant.
Actuall, we simply don't care. Change as most management Gurus tell us, is about vision. It's a state of preparedness to progress. Let's look at our best example yet again from cricket. Coaches can't win matches. It is impossible to expect a team to win merely by appointing a good coach. That's either insanity or reflects a formality. Cricket is about 11 men on the field, their talent, their team work, commitment and attitude. Now, just as the BCCI almost always never answers the fundamental problems plaguing Indian cricket, no one really cares for the bigger whole.
I mean come on I am sure most of us don't even know what the BIG picture looks like.
What we have come to represent is something like the program on Matrix. We need to find it lock horns with it and kill it. but hey dont go looking for Neo, Morpheus or Trinity - we are the only chance we have got for ourselves. All is not lost.
Not yet!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The departed.. ( I know I know.. with all due respects to copyrights)

To give a heads up on this post:
I started writing this a year ago.. I could not finish it for various reasons. It does not hold much relevance to this point in time. I am not even sure of whether it will hold a semblance of meaning to anyone who reads it. Not a very coherent piece of work. But a collection of personal thoughts!!
Losing a loved one has never been easy. And if it were that we lose them in succession, the loss and the vaccum is geometrically multiplied. There are no right or wrong answers really. The few days, stretch to weeks and months, after are pass in relative oblivion. So many people moving in and out of our lives, days spent on rituals and ceremonies to which you have little or no reference points or understanding. You are moving on in a blur. Quarrels are forgotten, family fueds reconciled, in some cases rekindled within a matter of days of the departure. Random thoughts start hittting you. Life after death is the buzz phrase. It's amazing to see how the family reacts. A myriad of emotions come the fore. Most of them are an expression of dwelling excessively on past failures. Caught in this web of normal human tendencies, you let the wave hit you. You ride with it in the hope that you will get ashore safe. We all learn to move on. The process sets in at a different pace for everyone. You need to begin where one feels there isn't one. No Motherhood statements are going to help. It's what I call an exrecise in self nourishment and cleansing. It lends perspective to your life. It helps you break the glass ceiling and reach out. It teaches you the most important lessons of your life if you are willing to.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dasavatharam and I....

I finally got to watch the much hyped magnum opus Dasavatharam. Needless to say, this is one pic that will leave an impression in everyone's mind. You may like it or hate it but you simply can't ignore it. It is an interesting and a well conceived plot, which only an actor who is forever inventing and reinventing himself like Kamal can envisage. Technically the movie is brilliant.The myriad images that take shape on the 70 mm screen make you wonder in awe about the genius that crafted it for us. The breathtaking scenes of the 12th century, the bone chilling consequences of a bio war, the action sequences involving Christian Fletcher and my personal favourite the grand old lady all strike a chord with the audience. Kamal's performances are very well defined. It is very evident that there has been considerable homework done be it for the Amercian President or for the pop singer. He portrays each character with great finesse and aplomb.The opening song which captures the agony and ignominy of losing one's God and thus the very identity that defined one's existence is one of the best scenes in the 3 hour movie. In an effort to showcase the master piece in all its glory, the editing seems to have taken a slight beating.

The plot is woven around the universal argument that is as old as man itself. The movie contrary to some initial opinions gives some strong messages. Messages that each and every one of us can identify with at one level or the other. This brings us to the point of writing this blog. For I am no movie columnist. I watched the movie as just another movie buff who was curious to know as to how the team had approached the concept of God. The reason simply being that Kamal is a self professed non believer in God. And, this is primarily where the movie scores. There are no absolutes that were proclaimed in the course of the narration. In fact, the balance very nearly tilted in favour of the verity of a super natural force that controlled life. Many of us tend to explain phenomenon - natural or otherwise in our own ways. It is simply what we believe to be true. It is all in the mind. I strongly believe that God is personal. Our expression of belief/ disbelief is unique too. The movie will thus appeal to theists, atheists and agnostics alike. However, one experiences discomfiture in sequences that make references to certain religious groups or practices. But, thankfully overt antagonism was minimal.

Once we sort out our feelings for this aspect of the movie, another reality that stares us in the face is the threat humans have created for themselves. Our lives are no more under our control. Neither are they controlled by super natural forces. They have fallen into the hands of some very powerful men who are a law unto themselves and have taken on the 'Godly' role of deciding what is right for the world at large. It is money and politics that define who lives and in what style.

I wonder how we are ever going to find an answer to this one. As a human race. Not as believers or non believers. For now the question is about Survival!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


After life as a carefree working professional in the Commercial Capital of India moving back home has been an experience... I have finally settled down in my new role workwise and in terms of back to playing my parents' dutiful first born girl.

Staying at home among folks has been surprisingly different from the last time when I was visiting on holidays... I have realized that people change and if one is away from the family base there is a perceptible variance in behaviour. Changes, mostly unwanted, creep into one's DNA as we get inducted into the premier MBA schools of the country. We typically suffer from insomnia - catching up with friends over phone, surfing the net, or simply walking about the house, invariably need to take place past 2 A.M. To add insult to the injury this hangover gets accentuated when one continues working & living alone in Mumbai! No strings attached kinda thing.

I am not writing about adjustment problems, I choose to write instead about the city that I have left behind.
Now that I have warmed you up to what you may consider a watered down version of a 'Prologue'... I shall begin with my ode to the time spent in Mumbai. And. it is a far cry from the super fav 'The Maximum City'.

Mumbai-- not for nothing is it called a city of dreams... zindagi jeena hai toh Mumbai mein rehana chahiye... Said that, one spends 80% of time on travel within the city. Amazingly though the city simply inspires you to keep going. The fatigue quotient may be high but the zest for life is as palpable as the flurry of waves splashing at the concrete at Marine Drive. The monsoons are enjoyable till we enter the 3rd week. After all no one really likes to wade through knee deep water or wait for a benevolent taxiwallah to take you to a drowning suburb. Tragically, it could be raining romance, but one cannot get cozy under the blanket with a steaming cuppa chai as duty calls!!!

I no more live there. But there is a part of me that misses the grand city and all the wonderful things that make Mumbai a city of deep intrigue. Local trains, Ganesh Chaturthi, Shiv Sena, vada pav, cutting chai, khau galis, metered autos, roadside shopping, multi storeyed malls, crowded suburbs, sky rises, bollywood, underworld, swanky luxury cars, film stars, dabbawallahs - all equally compelling, and forcing one to stay married to the city. There is not a moment without madness. People rushing at you all the time. They may walk with you but do not spare a thought for your appearance. They city thrives on anonymity.

The city never sleeps. The city lives on.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Urban India: Moving towards Political Anathema - 1

The Big Fight on NDTV on the Gujjar Protests which had speakers like Swapan Dasgupta, Prof Ashish Nandy, Sachin Pilot etc battling it out was truly a showcase of the Urban Indian's take on yet another socio - political drama. It is in all respects similar to an arm chair sociologist's views on the mores and taboos of a culture they have had no gateway to.

It was indeed heartening to see a young MP like Sachin Pilot rise above the politics of parties and speak for closure and peaceful resolution of the burning issue. India sure could do with more such leaders. The Big Fight had its share of controversies and the unspoken knowledge of havoc the nation is facing due to laws such as the Reservation Bill. The uncomfortable pauses and silences around its approach and implementation, the unwillingness to take responsibility for decisions and the blase attitude toward arriving at a solution played out 'Live' on national television for the entire nation to see.

As rightly pointed out by Swapan the protest has clearly 'departed' from being a social movement. It has loud and clear political overtones. The vicious evil of vote bank politics is rising its ugly hood again. And we as 'urban, educated bystanders' simply wait for the next set of news items to pour in. But its the same game over and over again. Simple but very effective. It wrecks every iota of sanity that people are struggling to hold on to.

The argument is as old as the problem. The more we analyse it the more despondent we become. The picture gets murkier as each day passes by. Media will drop this one too for another set of headlines, and time shall pass. We the People of this nation shall forget. As we have forgotten the many more atrocities that we inflict on our fellow countrymen.

The Phoenix has fallen. Will it rise from the Ashes to a brighter, better India or an India battered by Communal Vote Bank based Politics. We have stretched our democratic license to the limit of no return. the basic principles of the game have been forsaken and the chase is on purely for the POWER, POSITION and MONEY that ride on it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jus something I have fallen in love with recently.....

Peter Gabriel - Book Of Love Lyrics
The book of love is long and boringNo one can lift the damn thingIt's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancingBut II love it when you read to meAnd youYou can read me anythingThe book of love has music in itIn fact that's where music comes fromSome of it is just transcendentalSome of it is just really dumbBut II love it when you sing to meAnd youYou can sing me anythingThe book of love is long and boringAnd written very long agoIt's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxesAnd things we're all too young to knowBut II love it when you give me thingsAnd youYou ought to give me wedding ringsAnd II love it when you give me thingsAnd youYou ought to give me wedding ringsAnd II love it when you give me thingsAnd youYou ought to give me wedding ringsYou ought to give me wedding rings

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Seasons come and seasons go
But with some memories u take a bow

Happy toasts and laughs galore
A few moments we all simply adore

From Wise cracks to funny lines
And significant pauses to weary whines

Through sleepless nights and tense days
We found a million ways

But, at this momentous point of departure
In our hearts, a rupture

As we leave with a joyous cry
Of being TISSED for life!