Friday, July 30, 2004

Mr Natwar Lal

No, this is not about the crook,  who sold the Taj Mahal to a foreign tourist. This about an idiot who heads the Foreign ministry. Natwar Singh.

To me,  he appears to be Congress' counter part of Madan Lal Khurana.  Like Khurana,  he doesn't need an occasion to speak .  Foreign ministry is one of the most sensitive ministries,  that has to be handled with utmost care.  And when one have a hostage situation like this,  mind must know what mouth is about to speak.

Although,  being a former Ambassador and former Foreign Minister,  he forgot the golden rule of discretion before expression.  He called the abductors as bandits,  in the process  endangered the lives of the captives.  The abductors are utterly miffed and have threatened to eliminate the hapless victims. They have demanded an apology from the Govt.  Sheer embarrassment is stopping them from doing so. This is called shooting into one's own foot. Probably he should read Fredric Forsyth's The Negotiator to learn the negotiating skills.  

Earlier also, when he took charge of the ministry, he started harping  on the review of the ties with US and Israel.  The PM took a long time to gag him. 

My only request to PM, rather Sonia Gandhi is following. If unfortunately, by any chance,  these abductors kill the poor victims,  this guy should be immediately removed from the charge to save the countrymen from future troubles.



The TV channels today are abound with the  news  of suicide committed by  former Miss India,  Nafisa Joseph.  I  felt sad, not because she was a great model or anchor but because a life has been snuffed out at such a young age. 

That reminds me of the unfortunate incident that took place more than two years ago.  Nandu will feel upset reading this but I can't help remembering Chattu.  I still can't believe that Timir is dead and that too by committing suicide.  Known him for so many years,  I never thought he could ever think of suicide.  He  was too strong for that, though he was not that strong for drugs.

I still vividly remember,  when I first saw my fair,  baby face neighbour. It was my second day at  IIT -K ,  and my eyes lit up when he I came to know that he too was joining Aerospace department. He was a raggers delight.  Not afraid to do whatever seniors demanded,  and soon  he was a hit with seniors.  They got impressed with his witty replies and sweet face.

But how deceptive, his appearance was.  He was a complete rebel.  Though himself a bengali, he usually poked fun at bengalis.  Being a delhite,  he loathed Delhi.  He preferred any day, his native Jabalpur.  He hardly used to attend any classes, but just how managed to scrape through.  One of the younger profs - Sanjay Mittal once asked him the reason behind his absence in class.  He didn't make any  excuses and did simple plain speak .  He very innocently told the prof that he finds very difficult to sit for one hour.  Prof was sporting enough him to offer him to stay for half an hour in the class.

But somehow he fell into a bad company.  Company was bad not because the guys were loafers or criminals.  But they were big time smokers and drunkards.  Soon smoking gave way to small time doping.

Meanwhile, as we moved further into our departmental courses, our friendship grew.  He was my lab partner in almost all the lab courses.  We were together on industrial tour. He was my B.Tech partner as well.  We even got the job also together and in same company!

 He never missed any labs with me because he could never refuse to me.  He had some hidden respect  or love for me. He use to stop smoking whenever I entered his room.  He even apologized to me for his habit. He promised to give up but I knew he would never be able to do  that as long he was with his chums.

Gifted with tremendous brains, he was a sharp learner.  During the exams, he would come to me for the notes only when I was about to retire.  Then, he would study whole night and get a C or rarely D, that was enough for him.  Even one of our prof who was in B.Tech Project committee admitted to one of my batchmates that this guy has the tremendous presentation  abilities.  A few of them accepted that he was sharp as well. They had to give the top grade.

He always got good grades in the courses which he liked.  Along with me, he had made a glider prototype out of thermocol which had the best glide in the history of that course . It  fetched both of us an A in the course.   Once, he had missed a midsem of  AeroDymanics-II  because he kept on sleeping. When he went for next midsems,  prof couldn't recognize him and had to ask him of he was registered for the course. Even then, Timir Ranjan Chatterjee got a B in the course because of his performance in endsems.

To every one's utter shock, he was the first person along with me, who landed a job in the department( in the Geometric).  He had the least of the CPI.  But his mesmerizing face, sharp brain and honest answers got him the job.  That interview itself can be incuded into one of the classics.

He came to drop me at the station after our four years at IIT and thanked me for all that I had done for him. Later, in Geometric as well, we use to meet almost daily. But then, he had to go  for rehabilitation on insistence of his parents and company.  Probably he couldn't cope up with that and took his life.

There are lot many fun and emotion filled stories which could be shared about him. He was such a complex character. To me, he was different than what he was to others.  I have spent so much time with him that I can't ever forget him. I don't want to .

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Back To Hiroshima

Didn't want my 50th post to be like this. But it's really very touching. I get shivers down my spline imagining this guy's plight. Actually, I can't imagine at all.

The Da Vinci Code

It is the 409 pages, 105 chapters thriller by Dan Brown. 

Have finished reading it only today.  Fantastic page turner !  All those usual cliches apart, this one is a bit different murder mystery.  The book has involved tremendous research work of art and history.  As the book progresses,  author puts reader on a hot treasure hunt where clues are in the art work of  Leonardo Da Vinci .  Reader can look forward to learn about the hidden interpretations of Vinci's paintings and inventions,  breaking these clues with use of symbology and cryptology.  One clue leads to another and excitement grows.

Then there is unraveling of  startling facts about the history, which may or may not be true, and the secrecy behind them . These information are  woven into the main story in such a manner that reader is never bored.  Forget the boredom, the reader actually enjoys the stuff and believes  in them.  Details never become tedious and don't bring the pace down.

There are twists and turns in the fortunes where treasure hunt and  frantic chase  hot the things up. The suspense is well maintained till the end (though I somehow sensed it).  Author has marvelously rolled the facts and fiction together and produced a  masterpiece.

Brown may not match the detailing of Alistair McLean or the edge-of-the-seat pace and suspense of Jeffery Archer or the research acumen of Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, but he has successfully managed to merge all these elements together to keep the reader completely hooked.

A roadside bookstall walla will cost you just 60 bucks, don't bother about the bookshop.

My Previous Book Review - Five Point Some One

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mehmood - The Dashing Comedian

Mehmood at his peak was even more popular than most of the heroes.  Infact,   a few snobbish ones even refused to work with him due to inferiority complex.  He was the one who gave major breaks  in films to the personalities like R D Burman ( Chhote Nawab),  Rajesh Roshan (Kunwara Baap),  Amitabh Bachhan (Bombay to Goa- though this was not his first movie), Sanjeev Kumar, Aruna Irani and helped Vinod Khanna, till then a villain, to bag a positive role.

He has many hits songs featured on him. Here are the few among them which I could remember.

- Ek Chatur Naar Badi Hoshiyar... (Padosan
- Hum Bhi Agar Bachchey Hotey, Khaney ko miltey Laddo0...( Don't know the movie  but I think Joy Mukherjee was main lead in the song)
- Hum Kaley hain to Kya hua Dilwaley hain... ( Gumnaam)
- Chanda aur Chanda, kisney churai Teri Meri Nindia,  Jagey Sarey Raina Tere Mere Naina.... (Lakhon mein Ek
- Muthu kudi kawadi hara, Pyar mein Jo na kerna chaha woh bhi humey kerna pada... (Do Phool
- O-o Meri Maina, Tu Maan le Mera Kehna , Ki Mushkil Hogaya Jeene Tere Binaaa Aiyaiooo....( Pyar Kiye Jaa)
- Jago sonewalo , Jaago sonewalon, Suno meri Kahani... (Bhoot Bangla)
Mehbooba Mehbooba Banalo mujhey Dulha, Jaladey mera choolha...(Saadhu aur Shaitan)
- Saj Rahi Gali meri Maa, Chunar Gote ki... (Kunwara Baap)
- Tujhko rakhe Ram, tujhko Allah rakhe ; De Daata ke Naam Tujjko Allah rakhe ( Aankhein)
- Aao Twist kerein...(Bhoot Bangla)
- Yeh Hai Bhoot Bangla...(Bhoot Bangla)
- Jodi Hamari Jamega Kaise Jani; To Ladki London Wali, Mai Ladka Hindustani...(Aulad)
- Main tere pyar mein kya kya na Bana Janam, Janey yeh Mausam, Janey yeh Mausam...(Ziddi)
- Ajhun Na Aye Balmaa,  Saawan Beeta Jai...(Sanjh Aur Savera)

There are many more songs but these are the ones which I love most.  Not to mention, his most of the movies.  The movie which stands out is Pyaar Kiye Jaa. Even in the presence of stalwarts like Kishore Kumar,  Om Prakash and Shashi Kapoor, Mehmood steals the thunder. Those who haven't seen it yet can make amends now.



Seeing the heart stopping  thriller between Ind-Sri yesterday, it becomes plain that  Jayasurya- the  Matara Mauler  is back to his best. There was hardly a ball he mistimed.  Nevertheless,  it was an exciting match.  Following are a few interesting observations about the match which  could be shared.

This was the match

 - Which was played between India vs Jayasurya.

 - Which was played between India vs Srilanka A  as both Murli and Vaas were out.

 - Where Sehwag and Zaheer have finally begun to redeem themselves. Still a  long way to go.

 - Where one saw John Wright both curse and smile  - as a rare sight as is Hailey's Comet.

 - Where one witnessed astonishing show of running between the wickets by Srilankans.

 - Where it's finally proven that Jayasurya's runs better on one leg than what Sehwag and Ganguly do on both.

 - Where Umpires forgot to give LBWs and Wides. As much as 3 wides were denied in last two overs of the match.  There was a definite reason.  The reason was Chandana's decision to run even after ball got deflected of the bat.  Nothing illegal in it, but then, nothing illegal in Umpires refusing marginal wides, either.

 - Where Jayawardhane lost his cool for no reason.  After hitting Sehwag for a six straight down the ground, he actually went and ran a whole run,  despite Jayasurya had hardly moved.

 - Where Ganguly tried his best that Zaheer Khan gets players contract at any cost. Despite  Zaheer being a doubtful starter,  Nehra being in a reasonably good form - former is included and latter is chucked out.

 - Where it's officially proven that Kumble and Harbhajan never bowl good together. Either of them buckle - not sure if this is peer pressure.  It has happened  umpteenth number of times.

 - Where Pakistan must have choked at the end of the match and Shoaib Akhtar would have learned about the pathetic point system the hard way.

 - Finally, where commentators made most despicable mistake  not awarding man of  the match to Jayasurya. Indian bias clearly showed.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What runs on the mind of the young?

I remember this cousin of mine.  When he was  some six-seven years old,  I noticed if he was denied anything, he used to bring havoc on the surroundings.  Crying, yelling hitting( even his mother), rolling on the floor - everything.  One way or other, her mother had to yield to his demands.  When his mother would be advised against spoiling her child this way,  she used to take a grudge on the advisor itself.  Whenever the demand was beyond the scope of his mother, he would his object of desire.  He had simply chewed away many of my toys which I had refused to give him.

Twenty Years later the child has grown into a monster - 6 ft 3 and   90 KG . He is a big bully in house and outside it.  He still believes in snatching things, if denied.  He falls just short of official definition of a Criminal.

What beckoned me to write this post is the this incident which took place yesterday in Delhi. A young boy, all 21 years old stabbed a 15 year old girl he loved. Two months back , another jilted lover had burnt alive a girl in a class room in a Hyderabad college.  It  reminded me  of  an incident that took place in Mumbai some 20 years back. Another similar incident occurred in Sangli 5 years back when a girl was stabbed in full public view.  Hundreds of incidents of jilted, denied lovers  throwing acid on girls keep occurring all over India.

This sick mind develops at a very early age -mostly by parents.  First they like their child's activity as fun.  Their love for the child is too overwhelming to realize the setting of the rot.  Whoever said love is blind couldn't be more accurate. The well wishers are despised.  By the time they realize,  it's already too late to stem it.  As a result, we have this new breed to brats -spoilt by the  parents, unleashed over the whole society.

 Time is ripe that the parents take lesson from these incidents.  Hapless victims are being  punished for the faults  committed  by someone else twenty years ago.  Either don't bring a child on this world,  but if bring one may - don't make it a liability on innocent others.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Muse from the Confused

Being an avid sports fan, I can't help it. Yet another post on the same .

By the way, if Sphinx was ever there for the real, he could be no other than Lance Armstrong, the six time Tour-de-France champ, the only person to achieve this feat. He literally rose from the dead, recovering from prostrate cancer and winning two titles in row. The Sphinx and the Superman rolled into one.

If there ever was rabbit- the looser( in rabbit-tortoise race), it could have no better personification than Virendra Sehwag. After 'Shoaib Akhtar Of India', the sobriquet 'David BeckHam of India' sits tall on him. Believe me, I am no Sehwag baiter or hater. I enjoy the site whenever he is in form. But whenever, mind you? This whenever is as good as a tiny drop in the ocean.

Then there is ugly sight of his running between the wickets or the lack of it. Apropos WC 2003 final, a year ago, Six Nations Tournament final in Srilanka two years ago, match against UAE and SriLanka in, Asia Cup 2004 and many more. To get run out inches short or trying vainly is one thing. No one complaines there. But Viru bhai make no extra effort. Forget the effort, he got out in many occasions ( WC final is one of them) trying to save himself from the ball!

Then his lousy ground fielding and unpredictable catching. He dropped as many as 3 catches last in the match. Problem is not of the talent, but of the commitment. His commitment in every aspect of the game is as bad as Ganguly. Ganguly atleast feels the pang. Sehwaag seems to be devoid of any concern or emotion.

Here are the scenarios where Sehwag may fail .

- When there is a movement off the seam or pitch. Sehwags plays a blind over there, swinging bat like a fencer.
- When there is a bounce in the pitch. He cannot hit a 6 over 3rdman every ball.
- He doesn't like good line or length. He doesn't bother taking singles, early in the game to tackle that.
- Pressure situations when you need a cool head. He becomes more reckless over there.
- Early wickets, when you need to dig in. If his wicket is not among the early, he doesn't know how to stay on the wicket and pace the game in such situations.

We can see there are only handful of situations when he can play his natural game. The problem is that he is not trying to adapt. Every single player in the team has evolved his game, except Sehwag. Nobody is making him realize.

Tendulkar had checked his cover drives, when he went through a lean phase. He learned paddle sweep to tackle Warne and Murli.

Ganguly had never hit a six in LOI till that WC 1999 match(against SL) at Taunton. He improved his on side game and treated Pollock, Nitini, Klusener with such contempt that it surprised even himself.

The most evolved player is Dravid. From a no hoper in LOI to the most valuable player in the team, he has moved leaps and bounds.

Yuvraj was once a similar version of Sehwag. Now he is the backbone of the team. Even Laxman is much improved player and fielder.

But Sehwag's refuses to budge. He is same as he was 2 years ago. The fit case of Bhains ke Agey been bajai, Bhains khadi Pagurai! Think tank will have to work hard to fix this . This take it easy attitude of the rabbit has to go.

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The Divine Proportion

If there ever exists the concept  magic numbers,  no number can be more magical than the PHI.  It's value is 1.618 . It's even more magical than PI.  This number is also called - The Divine Proportion meaning the ratio of God.  There are reasons why it is considered the most beautiful number in the universe.

The number is derived from Fibonacci  sequence,  a progression famous not only because the sum of the adjacent terms equals the next term, but because the quotients of adjacent terms posses the property of approaching the number 1.618 - PHI !

The most astonishing aspect of this number is its role as a fundamental building block  in nature. Plants, animals and even human beings all posses dimensional properties that adhere with eerie exactitude to the ratio of PHI is to 1.

PHI 's  ubiquity in nature exceeds coincidence.  Observe it yourself.
-     Divide the number of female honey bees by the number of male honey bees in any beehive - we will get ratio PHI .
-     Nautilus,  is a kind of cephalopod mollusk spiral having a spiral, pearly-lined shell  that pumps gas into it's chambered shell to adjust its buoyancy.  The ratio of each spiral's diameter to next is - PHI . 

-      Sunflower's  seeds grow in opposing spirals. The ratio of each rotation's diameter to the next is again PHI .
-      Spiral pinecone petals, leaf arrangement on plant stalks,  insect segmentation - all display obedience to The Divine Proportion.
-      In a human body,  divide the distance from tip of the head to the floor by the distance from belly button to the floor an the number you will get is 1.618 !

-      Divide the distance from human shoulder to the finger tips  by the distance from elbow to the finger tips  and you have guessed it right. 

-      Ratio of hip to the floor by knee to the floor yield the same number.

-      Finger joints, toes, spinal divisions - all have PHI associated with them.

-      Leonardo Da Vinci's, Michelangelo in their compositions widely used the properties of this number .  
-      We can find PHI in the architectural dimensions of the Greek Parthenon, the pyramids of the Egypt, even in UN building of New York .

-      The number PHI  has appeared in the organizational structures of Mozart's sonatas,  Beethoven's Fifth symphony and was even used by Stradivarius to calculate the exact placement of f-holes in the construction of his famous violins.

So guys, each of us are a walking tribute to this magical number, the number of mother nature.  No prizes for guessing from where I pinched this information from!


One Month!

Yes guys,  if you would have noticed,  some 40 +  posts and 270 hits later,  Confusing Musings is one month old today.  I won't call it a long journey 'cos it has just begun.  It's not a great beginning because readers haven't poured in.  I was not expecting it, either.

But even one word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.  I have had a fare share of mine.  So I will keep going on.

Keep reading!


Same Day, Another Year

When I first saw him, he was a tiny-winy thing. He still is. Then, lights at his room must be off at sharp 10 PM. If you put them on, he would utter inaudible groans. But his roommate would do precisely that, in mischief.

I haven't come across any male with such a photographic memory ( though I know two females) . TA101 assignments would not have been possible, had not been for his random access memory. I always suspect there are some extra compartments over there. He himself accepts if he does not understand anything, he crams it, for as long as he wants. Amazing! He has given a lot of sleepless nights to his roommate and vice-versa.

He had immense power for his frame( Nowadays that frame has become Framework, though). Nandu and Kanks know only too well. No one can forget his 'fundae', the 'Munna' special 'fundae'. I use to have whale of time witnessing Nandu-Munna duel over here. He still gives them, which only I have the privilege to access among 4botties.

Though, it's two days too early (for 25th July ) to say this - May you live all the days of your life. Happy Bi'day! in advance Ashish!

And of course, Happy Bi'day in advance to Me as well.! It's the first time I am going to watch a India - Pakistan match on my Birth-Day.

My Previous Birth Day Wish - Ode To

Sport Bias?

There was a comment by greatuser  regarding the bias towards Cricket  in India. Other sports like Hockey are not given there due attention by media and sponsors.

Here I would I say, as far as media is concerned, they would cover what people like to read.  Same is the case of the sponsors. Sponsor won't do any charity, they want to earn money. At most , they can go for no profit no loss. How will they earn money? They will earn money if more people are interested in the game.

People watch game primarily for two reasons. A- If Sport itself has attraction.  B-  If Players perform.

For e.g. a game like Football is globally popular. It's charm is  tremendous. Even Indians were going crazy during the  Euro, which had nothing to do with India. At the same time,  not many know that India has finished runners up at Four nations Hockey warm up in Germany only  last week,  without losing any game. We have to accept that the Hockey  itself is not as appealing as Football or Cricket . It is not the number one sport of any country. Even in Australia, which is equally good in both Cricket and Hockey, it's plain people are interested in which game more.

Now, the performance part. If we remember, we will realize that advent of Cricket and Hockey took place in India roughly at same time i.e. pre -independence. We were world champions in Hockey while minnows in Cricket. Old timers still swear by Dhyan Chand, K D Singh, Capt. Roop Singh. People watched Hockey Tests with more relish than Cricket Tests.  Cricket was considered elite's game while Hockey was commoner's. One has to only see movie Golmaal  to realize this where both, a Sports hater,  Utpal Dutt and young sport enthusiast, Amol Palekar went to see a Hockey match -lying to each other. 

Unfortunately, India's Hockey performance started dipping since seventies,  while with advent of exceptional talent like Gavaskar, Kapil and Tendulkar, India started performing well in Cricket. It won a World Cup, World Series, successfully hosted  two World  Cups. Sports loyalties were switched, once for all.  Cricket  was no more a royal game.  Also, Cricket evolved itself with One Days and  Day Nighters. Hockey hardly moved an inch.

People like players performing, winning matches and tournaments.  This trend is there in every country. With standard of their Cricket declining, Brian Lara not withstanding - Basketball and Baseball are now more popular in West Indies. In England- the country which invented cricket, Football and Rugby are more popular than Cricket. Rugby is still number  # 1 sport in NewZeaLand as it is more flamboyant than Cricket plus their performance is much better in Rugby.

So unless and until, sporting authorities does not bring innovation in games and players does not motivate themselves to perform,  people cannot be forced to watch sport like Hockey .  After all, after days hard work,  people want entertainment instead of frustration.

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Cricket Vs Hockey : Case Study

There are two news items which provide contrasting case study  on the state of organization of Cricket and Hockey in India. News items in question are

a- India vs.  Australia Test series venue and schedule have been just announced.
b- India Hockey Coach, Rajinder Pal Singh has been sacked.

You might wonder what is the contrast over here. Let  me explain. Athens Olympics are not even a month away. This is the time for making strategies, training and fitness camps. Team,  which only an year back,  had shocked the whole hockey world and more so, even it's own countrymen,  with it's performance in Champions Trophy, won Asia Cup defeating Pakistan, emerged victorious in Four Nations cup, Down Under, is currently in tatters.  They have lost to Pakistan five times in a row this year.

They can't blame lack of sponsorship this time. Sahara is overpaying them. The infighting between players and coaches, players themselves and autocratic policies of IHF has taken their  toll on their game. As if this was not enough,  the coach was sacked at the eleventh hour. Now, not only they'll  have to make fresh strategies,  fresh training plans, they'll also have to learn to communicate with the coach. Many players are not very comfortable with English.

In contrast,  just look how shrewdly did BCCI plan the iternary of the Test series in favour of the home  country.  All the matches are below the Tropic of Cancer, where at that time of the year, weather is still on hotter side. Trust Chennai and Mumbai to be hot and humid, while Nagpur is always at extreme temperatures. Only Banglore is the lone exception where the weather will suite Aussies. They also have an unbeaten record there.

Both the events are equally big for India, but one administration has planned in right earnest while other is at it's reckless self.  It pains to see they way national sport is going despite the promise.  Can't put a medal hope on it. 

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Hindi or Urdu ?

Comment from Manish (Manke) on my previous post, reminded me of an incident relating the concept of Hindi in Mumbai.
Most of you who have watched Old Hindi movies and not-so-old Hindi movies must be remembering Leela Mishra. The ever lovable grandma of Hindi cinema. Tough facade but good at heart. The famous Mausi from Sholay.
Some 50 years back, when she arrived at Mumbai to try luck in movies, she was facing quite a difficulty in finding a house maid. No sooner did she have a conversation with the interested maid, than, the maid use to refuse citing some flimsy reason. This continued to happen for a few months. Perplexed, she checked with her neighbours the real reason behind the disappearing acts. She must have almost choked hearing that.
Maids refused working because they thought Leela Mishra was a Muslim. Muslim, because she used to speak in such a chaste Hindi that they use to take it for Urdu. For them, the concept of Hindi was apun, chalega, karega, tapori, aaney ka , jaaney ka etc . I could imagine the ashen expression on poor Leela Mishra's face. She would have laughed much later!


Lucknow is on Mars, Pune is on Venus

At least that's the impression I got when I landed over here, five years back.  All those Puneri  junta over there, pardon me  if you feel offended. I myself love Pune ( though not as much as Lucknow :-) ), but I was really shocked to see how little informed general public is over here about the rest of the country. I realized the reason much later.

My sister took admission in XI standard in  a  reputed school on Paud Road. Imagine the questions asked by her classmates for first few weeks. Believe me, all these are real stuff, nothing cooked up.

-  Anchal, are you a Punjabi? Because you usually wear Salwar Kameez
-  Are you a Muslim? Because you are from Lucknow .
-  Are you a Muslim? Because you don't put a bindi/makeup when in  the school.
-  Why,  you don't  put a Gazra , either!
-  Do they sell Jeans and other western outfits in Lucknow?
-  Are there cars and buses running on streets of Lucknow?
.......list goes on.

We use to have great fun discussing these stuff at the end of the day. Initially, she was amused , but later she started getting irritated. It was not before when she moved to standard  XII that these queries subsided. I was not surprised she was the topper at her school both the years .

These were only the kids, the elders topped even them. Just have a look.

- One guy at the PCO asked if Lucknow was near Delhi. To be fair to him, I agreed. It's only 500 KM away.

- This guy at a Photostat shop was confused whether Amitabh Bachhan is from Ahemdabad and whether Allahabad is in Gujrat. I had to break his heart by informing that he was wrong on both the counts.

- One office boy at my workplace actually asked me if there was the Speed Post facility existing in Lucknow. I felt like giving him a mouthful 

- An accounts guy in my office was rudest of all. He teased one of my friends that how come he is from UP and became an engineer. After all in UP, they only do farming. My friend retorted that "Well, I am writing software for the company while  you are distributing salary to us."

- Now comes the icing on the cake. During Census 2001, one middle-aged lady came for collecting the data at my place. I was with some of my friends. She asked for our birth place. When I told Lucknow, she asked me to tell the name of the district rather than the village or small town. I would have not even blinked given my past experience but for the fact that she was a school teacher,  teaching senior secondary students . God save the students ! You don't need an atlas or encyclopedia to know this fact. The then Prime Minister of the country got elected from this constituency! Switch any channel and you will hear the name one day or the other, for good reasons or bad!

Later, I realized that the course content in Mahrashtra Board was the culprit. Only in very good schools with state board or those schools which were affiliated to ICSE or CBSE did the students had the opportunity learn beyond the realms of Maharashtra. Abhinav, Symbiosis, Bishop's, Vincent's etc are such examples. Rest of students were taught mostly about state itself.

This needs to be changed. Bal Thackrey had made this famous remark why not many Maharashtrians are not getting through Civil Services. The reason can be attributed to the dated curriculum of the schools.

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Neta Ji - Fallen in Bad Times

Reflecting upon the developments shaping up since past few days, our irrepressible Neta brethren have seems to run  into some trouble. Especially those,  who have graduated into politics from the world of crime. When they are into crime , police is behind - trying catching them, while in politics they are both behind and front - saluting. But lately, there is a twist in the tale.

- A Criminal Court has issued arrest warrant  in a case of mass murder against Sibu Soren, Cabinet Minister Coal , Union of India.
Jharkhand police has sought a request  to the Speaker for arresting him.

- Mayawati, ex-Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh is fearing eminent arrest in Taj corridor case. She is in the process of declaring her successor in case she is jailed.

- Supreme Court and Patna High court has ordered police to re-send  Pappu Yadav, gangster cum Lok Janshakti Party MP and Mohammed Shahabuddin , gangster cum RJD MP from Siwan into jail. These not-so-gentlemen had been roaming free on the pretext of illness. SurajBhan, another dreaded gangster cum MP who was out on same pretext  is absconding. Court has ordered police to re-arrest him.

They all are supposed to be in hospital, if not in jail. However, some of them are attending Lok Sabha.  Pappu Yadav gives the example of Biscuit King, Rajan Pillai who died in the custody due to liver cirrhosis soon after the court had ordered his arrest. Supreme Court observed that Pappu Yadav will be more fit in jail as he will lose his obesity with jail ka khana and work. I have my doubts.

Today, jails are not like those bad old jails.  They are next only to 3 Star hotels. One can play badminton and tennis over there. Mobiles, coolers, beds - almost all the luxuries are provided. Food is imported from outside. One can throw birthday parties. What to say more, Rajan Tiwari, a MLA from Bihar sired a son when he was in jail. Can you believe it? You have no better choice.

Our Rail Mantri, Laloo, once, had shifted to a hospital,  turned the hospital campus into a jail and stayed there for three months. "Kyunki jail mein bahut khatmalwa hain."

Neta Log has been seeing all this as a big conspiracy. But they had been with all this many a times before. Seasoned as they are, they are also aware that such times don't last long.  I am ending  the post with these fitting lines on them.

Satya,  Ahinsa aur  Dharm se,   Khoob Humara Nata Hai
Diwaron per Likh  Detey Hain, Diwali per Put Jata Hai!

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Diamonds - Are forever!

There is a story in TOI. This is about the discovery of diamonds in Uttar Pradesh. This in itself  is an encouraging news for my home state, but that's not why this posting has been made. Here comes the more intriguing part.

The discovery has been done by a guy called Anurag Srivastava who is research assistant in GSI, Lucknow. Incidentally, he was my two year senior at school. His younger brother, Anuj Srivastava was in same class as mine but in Biology section.

There was something queer about the brothers. They were very shy and introvert . They always seemed to be inside some shell. Anurag hardly had any friends in his class. He was that kind of guy who had more friends in junior classes than their own. He felt more comfortable with them.  So whenever did any junior bump across him, he would try to mingle. Most of us found him very chatu and tried to avoid him. That was because he use to brag a lot of stuff about himself which usually made little sense. Anuj was also no less a character than Anurag. He used to do some cheap shayari stuff as well. In short, both the guys seemed a bit looser types.

After school, I pretty much lost contact with most of my classmates, leave alone seniors. It was my third year at IIT  when I happened  to attend the marriage ceremony of one of my friends. I saw Anurag there, and as his habit was, I soon found him at my side. Slowly and surely,  the tales started flowing . He told me about his RA ship with GSI, with such a pride as if it was Oxford Univ. rather than GSI, Lucknow. Initially, courtesy wise,  I listened to him intently feigning fake attention, but soon I got bored and was about to leave when he broke the bombshell. According to him, he had, on his own, discovered the origin of Lucknow city.  I could barely suppress my laughter but he continued on scientific stuff. I suspected either he has lost his mental equilibrium or just spinning a cock and bull yarn. Mercifully, it was time for Jaimaals and he reluctantly let me go.

My friends also shared my view as he had been telling same story to everyone which nobody seemed to believe. This was seven years before.  Imagine my shock  when I came across a TOI article two months back which talked about a brilliant RA, named Anurag Srivastava who through his diligent work has found the possibility of diamond in Uttar Pradhesh. He got inspired by the fact that Panna in Madhya Pradesh has similar soil and climatic structure as the adjacent areas in Uttar Pradesh. Panna is known for it's natural diamonds. He went about his research on his own, convincing the UP Govt, GSI and whomsoever it may have concerned with his preliminary research. I was a bit skeptical even then. Now, as it turns out that the diamond is genuine.

This is a big work from the guy whom we termed as looser and eccentric and poked fun at. Nobody believed him then and now he is a celebrity. A  resounding slap on attitude of the guys like me.


Moment of the Day

Yesterday,  when India played Srilanka, a lot of worth mentioning moments took place. Like  Dravid hitting Zoyasa for a six,  Kaif reverse sweeping Murli, Pathan hitting Murli out of the longest boundary etc. But the moment which stood out of all is this.

Sehwag was ambling for a second run when  Zoyasa threw  a direct hit at the stumps. Now, even a Bat in the daylight could have seen that it was out. Just to make sure, umpire called for a replay. Mr Sehwag, in the hearts of the heart must have jolly well known that he is out. Most of the times batsman knows and for cases like this, one actually walks out without waiting for the third umpire.

Sehwag too, didn't wait for the third umpire but not for walking. I couldn't believe my eyes when this guy actually called for the water.  What a stud !! What a goddam attitude!! I laughed aloud for well few minutes after that.

I was quite disappointed when Sunny By Day didn't declare this as the moment of the day.

Top 5 Actresses ...who irritate me in Hindi movies

5. Celina Jaitly  - my old junior at school. Sorry pal!
4. Tara Sharma - just because of he voice actually.  
3. Kareena Kapoor- what else? Poooooooooo!!!!
2. Antara Mali - the faces she makes.
1. Mallika Sherwat - One and only. Of all what she is.

So guys& gals, whose list matches mine- a coffee at Cafe Coffee Day from my side.

Vishnu Prasad Gayab hogaya!

They say if it ain't broke, break it! That's what happens with Gayab. It was such a fantastic concept, which could have  been made into a rib tickler with a little imagination but ends up into pathetic hair puller,  because of lack of it. Prawal Raman, delivers second dud in a row after Darna Marna Hai. Either, Ram Gopal Verma needs to change this strategy of ghost-direction , or change the director for his next movie. Otherwise, his Factory( Ramu's production company) is soon going to shut shop.

The story and screenplay  goes so awry in second half (even in the first half) that even a descent family crowd,  like that of Inox behaved like we used to do at the screening of movies at hostel TV Room.  Sometimes, Vishnu Prasad is Gayab with his clothes, othertimes, though his clothes are visible, he is not. No questions asked, no explanation given.

Performance wise, Tusshar Kapoor does a decent job. He looks as much an idiot, as he looked in Mujhey Kuchh Kehna Hai. However, in this movie he has  portrayed such character, while in MKKH he  was trying to do exactly the opposite but ended up looking his true self.

Other problem with Ramu is that he is trying to make an Urmila out of  Antara Mali,  at the expense of the audience. Body looks good on screen when the face is good enough. Over and above that, Miss Mali makes weird faces through-out the movie. At first, I thought she is playing the character of a  psycho-mental case. She has over-acted and under-dressed through-out the movie.  Most of the times it seemed that cameraman has forgotten to shot the surroundings and kept on rolling camera across her body. Was Ramu behind the camera.? God knows when would he get over his new fixation.

After what seemed like endless torture,  a guy behind me made the most apt remark of the evening. When Tusshar Kapoor appears for the umpteenth time, this guy behind me yells full throttle- Koi Isko aur iskey director ko Gayab Kero!

It was the most forgetful experience.

What's Happening ?

I  mean with my employers.  Last week they gave me the scare  by blocking  So I had to move to .

This morning, they have again provided access to this site. My cherished, loyal audience is forced to have a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride. I apologize.  So for your convenience and my inconvenience,  I will maintain and update  both.

Keep reading!


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Site has Moved!

Dear Readers,

Due to some smart thinking of my employers, is blocked at my work place. But I am not ready to give up as of yet.
Confusing Musings is moved to

So keep enjoying reading over there.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Sehwag - The Big Mouth

Certainly, Sehwag won't put his money where his mouth is. Neither will I. There are reasons behind it. Just have a glance at the following pattern.

- "Given a chance, I would like to play in middle order in test matches. However, in one dayers, I would like to open."
Considering this comment was made immediately after he completed his triple century, it had everyone completely bamboozled.

- "I am more comfortable if I have a defensive batsman at other end while opening in a test match."
This one came after Ganguly announced his intention of opening with Sehwag and Yuvraj in tests. I, like everybody else felt like stuffing his babbling mouth with red hot chilies. I bet, Ganguly would have liked to do it somewhere else.

- "I will try making a double century in One Dayers. I play attacking game and if I stay right till the end, I can score it."
Now, nobody knows from where this one came from. I reckon, Dabur Chyawanprash did the trick. But everyone knows what it followed with. Sehwag scored a third ball duck, which Robin Singh, HongKong's team coach had already guessed. Probably, he wanted to score all two hundred runs on that ball itself.

These quotes definitely lines up him for the title - "Shoaib Akhtar of India". I wonder what's gone wrong. Is the jat factor which has started come into play or it's "bachpan ka pyar" which is responsible. Perhaps, the triple hundred has got into his head.

I guess, John Write and Sourav Ganguly have a job in their hands. Time's ripe for taming this shrew lest he goes Akhtar way.

Cool Blogs

Added a new entry at right-bottom. These are the blogs I frequent. Check them out at your leisure.

BTW, one more addition to the blog world. Abhinav 'Amit' Nigam has free wheeled into the blog world. He is of course, Niggu's junior bro. He has started it with a bang. Hope he continues the same way.

He has been cajoled into it by 'maverick' Verma. Verma has been inspired by me. So the chain has begun. More to follow.

Blog more, work less.


Aamir Khan - Top and Bottom 5 Movies

Here is my list. Though, I like most of his films, these are the ones I enjoyed most.

5. Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin
4. Andaaz Apna Apna
3. Sarfarosh
2. Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar
1. Lagaan

My 6 & 7 number is Qayamat Se Qayamt Tak and Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke respectively.

His five most forgettable movies list

5. Raja Hundustani
4. Daulat Ki Jung
3. Love Love Love
2. Mann
1. Mela

So what's your list?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Aamir - The Uncanny

While most will die for Shahrukh, others might yearn for Salman, for me the undisputed king among the Khans is - Aamir Khan. He is different just for sheer audacity. Who else could dare a Lagaan or The Rising? Nobody will dispute it either.

He always sets himself a new challenge. Never brow beats on the same beaten path. You can always expect the unexpected. He never controls a character, lets the character control him. He didn't bath for 13 days for the climax of Ghulam, wore Lagaan outfits(and made other unit member to do the same) for a week before shooting just to get into the feel, changed his complete look for DCH, got his ears actually pierced for Dole-Dole song in Bazi(he was playing a girl in that song), again changed his complete get-up for The Rising, went to train in London for a perfect physique.

He never became a caricature of himself unlike Dilip Kumar, DevAnand, Raj Kapoor, Sharukh and many more. You can always see these actors playing themselves in any movie. Aamir has no such so called style. He always plays the character, instead of playing the Aamir Khan. He never followed trends. He didn't repeat John Mathain Mathews after the tremendous success of Sarfarosh because he again offered him the role of a cop, even refused Ashutosh GowariKar's Swadesh because he would have played a villager again. Shahrukh has done tons of movies with Aziz Mirza and you can expect another twenty with Farah Khan. He had the guts to refuse Shahrukh's role in Darr. Never went to any award function, except national. He doesn't give interviews to gossip magzines. No dancing on stages or millionaire marriages. That's Aamir Khan for you.

So guys and gals, two years after the classic Lagaan, you have the Lagaan revisited. Hitting on theatres this week is Chaley Chalo, a documentary on the making of Lagaan. It's the story behind the scenes. No shot from the movie is repeated, it's said to be even more interesting than the actual movie. I am all for it. Don't miss it!

Nazuk Si Ladki

There are songs and there are songs. I have listened and enjoyed many a songs but this one is special. It's mesmerizing. Penned, tuned and sung in such a manner that while listening, it involves your complete attention. You simply cannot do anything else.

Song is not that popular because it's from a forgettable film called Shankar Hussain with some even more forgettable actors. Rafi's voice is Godly, Khayyam's tunes are soothing, while lyrics by Kamal Amrohi(who was, incidentally Meena Kumari's husband and Pakeeza's director and dialogue writer) are simple and phenomenal. Enjoy them.

Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuki Si Ladki
Bahut Khoobsoorat, Mangar Sanwli Si, Bahut Khoobsoorat..
Mujhey Apne Khwabon Ki Bahon Mein Paaker, Kabhi Neend Mein Muskarati To Hogi
Usi Neend Mein Kas-masakas-kasa-ker, Sirahney Se Takiya Girati To Hogi
Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuki Si Ladki..

Wahi Khwaab Din Ki Mudheron Per Aaker, Usey Man-Hi-Man Mein Lubhate To Honge
Kayi Saaz Seeney Ki Khamoshion Mein, Meri Yaad Se Jhanjhanti To Hongey
Woh Besakhta Dheemey Dheemey Suron Mein, Meri Dhun Mein Kuchh Gungunati To Hogi
Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuki Si Ladki..

Chalo Khat Likhe Ji Mein Aata To Hoga, Magar Ungliyan Kap-kapati To Hongi
Kalam Haanth Se Chhooot Jata To Hoga, Umangey Kalam Fir Uthati To Hongi
Mera Naam Apni Kitabon Pey Likh Ker, Woh Daton Se Ungli Dabati To Hogi
Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuki Si Ladki..

Zuban Se Kabhi Uff Nikalti To Hogi, Badan Dheemey Dheemy Sulagta To Hoga
Kahin Ke Kahin Paanv Padtey To Hongey, Zamin Per Duppata Latakta To Hoga
Kabhi Subah Ko Shaam Kehti To Hogi, Kabhi Raat Ko Din Batati To Hogi

Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuki Si Ladki, Bahut Khoobsoorat, Mangar Sanwli Si.

Those who want listen to the song, you can find it here.

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Just In Time

Till now I was the one, who was inspired by other blogs to start this one. But from now, I can boast of the fact that there is atleast one blogger who got inspired by my blog.

Amit Verma, a dear friend of mine has started Just In Time only just yesterday. Amit, incidentally is Nandu's and Niggu's friend from Springdale, Lucknow. He was at the same batch at HBTI which had the privilege of having Manish Kankani and Rahul Shukla, albeit for a short period of time. I am not sure whether they knew each other or not. He is the first person I came to know at Pune.

Welcome to blog world and keep blogging.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Whiner Warne

Humility, that low, sweet root, From which all heavenly virtues shoot.

Unfortunately, Shane Keith Warne doesn't think so. Yesterday, after temporarily equaling the world record of highest number of wickets, he started shooting from his lip.

It's explainable to be proud of the record. It's remarkable that the feat has been achieved mostly on those tracks which were fast bowlers friendly. But what was need to belittle somebody else's achievement, while basking in one's own glory.

Murli no doubt had spinner friendly tracks at his disposal, bowls longish spells and undoubtedly, chucks big time but these are not the reason's enough to pat one's own back. He chose to forget that while Murli spent most of his carrier bowling subcontinent batsmen who are good against spin, while he himself has made loads against spin minnows like England and NewZealand and faltered miserably against India (recurrent memories of Tendulkar hitting over the top -remember?). Of course, Murli never took dope and never had any dealings with bookies or blank called any lady nurse either. Is Warney proud of that as well?

For Murli, it's better he takes refuge in the fact that - It is better to be envied than pitied.

Yesterday, Billy Bowden , the umpire did to Australia what he and Bucknor did to India in the last test match between India and Australia at Sydney - refusing genuine LBW appeals. Atleast he was consistent. Though Aussies had more Parthiv Patels to contend with. They had dropped as many as 4 catches at the last count. This can be of no consolation to what was meted to India but atleast it has lessened some pain.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mango - The King Of Fruits

Kisi Shayar ne Kaha hai--

Ai Aam , yeh teri khush naseebi hai,
Werna Langdon per kaun marta hai!

For those unfortunates who don't know, Langda is a type of extremely delicious Mango found in Lucknow, Varanasi and Saharanpur belt of Uttar Pradesh.

Once, a friend taunted Ghalib "Dekho gadha bhi nahin khata Aam"
To which Ghalib retorted "Haan, gadha hee to hai"

Amir Khusro wrote in Persian -"For garden pride the mango is sought. Ere ripe, other fruits to cut we ban, but mango serves, ripe or not"

That's Mango specialty. Some fruits are used when they are raw, others when ripe. But mango is equally used in both the forms. The other great thing about mango is that it has one of the longest season among the fruits. Even as season progresses, one or the other variety remains in circulation, keeping mango lovers hooked.

Aam ke Aam, Guthalion ke daam - Right!


Monday, July 12, 2004

Pune ka Traffic

Pune , argubaly has the largest number of two wheelers in Asia. The total number of registered vehicles in the city have by far exceeded Mumbai's. Whole city is smoked and choked. So looking at the traffic woes Pune is facing, these are a few lines which aptly define the situation. Arz kiya hai-

Yeh Bola Pune ke kutte se Gaon ka kutta, Kahan se seekhi tuney ada dum dabane ki,
Dum dabane ko meri Buzdili mat samajh, Kahan hai jagah dum talaq hilane ki!

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Five Point Some One

What not to do at IIT.

This is the book which I have just finished. Author - Chetan Bhagat, is an IIT-D and IIM-A alumni. He has written it from his own experiences at IIT. I will not reveal the plot, if you can call it a plot. But yes, I will let you know what one should expect from the book.

The book is by an IITian, but for both IITians and non IITians. Only that, former would really relate to the incidents while the latter will be rendered wide-jawed in disbelief.

The story is about 3 guys who get into IIT with the dreams of great future, get the rudest shock of there lives when they see the horrendous curriculum and cut throat competition. Assignments, surprise quizzes, exams, lectures, labs, library, maggus take their toll on them. They lose the sense of east or west. Though, the story is pretty hackneyed, it's the personal chemistry created between these guys and how they keep devising new survival plans and theories which binds the reader. There are some great one liners, conversations, which remind me of our typical 4 Bot bulla session we had every night at my room (no 144).

Behavioural chronology is perfect. First they go through shock and disbelief, then try to grapple with situation, failing which they get frustrated with IIT system and start cursing it, and then they find recluse in this escapist and defeatist attitude. These guys are the heroes, Profs are the villains, and yes, there is a heroine as well. There are usual suspects like -Good and Bad Profs(and their daughters), Deans, HODs, Lectures, Quizzes, Faculty Building, CC, DisCo (disciplinary Committee), Vodka, Dope, Frustoos - which you can find in any IIT, make the integral part of the story. Initially, author dwells a bit too much on characterization, hence narrative slacks. Once you get through the first five chapters, the narrative becomes absorbing.

However, there are certain portions which could have been done better. Inorder to create the impression of an engineering college for non-IITians, author gets too technical too soon. You don't have Manufacturing Processes or Applied Mechanics course in first semester. The book seems to be more on Mechanical Engineering department than IIT as a whole. But, all said and done, the book is worth it's money. It reminded me of my days at IIT-K , the fun and not-so-fun I had there. I am sure you will feel the same.

Happy reading!


Friday, July 09, 2004

PC not so Manmohan

There has been such a windfall of taxes in PC's budget that I am still recuperating from it. I already have lost some Rs 3000/- with the newly introduced "educational" cess, and I am still counting. These FMs don't realize that when they increase service tax or include a new service in the tax net, it's not the service provider but the consumer who suffers. Service provider simply passes the burden to the consumer. Damn it!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Twenty Twenty : It's not Cricket

Twenty-twenty cricket is a new fad which is catching up in English counties these days. Actually, it was there last year as well. It drew large crowds and supposedly generated a lot excitement during the matches. It is said to be the next generation cricket after Tests and LOI.

Now we hear that Australia and India(read Dalmiya) have also taken notice. Both of them are planning to introduce this new format in there forthcoming domestic season. Australia, infact has agreed to play a Twenty -Twenty match during their next Ashes encounter with England.

English county season has begun and I saw a Twenty-Twenty match. I had seen a few of them last year as well. I found them really ridiculous. Every batsmen starts whacking from the very first ball , tracks are laid hopelessly flat and bowlers cut a sorry picture. Already they say LOI is a batsman's game while bowlers are getting a raw deal. Still , many a bowlers have improved, enhanced their skills, brought innovations, used there minds like never before and kept themselves in reckoning. Twenty-Twenty will be the last nail in their coffin.

Consider what cricket gonna lose -

-There will hardly any centuries for batsmen or 5 wicket hauls for bowlers. Only silly records like fastest 50 or 25 would be left to harp about. But even a fastest 50 has numerical limitation. You can't have it faster than 9 balls . What next?

-Wristy players would be history. What will happen of artists like Laxman, Dravid, Vaughan, Martyns etc ? They will try adapt but as a result would be neither here nor there.

-Beautiful sights like (Laxman's) cover drive , (Tendulkar's) straight drive , on drive , (Ranjit Singh's) leg glances, (Inzy's)punches would be gone. Every shot will be replaced by it's lofted counterpart.

-A bowler would be taken in a team on his batting abilities . Bowlers would try to bowl only yorker, slower ball or that limited bouncer. Emphasis would not be on taking wicket but on containment because 20 overs are too less to bowl a team out. Forget those outswingers, clean bowling thru the gate or doosras on flat pitches.

I beg to ask, why not play Baseball instead? These guys will kill Cricket. To tell you what, after watching memorable India-Aus 2000 Test series , India-Aus 2003-04 Test series and India-Pak 2004 Test series, I have become a big fan of Test Matches. They are the REAL thing, the real test of a player's ability, strength. It's a treat to watch. My interest in LOI is waning lately and to top that, we have this 20-20.

Mr Dalmiya, don't always think about the monetary gains. It's time to save the game.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Laloofication of the Railways

Well, What to say , though , a lot to say. Ever since Laloo ji has become Rail mantri, I have begun to have this uneasy feeling. And this is not without reason , as Laloo has proved it in short span.

I live approximately 1500 km from my home city . Two third of my folks stay there. I and they feel urge to visit each other. Now, we are not richie-rich. We lie somewhere in middle of middle-middle class and upper-middle class. So traveling by our domestic Maharaja or any other airlines is out of bounds. That leaves us at the mercy of the largest employer in the world ,under single administration. We are not alone, though, there are some 1.3 crores people, who use it's services daily. Given this staggering number , one expects the system to be efficient. It's far from it, but somehow just about manages.

So when Laloo laid his hands over the ministry, I winced. I am not talking about the fiscal deficit, reform process etc in Railways. There , Laloo will do no more bad than his predecessors. It's the sheer quality (or the lack of it) of train travel that has me concerned. My inkling is that it will grow from bad to worse in 5 years to come. Please observe the following ominous signs .

-There has been a sudden spurt in robberies, dacoities, killings in trains, especially in Bihar and Jharkhand. Laloo doesn't care, as better half Rabri quips --"Jab bhai hi bhai ko maar raha hai, to kya ker lijiyega"

-Already we've had two major accidents. Laloo says- " Jab train baithiyega, to passenger Ram bharosey". God save us.

-He has introduced kullhads for beverages. I guess, daily passengers will face risk of running kidney/gall bladders stones a few years down the line.

-Mattha, sattu will be served in trains. With no checks or standards existing, people will reach hospitals instead of their destinations.

-All the blankets and covers in AC cars will be of khadi. Laloo does a la Mahatma Gandhi choosing to ignore that khadi is highly inflammable.

-He started sending vegetables from Bihar to Delhi. Idea didn't last more than a day because all the vegetables perished.

-He mooted the idea that all day trains should have no reservations. Every wagon should be general. Makes sense because in Bihar , every train compartment, reserved or otherwise is rendered as general. Eve teasing would be fun for goons.

-AC fares should be increased by 10 %. Already passengers in them pay more than it's double cost. I see them increasing with compound rates in future.

Safety is at back burner. Laloo doesn't give a damn. We should thank our stars that PM is Manmohan Singh. He blocked most of the Tuglaqi ideas and saved us from the blues. But for how long is anybody's guess!!! As they say, "Bakrey ki Amma kabtak khair manaigi".

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Kya likh dala

"Mai yeh samjha mere dil ki koi hasrat nikal gai,
tooney dekha mujhey aise, ki tabiyat machal gayi,
werna tere sar ki kasam, aadmi mai bura nahin
" -Sahir Ludhianawi

Monday, July 05, 2004

Ode to a ...

They say appearances can be deceptive, and this person fits the bill perfectly.
He was the first person to land a job in our wing, though he had the least CPI of the lot. He had no time to study , except last minute crash-course by Munna because he would be busy at the CC whole semester. There is no end to his creative blitzkrieg whether it's hacking CC Head's machine twice over or scribbling oneliners on Graffiti board at SAC during Antaragni which had everybody split into nuts without knowing about the author. Actually they should have guessed. There is no dull time when he is around. He is probably the most creative genius in our wing.

Happy Birthday Anant Mishra.

Done it!!!!!

He has done it again, She has done it for the first time and They have created history!!!Here "He" is Roger Federer, "She" is Maria Sharapova and "They" are Greeks.

While defending champion Federer had to fight off stiff challenge from 2nd seed, Andy Roddick, Sharapova to my pleasant surprise simply blew Serena away. She very tactically exploited Serena's weak forehand and drew the American to submission. She, now becomes the second successive Russian to win a Grand Slam final after Anastasia Myskina in French Open. Czarinas have arrived!

Men's Final , in contrast was fought for every tooth and nail . Federer was completely shell-shocked by Roddick in first set. Second set virtually resembled a see-saw and eventually went Federer's way. Next two sets were also very evenly fought, but Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar, and Federer was Sikandar this time.

There is not much to really say about the Euro Finals. Completely lackluster. Greeks did what they know best. They simply choked Portuguese while sneaking yet another header. This victory means to them what 1983 Prudential Cup victory means to India.

It's party time for sport lunatics like me. Euro and Wimbledon has just completed and Tour De France has just started. Let's see whether Armstrong creates history or not. Asia Cricket Cup and Olympics are due to start. I would be sporty fun!!

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Friday, July 02, 2004

Another Russian Sensation!

Moveover Anna , Welcome Sharapova!
Here comes a new Russian tennis sensation from Siberia, who is just 17 years old. Unlike Anna , Maria Sharapova can actually play Tennis. While Anna never reached the semi-finals of any Grand Slam event, Sharapova is set to meet Serena Williams at Wimbledon Finals, 2004. Hope she maintains her form for coming years as women tennis has lacked glamour since Steffis and Sabatinis have left the scene.
Meanwhile, don't miss the finals guys for sheer oomph.

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Vintage Harsha Bhogle

Recently , I heard a comment made by Harsha Bhogle on Sehwag -
"His assessment of risk is more akin to that of an equity investor than a debt fund manager"

This is vintage Harsha Bhogle indeed.

Silver Lining

Czechs are out of the Euro, alas, courtesy the Silver goal by Greece. It was a case of missed opportunities. Czechs had strong midfield and forwards . There moves were phenomenal, but the finishing was poor. But that is not to take any credit away from Greeks. They gave it all they had. They were better organized. There marking , tackling was excellent. They checked all the moves marauding Czechs made.

So we will have a new Euro champion this time. It's very interesting that this Euro championship started and will end with the match between same teams. Will Greek Gods repeat history?

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Sometimes, I try to define secularism to myself. Neither I am an unsecular like VHP and chums and nor I find myself secular like Congress, Left , Media or Human Rights activists observing encounter of Ishrat Jahan. The former phrase doesn't need an explanation, but for latter I'll explain you why I feel so.

Ishrat Jahan, a student was traveling in a car intercepted by Gujrat police. There was firing from that car. Even if we assume that there was no firing, vehicle must have tried to escape. I say must because there was a lot of illegal ammunition found in the car later. The two backseat occupants turned out to be Pakistani. The one driving the car was a guy called Javed. So far so good. But now some interesting developments start taking place.

Claim - Mumbai police hurriedly declared Ishrat could not be a terrorist because her classmates and neighbours say she was a student, that too a sincere one.
Counter- Haven't these guys heard of SIMI. Were they not students? And were they not terrorists? This logic came from the police that is said to be arguably, the most efficient in the country and second only to Scotland Yard in the world. I have begun to have my doubts.

Claim - Ishrat's mother says that she did not know Javed.
Counter - However, Javed use to work for her husband a few years ago. Memory loss? Many people have reported to police that she actually knew Javed very well.

Claim - Ishrat's mother didn't know she was going to Ahemdabad. She didn't ask.
Counter - When queried why didn't she ask? Answer : I had full faith in her. Great!!

Claim - Ishrat's mother didn't even ask when she'll be back.
Counter - This because, her mother knew she would return. She always did. However she didn't , this time.

There many such loop holes in the story. There is a diary of Ishrat which clearly states that she knew Javed and Pakistani militants before hand. There were cash transactions between them which were recorded in the diary . She used to travel out of station for as long as a week , quite frequently. Even then, she was claimed to be a sincere student. She was traveling in a car which had illegal ammunitions. What was she doing there in first place if she had no business to be there!

The media , politicians are not questioning these facts. Instead, they are questioning the intent of Gujrat police, which were fed with this information from Mumbai Crime Branch and BSF. Minority right activists like Testlavad are providing monetary help to Ishrat's family.

All this in the name of holy secularism. Even if terrorists genuinely hatch a plan to kill some one in this country, they will get away just because they might be from minority community. Someone give me a break ! This is not secularism. This is crass politics. This is an indication that elections are due in Maharashtra.

I will stick to that definition of word Secular , which we were taught in our schools -follow your own religion, and let other follow theirs.

Super Sundays of the yore

Those were the different times. There was no cable TV. There was no overdose of movies, films, celebrities. When a TV Remote was not the bone of contention in the house. No scheming saas-bahus. The days when Wednesdays and Fridays were special because those were the Chitrahar days. Children spent their evening playing outdoor games, not with Cartoon Network and elderly watched news at 2040 hours instead of Kasauti Zindagi Ki. Saturday was not an off-day, but the day of Giant Robot & Johnny Socco and Phool Khiley Hain Gulshan-Gulshan. And then those Super Sundays.

Today , Sunday or any other day is no different as far television is concerned. One doesn't even notice as they go by. But those Sundays, which we witnessed during our teens were very special. They were eagerly awaited. The day started with Rangoli. After skipping the Gurbani, sponsored by Taxila TV, came the real celebration time.

The Nine'o clock, time for real,quality cartoon. Ribticklers like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck giving us laughter or our adventure hero - HE-Man, The Master of Universe demolishing the Skeleton and company. Ofcourse this was before epics Ramayan , Mahabarat and Chanyaka claimed that prime time. I also adored the Mowgli and his face-off with SherKhan.

Then we had famous child detectives coming our way. The original, Ek Do Teen Char ("charo milker saath chalein to kerdein chamtkar"), Khel Khel Mein, and the adaptation from Hitchcock's famous The Three Investigators, - a serial called Super Six. But my most favourite series has to be Indradhanush, where Sunny Singh played the super genius kid who makes a computer in which a good alien gets in. And then that alien starts sending Sunny 's brother (played by Akshay Anand) in past and future to sort out their problems.There were interesting situations like seeing you own father as a new born baby in past or meeting your clone in future, and I said vooowwww what a hi-tech idea!! . Unfortunately, they stopped the serial in midway. We also had our own Star-Trek series - Space City -Sigma with Captain Shakti being half-human, half machine.

Who can forget the irrepressible Rajani, so naturally-funny Jayant Kripilani in Mr and Mrs and the first of the Anand Mahendru comedies -Idhar-Udhar. His Dekh-Bhai-Dekh , the mother of all comedies came much later. There was this serial called Wah Janab ,written by Sharad Joshi based on some muslim neighbour hood in Lucknow, which became launch pad for Shekhar Suman in television. Kiran Juneza looked ravishing . Those were the days when serials used to have terrific title songs - "Har khoob ke chehrey se uthatey hum Naqab, kya kehney Wah Janab!".

Neev took us to school days, and it was amazing that it was directed by a young guy a little more than our age. Faster Fanny was also very refreshing.

Siddhart Basu's quiz was a must watch. That was the first time probably I first heard about IITs, as they use to participate in this event.

I don't know about the others, I was immensely fascinated by Spiderman, even more than even Superman. That's probably because though I had read Superman comics, I saw Spiderman before on TV. I don't know why they showed it only for 15 mints. But yes, those 3 hours before Spiderman were very difficult to kill because that was time for regional language films, which apart from Punjabi, a little bit - I understood none.

Evenings, like every other Sunday evening was the Movie Time. One and only hindi movie of the week, though later they started movie on Saturdays as well. They had also started late night movies on Thursday, which I had sneaked quite a few ;-)

Well Sundays will never be same again, and the kids today are not even aware of the stuff they are missing. I miss them too. Someone please give me those super Sundays again. I wish some alien gets into my comp and sends me to my past :-)

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