Friday, October 29, 2004

Indian Idol

Much hyped Indian Idol opened with bang yesterday. I mean, almost literally. Those who saw the show, wouldn't ever forget the burly lady in hurry. Not least the judges - Anu Malik, Sonu Nigam, Farah Khan.

For the uninitiated, Indian Idol is a show( on Sony) to unravel a singing talent in India. Auditions are taken all across India, starting with Mumbai yesterday. Contestants would sing a song of their choice, and based on that, judges will decide whether to take them to next round or not.

To be honest, judges were corny. To make the show interesting, they were packing-off failed contestants with some rude-cum-witty remarks( depending upon who you are). Of course, they were following their brief.

All was going fine, when a terribly out-of-tune girl turned up. Well, she claimed to have 'won' singing competitions, but to tell you frankly - her Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam title song recital was most terrible since I heard Sunil Dutt in Padosan. Obviously, she was rejected, and one didn't need a judge to do that.

But her imposing, heavy duty mom couldn't digest that. She crash entered the audition room, demanded one more listening. Judges politely did so, and she again started her pathetic recital. Sonu tried to correct her, but she couldn't catch the tune.

However, her mother declared that she is singing correct, and when again refused - she threw all the files and started to hit Anu Malik. Sonu caught her hand, and there was terrible commotion over there. Outside, she started abusing judges, like Sonu Nigam only does uchhal kood, Anu Malik knows nothing while Farah Khan is only a choreographer.

By then, I was laughing like nuts, and later read a silent prayer for the poor soul of her husband. Anu Malik has had a real close shave.

Yesterday, The Times of India had received information from 'well placed sources' that Sourav Ganguly's bone scan is normal. Today, we came to know that scan showed he has got liquid accumulated in hip joint, that is radiating pain to his thighs. Media has definitely gone to dog these days.


Katich got out on 99. While some may feel sorry for him, I feel it was 'Divine Justice'. He should have been LBW at no score. Then again at the score 6. Once he was caugth bat and pad. Finally, he was out four times. Aussies seems to be getting in habit of this. Hayden and Langer usually do. I remember Steve Waugh doing this. Ponting, Martyn, and now CLarke as well. It almost like taking 40 wickets against them, to win a match.


Meanwhile, deadly duo of Steve Bucknor and Billy Bowden are tormenting Srilanka and Pakistan these days. Saw Bucknor giving a Srilankan caught behind, when there was not bat involved. His partner gives LBW when it's bat. Great going fellas !

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mausam Ko Ishaaron Se Bulaa Kyun Nahin Lete
Rootha Hai Agar Wo To Manaa Kyun Nahin Lete

Divaanaa Tumharaa Koi Gair Nahin Hai
Machalaa Bhi To Sine Se Lagaa Kyun Nahin Lete

Tum Jaag Rahe Ho Mujh Ko Achchhaa Nahin Lagtaa
Chupake Se Meri Neend Churaa Kyun Nahin Lete


Lady Killer

I mean, not in literal sense, but by his cute looks, his extremely sharp brain. By his blushing smile, his ready wit. He is the charmer, and has had the most of the girls in the school enamoured by his persona.

Mesmerizer that he his, he is a very smooth talker. Always the one to make an impression even at the first meeting, with guys and girls alike. Throughout the topper(with minor aberrations here and there), he was the most cherished student amongst the teachers, fellow students, even the parents.

Not only that, he has the tremendous command over the pen. I bet, if he decides to write a blog, it would be a best seller. Has the great quizzing skills. Lest I forget, I must add that there is no end to his sporting abilities. Excels in every sport he plays. Got a perfect, smooth side-on right arm action I have ever seen, and very strong on off side while batting.

However, the greatest virtue I can mention about him is that he is a born leader. Always the captain of class Cricket team, class Football team, school (Unity) House captain. Didn't need a MBA degree for that, but now he has it, nevertheless.

But he is a friend for inseparable 14 years, not because of all of this. We became friends in strange circumstances, which only he and Mohan knows. Can't mention that here, I guess. He belongs to my inner circle.

Happy Birthday Hemant 'Naughty' U(t)padhayay !!

My Previous Birthday Wish - Late Charlie

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Pune has always been the city with strange weather. Barring rainy season( which is quite pleasant), temperature fluctuations are very sharp whole of the year.

Days would be hot from Sept to Nov; very hot from Feb to May. Nights would always be cooler, and most of the times fluctuation would be as large as 20 degrees in centigrade. Predictably, those who are not accustomed, have a perpetual running nose, round the year. Fear of viral fever or Upper Respiratory Tract is always lurking.

Of course, the heat or cold is not as extreme as it is in the north of Vindhyas. Loo, the typical north Indian wind, is also conspicuous by it's absence, and I am grateful to Pune for that. But I sorely miss that gulabi sardi, which can only be tackled by rui(cotton) or dui(duo).

The chill at night, the fog in the morning, nothing is there. Enjoyed those bonfires at night, with family members breaking into a chat. It feels so lonely over here. Then trudging away to school in our blazers, with that unmistakable clattering of teeth. Used to love all of it.

Heard that the winters have descended early, this time. Looking forward to, hopefully, a cooler Diwali.

Ek Kahaani

This one is by Maithli Sharan Gupt. It's one of my personal favourites ever since my childhood. It is taken from Yashodhara.


Those who can't read it properly, can read it here.

My Previous Post On Poems - Do Boond

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The least I can say about myself today is that I am seething with rage, with smoke coming out of my ears.

Reason ?

Well, 'prodigy' Patel has done his job again. So has old blind bat, David Shepherd. Latter couldn't see a LBW when Clarke was 11, Patel missed Clarke's stumping at 30, and spilt his catch at 64. To add to the misery, 6 byes were conceded, as well. Clarke with all these largesse is alive and kicking at 73.

With these ifs and buts, India could have restricted Aussies between 300-350, and we had a chance. But now, we have another gruelling day ahead.

See, situation is very difficult for me. If Ganguly's paranoidal obsession continues with that teen sensation, I would soon be suffering with hypertension. This is not his personal fiefdom. India will keep losing opportunities and matches, at the expense of his love story. As if he himself was not enough.

Only Patel's parent can save the country now. For country's honour, I request them to call Parthiv back. They have made enough money. His pension is insured. Now let the country win.

Plain Stupid

"Watch XYZ live on Mid-cap radar, CNBC at 1.15 pm
today "

This is the content of a mail, which was sent to all the employees yesterday, by a top-shot of the corporate communications department of my company. Time 11.30 AM. I have deliberately held back the names for obvious reasons.

To complete the jigsaw, I must add that we do not have a TV set in the office. So you might have already seen the problem. There is no way we can watch this show, and this is not the first instance, we have seen such a mail. Three days back, it was "ABC live on NDTV, 7.15 PM" . Still we keep getting them.

Having enough of this, I exchanged a few mails with the lady concerned to impress upon her the basic contradiction. I realized later that, it's even more stupid of me to do that . Here are the excerpts of the mails which we exchanged.

Lady: "Watch XYZ live on Mid-cap radar, CNBC at 1.15 pm today "
Me : "But how? We don't have a TV in the office."

The lady got miffed.

Lady: "Sorry ...i can do nothing about that."
Me : "That I agree. But don't you think such mails don't make much sense. It might be a better idea to put a video of the event later on the intranet, and send us the link. This was used to be done before. Don't know why it has been discontinued."

By now, she lost her top.

Lady: "This has not been discontinued. It will be put up shortly .U just need to CHECK IT OUT".
Me : "Take it easy, because there is nothing to get enraged. Sending the link has been discontinued, not the video. Anyways, neither the videos are put on main page of intranet, nor there is any hint where the video could be. How do expect us to check it out? "

Full stop.

She couldn't comprehend the logic behind all this because she didn't want to. Actually, all such mails are sent to create a feel-good impression about our company heads, and that how they have reached places. This is silly publicity, a fit case of misplaced priorities.

The lady was angry because she exactly knew what I was suggesting, and that hurt her ego.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Outsiders

Here is a not-so-small list of those who could or should be out of Mumbai or Maharashtra , if one strictly goes by Shiv Sena Mee Mumbaikar theory.

Who: Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek
From: Amitabh (Allahabad ), Jaya(Bhopal)

Who: Late Dhirubhai, Anil, Mukesh.
From: Jamnagar.

Who: Prithviraj, Raj, Shammi, Shashi, Rishi, Randheer, Karishma, Kareena.
From: Peshawar

Sharukh Khan

Amir Khan and clan
Who: Nasir Hussain, Tahir Hussain, Amir Khan, Mansoor Khan.
From: Lucknow

Who: BR Chopra, Yash Chopra, Aditya.
From: Lahore

Who: Tara Chand, Sooraj Chand
From: Kuchaman, Rajasthan.

Who: Roshan, Rakesh Roshan, Rajesh Roshan, Hrithik Roshan
From: Lucknow

Who: Ashok, Kishore, Anup, Amit, Anuradha Patel
From: Khandawa, Madhya Pradesh

Dilip Kumar
From: Peshwar

Who: Dev, Ketan, Vijay
From: Gurdaspur, Punjab

Sanjeev Kumar
From: Gujrat

Salman Khan and clan
Who: Salim Khan, Salman Khan, Arbaz Khan
From: Indore

Akhtars and clan
Who: Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Farhan, Kaifi Azmi, Jaan Nisar Akhtar
From: Javed (Lucknow/Bhopal), Kaifi( Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh)

Who: SD and RD
From: Assam

Who: Sunil, Nargis, Sanjay
From: Sunil( Ambala, Haryana), Nargis(Lucknow/Allahabad)

Who: Dharmendra, Hema, Sunny, Bobby
From: Dharmendra(Phagwara, Punjab), Hema Malini(Chennai)

Actors/Actresses like Waheeda( Hyderabad), Feroz, Sanjay, Fardeen Khan(Banglore), Rekha(Chennai), Shatrughan Sinha(Patna), Naseerudin Shah( UP), Amjad Khan(UP), Vinod Khanna(Gurdaspur), Sridevi( Chennai), Govinda(Varanasi), Rani Mukherjee(Uttar Pradesh), Ravi & Raveena Tandon(Lucknow), Rati Agnihotri(Dehradoon), Manoj Bajpai(Patna), Ashutosh Rana(Sagar, MP), Irfan Khan( Jaipur) etc also do not orginally belong to the place.

In comedians, we have Mehmood(Banglore), Johnny Walker(Indore), Asrani(Jaipur), Jagdeep( Bhopal).

Singers include Mohd. Rafi (Punjab), Mukesh(Delhi), Talat Mehmood( Lucknow), Hemant Kumar(Varanasi), Manna De. (Calcutta), Abhijeet(Kanpur), Udit Narayan( Nepal), Anup Jalota(Lucknow), Kumar Sanu(Calcutta), Babul Suprio( Calcutta), Shan( Calcutta), Chanchal(Lucknow) etc.

Music directors - Madan Mohan(Lucknow), Roshan(Lucknow), Naushad( Lucknow), Kalyan ji Anandji(Kutchh), Pyarelal( Uttar Pradesh), Ravindra Jain(Varanasi), Ravi(UP), Chitragupta( Patna), Anand-Milind(Patna), Jatin-Lalit(Kutchh) etc.

Lyricists are Majhrooh (Sultanpuri), Sahir( Ludhiyanvi), Firak (Gorakhpuri), Hasrat (Jaipuri), Sardar Ali Jafri( Lucknow), Shakeel (Badauni), Neeraj( Lucknow), Majaj (Lucknawi), Shailendra( Mathura), Anjaan( Varanasi), Gauhar (Kanpuri), Sameer( Varanasi), Maya Govind (Lucknow), Kavi Pradeep (Lucknow).

Then there are Business houses like Bajajs( Rajasthan),Birlas( Rajasthan), Goenkas( Rajasthan) who should leave. Narayan Murthi(Mysore) might not have found his wife, and Infosys might not have even born. Not in Pune, at least.

As you can see, list can go on and on, and it will never stop. Mumbai is so cosmopolitan. And these idiots want them out ! Can you believe it?

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Mee Mumbaikar , Rest Bangladeshis

Bal Thackrey has issued warnings to Bangladeshies, Biharies, and UPites. Finally, he has put all three of them at same level. They all are not welcome. But this is only a toned-down Thackrey.

In 70s, he was against the blood of South Indians in Mumbai. Then his ire turned towards Bhaiyyas and Biharies. Lately, it's those non-Maharashtrians, who have come to Mumbai since 1995. The politics has changed him, but not changed enough. Even the thumping in the state elections has not taught him lessons. He has lost Mumbai, and even Pune.

He says that Maharashtra is for Marathi manus, and preference should be given to local people for the jobs. Pray, but who disagrees. There is no claim to Maharashtra, and as far as state level jobs are concerned, locals should be definitely preferred.

But all Central Services take all India exams. Selection is entirely on merit And what about these Bajajs, Tatas, Ambanis etc. Why should they remain in Maharashtra? They should also move to their respective states, and bother about their own community. But all are rich and creating wealth.

Logic has never worked for him. Like his regionalistic umbrage was to gain political mileage, his attempt to placate non-Maharashtrians just before election was also to garner their valuable votes. But public is no fool. Just analyze this.

There has been severe drought in Maharashtra, three years preceding this year. Eighty thousand children have died in villages due to malnutrition. Inflation and petro prices are sky high. There is strong anti-incumbency both against state and center government. Still Shiv Sena managed to lose. Both Marathi and non-Marathi speaking people have shunned him.

Here, both Mahrashtrian and non-Maharashtrian are living amicably. No problem with each other, even if the cultures are different. I can understand spoken Marathi, while most Maharashtrian can both read and write Hindi. I only hope that Shiv-Sena does not succeeds in creating any rift.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


No, I am not putting up any review of the movie, not just because I haven't seen it, but also because there have been so many of them(reviews). In fact, there has been almost a public out cry against the movie. Critics( not that I give a damn about them), friends, colleagues - all of them have been unanimous in the decision that the movie sucks.

Now I am not one of those different-than-others sort of guys. Such people always have a 'different' take on popular issues. They first make an opinion, then they try to justify it with silly arguments. My views are mostly in sync with popular opinion, though exceptions are always there. Fools go there where wise fear to tread, and I don't want to get counted myself as one amongst the former.So I won't go to see this movie, even for nothing.

I am not surprised by the reaction, though, as I saw it coming, judging by the promos. Script and dialogues are so loosely written that writer forgot that it is hiccups, not sneezes which suggest someone is thinking about us. Sneeze is plain irritation in nasal chamber, dammit.

Anyways, I won't have gone to this movie because of deadpan Aishwariya Rai. Sorry fans, but she can't act. Eight years in the industry, and she still can't act. All she does is giggling, and shouting. Proverbial ice-maiden-model-turned-actress. I can bet my right arm that if had she participated in Zee India's Best contest, she won't have crossed the first hurdle.

Though nothing against the original story. Trishna, in 1984, where Kittu Gidwani made her debut appearance, was a terrific serial. Back then, I was too young to comprehend the nuances, but a repeat telecast made sense. Good acting, and even better direction.

So much for the hype.



Weekend Muse

Ravana is dead, Goddess has gone to river...and I am working over the weekend. Sigh ! People may be surprised, but I am not used to work on weekends, despite myself being a software professional. Surprised ?

Not that my work doesn't demand it, but not always. All my superiors till date have secretly desired my presence on most of the weekends. But they have been nice enough, never command me into it. Occasionally, they have subtly hinted, but never did they made it obvious.

I have not been stubborn, though. As and when, I feel the need, I do make it to the desk. For me, I have always thought this profession as a medium to earn my living honestly. But that must not necessarily mean working on unearthly hours, without any reason. Just because one is a bachelor, or pretty excited about a project or bug. This way, one's personal life gets killed, creates false expectations which are impractical to sustain for long.

I am outside my home for eleven hours, of which I work for almost ten. I do not take any coffee or smoke breaks. I just go for a 20 minute brisk walk. Yes, I do take break to relax my eyes. But I work to my capacity, and give my best. Even if I try to over work myself, my efficiency takes a dip. Not good for, both, me and my employers.

These are the reasons enough for me. But this weekend, it's different and important. So even if Ravana is dead, and Goddess has gone to river - I need to work.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Ever wondered the fate of the song, now a cult famous, Yahooo, without the irrepressible, energetic Shammi Kapoor.

No? Can't even imagine ? Even me, too! In fact, I can't see any other actor doing justice to any of his songs. The dashing dapper hero, he looked his female interest straight into the eyes. He appeared cocky, brash, unconventional - hardly the stuff ladies look for. Yet, they use to melt at the sight of this rebel. Yes, he was the isharon-isharon mein dil leney wala.

Long time back, I was seeing a program on TV, where aunties were being asked some cheeky questions, about their youth. Shammi Kapoor and Beatles were their unanimous passion, back then.

He was the person who made swinging sixties - sizzling. His yelling, broke sound barrier, and his dancing defied gravity. In short, he set the 70 mm screen on fire with his zeal. I haven't seen a more energetic actor; Shahrukh comes a poor second, as far as energy is concerned.

He rocked with Shakti Samant and Nasir Hussain. He once remarked that Nasir Hussain came to Mumbai with one story, and made eleven movies out of it. Most of them, with Shammi.

Long live the charmer, and Happy Birth Day.

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Blogroll's Important Update

It won't be in the fitness of things to say that he is a new kid on the block, but yes, my dear friend, Ishan has rediscovered blogging after my not-so-much cajoling.

He is a extremely good writer, and has different tastes. I assure you, his blogs won't be usual run-of-the-mill stuff like me. The subtle humour, not slapstick is his forte. Shades of PG Woodhouse in his writings is unmistakable.

Then, Deepak, Ashtrix, Neha, Shubh, Manish and Cool Cat have been the gradual additions to my Blogroll, as I visit them regularly.

On Demand - Alka

A lovely poem, Do Boond by Jai Shankar Prasad, from his collection Jharna.


Alka, I have already posted one more beautiful poem by him, Jaag Ri , my personal favourite.

My Previous Post On Poems - Unko Pranam & Abhar

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Seven Of You

I had heard about this a long time ago (not sure, first by whom), that there are seven copies of each of us around i.e., for a given face, there are six more people with identical faces in the world. I was later reminded about this by my sister, and now days, this statement is very common in movies and serials.

Needless to say, I had almost laughed off this fact, when one day I saw this guy. He was handsome, slightly taller than me - and looked familiar. Suddenly it hit me that he looks like me. He use to live near my place, so I could see him quite frequently. But I never discussed this anyone, afraid of being laughed at.

A few years later, when I was in class XI, there was a new joiner from Doon School. Though he was handsome and much taller, his face looked quite similar to mine. Mum was the word again for me, lest people thought I was nuts. But this time, one of my classmates also noticed that, and brought the matter to my notice, without realizing that I already knew.

Reflecting on these individuals, I found this very interesting. Already there were 3 guys with similar faces, in same city, completely unrelated. There could be many more. Believe it or not, we have a exact replica of Shoib Akhtar in Lucknow, also a Muslim, and born on the same date. Only that, he is a meat seller, and a left hander.

So not only we have copies of famous personalities(just that we do have knowledge about them), but us lesser mortals are also present in duplicates. Not only for myself, I have noticed this for many others. Whether they are seven of them, I am still not sure !

PS: When I mention that my face resembles two 'handsome' guys, this is not to suggest anything about my handsomeness. Rather, I am one of those blink-and-miss guys. Not joking, this !

Added Later: I forgot to mention one more case. When I joined college, there was this senior who kept on insisting I had an elder brother, who just passed from the college. When I told him that I don't have any brother, he looked bewildered. He went on to ask me if I had lost a brother in Kumbh mela, who looked exactly like me ! So that makes four of us.

On Demand - Vandy

This one is by Nagarjun.


And this is by Shiv Mangal Singh 'Suman'.


Both are Vandy's favourite.

My Previous Post On Poems - Sandhya

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Nice Poem

Those who are missing it, they may check out this beautiful poem on Abhaya's blog. You won't be disappointed.



Another Feather In Shourie's Cap

Arun Shourie. The name needs no introduction, not just because everyone knows him, but also because no introduction will do him justice. He is one of those rarest of rare breed of netas, whose (good) deeds speak more than his mouth. Infact, to call him a neta would be a blasphemy.

He was a journalist with a difference, and has won Ramon Magsaysay award for Journalism and Literature in 1982. He started the famous series on BR Ambedkar in Indian Express, which created a lot of stir amidst political circles. He is a Padma Bhushan, and has also won International Editor of the Year Award.

He was NDA's most performing and least corruptible minister, despite of the fact that his son is a mentally retarded adult, while another member of his family is battling with cancer. He is soft spoken, intelligent, works relentlessly, and is afraid of none. Took on Reliance, where it was wrong and blew the winds out of Ram Naik, when the latter was Petroleum Minister. He is equally despised by his party and opposition. Not that it bothers him even least bit.

This is a beautiful and must read article by Gurucharan Das on him, written exactly 2 years ago. It talks about what it takes to be Arun Shourie.

And this is the feather in his cap I mentioned in the heading. Judge your self. Will you find such a man in real life, leave alone the politics or journalism?

He was once asked that how could he maintain so calm despite so hardships in his personal and professional life. He replied, that the moment he enters his house after the day's hard work - his son gives out such a loud shrill with joy, that it could be heard in entire neighbourhood.

This inspires him because when his son, despite his hopeless physical condition can still remain happy, then the least he can do is to remain composed during adversity. Way to go !

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Evening - In Words

Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay 'Hariaudh' has described evening in very beautiful words. Though words are a bit difficult, nevertheless pleasure is all yours.


My Previous Post On Poems - Din Jaldi Jaldi


Veerappan is dead. The forty years of terror is over. The 6000 woods of Satyamanglam will never be same again.

STF finally succeeds after 14 years. Crores have been spent for the job. But there have been reasons for the delay. The political will being one. He was an advocate of Tamil cause. His ransoms, apart from money included installing of Tamil leaders' statues in Banglore, and release of journalists, politicians from the jails.

The another reason was the money. The crores which were sanctioned for his tracking used to be gobbled up by the corrupt police officials. If he was captured or killed, that money won't come. But the biggest reason was his Robinhood persona. He was very popular with the locals. That made the tracking very difficult.

Started with the smuggling of sandalwood and poaching, he migrated to kidnapping. Apart from Nagappa, none were killed. Many escaped, others were let off after negotiations. Rajkumar was freed after 108 days with 20 crores of ransom in his kitty.

But he was no saint. He had some 120 odd murders to his name, mostly police and forest officials or informers. Some were beheaded, others were shot. There are some exotic tales about him. That he drinks goat blood, or ate elephant flesh. He killed 6000 of them for poaching.

But he is dead now. The woods won't be same again - for good.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Some more Holy Shit! Bloody groundsmen have given up, and the match has been well and duly called off. The richest cricket board does not even have the facilities to clear the puddle. They had to use lungis and hankies to dry the ground. All the ground need is some fish.

These idiots are involved in petty fights amongst themselves, and don't provide enough money to cover the whole ground with Tarpoline, leave alone the modern drainage system and mopping facilities. It was shocking to see only 3/4th of the ground being covered. I remember, even cash-strapped Zimbawe using a Helicopter to dry the ground.

Man of the Match should be Parthiv Patel. After all he played for both the sides. The Chepauk ground should let remain open for Patel to practise keeping while fishing. He will need it because the assholes which the selectors are, have selected him again for the next two matches. Some guys have all the luck!

This has been the worst kind of anti-climax possible. The first match went to umpires, second to weather and Patel; third will go Nagpur, while God only knows what will happen to Mumbai match.

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Holy Shitttttt!!! The much delayed and damned south western Monsoon has ra(u)ined such a nice game ! The Ground looks like a pool of mud slush, even though rain has stopped temporarily. Dean Jones is looking glee, ready to break in a jig. I feel like pulling my hear, and breaking his teeth. It didn't rain a drop in Banglore.

Means India lose the series for that Nagpur pitch is dead as a dodo, and in Mumbai, trust Australia pull all out to save that one. Finally, I have nothing to add any thing new on Parthiv Patel(Grrrrrrrrrr).

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pathan - Allrounder ?

NO! Not Yet! All those journos, ex-cricketers, commenters, whom-so-ever, puhleeease nip the debate right there in the bud! Sorry, but we don't want to lose our lead bowler for want of an elusive allrounder.

For past one week, almost everybody has been crying hoarse over the arrival of next Kapil Dev. Already, comparisons with Wasim Akram have went over board. Need a collective will to stop that, and we have a valid reason to do that. Remember what happened 3 years back with Sehwag Vs Sachin comparisons. Some cheeky guys, went even further and adjudged Sehwag was better than Tendulkar.

Now Sehwag is a pale shadow of himself. It has been more than an year and half, since Sehwag lost his one-day form. In last 47 matches, Sehwag has scored just One century, and that too way back in November 2003. The one before that had come in Jan 2003. Luckily, he looks in nice touch in test matches.

The problem in our country is that just a few good performances old new comer is started getting compared with seasoned players who have proved themselves over a long period of time. No doubt Irfan Pathan has a nice batting technique, but right now his batting average in Tests is just 27.33, while in LOI is 17.41. He has a lot to prove, as of yet.

If we keep on forcibily making an allrounder out of him, we will load him with undue burden. The fallacies of top batting order, shouldn't be indirectly diverted to him. Those 'Gods on Off side', 'Very Very Specials' and others need to perform with bat, not him. Yes, he may hang around, chip in, or bang it once in a while. But primarily let him bowl(wonderfully), the way he has been doing till now.

He must not bat for others, or he may not be able bowl as himself. Remember Ajit Agarkar?

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Left Right Left

Only this weekend I witnessed one of the most well articulated episodes of Big Fight on NDTV 24 X 7. It was about Censor board, and the controversies associated with it. The person called to defend the board was the then board chairman himself, Anupam Kher. There were two ladies in the panel, and Rakesh Sharma, the director of 'internationally acclaimed' documentary film on Gujrat riots, Final Solution.

After the show, I had no doubt that Anupam stole the show. All his answers, counter arguments were articulate and logical. There were no blank statements, flowery speeches. Every statement by him was substantiated by valid logic. The fact that ladies were poorly prepared, also helped him.

But the way he pointed glorious deficiencies in the rule implementation and political interference, I wondered if he was getting too frank to the comfort. And lo, behold - within three days, he was out of the office, at the left's behest, who else. The reason - censor's hitch in passing the Final Solution. The fact that movie was passed only this week, that only by intervention of Kher himself, was too late too little for the left.

These are very sorry state of affairs. The way left is controlling and threatening every now and then is a la Jayalalita and Bal Thackrey rolled into one, and the way they are elbowing their leftist agenda - they are no less than a certain Murli Manohar Joshi. Now we have heard that UPA is asking to edit( rather glorify) the portions of emergency in Parkash Jha's film on Jai Prakash Narain.

The able man like Kher is out of the office. Now we will have Sharmila Tagore as a rubber stamp. I wonder when these old, dilapidated, ever cribbers leftists will leave the country for good. Leftism has been absolute failure in China, Russia, closer home in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. Barring last two, every one in the list is embracing rapid reforms.

But These leftists won't ever learn. Heard a quote from Sitaram Yechury - "The Chinese are like DTC buses. They give signal for 'left', but actually turn 'right' !" That sums up the situation. They are not even willing to learn from their fellow comrades, either. Sigh!



Late Charlie

If ever, I want to imagine of a proverbial Late Charlie, it has to be Piyush Kumar, popularly known as Poosh Kumar in our group. I have my valid reasons for the same. I doubt, if he ever reached any of his class on time, even if his next class is right next door. His bewildered profs will vouch for that.

But late-lateefy never came in the way of his grades. A brilliant academic performer, he has a knack of learning languages. A very sincere, polite and helpful person, I can never forget his help during one of my most distressful period seven years ago. Always the man of principles, never took a software job. Even turned down the Telco's job offer as they were not giving his desired location. Literally tore through GRE, as the English, it seems, is his first language.

His Laila-Majnu jodi with Subir Kohli was famous in the whole batch. Happy belated birthday Piyush.

My Previous Birthday Wish - Harsh's Chichi

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Indrajal Ka Jal

Last month on 17th, I read about the birthday of Anant Pai, popularly known as 'Uncle' Pai. The name brought fond memories to my mind. After all, he was the person who introduced to us the fantabulous comic series like Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal.

Along with Diamond and Raj comics series, these are the books on which our childhood fed into. The story about the starting of Amar Chitra Katha series itself is interesting. Pai was watching a quiz contest in Delhi, where participants knew about the Greek and Roman mythology inside-out, but couldn't answer who was God Ram's mother. This hurt him a lot, and inspired him introduce this famed series two years later in 1969.

But my favourite remains the enigmatic Indrajal Comics, which he had launched in 1964. They always involved a degree of mystery and adventure. Characters were colourful, and full of elan. Of course, the all time favourite was exotic Mr Walker- the Phantom. The ghost of who walks. His beautiful wife Diana (who worked for UN), the stallion Hero , the pet wolf Devil, and all those legendry tales about him(old jungle sayings) added to the charm.

His Sphinx/Skull shaped den, that skull symbol in his ring, which used to get imprinted in the jaws of the crooks, those two guns which he used simultaneously, and the tribal method to send messages across to Phantom by banging on the drums are now part of legendry tales. Then, those deep woods, the Bandar pygmies, the garden of Eden (where the big cats eat fish and Phantom goes skiing on dolphins), all were very captivating.

Then there were other characters as well. Magician Mandrake, his burly buddy Lothar, girl friend Narda, and Hojo (the secret chief of Inter-Intel, the entrance to which was an adventure in itself).

Another favourite was horse trotting Bahadur taking on with smugglers and dacoits around RajGarh, himself a son of dacoit.

The dashing Flash Gordon who patrolled outer space. Intellectual Rip Kirbee and his butler friend. Kerry Drake a no-nonsense New York cop.

Garth was a Lone Ranger helped by his soul mate, Goddess Astra. Buz Sawyer brought some comic relief to his adventures. Another character was Mike Nomad, whom I couldn't read much .

These names still give me goose pimples, and excitement remains the same. I can imagine myself settling round a corner, digging deep into these books, ignorant of the rest of the world. One thing about these heroes; I never saw any killing. All those gunshot were invariably aimed at hands or legs, and law took it's own course. There were some reformist attempts as well.

The best part was the cost. If one wanted to buy them, they were a meager Rs 3.5 a piece. Better so, if one wanted to rent and read - 35 paise for a day ! Never a princely sum, that. My heartiest thanks to Uncle Pai and Lee Falk.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sirf Tumhare Liye

This is a sher by famous poet Jaan Nissar Akhtar, father of Javed Akhtar. Simple words, deep meaning.

Yun To Ashaar Jamaney Ke Liye Hain
Per Kuchh Sher Phakat Tumharey Le Liye Hain

[Ashaar - Plural of Sher ]
[Phakat - Sirf/Just]

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Is Ka Gila Nahin..

A beautiful Nazm by Trilok Chand 'Mehroom'. A bit tough Urdu, but I have included meaning of certain toughies.

Is kaa Gilaa Nahin Ki Duaa Be-Asar Gayi
Ik Aah Ki Thii Woh Bhi Kahin Jaa Ke Mar Gayi

Ai Hum-Nafas Na Poonchh Jawani Ka Maajara
Mauj-E-Naseem Thi, Idhar Aayi, Udhar Gayi

Daam-E-Gam-E-Hayaat Mein Ulajhaa Gayi Ummeed
Hum Ye Samajh Rahe The Ki Ehasaan Kar Gayi

Is Zindagi Se Hum Ko Na Duniya Mili Na Deen
Taqadeer Kaa Mushaahidaa Karate Guzar Gayi

Bas Itana Hosh Thaa Mujhe Roz-E-Vidaa-E-Dost
Viiranaa Tha Nazar Mein Jahan Tak Nazar Gayi

Har Mauj Aab-E-Sindh Hui Waqf-E-Pech-O-Taab
"Mehroom" Jab Watan Mei Humari Khabar Gayi

[Hum-Nafas=friend; Maajara=happenings]
[Mauj=wave; Naseem=a gentle breeze]
[Daam=net; Hayaat=life]
[Deen=religion; Mushaahidaa=inspection]
[Aab-E-Sindh=waters of the river Sindh (Indus)]
[Waqf-E-Pech-O-Taab=extremely angry]

Earliest Memories

Childhood memories are mostly sweet, though they might not be as much vivid, as one may want to be. There are often some missing links, some flashes - but all in all, everyone is able to recall, at least, some of those cherished moments.

I would share with you all some of my earliest memories I have.

Though it may sound ridiculous to some, I do have some faint memories of my first few days in school - perhaps even first day. I remember most of my abandoned, fellow class mates were crying at the top of their voices, looking for their mothers, with one or two of them even wetting their bottle green pants . Probably, I was also crying.

The earliest memories of Cricket on TV are - Javed Mianadad hitting Chetan Sharma for a six at Sharjah, and Champion of Champions, Ravi Shastri driving that Audi at SCG.

Other Sport
The other major event which comes to my memory is AsiaD -1982, and it's mascot -Appu. It used to be a craze those days, with Appu stickers, labels, pencils etc available all around.

Amitabh Bachchan dancing on - 'Khai Ke Paan Banaras Wala', and - 'Mere Angney Mein' . I don't remember many fight sequences as I used to close my eyes during the same.

The first movie I remember watching in a cinema hall is probably 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram'

The first movies I saw on a VCR were - Sharabi and Tohfa. Almost whole neighbourhood was there.

My first ever long trip was to Vindhyas and Mahadev hills, now in ChhattisGarh. It was the first time I saw hills and waterfalls.

Chandamama and Indrajaal's Phantom - The Ghost Who Walks. He was an enigma.

When she was born, I was angry with every one. But since I saw that extremely fair, tiny-winy creature, with those sleepy eyes in the hospital, till date, nothing has beaten that joy I felt some 21 years ago.

There was this guy with me in KG called Sanjeev. I don't know where he is now. Probably one of the first of my friends along with Ashutosh Bhatnagar.

That big eyed, fairy like girl in my first standard. She even complained to the teacher that I stare at her. When teacher asked me, I politely replied that I like her. Teacher smiled and politely told that to my mother. The same girl was in my class for full 12 years. It must be hardly 12 times, I might have talked to her. The longest ever crush. Right Hemant ?

Girl Friend
Met this girl in a function. We both were five, and it turned out that our mothers were long lost friends. The girl declared she is gonna marry me, and on the face of it, I had no objection. She even introduced me to her father, and stated her noble interest. Her father looked very relieved man at the prospect.

Alas, her resolve couldn't stand the storms of time.

Like everyone else, I wanted to be a Doctor. When one of my friends wanted to be an Engineer - I laughed at him. I did not want to fix punctures in the tyres, I announced. During my summer training at HAL, Lucknow, when I saw LCA landing gear and wheel being worked upon, I laughed at myself. Wheel of the time had turned a full circle.

Well, these are what I can currently think of. If you guys can think of any other category, I can add that later.

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Some More By Bachhan

A few more classics by Bachhan senior. Probably, he was feeling a bit low and lonely. That mood gets reflected over here.


My Previous Post On Poems - Jo Beet Gayi

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Bell That Billy

Though I may not be mightily impressed with smiley-dude expression of Sehwag, when Dravid and Yuvraj were battling at the crease, and his country facing the inevitable defeat; still for the first time in last 4 months, an act of Sehwag finally brought smile on my face.

Billy Bowden after third day's play told to NDTV that as players are human, so are the umpires. But someone had to tell this guy that, he is not only a human, but he his exactly what he acts - a rank idiot. The arthritis which has struck his bone, seems to have gone beyond it's brief. He has lost his sense of mind, sense of sight and should promptly seek the services of lunatic asylum. It took a Jat to finally deliver that, and boy - he was loud and clear.

The point has been driven home to Bowden, and more importantly, to ICC. Bowden got the message, because he did not commit any further mistake for the rest of the match, also he was seen cutchie-cooing with Sehwag and Indian team management. All this is just to make sure no official complaint is submitted to ICC.

ICC got the message because Sehwag was merely fined 65% of his match fees. This is was no Ranjan Madugalle magnanimity, mind you. A breach of ICC rules, section 2.2 is strict; when there is Indian player(s) involved, it's stricter and when Madugalle is there as the match referee - you can be rest assured of the maximum possible penalty.

There is no love lost between Indian team and Madugalle, So why did he showered such largesse on Sehwag. Logic suggests, ICC has asked referee to go easy on this. ICC is also considering allowing three appeals( against umpires) to the teams during a test match. Bowden's under performance is not going unnoticed to ICC. Sooner or later, he will go - the same way Ashoka Di Silva was chucked out.

And some one please take Bucknor along as well. I don't not understand, why all those 'human' umpires do most of the mistakes against India only. This pair performed abysmally against India at Sydney. Now, this test is another casualty.

Just look at the decisions which have gone against India in this match.

Aussi First Innings

Langer LBW first ball. Not out - Bowden( Scores 52 more)
Hayden LBW. Not out - Bucknor( Scores 10 runs more)
MJ Clarke LBW at 92. Not Out - Bowden(Scores 59 runs more)

India First Innings

Chopra LBW McGrath. Out - Bucknor(Ball was hit high, score 0 )
Pathan caught Gilchirst. Out - Bowden(Caught of the thigh pads, score 31 partenership was on )

Aussi Second Innings

No decision against India, but with a twist.
Gillespie was caught by Yuvraj, but Bucknor rejected the appeal. Gillespie himself walked out. A slap of sort on Bucknor's face.

India Second Innings

Sehwag LBW McGrath. Out - Bowden( Inside edge)
Laxman LBW Warne. Out - Bucknor(Ball pitched outside legstump)
Patel LBW Warne. Out - Bucknor (Hit the ball outside the line off stump)

Terrible batting by Indian top order, superb all around performance by Aussies, and pathetic umpiring. Surprising that India lasted till second session of last day.

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Shirdi Waley Sai Baba....

Went to Shirdi this weekend. The darshan itself took hardly more than an hour, while the to and fro journey was of almost 12 excruciating hours. It was my first visit to the temple, and I must say it was worth it.

The temple is nicely maintained, everything very well organized. Considering the fact that the queue it self was atleast 500 people long, we never had to wait as the queue was always moving. There were close circuit TVs all along the way, and we were never under the Sun. Luckily, the weather was also pleasant.

The sanctum of temple is very beautifully decorated, and idol itself gives a very soothing experience. As seen in the movie - Amar Akbar Anthony, then it was just an open place. Now it's developed to a vast structure. The faith in the people was unfailing, and even tiny tots were unfazed by the crowd. All in all, a divine experience.

Divine experience till we landed in the bus. The second rate roads, a third rate bus, and even worse driver. I wondered with the conductor if the driver was once drove a bullock-cart. Every vehicle overtook our bus, while he overtook almost none. And to those he did overtake, it took him a chasing of almost two km to accomplish that. Finally, there were those weak bladder guys, who played their own part.

Never mind the aching limbs, we had a good night's sleep, once back at home. Courtesy Sai Baba, Sunday morning was a almost a fresh morning.

Harsh's Chichi

Though today is Amitabh Bachhan's birthday, while yesterday it was Rekha's - this write-up, however, is about a person, who was born a day before yesterday - the same day Balu and Rahul were born in the movie - Tere Mere Sapney.

Consider this - the president of Chemical Engineers' Society at IIT-K(Chemineer), the Sootradhar in a play written and directed by none other than Urmil Kumar Thapdiyal, an allrounder representing IIT-K's cricket team, and the Culture Secretary of the whole institute. No my friends, these are not four different persons. This is only a single person, and despite of all these extra-curricular activities, his academic record was nothing short of excellent.

Not only that, he is a very sharp learner. His GK is terrific, can finish any novel of whatever thickness in one night, can fall asleep within a minute of lying, and kicks hard whenever someone tries to forcibly wake him up. A go-getter, he is a very good friend to have.

Enacting the the movie, Love in Tokyo in his real life, he is now married to a lovely wife (Loveena) and is a proud father (of Harsh).Many happy returns for the day( before yesterday) - Abhishek.

My Previous Birthday Wish - September Rush

Friday, October 01, 2004

Music To Ears

When Lata Mangeshkar was once asked which music director and lyricist she considered best, her choices were Madan Mohan and Shailendra, respectively. These are the contentious issues, and I myself am confused when it comes to lyricists, as I find many of them equally good.

The songs from Guide, Sangam, Anari, Shri 420, Madhumati speaks for Shailendra, but what sums up the situation for him is the song 'Ye mera deewanapan hai’ from the film Yahudi and the songs from the movie produced by him - Teesri Kasam.

But when it comes to music director, there is no doubt in my mind about Madan Mohan and no, it's not a Lucknow bias. The reason he was not ever in lime light was the fact that though, his songs were super-duper hits, the irony was that either they were filmed on lesser actors, or the movies were abysmal flops. For eg. 'Woh bhooli dastaan fir yaad agayi'was filmed on Anita Guha while most of the songs from Heer Ranjha and Hanste Zakhma were on Priya Rajvansha.

The movies like Jaha-Ara and Dulhan Ek Raat Ki hardly ran for a week, but their songs are considered his best compositions ever. He kept giving haunting numbers in Haqeeqat, Mera Saya, Woh Kaun Thi, Anpadh, Mausam and Laila Majnu.

And now comes Veer-Zara. Yash Chopra is a music freak and he has hit gold with Madan Mohan's old composition. The old unused tunes is a fantastic concept. I have downloaded it's three songs, theme music and music promos; all are terrific, especially, the 'Main Yahan Hoon' song and theme music. 'Tere Liye' is also nice. The famed Madan Mohan sitar is back. The audio CD has eleven songs while the cassette has nine. Will get the CD this weekend.

If I try to list out my favourites amongst Madan Mohan's compositions, it will take a lot of space, like his mp3 songs in my hard drive. So I will keep that option for some other time. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy Veer-Zara. So should you.