Friday, April 29, 2005

Acting In Songs

Often, it's been observed that many actors while enacting a particular scene situation give their very best effort, but when it comes to perform in a song, they don't seem to be even half as involved.

A song is not all about dancing. In fact, it's like another scene which has to be enacted well. It's more about expressions, less about Thumkas. But not many actors have realized that. Directors and choreographers are at fault too. Two extreme examples - Dharmendra and Jeetendra.

The former hardly ever looked relaxed in his most of the duets. He seemed to be petrified of the whole situation. Remember Sathiya Nahin Jaana Ki Jee Na Lagey or Jhilmil Sitaron Ka Angan Hoga. Such a beautiful song situations ruined by our stone faced macho.

Jeetendra, on the other hand, overdid them. He jumped, and hopped, and bobbed through all his songs in the latter part of his career. Watching the songs of Tohfa, Himmatwala, Justice Chowdhari has always been a hair raising experience. I think someone misguided him on his dancing virtues.

Well, the numero uno, once again, is the master himself - Amitabh Bachhan. Nobody enacts a song better than him. The facial expression, the body language - just perfect. He made the song watching a more pleasurable experience. The audience's eyes never leave him in whichever frame he his, and the songs are no exception.

One can feel the soul and emotion of the song on his face, giving full justice to the efforts of the singer, lyricist and the music director. To showcase this, I will take up three songs of his from the different spectrum of the emotions.

My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves ... -Amar Akbar Anthony
We all remember this song for Amitabh's various polysyllabic punctuations, like - 'You see the coefficient of the linear is just a position( or juxtaposition) by the haemoglobin of the atmospheric pressure in the country' in between the song. Well, these gibberish lines were the innovation by Amitabh himself. Amazing, like him, isn't it ?

The whole song is so fun-filled because of this man. Jisey Meri Yaad Jab Chahey Chali Aaye. Well well, many a ladies would have loved to do that. This song works like a Paracetamol to my headaches.

O Saathi Rey, Tere Bina Bhi Kya Jeena ... -Muqqaddar Ka Sikandar
This guy actually sang the whole song through his eyes. The pain was so palpable in his eyes, that it was literally flowing. And it swamped away the complete audience with it. He concentrated the whole body language to his eyes and lips. While lips were quivering, it were the eyes which did the whole talking. This man was in some pain, and he didn't live without her, did he?

Ek Roz Mai Tadapkar, Is Dhil Ko Thaam Loonga ... -Bemisaal
A Bemisaal song from a Bemisaal film. And Kamal Ke expressions. Those who have only heard this song would assume this one to be a romantic number with the leading lady, while in reality, the lady in the song is a vamp, and the emotions portrayed by Amitabh are dual and contradictory.

When he is in front the lady, he emotes fake love, while when he his behind her back, he emotes hatred, and desires vengeance. And that comes so easy to his eyes. The diametric change in the emotions is effortless, and like he mentions in the song - Lekin Jubaan Ke Badley, Ankhon Se Kaam Loonga - he does all that with those life like eyes.

Of course, there is a wicked smile of his which only we know is wicked, not the lady. Then there is this cold expression, only for the camera, which runs a chill through our spines. Fantastic acting!

One thing I am sure about this man. Had he been a classical dancer, instead, he would have been as popular as he is as an actor. Just because of facial expressions and body language. They speak volumes.

Thought OF The Day

(courtesy Abhinav)

Dukh Ki Nagari, Kaunsi Nagari
Ansu Ki Kya Jaat?
Saare Tare Door Ke Tare,
Sab Ke Chote Haath!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Great Indian Dress Code Debate

At every instance of a gruesome sexual offence in the country, there is this great Indian debate which commences. The debate about the so called obscenity in public.

At one end are our usual suspects - the Shiv Sena, VHP, Bajrang Dal and their chums advocating high morals for women, while themselves being Chirag Taley Andhera personified. The other party which almost always jumps the gun by responding includes various women groups, intelligentsia and media, of course. This time it's no different.

The most unfortunate aspect of this that both of these warring parties percieve the whole issue in black and white. The torch bearers of morality want women dressed up, while they don't care to explain why children are being raped. On the other hand our wise liberalist friends would cry murder on the suggestion. Counter attack would be so frontal that nobody sees the actual point.

The actual point, of course, is of our personal safety as an individual. Radicals must realize that such an extent of prevention will never help us in finding cure, while idealists fail to realize this is not an ideal world they would like to believe. High liberalism would not work in the existing form of the society. So we will have to tread gradually towards that.

Let's confess any skin show titillates, as the sight of huge cash fans greed. It does that to me, to you, to male, to female, to everyone and we know that at the bottom of our hearts. The key thing is how an individual reacts. The reaction depends upon the upbringing and beliefs. Most of us resist these animal instincts. The self control, the will power comes in to the play. The respect for the individuals, love for our dear ones, society norms, and perhaps the repercussions guide us.

This was about humans. But then there are animals like Sunil More. People like him have always been there. They don't need a provocation. Their tendencies have always been brutal. The thought process is impulsive and individualistic. They are there only for themselves, and care a damn for others.

Believers can imagine that a Ravana, who took away Sita, was there even in Treta Yug or a Dushasan, who tried to dishonour Draupadi, was there in Dwapar. Their world was more perfect than ours and still it happened. Worst still, this is Kalyug. There would be more such people. Onus is on us to save ourselves from these unscrupulous.

Do we leave our house unlocked ? No, we usually lock it. Both when we are in or out of it. There, these idealist lock it too instead of protesting why people rob our houses. Preferential liberalism, this.

Like we do it to our belongings, we ourselves have to do it for our body. Our instincts always forewarn us. Both the DPS girl, and this girl could have themselves from these animals with little firmness. It is nothing to do with dress code, but all to do with our common sense and discretion.

And we must wear what we are comfortable with. Don't listen to this debate, but do listen to yourself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Will Power

The point to always remember. Where there is a will, there is always some way. This lovely poetic snippet also says so.


Previous Poem - Phool Aur Kanta



Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Electricity Bill

My rented accommodation is a one bedroom hall kitchen (1 BHK is the term) flat located in one of the cheapest area of the city. Though I have changed flats thrice, I have stayed more or less at the same locality owing to it's proximity to main markets and cost effectiveness. But whatever plan I had for my cost cutting, I never bargained for this.

In my house, I have three tubelights, two fans, a television, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a geyser, a music system, a steam iron, an Aquaguard in the name of electrical appliances. And I assure you most of these items are used as per the need, though, not extravagantly.

By now you must be wondering that these items are pretty much there in every middle class household, so what's there to brag about. I agree. I am not bragging about these items, rather, I'm gonna brag about the electricity bill I receive every two months.

The bill I just received for the months of February-March is a princely sum of FIFTY RUPEES. Surprised ? Not me anymore.

Since the time I have shifted to this place ten months back, I have been consistently getting bi-monthly bills in the range of Rs 50-90. However, every one else in the neighbourhood never got less than four hundered rupee bill.

Courtesy these bills, I have come to know that a bank cheque below Rs 100 is not acceptable in India. Every time I go to submit those bills, the receiving clerk always gives me a bewildering look.

If that was surprising, here comes the shocker. My friends stayed in a flat four blocks away from mine. They never got the bill during their four year stay. The landlord didn't care. Afraid that they might get an accumulated bill with surcharge, they went to Mahrashtra Electricity Board Office. The officials had a good laugh at them.

According to the ignorant officials, there was no electricity connection to their building. In other words, the building didn't ever exist in their records, though, electronic meters are installed the building.

No wonder Puneites are facing 4 hour announced rostering 5 days a week. The unannounced electricity absence comes as bonus. This happens only in India.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Vardi Wala Goonda

Yes, we all have guessed right. I am talking about The Police. The police which is suppose to guard us from an unforeseen crime. If not guard us, then protect us from known criminals and similar threats.

If not protect us, then at least investigate to conclusion after the crime has been done upon the unfortunate. If not investigate, then at least listen and register to our complaints.

In reality, for most of the public, nothing actually happens. It is largely a traumatic, unforgetful experience for those who have the misfortune of forced visiting a police station. It's the victim of the crime, who is at the receiving end, as if the extreme trauma of the crime is not enough.

The first thing you witness is the obscene greed. Doesn't matter one has lost a purse, has a house burgled, has a dear one kidnapped or killed, or one is simply harassed - just pay up. Not that this will help solve your case. It is just an arrangement to stop yourself getting harassed.

The other thing which these so called guardians of society unleash upon the innocents is the blatant display of their unlimited power. It doesn't take much reason or time for them to make a criminal out of a victim and vice-versa. Only the God can help those who cross the path of a COP wrong way.

As if that was not enough, we have this now not-so-shocking news of the rape of a 17 year old girl by a police constable. Actually, shocking was the fact that this was done for two hours, in broad daylight(at 4.30 pm), at the one of the most busiest location (Marine Drive), in a city(Mumbai) whose denizens never fall short of shouting their claim of it being the safest city in the country.

What was even more shocking was the fact that victim's two "friends" literally disappeared from the scene. Friend indeed. I am not exaggerating, but had I been in their place, at the age of 17 or 71, I feel no emotion in expressing that I would have killed that man.

This is not one-off incident. Twenty days back, another constable in Borivalli, Mumbai raped a girl from his building. Two months back, another drunken constable had beaten to death a MBA graduate for not paying the wrongly inflated autorikshaw fare.

Life and a woman's honour comes so easy, my friends. That too, by a police that considers itself second only to Scotland Yard. Birds of same feather flock together. These policemen do that too. This rapist had a history of minor crimes. Still, he was on the job. This time, it stretched too far. Public outcry insured that. Whether he will be convicted, that is another story.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Hostile Neighbours

I am not in my best of moods today. Very perturbed, by this piece of information.

It's about the recent cold blooded killing of a BSF Assistant Commandant Jiwan Kumar by Bangladesh Rifles. This is not an one-off incident. Similar incident happened two-three years ago when they tortured and killed many Indian soldiers after ambushing and kidnapping them with the help Bangladeshi villagers. Not only that, the villagers then tied the dead bodies of the soldiers on the sticks and paraded them. Like one does to Shikar animals.

All these activities have a tacit approval of their government. Begum Khalida Zia always rides to the throne with anti India sentiments. The biggest irony is that Pakistan runs terrorist camps over there. On hind sight, India should have never helped them achieve their independence.

Infiltration is at alarmist proportion, that too with their government's support. Idhar To Jaise Inkey Baap Ka Maal Rakha Hai. 75% of these guys indulge in criminal activities because they won't get here jobs with lack of proper documents, and then they make their escape good to their country. Last year, a group of them killed a retired Lieutenant General and his wife in Delhi.

If only Laloo and his ruling party had shown same vigour and anger against Bangladeshi government, as he has shown against Modi when his car was attacked. A mere warning or formal complaint won't work with these uncivilized and ungrateful people. It has never worked before.

To fix it, India should stop all the grants, relief and trade with Bangladesh. And if doesn't work even that way, the border has to be breached. The strict measures have to be taken, and such Banana Republics have to be crushed.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Brian - The Magician

A couple of week back when "Team India" was going through motions and emotions against Pakistan, I just happened to switch the channel to change the flavour and have a sneak peek at a West Indies-South Africa Test Match.

The sight that awaited me was of Brian Charles Lara playing in 170s, with WI nine wickets down. It was a mouth watering prospect because I knew Lara will cut loose, and when he does that, there is rarely a better sight in Cricket these days.

In a short period of time, this magician gave a perfect display how to bat with a number eleven. He could have given VVS Laxman a complete book of lessons on running between the wickets when a tailender is there, and even otherwise.

He never curbed his shots, and hardly missed a run on the last ball making Graeme Smith chew his nails virtually to the root. In the cruel end, he missed his double century by 4 runs, but made sure it was he who got out not the tailender. Of the 24 balls partnership, Rion King faced only 5, while together scoring twenty two runs. In all, Lara took the WI score from 204 to 347 while batting with tailenders.

Ramanand writes about the fairy tale that Lara is. One can't add more to that. Don't miss even if you don't miss Cricket.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Last weekend was well spent at Mahbaleshwar. Monday was Ram Navmi, and my company, to our pleasant surprise, magnanimously granted a holiday. A long weekend, therefore had enough time ward off the-journey-induced-tiredness.

On the trip, I made a few observations which I found worth sharing with. The town, during the rains, must be lush with green, though not quite during our visit. There are more hotel-cum-resorts than houses(probably, people choose to live in Panchgani), and even more 'guides'.

Believe me, they get down on your nerves. Every square, every corner, and every where else, you will find them in hordes. During the day time, they would yell "Guide", while at the nights it would be "Hotel". Every grown up, any kid would turn into a guide, the moment you ask for the directions. You are a dead duck without a map.

But even maps could be misleading. There are twenty nine 'points'(as they call it) in all, of which about ten or eleven are worth visiting while rest of them are better off left alone. My favourites are Arthur's Seat, Elephant's Head, Elphinstine Point, Kate's Point, and Bear-Sheeba Ride. Rest would be your take.

At any cost, don't give a miss to the market place at the center of the town. It's buzzing, alive and beautifully lit at night. A lot of traditional stuff at bargainable price is available. The food is best at the restraunt of Hotel Panorama. Yummy.

Now the most important stuff I wanted to share. All these points have iron railings, which have given away at many places. No effort has been made to reinforce them. During the season, thousands and off-season, hundreds of people come daily and just launch into them. With such level of poundings, take my word, they can give away any day.

Also, there are many trails where ground is very rough and dilapidated, and walking is very jittery. At Echo Point, a young man, right in front of my eyes slipped while walking and landed full on his face on the rocks. Badly hurt, he blacked out for a few minutes. There was blood all around. The place did not even have a first-aid box or proper transport, and the town was 12 km away.

He was still lucky, but had this happened to those dare-devils who crossed the railings to have closer peek, this world would have lost a few more idiots. Still, we would never have less of them.

Overall, the visit was worth every dime. The drive down till village Wai(Swadesh was shot over there) is also lovely. Do visit the place during rains. You would love it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Phool Aur Kanta

This one is from Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay 'Hariaudh'.


Previous Poem - Milan

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Kanpuriya Charms

During my four year stay in Kanpur, I never saw many girls on the street. Not even in the cinema halls, barring Heer Palace, the best cine theatre in Kanpur at that time.

That always disappointed us bachelors because our college campus was even worse off in this regard. People now tell me that post Rave(Kanpur's first Multiplex-cum-Mall) scene is much better.

But when you realize that five ex-cricketers' soulmates are Kanpur girls, you wonder where are the girls hiding ? Even Kanpurites don't seem to know. Sunil Gavaskar, Lala Amarnath, Bishen Singh Bedi of India, Zaheer Abbas of Pakistan, and Alan Turner of Australia have a Kanpuriya wives.

Sunil has a Christian wife; Lala, Bishen and Zaheer have Punjabi wives while Alan's wife is a Sikh. Not only that, Bob Woolmer was born here, and in the same hospital Sunny's Rohan was also born.

Well done Kanpur! You have contributed to Cricket, if not directly, then in the family way.

Corrigendum: As it turned out, I messed up with the names. It was Glen Turner of NewZealand instead of Alan Turner of Australia. Thanks to Master Mind winner Ramanand for correcting me there.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Movies, DJ & Weekend

My movie watch list for the coming months goes like this:
- The Rising
- Kaal
- Bunty & Bubbly
- Lucky - No Time For Love

Of which, I have finished off the last one previous weekend. It was a timepass because of beautiful St Petersburg, lovely music, and a fresh narrative, albeit a bit slow at times. Sallu Mian has a good sense of humour and screen presence, Mithun Da comes as comic relief, and Sneha Ulal is a beautiful doll who, thankfully, can act.

The two differences I could make out between her and her look alike are that the giggles are missing and that she can act. Though directors were terrible on her by making her speak like that.

The highlight of the weekend was my rendezvous with a fellow blogger in flesh and blood for the first time, and that too with the master story teller Deepak Jaiswal. It was one of the most enjoyable evening and to write the details, honour should go to him. I can't do justice to that with my limited writing skills.

All I can say is that I had gone to meet one nice person, and in the bargain I met three. His elder sister and brother-in-law were great hosts, and I almost ended up talking as much to them, as DJ. Over to you Deepak.



Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Kaifi Azmi

(On Red's request)

Kaifi Azmi is another jewel from the lanes of Lucknow, who has stamped his indelible mark in poetry and literature. I always thought all these leftist have precious little to boast about apart from religiously opposing every thing under the Sun, but this comrade was clearly different from the rest of his flock.

However, he was born in Azamgadh, and later shifted to Lucknow. His first gazal, at that age eleven, was an impromptu, that too in a mushaira, which was later sung by legendry Mallika-e-Gazal, Begam Akhtar, another legend from Lucknow. The gazal went on to become one of his most popular one - 'Itna to Zindagi Mein Kisiki Khalal Pade, Hasne Se Ho Sukoon Na Rone Se Kal Pade..'

He has worked both as writer and lyricist in the films. As the writer he has won the National Award and lot of critical acclaim for M.S. Sathyu's Garam Hawa. Another accomplishment was Heer Ranjha; the entire dialogue of the film was in verse. He also wrote dialogues for Shyam Benegal's Manthan.

But I love his lyrics more. My favourites songs of his are these:

Arth -"Tum Itanaa Jo Muskuraa Rahe Ho ", and "Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar, Bekarar Hai Ki Nahin";

Kagaz Ke Phool -"Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Hasin Sitam", "Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari, Bichhdey Sabhi Bari Bari";

Haqeeqat - "Kar chaley Hum Fida Jan-O-Tan Sathiyon", "Zara Si Ahat Hoti Hai To Dil Sonchta Hai", "Hokey Mazboor Mujhey Usney Bukaya Hoga";

Hanste Zakhm - "Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho", "Betaab Dil Ki Tamanna", "Haan, Yeh Mana Meri Jaan Mohabbat Saza Hai";

Heer Ranjha - "Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehphil, Merey Kaam Ki Nahin", "Milo Na Tumto Hum Ghabrai";

Pakeezah - "Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi Mil Gaya Tha";

Anupama - "Dhire Dhire Machal AyeDile Beqarar Koi Aata Hai", "Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniya Walon";

Aakhri Khat - "Baharon Mera Jiwan Sanwaaro";

Tootey Khilauney - "Mana Ki Tum Ho Behad Hansi, Aise Burey Hum Bhi Nahin";

Parwana - "Simti Si, Sharmai Si, Kis Duniya Se Tum Aayi Ho", "Yun Na Sharma, Phailaa De Apni Bahein";

His wife Shaukat Azmi is herself an actress, so is his daughter Shabana Azmi. His son Baba Azmi is a renowned cinematographer whose works include films such as Shekar Kapur's Mr India, N Chandra's Tezaab, Boney Kapoor's Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Prem, and Inder Kumar's Dil and Ishq. Baba's wife Tanvi Azmi is also an actress. Not to forget son-in-law Javed Akhtar. Family full of talent.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho ..

.. is a beautiful, haunting song is from the film Hanste Jakhm. No points for guessing that the movie was produced Chetan Anand as the leading lady was a deadpan Priya Rajvansha.

Coming back to the song. I reckon this is one of the most romantic song ever written. The lyricist is great Kaifi Azmi. The song is full of some very lovely similes and metaphors, yet very simple. For example, "Ek Bhatke Hue Rahi Ko, Karwan Mil Gaya", "Ek Sureela Nagma Ho", "Bheegi Raton Mein Masti, Tapte Dil Pe Saya Ho". Terrific work.

Mohammad Rafi did full justice to the lyrics and music. The way he has moved to high pitch, and then came down effortlessly to lower one is amazing. It is he who gives the haunting touch to the song. For example how well he switches from "Ek Bhatke Hue Rahi Ko" to "Karwaan Mil Gaya". Fantastic.

But the real magic is created by the music director, Madan Mohan, who else. The genius saw the opportunity to immortalize those lovely lyrics, and he did something very unconventional. He actually recorded the sound of sea waves live, and used them in the song. Not once it appears in the song that this is an outside studio work.

In all, the song took 22 hours in a stretch to record. Such an effort, that too in lesser films require tremendous self belief and motivation. Enjoy the lyrics.


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Monday, April 11, 2005

Please Shut Up, Somnath!

These days watching old horses of Indian politicians presents a very sorry picture. Good old Atal Bihari Vajpayee appears more 'old', and less in 'good' shape these days. Harkishan Singh Surjeet has literally disappeared from the scene.

But the oldie who has completely lost the plot is, perhaps, Speaker of the Lok Sabha -Somnath Chaterjee. A few weeks ago, he shocked the daylights out of me(and rest of us) when he turned into an inconsolable blabbermouth by launching a nonsensical tirade against Supreme Court.

If he was to be believed, democracy was in grave danger due to Supreme Court. My amusement turned into irritation when he continued this crap for about more than a week; I was just about write post on the topic when fiery Alka wrote a terrific piece slamming this cribbing Leftie. Nothing else was left to say after that.

Now he has again showed the telltale signs of mental decline and bloated ego. He has cancelled his visit to a Sydney conference because he would be frisked. So far it was fine since it was a personal decision if one doesn't wants to undergo that. But again unable to shut his mouth in time, he announces frisking him would amount to 'national dishonour'!

Who the heavens he think he his!! The Head of Indian State! Probably he needs a stapler for his chirpy lips. They just cannot shut. If normal public who goes on for frisking then it will be no dishonour, but this gentleman is someone special.

Perhaps he should follow Surjeet's footsteps and retire, giving his mental faculties some rest. But then those who would succeed him are even more irritating. Just think of Sitaram Yechury & Brinda Karat and blood pressure seems to surge. Aagey Kuan, Peechey Khain!

Friday, April 08, 2005

'Aam' Baat

This would be my second post on Mango. The season is round the corner, and soon we will have this lovely delicacy in our plates. Like most of us, it's my favourite and much awaited fruit too. A lot of my fonder memories are associated with it.

The King of Fruits is special for variety of reasons. It has a lovely taste, sweet aroma, and a beautifully shape. To add to that, what a interesting name it has - Phal Itna 'Khaas' Hai, Per Naam Iska 'Aam' Hai.

It has so many uses. Not only it is eaten when it's ripe, but also when it's raw. A raw Mango is used to make pickles(Achaar); it can be dried(Khatai) and used in pulses for giving the sour taste. Amchur is also used for same purpose. Amras a sweet meat made by Mango juice.

Chausa, a variety, can be eaten in raw form beacause it is so sweet( I used to do that till it would started bleeding from my nose). And of course, to beat the heat of plains, who can forget yummy Pana and Jaljeera. There is a saying -

Daal Arhar Ki , Khatai Aam Ki
Toley Bhar Ghee, Rasoi Raam Ki

(Pulse of Arhar with some Khatai and loads of Ghee makes a perfect dish)

The fruit has so many varieties that no other fruit can boast of. Dussehri, Langda, Safeda, Chausa, Lakhnaua, Johari, Amrapali, Husna Ara, Pukhraj, Japhrani, Ramkela, Tota Pari, Sudha Ras, Rasna Vilas etc.

Sagar Siddaqi says about Langada,
Ai Aam Yeh Teri Khush Naseebi Hai
Werna Langdon Per Kaun Marta Hai

Zareeb Lakhnawai has written,
Taimur Ne Kasdan Kabhi Langada Na Mangaya
Langdey Ke Saamney Kabhi Langda Na Aaya

Kadra Kakorwi remembers,
Aam Ke Bagon Mein Woh Pina Pilana Yaad Hai
Muddatein Gujarin Hain Per Woh Jamana Yaad Hai

Once, a friend taunted Ghalib "Dekho Gadha Bhi Nahin Khata Aam", to which Ghalib retorted "Haan, Gadha Hee To Hai".

But for me, the King of Mangos is Dussehri. It's taste and flavour is unparallel. Lucknow region and thereabouts is a goldmine of Dussehri and most of above mentioned varieties.

I have spent many a afternoon in my own Mango orchard at my ancestral village. There are some 160 trees which were planted by my father about 19 years ago. They have outgrown me now, and one day they will outlive me aswell. The hot & sultry summer winds metamorphoses into gentle, cool breeze once you are inside it. A perfect place to enjoy the nature.

Interestingly, all the variety of Mango don't have the same season, therefore it has one of the longest season among the fruits. Even as, one variety of Mango is finished, another one is ready to ripe, keeping mango lovers hooked.

Above facts justify that for people there are not only Aam Ke Aam, but Guthlion Ke Daam too.

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Cuisine Capital

Not that it needed a certifciate from foreigners, still nice words are always more than welcome. Lucknow’s supremacy as India’s cuisine capital is confirmed. The City of Nawabs has found a place in French cuisine magazine Saveur. For food lovers, here is the complete news.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Am I Selfish ?

Not sure why this happens to me. Whenever I leave some place for a new one, with in a few months or years, that place usually becomes so alien to me.

When I left my ancestral home in Lucknow, where I had spent first 16 years of my life, to another locality in the same city, I was inconsolable for about year or so because that place has had all my friends. But after that, I just don't feel the same about that place, as if it never existed.

Then again when I left IIT campus at Kanpur after completing studies, there was no remorse or nostalgia, which ideally should have been there since they were my hostel days, and I had as much fun as is possible within the limit of decency.

Same is the story at Pune. In last six years, I have changed three houses within a stone-throw distance of each other, but never felt the pang or belonging to either of previous ones. Even when I pass by them, I rarely cast a glance.

It happened with my rooms in hostel and hostel building. Now it's happening in my company too. Change of cubicles, floors, even building has no effect on me.

I know that same will be true for Pune, if and when I decide to leave despite of the fact that this beautiful place has given me employment, some amount of financial security.

The only exception is Lucknow, perhaps. As soon as I step down at the magnificent Charbagh Station, a familiar sensation grips me. I automatically start feeling good about everything, true to the line which has now become anthemic to this place- Muskaraiye Ki Aap Lucknow Mein Hai. Perhaps, that is due to the charm of the Nawabi city. You can take a person out of Lucknow, but can't take Lucknow out of that person.

Still, I am foxed at my behaviour. Am I selfish ? Or is it that I am aloof. I would like to believe I am not. But then why not these memories of my past appeal me ? I am not getting any answers on that. Is that happens to everyone; is it fairly common ?



Wednesday, April 06, 2005



Previous Poem - Holi



Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Meticulous To Detail

I must say Ganguly is meticulous to detail, if not anything else. This incident proves it.

I was following Kochi cricket match on Radio, courtesy power cuts. Less than the time one can prepare a maggi, he was bowled out. Radio commentators kept shouting he was "clean bowled" behind his legs.

A batsman is "bowled" when ball hits either of three stumps. A "clean bowled" is when ball hits the middle stump. To get out "clean bowled" from behind the legs, a batsman should have walked quite a far across. This sounded silly, but I believed the commentator. Only Ganguly could have done it.

But actually, he was hit on leg stump only. Radio commentator either over did it or wasn't aware of the difference. Ganguly, probably, took it as an insult. To teach the commentator a lesson, he made a point to get out "clean bowled", in Vizag. He got hit in the middle stump.

Meticulous to the detail, indeed.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Humble Advice

It's one of my favourite saying - 'Humility, that low, sweet root, From which all heavenly virtues shoot'.

I must admit, how-much-ever I try, I am not able to follow it to the 'T'. Often, I do get carried away. But these are the lines which I always remember. To think of it that even the lesser mortals like me are not able to resist the temptation, then it's very understandable how difficult it must be to remain humble for those who really posses some "greatness".

The point is that those who are great in any field must take special care to keep away from sounding boastful, gaudy or narcissist. However, what actually happens is the reverse. The more accomplished one is, harder one finds to keep feet on the ground. Case of eccentric genius or they just get too addicted to adulation they get( or no more get), nobody can tell.

We have a lot of examples around us. One way to flaunt the genius is unabashedly, and brashly without any pretensions. The perfect example is Ustaad Bismillah Khan, the Shehnai Maestro.

In contrast, some try to hide their narcissist tendencies with fake humility. Shahrukh Khan fits the bill here perfectly. Read any of his interviews, and you will notice that first he will tell you very politely how great he his or how much hard he works. Later he would hasten to add a "by the grace of Allah" or "due to love of his fans", to tone down the stuff.

A third breed comprises of those who have the misconception about their greatness. They are either nothing or a spent force, but fail to realize that. Shatrughan Sinha is one such example. Read his the supposedly witty replies in Filmfare. They are no more humorous. They are narcissist, every line of it.

It's not always the black cloud, you would also find silver linings. Amitabh Bachhan is the humility and genius personified. Sachin Tendulkar carries himself beautifully, and Rahul Dravid is the other one who has no airs about himself.

Perhaps this is a human tendency, resulted due to slightly faulty upbringing. I watched three interviews in recent past, and the contrast of them made me wonder. One was Sharukh's interview after receiving Padma Shri, the other was Amir Khan's in Walk The Talk, NDTV 24 X 7, and the last one was Abhishek Bachhan's in Seedhi Baat, Ajtak. Shahrukh was boastful, Abhishek was humble while Amir was some where in between the two.

In the end, Aaga Hashra's these two lines show us the way.

Arz Woh Arz, Ki Jismein Koi Israar Na Ho
Baat Woh Baat, Ki Jissey Koi Inkaar Na Ho

Arz: Request
Israar: Obduracy, Obstinacy or Adamancy.
Inkaar: Refusal.



Friday, April 01, 2005

Google No 1

Google has been sending some weird queries to my (blog's)door. Not that Google can be entirely blamed. People themselves have been feeding strangest of the queries to the search engines. There is a limit to which these engines can cope. After that they give up, and land them to unsuspecting us!

Its always interesting to observe the keywords which are queried. Some are looking for "confusing poems", while others are keen on "mujra pics" and "shaadi pics." A few khaney-ke-shaukeen wanted to see "aloo tikki chaat pics." Many are interested in "personal information about rahul vaidya." He is the hottest search these days. A very few also care for "irritating aditi paul."

Prying people want know "why hema malini is making out with dharmendra" or about "kim sharma nose job." Someone even looked for "abhishek bachhan's sister." At one point "mandira bedi, noodle straps" were fairly popular.

Heavy stuff like "symbology and cryptology" is also in demand, while a few ladies, I guess, are very interested in "dilwaley punjabi." Perhaps I should send them to Deepak. Though, I never understood why anyone would enquire about "parthiv patel's diwali."

But yesterday, I had the most weirdest of the search queries ever landing to my blog, and that's what prompted this post. This is the string which was googled yesterday :

"what happens if you forget to write the section number in an english paper in an icse examination year 2005."

I sighed. You, like your google search, are screwed, my dear, what else! That's my answer to this.