Thursday, June 30, 2005

Imrana -Another Shahbano ?

A woman is raped by his "father"-in-law. She reports it to the police. Though the culprit gets caught, the lady is served with a now-so-familiar fatwa which states that she can't stay with her husband.

The same father-in-law turned rapist-in-law, also raped his other daughters-in-law. They didn't report to police, so no fatwa against them, though everybody knows about those rapes.

So Imrana, the brave woman she is, can't stay with her husband because she has 'reported' the rape. Others didn't so they can. The Ulemas or who-ever do 'feel sorry' for the woman. But the shariyat has some laws, you see.

Under that law, if a father-in-law rapes his daughter-in-law, she ceases to be that, and now becomes his wife. Therefore, her marriage with his son automatically becomes null & void. How clean and efficient, no? No divorce, no courts. However, if a woman is raped by anyone else, there is absolutely no danger to the marriage.

The clerics say that this law is in place as a deterrent to those woman who report false cases against their father-in-laws. This is a lesson to them(I saw them speaking on television). I must say, how clean and detailed is shariyat in laying down ther rules.

It has so much heart for those poor father-in-laws, though other rapist are not so lucky. Too bad for them. And here is more. Shariyat also says that all rapist should be stoned to death. So if they could have it their way, this father-in-law should get the same fate, but that is not the law of the land. They are helpless.

By now, I am a confused, exasperated man. If this person is guilty, then he should be stoned. There should be a fatwa for that. But that is conveniently missing. If the law of the land is against it, the fatwa should be against law makers. That is missing too. This also means that they accept Imrana has not given false accusations. Then the fatwa against her should have not been their at the first place.

But we all know the whole truth. The truth is that Ulemas don't care a damn for her. She has been victimized because she complained. The others didn't get fatwa despite the fact that man accepted he has raped them too. So Ulema's are definitely sympathetic to that man. Who knows they also do the same ? And they are running scot free, & are hero figures on every news channel.

And what are the law enforcers of the land doing? Mulayam Singh says clerics are well informed, and educated, hence dead right. Salman Khursheed says we should respect community laws & customs, and there are more important issues and problems to tackle than these, so let's move on. Even, the ever eloquent Brinda Karat(whom the NDTV guys caught hold of , and put her on hot seat) was forced tobe timid. That's a big vote bank guys. Can't hurt those sentiments.

Who knows, they might change the law as well, like Rajiv Gandhi did in case of ShahBano. I must say, I dread being a rural/semi rural Muslim woman. It's a dog's life.

Corrigendum: Changed Noorbano to Shahbano. Thanks to Vivek for correction.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Neeraj Ke Dohe

Quite simple ones.


Previous Poem: Var De

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Anatomy Of Neck Pain

It has happened twice within a fortnight. My pillow has yet again given me a sore neck. I can't move my head towards my right without pain. Last time it was the left turn which was giving the pain.

The problem is that, in this situation, it becomes well neigh impossible for me to sit for a long period of time before my computer screen. This pain-in-the-neck makes me very irritable, and the unwanted irritation clearly becomes evident in my voice.

Now the most tricky part of this predicament. Sometimes, during the stiff-neck situation, after a long struggle, one settles down to a relative comfort zone(well not exactly, but I would say the position of least discomfort). So much so, that soon, for a shorter time frame, one almost forgets about the pain. That is where the pitfall lies.

This forgetfulness induces the lowering of guard by the subject, and under this false state of bliss, one would toss or duck the unsuspecting head, as it one would do it under normal circumstances. There upon, an excruciating pain, almost like a sting, would race upon from the lower back, piercing through the neck, before hitting the base of the skull, behind the ears.

Of course, by now, the reverie is well and truly broken. I myself have had quite a few reveries broken for me today.

Monday, June 27, 2005

It's Been An Year

Confusing Musings has completed one year yesterday. Had never thought that this blog will last some four hundred posts. It did, it did.

It was one such sulky Saturday morning an year ago when things started. Didn't know what would I be writing. It began with sports stuff, then played around with some movie trivia, had a hint of politics, and later turned into personal memoir, as well. In the end, I myself am not sure what this blog is all about. May be it is, true to its word, a collection of confusing musings!

Whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I always liked to express myself, and this blog tool gave me the perfect platform. But this wasn't possible without readers. And yes, even if they didn't pour, I had my fair share of them. They are a good booster of a writer's morale and ego.

I was the happiest when barely within half an hour of my first post, there was this my first anonymous encourager. Then the second commenter was Ramanand. And then as they say, Manziley Milti Gayin Aur Karvan Banta Gaya..

Thanks to all for reading me, and bearing my posts. I still have, if God permits, a lot more to tell.



Thursday, June 23, 2005


Its queer but sometimes when you are listening to someone it feels like they are reflections of your own thoughts. Farhan Akhtar is creating a remake of Amitabh Bachhan's pacy thriller DON. Shahrukh Khan will play the double role.

Like him, I also agree that Don was one of the coolest of Amitabh's movies. The movie production was slick, though not over the top. This was strange because there were no automatic doors(unlike Charas), no revolving chairs(unlike Shaan), no foreign sojourns(unlike Qurbani), and still, the movie was fast and gripping.

Actually, the script and the performances held the movie together. Effort was made more on characterization and ideas than on flashy art direction. Melodrama was also mercifully avoided. The flick had no super villains either like Gabbar, Shaakal or Lion, except Don, who ceased to be the villain after the titles were shown.

Music perfectly complimented the theme of the film, and lyrics were carefully written. All the songs were perfectly placed and took the movie forward. The title song - "Mai Hoon Don" took the breath out of me when I was first saw it as a kid. Here was this guy in the den of the smugglers, announcing subtly to them that he was not their DON but they failed to realize. Kudos to Salim-Javed for imagining such a song situation.

Like the film stars, there are a few songs which achieve superstardom. This movie has one - "Khaike Paan Banaras Wala". It is also well placed and provides a good relief from the tense settings. My parents told me it was the most popular song of Amitabh at that time. This song never fails to lift the spirits, and immediately sets the feet tapping. I was told that as a toddler I used to start dancing whenever this song was played. Too bad they couldn't record the video.

Of course, performances are unmatched and a good casting was the job half done. Both Amitabh - the Don, & Amitabh - the Chhora Ganga Kinarey Wala looked as different as chalk and cheese. But this man is possessed. Fantastic performance. Wicked and menacing as the Don, gentle and comic as the replacement.

I particularly liked his performance in that scene where he is trying to prove his innocence to police but things are not going his way. The desperation was written large on his face. Salim-Javed definitely knew what they wanted from Amitabh in this scene, and he delivered beyond imagination. The scene when Don dies is well enacted too.

Rest of the cast also did very well. Pran never fails, Iftikaar did what he does best, and the role was tailor made for Zeenat. Om Shivpuri was self assuring, and the guy who played "Narang" made good use of his face and eyes.

The movie like any other Javed Akhtar movie had memorable dialogues. To begin with is the punch line - "Don Ke Peechhey 22 Mulkon Ki Police Lagi Hai, Lekin Don Ko Zinda Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahin Namumkin Hai". It sets the tempo of the whole film. Or when Iftikhar informs the other Amitabh the fact that Don never ate Paan, the rural Amitabh says disappointingly - "Ee To Bahut Galat Karta Tha Don".

In the beginning, the super cool Don informs Helen wryly, when she asks that why did Don never fell in love, - "Tabhi To Zinda Hoon", or when he says to her- "Tumhari Aunty Apne Saath Bahut Se Uncles(police) Le Aayi Hai".

Even today, I don't miss it whenever they are showing it on TV. Perhaps, the other movie of that era which I found as cool was Jewel Thief. I have seen both of them umpteenth number of times.

The complete interview of Farhan is here.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mehngayi Maar Gayi

Consider this.

A litre of petrol in Pune: 46.43/-
A litre of petrol in Delhi: 39.99/-

Road Tax for a Santro in Pune: 20000/-
Road Tax for a Santro in Kanpur: 8000/-

House Tax For 1000 sq ft Flat in Pune: 3100/-
House Tax For 24000 sq ft Bunglow in Lucknow: 1200/-

The list goes on. On the current sitution, two songs come to my mind - First from Film: Paigham, Music: C. Ramchandra, Lyrics: Kavi Pradeep, Voice: Mohd. Rafi. I don't remember the complete lyris.

Kaise Diwali Manai Hum Lala
Apna To Barah Mahine Diwala
Ham To Hue Dekho Than Than Gopala
Apna To Barah Mahine Diwaala...

The other one is from Film: Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Lyrics: Varma Malik, Voice: Mukesh, Lata, Narendra Chanchal, Jani Babu Qawwal.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Var De

A prayer worth doing. Need not tell its by Surya Kanth Tripathi 'Nirala'.


Previous Poem - Satpuda Ke Ghane Jungle

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I'm Lovin' It

They came to conquer. They always did. And that made them cocky, almost to the brink of rudeness. Then as always happens, their mouth started talking honest shit. Their captain turned into philosopher. A few of them turned part time columnists to wax their eloquent. They proclaimed from the roof tops that they are lonely at the top.

Well, from the top one can only fall. And what a fall from grace. Especially, when you make all the wrong noises and lose focus. The once snooty proud nose droops to become humble. The mighty is all left with a badly bruised ego.

No points for guessing it's Australia we are talking about. First the pathetic loss to England in Twenty Twenty Cricket. Then, loosing miserably to Somerset, a second division county team even after scoring a 342. Next was the shocking defeat to Bangladesh, the biggest upset since Cameroon shocked Argentina in the opner at Italia Football World Cup, 1990. The Roger Miller of this match was talented Mohammed Ashraful. Finally, another loss to England the very next day.

Hey, this is not "Aussie like". Neither was that catch dropped by Gillespie which only Kumble could have drop. Nor is that regular missing of run outs by Ponting & mates. The "Baggy Green" is loosing its sheen it seems.

Nothing wrong in losing. Perhaps, that will bring them to ground, and also the local media. And surely, they will learn to win with their mouth shut. Of course, nothing can make Glen McGrath shut up. Talk about Kutte Ki Tethi Poonchh!

Australia may still come back with vengeance, Bangladesh may still not win next fifty matches, and England may not win Ashes another twenty years. But this very moment - I'm lovin' it.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Talking About The Toppers

Well, here is a special one who topped IIT-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) , All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), and ISC(XII) examination of ICSE.

And if you think under privileged need special treatment, then these determined ones say no. Also, this gritty Bhelwala has got a tough story to narrate.

In comparision to all this, how hollow such achievements appear. Kudos to all of these guys!

Basic Amenities

My house has no drinking water since past four days. The electricity is playing truant, not there since six in the morning, and the telephone is dead since yesterday.

Society chairman says he is 'looking into' the water problem. Till now, I believed him. Now, I will have to buy water.

I always thought that the primarily lady staff at the government offices here would be more helpful than there male counterparts back home. To begin with, I couldn't connect to '198'. After much effort, they gave me another number. The lady at that number was very forthcoming. She simply put the receiver down each time I called. This happened five or six times.

Finally, when I caught hold of her she was in great pain. To my complain, she counter complained to me that why did not I call '198'. I wasn't surprised. She must be knitting sweaters or discussing about the windfall of plastic surgeries at Balaji Telefilms serials. What a pain these consumers are ?

However, I succeeded in registering my complaint. Only the heaven knows, when the phone would get fixed! As far electricity is concerned, I have lost hope. The four hour daily load shedding schedule is still on, and now this random business.

Going through rough patch, it seems!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Memories Of Midnight

Borrowing the title from a Sydney Sheldon novel, I have had a memorable previous night. The electricity supply to our colony got snapped at about twelve in the night, and was restored only at six in the morning.

However, just beyond the realms of our housing society, lights were at the brightest as if cocking a snook at us. At the same time, our blood made a sumptuous dinner to the lurking mosquitoes. Needless to say, I could hardly catch a wink.

The most ironical part, however, was the fact that there was such a lovely breeze blowing outside, but not a whiff would enter in our rooms, no matter how many windows are open. Once again I cursed the 'Flat' system, and their builders. Missed the good old nights on the terrace of my house, back home in Lucknow.

Power outage or no power outage, if it was summers, all the fun use to shift to the terrace. Come evening, and we use to pack our 'folding' beds and bed sheets to the roof. For some, as little as a Chatai or a Dari would suffice. Few high rise buildings in the residential area meant there was no stopping to that gentle Purvaiyya.

The fun use to get double when some cousin would be visiting us. Chatting, Antakshari, screaming - nothing was barred. Due to low boundaries separating neigbouring houses, often neighbours would also join us in the fun. Similar scenes would be visible on, virtually, every third terrace. It used to be one grand party.

The arrival of pre-monsoon showers would add another dimension to the excitement. While deep in slumber, there would be a sudden onslaught of rain drops. Still not out of their sleeps properly, some would prefer lying down till it would be almost too late(people really take things to the brink). Others, who are always in hurry would run helter-skelter with their meager belongings, as if in half trance. Of course, all those cool dudes would walk easy.

Once safe below the roof, people would blindly lay down almost anywhere. Lucky ones will launch into the beds, some would hang on the sofa, while even the floor wasn't spared. Believe me, in the morning, some sleep walkers don't even remember how come they landed below the sofa, when they should have been sleeping on the terrace.

There was this another breed which use to head back to the terrace if rainfall would stop shortly. On a tricky night, when rain would play such hide-n-seek, this coming-down, going-back business was fun to watch.

Sleeping at terrace was also a good news to the astronomy lovers. The night in the plains is so clear that you can't miss the SaptaRishi or DhruvaTara. I wasn't exactly an astronomy freak, but those extended sessions at the lovely Allahabad Planetarium, inside Anand Bhavan campus, during my visits to that city were of great help(that's another story to relate). Also, my dear friend Manish Mohan, who is an avid astronomy lover, was a great guide to me.

Well, not all this anymore. To seek certain dear things in life, one has to abandon certain other dearer things. Only way to have both the pleasures co-exist is to relive them in memories, just like I did right now. Thank God for the memory.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Of Marathon Meetings

There are those days of marathon meetings, where those perpetually bad orators choose the occasion to hone their missing skill. Not to forget those average ones, who strive for perfection at the cost of others, extending the lecture beyond the limit of tolerance, repeating the same Goddamn point in multiple loops.

Then there are those low profile, low self esteemed, out-of-limelight individuals amongst the audience, who never had their day, choose to make their futile point during question and answers session. Of course, they could never haggle upon the choice of shirt they wear with their wives. But this day becomes the day of their self actualization.

Well, when those days combine together, that makes a day like it was today for me. And what is the casualty ? I had no time for blog!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Satpuda Ke Ghane Jungle

They are in Madhya Pradesh, a few hours from Bhopal. This poem by Bhavani Prasad Mishra used to be one the favourite ones in school. Long but simple.


Previous post on poems - Rahim Ke Dohe

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Monday, June 13, 2005

If you want to have a glimpse at the stuff exotic travelogues are made up of, then don't miss this piece by Ishan about some islands in Holland.

I have always believed, ever since I was his next to next door neigbour in hostel, that if ever was subtle humour a form of the art, then Ishan is the one to have a double PhD in it. Not the in-your-face types, mind you. Also, notice how his control over the language makes him play with the words and phrases.

Now The Book Tag

Pardon me for this 'tagging' and 'book' business, but I have been book tagged by Alka(actually she was thinking of tagging me) and Nikhil. My previous post will look similar to this one, but only just. Don't worry, I will keep it short and simple.

Total Number of Books I Own
Paltry. I must be owning just about 30 books. Mostly because I am in beg, borrow or steal mode. More than these, I rent and read more. I have started buying only when I started earning.

The Last Book I Bought
Only last week, as I had mentioned in my previous post, I bought A Collection Of 100 Short Stories by O' Henry. The first story I read of his was romantic - The Gift Of Magi. It was prescribed in our school curriculum. It was followed by the tragic -The Last Leaf, and the laugh riot The Ransom Of Red Chief. These three stories showcase the range in his writings.

The Last Book I Read
It's a collection of Sherlock Holmes - The Hound Of Baskervilles & The Return Of Sherlock Holmes. I finished re-reading it only a few days back. A separate post on Sherlock Holmes sometime later.

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me
The Alchemist -Paulo Coelho
As The Crow Flies -Jeffery Archer
Delhi Is Not Far -Ruskin Bond
The Godfather -Mario Puzo
Godaan - Munshi Prem Chand

Tag Five people
Actually, more than five.


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Friday, June 10, 2005

Book Revision

Lately, I haven't been reading any new books. Rather, I am revising old ones. I am not sure why I derive a lot of fun re-reading same old gems despite of the fact most of the story is still fresh or dormant in mind. I think it has more to do with the writing style than the actual plot.

The first in the category is Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. It's a must read for all the kids and adults. This books insists that dreams and destinies are there to be realized, instead of forgetting them off. The book is full of optimism. It says that whatever there is in a mind can be made possible to happen if there is courage and will to do so. The book is fantastic. Can be read again & again .

Sherlock Holmes is back in the reckoning as far I am concerned. The various adventures of this super genius from Bakers Street, London is what I am re-reading again. I began with The Hound Of The Baskervilles, then finished half the collection of The Return Of Sherlock Holmes. Currently I am into The Valley Of Fear.

When I am done and away with Mr. Watson's accounts on Mr. Holmes, I intend to start upon A (rare) Collection Of 100 Short Stories by the master story teller O' Henry. Pune has a lot of such jewels lying neatly on it various footpaths. They sell you for just peanuts. Sellers are satisfied with the good deal they have made, and I am happy to let them think that.

Some of the books I enjoy most re-reading are:

1- The GodFather -Mario Puzo
2- A Matter Of Honour -Jeffery Archer
3- The Alchemist -Paulo Coelho
4- If Tommorrow Comes -Sydney Sheldon
5- The Bourne Identity -Robert Ludlum
6- Most of the P.G. WodeHouse collections
7- All The Three Investigators Series by Alfred Hitchcock

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Toppers and Merit Listers

Six years back, when I first landed in Pune, the very next day Maharashtra Board HSC results were announced. My shock at that time has now turned into sympathy for majority of students giving those exams. The reason is that this board is crazy like nuts about 'Topper' tag. Here is the glimpse.

1. There is an overall topper each in boys and girls.
2. There is a topper each in Science, Art, & Commerce streams.
3. A topper in handicapped category.
4. A topper for night schools.
5. A topper for vocational streams.
6. A topper in each of the districts/zones of Maharashtra.
7. A topper in backward class.

If there are other toppers, then please pardon me for not remembering that. I am sure these poor students must be having hard remembering as well. That is not all, there is also a separate merit list of boys and girls for most of the aforementioned categories.

Then there is a rat race amongst schools for these merit lists and top positions. Not far behind are the coaching classes in this race. Now you can see when there are so many toppers and merit listers, and there is so much hype and hoopla involved, then spare a thought for those students who have done reasonably well by any standards but failed to make it to merit list.

Where would their confidence be? Had there been just one topper each for both boys and girls, and a merit list of, say, about 10, then it would have made some sense. But when there would be toppers and merit listers galore in every city, every town, then those who miss out feel miserable because an impression is set that those who made it are a chosen few, and rest mere mortals.

Then, there is a lot of compromise on quality too. Last year, over all topper was somewhere above 95%, while night school topper was at 78%. Does it make any sense?

More the toppers, more is the scope for mistakes. Last year, a wrong student was announced night school topper. It was rectified after 3 days. That poor chap was inconsolable. All the celebrations in his lane were stopped. Such is the importance of topping to the students, guardians and well wishers here.

I don't know, when the better sense would prevail. Not until, the heads of coaching classes like Chate, and Jog are there as representatives in board council. This system is a money minting affair for them, and they know well how to showcase and market it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Well, I have been tagged by Arunima for almost a week now, and I haven't still obliged. I was a bit hesistant, because it becomes a very boring job for both the readers and the writer. But let me do it for once and all. Please bear with me.

Total Number Of Films I Own On Dvd/Video
Zero DVDs, because I don't own a DVD player. Planning to buy a player pretty soon. VCDs too not much. May be around ten or so, because I generally watch the movies in theatre, and that too, only select ones. More than films, I own song VCDs. Also, I don't have such a gracious friends who can gift me these.

The Last Film I Bought
I think it was Baby's Day Out. Isn't it worth a movie to have it on one's portfolio?

The Last Film I Watched
In the theatre - Bunty aur Bubbly, in the player - Maqbool(courtesy benovelent Ashtrix), in the TV - the complete movie I saw on television is Don.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me
I am not sure what does "meaning a lot to me" means in film context. I will list my favourites, which too is damn difficult job because five is too small a number for this. Sholay, Jaaney Bhi Do Yaron, DON, Golmal, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander.

Three Names I Go By
Manish(official), Pinku(my folks & relatives call me that), Chauhan(my friends call me that).

Three Screen Names I Have Had
I have used my original name in the blogger ie 'Manish'. Ages back, I use to chat at the alamac website with pseudonym 'Mandrake', and some people at that site also use to call me 'Mandy'.

Three Physical Things I Like About Myself
Now, even three seems to be so big a number. Hmmm may be Eyes(standard answer, no?), and may be Lips. I couldn't find a third one.

Three Physical Things I Don't Like About Myself
That's easy. My hair's - quite a few of them have changed their colour. My height - I am neither tall, nor short. I wish I was slightly taller because Madhuri Dixit wanted a tall guy. My fingers because they jot down one of the most atrocious handwriting ever possible.

Three Parts Of My Heritage
Hindustani(I have even watched Indian national team playing Carrom against Sri Lanka, I am that crack!). Lucknawi juban - a clear give away. You can spot that in me withtin moments; can't take Lucknow out of a person. Third one, hmmm...may be I have inherited a bit of my mother's terrefic memory.

Three Things Which Scare Me
Ghosts( I mean, talk of ghosts), Dead bodies, Reptiles( pretty standard).

Three Of My Everyday Essentials
Newspaper( is a must), One Cup Tea( I take ages to gulp), & Hanuman Chalisa(listening to).

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now
Clothes, Spectacles, Watch.

Three Things You Want In A Relationship
Humour, Sharing, Trust.

Two Truths and A Lie (in no particular order)
I am hating this now.

Three Physical Things About the Opposite Sex That Appeal To You
Pretty standard stuff again. Eyes. Hairs. Smile.

Three Things You Want To Do Really Badly Right Now
Sell off my some goddamn stocks of 3i Infotech I have invested in; Get down to work; Publish this longish post.

Three Careers You Are Considering
I always wanted to be a lawyer. BR Chopra was responsible for this. Then I also wanted to be a microbiologist or a scientist doing research in Human Genome project. Robin Cook's novels are responsible for this. I also wanted to be a cricketer.

Now I don't want to be a lawyer because it's too hot in that God forsaken rob, or a scientist because I can't study all my life, and can't be cricketer because there is a slight problem with my hand-eye coordination.

Three Places You Want To Go On Vacation
Goa, Mussorie, Kulu Manali

Three Kids Name You Like
God, its getting worse. Tinku, Minku & Pinku.

Three Things You Want To Do Before You Die
Insure safe future for my near and dear ones, Meet Amitabh Bachhan( KBC ho!), and get a chance to drive a Rolls Royace car.

Three People Who Have To Take The Quiz Now
Mai Yeh Paap Nahin Kerna Chahta. Bahut Bad-Duaen Milengi!

My earnest apologies to make you all go through all this.



Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Kaun Banega Crorepati ?

Somebody just googled the KBC question "what was sunil dutts name before he became famous in acting?" and landed on my blog. Arey boss, its too late now. Paanch Baj Gaye Hain.

Per Mera Number Kab Aayega ???? No, not for the money. Ok, ok should I say not for the money but also to meet Amitabh Bachhan in flesh. Have once seen both the junior and senior Bachhan together in Sahara City, Lucknow, and needless to say - both of them rock!

Mera Number Kab Ayega!!!



Rahim Ke Dohe

Some rare gems.


Previous post on poems - Kabir Ki Saakhiyan

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Every Dog Has An Off Day

She was called Lucy, and was, perhaps, the first indulgence of my rich neigbours in the canine family, which later would blossom into a full grown fleet. Lucy for them, Lucifer for rest of us.

I haven't seen more spiteful, and ugly dog. She would bark at the sight of her fellow breed, she would bark venomously at every passer by, every guest, absolutely every one. This would be from her comfortable perch of the balcony, poking her snoot out of the railings.

On her evening and morning strolls for you-know-what, she would be even more hard to control. We knew her habit, so we stayed clear off her rope length, but those unalarmed, unfortunate passers by who knew nothing of her ways, were always at biting risk. Every week, there would be an incident, when we would come to know - "Lucy Ne Ek Bechare Ko Kaat Liya".

The more resentful thing was her absolute refusal to grow familiarity. She had seen us kids for so many years, but her behaviour towards us would be the same -bitchy, as she would exhibit with the strangers. They say that the first impression is the last one, and I must say, since then I could not grew fondness with the dogs - as it was the first dog in my life.

Of course, for the proud masters of the dog, she was the angel incarnate. They never gave much due to the immortal fear she had instilled in the entire neighbourhood, because according to them, she was as genial as a gentlewoman would ever be. The typical answer to those bite incidents would be - "Lucy Ko Injections Lagey Hain". Grrrrr.

The frustration against her was all time high when one day she bit a little girl, who, incidentally, was the sister of one of my friends. We, the kids, decided enough was enough. It had become utmost imperative to teach that bitch a lesson and settle the scores.

The plan was hatched. There was no way we could stand against her in open, and, also, she should be alone. As luck would have it, one fateful afternoon, we found her alone in the balcony. The door opening to the room was closed. We assembled below the balcony, with small pebbles in our hands. Hearing our voices, duly came Lucy and began her customary barking at us, by poking her snout out.

It was that snout which we were waiting for.

If we threw stones straight at her, no doubt they would have hit her, but quite a few might have landed in balcony. That would have meant trouble. So what we did instead, we hurled stones parallel to the balcony wall, just at the moment her nose appeared. When it would hit, it use to fell near us, and if it missed, it never entered the balcony. Since she was such and egoist and revengeful bitch, she kept on peeping to bark back, and we kept on hitting.

After 15 minutes or so, when the pain became unbearable, her barks turned into moans and whimpers, and she moved away. That was some sight. We had forced the bully into submission, and vented our years of frustration.

I know canine lovers, and PETA guys won't be amused to read what we did, but they must agree that it was one bad dog. Those were the times of 14 daily injections in the stomach, and many were the victim. However, terror of Lucy insured one thing. I take the signboard - "Beware Of the Dog" very seriously. I know they mean it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Oh So Good Britishers!

My friend Ishan has pointed me out to this post by Ravikiran Rao on about how good the Britishers were! By sheer co-incidence, I also happened to visit this path breaking post in the morning. I was as much amused, as Ishan is, and so would you.

I felt so indebted to those kind hearted souls who "transformed" India to a "modernized" (third world)nation, that I would kiss their sun tanned hands, and their balding heads whenever I would meet a firangi. Not only that, I would lay down prostrate on my stomach on their very sight, with my hands clasped together in gratitude.

Of course, for this blogger and some of those repliers, I felt like the same way I felt when I heard this by Sunny Deol or read this debate in Indian Express.

But I left away with just one tiny comment as many of these bloggers get very incensed even with a small difference of opinion. A few guys like Amit Varma and Gaurav Sabnis have closed commenting facility on their blogs because of this. In this case I would have disagreed with every line of it, so might have started a big debate. I don't want to be a reason for the closure of comments on this blog.

Coming back to the post. See, these guys are libertarians. All they think of is economy, per capita income, GDP and disinvestments. They don't even half think about the other aspects which were so important at that time. See how he says - "The question was not whether they wanted to help India. The question is what they ended up doing."

I have heard about this stuff about laying of Railway infrastructure for a zillionth times now. As if we never laid roads, or started Airlines, or built our military after independence. Then they would talk about modern government, English education, and all those related stuff, but won't care a thought about how British oppressed, exploited local people.

How biased was there governance! How partisan was their courts and judiciary. How different laws and yardsticks were there for Indians and British. A farmer can't grow a crop of his choice, locals can't make salt on their own, and not to forget those exorbitant taxes. Still they supposedly made us modern, because we are industrialized and prosperous now.

Don't you feel this is akin to what a metropolitan judge did to the nurse who was raped and maimed by that sweeper by offering her to marry him. Suppose she had accepted, then, would that rape have become glorious? Or suppose she had given birth to a child, then that heinous act become noble? Never.

But libertarians are hardly ever close to ground reality. They always have a macro and simplistic view towards all the affairs. This post is a perfect example.

Grand Finale

Ok, it's just a semifinal. Game for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal match on Friday at Roland Garros? Last time Nadal lost, it was against this mesmerising opponent only. And that was 22 matches before.

Ok, ok, it's all there in The Times Of India, but still, this is going to be, hopefully, a good match. Don't miss it live on Ten Sports.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sell By Controversy

Have been watching Janaab Gauhan Ayub Khan on every news channel since last evening. So it appears that Pakistan had procured the "detailed plan" for 1965 war by bribing an Indian brigadier.

No doubt, its all hogwash. There are major contradictions on every sentence he spoke. But one thing, I have no doubt about. His autobiography will be a bestseller not only in Pakistan, but also in India. A copy of it will be the most sought after book in the subcontinent, just behind the latest Harry Potter to be shortly released. That is, if the governments doesn't ban it.

That is what the trend is these days. Any celebrity book or a movie, today, is not sold on its face value, without any wanton controversy. The pioneer and champion of this play field is our original Mahesh Bhatt. Hardly a release of his goes without an unnecessary controversy.

Remember Criminal, the movie, on whose release a rumour was spread that Manisha Koirala has been murdered. Later, it turned out that it was brain child of Mr. Bhatt himself. Then be it the non-existent controversy over kissing scenes of Pakistani artist Mira or the arrest of the South African heroine of Rog. Though, he can't be blamed for any controversy in Murder because Mallika Sherawat is a controversy unto herself.

Actor Raja Bundella made a movie on social cause. But who would see that ? A brilliant idea dawned upon him. He called a press conference on this movie in Bhopal. His own hired goons gatecrashed the conference, dragged Bundela out, and blackened his face. They were asked to protest against the explicit rape scenes in the movie. Controversy got created. But unfortunately for him, all those Bhadey-Ke-Tatto were caught only next day, and his plan got exposed!

Books, especially biographies and autobiographies, are never short of controversies. Only that day I have heard that Amitabh's brother Ajitabh Bachhan is working on his biography where he will share certain controversial details concerning Big B and Gandhi family. This future book will not only be a best seller, it has insured a decent publishing house.

People must have lost count on number of biographies concerning Lady Diana, and autobiographies of various butlers, sweepers, trainers and all sort of staff associated with her, and every one promising a fresh controversy. I must say she had lived a most difficult life, and her death must have been a setback of a fortune to the paparazzi industry and would be biographers. Last heard, even Monika Lewnski, the White House ex-intern, has a biography !

Who will watch those aforementioned no-hoper movies, and read biographies of rank losers and absolute nobodies san controversies. The strategy works as people are very much concerned about what spicy is happening in other's life, and as a result someone is laughing to the bank.