Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Height Wise

Imagine it's been how much time since we last stood 'height wise' in a line. Leave alone actually standing, most of us haven't heard this term in ages.

It's been a real long and hard time since sweet school! Really.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Varsha Ne Aaj Vidai Li

Varsha Ne Aaj Vidai Li. Lovely poem by Makhan Lal Chaturvedi.

Previous Poem: Gaon

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Ashes Tidbits

Watching Ponting's animated outburst, and later hearing about McGrath's "expert" opinion on substitutes - this particular Hindi adage sums up the situation perfectly - Khisiyani Billi Khamba Nochey! I'm glad that Steve Waugh is not around, or else we might have heard a complete philosophical lecture on this issue. Rank losers, and very bad ones at that!


The unique dismissal of Shaun Tait reminds me of great Javagal Srinath - the batsman. Walking across to off stump, and trying to be cute - typical Srinath. Both of them seems to be colonial cousins.


I can imagine what must be going around in 'Next Don' Mathew Hayden's mind. "Mate - when is the next series with India! Need runs badly!". Why only him, 'Classy' Damien Martyn, and 'Next Ponting' Michael Clarke must also be thinking on same lines!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hate To Lose

When I was in my pre highschools( VIII, IX, X), sports was as much a passion as studies. Every class use to have a team, and often we use to play each other. All teams stood in fairly equal stead. It used to be a fierce competition, and the spirits used to be so high that matches often ended just short of a brawl.

I for one, hated to lose, and the captain of my team hated it even more.

Year 1992, excitement of on going Cricket World Cup was on, and the disappointment of our first board exams was already behind. On an unusually hot day during the early spring we decided to play our last match as 'class X'. The opposition was 'class IX'.

I skipped the match because India was playing a rain shortened, loosing game with South Africa, and I decided to watch it.

Our opposition had two tear away fast bowlers, with contrasting styles - Nitin Mishra, and Vijay Shankar(our captain, who is reading this blog may correct the names, if wrong). Though none of us would openly admit it, but there was an element of awe for these two.

India lost pretty soon, so I rushed to watch the outcome of the other battle. Match was taking place on one the hardest pitches of DAV college. The moment I reached there, it was already in a thrilling phase.

We were chasing, and that pace duo had ripped off our top order. However, the captain was still playing with tailenders. He had already suffered the heat stroke, and had done some vomiting. He had taken some blows on the body as well. Still, he stood like the rock of Gibraltar on the crease, and took us to a memorable victory. Lagaan was scripted much later.

The key factor there was the emotion -'hate to lose', perhaps only one of the few times the word 'hate' could be used in a positive sense. See, at that time there is this undiluted, sincere, schoolboyish attitude for competing. There is no match fees, no sponsorship money, no TV interviews involved. Two things which drive our performance is the love for the game, and the extreme desire of winning it fairly.

The exact corollary of this is what happening with the hi-fliers of our Indian team. The money involved is obscene. The unmitigated desire to win is lost somewhere between it. This continuous flow of unlimited money has definitely diluted the zeal. Now careers have taken precedence. Wining is only a byproduct, a poor distant cousin.

One doesn't deserve 50 lakh a year for losing more than 50% of matches. Nor do we deserve their unwanted advertisements before our faces through out the year. Poor chaps, they have to speak same stuff before camera even when they lose. Also, graded payment shouldn't be according to the seniority of the players, but according to performance of that year.

Look how causally people walked back after every dismissal, as if they were more comfortable in dressing room. I think a few radical decisions have to be taken. Those with suspect attitude should be chucked out, until they mend themselves and fighters like Robin Singh should be sought for, who give more than they possess.

Heck, even my captain Hemant Upadhyaya would fare much better than these loud mouthed sissies just because he hated to lose. So would I.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Sadak Mein Gaddha...

Sadak Mein Gaddha, Ya Gaddhey Mein Sadak. Come home to Pune!

Have never seen roads in such a pathetic condition ever before. I mean, to have a few bad patches here and there, a few potholed stretches are what one is used to.

But to have almost seventy five percent of roads almost eroded to the extent that it begins to resemble a worst case scenario of kuchcha roads in our villages, is unbelievable stuff indeed. The upper tar layer has been literally creamed away by rains.

And not a single road has been spared. In all the corners of the city the news is same. Shockers of the most of the vehicles must be a horror story by now.

Wake up corporation, wake up from thy deep slumber?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The UP-Bihar Syndrome

Continuing the popular trend of blaming the Siamese twins UP-Bihar for every ill this country suffers from, here is one more reason to blame them.

According to metrological department, the excess rainfall in Maharashtra and Gujarat has resulted in less rainfall in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Had weatherman been 'Mee Mumbaikar' Bal Thackrey and Pritish Nandi, or 'Save Maharashtra' Parimal Sondawale, he would have twisted the above piece of news, and paraphrased it as following -

The less amount of rainfall in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has resulted in the excess rainfall in Mumbai, hence causing those unfortunate floods.

A bit too cynical, I guess, but I have made my point: If India looses a Cricket match, blame UP an Bihar and breathe easy.



Tulsi Is Sansaar Mein Bhaanti Bhaanti Ke Log...

Ladies & g'men, introducing before you is one of the shining loonies who have ever burdened this world - Mr Parimal Sondawale.

A marathi manus to the core, I am sure my Maharashtrian friends must have already come across him before. Believe me, even Bal Thackrey would look happy-go-lucky in comparison.

I am not giving him a free publicity, but I want you to read each of his posts(there are not many) for plain entertainment. At first you will clench your teeth in anger, but they will later clutter in laughter.

Also do read some comments made by a person named Prachi. I just loved the way she countered him. Plain hilarious.

I just wonder the fate of people around him. What a torture he must be to them! I am sure even mental asylums would refuse to give him any shelter.

Really, Tulsi Is Sansaar Mein Bhaanti Bhaanti Ke Log...!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


A few lines by Madhup Mohta.


Previous Poem: Anubhuti

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Neem Ka Ped

For those who want to see a stellar performance by Pankaj Kapoor, and do have some familiarity with Awadhi and Urdu, do not miss the fantastic television serial Neem Ka Ped being telecasted at 3.30 PM on DD National every Sunday. Even those who are not that comfortable with the language can give it a try.

It has been written by renowned Dr Rahi Masoom Raza, who had written the dialogues for BR Chopra's epic Mahabharat, and Yash Chopra's Lamhe, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Golmal, Mili, Jhoothi and Subhash Ghai's Karz.

His novel Adha Gaon is one the greatest work of literature in Hindustani language. With it's back drop as partition, it will shake up your imagination as much as Bishma Sahini's Tamas did. It's a semi-autobiographical work set in the Raza’s village of Gangauli, in Ghazipur district on the fringes of Awadh whose Muslim inhabitants refuse to leave the country. Along with Srilal Shukla's Raag Darbari, it's a must read.

Coming back to Neem Ka Ped, its again set in village India. It's a story of a semi-bonded labourer, Budhai Ram - played(rather, lived) by Pankaj Kapoor, under a Muslim village zamindar. This Muslim landlord is under property dispute with his minister brother-in-law. As circumstances turn out to be, Budhai Ram gets caught between this fight of pride and property. The bone of contention is also the small piece of land on which he has planted a Neem tree as a kid.

His only hopes are his son Sukhai whom he wants to educate and that Neem tree with which he identifies himself, and his beliefs. How a powerless, but determined peasant gets out from this wrangle, saves his Neem Ka Ped against all odds, gets his son educated and turns the tables on his warring landlords. The story line is tremendous, with relevant and engaging sub plots.

All the characters are believable, and I am saying this because I have seen so many of them in real life. And more believable is Pankaj Kapoor aka Budhai Ram. He got so well under the skin of the character that one almost forgets he is somebody else. He is only Budhai Ram for the viewer for that half an hour.

The way he smiles -sheepishly, sarcastically, helplessly, all are different shades of emotion. The way he trudges to work, his steely resolve which he hides succesfully, only to be let out only once in a while, his body language - everything about him force you to take a bow for him.

The dialogues, Raza's forte, are excellent. Pronunciations are perfect. By perfect I mean that the words are spoken incorrectly - the actually way a typical illiterate villager mispronounces. This mispronunciation has been perfectly incorporated in the script and very beautifully carried off by the artists, for e.g. calling 'Lucknow' as 'Nakhlau', and 'Time' as 'Tame' are the typical phonetic mistakes.

Enough said. If I won't stop myself, I will continue on endlessly. But do check it out. It's a masterpiece.

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Friday, August 19, 2005


Predictable post, but it ought to be.

Ever since I became understanding enough to understand that importance of this festival is way beyond just tying fancy threads, enjoying sweets and getting gifts, there has never been an occasion I didn't have a Rakhi in my hand. Alas, courtesy ever-delaying Indian Postal Department - no Rakhi this time. To say I am broke is a huge understatement.

Though, I have only one immediate (younger)sister, but after accounting paternal, maternal, Muhboli sisters and cousins - my both hands have been always full, and pockets always empty. Since my little sister is way too younger than me (seven and a quarter years), she has been a kiddo(and probably will aways remain) for a larger part of my life.

When very young, she would scamper away with sweets even before tying the Rakhi to me. She would also insist that I tie her a Rakhi too! Of course, as far as gift is concerned eleven rupee was a big money then, big enough for little her.

As I had many cousins, and Muhboli sisters in Lucknow - all living in different corners and centers of the city, Sadakein Naaptey Naaptey Jootey Ghis Jaatey The. Those whom I would visit later found it very hard to locate some unoccupied space to just about fit in their own thread.

A few of my cousins, who were not from the city were gracious enough to make a visit every year, some as far as 100 KM. Use to feel very guilty about this, but they never complained. In fact, the look of happiness and satisfaction in their eyes use to melt away any such doubts. What an irony, haven't seen many of them in years.

It was only prudent to skip the dinner. There would hardly be any apetite or space at the end of the day.

I am sure this exactly is what must be happening in the small town India. Brothers and sisters, making a point to visit each other, taking small time out of their busy schedules. Of course, some cities are very professional, where work doesn't stop even in the adversity, leave alone a festival. There, Rakshabandhan can wait. For ever.

For me it is one of the sweetest occasion to celebrate. Happy Rakshabandhan to all. Enjoy lyrics of this haunting song, sung exceptionally well by Kishore. I have often cried buckets hearing this.

Post Script: Even as I was writing this post, the courier carrying Rakhis has arrived. Whew, and hurrrraayy! What a timing!


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Maulana Fadruddin

Maulanas(Fadruddin) of Darul Ulema of Deoband have issued yet another Fatwa(to hell with the Supreme Court notice).

It says - a Muslim woman cannot run for elections. If she has to, it should be under extremely rare circumstances. That includes she should do so by her husband's permission, and that she should be under veil through out.

Reasons given are twosome and quite articulate. One is Islam, as always, and the other is a biological one. Prepare yourself.

Islam does not allow women to come in contact with a Gair-Mard without veil. Before and after getting elected, this is quite difficult.
The other reason given unabashedly by the Maulana is since 'Aurton Mein Mardon Se Kam Aqal Hoti Hai'(Woman are less intelligent than men), it would be catastrophic for the society as a whole to be ruled by them!

Now what do we do of such Maulanas ? My suggestion - pack them like sardines in huge jumbo jets. Air drop them in the forsaken slopes of Hindukush in Afghanistan, where they can unite with their Talibani brethren.

I promise you both Islam and we would be in peace then onwards.

Bismillah Khan Interview

Deepak would love this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wake up Harsh! It's your first birthday!


Aha! Now you are wide awake.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I Am Lovin' It Yet Again

They are delivering as they promised. Australians are being punched right in their solar-plexus. Left, right and straight. Feels satiated by the what-hit-me-look on everyone's face.

I was smiling ear to ear seeing Mathew Hayden punching the air after Brett Lee avoided the defeat. What a desperate fall! By the next Aussie series, he might be doing just that, but from his home.

If you allow me the word, still, there are more guttersnipes in this Australian team than anywhere else. Warne was jumping like a cat on a hot tin roof after the victory in first test match. Pigeon Mcgrath is still shooting from his mouth. Badly bruised ego hurts more than the Cricket ball. Real pity.

Like I have said before, I am loving all of it.

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Indrajal Online

Now for those die-hard fans of Indrajal comic series, here is the independence day bonanza for all of you. Your search for those fabled tales is over as a good samaritan has been putting up those jewels in the writing for us lovers. No words to thank him.

Happy reading!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Happy Birth Day My Nation

Since I won't be in office on Monday, my tributes before hand. Although, it's rather unfortunate that people are more happy for the LONG weekend, than the day itself.

Daane Daane Pe Likha Hai Khane Wale Ka Naam

This is has happened to me in recent past only. Motivated by the big bucks involved in the stock markets, four months back I also decided take a plunge. My first venture at it turned out to be a classic misadventure.

At that time, it were raining Initial Public Offers(IPO) and they were giving astronomical returns at the listing itself. After much deliberation, I decided to Shri-Ganesh with some IPO only. There were two companies whose offers were open at the time - Gokuldas Exports, and 3I Infotech.

Myself, a reluctant, new investor, without any much idea about EPS(Earnings Per Share), P/E Ratio(Price Of Share/Earnings Per Share Ratio) and Valuations did one of the most idiotic self analysis ever(though I did check out the past performance). Here is the sample.

Gokuldas Exports - not a good name to name a company. Never heard of it. IPO price -Rs 365, too high!

3I Infotech - An IT company. Not Bad. A subsidiary of ICICI Bank. Not bad at all. IPO Price - Rs 100, dead cheap!

I grabbed the latter, and applied for a huge amount of them. When I was allocated only 143 shares, I was visibly disappointed. I deserved more. However, I wasn't prepared for what was to follow.

On listing, the share price shot up to 118. That was 18% percent premium. I again felt bad for not getting more in IPO. I decided to wait on for further rise. That was when the bad days begun.

Infosys and TCS had performed pathetically during the last quarter of last year, and gave a bad guidance for the next quarter. These two results guide IT stocks, and such announcement sounded death knell for 3I Infotech. Down it came to 102 or thereabouts, to slip further to around 95!

I should mention here that to add insult to my injury - Gokuldas listed at 530, and kept on soaring ever since! So much for my analysis.

At the point when I was expecting a huge premium, I was running losses! After shedding a tear or two, I decided to wait, as they say - patience is key in the stock market. With time, both patience and stock price kept on dipping. About a month back, it sank down to 89!

That was the time I thought it's a goner, and whenever it would reach 100 or so, I would sell it with no profit and no loss. God listened to me, and with the revival of Sensex due to good last quarter results, good monsoons, and Foreign Investor funding - 3I Infotech settled down to 106, a marginal, but profit all right.

Sensex was at its peak. If it dipped for any reason, 3I Infotech would literally crash. So only last Monday - I did away with it at the price of 106, not accounting the brokerage charges, and felt relieved.

On the very next morning, that is Tuesday, when I read the newspaper - I almost choked on my breakfast. The right corner of business page carried a heading in block letters that 3I takes over a company in Europe. It meant good news for stock, and bad news for me. When I checked the stock price later in noon, it had shot up to 117, up by 13%! Next day, it again shot up by 13% to end at 132!

Like I said in heading- Daane Daane Pe Likha Hai Khane Wale Ka Naam! I waited four months for stock price to soar, and when it finally did - I had sold it only a day before! What an irony!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

He is a fighter to the core. Fought over many contradictions in his life. Fought against his short comings, until they were history. Fought and defeated the dreaded Hepatitis B. Like he fought for his life, he fought for his love as well and there too, an eventual success.

He is a walking example of the fact that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

Of course, I will never forgive you for landing that boxing punch on my face on your very first day in the school. Nor am I too appreciative of your selective memory on hitting that gloriously straight driven boundary on my attempted yorker, while conveniently choosing to forget that I bowled you out later in the same over.

But the way you have helped me(and my family) through thick and thin, be it my free lifts to school and coaching, or in my 'worst days' in this life - I can never even think of repaying.

Happy Birthday Manish(Mohan). Hope you enjoyed the day.


Anubhuti felt by Sumitra Nandan Pant. But what a way to express.



Previous Poem: Itney Unchey Utho

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In Defence Of Sehar

A comment by one of the three boisterous gentlemen, seated bang behind me, perhaps underscored what was expected of the movie. "Serious Role Iska( Arshad Warsi) USP Nahin Hai. Comedy Mein Hi Janchta Hai."

The problem was that these guys just took out the newspaper, saw Warsi's name against Sehar and yelled 'Vow! Another Comedy', and in they went to the theater. And when it turned out to be a seriously serious movie, they wrongly declared the lead actor as the chief conspirator. Sorry boss! This is not done.

Arshad Warsi is first rate in the movie. So is Pankaj Kapoor( will come to him later).The problem, though, was in the screenplay. The director had such a strong story, but he spoilt it with too many characters, and some badly conceived scenes. Perhaps the director Kabeer Kaushik's inexperience showed here. In the zeal to make a 'realistic' movie, he forgot to add the entertainment value.

To begin with, the romantic angle was very badly handled. The conversations between the young SSP and the Lucknow University Economics teacher were very highly unrealistic, even by the conservative Lucknow standards. They were a shade too tentative, and shy. I guess he was better off showing a married SSP(though it is now much cliched in a cop movie), and cut down the romance angle a bit. Needless to say, Mahima Chowdhari was a complete misfit.

The other complain is the lack of humour. I refuse to believe that anybody, even a SSP for that matter, does not have a sense of humour, or when cops chat together, they don't share a joke or two. Comic relief was much needed to ease the tension, even if it was a reality cinema. Cue from Maqbool, Haasil or Sarfarosh should have been taken.

Now the good points. The ultimate mix of cast and the script. Warsi is a revelation. He has not been shown as a ruthless or vindictive cop. He is in fact a thinking cop in the movie, who dwells on the investigation seriously. He plan strategies before an encounter or raid. He is quick to find a loop hole, and provide a solution. There is no style in his gait. There are no unnecessary confrontations with the superior either.

To conceive this by the director is one thing. To pull it off is another. Warsi, as I said earlier, was mindblowing.

Unfortunately, there is nothing above than the first rate or I would have rated Pankaj Kapoor the same. Maqbool, Dus, and now Sehar - Pankaj Kapoor has done it yet again. Every frame which involves him, is full of life. Though the heights of Neem Ka Ped cannot be breached, he easily surpasses Maqbool. He lits a small Diya of humour which had been lacking till then.

He reserved his best for the chilling climax when Warsi asks him the reason why he has left the injured constable alone. Warsi doesn't know that constable is dead. Kapoor doesn't utter a word, and conveys that just with facial expressions. Sorry folks, I just cannot explain the scene. It has to be seen to be believed. Full credit to the director as well. He specifically wrote that character with only Pankaj Kapoor in mind, and the genius did what genius do.

Sushant Singh was good. He did look ruthless, though I must mention that the original person was not as ruthless. Also, with the kind of bigwig killing shown in the movie - it appears that Lucknow was completely littered with blood. That is not true. Lucknow was not so much in the don's radar. There were not even half as many killings. But perhaps to convince the audience, the writer over did it.

On personal front, I got the eyeful of Lucknow, both from the sky and land. It looked so beautiful. Then there were those familiar lanes, buildings and their names echoed through out the movie. Loved all of it.

Had the writer-director added some more humour element, it wouldn't have been the heavy diet it turned out to be and would have been much more watchable even with Mahima around. Though, UPites can still give it a go. They would easily relate to it.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Why India would have lost!

It is about Ashes 2005 - Australia versus England. A test match lost by just 2 runs! Haven't seen such a test match in a long long time where there has been so many ups and downs. Perhaps, the Kolkotta 2001 was the last one to fit the bill.

Had this been India in place of England, it would have lost it on the third day itself. Australia is like a ten headed Ravan. You kill one, another one raise it's head. So what if they had lost their eight wickets, with more than 100 runs to go. Their tailenders play better than our frontliners. Hat's off to Lee, Warney and Kasprowich.

But credit completely goes to English fast bowlers. Australia is finding it tough because they have never faced such lethal a bowling attack in their lifetime. The reason India wouldn't have won in such a situation, while England did, is the difference in fast bowling. India wouldn't have gone beyond Gillespie, while the same batsman was dismissed twice in no time by England!

Why ?
Yorkers and Bouncers.

Indian bowlers do not have the ability to bowl yorkers. Pathan never bowled one; Zaheer at the beginning of his career, which was his peak too, used to bowl some peach of the yorkers(still vividly remember those Steve Waugh, and Andrew Nell dismissals at Nairobi), but now he bowls only low fulltosses. Nehra usually bowls one yorker per match!

Unfortunately, Indians never bowl genuine bouncers either. They do bowl some balls which bounce comfortably above the batsman's head, but that is, perhaps, to bowl a dot ball. Or so it appears.

This is not the bouncing all about. A bouncer, as a delivery must be used to intimidate a batsman, especially tailenders. This can be done only when the bowler targets the head of the batsman. Indians haven't learned to do this, and that's the reason why, historically, India always found it hard to get rid of tailenders. Tailenders dread bouncers, and can't play yorkers.

Gillespie was out to two such toe crushing yorkers in both the innings, Kasprowich was out to a bouncer which sealed the match, while Shane Warne was hit wicket due to the mortal fear of bouncers. That is what the fast bowling is all about.

India couldn't mop up the tail against Srilanka even after reducing them to 95 for 6. Even West Indies managed to reach within eight runs of the victory. That's precisely because of the incompetent Indian fast bowling. Add this to our dismal batting for past one year, it's high chance that we might lose the finals tomorrow.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The 'Spirit' Of Mumbai

This post is not there to rake up any controversies. Neither I am trying to be cynical in the moment of crisis. I am just trying to be plain pragmatic.

Despite my dislike for this place's crumbling, rather never-existent, civic infrastructure, and lack of breathing space, there is no iota of doubt that work culture and professionalism of the city is beyond compare. It is almost infectious.

No matter whoever walks into the city, with some initial resistance, one gradually moulds oneself with the environment. There is no other way. The competitive, and hardworking is the only one who would survive. If you are not already, you have to change yourself into one. Remember the movie Gaman by Muzzarfar Ali(Is Shaher Mein Har Shaksha Pareshaan Sa Kyun Hai)?

Due to ample work opportunities, and a conducive work environment, it has been attracting the best available talent in its folds. That enhances the overall quality of the city. The average citizen is better educated, and a more responsible one. However, all this has also added to a strange phenomenon called the 'spirit of Mumbai'.

Terms like - 'this is special about this city', ' they rise to occassion', 'it would never happen anywhere' have become the part of the local lingo. While most of it must be true, but at the same time it is plain ignorance to assume that this is exclusive to this city only.

Seriously, Mumbai needs to step out of this halo because of which it cannot see anything beyond itself. There is a huge country which exists beyond its boundaries which also has some degree of intelligence and existence. This vast hinterland is what feeding Mumbai its talent pool, and all other resources which Mumbai lacks of. Most of those Mumbaikars are not actually the sons of the soil.

Also we must remember that amongst those who are coming to Mumbai, all of them were not exactly dying of hunger at their homes. They have come there because this is the best place where they can perform at their best.

At the same time, those who are not in Mumbai are not dumb either. They are also social. They have faced more adversities through out their lives, than Mumbaikars have faced now. They have much less money. Still they strive hard against all the calamities & hardships.

For e.g. Cyclones, heat waves, rains, draught - each of them has ravaged Orissa. Still they survive, without basking in their little glories. Every year Brahmaputra creates havoc in Assam. Who bothers, and nobody complains. Imagine the situation of Kashmiris. See how doomed Gujarat is. Cyclones, earthquakes, floods, riots -what not? Still, they perform best in the country. And what about those fighters from Andaman & Nicobar, Tamil Nadu, & Pondichery? They literally rose from the dead.

Mr. Pritish Nandy, now everybody knows these statistics that Mumbai pays 40% of direct taxes, & 20% of indirect ones. But that does not necessarily mean Mumbai should be paid in same ratio. By same logic, should Ambanis be treated better than you since they pay more taxes? If Uttar Pradesh produces maximum milk, sugar, potatoes, rice, wheat, fruits, vegetables, then it doesn't mean all of these should stay there only.

You live in your happy world - Mumbai, and that's what you are bothered about. Tomorrow, every Indian will demand better facilities in line with his ability to pay taxes. Poor will be left to fend for themselves. Not withstanding the fact, that much of these poor, and not so poor had spent a lion shares of their income in educating their wards, and sending them to Mumbai to earn big bucks and pay taxes for your city. Had they had there own 'Mumbai' in there states, they wouldn't have come to your city in first place.

Mumbai doesn't need more money. It needs better management. Money is spent in creating a helipad at Chhagan Bhujbal's house. Did anyone ever question that in five years? Nope.

I think I have made my point. I salute the spirit which Mumbai has shown in the crisis. In the same breath, I salute the spirit shown by that young Sikh major who lost his life while saving the lives of people trapped in Upahaar cinema, or those bravehearts who survived Tsunami, and helped surviving others, or those never-say-die Gujaratis. I salute the spirit of our Armed Forces, the spirit, which is there in everyone amongst us.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Rising

May be I am missing something. The album is out, and people (mostly at blogs) are loving it. To me, apart from Mangal Mangal, rest of it appears to be a pedestrian stuff. Not a great Rehmaan fan anyway. Swadesh was even worse.

Seeing the promos, the movie seems to be more filmi, than realistic. Not sure if it is just promo editing that is bad. Needless to say, I am disappointed. I sincerely hope that the movie rises above its mediocre album and the promos.

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Sun & Rain

Sun is shining bright, and rain showers are also on, simultaneously. Back home, they call it Siyaar Ki Shaadi!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bade Ghar Ki Beti

By Munshi Premchand.

It can be read over here. More than the plot, it's the phrasing of sentences which catches the attention. Pure genius.

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Current Sentiments

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again.

Rain, rain, pour down,
But not a drop on our town.

Rain on the green grass,
and rain on the tree,
And rain on the housetop,
but not on me.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again on washing day.

Rain, rain, go to Germany,
And remain there permanently.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come on Martha's wedding day.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Chanda Mama Door Ke...

Not sure whether many of us remember this song. My mother used to sing it for me, and later for my little sis. Those days(some 12-15 years back), it was quite a regular in Vividh Bharti.

Basically, this song is from the movie Vachan(1955). It was music director Ravi Sharma's first movie. Lyrics were written by Ravi himself, and it was hummed by Asha Bhonsle.

Incidentally, Ravi is one composer who has given us the immortal tunes for almost every occasion. For our birthdays he has gifted ‘Hum Bhi Agar Bache Hote’. The ultimate Shaadi song on which every one of us must have danced - ‘Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai', has also been immortalized by Ravi. The Vidai Geet on which every married lady must have cried buckets, and would-be-marrying ones will do the same -'Babul Ki Duaen Leti Ja’ is another claim to Ravi's fame.

Coming back to this classic, 'Chanda Mama Door Ke' is one for the lullaby section. It's an ultimate kiddo song. Apparently, the kid aka 'Munna' is not so happy with his situation. To placate him, mother is promising 'moon' to him. Not sure about the 'Munna', but my sister soon called our bluff. She would wisely insist on something earthly.

Here are the lyrics for your children, and for those 'Non Applicables' yet, it will bring the fond memories back.


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Monday, August 01, 2005

Another Doomed 26th

After that deluge on 26th July, it's been again raining incessantly in Mumbai since past three days. In Pune too, there has not been a moment of respite. Had the city not been on the slopes of Sahyadris, it would have been almost as bad here as in Mumbai.

26th as the date has again haunted us. 26th January, it was Gujarat earthquake; 26th December, it was Tsunami. 26th July, it was this cloud burst in Mumbai. The life of the people there, as it is clearly evident from the news, is more miserable than the worst of the miseries. Imagining myself there runs a chill down my spine.

But clearly, this unfortunate calamity has shown that in any direction beyond Dadar, except south, the Financial Capital of India is one big slum. In between this slum, there are some oasis of wealth, but largely it's a shabby, crumbling piece of town planning.

But that's what precisely happens with the prevailing builder-politco nexus. The town planning is fed to dogs. Forget a town, there are no sub-towns either. Ok, there are places like Kandivili, but just for locals to stop. Beyond that, there is just a Lokhandwala complex to harp about. Everything else - a slum again.

That's not the way to plan a city. A builder gets hold of a patch of land, and raises a building over there, another builder would do like wise nearby, and so on. That way an unplanned maze is created. On the contrary, one needs to develop a complete township to give that area a planned look.

Three good examples would be Nigdi Pradhikaran in Pune, Rohni in Delhi, and Gomti Nagar in Lucknow. Such colonies have the dedicated facilities for schools, hospitals, post office, parks, markets, and police stations. This has not happened in Mumbai since long. There is always some illegal construction going on there, be it on a hill, near a river or in a slum.

These builders had in fact changed the course of a small river to create illegal constructions. Now the river has come back with vengeance!

Hope this mayhem gets over soon, and normalcy returns.



Munshi Premchand

It's was Dhanpat Rai's 125 birth Anniversary yesterday. The text books, book stalls at railway station, patrons like Gulzar & Prem Piyush, and readers like Vandy have kept him alive in our hearts.

It's not easy to relate to his works, especially in the escapist times we live on. In the times, when writers used to pen the stories around fantasies, kings, royals - Premchand's hero would invariably be a common, downtrodden man especially, a villager. Perhaps the hardships and struggle which he himself suffered throughout his life, found vent in his pen. Nobody else have conserved the more correct picture of an Indian village at that time.

He gave literature a new hero, who fight the system for his survival in Godan, in my reckoning, his best work. How greed and lust are two bitter enemies of human is clearly evident in Gaban. The complexeties of relationships are beautifully portrayed in Nirmala.

Like most of the other writers of that time his writings also showed the patriot in him. Karma Bhumi is one such example(that TV serial in late eighties had made such a mess of the story). He even gave up his job at Mahatma Gandhi's call. Munshi Premchand’s was a strident voice that spoke for a free India. His Progressive Writers’ Association was a movement of defiance against the Raj and the social ills of the day.

Of course, he was a master story teller as well. While Kafan is a perfect satire reflecting on the falling human values, and poverty in society - Namak Ka Daroga tells you that honesty always pays. Pareeksha is a short account on, again, sincerety & honesty.

That exactly was Premchand's essence. He always stressed on simple and relvant things in life. If you have not already logged into Premchand, it's high time.

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