Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Long Live The King

After much effort, now I can safely say that I have something in common with great Amitabh Bachhan. And what's that ?


Colitis, as most of you may be knowing by know from various media sources and otherwise, is inflammation of inner or outer linings of colon(large intestines).

It is fairly common at big B's age, and almost 30% elderly posses it. It is uncommon at my age, and I have it since past four years.

Repercussions ? Colitis is usually harmless. It is easily manageable with strict diet control, and a person can lead a decent quality of life. It happens due to recurrent amoebic infections which are not properly treated.

But one particular type of Colitis called Ulcerative Colitis is extremely dangerous. It happens when our own immune turns up against our intestines. Most likely it attacks teenagers, or people in their twenties. Not common in India, but I know a friend who has it. Very difficult to manage, quality of life poor, and fatal in long term.

I hope our dear old Amitabh gets well soon, and there is no complication. Some people are bored of seeing him too much on the screen, but I am not. I know there would be a time soon when his age and health wouldn't permit him to be that visible. I want to see as much of him before that inevitable happens.

Long live the king.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pollock's Bunny..

..Sachin Tendulkar.

Scores in last three innings:-

2(20 balls)
2(22 balls)
2(15 balls)


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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Laloo and Samosa

Even as there is no Laloo at the helm in Bihar, Samosa still has that quintessential Aloo. People of Bihar, both natives and expatriates, must have breathed a collective sigh of relief.

But the big question is whether Nitish's regime can bring about the change of fortune in Bihar?

Answer is no. Not immediately, I mean. It's only plain to see that a fifteen years of relentless misrule, unthwarted corruption, and state sponsored criminalisation of the society can't be weed out in five years.

In these five years, with supreme political will, the current inertia can only be slowed down, next five years wheels of change can be set rolling in opposite but forward direction, and another five years are needed for the momentum to gain.

But Nitish doesn't have fifteen years. Almost certainly, Laloo will be back after five years. And it will be back to looting days and nights.

I am not too sure about political will either. In order to defeat the criminals from RJD, many candidates of criminal antecedent have been contested by NDA. They will be a huge nuisance for Nitish when he will try to deal with law and order.

Approximately 30% of Bihari men live outside their home state. This number is not expected to come down significantly in near future even if the law and order is improved because investment just won't come for next fifteen years.

Good examples are the still-grappling-for-the-investment states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Barring a few urban pockets, investment is just in trickles despite of the fact that they are fastly reforming, and infrastructure has been improving at good pace. The bad old BIMARU tag is taking a way long time to shake off.

But one thing is sure. Bihar won't sink any further into a pit. Parasites are gone for a while and host can breathe easy. My worries are for the Railways now. Laloo - the parasite - will change host now. From Bihar to Railways.

Let's see how Manmohan Singh's team can stem this damage. All the best to Bihar.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chhota Sheher(contd.)

As Priyangini said, I am mighty bugged by this big-small city nonsense. They are not even clear about the geography of these cities, not sure what gives them license to talk like this. I wanted to say more but didn't have much time that day.

It is proven that quality of life almost certainly takes the dip for worse when one moves from one city to other. Until then, you lived in a perfectly protected environment. You had a pretty settled life. You had a good friend circle with whom you spent your leisure time. And you had your family.

Move to another big city. Now you have an employment. But then you will have to house yourself in an apartment one third of the size you are used to live in. Workplace or downtown will be three times as much distant. Food will always be substandard, with a stomach bug perfectly implanted in you intestines.

Cost of living shoots infinitely. Rent will hit you hard, until you pack like sardines. Eleven months deposit is another tale of woe. Food is costly unless you can cook. Traveling cost is phenomenal, and add to that those doctored meters these autowallahs here possess, I am sure there take home is more than mine. You will call home long distance every now or then, and you will certainly send home some money. That's the least one can do.

Now want to buy a property? Take a cool 20-25 lakh loan for the miniscule flat in the remote suburbs of the city. Rest of the lives, they are slave of their vehicles and cellphone. I have seen people driving four KM to buy milk, and making five calls for the elusive plumber. Not to forget that twenty year EMI.

I am yet to know a family who has completely migrated with their sons and daughters. My mother and sister came here, stayed two years, had enough if it and returned back. There is huge difference in comforts and culture. And mind you, this is Pune, still a relatively small city. Had there been a larger city, more the problems.

These guys here have never exactly lived much away from home to understand the pain of getting detached from your roots. Everything they get is on platter. They don't understand what a long distance call is, and what it feels like making a more than twenty four hour journey every two or three times a year.

And yes, those steps are more loaded than the suitcases which we carry when we begin our return journey from home.

Typical on this immigrant situation is the song from the movie Godaan, sung beautifully by Mohd Rafi. Lyrics are in Bhojpuri are by Anjan, and music by Pandit Ravi Shankar. Lyrics are typically rural, but not hard to understand if given second read.

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My company's smart filters have banned Haloscan comments. However, I can see those comments from Haloscan website. I might have to switch back to Blogger comments. That's the news from my side.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Chhota Sheher

As a prereq to my post, please read this post by Gaurav( Sabnis). There is this minor debate about big city and small city(or town) going on. He states -

A 'chhota sheher' would be 'chhota' if a significant proportion of its young population would be looking to move out from it to a bigger city, for reasons which are not solely employment-related. In these places, there are many youngsters who want to move out, and settle down in places like Delhi, Bangalore, Pune or Bombay, with the reasons not being restricted to just employment

He also goes on to say -

In a nutshell, a big city is a place where people aspire to settle down, buy houses, bring up their kids and maybe grow old, all the while, letting their career flourish..

I find these arguments an utterly myopic crap.

I am painfully residing in "big-city-since-when" Pune, away from my beloved-small-city since past six years. And this is just for employment's sake. I am not enthralled by the big city charms. Not that I consider it yet a big city.

I don't aspire to settle here, but am forced by the circumstances. Politicos back home won't do any thing for the investment. Alumnus like Narayanmurhty's don't give a damn. But I have to earn my livings, and make ends meet. That brings me 1456 km far off from my cozy nest.

Now quality of life.

Please never think that I like a nomad's life living in a stuffy one or two Bedroom-Hall-Kitchen, where your neighbour's don't give a damn about you. I had a nice and spacious five room double story "row house", as they call it here, with a huge lawn and terrace. Not only me, everybody has one there.

I don't yearn for branded bits, but I could get all back home. I am not a Pizza Hut fan either, but do have a better choice of food. I didn't have to drive through 20 to 40 km to reach places. Bicycle mostly did the trick. And there were no killer vehicle up after me, looking for the kill.

I, a small towner, played at better playgrounds, studied at equally good schools, graduated from a better college, and am doing a job as good as you might have done.

And yes safety. People there haven't exactly lynched me. That explains it.

So please don't ever presume about the luxuries of big cities. They are all misplaced. One day, if I ever lived to see the day, I will settle back in the small city I once lived in. And there are many like me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Oh No Lara(Dutta) !

This is about the last week's 'celebrity' episode when Lara Dutta and Sania Mirza graced Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Now we all know how farcical and fixed these 'celebrity' episodes are. The pathetic questions, even more pathetic options, and the drama trip these celebrities go about before answering these questions, despite of the fact that every bloke who is, though, patient enough to tolerate all this, but not idiot enough to not understand that these dumbos-for-life know all the questions and answers before hand makes the whole episode as obnoxious as a Balaji Teleserial.

Obnoxious all right, but can this be really hilarious? Yes. Hilarious in the sense, that when these people make such a fool of themselves while trying to act intelligent, and 'come to' the answers they already know. This happened on last Sunday.

After the utterly pathetic episode of Kajol-Ajay Devgan, I had pledged to myself that I would never watch such episodes again. But while surfing the channels when I saw this 'intriguing' question on KBC, don't-know-why I just stopped. Well the question was - If on August 1, there is a Friday, how many Sundays are there in that month? This so difficult question was of the value 6.40 lakhs! What a choice for this amount! I mentally complimented Siddhart Basu.

I was about to change the channel when the beauty queen Lara Dutta decided to make a fool herself and the organizers of Ms Universe Beauty Pageant. She went about this way. Since 1st August was Friday, 3rd had to be the first Sunday. Then she added EIGHT( guffaws), and concluded 11th is also Sunday. Then she added SEVEN( more guffaws), and surmised that 18th, 25th, and 32nd have to be Sundays, but 32nd can not be a day in any month. 3rd, 11th, 18th, 25th. So that made four.

By that time, Sania Mirza, luckily, had counted that August has 31 days.

But the real problem was the fact that they had been told there were 5 Sundays. Poor Lara realized that she has lost the plot terribly. She just didn't know how to arrive at five. Partner was equally dumb. So to save herself from this embarrassing situation, she blurted that the answer is five. Nobody was told why five, when the 'calculation' was four.

Partial mistake is of Star TV. When they tell the answers to celebrities, they should also rehearse the histrionics these participants should go about. Perhaps they relied on the brains of the beauty queen and Tennis queen. But beauty queens are proven no-brainers. Ever heard of Aishwariya Rai!

I hope somebody at the back stage did tell Lara Dutta the secret of calendars - that there are seven days in a week. Had she been a successful actress, if I dare call her one, she would have had real date problems. Imagine those Sundays falling on the 32nd of the months! Terrible.



Thursday, November 17, 2005


Another treasure from Dr. Tandon's treasure.


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Two of my best friends - Hemant and Manish - are getting married today. Not to each other, but to their respective brides, of course. However, owing to my illness and some other unavoidable circumstances, I am not able to attend the ceremonies.

I would have been able to attend only one of them anyway, as one is happening in Udaipur, and the other one in Lucknow. That would have angered one of them. This must have angered both or neither depends upon which way they look.

However, one thing is sure. I am feeling lousy for more reasons than one.

Best wishes for their future.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Antar Jyoti

A few more Dohas by Dr Narendra Nath Tandon. We are really lucky that he is gracing us with these lovely lines.


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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chhote Chhote Shehron Se....

...Khali Bore Dopaharon Se Hum To Balla Utha Ker Chale...

Well the that's the song youngsters of this Indian Cricket team seem to be humming on. Just one look at the current composition, and it becomes clear that talent is not just confined to metros now. They have been rushing in hordes from small and even smaller towns.

In fact, there had always been the talent in small cities, but there was not enough encouragement from the parents to take it as career. Before Reliance Cup in 1987, Cricket was never seen as a career option. There was not enough money. It was just a attractive sport which would waste your whole day.

How often would we hear this familiar slogan - Padhoge Likhoge To Hogey Nawab, Kheloge Koodogey To Hogey Kharab from our guiding angels?

There was this athletic, strongly built boy - Amit Goel, in my class. We had stopped allowing him to play with us because we had lost just too many - then precious - leather balls to the orbit courtesy him. I won't call them fractures, but it was as closest I went to fractures while facing his bowling. Innumerous accounts of blue, bruised, swollen knees and elbows could be heard.

What more, he was a left arm tremendous bat, and a left arm express pace bowler - a rarest of rarity in those times. Later, he started playing at club levels, and urban legend was that he could actually swing the ball. Felt pity that likes of Chetan Sharma are in the team, whom Kapil Dev could never teach how to swing.

But the only problem was that he was super rich. Family had a well established business, and parents wouldn't allow him play any further. So we lost a perfect all rounder to a vegetable oil business.

Then there was this complete different scenario. There was this a Muslim milkman's family, from whom we use to take our milk. His son was about my age, and we have played some child hood Cricket. This guy was exceptional. Brilliant batsman, brilliant fast bowler- action clearly modeled on Imran Khan, and terrific fielder.

I thought that he can play Cricket at higher levels owing to his talent. But then money and illiteracy was the problem. He dropped out from school and game started helping his father in his profession. Now, I have heard he drives a Taxi.

So two potential all rounders lost to lack of proper encouragement and guidance. Of course, Reliance Cup and advent of Sachin Tendulkar changed the whole scene dramatically. A generation also changed, and those guys who themselves could not get enough encouragement are encouraging their children.

Heartening to see these Dhonis, Kaifs, Yuvrajs, Sehwags, Rainas, RPs emerging out of no where, and rubbing sholuders with their big city colleagues. Augurs well for the future.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Fragile egos of the diplomats. Here is the example.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cribbers Are Back

I am talking about whiners, snooty Brits who pulverized our country till half a century ago. It's the same old crib whenever they tour India. Venues, and facilities. This time it's no different.

The complaint is that current choice of venues require a lot of cumbersome traveling, and that concerned cities are not on popular tourist circuit. They have also cribbed about the fact they have been given a step motherly treatment as compared to visiting Aussie team.

You must be wondering that Indian Cricket board might have been really revengeful of those Raj days, and has sent them packing to some Kala-Panisque venues with shabby hotels and hopeless ground conditions. Nope. The venues are - hold your breath - Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Nagpur.

Instead of last two cities, they wanted Kolkotta, Chennai, or New Delhi. Somebody please stretch before them an Indian map which may enlighten them that these three venues involve less distance travel. This, they oughtta know for they have forcibly lived in this country long enough.

Tourist circuit. What the hell does that mean? I will tell you what does a typical circuit of India looks like. First match at green, hot and sultry Kochi. Next in beaches of Goa. Then land at Agra, watch Taj at night, and play the game across Yamuna. Pink Jaipur is close by, and so is spiritual Varanasi. Why not Gaya, the Buddhist circuit.

Plain idiots. And there is no Bhed-Bhav as compared to Aussies, because they did play at Nagpur. These snobs must realize that Indian teams also play at same venues. They are not alone playing the game there.

If I could have it my way, at least one game would have been at Andamans. I promise.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This beautiful work on Deepawali is by Bhagwati Sharan Srivastava "Sharan".


Previous Poem - Kaante Mat Bo

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