Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year !

To all of you....


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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Another Year Gone!

At the end of last year, I broke into a melancholic tone which had really upset a few well wishers. If last year was bad, this one was extremely bad. Again, I am treading towards the despondent tone which might alarm people, but then, that's the way it has been.

Two of my dear friends have tragically lost the soothing canopy of motherly love. Nothing was as painful as these events, as I know life would never be the same again for them.

I too couldn't escape the changing faces of destiny and had to bear a bitter personal loss myself. A few very personal and cherished relationships turned sour with all efforts of amend going waste.

For the second time in my life, was given a death sentence, but with the grace of God, and prayers from those who matter - I hung on.

Made some new friends, revived some dormant friendships, and mentally dumped certain dummies in the name of friends. Its such a fulfilling feeling to have a deserving friendship, as it adds a great value to our lives and at the same time its a relief to get rid of non-deserving ones. Good riddance, indeed.

Not all gray, though. There were certain silver linings amidst the clouds of gloom. Three of my friends got married. A couple of others are expecting a new member. Some have changed the jobs for good, others have been out exploring the seven seas.

Then there are other small joys which we experience from our day to day life. A small gesture from a stranger here and there which touches. A small talk with a friend after a long time. A surprise visit by person whom you had met ages ago which wouldn't have mattered if s/he didn't, but mattered a lot when s/he did. Then there is a joy of helping someone without being asked.

What a else ? A lot more but then that would be treading on something too personal. This post would be one of my most boring ones, but one can't always laugh, can one?

4 Matthri's And A Glass Of Whiskey

4 Matthri's And A Glass Of Whiskey is my boss' blog. Worth a thousand read.

No...I haven't inspired him ;-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

How I Learned To Bicycle

I had reached class VI, and had already learned a lot many things I ought to not have known at that age, but one thing I still didn't know by that time was cycling; and I knew I was already overage for that. A lot many things contributed to that.

Firstly, I bore the brunt of the fact that I was my parent's first child, and that too after ten prolonged years. Add to that four abortions and one still born delivery before me and that insured my parents were going to be paranoid over my care.

As if they were not reasons enough, one fine evening came a Jyotishi Maharaj. Rummaging through my Kundli, and reading my palm, he "prophesized" that I would become a doctor( which I haven't yet, and there is not even a feeble chance in near or distant future), that I would travel abroad ( the closest I have been to abroad is Uttar Pradesh-Nepal border at Katni). Then came the blow.

Baalak Ko Aththarah Varsh Ki Aayu Tak Waahan Chaalan Se Door Rehna Chahiye, Kyuni Ek Aapat Durghatna Ka Viyog Hai!(The boy should refrain from driving any vehicle as there is a danger of accident till the age of eighteen.

That sounded death knell on my aspirations of owning a bicycle. Leave alone buying, I wasn't even allowed to rent-n-learn. I was lavish in cursing that old fellow. But my silver lining was my mother. She decided to fund my renting which was princely one-rupee-an-hour at that time. But real problem was that of a coach.

None of my friends wanted to take a chance. Fear of a scolding from my father, if caught, was looming large on them. But somehow I managed to convince my old buddy Ashutosh. His house was about a kilometer from my place, cycle rent shop was near by, and he was an old veteran in cycling. Settings were perfect.

Training began in right earnest, and time chosen was evening after school. The day one belonged to bruises and balancing. By the second day, the task was accomplished as I could bicycle without support. As we all know, that was as exciting an event as the first day in school/college, first love, first job etc(now days people also include first kiss, first...).

Emotions make a person weak, as heart begins to rule brain. In the heat of excitement, I got over-buoyed, and decided flaunt my accomplishment to my mother.I was sure of not getting caught by my father because the sight of that glistening green Yezdi motorcycle would have warned me from a distance.

I cycled my way to the house; called for my mother; displayed my newly acquired skills as she beamed with pride. My ears were the epitome of concentration. Any noise of that train-engine-cum-yezdi(believe me, silencers just added to show and weight), and I was ready scoot. On my way back, I made sure every neighbour got my glimpse on the cycle. I thought that I would certainly be the talk of the neighbourhood that evening.

But there are a lot of Diljale in this world. They can't assimilate people's success and joy. I still don't know who, but no sooner did Papa return than, some idiot spilled the beans before him. By that time I had already returned the cycle, and was on my way back home.

It was Ashutosh who saw him first. We were still on the way, and the look on Papa's face said that he knew it all. Ashutosh panicked, and was ready to run for his life. I also was not sure of myself. Maybe I also wanted to run, but ultimately there was no escape.

Papa mumbled to Ashutosh something about not doing this again or he would talk to latter's father. My friend couldn't believe he was let off so lightly. Silently wishing me luck, he scampered away from the scene. I was waiting for a slap or two in full public honour. That didn't happen. May be home was the chosen place.

But I was already happy because first there was no public humiliation, and second I had a life line in the form of my mother. As I had guessed, I escaped corporal punishment but given a thorough verbal dressing down.

That, for me was a tacit approval, that I could do it behind his back. I just had to remember the eleventh commandment - Thou Shalt Never Be Caught!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Jhansi Ki Raani

Time to revisit her again, but sorry friends - photobucket squeezed the whole poem. Its really an effort on our eyes to read the stuff, but I am sure enthusiasts will.


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Friday, December 23, 2005

Call Center Blues

I am not sure who taught me this, but as a kid we used to sing this short song quite often -

Tum Tamatar Tum
Tamatar Khain Hum
Angrez Ke Bachchey Kya Janey
Angrezi Jaaney Hum

It used to be like one of those type of songs, which would rhyme well, would have no meaning, yet were catchy so everybody would sing it. Yes, one thing, though, we were sure of - Angrez had oppressed us much so this song was a feeble, jingoistic attempt from us kids to hit back.

Today this song assumes greater significance the way call centers, and BPOs have mushroomed. Sure, we can say that we know better English, and therefore we are making huge money from it.

But this unfortunate incident of rape and murder of this 24 year old woman has stirred me inside out, more so because an insensitive colleague had sent me the photographs of the crime scene. Gory scenes trouble me, and these were ghastly.

If I am so disturbed then for her family members this incident, and such a shocking end for her must have been extremely traumatic. Not only for them, but also for all those women who work in late night call centers, it must be a psychological blow. If it happened to her, it could happen to them too. After all, this maniac did call two more such girls who refused to come with him, but this unsuspecting woman did.

I am not sure any type of security is foolproof, but then let's hope this incident is an isolated one. Only thing which is foolproof and morale booster for the people working in this industry is the instant punishment for the killer. He is a sick mind, therefore shouldn't be given an opportunity to come out from the jail - ever.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Weddings Galore

More than a month back I talked about the two weddings happening on the same day of which I could attend none. Both of the guys are the best of my friends. Here are the snaps of both of the gorgeous couples.

Hemant & Pooja

Manish & Rakhi

Best wishes to both of you.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

With his performance in these two Test matches, Yuvraj Singh has finally thrown the bogey called Murlitharan off his back, which had been riding on him since ages now. Off spinners would no more lick their palms at his sight.

Also, Dean Jones will have to bite his words that Yuvraj Singh cannot play sweeps( and that those who can't play sweeps should quit playing international Cricket), because Yuvraj literally swept Murli out of the match. There were some ferocious sweeps pulled off by Yuvraj to the heavily patrolled square leg boundry and thereabouts of Murli on Pehla, Doosra, Teesra whatever. Greg sure has worked upon this.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Two things have come out from this Australia-South Africa Test Match.

When Brian Lara scored 400 against England to reclaim the highest Test Cricket score from Mathew Hayden, Australian players and media were obviously pretty peeved. They went on to claim that it was very selfish of Lara to delay the declaration for the record, and we were made to believe that Aussies won't ever do it.

We believed it until this Test match. For Bradd Hodge's double century, they delayed the declaration astonishingly late. And lo, South Africa managed to draw the game.

The other thing was the claim which Shane Warne used to make regularly that Murlitharan bowls half the overs of Srilanka, and that's why he gets more wickets. As it turned out in this match when going got tough, he bowled almost half the overs of Australia himself, and didn't get many wickets. So much for the claims.

This is what called Badhbolapan.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Lessons In Kannada

During the past week, I have been taking a few Kannada lessons because of which my vocabulary in the language has considerably improved. I am more "aware" of the language now, and am myself ready to spread the awareness.

I have signed a memorandum of understanding with Karnataka government regarding this, and as the first step to achieve this I have decided to take the august services of this blog. My dear readers, you are kindly requested to help me and the Karnataka government in this noble cause. Here is the first lesson -

Benguluru means Banglore, known as the IT city of India, and also popular for its gardens and lovely weather. Now known more for its notorious traffic jams and nuisance HD DeveGowda.

Mysuru means Mysore, known for its botanical gardens and Dussehra. It was a part of Vijayanagar kingdom. Also, it is the native place of RK Laxman, RK Narayan and Javagal Srinath.

Manguluru means Mangalore, popular as the home city of Aishwariya Rai, and has some very nice beaches. Close to the famous Udupi.

Huballi means Hubli, is known for its textile industry. It is situated in Western Ghats, and has a twin city in Dharwad.

Belgauri mean Belgaum, situated in foothills of Sahyadris, is now more known for the tussle between Karnataka and Maharashtra to lay claim on this district, owing to its huge Marathi speaking population. In fact, Kulkarni is a Kannada word though they prominently speak Marathi.

So far so much. More in later classes.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Har Kutte Ka Din Aata Hai

Ganguly's exclusion from the last Test match is shocking to say the least. I am not a blind supporter of Dada but considering his current performance at Kotla, he has been given a raw deal.

And if at all he was to be shifted out, it would have been better if he was taken into confidence, duly informed much beforehand so that he could have departed on a high. He deserved a formal farewell from his teammates - most of whom he himself nurtured.

He deserved this because, firstly, he was your captain, and then the most successful at that. Had he been allowed an honorable exit, he would have been remembered mostly for his conquests as a skipper, which were rightfully his own. Now, I am afraid, the memories of these undesired controversies will remain more fresh in mind than his accomplishments.

Greg Chappell, and more than him the BCCI is responsible for that. Sharad Pawar, certainly a novice in the arena, has many idiots like Dungarpur in his team, who have made him look like an idiot himself.

Rahul Dravid could have done better for his ex-captain and colleague. He is responsible too for silently watching this tirade. He must realize that every dog has a day. Ganguly's day as a dog has come late as he became the captain at a much younger age, but Dravid's day gonna come much sooner. Probably after the debacle of 2007 World Cup. Then he will be finding himself in the same situation, and it will feel as bad.

Now Ganguly must take a call on his career. He must realize that he is not wanted in this current Indian dressing room. There is no point in rubbing it more on himself. Just chuck it. They won't give you an opportunity to redeem. Have faith in life, it is a great leveler.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chand Ka Kurta

Back to childhood days when we used to croon this one from Dinkar often.


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Monday, December 12, 2005

Height Of ......

...I am not sure how to fill the blank up . You judge yourself.

Imagine there is a colleague(of two years) of yours in your official group of fifteen, with whom you managed to have just official interactions till now. That's fine since there are a few introverts who just don't like to break out of their shell.

One evening, at about 10 PM, this guy breaks his shell, rather I must say forced to break his shell because he needs a lift back home as the last bus has already left the office. So he asks for a lift from you.

Pleasantly surprised, you readily agree. The daily fifteen kilometer drive on the highway was usually lonely and boring, and today you have a companion, and that too a someone new, with whom you can start a fresh friendship.

But you imagine a lot too. They say old habits die hard. When he asked for the lift, he precisely meant that. He didn't want to indulge in any small or big talk, and that's what he did. Your all the efforts of breaking the ice failed, as he only replied in syllables.

Now since you are a helpful person, you decide to take pains of dropping him up to his house. Once you reach there, you went on to stop the ignition just to bid good bye before leaving. But hey, there was something wrong. The guy you gave lift is nowhere to be seen!

By the time you realized what was happening, and managed to locate him again, he had already managed to climb half the stairs of his building ! Nonplussed is what your reaction be. Disbelief would be the next one. And finally, disgusting!

Forget the word "Thank You", this guy didn't even have the courtesy to bid "Good Night". And the way he was scampering, it seemed you would chase him down to his flat and force his family to cook a dinner for yourself.

Well, this is not a figment of imagination. This happened, and happens regularly. This aspect of a Pune is very disturbing, where you can have a two year stranger working with you; where your neighbour will refuse to inform your hapless visitor that yes, there is a certain Manish Chauhan who resides just a floor above!

Now what will you guys call it - Height Of Aloofness? Height Of Selfishness? Anything else?

Active X

Active X seems to have been giving a lot of trouble to the readers. I really don't know what to do. Do you guys/gals have any suggestion ? If you are not able to write comments, you can mail me to

Friday, December 09, 2005

Stop It Himesh!

I don't know how many of you follow Saregamapa Challenge 2005 at Zee Tv, but these days(and earlier too) it is the best programme amongst all the musical shows on the television as far as quality of singers is concerned.

Not that it hasn't had its share of controversies. First there was a fight between Adesh Srivastava and Ismail Durbar which went on to alarmic proportions. Then there were some judges who took the occasion to stamp their undue importance - worst of all was Daler Mehndi. On one episode Adesh Srivastava openly, and rudely questioned the decision of one of the senior and fair judge - Khayyam.

But currently, another controversy is brewing which is soon going to take catastrophic proportions for one of the Himesh Reshamia's talented contestants - Vinit. And it is ironic that Himesh is himself, though unknowingly, causing damage to his prospects in this programme.

Vinit is extremely talented contestant who has always taken a 'green card' on his first attempt. In the voting round as well, he has topped the past two weeks, and this week he is close second. He his definitely amongst top four along with Nihira, Himani and Hemchandra.

But Himesh Reshamia has started over promoting him in this programme. He his paranoid over certain things for eg. the hat he always dons. On every performance he wants Vinit to wear a hat too. Then, he always comes to stage just before Vinit's performance and talks junk about expectations, lucky hat etc. When the performance is over, he will go on to use words like "superb", "fantastic", "excellent".

Initially, he didn't use to do this. This was provoked by the ever-trouble-maker Adesh Srivastava. When Adesh's one of the contestants was outperformed by Vinit in one of the rounds, he begin to question Vinit's singing and voice quality. Himesh got fed up of this tirade, and begin promoting Vinit's talent big way. He has already made him sing the songs of the movie Rocky, and has also promised him three songs of another movie.

So far so good, but his new antics on the programme are beginning to go over the top. People are getting irritated. This is affecting Vinit's popularity and votes. Two weeks back, he got 28% votes, last week 18%, and this week 14%, though he has sung well all along. This way he is going to sink further.

Somebody, please enlighten Himesh Reshamia about this statistic resulting due to his folly. I won't be surprised if Vinit's gets ousted in this contest in next few episodes though I sincerely want him to win among the boys.



Thursday, December 01, 2005

India - A Misnomer ?

Sometimes I wonder do we really represent India, or just our respective states ? Does our linguistic status provoke sharper sentiments than our nationality ? By and large, I thing it is true.

See, pride about one's origin is one thing, but taking that to riotous proportions is another.

I had a middle aged, balding colleague in my office, who was from Bangalore. We all use to call him "Babu Ji", because of his Karnataka antecedents. He was very miserable while having to live outside his home city, and I myself a Bhuktabhogi, could connect with his feelings initially. But I soon saw the catch.

Any normal chat about anything under the Sun would invariably lead to Bangalore. So far so good. It so happened that both of us were an avid Cricket fan. A few years back, there were a lot many players from Karnataka who represented India concurrently. But whenever any player from his state was dropped from the team, he use to shout conspiracy!

He will went on to explain all and sundry how Venkatesh Prasad was so good, and how Srinath could still be effective. Why Kumble deserves more chances, and how Vishal Bharadwaj was treated shabbily. It became so irritating when he became a self proclaimed advocate for the cause of that good-for-nothing Sunil Joshi! He would also discuss about some nondescript Karnataka Ranji players who "deserved" chances in the team.

All these talks were beginning to get under our nerves, when one day came the ultimate shocker. For one of the test matches, Anil Kumble was dropped in favour of Harbhajan Singh. This was in West Indies. I heard this person on lunch table saying that he wished that India lose that match. I couldn't believe this!

For him the country deserved nothing! His country was Bangalore, and its denizens were his countrymen. When that didn't happen, then India should lose. After that incident, I never talked properly with him till he was in the company.

Same is true of those "Indians", who booed Rahul Dravid at Eden Gardens, or who cheered every fall of Indian wicket just because Sourav Ganguly is not in the team. From Chief Minister to Sports Minister to West Bengal film industry, everyone has lodged protest, though nobody talks about his form, and attitude on the field.

No doubt he has done a lot for the country, and has an enviable record. But if records were the criterion, then Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev would still be playing in the team. There is a time for everyone. Sourav had his time where he performed and marshaled well despite of his shortcomings.

But now his shortcomings are exposed a bit too much. He still can't play short balls. His strong area - the off side - is giving problems too. He edgy over there. His fielding has not improved an iota. Same is true with the fitness. But fans can't see through this. It pains me no end that their loyalty lies with Sourav Ganguly, not with country.

Also, instead of sacking the selectors, Sharad Pawar should have sacked the groundsman and his bosses at Eden Garden who had prepared a green top to embarrass the country.

All these incidents do make me feel that the unified India is misnomer. It is still diversified.