Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Logging From Home

Finally, got to blog from home.

There is Durga Pooja and Ramjan together, therefore there is a zing in the markets.
Enjoying my fare share Pista Laddu, Gari Mithai, Chat and Kullhad Kulfi. However, not done yet on them and many others.

Apparently, nothing much has changed on the face of it, still a lot has actually changed.

Weather is still the same hot, roads are goodish. Sweets taste the same, and Nakkhas still has those typical traffic jamms. Polite rikshawallahs help you around in getting the luggage loaded and unloaded, and elderly autowallahs still call your ladies or Beti. To cut the long story short, the pace of life is still the same - laidback.

But there are frantic changes as well. The city roads have got new digital trafiic signals. A few days before, city got its third five star hotel - The Piccadily. The swanky Sahara Mall is the talk of the town, after the Eastend Mall. Two more malls and multiplexes - Fun Republic and G-Mall would start shop from October, and the Sahara Apollo Hospital is just about ready.

Aryan (my son) is enjoying the adulation, though the weather change and the travel has made himm a little irritating. That day, some ladies assembled, and folk songs were sang for him. Curious Aryan was the earnest listener.

More on the visit later.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Heard an interesting bit of news. Charmed by Mushy baby, our good old official Prime Minister have accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan.

But that's the not the interesting part.

In a statement given, India has accepted that Pakistan is also a terrorism affected nation. So both the parties will fight against it jointly. For this, a high power joint committee will be created.

Ok, so above was the official part. Here is the unofficial part which I have heard from the sources.

From Pakistan's side, Osama Bin Laden will be the honoree member of that committee.

Dawood Ibrahim will be the chairperson, while all his brothers will be the working members. Choota Shakeel and Tiger Memon will join too. Abu Salem will take part in the proceedings from prison. He may even seek parole. Indian government would be considerate. Maulana Masood Azhar would be the convener.

ISI will be the consultant to this committee.

And then together, they all will fight terrorism. God save all.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Have heard these two beautiful couplets recently, written by Munnawar Rana, a popular Urdu poet.

Kisi Ke Hissey Mein Ghar, Aur Kisi Ke Hissey Mein Dukaan Aayi
Mai Sabse Chhoota Tha, Isliye Merey Hissey Mein Maa Aayi


Kis Tarah Merey Gunahon Ko Dho Deti Hai
Maa Jab Bahut Gussa Hoti Hai To Ro Deti Hai

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


"Another summer day has come and gone away,
in Paris and Rome,
but I wanna go home,

Maybe surrounded by a million people,
I still feel all alone...
I just wanna go home

(song: Michael Bubbles)

Finally, after one and half years, I am going to Lucknow. To make up for the time lapse, I am going back with interest(Aryan). Will leave for Delhi on Friday, and later would catch Monday morning Swarn Shatabdi to Lucknow.



Thursday, September 14, 2006


I had vowed that I won't be drawing any comparisons between the old and new DON at any stage, simply because though imitation is best form of flattery, comparison would kill this imitation altogether, as the original masterpiece is way beyond the realms of comparison.

But then, I am not good at vowing. When I could take it no longer, I am forced to write my crib in public.

Though unlike Farhan's, my dad hasn't written it, but like him, the movie is very close to my heart. Cult Amitabh movie. Cult 70s classic. Cult 70 music. Had almost no blemish, except one - Pran rope(walking) trick with his kids - but only just. When I dwell further, I think Amitabh turned this good movie into a evergreen classic.

Then why the crib? - Plenty, eh.

Music is out, and it is such a junk I simply feel liking throwing the CD out of the window.

See, I am not the guy who regularly buys CDs. Its usually a very expensive merchandise vis-a-vis the value it offers. I often settle for an audio cassette. But then, I am not the guy who regularly buys the cassette either, unless, I am absolutely convinced about the quality of the product.

This time I jumped the gun, twice over. I bought the CD in the hope that since two songs are from the old one, and the title song is sounding good, as well, I assumed it to be a good bet. But as they say in management, to assume is akin to making ASS of (yo)U and ME, that's exactly what has happened.

But question is not just of money. I am hurt at this playful sacrilege.

I agree Shankar-Ehasaan-Loy(S-E-L) have been patently going nuts these days( KANK ^%*&^* grrr), but Farhan, where were you? Or have they done the whole thing while you were sleeping!

Javed Bhai To definitely So Re Le Hain!

I haven't heard a more mediocre Ganpati song in Hindi films before! Such an ordinary lyrics(and awful singing to back it up). What has happened to you? As with Big B these days, has mediocricity engulfed you as well? Hope it is not the fall from grace.

And was this Ganpati situation added as a cheap marketing gimmick encashing Ganpati Festival? If that was so, then the Lord is not with you too because at first the song is terrible, and then T-Series delayed the release!

Coming back to music. Yeh Mera Dil version is sung by Sunidhi Chauhan. The song looks like another stale DJ Aqeel remix. Sunidhi's voice is not even audible over the music! S-E-L fellows, you guys should have done some out of box thinking and made still-crooning Asha Bhosle do the second version again. Would have been much better!

Now would you say then why not bring Helen back? You bet, and I wish!

Kareena is a horrendous blunder, Farhan Bhai. She is as stiff as her midriff in the song. Expressions have not come out the way they should, and body language has grammatical errors. Agree, choreography is ordinary too. But her elder sister would have done a much better job with one leg, and worse choreography.

Khaike Paan has been meddled with, and needlessly. I am sore(but who cares). The prelude lyrics - "Bhang Ka Rang Jama Ho Chaka Chuck" have been chucked away with, and replaced with some new hiphop. Sorry, not worked.

To add to the misery further, Shahrukh too lends his voice in middle. Of course, he can't be singing because otherwise what was Udit Narayan doing! Clearly, Shahrukh was added to provide some colour to Udita Narayan's bland rendering.

I am sure, the original song lyricist - Lalji Pandey, urf, Anjaan (father of lyricist Sameer and a Banarasi himself ), Kishore Kumar and Kalyanji must have collectively shook with discomfort in their respective graves.

Then we have Don - The Theme, Don - Revisited, Main Hoon Don (Fncinternational Mix- whatever that means), adorning the album. Why all this, pray? They don't do much to assuage my hurt feelings, rather they irritate further.

All is not lost, however. As I said, title track - Mai Hoon Don is good. Shan does a good rendering. Lyrics again are a trifle shabby work, but overall the songs makes a nice listening. Then there is a new addition - "Aaj Ki Raat" which paces out well. Looks like some Jugalbandi going on between the lead and side heroine, intercepted in middle, for truce, by our DON.

Truly, Farhan is a chip off the old block, and I have no meek notions concerning the intrinsic value of said old block, the ordinary lyrics of this and KANK not withstanding. But I sincerely hope you have done a much better job in the movie.

See the storyline is predictable, and then there is a wooden Arjun Rampal impersonating the irrepressible Pran to negotiate. I am no Shahrukh fan either. Please don't make the going further tough for us.

I have heard there is a surprise element in the beginning and in the end of the film, but give us a bigger surprise. DON can't be made without Amitabh. Give him a meat in the movie, and surprise the audience. Common, I am sure you have done this. It must be a well disguised a secret.

Then, the new Don will be complete. If I were you, I would have done this.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Here is one of the Mirabai's popular poem. This one is in Haryanvi dialect which I spoke about in my post on Hindi dialects. This is also spoken in the parts of northern Rajasthan.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

United Western Bank

During past few days, we have learnt about how this bank has become sick, how its loans are getting defaulted, and how its investments have turned into bad investments. And the management had been doing nothing about this!

As a consequence, the Reserve Bank of India has put it under moratorium against any financial activity.

Though all this has happened now, I had smelt the rat seven years ago.

It so happened that when I shifted to Pune, we were particularly awestruck by two phenomenon in Pune - number of banks & number of restraunts per square KM. Arguably, the highest in India.

The place where we(I and my friend Ashutosh Nandan) made our base - the closest bank in our vicinity was United Western Bank.

I had never heard of this bank, but it sounded familiar because the closest bank in my neighbourhood back home in Lucknow was United Bank. Both were just a three minute walk from the respective places.

I and Ashutosh decided to get our accounts open in this United Western Bank itself.

However, the inside premises of the bank was a shock to our banking sensibilities. Not a single customer was to be seen inside, while a two or three clerks were gossiping around at the corner. The place was as spic and span as a temple.

We thought, we were early birds so we proceeded ahead. The moment whatever-little-staff caught our glimpse, they jumped from there seats to greet us and when they learnt about our honourable intentions, they immediately provided us the necessary forms with the guide lines how to fill it.

Like I said before, it shocked us no ends. You see, back home, our banking experience, and for that matter any sarkari experience, has been way different from that.

Bank staff there thinks they are doing a great favour on us whenever we go for some services, and even for opening an account. If you want to get a draft done, it would take a whole day. Draft cannot be fetched before 3.30 PM unless one has a jack.

If one wants to encash a cheque, take a token and go home. Come back after an hour or two, and wait further for fifteen minutes to get the amount.

A new account opening is the Mission Impossible. One has to fetch another person as guaranteer who has an account in that bank. Then those address proofs et cetra.

But here is the most interesting part. Suppose you go to a bank branch for the first time, and you want to know where is where. You accost a clerk at the nearest window, and then ask - "Bhai Sab/Madam, where do we submit the cheques?". No response. In fact, the person wouldn't even look at you. You ask again, and no response again.

After the third appeal, if you have been observing the clerk's face very attentively, that person will give a brief, almost unnoticeable nod, indicating the direction in which it happens but not the actual place.

Obliged, you would go in that direction and catch hold of another clerk, and same process follows. This will keep on happening until you converge upon the actual destination. Looks familiar? Yes - similar to Newton Raphson method!

Then to get the actual job done, it would be another ordeal.

So when this unheard, unbanking, unclerical behaviour occurred with us at the United Western Bank, it appeared somewhat fishy to us. We took staff's leave on the pretext that we haven't brought photographs along, though they were neatly tucked in our pockets, never to return again.

On hindsight, we in fact saved our hard earned money! Thank God for those so customer unfriendly banks back home!

PS: Later I learned that as far as public sector banks are concerned(SBI, Bank Of India, PNB), the story is same in Pune as well, though a little better(Canara Bank).

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Chip Of The Same Old Block

Baap Pe Poot, Pita Pe Ghoda
Bahut Nahin To Thoda Thoda !

On the left side of the collage, it is me while the kid on the right side is Aryan. The say he is my carbon copy, though I would have preferred he being his mother's copy. Would have looked much better, but I am not complaining.

Sometimes these cross looks(mom-son, dad-daughter) become very funny. For eg Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah'a daughter).

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(Right Click On The Image To See Large View)



Thursday, September 07, 2006

Last Month

Much as I was busy with my tiny-winy toddler, I also kept in touch with the happenings of the surrounding, and I must say there were some very disturbing events.

First one is of unabashed lawlessness. In front of thousands of people in Ujjain, including the city Superintend of Police, and media persons, a teacher is flogged to death by the hooligans of student politics.

All this captured live on camera. Footage carries how ABVP 'student' leaders were threatening the teachers. But interesting part is how the actual killing of the teacher is removed from the video.

Something about these 'student' leaders. By looking at them it appears that they themselves would have been father of college going children had they been married.

The real lawlessness is the fact that Madhya Pradesh chief minister has said it was not a murder, but an accident. No court proceedings, no police enquiry - judgment finale by the CM.

Moreover, evidences are being fudged, eye witnessing are being threatened both by the police and criminals. I am sure these guyswill go scot free despite of so clear evidence because they have Varam Hast of the ruling party.

This is a lawless country.

Now about another event, which we can say is as shameless, and careless.

In earlier times, Raja used to be servant of Praja. Recent time Rajas are a far cry from that. Look at the 'princess' Vasundhara Raje. I haven't seen a more shameless creature in recent times.

When people and media criticized one of her ministers who simply twiddled his thumbs while five people were getting drowned near Jodhpur, she shamelessly scoffed that the minister couldn't have jumped into the river to save them! See, such heartless, soulless people are ruling us!

But hearing her remark, I did get an idea to save those lives. People there should have thrown the minister into the river. Then whole sarkari machinery would have come to save his life, and as a side effect those stranded people would have been saved too!

As if this was not enough, flood affected people in Barmer were left to fend for themselves. She didn't even bother to go for one whole week, forget the relief work and when she did go after media pressure - she said that she didn't want to come because that would have hindered relief work! What a shame!

She is not a patch on her mother, and even on his late brother Madhav Rao Scindhiya. I remember when he was Civil Avaition minister, and there was plane crash, he had immediately resigned from the ministry.

Finally, the last week has again re-emphasized the fact that politics is so enriching experience. Not only it bestows riches on the person concerned, it rubbs off some to his/her family off shoots too.

If Sharad Pawar's daughter has property of some 50-60 crores on her name, I am sure Pawar must be richer than Ambani brothers combined!

Pune city is dotted with the commercial establishments of Sharad Pawar and Suresh Kalmadi. Petrol Pumps, Automobile agnecies, Restraunts, Shopping Complexes, Office Complexes, Schools - the list is endless.

Telgi has confirmed some names in Narco analysis. Those names, including Pawar's, Bhujbal, and Vilasrao Deshmukh's, were conviniently slipped under the carpet. That explains the saying - Hamaam Mein Sab Nange Hain!



Monday, September 04, 2006

Hindi Dialects

Vishal Bharadwaj's Omkara has opened a Pandora's box in terms of dialect used in the movie. More so when songs are in a different dialect, and movie is in different.

Some are saying that it has the language which will only be understood in UP and Bihar(the notorious siamese twins), and others(IndiaFM) are saying it is a plain Bihari dialect. Unfortunately, all are wrong.

Though I can not reach out to all, let me explain it to my friends who visit this blog. There are many dialects in Hindi, and I am not going to get in detail of these lest it will take reams of pages.

Khadi Boli - Dialect used in text books, taught in schools, which we urbanites speak. It has no accent, and words used are easy to pronounce. Madhushala by Harivanshrai Bachhan is in Khadi Boli. Munshi Premchand wrote in Khadi Boli and Awadhi too.

Braj/Bundel Khandi - Used in near Mathura, Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi(all UP), Gwalior, Sagar(MP), Bharatpur, Dhaulpur(Rajasthan) - the Braj and Bundel Khand region of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. "Maiyya Mori, Mai Naahin Maakhan Khaayo" by Surdas is the most popular work in Braj Bhasha.

Hariyani or Bangroo - Spoken in Haryana, Meerut, Buland Shahar, Rajasthan, Northern Madhya Pradesh. The major proponent of this Dialect was Amir Khusro. Omkara dialogues are in this dialect.

Awadhi - Spoken predominantly in rural centers Central and parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Urban centers speak Khadi Boli. Lucknow, Kanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad, Allahabad. However, as we move east of Lucknow, we begin to get a little mix of Bhojpuri as well both in words and accent. Tulsidas' Shri Raamcharit Manas is written in Awadhi. The dialect in Lagaan, Nadiya Ke Paar and songs in Omkara is are Awadhi .

Another confusion I must lay to rest is that Amitabh Bachhan has never spoken Bhojpuri in movies, except in the forthcoming Ganga. It has always been Awadhi.

Bhojpuri: Spoken predominantly in Nortehrn and Western Bihar, and some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Many Bhojpuris have settled across in Fuji, Guiyana, Trininad & Tobago, and is as prominent NRI community as are Gujaratis and Punjabis.

Maithili: It is spoken in larger parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and has some penetration Bengali too.

There are many other dialects like - Magahi(Bihar), Kannauji, Bagheli(Uttar Pradesh), Chhatisgadhi, Malvi(Chhattisgadh, MP), Marwadi, Jaipuri, Mewadi( Rajasthan), Nepali, Kumauni, Gadhwaali, Chamoli, Kyonthali, Kullai, Jaunsari, Sirmauri (Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Nepal).

Howevre, most of these also have achieved the status of a separate language now. Also, as it appears, the name of the dialects have been derived from the region they are spoken.

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Life Insurance & Fatwa

This is the latest Fatwa.

Ulemmas of Deoband have issued a new Fatwa that insurances, by nature, are anti-islamic and so a Fatwa against them.

By this logic one can conclude that even Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, Jains - all are anti-islamic so why not Fatwa against these, but that's a different topic. Coming back to insurances.

Why are they anti-islamic, pray?

They are because to quote Ulemmas "..Ismey Sood(interest) Hai, Aur Juan(dicey) Hai, isliye..".

By this logic Mohammad Azharuddin, and ninety nine percent of Pakistani Cricket team is anti-islamic because not only they fixed the matches by betting, they also received money for this. Sood and Juan.

To extrapolate the same theory, investment in Mutual Funds and Shares are, of course, anti-islamic. Sood and Juan. So are the risky businesses. Then Azim Premji must be one too.

Fixed deposits, recurring deposit and saving deposit interests are anti islamic. Sood. To add to the previous list - National Saving Certificates, Kisan Vikas Patra, Post Office deposits, PPF, EPF all are against the basic tenets of Islam, and are medical, vehicle, good insurances.

To sum up the whole issue - all financial institutions including banks, stock markets, asset management companies, fund houses, business activity is against Islam.

I agree when the say that Islam is in grave danger.

All these are instruments of modern society, but are anti-islamic. These guys live in the country where majority is deity-worshipping non islamic people. Where the National Song is Vande Matram, worshipping the country as Goddess. They can't do that.

So very anti islamic surroundings. I wonder why these guys live in India. I wish India was across the Himalayas. Historically, Japanese and Mongolians would have been easier to handle.



Friday, September 01, 2006

Noise Pollution

My worst nightmares have come to be true.

Himesh 'Nasal' Reshamiya has made an ear-drums-shattering debut in Ganpati Pandaals in Pune this time. Like God, he is all around and pervading.

This is apart from Radio Mirchis(what an apt name), Radio Cities, Mtvs etc. Omkaaras of world have had little or no effect. Even Dons are no match.

Time deadline for Reshamiya and other noise pollutions is 10.PM. My society starts nuisance around that time, and that goes till 12.PM or so.

Ab Kya Karein? Aaye Na Mujhko Sukoon! Zunoon Zunoon Zunoon Zunooooon !!!!