Saturday, October 28, 2006

A short story : Lets sleep over it

I live alone. I sleep in a messy  little corner of my room. Or, is it an apartment? Are there other rooms? I think there are. It seems like yesterday. There were a couple of people in the other room fighting with each other. Some minor squabble , I remember. They don't seem to be fighting anymore. They seem to be debating. About rights, duties, Karma, and Dharma! Someone switched on the TV


You fill up my senses

Like a night in the darkness….



I live alone. I lie down for a bit of rest on the bed that I cleaned up just now. I cannot sleep on messy beds with unclean bed-sheets. This is my sweet little one-bedroom apartment. Me , myself, and my poochooo. Poochooo? My teddy bear! Let me call up someone. Or, maybe pick up that MB I have been thinking of reading. Where's my iPOD?


You say it best…

When you say nothing at all…



We live together. It's a 2-bedroom apartment. We haven't been to the other room in the last three months . Its meant for our guests. But both of us have hardly spent anytime at home. I work till long past midnight. Me too! We haven't had guests. We haven't had time to have guests. It's a weekend. We manage to somehow spend sometime together on weekends. A few hours? The saving grace! I like candlelight dinners. Someday, you would cook me a special dinner at home. And I would set the table, near the red colored curtains. For the large glass windows that overlook the garden. And there will be candlelight.


Kabhi yun bhi aa, meri aankh mein..

Ki meri nazar ko khabar na ho

Mujhe ek raat nawaaz de

Magar uske baad sahar na ho...


(Let there be that moment, when you walk into my dreams, so sweetly that I dont even notice

I just want that one night, but let there be no dawn to that night of my dreams!)


I am sleepy!

Friday, October 27, 2006

CSD - Goes Public

Noticed Today!! Cars from CSD (for the uninitiated, its Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of the Indian Armed Forces - meant to provide the warriors of the nation some subsidized items). Only those who have served in the India Armed forces are allowed to buy from CSDs

I was just wondering if the uptight - stiff collared- we-can't-do-nothin'-wrong because we-are-so-righteous army-men take offense to this poster? Hmmm... still wondering....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ooh Aah India.. Aa Yaa India...

Was watching the pre-match coverage on Max.
There was this (second) good looking babe (Mandira Bedi is the first) Shonali trying to give some updates from the stadium - and here is the what I heard
"There is an old lady standing outside the stadium and she has a lot of tickets in her waistpack or something.. She is selling Rs.150 tickets for 300, 300 tickets for 650 and so on.. The lady took a loan to buy these tickets. Moreover, now, there are money lenders and blah coming into the equation."
Talk about entrepreneurial spirit!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Triveni - a form of short poetry where the (vocal) meter should be maintained and the third line creates the effect that the first two lines refer to (but in an unobtrusive manner)!
Highly inspired by Gulzar's works - and posted under the Triveni thread on Gulzar community (Orkut) - these are some of the trivenis written by me -
kashish chand lamhon ki dhadakti zumbish mein hoti hai
bekhud sangon ki beintehaa parashtish mein hoti hai

kabhi tum aao in lamhon mein, tumhe khuda kar dein...
kitni sadiyon se apne hi hathon shikast khata raha
girte, toote lafzon mein apni kahani sunata raha

sadiyon ko lamhon se azaadi muft nahi milti....
mere kaatil ko meri maut ki saza na do
gam-e-furkat na sataaye, ye maza na do..

koi jalti hui shaama ko bujhaata kyon hai?
ishq wo kashmakash hai yaar mere
sadiyan lamhon mein guzar jaati hain..

aur wo aaine se dil lagaye baithe hain!!!
fitna koi kehta hai, kaafir kahe koi
kehta hai koi manzil, musafir kahe koi

umr ki daraj mein tasveer hai adhoori
Mwafi mil gayee, nazaron se kuch baatein bhee kar li hain
humne unke tasavvur se fariyadein bhee kar li hain

dekhte hain chand se pehle chaand nikalta hai ki nahi..
dua ko haath uthaya ki sar jhuka paaya
khud apni khwahishon ka arsh bhi ruka paaya

jab khuda the, khudai thee, juban pe lafz na the...
Ye azaadi hai ki ek jhootha sach
Ye khuli aankhon ka sunehra sapna bhee tha

Aur jaane kitne dhokhe kar gaya wo paarsaa....
hazaar lashon ka manzar tha
hazaar asmaanon ki cheekh

Jalianwala aaj bhee zinda hai meri aahon mein

Monday, October 23, 2006

Movie Review: Don- The (Meaningless) Chase Begins!

I watched "Don- The Chase Begins Again" last night. It was a disaster, relatively speaking (relative to the original). I could have spent those three hours watching a Real Madrid match where they defeated Barcelona, or I could have watched Schumacher pull out a real good one to end up at fourth, when even the stars were against him. But, however, alas! I watched DON! A meaningless chase.

First up – the background score sucks . Too loud, too "not-required". Unlike what he could achieve in Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai, Farhan Akhtar and team have gone completely berserk with the background score of Don. Its jarry, incoherent and so distracting. And yes- distracting, the movie is!

Starting off with the golden scene where Amitabh picks the phone only to say - "Don!" in his deep baritone, and replacing it with a K.K.K…Kiran kinda Don voice (c'mon! you can't really compare the baritone of Amitabh's voice with Shahrukh's baby voice, can you?). Every dialogue then-immortalized by Amitabh goes begging for some more justice! SRK is just not there! He does have a strong screen presence. But that's where the similarities end. Don probably was written for Amitabh. SRK cannot be force-fitted in such a role. Just as I find it difficult to imagine Harish (remember, Prem-Qaidi, debut movie with Karishma Kapoor!) beat 20 guys at one go , I find it difficult to see SRK do justice to Amitabh's Don. For me, the movie will always remain – "Amitabh's" Don!

The songs are a disappointment . Morya re is probably the pick of the lot. Ye Mera Dil is not there. Simply because the song has such strong memories of the ethereal Helen dancing the way only the Apsaras of Lord Indra's court (religiously speaking) could! Kareena Kapoor does not look as hot , as luscious, and certainly, not as flexible. I could not understand why that Don did not give in to the temptation completely. But this Don, I understand. He just didn't get a good deal! Thank God , she is not there for too long. She looks a sack of potatoes moving around with great difficulty. Aaj ki Raat and Main Hoon Don are just ok. But the music arrangement could have been a little less obtrusive. Khaike Paan does not have the same punch that Kishore da packed.

The movie might have sold off well had it been an independent creation, simply because its brilliant in cinematography and editing. Technical details are well taken care of. Action sequences are involving and pretty much at the international level of film-making. The end is interesting and it leaves a lot of scope for a sequel. The first half of the movie puts you off because you compare almost every shot of the movie with Amitabh's Don. The second half is Farhan's creativity- but a little lost! Its difficult to retain the flair and flavor of the original Don , unless you retain the story. Farhan, to that extent, has fallen into the trap of trying to beat the excellent.

Lets do one on one comparisions –

  1. Amitabh Vs SRK – no comments! It will be an insult to the Big B!
  2. Chandra Vs. Farhan – Chandra was/is a no-name beyond Don. Farhan has DCH and Lakhshya , two amazingly well made movies. Vote for Farhan. But in the case of this movie, Chandra has kept it taut and flowing, while Farhan has succumbed to the pressure of altering the classic to show his creativity.
  3. Zeenat Vs. Priyanka Chopra – I am inclined to vote for Priyanka. While I do think the modern Roma had a more curtailed Role , compared to the old Roma, I think Priyanka has looked good, has acted well and has timed her expressions well.
  4. Salim-Javed vs. Farhan – Legendary S-J were the gods of Masala movies. They knew how to weave it all together. I think it would have been their era when RJ's on vividh bharti started explaining movies this way – Isme action hai , emotion hai, drama hai, suspense hai, thrill hai, romance hai aur song and dance bhee hai! Dekhna na bhooliye apne nezdiki theatre mein!! Farhan's biggest problem was trying to better a script written by the legendary duo. Farhan is good at natural expressions , and not at grandiosity of emotions. Don is not about subtlety. Its about magnanimity of that one character jise 11 mulkon ki police dhoondh rahi hai!
  5. Iftekhaar vs. Boman Irani – vote for iftekhaar. Iftekhaar was the traditional Indian cop who knew how to underplay himself while keeping the emotions/expressions natural. Boman , has a bigger role than iftekhaar and a different shade to it, but he is not in the same league this time.
  6. Om Shivpuri vs. Om Puri – Actors like Om Puri should not be wasted the way he has been in this movie. He could have taken one of the more meatier roles (maybe DCP De Silva or Narang). Lets not compare. Both are good!
  7. Narang and the side kicks – Mac and Narang are two characters everyone remembers. They are like the sambha and kaalia of sholay. And I missed the originals. They were better. New Narang (Pavan Malhotra) hardly looks menacing.
  8. Arpana Chudhrary Vs. Isha Kopikkar (Anita)– The character of Anita had more emotion and meat in the older version. Maybe , Farhan is saving Anita for the sequel.
  9. And finally, Pran Vs. Arjun Rampal – Whooooooooooaaaahhhh… There are times when I wonder if Pran was/is better than half our star lot put together. Pran had charisma, personality and an extreme amount of versatility in his performances. Arjun doesn't look half as suffering/determined as Pran looked.

All in all – watch it if you are totally madly in love with SRK, or if you have absolutely nothing to do. Otherwise , I would say – rent out the original Don DVD (buying might be a good option) and Ensoi!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Deepawali & The S(hort) M(essages) S(wiftly) Generation

I dont remember having wished so many people Happy Diwali ever in my life. I mean, I always had a lot of friends.. but wishing Happy Diwali was never such a big deal. You just met friends, family, relatives, acquaintances, new people. You ate a lot of good food/sweets, burst a lot of crackers, and had a good deal of fun. This explicit expression of Diwali bringing great joy, happiness, prosperity and a whole lot of other things was never soooo important. It "used to" go without saying that you mean well!

All this- before I got a mobile phone, and my friend living across the street got a mobile phone, and the friend living in the other city, and my aunty, and my servant, and my grocery store guy, and the tailor, and the barber and everyone else that I knew decided to get a mobile phone. Before 70% of my office folks got my cell number. and before all of them decided to send a Diwali message to all the people in their extended phonebook (thats a selling proposition - 500 numbers on phone memory and another 300 on the SIM! With the latest N series and x series and extendible memory blah, you dont need to worry!)

Simple maths - I wished more than 120 people today, some of them living overseas. I spent, thus, more than 60-70 bucks on wishing people. And i used orkut friend list to wish some 300 people or so! I have received more than a 100 message during the day. Thats 7-8k telecom revenue in the vicinity of my near and dear ones!  And I am not even the most popular person around! I would always wonder how many messages the babe living down the street got!! With every company claiming to have a few million subscribers, I wonder what the daily revenue looks like for these companies. Several millions/billions? On such "simply" important days as new year, diwali, holi and "extremely" important days like Friendship Day/Women's Day/ Mother's day!!

On a separate note, before the age of media glorifying the ritual of simple love, I always thought that everyday was Mother's day and Friendship day! And being a little unbiased when it comes to gender, every day is Men's day and Women's day as well!!
I wont be surprised if a couple of years from now, people start sending "Gandhigiri" messages on 2nd October, and "Republican/Long Live Democracy" kinda messages on 26th Jan/15th August.

This is my explicitly spoken apology to all those who feel happy/get bugged with the continuously ringing/beeping cellphones carrying the same "May the goddess of light..." messages from n different people. Some call back to say - Thanks for remembering. Some message back with another deepawali forward that they got from someone else. Some choose to ignore. Some feel important.

But here is my last word - check the cell phone model of the person who's making you feel important. Can he send a message to more than 5-10 people at one go? Does he/she need to write/forward that message to important people, one at a time? Is he/she taking the pain to write just one extra phrase - "Hey Dingi!" or something like that? Well.. with an N-series, you dont need to worry!
And those of you who did walk the extra small message yard swiftly, Thanks for making me feel special! :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sports: Tendulkar- You can't write him off!

Its impossible to write-off great batsmen like Tendulkar. I had to say this, as I watch India open their innings against England. The chase is a minimal one (126 in 50 overs), and critics would come back saying that there was no pressure on him this time round!

1. There always is pressure, when you are playing the highest form of cricket.
2. There always is pressure when you are playing for your country, and a game that a billion people follow!
3. I am not talking about the attacking form of cricket. The class of a batsman is visible when he is defending the ball, with the full face of his bat, the front feet stretching all the way to meet the ball, no gap between bat and pad and a completely still head! Look a some of the defensive strokes he played early on in Today's match in Champion's Trophy

The embedded video is the attacking display, but I would want you guys to think not of the pulls and the blasts, but of the punches of his backfoot, when his body is partly in air! Isnt this poetry in motion??

Can you ever write him off????

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sports : v.Persie scored and I was back!

I have been searching for this goal. This goal marks my comeback to following whats happening in the world of sports! :) It was an interesting weekend when Persie scored this goal, which though it looks like a freak hit, is one of the most precise and difficult shots to be hit!

Any sportsperson would tell you that you need your body to be still at that precise moment when you're making a shot. Be it cricket, soccer, basketball, or any other such formof sport, this maxim applies everywhere. Commentators prove that they are worth their salaries by showing how still Sachin's head was, while playing that exquisite cover drive! This v.Persie goal is another example of that!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sky is my Limit?

A life full of hopes...
A night full of dreams...
A morning full of sunshine...
All you need
is to define
Whats my Sky? Whats my Limit?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Book Review: Hindu Reviews King of Ayodhya

Read it here

I am sure the reviewer isnt as mesmerized as I am. But I am equally sure, that the reader missed a lot of finer points about Banker's narration of Ramayana not just being about the magnanimity of Rama's character. For that, Ramacharitmanas is good enough!

More importantly, the three more times refers not to Jai-Vijay but the Dashavatar of Vishnu! And the most interesting bit - Dashratha, DashAanan, Dashavatar. Indian mythology can be quite intriguing!

For those who would want to read some more, read the blogs on EpicIndia

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Of Blogs here and there

Was reading Mug's blog on Sleeplesss nights... though not quite in Seattle..

Qatil Shifai suddenly came alive

"Humen to aaj ki shab pau phate tak jaagna hoga
yahi qismat hamari hai, sitaron tum to so jao...."

Tonight I need to be up until dawn,
Thats my destiny, O heavens! You should go to sleep now

Was reading Dhoomketu on Jose Mourinho and...

.. Ghalib was peeping this time

"Har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ki tu kya hai?
Tumhi kaho ki ye andaaz-e-guftgu kya hai?"

With every phrase, you ask me- Who am I?
Is this the language of the learned and the wise?

And the last was Sunil's Porch when it was Ghalib and Zafar engaged in a battle of wits-

"Hui Muddat ke Ghalib mar gaya par yaad aata hai
Wo har ik baat pe kehna ki yun hota to kya hota...."

Its been ages since Ghalib died, but not his memories
Especially his style- Especially his What ifs?

"Mohabbat karne wale kam na honge...
Teri mehfil mein lekin hum na honge...."

There won't be a dearth of suitors, I am sure
You'll still crave for my love, mon amour

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Fraudie's Marriage

Sagai Pics.

Not Really Good! But Memories, even if they are faded, are worth having!

Marriage Pics

The Holy Couple

Saat Phere!!

Arunima.. Lucky Girl

Luckier Bugger! :D

Book Review: King of Ayodhya - Ramayana- Not the way WE know it!

Background –

Couple of weeks back, I was seen walking around with "King of Ayodhya – Book 6 of Ramayana Series by Ashok Banker ":. My fetish with the book was so strong that I would keep it at my desk, in the car, near the pillow, to steal those 3-5-10-15 minutes where I would read a few pages from the book. People were wondering – Why? Whats so special? After all , its Ramayana!! A story that we already know inside out. And I used to just smile at them and pass on a very friendly suggestion – If you are not averse to printed words, read the first 50 pages of Prince of Ayodhya – Book 1. We can discuss these questions at that time. One of my colleagues Sulabh tried it and he curses me even today – He had to spend 1800 bucks or so to get all the six books (he could not wait a month for me to give him all the six books for a read)! For the records , Sulabh is my eighth direct marketing success story (all for the same book)!

King of Ayodhya

A story that starts on the shores of lanka, and ends at Ayodhya, KoA is an excellent example of what a magnificent storyteller can do to a story you have already heard so often. What Banker does , incrementally, is to add his imagination, wisdom, and perspective to a story that every Indian lives and breathes! End Result – a book that you can just not put down!

The book is fascinating, the storytelling is spellbinding, and the events – quite unlike my imagination (largely inspired by Ramanand Sagar's Television Series).

Its about war, war strategies, mind-games, Rama's mortal life (and not-the demi god life where he smiles at even problems of huge magnitude). The only thing that has always confused me about the book is that after you have completed reading all the six books , you wonder if Hanuman is the GOD in the book, and Rama the mortal. Gods descend to help Mortals (as part of all Heavenly gameplans!) in Indian mythology. And Rama, though a higher mortal with his (seemingly) infallible poise and adherence to Dharma , he needed more than just inspiration from Hanuman to win this battle.

There are several interesting facets about this book-

  • The war is fought at a level which is not heavenly. Not a lot of fancy arrows in multiple colors and doing funny stuff. Vanars do get massacred. They have to retaliate not in anger , but with wisdom to win the battle.
  • Ravan has some strategic gems too, up his sleeve. And some esoteric powers.
  • Kumbhakarna gets killed by Hanuman, and not Rama.
  • Most of the seemingly important stories of Ravana's warriors (such as Atikaya, Akampana , Kumbh, Nikumbh, Trishala, etc.) which we have heard of in good detail, as they got killed by various Rama warriors and not just Rama/ Lakshmana/ Hanuman, have been discounted to give us a view of what the war being fought at a mental level.
  • Ravana finally kills Supanakha. And more importantly, Supanakha, in many ways, is Ravana's source of power

Questions that still remained unanswered –

  • Ravana, with all that he achieved in one night before the war started, did not chose to demolish the Vanar Army at one go. Despite the fact that he had the powers to do so!
  • What happened to the Amrit Kalash story and of Ravana being immortal?
  • Hanuman, with all his might, could have changed the course of the war at any given minute? Why did he
  • While Ashok explains why he is not writing Book 7 (Uttar Ramayana), I would still want to read his explanation of Ram banishing Sita.

The more I think about this book, the more questions I will have. But, for the time being, let me tell you guys – READ THIS BOOK. AND THE ENTIRE SERIES. Its not just good storytelling, but a fresh insight into a story that you "think" you know!

Rating - 10 on 10