December 14, 2006


Rating- ** 1/2

I watched Mayabazar (Telugu) last week. So, planned to write a review on it. Now do not ask me what Mayabazar means because it is a bit difficult to give a literal translation. But, it's quite a famous title, thanks to the old Mayabazar in black-and-white, which people still remember as a classic. The new one starts with Kubera (The one who lent Lord Balaji the money required for his wedding) being cursed by a sage for his arrogance, but when Kubera pleads him to show him a way to atone for his sin, the sage tells him that the only way he can come out of the curse is by helping a really good human being and serve him for as long as he lives.

Then enters the hero, Srinu (Raja) who is a driver, but is very generous and kind-hearted. He always dreams of becoming rich and helping the poor. There is Anupama (Bhoomika) who keeps following him wherever he goes. One day, he comes across a ten year old young girl, Siri, who is left behind by her father at the airport. Srinu rescues her and takes her to his house. Later, he comes to know that she is suffering from a heart problem and wouldn't survive for long unless it is operated upon and corrected, and he needs three lakh rupees for the same. He curses the God for being so cruel. Kubera hears him and gives him Rs. 5 lakh as debt and Srinu promises him that he will always be ready to give him whatever he wants in return. The girl gets cured and Srinu uses the remaining money to start a business, and he eventually becomes very rich.

Anupama joins him in doing social service as his personal secretary. They fall in love and plan to get married. Now, Kubera wants to get out of all this tension and comes up with a plan. He asks Srinu his life as repayment of his debt. Srinu asks him a week's time to settle everything properly. He tells Anupama that he has cancer and would die in a few days, but she insists on being married to him for at least a day. He requests Kubera to allow him to get married and that he (Kubera) could take his life after a day. Later, after marriage, they come to know that Anupama is Kubera's daughter and now she's married to Srinu. Kubera finally gives in and accepts Srinu as his son-in-law. Srinu takes a word from Kubera that he should use all the money he gets from Lord Balaji every month towards interest for the wellness of the poor. 'All is well that ends well'.

The first half seems a bit sluggsh, but one feels entertained towards the end of the film with good comic timing and well written dialogues. The music will not get onto you, and the songs are badly placed in the film.

December 13, 2006

This blog is still running!

The previous post was dated in October. It has been more than a month now, and that's because I did not have the enthusiasm to write all these days. There was nothing to drive me to it. You normal again? No. It is just that i felt bad looking at my blog. And, may be it's quite natural for writers to pass through such a phase sometime in their lives. Moreover, what do I write? Give me something to write on. You are the one running this damn blog here. You gotto decide that. Well, ok, but it may take some more time. :)

October 29, 2006

Was he Netaji?

A 125 year old man has reportedly claimed he was Netaji two days before he died in a village near the Guna district of Madhya Pradesh. He was known as Baba Lalji Maharaj. The Madhya Pradesh police have started a probe into the matter.

The detailed article can be read

October 08, 2006

Woh Lamhe...

Rating- ***

Woh Lamhe has Shiny Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut playing Aditya Garewal, a struggling director and Sana Azim, a successful heroine respectively. Sana Azim shares an abusive relationship with Nikhil, an actor who always makes it a point to remind her that whatever she is today is just because of him and his generosity. Aditya, on the other hand, wants to use her to become successful as a director, but he eventually falls in love with her. She dumps Nikhil and approaches Aditya and also agrees to act in his film, which goes on to become a huge hit. Aditya later finds out that Sana is schizophrenic and even gets stabbed by her in the process of getting her cured. The rest of the film shows the mental trauma that they both go through.

Though the movie has a tragic end, it connects well with the viewer. It might have got a four star rating if not for its second half which appeared sluggish at times. And, the other characters- Sammy, played by Purab and the doctor friend are adequate and do their job well. Kangana suits the role perfectly. Shiny looked better as an actor in Gangster, but he is a good choice for the role. This reel-life story was aided by the
real life relationship between director, Mahesh Bhatt and the yesteryear popular actress, Parveen Babi, who passed away last year.

The music of the film was scored by Pritam. Kya mujhe pyaar hai alone is worth listening to.

October 01, 2006

Intelligent Marketing

Marketing strategies have always formed a crucial part in selling a commodity. These include amongst others, mainly print advertising and telivision advertising- the latter making more impact on the public or the consumers.

The Indian advertising industry has shown a gradual change, getting better everytime. This should be quite evident to anyone who comes across any alternate advertisement on the telivision these days. And, moreover, there is no dearth of breaks inbetween any programme that comes on air. I used to get bored with the long breaks squeezed anywhere into the programme that you so enthusiastically plan to watch. But, nowadays, these advertisements are a pleasure to watch than the programmes or soaps. Smart ads always catch your attention, no matter how lengthy they are.

There are a few advertisements that fascinate me everytime they are shown on the telivision. To name a few, the very new 'Visa' advertisement where a bunch of monkeys try to steal the belongings of a couple in the middle of a jungle and the lady distracts their attention by making a deal with bananas for the belongings. She then orders a truck full of bananas with the help of her Visa Card right from the jungle and then a monkey plays the same trick with her, this time, the Visa Power for her jeep keys.

The new 'Bank of India' advertisement is also good. It tries to tap the human emotions beautifully. The ad shows a small boy trying to hide his small piggy bank somewhere and goes all the way from home in search of a safe place and finally goes to the bank, where the officer puts it in a safety locker, assures him and hands over the keys to the small boy who leaves the bank happily.

There are many such smart ads which make an impact on those who watch them. You still may not buy (or use) the product (or services) that is (are) being promoted, but they leave their mark in your mind. And, after all, that is what marketing is all about- Smart moves to spot you!

September 21, 2006


I wish it were 100x7 instead of 24x7. I have never felt such shortage of the number of hours in a day. I really want them to increase. I have been planning to write a post on a small incident that happened a couple of days ago on the road when I was returning home from somewhere, and I haven't had the time to even open the blogger page.

Anyways. This particular incident caught my attention and I was moved by it to a certain extent- may not be an emotional feeling but still some kind of a trigger that pinched me inside. I was on my bike going home at around 8:30P.M. and I saw an auto-rickshaw trying to pull itself slowly along the road. I used the horn twice or thrice and then decided to overtake it quickly. I managed to move closer to it and a slight pressure on the accelerator would have put me ahead of the three wheeler, but a casual glance at it changed all that was going on in my mind at that moment. The auto rickshaw was carrying ten people in all. By the appearance of the commuters, I understood that the driver was taking few children home from school. The driver's seat accomodated three persons including the driver, of whom the other two (boys) had their feet dangling in the air. The back seat (the main seat) was too crowded and accomodated nearly eight girls with two of them almost hanging out from the side of the auto.

I slowed my bike and stopped it in front of the auto. I got down from my bike and asked the driver, "Is this enough? Or shall I get in too? Are you crazy? There are ten people in your auto and none of them would be younger than ten years, when in reality, an auto rickshaw can carry only four at a time including the driver. This can lead to accidents. Just look at the way the kids are trying to hold on to the side rods to prevent themselves from falling down. Why are you doing this?" I couldn't say anything more than that. I just gave a sympathetic look at those kids and left the place.

The boy sitting beside the driver felt amused at the way I posed this question to the driver, and I won't blame him nor any other kid in that auto rickshaw for their plight. For the next few hours, even at dinner, I thought about the different reasons that could have led to it.

The conclusion is that the auto was on hire on a monthly basis to carry children from home to school and back. Now, who's responsible for this? Who is to be made guilty for this situation?

  • The driver who wants to earn as much as he can in just a two-way journey apart from his regular fares?
  • The parents of the kids who just think of sending their children to school as their responsibility and overlook the different good and bad consequences that may occur in the process?
  • The traffic police who inspite of coming across such autos, fail to impose any restrictions and unfortunately either take bribes or let them go unnoticed?

September 11, 2006

Good Sign

Finally, I get to see some sincere government officials/ sectors in the country - a positive sign showing that there is still something left in the country to feel happy about. The topic under discussion is the power cut 'issue' at the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh's residence in Nagpur. The electricity department disconnected the power supply to the CM's residence for non-payment of dues of nearly Rs. 1.2 lakh.

It is good to see the sectors targeting even dignitaries like chief ministers and other powerful political people along with the common man.

The whole story can be read

September 04, 2006

d' Name game

If my previous post, The Lost Strangers is adapted for a short play, what title would you suggest for it? You have the freedom to dub the play into any language (only the title would be sufficient) and name it accordingly, but please translate the title in a language other than Hindi or Telugu into English because I still have to learn the remaining 21 languages spoken in India. :D

Let there be someone to test your creativity sometimes. :)

September 02, 2006

I am not an Indian... but I am called so

Just read the article that appeared in the Rediff today titled I am an Assamese not an Indian. This was said by the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom which was banned by the government) leader, Anup Chetia who was arrested in 1997 at Dhaka.

Not an Indian but an Assamese. Ok, how does this sound? Hello, I am not from India. I am from a part of India, and I do not want this part to be a part of India. I really don't think the government should sit down and have talks with such people.

September 01, 2006

Mobile Analyst

Endless analysis of online reviews on different mobiles has made me a good specialist. It has become something like a hobby to me - comparing the features and prices of different cell phone gizmos and choosing the best one amongst the whole range of the product. So, I was just wondering if this could be made into a profession. I mean when one can consult professional consultants prior to investing in stock market, then why can't one use the same kind of services when investing in a mobile. Both cost money and both can be risky. That's because you shouldn't repent after spending some thousands of bucks on a gizmo. And, just imagine what would be the case if you spend around 12K-15K on a mobile gadget and end up cursing the poor sound quality or the cam quality after a week or two. This is a risky investment too just like the volatile stock market.

I have infact started advising few of my friends regarding their best bet. They give me the list of features they would like to have in their mobile and I nail down a few phones for them to decide. So, don't you think this can be a good profession to get into?

Are you planning to get yourself a new mobile? Why risk your money without proper research? You can always consult someone who knows how it can be done. You know, right? :D

August 19, 2006

The Lost Strangers

Scene 1

Characters- Young Lady, a middle-aged woman in a cotton salwar

Ext. Road-Noon

The young lady lost in a new place looking for some help.

Lady: Excuse me! Which bus will take me to Ashok Nagar?
Woman: 5E.
Lady: (in Hindi) Kitne der mein aayega?
Woman: Next stop (Tamil accent)
Lady: Oh! you mean, bus yahan nahin aayega?
Woman: Nods her head to say no.
Lady: Kitna dur hai yahan se woh next stop?
Woman: Little hai. (The lady gives a smile trying to hide her amusement)
Lady: Thank you.


Characters- The young lady, an old man (other people pouring in at the bus-stop)

Ext. Road-Noon

Adyar bus-stop down the bridge, quite busy at noon. An old man in white khadi clothes is standing under the sun eagerly waiting for a bus.

Lady: (I guess, this old man could be of some help- should understand some English) Excuse me!
Man : Yes? (In heavy Tamil accent)
Lady: When will the next 5E come?
Man: It left just now.
Lady: Oh, is it? (She damns her bad timing. She already had had a lot since morning) How long will it take to come back?
Man: Not long. You wait.
Lady: Yeah, thank you.


Characters- The young Lady, another young lady and a young chap

Int. Bus-Half past noon

The young lady finally gets into 5E after waiting for 20 minutes for it to arrive at the bus-stop. She manages to push herself through the crowd and gets a seat beside a 'typical Tamilian' woman.

Lady: (I hope I find someone who speaks either English or Hindi. This isn't going to take me anywhere)

The woman gets down at the nest next stop and a young working woman occupies her seat.

Lady: (Now confident that the woman next to her would definitely speak English) Excuse me! Could you please inform me when the bus nears Ashok Nagar? Actually, I am new to Chennai and I do not know any place here.
YWoman: Well, I am sorry. I myself don't know much about the places here.
Lady: Oh! At least, will you please tell the woman in the front seat in Tamil to do the favour? I can't speak Tamil.
YWoman: Actually, I too don't know Tamil (She smiles at her)

('Two strangers lost in a similar way sitting beside each other') Both have a hearty laugh.

YWoman: Ok, wait. I will try to help you out of it.

She bends over the front seat and says something to a woman in faltering Tamil. The woman nods her head in confusion.

Lady: (Sees a young chap standing next to their seat) Well, I guess, he should be of some help to us.
YWoman: Who, he? Okay.
Lady: Excuse me, will this bus go to Ashok Nagar?
Chap: Ashok Nagar? I don't know, but it will go to Udayam Theater.
Lady: (More confused and lost now. 'Where's this Udayam Theater? i want to go to Ashok Nagar')

Meanwhile, the woman in the front seat waves her hand to confirm that she would help us

YWoman: Yeah, don't worry. She will help you find the place.
Lady: Hopefully

The young lady spends the rest of the time trying to read the names of the places from the hoardings above shops, unable to trust anyone anymore. After sometime, she finds 'Ashok Nagar' written everywhere at the shops in a particular street and pats herself for having thought of a good idea.

Lady: Listen, I think I need to get down here.
YWoman: Are you sure?
Lady: Yeah. I remember the street there, the place where I have to go.
YWoman: Okay. You sure?
Lady: Yeah. Two hundred percent. Does the bus stop here? Ok, I will ask them to stop.
YWoman: Yeah, do that.

The lady tries to make her way out of the heavy crowd of women trying to grab her seat. She suddenly stops and turns back as if to complete something and smiles at the young stranger who helped her a lot even without doing anything for her.

Lady: Bye!
YWoman: (Smiling) Bye.

The lady gets down as the bus stops at the corner of the street.

(The two strangers get lost again, now far from their unknown friend)

The Lost Strangers' Last Meet.

August 16, 2006

Ab alvida hi kehna...

We couldn’t have celebrated Independence Day in a worse way. Everything went well until we decided to go out to a movie (It’s just another holiday for most of us :( ). We chose one of the recent releases – Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and, for us, it turned out to be an Independence Day lacking freedom. We got stuck in the hall for three and a half hours and the doors were opened only after the end of the show. I never cursed myself so much while watching a film. The question is why one should waste some crores of rupees in making a film like KANK. Moreover, it was a really lengthened movie.

The first thing I expected before the start of the film was the national anthem. Can’t you play it at least once a year? I remember watching a video of our national anthem at one of the theaters in Mumbai last month. It was such a wonderful video –twelve renowned singers of the country together rendering the national anthem. I felt disappointed even before the start of the film. And, the next three and a half hours consumed all my enthusiasm and energy. I always used to be skeptic about Karan Johar type films – utterly sentimental, high drama and no story line. (You may have to carry a few handkerchiefs with you if you are one who gets moved easily).

The music wasn't good either except Mitwa. It was rehashed, particularly one song (I don't remember the lyrics) which sounded exactly like a song from the movie Kyon Ho gaya Naa. No wonder because the music director trio is the same for both the films.

After watching it, I clearly understood the reason behind choosing that title for the film. Karan Johar is trying to tell his audience, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Please do not stop watching my films after this one). An apt title, I guess! :D I felt Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a lot better than this one (I personally couldn’t appreciate KKHH though). Looks like, he is diluting his films with time. On the whole, a nap at home instead would have been good for me. Alvida.

August 09, 2006

In memory

Today is the 65th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, the revolutionary movement that drew in a great victory for India under the British rule. It all started on the 9th of August in 1942 and went on till the 15th of August, 1947. It is sad that the day is being celebrated as just 'Raksha Bandhan' and not in remembrance of Quit India, the significant crusade that involved every Indian irrespective of caste, creed, religion or region and that which reminds us of the oneness that held the country together 'once upon a time'.

August 07, 2006

Creative answering

I would have loved to write something like this in the answer paper but fear of a 'Fail' grade had always kept me away from it. :D

July 24, 2006

Short Story

This was the first story that I penned down as a child. A short story for children (by a child :D) published under the children's section in an annual souvenir of a library. The unevenly split sentences and other small mistakes should be overlooked since it was written at the age of eleven years. I am reproducing the same here without any changes.

It was a cloudy night. Nobody was in the house except Ramesh and his servant, Bhima. Ramesh was studying in sixth standard. His parents had gone to a function. Ramesh and his uncle were in the house. On receiving an urgent phone call, his uncle went to his office. Ramesh was about to sleep when the door bell rang. He went and opened the door. There stood his dear uncle with a packet of chocolates in his hand. He ate some and went to bed. After some time, his uncle heard some sound coming from his study room, where he had kept his income in a safe. His uncle went to the room. He was stunned to see a man wearing an overcoat with cross buttons and a mask over his face. The man was going through some files dealing with important matters. His uncle shouted, "thief-thief". The man took a pistol and pointed at Ramesh's uncle. His uncle moved forward and the thief hit him on his head. Ramesh's uncle became unconscious. Ramesh woke up on hearing the noise. He became suspicious and thought something fishy was going on in his uncle's room. He slowly crept out of his bed towards his uncle's room. Suddenly, he was stunned to see his uncle unconscious. He also saw a man taking something from the safe. He quietly went near the telephone and rang up the police. The police came and arrested the thief and removed his mask. There stood Ramesh's dear servant, Bhima. Bhima said that he was innocent, but some outlaws had kidnapped his daughter and demanded that if he wants his daughter back, he must go and get those important papers from Ramesh's uncle. Bhima did as he was told. But, he was caught. Then the police asked him whether he could give any clues to catch the outlaws. Bhima, along with the police, went to the place where the outlaws lived. After a fierce fight, the outlaws were caught. Bhima got his daughter back. When Ramesh's parents returned home, they were proud of their son. His uncle was also very happy for saving his important papers. Ramesh got a reward for his bravery. He became a hero in the eyes of his friends.

July 17, 2006

Back on track

I am currently back on track reading,

The Hungry Tide - by Amitav Ghosh

The novel primarily revolves around the characters- Kanai Dutt, a literary translator, Piyali Roy (Piya), a cetologist and, Nirmal and Nilima, a couple running a welfare trust in Lusibari. The entire story is predominantly set in Kolkatta, Canning and Lusibari in West Bengal amongst others.

The Hungry Tide won the Hutch Crossword Book Award for the best work in English fiction in 2004. Amitav Ghosh is also known for his novel The Glass Palace.

July 14, 2006

The Dream Land of India

I never had any serious thoughts or dreams of landing in Mumbai. I went there last week to spend some time with my brother and also to shun my boredom. I might not have got to experience the real Mumbai in the short time that I spent there, but I have my share of opinions and impressions about the city. The first being the hugely damaged roads due to the heavy down pour in the city last week. A journey in an auto-rickshaw can make you aware of the innumerable potholes made by the fall on the roads. You just cannot escape the roller-coaster rides on the roads. No wonder how much you would suffer if you choose to travel through narrow lanes, leave alone the pukka concrete roads.

And, how can one not say anything about the heavy traffic in the city when talking about Mumbai? Gosh! You better start at seven in the morning to reach office at nine. We travelled for 25 minutes to cover a distance of half a kilometer. Need to say anything else? Such a rush is confined not just to the roads, but one experiences it even at hotels and restaurants, especially in the weekends. We went out for dinner on Sunday at 8:45 PM and were called in only at 10 PM and, I just can’t describe how difficult it was for us to wait empty-bellied until then.

It drizzled twice or thrice daily and the climate wasn’t that bad when you compare it to the soaring heats in many other parts of the country. The skies were mostly cloudy all through the day except for some time during the midday. But, the humidity in the atmosphere can make you feel exhausted. A few minute walk would be well enough to drain the water out of you.

I returned on Tuesday morning and the serial train blasts took place in the evening. It’s such an unfortunate incident. Both the Kashmir and the Mumbai blasts occurred on the same day. How can anyone kill so many innocent people? I feel such cases arise when one tries to hold others responsible for one’s plight - inexplicable vengeance.
And, I am really surprised at the way the Mumbaikars have handled it with such resilience and, of course, Kashmir has always been a tacit target. But, is it really good to get along with such insane terrorism every time it strikes you? Should we not look at getting over it forever?

July 13, 2006

Market chaos!

This is a really funny cartoon depicting the possible confusion that might have sent the market sizzling down a few weeks ago.

June 11, 2006

Investing in a crashing market

This is a decent article that I have come across on Rediff.

The art of investing in falling markets

MoneyLife is an upcoming business magazine. The print copy is really good, but the online one is not being updated properly. The June issue has an interesting article on the study of investing in art.

May 26, 2006

Demeaning a Nation- A thousand ways

India can brag about such book in the coming future and I think we are not far from it. And, only Indians can come out with newer ways of doing it.

There's this article on Rediff titled 'No one wants to hear us'. I must admit that it is one of the most disgusting articles I have read on the reservation issue. I am going to italicize the Rediff story (adapted to suit the post's need) and my consequent comments would be in normal font.

Mr. Tusha Jagtap, a doctor by profession and President, Dr Ambedkar Reservation Protection Front, a Dalit organisation, says, "My father was a railway employee and if I did not have the benefit of reservation I would not have become a doctor."

He secured 61 marks in the Science stream in his XII standard and got a medical seat just because he is a Dalit. But, nowhere in India you would find an upper caste student with 70 plus qualifying marks, getting a seat (No matter how poor he is). Why this discrimination? How can anyone trust such doctors?

When I (the Rediff personnel) pointed out that there are many Brahmins today who were cleaning toilets for a living because they didn't have better jobs, Dr Jagtap says: "When Dalits cleaned toilets for 2,000 years nobody thought of this. If Brahmins are cleaning toilets today what is wrong in it?"

Mr. Jagtap, the issue here is not about the work that the Brahmins are doing these days, but it's concerned with the fact that many of the upper caste people are living in economic distress just like the backward classes. And, the government should think of them too.

"After so many years of independence Dalit women are being raped in villages and no one takes this news seriously," he says angrily, "but have you ever read a Brahmin women being raped by a Dalit in this country? Never."

Why do you want to discuss an act as heinous as rape based on caste? Any woman, no matter what caste she belongs to, exploited to such an extent will experience the same trauma. Can't you leave at least a few things as sensitive as these untouched by caste?

There were two really good articles that followed this. I am providing the links to these articles below.

The first is
Who are the real dalits of India? and the second is Are Brahmins the Dalits of today?. The second article is a must. It reveals some important statistics that we were not aware of. It shows the need to review the definition of economic backwardness in India and why even some upper castes require reservations to survive with the backward classes in India. I hate saying this. Require Reservations.

What's your speed?

I am addicted to this thing. This is an online software that calculates your typing speed. I have been using it for the past 30 minutes trying to improve upon my speed. One can select any topic of interest and a paragraph will be given related to the topic for typing. By the way, my typing speed is quite okay, but need to improve it further. I now stand at 60 WPM (Words per Minute), which is not bad. And, I think I should try to aim at the world record which is 232 WPM. :D

May 24, 2006

A firm duel

I felt I should change the title of my last post because in regard to this one, India is not progressing but it seems to be regressing to nowhere. This isn't 'real development for the future of the country' as quoted by the HR Minister, Mr. Arjun Singh. And, one can't stop but wonder looking at the immense support he has been getting from the prime Congress leaders, who were thought to be more sensible and rationale than few such politicians like him.

Most of us thought that the Prime Minister might dispense his power in taking a righful decision at this hour of need. But, he has let all of us down with his dull compromise with foul politics. Read
this. Even a Harvard graduate, Mr. P. Chidambaram (Finance Minister of India) couldn't escape the pervasion of selfish politics.

It was a big let down listening to Dr. Manmohan Singh on the telivision. Can a person who is deemed as sensible and shrewd in every aspect not understand an issue that has swayed thousands of students? Sir, we expect more than this from you. We really do. And, why shouldn't we? We chose you to serve the country, to build a potent and secure India. Not to ruin it with your rotten political stead.

Increase in the number of seats in educational institutions is not a really good compensative for the increase in reservation quota as suggested by Mr. Singh. The solution given in the article that appeared in The Hindu, yesterday, is considerable. It divided the whole student community into sections and sub-sections based on their caste, economic status, educational background, household income, etc., and alloted points to each on scale. For example, a government school can be alloted 6/7 points on a scale of 10, whereas, an urban private school may be scaled to 0. And, a student whose household income is above a decent range is given 0 points and 5/6 otherwise. Same goes with the other factors in deciding the overall score and subsequently the importance of reservation for the particular student. This is always a better solution than the proposed one.

I hate saying this, but I have to in the wake of reality. Common man can't help but agonize few things in India and this is just one of them.

And, I would still love to say this. Go, India go. Please.


Update: Why doesn't the government do the proper clean up at the primary education level itself? The only answer one can think of is that they won't get any voting from the minors (Citizens below 18 years of age) and hence are considered not worthy of attention. Disgusting.

There are so many pitfalls in our system. I am sick of talking about these. If the system isn't proper, then at least there should be someone who can tug it into the right direction. But, everything goes wrong here, the system and even the crusader who's chosen to correct it.

May 18, 2006

Go India, go

India has always been famous for its remarkable history and heritage. Now, it can again create history. The temple town of Tirumala is on the verge of being the wealthiest pilgrimage centre in the world. It is ready to take over the Vatican city in terms of the richest pilgrimage centre. The annual turnover of the Vatican city is a bit more than thousand crores and according to the latest statistics, Tirumala temple's turnover for the year 2005 was around 800 crores. And, the temple trust (TTD) has deposits of about 1500 crores.

Evidently, it's already the richest temple in India. Every week, nearly one lakh devotees come to Tirumala for the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara, and it even surpasses that number during vacation time and festivals. So, there should be no uncertainities in presuming that this can be a reality. It's a bit too apparent. Isn't it?

May 10, 2006

Degrading politics

I was shocked to read about the new agenda of DMK and AIADMK (the ruling party in Tamil Nadu). The poll outcome, as suggested by many newspapers, is going to be in favour of the DMK party. Perhaps, the 'Colour Telivision' carried more value than 'Gold'. :D

Amma (Jayalalitha) promised to grant the scape goats (aam junta) ten Kg rice on every ration card. She also proclaimed that she would give one gold
'mangalsutra' each to every unmarried woman as a wedding gift (planning to waste resources in a new way this time). On the other hand, the DMK president, Mr. Karunanidhi is nowhere behind. He promised a new colour telivision and rice at Rs.2 a Kg for every household. Now, one has to wait and watch the combat between 'Colour TV and Gold'. Not Karunanidhi Vs. Jayalalitha as anyone would expect.

Now, one might wonder why there's so much animosity between the two party leaders. Let me enlighten the uninitiated. Nearly two decades aga, Ms. Jayalalitha was terribly insulted by Mr. M.Karunanidhi in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Her saree was pulled off by DMK party's members in front of hundreds of others in the Assembly. I do not know in detail about the pre-conflict that led to such an extreme step, but whatever it is, knowing this I can never vote for DMK.

April 30, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

In a place where dreams are hard to come by, one girl will start a journey.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

This film,
Akeelah and the Bee looks promising. I watched the trailer this morning. The film is about an eleven year old girl who is very good at spellings but has some mental block to overcome fear. The film shows how she transforms herself and works toward winning the 'National Spelling Bee contest', which she does in the end. I will try and watch soon.

You can catch the trailer of this film
here. The 'rotten tomatoes' player isn't rotten :D, infact it's better than many other video players (online) that I got used to.

April 23, 2006

Bondage to Freedom - II

These are a few rare photographs that I happened to come across this morning. They depict some of the most important moments in the history of India.

Nehru and Gandhi at AICC meeting in July, 1947.

Gandhiji addressing a mass gathering

Nehru and Liaquat Ali receive Mountbatten at the Delhi airport on March 25, 1947

Mountbatten swears in Nehru as the first Prime Minister of India on August 15,1947.

TRAIN TO PAKISTAN; India 1947. Trains packed with refugees - Hindus and Sikhs headed for India, and Muslims headed for Pakistan - were convenient targets for gangs of killers on both sides of the border. Inadequately protected 'Refugee Specials' were typically stopped, and the occupants butchered, several times in the course of the journey.

The dead Punjab, 1947.

1948: The news of Gandhi's assassination hits the streets. A stunned crowd gathers in Calcutta (Now Kolkatta).

1948: Crowds in New Delhi wait for a glimpse of Gandhi's funeral procession

A Library being divided at the time of partition, when people needed to hold hands and be united.

1971: Indira Gandhi reviews the troops, in the context of the military and diplomatic preparations for the Bangladesh War.

April 16, 2006

To hell

"Dare to look beyond?" The students of IIPM can tell you how true it is.

The students of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management have started a website which will give the inside information about the college and its operations. The students say that they are being cheated on everything and that the government should take an affirmative action against it.

The IIPM staff even threatened the bloggers who had written about this issue in favour of the suffering students. They left threatening comments at
Rashmi Bansal's blog, but could not do so at Gaurav Sabnis' for the comments were disabled in his blog.

The website run by the
IIPM students will reveal everything about the institute.

The website is called:

April 11, 2006

Only Reservations, No education

There have been lots of speculations making rounds in newspapers and websites these days. The topic- Increase in the reservations in education for OBCs at IITs and IIMs from the present 22.5% to a new 49.5%. I signed a petition like many others asking the Union Ministry to stop the passage of such a bill which can dampen the standard of these institutes.

I am copy- pasting the petition that I had signed online in this regard.

To: HR Ministry of Govt. of India

To, The Prime Minister of India, the HR Minister of India.
The decision to introduce a reservation for OBC Categories in the premier institutions of India, thereby raising the reserved seats to 49.5 percent comes as a too strong step in the direction of ensuring advancement of backward classes.
While we recognize the need for equal opportunities for the backward classes, such decisions can deprive the shining institutions of India of their quality of students. At a time when we are looking forward to project India as a global destination for excellence in the field of education, this step could wreck the image we have managed to project so far.
Sir, we earnestly request you to take into consideration all the possibilities for creating a platform for equal opportunities in education before implementing such a decision.


I agree that reservations for backward classes are made to give them an opporunity to progress along with others. But, the problem arises with such a huge increase in reservation percentage. How can anyone digest the fact that 50% of the seats would be kept separate, with only the remaining half left for competition?

I wonder why should anyone relate intellect with one's caste. What is the need to do so? You cannot judge someone's intellect by his religion or caste. Even a student from a backward class can top the JEE or the CAT if he has the requisite potential. I know that they were suppressed by the forward classes (our forefathers) in almost everything they did. But, things have changed. Our generation has changed. We don't look at people or judge them by their caste. I myself have a few friends who are OBCs and I have never given any importance to that. Infact, it gives me a strange feeling because this is the first time that I have chosen to speak about it. They are my friends and they are like me in almost any aspect. Moreover, one of them is more intelligent than me. She always tops the class. She has got a very good programming aptitude, unlike me. Then, why?

Reservations in education are understandable, but not so much that people find them repulsive enough to start a nation-wide movement against it. Such high reservations can reduce the standards of good institutes drastically. The only reason that can be stated for such a bold step would be that most of the backward classes are still living in distress, unable to meet the expenses even in day-to-day life. But, there are many such poor souls even in the forward castes. Are they not human beings and don't they need help to come out of their economic distress? So, can't the reservations be alloted only to those who are in distress, who cannot afford good education? There are many others in the backward classes who are leading life just like any forward class person- good education, good job, good money, good position in society. Should their children also be entitled to such reservations? No, because they have the potential to come up on their own. Infact, they should. When their parents could, can't they?

Women reservations. I hate this phrase. I have always been against it. I don't think there should be any reservations for women too. Ok, I agree that there are women who still suffer abuse at the hands of men, be it depriving them of their right to education at home or harassing them physically. Anything indifferent done against someone is an abuse. But, there are many women who are living a deserved life, women like me who were always treated just like their brothers or any other male in the family. Why do such women be entitled to reservations? They are ready to take over. Give them a chance to prove themselves. Such women don't need reservations to establish themselves along with men.

There is this 30% reservation quota for women in engineering in Andhra Pradesh. Even if a girl secures 3000 rank in the regional entrance exam, EAMCET, and gets a seat in a good college, the only thing she gets to hear is that it happened due to the 30% quota and not her merit. Why doesn't anybody realize that she got the rank only because of her hardwork, whereas, most of the other guys might have secured ranks anywhere between 20,000 - 40,000. Tell me, is 3000 not much better and deserved than a 50,000? Give her some encouragement, make her know that you have belief in her as much as you have in your son or probably more than that. She won't look back again doubting her worth.

There's another solution for this. Make such reservations only for those who cannot afford education, who live in villages, in slums, who cannot afford coaching classes like you and me, who cannot earn more than a fixed minimum. Make reservations for those women who get abused in their homes, who are not given the rights they ought to have. Make reservations only for those who need them. Not for those who can do without them.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions presented here are solely of the author's. These are in no way meant to offend any religion or caste, whatsoever, and were used only to discuss the current trends in the education system in India.)

April 07, 2006

Book Tags

Tag- this is the happening thing in blogging world lately. I was tagged by dc long ago. But, I couldn't write anything on it and couldn't tag anyone in turn. So, I am writing now on it.

Tagging something or someone is very simple (as I got to know about it). A person who is tagged (book tagged, in my case) has to write about everything that he/she is asked to about them.

For book tags, you need to write about the number of books you own, the last read, the last one bought, the book you are presently reading, books that mean a lot to you, and finally, you need to tag five other people for this to pass on.

My list-

Books that I own - A lot, but like I had mentioned in the comments on my previous post that I own nearly fifty books that I can count on for starting a library, I will mention a few here.

- Kite Runner
- Life of Pi
- Papillon
- Mahabharata (by C. Rajagopalachari)
- The Fountainhead

I'll stop here, otherwise, it will go on and on.

I like a lot of books. So, there's no point in mentioning the whole list.

My last read was Kite Runner, by Khalid Hosseini and I had written about it in Kite Runner

I am not reading anything presently. :-(

Books that have been with me for a long time, yet couldn't be read are Leo Tolstoy's famous classics, Anna Kareina and War and Peace. I bought them just because I wanted to have them as a part of my collection.

Now, for the last part of this tagging business, I don't choose to tag anyone. you are welcome to take up the tag on your own.

April 03, 2006


Ten things I wish to do before I die-

  1. Publish my own book (Bestseller!)
  2. Cut an album
  3. Make a hit film
  4. Render stage performances in Carnatic classical music
  5. Have my own start up (Company)
  6. Become a people's politician (Not for power, but to deliver)
  7. Receive the Best Citizen award (If they give any)
  8. Own a huge personal library
  9. Contribute something great to the field of Mathematics (ala Madame in Madame Curie!)
  10. Travel, travel and travel (Across the globe too!)

I am not sure about all these wishes, but I will definitely try to make at least three of these come true.

UPDATE: Read comments

April 01, 2006

Name sake

Sigourney Roux

This would have been my name if I were French. So claims Blogthings. For once, I want to thank my parents for having given me such a good name in comparision to the so called French name. The concept of providing the French similitude of your name is understandable but what really doesn't make sense is that each time you enter your name in it, you will get to see a different French name, i.e., any name will randomly appear out of their database. Not a good one to rely on. Curiosity hasn't proved to be of much fun this time.

March 31, 2006

Tough things, not tough days

“Today has been a very bad day for you. You should look out to avoid anything worse than these.”


I don’t want to say anything about these two statements because I don’t believe in anything like good days and bad days for someone. But, indeed, today I had to feel bad or suffer for many things. The first incident happened in the morning when I left home for college on my bike. I met with an accident. Luckily, for me, I could escape with some minor injuries here and there; the worst of all to my left knee. It so happened that I was going at somewhat more than the normal speed in my hurry to reach college soon as I was already late than the usual time and there was this person (the reason for the accident) in front of me who took a quick right turn. We were so close to each other that I couldn’t expect his intention to do so. I applied sudden brakes with all the force I could generate through my fingers and in the need to avoid a clash with him, I took a forcible turn to the right. I couldn’t restrain the instability in the movement of the bike and went skidding down the road for a couple of seconds. Fortunately, there were no heavy vehicles on the road at that time. The best thing to laugh away about this is that when I fell down with the bike upon me, I started talking to that man in a very angry manner; not because I had fallen down but for the mere fact that he had violated the basics of traffic rules and civic sense. But, I don’t feel there’s anything wrong in whatever I had done since the only reason for the accident was his negligence towards safety, the first and foremost thing that we are taught about as the reason for inculcating traffic sense in us. I should probably have been riding at a lesser speed. I feel I was at wrong too. May be, it could have helped me in applying brakes in a safe manner. But, I hadn't expected him to do something as bad as that.

I had no time to think of my injuries and the accident as I had to reach college in time. I washed my wounds with some water from a nearby tea stall and set off for college again. No regrets about the accident or the injuries that I have sustained but my bike now has got a few ugly scratches on it. :-(

The second incident is that I didn’t do well in my exam. We had two successive exams today, one after the other. I performed very badly in the first one. The third incident is that I lost my book at college in the afternoon. It was a library book and now I will have to buy a new book for the library and it is a very expensive one!

I am pretty fine with all my injuries still there stinging at a very regular pace of time, but someone please find me the book and get some marks added in my paper.

Tough things never last, but tough people do. :D

March 30, 2006

ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు

I wish all my Telugu blog readers on this auspicious day of Ugaadi (new year according to Telugu calender) a prosperous new year.

అందరికీ ఉగాది సందర్భంగా, నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు

March 26, 2006

Kite Runner

I finished reading two books in these two months time. Life of Pi and The Kite Runner. Life of Pi was good, but it can't be a fast read. Sometimes, it gives you the feeling that it is a never-ending novel. The beginning gets you bored, but as the story proceeds it will take you into a different phase of the book set at a better pace and with a gripping tale altogether. It took me a little more than a month to complete it. But, I really doubt the authenticity in the author's claim that the story is real. I can hardly believe that a person can endure about 272 days on a lifeboat in the Pacific.

The Kite Runner , on the other hand, is an amazing read. The best part about the book is its engulfing narration. The way the story had been dealt with will leave you wanting more of it. The characterisation was excellent with every character brought in at the right time and serving a fitting purpose. I never thought an Afghani can come out with such good stuff. But, if you are someone who likes entertaining stuff like Catch22 or pulse-racing thrillers then this one is not for you. You might get bored with its serious drama. The Kite Runner has been adapted for a film with the same title as the book. It is being directed by Marc Forster, the one who directed Finding Neverland, and is slated for a December release. .


Failures bring out the real person in you- a coward or a brave heart

Like, someone said to me the other day. It is fine to feel disappointed with failure, but one should not be discouraged by it.

March 23, 2006

Books and Marriages

Marriage. This is a common topic for everybody irrespective of their age. Teenagers or adolescents ask their friends as to what type of marriage they would prefer- love or arranged? Parents often get worried about all that stuff going on in their children’s mind. They share it with their friends- mothers with neighbouring aunties and fathers with their colleagues or close friends. If a girl becomes twenty plus or is about to complete her graduation and if a boy has started earning, they will become the cynosure of this topic. Aunties and uncles will enquire parents when they are going to get their son/daughter married. What is the reason behind the delay? And, if parents say that their son/daughter is not willing to marry so early, the next obvious question would be koi hai kya? (Is your child seeing someone?) That is the only reason they can think of. Uhh! Can they not be sensible enough to know and understand that there can be many other reasons for a person to postpone his or her decision? Even worse, some will start spying their children.

What is so fun in wanting to know whether a person prefers a love marriage or an arranged one? Why would anyone want to know? And, even if they don’t want to get married, it’s their preference. Who are these uncles and aunties to bother? I have been asked the same many times. My only answer would be I have never given it a thought. May be this. Or, may be that.

I have thought about it lately. Not the kind I would prefer to get into. But, the similarities in marriage and buying books. What I mean to say is, there is everything so common between them. As we have two cases in marriage- love and arranged- we have two similar cases in buying books.

Arranged marriage is one where someone else (mostly parents) finds a suitable match for you. We won’t come to know much about the person until we get married to him or her. It is the same when someone goes to a book store and buys a book for you. You can’t say whether you like the book or not until you finish reading it. Then you come to a conclusion about the book- whether it’s worth buying or not, whether you made a wrong decision in obliging with the book.

Love marriage, on the other hand, is what most people think well. Here, you marry someone of your choice. It’s just like going to the book store and buying a book that you like immensely. You buy the book going just by the review on its back page and a few other pages that the book might have shown you. Once you buy it you will come to know whether what you had thought of about the book is right or wrong. The book may prove to possess all those virtues that you had desired in it, but you still may not like a few pages or few lines.

There is another case in the similarity between an arranged marriage and buying books. Unlike in the first case, here you accompany someone (who’s going to buy the book for you- parents) and get to see the book they had planned to buy for you before actually buying it. You say that you will first go through the review and a few pages before coming to a decision. They agree. You go to the book store and try to get a few glimpses of it the next day (you may see the person day in and day out in real life). You end up spending a lot of time with it, reading a few pages from the illustrious beginning or a few others somewhere in between being cautious all the time trying to avoid the shopkeeper’s curious glances at you. Out of your hurriedness and discomfort you will not get to know much about the book and in the end, having spent so much time with it in the book store, you will come out only after paying for it.

March 21, 2006

Unskilled skills

All have such skills. I have my share of them. Consider cricket, for example, I don’t know anything about the different ways in which fielders can be positioned or the names given to different strokes and the amusingly peculiar names that anyone can ever think of for the bowling action and/or end of bowlers, like, the Municipality end, the Hillrock end and there are so many other names more interesting than these which, unfortunately, I don’t remember now as always. And, I always get confused about the on-side and the off-side of the field - left and right. So, I find peace in restricting myself to just watching the game and enjoying the runs made or the wickets knocked off, and that too only when India plays.

Now, should I say that the same applies to my academics? Not my specialization areas though. Probably, in things like programming where I am expected to show my programming skills, no matter how unskilled they are. This reminds me of a small incident that happened when I was in my second year of engineering. There was this C-Skill contest that was held as part of our college fest. One of my friends, who is too good to believe in programming, took part in it, and asked me to team up with her as the requirement was teams of two each. The only thing that I could think of as the best policy for that moment was escapism. I immediately registered my name for the quiz contest. Though, my GK and geography skills are also poor, I found the quiz better than C. I always keep wondering about this unskilled skill of mine. My logical, analytical and reasoning abilities are reasonably good then why do I falter when it comes to programming aptitude. All these involve the same input- logic, simple logic. I hope I would be able to solve this mystery someday.

I like watching soccer on the television, but I don’t know even the basic rules of the game and not even the names of the countries which play soccer except for Brazil and a couple of others, but ask me for a game of football and I will be too excited to refuse. It’s just the fun in kicking the ball into the net. Same is with basketball. It feels good to possess unskilled skills which can teach you or amuse you sometimes. There are so many other things like these. Sometimes, it is better to be a dilettante.

March 13, 2006

Victory of hopelessness over hope

I got this one by e-mail sent to me by someone very close. The moment I read it, I decided that it should be here.

I cried. After a long time... when South Africa won the match yesterday!!!

It was the victory of hope... ohh wait... did someone say, losing all hope is freedom. Well, thats exactly what won the match from the south africans yesterday night. So its the sweet revenge of hopelessness over the ever romantic hope.

Have you understood the phenomenal nature of yesterday's victory? No one has achieved anything of such enormity in the last few centuries. Just imagine, 6230 million souls (world population) thinking you cannot achieve it, and where are you--- at the top having just conquered it. Just imagine you are opening out there chasing the tall score - you have made 50 off 21 balls and smacked the ball around in the first 15 overs - and then take a look at the scoreboard and realise there is still 350 more to go. I would have been demoralised for sure.

Can one ever plan chasing down 434 - you must be a freak. Do you think SA's have actually charted out a plan when they went out to bat yesterday??? Ohhh can you imagine their coach saying, "see boys - take it ball by ball". Plans dont help, its the sheer dogged determination and an ability to raise your hand when everything is falling around you - that helps. Have we learnt something from this? To put it simply, Everything is possible!!! There was nothing to lose when you are chasing 434 - its all hopelessness all around. Does this ring some bells here - the concept of Nishkama karma??? The same old Bhagavadgeeta saying!!! Detachment from work - barring all expectations. A single thread of duty-consciousness was pervading through all the eleven souls yesteday night.

It was a wonderful day for me yesterday. I saw two faces of victory. First, was the movie Iqbal which speaks about the concept of DREAM and letting your dreams fly while you are chasing them - and catching up with them finally. The second one was a different case. You are dreaming, and a bugger comes along spoiling the precious dream, bottling up 434... So what do you do... you wake up. Chase the bugger to the wire. How spectacular!!!

You can call it a freaky incident - something going against the odds by chance. But is threre a possibliy of scripting 300 chances (50 overs)??? Ohhh imagine the probability of 300 balls falling in the correct urns when you throw them randomly. Purely out of academic interest, i tried to compute this bit and it turns out to be (1/325700000......00000....0000) - there are 615 zeroes in the denominator.

March 08, 2006

Good morning India

This is arguably the best news piece I have seen till date: What will India's innovation and booming economy mean for Americans?

It was excerpted from one of the episodes of the famous show on the American Telivision, Good Morning America.

Sometimes, it makes you proud of what you are, an Indian, and at the very next moment might make you a bit angry at what the Americans have thought us to be. But, it truly shows India the way she is- the booming economy, the bustling city life, the peace of a village, the dirty slums, the diverge religions, the technology at Infosys and the pentiums operated from mud huts, the McDowells' and the chai dhabas. Everything. Virtually everything.

There are some pluses and also some minuses about what others have to say about us. I am writing not categorizing them into any.

- India is a miracle.

- India is a just a big state of red tapes, party politics and corruption.

- India is developing fast (Showing some technological parks like Infosys and BPOs). Why,then is it still this way (Now, showing some clumsy upmarket place and slums).

- A vegetable vendor quoting to the American anchor of the show, "We are not behind you. We are with you."

The video will possibly annoy you with the frequent breaks in it, but it is still worth watching.

March 07, 2006


I know I'm writing very late about it but I happened to watch Page3 this morning. This is the first Madhur Bhandarkar film I have seen and, in short, I liked it. The page3 life was exposed to the heck (euphemism intended) of it. The characters seemed real, especially Konkana's, Boman's, Atul's and the one who played the cop, Bhonsle. He looked very promising. What's his name, by the way? I remember I had watched or should I say 'tried to watch' Chandni Bar long back when it was telecast on the TV. I turned it off after the first thirty minutes of show. Probably, I couldn't stand it then. But, I feel Page3 is a much better film than Chandni Bar, anytime. One can hardly make an attempt at making such films and moreover, coming out with the best outcome possible without experiencing them in real life. Mr.Bhandarkar proved this by giving a statement to a newspaper that both his films films Chandni Bar and Page3 were the result of the experiences he had had earlier in his life. To end with, it was a good, thought provoking film.

March 03, 2006

A story untold...

Some things make a lasting impression on our minds. This one, more or less, falls into the same genre. It has touched me where it can the most. This isn’t any story to unfold. It is the reality that has never gone unseen or unheard, yet it still remains a story untold. These were the words that seemed too hard to sink in, too unreal to have been spoken by someone about a person whom they would have loved the most. These were the words spoken by a daughter about her father. This justly mirrors the extent of trauma that the daughter and her mother may have faced. I christen it as the worst compliment a father could ever have from his daughter. These were the words that had the ability to strike any human heart.

“You are such a man who upon seeing his wife being burnt alive by his parents, would say that they are just trying to test the quality of the kerosene and have nothing against her.”

She is the daughter and He is the father whom I thought I have known well. Now, I realize that what we see is not what it is. It is something that has not gone unseen or unheard. Still it is a story untold.

Such is the plight of domestic violence in our country. Why is it so that only Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a few others have high rates of domestic violence? Is there no stoppage to this? India is on the brink of becoming a well-developed nation, but the mind-set of people is not getting any closer to being consummate- in their thoughts, their acts; in almost everything.

Can’t there be an India with better people living in it? We always talk about the progress of our country, the good and bad about her, the system that prevails in her. It’s high time we started talking about her people’s progress- the good and bad about us, the innumerable ways in which we can make ourselves better for us and also for those who live with us. Let’s live life in a better way.

I am not sure I wanted it to end this way, but I hope to have carried it over in the right way.

February 27, 2006

New poll space

There is a new space added to my blog- the Mini Poll box. I thought of doing some online research about the likes and dislikes of people. There will be a new poll every time the old one ends. You can choose your option with one of the radio buttons and vote. It's that easy. The statistics of the ongoing poll will be displayed to the public instantly. So, vote in your responses and know where you stand amongst other voters. The poll box is placed in the side bar on to the right of this page.

Scroll down and vote now!

February 22, 2006

Satellite images

Regardless of the Mithila controversy, I am posting a link to the satellite images of the Palk Strait bridge between India and Sri Lanka. The images are very specific and make the details quite apparent to the viewer. The images can be viewed at the following link.

Images courtesy:

February 16, 2006

Flattered this time

It usually doesn't bother me when someone tries to flatter me, but today I felt happy on receiving a compliment from a girl whom I know well. Moreover, I don't mind being flattered once in a while. It so happened that I was singing a song at the top of my voice to clear and tone up my vocal cords which otherwise were not being used regularly for singing. She heard me sing and waited for me to finish the song before saying anything. After I finished my song, she said that she wished she had my voice. She said,"Will you give me your voice? If only I could take it ...."

We may not take every compliment seriously or flattering enough. This one, indeed, has shown its effect on me. This again rang the same question in my mind that had been ringing persistently throughout my life, but now pointing towards me. 'Why do people waste talent when they have enough of it?'

February 15, 2006

Bondage to Freedom- I

From today onwards, I will be writing bits and pieces on the life of Indians during the pre-independence days and their struggle against the British for freedom. The piece that I am writing below is the result of my attempts at drawing my grandmother out on her experience of the British rule and the lives they were compelled to live. I am also planning to do some research on this by seeking help from people who had braved all that misery and are still alive.

My grandmother was a child at that time. She was hardly eleven years old when India became independent in 1947. So, I am trying to put in all that she could remember.

1942: My grandmother and her parents used to live in Ramachandrapuram, a remote village situated near Kakinada, now in Andhra Pradesh. (Note: There were no states formed during those days). The then prominent freedom activist, Durgabhai (Deshmukh) also hailed from the same place. It was the time when the world war was at its peak. The British took away all the young Indian males with them in order to increase their man-power at war against other countries. Many petrol tankers used to be secured near the beach at Kakinada. At the time of war, one of the rival countries (my grandmother thinks it was Japan. I myself am not sure about it, but I will somehow try to find it) started to drop bombs on the tankers to increase the level of destruction. The natives of Kakinada and the nearby villages emptied the tankers as a precautionary attempt.

1943 and later
: The Quit India Movement was getting into its full course all over the country. The Dandi March strike was taking place actively at the Kakinada beach apart from other places. Indians, no matter how educated, were never employed for anything more than a clerical job. My grandfather also worked as a clerk under some British employer in 1946. People were not allowed to light bright lamps at nights so as to not alert the rival jet fighters about occupied lands on the ground. My grandmother told me that she spent most of the nights in the first eleven years of her life in almost complete darkness. There was electricity in almost no Indian house apart for some rich ones. (Unfortunately, this is the plight in most of the Indian villages even today). When bombings became frequent, people used to hide, at nights, in the tunnels they would dig for protecting themselves. Women were sent over to safer places and men remained back unable to leave their livelihood. Many people living in those parts migrated to Gorripudi, a small village situated between Ramachandrapuram and Kakinada. One more interesting fact to be noted here is that the British rule was confined to mostly the parts of India other than the Southern region. The Telangana and other regions used to be under the Nizam rule.

The fight against the Moughal rule started becoming fierce under the leadership of the Rajaakaaras (Muslim radical group). The Rajaakaaras abducted Hindu women and killed them. The Moughal rulers could not withstand such resistance from them anymore. Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel came to the rescue of the Moughals. He brought in the military forces to suppress the Rajaakaaras. The Nizams later repudiated their power and it was concerted to give Hyderabad then called Bhagyanagaram, named after Hyder Ali’s lover, Bhaagmati to Telangana. Later, after many contentions, Madras was given to TamilNadu, which used to be in Andhra Pradesh earlier.

February 12, 2006

Music and Soul

That is how I talk of them. Good music always touches the soul. It will take you to salvation, if any. This is the way I have been spending the past few hours. Music. Listening to soulful carnatic music. Blessed be the fellow blogger who directed me to a good music site online. It's . It provides a wide range of music from classical-Carnatic and Hindustani, to regional film songs. Though, I am happy listening to only Carnatic classical music. It has got great collection of some rare artists from the past and also each song sung by different artists in different raagas, especially the Krishna nee begane baaro one. Who said music has no bounds? long live thee!

New contributor

This blog will have a new contributor from now on. Kadambini. She resides in Hyderabad and is pursuing her graduation there. She too is a singer and has good music sense. I won’t tell anything more about her since she herself didn’t want to create any personal profile of hers. So that is it about her for now until she comes up with her own profile.

February 10, 2006

Lyrics from Swades

I like this song, for not only its lyrics but also its composition.

ये जो देस है तेरा,

स्वदेस है तेरा

तुझे है पुकारा,

ये वो बंधन है जो कभी टूट नहीं सक्ता

मिट्टी की है जो खुश.बू,

तू कैसे भुलायेगा

तू चाहे बह जाये,

तू लौट के आयेगा

नई नई राहों मॆं,

दबी दबी आहों मॆं

खोये खोये दिल से तेरे,

कोई ये कहेगा

ये जो देस है तेरा...

तुझ्से ज़िंदगी है ये केह रही,

सब तो पालिया अब है क्या कमी

युं तो सारे सुख हैं बर्से,

पर दूर तू है अप्ने घर से

आ लौट चल तू अब दीवाने,

चल कोई तो तुझे अप्ना माने

आवाज़ दे तुझे बुलाने वोहि देस

ये जो देस है तेरा...

ये पल है वहिं,

जिस्में है छिपी

पूरी एक सदी, सारी ज़िंदगी

तू ना पूछ रास्ते में काहे

आयें है इस तरह दो राहें

तू ही तो है राह जो सुझाये

तू ही तो है जो अब ये बताये

जाये तो किस दिशा में जाये वही देस

ये जो देस है तेरा...

February 09, 2006

GDP bosie!

The business bigwigs have challenged the government estimates on the GDP of India for the current fiscal. This is what they have got to say.

February 04, 2006

New blood!

The Indian politics is now gushing new stream of young blood. Five ex-IITans have floated a political party Paritana last month. Two of the party heads, the president and the national vice-president returned to India from the US in the wake of doing something for their soil. All the five of them participated in many social activities before venturing into active politics. Their philosophy is very clear- to remove distress from the country.

This is a new wave of hope. Let this become the intitial step taken toward making the young blood foray into the Indian politics.

You can check out their website, which is still under construction.

January 28, 2006

Rang De Basanti

I watched Rang De Basanti yesterday. I had very high expectations about the film. I won't say it is bad or boring but still I felt that something was missing somewhere. I don't know exactly what. The concept was good and it's very close to my heart because I have always wanted the Indian youth to be more sensible and responsible toward the country, to make India a better place to live in. And, I truly stand by the route that the five of them choose to root out corruption and insincerity from the country. If nothing helps, choose the worst case to dig through the dirt. But, of course, such a solution is just temporary and sounds impractical.

January 11, 2006

Peace fetches a prize!

One of my cousin's friend, who is in her fourth standard, came home this morning. She told us that there is a drawing competition to be held next week at her school as part of the Sankranti (Pongal) celebrations. She tried to gather as much information as she could from all of us regarding the topic for the same. There were four options- village scenery, unity and peace, city life and something else, which I don't remember. The unanimous vote went to the 'unity and peace' topic because everyone felt that this topic alone could fetch her the first prize. Even I felt so. I told her that I won the first prize in my pre-high school days for choosing the same topic. Also, I gave her the most common and the easiest idea- A Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian and a Sikh holding hands together and an Indian flag behind them, flying high in the background. I was sure that this can definitely fetch her a prize because I got one for the same.

But, I sincerely hope such feelings don't remain just to be seen or to be read in papers. Let's keep these alive amongst ourselves. Let us don't margin ourselves as you and me, as Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc., as people of one state or region, as rich and poor. Let's be just what we are- Indians.