Friday, April 12, 2013

What do I Desire?

I haven't written anything in a long time; at least not anything worth mentioning. After all, over the last couple of years, my written communication has almost exclusively been limited to emails, design documents and performance reviews. Mundane stuff; but stuff that pays the bills.

And then, after an unusually bad day at office, I came across this video. It really is a must-watch. Some claim that it'll forever change your life. While I tend to be a bit pessimistic about such claims, it did get me to write this.

How simple life would have been had we not thought about money and just followed our hearts' desires? Now, while I do end up thinking of such things off and on - particularly after days when I question the meaning and purpose of it all, deep within, I know that it's highly unlikely that I'll ever give all this up and just leave. Travelling around the world, reading, volunteering, meeting new folks sounds romantic but unfortunately it still doesn't pay for health insurance.

I sometimes wonder of what will be the trigger that will finally allow me to leave; or in an interesting turn of events force me to leave! There's a part of me that's scared of that scenario and but  there's another small part that yearns for it. Till they fight it out, I'm happy with what I can get -  writing this piece after all that time, does feel good!

To all those who end up reading this, if you take the plunge, do let me know! Who knows, maybe that's the trigger that'll do the trick!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Muse

You are a contradiction, girl!
A paradox,
An irony,
A bitter sweet symphony!

Monday, April 04, 2011

World Champions!

What a weekend that was - India winning the World Cup; witnessing the same with some of your closest friends; celebrating like mad on the streets in the middle of the night; having an unfortunate incident transforming what would have been a good dinner into a memorable dinner that never was; and if that wasn't enough, add the usual tomfoolery that happens when close friends meet and record those moments in HD ;) The match! What can I say about it that hasn't already been said. It was supposed to be a magnum opus - a final showdown between the world's greatest batsman and the best off-spinner to ever play the game. Instead, it ended being a coming of age moment for the next generation of the Indian cricket and the battle scarred class of 2003 alike.

Despite the beating he took at the hands of a sublime Jayawardhande towards the end of the innings, Zaheer should be re-christened Saint Zak. His opening spell was serenity, calmness, control epitomized. Unlike his oepning burst in 2003 where he let the occassion get the better of him, this time it was he who conquered his nerves. His reaction after dismissing Tharanga just said it all. He knew what he had to do, and more importantly, how to do it.
The way the Indians fielded and the way Gambhir and Dhoni batted, it was obvious that they were here to win. They were ready to put everything on the line - their bodies, their reputation, they would have probably traded their souls with the devil, to win the cup for a man who in Virat Kohli's words had carried the burden of the entire nation for 21 years. When the win came, it was as if it had been so ordained - India's favourite son winning the World Cup on his home ground. The reactions after the win were cathartic - not only for the players but for an entire generation which had grown up hearing of the triumph of '83 - a generation that had cried with Kambli in '96 - a generation that had its heart broken in 2003.

What followed the win was one of those I was there moments. We headed to a popular night spot in Mumbai for a late night dinner. Instead of having dinner, we danced on the streets, shrieked with joy till our throats were sore, high-fived strangers. As we chanted Sachin Sachin and India India, we became part of something that would live forever. We saw foreigners with the tricolor painted on their cheeks joining in, absorbing everything in. To use a cliche, it was what dreams are made of... :)

p.s. Another post on all the tomfoolery of the weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just Another Monday

It's that time of the year again - the colour red is all around, love is in the air and messages about proclaiming eternal love abound. Wherever you go, you would be hounded by advertisers trying to make a quick buck in this season of love. If you happen to be single, God help you! Or not. Given the fact that I too don't have the special one to shower with gifts and express my undying and eternal love to, I decided not to wait for God and rather do something to help myself.

For starters, you need to convince yourself that there's nothing special about 14th February 2011 even though all that you read and watch are telling you otherwise. And it won't take a lot of convincing when you realize that it's not a special occassion rather just another Monday, with its accompanying Monday Blues. It's a day where after a fun filled/dreamy lazy weekend, depending upon your preference, you would head back to the drudgery of work - to the same old 9-6 routine. Bleary eyed, you would sit at your desk staring at your laptop, questioning the very purpose of your life on this earth while a bad instant coffee would go cold in a styrofoam cup. The day doesn't sound so special now, does it?

And well, you are not a cynic now, are you? So of course you'll make a concession to the spirit of the day. Go ahead and pamper yourself. Go for that new gizmo you have had your eyes on or for that matter go for that road trip you had been planning for so long. That's one benefit of not dating - you get to splurge on things that you like.

All said and done if you aren't narcissistic enough to shower only yourself with love, go hang out with your buddies. A night out on the town would be the perfect way to blow away those Monday Blues. Yes, come Tuesday, you might be even more hungover and bleary eyed, but then that's a small price to pay for the company of your buddies.

I was planinng to close this post at this note, when I became aware that the guy sitting next to me was worrying himself sick over what to gift his girlfriend. Thank your stars you don't have to suffer that ordeal at least 3 times a year - valentines, her b'day, your anniversary; and many more if your girl happened to be the one who keeps track of your first date, your first kiss, the first time you had uttered the magical three words that doomed you forever and what not! Thank God that you are not such a lucky guy; God bless you and your wallet otherwise!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The King Returns...

2011 - the Year of the King!
~ Arthur

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Home Advantage

One of the most intimidating places to play cricket is Eden Gardens. With a capacity of 100,000 it isn't easy for visiting teams to play as the home crowd often doubles up as the 12th man for the hosts. The idea behind IPL was to create city based loyalties akin to the English Premier League. And it has been successful to a great extent. In the first season, Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur felt more like a cauldron to the visitors as they wilted in face of a hostile crowd and some great performances by the Rajasthan Royals. The combination was so effective that the Royals went undefeated at home in their succesfull 2008 campaign. And that's why the idea of teams holding their matches at adopted venues in 2010 is so mind boggling. Sample this, defending champions Decaan Chargers were treating D.Y.Patil stadium in Navi mumbai as their home for the opening encounter of this season. That they had no home advantage was obvious as the crowd couldn't feel a connect with them the same way that the Hyderabad crowd would have.

A similar scenario took place in Ahmedabad last night. Royals having given up Fort Mansingh as their home, due to some changed political equations, just didn 't have the sort of support that they would have liked. In fact when Sehwag took the attack to the Royals, the crowd literally switched sides and began cheering for him rather than getting behind the Royals.Would this have been the case in say EPL? One can't imagine ManUtd supports ditching thir team and start cheering for Lampard.

The idea of rooting for one's home team has actually started to materialize. The way Bangalore crowd was chanting 'RCB... RCB...' was phenomenal. The decibel levels being generated were simply surreal. So was the crowd support that one got to witness for the Mumbai Indians. Perhaps the IPL organizers, in their bid to massage some egos or to accommodate changed political realities, have missed a trick to firmly entrench the teams in the fans' hearts and ensure their loyalty towards their city teams. Let's hope IPL 4 recognizes the need of playing the home matches at one's own home and we don't have to worry about figuring out who the home team is in a fixture at Nagpur!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reservation Road

It has been 12 years since Sonia Gandhi took over an ailing Congress. And what a turn around she has scripted in these 12 years. A decade is a long time no matter which way you see it. It is even longer in the political space where equations change too often. As she moves into her 13th year at the helm of Congress, she has geared up to push through another landmark judgement; the Women's Reservation Bill. It has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha and could be presented in the Lok Sabha any day now. The question as to whether we really need this reservation is something that should have been debated a lot more than the structure and provisions of the bill itself. However seeing as that point is out of scope of the political debate, I too would focus on an issue that's being raised by a number of leaders, namely reservation within reservation.

To assume that women from all strata of the society are on the same level would be a mistake. However to provide for a quota within a quota for women of these categories would be an even bigger mistake. Whose fault is it after all that the women from these communities are still socially backward, that their rights are still repressed? Is it not a creation of society itself? Or to be more precise, aren't the very men who are demanding this quota responsible for the current state of affairs?

Their demand does not emanate out of any concern for the women belonging to the supposedly backward communities. It is another ploy to deepen the already existing communal fault lines in the country. A female friend of mine recently spoke out against the institution of marriage. In particular her ire was directed against marriage as institutionalised in her religion; a religion whose women would be allegedy at a disadvantage following the Reservation Bill. Her piece was nothing if not an indictment of the men who have been running things in our country for a long time. What has been happening to these women is wrong, but providing for a quota withing the quota would be wrong too. And two wrongs don't make a right.

We are already suffering from the effects of reservation. Growing up, I wasn't aware of any distinction of caste of religion. Yet as I matured, I realized that we had been taken for a ride. The various reservations had failed to have the desired impact. The benefits didn't really reach to those who needed them the most. What it in fact had succeeded in doing was denying me and millions others like me our right; the right that emanated from meritocracy. Today, when we look at people who have taken adantage of the various reservations, we can not treat them as equal. It's not that we don't want to. It's just that the fact that resrevation has played a role in someone's accomplishments leads to a tinge of doubt and anger in our minds. While the women's reservation bill may be needed,and it is debatable min you, creating quotas within it would ensure that another generation or two would be destined to grow up feeling cheated and wronged. Do we really want that?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

It's raining colours!!!

Dear Facebook users,

Most, if not all, of you would have been puzzled to see a 'colourful' facebook over the last couple of days as many in our friend lists decided to put a colour as their status message. It was cryptic to say the least. Why would a seemingly sane person put a colour as his/her status message? And even if one would decide to do it, how come so many of them decided to flaunt their favorite colour all of a sudden? And then, suddenly I observed a pattern. All those who had these colourful statuses were members of the fairer sex! There's definitely something going on here, I thought. The suspense was added to by the knowing comments that were being made on these statuses.

And so there I was, googling away to glory, till I discovered what the fuss was all about. And to say that I was surprised would be an understatement. Here was a group of women showcasing their support for a worthy cause in a unique fashion! I could not help but wonder as to how far we have come from the days, when these same women were not even allowed to show their face in public, let alone put up their bra color as their facebook status. It is a telling statement of the freedom that exists in our society. And for a change, the self-proclaimed custodians of morality haven't raised a ruckus over the issue; probably because their breed ain't well acquainted with facebook and more so because of the mystery around the movement.

As women all over facebook showcase their support and celebrate their femininity, we can just step back and soak in all the colors!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm at it again. Those of you who still check to see if I have come up with some crap again would have been disappointed over the last few months. So this post is to all (if any) of those, who still visit this forgotten(yeah even i had forgotten it exists!) page.

I won't make any excuses for not writing. It's not that I don't like to write. Believe me, I do. I admit I am no natural like some of my friends, but I can string a few words together which sometimes actually make sense. And it's not like that I haven't had anything to write about. In fact there's been a plenty of stuff. A new city, new friends and of course the first job. With all this come new adventures. Add to that family functions, which seem to be the flavour of the season, I have had enough on my palette. In fact if you need any convincing, all you need to do is to have a look at my itinerary beginning last week November: Mumbai, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Jaipur!

But right now I am not going to write about any of these. I am living a very satisfying life, trying to maintain a balance between work, pleasure and working for social causes. Amongst all this, I have somehow not been able to process the state of things as they stand around me. Let's look at it this way. Congress-NCP have been just voted back to power for the 3rd straight time. And just a day after the first news story i read in the morning reeks of government apathy. As two departments were busy playing turf wars and writing each other letters for the past 2years, a highly avoidable mishap claimed the lives of 2 and injured 11 others.

The rule of majority that our forefathers had envisioned has clearly failed. There are candidates in the newly elected Maharashtra Assembly who polled as few as 11% of the votes in their constituency. Couple this with the abysmal record of governance over the last 10 years and I am forced to wonder as to where are we headed? From where I see it, the pathetic rule is going to continue for the next 5 years. There will more accidents, possible even another 26/11. But nothing would really change, for in our country there is no way voters can call back the elected representatives.

A trend, that is disturbing to say the least, has emerged from these latest elections. It's the growth of MNS's influence. Shiv Sena had needed 6 years to get its first MLA. MNS has 12 after just 3 years of its inception. With Bal Thackeray's health declining steadily it would come as no surprise as MNS establishes a hold over the Marathi vote. Unless Uddhav improves dramatically, it seriously is a question of 'when' and not 'if'.

More than the apathy of the political class or for that matter the rise of another extremist outfit, it's the feeling of indifference that I sense in myself and indeed many like myself that discomforts me the most. Something would have to change. Otherwise all the promise of this century being India's century would remain just that; a dream. Gandhi had said, 'Be the change you want to see in the world'. I guess it's time we took notice.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The White Tiger

Ever so often comes a book that captures the soul of a civiliazation or that of a city. The romantic portrayal of Shantaram or the diversity captured by Suketu Mehta in Maximum City make you fall in love with Bombay. Nothing of that sorts is going to happen on reading The White Tiger. Romanitc is an adjective that would perhaps never be associated with it and by no stretch of imagination has Aravind Adiga captured the diversity of India. He has generalized more often than not and divided India into two: the 'Light' and the 'Darkness', a dichotomy that has often been associated with India.

I can relate to many who have raised their eyebrows on The White Tiger winning the Booker. I can see where they are coming from. For the grim portrayal of the hinterland that Adiga paints is not in the least bit remarkable for them. It's all too routine. It's the kind of news that dominates the local newspapers of a region, news about the hinterland that when presented to us in a book fails to excite us. And this is what perhaps won the Booker for Adiga: an almost brutal view of India's interior and, I daresay, reality.

While I do not completely agree with his dichotomy, it is something that has more than an element of truth about it. The condition in the states of Bihar, U.P., Jahrkhand etc, the 'Darkness' as Adiga puts it is not much different from what he has described. Roll back the last few years of reforms and you may find the description to be eerily true. The rampant corruption, the absence of development, the oppression it's all in there. Adiga has succeeded in bringing out the worst in his characters.

The lack of diversity in the book is one thing that stands out and that is perhaps due to the choice of the protagonist. I am not quite sure if the protagonist would have been able to comprehend India's diversity and since the book is written from hsi point of view the lack of diversity might be excused. And yes Adiga has generalized. But if the generalizations happen to be overwhelmingly true, is it such a big issue?