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A smile

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

It was 8:00 in the morning and the weather was great. It had rained the night before and it was pleasantly cold. One could just stay there and watch water droplets dripping from the houses and the trees. However, he had no time to stand and stare, he was getting late and he had to hurry. As he walked through the door and rushed in, he saw her for the first time. His heart skipped a beat, she looked so beautiful sitting there smiling to herself. She was sitting alone and the seat across her was empty, but he was too shy to sit there, so he went elsewhere. However, he chose a place from where he could see her. He just could not keep his eyes off her but he was too shy to stare so he would steal a few glances now and then. She saw him looking at her, he just looked away and so did she. After a while, she left. He had a fleeting thought of following her but that would be cheap, so he stayed there. ‘Would I see her again, maybe if she comes every day at this time and I get late tomorrow too’ he thought.

He was late the next day too, but this time it was intentional. He hoped he would see her today and he was not disappointed. The seats around her were occupied though. Too bad, he thought, he had planned on sitting near her if he found her. To add to his misery, there was no seat to sit, so he had to stand and stare. Stared would not be an appropriate word here, because he could never look at any girl without feeling a kind of guilt about that and he would lower his eyes if any girl were to look at him. That day, she saw him looking at her, he saw a slight frown on her face. He felt hurt; she did not like him staring at her like that, he felt. He avoided looking at her again, but then could not help himself looking at her as she was leaving. Do you have to leave, he wished to ask. She went away without him getting any chance to talk to her. Later that day, he got his timings changed by his supervisor. His supervisor was surprised at his strange request, a shift in working hours by 15 minutes … no one had ever asked that before and it was strange coming from a habitual latecomer, but he did not deny the request. And so it continued, she came at the same time every day and now he too did. He would make plans on starting some conversation with her but could never gather the courage to even go and sit next to her. He was sure that she had noticed him now, she would not frown now when she saw him looking and he felt he saw her smile a few times but he could not be sure if it was meant for him.

Things were moving like this for a few days before fate decided to intervene and move things a bit. The alarm whose failing to ring was always a ready excuse for getting late actually did what it was many times wrongly accused of doing. As he woke up and he saw the time, he knew he had to rush. Breakfast could happen later, but he had to take a bath. She would not stand a stinking man , he felt especially when she took great care to be so neat and clean. In spite of his best efforts to be quick, something or the other would go wrong. Everything seemed to be out of place, the toothbrush, the towel, the soap …, all of these were cursed fervently along with the vengeful alarm as he got ready to leave.  He had to run and he sprinted hard. He did not want to miss seeing her. He was panting when he got in but could not help smiling and he saw her smiling too and when she looked at him he knew that smile was meant for him.

Categories: Uncategorized

A discussion on utility/futility of discussions

August 4, 2010 2 comments

This is a continuation of my old post here.  I started that post as a discussion between an alien from an advanced civilization and a human. This post finds them discussing about the importance of dialogue to resolve conflicts.

Human (H): “Do you believe that issues can be resolved through dialogue? I feel that most dialogues end up badly because people are not willing to listen, they just wish to be heard.”

Alien Creature (C): “That is true about almost all discussions that happen between people. Dialogue between people alone can never solve problems, there will be ego clashes.

H: “So are dialogues between conflicting parties futile?”

C: “Most of the time.”

H: “Even in an advanced civilization like yours does a person’s ego dominate his reason.”

C: “No matter how advanced a civilization is, its people will always give more importance to their ego than the other person’s opinion. Ego is a person’s sense of who he is and in an argument if his ego is threatened he will defend it in whatever way he feels best. At times he will go against the general notion of reason too.”

H: “Oh then there seems no way that conflict can be resolved through dialogue.”

C: “No conflicts can be resolved through dialogue but it has to go beyond the arguments between the conflicting parties.”

H: “What else do you require to resolve a conflict?”

C: “The dialogue has to carried into the conflicting parties. In a conflict, if you have to see reason then you need to argue with your own self not with others. There is a process where you argue with yourself, question what is right and what is wrong. Here your ego does not rebel without reason but is actively involved in resolving the conflict through reason.”

H: “But for that to happen, you need to see both sides of the argument. That will not happen unless you put yourself in your opponents place and see things from his perspective.”

C: “Yes, in our culture we do argue among ourselves and defend our arguments very aggressively. However, we spend a larger amount of time in contemplation where we look at the evidence and look at it without any bias and make our conclusions. We have very few conflicts there on my planet.”

H: “But you do have conflicts.”

C: “We have our flaws, perfection is only an illusion.”

H: “Hmm, so what are you arguing about in your mind. I feel that you are distracted by something.”

C: “Human, I have had a pleasant time talking to you. I am feeling hungry now. Though it is painful to tell you this …”

H: “It is alright, I think it is late for me too, I will leave too. Where is your planet? How will you go there?”

C: “Human, I do not think you get my point. I am sorry to say this, but I have been talking to my lunch all this time. It feel sorry for you, but what can I do, I have to feed myself.”

H: “Ha Ha. I know you do not mean to eat me, I thought philosophers had no sense of humour. You do have it, a crooked one though.”

C: “Human, there is no humour in this, I never joke. Sorry again.”

It was too late for him to run now. He could now feel the alien’s tentacles around his body now, it had grasped him wherever it could. He could feel tentacles all over his body. He wanted to break free now and with a very strong effort he pushed the alien away from him.

“What are you doing, you fool, pushing me like that. Stop blabbering and get up, it is 8:50.”

“Oh Thank God, it is you. I thought you were an alien.”

“Alien! Is that a joke of some kind?.”

It was such a relief for him to know that he was alive and not eaten up by an alien, but then the dream felt so real. He used to wonder what would he do if he actually met an alien, he now felt that the best thing to do was to follow Mom’s advice given long back when he was a kid — ‘Never talk to strangers.’

Categories: Uncategorized

Back to old ways

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Watched the Indian cricket team lose to Sri Lanka today. Our cricket team seems to be back to its old ways.
No matter how easy it seems to win a game, our team finds a way to lose it. We were never the best team in the world, but a few years back were closest to being the best. But things took an ugly turn from then, From making a record number of consecutive run chases our team has now started making a mess of what would have been easy-to-win games. Some of the stars in our team are seen more in advertisements than on the cricket field and might not be seen in the world cup. From the games that India played, the difference in fielding standards are pretty evident. Compared to Maharoof who took a stunning catch to win the match for SL today, we have Munaf Patel, it would be a wonder if he could field the ball in his first attempt. Our best fielders are bad batsmen, the better batsmen are bad fielders. the next great Indian allrounder is out of form and the batsman who could smash bowlers at will is being tormented by them.

The prospects of the Indian cricket team looks gloomy. No things are not as bad as they seem. Let us all sing ‘ooh haa India, aaya India’ and send 100 SMSes to the team to increase its confidence. Let us buy bikes, eat wafers which will win us a ticket to the world cup, where we will boost the morale of our players. And if nothing works, let us all pray so that our team comes back in form.

P.S. The people in Kolkata who did yagna for Ganguly’s return seem to have done the yagna in the correct manner, if they could repeat the same for changing India’s fortune in the world cup …

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The art of film-making

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I have been too sarcastic these days, I complain a lot about the system. But lately the “Rang De Basanti” effect crept into me … Now I want to join the system instead of criticizing it.
Politics was never my cup of tea, I think I will go to Bollywood and make our movies better than the kind of crap that they are (oops … sorry no complaints from now on).
You might wonder how I can go into Bollywood just like that, you need contacts for that, but you forget my dear friend Mugambo. He has been working in the movies, he will give me a break. I have a story which I wish to be made into a film. I went to Mugambo and together we discussed the script. Our discussion has been mentioned here for the benefit of people new to the field of script-writing.

Mbo : So whats the story?
me : This is going to be the sequel to the English movie Speed.
Mbo : The one with Keanu Reeves right?
me : I do not know, they all look same to me, but how do you know so much about English movies.
Mbo : I know about movies in all languages … English, Hindi, Chinese …professional requirements.
me : Whatever. Anyway, you see, our hero is a doodhwala by name Rahul whose competitor Kallu is very jealous of him. He has placed a bomb in his box which will explode if he drives his cycle at a speed less than hmmm…
Mbo : 80 km/hr
me : WHAT!
Mbo : Come on our hero can bash up 10 people at a time, he should definetely be able to ride at 80kmph.
me : but … but …Ok can we make it 40kmph.
Mbo : Ok
me : And …
Mbo : Let me continue. I can cook up a better script than you.
me : But …
Mbo : No arguments, you want your movie made, don’t you ?
me : k you continue, but you are giving me credit for my story.
Mbo : When have I ever copied your idea. Anyway you see as Rahul is driving his cycle, he gets a call from Kallu on his cellphone. Kallu tells Rahul about the bomb in his box. The camera now zooms into the troubled face of Rahul. Rahul now speeds up to 40 kmph.
me : but …
Mbo : Do not interrupt me. I think we need a good heroine too. We will have her dropped from a plane and Rahul, the good man that he is, speeds up to catch the heroine.
me : He is already travelling at 40kmph.
Mbo : So what. He is not travelling at the speed of light. Is he? Now Rahul looks into the eyes into Sonia (our heroine) and they both fall in love. Rahul does not know that Sonia is the daughter of Mr Bajaj who owns his dairy. True love never sees boundaries of wealth, age etc. Love is Blind you know.
me : Yes.
Mbo : And we will have … you know … “those” kind of scenes on the cycle .
me : Hey, why do you need that ?
Mbo : We need to be different … No … whats the word … We need to be … yes bold. we need to be bold these days to make a good movie.
me : I think we will have to keep it, who will watch the movie otherwise.
Mbo : Good, you are learning fast.

Hey, do you you think that I am so stupid so as to put my brilliant script (with a little input from Mbo) on my blog for you to copy. I will not tell you any further details, but I can tell you that our script has 20% action 20% romance, 20% family drama, a hip-hop title song, its remixed version, a sad version of the same song and 3 other songs. The title of the film : Hmm it will be called : “Kycle Ki Kahani — A true love story.”

We had to decide now about the cast. As for the cycle, we decided to use the old cycle of Mugambo. The further discussion on the casting between me and Mugambo has been put below. (I know you are bored now and want to stop, but now that you have come till here, you might as well finish it.)

me : Who is going to play the role of Rahul.
Mbo : Who else … but me. All the ladies and the kids smile at me. The kids also lovingly call me superman.
me : Let me correct you, nobody smiles at you, they laugh at you and the kids call you superman not out of love but because you wear your underwear over your pants. You are …
Mbo : Stop. I got the point, we will take someone else. How about this Imran guy who bowls maiden overs.
me : You mean Imran Khan, but why him ?
Mbo : No, I mean the one who plays the serial kisser.
me : Oh, so who is this chap who bowls maidens over.
Mbo : Look there, he is on TV.
me : Hmmm … Can we not take the Hruday Khopda guy.
Mbo : Good idea. I think he will be better. (I meant that to be sarcastic, but you can see acting in Bollywood movies has had its effect on Mbo)
me : Ok, Now who is going to do the playback singing.
Mbo : Come with me, I have already taken an appointment with Him.
me : Who ?
Mbo : Come along.

(We rode on Dhanno (Mbo’s cycle) and went to this creepy place. I am sure I heard a wolf howling(or perhaps a werewolf), but then I saw this chap with a cap supposedly singing. I was relieved, this one couldnot be a werewolf, come on who has seen a werewolf who wears a cap.)

me : Is this Him?
Mbo : Yes
me : why Him?
Mbo : He sings at wholesale rates, I think, since every one seems to be queuing for him. He is the only one whom we can afford and then we get a music composer for free.
me : Oh and what about that other chap with the cap turned the other way, what is he doing.
Mbo : He is singing. He is the rap artist, he sings for a few seconds in every song.
me : He is horrible and it is all gibberish that he sings.
Mbo : Yeah I know, but he is the son of the financier of our film, we will have to do with him.
me : Hmmm I think there are a lot of things which we have to do with and I thought filmmaking was easy.

I realised the kind of things that people have to face to make a movie, from now onwards I am not making fun of these film people.

This post is my tribute to all the great movie makers of our era, when we grow old and we look back at these movies, I am sure we are all going to feel proud and wonder what made these people the genius that they are. BTW Kcubed (Kycle ki kahani — a true love story) will be releasing shortly at a theater near you. You do not want to miss it, do you?

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Om Ganeshay Namah

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment
The lord Ganesha

The lord Ganesha

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Potholes acchhe hain

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

The chief minister has a dream, he wants to convert Mumbai into Shanghai, a few years back, if I remember correctly, people had dreamt of Mumbai being like Singapore. Some people do not really want Mumbai to be Mumbai, I have a different opinion, I do not want to change Mumbai into some first world super city.

Talking of changes, if you were to ask people about the first thing that they would like to change, a common answer would be the roads. People crib about the roads too often and I do not understand how they could not learn to live with them after having spent years traveling on the same roads. The potholes on the roads make a good topic for some administration-bashing discussion. But I will look at them from a different perspective, I will try to list out a few ideas that will make the potholes bearable and maybe also make you look forward to seeing them on the roads (not that you can avoid seeing them).

The first good thing is the sheer number and size of these potholes, our city can really make it to the record books with a little more effort from the civic authorities. Imagine it being mentioned in the trivia section and being asked in general knowledge quizzes all over the world. Also we should have geologists studying the unique patterns of these potholes, it might give them insights into tar-road erosion due to rain water. I always read about coastal areas being a hub of fishing activities, I have not seen much of that here even when the city is on the coast. We can encourage fishing activities and guess what the potholes can be used for fish-breeding in the rains when the seas become rough and the roads are tough to travel upon.

I think that we are obsessed with building statues of great people, naming roads after them etc. We can give the potholes an identity by naming them after some of our great leaders. And there are enough potholes to name all of our great leaders and a few more not-so-great people too. Statues require space, potholes exist everywhere, so we will solve two issues (one of the lack of space to build statues and monuments and second of making people aware of the great and the not-so-great people in this country) by one solution.

I know most people will not take this seriously, hence I suggest an Ad. to make people aware about how productive potholes can be. This is on the lines of the ‘Surf excel daag acche hai’ Ad. (Before you say plagiarism, I would say that it is just an inspiration and anyway I never claimed about being original)

It goes something like this : A two year old baby (we call her by the name princess) and her mother is walking on the road, the mother is now talking to another lady. Princess slips away and falls into a pothole filled with water. She is struggling to get out, but can not, her mother starts asking for help. And … a miracle … Princess learns to swim. (Background : Potholes acchee hai) Text message after Ad : Issued to create awareness about utility of potholes — Pothole Development Authority. Idea courtesy : Mugambo
Me : Mugambo, tu abhi bhi zinda hai and BTW that was my idea.
Mugambo : I would say that it is just an inspiration and anyway I never claimed about being original.
Me : @#$#^*

PS : This post was meant to be titled ‘Mugambo returns’, however that would kill the suspense part in the blog, hence the not-so-good title on potholes.

Categories: Uncategorized

History

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Just imagine if Hitler had won WW2. We would have perhaps hailed him as a hero, the Jews would have been perceived as a demonic race and we would be grateful to the Nazis for the elimination of this plague (as Hitler would have wanted people to believe). But it did not happen and the allies won and countries like ours got freedom as a consequence of the world war. We are made to believe that our freedom struggle was mostly nonviolent and when the British left, they left as friends (and we at that time did not need enemies when we had friends like them). When they left India, India was 550 princely states and was no longer fruitful to the British empire and there was the partition which happened subsequently. I think that the British colonists were perhaps as cruel as the Nazis, it is just that they won and they wrote history the way they wanted it to be read and painted themselves as heroes.

To put it in Sir Winston Churchill’s words “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”, and it is.

Maybe we should take history (as we are told) with a pinch of salt and reserve our judgement till we ourselves are witness to it.

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