Thursday, October 05, 2006

Arundhati Roy makes a case for Afzal...

Ofcourse Ms. Roy, your heart beats for the poor terrorist. After all the Union of India has not been able to prove his guilt with conclusive evidence. It doesnt matter that people laid down their lives as a consequence of his action, it doesnt matter that our soldiers fight on a valiant battle so that you can sleep in peace. Tell us Ms. Roy, other than that Booker of yours, have you done anything which has wiped a widow's tear or brought the smile on the face of an orphan?

Ms. Roy, you were not abroad IC 814. Ms. Roy, remember Rupin Katyal? They are the nameless people who have lost their lives because of people like you Ms. Roy. You come out on the streets demanding Human Rights for these terrorists. But, ofcourse; a Rupin Katyal, newly married, going back from his honeymoon has no Human Rights, our army men on the freezing mountain tops have no Human Rights, the 7/11 blast victims did not have Human Rights, a Priyadarshini Matoo has no Human Rights.

All animals are equal, some are more equal than the others.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

dhaak......


I had started writing this post way back during Pujo last year. Never got around to publish it. Posting it as it is. Also there is a new video here. Dhaak....created by Rajesh Chakraborty, this does capture the essence that is Pujo. Aasche bochor aabar hobe, maa aabar aasbe....
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This is post long overdue. A lot has changed since my last proper post. My last day at Syntel was aeons back. In between I spent the months coming to terms with XL. In the blink the first Sem flew and here I am in the second Semester. But that is not the subject of this post. As the title suggests, this post is about the humble dhak.

"Dhaak", an image associated with Durga Poojo, "Dhaak", as can be described to a non bengalee, is a huge barrel-shaped drum, one end of which is decorated with feathers and on the other end the dhaaki, or the maestro; whose unsurpassed virtuosity finds expression in the frenzied pounding which invokes an almost hypnotic rapture.

In every Bangalee home, come autumn and young and old alike eagerly wait for the sound of dhaak. The first sounds, or as we say it dhakee porlo kaathi, brings with it the unfettered emotions of another year past. A year with its joy and sorrows, a year with its pain and triumph, everything is merged together on the five days of Pujo. Pujo aasche. Words that inspire. Words that trigger the memories of home. Every Probashi Bangalee, whereever he may be looks forward to planning to go home during Pujo. Every Bangalee, tracks his year by the Pujo. It is an expression of everything that is beautiful about life. It is an expression of the creativity, the spontaneity, the jubilation, it is an expression of life. And in this dhaak plays an important role of heralding the autumnal festival. No Durga Pujo can be complete without the hypnotic rhythm of the dhaak.

According to the Bengalee calendar, the days for the Durga Puja are counted on the basis of the sunrise and sunset while the tithi depends on the rising and setting of the moon. The Sasthi, Saptami, Nabami, and Dashami pujas are performed after sunrise even if they fall on the previous evenings. The Goddess is worshipped as a kumari or young girl, and later reveals herself in her true form on Mahasaptami (the seventh day of the moon). On Mahashtami (eighth day) and Mahanavami (ninth day) the celebrations reach a feverish pitch. On Dashami (tenth day) the idol of Durga is immersed in water. She is usually accompanied by what Bangalees hold as her family - Ganesha and Kartikeya - who are her sons, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati, who are supposed to be her daughters. This is a tradition unique to Bengal. The reason for this is that Durga is believed to come to Bengal not as the Mother Goddess, but as a daughter visiting her parent's home along with her children. She is believed to have lived a difficult life all year long in the Himalayan snows, and therefore a great deal of fuss about her comfort is made when she comes for a visit. The immersion of the goddess into the Ganga, after the pujo is over, is seen as the dissolution into the Universe of the Mother. This ceremony recreates that divine act of transcendence, as well as delivering a valuable lesson on the impermanence of all things, no matter how beautiful and valued they may be.

video

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

.........to all the brave officers and men of the olive hued army, that proudly defends our Motherland, everytime.......to all those who marched out of their homes in the Summer of 99, heads held high....never to return.....to all those mothers who let their son walk into the battle....to the wives who till date remember her dearest.....to those who died and those who lived....those who captured hill after hill after hill.....to those who were captured and I pray you return......on the 26th of July.....I am proud to say that I am your insignificant countryman....for whos tomorrow you gave your today................

Friday, May 26, 2006

Last day at Syntel

Finally the day comes, when I shall send out a good bye mail. Really not sure about how this is going to go. It is always difficult leaving a place you have been associated with for long. A mixture of nostalgia, sadness, happiness at moving on; a varied mix of emotions.

More on this after I finish the process.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Me?? A Wizard???!! Joke....

My Inner Hero - Wizard!



I'm a Wizard!


There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.



How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bachelor house hunting...

Last two weeks were spent in house hunting. House hunting because, my great roomie rather dramatically decided to give notice to our house owner. And a house available in Mumbai goes off the market pretty soon. And that was the case with ours.

So we found ourselves, the trio plus DK who is going to take my place when I leave roaming on the streets of central suburb, looking for a house. From the swankiest apartment to the chawls, we saw them all. Befriended all the brokers and anyone who looked like a prospective house owner. I am happy to say we landed a small flat, at a very astronomical rate; that is beside the point, what I realized is that there is a difference between house hunting and bachelor house hunting.

House hunting is something, that I have seen my dad do. Usually within a week he would land a property worth shifting to or in the latest case worth buying. I in all my ignorance had never thought house hunting could be such a pain.

Case# 1

Flat on the 8th floor of the building. Newly built. No lifts. Note the point no lifts. The broker said the owner is expecting 4100/- pm and 8 months deposit. That's a fair enough bargain. We trooped in to see the house and speak to the owner. Seeing us, the rent goes up to 5100/- pm and the deposit is also hiked to 12 months. Now, that is illogical. We refused and walked off. Later we learn from the agent that the house owner did not want to let out to bachelors.

Case# 2

Flat on 1st floor of building. Excellent location. Initial rent 500/- Went up to 6000/-

After some more such incidences I came to the conclusion that people do not want to let out their flats to bachelors. Which brings us to a very important question, where all these uncles and society seniors born after their own wedding? They were never bachelors? Or, did they in the bachelor days do such things that they are afraid of bachelors in general?

Come on all you decision makers. We youngsters need a place to live. We have come from families similar to yours. We are also earning and/or studying. I am also some one's son. Maybe your son or daughter will move to a new city and they will have to face the same problem. Will you like it if they are refused accommodation in good societies and have to stay in not so great locales just because they are unmarried??

Hope better sense prevails.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Private Public Property

There is an unusual phenomenon I have noticed in India. Especially in the cities. There seems to be unusual amount of Private Public Property (PPP). This PPP can be anywhere and anything. The most common ones are the roads and the state transport buses and of course Indian Railways.

Just last evening, I had the experience of trespassing on one of these so called PPP. The trespass went like this. In Thane, where I stay, there new Eastern Express highway crosses over the railway lines on a swanky new bridge and this ends at a place called Teen Hath Naka. Now, since it is an express highway, there are no gaps in the Median in between and one has to go till the Naka if one wants to turn. There is an easier route, which is the service road next to the highway. Now, last week being Ambedkar Jayanti and all, this service road was completely taken over by members of a local club and they had put up pandal, yes pandals, also know as tents, that too in the middle of the road. If this was not enough, they had the nerve to question our driver, why he chose to come through that particular road leaving the express way. Hell, I chose which road I go through. After all roads are public property aren't they?

Roads are public property when it comes to throwing your garbage on it. People who go to great lengths to keep their homes spotless, will nevertheless nonchalantly spit on the road and walk on. And when it comes to digging up a perfectly well laid road, the aam junta are no better than the government bodies. Any occasion is an excuse enough to put up a pandal and that calls for digging up the road. You ask them and they say, 'chota sa gaddha to hai'. What we don't realise is that small pit in the road will grow to become a nightmarish pothole.

Speaking of PPP, have you ever noticed how certain people make the suburban trains their private property? Just recently one lady was pushed out from a running train in Mumbai, because she dared climb into a local which had not originated from her junction. How stupid can you get? You kill some one for that? I know no action will be taken. As usual, people will escape under the guise of the mob. And some one else will pay for life, with life.

Sometimes I really wonder, is this a relic of our colonial past. Saala, sarkarri hai. Aapna kya jaata hai? People expect that the government will provide good roads, clean drinking water, high speed rail network etc. etc. "It is our fundamental right", it is said. But what about duties. Do we only have rights and no duties? Is only the government which is responsible for creating a nation which reflects the prosperity that it actually has? Are we not the citizens of this nation, or are we citizens of only our homes? Maybe we are neither, but a bunch of selfish, narrow minded individuals, who think we are the best in the world.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What kind of seducer are you???

Your Seduction Style: Au Natural

You rank up there with your seduction skills, though you might not know it.
That's because you're a natural at seduction. You don't realize your power!
The root of your natural seduction power: your innocence and optimism.

You're the type of person who happily plays around and creates a unique little world.
Little do you know that your personal paradise is so appealing that it sucks people in.
You find joy in everything - so is it any surprise that people find joy in you?

You bring back the inner child in everyone you meet with your sincere and spontaneous ways.
Your childlike (but not childish) behavior also inspires others to care for you.
As a result, those who you befriend and date tend to be incredibly loyal to you.

Small thought.....

Just wanted to ask this.....

To all guys:

What would your reaction be, if after you marry, your wife insists on keeping her collection of barbie dolls and soft toys in the bedroom.

To all gals:

What would your reaction be if your husband wants to play hard rock and trance late into the night??

Just wondering what would my reaction be.....

Monday, April 17, 2006

When life hands you a lemon........

Over a period of time and after lots of deliberations I came up with a few fundas for my life. I don't know if I am right; I don't know if these would work for others.....but yes they have made my life beautiful....

1) Chance pe dance.....

Okay this sounds like it has been copied from some Bollywood movie (yes it has been)....but there is nothing like chance pe dance. Impress your boss/girlfriend/girlfriend's parents. Take the slightest opportunity that comes your way. Even if it means filing a rusty piece of metal. (I did that, ask Suchorita for details)

2) Enjoy maadi...

Enjoy maadi is pucca Bengaluru lingo.....but it sums up life's philosophy. Hell, who knows whether you will be around to survive another episode of the crash of the titans -a crash that Elwin had in the Church grounds and he survived to crash again in Surathkal with different results, that's beside the point- but yes, lived every minute and enjoyed it is my mantra.

Many a times we think that, after I do this I will enjoy. While in school, we think that we shall have a ball when in college. In college, when the wallet is filled with more paper than money, it is will freak out while working. Sadly work doesnot give you enough time to freak, so it is after marriage. Marriage comes with kids, and it goes on. The point is, the time is now. Every minute in this world is beautiful. Every minute a blessing. And every minute counts. Live for the moment is my philosophy.

3) Fall in love....

The best feeling you can get when you know some one some where is waiting for you and only you. Nothing beats the tiredness out of the system other than a smile from you sweetheart.

Talking about love, make sure you take a walk in the park in the rain and carry only one umbrella. Millions of people and hundreds of movies cant be wrong. It is great. Walk hand in hand in the park while it is raining heavily and not a soul is around.

4) Spend time with friends....

Take time out to talk to a friend. Just like the good ol days. If possible meet up for coffee and beer. Six figure salary will not help you when you are lonely. Friends will.

5) Walk around in any new city.....

More than exercise, it is a way of knowing a city initmately. Don't be a flying toiurist. That never helps. Try to absorb the city's sights and sounds. That makes the city. Not some building. Buildings are the bones. Try to reach the soul of the city you are in.

6) Try to stay in a hostel atleast once...

Hostel life seems scary when you are living at home. But try it. It builds you as a person. No work seems to be too difficult, no food too yucky, no clothes too dirty, no inscet too creepy. And at the end of your stay, you end up with a bunch of friends who are closer to you than any of your day scholar friends are.

7) Enjoy getting ragged and rag your juniors....

I know, I sound scandlous....but I learnt this. My first year of engineering was hell as far as I was concerned. I hated it. I din't rag my juniors. But moved on. When I joined my first job, I realised that here also there is ragging. Albeit in a different form. Ragging builds you character. You cope with life better.

8) Last but not least...'Life gives you a second chance'...it is true....you have to recognise the chance and leap for it. There is always a next time. Always.

At the end, remember, life is never fair or smooth. Life is a constant learning process. Life does hand you roses and lemons. When you get lemons, dont cry...make lemonade.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A (poor) man's guide to buying a ladies' sweater

No part of this blog is my own...I got this as a chain of forwards...loved it so much that thought it deserves a p[lace here
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Sharath, can you get a sweater for me when you come to India ?
Why ? Don’t you get sweaters in India ?
No, just like that.
Okay fine. Will try. (As if "Just like that" suddenly made it more convincing!)
You know my size right? And I want a light pink color one.
Yeah, I kind of know how you look, can always make an engineer’s approximation ( you will discover what it is soon ). About colors lets see.
And hey, remember that for my sweater, you have to go to the ladies section.
Like I am that stoopid. Thanks for reminding anyway, you never know what would have happened otherwise. :)
And so I went. Over 1500 sweaters to choose from, laid out in 6 aisles in the mall.
Yeah, this is good. Probably what she wants. But this is a turtleneck sweater, goes right up till her chin ( or is it cheek ). But she has a short neck right –will it be okay? Or does she? I didn’t notice. Do I have her picture? No.
What about this one? Looks great. But is this her size? She is thinner than me. Well, most people are – so that doesn’t mean anything. Looks too small for her. But then sweaters are supposed to be tight and they stretch. So it must be fine. But does she wear tight clothes? Am not sure.
Forget about pink. Must look for some bright and bold colors. She probably doesn’t wear them though. But come on, she can try, one must experiment with clothes. (look who is talking). Yeah, this one is good ; narrow shoulders, so will look good on her. But hands look short. Does she have long hands? I don’t remember.
Okay, this one is lovely. Really soft texture and kind of light orange – somewhat similar to pink – approximately atleast. If not, I will convince her it is. Infact, this is Cashmere ( Kashmir ) sweater. How much does it cost now? Okay great, what do I have to sell to buy this one? No no, something else.
This has to be it - black and beautiful. Black is the color of the season, someone said. Actually no one said so, but I will tell her someone did ! What is this thread here now – does it go around the waist ? or the neck ? Or does it sit pretty around the hands coming from the back. I mean how is it worn – forget it, that’s her headache, she will figure. Oh..no…low neck – forget it.
This is white and black horizontal stripes. Will be cool – never seen someone with this kind of a design. But will this make her look like a zebra? What if people will walk over her in the traffic !
Hey, this has a cap attached. But then good for winters like Pittsburgh. Not for Bangalore. Should be fine. This has some fur around the neck. What if she is allergic to animal fur. Is there something like plant fur by the way? Why take the risk.
Taken me about 45 minutes and this is not going anywhere. Try something different.
Pick a number. 55. What is today’s date. Nov 25. 55 modulo 25, 55 divided by 25 gives 5 as reminder. Pick the 5th sweater to the right from the present sweater. Okay man, this is your sweater.
Morals of the story :
For men: Buying clothes for women is one great experience – if you haven’t yet, you must try – it’s a different world altogether and it gives you ample opportunities to try out new mathematical tricks to randomize your selections.
For women: We are glad that you not only do your own shopping, but actually can’t resist it!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Threw and through

After XIMB threw me...(I made it to the centurian W/L).....I am finally through XLRI....

Paid off...at last

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Lonely nights and interview frights

After a loooong time another post.....

The last three months have been hectic to say the least. Major reasons for them being
1) I gave the XAT
2) I got calls
3) I became the team lead and the biggest
4) XIMB gave me aroyal kick on my backside and put me in my place.

What ails me during interviews??? Why does it always happen that I can think of the best answers the minute I step out of the interview room??? Does it happen with all...or am I the lucky one. Come on...two calls from XLRI and two from XIMB in two years and still not an MBA is pretty hard to beat.

I still remember the first XLRI interview....it was a dream...till Dr. Rao from XL decided to ask your's truly's opinion on a goddamned case. Workers in a steel plant are on a strike for increased pay (happens everywhere). Management willing to incease only half. What will you do?

I confidently say....fire the workers (the paapi pet pe laath ka funda)....doesn't cut any ice with the panel. I step out of the room...to find Suchorita chewing her finger nails and Tanmay grinning his chesire cat grin. And a bolt strikes me...wait a minute...I could have negotiated......na tera...na mera....average le lete hain...why din't I think of it.....

Next comes the XIMB interview.....after the usual formalities (which included, what are you, who aer you, why are you here) comes to the brass tacks....what do you want to do after MBA. Moi, the great moi...comes out with pen and paper to explain a business plan....something that is a cross between a credit card and a hospital prescription...don't ask me what...even I was convinced it wouldn't work......of course it din't cut any ice with the panel....

Fast forward to 2006....XIMB....all tech stuff about meta....how the hell am I to know....its been two years sir since I last glanced at a meta book...but I had brought this upon me...thinking that the interview would be very short..i asked the panel to ask me on anything...the result...WL 119....hell to pay

It is not related to only MBA interviews...it is something in the thing called my head....but it still remains....why me???