Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Have The Power

A small awakening rustled inside me today. It started off with a flutter and as the hour passed by, it gradually aggregated into a hurricane. All inside me. It lambasted my soul like anything and really spiked an urge to do something about the problem. No, it doesn't concern the loo.

A gentleman by the name Sailesh Gandhi visited the office today. This charming 50 year ex-IITian is one of Mumbai's well-known social activists, who while giving up his cushy job spends all his time advocating the use of the Right To Information Act to the unaware. And I was party to one such awareness session today; someone who despite having an indepth knowledge of the Act and the associated citizen empowerment, could never figure out a direction to use it. Tonight, my RAM is updated with all the nitty-gritty details.

The RTI Brahmastra now gives me an opportunity to bare open that cupboard full of lies and corruption behind closed government doors. I now have the right to ascertain the name of the corporator in charge of the potholes - you see the potholes near my place have very few roads. I now have the right to determine the amount of dough spent on my ward, the land laundering process, the garbage collection timings etc. All the information on my fingertips in 30 days. Withholding anything makes me the darling of the media after exposing all the scams. It just costs me a paper, pen, literacy skills, 10 rupees, an envelope and 10 minutes . A simple letter to the Public Information Officer stating the query from the confines of my home and the work's done. The ball is always in my court. If a slumdweller can do this to avail a ration card legally, why can't I? If I can do it, then anyone can do it. If everyone does it, then the politicians will asphyxiate to extinction - and join the exclusive gang of dodos.

Every such freedom struggle has to be hampered and hijacked by the ruling class and this one is no exception. The government is so threatened by the success of the Act that it plans to gag a few rulings within the Act. It has been toned down for a while since they plan to do surreptitiously. However, a petition drive is on the way to make the govt accountable and to prevent any amendments to the present Act.

This hurricane brewing within me is bigger than Katrina(the fiery one), something which even Katrina (the Salman one) cannot anticipate!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Everyday A's

A: You know Apocalypse is near.
B: Hell! Wasn't the pothole near? And isn't Utopia nearer?

A: Blame it on the pushy world, the veneered politicians, the engulfing materialism, the prickly egos etc.
B: Boy! Don't you dare blame Garfield! Instead, why not fight the germ of the problem?

A: Let us impose a ban.
B: DUH! You enjoy enforcing impotence? Why not give people the freedom to choose?

A: I am the best.
B: Well. Aren't you the new pest found in colas? Why not feel humility within your veins?

A: Money can buy everything.
B: Phew! Did you forget the "Mere paas Maa hai" dialogue? Why not watch less of Richie Rich and serve society?

A: That black cat just crossed us. Wait. Lets go around it.
B: Cool! Didn't know you were such a bad omen for the cat. Why not use that iota of pigeon brain and be rational?

A: Forward this to 5 friends and be lucky...
B: Ahh! Aren't you a single jerk with a stupid job profile? Why not watch DCH and feel friendship?

Here were a few of the A's that we encounter in our everyday lives. And we really need more B's to talk sense.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Unbridled Desires

I walk over to her. She is still ignorant of my presence. Damn it! How could all this effort of lascivious wooing go abegging? I had been so nice to her. I have always loved her with all my heart.

I have had enough. I had to do it. I grab her and tear her blue attire. She begs to be freed, but then I was in control. I then tear open her gold inner strut which reveals an amazing voluptious body. Immediately, I start feeling her with my mouth. And instinctively, she melts too and gives in completely. I realise that she wanted me too as badly as I wanted her. I carry on with my act which I think will last for another 20 minutes. Am I dreaming !?!

30 minutes later.

That was a damn tasty Diary Milk chocolate. Mmmmm!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Left in the lurch

Today, the world abandoned me. All that fame is down the drain. Being the youngest, I thought, always had its advantages. Infact, no one has even come close to peeking at me except a kid who keeps circling around me. But then it could be my own undoing. My icy cool nature might have played a part in this agony. I stay so far from all my brothers. Add to that, my eccentric habit of moving in the opposite direction relative to my siblings.

I might be the god of the underworld, but does it amount to anything now?

I am Pluto. Was termed a planet all this while. Until this evening. Boo hoo hoo.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Maestro and the Nightingale

The twain did meet. AR Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar. For Lukka Chhupi in Rang De Basanti. So, you are probably wondering - "Gawd, its August and RDB was released in January. You sane?' Actually, it so happened that I caught RDB on television this Sunday and more than the movie, I was looking forward to catch a glimpse of this enlightening song. Now, you would ask - "Gawd, isn't Rubaroo the best and the most *enlightening* song of RDB?". Well yeah, it indeed is. Until I heard Lukka Chhupi.

I still remember the time, when I spent half a February Sunday listening to this masterpiece. And since this Sunday, the song hasn't left my lips. And invariably, it brings a few tears...I dunno why. Please spend a few moments with me to understand this gem of a song - a conversation between a concerned mother and her mischievious son. And do close your eyes, when you hear it.

It starts with a sweet strumming of the guitar. Coupled with a childish twang of a jaltarang. Lata's yearning for her son is felt in her mellifluous voice. Only Rahman can fuse such a combination.

Lukka chhupi bahot hui
Samne aa jana
Kahan kahan dhoonda tujhe
Thak gayi hai ab teri maa
Aaja sanjh hui

Mujhe teri fikar

Dhundla gayi
Dekh meri nazar

Ahhh. Rahman, in his high pitched emotion brimmed voice, starts off echoing the beautiful lyrics penned by Prasoon Joshi. Feel the soft rhythm of a synthesiser and a harmonium(!!) with the intermittent guitar moves.
Sense the feeling of freedom here.

Kya bataun maa kahan hun main
Yahan udne ko mere khula aasman hai
Tere kisson jaisa bhola salona jahan hai yahan sapnon wala
Meri patang ho befikar ud rahi hai maa
Dor koi loote nahi beech se kaate na

Aaja sanjh hui
Mujhe teri fikar
Dhundla gayi
Dekh meri nazar

The jaltarang is back in action. Man, I love this instrument. But then I never knew the introduction of tabla would flutter my heart so much. Rahman's a genius: Tabla, Harmonium, Guitar. At the end of the stanza, the flute adds up to a wonderful rendition.

Teri raha take akhiyan
Jane kaisa kaisa hoe jiya
Dheere dheere angan utre andhera
Tera deep kahan
Dhalke suraj kare ishara
Chanda tu hai kahan
Mere chanda tu hai kahan
Lukka Chhupi...

The emotions are right there. A chorus, a guitar-tabla-violin flow and Rahman's succulent melody stirs you
within and might just ease out into a few teardrops. Reason: the boy despite all his dreams and everlasting freedom longs for his mother. Touching.

Kaise tujhko dikhaun yahan hai kya
Mere jharne se paani maa todke piya hai
Gucchha gucchha ka yeh khwaabon ka
Ucchhal ke chhua hai
Chhyaya liye bhali dhoop yahan hai
Naya naya sa hai roop yahan
Yahan sab kuch hai maa fir bhi
Lage bin tere mujhko akela...

Now comes the high point of the entire song. And the best. Confirms my belief that Indian classical music with its medley of SaReGaMas reigns supreme over any other form. Lata and Rahman have synchronized so well -
classic to the core. The pure euphonic taals emanating out with the tabla, harmonium and flute takes you to the zenith of pleasure.

Aaja sanjh hui
Mujhe teri fikar
Dhundla gayi
Dekh meri nazar

I bow before thee, Rahman. If there a modern age Mozart, it has to be you. I just cannot digest such a wonderful symphony.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Photographic Instincts

No intention to make this a photo blog. But couldn't resist myself to display my photographic wares from Korigad.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Fortress called Korigadh

The fight continues. Sea vs the Hills. It was hill time today.

I am back from not-so-exhausting trek to Korigad Fort, located in the Sahyadris close to Lonavala. In the days of yore, when Shivaji ruled the Maha Rashtra, this fort played an essential role in fortifying his territory. The qila bulwarks cover a 1.5 km area and can only reached after shuttling over 500 steep steps. There is a green plateau inside the fort, where a lone temple stands.

It was heart-warming to see such an archeological splendour well preserved and non-commercialized. Except for a few cellphone towers which irked me to no end.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Goa Diary

This post is exclusively dedicated to my fellow Goa pirates. It might be a long, boring and arduous read for many. But my sole purpose is to etch the wonderful moments, the verdant landscape and the lissome sea in words. Something to bloom me during my gloom 70s.

Friday: It all began with the Mumbai darshan. Though the bus began its journey on time, the ridiculous policy of picking every passenger from every nook and corner of Mumbai ensured that I endured every possible city pothole. Montu and Intekhab boarded at 5.30 pm instead of 4 pm, while Vijay, Amrita and Richa could finally enjoy the cool confines at 8.30 instead of 5 pm. The camaraderie had begun.

Saturday: The tropical paradise seemed far away with the bus goddamn 6 hours late. A sense of euphoria crept in on alighting the bus - we are finally there. Met Aniket there after almost an year. A local bus ferried us to Benaulim with narrow streets and lush greenery greeting us along the way. The cottages were ornately designed with a Portuguese flavour and the itch to get into our rooms lingered. Soon, the Bangalore gang joined us in the form of Anup, Kruthi, Ram, Harsha and Akhila and boy, wasn't it a joy for me to see these chums after a drought of 1.5 years. Be it the loitering in the pool or the lunch/dinner at Pedro's - the beachside shack - it was all about revisiting memories, forming new friendships coupled with a lot of anecdotes. I still remember the twilight at the beach - the waves lashing our urban feet.

Sunday: The day began with the treatment of a feverish Harsha, who recovered in no time. After a relaxed breakfast (included beer of course) at Pedro's, the pirates finally got to rent their mean machines: bikes. It was all merry after that. Life is exciting at 70 km/hr. A short jaunt to Mobor beach and a ferry ride across a backwater later, the Cap-de-Rama loomed in the horizon. Its a fort with its ramparts overlooking the confluence of the sea and a river. The clincher was that we were alone there; far away from the madding crowd. An hour left for dusk, we reached Palolem, probably the best beach I have ever seen. The waves were perfect for a non-swimmer like me and I found it immensely tough to get out of the sweet yet salty sea. The rain made its presence soon after; the pièce de résistance; an experience to behold; an experience of tasting the sea and the heavens together. The exultation of meeting Ankur and Paritosh at the beach shack cannot be explained in words. We all had given up on them joining us. That made us 14 in all. A 2 hour ride and the night was spent at the Benaulim beach under the canopy of the moon, drinking Old Monk - a favorite with the pirates.

Monday: The morning began with a stupendous jog on the beach with Ram. After a brunch at Colva's, we headed off to North Goa. The initial pit-stop was at Fort Aguada - a prison at the edge of Mandovi river. A gigantic lighthouse and the luscious view was too captivating for the eye. At the adjoining Sinquerim beach, a dilapidated ship lay in ruins and the pirates did itch to get onto it and scoot it away. Some wonderful snaps there by yours truly gives me enough confidence to pursue photography further. A few miles ahead, Calangute was at its touristy best. A day before, 6 IT guys lost their lives there, which meant my phone never stopped ringing. A decision to stay over at Vagator further in the North was a great one, because we ended up finding a dream resort for peanuts. Rakesh joined us there taking the number to 15. The night was spent by the poolside, intermittently mixed with old songs, philosophy, jokes, stars etc.

Tuesday: Vande Mataram! The rocky beach with the monsoon winds early in the morning made the perfect setting. A snap to remember: an inscription of our names on the sand. The rains and the poolside games made the entire experience exhilarating. After the final group snap sessions, the pirates packed up and left for Benaulim. The lovable bikes were returned and the Mumbai - Bangalore gangs parted ways thereafter. Bade sad goodbyes with a promise to have more trips. The bus journey back was the least tiresome - the chatting never stopped. All through the night.

Wednesday: It had to end. It did end. I was back in office at 2 pm. And dozing off in my seat in full view of everyone. Coffee saved my life. But no antidote can get me out of the Goa fever.

"Absolute Hights" thats what we have coined the trip as. It will jostle our minds till no one knows when!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Dog's Life

Life is too short. Why not live it up like this pal of mine? Ignorant of the vagaries of the world, he is soaking up the fresh early morning air of Goa. And so was I, when I clicked this snap.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Its Goa ahoy. The pirate is heading for Goa this weekend with his bunch of cronies. A lavish beach cottage is yearning to welcome them. The sun, sea and the sand will enrapture them in their own sweet way. The Jolly Rogers are expected to eat, drink and sing until the shrill sea stops them on their tracks. They will recollect the good times they spent together under the canopy of a full moon.

It is the undying friendship between these pirates however, which will be the crème de la crème of the entire reconnaissance. The treasure of love between them can never be found by any Sindbad.

Billions and billions of blistering blue barnacles...where is the rum?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Good And The Bad

I cut my silky long locks.
The Good: I can feel the air kissing my pate.
The Bad: So now how do I woo Bipasha?

All the cats and dogs poured today like rain.
The Good: I got to devour on some delicious onion pakoras (fritters) at home.
The Bad: India's economy enters into recession mode as shopaholics stay back.

Over 50,000 dogs culled in China for rabid reasons. Another 5 lakh awaiting the same fate.
The Good: The cats are ecstatic that they won't have to live a dog's life anymore.
The Bad: For the Chinese, it means a tremendous loss of meat.

Pesticides found in soft drinks.
The Good: The Hard always reign over the Soft.
The Bad: Never thought Sachin, Aamir and Aishwariya were pests.

Half of U.S. still believes Iraq had WMD.
The Good: America is what it is due to this half.
The Bad: America is what it is due to this half.

Its raining dollars for the Indian IT sector.
The Good: More moolah for the I.T. (Income Tax) Department
The Bad: A Dollar for Service, A Penny for R&D.

Jenson Button wins the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Good: Our colonial masters can sometimes win a game they introduced to the world.
The Bad: The English media blaring all over the world about their Superman.

Paris Hilton to magazine: I am celibate.
The Good: The magazine is British.
The Bad: Tomorrow, she might influence Pamela to say she is one too.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Sleepy Harangue

Sleep. That beautiful activity in our everyday lives. Nowadays barely ekeing out six hours a day. Relegated to the background by work and stress. Deprivation manifested by dark circles, irritable behaviour and a host of stealthy ailments. Amusingly jostled as an account to be sparingly used on weekdays and compensated on weekends.

The sleepaholic in me cannot sustain without the mandatory 8 hours. A warm glass of milk acts as the perfect soporific. The moment I close my eyes, I am on a rollercoaster ride. Sleep takes me to that wonderful nether world, the sub-conscious mind, where everything is possible. Being an true blue optimist ensures that all my dreams are rosy. I might be falling off a cliff, but there is always someone to save me. Besides conjuring up beautiful images, dreams has given me a few clairvoyant calls into the future. I don't even need a snooze to rouse up. The 8 hours are hardwired. I wake up. I smile and do so the whole day. No exhaustion. No stress. My version of the 'Art of Living' is incomplete without adequate sleep.

Finally, please don't be harsh on me to club sleep with laziness. Laziness is exclusively for 10-hour-sleep weekends.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Sometimes I stumble
Sometimes I wobble
Sometimes I wonder
Sometimes I sneer
Sometimes I grin
Sometimes I swagger

Am I Bush? No, am not!