Showing posts from September, 2009

Daivathinte Khat

We have our exams going on and yesterday, while I was just going through the English textbook, I came across this poem which is published in our book. Personally, I hate poems and I know my limitation that I can never write a poem.

As you woke up this morning,

I watched you and hoped you would talk to me,

even if it was just a few words,

asking my opinion or thanking me for

something good that happened in your life yesterday--

but I noticed you were too busy

trying to find the right outfit to put on

and wear to work.

I waited again

When you ran around the house getting ready

I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello,

but you were just too busy.

At one point you had to wait for fifteen minutes

with nothing to do except sit in a chair.

Then I saw you spring to your feet.

I thought you wanted to talk to me

but you ran to the phone and called a friend

to get the latest gossip

I watched as you went to work

and I waited patiently all day long.

With all your activities

I guess you w…


Is it just me or has friendship taken a beating these days? When we were younger, every action and every decision was taken as a collective, a gang of best friends standing by each other through thick and thin, exploring and experimenting together because we had each other for support. We were much more gullible in the days and hardly ever stopped to ponder our actions, but we always knew that whether it was the chaotic corridors of school or the loud and robust canteens in college, there was a camaraderie that was constant.

Flash forward to twenty years later and the very foundation of friendship has taken on a whole other facade. You can wake up tomorrow and find seven or eight new friend requests on popular social networking sites like Orkut or Facebook; distant friends, friends of friends, and most of the time, completely random strangers. You may accept or reject them, but you cannot ignore the reality of this very scary social predicament; where did all the ''good friend…

Movie Review: Luck By Chance

One has often heard, read and seen (on screen) the positive and negative sides of Bollywood. It would be erroneous to state that Zoya Akhtar's 'Luck By Chance' does a ''pol-khol" of the glamorous industry. Let me put it this way: the film mirrors the behind-the-scenes drama and manoeuvring exactly the way it occurs in showbiz. Watching Luck By Chance is like experiencing Bollywood first-hand.

If you're remotely associated with Bollywood, if you know how things work in Bollywood, you'd laud and applaud, laugh and smile, identity and understand and at times, empathize and sympathize with the characters in Luck By Chance. Zoya Akhtar's take on an industry that attracts millions of hopefuls year after year is bang on target. Almost three decades ago, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had made Guddi that depicted a star-struck teenager Jaya Bhaduri's obsession for a top star Dharmendra. Along with the core issue, the film highlighted the behind-the-scenes hardw…

Agla Station: Ghatkopar

Just last week, I was waiting at Sion station for my usual Thane train to take me to Mulund since I had to pick up a few things. I usually observe around when I am waiting for my train. So, a hapless victim fell prey to the over-enthusiastic Bombay's local train commuters. Our hero wanted to get down at Sion, but as luck and trains would have it, he boarded a fast train that did not halt at Sion. He panicked when he realized that the train did not stop at Sion and Kurla. On seeing his plight, a sympathetic co-passenger came to his rescue.

It seemed that he had been commuting by the 05:10 Asangaon Fast for the past six years and had noticed that the train always slowed down just before the train entered Sion station and crawled at a snail's pace while passing through. The co-passenger told the man to jump out of the running train as it slowed down and that with a little bit of fleet-footedness, he would make it safely. However, knowing the man's inexperience, he added some w…

The 4:30 Ladies Special

It has been months since I posted something under the label of 'Commuter Tales'. My sister was telling me to delete all the tales because she did not find them interesting enough. I told fine, not a problem and promised to be a little more observant and update this section as and when something interesting comes up.

On Friday, I observed that the BEST has now introduced a few exclusive 'Ladies Special' buses from Wadala to Marol. Since the stop for this Ladies Special happens to be at the place where I board my bus to come home from college, I couldn't help laughing. The route number of the bus is 22 Ltd. and it goes on towards the western suburbs. It had a board saying that the bus was a 'Ladies Special' along with the number and destination.

It so happened that a man with an umbrella ran to catch the bus and heaved a sigh of relief when he got in. It was after much elbowing, pushing and swearing that he got in only to be told calmly by the conductor to al…

Pulling our legspace

A lot of furore has been created over Mr. Shashi Tharoor's ''cattle class'' remark on Twitter. The furore created made me wonder do those strange people who usually travel in business class--but may not be travelling in this category for a while now--really think that the people who fly economy are angry by a wisecracking Minister of State with trendy sideburns calling economy class 'cattle class? The poor dearies must be so sweet--and silly--to think that us cattle classers would mind.

Heck, that's what all those people travelling in economy class call economy class: cattle class. To think that those travelling within the relatively crammed confines of an economy class ticket (and the 'cramminess' of the confines does depend on the airline one is flying) have no idea of the relative luxury of flying business class is to be downright patriotism.

Mr. Shashi Tharoor responded to a question by a certain Kanchan Gupta on his Twitter page that read, &quo…

Movie Review: Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi

Some things can never change and never will. One may have a very modern outlook towards life, but most of us continue to be very traditional at heart. Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi is rich in emotions and mirrors the traditions and culture with utmost simplicity and understanding. Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi is a simple story of sacrifice that aims at pulling your heart strings. Every Rajshri film works because of the storyline and strong emotions and so, Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi follows the tradition.

Of course, a story like this one in this film may seem regressive to the multiplex audiences of metros, but the fact remains that cinema is all about narrating stories and Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi has a strong story to tell. Besides, there are ample moments in this film that strike a chord that touch the core of your heart that make you moist-eyed.

Chandni (Isha Koppikar) belongs to a middle class family, living in one of the tiny bylanes of Bhopal. She lives with her father and younger siblings--Anuj and Sandhya. Cha…

Movie Review: The Bong Connection

The word "Bong" maybe politically incorrect slang for all things Bengali, in "The Bong Connection", the writer and director Anjan Dutta brews self-irony into a watchable, good-humoured satire. In two alternating stories, a young Indian musician from New York Andy Sen (Shayan Munshi) returns to Kolkata, while an ambitious young computer engineer Arpan Chatterjee (Parambrata Chatterjee) seizes his chance to take a big job in Houston.

The film says a lot about the new generation of Indians caught between their culture and pressure to work abroad. However, it takes Anjan Dutt a while to find his balance between dramatic narrative and broad comedy. Apu takes leave of his family and girlfriend Sheila (Raima Sen) and heads for the greener pastures of Texas. Sheila makes it clear that she prefers the young Kolkata, and they part on an uncertain note.

Meanwhile, Andy visits India for the first time and is welcomed into his grandfather's rambling old home. In contrast to…

My First Teacher

Memories of some people are etched in our minds and stay with us forever. Even after years, certain memories remain fresh and it feels as if the things happened just yesterday. I was in the first grade when we had a fair and an extraordinarily sweet teacher named Kiran Rane.

This happened during the lunch break. Since I was in a convent school that time, prayers used to be compulsory before eating. Hence my teacher recited the prayer, "God is good, God is great. Let us thank him for our food." After the prayers, we settled down to have our lunch. I remember it was bittergourds in a cream coloured, oval plastic tiffin box. It had a small partition so that the chapatis wouldn't soak up the liquid from the curry.

I hadn't started hating bittergourds back then. Now, I end up throwing up if I just whiff the smell of bittergourds. Suddenly, one of my classmates discovered a lizard under my desk. He made a loud announcement with all the gusto that could have put Archimedes,…

Friends Forever

Of the countless books I have read on the evolution of man, I've observed that most of them have agreed to the fact that 'Man is a social animal' . A need for love, affialiation and affection are the primary emotions that everyone craves for. Friends are undoubtedly a major part of one's social sphere. Strange enough the large spectrum of people we call friends are again categorised, like school friends, college friends, train friends, childhood friends etc.

What amazes me is that with each relationship we get a package of emotions attached ranging from love to hate. I had some amazing friends in my world who made my life worth living. Some friends act as your strength in difficult times, some are fun to hang out with while there are some who even treat you like use-and-throw tissues. Some even worse, who are possessive about you. It is with our friends that we let ourselves loose and take the plunge to reach higher heights of freedom.

Let it be a childish attempt at a…

A Tribute To Google

I was in the middle of a fight. My mother and I couldn't agree on who was Shahrukh Khan's first co-star? Was it Kajol or Juhi Chawla? "Google it," my sister intervened. Google led to the answer that it was neither of them but the late. Divya Bharati.
Yesterday, I couldn't remember how singer Sadhana Sargam looked like. "Google her," my friend told me. Even when I'd lost the recipe for Anjum Anand's steamed spinach and rice dumplings, my cooking buddy's answer to my question was simple, "Google it".
Two words. It's become as simple as that to find an answer to most of life's questions. Hit Google and you'll know the answer to everything under the sun. You could find out, for example, whether there is life after death, or why the sky is blue. Or Asin's age or even why your boyfriend is mean to you.
Google has answers to 'everything'. You don't need to go to a shrink anymore; the search engine can provide y…

Movie Review: Nandanam

With the release of a healthy family movie like Nandanam, one gets a feeling that hopefully Malayalam films are slowly coming back to the old footage. Nandanam is one such movie that seals that feeling, it is a simple love story bordered on fantasy but handled really well by director Ranjith.

The story revolves around the young Balamani (Navya Nair) an orphan who comes to Guruvayur to work as a servant maid in a big 'tharavadu' (ancestral house) near the Guruvayur temple. All she yearns is for a 'darshan' of Lord Krishna. But some how she never makes it to the temple, although she could daily hear the sound of the poojas, bhajans and the crowd from the temple while doing her chores. She shares her sorrows and worries with the picture of the idol kept in her room. Her employer is an old lady Unniamma (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) and besides her, three other old ladies live in the house.

Balamani has a dream of marrying a man of high stature. She feels this is what her Lord has in…


No matter how hard you might work, and how high you may climb, you will always find people nipping at your feet, trying to pull you down once you've reached an enviable height. Vultures flock to the wounded and dying, but humans prey on the powerful and thriving, hungrily trying to drain each other of our glory. Whether you're merely a spectator, privy to the scheming and plotting produced by a bitter bunch, or an honest victim of planted rumours and deliberated damage designed against you, we have all encountered with stark realities, the demonic detractors.

Of these detractors there are many strains and varieties. There are those who breed contempt for you openly, making their feelings and intentions towards you all too clear. They will wait for any opportunity to jump at your vulnerability, and they will gloat at your failures as if it meant that their own success were only moments away. Then there are the ones who straddle the fence with you, staying close enough to have ac…

Claim Your Birthweek

Well, I'm not shamelessly gleeful on my birthday. I am literally not denying it. In fact, no one who knows me closely would let me accept the fact, that I am the "hey-it's-my-birthday" kind of boy. Case to point: I haven't celebrated a single birthday since I was eight except for my fourteenth birthday. Instead, I celebrated my birthweek. It's true, we celebrated so much that my friends and I had to coin a term for the mass extragavanza. It was almost like a carnival or a festival, except it was a birthweek!!

Yes, I'm rather shameless, but I'm not as obnoxious as the concept of birthweek makes me sound (I hope). I love birthdays, in general, not just my own. All holidays and celebrations are wonderful, however, a birthday is the one day a year that is for you alone. It's a beautiful thing to take that time to show people what they mean to you. I often get wildly caught up in the birthdays of people close to me. I'm the type of person who likes …

Birthday Insights

"What kind of birthday person are you?" It's a simple question which surprisingly not many have an answer for. Let me explain. I am simply asking you to describe the kind of person you become at these times-- 1) a week before your birthday 2) the eve before your birthday 3) and most importantly, on the day of your birthday. The reason: it's strange, but I do believe that people do have a certain hidden "birthday personality".

There are many kinds... excited, sad, confused and all those in denial !! It's almost like figuring out what kind of 'drunk' your friends are! Not to sound rude but don't we all know which person in the group is likely to pass out after a night of hardcore partying or the one that will weep throughout the evening about issues you've never heard of... it's crucial information admit it!! It can make or break an evening of fun!

In a similar sense, it's very important to understand what kind of 'birthday pers…

So Special

Birthdays are probably never more special than when one is a child, when, as kids sa, with a wonderful zeal that it's their "Happy Birthday"! Happiness is co-joined to the idea that the day is special to them, or rather that each child is special on his or her birthday. Each child becomes a small shining star around whom friends mill, loaded with presents and adults pamper with extra indulgence.

Children also add with great satisfaction, a new and full number to their age: no longer 'six-and-a-half' but seven and so on. Parents too have a special relationshp to their child's birthday--besides obvious joy. Each passing birthday brings home the realisation that they have created the gift of life together, subtly enhancing their bonding: the parents' relationship as a couple.

Of course, there are single parents, warring parents, unwanted children and the deprived, to whom each birthday maybe more a remainder of conflict than joy.

However, when I my neighbour…