Monday, December 6, 2010

Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at writing a short story so posting it after thinking many times.

Washed Out

She stomped out of the house with tears in her eyes got into her car and drove away.

To say the least, he was shocked with her reaction as he knew her mood swings quite well. She had always been the center of attention be it her wit or at discussing a political topic or a social issue. She was the interface between the older generation and new generation as she could discuss anything – be it the all time favorite topic of old gen marriage of a relative or price of grocery being low back in the day or why it’s important for the new gen to communicate on social media or tell the present gen what the latest gaming gizmos are! Whatever she used to do, the one thing that was very prominent is her love for her extended family for which she could go to any extent. Through 10 years of marriage to her, he has come to acknowledge that their family is one of a kind that makes the whole bonding between relatives look effortless. So he was definitely alarmed with her reaction to the relatives’ usual query on the void in their life.

He still remembers the first time he met her. Though initially reluctant to get into a commitment of marriage as he was only interested in studying and his career, he had to later give in to his father’s persistent pleas of seeing him ‘settled’. He lands at her house at the decided time and was immediately attracted to her easy wit, open demeanor and expressive features.
Like all arranged marriages, the first initial years of marriage was a trial due to varied interests, getting adjusted to each other’s mood changes and professional commitments. During all this, without both of them realizing it was their love which started triumphing over all. After they realized that they were never going to have children this bond just grew stronger. She pursued all her interests writing and fashion designing. He went ahead with his pursuit of career excellence by adding degrees onto his credit and plunged into his career.
Now when his phone rang even before picking it he knew that she was calling from the park at the outskirts of the city. She had reached there and after a bout of crying wanted him to take her back to their house…..

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Hinglish' - Got closer to reality

Hinglish movies were the attempts by some new directors at making realistic movies. This is one genre of movies which I have come to like because of the simple treatment given to it and utmost attention given to its story and screenplay. Once I started watching I was of course hooked to them. Though the list is endless some of the ones that I remember as being ones which I liked the best are the ones I have described below. The others which I have enjoyed are Mr & Mrs Iyer, Jhankaar Beats, Hollywood Bollywood, Bend it like Beckam, Monsoon Wedding, 15 park avenue and Missisippi Masala to name a few:-)

English August - My first tryst with the new age Hinglish movie and savoured it to the last drop. I had watched at the time when we still didnt have cable at home and so watched it on DD2 which was the hepper channel then compared to DD1.

The story is about Agastya an IAS officer who is sent for a year's training to Mandna a very hot town. The entire movie revolves around how he is culture shocked being from the current generation, the associations he makes and how he copes up and survives during his stay. This has some amazing acting by Rahul Bose.

At the end of the movie I was in love with this new kind of genre of movies and secondly Rahul Bose. Both these interests have added to my list of movies.

Hyderabad Blues - This was the time when I was in college and had heard lot of hype around this movie. The movie was in news because of it being made by young new director, the movie being made with meagre budget and because of its subject. The day the movie released TOI had a coupon which could be exchanged by college students at movie theatres in exchange of the ticket. So that's how my friend and I landed for the movie at Lido and was very pleased with the result. We also got to Nagesh Kukunoor the director who was there during a promotional stunt.Yes,I still have the autographed ticket:-)

The movie is about an NRI Varun who comes back to India on Vacation. The different themes around the movie contributing to it being a laugh riot is him meeting with his college friends in their current scenarios of being married, looking for a bride etc. Varun who had staunch opinions of Indian women being orthodox or only waiting for a chance to get married to an NRI for a chance to go abroad. In the process of looking for a bride for his friend he falls in love with his friend's wife's Dr. friend. Then the movie moves on to how they who have completely different diverse opinions one on religious customs and one on the NRI culture get together and finally tie the knot. All to all a complete paisa vasool with a refreshing conversational style of dialogue delivery.

Mitr - The movie was about Lakshmi an orthodox south indian who marries Prithvi and settles in USA. She gradually settles into the new environment. In a year's time with daughter Divya's entry to their lives it becomes a perfect family. After 19 years its Divya's life of partying, playing soccer etc which causes Lakshmi's worry and rift between mother and daughter. Prithvi gets trapped between mother and daughter and starts staying aloof which further aggravates when Divya leaves their home due to Lakshmi's interference in her life. Lakshmi seeks a ear with an internet friend 'Mitr' who gives her confidence in pursuing her interests of dancing, carpentry etc. At one point a hurt Divya realizing her mistake comes back home. She coaxes her mother to meet 'Mitr' and the last scene of their meeting which turns out to be Prithvi brings the family back together.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Garam chai kee pyali...

With the number of options for lunch around our workplace going out has been a constant factor. This again was one such day and the reason am writing this is not about the place or anything but I just loved the texture and color of this tea. The regret is I was not the one who got to drink this because just before that had such a huge cup(almost a pitcher) of coffee:-) Anyway there's always a next time.
So this is for the next time with friends.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Being born and brought up in Bangalore my tryst with Kerala had always been the one month school summer vacation where I used to go meet all my cousins(total fun) and be dragged to all possible weddings(no fun) across kerala.

So it must have during college times or maybe a little after that I started getting attracted to the mysticism of kerala. Each and every thing started to have a mysterious element to it. The all time mystic looking thing is our Tharavadu(ancestral home) itself. Its a two storey building which even my grandmother(95 when she passed away last august) had no clue when it was built as for her it had always been there. The numerous rooms in the house be it the scary 2nd floor(still pray before going there), central courtyard which during rainy season is a treat to watch and the surrounding forest kind of areas and temple right next to it have such a magnetic pull that at times of stress just thinking of the place and the simplicity surrounding it brings peace ascending on to me.

This attraction slowly started trickling into my interest on movies. I started falling in love with all the movies which were considered to be slow, no dialogues, symbolic and arty types. Be it Perundachan to the latest Neela Thamara loved each frame of the movies. Though in this area there is lot of catching up to do as I have missed lot of the movies of the past.Watching these the one person whose stories which stand out is M.T Vasudevan Nair whose stories in movies are the ones that ensures that all glimpses of kerala of then are portrayed. The one regret that I have is though I can read malayalam I dont read it to that fluency that I can enjoy the meanings. I know am missing a lot because of that.

Its not the architecture or fame but some mysterious quality of temples in kerala which makes me completely lost in them. I prefer going to temples that are obscure; near our tharavadu there are atleast 3 of these that I regularly visit. One which is next to the house, one in the middle of a field and the other closer to the now main road. The placement of these is in the context of one having krishna in his child form, one in his Vishnu form and the middle one a devi temple.Though I try visiting all the obscure temples I can, I go to the bigger ones too. The simplicity of architecture and the prominence of keeping the premises and surroundings clean are the common feature of all.

I think for me being the hardcore bangalorean who loves the city for everthing it was and is and the other complete opposite tangent of kerala with its mysticism has given me a versatile view of things.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"We are family"
I won! I won! Strangest and the most unexpected. I won the second prize in a photo contest. The photo and caption entered for the contest is the above one.

Friday, October 8, 2010


He was in 3rd grade when he started having strange experiences of sighting the ghost of a lady sitting and writing and on some occasions of a man & the lady arguing. He decided that he would confess at church after the mass the coming Sunday. At church the priest was giving condolence for a family on the 1st anniversary of the death of their son who was murdered by a maniac a year ago.

When the photo came up on the screen Frank sitting in the last seat went pale.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tipped Over

Take 1 - Since schooldays we used to go to kerala by ‘Kanyakumari express’. The place ‘Kanyakumari since then had been in my imagination as one place that I should visit. The idea of it being at the southernmost tip of India and the place where sea is the confluence of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean have always been a very romantic concept for me.

Take 2 - Last year while planning for December vacations at the last minute I thought why not go to kanyakumari itself. Finally a dream was going to come true. I explored on options to visit while being there, read various travelogues, and caught hold of all the beautiful pictures of the water expanse and was all ready to go for the trip. I had even booked our room at the Kerala State Tourism Board Hotel through a relative.

Take 3 - We landed at the Trivandrum by plane and then after a day’s stay at a relative’s place moved on by bus to Kanyakumari. The first thing that I experienced when I landed there was someone screaming through the loudspeaker. After searching for the source for a long time found that it was a lady traffic policewoman controlling traffic in this very innovative (irritating) way. The best part of it is people are on their heels rather wheels as soon as they hear her calling out the specific reg number of each of these vehicles.

Anyways proceeded to the hotel room which I must say was definitely a good one. It had a view of the river from the balcony so with my spirits restored with the view I was ready to start the sightseeing. So we got to know from the reception that we can go to see the Vivekananda Rock as it closes in the evening. On the way to the place where we can get boats noticed that Kanyakumari was flooded with people primarily because of school holidays and sabarimala season. Anyways after reaching as luck would go that day all boats were banned from getting into the sea due to bad weather. Great!! So started with the only other thing which was easily available - shopping for souveneirs. Luckily for us while we were shopping the dock suddenly opened and as we were close to the ticket counter ran in and got the boat tickets. It was a 10 min ride to Vivekananda Rock and this place I must say is one of the well maintained places in Kanyakumari. This place is said to be the place where Vivekananda sat in Deep meditation. After this back to shore and then hotel. Evening was the time we went to Kanyakumari temple. I have visited temples that are crowded but this was quite a sight especially with the kind of money that they were trying to make at each nook and corner, screaming to buy prasadam and other stuff. The only solace was the goddess herself who with her peaceful looks were enough to bring back peace upon you. By evening I was already bored of Kanyakumari as the only thing I could see everywhere were only people , locals selling their wares and filth next to every place mentioned on travelogues and sites as ‘must see’ . I could feel all the romance of the place from my imagination drying out. After this went to the sunset point and realized in the morning at sunrise that I could get a clearer view from the hotel balcony itself.

The next day was no different. Visited Gandhi Mandapam which has got photographs of his life. The next place was truly amazing(its not) the little bit of clean area that was called beach. There was only place to take one photograph that’s it. And that was the icing on the cake. I had enough of the place. My dream destination of years had become my worst travel experience.

Please Note: This blog is not to hurt sentiments of people who have liked the place.

My experience could also have been because I went there with too much of expectation.

Take 4 - Next in the list of my dream destination is Jaipur and I’am trying to keep my expectations under control.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baap re baap kamaal hai aap....

In Mythology there is a story based during the time of creation. Brahma the creator was once approached by the king turned Sage Vishwamitra expressing his desire to be given the power to create. Brahma handed over the duty of creation to him. The sage’s first creation was a green/red fleshy fruit which had a very smooth skin and very beautiful to look at. He was very happy with the output and called Brahma to see the new creation; Brahma exclaimed the lack of seed in the fruit which would not allow the fruit to propagate. Sage admitted to his error and fixed the seed outside the fruit. This was the birth of Cashew nut. The second of sage’s creation was an attempt at making a bird. He made one with wings and all and forgot to add legs thinking that the bird would only be airborne. Again after Brahma’s inception he had to add Talons on the bird as the last addition. This was how the Bat was created. After one more attempt he returned the powers back to Brahma.

This I think would have been the first of Office Bloopers that was ever there.

Coming to the office bloopers of today. There is one phenomenon which we use in the professional world extensively which could lead to so many bloopers – Email. There are so many trainings which are customized to teach email etiquette, business communication, client communication etc. However there is no training for being stupid and that’s where my blooper comes to play

Once I was sending a mail out to a friend telling something about a colleague on how irritating she is etc etc and by mistake instead of putting the friend’s name put the colleague’s name in the ‘To’ Field(Duh). Yes I have the patent for doing this. The panic after doing this is unimaginable. I ran to that person’s desk and told her that I wrote a personal note to a friend but accidentally sent to her and thankfully as she was away from her desk and not read it yet allowed me to delete it. Whew!
Lesson learnt from this : Now each time I’am typing a mail I take 5mins on the mail and half an hour ensuring that I have typed the correct email id.

All said it’s really strange how Kalmadi singlehandedly with his string of bloopers was successful in bringing together the entire nation to shame in the eyes of international fraternity. That by far would be the strangest and ardous attempt at doing something wrong in office

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Road Less Travelled

I sat down with my school going cousin yesterday helping her with one of her vacation assignments which happened to be critical review of ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. The 2 common reviews for this poem have been one that it represents individualism and the other that it’s ironic. However for me this poem though written in 1916 sounded so relevant in today’s world too.
When I read this the first thing I remembered was the folk tales that I have read when I was young. One common story used to be where 2 brothers are sent out by their father to make their own future and they inevitably reach a cross road and stand there wondering which one to take. One brother usually takes the road which looks lush and green and the other one a road which is full of stones and weeds etc. The end of the story is normally of how the brother who chooses the tougher road though initially goes through a lot of hardship finally emerges the hero and married to a princess.
In the same way, life normally gives us these kinds of choices throughout our life and forces us to make choices and it is the people who chose ‘The road not taken’ who emerge maybe as the proponents of a new stream and maybe emerge as the hero of the times. The common juncture that we associate is the time when we are joining Graduation or professional course where choosing the ones that people have found success in are the ones that we normally end up choosing.

However make your opinion by reading this poem from one of the famous poets of the 16th century.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Like to Dislike

“Wow. The rain is such a welcome relief but am sure it’s going to be very hot tomorrow”
“My bike gives me 70/ltr mileage; god knows for how long though”
“We are a team that is co operative and highly motivated but I’am sure this is not going to stay for a long time”
“I got an award this month at work maybe they are planning to give me more work”

These are some of the thoughts that run across most of our minds.

So when exactly did we become this pessimistic? Its like we are always waiting for things to go wrong and think its inevitable for things to go right for a long time. To take a recent example is of the Sunday elections where it was proclaimed that there was just 44% turnout. This definitely churned out angry responses from media, blaiming politicians and also facebook updates reprimanding people for not voting. All this I think comes from the basic thought that everyone in the beginning itself had decided that this will not be a success. That’s when I read an interesting article where it clearly points out that this 44% is out of a total which includes people whose names appear multiple times as they were not removed from the list or changed to different location etc( The interesting part is that here is one person or organization who took the turnout positively and tried drive opinion towards it positively.
Pessimism I think is just becoming the most popular thing to do. It primarily looks like the negativity is the one which makes for interesting conversation. Why else would you see most of the articles or blogs ranting on things which are going wrong. Inspite of my attempt here of bringing out the positivity this blog itself definitely has a pessimist tinge to it.
I can think of the umpteen conversation with my better half where for any decision that we have to take like going on a holiday, buying a gadget or even a simple thing of lazing on a weekend I think how it could be a wrong decision if we think next month, next year or after next 10 years and he being the optimist gets flabbergasted as to why do I think so far for it to go wrong and not enjoy the moment.
Anyways being the pessimist that I’am most of the time am not sure if it is too much to ask that I want to be at peace of mind in all decisions, live each moment as it comes and enjoy each moment to the fullest but I would love to do that and definitely going to make an effort in that direction.
Also being the filmy that I’am this song is ringing in my ears now - Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai Ho Sake To Iss Mein Zindagi Bitaado Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala Hai……..

Monday, February 1, 2010

‘Sane’ity Check

In the times of Global warming, Natural Calamities, Recession, High Crime Rate etc the one thing I think that keeps us sane is ‘Love’. I ‘am definitely talking about love for a person and not the materialistic one because that only makes us insane and we could say the cause for all the above problems mentioned in the beginning.
Love ke liye saala kuch bhi karega; that’s what we feel when in love. If this was not the case just imagine how two people from completely different families, raised with different values, with different peer group living together in a relationship in majority of cases in India atleast called marriage. Love is the glue that holds together that bond for a lifetime, rather it’s not the feeling of excitement or restlessness which is normally considered as love but the bonding that remains after that.
Love for our family is another bond that gets created at birth and nurtured through the lifetime. Parental love is the one safety net that we fall back on several times during our life. I would say that this is one relation where there is a total selfless love being shared; Though in the current times(kalyug) there have been many instances of this relationship going tainted, I can talk for myself that I cannot thank enough for where and who am born to.
Does getting irritated with your brother/sister because you have to share your room and lose your privacy and at the same time feeling bored and miserable when they are not around also constitute as love? Of course! Sibling love - one of the most interesting forms of love I would say because this is the one person at different points of time you hate the most and at other times love the most. One person who would stand by you or be the mediator when you’re having some important discussions on generation gap etc.
Punching Bag is the word that would describe another important person with whom you have no blood ties or Marital Bond – Friend. The person who sticks by you at the lowest of times, partner in crime for numerous adventures and the multiplier of any joyous occasion. The magic of this bond is that this is the person you chose and the strength of this bond is only due to the love for the person and nothing else.
Assigning a day or month to celebrate love is not enough but then it’s a good reminder to everyone not to take things for granted and be grateful and show the people you love that they really matter.
‘Happy Valentines Month’

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hopelessly Filmy

To sing, to dance, to cry, to laugh, to tease, to express anger, to start a revolution, actually for anything the perfect companion – bollywood music Ting Tong!!!!
However crazy that sounds that has held ground for me from childhood till now. The one thing about the kind of music is it has adapted to the changing times and people’s tastes which has been quite intriguing. Hats off to all the music directors who have contributed in achieving this feat. There are numerous movies where the only bearable fact was the songs in those. Inspite all the hearsay of people wondering why Bollywood movies have so many songs which breaks the momentum of the story, I’am firm believer that the ‘life’ of the movie is its song and I can’t imagine watching a Hindi movie with no songs at all.
There are always songs that you associate with your school days, college days etc which is forgotten and sometimes pleasantly surprises you when you are listening to radio some day. I have been so surprised at the lyrics too that I remember from these songs.
The entertainment value of these songs can be seen in the way it’s used during cricket tournaments, election campaigns & religious functions. Though I’am not particularly fond of the usage at these occasions I understand that the reason is because that there is nothing else which can bring everyone to their feet in unison.
I could go on with a list of songs that I can associate with different people, different occasion, different moments but maybe next time.
This is just a small tribute to the music I love and most of the nation does.