Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just a lot of questions.

What makes a person time conscious? How does one make someone look beyond self and respect other people's time? How does one inculcate the habit to keep up with the deadlines in adults? What's the cure for procrastination or for that matter plain laziness? How does one say "you suck" nicely ? How does one tell a mother she is smothering her son with all her love and he's turning out to be a whining baby? How does a husband tell the wife, "give me some space"? How does a wife tell the husband "move your butt" with love? How does a daughter tell the mother "I am fine thank you. stay away" politely?
Another year is going by and I still have no answers to these questions that have bothered me all my adult life. May be its time I give up looking for answers and just stay away from such people. But that's half the world and sometimes inlcudes me - so that's not happening.
Boy how can the year be any different if I am stuck with the same old questions / problems?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rainy days

She waited for him by the kitchen window every evening. He would walk past the window while coming back from work, smiling at her. Walk into the house and hug her, kiss her, without waiting for the door to close. On rainy days, he would take her hand and walk down the freshly washed streets, with the scent of rain still lingering; happily stepping into little puddles of water.

Today, it rained after a long time. Red earth was all moist after the clouds poured their heart out. She stood at the kitchen window longing for him. He walked by the window smiling, into his mobile phone. He walked into the house reading out the message and said it was very stupid but funny. She stood by the door, waiting for him to look up. He walked on muttering how he hated the rains and the puddles of water it left behind on the streets.

Quietly she went back to the kitchen window. She stood there looking at the little bird bath in her garden, brimming with rainwater and a sparrow wetting its beak in it.
PS: Inspired by Shoefiend's every day efforts.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Social Pressures!

I've written about my apartment and my attempt to make friends before. I still continue to do that I mean to make friends. But no luck so far. We have discovered one big reason for it. We don't have children. No I am not kidding. People lose interest the moment they discover I am not a mother. What will they talk to me? How will I possibly make conversations about diapers, children refusing to eat vegetables (It doesn't help when I say that I used to refuse to eat vegetables too), the enormous pressure to find the BEST schools and to keep up with the intense syllabus in schools or the shots one needs to give the children. No they cannot so we don't have friends!
Sometimes I feel they are all ganging up with my parents, grand mother and a few very concerned friends to get us to be parents. These days I have total strangers insisting that I should have babies. Few weeks ago a watchman in Madurai whom I was trying to be polite to gave me the address of a fertility clinic in Chennai and a few temples whose dieties are sure to bless me with children!!! He added "you don't have too many just two is good enough" very helpfully.
And to make the matters worst most of our friends have had babies this year, some of them even second ones. So everytime we try to meet them we hear "oh I am taking my little one to get some vaccination" or if we do manage to meet them we end up spending our evening listening to the new antics the ten month old lad has been up to. (people it might be cute to you but not to your friends especially if you are telling them for the 5th time!)
It is not that I hate babies (even V isn't averse to children he's just terrified of them. He holds baby like its a bomb about to go off in his very hands, worrying the parents). Earlier I even used to talk about how cute the babies are, how wonderful they smell right after bath smeared with johnsons baby powder and all that (for the record I have taken care of lot of babies in my time thanks to all the cousins and aunts who had babies) Once I was talking on the same line with a new father. He was very happy to have a baby and was going gaga over it. So I joined in helpfully. After 15 min of the coversation he asked so how many children do you have? I didn't have any. I hadn't even met the man with whom I could possibly have the baby with. So it was quiet embarassing and I swore I will not do any baby talk unless I have one myself. But that is turning out to be an obstacle in my social life.
PHEW what and all people do to you to get you to have babies!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Siempre una problema!

It is that time of the year again when I can't for the life of me figure out what gift to buy for V. I mean I can't possibly buy any more shirts / tshirts / watches / wallets / shoes / socks and other unmentionables that I have bought him over the years. It is so darn hard to find a gift for men. Of course these days its a little easier with all the new age gadgets flying about. But that option is closed on me because this husband of mine believes it is cool to be gadgetless! Although I am glad he doesn't fiddle around his mobile phone / ipod / laptop/ palm top and numerable other things that men and some women can't live without; at this time of the year I wish he was a teeny bit gadget friendly. And unfortunately I can't even just buy one and get him hooked on to it...tough one :-( And its even worse when birthdays and anniversaries come back to back. I cannot think of something good that quickly!
Seriously I have run out of creative gift ideas. I've known him a long time now and have had lots of birthdays, anniversaries and just like that days celebrated to cater to. Now I am actually drawing a blank!
May be this is when couples start getting a little wary of togetherness. I mean, seen it all, done it all, know it what's new situation creeps in so you just get a little ummm complacent may be? so you say "hey i can't think of what to get for you" and he says "yeah same here" and both decide to ignore that special day. And that would probably the beginning of the end of romance?
Okay now I've scared myself and have to think of something and quick!
UPDATE: We have decided to buy something that both of us want but is very expensive to buy by oneself. And No Romance is not out of my marriage:-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Madras Musings - II

1) Marina Beach is a lot cleaner than I ever remember. Every morning a fleet of workers and a monstrous machine clears the beach of all that people leave behind.
2) I am still envious of people who own houses on that stretch of Besant Nagar.
3) There are a whole lot more restaurants now and not just with authentic Tamil food.
4) The hoardings in Chennai are getting bigger. They seem to cover every single site on Mount Road.
4) Chennai's probably the only city that takes innovations in saree seriously. I mean designers every where are looking at adding more bizarre designs to their list but someone in Chennai has actually come up with a saree with a pocket! It can hold your cellphone the hoarding shows. Way to go!
5) Chennai also has new malls now. Unfortunately didn't get to visit any but the good old Spencer's.
6) The city is no more "conservative" as all of us would like to believe. Fashion's certainly on scale with what you see in other cities (Or like hardcore chennaites like to say "it looks like Bangalore") and people spend generously (only relatively :-) too. But yes they are way behind when it comes to pubs. In that aspect Bangalore rules (!)
7) Tamil film names are getting weirder. I saw huge hoardings of "E" just that one alphabet. Upendra fan I suppose?

All these changes not withstanding I am glad to report that it is still warm (I don't mean temperature) and certainly safe for single women venturing out even at midnight. Something Bangalore was never and I am not hopeful, it ever will be.

Nevertheless I am glad to be back home, to the cold winters, television, my desktop, home cooked food and yes husband too:-)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Madras Musings

I am back in Chennai after three years on work. It is nice to see that Chennai hasn't changed drastically but I am very sure it is not far away either. Hoardings advertising private villas are all over the town, marking the real estate's presence quiet strongly. Tidel Park stretch is being spruced up at warfooting.

My work this time is hardly romantic. I am seeing the other side of Chennai which tourists experience in a small scale when moving around the city - the garbage piles. If you thought you've seen it all just because you've stuffed your nose with cotton while crossing Cooum or those innumerable slums you pass through, let me tell you that's not all. The outskirts of the city has garbage piled up for miles. They are at least two storeys tall and spread literally for miles. And there are people wading through it to get paltry salaries. It is so disgusting that it makes me very very sad.

I will write more when I am back. I will try and keep the garbage out of what I write because I've had enough of it. I am sure I will not forget this trip for a long time.

PS: sorry for the cliched title couldn't think anything creative...mind's numb after five days shooting garbage.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New role.

I just realised that none of my girl friends had to go through the rigmaroles of an arranged marriage. I mean seeing the guy, meeting the family, having to decide about a lifetime in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say neither did I. Where as all the guy friends have. Strange! Considering the common belief that men have more freedom than women when it comes to marriage. I have my own theories about this phenomena but that's for another post. Why am I thinking about it now? Well last of my bachelor friends is looking for an alliance and I've decided to help (Of course his family is more likely to succeed than me). But I've realised (not for the first time) that I have no clue about doing this in a conventional way. Firstly you need to know his caste, sub caste, gothra (don't ask me what that means), star, does he have a horoscope or not. Secondly you need to find out the extent to which he / his family is ready to relax the caste and sub caste fundas for the girl. I can tell you these details can fill at least one page.
And have you tried registering in any of the many matrimonial sites? It is certainly not as easy as signing up at a job site. They have so many incredibly baffling details to be filled it is exhausting. But the toughest part is describing the guy. I mean if I was telling a friend about him I could but to tell an absolutely strange web audience is very daunting. I am in awe of men and women who have put up such details on these sites, most of them have even put up their pictures (a site said that you have ten times more chances of someone responding if you put your picture up). I couldn't do it for my friend let alone for myself. Anyways for now I have put up his profile and hoping for the best. I've never played cupid before and very jittery at the thought of bringing two people together for life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Staring hurts!

When I walk down brigade road behind a girl who is dressed in lets say a knee length skirt and a sleeveless top I've noticed men staring hungrily at her legs and bare arms and other parts of course. My blood boils and I feel like putting my unmanicured haphazardly grown finger nails right through the *******'s eyes. And if you think well "she is showing off her legs and hands so what if he stares?" you've got another thing coming. This happens to women who are wearing full arm salwar kameez or even sarees. I've been there and felt those stares in all kinds of clothes. It is very very very uncomfortable, unnerving and actually makes me feel violated.
Delhi's JAGORI ('AWAKEN, WOMEN') a women's training, documentation, communication and resource centre that was established in 1984 with the aim of carrying feminist consciousness to a wider audience using creative media, has made this film called staring hurts...take a look
For more information about the organisation go here

Thursday, November 16, 2006


It is wonderful to meet people who have something new to say every time you meet them. Every day for them is eventful. Every task is an experience and every day is cherished. I wonder if they know that they are some of the very few people for whom every day is a new beginning and a new learning.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Internet connection, cable connections, mobile connectivity, malls and multiplexes have homogenised our world. Earlier if I left Bangalore and went to Mysore I could tell the difference now even when I cross state boundaries its all the same. Sometimes even the people are the same actually not the same people but similar. Even the conversations are the same - mobile phone connectivity and traffic sense!

But once in a while my work takes me to places where traffic and mobile connectivity is only a small part of the conversation. they have real issues to talk about.

Thank god for small mercies

Friday, November 10, 2006


G is a very charming girl. Everybody wants to be friends with her. Both men and women find it easy to talk to her. They love her company. She could be the life and soul of a party when it gets boring. Women could could talk to her about careers, recipes, boyfriends, husbands, babies, PMS, lingerie, Movies, Books, Politics, Feminism, Chauvanism, environment...anything. Men could talk to her about politics, sports, corruption, responsibilities, girlfriends, not understanding girls...anything again. She had lots of friends. Then they all hit marriagable age. Things changed so rapidly that no one realised what was happening. Suddenly the friends circle vanished with just one or two links that remained.

Has it happened to you? What did you do?

Fourth estate revisited.

Yet another forum to critique the media! This is getting tiring and boring...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Deepavali ventures!

This Deepavali we attempted to make friends with our neighbours. So one evening armed with sweets and smiles we knocked on three doors. The first door was not unfamiliar in the sense we knew each other. So it was "oh please come in" to "have some coffee" to discussion on cricket to "we celebrate Deepavali tomorrow." Over all not awkward.

The second door was a tricky one cos we do not know them at all. So we ring the bell and peep into a hall full of older generation staring into the TV. We say "we are your neighbours we thought we will come and say hello"...this throws them all out of gear and in response we get only "uh oh" and we repeat again we are neighbours. Then the shock wears out, we are seated and the younger ones in the family are introduced. Both husband and wife are software engineers. Within minutes we know that entire family including grandparents have passport and visa ready to go to USA except for the newest entrant in the family who is just a year old. We also are introduced to the newest mobile phone in the house that they bought at a Deepavali sale just that morning. Then one of them says "It is good that you came and introduced yourself, we don't have time for this you see" UH?

Then we say bye and head to the next door and knock. An absolutely shocked girl opens the door. We introduce ourselves and say we came to say hello. The girl simply replied "Hello" and there is absolute silence. We don't know what to do, so we just give her the box of sweets. She says thanks and shuts the door. We just stood there staring at the door!

So much for making friends :-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Nothing screams out change in oneself and all around like a festival. Nothing seems the same. Of course I know nothing is the same but how long will it take to get used to the change?

Saturday, October 14, 2006


With 200 houses in the apartment complex it can get quiet noisy around my house. The sound of high bass level from my bachelor neighbours just never goes away. Last Sunday I rang their door bell when their song starting interrupting my radio and my conversation with Vivek. I had to ring it three times before I could stir the guy sleeping right next to the door! It was 11 in the morning mind you. And then he wakes up and decides that it was his cell phone ringing and so looks utterly puzzled to find the phone quiet. I was so shocked at this that I ended up being very polite and saying "could you please turn the sound down." It worked only just that once. The whole week the guys have been giving me dirty looks and continue to play music in at decibel levels beyond the permissable levels.
And then there are people who bang things in their homes at unearthly hours. No problems with that except that it happens over our heads! We still haven't figured why would one bang every night close to midnight. Vivek says it could be voodoo!
But yesterday something different happened. I heard a female voice very sweetly singing Bhagyada Lakhsmi Baaramma. She was singing just that one line over and over again. It was friday but 11 in the night is rather late to invoke Goddess Lakshmi so I was wondering about the timing of it. Then I heard a baby humming along. It was a mother singing to put her baby to sleep. I didn't hear any other voice. Just a very intimate moment between a mother and her child. It felt very nice to listen to that. My mother too would've sung for me......did I hum along too?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Time for some education?

Today's The Hindu reports about the arrest of a 24-year-old, non-violent and suave burglar. The report is absolutely hilarious. It says he read up about Charles Sobhraj and decided to burgle people in a suave way. He did own a gun but never fired at anyone. Education is reaching far I tell you. There are more non-violent robbers these days I suppose; yesterday's The Hindu reported about another bunch of fellows who used a spoon wrapped in a kerchief to rob people! The headline read "Gang of 'gentle robbers' land in police net." Unfortunately there is no link to the report on the net edition.
Gentle robbers??? Suave burglars???
If a bunch of robbers can read up and be more suave in their profession. Shouldn't we the citizens do the same and equip ourselves to be smarter with these burgalrs?
A word of caution: If by any chance you are faced with a pistol don't act smart and say I know you won't fire at me. Not everyone is a fan of Charles Sobhraj!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thought for today

One day at someone's office.

Me: Do you enjoy what you are doing here?
Her: NO.
Me: But spend so much time doing it.
Her: Yes I do but this is not what I want to do at all. This does not excite me.
Me: Are you at least learning something useful out of this?
Her: NO. For what I put in I don't get enough.
Me: Pardon me asking but is it the money that keeps you here?
Her: Money? I haven't cashed in my last month's salary!

Me thinks: You spend so much time and effort doing what you don't like. Something that doesn't even give you anything worthwhile, not even money. Then why are you here?

As though she heard it - She: I will hopefully get out of this soon.

Me thinks: People spend so much time, effort and emotions in doing something that they don't like and do a good job of it. Imagine what a fantastic job we would do if we actually did what we want to do.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What happened?

This morning I was channel surfing and I saw John Abraham (shirtless ofcourse) crying his heart out and I was shocked; not because he was shirtless or that he was crying but because it was on Asianet, a Malayalam channel! I don't understand this phenomenon at all. Every time I have crossed the malayalam channels I have seen/heard Hindi or Tamil Songs (when soaps are taking a break that is). Last week I even heard someone sing a Telugu song. I don't know how Mals feel about this but I do wonder why? Can some one explain this to me? Also increasingly the Mal films look and feel like Tamil films (No offence to Tamil Cinema here). What happened to those wonderfully artistic and realistic films that I saw on DD on Sunday afternoons? I don't understand much of the dialogues (esp comedy) but the stories were real with real people in the movies.
I was most horrified when on a trip to Kerala I was subjected to three hours of the movie War and Love. Seriously no one in the right mind would think of an outrageous script like that! And unless you want to kill yourself don't attempt watching that movie. Not even Vodka and Rum can make you enjoy this movie.
Even as I am typing this, SPB is singing Tere mere beech mein on the very same channel.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

the man who makes me cry...

I don't remember how I got introduced to him. It could be that I loved his jhuki jhukisi nazar from arth and did some research to find that he could blow mind away. Or that song tumko dekha tho yeh khayaal aaya (I forget the movie name shux) was so soul stirring that I was hooked to his voice, Jagjit Singh's voice (BTW that song was written by Javed Akhtar, WOW).

I get so distracted that I can't talk about one subject without bringing in ten other topics. PHEW

Coming back to JJ. First thing I did when I started getting big fat salary (I won't tell how much because that's an embarrassment compared to what a 20 year old earns now) was to buy his cassettes, no CDs plain old Audio cassettes and play it on my brand new videocon two-in-one. I could listen for dayyyyyyyyyyyyys non-stop. I still do.

I do not know enough adjectives to describe the quality of his voice and what it does to those words. Every singer worth his name has sung the hazaaron khwahishen aisi written by Mirza Ghalib but JJ renders it sooooo beautifully that tears just won't stop. Over the years I have bought every single cassette I could lay my hands on and heard everyone of them a zillion times (yeah yeah I drove my mother crazy with it but she was glad at least I wasn't mad about rock).

My all time favourite, the one song I can listen to all day and get emotional about, every single time is Woh Kaagaz ki kashti woh baarish ka paani. You hear it from him once, and anyone else who attempts to sing it will only be booed, however good he or she is.

Why all this peetike...well that is because I heard him live in Bangalore last Saturday! I was so thrilled to be listening to him live that I had goosebumps for the first one hour and tears of joy for the next. He is simply out of the world. He creates such a wonderful chemistry with the audience, we went mad (all excpet the ones busy with their cell phones!). He has come to Bangalore, I think three times before and I missed the concert every single time. Once I got to know about it too late. Second time I couldn't afford the tickets and third time I was not in town. But it was worth the wait.

At the concert I knew 90% of the ghazals he sang (a far cry from the carnatic concerts I've been to where I feel like an idiot while the rest of the audience lets out collective wah wah for they know the song/s). V also had a blast (nothing like me because his level excitement would be "yeah it was good" compared to the 600 word ramble of mine)

I have to thank three people here. 1) Worldspace radio for letting me know about the concert 2) Sav for getting me the tickets 3) that anonymous gal who couldn't make it to the concert despite having two tickets - you have granted one of my dying wishes (no I am not dying now but you get the drift right)

Ah what an evening it was......................

I am writing about it full four days after because if I had attempted this then all I would've managed to write "Ooohlala", "beautiful", "my god" and sobbed all over the post :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

No regrets

People keep asking me why I am not getting back to TV journalism. How can you give up such an exciting and glamorous job is a question I answer atleast twice a week. I usually tell them things like - I can't handle the work pressure or my family time is more important. But those are only peripheral reasons. The real reason was that I was disillusioned.
I was dissappointed that news was not just uncovering was creating sensation with that "truth". I was dissappointed that people in Delhi couldn't distinguish between Karnataka and AP. I was once asked to go to Sriharikota to get a single byte from a Scientist because the producer in Delhi thought it was in Karnataka (it is in AP) and didn't think that there was any credible space scientist in Bangalore! I was shocked by the utter ghoulish rivalry between journalists of different channels. I was dismayed at the blatantness with which colleagues stole bylines from each other. That wasn't the place for forming friendships I was told. (honestly I don't want such friends). I was let down by the statement "you have to be dramatic to grab attention" And the producer didn't mean dramatic words he meant dramatic action in front of the camera (in case your wondering, I had to be dramatic). I tried that but then if I wanted to be dramatic won't I be in an (K)Ekta Kapoor serial than at a 24 hour news channel? They sure pay better (Even a not so big actor gets as much as 3k per episode and with soaps running for 700-800 episodes imagine the money one could make there)
To top it all if you don't want to live in Delhi or Mumbai you can't really break into the "league" (there are exceptions to this of course but who said anything me being exceptional?)
A friend of mine who worked in the TV medium for longer than me recently quit saying "TV is such a dog eat dog world that unless you are ready do that you shouldn't be in there"
Yeah I sure miss the magic of visual medium because print is not as exciting (no offence here just my opinion) .
The Hoot has an opinion piece on 24 hour news channels. After reading that I surely don't regret my decision.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An open letter to all mothers

...who have sons or will have sons.

My dear,

I am writing this on behalf of all the women from my generation who for the rest of their lives have to live with the precious sons you have produced and brought up. We have taken these men as our brothers, friends, and as husbands. And I can I assure it is not easy on us; that is why I am writing to you because we have realised that you alone can help the next generation of women.

1) Do tell your son that he is precious and special but not so often that he expects his sister, girlfriend or wife to treat him like a demi-god if not god himself.
2) Do take him to the kitchen and show him around as often as you would to your daughter. So that his girlfriend or wife doesn't have to introduce him to chopping board and sowtu when he is 25.
3) Do teach him about keeping a house - dust it, clean it and keep things in order. So that later when his girlfriend or wife tells him these things need to be done, he is not shocked because he always thought no one actually did any of this, but was somehow done, as if my magic.
4) Do tell him that you actually get up before him and make his morning coffee out of love (and that you can sometimes not to do it even if you love him) and not because it is a woman's duty.
5) Every once in a while do tell him you don't feel like steaming over the stove and make endless chapathis for him and that he has to make do with a quick rasam or mosaranna just this once.
6) Do tell him that when all of you go out for a fun day at a mall and come back home you are as tired as him and so you cannot magically recover in a matter minutes and make coffee and snacks or dinner for the family. You need to rest as well, just as he wants put up his legs and talk about all the fun things he saw that day.
7) Do let him carry grocery bags as often so that he doesn't start to believe that when he goes grocery shopping he doesn't have to volunteer to carry bags till he sees the woman with him is about to collapse under its weight.
8) Do talk to him about your problems and worries. So that later when his girlfriend or wife wants to talk to him, he doesn't wonder "doesn't she have girlfriends to talk about "girlie" things?" Sure testosterone will come in the way of his understanding once in a while but atleast the other women are spared the effort of telling him it is "not abnormal"
9) Do tell him about labour pain you had to endure for him and the cramps you get during PMS. So that he knows having babies is not easy on women and that the woman he is in love with doesn't go crazy every fullmoon / newmmon but is just going through PMS once a month.
10) Lastly please stop believing that you are a miracle, just because you have produced a son and that you need special attention all the time. It is plain simple biology at work (that too not from your side). You are not any more special than the woman who has had three girls in a row.

Pl. do understand that we are on the same side here. Had the mothers of previous generation had done even half of these things said above, trust me, your married life would certainly have been better. You would've never had to say "no one listens to me" when in reality you wanted to say "my husband is a pain in the butt and I blame his mother for it"

We are on the same side here. think about it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Accessorize...without buying!

Which woman wouldn't love accessorizing with Bags and fabulous jewellery. Even the ones who famously proclaim beauty comes from within and doesn't need external agents, secretly wish they could get their hands on them at least once in a while. If only they weren't all so very expensive :-( Well someone has come up with a solution for both kinds of women. You don't need to buy them just borrow them, use them for as long as six months and come back and get a different one this time. You will soon be labeled the most fashionable woman who gets new bags and jewellery every six months! Don't believe me? Check this out.
Now how does one get them work this out in our country?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Did I miss the train?

Geek Speak (at a q for billing during a sale)
G1: This Q is so long because they have closed two counters.
G2: It might have crashed
G1: That could be because they have not tested package properly
G2: Talking of not bad testing have you tried this feature on this phone? It doesn't work properly
G1: Oh it works fine on my phone. You need bluetooth for it to work.
By then G3 is interested and jumps right in.
G3: Yes I have the same phone. G1 and me use it all the time. Let me explain.
And then then three happily chattered on about the intricacies of bluetooth technology with terms like MMS, MP3, speed and cost factor thrown in. While I stood there with a mobile phone that did nothing but call and send text messages. The only extra feature it had was that it doubled up as a torch when needed. So I stood there wondering about my position in the gadget freaks' world nursing the sore spot which was turning blue where a tooth previously existed.
In the same Q there were two little girls who very excitedly talked about their new aquisitions, a complete Barbie kitchen set (pink mind you) and a delicately proportioned doll whose name now I have forgotten, in a bright purple dress. What shocked me was the price tag, together they cost 1200/- Not the kids but the dolls. I don't remember ever owning anything that expensive even when I was 20 let alone when I was 8. Nor do I remember knowing anyone who owned a Barbie doll let alone a complete kitchen set.
Suddenly I was in a hurry to finish paying and go home to my "drab" world.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tress Stress :-)

All those women, not so blessed with straight manageable hair (in short curly hair) will relate to this. And all those women who like me had their initial hair cuts in the hands of their dad's barber and so are now struggling to communicate with new age hair stylists will surely relate to this.
I will write about my own hilarious struggles some other time :-)

blog hopping thoughts

Two days ago I realised that at least once a day I peep into other blogs. Some of them friends, some are strangers, in the sense I don't know them any other way other than through their blogs. I drop in nevertheless. It also occurred to me that I was getting entangled their stories. I wonder about A's travel exploits or if that girl got her husband to cook a meal for her or if that other guy found his love...
Now a question popped in my head. Isn't this a new form of gossip monging? I mean sure instead of someone else telling you about someone else here the concerned person was putting it all out in the open for every one to read. But still...
Or is blog hopping becoming the soap entertainment of internet? You see so many different lives unfolding in their own words thankfully minus the (K)Ekta Kapoor elements. It works on the same principles; atleast for me. You see a new blog find it interesting because the author is writing about the same issues that you are interested in either in the exact same way or with her own spin to it. You go back to that blog as often till you find other more interesting blogs or this person offends you or bores you.
For obvious reasons I have decided that I surf the blogs for the second reason. Why do you do it? Do tell me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dental Discoveries

This week I learnt that the innocuous wisdom tooth (why wisdom tooth) can be a super pain in the well ofcourse the mouth when "impacted." Did you know that just the simple act of lying down can cause enormous pressure on the jaws? Well I didn't know till I removed one of the wisdom teeth. I have another one to go and I don't even want to think about the when of it.

For the last four days I have been living on ice cream, soups and sweets since I can't even open my mouth let alone chew! This is my childhood fantasy come true. Didn't you want to live on ice creams and chocolates? Only I am hating it right now. I want sambhar with veggies (!!!) in it. I want lots of veggies (I know mom you are smiling reading this). I want lots of chinese food and I want to bite into cashews and groundnuts. And what's worse I get tired of talking. Sigh.................

There is a good side to this process though. You can actually sit around and demand things. I have not had this fortune in a very loooong time. So there's mom who is constantly trying to feed me. There's dad actually taking off from work to be with me. A husband who is actually cooking his signature dhal for me before he gets to work! And a very jealous brother of mine who is trying to get back at me saying I am imitating Sean Connery while trying to talk. But except for the pain I am not complaining at all.

I also discovered that being a dentist is a very lucrative biz. 15 minutes of cutting, trimming and pulling and stitching up he gets a thousand rupees! It takes me at least a week's work and 1500 words to get that kinda money!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Yesterday The Hindu had published a survey on the thoughts and aspirations of the youth. Some of the figures confused me a lot.
18% own mobile phones
18% own Two wheelers
47% say dating should not be allowed
58% say marriage decisions should be left to parents
Are they talking about the same country that I live in?
In my country -
1) Every kid who has learned to talk can operate a mobile phone and the moment he or she is of mall hitting age they pretty much get a mobile phone.
2) Any kid who is over 13 is allowed to ride mother's, sister's or sometimes even father's bike and then they pretty much own it.
3) As soon as they can stop wearing uniforms (sometimes even before that) they have boyfriends and girlfriends whom they take on their bikes and talk for hours on their cell phones.
I am not blaming the kids, I am guilty of one or two things that I have just said. But the point is that I had assumed the whole country is like this only. That's what you see in movies, advertisements and even in news reports right? But the The Hindu - CNN IBN survey doesn't seem to be talking about the same people?!?!?
Yes they are. Only they talked to the rural India; whom all of us have happily forgotten. 80% of the youth questioned are supposed to be from rural India.
So all the media and advertisements are becoming richer just by milking the 20% urban population? And all the so called telecom revolution, and easier loans have been only for the urban junta?
I am not suggesting that the whole country should become mobile flashing brainless, courtesyless people that we have become. But doesn't the report make feel you very uncomfortable and confused about the so called progress our country seem to be have made?
Something is wrong here isn't it?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Broadcast Bill

The controversial bill has been withdrawn. Didn't realise in all the holidaying :-))))

Earning vs. Living

I was on inner ring road today and at a signal, a guy on a bike started honking while there was still about a minute to go before the red light changed to green. I tried my best to kill him with my glares. He didn't die but he did stop honking. Just as I was enjoying the powers of my glares there was more honking. This time I didn't know who the culprit. The constables at the signal , however got irritated and shouted that there's still 30 secs to go. And someone said its an ambulance. The constables and a few of us at the head of the signal, panic and try to make way, but we can neither see nor hear the ambulance. The signal opened and I frantically moved to the left of the road, wondering why I can't hear the the ambulance. Full two minutes later I heard it. Not before the mad honking of a call centre cabbie! He was driving faster than the ambulance and wasn't letting it overtake him. No one in the vehicle seemed to be perturbed by it. For next five minutes the ambulance tried helplessly to overtake the stupid cab which just wouldn't let up. The ambulance got its way through only when the cab turned off in a different direction. I prayed that those five minutes of delay and the other such delays that I didn't witness, didn't jeopardise the patient in the ambulance.
Why are we in such a hurry that we can't even let an ambulance go past us? Will that cabbie really lose his day's pay if he slows down, even for an ambulance? Will those passengers in the cab lose their pay? Who'll pay if the patient loses his chance to live because someone didn't want to lose his day's pay?

Friday, August 11, 2006

New broadcasting bill

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (India) has put up theDraft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006 and a ConsultationPaper on the Broadcasting Bill here
It is believed that the new act will go a long way in gagging the media. You can see related articles here , here and here.
I am wishing some one would explain the lawly gobbledygook of the act in English to me.

Bollywood Othello

When it comes to Bollywood (I will never call it Indian cinema. Hindi Cinema, may be, that too not today) I have learned to expect the least. Originality is expected only in terms costume designing. When films like “Kuch Kuch hota hai”, “Mohabbatein”, “Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Ghum”, “Kal Ho na ho” become successful despite their absolute inaneness, I am justified in expecting the least. Yes there have been movies like DCH, Swades, RDB, Being Cyrus, Ek haseena thi to name a few but there are still not enough of that kind. The recent string of “intelligent” movies has however given me hope.

I watched Omkaara yesterday and loved every bit of it. It was almost three hours long but not once did I feel like stirring from my seat except at the intermission. I have not read Othello (Not for the lack of trying but Shakespeare is just not very easy for me) and don't know how many liberties has the director Vishal Bharadwaj, taken. Frankly I don't care. For this Othello adaptation delivers in every department. The cinematography is captivating in spite of the absolute barren locations the movie has been shot in. Music is really good. The title song is already a hit, so is the Bipasha number "beedi". But the other songs are worth listening too. My favourites are “jag jaa ri gudiya”, “naina thag lenge” and the other item song “namak.” The lyrics of “jag jaa ri” is beautiful. The romantic number "O saathi re” is also pleasant. Gulzar rocks :-). The songs don't really come in the way of the narration.

What can I say about the cast - Somewhere I read that Ajay Devgan is adequate as Omkaara. It is true he is not spectacular but I can’t see anyone else doing that role. He looks every bit the hardcore hitman, the love infected man and at the end a very convincing betrayed man. Nasiruddeen Shah ‘s character doesn’t have great scenes and with what he has he is good. He really can’t go wrong. Vivek Oberoi (or however the hell he spells his name these days) doesn’t impress. He has not impressed since his fantastic debut in “Company.” Konkana Sen Sharma is so comfortable in her role, it is beautiful to watch her perform. It is especially interesting how she utters hard-hitting Hindi expletives without any awkwardness :-) I am glad to see her in a “commercial” cinema as opposed to “off-beat.” Bipasha Basu seems to be a shade better than in her previous films (My memory is from her debut film Ajnabee) She might get a filmfare award sooner than John Abraham for acting. Vishal Bharadwaj needs to be applauded for showing Kareena Kapoor as tolerable person. She actually managed to get my sympathies at times.

The highlight of the film is of course Saif Ali Khan. The movie opens with him. If he managed to get a national award for his role in Hum Tum (???!!!) he should get an Oscar by that standard for this. He is simply brilliant. It is refreshing to see a hero ready to change his “image” for a role. Saif actually limps through the film and has yellowed teeth. He is very convincing as “Langda Tyagi.” I read somewhere that his mom convinced him to do this role. It is a good thing to be a mamma’s boy sometimes isn’t it?

I had only one problem though - the entire movie is in a dialect of UP which was very hard to follow, many dialogues were lost on me.

That just takes the score to 99 on 100 :-)
PS: BTW I am convinced the new movie "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" realeasing today will be in the list of inane films. It will still be a hit for it has great costumes designed by Manish Malhotra you see.
Update: KANK is pathetic, just as I expected but people still want to watch it. Mostly to see how pathetic can the Karan Johar, SRK, Bacchans (who btw have been appreciated for their acting) Preity Zinta (some one tell her, screaming is not acting) and Rani (pl. stop acting in Johar films) great costume drama set in NY can get :-)))))))))))

Thursday, August 10, 2006

To say or not say

I remember giving a headline "East meets west" to one of my articles back in college. I thought it was very witty (?) or something to that effect. The euphoria or the relief of coming up with something smart (!) lasted only till my professor asked me "As opposed to?"

Err, hmmm, ahem...gulp. He looked at me exasperated and said "do yourself a favour stay away from these supposed smart lines. They have been told a million times in this week alone"

Later another professor said the same thing again and again till I could actually catch myself saying it or writing it.

And in today's fast paced, globalised world cliches in the media are abound. Someone actually took time to put a list of them together and ranked them too. It could actually serve as a ready reckoner for budding journos. These things can especially come in handy when you have to end your PTC and can think of nothing smarter than your name and the channel's name.

Read all about it here.

In the list of cliches they have forgotten the most important ones "Only time will tell" and "as good as anybody's guess"

My humble contribution.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Things I heard on a Sunday afternoon

"I should've listened to you"
"How could that b****** do that?"
"Are you sure he is the one?"
"Are you sure that's what he was trying to do?"
"Yeah otherwise there is no need for him to be there, we know but still..."
"It shouldn't have happened. But what can we do?"
"Bhagwaan kasam humne kuch nahi kiya"
"You say he was the one, but don't beat him up. No we can't beat him up either. It will be an offence on our part if we touch him. We will just fire him from the job."
"Why call the police? They will let him go."
"This won't even stand in for a legal case. You will be the one embarassed about it."
"The same thing happened to my wife you know. I didn't do any thing, what could I do?"
"Beating up people is not for us; we are educated folks."
"You go around the city by yourself, what if he comes after you holding a grudge?"
"You should've been more careful. These criminals will keep on doing these things."
"No don't call the police we will just ensure he doesn't come back into this building."
"Well we know that he can go and do this somewhere else to someone else, but it won't be us."
"Don't be emotional about this. They are psycho men. we have to learn to deal with it."
"Why do want to make yourself visible for wrong reasons? Do not complain."
"You can't change the world. Don't be silly, you just make sure you are safe."

I just have one thing to say to all these men. "Spineless *******"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Friends came along.

We held hands together and walked all day
We saw everything there was to see there
We parted only when our parents came to pick us up
You were my first best friend in all the six years of my life

Then he came along, told me stories of things I didn’t know of
I spent more time with him, and saw very little of you
You too moved on to the front of the class, to another friend
We lived on without bitterness and heartaches with new friends

I stepped into the world of adulthood, I never saw you again
But friends came along, some instant relationships that lasted
And some slowly and steadily made their way into my life
There was laughter, happiness and few tears on the way

Then came the crossroads of life, we parted ways to meet our lives
With promises to keep in touch, very few of them fulfilled
But friends came along, adding new shades to the heart’s colours
Opening worlds that I didn’t know existed, I took it all gladly

This time it was romance that came in the way of friendships
Leaving gashes on the heart, though filled with love, it still hurt
We got busy setting up our own worlds, with love, happiness and hopes
But friends came along, bringing their part of the world to mine.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


No thinking up of story ideas. If its very good no one else will think of it for a while. Else someone will do it any way.
No worrying about no story ideas.
No watching news.
No reading news.
No fretting over the madness of all the news I hear.
No worrying about joblessness.
No worrying about falling out of the race. If I am good I will be back.
No worrying about all the follow ups needed. Just call / mail / confront and get it over with.
No making to do list.
No reminding of the to do list. Everyone is grown up. He / she wants it they will do it.
No blogging; Got an idea? Do it. Have a point to make? Say it to whom it matters. Else forget it.
I am taking a holiday. Going nowhere in particular...staying put and having a holiday.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dil Chahta hai!

I watched it for the umpteenth time today. I stopped counting after the ninth time I watched it in a theatre. Today I watched it at home after a very long time; pausing at will and replaying some favourite scenes. It is amazing that after four years and umpteen viewing it still excites me. The song "koi kahe" still makes me dance automatically; even after dancing many many many nights away to that song. Every frame of the film is worth watching. The movie is simply the best. Couple of weeks ago I had some friends over and we were talking about "Rang De Basanti." Flawed as it was but everyone gathered had liked the movie. Then I had to bring it up - that DCH is still the best. Of the 9 gathered 8 agreed. You can imagine what could've happened to the one disagreeing soul. Thankfully he survived, mostly because of the impending football finals...

Coming back to DCH. The movie was good. But what made it brilliant was its timing in my life. It became a part of probably the best ten months of my life. I've had good times and great times before and after that. But that year was special. And now four years later, many happy moments of those times have become distant memories and DCH has come to be the symbol of that fantastic time of my life. And for everyone associated with the viewing G2, Sri, KB, K, P, and Sav, it is still a happy thought.

Some special moments have songs but I have a whole film. Joy's to good times!
Koi kahe kehta rahe kitna bhi humko deewana....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blog power!

Try as one may blogging is here to stay :-) They are not just diaries holding frustrations and joys of a person anymore apparently. Read more here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Definitions, derivations, theories and their side effects.


fem·i·nism (n). a) Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. b) The movement organized around this belief.
fem·i·nist ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fm-nst)n. A person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism.

Derivation: The women who believe in feminism -
1) don't wear bra
2) don't like men
3) use men only for sex
4) must be lesbians
5) defy tradition
6) will be bad wives / daughter-in-laws / mothers
7) will smoke and drink.

Any woman who defies tradition even in the slightest way is a feminist. The fact that she does wear bra and likes men will not be considered. She is a threat to the society (read my wife / sister / daughter-in-law) keep her away.

Side effects:
1) No woman wants to say openly I am a feminist.
2) Feminist woman is every mother's nightmare - "who will marry her?"
3) No mother-in-law wants her son to marry one.
4) Some "open minded" men secretly admire these qualities and find one such woman for themselves and then when the woman speaks her mind tell her "Sweetheart, I am not against feminism, I love you for being independent just don't bring that up when I ask you to make my bed."

mar·riage (n. )
a)The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
b)The state of being married; wedlock.
c)A common-law marriage.

Derivation: Depending on the gender
1) End of happy life but beginning of a life that's taken care of by wife
2) beginning of a new chapter but no more funky jewellery (only karimani (Mangalsutra) and kaalungura (toe ring)), jeans (sarees and salwar kameez only please), no male friends, no take out dinners (married and still eating in hotels tche tche) - the list is depressingly long.

1) Married man can continue to live his life only he should be seen with his wife often enough. No change in dress code is required of him.
2) She should wear sarees (ok salwar kameez), start going to temples, cook like Nala (!), know the solution to every problem - why is the cupboard stinking to how to keep away cockroaches to throw the best birthday party ever to satyanarayana pooja details to why is husband so losing weight. All on her own, no expecting dear husband to help.

Side effects:
1) Men spend more and more time in office to take care of their wives.
2) Women take less demanding jobs to take care of their husband.
3) Husbands who help wives are tagged "hen pecked"
4) Wives who ask husbands to help are "bloody feminists"

And so the cycle lives on and on and on and on.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Moving house.

The news is all over the place. Instead of quietly blocking particular blogs they have blocked the entire blog sites. Pretty much no one in India can read what I write here. Then why am I writing? Because they have found a backdoor entry into the blogs, through a pakistani site! Everyone knows about it. Wonder what the guy in the department thinks of it. The other reason is that I have got used to posting my thoughts, that don't find expression otherwise. I have missed blogging in the last four or five days.
Now I might have to move to another site to do this. It is like moving house. I spent months deciding to blog or not to blog, then set it up and settled down. Now I have to do it all over again and inform all those friends who looked me up here. The very thought is exhausting. I can't make up my mind if I want to do this.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A comment on our security setup can be found here. It may be a sentimental one but makes a very relevant point.

Bloody hell!

They were just going home finishing their work. Looking forward to a fresh bath, warm food and a quiet evening with the family. Many of them even glad for the fact that today is over, tomorrow is another day may be better. All they got is a bloody carnage. Many of them didn't live to tell the tale. Those who did, their trust shattered forever.

It is all so pointless. True they will pick themselves up today and move forward, in their famous mumbaikar stride. How far though? Till the next blast?

It is that simple and easy to kill hundreds at one go eh? All in a day's work? The people who planted those bombs did they go back home tell their family "My day was good today; I finished what I was supposed to do"?

In all the carnage I saw on TV, one thought occurred to me. People in that far away Kashmir, witness blood bath like this everyday may be not on this scale, but blood bath nevertheless. We don't see the kind of outrage that Mumbai blasts caused yesterday. Is it because we have become used to the news of violence from there? Will we reach a stage where we will react to this kind of news with a “tut tut” and move on, even if it is in our neighbourhood?

Just like the fact that in the neighbourhood women are being harassed, houses burgled, young men beaten up and killed for mere mobile phones, does not move anything in our hearts, anymore. One day the violence of the scale like that in Mumbai will also mean nothing.

Blood will run cold soon and not because we are dead.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Where have the real people gone from our movies and television serials??? They all turn up well dressed, say the right things even if they are doing world's worst thing. Perfect hair, perfect dress, perfectly coordinated accessories and almost perfect make up. The screen perfectness has spilled over to the streets too. In movie halls, malls even vegetable markets people look so well coordinated, it is as if everyone is set to walk the ramp. Will we soon see people bursting into the song and dance routine complete with hundreds of extras backing them up to express joy, sorrow umm err true Bollywood (should I say Indian) style? If that's hard to pull it off then may be we will see people doing soliloquies, quiet to the shock of those around to make important decisions or take to walk and move in slow motions at important moments of their lives - keeping in tradition with (K)Ekta Kapoor's world.

One not so regular Sunday evening.

One evening. Nine friends. Some old some new. Old memories refreshed, new ones formed. Some familiarity some shocking revelations. One harried week forgotten in one evening. Some wine, some Vodka, blueberry cheesecake and yeah football too.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


"You will understand this when you grow up" I heard this all my childhood. I thought since grown ups can do what they want, know and understand many things, it must be fun. Then I grew up and still didn't understand many things that happened then. Add to that, newer complicated issues surround me. I am still figuring out many many things. Just when it seems like I've got this one under control WHAM another thing comes at me, non-stop. If you are sensible and sensitive, you will make a better person , some one once told me, it doesn't make sense. Where's the fun part?
I would like to be 13 again. I hated being 13 then because I hated mathematics and all the writing I had to do. But then it was such a riot to beat the boys in a game of Kho-kho or kick up some mud during Kabaddi or even do all those History and English essays. Give me Shantakumari Miss in that classroom with my maths homework book to throw at me now and I'll take it this instant.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Humour me :-)

"My apologies are offered for any factual inaccuracies discovered subsequent to publication, but all details have been thoroughly researched by spending five minutes on the internet and then giving up."
I read these lines and I knew I will love the boook. This is the beginning of Author's note from the book 'global illage idiot' by John O' Farrell. It is a collection of his columns that appeared in "The Guardian" between 1999 and 2001. He is very very very entertaining with his satirical view of political events in Britain during that period.
So far the best piece has been "fifty-seven channels and nothing is on." He takes a dig at the technological advances in the world of communication. He says "New technology is a wonderful thing, but just because we can do something it doesn't mean we should do." A point, I totally agree with. In the piece he also talks about the madness of "round the clock news."
He says if you want to know what's happening with parliamentary elections in Scotland at 4am you will find some channel that'll bring you the latest developments since 3am :-) "Scottish secretary will be sitting in his pyjamas being grilled by someone not as good as Jeremy Paxman."
Further, the anchor will ask questions like "what will the government's strategy at this point time to the fact that scottish electorate has gone to bed?"
Just change Scotland to Bangladesh and the channel to one of our many enterprising 24-hour channels, it gets awfully close to home. He is just too good :-) You should read the book.
Ah just one more point, any guesses as to who is the global village idiot? No no its not me or you. It is someone we all love to hate...but have loved him for his entertainment value to the world.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Professional hazard!?!

Last week, I had to visit a doctor to get a check up. I am not at all fond of doctors or hospital so it took a mighty effort from Vivek and a severe knee pain to force the visit. There I was sitting in the lobby cursing my knee and the doctor, who was late. I couldn't postpone the visit because she was then proceeding on a month long vacation "abroad." She arrived full 40 minutes late. Isn't there a rule that at least doctors should be on time? I mean many lives depend on her or his punctuality doesn't it? Thankfully it was a posh looking private hospital with its lobby looking like that of a five-star hotel and not a government hospital so I survived the wait.

Anyways since it was way past Vivek's office timing he left to office leaving me to see the doctor all by myself. So finally when the doctor arrived I literally ran inside and rattled off my problem. She asked me a few questions and asked me to lie down for a check up. Then she asked me what I did for a living. I usually don't answer the question but doctors make me nervous and I blurted 'journalist.' She beamed at me and said "I should've guessed," I was thinking 'oh may be this sort of knee pain is a professional hazard' and said so aloud. The doctor chuckled and said "no no it is not like that. Just that you have air of a journalist" and didn't elaborate. Since I did not want to linger any longer in the hospital I didn’t insist either.

Now the question is, what is "an air of a journalist"? I've come across this kind of statements many a times off late. Nobody has asked me straight off are you a journalist but when I tell them I am one, they usually say 'I should've known.' My mom and my brother tell me it is the way we journalists dress. Is it? My mom constantly complains how my dress sense has gone down the drain since I took to media. And she usually manages to draw a consensus from people around on that.

Now that is a professional hazard. I mean if we journalists have a dress code that everyone can identify, then it is a very dangerous thing isn't it? How on earth will we do an investigative report if we can't manage to be inconspicuous?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

NDTV Does it again!

They are just too good. They make other news channels' attempts a sensationalising (what with all the hidden cameras, animated reconstructions and all that) news very very mild with its sophisticated attempts.

On Tuesday Srinivasan Jain proudly announced that "LTTE has apologised for Rajiv's assassination and seeks to mend its relationship with India - exclusively on NDTV" and kept saying it for next half hour. I usually avoid watching news in close to bed time because my doctor has told me that it makes my blood pressure shoot up and might prove explosive. But this headlines caught my attention (I know I know I am the classic sucker that all these channels aspire to cater to to). Anyways NDTV's correspondent (name forgotten) was interviewing an aging Anton Balasingham (somewhere near London!). He said "As far as the event (Rajiv's Assassination), I would say it is a great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy for which we deeply regret and we call upon India to be magnanimous....."

Back to Jain in the studio. He repeated that LTTE apologised for its act (???) and said the statement had cleared the air on who was responsible for the killing after more than a decade and half after the assassination! That was news to me I thought India had proved that LTTE was indeed responsible and had arrested and convicted as many as 27 people supposedly belonging to the banned outfit. Jain himself said this leading up to the next report that talked about sivarasan and Dhanu killing themselves in a Bangalore hideout (although pronounced as Dhanno by the reporter - Sholay hangover perhaps?).

Even more baffling was the next report that showed much thinner Jain himself (somewhere in Sri Lanka) after that historic press conference that LTTE leader Prabhakaran had called for. The report showed Prabhakaran regretting the assassination, in as many words. I understand Tamil so I know he didn't say "we did it" and his translator Mr. Balasingham certainly did not say it. Later though Jain came on screen and said again "LTTE apologises for Rajiv's killing." But not before commenting on what Prabhakaran was wearing at the press meet. What's with NDTV's obsession with what kind of outfit people they air are wearing?

Now don't mistake me for an LTTE sympathiser. I am not. What irks about this report is how the channel is trying to twist the statements to suit its TRP ratings! Oh BTW about LTTE seeking India's cooperation, Jain said "India" has said NO to any such thing. And they cut to the sound bite of this Anil Sharma, a Congressman and Rajiv Gandhi's close associate where he is saying very passionately LTTE doesn't deserve India's friendship. Now my question is who the hell is Anil Sharma? And since when did one individual who holds no office whatsoever in the government represent India?

You think I am over reacting? you see today's Hindu where another spokesperson of LTTE has said "We did not own up to killing"

What are we doing in the name of Journalism?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ice cream saga - last word?

Remember I told you about the Pleasure up campaign of an ice cream brand? Based on my acquired knowledge, I had speculated that the advertisement had gone 'wild' to include adults in its market bandwidth. Unfortunately it turns out that I was in fact correct in my guessing. Here's a report that has a brand-domain (?!?!?) specialist saying it is no accident that the campaign has been 'sexed up' but a deliberate attempt to capture the 'broad spectrum'

Question: I saw the Kwality Walls piece of advertising with my 13 year old kid. It embarrassed me no end. I thought ice-creams were for kids. How come? Satish Venkat, Bangalore Answer: Satish, I hope you were the only embarrassed one of the two. Ice-cream advertising is coming of age in India. The concept to examine is the one that points at two forms of brand positioning and advertising. The first form is what I term “narrow spectrum” positioning and the second is “broad spectrum” positioning. When ice-cream (or for that matter frozen dessert) brands enter a market, the first thing they do is pluck the lowest common denominator of the market. This is the child-audience of the country at large. Key and simple insight: Kids love ice-cream. All ice-cream advertising therefore, focuses on little children as consumers and their not so little parents as endorsers and buyers. When you advertise an ice-cream for a 2-15 year old, this is narrow-spectrum positioning. The potential for the consumption of an ice-cream is however, across the base of the population at large. After plucking the low-hanging fruit of the market, marketers focus on the possibility of a broad-spectrum appeal that could grab the child, adult and geriatric alike, into consumption. This is when advertising starts addressing every family member there is to address, with one common appeal. Broad-spectrum positioning however robs a brand of focus. And that is the downside of this kind of a positioning stance. Reasoning: When a brand means everything to everybody, it means nothing to anybody! The ice-cream advertising you are referring to, is an attempt to make the ice-cream as adult as possible. The adult market is full of value. Adults are getting very indulgent today. And its time to capitalize on this trend. Its time to erase memories of the ice-cream as a kiddy thing to do, from the mind of the adult. And therefore, this attempt. Don’t be too embarrassed. Let’s hope the kid at hand does not understand the hidden meaning of all those suggestive notes and tones. I am sure this is a false hope, though.

For more click on this link

This makes sense doesn't it? All the advertisements - print and television has some sex innuendo or the other in it. It is all part of the strategy to include the 'broad spectrum' hmm.

We are from the land of Kamasutra but we will not allow girls and boys to sit together in classrooms. We will give sexual connotations to ice cream but we will not show two people kissing on screen. We will have women in itsy bitsy clothes in every scene of the film to attract the crowd but she has to wear a Saree or a salwar kameez when the hero talks of marriage to her. We will have condom vending machines installed in all public places but will laugh at any one who tries to use one.

We are a very confused people aren't we?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knock Knock

What does one do when death comes knocking on your door? Does one see angels, devils or god himself? Or does one simply see list of jobs undone, dreams unfulfilled? Does one see her or his life in a flash. Is there regret? Or does she or he feel relieved this is over. Does the person feel the life is now complete and now she or he can move on? Where do they move on to? Is there a place for them outside the memories and picture frames they fill?

Everytime I encounter death all these questions come up in my head. Of course I have not come face to face with death too many times. But it has come close enough to disturb me. However the questions have not been answered, instead it has only doubled in number.

What do you say to a person who has lost someone? "I am sorry" seems like a ridiculous thing to say. Especially when it is not in English. Should we just not say anything and ask about other things? But isn't that rude? Then again what's the point of asking about the details isn't it. Sometimes I've realised that people do want to talk about their loss. That's how they get over it. But how do you know if they want to talk about it or not?

One thing is sure though. Death reminds us of our mortality. It tells us we are not invincible after all.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Undoing the Myths

Myths aren't new to any of us. Especially if you have grown up in an environment full of grand parents and the such who can conjure up stories to entertain, teach and just to keep you out of their hair. They can tell you stories of every kind gods, demons, good, evil, stupid, intelligent, just fun - every kind. I am not about to undo any of those. They were fun stories. I am talking about the kind you and I conditioned are to believe through out our lives and then suddenly one day it occurs "Hey that's not true"
Myth #1>
Women spend too much time shopping - Absolutely baseless.
Try this. I went shopping with this guy once, who wanted a white shirt. We stepped into Commercial Street at 11am on a Saturday morning. At the first shop he looked at every possible shade of white in all brands. Fairly simple choice - Seven shirts, five brands. Did he buy then? No. He just moved on to other shops, looked at the same shirts for next three hours and came back and bought the first white shirt he set his eyes on from the very first shop we stepped into. Exasperation is a gross understatement! Compare that to shopping with a girl friend of mine. She called me up and said she needs to buy some white top. We went to Cool Club in Chennai, bought one and were back at the hostel in flat 2 hours (which included travel time in peak traffic hour).
Myth #2>
Women spend too much money on clothes, shoes and everything - Oh Please!
Yes girls do buy a lot of clothes. That's because the love dressing up and they have so many things to try out compared to men's wonderfully boring stripes and checks variety of clothes. Same goes with shoes. But that doesn't mean they spend too much. I am not saying it just like that I've got facts for you.]
Woman's wardrobe
Unbranded Jeans that fits her like its made for her (the hunt is not easy let me assure you)- 350/-
Top - 125 -
Shoes - 150/-
Total - 625/-
Man's wardrobe
Levi Jeans (that needs altering and is ironed every time!!!) - 1200/- (I am sure its more than this)
Lacoste T-Shirt - 500/- (If he's buying a shirt then minimum price is 545/-)
Woodlands/ Red tape shoes - at the least 1800/-
Total - 3500/-
You do the math.
Myth #3>
Women gossip too much - Yeah right!
So it is the women who have created Page 3 eh?
Myth #4>
Women cannot save - Ha ha ha.
You will be astounded by the amount women manage to save. Even when they do not have bank accounts or mutual fund advices.
Myth 5>
Women are pathetic at sports - Phrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttttttt
Men aren't exactly fantabulous in our country are they? How do you explain just one world cup victory in Cricket. For men have been playing this game for what about 80 years now? Not to forget we have not even qualified for the foot ball world cup. I would like to certainly add that although women took to sports much later we will still beat you soon. And we didn't take to sports late because we were not physically capable (as one of my classmates once suggested. He said to me 'women aren't biologically made to play cricket!' Sometimes I wonder why I didn't kill him then) but because of men. Pl. don't get me started on that. You will regret it.
So there I've said it. Pl. feel free to add to the list or undo my undoings.
Sincerely Yours

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Puzzles of life.

When does cynicism set in, in one's life? At what age? Under what circumstances? How far will a person carry the resentment and bitterness of an unhappy childhood, a betrayal and failures? And how long? I have never understood this cynicism, this bitterness that makes an individual hate everyone and everything including oneself.

Sure, I've gone through betrayal more than once. Feeling let down is not alien to me. I've hated someone or something with all my heart at one point or the other. But soon the realisation dawned that hating someone or something would take more effort and more space in my life than just moving on. I have just this one life why should I waste it over people or things that aren't helping my cause? Whatever the cause.

The disappointment, the anger, the frustration does take over at times but isn't life worth figuring a way out of it? As long as you live there will be unhappy situations to face and unsavoury people who will walk in to your life. But is resentment the answer? The bitterness, the hatred - what good does that do to the one's you love or even yourself? Is it worth living a life time being unhappy? Do such people realise how difficult they are making their own lives and others around them?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Not just in India eh?

There's a report written by Associated Press writer that says how FEMA (Fedral Emergency Management Agency) of the Big Brother aka USA has managed to use the Hurricane Katrina & Rita funds for everything but relief.

"The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have found."

Next time one of us looks longingly into the map of USA or a hollywood film and say "you know only India is soooo corrupt, in America and all its all very good" should think about this story.

And any of the Phirang junta who walks into India (or sits in his own country) and say how our illiterate junta is being looted by sometimes equally illiterate and very literate politicians, should look at the things happening in their own country.

There's a saying in Kannada that goes "ellara mane dosenU toote!" which means it doesn't matter who makes the dosa there will be holes in it.

Moral of the story: Developed or Developing every country has its share of corruption. It is after all matter of kurchi and kaasu!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mangalyam tantunaanena...

This is the beginning of sacred mantra that is chanted during a marriage ceremony. It is chanted when the groom is tying the sacred mangalasutra around the bride’s neck, an act that seals the deal. If you are married you will know it. Actually even otherwise you will know it thanks to our philums. But do all of us know what it means? Well, I didn't know till today (!!!) This is the only mantra the poojari did not explain in the whole wedding process. (seriously, he was testing is English proficiency by explaining all the mantras to us while we were trying to concentrate on the fact that it is actually happening to the two of us in front of at least 400 people!) Coming back to the subject, the mantra goes like this "mAngalyam tantunAnena mama jIvanA hethunA kaNThe: badhnami subhahe! sanjIva Sarada: Satam" (pardon the ignorance if it isn’t accurate to the T, I am reproducing it here based on my auditory memory). Apparently it means "This is a sacred thread. This is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck, O maiden having many auspicious attributes! May you live happily for a hundred years (with me)."

I am not sure how accurate this translation is, but this is explanation is widely accepted. Now what strikes me the most of this very sacred mantra is that it says "this sacred thread is essential for my long life" That is the bride groom's long life! And since you (the bride) have special attributes to keep me alive and prosperous I wish that you live for a hundred years with me. Very interesting indeed.

This was probably written to mean that "a man cannot live his life without a woman" And so they need to be united in a sacred (?!?) bond. But in today's context and after years of living in man's world it comes across as very selfish statement to me. It comes across as if a man needs woman ONLY because she can give him a long and happy life. Doesn't it?

I am suddenly interested in Vedas...I want to know read the scriptures to see what is actually written and how it has been interpreted or misinterpreted by Man.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Just realised that the previous post was more than 500 words and when I am writing a report I take about two days to put in so many words!

Flavour the season.

What else but Football. I mean a bunch of football enthusiasts in a remote village in Assam have bought a colour TV for the village to watch the world cup and lo behold Brazil is their super favourite. Why should I be left behind? However I have to confess that I come from the family of Cricket crazy (surprise surprise). I am used to staying up late and listening to radio commentary and in later years fight with my mother to let us watch cricket instead of buniyaad and tea time matinee (yeah yeah yeah I am not from your cable tv generation I've seen black & white television and used radio for infotainment even before that word was coined). I watched every single match even ranji and our local gully tournament in my days. I lost all interest in it later over the match fixing controversy.

Football I knew very well. Not because I watched the game but because studied it for my Physical Education exams. Yes, I had a mad teacher who insisted we learn the rules of all games possible. The fact that both my parents were obsessed with sports didn't help either. Let me clarify that my mother later traded it for soap operas and tear jerkers (I seriously dunno why though). Coming back (!!!!!) Football I knew well but didn't follow too much of it. But all that changed during the last world cup. It wasn't a football crazy boyfriend or a wild football crazy friend's party that changed it all but my job. I was at the time beginning to be a journo and the only job my news editor trusted me with updating the ticker for the news channel I worked for. So it was my duty to run across two hallways avoiding the hurricane of producers running in the opposite direction, make a steep right turn bang into the chair on the left (every single time) and update breaking news. So when world cup started I had to keep track of the games and update the ticker. And I fell in love with the game. Ronaldinho stole my heart with that back flip goal of his. I nearly cried when he got the yellow card (or was it red?). And the excitement it caused in the otherwise mundane office life of ours was just mind blowing. The hurricane of producers running against me would stop for a second to ask "goal? Who hit?" and get back feeling a little better about their lives. It changed my life. It brought back sports into my life, after the exit of Cricket. And Now I watch all matches irrespective of who is playing and whether or not the players look hot. (pssssst all of them look hot btw)

Now the world cup is back. I actually am wishing I was in Bengal, Kerala or even Arunachal Pradesh where they go openly mad about this game and wouldn't mind a madcap woman losing it in public. I've done it Arunachal with a bunch of Monpa women for company for an inter-district game!

Any one for football party anywhere please let me join you. I will even tolerate the beer but please let’s see some excitement for the master's game. Lets put up large screens, paint (y)our faces and pay our respects.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blogged me away

Look what I found - Blogswara! Yeah yeah you read it right its music on blog!
For more details go to

I don't have time to put in my thoughts about it right now cos the power is gone and the UPS driving me nuts with all the more later for now enjoy the music.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I am not the only one.

I had written about sexual innuendos in advertisements sometime back. Looks like there are many others too, who aren't happy about it.

go-go boots!

Here's the pic of go-go boots I was referring to in my earlier post. I tried very hard but couldn't find one in bright pink. May be all of it is taken by Bollywood :-) Thanks S.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Misleading headlines.

We do anything for numbers. By we I mean media. These days all kinds of headlines are made up to catch the attention. When you go to the details there is no connection between headlines and the report. Look at this particular piece, it appeared in the website I paste it here so no one has to go clicking to look for it.

"As IT outsourcing demand in India falls apart Indian IT training institutes leave India in search of life abroad"

This is the headline. When I first read it I thought Oh god it is already happening? Questions - how and to whom are we losing to came up so I read on.

IT education and training major NIIT Ltd will set up 85 training centres across the world over the next 12 months with an investment of Rs 20 crore. "Out of the 85, 60 would be opened in India and rest in China and in other locations," NIIT Chief Executive Officer Vijay Thadani said. The time-frame for this expansion has begun six months ago and some investments of the slated Rs 20 crore has already been made in upgrading some of the existing centres, he said. NIIT currently has over 3,500 learning centres in 31 countries with over 700 centres being in India. NIIT Ltd today entered into a strategic partnership with Sun Microsystems to introduce specialised education and training programmes for students on Sun's technologies.

The piece no where says anything about outsourcing demand falling apart. In fact the NIIT chief says that "out of 85 centres planned 60 would be in India" Wow he must be losing his mind. They are opening so many centres when the demand for outsourcing is "falling apart" Isn't that called hara-kiri? Even in terms of plain commonsense? Don't think the reporter who got the press release or the subbie who put it up thought about it. He or she just thought "Hey its about outsourcing (is it ?the report actually talks about training centres, some one help me understand the connection if there is one) so let me make up some whacky line. " Sure they got me reading but then they are not gonna have me reading the rest of their site...ever. Unless I want to get my daily dose of media sensation.

Talking about headlines, Last week sometime Sachin (apna sachu) ruled himself out for the test squad to WI. So NDTV decided to ask our Mr. Dependable what he thought of it. The headlines read something like "It does not matter if Sachin is not there." Now I am not a big fan of Sachin but I was shocked that Dravid would actually say something so blatantly. Whether they play good cricket or not, our boys in blue (or is it men in blue) sure know the art of diplomacy. So this was shocking. Bitten, I sat through many many reports about reservations to see the report. And then Dravid filled my screen and said in a very typical way something to the effect "it would have been great to have Sachin. Unfortunately he can't be part of the team, now we have to play without him. This will give the younger players a chance......" Now where did he say "It does not matter if Sachin is not there"?

Unfortunately I can't stop watching NDTV cos my cable fellow refuses to give me any other English news channel! Life's bloody unfair I tell you.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For the love of PINK

I've seen Hera Pheri and the original in Mal. Loved them both. Now not only are they making a sequel they are even going pink apparently. WHY WHY WHY?
I wish they had a picture of what they are describing. Someone please please start a purple orange or even flourascent green revolution. Bring back Govinda.

Bipasha Basu's wearing pink go-go boots.
She's in a matching frilly skirt and top, looking like an enthusiastic extra from a Barbie video. "Thank God," the actress laughs, "I'm not the only one." This is true. Akshay Kumar and Suneil Shetty are in blue suits with frilly pink shirts and bow ties, standing in front of microphones on a suprisingly plain white set. They are flanked by Bips and Rimii Sen, dressed in similar attire.

A sequel with pink actors on a white stage dancing to Reshammiya's tune. Lord be with the audience.

PS: what's a go-go boot?

Monday, May 29, 2006

No wandering thoughts...

It is incredible that for the last couple of days I've not had anything that I wanna tell the world, scream down from the roof top. Which I could then put it up on this blog.

Ok that statement is not entirely true, me and no wild thoughts - I must be dead! What's kept me from blogging, is the typing! Seriously, all the technological advances is of no use if it does not help a person be what he or she wants to be. In my case - Lazy. I know there's a software that converts speech to text (I witnessed the test in P's house sometime back). But that too takes effort I mean I have to hold a mike and speak to it, wait for the computer to understand and convert it into text. That's hardwork at times. I'd like it if some software senses the it when there is a thought and I formulate it in my head into something readable and in that instant it is converted into text. I am willing to do this thought process in the vicinity of a computer cos I assume technology is not so advanced that it can sense the thought swelling in my head while I am crossing the streets or other unmentionable situations/ locations I get ideas in.

I hope some techie reads this, gets excited and solves this small problem of mine. Then I can blog wherever whenever (I think that's tagline of some product)

Just as I finish this I hear the NDTV weather report where the reporter is saying with great gusto "that the south west monsoon has had severe effects on Cozycode in Kerala" (I wish I could write it the way he said Kerala too but I can’t. If you've heard any North Indian say it then you know it). Malayalis do write to NDTV and protest over malligning the name of your place. Demand they put only Malayalis to talk about Kerala. If need be, go on hunger strike. I shall provide the most important part of it - moral support. Go on…it is the flavour of the season, don't be left behind.

Maja maadi.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Slacktivism! Why didn't I invent the word?,11913,1431246,00.html
Ethical living
Armchair warrior Too apathetic to take direct action? Then you should become a slacktivist. Lucy Siegle sits back and reaps the rewards of low-energy activism

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


This article is on rediff!

"There's something about a perfect female posterior wrapped in a tight red skirt that just makes time and space melt away. There are airlines and there are airlines, and then there's a breed of bearded business moguls who like to admirably concentrate their energies on making sure they have the finest stewardesses in the land." for more read

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A duplicator, a port-key and floo powder!

Someone wise once told me that if you do not know something exists, then you don't miss it. No doubt this is true. Until I discovered floo powder and port-key thanks to J K Rowling, I was miserable about travel but since I didn't know of alternatives I was getting along fine. But now I yearn for it so much! Just imagine no need to ride to railway station with an argumentative and sullen auto driver. No scrambling on the platform to find the right compartment and no praying that "lord tonight let there be no creep whose testosterone is acting up!"

Off late I've also been wanting a duplicator. I can use it when I am in a fix about meeting someone I am not a great fan of or even vice versa. In both situations I will not be the one facing the uncomfortable situation; it will be my duplicate evil self with a slightly altered ethicator (the copyright of this word probably belongs to Bill Watterson eh?) or just plain old good self :-) And this is just one of the many uses of the duplicator!

Oh for some magic in my life.......

Friday, May 19, 2006

Bowing to public demand :-)))

As far as eyes can reach, concrete jungle rules
amidst it all, a tree or two holds its breath and waits
beauty and serenity is all a thing of past
today it is just a smoking hole
then a lightning far ahead and the sky glows
dark clouds shroud the earth like a blanket
Birds fly home, so do we
rain comes down calming the earth
lifeless streets and alleys of the town
comes alive with the scent of rain
with dreams of spring still inside
the trees sway in the cool breeze
PS: If ever I write a book of poems in Kannada surely I am going to find someone else to translate!