Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Week That Wasn't

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I read somewhere about dreams - You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything or it could be nothing. So this week was meant to be a dream week, ideal time to explore and be a little adventurous – relive the memoirs of the evergreen past specially college days.

Alas, my happiness was only short-lived. Came along Monday and with it all my dreams came crashing down - Faster than the stock markets this week. There it flew out of the window, my hope of having a joyful ride. Probably, I had jinxed it, being over excited about it. And yes Chinese were not exactly responsible for it.

Came Tuesday, as depression warped me up, Indrani Mukherjea and Sheena Bora happened to our lives. Wow. Greater misery of others kind of gives us respite. News channels, Social media, Whatsapp were buzzing about it. Thinking of the plight of that young, beautiful girl, Sheena – I felt out of coma.


Thanked God and Mom, a zillion times that she did not try to strangulate me on the days I was unreasonable or been an irritating child. Neither I had to face the dilemma of introducing myself as someone else or juggle between multiple dads. Just one set of parents to deal with, who are just after my life for marriage. Rest I am alive and kicking, very much part of this banana republic, who celebrates everything with equal fervor be it a happy occasion or someone’s tragedy.

Sheena apparently was murdered for having an affair with her supposedly step brother Rahul (Naam to suna hi hoga :)) – and here my mother feels embarrassed that I am not having an affair. When I first read about Indrani, the bong in me cringed at the heinous crime committed by a fellow bong. Later was secretly relieved to know that she is an Assamese.
For India, she is a North-Eastern. That’s how we love to stereo type them just like we do to South Indians- everything down Maharashtra is south for people in North. Over the years, having friends from Thrissur, Chennai, Bangalore or Mangalore, my awareness levels now match the required sensibilities. Talking of Mangalore, their girls are very pretty and cause for instant crush. If I don’t mention their guys are smart, my friend might just get offended. Haha.

Coming to Sheena Bora murder case, it is inconsequential from where Indrani came from but the complexity and cold-bloodedness is definitely worth a mention. The new low is, as a society we seem to celebrate Indrani than despise her. Yes, she probably was a lady Hamlet in disguise, with a disturbed childhood. But then two wrongs do not make a right. It is amazing how this shocking crime has turned into an entertainment saga – with channels running it as a Hollywood Thriller (mark the excitement in the voice of news anchor as if they are narrating a screenplay) and we lapping it up as yet another episode of Game of Thrones ( as my friend observed the other day). All our thoughts have culminated in the hash tag of twitter, which is more powerful today than probably the Bramhastra.


Image Source: @KediaRaigarh, PTI via Twitter
Talking of entertainment, how one can forget Radhe Maa (Tainted and Painted) - the lady who gifted us piousness wrapped in a red saree and red rose, in not so pious times. The color red and thorns in the rose symbolically complements the times we live in – that of blood galore, intolerance and violence. She has also gifted new lease of life to our social butterflies – who recently brought the house down with a Radhe- Maa theme party.

She was the toast of our Media friends, who were feeling demented after the royal, ignore meted out by Modi Govt. on Sushma Swaraj issue and more recently Indo-Pak NSA Meet. The amount of grief media expressed on the cancellation of the meet was more than the nations itself. Probably a lost chance of garnering TRP for our five star journalists – only side who would stand benefitted. As in no ways Indo-Pak talk would have made any headway – India will never give up on Kashmir and Pakistan will never cease terrorism.

Inspired by Radhe Maa’s success probably, another joker from Gujarat stood tall this week, and create unwanted ruckus in the name of Patel Reservation. 

The supposedly hope of Media and opposition parties, Hardik Patel, started off with a bang but little did he knew that he will be out-smarted by multiple bang bang of Indrani Mukherjea. Talking about reservations (on advice of my friend), I speed-dialled my parents, to find out if Kumar, possibly also warrant a reservation quota or at least can be traced back to some OBC Category (given it has provided shelter to so many homeless surnames) and we can also start out own protests for some personal benefits. Am pretty confident that likes of Akshay Kumar would join us, post being marginalized first by the Khans and then by intelligence of his wife, Mrs. Funny bones, who is blessed with a twinkle in her brain.
Hardik Patel Reservation Demands

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Being General in India is worse than Being Human. Even if you escape being crushed under the wheels, there is no escapade from being crushed under the quota system. Pappu also seem to have exhausted his quota of visiting Dalit’s home, hence he expressed desire to visit LOC this week – perhaps bored of Parliament, wanted to explore adventure sports across international border ( may be was missing Bangkok). Talking of LOC, if one voice needs to be heard – that’s of our Jawans about OROP. Only time I feel social obligation should take precedence over financial calculations.

Amidst all fiasco, some good news for sports fan with Saina becoming No.1 in badminton and India winning the test match against tearful adieu to Srilankan legend Sangakkara. Talking about match – match of words between Bhakts and Adarsh Liberals is streaming live all the time on Twitter, our permanent source of fun.

Talking of fun, my heart aches on my unfulfilled plans, as I survive another week, with hope that we will execute our grand plan one afternoon, in some week. And we live on till then. Live to take selfies and mock anything and everything that comes our way.

By the way, Happy Rakshabandhan Girls, while the guys vow to protect you this day, we are equals right?? – So you too have to protect us – from any bias or stereotype. Not every guy is a stalker or eve-teaser. That reminds me of the infamous Jasleen Kaur Case this week! Do us a favour- stop sharing such posts without verifying – because the guy you shame wrongly is perhaps someone’s innocent brother.

It’s also time to call our mother’s and thank them for not putting us to solve logical test question on our family tree. A little bit of sheen on humanity has withered away with Sheena. Maybe we owe her a small prayer and a good life, thereafter.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Book Review : Ramayana ::: The Game of Life::: Shattered Dreams

Book: Ramayana::The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams
Author: Shubha Vyas
Publishing House: Jaico
Genre: Mythology
Price : Rs. 350

Story: This book is a sequel to Rise of the Sun Prince and  extensively covers the phase of Rama’s life when he was readying to be coronet-ed as king of Ayodha to his exile for 14 years and first phase of its journey in the forest. True to the title, the story unfolds the untold moments of the incidents that happens behind the exile of Rama, reactions of various sects of people within and outside the palace, and eventually covers the first phase of Rama’s exile along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman.

Synopsis: The book extensively captures each and every moment of the drama that had unfolded, right from Kayeki’s change of heart to the dilemma of a king torn between love for son and vow to his wife, to pain of a grieved mother , to anger of a brother and finally love of a wife for her husband. And most importantly it gives you an insight to Rama’s mind and his thought process. Another unique aspect about the book is the annexure that forms part of the chapter informing reader’s relevance and meaning of various words/context used in the story. The book also captures the critical stories of the past that had a bearing on the present and future of King Dasaratha's life thus providing the readers the context to understand the proceedings better.

The language of the book is simple and lucid making it easy for readers to understand. The book is vivid in terms of details and captures the finer nuances of the gripping drama and at the same time gives insight to larger picture about life and its predicaments. It teaches important lesson of how one should conduct at moment of crisis and everything in life happens for a reason.

Final Take: If you are have interest in mythology or history, this book is the one you will likely to enjoy and at the same time make you knowledgeable.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mauka Mauka !!!

Yet another eventful hectic week passed by. Yet another fun weekend is about to end. And here I am one more time, culminating my thoughts to pen down yet another blog. It is irrelevant what is on my mind, what is relevant is that whole of India is all geared up to cheer for the Men in Blue for their semi-final match against Australia next Thursday. Probably the toughest opponent they will face this season. Come to think of it a lot of us were cheering for Pakistan win in the quarters and dreaming to crushing them yet again in the semi-finals. Alas Indian proposed, Australians disposed.  It’s an open secret nothing gives us more high than a win against Pakistan in a cricket match.

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There has been a huge speculation around the Mauka Mauka Ads, which has been a runaway hit this season beside the blockbuster world cup matches. As the chorus grows stronger by the day #Wewontgiveitback, it will be one gripping battle for Dhoni’s men to beat Aussies at their backyard. While we will have to wait and watch, whether India grabs the Mauka and retains the cup, it will be interesting to look back and note our own share of Mauka Mauka as a Nation – also Hits and Misses.

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In a country, where lunches are not free, but opinions are pretty free flowing, discussing politics is as regular as cuppa of tea every day morning. While we celebrated Modi’s victory few months back and lauded it as the biggest Mauka to become world’s largest economy, little did we know that there was long drawn exhaustive battle ahead between Economics and Populism. Worst, our enemies within pose much larger threat than our external enemies. So what we witnessed was a very feudal approach by all political parties to all measures current government proposed including the much debated Land Acquistion Bill. 

The selfish interest of fringe religious groups and Opposition, Media houses with vested interests and occasional self goals by the Ruling party ensured that we are in the news for all wrong reasons – Communal attacks, Conversions, the so-called Bans be it Beef or AIB or the disruption in the Parliament. What is worrisome is as we talk, we have larger issues to address like Farmer suicides and the potential attacks by Lakshar-e-Toiba who are all geared up to repeat 26/11. Only silver lining perhaps was passage of Coal and Mining Bill in this session of Parliament.

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When it comes to double standards, we are unmatched. We raised huge hue and cry over ban on Nirbhaya movie while we completely chose to ignore a fierce less lady called Suzette Gordon because she did not conform to the so-called set standards of an idealistic woman we wish for. Or worse would not give the media right kind of Mauka for TRPs. Suzette Jordon died a lonesome tragic death in one of the hospitals in Kolkata. Women of India can take heart from the cows. At least they would feel loved in this country. For the records, Suzzette was the Park Street Rape survivor who refused to hide her identity and who was not shown any Mamata by her own state government. Thankfully India has not forgotten story of another hero who died last week, IAS officer Ravi under mysterious circumstances. He was fighting against corruption and Land Mafia.  Each time we hear a story like this, we are filled with cynicism whether this country will ever get a real Mauka to become a corruption free nation or a nation which would start treating women as human. Ironical it is then to observe our misplaced priorities, we worship Gods who happens to be women and beat and rape the same women when they happen to be humans.

Talking about priorities, one sneak peak at Twitter and we know how misplaced we are. Be it #AdarshLiberals vs #Bhakts or the regular trolls, we just need one Mauka to score against each other. So it was not at all surprising to see a reply on Virat Kohli’s wall when he praised #NH10 and his lady love Anushka Sharma. On or off social media, we just wait to punch each other. Not only priorities are misplaced, our egos are too. We live in an age where Gadgets are viewed as friends and Emotions as aliens.  Talking about emotions its complex and not always easiest thing to express. So it was extremely heartening to seeing Deepika Padukone coming out and speaking of Depression in details. Goes on to prove irrespective of stature, we all are human. Having experienced the same in my own life, I know how difficult it is to talk about it. Thankfully today we have growing set of people in our society who are open to talk about uncomfortable topics and set up a social platform thus giving Mauka to rest of the people to discuss and engage. Isn't that the true form of democracy we represent rather than a mere ban?

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Talking of ban, we the working class always wish there were bans on Monday. But then if we do not have Monday in our lives, how will we appreciate our Saturday and Sunday. While in Mumbai, a large part of our time, is spent commuting from home to office and vice-versa, often alone lost in thoughts, thankfully I am blessed with a friend who not only generously offers me a ride to office but an awesome DJ in his own rights playing some really cool music amidst the busy streets of Mumbai. Not to forget the ones in office who offers me their share of food when hunger strikes me at odd hours. Talk about humanity, Mauka Mauka J !!!!!!

The pictures used are taken from Google Images.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Night @Mumbai

I truly believe that our life is an aggregation of short stories; each has its tender and memorable moments, few up and down before the dust eventually settles. Probably it’s all about making those moments count.

It was a Friday last year in Mumbai, when my sister had visited me from Singapore and incidentally my best friend and her brother was in town too for some work. Incidentally all of them had planned to stay put at my place. While my friend and her brother were already home, I had to pick up my sister from hotel on my way back from office. Thereon we had planned for a gala evening.

All happy and excited, as scheduled, picked up my sister on way home only to realize that my sister has accidentally dropped her wallet in the cab which had not only her cash and credit cards but also her passport. Panic settled in immediately as we tried to figure out our next actionable. Thankfully my friend first calmed us down and we planned our move. While my sister started calling the call centre to block the card, I and my friend went to trace the cab which we had taken outside a famous hotel. There was an underlying belied and optimism that kept us going. When we were busy in the hotel lobby figuring out the cab, we were in for a pleasant surprise.

The cab driver had called my sister in the international number and informed about the bag. We were completely won over by his gesture and we co-ordinated with him to get the bag. We profusely thanked him and my sister handed over some cash to him though being a gentleman he was reluctant to take his award. I realized in the last three hours, what it meant to be together and fighting out a crisis- Had my friend and her brother not there with us all along supporting in the best possible manner or in a larger universe the cab driver or even the hotel staff, all together made this happy ending possible. That day gave me a great sense of optimism that humanity exists and how.

Once we collected our belongings, there was a huge sigh of relief. It was around ten at night. But then Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. Party had only begun for us. We decided to feed our hungry tummies first – since we all opined to have some local food, we went to a food joint that served Street food as well. Next what followed was our over indulgence in a motley mix of delightful spicy dishes. Each one of us something different and by sharing made it into a grand meal. We all stayed at some point of time in Delhi, hence recalled our old days and its sweet memories while ravishing the Chaat and the Golguppahs.

Our appetite being full, next we headed to a pub nearby to just enjoy good music, let our hair down and dance like there is no tomorrow. Next one hour ensured that we had completely distressed ourselves and was completely in the party mood – clicking crazy pictures, thanks to another couple of friends joining us. We had a gala time and when our feet could barely move, we decided to come out. Out in the open, a nice breeze blowing from the sea side, we could not prevent ourselves from walking down to the Marine drive. The silence of the night perfectly complemented the weather and the best thing that happened post the music. That day I realized, be it moments of joy or crisis, what makes the difference is being together and not being alone. Feeling loved and being cared for. By the time, we headed home in the wee hours of night, the memories of the night was already etched in my mind forever.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#StartaNewLife : Of Hope and Dreams

Sometimes the boldest decisions of our lives come at a time when we are shattered, hopeless and nothing more to lose – at least in our mind. Such phase came in my life not once but twice – where it appeared to me as point of no return.

First, way back in the early 2000, when despite getting through and successfully completing 2 semesters of my post grads I had to drop out of my studies due to unavoidable situations. Future looked completely bleak. I had almost given up on my life. Never before had I stepped out of my house. But it was now or never. Mind had almost surrendered but heart was ready to give one last fight. Pulled up all my might to study and sat for this exam. Not only cleared the exam and MBA college interview, here I was in the heart of India, its capital Delhi.

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Delhi brought a new enthusiasm with it in my life. I was ready to embrace it. New place, new people and for the first time was experiencing a hostel life – mixed emotion of anxiety and excitement had overwhelmed me. I was stepping into a new life, away from home. For the first time, the protective child in me had to be let gone and independent sensible individual had to step in. Good thing about B Schools is that it gives very limited time for you to think and ponder on. From new classes to ragging to making friends to hostel food to team projects, new life was alive and kicking in full flow. Time just passed by. The biggest asset my stay in Delhi and that education in that campus gave me beside great friendship, was confidence and to face any situation whatsoever. Once I stepped out of that campus 2 years after, there wasn't any looking back.

My second transition was when I made my move to the city of dreams – Bombay, now Mumbai. It was that point of life, when pessimism was back in my life – even as I kept wondering where I went wrong in my efforts that rewards stayed away from me. Angry, hurt and disillusioned – I would have none. No logic, no counselling could help my cause. The office where I shared so many good moments had turned into a mess for me overnight. All I knew was that it was point of no return for me and I just could not go back to that office and its people any more.

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A new city and new life was ready to embrace me. My close friends were left behind. Honestly did not know, if I was happy or sad. Just went with the flow hoping life had saved the best for me. Found a new home and nice people. Missed my old life but probably it was the hope of something fruitful something better kept me going. It’s been 5 monsoons since then in Mumbai – the rains, the heat, the traffic, the crowd and the pace; everything has been part of me and I, a part of it. Inseparable.

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