Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post 212 : Stock Update 7 - CASt away - Hinduja TMT

My previous post

Good times are rolling

Hinduja TMT has hit 740 today.....I have been chasing this stock since it was 290.....(BTW, the current trigger is the CAS rollout in Metros....)

Look out, I think it will unlock in about a year to 1500.....

Reasons you ask.....ahem....

I have put my money where my mouth is....I have only HTMT in my stock portfolio (and my wife's too)......

I started stock picking, because when I was college, I thought it was the only way to make lateral wealth....btw, this is a very yuppie Bombayish thought.....If not for the other 1000 reasons, at least for this one, I am glad I grew up in Bombay.

My other stocks to watch remain....

ENIL (Radio Mirchi), Asahi India (glass makers), Satnam Overseas (now Kohinoor Overseas - rice makers), Apollo Hospitals (health care), D-Link India, Mahindra Finance - micro finance....

I dont like most other stocks in the market, not because they are bad, because they are not valued right.

I like to buy a few stocks, which I think have value which can unlock and unwind over time...risk free...sure fire multi-baggers.

Happy stocking up.....

Post 211 : Long live the Jackass

Was watching NDTV today, there was this debate going on - "what is this big ooh-aah over New Year Eve..... ". My point is, there is no harm in celebrating. Every occastion to celebrate is welcome..... What disturbed me was that the debate was not about the 'celebration', but the mode of it....

On one side, there was Nalini Singh, Arun Shourie's sister (and one from the original TV intelligensia) - who thought private celebrations were perfectly fine (my point as well), but the avant garde page 3 type parties send the wrong messages into a crowd of already confused youth - the point being, Nalini Singh was against the culture which positioned your stature with the kind of crowd you hobnobed with - A culture which propogates that if you are not seen at a particular 'quality' or 'class' of party then you had still not arrived in life, has defintiely got something wrong.

On the other side, was Mr. Kishen Mulchandani, a perpetual page 3 fixture(I am sure his photos in Bombay Times are fixed by a bimboish PR agency), who committed faux pas ad infinitum in his tirade....firstly he called the youth - "The BPO Generation" - and then he said - these 'poor souls' have never had a day of fun in their life because they all came from villages and towns, and were farmers -implicitly meaning farmers and small towners have no idea of what "fun" is - then he said - "Bombay was the megapolis where you could spend money to attend a whose who kind of party and get a taste of what actually living was meant to be. "

By the time his rant ended, I was wondering (already everyone wonders what exactly does this idiot do for a living....but thats another matter).....Is Kishen actually so brainless or ....maybe he is he intellectually defunct because he comes from a family where such abstruse values such as ' party = living', 'farm life = boring', 'youth from town = deprived' - were used, abused and hurled across.

Everyone has an ass within him/her - the question to be asked is "how big", and "how well do we hide the ass within us"....

Someone like Kishen who does not know enough to hide his idioticy is defintiely an aberration - he must be the proverbial jackass we don't want our children to grow into.....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post 210 : Guru will (must) flop

I don't know what or when I got biased against Abhishek Bachan....I used to like him when no one else liked him....I saw him in the 'Kuch Na Kaho' and told everyone who could hear he was a star. Did not see 'Run', but knew he was great in it, and then of course there was 'Yuva' and 'Sarkar'....

But then recently I was hearing some weird tales from showbiz insiders of how political and scheming the Bachan's made me wonder, were they successful because they were insidious, or were they insidious because they wanted to protect their success......

Whatever the reason, seeds of doubt were sown....

And then there was Dhoom 2. AB junior hammed....Ash sucked big time.....

And the murder was completed.....

I saw promos of Guru today and felt only revulsion.......Could see the same hamm(er) going tongs......

Am I witnessing the birth of a bias. My Amma agrees with part of me....but still.....

BTW, the music of Guru sounds classic Rahmanesque......

Monday, December 25, 2006

Post 209 : Adopting a piece of the world

When I was young (in my early teens) I was progressive and full of the goodness that only youth can contain. As I approach 31, I am corrupted, rotting from the inside (literally as well), dogmatic and quite a few of my virtues have been flushed down....

One of my ideals was to adopt a baby when I can....not because of any philanthropic reason.....but simply because of a simple principle.....'we must strive to increase the overall quality of the world' i.e. contribute in reducing entropy.

Since my recent surgery (and the wounds it has left on my corrupted soul.....scathing it to expose the inner sanctum....which I hope is still somewhat pristine) - I have been toying with this idea again.

Unlike 17 years ago, feeling very apprehensive thinking about this idea.....but need to do....what I must do.....

Ye spirit of Gaia, adopt me.....make me bite the bullet

Post 208 : Life as it does not seem

The maid who comes to our house to help us clean up, gets her daughter along.....

The daughter is in 8th or 9th standard, studies in a municipal school. She accompanies her mother to 5 different houses in the afternoon (after school) to help her mother clean up the homes (homes like mine).

I look at her and wonder, would I ever make my daughter work, if she was in 9th std? Would I especially make her work in cleaning the house?

I already know the answer and it makes me very uncomfortable.

Its no excuse to tell myself that others do it......I wonder how or why do we distinguish between our children and those of others? I have asked this question in the past - does 'my' 'our' mean anything in a crazy interconnected world.

I am accumulating karma, and I know its bad......probably its this karma that manifests itself in my intestine as an infection.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Post 207 : Old man by the railway station

I have lived in Bhandup for 13 years now.

If you take the exit from the platform (the one toward's Thane), and come out the east side - you should exit near Menon College.

There is a small bylane which is a pebble road to reach the post office - a faster way - not that it is too far away, it is just 50 mts away.

On this road exactly at the center, over a nullah (a gutter) if you may, there is a slight over-bridge kind of structure. Close to this is a seat (exactly on the backside of the Ganesh temple near the rickshaw stand).

On this seat for all of these 13 years, a man has been living. He does not beg, he does not work, he does nothing at all, but he lives.

He has definitely not shaved in years, has probably not bathed for as long as well ....he just sits there or sleeps there....he has a sack full of his belongings along with him, but I dont think he really opens it ever.

I have seen him in rain, in summer, in winter, at night, at day, early morning......he is omnipresent.

I often wonder where does he pee or poo.....does not look like at the seat, because that place does not stink.....but I have never seen the seat without him either.

Of the many observations around this, I wonder - his life seems to be just there to exist, to be....and he seems without a begging....just there......

Life instructs us in various ways, maybe here it is teaching us ways to achieve Buddhahood......

Post 206 : Movie 4 (Dhoom 2)

Thats just a glimpse of the pain I suffered while witnessing this mass murderer of a movie. I cringed, sobbed, wailed, danced in my self pity.

This movie should rate as the most brainless movie I have ever seen in recent times (the others in this category should be MF Hussain's Meenaxi and Fida). But even amongst its peers this one should come unscathed at the bottom, wallowing in its monstoriety......

Don't watch this, unless you have a fancy for :
1. Fake accents of Indian actors speaking English in foreign locales
2. A movie with a complete lack of script or reason.
3. Characters who seem to make a virtue of displaying their unreal and so tanned.....
4. Aishwarya Rai in her unblemished Madam Tussad's performance......
5. Abhishek Bachan and his meaningless snigger
6. Bipasha Basu and ....(wonder why she is at all relevant in the script).

The old Dhoom had bikes, had speed, had a great villian in John Abraham.....this one stinks for miles.

I would have liked to rate this -2 on a scale of 10, but I will rate it 2, only for 1 reason....Hrithik Hroshan.....He is magnetic on screen....delivers oomph to a role which expected him to be a Daniel Craigish cold character.

He should be our answer to Daniel Craig.....

But I had rather watch him in Mission Kashmir than this assualt on sanity.

Dont watch it, but yes, do gift the tickets to your enemies, you never know....they might just not manage to endure it.....they might go kaboom during dhoom....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Post 205 : Music 12 (Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for Fears)

From my website an earlier post in Aug 05


Cable Television in India happened in the period between 1991-93. Before that, we were privy to just a single incumbent channel which dished out less than 10 hours of (perversely substandard) programming per day.

Amongst the earliest cable channels that we had, was the bouquet from Star Television (Newscorp from Murdoch!!), which included MTV (yes it was part of Star then...and it was MTV undiluted which means a lot of Asian VJs and great global music....I still miss MTV classic), Prime Sports (now ESPNStar) and Starplus.

Prime Sports introduced me (and possibly a whole host of Indians) to Formula 1, and MotoGP (which was then FIM 500, 250 and 125CC).

I still clearly remember my rites of initiation into MotoGP was accelerated by Wayne Rainey (driving for Yamaha), coming on 30 second ads to push the sport. I started watching the sport in 1991. The GP (Goose Pimple) moment was the end of the coverage credit song (played at the end of the 2 hour live slot.....sadly ESPNStar now-a-days does not even cover MotoGP live.....How quality regresses...!!!). They used to play 'Everyone wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears' as the audio track, with spectacular slowmos of bike racing at its 'adrenaline' best...crashes, overtakes, wheelies, stoppies, slides.....and I must admit, I felt crazily alive for those few minutes (almost 3 minutes). Possibly, that's where the seeds for my passion of biking were laid. I still believe, in my opinion, that the song with those visuals was the most inspiring video (not the original for the song), I have ever seen. I am sure any biker who has ever seen it, must have connected with it instantly....It did immensely help that the song was (is and will be) a favorite.

Welcome to your life

There's no turning back

Even while we sleep

We will find you acting on your best behavior

Turn your back on Mother Nature

Everybody wants to rule the world.

It's my own design

It's my own remorse

Help me to decide

Help me make the most

Of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

Everybody wants to rule the world.

There's a room where the light won't find you

Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down

When they do I'll be right behind you.

So glad we've almost made it

So sad they had to fade it

Everybody wants to rule the world.

I can't stand this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world

Say that you'll never never never never need it

One headline why believe it?

Everybody wants to rule the world.

(Everyone wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears)

Post 204 : Heroes 1 : Sharmila Irom (Again) - 2nd Tehelka Interview

From Tehelka

Young, stoic and dogged, Irom Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death since November, 2000. She wants the repressive Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act repealed. The Act gives draconian powers to the security forces and has repeatedly been used with brazen brutality in the Northeast. For five years, she has been imprisoned and force-fed by the State for her ‘crime’. Filmmaker Kavita Joshi spoke to her in the hospital room in Imphal, her prison

An eye: piercing, intent. A nose, covered by a swatch of medical tape, as a yellow tube forces its way in. Lips, stretched tight as if in pain. A woman sits against a bare wall, huddled under a blanket, tightly hugging herself. This is my first impression of Irom Sharmila as I walk to her hospital bed. She is incarcerated at the security ward of JN Hospital in Imphal, Manipur, in custody of the Central Jail, Sajiwa. It takes her immense effort to speak, but she tries her best. “How can I explain? This is not a punishment. It is my bounden duty at my best level.”

Irom Sharmila has not eaten for over five years now. For this, she has been locked up in jail by the government under very dubious charges and is being forcibly nose fed. Since November 2000, Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death, demanding the removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA). AFSPA is a law that can come into force in any part of India declared as “disturbed”. The act allows anyone of any rank in the army or a paramilitary force under its operational command to shoot, arrest or search without warrant; and to kill on suspicion alone. Furthermore, there is little scope for judicial remedy. The whole of Sharmila’s state — Manipur — has continuously been under this law since 1980 (with minor exceptions in recent times).

It’s been five years since that day which changed her life. November 2, 2000 was just another Thursday. Till, that is, a convoy of Assam Rifles was bombed by insurgents near Malom in Manipur. In retaliation the men in uniform went berserk: 10 civilians were shot dead. You could say that neither the killings nor the brutal combing operation that followed were new to the people. Manipur had been ravaged by umpteen number of such incidents in the past. But for Sharmila, Malom was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. “There was no means to stop further violations by the armed forces,” she says. She began her epic fast.

From then to now, Sharmila’s frail body has become a battlefield. Within days of her fast, she was arrested on charges of ‘attempted suicide’ and put in jail. She refused bail; she refused to break her fast. For five years now, she has been in custody, being forcibly nose-fed. Time and again, the courts have — rightly — released her. But she resumes her fast and is invariably re-arrested each time.

In the five years that she hasn’t eaten, Sharmila’s body has begun to get damaged severely. She lives with the nagging pain of a tube thrust into her nose. She is 35 but has become feeble and looks older. What’s more, for five years, Sharmila has not seen her ageing mother. In her mother’s own words, “I am weak-hearted. If I see her, I will cry. I do not want to erode her determination, so I have resolved not to meet Sharmila till she reaches her goal.”

In times that are inured to violence, Sharmila’s protest is remarkable for its insistence upon the Gandhian ideals of ahimsa (non-violence) and satyagraha (insistence upon truth). And though her protest is ignored every day in the world’s largest democracy, Sharmila is resolute — “Unless and until they remove the AFSPA, I shall never stop my fasting.” In a rare interview, shot for the film Untitled: 3 Narratives — On Women and Conflict in Manipur, she unravels her heart, slowly, like a stream of amazing struggle and hope amidst intense despair.

Why did you start upon this fast?

For the sake of my motherland. Unless and until they remove the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, I shall never stop my fasting.

Could you tell me something about the incident that sparked this off for you?

I had gone there (to Malom) to attend a meeting. The meeting was towards planning a peace rally that would be held in a few days.

I was very shocked to see the dead bodies on the front pages of the newspapers. That strengthened me to step on this very threshold of death. Because there was no other means to stop further violations by the armed forces against innocent people.

I thought then, that the peace rally would be meaningless for me. Unless I were to do something to change the situation .

But why choose this particular method? Why a fast unto death?

It is the only means I have. Because hunger strike is based on spirituality. What about the effect this has on you, your health, your body?That doesn’t matter. We are all mortal.

Are you certain that this is really the best way?

To inflict this upon your body?It is not an ‘infliction’. This is not a punishment. I think this is my bounden duty.

‘Although the State may think so, I am in no mood for suicide. In any case, if I were a suicide-monger, how could we talk like this? I have no other choice but fasting’

How does your family react to your fast?

My mother knows everything about my decision. Although she is illiterate, and very simple, she has the courage to let me do my bounden duty

When did you last meet your mother?

About five years ago. There is an understanding between us. That she will meet me only after I have fulfilled my mission.

It must be very hard on both of you…

Not very hard… (pauses). Because, how shall I explain it, we all come here with a task to do. And we come here alone.

Just why are you in custody?

Why exactly?It is not my will. But the State insists it (the hunger strike) is unlawful.

But the government is saying that your fast-unto- death is attempted suicide, which is an offence…

Although they may think so, I am in no mood for suicide. In any case, if I were a suicide-monger, how could we communicate like this, you and I? My fasting is a means, as I have no other.How long are you prepared to go on like this?I don’t know. Though I do have hope. My stand is for the sake of truth, and I believe truth succeeds eventually. God gives me courage. That is why I am still alive through these artificial means. (Indicates the tube going into her nose.)

How do you spend your day in the hospital?

A lot of the time I practice yoga. It helps me keep my body and mind healthy. (She points to the tube again.) It is circumstances that make things natural. Though this (tugs the tube) is unusual, it is natural to me.

What do you miss the most?

The people. As I am a prisoner here (in hospital), everyone is restricted from meeting me without permission. So I miss people a lot.

If you had one wish that was yours for the asking, what would it be?

My wish? We must have the right to self determination as rational beings.Do you think the AFSPA will be repealed? Will you get what you are fighting for?I realise my task is a tough one. But I must endure. I must be patient. That happy day will come some day. If I’m still alive. Until then, I must be patient. (My time was over, and my crew and I were preparing to leave, when Sharmila stopped us.) Will you help me? I would like to read about the life-history of Nelson Mandela. I have no idea about his life. Will you send me a book about him? It is full of restrictions here. Make sure you address it to the security ward. If not, I may not recieve it.

(We sent Sharmila, the book from Delhi. Her friends tell us that it has reached her.)

Mar 25 , 2006

Post 203 : Sharmila Irom

I live in a world that does not suit me. I choose my heroes and they are quite different from what the world throws back at me.

I reject, refuse and decline to appease the f***cking 4th estate as they would choose to call themselves.

What sort of a weird world we live in, where I get 12 news channels beaming me live news all the time(yes, everything from Abhishek Bachan's crotch size to Lindsay Lohan's boob size, to Aishwarya Rai being a manglik, and Sunjay Dutt being a beatific AK-56 totting saint....and all of this all the time on all the channels.....4th estate, I have one word for you, its a four letter word, and its not fuck....its DEAD, all of you are dead and the stink shows it), but not of them has the balls to report on Sharmila Irom. (You ask who is she?....Well, that fits in beautifully with my point).

I have written abou Sharmila before, even back then, it was Tehelka that brough it to my notice. Its one of the few media institutions that is alive, writes about issues I want to read about.

My earlier post

I have reproduced two articles from recent issues of Tehelka about Sharmila Irom......

I often wonder what sets MK Gandhi, Mehdha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Sharmila Irom, Noam Chomsky apart from us....Is it their karma?

How noble is their cause, how pure is their pursuit......Does Medha ever think how she shall fund her next mobile phone from? Why am I so corrupted? Sometimes I think and conclude - maybe we are so deep down in this shitting quagmire - it might be better to let the quicksand lap you up and then start all over again.

Reproduced below Tehelka's Article from Dec 06 issue:


The immensity of Irom Sharmila Chanu’s now six-year-old protest is matched only by the paralysing indifference of the State and the national media, says Shoma Chaudhury

An ordinary November evening in Delhi. A slow halting voice breaks into your consciousness. “How shall I explain? It is not a punishment, but my bounden duty…” A haunting phrase in a haunting voice, made slow with pain yet magnetic in its moral force. “My bounden duty.” What can be bounden duty in an India bursting with the excitements of its economic boom?

You are tempted to walk away. You are busy and the voice is not violent in its beckoning. But then an image starts to take shape. A frail, fair woman on a hospital bed. A tousled head of jet black curls. A plastic tube thrust into the nose. Slim, clean hands. Intent, almond eyes. And the halting, haunting voice. Speaking of bounden duty.

That’s when the enormous story of Irom Sharmila begins to seep in. You are in the presence of something historic. Something unparalleled in the history of political protest anywhere in the world ever. Yet you have been oblivious of it. A hundred TV channels. An unprecedented age of media. Yet you are oblivious of it.

Irom Sharmila, 34, has not eaten anything, or drunk a single drop of water for six years. Six years. She has been forcibly kept alive by a drip thrust down her nose by the Indian State. For six years, nothing solid has entered her body. Not a drop of water has touched her lips. She has not combed her hair. She cleans her teeth with dry cotton and her lips with dry spirit so she will not sully her fast. Her body is wasted inside. Her menstrual cycles have stopped. Yet she is resolute. Whenever she can, she removes the tube from her nose. It is her bounden duty, she says, to make her voice heard in “the most reasonable and peaceful way”.

Yet we have remained oblivious to it. The Indian State has remained oblivious to it.

For six years, Irom Sharmila has been protesting the indefensible Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958) that has been imposed in Manipur and most of the Northeast since 1980. The Act allows the army to use force, shoot, or arrest anyone without warrant, on the mere suspicion that someone has committed or was about to commit a cognisable offence. The Act further prohibits any legal or judicial proceeding against army personnel without the previous sanction of the Central Government.

Draconian in letter, the Act has been even more draconian in spirit. Since it was imposed, by official admission alone, more than 20,000 people have been killed in Manipur. Rather than curb insurgent groups, it has engendered a seething resentment across the land, and fostered new militancies. When the Act came into force in 1980, there were only four insurgent groups in Manipur. Today there are 25 on the government’s own watch-list.

A few years ago, an unedited cd began doing the rounds in civil society circles. It showed footage of humiliating army brutality and public rage. Images of young children, students, working-class mothers and grandmothers taking to the streets, being tear-gassed and shot at. Images of men made to lie down while the army shot at the ground inches above their heads. Images of a group of young men in Lamlai rounded up and forced to beat each other with sticks. With each passing day, the stories gathered fury. Disappeared boys, raped women. Human life stripped of its most essential commodity: dignity.

By all accounts, Manipur has been a wasteland of fear and counter-fear for decades. A kind of despair runs in its veins. When ordinary people leave their homes, they are uncertain if they will return. There is no electricity. The countryside is dark. Everyone is fair game. The army on one side, rival insurgents on the other. And the crippling disinterest of mainland India everywhere. Tell the State force is no way to deal with such unrest and it is unimpressed. Creativity and agility are not attributes governments understand.

For young Irom Sharmila, things came to a head on November 2, 2000. A day earlier, an insurgent group had bombed an army column. Enraged, the 8th Assam Rifles retaliated by gunning down 10 innocent civilians at a bus-stand in Malom. The local papers published brutal pictures of the bodies the next day, including one of a 62-year old woman, Leisangbam Ibetomi, and 18-year old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Child Bravery Award winner. Extraordinarily stirred, on November 4, Irom (then 28) began her fast.

Six years later, sprawled in an icy white hospital corridor in Delhi on a cold November evening, Singhajit, Irom’s 48-year-old elder brother, says half-laughing, “How we reach here?” In the echo chambers of that plangent question lies the incredible story of Irom Sharmila and her journey. Much of that story must be intuited. Its tensile strength, its intense, almost preternatural act of imagination is not on easy display. The faraway hut in Imphal where it began. The capital city now and the might of the State ranged against them. The sister jailed inside her tiny hospital room, he outside with nothing but the clothes on his back, neither well versed in either English or Hindi, and a posse of policemen at the door

Menghaobi, the people of Manipur call her, The Fair One. Youngest daughter of an illiterate Grade 1V worker in a veterinary hospital in Imphal, Irom was always a solitary child, the backbencher, the listener. Eight siblings had come before her. By the time she was born, her mother Irom Shakhi, 44, was dry. When dusk fell, and Manipur lay in darkness, Irom used to start to cry. The mother Shakhi had to tend to their tiny provision store, so Singhajit would cradle his baby sister in his arms and take her to any mother he could find to suckle her. “She has always had extraordinary will. Maybe that is what made her different,” Singhajit says. “Maybe this is her service to all her mothers.”

Dec 09 , 2006

Post 202 : Book 7 - Ravan and Eddie by Kiran Nagarkar

Both my wife and my mum, found this book howlarious. Its obvious my tastes are slightly different.

I did enjoy the book, its kind of 'coming of age - juvenile - post puberty' kind of book. The only other writer who I know writes in the same genre is Upamanyu Chaterjee of English August fame. (BTW, I like his Last Burden much better).

In this genre, you keep rolling from one sequence to another, no real character development or emotional undercurrents, just rip-roaring audacious humor with a soft melancholic underbelly.

I must admit, there were times when I was reading this book and burst out laughing - quite spontaneously - if not for the situation - but for the way the author had described it - the language - its risque and bawdy.

I would rate this book 6/10, yet I would recommend that if you want a light read - touch upon it.

One of the strong reasons - I rate this book low is because it left a very incomplete taste in my mouth, a kind of feeling you get when your partner just backed out before the big O.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Post 201: Music 11 (Dani California by Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

I am known to vacillate between the devil and the deep blue sea....between the priestess and the sultry slut.....I want to keep it that way. In my opinion its an essential attribute of being alive.

I know very few people who listen to Floyd, Dire Straits, Def Leppard, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, GNR, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, REM, Dave Matthews - and still swear by classical music as well.

I do, and the day I stop - place a RIP over me.

Grew up listening to RHCP esp. who can forget the classic 'Give it away, give it away, give it away now......'.

Heard Dani California - and it sounds like a classic RHCP. Retro sounds, very unusual rhythms, RHCP signature vocals.....fuzzy lyrics which goes all the way to paradise before falling in heap at Satan's feet.....

'Push the fader, gifted animator
One for the now and eleven for the later'

Lovely feel....long time since I heard metaphors like goes the whole song

Gettin' born in the state of Mississippi
Poppa was a copper and momma was a hippie
In Alabama she was swinging hammer
Price you gotta pay when you break the panorama
She never knew that there was anything more than poor
What in the world does your company take me for?
Black bandana, sweet Louisiana
Robbin'on a bank in the state of Indiana
She's a runner, rebel and a stunner
On her merry way saying baby what you gonna
Lookin' down the barrel of a hot metal .45
Just another way to survive

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

She's a lover, baby and a fighter
Should've seen her coming when it got a little brighter
With a name like Dani California
Day was gonna come when I was gonna mourn ya
A little loaded she was stealing another breath
I love my baby to death

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

Who knew the other side of you
Who knew what others died to prove
Too true to say goodbye to you
Too true, too say say say

Push the fader, gifted animator
One for the now and eleven for the later
Never made it, Up to Minnesota
North Dakota man was a gunnin' for the quota
Down in the badlands she was saving the best for last
it only hurts when I laugh
Gone too fast

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

Yeah, yeah

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

Post 200 - Music 10 (Tu Kaun Hai - Bhopal Express)

I have copied this from my website....orginally written in Aug 05


Bhopal Express was a movie made in 2001, which documented the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984 in the form of fictional tale. The tragedy itself was a colossal murder, a leak in the Union Carbide plant which killed and affected over half a million people. Its reminds you that.... life is indeed very fragile, death can come in the dark (like it happened in Bhopal that night), it can come via closed doors, it can come via the most secure barricade, it can find you and kill matter where you hide.....when 'gas' is a murderer, the perpetrator is shapeless, omnipotent, and permeate at will.

This movie has two actors, Kay Kay Menon and Nethra Raghuraman who play the main protagonists in the tale.(I can appreciate the director's dilemma, he possibly could not have dealt with half a million protagonists and their portrayal.

There is lovely song in the movie, very haunting (breathtaking lyrics), sung by Lucky Ali (comedian Mehmood's son). The song is at the bottom of this page. I am not sure where exactly this song is fitted within the movie, but this page is about the video of the song. In the whole song, slivers of the movie are used as the prop for the video.

The video conveys to the viewer a scene where Kay Kay's wife Nethra is returning to Bhopal on a long distance train. Bhopal has already begun decomposing due to gas leak (which happened a few hours ago)......Kay Kay is just a tiny cell in a massive destruction taking place.

He knows his wife is on her way back, and he wants to prevent her from entering Bhopal....but how?, those were not the days of cellular phones. (In real life, a lot of trains passed through Bhopal on that night, and possibly innumerable personal tragedies did occur....which otherwise could have been prevented). Kay Kay decides to run out of the city, and stop the train on the tracks, so that the whole train (and hence his wife) are saved.

The camera pans on Kay Kay who is running on the tracks, as fast as his feet shall take him away from Bhopal. He sees a train coming from far on his track. He removes his shirt and begins waving wildly. The video shows a irritated driver (of the train) not knowing what to do, finally bringing his train to a halt near where Kay Kay is on the tracks. This whole scene is played out in over 2 minutes with the camera alternating between Kay Kay and the driver. Kay Kay in the initial part is not sure whether the driver would heed him and stop, and when the train does finally stop, the relief and joy of Kay Kay as it is played out on the track is so real...that for a minute you forget this is a are now part of the game.....a game you so desperately want Kay Kay to win.....and he does eventually win....or so it seems....

Meanwhile the song is playing in the if is enmeshed within the game...its an integral part of the moment, not an accessory. You are treated to a spectacle of Kay Kay thrashing around wildly with joy, kissing the ground (a la Sajda!), and then.....

On one of the parallel tracks, another train goes by....This is also a long distance miss a breath.....The camera pans on Kay Kay's face as he reads the name of the train from the side (as it is passing him by).....the moment is still...the train is moving....the joy is dead.....the expression contorts from that of a relief to impotence, as he figures that he has stopped the wrong train....the train containing his wife has just passed him.....and that moment is indescribable (as it captured on camera)....the helplessness of human spirit, the defeat of it, and its death and captured in full spirit.....its so are it is happening....a man has just saved, probably around 2000 lives....yet he is completely deflated...tired, defeated, because his own wife is going to die......heroism does not obscure a personal tragedy.....infact it does not even brush past......the personal tragedy has veiled the whole moment....its larger than anything else....

The last bars of the song play and then it ends.

Tu Kaun Hai....(Who (what) are you?)

Kahan se tu aati hai
Kahan ko tu jaati hai
Sapnon ko sajati hai
Apnon ko ley jaati hai
Baaghon mein jab behti hai
Kaanon mein kuch kehti hai
Aati hai nazar nahin
Saanson mein par rehti hai
Hawaa hai pawan hai
Vayu hai, purvaaee hai
Jeevan hai, jaan hai, ya parchaayee hai
Lene aayi hai ya kuch mere liye laayi hai
Poochoonga mein kya tujhse

Kahan se tu aayi hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai...

Tu jab chalti chalti badal
Jab chalti tu girtey patte
Tu kehti to diye jalte
Tu rukhe, dil dil se milte
Sagar ki lahron mein lehraati hai tu talay tul
Patton ke paayalon mein lati khan khan
Khat Khat koi nahin aisa ek jhonka hai
Kuch hai, such hai, ya tu ek dhoka hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai...

Kahan se tu aati haiKahan ko tu jaati hai
Sapnon ko sajati haiApnon ko ley jaati hai
Baaghon mein jab behti hai
Kaanon mein kuch kehti hai
Aati hai nazar nahin
Saanson mein par rehti hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai
(Lyrics : Piyush Pandey, Sung by Lucky Ali, Music : Shankar Ehsan and Loy)

Post 199 - Music 9 (Yeh Hosla - Dor) again!!

Refer to post 180 and 179.....on what the 'again' means....

The more I listen to this song, it grows on me. You have to watch it with the movie to be moved with a emotional force so breakneck, its almost as if the world stopped. Very few songs have that power. ('Tu Kaun Hai' and 'Everybody wants to rule the world' are probably the others).

This song must be the anthem for a nation, its timbre is akin to a movement.......or for a crazy bunny of a cricket team which loses 0-5 to South Africa. Maybe the song motivates them better than the sound of money.

If you have not heard it, please do. If you have not watched the move, watch will love Gul Panang, Ayesha Takia and Shreyas Talpade. (Dor by Nagesh Kukonoor)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Post 198 - Tales from the back(side) or 'The Tao of Poo'

Just had a colo-rectal surgery….whoa!!! what is that. That is a clini-surgical process to clean your gloryhole.

Lets go back, starting June 2004, I have had off and on severe Gastro-instestinal problems. With the lucky me – eating some strong medicines (read poision) – for some other nasty problem – I thought maybe this was a side effect of this poison.

It always seemed to be aggravated when I traveled, infact even the subtle hint of long travel (even to Poone, which is all but a 2 hr drive ) used to put my intestines into overdrive.

Life set into motion around mid of 05, by Dec 05….I was as normal as a bunny rabbit. Then in Dec, I chose a project – yes, you heard right, I Chose a project which required me to travel 4 days to Hyd /per week. Hyderabad is an hour by flight from Bombay. (Harikiri never really went out of fashion).

By March, I was bleeding – gassing – farting – my intestines were doing everything but the normal.

In May I consulted a doctor who said – hemorrhoids – needs surgery. I say fine, fly down to Mumbai.

A senior doctor in Mumbai looks at my sweet spot and says – hokum – no hemorrhoids, just an intestinal infection – ciprofloxacin + tinidazole should do the trick. I do a 10 ten day course – and ‘praised be the prophet’ – I shit like a baby – perfect normal until August.

Come October, I have to fly to London. That’s where my intestines started singing…..yeah…another sad love song (aka Toni Braxton)….what’s the connection…..well, my intestinal singing was just as sad and ludicrous.

I get this slight pain while passing stools and extreme discomfort throughout the day…..

Finally on Nov 17th, I can take it no more and fly back into Bombay.

On 18th, I get examined, on 19th – I get colonoscopy…..- prognosis – intestinal infection coupled with hemorrhoids, fissures and some nerve dislocation. (My harikiri seemed to have almost succeeded).

Action – surgery as soon as possible.

My doctor (actually for the fun I poke at him, he was really sweet….he is still sweet), I have felt comfortable with him – he tells me, 30 min operation, 2 day out of action, 4 day rest and bus kaboom, life will go on…..

For the colonoscopy they make me fast for 12 hours ( no water).

I get admitted on 22nd Nov evening. A day full of trepidation. No food starting 23rd morning. Operation is supposed to be at 12, gets postponed to 4pm.

The wait is interminable. Finally at 4.30pm someone wheels me to the OT. There the nurse tells me, why have you come so soon, no OT available till 5.30pm at least……

I decide to wait. Finally at 6.40pm and OT is found.

A sweet lady speaks to me as I am wheeled in, tells me about the epidural (spinal anesthesia). Asks me to crouch like a baby. I do that and bang bang bang, she injects me with 4 injections.

Asks me to lie down, speaks to me like a mom (thank you – dear nameless doctor, you reassured me before the operation).

Meanwhile, along IV lines, they give me sedation, while the epidural is making my body –chest down as dead as a log.

I blank out in the next 2-3 mins. I wake up quite later (in retrospect it was 7.45pm)

Surgery is still on. Docs and surgeons start talking to me, making me relax. (Thank you folks – you were really great). Thety tell me another 10 mins and they are done.

By 8pm we are done. I am clothed (of course I was naked), but more importantly my feet were dead.

I go back into my hospital room (or rather I am wheeled in) by 8.15. My wifey and her sister (both have patience like a clock – thank you without you I would have died due to the trauma), both greet me. I am not supposed to eat for another 6 hours, remember I have not had a single drop of water since morning.

I don’t know how time passes, I think I sleep – its almost 10pm.

My sweetheart calls for some coconut water. She talks to me, hugs me, relaxes me. I sleep off again.

I wake up at 11pm. This time, I am more aware of my self. I realise, I have a catheter attached to my soosoti (yeah, that’s what a character in Rohington Mistry’s A fine balance called the penis – I liked it – so it stays). At 12pm, I am allowed some narial pani (coconut water).

At that point, the nigfhtmare starts. I am fucking tired, my anaesthesia is wearing off, a niggling pain is starting, and yet a crazy uneasiness is overtaking me. I can’t open my eyes (literally I am so fucking drowsy) and yet I can’t sleep.

I start nagging my sweety, and she like a mother starts daubing me. (I love you for that, I hope I can be as loving when I am needed).

She holds me, hugs me, kisses me, taps me, hugs me , kisses me….and it goes on ad ennui…..

We do this until 4.30am…yeah you heard right. I call my wifey tinkoo – tinkoo puts with all of this without a complain, she stays awake as well.

Finally at 4.30 am I am exhausted and pass out.

Next stop 7am. I can only sleep in one position, because of the cathedral.

Next day is a day of only liquid diets. (24th Nov).

My sis-in-law, lets call her Aarti, comes in to visit me. Hugs me, tells me things will be ok.

By now, the catherder has made a monkey out of me. I am tied to the bed, but I can’t even move without pain. Doctor tells me, walk if you want to – walk, huh, I could not even move a finger without pain.

On 24th night and 25th morning, too much rumbling in my intestine. I think I have to poo.

On 25th morning, a nurse helps me off the dressing and asks me to try. (to try to poo that is). She also helps me off the catherder. Tells me it wont pain me, but in the process of removing it, I almost die.

And try I do…..but nothing but a whole load of blood and pain comes out.

I pee though, and the pain while peeing is as if I am spitting acid not pee.

I am tired, and I come out of the loo, to be greeted by the smiling portly face of Dr. Sachin (he is probably one of the most relaxing docs I have met) .

Sachin : tried?

Me : Yes

S : And?

Me : Nothing happened, except for blood?

S: (smiles) nothing will happen. There is a padding within your intestine I need to remove. Please turn around.

I turn around and S starts pulling, and I start screaming. Each length of the pad coming out is shearing me as it were a knife.

Me : Done?

S: Just a little more?

Finally about 3 feet of gauss dressing comes out of my intestine. By now, I am dying with pain.

S : Don’t worry, you wont poo till tomorrow, its only flatulence. (he speaks but I am not hearing).

Finally by afternoon, I am fine, but still in great amount of discomfort.

Now I have some semi-solid food. At night I have a laxative and some fiber supplement.

Can’t sleep without a pain killer. A nurse pushes a few ounces into my bum.

On 26th Morning, I am ready to poo. Go in, pass a lot of gas. Poo coming, but also attached is a lot of apprehension.

Will it pain, will it not?

The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind!!!

In the next 5 seconds, a huge blob of poo followed by a pain – that I almost died of.

God, be kind, don’t give anyone that sort of pain. I really died. For 10 minutes after I came out, I was convulsing with pain.

S came in : Amit don’t worry shall be ok in about 10 minutes.

Who the heck is listening?

I take discharge on 27th……

Similar poo experiences go on till 30th evening. Reason : We realise a bit late, that I am not taking enough laxatives, poo still not smooth enough.

Starting 30th, I guzzle laxatives as if my life depended on it.

Today is 4th, the pain has substantially reduced though it does pain quite a bit, but when 26th became the ‘standard’ life can only get easier from there.

Also, on 26th – 27th- 28th I had terrible headache, so much so that I could not even stand for a moment, I used to feel dizzy. Doc told me it was a standard side effect of the epidural fluid leaking off, should be okay in a few days. This hampered my ability to sit, pee, eat, poo, read…..all I could do is lie flat.

Since 27th till today – every day for 4 hours I have this crazy hyperactive – super nervous 4-5 hour stint every day. It happens randomly. Sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. While this hyperactivity is on, I cannot read, cannot drive, cannot sleep, cannot watch TV, cannot read email……my mind just does not remain still (possible a glimpse of what a very advanced form of ADC (attention deficiet disorder) might be.

I think the above is just because of the fact that I have been pumped in with too much medicine – I need detox, plus a very sensitive part is trying to heal (like you get an itch with a skin rash heals).

Overall, a very spiritual experience (a post will follow on this topic).

The doctors (Hitesh Mehta, Sachin), the Mallu nurses, my parents all deserve a great thanks for helping me through this. My wife and Aarti have been through this as much as I have been. Would have died by now, if not for them.

At office, Prashant, Vinod and Ranjit back up for me. Prashant especially deserves a thanks, given that I abandoned him alone on the ship at a very crucial point in the project, and boy did they manage it well.

Vijiamma/Appa/Sujish/Bindu/Vivek/Prashant (again) and a whole host of friends kept calling me tirelessly through these days to make sure I was ok. Glad I got that, I definitely needed that bit of support. I was going crazy in the past week, almost as if the walls would come down collapsing on me.

Google (and now the doctor tells) me its going to be 2-6 weeks before I feel normal.

So much so for a story from my backside.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Post 197 - Book 6 – Rohington Mistry’s A Fine Balance

I borrowed this from my mom. Before I did that, she warned me, ‘Beta, this is a f***ing depressing book’, (okay…okay…close that mouth of yours ….she did not use the f-word, but meant it all the same.)

Depression and me seem to gel together quite well…..why? am I a wailing melancholic…..not its quite that black…..the white is the (long ago dead) poet in me reacts much better to misery than joy.

I just finished it today, a 600 page monster in small print.

I can’t recall having read a more melancholic book than this.

Did I enjoy it? Immensely. Dina Shroff, Maneck Kohlah, Ishvar Darji, Om Darji, Beggarmaster, Dustoor Dab-Chab, a city without a name (but its about Bombay)…..the loveable parsis in all their resplendent glory…..I lived all of it, experienced it……imagined Dina Aunty’ kitchen, Maneck’s hill station home (probably Mount Abu or Sringar or Arunachal Pradesh)……

One thing though, this is the first book that made me wince about Indira Gandhi and her imposed ‘Emergency’, I have heard generalizations before, but never details. This book is about telling details without revealing.

I am probably going to read up a bit around ‘emergency’.

Okay mom, it’s a sad book, but its something I shall treasure for life. I will definitely re-read this book exactly two years from now. It might remind me of a few decisions(for the future) I took along the way while reading this one.

This one gets a 10/10 for being subtle, classy, involving, tragic and poetic. A Must Read if you like fiction.

Post 196 - Book – 5 – Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City

A cannot-put-me-down read…..My mom thinks it’s an especially depressing and scathing take on the city, focusing on nothing but its failings.

Its kind of true, but still I found it a riveting yet light hearted read. You can read it in a crowded compartment without missing any of it nuances (as it is, the author does not lend himself to too much subtlety).

I found the book honest, yet all over the place. Its more like a running commentary on a great city. Pages keep moving from episode to episode……

Its only towards the end, after you have run through the chapters on Jains that you see the point the author is trying to make. He is capturing a city, which is trying to live upto its macho image, while all the time, gnawing at its soft absent skeletal center……a city which is trying to wallow in its hype and pride, while all the time, there is a closet of shame always around the corner…..a city which is trying to retrofit itself into a world gone ahead, while all the time, trying to contain its own monstrous extremities……and the point is, even he struggles to grapple with a such a dubious incongruent paradoxical city….someone he wants so much to love……but he inadvertently ends up maiming….a product of the ‘only stories’ the city can narrate without crossing the limits of fiction, the stories which feed his skewed prose.

I will still give it 8/10, for being a thoroughly paisa vasool read. I am sure Mr. Mehta will be delighted with that statement.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Post 195 : Innocent Drinks 3


the rest of this is verbatim from this blog :


Last week, as some of you will be aware, I sent the followingemail to Innocent drinks (producers of Innocent Smoothies):

Hello, my name is Joe, and I'm a bananaphobe.I can't stand to be near the "evil yellow fruit", the sight is unsettling for me, and the smell quite literally makes me sick.This makes drinking your smoothies somewhat problematic, I've tried the yoghurty stuff, but it's just not fruity enough, please tell me you have plans to produce a fruit packed smoothie sans banana?
Yours Banana hatingly hopeful
Joe Archer

They just replied with the following:
Hello Joe,Thanks very much for your e-mail. We're sorry to hear you're a bananaphobe. The problem is that bananas do their job so well, as they're great for natural texture, that it's really difficult to find something else to take their place. Our product development team are always on the look out for a natural alternative because we know not everyone loves them, but it's going to take time. The only banana-freedrinks we have are our juicy waters and thickies (apart from the banana& cinnamon thickie), but I'll certainly pass on your request. All the best,Row!

Post 194 - Innocent Drinks 2

As I said in an earlier post, am a life loyal fan of Innocent Drinks.

Love their tongue in cheek conversation style in which they try and relate the product to you.

On their Pomegranate, Blueberry & Acai - natural detox juice ; the ingredients reads

82 squashed grapes
2 1/2 mashed bananas,
1 pressed pomegranate (12%)
1 1/2 freshly squeezed oranges
1 cowboy hat *
200 crushed blueberries (5%)
133 acai berries (4%)
and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

For the *, the bottom of the pack reads 'yee ha'

Else where the pack reads
Acai - The brazalian super-berry that contains Omega - 6 and 9, is high in anti-oxidants that protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals and will even clean your car #

and the bottom # reads 'not really'.

Elsewhere :
Detoxing is pretty simple. First of all, cut out the bad stuff. Check all pockets for any stray cream buns. Then start adding super-nutritious stuff to your diet.

So the good news is that by drinking one portion of this smoothie, you'll get the same amount of anti-oxidants provided by your average 5 fruit and vegetables a day. But that does not mean you should not have some veggies with your dinner. No excuses.

and the top of the pack reads : (with their usual smilie, each of their juices has a unique smilie on them, like the photo below)

'Please keep me in the fridge and shake me before pouring*'

* it helps if the cap's on

I love this brand......

Post 193 : Platonic relationships

How do you define a platonic relationship (PR) - well, 'one that has no traditional definition'.

A close friendship, a stranger who becomes a sister, a girl who is a boy's best friend or vice versa (dont ask me why same sex friendship seems exempted)......a lady who becomes a mother, an youngster who treats you like a father......

In all of these, what do we crave for? Does PR provide money - hell no, unless you mix in some complicated will and inheritance structure - Does PR provide love - not really, yes, a semblance of it, but it is still not really a full time relationship (by its very definition) - Does PR provide caring and succor - not sure.....

Yet, most of us, and that includes me, treat these unorthodox relationships very gingerly, with more love and trepidation than we would deal with 'defined' relationships. We dont want to commit the same mistakes that we have already committed elsewhere. We dont want to burn bridges like we have done in the past.

I have my share of platonic relationships, and at times I philosophically wonder, is there a hidden agenda which I have in any of them. (Not that I can easily identify one, just wondering).

Like this mom I have, who is not my mom, yet she is my mom, I treat her like one, and accord everything I accord my mom. I possibly love and care for her, as much as I do for any other person in my life......or the father, the same story...or the girl who is my sister (yet not my sister.....

Yet it is not like a traditional relationship, yet stronger......weird part is, its difficult to define what I expect out of these relationships.

I do value them, but still, the question nags me, is there a hidden expectation? For my own good, and the good of the blue planet, I hope not. A lot of 'platos' would die, if it turned out otherwise......

Post 192 : The cruelity of human kind

I gave up eating meat in Jan 2003, and by Jan 2006, was almost off meat, except for eggs.

What pushed me over, was John Robbins, the food revolution - a sassy take on what wrong with the way we produce meat.

I also was steadily realizing the violence it causes in the world.

I am amazed to see channels like 'travel and living' make a mockery of other living beings. You see Jackie Chan, walk into a restuarant, pick up a fish from a tank and have it withering on the chef's table, all the while while the camera is panning on the chef and Chan talking about the merits of eating fresh fish......holy fish, cut the crap.

Mr. Chan, have you ever lived without oxygen for even 10 seconds of your life. If yes, you know how miserable the feeling is, and yet we (without batting an eyelid) - put a fish through such torture, before finally (and equally cruelly) slashing it down its neck.

Or the other show, where some sassy chinko-american babe, takes a monster crab (almost the size of a large parattha - in dimensions i mean), puts it into the freezer - why? - well to make it immobile, and straight out the freezer into the boiling water of a pressure cooker. Whoa!! the crab must have surely enjoyed it.

I have a very perverse sense of justice....I am sure in the ages to come, the world will be owned by the sharks of the water (or someone equivalent). Can you imagine what their TV show will be like.

Camera pans - on this huge grisly teethy shark - who shows a watertight container full of oxygen, in which it has trapped Mr. Chan's baby. It dangles the container for the television to see. The chef, opens the container, and lays the baby on the table. The baby is writhing, choking - wondering what the f**k is happening, and more importantly why 'me'?.

All this while, the sharks are admiring the writhing baby, its complexion, the chinese nose (remember its Mr. Chan's baby) - 'oh, what a fine specimen'......

Then suddenly without warning the chef chews off the baby's head. Whoa!! a hit cooking show in 'Waterworld'.

Look, I am not living a glass house - I use leather, I use candles, I drink honey, I eat capsules made of gelatin (made of cow's intestine) - yes, I do....but probably, I am hoping that the cruelity in these cases happen away from prying eyes - or better still, they are instantaneous - like shock or high impact instant death.

Friends, eat meat, but don't please make a mockery of life, don't make a living out of cruelity.

If the world is even half as interconnected (as various religions tell me), we probably have had accumulated more than a million times more negative karma, than we can ever handle. Give life a chance, give karma a chance......

And God, (yes, I am an atheist....but you don't need my belief to exist, do you?), make Mr. Chan, and the sassy shapely chinko babe - a equally shapely fish and crab in their next birth. Can you please pullease do that?

Post 191 : Divorce never seems easy

I went through a process similar to divorce last week, no...nothing related to my wife ....(no, not my concubine either)!!! Something similar to divorce, but a very corporatish tradition.

I have been through something like this before. It never seems easy. Everytime it gets more difficult. One queer observation though, it also seems that parties involved already seemed to have made up their mind, even before the actual D date, making a mockery of the D proceeding....almost a pre-determined conclusion to a drama-baazi in corporate world.

I felt this odd stab you get, similar to one (probably) which a chef gets when he kills a live fish.

What am I trying to saying above. Well, nothing.....actually....just that corporate rituals at times make me unusually philosophical (hell, thats a ghoulish concocction, right).

Post 190 : Case of missing pens

If you work in a corporate world like I do, this is a mystery for you. Do doff your holmes' hats and hit it....

All corporates have a stationery supply. Typically they stock in cheap run of the mills (literally) pens. We as corporate citizens (or shenanigans .. to wit!!), tend to subsist on these pens.

In the past 6 months, I must have doffed at least 20 pens of the stationery box, never-once writing the pen to finish even 1/10 of its refill. I seem to lose these pens all the time.

I confronted my friends and colleagues, and almost everyone has a similar story to boot. To make this story glue tight, I ask my reprographic team - and they tell me on an average a floor of 400 consumes 1000 pens at least per month.

Where the f**k do these pens go? It almost seems to be as if there is a diabolic plan by these pen companies which includes the janitors - these janitors might have monthly targets to meet - so for example if a cleaner does not produce 100 pens/month and supply it back to the pen manufacturers, they lose their bonus.....surely there must be a hair brained scheme like this at the back of this, or how else do you explain 2.5 pens/person/month.

Surely, if no-one is siphoning them slyly, then if I lose a pen, someone in the ecosystem should find it, but thats not true.

'The case of missng pens' - maybe thats a case of the hordes of CCTV in the office. Hey Security, get to work.

Post 189 : Mid-day Cartoons 31 (Sweeper wins lottery)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia Date : 11th Nov 2006

Post 188 : Music is forever young, its we who grow old

My musical tastes have been broadly stuck in the 80s and 90s ( I mean esp. for rock and pop music, and this is not really about hindi film music or ghazals) - and I for one, have dispassionately maintained that this was a clear sign of my growing old, unable to keep pace with the world around me.

In the past 20 days, I have had an early morning dose of MTV europe...and you know how MTV is, plays hip hop fresh music served straight up.....and guess what, I can connect to the vibes, and am enjoying Brit music - Killers, Beyonce, Timberlake, Oasis - just the way it is meant to be.

Probably, come to think of it, I am not really growing so old after all, also, more importantly - probably its just Mumbai is no longer warm to western influences (when I was growing up Channel V, MTV Asia, Times FM, Radio Mid-day - all played steady rock and roll and pop and hop hop and grunge - all souped up and ready everyday.

Today, MTV Asia - even the VJs cant speak english, channel V is a deaf dingo - blares only crass hindi commercial stuff, all radio channels sound the same - yeah, crappy, cudgely wudgely and hugely boring.

Maybe there is market for a straight clean hip station and channel in Mumbai.

Wrod to Worldspace and VH1!!

Post 187 : The mystery of a posthumous Nobel

I was seeing Seinfeld yesterday, and in an episode called 'The Lip Reader', there was this talk about Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld - who the footnote (additional DVD notes) told me had won a posthumous Nobel in 1961.

All along, I have been reading about Gandhi missing the Nobel prize because he died a few days before it was awarded to him. There is famous quote:

Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether the Nobel committee can do without Gandhi, is the question.:-Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Geir Lundestad

Whoa!! Am I missing something, how come Dag could get it but not Gandhi?

Life has mysteries tucked up all across its face.

Post 186 : Mid-day Cartoons 30 ( The killing fields of Saddam and his hanging by the world)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia

Post 185 : Mid-day Cartoons 29 ( Low cost housing Carter Style)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia

Post 184 : Mid-day Cartoons 28 (Bird Lover)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia

Post 183 : Mid-day Cartoons 27 ( Undercover Cop)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia

Post 182 : Mid-day Cartoons 26 ( Firing Missles)

Source : Mid-day Artist : Hemant Morporia

Monday, November 06, 2006

Post 181 : Yeah, right...and I am George Bush

My Sis-in-law was telling me about a real-life funny incident.

Her brother who is in the US, has a lot of desi mallu friends.

Malayalis have some very funny names like Baby, Lovely, Shiny - they also have historical names like Stalin, Hitler, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill.....

Her brother a few of his mallu friends walk into a bar in New Jersey. After a few drinks the bartender, gets friendly with them and asks them their names. The first two go, 'Washington' and 'Lincoln' - their real names.

And the bartender goes ' Yeah, right ... I am George Bush!!!'....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Post 180 : Movie 3 (Nagesh Kukunoor's Dor)

Watched Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor…..I thought it was different and good at the same time. I won’t run you down with its story, just google it, if you want to find it.

What I like about it:
Music – Has Yeh Hosla by Shauqat Amanat Ali Khan
Acting – Both Ayesha Takia and Gul Panang
Gul Panang – I have a different take on beauty from the rest of the world, and in world Gul must be somewhere at the top. I would almost be inclined to call her the thinking man’s girl. Other than her, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra – I can’t really think of any other paegent winner who really brought any beauty to the table. (Aishwarya, Tanushree Dutta and the haydens of the world be damned).

Shreyas Talpade – Handsome, witty and brilliant
Rajasthan – the way it is.
Himachal Pradesh – the way it is
Feminism – subtle yet measured, the way the movie spells it out

What I did not like about it:
The story and the theme falter at times. Esp. I wonder, why in India would you really travel 1000 miles to get the signature of someone who you know wont give it to you, and the best part, it does not ever appear that the signature would never be matched, audited and verified. I think in real life, someone would just forge it, than go through this trouble. Though I hear Dor is based on a real story.
Cliches – the movie does have its share of clich√©s, which could have been avoided, like having parents-in-law who trouble a widow, come on Nagesh…..or the part where the grandma widow bounds with the young widow…..awwwwwww!!!

What would I rate it – 8/10

Overall – Go watch it, it is far better than Krishh and the sib-standard fare you are normally dished out.

My previous post on movies

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Post 179 : Music 8 (Yeh Hosla - Dor)

The song Yeh Hosla from Dor tends to grow on you.....Its again by our Mitwa-Fuzon singer Shauquat Amanat Ali Khan.

He has sung this with so much passion, its almost another 'Mitwa'....If you can see it with the video, it will give you goose pimples.

Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

Manzil Muskil to kya,
Bundla Sahil to kya,
Tanha Ye Dil to Kya
Ho Hooo

Raah Pe Kante Bikhre agar,
Uspe to phir bhi chalna hi hai,
Saam Chhupale Suraj magar,
Raat ko ek din Dhalana hi hai,

Rut ye tal jayegi,
Himmat rang layegi,
Subha phir aayegi

Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

Hogi hame to rehmat ada,
Dhup kategi saaye tale,
Apni khuda se hai ye Dua,
Manzil lagale humko gale

Zurrat so baar rahe,
Uncha Ikraar rahe,
Zinda har pyar rahe

Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

Top songs for 2006 so far (in order):
1. Mitwa (KANK)
2. Yeh Hosla (Dor)
3. Beedi (Omkara)
4. O Saathi Re (Omkara)
5. Dekho Na (Fanaa)
6. Tere Bin (Bas Ek Pal)

Post 178 : My boy was just like me – Cats in the cradle

My dad is a ultra conservative person in his habits and lifestyle. Being a tam bram, he never smoked or boozed, but even in terms of his usual diet, he was very defensive.

We hardly used to go ‘out’ to eat( as in a restaurant), it was sometimes as low as once in a year. Not even on birthdays and anniversary…and hell, no, he was not stingy….he just thought outside food was too spicy and oily.

My brother, mother and I used to ridicule him often around this, and he used to silently bear it.

I have now had severe health problems for 7 years, and in these years my diet has been steadily becoming more and more conservative (some of the medicines I have offend my digestive track, much more than they would like….)

I used to love wada-pav, pav-bhaji and the ilk (street food) – I am completely off it now – I gave up meat because I did not subscribe to it - I was never for fizzy drinks and deserts – I used to like milk sweets (the traditional Indian myriad), but have been forced to give it up in the last 1 year – have less than 1-2 spoons of direct sugar per day – typically now prefer a simple dal-rice – I can’t have rotis because they have gluten (my dad always stayed away from rotis and it used to surprise me as a kid)….the list runs on

My only indulgence still left is – having tea by the litre – I think this shall remain ….you ask why? Well, my dad still does it.

Come to think of it, I have become just like my dad. Probably, I am guessing he had the same problems like I do, but never felt comfortable telling us about it.

I feel sad, bad and had (yes, life has ‘had’ me.)

Dad, forgive me…and if you can, please sing ‘Cats in the cradle’ for me….

We all become like our dads/moms and the generation gone by, its just that some of us never actually look at their lives with a sympathetic eye.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Post 177 : Chickenless soup for the soul – Buddha is still alive

Yesterday in the pantry, I ordered Pilau Rice (that’s how the English floozies pronounce (and spell) pulav)….pilau rice to me sounds to me like (make-them-drink-rice…a bombayite would understand what I mean).

With the rice, I ordered veg curry. The duffer of the server conveniently put chicken tikka on top of this, and the bigger duffer (I) took it and walked away.

I take a table, open the box, and lo…..its chicken. Do you waste food, would Buddha waste already cooked and served chicken?

I tried eating it and then gave up, the reason I found the feeling of meat against my teeth revolting. In that single moment, I achieved Nirvana…I had arrived in life.

Whoaaa? What?

A bit of background. I am a Tam bram (Tamil Brahmin) by birth, should not even taste onion-garlic let alone meat. But in reality (by my life vs. by birth), I am a pukka atheist. So in my teenage years I gobbled everything and anything that moves and does not move. No food was taboo.

In 2002, I read ‘The Food revolution’ by Jon Robbins. Was so influenced by it, decided to give up on all meat (almost turned a vegan, no but I am back to milk)….

Since Jan 03 up until now, I must have eaten meat no more than 20 times, and all because I had no other option to choose from. In the past year I have eaten chicken thrice (all tiny morsels).

It was in June 2006, I decided to give up on egg which was my last meaty frontier, but giving up on egg was like giving up on my staple diet ( I used to boast chai, eggs and dal-rice….and I don’t need anything else to survive).

In Oct 06, during my trip to London tried to eat egg to solve my food problems and hated it. Had chicken yesterday and hated it. My systems revolted against it. You know what, for me this in itself was Buddha hood.

One point though, in the past 2 years, I have strongly started believing in the interconnectedness of things, and hence have avoided violence (when I kill a mosquito, I kill a part of ‘my’ own world).

Today, it appears I am completely off meat, and am lovin’ it (actually I hate McDonalds).

Post 176 : The pain in the arse

I was in quite a bit of pain yesterday due to some health issues. In the past 3 years, I have suffered some (physical) pain, and every time an incident has happened, I have said that ‘this can be the worse that can happen to me’ and life can only get better from here.


I have always been pleasantly surprised, life has turned it ugly head up with a vengeance always….every single time I have gone back thinking this is worse than what was 3 months ago.

A friend of mine used to say, physical pain is good, it makes you a Mahavir (after the one who founded Jainism)……

I hope I do get some nirvana of the sort (maybe just a wee bit), it might make all this pain a bit more bearable.

My health is probably deteriorating, rotting away, gnawing away from the inside, and again maybe my body is trying to tell me something, but I think I am third ear deaf…..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Post 175 : Innocent Drinks (I just learnt Innocent also means being honest)

I have been drinking out here @ London. Yes, in the past 2 months I have been consuming on an average of 3-5 litres of liquids a day. (Mind you quite a bit of those 2 months was in Mumbai as well).

UK seems to be a drinker’s heaven. You can booze and you can re-hydrate (drink water) with the same ease here. A beer is always around the corner.

One drink that I have always liked is smoothies coming from a company called ‘Innocent’, especially the one where they have lemon, honey and yoghurt. Feels very healthy.

On a normal day, I usually pick up re-hydrating drinks from the Juice doctor ( another company), but today I think our pantry was out of stock.

I picked up ‘Innocent’ Juice Water, (made of lemon, lime and spring water).

The jacket sleeve on the bottle reads:

We had a bit to-do here the other day, jackets off, outside now, in the car park. Everyone out there, getting a bit over excited. All because of the juice and water thing. Which is better? Juice or water? The juice camp hold firm in their beliefs – juice has got all of the vitamins to keep you healthy and street tough. But the water people wont give an inch. They counter the talk of rehydration and healthy looking skin. Who’s right? Probably both of them to be honest. Hence this drink. Now pack it in and kiss and make up. That’s better.

Someplace else it also reads

An Innocent Promise:
We promise that anything innocent will always taste good and do you good. We promise that we will never use concentrates, preservatives, stabilizers or any other weird stuff in our drinks. And we promise to never cheat at cards.

It makes me wonder, what our marketing schmoozes keep ranting about mindspace, shelfspace, mediaspace. Did anyone tell them about connectspace?

I love this brand. If this was listed, I would buy all I could afford, and yes sir, (because you don’t cheat at cards), I will be a loyal customer for life.

Kotler and his ilk are dead, long live marketing.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Post 174: Music – 7 – ‘I believe’ by Savage Garden

The last post on music was

I was recently listening to I believe by Savage Garden, its not something I have heard for the first time, but the song has a very unusual pace, and is very soothing. I think its more of Darren Hayes’ vocal which has the calming tempo, it’s a very Australian voice.

The lyrics of ‘I believe’, though very simple force you to think, nice intense song. If you have never heard it before go for it.

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Post 173: Twins 1 – Mallika Sherawat and Beyonce

I recently saw a snap of Beyonce, and SNAP!! in my head, I could not help but think how here facial features remind me of Mallika Sherawat. I know some of you would be loathe to agree, but its what I think is what I see, I am just uploading the two photos.

Ignore the color, size, just concentrate on the dimples and facial features.....(eyes probably).

Post 172 : That look in your eyes

I have come down to London for a short visit. Bars are ubiquitous here. As I was walking home yesterday, saw a desi couple (its just a co-incidence that they were desi, they could have been anyone) – the couple was neither in an embrace nor were smooching. They were on the chairs outside a popular bar. Two glasses of beer lying around. Their arms were around their neck, and they were deeply engrossed in each other’s eyes and muttering some sweetnothings.

I must have seen all this in less than a second. (Nope, I am civilized enough not to stand and stare).

That one second was enough to give me goose pimples. Why ? Nah, I am no romantic, neither am I poet.

I know my love for over 11 years now, and our relationship never stagnated, infact I never think it has been any stronger than today. Yet, I can’t imagine doing that. I can’t stare into her eyes, don’t remember the last time I did it.

And today, I saw a couple (again a desi….maybe the desis run promiscus in english land), cuddling each other, sitting on a park bench and happily talking, and they did that for over 4 hours. ( I am sure of that because I left for office at 2, and they were still around by 6) when I had gone down to get a few items of food.

As I often say, they say, a poet is someone who can look at a normal incident and be moved. I was indeed moved, though I am neither a romantic, nor is my love being sacrified at the altar, but still, it did for a moment, give me a small stab a place which still beats like that of a poet.

Post 171: Locked in Syndrome

I was watching discovery the other night, and they had featured a patient with ‘Locked in Syndrome’ a case where a person’s all senses including pain is completely on, but his motor movement is restricted or absent.

These patients typically tend to communicate via eyes of via tapping (if they can).

Read Wikipedia ( for an interesting take on a French Author who dictated an entire book using his eyes.

I am terrified of such a state, how will I communicate, how will I write this blog?

Can you imagine, being unable to do nothing, being wanting to everything (including wanking ;-), and guess what you still have to live.

It must be a strange life to live, almost like being forced to be a Buddha.

It sounds perverse yet romantic...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Post 170 : Stock Update – 6 (Still betting on htmt)

Refer to

My portfolio reads only one stock and that is Hinduja TMT (HTMT). I believe there is immense value unlocking yet to go.

It’s a time to sit back and relax, in these matters I am very patient. My study tells me each stock shall open upto 1000-1500 from the current levels of 500 odd.

Even if that takes another 2 years, it sure and easy money, and its my life’s savings. I shall stick on.

I re-iterate my previous stocks with a new one added to it

Satnam Overseas – CMP 81 (target 180 June 07) – originally recommded at 55 – 22nd Oct update, looks like I shall miss this target

Apollo Hosp – CMP 459 (target 650 June 07) – originally recommended at 410 approx – 22nd Oct update , seems on target

Asahi India –CMP 126 (target 140 June 07) – originally reco at 82 – seems on target

Indraprastha Apollo Hosp – CMP 34 (target 48 June 07) – originally reco at 28 – seems on target

Mahindra Finance – CMP 240 (target 380 June 07) – originally reco at 290 – seems on target

Hinduja TMT (which I recommended for the best part of the past 1 year starting at 290, and as recently as of July at 490 with a target of 1000 by June 07) – CMP 490 – seems on target

NEW ------ Enterainment Network – (owners of Radio Mirchi) new reco starting today …… CMP around 250, should make it to 400 by Dec 07

Happy investing.

Post 169 : Weightwatcher -2 (Weight Loss )

Refer to

My target was to sub-100 by Dec 06, after weighing almost 106 in Aug 06. I tipped 99 yesterday.

Is it time to rejoice. I don’t think so. I am still fat……Its just that 99 looks so much more managable than 106.

As a child I used to chubby, a good 84 kgs by the time I was 14.....Its almost as if, my cells like to be fat, its an habit.

Post 168 : Quality of life

I live for the most part of my life in Mumbai, and when I do get out, like being in London for now….what strikes me the difference in quality of life.

And hell, no, I am not cribbing that Mumbai sucks, in-fact I don’t want to speak about external dependencies or systems, but just quality of life from a ‘personal’ viewpoint.

I see mid-aged folks jogging for 1 hour as if their lives depended on it. * People make a genuine attempt to formally connect to families and friends. * Kids have a more active and wholesome lifestyle. * Each person learns to play at least one music instrument * Literature and music are integrated into most familites * Food vacillates between decadent and healthy, but for most part is healthy * Families tend to value personal time and plan for every weekend.

The list can go on like this. None of the points mentioned above requires any initiative from the system around you, instead it is simply related to our own perspective in life. Wonder why, we as Indians don’t invest enough into our life.

Post 167 : Signs of (my) body talking to me

For two days in a row, have had very scary dreams of me losing my memory….a la Alzheimer.

One day, I am in a conversation with someone over a Pooja bhatt movie, and can see her in my inner eye, but frustratingly enough can’t give her a name, leading to my stumbling in the conversation…..

On the second day, have a conversation again with someone and struggle with the same feeling around a writer’s name.

The two dreams were so overpowering, woke up on Sunday morning and had a feeling that these incidents had actually occurred. As soon as I realized, they had only been dreams, a whole wave of relaxation swarmed over me.
I am phobic of Alzheimer, my family history has it, hope I never have it…..On the other hand, I think it is the best way to die ….you die pristine like a baby, no memories, no fears, no ties with the world.

Metaphorically, I think maybe the disease is an aberration in the world, a process of liberation from Maya, which starts on its own volition, leaving a person in a fairly incongruent state with the world, yet ironically connecting him with his real self.

Post 166 : Movie 2 - Jet Set Go….Tube on the air

Had a long flight out to London on the 18th. Flew JetAirways. Had initially planned on reading up Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, ended up watching 4 movies instead.

BluffMaster : Starring Abhishek Bachan and Priyanka Chopra. It’s a decent passable movie, with a unique twists thrown in. The end reminded me so much of ‘The Game’ (Michael Douglas, Sean Penn). One point though, I have heard numerous comparisons between Priyanka and Zeenat Aman, but I differ (and bear with me this is the first Priyanka movie I saw), she reminded me spookily of Parveen Babi (esp. note carefully when she gives a side view to the camera). Rated 3/5

Tax No.9211 : Nana Patekar all the way. I liked the movie only because of him, has done a brilliant job. Rated 3/5

Vertigo : Hitchcock’s masterpiece. Had never seen it so far, nice fun. I thought had a kind of lame ending, but still a masterpiece. Rated 3/5

Nayak : Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece on a ‘in-the-prime’ actor being jilted out of his make believe world, both by his own instrospection and some external stimuli. I loved this movie. Rated 4/5

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Post 165 : Book 4 (SV)

Awesome, go read it. Its probably the best $14 you shall ever spend in your life. God, Prophet, Devil, the world...give me the skill to write like this. Just once, only once, before I die....If I ever write something like this, the next moment, khattam shud....I am ready to die. This book will get 10/10 Am I biased? Maybe, yes, I never had 20/20 eyesight.

Post 164 : Passages 38 (The end)

SV, SR, Pg. 547 "I told you a long time back," Gibreel Farishta quietly said, "that if I thought the sickness would never leave me, that it would always return, I would not be able to bear up to it." Then, very quickly, before Salahuddin could move a finger, Gibreel put the barrel of the gun into his own mouth; and pulled the trigger; and was free. He stood at the window of his childhood and looked out at the Arabian Sea. The moon was almost full; moonlight, stretching from the rocks of Scandal Point out to the far horizon, created the illusion of a silver pathway, like a parting in the water's shining hair, like a road to miraculous lands. He shook his head; could no longer believe in fairy-tales. Childhood was over, and the view from this window was no more than an old and sentimental echo. To the devil with it! Let the bulldozers come. If the old refused to die, the new could not be born. "Come along," Zeenat Vakil's voice said at his shoulder. It seemed that in spite of all his wrong-doing, weakness, guilt -- in spite of his humanity -- he was getting another chance. There was no accounting for one's good fortune, that was plain. There it simply was, taking his elbow in its hand. "My place," Zeeny offered. "Let's get the hell out of here." "I'm coming," he answered her, and turned away from the view.

Post 163 : Passages 37 (What happens when you rub the lamp)

SV, SR, Pg. 546 The revolver jumped up, into his other hand. A fearsome jinnee of monstrous stature appeared, Salahuddin remembered. "What is your wish? I am the slave of him who holds the lamp." What a limiting thing is a weapon, Salahuddin thought, feeling oddly detached from events. -- Like Gibreel when the sickness came. -- Yes, indeed; a most confining manner of thing. -- For how few the choices were, now that Gibreel was the _armed man and he, the unarmed; how the universe had shrunk! The true djinns of old had the power to open the gates of the Infinite, to make all things possible, to render all wonders capable of being attained; how banal, in comparison, was this modern spook, this degraded descendant of mighty ancestors, this feeble slave of a twentieth--century lamp.

Post 162 : Passages 36 (What is a ghost?)

SV, SR, Pg. 540 Two days later, Salahuddin Chamchawala read in his Sunday papers that an international team of mountaineers, on their way to attempt an ascent of the Hidden Peak, had arrived in Bombay; and when he saw that among the team was the famed "Queen of Everest", Miss Alleluia Cone, he had a strange sense of being haunted, a feeling that the shades of his imagination were stepping out into the real world, that destiny was acquiring the slow, fatal logic of a dream. "Now I know what a ghost is," he thought. "Unfinished business, that's what."