Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Post 234 : 'Domestication' of Aishwarya Rai

On Sunday was surfing through television, browsed upon NDTV and had Big B in a 'frank' and 'candid' and 'exclusive' interview to the channel.

The key topic - Ash + Abhi.....

In response to the Q, 'Will Ash work after marriage", of all the statements the politically crappy Big B said on the channel was - I recall him waxing eloquent about how 'domesticated' Aishwarya was.

Made me wonder (and still wondering) how long before Ash has a collar around her neck?

On a really wicked note, Ash, Big B and Abhi all really deserve (and compliment) each eye for an eye....political incorrectness for diplomacy.....wax for the statue.....crap for more crap.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Post 233 : One step forward, two step back

I work in a corporate jungle.

I work hard, I always (hopefully its even percieved that way) move the inches for my team, display and demonstrate integrity, and value human beings (because we dont work with cyborgs).....

Yet, there are times (and they are not that rare), that I get socked, fucked, screwed and jostled.....and you wonder (at least I do), does something called 'good' corporate karma even exist.

I have always believed the circle of retribution (karma in normal lingo) exists. If someday my belief is broken, I might just be better off 'bobbit'ing the rapists.....(first tonsure, then bobbit)

Here's toasting to my childlike belief ;-)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Post 232 : My Clay Model - 1 (Simple Smiley)

I started playing with clay modelling a year ago because of Pramod Chatre, a colleague in my then organization. I soon gave up due to incessant travel. Pramod also introduced me to Acharya Gokulstav Maharaj, so in a sense I am really indebted to him.

I started this weekend again. This is a snap of my first creation. Took me about 30 mins to finish with touches.

Its about 1.5in * 1.5in in size, created on 28th Jan 2007.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Post 231 : India without poise (by Nitya)

I like this article by Nitya, highlights how as a urban society, Mumbai (and for that matter the yuppie Indian) is losing his bearings.....We probably need to be reminded by WH Davies "What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?" (and so on the crappy poem goes...hate to be politically incorrect, but this poem is more trite and less poem).

Coming back, read this one to get the drift.....

Post 230 - CP Surendran - Superpower? So were the Huns - From Tehelka

This article once again highlights what I like about Tehelka.

Read the whole article at

This article gave me deja vu. Just last week I was at NY, and someone asked me, whether NY and Mumbai are similar, and I gave precisely the same reason highlighted below, and the same conclusion as well - without culture, we are all like lines on water.

Good to see others noticing the disease as well. The actual article follows.


Superpower? So were the Huns

If you visited Bombay now, or Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai or even Pune, you will see half the city dug up. This is because India is building. I remember landing in Bombay for the first time in 1988. The crowd was pretty bad even then. And the roads were, as usual, being widened. Nearly 20 years later they are still at it. Certainly Rome was not built in one day. But eventually the Romans did get around to finishing their job. India is different. Her finishing line is as elusive as its labyrinthine race.

Take a look around you. Old bungalows have vanished. The developers have taken over quiet neighbourhoods and made residents strangers in their own backyard. Not that the residents mind. Everybody has got wise to the ways of wealth. An old bungalow could be a sepia signboard to the lost days of childhood. But in nostalgia might brood the serpent of ruination. Every second day a skyscraper blocks that much light. Every third day a new mall opens to the delight of all. Every fourth day an sez announces itself into being. Multiplexes, restaurants, gyms. India is on the go.

Bombay is very often compared with New York. This is characteristically delusional of India’s chattering classes

But one thing is missing. Culture. A refined sensibility. No one is talking about new museums, art galleries, libraries, Central Parks. No Indian entrepreneur will be caught putting up capital for anything less than commercial satisfaction. Not that the middle class and the upper middle class — who would normally head the Culture Procession because of disposable income — care. Mental satisfactions have been the first casualty in the war for Superpower India. No matter how it-savvy we are, without music, art and literature no country is likely to achieve greatness. Bombay for instance is very often compared with New York. This is characteristically delusional of India’s chattering classes. Great cities like New York, Paris and London, have a throbbing cultural life. Indian cities are bereft of it. Besides watching tacky movies and eating out at Punjabi-Chinese restaurants, there is not much the middle class is interested in. They consider it fine living though.

We just shrunk our Culture, honey. Vibrant societies are open to a hundred creative forms. London is London and New York is New York because their idea of entertainment is much more fluid and flexible than Emerging India’s. India might become a superpower of sorts soon enough. But in their time, so were the Huns. But we remember them for all that they destroyed. In the end, a people are as good as its culture. We are very close to having none.

Jan 27 , 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Post 229 : Music 16 (Hotel California Parody - Hotel Kerala-fonia)

This one just rocks.....

The song can be found at

I dont know who owns the copyright, if I am in violation, please let me know I shall get this down, but I found this hilarious, guys(and gals) whoever did this - great work - creativity going beserk I say.....

Just read the lyrics....

On the road to Trivandrum
Coconut oil in my hair
Warm smell of avial
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a pink tube-light
My tummy rumbled, I felt weak and thin
I had to stop for a bite
There he stood in the doorway
Flicked his mundu in style
And I was thinking to myself
I don't like
the look of his smile
Then he lit up a petromax
Muttering "No power today"
More Mallus down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel Kerala-fonia
Such a lousy place,
Such a lousy place (background)
Such a sad disgrace,
Plenty of bugs at the Hotel Kerala-fonia
Any time of year
Any time of year (background)
It's infested here

His finger's stuck up his nostril
He's got a big, thick
mustache He makes an ugly, noise
But that's just his laugh
Buxom girls clad in pavada
Eating banana chips
Some roll their eyes, and
Some roll their hips
I said to the manager
My room's full of mice
He said,
Don't worry, saar,I sending you
meen karri, brandy and ice

And still those voices were crying from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them pray

Save us from the Hotel Kerala-fonia
what a lousy place,
what a lousy place (background)
Such a sad disgrace
Trying to live at the Ho! tel Kerala-fonia
It is no surprise
It is no surprise (background)
That it swarms with flies

The blind man was pouring
Stale sambar on rice
And he said
We are all just actors here
In Silk Smitha-disguise
And in the dining chamber
We gathered for the feast
We stab it with our
steely knives
But we just can't cut that beef
Last thing I remember
I was writhing on the floor, ayyyooo
That cockroach in my appam-stew was the culprit,
I am sure
Relax, said the watchman
This enema will make you
And his friends laughed as they held me down
God's Own Country? Oh, Hell!

The song can be found at

Post 228 : Music 15 (D Ream - U R the best thing & Things can only get better)

I grew up listening to two electronica songs by D Ream (pronounced DeeReam)
1. U R the best thing.
2. Things can only get better

I had forgotten these songs, but today when I was speaking to someone I said, 'Things can only get better from here'.....suddenly something tickled.

Got home, got hold of the song....listened to it, and felt like a teenager again...

If you are into 90s disc numbers...go for them....they sound great even 20 years down.

Post 227 : Music 14 (Promiscus Girl by Nelly Furtado & Timbaland)

Give credit where it is due.......

This song rocks....very infectious beat....the vocal chemistry between Nelly Furtado and Timbaland is just smooth as malt.

Listen to it, if you have not yet done....

The video is cool, again notice the chemistry between Nelly and Timbaland.....pure sexual chemistry....naughty lyrics...sung with absolute perfection by both of them.

Hip hop haunting rhythm.....

What the lyrics does not capture is the vocal harmony between the two....almost every 2 sentences they alternate, its almost like a lyrical dialogue between 2 more just another song...

Am I throwin you off?
Didn't think so

How you doin' young lady
The feeling that you give me really drive me crazy
You're dope have a player by the choke
I was at a loss for words first time that we spoke
You're looking for a girl that'll treat you right
Have you lookin' for her in the daytime with a light
You might be the type if I play my cards right
I'll find out by the end of the night

You expect me to just let you hit it
But will you still respect me if you get it
All I can do is try, give me one chance
What's the problem I don't see no ring in your hand
I'll be the first to admit it, I'm curious about you, you seem so innocent
You wanna get in my world, get lost in it
Boy I'm tired of runnin' let's walk for a minute

Promiscuous girl
Wherever you are
I'm all alone
And it's you that I want
Promiscuous boy

You already know
That I'm all yours
What you waiting for?
Promiscuous girl
You're teasing me
You know what I want
And I got what you need
Promiscuous boy
Let's get to the point
Cause we're on a roll
You ready?

Roses are red
Some diamonds are blue
Chivalry is dead
But you're still kinda cute
I can't take my mind off you
Where you at, do you mind if I come through
I'm out of this world come with me to my planet
Get you on my level do you think that you can handle it?
hey call me Thomas last name Crown
Recognize game I'm'a lay mines down
I'm a big girl I can handle myself
But if I get lonely I may need your help
Pay attention to me I don't talk for my health
I want you on my team
So does everybody else.
Shh maybe we can keep it on the low
Let your guard down ain't nobody gotta know
If you with it girl I know a place we can go
What kind of girl do you take me for?

Don't be mad, don't be mean
Don't get mad, don't be mean

Wait! I don't mean no harm
I can see you with my t-shirt on
I can see you with nothing on
Feeling on me before you bring that on
Bring that on?
You know what I mean
Girl, I'm a freak you shouldn't say those things
I'm only trynna get inside of your brain
To see if you can work me the way you say
It's okay, it's alright
I got something that you're gonna like
Is it the truth or are you talking trash
Is your game M.V.P. like Steve Nash

Promiscuous boy
I'm calling your name
But you're driving me crazy
The way you're making me wait
Promiscuous boy
We're one and the same
So we don't gotta play games no more
Oh yeah oh yeah

Post 226 : Movie 9 - Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (Prey & Play)

Saw a tamil movie after a long time, in an attempt to bring my (already broken) tamil into a 'check' mode - well, I did not disappoint myself....I did understand more tamil than I credited myself to.....

Kamal Hassan, Jyothika....and a very boring movie. Meaningless premise, violence without a reason, music without a rhyme....only redeeming factor....Kamal Hassan, he excels in a role that needs him to play a gamut of emotions.

Overall 5/10.....give it a miss unless you are a big Kamal fan, or if you have a fetish for mindless violence (and movies).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Post 225 : Movie 8 - Jai Baba Felunath (Satyajit Ray)

Satyajit Ray in lighter mood, with his supposed ode to Conan Doyle's Holmes.

This one is a detective story from the master director. Very light, very involving.

Once again, notice the complete lack of props and zing-bang. Its just the story development, the actors and the screenplay who take the centerstage.

Highlights about the movie Arjun's circus scence - very surreal, and Machli Baba.

Overall 7/10, but go ahead and watch it, better than the regular movie fare we are used to.

Post 224 : Stock Update 8

My last post on this topic

I am still invested (and gung-ho) about Hinduja TMT(a great demerger and value play). I had a little (very little) surplus money, and I have invested that in Gitanjali Gems (looks like the second horse I am going to bet on from now on).....

I still like (not in any order)
1. Asahi India (Value play + very clean company)
2. Entertainment Network (Radio Mirchi- growth play)
3. Mahindra Finance (growth play)
4. Adlabs (yes that is new into this list) (Reliance play + growth play + demerger value play)
5. Gitanjali Gems (I bought it as well) (unclean company, slightly questionable management, but great growth play - a potential multi-bagger if the chips can be controlled well - needs to be watched very closely)
6. Kohinoor Foods - (growth play - but has underperformed in the past 3 years - questionable management)

I removed Apollo Hospitals from my list - why - well, they are into a fundamentally good business - one that I really am bullish on - but over 4 years of tracking this stock have noticed one thing - they dilute every year - and sadly never for the right reasons - very very questionable practice - and always to the promoter family. Having realised that - I have just stopped tracking this stock - scrap it from your portfolio

Post 223 : My favorite brand 3 (Jamba Juice)

If you have had Jamba Juice, you would know why it is a great brand. The juices and smoothies taste great, are full of healthy stuff, real fruits, real vegetables - all done up in a mixie in front of you.....a Power (the largest size) juice is equal to a full meal, and probably a 100 times more healthier.

Jamba is eco concious, clean, transparent - and a fun filled brand that makes an instant connection with you.

If Jamba came to Mumbai, I would have one everyday.....

My top brands so far (not necessarily in order)
1. Innocent Drinks
2. Starbucks
3. Jamba Juice

I just realised that common to all my fav brands, seems to be one attribute - a wry self-deprecating brutal honesty.

Post 222 : My favorite brands 2 (Starbucks)

I have already voiced quite a bit on how I admire and swear loyality by Innocent Drinks, a UK brand....

The next brand to add to that list is Starbucks. Every time I have travelled, Starbucks has saved the day for me with its Tazo Chai Latte for me (I usually have a Venti (the largest size).

The tea tastes great, feels great, and has literally saved me quite a few rainy days. The service is great, consistent and feels like home. Their sense of social contribution is also very high. Its another brand like Innocent which connects with you (or least makes a sincere attempt to).

As I am writing this, I hear Starbucks should be in India in the next 3-4 months....and all I can say, welcome ...and thanks Howard Schultz for a great brand.

My top brands (not necessarily in order)
1. Innocent Drinks
2. Starbucks

Post 221 : Movie 7 - Woh Lamhe

This movie is supposed to be about Parveen Babi, her love with Mahesh Bhatt, and how schizophernia affected her.

I liked the movie, esp. Shiney Ahuja and Kangana Ranuat both.

Overall 8/10, definitely worth a watch. The track " Kya Mujhe Pyar Hain" rocks.....

Makes you wonder though, if the Bhatt camp can make such movies, why do they serve us the remaining 15 crap movies every year.....

Post 220 : Twins 2 - Vidya Balan and Madhabi Mukherjee

My earlier post on similar lines

Vidya Balan is the one who made it big with Parineeta and Lage Raho Munnabhai

Madhabi Mukherjee is the actress from Kapurush-O-Mahapurush a Satyajit Ray movie. Both are seperated by 40 years at least, yet I found the resemblance uncanny. Not only in looks but also in demeanor and acting styles.

Post 219 - Movie 6 - The Departed - Martin Scorsese

Saw this on the flight as well. A critically acclaimed movie by the famed Scorsese.

Great points about the movie - The build up of the story....keeps you rivetted, esp. Leonardo Dicarpio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg........Very involving and great screenplay.

What sucks ....the end is too quick and too anti-climatic....almost as if the director had to run through the last minutes to make it a movie of managable length.

Overall....8/10...definitely worth a evening's watch.

As I said before, notice the screen play and script.....its another league as compared to the standard fare we get to see everyday.

Post 218 : Movie 5 - Kapurush - O - Mahapurush (The Coward & The Holy Man) - Satyajit Ray

Saw this on the Jet Airways flight to London. Liked it quite a bit, though not as good as Nayak (

Interesting to see how Ray focussed almost entirely on people and their ability to act out real events, unlike the cinema of today which is focussed more around distractions - item songs, violence, 'marque actors', sleaze, special effects.

Give me Ray any time.

Thanks to Jet Airways have discovered the beauty of Ray's films.

Two more things:
1. Bengali is such a sweet language to hear, and not really difficult to get the drift of, if you pay attention.
2. The movie collection (on-demand) of Jet airways rocks.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Post 217: The violence of everyday life

I was at a clinic today. Saw a couple, guy was parsi, wife was a maharashtrian. Both talking english-hindi, just like any other urban couple.....

They had a small child, about 3-4 years in their arms. Mom was actually nestling him against her bossom, and he was asleep.

In a few minutes the nurse called out to me, for my regular test, I entered the lab. Co-incidentally they called the couple and the child as well. I could see the child clearly, he must have been heavy. His urban mom was stretching her back post handing him over to his dad. The kid had his left hand all plastered up with bandages and iv needles, which meant he might have been just out of a hospital.

As he came in, the nurse told his parents, he needs to do a blood + bone marrow test. The kid was actually very sleepy - but call it the human instinct - he knew about the pain coming his way, he started sobbing. (BTW, for those who dont know - bone marrow test is pretty painful. The stab of pain it delivers can be quite a handful even for giants like me).

The nurses forced the parents out of the room. They knew parents being there would weaken the kid.....

I was almost done, so got out as well....

Outside the mom and the dad, both looked so ......almost stoic - but appeared to be breaking internally. The kid's wails were distinctly audible outside......As the dad consoled the mom, she said, "Mujhe aur aapko dard nahin ho rahan, par woh akele hain andar" (You and me dont have to go through this torture, he is going though this alone).

For one, I felt melancholic - its never easy watching innocence getting assualted? On the other hand, I could not help wondering - how much violence have we interspersed through our daily lives - and we think its normal and usual....but it is not.....the human eco-system was never designed to be this violent....all this is definitely seeping into us through the interconnected world we live in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Post 216 : Music 13 (Pandit Acharya Goswami Gokulstav Maharaj)

Pandit Acharya Goswami Gokulstav Maharaj is a trained classical singer in hindustani vocal. He is also supposed to be a spiritual guru. A colleague of mine called Pramod Chatre, who worked with me long ago, discovered by accident that I like traditional music....he strongly recommended Acharyaji to me.....

It was difficult to get any of albums in retail shops ( no one in India listens to classical music, let alone some obscure artist).

Its been 2 years since Pramod recommended Acharyaji to me....I today have 4 albums (all very rare)........ Have spent about 1200 on buying them.

My conclusion. These 1200 should rank amongst the best I ever spent on music.

Thanks Pramod. Even bigger thanks to Acharyaji, have never seen him, shall probably never will, but he has changed the way I approach music.

Post 215 : Music flows under the knife

I went under the knife for a surgery recently. It did a few things for me:

1. I lost a few kgs of weight.
2. It left me introspecting (and actually quite disturbed) on th state of my current life and what am I doing with it.
3. It re-ignited my passion for classical music (specifically hindustani vocal classical music).


Nothing, maybe I must go under the knife every year.....I shall peel off the artificial layers from over my life.

Post 214 : Turned 31 recently....a new leaf over a old life

Turned 31 recently and was still left wondering about quite a few things:

1. How does it mean to live, or better still, what does it mean to be alive? (mind you they are two different things)
2. What does it mean to claim someone or something as "my own"?
3. What exactly does it mean when I tell my wife " I love you my dear"?
4. What does "my dear" mean?
5. Will I ever again (before I die) enjoy running naked in the rain (like I did when I was young and unconscious of the prude world I was staking my claim within)?
6. How much money is good enough to quit and withdraw?
7. Why the hell am I still making money? Most of my needs are completely fulfilled.
8. Will I ever have children? (There is more to having children, than just 'sex' and 'desire to have children')
9. Will my children inhabit a world which is empty hollow shallow and hypocritic?
10. Have I been a good child to my parents? ( I already know the answer)
11. Have I been a good husband to my wife?
11. Given my deteriorating health, will I see another 10, 20, 30 years?
12. What will exactly happen during the process of dying? Is it just like passing out? Is it just like REM morphing into sleep? Is it just like a comma and not a full stop?
13. What is this entity called 'I', how different am I from 'you' or my wife or my mother or my friend, or the poor dog who is whimpering on the street?
14. Who is God? Is he perverse? Is he just? Is he fair? Is he dumb?
15. If God exists, does he know, I exist? Does he even care? Does my existence make any difference to his life?
16. Will anyone remember more than 2 years after I die?
17. Will I ever write a book?
18. Will I ever know the 'only truth' that is there?

Post 213 : For better or worse

Was talking to someone today. This person is a jain...a vegan ( with a few more additional restrictions thrown in). She was telling me how she is a vegan herself, but cooks pompfret (a kind of local mumbai fish) for her spouse, who is a bengali who only eats food if it has dead animals mixed into it.....

I asked her, so was she okay with the violence associated with killing a fish. She screamt "NO', but gave me a weird logic "anyways the fish is dead, if my hubby does not eat it, someone else will....and anyway he cannot eat rice without fish".

I am I persisted......"well, if you were to eat fish one day by mistake, would that be fine.".....she said, "hell, no, that would be equivalent to defiling my soul".

Initially, I could not get it....I thought, is she speaking gibberish, or am I just not listening straight. The whole situation just did not seem to add up....

Then suddenly I realised that, 'marriage', and for that matter any relationship, is nothing but a set of carefully chosen (and accepted) compromises. (Don't we all have the 'dad' who smokes like a chimney, and yet we adore him, allow him to smoke in our presence, because his company makes it worth the price you are paying for passive smoking.)