Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1183 : 101 – How to create a gang that terrorizes common scumbags :-)

Bangalore has been abound with rumors (facts) about a biker gang – supposedly a group of folks who ride in groups of 2-3 in black pulsars with number plates in vernacular language (how much more specific can be a gang’s demographic description be….wonder wonder!!).

These folks supposedly look out for single folks riding in cars – they put blocks in your way suggesting that you might have caused an accident – and ask you to pay up since the fictitious “impacted” individual is a goon’s son. They supposedly force you to an ATM and coerce as much cash as they can out of you.

Why am I telling you folks these horror stories….(which are straight in the league and legions of Raman Raghav !!)


Spousey and I thought, (on similar lines) there might be a market for “knicker gang” (rhymes with biker gang).

Modus Operandi - Old hairy hirsute aunties (and uncles) will accost your car with old soiled undergarments…..stinky ones…..knock on your car window. Once you roll down your window, they shall asphyxiate you with these knickers and make you unconscious. Once you are knocked down (usually in about 5 seconds), they shall decamp with your valuables.

Any takers for this great idea. Bikers are dead (and so very passé), long live knicker kicker !!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1182 : Now for a delicate touch of irony :-)

Those who know me will be laughing their heart out.


1181 : Under my delicate skin … a shrivel and a shiver !!


As part of my organization’s corporate social responsibility, I had been today out to the “Acts of Hope School” in Bangalore, run by some Christian Missionaries.

The school is a decrepit school run for the children who come from broken or poor families. Our job was to try and share some computer knowledge with the students.

I went into this with very little expectation, possibly titling heavily on the cynical side. My point (usually) is, how  much (good) can you do in a day….save some glossy lip service.


I still sort of think that point remains, but I do believe such an experience can be quite eye-opening - literally from a personal stand point – it can hold a mirror to your own blind imagination.

Some of my key observations/thoughts ( fairly random. There is no point searching for structure in these points :-) )

1. Not all conversion is bad. A lot of the children were Tamil. Most of them were converts to Christianity. They genuinely seemed to believe that Jesus has saved them (and will continue to save them)….such a simple belief was refreshing. These kids were converted to Hope !!


2. Goodness comes in small sizes. These children, most of them, wanted to grow up and becomes doctors (to do “free” operations), army men (to protect the country), policemen (to fight evil), Their faith in goodness was charming to the point of making me feel totally “ashamed” of my cynicism.


3. Poverty runs deep and sinister. They all loved my Casio digital watch. They asked me “how much”….I lied, I said 1000 (it actually costs 5000) and they could not believe that I could afford to spend 1000 over a watch. I asked them how much should I have spent – they sheepishly told me 100-200.


4. Opportunity is everything. A kid there was just as intelligent as my son, or my niece, or my nephew, or any of the 1000 conformist (conveyer belt) kids I meet in my everyday life…..and yet, the chance that they shall ever make it to driving a Beemer (if that is any idiotic measure of having arrived in life) or Chief of Armed forces ( a more real measure) or the CEO of GE (a more more real measure)…..the chances of these are almost next to nil. They lack opportunity, guidance and perspective. Life, Success, Fame, Glamor – all of these are souped up out of their lifemix, completely f***ked up functions of chance.


( VinodRaj MohanRaj, KarthikSurya Kumar, Diwakar)

5. Reality is a  version of what we like to believe. Children told me matter of factly that when they need to be punished – they are either made to kneel or stand with their hand up for hours, or their principal clasps his knuckles and hammers their lower back (that should hurt) or simply he uses his nails to de-scalp their fingers(ouch!!). Their fingers were full of scars. (contrast this to the news of the kid committing suicide due to caning!!)


6. I live on Mars. Seriously, I could live there and it would seem just as sane….I am just as disconnected from these kids and their reality as I would be if I were from another planet.

DSC_0825 DSC_0930

7. Every experience is a gift. These children sat in sweltering heat in the verandah of the school and ate a simple whole meal – as if it was manna from heaven. They smiled, laughed and kissed.

DSC_0885 DSC_0976

8. They made me realize I was essential to the world.  I have never felt so wanted in my life. Little kids chasing me up asking “uncle – will you please eat with us”, “uncle – will you be here till 2pm” ( a “yes” from me, met with the broadest grin I have ever seen in recent times), “uncle – please sit next to me during the class”… child has ever told me in so many ways that I am so essential to their happiness.

DSC_0893 DSC_0983

9. Get a perspective. Life is so much more than the next fancy SLR camera (which I just bought) or the SUV you always wanted.


10. Happiness is being. Just being.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

1181 : Oh…bloody fastrack

This is an ad that Titan Fastrack have put up to market their 20% off offer. Its an outstanding piece of in your face advertising.


1180: Life’s a Bitch

Someone i knew, recently passed away. This girl is 15 years old and one fine day, she just decides abruptly (for all of us who knew her) to end her life. She comes back home from her Summer job, picks up a bottle of phenol, gulps it down and ….phantoosh!

None of her family folks know why she did it (or so they claim). The freakiness of the incident apart, the whole incident reminded me yet again of how fragile life really is.

You are the sister everyone dotes on, the daughter your mom really works hard for so that you can go to college, but something triggers you into taking this step. In that one step, the beating muscle stops, off you go. FINITO…..and then, nothing else matters…

I spoke with her kid brother, who’s learning to accept life without her. He incidentally, sketches and paints really well.  The kid who is going through the motions of school, who will have to decide between commerce or arts….then about earning a living….the whole rigmarole….All i want to tell him is ….to paint with all his heart and soul, and paint till he can…cos all it takes is one stroke to take it all away…

1179: Art is Whatever…

While reading the June issue of Forbes India, I came across this interesting definition of Art by Milton Glaser ..Made me curious enough to read the article. I couldn’t have captured the essence of art better than this….Slightly longish article , but if you read on patiently, there are insights like rare gems that you might just come across.

Milton goes on to say that ‘This definition tries to avoid defining what art is, except in terms of its effect on you. It can be '”whatever”. It can be a rug, It can be a carving, it can be “whatever”. But, what determines whether it falls into what we call the category of art is not about its form, but its effect.

In the presence of what we acknowledge as art – da Vinci, Mozart and so on – the most predominant characteristic of their work is that it makes us attentive.

I make a distinction between what is Art and what is not. I don’t divide the universe between what is contemporary and what is historical. The aspirations of art and not about the moment of time that you’re in, but rather about the continuity of human experience. Art has always functioned in the same way. It changes your perception of what is real. One may question what we mean by reality. My own notion is that it all begins on the brain, with observation and attentiveness. Without that we have no way of understanding our relationships with others and ourselves. And for me at least, the arts in general have this one overriding function. They prepare us to observe what is real in the world without preconception. It is a characteristic of all art produced by all people through all time. Art has the capacity to produce attentiveness. If it something else – not art – it does not produce attentiveness. Design can be art. 

Utility is an essential characteristic of design but it does not change perception. So when you go into an extraordinary interior, for instance, which is supposed to be “design”, if it moves you to understanding, it is also art. But as we know, many interiors do not move us to understanding. The characteristic of art is not its function, but its effect on the brain.

And so, we come to what I believe is useful in a kind of discussion like this, where you’re interested in the commonality of human beings: The suspension of belief. What people have to do is to stop believing and begin to observe. And the way I have been expressing that in relationship to art and design, is that attentiveness, in the Buddhist sense, becomes the way by which commonality, the observation of the real, is possible.

To me, that has always been the essential function of art: To make you attentive. In the presence of art, you begin to become aware of something which you were not aware of before you experienced it. This characteristic,  of not coming to reality or to life with a preconceived idea of what it is, and being willing to accept what you pay attention to, is the only hope for all of us.

Once we come to life with an existing series of beliefs, the conception of commonality disappears. So, suspend ideology, suspend previous beliefs about what the world is. Attempt to experience it directly, by observation and attentiveness. Beyond that, I can’t imagine any other way to develop the sense that we are all in the same boat, experiencing the same needs and wants.

A rather elaborate, complex idea and not easily obtainable, but it seems to me that the first thing one has to do is keep away from existing belief systems, what people already hold in their minds, in order to establish a new paradigm. A new religion – I think that’s really what it is. It basically means that you give up what you already believe and try to be attentive to what is real. “

milton glass bob dylan poster                                                            I love NY

(Milton Glaser’s – Bob Dylan and I Love NY posters)

1178 : Do you have a lift?

Picture this.

I am at this upmarket swank furniture store at Bangalore. One of the big irritants across all these (similar looking and feeling) stores is – they dont seem to have organized the stuff in their large stores. So for example, if you are looking for lounge seating – that item is all over the place. You have 1 piece on 3rd floor and another on the left corner of the 1st floor and so on…get the drift?

If you like two pieces, unlike you have a photographic memory – to compare between the two, you have to traverse the floors down and up.

So…coming back….I enter this huge store and a sales guy immediately accosted us. He spoke decent English – but was obviously not “listening well”. He was too much in a hurry to “answer” then to “listen first”.

This led to innumerable inefficiencies in the conversation. The one that got my bone going was :

Me : So what do you have on the 3rd floor ? (Knowing fully well – that the item I am looking for will have “samples” spread all across the length and breadth of the store…so in effect, was trying to find out should I travel down and up the 3rd floor as well).
SalesGuy : Yes sir. (In a thick Mamooty Accent…he was a thoroughbred Mallu).
Me : (Unsure whether he got the question at all, repeat it…this time in a louder voice). What do you have on the 3rd floor?
SalesGuy : Do you have a lift?
Me : What lift ? Lift where?
SalesGuy : Sir….lift…?
Me : You mean at my apartment building?
SalesGuy : (Nods vigorously)
Me : Yes.
SalesGuy : Okay sir, then we can deliver to the 3rd floor.

My case rests.

1177 : Death becomes (laug)hter – Movie 44 : Death at a Funeral

We watched this British Comedy titled “Death at a Funeral” and must admit we were in splits throughout. It makes you laugh in an (enviable) “Brit only” way. I add it to my list of British favorities such RockNRolla, Snatch, Boondock Saints and 646 - Movie 29 - In the loop (British Comedy).

Definitely worth a watch. I would rate it 8/10. Better still, add it to your DVD collection.


1176 : Ganesha might just about love this…Modak (Koramangla)

We ate at this organic thali place called Modak. It serves Maharashtrian fare (which is not obvious when you read its menu or reviews on the net). Items are supposed to all made from organic produce.

Spousey loved the food. Potato sabji (the one they serve with Puri Bhaji), Puris, a mandatory Modak, salads, a fried fritter, and thats about the highlight.

I did not really dislike it, but I thought it likes bite. I would rate this about 7/10. It cost us 260 for a meal of two – and no after effects at all – so soda and other items might have been completely absent from the palate.

I would not probably mind going again, especially for spousey’s sake.

Modak Koramangla, 4th Main, 8th Block – meal for two Rs.260 – 7/10 – will go again.

(This is close to Kamat’s lunch home opposite Shanti Sagar on Koramangla. )

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1175 : Peer Pressure

The guy who I was referring to in “My jogging buddies” has finally gotten down to walking everyday….and in my head, I am attributing all the “responsibility” to me.

So he no longer sips tea and reads economic times, but instead shares the jogging dias with me.

I always knew I could be a very disruptive influence on people. Having said that, I never imagined the pear shaped me could ever get someone to “hurry” :-)

Pear pressure on the run :-)

(My charm does not seem to have worked on the lady of the house though :-))

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1174 : Of birds and bees….

Its strange that in the Garden City – you don’t see crows, sparrows and pigeons – and I mean, at all. What you see is a millions of bees, wasps and grasshoppers.

Does that not strike you as  quaint and odd?

1173 : Good karma is priceless :-)

Picture this.

My “jogging track” is essentially the driveway that runs across the complex. It has a “shoulder” of about 1 mtr on either side consisting of grass, pots, flowers, shrubs and creepers.

A fellow jogger, running about 50 mtrs ahead of me, stops in his tracks, gingerly lifts a creeper which had started growing onto the running track and puts it back on track onto the “shoulder”.

If he had not done that, the creeper would have definitely died through the day, with incessant vehicles driving over it.

I realized that possibly I would not have done this – firstly, because, I would not have noticed it – and even if I had – I would not have found it odd…I would have let the “dying” remain…..

Good karma is indeed priceless – and so is a Buddha heart. Take a bow, fellow jogger.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1172 :Age no Bar, Caste bar bar…

Funnily enough, the subject of cooking seems to dominate most first few rounds of conversation amongst acquaintances here….Do you have a cook? How is her work? and then straight off to what items are usually cooked!

So, before finding out enough about my family, this lady I’ve met only twice, comments on how Mallus put coconut in every food item, and adds derogatorily, “How do they possibly eat such stuff?”

I really wanted to see the expression on her face when i would say ‘Btw, I am married to a Mallu and I love the coconut added in all their food items!’ I don’t mind your views on coconut, but I do mind your derogatory comments, lady!

Then there is the Kannadiga maid who said almost snidely about the cook …‘She is a Bangali’…and refuses to talk to the ‘outsider’ whenever they happen to be working together. Ironically she works for an ‘outsider’ as well! Looks like Money wins over biases though!

Why are we like this? It seems,  for some of us,  castiesm is cast in stone….What I would have shrugged off on any other day as ‘Chalta hain’, refuses to budge away…So many biases, why, why, oh why?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1171 : Another weak gone

Its yet another weak….and then of course, its yet  another wick end :-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

1170 : Stealing my white thunder :-)

Kash the co-author on this blog – is already getting rave reviews. Aakhir uski kameez mere kameez se safed kaisey?

1169 : Unhurried life for dummies

I jog around my complex. While trying to run (ha ha hee hee!!), I try to look around (like the sage said) and absorb the world around me.

Picture this.

All houses have two balconey’s at least. On the third floor of a neighboring wing, at around 6am sharp a youngish couple (say around 30 – difficult to say with my telephoto vision), both come out with two cups (and saucers…seriously) – white in color. They sit on plastic chairs with a plastic tea stool. For 30 minutes they sit and chat and all the while they stare vacuously at the lake (which is near our home).

Then at around 630, the girl goes off, and guy starts reading a yellow daily.

I stop at around 645…and the guy is still around. I have been doing this for the past 12 days and this routine is as predictable as clock work.

As I keep telling spousey, I have running buddies….not all of them run…some of them sip tea….some of them drop their kids to the school bus…..some of them do yoga….but it is damn reassuring to see these rituals played out everyday in front of you.

Blue reassuring clockwork in a garden city, which otherwise does not seem to know how to use “watches”.

1168 : Let the still remains bee respected

On my jogging trail (at 6am in the morning) I usually see it littered with dead bees. On one hand it makes me feel happy that there are enough bees around where I live, but on another hand, I really wonder what causes a “catastrophe of this magnitude” every morning?

Shivering still remains. So bee it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

1167 : Over sight :-) little birdie is flying away

Picture this.

A lady drops her son (about 8th standard, I guess…he was in full trousers and looked like he is in his early teens) at the main gate. She adjusts his tie. He is distinctly uncomfortable…he is at this age, where his mother is something he looks upon as “uncool”. He quickly shuffles out of the gate and begins to cross the street and wait for the bus on the other side. The mother’s eyes follow him till he is steady and at rest on the other side. Then she begins walking (for her morning exercise). At every point where the parapet allows, she looks over to the kid again.

Isn’t this why we love “mothers” in general? They are in some sense the force that sustains our big blue baby :-)

1166 : …and a metal head is being born

I know someone who is expecting a baby and spends most of her time listening to metal and rock music. This is in a time and age of Deepak Chopra’s new age Vedic chants, and “subliminal cognitive development using pre-programming” (what a bunch of c&&p").

I was telling her – that popular myth seems to suggest that kids get soothed by music, they heard in the womb, and usually bond best with such sounds in their after life. I can almost imagine her playing Motley Crue or Iron Maiden at 2am in the morning to get the little one to sleep. Chuckle :-)

Look at the silver lining :-),  at the least Vinay Uncle will be very very happy.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

1165: Of Seaz stories and Agony Aunts

I bet you read that one as sleaze stories!! But this is really about seaz…. sorry if this sounded seazy!! (You’ll figure out what I am referring to!)

Maid 1 who does the house cleaning tells me of her financial plans, what she would like her work portfolio to be and her roadmap to get to Rs. X monthly earnings. All this over a 15 min chat that i absolutely did not trigger…

Enter maid 2 who does the cooking. Now this lady tells me interesting stories of a ‘foren’ house she cooks for…In this house all they eat is ice water soaked lettuce, purple cabbage, cut seaz (that’s what how she pronounces cheese) and apples sprinkled with parsley and rosemary!! Apparently her boss likes seaz so much that she eats a slice of seaz in the loo as well….Yeah…Yuck! Whatever!

Apart from the entertainment value it provides me, and me figuring out that the maids here know English and are trilingual…I wonder what prompts these folks to pour their stories out to me!!

Maybe they see a person sitting quietly with her laptop and feel it necessary to get me talking  just to ensure I am alive :) … or ….they see through the agony aunt that I supposedly am….But those days are literally more than a decade ago, when almost half of my college knew me and folks would stop by and talk to me about their lives (Never mind that at the age of 18, the topics were more about love, friendship, rejection, proposals bla bla!!)

Maybe some things never change!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

1164 : The bare necessities

I can now break a green coconut using a sickle knife. Now thats an art, I never thought I would acquire, but here I am – nariyalpaniwala :-)

Monday, June 07, 2010

1163: Daastaney Sifar…Sunoh Yahaan

Was listening to Lucky Ali’s ‘Sifar’ after ages…If I liked ‘Sunoh’, this was an album I completely fell in love with ….The songs are poetry woven with philosophy so magically….that you could hear them on repeat without getting bored…

My favorite song in the album is its title song ‘Baadalon Ki Gahrayee’….it’s almost like the grand culmination of all the other songs….I heard this after probably 5 years, and it still brings that feeling of stillness and the awe for the poetry and the music. The clock could be chiming by but I couldn’t be bothered, I had to cherish this song and feel one with the universe. If you haven’t heard it yet, do listen to it a few times to get their flavor…. Just like you would let wine remain on your tongue for a few moments and not just gulp it down!!

For those of you interested in poetry, here are the lyrics:

Baadalon Ki Gahrayee Mein Soche Kya Huzoor
Unche Unche Chahre Hain, Zameen Se Kitne Door!
Aahein Bharti Hain Yeh Thandi Havaa
Aise Rangeen Raahon Mein Ab Hamko Kya Hua
Chand Se Taaron Ka Hai,aapas Ka Faasla
Beach Mein Yeh Gahna Hai, Yeh Gahna Duniya
Iss Duniya Ko Kahte Majboor.
Mitadiya Khud Hasti Ko Yeh Hai Kiska Kusoor?
Tamanna Hai Yahi, Aise Yon Kabhi,
Hum Basaayein Koi, Naya Jahan.
Aashnaa Ho Yeh Dil, Pyar Ke Kaabil,
Saaz Aesi Bhi Ho, Sune Jahaan.
Musaafir Ko Mile Raasta,
Zamane Ko Mile Waasta.
Kaise Kaise Parwaano Ki Baatein Mashahoor
Jaise Ye Nazraane Hain Vaise Hain Ye Saroor
Hain Yakeen Dil Mein, Subah Aaayegi Zaroor.
Mitega Yeh Andhera, Hoga Har Ek Shay Mein Noor.
Pyar Karte Idhar, Shay Bante Idhar,
Daastan-e-sifar Sunoh Yahan.
Yeh Bhi Honge Khafa, Kya Pata Kya Gila,
Har Kadam Pe Mile Koi Naya.
Musafir Ko Mile Raasta.
Zamaane Ko Mile Vaasta.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

1162 : Zen and the art or re-motorcycling

I have driven bikes for almost 75000 kms in my short life, and at one point I used to swear that I could drive a bike so much better than a car. A car is something that I have had to learn. A bike came naturally to me. (Notice the past tense).

Then for a few years (2006-2007) I stopped biking. I restarted in 2008 and had a scary slip on an oil spill. My mind is now afraid of biking.

I have never admitted this loudly, before today.


(And thats why, a Fellipe Masa, who had a life threatening F1 crash last came – and  returned this year – is so out of this world – you need to be so incredibly strong to banish the demons in your head. On a different note, Wayne Rainey – my motorcycling hero – who went numb from waist down after a near fatal crash in 1993 – never managed to completely banish his demons – though I still admire him from my heart. He remains one of my all time heroes).

800px-wayne_rainey wayne%20rainey

Coming  back, to my piece, one day, before I say goodbye, I want to start biking again. The more I think of it though, it looks like, that one day is not on any calendar :-)

1161 : To connect, you must first disconnect


2009-royalenfield-bullet500classic2009-RoyalEnfield-Bullet500Classice 2009-RoyalEnfield-Bullet500Classicf

If that sounds like a ponderous zen koan….so be it….. but on a day like today, I want to take a long solo ride on my Enfield Classic 500  (which strangely I don’t own or possess or ride…hee haw!!).

Biking, like running or cycling, or even driving cleans up the mind. Its urban meditation…..and I needed lots of it today.

Someday, when I do really have a Classic 500, I shall burn some tarmac. Till then, will make do with blogging. 

(Photos courtesy 200)

1160 : Switch off your engine at the signal…. and your brains forever :-)

Around World Environment Day – all Oil Companies and Government agencies – all get into this, “lets educate the moron” mode.

So ads, fliers, and posters educate you on the merits of switching off your engine at signals even if it is for 30 seconds.

I find it a ridiculously “emperor’s new clothes” exercise. I don’t think switching off my engine will save even .01 % of my daily fuel compensation. I don’t usually ever switch off my engine at all – unless its a 5 minute signal – because the stress on our engines are highest at “start” times – and they consume the most fuel and oil then. So I would let my engine idle and rest, than play the “start-stop-start” fiddle (For heaven’s sake, don’t educate me in engineering – and then try and bullshit your way around :-))

What will help me save over 10% a month is better roads. I drive on arterial roads, which have moon sized craters in the middle of the road – change that and the million cars which pass through them – will all zip through in overdrive, not user their brakes.

I suggest, we go slow on jingo and do some real def dingo common sense corrections. Mend our rules – enforce an oil change in cars every 6 months at least. All of these will save the nation so much more than ads, posters and fliers.

And of course – build new airports – because the amount of fuel we spent taxi-ing is ridiculous. And having airports 70 miles from the city is as ridiculous as condemning you at birth  to have an carbon footprint of a Boeing dinosaur.

The emperor is naked, and lets all call him nangu-pangu. Its time we got comfortable with spartan nudity :-)

1159 : IDrive

I don’t know how many of you have ever played a “Formula 1” game on either a PS3 or a PC. If you have not, I would highly recommend it.

Key things to look out for when you play on a simulator:
1. The importance of anticipation – when you are off the start line – how well do you anticipate the signal – because those “gained” milliseconds – are what make all the difference at the start.
2. Overtaking or chasing a car ahead – its fascinating – that even in a game – how your heart thumps – when you know you are about to put another guy behind you. Its an exhilarating feeling when you know you are moving closer to the car ahead – meter for meter – and at one point you can read the ads on the car.

I drive quite a lot – need to actually. At a traffic signal, my F1 hat sometimes comes on. I try and anticipate the signal – and viola – its truly a big advantage if you are first off the block. I also find it fascinating – how you can nudge another car – close the road on him – and overtake him – because he has no other driving line left – all of this within perfectly legal rules of driving.

And on long stretches of road – I wear my F1 hat again  - the challenge I throw myself – how easily can I overtake the guy ahead – without breaking any of “my” driving rules, and nursing the car at the same time. I usually beat at least 3-6 cars on a 10 km stretch.

My wife thinks – that all of this “gaming on the road” is an idle mind’s wishful thinking….and at some point, I agree with her – but it keeps me focused on the road, and entertained – and I also think it makes me a far better driver.

And when the 5 red lights illuminate – its ready, steady go…

1158 : Completely forked up

We are all where we are today, because we took one of the choices at a fork, at some point in the past. We took the “preferred” choices then because that's what we thought would work out best.


Today, you do sit and wonder, how would life have been, had you taken the other leg of the fork? And in the same breath you also realize that you are so far down “this” shit, that even the point of no-return is way way back in the past.

How often do you feel like this? Me, not often – I usually don’t allow myself to even mentally re-evaluate “forks” – remember, we only live once.

But then, I am human too – and every now and then – I sit and wonder. The answers are hard - and very frankly, completely useless. Inspite of knowing that, my brain still works with these “lost” possibilities – harnessing the very same skill that allows me to play chess – the ability to deal with “what if”.

Where is this piece going, I think its all completely “forked” up.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

1157 : Open Butter Masala @ Adigas

Prashant and I had the honor of eating an “Open Butter Masala” at Adigas. Its essentially a neer dosa (fluffy gassi) with Andhra podi layered on top of it. A thick blob of masala subji at the center, and served hot with a large serving of Amul Butter laid on the top of this. Accompaniments include Dal Chutney (Dal, Green Chilli, Coconut) and Sambhar.

All of these constituents were perfect and for 25 a piece, this was awesome food. Really Yummy – goes into my list of favorites.

Highly recommended. Living in South India does have its culinary advantages :-)

1156 : Lyrics + English Translation of Bahara from I Hate Luv Storys (stories) (my weak attempts at translation continue)


(dedicated to two special ones in my life…muah!!)

Like Kash said in Post 1149 , the Bahara song is outstanding. Its full of vivre de joie…..Shreya Ghosal is very inventive with her high ranges, and Sona Mohapatra (one of my favorite singers) is path-breaking as usual. I have posted below the lyrics of this song and my own urban (english) translation (as usual…should I add???)

Movie: I Hate Luv Stories, Music : Vishal – Shekhar, Lyricist: Kumar, Sung by: Shreya Ghoshal, Sona Mohapatra

Bahara Lyrics (and an feeble attempt at translation)

Ho tohra saajan ayo tore desh
Badli badra badla saavan
Badla jag ne bhes re
Tohra saajan ayo tore desh

Oh, (maiden) your darling is returning back to your village,
(and quite out of the blue) the clouds are changing color and the (sweet) rain is beginning to threaten,
The whole universe (too) is changing its demeanor,
(all because) your sweetheart is on his way back (to your longing heart).

Soyi soyi palkho pe chalke
Mere sapno ke khidki pe aa gaya
Aate jaate phir mere dil ke
Inn haathon mein woh khat pakda gaya
Pyar ka… lafzo mein rang hai pyar ka

The drizzle is deceptively grazing into (my) sleepy droopy eyes,
Sizzling slippery tiny drops shower on my dreamy little window,
All the while, shooting sweet love doused messages
Containing pithy phrases clothed with ardor
Aimed at the bosom of my achy achy heart

Bhara bahara
Hua dil pehli baar ve
Bahara bahara
Ke chain toh huwa farar ve
Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli pehli baar ve

My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,
My personal quietude too has hastily sprung and is escaping away, bubbling
as if it were spring
My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,

Ho tohra saajan ayo tore desh
Badli badra badla saavan
Badla jag ne bhes re
Tohra saajan ayo tore desh

Oh, (maiden) your darling is returning back to your village,
(and quite out of the blue) the clouds are changing color and the (sweet) rain is beginning to threaten,
The whole universe (too) is changing its demeanor,
(all because) your sweetheart is on his way back (to your longing heart).

Woh kabhi dike zameen pe
Kabhi woh chand pe
Yeh… nazar kahe usse yahan
Mein rakhloo bandh ke
Ek saans mein
Dhadkano ke paas mein
Haan paas mein ghar banaye
Hai bhoole yeh jahaan

Sometimes I see him on the pretty painted pastures,
and at others he is atop the romantic shadowy moon,
And then….all I want to do is -
trap this divine vision of him
onto a single concentric breath of mine,
ever so inline within my thumping pounding heart,
so that we both can build a little abode (colocated within the spiral of my heart),
and divorce (ourselves from) completely from this big blue world.

Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli baar ve
Bahara bahara
Ke chain toh huwa farar ve
Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli pehli baar ve

My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,
My personal quietude too has hastily sprung and is escaping away, bubbling
as if it were spring
My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,

Preet mein tori ore saawariya
Payal jaise chanke bijuriya
Cham cham naache tan pe badariya
Hooo..hoo hoo…

Intoxicated with (your) love,
My dainty feet are dancing with gay abandon,
And my whole self is engulfed into the overwhelming clouds (of your self)

Baadaliya tu bharse ghano
(bharse ghano..bharse ghanoo)

The (same) laden cloud which drenches me so very completely….

Jo… yeh badliyan woh chhed de
Toh chalke baarishein
Woh.. de aahate kareeb se
Toh bole khwaishen he aaj kal
Zindagi har ek pal
Har ek pal usse chaahe
Hai jiska dil hua

When he fleetingly teases the ever changing clouds,
The downpour begins,
When he makes those ever so slight movements (in my proximity),
(It) rouses (my) passions on a dreamy day like today,
And (from then on) every drop of my (rain) soaked life,
wants to fuse with my love forever,
(the same darling) to whom I have already lost my heart to,

bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli baar ve
Bahara bahara
Ke chain toh huwa farar ve
Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli pehli baar ve

My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,
My personal quietude too has hastily sprung and is escaping away, bubbling
as if it were spring
My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,

Soyi soyi palkho pe chalke
Mere sapno ke khidki pe aa gaya
Aate jaate phir mere dil ke
Inn haathon mein woh khat pakda gaya
Pyar ka lafzo mein rang hai pyar ka

The drizzle is deceptively grazing into (my) sleepy droopy eyes,
Sizzling slippery tiny drops shower on my dreamy little window,
All the while, shooting sweet love doused messages
Containing pithy phrases clothed with ardor
Aimed at the bosom of my achy achy heart

Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli baar ve
Bahara bahara
Ke chain toh huwa farar ve
Bahara bahara
Hua dil pehli pehli baar ve

My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,
My personal quietude too has hastily sprung and is escaping away, bubbling
as if it were spring
My excited heart (with the freshness of the “first time feeling”) springs
as if it were spring,

Ho tohra saajan ayo tore desh
Badli badra badla saavan
Badla jag ne bhes re
Tohra saajan ayo tore desh

Oh, (maiden) your darling is returning back to your village,
(and quite out of the blue) the clouds are changing color and the (sweet) rain is beginning to threaten,
The whole universe (too) is changing its demeanor,
(all because) your sweetheart is on his way back (to your longing heart).

1155 : Harmony (and melody…and a singasong)

Prashant and I were talking yesterday, and I was telling him that (in my view) the eventual goal of all human beings should (could) be to seek harmony and peace (quiet).

Harmony is all about balance and equitable apportionment of your life around the resources that you “need”, “give” and “have”.

You rarely see a couple (married or otherwise) in modern times who have “harmonized” themselves….and very (if at all)infrequently you chance upon a harmonized individual.

I am so very far from harmony in my life (that it is even ceased to be a goal in my life), though I think I have got quite a bit of “quiet” on (aha…interesting tautology!!). Prashant on the other hand, seems so deeply immersed in “Harmony” that he is perennially swimming in it (could not resist that dig…it was waiting to be taken) :-)

1154 : Lady, take a bow :-)

I am not too much of a feminist (I am more of an equalist….I mean I don't like the idea of a positive bias….which is essentially what ribald feminism is).

In the past 2 months….I have met 2 young girls….who each have 2 children…..have a fairly successful career…..seem to be balanced in their personal lives as well…and my oh my, they look really fit (not necessarily beautiful or slim, but fit….they look like they hit the gym everyday).

I for one, can’t seem to balance between just two items – my work and my health – I wonder how do these ladies do it. You see them at work, and you could easily mistake them to one of those workaholic success craving junkie…..they love their work, and are extremely passionate about it. It shows.

What gives a human being, so much reserves….an ability to balance 3-5 lives, go for your “change the world” trip (as I see it, your “work” is essentially your desire and ability to change and contribute (back) to the world…its incidental that it makes money for us), and focus enough on oneself as well.

I wish, I could take a leaf out of their books…just that I don’t know them well enough…..but enough can be learned by just respecting their ability to balance and harmonize.

“Mother” is the mother of all innovation.


My sister has two kids of her own too. And is she an inspiration? I HAVE to say Yes :-) On a more correct note, she is not the fittest, but she is gorgeous enough, does that qualify???

1153 : Heel thyself naturalist:-)

I have this nagging heel pain on my right foot – for which I have done nothing save wearing an ankle brace at times.

I have been using that as an excuse not to run for over 2 months (thats how long this nonsense has lasted).

And then, last week I said…ch(f)uck it and started running.

My heel is already feeling better, though it is under more stress than ever.

It only re-affirms my naturalist roots. Like I cut myself today morning, fairly deep one. Let it be…no medicine…not anti-inflammatory… will heal itself. Let the body’s innate intelligence work its magic.

I survive months and years without medicines – except of course for some legacy reason, I chomp 6 pills at night, and use bottles of cold rub balm(for my migraine and sinus), as if they were some vitamin supplements.

Try the naturalist route, you will surprised how little help our bodies need, if you respect its intelligence.

1152 : 16 more days to a habit :-)

I have run for all 5 days of the past week, and thats more than I can ever say for the past 2 years. It feels good. I don’t run too much, only about 5km or so.

I seem to have too many “excuses” not too – like severe heel pain, sometimes a knee pain, extreme tiredness, and the fact that for me to wake up at 5 in the morning is equivalent to climbing Mount Everest naked :-) (Am absolutely not a morning person).

I think I am motivating myself by “80 rupees saved is 80 rupees earned”….(cryptic clues :-)) …and of course ….neither a fat papa nor a fart papa, but a fit papa.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

1151 : Buffalo Stance

Was listening to the Neneh Cherry 1989  classic Buffalo Stance while jogging today. Its a thoroughly likable number and has stayed with me for over 2 decades now.

Now how many songs can claim that lifespan?

1150 : Postal Service

Between the two of us, the only way you can figure who posted what is by reading the “posted by” tagline below.

Our writing styles are different and ideally you should be able to see.

One does speed post, the other peed spost :-)

1149: A new dose of reality

Bangalore. 2 weeks that felt like eons.

The new place, new people, different weather, news ways of working (yes, when the maid tells me 9 am – it usually ends up being 11 am!)…leaving my senses overloaded and sometime exasperated.

Yet, the daily rain showers and the cool weather have added a romantic twirl in the air – and am i thankful for these little mercies! Sipping a hit cup of ginger tea in the morning, and listening to Bahara (from I hate Luv Storys) just added that touch of spring that the song is so aptly named after!

The music is so foot tapping, its just get you in a ‘spring’ mood. (Please listen to the song, i have no better words to describe it!) The music, the morning nip, and the cup of ginger tea….what a heady combination!

Have pasted the lyrics below: (the lyrics are simple, its Shreya Ghosal+Sona Mahapatra+Vishal’s music that make the song stand out)

Soyi soyi palkon pe chal ke, meri sapno ki khidki pe aa gaye
Aate jaate phir mere dil ke, inn haathon mein woh khat pakda gaya
Pyaar ka, lafzon mein rang hai pyaar ka
Bahara bahara huya dil pehli baar ve
Bahara bahara ki chain to huya faraar ve
Bahara bahara huya dil pehli pehli baar ve

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

1148 : Random acts of kindness

I was driving behind a black indigo yesterday, and the lady driving it, offered a lift to two small urchins.

She actually stopped her car in the middle of a heavy moving traffic to onboard the kids. I was behind and respectfully did not honk.

How could I? How often do you see pure undiluted goodness?

1147 : Sharing whitespace

Kash hopes to start posting onto this blog soon. Everytime a singular changes to plural or vice versa, our lives change and a bit of adjustment is called from everyone.

People, rise, and adjust (maadi) to a new version of reality.

(I can’t seem to utter “adjust” without “maadi”. This place is getting into my bloodstream :-))