Thursday

Let’s discover our noble selves




I was commenting on SK’s blog, and my comment there compelled me to write this post.


With much sadness I am realizing that as a nation we are so caught up in some urgency that can best be described as goalless and meaningless. We are caught up in outdoing the other, we are losing our patience, we are getting mean and rude as a race, we are constantly hurling abuses and picking fights with strangers on the road, we argue more and more with no purpose, we don’t understand the meaning of constructive criticism, all we know - is how to reach into our primeval instincts and nudge the other out because the threat looms large in our minds that they may overtake us in some form and that threatens our peaceful state if any! We have forgotten that we are one of the oldest civilizations, who were acknowledged for our diversities, our skills, our art, our nobility, our sense of wisdom, culture and above all a basic politeness which is a trademark of a good community


As a nation we are increasingly forgetting some basic courtesies such as saying please and thank you, while other good manners, such as sending handwritten thank-you letters and holding the door open, are slipping


Very few people always make a point of saying please when asking for something. Almost entirely not too many say thank you no more. I was talking to a bunch of youngsters on how they would react if they bumped into somebody by accident, they claim they would not apologize if they bumped into a passer-by and that they would happily let a door slam in someone's face if they were in a hurry.


Things are unlikely to get any better in the run-up to New year either, which is fast becoming a festival of rudeness, impatience and bad manners.
Queuing, being caught in crowds, attacking bartenders because your glass is empty - all leads to short tempers and rudeness. We all want things in a hurry, lets barge past soon, get what we need and step away from the crowds - adds to further chaos, and further stepping on toes. But who really does care? Now we shush and mutter loudly and think nothing of queue-jumping if that gets us to our goal faster


What is this if not a race which is incredibly selfish and bad mannered? Where has our nobility disappeared? And our politeness? When will we search for it and how will we ensure we preserve it and teach these great values to our kids?
We all rationalize and accept that life is so fast-paced these days that people no longer make the time for social niceties. But who is losing out here?
The attitude of firing off quick texts and emails definitely lends itself to great response time, and I am sure we can use the same mode and media to be nobler and more patient as a society too. Lets learn to breathe, pause and count to 100 to calm down, grin, be cheerful, be optimistic, hopeful, value others and be helpful.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009. Thank you all who visited and commented on both my blogs (www.meetravels.blogspot , www.quip-pro-quo.blogspot) during the whole year 2008, I appreciate them very much. Your support helps me to keep my bloging in progress! :)

Saturday

Mumbai, Maximum city - What next?

I have been alone at home for the last 59 hrs and have been weeping
by myself. I feel outraged, sad, brutalized, shocked, gutted deeply with wounds and have many questions unanswered.

The Taj in so many ways signified my growing years in Bombay - was and is, a symbol of grace, dignity, magnificence which will rise from the ashes and will be rebuilt am sure!

Taj Mahal Colaba and the grand old lady VT station are our pride, beauty spots of global recognition. They have undeniably stood the test of time , weather, mal- usage, and reached heritage status today. Both these structures are set in the minds of everyone who belongs to the city, irrespective of whether you were born here or came to build a life here. When a heritage structure is showered with gun fire then it feels like an attack on the person! I felt like that.

Will we find a way to resolve this- - that is what is scaring me. Will we soon suffer from short memories and move ahead in life with this being, yet another chapter forgotten in the past?

Remember how outraged we were when we got to know that our soldiers did not have proper shoes when they went to fight Kargil? I have felt for them then, even got mentally disturbed and outraged then, but soon forgot about Kargil because it didn’t impact my life directly. Bombay is where we grew up, we breathe freely here, have seen childhood to adulthood here, seen happiness here and today mayhem

Today - I am enraged that how dare these dirty politicians question our soldiers getting 24eggs in a month! The same soldiers who come to Bombay as NSG & Marine Naval Commandos. To save us and protect us. And these politicians dare question that they get 24 eggs a month?! Why don’t we question these politicians and ask them why does NSG have to be based in Delhi? Don’t the Government have a moral task of safeguarding lives everywhere in the country? Is the Home Ministers life more important than the ordinary citizens life in Bombay? Should the NSG not be spread across the country for safeguarding and for security and God forbid never again for swift action too?

I am hopeful we will do something and not forget this time, the cruel hand of terror played in our city. I just know it in my guts we will not forget this lesson soon.
Just don't know what we will do to not forget, yet, though…

Maybe like all strategies the answer is staring us between the eyes and its not complicated a thought at all ! Maybe the answer is the most obvious – citizen vote bank! If we as citizens don’t have a citizen representation in the vote bank of governance in the country – through politics — then we absolutely don’t stand a chance to make anything correct! Then public memory will indeed live to be short...

If we want this crap to end, if we want terror to be finished, crisis management to be well handled, Intelligence systems to be well in place then we need to have a citizen’s vote bank! This once I want this terror crap to be the last.
I will personally persuade, direct, beg, plead, make reason and ensure everybody within my world votes! And makes sure their voice is heard!

Its now time for action – enough of words
I am totally for POTA to be revived right now! We need to move that machinery soon. How come no more terrorist acts have happened after 9/11 in USA? So can it be here too - provided we know what it takes to make it happen

Let's ensure we have a good acting responsible govt that knows
how to lead, govern & look after the nations interests

My heart will continue to bleed seeing Taj burn as long as the TV keeps flashing those images:(

For what it's worth, we need to speak up and now. Elections are round the corner lets be prepared to be heard. We need to rally in support of a War on Terror. We need to mobilize our world of family and friends to support the right leaders (am sure there are good young leaders there) by electing them resoundingly through our votes. And they in turn have to promise to flush out the terror training camps, irrespective of the soil they are on. If that leads to war, let us be mentally prepared- are the happenings in Bombay any short of war?

Lets nomore be called a city of tenacious people who jump back to normalcy all too quickly. Lets not be told how spirited we are. Let me tell you its not spirited at all, it is a desperate need to make money to feed those mouths at home that makes us go to work the next day. Its to earn a living! We are deeply indifferent as long as terror doesn’t touch our lives directly!

My friend Summerflower said, seeing things in her office, the branch head is singing songs out loud and a colleague thinks it's amusing to crack jokes with reference to the tragedy – so can this be spirited? Resilience? Or indifference?

Over the last 15 years we as a city have witnessed too much maybe therefore it leaves us cold if a few 100 die its just another day! Let it be the riots of 1992 or bomb blasts of '93, or the flash floods or the train blasts or the Gateway of India blasts and now this...any other city would by now would have torn itself apart and rebuilt a protection wall around itself. But we continue to break down even the thin walls that are barely surviving no thanks to us, and marvel at politics of the words and politicians make merry on politics for the vote bank! And the moron public like Mee cannot tell that we’ve been had not once, not twice, but so many many times!

Despite the 13 serial blasts in 1993 our city remained united. The
citizens could have easily relived the '92 riots, going at each others
throats in the name of religion. But no matter what these terror
elements tried to do, they could not break this city's unity. People
went out of their way to help others at times of crisis...never
did they ask "which region/caste/religion/country do you belong
to?" So who is creating the frisson here I ask you? The Politicians.

Incidentally for those who may not know there is an interesting story about how the Taj came into existence. The founder was not let into a plush south Bombay hotel because he was an Indian! So he went on to build India's first 5 star. Reason for each of us to be proud of our heritage.

I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just that I'm tired of calling our
coping mechanisms "resilience" when it is nothing but just truckloads
of sheer helplessness at being held at ransom every time...

I am sick of hearing abt our resilience n spirit n crap like tat
it is bull shit at it's best Part of it is sheer necessity n part of it is the need to move ahead It is all forced!! how can it ever be resilience?!

Lets wake up and ACT. Let this not be forgotten, because if we do, then we deserve the future we get. But we want a future which is prosperous, bright, economically powerful, and most importantly we want to be part of a harmonious peaceful community.


Lets all vote, lets get others around us to vote, register online if you are not a voter yet! http://www.jaagore.com/

I hope and pray now our leaders will not fail us in rooting out this terror
My sincere gratitude to the brave hearts of our forces. Sincere homage to those who lost lives in this senseless battle over the last 3 days. The war has come down to the street we live on. And it would be a crime to hold our silence. This was the last straw that broke our backs!

In grief and hope we must act and vote. That is the only way we can bring sanity to our country and make sure we have a government that knows what effective leadership must do. Protect the country at all costs!

Tuesday

No Water, No Life



Two things compelled me to write about Water.

A) I am working with a client (an Ngo) WOTR who do pioneering work in water harvesting. During my course of work I had a meeting with Shekhar Kapur who shared so much information and passion on this subject that it compelled me to think deeper and search for more answers.

B) After viewing Quantum of Solace I was stunned to realize Bolivia was held to ransom in real life by USA when 70% of Bolivia’s water supply was stolen by USA - a basic resource that belonged to Bolivia was controlled by USA and then resold to the Bolivians at a price the locals could not buy! This resulted in poverty, death and further erosion of life.

Water is today’s oil. If not more precious! Just as many wars have been fought for oil, many wars will be (and have been) fought over water!! But unlike the battles braved by American soldiers to keep SUVs humming on US highways, these clashes come at the price of something far more precious - the basic necessities of life. According to one estimate, there are over 1.2 billion people on this planet without access to potable water. So why is the situation only getting worse? Seems like the key word is ‘privatization’, and those contracted to solve the problem are the only folks, who will financially benefit from the same, adding to the misery of the masses across the globe

All humans have the “right” to water. Not to bottled water. Not to high priced, frequently unavailable water, but pure, clean, easy to obtain, and inexpensive drinking water. Let this be a wake-up call to those who take such issues for granted. Water is no more a given. How many people who run the faucet as they brush their teeth, think that they are actually wasting the equivalent of a whole South African town’s weekly supply? When we pick up that bottle of Kinley or Himalayan or Evian, do we really understand that in some South American countries people would kill for such a source?

We can put down this hurtling disaster of nature, as an anecdotal incidence today and carry on with our lives and allow the maids to leave the tap running while they chat with us, or waste the rain water that flows into our cities without harvesting it meaningfully, or not teach the kids in school how important a resource water is and help preserve and conserve it to ensure that the water tables don’t run dry, not create enough sustainable incomes in villages to stop migrants from seeking big city employment for an earning thereby putting more pressure on already fast depleting resource like water! Else we can wake up and take cognizance of the crunch and help in a small but meaningful way. I know of 2-3 people in Bombay who have already looked 15 years hence and have created under ground storage tanks to harvest rain water when lakes run dry eventually, so that they are self reliant and not shelling pots of money to buy water then

Indeed, some believe that, just like during other times of crisis, an informed outside constituency will rise up to rectify what commerce and corruption has shattered.

For that fact alone, we need to conserve and preserve water and not let our taps run dry. I know it is a tired rhetoric but soon will become a reality if we don’t wake up to the dangers.Conserve. Preserve. Water IS life.

Wednesday

Kiss Your BlackBerry Good-Bye Mr. Prez




I read this in Charged and thought this was kinda regressive! Read on...reproduced from Charged


Forget about Obama being the first mobile president — the feds will be stripping him of his BlackBerry.

His impressive use of mobile communications and social networking tools during his campaign has led many to speculate that Obama would take these tools to the White House. With these tools, he could lead the people much more effectively — ushering in a new era of politics.

But it seems that the Oval Office just doesn’t get the signal, according to an article in the New York Times:

…before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful…

…But in the interceding eight years, as BlackBerrys have become ubiquitous — and often less intrusive than a telephone, the volume of e-mail has multiplied and the role of technology has matured. Mr. Obama used e-mail to stay in constant touch with friends from the lonely confines of the road, often sending messages like “Sox!” when the Chicago White Sox won a game. He also relied on e-mail to keep abreast of the rapid whirl of events on a given campaign day.

Mr. Obama’s memorandums and briefing books were seldom printed out and delivered to his house or hotel room, aides said. They were simply sent to his BlackBerry for his review. If a document was too long, he would read and respond from his laptop computer, often putting his editing changes in red type.

Perhaps it really is time for a change.

Friday

My bit on Sourav Ganguly



One of the best written chapters in history of cricket came to an end as the “Prince of Calcutta” walked out of the field, never to return. King of controversy, the most stylish batsman I’ve ever seen, the most successful captain India has seen, Dada will be known for many things including his brave come backs.

He was the one with the highest risk of having his career being ended with being dropped from test team one day or the other but when the decision finally came from him, it still hurt. Though, he did himself a favour by doing so saving himself from the shame of being dropped forever from the team.

Saying, I like Sourav Ganguly, would be an under statement for me. He has been my favourite sportsman at many stages over the past decade. Even though I loved cricket more than its heroes, even though other sports like F1 took my attention away from this game at times, even though the clash of Soccer and Cricket, at times, gave way to Soccer, I always was drawn to cricket because of the pride and unabashed courage I saw in Dada. At times I would be amused by his ability to irritate Australia’s on-field Mr Unflustered. And at times Ganguly could melt The Iceman just by turning up late for the toss:)

Dada was a great tease:) I am positive if he was born as an Ozzie, he would have been celebrated as a rascal and an incorrigible bright man, but because he was the opponent (Indian) – he was rude, elitist, prickly, a time waster and serial pest who couldn’t play the short ball. I don’t know why, but I admire him for these weaknesses. I sincerely do.

To have appeared in 113 Tests while dealing with short balls as uncomfortably as if he was being shot at by arrows is astounding. The game is hard enough without having to cope with a serious deficiency as well, but Ganguly did it. I didn’t really like his replacing of gloves or protective gear every couple of overs, or his calls for socks, blister pads, face wipes and apples. Bowling 90 in a day is hard enough without the batsmen joining the turtles with the ball, although it added to Ganguly's character and ate at his opponents. Hehehe

In Australia and England, Dada was seen as a man of privilege, someone who clicks his fingers and an army of servants arrives to clip his nails or fan his face. Maybe his life is like that, but after being dropped as captain and batsman by Greg Chappell (for GC I reserve some choicest words that would redden his pale skin!) I liked Dada even more, when he was made to sweat and showing his middle finger to all he would come up tops! Not everything in life was laid out for him. But came back he did! And won even more hearts this way! What perseverance for this game he had!

At his felicitation last week to celebrate his playing achievements, Dada spoke about the need to make enemies for the good of India. He talked gently and softly, but with purpose. Of the players I’ve seen, only Shane Warne and Graeme Smith have been as magnetic. When Dada enters a room I’m drawn to him and even when he’s said nothing of real interest, I’ve been entertained. During the times when he’s sniped and picked and teased it’s been even better.

Before the start of this 'Fight of their lives' series between India and Oz, he was defending his form and was reported by a Bengali newspaper to have complained “every Tom, Dick and Harry is playing for India”. For two days he let the story run before issuing a denial. Off the field he was equally good at playing games and scoring points. I will miss Dada for his entertainment and his spice. With each year, more zany characters leave the game and as public life becomes increasingly sanitized, I wonder if they can be replaced by the next generation of media-managed clones. Long live Dada in our hearts!

Tuesday

A view from India- on Obama and his multi billion $ election campaign which is mercifully over!



IMHO it is hugely obscene what Obama has spent in this presidential election – flushed with cash – he has made all of us realize - never is any financial number too high if the race is to win the White House! Clearly meets and exceeds the imagination as far as I am concerned.

I mean isn’t that a lot of money to spend? I wonder aloud how this money may have been put to better use? Maybe the money could have insured many uninsured Americans, it could have provided handsome education to any number of Americans, the near homeless could have saved their homes, small banks could have escaped bankruptcy, and the list could really go on if I were more educated about American Politics.

Is he not going to impose new tax burdens on Americans in the middle of a recession? Maybe then this money could have been put into a savings account and at the right time he could have surprised the country by demonstrating his service to reduce taxes,for real!

Mrs. Obama on the other hand is not on the ticket, but she travels with her husband, and therefore may very well have her clothes purchased by the Democratic party as well. If news reports are to be believed. The Obama's have not been scrutinized by the media and I wonder why? I know that Obama refused to provide his details when challenged by the New York Times in September. An article in the New York Times 09-08 said that he purchased Burberry suits that run about $1000.00 each to start without tailoring. What about the rest?. Reports said that Michelle Obama purchased a snack at the Waldorf that cost over $400.00 which included Lobster, Caviar, and champagne while on the campaign trail. The media is obviously biased since the Obama's have been immune to these questions.It is interesting that the Democrats scrutinize Palin, but don't hold to the same standard. So how come nobody has the exact figure on their expense??? Surely the government has records. Or did they spy on Palin?!?

We'll never find the correct answer to that...the majority of the liberal media is handling their precious Obama with care...they wouldn't dare release any damaging information. The figures are out as to the total amount Obama has spent during this campaign...that should speak for itself. Only fools would think every penny of that money funded appropriate campaigning tools such as creating those lovely "Change" posters… and I can’t help but be catty here I personally wish Mrs O would spend MORE money on her clothes...she always looks shabby. Actually, you don't have to spend more money...just have some fashion sense...or taste, which she's obviously lacking.

My online research tells me O has spent $ 391,437,714 on advertising, online gimmicks, wardrobes, makeup, lighting, polls, props, sets, styrofoam pillars, airbrushing, and letters to the CEO of Midwest Airlines complaining about the company's proposed wage and benefit cuts to its union flight crew. Ha-ha

Do we have any idea on how much of the money contributions have come from anonymous donors from the Middle East??

Like they say all’s fair in love & Politics! Congratulations President Barrack Obama, you are being watched closely by the world.

Thursday

Diwali Lights are up!


People say India is the land of festivals. Despite that fact that all the Indian festivals have its own importance; Diwali (Deepavali) stands out as unique and most awaited. Diwali is celebrated for five continuous days at the end of the Hindu month of Ashwayuja and it usually occurs in October/ November. It is one of the most popular festivals in India. It comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra. In South India Diwali is a two day festival of Naraka Chaturdashi and Balipadyami. And in North India, Diwali celebrations last five days i.e. Dhanteras, Chhoti Diwali, Laxmi Puja, Gowardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj.

1st day of Diwali: Dhanteras – Folklore has it, Dhanwantari came out of the ocean with Ayurvedic medicine (promotes healthy long life) for mankind. This day marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations. On this day at sunset, Hindus bathe in the evening again and offer lit lamps (diyas) with prasad (sweets) to Yama Raj and pray for protection from untimely death. This offering is made near a Tulsi plant or a sacred tree that one might have close to home.

This is a big festival in Bombay. Actually, for that matter in all large Cosmo cities of India. The folklore of Ayurveda makes everybody dash to buy Gold as an equivalent of Ayurveda- i.e. Gold symbolizes purity & wealth as security for future.

2nd day of Diwali - is called Narak Chaturdasi or small Diwali. It is the eve of Diwali. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. On this day, people bathe with oil to relieve themselves of tiredness, so that they feel rested in order to celebrate Diwali with enthusiasm and devotion the next day. On this night, diyas are not lit:) While ofcourse I have yet to see a home where chotti Diwali is not festive and full of flowers, diyas, crackers:) This day is also referred to as Bali Pratiprada. The word "Pratiprada" literally means "below the opponent's foot". According to the myth Bali was an immensely powerful king. When God felt that King Bali was becoming too powerful, Vishnu, disguised as a sage of diminutive proportions, appeared in his court. Bali offered to fulfill any of the sage's wishes. The sage asked for all the land he could cover in 3 paces. King Bali agreed immediately. Vishnu then assumed a gigantic form and claimed the world (Mrityuloka), and the heavens (Swargloka) in two paces. To keep his foot down the 3rd time, he asked for King Bali's head. Bali agreed. Thus, the reign of Bali was overthrown. Religion has its roots in Politics you’d agree? :)


The third day of Diwali: The Actual day of Diwali. Is celebrated when the moon completely wanes and total darkness sets in the night sky. Families and their priests worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity, the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It also is the day when Lord Ram wins back his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravan, and comes back to his kingdom with his wife and brother Laxman after 14long years in Vanvaas. Wow, how did they survive for 14years in the jungle beats me! This is the reason, why this festival is celebrated a day earlier in South India since Lord Ram traveled from the south to his kingdom in the north

Deepavali is a beautiful festival - you can feel the joy and happiness and smiles all around you. It is a night of sparklers, lights, rangoli. Much like rich
India :) Homes wear this lovely warm look of togetherness and purity and colour and gaiety. People celebrate this with noisy crackers, social gatherings and exchange greetings and boxes of sweets and gifts

The day of Deepavali has special significance for the business community, we consider this day to be the day to thank God for all that she has given us in this life to keep us comfortable. Some people also gamble with money on this night because it is a believed that the wife of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati played dice with Him on this day and therefore those, who gamble on this auspicious day, are blessed with prosperity :)

The 4th day of Diwali - On this day, Govardhan Pooja is performed. It is also called Annakut, celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra. Men present gifts to their wives on this day. It is also called Naya Saal for the business community of India where the financial books are opened to do business and this is the first day of the new financial year for them. A day of optimism and forward gazing indeed.

Gowardhan Puja folklore has it , that it was originally celebrated by the people of Gokul - a small town in Uttar Pradesh, used to celebrate a festival at the end of monsoon to worship Lord Indra and express their gratitude for the rains. However, one particular year, young Krishna stopped the people of Gokul from worshiping Lord Indra and persuaded them to worship the fields and the cattle instead as they help in creating wealth. Following the incident there was a heavy downpour in Gokul. People got frightened as they felt that Lord Indra was angry with them and has sent a deluge to submerge the town. To save the scared people of Gokul, mighty Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan (a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura) on his little finger and sheltered men and beasts from the heavy rain. Lord Indra accepted the supremacy of Krishna and from then on Lord Krishna also came to be known as Govardhandhari. South India celebrates the fourth day of Diwali as Balipratipada. It is believed that on this day King Bali come to visit the people on earth from Patalaloka (netherworld) as per boon given by Lord Vishnu.

The fifth day of Diwali is Bhai Dooj. This is the day dedicated to sisters. We all know about Raksha Bandhan (brothers day). Well this is sisters’ day. This is also known as Bhai fota among Bengalis. And Bhai Dooj amongst North Indians - a day when the sister prays for her brother's safety, success and well being. And in turn is rewarded with gifts and lots of good blessings.

Who wouldn’t love this country for the richness of its traditions and the good values this sanskriti has woven into the inherent fabric of daily life? :)

All that Jazz


Why do I love jazz so much? It’s soulful, and fits human moods brilliantly. It can swing from happy to a deep connection with in seconds and can even cry soulfully when pleading for help. Jazz rejoices like never has there been a moment of such a high and also can be fun and childish and impish and full of camaraderie when it chooses to be that.

Jazz came to America three hundred years ago in chains. From west Africa through the slaves. And New Orleans became the jazz capital. Jazz was a thriving form of popular music in the 1920’s after it caught on among the musicians who were paid to entertain clients in the brothels of New Orleans. And then the worlds greatest happened - up coming stars like Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke perfected the ‘hot’ style and made Jazz popular. Ella Fitzgerald pushed it notches onwards. And jazz music started thriving. So many genres came to existence - bebop, hard bop, Dixieland, cool jazz, free jazz, jazz-fusion, modal jazz, soul jazz, smooth jazz and boogie woogie. Fitzgerald, along with Louis Armstrong in particular, introduced jazz to a more mainstream audience with her vast repertoire, and her version ‘Mack the knife’ became a pure classic.

Am I a puritanical jazz lover? I don’t know what that means. I love music of all kinds and all genres. I love jazz and I love Madonna too. These days I love Bollywood and can tap to anything that sounds good to the ear. Am not selective about my music but am very appreciative of any music. Music to me, is food, for my soul.

Closer home, when I see Jazz and its introduction to my life, I relate all that Jazz to the now defunct Jazz Yatras. Interestingly, jazz pockets exist all over India like Capital Jazz (Jazz Yatra gave way to this) Pune Jazz Club, Bangalore Jazz Habba, Chennai Jazz Club, Jazz Goa, the West Coast Jazz Utsav in Mumbai.

Some jazz clubs are far more active than the others (pretty much like the Hashers) - for instance The Pune Jazz Club meets every month at the Max Mueller and share details on their fave jazz artistes. They also organize the occasional live jazz event at Shisha Cafe, Koregaon Park. The club members have a blast at every meeting that invariably turns into a party. Bangalore Habba features a four day jazz festival within the ten day festival. Some of India's most accomplished jazz artistes, including visiting international artistes come to perform here. Goan jazz musicians have always been at the forefront of the jazz scene in India. And Jazz Goa makes sure they stay in the limelight. Calcutta and Delhi too have a decent fan following for this niche music arena in the country. So its not surprising at all why they say All that Jazz for nothing.

Friday

Ramble on


It has been decided that I am going to use this post for planning aloud. Ramble on Mee. I think it gets forlorn and dark and uncheery (?) when it rains in Bombay (end of monsoons soon!), the green definitely starts to show in the city, though you could be forgiven to believe this city has none otherwise. The beautiful French windows allow natures green to sparkle in lush peridot and that makes up for the grey of the season.

I definitely feel near and dear to Bombay than I do to another city in the country barring a Bangalore of course. (it’s a tight race for the number 1 spot between them 2) -so I don't believe I will be totally converting anytime soon to either, like to have both cities alive in my horizon.

Anyway 2 weeks in a row no spring cleaning, so coming weekend will be devoted to cleaning. And making the house look beautiful again. Fresh flowers and lovely aroma thereafter will make my home beautiful and serene again. Pretty mundane tasks, but after it's all happened, I will feel so complete. I'll probably celebrate by doing something completely nerdy, like World of warcraft or something. Or maybe I will try to at least achieve some sort of high score on Backgammon. Either way, something along these lines will occur.

After that, I'm probably going to head over to Mommy’s and print out my tickets, and then go for dinner to Dakshin or Peshawar with family. It is a ritual - one meal over the weekend- with family and it has to be either our special places or new eateries we have discovered over the course of the week. After eating we will head back to my rez or mum’s and watch a film. Stake out a lounge and just zone out. My zone out knows no bounds. The week has taken its toll.

Tuesday

Small Act, Big Impact


That was an atom molecule bang resulting in a poof and no endangerment to the Earth. But look at all the crap that was drummed around by media for publicity? Predicting doomsday and whatnot!

And now take a look at what is going on in our surround. Delhi bombing, why did it happen? Jaipur, Bangalore and before that Bombay. What are we as people doing to protect our cities? Our Earth? What happened in Bihar? Did we as Indians do something to galvanize and mobilize help or support? Hurricane Ike caused destruction of a mammoth nature and the city of Houston, is still reeling with robbery, theft, no water to drink, no power, no much food. At another stratospheric level the markets are reeling with Lehman Brothers going belly upwards, and Merrill Lynch selling out, AIG calling the SOS and who knows how many more are lurking in the shadows waiting to summon the courage to declare bankruptcy!

Did you know that we as a country are second to only Iran in terms of deaths and loss of life due to terrorism? What is the impression we spread of our country in the world outside? CA is suspect of coming to India. Obama does not want to give any more jobs to Indians. Even without Obama, Indians will lose many jobs in the USA. Orissa & Mangalore reek of intolerance and hatred. Have we spent ourselves out? Have we plundered and looted and bludgeoned to such an extent that we have only a hollow shell left in the aftermath? Do we care? Do we stand to lose anything? Are we so busy running our daily lives that we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all that is happening around us?

There seems to be crisis after crisis brewing up in some part of the world. I don’t believe in Nostradamus nor do I believe in soothsayers. All I know is we are abdicating our responsibilities as individuals and as nationalities and as citizens and as inheritors of this magnificent planet called Earth and are not moving an inch to help or support in any ways!

I am asking each of us here, when will we wake up and when will we stir out of this apathy and when will we do something meaningful to be able to make a difference in society? More than anything else when will we become more sensitive to our surroundings? We need to become the Harmony Bear. Harmony Bear helps others get along. This peace loving bear knows our differences are something to be celebrated, not something to keep us apart. When differences are brought together in harmony they create something beautiful.

Harmony Bears caring mission is to help others overcome differences and get along. Her Character Quirk is that she's got a beautiful singing voice that seems to magically help calm others when they're upset. Her Best Friend is Friend Bear. Her Relationship Challenge is with Champ Bear. He can be so competitive sometimes. Motto is – “good times get better when we get along together”.

We do not live in fabulous conditions so we shouldn’t kid ourselves. I think, we don’t need the Big Bang of evolution, to my mind, we need, the evolution of Ideas to stop the rot and ruin around us. We need to think. We need to act! Let’s take small steps and make concrete things happen. If each of us can become a Harmony Bear and do ambassadorial work around harmony and development, that will make a small difference to society. And it is such small steps, which will lead to the big impact.

Sunday

Pimp my ride




Guess if my car were broke and in poor condition I would have customized it to feel like a Rolls Royce:), the interiors definitely and the music system most definitely! But am not sure about the exterior though, I prefer my car exteriors!

The drive in Singapore in this stunningly macho beauteous large premium Rolls Royce Phantom was a delight. These are the bespoke. Customized for the high end market. Inside was soft ivory leather upholstery edged with seashell piping. Brown veneers throughout still allowing the natural grain to show through. Silver adorning for each door capping. The dashboard was finished in special black metal foil with a finely embossed diamond pattern. A slightly thicker rimmed steering wheel adds to the dynamic spirit of the Phantom. And omg those wheels, were fantastical! The flying lady at the bonnet is a symbol unmistakably for the finest in excellence. Overall a magnificent car for high end luxury, you arrive and depart in style when driving this car, and I felt like a princess being driven around with Bach playing ‘live’ for me, the acoustics are to die for in this car! Mind-blowing indeed was the experience. The car purrs and not a sound hums out from it, it is so big on the road you wonder how it will take the curbs and tight traffic, it glides effortlessly.

I was excited, nervous, and felt gauche and childish sitting in such a super luxurious car! I will cherish this experience; it was special being inside a Rolls Royce. I am not even sure I am doing justice to the car and its excellence through basic words here, all I know is this was an ‘experience’ worth the many late nights at work, worth the heart aches at not being appreciated and being hauled up for something foolish, but when you see the car and you see the people behind this brand called the Rolls Royce you understand why they are so finicky and why they are so wanting to be perfect, cause everything they do – is well, perfect:), the car you bet is perfect. I wish it looked more zanier though, else it’s a car which exudes luxury and upper class! Definitely a must have for the rich and famous I guess:)

Pump up the funk

Weekends are always special. And when weekends get musical then they become extra special. Zenzi was ready to rumble as the LJ Collective, which features some of India’s finest musicians, prepared to set the night alight. On display as the night progressed was jazz, funk, rock and blues with Louiz Banks performing with his son Gino Banks. They were accompanied by Sheldon on bass, Floyd on guitar and Joe Alvarez on vocals. This band played Stevie Wonder, Sting, Joe Bonamassa and also many original tracks. They improvised hugely and made some old songs sound different. I mean nice different: ), it was fun, it was a full house, it was mad, it was a happy evening.

Zenzi’s resident DJ took the console later into the night and kept the acoustic vibe all night with soul and funk classics. The beauty of Zenzi has been the crowd it attracts - selection of hoi polloi, genuine music lovers, the young who simply want to let their hair down and enjoy. On different days one has seen different talent on display here. From instrumentalists, poets, freestyle vocalists with and without accompaniment, to guitar soloists, turn tablists /scratch masters you find all kinds of talent here.

Zenzi is one of the places we hangout on Fridays, love the music, the DJ dishes out some super high voltage and we feel comfy here. Zenzi is our 'pump up the fun' zone.

Salute


Who works tirelessly, selflessly, above their own needs? Never looks for praise and recognition. Never seeks attention from us or others for their hard work? They get their rewards when we pass our examinations in academia, when we become tall, taller, when we perform brilliantly in sports. These are our lives unsung hero’s -our parents. They work most selflessly till their last breath for us children. And we take from them effortlessly, naturally without questioning.

Many memories flitted through my head today. I decided to dedicate today’s post to life’s unsung hero’s.

The parent of a child with severe health problems or learning difficulties, who has to find the resources, every day, to cope with the crushing demands of caring for someone with special needs. It's not just the physical demands, of course, it's also the emotional challenge of watching so-called normal kids — and their parents — get on with lives that seem like a breeze by comparison.

The lady whose husband suffers dementia and has finally, against her will, seen him admitted to a nursing home. Every day she visits him, usually to find him in a state of blissful ignorance of who she is or why she's there. Like thousands of such sad spouses, she is only occasionally rewarded by a flicker of recognition. She still loves him, and she has known for years that love's work is hard work.

The man who once had aspirations to be a leader in his profession but who finally realizes that in the eyes of his peers, he is an also-ran. Having a wife and children to support, he sticks gamely to his job, year after year, sees his children through university and hears his wife lavishly praised for going back to working in her 50s. He finds contentment in having helped make all that possible.

The couples, countless in number, who learn to swallow their disappointments in each other, and discover the rich meaning of "for better, for worse".

A mother who works in anganwadi , selling idli’s to feed her son and his other siblings so that they can get a decent education and eventually become bright successful adults. Her labour of love - unflinching, uncompromising.

"I will drink the Ocean'' says the persevering soul, ''at my will mountains will crumble up''. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal." Swami Vivekananda

My salute to you – great hero’s!

Monday

Citius, Altius, Fortius.



These are the Latin words for the Olympic motto, which means "Swifter, Higher, and Stronger." The best athletes from around the world exemplify that creed as they compete in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

On one hand I receive mails from unknown people urging us to boycott the Beijing Games, and on the other hand the news channels are full of stories of the American murder at the Games.

On one hand we hear of a lesser known state called Georgia who is under severe attack by Russia and despite those troubles at home bravely competing at the Olympics, while, on the other hand we see a sportswoman parading in the nude against animal fur at the grounds of a stadium in Beijing.

The biggest show of sports competition some would argue - The Olympics. Spectacular grandeur. Power. Politics. A show of strength and supremacy surely.

Today, in India, people from all walks of life, have felt very proud of the Gold won by Bindra. He was terrific. Despite we faring miserably against Sri Lanka in cricket and losing the match and the series, the Gold at the Olympics did the nation proud. Almost made the bitter end of the cricket test series swalloable, if I may add!

A first ever in shooting, this Gold. A difficult feat, but Abhinav broke through the cobwebs and brought home priceless joy to the country that goes far beyond the value of any reward. No amount of incentive could substitute the pride, the gold-winning sportsman would get for himself and for the Indian people. The Indian tricolor that went up and the national anthem that reverberated through the award ceremony are moments etched in history books forever.

Time to allow the champagne to pop. What a stellar journey this has been for Abhinav. Was this an individual feat and a personal achievement for him and his family? Or will the sports association of India quickly claim this to be their legal win and their contribution to India?

Am sure we will soon see the business tycoons pledge money to him, and also to air rifle shooting, heralding the golden era for the Olympic sport in India, as many enthusiasts of the country are quick to rush in and claim. The nations Olympic track record has not been too bright. But the Indian spirit has seen a recharge. A fairytale unfolding.

Thursday

Finally learning to love to read






I lost the habit of reading since the internet became so powerful and imposing in my life. And didn’t realize what I was missing out. My brother noticed me slacking off on books so he gifted me a book a month ago. One of those days when the Tv was on the blink due to heavy rains, I picked up this book and didn’t put it down till I read it from cover to cover. Why did I give up reading I wonder now, in hindsight? This was a habit that was pleasurable and imparted immense satisfaction.

I believe reading should be sweet, pleasurable, and thought provoking in a flying ninja-like way. And in turn must inspire life-long reading habits.

In the hurry-up world we live in, there always seem to be too much to do. People to meet. Travel. Work. Business. Emails to write. Socialize. And yet when you stop to think about it, we also like to think that knowledge is cumulative and selective, forever building on the best of what came before. The resulting paradox pops to the surface as fast as a cork. How can we achieve selectivity and accumulation unless we also read, and read a lot? The time has come to bring back the good old habit of daily reading. The time has come to rebel against the tyranny of overload to make space daily to read each others works and discuss them. What a radical thought! When I started blogging I had no idea how that would also compel me to read more before I put my finger to the type pad. Am glad this habit has resurfaced for me.

The Times, says the government will introduce its Green Paper outlining plans to officially adopt an anti-piracy stance to the one used in France - get caught downloading copyrighted material ( read paperbacks) three times and your internet connection will be terminated. Which means Governments are trying to impose reading back into peoples lives from books rather than the internet. Am not sure we need such strictures because of not reading anymore. It’s a free choice we exercise and must be an individual’s prerogative to figure.

Monday

Technology,faking it or making it?


There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Technology has evolved and changed the way we think, share, communicate, work and live! We have yet not fully absorbed the significance of it. We are all connected like never before. We are always an internet connection away, no matter where in the world we are.

Look at life, from an 8 year olds perspective - she is born into a world where everyone invariably owns a cell phone. Everyone knows about the internet. There are 2 TV’s at home. Cable TV gives over 200 channels and pay per view movies are abundantly available. Email, chatting and video conferencing are just normal things everyone does. Sms is a way of life. Digital cameras make looking good easy. Money spewing machines are part of daily fixture.

From an adult’s perspective, downloading banking information, knowing credit balance is a click away, paying bills is so easy today. We buy online, mail online send pictures online. With broadband, people work from homes. Because of cell phones, business happens 24 hours round the clock .Laptop computers help make jobs mobile when necessary. Online chatting has given many a life to live. These people would have never met any of these friends if it was not for the Internet

On the other hand I could argue that Technology is the artificial enhancement of human power. It should make us stronger and smarter; however our lazy world is discovering that it now has the opposite effect.

Technology controls the truth. The growing inability of people to know their financial status, land ownership, radar cameras, red light cameras, breath analyzers – dna testing. The words of scientists and sages are no longer certain. Since books are rapidly being replaced by computer display, technology has made obtaining information easy in principle, but in practice there is no one charged with ensuring the information online is genuine.

Is Technology increasing the Social confusion? There is no financial security, no one can be sure they will not lose their job. Skills and qualifications no longer guarantee employment, which undermines the purpose of schools, colleges and universities. Rise In Crime; poverty, idleness and despair can only increase criminal activity.

I'd believe Technology is a great enabler. Helps mend, helps bring together, helps create, helps with ingenuous ideas. Technology, indeed, has the power to shape the future. But technology is not created by itself. People create it. The more we are empowered the better the world can get, unified and integrated.

A...argh!! Its Monday again!



Yet another Monday is back. I feel sullen. Monday mornings always seem to be here all too soon. Especially after a weekend that came and — Whoosh! — it's already flown by. And all too soon, it's Monday the dread day. But no matter how much I moan or groan, there is no escaping the M days. I want to snuggle deeper into my quilts and hide my eyes away from the light streaming through the curtains and want to chuck the alarm clock in the sea!

But alas the alarm peals away consistently and I got to move my hands to find it and stop it from yelping so much. I sleepwalk my way to the music system- it works for me! The music helps blank the mind...For today its got to be some pick-me-up — peppy numbers, on other days it could be lilting instrumentals, chants or whatever else works for that day, but today has to be something more quicker, faster to wrench me out of my sleep starved state.

The brain slowly comes awake and the adrenalin soon wakes me up. A quick ready to leave state and a gulp of the glass of milk and am on the move. I get to work humming the last song I heard …

Some say if you drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up, it can give you almost as much energy as drinking something caffeinated. This is because your body looses fluid during the night. Well, for me it works. I drink lotsa water< when I remember to:)

Was also told to try having something with protein in breakfast. Egg whites or nuts. The proteins makes one feel more alert and ready to tackle the M day ahead!Since I am not a breakfast person I get to work very early and about 10ish order for some food that keeps the engine running till lunch

If I could . I would sleep in an extra hour on Monday mornings. Going to bed early on Sunday night doesn't always help I remain awake until my usual bedtime. So as I trudge through the day, music is my constant companion and sees me through the day - my saviour

Soon it will be Tuesday, I remind myself, a good thought to get through the day!:)

Friday

Spazzing - A promise of transformation



A visit to the Spa – is about looking good - hair, skin, nails, feet, whatever.

They consult, they shape, they cut, they shade, they create - a signature look for us. You could be spending up to 4 hours in a spa. And watch the old skeletons tumble out from your cupboard. Speak about your husband or boyfriend or lover or friends or bosses, political views or traffic snarls, Manmohan Singh or Advani. And your attendant is your best friend in the hours you spend here. It’s a strange soul connection you form with them for those hours. You lay down your nails/hair and your troubles to them. They so understand. They look at you with such empathy, silently saying “I wish I could take away your troubles honey”, that you are willing to try the new derma creams and the expensive conditioners which cost 5 times more than the ones you have been using thus far. All done so smoothly, so caringly, that you don’t realize till you are back home, when you feel much lighter in the pocket!

If what you go there for, doesn’t turn right, then nothing is right. And what happens when a plan goes badly off? You want to wrap your well manicured hands around the stylist’s slender neck and see how sorry she looks next... By now she probably has this terror stricken look “I am not sure how this happened”. So why is she there in the first place if she is not sure? Nobody knows. Guess the spa probably is understaffed, its not my office alone, but spaz too, so, they got them interns!

Seen brides on their wedding days? Over dressed and over decked? O boy! Why so much war paint and why so much fuss? If you look good everyday then chances are with “dressing up” you ai’nt gonna look good no more! Seen too many “off’s” and that’s sad because on this special day every bride must look the part – stunning!:)

Then they sell you “care” products from cuticle care, to tint colour care to hair care. Consumerism thrives. We are the suckers. For a normal toilet soap that should cost a few rupees, we are willing to pay hundreds because the “brand” is so cool!

Ever seen a new-comer walk into a spa and how she/he behave? They look cornered and testy. I mean if you ai’nt comfortable being here, why are you here darlin? And then quickly the hostess will walk upto them and get busy settling them down. Hmmm:)

Nail bar is supremo uno for me…love the ambiance and I know I am paying through my nose for it, love the guys who strut around looking terribly busy doing nothing, and the pamper – am willing to walk away thousands of rupees short:)

Wednesday

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander





Cricket Australia (CA) is keeping a close watch on the developments in our country. Why? Because we have survived many bomb blasts over many decades. Why? Because Pakistan infiltrates our border and we are to be blamed for protecting our territory? Why? Because we don’t cower and stop dead in our tracks but still continue with life normally. Why? Because we are a race that has seen much adversity in the face of politics of all types. Why? Because Lalit Modi’s brand of politics is reaping in the big draw and ICC cant stomach it? Why? Because suddenly the Champions League is seen as a huge international threat? I mean, how hollow can the excuses get and for how long are we expected to gulp it all down like a bitter pill?

If you were to ask me my thoughts on ICC, I think it is one of the most inept sports company in the world. ICC should have removed umpires like Darell Hair who have consistently refused to toe the line of ICC administration in Murali's case. I strongly believe ICC is not a very efficient International cricket body that refuses to acknowledge the larger role of Indian public and popularity of Indian cricket in the context of International Cricket . This is particularly sad when knowing the truth ICC exists because of Cricket's popularity in Asia and the continued support of Indian corporate sponsors.

Dalmia wins the state cricket board election for Bengal and it makes headlines. Sharad Pawar makes a statement on one of the boys and the nation debates it.
We all understand the religion called cricket in this country. Call it a blinding reality or call it a national diversion. Cricket is all about having our backs against the wall and coming away winning all. Billion people following a game passionately, is a huge market, and provides a great business opportunity, not to be ignored. Why should ICC which is run by a handful of men Oz and England, benefit, from the popularity of its game in India?

Brett Lee can come over to India to rake in the moolah by being the brand ambassador for Timex and not be worried about the bomb blasts or his own safety? The question to ask is did the blasts affect him? But CA is most diligent about its scan of India, in fact it becomes a matter of grave State concern for them? Do you get the joke? Pre tour inspection they call it? Do they really think the collective senses and sensibility of this country will accept this duality from the Aussies?

I mean come on who are we kidding here? Does the ICC/Oz cricket Board even understand that they will sell their souls to money and power? They surely know the richest cricket body today can make them dance to their tunes and still get back home rolling in cash? Will they ever get an audience as large and as crazy as ours where the love for cricket is unified despite the many divisions within this one diverse land called India? Guess the jokes on them this time. And this debate is not over by a long shot!

Friday

The wait is over



A time to catch up.
Sleep. Movies. Friends. Family. Myself. Everything.

There are weekends when I am a couch potato and nothing can shake me from the stupor of sleep. There are weekends which are busy shopaholic days. Retail therapy cleanses the soul they say and I think its true. Then there are weekends which are about home food and basking in the warmth of family and a few chosen friends. Some weekends of mine are crammed with hyper activities. I feel like a break soon after this kinda weekend is over. I don't like the Monday that follows

The weekends that I love most are those which are spontaneous, easy, and not heavy on planning. These are happy weekends.


I wonder if the weekend was longer and the week was smaller. How would it be? I think then we may not have been so eagerly awaiting the weekend. Mine is about to start soon very soon and boy am I looking forward to this weekend!

Actually I think what is even more fun is working from home. On some crazy days when I’ve had to do that to simply get away from work madness, those days I stay put at home, I most definitely achieve far more and stay far at ease. And if that day happens to be right close to the weekend, the feeling is smooth.

There are no strict rules for the weekend. It’s about discovering a new club or a new restaurant or a cool shop. It’s about play. I can safely sleep till after noon and not worry about who I may have missed because my world wakes up much later in the day. Happy weekend folks!

Thursday

Duality. Diversity.Finally Singularity




A friend spoke to me very passionately about, how, by 2012, the vibrations of the earth will increase and how, there will be more unification and higher order thinking that will prevail across the globe. While I sat listening, fascinated by this subject, part of my rationale brain was curious to have more answers, more solutions.

How does one restore unity to a fragmented world?

Maybe by delving deeper into plurality? It’s a paradox I know:) , but isn’t it true the more something is broken down to its particulars, the more we uncover opportunities for enhancement

My physics lab lessons come to mind. Take for example, two physical substances. Our senses interpret them as different and unconnected; but place them under a microscope and we discover that they are comprised of similar components - they might even share an element or two. The deeper we delve, to the molecular, atomic, and sub-atomic levels, the more unanimity we will find - and more ways to discover how to harness these diverse substances toward a singular end.

So does this mean that global oneness can save the Earth? Which is (according to
Al Gore) hurtling towards disaster? How will the change in consciousness happen if we continue to be the way we are? Can Spirituality, Karma, Buddhism bring it to a common code of knowledge and development?

It feels utopian. Can this be as simple as my pals make it out to be? If all people tuned their minds to a single universal brain, wouldn’t they find unity?
The "mind" people follow will determine the destiny.

Monday

Ferrari busted!




This weekend, to be honest, I was hoping it would be an all red affair. So in much anticipation I started to watch the race on this huge screen with friends, it was a raucous evening.

It didn’t start too well for Ferrari, and certainly midway into the race with Glock crashing out it looked like the Gods were siding with the Reds. Here was Massa and Kimi’s chance to make it to the top 3 and after that huge bungle from Lewis’s engineering team, it looked certain that Massa would take pole! But heck! Ferrari was simply not competitive enough to fight for the win. I have never known Ferrari to not have the speed to go up against their main rivals ever. It was frustrating. When the lengthy laps of the Safety Car took place, both Felipe and Kimi opted for a double pit stop and I think that was the right decision. Though I still cannot understand why it was done is such a hasty manner because Kimi was waiting behind Massa and precious seconds were lost then! Then in the final stages of the race, Felipe did not have the right grip level and also had problems with his brakes which first prevented him from attacking Piquet and then from adequately fighting off a closing Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton made it two in a row on Sunday with a commanding victory at Hockenheim.

Ferrari team definitely needs to regroup and study their position and understand how to return to being as quick as they have always been. A disappointing Sunday race which no Goa, no amount of cheery ‘c’mon cheer up’, and no amount of camaraderie can cheer me given that the reds got busted!

Wednesday

Tagged?!?



This is something my blogging friends are much into!

I am now the chosen one and I in turn have to tag another two bloggers when I am done (I like this part:))

Since I am not too sure about tagging and I know many who do - I will simply drop you'll a comment, please take it forward from there?

Here are some house rules:
* Each person tagged has to write 12 random facts/habits about themselves.
* Those that are tagged will have to write a post on their own blog (about their twelve things)
* At the end of your blog, you need to choose two other people to get tagged and list their names.
* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my 12 things!

* I love the first rains... no matter what I am doing, I get outdoors and feel the first raindrops
* I love the smell of earth when it rains for the first time in the year- bliss
* I love the smell of petrol
* I like to sleep late and stay up late and all those who know me will not call me early morning
* I like cleanliness, am not hyper about it but don’t like mess
* I love to tend to my plants. I cannot deal with any plant of mine dying, hate it if a leaf goes yellow, adore it when they bloom with flowers
* I love movies with mush and craziness and much laughter
* I love my name. I am the beautiful eye of a fish. No wonder I love the sea.
* I love showers…sometimes I take several a day! Warm muggy Bombay encourages that, for me
* I love home food, especially mom’s and sis’s cooking
* I love dogs and wish I had at least 4 of them, but feel criminal about keeping them holed up in a flat! So dogs in the large haveli of my grandparents works for me
* Music! I’d die without music; it is the most essential ingredient for my breathing!

And now I get to tag others, which I will do soon

Monday

The Doors

Not just this morning but everytime I have taken a flight , gone to see a movie, I have witnessed this.

We carry numbered tickets/ boarding cards so there should’nt be a stampede right? What prompts people to elbow, stamp and push everyone else to be the first through the door! Why do they try to be the first to get in to a movie hall, that they prevent the people from the previous show, from getting out. It happenes in trains, buses, elevators too!

I have always wondered about the door that forces people out of their natural sense of inertia! I have a few theories on this - if you will
• Feeling of success - accomplishment - the door represents the reaching of a target, the achieving of a goal – whether or not it has any material rewards! Maybe the reward is in the race itself!
• The sub-conscience treats every door as the finish line of a race in an effort to try and make winning a habit
• It is a chain reaction started by the first person who makes a rush for the door – seeing someone else trying to be the first forces a person to defeat that person!
* Another could be - they are most unconcerned about their fellow passengers
• The final possibility – in my opinion the most likely – is that most people are impatient and are blind followers.

Am sure there must be more motivations that I am unclear on

Saturday

Small joys





Lying carefree on the beach
Listening to the chatter of the small waves as they tumble against each other
Not getting sun burnt
Goa, Jaisalmer, Kerala
Sleeping under the stars and the Moon
Vast green -yellow sarson fields in Punjab in November
Getting the hotel room to the perfect sleeping temperature
The pleasure of remembering great and beautiful things that I cannot lose and the pleasure of sharing them with others
Looking at the universe through wondoerous eyes
The sunrise view from an airplane with the clouds almost touching the fingertips
Following with my mind the steps another took on his voyage of discovery
Objects of contemplation, beauty, and sentiment
Listen to beautiful music and singing at the top of my lungs
Paris
Hot crepes on a cold wintry day
The pop of the growing popcorn bag in the microwave
And I could carry on...

Monday

Sleepless in Bombay!

Sadness, heavy hearted, blessed, are some of the words I have chosen to describe the feelings that I experienced last

The woman's name is Kunda. She stands approximately 5'5" tall in her early fifties with a light brown complexion. I cannot say whether Kunda is a Maharashtrian or a South Indian by her features, coupled with the way she dresses, and the pronunciation of her name resembles that of a local, perhaps from Ambernath location. Her cheeks are round and her dark eyes tell a story that only she can tell, and her beauty is ubiquitous.

I didn't notice her until the weather became rainy ( Sept Oct last year) , Kunda wore a nice brown sari, with a black torn umbrella draped above her head, with water streaming through the umbrella on her. She stood silently taking the protection of the shop frontage and her torn umbrella

Absorbed in her own thoughts I've often seen her chattering to herself. I had never heard her utter a curse word and perhaps this made her more approachable for me.

With bags draped over her shoulder, which I assume are holding all her worldly possessions, she travels through the locality. She hauls a white plastic bag, a narrow green and a yellow one, and a beaten down tan bag. Wherever she is situated, I can look around and find her possessions, which are never quite out of her sight.

Because she is a nice-looking woman, I have often wondered what brought her to this existence. It isn't something I feel I have the right to ask. At times, she appears self-assured, but at other times, she is unapproachable.

I decided that on Diwali day I will get Kunda a nice salwar kameez and a brand new umbrella for the next rains. I put the new things in a nice hand bag and kept it on the side of her bags, while she was looking the other way, and quickly ducked into my car. The driver was puzzled but didn’t ask too many questions, while I watched furtively from the side view mirror if she was going to pick the bag and explore.

Kunda did not touch that bag, and I was getting late after 10mins of waiting, decided to leave. In the evening on my way back she was still sitting where I saw her in the morning and the bag was closer to her feet now. I dropped Rs 10/- in her lap, we exchanged eye contact and I moved onwards

The next time I saw Kunda, was a month later. I was dropping some stuff for her, hair brush and deo’s and a little money, when she looked at me with no recognition. I felt sad not because she did not recognize me, but because I think I probably know now why she is on the streets, she does not have any memory.

She has either walked out of her house one day and did not know how to trace back home or somebody has abandoned her on the street and did not want a liability.
She is homeless. Since that day I do my bit in looking after her, I get her a meal a day, clothes, shampoo and toiletries. I tried seeking the help of the local police to find her a home but no help there. Hopefully we will be able to place her in the Bandra home for the old with upkeep to be paid for.

Friday

Eminem Mockingbird



This song is probably the saddest one he's made, and if stories about this are true, he wrote this before he became famous. It captures feelings between a father and daughter. The lyrics make me sad and bring tears tears to my eyes
=- =- =- =- -=

Well i know sometimes things may not always make sense to you right now
But hey, what daddy always tell you? Straighten up little' soldier.
Stiffing up that upper lip.
What you crying' bout?
You got me

Hailie I know you miss your mom
And I know you miss your dad when I'm gone
But I'm trying to give you the life that I never had
I can see you're sad
Even when you smile
Even when you laugh
I can see it in your eyes
Deep inside, you wanna cry
'cause you're scared
I ain't there
Daddy's with you in your prayers
No more crying
Wipe them tears
Daddy's here
No more nightmares
We gon pull together through it
We gon do it
Lainie, uncle's crazy ain't he?
Yeah but he loves you girl and you better know it
We're all we got in this world
When it spins
When it swirls
When it whirls
When it twirls
Two little beautiful girls
Looking puzzled, in a daze
I know it's confusing you
Daddy's always on the move
Mama's always on the news
I try to keep you sheltered from it
But somehow it seems, the harder that I try to do that
the more it backfires on me
All the things, growing up
As daddy that he had to see
Daddy don't want you to see
But you see just as much as he did
we did not plan it to be this way
You're mother and me
But things have got so bad between us
I don't see us ever being
Together ever again
Like we used to be when we was teenagers
But then of course
Everything always happens for a reason
I guess it was never meant to be
But it's just something
We have no control over
And that's what destiny is
But no more worries
Rest your head and go to sleep
Maybe one day we'll wake up
And this will all just be a dream


Now hush little baby don't you cry
Every things gonna be alright
Stiffen that upper lip up little lady
I told ya, daddy's here to hold ya
Through the night
I know mommy's not here right now and we don't know why
We feel how we feel inside
It may seem a little crazy, pretty baby
But I promise, Mama's gonna be alright

It's funny
I remember back one year when daddy had no money
Mommy wrapped the Christmas presents up
and stuck them under the tree
and said some of them were from me
'cause daddy couldn't buy 'em
I'll never forget that Christmas
I sat up the whole night crying'
'cause daddy felt like a bum
See daddy had a job
But his job was to keep the food on the table for you and mom
And at the time every house that we lived in
Either kept getting broken into and robbed or shot up on the block
And your mom, was saving money
For you in a jar trying to start a piggy bank for you
So you could go to college
Almost had a thousand dollars
Till someone broke in and stole it
And I know it hurt so bad it broke your mama's heart
And it seemed like everything was just starting to fall apart
Mom and dad was arguing a lot
So mama moved back on the Chalmers in the flat
One bedroom apartment
And dad moved back to the other side of 8 mile on Novara
And that's when daddy went to California with his CD
And met Dr. Dre and flew you and Mama out to see me
But daddy had to work
You and mama had to leave me
Then you started seeing daddy on the TV
And mama didn't like it
And you and Lainie were too young to understand it
Papa was a rolling stone
mama developed a habit
and it all happened too fast for either one of us to grab it
I'm just sorry you were there and had to witness it first hand
'cause all I ever wanted to do was just make you proud
Now I'm sitting' in this empty house, just reminiscin'
Looking at your baby pictures it just trips me out
To see how much you both have grown
It's almost like your sisters now
Wow, I guess you pretty much are
And daddy's still here
Lainie I'm talking to you too
Daddy's still here
I like the sound of that, yeah
It's got a ring to it, don't it?
Shh, mama's only gone for the moment


Now hush little baby don't you cry
Every things gonna be alright
Stiffen that upper lip up little lady
I told ya daddy's here to hold ya
Through the night
I know mommy's not here right now and we don't know why
We feel how we feel inside
It may seem a little crazy pretty baby
But I promise
Mama's gonna be alright

And if you ask me to,
Daddy's gonna buy you a mocking bird
I'ma give you the world
I'ma buy a diamond ring for you
I'ma sing for you, I'll do anything for you to see you smile
And if the mockingbird don't sing and the ring don't shine
I'ma break that birdie's neck
I'll go back to the jeweler who sold it to ya
And make him eat every karat
Dont f**k with dad
ha ha

Tuesday

So in love

Mum and Dad are the apple of each others eye! I sometimes think Dada is more in love with Mum. She is spoilt by Dad, and so indulged by him! He fulfills her every wish and every desire, never winces when her demands are at times crazy. He tries to even fulfill those.

She showers her love on him, by keeping the kitchen and home alive, she cooks a mean meal and he never ever feels like eating out! She looks after his kids and he is happy to return home, and bask in the love, of his family.

Dad taught Mum how to sew and stitch, Dad taught Mum how to cook. Mum taught Dad how to be more tolerant. Mum taught Dad unflinching love. Mum is ever forgiving and ever accommodating. Dad is her guide to the world and ways of life.

Both, SO, made for each other

Ye re ye re pausa

I wake up to a soaked Bombay and no sun, heck it is my first day to office, I moan grumpily! Why did the sun desert me today of all days! Grey and dull and pouring harder by the minute! I said to myself a bad omen! As it is I am reluctant about going to work today and now the rain!

Despite my misgivings I get into my car, all set, and the security guard knocks at my window. Bad news- its water logged down the street and it is knee deep! Well it’s not going to be my first day at work after all, so I get back home. And sleep!

I woke at noon, to a bright sunny sky and jumped out cheerily, ready to burn rubber. Was a bit stilted the first half hour at office, then spontaneity broke all barriers and I was having fun, getting to know people, settling into my new office, working out the modalities, getting my cuppa the way I like it, half the battle won:-) It wasn’t a bad day after all.

Warm people, good energies, bright colours, skipped lunch, still to figure that one, got to take my music tomorrow to work, Indian and contemporary touches in the office blending well, nice! Am looking forward to work tomorrow.

Sunday

Gotta be a sadist!



Remeber the first day of work out

Great music, super adrenalin, a rush like never before

A lovely high, visions of perfection flit thru my head!

I consciously stay away from that tempting bar of Galaxy

And the mango milkshake

It’s going to be home food and no junk

Did eat a lil Mishti tho

Some hours later the marvelous pain creeps in

My arms complain, I sit still as a statue

I have to answer the door, and my legs feel strange

They are not mine for sure

A lighting second to answer the door, took me an eon today

With much motivation pouring in from all sides I decided to not wallow in the creaking noises my body made

Went about life as normally as I could

Very slowly, cautiously, nervously, in case my body breaks into a zillion pieces

Sleep, soon sleep, should take away the pain

Next day …….

24 hours hence, I am standing - barely

I was warned the pain gets bad the next day

If this be true, then am I sadist?

I don’t want to wake up

I was miserable yday, don’t want to be today!!

And from somewhere deep within, a voice prompts me

I am back to the workout, moving ever so slowly but surely

Gotta be a sadist right?

Saturday

Fly with me


I travel a LOT! And travelling makes me anxious. That is, till I get to the airport - I am bunched up inside me. No matter the region, country, rural,urban, devolped or developing! Anticipating crazy traffic, gives me nightmares; I wonder in my head what if the traffic is jammed for miles together, not moving an inch! Gosh, how early should I leave for the airport, so that I reach on time?!

And yet when it comes to reaching the airport well on time, I am a great one for missing flights despite sitting there in the airport lounge! Way too busy with the BB. I don’t even hear my name being announced! Or the airport staff frenetically walking all around me searching for this missing passenger! O how embarrassing!

Thursday

Oxymorons

Given what a huge fan I am of the world called www., I found some cool oxy's ...feel free to add more:-)

1 Found missing
2 Resident alien
3 Airline food
4 Same difference
5 Government organization
6 Alone together
7 Business ethics
8 Sweet sorrow
9 Plastic glasses
10 Terribly pleased
11 Definite Maybe
12 Pretty Ugly
13 Political science
14 Exact estimate
15 Microsoft Works

Wednesday

Sex and the city



Everybody told me what a crappy movie this was. Ofcourse
the reviews trashed it. Friends trashed it. Even foes turned their nose at it. But I could not get the tv serial outta my
head and I had to know how bad the movie was for myself!

Zero expecations. Promise of Vithhal bhel. A valet to park the car.
Familiar college days of St Xaviers and I walk into the theatre frown free :)
The movie begins, empty theatre barring a clutch of college kids and I find myself actually begining to warm up to the movie:)

The jokes were nowhere near as sharp as the tv series but I enjoyed and cackled and even cried when the jerk leaves her jilted at the altar:(

So at the risk of being ridiculed by my friends - I liked the movie guys, it reminded me so so so much of my girlfriends and the time spent together

Go on now - you can take a dig at mee:)