Saturday, December 18, 2010

Secret Santa

wrote about this sometime back..when i bought my first iPhone. and this topic again came to mind yesterday when I was chided for buying beer glasses for my Angel during the annual Secret Santa. Why was I chided, well because Beer Glasses are not a positive gift...hmm. Well that was always on my mind, but for the lack of finding something which was better, which i liked, i gave this. Plus i knew the guy, i knew what he'd like...(explanation if you read this, which am sure you won't)
The other reason was this article in todays DNA (a paper i have started loving, so much better then that tabloid called 'The' Times of India). 
I have always believed a gift should be something you don't really want, something you would never buy, but something which you would love, you would appreciate. Something which would make you happy, which would bring you joy. Gifts should be unexpected, should be surprising / shocking. They should cause ecstasy...!
Whats the point of giving something that you know the other wise, why be so practical. You should always be a Secret Santa...
Also i hate giving cash gifts, gifting shouldn't be about just giving because you have should be because you wanna make someones day. As in anything else, the process is as important as the outcome...the thought behind what to be gifted, what would be liked, what makes sense is as important. And cash gifts are just lazy. Giving cash is just showing a lack of thought (except for the thought behind whats the right amount). I know its more practical, but gifts are not supposed to be practical. Gifts are supposed to cause joy. What joy will receiving money give, as soon as you get it, you'll allocate it to some expense you have to make. 
A gift should never be pegged to the cost of the gift, money should never be a factor in gifting, you should give what you want to give regardless of how cheap or how expensive it is...
also and i'll end here, gifting as a process should cause joy both sides, you should be proud of what you have gifted...there should be an anxiety, will s/he like it...the process of buying should be as exciting as the process of opening the gift wrapping!!!
well thats what i think...
anyways my Secret Santa gave me a wallet (which i don't think came inside the Rs 400 limit set) but what made the experience lasting was the fact that she (yep it was a she, the handwriting on the note, the wordings and the number of cello tape pieces on the packing proved that, and as per my teammates, not just a she, a Hindu Traditional she, which really doesn't matter) kept a Rs 101 inside. The entire experience of finding that 100 Re note and then looking for that Re 1 was awesome. and that experience, that joy was only possible because someone put some (a lot me thinks) thought behind it. Thank You my Secret Santa, wish you had put ur phone number as well just so that i could have conveyed a heartfelt thanks, i swear... ;-) 
take care people. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

catching up...

been such a long time i blogged...was driving today and realized that have the posted least number of times this year...well i guess the reason is that all the things that i thought of over the years have already been written about, and unique experiences which make you think don't happen with that frequency. or maybe i have just not being paying attention.
I started this blog by a statement - don't start, you'll not be able to stop, i really didn't know what i meant at that i do. There are somethings that you shouldn't really start, because giving up, coming out of them is so so difficult and painful. Smoking for instance, addiction to TV, relationships which become a habit after some time. 
Company of friends is one of these things, well in my case, company of anyone, just speaking to anyone on a regular basis...i have got used to people being around me now, talking to people on a daily basis, and for me, an out and out introvert, this talking to be people has me away from my core. You see, I get my energy from inside, and talking to others, i have started getting addicted to getting the energy from them, from the outside...and since that is easy to get, i don't really give my own inner energy time...too abstract, well let me explain. In the past i used to be a loner, not because i didn't like people, or didn't have things to tell them, just because my own ideas and thoughts were far more interesting...i would be engrossed in my own self...and that gave ride to a lot of theories, some of which i am proud of...
but as i came to bangalore and got more integrated into a usual life of friends and partying and spending money and lavish dinners, as i started talking to people, even thought he conversations were not meaningful and as deep as i would have liked, i got addicted to them, simply because they were an easy way to spend time, pass time rather. And today i look for those easy conversations, because i know if i don't get them i will have time to look inside and will have to confront that surge of bad thoughts before i come to the good ones, the inspiring ones. Still too abstract, can't help
so moving on...a friend, a girl, who on this blog has taken my case quiet a bit, and who i presume to be quiet different from the usual, mentioned the other day that 'affection is more important then love' and i couldn't really make sense of it at that time, of what she meant. Have been thinking ever since...People keep on telling me that love shove theek hai...shaadi ke baad sab khatam ho jaata hai, but people still do stay together, what keeps them together. As per Mr. Osho, its the pressure of society, the guilt of going away, but i don't really think so...we are too free and too selfish a species to give up our freedom just because of society. I think its affection, or what i have called habit. But both words have such a different tone to them, habit is so negative, habit is when you are unable to give up something because you can't see life without it, affection is because you love someone, you care for someone. I like affection. 
As for habit, and affection for that matter, was watching 'i hate luv stories' okie dokie movie, nothing great, bad acting for sure, but this guy keeps on giving Sonam Kapoor a white flower everyday, and some other ritualistic crap. There was this scene in that DCH also, where a Aamir makes fun of Preity's BF. Well, i am one who run aways from cliches as much as possible, but ironically i do the same cliches in my own way...and i was thinking so what. Those ritualistic things which we do, they someone how give a sense of assurance. That daily goodnight, or that phone call every day at the same time, kind of gives you a feeling of belonging. It gives some sort of a structure to the day. It is a habit, but its not hurting. You just don't have to see it with those cynical eyes, and you won't even realize that you got into a cliched ritual...
what else...i should divide this into two posts, atleast increase the number of posts, even if i am talking nonsense...
my status today is fighting self on many fronts or sth...well giving up smoking, changing the way i live, the fact that life has always lead me, and now i am trying to lead it, fighting some of my most ingrained concepts...;i will not loose my dignity by complaining'...and a lot more...
so i realized, the fight is the hardest when you just start, and when it gets prolonged longer then you thought it would last. the best corollary is trekking...check the graph here to understand. 
There are two types of where you can see the finish line or the person you have to catch up with, and one where you just can't and you have to just give your best and hope that you win...i am only good at the former? i need to see my goal, i need to see my competition...but the second is so much better. you are not comparing urself to are giving your best...i am not sure if the possibility of you winning is higher or not, but at the end you atleast know that you gave your best. Also only in such races is there a possibility of you going way beyond the finish line...don't know if this made sense, but after a full page of crappy funda baazi, i did come up with something which redeems the post for me...
till next time (which hopefully is this year ;-) )
take care

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guzarish...58 things to say!!!

Since the movie was the sad kinds...thought why not just poke a little bit of fun at it so here goes...

1. Must have been difficult to get the mosquito to act in the first scene
2. Congrats Dick you did it (after Dick had a baby). This made me laugh.
3. Euthanasia...and the doc asks...who's going to Indonesia??
4. Suhel Seth here too...hahaha!!!
5. Conquered my quadriplegic life...what else is left?? 

(basically wanted to say that he has now conquered his biggest problem, there is nothing else left for him, no more challenges, and so i guess wants to call quits.)
6. Byomkesh Bakshi is back...
7. How can an Indian citizen fight against Union of India itself??!?
8. The Asian News Network...who reads that...I remember Asian age, no one read that!! (the news paper, reminded me of Asian Age, which was printed next door to my house in Ahd, and which no one really read)
9. At the risk of getting someone really pissed off with me...not sure if he acted really well or he just got a role like it...(i changed my view later in the movie, he did get an awesome role to play, and he did awesomely well on it)
10. There is this point when u get beyond ur miseries and start laughing at your life. That is liberation, partly atleast...
11. Each scene of his movie can be a framed picture...(like any of sanjay leela bhansali's movies, saawariya being a point in case. Also later heard someone say that the movie was nothing but the sets, something said about saawariya as well, so is it that the artwork in his movies cannibalises the other aspects of the movie, something to think about.)
12. Thank God he danced!!!
13. How come he has an Afro...nice look for a magician though!!
14. So when I read a review said they had a very subtle chemistry...well true. (initially, i am still at 14 of 58, later was quiet explicit, and beautiful if i may add)
15. I love the fact that girls have (hate the word) chotis in the movie. Come to think could have said braids..hmph
16. Project euthanasia...ethanasia ...see how that worked out!! It's amazing what all you can do when u have a spotless canvas to paint!!
17. Ah the question I asked long time back...who are we taking mercy on??
18. Life of Dignity...
19. Maybe she thinks what will she do after??!? And my point get proven, at the scene where the wannabe asks Sofiya to take a half day off and she doesn't know what to do. 
20. She loves you, she loves us all...she's a lovely woman!! Nice save
21. Young Hritik, damn cute...ugly mom though!!
22. There were coins falling from young Ethans hair...Omar has an Afro, am sure he'll do the trick better!!!
23. I think it's the applause I am going to miss the most
24. Can I say aish did a amitabh by doing this role. It's the transition to a mature actress...from her dhoim days.
25. Amazing how people can always be selfish. Put urself in my easy to do, so difficult to do!!
26. Who is she?? (this was about the assistant Ethan had during his magic shows)
27. I like the fact tears didn't flow down in the typical glycerine fashion.
28. Ah what do u know, they did. No one really silently cries, do they, except u... :-)
29. I have loved u so much I do understand.
30. You want everything, and don't want any pain too...ah nice I could translate (and related to) that!!
31. And they rope in the ad-man as well. (the long haired guy, kakkad, who made the pepsi ads)
32. The fantastic reason to get out (of the house) is to appeal for euthanasia...fantastic irony i say!!
33. U can't play with gods will...oh but he can. :-)
34. I like this, any religion wishes that you meet god, but forbids killing urself...isint that the fastest way of meeting god - derived from the movie
35. I think even the number of the car was GOD
36. STOP MUNCHING!!! (people munching popcorn after the break, so irritating)
37. I like when directors dig out old old amazing actors...surprise surprise the ugly mom grows old to be Nafisa Ali
38. But there is no one present...court scene at home.
39. I think more than anything, it's the absence of hope, it's the boredom.
40. The thing is this is a personal if the chance is one in million, it's that one chance which gives you hope. Without that, there is no hope, n no life!!
41. Does this really happen, do lawyers actually malign everyone, any lawyers please tell me!!
42. Aakhir yea zindagi hai kiski??? I love that question
43. Kudos Nafisa Ali!!
44. And people clap...hope u shouted!!
45. And he uses the most feared technique of torture to make a point...well made sir. And I got the name... Chinese torture.
46. Laugh uncontrollably...
47. Main Kuch nahi bhulta, because u have so much time to remember...that's the saddest part.
48. Ouch...wish u were ok. (this is when he fell in the tank)
49. And still counting...hey the Afro set...they just don't make men like me anymore!!
50. I think he is dead!
51. he wasn't but I did expect him to go suddenly...(proven wrong that)
52. Ah courtroom scene...why the reporrter??
53. Saanse unki marzi Ki Ho ya marzi ke khilaaf...imagine the helplessness of a guy...can't even die.
54. That's a love story. :-)
55. It is about Hritik...
56. Hey she walks exactly 12 steps...nice
57. Celeberate life...don't mourn death!!
58. Didn't show the credits...i don't like REXS.

Typing(ed now) while watching the movie...impersonating a film critic. :-). Saw the movie alone. Was in a sucky mood, most female friends have seen it, guy friends just laugh at my face. Plus have decided to start doing things i love alone if i don't get company, always used to do it, then got some friends, but lost out on so many other things. 
I think people though i was a film critic or sth, typing away on the iPhone. and i am happy to impersonate, feeling a bit awkward, have started paying attention to what will people think so saving some face here I guess!!!

well awesome movie...liked every bit of it. I don't think a lot of folks will even sit through it, but then i don't think the director would even want their appreciation. 

PS: most of the brackets were typed later on, at home, to explain thought process at the time of typing, also did some grammar / spelling corrections as well. Rest is all as was typed during the movie, no reviews

Take care.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Selfish again!!!

Joey says there is no unSelfish act, and Phoebe goes all out to prove him wrong...well is there an unselfish act?
This has been a question in my head for a long long time, and over the ears i have come to believe, both because of experience and logical reasoning (and some spiritual discourses) that there are no unselfish acts in the world. Logical reasoning comes out of Darwin's theories, and from AOL discourses, both say that every has to be selfish to sustain the world. Darwin says u need to be selfish just to survive, AOL says, be selfish to be happy, because if ur happy, then only can you make others happier. 
Same goes for Osho, who says be selfish and responsible at the same time, just that he uses freedom as another word for selfishness. Logically also, everyone has to be selfish, then only can you there be a balance int he world. if you are not selfish and everyone else is, then who takes care of you. if no one is selfish, the world comes to a standstill!!!
But there has always been an exception in my head, which i though was one example of an unselfish act. and yesterday i realized, not really. 
So i drive an Activa, and at nights when i park, don't switch off the Headlights, in the morning when i start again on the roads, invariably the headlights are on. And almost always, before i reach work (which is like 10 mins drive) someone or the other would point out. Always...and i always wondered why? is this the only unselfish act. It doesn't do them any good. 
and then yesterday, i realised. Again on my activa (most of these thoughts come either when i am driving, guess because always drive in a trance like state), and this time the Side stand spring had come off, so the side stand was just hanging. and atleast 10 people pointed it out, they would speed up from behind and tell me, even people who i though would have found it very difficult to spot becuase of the angles, would crane their necks, reconfirm and then shout at me. some with a little bit of scorn. and i realised...
these are not really unselfish acts, they are very much selfish. they are because these small things, which are out of place, out of the normal, bother you. bother your eyes. and they keep on bothering you. They also give you that small, very small, sense of doing some good in the world, you kind of feel good. and so, everytime you or i see someone whose indicator is on, or who's headlights are on, or a lady who's chunni is stuck in the car door...we point out. 
so with that is the question. 
Knowing that everyone is selfish, how do you get people to do what is good for everyone as a whole, but not the individual, at least directly. and example being water harvesting...if everyone does it, the water table comes up, and everyone benefits, but no one wants to do it simply because they don't see the returns for them immediately. Also they want to know that everyone is doing it, that where comes the 'why should i do it alone' kinda questions. 
Am still struggling with this question. How to show immediate returns to the individuals, in cases where the overall good will come to the community only after some time. 
A simple answer is that some central agency (like the government) puts in the investments, and have the community individuals contribute indirectly (taxation), but then i have started believing that we should get to a stage where no government is required. (thats the Osho view btw)...and in which case, this entire concept breaks down. With all the wisdom that Mr Rajneesh provides, this problem is still not solved. 
so any answers??

PS: btw its not that the above is totally absent. but in community form haven't seen it. an example is of those bumper thingies people put behind rear wheels of any vehicles, which stop the mud from flying. It gives absolutely no advantage to the you, but you still put it for the benefit of others. Is it because of a fear of being shouted at by others, or is it just because its a norm. I am sure its not because you care about others. 

and the title has 'again' because i have already written a post titled Selfish before. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


my birthday today (well yesterday, but the post was supposed to be written before 12) and i ran an experiment..
i always used to think that anyone who knows and cares about me would remember my birthday, and would care enough to wish. I also used to think that birthday calendars, and stuff like FB birthdays made it so easy to wish someone, that the value of that wish went down completely. 
well so i did an experiment, the idea came last year, and what i did was i made my birthday on FB visible. and i made it explicitly visible, made sure my status referred to it. 
in addition this time i would remind people samne se about my birthday, met 1260 online, told her, went to the coffee shop, told uncle and so on. 
what i wanted to see is that if to me it feels worthless, all the wishes that is, whether i feel sad, or whether i have instead a good birthday. 
and guess what, got about 120 odd wishes on FB, some from people i have never spoken too, but know by name or face, a few by people who i don't know how got into my friends list or why, i don't know them. So point 2 is proved, FB does make it so easy to wish that you wish everyone. But then just about 1/5 of my friends list wished me so not all were same. 
what did happen was i got a lot of calls, and most of them surprised me. friends i haven't spoken to in 3 years, sisters from phirang was quiet amazing. 
what also happened as a result was everyone knew, my work folks knew and so i was wished and there was a cake, and there was not 'ankur we forgot your birthday day and cutting cake next day'.
so results...well it was a good birthday, i was quiet cheerful. Got in touch with a hundred people, and it gave some a bahana to get in touch with me. Came to know that some people really care, and frankly, a lot of people apart from me had a lot of fun, no one was left feeling bad because of guilt (yea i know, i know, but you do feel a bit guilty if you forget someone close's birthday)
learnings...i try living a life of zero expectations, but then getting to that stage is difficult and time consuming...which means that you do expect a little bit, and if you do, you are bound to be hurt. But this time what i did was i expected, and i helped fulfill my own expectation. I was practical about it, people forget birthdays, let me make it easy for them to remember. 
More than anything, i made my birthday, i made sure that i did everything so that my small expectations get met. I also ensured that people don't feel guilty. 
as for as knowing who really calls, there is these three classes of people, friends whatever...those who don't care and still wish, you always get to know...but then thats a zero sum game, how does it matter?
those who care, you kind of know they would have called, and if they didn't, you know its because they forgot, and so just go ahead and remind them, spare them the guilt and you the 'not meeting expectations, and save a relationship. 
I have met so many people around who like secrecy, my problems are for me. apni achievements batao, failures nahi. Khushi batao, dukh nahi!!! Reasons being, people don't want  to feel in control of information, want to ensure that others think of how they want them to think about them. well i think its fututile...i just creates complications, and life is anyways to complicated for us to be creating more. I share everything, my failures, my sadness and my achievements. and mostly with anyone, give frank answers, people who care, who are decent enough hear me out or even help me. People who are not, well atleast they can't spread a rumor, or make fun out of it, simply because i was very upfront about it. and who cares!!!
and sometimes something new happens, something which you will remember throughout...i went to my coffee shop, saw uncle, and blurted out, 'uncle mera janamdin hai' and i was expecting him wishing, but no he says 'mera bhi'. I am like wat?? and he says 'ha, 28th sept, its my birthday but i never celebrate'. i for a moment was shocked and then touched. asked him to wear new clothes in the evening, and i got a small cake, and we shared it. was an experience, i promised we'll celebrate together every year that i am in was such an experience, something i will remember this birthday for. 
bottom-line. i have realized this, you need to be happy for you to be happy, you need to make things easier for others to enable them to meet your expectations. 
yea i know a lot about my birthday, then am you know i am self obsessed wat you complaining about??

PS: the title T-1, well T is for 30 in this case. A friend wished me like that yesterday. my mum scolded me for revealing my age, but then whats the big deal, how do years matter. I feel very young, was telling someone feel like am in college really, how does it matter that i am almost 30. well actually telling people that i am 29 gets me respect by default. so i use that a lot when required. :-)
and yea there is one thing that does get affected, i can't enroll for my dream mountaineering course once i get beyond 30. :-(

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


day before i visited an old grandfather of mine, 95, almost bedridden and not very senile...i have been seeing him for years now, slowly degrading, lost his hearing many years ago and used hearing aid, and when his wife was alive and very chirpy, when asked how they had survived 75 years of marriage, he used to joke that he would just turn off the hearing aid as soon as she started speaking.
Yesterday he was very different, his son said that for the last week he has been very different, suddenly he has given up the want to live, he now wants to go away was how he put it. I sat next to him for about 15 mins, frail and wrinkly, he spoke to me in pauses, his eyes glazing over from time to time as he recounted his life. he told me about his sons, how they were settled, his wife who had given him everything, and his history of health problems. after every small story he would end it with 'he is now settled and happy' or 'he has this and that' or something like that. basically ending with a happy ending in which 'he'  has an asset built up.
assets, those things you toil for all you life, those things which are permanent, long term, which are the fruition of all your hard word, and which you showcase at the end. A house, a business empire, a car, a bank balance, well settled kids, grandkids, even a happy marriage maybe,  these are the things that you recount on  our death bed, the things that you you have to show for a life well lived....
but then, imagine that life...where you toiled for 22 years to pay off that housing loan, or you lived a compromise of a marriage so that you kid could group up well, what use is all that once you are gone.  you are not going to enjoy it, someone else is, but you spent you life building it. you never enjoyed ur life because at the end you wanted those assets...
instead if you had all those small things in life, a lot of small happinesses, a cycle you wanted, a bike you wanted, traveled the world, have the best gadgets always, party whenever you wanted...if you had all the small things which on a daily basis gave you happiness, why wouldn't you choose that over that one home??
its the classic question of what is important to you, the journey or the destination? the journey lasts a lifetime, the destination an hour maybe?
i know i am wrong, i don't know why. any comments explaining why are welcome!!!
take care

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Random a very very sick state!!!

sick state meaning physically sick, and not sneezing at the rate of 8 per min right now, just hoping my nose won't fall off.
anyways first, apologies for the 'look and feel' of the blog, was just messing around, and didn't realise there was no preview mode, lost my original very simple template (which i loved)...and since then just haven't had the heart to even look at the blog, let alone try to restore it.
anyways...that out of the way, as i said, am sick, and have written about being sick before and how you feel about it and stuff...just one thing to add, when ur sick, or when ur actually dying, all your ideals give way. If you can stick by your ideals when they are tested, those then are worth talking about. Your ideals, till they are truly tested in challenging conditions, are just ideals, they are not really principles you live by, but really quotes you would like to live by.

saw this 30 minute documentary about the life of our universe, actually beyond the universe. answered one questions for me, and gave rise to one thought. the question answered was what was there before the big bang, and what is beyond the universe....well before the big bang were other big bangs, and beyond the universe are other universes (where the laws of physics might actually be different). question answered. well, atleast someone tried to address the question.

also today it dawned on me that our lifespan of 80 years or like insignificant in the lifespan of our universes. we are nothing, by degree of time or degree of number (there are about 7 billion of us and thats just counting humans). but still, we try so hard to matter. to leave a name, but its ironical, if you look at the scale of the universe or beyond, that name is nothing. think of from the perspective of that higher being who is maybe controlling everything (if it there isn't one, think there is), for that being, you or i don't really matter. but for you and i, we matter.
also...was suddenly thinking of how if you know where someone is coming from, or where someone has been, or what someone has been through, if you can know the influencers on a person, you can judge a person quiet a bit. simply because we all are just a collection of influences. each of us would have maybe, and just maybe one original thing which is not there anywhere else, in anyone else....and that too might be mostly because of an accident. very very few are actually different because they want to be so, and don't think anyone one is unique at all....
and that unique thing is our contribution to this world, to the universe. It makes sense right, to have such rarity. if it wasn't rare, then we would have progresses so much so quickly, would have hit the peak at 26 (taking a quote from 'in good company'). its like genetics, change is very very slow, over a period of generations, its slow because you cannot predict the outcome, and so it needs time to prune out the bad outcomes. not sure if the same reason applies here.
too vague and arbit...well. Imagine if 10% of the population was einsteins and newtons and such, we would have been where we are today in like one generation, what after would think there is so much to discover, we would have discovered more, but then would we have been able to make sense of what we discovered, would everyone have been able to absorb it, even today when we are going so slow, half the population doesn't know newtons third law, thats after 400 years of its discovery.
another thought is that i always say i want to know everything...but then i never will be. at the most i can know everything that has happened in my lifetime, but there is so much which is going to happen after i am gone. We hear the sun is going to die in 5 billion years, hell, we not gonna be able to see it. so how idiotic is it of me to say 'i want to know everything'.
it all comes down to scale, how high up you look from. how much you want to see and in how much detail. imagine a floor lined with newspaper sheets...if you are at 10cm from the floor of sheets, you can read individual letters, if you are 1 mt you can see individual columns, at 10 mts individual sheets, 100 mts just black and white garbled, at 1 km, just a greyish floor (or maybe a pattern), at 10 km nothing...
its all about at what height you are looking from, and always know this, whatever height you are at, there is a place higher then your spot, from which someone else is watching you. you only part of a game someone is playing....
as i very very sick today!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


its most unlikely of me to write a post titled 'India' on an independence day...too cliched for me...but then had some thoughts and in the mood to write. Make something out of another wasted weekend...
i always have maintained that i was to stay in India, how ever convenient life is outside, in US or other developed nations, they after sometime become boring. they have achieved what was to be achieved, life is usual and mundane. In India, life is interesting is what i used to tell...interesting because every day there is something or the other, every moment, you see something interesting, a bomb blast here, an elephant on the road, a newly built road being dug up...something or the other, good or bad, but things keep on happening here.
today was watching this movie Peepli Live and realized, our country is such a big farce. It is full of such contradictions. a country of a billion being pulled by a mere hundred thousands...a million problems, no solutions and still progressing at one of the highest levels in the world...
India is so amusing, you can't stop smiling at the things that go on in the country, at one end we have sages who give insights which are the sign of a civilisation matured to the highest levels, on other hand you have the funniest of scams.
an incident which my friend told me and i need to write about...
on a jam packed road today, a scooterist lost a one of those plastic flags stuck to an straw which was tied on his rear view mirror...and it flew across the road. The signal has just opened, but instead of flying past, which most people do even if someone has fallen on the road, four vehicles, all side by side stopped so that they didn't crush the flag as it flew past them. Finally the flag landed just before a BMTC volvo bus, the drive braked sharply, and someone from the bus actually got down picked up the flag passed it along from vehicle to vehicle till it reached the scooterist, who was still waiting for it. this just amazed me.

but then i also ask this question, isin't this only symbolic. is it only on the 15th august and 26th jan that our patriotism rises, is it only when we see a flag or hear Jan Gana Man, or watch an India Pak match that we start feeling all patriotic. what happens when elections are taking place, or when billion rupee scams erupt or when there are serial bomb blasts, what happens when someone asks for a bribe.
we don't really feel possessive about our country, we don't feel like owners. We do for our state, our city, our area and so on, but on for the country as a whole. Maybe that needs to change.
I don't know, just asking some questions, in my heart i know i am as guilty as anyone else.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Marry ur best friend..heard and wrtten about many times before. Recently speaking to Mai, I asked her why she loved mohito, idiotic question because if u love someone, there are no reasons to it!!! Anyways after a lot of because and err...and a lot of prodding came the straight answer - "because he is my best friend" made me smile.
Anyways this post is not about marrying ur best friend but realising that some people of the opposite sex mght be better as friends then as partners. The thought came watching the song from love aak kal, the best breakup song, althought the song is about breakups, the video is about friendship, having fun.
It's amazing when u stay friends with ur ex-love interests, it works out really well. You can be completely yourself becuase she already knows u quiet well, n more over ur not trying to showcase anything, because there are no chances of anything happening.
You talk freely, because you know each other, understand each others nature, and have accepted it. Moreover the bad things in their nature don't irritate you, you don't have any stake in it!!!
You talk about everything without having to give lengthy backgrounds...they know the history, and so there is this sense of familiarty..!
And u can talk about current relations...there is no jealousy, and there is a very frank opinion given...they have seen you in a realtionship, they know how ur and they have no qualms in telling you that so...
What else...well the point is if you do break up and it's one of those breakups where no one is wrong and as sherry said in 'meteo' - "love left us", make sure ur friends with 'em...they are the best you can have. And maybe ur were only supposed to be friends!!! If it was a passionate relationship, then will take time to get over grudges, but u will, don't let it go...
So here to all the ex's who turned out to be far better friends.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

‎"Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them. Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed. I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend. But I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room."

Rabindranath Tagore in Gitanjali.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

leap of faith...

have taken two, and then one more, literally...the first was somewhere in the Himalayas, jumped from one rock to another...those roundish huge rocks weathered by the ganga...i remember i thought for like 20 mins...had two or three false tries...and then i just got tired, and made the jump. hobbled once on landing, but then stablized and...
the second was an experience. was at the banks of Powai lake, on the IIT side, and there is this huge land mass, then what looks like a very narrow creek, and then another landmass. there were many people there...the creek looked really really tempting, and the mood i was in...
again cam the waiting, staring at the creek, thinking, nope can't do it and walking away, coming back, nope i can't, what will people say....and then i just thought, what the hell. took a quick run and jumped. 
landed right on the edge, it was clayey, my foot started slipping, but thankfully took another short jump and was on firm ground...and then the crowd erupted. people started shouting at me, are you mad and this and that. i was like 'iit kids, why would they shout at me, insanity should be part of the culture here...anyways, the one thing which caught my was a comment by someone, the creek is 10 feet deep or something.
and then the fear set in, the only way back was jumping over the creek again, but then izzat ka sawaal bhi tha, took a deep breath, did a trial run (which people thought was supposed to be an actual jump, and when they realised it wasn't, they thought i chickened out) and then took the leap again, this time with ease, actually shouted out 'fuck, that was easy!!!' after landing. 
and that was my bragging part of the post. now why i am writing this.
when do you take a leap of faith, well when you really really want to do something, when you really feel strongly about something, and when you know what the consequences could be in its entirety, when you know what if it goes wrong, what if it comes good. but you can't really know whats gonna happen, there is this feeling of uncertainty, and when ur just tired of waiting for the fog to clear. you just take the risk.
the thing with these jumps is, that since you don't know whats gonna happen, you give it ur everything. and somewhere in between that leap, an unknown force takes over you and carries you...i remember distinctly that it seemed like i was floating during that jump, time had come to a standstill, my body was not moving, i was just floating, as if something else was carrying me. then comes the landing...and then comes the euphoria out of the realisation that you made it. it is a high not comparable to feel supremely confident, you fell immensely powerful, you feel indestructible, you feel nothing can conquer you, and sometimes if you are weighed down by something previously, you feel liberated.
leaps of faith are important, should be taken once in a while, just to reaffirm urself...for a short period of time you get a very very pure feeling of joy which helps. 
i have no idea why i wrote this post...will add when i do. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

understanding kids...

saw the movie Udaan yesterday...not a great movie as per movie standards go, too one dimensional, missed out on the explanations of why, but then it does make you think on you own. The movie is about a teen not  being understood at all, watching the movie, most who have not gone through it as a kid , think its extreme, but it happens, in varying degrees.  mostly it happens but in a very subtle way...and i think happens more in India (or developing, under developed countries) then anywhere else.
then read a couple of articles given here and here...and that made me think. 
One point which comes out of all these is that Kids need to be understood, i an introvert by nature, have been trying to find out for a long time why i am like this. what moulded me to be an introvert, was it my genes (it wasn't), was it my childhood, my youth? 
the thing is, there are signs early on, and they get cemented as you grow up Nothing wrong with being introvert or being another kind, but it needs to be understood. Understood early on, and parents behavior needs to be changed accordingly. 
as a kid, and there is nothing new i am saying, you are like a clay sponge, you absorb things unknowingly, at a very subconscious level, and you mould yourself, without knowing how or why. You develop defenses against what you perceive will hurt you...and these stay with you throughout, because they become so deep rooted in you subconscious, so even if you, like me try to understand the reasons, and on actually understanding them, are unable to get over them. Most, and i mean most, don't even try to understand the reasons, most are unable to figure it out, so actually trying to change is impossible. 
the movie Udaan, gives a good perspective on the father, he did want to be there for his son, he did go to the school, and wrote once in a while, but never knew what to say. thats the typical indian father,  but then again the reasoning is also give....he says 'i spent my life getting everything for you, making sure you had everything, that you went to the best school...' and thats the gist of it. 
thats why i mentioned the developing / underdeveloped nations, the generation of the 60's and 70's, had to work so hard to just put the basics on the table, and for them ensuring their kids got what they didn't was the most important thing, so a continous pursuit of money was the most important thing. they thought that kids will take care of themselves.
also because of the upbringing they had, (and explained by the dialogue by the father in Udaan "agar hum aise jawaab deta to ek chaata milta" or something), because of the fact that their parents thought that kids should grow up on their own, don't need guidance et al, but just ensure that they get their food and discipline, they too, unknowinlgy, inspite of all the love and care, became like that. 
a third factor is understanding and maturity of a society, i have written about this before, now that India is maturing, and now that the basics are available for a lot of people, they can start thinking of the abstract higher level needs of kids. Making sense?
Parents also used to think that understanding a kid, talking to him/her will make him/her all soft, will not enable them to be tough, and being tough was important then more than it is now. well i kinda agree, but then a balance needs to be maintained, and to maintain that balance a parent must have time. If just providing for your kids takes up your time...
thinking about it, it might seem that an understanding parent, but someone who is not able to provide for everything would be the best, but nope, not sure of that. 
let me say this at the end. and this not just a disclaimer, but its circumstances, because of what your parents did for you, because the good education that they gave you, you are what you are and able to think of all these things for your children. It progression, balance is easy to speak of, but if you find it difficult to buy uniforms for your kids, you are going to find it really difficult to explain it to them and hear them out. 
PS: reading back this post, the tone kind of blames parents, but believe me, i understand and i respect, this post are just my way of understanding and making sense out of it. Don't take me wrong.
also reading back, Udaan does touch on all these things, doesn't explain it too well, but then its Anurag Kashyap, and the new age India Cinema, which assumes a higher level of intelligence and maturity from the audience. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010 much and why?

Saw a debate on the Supreme Court judgement in India about the right to Freedom of Speech, that it should not be absolute, but with some reasonable restrictions. The debate was on NDTV - the Big Fight.

Absolute freedom should be given, but only when the society as a whole and as individuals can use it responsibly. To make sure that the society is responsible, the society has to be mature, mature not to overreact to criticism, not to take it as a threat to their beliefs, but to take it as an opportunity to self question. That requires confidence as well.

Another question to ask is, why do you want that absolute freedom to say anything. To pass judgements on anything and everything, whether it concerns you or not, or, to ensure that you speak up against what you think is wrong.

The first is just the absolute wrong reason, and thats where defamation cases come in. more about that later. but the first, just gives rise to channels like current Hindi channels we have in India, and helps groups of people to take advantage of the issues to push their own agendas, like certain groups in India, who 'organise' protests against everything, right from couple sitting in a park, to Bihari in Bombay, to M F Hussain's paintings.

The second, where you don't like whats happening, you don't agree with it, you don't think its right, but it doesn't really affect you directly, you are not involved in it directly - to what extent should you be allowed to speak or action? It is not your cause, you do not understand it fully, even if you do, you surely don't feel the emotions around it to the same extent as the one's directly involved. So are you in a position to make extreme statements about it? or for that matter take extreme steps to justify your postion, and still not be directly involved.

I believe, the absoluteness of freedom of speech should be directly related to the maturity of the society, and / or the effectiveness of its judgement systems - courts.
If the society is mature, can make and take positive criticism, and can decide on what is the larger good, then yes, absolute freedom. Because then, extreme situations won't ever arise, people who have an opinion will speak it out mildly, but continually, and people who they have the problem with, will take a look at every opinion, and judge it at its merit. And as required, change.

That would be ideal, but if the society is not as mature, the courts come in picture. The courts ensure that extremism is not there, and if it is, it is justified. Anyone who doesn't really care about something, shouldn't be making statements about it...anyone against whom statements have been made, doesn't just try to mute the statements, but instead gets into a healthy discussion about those statements.

Rules should only be for a society like ours, the immature society, where a majority doesn't know right from wrong and don't really care, a minority are selfish and will use this freedom to push their own agendas and manipulate the majority...that is where Rules, absolute rules are required. True, rules mute down the extreme 20% of the spectrum, because of these rules the progress of society will be slowed down, because those extreme thoughts are the ones which change the world, but even though the process will be slow, it will be steady, it will not be a roller coaster right which will leave many hurt and dead.

Some more things:
Is use of violence justified, well before you ask that, ask why does someone resort to violence. Simply because what they want to say is not being heard...because their voices are so weak, that its easy to ignore them. And they haven't been heard for a long time...and so the only resort for them is violence, to ensure that attention is paid to what they are saying.
This simply points to a failure of democracy, where smaller, weaker groups are not heard. If the democratic mechanisms were efficient and effective, every small problem was heard, and a reasonable answer given to it, this wouldn't really have been a problem.

Defamation cases - I don't think you can file a defamation case against someone just because they said something against you, i think you should only be able to file a defamation case if you know that the other person didn't have enough information to say what they said, or they don't really care about it, but made a cavalier comment to piggy back on the news it creates.

Never should we take away the right to criticize. It will make the world a easier place to live in the short term, with everyone just praising everyone or staying quiet, but in the longer run, it will make our world static. Most of the changes come out of criticisms...specially the slow ones. There are few big bang idea led changes. If you don't let anyone criticize, the creators are always gonna think their creations are perfect and will never want to change.

A lot of this becomes very clear if you read what Osho has said. Freedom with responsibility, experience something before commenting on it, slow inborn change...are all fundas from Osho.

Also can't find the recording of the debate online, but some of the comments in the post are attributed to or refer to what was said in there. Like India not being a mature country, like the fact that we have very good democratic mechanisms (on paper at least) but the people not keep pace with them.

And also i love the fact that more and more people are talking about 'the idea of India'...we really need to understand what our country stands for. we have all learn it in Civics, but do we really understand it, do we really care about it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

long time...first post form the iMac i think...
anyways, lots has happened over the last is still the same. :-)
everyone thinks i look happier, i do, they ask me, they think i found someone...i just laugh in my head...:-)
anyways corporal punishment and dog stories.

hitting kids to discipline them, right, wrong? if ur my age, you must have surely been slapped, caned, punished. Do you have a grudge? did it help you in any way, or did it just make you dheet (used to). 
I was beaten up, in school, and at home. At school, remember this incident i was slapped without any real reason by my comp sir, slapped 16 times, ear bleeding i went home, didn't tell anyone. that day and today, i have take each and every less then perfect teacher's case, have developed a hate for authority and been a sucker for the weaker guy. 
anyways so did that help, nope it didn't. but that beating was not supposed to help me, it was frustration taken out on me...and thats the point i want to make. 
if a beating is given as a punishment, in the right amount, and it is ensure that the student know why, and understands why, then it is good. Its not a tool to be overused, well always should be underused. More importantly, the person using this tool should be very sure of the reasons, beating out of frustration will create monsters. am reminded of the Brad Pitt movie, 4 guys in prison, beaten up by that singer-actor. anyways. secondly an explanation, along with the punishment is very important. that puts things in context,  and more then an explanation, i think there should be a discussion before hand, ensure that the kid understands what was wrong and why, and then punish, so that the punishment seems justified. 

dogs...any animal for that matter. they are just scared of you, they don't have the intelligence to understand you, they just have the instinct to know that you might hurt them, and for good reason. its now got into their genes i think. so be kind to them, they will not bite you unless they feel threatened. they are always on the defensive, so just let them sniff you once or twice and then pet them..they will be your best friends for ever. 
and do not take out your frustrations on your dog. they are not your punching bags. 

and stop being hypocritical about keeping dogs, keep them as family and call them pets, or keep them as guard dogs and call them that. 

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I remember watching 'I dream of Jeanie', not really sure what attracted me to it, but two things I remember from that sitcom was how Jeanie would blink her eyes and things would happen. And the other was the bottle she lived in, that purple colored long mouthed bottle which used to have a round sofa set and all comfort you can imagine.
We all live in our own Jeanie's bottles. We love to live in that protected environment, which is familiar and secure. Where we have built out  comfort zones, where we know where to get everything.
In my case, more then anything the firm I work for is a Jeanie's bottle for me. They give me everything I need, money is good, they ensure that my higher needs of getting respect and feeling powerful are satisfied. They spoil me with random comforts and perks. And not that the work is bad, work is good as well.
But then, I don't know what's happening outside the firm, my work world Is limited to that bottle. Because of the comforts I have, because of the security, you kind of forget your aspirations.
Frankly speaking, any kind of a commitment is like that bottle only, a commitment doesn't let you look beyond. You adjust your expectations to what that commitment can offer, lower you expectations. Only if there are actual problems do you wonder, is there something better outside the bottle?
There are two kinds of people, the ones who love the bottle, and the ones who love living up in the air. The second want to be those animals who roam around the earth, who visit different places, who meet different people, who see the beauty of every place, who fall in love to those places and people, but who don't want to be attached to anything. Who want to see everything, who are more about the breadth then the depth.
 I want to be the second,  and am fighting really hard not to end up the first.
Reminds me of george clooney movie, 'up in the air', the guy must have struggled really hard live that life. I can imagine the amount of opposition of that kind of life, because people want to be secure and attached and labeled. And when he started living that life, he must have been lonely, alone in his quest. Because  you have to be uber lucky to find someone who wants to go on an unending journey.
I think, that life is what everyone should live unless you have something or someone that makes it worth sticking around, makes it worth spending your life in that bottle, and mind you, without compromising, without lowering your expectations. Even after knowing everything, knowing what out there, you wanna stick around.
I have been flying around for 10 years now, and have become aware of it, and have started liking it for at least three years now. And the one who'd make me wanna stick around has come and...
PS - this is written 'Up in the air', literally, on a flight to home to fight another of those battles.
And I won't review 'Up in the air' but although I find something or the other in most movies I see, there are very few where I see my own reflection. 'Up in the air' was one…!
Take care