Friday, December 30, 2005


Let 2006 bring you growth, happiness and all that sort of thing!

Monday, December 26, 2005

A bit of Vasco and then Goa

On the way to Panaji, we stopped at Vasco Da Gama for breakfast. Since there were two hours before the resort buses would arrive to take us to Panaji, we took a walk down the street in search of the beach and on the way I saw this...

As soon as we landed at the resort, we sat down for lunch, where we were given the welcome drink. Each of the tables had a flower placed in a glass. Beauty in simplicity...

We went to Panjim for shopping. As soon as we got down from the bus, this beautiful building stood there with a pretty palm tree by its side. My Goan colleague tells me it is the Old Medical College...

The sunsets there were quite good too...

I realised that Goa is not at all overrated. It has a charm that very few places can match. This was my first visit but it is certainly not the last! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Different Views

Fardeen Khan marries Natasha
-Times of India

Fardeen, wife stuck in lift for 5 minutes
- Mid Day

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


This sprightly damsel, with wit that knows no bounds, makes all other blogs (including this one) look like old farts!! :-))

Monday, December 12, 2005


"...And yet you are wandering about the house like an unleashed donkey! What preposterous list is this? Do you think rupees, annas and pies drop from the sky?' Swaminathan did not think exactly this, but something quite similar."
-R.K. Narayan's Malgudi Schooldays

Do not know why, but I liked these lines in a warm and fuzzy kind of way. Reading about Swami reminds me of my own childhood. Talking about which reminds me of Mysore... I still remember seeing R.K. Narayan taking a walk among the boulevards of the CFTRI campus. The only reason why we kids knew him was because we had watched Swami and Friends on DD then. Of course, I still remember the episode in which Swami pretends he is on an imaginary horse (or donkey?) which suddenly moves under him and his little topi falls! And I always imagine Swami as a little boy running, never walking... and of course, I still remember the song at the end of each episode which used to go, "Tandaana-tanaa-nanaanaaaaaa..."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


If you are truly experiencing independence, you probably are:

1) Cleaning your own toilet.

2) Cooking your own food.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Time to Crib

1) You are sleeping peacefully. He gets a phone call. The time is 6:30am. He happily starts shouting into the phone and walks all around the house (If it is a mobile, chalte chalte baat karne ke liye haina?), making a point to walk through your room before walking into the balcony. He doesn't bother to close the balcony door and the ice-cold winter air floods the room and invades your blankets! Now, you are NOT sleeping peacefully. AAAAAAAAAARGH!

2) Time is 11pm. He is hungry. He is now the most inspired cook in the world. CLANK CLATTER! CLONK! ...searches for the non-stick frying pan.... heats the oil and adds the onions in one go: HISHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Stir well, or the onions will get burnt!! CLITTER! CLATTER! CLONK! scrape! crape! He scrapes off a lot of the nonstick coating with a hard metal spoon. So what do you have here? Teflon Bhurji! Is it YUM YUM?'s EEEOWGGHH!

THE AFTERMATH: You wake up to find that there was either Jackie Chan fighting with someone in the kitchen... or was there a bomb blast? NO! Your room-mate has just cooked. All the plates lay unwashed and he has fled to the office!! @#$%&!!!!

I feel sorry for the girls who will marry such men!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Burden not Shared

As we returned to Pune, my colleague from abroad remarked that all along the way she observed only women carrying things while men were mostly burdenless. I suddenly realised that was so true... it was always this: either a baby, firewood, or hay... the women would be carrying something or the other while the men walked along hands swaying in the air.

But after travelling for many, many kilometers we did come across a man carrying something and we thought, "Ok, there are exceptions"!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fond Remembrance

At this hour of sorrow and loss, I stand by your side and share your grief. Let that roll of film rest in peace. And may that roll, which was one of the only witnesses to the amazing time we had, which is all frozen forever on it's undecipherable surface, go to film-heaven and exist among those great slide films which never saw the light of the projector. Amen! (*sniff!* *sob!* *sob!*)

-I dedicate this to my friend who smiled relentlessly to a film suffering from severe amnesia.

Plantain Leaf

A couple if weeks ago, I sat down for a lunch at an Andhra restaurant off Brigade road, Bangalore. The meal was served on plantain leaf. It had been like ages since I had a good meal served on plantain leaf... or three days to be precise ;-) . I just remembered I had such a meal at home for Diwali lunch. And for once, like a good Andhraite, I got to dig into 'mountains' of rice! The flavour that the leaf adds to the hot rice and dal curry is unmatched!

The leaf in the picture is from our garden in Mysore.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It's Either Mysore or Bull

At Mysore, we visited Chamundi Hill and on the way to the top, we saw this interesting sign. It shows the way to Mysore city and the diversion to the Nandi statue. But the English version has more meaning than intended! ;-) I actually agree with that interpretation too. If you're not going to Mysore, you are missing a lot.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hmmm... I Got Tagged

Well, I thought so few people apparently read my blog that getting tagged would be as likely as finding life on another planet!! But I got tagged by Flickering Flame. So, finally there is only one more thing left to do: find life on another planet.

(I wrote these last week and some have changed)

7 things I plan to do-

  1. Watch the movie Hanuman (I did!).
  2. Gain a couple of kgs (of muscle!).
  3. Buy a Samsonite (I got VIP instead, I mean the suitcase! ).
  4. Meet more beautiful minds (Not ignited minds, they are a fire hazard).
  5. Travel to Goa (And see the portugese architecture...).
  6. Conduct further research on what women want.
  7. Kick a few assorted butts.

7 things I can't (or won't) do-

  1. Hate Arunima.
  2. Not ROTFLMAO after reading Dave Barry.
  3. Get my dad to sell his 25 year old (young?) Bajaj Chetak.
  4. Get my LG phone to recognise the numbers of friends who call me often (the dumb chunk of silicon and plastic!).
  5. Get rid of my LG phone --I am married to it (rather to a service provider famous for their non-'reliability'! <:- (...
  6. Remember names of people I am introduced to 2 minutes ago (Yes, that's pathetic).
  7. Tag anyone.

7 things I say most often (in no particluar order)-

  1. Hi!
  2. Thank you
  3. Sh**!
  4. Oh my God!
  5. Wowww!
  6. Great!
  7. Ya!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


'If someone is determined not to risk pain, then such a person must do without many things: having children, getting married, the ecstacy of sex, the hope of ambition, friendship -- all that makes life alive, meaningful, and significant.'

--M. Scott Peck in 'The Road Less Travelled'

I simply liked this quote. I realised that there is no such thing as an inherently painless life. We can only learn to live happily inspite of everything. If anyone asks if there is a secret to true happiness, I would say that this is one of them

Saturday, October 22, 2005


"Happiness is... a warm puppy."
-Charles M. Schulz (Creator of Peanuts)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Commercial Street

A zillion photons bombard your eyes with various hues, from the neon lights flashing on and off. They jostle for eye space filling your brain with a dozens of brand names before you can blink! No, you aren't in Hongkong, you're in Namma Bengaluru, Commercial Street!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It's official: winter is moving in! This morning the whole city had fog. This is the view from our apartment window of a neighbouring building which is under construction...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Truth Vs. Fine Art Photography

Believing that a photograph should be untampered with and presented as it is, I had considered that anything else was as good as fraud. Fraud against truth and all that is real. This I feel was due to the image (pun unintended) photography has acquired, that it is meant to show things as they are...

But then I realised that this is the case only when we are talking about photography whose objective is to portray the truth as in documentary and journalistic photography.

It is now my belief that if you are dealing with photography as an art form, the objective of the artist is to convey a message/emotion to the viewer. This makes a photograph just the 'raw material' that the artist uses to convey his/her message/emotion. So, you might say that the act of taking the photograph is a mere beginning of the journey that the image will take to finally convey the artist's thought. For after all an artist is only trying to convey what is on his/her mind, the means that the medium he uses is nothing more than just that.

Another issue that comes to mind is digital tools used to modify images. If you think that just because things happen at a mouse-click and hence anyone who uses them can only produce kitsch, think again! To use a digital tool to produce something that is tasteful and aesthically appealing, requires a certain sense, without which we might end up making, well, kitsch!

Next time somebody looks at an image and says, "So you manipulated it?", with a facial expression that seems to say, "So, you took dope to win the gold medal?", I will simply tell that person to read this post!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


There's nothing like the sun emerging from dark clouds...

Notice the 'rainbow' created by a cloud in the top half of the image (pointed to by the upward arrow) and the rainbow coloured cloud below it! The colours are just noticable...

This tree is apparently on some land marked for 'developement' and I doubt it if it will be there to see the next summer...

Friday, October 14, 2005


:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The City that Sleeps...

The city sleeps, under the moolit sky...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

New Toy!

As a kid I had always wanted a Rubik's Cube. The other day while window shopping at the 49&99 store, I saw this cube and fell for it. Well, I guess it is never too late for 'brain food'!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Cabin by the Tree

This exotic place has mesmerised me. I have visited it about 5 times in about one year and I still feel like going back. When you are here, all you see is the earth and the sky, and this little cabin with a dead tree beside it. This tree hasn't had a single leaf for over a year now but it still stands its ground. The silence here is nearly absolute, except for the distant 'whoosh' of vehicles on the national highway about a kilometer away. Now and then sparrows flit around chirping away a happy conversation...

If you walk closer to the structure, you will be a little anxious to see the pitch-darkness that you see inside. But when you look closely, you see that it is a temple. Unsual temple... It has a mound of turmeric with a red tilak in place of an idol...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Room With a View

In the year 1999, we lived in a rented house. The sole reason why we had moved into this house was that it was just one street away from the house which we were building for ourselves. I remember how I saw many beautiful sunsets from the window of my room. I had just started using the camera and this was probably from the first roll I ever shot. That's what makes it special.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Home Sweet Home

It's been just about 3 weeks since I was home.
I am missing home... already...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

One Tough Nut

The molten tar had tsunamied onto their tiny world taking away a few creatures to the nether world. But this little plant was one tough nut...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Visit to Kailash Temple

The Kailash temple is larger than the Parthenon, and better preserved. It was cut out of a single rock starting from top to bottom (that was clever).

Standing within these stone walls takes you into another world. It is amazing what faith can inspire people to do...

The stone was covered with plaster which was painted in different colours, so the temple was a lot more colorful in its days of glory. Some of the plaster still remains in certain places, giving a glimpse of the grandeur that was...

The temple even has a balcony... :-)

The plaster still surviving has a hint of intricate, colourful designs... the parakeets seem to admire the sculptures up close!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Invitation

We had just finished lunch. S and I were taking a walk within the company campus. The weather was warm but not too sunny and it was just right for a walk.

There was construction work going on ahead of us. We saw that one of the workers was just unpacking his lunch. As we got closer, he said something to us (in Marathi) with a happy smile. I did not know enough Marathi to understand him. I found his warm smile unusual for he had not met us before. Marathi-knowing S replied to him. I asked S what it was about. S told me that he was inviting us to share his lunch. (S had replied that we had already had our lunch and thanked him for the invitation.)

S said that this is a custom followed when anyone comes by when you are having lunch.

I had heard of this custom but had never witnessed it before. That too between total strangers. It's nice to know such things still exist! :-)

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Return of the Concrete Monsters

These were still in the making:

Concrete Monsters

A celebration of bad design, compromise and demented creativity. The designer must've thought that people are capable of anaerobic respiration or I should actually check if these were luxury apartments exclusively built for dementors!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Safety Begins at Home

Saw this on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Our vehicle was travelling at close to the speed limit when I saw this unexploded tanker. That gave me just enough time to get this badly taken snap. It had crashed into solid rock ironically with the words 'Safety Begins at Home' painted on its rear, right next to the speed-limit sign. They should have added the words 'and Ends on the Road'.

The Return of the Concrete Monsters

These were still in the making:

A celebration of bad design and compromise. The designer must've thought that people are capable of anaerobic respiration.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Critique Ugly

Sarkar: As soon as I saw how the story was unfolding, I kept expecting the events in The Godfather to happen. Some did, some did not. So that really kept me guessing!

The cinematography was very innovative. It was dark and stark, devoid of frills, moody and sinister at times. Perfect!

One thing about the movie that really put me off is the music directors... er music. It seems that the music directors Bapi-Tutul were very insecure that people will forget their presence so they kept banging away the percussion come what may! Abhishek thinking about something and you hear the them banging away all the drums! They seemed to not know that silence can be used to heighten the effect. The music was way too loud!! I still liked the 'govinda govinda' chant although this is not the first time this was used in an RGV movie (Those of u who are wondering which one, it is the telugu movie 'Govinda Govinda' starring Nagarjuna and Sridevi)! :-)

Madagaskar: Nice fun movie! Very much paisa vasool if you have kids!

Whenever I hear David Schwimmer (lends his voice to the giraffe) I couldn't help but picture Ross Geller of F.R.I.E.N.D.S! Got so used to that voice as Ross!!

The story was not so interesting. There wasn't much of a climax either. In that way the movie was not half as much fun as Shrek. Looks like they were in a hurry to release the movie before some deadline or something!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Promise

The clouds had kept the sun hidden for so long. I do not remember when this had happened before. There was bad news everywhere, as if all the doomsday prophecies were coming true. Life is so fragile. And we take it for granted until we are reminded.

This morning all of a sudden, the sun emerged victoriously, with its warm silver rays. The Pashan skyline was suddenly bathed in a bright glow, highlighted against the dark clouds on the other side of the sky.

A rainbow appeared, arching high above the buildings. It looked better than any housing project ad. The rainbow seemed to frame the skyline, holding it in place. It held a promise of sunshine.

Now, I look outside to see. It has kept its promise.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


The lines zig-zagged and projected out of the frame, encroaching into the space around it. The indicator formed the apex of the projection, like the shoulder-pad of an evil robot. The metallic body excuded a wicked energy, threatening to unleash it at a moment's notice. Every angle of its planes suggested speed. The metal logo placed angularly lay glinting in the morning sunlight...
It spelt the letters K A R I Z M A

Monday, July 25, 2005

Concrete Monsters

The buildings rose from the filth with damp-black walls, colourful clothes waving in the wind like bright flags, each proclaiming a victory. A victory of life against the odds?

Multistoreyed buildings so close to each other that one could hop from one roof to another. Spiderman would have saved a lot of web...

The heavy sea air was laden with the smell of sewage and refuse. Plastic burning?...

The Sumo raced up a flyover, weaving through the traffic. As we rose, we saw more of these buildings jostling for a breath of fresh air, for a piece of the sky...

The sky was silver, bright and blinding but the light was no match against the darkness these concrete monsters held within them...

I was there... intimidated... mesmerised... dwarfed... awed... disgusted... overwhelmed...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nescafe Moment

I see you sitting at the coffee table. The morning sun streams in and dissolves into the strands of your brown-black hair flowing down the sides of your face, making it glisten like silk, highlighting you against the shadowy background. The hot cup of coffee releases steady fumes into the cool winter air. Your skin glows with morning freshness as you prepare to take your first sip. The morning newspaper reflects the headlines in your glasses delicately balanced on your nose. Now, it is time to take a sip. You remove the glasses, and as you raise the glass to your tender lips, you look at me with your brownish eyes and suddenly a smile materialises...

I immediately check the focus, aperture and... Kli-Chck!

A perfect picture. A Nescafe moment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Favour...

My friend asked me an unusual favour the other day... He wanted to pose the way Brad Pitt did for the posters of Mr. Smith. It sounded funny, especially coz he did not have any Angelina Jolie in his life. But it proved to be an interesting challenge so I said 'YES'!

That saturday, 26 snaps later we got a snap which looked satisfactory. The white walls really helped and we hid the flooring under white papers stuck together to form a 'blanket'. I uploaded the image and edited it in GIMP to add the text and place it behind him.

This is what I finally got: Mr. Sunkara

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wicked Gossip!

H: You know, S has a girl-friend!
Saw them hanging out at all the hotspots and of course
their body language says it all.

I: So, is S's gf cute?

H: No... she's wishy-washy!

I: Wishy-washy? how does a person LOOK wishy-washy?? i thought it is a behavioural trait! :-)

H: LOL!!! U know - she is that delicate looking pale creature with thin straight hair...... that kind of a girl...

I: like she was caught in a washing machine and twirled
around in Surf Excel all morning?

H: Wishy-washy!!!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Wanted Warm Hug: Tenders Invited :-))

I came to know from Desmond Morris' 'Intimate Behaviour' the true nature of the hug. Having read it years ago I am kind of vague but I remember that he says that ever since we come out of the womb we miss the warm 'hug' that the womb gave us. We do not remember the time we spent in the womb but it is etched deep within our subconcious. So, whenever we get a hug we feel good as it gives the same feeling of security and warmth that we felt when we were in our mothers' womb... Human's like any other animal seeks affection and warmth but social restrictions usually leave us extremely 'affection starved'...

When was the last time you got a big, warm hug?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A flea and a fly...

A flea and a fly in a flue were imprisoned,
so what could they do?
Said the flea, "Let us fly!"
Said the fly, "Let us flee!"
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

-- Edward Lear (1812-1888)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's a beautiful day!

The monsoon clouds are charging in from the southwest. The patches of sky between them are deep blue. As the clouds move on, the sun peeps through the spaces occasionally flooding the land with a pure white light and then hides again! The air is crystal clear and you can see very far. The trees are fresh green... A cool breeze keeps you company.

But you know you are missing someone...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Which is the capital of 'Nostalgia'?

I stood in front of the large green door. There was a notice which said that the library would be open during the holidays. The sun had already set and just about half an hour of daylight was left. As I stood there, I heard distant voices of kids playing in the playground...

In my minds eye, I saw myself about 15 years ago walking in through those doors happily making a beeline to the library to devour yet another book. I was very thirsty for knowledge. I wanted to know about this wonderful world.

I remember the warm, moist smell of the earth basking in the morning sun... Wet from the thunderstorm the previous evening... The sound of a distant cuckoo... The green trees now flaunting the leaves acquired in the previous month's spring... The ground beside the road would now be almost black with the decaying leaves that the trees had shed, rejuvenating the earth with compost... Millepedes would be happily crawling away like miniature trains and curling up into 'chaklis' when disturbed.

I walked, just barely five feet from the ground, closer to the earth than I am now. I walked free. I walked with wonder. I walked...

Back from my day-dream, I realised the digicam was running out of cells. The greedy thing swallows up alkaline cells like a hungry pig! I decided I will take a snap with the school name made of metal embedded into the walls in one corner. Had to make it quick, dad was waiting at the car... took a few more snaps of the playground. The place all matches were played, scores settled, games of 'sur chend'...

It was time to go...

And I thought nostalgia sounded more like the name of a country...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


‘Anyone can become angry –that is easy. But to get angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for right purpose, and in the right way –this is not easy’.
-Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Until recently, we earthlings were under the impression that IQ is the greatest measure of human potential. But two scientists, Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salovey showed the world that it is Emotional Intelligence (EI) which plays a greater role in making us successful people. EI is measured in terms of Emotional Quotient (EQ). EI has its roots in the concept of ‘social intelligence’, first identified by E.L. Thorndike in 1920.

It was in the early 1990s that Dr. John Mayer and Peter Salovey introduced the term ‘emotional intelligence’ in the Journal of Personality Assessment. They used this term to describe a person’s ability to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others and act appropriately based on this understanding. Then in 1995, psychologist Daniel Goleman popularized this term with his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ.

Now it is widely accepted that EQ plays an important role in determining our success (or failure). Just like tests meant to measure IQ and aptitude, EQ tests have been devised. In India, EQ is tested indirectly in many ways, both for recruitment as well as for admission to institutes (especially MBA). The personal interview (PI), statement of purpose (SOP) and group discussions (GD) reveal a bit about your EQ. Obviously, in a field like management, EQ of the manager determines not only his/her success but the organisation’s success as well.

EQ plays such an important role in our lives simply because almost everything we do is influenced in some way or the other by our emotions. Even if you are engaged in something like answering a question paper, whether it involves simple calculations or the use of memory, your emotions still play an important role. For example, you must have had an experience where you couldn’t recall anything just because just before the exam in spite of having prepared well. This was because you were simply overwhelmed by unwanted emotions. Every decision we take is influenced by emotions.

The best thing about EQ is that people can consciously work towards improving it. It is not surprising, therefore, that many big companies and organizations are exposing their employees to different training programs that are essentially experiential in nature and claim to be helpful in improving the EQ of the participants. Also, activities like yoga and meditation coupled with personality development go a long way in improving our EQ. If you are reading a self-development book, chances are it is meant to improve your EQ in some way!

Since no one has so far been able to develop a good scale for intelligence, most EQ tests can only give us an idea. There are many free online EQ tests available on the internet. Go ahead and find out what you EQ is! But be wary, the results of these tests are not the absolute truth. But the most important thing is that you may get to know your strengths and weaknesses and you can work towards maximizing your personal aptitudes and social skills. This can in turn make a big difference to your professional/personal growth.

(I wrote this article for Times of India in 2003. I got to do quite a bit of research including taking EQ tests! According those test my strength was empathy. Now you know whom to contact if you want a good listener… ;-) )

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Kyunki Sauce Bhi Kabhi Tomato Thi...

By Claytonia Vices, PUNE (Farse News Agency)
The country has been besieged by a tragedy of unprecedented magnitude: Desi television has succumbed to the soap virus.

Health professionals warn that a certain Fake-ta Kapoor might be the main carrier of this virus. They also warned that watching the shallow-scripted sham unfolding can cause permanent damage to a person's intelligence.

Researchers have supported this by proving that exposure to soaps on a daily basis led to the death of an alarming number of grey cells in the subjects of their experiment. Some participants actually complained of crises in their personal lives resulting from the effect of watching characters in the soaps constantly plotting against each other and sabotaging relationships.

They also said that the characterisation in these soaps is so hollow, almost all the roles can be easily classified into two categories. Among female characters, one is the bitchy type while the other is the rona-dhona type. The script generally consists of the bitchy type finding newer ways to make life miserable to the rona-dhona types, sometimes spending many days just hatching conspiracies. The males however still largely confirmed to the men-don't-cry stereotype and hence fell into the categories of conspirer and the supportive types who come to the support of the females who indulge in chronic fits of rona-dhona.

Experts also warn a channel which plays only soaps may one day become reality. This shocking scenario, they say, may result in widespread brain damage among innocent audiences who may be exposed to this channel for as little as a few seconds while surfing.

The latest casuality to soaps was the popular music channel Yum TV. Its famous VJ, Virus Broacha (name changed), when asked what he felt about the soap Kitna 'Musty' Hai Zindagi taking more airtime than songs, he only said that we shouldn't 'broach' the topic as he is suffering from acute soap-exposure sickness and a mere mention makes him puke. He then added, "Yum TV Bhi Kabhi Music Channel Thi!" before going into a coma. At the time of going to press, he was reported to have been revived when he was placed in front of a TV showing Discovery Channel and is said to be in a stable condition. Doctors said he luckily escaped with only partial brain damage and adviced him to maintain a distance of atleast 300 feet from TVs showing soaps.

This latest development only confirms the widespread fears that this virus is slowly taking over the entire nation and one day there will not be a single grey cell left among the 1 billion (and still counting) people of this country...

Hey! It's time for my favourite soap! Gotta go...see ya!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I wrote this essay sometime in 2002-03. It is special to me because this may be the first time I realised how much I love writing and I started a whole new journey with it... and I had a lot of fun writing it!

“…for the more worldly of us,

the way we travel is more of a

fashion statement or even a prerequisite

to 'lure' the female of the species.

What other purpose could a fuel

guzzling behemoth bedizened

with chrome plating and glaring

headlights serve?”

Travelling is something we do almost all the time but rarely pause to think about its significance. It has become an integral part of everyday life -as integral as eating and sleeping itself. Almost all human activities require travelling from one place to another. From the proverbial Mohammed who had to 'travel' to the mountain to the breadwinner who go to work, from the toddler going to kindergarten to the dead man making a last journey to the graveyard, travelling is an unavoidable part of life... and death.

Looking at things from an 'out-of-the-world' perspective, travelling is something that we do every second as we hurtle through the emptiness of space along with our 'spaceship' earth as it revolves around the sun. Amazing, isn't it? Just imagine the billions of miles we must have travelled around the sun without even noticing it!

Coming back to 'ground level', travelling is serious business for us humans. All modes of transport put together could be one of the biggest industries on planet earth. Aeroplanes for the high-flying people, railways, waterways, roadways, e.t.c, are a source of livelihood for a countless number of people. At one extreme is the millionaire thinking of which airline company he could take over, while at the other extreme is the humble rickshaw puller for whom someone deciding to travel on his rickshaw could make the difference between a meal and an empty stomach for the day.

The way we travel and the reason for it can so much about a person and can have so much significance. Gandhi travelled all the way by foot to Dandhi and made a bold statement against the colonial rule and as the cliche goes, the rest is history. The Wright bothers' first successful plane travelled a mere 40 meters but again it made history. Little would the brothers have dreamt that one day much improved versions of their wood and canvas contraptions powered by a small engine would be helping people travel halfway round the world. In 1955 in America, a woman names Rosa Parks was travelling in a bus when she was asked to give up her seat to a white person as she was legally required to. She refused. Her one quite act set off a chain of events that led to the beginning of the civil rights movement. However, for the more worldly of us, the way we travel is more of a fashion statement or even a prerequisite to 'lure' the female of the species. What other purpose could a fuel guzzling behemoth bedizened with chrome plating and glaring headlights serve?

For other people who are badly in need of some change from their monotonous lives, travelling can be a source of adventure and romance. Travelling to exotic locales is gaining more popularity by the day as more people don't mind spending a little extra money. Looking at the number of travel magazines appearing at the newsstand, one can easily guess how popular leisure travel has become. The way we reach a place is also an important aspect of leisure travel. Whether it is the 'romance of the railways' or the acceleration of the jet plane that pins us to our seats as we take-off into the azure skies, each have their own thrills. The travel bug never had it so good!

From the invention of the wheel to the space shuttle, we have come a long, long way. Each of these inventions meant for travel continually reflected the progress of mankind at the time of their conception. But like the fact that the space shuttle, in spite of being an epitome of modern engineering, still needs modern versions of the primitive wheel to land safely, one thing remains unchanged -the need to travel faster, farther and safer and with more comfort. We can say that our Mohammed has some along way ever since he set out for the mountain on foot. One of these days, we may see him vrooming towards the mountain on his four-wheel drive!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's a new day...

The engine whined with suppressed power as the minibus sped down National Highway-4. Far away, the buildings of the IT park came into view, huddled together, looking like little cardboard boxes with windows. Suddenly it felt like watching the city from the window as the plane would make its final approach for landing...

As I say this, Bryan Adam's song comes to mind...

...It's a new world - it's a new start
It's alive with the beating of - young hearts
It's a new day - it 's a new plan
I've been waiting for you
Here I am...

Have a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2005


This travelogue is a confused attempt at recalling some of the interesting highlights of the picnic. If you missed the trip and find it hard to understand, DO NOT WORRY ---those who DID come will feel the same. All names of persons mentioned have been changed to protect their identity (except B Joshi). The main intention of this article is to make you laugh like you all did during the trip (except B).


This is how it all started:

We slept well in the train for the journey began at around 12 in the night or something. But that is not the whole story, for about a dozen guys were awake singing and ‘gappe maar rahe the’ until about 4am in the morning. While some of them played a serious game of cards till about the same time!

Finally, the morning came well before many of them had barely said ‘goodnight’! After quickly wolfing down our breakfasts it was time for….. SNACKS! Chitale Bandhu, sukhi raho! Then it was time to burn all those extra calories that we had just piled up. So we played Treasure Hunt!

Whatever calories our grey cells could not burn were used up in running up and down the compartment to pester P to provide the next clue. If we ran in only one direction some of us could have covered half the distance to Chennai.

The winners got chocolates while the losers had to simply look forward to having lunch. Now very few people know that the runners up got more chocolates…. How??? They simply raided the winner’s compartment and ‘shared’ their spoils.

Finally after a journey full of laughter, songs and teasing, we reached Chennai. Here the teasing was never meant to embarrass anyone… well, except maybe, B Joshi.


The bus left Chennai Central with a bus-load (isn’t THAT obvious?) of tired and hungry souls and reached the resort at around 11pm. Unlike last time the reception DID NOT look like anyone’s marriage – there were only men waiting to garland us (I believe they had some tip-off that our company has a lot of bachelors!).

The next day we all went to Pondicherry. At Pondicherry we found out a very important thing ---that the resort was much better. Oh, it was not that bad! We got nice words from our guide about smuggling liquor from Pondicherry while in the bus (Of course she told us much more than that but this was easy to remember!).

Then at Mahabalipuram the mischievous guys photographed themselves posing as if they were holding up those giant boulders. The way our police is going by photographic evidence these days, they may soon arrest these guys for sinking two other temples into the sea…

Then came the evening party which had some very special performance by (name changed anyway). The dance consisted of some amazing feats like drinking water from a bottle (PLEASE DO NOT LAUGH! He was balancing a lot of unidentified objects on his head while doing that!). The most unbelievable performance was by a certain employee who came with a shirt worn front-side-back! (We do not want to reveal that it was B). The dance performance ended with a dangerous stunt involving juggling objects which were –-literally—burning! Since almost no one had attended the fire safety seminar atour company, none tried to put off the fire and they allowed the man to perform peacefully.

The next day everyone was eager to get a boat ride to the underwater temples (which were allegedly sunken by some miscreants posing for photographs) was simply amazing. The enjoyable part was when everyone was allowed to jump into the deep sea water. Those who did not want to get wet simply sat on the boat (and got drenched in the waves anyway).

We all missed the video coverage that SC would have made. But taking undue advantage of the lack of evidence I tell you that we won ALL the volley ball and football matches we played. Playing beach ball was quite amazing as we dived into the sand at the drop of a hat, dives that would put the Indian cricket team to shame!

Then everybody took the plunge (not marriage but the swimming pool) and played in the water till lunch. The lunch was simply out of the world. The seaside thatched-roofed venue had a rustic ambience that made the lunch a very special one.

The evening saw another round of boat rides and volley ball matches (We won! We won!). But that was not the end of the day. It was the beginning of the final bash. We all converged at the party hall. One of the most important part of this program was the ‘initiation rites’ of all the newcomers (the word ‘ragging’ is too colloquial). Everybody had a great time including the newcomers who came up with some fantastic performances. That was followed by Fashion Show where all the couples set the ramp on fire (there was actually no ramp but still). Then it was the turn of stags to make a fashion statement. This was followed by dance competitions, dinner and the dance not necessarily in that order. Anyway, it made a night to remember!

The train journey the next day was as memorable. Again the election campaign started. The public opinion was that there can be no leader like B (name NOT changed even on request). The people in the second train were witness to an unusual musical performance by A (N’s son). He sang “Aisa jadoo dalarey…” in an infinite loop. Apparently he was spending too much time with some of our developers (is B a developer?) The singing did not stop there, we had a couples singing session too! This was followed by a live rendition of “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” in all languages. The card games were a rage. Everyone’s favorite game was ‘Master Bluffer’ for the most obvious reason: natural talent. Then it was time to sleep. Sometime after breakfast we were back on the sticky Pune platform we missed so much (I made that up).

Happy memories that will last a lifetime. Jokes which we recall and make us to want fall down laughing except for the fear that the guy in the neighboring cubicle will log a request for a mental check up as well! Till next year. Enjoy the post-trip hangover!

(Had written this on December 24th, 2004, a few days after returning from the Chennai trip. Two days later, the very beach we were standing on would be under more than 12 feet of water. Our trip had been actually re-scheduled one week earlier than planned due to non-availablity of rooms. However, no casualities were reported from the resort as the guests were having breakfast on higher ground...)

How to Express Yourself and Get Away With It...

When was the last time you wanted to speak your mind and couldn’t find the right words to use? Especially when you want to express your displeasure! Saying something drastic may ruffle too any feathers and who knows, the feathers may belong to someone who is higher in the pecking order! What do you do then? Here is a solution; give went to your steam in English. English?! Before you let your pessimism run wild, try this, "You cantankerous caitiff, nugatory cipher and an arriviste!" See to it that you have a deadpan face and day it fast enough to prevent any of those words to be retained in the memory of your flummoxed victim long enough to rummage through the dictionary to find out what that means. Let us replay the sentence in slow motion and analyze its various elements. 'Cantankerous' means short tempered, 'caitiff' is coward, 'nugatory' is worthless, 'cipher' is a person of no importance, and an 'arriviste' is a person who is ambitious and self-seeking.

Einstein once said, "There are two things that are infinite, one is the universe and the other is human stupidity. But I am not sure about the universe". If your dear friend simply does not get your point, which a kindergarten kid would understand at the very first attempt, the best compliment would be 'cretin'. Not enough? Anserous, asinine, misintelligent, thick-witted, fatuous, lummox, blunderbuss, loutish, noddy and so on! Having covered a part of the infinite wavelengths that stupidity can manifest itself in, let us proceed to deal with people who are crooks. So specialized they are in their fine art of filching that you wouldn't know that something was amiss until their malfeasance has already been bestowed upon you! But once you realize it, you can go at them with, "pirate, freebooter, buccaneer, picaroon, rover, corsair, searover, rifler, cutpurse, latron, despoiler", although many of these words refer to pirates, the fact that you were left all at sea by them is reason enough to use them.

Then there are these people who love three things in life. They are, to talk, to talk, and to talk. And as the quantity increases, obviously, the quality steadily decreases. They beat around the bush, meandering aimlessly, maundering away to glory, providing a cure to insomnia in some and giving headaches to some less fortunate! They usually are friends who you wish weren't! Since they won't even let you interrupt them, you might as well say this prayer in your mind - "Oh God, if You hadn't given them so much of an ability to babble, chaffer, drone, circumlocute, harp, to ramble, to be pleonastic, prolix, verbose, the world would be a quieter and less miserable place!"

Now come the most dangerous kind--even Dale Carnegie would not be able to tell you how you can make friends with them or influence them. They are the ruthless achievers who would bulldoze their way to the top of the ladder of success (what other kind of ladder would support a bulldozer?). Morality, righteousness, and altruism are strange words to this demon in the guise of your friendly colleague. Spreading a rumor, canard, and slandering names is part of the daily routine. This diabolic casuist wouldn’t mind publishing your research paper as his/her own and believes that the end justifies the means. Such a person would be Machiavellian.

Although it was fun reading these words, it may not be much fun using these words to hurt people or rather their egos and feelings. Each new word gives us a new way of expressing our feelings and adds a new dimension to our personality. But it should not be a new way to throw the spanner in the works of any organization! You are right; this is the ‘handle with care’ warning that comes with anything dangerous!

(This article of mine had been printed in Education Times, Pune, December 30th issue with the title "Vocalise Your Reflections")

Thursday, April 21, 2005


The weather outside is beautiful! Rainclouds are caressing the hilltops and Water Lilies have blossomed in the pond outside. The green grass is waving in the wind beckoning the summer rain...

...and here I am working in my cubicle!


You helped me realize something...

Realised something very important after talking to you. Something to always keep in mind. It's not really photography that I love so much. It is this wonderful world and its people...

I should not forget that I am only seeking a medium through which I want to express myself. Before, it may have been drawing, and now it is photography. But one thing will remain unchanged... my love for life.

So, I will never make the medium an end in itself...
for the moment I make that mistake, I will be lost to myself, and to this world that I love so much...
I will never be like that guy in Lost in Translation...
I will never be lost in self-expression...

And I hope and pray that I will keep meeting people like you who will teach me new things, new ways to live life, and give me new inspiration that will help us rediscover ourselves...

Do not know how to thank you...

Hoping to meet you soon...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Times are A-Changing

(I had written this article for Education Times, Pune in 2003. Here it is with a few changes... but the facts are still outdated.)

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

-From Bob Dylan's 'The Times They are A-Changing'

Gone are the days when parents used to say, “My son is going to become an engineer or a doctor”. With
India’s population increasing at an alarming rate and given our “hyper-creativity”, competition has increased in all spheres of life. This increase in competition is reflected in all walks of life - from the task of getting school admissions to getting jobs in various sectors.

Until very recently, the ‘I-want-to-be-an-engineer/doctor dream’ was very popular. Consequently, there was a great demand for seats in professional colleges and engineering colleges have mushroomed everywhere. This in turn has led to a slew of engineers – each year Karnataka, which has about 108 engineering colleges, one of the highest in India, alone churns out thousands of engineers every year. But as Murphy’s Law would have suggested, there hasn’t been a similar increase in the number of jobs for engineers. Finally, it is a case of engineers, engineers everywhere but not enough jobs to go around. This is where the postgraduate courses come into the scene. Those who are eager to rise above the rest and increase their chances of acquiring a job with a postgra duate degree are eagerly taking up CAT and other management entrance exams with hopes of getting into reputed B-schools and coming out as much sought after management graduates. Some management graduates from IIM’s are being given jobs with salaries around 5 lakh per annum. The number of people taking CAT has increased from about 60,000 to 65,000 in 2000 to about 80,000 in the 2002. Courses in Management have become more sought after than ever. Call it the “CAT-race” if you want!

Similarly, the number of graduates writing GATE had increased tremendously from 2001 to 2002. Apparently, the slowdown in the software industry and the consequent decrease in availability of software jobs may also have contributed to this. Campus placements in engineering colleges had reached an all time low during the software slowdown prompting many students to consider studying further.

Another parallel trend is the increase in demand for graduates in fields such as Biotechnology. Until recently, many students did not consider studying B.Sc. a good option. However, the sudden growth in the Biotech industry has led to a spurt in demand for graduates of biotech and related disciplines. Similarly, the growth in entertainment industry, service industry, etc. has led to many new jobs being created. And with the advent of the information age, people have become more aware about the job opportunities in fields such as media, advertising, fashion etc. Now, at the click of a mouse one can know almost everything from what kind of institution offers what kind of courses to the chances of being recruited after finishing the course. Gone are those days when we had to order application forms for certain courses by post; now we can be simply download them from the web sites of respective institutes.

All these new waves of change are bringing in new opportunities and challenges. At the same time, we can say that many more tough choices are to be made by those in search of their dream job. And regarding competition, there maybe newer pastures but there are more cows than ever!