Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tryst with Destiny II

Freedom at Midnight agian... but how many more to follow?

India and its tryst with midnight destiny continues 62 years since our Independence. The midnight celebrations in the regions set to form the new Telangana State, being carved out of Andhra Pradesh were the most disheartening scenes ever. How can people of the country be happy and, worse, celebrate, when we are bifurcating our own country on the basis of neglecting a region????

A single person's agitation, compared to Gandhiji's fasting, has led to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, which itself is no stranger to such preposterous history. What you sow is what you reap. Andhra Pradesh itself was carved out of Madras state when a politician went on a fatal hunger strike in 1956. But when the whole world is having graver issues like fighting terrorism and saving earth from impact of climatic changes, how can we be so primitive in our thoughts??

Where did the momentum gain for this statehood after so many years? A single man's waning political image and the greed to be on top of people's mind is all that I can think of. An entire state has been brought to standstill and going by the last assembly election results, a separate state is the last thing in mind of the people in the region.

And kudos to the Congress government at the center, what a vision they have!!!! At this rate, India will soon need to be called The United States of India. Now how are they going to address the needs of Gorkhas, Nagas, Ulfas etc? Give them a state and let the future generation battle it out?

We all can see the results of having carved out Chattisgarh, Jharkandh and Uttaranchal. What little development could have happened in these regions have vanished and instead stands a billion dollar business empire of the likes of Madhu Koda. The politicians cannot be blamed in this entire episode. We, the people are to be blamed. If we can be held to emotional ransom by such nitwits and imbeciles then what right do we have to call them names?

If we cannot express our solidarity in choosing a strong candidate, we have no rights whatsoever to answer Barkha Dutt as she barks her views across India on prime time TV. Soon we will have debates and SMS polls and TRPs on which channel broke the news first.. but for the Mango people... oh sorry Aam Aadmi, its just another tamasha until election comes next time.

Tata tea couldn’t have come out with a better ad campaign. Jaago Re!!

I seriously believe all of us are in a deep state of slumber. Come on India... can’t you see that it’s our country that is being done to death by these plunderers?? Can we do anything to stop this from happening??

Yes we can!!

Write to the President
Write to the Prime Minister.. mail the UPA Chairperson.. Ask them not to commit a major treason!!!
And please somebody talk sense to the person who wants the state cut out!

If nothing works, let’s file a Public Interest Litigation in Supreme Court asking for a stay order before they table the Telangana State formation bill.

We have to brand these self-styled pricks as traitors of the country and banish them once and for all from our Motherland.
Wish we had a mass movement to awake the senses of this generation!!

Democracy has gone to the dogs!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Systematic Chaos

The pinprick of numbness overrides any other pain. Sitting inside the Yoga Insitutue, a 90 year old organization, I tried to re-establish the connectivity with my inner soul. The nagging doubt in mind about the way we are leading our lives manifested in me after the discourse. I was on a soul searching mission this week end. A lot of thoughts were going on in my mind, for which I had no answers. In short, it was pretty chaotic. Like the Brownian Movement of particles in Physics. Random, chaotic, yet with some predetermined outcome.

Yeah Right.

Individual life is the perfect example of Chaos theory and Butterfly effect. We tend to relate this to fate, naseeb etc. If we dwell deeply, we will understand that each and every thing that occurs to us is infact determined by ourselves years ago. A simple decision to stop cycling to soak in the pleasures of a 100kmph drive on a motorbike, will have its effect 10 years down the line in the form of elevated blood pressure. We miss the cue. We blame it on work tension. But the fact remains that its our decision to stop cycling, thereby becoming unfit, is the main reason.

We seek explanation for everything that happens in life, little realizing that we have the explanation in our mind. It doesnt need a spiritual awakening to understand this fact. The journey of life is all about self realization. It doesnt necessarily need to follow the beaten down path of spirituality. Belief in self is the best way forward. My current turmoil is largely due to lack of self belief. Faced with more than one problem at a time, mind tends to jump from one problem to another, concentrating on none of the issues. Therein lies the mistake. It will make the situation more chaotic. We have to pick up the threads(fibre) of our lives one by one.

Personal space is of utmost importance in these days. When we start paying more attention to what we do instead of why we do, life will be a lot more easier. Compartmentalize our thoughts. Prioritize the events. Enjoy what we do. May be these are the keys to a happy life. I dont say successful. Success is a mere state of mind. Happiness is what matters most. The more I think, more I realize that life is mostly cosmetic and materialistic. It is not supposed to be as serious as I thought it to be.

I can feel a slight thaw in my numbness. The warmth of blood flowing through my veins. I now believe that life is not very chaotic and I am able to find reasons for my utter helplessness. My mind is light now. If Brownian movement can help predict the way stocks behave on the exchange, self inflicted chaos should help in interpreting life in a better way.

The threshold of the Stairway to Heaven is quite within sight.

(End of Part II)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comfortably Numb

40 months of working my arse off I realize that I am oblivious to the pain it causes.I do not contradict that many others have had theirs drilled down and riveted to the office chairs.This is neither a smear campaign nor about cribbing about one's job. Its about the Paradise Lost. I remember once I began writing on this topic and didnt bother to complete it. I now know why. The puzzle was incomplete then.
As a boy matures into a man, a man with responsibilites, there is hardly anything that interests him. I can now empathize with my father. God knows what all ambitions he had. What all he has sacrificed to just hold the moral fibre of a famliy together. The fibre has turned into a fine fabric, ready to be of help to someone.
A chat with a friend last weekend brought back some memories flooding back. This was a totally unprecedented conversation which suddenly shook me out of deep slumber. I have lost interest in a lot of things I used to do back in school/college.May be my dark overbrooding comes right from the ill-lit alleys of numerous hospitals we visited 4 years ago. Patience is something which I exhibit these days with many things. Being a full-blood libran, I am prone start an argument. Surprisingly, these days, I find myself not interested even in these arguments.
In short, I have lost the connectivity with my inner soul. A vibrant, happening, rolling stone (No no. Not reed/grass)attitude that is visibly absent. Some say this is an indication of having matured over years. I dont know. I dont know.
I would say I am comfortably numb today.
And I realize with numbness that I am trying to run away from the serious side of life.
(End of Part - I)

Monday, June 29, 2009

UID - Unique Identification Number

Mr.Nanden Nilekani will lead the special team for creation of UID. I know Mr.Nilekani would have hardly heard about our KEIS.That was my dream project from 1st year in college,which my friends helped me realize in my final year. Its a biometric, finger print recognition based security system for vehicles. That was the just the starting point.

The plan was to create an application that would act as the single, all-encompassing ID like the SSN number in USA, with which the entire citizenship details of a person can be ascertained within moments.It was also aimed to help the Police department as the finger prints from the ID cards will act as a Repository, which could help them in indentification of criminals or in case of an untoward incident, inform a victim's family. We also decided to add the personal medical details to the ID card system so that it could help every hospital to diagonise a person's status without referring to lengthy medical procedures incase of emergencies.

Innova Lab in my company was audience to a lengthy demo from myself and promised to look into possibilities with in. But that was 3 years back. A start up, by IIT-M students, have requested time to analyse the product,so that they could incorporate the code into their own products.

And I ran for a year, from pillar to post to file a patent for it.I couldn't get it done. The talks of UID has revived my interests again. Hope for an audience with Mr.Nilekani!

I am Imagining my India.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pictures from my trip to Kerala

1. A beautiful mansion that caught my eye.

2.Not the over crowded Mumbai local.. but a real calm morning shot:

3.The sprawling lake, ever present coconut trees and dark clouds, impressive scenery from my train seat!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Very few of us have the distinction of being able to Moonwalk on Earth. If there was one person who did it with elan, it was Michael Jackson. The legendary pop sensation, the king of dance and the ultimate entertainer is no more. The world is sad and music lovers are shattered. The iconic man might have been a mix of class and crass.. but his legacy lives on. I have benefitted immensely from his videos. Nihal and I, my schoolmate, have seen most of his dance videos at an age when we hardly knew english. We were so proud to be able to do the moonwalk on numerous festivals. MJ's used to be the opening song for all our dance performances.

The scandals and allegations not withstanding, MJ has been on top. We dont really care about them, Mikey!!! Who is not at fault, eh?
May you now entertain the heaven with your dance!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Night Flight of Icarus

Spice Jet from Mumbai to Chennai on 16th June. Was on a literal countdown for it. Hastened to the airport and finally boarded the fligh delayed by a good half an hour. The take off was uneventful but we did pass through "turbulent weather" as the captain's voice echoed inside the cabin. Cluster of lightening going off every where near us was a such a delight to watch. Nevertheless, the Air France tragedy flashed through our minds.

As the sun sets over the horizon
A young guy stands on the deck
As the ground cools to the lovely night
A lightning shatters the still

His eyes are ablaze
See the child in his gaze

Fly on your way like an eagle
Fly as high as the sky
On your wings like an eagle
Fly and touch the light(ening)

Now the crew panic and pray for all
Eyes meet to tell the news
All's well when it passes through
As the news of Airfrance flashes through

My eyes seemed so tensed
As we fly over the light
Now I know wat it would have been
For all those on that AF flight

Felt good back on ground
That seldom shakes beneath
Scary flight behind us
time to catch up with love and friends.

Flew down to mother earth
Happier than never before.

Was an awesome flight... seeing lightening from above it was spellbinding! Unfortunately I couldnt retrieve my camera for pics. But it will remain etched forever in my memory.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

7 Up!!!

Yeah!! 7 up! Fido dido is as past as a dodo. Its 7 up in a special way for us. :) Us? Thats me and Harini. On June 4th, 2002, we felt that it be perfect for us to be together for the rest of our life. And 7 years later, we will be entering wedlock, with the consent of our parents and family elders.

Thanks to all my friends, my sis Swapna and my close relatives for making this happen.
Dad&Mom, what can I say? You are simply the best!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Eternal Search for the Other side

The light warmth of early morning sun gracefully touches me when I get up in the morning.The mobile buzzes the morning alarm, set for 6:30 everyday. Rarely do I get up at that hour.7:30 AM is the average time to start the drill for the day.Rushing to brush,excreate bowel and bath, time flies fast.Not a second to think about anything else.A quick stop for the morning tea and a brisk walk to the bus stop is all I have got. Sitting on the double decker, which charges along like an angry red bull,red signal lights serving as flares, I finally reach the station after a 17 minute mad drive. The rush has just begun.
Andheri station is a swarm of activity. Thats a trivial comparison. Its more like the migratory bisons across the vast expanse of the Sahara. One slip and most probably, you are history. The queue to catch a bus back to the place where I boarded, extends all the way to the overhead walkbridge.From a bird's eyeview, its like a gargantuan swathe picking up people from one place and depositing them in another, in a mechanised way.
If reaching the station is trouble, then reaching the platform to board train is a race. A nerve wracking race at that. More so, when trains going towards Borivalli and another towards Churchgate reach the adjacent platforms simultaneously. There are no words to describe the people's onslaught right after getting down the slowing local.In a flash, the entire foot over bridge is swarmed with people rushing to be a part of the ever-elongating bus queue. You barely get enough space to put your foot down the stairs. A troubled race to reach the platform pales in comparison to the war that is waged to get into the seriously overcrowded trains. As per the latest statistics, an average of 4100 people commute on a single 12 car local train. Thats about 341.6 people per compartment. A normal compartment can seat 78 people and an equal number of standees. But this figure is just double the permissible limit. Add to it the sweltering summer heat and the copious sweat, I end up reaching the station like a cloth wrung out dry. The heat and crowd is so very energy sapping that even 3-5 litres of liquid leaves me thirsty for more.
A small swig of lime juice from the shop at the station entrance is sufficient to help me dash to the waiting taxis which zoom away with its precious load of passengers to our work places at Cuffe Parade. The adventure is still not complete. The final frontier is the ascent to my 11th floor office, wriggling my way through a metre long queue for the lift. All this is for what? An inner voice says, "never mind, there is something better in store for you".
The same thing is repeated in reverse when going back home.
On the way to work and back,the only thought that goes on over and over again is that something good, something better awaits us. The very soul of Mumbai is in its ability to squeeze more minutes out of the available 24 hours a day.People dangle dangerously from the train roof tops, just to be in time for their work/college. Mumbai is hungry for more, the hunger to succeed, to earn and more importantly, somehow find the blissful other side of life.
I too trudge along, hoping that one day, the golden gates to the other side will be thrown wide open.
As people believe, Grass is always green on the Other Side.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mint n Ice

Mint&Ice Bar&Kitchen
We had been invited to attend the annual party of one of our service providers last friday.Being friday, we decided to let our hair down.. we made a dash for it from office, late in the evening. The party had begun at 8 and we reached there at close to 9:30 PM.. I think it was the perfect
timing. Now, remember, this is the first time I am going to such a party/place.The firt thing that stuck me odd was the blue ink rubber stamp on your hand to authorise your entry in to the bar. This kinda reminded me of the corporation seal thats punched on to the carcass of Mutton er.. goat and beef and left on the hooks in madurai's innumerable meat havens. May be a decent hand bands on the lines of Friendship bands would have been better.
None of my team mates and our sole team lead seemed perturbed by this and we moved on to the dance floor. Now its a big mistake to have selected this particular day as it turned out to be the first semi final of IPL II. Gilly was tearing the opposition apart on a large screen with in the dance hall.. and man.. the DJ sucked big time in the beginning.. he never made eye contact with the crowd and seemed to be engrossed in his own world of music.. sigh.. expected more from him.
After the customary introductions with the top honchos of the firm we moved on to the bar tables.. we could choose from Bacardi White Rum, Signature, Red Wine, Smirnoff. I had Smirnoff.. and would vouch for Absolut anyday.. and then the pary began... people started pouring in and I stood there taking in every single moment.. it seemed like the song sequence from Aayudha Eyuthu.,. albeit with out trisha.. one female did resemble her.. but as is the case, she was led by the guys on to the bar counter.. she started off with Bacardi White Rum.. that much am sure :)
Yeah.. so the party started we to got started.. plates and plates of veg crispies,paneer teeka masala dry and other nondescript non veg starters kept doing the rounds.. and I had emptied my vodka.. Now the biggest mistake I did was to ditch the glass.. I learnt it the hard way as our guest kept handing me my glass of vodka.... and my friends had already downed two signatures and another had had a couple of vodka shots by then.. ( I corrected my mistake late in
the night though) Yeah.. so a heady mix of vodka, lighting and dance with cricket in the back ground was wat was there to see.. I think pinkfloyd for a change would have been absolutely great.. guess that me bert and abhi would have to work it out some other day. For once, I was into the glam life of mumbaikars.. or maybe its there in chennai as well.. havent been there.. but somewhere in my head the devil said.. "Go damn it.. break free and freak out u idiot" while the more saner person inside me said.."Dude.. u look a total mismatch in this place.. u have ur cricket in the back ground and there are comfortable lounges too.. u decide" For once I listened to the saner guy and I should say I am thankful :D Di would be happy abt it that i didnt call her up and bother with this decision ;) Coming back.. I reclined on one of the couches.. far from the madding crowd.. but cant hide my frame even in that darkness.. my host dished me out and seeing that I didnt have a glass, insisted on another glass of vodka which I took and disposed off as soon as he was out of sight :D :D :D and the party went on..
Slowly the DJ sensed that people were getting a little let down with the music and started playing the remixed hindi disco sogns.. Mitun Da's I am disco dancer for one was a sure shot success with the crowd.. most of it were desi numbers in the end... me and the team lead had our plates filled with food and selected a place to sit down and have food.. now this is when I had a weird feeling that I was one of those filmy villans, close to the climax of the film when his den is filled with girls,dance, music, dark lighting and booze over flowing.. only thing missing from my costume was a revolver .. i could have fired in the air to appreciate the environment.. coming back.. food was good.. as always. and it was close to 12 when we finished our dinner.. TL and another associate left after that and me and two others stayed till the end of party.. close to 1:00.. caught an auto after that and reached home close to 1:30 i guess..
in all it was a mixed bag for me.. sure I appreciate the dancing.. may be in a much more sober environment :) Party is not the place for me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Being a Mumbaikar

Baap re.. what a first month in mumbai. I had the cover of my Uncle's house in chembur for the whole of first month after landing in Mumbai. Thanks to the extended baggage allowance, I brought in most of my stuff from Chennai. Totally I think its around 45kg plus my bulk :D :D :D. Now being in a new city can be unnerving add to the fact that I was about to join a team totally into different work from what I am used to so far. And more importantly the perennial hanging sword of a bad rating resulting in job loss. Thats how I was the first month. March was the worst of all three appraisals I have seen. God bless, the end result was a not worse as over-expected. This is one thing we have to live with I guess. Damn the falling economy.
Ah! the train travel... how can one miss out information on this??? Its been a pretty good experience being in Mumbai and travelling by the local trains. I travelled by the Harbour line route, which is supposed to be one of the less crowded ones. Little did I know that travelling in II class is something really tough. Nevertheless, after a week long observation, I formulated a theory that stands good so. Approach the entrance of the compartment which makes the last
seat of the bogie. Here, you are sure to find a seat or you will have enough place to park yourself. It stems from my belief that people make a dash for the plenty. I target the last part, where at the max you can seat 17 people, while the remaining part of the compartment can seat 8*16 seats. May be people believe that more the number of seats higher the probability of getting seated. Well I just chose the opposite. So far I have never missed my seat in the Train.

Well now that the methodolgy to board the train has been established, we will see about the experiences in the next one. Au Revoir.

Life in a Metro - Amchi Mumbai

Yes. Am back after a long gap. Bert tells me that as blogger I am supposed to be blogging every single day. Now, being in Mumbai, I think I should seriously think of doing that. After all, Big B, Aamir Khan and all those celebrities who blog do belong to Mumbai. Well, far fetched explaination. You see, am all rusty being out of action for the past couple of months. Ahem.. So here we go.
Friends close to me know that I have shifted to mumbai to pursue a passion I have. After 3 years in my company, at last I feel that I have got the exact work I was looking for. Marketing Research. Thats what I do now. Working out of a posh South Mumbai Office just adds to the zing. I am yet to come to terms with what Mumbai is all about... a sea of people. Every nook and corner, every possible way of urban transport is utilized to reach the work place. Well I have
visited Mumbai at least 4 times ever since joining my company, but never to work here. Now, Here I am, This is me.. there's no where else on earth I'd rather be.. here I am .. just me and friends.. (altered the lyrics :D). Of Late, I believe I have started to crib a lot. But honestly speaking, I should really thank my stars. I have been able to follow my dreams and I know that I had given up an Onsite opportunity to New Jersy around this time last year just to be
a part of the Marketing team. A year and an onsite later, I have come here. When you really want something with all your heart, the entire universe conspires to give you that. I would say yes.
Deep inside, I know that I have been able to steer my way the way I wanted. I can only hope that this dream stays for a while. I need to be more focussed and cannot allow the eternal libran in me to overtake my sense of balance. Now that I have confessed lets get back to what we really like to do.
I am still planning on how to present my experiences in Mumbai... may be I will have to restructure the posts later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jai Ho!!

As an elated India Celebrates India's Triple Bonanza at the Oscars, I, as one of the music lovers, am the happiest!!! ARR, from Namma Chennai and Resul Pookutty from Amchi Mumbai/Ente Keralam have made us really proud! It cant get bigger than this. And it all shows on ARR's face! Man Am I not a lucky person to be in his generation!!! Agreed ARR has better music in much better movies.. Roja, Bombay etc.. Slumdog is no where near his musical genius... nonetheless.. an Oscar is an Oscar is an Oscar!!

Jai Ho ARR and Resul Pookuty!!!