Monday, November 14, 2005

Poet, Writer, Sportsman or Smoker?

Isn't it slightly ironical that in those days, Smoking was not considered to be politically incorrect!! We are supposed to be a much more modern and forward-thinking nation now!

This is an article which gives an insight into Pandit Nehru's not so well known side.

For Netizens

An interesting article on the latest "social" innovations in the field of Information Technology. True to my current profession, I should be and am fascinated by the new features people are coming out with on the internet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Crime Time

Is it just me who is reading too many crime incidents or has it really increased recently? Either way, none of these series of incidents are acceptable. Are there any solutions to these problems?

What does one do if the police itself is responsible for such heinous acts?

The entire country needs to own responsibility for this.

There are people who do not spare the ones they "love".

Militancy is not new to Jammu & Kashmir. But can anything be done about this perennial problem? Why do we remain unaffected even after numerous incidents every month? Will we react the same way if a place like Bombay or Bangalore faced similar incidents for a month?

These are just a few incidents I read today. Everyday the papers seem to be full of such incidents. I can think of atleast 5-6 criminal incidents in the recent past straight off the hat. Maybe all this is a result of the media sensationalizing incidents and making a big hash out them. But why, oh.. why are such incidents happening at this rate in the first place?

5 and 5 is 55!

Tagged onto this by elf. Well, this thing's being going around for a while now I guess. Anyway, all of you reading this can give it a shot. Here's a lame attempt from me:

He was driving down a lonely road late night. There was noone in sight until he saw this lady standing by the road requesting for a lift.
He drove on past his home as her destination was much further on though common sense told him to stop.
She smiled as she knew he'd never return.

Why don't you respect me?

Did you ever feel that someone isn't showing the respect due to you? Has it ever happened that you made a stupid attempt at pleasing someone? Have you gone back on any recently made promise? Ever waited for really long to get a membership in a club?

Well, you are not the only one. As can be seen here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Best Ever!

As the series between Australia and the Rest of the World is going on and Australia re-asserts their strength(thanks largely to Gilchrist's form), there has been lots of talk and debate over the selection of the players for the Rest of the World team and whether they actually are the best in the world right now. I daresay there are many names which could and should have been there. However, it is impossible to please everyone and most of the players chosen will undoubtedly feature in everyone's team. I found this which tells one about all the ROW teams in the history of the game.

The whole world is currently going gaga over Freddie Flintoff who was the chief architect in England's victory in the Ashes after 18 years. With due to respect to Flintoff's talents as a cricketer, I think this article summarizes just why this man was and still is the best ever!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Is this love?

Nowadays, I've got a very convenient explanation for anything that's happening in life. Let me make it clear that this explanation is not to satisfy anyone else. Its just that I feel that everything that's happened so far was all written in DESTINY. Not that I am worried about what's lined up ahead. It is a convenient way of explaining a lot of pleasant and not-so-pleasant memories.

I've been told that most people think about destiny only when something untoward happens. However, I feel quite the opposite. I tend to think about it when I am quite happy, like if I've had an unexpectedly pleasant day in office. In fact, last Monday was a perfect example where I was feeling really good about myself and everything seemed to work out just perfect. Just one of those days when you feel everything will fall in place right from the time you wake up.

A few days back I got a rude reminder about how life can change within a second. I was driving back home at night from the railway station. It was raining quite heavily and as I turned from the "Outer Ring Road" in towards my street, I got hit by some bird right next to my eye. Not that I fell down from the bike and got hurt. Nothing serious happened. The unexpected blow just knocked the wind out of me for a few minutes. I was lucky that my reflexes were sharp enough and I managed to close my eyes before I got hit. And everything was back to normal within some time. However, it made me realize how one's life can be completely affected by such an innocuous incident. I still don't know what bird it was. Poor thing may not have survived the accident.

I don't know what I'd be thinking had it been a very serious accident. Maybe I might have again cursed "destiny". See, doesn't she provide a convenient explanation for everything that happens. I think I am in love with destiny right now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"Time of my Life"

I read some astrological prediction online which tells me that september is a speculative month for me. I shall be re-thinking my career path, etc, etc..

Now, I am not one who believes in any of these astrological predictions. Sure, some of them turn out to be true. In this case, it ain't entirely false. I have been wondering what I wish to achieve in life for a while now. It started WELL before this month started.

I was reminded of my musings when I saw this post. Well, its just that "time of my life".

Here's the lyrics of an awesome song by Green Day. Its called "Time of your Life".

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sports Icons

The papers nowadays seem to be more enthusiastic about reporting the "rise" of a teenage sensation Sania Mirza more than cribbing about the sorry state of Indian cricket.. Yeah I know they do it because Sania would obviously sell more.. But that's not what I wish to talk about right now..

As I write this, India's heading for yet another defeat in the finals of a tournament.. I can't remember any final apart from the Natwest Trophy final which we have won in the past 5-6 years.. This is, sorry I should say "was", supposed to be one of the best Indian teams right.. Then why such a pathetic record.. Losing 8 out of 9 finals (i think it may be more).. And with all of 1300 Crore Rupees, the BCCI has FINALLY got one national level academy going.. Applause.. What a noble thought and initiative taken up by the unsurpassable members of the BCCI.. We must be grateful to them for taking such giant steps in selecting the best team.. The Board of selectors have a meeting in Bangkok to select the team.. while all our aspirants slog it out in the Ranji matches happening all over the country.. Is anybody even bothering to see HOW a particular player performs? What is the criteria for selection in the Indian team? Have we given a proper chance to all the hopefuls? Well, whats the point in being the richest board in the world if the money isnt invested in the right channels.. Ok, I rest my case here..

Coming to the team itself, I think our captain needs to be true to himself.. It is about time he realized that he may not be one of the top 11 cricketers in our country any more.. He's done a lot for our country's cricket, there's no doubt about it.. But I think his time has come.. I'd be glad if he can prove me wrong (like England did), but he's been given a chance too many one feels.. His batting has become a household joke now.. It is sad to see him such a state.. The once admired "Dada" has now become the object of ridicule everywhere..

Speaking of England, they have FINALLY made sure they won't lose this Ashes series.. To be honest, I am not fond of Australia.. I think they deserve to be beaten.. There couldn't have been too many people happier than me the day they lost to Bangladesh in a ODI.. However, the only thing that irks me is the fact that it is England who's doing it.. The English media doesnt need much to go overboard about their players.. But, for them to have beaten this Aussie team, I do not even wish to imagine what would happen if this comes true.. The Aussies are still hopeful that they'd square the series.. And I do not want either of the things to happen.. I mean I want neither England to win the series nor Australia to win the last test.. Wish there was some way out of this situation...

Finally, coming back to Sania Mirza, it is indeed pleasing to see that she is making rapid progress in her career.. Even if she is not able to sustain it for too long (which I sincerely hope she can), the amount she's achieved is simply incredible considering the standards of women's tennis in our country.. She is very rightly a huge icon already.. Of course, her good looks aid her cause in a BIG way.. And in the midst of all this Sania-adulation, I remember reading somewhere that certain sections of our society are asking her to "dress properly"!! My response to such people is simply this: GET A LIFE!!

Friday, September 02, 2005


Well... its a loooooooooooooooooong time since i wrote anything on my blog.. i feel totally lost right now... it seems as if i am starting all over again..

For people who still visit this blog page, thanks for your patience.. Don't think I deserve it.. However, I shall make a sincere effort to make some time for my blog frm now on..

There's been a lotta talk about war/peace/disarmament, etc in the media recently.. Apparently our ex-Army Chief thinks that the button for nuke weapons should be with our "trusted" politicians.. Interesting, I must say.. I'd hav thought he'd be the last person to say that..

As for the recent nuke-deals, this is an interesting interview.. I still wonder when the world will come to a stage when everyone stops trying to please the United States.. Why, oh why should we care what the US thinks about our policies? Why do they get away with everything that they think, do, etc.. What a pity..

Another interesting piece I read was about Vietnam in The Hindu. The Vietnam war has always fascinated me and I have always wondered what life in such a place would be..

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Innocent Guilt!

I suppose that will qualify as an Oxymoron, or will it? Either way, the Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes, has been brutally killed by the London police who "mistook" him for a terrorist. This article in The Hindu sums up the situation nicely.

Am I wrong in assuming that under the law, any "accused" is considered innocent until his/her guilt is proved. Wonder whether the same logic is applied when dealing with "terror suspects". I shouldn't think so..

Something to believe in..

Was listening to a song called "Something to Believe In" by Poison.

A deeply touching song which once again emphasizes the futility of war. I wonder how many such lives were wrecked due to the Vietnam war. And still you see the Iraq war happening. Can somebody tell these people that nobody ever "wins" a war. Guess its too late to talk about it now . Sigh!

Monday, July 25, 2005

What about the contest!

As much as the Englishmen might hope that they can upstage a not-so-invincible Austrailan side in the current Ashes series, one would have to say the chances of that happening are pretty bleak if the first test was any sign of things to come. The inept batting display especially in the second innings is a real cause for concern. All the top order batsmen, with the exception of Kevin Pietersen, were clueless when confronted by Shane Warne's guile. And that is of course after most of the damage was inflicted by the peerless Glenn McGrath.

As much as I hate to admit it, the combination of Warne and McGrath is probably one of the best that will ever be and Australia will definitely struggle to fill in their shoes once these two hang up the boots. Even the other real superstar in their team, Adam Gilchrist, is not going to be around for too long. Ideally for England, the first two names mentioned above should not be participating in the next Ashes series for them to have a realistic chance of victory.

However, stranger things have happened before. England can definitely boast of a very lively pace attack with Harmisson, Jones and Flintoff. All of them will have to be at their best right through the series for England to do well. England has dominated in the last two years against most of the other test playing nations and one hopes they have the ability and the spirit to bounce back from defeat against an opposition which is in a different league altogether compared to all the other teams England has beaten. From a neutral perspective, an English victory in the second test will really liven up the series and might produce a memorable Ashes contest for a change.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Every time I sit down to blog nowadays, there are hundreds of things running on my mind and I am really not sure what I should write about.

Dedicating this post to one of my colleagues who's struggling with Blood Cancer right now. Just a couple of months back, we all(I and my friends at work) enjoyed a memorable treat from him at The Legends of Rock. This was after we got to know that he was engaged. Everything seemed to be perfect for him and suddenly one day, he showed symptoms of jaundice and after a month's treatment his condition grew steadily worse. When a blood test was done, it was finally diagnosed that he was suffering from ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) and AML (Acute Myelocytic Leukemia), which I believe translates to Blood Cancer for a layman like me. The latest I heard is that he is in CMC Vellore receiving treatment.

I still don't know how to react and cannot even begin to imagine how his family would be feeling. Life is so unpredictable and this is another instance to show why one can't take anything for granted.

Whenever I think of this unfortunate situation, I am reminded of the movie Anand. It is arguably the best movie I have ever seen (I do not as a rule like to classify movies/books, etc..).
The two songs "Kahin Door Jab din dhal Jaaye" and "Zindagi kaisi hai paheli" in this movie are probably two of my all time favourites.

Although I am sure I would not be spending another evening with my friend Rajesh in The Legends of Rock, there is always this word called hope. As we say in Hindi "Ummeed ke sahaare hi zindagi hai". Unfortunately, it seems to be coming true literally as well as figuratively in my friend's case.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Living as One..

The big news and talking point since yesterday has obviously been the terrorist attack on the Ayodhya temple. Amit Varma has covered most of it in this blog-post.

As our politicians prepare to debate on the whole incident and blame each other as well as Pakistan and god knows what not for the attack, I was reminded of one of the most beautiful songs ever written - Imagine by the one and only John Lennon.

At this moment, these lines from this song seem so relevant:

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one "

As I write this post, I should also mention the fact that I was very surprised to get two comments on my previous post within 24 hours of my posting it. Not that I am complaining at all. It feels good to know that there are people who actually like reading stuff that I write (I can't imagine why they would visit my blog otherwise!). Ok, thats enough self-admiration!! However, its my duty to thank all my blog-readers and request them to keep visiting this blog..
Meanwhile, I shall keep rambling on.....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Many Ramblings..

It seems such a long time since I wrote anything on my blog that it almost feels as if I am starting afresh.. So many things have happened in the past two weeks or so..

I managed to meet two of my best friends - P & T- in the last two weeks after 2-3 years.. Needless to say, I had a blast and it was absolutely wonderful to meet both of them.. Both these occasions also resulted in me meeting all my other school and college friends in Bangalore.. Btw, P is my best friend from school and T is one of my best friends from college.

I wonder why I feel completely void after such meetings with my friends.. There seems nothing to look forward to after such moments.. Although this is a feeling which I get over within a few hours or sometimes days, the feeling always comes back to me some time or the other.. The time I spent with T and B(T's classmate and my friend frm college) at JukeBox(a pub in Koramangla) was probably the highlight of that weekend. We were remembering the good old days we spent in ACTech.. This meeting also sparked off a discussion among my friends as to why college friends seem so special to most people.. I think I can safely say that for most guys who stay in the hostel, your friends staying with you become your family and in most cases, the bond exists throughout your life, even if you aren't in constant touch with them later on..

Moving on to the other major happenings, a lot has happened in the world of sports over past month or so. Perhaps the biggest news would be B'desh's victory against Australia.. I don't think even the most outrageously optimistic B'deshi could have dreamt of them beating the Kangaroos that too in English conditions. Hats off to them for pulling off an incredible victory.. The way the Natwest Tri-series has unfolded has really set the stage for The Ashes.. For a change, England will go into the series believing they can beat Australia.. It indeed is a series to look forward to, though I still feel that Aussies will nip it again this time.

On to tennis - Roger Federer showed us once again who the best player in the world is.. The ease with which he beat the No. 2 and 3 players in the world, i.e, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick, during Wimbledon is almost scary for the rest of the players in the circuit.

Brazil outclassed Argentina in the FIFA Confederations Cup Final and proved that they are the team to beat in next year's world cup.. Their strike force is so awe-inspiring right now that Ronaldo himself is unable to guarantee a place for himself.. Mexico was the team which made the others sit up and take notice by beating Brazil.. They seem to have a very good side and are capable of pulling a few upsets on the big stage..

This post is already a lot longer than what I intended when I started off. And unless I stop here, I'd pick up some other topic and start writing. I shall save that for next time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Spin Doctors!!

If you are a BJP supporter, my advice is not to read this post(or should I say the link in this post!!). It is bound to be in stark contrast from the way you have been looking at this party. Although I do not like to take sides from the political point of view, I can't see myself supporting BJP in its present form. Mind you, I am not saying I am a Congress or a Left supporter. Anyway, that's not the issue at hand.

This is a column in The Hindu written by P. Sainath. Anyone who has read this blog regularly would know that I am a great fan of this guy. I have already linked one of his earlier columns here. I am sure any BJP fan will come up with arguments finding faults with the other parties, but my request would be to first look at their own party and then comment on the rest.

Talking of spin doctors, I am wondering why so many writers like to draw parallels with Cricket! Many of my friends also have this habit of using cricketing terms while explaining situations in life.. I guess cricket is so much a part of our(read me and my friends) lives that it'd naturally keep surfacing in our conversations..

Monday, June 13, 2005

Competitive exams, education and the Larger picture

There has been an ongoing debate about entrance exams for UG students ever since the TN government came out with the decision to abolish the common entrance test. These exams tend to make education more urbanised with dedication coaching centres in all the major cities. The students in the rural areas really do lose out a lot because of this. Having seen many classmates of mine in college who have gone through a lot more difficulty and pains to get to the same stage as I did, I must say the system in Tamil Nadu was fairly even when it came to selecting undergraduate students, atleast in the Govt-aided colleges.

Now with the abolishing of the entrance test, the onus is on the students to do well in the XII standard exams. I have a feeling it was better when it was spaced out with the skill of students in both forms of test coming out in the earlier scenario. Now, if a student has a bad day at one of his exams, he doen't get a chance to make up for it. Competitive exams also test the analytical abilities of a student which I think is a very important skill. The IIT-JEE is probably the best example among all the entrance tests in our country.

However, the down-side of this is the additional pressure on the students to perform well in both the XII standard school exams and all the competitive exams. Having been through this myself, I know it is not easy for students to handle such pressure. In fact, the pressure is not so much just because of the amount to be studied. The worst part is the inevitable comparisons made with the peers and all the people who have been "successful" at such tests. This brings the larger question to the picture Is our education too result-oriented? Are we just looking at the short cuts to achieve a nice job, comfortable life? How many students enter their actual fields of interest? Today, most students tend to become either engineers or medical students by default. Isn't there something wrong in pushing the students this hard at such an age?

I have a feeling our country is losing out on a lot of other talents because of this craze for engineering/technology. Even if anyone was genuinely interested in arts or sports, the chances of him/her making it a career is seriously hampered by the constant comparison with all the peers. Unfortunately in our country, the "mob mentality" is a major issue. Just because hundred people I know got into IIT doesn't mean I have to follow them. However, this attitude is prevalent in our society. Cities like Bombay, Delhi and to a lesser extent Chennai, Bangalore and other major cities may offer other alternatives. However in general, in most of the smaller towns, the options tend to be more limited and the pressure is so much greater.

I don't know whether doing away with competitive exams is a step in the right direction. Whether this results in lesser pressure and a fairer assessment of all the students remains to be seen. However, at the ground level, I don't think it's going to change anything much. Students will still be expected to put in the same effort as they have been all these years. Its only the selection criteria which is changing, not the competition level or the options available.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Company, evaluation and google!!

When I was coming back from home this time, I had very interesting company. The gentleman travelling in my compartment was an IMA instructor. His wife's a Maths teacher having done a PhD in the subject. Well, I, my friend Prashant who was travelling with me, this gentleman and his wife and 1-2 more people were involved in a lively discussion on the political situation in the different states in our country, how different the issues are everywhere and where has all this has come from. How divisions in society have come about because of caste, religion, community, etc.. The IMA instructor raised a very interesting point about the people in West Bengal having faith in their government for 27 years now. His point being that any government which at the end of the day works for the benefit of ALL the people , especially the common man, is the one which will prevail. I can't possibly recount the entire discussion and shall not attempt to do so. However, it was very thought-provoking and I enjoyed it very much.

Read this column in the Hindu written by one of my favourite columnists - P.Sainath. It is a wonderful eye-opener for anyone who has forgotten about the previous general elections and the major issues to be addressed in our country. There's a book by P.Sainath called "Everybody loves a good drought". That's next on my "books-to-buy" list..

On a totally different note, if you google for the "hazaaron khwaish", guess what - Ramblin' Man's Pages shows up as the first search result!! Pretty cool, ain't it!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Movies and Book Tags!

So I finally respond to the tag-game.. Have been book-tagged by Suksy and Soultanofswing..

Hmm.. Although I am not reading anywhere near as much as I'd like to, I have started about 3-4 books and am not anywhere near finishing any of them..

The last book I bought: Gorky Park - by Martin Cruz Smith. This is a book I have read 3, no maybe 4 times. One of my all time favourites.

The last book I read: The Mahabharatha - C. Rajagopalachari. Had heard a lot about Rajaji's version of the epic. Read it when I was home. I find The Mahabharatha amazing when it comes to the sheer complexity of the whole story and the beautifully woven characters.

Total number of books I own: No idea. I really don't know how many I actually "own". Have read hundreds of books though. Many of which I have bought myself.

Five books which mean a lot to me: I don't know whether they mean a lot me, but these are some of my favourites.

1. Gorky Park: The murder investigation as well as the love story of Arkady Renko is simply brilliant. The best part about the book is the sheer vulnerability of the "hero". Makes him all the more "likeable"..

2. To Kill a Mocking Bird: A true classic.

3. India's Struggle for Independence - by Bipin Chandra: This is a very different account of Indian history starting with "The Revolt of 1857" from what we read in the text books. Although it may not be completely impartial, the author(s) provides a good insight into the ideologies of the different sections invloved in our freedom struggle - starting from the Moderates, the Extremists, the Communists, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League - and of course, Gandhiji and his followers.

4. The Chamber - John Grisham: Although this book of Grisham's is not as popular as some of his other fast-paced novels, I found this book really thought-provoking and it brings out lots of issues like racism, justice, death sentence, family relationships, and even politics to an extent.

5. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien: Brilliant imagination.. The very idea of "The Evil One" and "Mordor" was amazing.

6. The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth: Brilliant pace. A gripping story with an amazing ending.

7. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie: Have read lots of Christie's books. This one is by far the best.

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles: Sherlock Holmes' best. (err.. I should say Conan Doyle's best!)

I know I was supposed to mention only 5 but couldn't help mentioning Nos. 6,7 and 8.

That takes care of the books. Now on to movies. Was tagged to this by Elf.

1. Total number of films I own on DVD/video: 0. I haven't bothered to buy a single movie yet.

2. Last film(movie) I bought: Plz refer to Answer no. 1.

3. Last film I watched: CD - Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Theatre - Kaal, TV - Pirates of the Carribean(for the 4th time).

4. Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

i) Anand: Brilliant movie. Beautiful message. Extremely moving. My all time favorite.

ii) Jaane bhi Do yaaron: The "Naatak" scene with the dead body as Draupadi is probably the best comedy scene made in the Hindi movie industry.

iii) Spy Game: The movie rocks.. Robert Redford and Brad Pitt are simply brilliant.. I have seen this movie about 5-6 times.

iv) Forrest Gump: The movie is all about Tom Hanks. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen it.

v) Sholay: The "complete" Hindi movie.

There are so many other movies running at the back of my mind right now that I think I should stop before any of them pop up!!

As for continuing the game, I think I have joined it a little too late to carry it forward. Most of my blog readers have already participated in the game. So that's all about my favorites..

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The "boy" is back in town!!

For all the regular readers of this blog(there aren't many I know), my apologies for the long absence from the blog-scene. I should have had atleast bothered to post about that. Anyway, I am back now and hopefully, my blogging frequency will keep increasing.

Liverpool beat Milan in one of the most dramatic UEFA Champions' League finals of all time. Although I would have liked to see Maldini lift the cup rather than Gerrard, full credit to Liverpool for coming back from 3 goals down at half-time.

Rafael Nadal stormed his way through the French Open beating the most talented player in the world and completed a very successful year on clay becoming the first player after Mats Vilander to win it on debut. I watched most of the matches at home this time and the quality of tennis was simply amazing.

The chaos caused by Advani's "interesting" remarks on Jinnah and Babri Masjid demolition was quite amusing. The VHP has wasted no time in making their unhappiness clear and this has sparked off some life in an otherwise dull political scene. The by-elections that took place also threw up some interesting results, with neither the Congress nor the BJP faring as well as they'd have hoped. Wonder what that means for the political situation in our country a few years down the line.

One other thing I can't help wondering about is the heat wave. I don't know whether it is just my imagination, but I felt that the temperatures this year seemed to have risen quite a bit. One also gets the real effect of the heat when travelling by train through the heart of our country. With global warming becoming an increasing danger, god only knows what's in store for us in the future!! However, having said that, I really have to appreciate the weather in Bangalore at this time of the year. One has to experience the North Indian summer or the Chennai summer to realise the true worth of Bangalore weather.

I need to catch up on a lot of things at office as well. It is really tough getting back into the groove after a two week lay-off from work. Still struggling to come to terms with the latest happenings here.

Can't help wondering how one's thinking changes with time: When I was in college, I used to think how good it'd be when I'd finish college and start working. Wouldn't have to bother about exams and all. Now, although these wishes have come true, I miss college life, the night-outs before the exams, the long holidays and of course all my college friends!! Life is strange and so are we....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hopeless and Helpless..

Ever since I can remember, I have always been fond of train journeys. And when I say train journey, I mean travelling sleeper class, not in AC compartments. The variety of people one gets to see is quite interesting. I have had some really memorable experiences and journeys, both long distance as well short ones.. Some of those journeys seemed like nightmares at that time. However, given a chance, I don't think I'd mind going thro' them again..

Most people would say the worst part of the journey would probably be the unlimited number of beggars who keep bugging you throughout the journey.. One also gets harassed by Hijras at times.. I remember what my dad told me once about giving alms to beggars.. He said something to the extent that if he paid a rupee to all the beggars in our country, he'll probably go bankrupt..

Every day when I go home, I find this father-son duo on the way.. The father's handicapped and the son would probably be 5-6 yrs old.. Without fail, every day the son walks up to me and begs for alms and every day, I pretend to ignore him and walk past him.. (Reminds me of the song "Another Day In Paradise") .. I am not sure how much money they make everyday.. I dunno whether they actually eat everyday.. However, I am not really sure it'd help matters in any way if I paid 1 buck to them everyday.. What is the solution to this problem then? Here's a post in the Dog Journals which has inspired this post of mine. I admit I haven't been as kind and generous as the author of Dog Journals..

I wonder what to think when people talk about Billion dollar companies, Richest Men in the world, Exotic locations, Best Hotels, Luxurious Cars and Flights and a whole lot of other accessories which that kid and his father would be least bothered about. This is the earlier post I had written on similar lines.

As I thought about this, I realized that I am just about as selfish as anyone else.. And I am right now not really feeling too good about myself.. I think I might just give a rupee to the little boy today.. I am not sure how much of a difference that would make, but I think I'd be slightly more at peace with myself tonight.. As for what to do to improve the situation, I am as clueless as anyone regarding this..

At this point, although I don't really believe in god, I can only think of the song "Krishna Ni Bhe Gha-ni" by the Colonial Cousins.

It happens NOT only in India..

If you thought it was only in our country that all this "culture" consciousness was present especially at the political level, you might like to read this.

I don't see how it matters to anyone as to who a politician(or his wife) should go and meet.. But then, such is politics..

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Underwriting 60 years of war-making - this is an article in The Hindu written by Richard Drayton.

It only makes one wonder how much of what you read in history books is true and what sort of facts have been distorted in order to cover up atrocities committed by the victors themselves.This reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my friends on Da Vinci Code, about the part where it says "History is always written by the winners".

Would the facts be the same if the outcome of the world wars had been any different? Isn't it very convenient to imagine that only the Nazis and their supporters were capable of atrocities? The Allies were all fighting for a holy cause and everything they did was pardonable. Indeed, this is what all of us want to believe.. Just like the war on Iraq which will be hailed 50 years from now as a great vistory over one of the "worst dictators" seen in the world after the II world war! And the US along with its loyal ally, Britain will be seen as the "rescuer" of democracy.. Sigh!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I believe..

Came across one of my favourite topics - astrology in India Uncut yesterday. No, not because I believe in astrology.. Its more because i am fascinated by how people claim that they can predict the future based on some planetary positions.. And the majority of the people give credibility to them by believing in such predictions.. A lot of my own relatives are included in this majority that I am talking about..

Here's another link from Amit Varma's other blog - The Middle Stage. The best part of this post is the link to the Douglas Adams interview. I like the part where he says "I do not believe-that-there-is-no-god. I am, however, convinced that there is no god, which is a totally different stance". I would have to say I am an Agnostic right now, and definitely need to make the intellectual transition to Atheism.

Here's a link to one of Bertrand Russell's writings on "What is an Agnostic?" .. A writer way ahead of his times.. Many of his essays have a lot of significance even today.. I am currently reading a lot of his thought-provoking essays.. Will probably write more him and his writings once I am through reading his selected papers..

Monday, May 09, 2005

The evils in society.

The Sunday Times contained this special report called "Conspiracy of Silence".. Although I know that this is a problem which is present in our country, this article was an eye-opener in terms of the extent to which the problem has percolated into our society..

Two of the headlines are really chilling:
1. Every hour there are two women getting raped in our country.
2. One out of every five victims is a child.

Is this just a problem with security in our country? What can one say when another stat is thrown at you - in 2002, 132 policemen were found guilty of rape!! I am not sure how one can go about controlling this problem.. I don't think any measures taken so far(if any) have worked..

Some facts pointed out in the report is:

"What is seldom recognised is that rape often is not about lust. Assertion of dominance and the concept of teaching them a lesson is often the reason."
"Women are taken to symbolise the izzat of the community and raping them is seen as the ultimate humiliation that can be heaped on one community by another."

The worst part about the whole situation is that the majority of the accused walk away scot free and it is the woman in turn who has to suffer further humiliation not only from the society but from her own family!

I really cannot think of any way in which any of these victims can be compensated.. And I can't believe that the victims are most of the times "married off" to their offenders.. What sort of justice is that? But then, is there any way in which justice can be meted out? In my opinion, even hanging the accused is a lighter punishment compared to his sin.. I am still wondering how justice can be achieved..

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The power of youth..

After reading two very good reviews, I decided that I have to watch the movie "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi".. Here are the reviews - one in Rediff and the other in Amit Varma's blog..

Yesterday night I finally sat down and watched "Hazaaron Khwaish...." .. Personally I found the movie very interesting.. It is more about the three central characters in the movie and how they react in that period of Indian history than the actual history of the naxal movement..

Perhaps Vikram's character (played by Shiny Ahuja) is the most intriguing one in the movie (or so i think).. Siddharth (played by Kaykay Menon) is also a very strong character who joins the naxal movement and drags Geetha along with him mid-way through the movie.. Geetha(Chitrangada Singh) is extremely beautiful and her character really evolves with the movie (or is it vice versa!!).. All three actors came up with really good performances and they make the movie very realistic.. And I don't think there could too many(if any) better endings to this movie.. Sudhir Mishra has come up with a very different movie and I think it is a 'must-watch' for all Indians, especially for people like me who were not even born during the period shown in the movie..

I don't know why, but in an odd sort of way, I can relate to the characters of both Vikram and Siddharth.. I am still trying to decide whether this is the romantic or leftist in me saying this!! I guess it is a combination of both..

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A woman and a communist..

Although I have seen a lot of Brinda Karat on TV, especially whenever there is anything in the news about feminism or women's rights, I never really understood why she would wish to join the CPI(M)..

She explains here about how she was brought up and what influenced her to join the Marxists.. It is interesting to note that she left a job in London to join the communists in India.. I wonder how many of us would do so even if we were influenced by any new ideology.. Kudos to the lady.. There is more about Brinda Karat in the next part of the rediff interview.. And I am eagerly waiting to hear the full story!!

What a night!

After totally messing up my sleep cycle over the past two days, I hope I am able to get a nice 8 hours of sleep tonight.. I am not really complaining though after watching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League...

Although the first semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool turned out to be a disappointment in terms of quality of football, there was no shortage of that in yesterday's encounter between PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan.. I am a big fan of AC Milan (largely because of one man, Paolo Maldini) and I would have to admit that PSV were desperately unlucky to concede the late goal to lose out on the away goals rule..

Personally, I was very pleased that it was two asian players who made a huge impact in this game, Ji-Sung Park, who scored the first goal and Young-Pyo Lee. I guess Guus Hiddink is carrying on the good work he did for Asian football during the last world cup.

Coming back to the match, PSV dominated play right from the word go. I am sure Milan would have started wondering whether last year was going to repeat itself. Van Bommel, Lucius, Johann Vogel, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Jefferson Farfan - all these players played out of their skins.. I was not aware of too many of the PSV players as I had not watched a single match of theirs in the whole tournament. But from what I saw yesterday, it is really surprising that they had not scored more than one goal at home against any team in the Champions league this season. My man of the match would have to be Philip Cocu who came up with the all important header which got the aggregate score level. Even after Ambosini scored and secured the tie for Milan, Cocu came up with a stunning volley to score PSV's third goal and ensured that there were some frantic moments right at the end for Milan..

This match reminded me of two other matches involving France - one last year against England in Euro 2004 and the other against Italy in the final of Euro 2000. I am sure most football enthusiasts will remember Zidane's 2 late goals against England last year. The other match was when Italy seemed to be home with a 1-0 lead and France not really threatening their goal at all, when all of a sudden, Wiltord came up with an equalizer from nowhere.. The match extended to extra time and France got the Golden goal with Trezeguet scoring the winner. Up to the point when Wiltord scored, France never looked like scoring and Italy could have easily made it 2 if not 3-0.. However, what mattered was the fact that France was able to find the net at the right time.. Just like Ambrosini did yesterday 1 minute into injury time after the second half..

All in all, I am definitely happy that Milan have got through. At the end of the day, no-one is going to bother about how they got there. All that matters is that they'll be facing Liverpool in Istanbul..

I won't be able to watch the final though (sob sob).. I shall be on a stupid train heading home at that time.. What a tragedy.. So its not only PSV, even I am missing the final..

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New comment feature..

This is a post especially for all the people who have commented on my blog so far..

I have installed HaloScan commenting feature in my blog.. This has unfortunately resulted in me losing all the earlier comments (all thanks to my ignorance and carelessness!)..

Many thanks to each and every person who has taken the trouble of commenting on my ramlings so far.. (I still have most of the comments in my mail Inbox)..
These are some people who have bothered to comment so far:

Soultan of Swing
Elf (Sylvanlands)
Jugular bean
Couch Potato
Bridal Beer

My apologies to them as well as anyone else whose name I have missed out.. Hope every person finds it easier to leave his/her comments (and leaves a lot of 'em too!!)..

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Random Ramblings..

Top 10 things on my mind right now:

1. How to stay awake till 2.30 A.M. tonight to watch the Champions League semi-finals..
2. I am going home on 24th night after almost a year.. hurray..
3. Need to wash piles and piles of clothes.. :-( ..
4. When do I meet the long list of people I haven't met in Bangalore for a loooong time..
5. Dire Straits is my favourite band..(this is subject to mood..I am writing this after listening to "Tunnel of Love")..
6. When will I start studying again..
7. What do I want in life..(this is a question which is at the back of my mind always.. and I've never quite managed to answer it)..
8. Will I ever meet "all" my friends from college again..
9. Why would anyone be interested in reading my blog? (Don't think I can answer that one..)
10. When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, Out of the Corner of my eye,
I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, The dream is gone.
And I have become Comfortably Numb......

soccer crazy..

Finally a football post after a loong time.. About time, one might say.. tonight the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals this year gets underway..

Liverpool hosts Chelsea at the Anfield after an impressive performance at the Stamford Bridge last week in the first leg.. The game is evenly balanced with neither side having scored at Stamford Bridge.. What this means is that a 1-1 draw is good enough for Chelsea.. It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will continue their impressive run in the Champions League at home.. Chelsea's defence would be difficult to break with the in-form Jon Terry and Ricardo Carvalho holding fort..

The other semi-final is definitely tilted towards the six-time european champions AC Milan.. However, they cannot afford to be complacent and should be wary of a resilient PSV side.. They wouldn't have to think further than last year's tie against Deportivo La Coruna where Milan lost 4-0 in the 2nd leg after winning 4-1 at home.. As for PSV, it's a tough ask against the Rossoneri.. Especially with Nesta and Stam in central defence, with Cafu and Maldini completing the bask four..

It is tough to call the two finalists.. But I would like to watch a Liverpool-Milan final at Istanbul..
Its about time Mourinho started losing!

Promises and loyalty..

Was listening to this song on Radio City yesterday night.. I get moved whenever I listen to this song..

kasame vaade pyaar vafaa sab,
baatein hain baaton kaa kyaa
koI kisii kaa nahii.n ye jhuuThe,
naate hain naaton kaa kyaa

kasame vaade pyaar vafaa sab, baatein hain baaton kaa kyaa

hogaa masiihaa ...
hogaa masiihaa saamane tere
phir bhii na tuu bach paayegaa
teraa apanaa...
tera apana khuun hii aakhir tujhko aag lagaayegaa
aasamaan mein ...
aasamaan me udane vaale mittii mein mil jaayegaa
kasame vaade pyaar vafaa sab, baatein hain baaton kaa kyaa

sukh mein tere ...
sukh mein tere saath chalenge
dukh mein sab mukh modenge
duniyaa vaale ...
duniyaa vaale tere banakar teraa hii dil todenge
dete hain ...
dete hain bhagavaan ko dhokhaa, inasaan ko kyaa chhodenge
kasame vaade pyaar vafaa sab, baatein hain baaton kaa kyaa..

I really don't have anything to add to this.. Manna Dey at his brilliant best.. As the channel V tag-line goes "Listen, Learn and Enjoy!"..

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Real Offender

There's been a lot of hue and cry lately about Mumbai cops and their "worthiness". Now that I have broached the subject, these are two interesting posts from Amit Varma's blog - Supporting taliban and Fondling of memory.

It is indeed a worry that there are so many people who support Shiv Sena's views on women wearing "revealing clothes". And it is very surprising how they actually end up blaming the victim for "provocating" the offender. I do not give a damn to any such lecture or speech by all these so-called "protagonists" of Indian Culture.

The second piece is quite an entertaining read (more for the way it's written than the actual incident).. Amit Varma says:
"The bit that interests me here is how the memory of that event will shape itself in Mrs Sharma's mind. "
True, it is interesting.. But I guess it ain't in my place to dwell on such thoughts..

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Right to Freedom of Speech..

There has been a lot of talk about media and yellow journalism, etc in our country. There are so many news channels in our country right now. However, I am not sure how popular all these news channels are. My source of news is mostly the print media and the Internet. I am not too fond of Television.

Lets hope we don't reach this state. At least competition would keep all these channels honest. And most importantly, they will ensure that the media isn't a puppet in the hands of the government.

Is it really surprising to know that US news channels resorted to biased reporting on Iraq under pressure from the government? So much for the talk about "Free Press".

Perfect date..

Ever wondered about your perfect date!! Well, here's an online date personality quiz. I would say it is reasonably accurate, though I am not much of a "dater" personally. Got the link from Subtle blues, which in turn was accessed from Bala's blog. Here are my results:

Your dating personality profile:

Liberal - Politics matters to you, and you aren't afraid to share your left-leaning views. You would never be caught voting for a conservative candidate.
Practical - You are a down-to-earth individual who is not impressed with material excess. You care about the stuff of like that really matters.
Athletic - Physical fitness is one of your priorities. You find the time to work athletic pursuits into your schedule. You enjoy being active.
Your date match profile:

Intellectual - You seek out intelligence. Idle chit-chat is not what you are after. You prefer your date who can stimulate your mind.
Adventurous - You are looking for someone who is willing to try new things and experience life to its fullest. You need a companion who encourages you to take risks and do exciting things.
Athletic - You aren't looking for a couch potato. You seek someone who is active and who keeps her body in top shape.
Your Top Ten Traits

1. Liberal
2. Practical
3. Athletic
4. Adventurous
5. Outgoing
6. Intellectual
7. Wealthy/Ambitious
8. Big-Hearted
9. Romantic
10. Traditional
Your Top Ten Match Traits

1. Intellectual
2. Adventurous
3. Athletic
4. Practical
5. Conservative
6. Traditional
7. Shy
8. Funny
9. Wealthy/Ambitious
10. Big-Hearted

Take the Online Dating Profile Quiz at Dating Diversions

Anyone interested?? :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Entrepreneurship v/s Management

Two traits considered to be very important in any management graduate.. In fact, most people would join a B-school expecting to "learn" these two traits.. Here's an eye-opener for all such aspirants.. It's a pretty good account of what you should not expect from a B-School(at least in India)..

Interesting reading about the fact that HR and Sales areas are not given enough attention.. I thought Sales would be an extremely important area that one would be interested in.. Same with HR.. I guess it may not be easy to simulate a real-time scenario for these issues though.. Its always easier to handle such situations in theory than in practical life.. And it ain't surprising that most management graduates come out wanting to save their arses more than helping the company in the long run.. One of my colleagues who's a management grad himself has been saying this thing for quite a while now..

Personally, I think I am more of a manager than an entrepreneur, but hey, let me get into a B-School first.. Maybe I shall be able to talk about this more if and when I get there..

Monday, April 25, 2005

Romeo and Juliet.

A very different post this time... One may need a lot of patience to go through this one..

A LOVE STORY.. The names* are made up.. The story is not..

Alok* happens to be a normal guy from a middle class background. After a normal schooling life with all its fun-filled moments, he ends up in an engineering college without really planning for it. Now, Alok is not the sort of person who makes friends very easily being slightly shy and reserved. It so happens that he ends up spending some time with one of his classmates Nidhi* more by chance than wish.

Predictably enough, they start liking each other's company. They end up being best friends during their college stay. He helps her out with her studies whenever possible. She helps him by being there whenever he felt alone and depressed staying so far away from home. Now, as you would guess, Mr. Alok is by now hopelessly in love with his best friend. But he's also afraid of telling her about his "feelings" as the last thing he wants is for her to walk out of his life..

However, his heart prevailed and during one of those weak moments, he blurts out his feelings to her. Nidhi happens to be from a family strongly against the idea of love marriages. Her father is one of those "disciplinarian" types who doesn't want any of his daughters going "astray".One of her sisters has already received a lot of flak for "daring" to love someone. And apparently, her sister's story was tragic as she finally married some buffoon that her parents chose for her. Having seen all this, Nidhi is not very enthusiastic about the idea of falling in love and all. She tells Alok that there is no point in keeping false hopes as it can never materialize into anything concrete. She wants them to remain "just good friends". Alok is mature enough to face this fact and accepts it as he is not losing out on her friendship.

Just when things looked to be sorted out, Nidhi realizes that she is actually in love with Alok and he has become an extremely important figure in her life. And she confesses the truth to Alok. One can imagine how happy Alok would have been when he heard this. This was what he had been hoping and praying for all this while. So far so good.

However, life ain't so easy, is it? They still have Nidhi's family(especially her father, the Bull-dog) to consider. Before we come to that, college life draws to an end. Alok gets a decent job in a nearby city with which he can sustain himself for the time being. Nidhi stays at the same place and is undecided about what to do. Basically looking out for a job. Now, Alok decides that he can't handle "Bull-Dog" on his own, he definitely needs his parents' support. So he tells them about his future plans and how he intends Nidhi to be an integral part in any such plan. This is where the trouble starts.

Now, who says that all educated people are tolerant and open-minded! Well, maybe many are, but as it happens, Alok's parents don't fall in that category. Their first question to Alok - "Is she from the same caste?" Well - She isn't! Then there is a marathon argument about this issue and try as he might, Alok realizes that his parents ain't budging from their stand. Their principal concern - whatever status they have left in the society goes for a toss if their son goes ahead and marries a girl from some other caste. Hmm.. How do you counter that? Alok tries - but all in vain.. He doesn't stand a chance. So much so that his parents insist on meeting the girl and when they get the opportunity, they tell her bluntly that they don't want her to divide their family. And our hero Alok faces the ultimate dilemma - His parents tell him "U decide - Its either US or HER! Don't tell us later that we didn't warn you...."

You'd think that Alok is in a bad enough situation, when he starts facing problems at work and isn't very sure about continuing there. Another complication in life! He really is thinking about sustaining himself right now, which means there is no way he can give Nidhi a guarantee regarding a safe future. However, to her credit, she stands by him and assures him that she'd leave her family for him if need arises.

So, with renewed vigour and hope, he starts looking out for a new job and gets a few decent offers. Before he is able to convert any of those offers into a job, the bomb finally explodes. Nidhi's parents have been looking for a suitable for quite a while now and finally it comes to a stage where everyone is happy with the arrangement, except our Romeo and Juliet of course. Now, it is Nidhi's turn to face the dilemma - should she accede to her parents' wish or run away with our dear friend, Alok? But run away to what? Where could they go? He doesn't have stable job and she is not even earning.. On the other hand, her "would-be" has a steady income and is reasonably well settled in life.

After tussling with her heart, she finally decides to take the "safer" option and gives in to her parents' pressure. Poor guy Alok is left with next to nothing. What can he do? He sees all his dreams crashing in front of him.. What'd he want to do now? He tries his best to ask Nidhi to reconsider her decision. However, she stands firm in her resolve to put this behind her and "move on" in life.. And so our friend is back where it all began.. Left with only memories and a broken heart..

It is tough to know what to tell a guy like Alok at this stage.. Easy for people like us to ask him to forget about it and move on.. But all he's thinking about is -
"This is the End, Dutiful friend!
This is the End, my only friend, the end!!"

I don't think Alok is the only person to be caught in a situation like this.. He says he's ready to take on the world and he would for his "gal", but he can't fight her.. She took the decision and that's that..

This made me think about whether things have changed nowadays and whether all our parents would have a problem with us marrying people from other caste/community/religion or even nationality.. I think I can say I won't face this issue at home.. But yeah, don't think I can take that for granted.. No point in discussing hypothetical situations..

Many Thanks to those who read this patiently.. I know it may sound like a SRK movie story-line, but believe it or not, its true.. And for all the curious cats, I have no intention of elaborating on that.. All I can say is that this wasn't an autobiography!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Left, Right and Neutral..

If anybody asks me about my political view, I usually wonder what I should answer. The main reason for this is the fact that although I am working for an organization which is the epitome of capitalism in our country, I do not think I believe that capitalism is the answer to all the problems in our country.

In fact, I would probably say it is not helping our country any bit at the ground level. Sure, the markets are doing great. Most of the companies register huge profits every quarter. All's well for the business class. And with globalization, things couldn't be better. You have a government, though backed by the left, is pressing for reforms.. What more can we ask for?

However, with all this, what is the change at the ground level in our country? Are we trying to drive out everyone who still survives on agriculture? What happens to all the people still below the poverty line? How much are things changing for them with all the new reforms and god knows what not? What does it mean to them whether the stock markets touch the 6500 mark or 7000 mark?

And it seems there are people in the US who aren't happy with their government and its policies either. These are some of the prominent "leftist" blogs from the US:

Turning the Tide

Words from the Wise

The Killing Train

Thought Dreams

Goodbye Maggie

Empire and Inequality


All these are blogs in ZNet. I would recommend these to people who are/were especially interested in the build up to the previous US election. I am not sure why none of these blogs have been updated since July 2004. Nevertheless, they make very interesting reading.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Queen of my dreamz..

This is a question I am sure every guy would have faced in life - what kind of girl do u like? A very harmless and genuine question I suppose.. And it makes me think why people would want to know my dream girl and all. Ok, I admit I have thought about it.. I wouldn't mention it in my blog otherwise, would I..

To be honest, when I was in high school, I had this image of that one perfect girl.. The one who would complete me and all that sort of crap.. Maybe it was just the effect of all the movies/songs I used to watch at that point of time.. One more factor may have been my limited(almost nil) interactions with members of the opposite sex outside home.. Coming to think of it, I'd say the number of times I would have spoken to a girl in my class from IX to XII standards would be less than ten..
Now, I must say that definitely changed in college.. In fact, when I mention this fact to my college friends, all of them "pooh-paah" it and say it is impossible.. :) .. I guess one changes with time..

Coming back to where I started this post, I am not sure I believe in this phenomenon of "soulmate" and all any longer.. Maybe I haven't met the right person (even if I have, I haven't realized it!!)..

Now, how do people decide whether they are in "love" with someone.. This is a question I feel is almost impossible to answer.. When I ask someone how do you know you love this gal/guy, the most common answer I get is that you just "feel" it, it can't be explained.. I have seen many of my friends who are happily "courting" their girl-friends and seen many more with broken hearts.. I really don't know how they'd have decided that "This IS the person I love!".. Can't help wondering why it is so important in most people's lives? Yeah, I know I shouldn't be analyzing this.. What's my bloody problem if two people actually think they are "made for each other"!! I guess I am just rambling on to find the "queen of my dreamz"..

I just thought of these lines while writing this post:

Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don`t know

Personally, I think I believe in "letting go"!! And any John Denver fan would know I didn't write those lines myself!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Stars and eccentricities..

Marat Safin is one of the most unpredictable players in the world of tennis today.. On his day, he is simply unbeatable.. Who can forget the marathon duel between him and Federer in the Australian open semi-final earlier this year..

One would have expected him to carry on after his victory in the first grand slam this year.. However, as he himself admits, he is in the middle of a crisis.. A player like him provides a change from the normal champion one sees.. Given the talent he has, only he can be so unpredictable.. But I'd rather watch him than someone like Hewitt(with all due respects to Hewitt and his abilities).. In fact, I personally think Federer v Safin is perhaps the most exciting match-up in men's tennis right now..

One hopes for tennis' sake that Safin re-discovers his form and we can watch their duels at least in the grand slams..


This one is for all those people who like to enjoy a chilled mug of beer/a glass of wine after a hectic week.. Yeah, the frequency and amount do matter - inspite of all the "startling" facts in this particular piece..

CHEERS to one and all!!

The "W"right thing..

With the end of John Wright's tenure as the Coach of the Indian Cricket team, it is but natural that there is a lot of speculation about his successor. With four months to go for the next series, the BCCI has more than enough time to haggle and bargain with all the candidates for the job..

Ashish Magotra writes in Rediff about the "Coach Selection" policy that BCCI believes in.. One thing you have to grant all the BCCI "honorary" members, they have always been following this policy.. Atleast they are consistent with it.. And of course, isn't this what the press wants!! Guaranteed headlines on top of the sports page as long as the coach is not officially appointed. The only people who stand to lose in the process is unfortunately the players!!

Lets hope whoever is appointed as Wright's successor is able to gel with our players well.. If he (don't think we'd have a lady coach for our men's cricket team!!) can emulate the kiwi's achievements, if not do better, I think all of us should be really happy..
But he's got a real task in his hand, judging by the current performances of the national team.. Only time will tell what happens.. Till then, all of us can keep enjoying the circus show..

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I love my India..

Came across this topic in Dog Journals. It is a topic very close to my heart. Makes me wonder whether there is any solution to this problem. Is there anything people like me can do to change the situation in our country(don't think we can start talking about the rest of the 3rd world countries without looking at ourselves first)?

When all my friends, colleagues (in general, people I interact with on a daily basis) keep talking about jobs, opportunities, relationships, career, goals, etc, I can't help but think what a man who can't afford two square meals a day would want in his life. What would all those poor farmers in Andhra commiting suicide really want with their lives? How would the road-side beggar look at his future?

Which brings another question to my mind - Will people be satisfied with all that they get? Most of my colleagues are discontent with the salary they get here. I admit even I might have agreed with them at times. I think people will find issues and problems no matter what happens or who they are.. I wonder what I'd have to say if I had a family and I wasn't able to feed them two times a day..

I don't really pretend to have answers to many of these questions and hundreds of others running on my mind right now.. Does my thinking really change anything at the ground level?
Maybe I should just go home and sleep..

The Indian Spirit..

It seems Sir Don Bradman really appreciated the number of fans he had from India during his time.. Here's his friend telling us about this fact.

It just made me wonder whether the same would happen today.. If there were another Don, would the Indians appreciate him that much? One would have to say no I guess..

And anyway, I do not think Sachin Tendulkar has that sort of following in Australia. Now he's someone who the great Don liked to compare himself with. I guess the likes and appreciations of people nowadays are governed a lot more by patriotic fervor than pure appreciation of cricketing talent, which is absolutely fine I think as long as it doesn't show its ugly face as it did during the last ODI in Delhi against Pakistan.

And crowd mis-behaviour is becoming an alarming frequent problem in our country.. The BCCI has to come up with up a solution to this problem to ensure that play doesn't get affected because of such interruptions..

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ramble On..

A fitting post title for this blog, ain't it!

Well, thought of it as I was listening to the song named "Ramble On" by good ol' Led Zeppelin..
Here's a small piece from the song:

Ramble On,
And now's the time, the time is now
To sing my song.
I'm goin' 'round the world,
I got to find my girl, on my way.
I've been this way ten years to the day,
Ramble On,Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

You can get the entire lyrics of this song here.

The final four..

So its down to the semis in the Champions League.. And I am certainly not thrilled about the fact that atleast one English club is going through to the finals.. On current form, one would have to say Chelsea are favourites to beat Liverpool in the semis. However, stranger things have happened..

Milan v/s PSV in the second semi is a tricky one.. Although one would expect Milan to go through, PSV are a very resilient side.. It remains to be seen whether they can handle the pressure.. Makes for interesting semis though, and don't think anyone would have thought Liverpool or PSV will come this far..

Sunday, April 10, 2005

We don't need no education ..

A very interesting column I came across in rediff. I wouldn't like to say much about the education system and all that again.. You can read what I have to say about that in my prev. post.. However, I think this article gets one thinking all over again about what is the purpose behind all that you are doing and what do you want to do with life..

It's a question I have avoided for ages now. Maybe right from childhood. I never really made too many decisions till 12th std, after which I had to decide "where" to go for further study, not what to do.. After that again, never gave too much thought to this in college. Final Year came, managed to get placed in Infosys, and here I am in Bangalore still asking myself what to do next...

However, must say I am very content with life right now. Things couldn't really be better as far as I am concerned. Maybe I'll decide to move on to "better" things, but I believe in enjoying life to the fullest all along the way. "Live for the present"! This is what I have been telling my friends all along..
After all, as the song goes "Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana"...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wisden and Cricket!

I was reading about the five "best" cricketers of the year chosen by the cricket magazine Wisden. In a year when Australia further established themselves as the No. 1 team in Test Cricket, isn't it surprising that 5 of England's cricketers are supposed to be better than anyone in the Australian team. But then, why I am I surprised! This ain't the first time Wisden has come up with names of English cricketers ahead of much more worthy performers.

One has to admit this year they have a better case with England doing so well in most of their matches. However, Robert Key being named ahead of any other non-English cricketer, well, that's hard to digest. And the Englishmen are actually hoping they'll win the Ashes this year! Only time will tell whether they are capable of running the Aussies close or not.

On the football front, two of the quarter-final matches are very nicely poised - Juve/Liverpool and Lyon/PSV. Chelsea and AC Milan seem to be clearly heading towards the semis unless something dramatic happens in the 2nd leg.

Been quite busy lately at work. I seem to be slightly out of sync with the rest of the world right now. Got to get back to blogging mode...

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Fighters in real life..

This is a very inspiring story about a young guy called Siddharth in Chennai.

Makes me think of how easy things are for people like me atleast.. And also makes you realize that maybe you aren't actually working to your potential.. Well, I am sure most of us know that's true in our cases..

I am reminded of the song "Another day in Paradise" by Phil Collins after reading this article.

"Just think about it, It's just another day for you and me in Paradise!!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Economics of ecstasy!

This one is in stark contrast from my previous post..

Warning: Not for people who believe only in politically "correct" subjects!!

Found the link to this interesting study on "economics of ecstasy" in a blog called tattonement.. I must say the guys have used a very "interesting" subject to prove their signaling theory..

To be honest, even I don't care about the signaling crap!!

For those who talk about LOVE..

This one is for people who consider themselves romantics and/or are moved by all the sweet romantic movies(no I don't mean movies of SRK/Yash Chopra/Karan Johar and their likes!!)..

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation I asked him if he had a doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer Disease. As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him. "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said."She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

This is taken from a forward I received recently. There was some concluding note too which I have removed here.

PS: Nothing's wrong with me in case you are wondering why so many senti posts suddenly!!

Heart of Gold..

I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.
It's these expressions I never give
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

Yes, I didn't write those lines myself.. :)
Wish I did though.. I have just jotted down part of Neil Young's song called Heart of gold.. Don't ask me why I have added it now.. Just like the lyrics..

And yeah, I know I am too young to talk about getting old.. :)

About Friendship..

This is a really nice post on friendship I picked up from the blog 'Youth Curry'.. I am sure all of us can relate to it!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Anna Gang..

This is a pic taken when I was in second year during the new year's party at Pizza Corner.

Image hosted by

(From r to l) Bala, Naval, Tanay and Yours Truly.

A signature photograph as far as my college life is concerned!
The funny expression on my face is explained by the Pizza in my hand. :)

Dada and the Indian Team..

This is an article which describes the situation facing the Indian team, especially our captain very well. Lets see how this story goes in the future...

A game of glorious uncertainties!

At the end of the 2nd test in Kolkata, I don't think anyone would have believed that India could lose the third test. However, as it happens so often in cricket, Pakistan outplayed India in every department of the game in the third test. They batted extremely well and the last two sessions were amazing with their bowlers attacking with 5 fielders around the bat at most times..

Although I am disappointed that India lost this match and ended up squaring the series, I feel that we deserved to lose the match simply because of our attitude.. It was really hard to comprehend the overly defensive batting by Dravid, Sachin and the batsmen who followed them. Kumble was the lone exception and his approach paid dividends with him remaining Not Out till the end.. This was the same mistake Pakistan made in the 2nd test when they start defending completely after lunch which allowed Kumble to control the situation then. Similarly, we allowed the Pakistani bowlers to take complete control by blocking even half-volleys.

I also feel that over-confidence was a factor. I think our batsmen were a little too sure that they'd atleast save the test match. It should serve as a really good wake-up call to everyone who feels our batting is very strong because if you take out Sehwag's contributions with the bat in this series, I think we would have been in bad shape in two out of the three tests. We seem to depend a lot nowadays on Sehwag or Dravid scoring at the top of the order. The middle order is looking increasingly fragile. Our team definitely needs to do some soul searching as getting out within two sessions against a depleted Pakistani attack does not augur well for us.

The other big debate after this defeat is regarding the future of our captain, Sourav Ganguly. Many journalists are already predicting the end of Dada's career with the Indian team. However, I believe he definitely deserves atleast one more chance. I admit he looked out of sorts in the whole series but he definitely deserves another chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately public memory is short and all the good work that he's done for the Indian team is being thrown on the back-burner. It is sad to see him look so clueless at the crease. He hasn't helped his own cause by some poor shot selection in this series. For his own sake, he'll have to perform in the ODI series coming up. Otherwise, it won't be too surprising to see the likes of Yuvraj/Kaif replace him in the next test series.

But credit where its due! The way the Pakis fought in this test series is really praiseworthy. They managed to save the first test by the skin of their teeth and bounced back really strongly after the loss in the second test. Younis Khan, who may not be the most attractive batsman to watch, definitely changed the course of the series along with Inzy. I don't think India ever recovered in the third test after that mammoth partnership.

Looking objectively, it was an amazing series which was fought until the last minute and brought out the best talents(Sehwag, Dravid, Kumble for India and Younis Khan, Kaneria, Akmal and Kamal for Pakis) in both the sides. It was truly fitting that the series should end with no side emerging as the clear winner!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Is it really worth it?

This is an article in the week about the preparation for IIT JEE and other entrance exams and the coaching institutes for these exams.. I must say it reminds me of the days when I was in 11th and 12th.. Running between tuitions, bunking school at will, trying to keep up with the pace of all the tuition teachers as well as your friends.. It was one hell of a time.. Honestly, the best part in those two years were the times I would spend playing cricket in the evenings!! Had I not even done that(like some of my classmates) I would have completely gone mad!! Looking back, maybe it might have helped me clear IIT, but somehow I don't think so.. Anyway, it doesn't matter any more..

There is a mention of Dr. G.N.Chandwani in the article. This gentleman was our Maths teacher and is extremely famous not only in Bhilai, but in most of Chattisgarh for his IIT coaching. He is a legend in his own right and though every year there are easily 30-40 students under him who clear JEE, it doesn't tell the story of how many fail to make it. There are many students who are forced to go to him(and other tuitions) because everyone expects them to do that.

The problem of staying in a place like Bhilai is that the options for any student are limited. Anyone who is not very sure of what to do in the future ends up peparing for IIT. How many of these people make it to the IITs is a different story altogether.. When this system is going to change I don't know.. But it should.. However it is very tough to make people understand all the problems at that stage of their lives.. I guess people would start calling me a hypocrite now having been through the system myself.. At the end of it all, I think most of us come to the conclusion that it wasn't really worth the effort.. And all these poor students who are slogging it out now shall probably say the same thing when they end up joining any engineering college..
And invariably the realization comes too late for one to do anything about it!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Southern Man vs Sweet Home Alabama ..

The inspiration behind this topic is today's quiz conducted by the IQCircle in Infy.. The quiz was a pretty cool one with the usual set of thought-provoking questions.. The audio and visual questions were actually quite good.. Although we(I, Pinaki and Ashwin) didn't fare too well in the quiz(not surprisingly!) all of us enjoyed the questions and we had a good time wrestling with them..

One of the audio questions was to connect the 2 songs mentioned in the topic of this post.. I did a little bit of research on the relation between the two songs after the quiz.. Neil Young's song "Southern Man" is a song which questions the racist practices by white-skinned people in the Southern states of US during the '60s.. Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in response to this..
The lines below from this song make this clear
"Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

Although Lynyrd Skynyd's song was supposed to point out(or so I think) that not all Southerners are Red-necks and that Neil Young's generalization was not accurate, the song created lots of controversy and the band was tagged as a racist band. In fact to this day, people interpret the song as they wish.. To follow the story of this debate, this is the link where I found a detailed account of the whole issue.

One can of course keep debating on such sensitive issues, but the fact remains that Neil Young himself has performed the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in some of his concerts and whatever differences existed between him and Lynyrd Skynyrd, they have been cleared a long time back..
Well, as far as I am concerned, both the songs are really great and I'd rather listen than go about demeaning them.. Personally I prefer listening to Sweet Home Alabama though..

I shall probably collect all the questions asked in the quiz and post them sometime.. Maybe tomorrow, its time to go home today..

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I came across an interesting article in the Hindu about the Right to Information(RTI).. The writer, Amit Bhaduri, has raised some good points on the lack of transparency in our country.. I agree with him when he says that despite all the hues and cries about development and GDP growth of 6% or 7% or whatever, the fact remains that a large population in our country is still extremely poor, lots of children remain malnourished, illiteracy is still a large problem.. There is no simple solution to these problems.. Capitalism and globalization aren't really changing the situation at ground level.. He stresses on accountability of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary to the people..
Is accountability alone sufficient? Isn't this much more deep-rooted than that? Can it just be solved by a few hundred people sitting in offices and making policies? We've faced all this for more than fifty(in fact almost sixty) years now and have come nowhere near arriving at a solution for the poor standards of living of almost half the population in our country..

Is there any chance that we'll be able to solve this problem in the future? If so, HOW? I do not pretend to have the answer to this question.. My concern is - does ANYONE have an answer to this question?

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Draw for the quarters..

Just got the news from UEFA's website that the fixtures for the champions league quarters are:

1) AC Milan v/s Internazionale
2) Liverpool v/s Juventus
3) Chelsea v/s Bayern Munich
4) Lyon v/s PSV Eindhoven

The Chelsea-Bayern encounter seems to me to be the most interesting tie.. I shall post in detail about these teams some other time..

The MODI controversy..

The denial of a visa to Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister has raised a huge debate on whether US is right in taking such a step.. In my honest opinion, I don't think its any business of theirs.. India can deal with erratic leaders and we certainly don't want the United States of all countries to preach us on how to cope with people like Narendra Modi..

At the same time, the BJP has come out with statements that this decision by US is an insult to the whole nation.. I don't think this decision is anywhere near as big an insult as the Gujarat Riots were to our country.. Who cares what the US thinks anyway? But the fact that the riots were condoned in our country is what is the actual concern.. In a way this controversy is a blessing in disguise as people will be forced to think about what happened in Gujarat again..

Mr. Modi himself has said that the denial is an insult to the constitution.. Tell you what Mr. Modi, what happened in Gujarat was the gravest insult to our constitution.. He's countered this saying "If the riots is the reason why I have been denied a visa, on what basis has this decision been taken. America must not forget that my government was elected after the riots in a free and fair election." Excuse me, but why should America be bothered whether he got elected after that? Is he trying to tell us that all the Muslims in Gujarat voted him to power again? Does he think they are all very comfortable with the idea of him being in power? They don't have much of a choice if the majority in the state happen to be Hindus who think on the same lines as their "honourable" Chief Minister, do they? Tell me why would the riots would have happened if the Hindus were more tolerant?

I guess I am now digressing from the main topic of discussion. But the point I wish to make is that The Gujarat Riots Happened.. We all witnessed it.. We still haven't nailed all those behind the riots.. And until we do that, it will keep coming back to us.. Yes it will Mr. Modi, whether you like it or not.. This had to happen some day, and you can expect this issue to be raised again and again!!

Isn't it ironical that it is the US who is pointing it out to us? And all of us sit back and try to please all the people sitting there in the US just because they call the shots.. Do we have the guts to deny a visa to George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld, if and when any of them decides to come to India because of what happened in Iraq? I don't think so.. And considering the impact such a decision would have, it'd be wise not to do so as well.. And so we shall do exactly what is politicaly best for our country which is what our government is attempting. Raise the issue with the US embassy.. And hope that they shall relent after some diplomatic dealings.. Yeah, it doesn't help our nation's image, I know.. However, as I said, its they who call the shots, whether we like it or not..

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The need for leaders..

This is an article by Harish Khare in The Hindu about the aftermath of the Jharkhand fiasco.. Call me partisan if you want, but I more or less agree with his opinions.. Haven't got much to add to that..

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Q-final line-up complete

So it is Inter Milan who make it to the last eight in Europe's most prestigious club competition with a relatively easy victory over Porto, making it 3 teams from Italy in the quarters. No teams from Spain this time, 2 from england, 1 each from Germany, France and Netherlands.
Can't wait for the q-final fixtures.. The draw will be decided in a couple of days..

Really sad to see Dravid get out in the last over of the day. India has allowed Pakis to get back into the game from a postion of strength at 297/3 to 344/6.. Lets wait and watch whether they'll have to pay for this..

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Those were the days..

Was thinking about good ol' days back in college today.. It all started off after a chat with Bala regarding his post on the situation in college nowadays.. Apparently there's a lot happening behind the scenes now and a lot of dirt has come up recently. Anyway, I'd rather talk about some of the "better" times in college..
Can't help thinking of my 2nd year in college when I have to look back(not that the other times weren't good!).. It was probably the time when I studied the least(what's new!).. The one year spent in good ol' JH Block is probably what I remember most about the hostel atleast. And easily the most eventful year as well.

Who can forget the midnight ride on Yogi's bike to ECR!! Or the bicycle ride to Adyar at 3 a.m.!! Taking a bath at the Hand Pump near the Health Centre in the morning and realize that our VC and Warden are watching us!! Standing in queues to take a bath in the morning.. All the midnight conversations sitting on the JH block terrace.. All the post-dinner conversations sitting in room no. 205 with Pavan's 2-in-1 blaring in the background.. All the birthday celebrations that year(yeah the bumps as well).. Ohh the wonderful food served in good ol' ACTech Mess(MESS is correct!).. All the hours wasted in the canteen.. Mechanical Engg. lab with Berk(Lab in-charge) chasing one of my classmates out of the lab.. Polymer chemistry classes - isn't it self-explanatory?.. Getting major lecture from a watchman for sitting on the terrace of my friend's house and chatting(can u believe that!).. Cricket on the terrace of the RBI building near Secretariat.. Reading Lord of the Rings bang in the middle of end-sems..The Euphoria concert at IIT Saarang.. The Coimbatore trip immediately following that.. Biotechcellence... Kalakrithi.. Texplosion...!! The new year's party at Besant Nagar Beach/ Pizza Corner.. Hostel Day Cricket Matches - belting all the unfortunate First Year teams and in turn getting belted by the Final Year Team(we still managed to win the tournament that year!!)..

I guess I could keep going on forever.. yeah, Those were the days.....