Archive for March, 2007

I first read it in a very beautiful sett’ing a summer over 3 yrs ago in a university library with a individual table in between bookshelves beside a window overlooking the flowering bushes of mussandas.last month i got it from anothet library to home.My sister’s amazed that i carried the heavy book to and fro to the library a journey of over an hour to re read it.

Its one of the most Voluminous books in literature and i honestly doubt how many people would have read it through end to end.Its way huge.But the wonderful thing is at no point while reading do you really regret its length..cause it does not drag, its pacy and moves in every page.

Its jus t that by the time you get to say part eight the delights of part two seem ages ago.Its a book so very perfect for a TV Serial …wonder why no has yet come up with it …i did read somewhere about it being considered.I hope and imagine it will be like ne of those older Serials like Buniyaad or even Sailaab and not the Ekta’s Glossies.

Somewhere i read Vikram Seth saying that Mrs Rupa Mehra was one of the best characters he created…well at least its as realistic as they come.She’s even more perfect than Mrs Bennet of Pride and prejudice and so very typically Indian, as that is how so many Indian girls may see their mother ” so well meaning, and well wishing ” but neverthless a strain on life and peace and cause of the most unintentional hurt.
The tantrums for attention, the constant worrying, the complains, the command…the overplay of social necessities and vanity.

Her inconsistency in judging people by how affectionate and respectful they are towards her shows a innocence that may be funny to read but very painful in real terms.

The subtle family and extended family politics ……the part of economics and emotion in the powerplay in families is depicted in such subtle ways without ever getting vindictive at any point.
That is why books are a delight they allow you to see so many sides views unlike lets say the umpteen soaps on Tv each on the same theme family and power politics but all have those black and white perfect and dark characters that it gets on your nerves.

Mrs Rupa mehra’s association with the book Gita (i.e the the way she ever bothers to understand or practice what is said but just values and worships it and reads it as its presence is a solace )depicts what really is the way relegion is actually practised as by most of our families – men and women.Its a center around which life can be lived and any problems one can comfortably recede into.

The book potrays people as simply on the surface as one can imagine and thats why its so long……only in parts it goes benath the surface ….because most of the time we live life on the surface by brushing under everything uncomfortable.
So much of the flash or alienness we feel about characters in many books is missing. Every character you would have either seen of can easily imagine.It is the small hidden stories in life we all live in in our hearts in the everyday humdrum and bore of life.It is about compromises people make will life and its fallacies.

Some compromise easily like Savitha.
Some compromise with time tempered by life like Lata.
Some force the compromise as thats the only way of life ….like Mrs Rupa Mehra
Some never compromise and wander and even wither or harden away in heart ….. and may be life with deep pain in the heart.

The books is filled with instances how difficult it is to categorize humanity…the same people who have one set of values in one environment easily do the opposite in different.It depicts how time deeply affects people and their perceptions and their compromises.

One incident is when Prem Kapoor who is quite secular and will never allow his wife to have Ram Lila organized at home despite her repeated pleading would organize it after her death though no one asked for it.

Lata’s thoughts about each of the suitable boys reflect somewhere how some people who have choices end up with what seems to many as a most unsuitable choice .The affections one feels has nothing to do with the most important business in life – marriage and ,somehow it takes Mrs Rupa mehra and time and life to make Lata see it.
Its a nice read her plain inability to see Amit into anything tangible despite her liking for him and how she says he’s too similar to me.Her compromise to the extent of not even hoping that things would work out between her and Kabir after once being hopeful of eloping with him when she says
“Ours won’t work…No one will let it work” is a great effect of time .

When i had first read the book some 3 years ago i had pondered upon this as the real reason why arranged marriages happy happy or unhappy on the facade work as everyone who has anything to do with it wants it to work……the issues are negotiated compromises affected with whatever the humane price .
Quite the opposite of a marriage against the consent of the primary arrangers in a family wherein every every flaw is magnified , every misunderstanding is fuelled by people (who have innate resistance to individual decison instead of the collective) who as lata says “No one will let it work”.

Mrs Rupa mehras’ insistence on reading letters to her from Haresh her fiancee as a demand based on her affection, and goodwill as mother . how she she fells deeply disrespected and countered by lata’s simple refusal of that is comic but so very typical and true .

I could go on like the book does but then its a book with nothing new or daunting or anything that streches you mind.
Its a book about how one’s simple ways complicate other’s simple wishes….and why as is said in it
“Life isn’t always a question of justice isn’t it”.

Of course as i blogged earlier one line that kinda stuck on in mind was way too simple “You can’t run four runs everyday”.

Its lovable as only simple things can be and re reading it in parts is a simple pleasure one can always have – if only you did not have to carry such a heavy load.


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Time changes us some say
It does not it only unfolds us some say…..I am not sure and it surely can be a matter of another post but yeah times have altered perspectives truly.

There was a point in time years ago when half of what happened yesterday had happened. India were knocked out of the semi final in 1996….it was a moment for grief…it was funny how passionate one can be when young.Sort of remind me of those lines from the poem “Evening Solace”

But, there are hours of lonely musing,
Such as in evening silence come,
When, soft as birds their pinions closing,
The heart’s best feelings gather home.
Then in our souls there seems to languish
A tender grief that is not woe;
And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish,
Now cause but some mild tears to flow.

And feelings, once as strong as passions,
Float softly back ­a faded dream;

Well so yesterday it was sort of very cool this time …somehow quite expecting them to lose…only some part of the old heart buried deep peeped out for miracles.
But reality sure was the flavor of the day and at no point was there any belief that India would be through…and the team did nothing to change that.
Sad part is unlike those days when some or the other unfortunate thing could be ascribed to failure…umpires …pitch..here it was so plain blunt clear we were just not good enough. Something had somehow blunted out the passion of the whole team….Somehow i usually even in worst moments dont imagine Sachin out but felt so casually that it was gone and thats how it was – gone.

Somehow it seems fitting and actually good that India is out. The whole real passion has died out i felt …sometimes i ask it it in general or specific to my being old enough to always reflect back on the older days.
I had only one reason to even bother to watch this world cup(huh bother …there were times i dared not use such a word about watching cricket.) …this would be the last World Cup of probably the generation of cricketers we grew up on.
Sachin Sourav and Rahul.I agree they did not do well here and if some
says drop them oh well please go ahead do it.

I just have one question in mind though ….and that is the matter of this whole post. Its a job for them in the end and lets say we do badly at our job at some time or actually most of the time……or rather not as well as say someone else is doing how many of us will go ahead and resign?

But yet we clamour that one should retire or give up.I too felt passionately many times esp in the past and do say stupid idiots when they ruin the whole day by some horrid stuff…..should be given one tight slap and other expletives but problem starts when one starts beleiving in them as super heroes.
They would be playing cricket in whatever way they can good or bad just like quitely our other sportspersons play their sports if we did not love them and the game as much…We put them up as heroes as there’s nothing as easy because our lives lack them in reality but when they turn out as vulnerable as us we hate them with vehemance.

“They are responsible for a whole set of fans who suffer so many things and watch them and love them”
yeah i said that a decade ago.
I wonder to what extent today would one take as much responsibility for the job you work just because all team members and leads adore your work and depend on you…but something somehow needed presently were were beyond the capabilities possessed.

They are humans just like you and me ….and if you ask me a bit better than you and me…cause i am not sure how many among us can resist the huge tempations that are offered to this bunch of cricketers by us or in us the fans name by the real businessmen of this world.

This is not to defend their game but to defend their right to live beyond their job….
Yeah i still say they deserve to value their job a little more and keep up its spirit because after all how many of us have the fortune of having a job we love and enjoy.

One good thing about their losing is this….

This match despite so much money on it in the end was NOT FIXED…
why simple for anyone who watched it.
If India had won almost everyone would have somewhere ascribed it to being Fixed.
Whole day prior to the match i was sick of hearing …”these bunch of jokers no good will lose if the match is not fixed.”

Yeah Sad a relatively(this word is very important) nice bunch of cricketers who gave us joyous moments once will retire without fullfilling dreams……. neither theirs(honestly even a cricketer who might be a match thrower sometime would like to win the world cup once
cause that is the dream you begin career with) nor our dreams fulfilled.

I guess thats why so many writers say cricket is the closest to Life in its intricacies and fortunes…and its Tragedies….and Comedies.

And India Pakistan take it somehow to the heights of Shakespearean Drama.Woolmer’s murder confirms that………Its unbeleivably tragic……and somehow so very Shakespearean i guess.

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Flowers of India….

There are somethings you come across once in a while and you feel so much gratitude and happiness. They are such simple and silly things some may say,….but neverthless
I had already blogged about how i wished to find about names of certain flowers i see esp the local names and so on here.
In those days i probably spent hours and rupees of carefully allocated time and money on internet searching for something like this and never did find it.Sometimes i used to look them in the University library but how mch can you find in a university thats more a technical one. Then last month i found the site http://www.flowersofindia.net/ by sheer chance . Its a lovely site and it wonderful to see some on compile it so lovingly.Flower names in Indian languages with pictures.Like it was so nice when i saw that blue flower i often looked at and wondered what to call ….. it is called “Aparajita” or Butterfly pea. Sadly very few people know the Indian names . We are so used to the names we read in English.
And one tree i always wanted a snap beneath but never seemed to happen somehow is this very pretty Amaltas. Its so very pretty.

Or there’s a flower that i sort of loved a lot as it has memories of my childhood. The harsingar or Parijat…the orange white flowers we used to pick when we were children.
There’s this stupid fantasy of standing beneath it while they fall down all spoiled by my friend when she remarked…oh there are way too many worms and insects in that tree they all will fall too. Now i’m too scared to try anything like that ever.
But In the last home i lived there was one just outside the gate and every morning i used to find my path strewn with them.
Here’s a pic i took then.Hmm i miss em……
Its so wonderful to be able to put in such effort and come out with such a site. It looks like nothing much but i am sure it gives immense personal happiness. Just seeing the site made me quite happy.

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This weekend seems to be disappearing nowhere lazily browsing around and and wondering at the ironies.
On the eve of India’s WC match i casually said arre ab bangladesh ke saath dekhna bore hoga…my sister remarked instantly “how dare u say that about india. They treat everyone equally” .
When around the 20th over i switch off the TV confirmed about the disaster awaiting and say to her u should be careful about speaking all my sister has to say is “indian hun indians ko jaanti hun” hmmmmm
During the 1994 World cup i remembered during the time when semi final matchups were not clear my friend had remarked arre if its Srilanka in the Semi Final then cup is sure fire India’s . Haaaa we still remember that line….never again anyone spoke as such for Sri lanka.
Just as SriLanka was in those days nurtured by India slowly… so are Bangladesh too being nurtured into International Cricket by India…Definitely.

Tickle’s been huge fun at times for me and i sort of agree quite a bit…esp on stuff i wouldn’t admit easily like this one
What Are You Afraid Of?
you are most afraid of moving forward

This means that your fears are strongest when it comes to change, success, or personal commitment. When you are afraid of moving forward, you are allowing yourself to stagnate in your comfort zone.
This fear may manifest in myriad ways, but at its center is the sense that you’re either unwilling or unable to get to the next level in life. You may have grown up feeling that good is always followed by bad. Or perhaps you subscribe to the belief that what goes up must come down. Whatever the reason, when things are going well — or even just all right — you would probably prefer to maintain the status quo than to take a risk. You might fear that one false move could take away all the happiness and security that you’ve worked for. You may also simply be afraid of facing the unknown. When forces outside of you push you to change, your tendency can be to become overwhelmed or to stay in denial.

Love or money
When it comes to love or money, you’re a Romantic Realist
Love over money is a no-brainer for you because you’re a Romantic Realist. But no matter how smitten you are, you know love doesn’t pay the bills.
Your monthly budget, diversified portfolio, and penchant for bargains may sound predictable, but it doesn’t mean you’re not afraid to take a risk every now and then. Whether it’s your new leather pants or that brooding stranger in the corner, you are entitled to your treats. But for you, true love is a long-term investment that has nothing to do with the trust funds and everything to do with trust.

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well I happened to mention to someone that i have lots of materialistic wishes left and hence not yet feel like charity . …which required an explanation……Well actually i am quite uncharitable why will be a seperate post. 

So as they say time changes everything so here for this time what i think are my materialistic wishes.Firstly i ask myself am i materialistic ….well not exactly i knowbut i wish i was …life is so simple that way. 

I am soo swayed by emotions ……and to have it my hearts way if i can which is mostly never i try swinging it using all logic…thats the way i seem to have become these days. 

Materialism if if only if that were the only thing is so simple and defined. 

Anyways what is materialism …is it being money oriented…Well lets put it my way as of today. Its not money that is loved…its is the sheer ease of life it brings in so many ways especially in a country like ours.Money buys you the most inavaluable thing of all “TIME” of course more so if dont spend the time earning it…huh sadly its not so in my case. 

Money allows you to hire a cook a maid and hence time and energy saved.Money allows you travel with ease esp if you dont even have to drive again time saved. 

Actually money even saves you the trouble of being charitable…they just deduct a small part from your salary and  you are contributing to charity(How terrible can corporate culture get….if
ur not interested remove your name from list on the intranet….huh as if one is going
to do that ) 

Now in the Time saved  if you love to doze off  or watch prettier things in this world instead of making this world a better place done by charitable people in that time saved you are MATERIALISTIC i guess . 

All the materialistic things specifically  i can think of is a lovely house which i wish to spend a lifetime filling with all the pretty little things i love to shop around. 

I used to have this dream of a very small house with a very big garden…with the real estate prices the way it is its sooo far off. Hard to own an apartment forget a house with garden wellllll. 

I’d love to just wander and travel all around the world….or live in some nice beautiful cottage in the flowery hills(ok thats a straong Ruskin Bond stories influence)……and this needs money yeah yeah you can go around the world in just a few dollars or whatever but i mean for real without looking like a freak which needs what MONEY.Money means you avoid nosy neighbors , colleagues who need explanation of what and whywhere you come and go and offending them is a strict no no due to family and that extended  family called Office. 

I dont add my absolute crazy idea of owning books almost like a  library with glass shelves ahhhhhh…this just doesnt seem materialistic in anyway …books cant be associated with materialism no not in my mind.And anyway i will fulfill that dream anyway one day though with my progressive myopia(Doctors they are the most scary people in this world to me with the terms they hand to me) how much i will be able to use them by then is another thought. But i trust in science as well miracles so that should be just fine. 


Of course to each their own …….My sister really beat me to it when after quitting her job standing at the balcony she said.”You see that building i m sure that is a office stupid people why did they not build it fast so that i could have tried a job here…i’d have worked for a few bucks less. So nice so near to our house. Come home for lunch have a sleep and go….kya life hotaa..I dreamt of this since school days when schoolmates living behind school used to go for lunch.”The kids been as lazy since ages then its proved….but she made a wise choice unlike me HR is the place to be for such wonderful dreamers like her. 

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I have a very good habit… whenever i have to meet a friend and then
plan how to spend the time i usually prefer to set the meeting point at
a bookstore or mall with a bookstore. It saves me a hell lot of
impatience and irritation with my friends because most of them are
lazier than me and never come on time. Rather than calling them and
asking them to hurry up or feeling bad about being stupid to turn up on
time and wait…i actually make myself so comfortable in the bookstore
that even if they don’t turn up my day has been well spent.

Such was the case this weekend. As i browsed around the bookstore…it has been long actually this time…since my last visit to a bookstore.

So i looked up all the new books …i always try following a pattern but thats about it TRY. my eyes sort of never want to do it so methodically…they love an absolute quick scan and then wander around to their interests. Books with lovely covers…interesting themes or reviews i’d read about.
The new cricket world cup book shaped like a ball and such stuff in new arrivals.

I also have this so very queer habit of a very stupid game i play with myself. Close your eyes and open a page and whats the first word or line you glance(I used to try this on the dictionary at home earlier). Anyways a book which has been praised a lot i guess i will look it up some day is ” The Last Song of Dusk ‘ by Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi…I’m delaying it mostly because it seems so exotic but i tried my little fun on this book there.

It was a lovely line which i read goes something like the below…i’ve forgotten the exact line
” may be thats what Innocence was meant for – to be lost and may be that is how love essentially is – something to be longed for “

I guess i agreed quite a lot and liked it enough to decide to read the book at the first chance .

Then for the moment i started off reading “Inspite of Gods” in there…again a interesting book…i mean even the title is nice Inspite of….

You really have to know Indians and India well to use that word INSPITE …they succeed inspite of all oh so many things….not because of them…though after success we always say the reverse…..”that it is the GOD …that it is the well wishers and good intentions of all and sundry”.

Hmm finally i wandered off sometime into the Glass and candles and such artifacts segment…my favorite. I do love clear glass and all the shapes its moulded into..something again i feel crazy about with no specific definition.
God bless those people who once in a while let you wander in peace without that wonderful gesture ” May i help you “.

Then at last arrives my friend and she just has to ask hows life and i start off all the dramatic stories of my professional pains.
Finally i realise we had met actually to discuss her side of the story and so i keep my mouth shut and she tells her tale….ah well its the same with a different twist.
Then we wander off into a artifacts expo and i feel like immersing all my hurt in the beauty of the oh so many lovely things and i shop…well i look more than i shop…and its a torture for my company at such places…she inevitably says…you are worse than me at such shopping.

I advise her to leave for the day …as i’ll spend some more time…she’s so nice not to leave me but i oh so wish she did…as we leave half way through.
My sister at home adds the perspective to it. well your friends dont know you love to wander off and browsing/shopping all alone and so may be she’d have been imagining how bad it feels to leave a friend and go and hence did not go but you have such strange ways. Ummm yeah.

This year though is gonna be very lonely i had though at the begining and it sure seems to be going on the same way.Friends move on to different places…different worlds…i’m moving on …
or rather should move on.

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am amazed at people who remember every joke from movies seen decade ago and actually it seems the only timepass for quite some….an evergreen rehash of the jokes esp in regional cinema. I feel inadequate to comment on this being good or bad them but yeah a whole of them are not to my taste. I mean relating every thing in life to some movie comedian.
I saw some last hour of this movie and well it was a nice one of a different era. What i remember
is though some of the last lines of the movies. rarely do i remember dialogues from movies or
even books. Some just strike a chord……and just stay on.
One was this from the movie “Monalisa Smile”

Not all who wander are aimless
I’ve heard her called a quitter for leaving……an aimless wanderer. But not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition…… beyond definition….. beyond the image.”

Re-read this again and considering my aimless feeling it sort of touches.I deny that i seek some
great truth or want to make a difference but yes i wander in my own spheres of mind,aimlessly in
this very sharp aiming world for some reason something beyond my words…….some thing that i
seek out beyond what seems traditionally perfect..it is not selfless…in fact it is something
very selfish.At least ive been very clear on that in the past few years of my life.Yeah i seek to wander out but when i cant in reality i seem to wander in my mind and hence have been aimless.
Anyways that led me to the original quote…thats the charm of google for me
All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost;

Another very nice point i pondered upon……

Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s
self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance,
learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.-Thomas Szasz,author, professor of psychiatry

Why even even the best after a point stagnate.Self esteem’s not a bad thing to have unlike a
super ego but for learning further yes even self esteem may be need to be sacrificed at some
time……only point here remains how much and of what you are willing to learn.Ignorance can be bliss in oh so many cases….Learning is painful.
Choices…its all our choices….
to be meek, nice to others and lose oneself…to be kind and get pained….
to be brave for oneself and may be hurt others…….
to give up a lifetime’s peace for a moments charm…..
to give up own dream for a chance to be a part of someone’s dream…….
to wander…to lose….to be aimless.

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