Archive for April, 2008

A new place or is it new?

As is said there are wheels within wheels

and so life goes on.

The best part of this beginning is I have had least expectations

I seemed to have grown old quite a bit finally in my mind too or so it seemed till I got into this place and found people worse than me in those terms .

A top notch workplace in the world and yet I feel bored.

Its not about the work , I dont have an inkling of what i would be doing in concrete terms – Its all visions i’ve been shown for the moment and i am too cynical of them and its too early to talk of it.

The thing is there’s no liveliness around, me being dull enough.

Both my previous workplaces had n number of issues

but it was always buzzing with people

their problems, their anger

their fun and sheer joy

I guess this is a problem with the real big organizations where you have those highly experienced people immersed and tagging along with life. Its not like they don’t have fun or they don’t laugh and all.

Its just that they dont take the change of an added person and so they dont take an initiative and its quite tough to break into well settled groups unlike in the past places where we who became friends – all joined in fresh groups and were equally new.

I am the same frankly but i was fortunate in the past. I did not run into people who were the same as me. Most were freshers who took in change and assimilated me into them and their enthusiasm their joy and spirit was simply contagious.

Here for the first time i seem to be in a place where 70% of the workforce is steeped in experience and thus target oriented for the next position(and also married), so they all are busy with their lives and its issues.
I am initially very shy and quiet so i don’t make friends but at both my past jobs it was these lively people who came to me involved me and we ended up having great fun.Here even if i take initiative people have too many worries and just let it be known nicely that have to finish work.
Also fortune played a bad joke.I ran into a really avoidable person here… a chap whom i had requested to get me a job in tech doc umentation when i had no job and things were not good for me. I went for 2 or 3 days to get trained but then many things happened.
Like i realized though i write ok and can learn it , i wanted to be in s/w a lot more .
The environment and job profile seemed dull the more i understood it.

And then this guy had a bit of superiority while training and all that pissed off and i quit giving reason about my moving to another city.

This shocked him, and may be affected his word at place where he recommended don’t know what, but i was amazed when i ran into him at my new company and he remembered me.Then few days ago he casually mentioned – you were moving to somewhere else…”Was that a lie”.
He put it as though i had spoken some great lie.
Just so irritating and pisses me off. I really wonder the worlds a small place.

But yeah i am amazed – I am always amazed when people remember me. I always think I myself would forget a person like me very easily.

But nevertheless life’s at a very dull point after a long time.It was bad so many times in the past 4.5 years since I began a career but its been long since it was so dull.

The cubicles are huge and so is the emptiness.


P.S: Some standard cribbing

I hate Laptops at least since Ive been forcefully made to own one by this job. I am supposed to take it around with me all the time and have to walk nearly a km with it to get to office. Not even in school did i carry anything so heavy. the bag’s all very well made but thats heavy in itself.

It feels like a noose around my neck- I feel like a coolie at times.

Oh heck why cant i just leave it at office.This is why big organizations and their policies and all get to me. For a easy going person like me who never wanted to bother to drive i am seeing some benefits of it finally.


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Hey daughter i came home tired and toiling for you all  get me a cigarette from the shop

Are you mad – Does anyone ask their daughter to get one

Whats the big deal I never differentiated between a Son and a Daughter (i .e I paid for your education completely) and I cant even get such a small thing done .Ok if this is what it is i guess I will get it have some myself too say what ?


Shut up you don’t have any respect for elders –  what rubbish you are  talking about.


Truth is stranger than fiction …..It surely is.
He he he …Such are the Inspirations for posts with topics Save the girl Child” and this.
If one is comfortable in Hindi some fiction on the same farce.

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The last month or more specifically the last fortnight i seem to have watched more movies than i ever do these days.

Yesterday caught up on Ajay Devgan’s U Me aur Hum. Though i dont like to admit I liked some parts of the movie not the whole though. But i wont recommend it to anyone looking out for a relaxation or fun at the weekend.
The sad part may be that i like the tragic parts of the movie much more than the comic parts. The comedy was stupid and irritable. But whenever esp in the seconf half Ajay devgan gets into his guilty and cynical mode i liked him. I liked that frank acceptance that everybody likes oneself the most – the self defence part.
As one grows older hum bane tum bane ek duje ke liye seriously seems stupid and the way he enacts that feeling i really liked it. The best thing about the movie was definitely the bonhomie of friends in every scene(though Divya dutta surely makes loud scenes wherever present..when its just the three of the guys it seems pretty much how guys seem to hang out), its a welcome relief from saas bahu behen and maa at every hospital scene in Bollywood.

The real person needing appreciation for this movie is the marketing department. If they had let it out before that the script was related to Alzheimers i doubt even the first week would have had any collection. It was packaged through and through a Kajol romance and   its truly a Kajol movie whenever she’s in the frame .But when she’s not around the rest carry it through without being too sombre.

One mistake i did was watch this movie in a normal theater and not a multiplex where crowds are relatively quiet. If one needs to understand what Indian majority is like you just need to see them in dark theaters and the way they behave. I can get it when they laugh at crude joke or at the hero or whistle at the heroine but what is so funny about a baby drowning is beyond me as i listened to laughter at that scene.
So if one does want to see it better watch it where people keep quietly to themselves or at least act as such.

Other movie i watched is to be watched in a theater where you get the real Indian audience. shouting whistling screaming, throwing torn paper. Yeah the movie is made for it and is good for a  weekend watch without thinking much about it.
Race is one such movie which would get on your nerves if everyone around you was too quiet and thoughtful. You have to be sort of blind and the mind being nauseatingly immersed in watching the cool strutting heroes and sexy scheming heroines.The plot may be a mystery to some , to me though it was more a question of how than what?
“What” kind of suspense stories are rare in bollywood.
There are cars, there’s the sizzling Bipasha and Katrina and the pouting Sameera. Then there’s the cool Saif and Anilkapoor(Gosh he’s just looking dashing these days and one can only laugh when one sees the old song one two ka four) There’s Akshay Khanna too but thats hardly noteworthy.

Then I watched quite a few older ones of the past year i missed out on. Some like Dhol were fun  and some thoughtful like Halla Bol which i blogged previously about.
Some were like fine for the time being say Saawariya. I think Bhansali is just a child who likes to paint but got into movies. Saawariya you can say my expectation as a movie was so low that i ended up liking it if only for the look and feel. I mean i expected so much gloominess in that blue as i watched the trailers and heard the story that when i finally saw it i though Sonam’s Kapoor’s laughter and Rabir Kapoors childishness sort of seemed to make me feel as though i was watching some Hans Andersen fairy tale. There’s nothing that remains though after you watch it except a blue haze.

Then i watched Namesake. Tabu’s fascinating is the first thing that comes to mind and then the movie. Well the movie’s good but it won’t be the same without Tabu. The best part of it is though its less of a commercial movie it never drifts into the sullenness that some art movies do.It has a upbeat feel to it even when sad and Kal Penn is also enjoyable and considering its a diaspora movie i liked the honesty of it, the generation gap and the final acceptance of it once you are in US.

In India they will fight it but once you get to US a helplessness added to the loneliness i guess makes one accept the differences of generation much more ,though the hurts i guess linger on and that exactly i guess the NRI’s suddenly become more religious and traditional than ever in that far land.

My favorite moment was when Tabu is asked by her husband (after being married for years and they return to India for a vacation )“why did you say yes to me” she says that because you were the better of what was on offer…and then laughs and says what did you expect me to say “I love you” as in America. Its a beautifully honest moment i felt.

Then I just watched two of my all time favorites again like My best friends wedding and Casablanca.Though i like Julia Roberts in general this movie is sort of more than her. I sort of love it a little bit more whenever i see it. I laugh at myself remembering that I was in college when it released and then there were no multiplexes and i watched this movie thrice(something i only did for Sharukh’s yash/karan johar flicks).
I just liked Rupert Everett though i then did not know that even in real life the guy is not straight.His part is  really charming especially the whole sequence of talk in the end when he calls her up and gets her to dance at the wedding reception. Of course the music is very beautifully used in the movie  and even the hero (Dermot Mulroney )is nice and touching.
The best part inevitably has to be the conversation as its a given with any movie i really like esp with ones i watch again and again.

Casablanca i guess i’ve just blogged much about the movie but i love watching such movies again when its late night somehow. you sort of belong to a different world.

Notting Hill is another of those nice weekend watches that  keep you warm. I like the whole sequence about a bunch of non acheivers. It sort of reminds me of that one line that i used to think fits perfect for me.“Who said nothing is impossible. Ive done nothing for years now”

 At times it does get a bit loud though but i enjoy Hugh Grant quite a lot there…esp the garden and the song. You say it best when you say nothing at all.

Not sure when i will catch up on the rest considering i have a new job to get used to from tommorow.

My friends ask me constantly hey you are at home for nearly a fortnight , aren’t you bored . I seriously cant explain to them  that NO I am not. I’m just loving it. I’d have loved it more if i got to Travel but even without it honestly I am not bored.

Ive my books and there are blogs(which i keep to myself ) and then there’s cinema once in a while and then there’s sleep always. Ah to be lost to this world till the sun is right above your forehead. It’ll be long before i get such a break (i.e to wake up by 11 am) and it just went by …hmmm.

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This post was actually prompted after the previous post about crowds and individuals thought i expressed.
This first thought came to me years ago first in school though then it was not so definitive.

It was prompted by a story in it called “Remember the Roses”.
As if the mystery in the story was not enough it was the only story in the book for whom author information page said “Information not available” author name though was Avery Taylor but the yeah there was no Google then.
Its a story that has a haunting quality about it and i believed i was the only one who thought so much about it, but i found a comment here just a few hours ago by someone who also remembers it which just adds to the story anyways :).
Caesarean Conspiracies seems to be my most visited post on the blog .

Actually thought i would put a link to the story if i could find it online and i was led to a site http://www.remembertheroses.com/ .

Here the person tells in the background section how he came across the story
“About fifteen years ago while traveling in India, I came across an old book of short stories being read by the school children there”

I happen to be one of the schoolchildren and have loved it ever since.
I would want to see the movie cause everyone has their own interpretation ,
own touching part of the story and a part of my own imagination and thoughts is what this post is all about.
Every time i think of the story i have a different dimension to it.

The story overall is really special in that special book aptly name “Treasury of short stories ” .
I still treasure it and its yellow pages with underlines and meanings i remember some of the happiest days of my life.

There is a word called “apoplexy” in it which i had not understood and had looked up the dictionary.
Strangely i forget so much in todays’s world, but i always remember that word and the story.
It is in this story that in those days when very few people around spoke good english that we came across the first french words “Au revoir” ,”Adieu” and “Vive Churchill” etc.

Its a story set in the World war era of Nazis where Robert a soldier of the Allied forces is captured by the German and he is saved by a
mysterious woman called Jehane Lebrun.
No one believes his true story and report of escape and when he digs up the evidences he can only come to the conclusion that its Joan of Arc
who saved him and his friend.
But what is more touching is the way the story sets off as though this Robert of the second world war era is the Knight called
Sir Robert whom Joan of Arc is supposed to have loved.
Its a very touching story with just the right amout of love , mystery and history and sort of lingers on and on in the mind especially the last line

See Jehane i remembered the roses

In this story the below lines are the ones which first brought the conflicting thought about individual vs the whole crowd(be it a nation/ community/family).

Here Robert is being helped to escape by Jehane and he also tries to take with him another captive soldier but he is unconscious and when Robert cannot revive him

Robert decides to kill him so that he has an easy death compared to the torture by Nazis to give secrets, but Jehane prevents this by the below argument.

Robert:“Do you think i enjoy doing it”
Joan:“No it sickens you”
Robert:“yes but its necessary”

Joan: “Ah yes the old story Always the same. Better to sacrifice one life than many. Thats what they tell you , isn’t it”

Robert:“And its true”

Joan:Its never true” There was pitiless anger in her eyes and her voice was bitter
“Every life is precious. War demands that we kill, but in our own defence, to save what God has given us.But this is murder…It is betrayal and you know its wrong. In
your heart its wrong”

Since then whenever i come to a conflict about whether Every life is precious or some are more equal than the others this story fills my mind.
Honestly i have never resolved any answer.
As long as that one life to be sacrificed is no one to you or rather is not some one precious or special in our own eyes , we have a tendency to say yes one life can and should be sacrificed if saves/ helps the collective whole.

The moment we replace the person to be sacrificed with someone we love or regard as a great person relative to other being who live day in and day out the argument thins out and we believe every life is precious.

Its also probably my favorite short story with a romatic touch, along with that excellent Jeffrey Archer short story called “Old Love” and i remember it very well ,far after it was supposed to be remembered by the school .


P.S: For all those who somehow love this story , thanks to Vinits efforts we have a pdf version of it. and here is the link to download “Remember the Roses”.Very nice of you Vinitt and thanks a lot.

Check the comments section for links to other stories and a few more uploaded here.


Update3: Since this a rare post with too many comments to scan through I am putting the links to the specific comments where one can get all stories and of course the scanned copies download .
all the stories are collected from the net and whatever we could not I have scanned my copy and uploaded it.

Check the two links below


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Saw “Halla Bol”. Excellent though the movie was, I somehow was not convinced.
It is because probably i have never been able to believe that huge masses are the solution for anything.

What is shown in the movie is excellent say for a black and white case but the point is we have so much clutter all around that no one has a clarity about anything being black and white. Its only about which side you believe in.And it is here that the masses are dangerous . They add to the clutter.
For e.g religion is the greatest way to gather masses. Tilak probably used it greatly to gather Hindus for freedom which was good but the problem is the same weapon is used to by unscruplous politicians to great devastation.

Masses dont think – they just follow and therein lies the danger.
It is when every individual thinks and decides for himself and at the same times accepts that what he thinks may vary from others that we can have some social good.
But as they say most people like to be led and it is here that the whole theory of masses uprising collapses.

This theory relies on the assumption that the leaders of this mass movement will be honest and with scruples.
Sadly that is rare and thus the masses become a weapon for mass destruction and perpetrating crime and divisiveness among society.
In reality the story will end with Ajay Devgan crushed under that Truck or may be by believing that its easier to drown your conscience in liquor than continue the fight.

There was a blog which some years back greatbong.net i liked as it was plain humor but after some months it sort of became a bit too much.When after months i last visited it and read the Na Na Nana post i did not like much what was implied but then to each his own so its not the author to be blamed.What sickens you is to read the comments.

The one good thing it did is to reinforce the belief that literacy is not the solution. It is comments like these and esp the comments on rediff that convince me that literacy is definitely not the solution.Another excellent article though some may say unrelated that i came through indiauncut is this.

Once when we were generally discussing some politics one of our teammates said he wished that it must be compulsory
that every politician should be a graduate with top scores. This would allow the best to become the ruling class.
I had never heard such a laughable argument but then that it is made by an engineer itself goes to show how much
natural intelligence(forget how much artifical intelligence our engineers possess) literacy can bestow on people.

In fact this herd mentality of well literate people first dawned on me when a big filmstar visited our office premises.
Before this had a very wrong idea that illiterate people or workers in blue collared jobs from the the villages were the ones who formed this herd.But I changed my mind after witnessing how everyone from the AVP to the security guard looked the same – dazed ,eager to touch him/ hear him/ fall all over him.
I have no problem with adoring or falling all over our heroes be it movies sports or politics and if they want to subscribe to the views or buy the products endorse by their heroes after they think with their head no issues.What makes me feel awkward is when people suspend their own thinking totally in such cases.  (Though a great fan of Tendulkar,when I see pictures of him touching the feet of a certain baba i just feel so upset and can never worship that Baba just cause someone i admire does. )

Though for most people what the icon says is the last word for them – unquestionable even in an area that person has no knowledge / experience.When i laughingly asked a guy if he would finally go and stand in a queue and vote if this filmstar who visted us stands in an election the instant response i received was , what the heck you talk of voting we would go and join the party and work for him. Now mind you these are not some illiterate or even poor workers.
These are engineers who have worked in top notch IT companies and yet they believe a man blindly. The only difference being unlike illiterate people who would answer any question by saying that our hero knows best, some of these people only use their head to manuafcture reasons to justify their hero’s stand.The stand in itself is never to be analyzed.

Education and Literacy hence i would say are two completely different things.Literacy teaches you to read and write.
Education teaches you to think – which unfortunately is slowly being killed in our schools.Many astute politicians who think long term are first attacking the education system for this very reason. Hence the coming generations seems so much more intolerant in many ways.

In the 80’s and the 90’s when such events were viewed by me as a child there was not as much halla(how did RK ever manage to make ram teri Ganga maili when any content half as similar would have half of India up in arms today) – you could make movies and get on with it and now every other movie is banned somewhere.

Every word is debated not in an argumentative sense but in a combative sense.
Every event from cricket selection to cartoons to living in cities is analyzed to see how we can add a casteist / religious/ regional flavor. Of course there are individuals who make the difference some very good columnists and inspiring blogs and other in todays’s world but aren’t they the real minority when pitted against the people who throw bottle’s at Amitabh’s house(I never get it how they came to that conclusion to involve him) or ban Jodha Akbar(I watched it firstly to see what exactly is the point of contention) .

One good joke was on TV recently was about a crowd at Dhoni’s house.
First they gather to break his house when he is a failure ….then when he wins they gather to build it….to i guess break it again.Thats how most of the crowds interpret Halla Bol.

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My first weekend after quitting my job and i was stuck at home in rain and a not so very great mood i picked up the ” The Last Burden” by Upamanyu Chatterjee. It certainly did not help my mood.

Its a book to be read to realize why art films will always be that…..art films….Truth personified but for a working class person it is what we dont like to look at or rather why a normal middle class person does not find it not worth the time
and money.It explains why Bollywood potboilers and everlasting Television teary sagas and the no good fiction like M&B’s and are infinitely more interesting or rather seem more worth spending time and money.

They help you escape , they give you hope or rather they just blot out the present and when the present is a dark and unrelenting pain this isn’t that what the majority would like.

The reason is stark and simple. Who wants to go and see on a 70mm screen or read for hours or days together of a dreariness, of a hurt that on lives through day in and night out – reflected and picturised again and then spend time and money on it….unless you are a soul looking for refuge in the compassion that you are not alone suffering the same.

“You’ll notice, Jamun, money’s never within your reach when you need it the most. I’ve witnessed how the itch to hoard dominated both my father and yours. I merely hoodwinked myself – that if i spent bountifully on deserving things then somehow my kitty would be replenished.”

“Instead over the years while Jamun has grown up observing his parents squabble…while he’s witnessed their marriage paralyse his father and slowly butcher his mother, he’s begun to believe that living is elementally a petty , indecent, punishing business; its value lies in struggling against its meanness.”

Most of it if not all is about the everyday middle class fare that we live through and struggle with. The finances, the hatred, the guilt ,the sense of duty, the helplessness compounded by the frustration of with /for the people around you.

The forces that pull you down when you try to make an escape.One should read this book to understand why its so difficult to simply read those new age books on positivity and leading a better life are so useless in so much of our world and why so many of our brilliant and not so brilliant people escape as a last refuge to that land of promise USA and others far enough despite criticizing all about it and its culture.

I come across such books once in a while and to say i enjoy them would be too nonsensical. There are mirrors you dislike and this is one of them. But for people who like mirrors however truly they reflect the darkness around and within them
this should be just fine.

“belu was the sole person in my family who cherished me, and not the salary i carted home-……….living together merely to thrill in unkindness…”

“But you oughtn’t judge all marriages by the corrosion of ours. I know – that you don’t wish to marry because you dread that you’ll tail off like us.”

Then there was Chekov egging on the cynic in me as i read his “Three Years

“You’ll fall in love and you’ll suffer, you’ll fall out of love and you’ll be deceived, because there isn’t a woman (I happily read it as woman/man rather than criticizing Chekov) that wouldn’t deceive you, you’ll suffer, fall into despair and you yourself will deceive. But the time will come, when all this will be just a memory and you’ll reason coldly and consider it utterly trivial…”

“He remembered the long conversations in Moscow in which he had himself still so recently taken part, conversations about how it is possible to live without love, how passionate love is a psychosis, how finally there is no love…..but now …..(some stuff about how he fell in love at first sight) …he would be at a loss to give an answer”


P.S: Loved the Vodafone ad with the Kabhi Kabhi song.I guess its because its pretty much of what we grew up like and some did end up just the same way if not all.

This post is almost a week old as i just felt too lazy to complete it and in just a week i find my mood is different enough.

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