Monday, July 23, 2007

Some things are just Godly...

Life is such a complicated and intricately woven web of happiness and sadness, that the passage of time lets you experience both of them at mutually exclusive moments. It just does not cease to amaze me on encountering bizarre and crucial decision making instants in life, that over a period of time, I just can't help thinking about it. Life throws its challenges at every stage, and you end up battling it against all odds. It sometimes makes you wonder Did that really happen? Did I really do it? How in the world did I get out of the mess? Who helped me overcome it? These questions more or less leave you probing for those elusive answers. It is at this time, that you wonder at the beauty of creation of life and matter; the hidden answer surfaces raising its hood in all conviction, and you know that some things are just beyond our control, look upto the heavens and the sublime feeling of Godliness merges with your life. At some point, you realise that life is not just about scientific development and confined to the creatures within, but that there is a power which is vastly superior to the earthly beings. That reminds me of a wonderfuly quote from Angels and Demons, a Dan Brown novel, in reference to the creation of universe,

Have we become so scientifically advanced that we have come to accept in Mathematical impossibilities than in a power greater than us?

Many a time in my life, I was probed and tested with various questions, subjected to innumerable confused moments, when I had no idea what I was doing, but all the while following His guidance that stemmed from somewhere within. The confidence grew gradually, and led me to a point, where I do not question conventional wisdom about certain mysterious facts of life and beyond.

In life, there is many a test,
He knows what is best,
Always wondered at my plight,
But there it was; the divine light!

The creation of the universe, along with its many mysteries, leaves me dumbfounded. The irony is seen in many facets of life. But, water, to me is the most convincing element that fits the picture. There are many places in the world, where a cup of water can bring so much happiness to the people. The dryness in the place fills you with a void. But, in stark contrast, you see other parts of the world, plunged in floods. There is water all around adorning the role of a dangerous destructor. This is a perfect example of sea travel; you have water all around, but not a drop to wet your lips. What an irony! A person stranded in the Sahara would love to get hold of the magical liquid, while a person caught in the middle of the Atlantic would be getting sick of seeing water all around. Such a strange commodity that it is praised and shunned in equal adjectives.

In the middle of the desert,
How I went berserk,
Not a trace of water in sight,
He with water is so elite

In the middle of the sea,
None that I could see,
There it was; a good wave,
Which was trying to save!

The strange things in life always led me to question the scientific nuance not embedded in it. Obviously, not everything owes a scientific explanation. The quest for the difficult answers took me to a divine path, from where I could sense the all pervading being controlling every aspect of life, but providing the answers in a most subtle way, that only you can comprehend. Every day is a new day, a new lease of life, and it still fills me with awe and wonder as I absorb the many wonders along the way!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Partner - Mindless laugh riot

There are some movies to be watched, just leaving your gray matter behind. You should not question why some things are happening and take things on screen value. After a rather eventful day at Newport, RI, we caught up with the latest David Dhawan laugh riot, Partner, starring the old time favourite Govinda along with the current controversial macho man, the ever undressable ready Salman Khan. The duo along with the beauties Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif just got us entangled in what can be called as a feel good movie, combining all elements of reel life to get us hooked to two and a half hours of absolutely mindless comedy.

I am sure it would make no sense for me to give a review of the movie with a structured baseline of the story. Come on guys, it is a Dhawan movie. You can't expect a strong storyline to fill the minutes. The scenes are churned faster than the speed of the light, with reel after reel of What the hell is happening on the screen. It was funny to see Govinda come back to spirits on 70mm with the same zeal and enthusiasm. He was wonderful to watch in the songs with his inimitable dance style. The dialogue delivery is still vintage Govinda style, and of course, the mannerism keep reminding you of his previous superhits churned out from the Dhawan factory. Salman Khan is either shirtless or wearing tweaky yellow T-Shirts and orange trousers. Sometimes, he tries to get overdressed to adorn it with a pink jacket. I just could not understand why such a colour combination has to be chosen to represent him. Katrina Kaif is absolutely jobless in the movie other than providing some good solace to the eyes. Lara Dutta is sleek (Ok I know she is not a car) and steals the show in the battle of the fairer sex by a comfortably big margin.

As is so common with Hindi movies, we just cannot get a product out without songs. This movie is no different with out of the blue songs making a sudden appearance in the middle of "no" story! The songs were real fun, and it was great to listen to the tracks in the hall. Ask the group for further details. It is very important to watch this movie with a good group, so that you can have fun all the way through. Come what may, it is a must watch movie. As I keep saying, don't go to the theater expecting an art movie. It is a David Dhawan-Govinda-Salman Khan movie and it is absolute fun to watch a movie without questioning the sensibilites. An out and out commercial movie with all the ingredients of a good show at the box office.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


A beautiful sunny day in the offing,
How could I not enter the forests,
She tagged along with me slowly,
A comfort to have her with me

The days gradually progressed,
I found not a soul in sight,
It was a sojourn always tricky,
But there she was to keep me chirpy

Tough to find your way through
Creepy creepers all over you,
I could sense the trickles of blood,
She was there to keep me good

Berries and cherries in my belly,
Nothing else to gloat over fully,
She was the perfect cushion
For the rest of my meal

A moment of tiredness fell,
I pushed along heavily,
Again, I fell back to her,
She was there to fill the void

A long time later, I realised,
She was slowly leaving me,
The sick feeling was getting to me,
Now, it was just a matter of time

Finally, I was really alone,
I was feeling the heat,
It was the point of agony,
How I wish there was more water!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cape Cod

Some places in the world attract all the attention for being tourism highlights. This is a must watch and just cannot be missed fills the mind. On the flip side, there are other places, which are equally brilliant and picturesque, and not many people know about it. I am not saying that the place we went to last week is obscure, but it is not as popular to the international community. The bottomline is simple, go to some place with a group of fellas and have real good fun. That's exactly what we did last weekend.

Pic: See Siddhart's hair to believe it was windy!

Staying on the east coast, it would be criminal if we do not make use of the weekends. With an impending winter in the next three months, we had to do some outdoor activities. It is the question of now or never for the rest of the year. As such, my roommate and I planned it for two or three weeks in a row to see our plan go down the drain. It was too frustrating to miss out continuously. So, last weekend, we decided, come what may, even if is just the two of us, we are going to the island town. But that was not the case, since we were joined by three other guys, who were equally interested to utilize the weekends. By the way, Cape Cod is a kind of a peninsula jutting out in the east coast in Massachusetts. I will not go into the details of where it is or about its historic significance. For such things, simply "google" the information.

Pic: A speeding boat! Wish we were there

So, it was about a couple of hours drive from Boston to Cape Cod. The car journey was good fun with five of us getting along well in each other's company. Oh! By the way, I forgot to introduce my counterparts. The group along with me comprised of my good buddie, apartment mate, Sameer, cheerful Pavan, talkative Chetan (he will beat me up for this!) and thoughtful Siddharth. After a good breakfast on the way, we drove up to the parking lot in a town named Woodshole. There are several parking plaza(s, not sure whether I can add an 's' since it sounds so funny - plazas..mmmm! not quite there!!!). Since we were almost into afternoon by the time we reached the place, we had to take the farthest parking lot. We were then taken to the point where we could take a ferry by the local bus, meant exclusively for this purpose. The ferry cruise was really good, and the 45 minute journey on sea, with the wind hitting you on a warm sunny day, gave a feel good factor. We were going to a place named Martha's Vineyard, and this is basically a tiny island. There is no other way to get to this place other than by water. Initially, when Chetan told me that it is an island, I imagined it to be one like that would fit Enid Blyton's description - tiny, compact and not in total habitation. It is only after I boarded the ferry did I realise that people could stay in the island for weeks together and it was just not meant to be a day's trip. The deck had parking space for atleast thirty cars for people to use it as a mode of transport in the island. Without knowing this, I had a funny conversation with the lady who was issuing the tickets for the ferry ride Ticket for the onward journey as well as return journey? I was like Yeah, obviously, If I go to the island, I have to come back right!!! She never really understood, rather I never really understood then!!!

Pic: Cars on the ferry

When we reached the island, it was not at all like the way I imagined. There were plenty of shops and wayside restaurants. Basically, you had everything there that you would find in a city. Each of us then hired a cycle to find our way to the nearest beach, which was about six miles away. It was a wonderful feeling to get hold of a cycle and pedal your way on the bike trail. It was tiring but it was worth every effort.

Pic: The tired cyclists

The beach was like any other. There was sand, more sand, water and of course, more water! The three of us jumped into the water happily (not before Siddhart made some funny comments!!). OK, the other two did not jump in for reasons unknown to me. Just staying afloat on water can give you a feeling of bliss. I swam real hard only to realise the futility of the attempt. But, just staying in water was heavenly, and we were thrilled to be in the Atlantic. What surprised us was the fact that there was absolutely no tide at all.

Pic: The 'fresh' and 'active' cyclist!!!

We stayed on for an hour or so, then embarked on our journey back in exactly the same way as the onward journey - cycling, ferrying, taking the bus back and finally the car back home. An eventful day with plenty of things done, and finally, a relieved lot on having utilized atleast one summer weekend. Don't ask us what we did on Sunday. It was exactly the opposite - lazing and relaxing. Our tired bodies had worn us out completely and without doubt, there was a big question mark on our fitness!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who is in the herd, Ms. Sengupta?

Hello Ms. Porcine Creature,

I am sure I have the right to address you that way after reading your column on IBNLive. Ms. Anuradha Sengupta, a prominent reporter of IBNLive, I would have expected neatly worded sentences than the crap you wrote on your insane piece of so called review. It was disappointing and totally disgusting. More importantly, it was totally unwarranted.

Do you realise that it was not due to certain individuals that the whole country was talking about the biggest movie of the year, the Rajini starrer Sivaji. Are we the ones who control the media? I remember every ounce of publicity being generated from every leading channel, and of course, even your sty (IBNLive) was a part of the campaign. Did we as the general public ask IBNLive to splash photos of Rajini all over your front page? Do you think we cared about how much money it made on the first day? Thanks to all the media hype, the movie made an impact like never before in the publicity arena.

Every individual has the right to offer an opinion on each and everything in the world. There is a way of expressing the opinion. Just because people go and watch a movie does not entitle you to call them as pigs. I do not care about what you call yourself, but since that sentence has made a reference to a person as a cinegoer, there is no way that people are going to take it easy. It is easy to have a blog and air your opinion, but there is a subtle method of doing it. I do not care that you hated the movie. A sentence like Rajini was looking awful in the movie, The movie was totally miserable conveys your viewpoint of the movie and is definitey acceptable. But, what do you mean by calling yourself as a part of the herd. Isn't the reference too ugly, when it is made by a journalist on the national media? It may be your personal blog, and you are airing your personal opinion, but channelize your hatred on the movie, not on the cinegoer. You have no right to say which movie we have to watch and which we can ignore. That is absolutely none of your business. I just can't fathom what happens to the critics when Karan Johar takes a movie. Why do you go into hiding?

Your intelligence may be definitely unquestionable given your terrific IQ to watch art movies. But there is a segment of the society that enjoys watching feel good movies which is way beyond reality. I definitely fall in that category. I am sure there is a large chunk lying in this segment. There is no way in the world you can dictate our interests.

As you said in your follow up blogpost,
  • Yes, it was definitely not a FILM REVIEW. It was cheap PERSONAL OPINION affecting the general public.
  • If you aren't against regionalism, I do not see the other reviews worded as badly as this.
  • I don't care to respond to your response on your blog's comments, as I refrained from writing any crap about your piece of crap on your blog.
  • Please stop this nonsense saying that your blog does not reflect the opinion of IBNLive. When you cover a piece of news, do you report it as personal opinion? As a senior journalist, you are responsible for anything that you write using the IBNLive template. You cannot wash off your hands for what you have written.
I would have expected a more classy review from a journalist like you. It is apalling to note that the work of crap is not generated from the movie, but from the review. I wouldn't have cared if you had blasted the movie in the way it should have been. But, when you call me a pig, and then try to walk off by saying that it is your personal opinion, I am not entitled to listen to your absurdity. Don't direct the missile against the public, direct it against the movie.

Write what you want in your personal blog, and again, you better not go about calling everyone a pig, just because they do not agree to what you say!!! For heaven's sake, I don't care a damn about your personal opinion.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A reason to flee - Quick(x)star

The greatest pleasure I derive can be attributed to the incoming flux of new people that I get to befriend. I have always found it fun to hang out in groups, come up with long discussions late into the night, hit the right topics of interest and venture out for some outdoor activities. As I came to Boston, my enthusiasm for meeting new people never died down. My enthusiastic fervour as a student remained the same even after employment, and I went on to grin and smile as soon as I met a fellow Indian. Not that I did not smile at an American, but it is just that a fellow Indian provides a local solace!

I realized over a period of time, how wrong I could be. Here in Boston, hardly the Indian public returned the smile. Oh! Let alone a smile, it was a stare like that of Shoaib Akhtar giving at Sachin Tendulkar after the latter hits a six. This did not happen just to me, but to a couple of other guys too from school. We were all in a fix. We did not know whether to continue grinning or smiling at people or give them a cold stare before they do! But, habits die hard you see!

A common Friday evening hangout for us is the Hot Breads at Woburn. Who would want to cook back from work on a Friday evening? It is an Indian joint, and invariably you get to see a good chunk of the Indian people helping themselves with vada paav, dhabeli, masala dosai, idly and pastries. As usual we would give a friendly smile, and sometimes to our luck, we would have some people conversing with us too. Hi, I am abc from this place. Hi, I am xyz from so and so place. The talks would go on for some time and then he would invariably throw in some key words. I am involved in business development in a big way. These words would create a feeling of terror within us. Obviously, we know what statement he would throw at us next. Have you ever heard of Q-U-I-C-K-S-T-A-R?

After a point of time, we came to this conclusion, either an Indian would walk past you with a cold stare or he would stay back and talk with you, but talk about Quickstar, for which they have that undying source of enthusiasm to spoil other people's happiness. There are some who do not talk about Quickstar in the first meeting, but they would take your phone number and not forget to call you up to lure you into the trap. Where is the question of lure when you do not express even an iota of interest? But, they realise that with great difficulty. As recently as yesterday, we(five of us) were cornered by a Quickstar (that is what such guys are known as!) guy, who was lecturing total crap, took about twenty minutes of our time hovering around us and trying to have an easy way to stick on in the group. In the end, I told him Oh! It is so nice to know an Indian talk with us like this and that too not about that unimportant entity Quickstar! We all hate those people who are prowling for business. He just lifts his head, and with a pale face comes up with Oh, all of you hate it? We screamed in glee as he fled from the scene within the next two seconds.

So, if ever you meet an Indian at Boston suburbs, beware! If he turns out to be genuine, there is nothing wrong in falling at his feet! I know it is not good to be rude to others, but there is a limit beyond which people should not test our patience. There is always the lure for money, and it all depends on the way you want to earn it. Quickstar is not just my cup of tea. Being a total people's guy, I do not want to knock at my friend's door and say Hi, would you be interested in an alternate source of income? I love to meet my friends and call them up at any time of my choice, and I do not want marketing to be a common topic of discussion!!!

Quickstar guys, please stay away from me!!!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Not "fair" enough...

A scene from the movie Sivaji. The hero is trying to woo the heroine and is trying to gain access into her house. Her neighbour comes to the hero with his daughters. The hero sees these two seemingly dark girls and vanishes from the spot. The theater erupts to applaud the so called comedy in the scene. I was dumbstruck for a second. The whole scene was shown in bad light. I had no words to describe my disappointment on the way the scene was filmed.

Amidst pranks in schools and colleges, the dark character has to give in time and again to the endless stream of jokes played on him by the jumbo boys. He is made to look like a morally starved creature devoid of everything in life. The incessant chatter would end up hounding the hapless guy and he would have no choice but to stare silently at the comments made on his physical traits. This doesn't happen in the American or European countries, but in our very own land, and within our very own community. I have always wondered how anybody can make fun of the other depending on the physical characteristics of the individual. This is one of the things I have carefully avoided. It is not uncommon to hear comments like He is dark (there are worse adjectives!! I am underplaying it here) and other notorious statements that can leave you totally disgusted. It happens in a community gathering, college meet up and in fact, even in a fresher's party.

What about the advertisements. Name Fair & Lovely, Lakme or any of those dozen products that advertise in the media. A typical sequence would be a girl going for an interview. She is rejected because of her dark complexion. She comes back home disappointed. She applies one of these ultra skin whitening products, and lo and behold, in a matter of days, she is transformed into the shiniest creature on earth. She walks into the interview room with a new found confidence (why the hell I don't understand!!), and even before she utters a word, she is granted the job. She is happy, her parents are happy and we, as audience have to look for every possible hair to tear it in fury. How in the world did the fair complexion turn her confident, I just can't fathom. Replace the sequence with the girl looking for a groom or studying for the exam or applying for an air hostess job, the end result would depend on that gleaming paste.

I would love to ban these advertisements and ask the so called creative thinkers to come up with a better concept. But then, reel life follows what happens in real life and we are left with no choice but to put up with these nonsensical characters, again in reel as well as real life. In plain words, ultimately nobody has any respect for a person who tries to bring down another based on his physical features, even if he does not really mean it. But then, if he really does not mean it, why in the world bring this up. Don't ask me for the answers!!!

At the end of the movie, I went home reflecting on this scene that had created an impact in me. It lingered on for a long time, and not just me, even my friend who could not understand any bit of Tamil, was sighing at the idiosynchracy of the scene. But, finally, the movie makers know the pulse of the audience. The audience loved it, loved the so called comedy and all that matters for the producers is the fact that the movie is raking in the moolah. What a sad plight!