Thursday, December 28, 2006

Is my country ashamed?

Read a post on my friend Anil's blog, about this young girl, all of 17 only, who was tied up, gang-raped, beaten up, brutally (to say the very least) murdered. Her corpse was raped again and bars were shoved in her genitals, and face disfigured. Her mother suffered the same consequence. Her brothers were beaten, disfigured and killed. And in full public view. The girl was Priyanka Bhotmange, and she was an ordinary girl like any of us, with dreams of studying more, becoming a cadet and living happily ever after.

I read and re-read the post and all stories about her, saw some pictures that are making me cry even now... my skin crawled and I cringed trying to delete the scene from my mind. Yes, I want to erase all that I cannot bear, all that I don't want to know is happening around me, all that I know can happen to any one of us. I don't want to face the reality that this happened and it happened in this country and in my state.

Why am I writing about this 3 months down the line after the incident? Because I live in a self-contained world, with my own 'problems' and am having a cushy life. And happened to read, in detail, about this girl only now.

And do I care? Quite honestly, I don't know.... but then again, maybe, I do. Because I cannot explain why else am I feeling an immense anger that makes me want to castrate those men, cut off their limbs and leave them for dying. And also a terrible helplessness... for being who I am- a woman, who can be vulnerable at all times, never mind the fact who she is or how well-connected in society she is. Also not knowing what to do really.

Above all, I am ashamed...for being part of a country that on one hand worships forms of women and on the other massacres their very being, for living in a society that allows these men to scott-free by hushing the case and destroying the evidence. For being part of the brigade that beyond feeling shocked, angered and sad, will not spend more time than necessary on Priyanka.

And if this sounds like a confused post, it is.... because I don't know what I am feeling, where I stand and who I am

Saturday, December 23, 2006

One more cup tea please.

It was one of the evenings
that saw our feet comfortably resting
on armrests high.
As we ate bhajiyas over chai,
musing over what made us and our lives….
An overwhelming urge to sift through your hair
competed with looking deeply into those dark eyes.
Tempting it was too,
to run my fingers on your lips
As mine brushed your skin with many sighs…

And you talked to me…
Oh, how you called out my name…

You spoke,
I awoke.
A reverie broken...
…and the tea gone cold.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Office staccatos

Out of my window is another world that I see
Through the glass and mullions is the place I rather be
You smile, as you see me dream…
and knowingly let me enjoy the moment
before I hear reality scream.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dhoom(2)= doom... and kaboom!

Played hookey at office and went to watch Dhoom 2. Not that I had intended to, was supposed to see Casino Royale but missed the show, so watched some 'Hindi action' instead. In one word, the movie is simply a 'masala bag' (hmm, that makes it 2 words)... there is abs no script at all! They've taken the best shots from 'The Saint' (oooh Val Kilmer!), 'After the Sunset' and 'The Bourne Identity' and made a movie.
Bipasha and Aishwarya are not really that much of eye-candy as they were supposed to be...Bips hardly has any role to play...Uday Chopra is funny. Period. Abhishek looks like he's gained weight only on his cheeks and has drunk one too many bottles of wine! The highlight, positive, star, hero and everything else is Hrithik! He fits the role perfectly...and has done a great job- looks amazing, dances well and shows plenty of muscle...sadly though, he has been wasted as the movie itself is a killer... the scenes don't make any logical sense, the bikes were forced into the movie as finally Dhoom 1 was all about ze bikes! Why can't our Indian film makers at least copy well!???
Life is a riot! Literally!
Some statue of Dr.Ambedkar got desecrated in Kanpur, UP and the whole of Maharashtra has taken up arms! (Talk of national integration!)... In Mumbai, Pune, in between and other parts of the state, buses, cars, scooters, trains, malls, stores- every thing- have been either stoned, broken or burnt! It's a standstill situation everywhere...
Me thinks all these people ought to be shot on sight!
Here's something I had written a long time back...
From My Heart to Yours
Would it be so difficult to understand if I said, "I love you"?
Maybe it will shock you,
then again maybe not...
We have come a long way, you and I
and the vicissitudes around us
have both changed and made us. . .
You seem an eternal part of me,
yet when I stand on the sandy shores of life
half rooted into the soil and also being dragged with the tide,
there is an unanswered question that arises
when I feel your presence
in your absence...
Are you really mine?
Or was it just you wearing robes of silver dreams
that I was furiously wishing for?
Maybe all of you is a dream. . .. .
So, would it be real if I said,"I love you" ?
And would you understand it to be true?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A long hiatus...

...but one can't stop blogging!
It becomes an addiction, irrespective whether people read your blog, miss you when you were not active in the cyber world and even wonder where you have disappeared.
Currently am writing on 6 blogs- 3 of which are design-based. And all because the design activity in Pune has become a whirlwind affair that has literally catapulted the industry here.
I'm talking of the Pune Design Festival 2006 held obviously in Pune the last weekend. An unique thought process wherein for the first time the design industry has come together to build a foundation of professionals in the field and like-minded academic institutions and corporates. So the festival was conceived and executed by the Pune Design Foundation group, as of now comprising 9 design companies and 2 academic schools based in the city. My company being one of the design firms there. :)
The best part of this festival and foundation being established was the overall synergy within the design firms, as opposed to the normal competitive attitude most designers have. And the following statement is being made very objectively and not as a Punekari, but the attitude is a city-based one. When I used to work with a architecture magazine from Bombay, I used to often visit Pune and meet the architecture fraternity here and was amazed to see that there was(still is) a wonderful co-existence between the firms here. They would visit each other often, look at and share their views on the other's projects, gather as a group and talk design, share ideas, visit different cities and other architecture practices... something I've never seen people in other cities do. In Bombay, there are people who are close-knit and share work, but not to this extent.
Delhi is another topic altogether. The politically inclined city makes its views very strongly felt even in the design group. People are secretive, fiercely competitive, will not allow anyone go ahead of them, extremely insecure of their clients, work and space... leading to a society that is wary of every other person who is termed a 'designer'. They talk of knowledge-sharing on one hand, but will not disclose the name of their structural engineer, lest he be 'poached'!
And these views are being said out of experience and very close observation. An example that happened to ‘yours truly’… a Pune-based client asked my firm to be part of the ongoing work in terms of execution as it is convenient, economical and one can also keep a good check on the project if the design firm is from the city itself. We were asked to meet and collaborate with the designer, who’s based out of Delhi. We did meet him as designers first and were in turn met with silence, a very cold attitude and a sense of thousand walls coming up around and between us. Basically we realised that he felt we were competition to him! Then when we said the client asked us to meet, he was flabbergasted, sweated a bit and was in a hurry to leave…so we finally had to convey to him that we were only planning to execute his project and not take his job from him. That is when he relaxed, just a little bit, and muttered something to the effect that he may not mind and will get back. Phew!

Why are people so insecure? In a field that is only going upward and in leaps and bounds, there is definitely work for everyone. And finally is this not the age to come together and build?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday the 13th indeed!

The only claim to fame for this day has been that when I was young and had gone visiting some family friends, I had no option but to watch 4 parts of Friday the 13th- all consecutively! And the darpok that I have been all my life, this day has always been imprinted in my mind- and the movie too! Yet, I have never been very superstitious in life and also always believed that Friday the 13th was my lucky day...after all 666 is one of my favourite numbers! ;)

But yesterday I experienced a very different side to the day- and the wrong side, for once! Had an appointment in the morning and there was too much work and correspondence to complete, so left in a hurry. Only to find out, and after reaching the place, that I had left my wallet at home. Told the guys to postpone the meeting later (I was the client so could afford to say that), went home,sped upstairs, got my wallet out and ran down to the waiting rick. Almost reached the venue when I found out that the wallet had no money nor my card! Great! Trooped back home immediately, searched, rearranged my stuff and got out- this time making sure I don't have to come back for anything at all. After all, the heat here is a killer!

The meeting went off fine. And I had to run some errands so did that and took a rick home. There the second crazy ordeal started. At the start itself, the rick guy dashed a scooter, had an argument, moved out, went ahead a bit and dashed a car, then went a little more and dashed another rick....and almost crashed into a cyclist- all with me in it! Too bizzare a situation for me, so I promptly changed the rick, but not before telling the madman to be off the roads-permanently!

Came home to find my refridgerator had conked off, the milk had got spoilt as had all the other foodstuffs. So I complained to the company (after all it's just a year old since I had bought that piece!) and asked for someone to come and get it repaired. Lo behold! By evening, the fridge suddenly sprang to life and this without any reason or work done on it. Which meant I had to shell out few hundreds for the 'visiting charges' of the company representative!

Just when I thought I could not take it anymore, I realised I was supposed to go for an architectural event at night. And there was soooo much pending work! Also, one of the first time that the food (for Tara) would not cook fast at all nor cool down either! I actually had to completely dress up, and then take Tara out for a walk and also run with her! All in all I managed somehow only to realise I was late for the event!

Got out, but no rick! And the only one I did manage to get was probably the slowest in Pune! Why is it that when you want to reach somewhere real fast, the universe conspires to ensure you are late? The one good point that happened was that the event had just started and I had the pleasure to listen to a good speaker! But then I found out that save for a few, who I could count on my fingers of one hand only, there was no one I knew and the ones I knew never turned up!

The day or rather night ended with me meeting a gay (but real sweet and happy) fashion designer who was desperately trying to sweet talk a friend to be his muse... and he was the one who finally dropped me home as there was no transportation available at all! The bad point of that being he was being latched onto by another guy who was extremely irritating and a lech to boot- and worse was that he seemed straight- which meant he was letching at me! And I had to literally suffer this fool gladly because he was accompanying the person who was dropping me home!

Phew! All in all it was a crazy day! But come to think of it, when you rewind the scenes, it was also fun...
So Friday the 13th, here's more to you! :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The shoe vs the sandal. (01/12/01.)

If it was a choice between her and me
With whom would u rather be?
A stranger for whom your love has just alit
Or someone who has seen you thru every bit
She may be glamorous, beautiful and bold
But isn’t old still gold!?
She may make your heart skip
But will she hold you when you trip?
Days and months will fly fast
Is it a lifetime that her love will last?
Choosing between us is of course your call
Although let me warn you… she will surely make you fall!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nursery Rhymes alright!?

Found myself wondering how morbid some of the poems/songs I had learnt,were. The childhood ones to be precise. And even more specifically, the English rhymes.
Take for example, 'Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down, broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after!'. Poor Jack- imagine actually happening to a little boy- we'd have to call 911 asap! And imagine that poor girl coming rolling from the hill.....!!!
Then there's 'Inky pinky ponky (please don't laugh on this one, we did learn it!)... Father had a donkey. Donkey Died, father cried. Inky Pinky Ponky!' As a kid too, I always felt bad hearing about the poor donkey....but understood it's significance much later.
And, "Piggy on the railways lines, picking up stones. Down came an engine and broke Piggy's bones. "AAh", said the Piggy, "that's not fair". "Oh!" Said the engine driver, "I don't care!" Where have those animal activists gone? You teaching a kid to run over a pig and saying it's ok!?
Some more:
"Barber, barber, shave a pig!How many hairs to make a wig?Four and twenty, that's enough!Give the barber a pinch of snuff"......
Good night, sleep tight,
Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
And if they do, then take your shoe
And knock ‘em ‘til
They’re black and blue!
"Goosey, goosey, gander,Whither shall I wander?Upstairs, and downstairs,And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old manWho wouldn't say his prayers!I took him by the left legAnd threw him down the stairs."
"Rock-a-bye, baby,in the tree top.When the wind blows,the cradle will rock.When the bough breaks,the cradle will fall,And down will come baby,cradle and all. "
"My Bonnie lies over the ocean,My Bonnie lies over the sea.My Bonnie lies over the ocean,Please bring back my Bonnie to me.
Bring back,Bring back,Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.Bring back,Bring back,Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.
Last night as I slept on my pillow,Last night as I slept on my bed,Last night as I slept on my pillow,I dreamt that my Bonnie was dead.
Bring back,Bring back,Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.Bring back,Bring back,Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me"
"Solomon Grundy,Born on Monday,Christened on Tuesday,Married on Wednesday,Took ill on Thursday,Worse on Friday,Died on Saturday,Buried on Sunday: This is the end of Solomon Grundy."
Many of these rhymes have a significance/ an adult explanation of thoughts, but why introduce these thoughts to kids? As a child, I obviously never understood the nuances of the poems, but would feel bad while saying some, and didn't know why. Now, when I re-read them I realise the subtle negativity that flows through them, which sub-consiously stays on in the mind.
And this is not to sound political correct. Neither is this post on the line of thought as those who think Enid Blyton and other children stories are racist, sexist or xenophobic.(now that thought is utter rubbish and I certainly do not agree with it- but that on some other post...)
My question is, what on earth are these morbid poems doing in children's books and why are they taught in schools?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Echoes of the mind.

Life's bits and pieces i pick up
fragments are all i see...
through passing days and many moonlights
only shadows remain with me.
bittersweet memories
so like the coffee I drink
thoughts of you spilleth over
and more into the dark waters i sink...

wounds heal but scars remain
till some things notch at the memory strings

and all one remembers is the pain.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Om Ganeshaya Namoh!

Since I could not take pics of the Pune Ganpatis, am posting the one at home. We had decided to have a permanent 'sthapana' done of the Ganpati, keeping in mind the ecosystem,etc. Plus, the way the idols are thrown around here, I think it was a wise decision.

So the brass Ganpati is the permanent one. And since visarjan is a part of the puja, I make a small ganpati, either of clay or 'atta' (flour), and we have the visarjan at home itself. The orange Ganesh (in the pic below) is the one I have made- from flour and food colours...yes, completely edible! ;)

And we have a huge collection of Ganeshas- around 300 odd- from statues to prints, frames to masks, suparis to toys...they are all stored and displayed only during the festival... have not displayed all this time because of my dog, Tara, who's still too small to understand she's not supposed to eat them.

And am sharing few with you all.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

A tale of two cities...

Since childhood to about 2 years ago, whilst I was living in Mumbai, I always wanted to visit Pune to see how Ganesh Chaturti is celebrated here. Having heard so much from boastful friends and relatives, and also having seen part of it on TV, I was curious and in a way dying to be part of the 'cultural mela'. And looking forward to being part of the city that the entire state looked up in awe during these 10 days...

Till I shifted to Pune.
This being my second Ganeshotsav here, I slowly saw my wonderful visions of the rich culture and 'proper' conduct of the various Ganesh mandals existing in the city evaporate into shards of hard reality.

Last year, I thought I was being partial to Mumbai (which I am always, no matter what), by being critical. But this year, the story repeats itself.

Ok, now the 'what'. And this I'll say by comparing the way the festival is conducted in the two cities- Mumbai and Pune.

* In Mumbai, the pandals and decorations are ready one day prior to the Chaturti. Especially for the large Ganpatis and the famous mandals. In Pune, as of now, it is the third day and the decorations are still being done- leave aside opening the pandals to the public.

* Mumbai- The Ganesh murti is set up on the first day itself. No allowances made for any delay- the 'muhurat' is all pervasive.
Pune- The decorations are not complete, so how can you expect the Ganpati murti in it??? And this even for famous Ganpati mandals like the Dagdu Sheth. I happened to pass on Jungli Maharaj Road today and had seen about 4-5 large pandals- but all of them shut to the public- as work was still going on!

* Mumbai- The Ganpati statues are taken home and even submerged with a lot of respect. The way one covers the statue before the 'sthapana'. enters the home in a particular manner, leaves it with the back facing and more. Puneites couldn't care less (and I have seen quite a few, hence this statement!).

* Mumbai- Of course the sea is there, but in far off places, the small neighbourhood water tank, pond, lake,etc is cleaned and made available for the 'visarjan'. The BMC appoints people to collect the garlands and strictly do not allow any waste to be submerged with the statue. And the statues are submerged properly, with all the proper rites being done by the person who's sending off the God and also by the person who's taking it to be submerged.
Pune- Yes, the river is there and running full too. And an apparantly 'systematic method' or rather, as the Punekar would say, the eco-friendly method of putting the statues in specialised tanks filled with water. This is great, but the tanks never contain water till the third day, the statues are just thrown in, the garlands and other stuff dumped and there is no real 'visarjan' per se.

* Mumbai- Larger than life are the sizes of the Ganpatis. And many of them existing since years. And they also have timings and huge crowd gatherings to see them off. But there is no ego hassle- especially of who goes first and who follows. While leaving, everybody goes as one- the visarjan is done together and everyone is happy.
Pune- There is a strict protocol followed. The top five Ganpati Mandals move first, get to do the visarjan and then only can the others follow. Even with the top five, there is a heirarchy of sorts- which means that without the first moving, the second one cannot follow or lead. And in tow are the various dances, 'rangolis' being put in front and more- great fun to see- but when you think of the others behind, you only wish these guys would hurry up!

* Mumbai- Timings are adhered to- especially because it is a procession of the God. And despite the public gatherings, all the visarjans happen on the last day- nowadays majorly by 10pm. And those going after 10pm are silent in their processions and conduct.
Pune- When the Ganpatis arrive three days after they should have, you know they are justified when they have the visarjan three days after. And time??? "What's that? Let the first royal mandal move- and since they are taking their own sweet time to cross few steps forward, don't blame us for immersing our statue after a day or so- that is when we will manage to reach the water body!"

The smaller details like Mumbai being more cosmopolitan and every person following the religious activity with sincerity is not much to talk about.

And yes, despite all the lovely show that Pune puts up, I realised it is finally just that- a show. Quite a flop one at that.

Just started a new blog on architecture, design, technology and more. Called Design-o-logy. You can check it here:
Also will be starting my own travel blog soon. The name is Wanderlogue and the link being

Monday, August 21, 2006


Not much of a tv serial watcher, but must say that Ekta Kapoor's optimism in the human race is tremendous. Take for example, Kabhi Saas Bhi Bahu Thi... There are actually 6 generations of one family under one roof... and going with the average age of the youngest being around 18 or so, I guess the oldest should be well above 120! And none of them need botox, tucks or lifts, anti-wrinkle creams or anti-ageing lotions! Now is that not a great achievement of humanity???!
I think, with the kind of TRP ratings this serial gets, everybody watching it is entitled to demand for this secret of the elixir of life from Ekta, so that they too can be young forever! Though there is one condition here that I see Ms.Kapoor putting to all people- that of staying in a joint family and to be filthy rich- because that is the only way the masala of life will get pisaoed well! Mmmm...I can actually smell the flavour of life coming through!
The other K-man.
Saw Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna over the weekend. I must say, I was warned about how crappy it is and that I should not waste my money. But since I normally like to experience for myself, I took the plunge! And came out wet, of course, but not because it was a damp squib, but because I could not stop myself from crying.
The movie is real enough and has a mature concept. Love can come knocking at any given point, it's upto us to choose what our priorities should be. And also indicative of how the values of marriage have changed today, making us wonder if there is anything like a forever marriage.
The characters were well played, and I really liked Amitabh's character and his performance in this movie! And Aby's baby rocks too! All in all, it was fun, although a bit too long. And I happened to watch it at Infinity Mall in Mumbai, with seats that are like lounge chaises- large and comfortable enough to be able to sit cross-legged or sleep in it. That's the changing face of movies and theatre halls for you.
Ok and since I have been getting comments from people assuming I liked the movie because I wrote few good things about it, let me follow up with the negatives:
- Too long! Loads of scenes were not needed at all.
- That black beast meeting was really idiotic- KJ should not attempt comedy.
- I don't see the reason why Rani married Abhishek in the first place-marry for the sake of marriage and not for anything else. And friendship/pity/kids should be the last thing.
- And what is the problem between them that she had to turn towards Shahrukh- now a frustrated, mean guy, with no spine to boot?
- How come that kid looked so happy after his parents divorced???
- Abhi pyaar hua, ikraar hua- phir bhichad bhi gaye- to jaane do na. Why tell the spouses!???
Funny though it may sound, I still don't know if I liked the movie or no....
Wrote some lines on my way to Bombay...they sort of sum up what I was thinking then, but are still incomplete. Anyway, here goes.
Bikhre bikhre pal yehan,
Kahan unhe dhoondoo?
Yeh na ho ke unke khoj mein
Kuch aur mera kho baithoo...
Tarassha hai jise kabhi mahfuuz hoke,
Yeh vakt ke churaye hue lamhe
Kya ik baar phir unse mil sakoo?

Monday, August 07, 2006

So, what does 'love' mean to you?

'Love' today is such a common word in the phraseologies of today, with expressions like 'Ooh! I so lovvee this song/him/the food/the joint...' and ' Love you gal, thanks a ton!'...also, 'Hello/ Take care, luv!' being spouted at the drop of a hat! And if one is at a social do, all the more reason to have 'luhhhvv' being transferred to you on a honey-laden golden plate. It makes me wonder, do they really care so much or is this really love!?

The word 'love' is very sacred to me. And the name of my blog not withstanding, I choose to use it sparingly and definitely not for all and sundry! That's primarily because I feel that when I express love for/to some one/thing, I am duty bound and morally obliged to mean it. Also being acutely aware of the connotations, implications and responsibility the word has, I'd like to believe that since I said it, I am truly- from the depths of my heart- convinced that I do so... a conviction that holds me in good stead through all the trying times and doubting minds around...

That's why I ensure that when I tell someone 'I love you' (be it family, friend or otherwise), I actually feel the words come from my heart. And I am completely confident about what I feel when I say I do. This attempt to be honest and true to myself has led me to sign most of my mails/letters/cards with either 'warm regards', 'cheers!', 'take care!' and so on...emphasising that I do care, but not necessarily love them. This also helps me analyse my feelings and have the clarity of thought of love as compared to feeling/caring for/being sympathetic to someone and more.

And so, from saying 'I love to travel/watch movies/to read/to dance...' and 'I love design/photography/good food....' etc; I have learned to say, 'I enjoy travelling' or 'I'm passionate about design' ... expressing myself completely but yet not brandishing the word 'love'.

It may sound stupid, self-centred or even weird, but I know in the bargain I am being completely true to myself and the person I expressed love for. It's not a superfluous expression of society's norms but a revealation of my heart and soul. Something that is real and set in stone.

Love, for me, is being true to my soul. And for eternity.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friendship: Fortune Forever!

Wishing a very HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY to us all !
May there always be peace, happiness and trust around and within.... :)

Some thoughts to share... yes, a lil mushy post for the day... but what the heck! It's not always that this happens... and for those who think I've gone loony...well... just blame it on the rains! :)

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces,
Where we used to talk?
How shall I fill the final places?
How shall I complete the wall?
Are we friends, or are we not?
You told me once, but I forgot
Tell me now, and tell me true
So I can say, I'm here for you.
Of all the friends I've ever met
You're the one I won't forget
And if I die before you do
I'll go to heaven, and wait for you
I'll give the angels, back their wings
And risk the loss, of everything.
Just to prove my friendship is true
To have a friend, a friend like you
-- Loren Heath, Friends
A part of you has grown in me,
together forever we shall be.
Sometimes apart,maybe in distance
but never in heart.
-- Unknown.
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.-- Octavia Butler.
If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are your waiting?-- Stephen Levine.
If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them.-- Christopher Morley.
I've learned in my lifetime so far that you can't help who you fall for and no matter how hard you try and how much it hurts you everyday that you just wanna be with them or just talk to them you never stop trying to make them happy by the little things you say or do because thats what makes your life worth going on for.-- Unknown.
Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being a part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end.-- Unknown.
A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?-- Khalil Gibran
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.-- Henri Nouwen.
I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.-- Robert Brault.
The friendship between a man and a woman which does not lead to marriage or desire for marriage may be a life long experience of the greatest value to themselves and to all their circle of acquaintance and of activity; but for this type of friendship both a rare man and a rare woman are needed. Perhaps it should be added that either the man or the woman thus deeply bound in lifelong friendship who seeks marriage must find a still rarer man or woman to wed, to make such a three cornered comradeship a permanent success.-- Anna Garlin Spencer.
Did anyone ever tell you

Just how special you are
The light that you omit
Might even light a Star.

Did anyone ever tell you
How important you make others feel?
Somebody out here is smiling
About love that is so real.

Did anyone ever tell you
Many times, when they were sad
Your e-mail made them smile a bit
In fact: It made them glad!!!

For the time you spend sending things
And sharing whatever you find,
There are no words to thank you,
But somebody thinks: You’re fine!

Did somebody ever tell you
Just how much they love you?
Well my dearest Online-Friend
Today I’m telling you !!

I believe that without a friend
You’re missing out on a lot.
Don’t be confused by
Friends and acquaintances,
There is a difference:
Because I care about you
-- Unknown.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Every public gathering I see you looking
with bemused eyes, wanting to see the consequence
of your product
but not wanting to be there either…
Is it you or your imagery that brings them there?
Wouldn’t you like to know?
Every written word of yours
is there for all to see; And yet for you there is always
a large melee…You don’t see it as necessary
but you know you can't help people
the way they’d rather be…So tell me,
what goes on in your mind there,
when they all want a piece of you instead…
Thursday- May 2, 2002

Friday, July 14, 2006

May there be love all around!

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”
Henry Drummond
Felt the need to share this quote with all. As I have mentioned once before, give rhymes with live.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh blimey!

People who want to contact loved ones in Mumbai, please do so through this blog
I had said that 9th was a day of horrors... but will rephrase that for today-the 11th!
What has happened to my Mumbai!!!!??? :(
I hope all you blogger friends in Mumbai are ok! Leave a comment so I'll know.
For people trying home, please note all communications have been jammed.
For more news on the situation...
Yesterday was a time filled with horrors.
- Mumbai's citizens lost their mind and overrated the value of 'some mud'.
- This infectious disease spread and cast a dark shadow on the entire state as everything was shut down.

- Zizou (Zinedine Zidane) was shown a red card. What a sad way to exit for one of the greatest players of all times! :(
- France lost! (my
post on the first day of the World Cup had foretold that France will definitely have a chance- inspite of all rooting for Brazil and Germany as the likely contenders. I was not too far from the truth- Damn! I should've been betting or better still, been a bookie!)
- I spent a sleepless night drowned by my own sorrows of this loss and the noisy clatter of the neighbour rooting for Italy... grrr!!!

Well today's a new bright day, there seems some semblance of sanity returning and routines being caught up with...also a glorious full moon night... and some friends' birthdays too... one of them being
Harjee! So I guess it should be a happy day! :)

Have a great week peepulz!

ps; yes, my earlier post is pending. Will put it up soon... am trying to hunt for pics.
pps: yes, it was a good day- Zizou won the Golden Ball Award as the best player in the World Cup! :D

Saturday, July 01, 2006

memories and more...

I was travelling through the city and crossing one of the many bridges that Pune has... running parallel to the road is a railway track. One does not often see trains on the track even though it is functional and used daily. But this day, I saw a train...and it would have been an ordinary moment, but for the fact that the train was a Mumbai 'local' in appearance. And just looking at a piece of stretched metal took me back to Mumbai and the memories spilled over... (sigh!)

Likewise, a dog standing nonchalantly in the middle of the road (why on earth do they do that?!), reminded me of my trip in Ahmedabad. I had gone to cover some heritage properties for a feature in the magazine I was working for, all of which are couple of hours around Ahmedabad. I had stayed over at the architect- Hiren Patel's home (now a good friend too!) and we had planned the various routes and days accordingly. There were 3 heritage properties to be seen. Then Hiren was called to the first site urgently, beforehand. And his wife, her friend and I then made the trip to Balaram Palace.
The journey was fun and I got a lot of interesting tattle to hear about the city. As I was sitting in the front seat, next to the driver, (as I often love to do because it gives me a great view and I tend to sometimes take photographs too…) I had the complete road stretched out in front of me. And that is how the question came to my mind… why the hell do dogs sit/crap/eat and more in the middle of the road!? No, this was not something that came out of the blue, but because of what I saw. That day, the to and fro journey saw me seeing dead dogs on the road- 21 to be precise!!! I started counting after the 4th one… And normally get distressed by seeing one dead dog…and here with this phenomenal numbers, I was quite out of my mind and had become completely numb. Made me think Ahmedabad as the ‘city of dogs’ more than being the ‘land of peacocks’…
as of now, with the current political scenario, I realize that my thoughts were not very far from the truth.

Balaram Palace lies in Palanpur, on the Abu road, close to the Rann of Kutch. Once a royal retreat of the Lohani Nawab family, it was converted into a heritage hotel and has been modified. My architect friend being responsible for its overall restoration. Lying amidst a forest area, the Palace gets a majestic view of the Aravalli Hills. Since I had come with the architect, and was doing a feature on the place, I was treated like royalty. And was made to stay in the Royal King’s Suite (now called one of the 4 Golden rooms). “This was where Amitabh Bachchan stayed when he was shooting for one of his movies…”, I was told conspiratorially. “…and Rekha was in the adjacent Queen’s Suite!”. WOW! Now that I was given an insight to one of the most famous gossip that has rocked India, and thinking that he had made my day by this piece of information, I was shown my suite. A large bedroom, overlooking the lawns and comprising of smaller rooms for changing, a smaller private ante-room before one entered the spacious bathroom, wherein I could dance too merrily… But what hit me most was the bed! The large 4-poster was so high, that one had to keep a stool to climb on to it! Yes, great for Amitabh, but not someone with my height of 5’3”! In contrast was the Queen’s suite, which had a cozy antechamber with a low seating of thick mattresses and quilts and a nice sensual smell to it… Not much to say here, except that I hardly could sleep on the bed because I was not used to being so elevated that I felt I could touch the high ceiling…

The trip overall, was wonderful... I was taken for an open jeep ride into the forest, which made me beg God for the chance to see the wildlife,which he very meanly did not comply to. (sniff sniff!) And I got to see the famouse Adivasi and tribal villages of the Gowala and Rabari tribes...amazing architecture for those interested! We were there for just an overnight stay, so I could not actually travel around despite wanting to do so...especially to see the Adalaj Wav(step-well), the Calico Museum or the Modhera Sun temple.

There’s more… my meeting a real king and queen and also seeing the Royal summer house of the Scindias… all in the next post!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Peepulz... few friends from Delhi are the ones responsible for this play...One show was held at the NCPA- I've seen it, loved it and will recommend everyone to experience it at least once. Don't miss! And pass the word around please. They are having another show at Prithvi as as part of Naseeruddin Shah's Motley presentation of "Katha Collage".

Motley presents
Dastangoi: A Presentation of the Lost Form of Storytelling
(A Part of Katha Collage II)

The Sea of Eloquence – An Evening of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza

July 1 & 2, 2006 at 9:00 pm, Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, Mumbai
Tickets available at Prithvi on the day of performance itself.

The oral narration of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza was a popular past time in most parts of Central, Western and South Asia and North Africa since medieval times. Originally composed in Persian, the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza describes the battles of Amir Hamza, the Prophet Muhammad’s Uncle, against infidels, sorcerers and other pretenders to divinity.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza was singularly successful in entertaining a whole range of people, from the commoners at chauks and nukkads to the elites in their palaces; it was performed at the steps of the Jama Masjid where Dastangos gathered. While their neglect as literature is inexcusable, they have been wholly obliterated from the canon of performing arts. As anecdotes of Mir Baqar Ali, the last known Dastango of Delhi, testify, their performances required an exceptional command over rhetoric, delivery, mimicry, ventriloquism and spontaneous composition.

The present performance of Dastangoi builds upon some recent shows that were enthusiastically received in the Capital. The performance consisted of portions of the best-known daftar, or chapter, of the 46 volume Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, the Tilism Hoshruba, the ‘Enchantment that Steals away the Senses’, which is itself in seven volumes.

The performances have come about as a result of a collaboration between S.R. Faruqi, the foremost living authority on these Dastans and the only person to possess a full set of all the 46 volumes, and the performers. Faced with neglect and systematic devaluation we now have very scanty evidence for the way in which these Dastans were compiled and performed. Even basic things such as movements, gesticulation, stage setting are wholly unknown. The current performance is therefore merely an exploration of an Art form which, astonishingly in a culture where poetry was regarded as the supreme art, was considered by some to be of a higher order than poetry itself.

Dastangos were supposed to be a repository not just of language, common speech as well as literary, but also of social mores, craftsmanship, and all other forms of knowledge.The Dastangos of old performed in an oral culture where memory, sound and directness were much prized. As modern actors we neither have skills to memorize whole daftars, nor the inventiveness to do spontaneous and extempore improvisations which are the hallmark of oral performances.

See also: The Dastangoi blog.

Mahmood Farooqui is a self-trained actor and performer whose most recent foray into acting consisted of a role in Mahesh Dattani’s English film, Mango Soufflé. Initiated into theatre as a schoolboy, and as stage manager, by Mohan Maharishi, former director of the National School of Drama, he directed several plays at school and college, and prepared for the final entrance workshop of the NSD, before founding his own amateur theatre group called Dastak Theatre. After completing his M Phil in Indian History from Cambridge University, Mahmood went to Mumbai and performed in IPTA’s Aakhri Shama and the Company Theatre’s Hindustani presentation of Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead. Earlier this year, he was given a Fellowship by Sarai, CSDS to work on the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza.

Danish Husain has done theatre with the best names in the country - Habib Tanvir, M.S. Sathyu, Barry John, Rajinder Nath, Sabina Mehta Jaitley, Aziz Quraishi, et al in a wide variety of roles. His latest assignments include a play called Raja by Rabindra Nath Tagore and a movie, Losing Gemma, by Granada Productions for a British TV Channel called ITV. He also performed at Bonn Theatre Festival in May 2006 as part of Habib Tanvir’s Agra Bazaar troupe. Besides being an accomplished actor Danish is a poet and a writer, whose work has been published across a cross-section of media, including Tehelka and other journals. He is a member of few collaborative blogs and a writer's group called Wriyaz supported by the British Council. Danish holds a Master's degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The paper lantern now hangs
outside my window
a vain attempt of display…
of stoicism…
Struggling…as it suspends itself
…fighting…against the might of the winds
that have
conspired to tear it down…
surviving….all odds
…torn and in shards
never giving up…
won’t ever, I know…
not until I choose to discard…
...these remnants of our friendship…

Monday, June 12, 2006

my tryst with hindi...(part1)

had written the following at different junctions of life...some were sms that I had sent,many (rather most) were part of mails I used to send a friend and the others just random thoughts -all straight from the heart!
(ps: mucho apologies to all those hindi/urdu 'stars' urf 'poets'...have never claimed mastery over the same although some words just cannot be expressed in any other language!)
kya kare......jaan atki hai is kaidkhaane mein.
Ud bhi nahi sakte aur bhaag nikal
bhi nahi sakte ....
Yeh na poocha kabhi humse
ki humne kya khoya hai
Bas yunhi maan liya tumne
ki humne paaya hai....
Kya humne banaya voh humara nahi?
To phir kyun lagta hai ki hum the jaha
ab bi hai vahi........
Yeh maahol hume maar daalega,
aur hum khakh kya jee rahe hai?
Zindagi se badkar hai humara zameer....
par jab zindagi hi na ho,
to hum kya cheez hai!
(written when i was really frustrated with office!)
Hai tumhe pyaar
ki na koi kadar
paagalpan pe utar aaye hum,
teri chaah mein o bekhabar....
dil se aah nikli meri
jab gusre ham teri dagar….
Jhuki hui nazron ne kya ada chala di
Hum baithe rahe intezaar mein in hoton ki
Par aapki aankhon ne har baat keh di…
Hum mashoor na sahi…
shayar to ho gaye
tumne kya jadoo kar diya,
hum hum na reh paye….
zindagi mein log bahut mile
kuch pyar kuch 'fool' khile
magar kasam us khuda ki
aap jaise paagal bahut kam mile!
tera mail dekha
poem pada
zubaan se labs na aaye
dil bhar aaya
aankh bhar aayi.
tere jaisa yaar laakh duaon ke baad aaye
(for a dear dear friend called 'S')
Aap aur aapka cell, kabhi saath nahi hote...
Voh hoti to aapka mere sms pe reaction kaisa hota,
Aap kuch baat par hairan hote,
aur kuch baat par kitne haste...
Aap hote to voh aise maayoos na hoti...
(A take-off on Mein Aur Meri Tanhayee ..a la Amitabh Bachchan)
Purane dost mil gaye to naye bhula diye...
yaad bhi na aye to hum chale gaye...
Kisine poocha bhi nahi kahan ko chal diye
Kya laut ke aaoge yeh poochna bhi naseebwaale le gaye...
jhoomti hui badalon ki yeh kahani
le gaye hume ek daur purani
barasne lage hum pe bhi woh barish aur uski dhun
ehsaas ajnabee to socha...
is barsaat ke dil ki dhadkan bhi le sun...
(A post on Harjee's blog- check for the link on the sidebar.
Harjee....Sirjee... ab boliye ji! hehe)
these are some that I culled out through books and whatever I had saved, the rest later...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What a KICK OFF!!!

If there's any sport I am really passionate about, it's football! Even though I am a die-hard fan of F1, there's nothing that compares to Football, at least not for me!

Well, the opening round has seen Germany beat Costa-Rica 4-2... believe it or not- I actually predicted all goals perfectly, including Germany's win, except for the last goal, which was a free kick even for me. I was on the phone with M and started betting with him from the moment Germany got their first goal. Predicted Costa Rica would get their first to even the score, then Germany would go on to make it 3-1, with Costa Rica managing their second....but I predicted that Germany would win 3-2... which happened to become 4-2... tch! But I realised, I'm not bad at all with me thinks that me should get into full-time betting- at least will ensure a good amount of moolah! :)

Football being the team game it is, is always watched with friends and their friends.. so the last time, the venue happened to be my home. And we had people pouring in at all times, mornings, afternoons, during lunch or tea breaks, evenings, after office, dinner time... we had 15-20 people, some of whom I was not even well acquainted with, watching, cheering, bad-mouthing, guzzling beer like no tomorrow, going crazy with every goal.. amazing amount of fun!!!!!!! This year, I watched it alone with Tara, who really took to it... me thinks (again) that she's going to grow up just like me...hehe.

The World Cup always reminds me of Dad. And times spent with him. He being a good sportsman himself, would watch every sport, and every match- be it cricket, football, tennis.... and Football World Cup times were the ones I cherish the most... long nights spent with eyes glued on the television till they hurt, eating midnight snacks, while he innundated me with information on the various facets of the game and the players.... times that we spent together, just him and me... I miss those good ol'days....and I miss him too...terribly.

I had wanted desperately to go to Germany to watch it, but couldn't afford it really... so maybe after four years, the next world cup...hopefully it will be in Brazil. So want to see that country! Brazil, Italy, England and France happen to be countries I really like- for architecture and design, food and fashion and of course- football! Not to mention the language and culture!

Well, the fever has just begun....lets wait till it hits the roof! :) My bets are with France, although Brazil has all the stars! What do you think???

ps: the pic happens to be of Ballack, captain of Germany. I think he's cute... and so is Michael Owen, Zidane (so love his name too), Lehmann... Yea! Even Beckham, although he's been done to death with over-publicity.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I write
because I want to?
Is it that only
or a feeling of compulsive commitment
to an existence perhaps…
…maybe to keep the wheels of the mind churning
forever? A possibility?!
A gamut of feelings
that need to be expressed …?
to someone or for anyone
or is it for me then?
Do I die,
when the writer in me
no longer exists?
Or when the situation
ceases to inspire….?
Is it the anathema of
being lonely versus being alone?
listening to silence is bad enough
so I’d rather hear my own voice!?
I guess…
and that’s why I write?
Maybe because I need to….?


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


(oh yes! I knew you guys would be expecting a post on this one...hehe)
The number 666 holds great interest for me... especially because it represents my birth number 18, and of course considered by many the number of the Devil. Now if we look at the word 'Devil' it is 'Lived' spelled backwards and 'Evil' is "live"... so my understanding of the same is that it signifies people who were very forward in their thinking and also lived life according to their understanding and rules- which was against the orthodox doctrines of society... so they were considered evil or even possessed by the Devil.
But in this timeline of 2006, the definition of evil has changed and become really menacing and dark- with people harming each other badly and the natural habitat of this world.
Got this piece of info from Jonathan Cainer's site:
"A passage in the Book of Revelations suggests the number 666 is a mark of the devil. Many experts reckon it's a coded reference to a Roman emperor. They also think the original number was 616 and the middle digit in was accidentally misread by a shortsighted scholar, during a candlelit manuscript copying session. On 06.06.1906, nothing much happened, and nobody notorious was born. June 6 1806 passed without incident too. So, unless you suffer from Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of the number 666) there's no need to worry about today's date, even at six minutes and six seconds past six! "
But then again, read this:
Is "www" in Hebrew equal to 666?
YES. . . and. . . NO.
NOTE: "www" is the acronym for world wide web and is normally used as the prefix, or first node of the Internet domain names, such as
FIRST. . . The YES.
How to get 666 from www?
The Hebrew and Greek alphabet does not have separate characters or alphabets for numbers and letters. Letters are also used as numbers. So each letter is a numerical value. The Hebrew equivalent of our "w" is the letter "vav" or "waw". The numerical value of vav is 6. So the English "www" transliterated into Hebrew is "vav vav vav", which numerically is 666.
So that makes all of us Devils.... :)
I'm sure that does away with the scary thoughts- so enjoy the day! :)
ps: if you want more info on the numerical understanding of the number (which is really interesting just to read), check this link:

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A shower of love....

Yesterday- 30th May- was a wonderful day! Not only was it the birthday of one my closest, bestest and one of the most loved person (M), but to commemorate the celebrations- it rained... actually, it poured! :)
It began at 12.15 am till the wee hours in the morning and then poured really heavily from 6pm onwards... we happened to go see the Da Vinci Code (more on that in my next post) and when we got out, the heavens were pouring down...
So much so that every turn we took on our bike, the rain seemed to follow us strongly there...and just when we thought we managed to avoid it, we'd be suddenly drenched face-on! But I really loved it...was so much fun! And I love Pune in the rains...feels like a hill station with cool breeze (a respite from the sweltering heat of 40 degrees!) and overcast sky.... :) ... Now's the perfect time for that cuppa o'hot chocolate and warm razais! hehe.
Like I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it was a sign... otherwise why would it rain only when M's birthday would begin... like it happened on saturday night, when I was sitting on Carter Road, Mumbai and praying hard that it would rain as apparantly I had happened to miss it when it had drizzled earlier that week in Pune as well as Mumbai. And just then, only for those few mins (from the time I sat on carter road till I got into a rick- roughly 15 mins) it rained, as if my wishes were being answered! And since I happened to be with a friend whom I always associate the rain with(during our most upsetting moments or the best, it has rained - that too unexpectedly and not even during the season), it was even more a sign from the heavens above!
Ok, now for some few lines I had penned on the rain - different times, different moods...
Tilt my head up and feel it on my face,
lips and tongue...
rain that falls through soft laden clouds
Love that pours from the sky...
that it blows the mind...
what a glorious high!
Pitter Patter goes the reggendrupple softly
on the sleeping leaves
Darting and jumping over roofs merrily
with wind-clad hoofs....
Hark! Say the birds,
don't disturb us so,
Let the song and dance accompany
the ones on their way home...
Red sky night and a yellow moon...
Hear the call of a distant lune.
Love calls as a longing sigh,
as raindrops trickle
on my face from yonder high....