Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rah Rah B.H.O!!!

Like many others for sure, I was glued to my television set till the wee hours of the morning! Change has finally arrived, and how! What a day in the history of the USA as well as the world- Barack Hussain Obama becomes USA' s 44th President and the first black to have ever been. The swelling crowd of people were testimony to the popularity, and more importantly the need for this man to lead the nation.

The enthusiasm was fabulous- I've never seen Americans so happy! All I could see were happy faces of so many different colours. And Obama proved that America is truly a big democratic and free country, where a middle-class black man can dream of becoming the President and goes on to be one.

When he gave his speech, he didn't really give great statements, but what he spoke held the promise of a grand and honest future. And as of now, this is really what his countrymen needed to hear. His voice carried the conviction of his heart and it was felt by each and everyone. I'm sure the Americans were, after a long time, confident in their ability to choose well, as they were in his ability to deliver. It was almost like the stale dusty air that had covered the country was being cleared and a whiff of freshness had started to flow back in... good triumphing over evil, light over darkness... one could almost imagine rainbows as the sun shone brightly over a country that has been so steeped with communalism, hatred, rife and economic meltdown.As Obama and his wife Michelle walked down Pennsylvania Avenue route taking them to the White House, there was a genuine respect and love that was felt in the air between them and the citizens who had been standing for that one glimpse since 4am!
This is truly a great time for all Americans right now. And the enthusiasm is infectious!

ps: They've got such neat Obama merchandise, me wants too!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Don't mess with our national anthem, please!

For some reason, I've been finding myself visiting many movie theatres the past few Mumbai and Pune. 
"What do we do now?... Ok, lets watch a movie!" has been the general idea amongst friends and family. And luckily most theatres have been showing trailers once again...and I so love watching trailers! Better than all those ads and what nots...

The other thing I like during the movies is standing up and singing the National Anthem as the familiar tune encompasses the entire theatre.

Some time back, I went to watch 'Rab ne bana di jodi' in a Pune theatre. And something I remember best (apart from the not- so- bad movie) was that whilst the National Anthem was being played, each and every person in that hall was singing it out loud! And quite frankly, I've never heard the entire public in a theatre ever sing the National Anthem and that too loud as ever... most people just stand up, or some sing in their minds; many mumble or whisper. This was simply awesome! Go Pune, go!

Of course, I've not heard it again...but people still are heard singing softly... at least in Pune. And surprisingly, in Mumbai, it's not like that at all. And I realised that its not that Mumbaikars are less patriotic in any way... its just that they cannot sing the National Anthem as the tune is so different. And each theatre has a different version.Given the various versions of the country's song, it's no wonder many people choose to just keep mum, and let the music play as is. I mean, if one was to go by the standard tune, one has already finished singing the anthem, while the one going on in the movie theatre is still going 'jaaaaaaaaaayaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa heeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy'. And with so much of 'soul-infused creativity' in that song, one does not feel any patriotism...I just wanted 'that song' to end- the slow motion singers were getting on my nerves!

I'm all for creative freedom, but some things are sacred and should not be tampered with. The National Anthem is one such. Also given the fact that many Indians do not remember the words of 'the Anthem at all, lets not confuse them with a plethora of tunes.

The tune of the 'Jana Gana Mana' should be standardised so that at any given point, wherever one is, one knows what that tune is and stands for. So please, spare this country its Anthem.

Monday, January 05, 2009


It's funny how a quiet sunday can make you more retro as well as introspective. Looking back is something I often do, it's an incurable habit. I think, dwell upon, think some more, reflect, wonder and try to understand... more often than not, understanding does not come easily...yet, I ponder...

This last year has been in extremes. Very high points which actually got more than minimalised by the lows. Of the good side, my brother's wedding was the highlight. It felt good having a new member in the family.

The downside though saw too many different dark facets of life. The recession and lack of work to begin with, then the horrifying terror attacks on my city Mumbai were some that affected us all. What touched me more was the passing away of two people I cared for a lot. One a very good friend and classmate through architecture college... a fabulous human being called Zhya Jacobs. Even after seeing him in his coffin, I am unable to believe that he's no more... it's as if any minute now his mail will come in my inbox and he'll tell me that he's coming to India (he was to for Christmas) we should meet as was decided.

The second person who I lost was the dad of my best friend. He was suffering from cancer, and having lost my own dad in the hands of the same disease, I felt as if I was reliving the anguish, pain, hope, wait, guilt and acceptance once more... And because my dad had gone, I used to always look up to uncle as that respected father figure... I doubt I have prayed for someone as much as I did for Uncle (except for dad), and when he passed away, I felt my prayers had fallen short or somewhere I didn't do enough...

Cancer has become a disease that we all need to watch out for even more. It's strange when I see my closest two friends- both of whom have lost a parent due to cancer, as I have. And there are so many others I have known who have lost their battle against it... I also know of other known friends and people who are also now suffering the same... young and old... and it's not easy for anyone- never has been.

For all of us who lost out on people and other things this year, for all of those who suffered, for this year that didn't go well for many, and for those gone forever... Rest In Peace.