Friday, September 22, 2006


Evening time. I am out, having a cup of tea, when SPLAT! something falls nearby. i notice something wet on the green marble, fallen from th sky. 'Birdshit', I think, and move on, when SPLAT! theres another one. I think, the birds are having an upset stomach. Then there is a third, and then a fourth SPLAT! I look up and I see some clouds passing by. Then dawns on me. Rains!!! Yes, real rain, in Delhi (well, technically, its Noida, but who cares?). And then there are some more splats, and then it stops, three minutes after it started.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Rainfall in Delhi (Technically, Noida)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Getting Used To It...

I am getting the hang of the BPO industry, which means, i am getting more and more shameless at selling things, and also have started getting veiled insults my way from the firangis. The general policy is to get used to it, to just not let it get you, but how??? I mean, how does one just let slip the thought that the person who you just called would want only someone from Britain to contact them, and if we try o explain to them, they are not ready to listen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A New Rajesh....

Theres been a lot happening in my life, its taken a new turn altogether, with me getting into the BPO field, but sadly, that has meant that all my pervious habits are changing as well. Take the case of blogging. I just dont feel like blogging anymore, even though theres lots i can say, but just dont want to....must cure this...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Strange Days...

This time, the winter seems to be strange. I mean, the cold and the rain...its just not Indian winter, yaar.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Winters finally arriving in Delhi, and not too soon either. But so are the rains. Yes, after deluging nearly the rest of India, the rains have found their way to Delhi. Cold, sweet rain...I say, let the rain begin!!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Phela Din...

Today was my first day as a customer care executive, and not a bad one at that. I wasnt any great shakes, but I wasnt bad either. I took the calls, and managed to get a few payments from the erring parties, so not bad. But really, the rationed breaks are a pain, really. Half the time, one is just looking at the watch, to see how much time remains, and the other half in just running to get back on time. But still, it feels nice to be one of the crowd, to go with the flow. Previously, when we were in training, it just felt like we were just drifting, that we did not belong there. But now, I enter the office with a sense of purpose-a misguided one, but a purpose nonetheless.
Our process is a UK based one, and our client is BT. The good part about this is that we don't have to put on an accent, or take on an alias, which is what happens in a US based process. So I jsut introduce myself an Rajesh, and not Jack or James. But the tough part is making a sale. See, its been a long time since I tried selling anything to anyone, and to be frank, i was not a success earlier as well. But still, I guess life is a learning curve. So far, my impressions of this industry have been a little ambivalent. Lets see what our future holds...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Long Time...

It's been a long time since I posted anything here. I would have thought that the viewership to my blog would have petered down, but no, there are people still coming here, albeit by accident, but coming here all the same Welcome to one and all.
A lot has happened since I last posted. For one thing, i got a job at a call centre making me one of the coolies. But frankly, so far, it hasnt been too bad. Also, I have been in training till now and havent really worked, so there might be a correlation there.
There has been general greying of the BPO industry, in my opinion. It is not an industry filled with college going students anymore. The average age here is 29 years, way more than the age of your average college kid. People here now have around four years of call center experience. A far cry from th time when one year exp was more than enough!! There are also mid career people and also people from other fields, yours truly included. So far,I have met three people from the pharma industry, one teacher, one person from the press...and thats just a few of the people I know!!
Other than that, nothing new has happened. Been away from teh news for a long time now, cant be bothered, actually. Not watching too many movies either..........Whats happening here????!!!!????!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Movie Review - The Inside Man...

First off, I did not know that it was a Spike Lee film till the credits started rolling and it said, 'A Spike Lee Joint'. So this was to be my second Spike Lee film after Girl 6, which completely wooshed me. So I wasn't really looking forwards to it then onwards.
The movie is about the perfect crime. It begins with four people taking hostages in a bank. But what appears to be a routine (???) crime, is really something else altogether. You see, the thieves are not after the money, r so it seems. They don't break open any of the locks, nor touch any money in the bank. It seems they are after something more valueable. but what could it be.....
And while all this unfolds, there is a polica officer outside the bank, trying to convince the bank robbers to give themselves up and also trying to read their minds as to what their next move will be. Over the next 129 minutes is a battle of wits between the cop and the robbers.
The movies is quite gripping, and builds up a nice tension about what the thieves could possibly be after. But alas, all this is shattered by the ending, when the reasons and the thing they are after are revealed. From being smart crooks, the theives turn out to be pretty ok guys, having justified their robbing. Noble thieves, if you please. It just felt that like in the end, everything must be alright. And I found the whole premise that the thieves were able to hold an entire bank hostage using fake guns, and without killing anyone. Just doesn't compute. The climax is a let down, but all the parts leading up to it are quite interesting. All in all, an ok movie.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Movie Review - Fanaa...

First things first, Amir looks very old in this film, and Kajol looks very fresh. Also, Amir can't do a convincing loverboy act anymore. To repeat, he looks really old. That said, on with the review.
This being a Yash Raj production, it is bound to push the right buttons to entertain. Ergo, the girls are vivacious, the guys are smart talkers, fathers are yuor buddies, and mothers are aa girl's best friend. Just like in a Sooraj Barjatya film only with less jewellery and more sophistication.
The girl Zooni (Kajol), a Kashmiri, wants to go to Delhi to attend a government function at the CM's residence, but her parents are apprehensive, they being the protective parents. Finally they relent to her going to Delhi without her even raising a fight about it, them being progressive parents as well. So off she goes, wishing to 'see' the world, and promptly falls in love with a shayari spouting tour guide, Rehan Khan (an ancient Amir Khan). Really, do girls fall this easily for people? A simple shayari is all it takes? But our girl is not sure about whether to love him or not, she having been always sheilded by her over protective parents. About the only intersting part in the whole affair is Vrajesh Hirjee as the comic relief. I persoanlly found the shayaris a real groaner. Amir totally fails as a loverboy, and really looks like Kajol's pervy uncle. But loved his shirt in the song, though. Finally, she takes an independent decision and falls in love, only to recover her eyesight and lose her man. What a trade-off!! That's the first half of the film.
In the second half, we learn that Rehan is not who he claims to be. He is, in fact, a terrorist, associated with a secret terrorist organization that seeks freedom from both, India and Pakistan. And he is also James Bond, an international man of mystery. Flash forward to seven years, Amir now has a nuclear trigger, which can fire a nuclear missile. While escaping from the army, he is wounded, and takes refuge in, u guessed it, Kajol's residence, who is living unmarried and with his kid named Rehan (her parents are very broad minded). In the time he spends there, his love for her is rekindled, and he thinks of giving up his life as a terrorist and settle down with his wife and kid. But as things turn out, he ends up dead, thanks to his wife, who is an India supporter, but not after accidently killing his father-in-law, who too is an India supporter.
Personally, I like the second half better than the first one. The first half is too predictable, and all the shayaaris grated on my nerves. And, I say it again, Amir looked like Kajol's pervy uncle rather than a lover boy. Everything was so hunky dory in the first half, that it reminded me of a Sooraj Barjaty film!! In contrast, there is a little story in the second half, and Amir looks the parts of a tired, hardened terrorist. And Kajol looks fresh too. The second half shows promise of developing into an arresting tale, but sadly, all is sacrificed for the sake of political correctness, and not stepping on people's toes.
In the end, who could have been a pretty good story ends up being an ok story.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Going Way-Back...

My friend, N, was finally getting engaged, and this provided me an opportunity to attend his engagement, which was held at Dehra Dun, the place I once studied.
Now, the Dehra Dun that I remember from my childhood days was a typical small town, falling apart, with an irresponsible administration. The only thing it had going for itself was the nice weather, which wa salways welcome when one arrived from the plains of Delhi.
So, when I visited D. Dun after almost 15 years, I was in for alot of surprise. For one thing, D. Dun is now a capital of the state of Uttaranchal. That, by definition implies that special attention is being meted out to it by the administration. As a result, its boundaries are being widened, what was once the outskirts is now within town, and it will soon get an airport as well. Within the city as well, the roads have improved a lot. Gone are the potholes, replaced by smooth tar. Quite a few time, I felt they were better than the roads in Delhi, which is no comparision, really, but still.
Previously, the center point of the city was the three theater points near the Ghantaghar, and it still is, but not in the real sense anymore. What was once the cultural center of the city, where everyone came to hang out, is now just one of the points. The three theaters have been renovated, but one doesn't see crowds there, and a fourth one, Capri, has been turned into a shopping center, which is just as well, 'cos it used to show adult films there, and was really run down. And where there were just a few small shops or kirana stores, there are now fancy stores selling prepackaged food and designer stuff. Yes, liberalisation and globalisation has touch the small town India in a major way. Another thing was the number of Nepali street hawkers selling momos and chowmein. These wernt there earlier. And the momos were better, and cheaper than what one gets in Delhi.
The two places I visited were Chukuwala and Tapkeshwar and Garhi cantt. I have very fond memories of both places. Chukuwala, because I used to go there every Sunday and have a nice home cooked meal at a friend's place. And Tapkeshwar, because during our 2 km morning jog there, we were allowed to rest there. And it was nice to seethat both these places haven't changed much. The area around Tapkeshwar has become more crowded, with more villas coming up, it otherwise remains quite peaceful.
The Tibetian market, which was again a very busy spot, has become less crowded. One can't find too many 'Free Tibet' stickers there anymore.
Another landmark of D. Dun, the Anandpuri restaurant is, I am told, no more, being a victim of a family feud among brothers. Think Ambani family feud.
That's all I could do in the less than one day I spent there. But all in all, a very happy tri[p. In fact, any truip outside of Delhi in the midst of the heatwave is a happy trip.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

An Unfortunate Review - Ankahee...

Unfortunate because I had the misfortune of watching this movies. In theater. With my own money.
That the Hindi movies require you to suspend your beliefs is a given, can we please have some limits to these suspensions of beliefs?? I refuse to believe that Aftab Shivdasani and Amesha PAtel with dyed hair are the parents of a grown up Hrishita Bhatt. Or that Aftab's voice is manly. Or that Amesha Patel cannot speak in a higher tone. Or that any of the actors in the movie are even worthy of being called an actor.
And there in lies the problem with the movie. It tries to be a 'hatke' kind of movie, but ends up being nowhere, really.
All those stories of it being inspired by Vikram Bhatt's real life dalliance with Sushmita Sen are unfounded, but there are some parallels. For one, Esha Deol is a Miss World. Also, ger hair style and dress sense seems similar to Sush.
So anyways, the movie begins with 'old' man Aftab being on his death bed and wanting to meet his 'daughter' Hrishita Bhatt, whom he hasn't seen in sixteent years to clear up all the misunderstanding between them. Her 'mother' Amesha too feels that she should go and meet her father.
What follows is a lengthy flashback, in which we learn that the dad was basically a prernially bored doctor who was married to an ever-smiling wife. Now, obviously, air and water never mix, and neither do boredom and smileys. So he goes ahead and has an extra marital affair with a wacko patient of his, who at first just seems bored (or maybe it is just a lure for the doctor - tum bhi bore, main bhi bore, chalo ek ho jaate hain) Maybe the doctor was too bored to notice that the girl is a wacko, even when his shrink pal explained it to him.
And this is supposed to elicit sympathy from the viewers, who are very bored themselves, exactly thirty seconds into the film and want to literally run out of the cinema hall.
To anybody reading this, give the movie a miss. You owe it to yourself.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

And I Thought It Was Just English...

Apparently, I speak a mishamsh of American accents. Must be all those American serials that I saw as a kid...

Your Linguistic Profile::
55% General American English
25% Yankee
15% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Great New Finds...

Here's a webcomic for all the physics haters, who couldn't make out a neutron from a neutrino or a proton from a positron. A really funny way of looking at atomic level science, with humor. I always say, Physics Rules!!!

And for the comic geeks (or more specifically, Marvel geeks), heres a webcomic featuring all your fav marvel characters as kindergarten kids.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Not Dead Yet...

Not dead yet... am in the midst of things...a manthan, if you may. Things are moving, and I gotta keep moving, just to keep up...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Anurag Ka Satya...

For Indian film buffs, Anuraag Kashyap occupies a special place. He Who Nearly Made It. Or maybe, Genius In Waiting. People have seen his work before, be it Satya, Kaun, Shool and many more. He is the one who brought in the realistic dialogues in Hindi movies in these films. Plus, there is the issue with the films that he has directed, Paanch and Black Friday, both stuck in the censors for a long time. My brother, when he was in Mumbai, told me that this guy simply watches english movies and copies them, kind of like Deven Verma's character in Saheb. A caricature justified, if you may.
So there is an interesting interview with him on, where in he talks about movies, movies and movies. Comes across as a total movie buff. Even if you don't really care for his moves, the articls is intersting, thuogh. Read it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Heat is on...

The mercury hit 42 today, and as i was driving around the city, I saw black smoke coming out from at least two places (the media says fire broke out in four places in delhi), in addition to three cars stalled in the middle of the road. Yep, summer is here. Summer, cruel, harsh, unforgiving Indian Summer. And to think that a restaurant in our locality had the guts to call itself Indian Summer!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Outlook runs a lead story that will no doubt put it in hot water, namely, the rudeness of the city of Delhi. Now, I am no lover of Delhi myself - I am more of a Bombay - oops, Mumbai guy. But I will have to admit, Delhi is more of a macho city than Bombay or B'lore or even Calcutta. This largely due to the Punjabi/Haryanvi culture that it inherited, and the UP/Bihari culture that is seeping in nowadays. As a result, there is a certain amount of testosterone out there in the way people deal with each other.
But really, calling Delhi a rude city is a hyperbole, in my opinion. Callous, yes, un feeling, yes, but rude, no. Not with its predominant babu culture and the bhaiya culture. People can't afford to be rude here, lest they end up offending the friend of the nephew of the son of a tuchcha politician. No sir, Delhi is not a rude place. On the contrary, it is a meethi katari.
Do bol meethe bol, har maal becho kam tol ke

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Space Is Reserved...

I have been lured by the charm of My Space...not!!! Actually, out of morbid curiosity, I joined the tribe. Have a look. Just a word: I wasn't feeling too imaginative about choosing my name here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tekken 5...

The more I play Tekken, the more I am forced to compare 4 & 5. While 5 is good, there are a few things wrong with it. for one, the super boss, Jinpachi is too difficult to beat, what with him having two mouths, one in the abdomen that throws fire!!! Also, while the moves are better, the movement of the characters is a little difficult in any direction, so they just keep standing in harm's way.
Onthe plus side, increasing the number of levels to nine is good, and so is the addition of mini-movies in level four. And the characters are a lot beter, though they could do with more lines, or even newer lines.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Day two of playing the games, and I am pretty impressed by Tekken 5. Its just more of the same, but the novelty of the Tekken series is in the characters, and this one has mo characters than Tekken 4. And more characters mean more story lines, and more snappy dialogues. Xiaoyu is sweet and deadly as ever, and my fav character, Jin Kazuya is still looking to remove the devil gene from within him. I seem to have lost mastery over Steve, thou, as I am still finding his combo moves. And Panda is by far the silliest character...
Still discover though...

Friday, April 14, 2006


Impulse buying, its called. It is 'the act of making unplanned or otherwise spontaneous purchases.' Which is what I did today, when I purchased two console games today, Tekken 5 and Rumble Roses. Now, I already have Tekken 4, and I like it, but it was just curiosity that got the better of me. I just wanted to see if they did a nice follow up of the franchise. And Rumble Roses, well it was just the man thing to do, what with it being a game about chicks wrestling...
I gotta curb these impulses.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gujju Bahi Greatest...

Indian television is the pits. Its just one family drama after another, all looking alike. Kyonki Saas..., Kahani Ghar..., Kahin To Hoga, all of them are regressive, vommit inducing manifestations of the same source (avtaar, anyone?).
Into this mix come the Gujarati soap opera. The saviours, really. Cos unlike the punjabi soaps that are high on histronics, the Gujarati soaps do tend to focus on the story as well. And this is not a recent development. I used to watch the soaps in Gujarat as well, and they were certainly a cut above the texisting Hindi serials of that time.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Continued Cerebral Malfunction...

Forgodssake, why do people insist on using the term wardrobe malfunction for what happened? The term got laughed off when Justin Timberlake first used it.
Wardrobe Malfunction

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Block Cometh...

Absolutely nothing to write...whats this, the writer's block is descending on me again?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Being Cyrus Review...

The Indian movie scene is changing with the new crop of experimental moviemakers. The jury is still out on whether it is for the good or bad, but one thing is certain: things are certainly more interesting.
And in this genre of interesting falls Being Cyrus.
Right off the bat, it is evident that Being Cyrus is a different film. And by different, I mean that it is neither your typical bollywood production, nor is it an art house production. It falls somewhere in between.
Saif Ali Khan, playing the titular Cyrus, does justice to it. His performance is really groundbreaking, but to his credit, he does not pull it down either. Maybe it has to do with his stoic expression throughout the movie. Not one expression crosses his face, so one is left wondering what's going on in his mind, which works in favour of the film. But the final shot of the film, which is supposed to convey a lot of what he does later and why, gets wasted due to the same reason. He should be showing a range of expressions in that time, but doesn't, and that kind of kills it.
Of the remaining casts, Naseeruddin Shah is good, playing his role with aplomb. Dimple, playing the naive and scheming wife too does justice to her role despite what the presses say. And it helps that she is still a pleasure to look at :) But the thunder here belongs to Boman Irani who, with his potralyal of the qurallsome Farrouk Sethna, literally eats up the screen. And a special mention also goes to Manoj Pahwa, for his humourous portrayal of the Inspector Mahinder Lovely.
For a movie populated by seven protagonists and one naked chick (Carol Gracias), it still manages to keep the audience interested.
Final verdict: Definately not a family viewing, but definately watchable.

An existential Question....

Is life worth living?
Depends on the LIVER!!!
*chuckle* *chuckle* *chuckle* *chuckle* *chuckle* *chuckle*

Friday, March 31, 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Changing Face Of Ahmedabad...

Its been a long time since I posted anything. For my part, I was away to A'bad for a few days. A'bad and I have a strange relationship. Its the place I was born, and by that account, I should have a very emotional bond with it. But no. I am more ambivalent to it. Sure, it is the place I was born, but it is also the palce I went to college to, the place I started working and also the place I later struggled to find a job, the place I got into fights... The last has really put it in a bad light for me.
But this time around, things seemed different. Different from the time I visited the place last year. I couldnt put a finger on it, the feeling. Maybe the absence was making my heart grow fonder for the place, or maybe I was getting old, hence a little emotional attachment for all things nostalgic. Things just seemed a little different. For starters, my old house seemed bigger, which is not a surprise after living in a Delhi flat and warmer because of all the memories. Fair enough. But what about the place outside? Things just seemed different. People recognise you, which is a nice feeling. But people when you realise that you werent really chatty pals with them. Your equation with them has advanced, and you didn't know that!! But still, all in all, the first two days were good, barring the very dirty house.
A'bad has certainly moved ahead. Its evident everywhere I went. Gone is the sleepy town of my college days. In its place is a town trying to maek up for the lost time spent snoozing. A'bad wants to be declared a metro town, and it is stopping at nothing to achieve this. Roads have been cleared, broadened, dividers have been set up, CNG in commercial vehicles is necessary, there are newer buses...
But it is in the evening that the change becomes evident. It is quite in the evening. And as far as I can remember, A'bad was noisy till at least 1 am in the morning. And now, things quite down by 11 pm!! What could be the reason for this drastic change? could be that the Gujju craze for the US has finally had a social impact as the population is greying and the youth is off to distant shores, leaving the place like a ghost town? After the riots, people have started moving out to places like Mumbai (number two in the Gujju wish list after US), B'lore and Hyderabad. Opportunities have reduced there inspite of opening of lots of call centers. But if the call centers thrived in India due to cost benefits, they are opening in A'bad for the same reason. The labour there is the cheapest, so the rate of attrition is even higher than traditional call centers.
Another factor is the expanding of A'bad. it is slowly expanding to encompass the nearby villages into its limits, and this is where the crowd is headed. As a result, where there was only the CG Road and the Municipal market as a hangout spot, there is now the SG road as well, with newer shopping malls and multiplexes coming up. As a result, the crowd has spread out...
and speaking of shoppin malls, their increase in numbers has not meant an increase in the number of shops there. Usually, there are just a few big shops that are open there, and the rest are shut. Looks like not many are willing to take a chance and open up there and compete with the big boys...
But I am just thinking out loud here. Whatever the case maybe, A'bad is definately changing, and the optimist in me is sure that it is for the better.
I should know. I have the sixth sense for that place

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Post Holi...

Post Holi, the normal humdrum of life is back. It's the usual grind. Was it yesterday that I had so much fun? The sky has started being overcast once again. The hide and seek in on. Looks like even God wanted us to enjoy on the Holi day. Fun Guy, the Big One.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Holi!!!

A Happy Holi To All!!!
Just when I had resigned to a grey and drab Holi this year, the sun shone bright today, and it became warm for all to enjoy. The day was saved. Looks like even God wants us to emjoy our Holi!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai!!!

Looks like this Holi will be memorable to different reasons entirely. The weather seems to be headed south, and cold is creeping in. Heavens are crying, with no respite in sight. So a wet Holi is completely out. Just as well, 'cos I hate wet Holi. But in the spirit of things, Bura na mano, Holi hai!!!

RDB Re-Reviewed

Saw Rang De Basanti a second time, and this time around, my perspective about the movie has changed. No, I did not suddenly find the movie worthy of an Oscar. But a few of my conceptions(is that a word?) about the movie have changed since the first time.
The second time around, the movie seemed more enjoyable. Amir's acting seems more refined on second viewing. See especially, his breaking down when he returns from the demonstration. The way his lips quiver, he has certainly matured as an actor. By contrast, his portrayal of the carefree DJ seems by the numbers, and his Punjabi/Delhi accent leaves a lot to be desired. Also my main peeve, that the characters have not been fleshed out still remains.
Where the movie scores the second time is in the earnestness. Looks like its heart was in the right place. But as with all things with hearts in th right places, it comes of as a little naive. All politicians are evil, the cure for it is to join govt. and so on. Living in India and seen the changes first hand, I can attest that things are a lot more positive now. Sure, things are not perfect, but they are not so down and out either. People are happer than before and they are taking more interest in their suroundings. In this scenario, to say that things are bleak is missing the point.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sapnon Ka Saudagar...

The net was supposed to offer people anonymity, but it seems to be doing the exact opposite. People, bin their quest for recognition, publish the darndest things, like tablemannered did she when she published her dreams. Don't people realize, that dreams are a mirror into their subconscious??? You could be Mogambo in real life, but one dream interpretation, and people realize that you are just another softie. So, moral of the story, BEWARE, YOUR DREAMS ARE YOUR OWN TO KEEP.

And speaking of knowing about urself, here is a nice Jung test to know just who you are. Me, I am INTP, Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Introverted - 56%
iNtuitive - 25%
Thinking - 1%
Perceiving - 44%

So, I am perceiving, and intuitive, but I don't think too much about all that I perceive, which is good, cos I am introverted, and so, don't express too easily :-)

Famous INTP persons:
Albert Einstein (woo hoo)
Thomas Jefferson

Back in Business...

Got my laptop back today, nearly as good as new. Its absence made me realise how much I have come to rely on it...a regular desktop just wont do it for me anymore.
I also have a lot of backlog to clear on my blog (hmm, a backlog on a blog...a blocklog?). Must finish those.

In the mean time, should you want to talk to God...

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I went to a sitar concert by Pt. Ravi Shanker and his daughter, Anoushka at the Siri Fort auditorium. Now, normally I can't make the head or tail of classical music, be it Indian or western. To me, both are just tunes without lyrics (I blame Bollywood and Rock for this). But this evening was an eye opener. I mean, though most of the sitar recital went rught over my head, I discovered the sound of the tabla. That's some instrument, the table. It's amazing how much sound comes out of two small coconuts. And the sitar is also quite a percussionist instrument. It gives the effect of the 'wall of sound' so popularised by the Beatles. And the auditorium itself brought back memories when I had come to Delhi in 1999 to collect an award in photography. We had the award distribution there, and the memories just came flooding back. All in all, a nice evening out. It has piqued my interest in Indian classical music.

Long Time No See...

There is a very valid reason for my not posting in a really long time - my computer crashed, and I lost all my data. Stupid viruses @%$$%^^&*%^#$%#%!!! Hopeful, I should be able to get it completely in working condition soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rang De Basanti Review...

The movies begins with a promise, or at least with the expectation of whats to come...come on, you weren't expecting a maar-dhaad masala movie with a tagline that says 'A Generation Awakens'!!
The movie begins quite promisingly, with Sue(a British actor) coming to India to film a docu-drama about Bhagat Singh and others. But having been fed on the nationalism of the past, she finds an India that is completely different from what she expected. People here have no sense of their past, they are more looking to the west than within themselves to find pride in being them. In this desolate scenario, she hopes to find actors to portray her protagonists, who selflessly laid down their lives for their country, asking for nothing in return. As expected, she finds no one suitable for these parts. The sequence about her search is quite funny, and as meant to be poignant, hit the mark.
Now, enter the heroes- Daljeet aka DJ (Amir Khan), Sukhi (Sharman Joshi), Karan (Siddharth) and Aslam (Kunal Kapoor). They are basically clueless youth, looking out for the next high in life, with nary a worry about their future. Their only worry seems to be the firebrand nationalist, Laxman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni), who detests the ways of these youth, especially Aslam. And as luck would have it, he fits the role of Ram Prakash Bismil perfectly. So now, they are in this together. As the story progresses, the protagonists find discover a history they never realised they had.
And after the interval, they kill the Indian defense minister (moral of the story: History is dangerous).
A lot is being said about this movie, about how it portrays the angst and the cluelessness of the youth. But frankly, Amir looks old to be playing a youth. Even the explanation the he left college five years ago does not hold true, cos he clearly looks older than thirty five. In fact, none of the characters, barring Sharman Joshi, look like college kids.
As for the feel of the film, well, maybe I'm too far away from my college days, or maybe the college scene has changed, but frankly, I didn't feel the movie had any youthful feel to it. Smart, funny, witty, yes. But youthful, no. Mainly associate youth with a little naivette and josh, both of which were lacking. Amir Khan has done the man-boy routine before, and it didn't come as a surprise.
As for the characterisation, almost no character in this film has been fleshed out. All except Amir Khan, that is. Sukhi is a sweet guy looking to find a girl for himself. Karan is the quite intense and neglected son of a rich businessman. Just why is he frustrated, we don't know. And Aslam is a poet who likes hanging out with his friends and feels suffocated in his home. But other than these facts, we don't know anything else about these characters. Even Amir Khan's character is not fleshed out well. He likes bikes and adventure and is liked by the girls is all we know. dd to that, the characterizations of the supporting cast that includes Anupam Kher, Kirron Kher, Mohan Aghase, Madhavan, Waheeda Rehman etc. Atul Kulkarni's character too isnt given much scope, but it is to his prowess as an actor that he manages to bring out shades in his charter. And special notes for Kirron Kher, who does her Punjabi act once again. Always a pleasure to watch her

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dilli Haat and Chandni Chowk...

It being sunday yesterday, we went to the Delhi festival yesterday at the Dilli Haat.
First things first, I like the concept of the Dilli Haat. It's one place where one can get the best of Delhi and also the whole of India (well, almost) at a reasonable price. Secondly, it is one place where the pace of Delhi changes from frantic to the laidback. one can walk around in peace, have some grub, and generall have a good time. But not yesterday.
Looks like, thinking on similar lines, half of Delhi descended at Dilli Haat. As a result, it was really crowded. There was hardly any place to walk. The only redeeming factor was the presence of the Chandni Chowk food stalls, serving spicy snacks...yummy!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

State of Bollywood...

Coming soon to a theater near you, Mr. 100% - The Real Player. And if you think that this is a B - grade movie with unknowns, then it stars Aryan Vaid (known model), Irrfan Khan (Maqbool), Mahima Choudhary (Miss 'oh-bla-di') and Payal Rohatgi (tauba tauba!!).
And the songs? Well, there is the title track, and then there is 'karta hai kabootar' and 'hont chum lu ya gal'.

Mithunda has got competition in the b-grade category.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Almost Famous...

A look at my Statcounter statistics reveals something interesting. People are stumbling on to my blog from places like South Africa, S. Korea, Germany, Neatherlands, besides USA and UK. So, to all you people (if you do manage to come a second time), A BIG WELCOME FROM THE DEMON. Enjoy you stay, it's nice to have you here. Let's smoke a pipe - wait, I don't smoke. But you can, if you want to. Just don't leave. It's very lonely alone.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Winter is retreating from Delhi. The weather is getting pleasant, though only for a few weeks. But it's good while it lasts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

There Is No Such Thing As Later...

I just had to delete some older posts, that I had thought I would finish laster, when the creative juices were in full flow. But after a long time and countless editings and deletions, I have just realized - there is no such thing as tomorrow. jo bhi hai, aaj hai. Kal ho na ho.

In plain english, one just can't finish a post later.

There is no such thing as later.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Doing Yoga...

I have joined yoga classes with teh Arya Samaj here, and have been attending their prayanam classes since the past three days. So far, I have been taught the exercises, which involve stretching to the rhythm of breathing.
I really can't say if it has had a positive effect on me, cos I still laze around all day, and haven't been able to put all the energy spending to good use.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A City Unravels...

There are layers to Bangalore. Let me explain.
There's the Bangalore that one reads in the newspapers, a hot and happening city, filled with pubs and software professionals. That's very true.
Then there's the city one actually encounters when one reaches here for the first time. It's a young city alright, bursting with energy, on a different beat with the rest of India. A city of big brands, orderliness, good traffic sense (unlke Delhi).
Then there's the Bangalore that reveals itself when one lives here for some time and moves around. Then one find the little gems like the magazine place, the DVD shop, the small but expensive Chinese restaurant that has good lamb.
And finally there's the Bangalore that reveals itself if you take things really slowly, like walking instead of taking an auto. The Bangalore then is the one populate by the small vendors, the chanawala, the naarial-paani wala etc. This Bangalore moves at a differnt pace. Maybe this is the old pace. That's the pace I like.
I am slowly disvocering B'lore on foot. Already, I have toured the whole of MG Road, Brigades (one and the same) and commercial and also the Indiranagar area where I live next up, move out of teharea where I live and discover more.

Weather and Gaming...

The weather in B'lore baffles me. Where I stay, its usually warm to hot. I sleep with the fan on. But I go a little towards Koramangle, which is south, I think, and it starts getting colder. My friend tells me that its because Koramangle is the southern edge of the city, and beyond it is just wilderness, or at least lesser population. Hence the coldness there. I have to wear jackets while I'm there. But this extremes of weather is really baffling.
I have also become a member at two cybercafes, primarily to checkout the games that they have, namely, Reliance and Sify. Reliance, with all the backing of the Ambani fortunes, cannot run even a half-way decent cybercafe. It takes nearly two minutes to log into their system, and then there is the thing about the stiff keyboards, the bad ergonomics of the chairs, the bad speeds (broadband my foot!) and the extremely bad games. Its the usual ones, World of Warcraft, Halo, Need For Speed, etc, but they again take a long time to load. And didn't the person who choose the hardware know that the sleek LCD monitors are not yet ready for gaming yet?? and those small screens....
Now Sify, on the other hand, ave got quite a few things right. For one, their choice of games is moer than Reliance. And it is sorted under different genres, like racing, sports, action, strategy. And under each heading, there are more choices available. Also, the still use the bulky CRT monitors, which can offer better frame rates that the games require. Oh, and Sify is cheaper too...
So all in all, I would much rather spend my gaming money at Sify than at Reliance. Makes for a bette experience.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Mini-Adventure

What little advnture I had!! I had gone searching for a job, and lost the keys to my house instead!! And a fine day I chose, when all the locksmiths had closed their shops.
This Wipro thing has had me running for two days in a row. Two days of going all the way to the Electronic City and back. That's one way of visiting B'lore, I reason.
The only good thing tcome out of the whole thing is that I got a spend night with Neelu, which is a fine thing. No matter hog big he grows, he isstill the small town boy, aware of where he comes from. Or maybe he doesn't need to put his mask in front of me. Maybe that's what friends do. Put each other at ease. Anyways, it was a time well spent. In fact, he put the whole thing about me losing my key and having to roam the city in a good light when he reminded me about the time I was stranded in Mumbai for three days and had to spend the night at the station. Like he said, I'm still the Adventerous Boy (a name a girl gave me for god knows what reasons).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Places to Visit..

This job hunting is taking me to newer places. I went as far as Hosur today, searching for a job. And it cost me a bomb. Have noted down the bus nos. Will take me around three hours to travel there, but I will say more than 150 bucks.
Will Do.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ek Alkela Is Shehar Mein...

Ah, B'lore is slowly opening up to me. I trekked through the city today, covering MG Road, Brigades and Commercial street (or are they just different sections of a very big area? methinksso). I even managed to meet a few of my A'bad friends, colleagues whon I started out with. It was nice talking ot them.
But the best part, in my opinion, was a shop devoted solely ot megazines. Just rows upon rows of outdated and current Indian and foreign journals. I doubt such a store exists in Delhi, and lets not even begin to talk about A'bad, ok? Such niche shops are what makes a city, in my opinions. Not malls, not pubs, not big splashy MNCs, but stores that cater to a particular taste. The others are easily replicable, but shops like these require some drive, ome guts, to declare themselves as a niche place rather than a general place.
There were megazine on all topics, for all tastes. When I have a job and some money in my pocket, I will go and buy a few of those. A National Geographic about Saudi Arabia, a New scientists, and a few computer gaming mags.
Will Do.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Caffaine Rush...

I have just discovered a new pleasure - coffee. Not just any coffee, but filter coffee. Let me elaborate.
I always associated coffee with Nescafe, that all pervasive band that has become synonymous with coffee. One can go into a restaurant and ask for nescafe. And that's what intrigued me. Why, I wondered, did people talking about how good coffee is, how it is better than tea any given day. It's just on taste, I thought, it doesn't change no matter how you make it, where you make. And joints like Starbucks and Barista did not help either. They sold a lifestyle more than coffee. Caffeinated, Decaf, low-fat, all the same. Boring. Yawn. I seriously thought coffee drinkers were loonies.
But that changed when I had my first Hazelnut coffee. I discovered that there was more to coffee than Nescafe. Like there was the strong black one which tasted unlike Nescafe.
And now, I have finally discovered what people mean when they talk about coffee, thanks to the tiny shops that line the CMH road in B'lore. Yes, coffee is best when it is filter coffee, the strong, bitter, supercaf concotion that wakes you up hard. Am really addicted.
But let me make it clear that I am not switching my loyalites over to coffee. I am a tea person and will remain one forever.

Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi

Nothing much happened today...oh, I saw a very good film today, Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi. A Truly memorable film. Even though the film is set in th 70s, much of it is still relevant. Its a real wonder how Sudhir Mishra managed to capture all the angst and frustrations and love and despair into this film...
The film is about three friends, each of whom has different loyalties. Theres Siddharth (Kay Kay), Geeta (Chitrangda) and Vikram (Shiny Ahuja), three friends with differnt outlooks towards life. While Siddharth wants to bring a revolution and change the world order, Geeta is just happy being with Siddharth, whatever hi philosophy be. Vikram, a middle class boy with idealist Gandhian father, is ambitious and feels that all the talk of a revolution is useless and just wants to get to the top. A love triangle in place, the movie traces that path that each protagonist take over the course of a decade.
Siddharth goes from being a man driven completely by an ideology to a person who is able to question the ideology - he is even prepared to postpone the prolitarian revolution because the common people are not ready. He sees the tragedy in Bihar and acquires a human face.
Geeta marries an IAS officer but continues to see Siddharth on the sly, but after leading two lives, gives it up all for love, to live with Siddharth in Bihar, teaching, and in the process, giving up a cushy life. From a clueless person, she becomes a person with a mission.
Vikram becomes a fixer of sorts with the prower-set in Delhi, seeing a meteoric rise, but all this is still empty for him, as he does not have the one things that he really wants, Geeta. He finally gets her, but at what cost?
The film progresses with a purpose, and manages to portray each protagonists point of view without ever taking sides. No one is the bad guy here. Each is driven by his or her motivations.
Of the cast, Shiny Ahuja really shines. He manages to bring out the layers that his character demands. He is cocky with his colleauges and the power-set of Delhi, but before Geeta, he becomes completely vulnerable. All his ambitions come crashing down before his idealist father, who is his anti-thesis.
Kay Kay is given a role in which he cannot but shine. But he manages to do so without going over-the-board is a tribute to his poweress as an actor From being an idealist firebrand student to a budding revolutionary to a war-torn guerilla to a defeated revolutionary, he handles it with aplomb.
Chitrangda too is very good, onsidering it is her first role. That she is also a pleasure to look at helps.
All three are ably helped by a stellar supporting cast. Espically worth watching amony them is Siddharth's father, when he goes pleading for his son's safety.
All in all, a very good film.

On another note, you know your life sucks when the only highlight of your day is watching a movie. Thats life telling you to get a life.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

HAPPY 2006

Wow!! Its 2006!! That's one year gone, and no significant blogging done there. Looks like I am seriously losing my touch (or have I lost it already?).
But anyways, whats past is past. Lets begin anew. 2006 sees me in a new city, Bangalore, making a new life for myself. So far so good. All that I had heard about it being the most westernised city in India wer quite true. Am amazed to find stuff like olives and snicker bars even in common supermarkets. these wern't avaiable even in Delhi.
And the weather. Yeah the weather. After the biting cold of Delhi, the mild coolness is a nice welcome. Really looking forward to a nice stay here. But then who knows which way the wind blows...
Ah, chuck it, will enjoy it while I'm here. In the mean time,
HAPPY 2006 TO ALL!!!