Saturday, July 23, 2011

The blog has moved!

Hello people

My blog has now moved to my own website for better usability and integration with the other parts of the website.

You can access the blog here

Alternatively, you can also paste the below code in your browser :

My website is :

Thanks for all the support.. hope to see you at the new address.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

wedding, Tamasha.. and a bit of "Royalty" to it!

Yes, the royal tamasha has just ended!
The euphoria has finally faded and Britain plans to go back to work tomorrow.

For the uninitiated, tamasha is an Indian term, which signifies a 'song and dance' routine.

What was it really?
A tempest in a teapot or something more?
It was an event of 2 individuals taking the vows, but the media coverage that they got was maybe a tad bit more than what the 911 got.
Multiply it by the euphoria of 60 million Britons and you get what you call a 'National Tamasha'.
Multiply it by 100 more, that would catapult the event to being an 'Epic Tamasha'.. a tamasha with an international flavour.

We'll talk later if the British royal family even deserves the attention they are getting.
The British royals are no self sufficient hard workers.
They are among Britain's biggest parasites.
They receive a government grant of about 43 million pounds a year to cover their daily expenses. But the public cost of the wedding far exceeds that.

Now have a look on the expenses incurred :
1. Extra policing and overtime alone is estimated at more than $35 million.
2. When all the people are celebrating, they're not working. And because the wedding holiday falls between two long holiday weekends in England, you can take 11 days off by burning only three days of vacation time.
That could bite atleast a quarter of their GDP for this quarter.
3. The wedding expenses are rumoured to be in excess of $50 billion.

First, the money belongs to the taxpayer, the state exchequer.
The wedding expenditure far exceeds the grants given to the lazy and lethargic royals.
$50 billion is something which is a medium sized country's GDP.
$50 billion could feed all the hungry children around the globe for atleast a couple of months.
$50 billion is what the blue chip Indian software sector earns in one year.
$50 billion is what India earmarked for 5 years to fuel the Urban growth in 30 cities by renewing the urban infrastructure.
$50 billion is what India pays for its defence deals in 2 years which help countries like Britain in running the show in the times of recession. Compare this with the following figure : India had procured 66 hawk advanced jet trainers from Britain for just a billion dollars. Pittance... right?

Now, come to the more philosophical part.. the poetic part of it.
The Britons were cheering.. laughing.. jumping at the sight of Kate and the not-so-good-looking William(I don't want to be rude, but he resembles VVS Laxman with a lot of talcum powder on his face) kissing.

Oops, a kiss that costed them a few billion dollars.
The money that they save up and pay in taxes, the money that the Royals use like it was their right!
The so called Prince... what was his name again.. ah.. William.. I would want to ask him what he thinks of Britain's sinking economy, what does he think of NATO strikes on Libya.
I know he's serving the Royal air force in some capacity, yeah, but who would know what capacity! He's the second in line to the throne.. a virtual throne .. which doesn't give them one penny a year.

Britain, in the recent past has become conservative, trade wise.
They have contained the skilled work force visas by a big margin.
They are following the once-famous-but-now-very-ordinary Obama's path of protectionism in trade.
Why? To save them the pounds.. to save them an economy which had a glorious past.
The country is now ageing and it shows in their result book, yet they choose to spend on seemingly insignificant things, and cry hoarse when the government fails to provide the people jobs.
Ridiculous. Preposterous.

Sample this against a developing country like India.
I am absolutely sure, there would
a. be no such event even if it were Rahul Gandhi's wedding.
b. No king of the past (oh yea.. we have had them in droves.. with a much richer past than what the Britain's royals have had) would dare to ask the state exchequer to foot the bill.

It's very ironical that a country with a democratic setup would advertise monarchy to such big proportions, however dear the parasites may be to their citizens.

I am really not too sure because I am not a British citizen, but I would be surprised if the average Briton actually supports such vulgar displays of public wealth.
Maybe, many young Britons are happy, because they just got 11 days off.. thanks to the wedding.

Truly a tamasha of epic proportions!
Long Live Great Britain.

PS : Kate looks lovely though!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Russian babes or Russian babies?

Well, Russian babes or Russian babies?

The answer is not straight!
If you are a guy, in your wonder years, then choice 1.
If you are a girl/woman who is old school, or if you are a man who's settled, then choice 2.
Exceptions galore!

Check out any fashion week, all the babes would be Russian or from the nearby CIS countries.
Even today, walk in the streets and you would find much more than average looking ladies everywhere.
Be it a simple grocery purchase, they come decked up like its a party!
Not without reason, have they gained acclaim around the globe for their beauty.
Maybe its the tough and inclement weather conditions that give them the good looking build.

Christiano Ronaldo's current flame is a Russian supermodel, Irina Shayk.

Well, she's the quintessential 'Oh-My-God' babe.

Now have a look at the guy with her

As much as i dislike deviating from the topic, I cannot help but comment on this idiotic looking guy.
He is the quintessential 'oh-WTF' guy.
I have seen a few of his interviews, he doesn't even know how to speak what we call 'basic'.
He talks like the cheesy guys in the bar who ogle at women. He looks like that too.
Absolute 'no-class' guy.
So why is Irina with him?
Ah... show me the money, honey!
Plus the fame of being a footballer's WAG apart from being a supermodel!!

Now choice 2:
I have started noticing them quite a lot on my recent trips to Russia.
Have been touring this place for a long time, but more recently, these sugary cuties have started catching my eye!

On my last visit a couple of weeks back, a small baby boy, maybe about a year or a couple of months over, was at the security check in counter of the airport.
This guy had his shoe fitted on his left hand, it was a fur lined shoe.
He had put his hand in the shoe and was running all over the place with his hand held high... that was his airplane.
Suddenly he came near me and I too did the same thing, put my hand in my shoe!
He was taken aback... something struck him... he had competition, he stopped and started looking at me like a deer lost in the headlights.
I showed him my airplane and told him that it was bigger than his plane.
Obviously he did not understand, but now he wanted my airplane.
He gave me his shoe and started tugging at mine!
His mom came over... smiled and took away his 'airplane'.. said.. 'isvinite' (excuse me)...
I smiled.. and said that she had a very beautiful baby! :)
The joy on her face was something to behold.

Today, I again encountered 2 more such cute babies on my way back to India.
One at Ekaterinburg airport... this time it was an infant dressed in black.
He had stuffed cheeks that drooped like a fruit laden tree branch.
He barely knew how to walk, but the terminal was spacious and there were not many people.
So his mother allowed him to take a walk.
He did, and how!!
He wowed all the people around, because he walked a couple of steps to whoever was sitting nearby, went to them and just hugged their legs like he knew them forever.
Then he looked at them, made some gurgling noise and moved a few steps again.. then the next person.. hug hug.. that's all he did!
I was no exception... he was moving in a circle.. he came to me and did the same.
I picked him up. His mom, probably a little worried seeing a non-white guy came across, but then when she saw my smiling face and the comfort that the child was showing, she too smiled :)
It was a lovely moment.

Take-2, Moscow airport :
Here, the story went a little further.. a girl, all of 3 or 4 years.
But the same Russian cuteness overflowing...
She was in pink, pink cap, pink top, pink pajamas, pink shoes.
I was sipping my Pepsi diet, she was a couple of feet from me. I said : Hey, pink panther!
She smiled... then moved a couple of steps forward, turned back and gave me the smile which made my day.
Then again moved a few steps and turned back to see if I was still looking.
I was..
and she was happy!
Then she ran to her dad who brought the luggage stowed on a trolley.
She started speaking to him, but every few seconds turned to see if I was paying attention.
I was beginning to enjoy this!
Very few things in the world give you joy like playing with children.. it might be a game or something like this.. where there is eye contact and you just go wow!

She started to feel a little uncomfortable in the heavy coat that she was wearing.
Now, she told her dad to take it off.. but for some reason he wasn't willing to.
She turned again to see.. I was still looking, then she sat on a seat and started taking it off herself.
Once she was off with her coat and cap, for some strange reason, she wanted to put in on the trolley which her dad did not allow her to do because the luggage was a little dirty and her coat would get dirty as well.
Then he made her sit on a seat and went to get something.
She sat for a couple of minutes till he was out of sight, then she just looked around.
She put her cap in the hand luggage area of the trolley and covered it with a cloth so that her dad wouldn't see.
Then there were a couple of suitcases piled one over the other.
She wanted to stuff her coat in between them so that her dad doesn't notice.
But the suitcase was too heavy for her to move.
She looked at me like a child who had got lost in a mall :( .. eyes that said, "Please, help me".
I just went to her place and put the coat on the suitcase, sensing that her dad wont like it, she pointed at the place between the 2 suitcases and gestured at me to push it in between... I looked at her and smiled.
Taken in by her innocence, I just did what she said.

She was so happy, her face was now grinning!! End to end.
This is such a crazy and small thing... but it brought so much joy to both of us...
Then it was time for me to board.
I said.. 'dasvidaniya'.. she said..'svidaniya'
I waited to see if her dad was in sight.. I did not make it obvious, but I waited till he came over, then I left.
When I was leaving, I saw her again... she was so happy that her dad hadn't yet noticed the cap and the coat which were on the trolley.

These incidents made the end to my otherwise trying trip, fantabulous.

My vote : choice 2.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why does nostalgia 'ALWAYS' feel so good

The best times in one's life are the ones that have been spent in the past.

Everytime you think of one such time in your life, it evokes a nostalgic feeling.
As a human, we tend to forget the things that happen in our lives, both good or bad.

But a small glimpse of a photograph or a fleeting thought of something which reminds you of those good times sends you packing back in the past.
The feeling is superlatively special to you but you cannot share it with anyone because people, however close, will not relate to your nostalgia unless they have been a part of it themselves.

It's like a cup of hot coffee with a topping of chocolate sauce and fresh cream on a snowy day.
You are on a busy traffic median with traffic zipping past you in both directions... there you stand all unaffected with that cup of coffee and snow flaking on your shoulders... you look around dazed, but the surroundings don't affect you.
That's because the nostalgic feeling makes you numb to your present troubles.
For a moment, you forget whatever is bothering you today and just feel happy for that time that you spent in the past.
This is nostalgia.
No definition in any dictionary can define it.

A person could feel nostalgic about his high school cricket team..
About his crushes which never went to stage-2..
About college life.. hostel life..
About the first few days in your first job...
Basically just about anything that makes you feel happy..
Just a couple of days back i saw some pictures of a long lost friend on fb who was on some common friend's profile .. just remembered all the good times we had..
For that next 10-15 mins, the world's troubles could not touch me.

There are other kinds of nostalgias as well.. those that are invoked by listening to songs.
This, the Indian audience will appreciate.
In India, we have songs for every occassion. Some of them take you back in your memory lane and bring back all those good times.

'Live in the present' is a famous saying.. well, not always.
When you have time to introspect, have those few moments where there is just you and nobody else, it's an absolutely good idea to go back into the past.
It refreshes you like nothing else!
Try it out.

But, despite all that, its only a feeling which is virtual... which will make you feel good for a few moments.
It's not real. It 'was' real once upon a time.. not anymore.
Maybe that's why it's beautiful.

A famous song from a Hindi movie in the 1970s rings through my ears...
"Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam woh fir nahi aate.. woh fir nahi aate"
--All the milestones that you cross in your life, will never come back.. will never come back.

But you can feel good that they came once in your life!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Can loneliness break you?

Lonely I'm Mr Lonely,
I have nobody,
For my own

People often confuse the world with the words : lonely and alone.
Lonely is something which you feel from within yourself, nobody can force you to feel lonely.
Alone is what you are when you are with nobody physically.
You can feel lonely with 20 people around you and that's precisely what I am going through.

How lonely can one get?
Can it ever get so lonely to the point that it could kill you?
Well yes, if not physically, then of course mentally.

It doesn't matter what the quantum or the timeframe is... you can start feeling lonely even in a day.
This has become a way of life for me now... since the time I opted to come to a godforsaken place called Ekaterinburg.

The temperatures are bone chilling. Moscow now feels like a summer resort.
The day I landed it was -27 degrees C ... later that night, it plummeted a little further.
The next morning, like a labourer on the job, I started from the hotel when it was -31 degrees C.

On the first walk to the office, a few tears slipped out of my eyes because of the wind chill and fell on my glasses.
When i reached office, I realized that the haze that was on my glasses were a few of my tear drops which had frozen on my glasses.
That's when I realized I had taken the wrong bus and reached a place I should not have.

But those were only the teething troubles which I got used to in a while... what kills me now is the loneliness.
I can grapple with lack of good food, infact that's the only silver lining here... i lose a good number of KGs when I come here.

The opposition is stiff and hostile, I can deal with that.. i don't care a damn.
The food and weather is adverse, been there, done that, dealt with it before.
But this is the first time, I realize how difficult it is to live without the ones you love.

Jack said to Rose in Titanic :
'Dont jump, you dont want to feel that kind of thing... water that cold, it feels like a thousand needles pricking on your body'
In my case, it's not the water, its the loneliness that pricks me like a thousand knives.

If you do not have a close one whom you can confide to, it gets claustrophobic after a while.
Just yesterday, I got to hear something from someone which I did not like.
It affected my whole day. I flipped at everyone and everything after that.
Later in the night, I realized it was only because of the feeling of loneliness and as a result I felt helpless at most things that I would just brush off when I would be home.

The biggest things that can affect you do not lie outside you.

You can look within yourself and resolve most things.. but loneliness will kill you from deep within.
I sometimes wonder, what Ajmal Kasab would be feeling like now. He should never be hanged because death is an easier penalty to pay.
Few days back, I had read that he started abusing the guards on duty to provoke them.
Reason : The constables have an order from the authorities that bar them from talking to him.
He has nothing to do at all, no jail work like gardening or any other errand. He cant sleep forever too.
He is going crazy because of his loneliness.

That is why I say loneliness can kill you from deep within.
Tonight I plan to sit with a few of my office buddies and sing a lot of songs!
Weird hobby, but it will drive away the blues I hope.

Another few days here before I reach Moscow, that's when I can say 'AWESOME'.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The 4 lettered magic word

This is the day, this is the time.. but yet...
There are things which bother me.

The time of my life is now, the time to rejoice, the time to feel like God.
But yet, there are naggings which make me feel so slipshod.

Since a long time now, I have been thinking about what makes a perfect life?
How does one attain a life which is devoid of negativity or any other ill?
Is it really possible to dream of having such a life?

An emphatic and resounding NO is the answer from the skies.
So if some such thing like utopia doesn't exist, can we create a replica of it or atleast pretend that we live in a replica of it?

What did I just say? Pretend to live in a replica? Oh yes, definitely!
You can pretend to just about anything.
Inside, you may be the most insecure and jealous person, outside you can always potray a cool, suave and unperturbed image.
If you can be pretentious about all these things, then why can't anyone pretend to live in utopia.
But the point is, you are still pretending.
You are running away from what bites you.
You know how affected you are by something, but yet, you think by not thinking about it, the pain will subside.
The truth is, the more you try to detach yourself, the more you internally end up thinking about it.

What then, is the resolution?
It ain't that simple. It requires a lot of courage.
It requires a lot of confidence.
It actually is the simplest of things, but turns out to be the most complex thing to do in such situations.
It is 'TALK'.

It's a simple 4 letter word that has kept three big nuclear powers like India, China and Pakistan from going to war in times of adversity.
The most difficult part is to 'start' talking.
But once you do, you realize that the other person isn't all that bad, he isn't all that conniving.
Once the sun is out, the snow melts and the flowers bloom again!

But if you don't talk, you deny yourself that chance to joy.
You deny yourself that chance to mend fences and be back on track.

I have had instances in my life too, where things were assumed and then it snowed to such an extent that nobody was ready to clean up the snow.
Had I not come out and started to 'talk', who knows how much time I would've lost out and in course lost out on many other things important to me.

This situation will stare you in the face many times in your life, sometimes as frequently as everyday.
All you need to do is .. come out.. hold it by it's horns and say..
"Yeah, lets talk"
The wildest of bulls will also mellow down and listen to your side of the story.
Conflicts are inevitable, but combat is optional.
So the easy way out, however difficult it may seem initially, is to 'TALK'.

Garth Brooks said : "The greatest conflicts are not between two people but between one person and himself"
This signifies that most of the conflicts are assumed and not real, the other person may afterall be only a catalyst to your own conflicting thoughts.
This makes 'TALKING' an even more sensible solution.

Wish I had the courage to always stand up and 'TALK'...
Because it can make things go from this...

to this...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Travails of a guy's life and a tribute to the ladies

Have you ever faced discrimination as a guy?
Sounds strange?
Well, you would find it less stranger by the end of this post.

For all those who maintain being a girl comes with its societal problems, please re-think.
I have been a guy for 28 years now and will continue remaining so :)

When I was a kid, I was fine till the age of maybe 6 or 7.
That's the age when you hardly realize who a guy is and who a girl is.
Frankly, for me, judging the sex by the length of the hair worked!
All short haired ppl were guys and long haired ones were girls.
Call it stupid or whatever, that was how I was till atleast I was 5.

As time passed and I grew older, I understood there are more intricacies to this guy-girl thing.
Till 6th grade, in my school, we considered talking to the girls a thing below the 'guy' thing.
Now don't ask me why, I don't remember either.
We made faces at girls. (like girls generally do).

7th grade was kind of a discovery period. It was a realization period when we were starting to reverse what we were made of, the guy attitude.
Slowly but surely, the hormones started jumping.
One by one, everyone seemed to like some girl or the other.
I was shocked... because it was the first time I was experiencing this.

There were 3 guys with whom I was friends... 2 started spending more time with the girls they started liking lately.
They even changed their positions and no more sat with me in the class.
They went to the bench behind their new 'girly' friends.

Exasperated, I looked for company of the last guy left in my gang.
Unfortunately, he thought that I liked a girl... and the problem was that he actually liked the same girl.
So, inspite of me not liking Madam X, I lost out on the last guy friend too!

Then I made newer friends.. slowly started realizing that this age does not belong to the 'guys'. Girls are what drives the guys crazy.
So this was my first lesson that girls are more equal than the guys.

Time passed, I had similar such experiences in every walk of life which reposed faith in my belief that guys don't stand a chance when it came to a face-to-face battle with the girls.
Especially in the softer aspects of everyday life.

Being favourites of the lecturers in college to getting favours from the lab instructors in the mechanical workshops to getting good marks in college internals to hogging the limelight at college festivals, the girls got it all done!
And how? Just like that!

Guys, including me, no matter how hard we tried, found it difficult to manage the same kind of attention!

Another example, have a look at your social networking profile, orkut or facebook or whatever...
If the guy is extremely popular or drop dead killer looking, then the case may be different, but for a commoner, the updates/scraps are a little far in between.
He generally keeps 'liking' others' posts.
Sample this against an above-average looking girl on facebook.
The first thing you would notice that her number of friends are double yours.
You may be a stud in some other field, but on networking sites, you don't just measure up.
The saddest part is, you post something on your profile, there would be a couple of 'likes', a few comments.
But on the other hand, any mediocre status update from the above-average girl and the humanity pours in on her profile.
If it's a happy quote, people rave about her wittiness, talk how they feel the same and everyone else is dirt.
If her status message is sad, the whole set of friends, some who even otherwise barely talk to her, would give her pep-up talks, give jadu ki jhappis and make her feel that she is 'THE CHOSEN ONE'.

All this talk and people talk of downtrodden ladies!! :(
Agreed, there is a section of the female society which still is in the previous century...
But you also have to agree that the urban go-getters of the female community are leaps and bounds ahead in the race and have their male counterparts a distant second in the race for attention.

This is not a letter of appreciation for the more-than-equal ladies of the world!
Yet, I would also concede that I am also in awe of such ladies.. afterall I am a guy who is prone to killer ladies :P

Few years back was when the 'travails' ended.
And how? Just like that! :)

8 years back, lightening struck and I was smitten for life by one such lady.
Slowly, I started doing everything that I hated my friends in school for. :)
We went from strength to strength and now we are married happily! :D

Apart from my mom, who is still 'the-one-lady' whom I look up to for everything, there are just 2 ladies who are on my list now.. the ones for all occasions.
Needless to say, they are my support system and that's how the travails which I faced in my earlier life with the girls turned to the biggest boons with these stars!!
My wife, who was my friend-turned-life partner, continues to remain my best friend and biggest asset of my life, a person who I look upto when I am down and beaten.
She gives me that charge which makes me feel larger-than-life.
She is not just 'a star', but 'the star' who keeps my solar system chugging.

Next, my sis-in-law, the name the law defines, who was my friend turning to a person who I can share anything with to a close confidant is my next biggest star!

I don't know how life would've shaped up without these stars, whether it would have been better or worse, but whatever it turned out to be, it made me love my life more... love the people in my life more.

Either ways, it's the initial travails that made me what I am today and gave me the stars which light my life now!
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