Saturday, April 29, 2006

Muggle world

I've been away..but nah, I haven't exactly been leading a team of brave soldiers on an expedition to reach the summit of the Himalayas. I've been doing something lot more braver..Work! (Don't you dare laugh, Mini.)
No, no seriously. Against the combined will of all the heavenly planets and against the expectations of most friends, I actually am working...just not hard enough. Work has, of course, been interspersed with long durations of sleep, reading Harry Potter, eating bhel-puri/sev-puri/masala-dosas and sleeping again.
In fact, some friends feel that I've become a HP freak! And why not; in the fortnight that I've been here, I've finished reading the 3rd, 4th and 5th installments of the series. And yes, I've already started reading the 'Half Blood Prince', so.....
A word here must be put up in the Defence of Writing Arts...err...J. K. Rowling's writing. Just last night I was talking to a friend in Cal and was irritated no end to find that he actually felt that she (Rowling..not the friend, the friend was a he..but anyway, on to the story again) wrote ultra-rubbish.
I personally feel the books are as good as any 'adult' (not that 'adult', idiot!, mature-buddhi wala adult) suspense novels. What the hell, if they can make me see dreams of playing Quidditch instead of Udita Goswami as a Kingfisher air-hostess, I think she (Rowling, not Udita Goswami) is damn good. (Oh well, just in case Udita Goswami happens to read this blog, you're damn good too, Udita. Of course, I'd be singing 'Ek baar aa jaa, aa jaa' to you instead of Rowling).
The fact remains that Rowling's got a wonderful imagination, writes beautiful plots, and keeps the reader guessing till the end with a wonderfully scripted suspense. What's even more, her books have sold 300 million copies (let's not even count the number of pirated copies that must have been sold in India, leave alone world-wide) and have been translated into 63 languages.
In a world dominated by cable television, the Internet and Sony Playstations, I'm thankful to the Rowling's of this world to have generated an interest in books, and more importantly, having generated that interest in the younger population of the world.
But, for the time being, I return to Muggle-world, and must return to the Ministry of Magi--no, the CNBC office to work my 'charm'.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Jab main chhota baccha tha

I bet 3 out of 4 of you who read the title will go "...bahut shararat karta tha".
The lines are from a very popular ad-jingle from my younger days (I put in 'younger days' since I believe my 'childhood' is far from over *evil grin*).
Here is that complete jingle for Bajaj bulbs..
"Jab main chhota baccha tha
Bahut shararat karta tha
Meri chori pakdi jaati...
Kyun ki roshni deta Bajaj.
Ab main bilkul buddha hoon
Goli khake jeeta hoon
Phir bhi chori pakdi jaati...
Kyun ki roshni deta Bajaj."
Now the reason why this ad rings in my memory more than any other is because I got into trouble because of this particular ad. No, not recently, but you know how kids are kids..and how they imitate anything that they see.
Now, it so happens that even at that age I was crazy about reading books, and my Mum and Dad would obviously tell me to stick to my study books during the day rather than novels/fiction books. So, while I was trying to think of novel ways (puns intended) to increase my reading hours..Bingo!! I saw the ad.
In the ad, the kid tried to read a comic under the blanket with the help of a torch when his room lights had been switched off by his parents, who very conveniently thought that the kid had gone off to sleep. Of course, the conspirator was caught and the camera was quick to point out that the bulb that had been switched on in the room was a Bajaj bulb.
The chota idiot that I was, I thought I could do better than the kid in the ad, and so I sneaked an Eveready torch and a 'Bobbsey Twins' adventure book (I'd borrowed it from the school library) into my room at night. Of course I got caught within ten minutes of the premiere show of 'The Adventures of Bobbsey Twins'. I don't remember getting any punishment for my foolishness, but I certainly do recall that I never ever again got the opportunity to be a badmaash and read books under the blanket again.
P.S. On a more positive note, the second part of the ad, where the old fellow tries to steal food from the refrigerator, only to be caught red-handed/pastry-tongued by his wife, was a GREAT learning experience. To this day, there has been no, and I repeat, NO occassion when I have been caught while helping myself to chocolates/pastry/Coke in the dead of the night. Touch wood. :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Brand Ambassador

A change in the brand ambassador of this blog.

From FIDO ME !! :D

Monday, April 17, 2006

Great Quotes

Teachers will remain teachers...and from time to time, they'll prove to us that they are human after all. Making fun of what teachers/professors/faculty members say is nothing new. But just to prove the point that it is all very well deserved, I am quoting a few examples here.
These were a few fabulous quotes made by some of the faculty members at the Nirma Institute of Management. All of these statements were made with a serious intent and was meant to be some of the pearls of wisdom that we received. Unfortunately for them, we realized the obvious. A friend observed that a collection of such quotes would bring a smile everytime we recalled them, and so he started a thread at Nirma community on Orkut. These are just excerpts...
1. It is human for human beings to make errors.
2. Cost of goods sold is cost of goods sold.
3. The outcome is coming out. (This statement was made when a set of input data had been typed in and the class was seeing the output being displayed on the projector)
4. Are you boring? (The intention was to ask the student, in an angry tone, whether he was getting bored)
5. One year will be known to you after one years. (The faculty was trying to impress on us the value of one year's time in a student's life)
6. Most probably, we need to discuss and think with conscious or subconscious mind of ours. (I'm still confused on this one...)
7. Give me an example from recent example.
8. Contact your seniors who passed away 5 years ago... (Obviously, he later apologised, and corrected himself by saying he meant 'passed out 5 years ago')
*Sigh* Teachers will be teachers...and students will remain students....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Mee Mumbaikar

Well, I am a Mumbaikar at least for the next two months, i.e. till I complete my summer internship with CNBC TV18. Hmm..should be an activity filled 2 months, to say the least.
There were a number of things I wanted to write about, so here goes..
1. Ghar ki yaad
I know, I know..I have just come back from home. But I'm already homesick. In fact, on the night before I took the flight to Mumbai, I suddenly did something which could be very well be expected from a 5 year old (of course, there are scores of people who'd argue that THAT is my actual age, but that is a completely different debate).
I simply turned around from all the hectic activity, all the packing and re-packing and all the time calculations for leaving the next morning..and simply refused flat out to go!! "Mummy, main Bombay nahin jaunga...mujhe ghar pe rehna hai." If there is one thing I'm good at, it is throwing a tantrum. *devilish grin* I haven't grown up as much as people think, and obviously, I've become an expert at some things. I could very well give a lesson or two to kids who are novices in the field of khaoing bhaav.
*Sigh* Anyway, it finally took a lot of pampering from Mom, a confused look on Dad's face and a lot of coaxing from friends I called up in the dead of the night that convinced me that I had to go the next morning, irrespective of what I felt. And here I am, sitting typing a post titled 'Mee Mumbaikar', so you know what ultimately happened. *Deep sigh*
2. Hawaai udaan
The last time I was on a flight was 7 years ago. Like I've already mentioned, there doesn't seem to have been much of a mental development since then. However, I've definitely become more observant..or so I would like to believe (I do vaguely remember trying to memorize the clothes that girls' would wear to parties even then). But, I must say, flying was definitely a different experience this time around. For one, I was definitely not headed for a summer internship the last time I flew, I was off to take a vacation with my parents on that occassion.
I must say, it was fun the first few minutes of the flight. Soon after we took off, I was observing how the clouds below looked more like a comfortable 'razai' that I would just like to get under. Hmmm..that would really bring a deep, comfortable sleep; something that is a premium these days. A few minutes later, the flight attendants served breakfast but I quietly avoided the food. I feel giddy in an aeroplane and all the rumbling in the stomach is not the correct time to load yourself with food. So, I sweetly accepted the air-hostess' request (she was sweet to look at) for a cup of coffee. Mom was surprised when I gulped the half-filled cup of coffee without any sugar or milk; it's been some time ('some time' being a major understatement) since I had coffee with my parents at a coffee shop, or else, Mom would've known that I love black coffee.
3. 'Yeh hai Mumbai shahariya...tu dekh babuaaa'
Of course I've been to Mumbai before, but this is the first time I'm here on a professional assignement, the only other city where I've been on a 'professional assignment' (sounds as if I'm an FBI agent who gets to work at different locations) being Calcutta. After my first day of work at the CNBC TV18 office, when I walked towards the Lower Parel railway station, I must admit, for the first time in my life, I felt dwarfed.
I felt dwarfed by the crowds, the teeming hundreds who were headed back home, the crowds who were visiting the sabji mandi, the elegantly dressed Maharashtrian women who were selling their vegetables...everything. All of a sudden, I realised how I was just one of the million Indians who was headed back home from a day at work.
How was I ever going to stand out from the crowd?
How was I ever going to make a mark for myself?
How was I ever going to etch a name out for myself?
These and a number of other questions worried me..only till the time I reached home, to Mom and her simple home-made dinner.
4. You're watching CNBC TV-18...Profit from it...
The CNBC TV18 office is the 'coolest' office I've ever stepped into. The walls are not the conventional office types where everything is painted in the same 'cream' colours. The walls are actually a riot of colors, blue, red, and sometimes a shocking orange.
The people working there are again different from you would expect at an office; at least, that is the impression I got on 'half-day' Saturday. The folks wore jeans and a shirt. Some looked ready to be strolling the grounds of a golf-club. Of course, I saw the studio where the shooting actually takes place. In fact, do not be surprised if one of these days you spot me running across the screen behind Udayan Mukherjee... that would just be me making a dash for the cafeteria

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Back home

Do not even ask me how and why I made the transition from “not blogging” to “ok fine, I’m blogging again”. There was just something within me which went ‘click’ and which said “Stop blogging, it’s not helping you”. Again, last night, something inside me just went “click” and said “Hmm..start blogging again, it will help you.” With all this ‘click’-ing happening inside me, I almost feel like an Anchor switch! How mischievous the human mind is! In fact, I almost contemplated starting an anonymous blog, but then I dropped the idea.

Finally though, I’m back home. I must admit that the first few days back in Calcutta didn’t feel like I was back home. I mean, where was the peaceful sigh that I was waiting for all along? Where was the peace of mind and peace of heart, which told me ‘Ok, you’re on a B-R-E-A-K..Chillax dude!!”

But yes, opening up to a certain extent in front of ‘her’ yesterday made me feel much better. I just let go and told her most of the problems/frustrations that had become a part of my life. And of course, I did the best thing today by going ahead and telling her of the reasons and places where I’d gotten upset with her during the last few months. Thank God I was finally honest and told her what I actually feel when she calls up at times when I’m busy with work. Of course, I must thank Providence…and ‘her’ too…for giving me the opportunity to vent my outburst. It was she who pointed out to me that I’d been rude to her a couple of times over the last few months when she’d called up. And then, I just told her what I felt. Unfortunately, I was cut short when Dad called up and reminded me that Mom’s dinner + neighbouring ghar ki aunty ka dosa were eagerly waiting for me back home. And the fact that she and I will be meeting tomorrow in the company of friends when we go for a movie really doesn’t help matters. I hope we can have a good complete conversation soon.

Ha ha. Surprisingly, she hasn’t yet made a comment about my long hair. No no, do not get me wrong. I don’t have a hairstyle which would remind you of Shabana Azmi in ‘Makdee’. Just that my hair is slightly long-er than what is normal for your run-of-the-mill dressed-in-formals, slick-gel-applied-hair and pin-striped-suit clad MBA.

My hair has been a constant source of consternation for people around me. The curls in my hair at unbelievable locations have always been a source of ‘head’ ache for the barbers. I still remember the confused look on Salim bhai’s face when he would have a scissor in one hand and a comb in another. He would turn towards my hair and would suddenly have the same look on his face that I used to have in school when my biology teacher asked me to draw an arthropod on the blackboard. Well, as for the current situation, I plan to just go in the next 3 days to a decent hair salon and ask the hair stylist to do what he feels best, given my intentions of keeping long hair.

I was just packing my bags for Mumbai a few minutes ago. It felt awkward. Never before in my life have I been packing my bag for another place barely 3 days after coming back home. But, I guess, I’d better get used to such a life. Ha!! Here comes the globetrotter…

One thing that the one year of Nirma hasn’t changed is my attitude towards the saas-bahu serials. I’m sure there must be some website dedicated to anti-‘saas-bahu’ soaps. I still get a headache when I so much as just listen to the dialogues that some of these serials spew out. God!! What nonsense. “…main uska dard samajh sakti hoon, kyun ki main bhi ek aurat hoon”, and “…maine tumhaare liye bahut balidaan diye hain, lekin main apni beti ki zindagi ko tabaah nahin hone doonga”. Yes, don’t stare in amazement; the second quote was made by the male protagonist, not the female lead.

There is one difference in me, however. Earlier, when I used to settle down for dinner and Mom used to switch the channels to one where such a soap was being aired, I used to walk away and have the dinner in my room. Now, I patiently continue to have the dinner on the dining table itself. To hell with the headache yaar, ek saal ke baad ghar pe hain, this is the least I can do for my parents i.e. give them the satisfaction that I’m ‘properly’ having a dinner in front of them.

Yaar, I just love my parents so much…even if I can hear Mom complaining right now to Dad in the other room how I refused to pack 2 shirts that she selected from my old pile of clothes. *Smiles*

Bachna e haseeno...

...lo main aa gaya !! :)

Balderdash....I AM BACK !!!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

'Aavjo' with a smile

'Aavjo' is the Gujarati equivalent of a 'phir aaiyega' in Hindi or a polite 'do return' in English. It is said at the time of parting or bidding goodbye.

It is time for this blog to take a break. (Nope, this ain't an April Fool's Joke.)

I'm not upset about anything in particular. Nor is it about this.

It is just that The Traveller needs to travel again, on a path where he might find it difficult to narrate stories. Make no mistake, I still love narrating stories; only that it is time for me to go about weaving another one.

Nor am I saying that I shall never return to the world of blogging. Just that I'm not sure whether I will, and if at all, when.

It has been an extremely satisfying journey over the last few months where I enjoyed narrating experiences as well as expressing my own doubts and fears.

This doesn't mean that I shall not be following the blogs that I so loved to read:

Abhinav Jain, whose blog I LOVE the most. At the end of every day, I would look forward to reading a new post on his blog just so that I could laugh away to glory in the dead of the night

Gosia and the absolutely glorious photographs that she takes

Sunshine, who hopefully, I will be meeting soon

Moonwalker aka fellow Martian aka the one who's going to send me chocolates from her first salary

Arpana, who deleted a post that I loved the most [ remember Arpana? :) ]

Sayesha, who writes her blogs with utmost honesty

Amit, a great sport and a fun person to interact with

Trash_u aka Saurav-ko-gussa-kyun-aata-hai. Although this fellow doesn't update his blogs often enough, he's good


Anant, a guy who I respect because he speaks his heart

Nitin, the (almost) ex-IIT dude, now ITC dude and the most trusted friend ever who's just started blogging. Dekhte hain banda kitne din tak naukri or blog dono sambhalta hai ;)

Anna who's become a good friend and has recently started blogging again

and last, but not the least 'her'.