Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Round-up

When you wake up tomorrow morning, it will be a brand new year, and before the clock strikes 12, I decided to contribute my year end post amongst the n-number of posts that would’ve flooded the blogosphere by now.

If there was a calendar year I’d pick to be voted as the most memorable, this would be it. 2010 has been a year of firsts, many shocks, rude wake up calls, irreversible changes, transformations and a home coming of sorts.  You can rename 2010 as the year of Job Interviews.

We’ll start with family for a change.
A, finishes school and goes to college; neither of these were shocks per se, but going off to a hostel was the shot in the arm. Honestly, I couldn’t bear to see the little boy go away to a hostel.  It was the worst part, because after having a constant companion and confidant around for 17yrs, the void becomes quite prominent, and difficult to deal with.

Now it’s me time. Looking back, I never expected 2010 to be such a rollercoaster ride. I assumed it would be smooth sailing, because at the outset, I could foresee only a final year project and a job offer. With this on the plate, it should’ve been a breeze; but I still have no idea who invited a tornado, and put me in the eye of it.
Caught in the whirlwind of ups and downs was the year 2010.

The project was supposed to be easy peasy and things turned terrible, and by the time it saw the light of the day it was mid-May. Job hunting was supposed to be the same. I was pretty confident that cracking a couple of job interviews would be just as easy, but then there were way too many potholes on the gateway to the first real job. Even that dint last long – 5 and a half months to be precise. Amidst all this was the – I’m an MBA feeling.

 Before I forget, I’ll list out the firsts;
1)      Jan- May – Job hunting in all its futility, the project which went from good to bad, bad to worse, and finally got done thanks to divine intervention.
2)      May - I got my first job.
3)      June - I sent the first “I miss you text” – and it went out to my brother.  
4)      July - I got my first pay cheque.
5)      July- The high of swiping cards.
6)      Sep - I went on my first trek
7)      Aug  to Oct - I had the first taste of what work pressure and hostile atmosphere feels like.
8)      Nov - I wrote my first resignation letter.
9)      Nov - Changed jobs.

The first job did teach me a lot; everything from making ISD Calls to East Coast, West Coast, countries like Serbia and Croatia, which I knew existed only on maps! It also gave me a sneak peek of what happens in the dark alleys  and dungeons of the corporate world, saw the game of politics being played out from close quarters, unearthed a lot of two faced people. Got hurt and grew up in the process.

To balance out the evil, I had a bunch of really nice people like Jalsa, Salasa, and little girl, who helped me wade through. Thank you ladies!

On the personal front, it has been a growing up experience. A lot of people have shouldered me in good and bad times. Special thanks to bro, Neesu, G-Girl, The blood hound who can smell trouble, and Prash.

Just when I thought the year would end on a very happy note, came around Boy hunting.

Today as the year draws to an end, I realise that I’ve grown up, completed my post graduation, I have a job that pays me a fancy amount. I’ve come a long way from the trepidation and apprehension that swallowed me through the first few months.

Here’s wishing you all a great 2011!
You will see a New Year resolution post in another few days.

Cheers :)

PS: Before you close the window, the only thing that hasn't changed from 2009 to 2010 is - the crush on Murali Vijay. Somebody HELP ME! :P

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


A blog post after what seems like ages; the festive season is on, and everybody is in a mood to spread cheer and happiness. Life on the work front is also pretty chilled out. I’m sure you must have figured that out by now; blogging on a weekday from work. You get the drift right?

The idleness, happiness and boredom has brought me here; I’m really not in a mood to post something really serious, in other words, I don’t plan to overwork my brains right now… so, the best thing I can come up with right now is an out and out commercial post, tried and tested, every blogger worth their salt has one of these mushy, girly, endearing and truly gratifying post.  And, this is mine.

What makes me happy?

*Chocolates! Yeah baby; that very cutie brown piece of heaven that comes wrapped in foil. I like everything that’s chocolaty. I’m a true blooded chocolate addict. I love chocolate, and chocolate loves me. How else can you explain this theory that a every time I step into a store to buy something, this wonderful, adorable thing hiding in the aisle makes a pass at me and says “ here I am; look at me”?
*Appreciation and compliments; I’m a sucker for both. It can be appreciation for a job well done, or for that chocolate cake which turned out yum or for something totally unexpected. If you want to make my day – simply say, you look pretty. PS: Be genuine.
*Good food, this is not necessarily something exotic. Simple, comforting home cooked food. Here again, I wouldn't say NO to anything that fried / has chocolate or is just plain chocolate.  I’m a foodie at heart.
*Cooking; with the love of good food, comes the art of cooking. I thoroughly enjoy cooking, feeding folks and eating of course. Nothing is more therapeutic than cooking something from scratch.
*Laughing for no reason and so hard that tears stream down my cheeks. I must tell you that my laughter is infectious. There are fair chances of going deaf if you are in close proximity.
*Girl talk, bitching, gossiping, and those heart to heart conversations. You don’t need a set time and pattern.
*Gyaan giving, counseling and being the agony aunt – this is called giving back to the society at large.
*Talking endlessly. I’m sure it needs no explanation. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you would’ve figured that out by now.
*Bringing a smile onto a couple of faces.
*Mall Hopping, line marofying.
*Browsing through book stores.
*Trying on perfumes which I will never buy.
*Watching chick flicks or SRK movies with friends. 
* Rain dancing or singing or both. 
*Losing weight when I least expected it. (the opposite of this would be, gaining a couple of kilos, when I've been dieting)
*Finding a neatly folded 100 Rupee note in my not-washed-in-a-quarter jeans.
*Riding my bike on an empty road. 
*Photograph frenzy.
*Super hot cup of coffee as soon as I return home.
*Super clean room with everything in the right place.. Turning on the AC would be an icing on the cake. :P
*Books – I’m a bookworm. Period.
*A mid week holiday.
*12hrs of undisturbed sleep.
*Playing with little kids, being the story teller or simply having them around is unbridled joy!
*A lazy weekend or even better a weekday, spent reading a book by the window, watching kids play in the compound, and endless cups of coffee.

This is called bliss.

Cheers :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog Analysis

I have decided to take analysis to the next level. 
This is the blog analysis by this website called

A Strange Mixture of Sanity and Insanity

Am random; therefore my posts will be extremely random...

Text analysis is probably written by a female somewhere between 18-25 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time.






Ranking: is the 2118th most happy of 4285 ranked blogs.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Will You Marry Me?

Before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you that is not an open declaration or plea from my side. I’m using my MBA Marketing skills of *grabbing eyeballs*. Now that you sat up and took notice, half my job is over.
Welcome to Mission M – The Ultimate Disaster Management Program.  

Being the Business Analyst I am, I decided to conduct a small scale Market Research Study on the state of affairs.

Individual profiles are divided into various sub categories. The categories which are fodder for humour are – photos, about me, about my family and partner preferences.  The profiles are created either by the boy or his parents, in very rare cases relatives or siblings.

About me:  there are lots of variations to this. If the parents have created the profile, they make use of this opportunity to showcase their Son’s glory to the fullest extent.

Sample this: My son is an extremely intelligent, good looking boy with clean manners. He respects elders and is a very soft spoken boy who is also very God-fearing.  Moreover he will not mean any harm to even small insects. The entire paragraph sounds pretty decent, except for the last part. Your son will not harm an insect, is that what you mean? Ok, I have a question, what will he do if there is an ant climbing up his nose? Will he say “Hey Ant Baby! ‘Sup?”

This one was by the guy himself. Hi I’m ABCDEF; I’m a super chilled guy who loves to socialize with people. I have been living in the US for 6yrs now, and I have travelled the globe, except to Antarctica hehehe.  I have four things to say – one; my dear hyperactive dodo, this is a matrimonial profile, and not some despo Facebook profile where your intention is to be a Chick Magnate. Two; all of us are aware of the fact that only researchers setup base in Antarctica. So if you’ve been to a lot of places across the globe, have you been to Greenland and Arctic Region? Have you seen Santa and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? Three; if you claim to be *that* chilled out, I guess if we do meet, we must catch up in Pasha over Child Beer and Chicken-65.  Four; heheheh is GAY. Moron.

One guy says, he was born and "bread"* in Chennai. Bread you mean? Well, I like Jam Rolls better.

Another guy says, I'm very "compassionate" about music. I'm equally compassionate about the people who listen to my music. 

About My Family:  This is where people get all filmy. Remember that Ad which goes like “My Daddy Strongest”?  One profile read: We are very happy family of fantastic 4. We are inseparable and love each one of us to death. I have a question; Which Tamizh Movie inspired you?  
You know what? My mummy is a superwoman!

Partner Preferences: This part which makes me go violent. We would like to receive requests from well educated  girls from respected families’ sums up the entire equation. People go the extra-mile and describe their preferences. We are interested in; tall fair slim Iyer brides, who are well educated, have strong family values and also career oriented. The fixation on “fair” brides is truly overwhelming.

The best of all is photos: Guys when they upload pictures end up contradicting themselves big time. There was this profile, where the guy had specifically mentioned that he is a “non-drinker”, but the album, has a full size picture of him and a glass with a golden colour liquid. Are you getting HIGH on Mirinda?

Pictures of themselves taken during the Onsite Project; this is the second category that exhibits extreme wannabe characteristics. Standing beside cars in a showroom is fine, makes you look like you’ve got great taste, but wrapping your arms around it like it’s your own is pushing it too far.

That’s all folks.

I’m sure you realise that I have categorically ruined every possibility of getting married.

Good Luck with your Partner Search.

PS: The paradox of the MR study is - if the guy's profile is remotely interesting. The following will happen; a) The guy lives in USofA, which is a BIG no-no. b) the gothram will be the same - equally tragic. c) The nakshatram will be the same or incompatible with yours.
PS1: All the profiles described above are real. The spellings are also straight from the profiles.
PS2: This is my view on the entire episode, and no hard feelings please. :P 
PS3: I also realise that my profile might be getting ripped apart elsewhere. But yeah, who cares!
PS4: Thank you for reading through such a long post. Your patience is deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rain Rain, Go Away.

Dear Rain,

At the outset, I must thank you for making your presence felt. You’ve done a great job of bringing down the temperatures, filling our dams with enough water so that we don’t have to crib about the lack of it  in the coming months  and also for giving us a great deal of respite from the sweltering heat Chennai is known for.   
On the flip side, you’ve  ruined our roads, disrupted traffic;  by making long journeys even longer, making public transport almost unusable and derailed our civilian lives.  

I wholeheartedly appreciate the dedication you’ve exhibited in performing the duties assigned. I must also mention that you’ve exceeded expectations. Thank you is too small a word to express my gratitude.
My dear Rain, don’t ever come to the conclusion that I don’t love you anymore, I still do, but I’m writing this to you because I don’t want any love to be lost between us.  At this juncture I must tell you, that too much of a good thing nullifies the goodness it was intended for. 

I hope you get what I’m saying. Back in school and college, even when you drizzled down, our principals were kind enough to declare a holiday. Now, even if you lash down on us, the corporate companies we represent will NOT declare a holiday, and even if they do, we will have to compensate for it on another day, when your downpour is at its best.

I agree that the best thing to do when you visit us is to sit by the window with a hot cup of coffee and a lovely book. All that is technically impossible because as much as I would love to admire you, sing, dance and all that, I must tell you that I have a job to attend to.

I sincerely hope you understand my predicament of going to work completely drenched. It doesn’t look and feel good.  My kindest request to you is, please stop what you are doing.  You can revisit us sometime in June, and we’ll welcome you with our arms wide open.

It’s high time you visited other parts of the country and wrecked havoc there.

Before I get way too violent, please let us live in peace.

Thanks & Regards,

PS: We’ll need your presence sometime in April or May again, you can visit us for a short while then.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

From Jerry to Tom – A Crucial Transformation

The latest fad on Facebook is uploading cartoon pictures, for an invasion of childhood memories. The idea was very cute, because it gave me an opportunity to revisit childhood memories. I chose Tom & Jerry.

I was nicknamed Jerry in my previous company thanks to the petrified look on my face every time I crossed paths with certain people. I will attribute that unreasonable fear to their attitudes. They were all poker faced, extremely cold towards people, and packed with attitude and arrogance.  I have everything against these people. I mean honestly, if you were that good, people should recognize you for that.  One thing I’ve learnt over the years is respect is never demanded, it is always bestowed. Respect that is coerced is not actually worth it.

I digressed, but that was crucial to understand the context.  Yeah, so I was little jerry who froze at the sight of 3 people. I would actually run out of sight or look away when they passed. This was an insider joke of sorts, my Primary expert-I, would actually poke fun at me, and all of us used to laugh. Somehow in my 5 months stay over there I never came to accept them, and vice versa. 

I was never happy there; every passing day was actually a pain, a punishment. The entire place made me feel like a prisoner in a concentration camp. I can spew venom thinking about the place. There have been innumerous days, where I’ve returned home weary, sullen and teary eyed. Had I stayed there longer, I would have become non-existent.  So, I was Jerry forever.

I walked out of the place, with a wee bit of sanity intact, and I embarked on a new beginning.  This Tom Vs Jerry Chapter of my life, left me shaken, but it did stir in a vital lesson – I need not be scared of anybody in my life. My life is my own, and I needn’t freeze. I should learn to wholeheartedly accept myself.
Today, I know it’s a new beginning, and I’m all by myself. Tom is left behind, and I have taken an oath never to be Jerry again.

Thanks Primary Expert for actually drilling this into my brains. Tomorrow, if anybody calls me to the Manager’s cabin, I will not die of shock. Promise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meesic Matters

Long post ahead; read at your own peril.

Last week my friend has posted a song by junoon on her wall, asking me if I remembered the song. And I did. Pappu yaar tang na kar was a song we used to refer to somebody who was a mutual friend. Pappu was my neighbour, her classmate and our tuition mate. Pappu was our favourite topic of discussion; he played the guitar, and got badly screwed in the maths class. He was the poster boy of our chemistry teacher and all that.  

Likewise, there are songs on my playlist which relate to some incident or the other in my life, and I got into this downward-spiral mode. Brainwave struck, and I thought I might as well chronicle it. 

Tanha Dil: Life’s roadblocks and uncertainties, a flicker of hope that I will make it someday.

Mitwa from Lagaan: Class 10 Boards, tense moments, and the jitters of writing some exam of great importance. This song gave me that much needed strength to clear the math paper.

Oh Palanhare and Vishnusahasranamam are jointly responsible for helping me pass all my number crunching papers through college.

Mitwa from KANK: KANK by all means was an extremely stupid movie, but this song gives me that *love will find a way* feeling.

Aao Na: I love the look and feel of the song. I can probably float in air every time I listen to it.

Do DIl from Pardes: This was back in class 5 or 6 I don’t remember; my dad enrolled me in one of those computer classes, where they taught us Microsoft office. There was this clipart with a couple silhouette embedded in the moon. So the girls in the class looked named it – Do dil mil rahe hai. Since then, the song reminds me of the picture. PS: The girls were all oldies.

Mere Khawbon Mein and Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jana Sanam from DDLJ: School vacations, time spent at my aunt’s place in the outskirts. All the fun we had jumping over fences and listening to stories. This very movie sowed the first seeds of unrealistic expectations. :P

Pal by KK: this one was a favourite of all school farewells.  It totally transports you back an era when all you had to worry about was – Integral Calculus.

Yaaron by KK: Friendship, first crush, and the madness called adolescence.

Mora Saiyyan and Tere Bina by Fuzon: Songs about unrequited love. I still get misty eyed when I listen to Mora Saiyyan.

 Duur, Dhaani and Anjane by Strings:  The transition from school to college. The transition from the gawky teenager to less dorky adult :P

Dil Chahta: S^3 and school time masti! We had our respective roles, and it was fun.

Bumbro and So Ja Chanda from Mission Kashmir: This one is an absolute favourite. I so wished I was Preity Zinta in the song. And So ja chanda is for somebody else ;-) S, rings a bell?

Papa Khete hai and Pehla Nasha from QSQT: Reminds me of all those changing ambitions from wanting to become a doctor-computer engineer-journalist. Pehla Nasha is for the diehard romantic in me.

Paathshala and Roobaro: College, masti, rebelliousness, and the happy go lucky life that I lived for 5 long years, until I was thrown into the corporate world.

Taare Zameen Par and Maa: XAT, January 6th 2008, Satyam Cinemas. I was watching TZP with a friend. I could totally relate to Darsheel Safary and his mathematical woes.  I could see me in him, and this feeling grew on me. I had tears streaming down my cheeks, it wasn’t half as embarrassing because, the entire theatre was crying. Primarily the tears were for me; I screwed XAT and its predecessor CAT. There was no way I was going to make it to a top rung B-school, and also for the poor kid on screen.

Since then, I’ve had this bone of contention that I am actually dyslexic.

Navaratri is on, and it would be unfair if I don’t mention this. Rewind to Navaratri of 1995, the last year my family spent in Bangalore, and my mother was busy visiting friends. We were at this relative’s place, this maami coaxed me to sing any song that I liked singing. I was a shy child back then (only when it comes to singing in front of a group of people). I still get bouts of fits when I’m asked to sing in public.

I was slowly becoming the Maami’s choice of the day, and I was forced to sing. What happened next was totally unexpected. I sang – Tu cheez badi hai mast mast from Mohra. I was forced to shut up. Since then I have never displayed any singing talent.

Thank you for reading this. :P


As I skim through the facebook updates; realisation struck me.  Most of the Junta on my list are either getting engaged, married or having babies.

And I’m pondering over life threatening questions, grappling with randomness of life, asking people to beep off, seeking counsel.

I’m not complaining.

End of Case.

Monday, October 4, 2010


A chronicle of events over the weekend, which made me sing my redemption song.

Finance Classes: I’m sure a lot of you had a heart attack reading those two words. Hang in there; this is just the tip of the iceberg. Teaching finance and accounting to a seasoned bank officer is like reinventing the wheel. But there is always a gap in the learning curve right? My aatha has some random exam coming up in November, so she wanted me to teach her finer aspects of the subject. Wait I know it’s heart attack No.2, you have to read on.

Being the obedient dutiful daughter I am; I summoned the financial management, ManAc and Corporate Finance from the rack, dusted them nice and clean. Next in the line were fresh sheets of paper, and two pens. With the ammunitions ready, I was ready for the battle.
I taught her stuff about Ratios, Cash Flow, Fund Flow, Risk ratings, Discounted Cash Flow, Working Capital Management, Capital Budgeting, Mergers Acquisitions, Bankruptcy and the likes. Throughout the 3hr crash course, I could observe reactions ranging from; hope-despair-depression-disgust-frustration. Finally she threw the pen in the air, got up and left the room.

Enjoying The Last Drops of Joy: A friend was complaining about how boring college was, and that he wanted to get working and earn some asap. Offlate talks about college being boring, don’t really go down well with me. I get majorly senti and all that I start crapping about what life was like, when I was in college. This time I gave him sound advice on, why he must enjoy the Golden Period, and not crib about life in college.  It was more philosophical rather than practical; Macha, take it easy, you don’t get this again in your life. Enjoy max da. If somebody had tried grilling the same thing into my head until a few months back, I would’ve asked them to get their brains examined. But this time, it made total sense.

Exams: A has some periodical tests going on at college. They are similar to the Mid-Terms we had in college. This kid was majorly studying, and cribbing about his Physics paper the next day. Apparently he hadn’t studied anything, so he wanted me to cut the call short and let him study. Well, that did not happen. I rubbed some more gyaan into Brain No.2. This time, it was more on college, enjoying under-graduation,  chilling out, and not wrecking your brains over stupid periodicals. The punch line of the day was – padh likhke kya karna hai, ek din sab ko marna hai.

Gyaan to Self: My friends had invited me to some cafe half way across the city. The place is a rip off of another popular cafe which capitalized on Hookah.  The menu card arrived; I exhibited extreme restraint while ordering. I skipped anything that said – cheese or chocolate. I ordered veg club sandwich, specifically told them to keep off mayonnaise.  I was playing safe. 

After 30 mins or so, arrived Mr. Sizzling Chocolate Brownie. I will call it Mr, for all practical reasons. The brownie did sizzle, the vanilla ice-cream smiled at me, and the molten chocolate led me into temptation. I did not give in.  In the meantime, another friend texts and said she wanted to have something chocolatey.  So I headed to another rip-off restaurant, and the unexpected happened. Mr. Chocolate Avalanche Junior was our Guest for the day, and I exhibited unabashed gluttony. The rest they say is history.

The weekend was worth it :P
Thank you Chocolate Avalanche Junior for making my weekend so special :D

Cheers :) 

Thursday, September 30, 2010


It’s been a long time since I spoke to real people.
It’s been a long time since I did anything that I loved doing.
It’s been forever since I smiled at somebody.
It’s been forever since I made anybody laugh.
I’ve been spending all my time in front of a computer screen.
I’ve not laughed in two months (except for the trek and occasional laughs once in a blue moon).
It’s been a really long time since I had some me time.
I missed my mother’s birthday.
I hate telephones, computers and associated objects.
I’m pissed off and angry at a lot of people and things.
I did not foresee myself thinking on these lines in such a short span of time.
I’m not being what I used to be.
My folks are vaguely aware of somebody who comes home at 10, sleeps, wakes up at 7 the next morning and leaves again at 7.30. 
I haven't fought or argued with my brother in the last 3 months. Infact I did not have the energy to even get up from bed when he was home last week.
I haven’t read a newspaper in 3 months. (Not even online versions)
I need help!
I miss being me.
I miss me.
I think I've become a Zombie.

PS: if you find me, or anybody who remotely resembles me. Please get in touch.
Thanks :-| 

Monday, September 20, 2010

My First Ever Trek

I’m not an adventure person, given an opportunity I’d sleep through the entire weekend or weekdays with little or no contact with the outside world. I had little or no contact with the outside world last weekend, thanks to a out of network prompt. I loved that disconnected feeling, where nobody can ring you at odd hours, where time stands still, and you can see only greenery all around you. It was pristine beauty at its best.

A certain friend of mine who is this major wildlife enthu pattani convinced me to trek. I had my initial apprehensions; will I be able to walk? Am I fit enough? What if I get bitten by random insects?
The worst of all was – the fear of leeches.

In spite of all these nagging questions, there was this tiny voice in my head which said; go for it tiger. Incidentally we were off to a tiger reserve.

14 of us were off to this place in Palakkad called Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Awesomeness is one word to describe the entire trip. Never in my life did I imagine that I’d love wildlife as much, or have so much fun in a forest.

I agree with G when she says, a forest is where you feel  vulnerable and close to mother nature at the same time.  I know what it felt like when the guide asked all of us to stay where we were, when he said “bison”.
A trek makes you realise that Mother Nature is fragile, and we’ve practically taken our existence for granted. Man probably stands on top of the food chain, but he hardly realises that, his sustenance lies in the forests, which are getting destroyed at a rapid pace.

This was my two day trip to Kerala; trekking, lots of laughter and an experience of a lifetime. You can now safely add me to the list of wannabe naturalists, though the passion can never equal G’s or Uncle’s for wildlife, their existence, and the way they connect to nature.

We trekked through God knows how many kilometres, but it was total fun, the panting, gasping for breath, holding onto people while going uphill and downhill. The leech bites, the insects, the leopard’s paw, the bison in close proximity, the fear that gripped when I saw wild dogs crossing the roads. Nothing can equal the thrill of having monkeys in the dining hall,  and the cuteness of the baby monkey which tried to impress me*.

The laughs I shared over the last two days still resonate in my ears.  The photograph frenzy and everything else that happened over the last two days will remain etched in my memory for a long long time. The sadness that engulfed me when we packed our bags to leave the dormitory called Hornbill.

5 leech bites later, I can say – I love you Mother Nature. But I’m still scared of animals, especially dogs.
Thanks a lot G for convincing me, thanks to all the fellow trekkers, and special thanks to Uncle for making this trip a memorable one.

Cheers :)

*the place I lived in Bangalore before coming down to Madras, used to have hordes of monkeys visit us during the summers. So, the paati of mine made me chant *Ram Ram* every time a monkey in the balcony.   I did not do the same during the trek, because I was busy poking fun at Roo :P

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Peepli Live - A Review

The other day somebody asked me “What was the last movie you watched?” Peepli Live I replied. I hate Village stories can the reply. This is one major misconception about the movie. The characters are set in a village, but the story is contemporary.

Peepli Live is the other side of India; the India Bollywood will not celebrate because there are no Yuppies. The India most of us prefer to ignore because none of us would dare to acknowledge its existence.
Watch this movie just once, and then tell me if you still believe India is an emerging nation, or the entire booming economy theory is a farce.

Think about this; now cross your heart and count the number of times you’ve ignored a homeless person on the road, tattered clothes, and malnourished children with their bones sticking out, construction workers, rag pickers, and hawkers who live in dilapidated conditions.

Peepli Live talks about what drives these people to becoming what they are today.
Nathu and Budhiya are brothers who just lost their last piece of farmland to the bank, because they were unable to repay the loan.

Set in the backdrop of farmer suicides; the director takes a sardonic dig at the sorry state of affairs, without being too preachy or overbearing.

On their way back home, Nathu and Budhiya receive unsolicited advice on the compensation given by the govt to the families of farmers who commit suicide. They pay no heed to this in the beginning; but it slowly grows on them, and Nathu decides to take the plunge.

Nathu declares this in public, and a wannabe village reporter gets a whiff of this, and does what every self respecting media person wants to do to earn a quick buck and his 15seconds of fame. Thus becomes a star overnight.

Farmer suicide cases are causing jitters across the nation, and the news channels make full use of primetime television to air their concerns. With the state elections around the corner, the politicians feel the heat as well, and hence they try and come up with different Yojanas to protect the dying farmers.

The news of Nathu planning to take his life spreads like wildfire all the way to Delhi. This brings in the TRP and sensational news hungry Media Persons, vote bank and caste loving politicians. Vans full of people and equipment flood Peepli. The politicians and the media start their working on business as usual; mudslinging at the opposition and vice versa begins. Media houses take their respective stands to protect their political interests.

In the midst of all this, the real cause of worry is forgotten. The media and the politicians carry out their strategies with the ease of professionals which they are in any case. The entire hungama is properly staged with makeup et al.

Suddenly Nathu disappears and the media makes a quiet exit. The politicians are still a little uneasy. Nathu and Family continue to live Below Poverty Line. But do we really care?

Welcome to Incredible India, where sensationalism is the latest buzz word. Where Farmer suicides go uncared for and we have crores of rupees to splurge on CWG.

I really wonder if this is the *Atulya Mahan Bharat* we are trying to sell to the Western Nations.

PS: The Hindi is a little too hard of the viewer. You may not follow most of it, if you don’t get the basics right. But trust me, it doesn’t even matter. The emotions speak for themselves.
PS1: Hats off to the team for directing something as contemporary as this. Bollywood is waking up I guess.
PS3: You can see lookalikes of Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai.
PS4: The Indian Political System is truly rotten.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Are Family

My folks celebrated their silver jubilee today. These momentous occasions call for a lot of tear jerking, sentimental speeches which end with *thank you Amma and Appa*. Since we are not a bollywood family, we decided to skip all of this.  25years is a long time, when you have a couple who are as different as chalk and cheese. It still beats me on how they survived, and  in their journey together, they have with them two miniature versions. We the two versions are very happy and blessed to be a part of this journey and the years to come.

Amma and Appa are very very different from each other, opposites in the truest sense of word.

To celebrate 25years, I came up with 25 things that brings out the different aspects in them, and has kept them in good stead for so long. I’m not trying to compare them, but this is my way of looking at things.
  1. Amma grew up in Bombay, and her tastes are predominantly northie, and Appa’s tastes are very stereotypical.
  2. Amma makes awesome northie stuff, I’m sure she says a small prayer before she makes something like Paruppu Urundai Sambar or Mysorepak. She makes this super creamy kalakand, while her mysorepak can be used as a cork ball substitute. (Courtesy A who has spent his entire life so far playing cricket :P). Appa likes *proper* Tam-brahm food.
  3. Amma thinks everything in the house has to be spotlessly clean (hardly ever happens), while appa thinks, it’s ok to be messy. And you know the repercussions, Amma walks around with a mop stick and duster during the weekends.
  4. Amma is super religious, inspite of growing up in a place where the Tam-Brahm population was relatively less; she’s picked up all of it. Appa is more or less agnostic when it comes to religion.
  5. Amma talks a dime to a dozen in no time, appa hardly talks.
  6. Appa is a super strict disciplinarian, and I’m shit scared of him. Amma is the super chilled out person, she sends her warning signals, but will not impose it on you. (heard of the saying – patta than puriyum?, she lives by that adage sometimes)
  7. My folks have a similar taste in the kind of music they listen to – old Hindi and Tamil songs rule the roost. Amma loves old Hindi movies, and appa likes Tamil Movies.
  8. Appa is a geek – I guess all number crunching people like chartered accountants are geeks. My dad can probably talk to numbers, and even live with them. Amma likes anything that’s artistic; more like literature or philosophy than finance.
  9. Amma is chatterbox, this means she has lots of friends, and she finds time to actually keep in touch with them. Appa on the other hand is bloody moody and reserved.
  10. Ok, this one is a sitter; Appa loves sports, and Amma understands zilch.
  11. Sitter No.2, Technology. Yeah, you know the answer.
  12. Another sitter – Amma loves shopping; be it clothes, jewellery or even groceries, she is ready to shop. Appa hates it. I think hate is too mild a word. :P
  13. Adventurousness, by this, I don’t mean paragliding or bungee jumping. I’m talking about the mindset to try out the unknown.  Amma would really not mind taking a bus to express avenue and window shop with me, Appa seriously thinks, its pointless going to such places, and he thinks he’s too old for all that. He wouldn’t do anything outside his comfort zone.
  14. Humour, this is a little tricky. Amma can laugh at just about anything; Appa won’t unless he thinks it’s funny. Appa hardly ever cracks a joke.
  15. Surprises –Amma simply loves them! Be it a greeting card or a gift, you can see the excitement of a 3yr old in her face. Appa is mostly wooden to most of this.
  16. Amma loves travelling, and Appa is a proper homebody. I’m considering packing them off to a vacation by the end of this year, depending on my bank balance.
  17. Temper, Appa is super hot tempered, you name it, and he can get angry at you for it. Amma is the epitome of patience, you can never really get her angry, but once you do, god save you.
  18. Appa is a perfectionist. Seen Bommarillu, and the dad character in that movie, is a clone of the one I’m living with.
  19. Letting go of emotions, if I tell Amma that I flunked a test, she will scream, yell and take her anger out on me. But Appa will give me silent treatment.
  20. Amma is the kid magnet, Appa manages to scare pretty much every single kid.
  21. Both Amma and Appa love reading, only the genres are different.
  22. Amma has a very liberal way of bringing up kids – “you want to do this, go and try it”, is what she says. Appa is rigid – do what I say. And that’s why I fight more with my dad than with my mother.
  23. Appa can deal with animals, while Amma is petrified of them. She hates it when she sees us petting kittens. She once made both of us wash our hands several times, and sprinkled manjal thanni to get us rid of *cat fur*!
  24. Appa is the man of the family, and that’s enough said about driving skills.
  25. Amma is the know it all – PTA meetings, exams, doctor appointments, homework, project delivery deadlines, she knows it all.

Yeah, we are family.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Udaan - A Review.

Udaan is a the story of a young boy  Rohan, who after being expelled from school, returns to what he calls his home – a place which he hasn’t visited in 8yrs.

The movie is raw, intense, strong, in your face and grey. The storyline is simple and candid. The film revolves around an authoritarian straight-jacketed monster of a dad, and a 17yr old with an *udhne ki tamannah* .To this, add one nice considerate uncle, one lovelorn 6yr old, who is his step brother and a friend’s voice from another city.

Rohan dreams of becoming a writer, while the monster of a dad sends him to the factory, and forcibly enrols him in an engineering course. The teen obviously hates all of this, and wants to break free. The movie is so true to itself that each one of us can probably relate to atleast one instance quoted.

The guy is oppressed by all means. The monotony of his life is a stark reminder of that fact. The mediocrity of his life is evident – the early morning run, the car that starts the same way every morning, the boring factory life, and the uninteresting engineering course only add to the misery.

Rohan rebels against his dad in his own little ways; the car drives at night, getting sloshed out and finding company among his college seniors. He finds solace in writing. This is his retribution. His writing is the only means of expression, and his uncle supports him to an extent. But you can do little or nothing with that monster of a dad. This man has his own demons to deal with.

Rohan lives in hope that, there will be a day when he can break free from the clamps of his life, and redeem himself. This is very evident in that scene where he tells his uncle “I’d do anything but stay in this wretched place”. He develops a bonding of sorts with his step brother. It’s truly endearing when the 6yr old is taken under his wings. It was simple candid, and sweet.

The storyline does have the usual lump in the throat moments, but it socks you in your face – nothing is sugar coated. And I think this is what I really liked about the entire movie; the honest and realistic portrayal of life and its naked truth. The characters breathe an amazing amount of life into this.

All of us have had stars in our eyes while growing up, very few of pursue what we wanted. Most of us strayed away, stuck to what the society considers *right*, and then after 5yrs look back at the opportunity lost. The protagonist proves that there is still a flicker of hope deep down there, and it’s never too late.

I loved the last scene where Rohan and his little brother leave the house. It ends on a note that there is life beyond all the humdrum and you can do it, if you believe you can.

Go ahead, unclip those wings, and go on your Udaan!

Peace out

PS: This movie is a perfect antithesis to Varanam Aiyiram where the Daddy-Son relationship is glorified.
PS1: I’m so glad Yash Raj Films, did not produce or promote this movie. Had it been the case, the last scene would’ve extended into a different track, with the stupid moron of a dad changing his mind, and going in search of his kids.
PS2: I could see shades of me in Rohan, the rebellious streak, the - I so want to punch people in their faces attitude. Somehow I never came around pursuing my dreams; I simply modified them to suit my needs.
PS3: This movie is a must watch!

Kaam Ke Side Effects.

Caution: The post and the incidents mention are real, and the Blogger claims no responsibility for the loss of Sanity. None of the facts have been exaggerated.

I completed Q1 of working; the results would be pretty boring. Ideally I'd love to call on a Townhall of sorts, serve you guys high tea, and deliver a speech on   - the Journey so far. I neither have the time or the energy or the money. So, read this, and pass on your congratulations, or condolences. 

The side effects have a different tale to tell.  I don’t know if things like this happen, when you spend a fair chunk of your life in a cubicle. The corporate hullabaloo has got onto me, and the effects are here to see.

I pressed windows + L on my Laptop, when I went to make coffee.

I’ve gotten accustomed to staying late until 9 or more. The security guard now knows, where I stay, and my name goes onto the list automatically.

I was taking care of the Dining Venue for my team workshop, in the process I called up a few decent restaurants in the city to ask for quotes and reserve seats. I did the unexpected – I introduced myself like I would usually do for a project request.  Later I bit my tongue and corrected myself.

I was talking to the mobile service provider a few days back, and those guys wanted my email address to mail my complaint number. I belted out my official id instead of my personal one.

This four lettered word called – Work, gets a reference everywhere irrespective of the context.

I find it weird when if I board  the bus at 7.00PM IST.

I find myself working on deliverables over a weekend.

I dialled 001, before dialling a local number.

Worst case of all – I was pressing my access card against the wall last Friday hoping the door would give way automatically.

Next on the anvil is me standing in the kitchen, placing a glass under the Aquaguard and expecting a cup of coffee.

You get the picture don’t you?

I need rehab or therapy or whatever. Wait on, pass me a bar of Bournville, I think that should suffice.

It beats me how people have worked for a quarter of a century and still don’t have the corporate side effects.

Yeah, thanks.

Now you can watch the trailer of *Va – Quarter Cutting* and celebrate my Q1 of working.

 Peace Out :)

PS: I'm on a mission to *Reclaim My Life*. Tips please!