Friday, January 29, 2016
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Long live Battery Park NYPL. Came across this mushy ode to medieval Florence, Machiavelli’s hometown was the epicenter of the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century, a place of unparalleled artistic and intellectual attainments. But it was also riven by extraordinary violence. War and public executions were commonplace—the protagonist himself was imprisoned and brutally tortured at the behest of his own government. These experiences left a deep impression on this keen observer of power politics, whose two masterpieces—The Prince and The Discourses—draw everywhere on the hard-won wisdom gained from navigating a treacherous world. Worth a read during a macabre winter storm!
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Saturday, January 02, 2016
Saturday, December 05, 2015
Bought along with book on Jefferson by the same author. Stories on spy rings and their deeds lag the glory that is bestowed upon political and military leaders. And often with a lag, comes lack of details that make up the stories. Thankfully this is a well researched account of a nascent group that played its due part in American War for Independence. The storytelling too is pretty tight, read this in 2-3 installments.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Friday, August 15, 2014
(spoilers in the review)
I admit I am in a Michael Lewis time warp (with 1 more - Moneyball to go).
This book is one of the 2 definitive pieces ever penned or recorded on Sub Prime crisis, other being documentary from CNBC journalist David Faber apty titled - House of Cards ( http://www.cnbc.com/id/28892719).
However unlike David Faber's work that takes him to one of the guilty parties - House Owners, Michael Lewis has constructed this story using an almost unaffected class of people as observers. Three sets of money managers who otherwise would have been untouched by this crisis, chance upon it as a bet of their lives and pursue it relentlessly.
What starts as purely a research effort in order to prove their hypothesis that there is a lot of money to be made by shorting the Sub Prime bubble - these three unrelated crusaders take upon themselves in unraveling the madness behind an insatiable mortgage securities market as it existed in its heydays ending in 2007. Their personal struggles are used as additional burden they have to carry in addition to their quest of proving that world is wrong on Mortgage market or more precisely entire Wall Street is dumb enough to not to see what is coming.
As is the case with other works, this book too is for someone who has some idea of the lexicon - Mezzanine CDOs, MBS etc. My own personal experience or rather brush with Mortgage market albeit on periphery (I was selling back office IT solutions to MBS/CDO/CDS traders in 2006) - made me enjoy this book even more. A must read for someone who is remotely interested in Sub Prime crisis and is looking for some closure. :)
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Yet another classic from Michael Lewis who is definitely numero uno when it comes to Finance Journalist. This iteration takes on HFT trading and their ways of rigging the so called efficient markets.
Central idea is taut - how trading shops with hitherto unknown names (e.g. GETCO) started accounted for a substantial percentage of equity trades. Also on offer is play along by wall street banks and exchanges. However just as Michael Lewis did with his seminal Liar's Poker and recent Big Short - the human thread of an unlikely crusader (Brad Katsuyama) in this case is the real story.
Overall a much enjoyed book after a long time. Pretty much finished in 2-3 sittings over a weekend. Only downside for someone could be spells of dry details on communications hardware. Otherwise a highly recommended for someone remotely interested in the subject.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
It consists of 3 stories, separated by distinct lives that their protagonists lead in a busy metropolis. Common thread only appears in the end and is neither unnerving nor banal. It almost becomes a matter of fact for someone immersed in the movie. It starts with a bang and reaches its crescendo in the middle - when some very spirited arguments are exchanged between an atheist monk (yes you heard that right) and his protege. Very Fountainheadesque.
First story amongst other things takes you deep inside an abyss called an artist's misery and self doubt. I wonder what would happen to me and my colleagues if we suddenly wake up to a reality that we are indeed mediocre and all the accolades that we get in our workplace were actually showered on us rather undeservedly. Back to the film, first story is very much a journey that a blind photographer takes where in she gain her sight but loses her art in the bargain.
Second story is my favorite. Protagonist is played by a very talented Neeraj Kabi who has played a physically demanding role to the hilt and shone through some very complex exchanges with a young lawyer who looks up on him as a role model. A very healthy debate on religion, world views and stand comedy is on offer. We will hear more on Neeraj Kabi in coming years, that is for sure.
Third story is perhaps the only blemish on this otherwise very well crafted film. But then it may be case of it being only relatively lesser as compared to first 2 chapters. Slightly thinner plot - a young stock broker who gains a Kidney and also develops a conscience as a bonus.
Now back to Anand Gandhi - he is the best thing to happen to Hindi Cinema in a long time. Both Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee have publicly stated their envy after watching this movie. Dibakar apparently went into depression for few days, cocooned in an envelope of self doubt thinking whether he will be ever be to make such a movie.
Note: This movie is available for a legal download at this website for free: http://www.cineoo.com/sot
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Whenever I find following terms being used by mainstream media in India - such as unprecedented, historical, never before, apocalyptic, generational etc , I have this incorrigible habit of going back in time and testing my hypothesis - has this happened before? And further more if it has - what were the consequences and what does it tell us in terms of what will happen next.
Current hyperbole on TV and Newspapers is no different. Following is my critique on "decimation" of Indian National Congress.
Ever since the exclusion crises and Glorious Revolution unfolded in Great Britain, one aspect of democracy has remained constant - that of Political Parties.Jefferson in 1798 captured this in perhaps the most articulate and almost twitter ready form:
We are as a nation indebted to a motley crowd of Britisher civil servants and an enlightened group of Parsi, Bengali and Marathi though leaders who gave us our first Political Party. Early years saw it as a countervailing force in British India to Viceroy's authority in order to improve the governance and was marked by benign appeals to British Parliamentarians mostly in the areas of taxation. What happened later has been captured quite adequately in our NCERT textbooks. I do no want to attempt a revisit.
- Continued downward spiral till the time it truly becomes a cult party that dies with the death of its leader
- It transforms itself by aligning itself with nation's aspirations and improves it internal functioning through party democracy, dissolution of the idea of whips and institutionalizing accountability to all and exception to none
- Breaks into several factions - one of the factions takes the national stage and occupies INC's current center left stature
- Thrives with its current leadership and structure. It may continue to appeal to some sections of society that truly believe in therapeutic benefits of entitlements.
Monday, September 23, 2013
- Not enough biographies - No not about Gandhis or Nehrus. But about some extraordinary people in other walks of life whose life would make a fascinating story to tell. Stories of personal courage are often quite satisfying and uplifting. But film makers should refrain from economizing on truth or trying to put a commercial cinema packaging around a real life story. If told honestly, a biography can be a gem just Paan Singh Tomar turn out to be and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag did not.
- Not enough stories about immigrants - Yes we are not America and Delhi or Mumbai are far from being called Global Melting Pots but look around you. In Delhi, you can easily spot a Sikh from Jalalabad speaking in strange accent of Punjabi in Ghaffar Market or a West African who is by the a Nigerian trying to get into a Metro in CP or that stranger with a suspicious satchel in a University Special from East Delhi to North Campus. Often theirs are poignant stories, of exploitation, loneliness, rare friendships and rarer still of triumphs. I can not recall any movie apart from Kabuliwala that was made ages ago.
- Not enough violence - Violence shown in contemporary movies is not violence. It is either well choreographed sequence that is enacted by action heroes ably supported by wires or dozens of Scorpio cars defying gravity in the background while our hero emerges from nowhere. It is unnatural at its worst and funny at the best. The raw appeal of violence is missing from such scenes. The one scene that used no wires or stunts or graphics is that of Ed Norton's Neo Nazi character in American History X forcing a black man to keep his mouth open on the sides of the kerb while he brings a ferocious blow of a baseball bat at the back of his victim's head. Another good example that I can recall is violence that Kevin Spacey's character unleashes on his victims, particularly that prostitute who is bled to death in the most macabre way. Jack the Ripper would have been proud of Spacey's character.
- There are others as well - Espionage, Political thrillers etc that are completely missing from the wardrobe. And Agent Vinods and Rajneeti are not exactly exemplary pieces of art.
Where does that leave me? Should I talk about my childhood memories - try to make up some stories that have deeper meanings? May be I can, but till then I am busy with this “making up business”.
Monday, July 02, 2012
(And why i am waiting for part 2)
1. Transition of cultural icons (1941-1985) - Whether it was obvious references to Amitabh Bachchan, be it Fazlu's comment on Zanzeer v Deewar or women blowing kisses in cinemas, Sardar Khan announcing his threat to Ramaadheer Singh to the tune of Mithun's iconic Kasam Paida Karne Waale ki or opening scene circa 2004 showing perhaps the most overated saas bahu serial of our time. However clincher was hero worship of a docoit - "Sultana daaku" in pre independence days in village chaupals a la modern day Robin Hood.
2. Transition of music - Ik Bagal sung by Piyush Mishra is quite reminiscent of the numerous Mukesh songs in 50s. On the other Manmauji is sung in naughty 60s style. 80s are signed off by more electronic “Jiya ho” by ethereal Manoj Tiwary. In addition to these are folksy “Womaniya” and street number in “Aey Jawano’ which transcend eras but Sneha Khanwalkar (who apparently is 4th woman music composer in hindi film industry) has made sure that her music score mirrors the changing times of story weaved around 4 decades.
3. Myth of a monolithic muslim society in India – movie clearly shows fissures not only along Shia Sunni but also a class/ethnicity based divide of Qureshis v Pathans.
4. Pre and Post Independent India – Hardly anything changed for the worker class, be it wages or working conditions, which is a complete contrast to urban middle and upper classes that saw their much wider changes (and opportunities) in their lives.
5. References to sex in living room – as opposed to hindi movies treat this subject either in form of hyper-gyrations of item numbers or almost stupefying shot of two flowers converging as a visual metaphor for coitus. When Nagma gets pregnant, she finally gives in to her husband’s urges and give a reluctant permission to ‘shop’ around. Nice refresher to some of the ignorant people in our midst who have no empathy for either truck drivers (and their wives back in villages).
6. One Bihari culture – A Muslim (Badru Qureshi) gets his daughter’s wedding invite printed in Hindi, replete with a “sher” in devanagri script. Though muslims are shown to be living in ghetto like colonies, convergence of language, culture, clothes (most muslim women are shown in saree) is quite interesting
7. Its all about the economy stupid – Although overarching theme is about hatred and revenge, characters are not chasing each other in Sunny Deol style. As is shown by Sardar Khan’s transformation from being a crude goonda to a strongman who usurps a natural resource (water reservoir in the area) and creates a hegemony by supplying fish to a population whose demographics are changing (from Bihari to fish eating Bengalis).
8. Subtle references to inflation from bounty of 11 rupees in 1941 for a dacoit to “meher” of 1 lakh rupees in 70s.
9. And Last but not least – Hunter. Chutney music is such a refreshing change from overdose of Punjabi funk sounds of the day. With luck, we may see more Bihari musicians from Carib islands, Fiji and even Suriname (Dutch Bihari anyone?)
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Let stories be told, I told missus sometime back. Stories of men and women, of their tenacity, struggle, misery and above all their triumph. Especially, heroes among common men and women in post-independence India. Stories in public knowledge are so shallow when it comes to number of such people that have been brought into public light, although all of us have had an opportunity to know a distant relative, an accomplice, a common friend who we may have idolize or atleast be envious in terms of grit and ability to swim against the tide of life’s tragedies.
This is perhaps the reason why I have chosen to write a post on my scantly updated blog on Paan Singh Tomar. This film was chosen despite the fact that I have seen “The Artist” and “Dirty Picture” prior to my visit to Fun Cinemas yesterday, and had not bothered write an ode to either. Despite the cinematic brilliance of “The Artist” and singularly exquisite piece of performance (note, not acting) on part of Sridevi incarnate - Vidya Balan in whose form a female superstar has thus reborn. Coming back to PST, it is neither the performance not the technical excellence that is forcing me to write my less than qualified post. There are three main reasons as to why one should watch this movie:
Firstly it is a bold subject. It’s a story that filmmakers avoid talking or making movies about. It is difficult in execution and it takes lot of research and very calculated imagination to fill the gaps. Stories of sportsmen who fell on bad times are aplenty but rather than talk about an Olympic medallist who died penniless (KD Jadhav), the filmmakers of PST chose to talk about a “rebel” who took up arms instead. This is not to say that justification of such an act is in order, but an action to reverse the flow of circumstances which seem to suck the life out of any middle aged, over the hill sportsman with no means is very much a natural phenomenon. Focus is thus less on his misery, but more on vectors that align and conspire together to force the transformation of an athlete into a dacoit.
Secondly the topography of the terrain. I simply love the fact the ravines of Chambal and thereabouts are still intact to tell a tale of their own. They remain true to their mysterious and violent past. It is vastly superior to Omkara (Western UP) and almost upstages Bandit Queen. Watch out of navigable rivulets and rickety boats taking men, women and children across.
Thirdly is the language. That dialect which cuts through urban hinglish that we use today like a knife through the butter. Earthiness of the words spoken, often by very talented actors like Irfan, Zakir Hussain, Mahi Gill and Bijendra Kala stands out in the movie.
Enough said, watch it before they snuff the picture out of theatres. Strain your ears though, dialect may be a little too caustic for some of us.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
A week back i wrote to Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's show GPS airs every Sunday 1 PM EST regarding some of the questions i would like him to ask his guest last Sunday - Pervez Musharraf. To his credit, Fareed did not ask Ex Prez a single question from this list.
Disclaimer: Ofcourse most of these are India focussed, what do you expect from an Indian.
Dear Fareed Zakaria,
Please find below questions that I would like you to ask Pervez Musharraf when he appears on your show next Sunday.
· Mr Musharraf, what were the Pakistani military's strategic objectives of Kargil incursion in '99?
· Are these strategic objectives still part of Pakistani military doctrine?
· You and Pak admin have always vehemently denied that Pakistani military was not involved in Kargil, however your admin went ahead and awarded Nishan-i-Haider to 2 regulars for Kargil "conflict" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karnal_Sher_Khan_Shaheed and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalak_Jan_Shaheed.
· What circumstances forced end of hostilities in this military campaign and what was US role in the same?
· Shehryar Mazari - prominent journalist in his editorial in DAWN directly holds you responsible for TALIBANIZATION of Pakistan, what is your response to that? Here is the link to this editorial - http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/talibanisation-musharraf-659
· Are there any elements in Pak Army or in ISI that do not support war on Taliban and what are their views on Kashmiri militant groups once Americans leave AfPak?
Future of Pakistan/General
· Does he believe that Pak will break into 3 largely independent countries - Punjab, Largely lawless pashtunistan in north and Sinshudesh in south? If not what is the ethos of being a Pakistani
· Kiyani was your handpicked candidate, would you have given him go ahead to take Taliban out
· Where were billions of dollars in US aid diverted to during Clinton/George Sr Bush days before sanctions due to Nuke tests?
· Where in Pakistan were Mumbai attacks planned? Indian dossier contained citation regarding transcripts of Punjabi speaking army regulars shouting tactics over satellite phones, thereby implicating Pak Army of planning and executing these terror attacks. What is your response to that?
· What is the future of Kashmiri seperatism, now with prominent seperatists like Sajjad Lone joining political mainstream in Jammu and Kashmir?
It will be great if you could pose these questions to Mr Pervez Musharraf. Answers to some of these questions is critical to understanding why Pak is in its current position and who else is better to answer that than someone who ruled and unarguably brought this instability to south asian region.
Some of the side effects of living alone away, in a hotel for something like 7 months out of last 9-10 months-
- Addicted to watching CNN, becoming a die hard Fareed Zakaria basher
- Eating tonnes of snacks, drinking kilolitres of diet pepsi - becoming Shop n Stop's loyal customer
- Sifting through deals2buy, dealnews, dealsofamerica etc etc and end up buying useless stuff
- Hurling expletives when alone in room at people from office
- Making sure than sofa springs are subject to intense cycle fatigue from butts
- Overusing skype
- Trying to find that perfect song on Youtube that will act as lullaby tonight and everynight
- Taking clean bed, toilet, bath for granted
- Actually started liking some of the microwavable food
- Almost losing the concept of acting like a host to friends
- Searching for 16 quarters every sunday night for laundry and drying clothes
- Ironing linen shirts early monday morning
Sigh! It better be worth something in the end...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
- Prannoy Roy apologizing profusely to Kapil Sibal for leaving him high and dry and going for an ad towards the end of the counting. Sibal didnt even acknowledge his apology.
- Chandan Mitra's exciting "This is significant" whenever someone told him that BJP is leading in WB seat even though it was quite clear that they will be falling much short of INC number
- Manu Singhvi tearing Abhigyan Prakash for making him wait for 25 minutes during NDTV India's election coverage.
- Robert Vadra looking out of place while his wife and bro in law meets press for the first time after UP results come in.
- Dayanidhi Maran struggling to focus his excitement - Murasoli's exit poll accuracy or his uncle's houdini act in TN
- Vikram Chandra moving INLD (Ajit Singh) back and forth between NDA, UPA, Third Front, Fourth Front on a giant touch screen.
- Digvijay Singh recalling an incident when Rahul Gandhi stumped him by telling him a little trivia - Ajit Singh won on congress ticket in one of the elections. I bet even Ajit Singh doesnt remember that.
- Derek o Brien rhetorically quizzing Srinivasan Jain on which non Congress party has won more seats in UPA. This was in response to Srinivasan's question on whether TC would ask for lofty miniterial berths (railways for Didi :) ) in UPA
- NDTV team taking Praful Patel's statement in spirit - Everyone was talking to everyone else at the same time!
- NDTV's take on Cong Left relationship with Emosanal Atyachar playing in the background.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Lets try to get this straight, Pakistan needs military aid from US to fight insurgency in its own backyard. All this while it (if Obama is to be believed) fears for its existence from India. All these years Pakistan received aid from US and except for Soviet rule in Afghanistan, this aid must have gone to prop up Pakistan to make sure it doesnt fall to - its mortal enemy India. With 1 million strong strike corps breathing on its eastern border and some 3000 combat and non combat aircrat to contend with, Pakistan did a pretty good job of sustaining itself during years when FATA terrorists were not the "villians". Therefore there are only two scenarios under which this request for aid is reasonable - Taliban have thousands of special forces who can engage Pak army decisively or billion of dollars were robbed from US tax payers. Sneaking suspicion - it is latter :) Btw this also coincides with higher tax rate regime of Bill "Cigar" Clinton. So when honest, hardworking Americans were sweating it out in auto towns like Lansing, MI - Pak military was being modernized. But what the heck, we just heard from US, that Pak military is as ancient as Mayan infantry. So where were these funds going to, ahem - must to be worthy cause of exporting insurgency to India.
So lets recap - US wants to help Pak fight insurgency in its own country that is a by product of its own terror export factory that was covertly being funded by US. Whoa!
For updates on "war" - www.longwarjournal.org (Bill R has done a pretty decent job of doing what CNN and other looneys have forgotten - War journalism)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Came across an interesting website here. Interestingly, this also reinforces 3 major faultlines in "Greater India" that existed prior to Independence - Punjab (Hindus/Sikhs V Muslims), Bengal (Hindus V Muslims) and Kashmir (confused to say the least). On the other hand 2 major ethnic groups got screwed as a result of collective tomfoolery on part of Indians, Pakis and Brits - Pushtuns (across Pak and Afghanistan) and Sindhis. Funnily, Hindu sindhis today are perhaps equivalent of perennial refugees in India. With all the upheaval in north of Sindh that is happening today, there is a hope for independent and moderate islamic country of Sindhudesh, at peace with India.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Ok, what do you do when lose US presidential elections to perhaps the worst man after Franklin Pierce to lead the country. You are also chided for making a muck of yourself by crying hoarse about outsourcing in the run up to elections.
Any sensible politician would have curled up his ambitions and retired to a Maine cottage and accept speaker engagements with far left evil called Daily Kos.
No but Mr Kerry became a stooge in Senate's foreign relations committee. Furthermore he joins other jokers in undoing perhaps the only sensible strategic makeover that Bush administration worked on - US India relations. You also come up with worst oxymoron of the century - Good Taliban. And then this.
Monday, February 16, 2009
India: We sent the dossier to Pak
Pak: We sent it back, need to link 26/11 with Samjhauta blasts
India: Ball is their court (ofcourse since our PM has lost his during his operation last month), we need link Samjhauta with Mumbai blasts
Pak: Link Mumbai blasts with Gujrat
India: Link Gujrat with Godhra
Pak: Link Godhra with Babri Masjid
India: Link Babri Masjid with ISI activities /Seperatist sub culture that you have been harbouring
Pak: Link that with Muslim persecution in India
India: Link that with 500 year persecution of Hindus
Pak: Link that with your stubborn refusal to get converted
India: Link that with your religion's lack of appeal in West from Ottoman to Obama
Pak: Its a PR problem, the whole world is out to get us. It makes sense for us to get taken over by Taliban. Zardari can take couple of concubines and settle in East Ham.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Couple of newsbytes over weekend:
One - Fareed A-hole Zakaria asking mohamed el baradei about his tactics related to handling pariahs like India, Israel and Pakistan. Wise El Beradei smiled - " I dont know how one can treat a democratic country with 1/6th population with no proliferation history as a pariah"
Two - Mista A-hole chairing a meet on global recession in Davos which includes gents premier from mexico, South Korea and Chump Gordon Brown (his surname is testimony to the fact that reverse colonization is complete in UK). During this discussion, Fareed brands mexicans and other lat ams as experts in diffusing banking crisis. This after Mexican gent noted that Lat Am as a region had 30 such crisis in last 25 years. This is akin to awarding top award to India in countering terrorism.
Mr Zakaria, you need to formally join army of other ill informed, opinionated & psuedo centrist journos in SEE ENN ENN and get more cozy with another A-hole in your network -Lou Dobbs.
Friday, January 16, 2009
So why am i upset at watching promos of a movie that could be perhaps first India centric movie in 30 years (Gandhi was last in 80) to win all that matters in entertainment industy, starring perhaps the only macho leading man (Anil K) since Big B (amidst all the pretenders) and has gazillion awards winning score from perhaps the only indian composer who can write original music (since ahem Rabindranath Tagore)?
For the same reason any decent person would not approve of slum tourism. Danny Boyle, what about visiting Paki ghettos in your own little island country where dry humour of present day dwellers is not enough to erase thievery called imperialism? Be absolutely clear what you show to this world - some of those public alleys in London are not any safer than taking last local from churchgate or late night blue line bus in Jehangirpuri. We ll be watching closely.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Its really unfortunate that US had to choose between two historic firsts - African American President and a woman VeePee.
Sarah Palin swept republican convention but it was a long slide ever since then, media blackout didnt help either. But she did create flutter or two, case in point her admission of being a "Hockey Mom".
That really got moms and wannabe moms to react. One such group was Indian (as in those brown skinned people who got their names from Indus) American Moms. Now they would identify themselves with likes of Sarah. Almost every mom in India is a hockey mom, thats what they use to beat their kids, some ofcourse are cricket bat moms - this number is rising though in recent years, then there is license-to-slap moms who would choose most public of the places to imprint lasting memory in her son's/daughter's mind. There are also chappal moms who are kind enough to select flattest of soles so that her child is not permanently impaired.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Song below is Rabbi's Bilqis. I watched him perform this live (in a Bangalore music store) when he was promoting his album. I think this is one of the most topical songs ever written, without any metaphoric blankets that other artistes chose to wear. Ofcourse i am leaving out commercial/gen xyz wallet share mongrels out of the equation here.
Jinhe naaz hain hind par woh kaha hain..
Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen khadi thhi, rah mein
Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Fir itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
Mera naam Shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna thha vo keh chukey
Ab padhey hain rah mein
Dil mein liye ek goli
Bas itna kasoor ki hamne likha thaa
Vo sach jo har kisi ki zuban thaa
Par sach yahan ho jatey hain zehreelay
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
Mujhe kehte hain anna Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zamir ki beech sarhak Lakhimpur Kherhi
Adarsh phasa jahan naaron mein
Aur chor bharey darbaron mein
Vahan maut akhlaq ki hai ik khabar baasi
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
Mazha nau aahe Navleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees bar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Looto dehaat kholo bazaar
Nallasopara aur Virar
Chheeno zameen hamse humhe
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
(Excerpt from Cricinfo)
Tendulkar made his debut in Pakistan. Of his team-mates then, one has become an insufferable television commentator, and two others have become good ones; one was convicted of murder and sent to jail, another banned for life for match-fixing. One eliminated the line between whistle-blower and perpetrator, one ran a banned series of matches, another was chairman of selectors. One has dropped out of the public eye and another has turned television actor. But Tendulkar bats on. Longevity is intrinsic to greatness.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Easily one of the worst movies that I saw (Oops, Goonda (Prabhuji), Anth (Suniel Shetty dubbed by someone else are other gems in my list).
So why did cast comprising of Kay Kay, Rahul Bose and Paresh Rawal fail?
Consipiracy theory 1 - Rahul Bose sabotaged the movie since he did not want "filmmakers" to believe that he and Mallika Sherawat are a great pair after that freak "Pyar ke side effects".
Consipiracy theory 2 - Kay Kay torpedoed this movie since he wanted Celina J as hottie instead of Mallika (remember bomb called "Silsile"
Consipiracy theory 3- Mallika believed she and Rahul were a great pair and worked hard at it.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
So what are the choices in front of us to avoid total disruption in our industries, cities, households due to energy crisis?
- Nuke deal - will take 10 years for 1000 MW reactors to build
- KG Basin - Not sure if critical mass exists
- Iran-Pakistan NG Pipeline - Pipeline dream
So we ll have to think slightly out of the box or use the box instead!
What about biogas, with so many people and fauna around us, i am sure this merits a case. What we need is to toilet train all the stray cattle, mongrels (bangalore will be top contributor) and people living near railway lines!
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Bangalore police and MSM are gloating over India' first female serial killer.
But I would suggest them to give it a thought before they bestow this crown.
Certain Ms Kapoor did lot of damage in early part of this century. One of her famous massacres still sends shivers down the spine.
I noticed him for the first time while we were together boarded a dimly lit bus from suburban Tokyo to Narita airport. I had not slept for last 24 hours, largely due to anticipation of going back to India after 8 months. I was looking forward to getting some sleep in plush seats of Keisei line loco and came armed with my new ipod as well. But something about this person made me feel as if i had travelled all 5000 miles in few seconds. Whether it was his 80's suitcase (with S.M written on the handle) or his golden brass buttons on blue blazer, something told me he was much closer to home than anything on that bus. His cap too reminded me of endless middle aged gentlemen in Delhi who would venture out in biting north indian winter for their chartered buses enroute to performing daily chores as North Block clerks/section officers. Matter was finally clinched when conductor engaged him in a small talk - bingo! he had a jhangi/multani accent. I would now call him Mr Makhija (from S.M on his suitcase) from Geeta Colony.
Rest of the bus journey was pretty boring, i kept my ipod on shuffle mode since i was too tired to make any efforts in choosing the songs. Makhija too started snoring much to chagrin of a young looking japanese woman sitting directly behind him. Bus veered past concrete jungle that Tokyo is into green landscape of Narita and surroundings and landed us directly in front of Thai airways gate.
We took our bags and started walking towards yet to be opened economy class counters. As we waited for Thai airways employees to complete their little christmas celebration, Makhija appeared quite interested in starting the conversation. "Going to India?" he asked. "Yeah, and you?" "Bangkok jaa raha hoon" replied Makhija. His bald head shining in lustre from numerous christmas trees that adorned the concourse in that terminal.
We parted soon after he uttered his destination, booking counters were now open and we were soon ushered into security check.
I glanced at him while i waited for my turn, he was standing in "Foreign Passports" queue. Fortunately my work permit status ensured speedy immigration check and soon i was on my way to departure gate.
I had arrived full 3 hours before departure so some airport shopping was always on cards. However 20 odd kimonos, 5 liquour and endless souveneir shops later I was bored and tried to head back to departure gate.
There were 50 odd people already waiting near the gate. It was a usual sight that one comes across on any international flight. Excited first timers, sensible business travellers, hassled mothers of infants, even more hassled mothers of young children who are busy saving their kids from next catastrophe. Makhija looked at ease as well, perhaps this was not his first voyage to Bangkok in recent times. I was sitting few seats away from him, trying to kill minutes before boarding. He was watching TV on his japanese mobile phone - some NHK program, sight didnt amaze me. If you spend few months in Tokyo and commute on metro, you will come across many men and women flexing their eye muscles on mobile TV. Suddenly his phone rang, it was irritating ringtone, one that is associated with old MTNL landline phones. His neighbours were startled to say the least. Then something went wrong, somewhere between his TV app and his call - his phone tanked. Ringing didnt stop and neither did his TV. For a moment Makhija appeared lost. When his countless attempts to revive his phone failed, he went for the jugular.
Took out the battery and heaved a sigh of relief. Somewhere I felt relieved too. Was I embarassed as well?
Makhija turned on his phone and called the moron whose call destroyed decorum of our lounge.
It was a plainspeak - "Behanchod is time pe call kyun kari? .. Accha theek hain, Main dekh lunga, Abhi phone rakh" No Bon Voyage No Good Days. Sometimes I think we are the worst people when it comes to phone conversations, atleast Makhija was no exception to my belief.
Couple of announcements later, boarding started. Ritual of boarding includes standing at the end of a long queue with your passport and boarding ticket firmly tucked in your shirt pocket. Makhija was 4-5 spots ahead of me. Soon he reached the boarding counter and passed on his boarding pass to the Thai airways employee.
And then i saw his passport with "Islamic Republic of Pakistan" embossed on the green cover while he waited for the lady to complete her drill.
Sadiq Mansoor was going to Bangkok and so was I, atleast enroute to my final destination.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Boarding DLR to Bank
Learning 10 words in Nihongo
Tube journeys from Heathrow to central London
Tube journeys during strike
Trying out Yakitori food in London
Evading Yakitori in Tokyo
Sunday window shopping in Greenwich village market
Guzzling Newcastle Ale
Fitting suitcase in a small Tokyo hotel room
Finding my way from Roppongi to Otemachi
Walking the streets of Kyoto - Especially Gion corner
Roller coasting at Tokyo Dome
90 minute treks at Takao
Poising next to Nizomi - Bullet Train
Shedding inhibitions in Onsen at Nikko
Finding bargains in back alleys of Akihabara
Late night coffee sessions at AM PM store
Boarding last train on Fridays to Shinjuku/Roppongi/Shibuya
Boarding first train on Sat from Shinjuku/Roppongi/Shibuya
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I am watching Harrison Ford- Anne Heche starrer 6 days 7 nights on a listless Sunday evening and among other things that really caught my eye was one particular scene where our Hans Solo is trying to take off using a vintage plane. Ofcourse to add spice to this situation, screenplay is being shared by Samoan-looking pirates trying to gun him down. Now we are talking about pre Jack Sparrow era where pirates were not being in not same league that of skywalkers.
But apart from humiliating these wretched seafarers by portraying them as dimwits, this movie has actually insulted proud generations of artillery engineers. This unpardonable goof happens when pirates are shown trying to aim at Ford's plane and the release of the shell occurs when the gun is at right angle to the pirate ship - shell is lobbed overhead. Needless to say, it misses its aim and comes back to wreck havoc on poor souls. Why on earth would a gun with no guidance system be designed to avert a foolish scenario. Inexplicable to say the least.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Politics is never a favorite subject with my peer group. Most of the people either belong to This-doesnt-affect-me-Hence-I-dont-follow or I-am-not-interested camps.
Well for others there is something to cheer about - proliferation of political blogs.
One of the better reads is http://offstumped.nationalinterest.in/.
PS Even Yossarin (author of this blog) got UP elections wrong :)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Wonder why those gullible folks in Egypt, Iran, Iraq and other middle east countries feast on Indian film music?
Check this wonderful effort from a good and very smart samaritan, Karthik S - http://www.itwofs.com/
Now i know why these guys are called Music Directors and not Composers.
Please inform your friends in Oceania (especially among Maori community), Nordic music circles and Chad's Rock fraternity about this, you might be able to save their originality before someone ships their CD to a certain address in Chennai.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
As usual Saturdays go, yesterday too was spent thinking hard about whether or not to have tea in the morning without customary biscuits. High point on any saturday is reached when thumb goes comfortably numb from flipping channels and you suddenly remember that personal hygiene has been neglected all the week. As I watched some more hair go down the drain, I decided it is time for me to soak up some sun, use BMTC' bus services and satisfy my psuedo reading apetite by buying a second hand book from MG Road.
I was sure that it would make a great addition to a dozen other books i havent read for last 2 years. Met up with a friend who trampled on my juvenile habit of not saying no when it matters the most and we decided to watch 300 at Rex.
Oddly enough, images that this numbers conjures in blue billion mindset are those of Indian batters screwing hapless bowlers from other countries on a belter of a pitch in locations like Kochi, Vizhag and newest addition in Puttaparthy. Thats where 90% of centuries for Tendulkar, Sehwag, Ganguly and Dravid come from. Groundsmen often come from road construction business. But thats another thing altogether.
Coming back to 300, we got the tickets, although i secretly hoped that the guy on the counter turns out to be a ex anti hindi activist, argument could lead to scuffle and finally to us getting thrown out of the theatre premises. As is the case, nothing of that sort happened and we headed for a mug of beer to kill time before show was supposed to start.
As I was sipping my share of Kingfisher (thats the only brew that you get in the Beer capital of this country), one question kept coming back to me - why on earth (and vulcan planets) was I shortlisted to be invited to this movie.
May be it was because of my unkempt demeanour and lineage (jatlands of Delhi). For the record I used to play french cricket with tennis ball at a ground that was close to vikas puri govt school where Sehwag used to abuse bowlers and Umpires alike before socking them up in case he got out for less than 50 .These experiences have shaped up my anti Non Violence posture till Rang De Basanti came last yeat and has further reinforced my beliefs.
So we finished our Beers (okie couple of Mugs) along with complimentary popcorn and headed to watch film that had originally cast Sunny Deol who wanted to go alone instead. However since the book was titled 300 and not "Iklauta" (The Only One), he had to back down. Although there were efforts to pursuade him, his insistence on having Late Amrish Puri as Xerxes and Bobby and Abhay Deol as Indian princes who make a guest appearance in an item number finally did him in.
Well honestly I did not watch most of the scenes, we were sitting in the second row, the guy in front of me was very tall - around 5 feet 8 inches and he managed an upright position (of his back) for 2 hours. Thankfully we parted our ways soon after the movie - I did not want to get into a review discussion.
Yet I think it is a great movie if you are:
- A Student of a girls only school and your treasure trove of beefcake pics has just been confiscated by your mom
- Critical of Persian military advances in 300 BC
- or Into body piercing
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Whenever i get a chance to meet some of my peers working in other companies/industries, coversation is usually two dimensional - gossip about job switching in group and bitching about the fact that we are all Powerpoint coollies.
Its the latter that fascinates me. On an average day, i make/collaborate with others in my company to make presentation - mostly for internal use. Often these presentations are laden with figures, tables, images and almost prosaic text.
It is funny but the sheer size of information on the presentation is OBSCENE.
This is certainly contrary to what we were taught (sometimes on the job) about using much abused powerpoint presentations. I am sure most of the junta in the Pre Sales/Marketing/Product Management fields would agree with me. So why this blatant departure from obvious best practice. Answer lies in the use - for internal and extraneous (as in for others) purpose.
In plain words, someone ELSE is going to use them and it is going to be asset for the firm for the time immemorial.
So in a sense, what they actually need is a document (detailed to the last hilt). However a document is more difficult to review (frequent check ins and NY traffic) and is therefore less suited to a US/Client facing lifestyle.
Result - a confused sales support guy who unlearns all the virtues of using a powerful tool :)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Its been 6 weeks since i have tasted salty fried doughnuts (read Vada) or a Rice/Carb tablet(read Idli) but strangely it is not food that i am missing here in NY. Infact its not even cricket, our consistent non performance in One days came handy.
So apparently it is a sport that India doesnt even excel in (read my sarci post below).
EPL is what is making feel so misty about other almost forgettable saturday evenings. Oh i miss watching those matches that come so close to basketball quarters/attack at all costs games :(
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Argentina could not win World cup again, i have been watching this crazy game since Italia 90 and they have disappointed an ardent fan in me time and again. But i am sure they ll be back, Messi will only grow stronger and cleverer, Requelme will be 30 and Tevez, well only uglier and craftier in South Africa.
Brings me to indian football scene these days, apparently we have a new coach who says that we need taller players (duh), and he is sure that he ll find 4-5 of such folks in North India. It has all come down to this! We are easily 130th on a list where apparently war torn ex yugoslav republics are hitting top 20s easily.
So story goes that Indian National team was in Canada where they were playing against world class teams in Vancouver White Caps and Cardiff city. We ended up third there. Competetion was certainly tough, apparently Vanc WC were so desperate that they enlisted highly professional local street footballers to stop Indian juggernaut of five feet gaints. I must also add here that third side Cardiff has long tradition in English football, albiet they have failed to make presence in EPL for decades now.
Nevertheless there are going to be celeberations in Kolkata when Indian team comes back and hectic football season starts (yet) again. Man there is no other place when micro achievement is met with such enthusiasm. I still remember when Sao Palo club had come over to India with 4th or 5th string team and were beating India 4-0 at every centre matches were held. And suddenly in a game someone scored (certain malnutrioned Bikash Panji i think, used to be India captain) with a seeminly impossible volley from 25 yards. My TV (middle class Texla model) started jumping up and down due to deafening noise in the stadium.
Then came '92 and Star TV. I chose less pompous crowds of EPL and Serie A instead.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Janeway steering Voyager after a close escape frm certain death, Neelix' delta quadrant culinary skills, Kes and her unexplained disappearance, Seska's betrayal, Chakotay and his tattoo, Torres and Paris, Paris and Kim, Tuvok's rationality, Janeway's irrationality, Species 8472 and Borgs, Resistance is futile, Delta flyer, Time travel, Q and Q continuum, Seven of Nine and her memory flashes about Raven, Doctor and his idiosyncracies about being human and most of their journey back home.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
added to lexicon here
I think I can give a try to Delhi Bus Ride
'' Travel in a Delhi bus that is often served hot with expletives 'Saale Maa ke !@#$ aage kyun nahin hota hain', 'Is Ch!@#$ ko yahin utaar do', 'Behan!@#$ ticket le, Tera staff nahin chalega' and often results in either getting down with high probability that you will hurt yourself"
Ofcourse this is nothing as compared to being "felt" by organic tresspassers.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Attending Press Conferences by Rahul Dravid - Guy needs a break, I think he was better off when he was keeping wickets and donning Vice Captaincy hat during Ganguly era.
Burning "Heart Shaped" effigies by Shiv Sena - Awesome work, doesnt hurt anyone and is good fun too, they need to concentrate on this rather than burning down poor florists' shops in Mumbai.
BP Singhal on News Channels - He can use the frown on his forehead in a RGV horror movie, Daraana Zaroori hain
Afridi's sweet somethings while fielding in Point region - Could channelise his competency in Vernacular abuses to educate first year zoology students on female anatomy and in some case wierd male anatomy as well
Friday, February 10, 2006
Just changed jobs, well job is not the word, I think organization or rather organization from whose account i draw my wages is a better one. I now am part of Sails and Mark-Keating (Oh those S&D classes and understandably challenged people) in an IT firm. So what has changed for me:
Am I working more, well if work is a function of number of keystrokes in a day, answer is yes. Also now I can relate my lack of sense of humour to utter lack of work in last few months, not that i have improved in last 2 weeks but i am getting there
Is it thought provoking? Yes, in a way but it also reminds me of how almost everything that an MBA does is quite similar to basic tenets of world's oldest profession, in terms of being customer focussed - not mixing personal with professional life which in other words means having none of former till you retire/burn out and die/take liberal arts.
Every morning I send this to atleast 4 morons hoping Read Receipt did not fool me the night before.
I just saw your mail today, so did this call happen yesterday?
Friday, October 07, 2005
If there was one aspect about myself that has been a bugbear it has to be my lack of listening skills. For years I have been interjecting conversations with my verbal pricks and most folks have found it very bugging. Some of them have told me so and I am thankful to them.
However there has been one such person who stands out in this regard, she not only has been patiently admonishing me about but has often tried to diagnose it as well. Her latest theory has been quite revealing. She claims that I must have been one of those over zealous students who would rush into answering any question that a teacher would asked when I was in school/college. Hmm prettty plausible I must say, not that I had a high accuracy in answering those questions I remember being such a jack in the box students not too long ago.
Alas embarassment I faced during school has only seen considerable addition in recent years.
Enough of problem definition, would you please offer some solutions as well? :)
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I was standing
All alone against the world outside
You were searching
For a place to hide
Lost and lonely
Now you’ve given me the will to survive
When we’re hungry...love will keep us alive
PS Makes me feel like a romantic fool again
PPS For people who are in US this might be your last chance
Saturday, September 17, 2005
The Creature crept slowly into the room
and waved at Bird
She waved back almost in unision
''Is he around" Creature asked
"He is sleeping in attic..
..Been sleeping for years now" replied Bird
They could play their games at will
Bird and Creature's cheap thrill
But they wonder what I ll be thinking
Coz they know I am in a deep slumber
Though I lay awake in my stupor
watching them play
Then in a flash I lit up the house
What have you done? asked Bird
It was her idea said the Creature
And as I saw our skins burn
I bid my final goodbye to both of them
See you in hell
Sunday, September 11, 2005
No it aint abouth drinking, this is about a species that seems to be inspired by ducks. No they are no fat bottomed easy targets as many people would believe them to be, in fact they are exact opposite they take you by surprise. Behind their sweet naive looks that entice onlookers to feed them from poolside is frantic paddling underneath that keeps them afloat. They are menacing if you just look under the surface. And whats more , they can fly too at their own sweet will.
Keep a watch always.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Conserve Water, Drink Beer
- Cactus, Downtown Chi
Are these guys stinking criminals?
- Gas trader, NG up 100 basis points
What type? Oh She is a female dog
- JoAnne on BA 295
Chicago Beer, You should try this!
This doesnt smell like a men's room untill I came here!!
- Guy in Bucktown
You should never go to Puma Store across the street.
How you are so mature?
Its a trick question
That chick was hot on me
She was depressed
You think 6 million people live in Chi for its weather?
Pigs in blanket with honey mustard dressing
- Read the menu
What the hell?
- Me after Miiller-Guiness-Hienekin-Guiness-Alpha King-Kolrsch-Guiness
This is good food for someone who has a taste for this
- World Chess Champion
I am not normally like this, I swear
- Low Probability