May 2007


This small little blog of mine will be setting its status to Away” for some time … maybe a few days, maybe a couple of weeks ( … hopefully not more than that ! ) A lot many things happening in the real world … so I need time to ‘run’ more, to be able to catch up with life.

Meanwhile all you people who have come here can read my previous posts …. maybe read some of my “Fiction”, and tell me what you think. Or feel free to read my old posts, from a few months back when I started this little blog.

And yes, thanks for visiting. Please keep coming back often. I will be back soon, with more stuff.

Finally, before I go, here is some interesting trivia about the movie “Cast Away” (2000)

I enjoyed the movie to some extent. I liked the concept where they made a whole movie with only one actor on screen for almost 85% of its duration. And Tom Hanks did full justice to the role – wonderful acting, and even going to the extent of losing lot of weight to get that ‘starved Castaway look

All right …. now, at the end of the movie, Tom Hanks goes & delivers the only package that came through unopened & undestroyed after his long ordeal out at sea – he delivers the ‘box with the Angel Wings’. Does anyone out there recollect that part ?

So,  the director of the movie, Robert Zemeckis was once asked in an interview what was there in that unopened package.

And … he replied that the package had a Waterproof, Solar-powered, Satellite Phone !!

Sitting on the bench, Dinesh thought to himself about how, after all these years, somethings were still the same here – the wooden benches, the swings & the slides for children to play, the open playground, the cement stage at the end of the ground – which was used by the town’s amateur theatre group. Dinesh went back to his school days – the cricket matches played on this ground, the annual Fair that used to be held here every Diwali, the plays staged by the local youths on clear December nights. He still clearly remembered the many summer afternoons that he spent lazing on the wooden benches under the big old shed, with his favourite comic-books for company. Those days, he could see his house from his vantage point on the bench. And his mother would always call out from the kitchen window, when it was time for him to go home.

Then, there were not many houses or buildings around. Now, the open plot of land was surrounded by new constructions on all sides. On one side was a group of  mansions. The other sides had multi-storey apartment complexes, with their high balconies looking down on the ground.

The only reason this plot had not been grabbed by any of the builders was because it was still at the centre of a legal dispute between the Desai family and the State Government. Both claimed ownership of the land, and their battle had been moving around from court to court – without any end in sight. The case had originally been filed by the Government against Maneklal Desai, when he had tried to sell the piece of land to a builder. Now, after his death, his son Vinesh was fighting to get back what he believed belonged to his father.

Dad, who threw the ball higher ? Didn’t my throw go higher than Sumod’s ? You have to decide now
Dinesh was brought back to the present by Pramod’s question. His seven year old twins were playing catch in the grass. He and his family had come down from Bangalore for two weeks, as the children had their summer vacations.

Since his mother was not keeping well, Dinesh did not want her to live alone any more. He had convinced her to come & live with them in Bangalore. Once his mother moved in with them, he was not sure when he would come back again, to visit his old home.

In the last 38 years, this playground had not changed at all. Dinesh hoped that the next time he came here, it would still be the same. He had so many wonderful childhood memories here.

He did not want to see a multi-storey apartment complex built on top of his memories.

Heres another of my all time favourite songs, which again landed in my media player playlist – the song “Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi…” from the Hindi movie ‘MASOOM’ (1983)

The song has been wonderfully rendered by Anup Ghoshal, to music composed by the great maestro, R. D. Burman.
And again, Gulzar’s lyrics are brilliant – not that a chota mota fella like me, with my limited knowledge of good Hindi, needs to certify Gulzarji’s work.

‘MASOOM'(1983) is a wonderful movie, directed by Shekar Kapur – the same Shekar Kapur who later gave us local & global hits like MR.INDIA, BANDIT QUEEN, ELIZABETH. ( & the same Shekar Kapur whose face became known to thousands of Indians after he was seen in an ad for Digjam suitings – in the old days of Doordarshan, before Cable TV, Star TV, Sun TV,MTV, FTV)

And yes, ‘Masoom’ is the same movie that introduced two budding actors to the world – Urmila Matondkar & Jugal Hansraj. Again, anybody who loved watching Chitrahaar on DD some time ago, would have seen the “Ladki ki Kaati” song atleast once. It was one of the famous “children songs” during my childhood 🙂
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Tujhse Naraaz Nahin Zindagi

Tujhse Naaraaz nahi Zindagi, Hairaan hoon main
O Hairaan hoon main
Tere Masoom sawaalon se Pareshaan hoon main
O Pareshaan hoon main

Jeene ke liye sochaa hi nahi, Dard sambhalne honge
Muskurayen to, muskuraane ke karz utaarne honge
Muskuraoon Kabhi to lagta hai
Jaise honthon pe Karz rakhaa hai
Tujhse …

Aaj agar bhar aayee hain, Boondein baras jaayengi
Kal kya patha inke liye Aankhen taras jaayengi
Jaane kab gum hua, Kahaan khoya
Ek aansoo chupaake rakhaa tha
Tujhse …

Zindagi tere gham ne hamein rishte naye samjhaaye
Mile jo hamein Dhoop mein mile chhaon ke thande saaye
O Tujhse …

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

To listen to this song, you could go here to musicindiaonline and look for the song sung by Anup Ghoshal. I do like the female version of the same song, sung by the greatest of all, Lata Mangeshkar. But I just felt that, in this case, the male version has more ‘soul-touching’ capability.

By the way, have you seen this old & nice movie ?  Did you like it ? What do you feel about this song ?

THE   JUKEBOX   —  a  short  story

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

He parked his car, checked his mailbox and opened the door to his house. He had been away from home for two days, catching up with an old friend and ‘colleague’ after a long time.

In all these years, Nick had never come home to a sloshy & wet carpet. And, he was certain that it had not rained in town for the last two months. After the door had closed behind him, he could now hear the water running. He hurriedly plopped over to the kitchen, where he saw the waterfall cascading over the edge of the sink. After he turned off the water, he got ready to appraise himself with the scale of the disaster.

He vaguely remembered some local rumor about a gang of robbers recently operating in the neighbourhood, who called themselves the ‘Wet Bandits’ – named after a similar gang from a hit 90s comedy movie

The 40″ LCD TV, the BOSE audio system, the three paintings that he had recently procured at an art auction – it was all gone. He opened the closet to check if the 3-CD changer mini-jukebox that he had been working on for a VIP client was still there. It had been taken too !!

Nick Gray was never a person to lose his temper. He always knew to remain calm in the worst of situations. It was a requirement in his line of work.

Even now, he knew that all his week’s worth of hard work had been wiped out by these petty crooks who had taken the jukebox. But it was all right. His client was paying him more than enough, and he could afford to work another week to make a similar box.

He sat down and opened his laptop. On his GPS tracking application, Nick saw a blue dot moving west along the I-40 highway. He took out a radio-like gadget from a box, extended up its antenna and after a brief pause, pressed the big button at the center. A second later, the blue dot disappeared from the screen.

The next day, Nick did not get a chance to watch the local TV news channel. On the morning news, they had mentioned a strange accident. An allegedly stolen sports car had suddenly blown up in a huge explosion, as it was travelling along an interstate highway.

 THE  DESCENT  –  a  short  story

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

I stood right next to her, taking in the splendid view of the city nightlights. It was an amazing sight, and I was going to follow it now with an amazing moment. We both were standing in one corner of the open-air restaurant, at the top of the 40-storey high Crescendo Towers. It was one of the few tall buildings the city had. From there, Nicole & I could see almost the entire city.

I had been waiting for this day for almost three months now. Today was the day I was going to ask her the question. I was almost certain her answer would be ‘Yes’. I had known Nicole for more than three years now.

Without letting her know, I tried to get the small jeweller’s box out of my trouser pocket. The waiter with the sizzlers tray rushed past me, brushing my hand. My arm jerked from the impact. The box went flying over the  railing. The next second I had caught the box with my outstretched hand.

In hindsight, I don’t know if it was pure reflex action that caused me to jump and reach out for the box. Or was it the subconscious knowledge that I had spent a huge chunk of my savings on that exquisite diamond ring. Whatever be the reason, the result of that action was that I descended those 40 floors much faster than anyone would ever want to.

After that incident, I would give anything just to let her know that I love her immensely, that I want to marry her, that I want the two of us to live in our own big lake-side house, along with the four kids that we planned to have.

Here I am now, sitting right next to her, in her father’s car. He is taking her home.

If only Nicole could see me or hear me.

People in Papua New Guinea seem to have found a solution for rising gas & petrol prices – run vehicles and generators using coconut oil (coco-fuel)

If the citizens of a small island in Papua New Guinea can do it, people from “God’s Own Country” should definitely be able to do it.

What a dream scenario – buy a huge can of coconut oil. Or even better, make it in your own ‘parambu‘ (piece-of-land) — after all, what better use for the 50+ coconut palms standing tall on your land.

And then, when your wife needs oil to make Pazham-Pori (Banana-Fry) or to fry Pappadams for Lunch, ask her to take some oil from the can. Later, when your son wants to go for his daily class at the local CTCC (Coconut-Tree Climbing College) ask him to fill up the tank in his motorcycle, from the same can !

Meanwhile, you can sit on your patio and enjoy a dozen nariyal-tel flavoured Dosas, with fresh Nariyal Chutney.

Lets make this world a better place ! Lets do our bit to reduce carbon-emissions ! Lets work together towards the goal of more coco-fuel stations popping up everywhere, around the world !

Today, I read this very hilarious post about Indianisms

Now, I don’t intend making fun of death or of people dying. But I just want to say that I liked the way Kyla had imagined it in her post – “I get this image of someone walking along the steet, the clock striking a particular time and that person suddenly collapsing. That’s it, he’s expired

At this point, having worked outside India for a few months now, I have slowly begun to understand the way we Indians have developed what I would call “Inglish” (short for ‘Indianised English‘) Over a long period of speaking the Queen’s language, we have created our own vocabulary of English words. And then, armed with our H1B visas & Work-Permits, we go to work in western lands. Here we use this same ‘In-glish’, much to the shock & surprise of the people there.

I had this colleague, Raghu, who often used the phrase “Time-Pass“, which is very common for people in India – or atleast very very commonly used in Mumbai. For example,  “I was walking around the Mall just for time-pass“. Now the phrase is made up of two English words, time & pass. So Raghu thought it would be a commonly used term in U.K.  But that day when he used it in a meeting, he saw a big question mark come across the face of the Yorkshire-born Bob.
Then once we were having a big lunch-event for the entire project team. The project manager, Mark, suddenly points to Raj, and says that there was something he always wanted to ask. He says that the in the mails that Raj sends to the Support-Desk, the last line always was “Please do the needful to resolve this“.
Mark says, “In all my 45 years, I have never heard of the word ‘needful’ being taught in any school in Britain.  Its not even an English word ! Where did you get that word from ?” And then everyone at the table start laughing.

Well, I am sure I also use many such Inglish words. But then I would say its not entirely my fault. Its partly because of what I was taught at school. And partly due to my laziness to perfect the language.

And then, I would like to add here, every place & every country adds its own flavour to the English language.  Like the South African sitting in the next cubicle always says “Here in the US, everything about English is mixed up. They call a sport Soccer, when all over the world its called Football. And then, they call another sport Football, even though its hardly played with the foot !

Hmmmm … have you, at any time, knowingly or unknowingly, used any In-glish phrases ? Or, have you been at the receiving end of any In-glish ?