Thursday, November 19, 2009

DDLJ at Maratha Mandir

Well, this is another one that was on my wishlist for quite some time.
This Sunday, Neha and I saw Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at Maratha Mandir. Yes, the same cinema that has been showing the movie for the past 14-15 years.
I so wanted to see DDLJ on the big screen as I had missed out on it when I was young, and I really love the movie. So this Sunday, we landed at central station with that sole purpose. Both of us were a little excited and filled with that feeling you get when you are doing something that you really hadn't imagined yourself doing. We thought, the hall would be empty with us laughing and enjoying the sheer experience of this adventure.
Lo and behold, Imagine our surprise when we entered the gates of the cinema to find that it was HOUSEFULL!!! Years after the release of the movie, with the balcony rates reduced to Rs.25, DDLJ with its tagline of "Come, fall in love..." still goes housefull on a Sunday morning. So we did something (again) that we had never thought ourselves doing. We bought tickets in BLACK! For only Rs.30. Life never ceases to amaze you, does it.
The balcony was full, as expected, with a less-than-IIT ratio of girls to boys. The movie was, to say the least, entertaining. We were mouthing almost all the dialogues along with rest of the crowd. The cheering and whistling at some points was incredible, especially the legendary train scene. It was so much better than the crappy wannabe-Hollywood-cool movies that have no heart and originality that one gets to see these days.
After the movie, we decided to go and see the Chor Bazaar. The reason being that we haven't been there before. It is something. Not very unlike Chor Bazaars at other places in India, it still has a distinctive feel that I haven't been able to point my finger at. Probably the whole village feel and classic 'mela' style shops. Predominantly Muslim area, we came across a big and beautiful marble mosque which surprisingly we had never heard or seen before. It was grand enough to deserve a mention at least somewhere among places worth seeing in Mumbai.
The day ended like a typical day in Mumbai does. Journey back in a local. A day well spent (right before endsems).

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A very nice promo video of EPFL.
It indeed is as beautiful as shown. Link courtesy Swisswatching.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Angie by Rolling Stones

All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke

The melancholy of this song just makes your heart feel the shattered dreams.
But you can still hear the love in the melody.

you can't say we never tried
There are no regrets.

Amazing. Complete lyrics here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ideal Education

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I wish more teachers kept this quote in mind while educating the young, fresh and adaptive minds. You have to instigate passion in them for the subject instead of making things complicated and elitist. Sigh

Monday, October 26, 2009

Switzerland guide for Interns

The assumption is that you have already received an offer letter for internship in Switzerland :P
All facts mentioned are of the period when I went to intern. They might have changed. So here goes.

The major Swiss Universities are EPFL and ETH Zurich for IIT students.
If you plan early enough, you can actually manage to get Swiss Air return tickets as the cheapest options.
There is a flight daily from Mumbai to Zurich. From Zurich, it is best to take a train to your destination city. I made the mistake of taking a flight from Zurich to Geneva and then a train to Lausanne.

The trains in Switzerland are run by SBB. The first thing to do after getting your luggage from the airport is to buy a SBB Half fare card. Valid for a year, it reduces all your tickets to half the price. If you are going to do even the slight amount of traveling, you will recover its cost very very soon. Trust me on this one. And if you are even a little adventurous and an evening traveler, the Track 7 card will prove to be really useful too. I highly recommend it. To buy these at the station, you have to ask at a CFF (railway) desk. Keep your Swiss address and passport pictures handy along with cash.
Find all the information you need on SBB site. You are going to be seeing a lot of this website.

Local Transport in Lausanne

Buying a monthly pass for 41 francs is advisable. It covers both metro and buses. You can get that made from the SBB counter at EPFL or at Lausanne Flon. Otherwise, each normal journey costs 2 francs with half fare card.

Luckily, I was picked up from railway station on my first day. Otherwise, normally there is some problem to manage all that luggage and finding your way about in the a new country.


Among the 6 student accommodations, Bourdonnette (where I stayed), part of Cedres and Ochettes have apartment systems. Rhodanie and Falaises are more like a dorm. All of them have some advantages and disadvantages. Bourdonnette worked really really well for me.

Your first 10-15 days might be cold. So take some warm clothes. Especially, if you are not from North India and used to some amount of cold. If possible, take something for the night. Bedsheets, pillows and all are not included in your room rent. Though you can take them from your house manager for around 50 francs which is not so bad.

If you are not staying in an apartment, do take cooking utensils and food from India else you might have to buy there and that is not cheap.
Take atleast 500 francs from India for your initial expenditure including Half fare card.

Shopping and Food

All shopping is done at Migros and Denner supermarkets. Migros is the cheapest. Denner is cheaper for some things. The most important thing: Migros doesn't have Alcohol and cigarettes. Denner \m/

Shops in Switzerland usually close at 6:30 or 7 pm. Even earlier on Saturday and on Sunday everything is closed. Migros at Ouchy is an exception.

There are also Indian shops close to Avenue de France and one under Lausanne station.

Do take health insurance from India with large remuneration. Around 100 000 USD upwards.

Post questions in comments.
More travel and living advice later. Have fun in Europe.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Land that is India

A snippet of a very old article in TIME describes nicely India as a Kaleidoscope of contrast. Link courtesy Avinash Prabhu.

Shastri's India is less a nation than a notion, possessed of a fragile unity that barely transcends its geographical boundaries. Into a triangular wedge of the world only a third as big as the U.S., India packs 480 million people and more than 200 million cows. From the mirage-like ice peaks of the Himalayas, down the vast and sinuous Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers (which most Indians regard as holy), through the crammed chawls and boiling bustees of Bombay and Calcutta, to the humid tip of the subcontinent at Cape Comorin, India is a kaleidoscope of contrast (see color pages). Within its embattled boundaries it embraces six distinct ethnic groups, seven major religions, 845 languages and dialects, and two ancient and antagonistic cultures: the Indo-Aryan (primarily Hindi-speaking) in the north, the Dravidian (speaking mainly Telugu and Tamil) in the south. Its peoples range from sultry Sikhs in silken turbans to naked Nagas armed with crossbows; from country dwellers who are seared black by a cruel sun to pale and perfumed maharanees who ride to the beaches of Bombay in air-conditioned Rolls-Royces.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What IITians do

This article in Outlook feels honest.
A few excerpts.

"Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of IITians do nothing of note in their lives. Indeed, many of them became IITians because their parents told them that’s what they should mug their butts off for, and aim to hit the US of A, so that’s what they did. They attended classes, took notes, passed exams, took the gre, applied to a dozen American universities, and disappeared into that country’s vast technological underbelly, to reappear only in the matrimonial columns of Indian papers with a dollar salary multiplied diligently by the day’s exchange rate. Or they stayed in India, working at unexceptionable jobs, doing reasonably well. In either case, they got beautiful brides (often from rich families) and presumably lived happily ever after, meeting classmates once a month and chatting about their IIT days, and how Hippo has just changed jobs, and Zap is three rungs away from the top in Cisco Systems. Each of them had intelligence well above the average, and most, exceptional academic tenacity."
Something that I really agree with. And I wish my life is not like that. Though currently I am considering the belief that happiness comes from within, and you can be happy in any circumstance but damn, I am human.

"IIT was also a whole insular world in itself, complex and complete, and it sucked us in. As The Chosen, we lived a full life with no necessity of any contact with the outside world. Totally cut off from politics and "the bigger issues", our delights remained in competing fiercely on the field or the stage with other hostels or other colleges. There were few material pleasures. Lifestyles were spartan, the food abysmal. The vast majority of males were totally deprived of female company. The girls lived a strange life-on the one hand, they were hounded by dozens of would-be suitors; on the other, they faced the petulant hostility of the majority which saw them as undeserving of so much adulation and so many free lunches."
So true.

When we graduated, we went out into the world with a rare confidence and strong tribal loyalties. The confidence eroded a bit over the years, and we learnt some humility when we discovered non-IITians as smart as we were, and also people who could outwit us because they were intelligent in a different way-in a sly political way-an acumen we had not developed in our isolated environment which, above all, inculcated a sense of fairness and a respect for ability. We came to terms with a world that compared poorly with our beloved campus, and some of us even went ahead and conquered it. Others didn’t do well, but knew that the ties between them and the masters-of-the-universe classmates would never change. They were ties born of the pride of being an IITian. That pride would never diminish.
It never can.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Lost Symbol Puzzle game

Yes, I have solved the puzzle game on the website. :D
The Lost Symbol is the latest book of Dan Brown to be released on 15th September.
For hints, I found this website invaluable. Tips and help.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dachau Experience

The place just haunts you. So much suffering and pain.
This describes the experience very nicely.
Varsha and me took one whole day at that place in contrast to 3 hours that we expected.
One photograph that I took over there. Just for effect.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First party and police encounter in Europe

For the sake of holding my word, I shall not use the real names of other interns. Of course, it gives me creative freedom to come up with names.
Petrifinna Disturbson (from now on mentioned as PD)- not known for his oral skills unlike some similar sounding female artist in the opposite corner of the world - and I had been 3 days in Switzerland. The first three days had been a myriad of emotions ranging from awe, joy, delight, surprise, hope and excitement. We had been staying in a youth hostel till the time we could move into our student accommodation. It was really something to stay there.
Happenings ranged from hitting with my broken french on a runaway French girl who couldn't speak English while PD watched (we bumped into her boyfriend soon enough :( ) to gorging on the breakfast included in our stay to walking along the incredibly beautiful lake Geneva which makes you think that paradise is here to meeting this gang of high school kids and see the really hot make-shift photo-shoot in the hostel lounge by the girls there to meeting this guy who had been walking around Europe for a couple of years.
So the third day, PD and I say goodbye and are dropped to our respective student hostels. PD's Spanish roommate told us that there's a party there tonight. A surge of excitement rushed through us, after all, who doesn't imagine himself/herself in an European student party.
Afterward, I met my flatmates and it turned out that Guillem, from Barcelona was a real party guy and we decided to go out and have fun. There is beer, music and not-so-great-girls but everyone is having a great time. PD sees that everyone around is drinking and decides that now is the time for him to jump into the world of beer drinkers. Full of resolve, he goes and gets himself a can and says - 'kabhi na kabhi to peena hi tha'. After initial sip, he has a characteristic emotion on his face that shows that he is being made to drink some evil potion. After that, PD does not say a word in rest of the party.
At around 12, we decide to head out to the city center. PD is not with us as he doesn't have a bicycle. Last minute hurrying, catching the last metro and dragging our bikes into it leave us all a little out of breath. The disc in the city center is my first in Europe and it is pure fun. 3-4 beers down doesn't hurt as well.
Guillem and I decide to leave back by our bicycles around 3AM. It is all downhill up to our apartment and a chilly breeze is blowing. Riding down the slope, with cool wind blowing across you and cans of beer inside you at 3AM in Switzerland after just 3 days in Europe is a feeling that I cannot even begin to describe. And just then across the corner, there's a police car and police stops us at the traffic signal. The feeling that I mentioned earlier just evaporated on the spot.
He starts to speak in French. Guillem understands French perfectly and I a little bit but we decided to play it dumb. We both were like sorry, we don't speak French, do you speak English. Turns out that he could. FML.
We didn't have lights on our bicycle at night. I was like, aaj jail me bhi baithna padega kya!! But, thankfully, he didn't take breath analyzer test. Told us to go by the pavement and carry bicycle lights in the future (which we never did).
Both of us had a laugh about it after coming back. And so went my first party.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

India after Gandhi

India after Gandhi is a book trying to put together the history of India post-independence. An incredible book about an incredible nation. The history and the staggering numbers amaze you, shock you, disgust you, anger you, move you and make you believe. Different perspectives are offered and descriptions are vivid.

Some really amazing parts -
India was never expected to make it through as one united nation. One such opinion pre-independence was presented by Sir John Strachey - a member of Governor General's council.

Scotland is more like Spain than Bengal is like Punjab...
..there is not, and never was an India, or even any country of India possessing, according to any European ideas, any sort of unity, physical, political, social or religious.
There was no Indian nation or country in the past; nor would there be one in the future. Strachey thought it "conceivable that national sympathies may arise in particular Indian countries but
that they should ever extend to India generally, that men of Punjab, Bengal, the North-western Provinces, and Madras should ever feel that they belong to one Indian nation, is impossible.

Well, fuck you Sir John Strachey.

After 1947, there have been many Western writers prophesying the doom of India as a united nation.
Rober Dahl - That India "could sustain democratic institution seems, on the face of it, highly improbable.
British journalist Don Taylor in 1969 after 2 decades of unity and Independence -
they key question remains: can India remain in one piece - or will it fragemnt?... when one looks at this vast country and its 524 million people, the 15 major languages in use, the conflicting religions, the many races, it seems incredible that one nation could ever emerge.
It is difficult to even encompass this country in the mind- the great Himalaya, the wide Indo-Gangetic plain burnt by the sun and savaged by the fierce monsoon rains, the green flooded delta of the east, the great cities like Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. It does not, often seem like one country. And yet there is a resilience about India which seems an assurance of survival. There is something which can only be described as an Indian spirit.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Rational Fool: A Bit of Porn for the Gods

Interesting satire The Rational Fool: A Bit of Porn for the Gods

Mumbai Darshan

The European hangover refused to go away. Back in Mumbai after backpacking through Europe, I realized that I haven't really seen Mumbai as a tourist. After a couple of days at IIT and sorting out electives crap, I look for a way to tour Mumbai. I was sure that there must be a tour agency that takes you sightseeing around Mumbai and began looking for one.

On the advice of my dear friend - Shobhit Singhal - I decide to take a Mumbai Darshan tour by Neeta Bus agency that run probably the most popular Mumbai Darshan tours in the city.

I thought that I will not find any other person to join me on this crazy idea, but then you never know. Another person back from his trysts in Maple country (Avinash Prabhu) was interested enough and together we booked our tickets and decided to set on this exciting and daring adventure that would chill the bones of any other mortal. :P

Armed with food supplies and rain gear, we climbed in the bus at Dadar. There was a guide in the bus who immediately, as soon as we sat down, announced that we had to pay Rs.210 additional to the Rs.150 tour fee. This money was to buy entry tickets to all the places that they were going to show us around. That came as a little surprise to us. We had thought everything was included. :P
I must confess that most of the places that he took us to hadn't been seen by me in my 3 years here as a student.

We were taken to (my expert comments in brackets)
Meenakshi Temple (nothing special)
Houses of Lata Mangeshkar, Jackie Shroff, Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bacchan (who doesn't want to see that)
Nehru Science Center and Planetarium (Science center is for kids and tourists like us and Planetarium was a nice place to sleep)
4-D motion picture at Atria Mall (The chair moves in only one direction and there is only cold air when you are expecting a hot one - not worth it)
Tarapore Aquarium center (In an unbelievable state of decay. Didn't think that a famous thing right in the middle of marine drive would be so crappy)
Marine Drive, Hanging gardens, Gateway and Juhu beach need no description.
The Gateway has been closed post 26/11 and is now under heavy security. It's just not the same anymore.

Of course there were some gems that can only be found on the hoardings and boards in India that kept us entertained.

Apparently, according to the super shopkeeper, there are some Indian vegetables and some English vegetables. Interesting!

Me and Avinash after coming out of the Planetarium

A board near Tarapore Aquarium. Need I comment?

You can see the bullet holes in The Taj here. Brings back the days of the attacks.

Probably the best picture of Mumbai we took all day.

Don't know if it can be made out, but this is an ad for IIPM featuring Shahrukh Khan saying that it is the No.1 management institute in the whole world!!

Now, I wouldn't really recommend this tour to anyone except for a different experience. By the end of the day, we were sweaty, dirty and in desperate need of a bath.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Do check this out

Check out this blog for awesome quotes by renowned people.
My personal favorite until now is this one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Schindler's list found

According to this news, Schindler's List has been discovered in Australia.
In case you haven't seen the movie, you must.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Comment on Narendra Modi

Link courtesy Karthik Shekhar.
As John Maynard Keynes said, we’ll all be dead, but memory lives, and the future will ask questions which may not be popular today. Is Gujarat India’s China, seeking to substitute Chinese ruthlessness for Indian deliberative democracy? What of justice for marginals and minorities and for all the opposition that paid the price for dissent? Dissent is a precious way of life. If Gujarat were measured in terms of a dissenters’ index, it would rank abysmally low. If competence were evaluated in terms of diversity, well-being and value maintenance, we’ve already lost the battle.

Modi’s Gujarat is a future urban nightmare. On ecology, health and welfare, Modi shows little competence. Privatising health is no way to well-being. Creating education as a business is no guarantee of quality. As a master of methodology, Modi is all technique and speed, without vision.

Such is the power of words. Makes you contemplate and wonder.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poetry extravaganza

I never thought of myself as the guy who would read and appreciate poetry one day. Well, what can I say. Things change. Below are some of the awesome poems that I have read in the past two weeks. All poems read at Poemhunter.

Love the realism of this one.Protocols by Vikram Seth

What can I say to you? How can I retract
All that that fool my voice has spoken -
Now that the facts are plain, the placid surface cracked,
The protocols of friendship broken?
I cannot walk by day as now I walk at dawn
Past the still house where you lie sleeping.
May the sun burn these footprints on the lawn
And hold you in its warmth and keeping.

Round and Round by Vikram Seth brings out a myriad of emotions from within you.

After a long and wretched flight
That stretched from daylight into night,
Where babies wept and tempers shattered
And the plane lurched and whiskey splattered
Over my plastic food, I came
To claim my bags from Baggage Claim

Around, the carousel went around
The anxious travelers sought and found
Their bags, intact or gently battered,
But to my foolish eyes what mattered
Was a brave suitcase, red and small,
That circled round, not mine at all.

I knew that bag. It must be hers.
We hadnt met in seven years!
And as the metal plates squealed and clattered
My happy memories chimed and chattered.
An old man pulled it of the Claim.
My bags appeared: I did the same.

About true love. Link courtesy Karthik Shekhar. Do check out his blog.
The Quiet World by Jeffrey McDaniel

In an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn't respond,
I know she's used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Day That Never Was

I have shaved. My room has been cleaned and the bed has been made. I am excited as I sit expectantly waiting for her to call.
She does but she says she isn’t coming here.
I am dejected.
She wants me to come there; but I have work to do.
I refuse and she sounds disappointed.
I go back to the clean room, now echoing notes of what-could-have-been. I watch the movie alone, that I had intended to watch with her. I think of the times we have spent together. I want to know what she thinks when she is not looking the other way and feels my eyes on her. What it would feel like to run my fingers through her hair. Doesn’t she know I am aching to touch her lips with mine, to kiss her?
Why is she toying with me?
I started regretting not going.
I wish I could go back.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I pay them to leave

Comment by Charlie Sheen on being asked why a man like would want to pay for sex -
"I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave."
An article in The NY Times speaks on how modern world is leading people to all live in their shells and not going out there and interacting with everybody.
I kind of agree with the view that we are becoming increasingly reluctant to interact and open up to new people that we meet in our everyday lives.
I travel a lot and I don't carry a book or an iPod with me (I don't have an iPod is another matter which I plan to take up with my father pretty soon :P). I like to chat up and know people and I find it extremely frustrating nowadays when you are sitting somewhere waiting for something with nothing to do and plenty of people around. Ordinarily, I would chat up with one of them but almost everyone is listening to an iPod or doing something on laptop or reading a book. A slight smile and a hello which normally would have been enough as an invitation to start a conversation are now reduced to just a gesture which receives a slight smile in return.

Kasab even booked for entering without ticket

Investigators in the Mumbai terror attack are leaving nothing to chance and they have even booked Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman captured, for entering the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus without a railway ticket. Check out the story at TOI.

Link courtesy Shantanu Gangal.

Poetry by Agha Shahid Ali

Came across this magnificent piece of poetry by Agha Shahid Ali in his book The Veiled Suite. Feel the need to reproduce it here. Link courtesy falstaff.

I wait for him to look straight into
my eyes
This is our only chance for
If he, carefully, upon this hour of
will let us almost completely
tell me, who but I could chill his
dreaming night.
Where he turns, what will not
appear but my eyes?
Wherever he looks, the sky is only
Whatever news he has, it is of the

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thoughts on Dev D

The musical score blows my mind. Nayan tarse and Emotional Atyachaar is fantabulous. The movie is riveting. The sexual freedom with which this movie is made is heartening to see. However, I still felt that a couple of things were made to suit our sensibilities like why was the MMS scandal girl made firang and why did her father commit suicide. The girl had nothing to be guilty of. It was the guy who needs to be taught a lesson.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hard vs Hardest

Link courtesy Avinash Prabhu. Explanations on the graph wanted and welcome.

Winter holidays and Mood Indigo - Part I

After lot of procrastination, I have finally managed to finish the post. Last month of 2008 was incredible. As usual, it involved a lot of travel. Left for Pune on the 26th (yeah, I know - the day of the attacks) - Was woken up in the middle of the night to watch the news - Was stuck there till the 1st of December because Mumbai was unsafe - Then caught a train from Mumbai to Delhi - Stayed there for 3-4 days - Met old friends and my sister - Enjoyed the slight chill that had crept into the air - Went to Dehradun to my grandparents - Met my buddies and came back to Mumbai on the 19th for the Mood Indigo (Moodi or MI).
This MoodI was one incredible experience. As special as every MoodI has been for me, I think I'm going to remember this one for a long time to come for a lot of different. Met and re-met a lot of good friends and had a complete blast. The pronites ranged from so-so to good. Hearing Ensiferum is probably the only time in my life when I enjoyed listening to heavy metal. There was a major crowd control problem after that near the convocation hall for the afternite. It completely sucked. I also filled up the Mood Indigo's Most Wanted (MIMW) form just like every year. I am inclined to think now that I put a little more thought into it than the previous years. Well, what can I say, I was selected for the 2nd round among 25-30 other candidates. A nice feeling :).
For all those who saw my extraordinarily dumbass performance and for all those who, thank god, weren't there and are now reading this, here is the full story.
I got a call around 1 at night saying that I have been selected for the final round and I have to report for the second round at fuckin' 9AM the next day. They were also ‘kind’ enough to call me at 7AM in middle of my deep slumber to again ask me to be on time. Of course, when I reach there at 9, they start 45 minutes late at 945 and without providing breakfast, that's a different issue altogether.
The first and the second rounds are written. First round being writing/drawing on a paper such that when folded in a certain way it forms something else (humour expected). I, being my natural self, sex-itized the American political system. The second round was filling up an imaginary orkut profile. I chose to be Santa (Claus, not Singh). The third round was the one which got me nervous. That was the first stage round and we were not told what it was. We went like goats to the slaughterhouse (INA stage in front of convo). The saving grace was that it was in groups of 4. Our group (me, Aditya, Shantanu and [forgot her name]) was given a hoopla and told to do something with it. We sucked like no-one has ever sucked before. Thank heavens that we were the first group and no one was there to watch it. I came of the stage sweating. After seeing some other groups perform, I wasn’t so critical anymore. Of course, we were one of the worst but certainly not THE worst.
The 4th round was a speed dating round ;). Every guy spends 3 minutes with every girl and at the end of the round we have to vote for 2 girls and against 2. Kind of like a reality show. Of course, I tried to utilize the 3 minutes to the maximum but according to the statistics told to me later, I wasn’t very successful. There was one cute girl present who was the OC’s girlfriend. Since I had the license to flirt, I did so shamelessly.
After the whole of my 2nd day was spent on this fruitless activity, I headed for the DJ grind near the poolside. Towards the end of tiring time at the grind, I received a call from the coordie calling me for the interview. Apparently, I had been shortlisted among the top 15. I went tired and exhausted to the interview. Two guys (Thakkar and [random guy]) were there. They weren’t very friendly. In fact, it seemed to me that they just wanted to get it over with and weren’t really interested in me. Mine was among the shortest interviews (a thing that repeated itself in Delhi again a couple of weeks ago). It isn’t really a great feeling knowing that they got rid of you the fastest way possible.
Anyway, it was over and done with. In the awesome afternite, when Akshay, Nimish, Saurabh and I are joking around, I receive a phone call saying that I have been shortlisted among the final 8 and MIMW finals are going to be held at 2pm tomorrow – and they also have a talent round to showcase my talent. Now I am nervous. My heart is beating faster and I have no clue about my talent.
After lot of deliberation and un-helpful suggestions from my buddies ranging from rap, acrobatics, sky-diving, stand up comedy, break dancing, singing, stripteasing to a tutorial on making crotchless panties, I decide to go for displaying my prowess at salsa (I hear laughter and giggling!).
All said and done, it left me with one thing short – a dance partner of the opposite sex. I had to find a girl who could do salsa, convince her to dance with me in front of a whole audience, decide on music and practise the steps by 2pm tomorrow. It was already 12 at night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A life wanted

She misses a mother, not her mother. (Reference to a close friend)

Train journey

Thin mangled lifeless hair scream abuse, many creases on the forehead speak of the times she has had to bear, wrinkles on the face tell the number of blooming springs which have flew past her, the eyes without their glimmer symbolize the instances when hope turned to despair, her callused hands bent in the shape so as to accept anything that is bestowed upon them recite the misuse they have been put through. He looked at her without pity, contempt, compassion, hatred, irritation or impatience. He just stared with those cold, black, inert eyes that took in everything – the crowded platform full of people milling around doing their usual stuff – people hurrying to get into the trains, sentimental goodbyes, hawkers selling their goods and beggars competing against each other for generating the most pity.
The presence of someone in his compartment diverted his eyes. He saw a hefty sardar placing his luggage below the berth in front of him. The man seemed middle aged, was wearing an untucked striped shirt which looked like it could do with a wash, a worn out trouser and scuffed up shoes. He only had a dark blue coloured bag with him.

After finishing his sales, he realized he had to rush to the railway station. He only had a little time to go home and pack. He hurried home and without changing his stained striped shirt, stuffed all he needed into the dark blue bag that he had grown tired off. He thought of buying a new one but somehow it just kept slipping out of his mind. He hoped that he found an auto on time. Sometimes, it was difficult to get one for over 30 minutes. Luckily he found one instantly and reached the train station well in time. After locating his train and coach, he moved into his compartment and saw a person sitting there. To his immense joy, he saw a turban and a beard on him which meant that his partner in the journey was sardar too. A feeling of camaraderie rose to the surface and he became instantly at home. He immediately started talking to him in “dialectic Punjabi”. With no restraint, he launched into his rants.

He saw the kinship in his eyes and immediately averted his. However, he couldn’t do it for long as his fellow passenger started in “dialectic Punjabi” about the inefficiency of railways. He felt uncomfortable, strained at being taken for a friend so suddenly. The strain and the hesitancy was present, as is there when you have a slight contempt for someone who thinks of you as a close associate.

He sensed the uncomfortableness in the air only after a long time and he spoke nothing after that for the rest of the journey.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Slumdog is a love story

What a movie!! People told me that maybe it is a bit overdone from the romantic angle and seems improbable. I'll tell them now, "THAT's what you found improbable!!". The movie is about improbability and the fantastic, about how something wildly beyond our imagination can take place. It's about a dream, a dream that the characters in this movie did not even think to dream of and yet, it came true.
Sure, it seems unreal, but isn't that what cinema is all about. About how that one person out of 1.3 billion people in this country had that unreal life. People thought that the romantic angle was too much. Well, wasn't the small kid jumping into a pile of shit holding just that Amitabh Bachhan photograph in his heart and that wild desire in his heart unreal. Isn't the fact that people kill each other over Allah or Ram or that people blind young children to earn cash unreal; or is it just that we are so used to such news that they are reality but a guy loving a girl through his life: "Oh boy, that's so crazy man!!"
The movie is not about the money. Jamal couldn't care less when he answered the last question. This movie is not about hope or inspiration, it's just a feel good movie for all those millions out there who associate with him and feel happy for him that he got his true love.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Definitely, a movie worth watching. I must say though that I was unable to relate to parts of it. Being unaware of Russian history didn’t help either; had to read up on Tsars, Bolsheviks and the Russian revolution. I wasn’t able to accept the infidelity, especially when Dr.Zhivago is happily married with a loving and caring wife whom he dearly loves. Is it like I love my wife but I love my mistress more? Please someone help me out here. The magnitude of their love is of course unquestionable. Maybe I will gain a better insight on reading the book. One can never comment on the emotions without reading the book. The musical score is tender and evocative. The movie ends wonderfully well truly bringing out the emotion that has been built up throughout the movie.

Schindler’s List

I don’t want to say anything about the movie except just watch it. A quote to end:
He who saves one life, saves the world entire.

Ten things I hate about you

The movie seemed cliche in the beginning. As it turns out, it is cliché till the very end. But what makes it so watchable is Julia Stiles character. Her portrayal of a girl in contempt of her silly counterparts is competent. The curt, acidic statements which display her repertoire of words are joy to hear. The sarcasm just slices through you. Heath Ledger is a pleasure as usual playing the part of an unusual, wild and self-assured guy. The chemistry between him and Stiles keeps you engrossed. On the whole, a nice one time watch movie.