Vantage point

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Flowers of all hue fill the meadows
Birds of all types chirping too
But none of that happening around me..
Sweat and grime in my clothes..thoo thoo

Today the Insti took us to see Lucknow. I never knew the city had so much to offer a tourist. Though the oppressive North Indian Summer was at its best sapping the fluids from our body and making life miserable, we did have a good day overall, probably the last day of leisure for a long time.

First we went to the 'Bada Imambara', the most famous monument in Lko. It was built to be a replica of some Imam's place in Iran and is considered one of the finest architectural structures in India. It is most famous for its bhoolbhulaiya, i.e, Labyrinth. The guide who showed us around started off in painfully wrong English and kept dropping grammatical nuggets, till someone put an end to his misery (and ours) by telling him to speak in Hindi and spare the Imperial language the vivisection he was putting it through. He said things like "When the britishman (sic) wented inside bhulbhulaiyya, they became lost and then habitually (???) became died". Anyway, once we got him speaking in the rashtrabhasha, he told us about the opulence of the place. the hall was huge and there were balconies at the top from where nawabi ladies used to watch the court proceedings. He took us on a tour of the labyrinth which was a maze of many small tunnels(sweat and more sweat) interconnected randomly and the Britishers had had a tough time capturing the place. At one point, on the roof, we saw a hole in the ground. It was a straight and narrow drop to the ground floor. It was veryy innocuously placed and anyone who fell into it might have broken a few limbs en route to a sure death. I felt the authorities should have placed a warning sign near it. Anyway, several tunnels traversed and several bottles of chilled water downed, the guide led us out of the labyrinth. There were other parts of the imambara which were very beautiful, but were ill maintained. The intricate oil lamps for instance were so dusty, they must not have been cleaned for a year. The plaster had come off at certain points , and overall, the place, which must have been quite an imposing structure in the 19th century, seemed to be getting a raw deal at the hand of the Archaelogical Survey of India.

We then visited a Picture Gallery which had portraits of several nawabs of Avadh (the province that Lko was the capital of), most famous among them being Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who has been immortalised in Satyajit Ray's "Shatranj ke Khiladi"
as the decadent king who kept playing chess even as the Britishers attacked his kingdom, just because he didn't want to leave the game unfinished. The portrait conveys the impression that Amjad Khan, the actor who played the role in the movie, was, if anything, a little slimmer than required. The guide said that Wajid Ali Shah had 365 wives!!! I wonder what he did on 29th February (wink wink).

Next stop was 'The Residency' where the britishers used to stay. There was a siege of this place during the 1857 Uprising and a lot of britishers died during this siege, either due to bullets or canonballs, or due to dyssentry and other such diseases caused due to stale food during the siege. The whole place was in ruins and there were several graves of the britishers who died. All the tombstones were well carved, and some had wodnerful epitaphs written on them. one , belonging to a 22 year old woman said "Those who seek me with all their heart shall find me where they least expect". Now when there is tall grass all around you and cold graves in the hot summer, such sentences cause uneasiness.

Next we went to La Martiniere College, which was a huge and majestic palace that operates as a school, started in 1840.

A lunch at Gemini Continental, a 3 star or 4 star hotel, and back at the isnti in the AC labs. By the way, who decides these stars? Is there like a separate body to monitor hotel standards that awards them stars?

Classes start tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2002

Varsha Bhosale, the fire-spewing daughter of Asha Bhosale wields a very angry pen. Her articles lambast anyone and every one. Just saw a link to her article on Ramanand's blog . I also read the article before that in which she takes on her favourite whipping boys, the communists (whom she lovingly calls 'pinkos'). Entertaining writer this woman. At times, or rather, most of the times, her articles appear anti-muslim and shivsena chhap, but she's got more intelligence than all sainiks sombined. Maybe living in Mumbai makes a person more angry at the minorities?

I had a mail-argument with her during the Gujarat riots in which was stimulating.

Anyway,do read her articles here if you want food for thought. And let me know how much you agree or disagree with her views.

If that woman talks and behaves the way she writes, she would make a team of Mamata, Jayalalitha and Mayawati appear like Daisy Duck's three nieces in comparison.

Hey, you rediff ladies met her?

Oh god, just read this Vajpayee rules out war with Pak . What a thing to say with lakhs of troops at the border. Can you blame TIME for writing that article? If there is no possibility of war, why this facade?? Send those poor soldiers back to their peacetime barracks.

If Jay Leno or Letterman had a show here, it would have to be 5 hours long to accomodate all the jokes at our government.

I am not a big fan of coding and programming (kya kare sonal, bheja hiltaich nahi). I have pressed 'publish' so many times in the last hour that I think I will be mentioned in the last issue of February (or is it January?) of some magazine as a publisher.

But make no mistake, the programming in my life is not over. We have a class on VB6 this sem. Well, I don't mind that since it is such a cool and easy language.

Have been battling my blog and comments box, cause of the change in my template. It is so irritating to make all the tiny customizations again. So, in the end, was the effort worth it?

My past few blogs have been diary-ish so here's a columnish blog.

First of all, the trouble these are having. First they have to explain why they used prostitutes to entrap corrupt people. Why don't I see anyone asking corrupt people anything in the first place? Then CBI people raided one of their employees' house under charges of poaching. And then, the CBI spokesman says, "This has nothing to do with Tehelka's expose of the defence deals." It is extremely annoying. The government is literally saying - "How dare you question us?" in a subtle terms. Earlier I used to think the Congress as a bad party, but the was the BJP is ruining the country, I am reminded of a marathi proverb that translates- "Bricks are softer than rocks".

What is even more shocking the reaction of the common public. No one really seems to care. There is a distinct lack of outrage among the common people at the way tehelka is being victimised. No protest marches, no chain letters, no hunger strikes. There are people (like La Roy) who will protest the nuclearisation of India but just ignore a bigger issue to public accountability. They convey the impression that vigilantes are wasting their time in a country like ours. In fact, we need to stop and think hard. We keep blaming the government for all evils, but aren't governments usually reflective of citizens in a democracy? For instance in USA, there was a hue and cry over Clinton's sexcapades, but isn't it true that adultery is very common in USA? Or when they talk about the stupidity of Dubya and his gaffes, they forget that 95% of the population of USA would probably make the same mistakes while answering simple questions.

But India is much worse than USA. At least in USA, the flaws are cosmetic and of relatively little relevance. We as a nation possess all the evils that we accuse our government of possessing. We routinely pay the traffic cop a lesser amount to get out of a hefty official fine. We drive 2-wheelers without a license and we litter the streets without a second thought. These are all day to day sins that we commit and then we say - "Our leaders are so corrupt."

Another issue is the Kashmir and Pakistan problem. In trains, coffee shops and on dining tables, we keep saying - "Our government is chicken, it doesn't take hard steps to punish the terrorists." or even better "On the 13 Dec attack, a few MP's should have been killed." At times, some of us (mostly hindus) talk highly of the way Israel deals with terrorism and rue the fact that our government doesn't do the same. Well, throw your mind back to 1999 and the Kandahar hijacking. 150 odd people were in the plane and they were released for 3 men, who since have been responsible for EACH AND EVERY terrorist attack on India so far. Did we as a nation show the will and the guts to stand up to the hijackers? NO! While the crisis was taking place, we had relatives of the passengers crying and pleading the government to meet any and all demands. We had family members sleeping on the street in front og the PM's house, all giving a display of what we are. Not one of them said- "May my family be martyred but let us not give in to these terrorists. let us look at the bigger picture. They have killed thousands of armymen and civilians till now. 150 is a small number." All they did was pressure the government to release the terrorists. I am not saying "they" in a blaming voice. I too would probably have done the same. It is our flaw as a people.

Look at the flight 93 of September 11. They fought back the hijackers and gave their lives, and probably saved the white house from being destroyed. But forget that. They were saving their own country. Cut to 1994 when 5 foreigners were kidnapped by Kashmiris demanding the release of Masood Azhar (we shouldn't call that a**hole Maulana, he dopesn't deserve it) and his cronies. The family members of these foreigner, never publicly made a statement urging India to give in to the kidnappers' demands. Never!! They kept on pleading with the kidnappers to release their husbands/sons/brothers but never told us to give in. This in spite of the fact that they have no sympathy for India or our Kashmir policy, but because of the simple feeling that you should not give in to threats. The terrorists had then stupidly assumed that kidnapping foreigners would in some way make a bigger difference, when all along (Rubina case), kidnapping Indians had borne sweeter fruits. They just kidnapped Indians in 1999 (the hijacking) and got M
Shame on us. 5 foreigners were sacrificed by their families for the sake of our self respect but we were too yellow.

This is the very country that once produced martyrs like Bhagat Singh. What has happened now? People will give their lives for a temple in some corner of the country, but will not make smaller sacrifices for the motherland.

They need to think. I need to think. We all need to think. With this yellow streak in us, where are we heading?

Thursday, June 27, 2002

It was a day in January of 1996 when I attended my school (10th std.) for a whole day for the last time. Since then, it was today that I spent 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, (other than the lunch break) in a classroom. my junior college was very lax, as was COEP. Considering all this, I must say, I didn't feel mentally bushed.

Of course, what went on today was just introductory lectures and speeches. There was the opening welcome by the effusive Chairman of IIML, Dr. Pritam, Singh whjo kept switching to Sanskrit. This was followed by a hard-as-nails terse welcome by Prof Bhattacharya, who is the PGP Chairman, and the man in charge of us. He told us a long list of DOs and DONTs (the former outnumbering the latter by a wide margin) and warned us to be on our best behavious. This was followed by a thoroughly entertaining and informative lecture by Dr. Chakraborty who gave us a general idea of what the 20 month course would be like. He was hilarious and kept witty comments. My favourite one was "Man acts rationally only when all other options have been exhausted". After this giggle-fest, we had a proffy telling us about the facilities and he promised us a swimming pool within 6 months. He was a very helpful guy and at the end he announced that 30th June, the insti would take us on a sight-seeing tour of Lucknow city. He told us to be there at 7:30 in the morning so that we could come back at 4:30 in time for the football World Cup final, which would be beamed on a big screen in a hall where the whole insti would watch it together.

I wonder if this is the customary 'fattening of the calf' before slaughtering it.

The next lecture was about books/movies other than those in the curriculum that all MBAs should read. It had Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged', Scott Adams' "The Dilbert Principle" and even, aaplya Ashutoshcha "Lagaan". He also told us that the next 20 months would be excdruciating and we would do well to remember that many before us have survived and we will too.

There is a party or something at 10 tonite. I also have to read up a case study for tomorrow.

Hey people, is my blog seeming more like a blog and less like a column nowadays?

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Had gone for an evening visit to Lucknow's supposedly most happening place, 'Hazratganj Market'. It is mmmmmmmm, OK I'd say. Clean, is one good epithet that I can think of, as is orderly. It's pretty much a street full of shops. Not too much to do, except eat. There are no girls to ogle at. This is one big difference between Bombay-Pune and the north Indian cities. You hardly see any girls or women on busy streets. Even if you see some, they are behaving very demurely and are over dressed. So anyway, the only recreation possible was to eat. We did visit the 'St. Joseph Cathedral' though since it seemed to be the only interesting placve there. i don't even go to temples, so this was my first time at a church/cathedral (what is the difference, George?). The peaceful atmosphere was very soothing. Nice place to sit and think about life. i think I'll visit the cathedral a lot more before I leave the city.

Rohan, Sunil and I made a big mistake when the first establishment we visited was the 'Barista'. It has to be absolutely the worst Barista ever. In fact, Nidhi who is apparently a Barista pujari, would take an RPG and blow the Lucknow branch to bits if she tastes the coffee crystals floating in the cup. It is a place that brings a bad name to coffee and the people there are such pseudo-heps that overall, I would say it gives Uttar Pradesh a bad name. We moved to a roadside stall and Rohan and I had shami kebabs (wonly 5 bucks) to wash that abused caffeine off our tongues. Next we had some aloo tikki and man, Lucknowi chaat is good!!! It is worth making that trip from IIM to the city. With our tongues back to their jolly selves, we tried to get a 'tempo' to the IIM city office at Aliganj from where the IIM bus leaves every hour.

The people in Lucknow are very laid back about life. The attitude is pretty much "miyan, jeeyo aur jeene do". I guess that is why Lucknow has no history of any communal violence. One person whom we asked about the best way to Aliganj first asked Rohan where he was from. When Rohan said Bombay, he proceeded to tell us about his life in Bombay. A few sentences later, the relevant info came out. What he said was hilarious- "Go straight, keep going straight, and at one square, you won't have to do anything, tempo-drivers only will come to you saying 'aliganj! aliganj!'. That is all." he was not entirely accurate. We were the ones asking 'aliganj? aliganj?' to every tempo around. Anyway, we finally made it back.

Lucknow is an interesting city with interesting people.

Am whiling time away (while I still can) in the Comp Centre.

Hence this blog.

Nidhi, I repeat, if you are in Lucknow, do not visit Barista.

24 hour net access may not be a very healthy thing, I just keep posting.

Someone told me that Vajpayee is visting Lucknow tomorrow. How sweet of him to mark my arrival to his constituency with a personal dash. Really, Atal (I know you read my blog everyday, but also need help clicking the mouse with those arthritic fingers), you didn't have to come all the way from Delhi, I was getting along just fine. I am sorry to break your heart (oops, was that a stroke??) but I won't have time to meet you. So you just chat up with Mayawati and that thug Katiyar you just made UP BJP chief, fill up on those kebabs with your favourite brand of scotch (coking a snook at TIME) and go back to snoozing at Racecourse Road.

Feeling iconoclastic today am I not?

Just came to know that Germany beat Korea yesterday. So now, all the mavericks are out and only the big guns remain.
Our hostel is the newest and hence has no TV, so we'll probably geez into some other hostel to watch brazil vs turkey.
anyway, i don't even like football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The tubelight in my hostel room (1184) is not working!!! Life seemed so perfect and faultless today. Well, I guess even the prettiest face has a mole on it(wink, wink).

When you go to a new city, you expect something from it. Call it propaganda or call it poor GK, but I have been expecting the worst out of Lucknow. Well, the city has beaten my expectations hollow. It's been just a few hours here so I may be jumping the gun in praising it, but it is a lot cleaner than I had thought, the roads aren't as bumpy and over all, it's a good place. IIM sent a bus to pick us up at the station, so we didn't get a chance to try out the cycle-rickshaws.

The campus is a-may-zing. It is such a welcome change from the Edwardian glory of COEP. I am in Hostel 11, the newest hostel and there is a lot of wiring being done there.

Just had lunch and the food though not absolute gourmet class is not too bad.

For some reason Suku and Sonal insist that I shouldn't talk to stranger. That pretty much leaves me on a maun-vrata, ladies, since everyone here is a stranger. Hence I shall bypass that bit of advice. Shailesh, I am 21, is that mature enough?

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Suku, I come to Bombay at around 10 in the night, stay at Vikhroli and leave at 7 in the morning for the hallowed CST from where I take the train to Lucknow. Very splash and dash. So probably won't have time to drop in at rediff. Where in Bombay is rediff anyway?

And hey, Ferrari 'let' Rubinho win one!! Surprise Surprise!!!

This is the last blog I write from my home. I don't know if this holds any historic significance or anything. It does feel very unreal though. I can't believe that this is the last time I am 'at home'. We take so many things for granted. The place where I keep my towel, the arrangements of channels on the television, the glass I always use to drink water, the phone diary, I could go on and on.

But as Spencer Johnson so wisely put it, "Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese".

Yesterday was my last Rotaract meeting, and I gave the expected 'farewell speech'. Rotaract has played a evry important part in shaping me over the past four years and wherever I go, it will be a part of me. I'll miss you, RCPK (Rotaract Club of Pune Karvenagar).

For some reason, the paperwallah delivered "Indian Express" instead of "The Times of India". It was as if to remind me of the million 'Times vs Express" arguments I have had over the years. I used to be a staunch Express fan through my school years before I made the switch during my college days. Initially I thought of TOI as too pedagogical, and hence preferred the comfiness that IE exuded. But I suppose as you grow up, you want to read more serious stuff than just a few scams and scandals. However, nowadays, TOI is no different from IE. harish keeps recommending the Asian Age. Surely won't get that in Lucknow.

Have been reading "ELECTRUM", the magazine of our Electroncis and Telecomm department. Good show by the SE-ites. Keep the flag flying, juniors.

Farewell, Pune (for the time being). My next post will be from the nawabi city.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

I have never been a big fan of the activity known as PACKING. In fact, I would contribute heftily to funding of research that is aimed at inventing a packing machine or a packing robot of some sort. First of all, I can�t decide which clothes to take to Lucknow and which to leave behind. Once that is decided, the order in which they ought to be arranged, how the jeans should be placed below the gabs and how one shoe each in between two stacks will save place, all this seems way too complex to me. I love the way we used to pack and unpack when we went trekking. Stuff everything into the rucksack, and if you need anything, just empty the whole thing and stuff it again.

I also have no idea which books to take. Will my favourite- �The Complete Sherlock Holmes� be too heavy? And will I read it that much? How about a few Wodehouses? Also Hitchhiker�s Guide to the Galaxy. They ought to lighten up a particularly stressful moment.

All this and a million other issues to be sorted out to fit all that junk in one huge suitcase and one airbag. I think this is the best initial training an MBA student can get in �resource management�. So I should already have at least 0.5 credits when I reach Lucknow with my luggage in tow.

Ashish�s mom had made lip-smacking fried pomfrets and surmai curry. Now what is surmai called in English? Ever notice how your English may be top-notch and you may even score 800 in your GRE verbal section but there are some words for which you never know the English word? Surmai is one of them. In fact many of them have to do with food. Then there�s �popat� (used in Pune-Mumbai terms), vella, hapta, etc etc. How do you say � �Ye mera mausera bhai nahi, mera chachera bhai hai.�, it�s probably �He is not my cousin, he is my cousin�

Could you people share the words for which you�ll never figure out the angrezi translation?

Going for a fish-dinner at Ashish Naik's place (fellow saraswat, hence fish expert mom).

Longer post later.

Senegal are out. boohoo. GO KOREA =-(

Friday, June 21, 2002

Hey, just thought up a small one-liner and really cracked myself up. See if it tickles you-

"India and Pakistan used to live together till 1947, but now, it's strictly plutonic"

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Thanks, Sonal, for the comments link.

OK, so TIME thinks our PM is a senile old man. Let them. I don't think TIME is the gospel of truth. Ignore them. I've never understood the big deal behind this mentality of ours to crave for Western approval. In our quizzes, one oft he favourite question still is "Which Indian actress graced the cover of TIME magazine in the 70s?" and the answer is proudly "Parveen Babi". Hardly anyone knows that TIME carried an article about Zeenat Aman and mistakenly printed Parveen Babi's photo. That is how significant the story was for them. Let go of this obsession.

Chandan Mitra, editor of the Delhi-based newspaper The Pioneer, called
Perry's article 'supercilious, patronizing, white-supremacist, flippant
and crassly ill-mannered.' He suggested that the article was driven by a

Well, I say our reaction to this two pence magazine and its views is "childish, over-aggressive, brown-slavist and crassly ill-mannered." I also feel the reaction is driven by stupidty and a servile mentality.

Anyway, TIME showed how silly it was when it name Guilliani the Man of the Year in 2001. A clear case of 'playing to the gallery' than naming the real Man of the Year, who we all know is probably shaving daily and picking the best cut of halal meat somewhere in Pakistan while plotting his next move. All those Sanghis who burnt the TIME issues must have bought them first. What does TIME care, as long as you buy them.

I read today that Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Bombay Dreams" which opened to packed houses in London on 19th June is full of cheap jokes poking fun at India. Mira Syal, the woman who wrote the script has made a career and lots of moolah out of doing that. Her "Goodness Gracious Me" didn't really strike a chord here, because it was not contemporary humour. We Indians (most of us) can laugh at ourselves. Look at the success of "Ulta Pulta" and "Flop Show", as also "Jaane Bhi Do Yaro". But Syal's writings seem to have a Britain-based-Indian in mind rather than a normal Indian. Anyway, who cares?

Rahman's music has been liked by the critics, in fact it's the only thing they really liked. So, ALL HAIL RAHMAN, the Nizam of Melody.

That's all I guess. Do comment on my blog.

Hamre blog par ab commentva a gava hain. To aap au usme apna soch vichar ya phir tippani zaroor byakt kijega. haayn?

Just came back after seeing Episode II- Attack of the Clones. It is a BAD movie. A rank bad movie if there ever was one. Give it all the razzies possible, I say. All these prequels to the trilogy are making George Lucas a lesser man, every time an episode is released. The only useful thing about this movie is that you learn why Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) has a claw instead of a right hand. Gimme Episode II- The Two Towers, that is the next part of the Lord of The Rings trilogy please.

By the way, I thought of recording one more peeve that I am sure you all share with me. You are 200 meters from the signal which is green. You race your vehicle to catch it, but just as you reach the stop line, it makes the amber-red transition and you are the first person standing there, cursing your luck.

The next few days till I leave are full of parties and treats. Tomorrow�s lunch is my treat for Sharwari, Madhura, Chaitanya and Chinmay at Garden Court. Then tomorrow night is Chinmay�s birthday treat at Kimaya. Saturday afternoon is Chaitya and Aniruddha�s goin-to-USA treat at one of the pizza places, and Saturday night Ashish�s mom is cooking fish for us. I am thinking of getting extra holes punched on my belt.

I have to buy a suitcase tomorrow. What a weird thing to buy. What are you supposed to look for in a suitcase? Any tips?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

There are some days every year that have a small significance in our life. Today is one such day. Today I make the switch. Every year, as the summer ends and monsoon starts, the mercury drops a wee bit every day. And there is one day, when it is too chilly to shower with cold water. Know that feeling? You step under the shower, turn on the cold water and OH MY GAWD, I HAVE REACHED THE SOUTH POLE!!!! So the electric water heater has started earning its daily bread once more. Let's welcome it back from its sabbatcial.

I have to visit my grandpa today for lunch. Ever notice how grandparents still think of you as a kid and explain everything in greater detail? As if they are talking to Joey or Phoebe. I guess when someone is born more than half a century after you, that person remains a baby all your life. Love needling my Grandpa about Kumble. He hates Kumble for some reason and is not too fond of Harbhajan either. Just a stray comment on one of them and he starts passionately lambasting them.

Have to speak to Sunil as well and confirm the time we are reaching Bombay. i think we'll reach 24th night at around 9-ish and our train to Lucknow is on 25th morning 8 from CST. Looking forward to spending time in Bombay once more. I have always had this "love-hate", or rather "love-cynical criticism" relationship with Bombay. But I'll write a separate post on that sometime else.

The Pakis beat the Aussies in OZ. Very creditable, since Waqar had claimed before the series that his side was good enough to do so. Schwab Akhtar was on fire. Man, that guy is fast. Never regret the partition more than during matches like this one.

And here's a list of five dedicated to Suku-


5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai... I don't care if it was a hit, it was a bad movie. The script was stuck together with stale bubble gum and the performances were yaaaawn. I didn't dare go for K3G.

4. Duplicate... Mahesh Bhatt needs to be arrested under POTA for making such movies.

3. Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani..... Our Rotaract Club had won a cricket tourney and to celebrate we decided to go for the movie 15 minuets before we started. We got the tickets for the front "neckbreak" row in the stalls and the movie sucked bigtime. Only consolation, since I was sitting on the right side of the aisle so close to the screen, I saw only the right half of the movie and my other friends saw the left half. Both stunk and we left the hall thinking. "Hum Kyun Hai Hindustani???"

2. Lost World.... 7 of us watched the movie together. No seriously, I mean it. It was only seven of us in the Vijay Talkies trying to wonder why the movie was so different from Crichton's book. I didn't dare watch Jurassic Park 3 after that.

1. Raja Hindustani..... Bad bad bad movie. The populace in the movie keeps singing 'pardesi pardesi.." and i am sorry but i still dunno what the hype surroundiong karisma was in that movie. Maybe it was because the first time in her career, she looked like a woman and not a cross dresser or a transvestite. This was the year I fully lost faith in Filmfare awards.

Well, so that's that.

Hey, just read that an American woman has been kidnapped in Karachi. Why do these people go there?

Not in a very bloggy mood today. Just another line from the same song that fits the mood-

"Aaj phir dil ne ik tamanna ki...Aaj phir dil ko humne samjhaya"

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Why? Why? Why?
Why do movies made on historic personalities in India have to be a zero-sum game? If you want to glorify one person, paint the other in poor light.

Saw �The Legend of Bhagat Singh� today. This movie, starring Ajay Devgan and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi is based on the life of the most popular revolutionary during India�s freedom struggle. The movie was quite good, and it went along at a proper pace. There were too many songs though, prompting me to rename it �Legend of Bhagat�s Songs�. However, overall, the movie does make an impact. So much so, that now I am hoping Brazil defeats England in the quarter final =-). What made it even more interesting was the fact that most of the movie is shot in Pune. The first half has many scenes set in Fergusson College, where my sister studies, and the court scenes are set in my college, COEP in the main hall, which was built at the turn of the 19th century. But I am not fully happy with the movie.

I did not expect Santoshi to resort to painting Gandhiji in such a poor light, just to make Bhagat Singh look great. Bhagat Singh is a hero and he is respected, even worshipped, by everyone. Why drag Gandhiji down for it? Not only is the person playing Gandhiji a very effeminate and silly sounding man, there are also some serious factual discrepancies in spite of (or maybe because of!) Santoshi claiming to have researched the subject for years. Gandhiji has been given dialogues which are written to bring jeers from the audience and this disgustingly cheap way to get a few extra claps is not in good taste. Santoshi has also given Bhagat Singh credit where it wasn�t due. The movie conveys the impression that the �Poorna Swaraj� (total independence) declaration was made by the Congress and Nehru inspired by Bhagat Singh. This is the first that I hear for it. The movie also keeps on saying that Gandhiji wanted Dominion status for India and not independence. Now I am not a hundred percent sure, but it was the Congress that kept rejecting Dominion status till the end wasn�t it? The movie does no justice to all parties and rather than seeming like a fair and just look at the events, ends up as an entertaining movie designed to make the audience laugh and clap. Another peeve is the way Rajguru has been portrayed. He is almost the comedian of the movie, and is up to antics specifically intended to bring laughs. There was no need to clown-ify Rajguru.

This is not the first time that filmmakers have taken potshots at Gandhiji to make their central characters look. It has happened with Sardar, Dr Ambedkar and even the recent �Veer Savarkar� where the Mahatma is again shown as a weak, silly man spouting inane comments on �prem and �ahimsa�. I am not a Gandhian. In fact I disagree with most of his teachings. But I still respect the man for what he achieved and I don�t think any other man like him will indeed walk the sands of this earth again. Just disagreeing with someone�s ideals doesn�t mean you hate and ridicule that person. He did something none of the other leaders could ever do- shape that identity we call �Indian�. The true Indian. Where was that identity before he came to the scene? All activity before that was provincial. Even the Savarkars, Hedgewars and the Jinnahs of the world were busy carving identities for religions. Making people hindus and muslims, and just sidelining the Indianness. Gandhiji brought all the people together. He has inspired people far and wide, like Mandela, Martin Luther Kings and Aung San Suu Kyi. But in his own land, people in the cinema hall shout �abe takley� and �arey hijde� and a lot else when his character is shown. Disturbing!

Is something wrong with our filmgoer psyche? We keep making movies that make us seem better in comparison to someone else. Look at �Gadar�. It is such an overt jingoistic attempt to say �We Indians are much better human beings than those bad and evil Pakistanis�. Why? We don�t need a Talibanana republic to serve as a parameter to judge our growth as a nation.

Maybe that is what is going wrong. Got just one bronze at the Olympics? So what? Pakistan got none. Did not win the cricket world cup? So what? At least we beat Pakistan. Fortunately, this sentiment is not that strong in other walks of life like the economy where our corporate sector seems to scaling new heights.

Anyway, I am rambling. Korea beat Italy today. Yaaawn, another upset!!! It would be nice to see an expected result for a change eh?

Monday, June 17, 2002

Hey one more thing... Vijay Anand and Dev Anand, go stand in the corner with your hands on your knees. How could you take a book so invigorating and crisp (The Guide by R K Narayan) which embodies the very simplicity and humour the man stood for, and turn it into a movie so drabby? Even before I read the book, i had found the movie ok, no great shakes. Now as I look back, I detest it. So fine, what you guys did was 35 years ago, but still, go stand in the corner. And while you are there, Dev, please stop making movies!!!

Well, even though The Times of India is falling in my sights by the hour, there is still one feature of their's I love. DUBYAMAN by Jug Suraiya and Neelabh. People who havent been in India for a while will enjoy it. No prizes for guessing who it's about. A link to it on my sidebar as well.

The project viva turned out to be smooth sailing. the examiner was a bening friendly chap, who, for 25 minutes, mainly chatted with us about abstract issues like- "What do you think you learnt during this project?" etc and didn't go into the nitty-gritties of image processing.

So it's over. Everything in my engineering life (except the final result). Next Monday I leave for Lucknow. Wow, I can't believe I have just 6 more days in this wonderful city of Pune. I will miss it. You can expect many nostalgic blogs about Pune when I am at L.

So about this Presidential race, did I tell you I hate the Left? Well, I HATE THE LEFT. All those people think about is opposing the government even when it takes a right step. About not accepting Kalam, the CPM mule Sitaram Yechury said- "We have nothing against Dr. kalam, but the BJP announced his name without consulting us, so we oppose him." What the f***???

Read Suku's cool blog. I've put a link to it on my sidebar.

More later..

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Had a lazy sunday today. spent the whole day working on my B.E. project presentation on powerpoint and then adding comments in the program. This will be the last time I ever do any programming. Tomorrow, after my viva is done, i am coming home and doing a shift+del on the TurboC folder.

Just heard a line from a famous Jagjit Singh ghazal that goes

"Hum jisey gunguna nahi saktey.... Waqt ne aisa geet kyon gaaya..."

My sentiments exactly!!!

Anyway, inspite of being a football hater, I am loving the progress Senegal is making in the world cup. Today they made it to the QF's in extra time. I guess everyone has that little sports-wannabe inside us who roots for the underdog. And dogs don't get under-er than Senegal. Go Senegal, i say, win the cup. (yeah, right!!)

Satyen left for Calcutta yesterday. It was the last time we met for a long time, since he'll be in Cal for a month and then head to Princeton. I really will miss having him around a lot. I mean, he was in Bombay for the past 4 years, but still, he was close. He told us about everything right from how he first fell in love to how he puked after downing tons of beer. He kept visiting Pune every few weeks, and the connection was there. Now suddenly, it'll be like the Princeton-Lucknow chasm that'll be tough to cross. Emails are not the same as the real thing. =-(. Anyway, will miss you, Satyen. Rock New Jersey (and Massachusettes too ;-) )

Now, as Vallari reminds me online, i have a project oral tomorrow, so I'll shut up. More tomorrow after I have deleted the entire TC folder.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

The Pakistani government is so convoluted even when it comes to blaming India. After yesterday's blast, their "Information Minister", (the term itself an oxymoron in Pakistan as proved by Kargil) said that the blast was "the handiwork of forces which were out to prove that the country was the epicentre of terrorism. ". What a load of crap. Some arbit group called Al Qanooni has claimed responsibility.

Was out till late last night, so will, keep this blog short.


5. Gardent Court, wonderful location and ambience
4. Hotel Durga, a dingy little place that serves the best anda burjee , (a spicier version of scrambled eggs) around and is open till 2 a.m. Spent innumerable PL hours there.
3. Joint 3rd- Burger King on East Street and Burger Barn in Koregaon Park. Scrumptious burgers and cheaper, would beat McDonald's hollow anytime.
2. Zamu's Sizzlers. I prefer it over the more fashionable "The Place" anytime.
1. COEP Boat Club Canteen. Call me senti, but this place that serves the worst tea, most horrible wadas, suspiciously deep fried samosas and dubiously composed uttappa-sandwiches and little else will be the place I miss the most, simply because I have spent most of my four years at COEP there, and often the best moments too. I'll miss the "BC pe miltey hain" parting call too.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

The Maharashtra government survived the no confidence vote by a comfortable margin of 10. Thackeray and his ruffians actually kidnapped an MLA, but they should probably learn to read and then read up on the anti-defection law which states that at least one third members of a party should be quitting the party to legally recognize it as a split. Otherwise, the quitting MLA�s can be disqualified. That is what happened. The saffron sickos were kept at bay for another day.

I have to acknowledge that my Aesop fable came from the reference on Sonal�s Blog to India and Pakistan as a small kid and India as a big but kind dog.

Saw Spiderman at last. Wonderful movie. Brings back memories of my childhood when I was a big Spiderman fan. I owned the first comic in which his transformation from Parker to Spiderman is shown. I also remember the Spiderman Cartoon show on Doordarshan every Sunday at 5 in the evening. We all used to watch Spiderman and then would go to play cricket or anything else. I can remember the days when DD was the only option. Kids today (do I sound ancient?) have a billion channels to choose from. For us, the Sunday morning 9 a.m. Mickey and Donald show was as precious as a comet sighting is to an astronomer. There was this great series called �Stone Boy�, with that kid from Agnipath. Then there was the time travel sci-fi called �Indradhanush�. Of course, who can forget �Space City Sigma�, India�s own Star Trek. There was also a kiddy detective series called �Super Six� which I later discovered was a direct lift from �The Three Investigators�. Sunday morning was a time to watch quality television. I remember I used to get damn irritated by that hour long � �Spirit of Unity Concert� and I could never figure out the purpose behind it. I wonder how DD is on Sunday mornings now.

By the way, Sonal, Kirsten Dunst, while not on my top 5, would definitely figure somewhere around 15, in the most irritating things list. On top of that I have just read that he butt was padded during that movie!!! Funny, since the one complaint Satyen and I had about the movie was that in the comics, Mary Jane was HOT and SEXY while Dunst appeared such a Plain Jane (no pun intended!) almost like a girl next door (now, pun intended!). And if even this plain look was padded, then I shudder to think how she would look without it.

Went to this little restaurant near Shivaji Market called �Hotel Radio�. Weird name, eh? I wonder if the chilli they serve there is called �radio mirchi�? < canned laughter >. Aniruddha and I went there, one of our last beef binges before I head to Lucknow and he to Virginia. These binges started about a year back when Ashish told us that there are places in the Cantonment area where they make excellent beef preparations and very cheap too. Since both Anya and I had no staunch Hindu beliefs, we soon became regulars at these joints. Delicious food, the rolls and sheekh kebabs are to die for. The parathas with a tava-gosht is scrumptious too and leaves you with an overfull tummy. At the end of the day, after hogging so much, the bill comes to about 30 bucks per head. So it works out fine in every way, except that I will probably be chased all around and poked with his horns by Yama�s bull when he comes for me.

Sharwari and Madhura, with their SP group, left for Khopoli for a couple of days. One of their friends passed away in an accident near the Dandekar Bridge where a PMT knocked him down. Death at such an early age and in such a macabre manner seems so unfair. That very evening he was supposed to take a flight to Mauritius to join his parents there. Instead his parents had to come here to perform his last rites. Why does this happen? How can the Dawoods and the Bin Ladens of the world lead a long cheerful life whereas someone like Nilesh suffers such a sudden and tragic end? It is things like these that have made me an agnostic-leaning-towards-atheism.

It also makes one realize that life can be so short. You never know what you say to whom might turn out to be the last thing you say to that person! So we should strive to be nice to everyone at all times. Whoever said, �Live everyday like it�s the last day of your life� knew what he was saying.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

I am feeling a little Aesopish today and hence this story. There was once a pesky rat who lived in the Big Jungle. Around him lived a lot of rats like him. They generally used to rat around and indulge in the usual ratty activities.

There also lived a huge tusker, who was very cocky about him strength and generally used to boss other animals around. The only animal who could resist him was a tiger and there was a perpetual indirect battle between the elephant and the tiger, but they never fought directly since both were afraid of the injuries the other might inflict.

So one fine day, the moody tusker decides that he wants to take over the rat holes near his lair and starts killing the rats one by one. Other rats resent this but can do nothing. Then the tiger approaches them. He gives them a few idea on how to trouble the tusker even if they can�t kill him. Bite his tail, peck at his trunk during the night and then run away. They could even give him a few bites and escape before he stomps them dead. This continued and the elephant was bugged by this, but only slightly. He kept destroying rat holes around his place and killing rats. Those small bites could not make much of a dent on his skin. The tiger could not quite get the results he expected from the action of the rats.

The tusker however had not taken care of his body over the years during his tiff with the tiger and he had several diseases. Various organs that made up his huge body started failing, revolting. The elephant got very sick. Meanwhile the pesky rat whom I mentioned at the beginning of the story was to lead a charge on the elephant one day. That particular day, the elephant was in a very very bad shape. Call it coincidence, call it timing or call it happenstance, just as the pesky rat bit into the tusker�s leg, the tusker got a stroke and collapsed, all its body parts breaking up into different pieces. It was a sordid scene, but one which the pesky rat and his buddies enjoyed.

They went and told the tiger about how they destroyed the elephant. The tiger realized it wasn�t the rats but disease that killed the tusker. He just brushed the rats away and went on a walk in the Big Jungle to enjoy his unrivalled supremacy. Some rats got pissed off at the tiger and decided to give him the same treatment as they gave the tusker. The pesky rat however, being the one that administered what he thought was the fatal bite, thought of settling old scores.

Now near the pesky rat�s hole, lived a fat, slow but mild natured dog. The dog had its house bordering the rat�s. The rat wanted a small portion of the dog�s house. In this portion lived several ants who were not getting enough food since the slow dog couldn�t afford to drop many crumbs. On the other hand, the rat used to get a lot of food from the tiger in lieu of his acts against the tusker. So the ants would much rather live in rat territory than dog territory. The rat said that since the ants wanted to, the dog should give that portion of his house to the rat. The dog didn�t pay much attention.

Then one day after the tusker had been disintegrated, the pesky rat saw a few ants sneaking upon the dog and giving it a few bites in its neck. The dog woke up but did not see any ants anywhere. This gave the rat an idea. He decided to try the same tactics on the fat dog as the ones he tried on the elephant. He did not realize however that the elephant�s death had nothing to do with his acts. On top of that, the rat was alone since his buddies had gone after the tiger. He just had the ants to help him. He kept trying to torment the dog into submission or into disintegration like the tusker, but to no avail. At times the pesky rat would get upset at the failure to vanquish the fat dog and kill a few ants.

The dog, though it did not do him too much harm, was sick of the rat�s antics. Since he could not catch the rat, he would kill a few ants too. Now the ants were left regretting their decision to start this fight with the dog and wanted to quit. But the rat wouldn�t let them. After many years of this, the dog finally got sick and started pushing his nose down the rat�s hole to take care of it once and for all. The rat, terrified, ran to its old friend, the tiger who was battling other rats. The tiger was overcome with emotion to see that ONE rat was still its friend and showered gifts on the rat. He tried to explain to the rat that the tusker had died on its own and not because of the rat�s bites. He also said that while he might be able to talk to the dog and hold him off for a bit, he could not fight the dog on the rat�s behalf.

So the dog had his nose in the rat�s hole while the tiger spoke to it mildly about how the rat would behave from now on. The son of the elephant, a much smaller and weaker elephant counseled the dog not to fight. The rat could not quite decide what to do. The ants kept dying.

So how does the story end? Well, it still has not ended and I would like to see how it does. In case you haven�t figured it out yet, here is the list of characters-

TUSKER- Soviet Union
Pesky Rat- Pakistan
Other rats- Taliban, Syria, Iran, etc.
Fat Dog- India
Ants- Kashmiris

Monday, June 10, 2002

Back from a short vacation. Had gone to Dapoli, a small place in Konkan, that is the western coast of India, a 100 km from Bombay. This was the first time in over a decade that I visited a beach. It is so overpowering, the feeling you get when you see the sea for the first time after such a long time. The sheer vastness, the playful as well as vivacious waves, and the perfect blue colour, not to mention the creamy white sand. Adding to the natural beauty of the Konkan strip was the great food we had there. Seafood is my favourite, I must confess. Maybe it is my pukka saraswat genes, but nothing in the world can even come within striking distance of prawns curry, if it is my lust for a food item you are measuring. Best of all, seafood is not fattening at all. I hogged so much for three days and yet my scales tell me I am half a kilo lighter. Fish have no fat, just proteins. Maybe it is because of all the swimming they do!!

Now that the freakin� exam is behind me, I shall dig my fangs into a book I have wanted to read for a long time. Bought R K Narayan�s �The Guide� yesterday. Did you people know that Narayan totally disowned the movie that Dev Anand and Vijay Anand made on that book? I saw the movie long back and I just remember the basic skeleton of the story. It will be interesting to read the book and figure out if Narayan was justified.

Chaitanya who was with me in the book stall bought �Chamber of Secrets�. That completes his Harry Potter collection. I still have not seen the movie!! I have to watch around a billion movies before I leave for Lucknow.

Getting back to the Dapoli trip, Ashish had grown a nice(!) goatee over the past few weeks. Combine that with the fact that he is a heavy sleeper and it would be easier to rouse Kumbhakarna than him, and you have a golden opportunity. I grabbed that opportunity. He was taking a siesta in the beach house when I took my razor and shaved half his moustache. That is all one needs to do, because the imbalance causes him to shave the rest. We wanted to click a photo of him with the half cut facial hair, but he restrained the four of us from doing so (for a skinny guy, he is remarkably strong).

India has announced some confidence building measures. Apparently now Pakistani airplanes can use Indian airspace. It looks like just as monsoon clouds gather, the war clouds are dispersing.

Monsoon clouds are gathering with the earnestness of flower girl on durga pooja. Very soon there will be incessant rains. Can�t say I look forward to that for the next four months. Whoever finds the monsoons romantic for its entire duration needs to have a tete-a-tete with me on the subject.

The electricity board seems to be testing its switches and buttns today. We have had the power shutting and starting at least 10 times today. I don�t think any load has been shed though, since the total period for which it was shut was not more than an hour.

Michael Schumacher won the race�again (the word pronounced like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump). At this rate the season will be over in two more races. Wake up, Williams, puhleeeeeeez make it more interesting.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Typing this the night before my last ever engineering exam (fingers crossed). Image Processing, one of the subejcts that I really really enjoyed studying is the paper.

Typing this, with Mummy and sis (Sangita) arguing over the pluses and minuses of Shahrukh's character in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge which is on cable right now. Sort of a structured discussion happening. Mum says his character is too wierd and cheap for any girl to travel Europe with him. Sangita doesn't agree. The argument continues.....

I'll brush up a little on the Image Segmentation part now.

I may not blog for a few days. Me and some friends and going to Dapoli, which has many virgin beaches and is generally considered one of those yet-to-be-discovered-but-heaven-on-earth holiday spots. Satyen, who has been twiddling his thumbs for the past two weeks, since his exams at IITB got over long back, has done all the booking-shooking job. It will be our last outing for a while, by 'our' I mean the 'Group of eight' who were in one class in Abhinav Vidyalay. We shall all be going our separate ways in a few weeks and god knows when the next time we will be in the same city.

Aniruddha Nagraj will be in New Jersey, Aniruddha Kane will be in Virginia, Satyen will be in NJ too, but in the hallowed hall of Princeton ( isn't showing any signs of Schizophrenia yet!!). I will be in Lucknow. Shantanu, Mihir, Tushar and Ashish will take theirs CATs and GREs in the coming year.

Really looking forward to our last vacation together...

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Cool blog, Sonal. May it's length increase even after summer.

Just heard that the Maharashtra government of the Congress-NCP is in trouble. I do hope it doesnt come down. I am not Congress fan but a sworn Shivsena opponent, a party which I think is muddying the name of the great Shivaji. The past three years have been better in terms of industrial growth and FDI for Maharashtra. If the SS comes back, wow, will I be thankful to be in Lucknow !! Considering who rules there, that's making a strong comment. Thackeray while nominating new people for the corporation elections had said "The old guys filled their coffers, now let the new guys fill theirs". This guy is so unabashed about corruption, but he manages to hoodwink people into following him by making some two-minutes-noodle style patriotic comments.

The funny thing is he has a lot of supporters among the educated class too. I have had many an argument with his 'fans'. They talk just like him when I ask them about his wierd policies.

Anyway, Thackeray isn't worth the electrons that will be moved around to make this post on my blog.

I just realised that we are now nearing the end of summer and I haven't had an ice cream, in ages !!! Time to drag Sharwari or Ameya or Ashish to an ice cream parlour.

I think I'll stick to choco-chips.

Today's list of five-


1. Coconut Almond
2. Leechee pista
3. Watermelon(!)
4. Orange-KitKat (yes, that's an ice ceram flavour)
5. Raspberry (funny, but i have never EVER eaten it)

Had a horrible horrible exam today. Consolation is so did everyone. By the way, atha-swagatam,
Sonal to the blogging world. Reading your blog now.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Yay! Got my first 'stranger' email about the blog. Can't tell you how wonderful it felt to read your mail, Sonal. You really made my day.
One of the laziest Sundays ever. Did nothing but read the paper, watch TV and generally horse around. Had home-made pizzas. They have a distinctly tangy taste compared to the outside fare. You'll have to eat one of those at my place to really understand.

This whole hype about the football world cup is making me even more anxious for the cricket version. Never been much of a football fan myself. I think I agree with Kipling's definition of them as "muddied oafs", though not of criketers as "flannelled fools". Seems like an entirely uni-dimensional game to me. Does not have enough variables if you know what I mean. I prefer complex and elaborate games which have a lot of factors governing them. Like cricket, right from the field setting to the pitch colour, from the sight screen width to the batting order, and millions of more factors. Or like Formula 1 which has tyres, pit stops, the different arrangement of chicanes on each track, team roders, slip stream, pole positions, etc etc etc. When I watch a match or a race, it should be unique, like no other I have seen before, or like none I will ever see. I used to love watching tennis too, when it was a maze of volleys and dives, in the days of Boris Becker. Now it is more like boom-boom-boom, 40-love. Just power play. If I was interested in that I'd watch the hammer throw. Even today when I am surfing channels, and they are showing those 3 minute clips of "Golden Moments of Wimbledon", I wish that it would keep going on and on. Now it has become a one track game of bulging biceps and sinewy shoulders. So more than the "Group (F) of Death" situation England is in, I follow the English cricket team whipping the Lankans by an innings and 100 odd runs. Good victory.

I should be more into following "Electronics Measurements", the second last paper of my "engineering jeevan". It is day after tomorrow and I can't wait to get this exam past me and head to Lucknow. Yesterday there was a party at Mumbai organised by the IIML seniors. I ahd to miss it because of the exams. =-(.

Anyway, todays list of five-

LIST OF FIVE MAJOR IRRITANTS IN LIFE (in a countdown format)

5. Writing a 3 hour long exam in the Mech Drawing Hall(sans fans) of COEP in the summer. Chicken legs in a tandoor are in a more enviable place.

4. All the wierd "No Entry" signs put up in the 'gao'(that's lingo for the Old City section in Pune, specifically designed to make you take the longest detours and most annoying U-turns possible.You can actually race a snail from Shaniwarwada to Alka Talkies and lose !

3. The meticulously timed 'load shedding' schedules of the MSEB. In the past few weeks, we have had upto 10 hours a day of load shedding. But now apparently, the crisis is behind us. Of course, now that teh summer heat is falling, who needs to cut power?

2. The torrid monsoon shower which catches you just in the morning so you spend the whole day at college with a wet underwear. (Yuck). It's going to be another 'normal' monsoon this year, so yuck away.

1. And taking the top spot by a large margin - Kareena Kapoor

Saturday, June 01, 2002

W C J "Hansie" Cronje, one of cricket's most reverred and later disgraced figures died in a plane crash today. I am sure you all are as confused as I am about this piece of news. How am I supposed to react? Of course, I feel sad that he died. An early and gruesome death is always depressing. But how much will one's heart really rech out to him ? That is the way he will always be remembered as- disgraced. He could ahve gone on to live a life which may have redeemed his pride. Who knows? But now, it's not possible. His kids will be like Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar, with a metaphorical "Mera Baap Chor Hai" on their arm. His parents will always be the parents of "disgraced" cricketer Hansie Cronje. All i can say is- Rest In Peace.

Today Mush said "Even thinking of the nuclear option is a sin". What is this guy, schizophrenic or something ? In an interview a few days back he had said they would use nukes if need be, and now it's a sin? Is it god or is it Uncle Sam who leant on him?

Here's something I have been thinking about. A group of kids my friend Sharwari knows had gone to Arunachal Pradesh recently. There people talked to them saying stuff like "You Indians.." this and "You Indians..." that, as if they were from some other country. Sharwari was fuming about it and said how could they talk to her friends like that ? Don't they consider themselves Indian? I asked her just one question.

"What is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh?"

She couldn't answer. I wonder if you can. I could, simply for the reason that I had recently mugged up all the capitals for the GD/PIs, otherwise I wouldn't know it either. How many of us can locate Nagaland on the map ? How many know the CM of Meghalaya ? Face it, we don't know anything about the North-east simply because we don't care. We don't consider them Indian enough ? Or is it just that the media does'nt focus on them ? Tell me something. Have you never referred to a mongoloid-looking guy in your college or neighbourhood as "that chinko" ? Chinko means Chinese. They don't like China or want to be a part of it......yet. Here we are spending billions on Kashmir and then feel jubilant when 61% (huge eh?) Kashmiris polled wanted to stay with India. And what are we spending on the NE? Nothing. That is disgraceful. Today I have made up my mind to learn more about that part of the country. Are you with me?

Javagal Srinath retired from test cricket today to concentrate on ODI's, especially the World Cup next year. Forgive me for digging up the past, but did he not 'retire' from ODIs 2 years ago? And who can truly say he will make it to the ODI XI in the first place? The guy can't bat (or rather doesn't want to bat, he has 5 half-tons in tests but has recently developed an alergy to willow) and he can't bowl at death. I don't know if he is that good at opening he bowling either. All he'll do is dig it short once in the over. Srinath, think it over, probably you chose the wrong version to retire from.

Okay, now coming to something new I am starting. My "LIST OF FIVE".


1. Hatya ( copy of some Hollywood movie, George would know which, but a good copy)
2. Deewana Mastana
3. Dulhe Raja
4. Jodi No. 1
5. Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan (where he overshadowed Bachchan totally)