Monday, December 21, 2009

RIP Brittany!

It was shocking to see this news today morning. Brittany Murphy, the 8 Mile and Clueless star had died. And the saddest part was that it was categorized in the Entertainment category of a news web site. Somebody's death becomes entertainment news for some people. Huhh!!

The first time I ever heard or saw Brittany was in her movie "Just Married". And I loved the movie - and Brittany too. She came across as this bubbly, cheerful character - with a naughty smile that was infectious. I recently saw Sin City, a graphic-novel based movie, in which Brittany played a part of a waitress, Shellie. Although I found the movie a bit confusing, I liked the way Brittany portrayed her character. Sad to see a beautiful person like Brittany leave the world at such a young age. Brittany, you will be missed! RIP.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Disorders of email kind

It’s confirmed. I am suffering from OCED. OCED? You probably haven’t heard of this disease. Have you?

Never mind. It’s called Obsessive Compulsive Email Disorder. The doctors are sure that I have all the symptoms of OCED. I have demonstrated it umpteenth times in my office. The most common symptoms of this disorder are:

- Getting angry on work-related issues in your office.
- Getting an impulse to shoot an email to the person who deserves your wrath
- High blood pressure
- Typing at high speed without making a single spelling mistake
- Writing a highly volatile mail that can spark fireworks under the recipient's pants
- Typing on the keyboard in a way that terrifies your neighbouring colleagues and sounds like you’re going to pull all the keys out of the keyboard

And when you start demonstrating these symptoms often while at work, you got to be suffering from OCED. Now you’re wondering what did I do to pickup this disorder. Let me tell you an instance.

A few days back I had an argument with a colleague on an issue which I believe was unnecessary and illogical. So she shot a mail telling me what she wanted me to do and worst of all she put other team members in CC when the issue could have been resolved between the two of us. What the hell! I replied to her and added the project manager in the CC list. To my shock, even the PM sided with her. My blood pressure was rising as I thought I couldn’t accept the issue. I shot back and in the heat of the moment dragged the project director into the CC list. And this continued for a while until my mailbox reached size limit and further mails were stuck in the outbox. And we were forced to hold an emergency meeting to resolve the issue.

Such instances keep happening to me quite often and I don’t even blink to shoot a mail to anyone - be it the CEO - when I believe that I am right. So that ‘s why my manager is extra cautious while talking to me. :)

And my teammates? They joke around telling everyone not to take panga with me coz I am suffering from OCED and can drag anyone into an ugly email fight.

Well…the truth is, after I click the Send button, I realize I could be courting deep trouble. And I am fed up with this email business.

Lest I become the first, (in)famous sample of OCED. And doctors around the world start demanding clinical trials on me. I am calling it quits. No more emailing arguments.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's your favourite moment of the U.S. Open 2009?

So this year’s U.S. Open is over. What’s your most enduring moment of this U.S. Open? Is it Kim Clijster’s daughter Jada clutching her mother’s trophy in the finals, or Roger Federer’s eye-catching hotdog, through-the-legs winner against Novak? Is it Serena’s controversy-laden outburst at the line referee or the dennis-the-menace act of the new American teenager Melanie Oudin’s who beat 4 Russian players? For me, it was Juan Martin del Potro’s flat-on-the-back celebration after beating both Nadal and Federer back-to-back for the title. I think it was a phenomenal achievement – both mentally and physically. Nobody before has humbled both Nadal and Federer to win a grand slam and do it inside 32 hours. I think this 20-something, 6ft-6-inch guy is a real trailblazer.

Congrats to Juan Martin del Potro for winning the U.S. Open. It’s a special victory for him especially because it’s his first grand slam win and that too against his idol. DelPo has been fantastic throughout the tournament. The way he demolished Nadal on his way to the finals and rose on the occasion to beat Roger in the finals is truly remarkable for a 20-year old. Even though I am a true blue Roger fan, I admire DelPo’s win. It’s a well-deserved one. Besides, more than Roger’s loss, DelPo’s coming of age is a gain for the game of tennis. With DelPo joining the list of talented Murray, Roddick, Djokovic, and Nadal, men’s tennis again looks competitive, more than ever. I am sure we’re going to witness some great rivalry in days to come.

That said, this loss in the U.S. Open doesn’t make Roger Federer any less great. It is obvious that a player of Federer’s caliber is expected to win the moment he steps on the court. He is likened to the once-invincible Australian cricket team. But he is not infallible. He is human too.
To all the critics of Roger, who are rejoicing in Roger’s loss, I just want to remind them that this is the guy who played in 23 out of the last 24 grand slam semis, won 15 of them, and reached his sixth straight U.S. Open finals this year. I can dig out more impressive records to his name. All this is no mean achievement; it speaks of his skill, talent, and amazing fitness level. It’s the mark of a great sportsman. 2009 was a great year for him. He won 2 grand slams this year and came close to winning the third too. Lot of players would be just happy to reach the finals of one.

Roger, however, would be sad that he could not emulate Kim Clijsters – who won the U.S. Open as a working mother – to win his first grand slam as a working father. I hope the grass is still greener on Roger’s side. Allez Roger!!

Talking of Kim, I think she made the mother of all comebacks. It was a win that a lot of working mothers would appreciate and take inspiration from. For Kim Clijsters, I guess, this should be a perfect storybook ending. Coming into her third tournament after a two-year hiatus from tennis that includes getting married and having a baby, Clijster’s beat heavy odds that were against her, before finishing Venus and Serena on her way to the finals. That’s an incredible feat. And to think of it, she was unseeded here. It must be surreal for her. Hats off to Kim!

And before I sign off, I must congratulate Leander Paes for winning the doubles trophy at the U.S. Open. At the age of 36, it must be really tough for a guy to do this again and again. Happy for Leander. You are the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian tennis. Hope you go on and on...

Sidekicks: Btw, I loved Roger’s through-the-legs shot in the semi final against Novak. Amazingly done, he made it look so effortless. I bet it would rank as Roger’s best shot ever.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jaswant, Jinnah, and the Ghosts of Partition

I hardly understand why such hullabaloo over India-Pak partition and what the leaders of that time did or undid to make their contributions in the ugly cause. Since Jaswant Singh’s book on Jinnah was released, the whole newspaper is flooded with the issue. And the most surprising thing is that Jaswant Singh wrote the book, BJP expelled him, Gujarat banned the book, and who is celebrating among all this - the Pakistanis. What irony!

Saare ke saare politicians sathiyaan gayein hain. One of the symptoms of old age, I guess. Every day we have somebody or the other coming out of the closet and jumping into give their unsolicited opinion. Kuch kaam dhanda to hai nahi batiyaane ke alawa.

Can’t we leave the past and do something to make our future better? Why are we still grappling with the ghosts of partition? It’s high time we bury our hatchets. Both Pakistanis and Indians should respect their shared past and learn to look at the British era as a fight for freedom in which both Muslims and Hindus participated with equal determination and a shared idea of independence. It’s tragic that politicians still try to rub our wounds of separation, indulge in blame game, and create unnecessary tension between the two communities when we are trying to heal them and move forward. Partition was a necessity that arose because of lack of trust between the two communities. There is no point in discussing who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side. Partition was a shared responsibility; unfortunately it was mishandled by all the stakeholders. And that led to much heart-burns. But it’s time to build bridges, be more sensitive to each other’s feelings, and increase our trustworthiness. That would be the solution to all the problems.

The younger generation doesn’t want to delve into what was the two nation theory or who is credited with dividing the borders. I am sure there would have been strong reasons for partition. Besides, we would rather be more interested in knowing good things about each other – culture, music, education, lifestyle. We have so much in common. Saare Jahaan se Achcha was penned by Allamah Iqbal - the national poet of Pakistan. We speak a common language – Hindustani. We have similar tastes. We share our history. And today's generation - both from Pakistan and India - wants a peaceful coexistence. It’s time our politicians dropped the old baggage and moved forward in sync with the new generation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bakwaas Blogger

Bombay - It’s been more than a year for me in this city. And the journey – though small – has been eventful. I’ve come to love this city – to the extent that when I go home to Delhi – I start missing Bombay. Though living alone in a city like Bombay has its own hazards. For one, my lifestyle has gone for a toss. My life here can be described, at best, as erratic.
And my room?’s a little untidy and cluttered. Toothbrush lying on the laptop, shoes on the kitchen shelf, books on the pillow, bottles – mind you, water bottles – kept on the window. And ya clothes – some on the chair and some on the door. In short, the whole scene is chaotic once you enter my room.
So yesterday, I decided to clean up all the mess. While setting my books in order, something caught my eye. It was stuffed in a corner – like an unwanted, abandoned, forlorn spirit.
It had dust all over it, and it was decaying. It was a diary. A diary, which was once dear to me until I forgot it existed. The edges had become pale yellow. The colour of the pages was a bungled mix of brown, yellow, and grey. Intertwined with black spots. They look rather like symptoms of skin disease. There was a pen stuck in between the pages. My hands trembled when I picked it up. It’s been almost a year since I last used that pen – a Reynolds. I was sad but then realized may be it’s their fate. May be I don’t need them anymore or may be there’s nothing left to write. I kept the diary and the Reynolds on the bed and continued cleaning and rearranging the books again.

Cleaned all the books. Will rearrange them tomorrow. Ek din mein ek kaam bahot hai. Ufff..enough for today! Feeling tired, I fell on the bed. And then…


What was that? Who said that? Startled, I looked around..Did I hear someone say that? I must be hallucinating..Itna kaam karne ke baad aisa hi hota hai.

“Aaaaouchhh!! meee..”

Again the strange, loud voice. Something’s wrong. Mere kaan to nahi baj rahe??

“You fatso, look here…down…kaminey, motu..You’re sitting on meeee…”

Me: Where?

Startled, I stood up to see I was sitting on my diary and the pen.

Reynolds: Haaaiii, maar dala re..You bloody fatso. Ek mai hi mila tha baithne ke liye. Can’t you see me? Aah..mar gaya re. Kamar todd di kaminey ne.

Me: (Looking wide-eyed at the pen.): Wh..wh…what? Is this you? Are you talking?

Reynolds: Yess! This is me, the pen.

Me: Seriously..God, this seems straight out of Harry Potter. The pen can talk …the pen can talk..Woof!

Reynolds – Stop staring at me. Why did you sit on me? You lousy hippopotamus. bones are still twisted.

Me: Hellloo!! Dare you call me hippo. I’ll break your bones once again.

Reynolds: Hunh..Such thankless people. Remember, you used this diary and me to write all your blogs. For a year, we were your favourites. And then, last September, you forgot me…

Diary corrected, “He forgot ME too.”

Reynolds: Ok ok. And, then one fine day, you forgot US and dumped us in the heap of your books.

Me: It’s my life. It’s my choice. Mera mann nahi kiya likhne ka..isliye.

Diary: It’s your life? It’s your choice? How cheap. You used us. Did you hear Reynolds? Did you hear this chap?

Diary starts sobbing profusely at my nonchalance.

Reynolds: Excuse me. You abandoned us not because you didn’t want to write any more, but because you got involved with someone else…that ugly camera.

“That’s not true.” I protested.

Reynolds interrupts. “That’s true Mr. Lier. We can see your coveted camera on the table. We hear you have picked up photography.

Meanwhile, the Diary still sobbing. At times, it did make noises below the pen, but mostly it lay in hopeless and sullen silence.

Me: (Red-faced and caught red-handed): Okay- okay. I accept. I kind of got attracted to this camera. Its curvaceous body, stylish looks, beautiful viewfinder, sleek and smooth LCD, its round-shaped, crystal clear lenses…did make me go weak in my knees. After all, who won’t. The first time I saw it, I fell in love with her and since then, I am on a shooting spree. And…

Reynolds: Enough! We’ve heard!

The sobbings of the Diary convert into cries. Louder and louder.

Reynolds, looking at the Diary in exasperation: Can’t you stop your rona-dhona for a moment, Mr. Diary?

Afraid, the Diary tries to swallow her cries.

Reynolds, turning to me: Yes. Mr. Blogger-turned-Photographer! So I was talking to you. Are you never going to use us again? Have you left your first love..blogging, for good?

Me, straight-faced: Ahem!! Umm…Well, I don’t really know. I think I have a writer’s block. Every time I try to write something, my thoughts get blocked midway. Jo main sochta hoon wo likh nahi paata.

Reynolds, in rajnikant eshtyle: Jo tumm sochtha ai..wo ota nai ai, aur jo ota ai wo sochne lagtha ai. Tumhara kya oyenga ji..

Me, perplexed, scratching my head: Jo hum sochta hai woh hota nahi hota hai woh sochta nahi hai.. Ye kya re..sab gadbad jeee..Tum kya boltha hai jeee?

The Diary laughs sheepishly at the tongue-twister.

Me, looking angrily at the Diary: Why are you laughing like monkeys?

Reynolds: Abey dhakkan! Main tere ko bolta hai ki tu likhna to shuru kar..tabhi to jo sochta hai woh likhega. And still I have half of the ink lying unused in my wind pipe. So use me to write your blogs. I am itching to get scribbled.

Me: Okay baba..But what do I write…Dimaag kaam nahi kar rela hai

Diary: Abey Gogo..likh nahi to aankhen nikal ke gottiyan khelunga..

Me: Okay okay Mr. Teja..likhta hoon...But what to write?

Reynolds: Kuch bhi likh de…Shuru shuru mein kuch bhi bakwaas likh de..At least meri exercise to ho jayegi. Pade-pade jung lag gaya hai.

Me: Bakwaas..bakwaas..bakwaas…bas! Khush! :))

Friday, September 12, 2008

Award Season

Wondering what this screenshot is doing here? Well..this is the reason why I have been away from the blogging world for such a long time. Some days back my company got insane and decided to block access to the Internet to the employees noting primarily that some people read blogs during work hours. So, now when I open a web page, this page loads faster than the google home page. As if eager to tell me “beta bahot blog padha karte the na, company ki bandwidth ki watt laga rakhi hai. Ab bhugto.”

So mere pyaare bloggers, now that you know the reason for my inconspicuous absence from the blogger’s park, please forgive me.

While my company decided to block my access to the Internet in recognition to my devotion to blogging, somebody in the blogger’s world decided to award me the coveted "I love your blog" citation. When I got to know I have got this award, I rubbed me eyes twice. Sneha has chosen me for the coveted prize? I didn’t know if somebody liked my blog too. I felt like a kiterunner who caught hold of the coveted kite that was swaying right and left in the sky and slowly but surely tumbling down the earth and was being chased by several others. It's the joy you get when you get hold of the kite and run away with it brandishing your prize.
But hey..Shena, thanks a ton buddy! That recognition kind of motivates me to continue writing more. And yeah, for sure I’ll follow the rules that this chain of love has.

And here goes rule no. 1: The winner can put the logo on their blog.
For sure I have done that..why would not I :))
Rule no. 2: Link the person you received your award from
Oh..i followed this rule without saying..Done this so much earlier :))
Rule no. 3: Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
Rule no. 4: Put links of those blogs on yours.
Rule no. 5: Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
This sure is a nice way to tell my favorite bloggers how much I love to read their blogs. So here goes the roll of honour...

Abhinav: I think this guy should charge entertainment tax from his readers. He is such a funny guy. He can make you laugh like hell. His sense of humour is awesome and infectious. Hats off to Abhinav!!
Priya Aiyer: If I remember clearly, she is the first blogger I found. And she is so creative. Very different from the usual. And writes really good.

Adeic: She is one blogger who writes amazingly good. Very emotional, she is passionately in love with LOVE. I think she can give tough competition to Nicholas Sparks if she were to write a romantic novel.

The Mask: Mr. Mask can weave cool stories and without even blinking. I really admire the way he writes. And enjoy the pleasant surprises he brings into his stories.

Sneha: Even though you have been already awarded by Harshita, I guess you won’t mind if I also do the same for you. Coz I think you write pretty cool! And I love to come back again and again on your blog.

Sayesha: Sayesha on the Rocks simply rocks!! Bartender bhai is absolutely hilarious. And can make you roll over the floor laughing with her posts. Visit her bar and you are sure to go talli over her. Talli..main talli..main talli ho gayi..oops ho gaya :-))

Sunshine: She speaks her mind even when the subject doesn't require so. :)) Just kidding...I just want to say that she is one of the bloggers who presents a fresh perspective to any subject that she writes on. Sunshine is one of my fav bloggers.

Compulsive Confessor: I got addicted to her blog when one of my friends, Daljeet, recommended it to me. Miss compulsive confessor is a pretty famous blogger and has recently released her first novel called "You are Here". Though I am yet to read it, I can safely bet it would be as good as any of her blogposts. I am just itching to get hold of the book.

If I Knew...

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
And call you back for one more...

If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say 'I love you',
Instead of assuming you would KNOW I do...

...just in case... is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
And I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone
Young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
You get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
You'll surely regret the day.

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
And you were too busy to grant someone,
What turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
And that you'll always hold them dear.

Take time to say
'I'm sorry', 'Please forgive me', 'Thank you' or 'It's ok',
And if tomorrow never comes,
You'll have no regrets about today.

(In memory of 9/11 victims; Source: Sacred Space, Times of India)

Yesterday, I came across these lines and it made me think twice about the dear ones with whom I have not talked to in a long time. I have hurt quite a few people who once used to be very good friends. One such friend is still naraaz with me. A misunderstanding occurred between us. She thinks I should not have done what I did. And then she didn't reply when I tried to contact her. And this made me feel bad. So I decided never to call her back. Din't even reply to her when she wished me on my b'day. I just want to let her know - if she is reading this - that what I did, was in pure innocence. I had no inkling that it could hurt you. If I won't like what I did, I would not have done so. And I am really sorry if it hurt your feelings. I just wish you all the happiness in the world. And hope to talk to you again.