Friday, July 29, 2005


I wrote the previous piece on 27th, many things have happened since, blast on the Shramjeevi Express, Maharashtra still facing its worst downpour, Konkan has collapsed, Railway tracks and Highways under water, Mumbai is still facing the aftermath of the torrential rains that hit the city on 26th July, and in times like this Ganguly’s ban reducing from 6 to 4 matches is DEFINITELY NOT A BREAKING NEWS!!!!

I’m a cricket fan but right now I care two hoots about whether he plays or not, whether he captains or not!!!! It is not a priority news for the nation!!

For heaven’s sake will the news channels and newspapers ever grow up???

Why were they covering Aamir Khan stuck in Traffic Jam in Mumbai and what the other stars were doing on Mumbai’s fateful day?

I could care less, would you?

The Graveyard Shift...

Ideally I would’ve liked to have this post up as early as possible but due to connectivity problems and electricity fluctuations it comes a few days late. The whole experience has been tiring, mentally and physically exhausting. Mumbai they say is not a planned city and the way it is expanding with no disaster management in place, it looks like a ticking time-bomb. Mumbai faced its first of a kind, natural calamity on 26th July, 2005

I’m proud the way the common man handled it and faced every hurdle and most appalled by our authorities. The Government, The BMC, the MMRDA, The Police, The Firemen, The Special Squad, the Great Mobile Networks. Anytime Anywhere is what all of them preach, Nonsense (and trust me that is a mild word I use for all of them) Not one connection was working when people needed to get in touch badly and none worked till afternoon on 27th July! What great technology, 24 hours on, are we talking about? If you cannot work at times like this, we really could without any of them!

After hearing the experiences people went through including my dear sister-in-law I felt really lucky! I was stranded in office along with 300 odd colleagues and we spent the night at our office. First the AC and lifts were off, then systems were shut down (My only connectivity to the outside world, and that was also taken away) and then lights went off on all floors except the ground and 1st floor to conserve energy. Our canteen guys handled the situation well and kept serving us hot upma and later dinner. Not that we ate much due to being tense but their effort was appreciated. The Security guys were up all night guarding the office and taking care of our needs. Not one slept a wink the whole night.

People kept the spirits up by playing Antakshari, Dumb Charades, and talking into the night. None gave up any hope and everyone was sure Mumbai would be fine by next morning, only if the rain stopped. The rain had come crashing down since 2.00 in the afternoon and continued non-stop till 2.00 in the night. It was devilish, it was pouring, and it was destructive!!! In my 25 years in Mumbai I have never seen rains like this and the old generation, the likes of my granny said they had seen nothing like this in their entire life spent in this city!!

At our office the Admin people were hurrying around frantically, assessing the situation every hour, to decide what time would be suitable to send people off in the buses. They finally got us out at 5.00 a.m. on 27th July and I reached home at 7.00 a.m. safe and sound! Much lucky compared to those who struggled their way home.

Water flooded at most places and people waded through neck-deep water. Highways were jammed, trees broke down, walls came crashing, trucks toppled, cars floated and there were scenes of destruction everywhere! It was scary, it was frightening and seemed like it would not stop. Public services came to a standstill and traffic refused to budge. People left their vehicles and started their walk home, along the roads, along the railway tracks. People walked all the way from V.T. to Thane and Churchgate to Dahisar, i.e. almost 50 Kms. They started their journey back home at 3.00 in the afternoon on 26th July and reached home on 27th July at 3.00 in the afternoon!!!

No person gave up, they fought, they fought hard, and they were not fighting the rain god. They fought our stupid authorities who as always failed to be ready for the rains. These authorities relax and have their way and only the common man suffers. People will be agitated for few days, authorities will inspect few troubled areas and life will be same again. Nothing will be done to preempt disasters like this. The common man will continue to suffer! It’s really appalling that the authorities did not realize the enormity of things that were taking shape and no relief operations were started! People sought their own!!!

My dear sis-in-law walked bare feet form Andheri to Borivali. She lost her chappals in the water at Andheri owing to the strong force, she was caught between the devil and deep blue sea when she realized she could not return back to office nor come near mine. She walked the whole night taking some stops in between and finally reached home at 8.00 in the morning. She was so shocked from her ordeal that it took her sometime to tell us about her journey home. She was fine after that, she was just happy to be home!

People helped each other in this tragedy and that was the most heartening aspect. Mumbai is one big pool of water right now. I don’t know how soon we will recover from this. But the common man has learnt to fight and he will survive.

26th July was one of the days which tested the survival of the fittest and most passed the test!! There is something about this city and its spirit that is united, endearing, warm, compassionate and really special. It is our good old Mumbai.

However that does not mean our authorities slack and relax. This just a warning of bigger things that could happen. If we do not learn lessons from this downpour which was the highest ever recorded in the country, higher than Cherrapunji at 94 cm I doubt how long Mumbaites will sustain these disasters!!!

Is anyone listening there????

P.S: In a discussion in office a friend pointed out Minal what’s with 26 and India? I don’t believe in these things but seriously what is the link?
26th Dec 2004: Tsunami,
26th Jan 2001: Gujarat Earthquake,
26th August: Latur Earthquake
26th July, 2005: Mumbai Faces its worst rainfall ever!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Situational Song???

I switched on my radio for traffic updates, almost all channels provide that and it's good info in these times!

Guess which song is playing..."Barasja-E-Badal" from Fareb. Couldn't be more apt!

How well the Rain God is obliging to the request!!!

Trapped in Torrential Rains

Mumbai is experiencing the worst rains since afternoon today.
Roads are blocked and communication is at a standstill. No phone lines are working.

I'm still safe in office and wondering how to get home. Will stick to my office transport, safer and more company. Won't venture alone!

Will manage somehow!
It's pretty worrying the whole situation.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Current Favourites…

Warning: I’m putting up a ‘Current List’, so this is not to be mistaken for my 'All-Time Favourite List'.
That list will come a little later. I shall need a lot of thinking and choosing to do, and it will be an arduous task for me! It’s never easy to pick up favourites if you’ve tuned into songs from the 50s decade onwards!!

Anywhere for the time being, the current ones:

Album: ‘Parineeta’. The melody is back, more on it read here.

Hindi Song: ‘Naam Ada Likhna’ from ‘Yahan’. I listen to it atleast twice on the radio daily. The lyrics touch your heart and the music; well it reminds you of Parineeta! Shantanu Moitra’s new composition, Parineeta’s shadow falls on this song, but that only makes it more soothing to listen to. Shreya Ghosal and Shaan are once again at their best.

English Song: ‘Don’t Phunk with my Heart’ by Black Eyed Peas. It grew on me since I kept hearing it daily on the radio. It’s cool and it’s funny. It’s not your regular rock, pop, whatever. It’s plain fun to listen to. I like the way the lady swoons 'No No No”. Just listen to it;-)

Once More Please: ‘Mangal, Mangal’ from 'The Rising'. Wonderful rural feel to the song, and Kailash Kher is awesome. After “Allah ke Bande”, this should be one landmark song in his career. What a voice!

Rap Song: Bunty ‘n Babli –Title Rap by Blaze. Sorry folks haven’t listened to English music much, but clearly my favourite for its video. The Big B has “STYLE”...note the CAPS LOCK!

POP Number: ‘Nadiyon Paar Sajan', again cool song. Neat beats! Don’t ask me why, I sometimes like the odd one ;-)

Soothing Number: ‘Yeh Lamhe’ by Jaal, not the remix. The slow, original version is lovely to listen too. The kind you should listen to, more often on way home after a tedious day at work!

Most Irritating Song: I feel like pulling out my hair on listening to this song! They still make these kinds and they go down with the audience! God give me a break. I could handle “Garam Chai Ki Pyali ho” any day over this one! I’m talking about 'Aarah He Arrah Ha, Just Love Me' from No Entry!!!
Everytime I here it I find myself saying “Just Spare Me”!!!

So there it is, my Current List, an All-Time List sometime this week:-)

By the way what about yours? Go ahead list one!

Friday, July 22, 2005

My Music Mania

Music is a must for me. I’ve had my own walkman since I was in 3rd Standard, a precious little gift from papa. Perfect discretion was exercised when I needed to use it then. Parents felt constant hearing first would damage my ear-drums (A reason vociferously told by my mumma, and she tells that to me till date!) and second that it would affect my studies! None happened.
I obeyed their orders to the tee like a good girl! And as I grew up, and my father believed I had understood what is important and not, what are my responsibilities and not, I was allowed the freedom to full rights to my walkie!

It was my constant companion especially when I did my Maths and problems in Science, the fact that I topped left little excuse for my mom to shout at me for listening to music while studying. A habit that stuck till I gave my final paper of MBA!

Papa somewhere understood my love for dance and music, mumma could not fathom why I needed to carry that walkman everywhere I went. My elder cousin sis ( More like a real one, we lived in the same building, both only children and that did not give us much of a choice but to stick around with each other despite the age difference of 8 years!! Over the years I think we have grown close, but we still love to fight! It’s still fun!!) added to my woes by saying that she just wants to show off! Well I did think it was cool because then not many carried it around like a glue 24 hrs and that made me different;-) That sis of mine is one hell of a mind-reader and it was often irritating when she would be vocal about it to my parents! It did not make things easy for me!

Papa’s nicest gift was a small deck and speakers in my room. It was my little dream to own one and he had it placed the day my SSC exams ended, just as he had promised! It is 10 years old now and still occupies its place in my room and still is in excellent shape. I’ve given my building neighbours a harrowing time when I would play it at full volume. It was never intentional just that I enjoyed it and often mum would be banging on my closed door asking me to lower the volume. I simply enjoyed the drama!

Another precious gift came from my jijajee( yup same didi’s hubby), a disc-man, another of my prized possessions. As for the inputs into the players, a collection of audio cassettes was built that only expanded as I grew up and now they are slowly getting replaced by mp3s and audio CDs. I also thanked the mobile phone companies and the inventor who thought of including the radio facility in the phone, today I cannot do without it, the radio I mean! The phone I could do without easily! I wish a hundred times in day it would just stop ringing!!!

Music never restricted me to a particular era, I love the 60s music, the romance was so clean and the songs so melodious. I love RD Burman who brought hip-hop into Hindi film music. AR Rehman an all time favourite that got me hooked to Tamil music. Kandukondain Kandukondain and Alaipayuthe are absolute must haves in your collection if you are a Rehman fan. Having South Indian friends helped understand that genre of music better. The 80s were a slack period but music picked up from 90s, with pop songs becoming a rage, things were finally looking up. Shankar , Ehsaan Loy and Shantanu Moitra are my current favourites.

Bryan Adams rocked, ABBA and Beatle’s collections began to grow, The Corrs were a must have and a must listen to. John Denver & Eagles soothed your mind. You swooned to songs of Eric Clapton and tapped your feet to Elvis. Generations passed their songs onto the new ones such that oldies remained immortal and never faded away. Over time songs kept on adding to your collection which were exceptional, just got to listen to, cult songs, nothing like this one…the list was endless.

I’m not an expert on music but the next blog chapter will carry my favourite songs, a few years down the line when I return to that post I want to see how much of that list would’ve changed:-)

That’s the beauty of blogging, it takes you into a nice trip down the memory lane; and with that blog on songs, there will be fine music running along with it in my mind!

Ganguly the 16th man

I was planning to write on the selection woes and crimes committed by the selection committee but I won't, after reading this man who has put things in the right perspective.

There is a reason why he is where he is today. There is a reason why most people will prefer to take a backseat and let him do the talking. There is a reason why he is one of India's most loved and respected commentators and sports writers.
He puts things in the right perspective, no bias, no favoritism. Just Perspective. Read on

p.s: There is also the reason why the espnstar sports commentator hunt was labeled 'Harsha Ki Khoj' and everyone who was there including yours truly was completely in awe of this man.

LOC-Kargil...A Disconnect

I caught the movie finally on Sunday night on TV. I had missed it when it hit the theatres and every time later when it showed on TV.

I love war movies, watched quite a few foreign as well has Hindi films. All these films connect with you. You feel for their plight, you take pride in their victories and you cry when they die on the battle field defending their land. You get anxious about the plans they make, the strategies they draw, you cheer them, you pray for them, you sing along their songs which become almost an anthem for you. The films get you so involved that you feel you are living the war.

That’s how war films should be. Connect with the audience’s pulse and touch the heart. Not many war films have been made in India. Haqeeqat and Border are the ones that stand out. Prahar dealt with the Army but it involved fighting internal terrorism and corruption and till date it’s a movie you cannot miss! It was not an out and out war film but depicted the life of soldiers to some extent. I did not catch “Dhoop” entirely but parts of it and even that film connected somewhere.

LOC-Kargil did not! It just did not. The characters were never well defined because they were too many. The battles kept switching on and off and you lost the connectivity and continuity. Every soldier had the same story and actors did not have their heart in the characters they portrayed. They were going through the motions and there was no involvement!

It was a war that shook the nation. A war where India lost too many young soldiers. A war that was fought in the most difficult conditions. A war where Pakistan refused to acknowledge their own soldiers and whose bodies were abandoned, and who were given a respectful burial by the Indian army.

LOC-Kargil the film was believed to have captured that war so that it would reach thousands of people.

The film lacked sensitivity, emotion and just failed to strike a chord! Not a line stayed in memory, not a scene can be recalled, and not a song could be called an anthem. Recollect “Kar Chale Hum Watan Tumhare Hawale Sathiyo, Sandese Aate Hain”, LOC-Kargil had none!

Even news anchors put in emotion when they cover a war, how come J.P.Dutta failed so miserably?

Disappointed, most disappointed! LOC-Kargil had no soul, and when you make a movie without a soul, it will never go down in history as one of the greats! Too much indulgence in details and events probably ruined Dutta’s fine attempt.

The intention was noble, the heart just not there!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Battle Begins……Today!

Vaughan begins his campaign today. He will lead his team to try and win the Ashes back from the Aussies. It’s going to be a tough, tough challenge but his team’s performance has given the Poms some hope and a chance to put the Aussies in serious trouble.

Ponting on the other hand is glad that Australia picked up its game in the last two matches. Gilchrist and he were in their usual devastating form. They love to walk into a series as favourites and enjoy living up to that tag. In all probability they should retain the Ashes and then ask the MCC to finally hand them over, so that they can carry the Ashes to the Aussie shores.

Who have you placed your bets on to become McGrath’s 500 test victim? Strauss or Trescothick? There is some serious betting happening there. Tremendous achievement for a fast bowler, considering only one has got to that landmark before him and the other two leading wicket-takers are spinners!

Walsh was phenomenal, not everyone expected him to get there and he did. McGrath has only ripened with age and looks in golden touch this time around too.

What a series this should be.

  • Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff at no.6 & no.5 respectively hammering the Aussie bowlers
  • Steve Harmisson troubling the batsman no ends
  • Trescothick, Vaughan and Strauss building partnerships steadily
Yes, England finally putting up a challenge!

  • Gilchrist smacking the ball all around the park
  • Hayden-Langer blasting century stands
  • Ponting adding that dazzling double in between
  • Clarke building himself up in the international era, what a batsman! Such a pleasure to watch
  • McGrath bowling relentlessly near and about the off-stump compelling the batsman to make mistakes and fall in his trap, and they sure do! How he manages to get that accuracy going ball-after–ball, over-after-over is a real mystery!
  • Gillespie doing his eagle run-up with hair all over the place, his sight is frightening and I don’t blame the batsman if they get out;-)
  • Finally sheer pace by Brett Lee
Can’t wait to catch the action on TV

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mumbaikars Where Art Thou???

The Team for SL ODI Series was announced yesterday:

Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh,Mohammad Kaif(U.P.), Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao, Mahendra Singh Dhoni , Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Ashish Nehra, JP Yadav.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a proud Indian and it does not matter to me if the Indian team is full of players from Karnataka, Delhi or just about any part of India. It is hurting me because Mumbai known for its legacy of cricketers does not have a single representative in the current squad, not even in the reserves! The team hasn’t fared too bad in the Ranji seasons and yet fails to have a single guy on the team.

Mumbai has given India it’s finest two batsmen in Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. It has given the country stalwarts like Vijay Manjrekar, Ramakant Desai, Eknath Solkar, Ajit Wadekar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar. India’s middle order often comprised of Mumbai batsman. Till date India always had atleast one Mumbai player in the team.

For a hard core Mumbaikar; cricket is extremely close to the heart.
Pu.La. Deshpande (Finest writers in Marathi Literature) describes the peculiarities of a Mumbaikar and his cricket passion:

'Kon mhanta cricket ha maidani khel aahe, aamchya Mumbait chalichya gallery madhye sudha test matches chaltat.'
(Who says cricket is a ground sport, in our Mumbai, test matches are also played in our chawls’ galleries)

'Cricket ha khelnyacha vishay nasun bolnyacha vishay aahe.'
(Cricket is just not a ground sport, it's a talking sport, cause everyone talks only cricket in Mumbai!)

Another point he makes, ‘When you say History to a Punekar, he will start talking about Bajirao, Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa (The famous Peshwa Dynasty that ruled Pune) and if you say History to a Mumbaikar, he’ll start off with names like Manjrekar, Solkar, Wadekar, Gavaskar etc.

The point Pu. La. has made was simple, that Cricket is in Mumbai’s blood.

The Kanga League matches in the heavy monsoon, the hoards of matches at Shivaji Park, the Oval & Azad Maidan hosting school-college level matches. It’s cricket round the clock, 24X7, 12 months a year in this city of dreams. Then why are this city’s cricket dreams shattering?

Mumbai has had the finest cricket culture in India but somewhere it is declining, the system is flawing and we are not producing the kinds we used to. It is indeed heartening to see guys from small towns making it to the big scene. With little or no facilities at their disposal they have come up through their own hard work and determination and set a fine example for the rest to follow.

What is keeping the Mumbai guys back? Have they become complacent? Have they lost the fighting spirit that the city is well known for? Have the lost the determination to make it big? What is it? He was the answer to the question, ‘Who after Gavaskar?’ But now who after Sachin Tendulkar? How can a Sachin fail to inspire his own city-mates? Any answers?

Come on guys this a huge wake-up call, it’s time you are up on your feet and put Mumbai back onto the map of Indian cricket! We need to carry that cricket heritage forward, keep it alive and never let it fade away!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bade & Chote Sarkar

Hubby & I finally saw Sarkar over the weekend. I’m not a film expert and I’m not gonna review it as it is too late to do that! This is my view about the film.

First of all it’s a must see. It is not as captivating as Satya or Company was; and that hass probably got to do with the fact that Amitabh Bachchan stars in the title role. The man overshadows everyone and everything in the film.

What I loved about the film was that most of the times Amitabh and Abhishek talk through their eyes and looks. I think that was brilliant. For a man who has been well-known for his voice and powerful dialogue delivery full credit to RGV for getting the man to convey through his looks. Tremendous.

The first 5 minutes are gripping, and yes it does slacken in between, but picks up pace once again when Abhishek takes over the reigns.

Kay Kay Menon is one of the top performers of the film who holds his ground in front of Amitabh. He has always been fine actor and this performance should bring a new lease in his career.
Subhash Nagre is an extremely controlled man, with not much display of emotions, aware of his hold on the “junta” and his force, and a man with tremendous self-belief in his actions. He is never overawed by anyone. But couple of scenes show the man’s humbleness despite his status.
  • The first time Abhishek returns home, you see only the “father” Subhash Nagre in Amitabh’s eyes, nothing else seems to matter. He is even more humbled when he returns home from the hospital to see a mob who is eagerly awaiting his arrival. He is humbled by their faith, the respect and the love shown to him.

  • Like any dominating father he would’ve banned Shankar’s love for Pooja and forced him into marrrying Avanti whose father, a dear friend of his , he had promised on his deathbed, that he would get the two married. Not only does he react calmly when his wife tells him about Abhishek’s decision but also makes Avanti understand.
He isn’t a “gunda”, an evil man, he is man with power who believes in doing what he thinks is right.

And Abhishek, well what do I say. I may sound biased but he really does excel in the role in the latter half of the film. As the quiet Shankar he takes charge, he changes, he understands the nuances of the game and makes his move intelligently along with Chander, Sarkar’s right arm.

He is finally coming into his own and getting into the angry young man mould that his father was well-known for. He pulls of these rustic roles really well e.g: Yuva, and now Sarkar. Few scenes where he stood out :

  • The one where he comes to tell his family that he has killed his own brother.
  • He goes to Swamiji who is about to tell him about the Gita, when he cuts him coldly stating I do not believe in god, giving the swami the choice to choose between God and him!
  • Finally, when he tells the CM that he should be expecting the CBI into his house soon, and the CM brags about how with his power he’ll be out of the bars in two days. Abhishek pauses, looks serenely at the CM and says, that’s exactly what I want, and walks out!! The CM does not know how to react!

Other actors in various small roles were excellent as well, especially the Rashid Guy. He hardly has any dialogues in the film but he says it all with his fearsome looks.

The background music was too loud but I liked the ‘Govinda, Govinda’ chant number. The only flaw in the film was Abhishek’s escape from Rashid’s hands, portrayed as too easy. 20 men firing at close range and not hit even once! Too filmi and a little hard to digest coming from RGV. But we shall forgive him for that minor glitch.

The film could’ve done without Tanisha & Katrina. Even RGV could not get any performance from them!!! Supriya Pathak as the troubled mother and calm wife played her part to perfection.

At the end of it all, if you are a Bachchan(Sr. & Jr.) fan , you can’t miss the Bade & Chote Sarkar. They are one hell of a riveting act together, assisted by some very fine performances!

Go watch it!

Godhra Massacre

Three years post the Godhra Massacre, the scars are still alive.
One of my very good friends has written a very nice post after seeing a documentary "Final Solution" on these riots that were the worst ever to hit the country post-independance.
Read it here.

p.s: He watches a lot of films and documentaries and writes very interesting posts about them. You can find them on his blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ash or Tara?

First they say it's Ash now it's Tara.
I'm confused, but why bother!

The link in my previous posts points to the new one! So have no proof that rediff had put up Ash's name!
Huge goof up!

Goof Up?

I dunno how to react after reading this.

For what year are these awards given? Surely Hum Tum, Raincoat and Page 3 were not released in same year.

I am no fan of Shahrukh Khan, but what little I saw of Swades he surely deserves it better than Saif for Hum Tum! We are giving acting awards here and that too at a national level!
If the quality of work is slipping, just don't give any awards. Just say you did not find anyone noteworthy.

Aishwarya -The Plastic Lady for Raincoat? No comments! God forgive the jury!

Page 3 is a good choice but why is a movie released in 2005 being taken in along with those in 2004? Someone has got the dates wrong!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

50 Today…& Living Abroad

I never thought I’d touch this landmark in my blogging world. I am extremely pleased with myself for being a regular, laziness has often got in my way and I’ve left a lot of things that were 'Well Begun but Half Done'! Not this blog! I intend to continue it cause it is just about opening a new world for me.

What should I post as my 50th post, I gave it a thought and decided to post a small writing of mine. I had given a shot at blogging sometime last year and gave it up! This was a small post of mine that I had written wondering what would it be like if I lived abroad ?

More on it after this post:

I Love My Life Staying Abroad…

Hey I’m just like most of you all today. Ya I’m staying abroad in the US of A, my friends are here too, studying in various fields, some majoring in medicine, some doing a PhD in computer science, some working, some married and settled with their hubbies.

We all know or rather believe that India’s under/post graduation system is not upto world standards. The truth and yes as always, is bitter. So I chose to write my own destiny, not get caught in the dirty bureaucracy surrounding Indian education system, leave my land, family and friends and come here to succeed. To educate myself, and but of course, earn big bucks.

The system is absolutely great here, excellent facilities, huge campuses, excellent profs, everything is wi-fi connected. It’s a world I couldn't have dreamt of in India.

I’m living on my own (freedom from my family, taunting mumma and papa ; and irritating sis/bro); I do my own dishes( how I would crib about it when I was home) and manage to cook( no ways who misses mum’s food). I use canned foods or artificial masalas (I do not miss the taste of my nani’s masala) After all I’m in a modern country living an ultra-modern lifestyle.

On weekends we drive down to other friends’ places and get-together on festive occasions like Diwali, Ganapti. Holi.This will pretty much be my routine for the rest of my life if I plan to spend it here…

My mumma & papa complain they miss me, I do too, but I’m doing it for them only. They won’t shift here, but we will visit each other once a year.

For 21 years I saw them... everyday of my life,
Now for the rest of my life I’ll see them..Once a year

I remember the day we got our SSC results, we girls had a blast, I topped and threw a party. At home, mumma had made cutlets kheema pattice, wafers, and what not. After SSC, Graduation is most important for any student. But when we got our engineering results; none of us were together to celebrate our graduation as we all had started our post-grad courses and obviously we had no time!

My papa-mumma called to congratulate, I could not see their tears of joy or their proud smiles.

I was well-known for my cricket craziness in college, especially since I was the only girl who followed the game so passionately. I never missed a match at Wankhede. It’s been four years since I’ve been to the stadium. I dunno for how long I won’t see one again at the stadium…

Hey, you know what my childhood friend is getting married, I’ve known her for 20 years now but I can’t attend her wedding, well no holiday; just started a course…

My best friend from engineering days is tying the knot, he has been my best friend among guys for years now, and we have had a blast, but I just visited India a year back, and can’t again.
Will miss his wedding too…

It’s my wedding, I’ve dreamt of it for years, but certainly not this way; I will be in India for only 3 weeks and get back here again. I have not done any of my shopping, mum and sis have done everything. Have no clue how Indian weddings happen, the preps and festivities behind it. I’ve had no time to be there that long. My friends can’t make it cause they are all occupied with their jobs and work. It was a hurried wedding, cause we could not delay it further!...

My younger sister is getting engaged, the only one who has been close to me. She and I used to fight like crazy, cannot believe she is getting engaged. I can’t attend it, cause my job does not permit me so many holidays and trips to India. I cried my heart out to nani on the day of her engagement; but what am I cribbing about, my hubby and I chose to live here, did we not?...

It's Diwali, the entire family is having a get-together, my sister was describing the shopping and the gifts everyone has got, I’m missing my brothers, it is Bhaubij, they are missing me too but they all are together and I’m not there...

My school pal needed us girls everywhere, the smallest of shopping, the minutest of things, today she is doing everything by herself, and not once has she complained to few of us here that she will miss us at her wedding and wedding preps. She says she has accepted the fact that we are not there, she knows we miss her and feel terrible about it, but neither can she nor we do anything about it, so no point cribbing, But she keeps sending mails, describing every little stages of her wedding preparations, she sounds so excited. Hey is it that big, I too got married but I never experienced that!

It’s her important day, she wants to enjoy it without such thoughts; we all wish we were there, we can’t be.

Why? Cause we chose not to…

My other sis is in UK, she just had a little baby, her parents could enjoy the joy of their grandchild only for a month and they do not know when they will meet her next, once a year maybe and the little kid will never know what grandparents are like! She won’t even know her mausi; who could not be there for her birth, naming ceremony, her first birthday, I do not know if I will ever attend her b-days or keep merely sending her gifts through the internet and make phone calls.

I remember my b-day when the whole house was filled with my family, my mama-mamis, chacha-chahis, mausi, sis-bros, friends; now it’s always me and my roomies, or maybe a few batchmates, colleagues at work…

Mumma-papa-sis-bro all call. It’s great hearing their voices. I dunno when I will see them, work is getting hectic, trips getting postponed…

My mum recalls all the events in her life with so much glitter in her eyes, her life today is complete, the memories will stay with her forever, she can recall each event as if it was happening in front of her right now.

I have only voices to recall, cause I’ve not met my closest ones in years...

I’ve missed all the important events in their life; and will keep doing so...

I know they understand...

Ya I chose it, the great education and money abroad...

What am I complaining about?

Now for some reality check, I’m very much in India and never went abroad. I was feeling awfully bad that few of my closest family members and friends had missed my engagement and some of them would be missing my marriage too.

I wrote that piece placing myself in their shoes and thinking about life there. The writing flowed in cause as much I felt bad and missed them at such an important day in my life I knew they’d be feeling worse than me.

However, at the end of the day all I could tell myself was, Minal, Such is Life!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Flying is No Longer a Dream

After a tiring, tiring weekend, when I finally caught on some TV yesterday night, I was touched by an Air Deccan Ad Film. It did not have any well-known faces (If famous in south I’m not sure). A simple story told through touching moments, simple people, their dreams, chasing the impossible and finally making it happen.

The little boy is such a natural, someone whom you find if you look outside your window. He loves aeroplanes. He lives in a small village where there are no fancy toys, and therefore he holds onto a picture of the plane on a matchstick box close to him wherever he goes.

His father observes his love and builds him a toy plane. Years go by and the father receives an air-plane ticket from his son. He a simpleton from village had never even dreamt of flying in a plane. The whole village is buzzing with the news, and help the old man pack for his flight. At the airport baggage check, the scanner reveals the toy plane that he had made for his little boy which he is carrying to gift him; it brings a smile on the face of the officials.

High on sentiments, but simple in their message “Today flying is just not a dream but a reality for all”
Message conveyed and accepted :-)

Go here and catch the timings when you can view “The old man and the sky

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terror Strikes London City

Innocents suffer!! As always...

We Indians have been going through it for 15 years now.
USA was hit in 2001, Innocents in Iraq suffered the consequences of the war and now London.
What is next on agenda? Another war?

Who loses lives? Innocent civilians who want nothing but to lead peaceful lives . They are always targetted in these attacks.

Such cowardice, such a shame !

For more reports go here.

Will this ever end?
How will we end these acts of terror?

And sadly the world stops for none...

1999: Kargil war begins while India plays Pak in World Cup Super sixes match.
2005: Aus-England match on in Leeds while London copes up with the terror strike!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

For K Dearest...

She is the sweetest sibling I’ve known. She is not my blood relative, but my best pal’s sis. I’ve known her since I was five and she was three. Hers is a story that is unbelievable. A little brat that matured into an intelligent doc. I could write ‘n’ number of pages on the humorous things she did as a kid (obviously unintentionally).
One incident of many:
She did not do too well in her Marathi class. The conversation that followed

Marathi Teacher: How can you not know your mother tongue?

K Dear(innocently): Madam it’s not my mother tongue

Marathi Teacher: How dare you lie to me?

K Dear (innocently again): I’m not lying it is my father tongue not my mother tongue!

Only later did the teacher realise what K meant,and that she was right in her own interpretation of the teacher's question. K's Mom is a Telagu and Dad a marathi.

All along she was speaking the truth and nothing but the truth!

Innocent then, even today! When we reminiscence; the smiles come back effortlessly. She has always been unique and my dad’s little princess. She has matured and grown into a very bright young lady today and we all are proud of her.

One thing though has not changed and I am really glad about it. Her love for food! I love the way she walks into my house and asks my mum, 'Aunty what’s cooking today? Can I eat here today? Ok, I'll call my mom then and tell her! ' She does not wait for answers:-)
My mother simply loves that. It shows affection, love and attachment and everything else that makes for family :-)

K had a horrible time with spellings in school. Her mother has kept all her essays books from 1st to the 10th Std. Her spellings were a huge point of discussion among us. She probably hated us then, but today having proven herself ( Rank 5 @SSC in school after always reeling in 20s, 96%@ HSC, top 100 rank @ CET, a top MBBS today, she is on her way) even she joins in the laughter!

The reason I introduced her today is, because of this forward I’ve received umpteen times.I simply love it. And the one person I know who would agree with it whole-heartedly is K!

I’m sure if she had received this when in school, she would’ve taken it up with her teachers and all of us! She would have had one hell of a case for argument, and with substantial research to validate it!

This is for you dear and hope you love this:-)

"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Curse of 3...

First Mushtaq Ali, then Eknath Solkar (My tribute to him) and now the lesser known Baloo Gupte.
All three were Indian Test-Cricketers.

In my tribute to Sunil Dutt I had mentioned that, I’ve observed since long that often, 3 personalities from the same field expire in few days from each other.

It is a strange coincidence that has occurred too many times. And now again.

Show me the Money...

You thought poaching the 'specialized personnel' happened only in the corporate world???
For this kind of money I wish I had specialized in soccer ;-)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Scintillating Saturday…

What a day!! What fascinating finals and they proved yet again why sports of any kind are special. Tennis and cricket have no similarities but there is one common thread that makes a winner in any kind of sport: The 3D principle. Determination, Dedication and Discipline. Add to it a will to fight back and a spirit to never give up and overcome obstacles to achieve the final goal.
Venus had these ingredients going for her and so did the Poms!!

I missed the first half of both the matches but once I was home; all that I did was switch between the Wimbledon Final on Star Sports and Natwest Series final on ESPN where finally someone was making Australia sweat.

Though Davenport was seeded No.1; few gave her a chance t reach the finals of this tournament at age 31. Venus returning from an injury break and no grand slam in her kitty since 2001 was completely written off. In the end it turned out to be a grueling contest with both players matching one other service-to-service and stroke-to stroke. One rally lasted 25 strokes showing how badly each player wanted to win and was not willing to give away an inch. Each point had to be fought for!!

I’m not a huge fan of either but I simply loved the way they both fought it out for the coveted title on Centre Court. It was not your typical grass court serve and volley game but the tennis played was exhilarating. I think age and injury caught up with Davenport in the last two games of the match; where Venus’ stamina proved to be much better. The only time Venus got to race ahead in the match, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands and did not let go till she had the platter in her hand.

The longest ladies’ final and what a match it turned out to be. Take a bow everyone:-)

Then the Aussie-England final.

For the first time in many a years Aussies were struggling to win a final, a situation they are not used to. England got their game right to restrict the Aussies under 200. The total put them in a comfort zone and they came out believing they could win the match. After a disastrous start, losing 5 wickets under 40, Collingwood and Jones put up a strong fight and got the chase right back on track. Aussies not ready t give up yet struck crucial blows but the Brits were determined not to let go. The tail wagged, Gough and Giles fought it out again. With 3 required of the last ball, Giles managed to steal a 2 and tied the match.

England did not lose and Aussies did not win and that’s the moral victory the Poms achieved!

I know test cricket is a different ball game but England will walk in on 21st July with a little more confidence and Aussies with a little dent in theirs. The Aussies were not expecting this kind of a start to their Ashes Campaign!

Come July 21st and the Ashes might truly come alive for the first time in a decade. So just sit back and enjoy the battle that will unfold.

P.S: A little prayer from me to God, give us sports lovers more days like this Saturday and bring up a rivalry in men’s tennis. The game needs it, else it will die a slow death!

Mahesh Bhupati did India proud by winning the mixed doubles at Wimbledon. Congratulations Mahesh, keep the tri-colour flying!

Friday, July 01, 2005


Someone once said you cannot choose your family but you can choose your friends. And what a blessing that is.

Actually we don’t ‘technically’ choose from the word go. I don’t think any of us, when introduced to people, start thinking ”Hmmm this person is going to be my friend for life, let me just be acquaintances with this one or the extreme; I’m never gonna talk to this person again.“

I don’t think we do that, we are not built that way.

We let the interactions happen; we let the talks happen, and over a period of time we either become close to some of them or we drift apart. Atleast I don’t recall telling people I don’t wanna be your friend for so and so reason and you are not my type, that’s pretty mean isn’t it?

If I don’t gel with certain people or fit into a group of people, which according to my best friend and hubby dearest I always realize a little late, cause for my entire life I’ve strongly believed that people are always good at their heart, it’s the circumstances that make them behave the way they do. But at times I’ve been proved wrong and those are the occasions I have stumbled and fallen flat on my face in friendship. I’ve met people who are mean just for the sake of being mean and that I find mean!

Anyways, mostly on such occasions, I’ve quietly kept myself out of their way, and over time moved apart, such that neither do you nor they realize it!

I think we make a choice of whom to be with only after we have given the person enough chances. I’ve heard most people say that school friends last a lifetime; they are the true ones you make. I have a great school group too and we are in touch regularly, but I’ve made lots of special friends post my school life. Out of a girl’s school, I was pleasantly surprised at myself to have made the best of my friends among guys in my engineering college, who later in life turned out to be my best confidants.

Friends see each other through every phase in life, the school days, the college days, the messy career days, through heartbreaks, through crushes, through depressions and gloom, through joys and happiness, through choices one makes in life, through success and failure.

They add that special meaning to your life. Moments shared, the long chats, debates and arguments remain in memory forever, and you keep revisiting and reliving those whenever you get together.

I cannot imagine not having them around during the important occasions in my life. Not only those, but even the smallest happy moments in life. Their presence makes the most ordinary happenings extraordinary. That’s the magic they weave into one’s life.

You just don’t realize when you grow up together and become an integral part of each other’s life. Nothing is forced, it just happens, because you chose it that way :-)