Friday, February 17, 2017

Beyond my window !

Beyond the pane,
Onto the pouring rain,
Distracted instead...
...A beautiful stain!
("The laddie reckons himself to be a poet!")


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bollywood Tearjerker - Facebook Version

The Facebook ads in print, promoting it's version of internet is getting larger and looking more like a pre-election promise, our politicians make - free education, free health-care, better quality of life, et al. Four, yes four, effing full page advert today.
Intuition tells me that something this heavily marketed cannot be altruistic; and this is FB's step in the door, for untapped "billion", given the ad market in the west is saturated and is a duopoly, with Google getting the bigger pie.
Granted, no Corp works on altruism; but them why couch it on such tear-jerker human angle ads? Just call it for what it is: we provide free internet access, if you agree to access a very specific subset of sites and services that we allow for; and see if it violates/meets net neutrality principles. Don't couch it in effing Hindi movie scripts... it insults our collective intelligence !

(Here are couple of links from the very newspaper that carried 4 full pages of facebook advert:
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/nothing-free-or-basic-about-it/article8042334.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/crony-connectivity-and-internet-for-us/article8042342.ece
)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Facebook... France ... Flag !

Let me get this out the way first - what happened in France was heinous - in no way someone can justify taking innocent lives. I felt the same sadness and a deep sense of futility of hearing of the attacks, the same i felt when I first heard of the attacks in Mumbai (The modus operandi seemed to be the very same too; and that was lot closer to me, with my close family living in Mumbai). I just cannot imagine the sense of loss, the families, the community, the country is  going through and my heart goes out to them...

... and to the families, community and the country of Lebanon, who lost a number of innocent lives in the suicide bombing too. These innocent lives are just the same as the 19 innocent lives that were lost in the suicide bombing in Baghdad.

How do Governments make a call - Why is that if (like in early 80s, in India) the  loss of lives in India were internal law and order problem; and when the same is perpetrated by  French Citizens (as it seems to be) in France, is a world-wide terrorist problem? Who makes the call?

Forget the governments, how do we, as individual make a call? What galls me is this, how is the lives in Beirut and Baghdad any less valuable than the ones in Paris. How does facebook decide to have your profile pic in the  shades of French flag for the loss of 130 lives, and not have the same for Lebanese or Iraqi lives? While I feel a sense of anger and deep sorrow for what the French (and Lebanese and ... and ...) went through, I will not change my facebook pic.  I refuse to be a reason, even if it remotely, tenuously, makes someone somewhere less worthy or any less important.  What is that in our lives that makes us inured to the plight of  certain people, but jump to partake in the sorrow of certain others? Doesn't this mean that we are complicit in judging the value of certain lives lower than others...

...by doing so, haven't we made those impressionable kid in Beirut feel small, aggrieved and planted a seed to seek justice; perhaps the very genesis of terrorism?

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Why are they still friends?

With most listed here, we have been friends for over 15 years, some for nearly 20+ years... So, here is what I really and sincerely and God-thankfully I appreciate in each of you

A: Be simple, be straight, be positive; and able to see the lighter side of everything. Able to not take oneself seriously and also permeate that level of comfort with friends around. I've learned to simplify things and that not everything needs to be complicated.

A: Simple. Wysiwyg - there are no filters. Peter Pan - although extremely wise, still not really grown :-) Completely true to what he does, with no half-way measures. He has inherently made me to learn more and sometime even teaching learning could be fun :-)

D: Introverted, very sensitive. Readily and without batting an eyelid will go one or 14km extra for a friend; that is his normal day. Dreams big, does big, but hardly makes a big deal out of it. Really has taught me, how to let go of the fort, wall and moat that I would build around me and not really talking about my issues
.
R: Silent, completely ego-less guy - he almost seems to be joyful in submerging his own personality for the good of people around him; always seemed to be truly happy in others' victories (except of course, in Tennis, it has to be himself and Federer). Somewhere, in this world, there are set of mums who are ruing that their daughter wasn't able to ensnare this guy.

R: Not so much in touch, but I believe, I'll just pick up where we left. Again - pretty grounded guy  -- knows himself quite well; will call it as he sees it; there are things that he has told me that has made me a better person today. There is a switch that lights the bulb and comes to you. He has done that several times to me - improving me; and I'm not even talking about work. This is personal.

S: Sincere, hardworking and a total introvert - he is one standing example that tells me that with an effort, we could rewire the brain; I still use these principles with my son. Loyal to the fault, even to the point, he has hurt himself, I truly wish he retires and enjoys life a bit more !

So THANK YOU Guys ! Sincerely !

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Federer Reaches yet another Wimbledon Semi-finals

Roger Federer reached yet another Wimbledon semi-final. This would be his 43 Grand-slam semi-final appearance. In the quarter-final, he got through his match in straight sets – 6-2, 7-6, 6-2, with relative ease.

Federer, who had declined to a precipitous #14 in the world end of last year, has made some adjustments to re-invent the game. After hiring his arch-enemy and good friend Nadal as his coach last year, Federer has switched to two-handed back-hand. Although his inability to adjust quickly to two handed back-hand was cited as a reason for his ranking decline late last year, it seems the hard work with Nadal has really paid off. Nadal, who had retired in 2017 after a spate of injuries said, “Roger now feels very comfortable with the change. He already is a great player, I just needed work with his mechanics on high bouncing top-spin on his back-hand”.

His compatriot, Stan Wawrinka, who now commentates for BBC has not counted out Federer to win his 21st  Grand Slam – “Although Roger has won only one Grand slam the past 7 years, he is always in conversation, when Wimbledon comes along”. The ever hopeful Federer fans believe, if the other half opens-up when the play resumes tomorrow, this could be the year for Grand Slam #21.

Federer, who will turn 42 this august, said, “I’m glad I played well today – it was a tough match to keep up with a youngster like this, but I thought I served great, found the right spots and my two handed back-hand is coming together really well”. He further added he is motivated to play until next year Olympics at Budapest, where he is hoping to win one medal for his country.

Federer is also in mixed-doubles draw with his 15 year old daughter Myla Rose Federer.


In another news, Pete Sampras announced his retirement from the senior circuit. He jocularly mentioned that he just got tired of waiting for Federer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Choices and being Insular !

This is about the Ms. Padukone's video that's making rounds as ‪#‎mychoice‬. As I'll be the contrarian, I don't want to promote the video by linking it here...
First off, giving the benefit of doubt, Agreed on what I think was the core message, but messed up due elitist urban perspective, surfeit with superficial symbolism. No one should be made to conform to someones template of right/wrong, other than it being their own choice; the only template I'm expected to conform is the law of the land.

But...
  1. What is this got to do with woman or man? The dignity of choice and able to live with it (taking accountability of that choice) is both applicable to man and woman
  2. And everyone's, man or woman- choice is never insular, we make choices for self, the significant others in our lives and the society we live in.

I understand in the current age of 15m of fame, the individual self appears more heroic and than the collective self;  It disregards fundamental tenets of decency, that every human being needs to be accountable to others, without losing their individual self... The "me, myself, I" message in the video is not something I'd want live by, or what I'd teach my kids to live their life by...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Battles !

Through the bracing cold mist,
Onto the unknown trysts,
Beyond this still chilly screen,
Awaits the life, yet to be seen !

This was written one very early morning, very misty/foggy that I couldn't see beyond 30m... But there was certain stillness to it; certain cool and calming presene... you could call it peace ! Although, you couldn't see beyond the 30m, it was not something that scared you !
just like the life, yet to be seen ! :-)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Songs, down the memory lane !

One night, just ahead of the weekend, lazing on the bed, I was just doodling on my phone... For some reason, I remembered this song... and as they say one thing led to another and there I was listening to a set of songs, with my commentary and whatsapping those to a group !

Here is the first song from that movie - Sharaabi - this movie was so slow to pick up and then picked up steam to attain a mini-cult status with lot of us in the mid-20s at that time... Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki... That movie... That song... Trip down (my) memory lane :-)

http://youtu.be/uourFnscU6Q

Here is one more. The mother is beautiful too. " O Mere Dil Ke Chain"

http://youtu.be/heXQRxM2Gro

And her is the Gujju bhai and ben ! Meri Bheegi Bheegi Si

http://youtu.be/K0THyu8oNlw

And... This one; The way she flirts with the camera is just awesome (no, i'm not talking about VIjay Arora).... Chura liya hai-YAADON Ki BARAT

http://youtu.be/-KgeYnMFBAU

And the next one, is just poetry..Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye - Jurm

http://youtu.be/BAqgHmIwp00

And poignant...
To understand that poignancy, you should have been 17 year old, in early 80s, and watch Amitabh lose everything that he loves... That was Amitabh losing - the man who had it all and could do all ! O SATHI RE TERE BINA BHI KYA JINA:

http://youtu.be/OssRAVZhsRk

Although I love  Kishore"s version immensely, there is a certain classical allure of how she (Parveen Sultana) sings it. And here are both the versions. The lead-in music is more haunting... But judge for yourself which version is better... ( "Humien Tumse Pyar Kitna Yeh Hum Nahi Jante from Kudrat)

http://youtu.be/mgqY4XXNbd4
http://youtu.be/75JxottQK9E

Anyways, that's out for tonight... Will end it with a song, that is lyrically just lovely... And the rendition adds to the experience !!! "Pyar Deewana Hota Hai"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lslZptXok8o

:-)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wired !

Through the
Labyrinths of anxiety,
Skirting the margins of fear,
Briefly stranded,
at the cross-roads of
Madness and lucidity.
Staring ahead,
he was awash
with an enveloping calm;
Of a future opaque.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Systemic Changes with quick fixes

A friend and ex-colleague of mine had written about judicial activism on his blog.  Reading that I had commented on his blog - which I thought might be an article by itself on this one :-)

IMO, the problem is systemic. We, as a culture, (largely and yes, I'm at the risk of stereotyping) do not want to be accountable to ours or hold accountable others to their actions. We need NGOs to fix things, we need judges to over-reach and get into Governance; In Mumbai when there are floods, there are typical stories about how the real Mumbaikar stood up to help their neighbours, year after year; however, no one is asking where the heck is the Governance, why the heck does it repeat every year, what has the Government done since the last few 100 times the same event had occurred.

We reach for quick fixes with an outlook, we will figure out a lasting solution the next time; and sometimes just trusting providence that it wouldn't happen the next time. I believe there are two key perspective that needs to be brought into finding the real solution:

First, we need to find a set of people who would govern better. This implies educating the rural and urban masses, the intent to vote every time and on every issue and actually do it and then hold the elected rep to their promises. This doesn't mean things would change quickly, but it is the toughest process we need to go through. 

Second, what we need to legislate and then govern;  in my view, the smaller-set of items we legislate, the easier it becomes to govern and also for the people to hold the politicians responsible for those. So, the answer may not be as simple as "free market" or "less bureaucracy" or "less constraints and regulations" but sure seems a good place to start. It just seems intuitive to me :-).

Instead, we go the opposite, we have so many rules and laws and continue to legislate more. We try and replace our personal accountability and integrity with public laws and rules. Then the set of laws becomes so  muddled that its implementation in a large and diverse country like India, with so many sub-cultures, becomes impossible; and becomes out of reach of common man and we look at someone else to help us get there - which is why we've so much of NGO and judicial activism. The problem with this approach is, it is inherently not sustainable... It is so dependent on the gray-areas and how the guy in the chair is going to interpret it. And how the next guy in the chair will over-turn it !

On a side-note, although I wasn't a great supporter of Kejriwal in their Lokpak incarnation, I do believe what he has decided now, is more sensible and the only way to go in a democracy. There is only so much awareness etc you can create in a revolution and being outside the system. The changes had to come, by being within the system - Anna Hazare and co, need to be part of the system of governance to change it. They cant be outside all the time and point what is wrong and add yet another piece of legislation to make it work. I'm pretty certain that Kejriwal is going to fail spectacularly in the elections, but I really hope he is in it for the long haul...

The systemic changes are tough and take a long time, but that is the only way to sustain it without quick fixes. Not saying quick-fixes aren't needed; every time we make a quick fix, we need to see what is the systemic change we've made to alleviate or eliminate the pain; the pain that the root-cause had created, in the first place. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Life's Important Questions...


Thanks to the site, graphjam.com, helping in providing a pictorial view ! :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fight !!

Shalini was pissed. Very pissed and angry and mad... Add all the words from thesaurus that could convey the depth of the anger. She was glued to the TV all morning, even bunking the the special 2hr economic lecture today. (The fact that she abhorred the economics, in her very first year of her BA class was orthogonal to this story - her hatred for economics stemming from the fact that she didn't get the complexity of it). But today her hatred for economics was only replaced by her hatred with what is going on - in her mind this was simple to hate. She and her friends talked about it last evening after college at Coffee-day, and sat there for hours debating the pros and cons of it. After coming home, she went to her room, turned on the TV and watched the Arnab talk in his typical aggressive style questioning the Government's decision. At the same time, she tweeted effusively and facebooked prolifically - and retweeted multiple messages and shared multiple facebook messages from her friends. As she had gone to bed, she felt her angst still simmering.

It is now - This morning; she was at the junction of the Victoria statue, near the entrance of Cubbon Park. She and her friends had arrived there on a call by some "Brashtachaar Andolan, the Bangalore Chapter". The call was all the like-minded people to gather at the site to protest the arrest of Anna Hazare and subsequent non-grant of permission by the Delhi Police for Anna to fast in his place of choice. There was this bald-man, who was egging on, saying something in Kannada into the megaphone ! She and her friends held placard and shouted slogans at the government... She was glad, that she along with majority of friends (and her parents) had not voted in the last election and felt a lot less complicit with this Government's decision. The fact that she and her family had some other pressing engagement that day and did not fancy standing in a queue for election. Her dad had joked, if only there was a Tatkal option for voting; and she had promptly facebooked it as her own and got huge amounts of likes.

Coming back to the present, the crowd was getting vocal; Shalini found several friends from her past and there were several youngsters, along with some serious-types (as she thought). The bald man, who was holding forth why Lokpal bill made a lot of sense and why the politicians, including the PM need to be policed. A lady, who seemed to be passer-by, asked the question if we are asking extra-constitutional authority for non-elected representative - the bald man, hemmed and hawed a bit, but at the same time, Shalini and friends boo'ed the lady and started questioning if she was a true Indian!! The lady beat a hasty retreat...

After being around for about 3 hours, it was getting to be evening and Shalini and friends started feeling a bit of ennui... They expected this to be fun, but weren't able to envision an end-game to the evening. Fortunately for them, good news arrived. There was suddenly a commotion. The bald man was conferring with a couple of other people. He, feeling important as the eyes were on him, picked up his cell and called someone ! He was flush with excitement as he animatedly talked alternately in broken Hindi and English... As he was talking he raised his fist up and a cheer went through the crowd, without knowing what really has transpired. The bald-man pocketed his cell, in a very self-important gesture, stood up on a soap-box and announced grandly - "We've won !! The Delhi Police have caved in - Anna will be fasting now !!!! We will get our Jan Lok Pal Bill passed !!!!!"... Immediately, a big cheer went through the crowd. People hugged each other and Shalini and co were ecstatic - they've won. All the tweets, facebook and bunked classes is going to change the world. They decided that they need to go out and celebrate the victory - where else at Coffee day !

She kicked her scooty back to life; and Avi, her class-mate got behind her. He was one of those boys who were extremely talkative and she was glad that he was in the pillion as they talked, feeling an enveloping aura of victory as she drove... Then, shit happened... She suddenly saw a policeman in front of her, flagging her down ! In her discussion, she had erroneously turned into an one-way street !! She slowed down and parked the the scooty, a bit ahead of the policemen. Avi, took her papers and license and took it to the policeman. In her rear-view mirror, Shalini saw Avi talking to the policeman...

In about 5min or so, Avi was back; as she stuffed the papers and started her scooty, she asked, "What happened ?". Avi responded, "I just gave him a twenty; saved a 100 bucks fine; lets go !!"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Of Pigs, PFand Pearls...

I'm part of a Fantasy football league for the past four years - its a pretty easy going league with lot of banter, ill-translated sentences, fun but quite competitive place. It is also run by a commish, who does things pretty much with an iron-hand (:-)). During the commish's tenure, the rabbits' DNAs have mutated, that their 4th leg has become an vestigial limb and can no longer be found... (in the lines of முயல், மூன்று கால் etc).

As the new season unfolds this year, he had decided on the draft order (with a feral and ferrous hand, of course), purportedly based on a lunch meeting at a Pizza joint with a few of the leaguers... My reaction to his post where he had published the draft order was as below:
___________________
The below is the result of sinister conspiracy hatched by neo-fascist extreme-left-wing cabal (of 1) !! The order of draft was totally different...

I'm sure commish would Meddle in, generate proof in terms of a torn masala-dosai smelling napkin that he quickly rushes out and picks up from an Indian restaurant nearby and claim it to be from the Pizza joint. This is so typical of first 4 seasons - I was hoping (against hope) that the Echoes of change that is sounding elsewhere in the world will also come to this league... but alas NO ! From behind the Wall, Commish continues to reign in with an iron hand and puts down any semblance of sense. No doubt, we would be pointed to the change in draft process; Its just a momentary lapse of reason and an aberration of deviant from the dark-side; just an exception that was obscured by clouds of, what appears to be traces of transient sense found in the relics of continuing autocracy.

The draft order is the last straw, the final cut. Let me ring the Division Bell, demand not to be treated as one among Animals and set controls to the heart of the son !!! I'm flaming outta here, praying that a new piper would lead you all to a gates of new dawn ! Bye then...

... until the draft day...
_______________________

Well, I was so disappointed, that except the commish, no one else picked the message of the post !! But life... as they have said...
"Sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older,
shorter of breath, one-day closer to death...
.
..missing the finer points from 17 channels of shit to choose from !"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Love in Modern times !

On the day poetry,
professing love to thee...
"alas", whispered a lil' birdie,
"keep it under 140".