Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Strange are people and even strange their behavior.

A sneezing Amitabh had nation queuing outside Sidhivinayak mandir, a fallen Prince made people send wishes via idiot box. A legend passed and I didn’t even notice.

This is late post, but Hrishida was a real Rishi and he not only made excellent movies, he made the best fish curry.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ganapati Bappa Mourya!!

Back from LA trip, revitalized and energized. It helped me to forget that home-sick feeling… at least for now.

Back home the streets would be full of glowing with colors originating from lights, decoration, gulal and people, the chants of sholaks and aarti would be drifting over the air perfumed with fragnance of essence-stick & flowers and of course there would feast of sweets especially modakas in every household. The atmosphere is enough to send all Ganesha-devotees in a sought of trance.

Tilak’s idea by introducing Sarvajaneek Ganesh mandal was to influence the freedom movement by giving common platform to people, but the concept has also contributed to defining a cultural symbol of Maharashtra.

My two days trip to LA, could be closest I could get to ambiance that could be found in Maharashtra during this celebration.

Though there are few more days before we give a grand send-off to my favorite god, but I am already saying “Phud-chaya Varshi lavkarya” as next year I hope to be in Mumbai, dancing in trance to the beats of Nashik Dhol, welcoming the Lord once again amongst us.

Apart from the celebration at Marathi-Mandal’s programme in LA & my friends home. I also got to relax at the sea-facing condo of a premium high-rise building on Long Beach, which belongs to someone who is star sportsman representing the US national team. Sunday morning I woke to a clear sea view with Queen Mary-I cruise ship docked permanently at its pier.

I wish I had some more time to spend time at Long Beach, but probably keeping the sanity of occasion I was there, we skipped raving at clubs on Pine street, that’s on my to-do list for next trip.

I cannot close this post without thanking my friend and his family for the hospitality they extended to me.

PS: There was almost a repeat of North-West flight incident on my return journey, the person sitting along the aisle, refused to switch off his gaming device inspite the flight attendant’s repeated instructions. However, we were lucky we were in USA and the person was white.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I enjoy comic book strips and have a small collection of my own. Bill Watterson, Scott Adams, Art & Chip Samson and Bill Keane are my favorite international artist, while R.K. Laxman is a favorite domestic artist and recently to my list I have added Rajneesh Kapoor.

Osho is a term for a Zen Buddhist. It is also an alias for guru Rajneesh. I haven’t read Osho Rajneesh, but I think Rajneesh Kapoor embeds a new age philosophy in his work with an aura of a Zen and hence the title for today’s blog post.

In some way I see certain aspects of me reflected in the character and that’s why I have been borrowing his strips to depict my thoughts on my blog. I hope he is generous and forgive me for reusing his material.

Few of my favorites by Rajneesh:

This calendar really captures our beliefs which sometimes are superficial and/or probably momentarily. It also shows how we have grown to take our freedom for granted:

Now all married men can see their guilt in this frame:

Here I can see myself accumulating gadgets, which are hardly of any use, but I still buy them for fancy:

This one is for guys like me who cant get over the fact that we are 30+:

Here Rajneesh portrays how we keep hearing the cacophony of glorious past and rosy future, but nobody care about ordeal of our present, it is simply wonderful:

And the dramatization of News:

Now this one is really good and very subtle, it takes a pot-shot at doctor’s handwriting on a prescription paper at the same time depicts current situation of medical students who have grown in urban India with limited understanding of social dynamics of our nation, politicians who fail to read the real need of people and pushing the problem to someone else who too again has limited knowledge:

Finally how we re-use someone else’s work to pose pretty:

PS: I would be flying out to L.A. today, I miss the festivity of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai, so when my friend and his parents invited me to celebrate the occasion with them, I couldn't refuse. So next post next week... untill then Ganapati Bappa Mourya

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hair Hitler!

Two incidents with a degree of similarity, which are currently consuming ink and bit space in desi media circle.

One his supreme majesty the undisputed protector of cricketing world the knight of damsel in distress (read England) Lord Darrel Hair’s verdict that Inzi and his clan are guilty of scrapping leather on turf of civilized world. Does he have proof, no one knows, but how can we go against the words from the almighty protector himself, after all he is man of principle and integrity and everything else what west defines as civilized culture, while we are mere mortals.

So Inzi I guess you cannot play next five games and loose certain amount of your fee, but I adore your courage for standing up and for that alone I am going to root for your team next time you play India.

Second is the Captain of a European airliner who on a recent trip to Bombay, dint understood what a bunch of desis were chattering or probably their mannerism on flight and he had to beam a bat-signal across sky for full air force support and the flight was routed back to a safe base. Few pests (read un-amused desis) were detained for interrogation. In this age of heightened and over zealous security scenario, where a lady cannot wear a personal garment having a gel support while traveling in a plane, how did the captain dream of truckload of terrorist entering his space?

I guess it must have been something to do with mis-understanding desi mannerism. If too many of us get together, we usually don’t respect civil code of conduct. Few of the passengers must have been arrogant, asked for few extra pegs of whiskey or got excited over a in-flight show of KANK and generally showed no-care to in-flight crew’s instructions or request and rest as they say is history.

In my opinion the in-flight crew of international airline companies should be trained to understand desi psyche, the basic law is - we don’t abid any law of discipline, that is when we are in majority. We usually don’t listen to our civic administration's diktat, how do you expect us care about a flight attendant?

Or here is a better idea, just put some Air-India staff on every of flight that has a more than say 50% bookings for desis. Air-India employees are trained for such crowd control scenario, they had been herding cattle flights between Des and Middle East.

The point I am trying to make is:

  1. The west thinks being morally correct is only their virtue while developing nations are bankrupt, not only in their coffers but also in their integrity.
  2. Also as long as we remain undisciplined and as long as we have few jokers who scruff the surface of pitches without thinking twice, there would always be an excuse to point fingers in our direction.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

TAG – What are you made of?

There are two Tags I care about. One is my fancy for TAG-Heurer Carrera watch and the other tag is one I dread when it goes missing at work – the HTML/XML tag.

I have been introduced to a newer variant and that’s the game of Blog-Tag, now I cannot refuse to play-in since a dear friend Velu has passed it.

So here is some self-analysis:

I am: where my heart belongs.
I said: “I Do”.
I sing: for my wife.
I dance: with my daughter.
I want to: be my son’s hero.
I am thinking about: home.
I make with my hands: dough.
I write: codes and plans.
I confuse: right from left.
I regret: my mistakes.
I cry: in solitude.
I hear: the waves.
I am not: an accountant.
I wish: I was 18.
I aspire: to be bored.
I need: my dope.
I wonder: if I make any sense to you?

And Fav-Five quotes:

  1. Be your character what it will, it will be known; and nobody will take it upon your word. - Anonymous
  2. Do or Do Not, There is no Try – Yoda
  3. To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principal. – Confucius
  4. Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows. - Helen Keller
  5. For those who understand no explanation is needed, ...For those who don't none will do. - Jerry Lewis

Ok now the next thing to do is pass this tag to friends, now I have only two who visit me here regularly or probably the only two - who leave behind their traces and since one of those two has passed me this tag, I guess it is obvious the other one gets the pass from me. Arch you are in…

Monday, August 21, 2006

Generation Gap
Religious-minded woman mourning the ways of the younger generation: "It's because of the cars! Look how far they can go for a dance or a date nowadays. It wasn't that way in your day, was it, grandma?" Eighty-seven-year-old lady: "Well, we certainly went as far as we could."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

80 days.

I am in the blue zone today…

Just 80 more…
80 more strikes to be made on my calendar,
80 more dawns before I see my sunshine,
80 more evenings before I play with my kids,
80 more meals before I share one with my own,
80 more nights before I sleep on my own bed,
80 more stars to wish upon…
80 more days before I can go back home.
...80 more days.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What a weekend!!!

Ok this caveman managed to do few things in 52 hours (Friday evening to Sunday night).

  1. Completed a business Proposal – 12 Hours.
  2. Drank three various versions of Merlot – three bottles in three days – 2 Hours.
  3. Played Tennis three evenings in row – 6 Hours.
  4. Watched Amitabh's movie - Deewar – 2 Hours.
  5. Watched few videos (Russell Peters, Tata Young, and few others) on YouTube. – 2 Hours.
  6. Played and completed SOCOM at all three levels – 10 Hours.
  7. Had a discussion (read argument) with room mates on worldly matters that has nothing to do with my life – 2 Hours.
  8. Planned a Trip to LA to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at my friend's house – 1 Hour.
  9. Called up India and spoke to my wife, kids and parents – 2 Hours.
  10. Wrote two blogs including this one and read few others by other fellow bloggers– 2 Hours.
  11. Cooked Sabzi to survie for coming few days – 2 Hours.
  12. Smoked a pack of Wills – 1 Hour
I hadn’t been more efficient. I hope to carry the same vigor into the workweek.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bliss of Innocence

On the eve of our Nation's 59th Independence Day, I would like to narrate a small story.

My son had a buddy at his school, during his Kindergarten days. He was neither from his class; neither did he ride the same bus to school. They just happen to share a bench during one of the summer camp class for a day, but it was enough to bond them as friends.

Next few months, my son would amuse us with stories and adventures with his new friend. They must have shared and traded toys and books, made plans for weekend sleepover and all the little things that sounded fun for these friends.

Around six months into their friendship, my son’s friend had to move with his parents to another city. It was a painful time for my son and probably even for his friend. My son must have asked me lots of questions and nothing we did seem to cheer him for few days after his friend had departed.

Now this would seem like a familiar story for growing kids nothing unusual, except that the friend was of Pakistani origin.

I always wonder how their interaction would have been if they had not met in a distant land and they were not in their age of innocence.

We may have been liberated to physical slavery imposed on us, but we have been bonded in to a religious and ideological slavery. Meanwhile, I wait for a Mahatma to lead another liberation movement.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tale of two contests:

Today’s (Aug. 11th 2006) edition of Rediff has two contests for its readers. One was to review KANK and second to bid for a date with Piggy Chops.

Firstly KANK… I wonder who came with that acronym. It sounds like sound of an empty utensil or a cranking automobile. I am not a fan of Karan Johar’s cinema so he definitely had come up with a carrot to coax that Tenner from me. So the marketing team from KJ’s camp has struck an ingenious idea - asking Rediff readers to visit Movie Theater and then writing a review and then the 10 most flattering reviewers out of them would be part of Rediff’s Movie review team, sitting right next to likes of Raja Sen. I am sure there would be enough suckers like me to bit that apple. I am sure I don’t want to bite this apple.

The second is more exciting, bidding for date with Piggy Chops… well as long as there are people who are so rich that they can have bollywood personalities dance at their kids birthday party, I don’t think I won’t be able to come up with an amount that would be anywhere close. Also, I think Piggy Chops is too beautiful and I don’t want to hurt her dignity by participating in some bidding… these grapes are simply sour for me.

So here I am writing about the contest and dreaming about that date with Piggy Chops… if only I had luck like Kittu (Aftab in Mast).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot:

Aamir, Hritik, SRK, Ash, Rani, Preitty and My son may be least bothered about what’s in their cola, but rest of the nation is looking for new additive in their bottle of cola.

However, I think we all are missing a point and that is to do with the source of pesticide that has landed in bottle, did the cola company used it as additive to enhance the flavor or get us addicted? Or is it the water source that is being used to make the drink?

If water source is indeed spiked with pesticide, than I think that should what the leaders and administration tackling. Cola probably is not yet part of our staple diet, however our water is the most essential element for our existence… it is our human right.

All this Cola-Ban is a big hogwash, while we may sleep peaceful thinking that we are safe after banning the phoren-brands of cola, the faucet in our kitchen has larger potential to kill you and me. Our politician’s reaction is like some allopathic doctor who treats symptoms rather than disease itself. It didn’t surprise me that two states that have banned phoren-colas are Red and Saffron.

It doesn’t imply that the cola companies are out of flames, but those in power and administration should protecting our water sources, while ensuring cola companies are in compliance with strict standards, using equipments that would filter all harmful ingredients and also be conscious about impact of their products on human health. I agree with ban of selling Cola’s at schools and I would support initiatives that would make Cola companies to spend money towards various healthcare and educational projects… without any sales pitch.

But the bigger issue is controlling rampant use of pesticides at farms and hazardous chemicals in manufacturing industries? They too need to be made accountable for their contributions to water source… until than enjoy lets enjoy our cocktail.

Today morning driving to work my car’s radio played “Big Yellow Taxi” by Counting Crow. A part of lyrics is still stuck in my head:
Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
Leave me the birds and the bees - please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Hey now, they've paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Why not?
Finally on a humorous note:

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pre-Orders taken for Anti-Stupidity Pill.

Now that the German scientist has found formula to cure stupidity, lets see who are going to be target audience. All humans would be benefited, but I think clinical trial can be performed on sections of following groups of individuals:

1. Politicians:
Definitely a large group, with current state of world, they would definitely need these pills. In fact WHO should float a program and come up with vaccination program for all politicians and aspiring politicians. Bush, Jaswant and Natwar needs most urgent medical attention.

2. Administrators and Babus from BMC:
The curators of Mumbai’s infrastructure definitely would benefit from this medical treatment.

3. BCCI Cricket Selection board:
With their twisted logic of resting in-form players, they too are prospect for the pill manufacturing company.

Now can some scientist please formulate a pill for pathological liars, Politicians and Generals from a neighboring country of mine needs one... actually Politicians from my country would also be benefited.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I have wonderful memories at my first job. Apart acquiring essential skills to survive in current competitive environment, I had an opportunity to meet some really great people – celebrities and otherwise.

One such person I had met, was a young mentally challenged girl. I use to pass this girl everyday outside Churchgate station on my way to work. This girl probably was in her teens then and use to stand outside the subway selling Pens, she was a roadside vendor, trying to make her daily living. The Showroom I use to work was just outside the subway and we use to loiter around the subway entrance during breaks.

I still remember the eve before Raksha-Bandhan day of 1996, it had been a high traffic evening for our showroom, when this girl walked into our swank showroom in her modest attire. Almost everyone in showroom were surprised to see her in the showroom, but no one seem to be bothered by her presence, it was probably because we had strange visitor in past, probably because we were located right opposite Churchgate station. Most of the time we would be polite with such individuals and other times we would use little forceful techniques to deter them away.

We had seen this girl many a times around the subway entrance, we knew she was not a trouble maker and the fact that everyone was attending to shoppers, so no one cared about her. She was just standing around and looking for something, she was definitely uncomfortable and so were all of us in showroom.

We had a very compassionate colleague among us, whom everyone in showroom respected. She was always ready to help others and attend to any walk-ins into showroom, while keeping her self-respect.

So our colleague decided to inquire with this girl and she had spent next 15-20 minutes talking to her. Our colleague soon discovered through her conversation that that this mentally challenged girl had a brother and her brother was learning computers and since the next day was Raksha-Bandhan, she wanted to gift him with something, which would help him do better with computers. She finally bought a box of floppy-diskette, which she could afford through the little saving she had and she insisted with her payment.

Today when I read a advertisement asking brothers to gift their siblings fancy Cars and Mobile Phones, that little girl’s gift to her brother seems to be far more worthy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thrill of a new Gadget.

My latest acquisition is a Sony PSP. I know that’s not hot, but I am definitely not an early bird for picking up new gadgets, reasons being usually gadgets are expensive initially and also to fact that my wife monitors my finance – more specifically my expenses, I just cannot sneak them into garage without being detected.

The PSP unit for a mere $100 was a sweet deal and it was bundled with 6 games, 512 MB Ram Memory stick and a 32 MB Memory stick, few accessories and around 30 audio tunes. I am sure it would sale for $200 on ebay/craiglist, but that is not my intent to buy this unit.

Apart from using the gadget for video gaming, audio/video player and finally “Gifting” it to my son, I have few plans for tinkering with the device. Two things I can think on top of my head:

1. Turning the PSP into a universal remote
2. Turning the PSP into a GPS

I think due to time constraint, I would have to scrap my the second project and in all possibility Sony would release its own GPS plug-in device for PSP by Q4 2006. So I think I should concentrate on my first thought.

Here is my initial reciepe, for my first project:

1. Configure WACI NX’s control system which has an inbuilt web server.
2. Some shell based programming for IR.
3. Interface for PSP’s web browser.

But before I implement this project, I would have to acquire one more gadgets – a WACI NX+ or WACI NX Jr. control system. I have already started my clandestine operation to fund my next acquisition.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


On the audio shelf in library this week I stumbled across a gem - “Niyaz”. “Niyaz” as I understand is yearning or need in Urdu/Farsi and aptly suited to my state of browsing through library the other day. I was yearning to listen something different; I think I had a overdose of DJ mixes and hip hop.

The sound composition from Azam Ali, Loga Ramin Torkin and Carmen Rizzo is hypnotic and ecstatic. The group terms their compilation “world music of 21st century” and their soulful composition definitely justifies their claim.

Though most of the compositions are in Persian dialects (and few Urdu), one can still connect to music. It probably has to do with Azam’s exposure to Indian and American culture, even though she is of Iranian origin. I was surprised to find that she grew in Panchgani – Maharashtra.

My favorite number on the album is titled “The Hunt” which I believe has lyrics in one of the Iranian dialect. It is about a hunter who is hunting for a game with his friend. The hunter sees his beloved in everything he sees and that restrains him from The Hunt.

The trio has posted video of their song “The hunt” on their website But honestly, the video-sound on website doesn’t justify the actual charm of composition I found on CD. They have a tour scheduled in LA next month, how I wish I could make to their concert, for now I have to be content with my own copy of their CD.

I would recommend this album if you are tired of remixes and bhangra.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Last weekend I had spent playing video games on my son’s PS2. The video game addiction is definitely a trait he has picked up from my side of gene pool. I myself must have spent countless hours exploring and mastering various games … that was before getting married ... Now my son gives me an excuse to buy games and gadgets.

We both would often spend hours at game shops, while my wife would complete her “errands” at malls. We would frequently browse through shops for discount deals and we even have discount cards and memberships from Game Stop and EB Games, the retail game store and subscribed to books for cheat codes and explore the Easter-eggs.

So when we were planning for my family’s return trip to India, I insisted to keep back PS2. “Excess Baggage” and “Custom Hassle” were convenient excuses to convince my wife. However, I had some resistance from my son, which I resolved by bribing him with another handheld game console – A Blue Nintendo DS. He happily accepted my offer, after negotiating and settling over “few” additional game-ware. We had to keep this deal totally secret from the chief vigilance officer in our house - my wife and so far we have been successful staying out of her radar.

Now I have the console all for myself … but few minutes in game I had a strange feeling. The games that I enjoyed playing no longer seem to be same. I went and borrowed and brought few more. Yet it didn’t give me the same satisfaction, for some reason I am not enjoying these games even though I have it all for myself.

And than I had realization; it was not the PS2 that I enjoyed … it was my son’s company.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The World Fair of Religions.

My friend and I went to the fair. THE WORLD FAIR OF RELIGIONS... At the Jewish Stall we were given handouts that said that God was All-Compassionate and the Jews were his Chosen People. The Jews. No other people were as Chosen as the Jewish People. At the Moslem Stall we learnt that God was All-Merciful and Mohammed is his only Prophet. Salvation comes from listening to God's only Prophet. At the Christian Stall we discovered that God is Love and there is no salvation outside the Church. Join the Church or risk eternal damnation. On the way out I asked my friend, 'What do you think of God?' He replied, 'He is bigoted, fanatical and cruel.' Back home, I said to God, 'How do you put up with this sort of thing, Lord? Don't you see they have been giving you a bad name for centuries?' God said, 'I didn't organize the Fair. I'd be too ashamed to even visit it'

("The World Fair of Religions" in The Song of the Bird, 186-187; cf. ibid., 189-190, 195).