Thursday, April 29, 2010
And so, I decided to put some of my work out to someone ready to publish. And as luck would have it, my work has found a voice somewhere. It may not be as big a deal as having something published on the edit page of the ToI. It certainly doesn't compare to the heady feeling of having your book published. But for me, it is a start. And a way for me to hold on to a hope that I can write ok enough for someone other than me and the paper recycle guy to want to read it!
So, this week's toils have led to some fruit. The widget on the right will continue to hold links to my work as and when it gets published. So cheers to a small beginning and to a long way ahead...
Terrorism - A regional monster as well : International terrorism is a real problem. But every country has its own forms of regional terror which are in no way a smaller menace. A fast-growing country like India has its own internal issues related to all-inclusive growth. Here is a viewpoint. - Article 1
The Indian Premier League - A sporting extravaganza or something else : From a superior sporting enterprise to its getting mired in controversy, a trace of the IPL so far. Article 2. a version of this also found its place at ezine!
And now, a topic close to my heart is article 3. All to do with driving in Maximum city Mumbai. Article 3.
Article 4 again deals with something I truly love. Enya, Yanni, Chopin and music. Here is article 4.
But while all this looks really good and feels amazing, I wonder whether all this is too good to be true???!!??? Or am I reading too much into something that perhaps isn't too much. But you know what? Big deal or small deal, it is a better deal than nothing at all. So happy reading and cheers to.. well, everything!!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So, we've had a roller coaster ride, with Twitter being the central character here. One Union Minister, perhaps new to murky Indian politics, was consumed by the seasoned alligators of Indian politics and business, but not before the media made a spectacle of his in-office and alleged out-of-office life. Some lady who was living her own life was also splashed across the front pages of newspapers. Some other ministers vowed and swore that they had nothing to do with the whole IPL muck, only to meekly squeak out a possibly remote connection. The kind of money that has moved hands and accounts between every available tax haven is obscene and one wonders what one person would do with that amount of money. I can't build a shopping list with even the wildest of my imagination - private jet : check, BMW : check, a palace for a house, chalets in the French Riviera, and I could go on, but yet not exhaust all that money. But then again, maybe that's why common people seldom ever end up with that kind of money. And finally, we had Mr Lalit Modi make a charged up speech at the final presentation ceremony, making everyone wonder why this speech here. We got our answers the next day in the papers - Because he was suspended!
What does all this mean for a simple observer on the outside? Well, cricket has always held the imagination of the Indian population. Now, the IPL was a welcome change on the Indian television, a way out of the drab soap operas that had stultified the Indian imagination. People had a reason to rush out of work and head home to cheer for their state team or for their favorite player. There was a topic to talk about by the coffee machine the next morning at work. So, with the franchise mired in controversy, does it change anything for the average Indian? If we just walk past the roadside chaiwallah, we get to hear the opinion of the aam aadmi. And in one of my walks, I came across a discussion on the IPL brouhaha. One chap blatantly said, “Who doesn’t get involved in corruption these days? Construction companies, businessmen, everyone is involved and the common man is not so stupid as to not know of the existence of such misdemeanors. But what can you do? Just take it as a way of life and any anomaly over and beyond the existing corruption should raise eyebrows. This is everyday stuff indeed”. True. Every business has its own fair share of skeletons in the closet. This business involved top political honchos. This business involved wayyy to much money. This business had managed to capture the imagination of almost the entire Indian population. Decidedly, the magnitude of the corruption should also be large enough to match, right? So everyone is a winner here. The sport of cricket has found another interesting avenue. The initiators of this enterprise have made bundles and bundles of money. Politicians have gotten more than their 15 seconds of fame. Media has gotten itself a really juicy story that it can enjoy for quite a while and the Indian population stands to benefit the most. On one hand, we have cricket, always a pleasure and on the other hand, we have gossip and scandal, another topic that manages to scintillate the human mind. Yes, ethics have gone for a full toss. But hey, tell me something new.
We reached the bottom, and there was a dirt track that veered to the left. This track apparently would have led to the waterfall. The waterfall in question was a sheet fall, that fell beautifully down a smooth rock cut surface. But when we looked to the right, we saw a lovely glade. It was super cool down there, under a canopy of trees. The whole area had a lovely green hue. We couldn't see the ground, since the whole place was covered by a blanket of leaves. We trudged across this blanket to a brooklet. The water from the falls came gurgling by and there were some rocks, placed in an opportune manner giving us a place to sit, such that we could just about put our feet into the water. This we did, and mannnn the water was coooool. It felt so good to put our feet into the water especially after a day of trudging through heat, dust and grime. And we sat there, opened up our sandwich packs, and sat with our feet in the water, yapping, singing, and basically having an amazing time.
After spending close to an hour or perhaps more there, we had to leave, to get back to Hyderabad. We were scorched, burned, tired, exhausted, but very very happy indeed. Even now, I can see vivid images of that glade, the tall towering trees there, the thick roots that stood through the brooklet, the tiny insects that flitted over the water, the random leaf that gently fell upon the water and went gliding past our feet, and of course us, singing away to glory, as if there was no tomorrow.
Thus ended our journey to the center of the earth. Absolutely ethereal. Absolutely beautiful. But all this fun couldn't have been possible without the company of the gang. Ren, M, Random - tooooo good. Together we made a temple visit fun. Together we made a simple dam a thing of beauty. Together we made a simple day trip a time to savor and remember indeed. Thanks a lot!!!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Now, if you really thought I was some kind of whacko like the kid who made some 25-odd calls to a Mumbai IT firm talking about a terror threat, I AM NOTHING LIKE THAT. Given a choice I'd prefer curling up with a book and a coffee, and maybe put in an occasional piece of writing, but to obtain that kind of an idyllic lifestyle, some basic gnawing issues need to be sorted out. One would have to be completion of pending tasks and the other would have to be smoothing out things that impact our daily life!
As profound as these may sound (I choose to call these 'discoveries' profound, since of late my life has lost all semblance of profundity, as my life now revolves around the mundane. So I wish to extract the most out of whatever it is that presents itself to me!). So, as profound as my discoveries may sound, for me to get to my end goal of an idle lifestyle, I figured I needed to interact with the highly annoying IVR of everyone who has anything to do with my life.
So, it all began with a cellular service provider heretofore referred to as the thought guys. The other day, as I sat cheering Mumbai Indians, I got a message on my cellphone that I had just finished interacting with a certain XYZ. All is ok with that, except that I had no clue who XYZ was. Suddenly the theme music of Karthik calling Karthik came into my head. Was I turning into a schizophrenic? Or was I suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder? Two of me using that one cell phone of mine? Intense! And then I started the hunt for the other me.
As usual, I called our friend 'Customer Service'. As before, several attempts met with the dead end. Multilingual repetitive messages later, all the while wondering who XYZ was, and worse, who XYZ's friend was who managed to talk to XYZ through my number, I hit the dead tone. Again and again and again. The reason behind my paranoia, was the fact that earlier, with the wind guys, I had had an experience ,as you perhaps might remember, with someone else answering when my number was called. So, I persevered. Tried over and over again, till finally, someone answered.
I explained my issue, and the person there said, "Madam, you got that message because you interacted with XYZ".
"But I don't know an XYZ"
"I understand madam, but you interacted with XYZ"
"I was watching the match and taking a nap before that. So how could I have called someone I didn't know?"
"No madam, that message is because you interacted with XYZ"
At this point, I got exasperated and demanded to speak to the floor manager.
"Madam, no use. He will also say the same thing!"
I was sincerely stumped. I was tempted to say, "Let him tell me the same thing himself!!!" But instead, I kept my temper in check and asked again to talk to his manager. The poor chap was pissed, but he put me through nonetheless.
This chap, thankfully knew his stuff and then the mystery was solved. This happened in a characteristic whodunnit manner. The floor manager, after the customary apologies that looked more rehearsed than ever, said that the message had come as a missed call alert. XYZ was the customer care person who had tried calling me a while back to try and disconnect my connection that I had spoken about previously.
At the end of this whole roundabout, convoluted story, though I was nowhere close to disconnecting that connection, I was relieved that I was at least proven to not be schizophrenic!!! See everything has a happy ending!!!!!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
If this doesn't make you all low, I wonder what will. For this certainly puts me all sad, needing some cheering up.
Then comes Enya. Her music is a lovely confluence of classical tunes, melodies, instruments and also some lovely lyrics every now and then. Take 'The First of Autumn' for instance. You actually have a Cello there, and this leads to a female choir. The beauty in this song is, that I can actually imagine a scene of sorts and play this tune as a background score! Take 'One by One'. This has lovely lyrics - a tad sad, but hopeful, as does 'Only time'. Again, 'The Memory of trees' has a very 'woodsy' feel to it. You can picture walking through glades in forests, surrounded by green hues all around.
And that was when I realized that my love for all these kinds of music springs less from explicit imagery in the song and more from the kinds of imaginative pictures and thoughts this kind of music can evoke. And another thing I realized is that such music also falls under the category of being an acquired taste - much like wine. So try as I might, I realized that it may be impossible to push my tastes down someone else's throat, since it is almost impossible to impose one's imagination and thought images into someone else!
So while the world can groove to their pet passions, for me it will still be the Marching Season, Playing By Heart, Nightingale, A Love for a Life or Book of Days, The First of Autumn, The Memory of Trees and Only Time...