Thursday, December 30, 2004


The Sun was bright, and the sands were warm,
The beach was just as resplendent, in its beauty and charm,
People on morning walks were in their lazy gaiety,
Admiring the vast ocean, majestic and mighty,
Fishermen were on their daily chores,
Rowing their boats far away from the shores,
An unusual calm in the morning sea, what a quiet day it seemed,
Couldnt be any closer, to the perfect day that they had dreamed.

Until the sea took offence, and banded an army of evil tides,
Set them on human trails, to push them on their final rides,
In a secret vendetta against the human race,
The ocean showed its ugly face,
Washing away thousands of innocent lives, causing incurable pain,
And yet be unapologetic in its splendour, threatening to revolt again,
The evil collusion of the monsters inside the earth and sea,
Spewing venom at life, through a huge ravaging tsunami.

A lesson for the humankind, through bodies that were never found,
When nature takes an ugly turn, civilizations have been razed to the ground,
In a war between man and nature, the loser will always be left to rue,
It is the law of nature to "Do unto man what man does to you".

A Cupboard full of Skeletons

In periods of peace, when everything seems mundane,
My trepidations loom large, thoughts I cannot contain;
These that disturb my calm, have long been my friends,
Burdening my mind with guilt, but never giving me a chance to make amends;
Breathing life into an uncomfortable past,
One that cannot coexist with a beautiful present,
Like creatures with ugly heads, that threaten to enter my heaven,
Those that should not be fought, but should only be buried,
Thoughts that never leave me, fears that keep me worried.

Life gives a second chance, but past does not;
New memories will never condemn the old ghosts to rot;
Those skeletons in the cupboard cannot be put away,
For they will certainly return to haunt another day,
Robs every chance of a guiltless future,
Kills with insufferable torment,
Dashing every small joy, those ugly creatures that never relent;
Till the day when there is no beautiful present, consumed by an everlasting past,
The day when life gives way, and deliverance comes atlast.

* Another Personal Expression. Not a personal experience.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Tsunami disaster: A prayer for the deceased

It really must be the beginning of the end!
When nature turns against humanity in a way as cruel as this, humankind are left to wonder, and even more so, to mourn. The magnitude of this tragedy, for us outsiders, is measured only in the number of deaths reported. But to those who have lost their families and homes, the tsunami has left them with an abysmal pit of irreplaceable loss. Unsuspecting people have been washed away to watery graves in a matter of minutes. Thousands of fishermen have lost their lives, and their livelihood. Homes have been destroyed. Villages have been razed. Survivors face the risk of epidemics due to water contamination caused by the dead bodies. Panic has given way to anarchy.
Nothing has remained the way it was. The way it should have been.
In this hour of grief, us lucky ones can only pray for the souls of the departed, and do our best to help save the survivors. By donating clothes, medicines, food, utensils, money. And by spreading the message of compassion. To let them know that "we care".
And pray that it never happens again.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

promotions and pitfalls

In times of disgust came a shimmer of light. And washed away all the discontentment, only to leave me with a new confussion as to which path I should tread on now. Till this good news came along, I had come to terms with the fact that my career had reached a standstill, and therefore, I had to innovate to set it back on track again. On a new ground. But now, after this huge leap, I am not sure if I have the will to tread new grounds. When the current one seems to be getting good, why expend energy looking for new ones. But again, If I dont explore outside, I may be missing out on things much bigger than what I have received now. But after such a long period of discontentment, even a small ray of light can light up one's eyes like a million bulbs. For now, I am contented. And confused.
Is this really a promotion? Or just another pitfall? Am i being made to bite some cheap bait? Should I sing my urge to explore to sleep ? Should I celebrate and succumb ? Or should I explore and rediscover my career?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blast from the past

This past Sunday, as I was sulking in my boredom, I couldnt help trace back to my childhood days, when every holiday was an event. When weekends meant cricket matches, pranks, fighting with my brother, breaking things, some more fighting with my bro etc. I was this fresh faced, innocent little kid that was exceptionally good at almost everything that kids his age were expected to revel in. Like Cricket, scoring marks in tests, athletics, putting on a good behaviour in front of guests, and always being truthful. This last quality that i mentioned didnt augur quite that well with my bullying brother. Everytime he broke a vase, or everytime he helped himself to some cashews stolen from my Mom's treasured collection, my innate need to be truthful would always put him in trouble. And in most cases, pain. Here are some of my treasured memories from my younger years:

1)I was about 7 years old when my brother invented a new game. He was a maverick who always wanted to come out with something novel. And in this case, it was a new game. And the game went something like this. I would be the thief and he would be the cop. However, this was a cop-thief game with a twist. The cop would be armed with a huge brick that he could feel free to hurl at the thief. And ofcourse, my brother was bored of being the thief in all those "mystery of the missing cashews" stories. So he always chose to be the cop in this game. And since I was such a nice kid, I didnt mind being a thief if it meant my brother would get to be a cop. Atleast for once, he would get to be on the right side of the law. And so this game would begin. And sooner than I would realise, my cop-bro would get completely immersed in his role, and naturally, that would mean bricks flying at me. Although I was kinda tiny, I was not tom thumb. And therefore, I wasnt completely immune to the brick attacks. And at the end of the game, I always had a big bump on my head, or a huge wound on my leg etc. And yeah, for all my valour, I would still be in tears at the end of the game. And my brother would be all pompous of how no thief could get past his honest cop avatar. I am so glad that he chose to be a marketing professional. If he had become a cop, I would pity the thieves that came his way. And if you find that hard to believe, I have so many scars on my legs to prove it.

2)This was about a few months after I figured out his brick trick, and started refusing to play the thief anymore. So we, that's bro and me, started playing cricket. It wasnt as wild as the brick-trick. But my bro had to compromise. And so began our tryst with the gentlmen's game. Very soon, bro and me were winning accolades for being the young turks. We were rather good at the game, and it wasnt too hard to notice that. My bro was really good at those nasty bouncers. And if there was anyone who could face up to his wild pace, it was me. And not just face it, but even smash it all over the park. This didnt really go well with my bro. And one fine day, after plotting for months, my bro finally got his chance to get back. We were playing a game of cricket in the ground in front of our house. And I happened to take a wicket off my bowling. And ofcourse, it called for celebrations. So i went about hi-fi'ing all the homies. And when I went to hi-fi my bro, he turned me around, and pulled my shorts down for everyone to have a full view of my naked rear. I was a rather sensitive kid. Especially when it came to nudity. And I ran away from the place, with tears rolling down my cheeks. The ones on my face, you perverts.

3)This was when I was in 3rd std. About 9 years old. My bro was the cricket captain in his class. And they had this prestigious final to play for the school shield. And they had one player less on the D-day. So my bro and his friends decided to play me. And since I was such a puny little kid, the opponents couldnt care less. As the match progressed, we had a handsome total to chase. My brother, the captain, perished rather early leaving the team reeling at a paltry total. When everything had seemed lost, I went in to bat. And I batted and batted. Till the target was just 6 runs away. There was just one wicket left. And my brother was doing the umpiring bit. The final over, and I hit the first ball straight over the bowler's head towards the boundary. Now, the boundary was a wall, that had gaps at several places, and my shot took the ball into once such gap in the wall. Although it crossed the imaginary boundary line, it rebounded against a huge rock and came back into the field. Now, in every other case, it would be declared a four. But not when my brother was umpiring and me batting. I had stopped in my stride seeing the ball cross the boundary. To my utter disgust, the fielder who retrieved the ball threw it back to the bowler who promptly clipped the bails since my brother had already announced "Not a four". And there i was stranded in the middle of the pitch, and cheated out of a victory by a jealous brother.It was sweet revenge that even the opponent team unanimously decided that I should be the Man of the Match. The prize, I still remember, was a notebook and a pen.

Too many memories, but too little time to pen them. More later.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My best friend's wedding-part 2

A few months ago, I had blogged about the seemingly impossible task of finding a suitable bride for my super-eligible bum-chum Shankar. Seemingly impossible because Shankar had to find a girl who would meet the high expectations of all his well-wishers. And knowing Shankar to be the noble samaritan that he is, he certainly has a lot of well-wishers. And therefore, finding a girl who would be physically attractive yet demure, intellectually stimulating yet naive, academically brilliant yet not headstrong, professionally settled yet willing to give it all up if asked to, was a tall order. Add to this, the sense of urgency that he was forced to conduct his search under. And ofcourse, unrelenting work pressure which Shankar is innately incapable of rejecting. In such a boiler room situation, even the toughest nut would crack.
But not our man. Or did he?
Well, Shankar, after the minutest of deliberations, was almost impatient to say yes to the girl that we now know to be his fiancee. The impatience , I am guessing, was part due to the fear of professional vilification from a smitten female colleague, and part due to the irresistable charms of Miss Rashmi.
Sometimes, when the heart does the mind's job, impatience is the end result. And in decisions such as this, the heart certainly rules over the mind.
But one thing's for sure, Shankar certainly is on Cloud nine, and his feet barely reach terra firma these days. And why not! Rashmi is every bit the dream woman that Shankar wanted. Pretty, shy, culturally rooted, professionally on the rise, mature, understanding, and simple.
Now, if he had shown the same impatience in getting married to her, I wouldnt have had to wait another six months for an excuse to celebrate. At my best friend's wedding. Finally!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Of Rebels and their shallow beliefs

In a world ruled by conventions, being a rebel is a true fashion statement. More for the fact that you are not one among the crowd than for the belief that you are cleansing the society of its ills.
That being my basic definition of a rebel, as one who aims to stand out rather than stand up for any cause, I got my golden opportunity to prove to the world how right I was. About rebels and their lost cause.
This man that I have grown up being in awe of, due to the tall tales of extraordinary will power and unwaivering determination in the face of all adversities that convention threw at him, was the one rebel that I knew would conclusively prove or disprove my thoughts about the narcissistic indulgences of these "rebels". And for his own sake, and for the sake of not wanting to have to put him down from the pedestal that I had elevated him to right from when I was a kid, I hoped I would be proven wrong. I hoped he would come out unscathed when I was done throwing my skewed arguments at him.
Alas! The mighty did fall, and HOW!
When all your arguments to counter his baseless accusations against society are conveniently sidestepped due to a want of a counter-argument,
When every fact that you produced to prove your point is countered with a stinging account of the number of books that he has read that you have'nt,
When this "rebel" takes refuge in his indulgence in redundant tomes to elevate himself from the position of defeat that he invariably finds himself countless number of times due to you being at your effervescent best,
When you discover that this "rebel" who hates the society for the ill-harboured conventions that it adheres to, is in reality, just a two-face who nurtures all those ills that he hates the society so much for harbouring (and which the society has long given up in the name of modernization),
You brand him a "FAKE", and hate yourself for having to do that.
Afterall, heroes are hard to come by, and when you add to the diminishing count by killing one, you cant help but hate yourself.
As a parting shot, I couldnt resist taking a dig at his being confined to the marxist literature that adorns his library rather than go out and see life the way it is. At his misconceptions about urban middle class conventions without ever making an attempt to mingle with it himself. At his allegations of the prevailing social injustice without ever being a part of the society. Couldnt stop myself from blabbering the obvious sobriquet-"FROG IN THE WELL". Yes. That's so true. It takes some courage to say that. And i pride myself for having that. It takes some courage to accept that. He turned out to be a coward on this count too.
And the stone I threw at the frog in the well managed to splash a lot of water. Its raining in Bangalore too. Everytime he calls home, it does. I am not surprised. It's so much like a "rebel without a cause". It's so much like him.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Wedding Blues

Tuesday, Nov 9th 2004: It is just 5 days to the Wedding. My wedding.

And yesterday I was a kid. I still have those bermudas that i adored in school. My Hero Ranger is still lying in Sid's place cos he wanted to shed some kilos by cycling. And ofcourse, my marble collection from 5th std was all intact and sparkling when I gave it away to the maid's kids last month.Sid still calls me CK, just like he used to in high school. Alright, so he doesnt sound like Donald Duck anymore. My mom still mixes my rice for me , just like when I was a kid. And yes, I am getting married this weekend. No, it is not illegal for a 27 year old to marry. Certainly Not in India. But I was a kid just yesterday.

But today I am an adult. So is Sid. Likewise with Shankar. And that's why Sid doesnt come to me with stories about his walk-up-the-hill-holding-hands-with-Chithra. That's why Shankar doesnt show me around Reshu's house when we cycle upto Gandhi bazaar. And that's why CP doesnt show me his new costume on his birthday. But I was a kid just yesterday.
Now, I am on the threshold of marriage. Forget being a kid, I wont even remain a bachelor. I will come home everyday to a wife, who I do not know well enough to be myself with, just yet. So i put on my best behaviour, day in and day out. Because I am not a kid anymore. I am a man. A soon-to-be-married man. Am i scared even a wee bit? Not a chance.

I am just plain paranoid.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Final Deliverance

Recounting incidents of the past few days, i sit down to ponder,
I try real hard, but i cant think of anything that i did to get you sombre,
Where is the whiff of fresh air, has the ray of bright sunshine diffused?
Where are those peals of laughter, replaced by the silence of the confused.

Recounting incidents of the past few days, the sudden chill in the summer air,
What did it take to break apart, the fortitude of the perfect pair?
Without a word, without a sigh, you walked away, please tell me why,
Broke my heart, left to cry, was this all just a lie?

Recounting incidents of the last few days, i shudder at the thought,
The day you walk out of my life, leaving me in despair and distraught,
Forever holding hard on to every single magical moment spent with you,
Till my final deliverance from the depths of agony, onto a life anew.

*This is not a personal experience. Just a personal expression.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Living a dream: My friend Aj

Last Friday, I woke up not-so-early to a ringing cellphone. To my pleasant surprise, it was my good friend Aj from the US. Speaking to him after a rather long time felt good. It also rubbed in the realisation that one of my best buddies was not going to be around for the biggest moment of my life. But I guess things are the way they are meant to be. I was very happy to hear from Aj about his professional growth. He termed it as a "dream come true". That must really be something then, because Aj is rather tough to please, and I can vouch for it from our 11 years of friendship.
Anyways, it always feels great to begin your day talking to a friend. Especially if he's one of your best buds. And he seems to have taken a massive liking to the US and its people. And he certainly knows a thing or two about the Presidential elections in US. And he expressed his regret at not being able to cast his vote for Kerry. Not sure if his regret was for Kerry missing out on a vote, or his not being eligible to vote. To quote Aj, when he met Kerry's supporters :" I am afraid I cant vote for Kerry because I am not YET a citizen of USA".
No prizes for guessing the reason for his regret after this dead giveaway.

So much for too much...

At a round table meeting with one of our senior account managers, I asked "Is there any incentive for employees who have put in long years for the company? I ask this because there is a general belief that such people are taken for granted since they will anyway continue to stay on". My question served to humor all the people around for the sheer bluntness with which I put it. However, it didnt serve to exact an answer from the manager.Now, I ask the same question again. However, this time it concerns my personal life.Why is it that the people you love the most, the people you want to be with whenever you can, take you for granted? Why is it that when they know you would go out of your way to meet their demands, they make sure you go out of your way? If it is just to test whether you really love them as much as you should, then it is probably acceptable a couple of times to go through their unreasonable demands. But if you are being tested every day , and you are expected to go out of your way everytime, you start thinking if this is really a test worth passing. And the very fact that you have to prove your undying love so many times can be very insulting.Every relationship, be it professional or personal, reaches a stage where one is taken for granted. Excessive loyalty, or excessive love. They all merit the same treatment. Disdain.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Mock-Tale Cocktail

Do those cocktail designers really intend to mean anything when they christen their concotions with extremely fanciful and imaginative names? Or do they just borrow these visually and aurally appealing names from some tourist magazine and then randomly distribute them across their collection of mixed drinks that they believe taste differently from one another?I am inclined towards supporting the latter.

This past weekend, there was a "Caribbean" (visual imagery again) cocktail festival at Zero-G, and R and I were curious to see what this was all about. Add to that R's curiosity about cocktails.

We walked straight into a super-suave waiter at Zero-G who even allowed us to choose the corner we wanted to place ourselves at. Call it great customer care, or simply, empty seats in every corner. We decided to give the benefit of doubt to the waiter, and decided to tip him generously for his politeness. Till this point, everything was fine.

After we placed ourselves at seats of our choice, the same suave waiter decided to pay us a visit to help us decide on the cocktails that he found suited us best. Am not sure if it was a mix of Italian-Tamilian accent, or Spanish-Bihari, but listening to him speak English made me prepare myself for a not-so-perfect evening. And he gave us so many options that HE found it very difficult to choose what drinks we would be ordering. After lot of pondering, HE decided that Caribbean Delight was the best drink for a man, and Arabian Fantasy was the light mix best suited for a non-drinker like R.

Since we are used to the psuedo-democracy having stayed in India all our lives, we decided to agree to whatever he decided. And soon enough we had our drinks placed on our tables. Colorful and photogenic. I started sipping away at my Macho drink, fully expecting a strong "kick" at the end of it. And R, after deliberating whether she should even taste her drink, finaly succumbed to my persuasion.

Our first sips of our respective drinks took us by surprise. I was sipping on a mocktail, or almost. And she was feeling dizzy already. We decided to exchange sips from each other's drinks to make sure our complaints were genuine. And sure enough they were. As common sense would indicate, our drinks must have been exchanged. And so we swapped our drinks and continued till we emptied them.

Now for the finale. Our suave waiter, putting on his charmer avatar, came to our table for the check, and he couldnt resist asking us the obvious question.

" Did you enjoy your drinks sir? Madam?".

R politely suggested that he must have gotten our drinks exchanged, and that she almost fainted sipping the strong drink that he served her . I was also going to add my own piece after she finished. But Mr.Waiter suddenly stopped me, and with an annoyed expression, and a frightening frown on his face, he said

"Are you crazy? Those WERE your drinks that I served. And make no mistake about it".

Whoa! So much for being polite. We just nodded apologetically, and tipped him generously for enlightening us with his mixological knowledge. And silently decided never to vist the place again.

That night R made a vow never to touch alcohol again.
Some wounds cut deep. Real deep!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The battle of Old Trafford

The invincible Gunners finally came undone at the hands (legs, shoulders etc) of Man U's physical style. How much of the defeat can be attributed to the football, and how much to the referee's decisions, is debatable, depending on which side you support.

Van Nistelrooy's horror tackle makes the verdict even more controversial considering he should not even have been on the pitch to take that spot kick. And Rooney showed one more skill in his already flattering repertoire with that "Oscar" winning dive.

Wenger's boys were surely done in, and football was not one of the reasons for that. Arsenal played the better football, but Man U played the tougher football.

Maybe its a lesson for Wenger that Arsenal should toughen up. Their inability to conquer lesser teams in Europe has also been because of their weakness against tough tackles. Panathanaikos softened the Gunners for their equaliser twice last week.

Manchester United added "injury to insult" over the weekend. Wenger may accuse the opposition for not having played the game in the right spirit, but at the end of the day, nothing succeeds like success.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Ever wondered about the state of traffic in Bangalore? I did, and it didnt look good at all. And here's why.

While driving to office this morning, through the numerous traffic congestions , I ended up stopping at most signals, like always. Blame it on my habit of seeing red at everyone and everything. Gimme red anyday! Anyways, at one of these many signals, I had, like a law abiding citizen, stopped due to the signal being red.

As soon as the traffic on the perpendicular direction subsided a bit, the man on the scooter right next to me with a 10 year old son riding pillion, vroomed out of the blocks, through the red signal, and sped away, safely from the traffic and the lazy traffic constable monitoring the signal. The sight of his son, triumphantly waving at us foolish people who were still waiting for the signal to turn green while his dad had so easily sped out of it was a revelation. His joy knew no bounds!

With fathers like that setting such wrong examples to their impressionable kids about the futility of adhering to traffic rules, no wonder the kids these days dont really care much about jumping a signal.
Wanna be cool? Break a traffic rule!

What is the use improving roads, if people just dont want to follow rules? The traffic conditions in our city is only going to get worse when these inspired kids follow in their illustrous parents' footsteps. I shudder to think of even venturing onto these roads.
Anyone knows how much a helicopter's gonna cost?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Nostalgic musings

Been a while since I penned any thoughts in here. Haven't been able to squeeze in any time for blogging of late. And today, I stumbled across a few rediff blogs and got "inspired" by some of them for their sheer nostalgic content. As for me, nostalgia has always been a favorite activity whenever I stumble across any artefact from my past.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was clearing my attic, and had to throw away my text books from high school. And that triggered off a huge wave of nostalgia, thinking about those great times that I had in St.Paul's. Those friends, the crushes, the intense rivalry with Deepak to secure the 3rd rank (the first 2 were never up for grabs, thanks to Rohini and Janhavi), and the thrill of never having lost out in that rivalry ever, etc. Kids these days are missing out on the kind of innocent fun that our generation was lucky to have had. The time when a monthly allowance of Rs.50 was a princely amount, and was enough to actually add to my already bulging savings. That despite the almost daily indulgence in "Dil Kush" at Krishna Bakery. Today's kids would probably look at Rs.50 as "one day at coffee day" money.
Some of the best memories from my high school:
1."Dil Kush" at Krishna Bakery
2. Riding doubles with Siddha on my Ranger
3. Playing leather ball cricket every evening on matted wickets, and captaining the school team.
4. Playing football against the next section, and always squandering the four goal first half lead due to a 7 goal second half onslaught due to our defenders insisting that they want to come forward and score a few goals too, and consequentially, leave the goal unguarded.
5.Siddha's feminine voice
6. Deepak's intense jealousy towards me for outscoring him in every test.
7. The school excursions, and the crushes that we would inevitably pick up on those excursions due to the extended hours of drooling at them.
8. The eventful squabbles and controversies that would surface after every excursion, and my peace-maker role.
9. Crushed crushes (sigh!)
10. Results from the 10th ICSE exams, and the euphoria that came along with it. And yes, managing to come on top again in the rivalry with Deep.
I better stop before I get misty eyed , overcome by nostalgia. School days are the best days. Period.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Champions' League round-up

It's a sleepy Thursday here at work. Had very little sleep last night watching the UEFA Champions' League matches. Arsenal and Barcelona, my two favorite clubs (not necessarily in that order always) were both in action. Although neither of the matches were prestigious in terms of the quality of the opposition or what lie at stake, the very fact that the Gunners and the Catalunyans were in live action was reason enough for me to brave the sleep, and risk falling asleep at work .

Barca, as they have been this season, were a well-oiled unit and went about their job of decimating the Ukrainian outfit Shaktar Donetsk without much fuss. Three goals, one each from Deco, Ronaldinho and Eto'o was enough to guarantee the 3 points that they were never in doubt of coming away with. Considering the fact that the last Ukrainian team that visited the Nou Camp had caused a major upset humbling the mighty Barca 0-3 in 1997, this match had a good build-up for the Trivia hunters. And incidentally, Barca triumphed with an identical scoreline.
Perfect Revenge, as the Spanish tabloids were screaming.
King Henrik was a second half substitute, and had a huge reception upon his arrival. He missed a couple of chances, but nevertheless had a good 15 minutes on the pitch. Barca, if they continue their early season performance, look like major contenders for the La Liga and the Champions League. Frank Rijkaard may afterall end the Silverware drought at Barca. The headhunters at the Bernabeue will certainly not like the prospect of a Catalan victory.

The Galacticos at Real are not really helping their cause in any way by their dismal showing. Camacho's resignation could be just the first of several heads that will roll if Madrid falter again. Especially if it coincides with the Catalan revival at the Nou Camp. Raul's brace against Roma is a step in the right direction. But it could be dismissed as a flash in the pan if they continue losing in the Liga to relegation contenders. One gentleman from Liverpool may not be too averse to that idea if it helps him get a few more games on the pitch. Michael Owen's dismal form for Liverpool last season should have been ample indication for Real to spend their millions elsewhere. But the Galactico policy of Perez, plus the cut price deal that they were getting Owen for, has ensured that David Beckham will not go down as the worst English signing for Real. Did I hear someone bet on England for WC 2006? With Becks as skipper and Owen as his deputy? This is one bet that you are sure to "Loos". Did I hear Becks wince?

Speaking of David Beckham, back home at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney's amazing hatrick on debut has made him the most talked about English player, ending Beckham's decade of dominance. The coup de grace was a Beckhamesque freekick that curled teasingly past Rustu Recber in the Fenerbahce goal to complete the Rooney trick. Bye bye Beckham.

Meanwhile, in Norway, the mighty Gunners were pegged back by a spirited Rosenborg. Arsenal, for all their domestic brilliance, have yet to find form in Europe this season. Rosenborg, on the other hand, continued their brilliant form from the Tippeligaen into the Champions' league, frustrating the Gunners with their very direct style of attacking football. Arsene Wenger must be a worried man with Arsenal still looking suspect in their away games. The Non-Flying Dutchman's absence was telling by an obvious lack of vision in the Arsenal attack. Considering this is Dennis Bergkamp's last season in top flight football, Wenger must be hoping that the likes of Reyes and Van Persie blossom really fast. Else the flair and finesse that has become the trademark of Arsenal may soon fade away. However, these are still early days, and Arsenal have a very astute manager in Wenger, and the Gunners can be excused for their last night's performance since it is only their second match in Europe this season, and they are still at the top of their group. Considering they had just one point after their first 3 games last season, this one's already better .

Roman's Chelsea have had no such starting troubles though. Mourinho's dour superstars have consistently managed to grind out results, despite not always looking like the 200 million that were spent on assembling them. Their demolition of the reigning European Champs Porto was very workmanlike. With 6 points from 2 games, who can find fault with Mourinho's style of "grinding out results" soccer! Porto without Mourinho, however, don't look like the team that they were last season, and are back to being the fringe team like most teams from the non-elite leagues in Europe. Martin O' Neil's arguments about Celtic's potential notwithstanding, considering they lost both their games.

Bayern Munich and AC Milan have so far looked like potential contenders for the later stages of CL. But aren't they always? Juventus and Inter are top of their groups as well. After last year's surprise finalists, it's back to the continental Super Powers this season, with most teams from England, Spain, Germany and Italy topping their respective groups.The next round of matches should give a fair idea about the teams that would go through to the next stage, since there are no major upsets that one can envisage from what has been seen so far. Ofcourse, Monaco beating Deportivo is not considered an upset anymore!

Monday, September 27, 2004

God: The Sacrosanct Superhuman

"In God We Trust"- Common phrase ofcourse.
But how can we trust someone we don't know?
This piece of pondering was inspired by some old memories (not that there are new memories). A maternal uncle's story as narrated by my mom, and some of her sisters. Till his late teens, my uncle was an extremely religious, highly devoted follower of the Hindu Gods. Legend has it that he spent a whole day at the local Vishnu temple attending puja during the Utsav a day before his matriculation exams. Interestingly, this same person is now a staunch disbeliever in the concept of the almighty. A rather contrasting change! From a sanctimonious devotee to a blasphemous atheist.

That brings me to the question I have been wanting to ask.
What is God?
Note that I have deliberately settled for "what" instead of "who" due to my need to accommodate a definition of God which goes beyond the deityfication of the almighty into a human-like entity which most religions, and their associated mythology, have propagated for centuries and beyond.

And the next question is:
Is there a God, the way we know "Him"?
Now, the answer could be quite simple for this one. We don't really know "Him". So the existence of God can not be validated at all.

Millions of people have, in billions of pages of religious literature, written about The Almighty, and his amazing strengths, and the miracles that only he is capable of, and how their lives have changed for the better due to their "coming together as one" with The God. I am, certainly, not in the same league to argue about what these great people have written. However, it does get me to think as to why people delve between the extremes when it comes to faith (or the lack of it). Case in point is my uncle that I mentioned about. How can a person change his religious orientation so drastically overnight? Is it an admittance of complete ignorance till the day he realized that his new faith (which is actually no faith) was the impeccable truth? Does he now believe that there is no supernatural, super human entity that was responsible for this world that we live in?

Two Answers.

One. If there was no supernatural being, then everything must be science. And since we cannot conclusively explain genesis even with our advanced knowledge of science, I'll have to live with the disheartening thought that our scientific achievements are nowhere as close to where our pragmatic thoughts would demand. Some divine intervention is definitely welcome. Ironic.

Second. There is a God. Simple. Uncomplicated. But is He a he? Or is He a she? Questions that cannot be answered. Apparently, on second thoughts, this interpretation is not as uncomplicated as I initially thought. But really, once we have accepted the existence of this supernatural entity that governs our lives and much beyond, it is really not that important what form we want this entity to be in. Being very basic, God could be just some speck in space which could be causing and controlling the world and everything that happens in it. And the deityfication of this space into human-like entities could just be a poetic interpretation of our ancestors. Over the eras, the metaphor may have been lost on the future generations, and therefore, people may have started to believe that God is, really, this human-like entity with superhuman strengths.

Interestingly, the superhuman strengths of God has helped the English Language coin the word "Juggernaut" to refer to an unstoppable force. Etymologically,the word is a distortion of the Hindu deity Jagannath. The chariot of Lord Jagannath, at Puri in Orissa is considered to have amassed such massive momentum that it crushed several people in its path due to its unstoppable force.This deityfication has surely not gone waste since there are thousands of people who earn their livings through the religious images and paintings that they have found a booming market for. A picture of a huge statue of Lord Ganesha being immersed in the ocean in yesterday's Times is my vindication.

Since the entire concept of The Almighty is , but, a speculation, each person would either invent or conform to an interpretation of the existence of God that would suit him best. Wonder what made my uncle change his interpretation of God from the Sacrosanct Superhuman to the Spatial Blackhole!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

My Best Friend's Wedding

Contrary to what the title to this article might lead you to guess, my best friend is still unmarried. Infact, he's not even hooked yet. If there's any eligible bachelorette reading this, you know whom to contact if you are interested in meeting the nicest guy on this planet.

Now, I am really not exaggerating when I call him the nicest guy around. What would you call a guy who is way above the average in terms of his professional achievements, who has, in my 11 years of knowing him, never been vexed at anyone or anything, who adores his family and does everything to make sure they are happy, who blushes red in the face when reciting even a vegetarian joke, etc etc. Nicest guy would be the closest I could get to being able to do justice to his extremely delectable demeanor.

Shankar and I first met in 1993 when we joined 11th std in NCJ. I cant say we hit it off immediately. Shankar was this noble samaritan who would religiously attend classes with rapt attention, and then disseminate his gyan to all the not so intellectually privileged fellow students after class. And I was this arrogant, disinterested, self-professed intellectually superior creature who wouldn't need to listen to what was being taught since he could score much better studying on his own. Or so i thought, and who's to argue since it was never disproved. But Shankar and I shared a common passion for Brahminical brethren to make intellectually stimulating conversation. And Raghu served as the common friend who served as a catalyst to help us know each other better and bond a friendship that should, I am sure, last a lifetime.

During the next 2 years, we formed an amazingly witty, and yet enviably intelligent group who knew exactly how to balance fun and studies. The group, which we fondly, and maybe immaturely, called SARKAR (to abbreviate Shankar, Ajeya, Raghavendra, Kiran, Ajith and Radhakrishna) was the toast of the town for its innate ability to keep itself and everyone around humored despite always being politically, ethically, and socially impeccable. Interestingly, there were a few fringe members who were almost part of this elite gang, but not quite. And then there was Radhakrishna who was never really a part of the gang, but got lucky since we needed an extra "R" to complete our sobriquet.

It was, therefore, not surprising when Radhakrishna drifted out of the group right after 12th. And nobody really cared too much since his contribution to the group was just his "R", and little else. And after 12th, we were not too keen on the sobriquet anymore. So the group now consisted of only the real members-Shankar, Ajeya, Ajith, Rags and me. As the years passed, and as our careers took us in different directions, most of these names became just that...names. Ajith is now a super achiever with the UN. Rags is a "wannabe" super achiever, who conveniently sheds the "wannabe" tag in proclaiming himself to be the super achiever that he stops short of being by quite some distance (Just kidding Rags). Ajeya, despite his "rolling stone" professional lifestyle, has carved quite a niche for himself and is now minting dollars in the US of A.

And that leaves just Shankar and me behind, in good ol' Des. And in times like this, when I am scaling major milestones in my personal life, the need for a true friend is much more pronounced. And Shankar fits the bill perfectly. It is to my credit that I have uncovered a few real gems in the form of friends.

Now , coming back to the title of this article, Shankar has now grown up to be one very charming young man, and unfortunately for him, charm like his has very few peers in the fairer sex. And since we (his parents, my parents and me) cannot accept anything less than a perfect bride for our man, the search for his bride is turning out to be a rather elaborate affair. And since Shankar is the kind who cannot disappoint anyone, it's that much more tough to find a bride whose beauty will appeal to Shankar and his mom likewise, whose height and qualification will match up to the expectations of Shankar and his Dad, and whose charm will match up to the charisma of Shankar. And above all, whose horoscope matches Shankar's to a T.

Now, if anyone can help find a girl who matches this tall order, I can soon start planning for "My best friend's wedding".
Until such time, the search goes on..

Confusion:Spoilt for Choice

In a world of myriad choices, confusion is the order of the day. When there are many options, each equally good or equally bad, what would a person choose? When every route is just as alien, which route will you opt for? When every answer in an objective type question seems just as right, which one would you mark against? Do these questions confuse you? Do they get you to scratch your head in bewilderment? If yes, then you are on to me.

Confusion is the state of mind when one is not able to conclusively decide which, out of the many options, should one opt for. It is a great leveler because it affects the ignorant just as much as it does the knowledgeable. Confusion, from an optimists view point, is an indication that you have several options to choose from. From a pessimistic view point, it can be interpreted as a case of losing out on all the options that you didn't choose, Or maybe choosing the wrong option. Its an interesting argument whether confusion is a good state of mind for one to be in.

As a general notion, a confused person is considered mentally weak, or intellectually challenged. A confused person is generally subjected to ridicule and is portrayed as a cartoon with an itchy head. Confusion is, more often than not, synonymous with ignorance. It is an indication of an obvious lack of strong decision making capability. A confused person is considered to have no conviction, and is dismissed as someone who can be easily manipulated. In short, confusion has been portrayed as a highly negative state by conventional thinkers.

However, maybe one should spare a thought to look at the positives of this negative state of mind. Would you rather if you were confused whether to die or live, than be convinced that you should die? Confusion could have saved your life in this case. How about the local superstore that you go shopping at? Would you rather have just one brand of detergent available which you invariably have to buy even if you don't get that "jhaagwala safedi" (shiny white color) that you crave for? Or would you live with the confusion that comes with having many different brands of detergent at your store, and having to make that tough choice about which detergent to buy to make your insipid life shinier? How about marriage? Are you the kinds that would marry the first girl(guy) shown to you? Or would you want to go through the troubles of being confused in having to choose the right partner from several people that you meet?

Now that you have read both sides of the story, which one would you side with? Is confusion so bad after all? Is it really a negative state of mind? Do you still deride your confused colleague? Do you snigger at your timid classmate for not being assertive in his decisions? Well? My guess is you cant make up your mind. Hey, wait a are confused, aren't you? Now, that isn't such a bad thing to be. It just means you have the power to pick the best out the available options.
And who wouldn't want to be "Spoilt for Choice"?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Another one bites the dust

As I sit here cursing my situation for having to come back to work after a 4 day vacation, I cant help but stare at this diamond studded ring sitting pretty on my finger. For the weak witted, that means I am engaged. In a small ceremony on the 19th Sep, I exchanged rings and a promise to share the rest of our lives with Dr.R. Conventional humor would demand a cliched punchline "Another one bites the dust". But deep down, I am thinking, if dust was this sweet, who wouldnt wanna bite it. Come children's day on Nov 14th, we should be pronounced man and wife. Sounds exciting!

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Sometimes, even when most things in life turn a blind eye to you, failure acknowledges you. And like death, failure is an inevitable truth about everything in life. In every success story, there is a lurking failure somewhere. In every happy moment, there is always the fear of failure. Failure, therefore, is one of the few constants in life. Success may cheat you, but failure wont. Just like life may pass you by, but death wont.

The mood of this article is, but obviously, black. However, the content is totally pragmatic. A result of years of introspection, a constant quest of happiness, and the reason why its neverlasting. As every successful person would vouch, failures spur them to greater success. Why then, are people afraid of failure? Why do people crave for unmitigated success but shy away from failure? Why do people fail to acknowledge the role that failure plays in shaping their lives? Why are people measured on their success alone, and their failures are never given their due?

A few weeks ago, I was sharing an absolutely blissful day with someone very close. Everything seemed so perfect that, for a while, I was inclined to believe in the concept of a perfect world. And then, I noticed a streak of sadness in the eyes of this person. When quizzed, she revealed that she has this fear that when she is very happy, there is always something that will go wrong. The same feeling has engulfed me several times over the past few weeks, that there is failure lurking somewhere around when everything is too perfect.

Failure, and more than failure itself, the fear of failure, has deprived the world of so many moments of happiness. We all need to shake the shrink inside our head to fight against this fear. We need to learn to accept failure as an absolute inevitability, and therefore, plan our lives despite it, and not without it. And when we successfully (irony intended) learn to negotiate failure, we'll all be able to enjoy the small joys of life a whole lot more.

I hope I was successful in conveying my thoughts about failure, and if I wasn't, well, failure is the stepping stone of success. So either which way, I cant fail . Not when I am successful, not when I am not successful. That's the beauty of failure. If you try to run away from it, it will chase you all your life. If you learn to accept it with open arms, it wont trouble you anymore.

So next time someone calls you a failure, just smile and enjoy your success.

Filmy chakkar: Ban - galore

Its a boring Thursday morning here at work, and sipping coffee and thinking about a plan for the weekend. I dont usually have to plan for weekends, cos I am either hanging out with friends, or chilling at Javacity, or getting cosy at home with my PS2. But as good fortune would have it, I met this amazing woman who , in a fit of absent mindedness, agreed to tolerate me for a whole lifetime (and another 6 lifetimes as well, if the elders are to be believed), and so I cant afford to not romance her during the weekends.

Now, as any Bangalore dude with a life would tell you, movies are really where it's at if you are looking for some clean romance, which brings me to the real point of writing this blog.
What is it with Kannada film makers and good movies? Why do they always run parallel without ever meeting? Why is it that every other language can churn out atleast some decent stuff once in a bluemoon, but Kannada films never manage to get out of the rut?

Well, I dont intend to evoke any fanatical sentiments because I myself am a Kannadiga, and have enjoyed several good Kannada movies in the days of yore when movies were made with a brain, heart and soul.While I would like to remind everyone that there have been some very good Kannada movies in the recent past, they form a very miniscule minority of the total lot.

In general, Kannada movies suffer from poor production values, bad direction sense, unattractive packaging (read as "heroes that would put villains to shame in terms of their appearance"), bad publicity, negative image, and bad music. As an upmarket viewer of movies, I also despise the mass adulation that is reserved for some totally uncharismatic non-actors who make larger than life movies that demand audiences to leave their brains home while all the time advertising "For intelligent people only". For this, I blame the audience for not knowing what good cinema is about.

In short, Kannada movies are in total chaos. But sadly, the Kannada movie audience deserve the kind of movies they are given. That brings me to another point I am trying to highlight.

The Kannada movie audience is mostly the lower middle class suburbans, or the highly conservative, and non-cosmopolitan upper class.These are the people who , more often than not, do not speak or comprehend any other language and therefore, are resigned to watch Kannada movies alone, and as the saying goes " Beggars cant be chosers". And so you have the coin throwing, catcalling, whistle blowing Kannada audiences enjoying the disgustingly insipid and absolutely senseless movies that are doled out to them.
Point to be driven home: Kannada movies have their audience, and the audience have their Kannada movies.

Now, if the producers of these movies cannot reach out to a larger audience by making better movies, they cannot and should not hope to cut into the audiences for movies made in other languages. And they certainly have no right to demand that theatres dont screen any non-Kannada movie till they are atleast 7 weeks old ( and viewed on TV, thanks to the booming piracy business). If you cant win a race, you shouldnt try to get everyone else to lose. It just means you wont have any winner at all. And thats exactly the case here. People who watch Kannada movies continue to watch them. People who watch non-Kannada movies will just not watch any movie at all.
Will someone tell me how it helps improve the Kannada film industry in any way?

Last heard, all the theatres have stopped screening Kannada movies as well.

Conclusion: My weekend movie date just went outta the window. Any multiplex screening secret cinema? Puhleeeze....

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Welcome to wherever you are!

I am new at writing blogs, but I have been sufficiently inspired by some very close people, who have convinced me that this is the best way to put my weird thoughts to good use. When I say weird, what I really mean is thoughts that one would not really want think too much about, but ones that everyone would come across some time or the other. This is just an attempt to record everything that would, at the time of its conception, not seem proper to be discussed with people, but would serve to humour me, and anyone who cares to read my blog, at a later time. There are times when I read an article from a newspaper, and disagree with most things written, and would want to lash out with my opinions but cant, only due to the absence of a medium to lash out on. Which is why I think this is a great idea to help people with strong opinions such as yours truly to hold on to their sanity by venting their frustrations, or just their calm and composed thoughts , on to a medium which can be accessible by everyone that they want to share their thoughts with. While I dont claim to be very knowledgeable in terms of factual content that I will be able to disseminate through my stray thoughts, this would be more like a play ground for unvalidated opinions. If nothing else, it will atleast serve as a diary of my thoughts, which I can read a few years from now, and probably manage a smile thinking of how my thoughts would have evolved over those few years. It will be just a place for uninhibited entertainment where I'll shred movies to pieces, rip ads apart, scream loud expletives about the state of governance, preach opinionistic gyan about Hindutva and how it continues to be misinterpreted, scream foul everytime India loses a cricket match or Pakistan win short, paisa vasool entertainment where you dont really need any paisa to vasool. Oh, and my passion and passtime is football. Not the kind where they play ball with their hands and then call it football (the American style), but the conventional European style soccer. So I am sure ,sooner than later, once my limited knowledge on most other things fade away, all my writings would be based on football and its exponents. So for all my fellow Arsenal and Barca fans, I'd like to reach out to the fraternity and request people to respond with their expert opinions.