Monday, February 23, 2009

An Indian...To the Core

I am not writing this post because the Oscars just got concluded at the Kodak Theatres 30 minutes back. But only because one person whom I followed & admired since I heard him first has just bagged the best possible recognition that one dreams of. A.R. Rahman, people call him genius, for me just one word "maestro". You know what, I fought with my friends over him as 8 out of 10 times they said that his songs are not up to the mark in his new movie, I always ask them to listen it again & again. Because that is where the strength of Rahman lies. He is probably the only music director in India with songs that has so much repetitive value. You listen them more, you like them more and you get addicted. You get hooked to it. 

But many times he did not get the recognition he deserved. A man who started his career with Roja (his 2nd movie) created songs like Dil Hai Chhota SaThe sounds that he created in early days in his career were simply ahead of the time. He still makes it a point to thrill his listeners with a new musical instrument. Initially, the mass took some time to accept it. The critic were as usual sceptical and his competitors simply written him off saying this boy is just trying his luck. Yes, that boy who was only 26 when he gave us Rojais surely lucky enough to bag the Oscars for the best original score at the 81st Academy Awards. He is surely lucky enough that the best of the film makers like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Asutosh Gowarikar, Mani Ratnam only & only use his services whenever they think about music. He surely is lucky enough that many times his music becomes a better success than the movie itself (ex: Yuvvraaj, learn Subhashjii). And he surely is lucky enough to be the only Indian composer to work in the most international projects so far. 

No, neither he was nor he is lucky. He earned it for himself, in that process for India. He deserved it. Many composers have come & vanished after him (Aadesh, Ismail). Many biggies were no longer getting work (Jatin, Lalit, the great Anu Malik or Nadeem-Shravan). And today when the taste of the youth has changed a lot from hearing the monotonous heavy voice of Kumar Sanu and stereotype tracks, Rahman is one guy who is still going stronger and better than before. For he is one who always believed in two things: innovation & experimentation. Now he again faces competition just like his early years, but from a new gen composers, primly 3 of them: Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar & Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. But he has his style unchanged and still the most sought after musician.

In one of his interviews when a Tamil reporter asked him why does not he speak in Tamil, his mother tongue! He said "I do not even speak in Hindi or for that matter Urdu, I would like to take India to the world. So I speak one language, that is music. I am not a Tamil or a Muslim. I am an Indian." So it is no wonder that he recreated our national anthem with utmost dignity. He sang for Tamil Nadu, he sang for Delhi, he sang for Mumbai, he sang for Taj Mahal.

He, Rahman, always sang for India...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Summer of '09

I reminisce those days of summer. Summers of 1993 to 2008. 15 years, long time. I spent these years at as many as 5 different places. So I experienced many shades of summer at different locales and with different set of people. We kept on moving to different places and I grew upon with various societies and not to forget the summers. I love winter & I hate Monsoons, and Mumbai has contributed a lot in hating Monsoons. But there is something about the scorching heat. It has given me moments that I will keep with for the rest of my lifetime.

We left our village when I was 9 and moved to a small town which was full coal mines. So you can presume the amount of dust & heat over there. I have faint of my village where I lived 5 years. Coming back to the coal-mines town where I have spent 5 years, it was a place where the majority of crowd was directly or indirectly employed with the coal company there. During summers we generally have the long vacation called as "Summer Vacation". My summer vacation starts badly after my exams as I again fair badly and soon I forget all those admonitions of my father and engage myself in playing Cricket. A typical day during summers at that time starts with my mother telling to take bath as early as possible for she always felt only animals takes shower after 12 noon. I sincerely did not follow this from my childhood and it is still there, though my office schedule forces me to be human ;) Once I take my bath the lunch will be ready on the dining table. The speciality of summers is rice in water (we call it 'Pakhala' in Oriya) and some fries and 3 other dishes. Mumma always made it a point to prepare as many dishes as possible and blaming my father for his demand for a lavish menu!!! My post lunch session includes two prime things: either irritate my younger brother or sleep, how exciting. Sleeping in summer afternoons after a sumptuous meal has its own charm. Miss those siestas, really. In this small town full of coal fields, I remember the siren notifying the shift change for the workers of the mines. It also made me wake up many times as well. I hate the siren for many reasons other than disturbing my sleep. The evening siren sends me the warning my home tutor’s arrival and the night siren tells it is time to turn off the television or else father will be doing the honours. It actually became a part of my life till I stayed there.

Then we came to another small township near to the coastal belt of Bay of Bengal. I loved one thing about this place, its education standard and awareness. One thing I hated was the people's thinking and lack of looking beyond the specific boundary. There we stayed for 2 years where I have completed my 10th board exams. My experience over there was very limited as my schedule was more or less the same minus the afternoon naps. Either I watched TV for long hours or go to a friend's place who has his huge bungalow that had a separate room only meant for him and his close friends like me. I always missed my personal room at all the places we stayed, I always shared my room with my younger brother with whom I never found anything common to discuss or share. It is like two aliens living in one room. Only thing we both did with utmost sincerity was to fight fiercely using all possible weapons. But like the siren of the coal city, I had some unforgettable summer moments of this place as this is where I got the platform to go outside the academics and dis something that made my father feel proud of me, finally. I participated in all the Quiz competitions and my practice of keeping myself updated of current affairs helped me to stand in top 3 of all competitions I participated in. After coming 1st in all the events towards the end of my 9th standard, 6 months in a row, I suddenly started coming in 2nd position. It continued and it seemed I could not reach the top position again. I started analysing and found out a student 1 batch junior is winning all those events. I never go to him to congratulate or wish him. I also started coming in 2nd in group events as well. One day I decided to think like a politician as I felt it was high time to set my ego aside to start a coalition. I had a chat with him and I made him my team mate. And looking behind. We swept all the prizes that were there in the next year including one state level award. After teaming up, we made it a point not to compete against each other, thus giving each other fair chance of winning. We virtually decided who is going play and who is going to win. You call it my diplomatic step for ensuring my top slot or I wish if Federer and Rafa could do that, there will not be any heartbreaks!!!

Then I moved into another smaller town, very calm and quiet. Nature at it's best. Open spaces and lovely weather. Just one problem, a big one. The people over there had more interest in the neighbour's affairs than theirs. Irritating, but I had no option as father was working away from home at that time. I was officially given the task to take care of house. I felt good about the responsibility I was given, but when I realised that I had to pay the bills, shop, call the plumber etc etc, I found enough excuses to get away from it. This is the first place where I roamed around outside home during summers, for many reasons than one. First, I was in 11th, no more schools, so the freedom. Then I felt like I am old enough not to listen to my mother anymore, also father was not there at home. All the teenage josh was running in the blood. My summer afternoons at this place were spent at college campus, friend's places, loitering in the market, spending time at a cyber cafe nearby. One of the places where I have spent a lot of time during the summers is the hostel campus of our college where I used to stay for long hours and studied an interesting subject called 'Love'. I learned its basics, and then went on to complete my PhD in it. After my completion of doctorate in Love, I also went on to become a start-up advisor for other aspirants in this field. It worked for many of them and my popularity increased. I was down with fever of love throughout my 12th standard. I did all the adventurous stunts like writing letters, watching my girl from the roof of her house, meeting her at the district science centre. What a phase that was! Everybody moved on, apart from me. Even the father of that girl went on to become the Principal of our college when I was in the 2nd year of my graduation. I felt like Raj Aryan whenever he (I used to call him Narayan Shankar of ‘Mohabbatein’) visits our class or I go to collect an award for essay competition from him. I was a Science student then and I was roaming more than the Commerce students. And the results of my 12th board gave the reply of all those precious times I lost, especially during summers. Finally, I became serious about my career and after a mutual discussion with my father I studied where my heart belonged to; English literature. The last 2 summers of my graduation was the best as I read a lot of books and felt good about it, which includes William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, John Keats, William Wordsworth & so many. But one guy whom I admired reading and fell in love was R.K. Narayan. I have spent many summer afternoons reading his short stories, novels and his autobiography.

Then we moved to a much bigger city and the capital, Bhubaneswar. It was a place I always dreamt of staying at. I always knew we are finally going to settle down here. We already had 2 homes here and that is the reason I convinced my father to shift here even I had my final year of graduation left at the last place. The next 4 years that I lived here before going to Mumbai were worth remembering as I lived a lifetime during that span. I have many moments spent there that includes summers full of fun. I wake up at 10 in the morning and then I go out before coming to have my bath & lunch. Then again I zoom back to friends at different corners of this beautiful city and come at 11 in the night. I hardly spent any time at home. Here my summer afternoons were less exciting than the evenings. I have got my evening planned out from the previous day. From datings to hang outs, everything was so perfect. I remember the cool breeze that brings the real charm of this city. It is a place where I found my friends pursuing their careers from the places I stayed in the past. So I felt very much attached to this place finding all of them at one place. As far as my exciting recollections of summers are concerned, I would say that I reached a stage where my friends ask me for some serious advice on relationships and I give them a prompt reply even if I had a big argument with my girlfriend 3 minutes back. They always saw me as a benchmark as I was very stable in my relationship. It made feel good and stronger to give better advices ;)

Finally I moved to another capital, a much bigger one compared to the one I lived in. I have been here for last 3 years starting from 2006. But my summer connection is very less with the city. The first summer after coming here, I spent doing my internship at my hometown and the second summer I was busy in my first job post my MBA complying with the orders of my bosses in an air-conditioned office. No more fooling around, no more datings, no more hang outs; thus fewer memories. Though Mumbai has given me a lot including some of the unforgettable night outs, but summers is one season that I am yet to spend here like I spend it in my younger days at different parts. 

As I see the advent of another summer in Mumbai... I know I can not do it again...for that stage is those years will not come back...and those memories are only going to stay in the past. Have I grown old? But I wish...I wish sincerely that I could live those memories again...I want to experience those moments again...those sirens...quiz competitions...those days of being a advisor...days with friends all around...and Mumma’s handmade creams she made...mangoes...I loved them all...

I wish to live it again...days of scorching heat...those days....My Days

Monday, February 16, 2009

Go Away...Please Don't...

Why couples fight...why they get upset everyday or every alternate day??? Some get upset every 30 minutes as well!!! They go on a date after a fight, may be that helps them to get back to normalcy, atleast they believe so. And they again fight after coming from a date as well. They fight in the college, in the canteen, in front of the cake shop, at night after talking over 4 hours, inside the local train(yes, they still have energy left to start a fight inside Mumbai locals), in front of friends, over chat and in many such weird places and situations that will amuse you, me and everybody.

Now let's spend 120 seconds on the reasons for these fights. Sometimes the boyfriend throws the girl's toothbrush...she says that his mother should not comment that she looks fatty on photographs...he says she does not picks his calls in time...she says he does not give her attention while talking to her...he says XYZ is becoming a friend of hers too fast...she says he has got too many girls in his Orkut friend list...he says that why she wants to have curtains of her aunt's choice after marriage...she says he can never understand her...he says that she analyses him just too much and sometimes he gets confused who exactly she is...she says who called him at midnight yesterday...he says that he bought movie tickets & her male colleague commented it's a flop movie...she discusses her problems with another guy...she says he is obsessive....he says she loves him too much, but not practical...she says she does not know why she loves him...he says he can never love her as much as she does, but that is what the problem...she says that he hates chocolate flavour ice cream...he says she expresses herself too much in the public...she says he does not express himself or his on & on & be precise I would say these are only 5% you can guess now.... Precisely, in the first few years both fight for reasons that includes them, next few years they fight for reasons that affects both, but not necessarily includes both of them and then what happens is you both run out of reasons to fight for. Then both fight for reasons that includes third parties...such as another guy, one more girl or for that matter each other's friends.

They fight every now and then...they reconcile...and 9 out of 10 times they do not find or try to find a solution which may help them not fight on that particular issue. But why? Because when they see each other in the eyes, they just find one And after a day or two they start again on the same issue, the magnitude of fight may go bigger...again reconcile...Again solution is kept inside the comes back to air again...everything seems to be beautiful again.

I simply hate these fights...these couples...and I hate why they do not find a solution...and they become so blind...When I analyse these instances I laugh.I mean why they even fight when they accepted each other unconditionally. Why they find so many reasons to fight for? Why outsiders become a reason to fight for? Really irritating...really they silly...I hate them...and...and..I miss...

I miss these fights...I miss that someone with whom I can fight...These fights, when analysed, seems so disgusting that you can only laugh. But when you are in love you do not analyse, you care and you forget...and you fight again. That's the beauty of love, the power of love. You do not need a solution at all, even when it is most necessary. This heart is such a stupid place that sees nothing except love. 

Miss these moments...miss the love...miss those silly reasons...miss those days...miss that  someone...and those fights...

Friday, February 13, 2009

A League of His Own...

In our family, there is one guy with whom I interacted very less, so less that I rarely knew his daily schedule. He is very, very close to me as far as family ties are concerned. But we rarely talk, once in a while wish each other (that to with utmost discomfort). In an entire year we sincerely remember one thing, i.e. our birthdays. We even meet each other properly once in late night or sometimes once in every 2 days. Now that I moved to Mumbai since 3 years, those rare meetings and interactions have lessened.

But I realized one thing after I left my home. That, he is one guy who does not like to command anybody on anything, and he expects the same treatment for himself too from others. Nice principle, but I took it as arrogance many times and gradually decreased my involvement in his matters. We grew up, but things only become more mute day by day, till the extent that my friends often asks me how can I behave like this to someone so close to me. But he never complained, may be he knew I understand him or I know him. When I ask the same to myself that whether I knew him or know him that well; my heart says a big NO. And I know my heart is right. Time I spent in Mumbai has made me understood that. I find so much of pain...I find some liquid substance in eyelids...I feel so much guilt...I feel that I have committed a crime by not performing my responsibility properly towards someone who was supposed to get that. I know he never asked or even had expected anything from me. But how can I be so blind? I always believed in love and being loved. Never applied this for him, I believe.

The following is the testimonial I wrote for him a year back, because I think I would never have written this if I would have been at home. Here it goes:

I’m a guy who rarely expresses his feelings.So it took me almost 24 years to write something about this boy.It even took me 18 months in Orkut & after writing 20 testimonials,to write for this commerce graduate.Let’s start with some of the not-so-good qualities about him:
A disorganized person…now don’t ask me for details
U just take life as it is,never think of future…It’s OK,bt it wont help in long run
U r terrible in expressing yourself (just like ME)
Spend a hell lot of money in buying apparels, every now & then
U feel satisfied after getting what is expected of u,bt I need to see the hunger to think ahead…ahead of others
Spends huge amount of time in gaming in computer
Hey hey...wait,this boy is not that bad also…to list just a few of his nicer credentials:
Has got a good friend circle…It’s really necessary
Less emotional, I mean less than me(I may b wrong,bt I feel so)…it'll help u…
More practical(atleast more than me)
U have better money management skills than me

I have kept the last lines of the testimonial deleted for now because I wanted to comment something on this testimonial. Can you see how formal it is!!! How can I be so formal with the person whom I am watching since his childhood. This is simply not done. I deserve punishment. And I am ready to be punished. I want him to decide what & how wants to do that.

Staying away from him made me convinced me that I always behaved as a typical orthodox guy who dominated or atleast loved the feeling throughout. I feel sad...shattered...I cried in pain searching how can I make up for those lost days when I slapped him instead of loving...more than once. Just how can I? He is not any outsider. He is ours, he is mine. But the distance made me love him and tears from my eyes gave some cooling to my heart. What has changed now is that we talk 5% more than before when I go home. I keep myself busy with old friends. When I came back, again it takes me more than 15 minutes to get back to my seat in the train as I need to clean my face and those shades of tears falling all over. One of the reasons is him, yes I miss him. A lot. But I do not know how to tell the same to him.

And finally, here is what the rest of the testimonial reads:

Introducing in front of u, the best live library on movies, games & music; the youngest of all the brothers in our entire family; my only brother & the best one I ever could have got…. Bapin, Bapun, Litun, Titun & Nitish (I am not writing a few secret names).

Things have changed a lot between us…I mean the way talk to each other & the way think about each other… we both know that how much we interact with other…Hope that will improve in future… All I can say you is that: Just remain the way you are…but with some modifications… I know u wont listen to me… After u r my brother who also never listened to anybody...hahaha….

And hey just want you to know that I’ll be there for you whenever & wherever u’ll need me…I’ll be just a call away & I’ll try my best to fulfill what u want….and try to make u feel that there is somebody who cares for u… Hope you will give me that chance to serve & be the best bro for u….

can i have a second chance :(:(:(........................

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Emperors Are Immortal...

Rafa wins his first Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena, making Federer wait for some more time to equal Sampras's feet of GS titles. Well, for a moment after the match(infact during 5th set of the final), I started thinking whether Roger can still win another slam!!! This thought was obvious when I see no other player other than Nadal facing him again in a final. But when I saw the presentation ceremony, my love for Fed-ex only increased and for the first time (yup, I gotta admit this), I admired Nadal's response as well.

I have seen Roger's rise as a pro and his record stay at the numero uno position, and the same applies to Rafa as well. Now when I dissect both the player's journey to the top, the only differentiating factor which I find is the pace at which the Spaniard rose to the level where he challenged Federer. Now, looking at the way Nadal is playing, I wonder how the Swiss maestro has not changed his own game!!! I have seen the same Roger, same forehands, backhands and not to forget the aces over last 6 years. But I am not the only one who has seen the way the Rafa has played in last 12 months, I am more than sure Federer knows it better than anybody in this world. Even today when I saw him play, I expected him to be more aggresive, but the same old champ came out with his text book shots. And to my surprise I discovered something that largely is the factor separating these two kings of this sport in this decade. That is the power and thrust from Rafa's hand. When it comes to technique, skill & timing, Fed-ex is still the master. He can surely get back the lacking stamina, for his fans know that he is still has that hunger to win, and that is all it takes to play at the top.

Whatever it is, I love u Federer, as I am more than sure your tears does mean a lot to you and your fans. You rarely have shown any emotions on the court, but it takes a hell out of man to express his deepest emotion in front of millions of people and still win hearts. You were the king, you are already a legend and you will be reigning again.

Hail Roger, for all your achievements and you deserve it man.

Finally on my closing thoughts:
-> Felt good to see the Aussies going down to Kiwis. Their terrible form continues (after series loss from India and then from South Africans).
-> Ate a lotta prawns Mumma sent for me.
-> Feeling very sad for Federer and his post match presentation.
-> Wishing Mom & Dad A Happy Anniversary. (Sorry I was late)