Sunday, December 11, 2011

Year End Blabberings...

December has been quite a likable month for me as an individual. Birthdays (yes, I do celebrate on two days), Goa trips, Christmas fever and the year-end retrospections. All these constitute to my special liking to this month. The list is long though, will try to put them all here today. The last year and half has been crazy. The work schedule is insanely hectic. Just one trip to home. Little brother has been a part of Mumbai off late. I have become one more year older. Mumbai is still surprising me. New additions in buddies, new CCD mates, new perfumes. No significant addition to my gadget list though. A better maid, a great boss and best of the times in South Bombay. Same room-mate, same health and same relationship status. Seems I have been consistent in certain elements in my life. Still missing 25th of December, the day I said someone that I like her. This year it completes 12 years of this brave act, out of which I’ll be celebrating my 5th as a single! I’ll be into my 7th year in Mumbai in next year and same no. of years without using a mosquito-net ;)  This year has given few good movies worth remembering, but some of them are worth keeping in the library. Facebook addiction has touched new heights including the no. of logins of mine per day. Virtual networking has found a great share of space in each of our lives in the ever-diminishing time span for our closed and not-so-closed ones. I can only miss the days when I could not even wait till evening to go out to meet the friends (never had a schedule or plan), was out of the home by 4 in the evening. Also the years I spent in dating. I, in my own capacity, have redefined dating during ‘my days’. Aahhh, memories! The coming back time was completely dependent upon Dad’s deadline-fear and teacher’s homework-fear. And the everyday naggings. Life was so simple and uncomplicated yet so smooth without the smart phones and the Facebooks. Sometimes I wonder if growing up is such a curse!

Next year will see the list of married people increase with some of my buddies falling into the trap with a smiling face, ‘might’ as well see me working out the budget for some honeymoon packages for myself. Though I still am not able to comprehend the requirement of ‘marriage’, but people around me have made it almost inevitable. The New Year will also see me handling a bigger team in workplace and some additional responsibilities. And some new records by Sehwag and the Sachin, the eternal God. Some more scams by netas and adjournments in the parliament. Employees in organization still cribbing and comparing other firm’s culture based on some random ‘Best Companies to Work For’ surveys. It will also test me as a lethargic traveler in the most irritating traffic of Mumbai to our new Corporate Office. I won’t write that I am tired or anything similar to that. But will definitely reiterate that the idea of a trip to an unknown destination is on my mind.

New years in chilling winters are such lovely feelings to happen to mankind, alas Mumbai never had that. Just another day, another morning.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Insane ...

It does not happen always that a guy like me will go to watch a movie thrice, it has happened earlier when I had to make it twice owing my commitments to friends and girlfriends and 'other' friends. But this time, I am just stuck with this flick. Though I was eagerly waiting for Imtiaz's next after his last three worthy projects, I was not prepared to travel through this insanely awesome journey of love. When I saw it first two days post its release, I just had one guy commenting that this is worth watching, specially for its climax. And the rest said that the director goofed up in the climax. Nobody spoke bad about the movie though. Masands, Komals & others didn't say bad either. So I entered the theater with an open mind and just for Imtiaz. 

Then the next 159 minutes were possibly the best Imitiaz has portrayed so far in his career. 'Rockstar' is not so much the rock as it is about an individual. It's about a man's journey through a span of 8-10 years where his personal & professional life goes through so much. Yet the beauty is Ranbir who plays the central character Jordan has not even blinked (literally too) once from start to finish. Thus delivering probably his one of the best acts which will be remembered with his name forever. The movie's biggest strength apart from Ranbir is some unforgettable music my the maestro A.R. Rahman. He has created 13 tracks for the movie out of which 3 instrumentals also found place in the movie. And Imtiaz has given space to almost 9 and a half songs in his narrative. (Mohit has 'shines' in being Jordan's voice). And, he never termed and treated this is as a musical. Equally dramatic are the visuals. Not just the gorgeousness of Prague or the motorbike jaunts through the snow-capped hills, but each time Jordan went on stage. 

Just like Rahman's lasting music, the movie stays with you long after you leave the theater. (Let me also add a note about some meaningful lyrics by Irshad Kamil who penned down words from Gulzar-school-of-thoughts, you may not able to recollect the lyrics easily, but they never sound just-everyday-affair). And Imtiaz does this trick unlike most of the formula-driven cliched movies. No melodrama yet no over the top coming-the-age narrative. The movie has a non-linear screenplay suiting to its narrative which is quite coherent. Editing has become quite crisp as compared to the last movie (Love Aaj Kal) by the director. The supporting cast has been the weak link apart from a couple of characters. So Ranbir is the army, general & the king of Imtiaz's project. He plays a guy who is naive, often clueless, hardly ever has the answers for situations happening with and around him. He is guys who never found words to express himself, who never found opportunities, who never understood stardom, never realized that life's just temporary. And oh boy, the way he carried himself and played his character, SPEECHLESS. He pulled off the entire act with his sheer acting prowess. He now surely justifies the tag which is being attached next to his name for quite some time... 'the next big thing'.

No cacophony of sounds, no unnecessary background score to propel the screenplay forward, no add-on subplots for an easy route to the end. This is how a love story needs to be told. Soul stirring. No fake narrative. It has not become a clap-trap or a crowd-pleaser. Such a heartfelt attempt. The two real winners of this movie are Imtiaz and Ranbir. This would remain as one of the most important movies in their careers and would certainly take them to the next level.

So if you ask me, how many stars this movie should be getting.... I would say you gotta watch it atleast 3 times and decide for yourself. You won't repent.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It Happens, Actually...

Actually I was kind of used to it. I was used to the everyday pain, complications and people around me going through a range of emotions. It was not just a day or two that it was happening. It was happening since a long time, some ten odd months is actually not a long time. But it seemed to be. It is the suffering that made simple things look so complicated, it made the entire process so tiresome, it basically made the days longer than they actually were.

Life was not the same anymore. The family had to stay calm; they knew it was inevitable with each passing day. But who wants to accept certain truths of life and just move on. Practically, it was impossible. At the same time it was also impossible to accept what was waiting. I was just a passive observer throughout. Expressionless, as usual. Life has told me once again to stop expecting. I never had actually, but when things go beyond our control, we become terribly submissive. To a point where, even the Gods/Goddesses feel that we all have become artificial suddenly in front of them. Then this is life! Who are we kidding anyway; do we have any control on our life? The answer is a clear NO. Sometimes I wonder where exactly we have reached with our development in medical science, our progress in technology. All this really does not work sometimes. These ‘sometimes’ decide a lot in our lives. Or should I say life and death. Everything fails.

We realize the effect of presence of someone the moment we see the person is no more around. However unavoidable the situation is, we still pray that something happens in the end. A home without a person, who is the central binding force, is a home that becomes hard to define. It loses its identity. And the person is a mother, a wife. She plays multiple roles in multiple situations going through so many emotions and stress. It’s just too damn tough to be the backbone of a family and easily slip into so many roles without a hitch. Her absence is almost unbearable; her absence cannot be filled by anyone.

That afternoon was not expected. Almost eleven months of dedicated treatment, so many promises by (so-called) renowned doctors and uncountable hopes in the heart was actually not enough. Jinu called me, I was completely into work. Maa Aau Nahi re…

Neither could I think anything that time nor could I book the tickets for him thanks to our great Indian airline system that made tickets so expensive that an economy class ticket was costing the same that of London return fares. He left next morning though, he saw Mausi last on 14th November. It was just 5 days since he came back. Just 5 days.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Can't Explain ...

I have lived a life with so many colours that it keeps me grounded. I've always remained grounded. So grounded that couldn't help my sibling get a job, being in a profession where I design seductive CTCs and sometimes take more than a dozen interviews a day. I failed to help him, that's the bottom line. Period. And I talk about my network, feeling so proud of them. More than ever. Tell you what, life is on such a fast ride that I have just become a puppet in its hands. My objectives have become - getting a seat in the 9:10 local (else screw your a** standing for an hour, wonder how some morons sit till the train literally stops at CST), reaching my workstation by 10 AM (where 'sometimes' the no. of hours you spend in front of the PC is directly proportional to the percentage hike in March), call a bunch of morons as colleagues without a choice, then catch a train from THE most busiest station with humidity touching atleast 90% day in and day out, then reach home to discover that Chapatis are too thick to eat, then some mandatory calls with a lots of artificial smiles and lies because the  person in front will be disturbed with any deviations from a normal ideal lifestyle, then watch some of Arnab/Rajdeep/Barkha (I equally love Vikram/Sagarika/Shirin) and finally hit the bed thinking what exactly I've added to my LIFE than to just my pre-designed and programmed KRAs.

Hey, I'm not cribbing about my life, I got a great boss n some outstanding people around, few amazing friends, a decent paycheck on the 1st of every month (if no errors happen by my own team!), CCD outings n my lovely Devil's Own (thanks Nivi), and my Mumbai... This city is insanely awesome. It still holds me with its splendour even after 6 years.

And I fight with my best friend over whether Bheendi should be a menu in dinner right inside a mall, I let my brother sleep with mosquitoes after telling him that he's my favourite, I let my colleague handle the same things after being a repeated offender in committing the same mistakes infinite times. I don't do all these deliberately, then why do I do!

I miss my parents every day, since past 6 years. Then what options do I have! I can't go there, they don't like staying here and we just are stuck in this missing game. I miss all those places I've stayed and all those people I've met during each such hot afternoon like today. Remember such November afternoons with just Mom n brother around (on holidays, I never loved my schools though), doing almost nothing apart from bullying my brother and showing that I'm the big bro of the house. Today, I just sleep and look outside my window pane, check old mates in Facebook [and some regular profiles that gives you the kick;)], think about what's in store at the workplace the next day, call people who needs to be called... and those who used to be your everyday buddies are called after being put as reminders in the calendar :(

I call myself a 'positive' person when asked to describe in a word when an interviewers ask me, people around me find that I can tackle situations with ease (only I know that a solution to all the problems are a distant possibility). But that is not the truth entirely, and you can see that in what I write. Each time I promise that I'll write about happiness, celebration and joy, I end up writing about things around me which influences me and my actions. And more or less they do sound negative, even if they are not. Not able to help it, helpless and hapless.

I am tired, plain tired. Just tired of the life I am leading. I never had these 2-year or 5-year plans-of-actions but with such a life where every hour has an objective attached to it, where am I heading! I am not scared of the responsibilities, deadlines or the relationships. I have never been an escapist. But the question is ‘at what cost’! With each passing day, the answer to that question is becoming difficult to think of. And that exactly is what killing me from inside. The answer definitely can not be to leave and go for a self-discovery trip, it can also not be just go back home with some business plans (had proposed around half a dozen so far to Dad only to get rejected). May be, I am not a 10-6 (assuming 8 hrs of work per day as per the Labour Law) guy, but again till the time I am not the son of Mr. Mallya I do not have the liberty of doing what I love and loving what I do (not stealing this from RIM, you morons).

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
- Coldplay

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Ones that Moved Me! (Part - I)

There are cinemas that are made with a lot of sincerity but they somehow do not click. There are films which are completely commercial-driven, and they really work with the masses. And then there are cinemas which are honest without any added gloss, they not only click but remain with you for long. As long as you love yourself. Because they are just an extension of yours. In the last decade till now, there only a few which has pushed the bar of Indian cinema creating new benchmarks for others to follow. Some of the movies were stuck in between when nobody wanted to produce them, but when they got a helping hand, there was no more stopping. Even the audiences were ready to accept the product with open arms.

I look back to the last decade till date, to find some of those films that made a mark in the hearts more than the box office. Some of them managed to get the commercial success as well. This list would again be subjective as I have skipped few movies as have not seen them yet. Also, this list depicts my own set of movies and does not necessarily present everybody’s taste.


When a critic and writer debuts, his own fraternity will be eagerly waiting to either shower praise or rip everything apart. And Khaleed Mohammed delivered something that would atleast please the critics. It did, to some extent it pleased the audiences too but majorly it didn’t work. Obviously so, technically pretty strong a movie, well supported by spirited performances of Hrithik and Karishma (lone movie where I believed she tried to overact the least). Loved the under-current and the intent. With many flaws in between, the movie was meant beyond the obvious. End of it ‘loved’ Mrs. Bachchan as usual.


Dil Chahta Hai
Who will expect a guy in his late 20s, will deliver a movie that will not become a cult but also create so many marks itself. It revived the career of Saif Ali Khan, brought Akshaye Khanna back into limelight and Aamir went a step higher in his list of great movies. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy gave the best possible music, quite to the liking of youth. The story was about 3 friends and the journey of their life which has been showcased without much of those clichéd drama. The entire nation’s youth loved the movie and it was huge success. Farhan Akhtar arrived not only with a bang but hiked the bar for other directors.

Rehna Hai Tere Dil Main
How many times have you seen love stories on celluloid that have left a mark within you, RHTDM for sure made a mark after it was a wash out from the theaters for lack of promotion. The movie was a craze amongst the all classes/masses with some innocent but gripping acting by Madhavan and well supported by Diya Mirza. Both debuted in Hindi cinema with another debutante director. Madhavan made Saif look miniscule by his acting  prowess. The screenplay looked pretty well-knitted making the audience stay glued to each of the scene. The story had nothing to surprise you, but had enough moments to make you love it again and again.


The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Some infinite number of movies released during this phase on Mr. Bhagat Singh, making his popularity touch new heights. But sitting somewhere in the heaven, Mr. Singh must have felt pretty bad seeing almost all of them interpreting him so badly and terribly overacting by the characters. The one that stood out was directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and Ajay Devgan in the lead. Two true professionals who gave their best to recreate the history in its purest form. Non-period-movie-lovers like me too loved it. A R Rahman’s music and background score was upto the mark and the story-telling was notch higher than the movies based on the same content. It makes you think & question few things about the history.


Teen Deewarein
By now, Nagesh Kukunoor was well-known as a hatke director who always pushed the contemporary film-making. He could possibly do it because he never aimed at the box-office. With this movie, he again didn’t enjoy the claps of the masses but he ensured he establishes himself firmly amongst those who really understand story-telling and film-making. Three stories told by three different prisoners which actually are inter-related. Excellent editing and crisp background score made this slow-paced flick a decent watch. All the three leads (which include Nagesh himself) were pretty meticulous.

Prakash Jha always made movies which were based on an “India” we never want to see on a 70mm screen. Because when we enter that dark room for 3 hours, we want to go on a dreamy ride which only shows us good things, things we always aspire to be. He always stuck to his style of movies that will be based on some or other issues we face in our daily lives. With this movie, he reached almost the entire country as it went on to become one of those films which was appreciated by the classes and masses hands down. Ajay Devgan as the lead actor probably gave one the most important performances in the Indian Film Industry. This act of his will be remembered for long time. No such songs (apart from a sleazy item number by then an unknown lady who is now a wife of a respectable family), no colorful locales and good-looking stars, the movie was power-packed by so many good actors that you will be leave the theatre asking for more. The nexus between mafias, politicians and the helplessness of the police is perfectly blended with emotions and anger is what makes this movie worth remembering.


Quite like Gangajal, this movie again depicts the root of corruption inside the police department. But set in a different society with different issues. Studded with many stars and successful songs the movie had a buzz before it entered the theatres. But Rajkumar Santoshi ensured that his screenplay won’t loosen up and he kept the grip on the audience with some great scenes defending the police department. Mr. Bachchan is outstandingly awesome in his role as an ACP (if I can remember). He was the lone star who shined above all and his scenes were powerful enough to question the police department and appreciate it at the same time. Actors like Ajay Devgan were wasted but the movie garnered good response. Slightly plagiarized in its presentation, the movie was a good watch for a cinema-goer.

When a Director debuts with a movie like Dil Chahta Hai, then the expectation would be sky-high for his next. He came back and he was even a notch higher. Lakshya was such a matured product that it presented the Indian Army and the battles they fought in a different color altogether. No melodrama, no exaggerations and no masala. It was a great insight into the way a normal soldier thinks and reacts to different situations, be it in his personal life or professional battles. Hrithik stood up to the task and didn’t let Farhan down in his ambition to make a movie that had all the risk of failing at the box office. It did fail but I’ll always remember the return of a maestro to script-writing, the great Javed Akhtar. The way human relationships has been shown is outstanding, be it between two-lovers, friends or a father and son.

Vishal Bhardwaj is a man full of content, who always belived in the works of Gulzar sa’ab, has decided to make a movie on the adaptation of the Shakespearan novel “Macbeth”. With cast like Pankaj Kapur, Tabu, Irfan Khan and an ensemble that boasts powerhouse actors, the movie is a must-watch. Even for those who knew the theme of Macbeth, still loved it due to the intense acting by the actors and great narrative by Vishal. Unlike Chetan Bhagat’s moronic masala stories turned into even horrible movies, this is a gem as Vishal kept so many moments that will stay with you for long.

Rituparno Ghosh has made some good movies, but I have seen this particular movie where I went back to the days of watching some short-films in Doordarshan shot in a single room with some countable actors. Ajay Devgan and a de-glamed Aishwarya Rai will keep you hooked till the end with this poignant love story. A story told, enacted and presented in the simplest way possible is what clicks to me. But this movie never had the mass appeal nor was intended for them. For a change, Aishwarya was looking more comfortable in this kind of set-up than Ajay.

After a thunderous response to the Oscar-nominated Lagaan, Ashutosh Gowariker came with a movie where he worked with a star unlike the actor in Lagaan. But what followed is one memorable movie which will possibly remain one of best work of Shahrukh Khan. Failed in the box office for ‘missing the point’, technically the movie was almost there. Based on “braindrain” and how a man’s journey brings him back home, Ashutosh handled the subject pretty well with few flaws here and there. But it will remain as a movie which reminds me of my hometown each time I see it and compels me to go back.

Mani Ratnam shot this movie both in Tamil and Hindi and both versions fared very well in the box-office. Atleast the Hindi re-launched the career of Abhishek Bachchan. The editing and the screenplay were somewhat similar to Teen Deewarein, but Yuva was technically more sound and far better presented. Mani did not leave any stones unturned in terms of extracting the best performances from all his leads. The movie will always be remembered for its rawness, magic of the city Kolkata, natural performances (apart from Mr. Oberoi) and some breathtaking sequences.


Black Friday
Delayed by some infinite light years, Anuraag Kashyap’s Black Friday finally saw the daylight in 2005. But by now neither the director, producers nor any actor in it were expecting it to be a hit in the cinemas across. They wanted the world to see it thorough any medium. When I saw it, I realized for how many years some great actors efforts were lying in the dust thanks to our great censor board. There were atleast 10/12 actors who today are still trying to make a mark for them due to the delay of this movie. Kay Kay Menon, Pawan Malhotra to name just a few. It’s the first docu-film which I really loved due to the amount of in-depth analysis gone into the making of it and great acting. It was a great depiction of the Mumbai blasts without any commercial value added to it.

Nagesh Kukunoor finally thought of going commercial and he made Iqbal with Mukta Arts (Subash Ghai). A simple story of a guy who can neither speak nor listen and his wish to play Cricket for the National Team. Shreyas Talpade did a great job ably supported by Mr. Nasseruddin Shah. It is one of those kind of cinemas where you know what’s going to happen but still love to watch every moment of it. The director is the clear winner here. (Incidentally, this was Nagesh’s last success venture in commercial cinema; he is still struggling to make a good movie since)

Sometimes I feel bad for immensely talented people who never get the right support to showcase what they can deliver. Mahesh Manjrekar is one such man, each time he is given freedom, he comes up with something so spectacular that it leaves you shocked (Vaastav, Astitva, City of Gold). An excellent story-teller, he presents stories taken out of the small instances that happen in our daily lives. A small, simple and sweet story of a family whose only son (John Abraham) works abroad, comes home on a trip and gets killed in an unexpected accident by a son of influential person. Then starts one great journey by his parents Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore to get justice for him. There are certain moments in the movie which will not only leave you choked but will make you literally disturbed. That’s the power Amitabh/Mahesh can create on the celluloid. 

(2006 - 2011 to follow in Part - II)

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Days with NAB

When you are in your early teens, you feel like doing wonders in your life. All larger-than-life dreams floating around. A late teenager adds and subtracts some colours in those dreams. Then comes the phase of early twenties where you feel that it’s time to get serious about life. Actually all these phases were more or less hallucinations till you close in and cross 25. Then you have the fire to do something worth, instead of the regular dreams that everyone has. I have more or less gone through all these phases and ended up leaving my home and coming to a distant place to pursue my management studies, which in turn made me understand that life is also about a lot of such dreams which actually makes some sense.

NAB, Worli, Mumbai
NI started my first job with a lot of pre-conceived notions that I had with me during my MBA. It all started fading with each passing day and I started understanding that it is pretty easy to seat in an air-conditioned room and discuss with all the intellects. But it becomes pretty difficult to actually go out and do the field work. When I joined my second job, all I wanted was to explore new aspects of HR. Then came a day when my super boss threw this idea of how to enable ‘blind people and make them industry ready’ to me and how can we help them. He neither gave me a proper plan of action nor any budget. So I had to start with a hardcore ground work where I initiated gathering details of all those places where there is a structured way of blind people being managed. Then I realized that in such high-rate of blindness in our country, we have hardly any organization that maintains a good standard of education for them and make them employable. With such mixed responses, I found one place. A place which we zeroed in on when we were about to give up. It was National Association for the Blind. Based in between some posh apartments of Worli, sea-facing, badly maintained but huge in size.
This is where they get computer basics training at NAB

When I thought that going there, understanding them and shortlisting the final is the toughest task, I realized my job is just half done. When the nine of them came on board, I knew what was lying ahead of me. I had number of sessions with the internal trainers on how to go about the training process. The normal module of training is designed with a 3 month class-room work, but we decided to extend it to 5 months and keep 1 extra month in hand so as to ensure the students will be fully equipped with the required technical knowledge and will be at par with any normal person at work. And the day has come, the first day, first show. It was not as chaotic as I thought, but it surely kept me engaged whole day. We had sketched each minute details of their day to day requirements such as their seating arrangements keeping in mind that they will require the least time to reach to the refreshment rooms! We have trained them how to reach our office from the railways station through the shortest way possible, though they were quite well-versed in travelling in local trains. I mean they need to be followed on how to travel, they are so damn sharp and put effort where it actually is required unlike so many of us who are always on rampage.

We, the humans, are going away from celebrating whatever we have in the quest of having new things every moment. But I learned from them how to live every moment and be happy about whatever comes my way. You will be surprised with the kind of wit they possess and their sense of humor. I never under-estimated them, but never expected that they will come up with some awesome one liners on demand! They also are sensible to people around them, they do emote but not artificially like most of us. For they already have gone through phases where they had accepted a curse being forced on them. You give them an occasion, you give them the smallest possible reason, and they will celebrate it as if it’s their own joy. They do fall in love, they do get rejected and they do have a life with all those events just like any of us.

The primary issue with all of us is that we do not value what we have today. We realize the value of it once we lose it. For these outstandingly dedicated people, life is one beautiful thing out of which they have already lost something, so they do not want to miss the rest of it. They love, they live and they bring life back into dead souls like us who just are running after some pre-defined goals set for everyday life.

These bunch of extraordinarily talented people has made me feel one thing which I may never be able to experience again, it’s that surreal feeling which is literally an out of the world experience. It makes me feel that I am in so much better condition and still not as happy as them, still not as lively as them and still not as dedicated as them.

(There’s so much more I can add in here, I can go on, but may be I can never express what I went through in those six months of the project. It was an assignment carried out by me with great support of by the management of my previous organization. I will always be indebted to Ms. Heartina Mathews (from NAB) & Mr. Shantanu Lajmi (COO – VPT) for their support throughout.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where are You!

Life's moving on, so are the timelines, priorities and responsibilities. I don't know where exactly life's moving towards. I am very much aware of the fact that where my professional life heading towards, where my priorities lie and where I belong today. 

Your life is the sum of the choices you made. I made some correct ones, so many wrong ones. But do all those have any significance today or will they impact tomorrow! Sometimes I feel I am just keeping my pace up with the race that I am a part of today. The so-called term "value-addition" that I read & lectured some uncountable times during my MBA, is looking so hazy today. May be I need to have few add-ons in my professional life to make it up for the void that I feel inside me. May be I need to go back to the basics and start doing few corrections in my priorities. May be I am sounding weird, may be I need treatment, but I really do not believe that I stand at the wrong end.

I don't know, but I feel that I need to give more time to 'me' which is on an ever diminishing mode since long. May be that's going to give me some clarity, may be that's going to show me where I am, where I am moving on and where do I stand in my life.

Peaceful Eid & Happy Ganesh Puja [miss those golden and much anticipated Ganesh Pujas I was a part of during my school/college days with new clothes :( ]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Till When...

Well, this post is not the result of anything that has happened a week back. My 6 years stay. 3 such moronic acts. That’s like once every 2 years. Now no one is immune to it, but we all have become used to it. We are used to it so much that it’s just like any other thing that keeps happening. These have become like either a pre-diwali or a post-diwali event for a group of people. I will again reiterate that I am no way influenced with the last event that happened, but yes, I am just sick of the events happened throughout the last decade or so. It starts right from the top, Kashmir, to every part of the country. Today we have no identity of terror unlike few years back when we very proudly used to discuss about a particular community or religion. Let’s not give terror the colour of green, saffron or white. That’s irrelevant.

The best part with us is that we are so used to all these that we tend to forget everything next morning. Else, when India wins a Cricket match or we see a masala movie or get a seat in the peak hours in the local train. These small things make us forget everything. We may not accept it, but this actually is the truth. It’s not just me but a majority of us today feel quite indifferent towards these events not because of the frequency of these acts but mainly due to some or all of the following:

  • First of all, we need to stop terming Mumbaikars or for that matter people of any city ‘Resilient’ and keep on saluting the ‘fighting spirit’. It is our livelihood that that gets us back on the track the very next day. We are actually helpless. We are helpless at the hands of the administration. We go back to work because we need to survive; we do not go back because we want to show our strength. Instead we have become so weak that we do not even have the courage to go out and help those who become the immediate victims of these attacks. We run for our life and catch the next transport mode and rush in to our homes to survive. But survive till when, till the next blast!

  •  We are at the mercy of a bunch of inept politicians who are our administrators. Such massacres are primarily happening in big cities instead of Tier – C or D cities, where we boast of the best possible security. I pass through one of the biggest stations in India everyday which should ideally have strong security system, more so when it has been targeted just 2 years back. But today, its security can again be caught sleeping thanks to the sloppy and laidback attitude. Its safety will continue to remain at stake till it gets attacked again. Precisely, this is the situation at almost all the places in cities where the security is beefed up only when it is attacked.

  • Today we are sick, hapless, tired and incapable of taking any step in ensuring our own safety because the entire administration is corrupted. We do not have a choice to choose whom to elect as our able leader as everyone them is in the same boat. Today we decided that surviving a day is our main objective. But with this attitude, where exactly are we heading to? And more importantly, what kind of world are we going to present to our children. They will grow with fear, insecurity and helplessness from the outset.

  • It just cannot happen that terror comes into our town without the help of anybody. This is, for sure, a nexus between our politicians, the police and people masterminding it from outside. This might sound as a big allegation against our system that is there to guard us, but the truth is they have failed to do so for some uncountable times. This is happening again and again and everyone’s just watching it as if we really do not have any solution to it. If terrorism is such a global phenomenon, why its frequency is so rare in countries US, UK, Australia, China or for that matter in places like Dubai!

We cannot say the people have moved on and will continue doing so. They are angry, disgusted and hurt. They are made to feel like this time & again. I might sound quite odd but I somehow feel that as a helpless citizen we might go the Rang De Basnti way. We might end up taking up charge in our hand and showing our leaders the road to God. It may not be the only or the ideal way out but with time it will become the most practical or workable way out. I, as a citizen, have decided not run home the next time I survive. I’ll be there for those who will again be indirectly attacked by our administrators.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Sixth Encounter...

 June '06
June was ending. The train slowed down as it was approaching the final destination after a 37 hour journey. It was drizzling outside. Reached a place called Belapur after one more hour travel. It was windy & pouring outside. Got down and headed for Kharghar to find my new college and the hostel. Clueless about almost everything apart from just one thing. Rains. It was simply all over. My first glance from the auto rickshaw of my new place for study was a great feeling. Throughout dad's stay for three and half days, it kept on raining. We both did not like it, did not dislike as well. 

November '07
The noise in the hostel was dying. Placements started. Rains were almost over. But I remember those quiet nights with the sound of rains falling on the empty plain spaces of Kharghar. The sound of it, the smell and the feeling is beyond words. The feeling of batch-mates leaving each other after two years, the hostel & the college, everything summed up in those drops of rains.

July '08
Life has changed a lot with no more proxies, no more late submission of projects or going for a good place to eat out when the canteen food did not click. Just one fine morning, you find yourself inside a local train. Then you have to get down at a place called Kurla (where it becomes a war-like-situation every morning) which becomes more so awesome in monsoon. After 3 months of work, rains made my life haywire with the first floor of my office almost immersed in water. That year, I had one heck of a journey!

July '09

After my hardship period in the year 2008, God was kind enough to send me to a place which is just just 15 minutes by train and the office was inside the station complex. I still struggled thanks to my habit of reporting late to office. The prime reason was taking things for granted. I always thought I will make it in time, which I could never manage. Monsoon was quite enjoyable from the window panes from my office. Many nostalgic moments have been experienced here.

July-Sept' 10

This monsoon saw many things happening in life, atleast professionally. A job change, a big office location shift, having my first male boss after 3 encounters with female counterparts. Went for a relaxing visit to home, again with my business plans and proposals only to get rejection from Dad, as always. Back to work, new place, and what a day to start, Onam. This particular festival becomes more relevant as my new workplace do have a majority who celebrate it. But you know what, we still do not have a holiday on this day. This precisely was the beginning of a time, when I became a workaholic even in terms of the no. of hours spent in the office. Work was carried to home, to coffee tables and even sometimes into the dreams. Just could not help, but enjoyed/ing every bit of it. Every new assignment became more interesting and something was always there to learn from it. 

The rains have just arrived. But Mumbai is again not prepared to face it. Slow trains, traffic issues, ever under construction sites throughout, signs malaria & flu thanks to city administrators sincere efforts. But Mumbai never sleeps, never stops, actually it can't. We tend to forget everything and start enjoying these negative aspects. I just wonder how the young ones carry such heavy denims fully drenched and are least bothered about it while roaming in full fledged rain.

Always hated rain. For me, it's good to watch raining sitting at home without any possibility of going outside. But have been in the other side for last 6 years and acceptance has never became an issue. Honestly, Mumbai will teach & prepare you for almost everything, you can face any adversity in your life if you have stayed here. Experiencing one more monsoon, my 6th encounter at Mumbai's battleground. All wet, all prepared. 
By the way what rain could not hide  or surpass 6 years back, were my tears coming down on 5th gear without any sign of stopping when my Dad left. Though it did, thanks to all those staring eyes in my new B-school canteen. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Quarter of Missed Heartbeats...

It's been a grueling past few months with almost every possible thing happening in the workplace. Have always tried balancing both the personal & professional life, but last 3/4 months has made me almost a machine. It has programmed me to the needs of various departments, people & the organization as a whole. It's not that I am not liking it, though it's too damn hectic, but what I realize is I have started missing few things that was/is on my priority list. Won't blame anyone apart from me, for not being able to balance it out.

Had taken few but effective initiatives in the ever going to attempt of 'Change Management'. It is a constant process and will take long. Aligning mindsets, overcoming the resistance to change & accepting differences are my core areas to work for these days. With my little and negligible experience in the corporate world compared to other Gurus, but loaded heavily with my experience of understanding and analyzing people, I look forward to take baby steps. I am okay in going slow, but not going backwards or not giving up in the middle. I know it that one thing which is key in any Change Management process is - Patience. One needs a lot of that while expecting a change. So everyday I am honing that skill, will need to take it to such a level where setbacks will not make me feel negative anymore. Started celebrating small victories in this ongoing process instead of waiting for some IBM or GE like turnaround. I am not saying their examples have become overrated or clichéd, but I surely know that my organization surely not belongs to 'that' league. Just finished a workshop on the same theme - Navigating CHANGE. It seems to have some impact on the employees. A good start which needs to be carried forward. 

The IPL is going on and on, so is the daily schedule. But Mamta & Jaya really made their presence felt in the democracy. Missed my blog for 44 days before could write something. Mamma says I am not calling her regularly, says I am changing. Bro is of the opinion that I kind of forgotten him, changing. People around saying my priorities are changing. The fact of the matter is no one likes to change, it's just about accepting differences and little bit more understanding. Belated Happy Mother's Day and all those Birthdays I missed. One tight hug to you all.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Is The Day...

Waiting since 1992. Because that's when I started understanding this game. Since then have witnessed 5 of this mega event, each with its share of emotions attached to it. Won't talk about our performances in each of its edition. Coz that's past, let's not live in past records anymore. Let's not just look at that ever-happy moment of Mr. Kapil Dev lifting that cup, let's not keep feeling bad of how close we were to lift the same 8 years back. It's been close to 3 decades since we won our only World Cup, been close to 2 decades of my loyalty with it & nearly a decade of mourning of being so close. I would be watching this World Cup as a bachelor for the last time. The God himself might be playing his last World Cup (but surely not retiring) and this edition will see a lot of Greats of our generation playing for one last time who will be remembered always in the history of this addictive, hysteric & great game called Cricket. If there's anything that completely stops the 1.2 billion people functioning, it's this game. The amount of love, anticipation & power that it generates can never be equaled any other in this country. And in the era of Cricktainment, it is only going to increase. Though we have grown up enough to give space to other sports to grow, but none of them will ever match the magnitude of Cricket's penetration in India. The day has come to redeem what we deserve, the day has come to decide our own fate and stop saying that you are playing for a man who himself is playing for the country for last 22 years. Play for yourself, better yourself & play for the country. The national anthem in the beginning of the game is more than enough to charge up & hearts of Indians all over the world will be beating with each of your boundaries & each wicket taken.

Let the show begin with that sweet sound of ball hitting the bat and racing to the boundary in no time. No need to bleed blue or red. It's time to rise to the occasion. Finals. Mumbai. Wankhede. 33137 die-hards inside. Noise. Bring them on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Switch on the Music!

Just one clean beat… that’s it. That’s more than enough to get me going. That strumming of guitar, that passage of the song where you go to a different world, those punches that sets you up. Right up there. The crooning, drooling & velvet voices. Music. It’s just 10 seconds, that all I need to like or dislike a track, some compositions are that strong. Some does take a bit more time, since they are like distant dreams. Not my dad, not my boss nor any important assignment or deadline, but only an awesome song can only wake me up in the morning. That’s how I can summarize my fixation, my addiction & my bond with music. My taste varies to almost all the genres, generations but with selective singers. Singing is a real talent man… I respect their community. So are the master lyricists behind each of such great songs. But the real genius is the man who creates everything, the composer. He is the ONE. Take a bow you Masters. What are you made up of! Won’t hesitate to write the cliché once again… Music is really my Life. Else, life will be without all those tiny little instruments that combines together to create one great sound.


The World Cup is entering its knock-out stage in less than 24 hours and so far it’s not only been boring with minnows all around you but our very own Men in Blue making our mood go blue as well. Half of the matches appeared as if they are fixed to provide optimum entertainment value. Even the TRP so far is still less than IPL, seems entertainment is the only way forward. Modi boy, you destroyed everything in pursuit of hungama & now we are addicted! Bravo!


Last 45 –odd days have been so hectic that I am not even in touch with any of my moronic buddies or for that matter family. Complaints getting registered everywhere (non-bailable warrants). It’s only mobile Facebook through that is keeping me alive as to what’s happening around. Else, I am into complete darkness in the social circuit. Marriage spree is on with people getting married as soon as they are getting leaves from their organizations. With my schedule, it seems I have to work it out on a Sunday (have to apply for it a year in advance with a proper hand-over and responding to calls even when you are on the mandap!). But still a long way for that, sigh! Journey to office in the morning has become such an awesome war-like-situation that everything else for next 2 hours inside the office looks so colorless! Now the journey will increase by 45 minutes by next quarter, and I am surely not loving it by any chance but love for the job is bit on a higher side. So far so good. Tired now. Where’s the music!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Never-ending "Hopes"

When is the time that we lose 'hope'? Do we ever lose 'it'? I mean, more than once we say that I lost hope on this or that or almost everything. But while saying that we still have that 'hope' inside us which very categorically tells that anyhow we will make something out of the situation. Losing 'hope' has been a pretty common thing, more so these days. To be bluntly honest, we actually never lose 'it', we just say it for two simple reasons: either we do not have the skill or courage to find a solution for a particular situation or we just want to make a noteworthy statement. I do not see a third option here. Because, for years we have lived on this one thing, 'hope'. So it is simply not possible that one can just say that 'I have a hopeless life' or 'he is a hopeless brother' or 'this is a hopeless job'. Infact, nothing is 'hope'less till the time we tag it so. To put it in a pretty raw format - We sleep every night just with a simple 'hope' that the next day would be a better one. So we do not stand anywhere to claim that the events that occurs on a particular day as 'hope'less, instead we should find a way out of them. And I believe this is where attitude does play a vital role which differentiates between those love the blame-game and those who work their way out of situations thrown at them. It's not just one song that made Bryan Adams an icon who he is today, it's not those tons scored by Sachin (so many of them for a losing cause) that made him a God today, it's not just the adjectives Harsha Bhogle uses or the shows he does made him a great person to listen; it's their dedication, their attitude to stick to something they always believed in and their 'hope' to take the skill in whatever field they are to the next level which made them a brand today. We all hope, that tomorrow will be a better day. But all we do is leave it upto others to make it. It just can't work that way. If a society, a city or nation works, it is the people who make it work. It is the people who make it look good, bad or ugly. 'Hope' is the first step and working on it, is the second. The result will always be one thing: sweet. I could have written success but not all the time the result becomes a success no matter how much hard work has been put in, but whenever you give your everything, the experience will always be 'sweet' and that will culminate into a new & a larger 'hope' again, which in turn will give birth to aspirations. All these things are interlinked and provokes us to go higher in life in whichever field we are and in whatever way it is possible.

February denotes a lot of celebrations, but being away from family constraints them. My regular diary entries somehow did not leave me with anything to put in the blog. Mumbai's a bit cold this year and sweeter than ever before. And writing this entire thing with a feverish body, a nostalgic heart due to the slow afternoon breeze and a mind full of old memories is what makes the life so painfully perfect. 

Oh Lord, give me that time machine!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Version 3.0

     Almost after 2 quiet and lonely days, today's Sunday. Sundays becomes nostalgic if you are not inside a bloody mall and shopping. Being bachelor has all these pros and cons attached to it. But it's a tag that I still like next to my name, atleast till the time I can push the inevitable ;) Over last few years in the corporates, I realized few things which always were my mental blocks. Became less emotional for the employees, started understanding situations from different perspectives, taking everyone around you into confidence and being simple in whatever I want to execute or implement. I always knew that everything that the B-school taught me can not be practiced in the real world but still tried my own things by covering some of those theories with my ideas. Few of them clicked, some did not and some got discarded instantly by bosses. So, with every passing month or year, I am experiencing new dimensions of looking and doing the same things in different modes. Talking about bosses, I feel too damn lucky to have great bosses to work with throughout. I know how much it matters to work under someone where you feel secured and independent. With a lot of journey to be covered professionally, just wish to have such people around me to guide me through and inspire me to push myself day in and day out. 
     February or for that matter the rest of the year will be quite eventful with so many personal and professional grounds to be covered. February is full with anniversaries, birthdays and the big World Cup. The Cricket mania will continue till May end with the IPL following the World Cup. Hope Federer will be back this year and so is Schumacher. Less scams and more good cinemas. Waiting to experience 3G and a new office premise some time soon. Let's see how all these things roll out as the days are running so fast in Mumbai. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Year To Look Forward...

        Will start with 'Dhobi Ghat' as it earned a first place in the hearts of many who watched it. Feel bad for those still not seen it, go watch it. Good cinema pushing the envelope of contrived movies and taking film-making to another level. Last year gave us 'Udaan', now 'Dhobi Ghat' is a good start to this year. Hope we can see some more film-makers coming in front & more importantly guys backing them up financially. Ronnie has been doing quite well since last few years and came up with few really good ones under 'UTV Spotboys'. Though few others trying their hand as well in this genre giving opportunity to young but talented guys to take up the directorial mantle but overall the scenario is not bright. But with biggies like Aamir coming up strongly with such movies, it only augurs well for an audience like me. Hope next few years will pave way for more content-driven cinema instead of commercial-driven cinema. Simple example, a movie like 'Dabaang' still becomes a hit and we still have takers for Munni but a movie like 'Udaan' took 7 years to complete as the director didn't have enough resources to finish it up before Anuraag Kashyap & others stepped in. But both products are poles apart and still sells. Expecting more Udaans in next few years. 
        Had my first visit to Pune in 5 years stay in Mumbai but it was a worth a day! Though it was an official visit but loved every bit of it as got some unintentional attachments with Pune as a city since the day I touched Mumbai. Be it my visit to Goa last month or Pune early this month, found that Mumbai is actually too, too fast in everything. So once you step out of Mumbai you realize that you got to slowdown in order to get in tandem with the wavelength of the people of that particular city. Salaam Mumbai!
       Office schedule is only becoming hectic with each passing day & sapping all the energy I require for my blog. Even it made me wear glasses! Many a times an instant thought strikes the mind or an observation compels me to write something. But again the delay is taking them all away. Need to find a way to note them & bring it back to the laptop. Mumbai is bit cold these days which makes this city even more beautiful and romantic. Did I say 'romantic'? Yes, it really is. Though I have got no intention in writing this to make a statement of some kind, but the heart goes into the wildzone sometimes and makes it tough to pass those cold evenings alone ;)