Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movies Seen in the Last Two Days

(500) Days Of Summer
Genre:Romance
Rating: 4.5/5

Sixteen Candles
Genre:Drama/Romance
Rating:3/5

Outbreak
Genre:Sci-fi/Thriller
Rating:2.5/5

Waitress
Genre:Drama/Comedy
Rating:2.5/5

The Big Chill
Genre:Drama
Rating:2.5/5

Changeling
Genre:Drama/Crime
Rating:3.5/5

Dogma
Genre:Drama/Comedy
Rating:3/5

The World's Fastest Indian
Genre:Drama/Sports
Rating:5/5

Office Space
Genre:Comedy/Drama
Rating:3/5

On other news, sitting up all night to see the movies and then watching 3 wickets(sorry..make it 4)(sorry for this one too..make it 5) go down for India for nothing in the Morning is not FAIR!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Madness in Bilbao


It was a chilly raining day. While coming back from office, I noticed a huge hoard of people waiting in front of Hotel Carlton to see and welcome the local football team 'Athletic Club De Bilbao'. It was a big night for them. They were slated to play Spanish Giant FC Barcelona later tonight. It was the semifinal. From what I had heard, Athletic Club de Bilbao was a talented team, but were way below the FC Barcelona in the Club Rankings in Spain. Anticipation was in the air.

We felt the excitement creeping in and we went to check the out the stadium about 2-3 kms away. It was a magnificent sight. No luck with the tickets though as it was completely sold out.
We returned to our room. Night came. Chilly and raining.

Everything broke loose at 11 PM. People came shouting and panting in the streets repeating a Spanish slogan which I did not understand. A bottle of beer in one hand and a flag of the club in the other. FC Barcelona had been conquered 3-0.


The sleepy town from outside had turned own its head. This was an extraordinary sight of small town people supporting their club and rejoicing in their victory. Cold weather did not deter few crazy drunken people in taking a dip in the cold fountain water. All vehicles, small or big was stopped and forced to horn 3 times in a symbol of - 'yes, we are also with you' sign.

How could I be out of action? In spite of not knowing the name of single player on the club, I was still happy to be part of a huge crowd whose immense home support had inspired this incredible win.


It felt good(to litter the otherwise clean streets without feeling guilty :P). Dancing with few beauties without fear of getting beaten by their boyfriends. And I sneaked in a few of my own slogans - 'Bharat maata ki jai' without any fear of getting understood.

Celebrations continued till morning. On that night, everybody was for everybody. No skin had colour. It was just happiness.



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold steel - Book Review

Cold Steel - By Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey

I went to one of my Friend's Place in Delhi couple of weeks back and saw a small book kept in his book stand. I picked it. First Line on the cover said-

'A rare, insider's account....reads like a thriller'.

Reads like a thriller?? You see the face of Lakshmi Mittal on the cover and then you get an idea of the book genre. The book essentially covers the 'the takeover of the century'. The marriage of Lakshmi Mittal and Arcelor steel. It is an absolute thrill ride from start to end. Face to face between two giants of Steel world. Lakshmi Mittal and Guy Dolle.(I admit I was not acquanted with this name before). Covering a deal (called 'hostile' by many) as massive as the one in question requires tremendous research and patience. And it reflects in the book. 300 pages may not be enough to cover a takeover which ran for almost 6 months and involved 7 governments in 4 continents. But it has enough steam in its pages to admire the book for its freshness.

It has characters which can easily be mistaken to be present in a mob movie. Russians, French, Americans, Brazilians, Italians, Spanish,Germans, Iranians - they are all there in supporting casts. And in the Boxing Ring itself we have two self made men - Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian and Guy Dolle, a Luxembourger.

The story is simple. Lakshmi wants to conquer Arcelor. Execution, far from being simple. Why? Because Arcelor believes that it is not for sale. This simple story takes numerous twist and turns before culmination which we already know. The book covers the mood of the deal perfectly and shows the importance of the deal for both sides successfully - for Lakshmi to win the battle and for Guy to dodge the punch. The motivation and reasons of every action taken by every people involved has been dealt with. Want to talk about human sensitivities? Politics, Racism, Patriotism, Devotion, Loyalty, Betrayal, Heartbreak, Elation, Struggle, Compromise, Truth, Lies, Celebration, Disappointment - all due to one 'hostile bid by Lakshmi Mittal'.

The Book is an achievement. Reading it was a pleasure as well as informative. Highly Recommended!!

P.S - This book helped me come out of the coma in which I was in after reading 'The White Tiger'. Easily the worst book I have ever read. And I do not even remember the second worst book now. It was pathetic to see an Indian write such an obnoxious story about another Indian. I dont want to give coverage to the book by reviewing it and praising it for its limpid style or to label it dumb for the same reason. After all, it won the 'The Booker'. Reading it was an atrocity. Huge disappointment!!

Danny Boyle should be praised for its uplifting story..

My next Pick - 'The Count of Monte Cristo'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Leg Stump

I know, getting a middle stump of a batsman is the most pleasing sight for a fast bowler, but believe me, getting a leg stump gives kinda same feeling. Though, I am no Mcgrath, but even he would have been as happy as I was when I set the leg stump rolling of a highly rated batsman at a crucial juncture of the game.

This was a few days ago when a lot of mind games were being played within the two rival captains. A few from opposite team asked me too to take part in the verbal volleys and I just told him, 'main bolta nahi hun. Karta hun'. This just had a reaction of 'Wooooo!!!' from others. I said no more.We were challenged to play and beat a team which was undoubtedly more powerful and more equipped man by man. They had better bowlers, better batsman and better fielders. But they had something else which unbalanced everything. OVERCONFIDENCE.

Our captain (team lead in office) was not shy of accepting the challenge and he knew that to beat them he has to count on the performance of a couple of key players(including yours truly).So, the day was set. In the evening we all reached the ground. It was a working day so we decided to play an 8 over game. We won the toss and batted first. The Captain(Amit) and another person (Dusiant) opened. Now, my captain is sort of gafter. Likes to take his time to settle and keep one end secure. So the attacking shots were to be played from the other end. But Dusiant was not in his usual free flowing cricket and while he did hit one boundary, it was apparant that he was not comfortable against the variations in pace. Amit tried to up the tempo and was well caught behind the wicket in the 2nd over. This brought me on to the crease and I soon came into the groove. After a couple of singles, I creamed a low full toss to the cover boundary and me and Dusiant added some good runs for around 4 overs before Dusiant got out while trying to loft. Now it was mine and Ketan's turn to maintain the tempo and we added some quick runs by doing a lot of running and in between I also got 2 more boundaries. I was out on the last ball of the innings while Ketan remained notout. We had managed to score 65 runs in the 8 overs. The total was by no means a very safe total but we knew that if we bowl well upfront in the first few overs, we had a realistic chance.


2nd Innings

Their one of the most explosive batsman Tanay and another guy Surendra opened and we knew that we had to get Tanay out soon. Me and Ketan did not bowl first up as we were both tired by doing all the running. We had to do 4 overs between us and Amit had two overs. We decided to give Vinay and Vignesh and over with Amit in between the two and then me and Ketan will bowl. We got an extremely lucky break in the first over itself of Vinay when Tanay got run out due to some good throw from the deep. The first over yielded 5 runs. Amit and Vignesh bolwed the 2nd and 3rd overs which did not gave two many runs and we got one of their batsman Gopal also out. Their Captain Vikas came and was cleaned superbly in the 4th over by Ketan. We were on top but we knew the danger man was still waiting to come. Rajesh and Surinder were on the crease when I started the 5th Over. I bowled 2 dot balls to Surinder and he took a single on the 3rd. That brought Rajesh on the strike and tried unsuccessfully to hit me on the 4th delivery. The 5th delivery was a magic. The ball was pitched full on the leg stump and as Rajesh tried to hit it hard on on side, ball went round his legs and set the leg stump flying. Rajesh could not believe it. But it happened. My mates erupted in joy as the next batsman took guard. Sameer is one guy who can turn the match on its own in just few balls. Match was not over yet. He took single of the next last ball to take the strike. Amit and Ketan bowled the 6th and 7th over. 7th Over threatned to turn the table a bit when Sameer hit 14 runs of the over. But that still left 24 runs to hit in the final over which I was to bowl. I gave them little chance by conceding just 6 runs and we won the game.

While they were amazed at their loss, we knew how we did it. By letting our deeds do the talking!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

kya Lyrics hai...

" Ye raat thodi to dhalne do,
dheere dheere isko pighalne do
Aage hain do raah, maana magar
thodi dur to saath chalne do"

--from the song ' Jao Na' (Whats your Rashee?)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

So good to see

There was a tree. A guava tree.The tree was as almost as old as our house(My mom tells me that I uprooted the sapling when it was barely 15 days old, but I do not remember it as I, myself was only months old at that time). I remember coming from school and climbing on the tree straightaway to hunt for elusive fresh ripe guavas which may just be hidden behind thick leave covers. Its fruits are the sweetest I have ever tested. It was a classic example of 'an owner's pride and a neighbour's envy'.


The tree had grown and so had the house. I was a grown up too.(err...). I had left house for my studies. Everything was fine, until that day(almost 6 years back). It was just an usual call from home. And it was a simple question too. Should we cut the tree so that the house could grow vertically? Despite all convincing, I was not at all ready to see the 'thing' go. But, I had to cave in, as it looked like the only way at that time. I felt very uneasy imagining, that the next time I will go home, the tree will not be there. And it was really not there the next time. It is still there...the emptiness.


So, its natural to have my spirits lifted when I see something lush green. Unfortunately, the area where I live now has all the big big apartment buildings all over. And when I saw a big patch of land being cleaned and worked upon, I thought, 'this one goes too for another apartment building'. But, I was in for a pleasant surprise after a couple of days, when I saw the whole patch full of small trees planted in a regular pattern. I really perked up. Some one really thinks trees are necessary. This place would be treat to the eyes after a couple of years when the trees mature.


I was in for another surprise when I went home recently. A sapling from the original tree had started giving fruits. My mom told me that she took the sapling out from its usual place and planted it somewhere else. Though much small as compared to its original as of now, it has all the makings of matching up to its father, if the taste of the guava is anything to go by. And another surprise in the form of a mango tree which too has now grown....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Half Blood Prince

I got the only ticket available for 8 PM show of HP6. Quite Fortunate..huhh?? But, I got the shock of my life when Harry started reading the Daily Prophet in Hindi. I mean, come on 'anisht devta' and 'pranbhakshi'. I was eating my head off. Due to the very reason, I can not judge the movie on its own. My experience of first HP movie watching in theatre turned sour even before it started to take shape.

The movie, as an unbiased and unprejudiced opinion is entertaining to watch. It has its moments. Infact, for some 10-20 mins in between the movie, I thought, I was watching a teen movie and not some dark, grose and intense magic film. If that was a good thing to do, they did a good job. The constant giggling and a good laughter here and there among the audience indicates that 153 mins length of the movie was not felt very long.

Since, I had read the novel long back, I only had memories of the story line of the book. I did remember the story was almost fully based on a new concept of 'Horcruxes'. But this revelation is done very late in the movie and for almost 100 mins, I was not sure which way the story was going. Even a 10 year old boy sitting next to me said,'mujhe samajh nahi aa raha hai kahani'.

Ron and Hermione(oh...Hermione!!!) were only left to play game of love in between them. There is no real action given to these key characters except making Ron a hero in Quidditch. Offcourse, I do not remember how much action they actually do in the novel. But nothing?? Come on. Hermione looks much sweeter and S@#$%r with a wand than while weeping on our Harry's shoulder. Ron is actually doing nothing in the movie except first falling in love and then escaping from Lavendor Brown. Her sister, Ginny has actually grown and got some more limelight then previous movies. May be bacause she is the hero's Love interest now.

Dumbledore, as the father figure of Harry has an important role as usual. The second half is where he excels and the scene where he and Harry go to destroy the horcrux is beautifully shot. Hagrid's role is much shorter for his size. Another hero from the previous novel, Neville Longbottom is only seen in one scene as a waiter. A key character, Prof Slughorn is added but he loses his importance half way in the movie and believe me he was more iritating than funny in this Hindi version. But he has a good key role.

Forget the Voldemort, the real bad character in this one is Draco'c s character and he has done a very good jod. Snape is as usual, wooden face and wooden voice, devoid of goodness. Voldemort or 'Anist Devta' as he is referred, is only scene as a 9 year old boy with evil intentions.

Some words for Harry too. He has grown from a small kid of Chamber of secrets to a responsible and a person who can fall in love and take his own decisions. He has seen many people die since. And here he sees his mentor and father figure die. We feel both for him and the deceased.

The movie, if seen as an independent work, will work very well, as it is entertaining, shot beautifully and acting is consistent. But the very fact it is not an independent work and there are strings attached with the novel and the next novel in the series will result in negative points. But I looked for a good evening and I got it. And it would have been much better, if it had been in English.





Monday, July 13, 2009

A sunday Well Spent

I did something last sunday which I was really planning to do for quite some time now. I bought a new pair of running shoes. And I hope to motivate myself getting up early now and then and do some physical exercise. My weight and waist size has still not reached alarming levels, but I hope to make amends before that situation comes. I had a pair of sports shoes, but those were basically badminton shoes. But they could not bore the brunt of many of my 'Into the wild' activities which I was taking up last few months. A lot of junk food(chips and cold drinks; they were so cheap in Spain :)) coupled with my stay at home after that had rendered me prone to weight gains. And I thought, its better be now than the time that I start loosing sleep over it.

Now, every target should be quantitative. To measure how much I am progressing (or receding), I have a jeans which was fit to me till last year and is giving me some trouble now. Now, when that jeans starts fitting me again, it will be Mission Accomplished.

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One of my friends has shifted to New Delhi for his MBA. So, now I have a small group here to hang out and remove that 'boriyat ka vatavaran' which surrounds me every now and then.

Among other things, friends are getting married to my left and right and centre. My batchmates and even my juniors are uploading their engagement and marriage photos. This just about puts that thought here about the right time to settle down. I am only 24, so I have still got time to think. Atleast I think so that way. Hmm...someone else needs some convincing and I hope to have all my arguments/counter-arguments ready at my disposal whenever the situation arises. And the worst case scenario, I have a new pair of Running shoes.


I have got to sleep now. I have a cricket match to play at 6:30 in the morning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I may be there

Everybody has that feeling. It is universal. So nobody can fake it. It is the feeling of missing out on something which you have long planned to do. It is the feeling of hollowness of a job left incomplete. It is the feeling of quitting a 10 km marathon race at a point when you just could not muster an extra ounce of stength to go the extra mile. The feeling of failing to get an extra percentage in the exam which could have admitted you in your dream college. The feeling of 'so near, yet so far'.


That was 1st week of May. My last weekend in my Spain trip. I had set my sights on a city to visit ever since I boarded the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. I could not imagine of missing out. More so because the place was only 7 hrs distance from the place(Bilbao) I was staying. That city is PARIS. I was hugely disappointed of missing out on Paris . I was having an irresistable urge to blame my collegues here for this debacle, but I know, that wont be true and justified. Everybody has its own reasons to decide, whatever they do decide. End result, Me alone and lonely. I was still in good spirits and vigour to go to Paris, all on my own. But internet problems(I later found out on returning that my credit card was cancelled!!) and then lack of enough time brought down the curtains on my Paris Plans. 3 days of weekend and I was just left to lick my wounds.

When I see the Eifel tower in the background of News broadcast in BBC, I still think, I had the chance to feel it, to touch it. An 'I have been there' feeling. But that was not meant to be. Not this time around

Or may be, I will have a second chance. Who knows!!

Talking of Chances, I have just saw a movie titled 'Taking Chance'. A little in size but a gigantic movie in terms of impact. Highly Recommended!!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Contrasts

Pakistan are the new T20 Champions. While I quetly saw the 4 wickets fall inside 5 overs for Sri Lanka and then I quietly went to sleep, Pakistan had made their way to crown and glory by 8 wickets. As I flipped through the channels and saw Younis lift the trophy on one of those, I also stumbeled on Star Cricket which were showing the highlights of the last edition's final. As I write this, Robin Uthappa has just run out rampaging and limping Imran Nazir with a superb direct hit.

Now, our neighbour are the world champions and though I did not see the presentation ceremony, I will back myself to believe that their captain did not say - 'Thanks to all the Muslims of the world and the stupidness thereafter...'. Make no mistake, I am happy for them. And that is not out of sympathy for all the turmoils that their country and their people are going through. Oh God, Misbah has hit Harbhajan for 3 sixes in an over. What an over for them. Its getting tense here!!

Well, Pakistan played to their strenghths - unpredictability. They were humbled in both the warm up games and then by England in the group match. But they somehow got their act togother and Afridi came onto its own at the right time. Somehow is the word which describes the Pakistan Cricket. Somehow, they achieve great things, when least expect them to. And somehow, Sohail Tanveer has hit 2 gorgeous sixes of Sreesanth. A match every bit worthy of Final. (In Shastri's words).

If Pakistan can learn that their victory and defeat is not the victory and defeat of Muslims and they are not different from any other cricket playing country, this will be the real prize for them. We love cricket and for us everybody is a player who wants to play passionately and win. And oh ho!! Sreesanth has taken the catch to get the last wicket and India are the new T20 Champions!! (In a corner of my heart!!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

End of the World

This is the end of the world.
Nothing seems right.
Everybody is your enemy.
Nobody is yours.
Life is full of darkness.
Entirely devoid of happiness.
You can not trust anybody.
My bed has thorns.
My food is poisioned.
Demons in my dreams.
Money is worthless.
I have dementors in my room.
Toilet has overflowed.
I cant breathe.


India is out of T20 World Cup.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Revolving Luck




I am not a great believer in luck. I may find respite in blaming all the bad things that has happened to me by saying, 'that was luck!!', but deep down I sincerely believe, we have the power to either make or break ourselves. I do not trust luck to give me everything that I deserve, but instead I trust my destiny to give me everything that I will honestly work for. We always have a choice. And, I yeah, I had a choice. A choice to not to go to a place which follows no law, yet violates no rule ever discovered by any form of life. A place where every human has its own theory and every one of them are right and wrong at the same time. A place which was definitely not kneeling for me to come, nor was I dying to visit. A place, which is more like Life itself. No body knows whats happening in next 10 seconds. The 10 seconds or so, when the roullete revolves and the ball will find peace with exactly one number. The number which will make a handful of people wealthier by few green notes, but others will lose more than just money. Yes, Casino is a place, where you have nothing, but your own luck, nothing but your own intuition to fall upon. With careful observation and by 'playing safe', you may cut down your potential losses, if need be, but, Casino, is not for 'playing safe'. It is for the risk takers, who are prepared to lose it all, and still smile and say, 'Well, I will have good luck tomorrow!!'.

So, our group of today comprised of a veteran (more of an addict), two calm, patient, risk free players, a few hands in coats type players and a first timer (Yours sincerely), who was prepared to lose everything he had in his wallet (20 euros :P). After watching a few games on different tables and getting a feel of the environment, I debuted. I bought 8 coins, 2.5 euros each.

First Game yielded into second into third and so forth. The trick was not to gain money and then control and move away, but to go on despite winning. I won, I lost and won again. I had started with 20 euros and ended with 57.5 euros. I had be lying, if I said that it did not feel good. But I will also be lying if I said, that it felt better as compared to small happiness which I get by helping a person or protecting a puppy from cold or waking up after a nice deep sleep.
One of my friends did not have that much 'luck' as he lost about 250 euros. But, I am sure he will be back the next day as well. As for me, I may go there once in a while. Because, my idea of a good time is different than spending 4 hours in Casino. Watching the ocean, losing yourself in jungle, climbing the mountains. Small things matter!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To the Supremo

To the Supremo,

I know that you know. Now, do not pretend. You know, that I hardly contribute to Green House Effect . Yeah, the same bizzare, may be true, may not be true scientific dish which is hot on everybody's platter for the last few years. I rarely use plastics. Ok. fine. I did use a few of them for buying stuffs from Eroskey retail shop. But I have started using my own bag since last few days. I am careful about my energy usage. I love nature and I am in love with hills, mountains and rivers. I still savour the natural beauty far and above the twin towers of Malaysia. (It doesnt mean I detest them. Its a relative thing). Everytime you let the clouds sing, I dance with them by soaking in it. I love animals and would hate to hurt them. Unless, I am left with no other choice, of course. I do my bit to conserve trees and I get depressed with the receding forest cover of the country. I respect every single thing created by you and sincerely believe that everything created by you serves a purpose, no matter, if we are or are not aware of the purpose. Its another thing, that I still have to find mine. But as I said, it does not matter.

So, what is it with you and me. Why do you ruin my every weekend by sending the SUN on vacation and letting the RAIN having all the merry and evaporating all my goody goody plans in to thin air. I know, that you might be confused by my extremely weird sleeping and waking patterns for last few weeks and that it might have been difficult for you to plan in advance the working and holidays of your employees. But, you are supposed to be supremo...right? You are not one of those dim witted managers who contribute 20% of actual work and consume 80% of money influx. You are SUPREMO , MAN!!. you are supposed to have contingency and mitigation plans before you lay out the requirements for the coming generations. Weekends are for fun. To go out and see places. But, you lift the cork, right on a Saturday Morning and everything comes pouring down like a champagne. This is the fifth consecutive weekend, I have gone out with rain cutting loose and Sun behind a cloud cover. I had gone out, after all these is a testimony to my WILL. But, who am I telling? You are almighty. So, you ought to know, what stuff am I made of. So, let me make it very clear. If you are trying to dishearten my spirit, by creating 'bad' weather, then so far, you have failed miserably. And if you are testing my strength and WILL, then GOOD LUCK. After all, I am a part of you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Long Wait...for these!!


The above is such a good sight. Waiting and waiting....

I was just browsing and found out that even the movie 'Bheja Fry' was not an original story from us. It is a rip off of a 1998 French Movie called 'Dîner de cons, Le' by Francis Webber. Gotta download that now!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Lost Asset

Keeping Bhagwad Geeta's most overused statement - 'Tumhara kya tha jo tum kho rahe ho' on the corner for the time being, I can lay claim on one thing which was purely mine. No, I did not bring it with me on this planet as a gift from imaginary powers and ofcourse it did not come overnight due to some spider bite. But, it was mine and I got it through a steady progress of time. I was too small at that time to understand overwhelming praise and generally positive impression which it creates, and when the time and oppurtunities has run out to make amends, I am sensing a blankness which that asset has created by abondoning me. Friends, I am talking about my handwriting. There was a time in my school days, when it was the talk of the town(ok, sorry...a bit too much exaggeration) and I garnered some kind and enthusiastic words from my teachers (and parents offcourse) for my neat and 'motiyon' jaise achhar. And the very fact that I was good at it inspired me to write more and more. I could easily write on and on and then sit back, enjoy and admire the neat pages filled with neat words.

Ah...gone are the days. The advent of laptop, computers and cell phones not only limited the chances of 'milan of pen and paper', but sadly made me regret after seeing the paper when that 'milan' did happen. The pressures of work and time made it worse. I think, I first noticed the decline in the first year of working life, when the shapes of the letters were not what they had looked before. The letters have become increasingly unrecognisable. 'b' and 'd' have become alien to each other and 'f' uses the F word every time it sees 'e', unmindful of the fact that they are immediate neighbours.

I pity myself...for that lost asset!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Snake on a Dream

What is that snake doing in the middle of a cricket ground? It was a big snake, moving swiftly towards the centre of the pitch. I was fielding near the boundary and I shouted at top of my lungs to fellow guys to clear the way for it. Seeing its size, any other intentions would have been labelled foolishness. The legless creature continued its stride, seemingly proud of disturbing the game. Hey, what is happening in the center of the pitch? The snake has an adversory. A guy is in the front and is mocking him by making faces. The snake becomes angry and by a swift action of jumping well high in the air, bites the guy on the face, near the nose. The guy falls, and the snake disappears in the bushes. Everybody stands still, not knowing what to do. Everybody rushes towards the guy. But me..
I open my eyes. Horrified followed by thirst. I look around my bed for any traces of the legless creature. With a sigh of relief, I have a glass of water, come back. This was a night of dreams. That snake dream was followed by no less than 4 dreams, all overlapping and their boundaries blurry. All were logical dreams which made perfect sense, but only inside my head. In the realistic world, one could not decide which was more wierder. I do not remember any of the dreams except the snake one. The snake dream has just stuck. May be because of the snake's size. I was told when I was a child, that snake in a dream brings money in life. Not sure, if I can trust this. I will probably sleep soundly than waking horrified in the middle of the night and getting a cheque in the morning.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Fall, A lady and a Geek

Alfred: Why do we fall?
Bruce: Why?
Alfred: So, that we can lift ourselves up!
(Rip off from Batman Begins)
Learning a bicycle, you are bound to fall sometimes. While trying something new, hiccups are bound to come. So, how could I have avoided it? I have burned my fingers, infact two of them, in the kitchen. Bad estimation skills on the amount of time and heat needed to get the bread soft, light and warm has cost me considerable pain. The two fingers on the left of the thumb of my right hand have swelled a bit, and believe me , its no fun typing in here with the fingers regarding my burned fingers. It pained so much at first and I was about to dip my hand straight in the chilled coke which I had just poured into the glass. I refrained from doing it however. That coke was for my bellies. Holding the glass did gave me some respite. Its funny, though. For almost 10 days, I was working alone in the kicthen and everything was allright. I had an accomplice (okay, fine I was the accomplice), for the first time, I ended up burning two of my fingers.
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On other news, while I was attending a call (a meeting in office), with a couple of guys trying to get something out of all the Spanish they were speaking, a very very cute lady totally unknown to me asked me, if I will share a piece of pizza with her. All spanish jargons took a backseat. But there was still a question to be answered. Oh, I gave a mouthful to myself for being a vegeterian. She had the piece all by herself. well, atleast she thought. Or, atleast I thought that she thought. Ok, nevermind, go ahead.
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Now, I know atleast one Spanish girl who is never going to forget us. By 'US' , I mean the We, the Indians. She is in the same hotel where we are staying and I was sitting the business centre room where we access net(where I am sitting now). She comes, says Hi and connects her lappy.
After 10 mins, she calls the reception and says she is not able to access net. The receptionist sees me and asks if I can help. I say, sure and try to look in the cobweb of Vista. Everything in Spanish. So, I am trying to see what is the problem, on a Spanish Sony lappy will all the configurations in Spanish for a spanish lady who does not know English. A collegue of mine enters and she starts digging up too. Finally after some 15 mins of struggle and overcoming the language barrier and technical issues, her lappy is back on track. Seemed like, some one played with the settings of the network adapters. Anyway, the lady was all smiles and thank yous... we are geeks...eh!!
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There are a couple of open topics on which the blog was promised and it is still not out here. The one is about a grand unfinished church which I saw in Barcelona and the other about a lunch with my Spanish Collegues.
Coming out soon..

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

6 AM in the morning

It is 5:13 AM in the morning(about 10 AM India time). Even before the night has started to fall, I had decided. I had decided that I am not going to sleep today. Just felt like it. Not for any particular reason. I reached home at around 7 30 in the evening and wasted a complete half an hour - 'to cook or not to cook'. Another half an hour was wasted decided 'what to cook'. That was not a very difficult question, though, considering my 3 days working experience with kitchen tools. After I swallowed somehow, something which I prepared with a glass of Coke, the lady who lives in the neighbourhood, brought me a tiffin half full of 'chole' which she had prepared. A full one hour after I had eaten and probably when quarter of it was already digested. Oh, only if you had brought it before, it had saved , both my time and energy. Neverthless, after saying thanks which she accepted gleefully, I put the tiffin in the refreigerator and it will serve as my breakfast today.
Keeping yourself awake is not easy. Especially, when you dont have any body around to talk and the ones who are around do not understand your language. I indulged myself to reading a few pages of novel which I have started(1984 - George Orwell), watched one and a half movies (Donnie Darko, The sisterhood of Travelling pants), watched BBC news for 2 hours (the only channel which comes here in a language which I can fully understand).
Talking of languages, the greatest challenge I am facing here is to converse with my collegues. Making them understand exactly which I want them to understand is a huge task here. Probably, there are only a couple of guys on the whole floor who can speak and understand 'angrezi' good enough, so that I dont have to repeat myself. I have learnt to speak s-l-o-w-l-y and be a bit more P-A-T-I-E-N-T with them and speak with expressions, sign languages and writing to them at the same time so that they get every word I speak. But it is another challenge which I am thouroughly enjoying. After all there are not too many managers available who say the F word to you and you can show them your middle finger in reply. These are the expressions who are common in all the languages, I guess. One of the guys here is having a nightmare pronouncing 'Vaibhav' and no matter how hard we try, that has not come off as intended, yet. Anyway, its nice at a strange place among strange people. Among the crowd, but still alone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Survival

Greenery, dark and light and somewhere brownish red was all which was visible when we were about to land in Bilbao.Huge streches of green forests having pointed trees, patches of light green grasses and mountains were my first impressions. Absolute Cleaniliness and everything around having a sense of smoothness inbuilt.
I was only couple of hours old in the foreign city. The struggle for food which I had been forewarned was not without reason. I had been told, even the non-veggies do not trust the non-veg restaurants here. And veggies are in for a lot of trouble if they dont know how to cook. I amin second category, that too of the extreme type. My only relation with the kitchen has been making tea every nowand then. A complete novice in handling matters related to kitchen and cooking. But, jiska koi nahi uska to khudahai yaaron!!!

After roaming for about 2 hours in the city, braving the rains and the cold winds, I returned to the hotel, andfell asleep while trying to watching a movie on the system (The Reader - emotional, slow type). Suddenly, my roomphone started ringing. I answered the phone. As I said, jiska koi nahi.... A few of my collegues who are alreadyhad heard that 'someone' is coming from India. As, there are only a couple of hotels who are company approved where guys generally stay, it was not difficult to find me.

A well begun is half the battle won. This could not have been more apt now. The guys and girls who were/are here have been extremely supportive. While the guys took me on a tour of city to have me acquanted with all the important and interesting corners, the girls made me acquanted with the nuances of kitchen tools. You always feel like a winner when you have crossed a hurdle, a boundary, an unknown. This was the feeling when I prepared my first dinner few days back. A simple rice with mix veg. It was tasty as the lady who tested it testified. Now, I look forward to the night. It is just a thought, that makes me feel good. The thought, that now I have a choice. If I am not in a mood of eating snacks or something else, I can cook. The thought of a winner. The thought, the strength, that always was, hidden deep inside has come to the fore front for my rescue. After all, survival is not always that easy!! And neither it has been more interesting..for me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It really is a difficult job

It is really strange how things change so quickly. A few days back, I used to discuss why do we work like a donkey. Our backs always ladden with workload, and everybody knowing, more than half of that is plain shit. But even shit work is work...isnt it? Why do we have to fight every single friday night that it is FRIDAY NIGHT!! I am lucky to have a good and supporting lead and I was smart enough to save my A** most of the weekends and remain unscathed. Anyway, I am quite notorious to not pick my phone on weekends and holidays.

The equation has changed. And I am on the wrong side of it. An undefined, irrational variable. This is my first weekend in Spain all equations point towards me connecting from home and work. True to my nature and sensing sure turbulence I thought something. But, here, like most software culture, one man´s gain is another man´s loss. If I am not working, somebody has to work for me. And who else than somebody from my team in India. It has been very hard for the guys in my team back there. I had to convince a guy so hard to cover up for me for the same thing against which I was filling his ears since the day he joined.(He is a junior). That thing was to say NO!!. I had to be a friend, a collegue, a senior and give all kinds of emotional atyachar to him, only to make him available over the weekend so that I could enjoy my weekend.
That was worth it, however. I am off to Barcelona this weekend!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Delhi-Frankfurt-Spain

It has been a strange last few weeks. In a good way though. I was busy not-working one day, feeling happy about my coming holiday plans, when suddenly my TL asked me come inside a meeting room where 4 wise people were discussing something important(my guess). Now, I know there is nothing funny about it, but somehow, I am not a ´meeting´guy. So, I managed a weird smile and before entering I asked him in sign language, what was it all about? He said,'Teri chuttiyon ke baare mein baat ho rahi hai, use cancel karwana hai'.I did not get time to get upset and show my reactions, as was face to face with my manager soon. She said,' Would you like to go to Spain for about 3 months? It was a shock of the pleasant type. As per my habit, I simply asked how much time I have to give the answer.

I had planned a 15 days leave starting 20th Feb. I was very excited to attend the wedding of one of my Best friends. So excited, that I was pushing all other friends from all corners to join me on the day. Tickets were ready,friends were ready. Everything was set. Until that question. I knew the answer even before I called my parents and asked them their opinion. The toughest part was calling my friend and telling him, I may not come to his wedding. I dont know, if choosing a foreign assignment is better than not attending your best friend's wedding. I just put myself in his place and imagined if I will feel bad if something of this sort happens. The sadness, if any of not seeing my friend on D-day was comprehensively outweighed by the happiness which I got by seeing his growth and prosperity.

This was almost 3 weeks ago. Now, I am sitting in 4 star hotel in a small and beautiful city called Bilbao in Spain,writing this and thinking I should have gone out and see something instead of writing. Only, if it was not raining here. However, the honour of first foreign soil where I have set foot will go to Germany(Frankfurt) where I landed from New Delhi and had a connecting flight to Spain 4 hrs later. I am in the country which is the reigning Euro Cup champion and who has a tennis prodigy who has dethroned Federer.(By the way, I just saw Federer in a Gillete ad).
Rest soon to follow..

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another Friday

Watching a movie on the same friday it is realised can be very risky. As we(Me and my friends) found out last friday (Friday, the 16th). We had already decided to go CC2C and since we are all working guys, it invariably means night show. The night show starts at 10:50 in the nearest theatre. I had got an indication of 'how bad this movie is' as the day had progressed. I generally read reviews and comments of a movie. But I just read it.  I go to a movie with an open, yes Mind. My primary aim is keep me entertained and not to have a boring time. It can be of either genre, and I believe me I watch all genres. It can be a gory, psycotic movie with all the blood and scenes (300, SAW series, The Inside etc) to mushy soft romantic(oh..there are so many!!), and I can like all of them. So,  I desparately look for some good in any movie with which I can salvage myself once I am done with the movie. But CC2C was one of those movies which made be think, Shi!!, I could have watched another good movie in this time. While returning, we swore to each other, we are not coming to watch another movie the day it is released.

But that was Friday, the 16th. Now it is Friday, the 23rd. And two movies were realising. Slumdog Millionaire, with all the hype and Oscar Buzz and the obvious connection and the mystery-horror Raaz- The mystery continues. It was a difficult situation. I had watched Slumdog... weeks back, so there was only Raaz on which yes or no was pending. Horror movies are made to watch only in theatre. Plus, there is an advantage with watching horror movies in theatre, If they turn out bad and cheap, that becomes a comedy. Well, these two arguments from my side were enough to tune our mature minds to not to trust every critic everytime.

So, we went. The movie was a horror or a comedy, that is for you to decide. But, we did not had a bad time at all.  But the real stuff was after the movie, when we had to walk back in the night around 1:30 in the morning. The discussion on the topic, which is perhaps as old as language on this planet was inevitable, Bhoot sahi mein hote hai kya??. We walked and we talked our real experiences. I have one too, though not very creepy. In our flat, we had our dinner together, with our stories floating. Each one of us had a story to tell and they all seemed real. And when every person you meet has a different story to tell on the same topic, I really tend to think, not all can be false, isnt it? A complicated question to answer, especially when it is 3 in the morning, I slept over it, listening to the song - Kaisa ye raaz hai..

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Brother!!

This is a real pity. I have not seen him for close to two years now. By the time I publish this post, he will be one year older. I do not know where is he. The last time I talked (2  days ago), his ship has left the shores of US on its way to Belgium via Germany. I do not have his direct number and signals are real weak in the oceans. But, where ever you are, I wish you a Happy Birthday, a very Happy Birthday.

If everything works out, I will see you soon..

Till then, and after, enjoy the company of Oceans..

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Such is her....

She never complains. I follow her eyes, as her eyes follow me. There are days, when I do not see her much. There are days, when I dont talk to her. But she listens to everything I do not say. She watches everything I do not do. She does not pass judgement. She approves everything. She understands. 

I tell her frankly, that I am getting bored of her. When I finally get bored, I decide not to see her for some time. I look for better company. But all this time, she never stops smiling, at me. She neither whines nor make faces. Such is her peace, such is her strength. She stands tall through everything. My troubles, happiness are same to her. All ripples die before then can touch her, affect her, change her. She embraces everything. 

Her piercing eyes make me forget all my worries of the day as soon as I see my desktop wallpaper.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

In The Name of The Father:Movie Review


I really wanted to write a movie review for some time now, just to test my mettle in this field. The hurdle was which movie to chose. I have seen scores of movies in the past month, some excellent (HEAT, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE,DOG DAY AFTERNOON), some good(LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, THE NOTEBOOK, DASVIDANIYA, THE SWEET HEREAFTER, MASTER AND THE COMMANDER:THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, SLEEPERS, THE INSIDER), some Average(VANTAGE POINT,RNBDJ, GHAJINI), some just waste of time and definitely not worth naming here. I have another  120+ movies in my lappy in 'TO SEE' folder. Not to forget, an extra 200+ movies in 'To Download' list. So, may be I was waiting for just to be in a right mood, rather than a right movie to traverse this path. I guess, I found out both tonight.

Let me Present to you 'IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER'---Year 1993
                                       Starring: Daniel-Day Levis

PREMISE: This movie is based on an autobiographical book 'Proved Innocent' by Gerry Conlon. The plot is based on the incident that Gerry Conlon was arrested and charged with bombing of a pub in London which killed many civilians. The fact was he never committed the crime. Another fact was, he served 15 years in jail for something he did not do. He and his whole family was arrested under 'Prevention of Terrorism Act' and served different years in Jail for commiting crimes or being a part of it by providing them 'Safe Houses'. 

While, I will live up to you to see the events unfold itself and how he got justice. But the movie, while always moving to its climax, provides a chilling account of the humiliation the protoganist and his family served and their subsequent resurrection. Acted with absolute perfection by Daniel-Day Levis, you seem to live his life, feel his pain and his victory is our victory. Another most important aspect of the movie is estranged Father-Son relationship shown in the movie. The duo share a prison cell and how their relationship evolves is worth praising and admiring.

The pace of the movie is fast in the begining and the end, with a little bit slow in middle. But, that is the where the pudding of the movie reigns and sets the ending. The music score is brilliant and I cant comment on other technical things. You know, I am not qualified enough for that.

I may have heaved praise on the movie, a bit more than it deserves, or so you may feel. But for me, the movie was worth every second spent in watching it. And I did feel enriched, once it came to its grand end. May be the silent and chilling atmosphere also had a part in making this movie more haunting.

For me, Its as good a movie as you will see, and one of the very few movies which will stay with me for a long time to come.

And Yes, sorry to disappoint Aamir - Ghajini was not something which remained with me after leaving theatre. What remained was a couple of good songs and a pathetic attempt at comedy.