Friday, April 30, 2010

Torn..



Ok, so this incident happened when I still had no clue what is the point in studying when you can play and watch cricket day in and day out. With neither a inkling of what the future holds nor a care, I had just finished my Xth Board exams.

After shedding the load of Board exams from my thin shoulders (and also my parents), I was attending the marriage ceremony of my cousin (who was and is about 15 years my senior). The 'baarat' had returned from Ranchi to our home town, with the bride off course, and everywhere the mood was upbeat.

But, but...

My dad had to return to our home (we are a nuclear family, you see) to join office the next day and also my younger siblings had to join school. So, somehow the circumstances conspired to have me surrounded by all the 'chachas' and 'chachis' and cousin brothers and sisters and my dad asking me ,'beta, ready ho jao, wapis chalna hai ya nahi'.

Ah, everybody was staring at me and waiting for 'what-my-reply-would-be'. This was a tense fraction of seconds in my mind, with one mind clearly wanting to stay and enjoy, but the other half, at the same time, torn with the thought - 'papa ko sabse ke saamne kaise bol dun ki nahi jaana hai'! The kid I was!!

I blurted,'papa, main raat bhar soch kar bataunga!!'

The danger was averted amicably. Papa laughed and the few others gave a pat on the back.

I stayed for another one week among the greens of the village.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Liked These...

A list of some of the Movies, I enjoyed, loved, liked, felt, lived...
They cover wide genres with equally wide and different story lines..and spans over many years..
This is no way.. 'Top XXX' kind of list. Just a collection, of what I have watched so far and liked. I might have missed a few which did not come to mind right away.

Not in any particular order..

1. Enemy at the Gates
2. The Prestige (Must Must Watch)
3. Road to Perdition
4. 12 Angry Men (A Classic)
5. 25th Hour (Brilliant Edward Norton, An amazing story)
6. 28 Days Later (High Paced Horror, Thriller)
7. 28 weeks Later(A sequel to the Previous one)
8. A Beautiful Mind(Do I need to explain this also??)
9. A Guide to recognizing your saints(Very Different Presentation)
10. A History Of Violence
11. A Perfect World
12. A Simple Plan
13. Amazing Grace
14. American History X (Edward Norton again..)
15. Anatomy Of A Murder(Another Classic..)
13. Batman Begins (Batman reinvented by Christopher Nolan)
14. Battle for Haditha (Horror of Iraq War)
15. Before the Fall (German)
16. Black Hawk Down
17. Bloody Sunday (Jalianwala Bagh of Ireland)
18. Boy A (A Big Little Movie)
19. The Bourne series
20. Breach
21. Brick
22. Bullitt
23. A Great Escape
24. Carlito's Way (Brilliant Al Pacino..)
25. Cast Away
26. Changeling
27. Charlie Wilson's War
28. Cloverfield
29. Confessions of Dangerous Mind
30. Crimson Tide
31. Dances with Wolves
32. Das Experiment (German, Must Watch)
33. Defiance
34. Deliverance
35. Departed
36. District 9 (Innovative Sci-fi Movie)
37. Dog Day Afternoon (Al Pacino Again)
38. Dog Soldiers (High Action Werewolf Movie)
39. Drag Me To Hell (A Wonderful Horror Movie)
40. El Secreto de sus Ojos (Spanish)
41. Equilibrium
42. Felon
43. Find Me Guilty (One of Those in which Vin Diesel is watchable..)
44. Five Minutes of Heaven (Wonderful Story, Good Acting)
45. Flags Of Our Fathers
46. Flatliners
47. Four Brothers
48. Fracture (Anthony Hopkins..)
49. Frailty (An amazing thriller...)
50. Frantic
51. Freedom Writers
52. Frequency
53. From Dusk Till Dawn
54. Frost Nixon (Script and dialogues are the winner..)
55. GATTACA (Great Sci-fi movie)
56. Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck in Director's Chair)
58. Hard Candy
59. Heat (Al Pacino and De Niro head to head)
60. In Bruges (One of the best scripts written..)
61. In the Name of The Father
62. In The Valley of Elah
63. Inglourious Basterds
64. Ink (The Concept is so weird..its almost good)
65. Interview With The Vampire
66. Into the Wild
67. Joyeux Noël (Soldiers celebrate X-mas amid War!!)
67. Kinsey (First Systematic study of Sexual Habits in Humans)
68. Les Miserables (Brilliant Story Line, Good Liam Nesson)
69. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
70. Lord Of War
71. Master and the Commande- The Far side of the World
72. Mississippi Burning
73. Moon
74. Munich
75. Mystic River
76. Nefes(Turkish, Brilliant War Movie)
77. No Way Out
78. Nothing But The Truth
79. OPEN RANGE
80. Outlander
81. Pan's Labyrinth (Brilliant Amalgation of War and Fantasy)
82. Paranormal Activity (Just for the Last scene..)
83. Point Break (Keanu Reaves Breaks Through..)
84. Proof
85. Public Enemies
86. Rabbit-Proof Fence
87. Rosemary's Baby
88. Runaway Train
89. Running Scared
90. Saving Private Ryan
91. Sea Of Love
92. Seraphim Falls(Great Cinematography)
93. Shattered Glass (Great Movie on Journalism)
94. Sherlock Holmes
95. Shoot Em Up(Action and Action)
96. Sleepers
97. Sleuth (the old one)
98. Slither
99. Sneakers
100. State Of Grace
101. Sunshine
102. Taken
103. The Bank Job
104. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
105. The Count of Monte Cristo
106. The Counterfeiters
107. The Dark Knight
108. The Devil's Backbone
109. The Downfall(German, Based on Last Days of Hitler)
110. The Fifth Element
111. The Fugitive
112. The Game
113. The Grey Zone
114. The Hurt Locker
115. The Insider
116. The Life of David Gale
117. The Lives of Others (German, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant)
118. The Negotiator
119. The Omen
120. The Proposition
121. The Shawshank Redemption
122. The Spiderwick Chronicles
123. The Talented Mr Ripley
124. The Thing
125. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
126. The Untouchables
127. The Usual Suspects
128. The Village
129. The Way Of The Gun
130. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
131. Three Days of the Condor
132. Three Kings
133. To Kill A Mockingbird
134. Trade
136. Y_TU_MAMA_TAMBIEN(Spanish)
135. Traitor
137. The Worlds Fastest Indian (Anthony Hopkins All the Way..)
138. Thank You For Smoking (Great Screenplay..)
139. Rudy (Great Sports Movie based on a true story)
140. True Romance
141. United 93
142. Valkyrie
143. Zodiac
144. Zombieland
145. ZwartBoek (Dutch, Good story)
146. Office Space (For all who have a desk job)
147. Pump Up The Volume (Rebel Movie..)
148. Midnight Run (An unknown Classic from De Niro)
149. Jeux d'Enfants (A very different, innovative romantic story)
150. K-Pax
151. Shutter Island
152. Slumdog Millionaire
153. 3:10 To Yuma
154. Goodwill Hunting
155. JFK
156. Atonement
157. Before Sunrise (Great Romance Movie)
158. Before Sunset (A worthy Sequel to the previous one)
159. Dead's Poet Society (Carpe Diem!!)
160. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (An Absolute Gem)
161. You Can Count on Me (Mark Ruffalo in a great role)
162. How To Lose Friends And Alienate People
163. In Search of a Midnight Kiss (Romance, with a difference)
164. Eastern Promises
165. The Orphanage (Spanish)
166. The Greatest Game Ever Played
167. The Great Debaters
168. The Man from the Earth
169. Man of the Year
170. Primal Fear
171. Blood Diamond
172. Life is Beautiful
173. Braveheart
174. Gladiator
174. City of God
175. City of Angels
176. A Walk to Remember
177. Garden State
178. Its Complicated
179. Yes Man
180. Wonder Boys
181. Whip it
182. Wall-E (Love Story of Robots!!)
183. Waitress
184. Up in the Air
185. Two Lovers
186. Tristan and Isolde
187. The Bridges Of Madison County
188. Tootsie
189. The World According to Garp
190. The Last King of Scotland
191. Seabiscuit
192. Interstate 60 (Great fantasy Story)
193. The Incredibles
194. The Notebook
195. As Good As It Gets
196. My Dog Skip
197. Tuck Everlasting
198. Finding Nemo
199. The Terminal
200. Catch Me if You Can
201. 500 Days Of Summer
202. A Little Romance
203. An Education
204. Analyze this
205. Back To The Future Trilogy
206. August Rush
207. Away We Go
208. Big Fish
209. Billy Elliot
210. Bridge To Terabithia
211. Bolt
212. Broadcast News
213. Catch-22
214. Cast Away
215. Chariots of Fire
216. Everything is Illuminated
217. Cold Mountain
218. Field of Dreams
219. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
220. Finding Forrester
221. Eight Below
222. Finding Neverland
223. Get Smart (Humor and Action)
224. Grace is Gone
225. Hoosiers
226. Hachiko: A Dog's Story
227. In the Land of Women
228. Hot Fuzz
229. Invictus
230. Is Anybody Ther?
231. Nick and Norahs Infinite Playlist
232. Its Complicated
233. Marley and Me
234. Last Chance Harvey
235. Once (Great story, Great music)
236. Little Manhattan
237. Millions
239. Letters from Iwo Jima
240. Music Within
241. Nobody's Fool
242. Okurbito (Japanese)
243. Pay It Forward
244. Remember The Titans
245. Resurrecting The Champ
246. Reign Over Me
247. Role Models
248. Run Fat Boy Run
249. Sixteen Candles
250. Something's Gotta Give
251. Space Cowboys
252. Plains, Trains and Automobiles
253. Stardust
254. Stone of Destiny
255. Taking Chance (Moving movie..)
256. Sugar
257. Tape
258. The American President
259. The Bands Visit
260. The Blind Side
262. The Boys Are Back
263. The Breakfast Club
264. The People vs Larry Flynt
265. The Bucket List
266. The Green Mile
267. The Pursuit of Happiness
268. The Hangover
269. The Illusionist
270. The Lion King
271. The Princess Bride
272. The Straight Story
273. The Visitor
274. The Water Horse
275. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
276. Seven
277. The Assasination of Jesse James by Coward Robert Ford
278. Hotel Rwanda
279. Forest Gump

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fresher

During a training which I was attending few years back, we were being given a talk by the speaker about how big and innovative the company is where we have been selected. He was going gung-ho about the organization. We were listening, bored as we were.

'We have a turnover of over 100 B dollars distributed across many sectors and presence in almost 176 countries and all continents....'

'Antarctica, sir?' I muttered. Loud enough to not go unnoticed.

'Antarctica...what?'

'Ah..sir, you said all continents. I do not think you have a office in Antarctica'.

Among the ha-ha-s and hi-hi-s of the class, the instructor just replied -

'Oh, yes, you are right. Well, going by the reply, you must be a fresher'.

I smiled. He knew that he was right.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Triumph

'The content has been intentionally toned down a bit. There were many words and conversations which can not be published here.'

Bhavnao ko samjho :)

I returned from office around 7 PM. While going up the stairs to my 2nd floor flat, I had little idea what was in store for me. I unlocked the door and switched on the lights and fan. Nothing happened. I turned towards my neighborer's rooms and every bulb was glowing white and every fan was in full speed. Something was amiss. How come there is no light my flat when it is everywhere around me.May be a faulty switch or a fuse wire. Duly checked but of no avail. Luckily, an old lady came up to my room to give a parcel I had received earlier in the day. After a polite 'Thanks', I asked , 'Aunty, mere room par light nahi hai. Koi main switch hota hai kya room ka?'

She said, ' Beta, hamare room par to light hai. kuch connection mein problem hogi. Aapko phone kar ke kisi ko bulana padega.

'Kahan phone karna padega Aunty. Aapke paas number hai kya'

'Number to nahi hoga bete mere paas. Neeche jaa kar booth wale se puch lo. Unko pata hoga.'

'Ok.ok. Thank you very much Aunty.'

Spending a night without light in the sweltering Delhi heat was a situation which I was not at all prepared to imagine.

I put my bag in the room and after locking it, went down. I asked the phone booth man, if he has the number of the concerned department where I can file my complain.

Luckily, I got the number. But he added, 'is waqt to shayad hi koi ho bhai wahan par'.

Bad News. But I went ahead and called the landline number provided.

Bingo!! Some one picked up.

I explained the person on the other line, that there is no light in my room and gave him the address. He took down the complaint and assured me that some one will be down there soon.

I waited.

After 15-20 minutes, a linesman(Bhupendra Singh) and his helper (a kid of about 16) came. After 5 mins of checking here and there and then taking one look at the meter, linesman said ,'bhai aapka to wire kisi ne kaat diya hai meter se'.

'wire kisne kaat hoga.'

'Aapne bill bhara hai electricity ka. Bill dikhao tabhi judega ab to ye'.

' Bhaiya, main is ghar mein 15 din pehle shift hua hun. Main aapko bill nahi dikha sakta. ye kaam owner ka hai. hum usko paise de dete hai aur wo saara bill jama karte hai', I reasoned.

'to owner ko pucho. ye to upar se order aaya hoga wire kaatne ka. Bina bill ke to hum touch bhi na karen! Bill aa jaaye to bula lena'.

By this time, I was hotter than the heat around me.

'bhai aisa hai, jab tak mere room par light na aaye, main kisi ko yahan se jaane nahi dunga. koi hilega nahi yahan se'

The 'jatt' got angry.

'aise kaise nahi jaane doge. main to apne boss ko call kar raha hun. aap usse baat karo'.

'main aapke boss se baad mein baat karunga. pehle mujhe mere owner se baat karne do'. I replied heatedly.

I called my owner, a sweet old lady named vaneeta.

I explained her the problem as gently as possible. She talked to her husband who told me that there are no dues and this activity they had done earlier as well. When ever, a new tenant comes, they cut off the wire in order to extract some money. He assured me he will ring his contacts and get the job done.

This piece of good news made me more vexed and it came out while talking to the linesman's boss (shekhar)

'Bhai ji, bill dikhao, mera aadmi wire jod dega'.

I repeated the same thing, which my owner had told me.

'mere aadmi ko jaane do. jab saari baat ho jaaye to main kisi aur ko bhej dunga'

'kisi ko hilne nahi dunga main yahan se jab tak ki mere room par light na aa jaaye. Light kaatne se pehle warning di jaati hai, ki bhaiya, aapka bill dues hai, itne din mein de dijiye warna connection kaat di jayegi. aur aap logon din ke beech mein chupke se aa kar wire kaat rahe hain. maine apne phone ka bill 15 din late se diya hai. mujhe 5 baar call kar ke bola gaya. uske baad maine bill diya. unhone ne to disconnect nahi kiya. aur aap log jaan bhooj kar badmashi kar rahe ho jabki saari bills paid hai. agar aap ya aapka boss bhi yahan par hota, usko bhi rassi se baandh kar rakhta main yahan par, jab tak mere room par light nahi aati'.

Perhaps, it was too much but it worked. The linesman understood my problem and he appreciated my defining stand against shekhar. He was prepared to wait.

We made our through some more calls until, my owner finally had a direct talk with sekhar who ordered the linesman to connect the wires after some time. Resented. what a moron!!

But connecting the wires was a task in itself. As jumbled wires from dozens of meters made it highly difficult to identify the correct wires to be altered. Finally after half an hour of struggle, the light was restored.

So after much gahma gahmi between my owner, broker, linesman, shekhar, the helper, this almost 4 hour ordeal came to an end.

Phew!!