Monday, June 6, 2016

Paris is inundated by an epic flood, the city is in the throes of an unprecedented water logging and the general population is  running for cover. Even Roland Garros has come to a standstill.  But in the heart of all these, there is one emotion which is eternal, universal and keeps us going! LOVE!


Love knows no bounds!



                 Photo courtesy: Juvisy-sur-Orge, near Paris. (Reuters/Christian Hartmann)


Sunday, July 26, 2015

What goes around comes around

They say, “What goes around comes around”. That is Ok. But, how soon, that is the question? Do you swear by this adage, or have you felt that it holds true quite often in your life? 

It was Wednesday, 22 July 2015. I was returning from office on my bike. I ride a Suzuki Hayate, a mid-range/size bike with very good returns on mileage. Full throttle on NH8, from Gurgaon to Dwarka, the southwest of Delhi! This is the route I take everyday commuting to & from office. As soon as I started scaling up the flyover that comes after the toll bridge, the motorcycle began chug, chug, chug...OMG, is it for real? I pulled the choke up & down, thinking it might fix the minor fault with the pickup, or whatever. Zilch is my knowledge about machines. The worst I conjured up in my mind happened. I ran out of petrol...no, the bike ran out of petrol. I use a different kind of fuel. Huh!


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Traffic log jam @ HN8

WTF (Wednesday-Thursday-Friday)! It is not even TGIF to take it on my stride, treating this odd one as an adventure. It is going to be an ordeal, with the next gas station still a couple of kilometres away.

Fast cars kept zooming past me, as all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. How do I drag this bike for a kilometre or more to the filling station, with a heavy sack on my back? Why did I not fill in the morning? Why did I not check the meter while coming out of office? Shit! Utter callousness on my part, now a squalid saga staring squarely at me.

By this time, chugging and puffing and panting...I reached the crescendo (unmusical of course)...to the top of the bridge. My bike complied till here. Thank God! At least I can glide to the bottom from here, being the downslide.

I began my downward journey (literally). Steep downslide made my bike go at a normal speed, at least for a while. I am sure a passerby would have no knowledge of my plight. He would just assume that my bike was running on the engine. As I reached the end of the flyover, the slope began to merge and the road became horizontal, flat. So, you can now envisage, I got off the bike and started pushing forward. Left, right, left right, left right...I began my march. My thoughts went out for those whom I see, once in a while, pushing their bikes, on other days plying to and from office.

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 “Bhaisaab, Kya hua (what happened bro)?”’, a voice yelled from behind amid the chaos of the high decibel traffic commotion. A man in an Enfield Bullet screeched his bike to a halt, a few steps ahead of me. “No worries bro, I will push you till the petrol station”, he said, taking stock of the obvious lurch I was in. 

For the next few minutes, I was ahead and the gentleman in the Enfield Bullet behind me, pushing my bike (and me) with his leg. It takes some effort and energy to do that. After sometime we arrived at the petrol station. But, before I could thank him from the core of my heart, he turned and whisked away, waving his hand in acknowledgement of my gratitude which I could not deliver in all earnest. I could not get his name, or his address. But I reckon he works for Make My Trip, because he carried a bag with their tag. So, my Samaritan friend with an Enfield Bullet from Make My Trip- thank you very much, for the help. I will adopt your attitude every time I see somebody else in a similar situation on the road. A lesson learnt, the perfect way!

However, the raison d’être, of this whole scribble, was set two days earlier, Monday, the 20th July, 2015. It was the same road, same time but this time before the toll bridge. As usual, I was on my way back from office. Traffic was choke-a-block on NH8, one of the busiest highways in India. This mad rush is very much embedded into the DNA of every urbanite.

As I was wading through this traffic, I saw a cabbie in the distance coaxing me to stop. I zeroed in. “Sirji, thora sa petrol denge (could you please give me some petrol)?” He was holding a tiny piece of cloth, his car standing on the side of the road. Unlike mine, he did not run out of petrol. He needed it on a piece of cloth to fix something in the engine. I was not the only one whom he asked for the little favour. Nobody bothered to enquire or even keen on knowing the trouble he was in. So, I opened the tank and he soaked a little petrol with the cloth he was carrying. He was not alone. There was another guy; probably a fellow cabbie and broooooom....the raving sound of the engine. They both started it in a jiffy.

It never occurred to me that I had done him a great favour or pulled him out of a catch twenty-two situation in the middle of a rush hour road. Other thoughts engulfed my mind as I left the incident behind and started my onward journey heading back home.

Little did I know that it was two days later, the scene was to weave to another one that would encapsulate the saying, “what goes around comes around”.

But, so soon, I am quite bemused. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Who are Presstitutes?

Barely 6 to 8 months after my graduation, I landed a plum job in a regional daily as a correspondent. It was plum, not because it was a high-pay job, but because with that kind of a profile I felt very astute and garnered some kind of clout in the neighborhood. The salary was an absolute pittance; ‘twas far lesser than the reluctantly shelled out pocket money from my father. (I am not whining dad, you have always given me more than what I actually deserve. I will always owe you.Love you!)

Where, when and what was the name of that regional daily is something I am not very comfortable to let drop and it would appear very inane after so long, besides bringing disrepute to individuals and the organization. I was also a novice with no credentials for a handsome pay packet to ride on me.

Anyways, why I am writing this, is to bring forth a point, around something, which is making the rounds these days in India.

Can we really call the press (of which I was a part once upon a time) as Presstitutes? When Rtd. Gen. VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs referred to them as Presstitutes, he trampled the tail of a highly sensitive media which is going bonkers at such a highly retrograde comment.He was visibly upset the way media represented his valiant efforts to bring in Indian workers from war stricken Yemen and facilitating a safe passage.

I am not taking sides.

There are, in every profession, the dedicated workers and the infant terrible. So is the media. The problem arises when there is a voluminous presence of the later.
During my brief stint as a journalist, I was privy to all the trappings of being a journo. As a young lad freshly out of college I thoroughly enjoyed those press meets and the after parties. The license to brush shoulders with top brass in the power corridor, the celebrities and the newsmakers was too thrilling to be ignored.

So, what was the point I drove home, after, all those meetings, conferences and interviews with prominent personalities? It was a jittery feeling, that all is not well behind the scene in the media fraternity. I was too perturbed by the fact that a majority of the scribes were not what people perceive them to be. They are a far cry from the idealistic writings they are credited the bylines to.

They write to appease, promote and push some highly partisan views sans any truth. All those hype, hoopla and hyperbole are from some tail wagging, salivating crooks dancing to the tune of a master orchestrator. It is macabre, sheer conundrum.

But there are also some who had laid down their lives while upholding their ideals and write selflessly for a larger cause. They are what they preach. Despite being poorly paid and having to struggle to make both ends meet, they never compromise with their ideologies. It is an injustice when deserving treatment is not meted out to them, in every sphere. It is because of those writers why we can say that a book is a man’s best friend.


So, Presstitutes are not those who are honest and work for the betterment of the society but those whose strings are at the hands of the corrupt and who writings are an embodiment of their genuflection. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

WAW-What A Week-That was!

Arvind Kejriwal sworn in for the second time! Opposition cries foul over tall promises. Says money allocated for Delhi is far less than required to fulfill electoral promises. Kumar Vishwas is confident of resources. Says, enough grains in godowns, only rodents need to be checked. He also mentioned a very pertinent point that running a government is not rocket science if you are honest at heart. People complicate things just to mislead and keep the general public in a lurch. So True! 

India won the game against Pakistan for the sixth time in the world cup. The jinx continues. All-round cricket from India this time! Hope the tempo continues throughout the ICC World Cup. 

Virat Kohli for team India and Arvind Kejriwal for Delhi! Delhi has so much to rejoice this week.


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Man of the match
Man of the moment

Aamir Khan is drawing more flak than the original AIB Roast for his unsavory comments on the show.  Unsavory for the supporters, as they can’t hear a word against the ‘roast of the century’ in which they take pride in the name of creativity, humor and the freedom to express oneself. They are all set to obliterate few words from the dictionary, such as obscenity, profanity etc. Such words would be relegated to synonyms of the word humor. If you can jerk at the thought of an elderly and respected lady (just like their own mothers) and admit it in public, you have scaled the highest peak in this world. 

A film and a live show are two different genres. A movie showcases love, sex violence, emotions, adultery, humor, drama, suspense, action and lot more. But there is a message in that- “What goes around comes around”. Using cuss words, violence, profanity are shown in movies, but they all come to their fate. Hence, comparing a movie with the AIB roast is like playing cricket with the rules of football. 

So, all those knowledgeable #@&*% in twitter, get it gripped first. We know there is dearth of wisdom in this country, but don’t let the secret slip to the outside world. By the way who is Russell and why does he Peter (It is a jive-In sync with the tenets of AIB, LOL or Luul)? Tell him to shut up and mind his own non-business.

PK-the alien

Like they say, success has many enemies. The more you have of it the more successful you are. How true of Aamir Khan. The enormous success of PK has not gone down well with some denigrated makers of the craft. Seems, PK has not only shattered records but quite a few hearts as well. Lagta hain luul ho gayi hai sabki laif! 
  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Aam Admi Party-Party For The Commoner

Such a clear mandate for AAP! Delhi does it again!
Does it send a message to the political parties of yore?
Apologies for writing down already, of parties, which dominated the scene for more than half a century.
But this seems a very clear writing on the wall. It’s a moment of resurgence and a renaissance for neo-India. 

Now it is time for promises to keep.

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Aam admi Arvind Kejriwal




Thursday, February 5, 2015

AIB Knockout Or PIB (Pan India Backchod)-Whatever!

The name seems so fancy, AIB Knockout. "AIB"- as if an acronym of something very worthwhile, ha ha ha...One can proudly announce to the folks, "Papa Papa I'd just come from a show of the AIB Knockout Season One". Poor papa would have no reason to cast his doubt on any ulterior motive of yours.

Nevertheless, AIB managed to create quite a stir garnering enough response, which, I think served the very purpose. Today it is all about generating a healthy buzz in the social media. Twitter-eties are agog to see what's trending, facebook walls are replete with opinions, instagram is overworked, pinterest is also overwhelmed with what is happening in the #AIB front. Leave alone the bichara YouTube which was at the vortex of this conundrum.

So... Whom do I endorse here-the 'For' or 'Against' of the pan-Indian Bakchods? OR, whom do you extend your support to? 

Immaterial. Period.

Being non-judgmental is a divine quality and it saves you of unwarranted stress in any situation. So, let us take the middle path, a.k.a the golden path. But, I know in the course of it, I will tilt and can’t levitate for long in between the right and wrong. 

Surprisingly, we all love pandemonium. We derive a kick out of it. The act of a few people, witnessed by a crowd of 4000, shelling out 4000 bucks each, would have gone unnoticed or remained confined to a secluded section of the society, had it not been for the social media channels. ‘I, Me, Myself’ included, of being unaware.

Too many biggies got entangled in this #hashtag# AIB imbroglio, firing salvos, hurtling abuses at each other and breeding bad blood among people-mudslinging in full force. People are ready to roast each other. Trying to arrive at a consensus is a distant possibility because contradicting something keeps one alive, either side of the fence.

Seriously, I am in dire straits, whether we should curtail the freedom of speech of an individual or whether this is a breach of civility by allowing profanity let loose in the "atmospheric pressure (?)" of the Universe!

But, there have also been instances where people go overboard in bragging their creativity and end up hurting sentiments. This is not acceptable. The very set of people would not take a joke lying down when it is on them. “The shoe pinches while on the other foot”.

Uff (Indian sigh)!!! The AIB was in a different zone altogether. Boy ‘Oh’ Boy, it was mayhem. 

Why do we have to emulate The United States in every aspect? Why do we have to malign our culture if they’d also roast people since ages? There goes a saying “eat like an American and die like an American”. Do we also have to eat junk like they do and fall prey to all new diseases in this world? If you aspire to the U.S.A. then look for their positive aspects. Even they are grappling with their negativity.

AIB took it to a different realm that day and it was nothing short of porn, explicitly. If you do that in the confines of your four walls among your peers- nothing objectionable about it. But how can you take the shit out to the streets and try to embed it to our social milieu. Just by saying, “viewer’s discretion is required” you cannot go to any length.

Even porn has its purpose, but that does not mean that you go and put up large screens in public places to watch it collectively. Since you enjoy it very much in the privacy of your room you cannot go and press for it to be viewed in public in the name of hypocrisy, if we watch it anyways why afraid to admit in public. Such logic is crass.

Good humor, laughing at ourselves, drawing analogies, raking up social issues etc. etc-.fine! But draw the line. I simply can’t believe my eyes at some of the gestures of those present on stage. Frankly, I don’t read too much into their justification for being a part of the event. They will have to anyways, even though most of them repenting silently by now.

What I really felt bad is the betrayal of my adoration for one of the celebrities present in that show, in fact I was saddened! The rest, they belonged. I really wonder what would have happened dare they pull this brazen shit in a Middle Eastern country.     

It would have turned out to be a great show had they not gone overboard and curtailed themselves at places. Perhaps there are now more brickbats than accolades.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Snapdeal Presents Big Boss Season 8


The bitching is about to begin! BIG BOSS season 8 starts tonite……Snapdeal.com presents Big Boss season 8…wow what a company! Just the other day, a nascent company about to take off, with big dreams, plenty of energy, enthusiasm and a missionary zeal to make it big one day…’Big’ they have made it today…however, sponsoring a mega program on Indian television is no way a measure of their real worth; hundreds are employed…billions are being raised and surging ahead at a speed that is supersonic, Snapdeal has more than arrived in the ecommerce domain, taking the Indian market by storm. Really love it-the way young entrepreneurs have taken charge in today’s world. Big business is no longer a prerogative of scions hailing from century old established brands. Very Inspiring!

I can only wish that every ecommerce site in India (Flipkart.com-another raging bull) attains the stature of global giants like Amazon.com, Ebay.com and closer home the Chinese Alibaba.com!  

Big Boss, all the drama, tantrums, cat fights, emotions, romance, daunting tasks (ha ha ha..daunting), summons from Big Boss to appear in the confession room, the conspiracy, the raunchy moments, revelations of some startling truths by few, all these whip up a perfect recipe for Indians to be had for dinner during the next three months.

Above all Salman Khan-The Superstar who offers the all important KICK to watch the show. I am a Salman fan like millions of Indians. In fact, it was because of him that I started watching the show, now I am glued. The décor, the luxury, the innovative sets every time have made this one of the biggest shows on Indian television. 

                                                                  Enjoy!