The Blame Game

pointing-fingerOscar Wilde once said – What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

People end up reminding me of that quote too often. On a dull cloudy Monday morning, during an official meeting, someone passed a blame. It was subtle. Well crafted. I snapped. It was one of those WTF moments. What allows people to be so shamelessly naked and still claim to be draped in Cashmere yarn? We had an internal gossip meeting later on and my British colleagues asked a simple question – Why? They were apparently in a shock. They told me that they have never done that. To err is human and why is it so hard to just say “I am sorry” instead of pointing fingers – they asked. I had no answer at that point of time, but it set me thinking.

Was it an Indian thing? The naked guy definitely was. Is this kind of a behaviour an outcome of the competitive and cut throat environment we are brought up in? Is it because we have always seen our elders keep their ego above right and wrong? Is it because our parents always teach us to be good than the rest of the herd and in the process turn us into evil money generating cynics? Is it “actually” an Indian thing or is there another layer below it?

Well, it could be. Consider my job. I few bad ratings and I could be easily thrown out. I just have to rub someone on the wrong side. The rating system is royally out of shape like Rani Mukherjee’s waistline. There won’t be any repercussions for the company because the laws which hold an employee to his job are as fragile and dumb as Paris Hilton. There won’t be any compensations. So, what do I do when I commit a mistake? I try to hide it. Plain and Simple.point I have a car loan to pay. And sometime later on in time, a house loan too. I can’t afford to commit mistakes.

Have we just dissolved away the idea of attaching a moral and ethical value to our acts and simply end up putting a price tag on everything?

Its all right to put price tags on “things”, but now there are invisible price tags on the repercussions of our actions too?

Isn’t it a shame? We belong to a land where people stood by each other and fought the war of Independence, fought for what was morally right(Its another story that they killed each other after the war was won, but lets not get there).

AND, maybe its not an Indian thing. Its a human thing. Its just that it is we(in this case), who were caught with our pants down. What if I switch the working environments and the living conditions? Will my British colleagues end up in a whirlpool of moral upheaval and cynicism? More importantly, will my Indian colleagues shed the price tags from their acts and stop pointing fingers if they knew that things would be very stable? I am not sure if there are answers to these questions, because human nature is as unpredictable as the weather in Manchester.

gollum lord of the ringsOf-course, there is an “Utopian” scenario too. Think of a team where all the members are good friends. They all understand that they have to together make the project work and have a common goal. They like each others company and are ready to help. I have worked in such a team and believe me, it is at that point when cynicism is taken over by trust and responsibility of one’s own acts and the social conditions/wrong upbringing are thrown at the back-burner. But then, that’s rare.

Its human to point fingers. Nations have pointed fingers at other nations and completely destroyed them. We point fingers at God even when we slip on a banana peel. When Gollum pointed finger at Sam and said – “He took it!!”, he was not just influencing Frodo. He was creating a path to reach the ring. No matter how contrived and shrewd he might have looked at that point but he had his own justified-to-himself reasons. Everyone has.

But is there a way out? Or is it just that we are all Gollums in our own way?

The flowers are here!

Ever since winters have gone on a break here, Manchester has been on a color riot. I have never seen such a mind-boggling variety of flowers before and that too within a radius of a kilometer of my house. So, a brand new camera and a plethora of colours to experiment upon was reason enough for me to get started on my expedition.

Right now, the city is covered with innumerable varieties of flowers, a few of which are already been shed on the roads and parks in the form of innumerable petals. Believe me, the beauty of thousands of petals whirling on roads as the buses rush past OR the beauty of parks covered under a heavy blanket of petals with is something hard to pen down. So, here goes.

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The city has an overdose of the pink flowered trees. Don’t ask me the names because I don’t have the slightest clue. During the months of April/May, the trees will be filled with such pink coloured flowers which would later fall and adorn the streets and parks. More photographs later.

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Tulips are another favourite here. You will find them in the gardens of numerable houses.

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These Lotus shaped flowers are also abundant. These are also the first ones to fall. The trees look really beautiful completely covered with them.

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The grass all around the city is covered with these very tiny yellow flowers. 

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When I saw these blue flowers, I thought, they should be called Bluebells. And voila! That was their name.

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Well, this is what I was talking about. The pink flowered trees. This is a park near Rusholme. I got down from the bus to take a stroll and was awestruck by the beauty. And can you see the petals strewn over the ground?

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No? Have a closer look!!

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Well, that was it. Before going, I would also like to add two of my favourite photos from my collection. They are nowhere related to the topic of the post but are worth sharing. The first one is that of a cemetery near my house. Somehow it reminds me of a huge dormitory where all the children are sleeping. 🙂

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The second one is that of the Manchester Eye. I love the clouds at the backdrop!

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That is all gents and ladies. Over and out.

p.s. If you want any of these photos, just let me know.

Edinburgh and Scottish Highlands Tour (Part 2)

Related post : Edinburgh and Scottish Highlands Tour (Part 1)

After roaming around in Edinburgh we all slept like a log that night. We had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning the next day to catch our tour bus to Loch Ness, Glen Coe and the Scottish Highlands. Our tour bus started from the Loch Ness Discovery Centre at the Royal Mile. I booked the tickets almost a month ago from here. This was this route, which was carved out for us for the tour. You can move or enlarge the map if you wish.

 

Our tour guide Paul was a very jovial and friendly guy and instantly made everyone in the bus comfortable. The Bus was nothing less than a mini globe with people from USA, Spain, Italy, Scotland, India, China and God knows how many other countries. Paul always made a point that we replied to all his queries with an “Aye” and “Okhaaye” so that we could become partially Scottish.

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[The highway as we moved towards Perth. The snow looks like white blotches of paint that fell off from God’s palette while he was painting]

We started our journey by crossing the Forth Road Bridge about which I already wrote in Part 1. We soon passed through Perth viewing some picturesque views of the River Tay(which is incidentally the longest river in Scotland) bending and curving with the highway. As we moved ahead, we made a stop at Pitlochry for breakfast where a pair of Italian guys was late even after constant reminders by Paul about being on time after breakfast. Everyone clapped as they entered the bus and we moved towards Killiecrankie which is famous for the stunning and ironical Battle of Killiecrankie resulting in the victory of the Jacobites and the death of their leader. 

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[The clouds cast shadow on the mountains creating beautiful scenes]

As we moved ahead, the landscape changed drastically. From cultivable land and lush green farms to barren mountains laden with snow. The scenery became more and more stunning as we progressed and whenever we made a stop somewhere, everyone jumped out of the bus to click pictures. Paul told us stories about how the Kings of Scotland have been cursed and many of them died one after another in accidents, how Macbeth(the name of the protagonist in William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth) was actually derived from the name of Macbeth of Scotland and how Macbeth(the play) was euphemistically called “The Scottish Play” because it was cursed

 

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[I am not sure but I took this photograph some where near Loch Lochy]

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[I took this photograph during the Ferry Ride on the Loch Ness trying to spot a monster!]

Moving further north into the Highlands, we crossed the village of Dalwhinnie which was famous for its Dalwhinnie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. We crossed the Spean Bridge towards Fort Augustus for some monster spotting!!! This was the only part of the tour which we had to retrace back to move towards Fort William. Fort Augustus is situated at the South West end of Loch Ness. We stopped at Fort Augustus for lunch and Paul suggested that we try some Haggis which is a Scottish delicacy. I was gung-ho about trying it but Paul did the mistake of telling us what it is made of! Although a true blue carnivore, I was somehow not able to bring myself to eat that! Next time maybe. 🙂 Instead I took a ferry ride into the Loch Ness in the hope of spotting the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Even after being in water for a good 45 minutes, all I was able to get were some beautiful worth sharing photographs. Next time maybe, I’ll see the monster raising his head out of the Loch Ness. 🙂

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[A broken and unused bridge at Fort Augustus]

After the ferry ride and a quick bite of haggis-less chicken and pork lunch, we moved back to the Spean Bridge towards Fort William. There were beautiful snow clad mountains all around covered in mist. We had our whisky sipping experience near Fort William. As we moved towards South now, we saw Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. We were not able to see the peak as it was covered with snow with a huge patch of clouds encircling it. We were informed that that is how it remains for almost the whole of the year. 

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[On our way to Fort William]

From here our bus turned towards Glencoe, the location of the Massacre of Glencoe. This was ironically the most beautiful part of the trip. We listened to Paul as he narrated the events than unfolded the night the massacre took place. We were spellbound, not just by the story, but by the beauty around us. How can something so gruesome happen in such a beautiful place? We halted at a spot in the middle of the valley surrounded by barren mountains all around us, some of them shrouded in mist and covered with snow. The place is ideal for trekking and evidently many people come for that in Glencoe.

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[The hills where the Glencoe Massacre took place]

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[Glencoe]

After Glencoe, we turned towards Stirling making a quick stop at a small village called Tyndrum. For those of you who have seen the movie Braveheart, Sterling was the place where the battle was fought between William Wallace(played by Mel Gibson) and the English army during the War of Scottish Independence. There is a monument dedicated to him in Sterling called the Wallace Monument. Although we did not stop at Sterling, but Paul did pointed out the Monument and the Sterling Castle as we finally moved back towards Edinburgh. We reached back in Edinburgh at 7:30 pm. A day spent well!! The rest of the day was spent roaming around in the city.

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[The Scottish Parliament]

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[Shocking!!! Rikshaws make a comeback!]

The next day, our train left at 12 in the afternoon, so we had ample time to have a look at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the  official residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom in Scotland. Its a shame that we were not allowed to take pictures inside because it was the most awe-inspiring piece of architecture you could ever imagine. We were able to take pictures of the ruins of the Augustinian Abbey though. Finally we took a walk in the Royal gardens and have a look at the Queen’s Gallery which exhibits works of art from the Royal collection. If you ever go there, don’t miss the Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johann Zoffany. It is the most outstanding painting in the collection.

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[The ruins of the beautiful Abbey at Holyrood Palace]

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[Another view of the Abbey]

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[Another view of the Abbey. It was so grand that I felt like sitting there for hours]

Finally we were ready to bid adieu to this beautiful city to returned back to Manchester. There were many places which we had missed because of the lack of time. But yes, while leaving, I knew that I would return one day to see them. When we reached the Waverley station, we were surprised to know that we had a bus from Edinburgh till Lockerbie instead of a train. Well it was a blessing in disguise because at Lockerbie, we had the most delicious Fish and chips of our lives while we waited for our train to Preston

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[This is not a windows wallpaper. I took this during the bus ride from Edinburgh to Lockerbie.]

I should not say this but Manchester looked like an ugly concrete jungle after returning from Edinburgh. 😉

The curious case of Love and Sex

love-couple-in-the-night-1While I was watching “The Curious case of Benjamin Button“, there was something which amused me. Its not as if the movie seeded the thought in my mind, but yes, it did fanned it. I have discussed it with a lot of people since then, and the answers I got amused me more. No, I don’t have an answer myself, but then, I am always miserable while drawing “thin” lines between “what is” and “what should be”. 

When Benjamin was growing up small, he had affairs with a lot of women. Some were satiation of carnal desires with prostitutes, some were affairs with girls who were ready to validate their new found knowledge about the birds and the bees and there was one affair with a married woman, Elizabeth Abbott. But, then at the end of the day, he loved just one woman, Daisy. Even when he was having sex with so many women around the world, he knew that he always loved Daisy and returns to her finally. This brings me to my question – Are love and sex two different things? 

 No matter how incredulously illogical or deep my question might sound, I believe that the answer will depend on the country in which I am asking it. In India, for example, we think that love and sex should be inseparable. Years ago, I remember watching a TV show which dealt with the same question. Most of the people believed that you can’t have sex with a person if you don’t love him/her. It would be meaningless. I have heard people saying that they will only have sex with the person they marry. That is how a majority(99%) of Indians think. 

On the other hand, if I ask this question in a society where couples have sex with a variety of partners and sometimes live in together for months and “try” each other out before making a final decision, I would certainly be laughed at. Live in relationships are considered great because they are stress free and you are not bound by a single partner.

So what is it? Is it all right to be a virgin till 25 and wait to get married or fall in love to have sex OR is it all right to have sex with a lot of partners from the opposite gender to fall in love? I have known some people who think its a sin to have sex before marriage and I have known people who are in a live in relationship. They are two different set of happy people. All of us has the ability to be happy with what we have chosen, even when we are not happy with it. But then how much is too much? Its something similar to the debate about how women should dress. Its fine when we say that Purdah should be discouraged but are you all right with a naked woman walking on the street? You might say that if the woman does not have a problem they why should we? You might be right but does that naked woman make you uncomfortable? Do you wish that she would have worn some clothes? Well, that is what I am talking about. We do have an opinion about it all.

Let me try to understand this. From what I could gather, Sex is something like brushing your teeth or having a cup of tea. It is something which can be done, which can become an essential part of your life. On the other hand, love is a level up. It goes beyond the physicality, the animal instincts. Its foundation lies in the fact that you like a person beyond what can be seen with naked eyes. Sex just comes on the way. Its just an essential and integral part of love. Sex is animalism. Love is human. Having sex with a person a number of times cannot make you fall in love with him/her. 

How does your brain work? What seems right to you? Is it fine to change partners like clothes until you find the right fit? Or is it fine to wait to get married to fall in love? Is it all a game of patience and priorities OR is it just a matter of lack or presence of choices?

p.s. I was so glad that the director killed Benjamin Button when he was a baby. For a second, I thought that he would end up being a sperm!

Isle of Wight Trip

Phew! I feel like an underwear in a washing machine. Life is running faster than I could have imagined and all I could do is to muster up enough strength to stand steady. Getting used to a place is not easy as it sucks out all that you were used to. For me, it sucked out blogging, and for a few days I could not gather my thoughts to put them on my laptop screen and neither could I raise my finger to open my Reader. So, apologies, dear friends! And I hope that all of you would understand! 

So, coming back to the topic, one of my roomies here returned to India last week. Before going back he wanted to go to a nice, beautiful, peaceful place and the options were very less because:

  • Usually October-March is considered off season here in UK as Winters is a terrible time to roam around.
  • He had already seen London, Scotland, Blackpool and Lake District, all of which I still have to visit. So all these options were ruled out.

The only two options left were Wales and Isle Of Wight, both of which were again under an Off-season spell. Finally Wales was ruled out too and we ended up booking a car and Preeto(our TomTom aka GPS) for three days. Before going further, let me tell you about Isle of Wight as most of you must be in an impression that its the name of a Crater on the fifth moon of Saturn. Isle Of Wight is a small island on the Southern Tip of Great Britain. Its about 257 miles from Manchester which is about a 5 hours drive. The Isle is not accessible by road which means that you have to shove your car in a ferry and take it to the isle and vice versa. During summers there is a huge advanced booking for the ferry but we were fortunate due to our perfect timings!

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This is the island as you can see in the map above. We went upto Portsmouth(upper right corner in the map) in the car and then took a ferry to Fishbourne, which is on the north east corner of the isle. Ferries also operate from Southampton and Lymington. Take your pick! 

The Island is spread over an area of mere 380 sq Km and is famous for its beautiful beaches of Shanklin, Ryde, Sandown and Yarmouth. Besides the beaches there was so much to explore that we found it extremely difficult to keep up the pace. And all this during the off season! Two notable, must visit points of the diamond shaped island are the Culver cliff and The Needles. If you really want to understand the meaning of breathtaking, you must visit these two points on the island. The Needles is undoubtedly the most picturesque area of the island which looks like the end of the chalk coloured ridge which runs across the whole island. 

The Culver Cliff on the other hand was used as a defence point as it was used to keep an eye on the vast ocean all around it. There were two nine inch guns kept there but the cliffs kept on eroding and most of it was lost. Now also, if you walk along the cliff, you can see the warning boards and the broken cliffs all around. I would suggest you to park your car at Yaverland beach and walk up the cliff from there towards the last point. Its a tiring walk of about half an hour but what you will see along the way is what you would never forget. 

Finally, there were many points of interest like The Osborne house, Carrisbrooke Castle, the zoo and the Railway Museum which we missed because they were closed due to the off season. It was a beautiful memorable trip and there were a bunch of breathtaking scenes which I would never forget in my life. I leave you with a few attempts to capture them:

This is a view of the Culver Cliff from Sandown Beach. If you see closely, there is a pole like structure on top of the cliff. That is the Yarborough Monument at the edge of the cliff. That is where you could walk up the cliff. And you have to be there to understand how the vast expanse of the ocean looks like from there, sprinkled with ships and with shimmering spots of sunlight strewn here and there.

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Well, this is what I was talking about. A few pictures of the view from the top of the cliff.

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Here are a few pictures I took while I was walking up the cliff

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The Yarborough Monument

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We woke up a 5:30 in the morning on the second day and went to see the sunrise. It was freezing cold and apparently we were the only one on the Sandown beach. The island loves to sleep!

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And that’s me, staring at the Sun.

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I took this picture in Portsmouth from the upper deck of the ferry. The ferry was about to move towards the isle and I saw this building just next to the port. Isn’t this a beautiful place to live? Sitting in the balcony, sipping tea and looking at the vast expanse of the ocean and the huge ships moving around you!

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View of Portsmouth as the Ferry moved away from it. By the way, Ferry seems to be a mild word for that ship. There were atleast 60 cars in it when it left Portsmouth!!!

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Thats the “Ferry”!!!

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The Needles was another fascinating point of the island. We reached there after the Sun had just jumped into the sea and the play of colours on the sky were seen to be believed. Here is a view of The Needles as we moved towards the edge of the cliff.

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This picture was taken while we moved towards the Needles. Everyone was coming back after seeing the sunset and we were the only ones who were moving in the opposite direction. 🙂

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That is the view of The Needles from the nearest point. It was quite dark by the time we reached there.

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A few more random pictures:

This was taken while the ferry left the British mainland.

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Taken at Ryde Beach. Are these Seagulls? They made an awful lot of noise.

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The sleeping city in the morning.

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An unknown castle on our way to a beach. Don’t know the name.

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What a way to go up!!!

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Water gushing up during a high tide. The foot of the Culver cliff which is accessible during the low tide and are great for an evening walk are completely immersed in water during a high tide.

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This was taken from the ferry back to Portsmouth as the sun set behind the isle.

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And finally I would like to dedicate this post to Preeto, our Tomtom(GPS) who was very patient with us and always guided us with her sweet voice even when we went off track atleast 5 times! We love you Preeto!!

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Randomizer Revolutions

image008Smita and Vishesh awarded me the Butterfly award and the Cup. Thank you so much guys!!! I really have to make a new page for my awards section before my sidebar exceeds the distance between the Earth and the moon. I am supposed to pass this award to  bloggers I like. So, I would like this opportunity to pass this award to Nita, Liju Philip, Amreekan DesiPr3rna and Trailblazer

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image014I am officially closing the Salsa Diaries Category. I have attended the first few classes with enthusiasm but then this new work came along and I got really busy. We are creating a new website for our client which is supposed to go live in January, so loads of work and no time for Salsa. I was really doing great. 😦

 

image009I was also busy with photo shoot and release of my new album. I had such a great time recording it and it was really sweet of Paris to come and release it in front of the press. Also I would like to thank Madonna for being a part of the video shoot and for singing a song with me. The female models were great during the promotional photo shoots but I am a little unhappy about my pictures in the exhibition. I didn’t like the red ones. Here is a sneak peek.  photofunia_a97cc5

 Here is Paris unfolding my new album in front of the media

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Madonna grooving to my new song – “You gave me wings at the wrong place”

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A model at the promotional photo shoot for the new album. The designers of the dress had such a harrowing time as it kept on unhooking. It was quite fragile.

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The promotional Exhibition in New York

image007I always knew that our directors copy Hollywood movies and our Music directors copy Korean songs blatantly but can we at least make original movie posters? 

detaalicloserAt least they could have changed the positions of the males and females OR AM I ASKING FOR TOO MUCH? Never mind! 😐

image013So, Congress won again in Delhi!!! Well, I think the simple logic is that if the people have to choose between a government “who is incapable of fighting terrorism and is elemental in the development of the area” AND the one “who is incapable of fighting terrorism”, then they would definitely choose the former. Its another story that the “development” is happening because of the Commonwealth Games and both the parties are equally bad at handling terrorism. 

image016I am having this feeling that I am turning into a major success as an Agony Uncle. Many of my friends turn to me whenever they have problems in their love life. I sit and listen to them very very patiently and give some sound advise, which thankfully has not backfired till date. One of my friend even took my advice about whether he should go ahead and have sex with this girl he met a few months back. Ok, that’s not the full story. The girl was about to get married to someone else and just wanted to “have” my friend once before she got married to the other guy. I don’t remember the last time I moved my head from right to left to right so vigorously. My friend who was ready to take the plunge under the stress of testosterone was somehow rescued by Yours truly. And………………………………………….I just now realised that he reads my blog. 

image001I am completely in love…….with this song. There is something very suave and romantic about it. (the video is not that great and it would be good if you don’t see the message which comes at the end of the video. I have been laughing ever since I saw it)

 

Dimage011o you believe in signs? Sometimes such strange things happen which do not make sense at all. A few days back, mom was coming back from the market and she took a rickshaw. After she got down and paid the rickshaw puller, he returned back the balance. This is what he gave her – 

img_2290img_2289Now last I remember, the Britishers left in 1947 and my mom gave him 10 Rs while he returned back 85 Rs(=1 Pound). Does that make sense? Is this some sort of a sign for me? Am I going visit the Queen’s land?

With this incredibly positive thought, I will end this post.

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Addicted to Himesh

Ever since Camera Phones were banned in my account in office because of increased security and because the Client raised concerns over security, I have been constantly taking cognisance of what my senses had to offer and the conscious movement of my mind to a plane about which I was completely unaware of. I don’t know what I am writing! I am in a trance! 😐

So, my beautiful-still-brand-new Motorokr E6 was snatched away from my hands by fate and the mobile landed up in my sis’s lap who was anyways going to buy a new one. Some people are so darn lucky! I had to buy a new “cheap” mobile which was not supposed to have a Camera. It was hard to move back to the stone age but somehow I did it and finally bought a Sony Ericsson’s mobile which atleast had an FM. I had a one GB card in my earlier phone which was choc-a-bloc with songs of my choice but now I was completely and helplessly on the mercy of 91.1, 92.7, 95.0, 93.8, 104.0 blah blah blah. 

The only nightmare I could for-see was being subjected to Himesh’s songs. Believe me, I haven’t listened to a single one completely. Two lines into the song and I get all panicky as my brain cells start revolting and threaten me that they would stop working! I can’t stand that nasal twang and those lung exploding histrionics. But fate, it seems, can’t work without an irony. So, while listening to FM, the first song which I came across was from Karzzzz titled Tandoori Nights. For a second, my mind went completely blank. Who the hell wrote that atrocity anyways???

Surprisingly, I didn’t flick the channel but sat through the whole song(something I still don’t believe I did). And soon I realised that I sorta…….kinda………errrr……. liked it. OK WAIT!! Its not exactly “liked it” but its hard to explain how I felt. It was the same kind of feeling one has when one bite nails or pick nose. You know you are not supposed to do it but you still do it. Its the urge which you can’t stop, can’t control. I don’t know why I sat through it, but I did!

Now a days, I listen to the song almost every day while returning from home because its always there on one channel or another. I feel I am being hypnotised by the song. There is something incredibly incredulously insane about it. Infact, I don’t believe I have written a post about it!! What are my friends going to say when they read this confession? My family is going to debar me….

Know what, we should just pretend that this never happened. I never wrote this post and you never read it. Lets just erase it from our minds. Lets not ever talk about this. Lets this be one of our dirty little secret which we would take to our graves.

Oh!!! They are again playing it on the FM. Have to run and enjoy/love/hate/like/abhor the song. I AM SO CONFUSED! 😐


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Basic Etiquette

Lets clear the airs first, shall we? The post is not about girls!!!! Its just about people in general. Its about those inconsiderate, tactless and thoughtless people who perform the most disgusting acts in public(and at home too!!!) and don’t feel the S of Shame. Infact, the insensitivity is so deep rooted that they don’t even realise that they have done something despicable unless, maybe, you go and scream your lungs out in front of them. So, here is a clear list of a few Basic activities you should not do in public(or when you are visiting someone). If I ever find you doing any of them in my presence, your score might just scale the heights of negativity. 

 

1. Don’t make that GURGLING sound, for God’s sake!!

I Could never understand why people make that irritating sound when they are brushing their teeth or rinsing their mouth after a meal. I mean, is it really necessary? Specially in public places? There is this guy in my office who can’t digest his food without making that noise and I have to bear that trauma of listening to it every bloody day. Sometimes I even feel like chocking him with all the hand towels. And did I tell you that my mom and dad also make that sound while brushing their teeth? And even Grandma and Granddad used to do that? And, oh boy!! The sound which Granddad made did cracked a few windows at home.

2. Could you eat with your mouth shut?

Some people just can’t help it. They have to talk while there is food in their mouth. The only difference between such people and a Buffalo is that the food is not dripping from their mouth. Otherwise its pretty much the same sight. There was a friend of mine who used to do this and she was a sight when she used to eat ice-cream. Lips smeared with vanilla while she blobbed her mouth to speak. Earlier, I just looked away, but now a days, I have turned completely shameless. I just tell such people to shut up.

3. Do you know what a “LANE” means?

In India, people have pathetic sense of driving and we all know that. But STILL we don’t leave any chance of creating chaos. Even if there is a slight problem ahead on the road, we jump in the opposite lane and move our vehicles ahead. Soon more cars follow and the whole road is one way with no place for the vehicles coming from the opposite direction. From what I have observed, the only way to stop people from doing that is by placing electric dividers in the middle of the road, which would send an electric shock as soon as a vehicle come in their contact.

4. Are there beetles in your shirt?

A few days back, one of my cousin came home with her husband and the first thing which he did after he entered our house was to take off his shirt. WTF???? Even my cousins(male ones) used to do that and this pisses me off to no ends. Its ok if you dance naked in your own house but can we maintain a level of decency when we visit someone? And the worst part was that I was expected to do the same thing when I visit them. Arghhhh!!! What am I? A porn star?

5. Remove those Smoke signals

I hate smoking, so much that I can’t even stand a person who had just smoked and forgot to take up a mouth freshener. I have the nose of a dog and I can smell out such a person from a kilometer away. Thankfully, most of the people in corporate offices use mouth fresheners because some clients are very particular about such matters but then you can always find some idiots everywhere. A few of my colleagues smoke and sometimes I have to give them company to the roadside smoking counter. While I stand there watching them whiff of the smoke, I wonder whether I am being drugged enough or should I ask them to blow the smoke somewhat more closer to my face.

6. Do you know the difference between a dog and a man?

I have always wonder how women can hold the urge to urinate in open public places while men don’t even think twice before copying dogs? I mean, if women can hold it, men can too. Can’t they? I remember, in class 12, we were returning from a school trip to Haridwar and the driver stopped the bus somewhere so that all the boys(who were awake at that odd hour) can take a leak. I could just imagine what the girls would have gone through at that point. The curses would have hit Gods really hard!

7. When you borrow, guard the thing with your life

I hate it when people return my books in a deplorable condition. I love my books and DVDs and earlier I used to share them a lot with my friends, but when they started to come back to me torn and scratched, I stopped sharing. I could never understand why people can’t take care of other people’s stuff. Is it so tough? I think it goes to show how insensitive a person is to small small things and some people just don’t have it in them. Losers!!!

8. The world is my spittoon

Piccchakkk!!!! That sound just drives me crazy! I could kill a person right there when I hear that! If you spit on the road or any other goddamn place, you can’t even be my acquaintance. Period! The worst I have seen is that when the Delhi Government announced a fine of 50 Rs on people who spit on roads. There was a hoarding on the road announcing this and people have spitted on that! How incredibly shameless can we get? And, ofcourse, I don’t have to say anything about the way we throw litter where ever we like.

I could go on and on about many such basic etiquette which we lack, but this post is getting quite long. I have a few friends who belong to a few of the above mentioned categories but sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. But let me declare it today – I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT WHEN YOU DO IT!!!!! 

There! A stone lifted from my heart.

Please be a little more sensitive to your surroundings and fellow humans. Lets learn the basics first.

Hoodwinked from the slideshow


So…Diwali came and went and all I got was one lousy holiday. Life, it seems, is running faster than I can fathom. A day after Diwali, I got an invitation to view a Picasa album of a friend who is in US of A. She was there with me in Chennai from the last two and a half years and was lured by Uncle Sam at almost the same time when I was being sucked into the whirlpool of Delhi. In the Album, she was performing the evening Diwali Puja with her new friends. Many of my friends who were there in Chennai with me are in USA right now and I am used to watch such Picasa slideshows in which they are standing and laughing with strangers in strange lands, but this Diwali slideshow left me with a slight tinge of envy. 

No, I am not unhappy because I am still waiting for an overseas assignment which seems to be too difficult to grab and which my friends got served on a golden platter AND which, God might just throw at me after sucking and chewing out every ounce of hope from my heart. No, I am not unhappy because I wish to see the world through my own eyes rather than through some bloody Discovery channel AND I know that God might just grant this wish after trampling it under his feet. Yes, I get everything in life….when I don’t want it anymore…when I am done lusting after it. 

Anyways, the point is that, I felt slightly envious(and nostalgic) because I went into flashback when we were all together and had such good time back in Chennai. And now I see them having a good time with strangers. Once I was there in all those slideshows but now I am not there in any of them. Sometimes I feel like a part of those scenes in the movies where the hero is dancing with his servant and thinking about his lady love AND then Voila!! The servant is replaced by the love of hero’s life. Its as if, I am watching a slideshow of the pictures of the great time we had together and then suddenly I start disappearing from the pictures one by one till am not there in any of them. Hoodwinked by God and replaced by strangers. 

But, then come to think of it, isn’t this the story of our life? Just take out all your photographs of past 10 years and have a look at them. You will realise that in all of them, you are standing at one place while the people around you keep on changing. You are the center of your Universe. You are not moving. Its the Earth that is moving around you, bringing new faces to stand besides you. You are hoodwinked out of a slideshow so that you become a part of another one, but the point is that, you are ALWAYS a part of one of them. 

So, yes, I was envious, but then I smiled. Life always come up with its own set of surprises. It never stop amusing you. The way it unfolds is what makes it beautiful. Yes, you can’t get back what just passed you by and you can’t fight the absence of a person or an unfulfilled dream but then you always have those slideshows…the portals to your past and your past’s present.

And GOD, well, I think he is just a child spoilt silly by all of us. 🙂