Saturday, February 27, 2010

Coming soon

Nomad players is a students theatre group at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. Formed in the golden jubilee year of IIT Madras, the group produced their first play " Three blind mice" an adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Mousetrap". This year they are back with Peter shaffer's " Black Comedy". Those in Chennai don't miss the oppurtunity. hey anyone who can travel all the way down is welcome. No tickets show is free. The details are on the poster. And wait for more updates .

Well how am I associated? Well that's a boring story.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Master, A Genius and much more

And the Master does it! “Who else but the little master”, I say. For people who have followed him, have seen him getting agonizingly close but not getting across. So this time again it was waiting with anticipation and anxiety but ending with cheers and jubilation. But then the uninformed will ask, “What’s the big deal with hitting 200 runs?” Well, we are specie which wants more: more mileage per liter of petrol, more channels per set top box, more bandwidth per connection, more free downloads per month, more paid leaves per year and more French fries per serving. And among this specie is a small section of people who wants more runs per game of cricket. And if that comes from the bat of a single batsman then we can adjust with a little less French fries. Every time we sit to watch a match we want someone to go beyond the usual and push it a little more. And every time the little master comes out to bat we want him to show what mere mortals can’t do. So this Wednesday when he did a lot more then we were expecting, we fell on our knees and gave thanks to the powers above but not taking anything away from the little genius too, who in the fall of his cricketing career showed that he was born to rule the world of cricket, now and forever. We love him, revere him and wish him to keep doing what he does best, with humility and passion. And mind you 100 runs of the 200 came from fours. That’s a mean achievement in itself when we see batsman panting for runs to reach fiftys. Left to me, I would write a eulogy which would not see the end of the day. So let’s see what others have to say about him.

"Nothing bad can happen to us if we're on a plane in India with Sachin Tendulkar on it." - Hashim Amla, the South African batsman, reassures himself as he boards a flight.

"To Sachin, the man we all want to be" - Andrew Symonds wrote on an aussie t-shirt he autographed specially for Sachin.

“Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives."
- BBC on Sachin

"Tuzhe pata hai tune kiska catch chhoda hai?" - Wasim Akram to Abdul Razzaq when the latter dropped Sachin's catch in 2003 WC.

Sachin is a genius. I'm a mere mortal. - Brian Charles Lara

"We did not lose to a team called India...we lost to a man called Sachin." - Mark Taylor, during the test match in Chennai (1997)

"The more I see of him the more confused I'm getting to which is his best knock." - M. L. Jaisimha

"The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility - all make for a one-in-a-billion individual," - Glen McGrath

"I can be hundred per cent sure that Sachin will not play for a minute longer when he is not enjoying himself. He is still so eager to go out there and play. He will play as long as he feels he can play," - Anjali Tendulkar

"Even my father's name is Sachin Tendulkar." - Tendulkar's daughter, Sara, tells her class her father's name after the teacher informs them of a restaurant of the same name in Mumbai.

“There was a big party where stars from bollywood and cricket were invited. Suddenly, there was a big noise, all wanted to see approaching Amitabh Bachhan. Then Sachin entered the hall and Amitabh was leading the queue to get a grab of the GENIUS!!” - Shah Rukh Khan in an interview.

“India me aap PrimeMinister ko ek Baar Katghare me khada kar sakte hain..Par Sachin Tendulkar par Ungli nahi utha Sakte.. “ - Navjot Singh Sidhu on TV

“He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also.” - Waqar Younis

“I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin” - A banner in Sharjah

"Sachin cannot cheat. He is to cricket what (Mahatma) Gandhiji was to politics. It's clear discrimination. " - NKP Salve, former Union Minister when Sachin was accused of ball tempering

“There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others.” - Andy Flower

"I have seen god, he bats at no.4 for India" - Mathew Hayden

The best one.

On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This Genius can stop time in India!! - Peter Rebouck - Aussie journalist

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A story in the making

Oh! No. No. This is not the Mr. & Mrs. story. That story can be found here - This, my friends, is a different one all together. But then what’s got under my skin to put a title like that. Patience. I have long been dreaming of writing a story, but not the usual stuff, something different. Did somebody say Blogger’s block? Naaah. Actually, I want to collaborate with you all to write a story. And that is the big idea. How? Well, I’ll begin the story, say a line or two, and then we can all work together to move the story forward, one line at a time/person. So say I give you the first line of the story as – ‘The road was empty at this time of the day but not the same with the clouds above, which were slowly gathering strength.’ Now that’s the beginning line for the story. A bit vague but that’s the beauty. Now you are free to spin the next line, however you want, and lead the story forward. You can introduce characters, incidents, plots, places etc as you please, but one line at a time. But again we need to move the story forward constructively and not pull it in all directions. You can put your lines in the comments and we’ll pick it from there and add it. Get the flow? Easy? Thank you.
Wait. Before you hit the submit button in the comments field, please do read the fine prints
- Only one line at a time. There’s no limitation to the words in the line but be judicious and not use commas and semicolons too many.
- Once your story line reflects in the story, you are free to send in another one.
- We don’t want all your lines in one go. Also do give a chance to others to build up on your previous line.
- Please try to build a cohesive story. We want hands that can row the boat and not rock it.
- ‘Anonymous’ submissions would be considered, but will be included in the story only if someone likes it and submits it under his/her name. See we don’t hate you – Anonymous.
- Please be discreet with what you submit. You would not want children to read it and go ask their parents about it.

We are not expecting movie producers to chase us for rights of this story, nevertheless all rights are reserved with us.
For now let’s call the title as ‘A story in the making’. Once we see the final product we can get a poll done on what the title should be. What say?
So are you game to join us for a little story telling? I am sure we will make history but until then God be the wind in our sail.


24th March 2010 – And it’s just over a month now and what do we have? Well we have a story, more on that later, but let me first thank you all for your overwhelming response to this experiment. I hope you enjoyed the drive to move the story in our own direction, the anxiety of it being turned astray by someone else and the difficulty to still keep it coherent. My participation in the process was limited by the unavailability of laptop to begin with and now being stuck with no internet. Though that saves me from the allegation of ‘excessive interference’ due to intellectual rights. But all along Bhuji kept the wick burning in my absence.
Now, coming back to the story. I am sure you would agree that it would be a long shot to expect a convincing end to such a story and therefore, now that you guys have given the story a good body, I have taken it upon myself to finish the same. Consequently we are now closing the comments box and will not add anymore lines to the story. Once again gracias to all for participating and hope you love your story. Until we publish the same, spread the love around and be happy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two minutes

There are the things that take a long time to do, even ages, sometimes life itself and then there are the two minute ones. Today, while I was within one such event, it dawned on me how frequently we use the term, without giving a thought to how it has come to became a part of our lexicon.Some of the occasions where I frequently come across it are

* Stepping out of home for some sundry business and mom asks, “where son?” my reply, “Two minutes”.

* Dad’s not happy with me glued to the idiot box, “How much more?” he asks. "Two minutes".

* When will you go to sleep, tomorrow is not a school holiday. In "Two minutes".

* The test invigilator and I are pulling at each ends of the answer sheet, he asks, “what?” "Two minutes" please.

* The Math problems were always the problematic ones but still for whomsoever it was a concern, it will be solved in "Two minutes”.

* Friends are fuming outside the theatre with tickets in hand, “where on earth are you”. Almost there, another "Two minutes".

* The pizza delivery guy is pushing the limits of my hunger. But the outlet says he’s just "Two minutes" away.

* Banging the door of the hostel loo at rush hour. Out comes a struggling voice, “Two minutes”.

* It’s my turn on the computer now, a stern voice to my brother. Doesn’t even look back at me, “I know, Two minutes”.

* Boss is curious to know how much will take me to give him the report, due from yesterday."Two minutes" sir.

* Colleagues are calling me to join them for lunch. “Two minutes yaar. Just need to give this report to boss”.

* The auto driver has been driving around for a while, but how much more to go you ask him. Just "Two minutes", the reply.

I am sure the list is endless. But sometimes the "Two minutes" really gives the perspective on life and its frailty against the odds of you being at the wrong place at the wrong time. We marked two minutes silence today, for the soul of one of our colleague who passed away, caught in the bomb blast which happened on Saturday 13th Feb in Pune. If only they had two minutes.

May her soul rest in peace. Amen

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I See You

I remember meeting up with friends last Valentines day We were all spinsters and had nothing to do with love. Maybe we were all cloistered nuns or bruised and tormented spirits. We hated to love. I was the ringleader. I challenged a friend that if I were to ever marry, I would give him a party at the Le meridian. I was confident about remaining single.

But to my own surprise and dismay of many I am married a year after.

How does it feel being married or in love? It is terrifying , I keep dreaming of falling into a big pit. It’s a drag being advised like a kid on dont’s and do’s. But love makes you immune to a lot of stuff.

Being in love also teaches you what unrequited love would feel like. I did hurt many. I am guility , I beg forgiveness. It teaches you humility and sensitivity but, only when you share it with someone you could love.

Do we get tired of love? I think we do and that is precisely because we fall in love. It is a nice metaphor to dissect. We only fall in love and sadly never rise. So we are bound to grow sick and tired. It is human, it is natural. As days pass by certain qualities that made you ‘fall in love’ alters.

A quote that has held me strongly when I was weary and restless was by Pope John Paul II. His life and his words give me immense strength. And this was not because of religiosity but because my soul could relate to his words.

“The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love. The Bible refers to this kind of love by using the Greek word agape.

This is difficult because we love someone out of our love for ourselves and end up expecting the response we desire. And this might work out initially but boomerangs fast.

So if you can say “ I love you because I want to” rather I love you with hundreds of if’s and but’s, welcome to chaos. It is definitely gonna hurt but it’s bittersweet.

Ok now to sugar coat this with something romantic my all time favourite romantic hero Richard gere said this in the movie Runaway Bride-

“Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me.”

Well I think that’s how I got married. And for the rest of the year no one out there is gonna look at me on campus and laugh saying “ Teena YOU and LOVE????

This was special edition so you better read this and forget it.

I am in love with the Na’vi expression of “ I see you”.

So Happy Valentines day to all you folks out there. And go say “ I see you” to your dear ones.

P.S- This is for my Valentine



“ I see you” ( though technically I don’t coz you are in Mumbai and I in Chennai :P )

Jokes apart it hurts , I don't know why but I love the pain. I miss the stories, the meticulous obsession with list making and seeing you packing. I miss the tea , the journeys, the chess, the mosquitoes. I miss the fun, the fights and even our bai :) .

I miss sipping the tea at the window with you and being put to bed like a kid.I miss your " this is the best movie , you got to watch this" though I never was interested in the movies as much as you, miss the flowers and jelabis.

of all I miss, I miss your songs the most.

Love solved it for me

It’s difficult to cry inside an auto. For one, it’s open on both side and two, the moment it stops at traffic signals, there are many who would peer inside to see who’s having the ride. And if you see a grown up man sitting and sobbing, it does raise the curiosity of a few, who would then follow you for a few more traffic signals to make sure they saw a man crying. I wanted to cry out loud, at my loss, such was my state when I was coming back home, after dropping you at the airport today; but then you can’t have such privileges on the road. It was naïve of me, when I had said to you, that I would not cry. I was already in tears the moment you went inside the airport. I saw a few others in the same agony and thought it’s normal. But riding this auto back home is proving tough. I can’t feel you sitting next to me and it’s making me sad. Do you remember all those rides we took together in the small span of few weeks? I can’t hold you and pull you close to me now. Where have you gone? I keep looking at my right side, thinking this is just a dream, and I would see you smiling back at me. No luck and I start thinking that those were the dreams, the times that we had together. “And the times just went by, we never felt. The times that lay ahead, they would be difficult.”

I see a couple riding a bike, and I am sure you would have said ‘cute vava’, looking at their little baby. And I would have looked at you and smiled. But now I can only cry, for you are not with me. I miss you being next to me. I had come to accept that you will be next to me all the time and suddenly it seems not to be true. “How I got you, surely it was not easy. You are gone, and now it’s only me.”

I pass the church on the way, though it is empty at this hour, I still feel for the times we sat together inside it. It was atypical of us to sit together and not speak, but we did it in the church. I say a silent prayer to give that time back to me so that I can speak to you a little more. I say a little prayer for your safe journey. “What was spoken, what was said, they were nice. But I still long, to hear your voice.”

Ah! That’s a new restaurant there! How did we miss going there? I am sure that once you are through with what they have to offer, you would say, “I can cook better”. Yes you cook better and how I long to see you cooking at home now and taste it in between, just to tease you. I don’t miss dining at this restaurant and many others like it. All I miss now is you. “A long journey brought us together. A longer journey will keep us apart. "

The traffic is going mad even at this time of the day. And it’s getting on my nerves; I want to reach home badly. I wouldn’t mind the delay if you were with me. With you things change and become better and I only realize it now. It’s already getting difficult for me to get back to my old life and you are not even air borne. I hate it when people say that good time passes quickly. How I wish to go back in time and stop it, at a few weeks ago and spend my whole life there. “Deep within there is a sound, I can feel. It’s loud enough but I can’t hear.”

Love is a strange thing; till you don’t have it you are oblivious to it, once you have it, its bliss and when you are away from it, you are crestfallen. How ignorant are we in the matters of the heart; just consoling myself by thinking that maybe the heart has a mind of its own. But this is the first time for me so I believe I’ll have to go through the motions. But if I had known before I might have been better prepared, would have tried to stretch those weeks into months somehow, maybe years for that matter. “Keep me in your midst, I am lonely. I say this to your memories.”

I am entering our home and somewhere fiddling with the keys I feel that you will greet me as the door opens. Sadly there is no sign of you. How could life change so much in the span of one hour. My eyes become heavy again, but the only respite now is that I am away from the prying eyes of people. I close the door behind me and start to cry my heart out. “I hope this too will pass. Love will solve it for me too.”

P.S: I love you

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Avatar: Let there be Earth

Watched, what everybody around is calling a revelation in movie making, ‘Avatar’ yesterday. I am not good at reviewing movies so I am just going to throw a few points that come to my mind. It definitely is a Cameron/Spielberg type of movie and that was evident in the storyline and cinematography and it also had the larger than life kind of feel to it. I am a great fan of gadgets and weaponry so could not stop my mind from racing to year 2154 and imagining what the world would be like then. Kudos to the creative team who made floating islands and luminous flowers and bugs. The animals did not attract me much because post Jurassic Park nothing makes me sit and say ‘wow’. I am a great fan of colours so could not stop admiring the shades of flowers and animals especially the mighty Pterosaur. The Na’vis looked cute and ugly at the same time and I guess they thought the same about humans too. It’s amazing how we design a new world from our imagination. The Hallelujah Island is an envious creative output and it’s amazing to recapitulate its evolution in the mind of its creator. But I was irritated, though mildly, by the preponderance of the creative world around us, that any planet however light years away from us, would have the same basic setup like ours. The Na’vi’s looked very much like humans with four limbs; the tail was a bonus, though we cannot discount the fact that our ancestors also had one. The trees, plants and grasses looked similar to ours. The flying birds looked like raptors and the heavy duty dinosaur was in the end - a dinosaur. If left to me, I would try to create a world which is completely different from ours, nothing human like, nothing plant like. That is where the challenge lies and I am sure that’s how it exists even now, light years from us, nothing like earth, not even like Pandora.

But again nothing in the island or anything picturized was purposeless and that’s what I liked about the script. It perhaps was the best lesson to us that nothing in this world living or non-living is purposeless and we all do connect. Though the synaptic connection of nerve endings seemed strange and made me wish I had a tail to plug to the grass or at least to the hostile beings around. The language of Na’ vi’s in the movie was developed by a linguist and it has 1000 words and is closely related to an Ethiopian tribal dialect. Also the plants were researched and designed by plant physiologists and it is scientifically explainable as to how they connect to humans. The movie did not fail to convey what it intended. I would not say the message was completely new. In the midst of the just concluded Copenhagen summit nothing else could have subtly touched upon the messy state of our environment and man’s apathy and callousness towards it. When on one side Pandora’s natives respected animals and trees and mourned over their loss, we were shown how callous humans were. In fact after destroying our own habitat we did not learn lessons adequate and plundered into others territory. It might sound politically incorrect, but I have a great urge here to draw parallels with what humans did in Pandora with what U. S of America did in Iraq. Just try replacing the unobtanium rock in Pandora with oil in Iraq and the similarities in the movie and what happened in Iraq is hard to miss. This by default is an exquisite human behavior. This reminds me of something I read from Erich Fromm’s “Art of destruction”. Man is the only animal who could kill or destroy without an immediate motive. Animals also kill each other but either in danger or when hungry. No animal ever remembers old vengeance and attacks; neither do they calculate the loss another species could cause to them in near future. You see zebras and lions, monkeys and flamingoes grazing around in the same territory; they do not contemplate on counter evacuation to protect resources for their next generations. Least of all lions don’t fight lions worrying some might finish the food that others can eat for generations. Sadly, man thinks differently. And as seen in the movie rocks worth 20 million dollars are more lucrative than protecting the forest which balances the whole colony of the Na’vi’s.

As I walked out of the theatre I wondered, what the audience would take away from the movie. One group would be mesmerized by the gadgets. There would soon be toy models of the tankers, helicopters, gunships and maybe aliens too. You would soon have blue coloured soft drinks and maybe burger patties shaped like the animals in the movie, alluring kids at eat out joints. And not to forget video games with a fantasy Pandora land and floating islands. To some maybe the creativity would be more appealing. There would also be philosophical discussions on the movie. I have heard there were discussions on philosophy of Matrix after the movie released. So now it could be philosophy of Avtaar for the intellectuals. I am worried if some foolish corporation would begin the hunt for some Pandora like land and exploit some peaceful planets. I hope the scientist learn their lessons from the movie and don’t fall for big bucks. As for environmentalists who have been harping on sustainability this could be a new mantra.

But I fear the most for people who would not see any of the above and would just walk out mesmerized by the 3D effect, oblivious of the world dying today. To whom mother earth is a woman who comes dressed only on earth day, on google. I am afraid many would miss out on what the movie had to really say. Somewhere in there I felt I travelled through time and saw what we would make out of our planet because of our indifference and greed and then stand at the gates of another civilization with impunity and brazenness asking for more. How lucky are we to look into the future but how shortsighted that we just see it as a movie. Avatar is not about conquering or protecting Pandora but about preserving and nurturing Earth.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My little hand

I had wanted to write on this for long but was scared to write it here, on a blog. A) Because there are people who would blame me for writing things personal just to win readership B) The person I am writing about is a part of my life and I was not confident to share about him to the world C) The most important reason is, I have never openly discussed this with him.

I had given up hopes to marry after a couple of rejections. I was told with family problems like mine no one would be interested in marrying me. It sounded fair to me because I came with a chip on my shoulder. And being the eldest also a researcher with no job, with two younger siblings who were unemployed, and a mother who was a widow, it did seem to look like a dismal proposition to many. Last thing I wanted was to be married without my family. I did not want a way out, deserting my family and my responsibilities. And I realized that was what interested many. Many offered marrying me but did not want to take care of my family.

When I first met ‘who’, online to be precise, what struck me was my guide’s words “you can read a man through his words”. I seldom saw people who valued words like gems. I missed noticing a lot of things on 'who’s profile, which did cause a lot of trouble in the journey to altar, and among all those points was the line which had in bold written– DISABLED.

When I responded to the profile, ‘who’ asked me if I saw the disability tab on his profile. It took me some time to realize my blunder; I had said yes to a guy’s proposal without reading something very important. I never missed facts but maybe we were destined to be so I missed it at that time. I felt scared to ask what disability he had but he being generous asked me to see his orkut pics carefully.

I had gone through them already but I had got transfixed at those eyes and never looked elsewhere. I was always poor at marking out people. I opened the album trembling, I had already committed before the pictures, and those ten minutes were the longest anxious minutes I ever had. I was sure if it had to be visible it had to be in the upper half of his body, but if he was deaf , dumb or blind I would never know. But since he said check the pics it should be something more visible, I told myself. I skimmed through a lot of pics with fear and in one pic I saw the baby palm for the first time. ‘Who’ was born with a missing left palm. I looked at his pic for sometime. It didn’t seem ugly but then I tried visualizing his life with one palm. What he could do and what he could not. He won’t ride a pulsar, nor a white horse, what if he could not lift me like those heroes in hindi movies? Would he be able to carry heavy stuff? Questions just ran across my mind. I felt foolish and surprised at those trivial desires I had as a girl, which I was hitherto unaware of. When one decides to marry, having two hands and doing whatever possible with it was a minimum criterion.We hardly ask "Does the guy have two hands?". Obviously , we all want perfect beings and in the bridal market this was no exception.

Often we undermine our left hand, actually a lot, but here I was looking at someone with just one plam. I had never pondered on physical handicap before. But I could feel the weight of rejection suddenly. I had experienced it many times being perfect physically and here was someone who was like me in a different way. My handicap was social , situational and his physical.

I fell in love, though I could not describe it then. I swore if mom agreed that would be god’s indication that ‘who’ was my angel.

I am married to him today. I see him tying his shoe lace, ironing clothes, repairing a tubelight, carrying a gas cylinder and to all who worried if he would tie the wedlock; it was the most memorable moment of my life. He dances with me, washes plates and wakes me up with bed tea. Sometimes it dawns to me that when I type this blog with both hands, he edits it using just one. He works for an MNC where all except him to have two hands, is that not a miracle? and should I not be proud of my little hand. I admit that I often forget about his disability and expect him to work with one arm at the pace of both but to all those anxious well wishers out there all I have to say is “it has not made me stop admiring and loving him”.

I never dreamt of marrying someone with a disability, neither am I showing sympathy or giving a chance to anyone. In fact I grabbed one from the world who failed to see through a shimmering coal. My little hand, does not make me feel ashamed, I love those hidden fingers that held my hand and said “ I do”.

I see him now dancing in the kitchen, he loves to dance and to me those steps are as graceful as anyone on stage. Love solved it all for me, mellowed me, transformed me and the individual who helped me transform had that magical little hand with button like fingers.