Thursday, December 30, 2010

Red Rose

Look... isn't it pretty?

She held out the most beautiful flower she had plucked. And there it was - the red rose in all its glory. A shade of crimson so intense, the flower seemed to have been stained in blood. The delicate petals so smooth, it was better than silk. The fragrance so rich and ever-pervading, as if it were gently carried by the air, like a bride in a palanquin.

She held it out with all her love. He took it from her hand. She smiled.
He examined it, twirled it. Plucked out each petal and crushed it in between his fingers. And he threw 'em all in the air. The petals pirouetted and bit the dust. He walked off.

The crushed petals left a heavy blanket of aroma in the air. The best of the rose was released when crushed. Its soul was liberated at the expense of its annihilation.
A silent tear rolled down her cheek. That was more than her little heart could handle.

Years later, she gave him her heart.

Maybe the rose was still better off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


She kept staring at Rita's photo on Facebook. Who was she?

Funny, how life turns. She couldn't believe this is her best friend from school; rather was her best friend...

She remembered that rainy June morning like yesterday. It was her first day at the new school; and at nine years of age, that's quite a scary prospect. Her tensed eyes scanned the classroom for a friendly soul and rested on Rita's. There was a certain sense of warmth and security that emanated from her angelic face. She'd hurried to the empty seat next to her, afraid someone else might rob her of it. Rita smiled again. And she'd felt that all was fine with the world.

Their friendship grew over days, months and years. Their names were always taken in the same breath; it was never just 'Rita' or 'Tina'....they were a pair. Partners in crime. Always. They bunked their first day at school together. They discussed their crushes with each other. They took up music and dance classes at the same place. Their tuition centres were the same.... and so were their study groups. Rather, they were the only two in their study group.

They had nurtured their little seed of friendship and it had flourished to become a tall and majestic tree. A tree, which gave them shade and kept them safe. A shade they would rush too, in times of trouble. There was no doubt... this friendship was to last a lifetime. They hardly had the need to say they are 'best friends'. It was understood.

Tina was still going through the album on Facebook. Rita at a party with friends, her trekking adventures, at her college...

She still remembered how terribly upset she was, on the day Rita was leaving town to pursue higher studies. They had been mourning for days; what would they do without each other? As the time for Rita to leave approached, they reassured each other with promises to keep in touch and update each other on their lives. Hugs and tears, wishes for a bright future... and so much more unsaid. Rita's car went around the kerb, and she kept watching it, till it disappeared.

Life had moved at jet speed since then. Rita was busy with her fashion designing course, and Tina was busy with her engineering course. They didn't even realise how their boats took separate paths in the stream of life. The calls, messages and mails trickled down to nothing. Suddenly, it was as if they were in different, mutually exclusive worlds. And they did not realise that they had not only grown up, but also grown apart.

Who was she? As she looked at Rita's photo again, she couldn't answer this nagging question. Hidden somewhere in this face, was the Rita she'd known years earlier; someone who was her confidante, her best friend. She searched and searched, only to realise that the Rita she knew was long gone. Or had she herself changed? Or maybe both?

 She then stumbled upon her wedding album. Rita's married!

She felt a sudden jab of pain at not having known it. She browsed the album, saw Rita beaming and happy, with her man in tow. 

Should she comment on the pics?

Tina smiled. She wished her best friend the very best, in her heart. And then she signed out of Facebook.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Misadventures and Me

Two weeks back

One fine evening, a bird decided to make my head its target object of practice. Yes, you guessed right. The bird realised that its potty was my head!

It goes something like this. One sleepy evening, as I alighted from the bus, something landed on my head. Sigh. At precisely the second my foot hit the ground, the shit hit my head. I dismissed it as probably something else falling under the influence of gravity. But my wandering hand confirmed otherwise. Holy shit!
When I reached home, I washed it off, but didn't dry my hair quite well enough. That's how I caught the cold. After a week of trying to put my immunity to test, I reluctantly gave up and decided to cave into the miracles of medicine. And one such day, when I finally had the medicine, was drowsy and thinking of sleep-walking the rest of the day at office, I realise that work's knocking at my door. Since then, almost every day, I've had to stay back till 9 pm to do my work. Don't get me wrong. It's not the volume of work to do. Just that I can only do mine after 5:30 pm or so. Net result: spending almost 10-13 hours in office! Highly insane! I could go late to office daily; but that's a risk, given that the project is in a critical stage. And given my luck, I am sure that the day I decide to cool my heels, something will turn up to upset the smug plan. 

Last week

I thought that my tryst with bird droppings were only a one-off misfortune till the rest happened.

I lost one of my white gold earrings, last week. Work kept me late at office that night. I reached home and was washing my face, when I realised that my earring's gone. The next day, I came to office and got the cap (i.e. the piece you put from behind the ear) from the keyboard. I searched the entire area here; I even got the Facilities people to track who cleaned my cubicle premises. They apparently searched everywhere, including the disposal bins and they say they didn't find anything. I could have as well lost it on the way, or in the night cab that I took. And what's more, since it was white gold (it looks more like silver), people might not think it's valuable. If it was gold, it would atleast mustered attention. Sigh. So that's one loss to the list!

Come Friday night, and there's another story. The Awards for Excellence ceremony was to happen at the Mangala DC (the 2nd Infy office at Mangalore). I had work to do, and it could only begin late into the night. So I decide to attend the ceremony till I can begin my work. I was watching the live performance at the amphitheatre there. I was seated on the side railing. I was expecting a call/message to intimate me that I can begin my work. I had placed my mobile ON my bag. Halfway through the show, I forgot that it was on my bag. I instead, lift the bag, thinking it's inside.... and..... whatdya know?

The mobile falls down, and conveniently through the narrow gap, into the drain!

Just beneath where we were sitting was the gutter/drain, covered by concrete slabs and cemented in place. And when my phone fell, it fell right through the narrow gaps between the slabs! I go numb for a second. I stand up and keep peering down the drain, as if there's some treasure waiting to be unearthered. I am sure that gathered some fair amount of attention. Not knowing what to do, I ask the girl next to me if she has a torch. She had one on her mobile, and as I flashed the light down the drain, I see my own reflection.... on my mobile screen! Phew! It was not a wet drain, and hence not much damage had happened to the phone. But I don't know how to retrieve it. In my desperation, I run to a bhaiyya from Facilities, standing close by. He's seen me in action by then. Even before I could complete my request for help, he tells me, "Kam se kam ek hafta lagega... cement ko nikalna hai aur slab ko uthana hai..."

As this message telegraphically registers in my head, I'm already composing a eulogy to my 3-month old phone. I could already see it... my sister and mom going on the "look how careless she is"- mode, my colleague trying to contact me regarding work... I shake myself out of that reverie, and plead to that bhaiyya to take a look. His friend also comes along and tries inserting his hand in, to see if he can pick it. But he can't insert it further that his forearm. Desperate that I am, I suggest to him to get a ladle or tong or something from the Food Court, so that the phone can be scooped or picked from the drain. He gets a brainwave, goes and gets a rake, inserts it, picks it and.... voila! My phone lives to see another day! Barring a small, teeny-weeny scratch and a slightly bigger, not-so-teeny-weeny dent, my phone was unscathed. So thankfully, I didn't lose my phone; I only almost lost it.

And if you thought that was the end of it, there's one more. It was Saturday night, and my sister and I were going about the business of making dinner. I had to light the stove to make chapathis. As I turn the knob.... whatdya know?

The knob's in my hand! Yes, I managed to flex my muscles and rip that off! I immediately turned off the gas supply from the cylinder, and with whatever I could manage, I stopped the gas leak from that burner. So, now that burner is defunct. Have to get it repaired....

I am seriously trying hard to lose the losing streak here. Any tips?

Friday, December 17, 2010


Intense pangs of loneliness. He had never felt so lonely in his life.

Amidst all the lives jostling around to make it through to another meal, another day and another routine, he felt detached. Like he did not belong to the here and now. Or to the people. Not that there were no people in his life. He had them all; a small family, a close network of friends, colleagues at work... And yet. He was alone.

Did he choose to be alone? Or was that the only way it could be? The routine grind had gotten to him. His work kept him late at office, and things weren't better at home. He felt like he was moving from one set of troubles to another. Troubles, nevertheless. He had forgotten the last time he had strummed his guitar, or took his favourite Bullet on a long drive. They remain at home, like pieces in a museum; grim reminders of his past and his passion. And yet, he couldn't resume playing guitar or go on long drives. Why? Because he just didn't feel like it. Sounds silly, but he couldn't make himself do it. He had lost the will to even try. And he couldn't figure out why.

"Mera jeevan kora kaagaz, kora hi reh gaya.... "

As he walked the bylanes of the city, he heard this song over the din; apparently, even the radio at a small shack shared his sentiments. He fought back desperation banging at the walls of his heart; threatening to take over his mind and soul. No, he was feeling lonely, but he wouldn't let it get the better of him.

He walked on, aimlessly.


Thursday, December 02, 2010


Memories, sweet memories.

When it breaks,

These little pieces of glass

Cause grave wounds;

They stain,

They pain.

And yet I hold on

To these broken pieces.

Should have learnt

To let go before.

But I still hold on...


Image courtesy:

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Take care, love. 

Miss you much.

Thinking about you.

Love always.

Want to be yours now and forever.

Wish you were with me.

Dreaming about you.

Love you.

That was it. It was beginning to suffocate him. Small notes in the lunch box, under the pillow, in his shirt or trouser pockets, daily dose of SMSs, missed calls, one-line emails.

Does she have to say it so much?

His hands shivered as he lit her pyre. And then he missed how much she missed him.

Friday, October 01, 2010


One could make out nothing. For a body that had been run over by a train, the less said the better. People thronged the railway track as if watching a circus.

Collective public sensitivity goes for a toss under such circumstances. A man being beaten up in broad daylight by goons, a woman suffering inexplicable birth pangs and stranded, an elephant run over by a train, a child lost and crying, a beggar pleading for alms, a dog hit by a truck and moaning in pain..... or a dead body on the railway track.

Where sleeps a man's conscience? Doesn't it prick?

So much for turning deaf and blind. We have an inane ability to be insensitive to others' pain and misery. Until it happens to us.

The police bustled in and pushed aside the people. The body had been mutilated. The blood had begun to cake. The head had been severed and had rolled off; finally being freed from its body. One of the crew started to id the victim. The victim is female, in her mid-twenties....

One could see a trail of tear that had dried down the corner of her eye. Only if one closely observed.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I gathered them, one by one
Picked the best I could find,
Saved them for you to relish.

The most beautiful flowers,
In my palm I held
I wanted to gift them to you.

I held them gently once
But now, they are crushed.
A wait so long dear...

And still I have them
Those poor listless petals.
If only you would come once...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

To my Parents...

I don't know how I'd be here today, if not for my parents.

Yes, all parents do their best for their children and it goes without saying that they make immense sacrifices, adjust their lives and plans so that they can provide us with the best. But the sheer force of the random memories flooding my heart right now needs to be shared. So for my sake, reader, bear with me on this.

As little children, my sister and I, we used to sleep at night on our dad's arms. Yes, that meant he looked like the crucified Christ (albeit on bed!) with his arms outstretched. And we used to lie down; each tiny head resting on each of his arms. Now... think of lying like that the whole night, night after night, not being able to turn on your side, lying still with your arms oustretched for 8 hours or more. Now when I look back, I wonder how he managed it and didn't say a word. Every night we slept well... but I have never thought if my dad did...

Getting us ready for school was another task our parents endured during our early childhood! In Dubai, school timing was from 7am to 2 pm. That meant waking up in the wee hours of the morning to catch the school bus. Needless to say, I resembled a zombie at odd hours in the morning. But the funny part is, the 'getting us ready' bit was accomplished by an assembly line of sorts! Mom would wake us up, get us to the loo, thrust a brush with paste on it, get us to brush our teeth. Then she would bathe us, pat us dry and send us out to get dressed. I would still be sleepy and groggy and dad would put on the uniform; whilst I would move my body parts to a bare minimum; just enough to get the dress on me! I don't think I even used to bother buttoning the shirt! I'd just stand there as if it was expected of him to do that also for me. Then my mom would comb our hair, put on a little of make up (kajal, bindi, powder) and she would tie our hair for us too. I had very thick and long hair as a child; those who have seen me now would find it hard to believe. Managing such volumes of curly hair is quite a task. But she used to do the combing and tying part. All I had to do was doze off in a chair! And then, they'd put on the socks and shoes too! I did zilch in getting ready to school... all I had to do was subject myself to their instructions. It might seem like we were pampered, but this was the only concession. But I wonder how they used to do all this for us, when I now see my little cousins being expected to even wash their tiffin boxes.

Of course, it's another story how after coming back to India for good, my mother suddenly decided that we had to learn to do things on our own. It was in 5th standard and one day, she just refused to tie our hair. She asked us to learn on our own and figure out how to plait the hair. My self-reliant cousin saved the day then, but later we were forced to learn to tie our own hair! So that was my first lesson of being self-reliant, I guess.

Another naughty prank that we were upto was when my mom would come with a cane in hand, to thrash us! Yes, she was a strong advocate of using canes...mostly to frighten, but occasionally to strike too! Living in a flat in Dubai , we never had any place to run to or hide. But once in India, we had a huge courtyard at our ancestral house. Mom with cane meant danger alert and out we'd go and keep running around!!! She couldn't keep up with us and eventually, the use of cane fizzled...coz she couldn't get us to thrash, in the first place! Good times those! (my mom would say otherwise, I presume).

But if not for all that, I don't think I'd remember my multiplication tables, wouldn't know how to pronounce 'February' (yes, I had a serious problem in getting that right when I was a child), or a zillion other things that has made me capable today. My early memories of my parents go back to when I was a toddler. I had fever and mom was lying by my side, softly singing into my ears and gently patting me to sleep. It goes back to the umpteen bed time stories she told that I wanted to listen to. It goes back to the number of times dad bought ice-cream, sketch pens or little knick-knacks for me to get over each fallen tooth. It goes back to the number of years he toiled alone in Dubai so that he can provide for his family back here. It goes back to a thousand little things they have done. 'Thank you' is too small a token of appreciation to give. I still haven't figured out if I am worthy of their love or deserve to be their child. There have been a zillion times I've hurt them (teenage and beyond) and caused them worries.

Now, living in a different city, claiming the freedom I wanted and working to stand on my own feet, I realise that when you get what you 'think' you want, you realise the value of what you had. Every time I get mad at them (it works both ways, you know) I try to think of all what they did to help me reach where I am.

So this is for them... the two people without whom I am a nobody.

Mom....Dad.... I love you!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Real Deal

Fair warning: It's a mix of sarcasm, satire, humour and exagerration (shaken, not stirred). And I am in no mood to be nice. So read the rest at your own risk.

My life has been fairly stable and not highly eventful. But in this 24… sorry, 25 years of my existence, I have discovered that certain categories of people exist; whether they are at your school, college, society or workplace. No, I am not talking of the good kinds. I am not talking of the bad kinds either. Get this straight; there is no black and white; it’s always grey. So this is just my observation of certain characters and characteristics of people, and my feelings about them. I am not here to judge them. But some things just have to be said!

Bootlickers (BL): Also known as ass-kissers. They have no qualms in licking or kissing those respective things that I just said. I just can’t stand their sycophancy, and you could just puke when they talk. It’s not too hard to locate them. In a gathering, these are the people moving to the powerful, influential people (could be your Principal, Director, Managers, Politicians…). They start off with a polite introduction, and then move onto a series of praises of the said target. They just don’t care for self-esteem and will go to any lengths to catch the attention and create an impression (what kind, I wonder) on them. I have seen so many of this breed, that when they start showering their praises, and I am within earshot of this, I am ready to jump off a cliff. They think they are being damn smart; but here’s the scoop: those who hear and those who say, both know what the real deal is. But still this charade of pleasing and being pleased goes on. This class thrives and thrives… I wonder how and why. Nevertheless, they bother me no end. Heights of this is seen when the BL is desperate: wants a transfer, a promotion, a job, a new loan…the list could go on!

Achievers: No, these people don’t really achieve anything. But will make sure it ‘seems’ they did. They might be a part of the project, the group work, the assignment, the discussion, the committee, the event. But ultimately, come presentation time, recognition time or meeting with the bosses, an unprecedented fervor develops in them and they start presenting/talking/taking the lead as if they did the whole work on their own! More like robbing all the accolades; they just want to be the seen as the ‘face’ of the successful initiative so that the good name gets associated with them. But be damn sure if something goes wrong, they will be the first to disown the whole thing.

There’s also another kind in this category. They turn anything they did into an achievement. And you will all get an e-mail with top honchos also in Cc, coz they have to let everyone know that they did a miniscule, worthless thing. Something like, “In continuance with the earlier meeting, I have decided to initiate a meeting tracker, which will ensure attendance, set reminders… blah blah blah.” You get the drift. They just have to hog the limelight. Did they contribute anything? No! Just dragged in their butts and acted as if they were the best things to happen since colour TV.

Social Networkers: ‘Social networking’ is a highly abused and misused term in this day and age. But needless to say, this phenomenon has changed the way people behave online. And with it brings a new-age breed of nuisance! Meet the social networker: He has 1 million people in his friends list, and he’s actively trying to extend his reach over half the globe. What we don’t know is how well he knows them and vice versa (that’s gonna be scarce, I suppose). If you accidentally look at his way or say a polite ‘hi’ on the train, he will add you as his ‘friend’…we made a contact, right? Isn’t that enough? He likes to believe all of them are his ‘best friends’, buddies, pals. And he takes it as his birthright to comment on every scrap, status update, photo, fortune cookie message and online tests his friends take. And to make things worse, he has his own million status updates on his favourite food, movies, songs, art forms, hangouts, the weather……oh boy. Spare me the details! It will keep him alive in public eyes (or so he believes)… ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, right? Out of politeness, we all grin and bear it. And yes, my cheeks are still smarting from that fake smile I gave.

I just don’t know why people are obsessed about increasing their friends list and take it as an achievement. There are some individuals who are naturals when it comes to socializing and have lots of friends and acquaintances in the real world. But the kind I am talking about just keeps adding any stray person he’s vaguely familiar with and claims to be a ‘people’s person’ when he’s just a pain in the you-know-where for most. Enough said of this kind. I could go on and on…

Posers: This is an offshoot of the social networking era. Their life goal is to be immortalized through pictures. And not 1 or 100, but a million! They have this obsession with clicking a thousand random pics of themselves… no sifting and sorting to put up a select few…they will just transfer the whole bunch of it for our perusal! The funny part is, they will caption them – In Shimla, In Amritsar, In Red Fort, In Agra, In Dharamshala, In Jhumrithalaya… but it’s just them in the pic; no background scenery, no location. I could as well stand on the footpath of my hometown, click a pic and say In Dubai and no one would know the difference! Come any occasion, event, party, outing…they think, I should take pics, coz I need to upload it on FB or Orkut. And that’s how you get to see thousands of seemingly random yet perfectly co-ordinated smiles, formations, group pics, choreographed poses and funny pics. Some people are so desperate; they will also barge into other unsuspecting people who are getting their photos clicked. They just want to be in a pic! Who cares if their ugly faces (and presence) are not wanted by the others!

I hope I have enlightened you with a few categories of people. My mind seems to have calmed down now and my stock of humour, sarcasm and satire seems to have been depleted. You will hear more from me on this, in case I am inspired by more kinds of people. Get back to me with other kinds of people you can think of; if I find it interesting, I may as well spin another yarn on those!

As for those of you who think it’s YOU who I have written on… don’t ask me if I meant you; my response will be most probably me in the affirmative and you really don’t want to hear me confirm that, now do you? And if you are offended by this… I don’t care a damn!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Giving Up

The water dripped down his hair. His face. His body. The rains were lashing, but he couldn't care less. Even as people ran for cover, he braved the furore of the Rain Gods. For someone who lost his job, the love of his life and was kicked out of his rented home, getting drenched was the least of his concerns. He didn't know what to feel. He was angry, disappointed, depressed, scared, tortured... all at once. This is it. It's time.

He walked and walked, till he reached the hill top. It was lying bare. The monsoons meant that visitors were less.It was devoid of romantic couples, college kids and wearied employees sitting alone or in groups, worrying about tomorrow or chatting away to get over their boring work life. But it was empty now. Suited him just fine. It was better that way.

He sat down on a bench, and looked far ahead. The rains had stopped. The vast expanse of greenery before him was soaked. He wondered... why should I live? Life had defeated him in more ways than one. And it was amazing how all the bad things crash-landed into his life in the same week, at once. She got married; it broke his heart. Recession reared it's ugly face and his company gently 'let him go'. He was so upset by the turn of events, that he had a drunken brawl with his landlord. The next thing he knew, he was kicked out of his rented apartment. Well, all was not that bad. He thanked God he wasn't handed over to the police for causing a gash in his landlord's face.

But he had nothing to hope for. At that moment, his life appeared like a dark, bottomless pit with no future. I must leave, he decided. He stood up. He looked straight ahead. He kept walking, till he saw the danger zone. A lot of accidents had happened at that spot. People had fallen over. And that had prompted the officials to raise a huge board, "DANGER... do not cross this limit". He looked at the skull of the danger sign and laughed out loud. Like you can stop me, he thought.

Now's my turn to fall off and give up on life. He stood at the edge of the precipice and took one final look. Suddenly the scenic view enchanted him. He was overwhelmed by nature's beauty. The trees swaying in the breeze, the smell of wet soil, the birds creating a music of its kind.... the clear sky... and wait! A rainbow! This was what I was going to throw away? At that moment, a surge of optimism filled his heart. If he had hit rock bottom, then it meant that he couldn't go any lower; now the only way would be up for him. No matter what, he'd live to face the consequences. Tough times don't last; tough people do, he thought. It was his life... his precious life. And to give it up for something so petty? And he laughed at the foolishness of suicide. What was I thinking?

He heard a noise; startled, he turned around. His leg slipped, he rolled and fell down in to the abyss.

Perhaps Death had not realised his change of plans.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


His brows were knitted. He was worried. He couldn't stop pacing the floor. The time has come; or so it seems. It had been months since he had been hearing rumours of a newcomer. And he was insecure. What would happen to his world? A world he had so painstakingly built? The trust and love he had gained?

He tried to calm himself down. The newcomer wouldn't be able to usurp what was rightfully his. He was over-reacting. Why should he feel threatened? Maybe I shouldn't worry too much, he thought. His friends had gone through a similar situation recently; they seemed happy about it. Maybe he was just worrying unnecessarily.

His worst fears came true when he had overheard them one day, "We have to prepare him, you know. He must understand what's coming." And of course, he was being re-assured every now and then.

There they were. Across the room.

"Come here Rohan.... meet your baby sister."

So, it is a girl, he thought. She's sleeping in my mom's, our mom's arms. As he gently touched her cheeks and kissed her face, he forgot what he was worrying about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Day

She was worried. Why wouldn't she be? She hated public appearances and being in the limelight. But today, she cannot step back. She knew what she was getting into, when she signed up for this venture. Now, there was no backing out. The stage is set. People are ready. The show must begin.

But as always, indecisiveness plagued her. With every passing moment, her anxiety grew exponentially. Her mind galloped like a wild horse in all directions, as it conjured up all the possible things that could go wrong today. She was almost certain that it was another of her panic attacks. What would be in store for her ahead?

Relax! Let me take one day at a time. She took a deep breath. She took one long look at herself in the mirror. Contrary to her expectations, the make-up made her look prettier. She allowed herself a smile.

"Where is she? Isn't she ready yet?" She could hear someone calling for her across the hall.

She stood up and did a quick piroutte and checked herself out in the mirror. Perfect. She definitely looked the part. Now she had to act the part too.

"Will the bride please strike a pose and give a smile?" The cameraman had come.
She gave one big smile and wondered how long she could keep it up today. And ahead in her married life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


You can't see the tears on my face,
You can't see the pain in my eyes.
I spend my days in a daze,
And to you it's no surprise.

The moments that were meant to last,
Have all dissolved into thin air.
Where are the days of the past?
I have my doubts...but, do you even care?

Nothing will ever last; you have proved it to me now.
You have taught me not to hope,
And so, I am learning to move on somehow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


She liked to nestle her head on his neck. She would gently kiss him at the base of his neck, and he would feel tickled. As he tightly hugged her in bed, she would let her lips curiously explore. That's how it always was. Every time he held her in his arms, she felt it was the first time he ever had. It felt as if an invisible thread was tugging at their hearts, bringing them closer. As she lay on his chest, it was funny how her heart would settle to his heartbeat and their hearts would beat in unison.

He traced the mehendi design on her arm, with his finger. She laughed. The elaborate mehendi design which extended from the palms and half way to her arms, with their names hidden in the maze of the loops and curves, amused him.

Her hand was firmly clasping his wedding band. The tear stains on the pillow had all but dried. She smiled in her sleep. A smile that dared to appear a year after his death.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

Listen Baby

Ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low
Ain't no river wide enough baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far,
Don't worry baby
Just call my name
I'll be there in a hurry
You don't have to worry
'Cause baby,
There aint no mountain high enough
Aint no valley low enough
Aint no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you, babe
Just an awesome song in my head! Absolutely lurrvvv this one...
I first heard this song in the movie Step Mom (*amazing movie*). This first appears in the movie when Julia Roberts is seen singing along with the radio, while driving her to-be husband's kids to their mom's place. The daughter, who just can't accept Julia Roberts, joins in and they sing away to glory; a moment in their relationship where they first connect. And she begins to think her step mom is actually cool and not a nightmare.
And then, this song reappears in the movie, when the daughter dances with her Mom (Susan Sarandon) and they have a li'l jig, which is their 'thing'.... a mother-daughter bond. And finally, the song again appears at the end.
I hadn't heard this song before (I don't listen much to English songs). But this song was damn too catchy to miss. I again heard this song being used in Remember the Titans; a movie I caught on Star Movies recently. And apparently, it's used in the movie, Sister Act 2 and some others too.

And talking of Step Mom, caught the promos of its desi version, We are Family. I have my hopes set real low; coz it's a Bollywood rip-off after all!

  • The movie has an additional kid (it has 3 kids in lieu of the 2 in the original),
  • It has Arjun Rampal pairing up with Kajol AND Kareena (a first time, any which pair you take)
  • A 'tribute' to Elvis Presley's hit song Jailhouse Rock (yes, it's like Pretty Woman reloaded... talk about a Julia Roberts Fixation!) and ...
  • Not to forget, a cheesy title! (Seriously? "We are Family"? Didn't like that one bit.)
And I am sure all the Bollywood spices will be thrown in to make a true-to-style K Jo Bollywood masala (although he's not directing it). The movie will be terribly long, will have a number of songs injected at all odd places, atleast 2 song-and-dance routines, tear-jerking scenes (glycerine version 2.0 reloaded), lots of drama and very less of Arjun Rampal (heck, who else would want such an insignificant role? He just has to look good and the gals will take care of the rest!)

I seriously doubt if the movie will make as much impact as Step Mom. Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts had perfectly nailed the roles. Their restrained, powerful performances are a tough act to follow, I dare say. Kajol might match up to her role... but Kareena? Will she or won't she? I will be happy to be surprised.

The best thing would be to induce amnesia before you go to watch this movie, NEVER compare it with the original, and try to enjoy the show.
So here's a movie review even before it has been released! And you read it here first!

Monday, August 09, 2010

When I went Shopping!

Just yesterday, I had gone to City Centre (for the first time). I was busy shopping at Lifestyle. I was rummaging through all the clothes and trying to find myself a decent kurti. I was happy I was finding a couple to my liking. And then... as I left the trial room with one or two I liked, it hit me...

Where's my purse?!

However hard I tried to rack my brains, I couldn't remember when I had it last, or where I had left it. It was Sale time at Lifestyle, coupled with the weekend crowd, and things were going haywire; clothes all strewn across and people everywhere! And I was, like an idiot, trying to find my purse. It was nothing short of finding a needle in a haystack!

First I try to calm down and (logically) try to trace back my steps; the sections I visited, the paths I took and so on. It wasn't helping (duh!). And breathing down my back was my sister, who like all sisters and mothers (I believe) go into the 'I told you so' mode. Here I was, with my purse lost (with cash, debit card and mobile) and all she could do was give me a lecture on my carelessness, absent-mindedness and negligence! Phew! She finally suggests that we need to report a missing purse. I decide to do that.... since I had already evoked all the Gods, bribed lord Ganesh with a coconut and had panicked like hell! I approach one of the salespersons and report that I've lost my purse. She asks me to go to a counter and report it.

I (looking foolish, scared and idiotic all at the same time) approach the counter and tell them of my woe. They ask me to describe the purse. I say it's blue and start to describe it.... having not much faith that they can find it in that crowd... and suddenly they produce my purse! What a miracle! They ask me the amount of money in it, other items enclosed, etc and I finally get it. Some customer or a salesperson who had found it was kind enough to return and report it. I was so relieved, I can't explain! What if some jerk who was a kleptomaniac had got my purse? I even dread to think of the possibility. And to think I lost and found it, all in a matter of a few minutes....
So my weekend, which was at the verge of becoming a disaster, was rescued from such a plight by a kind person (God bless that soul!). I wish I could meet that person and thank him/her.

So what did I learn from this incident?

Take care of your things.... or you will have to hear your sister nag! Lol!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The weekend that was...

Most weekends, I end up washing, cooking, watching TV and catching movies, sleeping and whiling away time. This time, it was no different. But there were a few interesting things along the way.

First of all, I caught Inception. With so much being said about this movie, I had to give it a shot. Well, the movie is technically brilliant and a concept which is bizarre to think, but executed to perfection. If someone were to tell you that someone can extract thoughts from your sub-conscious through your dreams; that a bunch of people all wired at one go can go to sleep and enter the same dream created by an 'architect'; that you can have dreams within might pooh-pooh it immediately as someone's sci-fi imagination gone wild. But that's where this movie scores big time. It was truly a case of 'willing suspension of disbelief' (as Coleridge put it). You never for once feel that it's implausible; unlike scores of B-grade movies which is shot so crappily that you can easily make through the fake world they try to create. Here, the pace and style of the movie grips you immediately.
Having said that, I felt that technical brilliance was what kept the audience in awe; followed by the concept. Or both in no particular order. I somehow didn't feel that I could connect with Di Caprio or the other characters. When his story unravels in parts, I didn't feel for him. It would have been better if the audience could be emotionally involved. Or so I felt. Now please don't tear me down for not having said that it's the BEST movie ever made! That's my opinion. I'd say everyone should watch it atleast once. And maybe more times, to get the whole movie. And you might still not get it.

I then caught a show on TV, for the first time: 'Moment of Truth' (Season 2). For those who haven't watched it, this game show is one where a person has to answer a series of 21 progressively personal and embarassing questions. With each step, the question gets worse; but you get money for being 'truthful'; i.e. you win a cash amount if the answer is right. How this works is, prior to the show, a contestant is hooked up to a polygraph and asked more than 50 questions; there is no polygraph testing conducted during the actual show. Without knowing the results of the polygraph, he or she is asked 21 of those same questions again on the program, each becoming progressively more personal in nature. If the contestant answers honestly, according to the polygraph results, he or she moves on to the next question; however, should a contestant lie in his or her answer (as determined by the polygraph) or simply refuse to answer a question after it has been asked, the game ends.
Now, you must sample the questions asked on the show. The episode I watched had an engaged couple, Jeff and Denise. Some of the questions asked on the show:
  • "Have you stolen money from Jeff's wallet without him knowing?" (To the girl, Denise)
  • "Do you have a secret stash of cash you haven't told your fiance about?" (To the guy, Jeff)
  • "Do you like Jeff's mother?" (To Denise)
  • "Do you love Denise more than your own mother?" (To Jeff)
  • "Have you had sexual relationship with Denise's girlfriends?" (To Jeff)
  • "Did you have unprotected sex with your ex-boyfriend during the time both of you had separated?" (To Denise)
It was outrageous to see the kind of questions being asked. And needless to say, everything from money, personal relationships, sex and love was covered. There was a whole dramatic sequence in which the sister-in-law- and mother-in-law-to be first blame Denise for not behaving well with them, which later culminates in forgiveness, hugs, kisses and tears! Oh boy, and here I thought we Indians alone thrived on saas-bahu melodrama!
And after all the unsavoury questions, a final bonus question was: "Do you still want to get married?" To which Denise said, "Yes". Jeff said "No". And you get the picture. It's anybody's guess if the marriage is still on!
I am really amused by this show. First of all, it suggests that you would do anything to get money. I mean, you'd own up to your secrets or feelings for a wad of cash? No matter how much it would hurt your future or your relationships? What you wouldn't dare admit to your fiance in private, you'd own up to it on national television? What about that!
Secondly, I think some things are better not brought out in the open. Let's face it. Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships are a bit tricky, with neither party openly admitting feelings which are 'mutual'. What good does it do by stating it point-blank? As for all the sexual (mis)adventures being brought out into the open; I have no comments. The less said, the better. It's nothing short of shaking a bee-hive!
I haven't had a chance to watch it's Indian version 'Sach ka Saamna'. And I even don't know if they are still airing it. Anyway, I am sure that husbands and wives, siblings,friends, parents and children, etc who come on the show will return more confused, sad, depressed and dejected. But that's what people choose to give up in return for some money. It's their lives; so be it.

So... what have you folks been upto?

Thought for the day: "The best angle from which to approach a problem is the try-angle."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Romance is in the Air! - Part 3

Now, although wooing is primarily done by a man, which is why you will find so many songs apt for men folk, there are songs in which women express their feelings and passion. Sample these:

For a girl who doesn’t know how to write a love letter (!)


Pranaya lekhanam engine ezhuthanam
Munikumaarikayallo… njaanoru
Chamatha murikkum kaiviralukalaal
Pranaya thamburuvengine meettum
Pranavam chollum chundukalaal njaan
Prema kaakali engane paadum
Nadhaa… nadhaa neeyevide
Maravuri moodum maaridamaake
Madhananambukalenthinu thooki
Pulakam choodum poovudalode
Prema lolupaninnini varumo
Nadhaa… nadhaa neeyevide

He came, he saw, he conquered… and she was left with this sad tale to tell:


Pularaaraayappol, poonkozhi kooviyappol
Puthumanavaalan onnurangiyappol
Kannodu kannum nokki
Chirichum kondirippaayi
Vinnile poonthinkalum njaanum maathram! *
Pittennu kaalathente meththayil purandoru
Pichchakamalarmanam maayum munpe
Mothirakkaipidichu maaraththanachum kondu
Paathirappullupole parannu maaran
Chandanakkudaththum naal vanneththumennu nambi
Enthellaamenthellaam orukkivachu!
Kasthurikkalippaaakkum thaththavaalan vettilayum
Pittennen kannuneeril kuthirnnupoyi

(* Very suggestive! Don’t you think?)

Anjana Kannezhuthi...

Anjana kannezhuthi, aalila thali charthi
Arappura vathilil njan kathirunnu
Manavalan ethum neram
Kudumayil choodanoru
Kudamulla malar mala korthirunnu…
Mudi mele kettivachu
Thulunadan pattuduthu
Mukkutti chanthum thottu njarinnu
Kanni vayal varambathu, kaalocha kettaneram
Kalyana mani depam koluthi vachu…
Thooshanila murichu vachu
Thumbappo choru vilambi
Aashicha kariyellam nirathi vachu
Pullukal urangeettum, poonkozhy karanjttum
Kallanavan vanilla thozhy mare…
And so she still waits…

To finish this section off, let me give you a sample of the most controversial lyrics in the history of Malayalam cinema. This was (in)famous for being banned on All India Radio for it’s erotic and explicit lyrics! And recently, it was re-sung and adapted in the movie Kadaksham, starring Suresh Gopi. Imagine what goes on in movies now; and to think they banned a song back then!


Praana naadhanenikku nalkiya
Paramaananda rasathe
Angathil iruthiyen ponga thadangal
Kara pankajam kondavan thalodi
Punjiri koottum thanka kudamennu kondaadi
Gaadam punarnnum angulitha pulakam
Kalarnnezhumen kapolamathingal athodu
Thinkal mukhatheyanachayadharathe
Nukarnnum pala vela thudarnnum
Kaanthanororo rathi kaantha thanthrathilente
Poonthukil azhichoru neram
Thudangi njaanum maanthasharakkadalil paarum
Thanne marannum neenthi muthala pranthinaalathi
Thaanthayaayinilaanthamangine kaantha krudham
Sura thaanda maholsava ghosham punarethra vishesham

And that was my list of few favourite songs. I am sure you can think of more songs and more situations.
I leave you to muse.

[P.S. If you did read all of this … I did warn you that this will be long!]

Romance is in the Air! - Part 2

Hasn’t she kept her word? Has she not turned up? Is she keeping you waiting? Here’s what would best express the pathos of the lover’s wait for his beloved…

Manjalayil mungi…
Manjalayil mungi thorthi
Dhanumaasa chandrika vannu
Ninne maathram kandillallo
Nee maathram vannillallo
Premachakoree… chakoree… chakoree…
Karnnikaaram poothu thalirthu
Kalpanakal thaalameduthu
Kanmaniye kandillallo
Ente sakhi vannillallo
Kandavarundo… undo… undo…
Kadha muzhuvan theerum munpe
Yavanika veezhum munpe
Kavilathu kanneerode
Kadhanathin kanneerode
Kadannuvallo aval nadannuvallo…


Neeraaduvan, nilayil neeraaduvaan
Neeyenthe vaiki vannu pooonthingale
Eeranaam vennilaavin, poompudava azhinju
Ee nadhi than pulinangal chandanakkuliraninju…
Poompudava thumbile kasaveduthu
Pookaitha kanyakamaar mudilyil vachu…
Aattuvanchi pookkalum kaattilaadi ulanju
Aadimaali manalthattum aathira poovaninju…
Aalinte kombathe gandharvano
Aareyo manthramothi unarthidunnu…

Next is my favourite genre… the ‘naughty’ songs! These light-hearted songs have subtle lyrics that reveal a lot more than they apparently say. Some of them have highly suggestive lyrics, and a second reading should get you thinking! Now this is called ‘reading between the lines’. Check it out!

Thanka bhasma…

Thanka bhasma kuriyitta thampuraatti ninte
Thinkalaazhcha noyambinnu mudakkum njan
Thiruvillwamalayil, nedhichu kondu varum
Ilaneer kudaminnudakkum njaan
Vadakkini thadathil poojayeduppinu
Veluppaan kaalathu kandappol
Murappenne ninte poom kavilingal njan
Harishri ezhuthiyathormayille
Premathin, harishri ezhuthiyathormayille
Thumba pookkalathil thiruvonathinu
Thumbi thullaanirunnappol
Pookkila kathirukalkkidayiloode enne nee
Nokki kothippichathormmayille
Oli kannaal, nokki kothipichathormmayille
Kalappura thalathil meda pulariyil
Kani kandu kannu thurannappol
Vilakku keduthi nee aadhyamaay nalkiya
Vishu kai neettangal ormayille
Premathin, vishu kai neettangal ormayille

Laksharchana kandu…

Laksharchana kandu madangumbol oru
Lajjayil mungiya mugham kandu
Mallikaarjuna kshetrathil vachaval
Malleeshwarante poovambu kondu
Mughakuru mulakkunna kavilile kasthuri
Naghakshatham kondu njan kavarneduthu
Adharam kondadharathil amruthu nivedikkum
Asula nirvrithi arinju njaan… arinju njaan…
Asthikalkullilorunmadha vismrithi than
Ajnjatha sowrabham padarnnu keri
Adhu vare ariyatha praanaharshangalil
Avalude tharunyamalinjirangi… alinjirangi…

(Look how the poet converts an innocuous visit to the temple into an amorous meet! And you’d think a temple visit was just that!)

Has she left you? Here are the classic songs for those who have loved and lost!


Sanyasini nin punyashramathil njan
Sandhya pushpavumay vannu…
Aarum thurakkatha poomukhavaathilil
Anyanae pole njan ninnu…
( Sanyasini)
Ninte dukhaardramam mookaashrudharayil
Ente swapnangal alinju sagadhgadham
Ente mohangal marichu…
Ninte manassinte theekkakannil
Veenente ee pookkal karinju
Raatri pakalinodenna pole,
Yaatra chodipppoo njaan…
( Sanyasini)
Ninte ekaanthamaam ormathan veedhiyil
Enne ennengilum kaanum
Orikkal nee ente kaalpaadukal thedum
Annumennathmaavu ninnodu manthrikkum
Ninne njan snehichirunnu….
Raatri pakalinodenna pole,
Yaatra chodipppoo njaan…
( Sanyasini)


Sumangali, nee ormikkumo
Swapnathilenkilum ee gaanam
Oru galgadhamaay manassilaliyum
Oru prema kadhayile dhukka gaanam
Pirinjupokum ninakiniyee kadha
Marakkuvaane kazhiyu
Niranja maarile aadhya nakha kshatham
Maraykkuvaane kazhiyu
Koonthalaal maraykkuvaane kazhiyu
Kozhinja peelikal perukkiyedukkum
Koodu koottum hrudhayam
Virinja poovinum veenapoovinum
Virunnorukkum hrudhayam eppozhum
Virunnorukkum hrudhayam

Mangalam nerunnu…

Mangalam nerunnu njan manaswini
Mangalam nerunnu njan
Alinju chernathin sheshamen jeevanil
Pirinju poyi nee enkilum, ennum
Evideyaanenkilum ninte sankalpangal
Ezhu varnangalum vidarthatte
Ennumaa jeevitha pon maniveenayil
Sundara swaradhaara unaratte
Nirayumee dhukhathin chudu neduveerppukal
Nin munnil thennalaay ozhukatte
Aa punya dhaambathya varna vallariyil
Aananda mukulangal janikkatte

Listen to these three songs, and even the most cheerful of you will plunge into sorrow! Such is the mood evoked by these gut-wrenching songs.

Romance is in the Air! - Part 1

(Disclaimer: This is a tri-partite series. It's long. Really long.)

It could be the monsoons, my vacant (and idle) mind; or it is the season of love! And no, I have not fallen in love (if that’s what you were going to insinuate!)

As I was on my way to work (???) today, old Malayalam songs came flooding to my mind. And my mind can be like the neighbour’s pesky radio! It keeps on playing tracks in my head and I just cannot wish it away. But that got me thinking on a lot of things. Most importantly… Lyrics! Songs like those are no more written. It is sheer poetry; a delight to the mind. Every time I listen to old songs, I feel invigorated by the lyrics… I am amazed how the erstwhile lyricists could bring in so much richness; be it the imagery or the comparisons they draw. And for me it’s akin to sacrilege if people do not care about lyrics while singing songs. I am not here to brag, but I remember lyrics of a whole lot of songs (Hindi, Malayalam, old or new); and people ask how is it possible to memorize it. If you can appreciate the thought behind the lyrics, it’s a cakewalk for any, is what I’d like to say!

Undoubtedly, romantic songs are the most challenging and creative of the lot. I am a great admirer of lyricists like P Bhaskaran, Vayalar, O N V Kurup, etc. Any Malayali alive has heard, felt and imbibed the charm of the old Malayalam songs. And since we are talking of Romance, here’s a few from my list of favourite Malayalam Romantic songs. As you will see, there are songs for every occasion.

Lost in love? Want to tell your lady love how you feel? Want to praise her beauty? No fear, the best songs are here!


Aareyum bhaava gaayakan aakkum aathma soundaryamaanu nee
Namra sheersharaay nilpoo nin munnil, thamra nakshatra kanyakal…
(Aareyum bhava)
Kinnara mani thamburu meetti, ninne vaazhthunnu vaanavum
Mannile kilippaithalum, mulam thandil moolunna thennalum
Innithaa nin prakeerthanam; ee prapancha hridaya veenayil
Aaaaaa… (Aareyum bhava)
Ninte naavile mounamaakumee ponmanicheppinullilaaay
Moodi vacha nighooda bhaavangal, pookkalaay shalabhangalaay
Innithaaa nrithalolayaay; ee prapancha nadana vedhiyil
Aaaaa… (Aareyum bhava)

Vathil Pazhuthilude…

Vaathil pazhuthiluden munnil kunkumam
Vaari vitharum thri-sandhya poke
Athilolamen idanazhiyil nin kala madhuramam kalocha kettu
Madhuramam kalocha kettu…

Hridhayathin thanthriyil aaro viralthodum
Mridulamam nishvanam pole
Illakallil jalakanam ittu veezhum pole
Uyiril amrutham thalicha pole
Tharala vilolam nin kalocha kettu njan
Ariyathe koritharichu poyi…
(Vaathil Pazhuthiluden)
Himabhindhu mukhapadam charthiya poovine
Madhukaram nugarathe uzharum pole
Ariya nin kalocha cholliya manthrathin
Porulariyathe njan ninnu
Nizhalukal kalamezhuthunoren munnil
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu…
(Vaathil Pazhuthiluden)

Both these songs are sheer poetic geniuses! If you read every word of these songs, it goes beyond saying that it’s breathtaking.

Wish your lady love was near you? The evergreen favourite of separated lovers, engaged couples, or silent admirers!


Arikil neeyundaayirunnenkil…
Arikil neeyundaayirunnenkil ennu njaan
Oru maathra veruthe ninachu poyi,
Oru maathra veruthe ninachu poyi…
Raathri mazha peythu thornna neram
Kulur kaatililacharthulanja neram
Ittitu veezhum neer thulli than sangeetham
Hruthanthikalil padarna neram
Kaatharayaayoru pakshiyen jaalaka
Vaathilin chaare chilacha neram,
Vaathilin chaare chilacha neram…
Oru maathra veruthe ninachu poyi…
Muttathu njan natta chembaka thaiyyile
Aadhyathe mottu virinja naalil
Snigdhamaam aarudeyo mudi chaarthilen
Mugdha sankalpam thalodi nilkke
Etho puraathana prema kadhayile
Geethikal ennil chirakadikke
Geethikal ennil chirakadikke,
Oru maathra veruthe ninachu poyi…

Doesn’t that song always make you sigh? *Sigh*

Friday, July 23, 2010

Little Things

Yesterday, I was dicing lady's finger...(ladies finger? lady's fingers? ladies fingers?... How is it spelt?....I digress! Back to the story!) ...for dinner. That's when I had a blast from the past. I was transported to my nursery art classes. I think my first ever tryst with this vegetable (raw, I mean) was in the art class. My teacher handed out a chopped stub of this vegetable, prompted us to dip it into water colour and make imprints on paper. Then you follow it up with fanciful brushes of green (for the stem and leaves), and what you got were flowers! I was so thrilled back then. A cross-section of a vegetable put to great creative use.

And as my mind ploughed through the goldmine of childhood memories, I was reminded of yet another art class resource... pencil shavings! It reminded me of how carefully I would sharpen colour pencils to get neat shavings, which I would then carefully paste on paper to form flowers. And when it became a beautiful bunch of flowers on paper, I had felt proud! I made it!

And then I thought...

Where is that innocence? When all you needed were pencil shavings-turned-into-flowers to make you happy?

Where is that curiosity? To see things beyond what they appear, and turn it into a work of art?

Where is that sense of accomplishment? When all you had to do was dip a vegetable into colour and make a masterpiece?

I think that's called growing up.

It's ironic. When you are small, you wonder when you will grow up. My cousins and I, we used to play games where we pretend to be running a house and cooking; with toy dining set, dolls, mud, gravel, leaves... anything! (yes, we used anything we got in our hands!). We used to team up as little families and do the 'neighbourhood' game. Nothing exotic about it; we'd just pretend to be small families living in a neighbourhood and live through a make-believe world. We girls would try to make sarees out of any scrap of cloth longer than 1 metre, pretend we are adults and charade in the ancestral home (when we met up for vacations). Good times those!

And now that I am a grown up, I wish to be a child. Things were way uncomplicated back then. Are they now? Or they seem to be? I don't know.

When life grows on you, it's hard at times, to be delighted by the little things of life. I am not saying that the next time you look at a Bhindi (this solves the problem of me getting *lady's finger* wrong!) and say, "Wow! This vegetable looks like a finger!" But well, you get the drift.
I am talking of the ability to be amazed by the little things in life. I am trying to rediscover mine.
Thought for the day: "Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why?"

Friday, March 05, 2010

Sex and the Internet

One day, my friend was at the receiving end of this message on Skype, from an unknown 'person':

"There are thousands of unhappy married women and men in every city, but they DO NOT want to leave their spouse. They want to stay married, but they want to have an affair without ever being caught. Our dating community is extremely popular!

Having an affair can be stressful because you never know if the other person involved is going to get attached to you. You just want to have an intimate encounter and nothing else.

A great thing about this Discreet Dating Community For Married People is that there is no cost to join. You can check it out, see if you like it, and then begin contacting married people for secret intimate encounters.

Press here if you want to have an affair with a married person: "

Now, what are your first thoughts on reading this? I had many; and that is exactly why this blog!

First of all, I can't help notice how they are trying to empathize with the reader. It's a very innocuous message which says that you are a very dedicated, loving spouse; but don't you want to have some 'harmless' fun? (read: one night stand) They egg you on to try out their "dating site" where you can have 'intimate encounters' (or, in short, sex). Notice how euphemistically they put the whole thing so that it doesn't sound sleazy. They are actually trying to offer you a 'guilt-free' ride and justifying it for you, just as your mind would! It actually manages to sound like a sophisticated dating site. But it's not

Out of curiosity (and no other compulsion!) I tried the link. (By the way, it's not actually I intentionally didn't put up that link over here.)

And voila! A whole new site loads, which doesn't bear the name given in the link! How clever. 
The site's actual name is a really sleazy one. "Sex personals and beyond" - reads the tagline of the site. And there were scores of profiles (of both women and men) with no names (remember, they are cheating!). I didn't want to overstay my welcome there, and hence closed it soon enough. All I noticed where the labels "man" or "woman" written for profiles, some with pics (more or less slutty ones, at that!), with details like age, location etc.

It's disgusting and revolting. There were and are many such sites on the internet, but why should this make any difference, you ask. Well, the whole modus operandi is very clever, but wicked too. For instance, their call to 'married' people. Is there any guarantee that only married people will register or use this service? For all you know, this is just a pretext to target people who wouldn't otherwise click on any such sites, by making it 'sound' decent. Further, they are trying to lure married people into committing adultery 'without being caught'! Like this was the answer to 'unhappy marriages'! As it is, infidelity needs no reason; and such sites market excuses to have flings!

And the fact is, it's not dating or an affair... just plain sex! And all the yarn they spin: "Having an affair can be stressful because you never know if the other person involved is going to get attached to you. You just want to have an intimate encounter and nothing else...." My foot!

More than anything, I am amazed at the genius who put Skype to use. As is well known, Skype is growing in popularity, with it's Skype-to-Skype free call facilities. Although Gtalk and Yahoo have started offering call facilities, Skype dominates in this segment. What's the worst thing about Skype is, you can send messages to people without adding them. So, segmenting and targeting online couldn't get easier! If I want to target it at say, youth of the male gender, in so and so country, all I have to do is run a search in their search facility and millions of profiles pop up. I press the send button and it's done! Sure, the recipients might block me; but all it takes is to make another fake profile. My friends also report having got other 'neat' ads, like investment services, etc. So it's a marketing medium in the making.

This again raises the eternal debate of privacy over the internet. You are never hidden from a roving eye, and there are many waiting to put you in jeopardy. So how safe is Skype? Or any online site/chat messenger/or mail facility?

Technology, like anything in this world, can be put to uses, both good and bad. Look at it from one perspective, it seems like a marketing breakthrough. Look at it ethically, and it is not in the one bit amusing. 

It's very evident, isn't it. Even sex sells on the internet!

Thought for the day: "Promiscuity is like never reading past the first page. Monogamy is like reading the same book over and over."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Last Class

I have rushed straight out of my last class. And I am a bunch of emotions bursting at its seams. I just can't describe what is going through my heart and head. I am overwhelmed... I could cry !

After all, since I was three, I have been sitting within four walls and been at the receiving end of knowledge bombarded from all quarters; most passing through my head, some passing through my brains.It's been like home for the past 21 years. Nested safely in the cocoon of a classroom, nature is now telling me, it's time to break out and fly. I am not quite ready!

Most people I know of would be celebrating their last day of education. I am not sure if I echo those sentiments. Sure, there have been boring lectures; and even more boring Professors. But with me, things have been a bit different. I never liked sitting in the back benches/rows, I paid attention in class and sleep has been rare (though I did master the art once I joined for MBA!). Of course, I have had my share of day dreaming and switching off in class. But I have been fairly alert and awake in class (except for some horrible Professors, because of whom I took to reading magazines). So mine is not the world of eating snacks, throwing paper balls, passing chits, doodling or scribbling in notebooks, sending SMS or dozing off, in the strictest sense. I don't know if that is supposed to be 'fun'. But it suits me fine (yeah, now tell me that I am weird!).

As I look back, it's been quite a journey. But what lies ahead is even more daunting, in some ways. I can't believe I will start working and earning. It's no more exams, studies and assignments. It will be responsibilities and accountability. It seems to be a fear of the uncertain and unknown. 
And in my case, destiny seems to be taking it's course. I did my graduation in Agriculture, did my MBA and now I am going to work for Infosys. That doesn't make sense to me either! But I have realised that things just happen sometimes and you go with the flow. I don't know what more is in store for me. Just hoping that things work out right. I will miss my life in my school and colleges. My world was once the hallowed portals of these institutions. I have learnt as much or more outside its classrooms, as much inside it. It's hard to say if I will or will not pursue higher studies. But it's goodbye to classrooms for now. 

I know that a much bigger class and lessons await me outside.


Thought for the day: "The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."  
~Sydney J. Harris


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