Friday, August 27, 2010

What Mood do you Choose?

This happened over a relaxed breakfast meet. The persons at the table were an eminent judge, a senior advocate, working women, executives, two young advocates and a kid of seven. All independent thinkers. Able decision makers. We chatted for two hours.
Have you seen CP lately … The roads are all dug up
These politicians I say … have ruined the country
A discussion on the pitfalls of modern Indian life continued for some time and everyone had a stone to throw. The air of dejection and depression was so tangible you could reach out and touch it.

Until steaming coffee came in percolating heady aroma in pretty porcelain cups.
Ok. Come. Have coffee before the breakfast is ready.
Thank you. Pretty cups!
Have you been to Dilli Haat? You must ….. beautiful carpets
Last week we took our sister’s family to Jaipur. Great shopping…
Yeeees and Chauki Daani is an amazing concept. I mean total win-win. Tourist bhi khush and business bhi khush and local bhi khush.
That way, Vienna is bindaas. We’d been there for a moot-court…
Excited accounts of memorable trips followed. Again, the enthusiasm was tangible. Eyes were shining and smiles pouring.

That's when we were interrupted by a tray of hot dosas
Aai give it to the ladies first
The little boy is hungry .. don't you know you must serve him first?
No no, you sit there. I can’t sit on soft sofas. I get a backache.
Really? You must try yoga. You see, I also was suffering from gastric ache…
What followed was painful recounting of ailments past-present-future. Everyone has someone who has been ill ... so everyone has a painful recollection.

What is gathered in those two hours is that all emotions are in the air. All feelings are ready to claim to your time. We need to tune in and phataphat the emotion comes on. It is like TV surfing. We are not victims of emotions. Emotions do not just happen. It’s merely tuning. You are on that emotion as you choose to be on that frequency. You are in that mood because for some reason you think you need to be there. The emotion does not choose you; you select it and choose to be there. There is nothing like bad mood. You do not like that emotion?
Take a walk. See some pictures. Smile. Just change the emotional channel.
Remember, you are not the victim. You are the boss.
Yes. We can do it. We need more practice. That’s it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Order for an Emotion

We have this favourite restaurant in CP. Of course the place has been quite unreachable for some time now because of all the digging up, thanks to common wealth games.
Well that is beside the point …
When I read the menu in this restaurant, I can see many dishes listed that we have not tried. I would love to try them some day. I swear I will. I must…
But not today
Is this true of emotions too? Do emotions just happen, or do we invite emotions that we have tried and do enjoy. Let us admit it. We can enjoy a burst of negative emotion too such as anger or jealousy or bitching.

Are there emotions that we have never tried? They are available on the menu. But when we encounter an opportunity to try them do we say, not today?

Can we wilfully seek an emotion? I mean actually call for it, like we call for dishes at a restaurant.
Try this. Watch a queasy scene or a horror story or a tear jerker. Go full way. Get queasy or horrified or tearful. Order this dish of emotion that you have not tried before.
Can we really do that? Order for an emotion?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Tribute

It takes a nod and a smile to make a friend. Relationships just happen, over a cup of tea, over waiting for the morning milk sachets, over appreciating new cushion covers and bargaining with the vegetable vendors.

A fondness grows and a friendship blossoms. One such friendship has just started to bloom, the possibilities are plenty, dreams many, we only need time. I know we would hit it off very well. A wonderful mother, a keen housewife and a cheerful disposition …. She was a fine person.

We only needed the time. But this we did not have.
God snatched her from loving hands much before we were ready to let her go.
I grieve for what could have been
You were a brave fighter and you lived with dignity.
Dear friend, I will miss you. May your soul rest in peace

Friday, August 20, 2010

just thinking

Have you tried helping people?
Have you tried telling people that they are wrong?
I mean, if they cannot think for themselves they should listen to you right? I mean anyone can see that my logic is perfect. I am made that way. You know. You tell me a problem, no wait you don’t even have to tell me
I can see there is a problem here
I try to sort it out for you
You should listen to me naa
But do you?
No … you carry on the sa-a-ame way
As for my headaches … well that is a different story. I know I can’t do anything about it. See, when I can see solutions to so many troubles, I can surely see a solution to mine …If there was one?
There isn’t
But I tell you
People are drowned in their own drunken logic
They just don’t listen
Whaaat to do?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The New Family Member

Put your hands together
And please welcome
The latest entrant to our house
Occupying the pride of place
As obedient as the temple bell
As colourful as a salad bar 
As non-demanding as a door handle
As absorbing as office gossip
As flat as a new text book
As noisy as a tree of monkeys
As wise as Oracle
As entertaining as a blockbuster
As secular as ice cream
Most sought by everyone at home
Ta da
Meet the new family member

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Advertisers, show us their face

Advertisements are so much about branding and about visibility. The ad agency, the actors and the brand, they are the stake holders for every ad that we watch on screen? And every ad we listen to on radio? Am I right?

A macho men climbs up a rocky cliff, take out bottles of a fizzy drink. With one fluid sweep against the protruding rock he opens the tin cap of the bottle and the cap goes tinkling into the pristine rocks. Macho?? A man who pollutes the environment?? Duh!! How macho can he be!
Soha Ali dimples at you sweetly, endorses a product and then with ‘I don’t care attitude’ crumples a note paper and chucks it behind her back. She is standing in a paved open yard and obviously has in added garbage to it. Believe a product endorsed by such callousness? Aaah No way!
A kid inadvertently throws mud at a neatly dressed man. Then instead of apologising to him, he taunts him and says that the mud will be washed off free of cost. You expect me to buy this washing powder? What a hope! Surely the ad reflects your opinion about me, your hapless customer?

On the radio I hear
Are you suffering from enlarged prostate?? Do you have stones in the gall bladder??Are you suffering from…blah or blah?Visit such and such a hospital for a complete check up and cure. Come on, give me a break! A hospital, and it auto suggests disease and illness??

Every ad that is approved, every line mouthed by the hero, every thought that becomes a fad, declares our culture. How classy can we be? How classy do we want to be?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Be Indian, Be Fashionable

We like to do whatever is in fashion. We wear strategically-torn jeans because that is a happening thing to do. We wear beaded anklets because a daily soap popularises it. We go to a temple before exams because everyone assures God will help us.


 It is just simpler to do what everyone else is doing. We feel rich and we feel accepted. Come to think of it, it is now fashionable to be rich. Therefore we are in a blind hurry to make money. A big car and an over sized LCD are supposed to make you happy. Like the cola that we buy, hoping that just as it does for all those people in the ad, the fizz drink will add fizz to our lives too.

The fashionable people of the world are proud of their country. So, we want to be proud of ours too. But the thought is alien to us. We have been brought up on sarcasm and chalta hai.

Is it possible to consciously dictate fashion trends?
We need icons, many of them, in diverse fields to tell us that it is fashionable to be proud of our country.

The advertisements we make
The articles we write
The slogans we shout
The headlines we print
And the lessons we teach in schools … must make it fashionable to do the right thing

Spread the word.

Being a fashionable Indian is
  • to be kind and gentle.
  • to be well dressed and soft spoken.
  • to be patriotic and responsible.
Spread the word.
In India it is fashionable to be honest.
We do not sell defective stuff.
Be Indian, be fashionable.

Hercule Poirot and Mint taught me about life. Read on.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On this day the Fifteenth of August Twenty Ten

I thank you God for giving us this wonderful land called INDIA. I like everything here. The majestic mountains, the green farms, the sparkling streams, the silent Ganga and the graceful Kaveri. I relate to the strong aromas of the Indian kitchen and the heady fragrance of agarbattis. I like to warm my hands over the arati flame in the temple and wait for the soothing touch of a spoon of sacred water as it flows down my throat.

I take a fresh look at the mounds of crisp vegetables and the symmetrical garlands at the weekly market and smile as it evokes happy memories. I like the way we poke into the affairs of everyone and make it our own. Their dreams, their sorrow and their recipes… We own them all.

I look at movies like Tare Zameen Par and MNIK and feel proud for the people involved. I read newspaper articles about small time heroes who have made big time strides with courage and determination and talk about them in soft tones.

The whole is always bigger than the sum of its parts.

There are aberrations in this happy story?
There are black sheep who make us feel embarrassed?
There are persons who have sold their soul for a paltry sum of money?
A family member has gone the wrong way?

Well … What to do?

Aisaa hota hai

But, does that mean we become sarcastic, that we look at everything with a sneer, or that we paint the future in dull colours?

The bad guys need not usurp all our attention.

Let our papers talk more about great Indians and relegate the black sheep to the inside pages.

Let us feel proud of our achievers and applaud them so that they know that we care.

Let us think of the glorious actions of the never say die patriots and hope to be like them in our own way.

Let us hold our head high

For all said and done

We are a great nation.

We began 63 years ago by hitching on to a bunch of powerful horses all pulling in different directions. But the chariot has held and is moving forward. Sometimes when we suddenly look back we are amazed at the distance covered. Perhaps our dreams are bigger than our progress, but then that is how dreams are. Perhaps we would like to see a nation that is only honest and achieving. That too will happen.

Let us dream on.


I thank you God for giving us this wonderful land called INDIA.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


and Relatives are two important classes of people. You cannot choose them. But they hold a sizeable sway over the direction of your thoughts and the quality of your peace. What they say, what they do, goes buzzing in your mind like excited bees narrating flower gossip. Neighbours though have a more immediate and dramatic effect.

Appetising aromas waft in just as you begin to serve plain rice with potato curry. Their carpenter is at work just when you are cosy with a book. Their playful nephew just rings your doorbell in mirth… how cute!
We have Father’s day, Mother’s day, Doctor’s day, Heart day, Friendship day and so many other days. I really really campaign for HAPPY NEIGHBOUR’S DAY.

I walk across the corridor and say
HND … Thank god, I have you as my neighbour. You are a wonderful family.
I buy a dozen more and knock on doors, smile sweetly and say
HND … and hey, can you stop dragging around your furniture at 12 in the night? People are sleeping you know?
HND … your purple saree runs colour naa? I find purple spots in my balcony.
HND … your cooking smells divine. We should have a pot-luck dinner some day.

Of course I may receive some like
HND ... which noisy movie were you watching yesterday night?
HND … did you forget to turn off … (ignore that, I decided not tell you)


Mr. Obama makes a call to say
HND … I appreciate you guys coming here and working harder than we ever can

Mr. Singh makes a call to say
HND … Together we can be a formidable force, what say, shall we jus lay the superficial differences aside?

Or YKW makes a call to say
HND … go jump. We think for ourselves. And we want peace here in the subcontinent.

Awesome naa?

Archies and Halmark, you guys listening? Only you can do this one.
Let’s have NEIGHBOURS DAY cards please.

Friday, August 6, 2010

He crouched in the shadows

of the sparkling Lancer silently waiting for the opportune moment. Placing a hand on the gleaming door and leaving a dark smudge, he craned his neck in survey. Beads of sweat trickled from his curly hair and found their way down his back making a wet patch. I stepped closer. The crunch of dry leaves startled him and he spun around in alarm. But he was not perturbed. With single minded attention he raced to a low wall and sank behind it. The stones dug into his knee however he was oblivious to the damage. The path was clear, the moment was just right and the heavens were on his side. Purposefully he got up and in one swift movement reached the lamp post. Hugging it for dear life he shouted 'Raaahul Den! You have to count again. Raahul den den den!'

Two young jubilant boys charged out of the watchman’s shed.

One little thing in two plaits peeped timidly from behind three ladies who filled the seat in the children’s play area. A charming glow lit up her face. It was safe to come out.

‘Beta’ a lady on the seat called out. ‘You are looking for Rahul? His grandmother has taken him for a hair cut. He told me to tell you. You all go and play ok?’

I turned round the corner and smiled at my nodding friend as we made our daily evening rounds of the apartment complex. What heartbreak for that hero behind the lancer...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thingamabobs live up to

a greater responsibility now. The gadgets we own reflect our take on life. In its inception we were beholden to technology. Appliances made communication easier, travel faster and work more thought provoked. Technology reduced stressful physical constraint to work completion. You aspired to own things that went wwhirrrr. You went and bought a car, a washing machine or an electric razor. And people knew you had arrived.

Today it’s about what more can your car, washing machine and razor do. Man, it ought to keep pace with the blinding speed of thought. It ought to reduce the need to pick up more gadgets so that you meet your mind flits with the single push of a button. And you move easily from satisfying one insistent need to another.

Essentially, if you are the sort of guy who has stuff that do only one thing
A sofa that just allows you to sit
A camera that just allows you to take pictures
A TV that just allows you to watch programmes

God! You must be a slow thinker
Poor you
So the next time you buy something, remember a thingamabob has a great responsibility. Take care of its reputation please.