Goodbyes,Welcomes, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Diverse Bangalore

19 Comments

If you are perplexed about the strange title  and trying to figure out the connections then don’t do it. Read the post till the end and then throw shoes, tomatoes, rotten eggs and whatever you feel like on me. The story goes like this.

This Saturday I had to drop my sister to airport for an early morning flight also one my Old friends from my school who was in town was to leave at almost same time so it was a double see off for me. The flights were scheduled at 8.25 & 9.15 respectively. But as you know the Bangalore International Airport is so far that one has to start very early and we had to start at 5.45 Am. Just guess on a Saturday it felt like midnight when my mom & sister kicked me out of bed at 5.30 AM (I was supposed to be up by ahem …4.30 AM  so absurd). So somehow half sleep half awake we reached airport and the cab guy actually made it really fast and we reached by 6.45 well ahead of time but I asked my sister to go in and I waited outside for my friend.

He came almost then and cursed me for giving wrong info about the commute time and he reached more than 2 hrs before time. But I reasoned the lack of traffic in early morning and faster cabs was the reason for miscalculation.
So we caught up on the old times and remembered all misdeeds of those good old days and were laughing our a*** off catching strange looks from onlookers cause we were near departure gates and generally people are serious and anxious for their departures. Actually we have been like this since school days though we are now ‘responsible men’ but we become we when we are together.  So after reliving those crazy times my friend left off.

I  still had to wait because I had strict instructions from my mom to stay till my sister’s plane takes off. You know how moms are she is perfectly aware of the procedures at airport, that a visitor has got nothing to do once the passenger gets past the main entrance gate but  I am mama’s good boy you see.

So with nothing to do but wait I started observing the people around and as usual there were so many travelers and people who have come to see them off. Actually the scenes at an airport/ railway station / bus station amuses me a lot. Always you’ll see people saying goodbyes to their loved ones many times trying to stop their tears. You get to see plethora of human emotions which is somewhat similar always. Like there was one married girl who was traveling alone I guess maybe first time and her mom was busy clicking here parting shots on mobile with requests to smile back not understanding that poor girl had to push the huge luggage trolley and also show her ticket, id card to the security officer. But I guess all moms are alike and probably she’ll not see her child a long time so the frantic photo session. Then there was a group of IT professionals who were leaving abroad probably. How did I guess? You see a crow identifies a crow easier. I mean I have been in this industry for so many years I know better. One guy’s dad was shouting last minute instructions to his dikhra about travel docs,passports and the theplas packed or one sister was hugging tight her little sister and asking sternly not to cry who was trying real hard to stop the tears. Emotions, emotions and emotions.

On the other side at the arrival gates there was welcome hugs, feet touching and smiles. Emotions of another type. There were others who were searching their name placards maybe landing in city first time. The scene in a railway station is mostly same only difference is that you are with the traveler till the train is actually moving and people can hold hands right till the end.

The airports, railway stations excite me a lot for I love traveling and I feel like getting into one of trains or planes and leave. While I was watching the biggest show on earth called ‘life’ unfolding and me framing a ‘winner post’ for the blog (Don’t laugh like Shilpa once said we bloggers always think posts) I saw a familiar looking young Gora(White),thin but very handsome  guy getting in and I was trying to figure out how do I know him as he was just few feet away from me on the other side of barricade. Just then I heard an exicted girl telling her boyfriend “look its Neil Nitin Mukesh” then Jhonny Gaddar flashed through my mind and was about to jump the barricade but by then he had reached the security and was gone and I was left trying to figure really I was so close to one of the hottest rising star of Bollywood yet couldn’t recognize him in time.  I quickly messaged my sister about the fact that I may have seen NNM to which she replied it was NNM cause he was in city last Friday and probably returning and chidded me for being such a dumb not to get an autograph at least. But Guys nobody actually noticed him because he looked so different from his onscreen look. Anyway my sister informed that she has boarded, seated and flight is about to leave and I updated my mom and walked towards the BIAL volvo buses. One of the Bus that goes nearest to my house was just starting to leave so quickly got into it for home.

So Goodbyes, Welcomes and Neil Nitin Mukesh all connected in a single post but wait what about diverse Bangalore. Well its like this while I was on the Bus which had a few foriegn travellers as well, stopped at a signal on the NH-7 there was a shining BMW, a road roller, a state of art BMTC Volvo A/C bus(our bus), a two wheeler with two sheep, two men and a tractor with grass stack all jostling for the same road space well thats Bangalore for you when you enter this city like my friends say a “Global Village”.

Lights, Sound & Action

17 Comments

diwali-72
Well I am back again after a longgggg gap. I hope each of you had a Sparkling, Safe & Green Diwali. For me this was a little different Diwali this year. Yeah it started with lighting Diyas, Sparklers, Anars, ground Chakars but ended with real Dhamaka courtesy my friends.

Actually since the ban of sound crackers in my home city Kolkata Diwali has been quite affair actually its been “Deepavalli” the festival of light with just lighting the Diya and the like above. Even after coming to Bangalore the tradition has not been altered much (Austerity drive I guess).  You must know that Bengalis celebrate Diwali by worshiping Goddess Kali. A very unique puja which is started at midnight and goes on till very late night. So the memories of offering Puja to Maa Kali at night and waiting for the bhog(prasad) next morning are still afresh. Its also said that this is night of MahaKaal that is all the spirits descend to earth and those who follow tantrik rituals its a big night for them.

Dakshineswar_Bhavatarini_Kali

TubriWhen I was very young my Grandfathers(I mean Grandfather and his brothers), my uncles, cousins used to make crackers at home. Yes once Durga Puja was over they would get into preparation right from making the Charcoal to buying all the ingredients. The house would resemble mini cracker factory with each and every member contributing in their own possible roles. We kids roles were mostly to keep a watch over things like the Tubri(Anars in earthen shells) were sun dried properly. And on the D-day we all got together and bursted crackers I mean the Anars, Rong Mosals etc which were home made. In Bengal we have tradition of Tubri competition were the competitors compete to showcase their creativity and ingenuity of making the Tubris. You know some of flares or sparkle from the anars would rise to 30 feet or more. So who ever able to make them reach highest would be the winner :D.

Then came “nuclear” families and we couldnot takeover the tradition and hardwork of those old timers and moreover where did we have so much space and freedom in our ‘apartment’ houses(flat bari). So I like my friends “graduated” on to bombs specially Burima’s Chocolate bomb(Used to be the best & loudest brand of bombs in Bengal).  We used to set off these bomb at weird places like letter boxes or bushes or tins to create maximum noise and destruction(I know its an offense now but what else can you expect from alpha-male teenagers). There was flip side of it as well like bomb exploding ‘too’ close deafening and blinding us for some time but we felt that it was worth the ‘risk'(Did the hot girl next door notice the bravity? Well she never told). Then the ‘Rockets’ would get misdirected and hit windows and verandas of ‘enemies’ 😀 (people who objected to our galli cricket .payback time Guys). BTW the Rockets sometime chased daylights out of us as well(Comeon they were not made by ISRO so lacked the precision). But it got all stopped due to West Bengal Pollution Control Board and Kolkata High Court making it illegal for sound crackers and several other ‘popular’ crackers and I too ‘grew up’ or maybe ‘woke up’ (I was a fresh working professional  by then and not a college-going kid for God’s Sake).

Then destiny brought me to Bangalore and was surprised to see the vengenance with which people burst bombs here. But now it was not that fun felt rather irritated also needed to duck and jump out when some ‘lousy’ kid set-off a bomb on my way. Like I was saying earlier this year was no different like the ones before remember the ‘Austere Diwali’, So I had settled down to watch ‘Bunty & Babli’ on TV. It was then my friends called me out said me join them for a Diwali Party which I had to join and after a few pegs came out the ‘hydrogen’ bombs, ‘Atom’ bombs and what not (They were enough to blow off your ears off if not the world!). Well it was all so sudden that I took the ‘safest’ job of holding the candle so that others can light crackers from it but seeing my comrades hurling bombs with fervor my old self got better of me . But lack of practice for long years made me very shaky no it was not alcohol guys(I have stopped it for quite sometime). So apprehensively I took out a bomb and lighted it from the candle and threw it as far as it could go but it landed near to my friend’s neighbour’s dog but the brave creature just moved a bit after the blast. I think it had already turned deaf but the owner wasn’t amused as the dog was sitting at his masters doorstep so naturally the owner threatened. None my comrades wanted a brawl afterall we are all ‘outsiders’ here. So We moved to more open space and I went back to the role of Candle bearer for my comrades in arm. It was fun to relive those old moments but I must say bombs are really not good for anyone but a small number of them can be bursted just for the fun basically festival is time to celebrate but obviously not at anybody’s cost but still.

legends-of-bhaidoojToday is Bhai Phonta or Bhai dooj as its called in some parts its similar to Rakhi. In this festival sisters of Bengal put tilak(Phonta) on the forehead of their brothers for their well being and blessings if the brother is older which I am. They say “Bhaiyer kopaley dilam phonta, jomer dwarey porle kanta, jomuna dey jom ke phonta ami di amar bhai ke phonta, Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata.” (tr: I am putting the tilak on my brother’s forehead so its putting thorns in front of pearly gates of Yamraj, Yamuna does the same thing for her brother Yama I do it for my brother, so my brother becomes Iron man 😀 ). So we cosmopolitan Bengali Brothers get this honor from our sisters twice that is once in Rakhi and once in Bhai phonta :D. Oh!!! Did I mention that Bhais(brothers) get some of choicest & best mistis(Sweets) along with Phonta ofcourse if you are in Bengal.

With this the month long festivities that started with Durga Puja ends and people specially school kids in Bengal return to school. Holidays are over and work begins :D.  So as life gets back to its mundane rythm lets keep waiting for another year and Wish you all the year is filled with Joy, Happiness & Prosperity.

PS: Guess what I have got as ‘Bhai Phonta’ gift … Guess Guess !!! Two cute little fishes in a cute little bowl …. Thank you Sis !!! They are really cute 🙂 & hyperactive running swimming busily in their little bowl 😀

Images Coursey : http://www.bhaidooj-gifts.com/legends-of-bhaidooj.html
http://www.cupertino-chamber.org/aboutchamber/diwali2006/diwali.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramakrishna

Tag Dasa : Double Dhamaka

7 Comments

Ashwini had tagged on 1st October and here I am with them very late I know but still better late than never.

TAG #01 : Innocent… or Guilty?

RULE 1- You can only say Guilty or Innocent.

RULE 2- You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks!

RULE 3- Copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers, type in your answers and tag to your friends to answer this.

1. Asked someone to marry you? Innocent
2. Ever kissed someone of the same sex? Guilty.
3. Danced on a table in a bar? Innocent.
4. Ever told a lie? Guilty.
5. Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back? Innocent.
6. Kissed a picture? Innocent.
7. Slept in until 5 PM? Guilty.
8. Fallen asleep at work/school? Guilty.
9. Held a snake? Innocent.
10. Been suspended from school? Innocent.
11. Worked at a fast food restaurant? Innocent.
12. Stolen from a store? Innocent.
13. Been fired from a job? Innocent.
14. Done something you regret? Innocent
15. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty.
16. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Innocent.
17. Kissed in the rain? Innocent.
18. Sat on a roof top? Guilty.
19. Kissed someone you shouldn’t? Innocent.
20. Sang in the shower? Guilty.
21. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Innocent.
22. Shaved your head? Innocent.
23. Had a boxing membership? Innocent.
24. Made a boyfriend/girlfriend cry? Innocent.
25. Been in a band? Innocent.
26. Shot a gun? Guilty.
27. Donated Blood? Guilty.
28. Eaten alligator meat? Innocent.
29. Eaten cheesecake? Guilty.
30. Still love someone you shouldn’t? Innocent.
31. Have/had a tattoo? Innocent.
32. Liked someone, but will never tell who? Innocent.
33. Been too honest? Guilty.
34. Ruined a surprise? Innocent.
35. Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards? Guilty.
36. Erased someone in your friends list? Innocent.
37. Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? Innocent.
38. Joined a pageant? Innocent.
39. Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? Innocent.
40. Had communication with your ex? Innocent.
41. Got totally drunk on the night before exam? Innocent.
42. Got totally angry that you cried so hard? Guilty.

Guilty for just 13/42 …How boring 😛

TAG #02 : How DUMB are you?
The more [x]’ s the “dumber” you are.

[x] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were talking
[  ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were NOT talking
[  ] You have ran into a glass/screen door
[x] You have jumped out of a moving vehicle
[x] You have thought of something funny while walking by yourself
[   ] Laughed, then watched people give you weird looks
[x] You have run into a tree/bush.(Actually I ran into a lamppost)
[  ] You know that it IS possible to lick your elbow
[  ] You have tried to lick your elbow… a few times
[  ] You never knew that the Alphabet and Twinkle Twinkle Little star have the same rhythm.
[  ] You just tried to sing them.

So far: 4

[x] You have tripped on your shoelace and fallen.
[  ] You have choked on your own spit .
[  ] You have seen the Matrix and still don’t get it.
[  ] You’ve never seen the Matrix.
[x] You type only with two fingers.
[  ] You have accidentally caught something on fire
[  ] You tried to drink out of a straw, but it went into your nose/eyes.
[  ] You have caught yourself drooling.
[  ] You have fallen asleep in class and fell outta your chair

So far: 6

[x] Sometimes you just stop thinking
[x] You are telling a story and forget what you were talking about
[  ] People often shake their heads and walk away from you
[  ] You are often told to use your “inside voice”.
[  ] You use your fingers to do simple math
[  ] You have eaten a bug
[x] You are taking this test when you should be doing something more important
[x] You have put your clothes on backwards or inside out, and didn’t realize it
[x] You’ve looked all over for something and realized it was in your hand
[  ] You have ran around naked in your house.

So far: 11

[  ] You repost bulletins because you are scared that what they say will happen to you if you don’t.
[x] You break a lot of things.
[x] Your friends know not to use big words around you.
[   ] You tilt your head when you’re confused
[   ] You have fallen out of your chair before
[  ] When you’re lying in bed, you try to find pictures in the texture of the ceiling or wall
[x] The word “ummmmm” is used many times a day.

TOTAL: 14

So I am (14/37)*100 = 37.8% DUMB ! Not Bad eh ?

Whoever hasn’t done this one please do this one.

The Indian Dream

24 Comments

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 3; the third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

I am reminded of the famous dailogue from the Hindi film Guru(2007) “Sapne maat dekha karo, Sapne kabhi pure nahi hote mera bapu kehta tha”(tr: Don’t dream because dreams never come true my father used to say)

When I saw the topic for Blog-a-ton3 I was completely at a loss as to what to write about but then on reading through the comments of the voting post I found a comment by Indian Pundit who suggested the topic “Its just the DESI version of American Dream……..hope u get the point.
We Indians too have certain dreams and aspirations about ourselves and about our country”
. Oh Ok I got it but wait what is American Dream? Like a true techie ‘Googled’ the words “American Dream” and bang the first on the list was a wiki entry gr8. So I knew the job was easy now and Googled with “The Indian Dream” well there was no wiki entry this time how sad though we have entries for European Dream, Australian Dream, New Zealand dream but no Indian Dream ( I think we can put a wiki entry of ‘Indian dream’ as a summary of the blog-a-ton posts. What say?).

Now what do I do? I looked into some of the search items in Google and found the general usage of the word Indian Dream equates with the ‘Dollar Dream’ that is the software industry which gave way to so many “Indians” from small towns & villages go to West and become a ‘coveted’ NRIs. Let me tell you thats basically a Westerner’s take on Desi version of American Dream. So do I talk of that ‘Indian’ dream or the ‘Indian’ dream of who is born, raised, lives and dies in India.

I think I should talk about the ‘Indian dream’ of one who is born, raised, lives and dies in India. But before I go to the ‘Indian Dream’ lets first define what is ‘India’? “India” that we see today is a country that was shaped by the British who conquered over a bunch of disparate kingdoms and brought them under one administrative system. So now we have a ‘sketchy’ idea what ‘India’ is, now the actual ‘Indian Dream’. So initially the Indian Dream was to live in a ‘free’ country that is a country that is ruled by the “Brown” sahibs instead of the ‘Gora’(White) Sahibs. On 15th August 1947 that dream was fulfilled after a lot of sweat, blood & tears.

Then came the Dream of building a country out of what was left by the British. A strong nation which can defend its people, which can provide the basic necessities to its people. Then we had leaders like Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi who dreamt India can be at par with the ‘developed’ nations. Rajiv Gandhi said “Garibi hatao” (tr: remove poverty) but over a century ago Swami Vivekanada had openly declared that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses.  The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions.

Well they were some of the ‘ancient’ dreams.Lets see what a ‘modern’ dream is. Recently a newspaper cartoon caught my attention in which they showed village women wondering How discovery of water in moon by Chandrayan-I help ease their pain of walking miles for water. I am not going into any debate of what should the dream be but what the cartoon conveyed is an ‘ugly truth’.

The epicentre of “Dollar dreams”,  Bangalore which nearly transformed into American nightmare cannot provide its citizens with 24 hrs of power(which is but a basic thing in the countries from where ‘we’ get the outsourcing contracts), the citizens do not have good motorable roads, neither do they have safe drinking water in every part of the city. Yet the city signals display signboards with ‘Texas Instruments’ etched on it.

Then the dream of a ‘strong’ nation. Well for that we have to sacrifice more than 500 brave and talented men just to drive out infiltrators from our own land. So what happens if a “regular” army attacks( The thousands of men there will sacrifice everything again and ensure that we are safe).

So when I sit down to write about the “Indian Dream” I see we still have so many ‘basic’ dreams and surprisingly we have resources to fulfill them yet we are not able to fulfill them. So whats stopping us? I think its corruption, nepotism, favoritism which has got into the very roots of our systems. So I dream of a country ‘free’ of these and then rest of the dreams will come true on its own.(Does it sound too Socialistic, see this is the result of growing up in a socialist state[West Bengal]).

It will really be interesting to see what all of you have in store in form of “Indian Dream” and maybe our descendants(don’t know which generation) in Blog-a-ton ‘n’ write whether those dreams were fulfilled. So Do I end in true Guru Bhai ishtyle “Dekhna hai ek aur sapna …. banna hai duniya ki sabse khushal desh”(tr: “Lets see another dream…. to become the most prosperous nation in the world”)

PS: I have not read “The Great Indian Dream” by Arindam Chaudhuri and Malay Chaudhuri but now I feel I should read it cause the book seems to have answers to questions above. (Google search threw up this book reviews etc as well)

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.