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February 28, 2009

Yeh shehr nahin, Mehfil Hain !!

Shiv Kumar Yadav had always dreamt of making his younger son's wedding memorable.So, his son arrived for his wedding to the bride's house 3km away on a helicopter.

I was stunned and flabbergasted reading this ostentatious display of wealth in today's newspaper. The most ridiculous plausible clause in this entire episode is that the bridegroom is an MBA student, from a filthy and 'it-takes-in-everyone' kind of college in Ghaziabad, a suburb of Delhi. He has just appeared for his final semester exams and still doesn't have a job/business to do after finishing college.
Media often highlights the vulgar display of their wealth.Such vulgarity insults the poverty of the less privileged, it is socially wasteful and it plants seeds of resentment in the minds of the have-nots.

We have had the strongest economy ever over the last ten to fifteen years, and the fact that even under these excellent conditions, we have failed to close this rich vs poor gap spells serious problems; that we witnessed its further widening is an affront to the hard working, honest citizens of this country.If all members of a society are contributing to the growth of that society, all members should share in the prosperity. That is a basic principle upon which a democracy operates; the harder you work, the greater your opportunity and prosperity. Currently, we're not headed in this direction. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are suffering.

But, I guess till then we would keep on hearing such kind of news every now and about people who truly believes in the song of Delhi-6 , Yeh shehr nahin, Mehfil hain...And lets try our best in making it one !!

February 25, 2009

Shit-Swimming Slumdogs...

The Oscars have been won – as expected! And it sure was a pleasure to hear Resul Pookutty speak about the power of silence and Om, and give Hollywood a chalk-talk lesson or two about Indian philosophy. It was also a great feeling to see the Indian living legend – A R Rahman – get something he more than deserved (though he has done far better work as well). The Indian film fraternity has some amazing green thumb talent; and some of them surely are at par with the world’s best. Thus, although only these two got the Oscar, I am sure there are many more deserving Indians out there who are no inferior.Also,I believe this is the only way an Indian artist can actually win an Oscar; Since a Hardcore Bollywood movie will only be nominated for 'Best film in foreign category'.Hence, its highly unlikely that any technician or artist can ever win any award like this. The only unfortunate thing is that the Oscars for them were awarded for a film that has been made clearly with one callow intention in mind – to draw up a caricature of every possible negative side that is there to India, for the sole viewing pleasure of western audiences

However, I am quite shocked at the shameful euphoria created by the half educated Indian media that has unanimously termed the movie as an “Indian pride” and “the world taking note of India”. Neither could anything be further from the truth than this nor could anything stink more of a pathetic lack of intellect and understanding of reality. While a considerable number of people are saying that it is just a film and should be simply enjoyed as a creative process and left alone, the fact – as I wrote before – is that it also happens to be a film very evidently made to show ‘only’ everything that is possibly wrong with India for the pure viewing pleasure of western audiences, because poverty-porn sells in the west. Yes, the movie has been marketed well... as the feel-good film of the year ! To me, it surely is the most negative feel-good film I have seen! As a film, it works; but it really is then just a film... It has no commitment, for it delves on no issue and shows poverty in the most depoliticized manner.

The west would have wanted to believe India still is a land of elephants and snake charmers; and therefore, were very uncomfortable thinking that perchance it no more seems to be so and was changing too fast for their comfort. Now they know India has changed indeed!!! It is no more the land of elephants and snake charmers... It is the land of shit-swimming slumdogs, who are turning millionaires... more by goddamned luck than by hard work. That’s their new view of India. That is the power of a well made and well marketed film and that is the new brand image of India that one film has been able to create. And that is why this film cannot be left alone by Indians as just a film. People have to realize its ramifications.

Till the time we have a more committed, educated media and a political class, we will remain beach bum fools and fatuously gloat in our change of panhandler status... from that of the land of snake charmers and elephants to the land of shit-swimming slumdogs! Jai ho!!!

February 18, 2009

Facebook vs You !!

"Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised."

My day started today with this message , when I logged on facebook this morning (Not that I always check my 'walls' posting after waking up :D).The site, which boasts around 175 million users from around the world and claims to be the sixth largest 'country', had quietly updated its terms of use - a couple of weeks ago. The changes sparked an uproar since it has resulted in quite a glorified ramification - Facebook can use your content - in an uncurbed and ungoverned manner. The most absurd clause in the changes is that it can use your professional and personal (read intimate) details even after you have deleted your account from the website. Now instead of going into the legal issues (not that i am aware of any :P), its better to see how it is going to affects us.

Recently, Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Orkut have been instrumental in building bridges between friends; your school-college buddies whom you have never met in years neither you will be able to in the coming years. But the most 'educated' use of it is that these sites allow businesses to connect with both customers and other associated businesses. for eg: One of my friend who is promoting his newly opened restaurant in central delhi by inviting you to join its respective community.The Internet never closes, so advertising through social networking sites has the potential to reach many more customers than using traditional forms of advertising.

But coming back to Facebook brouhaha, It could mean a complete invasion of privacy even after you have deactivated the account - not to mention your details used( read misused) by anyone related closely or remotely to facebook employers.While it gives Facebook some far-reaching and scary possibilities, the basic idea is that things you upload may end up residing on servers outside of Facebook's direct control. These broad rights make it so that you can't sue Facebook for some cached content on some other server, but yes, it also means they can sell your photos or use them in advertising with no recompensation given to you. Now that's a scary thought for sure!!

Now, it seems that the Facebook is backtracking and is temporarily going back to its previous terms. However, the company
still plans a revision of the old terms according to a wall post from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Let's wait and watch what's been provided in the next installment.Keep a track of this in this tag !!

February 16, 2009

Those Empty Relationships ..

After a long time, I am vella , feeling a bit relaxed . But I am allergic to the emptiness which creeps in , after completion of some task , First reaction is the thought what to do now ? Watch a movie, ? No :( , Read a novel ? No :( Listen to some music? No :( , then out of boredom and without much options , finally I switched on my lappy , as I do when I m not left with much things to do. I logged in to my email account, and started browsing through the mails aimlessly ; read ones, unread ones, sent ones , labeled ones. and ....blah blah .. After browsing through first few pages, I started surfing them in reverse order from oldest to older. And the whole of past 4-5 years were right in front of me. Some mails were written by the ppl whom I don’t even remember now. Some were written just for the heck of it, Some were deeper ones, Some were TP types , But one thing is sure ,they took me several years back , as if I was re-living those times again, every thing flashed back in front of me ,Events and happenings at that point of time , how I used to think, how I used to imagine, my thought process at that time and so on. It was like a journey in a Time machine to the past.

I have been playing a game since my childhood. I analyze a situation, sometimes present, sometimes future and try to list down all the possibilities which can happen, with their respective probabilities. I am mostly precise when I speculate with in small time frame. But as the time frame gets broadened, the number of variables, factors increases exponentially, so my approximation suffers accordingly.This journey wasn’t only a feeling of nostalgia , but also about a lot of introspection, comparisons, analysis of what I am and what I was, A careful thought about how I wanted to be and how I turned out to be, how I had planned things and how they are.

I was scrutinizing my present in relation with my past in a bigger time frame and how the destiny has given its final rulings.In a way, an evaluation of how I fared in the game.Came out of this tortuous chain of thoughts with a phone call and realized, I have just wasted approx 3 hours in this unnecessary thinking and day dreaming. A lot of stuff is required to share and learn from these empty relationships...Hope to do soon sometime in the future...Keep reading (and commenting !!)

February 7, 2009

Indian Premier League - Season 2 !!

The auction ahead of the IPL's second season was, as expected, a tactical exercise. Most franchises came with clear-cut ideas and with the aim of finding the ideal mix in their squads. Let's have a look at how the teams look like after friday's auction.


Bangalore Royal Challengers

When the team rosters were fixed last season, many commented on how the Bangalore squad was in stark contrast to the flamboyant image of its owner Vijay Mallya. A 'Test batting line-up' comprising Rahul Dravid, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jacques Kallis and Wasim Jaffer now has a limited-overs sheen with the induction of Kevin Pietersen, New Zealand's Jesse Ryder and local boy Robin Uthappa. Although Bangalore sold Zaheer Khan, they are boosted by the availability of Nathan Bracken, injured through the first season. However, like Pietersen, he might be available only for a limited period. Though the attack will be led by Dale Steyn, there are a few doubts over Bangalore's ability with the ball. Anil Kumble is unlikely to play and Praveen Kumar is their only current India international on the flat tracks of the subcontinent.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The big boost for Kolkata is the availability of explosive New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum - who scored the most famous Twenty20 century in last year's tournament opener - for the whole season. Chris Gayle was unfit last time around and Kolkata will bank on his all-round abilities to help them build early momentum before he leaves for national duty. Mashrafe Mortaza, a popular signing at the auction, could find it hard to fill Umar Gul's shoes but Ajantha Mendis could be their ace. Ishant Sharma flopped last season but he has vastly improved his skills for the limited-overs game in the past year. Also in the mix are local lad Ashok Dinda, who impressed last season, and former India internationals Ajit Agarkar and Murali Kartik, one of the key bowlers in Middlesex's successful Twenty20 campaign.While Ricky Ponting and allrounder David Hussey may be called on for national duty, fellow Australians Brad Hodge and Moises Henriques, the young New South Wales allrounder, will fill the breach. Cheteshwar Pujara, considered by many to be an India prospect, could well be a value addition.

Deccan Chargers

They finished bottom last season but their moves this time don't inspire much optimism. Deccan's batting woes were well documented - Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs and Scott Styris failed to make an impact - but their bowling was the weakest in the competition. RP Singh was unable to repeat his ICC World Twenty20 heroics, while Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa posed little threat. This time, Deccan brought Fidel Edwards and another West Indian, the allrounder Dwayne Smith, having signed Australian allrounder Ryan Harris before the auction. Edwards is quick but he can be an expensive gamble in the Twenty20 format. Good news for Deccan will be left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha's impressive tour of Sri Lanka with India.In the batting department, only Adam Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma and Venugopal Rao performed well last season. Deccan will be keeping close tabs on Andrew Symonds. If his exclusion from the Australian side is prolonged, Symonds could be available for the entire season, a much-needed boost for the side. Whether VVS Laxman, who was replaced as captain, will be a regular in the team this year remains to be seen.

Kings XI Punjab

Punjab, semi-finalists last season, are largely sticking to the line-up that helped them succeed last year. Their only signings this season are West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor and England allrounder Ravi Bopara. Opener Shaun Marsh could be away on duty for Australia and that would be a concern for Punjab, with Brett Lee and James Hopes also set to miss out. They bid frantically for Mortaza, perhaps to ensure having a bowler available for the entire season. A surprising fact that emerged at the auction was that Ramnaresh Sarwan was not on a three-year contract with Punjab - he remained unsold at this auction. What could be worrying, though, is the form of Sreesanth, whose fortunes too have been on the wane since he picked up an injury during the tournament last season. Punjab's Indian bowlers had done the trick last season, and their team could suffer if that is not the case this time.

Chennai Super Kings

Imposing is the word that best describes Chennai's squad after the second auction. A team modelled around Mahendra Singh Dhoni now has the inspirational Andrew Flintoff - commanding a higher salary than Dhoni - and Matthew Hayden is also available for the full tournament. Hard-hitting allrounder Albie Morkel, Man of the Series in Australia recently, is another of the team's key players, and the embarrassing wealth of talent shows in the fact that Michael Hussey, Muttiah Muralitharan and Jacob Oram have been overshadowed. Flintoff bolsters the bowling while Sri Lankan left-armer Thilan Thushara could be the dark horse among the foreign recruits. Chennai's third signing at the auction was Tasmanian batsman George Bailey, but he is unlikely to feature given the team has consistent performers in Suresh Raina and S Badrinath. Another big plus is that barring Flintoff and Hussey, all their foreign recruits are available for most of the season.

Delhi Daredevils

Delhi no longer have Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif, but their line-up is even more dangerous this season because of David Warner and the England duo of Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood. Delhi have reason to be pleased with their homework before the Goa auction; their scouts had been lurking around Australia and they have brought in potential impact players. Warner's sensational Twenty20 international debut against South Africa whet the appetite and there are other hopefuls from Australia in allrounder Andrew McDonald, who too debuted for Australia after joining Delhi, and left-arm fast bowler Dirk Nannes, an out-and-out Twenty20 specialist. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are undoubtedly the most potent opening combination in the tournament, while Glenn McGrath and Daniel Vettori bring the experience to the bowling. The likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, AB de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik have been in good touch so far this year. With most of their foreign players free for tournament, the only headache for Delhi could be getting their XI right.

Rajasthan Royals

The inaugural champions managed to work out a winning formula under the guidance of Shane Warne, and expect more of the same this year too. Their Indian players were not the best of the lot, but Warne turned them into a formidable unit, and found two highly successful foreign recruits in Sohail Tanvir and Shane Watson. Tanvir is unavailable and Watson doubtful due to Australia's schedule and fitness worries, but Rajasthan have found adequate replacements at the auction. Shaun Tait is tailor-made for Twenty20, capable of short bursts of quick bowling, and Tyron Henderson, one of the surprise picks at US$650,000, has been highly successful for Middlesex. It will be a tall order to match Watson's heroics from last season, but Henderson is an impact player in this format. The team will also be boosted by the availability of Morne Morkel and Justin Langer. Both missed the inaugural edition due to their commitments with English counties. Dimitri Mascarenhas could also fill in as an allrounder but Rajasthan's main worry would be Graeme Smith. His might undergo surgery on his elbow after Australia's visit to South Africa, which could put his IPL participation in doubt. Nonetheless, the champions have proven themselves with lesser-known names.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai made three buys in the auction. JP Duminy was snapped up for a whopping $950,000, while Mohammad Ashraful could be a steal for the Twenty20 format at $75,000; in between, fast bowler Kyle Mills, who will help compensate for the missing Shaun Pollock. Zaheer Khan, on current form, is a vital addition to cover up for the South African's bowling skills. In another swap, Mumbai sold Ashish Nehra and brought in Delhi's Shikhar Dhawan, a move to compensate for Uthappa's departure. Dwayne Bravo, a successful replacement player for the team last year, was given a permanent deal. Two other key signings also came before the auction. They are limited-over specialists from the English county circuit, allrounders Graham Napier and Ryan McLaren - a Kolpak player South Africa wanted to get back after their ODI losses in England last year.
The team has three Sri Lankans in Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando, all of whom are available for the entire tournament. Mumbai were unlucky last time to miss Sachin Tendulkar, who was injured, and Harbhajan Singh - banned for his infamous slap - for the bulk of the tournament. If they manage to get it right, they would perhaps be able to do justice to Mumbai's tag of domestic giants.

After all this.....I can just say only one thing.....BRING IT ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 6, 2009

Today is my last day !!

***The post has been intentionally deleted due to copyright protection. This story in its updated/edited form is under consideration to be published in an anthology of short stories. Will update the space soon with further details.***

My friends...My thoughts..My feelings - Part 2

Some crushes go down-hill like Dow on the Wall Street
When you know Bansal half-heartedly changed his seat.

Options galore; cross, clear or let it be a crew cut
When you know before marriage Nikunj wanted a hair cut

Angry n irritated your boiling arteries become more n more thinner
When at 4.5 work-ex Sanat didn’t knew how to connect a printer

Shocked, Surprised and it made quite a bit of everyone reach
When you know Pooja’s Teacher Questioned - "Do you have some problem with the speech?"

Once Rolly was asked, hey Madam can I give you a Lift
Then you know Mayura should have seen back by making a shift

We should dial randomly; try n talk to females as cool as a cucumber
When you came to know Anoop Met his wife on a wrong Number

Schools must now make their students much more tactical
When you know Manoj used to go and catch frogs for Bio Practical

Verma gets fully subdued with a shattered American Dream
When you know he is an integral part of ‘Aao-Saalon-Maro’ Team

PMHS I2 Migration used to go on hold for 10-3:30pm Bracket
When you know Amit and Ajaz discussing the share market.

Ishhh…. Be alert as Your TRIPS entries gets dissects
When you know after 1 yr Swapna remembered 24 Defects

The biggest riddle of managers may gets solved - Ab mein kya karu?
When you know that here comes -Dhruv the ultimate MBA-guru

Sent an e-mail and rest assure buttering will always prevails
When you know Jolly Is not yet done with his fairy tales

Not Parents nor friends but Project Managers should approve
When you don’t want deallocation before you openly declare Love

CHW will contribute efficiently in population of India and United states
When you know within project associates start finding their Soul-mates

It raised eyebrows, wagged tails and made everybody highly intrigue
When someone from CC saw me and her in the Indian Premier League.