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I’d been to Chennai recently and it was an experience I can never forget. The train journey was terrible, to say the least – 13 hours in all; 13 hours of sitting cramped in a crowded second class seat, listening to the thuds and the bangs of the train as it snaked across the South Indian plains, the screams of the vendors selling everything from toys to bananas to masala dosas to pirated DVDs of the latest Hollywood movies, the obligatory noisy baby, and not to forget the beggars, who seemed to live on the trains.

I saw a boy, barely 12, who had 2 flat stones in his hands and was using them as a makeshift drum, beating them together to get a rudimentary beat, and sang all the latest kannada songs and stretched out his other hand for money. If there’s one thing that hurts me the most, it is seeing kids in such a pathetic condition. I then saw a man with no legs crawl across the length of the train wiping the floor with his shirt and begging for deliverance from this horror. There were many who had deformed limbs and  sometimes, none at all.  Women carried their babies and asked us to place alms in the baby’s hands rather than hers, and I was caught between abetting a moral crime and feeding a hungry kid. I did my part… I ignored them, silently wishing I was heartless, because if I were heartless, then this wouldn’t hurt so much…

The Chennai trip was successful. I returned back to B’lore on the same train, and had to undergo the same sights and sounds again. Sometimes I wonder if its all worth it – going abroad, earning more money than my wife and I can spend, going to expensive places to eat and fatten ourselves. Well, I guess this is what the lion king meant by The Great Circle of Life.

Once upon a time there was an Indian. He was a patriot. Or called himself that. he would do anything to ‘put India on the map’ Including smsing ‘Taj Mahal’ as a wonder of the world 25 times in the space of a week. at 6 Rs per msg. so 150 Rs Makes him an Indian Patriot. Oh and since I didn’t do that, I was the biggest blood traitor that our country ever had the misfortune to have. Why is it we always have to look for acceptance in the eyes of someone else? Is it so that India is only an amazing country when someone else says so?

I wish I was a part of that firm that conducted the survey for the seven modern wonders of the world. How did a survey ever change things? How much have we seen of the world to identify with the beauty and marvel of creation. To understand the meaning of the word ‘wonder’. UNESCO already has a List of heritage sites, that includes the Taj Mahal and Hampi, amongst other places. They decide this based on a committee of learned experts. People who have spent their lives identifying man-made and natural beauty. Through this poll, are we saying that we are better than them? I would like to quote the people of Egypt who refrained from voting all together and said ‘We would not want to put to shame the glory of our ancestors by taking part in this pointless vote. If people want to to see a wonder let them come to Egypt’ Nice attitude right?

So here is what might have happened. The opinion poll had been going on for quite a while and Indians did not vote, because we had more important things to do. And that resulted in the Indian Sales numbers not being met. So some wise guy somewhere decided to run a rumor that Taj was not on the List… and all hell broke loose! Multiple msg mentioning the Taj as a wonder. Although most of them wouldn’t have seen it. And then one rather voluptuous lady finally announced that Taj was number one…. And a nice lady I know started jumping around in Glee. For What? I wish I could understand.

Taj is one of the most glorious pieces of architecture known to man. As pristine as the love that inspired it. It is getting scavenged because of the pollution. Couldn’t we have spent the millions on improving it? But no. We would much rather prefer spending on useless egomania rather than on the Taj. I think Shah Jahan would turn in his grave. What we did was just that. Putting love to vote.

Someone got rich. And I am most happy for him. He deserves all the money he got. He had a good marketing attitude. It would be fun to meet him.

Which brings me to the Indian mind again. Truly the eighth wonder. Or is it the first? UNESCO wont change anything based on this poll. Its like asking the Nobel Committee to award prizes in research based on a voting pattern. Ludicrous! And we know it I am sure. Whether the taj was the first or the hundredth, would we stop feeling the way we do when we touch the first slab of marble that was used to build this wonder? I think not. It will always remain the source of pride for each and everyone of us.

Then why trivialize it so much?

Posted by vermogen 

have you ever been attracted to someone? and then realized that the other person hardly knows you exist, or who you really are? its a weird thing, this concept of love… some say it does not exist… some say it does…hardly a topic for debates, right?

what constitutes love? trust? respect? lust? or greed? been trying to find out the answer for ages now… no luck…

imagine your kid coming up to you and saying, “Daddy, i love that girl!” what should you do? slap the kid and ask him to concentrate on studies? or allow him to pursue what you know to be an infatuation? its a strange vicious circle…

Posted by tatu

Rock to the rescue! Al Gore, as part of his global warming awareness mission, set up the Live Earth Concert 2007, in 8 cities simultaneously on 7.7.07, and names like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Phil Collins and Shakira performed in front of millions of people. But, what I’m wondering is this: Phil Collins sung the song “cocaine” in Wembley Stadium, and how does this help in averting global warming??The total sales of soft drinks during these 8 simultaneous concerts exceeded beyond imagination! So, here’s a recipe for saving the world, folks: Call a million people through some very slick TV Adverts, where you put up a sad face and explain how plastic is killing the world and how our cars are heating up the planet, get them all under one roof, ask some drugged hippie to beat out some tunes in his guitar, and serve soft drinks to everyone present in plastic cups, and ask all of them to drive back home in their cars!

What a farce!

Posted by tatu

Was watching Wimbledon just now and saw Venus Williams lift the Rose Water Bowl after defeating a 22-year-old rookie from France called Bartolli and I noticed that Venus removed her sweaty wristband and threw it into the crowd!And yesterday, a guy called Djokovich did the same after winning his match, and this time, he removed his sweaty shirt too and threw it into the crowd! I’m no health inspector, but I don’t want to lay my hands on sweaty sportswear, even if it belongs to Andre Agassi!

There’s only one person other than myself whose sweat does not bother me, but I can’t name her due to security reasons! My point is, and its a plea to all great tennis stars who think they sweat out droplets of deodorant, “Please keep your sweaty underwear to yourselves!”

Posted by tatu

There are bad ads and there are bad ads. Some ads just take the badness to a whole new level! In this ad, however, words are not enough to describe the horrendous-ness! Take a look for yourself. Youtube link. Hope you have all the right plug-ins needed to run the video!

Don’t you agree now? Words are just not enough sometimes! Maybe what Mr. Montgomery needs is a new PR firm!

Posted by tatu

Perhaps one of the weirdest experiences (not to mention scary) is to find a skeleton in your closet. I know that this is just a figure of speech, but then have you ever wondered what might happen is you actually find a skeleton lurking around in a dark corner of your closet, behind those old sport coats?

I’m going out of the country on a two-year vacation, and I was cleaning up my closet the other day. I thought I’d give all my old clothes to the maid, or to the orphanage or something. I was pulling the cobwebs out of my coat-hangers and battling the silverfishes and cockroaches, when I saw it – there, under a heap of old smelly sweatshirts, was the pile of chicken bones I’d hidden there almost two years ago, from the prying eyes of my very orthodox parents!

The skeletons in my closet are out in the open, literally. The species does not matter, does it, as long as its bones we’re talking about?

Posted by tatu