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Rehabilitation Centre For Children [RCFC]

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 , 6 Comments

“Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo, yu kar le
kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaaya jaaye "
[Since the way to pilgrim is quite far from home, let’s spread a cheer on the face of weeping child]

Last month, i went to RCFC [Rehabilitation Centre for Children] and had a wonderful time with the kids. Though language set us apart but we still communicated- with our smiles and that unconditional affection!!! Here' a glimpse of the visit.
We had organised a painting competition there for kids, followed by talent program. The kids displayed great talent by ways of dance, poetry and paintings!!!
Pl join me in wishing a speedy and happy recovery of all the kids
Kudos the undying spirit!!!

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Of lost loves, age and soulful renditions

Sunday, March 29, 2009 6 Comments

It was raining last evening. I was caught with the nitty gritties of my product launch and chose to enjoy the rain shower through the large glass panes of my office.

The drizzling got strong and I began to enjoy the pitter patter a little more. My work was almost done, leaving me some time in hand before I leave the office. So I picked my head plug and switched my mobile FM in hope of some good music. Though it’ very rare that you are in mood for good music and you find one playing. Seems I was lucky that day.

It was one of my other favorite songs, Once again from the Bhatt’s stable. This one was from movie- “Zakhm”. Yeah one of those “story of my life” movie churned by the autobiographical director.
Never mind, we all liked that movie and I in particular this song. The music was soft and the lyrics were simple, poignant and rendering. I hope you will like it too. Here’s dekko at the lyrics-

Hum yaha, tum yaha, dil jawaan woh sama
Lekin kaha kaha, shuru shuru ke pyaar ka
Phir se chalo, churaaye dil yaar ka
Hum yaha, tum yaha…
[I am here & you are here too/ Today I am at one point and you at other,
Young hopes are still there but where have gone those days of the early togetherness
Come lets fall in love all over again
]

Nikle zara gharse, phir woh ghata barse
Aag ye phir lage, phir uthhe dilse dhuwa
Hum yaha, tum yaha, dil jawaan woh sama…[Let’s go out of the concealed doors and let the same precipitation pour again
Once again that fire kindles within the heart and smokes raises
]
Chaaha tumhe kitna, dhhundhha tumhe kitna
Mil gaye ham magar, kho gaye ham phir kaha
Hum yaha….
[
Have always loved you and have searched so much for you
And then we met, but now we have lost again
]

Phir ho wohi baatein, phir ho wohi raatein
Phir wohi rat jage, phir wohi bechainiyaan
Hum yaha….[Once again lets visit those talks, those moments
That propinquity and that same restlessness of being together
]
Jab kuch kahen labse, pehele kahen sabse
Jaaneman, meri jaan, jaan-e-jaan, jaan-e-jahaan
Hum yaha…
[
We need to voice things out to the populace
For someone as dear as life and soul, words aren’t required]I am here & you are somewhere there/ Today I am at one point and you at other
Young hopes are still there but where have gone those days of the early togetherness
Come lets fall in love all over again]


Wasn’t that lovely? Hmmmm…I was transported to a different world while listening or re living this composition. And I continue to do that again and again Trust I did justice with the lyrics and thought process.

As far as I always understood, this song was a quest to relinquish the differences and re create the lost magic back. For we often let go of our most valued possessions in quest of blinding disparities. Sometimes we are lucky to realize it. But are we lucky enough to get it resolved? Well choice is personal and mutual.

Cheers!!!
Disclaimer: The above expression is just creative/ poetic expression and has nothing to do with the author’s personal life

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Lights off: Vote for Mother Earth

Friday, March 27, 2009 3 Comments

I am switching off my lights on Earth Hour. Are you?

It is not just me, people from 825+ cities across 80 countries and territories have pledged their support to “Vote Earth” during earth hour 2009. And the number continues to grow!!! And grow manifold.

Earth hour is a unique initiative taken by WWF India [World Wide Fund for Nature] where individuals, business and government turn off their lights for one hour to create support for action against climate changes.

Earth Hour is observed on March 28th 2009 during 8:30 pm to 9:30pm.

It will be observed concurrently in several cities apart from Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai. People are encouraged to participate and turn off the lights in their homes, offices and buildings at scheduled date and time.

This is world’ first global election which do not call for age, race and background but gives equal opportunity to all, to come forth and vote.

It is not a black out. While you can keep the very essential lighting on but the urge is to turn off all non essential lights.

Lets welcome this great beginning for a great movement to come. where every single vote counts. It will be presented to world leaders at the global Climatic Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. This will further be instrumental in determining official government policies to take action against global warming.

Earth hour will also see a lot of iconic buildings and landmark sites dim or switch off their lights during the said hour. In Kolkata, corporate houses like WIPRO, ITC hotels, HDFC, ICICI, Stan chart, HSBC have signed up. Global landmarks as Sphinx & great pyramid of Giza, the Acropolis [Greece], Empire State Building [USA] and PETRONAS towers [Malaysia] will take plunge.

A lot of us may resist wondering if it really makes a difference but to emphasize- every single contribution counts!!! So, what are you waiting for? Come forward and show you care!!!

For more info on participating in the great drive, pl visit http://www.earthhour.in/

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Boeing Boeing

Friday, March 13, 2009 2 Comments

It all originated when I went to airport to pick my little nephew who was traveling alone for the first time. Baby wanted me to escort him with loads of apple juice, cheese sandwiches and some tongue-in-cheesy answers.

His first question was on UDF. As to why his papa has to take additional ticket while travelling from Bangalore to Bangkok when he already has one. And why he did not buy one for the little champ.

His next question was- If airline sells tickets at Re 1, why AC II tier takes a min of Rs 1800 one way when it takes more time than flight and still more people travelling in trains. Also, what does airline do with all those Re1 coins? Hmmm hmmm

Well, travelling from era of 3k tickets to Re 1 ticket, a lot of us use to wonder the principle behind airfare. And even still, most of the airlines are running into financial losses with larger no of people taking the cloudy route. Until this day, when my little bundle of joy came forth posing the same curiosity, entrusting his didi as always, to have answers for all his inquisitiveness.

I was interrupted the moment I started with “I guess it is the operating costs like…” with a request to come forth with the exact keywords, doing away with the “I guess” repatriate. Hmmmmm

So, I do not guess but now quite certain about the major cost contributors for my or your airline tickets. And some of them are-

1. Landing & parking charges at airports: It is the biggest cost component and as it suggests, is the fee levied by airports on the air crafts. It however varies from airline to airline.
2. Ground charges: The “on ground” charges for aircrafts on the time spent while on ground, between flights. It is a time based cost and depends on the nature of aircraft [low fare carriers or full service carriers] Ex: Low airlines spends less in comparison of full service carriers loading up baggage, carrier meal etc
3. Then there is fuel surcharge, passenger service fee, insurance, departure tax [optional] etc
As passengers we essentially pay only basic fare+ fuel surcharge+ PSF [passenger service fee].
So, next time you buying yourself a ticket you must check-
1. Basic fare i.e. your full economic fare, fuel surcharge and passenger service fee. YQ or any other customer borne tax
2. Also, if you aren’t sure of your journey plan, do check the refundable fare if it’s mere basic fare or any tax component included.

The little one listened to all with rapt attention and I wonder if he blinked all during this while. As if he, using his basic math of addition et al, was trying to ink a small profitability statement in his mind. “Finish your sandwich”, I said. We shall make the project report later when you grow up to college at least. But till that time let’s see you wish list for spending next 2 days with me. He smiled and happily obliged, sipping away to glory.

And then at last, his 3rd air warfare question was on prying hostess aunties who kept intruding his privacy by checking on him as if he is cradle kid, pinching his already red cheeks and all those fanfares as if he will get lost while in that closed aircraft. I am not a kid, you see masi, I pack my sandwich on my own and even know how to bake wafers on microwave!!! Now I do not have any answers for that. Do i? :-)

About UDF
The new UDF [User Development Fee] of Rs 260 has being levied on all passengers [except infants under 2] travelling from Bangalore [AKA Bengaluru] International Airport.
Ministry of civil aviation, GOI has approved the bill and said to use the amount for the development and maintenance and to provide other services and amenities at this state of art airport.

Special UDF counters are built outside the terminals where the receipt is required to be shown before entering the terminal. So now you need to reach airport even early with a combined margin of 3 mins to 15 mins [off peak and peak] and yes, don’t forget to carry the exact changes if you intend to pay by cash.

Well, do not be bogged as that is just a small component to make your air travel from Bangalore a bit too expensive [considering the new location and traffic]

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Million dollar baby

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2 Comments

Just heard, Shilpa Shetty with her beau has splurged nothing less than a crore for the music video of “Rajasthan royal”. To sh0ot the music video, a pvt jet was booked to to carry the team it's glamour quotients. NOt just that, special sports Tee has been designed [with some with Swarovski crystals on]. And hold your breath, 100 junior artists with 10 elephants, horses and chariots were used to shoot inside the J’pur airport. Whoa!!!

Well it is no more that only the characters of any balaji soap or from any other goddammit soap on idiot box humming away the deals and glories of nothing less than crores. But the notion of “just one crore” has indeed travelled a long way. From silver screen sagas to the silver spoons, for sure.


Actors and actresses have begun to quote their salt by charging nothing less than one crore. Bigger the first digit, bigger the star is. No matter if the movie is a sore dud in the theatres, leave alone the acting. Not just those, even to hell with recession, celebrity endorsements are now carefully chosen. Some celebrities apparently have refused good brands for they weren’t offering a higher “crore” than what their counterparts[or the more successful ones] were getting, and even some refused for the particular brand line was low end. Well one men’ poison is someone else’ meat. Some “crore” loss is definitely some even more “crores” gain with so many brands hankering for celebrity’ piece.

Not just actors, Producers and directors spends nothing less than a “crore” to shoot some of their songs. Even though if it bears no relevance to the movie.

Celebrities like AB and SRK commands their worth by charging min a crore for hosting one episode on what is suppose to be “small screen”.

Lacs [a hundred thousands] have become cheap. And “A crore” is becoming nothing but some sort of loose change that the “haves” of the society started using for their backyard hopscotch game. And you said, recession in economy will balance the divide. Tsch!!!

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Keep your prayers on…

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 3 Comments

Once upon a time, we used to pray and thank god for giving us a life, for giving us the joy of nature, fulfilling our basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter and so many splendid around.
As we progressed from one “yuga” to other, a lot of things have been changed, including our prayers.

Prayer today has been metamorphosed its way from thanking lord for food, clothing & shelter to life, sustenance and honor.

No wonder, if 21st Century prayers would be something like this-
Dear God, Thank you for saving me from bomb blasts, communal riots, being looted on streets, SENSEX dynamisms, Blue line accidents, organizational lay offs, telemarketing callers, ever incremental sales target, eve teasing/ molestation, being victim of organizational politics [but how long], open manholes, falling prey to cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, frequent load shedding and acidity.

Also, thank you for giving me disturbance free phone network, a seat in local bus/ train, some time to spend with family, clean water supply and et all

But if we keep going on this rate, I wonder what our prayers in future are going to be???!!??

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Mighty Muscular “Scorpio”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 , 0 Comments

Auto major M&M launched its sports utility vehicle “New Mighty Muscular Scorpio” at a price range of Rs 7.21 Lacs to Rs 9.2 Lacs

2.2 litre enhanced mhawk engine which means 2.6 litre CRD engine will be phased out soon.

Have a look…




The new model is available for delivery from March 10, today!!!

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab and go for a drive with the factory fitted 2 DIN audio system on. And yes, drive Safely. Bon voyage!!!

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Host ya Ghost

Saturday, March 07, 2009 5 Comments

In one of last post, I’ve written about how with the sudden advent of reality shows, a whole new vista for careers have unlocked up. A whole new list of wannabe actors, singers, dancers, to the quintessential judges, went fluttering from one format to other. And then, there was the glamorous, politically correct, stylized host! Here’ a sneaking preview of some who have delighted, enlightened and ignited us on the small screen. In short, some of the most popular host of current times.

1. Needless to say- Mr. Amitabh Bachachan
He made the small screen look bigger than ever before. Sitting on the hot seat, he made numerous people churn their millionaire dream with “KBC”. And if not, happy to shake hands with biggest ever star of Indian Film industry. The most popular game show ever on the tele history. And the most popular host too

2. SRK
If AB was Amitabh Bachchan, then Shahrukh was also SRK. The badshah of box office, television’s own proud discovery. Even though his 5th grader couldn’t win the TRPs but SRK’ camaraderie with kids and contestants was a reason enough to attract all those eyeballs and show producers lines outside his diary

3. Mandira Bedi
Television’ girl next door shimmered the boring cricket commentary box to a topic of national interest. With mercury soaring and entire country betting on her next attire for the game, cricket was never so glamorous. What YRF couldn’t do for her, her noodle straps did for Indian cricket in 2003.

4. Mini Mathur
Remember the charmer from “Tol mol ke bol”? The sparkling host of Indian Idol [All 3 seasons] not just dazzled the podium with her effervescence but also displayed a great ability to handle her co hosts and participants with great ease.

5. Lola Kutty: Everybody loves Lola and how! With that mallu accent and heavy weight mallu stunts, she sure came as a healthy surprise amongst the cliché crop of VJs in India.

6. Mona Singh [Jhalak Dikh la ja season 2] She was cute, bubbly & very affable. Her great camaraderie with co host and participants, combined with her sportsmanship was a big plus. Everyone loved this sardarni and said ki Jassi Jaisi koi nahi.

7. Sangita Ghosh & Shabbir Ahluwalia [Nach baliye]: They sizzled on screen and suddenly fizzled off with end of season one.

8. Derek o' Brien [Bournvita Quiz Contest]: A lot of us have grown up feasting on the great Indian quiz master and his books of questions on a dull Sunday morning

9. Cyrus Broacha: Baap of all Bakras [need we say anymore]

10. Shekhar Suman: last but never the least. The true maverick who was not just a “mover” but also “shaker” of the primetime viewing and television chat shows.

And there were the worst one too. Stay away, they said and we happily did so-

1. Karan Grover [Zara Nach ke dikha]: Interesting show, dumb anchors. And what about that over the top display of ugly biceps and tattoo et all? We know you are a stud, you were the most popular male model in 2004 gladrags mega model contest but dude you are just overdoing it- “ALL THE TIMES”??!?? [latest seen participating on Jhalak Dikhla ja” Season 3. Gosh, again an overact] Time to grow up, Grover boy.

2. Manoj Bajpai [deal or no deal]: Too high on starry-fare, lost expressions. A good concept washed away with poor execution and communication.

3. Govinda [Chappar phad ke]: If Amitabh can do it, SRK may also do it, but it’s not necessary that actor turned MP turned actor Govinda has to “just do it” as well?

4. Anupam kher & Manisha Koirala [Sawal dus crore ka]: We still wonder what they were trying to do. They came across as anchors, who not just literally sleep walked to their role, but also kept sleeping all time through. Such wastage of good actors who were badly pitted against AB and KBC?

5. Neena Gupta [Kamzor kadi koun]: Brilliant actress, equally innovative concept but too much of display of bitterness shrugged everyone away, incl viewers.

6. Hiten Tejwani & Gauri Pradhan[Nach baliye]: While he tried hard to fit in a role that was barely meant for him, but she with her forced demeanor was a great pain to see a good hosting opportunity slipping away.

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Let’s get ‘R’eal

Thursday, March 05, 2009 0 Comments

Switch on the TV and another reality show is waiting in tow. Another set up, another theme and another set of controversies, cooked up off course. With the ilks of Ekta kapoor still churning out one soap after other, a new lot of reality show producers are breeding up. The coming few posts are solely dedicated to salute the uncompromising spirit of Reality TV. So, stick on

And yeah, as goes with anything else, You can scrutinize me, criticize my coinings...but it's a tough job to put me down!!! :-)

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Indian idol :Camera malfunctioning

Thursday, March 05, 2009 , 3 Comments

The winner of the Indian Idol- Season 4
Well we all know, up goes the glamour quotient, out goes the fabric. But isn't it tad too early??
Err!!! anticipation, excitement or pure coincidental??!!??
John Abraham too looks puzzled!!!
Ain't it amusing??!!??

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Delhi 6

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 , 4 Comments

“Kale bandar ki ek mother hai, jo is saal board ke exam mein baithegi. Uske upar paani phekna hai”
“Maine dekha hai kale Bandar ko. Woh Invisible hai”
“Arre tum madan gopal electronics ki wife ho, tumhe…
“Burger chaap”

Chinese whispers, urban legends, maze like colorful streets, feisty music, Ramleela grounds, religious paradoxes, political slapstick and a gamut of spectacular cast including Masakkali n Kala Bandar makes Delhi 6 a worthwhile place to visit. Not to forget its amazing songs that transports you to other world, blissfully.

Picture this-
A gang of women, unbiased, indifferent to their Men folklore’ inter personal differences, sitting at terrace on a vibrant morning, chitchatting while preparing “Lal Mirch ka aachar”, breaks into jaggery of a song-
Saiyan ched deve; Nanand chutki leve
Sasural genda phool
Choda babul ka angna; Bhave dera piya ka Saas gaari deve; Devar ji saamjha deve
Sasural Genda phool
Saiyan hai vyapaari; Chale hai pardesh Suratiya nihaarun; Jiyara bhari hoye
Sasural Genda phool

The movie’ metaphorical touch is another delight to watch. Whether it’s straight jacketed portrayal of faked religious believes; the clever twinning of Ramlila with story, media hoop la floating around the “kala Bandar”, merchandizing [bazaarikaran] of the invisible monkey man in the age of Chandrayan; the loose brick through the wall of the estranged “Mohan electronics” brothers; the appeal for human liberation in form of masakkali; to the healing effects of faith and its killing effect too…

Some other interesting metaphors well reflected in scenes like-
1. When a fainted Waheeda Rehman is taken to clinic in a rickshaw and suddenly she gains conscious seeing the blessed movement of a “Gou Mata” giving birth.
2. The scene where Cyrus sahukar and lalaji’ wife are making out, with their toe hitting the TV remote that switches from news to primates mating to missile launch and then the same news playing at different location, at Prem chopra’s shop and then returning back to the former scene. The switch on and off was well shot and hilarious too.
3. Unleashing the God & kala Bandar which lies within all of us. However cliché it may be but the essence remains undiluted- Self introspection

Then there is an interesting set of characters and even brilliant actors performing it. Mandi house se Chandni Chowk tak. From Suresh raina, Pawan Malhotra, Vijay raj, Raghuveer Yadav, Divya Dutta, Supriya Pathak, to Rama bua and the surprise packet Cyrus sahukar. There is hardly a character that is not anchored in to the film.

I would not exactly call the movie preachy. I would rather call it a “good wake up kick” to fanaticism, commercialism, political agendas and many other farce that surround the society, making lives difficult to breathe.

Well the almost empty auditorium at the Sunday late night show hasn’t surprised me for long. For the populi that is constantly being fed on capers like “Welcome” “singh is king” or even “Chandni Chowk to China”, Delhi 6 can be a quite a cognitive load on that average Indian viewer who is made to barter their brains for the over expensive multiplex food. [Oops I have no rough bone against Akshay kumar; movie names r just coincidental]

And thank god that Rakesh OmP Mehra chose the happy climax over the sad one. Though the Junior-senior men in white, eating Jalebis in the heaven was too uninvited.

Off course the narration could ve been better but overall what served was quite creatively appetizing and savoring though.On a whole, Delhi 6 is an interesting trip. After all “yeh shehar nahi, mehfil hai”!!! Yeh Dilli hai mere yaar!!!

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Valentine’ day

Sunday, March 01, 2009 , 6 Comments

A lot of my friend and colleagues naughtily probed me on my plans for celebrating the V day this year. I was amused by their stereotyped approach and smirked back to my MS excel sheets. I resisted saying “no plans” like I did all these years. Cause this year, I certainly had a plan.

Cliché it may sound but this valentine day I, along with some office colleagues visited “Ma Kali Vridhashram” – a home of elderly and aged. The experience was mixed.

We had fun while buying cake for them. From pastries to muffins, we finally closed the deal on a “Tom & Jerry” cake. Cute na? It was Rohita’ idea, backed by Rana, who was amused by the time taken to purchase that simple confectionary. Guess he ran out of his cell phone charge and realized world happening around him [Hope Rana is reading this]

We had fun locating the place. Apparently, the landmark given over phone was “Pukur” [lake in Bengali], which I heard as “Kukur” [dog in Bengali] and whole through the lanes of peerless hospital I kept on wondering what living soul would give a landmark as the “house near Kukur” or vice versa. lolz. But there has been incidences like this. Surprisingly enough there were lots of pukur and kukur around!!! And even the team couldn’t realize my “comedy of errors” until I told them for the second time.

But it wasn’t actually a great fun to visit the place, to see the faces almost devoid of life, searching for some signs of it desperately. Small, restricted place and not exactly the right place I would like to see any of my loved relatives spending the last legions of their life. I understand they are old, helpless and some of them even disowned by their families but none of them seem so unworthy to be living in such isolation, such brevity.

Isn’t it strange that we have swish-plush malls, plazas and what not? But no construction half as grand to accommodate the helpless “old age”. No construction half as considerate, no construction half as accommodating, half as useful. All stones in concrete jungle but no shelter.

A place where the old age can freely move around, indulge, savor all the bits of this everlasting life. There might be some posh homes as this but I wonder how many? And how affordable?

Well too many questions and too much of helplessness too. In all my bare capacities, I won’t let my parents be on mercy of anyone else. I keep reinstating this to Anurag as well, who in turns keep threatening to keep parents with him and not me. Wishful thinking, little bro, for sis is here to stay :)

Well the rest of my day wasn’t too amusing except I learnt some trick with the stone on the lake water. My colleagues- Rana, CV and Raj, demonstrated the great, lost art of splashing pebbles in lake and make it dance on water…I couldn’t make it dance so well but well tried!!!

I had a long drive back home. Traffic and guess what? Rest of my evening was spent buying groceries. Thankfully, my cook came and made me some nice dinner. It made me realize that no matter the small or confined spaces, thankfully those old people at least have someone around to spend their time with and eat their meal together.

Hey they are playing one of my fav song- “Hum Tum”. Cheers.

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