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Kolkata- Cyclone Aila!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 , 19 Comments

It started at 90 kmph and expected to go about 200 kmph. It took everyone by storm, bringing down many records. Well I ain’t talking about the amazing win of season 1’s underdog “Deccan chargers” in the IPL season two. Nor is it ‘apna Sachin Tendulkar’ expressing his legendary reaction over the results. I am actually talking about the hurricane that is threatening [or begin to] Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal with dire consequences.

A kind of movement began on 3rd floor, admin block, at around 12:00pm. An hour back when boss exclaimed hallelujah seeing the rain, I didn’t take it that seriously. I dismissed off the thought believing that it’s the wonderful day to work indoors and may be sales team should be called off from field. It’s been raining since yesterday and seemed like another day of relief from scorching Kolkata summers. The rain continued to grow and I started enjoying the lovely sight of oodles of water splashing against the big glass panes. It was as if one is working at the waterside café a la ‘on the waterfront’.

My colleagues exclaimed that it’s a typical weather to sit at home and eat hot pakdoas [fried snacks] with tea. True. But for me it is more of a wonderful day to work and may be pakodas could be eaten while writing reports. Thrilled, I started working twice enthusiastically on new analysis. The rain appeared pleasant.

I didn’t realize that the pleasant rainy day is backed with a mean fact. A cyclone possibility was alerted on Sunday. I seem to have missed the news and realized it only when the hush-hush grew stronger with stories of how a tree fell on a vehicle, killing the person inside.

The movement began to grow with the rains and people started calling their family, asking them to stay indoors. I frantically logged on to Google news to have a better understanding than going completely on hearsay.

The cyclone was expected to reach the city in afternoon and to grow wilder by evening. However it begun weakened in the late afternoon. By this time Administration started taking reactive measures. Half day leaves declared for all educational institutions, Telecom companies incl mine offered individuals to call off the day.

Disaster Management
I used the word reactive, for except the small excerpt at the nth page of leading dailies, no precautionary or alert signals were sent to the public. Indian Meteorological Department [IMD.gov.in] however has advised 24 hours total suspension of fishing operations. The lack of preparedness was evident throughout. The state government was officially alerted at 8pm on Sunday, 24th May but the quintessential ‘chalta hai- sarkari’ officials couldn’t met before 12:00pm on Monday 25th May. [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090526/jsp/frontpage/story_11021195.jsp] the more I write, bitterness will be higher.

AftermathThe cyclone almost came as close as 15km from the city but luckily didn’t hit. Had it actually entered the city, the impact would have worsened. The destruction could have been compared to the Great Calcutta Cyclone of 1864. 24 Paraganas [North & South], Howrah & Hooghly, EM Bypass, East Midnapur were reported of having maximum effect.

Around 1875 trees were uprooted. 300 deer washed away in sunderbans. 35 reported deaths. 24000 people homeless in Sundarbans
Anyways, the city is declared safe [supposedly]. The cyclone has reportedly moved to North Bengal though at a much lower speed.

My experience with truce
I woke up to a bright sunny morning on Tuesday May 26, 2009 sans electricity. Power cuts but off course, the first thing to happen even on any medium size rainfalls. The electricity was playing truant since yesterday and was restored at my house only after 7:00pm in the evening. Though I battled the high winds [felt down almost, God bless the angelic security guard who emerged from nowhere to see me struggling to stand amidst the high wind. Instead of being the blind-mute spectators like my colleagues, he came forth to my rescue, took my hand and escorted me till the hired Mahindra Scorpio]. Yeah I left office around 3:15 pm.

I sneaked my way through the tree studded roads of Salt Lake City [such a disheartening sight that was for it take years for tree to grow but only few minutes to be uprooted, slaughtered]. On reaching home I found that my kind landlord had locked the front door from inside and have happily gone deaf n dumb. After wasting 30 minutes at the door, making multiple failed calls to his mobile, constant shouting uncle-uncle, knocking the door, couldn’t bring the landlord almighty to my rescue. The girls next door got pity on me and invited me to stay put with them till the time uncle gets up from sleeps [read back to life] and open the door. I was “happy to be helped” and heartily accepted the invitation. At around 5-5:30 pm uncle came back to life and opened the door. Not leaving any chance to indulge in verbal displeasure he started the blame game again including my last night delay at coming home. I just can’t understand that what is wrong with these landlords especially “Kolkata- Salt Lake” ones.

Five more days! I counted and moved inside. I quickly dumped my laptop bag, squeezed face wash in my face, changed into pajamas and rushed to kitchen. The first thing that I did was to heat up my lunch and gorge on it. Windows were flung opened, bed linen got rid from morning clutter and I sat with Times of India in hope to spend the anxious hours. In between I kept on furiously looking at my mobile, in hope of my relatives checking on me. Alas, they disappointed me as always. Got few SMS, calls from some non-Kolkata friends and finally from home. Parents were as cool as cucumber called to check if I reached home, Also if I have enough “Ready to eat” food stuff stocked at home. As advised by him, I called my cook, requested her to come early in anticipation of upcoming storm. She happily obliged, however got herself drenched in the rains. God bless. Once again the theory which confirms that outsiders are more in than the so called insiders [relatives etc] proved affirmative. After cooking rice, dal, aubergines, she left with money and list of additional “ready to eat” stock consisting of soup, pastas, maggi, fruits, eggs etc.

The sky was getting darker and lights from windows got reduced. I took out my ancient Vanilla scented candles stock to use and lit all the 3 of them up. It looked quite romantic, so I have to put the two of it off to reduce that effect. Recessionary times you see!!!

Bored with the darkness and damned-ness, I opened my laptop and started writing this article. Tired with typing at dark, I started looking for movie options. Call it a great coincidence or irony, the only movie I found was “rain man” starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.

No sooner the movie began, voila electricity was restored. Once the cable was back, I was hooked till 1:00am in the night. And yes, it wasn’t raining even then and likelihood of cyclone was slowly reducing. I switched off the lights, tucked myself into sheet and dozed off. Zzzz…

Hope I have not put you to sleep my friend. Or what Ms Shobha de calls- blogdost. Just in case if you are still awake [literally & figuratively]; please help me to restore the ecological balance of mine, yours and ours city/ cities. How? In two simple ways-
1. By planting more and more trees [2 per person at least]; standing up against deforestation.
2. By helping through any other way to maintain the ecological balance in tact, reducing global warming you see.

I am hoping that you will oblige. Thanks in anticipation.

19 Visitor's Comments:

Hi Folks,

You heard me...now its time for Bouquets and Brickbats!

Bachchanalia

Monday, May 18, 2009 , 17 Comments

I came across this picture on a website and couldn't stop liking it :-)
Is this the message sent to-
1. Indian constituency & the laggards breed of politicians
3. The entire Polling exercise
4. In anticipation of the upcoming results in Maharashtra
5. Connotation of speeches given Mrs J Bachchan
6. Response over speculation on Abhiash moving out of Jalsa
7. Bachchan family's performance on Box office this year
8. Ummm... Detractors of Amar 'SP' singh
9. Campaigns like "Jago re" or "Do not Vote" or exercising the right to not vote
10. Your Guess....name it

Seeing this picture, should one-
1. Simply see, enjoy and forget it
2. Dismiss it as anti national like most of my friends
3. Make a national issue out of it...another chain of controversies
4. Admire the "i say dare" attitude / "creative" skills of Bachchan clan
5. Ask Barkha Dutt to debate it in her next episode of "I-the people"
6. Write a blog [like I did :0)]
7. You suggest....
I think...
Some pictures says it all.....

17 Visitor's Comments:

Hi Folks,

You heard me...now its time for Bouquets and Brickbats!

Sometime

Thursday, May 14, 2009 , 12 Comments

Sometimes a look steals your way; and a glance means nothing
A touch turns Midas; but several contacts leave nothing

Sometimes reality deceits us and definitions mystifies
Passion control us and clarity turmoil
Ignorance becomes bliss and harmony begets noise
Sometimes words are not enough and invitations do not suffice

Sometimes reason is not enough to win an argument
Reasons are multifaceted inside
Sometimes logics do not mend distances nor do they set it aside
Sometimes comfort gives way to obstacles; sometimes in obstacles, comfort we find

Sometimes lengths get bigger but a smile summarize
Sometimes truth disturbs us and confusion stabilize
Sometimes stars get closer to us than a weeping eye
Sometimes… sometimes…

Sometimes a day seems eternal & years just fly
Sometimes you cross seven seas and walk a thousand miles
And then sometimes, taking two little steps seems an enterprise

Sometimes we see a thing and something else visualize
We lean forward to touch it and it vanish away from sight
You follow it and chase it blind, when it seems to lie inside

Sometime sorrow becomes solace and happiness terrifies
Knowledge becomes a burden and wisdom unwise

Sometimes a lifetime falls short and a moment becomes a life
Emotions takes a backseat and conditions surmise

Sometimes seasons remains unaltered & reasons revise
Sometimes mistakes sounds silly but solutions difficult to arise

You say things and still do not believe
And then struggle to see, feel and justify
And still a lot many things, gets left, untouched behind

Albeit one deem to acknowledge, interpret and personify
A cloud still hovers your vision; a sea still beyond horizon
A storm that lull the heart and a breeze agonize

Sometimes perspective is not everything
Sometimes, some times are not same
But sometimes…

12 Visitor's Comments:

Hi Folks,

You heard me...now its time for Bouquets and Brickbats!

“HoW to BeComE an ALphA FeMale in 18 EaSy LessOns”

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 , , 18 Comments

There was a time. Actually there were two types of time… One when I use to seriously feel that people should start taking me seriously. After all, learning flows from distillation of reflections not experience. Just cause I am pretty looking, timid girl, that doesn’t make me the Siamese twin of the dumb blonde in your vicinity. I have a mind of my own and I am just being nice. Ok?

And then there was a time when I feel that people should stop taking me as a nicey-nicey girl that they always think of me. The expectation bars often get raised too up for me to breath and I was pitted against all the dreadful things I would otherwise prefer not to do. Like?

I mean am a normal girl on way to life and living but I bear no halo on my head. Hey guys stop watching my rear, it is so rude. Come on there isn’t any secret tail to peek beneath my dress. I am not your Balika Badhu, Tulsi Virani or even Lalita pawar. Well that is a different fact that I really loved ‘Lolita’ pawar. [Powerhouse of a performance, someone who wasn’t scared of playing grey shade in world full of rose tinted glasses]. But then I love Kiran bedi too and given a chance would like to maneuver the sorry state of law & order in country. No jokes that some of my friends used to fondly call me Rani Lakshmibai!!! [“Mein apni Jhansi nahi doongi, so nahi doongi”]

See this is my problem, I look and sound like a nice young girl, which I am, but am always playing with the tension between that nice girl exterior and the tough task master beneath the surface. Of course no one is really fooled because I really am the fairly boring nice young girl.

Well now is the time when I don’t care what world at large think about me. They don’t take me seriously, their fault. They think am nicey, well good, gift me a souvenir. If they think am a contradiction, getting rude, submissive or even enigmatic, give me another souvenir, perhaps casted in gold.

But please don’t stop typecasting me. It is such an honor that people taking so much of time out of busy lives, telling me that they know me more than I do. Ahoy! I am touched. [Eye lids flitter-flatter]

And what is this Alpha female theory that am rutted against? I am female though, may not be your alpha female, and worse am not even the beta one. Ok there is no gamma here, there is Omega.

But the point is am I the one? Or should I transpire to be one? Well the answer is- who cares?!?! However, I am blessed to have met many of them. With my experience and interactions, I can identify one from miles. What do I do then? Nothing. I write blogs on them. Bitching? No baba. I do not bitch baby, I blog. What a statement madamji. Going by this logic, I too can try my hand becoming an alpha- alpha female. Well that is the different logic that who has such ambitions anyways.

Keeping in mind that I may have female readership too [err, ahem do I], I must compile “some of my lesson” for the combined benefits for many “alpha females in making”.

But what is an alpha female? And does an alpha female do? Also how to become an alpha female?

Well alpha female is the superior breed of female as considered to be woman on top, given top priorities in whatever they do, wherever they go and off course making males go weak on their knees. Sound interesting girls? Well, here’ the simplest gyan ever given on “how to become an alpha female”. Simplest why? Well easier given than done J

1. Laughter is best medicine: Viagra has found its competitor and you, your new ammunition. You need not be supremely talented but you should know how to laugh on all silly jokes of your boss or the person you want to please. Well even if this doesn’t set you apart. You must also know when not to laugh and manipulate that desirable reaction

2. Practice making your looks good: Spent some qualitative time [in fact a lot of it] in front of mirrors- mirrors at home, malls, wash rooms, sideways, any goddamn place. Learn the art of transforming make up, make up that makes ugly Betty looks like a swan. Wear as many flashy colors as possible. More the number of colors on you, more eye balls you will attract. From your toe nail to your mane, everything should speak “groom”, “parlor treated” and off course “branded”.


3. Keep that terrific smile on: Wear your best flashy lipstick, gloss and keep pouting through all the strategic interventions and touch points

4. Be extraordinarily confident: Even if the dress you wearing, falls short of a stitch, you must flash around “ah that’s Robert Cavali exclusive for me”. What if you are wearing a dress that was your best fit at the age of 10, you must be “ah, so much in control”. So what if Bill Clinton is no more the American president, it’s your answer and it ought to be right. Hey lady you are standing on my foot, but then what an amazing stilettos!! Hey $900 is bigger money than $ 600 but since you spent $600, it is bigger.


5. Spread the word: Spread the good word around. Oh you are single again, spread the word. So your family has a big beach resort in Hawaii and you are just back from a rejuvenating trip from France, spread the word. Hey, you bought Armani- Gucci dress, spread the word. So, you cancelled your dinner date on the top of Eiffel tower with George Clooney only to escort Gerard Butler on his Indian sojourn, spread the word dahlings!!! More popular you get, more popular you become.

6. Develop a group of trusted friends: It isn't possible to be an Alpha without having a gang of friends or elite that will let you lead them. Girls who will accompany you in all bitching, charade, masquerade and guys who are more than willing to pay all your shopping bills, hold your bags, drive you in Cadillac and sponsor your Bahamas trips. And yes, you must have a gay friend to show around too.


7. Accessorize and give your stuffs a personal touch: whether it is multiple rings on your fingers, tattoos at an inch below your neck [backward or forward depending on your dress preference], danglers on your mobile/ purse and what not. Damn if it is just a nail, it can be tattooed or ringed too.

8. ‘Accent’uate your life: So what if you don’t have one. Even the Oprah has none. Bad joke. But trust me, for I have seen many alphas scoring high over betas with their fake accent. All you need is, read your public and roll your tongue, word by word. When your eye color, nail, hair and xxx can be faked, what is big deal about accent? It’s free of cost and off course low on maintenance. A plain Rambo can be called as Rrramboah!!!

9. Higher thoughts and lower necklines: An alpha female’s neckline and seam are indirectly proportionate- Lower necklines and higher seams. Do I need to say more?

10. Play hard to get; still be a Social butterfly: “Oh dear I would have loved to come, but you see I just promised Mrs. Ambani to attend her maid’s baby shower. They are like a family you see”. Mrs. Ambani or maid? Well that doesn’t matter as long as you are busy. If not, pretend to be busy as if the earth will stop revolving if you stop working. And it is you babes who make the sun, moon and stars go round!!!


11. Go Hollywood: Hindi films are so absurd and a chic like you should never be caught watching one. The more you talk about star wars, harry potter and Francis ford cappola, more “arrived” you are. And yes Elizabeth ‘Taylor’ and Barbara ‘Mistry’ are not from PWD [public works deptmt], they are the renowned actors. Mind it.

12. Make a “to-do” list: Be organized and scheduled all your appointments carefully. From hair cut, foot massage, spa to dress fitting, your week should be well balanced. By the way, don’t forget to make rooms for your personal trainer and dietician. It is not so easy to look that beautiful all the time, you see.


13. Extend your vocabulary: learn a new catch word everyday. For instance, try saying –“whatever”, “wassup”, “Gotcha”, “cool”, “oh really [with constant blinking eyes]”, “you know” and the types. Also, start practicing all big heavy sounding management jargons like paradigm shift, strategic inception et cetera. Also, Hindi language like Hindi films is a strict no-no. For starters, start calling “dal” as lentils. “Matar” as “pea”. Nimbu pani as lemonade, Dosa as pancake…Burp too much of bloody oops foodie reverence oops reference.

14. Watch what you eat: no dolls it is not for your weight. After all what are you paying your personal trainer for? But am sure you certainly would not like to be caught eating a “thali” at a local restaurant. After all Chinese [I meant the food], Mexican had always been your hot favorite since your mother’ childhood. For what couldn’t be eaten through fork, knife and spoon, is not the diet for you.

15. Adopt a pet: Not that you are a strict animal lover. But all your favorite celebrities and socialites have one with a fancy name- Bruno, zede, pooch coo et all and honey it would be so LS to not have one. Try a high bred dog, gold fish, fur cat or even a butterfly. Well you can name it the most fanciest around. If not, what are ex’ are for.

16. Art and literature: if your home is not painted by “Anjali ela menon”, don’t loose heart babes. Instead go and invest some currency in buying some abstract paintings from even abstractly named artists. And yeah don’t forget to carry a loaded best seller in your bag with the Bausch and Lomb specs. It makes a style statement, for who cares how many pages you read as long as you look intelligent.

17. Invest your money: You must know how to manage your finances and control others. Oops, I meant always invest your money in right places. Like all worthwhile brands from your Jockey to your puppy food, from your comb to the doggy’ bone. It has become a fashion for woman to invest in stock these days. Damn it if you don’t know what a stock market is.

18. Body Language: Use your body language effectively. Your body language should be positive, passionate and off course suggestive at right inferences. Phew, someone is going to kill me after reading all that I wrote here.

Chalo, too much of gyan cats! It is time for some adoption. Like a good agony aunt, I must conclude that – do not forget to write me feedbacks as to how my gyan helped you in “evolution-zing” your life. All the best, dahlings!!!

Disclaimer: The above incidences, viewpoint is purely coincidental. However, if any of you find it objectionable, derogatory or personal. Well, I must say- take it easy baby. Alpha females do not cry, it spoils your mac foundation!!!

18 Visitor's Comments:

Hi Folks,

You heard me...now its time for Bouquets and Brickbats!

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