Monday, February 02, 2015

We’re only here for a short while. And I think it’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention. In some ways, this is getting far afield. I mean, we are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself. I don’t know that, but we’re made of the same stuff that stars are made of, or that floats around in space. But we’re combined in such a way that we can describe what it’s like to be alive, to be witnesses. Most of our experience is that of being a witness. We see and hear and smell other things. I think being alive is responding.

Mark Strand

Monday, July 11, 2011


Me: See there's nothing out here, it's all your imagination.

Ketaki: But I am afraid of darkness.

Me: I am here in the darkness, there's nothing. I am not afraid.

Ketaki: But, that's because you don't have imagination.

Me: Err, alright. :0)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yes it does

Die Hard has to be one of the best action movies that I have seen, it has become a benchmark for all action movies released after this one. This piece of work became a reference point for subsequent work. A lonely hero in an isolated building fighting against a group of remorseless hostage takers, relentless and non stop action, the pace of the movie and some breathtaking but believable stunts became one of those successful formulas and spawned an entire series of similar movies in that era. Replace the isolated building with a boat, train or even an island and it worked.

The Moonlighting star - Bruce Willis hit it big time with this movie and established himself as a huge star. In the movie, in between the ceaseless action, the hero does find some time to relax and light a cigarette couple of times. He manages to hold onto the crumpled pack of cigarettes and the manner in which he lights up and relishes smoking, blowing the smoke stylishly was super cool. Not that I started smoking after watching Bruce Willis smoke, but it certainly made an impact. Does young impressionable minds get influenced by heroes doing their thing onscreen? No doubt in my mind. 

Yes it does.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


It’s now nearly seven weeks since I stopped smoking, an activity that I was originally initiated into behind the compound wall of a temple as darkness was enveloping us late in the evening. I still clearly remember the instruction to inhale by making the “sss” sound inwardly. Without doing that it was just blowing and puffing the tasteless smoke. All I need to do is close my eye and I am transported back, still get the feel of that tasteless smoke in my mouth before the eventual inhalation.

I have quit many times before and restarted smoking. Sometimes for few days, sometimes for weeks and once for few months. But inevitably something or the other would lead me back to my love affair with cigarettes. All kinds of promise were made and broken. Every time one comes back to this tobacco smoking, one would lose a little bit of the inner voice, it would be normal to lose that little bit of confidence in oneself more so after pledging to move on. Yet I backed myself, never lost hope that eventually I would quit. One time I had quit for 11 months and it was nothing short of criminal to restart smoking. The addiction was practically over, redoing it was as good as being re-initiated into this recreational drug. On an early morning in Heathrow, with those fancy shining shops around, innumerable brands of cigarettes and the fresh smell of coffee, I was lured back in . There was this smoking lounge, beautiful people with their bagels, croissants and coffee’s, (back those days smoking was allowed in the airports), and I had six hours to kill. All I needed to be a part of that group was a cup of coffee and a pack of Marlboro’s. Well and truly back in. After finally getting an opportunity to travel international, first time travel outside India, what can I say, I succumbed. But I steadfastly believed in myself, believed that someday everything would fall in place and I would eventually quit.

Here I am trying again, though this time it does feel right.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Madhuban Khushboo Deta Hai

Now here is one song that makes me want to cry. The combination of the music, the way the song begins, the tune and the glorious Yesudas voice just makes me want to go waaa waaa. 

If I get into the song completely, this one makes me incredibly sad. And If I watch the video, I get this, "I have watched this one before..." feeling, seems to trigger some memory associated with this song. Can't put my finger on the pulse. 

Maybe the movie was shown sometime on DD.Damn it how did I get this into my mind, can't get this hum out of my head.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Usually spelled as Anahita - The ancient Persian water goddess, fertility goddess, and patroness of women, as well as a goddess of war. Her name means "the immaculate one". She is portrayed as a virgin, dressed in a golden cloak, and wearing a diamond tiara (sometimes also carrying a water pitcher). The dove and the peacock are her sacred animals.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm alright

After the intense and prolonged debate with my wife about the advantages of having a second child, when it actually happened  except for the initial ‘whoopee’ and ‘YES’, I remained strangely subdued and calm during the entire tenure of pregnancy. This was so not like me. Something seemed wrong with me. I usually tend to get hyper, start planning to the minutest details, ask everyone -  experts and rookies alike, endless questions, run things in my head for hours and days together and drive everyone around me crazy. That’s how I was during my first child. The only obsession for that entire period, was the impending event, nothing else was important. Life revolved around in anticipation of the addition to the family. But nothing this time, no effervescence , totally flat. It did not seem to be the be all and end all of my life this time around. Maybe that’s what one would call – EXPERIENCE. Been there and done that, so no big deal. 

But then there was another nagging thought, I believe despite all denials parents do tend to play favorites. Will my second one always play second fiddle to my first one, stacked up against the first one all the time ? Will my first one always be the apple of my eye ? Was I already wired to play favorites and hence the restraint?
And then when I was handed my second baby and held her in my arms, it all came back to me, one big rush. The madness is back. I am going to be alright.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Tracks

I got out of the train and was aghast to see no railway platform. There were two tracks separated by a narrow but deep chasm, unending darkness in there. People were carefully walking along the track using the small space available besides the track, making sure they don’t fall in the abyss. Some of them were walking on the second railway track. I leapt across to the second track and did the same. I asked someone what if I see a train in the distance on this track, he advised me to leap back to the earlier track. I then asked him what If there are trains running on both tracks; he snarled at me and informed me that it never happens, they never have scheduling conflicts.

Few meters down the track I encountered couple of urchins in rags, one of them approached me and made a smoking gesture popular with dopes and asked me – Do you want to take a streak behind the bush? (Streak was the word, not really a known slang preferred by junkies).I refused and got punched on the nose. Wiping the blood away, I gave him 50 cents to stop bothering me. Not paisa but cents so I was in US. I kept walking on the track to nowhere, not seem to be going anywhere.

Then I woke up. Phew!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Now you are 37

My daughter eagerly opens her eye, wanting to wish me birthday. The moment she sees me, exclaims - Happy Birthday Papa, and in same breath adds, now you are 37! Thank you dear, and thanks for reminding something that I didn't want to think about. For her, it's a simple calculation, 5 is less than 6, so she wants to be 6 as soon as possible. Bigger the number better it sounds to her. 37 is way big compared to 5.

Just remembering the days when I was so very eager to grow up during my teens. Time brings perpsective, time brings change.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dalai Lama’s 18 rules for living

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs:

1. Respect for self

2. Respect for others

3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.