Friday, December 30, 2011

A Dream come true and last few days of 2011

Life is all about living the moment in the best way possible.Last Sunday was a random day when few friends turned up at 7 a.m.Woke up,put on my shoes and rode for 16 hours.Sometimes all the dust, perspiration,smoke,cold is necessary to get out of our mundane lives.Some hazy memories of a day,was it me ,was it them,was it the day I don't know but I feel happy much like most of the days of this year.

Early Morning on a mountain top

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt at school---Einstien

I had always wanted to contribute to the society but as often is the case,something or the other turned up.So one morning I just woke up and walked in to a NGO.The two rounds of interview was inspiring because for the first time I did not think of the pros and cons of my answer and just spoke what I wanted to do.When at the end of the day I got selected I thanked God for bestowing the opportunity to work at KGVK

I have started with the Education department but plan to contribute in all the departments possible.Luckily there was a one week orientation going on for the teachers who teach in villages.I was asked to work on their communication and vocabulary.In my five days of presentations and demonstrations I was happy that at the end the whole 40 teacher class was motivated.I firmly believe that teachers are the ones who can change the sad picture of our education in villages.A common complaint was that there was building and resources but lack of quality education.Going through some papers I came to know about the absent ism of  teachers.I thought that bechmarking and quality would come automatically if they realized the purpose.The mere satisfaction of changing lives is enough flare for a revolution.Though these are early days for me I plan to stay here till May and you will definitely here more from me.

In 2011 I carried happiness in my bag:Football studs,Into the Wild(Book),Pink Floyd(i-pod), but the happiest times were evening football,tea with friends and bike rides with college mates.

But the conclusion of all this was that happiness is a matter of choice and I chose to be happy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 A Year to remember...

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Running close to 400 kms , biking around 5000 km,16 books,over 150 days of football,numerous cups of tea with friends may be mere statistics for some but for me this is life and this is what 2011 was for me.However the fact that makes this year so special was the realization of a power within.I have learnt how it is important in life to be mentally strong and not to give in easily to the earthly pleasures.I have found that the best way to live life is to make the present beautiful and to realize the purpose of things.

Sweating in the 10km runs on a chilly winter morning I see the awe in the eyes of the walkers reminiscing of past when I had the same admiration for long distance runners.Slowly I realized I had it in me and today at the end of those runs when I feel a splurge of energy I respect myself.I ran my maiden half marathon this year and I promise you there are plenty more to come.

I have written enough posts on Football and how it enchants.They say that no one could take away the things you live for,I have found it to be true.I have traveled 30km everyday for football and in spite of the distance I always reached the field on time.Sometimes it was frustrating to see people living close by coming late but then I thought I have to lead by example and these are the small things that defines oneself.The football high was achieved in May when I got the chance to play with a member of the Indian football team and the pilgrimage happened in Kolkata when I saw Messi play.

There are two things which I have carried in my bag for the past few years , they are the football studs and a book.I managed to read only 16 books mainly due to academic commitments.The mailbox was full with book review requests and had to say no to many authors.All these books were wonderful and the library is still growing.Financially i hit a low once when I did not have money for a book,I did not regret the fact that there was no money but I hated the fact that I did not have the book.To quote one of the lines from the book 127 hours which enjoyed a lot,"The invigoration of hiking alone,moving out at my own pace,clears out my thoughts.A sense of mindless happiness-not being happy because of something in particular but because i am happy is one of the reasons why I go to lengths I do to have some focused time for myself."   

Today sometimes when I look in the mirror I see a better me and the inner radiance reflects on the face.

Dear reader,Thank you for being in part of my journey and I feel that with time my writing skills are getting better.I would like a line from you on the year which is about to pass by.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December Quote

When we are young it is good to be a Sreesanth for frivolity is the characteristic of the young but it is equally significant to dream of a Sachin.But no mission is achieved without realizing the Dhoni within and the aplomb and meticulous approach of a Dravid.Remember there is only one Sachin Tendulkar and many Vinod Kamblis.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ruddy orange glow across the lunar surface and Vadodara reunion

"People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends,but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment.A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors.In my line of work I make it a point to notice them."   - Markus Zusak(The Book Thief.)

Don't know whether it is the nostalgia of a group picture or the beauty of the moment which lures me the most.At that moment with my shoulders around the neck of my friends, I felt that this is something I would like to do again and again.I have lately seen many sunsets and sunrises,interestingly today it seems more like a carnival than the usual calmness that it bestows.As a child I was taught that the sky was blue but later I learnt that you could see other colors if you were observant. Following the Sun until the last red disappeared and later a reddish tinge spread over the water of the dam I thought that sometimes life is as it should be.

A 40 hour train ride covering 8 states is not about the distance but is about an experience of knowing a few of the 1.21 Billion.Sitting on an Economic Times Newspaper along with many others I knew it was a different story for everyone.For some it was tickets not being confirmed while for most it was fate.I had read somewhere that the best way to pass a night is by telling stories and  by the end of the cold winter night I had some interesting stories to narrate.For me it was a weekend getaway but for most it was a ticket for more money.Sitting there I felt the discomfort of disparity rather than that of my situation.Sometimes life makes us find warmth in the most unusual of places,I would like to remember this as a night of warm memories.

People do so many different things in their pursuit of happiness ,for me it has always been a simple walk to a football ground or a mountain peak in a summer evening.Life for most of us has become mere shrinking square feets bounded by impenetrable walls.Experiencing a lunar eclipse with friends was not just 3 beautiful hours but was in fact a whole phase of the moon fast forwarded.Nature surprises us in mysterious ways and makes us conscious of the beauty of a moment.When the lights in the resort went out all of us were looking at the sky and suddenly we were aware of the beauty,enchanted,spell bound we all wanted the moment to last to eternity.

Hangover of a long journey and 4 hours of sleep could not subdue the spirit of running.We ran and we ran hard for those 7 kms relieving us of the solitary runs we have been used to in our new roles.In college it is easy to categorize your football,running,smoking, breakfast and  assignment friends but there are a few who rise above these labels.It is for these friends that one rises beyond all trepidation,anxiety and pain to relive a part of a life when we were happy.

In our lives, each day we strive hard for happiness,often forgetting the fact that happiness is a choice which does not comes from exotic food and costly cars but by putting a cap to our wants.We seek emotional solace from the society forgetting  that no one cares and selfishness thrives.On the bike ride with Doodh we shared the experiences of Anandwan  and Vrindavan  two names of which the essence was the same.He has been a partner on many of my treks and this time the connection was re installed on two wheels.Life is like strands of thread mixed with each other, it is by our choices that we separate the strands easily or keep mixing them further.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another trip with friends

Will be leaving for Gujarat in another half an hour.Whenever I will read this post in future it must remind me of the fight i have put for this trip.Between i wanted to share with the blog a pic of mine, I got my first suit and thought would be worth a memory.

I loved the latest episode(Season 7:12) of how i met your mother.The friendship gesture of Ted towards Robin brought some tears.I am going to this trip for some laughs as Ralph Waldo Emerson aptly says,"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November quote 2

A sleeping mattress is the best investment as one spends half the life on it while a wedding dress is the worst of all as one spends only a few hours in it. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Title : Pride and Prejudice
Author :Jane Austen
Publisher : Wilco
ISBN: 81-8252-236-6
Price:INR 149

"It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us."

Set in the 19th century English society this is still considered as one of the best  classics of all time.Everything about this book right from the character development , the language , plot and theme is top notch.We talk here of  a society where the men had all the power and women had to take consideration of their family,social status,wealth to marry someone.The story is about the family of Bennets and their five daughters.What makes it more special is the weak financial condition of their family.The best way to read this book is to step into the shoes of each character and analyze their motives and actions.Every character has a part to play and each of  these have a prejudice of their own.Jane Austen has brought her point without preaching and compromising the entertainment value.

Prejudice works in strange ways , it puts a mask on the brain and renders one incapable of acting rationally.It also makes one presume events without considering all the aspects of the situation.Sometimes it may be because of beauty , social-status or  a certain privileged situation.The book has intelligently brought out these aspects of human nature through a plot.Elizabeth,Mr.Darcy,Mr.Collins,Mrs. Bennet and Lydia bring out the various angels of pride and their actions describes the consequences.

The estate of the Bennet's is entailed to a distant relative named Mr. Collins.He is prejudiced of being a clergyman and in every talk he mentions his profession and his relationship to Lady Catherine.His privileged condition to the Bennet's makes him seek one of the daughter's of the family.He presumes his success because it would ensure that the estate remains with the family.Lydia's action brings out the aspect that how vanity can make fool out of us.But the most important treatment of prejudice is brought out through the character of Elizabeth.Whether Eliza's thought prudently of Mr.Darcy may be a debatable question but there is no denying the fact that she was prejudiced towards him right from the first time she met her.Any further meetings just strengthened her hate in him.These lines bring out her feelings quite aptly," Astonishment,apprehension,and even horror,oppressed her.She wished to discredit it entirely,repeatedly exclaiming,"This must be false!This cannot be!This must be the grossest falsehood!"   

When the Bingley's move in to the neighborhood of the Bennet's Mrs.Bennet sees this as an opportunity for her daughters to make new acquaintance and probably marry one of the Bingley's.But rarely does it happen that everything goes as per plan.In real life too hate and prejudice comes into plying.So will the Bennet's find the correct match? Will love or vanity thrive? What should be your disposition in dealing with daily situations? 
Each sentence of this book is a feast of the English language.If you haven't read it ,please do.

Rating : 4.3/5

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November quote.

The best thing about  shooting stars is that it makes you realize that one thing which you desire the most at a particular instant of time. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Books to buy this winter

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

I had posted a similar list last November , hope you would have picked a few and read.Here is a list for this winter.Most of the books are on travel,some autobiographies and the remaining on life and philosophy.Trust me these are some wonderful reads and if you have read some your comments are most welcome.

1)Education of a wandering man by Louis L'amour .[ This book is mentioned in the book Into the Wild.]

2) Call of the Wild by Jack London.[ This book is mentioned in the book Into the Wild.]

3)Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky .[This book and War and Peace have been referred to be the greatest books in some autobiographies I have read.]

4)Himalayas by Michael Palin.[ Lots of references of the same in Into thin Air.]

5)Out of my comfort zone-Steve Waugh[I am a great admirer of Steve especially his sixes on the leg side.]

6)Freedom in Exile-Autobiography of Dalai Lama

7)Of human bondage-Saumerset Maugham[Have read a few short stories by him.He is one of the greatest authors of all time and would start off with this book.]

8)The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkein [I read The Lord of the Rings by him and this is considered to be even better.]

9)Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  

10)On shortness of life by seneca.

So what are you planning to read this winter ?                                   

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Habit of Winning by Prakash Iyer

Title: The Habit of Winning
Author: Prakash Iyer
Publisher: Penguin India
Price:INR 299

"When faced with the challenge of walking on a thin log across a stream,make sure your mind does not get filled with thoughts of falling into the water."

Charlie Plumb,Karoly Takacs,Roger Bannister,Tyrone Bogus : Do these names ring a bell? Ok how about Sachin Tendulkar,Marvan Attapatu ,Mahatma Gandhi,Randy Pauch ? Better still, I hope you must have seen baloons,kites rabbits and cockroaches.These are the names of people and things who have been winners in their lives.Each of these teaches us an attribute like ,breaking mental barrier,perception of goals,working in a team,hard work,handling pressure,value for money and the list goes on and on which helps us in our practical life.

Are you tired of management books which sound preaching and try to force in ideas to your mind? Everyone loved stories when kids and at the end of the story we talked of the moral of the story.This book is a short story book and each chapter has fodder to inspire,motivate and unleash the winner within.I have read few self help books and had to leave a few midway but I found this one very easy going and inspirational at the same time.The author correctly points out how some things are not taught at B-schools and how the rather trivial act of flying a kite is an important management lesson.

The author also shares some personal stories and also presents a perspective to a better life.He seems to be a great lover of cricket and many of the stories are from the game of cricket.I appreciated the fact that he picked so many examples from the game because those stories easily sink in and would remain with us for a longtime.I liked the chapter on kites where the author points how pulling the thread makes a kite soar higher.I would recommend readers to pick this book for those lessons,after all we all want to be winners.

Rating :4/5 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Changing waistlines,bankruptcy and a dip in the river Jamuna

On the Diwali night the train i boarded was remarkably empty and so were my pockets.The last two months of no mobile usage had saved those precious 200 hundred bucks which would definitely be handy. I was happy on the thought that one of my friends was also traveling,after all some company never hurts.It was quite natural to think of previous Diwali nights. A year before last, FK and me had landed up in a dormitory whose other 6 occupants were 60 year old friends, spending some time on their own away from their families.It was friendship that bound 20 year olds with 60 year olds.In my first year at college, I sat in a general compartment of Howrah mail for 3 days to attend Diwali with my family and in my final year I returned back to college with a burnt hand,a painful Diwali night spent with my hands dipped in ice.

Standing in knee deep water in Vrindavan, I experienced one of the most beautiful sunrises ever.Don't know whether the goosebumps were due to the cold or in anticipation of a the day that lay ahead.Vrindavan has always been a spiritual destination for me where I spend a day or two with the sages eating only once a day,sleeping on mattresses,bathing in the river Jamuna and meditating.The place has more to offer than an experience,sometimes it makes me ponder on the importance of seeing things for the purpose they serve e.g. the purpose of food is to provide nourishment and energy for one to carry day to day activities.Succumbing to earthly pleasures is quite easy and spending sometime here makes me more aware of the frailty of our minds.After the bath I parted with half of the money in my pockets which would serve as a source of ration for the sages for a few days to come.

You can say that my pockets were double empty  as i boarded an overcrowded bus bound for Delhi.The reduced waistline has caused a bring dent in my pockets and I am currently managing with just 2 pair of jeans.I would have had a third pair but then this trip would have not happened.I would like you to be in my shoes someday just for an experience,you will appreciate money as you would have never done before.You will definitely realize a purpose beyond buying pizzas and shopping in malls.I stood for the next 5 hours on this damned bus hoping to meet my friends soon.

I had booked the Metallica show tickets on the first day they were out.I read their biography , listened to their songs,browsed for the cheapest possible Metallica shirts and downloaded 3 live concert videos.But with every km traversed there was a mixed excitement,one of the concert and the other of meeting my friends again.Slowly the latter started dominating but the conflict remained until we lost our show tickets.Standing against the wall you could see 4 people laughing and enjoying a moment in which many others would have behaved differently.The sad part was not that we lost our tickets but that the show got canceled.It is sad for North India and sad for many people who had made sacrifices to see something great.

The day which had begun with a holy dip ended in high spirits on a Gurgaon rooftop. I realized that my friends are like wine who get better everyday though their essence remains the same.It was heartening to see that nothing had changed except for the waistlines.The next morning walk for breakfast brought me back to college days with the usual companions Bhale,Hula and FK replacing Chola.The rs.15 bread pakoda seemed  too costly as i explained my last 14 months to FK.I told him,"I read somewhere how it is important in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong."Sitting on that table with friends i was a stronger person who had earned respect for himself.

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand ,nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them and is willing to trust them."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Turn the Page

So how was your 4 years of college? Well,I had a cycle without breaks and it circled the institute successfully for 4 years.As a matter of fact I thoughtfully gifted it to a security guard and it is still doing its rounds in the holy place.Actually I got the brakes repaired umpteen number of times but the cycle wanted to break free so it remained brake free  most of the time.This will probably be the last week as a student here and plausibly the last late night at in the lab.On my way to the hostel I ask myself the question raised at the beginning of this paragraph and the answer is this cycle,we both survived and freewheeled the place.

Financially, these days are a nightmare owing to the outrageous rules of the hostel administration.I light the remaining half of the Godam Garam and thank the Germans for inventing a smoke which lasted so long.In fact I did time myself once and it lasts almost 1.7 times longer than a normal classic milds.Not only do I feel less guilty lighting 2 of these rather than 4 of those but also it has helped a lot in my budget.I feel hungry and curse myself for not stuffing some more rice at Andhra Mess.I have mastered the art of putting a lock on my door while I am inside the room.This is very important for me because if the newspaper guy finds me I will be more than a broke.I will have to sleep now because even a fifteen minutes delay in reaching Nandini means fair chances of the cheapest item getting over.Sometimes I laugh at all this but still continue living the way things are just for some fun , some experience with a pinch of salt. 

There are two kinds of people on this globe , one who listen to the same song over and over again and the others who  can sing at the top of their lungs to any goddamn song. I have missed these two types the most for  past few days.Probably I have missed the noise , the laughs and fun.Even the monkeys have deserted the place for lack of life in the wing.Ranvah and Hula have made these last days worth living and Topa has provided the occasional kicks one needs to keep living.Everyday I sleep in the hope that someone would knock and wake me up for the breakfast, at least it ensures a peaceful sleep.

"The clock is ticking" is scribbled on a wall in my room I read it once again as I switch off the lights.

Note: Had written this post during the last days of college but never got the time to edit and print.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This is not that Dawn by Yashpal

Title : This is not that Dawn
Author: Yashpal
Type: English translation of Jhoota Sach.
Publisher: Penguin books 
ISBN 978-0-143-10313-4
Pages :1119 
Price:479 (Flipkart)

"Jeevan ke rang" was one of the very few serials I used to love on Doordarshan and I remembered Yashpal from that serial.Most of the episodes were based on the short stories by him.He was considered as the Tolstoy of Hindi literature and probably Jhoota Sach was the most definitive amongst all.Written in 1958-1960 his work was translated in English in 2007.This work of his is the most profound work on the partition of India.He has written over 50 books of short stories , essays ,novels.He was the proponent of social reform and social protest and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1970.

Summarizing thousand pages of a book is no easy task.The enormity of the book actually makes it so special. .It delves into the life of every character in minuscule details and deals with the political,social and cultural consequences of the partition.The best part is the balanced portrayal of the Hindu and Muslim story.Divided into two volumes, first in Lahore and the second  in India the book offers a complete picture of a historical event which has its repercussions till date.Reading the book makes me wonder what our ancestors had gone through and leaves a big question for humanity, not only the atrocities during the partition but also about a prejudice which cost millions of lives.

"An immense cloud of flies hovering over the heads of the refugees alighted on the convoy.The flies swarmed so thickly that one had to use both hands to ward them off,so as to avoid breathing them in.With them came the smell of death,a gagging,retching smell,as if their bodies continued to decay as they walked."

The book tells the story of two families but in the long run their story summarizes the lives of millions affected by partition.Our protagonist Tara and Jaidev live in the Bhola Pande's gali in Lahore.Jaidev marks the generation pre partition where the youth went to jail for freedom and took part in social protests and reforms.The life of Tara is a compassionate portrayal of the condition of women in the society then.Life was normal in the Bhola pande's gali where people considered that place to be their home.Life was normal until some prejudiced leaders decided to divide people on the basis of religion.This started chain of barbaric events  and savagery.People flee their homes,millions died and the women were the center point of belligerence.Not only did the demography change , in fact it was a life changing event for many.

The first part of the book deals more with the day to day life in two families.Socail status , money and society played an important part in their lives.It reflects how woman from time immemorial had to bow to social pressure and the discriminatory attitude of educated people.Apart from the day to day struggle in Jaidev's life there are stories of love, hate and infatuation.People living ordinary lives, making their ends meet had to leave everything behind for their lives but to in the process of saving their lives many lost a life they had.

A person's character is tested the most in times of tribulations.People were parted from their families and each  had to take a different course of action.Some fought hard and adjusted to the new life while others gave in.But the book made me thinking that how could a human being become so inhuman, what was it in them which made them so barbaric and why were the women treated so ruthlessly? What is it in us which makes us so strong to fight hunger and save our lives and how does one desperately end one's life?How does one feel to leave all everything and run for his life and especially how can one take the life of a neighbor out of hatred.Was it a war,or is a war like this?Who started all this and was the purpose sufficed? The book raises a lot of such questions and probably answers them in the stories of the character' life.

The second part of the book can be aptly called the rehabilitation story.It marks a totally new life for many.It marks the beginning of a free India which had to deal with millions of refugees, the very first test of the worthiness of  its leaders.It throws more light into the socio-economic condition of the society and unemployment.But amongst all this many families are re united, while some never go into their pasts for their good.The book talks about Congress party,Mahatma Gandhi and discusses the course of action taken by the leaders of free India. Amidst  the good it talks about the advent of political corruption.

Yashpal speaks a lot about the lives of woman in that era.The atrocities in the partition , the restrictions imposed by the family members,their independence has been dealt in great detail.This book depicts that how institutions of morality are sacrificed at the cost of greed and love survives in the worst of conditions,how one changes his character to gain undue advantage.

Born almost 40 years after Independence this epic novel leaves me in awe and amidst thoughts.Do read this wonderful masterpiece on a topic which will stay in our lives for generations to come.  

Rating :4/5

Friday, October 7, 2011

October Quote

Patience isn't an easy thing,but the alternative is much worse.Love will triumph if you let it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So which book is it ?

A fun game for readers.Here is a list of 10 lines picked from books you would have definitely read.Let's see how many of you can identify the book.

1) I was looking for the key for years but the door was always open.

2) To a person sitting in the office or a living room,a picture of winter mountain sunset is just a picture.To me,it was the experience of taking the picture.

3) It is our choices that show what we truly are,far more than our abilities. 

4) Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought.I am not me any more.At least i am not the same me I was.

5) May you not rest,as long as i am living .You said i killed you-haunt me then.

6) Nothing in any life,no matter how well or poorly lived, is wiser than failure or clearer than sorrow.And in the tiny precious wisdom they give to us ,even those dreaded and hated enemies,have their reason and right to be.

7)Man's greatest virtues are to be found in what is called  the gutter;the underworld;and what gangsters do is sometimes the same as what heroes do.

8)What is good,Phaderus and what is not good-need we ask anyone to tell us these things.

9)I was surprised,as always,by how easy the act of leaving was,and how good it felt.The world was suddenly rich with possibility.

10)We can never lose the things we live for.We may have to change their forms at times,if we have made an error,but the purpose remains the same and the forms are our's to make."

11)Boys ,Laila came to see treated friendship the way they treated the sun:it's existence undisputed;its radiance best enjoyed ,not beheld directly.

Would love to know the books you were able to identify.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September quote

When I am old, I would prefer to sit by the sidelines of the football ground rather than on a cushioned chair , after all i am sure that the best moments of my life will be/were lived on the football field.

10000 Turns

Kudos to Moli Bhai for making an awesome video in a trip which i will remember for my life. Remember the biking series  , see for yourself the beauty of the place.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

JS & The Times of my life by JUG SURAIYA

Title :JS & The Times of my life.
Subtitle: a worm's eye view of indian journalism
Author : Jug Suraiya
Publisher : Tranquebar
Price: 495

"I never wanted to be a journalist" are the first lines in the second chapter of this book.Those lines are correctly placed in the second chapter because by the time you read the first, you are sure that all that he could have done was become a writer.Apart from being part of JS and TOI ,Jug has been the co-creator of the comic strip Duniya ke neta,several books short stories and editorial page articles.

"Soda normally comes in bottles or tins.Soda by the kilo was a new one on Bunny and me.But may be they ordered things differently in Vasant Kunj.After all ,Sushmita Sen lived there.Maybe famous beauty queens liked their soda in Kilos."Witty, satirical and hilarious is what I had expected from the creator of the Dubyaman and I promise you i still have a faint smile while a pen down a review.It his unique style of  serving the even serious matters with a tinge of humor and it is this style which had made me an ardent reader of the weekly Juggle-Bandhi.Personally i find many of his articles youth centered probably from the experiences of the js.Here are a few interesting ones which you would like to read:Horny India ,The Filigree on the tapestry of silenceKolkata adda, Generation Rap,The poverty of porn,

Set against the backdrop of two iconic publications-the JS and The Times of India it is the story of a Kolkata lad kicked out of English Honours to the associate editor of TOI .From writing articles for a JS-The magzine that thinks young to TOI not only does the demography change(Kolkata to Delhi) but also a transformation of India as a whole.Probably the one thing which  did not change was the that the author still does not use a computer.In one of the chapter he talks about Maruti-800- a status symbol,considering the fact that the last one manufactured was in May-2011 , it accentuates the fact that we have come a long way.

In this somewhat chronological journey the author narrates his story taking up contemporary issues as per the time line.It takes you through the shift of the Indian Journalism and also the intricacies of a writing job.He writes about Lindsay,Desmond ,Mr.Dua,Kaziranga,Devanand ,Mother Teresa,Belchi massacre,Sonagachi,India -Pak relatons and many other things.The short travelogue on  Tibet was very intriguing and loved every piece of it.Reading this, I could appreciate why Jug is the first Asian to have won the Grand Prize for Travel Writing awarded by the Pacific Area Travel Assocaition.

Jug is an honest writer and he discusses the role of media towards the society.In this honest portrayal one does not always makes friends.He mentions how few of his articles has pissed off Jaylalitha,Amitabh Bacchan,Vikram Seth and many more. Characterized by humor at the most unforeseen place and figurative speech at times he has manged to present pressing issues like India-Pak relations with a pinch of salt.But at times it is very direct and terse.I really likes his serious take on secularism in the chapter named,"Paddy,Ajit jokes and waterless in VK." To quote few favorite lines from the book,"Voices that remind me that we are all children of a common soil,stray how or where we may? Brindle wagged her tail in Kutchi and Bengali,neglectfully misplaced by me years ago,now rediscovered.And let Bal Thackerey and others of his stripe make of that what they will."

Do grab your copies for a wonderful read and thanks to Blogadda for a author signed copy of the book. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Argetina vs Venezuela friendly in Kolkata

While going to Vaishno devi , it was "Jai mata Di,Jai mata Di",to Kedarnath,"Bol Bum,Bol Bum " but this time on my trip to Kolkata it will be,"Messi Messi", after all pilgrimage is all about faith.

This Monday i had the opportunity to watch a live match between TFA and Sikkim.The main attraction of the match was Baichung Bhutia and it was a pleasure seeing him play.Some months ago I played a half along with Subodh,a member of Indian football team.This Friday i will be watching Messi play.Somehow this year is turning out to be a wonderful year of football.

And for all those who are cracking jokes on Arsenal,"It’s easy to kick a dog when it’s down.  And it’s even easier when everyone else joins you in doing so.Arsenal will be back after the dust settles.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A reason to smile

Dear Blog,

I have always shared happy moments with you.Though i have not shared my desperate times much , i assure you that there weren't many and besides i have a bunch of great friends for all that.

I am happy today and an email has just made my day.I got the confirmation for participating in the Mumbai marathon.When i told you the reason of pursuing  an MBA, I was truthful.This marathon gives me an opportunity to meet my friends and note that I don't call it a reason because one does not need a reason to meet a friend.You know, the best part of college was  those evening runs with friends and in January i will be running with them again.

 I write this here because not all the emails I have received lately had the words like: delighted and congratulations.I have always held to fragments of hope and this hope has always carried me through the most adverse of situations.I think i can do with some hope at this juncture.

To quote from The Shawshank Redemption ,"There are places in this world that are not made out of stone.That there's something inside that they can't get to,that they can't touch.That's yours.......hope." 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Freedom run- Aarambh 2011

The 5km race organised by IIM Ranchi named it as,"Freedom Run" though for me running has always been,"Run for Freedom."With a national flag on the chest and a chakra on the T-shirt I ran to celebrate the most important day of the Indian calender. 5km track has become a routine for me.The track where I generally run is exactly 2.5 km long and on any given day I easily run 2 rounds of it.The average time ranges from 21-25 minutes.So considering the distance it was a routine run but the joy of running with so many people is different.The good thing about these runs is that each experience is different.We human beings live for a change and running is a means for the same. 
Coincidentally i have received a  book named,"This is not that dawn-Yashpal" by the Crosswords group for reviewing.The book is the English translation of ,"Jhootha Sach",one of the most profound works on India-Pakistan partition.We live in a twitter and facebook world, a world which mostly makes narcissists.On this Independence day we may not find many reasons to celebrate.India, no doubt is soon emerging as a fast growing nation but in the run we have been paralyzed by corruption.It is high time we woke up and contributed our bit.

At the stroke of midnight with our bellies stuffed give it a thought,"Is it our Independence day or an independence holiday." 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Defining Atheist

"Any one who does not watch football is an atheist."---Abhinav

So the biggest thing on planet Earth starts  tomorrow and I feel excited much like the millions around the globe.

What is Football?

 Sweat,blood,passion,tackles,throughballs,goals,saves,tears,joy,fights,handshakes,booing,singing,victory,loss,points,mistakes,skill and many other uncountable things.But above all it is a religion which unifies people around the world irrespective of color and ethnicity.A religion which is not preached but widely followed by the masses.If there is a practical art of living life it is football.Not only football teaches you to be resolute but also to be patient in adversity.Someone who has seen football can understand the importance of a second, the significance of an opportunity,the virtue of  a decision  and meaning of loyalty.Call it passion,enthusiasm or commitment but the fact is that it is all in one and one in all.

I am a born Gunner and I put my stakes again on Arsenal.Hope this year brings some silverware."For Arsenal we live for Arsenal we die."
So which club are you supporting ?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Give me some sunshine

It has been raining cats and dogs here, especially in the evenings.Sad part is that the authority close the stadium whenever it rains.A few lines reflecting that i have lost my mind and have succumbed to boredom.

Kai shaam hum
ghar mein sad liye
ek shaam to ab humein
khelne do khelne do

Give me some sunshine 
someone stop the rain
give me another chance 
i want to play again

Kandhon ko geele kapde
ke bojh ne jhukaya
waarish mein bheengna to
khud mausam ne sikhaya
chatri hai to sahi warna padi

Tip tip kar barsa
sara din saala
bijli ki karak ne hila diya ghar saara

July mein bhi barse
aur adha august bhi
ek shaam to ab humein
khelne do khelne do

Kai shaam hum
ghar mein sad liye
ek shaam to ab humein
khelne do khelne do

na na na na na na 
ab aur barasna na.... na na ........


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Sitting in a classroom of my school for the first time i realized that it was a classroom.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finding my soul on 2 wheels -5

Comes the morning
When I can feel
That there's nothing left to be concealed
Moving on a scene surreal
No, my heart will never
Will never be far from here 

(No Ceiling Lyrics -Eddie Vedder)

Chapter 5 : Falling in love with Arunachal

There are times in life when you get stuck in a moment and wish it lasted for ever.But moments are like bubbles,like waves, hitting the shore one after the other.It is this fleeting nature of moments that makes it so precious.Passing by the signboard which read,"VILLAGE KAMKI" filled me with an admiration of the friendship I shared with a special person.6 years of laughs and tears and a ephemeral moment.
Group pic @ Kamki

Whenever my mind takes a stroll down the memory lane it inadvertently reaches Arunachal and fills me with sweet feelings of freedom.A place where life is not piled upon life,where strangeness and wonder of existence is emphasized,where humans,flora and fauna co-exist in harmony.Nature has bestowed equal opportunity of growth to everyone and so every living organism stands out bold and tall overlooking a canopy of green.
Cricket pitch by the river

Arunachal is a paradise for the solitude lovers.Probably this is the reason why we find Mithuns in the valleys of Arunachal.It is fun to meet someone who is like minded but its a rarity to find your  resemblance in an animal.Mithuns are an integral part of the culture and hold paramount significance in rituals.But these animals are freedom lovers and live in the wild.They pay occasional visits to their owner's house.As they say that animals have an instinct and this one really had some.He also wanted to see a human counterpart and turned to the owner's house,the very day I was there. 

  Mithun @ Jini

I took this journey to swim away from the human responses of anger,fear and judgment.I wanted to swim to an unknown island hidden within myself.In this journey I met many new people,lived a new culture made awesome  friends and in the process found my soul.

Thanks for being with me in the journey.Would love to know the chapter you like the most.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Metallica we bow to thee

‘Fuck it all and fucking no regrets!’
– James Hetfield, ‘Damage, Inc.’, 1986

Metallica is coming to rock India and surely Nothing Else Matters.

Why do you love music? I love it because i can relate to the songs and it gives meaning to a state of mind I am in.I have loved it more for the beauty of the lyrics , the philosophy and the stories behind the songs.

Actually music is magical.It evokes in us some dormant emotions and turns life into lifeless things.It has made us happy in the dullest of our moments and has given a purpose of life to many.Do you remember a song you heard at a tea shop and how that song stayed in your lips for the evening.Music has something for all, fodder for the romantics,medicine for the broken soul and hope for many.

One of the greatest examples of hope is a song called,"Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash.Its about a prisoner who can only listen to the rattlings of a passing train.It invokes in him a desire to be a good man,a free man.This is how we associate to music , why few lines become so meaningful in our lives.Music is about November Rains, of High hopes ,of Winds of change ,of Strangers in the night,of Tambourine man and also of the Purple Haze.In fact music is blowing in the wind.

Again i digressed from the main topic Metallica.Well the tickets are available at and I got mine today.For me metallica songs have been the energy boosters.Rarely do we listen to a song over and over again, metallica has been one such band.I am listing down 10 songs which i would want them to play, do put down your choices.

1)Wherever I may roam.

2)Nothing Else Matters

3)Turn the Page

4)Ain't my Bitch

5)Whiskey in the Jar

6)The Day that never comes.

7)Low man's lyrics

8)Tuesday's Gone


10)Fade to Black

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finding my soul on 2 wheels -4

Eisenheim: From the moment we enter this life we are in the flow of it. We measure it and We mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass too quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?
(A Dialogue from the movie,The Illusionist.) 

Chapter 4 : Riding the Dream

The Sun has calmed down a bit and I am about to reach the day's rest point.It has been a flat course on the first day of the trip except for the last 5-10 minutes, when I have had the first tryst with the valley, marking the beginning of what would be a romantic date with nature.An unknown calm sets in, i feel resurrected and small at the same time.I see a clarity in my thoughts and understand that this is what we call as unbridled joy and freedom.Today at 4 Itanagar I spent a minute or two in solitude, gazing at the cloud covered mountains.I could hear them call and at this moment I embrace them.

                                                   On our way to Likabali

A journey is like the course of a river, it is destined to flow into the sea, but the path it weaves forms its essence.A journey is like a game of football , it is about the sliding tackles,the penalty kicks , the 50-50 balls,it is about every second of the 90 minutes.Sometimes a journey is like swinging on birch trees,for a moment leaving the earth into a free space and then returning back to start all over again.I had a journey of stumbles,falls,jumps,skids,punchers,smokes,rivers,waterfalls,rainbows,mountains,clouds,grasses,winds,rubble,horses,rains,songs,teas,samosas,apong,maggi,rice,solitude,bliss,peace,clarity and on and on.I was fortunate that i had friends to share these with.Happiness is a way of travel and at some point in this journey I found my way.

The journey of a river

On my second day on bike I knew that I was doomed to move in circles.At every 50-60 meters was a blind turn and brakes,decelerate,change the gear,honk,bend,turn, accelerate was to become a never ending regime for 10 more days to come.On an emotional level i was getting entwined with nature.The sweet fragrance of wet grass welcomed me as i entered the valley, but as the trip progressed i became a part of the aroma.What began as singing songs in the dark bubble of my helmet  was soon replaced by a natural symphony.With the passage of time , the rain felt less harsher,the water less cooler and every passing turn on the road more familiar.I realized I was becoming a part of the eternity and this was not a dream.

 The Bikes

Biking on a Royal Enfield in Ladakh was a completely different experience from what I was having in Arunachal.The best thing about biking here was that the roads prepared you for the next day.What started with flat roads on first day soon turned to never ending circles.Slowly these circles became narrower and landslides became imminent.And when i thought this would be it , it started raining.In fact I rode for one whole day in rain on the most difficult of the tracks.There are somethings in life which come as expected and then there are those which are unexpected.It is this anticipation of the unexpected which makes biking so exciting.On a rainy day there were many instances when I had to just go into the puddle and leaving things to fate,i wrote of this earlier I had to take the plunge.

Love the bike.

The chilly wind will not stop and the incessant downpour  adds to the cold. The deluge has washed away the road at many places. In addition to the apprehension which every blind turn brings, there is a high probability of the tyres slipping in the boulevard. Slightest of error will bring me close to the river which I have been admiring from this high altitude and in rather precarious circumstances. But there is still too much to see and marvel at, the joy of riding in the rain, the delight of every morning. So I just  move on and on.

Moli Bhai and me in Menchukha

You are a bit tired from the ride and you enter a tea shop to have the whole place on your own,this feeling of space made me often feel at home.If you have someone like Moli as your riding partner there is no chance of being bored.Often correcting his lyrics and understanding the theory of Adiabatic Penis ,taking videos, time just flew by.In the process I learnt discipline and patience.Someone has rightly said,"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears."