Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eid reporting at its best

A must watch for anyone who wants to learn how to become an ideal reporter-:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Now that's what you call a good gift

Winter is here! And the joy that accompanies the announcement is purely because I can put my birthday gift to full use. On 6th when I received the putter and a few days later, a sleeve of John Daly golf balls, I did not hesitate for a moment before trying it out on the marbled greens at my place. Unfortunately, putting on that surface felt like putting at Oakmont. It left me ego shattered, my game in a shambles, and my confidence severely dented. I contemplated giving up the game. And I did.

But with the fog that clouds the air, winter brings with it those wonderful persian rugs, more commonly referred to as 'carpets'. That is the tonic my game needed. I pulled out the wood out of my bag ( vintage three-wood walking stick) and the cutely assembled putter to show the world, the champion is back! Now my swing feels great, no divots to be found and you should have seen the ball fly from the room next to the balcony over the dining room and into the drawing room as it landed three feet from the pin. Sheer joy. One that can only be experienced when you play top level golf like I do. And yesterday in the championship round at Augusta, I had a 25-foot putt for birdie. Stroked it gently and the ball followed different paths on the two-tiered green. Raced quickly off the bat through a downhill lie before climbing the last few feet upto the pin. I thought the ball would break right, it didn't! Missed the cup by a whisker and the green jacket failed to embrace my shoulder. But one day I will win it.

Till that day arrives, I will practice diligently, night and day, mostly night and irritate the hell out of everyone at home :)

BTW, did I tell you guys, my favourite Titleist Pro v1 plastic ball went out of bounds on one of the holes, as it found its way down the bottom of the drainage pipe in the toilet :C It was my favourite ball but I shall not wallow in my misery. I will get out there and buy a new ten buck plastic ball and work my magic on it.

And, yeah, Thank You guys. What a super-duper-fantastic birthday gift it was, infact, it is, it IS!


Did you know Shiela Dixit is 71 now? Come to think of it, the age is beginning to show on her face. But I always thought she was 50 something. And five more years, attagirl!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Teeing off with Free Radical 6

I got a message from Mathews in the morning telling me that I would find my copy of Free Radical when I get home. I was already at work by then and had no other option but to wait. But through the day, a series of emotions raced through my mind.

It was nearly two and a half years ago, during one of the club meetings, that the idea was put forth. Within an hour of animated discussion, the four page newsletter turned into a magazine and after a few months of wading through what seemed like truckloads of red tape, we finally had a college magazine.

Today, sitting in the Times of India office, working on a book, a sense of deja vu overcame me. After all it was the same thing all over again. The hunt for sponsors (made ToI richer by 50 lakhs), finding content, finding pictures, proofreading, re-proofreading and then getting excited by that first, low-res A-4 sheet printout which suddenly makes all those random pages strung together, feel like something publishable.

And, lest I forget, great job guys! The magazine has a very nice and refreshing feel about it and for you Rohit, who thought this would be an apt reply for our negative thoughts about this magazine not coming out, sorry boss, can't hide my happiness :)

Aastha, Krits, Varuni, Srb n Sid..I am sure you guys too share my happiness!

Shashwat, Deepak, Yash, Shashank, Nandita, Nitish, Shaurya, Gargi, Etika and Rohit..Carry on guys. You've done a great job!


Was at the Qutub Golf Course yesterday where Kapil and Nikhil Chopra were also there. Kapil actually wears a stud on the left ear; sad, very sad. But it was the sight of Nikhil Chopra that really could not stop me from feeling sorry for you know who (Sid, you do know!)


Tom Cruise (in cocktail)-:

"Talk is terribly overrrated as a means of solving dispute"

Monday, November 24, 2008

I always knose this..

Here is the result of a poll conducted online-:

Now who wouldn't want to pick that nose!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hot Sizzling Pics of Mallika Sherawat

It all started in a mad rush with me having to leave for the tournament within four hours of my sister’s wedding. I don’t think I managed a proper goodbye either, of which I would have had a lot of chances because on their way to the Andamans, they ( Ro n Arti) had to deplane coz my sister had left her handbag in the terminal. So that basically meant a shorter honeymoon!

I have always been told that Chandigarh is a beautiful and organized city but I never really understood the statement till I was in the city. Beautiful roads, lined by trees on both sides and perfect symmetry maintained with respect to numbering of the sectors gave the city a very elegant touch. It was more like a magnified version of Lutyen's Delhi.

I also bit into a temptation which I had managed to avoid with steadfast resolution. Spent the last few months of college playing flash, using Garry’s scrabble pieces as tokens. so I was all game for it when the guys said “let’s play flash”. It’s only when they asked me to cough up money after giving the tokens did I realize what I had gotten myself into! Unfortunately, I must confess, it was good fun and I was tempted to give it a shot again the next day. Greed is the root of all evil! Something that the tournament director found out to his misfortune :). No wonder then that he took the first flight back home the day the tournament finished!

On tour one gets the opportunity to meet and interact with so many players and other people that you feel you are looking at the start of new friendships.That, I like, for sure.

The week has come to an end and with all the wonderful newspaper clippings in tow, I write this on my way back on the Shatabdi that lets my Data Card access the cyber world with astonishing ease.


Highlights of the week

* Rashid won his third straight title on the National Amateur Tour

* I had a phone conversation with Peter Thomson, five time winner of the British Open

* Apparently ‘cards’ is also played with money!

* Chandigarh is as much Haryana as it is Punjab

* APPARENTLY ‘cards’ is also played with money


While Geroge Bush was saying something on T.V. , my room mate looks at the screen and says-:

“Doesn’t he look a little bit like a monkey”

DUDE! A little?

Anyway, Ab Dilli door nahin.

p.s. there was no other way you were going to read this ;-)

Get Lost you Mallikaphiles.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Of Donkeys and Elephants

Four years ago sitting in the computer lab in college, I still remember how we were desperately hoping John Kerry would pull through and send Mr Bush back to Texas. Unfortunately that did not happen and the world was subject to four more years of Dubya Bush. As Michael Moore rightly pointed out after the defeat in 2004, the only positive that came out of the election was that it would be just four more years of Bush, no more.

But in that election campaign, in the midst of all the sloganeering on a donkey’s back (the Democratic Party’s symbol), there was this young African American chap from Illinois who gave a stirring speech at the Democratic National Convention. There were two lines in that half hour long talk that suddenly waltzed him into everyone’s living room and people started wondering who he was, the man with a Kenyan father and a Hawaiian mother. Incredibly simple yet incredibly powerful-:

'We should not divide ourselves into red states and blue states because we represent the United States of America'

When a man with incredible oratory skills delivers such a line, the world is bound to take notice. Four years later, he has been crowned(?) the President of the U.S.A., a nation state, whose leaders have more often than not caused a lot of heartburn to the rest of the world. While his being elected into the Oval office signals a remarkable wave of change, I only hope that his foreign policies will signal the dawn of a new era.

For too long, men and women in the corridors of power have failed to understand the importance of being a superpower and have successfully ensured that America has been antagonized and used as a rallying point by the fundamentalists to spread their vicious gospel. One can only hope, the 44th President of the oldest democracy in the world brings about real change. For a nation so powerful must learn to lead and facilitate peaceful coexistence.

So, as America goes to sleep with the words ‘Change’ on their lips, I go back four years to use the line that used to fill the air in Democratic rallies with nothing but unabashed (perhaps unsubstantiated) optimism-:

‘Hope is on the way’


Dear Sarah Palin,

Having seen a Russian mountain from the backyard of your Alaska home does not count as foreign policy experience. Please get hold of a visa and travel the world.

Dear Asif Ali Zardari,

I am sorry to inform you that your attempt at trying to floor Sarah Palin with your Cassanovaesque lines will yield no political benefits.

Dear George Bush,

Thank god for small mercies in life.

Dear Katrina Kaif,

You have the hottest nose that I have ever seen on a woman

Image Courtesy: www.coxandforkum.com

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Is Mr Genie listening ?

I have always looked at people working at certain places and wondered how it would be to get their job for a day. It's one of those wish for a day things and I suspect it would give you a better perspective of life. No, forget that line, its just for cheap thrills for me, nothing else.

Here is my list of 5 jobs that I would like to have for a day-:

Toll Bridge Attendant: Each day, I cross the same point twice and see the hassled look on the attendant's face making me really want to sit in that booth and try and see how difficult it would be to wear a smile all day. Also, at least once I want to take a 5oo buck note from someone's hand and check it in front of their face to make them realise how terrible it feels.


Auto Driver: Is there a better vehicle in this world that you could drive through all months of the year, except maybe those dirty months of May and June? Of course it won't hurt to drop two beautiful (make that hot) young women to their destination. Sh*t, I think I've jinxed it.. I would probably get to drive around a fat overweight obnoxious man from one end of the city to another all day :(


Steam Engine Driver: At least once if I ever get a chance, I want to be at the head of a train with a steam engine on a longish journey, maybe Delhi to Bombay. Wait, maybe from Bangladesh to Peshawar on a track parallel to the Old Grand Trunk Road


Sandalwood Smuggler: That's just a secret fetish. Shhh, you cannot tell anyone about that! I wonder what it would be like, living in the middle of the jungle, far away from Modern Civilisation, running your own little fiefdom while trying to evade the law enforcing authorities..Srirappan, maybe?


Traffic Policeman: That is something I have always wanted to do, stand at one of the crossings and try and manage the traffic. They are after all the modern day shepherds !


I can probably think of many more but off the top of my head this would be my list of five jobs that I would like to have for a day. Is Make-a-wish foundation listening?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


To the three of you-:

May the lights, luck and fun make this Diwali special in more ways than one

May the happiness that this season brings, brighten your life

Hope the year brings you luck and fulfills all your dearest dreams

Wish you a very happy,prosperous and a cracking Diwali (sans the crackers)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Eve Rulz

It's about time I formulated my fictional rulebook for women. Thou shalt follow these commandments or be prepared to lose her to the serpent. NEVER hold me to ransom if I fail to live up to these rules.


  • One must never keep a woman waiting
  • One must never insult a woman
  • One must never curse a woman
  • One must never curse in front of a woman
  • One must never insist on Pizza in front of a woman (but you can have it nonethless)
  • One must always let a woman pass through
  • One must always open the door for a woman
  • One must never expect a woman to compliment your singing (but that must not deter you)
  • One must never ignore a woman
  • One must always give a woman an indirect compliment

I think I have covered all the bases, I think. If there are useful inputs, I might consider adding it to the list. Since I know not one of the three of you is going to give me a pat on the back for the title, I shall do it myself! Ha.

Image Courtesy: Dave Thomas Collection

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I know Alice, but who's Gary Lawyer?

There is something about Boardroom meetings that I find really fascinating. For one it breaks your love affair with the computer and changes the dynamics of what you are supposed to do at work. Too many boardroom meetings can also mean your work is taking a beating and time to fly the white flag.

Anyway this was my first boardroom meeting; I say first because everyone was sitting around an oval table giving the setting a fairly intimidating look. At these places you have got to talk to create an impact and more importantly listen to prevent yourself from being fired.

I was pretty cowed down for the first 10 odd minutes, carefully weighing my words and listening intently just so that I did not miss out on something. but as the meeting went on, I started to relax, the shirt sleeve started finding its way up to the elbow and I was playing the part.

There came a point when the performer for a night show was being talked about(Gary Lawyer) and I chose to express my ignorance in the public domain by asking out loud "Excuse moi, who IS Gary Lawyer". Silence all around, me boss looked at me, almost as if sizing up his opponent(who in this case happened to be the prey) and very calmly said "He is a footballer".

Ah, Sarcasm! I guess you get what you give but I loved the answer, not because I was the least bit enlightened but it is the kind of humour that suddenly makes you grin from ear to ear. Thankfully, he followed up that repartee with a fairly detailed explanation on how culturally ignorant I was, not to know one of India's finest exponent of Western Music.

I am not the least bit ashamed about Googlin' my ignorance and this is what I found about him-:

Probably the only English singer in India, Gary Lawyer owns the entire music industry as his pleasing baritone reverberates on it’s own. Often called the man with the 'Golden Voice', he is regarded as the finest Indian artiste in the field of Western Popular Music

Ignorance definitely wasn't bliss in this case


As the meeting went on, I became bold enough to start messaging in the middle of the meeting which was preceded by checking the score on cricinfo which BTW said 'INDIA Won'. Not the best thing to do but I am afraid, I don't care how important the meeting is, Cricket is just a tad bit more important. And I had to message coz some ignorant people(:P) needed to be told how important this win was !


The best line I heard(whilst eavesdropping on someone's phone conversation)-:

In America when you earn $10,000, you first learn how to spend $100,000

What a line! Puts the entire bank crisis in perspective( or so I am told)


Word of the day: Gobsmacked

Was used for me and I am still trying to figure out whether that was meant as a compliment or not!


Come to think of it, now I know who Gary Lawyer is, but who is Alice ? Smokie is yet to give us a satisfying answer to that question. Who can blame them, with a name like that for their band, I doubt if they would be able to give us a satisfying answer to any question!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morning Blues and Tie'd to death

Q:What happens when you get up late ?
A:You reach office early.

This is the 86th time it has happened to me. I get up all flustered thinking that I am very late and in the bout of urgency that follows, I end up reaching my destination well ahead of time and that is something I really like :0. It's like the anti-Murphy law-:

"When I am in a rush, the universe conspires to get me to my destination well before time to leave me fidgety and bored"


Yesterday because of the absence of qualified personnel, I had to accompany someone for a business presentation. I was quickly given a standby tie( very efficient people) and was off. So, sporting a tie, neatly creased trouser, ironed shirt and a semi tonsured head(which still feels like a Persian Rug) it felt like I was transported back to me school days. Apparently that also qualifies for a half decent business presentation look so no one was complaining.

It was around this time each year that the winter gear in school kicked in and out came that tie. Unfortunately I was so darned organised that I never undid the tie knot through the four years that I had to wear it. While it saves time, it also means that I would feel like a fish out of water when given a tie in hand. But again, the tie I was given yesterday had the knot in place, all I had to do was tighten the noose and the lamb was ready for slaughter.


For those who care and those who don't, click on the link to read my Indian Open story, published exclusively for all three of you who read my blog. Two of you might not want to do it because it is about Golf and the third one, if you are trying to be nice and reading it then let me warn ya, if you are one who frowns over the misuse of the English language, then you are advised to give it a pass.


Would you exchange a walk-on part in a war for a lead role in a cage ?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Answer the Question

The last few days have been weird. weird good but weird.

Anyway, here is a message I got recently which asked me a question. I really would like to know what you think about it-:

The best of things fall apart, so labour not to make it last.
Instead happiness is in being happy now

Hmm...I know my opinion about the above but would really like to know your views.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can music save your mortal soul?

Can it?

I cannot begin to describe the joy ride down to office today. Was feeling terribly tired and after the dinner celebration last night really did not feel like getting out of bed for office today. Somehow I convinced myself to get outta bed and got meself ready to park me lazy bum in office.

I started off with a frown but by the time I reached office and now that I am typing this, the look on my face has completely transformed and I am struggling to wipe the grin off me face. Ten minutes into the ride, this is the first song that plays on f.m.-:

"Where do you go to my lovely" -- Peter Sarstedt

I am not a sucker for lyrics, not one for remembering them anyway but this is one of the few songs that I can sing along( I know almost half of it and anyone who knows me would understand that is a big figure).

It did not end there. This is the list that followed-:

  • To Sir with Love
  • I'll Follow the sun (Beatles)
and then...
  • Bridge over troubled waters ( S n G)
I don't know what you call good music but this would be somewhere near the top of my list but wait, the story aint over. Just as I paid the 20 bucks and floored the accelerator they play-:
  • American Pie ( Don Mclean)
Now, that is what I call shout on top of your voice, 'bring on da headbanging' kinda music. Remember the rock concert in college last month and the statuesque pose I maintained thru the evening ? If you want to know what makes me act like you wild kids at a concert then play this kidna music :)

Add to that the snow in Kashmir and it was just the perfect weather to 'roll down the window and enjoy the drive' kind of day. Oh, before I forget the mystery girl.. There was this car tailing me ( well, it was behind me anyway) and as the wind lashed the toll bridge, her hair seemed to blow in the breeze in a very 'out of a film set' kind of way. Now the mystery girl is gone !

Wait, I am beginning to think all this is because of the Rum Chocolate my mum made in the morning!


Last evening, I had reached home a little before the usual time and just when I thought I would relax and unwind, I had to slip into more 'publicly wearable' clothes coz we had to go celebrate Nitin's Skoda. So we drove down the expressway for what I thought would be the usual, Dominos ( and I wasnt complaining) but we ended up going to this really nice place called Yu Turn. Exotic frontier and Pan-Asian food was the line that caught our attention and the food was really good.

You know I would be the last person to talk about food so trust me it is a 'nice evening' kinda dinner place. Not as expensive as we thought it would turn out to be, so definitely worth a visit

P.S. Notice my 'I think this is how I should describe it' writing style ? Yes, words fail me today( as on most days), so have to resort to this ' not very elegant but still make it understandable to the others' kinda writing style !!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quick Byte

Two signs that student life is a thing of past-:

1) When you end up going to work on a day most banks are shut. Apparently today was Valmiki Jayanti, a regular part of the annual holiday calendar

2) When people you are used to seeing regularly might no longer be around, on a regular basis that is !

3) You cannot not do work.

Fine, that was more than two but then the third point was equally important

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thank You Mr Wilkins

Can you not see the grin on my face???? While all those 'loserish autograph hunters(*sheepish Grin*) went after Liang, I hung around long enough on the 18th green to wait for Allan to seperate himself from the crowd and had a small chat with him which largely involved me being tongue tied and not knowing what to say even though he pretended to be very human. Considering that the man covers so many sports I always wanted to know whose company he enjoyed the most- Vijay Amritraj, Dom Boulet or Geoff Boycott. I got the answer from the horse's mouth: Vijay Amritraj and Dom Boulet !


Another highlight of the week for me-:

Really enjoyed my first stint covering a big tournament. As it turns out Aabha Rathee( a very talented writer who works with Indian Express..If you don't trust me then go google her name) stumbled across me blog. She is one of the very few journalists who actually covers the game the way it ought to be covered. Follows the entire round with the main group and then files her story. The difference in her report and the report filed by other people is quite visible because you will always find something in her story that no one else could have possibly covered sitting in the media room ogling at the giant screen.

Aabha, if you read this...please keep the Wilko Autograph hunting bit to yourself.Pleeaaase :)

The tournament also gave me a chance to interact with some other golf journos including the two whose work I get to read regularly- Moushami Bora(T.O.I.) and Robin Bose(H.T.).

Of Course a longish interview with Daniel Chopra and a little interaction with Jeev Milkha Singh made this week special. All in all a really good few days. Period.

Autograph please

I am quite enjoying this...sitting here in the media centre and Allan Wilkins sitting a couple of bays ahead of me. Last few days I have had the chance to meet and talk with quite a few people. Saw so many players from close range, through their practice drills and their round, had a chat with Jeev's dad, the legendary athlete Milkha Singh, but not once did I feel the urge to go and get an autograph. I decided some 10 years back that there is no fun in hunting for autographs.

But yesterday when Allan Wilkins walked into the Media Centre, I must admit for the first time in quite a few years I really felt like going up to him and getting an autograph. I cannot quite understand it because its not like he is the most famous person doing the rounds of this course this weekend but he is still a big star for me. Maybe it is because I have idolised guys like him and Harsha for such a long time.

Yesterday I even went and did rounds of the production office to catch hold of him but could not find him. But now I am writing this, he is sitting just a few meters away merrily chatting with the folks around him. I just don't know how to go up to him and introduce myself for the fear of getting tongue tied. Damn! I did not think twice or skip a beat when Danny's manager came to me yesterday and said "here, go do your exclusive interview with him right now" but right now something is holding me back.

I wish I had gotten my camera along. It is so much easier to ask someone to pose for a pic along with you than asking them to sign on a piece of paper. But what the heck, its not like the next time he sees me he is going to remember I was the jerk who kept pestering him for an autograph.

I will wait till he is in some secluded corner and pounce on him for an autograph.That way at least I get to keep my dignity in the public domain.

I even tried that last evening when he was giving a long interview, just when I found my chance someone else pounced on him, started talking to him and whisked him away :(

Today is my last chance. Let us see what I can do

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Janamdin Mubarak Ho !

In a few hours Mr Sinha will be bringing in his 22nd birthday. For those who do not understand it, that means 22 years of useless, crappy, 'want to barf right now', 'make me deaf' kinda jokes. But thankfully thats not the only thing about the man.

For the last five years, it has been a funny bond that we have shared. When in school we were never really as close as we are now. Maybe distance filters out the useless jokes and only brings to the fore the good times. Having said that I must confess, any tale of Navtanay without his jokes is really like saying the best thing about a Pamela Anderson are her eyelashes!

This chap grows on you and unfortunately so much that he is the only guy I can honestly say I have been in regular touch with and still continues to call even if I forget to return his calls. He who started off as a Kishore Kumar fan, now boasts of a music library that contains all kind of junk that you kids apparently call music these days. I remember he had come over once and one of my other friends who met him for the first time later said " Woh tera dost--Heera ladka hain". Which in English means- That friend of yours is a pearl! Err....I guess what he was trying to say was what a fantastic guy he is and I think the reason why he said that is pretty simple-:

  • No Hangups
  • Nothing that comes remotely close to being associted with ego
  • Extraordinary self depreciatory ability
  • A warm personality
  • An understanding friend
  • And most importantly: Ability to make a woman fly after kissing her ! (please forgive me :-D )
- Sorry dude, thot I would list out 22 compliments for you but the list ran out pretty quickly!

Unfortunately I cannot put up any picture of his because the only thing close to cute and publishable about him is his 10 year old brother. But I am sure everyone who knows him would agree with me- 'He is a good guy'.

Happy Birthday Sunita!

p.s. please take this as my penance for not wishing you when the clock strikes 12. Dude, I have better things to do in lyf ;) !

Monday, October 6, 2008


Isn't it absolutely amazing when you discover a new talent that has been hidden for many many years? What would you know, you probably don't have that kind of reservoir of talent! I chanced upon this gift of mine and I am so happy I did. I realised that I am Ambidextrous. Yup, you heard that right, AMBIDEXTROUS.


I always knew there was something special considering that I used to bowl left handed and bat right handed but could never prove it.

It came to my notice that I am as creative( and darned good) while drawing with my right hand as I am with my left hand. The following picture will demonstrate how there is absolutely no difference in the quality of art even though I was using the right hand which I have never used before for drawing-:

The truth is in the pudding!

Don't ask me where, when and how. Oh well... Since you ask, this piece of genius was worked on at 5:30 in the morning with two people standing right behind me( Judging me) putting that much more pressure. I am just happy that I could turn around and say, Ha!

I wonder if Leonardo could recall where he was when he worked on The Last Supper.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliae

Nestled in the middle of the Noida Golf Course is a historical monument of great significance. As I was going for a walk around the course and the sun was melting in the west, its rays shone brightly on this monument which leapt at you out of nowhere. As you stand in front of it, you realise the beauty of the grand structure which has wide steps (in all likelihood built when the monument was built) leading up to it giving it a rather royal look.

Today it serves as the tee box for the 16th hole on the course but any player teeing off from that point would be overawed by every brick in the monument, each of which seems to want to tell a story

As I climbed up the stairs and stood in front of the arched structure I read what was inscribed on the structure-:

Near this spot
was fought
11th September , 1803
Battle of Delhi
where the mahratas led by
M.Louis Borquien were
defeated by the British led by
Gerard lake

There was something inscribed in Urdu near the bottom of the structure and I guess that it probably conveyed the same message. On top was carved the coat of arms adopted by the East India Company in its later years and a message in Latin(I think) which read-:

Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliae

Translated, it reads " By the command of the King and parliament of England" which was the motto of the East India Company. According to historical records available-:

"The Marathas fought bravely but lost due to the cowardice of French officers who were assisting them. After this battle the areas of Haryana and Delhi came under the British."

Neatly inscribed on the back of the monument was the name of the contractor who was assigned the task of building the monument - Roopram Nannay Singh and also the name of the architect- F.Lishman. As I walked away, what struck me was the beauty of the structure as it stood out in the middle of nowhere and how hardly anyone knows such a structure exists. I will try and go to the course one of these days and click a few pictures of that monument and put it up on the blog. Such significant structures should not be lost to creepers

Friday, October 3, 2008

50 first dates

I got my fourth-first pay cheque today and it is beginning to feel like the movie 50 First Dates, except I am yet to acquire an acute case of amnesia. Each time this first pay cheque comes along,it is supposed to be special. At least this time around it was slightly more than the Rs 400 that the folks at HT Next sent my way some four years back. I don't know why that stopped, coz considering the amount I blabber it might not have been a bad idea to continue with my contributions.

Actually come to think of it, I do remember why I stopped. Initially those guys were so starved of contributors that my article used to be published the very next day after I sent it but with time their pool of contributors grew and their response time to my articles dipped. So even though they did publish the article( i cannot think of any rejected piece) sometimes it used to get printed a week to ten days after I sent it. It kind of killed the spirit of some of the articles. Once I shifted to this side of the Yamuna, the newspaper barons refused to acknowledge my requests for a copy to be sent across and that was that. I made an honourable exit from my stint with the 'print media' !

But whatever said and done there was always the thrill of seeing the name come in print, something I always used to look forward to. A byline is a byline is a byline. It was on the strength of those articles that I went to the chaps at TSM in 07' to get meself an internship. While the internship did not materialise at least I got a job with them now. So maybe the article in HT Next did play a nice bit part in me employment.

Now when I yearn to get a piece printed with my byline, all that I get to do is ghostwrite for my boss and my work appears under his name. Apparently his name is more 'sellable'. Well, who can blame their way of thinking, my boss is a 17 time India international; Of Course his name is more sellable!!

But I shall wait, my time shall come and maybe one day you will see that outdated first name with an unbelievably long surname in print. But till such time all I know is that I have to stop dreaming and prepare meself to get outta bed at 4:30 in the morning tomorrow to start my second month at work.

Ah, life IS a bed of roses..


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Mahatma

Gandhi's Shoe

While boarding a moving train one day, one of Mohandas Gandhi's shoes slipped off and fell upon the track. As he was unable to retrieve it, Gandhi - to the astonishment of his fellow travelers - calmly removed his other shoe and threw it down the track to where the first had landed. "The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track," Gandhi explained, "will now have a pair he can use."


In 1910, Mahatma Gandhi was sent to prison by South African prime minister Jan Smuts for leading a passive resistance campaign opposing discrimination aganst Indians in Transvaal. From his jail in Bloemfontein, Gandhi sent Smuts a letter offering his "sincere regards." "The prospect of uninterrupted study for at least a year," he declared, "fills me with joy."

Gone in a puff

Mahatma Gandhi upbraided smokers for misusing their nostrils as chimneys. That Gandhi secretly puffed in his school was and was weighed down by remorse is recorded by Robert Payne in his immensely readable Life and Death Of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1924 Gandhiji wrote an article in Young India objecting to the issue of a new brand of cigarettes by the late N.S.T Chari called "Gandhi Cigarettes". Chari at once renamed his cigarettes as "Silver Cloud" and as newspaper editor Pothan Joseph quipped "sales dropped and it melted like clouds in the silver sky."


o U.P.A. !! While the new smoking law seems exciting, I really do hope it is implemented because half the wonderful laws are lost in implementation and the other laws are just plain stupid.


And Importantly, Arnab Dada-:

Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch zum Geburtstag (Happy Birthday)

(I have a sneaky feeling this impression will not be appreciated in today's hypersensitive environment. tsk tsk tsk)


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Godfather IV

The completion of the Wagah Trilogy..

Mathews, judge for yourself and may i specially recommend the sequence between 45 to 56 on the timeline!

Monday, September 29, 2008



This is going to be a few broken thoughts-:

Imagine a trip where everything goes as planned and you have loads of fun.. for some it might be oxymoronish and definitely not the 'eurotrip' but sometimes there is joy in clockwork perfection too..


Right from Nish scaring(:P) us by turning up at the station as the surprise addition to the group to the auto chap who surprisingly agreed to drive down to Noida on the way back everything was just perfect.Although on our way to Amritsar the train was a couple of hours late but that two hours spent at the station in itself was a nice snapshot of how the trip was going to be; how else can you explain 22 year olds playing gold spot on the overbridge at Nizammudin and making complete fools of themselves.


Amritsar the city, was surprisingly Chandani Chowkish, something which I did not really expect. But considering that we decided to hole up in a budget hotel, you really couldn't expect the city at its opulent best. The city might not be a thriving metropolis but it sure has traces of history littered all over the place. Statues springing up at every intersection, the old buildings, the incredibly grand Khalsa College and of course the holiest place for the Sikhs, The Golden Temple.


While the most important thing that I was looking forward to was the Wagah Border, I did not quite expect myself to be lost in the magnificence of the Golden Temple nor feel so disturbed by the Jallianwala Bagh. To think of a place where nearly 2000 people were brutally killed can shake you up, to be at the place where it happened gives you quite a jolt. Makes you understand why we must never take our Independence for granted.


But the best of the trip was the visit to the border. I have always wanted to be near the border and the closest I had been to it was in Dholavira in Kutch but that was different- Miles of No Man's land separated the two nations. Here it was a white line which clearly said "This land is your land, This land is my land"--Not quite the sentiments of the song by Woody Guthrie but a strange concept of the so called 'non neanderthals' but more about that some other time.


Megs had warned me it would be quite an experience and it was just that! Everything there seemed to be the last--the last petrol pump, the last gate, the last toilet, the last coca cola branded restaurant ! Of course all that could be the first, based on where you are coming from.!...!


The Golden Temple by night was a sight to behold and that walk to the sanctum sanctorum in the middle of the water body was special. So incredibly peaceful that I just hoped the walk would continue. The number of volunteers there and the way everything was organised was as Saurabh rightly pointed out " A perfect micro example of how an ideal country should function"


The night was dull and uneventful and everyone was so exhausted that they just did not feel like sitting around for a chat. Hic Hic,Excuse me


The ride back, hmm, how can I forget the bread cutlet which makes every train ride a joyous one. I ensured I skipped lunch just to dig into the cutlet. Of course a few other things that have to be left unsaid but will remain with me for a long time. Every moment was a blast and the trip did enough to ensure three weeks of work could be swept away and recharged the body !


Forgive the broken nature of the diary but I will follow this up with a photology

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is going to hurt just a little bit

For some reason brushing my teeth in the morning has become an ordeal. If I decide to show some zeal and enthusiasm in the process, I somehow end up bleeding my gums; if I don't show much interest then the whole exercise is a waste. But the bleeding gums.. Not a fun feeling and I don't even feel like going to the dentist. It is that thought the brings me to the post today.

Back in 10th class we had a brilliant poem in our syllabus written by Ogden Nash. Every line is filled with wit and makes you grin. The best part about the poem is the fact that he captures the predicament of a visit to the dentist perfectly. I wrote reams on how the poem is a metaphor for blah and blah and blah but in all honesty it just seems he wrote it right after giving the dentist a visit-:

This is going to hurt just a little bit

by Ogden Nash

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.

It is hard to be self possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest,
so hard to retain calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm,
So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on
And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn't a nerve on your head that aren't being irked on.

Oh some people are unfortunate to be worked on by thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to being polished
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstances that adds to your terror
Is that it's all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,

But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won't get mixed up, the way you do when try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa
And then at last he says, That will be all, but it isn't because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something I suspect is generally used to put shine a horse's hoof,

And you totter to your feet and think, Well it's over now and after all it was only this once,
And he says come back in three monce.
And this O Fate, is I think the most vicious that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition
When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is so that he won't have to go the dentist.


My favourite part of the poem is -:

"So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity"

image courtesy: www.dineshsoni.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The week that was

What a fun week it was! Although, I must say as good as the trip was there is nothing that feels as good as your own bed. This was the first tournament I covered and it gave me quite a thrill to see some part of my press release finding its way into the major newspapers.

The best part and the worst part about the golf course was the fact that it was so far away. While it took an eternity to get there, once there, you felt so blissfully detached from the rush of the city. With the weather being at its best, there was very little else you could ask for.

I spent most of the day lazing around, covering a few groups and then slid back into my couch in the room that we were given in the clubhouse while I was not out on course. But it used to get hectic in the afternoon. I had to write the release as soon as the scores were in and dispatch it to all the contacts in the sports media across the country in a very short period.

It also gave me an opportunity to interact with the players, I guess the start of a few new friendships. I would be looking forward to the next tournament just to catch up with some of those chaps. The next tournament is sometime in November in the lovely city of Chandigarh.

I just wish there was some way to get to that course without having to do all that driving. It took the life out of me. Despite living close to Gurgaon, it took me a good hour to get there and that is the only thing I would like to change about the week.

The setup of the course was also so different from some of the courses I had been on previously. This one had a more links style feel to it and why not considering the fact that the owner of the golf course has not missed a single Open Championship in the last few decades.


Just a couple of pictures from the course-:


The bit that I loved was reading my press release in some of the Hindi newspapers. The best one was on the day I had started off saying "On a day when the sun god played hide and seek with the clouds....."

Here is a clipping from Hindustan. For some reason I found the translation of the first line very amusing-:

(Click on clipping to read the text)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two Thoughts and a half

Why is it that we don't understand that each time we react with rage to cowardly acts we are in a way strengthening their will and doing exactly what the terrorists want us to do, feel enraged, worried and in a way deranged. We have got to stop reacting like this.

I heard someone dish out the choicest of words, while someone else encouraged us to go out with sledgehammers and hunt down the people responsible for the blasts. What you guys don't realise is that you are happily falling into the trap set down by those people whose single aim in life is to leave civil society feel disturbed. They succeed in breaking the very fabric that binds together people with a conscience.

Once we lose that, then there is nothing else that can hold us together.

Quite often we spend too much time expressing rage and anger without really bothering to figure out why we are caught in such a situation. As individuals we must make an effort to act responsibly and ensure that we thwart every attempt made to disturb society as we know it.

Don't mistake me. I am not saying there should be no grief. I cannot recall how many many times we have had golgappas next to the Prince Pan Corner in M-Block Market after school. How many many times we have used that spot as a meeting point before we went to eat some place inside the market. All that I am saying is that this grief should not give way to the kind of madness that fails to differentiate between human beings and those who don't know how it feels to be human.

"In all things it is better to hope than despair"

- Anonymous


I am off on my first real assignment and my test at work starts tomorrow onwards and I cannot muck up. Spent the better part of the morning explaining to my dad how the game of golf works. After nearly an hour of patient explanation all that I got in return was " Golf just feels like a terribly boring game"

I have to leave at five in the morning tomorrow to be at the course by seven. Now that I am going to set up my temporary base in Dwarka for a week, I am looking forward to catching up with a few good friends after quite some time.

The two other things on top of my mind this week are-:
  • My first few golf lessons
  • Some good photography
Let us see how it turns out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Karle tu Zyaada ka Iraada

I absolutely loved this ad. It has been running on t.v. for the last few days and I fell in love with it the first time i saw it. Finally, I have managed to hunt it down online.

Nice hummable song and a brilliant storyline. It prompted me to come up with this gem-:

"When you have what you wish for, you wish for what you have"

NO Rifa, I did not flick that line from anywhere! Go ahead and have a watch. No idea how it is related to life insurance but a nice ad anyway.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ba da Dum da da Dum

When you cross two successive traffic signals just before the the light turns red and it reads 105 and 92, there is nothing else that gives you more joy. It is just the kind of thing that makes a long, tiring ride a joy ride out of nowhere

Had a fun day today. Was at a press con where Riya Sen was the main celebrity and for some reason I was looking forward to it. THAT, I must confess is worse than some guy who would perhaps waste time worrying about who will get chucked out of BIG BOSS this week. Tsk Tsk Tsk

Let me set the record straight. I was under the impression that Riya Sen was Raima Sen, which obviously was not the case. The lady was nothing more than a 'pretend celebrity' who would probably be ignored even if she poses and pouts in the middle of Chandni Chowk. No wonder then, her only claim to fame is a silly mms clip with some other wannabe star.

What made the day for me was being able to interview Shiv Kapur, one of the biggest Indian golfers, plying his trade on the European Tour. He was practicing at the golf club and under the pretext of wanting to do a story on him, I had a 40-50 minute chat with him. Now that I have had my little '15 seconds with the star', I need to make a story based on that conversation :(

The twist in the tale- Even Shiv Kapur asked me why I was doing Journalism after Engineering. Have had to fend off that question from a million people but never thought I would hear that from someone like Shiv!

P.S. Were we not supposed to be swallowed by a black hole a while back? Or have they not yet collided the particles 'down' in zurich?

Update: Vikram Chandra tells me, the actual collision will take place only a few weeks later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Joy at 3:30 in the morning

It's 3:30 in the morning. Federer has just saved two break points in the second set and the two guys are playing some amazing tennis. The kind of tennis that justifies getting up at this time when the rest of the world around you is still sleeping.


I just went outside in between games to spend a couple of minutes in the balcony and the weather right now is beautiful. Brilliant breeze hitting you in the face and not a soul on the street. I click a few pictures but nothing is visible in them. Proof that it is the dead of the night :)

Around six when I venture out, it would seem like it is the middle of the day. This is something that Krits and I noticed when we used to go the gym just around daybreak it would seem like it was too early. But once we started going a little bit before daybreak, 6:15 just seemed insanely late....

WHOA,,,, These guys are playing some tennis, Super Tennis. Wow!


There have been a few other occasions when I have had to get up at this time to watch a match. Back in 2006, it was around this time that I woke up to watch Yuvraj Singh try and guide India to victory in the last over. He hit two consecutive four's off Dwayne Bravo. We needed one run to win and three balls were still left. Bravo came in and bowled an amazing slower ball, and poof, that was that, we lost. The match finished around 3:45 in the morning and just a few hours later I had to trudge to I.P. College for a semester exam...

And another bit of MAGIC from Roger's racquet....Oh Wow. A beautiful pick from near the net, swinging forehand, the ball curls in and the champion goes up two sets to love....


Just once, I have actually been up till nearly four in the morning on the phone. If you want to 'talk', that is the best time, anytime after one and till a couple of hours before daylight. You will know more about the person in those few hours than trying to figure them out through hours of talking during the mundane hours.

WHAT a SHOT. A delectable drop with amazing backspin. The master is giving the young man a fine lesson....


It's going to be a long day. Anyone knows where I can buy a good cake ? If you do, please give me a buzz before six in the evening. It has got to be somewhere between Lajpat Nagar and Anand Vihar. Have to try and surprise a friend's dad on his birthday on 'behalf of my friend'. I hope he is surprised :). Yesterday, I wrote a feature story on a player after interviewing him sometime last week. It felt good. If you have time please go through the story and give me your feedback.
And the CHAMPION is back to doing what he does best, WINS another slam. Historic moment. He equals Sampras' record of Grand Slam wins. FedEx was back at his very best. I AM glad I was up to watch this match.

It's 4:30 and I reckon I can catch one hour of sleep. It was totally worth it.


Update: 10:30 A.M.- It seems my dad was up at 02:30 to watch the match from the beginning. He went to sleep as soon as Federer won the first two sets. The weird thing is he is not even a huge tennis fan !

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What happened to your beard, Sir ?

The last couple of days, I have had the kind of sleep, one can only dream of (no pun intended). Pleasant breeze blowing into the room, the right amount of exhaustion and that morning dream just before you wake up that lingers on.

Yesterday was an oddity. Never before in my life have I woken up at 11:30, a real shame but if it counts for anything, there was a brief period between seven to eight in the morning, when I woke up, read the newspaper, idled around and then went back to sleep again.

And what a fun 3 hours of sleep it was, the kind where you long to sleep just a little more to let the dream continue for a little while more. Finally I was woken up by an Earthquake which was blissfully missed by most people.

The sleep last night was another one of those days. I was exhausted just the appropriate amount both physically and mentally, hung around till Roger whooped the Djoker but could not hang on long enough to see Nadal being sent scurrying around the court by the talented Andy Murray. A lazy day had taken a toll on me and a mix of happy n irritating chats had come to an end and I had dozed off before I could say Jack Robinson.

Another new morning dream, one that is still clear in my head for me to discuss it. The setting was surprisingly a classroom in college. I was surrounded by friends, but not the usual lot. A lot of friends I have always been cordial to, but never close enough to expect to see them in my dreams. These people were a mix of people from college, school and a few were brothers and sisters of people I knew in school who did not have any siblings. Strange.

Yet in the midst of these people I hardly knew, or let us put it this way, people I might have wanted to know better, I was having the kind of fun that made me want to sit in class, something I never felt in the real world ! Even a couple of teachers, I never thought I would see in my dreams.

I was sitting with Surabhi in class ( I wonder what she is doing these days, have not seen her after college). Anika, Jasmin and Shikha were sitting somewhere in the front (school folks I haven't heard from in the last 4 and a half years). I was merrily flirting with Ankita Kochar's sister( who does not exist) and there was Dr Gill teaching in class but with a black beard. What happened to the colour of your beard, Sir ?

Meaningless dream, but one of those that makes you wake up with a spring in your step.

That was Fun !


It has come to my notice that there are a few regular visitors to this blog who come here just to while away time during office hours to play Snake and Copter. It is a serious nuisance for employers and we say....HooHooHaHaHa (Thanks Prerana for teaching me that laff !! )

This here is a game that had picked up quickly but then suddenly got yanked out of my uncle's blog and then people stopped discussing it. On the face of it, Boomshine looks fairly innocuous but has proved to be surprisingly addictive.


  • Click on any part of the playing area
  • Try and create as big a chain reaction as possile
  • Sit back and enjoy the noise made by the bubbles( the high point of this game)


  • There are only so many points you can accumulate
  • Repeat Attempts are allowed
  • Does not help in determining who is the better player
I guess this game is not about competition. Just enjoy the chain reaction


Turn off the music on the bottom right of the main screen before you start playing. It is very irritating and does not sit well with the relaxed 'ambience' of the game.

Special Warning


No wonder then, Addicting Games is the version sponsor for this game

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To me Mum and Dad

When I was young, my sister was enrolled into a music school and her teacher always used to ask my mom to enroll me for music lessons. I don't know whether it was a calculated decision or they followed their heart but they were smart enough to keep me out of it. Unlike others who would push their children too much to make wonders out of them, my parents were smart enough to realise that only a vocal chord surgery would be able to fish out some form of musical talent from within me.


Fast Forward to a few years down the line and I was this kid who used to return from school, change his clothes, have his lunch and go out into the balcony with a tennis ball in hand and a makeshift bat and lose myself to my own make belief world of sports. Most parents would have contemplated doctor's help for their seemingly deranged kid. My Mom and Dad never ever discouraged me from it. Maybe that was the time, the first thoughts of wanting to become a sports journalist crept into my head and it was not nipped in the bud. This, despite the fact that a few neighbours used to ask them "Aapka beta pagal hai kya?" :-) .In fact, I remember my sister's friend asking her the same question in front of me!!


12th Class and my tryst with Brilliant Tutorials came to a rather abrupt end. The pressure got to me and it was just too much for me to handle. I had to quit and there was no other way out of it. All of a sudden, I began to doubt my abilities and I did not even know if I would be able to make it through the Board Exams. But my Mom and Dad were there with me, encouraged me to believe in myself again and provided the kind of support through that volatile period in July without which I would not have been able to make it through another 9 months in a board exam year. I don't know whether my results would be considered good or not but whatever it was, was due to their full support.


End of college and there were many roads leading out towards a new life. I chose a path that would have met with a lot of skepticism and most would have chosen to obstruct that path. But not my parents. They encouraged me to take the step and follow my instincts.They chose to support my new endeavour. Now that I think about it, it must have been a terribly hard decision to support me down a path not oft traversed, but they did.


They say you learn things along the way and my little honeymoon with my new venture came to an end. I decided to part ways and have started on another new adventure. While the past three months were truly educational, sometimes things don't work out and you have to move on. Most would have given up hope but my Mom and Dad still stood by me. They gave me the kind of support that I could only have dreamt of and helped me through the transition period. Buoyed by their support, I take a great degree of confidence into my new job and a belief that I would be able to move ahead with it.

While my 'pursuit of happYness' continues, they have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and never ever discouraged me. They have stood by me on all occasions and as I drove down to office today I realised, they have always backed my dreams and stood by my side through out.

One day, I WILL make them Proud.

To me Mum and Dad, Thank You.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Compromise at what cost

It happened for the first time in Bombay as the Hawaldar next to Gateway of India took the 20 Rupee note and walked away. I squirmed, felt uneasy and remained silent for the rest of the night. My sister narrated to the others in the car how I would start crying just at the thought of someone bribing a policeman. Maybe that was how I was when I was a kid. Maybe I had not grown out of it.

That was 3 years back. Today we had gone to India Gate to play with the fancy 10 buck frisbee while the Sun God chose to express all his warmth on an unusually hot day. After having had a good time, free of any inhibitions and terrible renditions of some song in 'Rock On' , we were on our way back and I jumped the red light. Then came the man in the dreaded Khaki outfit and asked me to park the car on the side.

With 5 others in the car, the haggling process started, he stated the laws, painted the facts, said everything possible to deter you from going to the court and asked us to furnish 400 Rupees. We started at 100, he squabbled a little more and finally we struck a deal at 200. The money exchanged hands and we drove on.

While I sit in the comfort of my house and write this piece, there is a sinking feeling that has engulfed me. There seems to be this great sense of loss that I cannot describe and I can assure you it is more than just the 200 Rupees debited from my Bank Account. It is as if I have started to compromise with my belief system. Today I let go of something that I cherished and held close to my heart, I don't know what it could be tomorrow. I was told "Such 'minor' acts can be condoned as long as you are honest to your conscience and do not commit an act that would hurt or harm someone else". All this is nothing but a compromise that you are making with your own way of thinking and the only thing that I can think about asking myself is Compromise at what cost?

It's frustrating, irritating and a lot of other such feelings that I am unable to express. There is a small token that my school gave me before I left, which is my most cherished possession. Today, I feel like throwing it out of the window because I have let down the faith entrusted in me by my friends and teachers. There are still many things I hold close to my heart but just like this I don't know how many other things I will let go of; These are the little acts of compromise that one makes to be seen as normal in civil society.

I just hope the traffic cops on duty can weigh heavy on us and tell us that there is no scope for discussion, the law of the land is supreme and no point in exploring 'other' options. We cannot get into the cycle of blaming everyone and everything in the system because it is a vicious circle. I failed the test of character, I can only hope that I can muster up enough strength the next time around to do the right thing.

What I know for a fact is that the next time I speak about corruption, I cannot get myself to make a convincing argument because I have not been able to practice what I have tried to preach. The sad part is, after a good night's sleep I will wake up without a feeling of loss. After all, I have 'Grown Up'.