Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Time Traveller's Wife

I read this book recently called 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. It is a love story between a time-traveller (a kind who involuntarily keeps shuttling between the past & the future due to a rare genetic disorder) and his wife. The book was not great, but was quite sincere. It does make you wonder about the strangeness of life; about how much in your life is pre-determined for you and how much is your free will; about how often you take decisions simply because you know thats how the future is supposed to be, at least in your mind; about how often you allow your past to decide your future; and about how much of your future really belongs to other peoples' futures. An interesting read.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mumbai today

My last visit to Mumbai was less than a year ago. Yet, the city has changed so much since my last visit. Some random observations:

!!! - The Mumbai airport has spanking new immigration counters where the air conditioning works.

:) - Zenzi Bar in Bandra has free salsa lessons on saturday evenings.

!! - Sachin Tendulkar is no more the king of billboards; M S Dhoni commands more billboard space than Sachin (his face is everywhere & more!)

?? - 'Nach baliye' season 2 is the most eagerly awaited tv show (wonder why it is called a 'celebrity' show when some of the faces are not even remotely recognizable!)

! - There are as many new private Indian airlines as TV channels (latest additions are Go Air, Kingfisher & Spice Jet)

:)) - Then one day the sea-water at Mahim turned sweet (Such bizzare things can happen only in Mumbai!)

I'm sure there have been many more changes, and what I got to see in my two-days stay was only a small slice of it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Impressions of Delhi

Every city has a character. For example, I would sum up Mumbai as the 'Survival city' or Dubai as the 'Plastic City'. Similarly, if I had to describe Delhi, I would call it the 'City of Power'. Some sights from Delhi that I will not forget in a long time to come--

The Indian Parliament. Its an absolute irony that this building is the center of atrophy & decadence of the Indian machinery!

On the way to Agra, we stopped at an 'Indian Tourism Board' hotel where this little girl works. I thought she was a brilliant dancer & it is a pity that this tiny but smart package of talent & cuteness is being wasted as some silly 'tourist attraction'!

The India Gate is beautiful by night. No, it wasn't just good cinematography in Rang De Basanti:

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Math & I never got along well together. Himanshu thinks its because I'm not a logical person. I like to think that I hate math because I don't want to devote my mind to something that can be done by calculators & computers :)

You may have seen this one before: its is from the test paper of a school kid in the US...

He may not be a math genius, but I would give him marks for his sense of humour!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Joan of Arc

M F Hussain's impression of Joan of it!

Salim Anarkali

I’m not a fan of the bollywood version, but I think Salim-Anarkali is one of the greatest tragic love stories of all times. Which is why I found this really beautiful. Engraved in Anarkali’s tomb in Lahore is a little verse, which translated into English reads as:

“Ah! could I behold the face of my beloved once more, I would thank my God until the day of resurrection.”

The prince who lost his love has signed this verse not as 'Salim’ but as 'Majnu Salim’. The words have the scent of such longing, it really moved me.

Source: Found this on a great Pakistani blog called:

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Macbeth in Mumbai & Othello in UP

I finally saw 'Omkara' this weekend. I thought it was an excellent adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello & had great casting! If Shakespeare had to live in today's time in Uttar Pradesh, he would have probably picked Saif as his Iago & Ajay as his Othello.

There is one difference though in which I thought the bollywood version betrays the original. Shakespeare's Othello was a noble soldier of the royal army & his nobility and sincerity are integral to his character. Whereas Ajay Devgan as Omkara is a goonda for a local UP politician!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The children of India

Accordingto a new law under the Child Labour Act, the Indian government has ordered a ban on employment of children under the age of 14 in households and dhabas. Which is fantastic news. But I could not help wondering what the thousands of poor homeless kids working in the chai-shops & dhabas of Mumbai are going to do when they lose their employment? Who will feed them and provide them with shelter if their families were too poor/unconcerned to do so in the first place?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thats the plan?

Wonder why they cant see that this plan wont work!


I can read ‘The Prophet’ over & over again, any number of times and every time I read it, I pick a new piece as my favourite verse. This is my current favourite:

You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief,

But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour?

In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle the eyes.