Category Archives: rediffblog

All the older post from my first blog at

Saw the advertisement for Hero Honda Pleasure, in which women of various ages are riding around town in a scooty type thingy singing “why should boys have all the fun”. Every possible sort of pun apart, all the bikes in the ad carry a Delhi Number plate in a continuous sequence. I have no idea why such a numbering pattern was chosen but the entire sequence is so unlike Delhi.

Anyway, after reading very harsh reviews about Rang De Basanti and hearing very nice reports from people all around I finally managed to catch the night show on Friday. Well, I have to say what probably lots of people are saying.. loved the movie but somehow cant accept the way it ended, yet cant think of any other way that it could be ended. Salty writes that its an immature movie.. well.. i have to agree with those words, but not in the same way. It is a film about impulsive immaturity that sets the tone and the eventual end and realisation. I must say, I loved the way it was presented, there were no longish lectures or for that matter any kind of unusual conversation. The dialogues were very pert and sequences were brief. The blending of the incidents from the past and the present were extremely well shot. The sequences of jallianwala bagh shot in monochrome with a heartwrenching background score reminded me of the oft seen pictures of the nazi concentration camp. Same goes for the rest of the bits of the documentary. The posture, look, walk of the actors were firm and diametrically opposite than their present picture. The time when I felt that probably I would not be able to hold back my tears was during the funeral of the pilot. MIG crashes are always there in the news but honestly we dont feel the pain directly for the pilot and their family. In a way we have sort of accepted the fact that MIGs are susceptible to accidents…so what the heck. But this time, even if it was a movie, we got to share the happiness and tidbits of the life of the pilot.. not as a pilot but as a person for a good 90 minutes. Like any other normal person like you and me.. not like the wierd patriotic jingoism mouthing sunny-deol-superman types that one can see in every other movie. like the young boys from the NDA who can be seen enjoying a laid back sunday evening out at the barista outlet on F.C.Road. I digress. he comes across a sensible and practical chap who sometimes tries to make counter-arguments to the general contemptuous opinions of his friends. Thats all.
The drawback of the entire plot was the ease with which the murder was commited. Umm…. the way even political wannabe’s are obsessive about their security, i dont think the high and mighty def-minister would dare to step out onto mainstreet with such casual ease. anyway…the frustrating pain that the friends felt…the kind where you start hurling things all over the place…drove them to do what they did. And this is what I would term as impulsive immaturity. More fuel was added to the fire when their object of hate was haloed and the sinking feeling tugged them further into feeling the helplessness and impotence of their abilities. “one thing that we stood up for, with our hearts and souls and all the honesty that we could gather is being taken away”. When they walk into the radio station.. in their solitude with all walls eventually closing in.. they realise the futility of their actions. Only the actions. Their feelings were genuine..but their method of execution was wrong. And thats why the fellow on the mike repeats what he had heard before.. to serve your country, to make a change, join the armed forces, become an IAS, join politics,… coz it all made sense to him. That the system cannot be fought overnight with impulsive outburst like theirs. It changes with time and the right moves.
Loved the way the music was used in the movie. Both the background music as well as the songs.

P.S. On lighter note, currently I am also watching a rajnikant-starrer tamil movie… dubbed in hindi :D. try it sometime…its probably the most hilarious thing that i have seen in a long while.

There was a time when we as children used to strike gold once in a while. A cozily wrapped Cadbury’s Chocolate bar all shiny in its violet foil. That first little piece..maybe two pieces broken off at one time. Popped into the mouth. Heaven! Repackaged back into the violet foil and handed over to mummy. next installments were of 1 square piece at a time until the last one. The last one was bitten in smaller pieces… hoping another pack would resurface before this one ends. Finally D-day.. fighting temptation…losing..fighting hard…. lost. all gone. but lotsa happy memories.

Wish it was like that again. smaller parts but bigger bites of happiness. 🙂

My husband writes about the airshow at the Republic Day Parade this year [different matter that he was sleeping through most of it unlike what is implied in the post]. His tone hardly expressed the frustration and my frantic fist-shaking at the doordarshan cameraman. I really really wanted to see the sukhoi’s refuelling and turning turtle in mid-air.

Anyways.. lots happened and happening all around. But then as salty pointed out.. i really need to post more often. I went back home in december and had a great time. my room.. my bed… my blue telephone…my doggy ‘kishmish’…and soooooooo much fun with my friends. And probably the first time in years i went out with my mum and dad without reluctance and all of us had real fun. We went eating out [cant remember the last time we did that] at Oh!Calcutta. Honest opinion about the place… if you are a bengali and have access to home-cooked bengali food on a regular basis then you wont like it. But then if you are desperate enough and on the verge of having a psychological breakdown for things as simple as cholar daal to the more sophisticated delicacy like illish maanch then perhaps you can find some amount of respite. Anyways.. then we had a little look around at the rest of Forum Shopping Mall, went to Nicco Park [an amusement park..yea you heard right] and Swabhumi. I did not like Swabhumi too much.. not worth travelling so far from the other end of the city but then i found most of the stuff i wanted to gift my friends so it sort of made up for the intial disappointment. And also I went to meet my school friend Ishi, and we roamed at lotsa places on Christmas Eve. We went to Park Street, where I raided the MusicWorld Store and we laughed our heads off at the weird album names and hairstyles of the bengali boy bands…no offence.. but then i guess we are really getting old [wink wink]. The line outside Flury’s…. of people waiting to buy a christmas cake resembled a scene mostly seen outside the neighbourhood rationshop. I suggested attempting to visit New Market, but seeing the vigourous head shaking by ishi gave up the idea instantly. what a pity, but then no point getting squeezed beyond recognition. I was back to bombay on newyears day and was picked up at the airport by my friend jatin who took me to his house and his mum had made yummeee undhiyon. Since I was travelling most of the time on new years day i ended up not wishing most people 😦

Which reminds me.. jatin is now off to the US of A for some work and looks like this trip started on a rocky note. Though I really cant understand, why the US customs people did not clarify the genuineness of his luggage considering the fact that they were properly labelled with his personal details [oh yea…. he makes triple sure about that] as well as his destination, airline details etc. But then these are questions that are somehow never answered.

Back to the present. Hubby was in town for sometime all this month. So spent some quality family time, wish there was more. Missed all the movies that we intended. that would be bluffmaster, 15 park avenue. and we really did not fancy fighting for tickets of ‘rang de basanti’.

Caught some bits of an award show on some channel this evening. Apsara awards or something like that. Astitva a long running soap and one of the finest on indian television [if one can ignore the stupidity that it went through on and off] won the award for the tv-series of the year and the lead actors niki aneja and varun badola won the awards for best actor and actress. The show ended abt 15 days back and since i had been busy elsewhere i missed it. somehow i wish i had seen the last few episodes. the award show reminded me of the time when i used to write the daily updates for the show on the internet forum. i met so many nice people online and the show connected us all. We ended up discussing more than just the show. There were endless conversations about human relationships, social bondings and rules, questions asked and personal grief unburdened. It was and perhaps still is one of the most mature discussion forums growing out of an indian television show fanclub.. if it can at all be called that coz i dont rememeber any starry eyed lovelorn fanatics or any such swear-by-the-show types.

Anyway have to wrap up now… need to sleep early to be on time for the gym in the morning. have to burn all the aloo paranthas. 😦

The comment box does not allow >1000 characters, hence answering here for you salty.

Well.. although I have never beaten up anyone, but there have been moments which have pained me so bad that I have felt the urge to retaliate. Imagine a riot-like situation.. many of the victims hit back to save themselves or in an uncontrolled frenzy (situation-based as you mentioned) and in the process become second-level perpetrators. But in this case, I doubt if every person in this 2000 strong mob had been equally pained by the victim’s plight. Although the other family have now confessed abt the deranged lady and her crime it fails to justify how the other remotely connected ppl felt the need to hurt her. Know what salty, there are lots of ppl i have seen in cal, who are ill-educated or unemployed and are generally leading a very messy life and show no craving or inclination to uplift themselves from the doldrums. They wallow in their defeat as they can point at a million other things to blame for their misfortune. These ppl often find misdirected avenues to assert their supposed strength to feel superior..whether its by whistling at innocent girls on the roadside or bullying a poor vegetable vendor in the marketplace. These ppl in most cases make up for sizeable portions of such crowds that gather on occassions like the one mentioned.


Have some time on my hands today. The first of the many weekends that I’d be spending alone in the days to come. Read a really distressing news this morning. Considering it happened someplace near my home at Kolkata, it has been bothering me ever since. More than a feeling of loathing or horror what I felt was disgust at the tarnish that the peopl brought upon themselves. This would be a seemingly middle class colony where people made a hard living. Each family has its own share of laughs, arguments, once in a while quarrels both within and beyond the boundary walls of their modest homes. Yet what brought upon them to harm an entire family without any “damning evidence” of their being directly involved in the murder, besides the fact that the child’s body was found within their premises. No wonder riots still happen in our country.. not because of earth-shattering matters but because the primitive herd mentality of marauding hunters still persists in some corner of our gentle self. On occassions like these hands do not tremble when dousing another person with kerosene and setting them afire. Some people stand and watch while some other try their hands at it. I remember a line mouthed by Konkona Sen Sharma in Mr and Mrs.Iyer “Its so easy to kill a man”.. it is, when you leave you judgement and conditioning behind and let loose your curious monstrous self which never got a taste of the the natural instricts of the bloody past

This and That

I just discovered this aboslutely wonderrrrful blog from a fellow puneite senthil. After a long time I read all the available past posts in a blog and it was hard to stop myself from laughing out loud. Highly recommended.

A few updates from my side… the hubby has to shift to another city a little further down south for what seems like quite sometime, so my weekend family would probably become a fortnightly family now. Which leaves me with very limited choices of things to do on two saturdays and sundays during the month, besides probably hanging around the office with the other out-of-town guys.

Last month we did an awesome bike-ride down NH-4 uptil Khopoli through Lonavala and it was exhilariting and scary to say the least. 9 people, 5 bikes. Needless to say I was pillion riding coz as it has been noticed I-am-too-tiny-for-even-a-kine. Doh… wish I had skipped properly when mom told me to during my childhood. She also suggested green chillies for height improvement but then there are so many things she suggests. Last one being to stay away from the keyboard and mouse to get rid of the persistent pain in my right wrist. 😀

Watched the Goblet of fire, yuck yuck yuck… a Harry Potter movie without a Quidditch match!!!!!! (Or did the movie theatre people swindle us.. coz it was the last show on saturday night and everyone was tooooo sleepy). Though I really loved the way the Durmstrang team made an entry and am still swooning over Victor Krum. Overall…disappointed.

Two things I have to comment upon:
1. Amitabh Bacchan’s tummy upset. In my extremely humble opinion.. the media ought to be dragged to court for heaping unwanted attention on an overworked sick man. Even if he is a superstar and superadman. Give the man some privacy to clutch his tummy and yell in pain.

2. The lady named Khusboo. God bless her for holding some good sense in that pretty head of hers and it is extremely sick on the part of the media and other members of our moral population to blow her comments way out of proportion. Its about time the court came forward to protect the freedom of speech and dignity of a citizen of the nation from the hands of such shameless abetting of misplaced prudishness and unwanted violence. Accept it people, sex is human nature and it does not tarnish our mortal existence.

Currently reading the “Princess Trilogy” by Jean Sasson. And playing on my laptop: Shyamal Shyamal Baran from Navrang.

For the past week a few things have been tickling inside my head, but somehow i never managed to find the time and/or inclination to put it down in writing. Durga Puja came and went, I hardly wished anyone the mandatory “shubha bijoya”. Same for diwali. Its like a whirlpool inside my head and the thoughts keep slipping inside it and all my efforts go into making them hinge by the sides until i find the time to pull them back again onto dry land.

It started when I spotted Chetan Bhagat’s new book “One night @Call Centre” and read the review along with a small interview of the author in the India Today (31st OCtober 2005 issue). He says there “It is a surreal sort of life, not a career as much as an income-earner and executing it as a novel was tough, given that everyday is almost like the other”. He adds, “…We have so many young people and yet a government run by old people cannot provide real jobs for them”. Alongside it came the outroar on the findings of a report from V.V.Giri National Institute of Labour, which reportedly said that the working conditions inside Indian BPO’s and Call Centres were “worse than Roman slave ships.” The debate continues, where in people present/erstwhile employees from the named sector are sharing their experiences.

Nearly one and a half year back, I was struggling to find a job…umm well lets make it a decently acceptable job. Unemployment was biting at every core of my human self and slowly but surely I was losing my faith in my abilities. More so the economic independence that I had felt during my first job was like tasting blood and the feeling never went away. During such a time, one of my friends called me up for an interview in a call centre. When I told my dad he promptly shot down the idea. Late night shifts and the monotony of the work was not for me he said. Perhaps he was right, it wasnt my cuppa. But it is for a whole lot of people.

Whenever I hear things like “call centres are temporary jobs”, ” its for losers” etc. it sort of sounds unfair to me. Or for that matter, (re)quoting chetan bhagat “We have so many young people and yet a government run by old people cannot provide real jobs for them”. The keyword here is “real jobs”. Well…are call centre jobs “just a joke” as unreal as a doll’s wedding ceremony by 7 year olds? I think not. There are people with different requirements and qualifications…not just academic but as per their pshychological build up. Not every one grows up to be eintstein but they are no less human than others. Same goes here… you dont need to work for JPMorgan Stanley if you pass out with a Management Degree. One can very well manage the operations of a chain of fast food joints. Its the work that matters. And as far as the Call Centre/BPO industry goes, it has generated vast ..rather unthinkable amount of job opportunities and economic stability. What are “not real jobs” by one individual’s standard maybe the dream job of a lifetime for 20 others, coz thats what they can do with a satisfied heart.

Ok.. i do see a large number of young ones coming out from the doors jingling their pockets, with an attitude and probably potential health hazards due to upside-down bodyclock timetables. Yet no denying the fact that if not for these jobs a large number of these youngsters would have been miserably unemployed. Also one gets to see middle aged housewives who are probably working after a long time and looking beyond other stereotyped job opportunities like teachers, which were the chosen few of their generation. My argument here is not for the economic freedom and/or creation of the huge consumer market, but against the blacked out picture of the “type of jobs”. This is something I felt from my own personal experience. Finding one’s calling is a very difficult task and the ones who have found them are the blessed lot. Perhaps a huge chunk of people inside these mammoth glass palaces have found theirs. Otherwise denied respectibility or economic freedom we see a self-assured lot rising up to walk tall.

Perhaps a lot of stories about the working conditions inside the call centres are true, but then lots of jobs come with their own share of cons. The answer lies in efficient managing of the operations. As well as the attitude of the workers. Jobs at nights are not a new thing.. ask a sentry. But perhaps the huge numbers involved in these operations is drawing the eyeballs.

Whatever be the case, I never forget the blessing in the guise of customer care numbers and the voice of an angel at the other end. Perhaps a tad bit mechanical, but all the same helping the wheels of the industry both theirs and mine running.

Btw… I do not work at any kind of a call centre, but yes… I know what a dream job feels like. Gives you peace of mind at the end of the day.