Friday, April 28, 2006

A Nice Quote for the Weekend

We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied trivality. -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Click Refresh

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

TV Turn Off Week

April 24 to April 30 (that is this current week) is International TV Turn Off week. Yesterday I tried to educate my children about ills of watching too much television (it is vacation time for them) by telling them that the whole world is observing the International TV Turn Off Week and we should switch off the TV at least for a day. And in return I got a look from them which said dad-has-turned-nuts and they continued watching the television. At home I am allowed half an hour quota for watching news, for which I am thankul to them. But I do worry about my children watching too much television. TV is really unwatchable nowdays. TV always remind me of two funny quotations: "Life is meant to be lived and not just watching others living it", and "I find TV very educative --- whenever someone switches it on, I go to the next room with a book". Sorry, I do not remember who said these two wonderful lines. If you know, please tell me.

I came to know about International TV Turn Off Week by an excellent article in The Guardian.

Students on the Street

The Telegraph reports
The human resource development ministry appeared unfazed by today’s display of anger by medical students over the proposed quota for OBC students.
I am always sad to see the students protesting on the street and yesterday the images of students being stopped from marching to HRD Minister's home, by firing water canons and tear gas shells, by Delhi Police, on the TV, made for a sad spectacle. Yesterday in Delhi about 300 students of medical colleges were on the street protesting against proposed 27 per cent reservation in the higher education institutions like IIMs, IITs and medical colleges for the OBC (Other Backward Caste) students. Shame of the Delhi police.

The proposal of 27 per cent for OBC add to the existing 15 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Caste and 7.5 per cent for the Scheduled Tribe students and make the total reservations to 49.5 per cent (nice round figure), and will leave the rest 49.5 per cent for the people, like me, who are supposed to belong to upper caste (sic) or belong to what is referred to as general category. The future of my children do seem black. If my children want to be a doctor or an engineer, there will be more competion for the remaining 49.5 per cent seats and their chances will be slim. The only qualification for getting into a high eduction intitutions should be merit and ability. But in India, if you belong to ST/SC or OBC, and want to become a doctor or an engineer, twice blessed you will be. In India the fact that caste still playes so important a role is simply ridiculous.

27 per cent reservation is still a proposel and has yet to be approved by the cabinet of the ministers of the Indian government. I have the highest regard and belief in the abilities of the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh. I hope this proposel does not get approved by the Cabinet. Why not club together the reservation of OBC with existing 23.5 per cent reservations for ST/SC, at least for the higher education institutions. The governemnt knows that many seats in the higher institution education like IIMs, IITs, medical colleges, lay vacant for want of ST/SC students and does not get filled in every year. Reservation in jobs, in Government sector organisations, of 49.5 per cent has already been implemented. The positions, where high skill is needed, lay vacant, for example trained pilot jobs in the Indian Airlines and Air India, and these airlines loses money because of this. Government have all these figures and still the HRD Minister wants to implement the quota of OBC to get more votes for his Congress party. Earlier it was muslim vote bank for the Congress, now it is OBC vote bank. The games politicians play. Shame on them.


FFMB is Friends of the Friendless Marching Band. It is a virtual band, of course. Last week I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Carol that stated: .. am conductor of the Friends of the Friendless Marching Band. I choose a friendless site to feature every Friendly Friday. You have been nominated for the featured site this week.Being nominated as a friendless site only means that someone thinks your blog doesn’t get enough comments and wants you singled out to get more attention. I hope you will come play along.

Needless to say I played along and over the weekend I got about 15 comments from members of FFMB. Thank you all for visiting my humble blog and for leaving a comment. I am now member of FFMB and will visiting Friendless Blogs. Thank you Carol for the FFMB. I think it is a cute idea.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bored with the Internet ...

then look at these cartoon

about blogging

about love

in the trees.

Unintentional !

Kaavya Viswanathan, who is 19 years old and a student at Harvard, has published recently a work of fiction `How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life', Her book was in news last year, even before it was written and published as it got an advance of $500,000 (wow that is lot of money, in Indian ruppes it will be 2 crores and 30 lakhs!) as a deal for two-books. Lot of people must have got instantly envious of her, and I was no exception.

It had been reported recently by a student magazine The Crimson at Harvard that there are tweleve strikingly similar passages in Opal Mehta and Sloppy Firsts a book written by Megan McCafferty. McCafferty's book was published few years ago and was deeply admired by Kaavya Viswanathan when she was in her early teens. Now Kaavya Viswanathan has issued a statement stating that the lifting of the passage were unintentional and unconscious. Kaavya's apology is here. How convenient to say this, after you been caught. She got paid so much money and still could not resist lifting some passages from a book she admired. Kaavya Viswanathan has now promised to make changes in the future editions of her novel to remove the similarities. According to publisher of Opal Mehta book work on a new edition would begin tomorrow. But will there be future editions of the book. I wonder. I will be watching the this matter with considerable interest. Let us see what happens next.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Belated happy birthday to Queen

Queen Elizabeth II turned 80 last Friday (April 21). I forgot to blog about it. My apologies to the Queen. Here is wishing a belated happy birthday to the Queen of England. May she live long enough to brake the record of reign of 64 years of Queen Victoria. I always wondered how England which gave the democratic sytems of governance to all over the world, is still ruled by a monarch. This article in The Guardian provides some of the answers to this question. Also this article has this wonderful line:Tony Benn's well-worn line that we wouldn't trust the airline captain who announced over the public address system, "I'm not, in fact, a trained pilot - but don't worry, my dad was."

Victory for the people

The Telegraph reports :
The Nepalese people have brought their beleaguered monarch to his knees. King Gyanendra was forced to retreat by the people’s movement today.
Congratulations to people of Nepal.

Calvin The Invincible

Click to enlarge

Junk Food and the Childrens

I saw in The Guardian an aticle which says the junk food sorry fast food companies like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, KFC and Pizza Hut, bombards the childrens with advertisements, seduces them with merchandise and then fills them with additives. It is scary the way these companies run their advertisements on T.V. which are targetted at the childrens. These companies know that childrens in rich countries have immense influence over their parents on what to eat when they go out.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Indian Movies in Pakistan

The Telegraph reports
Mughal-e-Azam, a historical romance with a tragic ending, may have been made in Mumbai but was set in Lahore at a time when the Mughals ruled India.
But ironically this movie was never released in a threatre in Lahore, which is now in Pakistan, as cinemas in Pakistan are prohibited from showing Indian movies. But this is now changing, and two Indian moviews Mughal-e-Azam and Taj Mahal are allowed to be shown to the general public in theatres in Pakistan. It is indeed sad that India has banned Pakistani movies here and Pakistan had done the similarly for Indian moviews over there. I always thought movies speak the same langauge to people all over the world. Indian movies are popular in Pakistan and are available illicitly on CDs and even cable operators are showing them in late hours.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Five For Friday

1. Name one of your flaws?

I have many flaws. Impatience is my topmost flaw.

2. What is the last thing you ate?

Strawberry custard. It was very very good. Had at my office canteen as desert.

3. What is the last time you rode on a bus?

Today morning.

4. What is the last bad news you heard?

That reservations will be imposed in higher education insitutions in India. This will just kill the merit. Hope it remains a bad news and not a reality.

5. What is your favourite sad song?

badii suunii suunii hai zindagii ye zindagii
main khud se huun yahaan ajanabii ajanabii

from movie Mili, Music by S.D. Burman, Lyrics by Yogesh and sung by the incomprable Kishore Kumar. It makes me sad whenever I hear it.

Since I have been tagged often by my blogging friend Kusum Rohra, this time it is my turn to tag her.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Does great sex start at forty?

According to an article in The Guardian
The sex is an art, and it needs practice.
If you, like me, are forty and above, then please do read this article, as it makes for some wonderful reading. If you are under forty, don't bother.

25 Questions

I have been tagged again, by who else than Kusum Rohra . This time it is 25 questions. Oh, the burden of being a blogger. So here I go ...

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

Page 18 Line 4 is: Lovely weather we are having, are we not? good morning, good morning, good morning.

The book is Aunts Aren't Gentelemen, by P.G. Wodehouse. Yes, indeed we are having lovely weather, Mr Wodhouse, thank you. May it last for few more days. No, I am not reading this book presently, but I happen to pick up this book from my book collection.

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.

Did that. And found that it feels good after doing that. Must do it often. I am at my office and the office cupboard is at least 1 meter away, so I can do it as often as I want.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

The last thing I watched yesterday night was `'Nach Baliye - Ek Rangeen Safar, on Star One. Nach Baliye which was about celebrity couples dancing on film song was telecast a few months ago and became very popular among children, and thus among parents of children. I had to watch it with children every week and liked this one. Why they are telecasting bit parts of it again, I do not know.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?

It must be around 12:00 noon

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

It is 12:05 p.m. (I am behind the times, always)

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

My colleague humming a tune. The tune is of very old song Mora Gora Rang Layee Le, Mohe Shyam Rang Daedee. Incidently, this song was the first song written by Gulzar, and it was composed by great Sachin Devn Burman. Good song.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

At my computer, deleting junk emails.

9. What are you wearing?

A Shirt, trousers, socks, shoes, and an attitude.

10. Did you dream last night?

No, I did not. Nights are for sleeping, days are for dreaming.

11. When did you last laugh?

Can't remember. Maybe two weeks ago.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

Let me see. I am in my office and on the wall in front of me: a white board, a calendar and a clock, on the wall on the left side of me: enterance to our room, a wall-mounted fan, a cupoard, on the wall on the right side of me: it is our window to the outside world and I can see few trees and Arabian Sea, and on the wall behind me: 3 maps (1) of State of Maharashtra, (2) of our country India, (3) and of the World. And my city of Ulhasnagar features in each of three maps! Viva Ulhasnagar.

13. Seen anything weird lately?

Dimple Kapadia in Being Cyrus. Period.

14. What do you think of this quiz?

Crazy, plain crazy. The creater of this quiz should be sent to the Jodhpur Jail with Salmaan Khan for 3 days and 2 nights.

15. What is the last film you saw?

Being Cyrus. I want my money back.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A flat between 18 and 20 floor on the NCPA Complex, Nariman Point, Mumbai, for Rs. 21 crores .

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.

Next question please.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

Ban all the religions of the world and thus make everyone an atheist.

19. Do you like to dance?

No, I don't, but have to dance to the tunes of my wife, reluctantly.

20. George Bush.

%$*&% ^&^%$# %#$@!!)(* )(!

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

Anything, but Neha, since every second girl is called Neha. I would have call her Namrata.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

Sachin. Not after the cricketer, but after great Sachin Devn Burman.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?

No. Jeena Yahan, Marna Yahan.

24. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

Who says GOD exists, and is HE the person whom we get to meet after we are dead. Pearly gates! Pearl looks good on the neck of women. Gates look good wihout pearls.

25. 4 people who must also do this meme in their journal.

No one. This meme stops here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Namrata's Courage

I have two children, Sachin (14) and Namrata (9). This is a small story about courage of Namrata, who is standard IV.

This had happened a few months ago, but whenever I think about it, I feel proud of Noona (that is nickname of Namrata). My children have to go through exams 4 times in a year, one just few months after the school starts, then again at the mid-term of the year, and again few months after mid-term and finally the final exam just before end of the academic year. This happened during exam which take place few months after mid-term. Now my wife becomes hypersensitive during the exam time. She takes utmost care during the time of exam, it is really like atmospher of a curfew at home. No talking, no music no T.V. for the childrens, and also for me. It is just study, and study for the children. Now on that particular day it was a Sunday and children were studying as usual. I casually ask my wife in what subject is the exam of Noona on the following day, she said it is in english, and I better not distrub them again with such silly questions.

Well, next day, children came back from school in the afternoon and were asked the usual questions, which all parents naturally ask of their children: `how was exam, was the paper easy', etc. etc. And this is what happened: Sachin was smiling, more than he usually does, while Noona was looking upset. My wife and I were surprised and asked Noona what is the matter, but she refused to say anything. We asked Sachin what is bugging Noona. Sachin, first laughed and told us that it was not english paper for Noona, but science paper! `What' and an open mouth was the immediate reaction of my wife. The expression on her face was priceless. After some time I began to get worried for my wife and was trying to recall the telephone number of our family doctor, just in case. After few minutes, my wife regained control of herself, and almost started almost crying. She keep track of what exam is next day for Noona and accordingly they study. Now it was turn of Noona to speak, she said all my friends at school were laughing when I told them that I had prepared this time really well for english, and told her that is science paper today, english is tomorrow. Noona told us `Mummy, maine himmat ke and told my friends it is okay, I have learned all my lessons for science, and have written all my answers for science paper correctly, except for two' But my wife was not convinced she said how could you have, you had not studied for it, and you will get few marks now, all due to her fault. But Noona said she is confident that she will get over 35 marks out of 40. But my wife was not hearing any of this. I took this opportunity to lagao a bet with my wife that Noona will take more than 35 marks, and if she does, my wife will have to take us all to dinner after the results are announced. My wife said ok, as she was sure Noona will get only 20 to 25 marks.

Well, the results were declared after few weeks, and Noona got 36 marks, and my wife had to take us all out for a dinner. Courage does come in all shapes and sizes.

Firefox On The Move

Kalyan Varma spotted a bus, while coming from Mysore, with a big Firefox logo pasted on it. Kalyan and friends stopped their car and and stopped the bus which was about to leave and took the photographs. More photographs of the bus are on Kalyan's blog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Koi Lauta De Beetay Hui Din

My only blogging friend Kusum Rohra has tagged me, again. This time she has posted about Ten (10) things she misses the most and I have to do a post about 10 things I miss the most. So, here I go ...

Ten Things I Miss Most

1.My School: I had studied upto standard X in Jai Hind Academy. Why my parents decided to put me up in this school, I do not know. Maybe the the fact that the school was situated near our home must have been the deciding factor. It was no-frills school. It still is there and whenever I walk pass the school, I think about my school days.

2. My friends: We use to play, what else but cricket, in the compound of our building. I really miss those days. Since our building had homes on the ground floor, we manage to broke, not records, but glass on windows of flats on the ground floor on many occasions. The speed with which we use to hide after breaking a glass on windows was hilarious. The unfortunate boy who was slow in finding the hiding place got all the gallis and all the blame. Oh those days. Vacation means cricket in the mornings and evenings, and badminton, with wooden rackets, in the nights.

3. Living my with parents: Before marraige I lived with my parents, like all good boys. But marriage changed all that. After few years of living with parents, after marriage, it was time for us to move. Fortunately we found a good place to stay, which is near my parents's home, so that I could visit my parents often. But living with parents and visiting them often are two different things. Maybe I miss living with my parents, because like most men, I am a mamma's boy. Maybe ...

4. My aunt: I had an aunt, who use to live alone. For some reasons, I had developed close affinity with this aunt of mine. I use to drop to her place quite often. We use to chat of this and that and she used to told me many things about Sindh. She expired a few years ago. May her soul rest in peace.

5. Living on Campus: Our Institue has excellent on-campus housing colony for the academic members of the Institute. A small portion of flats is kept aside for non-academic persons, like me. It was always my wish to live among the brilliant people of our Institute. Somehow I talked to my wife about advantages of living in campus, the main argument being `imagine we will be living in Bombay'. And luckily I managed to get a good three-room flat on the campus and also secure the admission for our son and daughter in a school near the campus of our Institute, that too after two months after the start of a new academic year, that is in August. Well we moved with all the enthusiasim and hopes for a new and peaceful life in the campus flat in August 2003. At first we all were happy, but my wife started getting disillusioned with life in Bombay, soon. She was missing Ulhasnagar, and also did not like the new school. I was quite happy living on campus, as office was just about 5 minutes walk away. And at the end of the academic year, that is April 2004, we decided to go back go Ulhasnagar. I miss living on campus.

6. Spam-free days: My spam I mean the junk emails which we receive every day. Just a few years ago, I use to get on an average 15 emails every day, of which 1 or 2 were junk emails, but nowdays 1 out of 150 emails is genuine and rest junk/spam. When I go for leave for few days, say tw days, on return I am greeted by 1450 emails, of which 1405 are junk/spam. It is real pain to sift the genuine emails from junk. Who is sending these junk emails and why we are sent these junk emails is a big mystery. I miss the spam-free days.

7. Watching movies in a theatre: Earlier watching movie in a theatre was fun, something to look forward to, an event in itself. But no more. Nowdays all movies are just unwatcable. No wonder the people keep away from the theatres. The last movie I saw, Being Cyrus, there were only 10 people in the theatre. And it was scary to watch a movie, pratically alone.

8. Saas-Bahu-less serials: I really marvel at all the K serials which are running on and on for years, involving a Saas a Bahu and rest insignificant people in their households. I wonder how can people watch these serials. If it is not a Saas-Bahu serials, it will be one-man-two-women or two-women-one -man serials. Oscar Wilde was right when he said that in a marriage two is crowd and three is company. This epigram has been literally taken to heart by the serial makers. Compare to these serials, Ramayana and Mahabrata were classics. I wish good old serials on telly.

9. Eating sweets: like all right-thinkg persons, I enjoyed eating sweets. But I am reminded by my children, especially my daughter, that eating more sweets will bring in diabetes. I wonder from where she, who is just 9 years old, come to know about diabetes. Ever since my son had some dental problem, we all are off the sweets. Since I had a sweet tooth, I miss eating sweets and chocolates.

10. Being myself: I miss being myself. When I am at home, I am dutiful father to my children, good husband to my wife, at office an honest and sincere worker, in train reading newspapers/books and adopting other people's thoughts and thinkings. I do miss being myself. While I blog, I am being myself.

Dam and Rehabilitation

Over the last weekend, I have been reading Arundhati Roy's excllent article `The Greater Common Good'. This article is available online. I would recommend reading this article. It is quite long article, better print and read it slowly. Believe me it will be worth the paper! It would give a good perspective on the ongoing controversy about Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada.

It is good that The Supreme Court interim order has been delivered linking the proposed height of Sardar Sarovar Dam to 121 meters to rehabilitation of the affected families. The Narmada Bachao Andolan activitist, Medha Paktar, who had been on a hunger strike for the past 20 days, had broken her fast. The Central Government has assured the Supreme Court that rehabilitation of the affected families, most of whom are in the state of Madhya Pradesh will be done in the next three months. What could not have been done for the past six years, could it be done in the next three months, I wonder. It seems highly improbable. I read it in a newspaper today that income-tax was being deducted from the cash compenstation given to the affected families. Naturally, those families are rejecting such cash compensation. If a family is given, say Rs. 10 lakh as cash compenstation for their land, income-tax of Rs. 1 lakh being deducted and they were offered Rs. 9 lakhs as compenstation. This is really ridiculous.

Also, over the weekend there were two side shows, which I find quite amusing. One was actor Aamir Khan voicing his concern about rehabilitation of the affected people who are or will be displaced due to increase in the height of the Dam. And another was hunger strike of 51 hours by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Aamir Khan is perfectly right when he says that as a citizen of India he is free to voice is concerns for the oustees of the Narmada Dam. But Aamir also endores Coke. A few months ago I happened to read how a Coke plant at Plachimada in Kerala is polluting the water and is pumping more ground water than they are permitted to. I was shocked and amazed to read about this and had decided to listen to my inner voice to boycott Coke and other soft drinks. And since then it has been Thanda Matlab Lassi or Sugarcane juice for me. If Aamir Khan takes the trouble of finding out the real facts about Plachimada Coke plant and stops endorsing Coke, I will believe that he is serious about his concerns. A few months ago, before Rang De Basanti was released I found funny the way the movie was marketed in most of the news channels, with Aamir Khan and various crew members of the movie appearing in chat shows and giving interviews, etc. In a few weeks movie Fanna, in which Aamir Khan stars with Kajol will be released. I expect it be a huge it, especially in Gujarat.

About Narendra Modi the less said is better. He seems to be more of showman and a politician. I was watching a Hindi news channel last night and in that programme the following question was asked and viewers were asked to vote for it: Do you believe the rehabilitation of the oustees of the Narmada Dam will be done (a) in three months, (b) at the liesure of the government or (c) when Narendra Modi will sit on indefinite fast in support of the oustees. And 58% per cent viewers, including me, voted for the option (c).

While I am not for pro or anti dam, I believe it is for the experts and for our government to decide. If a dam brings development for a particular region, then good. But the people, who are displaced because of a dam, must be rehabilited properly. After all, these people are makeing a huge sacrifice for the good of other people of the country and giving up their homes and land where they have been living.

Purna Samaan

One man's trash is another man's treasure. is a website where you can trade your unwanted DVDs, CDs, VHSs, Paperbacks, Audiobooks, Videogames and swap them with other people's CDs etc. who might be interested in your CDs, etc. I think it is a good idea. Check out the website if you want to trade CDs, DVDs etc.

Death of a Light Bulb

The end could be nigh for the old-fashioned light bulb. Scientists have developed wafer-thin sheets that fill a room with natural light at the flick of a switch, according to research published today. Bright and brilliant idea. I wonder, what would happen then to all those Light Bulb Jokes. Reproduced below are some Light Bulb jokes, I found at at a website:

Q: How many atheists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None. Atheists question whether it's really light anyway.

Q: How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Four, one to change it and the other three to deny it.

Q: How many Englishmen does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: What do you mean change it? It's a perfectly good bloody bulb! We have had it for a thousand years and it has worked just *fine*.

Q: How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb ?
A: 250,000,000, one to change it and 249,999,999 to debate whether it it was politically correct.

Q: How many gardeners does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to change it and two to have a debate about whether this is the right time of year to be putting in lightbulbs or daffodil bulbs.

Q: How many operating systems are required to screw in a light bulb?
A: Just one-Microsoft is making a special version of Windows for it.

Q: How many Windows programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 472. One to write WinGetLightBulbHandle, one to write WinQueryStatusLightBulb, one to write WinGetLightSwitchHandle...

Link to newsstory

Search Romance !

With Google one can search anything, even a sock which you misplaced some weeks ago, and had suddenly pine for it (sorry made up the sock part). And all you romantically-inclined, with a romanic bent of mind, and if you believe romance is the essence of life, Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google. The Google has come out with a service called Google Romance. When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romance™ is our solution. The Link is

Google has also come out with its calendar service which is but is available only for gmail users.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Melissa Plaut

Melissa Plaut is a taxi-driver who drives her taxi in the city of New York, and has her blog at where she files her stories of the day when her day is over at 3:00 a.m.! Here is what she says about why she started a blog: "I only started writing this blog because I was so bored with myself telling all these stories". The story about her appeared in The Washingtopn Post, and the link to the article is here . I found, but her blog and article about her, quite interesting.


The train on platform number 7 will go to the siding. Passengers are requested not to board this train.
One hears such announcement often at V.T. station, but whenever I hear this I cannot help, but grin from ear to ear. Why. I will tell you in a minute. Siding is a track little away from platform, where a local train is parked when it has done its due for the day or has suddently developed a snag and is taken out of service. Local trains are also parked at the siding on the terminus late at night, for few hours, when services are suspended at the end of the day.

We have a dear dear friend who lives on the campus of our institute, were we office friends meet often, or in fact jump at the first available option, to meet and party, mostly on a Friday. This is also the time when I inflict on all my friends the wonderful tunes of great Rahul Dev Burman. We usually party till 11:00 p.m. and catch the last train home. It so happened, a few years ago, that we had a wonderful party and we all had enjoyed ourselves and it was quite late. The dear friend of ours suggested that we stay at his place and tomorrow being a Saturday, and hence a holiday for us, we can leave early for home. I was agreeable to this proposal, but the friend of mine (yes, the same friend with whom I shared the joy ride), had other ideas. He said no, we must go home and catch that last Karjat train. Well, I agreed with him and we catched the last train for Karjat. Now, this friend of mine has a peculiar habit: one minute he is chatting with you and next minute he will be snoring like Kumbakaran. I have travelled with him several times with me wide awake and my friend snoring away. Well, on this particular journey was also no different. I woke him up at Kalyan and told him that soon Ulhasnagar station will come and I will be getting off and he better not sleep off! Well, I got off at Ulhasnagar, but before that I woke my friend, who had again dozzed off. Badlapur is about 15 minutes train ride away from Ulhasnagar. It seems that as soon as the train haf left Ulhasnagar, my friend had dozzed off again. His station, Badlapur came and went and found him sleeping soundly. And he travelled upto the last station, that is Karjat, still fast asleep. It seems at Karjat station there was no one besides him in the train. The train after few minutes halt at Karjat was sent to the siding and the lights of the train were switche off. My friend was woken up finally by swarm of mosquitoes which had found an unexpcted guest in the train. Well, my friend had no option but to spent the rest of the night, few hours actually, in the company of mosquitoes. Badlapur is about 45 minutes train-ride from Karjat. The same train was sent off as the first up train from Karjat to V.T. at around 5:00 a.m. This time he did not make the mistake of dozing off and got off at Badlapur. You may ask how I came to know all this? Well, he actually told us all about it, in the next party! Whenever, I hear the word `siding', I am reminded of this little advernture of my friend and I cannot help, but grin.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

3 Nice Quotes

When a lion meets another with a louder roar,
the first lion thinks the last a bore.
-- G.B. Shaw
Gentlemen prefer blondes, but who says blondes prefer gentlemen?
-- Mae West

If we men married the women we deserved, we should have a very bad time of it. -- Oscar Wilde

A Hero

Javed, the 18-year-old high school student who saved eight children from the Meerut Brand India fair fire, succumbed to his burns on Thursday. Javed, I salute you. Whole of India should be proud of you. You are a hero. You saved eight children, but you could not be saved. It is so sad. Link to newsstory


Frenzied fans of Kannada thespian Rajkumar went on a rampage on Thursday, resorting to stone-pelting and targeting vehicles in and around Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. How could they do it, at a time like this! May the soul of Dr Rajkumar rest in peace. Link to newsstory

Joy ride !

Well, I have been travelling, or rather communting (commuting is travelling between two fixed points and is done frequently, and sometime mechanically, while travelling is just travelling without destination or aim!, and some people do it without ticket). I am so used to journeying in the local trains, that I hardly notice it. I invariably travel by the same train and the same compartment, in the morning and evenings and I got used to people with whom I travel.

But this post is not about that, otherwise it would not be joyride. Would it be? Things which we do everyday are hardly joyful. It is what unusual happens to us or are able to do that, which brings joy to us. There is only particular train-ride which really brought me joy. This happned quite a few years ago, to be precise in 2001.

Let me give you some background before I came to the main point. In year 2001 a very big conference was organized by our Institute where many foreign scientist also participated. The most famous of them was Prof. Stephen Hawking . Most of the foreign scientist were housed in a 5-star hotel in South Bombay where a banquet dinner was held during the conference. The banquet, which started at 8:00 p.m., and ended well past mid-night, was really really good. Everyone enjoyed it. The food was too good, especially the matka kulfi, which were in the real miniature matkas! Me and my friends were taken aback when we visited a toilet in the hotel. The toilet of the 5-start hotel was better than the living room of most of our homes, imagine a leather sofa set in the toilet! Well, these 5-start hotels are a different world altogether.

When the banquet was over, and by the time me and my office friend reached the V.T. station, it was nearing 1:00 a.m. and the last train for Karjat had already departed. Now what to do -- we had the option of going back to office and sleeping the night off at the office. But no, my friend had different ideas. He said we will go by the Pune Passenger which departs from V.T. at around 1:30 a.m. I said it is a good idea and let us do that. My friend said he has many friends who work in railway and one of them is engine-driver who usually gets to drive Pune Passenger on most of nights. He said we will travel by this train, but in the engine (locomotive) of the train! On hearing this I said but it is illegal how could we do it. But he just laughed it off. Well, upon reaching the engine, he looked for his friend, but was informed the engine-drivers that his friend is off-duty today. My friend asked them could we travel in the engine upto Kalyan with them. They said no, but we could travl in the back-side of the engine. Well, they opened the door of the back-side of the egnine for us whhich was completely unoccupied. This was the joyride for me and my friend. It was really fun to travel like that. I wished how much more fun it would have been had we been in the front side of the engine. But alas, our joy was short-lived. At Dadar, the person who had allowed us to travel like this, re-appeared and asked us, err are we employees of railway, we said no. He said in that case we cannot travel in the engine as he suspect there is a special checking at the next station, Kurla, and if the inspectors of train finds that we are not railway employees, he, not us, could be in big trouble. So, to save him trouble, we got down from the engine and travelled the rest of our journey in an compartment. Those twenty minutes of joy ride will always ramain precious for me.

Say No To Reservations

"Say No To Reservations" is an online peition against reservation in higher education institution hosted on the web by, the free online petition service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says. If you are inclined, and think strongly against reservations in higher education institutions, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

Justice done

Less than a month after he raped a German tourist, the son of a top IPS officer was today sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in a superfast verdict. The punishment was given in 16 days after the trial commenced and the accused was punished within a month of committing the crime. Hard to believe, but it is good that the judgement came so fast. It is regrettable that maximum punishment for rape is only 7 years in jail. It should be more, at least 15 years. It seems only two per cent of rape cases in India get a judgment. Just two per cent, what happens to the rest of the 98 per cent! I wonder why could not all the courts be fast-tract court. The pace at which cases drag on on years and years must be heart-breaking for the victims. It seems that only State governments decide on the class of cases to be handed to fast-track courts. The state governments must be selective.

Link to newsstory

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Nice Toast

To our sweethearts and wives. May they never meet.
-- 19th century toast

Size does not matter !

South Indian actor Ajay Kumar is 2ft 5in tall and weighs 28kg, but he already a film star. In his debut feature, Atbhutha Dweep (Wonder Island), Kumar performs stunts, rides a horse at 45 kph and cavorts with a lover. Link to newsstory

Name is everything

A really funny post about names

Monday, April 10, 2006

On reservations ...

A good article about reservations in IITs, IIMs and other high education institutions: Reservation quota: Who gains? Who loses?

Life ke dun -- Ek torture

Last Friday, I listened to Sonu Nigam in his new avtaar as RJ, on Radio City. The first half of the programme was quite good. Sonu was quite frank in his comments. It was poignant to hear Sonu talk about how he narrowly missed singing `Ek Ladki Ko Dekha', which was eventually sung by Kumar Sanu. Sonu's imitation of great RD and Kumar Sonu was very very good. I was really enjoying the programme, then quite suddenly Sonu announced that his first guest on the show will be Anu Malik. What, what, why, why, oh no. These were the first words which immediately came to my mind. I almost teared my hairs. Oh god why him, I mean Anu Malik. The show was Sonu's, why had Anu come, unannounced. It seems, everyweek Sonu will be inviting a guest on his show, and Anu is was the first. Anyway, I kept listening, in the hope that Anu will vanish after few minutes and leave us listerns in peace. But no, he went blah blah and sung most of his song for the next full hour! What a torture. And Anu will be back on this show, next week, as he is not yet finished! God. Why a good show is always ruined like this. Well, good luck to Sonu.


Recently I read in a newspaper that according to a poll, women tend to nag when men don’t do the following : 1. Listen 2. Complete tasks 3. Watch too much sport 4. Are lazy 5. Drink too much 6. Put on weight 7. Play way too many computer games 8. Are insensitive 9. Don’t notice new clothes

Well, I could not generalise for all men, but here are my two cents for the above nine reasons, all my personal observations and experiences, which makes my wife get annoyed with me and hence nag me!
  1. Listen: Since my wife does all the talking, and I all the listening, well almost, sometimes my attention do wander, and behold she gets upset and say I never listen when she is taking. What I have been doing then, all these years! I wonder. The easiest way to make her happy is to hang to her every word. It always work. It makes her happy, and she lets me be!
  2. Complete tasks: Life is an unfinished business, or life is work in progress, and there is always tomorrow, are my usual excuses and are enough to annoy her.
  3. Watch too much sport: Why women are never intersted in sport in general and cricket in particular is the biggest mystery of all. I have tried for many years to educate her about cricket, but in vain. Maybe it is in dna of womens, they think sport is waste of time, and we men think it is everything. At least she now knows the difference between live and recorded circket match.
  4. Are lazy: For men, sorry me, everyday is sunday, when I am at home. It does get her annoyed.
  5. Drink too much: Whenever I get chance. Yes, I do. And it annoyes her to no end. Maybe I do it on purpose.
  6. Put on weight: Well, if my wife is good cook, what else would be the result, but over-eating.
  7. Play too many computers games: Thankfully we do not have computer at home. But to substitute it I do read a lot, especially late at night.
  8. Are insensitive: Please see point number 1 above about listening. If you listen, you are sensitive, but if you don't, you are insensitive.
  9. Don't notice new clothes: When she put on new clothes, she give me subtle hints about it, say how she is looking, do I notice something, etc., and I end up saying, well, you look good as usual. And that gets her.


I could not get to see `Banaras -- A Mystic Love Story', as it was not released in my city, that is Ulhasnagar. Last Saturday, I went to the theatre on which it was supposed to be released, but to my disappointment I found that particular theatre was running another ghastly movie. Well, I have to contend myself with review of the movie. Someone who had seen Banaras, had written very funny review about it.

A comic on Blogs

Click to enlarge

Calvin on Life

Click to enlarge

Calvin: Why isn't my life like this situation comedy?
Calvin: Why don't I have a bunch of friends
with nothing to do but drop by and
instigate wacky adventures?
Calvin: Why aren't my conversations peppered with
witticisms? Why don't my friends demonstrate
heartfelt concerns for my well-being when I have
Hobbes: Why don't you know any gorgeous babes?
Calvin: I gotta get my life some writers.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Wash it, Iron it

Division of labour about the household chores at most of the homes all over the world causes confusions, chaos, clashes, arguments, counter-arguments, quarrels, and god knows what. Like: who will wash the clothes today, who will iron the clothes today, and such. Leo Tolstoy was right when he said `All happy families resemble each other, and all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way'. Well, technology is trying to spread sweetness and cheerfulness among the households. To begin with in the U.K. households. A washing machine which not only washes the cloths, but also irons it! Read on, if you are still sceptical.

Money Money

Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra performed and danced during the closing ceremony in the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Most of us simple-minded people thought wow, these stars are performing for the love of India, they must be proud to be an Indian, and I should also be brought to be an Indian, blah, blah. Nah, read this: Said Saif, “People enjoyed the show and told me they liked my performance immensely. I am proud to be an Indian, which is why I performed in Melbourne. What do you mean, I charged too much?” Rs 29 crore is the total amount which was spent by the gobvernment, which included stars' business class airfare, stay in hotels, meals, etc. etc, and their fees. So they did not performed for free. And I wonder how much money (mine and yours) our government will be spending on stars on closing and opening ceremony, organization of the next Commonwealth games, which are to be held in Delhi in 2010! Well, wait till 2010. Link


Last week one of my friend happend to eat out at night at a place called The Olympia in Colaba. He happend to mentioned it me and priased the food (mostly non-veg) to the sky. I had also eaten at Olympia long time ago and had liked it. I suggest that we could go out during lunch time and eat there. We ageed on this Friday (today) for this. Imagine our disappointment, when on reaching there we found The Olympia was shut. Upon enquring from the neighbouring shops, we came to know that it is shut every Friday, it being a muslim establishment. Life is made of such disappointments. So, instead of eating at The Olympia, we have to settle for Laxmi Villas Hindu Hotel, which happend to be nearby. What a letdown. Needless to say, the food there was atrocious. Lesson learned: do not eat out, eat only wife-cooked food, if you do go out, search google for review of the restaurant, find the telephone number, call and confirm that it is open, and then go. Or be brave to face the life's little disappointments.

Tomato Mountain

Farmers, who cannot afford to sell their produce at the price quoted by wholesalers, have been dumping mountains of tomatoes, brinjals, cauliflower and ladies’ fingers at Hyderabad’s Monda market.

Link to newsstory

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Let me finish

A few days ago I read a review of a book `Let me finish'. No, it is not about some unfinished things or unfinished business, but is rather about suicides. People die everyday, some due to old age, some due to other reasons, and some take into their head to end their life. Some people have the courtesy to leave behind a note explaining why they did it, so that it spares their near and dear ones the trouble of scratching their head to search for the reason and ask why. The author of this book, Udo Grashoff, has collected 50 such notes, I mean suicide notes, and made a book out of it. The author also write about the events leading to each suicide and after events, police accounts etc. The smallest suicide note is of 3 lines and the longest is 7 pages long. One doctor, before ending his life, had written in his note giving details of drugs he has taken to end his life and requested to avoid indiginity to perform post mortem on his body! After a lover's tiff, a man sent an SMS to his girlfriend, before ending his life. A blogger left a note on his blog The Last Post, as he was dispirited for not getting any comments on his blog, and decided to end it all. (Sorry, made up the blogger part.) Link .


If you were unlucky to watch one of the most terrible hindi movie ever made, Mohabbatein, you must have remembered the beautiful school in which most of the movie was filmed. Now such a school is coming up in Pune and it will be called Sharad Pawar International School. Fees: just Rs. 1.5 lakhs to Rs. 3 lakhs per year. Children will began their day by singing the anthem sung by pop star Shaan and will wear uniforms designed by Shania N.C. and different uniform for 4 different season. Wow. The chemistry labs come with showers outside, just in case the students want to take it. The labs are situated on the third floor, with an inbuilt chimney, so that noxious fumes get lost immediately. In the meantime, lakhs of children will continue to study in school without walls and without basic amenities. Some childrens have all the luck while some have not. Link to newsstory

Nice quote

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. -- George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Donkeys, politicians and wives

A hindi school textbook for standard IX in Rajasthan compares donkeys with politicians, and houswives. With politicians, well one can understand, but why with wives. Here is why - The offending chapter also gives donkeys a higher rating than wives as "the wife keeps naging" while "the donkey does not complain". Now, of course, since the politicians in Rajasthan are angry, the offending chapter will be deleted from the book, naturally.

Link to BBC newsstory

Sonu Niigamm

Sonu Niigamm (formerly known as Sonu Nigam) will now be appearing as a Radio Jockey in Radio City every Friday at 8:00 p.m. His show is tilted `Life Ke Dun'. Sonu Nigam, oops Sonu Niigamm is good singer, one of my favourite. It seems Sonu is believer in numerology, that explains extra m and i in his name. But why is he appearing on radio? Maybe since Himesh Reshamiya seems to be singing all the songs these nowadays, maybe because of that. BTW, Himesh Reshamiya is now Himesh Reshammiya. Numerology has claimed one more! Well, good luck to Sonu Niigaamm. I look forwarding to hearing your show. Link.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mr Advani says ...

... made a comparison between BJP’s fight with Jesus Christ crucifixion and resurrection, he said just like Christ they were also crucified but resurrected, again just like Christ. Strange, very strange. Link

Cooker Beats Hooker

The 2006 Blooker Prize has prompted a headline Cooker Beats Hooker to Win Blooker. Wow.

PM did not voted

Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, was elected from Assam in Rajya Sabha and is registered as a voter in Dispur, Assam. It seems he did not voted in yesterday's elections to elect new assembly for state of Assam. Prime Minister was in Guwahati day before yesterday urging people to vote, but he himself did not cast his vote nor sent his vote through postal ballot. People in Dispur are unhappy about this. Link to the newsstory

The Lulu Blooker prize

An American cook's adventures in the kitchen have won the first literary prize for bloggers turned authors. Julie Powell's in the process beat the intimate diary of a prostitute and a guide to the UK's best cafes to take the Blooker Prize.

The link to the newsstory is here , and link to Lulu Blooker prize is here.

Lulu is a self-publishing site which prints blookes. Blookes are published version of blogs and websites. You have to pay some amount for this, of course. If you have a blog, you can publish a Blook of your blog by registering at Lulu. Bloggers, what are you waiting for?

Monday, April 03, 2006

12 years in jail

12 years in jail and and a fine of Rs, 26,500/- is what is handed over by a fast track court to Sunil More, a former Mumbai Police constable, who raped a minor girl in April 21, 2005, inside Marine Drive Police chowki. The judgement was delivered today. The accused is punished within a year of crime! This is too good to be true! I feel the life imprisonment punishment should have been better. Who knows what Mr More will do after he comes back. People like him should be locked away for life. This what should be done with all such cases. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Link to newsstory .

Kabir, Buddha and Urmila

“Banaras has provided spiritual inspiration to enlightened personalities like Kabir and Buddha, it left an unmistakable stamp of spirituality on my body and soul too", says Urmila Matondkar, who stars in film Banaras, A Mystic Love Story. This movie is releasing on April 7 and glorifies Banaras's (also know as Varanasi) past traditions and portrays its musical heritage. Well, I could not travel to Banaras to get stamp of spirtuality, but I will make it to point to see this movie.

Rath Yatra and DVD Player

Shri L.K. Advani will be going for a Rath Yatra, once again. This time his rath will be an Eicher air-conditioned bus which is equipped among other things with a toilet, a living room, a fridge, a television set and a DVD player. Why a DVD player? Because Advaniji is fond of Hindi movies. That is why. The name of the Yatra is Bharat Suraksha Yatra!

Vidhi Jain

Vidhi Jain is the name of 7 year old girl, who along with her mother Sangeeta Jain, came to the Nahar Singh Stadium in Faridabad last week to watch the 2nd ODI between India and Englad. Vidhi and her mother never got to see the match, even though they had the valid tickets, but instead got injured, as also her mother, in a stampede which followed a lathi charge by the local police at the stadium. The stampede began when hundreds of people without tickets or passes tried to force their way into the stadium and police started a lathicharge to control the crowd. The collar bone of Vidhi was fractured and she also received facial and internal injuries. She is now out of danger. What is shameful is that no Indian cricketer or a BCCI official bothered to visit Vidhi and Sangeeta Jain at the hospital. Though Indian won the match, the police lathi charge at the stadium was much bigger news than that. It is indeed sad that cricketers and BCCI, who earns millions of rupees, are not bothered about the fans.

On a personal front, I am getting bored of watching cricket mathces and following crickets scores. It seems prtactially there is an international Test or ODI match almost everyday. Cricket now seems more of an entertainment rather than a sport. I will now detach myself from circket in general and in particular from Indian cricket. There are other interesting things in world.

Link to newsstory .

Being Cyrus

Last weekend I saw Being Cyrus, which is a movie in english, practically alone, as the theatre was almost empty, with hardly 15-20 people inside. It was an eerie feeling. It was almost 6:40 p.m, when I reached the theater. The man at the ticket-window told me `abhi chalo hua hai saab'. When I went inside the auditorium, the opening credits were on, and it was very dark. I had an errie feeling that I was alone in the auditorium, as no torchwalla came to show me my seat. But actually there were few people inside, as my eyes adjusted to darkness after a few minutes.

Well frankly, I could not follow much of the english dialogue. The feeling of being alone in the theatre never left me during the movie. The plotline of the movie is something like this: it is about a dysfunctional Parsi family, Sethnas. One son Dinshaw (Naseeruddin Shah) lives in Panchgani with his wife Katy (Dimple Kapadia) and another son Farooq(Boman Irani) lives in Mumbai with his wife Tina (Simone Singh) in a large and old building, in which in a small room also lives their father. Cryus is Saif Ali Khan, who first enters into home of Dinshaw as an apprentice, and is seduced by the nagging Katy. Next we are shown he comes to Mumbai and tries to befriends the father of Dinshaw and Farooq. It seems he has come with the motive of murdering their father, and he does kill him and also Farooq. Why he kills both of them, I don't know. In some scences, in black and white, the eyes, mouth, teeth, nose, but not the ears, of Saif, with some dialogues and some very loud background music, were shown. These scenes were shown quite some times. Strange. The movie had a very good dialgue, which is also repeated towards the end of the movie: when the game is over, the queen and pawns goes in the same box. And I almost forgot, there is a proverbial twist in the tale, towards the end of movie, which I should not tell you here. Maybe you should see the movie and find it out.

Saif Ali Khan was at his usual casual self. But among the actors, I liked Naseeruddin Shah, who as always drunk sculptor was quite natural. The movie was quite short -- about one and half hours, which was quite good.

One of the producers of this film is Ambika A. Hinduja, who I read somewhere is daughter of one of the famous Hindujas. Maybe she should title her next film `Being Bhagchand', about a dysfunctional sindhi family in Ulhasnagar!

The review of the movie is here .

Book about Blogs

Last Friday, I visited by favourite bookshop as I wanted to buy `In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote, but it was not available. I happen to spot a book about blogs, but, sigh, it as book about sex blogs. The name of the book was `The Mammoth Book of Sex Diaries: Online Confessions and Call-Girl Adventures: The Best of the Sex Blogs'. Of course, I did not purchased this book. I did not even know that sex blogs exists, but I now know. Well, everyone to his/her own taste.

A few days ago I happen to read a review of book about blogs `2005 - Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere', but that was mostly about best of British blogs. Won't it be a good idea if some Indian publishers comes out with similar book about Indian blogs. It would be fun to read best of blogs of Amit Varma, Jai Arjun Singh, Kusum Rohra, etc. in the book form. I would certainly buy that book, were it to be published.

In the meantime, I purchased `In the Antique Land' by Amitava Ghosh, which is non-fictional account of his journey to Egypt, and `Stories' by Sunil Gangopadhyay, who is famous Bengali writer, last Friday.

Change of name

I have changed the name of my blog from `Here there and everywhere' to Anything Goes. Anything Goes is also name of a musical play, which was written by my favourite P.G. Wodehouse with others. I like the new name of my blog.