Monday, December 10, 2007

Computer @ Home

We have now computer (Intel PC) at home. We purchased it in the last week of November, after lot of deliberations, discussionss, at home. Will it come in between children's studies, will it often crash, will it increase the electric bill etc. etc. Anyway, now that it has been installed and working all right, here are my off hand impressions of computer at home.

At office, a PC seems okay, but at home it does seems little out of place. Since I am scared of forgetting passwords, I have kept the same password, which I have for my office account. So sometime I do forget if I am at home or at office. Since we have opted for a LCD screen, and a wide one at that, movies on a DVD Disk look great, and with Creative 1.2 speakers, they sound too great. And my music collection of RD and SD sound fantastic.

I had installed Ubuntu Linux also on it, besides Windows XP and Windows Vista. I thought I will get my children get used to Linux, but so far they have not taken to it. My daughter has taken to computer, say like fish takes to water. She thinks she is a good painter, and the `Paint' programme on Vista helps her keeping that illusion. We soon plan to have internet connection too for the computer, so I may blog more, than I do now.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sad news

Just heard the sad news that Meera Dev Burman, wife of Sachinda, and mother of Rahul Dev, passed away. May her soul rest in peace.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 44, and I turned greedy too.

Every year, on this day, I gift myself a book, since no one bothers to do so. So this year too I went to my favourite bookshop, The Strand Bookstall, to gift a book to myself. I wanted a slim and handsome book.

I spotted Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I had heard about this book but never owned or read it. So I picked it up. It was quite slim volume. I was happy. But soon I spotted also To Sir, with Love by E. R. Braithwaite, another slim volume and Thank you Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse, yes it too was slim book, and picked these two too for myself.

I am getting greedy and getting old. But I am enjoying it. I mean, well, both getting old and getting greedy :).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Talent lost; regionalism won

So Amit Paul did not win Indian Idol 3, and Prashant who got more votes, won.

Talent lost and regionalism won. Better singer lost; good singer won. Such is life.

I felt very very sad when the results of Indian Idol were announced in yesterday's Grand Finale telecast. I was somehow sure that Amit will win, as he seemed to be such versatile singer, but it was not to be. Sky is not going to fall if Prashant had won and Amit had lost out.

Well, Amit is, in my opinion, a damn good singer. I am sure he will make it big as a singer in Bollywood. I will be watching his career with a considerable interest. Here is wishing you Amit all the best.

Thank you Amit, for giving so much joy with you singing, which was always in सुर; for your wonderul selection of songs, and last, but not the least, for singing O Laal Meri Pat Rakhiyo Bala Jhoole Laalan . Amit, you are the the Indian Idol for me.

Video of best performance, in my opinion, of Amit Paul singing Bulla ki Jaana Main Kaun:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Commuter classics

The title of this post, and the picture on left is borrowed from an excellent blog post which I read a couple of months ago.

The post talked about reading while commuting from home to place of work. Well, I have been commuting everyday for about 4 hours for many years. I generally read newspapers or sleep off, if I am lucky to get a place to sit in the train. But reading classics while travelling seemed an excellent option. So inspired by this post, I completed reading two classic books, back to back, recently.

The books were The Woken in White (published in 1860) and The Moonstone (published in 1868), both by Wilkie Collins. And believe me I had such a great time in reading them while commuting that I actually looked forward to commuting. Travelling became a pleasure rather than a pain. I drew quite a lookss from my fellow sufferers, opps commuters, who seemed to be surprised with my nose in a fat book. Is'nt it almost old-fashioned to travel with a book, when almost everyone in the train or in the bus, has a mobile phone or digital music player to flaunt and play with.

Both the books were very very good read. But I liked The Moonstone better. It is considered to be the first detective novel in English, and even seems to have inspired
Arthur Conan Doyle.

The following lines, which appear in Second Period, Chapter 3, describes my own feeling while reading both these books:

Do you feel an uncomfortable heat at the pit of your stomach, sir? and a nasty thumping at the top of your head? Ah! not yet? It will lay hold of at Cobb's Hole, Mr. Franklin. I call it the detective fever; and I first caught it in the company of Sergeant Cuff.'

I too had caught detective fever. I was so engrossed reading these two books, while travelling or at home, that I was most of the time unaware of happenings around me, and got strange looks from my wife and children at home. Both these books were page-turner, one just wanted to know what happened next. My only complaint about both the books is they are bit too long. But it could be understood that both of them had appeared first in serial form first, and maybe the author was paid per word. Hence this accounts for them being long.

I have many classics in my book collection, so I will be commuter with classics henceforth, and rest of the things be damned. Here is looking forward to next classic in my book collection and to commuting ...

Addendum: Could not help saying this --- Chekhovian irony something humdrum and dreary as commuting combined with something uplifting and, shall I say, character building, as reading classic books.

The next classic I am reading while commuting is Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Email forward ...

Got the following by email forward. Good One ...

Ant And Grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Modern Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNNshow up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.

Medha Patkargoes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance) ...

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal
and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath' ...

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the 'Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA

and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it 'A Triumph of Justice'.

Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '.

CPM calls it the 'Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '

Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...

The Ant has since migrated to the US
and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley ...

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in
India .....

As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers,
India is still a developing country!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Go for it, Amit

The picture on the left is of Amit Paul, who is finalist for the Indian Idol 3. Generally I avoid all music based shows on TV, but for some reasons, unknown even to me, I like Indian Idol 3. I, and my family too, have been watching it regularly every week and we all quite enjoy.

I like Amit's voice. His selection of songs is good. And he sung, in one of earlier rounds, a song which is sung by Panchamda, and he sung it very very well.

Well Amit, go for it. You deserve to win Indian Idol 3. All the best.

Hear and watch how wonderfully Amit had sung koraa kaagaz thaa ye man meraa, from movie Aradhana in the episode which was telecast on Sept. 7, in the video below.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lost it, found it

It has been many many days since I written a post for my blog. The reason was simple ... I had forgotten my password to my blooger account. Just as I have forgotten it, I remembered it. So here I go again. Or maybe I had lost my will to blog. Anyway.

Not much exciting things have happen. The life in general has been humdrum.

Reading record: finished reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. It was quite a sad book and was set in mid 1980s. It won the Booker Prize last year, and Kiran Desai become only the second Indian to win that prize. Maybe this fact had attracted me buy and read this book. The book had three main characters: Sai, Judge and Cook. Somewhere in the middle of the book the reader were told the name of the judge, but the cook remain nameless, and the reader is told about his name on the last but one page of the book. The review of the book, as it appeared in the New York Times is here

The book I am reading presently is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. It is very very good read. Though this book was published in 1860, but is timeless in telling a gripping story, and keeping the reader's attention.

The only movie I had sent recently is Chak De India . Well, the movie was good, and though I do no like Mr Shah Rukh Khan in general, I liked him in this movie. But at the end, if the Hockey, which is national sport of India, needs a movie for its promotion or to be in forefront, then it is indeed a very sad state of affairs. In India, sports means cricket, cricket and just cricket.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Yesterday I finished reading Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. It is a sad and beautiful book. I found I had a lump in my throat and a wet eye, as I put it down. It is really a sad book, but it is very very well written.

Mr Coetzee conveys a lot with a minimum of words, he writes almost to the point. The first lines of the book are:
For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well. On Thursday afternoons he drives to Green Point. Punctually at two p.m. he presses the buzzer at the entrance to Windsor Mansions, speaks his name, and enters.
The book has only 220 pages. Other author may have stretched it to more and more pages.

The book is set in the post-apartheid South Africa. It tells the story of a fifty-two year old professor, who teaches romantic poetry at a university of Cape Town, South Africa. But I should not tell you more. Please do read this book. You will feel enriched by reading it. BTW, Disgrace was awarded Booker Prize in 1999.

The first chapter of the book is here.

And the review of the book is here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Favourte Bookmark

The image on the left is that of my favourite bookmark. And lucky bookmark too, for me. Whenever I had used this bookmark, while reading a book, I have been able to finish it and appreciate it too. I have gone through such fat books, Brothers Karamazov, for example, using this bookmark.

I had lost this bookmark somehow, and I had lost hope of finding it again. I thought maybe I must have given it in a book which was borrowed by one of my friend. I was very happy to find it again among one of the book, a few days ago. I am now using it for Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, book which I am reading presently.

The charm of this bookmark is quote by Desiderius Erasmus . Wikepedia tells me that he was a Dutch humanist and theologian.

More quotes by Desiderius Erasmus are here

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tashakor, Khaled Hosseini

Recently I finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
I had seen this book a few months ago on someone desk, and liked the story line, as was described on the back page of the book. Oh this book is about redemption, I had said to myself and I must read it. Since I purchased the book to which I take fancy to, instead of borrowing it from someone, I purchased it during my next visit to my favourite bookshop. I finished reading it recently. I really liked it. It made for very good reading. I would recommend it strongly. The plot summary of the book is here.

Tashakor (which means thank you in Persian) Khaled Hosseini for writing it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

वाह वाह Mika

The Guardian reports:
Did the release of Paris Hilton from a Los Angeles jail merit the media attention it received? That question reached a critical point for one US cable news presenter when she refused to read out the lead item on a popular morning breakfast show.

"I have an apology," presenter Mika Brzezinski told the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe programme, "and that is for the lead story. I hate this story. I don't think it should be the lead."
Wah Wah Mika Brzezinski. I salute you. You did the right thing, which is very rare in today's world. How I wish Indian newsreader do the the same, at least once, when cricket appears as a lead story. Or the so-called celebrities gets married or does something, in which we may not be interested in, and it appears as a lead story.

The video of Mika doing what she thought was right is below.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Panchamda

Rahul Dev Burman (June 27, 1939 -- January 4, 1994)

Wish you a very very happy birthday, Panchamda. Today, June 27, 2007, is the 68th birthday of Rahul Dev Burman. Wish he has alive today.

I was overjoyed to discover on You Tube a most wonderful song composed by Panchamda: `Mera Kuch Saman' from the movie Ijaazat, which was released in 1988. For this song, the singer Asha Bhosle won the National Award for best playback singer, Gulzar, who wrote this song, got the National Award for best lyricist, but Panchamda, who composed this beautiful song, did not got National Award for best music director. In fact, he never got a National Award for his composition, which is a shame.

The video of the song is below. Note how Panchamda has turned bland verse into a melodious, hummable song. Panchamda you were truly great.

CNN-IBN pays a musical tribute to R.D. Burman:

Amitabh Bachchan pays tribute to R.D. Burman

Rishi Kapoor pays tribute to R.D. Burman

A tribute article

Friday, June 22, 2007

ये कश्मीर है

I am still too busy with my office work to blog about my last month's trip to Kashmir. In the meantime here are some more pictures taken at Kashmir. Click on the picture to enlarge. I promise to start writing my posts about my trip to Kashmir, from next week.

House boats at Dal Lake, Srinagar

Bird's Eye view o Dal Lake, Srinagar

Shikaras at Dal Lake, Sringar

Snow at Gulmarg

One more picture of Gulmarg, Kashmir

Pehelgam, Kashmir

River Lidder, Pehelgam, Kashmir

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Breaking the Break

I came back to office, as scheduled on Friday, June 1. As expected, lot of work had piled up for me, hence I could not post a post, and break the blogging break. I found some time today to write something.

I will, of course, write detailed posts about my trip to Kashmir, soon. Kashmir was better than what I had expected. We had great fun there. Children loved Rajdhani Express and loved the snow at Kashmir.

Here are three of the photograph, among many which I clicked with my Canon digital camera. I took more than 450 pictures, some good and some pretty ordinary.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blogging Break

I will be away for 32 days from my office, from where I blog, from Monday, April 30 to Thursday, May 31.

32 days is a long time in a person's life. Part of my vacation will be for our visit to Kashmir (see post below), and for the rest of days I want to be away from emails, spam emails, blogs, comments, computers and the virtual world. I want to take a break from the virtual world. I promise to myself that I will not walk into a local cyber cafe to check emails, blogs, etc. etc. (I do not have a computer at home). I want to see the REAL world. I want all days to be like Sunday, I want to be happy, for those 32 days.

So, there will be no updates on this blog, till I came back on Friday, June 1, 2007.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mission Kashmir

Last year, we (that is me, wife and my children) had gone to Mahabaleshwar, via Pune. Now train journey from Kalyan to Pune is just two and a half hours. After reaching Pune, my daughter was disappointed with such short train journey, and had said `what, we are already there'. After another one and a half hour journey from Pune to Mahabaleshwar by road, she was doubly disappointed. Well, children, unlike us adults, are passionate about journey, especially train journey, rather than arriving at a destination. For them Life is a Journey.

I had promised my children at Mahabaleshwar that next year we will go to a far far away place, with lots of train journey. So, this year we are going to visit Kashmir. And that too by Rajdhani Express, via New Delhi. Insha Allah, if everything goes as per plan, we will board the train on Thursday, May 3 and will be at Sringar on May 5. Of course, I will record all the interesting details about the trip and the people whom we will meet, and will, of course, blog about them.

One keep reading about Kashmir, but all for the wrong reasons, in the newspapers. I also read it in books, as child, that if there is a paradise on Earth, it is Kashmir. I want to see the paradise.

And yes, I purchased yesterday Canon PowerShot A550 digital camera with 7.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom lens, especially for the Kashmir trip. This is my first digital camera. Hope I will be able to click some good photographs. It will be a crime to go to Kashmir without a good camera and come back without good photographs.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good-bye Lara

Brian Lara announced retirement from international cricket last week. What a player, and what a way to go. He could easily have been around for few more years. It is little sad that his team lost out narrowly the last match played by Lara. After the match, which was against England in the on going Cricket World Cup 2007, Lara told the crowd: "I've had a tremendous time playing for the West Indies. All I ask is, did I entertain? If I entertained you, I'm happy. The unanimous response from the crowd at the stadium was YES. Yes, Lara, you did entertain us. Whenever Lara was batting in a match, which was shown on TV, I made it a point to watch, even for few minutes. I was sure that I will get to see at least one exquisite stroke. And I was never disappointed. Thank you Brian Lara for the wonderful cricket, and those exquisite and elegant strokes. None could bat like you.

It will be fun to watch who will break Lara's World records of 400 and 501 runs in an innings in Test and First Class matches, respectively. I personally believe they will remain in Lara's name for the long long time. Maybe for ever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

आओ kiss करें

BBC reports:

Actor Richard Gere has sparked protests in India after kissing Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty at an Aids awareness rally in New Delhi.

The video is below, watch it if you are inclined to see it. It does not seem a kiss, but just a peck on the cheeks. Yes, Richard Gere almost falling on Shilpa and she bending backwards, makes for good viewing। Both are obviously good actors। The matter should have been left to that. But trust our media to blow the matter out of proportion and various organizations to be unhappy about it. A kiss is just a kiss. Better to kiss kiss than war war. But happenings like this are ready-made or heaven-sent for our media and also our so-called (protesting) organizations. यह तो उनिकी रोजी रोटी है।

Below is video of Shilpa Shetty expressing her anger over media coverage। शिल्पा को ग़ुस्सा कियूं आता है। देखियी ईस विडिओ में।

Friday, April 13, 2007

मेरा भारत महान

यह मेरा प्हेला पोस्ट हिंदी में है।

मुझे बहौत ख़ुशी हुई जब मैंने देखा आज ब्लॉगर के dashboard मैं के ब्लोग्गिंग हिंदी में भी की जा साक्ती हैं।

मैं ब्लॉगर और गूगल को धन्यवाद देना चाहता हूँ। मेरा भारत महान। और गूगल भी महान।

और आब गूगल समाचार हिंदी ैं भी है

तो भारतवासियों हिंदी मैं ब्लोग्गिंग केजिया और दुनिया को देखा लिए जिया का हम भी कीसही से कम नहीं.

News News

I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.

-- Ogden Nash
True very true, Mr O. Nash. I personally find that watching news on telly is becomign rather a bore nowadays. Thankfully, at home, I am allowed just few minutes to watch the news, before the remote is snatched away from me. My children just love to watch Mr Shah Rukh Khan on the KBC, which has become under SRK a children's programme. I wonder why does not he, SRK, says Bacche aur Bacheuon, along with Ladies and Gentelmen, Boys and Girls, after he returns from breaks during the programme. Maybe he will say it soon. Another suggestion: maybe KBC should be renamed as ABCD (Aao Bano Crorepati Dude) to make it more popular among children!

The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports :
Tulsi Virani will soon be back in Pakistani drawing rooms. So would the new Kaun Banega Crorepati.
The ban is obviously lifted to keep the masses in Pakistan think of other things rather than when will Gen. Musharraf go or rather steps down. Will SRK keep people of Pakistan happy or distracted? I wonder.

Monday, April 09, 2007

45 Minutes

It is a Saturday afternoon. Due to load-shedding*, there is no electric power in your home in Ulhasnagar. It is early April, and it is getting hotter and hotter. You sweat and sweat, and look often and again at the electric fan above you, just hoping it will start whrilling again. It is five minutes past two o'clock in the afternoon. You were woken up from your slumber as the fan stopped whrilling at exactly thirty minutes past six in the morning. And it suddenly become hot, and you woke up. Since then you are in state of discomfort, but you manage to survive, all thanks to wonderful hand fan which does not need electricity to operate, and keeps you cool and composed. In frustration you call the local MSEB Office, to find out when power will return, as it should have by 2:00 p.m. The phone is picked up, and instead of `Hello', the man says `Bola'. You inform ask, or rather plead with him that it is few minutes 2:00 p.m. and why there is no sign of power. You are informed `Ho Sahib, we got a new order today. Extra 45 minutes of load shedding from today, power will go half an hour early and will return 15 minutes late'. You just sigh and hang up. No point in shooting the messenger. So instead of 7 hours load-shedding, it will now be 7 hours and 45 minutes.

[The above is a true story. Whoever has said that fact is stranger than fiction, owes me a cup of coffee. He was dead right]

A suggestion for MSEB: Kindly distribute hand-fans [see the one pictured above], along with our monthly electric bills. Since you cannot generate enough electricity to meet the demand, the hand-fans will keep the people cool, and maybe smiling. MSEB can, of course, generate extra income by putting on advertisement on the hand-fans.

And yes, all efforts will be made by our Government to keep the Mumbai city free from power cuts.

* = the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part or parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Looking for a New Home

We are looking for a new home. We live in 1BHK flat and with children growing, one feels need for extra space, that is an extra room. We, that is me and my wife, thought we could look for a new home in a new city. Some of my friends have shifted some time ago to Thane and whenever I run into them in Ulhasnagar, they say Ho you still live in Ulhasnagar, you should shift to Thane like us and then see how happy you feel. Now that my son Sachin's board exams are over, we thought we could now begin looking for a new Home seriously. Well, so last weekend we went to our friendly neighobourhood real estate agent. We told him our thoughts on purchasing a new home in a new city. The person curiously said that we seem to be nice persons so he will give us a nice proposal. The nice proposal was we should consider buying a home at Hiranandani Estate, Thane. We told him our budget and our requirement of 2BKH flat. He said with our budget we cannot get a 2BKH flat at HE, Thane, but we could get a 1BHK flat. He said the life at HE is heaven blah blah blah, as he himself had shifted there about a month ago and praised to sky his new home (it turned out that he lives on the 10th floor, so it seems obvious).

So encouraged by his smooth talk, my wife and I made a journey to Hiranandani Estate, Thane, last Sunday, which was April 1. It was quite far away from Thane railway station (about 7.5 kms), but once we reached there, we were quite impressed by the imposing buildings and the location. The agent showed his home, and also showed around the housing complex. He then showed our could-have-been new home. Well it was on the first floor of a 12 floor building. The house was quite good, though it was 1BHK, it had two bathrooms. The flat curiously had a canopy which seems little out of place, as only the first floor flats had it. Well, we then went to the Sales Office to find out the total cost of the flat. The total cost of the flat turned out to be quite high than our expectations --- around rupees thirty lakhs!! I asked the Executive is it real quotation or April fool joke. No, no, he said, it is real quotation and not a joke. The icing on the cake was Rs. 2.30 lakhs for the canopy, as additional cost.

Rs. thirty lakhs for a 1BHK flat is certainly a clear case of over-pricing, taking into consideration its location and the long distance from the railway station. Home are slowly becoming luxuries rather than a necessity. The interest rates on home loans too are rising day by day, to keep pace with real estate prices. So where that leave common man like me. Nowhere, I presume.

Meanwhile, our search continues ...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Happiness is a blog post

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -- The Dalai Lama

It is very easy to be unhappy --- just watch a cricket match involving India, or pick up a newspaper and both or either of them may make you unhappy.

So here are some of the my actions which makes me happy.
  • Let us begin in the very beginning of the day. If I get up instantly on hearing the alarm set on my mobile (which is, btw, set for 5:45 a.m.), I feel happy. But this is quite rare, maybe just once or twice in a week. I mostly hit the snooze button.
  • Over the past many years, I have been taking 7:20 a.m. train (now you know why the alarm is set at 5:45 a.m.) to commute to work. The train is unbelievably crowded even at such an early hour, and it is such a struggle to board the train. But I don't know why I like this train and try not to miss it. I feel happy if I managed to travel by this particular train.
  • After reaching my office, the first thing I do is to dash off to our excellent canteen. There is a particular seat in the canteen, which is my favourite, from where one gets an excellent view of Arabian Sea. If I happen to occupy it, I feel happy. Coffee, Toast with Butter and a beautiful view can make anyone happy in the mornings.
  • A hard day's work at office, with minimum goofing or wasting of time on non-consequential things makes me happy. Honestly.
  • I feel happy when I listen to any RD or SD Burman song, at work or at home. As I am composing this post, I am listening to a fabulous RD song `Panna ki tamana hai ke heera mujhe mil jaye .... and I feel happy.
  • I feel happy when I do not overstay at office in the evening and reach home on time, that is 7:35 p.m. Oh how happy I feel to see my wife and childrens. I hope they too feel happy to see me. If I reach on time, I get a royal reception from them, if I am late even by half an hour, I have lot of explanation to do.
  • After dinner, we, that is I, my wife and children go to our building's terrace for a stroll. Nowadays it is sooo hot during the day, the cold breeze in late evening just makes me happy and makes me smile.
  • And yes, I do feel happy composing a blog post like this, which I am sure no one will read, but since it is written, let it be there ...

BTW, this is my 300th post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What a Song

he maine kasam lee, he toone kasam lee
nahee honge judaa, hum

What a romantic song from the movie Tere Mere Sapne, which starred Dev Anand and Mumtaz. Only great S.D. Burman could have composed this song, and Neeraj could have written such a simple lyrics. The picturisation of the song, which is mostly on a cycle, is wonderful. The video of the song is below. Hear the song, and remember some one you love, and had loved once.

Cross-posted from my other blog Raju's World

Long Weekend Diary

This is my diary for the (long) weekend of March 17, 18 and 19.

This week it was a holiday on Monday, March 19 on account of Gudi Padwa, which is Maharashtraian New Year. Normally on the same day, it is Cheti Chand, but this year it was on Tuesday, that is one day after. So belated Happy New Year to all the Maharashtraian and the Sindhi readers of this Blog.

As my son, Sachin's Board exam for Standard X are going on, there is virtual ban on putting on TV at our home. We have to maintain utmost silence, least Sachin is disturbed with his last minute revision of his studies. I managed to catch same action of the World Cup Cricket 2007 match of India-Bangladesh match on Saturday, which India eventually lost. The media coverage of reaction of fans after the match made for sad reading. At many places the posters of Indian cricketers were burn and at Ranchi the under construction home of Indian wicketkeeper, M.S. Dhoni, was damaged. Well, these people are not fans of Indian cricket team, but just fanatics, and they just did what any fanatic would do in any part of the world. But really cricket is just a game in which the team which plays better wins. On that day, Bangladesh simply played well, bowled well and even fielded well, and the Indian team just played badly, and thus lost. Indian team redeemed itself somewhat, in their next match with Bermuda. Let us see how India plays with Sri Lanka, and if it can qualify for the next stage of the World Cup. My hunch is it will be South Africa, which may walk away with the World Cup this time.

On Monday I heard the sad news about death of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer. There are media reports about suspicious nature of his death. Rest in peace Bob.

Pakistan is now out of the World Cup after their defeat by Ireland. Ireland is not even a Test playing nation, and they managed to defeat Pakistan. Maybe Pakistan just defeated itself. Their exit means that there will be no India-Pakistan match in the World Cup.

I seems to be reading too many newspapers on the weekend -- Hindustan Times, DNA, Times of India along with which comes horrible Mumbai Mirror. I must restrict my reading to just one or two newspaper on the weekend. Anyway, barring for few articles, the rest of the Sundays papers are just not worth reading. After reading these newspapers, you are none the wiser at the end of the day.

About food --- last Monday we had Sai Bhaji with Koki. I cajoled my wife to make Thaynri, which taste great with Sai Bhaji, and should be eaten on Cheti Chand, but in vain. She does not want to prepare anything sweet, to safeguard Sachin's health during his exam.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cricket ke liye kuch bhi karega

The Telegraph, Kolkata reports:

The Meghalaya power department has decided to reschedule its loadshedding timings to enable people to enjoy the biggest event of the sport, the World Cup.

Power supply, which has been disrupted in the city for five hours from midnight for the past month, will now be cut off for three hours from 3 am, at least till the mega event is over.

Cricket ke liye kuch bhi karega. To have power cut from midnight is crazy, in the first place, Even crazier is to have it from 3 a.m. for cricket. But, then, cricket is not a sport in India, it is almost a religion.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is my diary for the weekend of March 10 - 11, 2007.

I read somewhere that mention of word Blog means people think the person will write about what he eat for breakfast. So let me tell you what I had for breakfast last Saturday: it was jawar-ke-roti, which in Sindhi we call `Dhodha'. It is really very tasty. It is made as a normal roti, but, of course, wheat flour is substituted by jawar flour, with extra oil or ghee, and green corian·der and fresh garlic added. And we had the famous Sindhi `Sai Bhaji' with sindhi rice Bhugal Chanvaar or Brown rice for the lunch. Oh bliss. If you had a Sindhi friend, do insist to him or her to treat you to Sai Bhaji and Bhugal Chanvaar. After that I had good two hours siesta. On Saturday I heard the good news that the concerned authorities have very kindly reduced the load-shedding by half an hour. So instead of seven and half hours, it will now be seven hours, every day. Oh thanks for the small mercies.

More on food: on Sunday I had purchased thick carrots for Gaajar ka Halwa. But since Sachin, my son, is appearing for his Std. X exam, which will begin on this Tuesday, March 13, my wife was reluctant to make it, as it is quite time consuming. She wanted to sit with Sachin and supervise his revision of his studies. After much cajoling, she agreed, but on condition that I will mesh them and also oversee the cooking of the halwa. So, dear reader, I took up the meshing of the carrots and it took up about 45 minutes to mesh one and half kilos of carrots, and maybe one hour for cooking. So this is the end-of-season Gaajar Ka Halwaa for us. We will enjoy it for few days.

Cross-posted from my other Blog Raju's World

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bleak Tuesdays & Thursdays

Life, interrrupted
7:59 p.m.,
any Tuesday or Thursday

Ulhasnagar, where I live, has load-shedding every day of the week for seven and half hours. Tuesdays and Thursdays are special for us, as electric power goes at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon, sharp, and returns at 9:00 p.m. in the evening, sharp. There is complete darkness all around, as even the street lights too are put out during the time of load-shedding*. The same pattern is repeated on Thursdays. This has been so since the third week of December last year. God knows, how long this will be like. Maybe for eternity. It is really a sad state of affairs. While Bombay city has uninterrrupted power supply, places like Thane and New Mumbai goes without power for four and half hours, but mostly during day time. It is places like Kalyan, Dombivali, Ulhasnagar and Ambernath, which goes without power for longer duration, mostly in the evenings.

For the record the following are the timings of load-shedding in the area where I live.

Every Monday: 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Every Tuesday: 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Every Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Every Thursday: 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Every Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. AND 5:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Every Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Every Sunday: 9:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

I have put the above table for my own record and to just check if the situation improves next month or it worsens. More likely it will be latter. With approaching hot months of April and May, I wonder what will happen. The demand for power will rise and so will be the hours of load-shedding. Situation is already bleak in rural areas, with load-shedding of 12 hours every day.

The root cause of this is that during the past seven years there is almost no change in the additional power generation sources, while the demand for the power is increasing every year. Obviously, the present Maharashtra Government is to be blamed for the sorry state-of-affairs.

Life, resumes
9:15 pm.
any Tuesday or Thursday

*load-shedding = the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part or parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system. (source:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. Wish all the women readers of this blog, a happy Women's Day. I wonder if there are any readers of this Blog. There is one confirmed reader, that is me, of this Blog. Sigh. Anyway, if you happen to bump into this Blog, by mistake or by design, and if you happen to be a woman, do today what your heart tells you, and be happy. But that you should do every day, not just on Women's Day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Agar Tum Na Hote ...

Hamein aur jeene ki chaahat na hoti
Agar tum na hote, agar tum na hote

What a great song, composed, by who else, than Panchamda, from the movie Agar Tum Na Hote. It happens to be my favourite song, but it is the most favourite song of my wife. Whenever she hears this, she just stop and looks and looks at me. Well, thank you Panchamda for creating such a beautiful composition and to Gulshan Bawraji for writing wonderful lyrics of the song. And last, but not the least, thanks Kishore Kumarji for your unusually good playback singing of this song.

The video of the song is below. Note the funny facial expression of Rajesh Kahnna, which somehow kills the song, but the song is saved by ever graceful Rekha.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Yesterday we, that is me, and my family, felt like Mumbaikars. The reason was we had electric power for the whole day. It seemed so good, and unbelievable too.

I live in Ulhasnagar and for the past few years we had load shedding, i.e. sate-of-being powerless. Every single day of the week. Earlier it used to be for five hours every day and since last few days it is now 7 and 1/2 hours every day. Today is Tuesday, so it must be from 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and if it is Wednesday, it will be from 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Such is life.

The picture above was taken at around 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday and is of my daughter. Though we have a power inverter installed at our home, without which life would be un-livable, it runs for few hours, and when the power cut is for more than 7 hours, the inverter just gives up and the battery drains out. Then out come the candle the the wait till the electricity and sanity returns. Thank you MSEB (Maharashtra State Electricity Bandh, oops Board).

Link to a news report about electricity crisis.

Good Read

After a long time, I read something quite funny and amusing in my favourite newspaper, which happens to be The Hindusstan Times. Actually the article was reproduced from The Guardian newspaper. It is a letter which a husband has written to her wife, whose lover he long to be. This could be a letter from any husband to any wife. To quote from the article:
It is Saturday night. We are in bed, the kids finally asleep. You are watching the film. Will you ever understand how it feels to pale into insignificance beside a mediocre film? "But," you say, "I'll never get round to it otherwise."
The full letter is available at this link.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote for the Weekend

Sometimes I wonder if I'm in my right mind. Then it passes off and I'm as intelligent as ever. -- Samuel Beckett, "Endgame"

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tere Bina Pancham

Today (January 4) is the 13th death anniversary of great Rahul Dev Burman . It was on January 4, 1994, that Panchamda left us. But he still lives in the hearts of Pancham fans, like me. Thank you Panchamda for the timless tunes.

Video of one of the greatest song of Panchamda is below. Tera Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa Tu Nahin .... Great song.